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Fail to the King, baby!

The more pedantic readers of Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks will be aware of the note at the back of the book pointing out that “only one genuinely impossible phenomenon is depicted in this book”. The note pointed to a page on this website, where the following explanation was to be found:

The only genuinely impossible phenomenon depicted in this book is a character being in possession of the PC game “Duke Nukem Forever”. Impossible because, despite being intially scheduled for release in 1997, ten years on there is still no danger of its DVD taxing anyone’s optical drives any time soon. (In fact, the technology that will finally be used to ship the game may not even be invented yet.)

Wired News created the Vaporware Lifetime Achievement Award exclusively for DNF and awarded it in 2003. Four more years having passed, I thought I would mark the tenth anniversary of its first failure to hit the shelves by including a reference to it in the only format in which the game is currently available: that of fiction.

Well, events of the past month mean that Rubber Ducks must now remain indelibly set in the first decade of the twentiteth century, back when that statement remained true, because the game has finally hit the shelves worldwide, to a resounding “meh”.

(For a quite magnificent pseudo-review and explanation of why the game could be nothing other than a collossal disappointment, I would direct readers to the incomparably funny Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s now-legendary take on the whole farce: bow before the genius of Zero Punctuation)

To mark this momentous event, I would like, for nostalgia purposes, to post the first screenshot ever released to promote Duke Nukem Forever.

This appeared in 1997, when DNF was rumoured to be coming out in time to challenge Quake II for the first-person-shooter crown. I believe the man in this image is now dead.

To put this into perspective, I first saw this screenshot in PC Gamer magazine around the time I was starting work on One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night. At the time, I actually thought DNF would be published first. Between the game’s first advertised release date and its actual publication, I have written twelve novels, including the one that will be published next year. So no more emails telling me to write faster and be more prolific, okay?