Oh, snap. Is Doom
really 18 years old? Wow...
My history with Doom
and its ilk is one of curious, random nature. Seeing as I'm 28 years old, I'm old enough to have experienced the precursor, Wolfenstein 3D
, first-handedly. Of course, comparing Wolfenstein 3D
would be like comparing Pong
to the Top Spin
series. But getting back on-track, I used to watch my dad play Wolfenstein 3D
way back in the days of dial-up BBSes and whatnot. (Back in those days, being skilled at computers actually meant something, be it either being revered as a tech whiz... or exclusion from your peers. >_>) Watching my dad play the game, then after I got older, letting me play the game meant something to me. We actually ordered the whole six-episode package for its low, low prices of $49.95 when it was relatively new. And good times were had by all.
What seemed like a short time later, my dad brought home a series of floppy diskettes with the label "Doom v1.2 (Disk x of 4)" written on it. After a length install process, we started it up. We were promptly amazed by how... well... amazing Doom
was compared to Wolfenstein 3D
! Realistic sounds of a number of weapons blasting away. 3D graphics of varying heights and lengths. Many, many more items, enemies, tricks, traps, and so forth. It was pretty damn spectacular. However, my journey into Doom
did not stop there.
About a year later, Doom II: Hell on Earth
arrived, and with it, even more new enemies, items, tricks, traps, and so forth. This time, the source of my game was directly from my favorite BBS of the time, "Smalltime BBS
" of Apache Junction, Arizona. As much as I liked the game, this was only the beginning... for in poking around Smalltime BBS
, I'd also found a curious little product by the name of "NetDoom
". What this program was was a simple BBS client which allowed you to dial into a BBS, just like Telix
... but rather than do all the usual things, NetDoom
was specifically designed to allow players to play Doom
together over their phone line without all the hassle of using the built-in network settings! Did it work well? It worked fantastically
. I'd never experienced anything like NetDoom
! And on top of that, the Arizona NetDoom
community was full of awesome people like "ChainsawJim", "SillySft", and of course the Smalltime BBS
co-sysop (and close friend of the time) "Firehawke". (These people would go on to release the widely-recognized first version of "X-Mas Doom
", just as a point of reference.) From this same community, I'd also see nationwide-circulated demo files and modifications, such as "Delirium
" and "Leprechaun Doom". These were sometimes combined with other things, such as DWANGO5.wad or Super Shotgun Jousting, generally ending in hilarious results. We never played them, but they were fun to watch.
Some time later, my dad moved away to work at a job in another part of the state. My love for Doom
continued, but it focused more on a co-operative nature rather than one of destruction. Dad and I would often directly connect to each other via the phone line and play through Doom II: Hell on Earth
co-operatively. Though admittedly, I was a brat and occasionally tried to kill him. >_>;; Regardless, we had lots of fun roughly once a week. Little long-distance father-son time. It was fantastic...
Later still, I would go on to find such things as ZDaemon
. The ZDaemon
community was pretty nice for the time. The official ZDaemon
deathmatch map packs had just been released and brought a lot of random fun to the community. I somehow avoided all the drama and just kept playing the game I loved so much. I had a lot of fun, not didn't really make a lot of friends from it. Except Nestea. We fell out of contact a long time ago, though.
And then finally, in 2010, Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch
was released. And I am happy to say that I'm an off-and-on part of this community. What a long, strange trip it's been, these last 18 years. From killing former humans to killing robot masters all in what seems like the blink of an eye... Who knows what the future holds for Doom
and its variants.