using external wads in dosbox

I am trying to play Doom in DOSBox with external wad files. When I do, the game freezes when loading the wad file. I moved the original wad file to a different folder thinking it was because I had 2 wad files in the directory, but it did the same thing with just the external wad file there.

Is there something I need to do to get Doom to load the external wad file and use it? If not, I cannot play anything but the original game. I love the original, but I want to play other wads too.

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Hard to say exactly the issue given the little detail you give.

Don't forget that DOSBox emulates its own filesystem. You need to use the path to the PWAD as DOSBox emulates it, not as it is in your real filesystem.

Also, you should know that there many source ports that can run natively in Windows/Mac OS/Linux, so you could try using one of them. That can make it simpler to load files (for example, you can use drag and drop with ZDoom). The advantage is that, typically, they will give you more informative error messages if they fail to load a PWAD file for whatever reason.

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Gez said:
Hard to say exactly the issue given the little detail you give.

Don't forget that DOSBox emulates its own filesystem. You need to use the path to the PWAD as DOSBox emulates it, not as it is in your real filesystem.


I'm not sure what other information to add, but I will try. I am running DOSBox with the default settings. I have my My Games folder set as "drive C" as far as DOSBox is concerned. I have each game in a sub-folder, with DOOM being in a folder named DOOMS. When I play the game, I cd to the DOOMS folder (in the DOSBox window) and run SETUP. To play with an external wad file, I, instead, run DOOM with the -file parameter:

doom -file <externalwad>

where <external wad> can be <somewad>.WAD or <somewad>.PWD

In either case, doom begins to run, but when it gets to the part about loading the wad files, it freezes and I have to close the DOSBox window to get out of it. It lists the wad files loaded, and seems to include loading DOOM1.WAD even though I did not specify it in the parameter. That is why I tried moving DOOM1.WAD to a sub-folder. I thought it might be having trouble because of 2 wad files existing.

I have been downloading different wad files to try. Every one has the same result. It does not matter if DOOM1.WAD is in the folder or not.

Gez said:
Also, you should know that there many source ports that can run natively in Windows/Mac OS/Linux, so you could try using one of them. That can make it simpler to load files (for example, you can use drag and drop with ZDoom). The advantage is that, typically, they will give you more informative error messages if they fail to load a PWAD file for whatever reason.


I may try that as a last resort, but my HD is almost full and I really don't have space for another windows program right now.

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DOOM1.WAD? You only have the shareware version? Then it's normal that you can't load other files with it. Id wanted mods to be only usable with the full version. Encourages people to buy the game. :)

You can use Freedoom instead. Of course, many things won't look exactly the same, the monsters especially are kinda disappointing. But hey, you can do something like
doom -file doom1.wad otherwad.wad
Then it'll look like Doom (except for the resources that aren't in the shareware version, like cacodemons, lost souls, plasma rifles, some textures, etc.) and you'll have your custom levels.


Note that space isn't too much of an issue. A typical port should occupy less than 5 megabytes, DLL included.

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OK. That explains things then. I have been unemployed for awhile and really don't have $20 to spend on buying the game, but I would if I could. I have the full 6-episode version of Wolf-3D that I purchased back in 92. I like Doom, having played it with a friend back then when it came out. We played the shareware version and then he bought the full version. I have been playing the shareware version with the hope of being able to get the full version at some point in the near future.

I have gotten to where I can play through all of the levels on hard difficulty without dieing (and without cheats) and was looking for something new. I thought that there may be some E1 wads that would work with the shareware version. I guess not. :(

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Asa said:

I have been unemployed for awhile and really don't have $20 to spend on buying the game, but I would if I could.

The games are cheaper on Steam

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If you look around your local area, you can probably find a CDROM for $5 that has not only Ultimate Doom and Doom II, but probably some other related stuff. Try craigslists, garage sales, etc. Eventually you'll find a good deal.

Freedoom is a good solution though, if you just want to play PWADs. And when playing a TC that replaces lots of stuff (Aliens, Batman, System Vices, etc.) it can be hard to tell you're not using the official IWAD. Some TCs like Chex Quest and Hacx can even be used directly as an IWAD with Chocolate Doom for example (probably some other ports too).

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Doom Collector's Edition often ends up in bargain bins for around $5-$10, which has Ultimate Doom, Doom 2, and Final Doom WADs all on it, packaged with Doom95 (though you can ignore Doom95 and just copy the *.wad files directly from the CD).

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