Looking for Doom 2 pre-release screenshots

Hello, Doomworld! I come to you today looking for assistance. Many years ago, I came across a set of pre-release Doom 2 screenshots. If I remember correctly, they were distributed as a number of loose PCX files packed much in the same way as doomscn5.zip. I believe the set included about 6-8 images demonstrating some unique differences compared to the final, but the one I can distinctly recall was of MAP23: Barrels o' Fun. This screenshot depicted the brown hallway where you encounter some Revenants and an Arch-Vile. I don't remember if the Arch-Vile was visible, but I do know the pre-release image clearly exhibited a few Revenants. The interesting thing here was that these Revenant sprites appeared to be early less-refined versions of the final sprites.

However, I can't for the life of me find these screenshots today. I don't remember exactly how they were referred to at the time (pre-release? promo? beta?), but Google searches for all the terms I can think of have proven fruitless. The closest result was this thread, but the box screenshots are different. I assume this was an official release from id, but I don't see anything relevant on the idgames archive.

Does anyone recognize what I'm talking about? I swear I've seen these Doom 2 pre-release screenshots before, but now I can't find a single trace of their existence.

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I know what you're talking about and those images have turned-up on these forums before. The only image I could find was the most famous one.



Ironically, that image was found on a Just Push Start 2010 Doom II arcade review.

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Heh, different codepointers for PEs, much?

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I was just watching this yesterday, which shows some of them:



(My favorite is the shotgun with the SSG's muzzle flash sprite.)

Also, you can see some of the old monster behavior by loading both doom.wad and doom2.wad as pwads with the 1.6 beta executable. Arachnotron with a chaingun, jumping revenants that always fire homing rockets, temporary projectile sprites (the BFG arch-vile that mentions; it's only BFG graphics).

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I don't recall this pack of 6-8 images you mention. I gather that if you had it, you didn't share it here.

This thread links to a preview with 3 shots.

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At least two of those shots were also in a Dragon Magazine review column (Sandy himself was the author, no joke!) I don't remember if there were any other screenies though.

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myk said:

I gather that if you had it, you didn't share it here.

I certainly didn't mean to neglect posting them here. I think I figured at the time they were common knowledge. I'm surprised I'm having this much trouble finding any reference to them right now. I recognize the images in your preview and the one Technician posted above, but I think the screenshots I'm looking for are from a different set.

Dragonsbrethren, yes, those are exactly the screenshots I was talking about! Thanks a lot! Although I see the living Revenant sprite was actually captured during The Inmost Dens at 2:06 while Barrels o' Fun only shows some Revenant corpses. However, I know I've seen those images in their original quality. Either the preview used the publicly released screenshots at the time or that preview is the original source and that disc needs to be tracked down. I've still got some searching to do.

In the mean time, I've found a different set of 24 pre-release Doom 2 screenshots here:
http://cd.textfiles.com/goldmedal/volume4/GAMES/DOOM/

Check out the files named DOOM##.GIF. Of note are the Commando screenshots found on the back of the box, more shots of Pain Elementals spitting out Cacodemon fireballs, a nice close-up view of the Arachnotron's unaltered Spider Mastermind brain, and a Mancubus firing double Baron of Hell fireballs in its pain state for some reason.

I also found this page:
http://www.benlore.com/files/emkey1_3.html

The original Sergeant standing in nukage screenshot from Industrial Zone used on the back of the box is here along with the Mancubus in The Abandoned Mines shot seen in that three image preview linked above. The image of Circle of Death is likely also pre-release and, judging from the filename, is from the same set of screenshots as the Industrial Zone box one.

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Revenant100 said:

In the mean time, I've found a different set of 24 pre-release Doom 2 screenshots here:

They can also be found in the archive though don't appear to include any of the shots in Dragonsbrethren's linked video.

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That video was definitely the critical clue I needed as I've finally tracked down the source files I was after. These pre-release Doom 2 screenshots originated from issue #5 of Interactive Entertainment Magazine, the short-lived CD-based game magazine. The whole issue has been conveniently archived here with the relevant Doom 2 folder available here:
http://cd.textfiles.com/ie/ie05/ARTICLES/DOM2/

That's all 18 screenshots in their original PCX format including a couple seemingly absent from the preview slideshow. I guess this puts one mystery to rest.

Curiously enough, though, that wasn't all the pre-release Doom 2 material the magazine had to offer. I did a search for IE and Doom and found an earlier Doom 2 preview from issue #3:



Besides the early footage of Downtown, this also features videos of full 360 degree rotations I've never seen before of the original Mancubus, Revenant, and Arch-vile latex models. The guy also mentions Arch-viles would resurrect gibbed enemies as Lost Souls rather than their original form. That could be an error, but it seems oddly specific. Unfortunately, issue #3 has not been archived at the above site, so I suppose it's back to the hunt.

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Marnetmar said:

This is a fucking great thread. Amazing finds!

Yeah, it really is. I remember the last time I went looking for prerelease Doom 2 stuff, I couldn't find anything. I was starting to wonder if id had kept the game completely under wraps before it was released, outside of the few shots on the box (I missed that gif zip on the archive, too). I just happened to come across that video I posted when watching another Doom 2 video on YouTube.

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Hey tried to put Doom2 v1.666 iwad in v1.6 beta .exe and when i wanted to play map with Doom 2 stuff it says me "ERROR: Unknown thing 96" However MAP1 entryway still runable! :)

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Yeah, some things hadn't been implemented yet. I can't remember them all, but I know the Megasphere isn't, the SS, the final boss stuff. Also the Arachnotron had an extra frame in its death animation at that point in development which isn't present in the final, so the game will crash when one dies.

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That means that v1.666 is first version which supports Doom 1 and 2 equal. ;)

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Dragonsbrethren said:

I was just watching this yesterday, which shows some of them:


Hm, so is that how you pronounce Arch-Vile? Eh, I like my way better.

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LakiSoft said:

That means that v1.666 is first version which supports Doom 1 and 2 equal. ;)

Well yeah, of course, that was Doom 2's release engine. You can't go loading the final version of the game data and expect it to work perfectly in an engine that was compiled over a month before the game was released. It's still fascinating to see what does work in its early state.

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