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When and how did you discover DOOM on the PC?


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I was out with my parents or grandparents. Essentially a young/middle age man-child still stuck playing "infantile video games". And we came across this one pre-dot com era boutique computer store in Stratford Squares shopping mall, back when malls were still popular.

 

And I was checking out some other games at the register and found the paper jewel case shaped box for shareware Doom. I found Raptor, too, packaged the same way. So for like 5 or 10 bucks. I got both and threw them in the bag.

 

I didn't install them for like a couple of weeks. Since this was pre-internet I had no idea what doom really was.

 

I set it up on my 486 rig and was blown away. I got so caught up in the game I stayed home from work too much and got kicked out. It was only a $20 an hour go-nowhere mind-number so I didn't care. Games were more fun!

 

I quickly mail-ordered the full version. Got a poster, a box, a nice manual, and of course the disks and even a reference card. It was the first time I mail-ordered a game from a company I didn't know.

 

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I discovered DOOM when I was working at my local Staples store, not long after I finished high school. The business machines section of the store had about six PCs on display; this was mid-1996, so they probably would have been 120MHz-166MHz Pentiums with 32MB of RAM. My fellow sales associates had secretly installed DOOM on two of the machines and linked them with a hidden null modem cable. They buried it a few folders deep and launched it from a command line in Windows 95, so the management never found out. We would sneak in games during lunch breaks, and I seem to recall that they even used a WAD editor to recreate the layout of the store in the game. I believe that Final DOOM had been released not long before (I remember seeing it in the store), but I didn't play that or DOOM II until years later. My own PC at home was too old for it at the time, so getting the chance to play DOOM at work on the sly—and on new hardware—was probably the most memorable part of that job.

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Buddy showed it to me on his 486sx 25 with a PC speaker for sound

 

I promptly got the full version to play on my 386 dx 25 the that had a ram card boosting g it to six whole megs and a 8 bit sound blaster had a 387 math co as well don't recall if doom would have used it.. not a lot used it lol

Edited by Osgeld
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I was in a computer store in St. George Utah called PC computers, really original I know. I think it was around 1995. I remember being totally amazed. I immediately called some of my buddies in Vegas to see if they had a copy. I'll never forget playing all the original fps games at LAN parties in Vegas . And the crazy late night Del Taco runs for 85-100 chicken soft tacos.

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I was out with my parents or grandparents. Essentially a young/middle age man-child still stuck playing "infantile video games". And we came across this one pre-dot com era boutique computer store in Stratford Squares shopping mall, back when malls were still popular.

In Bloomingdale? That's were I got the shareware disk. Think I got it at Radio Shack though. I used to ride my bike to that mall as a kid to pick up games for my 2600 and 400 computer. The Toys-R-Us across the street as well.

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I'm pretty sure I first saw it on a big beige PC at CompUSA on a giant 15" flat-front monitor. I put the shareware version on my weirdo DOS-on-Mac hybrid PC and played a bunch at 486-sx25 speeds. I introduced it to a friend at work, the IT guy at the little consulting company where I was an intern, and he soon became completely addicted. I wouldn't have a good machine for playing it until later. Along the way, I had the Jaguar version, which was better than the PC in some ways, but worse in most others. I liked playing on my TV with a controller better than using the keyboard.

 

I still think it's an amazing piece of art, and still haven't mastered it in 20+ years of trying very casually to do so.

 

The mobile port by John Carmack is still one of my favorites. I love this quote, especially the highlighted bit:

 

With the speed (a solid 30 fps, even in the more aggressive later levels), the audio, the resolution, and the rendering quality, it is Doom as you remember it, which is quite a bit better than it actually was. If you go back and play the original game on a 386 with a sound blaster, you will be surprised at the 15 fps, FM-synth music, "bathroom tile sized" 320 x 200 pixels, external network game setup utility, and external keyboard configuration. A lot of people remember it as "The best game EVER!", but "ever" has sure moved a lot in the last decade!

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I was in grad school and am pretty sure I was using a Cyrix Cx486DX2-66 on a VLB motherboard (M-Tech R407e). I played only the shareware episode because I didn't want to send away for the full game. I was much more into Doom II, which you could buy at retail a year later.

 

Now, over 20 years later, I'm still firing up Doom II on retro equipment. I've lost the R407e, but I'm still using a VLB mobo with 486-class processors to run it. It's new to me because I can run it with General MIDI for music with a Roland synth (too expensive back then) or various sound fonts (via AWE32 or SB Live! on more powerful machines). BITD, I rocked a Gravis Ultrasound (still great) or FM.

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I was on Usenet a lot in those days and I think that's where I heard about it. I might have gotten it there too. I think it might have been my first ever shareware game.

 

I had had experience downloading warez for my Apple II prior to this, but I don't think I'd ever downloaded a game on PC before Doom. I actually went to the store and bought them all.

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Was looking for Macintosh games at local game store (Babbage) when I saw Doom. This was back when new Macintosh games could still be found locally. I think it was 1995 when I finally got a copy of Doom and some WADs to customize the game. I liked the version that turned the game into Star Wars theme based on rescuing princess Leia from ANH.

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Was looking for Macintosh games at local game store (Babbage) when I saw Doom. This was back when new Macintosh games could still be found locally. I think it was 1995 when I finally got a copy of Doom and some WADs to customize the game. I liked the version that turned the game into Star Wars theme based on rescuing princess Leia from ANH.

The place where I used to scrounge bargain bin computer games, Egghead Software, is now an Urban Barbecue. Still worth a visit.

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At risk of going off-topic.. It's my thread and I can do what I want!

 

My local Egghead is now a soap shop. I do miss the professional operations like Compu-Shop and Computerland, and the Tandy centers. They treated me, as shitfaced and spoiled as I was, with respect. After those went away computer stores started turning into junk shops. Jeesch, I don't think there is a computer store within 50 miles of me now. Unless you count BigBox, which is another one of those junk sellers.

 

Comp-USA was the worst, I applied there for a job one time. I was appalled the manager was a swearing bitch and said she didn't have time to do an interview now so come back later. And the guys were all hanging around smoking and doing energy drinks. And I was way overqualified to work there. So were half the other employees.

 

Apple stores and Microsoft don't count either. They're all overpriced corporate outlets and out of reach of the mere mortal.

 

Speaking of Apple, I went into the store just the other day, hadn't been there for like 6 months.. And it was even more minimalistic now than ever before. More open space, less equipment, customers and employees more "frettful". It felt run down somehow. A complete and total opposite of the Software, ETC. I bought Doom at back in the nineties. SE was a happy and bright place! The bright blue Windows 95 boxes. Pentiums. Virtual reality! Cool!

 

The Apple store had some lackey talking into a wire mic everytime someone came into the store. But I can assure you, we were not greeted one iota.

 

I got a weak vibe there. Like it had run its course. And was closed in and restricting. When I think back to the fun open times of the PC and the 8-bit machines I see open sky and green fields. The Apple store felt like a jail.

Edited by Keatah
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I was still rocking my C64 when Doom came out - and not many of my friends at the time were rocking PC's which could run it, so it was first reading about it in an issue of PC Zone, where they covered the shareware edition of the game.

 

Eventually, I'd actually play the second game first - my next door neighbours at the time had that on their PC, and I'd play it from time to time… at least until our family got our first DOS machine in 1995 (and we'd get a hold of it from other sources).

 

That was something worth waiting for - a 486 DX2/66 with a standard Sound Blaster was quite the nice way to enjoy it. Kind of been getting the itch for it (and Quake as well) lately - something to be said for that pure run & gun action, instead of the rollercoaster feeling of modern shooters (and single player - don't really enjoy online gaming with randoms these days!)

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I probably first read about it in a magazine or heard about it from kids at school (Doom was all anybody was talking about in 1995, that and Mortal Kombat 3). I really don't remember where or how I first heard of it. One moment, nobody had heard of it, and the next, it was everywhere. I think the first place I remember playing it was at the neighbor kid's house during his birthday party. Not long after, I got a shareware version, which IIRC was included on one of those "Galaxy Of Games" CDs you could get for five or ten bucks. Not long after that, my cousin's husband (then boyfriend) hooked me up with his copy of Doom II (and I'm guessing the full version of non-ultimate Doom--I got it at some point but don't know where else I would have gotten it), which came on a huge number of 3.5" disks and took forever to install.

I remember seeing the 3DO version on a shelf with the other 3DO games at Software, Etc. and lusting after it with some friends, lol. Hey, at the time, both Doom and the 3DO console were exotic, high-end, and bleeding-edge to us; the combination had to be mind-warpingly amazing to us mere 16-bit console owners, right? :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was a very latecomer to the PC scene (late 1998) so as soon as I got my first PC, Pentium II model, I downloaded Doom & Quake off a local BBS. I actually like Doom better than Quake to be honest... And I had a Gravis Xterminator gamepad that I can map keystrokes to each button, which is very nice as Doom was gamepad friendly at the time. But eventually after I've gotten Unreal I lost interest in any id games for a while.

 

I rediscovered Doom a couple years later after I came across an engine called Doom Legacy which smoothed out the rough pixelated graphics. After enjoying the gameplay all over again I purchased Doom Collection from EB Games and used Doom Legacy instead of the included Doom 95 program. Later on I moved on to using Doomsday Engine which used 3D models but after a few years they didn't age well.

 

Now I have all the Doom and other id games off Steam and use GZDOOM to play the Doom WADs. If I'm in a mood for old school style I use Chocolate Doom and eventually learned how to configure DOSbox to get the Steam versions to how get the music to sound how I want it (BTW, They never bother to include the SETUP program and had to find it just to change from the weak SoundBlaster emulation to using my soundcard's General MIDI).

 

Not to mention I also love gameplay mods like Brutal Doom, a recreation of Playstation Doom and even one with weapons from the new Doom game. This game will never die!

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I actually don't remember. I didn't really play games much at all in that era. A guy did have Wolfenstein in the dorm. That woulda been 1994. I thought that was cool but not enough to actually try and buy a copy. I just never really cared for the genre even back then. I played Indiana Jones Atlantis and then got a PlayStation which got me back to gaming. I still didn't buy Doom for it though.

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My friend and I were both avid Amiga users at the time. He purchased a PC ( I think a 486 around 1994 or 1995 ) and introduced me to doom.

 

It was then that I knew that the Amiga was approaching its last days. PCs had already caught up or surpassed it in terms of processor speed, 3D graphics and were more affordable.

 

It wasn't until Quake came out that I bothered upgrading to the PC which I built myself ( A Pentium 100 )

Edited by shoestring
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