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Doom and Urban Legend

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Retro Ahoy recently published a video on the arcade pcb ubran legend of Polybius, and in it I feel he may have inadvertently perpetuated a separate legend about Doom (at 00:56:30_:


Blink and you miss it, but this is Marine1.wad which I do remember being shared around the web back then as what the U.S. navy actually uses to train marines for combat. Anyone with deeper knowledge on this, or any urban legend sleuths want to dig around and research?


I think it highly unlikely that the navy used this to train anything, what's the point when it's so completely unrepresentative of actual combat, and when you have access to actual facilities, equipment, instructors, and trainees? Although it does seem to have some provenance with being made by a usmc network admin, and distributed on usmc.mil for a period of time (I'm going to guess: not very long). Probably more likely it was a recruitment tactic, some proto-history of the military's attempts at targeting gamers to make it seem like if you join the marines you'll play Doom all day? I remember govt TV commercials in the late 90's and 2000's that would show people with headsets communicating and lasers and night vision and bleepbloop bleepbloop computers, and then at the end "IT'S REAL AND IT'S THE UNITED STATES MILITARY JOIN NOW", and then there's shit like America's Army


So yeah, is there any reason to believe this crappy wad was used in training or even a strategy lecture, and not just a recruitment tool?

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We know it exists, I linked the actual wad. The question is was it used by the military as claimed. Also the "interesting" sources on the wiki with information that deviates from other sources, are defunct.


The "end product" looks like a single afternoon's worth of effort even for 1996 modding standards, not the result of a team or department effort. Seems more like one guy goofing around with military computers, or an actual department effort that was rapidly aborted.

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IIRC the thing the marines were really interested in was the ability to quickly map out the layouts of all the US embassies. Marine fireteams responsible for protecting these embassies could train on these embassy wads. This would eliminate the need to construct a shoot-house mockup for every US embassy building in the world. So I meant it was real in that it had some real training application. 


That was likely the specific application where it was most successful. 


Yet Another Edit; To be fair, this sort of thing is probably impossible to prove one way or another by this point. Anything like an embassy.wad would have been classified so good luck getting your hands on that and then if you publish it I feel so sorry for you. Most likely anything like that has simply been deleted and replaced by superior technology now.


So this absolutely could deserve urban legend status, and is a totally viable viewpoint to approach this whole thing. I just think it's likely they got some utility from it for a while. The USMC runs on a shoestring budget.

Edited by pnptcn : Clarity and expansion

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I remember Polybius even on Unsolved Mysteries. I'm surprised its involved in a song from Nine Inch Nails.


From what I watched with Unsolved Mysteries I can easily debunk a lot of myths from Polybius. Causes teen suicide? Yeah teens have that tendency. Caused fights? So did Mortal Kombat, that's why my Walmart kicked out its MK machines. Strange men in black suits as part of a government experiment would check on the game. Yeah you mean the machine owners who come with keys to clean out the quarters? Causes seizures? Well it does have flashing and strobe lights, but nothing compared to the water falls in Doki Doki Panic. Wasn't the game an early version of Tempest?


I'm staggered this video is 70 minutes long.


As for Marine1.wad I remember the legend that it was being used to train some branch of the armed forces. I can't imagine how since they have real facilities to do this same thing. I assume they'd want real experience of moving around versus sitting in a chair at a keyboard. Maybe teaches them how to do room sweeps?

Edited by geo

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The USMC is famously underfunded compared to other branches of the military. I think their budget doesn't even add up to 5% of the total defense budget. I can totally see them using Doom just because it's cheap.

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I have read a pair of articles on PC Gamer (we have in italy that magazine too... I buyed them since they are the only legit way to access doom wads) in 1996 (maybe 97?) about the marine doom simulator thing... So, yeah, it's legit.


Another thing that I think is actually a urban legend, is a shovelware cd that gives doom playable in one stand with 100 and maybe even more levels called "doom 2 explosion" that I knew since my cousin told me about it when we're was kids...

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