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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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.