Forever DOOMed

I started playing DOOM from a shareware disc we got with our Packard Bell Legend PC back in 1994. We also got a shareware disc of Wolfenstein-3D, but even to my young 9 year old judgement I could see that DOOM was something special. Even the setup process felt ritualistic - copy the files from the floppy, run DOOM.exe from DOS, set the right IRQ, map the controller, pick your sound device, Save parameters and launch DOOM


What a rite of passage. I hope my mom doesn't walk downstairs while I'm playing it...


DOOM turned 30 recently, but DOOM does not age - it only grows. Thanks to early efforts to keep the game open to modders, continued development of engines to run the game, and the rock solid FPS mechanics, DOOM continues to be a platform for creativity - primordial, (almost) free and expressive.

If you've been curious about DOOM mods but unsure how to get them going, here is the basic process (for windows).

  • 1. Get GZDoom
  • 2. Get [ZDL](
  • 3. Get the base game iWAD files (DOOM.WAD and DOOM2.WAD) through Steam or another PC store, or use [FREEDOOM]( for free alt art and sounds
  • 4. Get your wads, pk3s, and other mods
  • 5. Extract GZDoom and ZDL into the same folder
  • 6. Make a folder called 'iwads' for the base games (DOOM.WAD and DOOM2.WAD, or the freedoom wads)
  • 7. Make folder called 'mods' for the, uh, mods
  • 8. Open ZDL.exe, select the 'General Settings' tab and add your iwads and GZDoom.exe as the source port using their respective [+] buttons
  • 9. click back over the 'Launch Config' tab, add your mod to the left pane with the [+] button, select the base game for the mod, click launch and have fun!
  • Note - You can turn off jumping and mouselook if you want a classic DOOM experience. Also recommend turning off bilinear filtering to make the graphics nice and pixelated.

    You can mix and match mods in the left pane if they are compatible. Here I have the custom DOOM metal music plus Project Brutality being applied to the Ultimate DOOM:
    You can also save your mod configs as .ZDL files to make loading your favorite mods and configs easier.

    Compatibility will vary, but most things will work for mods made with assets from the base games. For instance, you can add Project Brutality to SIGIL 1 and 2 since they were made purely with DOOM 2 assets, but the music is new so the Metal soundtrack won't work:

    One final thing is the file type. A raw .wad or .pk3 file should work when extracted, but some mods require the whole .zip file, such as with Voxel DOOM:

    And that's it! Once it's setup it easy to pull down a bunch of stuff to try out. Most mods are small, but the larger ones are typically around 500mb.

    There are other methods to do this stuff, but the ZDL GUI makes it pretty easy setup and to jump around. If you want to do multiplayer, I suggest [Zandronum]( It works similar to what I described above, but there are multiplayer/coop options.


    ### Recommendations

    There are TONS of custom things for DOOM, but here are few to check out. Please post more if you have stuff you like!

    [Voxel DOOM]( All of the 2D sprites have been replaced with 3D voxels, so the enemy corpses don't follow your perspective. This only works with The Ultimate DOOM at the moment.

    [SIGIL 1 and 2]( New full episodes from John Romero himself

    [Project Brutality]( An over-the-top overhaul of animations, sound effects, enemies and weapons to make DOOM hyper violent and hard

    [myhouse.wad]( the less said the better (remember you can save at any time...)

    [The Legend of DOOM]( Play the first Zelda for NES, in DOOM form! First perspective actually makes the game feel huge and Ultima/Elder Scrolls adjacent.

    [The Cacoward winners:]( Here is a repo of community chosen DOOM mods that are the best of the best, dating back to 2004. I'm unfamiliar with most of these, but it is probably fun to explore!


    So share your own DOOM stories, mods, and tips to play the game! And of course watch [Tim's DOOM review](

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    Decino has a great youtube channel with %100 runs and videos describing how the game works from a technical standpoint. He has been playing through Sigil II on Ultra-Violence.

    Hoping to get down with some Sigil II over the weekend.

    silly question, but is sigil coming to xbox? last year i ran through DOOM 1 & 2 again on gamepass and rekindled my love for them, be great to play romero's newest campaign there

    @“IrishNinja”#p144484 It should be on there. I was planning on playing it on the PS5 version of Doom.

    I played a fair amount of Doom Christmas break last year and it‘s still pretty great. I do personally contest that some of the levels are any fun starting with just the pistol. I guess it’s not what I sign up for when I launch the game.

    @"copySave"#p143905 And thanks for putting together the starting guide! I spent a lot of time doing some of that last year and it's awesome you wrote it all down!

    I had a little Doom renaissance in the middle of the lockdown. I had never played it. I knocked out my entire gaming bucket list. I got a PC (which I had not had since 1998), and my first Xbox console. I watched all of Star Trek and played the Doom rereleases on my Switch Lite while in bed. I played through the Halo games for the first time. Beautiful new gaming memories.

    can't find sigil on xbl :cry: anyone seeing it there?

    @“IrishNinja”#p144677 Were you able to find it?

    @“tomjonjon”#p147581 i think i was looking for it as a separate thing, when it's just found within DOOM itself, yeah?

    @“IrishNinja”#p147614 It should be. The way add-ons work is a bit odd. You need to have a bethesda account and go to add-ons in the game menu. You should be able to download it there.

    my experience was very similar, in the second half of 2020 i started playing DOOM 64 and got obsessed with it. i played through all of it, secret and bonus levels too, then bought the other older games to play through them as well (except for DOOM 2016 since i had played that one earlier). then i played through DOOM, DOOM 2, and DOOM 3 (+ resurrection of evil) in the latter months of the year loving every minute of them. by sheer fortunate coincidence, i was gifted death stranding and DOOM Eternal for secret santa and so i was able to finish the last game remaining in my full series playthrough


    In my madness I “paired” my Doom titles to Star Trek series. I would play Doom 64 while watching Star Trek: Voyager while bundled up in a blanket in my arcade.

    I also built that arcade in the pandemic. I still have a half-built House of the Dead cabinet.


    I’m curious about your other DOOM-Trek pairings.

    What DOOM game goes best with DS9?

    Now I’m imagining some sort of videogame sommelier that can advise me what games one should play with any specific television show:

    “Diablo II? That would go best with a 90s sitcom like maybe a Frasier.”

    “You’d be making a mistake playing Animal Crossing with Game of Thrones. Try perhaps some Final Fantasy XV or maybe a PC-Engine shooter.”


    This should be a thread!

    For me it was Doom 3. TNG was Doom 1 and 2. Original Trek was 2016 and Eternal.

    I would like to learn more. -click-

    Did you talk about this in another thread that I don’t know about?

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    I think I was picking up in the middle of a conversation that half of the IC listeners that I knew from elsewhere were aware of. Kinda like how I used the IC Discord for a little while as we were getting the new forums and I nuked it to avoid using it so much.

    Ah - I made an arcade cabinet during the lockdown phase of the pandemic too and just wanted to know what you had built or if you had posted it and I missed it.


    Doom is pretty great. I actually installed Crispy Doom thanks to this thread (when it was first posted) and had a great time playing through quite a bit of it.

    I have not figured out Doom 2016 though. It’s… fine? I know it’s quite popular in these parts and in general think it does some things quite well. But I no longer enjoy being stuck in mazes looking for a button hidden in a texture. I definitely feel like the game goes back to that mood. May be a “me problem”.

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