Where and when did you first play this game?
My best friend, Dustin H originally brought DOOM to my attention when it was released in 1993. At that point, both he and I were playing around on various bulletin board systems (BBS) in the local Flint Area. The game was release “online” as a shareware game, meaning it needed to be downloaded in pieces, restored and installed to create the playable game. The shareware version allowed you to play the first 9 levels, which brought you up to the end of the first chapter, and then …OH NO, NO MORE DOOM!
Shareware turned out to be a GREAT way to promote the game. Since you had the change to play before you pay, you’d most likely become addicted in the game, and you’d be totally willing to put the money down at that point. And ID Software did a great job in utilizing the shareware concept to generate buzz around their games.
By this time, I had upgraded to my CompUSA PC system with an Intel 486 processor with a 200MB hard drive and 4MB of RAM. It was a big deal at the time. The 200MB hard drive was a huge amount of storage for the time. I remember Dustin and I saying it was a virtual “canyon” of data storage, and at the time it seemed impossible to use that much hard drive space.
How many times have you played this game? Have you replayed the game since you first played it?
Doom has been ported to just about every game system out there over the years, including the iOS. But, it’s been a long time since I’ve played the original DOOM. I think the last time I played the game was WinDOOM which was a windows version of DOOM. DOOM was a MS-DOS based game so you used a command line to start the game and the keyboard to move and fire. That seems like so long ago. In the end, I played the shit out of the game for a year or so, but once I stopped playing, I just stopped.
I did get my hands on a demo of Quake, ID Software’s next big game, I remember I didn’t care for it at the time. Quake is actually a 3D design, i.e. you could be above another player or monster on another level, but the game play wasn’t completed and it didn’t really interest me. I did play DOOM 3 on the PC a year or so after it came out, but that’s another post.
What is it about this game that you loved?
Doom was a huge success at the time it was released. According to Wikipedia, over 10 million copies where downloaded within two years of the release. After I played the Shareware version, a got my hands on a full version on diskette, and later I purchased the game on CD as well. The first and second game were not very different from each other, so I decided to include them together.
You play a nameless space marine on Mars or some other non-Earth planet and, of course, something has gone terribly wrong and there are demons, pits of acid and fire breathing monsters trying to kill you. You acquire key cards to open doors, find bigger and badder weapons, find secret rooms and make a dash to a final button at the end of the level. Overall, it’s pretty tame by current standards as far of graphic violence, but at the time it was a huge deal because of the blood, satanic images, and graphic nature of the game.
Another thing that was pretty interesting is the game looks 3D, but it’s actually a 2D level map design with a 3D perspective. Unlike later games where you actually have to aim your weapons, in DOOM, when you would shoot at a monster standing on a ledge, it would look like the weapons fire was heading up and killing the bad guy, but in fact it’s a 2D plain so it’s really just heading straight across to kill him. The game designers did an amazing job creating the perspective to look 3D.
What is the best (or worst) moment in this game? Or what about this game made it memorable?
The best thing in these two games? The Weapons: the chainsaw, shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, plasma rifle, and finally the BFG 9000 all make this a very memorable game. There were cheat codes in the game which would allow you to get invincibility, all weapons, full weapons and health, and even walking through walls without any restrictions. It was great getting started on the game and running through the halls and corridors blowing away monsters, demons and pig demons.
The game had a huge realistic feeling because as you walk around, the camera angle bobbed up and down like you were really walking. ID Software’s first game I played, Wolfenstein, had a similar feel, but the level design was flat and looked kinda cheesy at the time. DOOM gave you a 3D perspective and felt more realistic, not to mention, there were really good lighting effects so you could get this really creepy dark feeling.
There were some moments in this game that figuratively scared the shit out of me. There were these huge hoofed monsters who came running at you , shooting plasma out of their hands, and they were difficult to take down. The first time I came across them, they scared me and I ran like hell to get away. The Baron of Hell might have been a boss monster or maybe even the final boss of the game, but I just remember they were huge! And I said “OH SHIT, RUN!!!”
Another thing which was great about DOOM and DOOM 2 was the fact the game designers allowed you to set up new levels and add to the game play. For example, you could create new scenarios to the game to play, with new sound effects, monsters, levels, etc which almost created whole new game.
The game called them WADs (where’s all the data?) and people made some really creative ones, like an Aliens version of DOOM. The game designers did a great job making it easy to customize the game, and people are pretty creative in the creating levels for the game.
One last thing, I used to love blowing up explosive barrels in the game. You could get them from a distance so you’d wait until a monster or other player would come around the corner, and you’d blow the shit out of them by hitting the barrel and the concussion would kill them too! Awesome!
Is there a special story about this game? Maybe an event in your life or some thing memorable you associate with this game?
A few memories, first was the music in Doom and Doom 2 were never very good, or extremely repetitive. I would arrange for some music from the House of Pain, especially the music from the Same As It Ever Was album. I would put on the House of Pain running around the levels blowing away monsters on the screen. Great fun.
Another one, DOOM was the first game I ever played over a network. Today playing over the internet or via a network is a really common place thing. But at the time network play was in its infancy. I think mainly because of the cost of multiple computers, the time involved in getting the computers together, and the trouble in properly linking the computers was a lot of work..
Dustin and I both had a PC systems at this point, so he would bring over his computer to my basement lair (since I had all the room) and we’d play DOOM. The acquired networking cards and cables so we could play DOOM or DOOM II together. This was some of the first times I’d ever played a video game via a network. It was hella fun! We would run around the levels, picking up items, cooperating together in completing the level. DOOM is a real winner in my opinion.