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I like big arguments!

Posts: 13249
Registered: 07-06

Well, I figured I'd contribute to Doom 20th's century by sharing a local Greek "Doom specialty" back from the good old days....

T'was December of 1994, and in the PC Master magazine (which then was split into PC Master and PC Games), there was a 9-page special about Doom, which was also the first time I ever read something concrete about it, even if that means that I was a year late to the much, that the magazine presented Doom and Doom II together, and Doom was already v1.666 by then. But keep in mind, that was Greece in 1994 for you, the WWW hadn't taken off yet, and living in a province town only made the "backwater effect" stronger. FWIW, I think I got my copy of Doom v1.1 in that same month, though...a DOOMed Christmas indeed.

I had only vaguely heard about Doom until them, and I only had a "modern" PC (a 486 DX/40 with 4 MB of RAM) since August 1994. Based on the description and screenshot alone, I couldn't quite understand what the game was about or how the gameplay was like, since I had no experience of FPS games whatsoever. I could mentally picture a kind of rail shooter, but no further than that.

The review was EPIC from so many points of view. In the 9 pages, it had a quite romanticized, idealized and somewhat apocryphal view of the game (unusual for an action game and the editorial policy, which tender to favor adventure and RPG games), as well as an introduction to the game's editing tools (DEU and DMAUD, which were included in that issue's bundled diskette!), and even the cheat codes, right off the bat!

Even the article's first page was so Boss:

The text reads: "DOOM FROM 1 TO 1.666", translating "DOOM" quite literally as "CONDEMNATION".

Underneath it:

It has been called the game of the decade. It has been nominated for Hollywood's lounges. It has is DOOM

Hmm....looking a bit ahead (2005, Doom movie) are we? But it absolutely was the "game of the decade"...Hell, it proved good enough for TWO decades in a row! May it go on for another 100...

There are several other parts of the review worth translating, but it's quite a bit of a job to do right here and now in one post, so I'll translate as I go. For now I'll only indicate what sections the review is split in:

  • Foreword/introduction
  • Plot (focusing on Doom)
  • Doom 2 - Hell on Earth
  • Graphics
  • Platform - Requirements - Tools
  • Doom 1 Editor
  • Sound Effects - DMAUD11
  • Serial/Network/Modem Playing

Each section has its own noteworthy points, though some (like the platform one) does get a bit too much into the idealistic, even calling Doom as a technological miracle which superseded even the machine's native OS -which, perhaps, for the DOS original it was kinda true!

The game's final score tape was also one of the highest ones to date:

  • Graphics: 91%
  • Sound: 94%
  • Gameplay: 99%
  • Endurance: 97%
  • ATMOSPHERE: 100% <- Doom was the only game to ever receive an "Atmosphere" rating

Oh well...get the PDF here (includes scans of first page, and the review's 9 pages from the magazine):

Last edited by Maes on 12-10-13 at 14:20

Old Post 12-10-13 14:10 #
Maes is offline Profile || Blog || PM || Homepage || Search || Add Buddy IP || Edit || Quote
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That Ecstatica game on the first image sure looks interesting.

Old Post 12-10-13 14:19 #
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I like big arguments!

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Avoozl said:
That Ecstatica game on the first image sure looks interesting.

How do you like that Under A Kiling Moon special review co-featuring with Doom, then? That was really an era of innovative and fresh games O_o

Old Post 12-10-13 14:22 #
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Thanks Maes! That's an awesome thing to share. I really like those reviews and articles from the past.

Old Post 12-10-13 15:29 #
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Ecstatica was an interesting game. They developed a 3D engine based on ellipsoids rather than polygons. Everything was smoothly curved.

It didn't take off, though. I think there was a sequel (web search: yep, there was), but other than that the technology wasn't reused anywhere.

Old Post 12-10-13 20:28 #
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Avoozl said:
That Ecstatica game on the first image sure looks interesting.
You could say that:

(Although if you're not a Retsupurae fan, here's the original video they're commenting over.)

Old Post 12-10-13 21:12 #
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Thanks for this blast from the past Maes!
I vividly remember the awesomeness of impending Doom II... The very definition of bad ass.
Combined with the multimedia and cpu craze of the day it was 'the right thing' to drool over and be amazed by.

Old Post 12-14-13 12:54 #
_bruce_ is offline Profile || Blog || PM || Email || Search || Add Buddy IP || Edit || Quote
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I finished translating the first part of the review, the introduction, the plot of Doom and Doom II. I'll keep posting more parts as I complete them, to give you something to read and to tease you while waiting ;-)


Many things are seen by our eyes lately, many things are heard by our ears, and many are the MegaBytes than come and go from our hard drives. Technology marches on at an increbible pace. I cannot even remember when I first heard these words. But, certainly, it cannot have been too long ago. But now, especially in the domain of Informatics, this "evil" has really gone too far. For example, three years ago (Note: this was written in late 1994), a 386sx was pretty much a luxury item. But now, one would be hard-pressed to choose it even for use as a typewriter. More and more people are working on or with this "new" technology, one way or the other. Some of them create software, some of them create hardware, and others are simply left wondering. Indeed, the more you try catching up with this evolution, the more it moves farther away from you.

And of course, not only are video games NOT an exception to this rule, but, quite on the opposite, they are one of the most flourishing sectors. By now, video games, tend to change not by the year, as we used to say, but by the month (and let's keep it that way, for now). And by now, they have pretty much everything: high-resolution, well-drawn graphics, digitized images and sounds, orchestration, animation... and all of it now done by dedicated professionals. But, when partial/individual excellency becomes a common attribute, then what is left that can generate enthusiasm and passion?

Perhaps the secret is hidden in the roots of Tetris, the simplest, but also the most famous, after Pac-Man, video game. Something different, which manages to keep one's interest for as long as it manages to keep different (Note: simple, yet simply AWESOME).

Undeniably, this is exactly what Doom has managed to do. It's not thanks to its quality graphics, it's not thanks to its many sampled sounds that it has achieved such notoriety. It's not even about its plot -besides, none ever thought of making a Wolfenstein movie (Note: so much for all those plot threads here on DW, this guy got it right from 1994 ;-)). And it's not even the fact that Doom is not just a simple game, but essentially a platform that slowly unveils its hidden aspects to its would-be content creator (Note: this is one of the earliest reviews I'm aware of that the importance of Doom's moddability is recognized to this extent, and that was before source ports, and just one year after the game's release. And we're still debating it ;-)).

What has justly gained Doom so much notoriety and popularity is the entirety [of those factors], it is the atmosphere, and it's also, for good or bad, the violence. Because Doom is a tough survival game. It carries you to dark, unhospitable worlds. It manages to make you identify with the player you're controlling. It manages to make you exert ultimate efforts to keep him alive with just 1% of his energy (health), by giving him energy out of YOUR enery. Ladies and gentlemen, this is DOOM.


Even if most of you will already own it, or at least you'll have it seen running on a computer somewhere (Note: I admit I had done neither, until I read the review. Weirder still, I knew nobody that had actually heard of it either...well, that's provincial life in Greece in 1994, for you), the following lines will attempt to convey a short description of Doom's (or rather: of the Dooms', plural) setting, environment and plot. You are an excellently trained commando and you're now required to prove it (Note: "commando" is the current use translation of the word "καταδρομέας" used in the text, which literally means "raider" or "ranger". The word for marine would be "πεζοναύτης" (literally, sailor-on-foot)). You cannot remember how, or understand the reason, but you find yourself wandering in unfamiliar, seemingly otherwordly corridors. Soon, you'll come face to face with beings that could have never been human -or have they? Like you will soon come to realize, survival won't be an easy task. The more less so when it will have to be achieved in Hell. Yes, by some unexplicable way, you have been transported in the Devil's den, and escaping from it constitutes the plot of Doom 1's first three episodes (Knee Deep in the Dead, The Shores of Hell, Inferno). In the end, you make it. Not even Hell can stop you. All the demons lie dead, for the second time, and you return to the Earth's surface -peaceful and quiet just the way you left it. Or maybe it is...

Doom 2 - Hell on Earth illusion.
This is not happening. It cannot have happened. The demons are not annihilated. All of the planet's inhabitants (Note: for some reason the text uses the word "άποικοι" (colonists) instead, as if it was about some other planet, not Earth) have been slain by their unharnessed violence. You thought that you had escaped Hell, but it has followed you. Since Earth is at the mercy of Satanic forces, your continued presence on it is extremely hazardous. You decide, then, to follow the only apparent way to safety, the way to Space. So you abandon your home-planet, in a desperate attempt to escape the bloodbath. But how could this be? If the last of the Demons were exterminated, how can they be in front of you still? This is the only moment, in a long time, where you have some time to ponder. But the questions that trouble your weary soul seem to be unanswerable. And yet, the answer comes by itself, unexpected, like your sudden waking-up yesterday. A transmission intercepted by your computer reveals to you that the passage of Demons to the known world is occurring at some point in outer space, and it gives you its coordinates. You don't have much choice. The Demons are neverending. Your only chance is managing to seal this cosmic gateway. By gathering your last bits of strength, you head that way.

But upon arrival, you determine that your information was not accurate. Could it have been a trap? Maybe. What's important, is that you manage to learn that the true source of the monsters is actually back on Earth itself. You return, and after you determine that it [the source] cannot be closed from the outside, you decide to enter Hell for yet another time, to shut it off from the inside.

DOOM III (???) (Note: yeah, good luck with that one, now we know it'd take another 10 years...)

Note: reading the Doom 2 "plot" after all these years, I realize that it's a bit unusual. It looks pieced together from the intermission texts, parts of Final Doom (yet to appear, this was written in late 1994, not even Ultimate Doom was out yet!), and that whole Doomguy leaving Earth only to be decoyed away from it begrudgingly return to it afterwards sounds strange...maybe it's an intepretation of the Doom Bible?

Last edited by Maes on 12-15-13 at 14:15

Old Post 12-15-13 13:15 #
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