25 years on, John Romero announces a new episode of the original Doom
In 1993, Doom changed everything. It wasn't the first first-person shooter, but with its groundbreaking graphics, sound, action and atmosphere, it was a seminal moment for the genre. Now, 25 years on, John Romero has announced Sigil, a free update to the original game with nine new single-player and nine new multiplayer levels.
The so-called megawad will be available for PC, and needs the original Doom game files to play. As players of the original will no doubt remember, WAD files contained the levels and sprites that sat on top of the Doom engine – essentially the game's content (WAD standing for where's all the data?). Hence this new megawad, a collection of WAD files, needing the original software.
For those who wish to fork out for something collection-worthy, Sigil will also be released as two limited-edition boxed sets with gorgeous cover art by Christopher Lovell – if you like that sort of thing (that sort of thing being satanic imagery complete with pentagram and Baphomet idolatry).
The greater of the two boxed sets, The Beast Box of Sigil, comes with the megawad on a floppy disk-styled USB drive along with other goodies including an XL t-shirt, a themed coin and a pewter statue of, um, "John Romero's head on a spike" – likely a reference to the Doom II easter egg behind a secret wall on the final map which depicted… John Romero's head on a spike. "The Beast Box has to be the most evil game box I've seen," Romero writes on the Romero Games website.
As a designer and coder, Romero was an instrumental figure in Doom's development as well as precursor Wolfenstein 3D and the subsequent Doom II and Quake. Romero used the free fan-developed Doom Builder tool for Windows (running it inside a virtual machine on a Mac – "I'm a Mac person," he writes).
Though strictly speaking an unofficial update, Sigil's story directly follows that of the original four Doom episodes and the free updates E1M8B and E1M4B of 2016, and returns the player to Earth before being thrust into "even darker shores of Hell," which sounds charming.
Romero says he has added more detail than evident in the original episodes, while designing the new levels to be in keeping with the original aesthetic."There's a massive room in E5M6 that is the coolest room I've created in any map," he claims.
Though a fan of id's recent Doom reboot, Romero has had no hand in its development or that of its forthcoming sequel, Doom Eternal. "It's not at all lost on me that I have gone from a creator to a part of the community in that space of time, and I love that," he adds.
Romero announced Sigil on Monday, 25 years to the day of Doom's original release. It's due for release mid-February, 2019.
Source: Romero Games
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