You indeed read that right! As of the 15th of January 2016, the well known game developer mostly well known for his role in creating the ever so popular pc game DOOM, John Romero, went to twitter and surprised pretty much everyone by announcing that he made an alternate version of DOOM’s final level E1M8 (Phobos Anomaly), which for those unfamiliar was the final level of the shareware episode Knee Deep in the Dead, which basically consisted of a short level where you fight some PinkyDemons, eventually finding yourself fighting two HellKnights, and then ending the level with the apparent death of DOOMGuy(or DOOMMarine) with a text crawl that even asks what happened.
This new version of E1M8, now titled “Tech Gone Bad” is more akin to a full level. While I myself have not yet played it, primarily due to the fact that as of this writing, many people are trying to download it all at once, overwhelming Dropbox’s servers making it near impossible to download the file (which you can get here), most players who have, conceded that the level is more difficult and longer than the original level, and while the level is considerably different, the level does contain familiar elements similar to the old level.
According to Romero, he developed the level through DOOM Builder, a very popular, and fairly easy to use, modern DOOM editor.
When Romero when asked as to why he made a new version of the final level of the first episode of DOOM, he said:
“E1M8 was an obvious choice for me. Out of the shareware episode of DOOM, E1M8, the boss level, was the only level I didn’t make, Sandy Petersen did an amazing job with the original one with the very memorable Barons of Hell right in your face at the end, of course.”
Romero also went onto hint that also the reason he made the level was because he is working on something yet unrevealed.
“Whenever I start a new game, I usually warm up, so to speak, by creating levels in something I’m familiar with,
that way, the focus is on the creation and not the tools. In this case, I decided to start out with DOOM as the levels are relatively easy to create, especially with today’s modern tools. I used DoomBuilder, and it was just a total delight to use. I absolutely loved making a level using it.”
So what does this mean for Romero? What can we expect from him in the future? Well only time will tell, but hopefully we can expect some sort of comeback, but for now, while we wait for the new DOOM game to release from Bethesda, we might as well dig in to some more DOOM.