I recently played through Doom and Doom 2 again. While many other releases of the time are but remnants of the past, these 2 games still hold up surprisingly well. Their levels still engaging, their fights still engrossing, and the music still energizing. The original 3 episodes of Doom, and the original Hell On Earth campaign of Doom 2, are masterfully crafted experiences that the later episodes, expansions and Final Doom could not replicate in my opinion.

If you are interested in experiencing them as close to the release era as possible, I highly recommend getting Ultimate Doom and Doom 2 from GOG instead of Steam. The GOG package is nicely set up with Dosbox and includes the original configuration utility, allowing a classic, native experience. The Steam release is just the exe set to run in Dosbox, and is acceptable if you plan to use a modern source port instead.


I've always really liked the cover artwork for Doom and Doom 2. It always stood out during their time, and even more so as time passed. They do a great job of illustrating the atmosphere and environment in-game, and they are memorable enough to spike the aesthetic into imagination.

To me, they had some more meaning. The games' art, aesthetic and mood transcended beyond the doomguy's nameless, silent, anonymous representation of the player himself. To me, it had parallels of how my life and times developed, and how I lived through them.

Starting a level, seeing a puzzle to be solved through corridors and locked doors, the ominous (and excellent) music building up both angst and dread; these were like a new day starting off with challenges and minimal resources. Another day you secretly hope will be better than the last. Another day that you must get through.

You take what you can find, defeating demon after demon and trying to keep your body and mind healthy enough to not falter. Everytime you think you can breathe, everything goes dark and more of them chase you, often stronger and more dangerous than before.

One after the other, you tackle traps and environments, each different from the last, and often as unexpected as life's occurrences can be. Keeping you on your toes, while you try to manage the fighting, the resources and your sanity. Though expecting the unexpected, you still come across situations that combine all these challenges to levels where even the voices inside you shout "This is bullshit!"

Exhausted and panting, you reach some spacious ground. A few resources littered here, it seems to be a brief reprieve. "Wrong!" goes that voice inside, as you hear the shrieks and roars of beasts that bring your requiem. As you turn around, an opera begins, one made of the sound of guns blazing and screams of death.

When it's all done and dusted, the realization that you've just gone beyond what you thought were your boundaries brings up a smirk. Even if the only reason you're still alive is spite, it is enough. Reach inside, pull up those final strands of strength, and keep going. If this journey can teach anything, it is this twisted lesson: The only way out is through.

If anyone reading this is facing a world of difficulty and going through it all alone, remember this: you are enough. You, your being, your soul, are all you really need. Find the fire within, use it, shelter it. When your day begins with troubles, it is the troubles that should go Well, shit, here we go again.

Rip and tear, until it is done.