World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2009/12/10

Apocalypse Then: Doom

Dooma

So, November was certainly Valve Month, it seems as though December is id month, seeing as Quake III Arena and Quake II were both released in this month years ago. Another game that was released this month was Doom, on the 10th of December, 1993. The shareware version was available for free download on this day and featured the first episode of nine levels. The full version was available via mail order, as a retail version only became available in 1995 in The Ultimate Doom.

The first time I played Doom was when I got my first real computer back in 1996. The shareware versions of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, two of id’s most legendary progenitors in their respective series, were installed along with all the other software and such that was part of the setup cost.

Doom is one of id Software’s most successful franchises and even though it wasn’t the first First-person shooter (the term hadn’t even been invented then), it paved the way for the genre we know by this name today, and for years afterwards, games of the same nature were referred to as “doom clones”.

Doom was no doubt controversial, featuring a lot of violence and satanic imagery in its plot involving a demonic invasion of various locations surrounding Mars, and eventually featuring a trip to hell, which seems somewhat tame when compared to Doom 3, another game in the franchise that would be released more then ten years later. It also popularized multiplayer and deathmatch, a term coined by the game’s designer and co-founder of id, John Romero. Another thing that Doom introduced to the world was the infamous BFG 9000, which has appeared in other id games. Tim Willits recently said that some classic weapons from past id games would feature in Rage, their new IP (somewhat similar to Fallout 3 or Borderlands, at least in setting), and many are likely holding thumbs that the BFG makes an appearance.

Recently the man who made the Doom box art, Don Ivan Punchatz, passed away. His son, Gregor Punchatz, did some of the modelling for Doom and Doom II, especially the monsters.

Doom was followed by Doom II: Hell on Earth, The Ultimate Doom (essentially Doom but the retail version with a fourth episode), as well as Master Levels for Doom II and Final Doom. There was also Doom 64, not considered a true part of the series by some, and Doom was ported to many systems and not to mention its received thousands of mods, TCs, and such over the years.

Doom 3 came out in 2004 and many people were too chicken to play it, and there was an expansion for this in Resurrection of Evil. Doom 3 inspired the Doom movie with The Rock (now calls himself Dwayne Johnson), which was…quite terrible really.

Doom 4 is currently in development at id Software, and will be published by its parent company, ZeniMax Media, which bought id this year.


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