Doom

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Doom

Doom - DOS - USA.jpg

MS-DOS - USA - 1st edition.

Developer id Software
Publisher id Software
Published 1993-12-10
Platforms 3DO, DOS, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, PC-9800, Sega 32X, SNES, Windows, Windows Mobile
Genres Action, First-person shooter, Shooter
Themes Horror, Science Fiction
Series Doom
Multiplayer Simultaneous co-op, Simultaneous versus
Distribution Commercial, Commercial, Open source, Shareware

Doom is a first-person shooter with a science fiction and horror theme developed and published by id Software for MS-DOS on 1993-12-10 as shareware. It's the first game in the Doom series and was followed up by Doom II: Hell on Earth.

In the game, you play a space marine stationed on Mars. Scientists have been experimenting with dimensional travel and have accidentally opened a portal to Hell, and released hordes of demons on the planet. It's up to you to fight your way through the demons, enter Hell, and stop them from getting to Earth. Doom is considered a monumental game being the first hugely-successful multiplayer FPS and breaking ground among 3D games.

Personal

Own?Yes. The Ultimate Doom on 3.5" diskette. And digital copy from Doom 3: BFG Edition on Steam.
Won?Yes. MS-DOS version. All four episodes on "Hurt Me Plenty" difficulty.
FinishedLate 1990s.

When it came out, the computer I owned couldn't handle it, so, to make it more playable, I decreased the view port to its lowest size and bumped up turbo to its highest level, but that ruined the feel of the game. It wasn't until a couple years later that I could run the game at its intended size and speed. I really enjoyed Doom, and spent a lot of time making my own levels with Waded, an editor tool.

Review

Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
7 7 8 7 7

Best Version: Doom95 for Windows

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game is just a lot of fun to play.
  • The addition of multi-player, while not necessary, vastly increased the enjoyment of the game.
  • There were a lot of interesting small features added to the game like monsters that would get mad and hurt each other, enemies near ledges that would fall off, flickering lights, semi-transparent demons, etc.
  • Each of the weapons has its own strengths and weaknesses. For most of them, there is no way to say that it is definitively better than another.
  • The game was really spooky at the time, and even today, when I'm playing a new map, I get apprehensive about diving into sludge or walking into a dark room.
  • The game has very fitting music including heavy metal tracks, and Bobby Prince wisely convinced the developers to include mysterious ambiance as well.

Bad

  • The game allows save scumming. Ordinarily, I appreciate this, but, since the game is meant to be terrifying, and you can save and reload every time you get ambushed, it ruins most of the tension.
  • The earlier releases of the game had a variety of bugs (tiny slices of walls rendering where they shouldn't, textures missing, etc.), but id did a good job patching them over the years.
  • It's a minor thing, but, Inferno is supposed to take place in Hell, so, it doesn't make sense that there would be space marine zombies there.
  • All of the other ports are inferior.

Ugly

  • Some ports, like the SNES, are disastrously inferior.

Media

Box Art

This art was designed by Don Punchatz and used on nearly all of the boxes for all ports, just with various differences in layout. It features a space marine being rushed by the demons of Hell, some of which have been cybernetically altered. The Doom logo was also designed by Punchatz. The original painting doesn't include the Doom logo which was superimposed on it for the box design.

Documentation

Graphics

Screenshots

Fan Art

Videos

Postmortem.
The Game Theorists - Exploding Barrels.
Review - What's So Great About Gaming?
Boundary Break.
John Romero's level design rules.
How auto-aiming works.
How the melting screen works.
Doom graphics pulled from Wolfenstein 3-D.
Longplay, Knee Deep In the Dead.
Longplay, The Shores of Hell.
Longplay, Inferno.
Longplay, They Flesh Consumed.

Play Online

3DO, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, MS-DOS (Ultimate), Sega 32X (Europe), Sega 32X (USA), SNES (Europe), SNES (USA), Super Famicom (Japan)

Representation

Strong female character?FailThere are no women.
Bechdel test?FailThere are no women.
Strong person of color character?FailThe only human characters are white.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.

SNES Port

The SNES is not nearly powerful enough to handle Doom, so the SNES port is particularly awful. While it makes uses of the Super FX GUS 2 chip, it still fails in many ways:

  • The controls are terrible.
    • Objects, including the player, do not slide along walls very well, so, you will often find yourself stuck, even when the wall is outside of your field of view. In an empty corridor, this isn't so bad, but, when you're trying to avoid monsters or running through sludge, it's extremely frustrating. Even something as innocuous as trying to get through narrow doorways is a chore.
    • Turning is too slow.
    • You can only cycle forward through your weapons, not back. So, if you want to drop down one weapon, you have to press the weapon toggle button seven times, and, if you mess up and press it eight times, you have to press it another six times to correct your mistake.
    • The slow movement and tiny display area makes aiming very difficult. Thankfully, the collision detection is very forgiving. However, this seems to backfire with the rocket launcher whose blast radius seems to hit the player even when it's quite far away.
  • The visuals are horrible:
    • To get an acceptable frame rate, the graphics had to be drastically weakened:
      • 40 pixels are cut horizontally and 48 pixels vertically off the typical SNES screen size.
      • The the 3D environment is halved horizontally, then rendered double-wide, resulting in wide rectangular pixels.
      • The total rendered area is only 108x144 pixels which makes it very difficult to see anything far away.
      • Ceiling and floor textures are left out entirely.
      • Enemies only ever face you, all their turning animation has been removed.
      • Animated and scrolling textures were removed.
      • Transparent textures, like gratings, were removed.
      • Power-ups no longer flash when they're about to wear off.
      • Despite all these graphical concessions, the game still runs at a slow frame rate.
      • A lot of the gore and demonic imagery has been censored.
    • The same rendering bugs that exist in the DOS original (like little slices of walls being drawn when they shouldn't) exist in this port.
  • The audio is really bad.
    • Rather than convert the music to something the SNES could natively play, the game streams audio to the APU. This causes constant noise and popping during music playback.
    • Only one sound effect is played at a time, so sound effects are often cut short or play too late.
    • To fit within the available memory, some sound effects were removed.
  • You can't save. There isn't even a password system, so, each time you restart the game, you have to begin from mission 1.
  • The HUD doesn't show how much ammo you have for each weapon, or which weapons you have in your inventory.

Credits

Role Staff
Game Design Shawn Green, Sandy Petersen, John Romero
Programming John Carmack, John Romero, Dave Taylor, Michael Abrash
Graphics, Art Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud
Level Design John Romero, Sandy Petersen, Shawn Green
3D Modelling Gregor Punchatz
Music & Sound Effects Robert Prince
Business Jay Wilbur
Sound Engine Paul Radek
Tools Programming John Romero
Creative Director Tom Hall
Box Art Don Punchatz

Links

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