While everyone is slogging away in id Software’s Doom Eternal this year, it’s always good to go back to basics.
With the SNES version of Doom nearing its 25th anniversary, head programmer Randal Linden has chosen to release the source code to the game to show everyone how exactly he was able to bring one of the most iconic first-person shooters of all time to one of the most iconic consoles of all time.
Doom’s SNES port came two years after the release of the original PC game and what made it so special was that Linden managed to avoid using id Software’s Doom engine entirely, instead building a whole new game engine called Reality to get the game up and running on the SNES.
As you can see from the gameplay footage below, Linden had to make some sacrifices when porting the game over to the SNES. Levels had to be cut from the game, enemy models were missing a few sprites, and the floor and ceiling texture were rendered as solid colours to help increase the game’s rendering speed.
For all its limitations, it was a playable 16-bit version of Doom regardless, and it miraculously still supports the SNES mouse, the Superscope, and even the Xband modem for online two-player deathmatches.
Linden would then go on to develop Bleem, a PlayStation emulator that was sold in retail stores in the ‘90s.
And if you’re not the type to meddle around with source codes, Doom can still be played in various platforms today, including PC, Nintendo Switch, an MS-DOS browser extension… and even a cash register. Yay, technology.