字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Of all the games in my collection, few raise my excitement level at the mere sight of it like this one. Doom II: Hell on Earth, developed by id Software and released to North American retail by GT Interactive Software on October 10th, 1994. Exactly ten months after the shareware release of the original Doom, which was still wildly profitable despite only being sold via phone or mail order. And that's one reason Doom II happened so quickly publisher GT Interactive really wanted a copy of Doom to sell by the 1994 holiday season. They'd worked with id Software already, having distributed these registered full versions of Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy and Wolfenstein 3D. But Doom was another beast entirely, able to rake in $100,000 worth of orders a day without any retail presence whatsoever. To put it bluntly, id Software didn't need a publisher for Doom. GT was adamant though, and after a couple of meetings that went nowhere, an agreement was reached. Doom II would be developed with a $2 million marketing budget, and id Software would retain all intellectual property rights, creative control, and company branding on the front of the box instead of the back. Another part of this deal was that, unlike the original, Doom II would not get a shareware version at all. Developer John Carmack for one seemed fine with this, stating that “A lot of people consider themselves to have 'finished Doom' when they just finished the shareware episode.” “Doom II was explicitly a commercial release,” so they'd left the shareware model behind this time. And well that worked out, considering Doom II was the best-selling game of 1994. Demand was so high that its initial print run of 600,000 copies sold out in a single month, with total copies sold surpassing 1.5 million by the end of the '90s. And it was this original US release that I first saw around Christmas of '94, proudly displayed on a front endcap in the PC gaming section at a local K-Mart. It stood out for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was its box art, painted by acclaimed fantasy artist Gerald Brom. That gruesome cyberdemon with its weird exposed abdomen, Doomguy wielding his shotgun and that utterly bonkers haircut, smashing cinder blocks with his butt. And of course it stood out because dude, it was Doom, Part Two! Something I had no idea existed until I saw it on the shelf for $50, with the original game nowhere in sight. Kinda strange in retrospect, but before Ultimate Doom came around in 1995, the only version of Doom for sale in stores was Doom II, and maybe Doom I shareware. A fact that seemed to cause some confusion if these newspaper ads are any indication, check out this mixup by Staples. Whoops. Doom II was also the first time I'd seen this new thing called an ESRB rating, this imposing black and white 'M' on the box. Yep, this hit shortly after the big video game ratings debate in the US, and Doom II was one of the first to earn itself a Mature rating. Something not seen on the UK release distributed by Virgin Software, lending this particular cover a cleaner overall look. Then again, it doesn't have that shiny, embossed cardboard that the American one has, so eh. You win some you lose some in the worldwide Doom II box art department. Anyway, enough persnickety packaging ponderment! Inside the box you get Doom II itself on either a CD-ROM or a quintet of 3.5” high density floppy disks, with each format sold as its own SKU. There's also this 8-page manual addendum booklet with plenty of DOS-related setup tips and frequently asked troubleshooting questions. And then there's the Doom II instruction manual, with 14 full-color pages of backstory, gameplay tips, and listings for each weapon, item, and enemy in the game. Fantastic stuff, but I'm beyond ready to play now so let's get to it! Doom II for DOS starts off the same as its predecessor: a vivid 256-color splash screen with depictions of demonic destruction and some overly ominous music. [ominous OPL3 music] That's just the Sound Blaster version. It also supports the Roland Sound Canvas and other MIDI devices of course, but there's something about the combo of Doom and Bobby Prince's creepy OPL3 music that makes me the happiest. From here you can start a new game by selecting your difficulty, and... that's it! No episodes to choose from this time, instead it's a continuous 30-level campaign. Straight away the action begins, with a pistol in your hand and zombies in your sights. [shooty mayhem commences] Or you could take the opportunity to look around and soak in the environment, which inevitably brings your attention to this spot over to the left hiding the chainsaw. Yeah I pretty much always go chainsaw. [chainsaw death noises] If you're paying attention, by the end of level one you'll have a pistol, a chainsaw, a shotgun, a rocket launcher, a bunch of armor, and full health. Armed to the teeth after the very first level, that's the Doom II experience right there. [gratuitous Imp death] You're prepped for the upcoming slaughter right off the bat, with Doomguy boasting speed, agility, and overall control that remains as satisfying as it was in the original Doom. No surprise since Doom II is built on the same tech and pretty much acts as a standalone expansion pack to the original game. It has the same 2.5D id Tech 1 engine running underneath, the same technical limitations in terms of not being able to look up or down or have rooms over rooms. There's no jumping, no vertical aiming, no special moves to pull off or skill trees to unlock. And that's all awesome in my book. Shoot demons, find key cards, unlock doors and secret rooms, find more key cards, reach the exit and move onto the next level to do it all again until you reach the end boss. Well-balanced FPS goodness, so why fix what ain't broke? Because unbroken things can always be fixed with more guns, I guess. This was made in Texas, after all. Yeah it's time we talk about Doom II's big fat arsenal: truly one of the great joys in life. Beyond the aforementioned fist, chainsaw, pistol, shotgun, and rocket launcher, also making a triumphant return is the chaingun, with its rapid fire room-clearing abilities proving as useful as ever against enemies near and far. There's also the plasma gun, frantically firing energy cells as quickly as the original Doom, but popping up far earlier this time, on the fifth map. And of course, it isn't Doom without the BFG, and again you can find it faster this time, with level eight and onward becoming your personal playground of glowing green plasmic destruction. And then, ohh-ho-ho, and then. We've got the one and only, the often imitated but never duplicated, double-barreled Super Shotgun. [demons being super shotgunned] Introduced near the beginning of level two, this monster of a weapon is pure triple-filtered bliss. Sure it takes twice the ammunition as the regular shotty, but it's more than twenty times as satisfying so the trade off is a no-brainer. Just two metal barrels held together with a piece of wood and explosives in the middle, it undersells itself on aesthetics and completely over-delivers on power. More often than not, a single well-positioned shot is all it takes, and that's for the majority of the enemies in the entire campaign. [BOOM] It's little wonder why it's called the Super Shotgun, because that's just what it is! Though I suppose technically it's the combat shotgun, going by the included documentation, but Eh that term brings to mind a whole 'nother category of semi-autos and self-loaders, so I'm glad they gave this side-by-side a more appropriately super name in the actual game. And what good is a big bad new weapon without a big bad new lineup of satanic minions to shoot in the face? Doom's original ten monsters were pretty great, and they're all still around, including creatures like the Cyberdemon that used to be bosses but now just show up to ruin your day throughout the whole game. But Doom II rounds out the enemy roster by doubling down on demons, and as a result it really feels like the whole gang's here now. The Heavy Weapon Dude wields a chaingun and can absolutely wreck your life if you're not careful, that hit-scanning is no joke. Hell Knights are like weaker, tanner versions of the old barons of hell, nothing terribly threatening so I welcome the target practice. The Mancubus is a big old blob of terror with dual flamethrowers and a whole lotta hitpoints, slow but effectively nasty. Arachnotrons are versions of the old spider demon, this time much smaller and shooting blasts of green energy, which are thankfully easily dodged. And Pain Elementals, now these just suck, being another floating blob like the Cacodemon, but spitting out lost souls instead of ball lightning. Way more annoying due to that, what a pain... elemental. Then you've got the Revenant, a tall lumbering skeleton beast with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers and blood for pants. Not too hard to kill, but its rockets are basically homing missiles, so there's that. And finally, there's the big daddy chaos bastard of Doom II, the Arch-vile, which is not only terrifying to look at, but deadly to look at as well. Simply making line of sight contact with the thing can result in you being set on fire until you explode, which is not ideal. Arch-viles can also bring lower-tier enemies back from the dead if you let them stick around long, so don't do that. Kill 'em hard, kill 'em fast. Oh yeah, and there's a couple secret levels that include killable Commander Keens hung from the ceiling, and even SS troops from Wolfenstein 3D. But these are more like easter egg/in-joke kinda things, you won't be seeing any keens or nazis wandering around the streets of Earth or the spaceports of Mars. Speaking of which, another thing to touch on are the levels themselves, the atmosphere they provide, and the overall pacing throughout the 30-level campaign. Because, well, this is where Doom II is kind of a mixed bag in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, it's still a really well-made bag filled with all sorts of fun goodies to play with. It's just that inside the bag are a couple of questionable pockets filled with odd-shaped doohickies that you don't quite know what to make of. My biggest qualm is that around a quarter of the levels are rather unappealing to me, specifically the ones that are supposed to be based in our realm. I mean, for a game titled Hell on Earth, I expected a lot more Earth, with like, hell on it and stuff. Instead we've got a barely-connected selection of levels that are loosely sanctioned off into three episodes: The Space Station, The City, and Hell. Again, for the most part I have a lot of fun playing Doom II, over and over again. Martian space stations and pixelated hellscapes, aw yeah, gimme more of that! But then you've got levels like Downtown that just... what is this? Props for trying something new I guess, a metropolitan area and skyscrapers in the Doom engine is kinda neat. But it's a slog to navigate and there are far too many enemies right above your line of sight. Then there are maps that largely exist to promote some level design gimmick, like Tricks and Traps, The Chasm, and Barrels o' Fun. Stuff like monster infighting, teleporter logic, tricky platforms, skinny walkways, hundreds of explosive barrels strung together, it's like being stuck in a lab experiment. Maps like these are bizarre, sorely sticking out from the rest. I don't wanna call out any particular level designer here (Sandy Petersen) but the more I've played these maps over the years, the more I dread enduring them again. That's not to say all the new map styles fall flat, though. There's a lot more experimentation than Doom 1 with enemy quantity and wide-open spaces, enabling these ridiculous battles with dozens of demons attacking, screaming, dying, and in-fighting while you circle strafe around picking them off, I love this stuff. A side effect of these larger, densely-packed levels is that the performance suffered on lower-end machines back in '94, leading to higher system requirements for Doom II compared to the original. What better reason to grab a 486 Overdrive though, right? Some levels also play with darkness to an excessive degree, making for one fittingly foreboding atmosphere, and granting greater justification for the existence of the Light Amplification Visor. However, the creep factor is somewhat lessened by your amped-up firepower, not to mention the new Megasphere that boosts your health and armor to 200%. It's dark, sure, but not to the point of unfairness. Anyway yeah, even though the occasional map design makes me scratch my head in bewilderment, the overall Doom II experience is one that I cherish. And I freely admit that the super shotgun silliness has a lot to do with it, as arguably overpowered as it is. But it's just too enjoyable for me to care! Maybe it's another story dealing with it in multiplayer deathmatch, but the main draw for me is the single player so I'm all for it. Then you add in the expanded bestiary of baddies and huge retail presence, and it makes sense that Doom II took off in a way that even its predecessor never did. And I'm talking strictly in terms of community engagement, not like, sheer quantity of installations or overall cultural relevance. Obviously Doom 1 has its place in history, but Doom II is the one that formed such strong community bonds that remain active to this day. The sheer number of custom maps and total conversion WADs made for it is staggering, both back then and into the present. And the proliferation of them has only increased since the source code was released in 1997, resulting in source ports and fan-made upgrades like GLDoom, ZDoom, Boom, Chocolate Doom, Skulltag, Zandronum, and beyond. I'm currently quite fond of Crispy Doom in particular, for when I want to play on a modern machine instead of original hardware, and find myself wanting a few extra quality of life improvements without ruining the original feel of the game. And then there was the retail side of things, with Doom II expansions and addons hitting shelves for years after its 1994 launch. The first official one being Master Levels for Doom II in 1995, consisting of 20 WADs promising to be masterfully-made, and nearly three thousand fan-made maps downloaded from the fledgling internet. Also has this rather radical poster expanding on the box art. Then there was Final Doom in 1996, an officially licensed standalone product featuring two new episodes, TNT: Evilution and Plutonia Experiment, and which was in reality far from the actual final Doom. Because next was the Depths of Doom Trilogy in 1997, packing Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Master Levels into one beefy big box package.