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I feel like a schmuck asking but I am playing Duke 3D on PC for first time and when I finished LA Meltdown the game ended and took me back to start-up screen. Why didn't I proceed (with current weapons)? My only option was to begin Lunar Apocalypse as a new game with no weapons... what gives?
That is how these shareware type of games always worked, Doom, Wolfenstein, Duke I and II, Commander Keen, Jazz Jackrabbit... whenever you finish an episode, the game dumps you in the main menu for you to launch the second episode. Often switching episodes required you to quit the game and launch a different .exe file. You can't carry your stuff from one episode to another.
that's the way the game was originally designed. each episode is supposed to be it's own individual experience; thus you must start your way from the bottom of the supply and weaponry chain and work your way back up as you progress through the new episode
Post edited May 28, 2013 by Forge
I think that he just meant that many shareware games that had episodes/chapters normally "ended" after each episode/chapter and did not let you carry any stuff over to the next episode.
And I can't think of any at the moment that did not do this. I.e. Jazz Jackrabbit, Duke 3D, Doom 1 and Wolfenstein 3D all did this. But in these days it was still not uncommon for stuff not carrying over from one level to another in other games.
And normally such shareware games ended after episode 1.
Post edited April 12, 2013 by Gabelvampir
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Gabelvampir: I think that he just meant that many shareware games that had episodes/chapters normally "ended" after each episode/chapter and did not let you carry any stuff over to the next episode.
And I can't think of any at the moment that did not do this. I.e. Jazz Jackrabbit, Duke 3D, Doom 1 and Wolfenstein 3D all did this. But in these days it was still not uncommon for stuff not carrying over from one level to another in other games.
And normally such shareware games ended after episode 1.
Thanks for all the replies - it confused me when I read the original walkthrough on 3D Realms website that reads "if you're starting a new game and did not bring any weapons from previous level..." that weapons would carry over.

http://www.3drealms.com/duke3d/walkthrough/e2m1.html

I also thought I remembered that Duke 3D AE on Xbox allowed you to carry over weapons but I can't really remember...
Thanks again!
ah.

an episode is made up of levels
if you play an episode in continuous fashion, the weapons will carry over from level to level

each episode is its own separate entity meant to be played by itself without carry-overs from other levels or episodes. (start at the bottom all over again and work your way back up)

you also have the option of selecting individual levels if you use the setup program that came with the game

basically you can select and play any one level you want from any episode without having to play all the previous levels before it to reach it

if you use this method to play a map individually, then you are walking into that map without any collected weapons and supplies you may have gained if you had played the episode in its entirety to reach that level

as a side note i still don't get the connection between trial versions and demo versions (shareware) of software having anything to do with games that are made up of individual episodes or first person shooters.
Post edited May 28, 2013 by Forge
When I said "shareware type of games" I meant "these games made/published during that era by these companies (Apogee, id Software, Epic Megagames) which were typically split into episodes and distributed as shareware", the sharewareness had nothing to do with the episodeness.

Also, Duke Nukem sharewares certainly featured more than three levels, I can't speak for Duke Nukem II, but the first and third game's sharewares we played as kid gave us full access to the first episode and we played and replayed them to the point we could have written FAQs had we known about that concept.
Post edited April 14, 2013 by blueskirt42
so you're using the term shareware to refer to an era and not software.

like i said. a definition i wasn't familiar with

and i meant duke3d when referring to three levels of the first episode in the demo version
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Forge: so you're using the term shareware to refer to an era and not software.

like i said. a definition i wasn't familiar with

and i meant duke3d when referring to three levels of the first episode in the demo version
The shereware is only a distribution method. consist in put "only the first episode" of the game on the internet (or BBS on this time) or give it away diskettes whit it. if you brougth the full version it they mailed to you on a generic box.
the full version are the 2-3, 2-5 or 2-6 episodes, but the first you could distribute without limits (and it can be distribute whiout limits).

Exemple of shareware.

Skunny, Biomenance, Wolfenstein 3d, Duke nukem 1,2,3D, Descent, Cosmo cosmic Adventure, Commander keen, Quake. Etc

This method has a limitation the shareware episode is so long, it contained about 8-9 levels commonly and is really boring finish those levels again when you registered the game, that's why they are divided the games into Episodes too. some games like decent or Quake allow you to add the following Episodes to your shareware, but was uncommoun.

otherwise the demo versions were not common at that time so most of them are considered Post-shareware era. the only ones that were distributed by this method during the era were Spear of Destiny, Gemstorm, Hexen, Planet Strike (which was the first retail Apogee) all these were the first retail too and had both forms of distribution.

so I do not think they are so wrong since most of shareware were divided into episodes and in games It was an era (of software distribution of course) Is not used anymore. only some softwares use it, but is really uncommoun today...

See ya
Post edited April 14, 2013 by sharp299
Just so there's no further confusion on this point:

Duke Nukem 3D consists of 39 (originally 28) individual levels spread across four (originally three) episodes. The first episode was available as shareware and could be freely copied and downloaded:

Episode I: L.A. Crackdown
Level 1: Hollywood Holocaust
Level 2: Red Light District
Level 3: Death Row
Level 4: Toxic Dump
Level 5: The Abyss
Secret Level 6: Launching Facility

Once you registered the shareware edition, or bought the retail box, the following two episodes were unlocked:

Episode II: Lunar Apocalypse
Level 1: Spaceport
Level 2: The Incubator
Level 3: Warp Factor
Level 4: Fusion Station
Level 5: Occupied Territory
Level 6: Tiberius Station
Level 7: Lunar Reactor
Level 8: The Dark Side
Level 9: Overlord
Secret Level 10: Spin Cycle
Secret Level 11: Lunatic Fringe

Episode III: Shrapnel City
Level 1: Raw Meat
Level 2: Bank Roll
Level 3: Flood Zone
Level 4: L.A. Rumble
Level 5: Movie Set
Level 6: Rabid Transit
Level 7: Fahrenheit
Level 8: Hotel Hell
Level 9: Stadium
Secret Level 10: Tier Drop
Secret Level 11: Freeway

If you purchased the Plutonium Pack upgrade or the Atomic Edition retail box, you received all three of the above episodes plus this one:

Episode IV: The Birth
Level 1: It's Impossible
Level 2: Duke-Burger
Level 3: Shop-N-Bag
Level 4: Babe Land
Level 5: Pigsty
Level 6: Going Postal
Level 7: XXX-stacy
Level 8: Critical Mass
Level 9: Derelict
Level 10: The Queen
Secret Level 11: Area 51

In the original PC games, you can not carry over any weapons or items from one episode to the next. It is, in effect, like starting a brand new game each time. (This may have changed for the XBox360 port, or the contemporary console versions; I don't have any of those, so I can't speak to them.)

This model of distribution, where the first episode was given away for free as a "teaser" for the full version, was standard for many shareware games for most of the '90s, up through and including the original Quake. The "shareware episode," as it was usually known, was not in any way crippled or missing any features from the full version, although sometimes the paid levels would introduce new gameplay elements (different weapons, enemies, etc.) that weren't in the free ones. (There were also licensing restrictions that prohibited users from distributing mods based on the shareware versions.) And of course, the shareware game would end abruptly in a "To Be Continued" fashion once you completed the episode, arguably most famously in DOOM where, after beating the two Barons that were the final Bosses of the shareware game, you stepped on a teleporter and were immediately fried by a roomful of hellspawn.
Post edited April 16, 2013 by TheKid965
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Gabelvampir: I think that he just meant that many shareware games that had episodes/chapters normally "ended" after each episode/chapter and did not let you carry any stuff over to the next episode.
And I can't think of any at the moment that did not do this. I.e. Jazz Jackrabbit, Duke 3D, Doom 1 and Wolfenstein 3D all did this. But in these days it was still not uncommon for stuff not carrying over from one level to another in other games.
And normally such shareware games ended after episode 1.
Blake Stone didn't do it
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Gabelvampir: I think that he just meant that many shareware games that had episodes/chapters normally "ended" after each episode/chapter and did not let you carry any stuff over to the next episode.
And I can't think of any at the moment that did not do this. I.e. Jazz Jackrabbit, Duke 3D, Doom 1 and Wolfenstein 3D all did this. But in these days it was still not uncommon for stuff not carrying over from one level to another in other games.
And normally such shareware games ended after episode 1.
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ggf162: Blake Stone didn't do it
Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold (the original game, which had a shareware episode) definitely ended at the end of each episode and made you start a new game to continue the story, losing all weapons, ammo, and points each time. Planet Strike was a little different as it was a commercial release, and all 20ish levels blending into one full game.
Always makes me smile when someone runs into one of the vagaries of retro gaming that the rest of us took for granted once upon a time.
That is a weird fricken comment on the 3drealms walkthrough. I makes it sound like there was a version that bundled all the levels together but I don't know of one. Even the PS1 version was episodic. Maybe the 360 version lets you carry weapons over.
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tbirdo: That is a weird fricken comment on the 3drealms walkthrough. I makes it sound like there was a version that bundled all the levels together but I don't know of one. Even the PS1 version was episodic. Maybe the 360 version lets you carry weapons over.
Because it is xbox version, they already said that in walkthrough but also commented that except few differences in maps their level walkthrough applies to both versions.