Friday, January 29, 2016


It's the future, and you're a space marine with a heart of gold, exiled to Mars for disobeying and physically reprimanding a superior officer who ordered you to fire on civilians. You've been working in tandem with a paramilitary organization - the Union Aerospace Corporation - who has been uncovering the secrets of teleportation. Things have been getting weird, though, and the source of the gateway anomalies reveals itself as true blue Hell when demons pour out of the teleporters. Security quickly falls and the rest of the Phobos base follows; Deimos just disappears entirely. Those that don't die turn into cannibalistic, gun-toting shells. You're dispatched from Mars to Phobos to investigate and left to secure the perimeter with your trusty pistol while the rest of your team goes inside. After brief but intense combat, you're left as the lone survivor, the last marine. Since you can't fly the ship alone, you elect to confront your fate head-on, ever the defiant one.

Ah, yes. Doom. My dad had the full, registered version of Wolfenstein 3D, and had no issues with me playing it. Doom, though... I was not allowed. That barrier eventually broke down, and pretty soon I was playing the absolute shit out of the shareware episode, and when he got the registered version (1.666) I was playing that, too. A friend had The Ultimate Doom, which is the first place I saw the mysterious fourth episode, and somewhere along the way we snagged Doom II. But then there was Duke 3D, and that had strippers and just about everything else that would appeal to my barely adolescent brain, and Quake made the leap into full 3D with an unmatched visceral feel. Doom was no longer important. Almost twenty years later, though, I have played way more Doom than I ever have of anything else, except probably World of Warcraft. I'm glad I got that monkey off my back.

People have written a ton of stuff on what Doom means to the history of games in general, about what it offers compared to its past and present peers. There is also a wealth of in-depth analysis to be found about Doom as a mapset, especially after the genesis of Doom the Way id Did. I can't say that I'm interested in offering any of either in this review beyond the softest of touches. Suffice it to say, Doom was and still is revolutionary. Its contributions as a platform for modding are unmatched. Its community is in no danger of burning out. It cannot help but be influential as a mapset; I imagine that the cross section of people that make maps for Doom and Doom II without having ever played the IWADs is infinitesimal.

Doom has a relatively limited monster palette. Its enemies shoot bullets that are either on target or not, without any input from the player, or throw straight fireballs / attack with melee at close range. The lost soul is, in this regard, essentially a living fireball. Because of this simplistic behavior, Doom's monsters exploit a different edge given the semi-realistic layouts you fight them in, usually coming up from behind while you're occupied with others or being composed of a sheer wall of meat that you slowly beat back while nudging you into a corner. Doom and especially E1 is pretty good about releasing enemies elsewhere and allowing them to surprise the player in a more organic fashion, as opposed to all teleport traps, all the time, not that you won't see a few of those, or even some massive penned-in brawls.

I would say that Doom is by its very nature a slower-paced offering than its sequel, Doom II, but as I retread these halls, I realize that the cacodemons and barons that soak up so much ammo and time are used with a much more exclusive purpose than the many years of PWADs that have followed. A lot of the HP soaks really only show up in the third episode, one of the greatest incidences being "Mt. Erebus", which places the player under constant attack from cacodemons and lost souls. Really, the thing that most characterizes the original Doom as a mapset to me - difficulty-wise - is manic pistol starts, including the first episode. Doom's episodic presentation makes it tempting for continuous play, but you'll see things in a very different light when you aren't steamrolling guns and ammo from map to map. You might learn new respect for weapon replacement or the weapons themselves, provided the act of rebooting with every clear doesn't ruin your engagement.

Knee Deep in the Dead is John Romero's baby; being the shareware episode, the lost soul and cacodemon, not to mention the two boss monsters, do not appear in Knee Deep in the Dead. This gives the action a stronger popcorn feel but weights things toward a lot of hitscanner action. The chaingun reigns supreme, given its ability to stunlock opponents as well as quickly and efficiently dispatching zombies, but you'll find that the trusty shotgun will be your main workhorse regardless of whatever episode you happen to be playing. Romero's level design is very vibrant, using a lot of height variation and avoiding the flat feeling that tends to pervade the second episode. All this, and employing a fairly concrete texture theme that belies nothing of the station's Hellish occupation.

Both The Shores of Hell and Inferno bear the mark of Sandy Petersen and Tom Hall. Tom's name shows up more in the former than the latter, but I leave the task of untangling the level's authors to those with a much stronger obsession, or another article entirely. E2 to me is characterized by levels that look and feel like dungeons from role playing games plotted out on graph paper, spilling over into some of the other episodes wherever Tom Hall's name appears. "Deimos Anomaly" gets away from this with the way that its tiers and areas are sectioned off by teleporters, which makes it the True anomaly. Apart from "Babel", of course. TSoH uses cacodemons, lost souls, and Barons, but they're placed fairly sparingly when compared to the final episode. While it's got a mix of tech and Hell as reality warps, the Deimos base to me has a distinctly different and darker identity.

Inferno is the eventual end of all this chicanery, with its executed bestiary pushing the zombies to the background while the demons shine. Resultingly, you can count on a lot less surplus ammo from monster drops. "Inferno" gets away from all the man-made UAC stuff with a lot of the wild and weird features that started cropping up in the corrupted portions of E2, but with there being no expectation of reality, the traps offer slightly less surprise. On the other hand, you get some cool outdoor levels, which were previously relegated to secret areas in E1 and E2, plus a few maps that are designed around teleporter mechanics. Marble, blood, stone, and wood all abound.

Doom's soundtrack is a healthy mix of iconic ambient pieces and MIDI metal that helps the game walk the fine line between action and horror, perfectly in keeping with a project that originally took inspiration from Aliens. More importantly, however, is its use of dynamic lighting, oft-neglected by PWAD authors but taken to atmospheric extremes in works like Sunlust. I wonder if we're all just too conscious of people voicing annoyance with scene-stealing scintillation; early on, I would have been right there with them, busting up on eye strain and strobes. I've become much more acclimated to Doom's variable lighting, though, and while I do not like entire levels buried under swaths of darkness (a la ConC.E.R.Ned's E2M9), I appreciate contrast as one of the fundamental building blocks of making an interesting Doom level. And, well, Doom serves as a great model for raw effectiveness.

The original Doom is absolutely worth your time. Modern players may be more inclined toward the shareware episode due to Romero's relative polish, and indeed, Knee Deep in the Dead looks to be the episode most fondly remembered. The Hall / Petersen tag team get significantly more dynamic gameplay, though, as E2 and E3 gets to play around with teleporters, crushers, lost souls, cacodemons, all of the boss monsters (including Barons as regulars), and the cell-ammo weapons, not to mention Berserk packs and invul spheres. I imagine that a large part of this is due to the shareware gating, given that Romero's offerings are restricted to the shareware episode. Anyway, I think it's a shame that E2 and E3 get slagged, since the gimmicks explored offer so much more to the player than slaying Doom trash monsters.

Perhaps that's what I like about this mapset the best - its attempts to defy expectations with every level while simultaneously avoiding the aura of sheer contempt for the player that often comes with the territory (though some players will always fly into a frothing rage at things like crushers, which I find bemusing at worst). John Romero takes you in, shows you how Doom plays, and then takes you on a wild ride through blinking lights, secret passages, and monster closets before sending you via teleporter to the next stage. Hall and Petersen continue with the same techbase vibe so you're still somewhat grounded but get to throw new monsters and new hazards as well as challenges that must be accomplished through mechanical exploitation, like infighting. The third episode finally removes the player from the techbase cradle, and in Hell, all bets are off with elements like teleporter confusion and a level that is virtually identical to E3M1 up until you step onto its original exit. All of this drip-fed experimentation leaves replays still feeling fresh due to the careful pacing, rather than having all of the raw elements available early on.

So, in the off-chance that you haven't yet played Doom, you really ought to. The only reason I would argue against it is that its rogue's gallery leans more toward the simple side over the hectic action of Doom II, but that extends to virtually every Doom PWAD ever. It's a rock-solid mapset of variable character and an ideal springboard for the years of custom content to come. A tough act to follow... but the community has been hard at it ever since.

Oh, and if you're looking for Thy Flesh Consumed, you'll find it in my review for The Ultimate Doom.

by id Software


by John Romero
Romero opens things up with this little teaser. "Hangar" is basically linear to the uninitiated, but the armor room and more importantly the secrets offer another layer of mild adventure. It's also more threatening than some MAP01s that I've seen due to its abundant shotgun guys. All of the rooms are both distinct and pretty cool, my favorite being the tech pillar tower to the west. No truly outstanding combat, but I imagine that any one of these places is going to trip up a new player.

E1M2Nuclear Plant
by John Romero
A more substantial level that interestingly eschews shotgun guys except for the secret outdoor area with the chaingun. I'm assuming that's because this level's more open nature leaves the player more exposed to hitscan attacks and monsters just plain sneaking up on you... and because it allows Romero to control when you find the shotgun, which gets thrown out when the first thing you fight is a shotgun zombie. The most distinct aspect of this level, to me, is the optional blinking tech maze that dominates the southwestern section. It's a little disorienting and a little creepy and the free-roaming enemies making noises give you that taste of being hunted.

Toxin RefineryE1M3
by John Romero
A very cool level from Romero that has it all when it comes to sniffing secrets, including an optional key. It's also a pretty big step up in difficulty since you're immediately exposed to a bunch of monsters, including demons and specters, in the opening room. The pressure never lets up, but you're practically force-fed shells what with all the shotguns that will be laying around. I love the huge mess of optional things that makes up the map's western section, including a sewer trip for a rocket launcher and the unlock for the secret exit. Apart from the opening, the action is pretty standard corridor shooting, but there's an early taste of the infamous monster closet as the blue key trap. There are A LOT of zombies to kill, so the chaingun reigns supreme.

E1M9Military Base
by John Romero
The secret chaingun is indispensable, since spraying bullets is much safer than the staccato shotgun, but you can make it on what you're given. "Military Base" has an unusual grid-based layout, but it makes for an interesting opening where you dodge fireballs from the central cage while monsters trickle in from all avenues. Some of the rooms have pretty interesting gimmicks, most notably the first occurrence of teleporters in the northwestern room with the rocket launcher. That bit really fascinated me when I was a kid. There's also that pillar run secret area right off the exit. Just a fun, fast challenge.

Command ControlE1M4
by Tom Hall and John Romero
More freewheeling techbase action, but with a lower bodycount and lower ammo, which is appreciated. It's a network of rooms and hallways based around the central area, a circular chamber with another, smaller chamber inside which has doors that aren't opened up with the use key. Snipers are more prevalent, given the height difference, so there's a bit more exposure to boot. The cramped maze to the southwest is an excellent bout of claustrophobia, but the action doesn't really compare to E1M2; it's more a different atmosphere. The lowering computer stacks come as a nice surprise.

E1M5Phobos Lab
by John Romero
KDitD comes into its own with this jam-packed level. If you don't grab the secret chaingun, you're in for some prime dances with shotgun action from the word "Go!" to the very end. "Phobos Lab" also has its fair share of abnormalities, with catwalks raising from the slime and hidden doors opening to sealed-off sections of the installation. The winking labyrinth returns in the exit area, which can be neutered with the light goggles but works pretty effectively with the injection of the specters. I'm most fond of the western area, though, which places the player between two monster closet invasions, plus whatever is kicking around in the toxic cistern. Fun stuff.

Central ProcessingE1M6
by John Romero
Another outstanding blastathon with several arena-style fights where an open room becomes flooded via monster closets. If you're toting the rocket launcher, you'll have an easier time than most, provided you watch out for that specter running in front of you. "Central Processing" has a sort of hub design with the various wings sectioned off by keys. Each section has a clear character, and while the action of the crossroads-maze to the east is tepid compared to the big brawls, it's certainly memorable. While nukage is present, it won't really factor into your playthrough unless you're looking for the very handy secrets.

E1M7Computer Station
by John Romero
A very cool finish to E1's normal lineup. "Computer Station" is a massive, labyrinthine level that has the player backtrack through once familiar halls with monster closets opened to challenge that assumption that any area that has been cleared will stay so. It's also got some neat secret tricks, most of which are based around the lowering / raising pillar to the southwest. All the windows emphasize the feeling of exposure considering all the hitscanners prowling around, both on the inside and the out. E1M7 may not have a crowning battle, but Romero's pacing - at least, of the action - is great. The only caveat is that, well, with all the backtracking, you're liable to forget what you had to do or get lost, but if that's the case, then Doom might not be the game for you.

Phobos AnomalyE1M8
by Sandy Petersen and Tom Hall
Starts out with something more akin to puzzle play with that big pack of demons ringed by barrels. After some exploration, it's on to the finish, a fantastic reveal of the last bastion of Hell on Phobos with its gateway guardians - the Barons of Hell - and packs of groaning phantoms. The biggest threat isn't with the Barons, since you can see where they are and they move pretty slow, compared to the specters, which blend in with the floor texture and begin at every point of the star. Once you're done grinding it all out, the now famous final ambush, a great final shock. Certainly, a success in atmosphere, if nothing else.


E2M1Deimos Anomaly
by Sandy Petersen and Tom Hall
Starting things off in Deimos with a short map that lays down a few new ground rules. Teleporters become part and parcel of the experience, and you also get some personal encounters with the cacodemon, the first of which will be as it slowly floats toward you down a corridor. The monsters are pretty dense, mainly thinking of the dudes in the lower tier - the imps and sergeants - and the bunch of demons waiting for you in the marble segment. You'll also find an early plasma rifle as a secret, plus another one of Doom's secret keys, locking away more handy supplies.

Containment AreaE2M2
by Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen
The original crate maze, "Containment Area" is a sprawling level, much of which is purely optional, though snagging the yellow key for the chaingun and rocket launcher / backpack isn't a bad decision. In spite of the tech, this level has zero zombie presence, preferring to lean toward imps, demons, and lost souls, with most of the latter arriving in a secret ambush. With that in mind, this level is ideal to cut loose with the berserk, which is out in the open. It's a fun level to explore and see how Hell's taint is infringing on this bastion of reality, with unusual machinery and that long, crusher hallway to the south.

by Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen
In spite of the lower monster count, this feels like a much more dense level. Maybe it's all the cacodemons, or maybe it's the fact that you're forced to work for all of your weapons, Tyson aficionados will use the berserk in the armory to do most of the initial legwork; however you proceed, it's gonna be one heck of a start. This also marks the first appearance of the Baron as a regular, not that you won't be able to take him down considering how open the southwestern area is. A fairly action-packed ride, with only one real slow spot, the grid 64 crawlspace colonnade to the east.

Deimos LabE2M4
by Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen
This level has a very different tone if you find the first secret... "Deimos Lab" brings the threat up to new levels with more high-HP monsters, catwalks, and crushers. Granted, you can use the last one against the first, if you're so inclined. The large, (mostly) deserted hallways plus the music present a haunting atmosphere and it's got a few ominous megastructures like the circular vault with teleporter structure in the middle in the north segment of the map. I like the red herring to the northeast, which ultimately leads nowhere but buys further into the deception of the player. Cool and creepy.

E2M5Command Center
by Sandy Petersen
Another large facility, this one from Sandy. The symmetry which dominates the center of the level reinforces its origin as a man-made structure, but as you dig in, the depth of the demonic taint becomes evident, with the side-areas devolving into a Hellish nightmare. This level's got a few big shocks, most notably the bruiser brothers in the outdoor area and the sheer amount of meat running around with demons packed into rooms like sardines in some instances. There are two big secrets, one of which is a chain that leads to the exit, the other being a long walk to a plasma rifle, which is indispensable for cutting through stuff like the final ambush or, say, slaying any larger things you may have skipped.

Fortress of MysteryE2M9
by Sandy Petersen
The infamous "Fortress of Mystery" is a pure concept level, pitting you between an inevitable conflict - Barons of Hell on one side and cacodemons on the other. Slaying everything is an exercise in infighting, since the former will come out as the victors over the latter, with the added benefit of being softened up. Clearing the stragglers will only take a handful of well-placed rockets. Maybe not the most exciting enterprise once all the pieces are locked in, but it's fun to play the puppet master.

E2M6Halls of the Damned
by Sandy Petersen
Continuing the trend of player distrust, "Halls" is loaded with all sorts of traps, whether it's the disappearing floor in the foyer, the treacherous wood / tech maze that dominates the level's southwestern portion, the alcoves gloaming with demons and their Baron masters, or the annex to the north, required for one of the keys, the other three offshoots being surprises of one brand or another, including the amusing fake exit. While the dark maze exists, Sandy has a bunch of light amp goggles stashed around the place, so those who know where to find them won't be put under too much strain. Those demons roaming the halls on your way back to the exit may come as the most unwelcome surprise, since the fake exit at least has the decency to foot you a soul sphere... A diabolical map.

Spawning VatsE2M7
by Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen
The penultimate level is a fusion of tech and Hell, looking very much like a facility that's been coopted for some more sinister purpose. It's also got a rip-roaring start, dropping the player off right next to some demons, forcing you to run just about anywhere to get something so that you can fight. Lacking any armaments might make things tricky if you stumble into the demon-infested warehouse, but the invul sphere combined with the berserk will give you plenty of leeway. Once that's sorted out, the rest of the level is a bit more straightforward, with a few alcoves to explore for delicious secrets. While you have a few hardbodies to fight through, the toughest thing is getting your footing.

E2M8Tower of Babel
by Sandy Petersen
A fairly straightforward boss arena with plenty of cover, plenty of ammo, and a few lost souls that act as potential spoilers. Killing one Cyberdemon with the rocket launcher isn't too boring, but I imagine it's much more frightening when you don't already have like hundreds under your belt. And are still using tank controls. However, Cybie has an annoying tendency to get stuck in those rocket rooms, which makes him much more difficult to hit. The leadup with the broken Baron corpses is superb, though, as is the soundtrack.


Hell KeepE3M1
by Sandy Petersen
The opening of "Hell Keep" establishes that this will not be accommodating. A couple of cacodemons stashed behind the front door serve as your rude awakening, forcing you back into the topiary of Hell. And, not soon after, a tantalizing shotgun stationed on a walkway that collapses under your feet into toxic blood. This level is dead simple and not at all pretty to look at, but the show of brawn is appreciated, lest you think that this episode is going to be all smiles.

E3M2Slough of Despair
by Sandy Petersen
Ditching any pretense of structures for this bit of Hellish landscape. "Slough"'s first act has you navigating a maze-like assembly of granite in search of gunsnammo while avoiding demons, lost souls, and other lurking nasties. It's a bit of a whirlwind at first, but after that, you're free to navigate the rest of the faust - err, fault. Each finger has some sort of a minor gimmick to it, the most memorable (in my mind) being the winding metal labyrinth in the middle one and the shotgun guy coffins on the index. Combat in the fingers tends toward the claustrophobic, but if you did a thorough job exploring (and maybe picking up the hidden plasma rifle) you should be golden.

by Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen
A slight return to the more concrete layouts of E2. This one's a wild ride, kicking things off with a demon ready to box you in and plenty of stuff hiding around every corner. If you don't know where the weapons are and run around in a panic, you're going to have a bad day. It's dangerous to go alone, but there's a shotgun nearby, not that it's immediately visible. The flesh trenches to the right and the left are a pretty neat feature. Pandemonium isn't a tough level once you get your bearings, especially if you snag the secret BFG, but the layout and action encourage wandering monsters - like the multiple lost souls - to surprise you from behind. The substantial secret area to the east is a treat, tucked away via a little passageway.

E3M4House of Pain
by Sandy Petersen
"House of Pain" has the highest monster density thus far, seeming like a slaughtermap with its hallways and rooms crammed full of monsters and tucked away rocket launcher and BFG begging for use. Sandy keeps the geometry simple, outside of the opening area, but there are some cool bits of world-building with all the tortured souls on marble pillars visible from the large, southwestern chamber. He also exercises his puzzle side with that red carpet door to the southeast, requiring you to diligently wash your feet and approach head-on lest it shut unceremoniously. It's a lot of meat to grind through, and the torture traps don't make it any easier, but a little bit of caution goes a long way. Not to mention the two invul spheres.

Unholy CathedralE3M5
by Sandy Petersen
Superb atmosphere and sorcery abounds in this marble megastructure. "Cathedral" has burning runes written into the walls and an inner courtyard that can only be accessed by and absconded from teleporters. The opening is typical E3, sending you who knows where in an attempt to grab a weapon, though the shotgun in the inner yard is a pretty easy pickup. Much faster than weaving through the demons and barriers to reach the plasma rifle, anyway, which is what I did. It's also got a bunch of secret hidey-holes, including the plasma rifle alcove, sharing some geometry with E2M9 and... not really feeling like much of a secret when I found it. After the start, the only thing that will really hem you up is the optional nearly bottomless pit of monsters off the exit, a trap that's partly meant to be navigated with the BFG.

E3M6Mt. Erebus
by Sandy Petersen
Another largely outdoor map, like "Slough", but "Mt. Erebus" has much greater freedom of movement... understanding that the monsters have just as much and aren't affected by the lava that surrounds the main island. Sandy dares you to check out the various structures of the level, keeping in mind that only a few of them are straightforward experiences, and while there's a bit of a weapon hunt, your usual workhorses are guarded on an adjunct and guarded by a small army. Doing just about anything on Erebus will unleash bunches of cacodemons and lost souls, which means that you're almost always under some level of pressure, but there's plenty of ammo and a not-really-secret plasma rifle, so it shouldn't be too bad as long as you keep your eyes peeled. A very fun, action-packed outing.

by Sandy Petersen
Looks like E3M1... or is it? "Warrens" might be a "Gotcha!" moment, but any player worth their salt should know that something's up the longer it feels like a carbon copy of "Hell Keep". Of course, I dunno if they would be expecting a mini-"Tower of Babel" as the big break, after which you're forced to backtrack to the beginning, fighting new pockets of monsters until the last big surprise where you're teleported behind some cacodemons and then wake up an entire platoon of sergeants. After being swiss-cheesed by hitscanners, the final bunch of Barons doesn't feel all that bad.

by Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen
A tight level fielding under fifty monsters but using an incredibly hazardous environment, with much of the level carpeted with toxic blood, a bunch of marble teleporter coffins that must be unravelled in order to reach the exit, and a blood maze to the northeast. It's a treacherous experience, complete with a couple of large monster closets, but works as the ideal final test for anyone who's been acclimatized to everything that id has thrown at them thus far. The whole marble-teleporter-coffins-isolated-in-blood thing will likely have some players crying foul, but there are plenty of rad suits and health, making it a pretty forgiving puzzle level. A very cool gimmick.

by Sandy Petersen
The first and only appearance of the Spiderdemon in the original Doom. In spite of the fact that it's got a hitscan attack, Petersen offers conspicuously less cover in this X-shaped marble arena and complicates matters by stashing most of the ammo on the upper ledge that rings the level. The pistol start player must use the three other monsters as a distraction while you grab the rest of the goodies and then hunker down for the final fight, playing cat and mouse around the Hellish gazebo that houses the blue armor and plasma rifle. Deceptively easy for continuous players and a test of mechanical knowledge on the other side.


This project is part of a series on

(Thy Flesh Consumed)(Shadow of the Serpent Riders)
Doom IIHexen: Beyond Heretic
Master Levels for Doom II(Deathkings of the Dark Citadel)
Final DoomChex Quest
TNT: EvilutionThe Plutonia ExperimentStrife: Quest for the Sigil
Console DoomThe Wraith Corp MegaWADs
Doom 64Perdition's GateHell to Pay
No Rest For the LivingHACX


  1. Yes, finally! I was waiting so much for the original Doom review. Funny how it was posted today, it coincides with the Duke Nukem 3D's 20th anniversary.

    I remember playing Doom since I was few years old, though I was mostly watching my father play through the game. I was born in late November 1995, so I'm almost 2 years younger than Doom, hehe. Unfortunately when I was kid, I only had the shareware version of Doom 1 (I had versions 1.2, 1.666 and 1.9 but they were all shareware) and I also had pirated version 1.666 of Doom 2, so I couldn't experience Doom like other people did, though I owned full versions of Duke Nukem 3D, Heretic, Hexen, Quake, Strife and a couple of other games thanks to not-so legal CD games compilations.

    Nowadays I have id Anthology, so not only I own legit copies but also I have original DOS versions of The Ultimate Doom, Doom 2, Master Levels and Final Doom (The Collector's Edition lacked Master Levels and DOS versions of the games, so I had to sell it because I wanted to have ultimate Doom collection). Bonus points for having patched version of Final Doom (TNT MAP31 yellow key fixed, Plutonia deathmatch starts fixed). I also own original copies of the above mentioned games (Duke3D, Quake, etc) because I felt the need to own a nice collection of games. Thanks eBay!

    Anyway I remember playing Doom a lot as a kid, both Doom shareware and Doom 2, though my favorite was always Duke Nukem 3D. Doom was my second favorite game (though I liked Quake a bit more as kid) but nowadays I pretty much consider equally both Doom and Duke Nukem 3D my favorite games of all time. I still like Duke3D more though, it holds a special place in my heart. Maybe because I'm more familiar with Duke3D than with Doom. And that explains the fact that as a kid I played only Doom E1 and Doom 2. I played The Ultimate Doom, Master Levels and Final Doom for the first time in 2012-2013 thanks to Collector's Edition but had to use Chocolate Doom because Doom95 sucks. And I hardly remember E2,E3,E4, Master Levels and Final Doom because I didn't play them as kid, so I don't have these levels in memory like I do with E1, Doom 2, Duke Nukem 3D and other games. Funnily enough, I played E4 of Duke3D much later because I only had original full version as kid but I still remember E4 pretty well, despite playing it in 2008 for first time and having replayed at least 5 times since then. I will be sure to play once again through the original Doom series in the future, this time I will do in DOSBox for a more authentic experience. I will still use Eternity Engine for the custom wads, though.

    Funnily enough, unlike many people, I wasn't scared when playing Doom but I will admit that the rare ouch face scared me the first time I saw it and screamed and parents heard me. I wasn't scared of any monsters, though.

    So thanks for the awesome review and looking forward to The Ultimate Doom review. Also can't wait for Doom 2 review when it will be done. And sorry for so much background information about me, I had to say how I felt about Doom.


    1. I meant Eternity for most of the wads (vanilla, limit-removing and boom compatible) but I will also use (G)ZDoom for the mods that require them. Sucks that there is no edit button.


    2. UDoom will be out shortly. Doom II,'depends

  2. Excellent job, KMX E XII! I think that you really succeeded in doing DOOM justice without writing a small novel, which is no small feat.

    One minor gripe though, you provide a link to purchase Doom on Steam, but not one to purchase Doom on GOG. My personal view is that the GOG version is more authentic and true to the original release because of the way it's packaged and presented, plus it's DRM-free. I know that's far from the point of this entry, but I couldn't help but point it out :) Thanks for the epic review!

    1. so, the steam button originated back when i first created a download button, since my Master Levels article could not have an /idgames link. It was also used on both of my Final Doom megawad reviews as well as my final doom article. all of that good stuff was done about three years ago, before any of id's titles were available on GOG, and while i do remember hearing the news back when they were put on, it was far from my mind when I wrote this review some six months later. i just did what i had done for the other /id stuff - copy the steam button from the master levels article and change the link.

      that said, gog is a pro-tier link, especially as I see that they are selling doom II, final doom, and the master levels altogether in one hot bundle, and i've gone back and added gog links to the appropriate final doom and master levels pages.

  3. I think if you're going to link to Steam, you ought to also link to GOG. Besides it's much cheaper on GOG than on Steam for any non-American.

    1. this is less excluding gog by choice and more the way things were done on the site three years before GOG ever had the rights to distribute doom. that said, it's been added

  4. I always feel Sandy Petersen gets way too much flak. Some of the best levels in the original Doom were his, IMO.

    1. sandy petersen is indicative of the lifeblood of the doom community. The other guys like Romero have a certain stylish flair but Sandy's work points the way to the kind of experimentation that gives Doom the longevity it has today.

    2. I agree though in the original Doom I alone, Romero's maps have the most reliable and sustained high quality IMO. Same goes for Ultimate Doom (my favorite maps are E4M2 and E4M6). He did make some weaker maps IMO for Doom II, but also a few of my favorites.

    3. Actually, I prefer Romero's Doom 2 maps over his doom 1 maps. They felt more varied and interesting, compared to KDITD, which while still good, feels repetitive at times. And I find his E4 maps are not fun at all.

  5. Took me 20 years to notice E3M2 was a hand.