clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Unreleased Duke Nukem discovered in Library of Congress

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

A technician has discovered an unreleased Duke Nukem game in the archives of the Library of Congress.

Duke Nukem: Critical Mass was developed for the Nintendo DS by Frontline Studios. The PSP version, however, was never released. David Gibson, a moving image technician at the Library of Congress, discovered the original source disc in the Library's collection not long ago.

"Since 2006," Gibson writes, "the Moving Image section of the Library of Congress has served as the custodial unit for video games. In this capacity, we receive roughly 400 video games per year through the Copyright registration process."

"Several months ago, while performing an inventory of recently acquired video games, I happened upon a DVD-R labeled Duke Nukem: Critical Mass (PSP). ... A line of text on the Copyright database record for the item intrigued me. It reads: Authorship: Entire video game; computer code; artwork; and music."

"I realized then that in my computer was the source disc used to author the UMD for an unreleased PlayStation Portable game. I could feel the lump in my throat. I felt as though I had solved the wizard's riddle and unlocked the secret door."

Gibson goes on to say that hidden inside the disc is an ASCII text file containing the full text and credits information for the game, along with "a large chunk of un-obfuscated software code."

The disc will be of use to researchers and game developers for generations to come. You can read more about the Library's collection, and Gibson's work in particular, here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon