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About This File

Inspired by JP LeBreton's discussion with John Romero at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV6HlBa88js&feature=youtu.be&t=80 and Blackmantis' research at https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/85756-found-doom-sky-source-files/, in 2017, we traveled to Yangshuo County, China to try and find the cave from which Tom Atwood photographed "Yangshuo Cavern" sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. Also known as MAJEST3.TIF, this image was distributed by Aris Entertainment in 1991 and 1992 via royalty free CD-ROMs like "MediaClips Majestic Places" and "The Best of MediaClips," an example of which can be downloaded at https://archive.org/details/The_Best_of_MediaClips_2.0.1_Aris_Entertainment_1994. After finding its way into the offices of id Software during the development of DOOM, Atwood's photograph of the Karst Mountains became Phobos, the skybox for the shareware episode of the game, "Knee Deep in the Dead."

Not Moon Hill or Butterfly Spring or Dragon Water Cave, asking for the location of "Yangshuo Cavern" is the equivalent of asking for the location of "California Hill" when searching for the Bliss Screen. Beyond the immensity of the mountain range and vagary of Atwood's original title, in many ways Yangshuo County exemplifies the larger process of historical erasure and cultural amnesia in China. Villages alongside the Li River are undergoing rapid development; every cave we entered was full of concrete, colored lights, and consumed Monkey Kings; and even local cavers and climbers were stumped...is it even possible to find "Yangshuo Cavern" in 2017?

The history of Yangshuo is not only occluded when it comes to DOOM, but also in relation to China more broadly. Even though the 20 RMB note features a shan shui-esque rendering of the region's famous mountains, hills, and caverns along the Li River, Yangshuo is not an ancient site of art and culture. In fact, landscape painters only made their way to the Karst Mountains en masse as refugees during the Second Sino-Japanese War between 1937 and 1945. Whether remediated as an ancient site of national pride or as the backdrop for the shareware episode of DOOM, in many ways Yangshou may as well be Mars.

In this short, single map .WAD, photographs we took while floating down the Li River replace the skybox and sprites of DOOM while Aris Entertainment's original musical accompaniment, MAJEST3.WAV, replaces the music. This is the first of a series of levels we are designing as an essay/megawad about the technologies, histories, and cultures of play around DOOM in China.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Doomkid · Posted
      Classic funny little skin, still used in servers to this day so I think it deserves some love.   I like that the voice clip says “WHERE ARE A MY PANTS?”
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      More an exercise in 3-d artwork than a game. Just someone's bedroom with a HK in a tiny lobby outside the door, and a Caco in a tiny yard outside the window. A BFG and Invisibilty Sphere are also in the yard but you can't get out there. I think the name is a clue - maybe this was the start of a bigger level, then abandoned. He ought to have allowed it as a base for development.
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Starts with all monsters with their backs to you, and you might as well leave it that way and just listen to the music. One big rectangular room with no finish switch. They couldn't even make the rectangle properly - freehand I guess. Kill the monsters if you want, it's easy.    
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Superb firework display of thousands of fireballs seeming in slow motion because of the vastness - mostly avoidable as they land where you were ages ago; but worth playing just to see it. A HUGE square surrounded by tiers with hundreds of imps and a few others, plus a blockhouse you can enter first to collect ammo.  Fighting through the hundreds of monsters when you get onto the tiers is another matter, overwhelming at UV. I cheated to finish so at least I could review.  Some HOM bugs.
    • By CountArchvile · Posted
      Terrence For fucks sake...