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So, I'm sitting there, tending bar, when in walks someone who stayed out of the spotlight for a very long time, Duke Nukem.

Now, Duke Nukem used to be at the top of his game. Literally! His shoot-em-up game was one of the best known in all the world!

So, naturally, I asked him, I said, "Mr. N! Where have you been all these years?"

And he says, "Oh, I been working on this new game called Duke Nukem Forever."

And I said, "Oh, yeah! I remember hearing about that. It was supposed to be like this big ground breaking game, but it never got off the ground."

And he told me, he said, "Well, it went from game designer to game designer, people to people, all over! Everyone just kept wanting to improve the technology. And nobody could keep up with the times."

And I said, "Well, that's sad. What did you do about it?"

And he says, "I took over."

And I said, "YOU took over?"

And he says, "Yes. I took over as the Supreme Game Designer. I handled the story, the characters, the game-play, everything about it!"

And I said, "Well, that sounds fantastic! What went wrong?"

And he said, "They just didn't have the vision that I had."

I said, "Really? What-wh-what was your vision?

He said, "Well, it was gonna be a brand new kind of technology. A kind of technology where you actually use actors in the game."

And I say, "Well, that's been done before."

And he says, "No no no. Not just laser scanner, not just filming them, actual actors! From every angle, you can play the actors! That's the catch. Everything is real."

And I said, "Well, that's impressive! Who were you gonna get to be in it?"

And he says, "Well, yours truly, of course. You can't have a Duke Nukem game without Duke Nukem. But, then I was thinking along the lines of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp."

And I said, "Isn't that the highest paid actress and the highest paid actor in all of Hollywood?"

And he said, "Hell yeah. I don't dick around. When I get the best, I get the best."

And I said, "But, wasn't that expensive? I mean, didn't that cost you a fortune?"

He says, "Oh, sure, sure! But money was no object. We just wanted the best!"

And I said, "Well, okay, what were they doing?"

"Well... Johnny Depp was a slug monster who distracted his enemies by shitting out diamonds. And not fake diamonds! Real diamonds! Like I said, everything is real!"

And I said, "Well, what about Angelina Jolie?"

And he said, "Well, she becomes an entrepreneur and takes over Disney World. And again, we REALLY take it over! We fork out all the money and take over Disney World! And she turns it into a bunch of blood sucking zombies! ...You know... More than they are NOW. So that way, I have to go through Disney World and destroy all of the famous cartoon characters!"

And I said, "Holy smokes, Duke Nukem! The copyrights alone must be worth a fortune!"

He says, "It was! But it's all real! It's all real!"

And I said, "Blimey, that sounds unbelievably expensive. Didn't the game producers have a problem with that?"

And he said, "Well... Yeah, at first. But they were with me for the most part. But, uhm, they got a little iffy when I brought in the giant monster Eiffel Tower..."

"Giant monster Eiffel Tower?"

And he said, "Oh yeah! And again, it was the real thing. We give it large mechanical arms, legs. It would breath fire on all the cities."

"But it's okay!" he said. "Because we'll bring in a giant mechanical Mount Rushmore! Imagine, all four of the Presidents' heads with their teeth trying to bite off the head of the Eiffel Tower!"

And I said, "The Eiffel Tower has a head?"

And he says, "Yes! Of Jerry Lewis!"

And I said, "None of this would be computer animated or digital?"

And he said, "No, it'd be all real! Everything would be real! This would be the groundbreaking game of all time!"

And I said, "Well, that sounds... unbelievably expensive! Like, beyond comprehension!"

And he says, "I KNOW! But it goes even more beyond comprehension! Because we bring back the Titanic! ...With tits! The Tit-tanic, we were gonna call it! It would be unbelievable! We'd actually bring it up from under the water, give it tits, and it goes in and it destroys everybody!"

"Tit-tanic for the win!" he said.

And I said, "Gee, that sounds... unbelievably unreasonable."

And he says, "It gets even MORE unresonable!"

And I thought, oh God.

"For, you see, after the Eiffel Tower Jerry Lewis, Mount Rushmore, Tit-tanic attack, I would do the next best thing. I would purchase a nuclear weapon... The producers would pay for it... I'd take it. I'd launch it. And I'd totally wipe out Canada! First video game in the world to actually destroy a nation! It would be groundbreaking! Unbelievable!"

And I said, "You can't blow up Canada! That's where Phelous lives! Where else are we gonna get movie reviews that are so unbelievably monotone?"

And he said, "His monotone would go up an octave once he sees that giant mushroom cloud! Hahaha!"

And I said, "B-But that's anarchy! That's chaos! That's an expensive use of mindless violence!"

And he said, "That's Duke Nukem Forever."

So, I said, "Well.... What went wrong?"

And he said, "They thought it was too expensive."

Oh, what a shock!

And I said, "Look, Mr. Nukem, I... I appreciate your passion and your energy, but this would take billions upon billions upon billions upon BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars! Who in their right mind would pay for that?"

And he said, "The players would. 'Cause everybody would by this game.... Twice."

And I said, "Everybody would buy a video game twice?"

And he said, "Yes, this one, they would."

And I said, "That sounds crazy."

He said, "You look me in the eye and tell me they wouldn't."

...God knows, I couldn't do it. I couldn't honestly say that people would not buy a game with the Eiffel Tower with Jerry Lewis's head attacking a Titanic with tits, Mount Rushmore, with Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, and the entire obliteration of Canada.... Would YOU not buy it?

And I asked him, I said, "You know, obviously, the project didn't go forward, but can I give you some advice? People really seem to like character. And story. I mean, groundbreaking technology is nice, but over all, they just want to have fun. They just want to enjoy what they're watching, not always be blown away. They have some intelligence. You have to treat your audience with some respect and dignity."

So, I asked him, I said, "What did you go on to do next?"

He said, "Oh, I went on to the movie Avatar. Yeah, I wrote the story and directed it with James Cameron and everything. But I sorta wanted to keep a low profile. I didn't mind giving him all the credit. So, I just decided to let him be the big popular one."

"Oh," I said. "How's that doing?"

And he said, "Highest grossing movie of all time."

And I said, "Ah... Technology?"

"Groundbreaking."

"...Story?"

"Ripped off."

"...Characters?"

"Non-existent."

And I said, "Well, uh... I'm glad that's working out for ya."

And he said, "Me too! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to smoke a kitten. I'm unbelievably rich, so I can do that."

He got up and left.

...What an asshole.

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