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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Remembering the first Doom
Screenshot of original Doom, Activision
Doom: Blocky but brilliant
The third instalment in the Doom series reaches the UK this week.

But many people have fond memories of the original, which got them into gaming with its no-holds barred action, as some of the game's fans at BBC News Online remember.


In 1996, my flatmate had a new Mac with Doom on it. I'd never seen anything quite like it.

He got very annoyed with me because I was never off his computer trying to finish it. It got to the point that I would be overjoyed when he went out so I could sneak on and have a go.

The levels were wonderful. The freedom of being able to move round in 3D space for the first time made it irresistible. I remember limping to the end and finishing the thing finally (the last level was very hard).

Didn't know what to do with myself after that - oh yes I do - go back and try and find all the secrets!

Truly an innovative classic.


Screenshot of original Doom, Activision
Cacodemons and shotguns, a good mix
I think I've probably played Doom more than any other computer game and to this day it is the reason I prefer first-person-shooters to any other sort of game.

I knew Doom's opening levels intimately and used to obsessively try to get through them using the minimum of ammo and suffering as few wounds as possible.

If I sat down in front of it now, I bet I could remember my way around the Hangar level on Knee Deep in the Dead with no problems. I'd even find all the secret doors.

Doom delivered genuine shocks. I literally jumped when doors flew up and imps instantly attacked.

But there were so many other good things about it - lava pools, spectres, chain-guns, the BFG, the automap, secret doors, lifts, the shotgun, BJ's face getting bloodier as he took damage, berserk mode, deathmatch.

A classic from the first moment I pulled the trigger.


Screenshot of original Doom, Activision
I see your pistol and raise you two Barons of Hell
It was a wet Wednesday afternoon in Hull in 1994 when I first took on the Legions of Hell.

I was using a friends PC while she was at college to sort out my CV, when I spied a copy of Doom on the shelf.

Five hours later, the CV untouched, I had bagged hundreds of imps and other assorted Satanic ner-do-wells.

Having been fed a diet of cutesy platformers and dungeon-based role-playing games, taking a chainsaw to a fireball chucking beastie was simply kick-ass.

Doom wasn't the first of its type but the playability, sound, graphics and sheer blood-thirstiness marked it out as something new.

I have played dozens of first-person-shooters since the original Doom but nothing has quite come close to that rainy day in Hull spent playing the game.

Down to 2% health, with only a couple of shotgun shells left, my character rounds a corner and there is the roar of an imp. The birth of a genre? Oh yes.


Screenshot from Doom 3, Activision
The imps look more realistic now
Oh the embarrassment! For a games journalist this is like admitting to alcoholism or a penchant for women's clothes.

My name is Neil McGreevey and I never played Doom when it first came out.

While my PC-owning mates were fragging hellspawn, I was still wrapped in that comfort blanket of console adventures starring fat plumbers and hedgehogs.

Using a mouse and keyboard to play a game still seemed to be like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.

But when my mate made arguably the worst purchase since Homer's magic beans and forked over his hard earned for Atari's Jaguar, student carry-outs would never be the same thanks to Doom.

As one of the first consoles to host the game, I could finally let my pinkies run riot on Doom with a control pad - and laying into Satan's chums with a chainsaw was so much more atmospheric than blasting chunky Nazis in Wolfenstein.

Sure, everything was a bit on the blocky side and the enemies were about as animated as an embalmed corpse, but the uncomplicated thrills of slaughtering anything that moved was unrivalled.

So good was the port, in fact, that it even made the Jaguar look good.

Here is a selection of your comments on Doom and your memories of playing the ground-breaking game.

I remember playing Doom while my teenage son watched over my shoulder and my wife sat quietly reading and drinking tea. A rocket exploding in my face caused both my son and I to simultaneously jump and scream which in turn resulted in the launching of my wife's tea! She is now my ex wife but happily both my son and I still play Doom I and II.
Derek, UK

I'll never forget in a particularly long session of playing Doom, I was about to jump from one platform to another. Checking to see if I could backup any more to give me more of a run up I looked round... in REAL LIFE! Needless to say I decided it was time to take a little coffee break. Hehe :o)
Andy Trump, UK

I remember setting up a slightly illicit late night deathmatch in one of the computer clusters...and talking one of our lecturers into playing. She thought she good and had no idea why she kept dieing so much. Until in a fit of overexcitement someone screamed "you'll never mark another essay again" as he rocketed her from behind. At this point she realised, we'd been playing students vs lecturers for the last hour... Not amused, but we started playing fair at that point.
Mavis, England

Even when I wasn't playing I would be walking down the road and see the blue key, or a soldier peering down from a rooftop and it even permeated my dreams - that's how addictive it was. I loved the music, the sounds, the atmosphere, everything
Claire, UK
I played Doom obsessively, hour after hour, day and night, and having finally finished it, went back to find all the secrets, then do the levels again with hardly any health, ammo etc. Sometimes I even play it now - it might be dated but the atmosphere's the same. It really was addictive and an obsession! Even when I wasn't playing I would be walking down the road and see the blue key, or a soldier peering down from a rooftop and it even permeated my dreams - that's how addictive it was. I loved the music, the sounds, the atmosphere, everything. I was fascinated how they got the ideas for the monsters. Oh it was just amazing!! I remember playing it at night and jumping out of my skin. Needless to say, I am looking forward to Doom 3...
Claire, UK

I first discovered Doom while working for a large IT company. At first I would sneak a few minutes playing during my lunch (the rules on loading your own software on work machines were far less strict then!). Then my colleagues and I realised we could play Doom across the company network against each other. This did not fair well for our productivity as most of the office would spend a good size chunk of the working week battling each other with the odd muffled curse being sent across the office. We all also very quickly became experts in a rapid Alt-Tab when the boss was lurking.....
David, UK

I blame Doom for my current predicament - I spent so much time writing levels and tinkering with my lowly 486 to get the network game to run better, that I destroyed any chance of doing well in my degree. Now I am a proper computer nerd and wasted a perfectly good degree to end up as a consultant systems engineer. I never wanted to learn how to be a computer nerd, but Doom grabbed me and pulled me in, making me a hero on mars defeating the spawns of hell. Now I report to the spawns of hell and eat mars. How the mighty have fallen.
Adam , UK

I remember when Doom was a thing that I coveted. For years I owned an Amiga computer while all my friends had PCs - and played the fantastic Doom. I remember the Christmas I got my first PC. The first thing I did was install a copy of Doom and proceed to spend the rest of Christmas day playing it! A fantastic game with a great legacy, thankfully preserved with the recent Gameboy Advanced releases of the first 2 games! I look forward to Doom 3 with childlike abandon!
Andrew, England

Two friends of mine actually drilled a hole between their adjacent dormitories so they could put a network cable between their 486s to play deathmatches. I love Doom; it's the best computer game ever made.
Adrian, Dartmouth, UK

All four of us scream. You never forget you first encounter with the pink demons
Ben Sorrie, UK
Four of us taking turns to play the game on a friend's dad's PC. The lights off, curtains closed, all crowded round the monitor shouting useless advice at the whoever was lucky enough to be in control at that point. The bit that sticks in my memory the most. Stuck in a maze like section when we hear heavy, scratchy breathing. "That's not us this time!". Panic! Running through the maze trying to find the exit. "You ran just passed it!" I shout. Spin 180 to find a HUGE DEMON RIGHT IN OUR FACE!!! "AAAARGH!" All four of us scream. You never forget you first encounter with the pink demons.
Ben Sorrie, UK

At a merry young age I sat down with doom and was engrossed with it. Games like bubble bobble and dizzy dizzy in wonderland just weren't cutting it anymore and I have to say it was a fresh look and a gripping game, on completing Doom I progressed to unreal duke nukem etc all unique in there own way but really looking forward to the new Doom, I've reserved my copy : )
Vicky Jones,

I remember discovering the shareware version of Doom while I was at college studying IT. It was on a magazine cover CD that I had supposedly bought because it had Visual Basic on it instead. Visual Basic never got touched, I dropped out of college after a few months and now? I'm running an IT department...
Jonathan, UK

Doom to the PC was as Manic Miner was to the Speccy...groundbreaking. My friend actually sold his Amiga in order to buy a PC after I had introduced him to it. I thought it was totally innovative and had never seen anything like it. I think it was the first game to be genuinely immersive and I remember many times jumping out of my skin when one of those invisible nasties snuck up on you. I gather Doom 3 is a re-write which says it all really - I cannot think of anything since those halcyon days that has raised the bar like Doom.
Bubba, UK

When it first came out I played Doom so much I had Doom Dreams. I would wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night thinking I was running through dark corridors shooting at anything that moved with a shotgun.... i guess they where more Doom Nightmares than Doom Dreams.
Phil Bennett, UK

One of the greatest things about the old sprite based first-person shooters, such as Doom, was the hordes of foes you faced. At the hardest levels of play sometimes a newly opened door would reveal 30 or 40 creatures intent, at first, only on your horrific destruction. Until modern computers have more processing power the latest high quality games will continue to lack just one thing, quantity.
Sasha, UK

Ahhh Doom - those were the days - I lived with my partner who worked away from home Mon - Fri -which left me home alone with the PC and Doom! I'd get in from work, play for 30 mins and then get some tea, or that was the plan - but more often than not, it was 1am before 'reality' kicked in and a days work ahead of me. I never used to get a look in on the PC at weekends - so I had to make full use of my time with the PC during the week. Heavenly days.
Alison, England

I was off work sick with a sprained ankle when I discovered Doom. Oh man I spent days upon days slaying everything that moved, I even stretched my sick leave out a lot longer so I could finally finish the game. In fact it was so good I am even thinking about a new PC so I can play the latest version. Bring on the beasts and I'll bring the BFG.
Stephen, UK

Even playing single player your heart would be in your mouth as you edged round corners to confront more horrors
Vanella Mead, UK
I remember first playing Doom on my "state of the art" 486 PC. How funny that sounds now. I used to play on LAN parties with bunches of friends who always thought I would be a soft touch being a girl. How wrong could they be!! The ability for us to design our own deathmatch levels made this game fantastic. Even playing single player your heart would be in your mouth as you edged round corners to confront more horrors. Later on knowing the godmode codes for the game didn't lesson the thrill of the chase.
Vanella Mead, UK

Doom I and II were amazing games when they first came out. I remember being astounded by the fluid movement and the textures which were incredibly realistic at the time. The gameplay was brilliantly conceived - the level designs in Doom II still rank as some of the best ever made. The satisfaction of mowing down hoards of Imps with the chaingun, and then finishing a few off with the chainsaw was fantastic! Its worth mentioning that for free you can download a program called "Doomsday", which enables you to play the original games on a modern spec PC, complete with smoother, high resolution graphics. In fact, I'm currently working my way through Doom II (again!).
Jon Mole, England

The first time I played Doom was about 03.00 in the morning in a friend's flat in Amsterdam. I'll never forget the sweaty palms, pumping heartbeats and peeking round the side of the monitor to try and see round corners! It is simply without doubt the most involving, atmospheric, scary and exciting game I've ever played. Period. It's a shame I'm going to have to upgrade my pc to play it but needs must!!!
Paul Frater, UK

I remember being thrilled by 3D Wolfenstein and though this was as good as it gets in PC gaming, until my friend brought over the numerous floppies that made up the Doom demo. We were all blown away by the ground-breaking graphics and immediate immersion in the atmosphere of the game. Since then Doom as been often copied but never surpassed in originality, atmosphere and just pure gaming fun. I am one of the lucky few who has a copy of Doom 3 thanks to a transatlantic pilot brother and again the graphics are ground-breaking on this new version but part of me still pangs for the more simplistic and less hardware intimidating versions of these games. I still play Doom on my GBA for a laugh during train journeys.
Mike Ryan, Scotland

I remember when our flat networked up several PCs to play deathmatches. We all thought we were great but my then girlfriend was so much better than the rest of us that in the end we refused to let her play unless she was dead tired or sick. Only then would the mistakes start to creep into her usually ruthless rocket fragging perfection. She was so good I had to marry her.
Terry, England

Doom! How many hours of my life were taken up with it. I wasn't really into the whole single player experience but the new multiplayer aspect was amazing. I spent the majority of my time hooked up to UK BBS's playing doom with my mates using "SirDoom". I also managed to spend pretty much all of my part time job money on the phone bill. Was it worth it? Yup.
James Holden, UK

It was 1994, the second term of my second year in university when the post-grad student supervising my physics practical told me he had something he thought I should try. After navigating in the bowls of the university basement, I was led through a sombre corridor with a small gleam of light at the end coming from some monitors in his office. His machine not only had a whopping 32MB of RAM but a top of the range Gravis Ultra soundcard and desktop speakers!

I remember utter panic of the first moments on the game, as I grappled to find the right keys and figure out what to do, my character's flesh was being torn off by savage beasts - this was no game, it was a fight for survival
A Hegarty, Ireland
It was like nothing I had ever seen before, sound almost beat into your chest and all manner of gruesome horrors appeared on the screen as I patiently waited my turn to try, watching those already-initiated on their games. I remember utter panic of the first moments on the game, as I grappled to find the right keys and figure out what to do, my character's flesh was being torn off by savage beasts - this was no game, it was a fight for survival. I had to be thrown off the machine sometime later, sweat soaked and adrenaline pumped. It was the first of many visits.
A Hegarty, Ireland

Ah, the memories. Back in '95 I was in my first job as a test engineer at a software house. Many an evening we stayed late to play network Doom! The entire building would be empty apart from a us sitting in the dark with only the glare of the monitor to see the keyboard. The frag count would increase as we sprinted around the, what now seems like very small levels, having a great time. Goading each other with on screen taunts! Fantastic game. Oh, and I was the master!
Rob Patchett, UK

I remember a day at my local village. I was on my bike, on my way to the supermarket doing some errands for my mum. I rounded a corner, and almost fell of my bike: there was a billboard there, and for a moment, I thought I saw a skull there. A second glimpse revealed just an ordinary advertisement. I realised I had been playing Doom far too long! This personal experience to me is proof that video games may cause hallucinations, but don't induce violent acts - I never hurt anybody, you see. I'm 35 now, and I still play computer games. My 486 was replaced by a Celeron 333, now 6 years old. I only use it for office applications now, because for gaming it's way too old, and I shifted to console gaming: I have both a PS2 and an Xbox!
Ivan, Belgium

The original Doom was a brilliant trendsetter, a classic that means as much to gamers as Casablanca to Hollywood aficionados. I still remember struggling to run it on my 80386 machine with four megabytes of memory and a monochrome VGA screen. The action would advance frame by frame and the character would react to a command only after a considerable delay, but I was so fixated by it that I held on to finish quite a few levels.
Shankar Ananthakrishnan, Bombay, India

Doom was the reason I had to upgrade my computer. I love the high frag counts and the simplicity of it. Playing in my room, lights off, family out, walking down a corridor suddenly hearing the breathing of a demon in my head phones, fantastic. But my best Doom memory was projecting the game on the neighbours' house with my friends fathers' prototype projector. Great until the police came around and asked us to stop.
Mike Heath, Calgary, Canada

I was only eight years old when I discovered Doom II on my big brother's 486. Wow! Since then I haven't stopped gaming on PC's, no matter what the game. I've tried Doom 3 and its awesome, if not just as linear. But multiplayer action has a lot to promise. Nowadays though I've gone with Half-Life Counter-Strike and I am in leagues. I wonder what would have happened without Doom II. Would I be playing on consoles!? I'd rather not think about it.
G. Dallaire, Quebec, Canada

Doom was the best ! Doom 2 was okay, but lacked the flavour of the first. The levels were carefully planned out, it was just fun to play. It would run on dirt (386sx) and provided days of entertainment.
Steve Warnek, USA

I too remember the Friday night I was first able to get some Doom time in. It was everything you could want in a game: the freedom to move however you wanted and the 3-D feel to it, and then the secret levels and areas. But I must give kudos to Wolfenstein. That game helped set the stage for the original Doom and cannot be pushed aside.
Ryan Ford, Texas, USA

I echo the comments already mentioned. But people are forgetting the other innovation: Doom was largely distributed as shareware. You could play the first third of the game for free! Imagine that! Doom was most people's first exposure to shareware and the strategy paid a big part in making id Software the company it is today.
David R, UK

I never dared play it on my own unless I had God mode on - I was only little
Jack, England
I played Doom with my Dad when I was six. I would sit on his knee and be the fire button while he steered. I never dared play it on my own unless I had God mode on - I was only little. A truly terrifying game that will be remembered as the most pioneering game of all times. I can now play it on my phone on the bus. I await III with eagerness.
Jack, England

I used to be totally hooked up on Doom. One day, as I was preparing to go to bed at 5 in the morning with sore eyes after an all-day Doom session, I thought - I'm wasting my time, damaging my eyes, depriving myself of sleep, and all that for what? For a short moment of glory and self-satisfaction at the end of the game (apologies to all true gamers for being so cynical). The next day I deleted Doom from my hard drive - so that I don't get tempted, and have lived a happy Doom-free life ever since. It is an amazing game though.
John, UK


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