There are four difficulty settings in Duke Nukem 3D and its expansions and ports.
The gameplay remains constant between difficulty settings. The only differences are the number and types of enemies positioned in each level. Higher difficulty settings only add enemies; they do not remove them.
Difficulty levels Edit
Piece of Cake Edit
This is the easiest difficulty setting, and is therefore the best difficulty choice for those new to Duke Nukem 3D. This difficulty has the least amount of enemies, and they deal little damage. Hazards other than the crushers and outer space also deal little damage.
When starting a game in this difficulty, Duke will say: "Yeah, piece of cake!"
Let's Rock Edit
The medium (normal) difficulty setting. Most gamers consider this difficulty level to be the one to start on. This difficulty introduces a few more enemies, and a couple of slightly tougher ones too.
When starting a game in this difficulty, Duke will say: "Let's rock."
Come Get Some Edit
The hard difficulty setting. This difficulty has the most and the toughest enemies.
When starting a game in this difficulty, Duke will say: "Come get some!"
Damn I'm Good Edit
Dubbed "Nightmare" difficulty, it is identical to "Come Get Some", but all killed enemies come back to life shortly after they are killed. They only revive when they leave a corpse, and the only way to permanently prevent them from reviving is to destroy the corpse (with an explosion).
This difficulty setting doesn't have a maximum number of kills, because the enemies continually revive. Instead, the kill count is merely a tally of all the kills the player has done in each level, and is not "out of" anything.
When starting a game in this difficulty, Duke will say: "Damn, I'm good."
Note: Cheating is disabled in this difficulty. If one enters a cheat, a message at the top of the screen displays: You're too good to be cheating. But, if the player enters the God Mode cheat in a easier difficulty then switches to Damn I'm Good difficulty, the cheat will still be enabled.
In other games Edit
Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach Edit
In the expansion pack Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach, the difficulty settings are renamed, and Duke says something different upon starting a game in that difficulty:
- Low Tide
- "Have one on the house!"
- Makin' Waves
- "It's time to limbo!"
- Big Kahuna
- "Time to crash this party!"
- "Life's a bitch, and then YOU die!"
Duke Nukem Advance Edit
The difficulty levels in Duke Nukem Advance use the same naming scheme as Duke Nukem 3D. The difficulty affects how many enemies are positioned in the level as well as replacing certain enemies with tougher ones. The difficulty level also adds extra items such as health pick ups and ammo on harder difficulties.
The difficulty levels are as follows:
- Piece of Cake
- Let's Rock
- Come Get Some
- Damn I'm Good!
- The Damn I'm Good difficulty is similar to the "Nightmare" difficulty level from Doom, as it keeps the same enemies from the lower difficulty which resurrect from corpses. However, unlike Doom's Nightmare mode, gibbing an enemy will permanently kill them.
- By mistake there are some enemies which are only present in the Damn I'm Good difficulty due to bad map coding. For example, there is an Assault Trooper in Death Row cage set with lo-tag 4 (Damn I'm Good only), even in 1.3d version.