I tend to look through community guides for achievements for most games, and was disappointed that Duke Nukem Forever lacked a guide covering some useful details. In fact, most guides online failed to mention them too.
So here’s a quick guide to help you get the Balls of Steel and Scientits achievements without spending hours carefully bouncing a ball against one target, and also a list of all the secret achievements to help everyone know what they’re actually trying to do.
1,000,000 Points in Pinball Without Repeated Bouncing
There are two achievements in this game that require you to score 1,000,000 points in pinball. One achievement is for the main game (Balls of Steel) and the other is in the DLC (Scientits).
Considering that there are guides exclusively for accomplishing these feats, I think it’s safe to assume that it’s challenging. That said, the common way to “cheese” these games requires you to catch a ball on one of the flippers and then gently bounce it repeatedly against a target to slowly rack up points.
Depending on your multiplier, this can take quite some time. It’s also horribly tedious and repetitive, so I propose a different approach.
Beat the main game to unlock the Extra Settings option (may require the game to be beaten on Normal or higher difficulty).
Go to the pinball machine of your choice.
Open the Extra Settings menu and drop the game speed down to 25%.
Ignore the flippers.
Pressing the movement keys will tilt the machine, gently tapping the ball in the pressed direction.
Doing this too many times in short order will cause the flippers to stop working, usually resulting in the loss of a ball and often the achievement when it’s just within grasp.
Tilting in slow motion, however, will allow you to move the ball enough to consistently move it out of harms way. It will also reveal that tilting it repeatedly into a slanted surface causes the ball to go upwards, allowing you to “jump” from the bottom of the machine to a bumper that will then fling you high enough up to do things such as increase your point multiplier or, you know, actually score points.
A little bit of practice just tilting the machine while in slow motion will let you navigate the ball pretty much however you like while making it very unlikely that you’ll actually lose the ball. It’s also far less tedious than the repeated bouncing technique usually suggested since you’re actually playing a game vs tapping 2 keys in rhythm for 40 minutes.
Using this method, I managed to grab both of the achievements in less than an hour, and actually enjoyed doing so. I don’t want to discount the other guides, since their proposed techniques do work. I just want to make sure that other people like me know there’s another way to easily get these.
And, just to prove that this works, here’s my current high scores:
Scientits is easier, IMO.
Secret Achievements (They’re All from the DLC)
I should specify here that these achievements are for the “The Doctor Who Cloned Me” DLC. There’s another DLC which is, I think, all multiplayer stuff.
There are a few new weapons in the DLC campaign, so it makes sense that there’s achievements tied to them.
The Expander is kinda like a reverse shrink ray that causes enemies hit with it to swell up and take 4x the normal damage. Shooting them with it again will also cause them to pop.
You’ll bump into it for the first time on the second level of the DLC campaign (but since the first is just walking to an elevator, it’s pretty much right at the start) and there should be enough enemies there to get this achievement. If not, you’ll bump into the gun plenty of times later.
Another new weapon, this is essentially a short-range grenade launcher with minimal AOE and regenerating ammo.
Shortly after getting this for the first time (you literally can’t miss it) you’ll have to fight some clones of yourself. Luckily, they’re all unarmed so will approach you with melee. Run away from the first group of them, and they’ll usually coalesce enough for you to easily kill 3 in short order (at least on lower difficulties).
This is an…unusual achievement. I, at least, was surprised that it was a thing.
Long story short: There are multiple factions that occasionally fight each other through the DLC campaign, and you just need to let them kill each other.
Easiest place to get this (in my opinion) is at the very start of the DLC campaign. You’ll walk through a hole in a wall and see some windows to your left. Pick one to look out of, and then go make some snacks or something.
An infinite number of guys will spawn outside and slowly kill each other. I’m not sure how long it will take, nor if it’s better to do it on a low or high difficulty (I’d assume low), but just hang around listening to the chaos until you get it.
In the main game there are achievements for killing things with the various drivable vehicles you bump into (at least the two that aren’t, you know, toys). Congrats, the DLC is no different!
You’ll end up in a moon rover at some point in the DLC campaign. When in it, run over enemies that spawn. This should be pretty easy as you’re encouraged to do it towards the end of that level, but know that more guys spawn almost every time you enter a crater. The rover also seems to handle better than the other vehicles in the game, so running over things shouldn’t be a problem.
There are plenty of other guides on this, but the general rule of thumb is that you should just try to interact with everything. Miss something? Checking Level Select will tell you what levels you have ones missing on, though it’s a bit confusing as some Ego boosts are on multiple levels (like looking in a mirror).
Most guides assume that you’ll get them the first time they appear, so work your way from the earliest level you’re missing something on.
If you’re looking for Ego boosts (which you should be since Ego is your HP) then you’ll probably be trying to interact with everything you see, especially glowing arcade games. The chances of you missing this are slim to none, but just in case…
There’s a level called The Burning Bush. It’s short, pretty much free of enemies, and is the location of the Scientits pinball game. It’s going to stand out in compare to the rest of the DLC levels, and all you need to do is try to play any arcades you find. There are only 2, and they aren’t hiding or anything. Just give the place a quick look around and you’ll get this.
At this point some of you may be counting and realize that there’s 5 achievements left. 1 of them I’m not going to cover since you have to get it to complete the DLC campaign and it’s…sorta a spoiler?
The other 4 are just beating the DLC campaign on each of the 4 difficulties. You’re going to want max Ego when going for Insane difficulty, so I suggest beating it on a lower difficulty and getting all the Ego boosts, then going for the hardest difficulty which will unlock the achievements for all the others.
Couple of quick tips for going through on Insane:
- Make sure you don’t start a new game, as that will reset your Ego. Instead use Level Select.
- Consider reducing the game speed to essentially make your reaction time 4 times as fast.
- You can also increase the size of all the enemy heads. I don’t know for sure if this changes the hitboxes so it’s easier to headshot, but at the very least it grants a good visual indicator when something is dead so you don’t waste ammo (dead bodies have normal head sizes).
- For people wondering about how to change game speed and head sizes; they’re extra options unlocked after beating the main campaign. There’s a rumor that you have to beat it on at least Normal difficulty, but I don’t know if that’s true.