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ETTiNGRiNDER

The great Demon Gate version mystery

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So, as some people might know (or not) one of my Doomy activities is collecting all those crappy level discs that came out back in the day.  As such discs go, Demon Gate seems to have been one of the most common ones (though probably far from one of the best ones).  I've known for quite some time that there was a "600 levels" version and a "666 levels" version and ultimately ended up getting hold of both to check if they were different.  They are, and I thought that was the end of the story.

 

Except... I recently bought a lot of several Doom level discs, about half of which I didn't have and the other half being (so I thought) dupes of ones I already had.  Going through those to make sure they worked and whatnot before I was going to shelve them for possible exchange/resale later, I discovered that not only was the Demon Gate 666 disc in the lot different from the Demon Gate 666 disc I already had... it was also different from the Demon Gate 600 disc.  Now, none of these copies came boxed but I believe there were some Demon Gate boxed versions released so maybe the version difference might be related to that?  I don't know.  And yes, I'm aware that there's also a Demon Gate Mac and a Demon Gate Mega Collection (I have the latter but not the former; no vintage Mac to mess with it on).  This thread isn't really about those, though (unless you happen to find that those, too, have subtly different versions floating about).

 

So here's the rundown of the cover and disc versions.  The back covers of both label versions are identical as far as I can tell, down to bar code number, etc.  The front covers differ as follows:
 
Cover A:
- "over 600 new levels"
- "CUSTOM DOOM INTERFACE INCLUDED"
- The jewel case opaque plastic is white
 
Cover B:
- "666 new levels"
- "BONUS Custom Interface Included"
- The jewel case opaque plastic is black (normal jewel case)
 
And the 3 different disc versions.  I've lettered them according to what seems to be their chronological order (looking at time stamps).  Oddly enough, the seemingly later discs got WORSE in terms of broken files; in the earliest version only BLACKWID.WAD was 0-length.
 
Disc A:
- Disc label has instructions for DOS use only.
- 666 WAD files in directory WADS (one 0-length broken file)
- WADs' file timestamp: 1995-03-09

- The WADs appear to be conversions for Doom 2, similar/same as disc B's WADS2
- Directory timestamps: 1995-03-02 (except EASYW111 which is 1995-03-09)

- No CD volume label
 
Disc B:
- Disc label has instructions for DOS use only.
- 666 WAD files in directory WADS1 (24 0-length broken files)
- WADS1 file timestamps appear to be unmangled
- 666 WAD files in directory WADS2 (one 0-length broken file)
- WADS2 file timestamp: 1995-03-09
- WADS2 conversion appears to be done with an older tool/method (1_ON_1.WAD level is on MAP01 and custom music is still D_E2M4)
- Directory timestamps: 1995-05-08

- No CD volume label
 
Disc C:
- "MAC USERS: Double-click on the desired level." added to disc label.
- 623 WAD files in directory WADS1 (24 0-length broken files)
- WADS1 file timestamps appear to be unmangled
- 621 WAD files in directory WADS2 (24 0-length broken files)
- WADS2 file timestamp: 1995-06-08
- WADS2 conversion appears to be updated (1_ON_1.WAD now has its level on MAP13 and custom music works)
- Directory timestamps: 1995-06-21 (except WADS2 which is 1995-06-22)

- CD volume label is "DEMON"
 
So here are the combos I have:
Cover A + Disc B (This came to me sealed, and the seal looked legit to me but I don't claim to be an expert)
Cover B + Disc A (This came to me unsealed)
Cover B + Disc C (I don't remember now if I got this sealed or not... sorry.  I might be able to dig into my online buying history but it was quite a while ago now...)

 

So, for any of those Doomworlders out there who have a copy of Demon Gate 600 or Demon Gate 666, especially if you've had it since back in the day or otherwise have some assurance that no disc-swapping shenanigans could have taken place... which label/disc version do you have?  Boxed or no?  Any other sleuthing you can add?

Edited by ETTiNGRiNDER : Update/correct a little bit of the disc information

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Cover: (yes the 666 levels edition pic on the wiki is a scan of my personal copy)

DemonGate666.jpg

 

Contents:

- "MAC USERS: Double-click on the desired level." is present on disc
- 623 WAD files in directory WADS1 (24 0-length broken files)
- WADS1 file timestamps appear to be unmangled
- 621 WAD files in directory WADS2 (24 0-length broken files)
- WADS2 file timestamp: 1995-06-08

- DETAILS, EASYW111, and WADS1 directories are dated 6/21/1995; WADS2 directory is dated 6/22/1995 (but at 3:34 AM)

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@Quasar

Thanks!  I double checked the timestamp detail and it looks like you have the "label B, disc C" version.

 

Here's something that might help with further investigation: I did md5sum listings of the three discs which allows for quick comparison on Linux (there's probably a tool out there to do this on Windows as well but I haven't looked.)

http://ettingrinder.youfailit.net/treasury-r-demongate.html

 

Archive.org also has a disc image that matches disc version C.  It's probably the most common version.

https://archive.org/details/cdrom-demongate666

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On 12/16/2017 at 8:25 PM, ETTiNGRiNDER said:

(there's probably a tool out there to do this on Windows as well but I haven't looked.)

It is, hidden as an extra feature in pretty surprising place.

certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" SHA1
certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" SHA256
certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" SHA384
certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" SHA512
certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" MD5
certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" MD4
certutil.exe -hashfile "file name here.ext" MD2

Will default to SHA1 if not specified.

Certutil comes with a few more funny functions, like decoding a hex sequence to binary file, and decoding/encoding between binary and base64.

 

If you have PowerShell 4 or newer (so Win8 or newer, or PS4 manually installed on Win7) you can also do a bit more reasonable:

Get-FileHash -Algorithm MD5 "file name here.ext"
Get-FileHash -Algorithm SHA1 "file name here.ext"
Get-FileHash -Algorithm SHA256 "file name here.ext"
Get-FileHash -Algorithm SHA384 "file name here.ext"
Get-FileHash -Algorithm SHA512 "file name here.ext"

Here, if you skip the algorithm switch it will default to SHA256.

 

If you want a GUI, you'll need to install something third party, alas.

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6 hours ago, wrkq said:

It is, hidden as an extra feature in pretty surprising place.

Oooh, that's good to know!

 

I've noticed that, with a lot of these crappy compilation discs, that a lot of the wad had some tool run on them, to convert Doom maps to Doom II, or vice-versa. This typically messes up the levels in subtle ways, especially the total conversion/partial conversions, and especially going from Doom II to Doom. Wall conversions have ugly results, and secret maps and map specials (like Map 07) are either broken, or just goofy.

 

I guess this was done as a cheap way to double their advertised map count. What a shame.

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Yes, that is the case here, the WADS1 and WADS2 directories are two sets of the same maps.  As far as I've been able to tell, the WADs were all for original Doom as designed while the Doom II ones are autoconversions.  They don't actually count the doubles in the WAD count on the advertising for Demon Gate, though.

 

What caused some of the files to end up being 0 bytes long on the disc is another mystery.

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The conversions were likely done in batch mode with a program like one of the following:

https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/utils/wad_tools/wad1to2b

https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/utils/wad_tools/dm2cnv32

https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/utils/wad_tools/dm1todm2

 

IIRC, the default behavior of dm2conv in particular matches a lot of these compilations' autoconverted Doom II maps, with the signature one arch-vile per level, one pain elemental per every group of cacos, and the occasional shotgunner randomly turned into a chaingunner. The D! frontend (aka Doom/Master shell) also had a combination converter and randomizer with similar behaviors.

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