Saturday, September 04, 2004


You are huge! That means you have huge guts!

So, a while back, on bittorrent, I downloaded a zip file of the original Doom, plus Doom2 and Final Doom. And you know what? They hold up pretty damn well.

I last played the original Doom around 95 or 96, on Chris' computer. He had the modified version, where the pink Demons were replaced by Barney. Like most of us, I moved on, to Star Wars: Dark Forces, Duke Nukem, Quake, then Quake II, and most recently, American McGee's Alice, all of which are significant improvements in graphics and control. But there's something viscerally satisfying about the 1993-vintage original, where you don't have to worry about any fancypants looking up and down, or jumping, or ducking. Just run, shoot, sidestep, shoot, run some more, shoot some more.

Shelswick gave a name to my Doom hobby; since every few minutes, when I got pasted, I would growl "bastard!" at the computer, playing Doom is now known as "killing bastards," as in, "you're watching Sex And The City? Then I'm gonna go kill some bastards."

Last year, believe it or not, was Doom's 10th anniversary, and the website Doomwork has an extensive tribute to 10 Years of Doom. There's a history of the games, a listing of some of the best (and worst) custom levels, and, for the strong of heart, something I had never heard of, but which must be seen: the Doom comic book.

One of these days I'll go ahead and get (or, let's be honest, download) Doom 3 and check out the hi-res cinematic-cut-scene goodness. But for now, I'm happy just killing bastards.

How I spent [some of] my summer vacation...


Doom 3

A review by Jack Bridges

Doom 3 is dark. Very dark. You can crank the brightness all the way up and the gamma all the way up and you'll still be sitting in front of a black screen. And what goes well with dark everyone? That's right. Spooky. We're talking night of the living dead when I was 12 years old at Basketball Camp spooky. That's spooky. Plus, it's hard. I mean. I'm playing on Hard, so I suppose it should be, but I just walked through Alice in about 12 hours on hard and found it to be easy. This isn't. I've only played about an hour of the game. I'm enjoying it, but I've been too busy to put any time into it. Wolfenstein 3D was the first game to actually scare me back in the day. I was working in Bellevue writing code and we'd be there late at night and we'd have all the lights off and the sound way up. Rounding a corner and running into an unexpected German soldier caused me to jump out of my seat. Well, that was like Don Knott's in "Where's that Ghost" compared to Doom 3.

Oh... Another thing. It's pretty. It's so pretty that you've got to have a balls to the wall computer and graphics card if you want to play it. This helps in making it even more scary. The lighting, when there is some, is incredible. It sets the mood perfectly. The zombies look like something out of a decent horror movie. Every bit as scary. The neat thing is, the graphics are getting so good that it doesn't take as much of the "willing suspension of disbelief" as the blobs in say, Doom 1. I mean, the idea of zombies. I suppose that requires some sort of leap of faith, but they're so ingrained in our psyche that it doesn't take much. You look at a soldier and you see soldiers. Well, you see soldiers if there's lighting enough to see soldiers. Very often if you're seeing soldiers you're also getting pasted because you've got your flashlight out while you should have your gun out. You see a quick glimpse of a soldier with his gun out and then it goes black again while you switch and then all you see are flashes of white and red. Death of someone is the result. Far too often me.

PS - I have a copy somewhere of the Doom Comic book.
Coolness! So how's the gameplay? I keep hearing that it's more about stealth and survival than just, y'know, killing bastards.
I'm not far enough into it to really know how it plays. It's a lot of killing, but more avoiding being killed than killing. :)
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