Doom is a genre of music thought to be pionered by Black Sabbath. The sound of doom is very low pitched and often slow in tempo. Many new bands are described as doom such as, Cathedral, Sleep, Grief, and Slow Horse to name a few.

In the appendixes of Frank Herbert's Dune, the importance of space travel on history is emphasized by the term being bolded and set apart from the normal text. Accordingly, the video game which changed PC gaming should thus be written:

=================     ===============     ===============   ========  ========
\\ . . . . . . .\\   //. . . . . . .\\   //. . . . . . .\\  \\. . .\\// . . //
||. . ._____. . .|| ||. . ._____. . .|| ||. . ._____. . .|| || . . .\/ . . .||
|| . .||   ||. . || || . .||   ||. . || || . .||   ||. . || ||. . . . . . . ||
||. . ||   || . .|| ||. . ||   || . .|| ||. . ||   || . .|| || . | . . . . .||
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||. . ||   ||-'  || ||  `-||   || . .|| ||. . ||   ||-'  || ||  `|\_ . .|. .||
|| . _||   ||    || ||    ||   ||_ . || || . _||   ||    || ||   |\ `-_/| . ||
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||    ||_-'      || ||      `-_||    || ||    ||_-'      || ||   | \  / |  `||
||    `'         || ||         `'    || ||    `'         || ||   | \  / |   ||
||            .===' `===.         .==='.`===.         .===' /==. |  \/  |   ||
||         .=='   \_|-_ `===. .==='   _|_   `===. .===' _-|/   `==  \/  |   ||
||      .=='    _-'    `-_  `='    _-'   `-_    `='  _-'   `-_  /|  \/  |   ||
||   .=='    _-'          `-__\._-'         `-_./__-'         `' |. /|  |   ||
||.=='    _-'                                                     `' |  /==.||
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\   _-'                                                                `-_   /
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id Software's first self-published game rocked the gaming world with its improvements over predecessor Wolfenstein 3D and set the stage for incredible revolutions in the PC gaming industry over the second half of the 90s.

History

The first official release was made early in the morning on December 10, 1993. Eager gamers, having heard snippets about the game, logged into anonymous FTP servers and waited for the game to be uploaded. So many filled the main distribution site that id developers were denied access. A quick phone call and the limit was raised. Users were downloading the two 1.4 megabyte files before they were completely uploaded.

The software they downloaded changed the world. Where the flat, blocky levels of Wolfenstein introduced the gaming community to id's creative and technical skills, DooM shocked everyone with variable lighting, non-orthogonal walls, stairs, traps, and -- in the mail order version -- the mother of all staffs of killeverything, the BFG9000. The variety of hellspawn thrown at the player scared many in ways they weren't expecting. (Who remembers the first time they saw the enormous2, pink Demons or their semi-invisible3 brethren, Spectres?)

Less than a year later, a commercial shrink-wrapped "sequel" was released with new levels, more weapons and eviler monsters. DooM II became a popular multiplayer FPS -- for many players, their first taste of a game which allowed more than two people to compete.

By the time DooM II was released, rumors were already circulating in gaming magazines about the successor, a Gothic adventure set in a true 3D world. But if not for DooM in its variety of forms, id Software would never have transformed from the garage start-up to the champions of PC gaming through the 90s.

The Game

As a penalized Space Marine, the player has been assigned to babysit a military research facility on the Martian moons. The major scientific project being studied involves inter-dimensional gateways. The gateways get out of hand and open a portal to Hell.

The player's unit gets wiped out by the critters that poured out of the gateway, and now it's time to push 'em back. The first of the three episodes in DooM cover the Phobos research facility. The second and third, which are purchased in the mail-order version of the game, force the player to descend into Hell and teach the demons a lesson before they come back.

After defeating the game, the player enters another inter-dimensional portal that happens to leave back to Earth.

Unfortunately, the hellspawn got there first.

DooM II picks up immediately afterward, with the demon army trashing Earth and leaving the player to pick up the pieces.

Responsible Parties


1 DOOM ASCII logo Copyright 1994 Frans P. de Vries. More info available at http://www.gamers.org/~fpv/doomlogo.html

2 "Enormous" being a relative term. These creatures were significantly wider than any monster encountered thus far in the game.

3 Yes, vladkornea, invisible would be hard to see.

Apart from being one of the classic FPS of all time, Doom has also been ported to tons of platforms. Here's a complete list of all the platforms Doom (the original game) has been ported to, as of the time of writing this node. They're divided into official ports (developed and commercially/freely released by iD or other companies) and unofficial ports (created by amateurs for other platforms/environments). If there are any missing from this list, msg me and I'll add them.

Official Releases:

Unofficial Releases/Source Ports:

Update: gray mocker has recently informed me that his uncle was, in fact, assigned to work on a port of Doom (which was never actually finished) to the ill-fated WebTV platform and had played a build of the game on a prototype at his uncle's house. Thanks for that bit of Doom trivia, mate.

Hurt Me Plenty: The Vagina Dentata of Doom

Doom was and remains a spiritual game, a sensation which bypasses the rational mind to pierce the heart and loins. To play Doom is to become a nothing; to occupy a chair, not moving, not blinking, aware of motion and of killing and of void, a static progression of sound and fury.

Doom was a refinement of Gauntlet, Atari's 1985 arcade hit. Gauntlet was viewed from a slightly inclined top-down perspective, and was resolutely set in the timeless fantasy era of the Conan films. Both games took place in a series of maze-like environments, both games featured a wide range of opponents, each with different attributes and methods of attack, and furthermore both games came alive when played by four people simultaneously.

Doom possessed a quality Gauntlet definitely did not exhibit, a quality stemming from its realism and from its first-person perspective. Playing Gauntlet, one was constantly aware that one was directing a character, moreso when one was playing with other people; in contrast, the multi-player networks that ran four-player Doom could be spread across a building, the players never meeting, whilst Gauntlet required four people to crowd around a small cabinet. Doom instead created a state for which there is no word. I use the term unbecomingness. Most computer games involve and immerse the player in an imaginary world, where the player assumes the role of an imaginary character. This is not unbecomingness, however, it is merely the subsumation of one identity (the player's real-world persona) with that of another (the player character's other-word persona). In contrast, Doom shares a characteristic with many early computer games, in that the player character does not exist, or is so barely sketched as to be immaterial. Although the player assumes the role of a Space Marine, this space marine exists purely as a series of primal grunts, issued at moments of great stress. Although human, the space marine is no more expressive than the monsters he fights. The environment, meanwhile, is overpoweringly evocative, a literal bloodbath, an oxygenated medium.

Doom is a symphony of annihilation, for the game's primary characteristic is obliteration. Obliteration of the enemy, of the player, and of the player's self. The archetypal in-game situation finds the player opening a door on a large room filled with monsters, all of whom immediately attack. There is no requirement for the player to destroy all monsters, as the object of the game is to escape from the bowels of hell, yet a variety of subtle cues - the player is constantly armed, the monsters never retreat, violent heavy metal music plays throughout - ensure that there is no question in the player's mind of what must be done, and to whom. Throughout history countless soldiers have been ordered to take care of prisoners - "you know what to do" being the most common formulation - and Doom is no exception. The player knows what to do, even if the game does not explicitly say so. And the doing is good. Doom's sensory assault creates a state of unbecomingness in the player. From moment to moment all that exists are the monsters, the ongoing chatter of the chaingun, the periodic boom of the shotgun, the amplified sensation of movement, and that is the extent of the player's world. There is no thought or mind, there is no sex, no urge to visit the toilet or to ejaculate. The player's body becomes merely a shelf upon which the player's eyes and hands rest.

Of course, this unbecomingness is in itself a form of becomingness, for the removal of life's complexities produces a state akin to that of the surfer, the mountain climber, the drug user or the bricklayer; the goal of all men is the amplification of the moment until it obliterates memory and temporality, a state usually achieved through music, food or television. The audience wants to be transported into a similar state of nothingness, thus achieving a glimpse into the undiscovered country of death itself, the infinity of zero. Doom is a game in which the player, by creating death, experiences it from the inside.

Doom is also a powerfully erotic game, notwithstanding the numbing of the physical self. It is mentally erotic, capturing the release of control at the height of orgasm, the constant stimulation of eternal deathmaking. Doom bathes and is bathed in sex, from the sated groans and cries of dying soldiers and dying creatures, to the gentle, substantial thud of mortally-wounded demons falling to the floor, to the organic, ejaculatory sound of flesh rupturing into the oblivion of an explosion. Doom captures the eroticism of the slaughterhouse. Many people have fantasies of being killed, of killing oneself, whilst at the height of orgasm, or of killing a partner during sex. Many people achieve release by killing animals, in order to experience the release and relaxation of the death orgasm. Doom's killing acts act as constant stimulation, the unremitting intensity of nightmare mode creating a sensation similar to that of greatly extended masturbation; a mixture of hopeless anxiety, horror and release, the sexual organs requiring greater and greater stimulation to achieve a dread orgasm of painful intensity.

Doom is a male space. The player is invariably male, for obvious reasons. Of the monsters, only the comical Cacodemons seem obviously female, their ungainly, ill-formed gaseous nature and leering, slavering mouths characteristic of the female species. The other creatures are powerfully muscular or obviously male, and Doom's erotic power stems from the unrestrained physicality epitomised by violent homosexual intercourse. Men are not easily capable of multiple, satisfying orgasms, each one lesser than the last, and thus homosexual sex must be extraordinarily intense in order to make the most of the moment. Doom's amplification of unimaginable horror fits this pattern, with the addition that there is no real orgasm, even unto the final level of the episode. Death is the end, the ultimate, the one and only, but the death of the player in Doom is treated merely as a pause, a tap to the space bar restarting the level, although the player would be wiser reloading an earlier saved game.

One of Doom's innovations was the fact that the corpses of vanquished monsters do not vanish, either immediately or over a period of time. They remain in place, monuments to the player's conquests, lying peacefully on the floor, drenched in blood, in many cases opening their legs to the player (a side-effect of Doom's graphic engine ensures that static sprites always offer one face to the player, just as the Moon always faces Earth). Fluid plays a major part in Doom's gameplay, each monster producing large quantities of it during death, whilst other fluids harm the player. That none of these fluids are obviously seminal is telling; although very few fluids in real life have the texture and consistency of semen, Doom is a game that denies reality, set as it is in a fantasy world. The presence of blue water seems jarring in the midst of hellish insanity, and thus the absence of semen was quite obviously a conscious decision on the part of the programmes for censorship reasons, the same reason for the lack of visible genitalia on the obviously naked monsters (although, having said that, as the monsters seem optimised for combat it is entirely possible that their genitals are hidden, like the Dolphin or the Zebra).

The player is represented throughout the game by the aforementioned grunts, a pained facial expression in the status bar, and a centrally-placed weapon, most typically a pump-action shotgun with an infinitely large magazine. It would have been easy for the programmers to symbolise sexuality with these most obvious sexual symbols, and it is to their credit that they avoid sexualising the weapons, or at least the majority of them. When the player picks up the chainsaw for the first time, an instruction to find some meat appears on the screen, yet the chainsaw does not penetrate the enemy, it merely strokes the enemy, brushes their skin. It has a woman's touch.

The chainsaw is the purest of all Doom's weapons. Whilst the majority of the game's weapons are neutral, the player choosing to use them or not as the situation demands, the chainsaw is a persuasive force of itself, its very appearance and manner an inducement to violence. Even in situations where the chainsaw is tactically inadvisable, the player is tempted to apply it; even in situations where there are no obvious monsters, its constant low-level buzz promises violence to come, purring and roaring like a new-born child. It is not a cyclic weapon, and it does not run out, notwithstanding the in-game lack of petrol. As in real life, Doom's chainsaw is a constant neverending stream of wailing death, of blood and torture. An industrial tool repositioned as a combat weapon, taken from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Evil Dead 2. Indeed, as with underground horror and hard core pornography, the optimal medium for experiencing Doom would, if possible, be that of a video, of a fourth-generation video copy of an Dutch print dubbed into French, with a tacked-on production credit and no ending credits.

That so many subsequent upgrades and patches for Doom have concentrated on making the game look even better seems to miss the point. Doom is a dirty game, dirty dirty girl. Like so many pleasurable things - sex, prolonged defecation, eating, mummification, Mork and Mindy - Doom is tacky and shameful, but knowing with it. In this respect its most obvious follow-up was a competing product, Duke Nukem 3D, a game less focussed on the killing act, but enlivened with obvious references - and indeed dialogue samples - from the films which inspired Doom. In Duke the player was encouraged to identify with the title character, a macho, sexist boor, a mistake which Doom did not make. It was not the machismo or the boorishness that was the mistake, but the fact that this path was obviously chosen for the player in advance. In Doom, the player is carefully drawn to the path of violence in such a way that he believes himself to have chosen the path willingly, and that at any time he could have backed out, but he chose not to. One lesson of history is that people rebel against authority but can be made to do terrible, glorious things if they imagine that the choice was theirs; it is therefore the goal of authority to indirectly direct the people to make the right decision.

Yet the most enduring choices, the easiest to make, are those forced by biological necessity. No-one would chose to spit if there were a simpler way to remove the taste of metal, and fundamentally very few people choose to die, yet people do die. And people kill. Our minds are at the mercy of our bodies; Doom is a game of pure mind, a game that makes the body irrelevant. Doom is the ultimate choice, a potent mixture of erotic power and violent action, a path which draws the player on, a path which cannot be untaken.

DOOM

The ... Book Series

I am the proud owner of a pair of books bearing the Doom name. Written by Dafydd ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver, the first one, Knee-Deep in the Dead(so named for the first episode of the game), has exactly 250 pages, while the second, Hell on Earth(so named for Doom II's subtitle), clocks in at 248. They were published in 1995 by Pocket Star Books.

Now that that's, out of the way, I am going to provide quick disclaimer: Do not buy these books. I bought them used for a dollar each, and I was cheated. Whoever payed 5 bucks for each of them was robbed blind. I threw down my money for then because I wondered what sort of literature could be coaxed out of the license. I got my answer, and now that I have it, I'm getting rid of them.

With regards to basic plotting, they do follow the game. Oh yes. If I may quote czeano above:

As a penalized Space Marine, the player has been assigned to babysit a military research facility on the Martian moons. The major scientific project being studied involves inter-dimensional gateways. The gateways get out of hand and open a portal to Hell.

The player's unit gets wiped out by the critters that poured out of the gateway, and now it's time to push 'em back.

...

After defeating the game, the player is enters another inter-dimensional portal that happens to leave back to Earth.

Unfortunately, the hellspawn got there first.

DooM II picks up immediately afterward, with the demon army trashing Earth and leaving the player to pick up the pieces.

Right. Imagine 500 pages of that. Oh yeah, plus other characters. And Mormons.<\p>

No, really. See, the second book required a bit more creativity, as the entire plot of Doom II consisted of those two above-quoted sentences. Thus, Mormons. They were the only ones to survive the demonic holocaust with organization intact, and the protagonist hooks up with them. Thankfully, this book sees the end of chapters that read like fucking level walkthroughs. It also sees the beginning of George Romero zombie cliches. It's a fucking joy.

I'm not going to go through any more specifics of the plot. It hurts even to think about what I have written so far. Thus, what follows is a description of the characters. Such as they are. Starting us off is Flynn "Fly" Taggart. He's the good guy, with about as much personality as the player's avatar in the game. That is to say, nil. Next is Arlene Sanders. She's the love interest. Bill Ritch is just this guy, whom the protagonists rescue from the big evil spider-demon thing. Introduced in the second book are, to quote the book's back cover, "a fourteen-year-old female computer genius (and) an unrepentantly Mormon sniper". Can't for the life of me recall their names. In what's his face's credit, the former is not as cardboard as she could have been. Oh, and lots of demons, zombies, cardboard Mormon leaders, and a few live, treacherous humans.

Just a few more notes: scattered throughout are references to what are obviously in-game items, like health packs and those blue sphere-things, and speculation on how they actually work. This is funny. Also, the second book ends with what is obviously a segue to a sequel, but it comes at an odd place. My guess is that the authors said "Well, shit, we're within 2 pages of quota, let's end this crap." There may well have been more books. I know not.

BEYOND THE GAME... THE FIRST CHAPTER IN A CLASSIC NEW SPACE OPERA


dRiVeN notes: "There were actually two more, "Infernal Sky" and "Endgame" - they had less to do with the game but were still crap."

Doom (?), n. [As. dm; akin to OS. dm, OHG. tuom, Dan. & Sw. dom, Icel. dmr, Goth. dms, Gr. law; fr. the root of E. do, v. t. . See Do, v. t., and cf. Deem, -dom.]

1.

Judgment; judicial sentence; penal decree; condemnation.

The first dooms of London provide especially the recovery of cattle belonging to the citizens. J. R. Green.

Now against himself he sounds this doom. Shak.

2.

That to which one is doomed or sentenced; destiny or fate, esp. unhappy destiny; penalty.

Ere Hector meets his doom. Pope.

And homely household task shall be her doom. Dryden.

3.

Ruin; death.

This is the day of doom for Bassianus. Shak.

4.

Discriminating opinion or judgment; discrimination; discernment; decision.

[Obs.]

And there he learned of things and haps to come, To give foreknowledge true, and certain doom. Fairfax.

Syn. -- Sentence; condemnation; decree; fate; destiny; lot; ruin; destruction.

 

© Webster 1913.


Doom, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Doomed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dooming.]

1.

To judge; to estimate or determine as a judge.

[Obs.]

Milton.

2.

To pronounce sentence or judgment on; to condemn; to consign by a decree or sentence; to sentence; as, a criminal doomed to chains or death.

Absolves the just, and dooms the guilty souls. Dryden.

3.

To ordain as penalty; hence, to mulct or fine.

Have I tongue to doom my brother's death? Shak.

4.

To assess a tax upon, by estimate or at discretion.

[New England]

J. Pickering.

5.

To destine; to fix irrevocably the destiny or fate of; to appoint, as by decree or by fate.

A man of genius . . . doomed to struggle with difficulties. Macaulay.

 

© Webster 1913.

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