It’s finally happened. Duke Nukem has managed to give us nightmares.
No, we’ve not been tackling Duke Nukem Forever; it’s still there, in our Steam library, but we know better than to risk giving it a second chance. Instead, it’s Duke Nukem 3D we’ve been losing sleep over and it’s all thanks to a series of Tweets from @Foone, the same programmer who got Doom running on a pregnancy test.
Duke Nukem 3D, apart from being an excellent game in its own right, was remarkable for featuring working mirrors. Even now, a lot of games either omit mirrors entirely or feature ones that are dirty, broken or just do away with reflections entirely. Duke Nukem 3D’s mirrors accurately reflected the real world, including any enemies who might sneak up behind you.
We knew there was a little trickery involved, that behind the mirror was an identical room and once or twice we used Duke Nukem 3D’s no-clip cheat to head into that room. But, in a series of Tweets, Foone did something rather disconcerting, something that had never occurred to us.
BTW I'm certain the real reason they put a bathroom in this level was this stupidly huge mirror.
This is a huge flex from the engine: look at us, we can do fucking MIRRORS pic.twitter.com/G3D4UIeTQH
— foone (@Foone) March 19, 2021
They decided to find out what happens if you clip into the “mirror dimension” and destroy the mirror. They accomplished this by dropping a pipebomb by the mirror, clipping through, and setting it off. The results are pretty odd, with the game acting as some of the textures have been removed, but it’s the implications of these unorthodox shenanigans that are really bothering us.
For example, if there’s a Duke in the mirror dimension, does that mean mirror dimension Duke is now out in original Duke’s world? Has destroying the mirror killed Mirror Duke? And if Duke is now trapped in the mirror world, what happens if he keeps walking? The more we dwell on the situation, the more disturbing it gets.
You know, thinking about it, maybe dirty mirrors aren’t so bad.