Corridor 7 (PC)

A dear childhood Doom clone guilty pleasure!
The alien invasion has begun…

Corridor 7 was released by Capstone in March 1994. This month marks 23 years. Wow, if that doesn’t make me feel old. I vividly remember buying this game in the summer of ’94 and loving the crap out of it. It used the same engine as id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D. Unfortunately for Corridor 7, Doom came out just three months prior and blew everyone’s mind. Suddenly, the Wolfenstein engine was looking a bit archaic. Corridor 7 was a day late and a dollar short. But that doesn’t mean it’s a terrible game. I liked it a lot as a kid and it definitely has some charm to it. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

On a side note, be sure not to miss the interview I conducted with Corridor 7 programmer, Les Bird, toward the bottom of this review. Thanks, Les!


This was quite the sight back in good ol' 1992
This was quite the sight 25 years ago

Often considered the grandfather of the genre, Wolfenstein 3D made a big splash upon its arrival back in May of 1992. Mowing down Nazi soldiers and zombies left and right was a formula for success. Sure, there were other first person shooters that came before, but none put the genre on the map quite like this one.

This provided a rush like no other game in '92
The classics never get old. No siree

Wolfenstein left a lasting impression to say the very least. Few games could match the sheer intensity of gunning down a room full of Nazi guards. It was an adrenaline rush like none other. id Software struck lightning in a bottle, but this proved to be only a stepping stone…

Who could forget the first time seeing Hans Grösse?
Who could forget the first time seeing Hans Grösse?

As great as Wolfenstein 3D was at the time, it was just the beginning…

Doom was nothing short of a revelation
Doom was nothing short of a revelation

Released December 1993, Doom took players on a wild ride through the shores of Hell. It was essentially to the first person shooter genre as Street Fighter II was to the fighting game. And just like Street Fighter II, when a game creates such a stir, rival companies come out of the woodwork to throw their name in the hat eager for their own slice of the pie. The early-mid ’90s was flooded with Street Fighter II and Doom clones. Most were rather uninspired, but a few rose above the pack. Whatever the case may be, one thing was for sure… we had more than our fair share of choices.

Can you imagine a cover like this going over today?
Can you imagine a cover like this going over today?

One day in early 1994 I made my weekly voyage to Software Etc. at the local mall. Typically, I would stare at all the cool SNES games I could never own. But on this particular day a little CD game caught my eye. It was a one level preview of a new Wolfenstein clone called Operation Body Count.

No one ever got more out of one level than I did
No one ever got more out of one level than I did…

But what attracted me to this one level preview was Corridor 7: Alien Invasion. The back of the package featured a small picture of a massive purple alien stalking you in a creepy decaying corridor. It blew my 10 year old mind and looked exactly like the kind of game I would have made myself! I convinced my mom to buy it and the rest is history.

A haunting image that mystified me to no end
A haunting image that mystified me to no end

I played that one level preview of Corridor 7 probably 500 times. I absolutely loved it. My dad eventually bought me a copy of the full game later that summer at this little mom and pop shop of all places. They had it at a discounted price of $20 and my old man bit. I studied the manual the whole 20 minute car ride home, reading about the weapons and monsters until I damn near memorized it. Even back then, I was obsessed with spreading the word on obscure games. Corridor 7 became that under the radar title that I championed as a 10 year old kid. I told all my friends about it. I even called it C7… it was my attempt to sound cool but obviously to little avail.


"Let's bring this mysterious object back to Earth"
“Let’s bring this mysterious object back to Earth”
"I mean, what's the worst that could happen?"
“I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?”


animprobAnimated Probes are very efficient and very fast. Most of the probes respond to sound, but some are set to ambush you when you enter a room or corridor. Luckily, these probes don’t do a lot of damage and do not have a lot of health.

ailoprobThis alien is primarily a sentry, used to alert other aliens to your presence. Ailoprobes move slowly, do little damage, and by themselves are not much of a threat. Ailoprobes usually travel in packs, however, and can bring other aliens swarming in on you.

rodexThese little devils travel in packs and attack quickly. Although Rodexes don’t do a lot of damage, if they surprise you, they can hurt you plenty. Listen for their unique squeal when they enter a room. You can punch holes in them from a distance with the M-343 or the Alien Assault Cannon. More of a nuisance than a threat. The big boys are soon to come…

bandorBandors disguise themselves as common everyday objects such as chairs, barrels, file cabinets, potted plants and so forth. They remain in these forms until they can surprise you, usually from behind. Bandors carry heavy weapons and can inflict a lot of damage. Stay alert and listen for their morphing sound. You can put a few holes in the Bandors before they finish morphing. Bandors are extremely loyal to their own kind. If you kill a Bandor, others in the area generally rush to the scene.

nerrawNerraws roam the alien levels and don’t appear until level 31 in the CD-ROM version. Although he looks harmless enough, he can kill the toughest marine in only a few seconds. Shoot first and make sure the little bastard stays down.

semajSemaj look like puddles of purplish slime, and they probably are. These creatures slink around the alien levels, waiting to grab your legs while you wage war against the other aliens. These aliens do not have any weapons, but they do have nasty sets of teeth that tear through the thickest body armor. Don’t let one slither up to you while you waste his buddies.


These ugly creatures are the main guards of the alien levels. Eitaks are well armed and can do a bit of damage, especially when you encounter them in numbers. These aliens are well enough armored to shrug off a few rounds, but sustained fire kills them easily. Try not to fight Eitaks in closed areas; they are a good shot and generally pour into the area to help their own.

tenajThese aliens are the main technicians in charge of making the atmosphere alien-compatible. The Tenaj generally work alone but can be found in pairs. They’re smart, quick and likely to ambush an unsuspecting Marine. Although they represent a formidable threat, they are not heavily armored and are likely to turn their backs on you. Use the M-343 or Alien Assault Cannon to blow a few holes in them and pick up any charge packs that they drop.

eniramThese aliens can remain invisible until they fire their weapons. Enirams use this skill to sneak up on their prey and launch an attack. Enirams are not heavily armored. If you suspect that Enirams are in the vicinity, use the infrared mode of your visor to locate and track them. If you lose sight of an Eniram, use the proximity map.

otreborOtrebors are the main technicians that are working to convert Delta Base to an alien-inhabitable environment. These aliens generally travel alone, but they pack quite a punch and can be very deadly. An Otrebor has an evil laugh, but you usually will hear (and feel) its blaster first.

ttocsTtocs are brute force warriors. These aliens are not very bright, however, and they do not move very fast. Ttocs are my personal favorite. Not only do they look intimidating and exactly what I picture a barbaric alien to resemble, but their death animation is simply the best. Their skin melts, leaving a green poo all over their bones. The sound effect is spot on and it’s very satisfying to kill these bastards. Silly note: as a kid I surmised that Ttocs secretly stood for “The Terminators Of Corridor Seven.” Yeah, I was weird… [Was? -Ed.]

mechwarThese heavily armored aliens are used primarily to guard key alien equipment and areas. You can hear a Mechanical Warrior from far away. When you hear the booming footsteps, check your Proximity Map. This alien is best handled from a distance or with a few well placed mines. Be sure to pry the Dual Blaster out of his cold dead grip.

enirambEniram bosses are of the same stock as the standard Enirams but are more solidly built and better armed. These aliens cannot turn invisible. Thank goodness for small favors.

tymokYou can find Tymoks on various levels, supervising other aliens’ work. Tymoks are armed with Plasma Rifles and can burn you into a puddle of goo very quickly. These aliens also are fairly quick and are likely to dodge your fire. Fortunately they work alone. Before taking on a Tymok, eliminate all other threats in the area. You don’t want an Animated Probe chewing up your backside while you concentrate on the Tymok!

tebazilatebazilbThis alien is the last boss that you will face in the game. Tebazile is heavily armored and carries a powerful weapon. To top it off, you have to kill him five times! When you first see Tebazile, he is in his natural form. When he takes enough damage, he morphs into the following aliens: Eniram boss, Tymok, Solrac, and back into himself. He appears only in the CD-ROM version.

solracSolrac is the alien leading the invasion of Earth. You probably will see him several times during the game, however, as his presence invades your thoughts. Solrac carries no weapon but he fires a deadly energy burst from his eyes. Alien weapons do the most damage to Solrac, but your M-343 will do in a pinch.


equip1This weapon emits an electrical charge of lethal force. The taser is self powered, requiring no ammo. I always thought it was pretty cool how your weakest weapon was a “gun” of sorts, as opposed to a knife or your fist.

equip3The M-24 Close Assault Weapon is the standard weapon of today’s Marine Corps. When the trigger is held down, it delivers a lot of firepower in a very short time and is effective against most standard alien foes. For the larger alien threats, however, you better have something with a bit more firepower. Compared to other starting guns within the genre, the M-24 “CAW” is the best of its ilk, thanks to its rapid fire.

equip2This weapon is the latest incarnation of the standard shotgun that has been in service for hundreds of years. Deadly at close range, the weapon loses effectiveness at long range and is slow to deliver multiple shots. The shotgun is available only in the CD-ROM version. It was an attempt to copy Doom‘s popular shotgun, but this one is far less memorable (and useful).

equip4The M-343 can take out most of the lesser aliens in one shot and is effective at long range. Keep the trigger down when you hose down the larger threats; the automatic fire makes mince meat of most aliens in no time at all. This is easily one of my favorite guns in the entire genre. Not only is it powerful, but it’s fast firing and looks totally badass.

equip5One thing I’ve always dug a lot about Corridor 7 is the fact that there are four human guns and four alien guns (complete with its own special alien ammo). It makes the alien guns feel extra powerful, although in practice it’s hard to beat the ever reliable M-343. The Dual Blaster is the main weapon of the alien military. It spews a deadly stream of energy.

equip6You loved the rocket launcher from Doom, eh? Well then, the Alien Plasma Rifle is the weapon of destruction for you. It fires balls of plasma that explodes upon impact. I love the green little scope attached to the rifle; it makes it look really badass!

equip7Find the Dual Blaster to be outclassed by the M-343? Then you might want to check out the Alien Assault Canon. Available only in the CD-ROM edition, it’s basically an enhanced version of the Dual Blaster. It’s faster, stronger and far deadlier.

equip8AKA the DVG (Darth Vader Gun), you know any weapon named the Alien Disintegrator must be pretty damn powerful. This is essentially the BFG of the Corridor 7 universe. Available only on the CD-ROM edition, this weapon of mass destruction can bore a hole through most alien hides.

dropmineMines add an extra layer of depth and strategy to the “mindless shooting.” Once picked up, you can drop a mine anywhere on a stage. It stays there until someone, or something, comes near it. Then KA-BOOM!


medpackOne of the cool things about Corridor 7 was how they placed the medic packs throughout the levels. In Wolfenstein 3D and Doom such packs were placed out in the wide open. But in Corridor 7, medic packs are housed in special dispensers. This eliminates the potential of accidentally grabbing one in the heat of the moment.

ammobayWeapon ammo is handled in a similar fashion. They too are housed in futuristic dispensers. I dig the sound it makes whenever you claim the bullets. I can still hear that sound to this day…

bluaccesredaccesLocked doors are a staple in first person shooters. Color keys were all the rage back in the ’90s, but once again Capstone tweaked things a little bit here. Each level contains various computer terminals. Many are false alarms. When you activate one, you’ll either earn access to blue security doors, red ones or get the dreaded false alarm “INTRUDER ALERT!!” These intruder alerts will alert nearby aliens of your location. This was just another cool feature of Corridor 7 that I feel has always flew under the radar. Yes, it’s a blatant Wolfenstein 3D clone in many ways but it wasn’t a completely heartless effort.

teleportTeleporters are found in the 10 final alien levels in the CD-ROM version only. As you would expect, they take you from one teleporter to another. I like the flashing stars. Always thought that added a nice classy little touch to it.

hlthchamBecause this game takes place in the far flung future of 2012, experimental reviving chambers for non-mortal wounds are available for usage. A Health Chamber can restore up to 100% of your health depending on the energy level remaining in the chamber before use. When I was a kid I always loved how the voice over would go “HEALTH CHAMBER ACTIVATED!” as you spin 180 degrees. There was something very cool about that.

isphereThis almighty blue ball grants you temporary invulnerability. But keep in mind — whenever you see one of these bad boys — it usually signals that you’re about to encounter a rather aggressive skirmish with one of the tougher aliens, if not a pack of them. But even worse than that, the screen goes into a mad flicker that just might send you into an epileptic seizure.

MY EYES! Flicker game is strong. WAY too strong…


My body was ready
XOXO? No hugs and kisses here

There weren’t many games I was more excited to play than the CD-ROM version of Corridor 7. I played the one level preview to death in early 1994. My dad bought me the full game later that summer. Right away I noticed some of the walls had windows and see through fences. There’s an inexplicable charm to it. Gave the game sort of this quirky look and feel.

Aliens > Demons?
Aliens > demons for me at least

Although I absolutely ate up Doom, I’ve always preferred aliens over demons. Doom is undoubtedly the superior game (it’s not even close), but I actually like the enemy roster of Corridor 7 more. I love the idea of clearing corridors and hallways of alien scum. It truly felt like you were tasked with wiping out the entire alien race.

My favorite alien: the Ttocs!
My favorite alien: the Ttocs!

There are a lot of cool looking designs in this game, but my favorite was by far the Ttocs. I love their combination of red and purple. And they look like alien trolls on steroids. I loved them so much as a kid that I even came up with an acronym for them: The Terminators Of Corridor Seven. TTOCS. The funny things we did as kids, eh?

Love how their bones flash when you shoot them
Love how their bones flash when you shoot them
Also love how they melt into a pile of goo as they die
Also love how they melt into a pile of goo as they die
You're next, big guy
You’re next, big guy
Best death pose ever
Best death pose ever
The Mechanical Warrior was quite intimidating!
The Mechanical Warrior was quite intimidating!

Indeed he was. You can hear his thunderous footsteps in the distance, which was incredibly ingenious. The first time I heard it I was like “Oh hell no!” Whatever lurked behind that corner was massive and deadly…

Is that a Ttocs hiding inside?
Is that a Ttocs hiding inside?

Interestingly enough, when the Mechanical Warrior dies, you can see what appears to be a variant of the Ttocs inside. As a kid I theorized that the Ttocs battled for supremacy amongst themselves. The ones who won out got to don the scorpion-like suit. The bliss of being a kid, eh?

Speaking of death animations, this is sick
Speaking of death animations, this is sick

Corridor 7 had some sick alien sound effects and death animations. It made killing the aliens a blast, pardon the pun. The game is rather underrated particularly in those areas.

The Tymok is Barney the Dinosaur on steroids
The Tymok is Barney the Dinosaur on steroids

Speaking of favorite enemy designs, the Tymok ranks up there for me. He’s basically Barney on steroids. And unlike the Mechanical Warrior, Tymoks are very strong and worthy of their boss status. I would love to see a Tymok vs. a Baron of Hell battle. Quite frankly, I’d put my money on the Tymok…

It was such a colorful shooter
Colors up the wazoo!

Corridor 7 had a unique color scheme. Sure it has its share of decaying walls, but things like the snazzy blue “energy walls” which animate really caught my eye as a kid. It has a unique colorful look that really appealed to me when I was a kid.

Welcome to Hell
Well that escalated fast

Level 20 sees a major switch. The levels shift over into “alien levels.” This is where the aliens have completely modified their environment to suit their personal needs. I was so creeped out the first time I saw those human bodies hanging upside down. God knows what was have done to them…

Even the doors get a hell-ish makeover
Even the doors get a hellish makeover

I love how the doors in the alien levels were altered as well. The door designs added to the creepy atmosphere and it was cool how the doors opened as though you were entering a living breathing organism.

Level 20 sees the beginning of the alien takeover
As a kid I called this guy the Space Invader alien

Watch out for the Eniram enemies. They’re invisible, only appearing when they fire at you or when you enable your infrared visor. If you’re out of visor batteries, you’re pretty much screwed unless you have the full proximity map.

Nothing like seeing a health chamber in the nick of time
Health chambers restore you to full health. Brilliant!

You’ll need them, trust me.

Shit, I'm outta here
Shit, I’m outta here


The programmer of Corridor 7, Les Bird, was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. This Q&A was conducted on March 23, 2017 — just in time for the 23th anniversary of Corridor 7.

Steve: Thank you for your time, Les. First off, were you a gamer growing up? If so, what were some of your favorite video games or gaming memories?

Les: I’ve been a gamer since I was a kid. I spent most of my time in the arcades playing games like Asteroids, Robotron, Gravitar, Defender, Major Havoc, Pac-Man and more. I was so fascinated by these games that I wanted to make my own so I taught myself how to code. It was always my dream to make games for a living and somehow I got lucky.

Major Havoc 1983)
Major Havoc (1983)

Steve: How did you get into the gaming industry?

Les: I was fortunate enough to get a job in the early ’90s working for Capstone in Miami. Before that I was working for Galacticomm in Fort Lauderdale helping them enhance their MajorBBS multiuser software. On the side I wrote a couple EGA vector graphic games for them called Flash Tanks and Flash Spacewar. It was just by chance that I saw an opportunity with Capstone and I took it. That was my first job in the game industry and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Les Birds gaming roots began here
Les Bird’s gaming roots began here

Steve: What inspired you to create Corridor 7?

Les: The inspiration came from playing Wolfenstein 3D. Capstone licensed the Wolfenstein tech from id Software and we needed a cool game to make with the tech. After several brainstorming sessions we came up with the story for Corridor 7. Oddly it was very similar to the story of Doom and later on Half-Life. It seemed all the sci-fi games back then followed a similar story line; a portal opens up and bad guys invade. I actually thought Half-Life was Corridor 7 made with better tech.

Half-Life 1998)
Half-Life (1998)

Steve: Talk a bit about acquiring the Wolfenstein engine license from id Software. How much did it cost? And looking back, I suppose id Software was more than happy to lend you the Wolfenstein engine because they were secretly working on Doom which utilized an improved engine.

Les: I wasn’t part of the engine acquisition but I believe id contacted us. As you said they were developing the Doom engine and the Wolfenstein 3D tech was outdated to them so why not license it out? I think, but not sure, the cost was $50,000 per title. Again I’m not totally sure of the details regarding this.

id Software raked in 50,000. Not bad...
This “stamp of approval” sold me as a kid!

Steve: What were your thoughts when you first played Wolfenstein 3D?

Les: I played Wolfenstein 3D when I was still working at Galacticomm. At the time I was not much of a PC gamer (I had an Amiga) but that game blew my mind. That was the moment I started to commit to the PC as a gaming platform. I remember trying to write my own 3D engine like Wolfenstein 3D. The thing that got me with Wolfenstein was how smooth it ran on a PC. It was one of the first games that could do 3D (or 2.5D I guess they called it) in real time at a smooth frame rate. I remember loading the game up and just turning in a circle and just in awe at how fast it could render the scene. Back then there was nothing like that which is why it was so revolutionary. The other thing that impressed me was how incredibly real the sound was if you had a Sound Blaster audio card. You can imagine how excited I was when we were able to license the Wolfenstein tech to make Corridor 7.

There was no other game like it in 1992
This blew away everyone back in 1992

Steve: How long was Corridor 7 in development for? Do you know how many copies were sold?

Les: Corridor 7 was in development for about 9 months and then another 3 (I think) for the CD-ROM version. I spent the early part exploring some engine mods that could differentiate Corridor 7 from the other games. A few things I wanted to do to make Corridor 7 unique were:

(1) Have transparent walls and windows. We also wanted the levels to be alive so we added color cycling to the engine so the electronic equipment can have blinking and moving lights.


(2) All pickups were in the walls (health packs and ammo) instead of scattered about the floor


(3) Health chambers to restore the player to full health


(4) Add diminished lighting when you looked down long hallways


And then there was the visor. That was an idea I had that just came out of the blue. I thought it would be cool, since you play the role of a military soldier, to be able to turn on night vision and see down dark hallways.


We also added the infrared mode to the visor and then created a creature and traps specifically for the new mode.

Watch out for deadly traps
Deadly traps can only be seen with the infrared visor

I do not know the exact number of copies sold and if I tried to guess I think I’d be way off. It was included in one of the popular 5ft 10 pack CD bundles and then GameTek also took on publishing the game later on in its life.

Steve: Doom was released December 1993. How far along was Corridor 7 at that developmental point, and how big a factor do you think the new and improved Doom engine hampered the potential success of Corridor 7, which came out March 1994?

Les: Doom blew me away. It definitely hampered sales for our game. All of the game reviews for Corridor 7 were compared to Doom, which wasn’t exactly fair, but Doom was the best game out at the time and set the new standard. One of the multiplayer levels in Corridor 7 was modeled after the first Doom level. Corridor 7 was pretty far along in development when Doom came out. It was too late to turn back and change things so we just had to push forward with what we had. We also added the Alien Disintegrator to the CD version of Corridor 7 which was inspired by Doom’s BFG.

Obligatory Doom shot #1 even if its Doom II
Obligatory Doom shot #1 (even if it’s Doom II)

Steve: What were your thoughts when you first played Doom?

Les: Doom blew my mind when I played it. I could not believe games like that were possible on the PC with EGA/VGA graphics. Doom and later on Quake set the standard for FPS games.

Obligatory Doom shot #2 even if its Doom II again
Obligatory Doom shot #2 (even if it’s Doom II again)

Steve: In the first level of Corridor 7 you see the names of the people who worked on the game. Whose idea was that? I always found it to be endearingly quirky.

Les: That was actually my idea. I even made the sprites for each team member. I stuck them in the back corridor as sort of an Easter egg. There wasn’t much of a problem with management about it. I just thought it’d be cool to show the names of the key members inside the game instead of on a credits screen that may or may not be seen.

No relation to Larry
No relation to Larry

Steve: Speaking of names, some of the enemy names were based upon real names spelled backwards. You had Katie-Eitak, Scott-Ttocs, Carlos-Solrac, James-Semaj and hell, even Marine-Eniram. Who came up with this idea? I always thought it was pretty clever. Reminded me of Dracula-Alucard.

Les: We were trying to come up with names for the aliens but none of them made sense. Someone on the team suggested we just use our names spelled backwards and it stuck. I don’t remember whose idea it was (it wasn’t mine) but we all started calling each other by our alien names. Trying to come up with unique names for aliens is a pretty difficult task.

Steve: The enemies were very underrated I felt. Especially the Bandor, which often disguised itself as everyday furniture. Talk about the designs and where some of your inspirations came from. Was there a particular enemy you’re most fond of? I personally love the Ttocs the most.

Ttocs: The Terminators of Corridor 7
TTOCS: The Terminators Of Corridor Seven

Les: The Bandor was an idea I came up with. I remember playing one of the early levels and there was all this office furniture, file cabinets and chairs, just randomly placed in some of the rooms. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if aliens could disguise themselves as office furniture and when you entered the room you’d think “nothing here” and then all of a sudden aliens would appear and start shooting you. The team liked the idea and so we made it happen. For a personal favorite, I really liked Solrac. Creepy and spooky with tentacle arms. Ttocs is Scott spelled backwards. Scott was our lead artist who came up with most of the creature designs and did all the pixel art for them.

Bandors are shifty shapeshifting bastards
Bandors are shifty shapeshifting bastards

Steve: The aliens had unique sounding screams. I particularly remember the Rodex’s pig-like squeal. How were the alien sound effects made?

Les: All of our sounds were created by our sound engineer. He was actually pretty good at coming up with unique sounds. He also did the jump scare sound for the boss vision (messiah) that you get randomly when playing the game. We basically explained what we were doing and then a day later he’d come back with some awesome sound effects. I don’t remember his technique for creating the alien sounds but I agree, they were all unique and turned out pretty well.

The Rodex had a classic pig-like squeal
The Rodex squeals like a pig upon sight

Steve: The CD-ROM version had extra goodies (i.e. 10 more levels, new enemies, new weapons, etc.) Talk about working on that.

Les: We had to make some new art for the CD-ROM version for the pulsating alien wall textures. We also had to think up some new weapons to add. Reluctantly I gave in to allowing ammo and health to be scattered on the floor. We couldn’t think of a good logical solution since the military wall textures were now alien wall textures so we couldn’t have ammo and health packs integrated into the walls.

The "alien" levels no longer had ammo in the walls
The alien levels no longer had ammo in the walls

We also added network and modem multiplayer support. I had to learn a lot about IPX networking as it was an area I had not explored before. We also added the movie sequences to the CD-ROM version. We were already at practically max memory limits (640K) so I had to learn how to use EMS/XMS memory to cache the video frames from the movies. I also remember us having a really difficult time mastering the final CD-ROM. Something about the mastering software not working properly because we needed a PC that was fast enough to stream from the hard drive to the CD-ROM burner. Back then this was all new stuff so there was a lot to learn. We went through 10 or so blank CDs before finally making a gold master that worked.

2012? That's so five years ago
2012? That’s so five years ago

Steve: How was Corridor 7 perceived when it came out in 1994? Were you pleased with the end results yourself? What would you have done differently, looking back?

Les: I was actually very happy with the game. I had a ton of freedom to put whatever I wanted to put into the game. These days things are way different. Programmers write code and designers design the games but back then it was mostly just making things up as you went. The invisible Eniram for example was just a spur of the moment thing when we came up with the infrared visor feature and we were trying to think of what else you could use the infrared mode for.

This creature can only be spotted by the infrared visor
This creature can only be spotted by the infrared visor

The proximity mines, again, just came up as we were in the middle of the project. They started out when I was trying to figure out a way you could mark where you were as you explored a level. I made these little flags that you could drop by pressing a key and then you’d know you’ve been to that area before. I showed the team but no one really liked it. I was about to remove the feature but one of my artists came up with the idea of turning the flags into mines. That was an AHA moment. He made the art for the pickup crate and the mines and I made them explode when something approached them.

Lure enemies into mines for major damage
Lure enemies into mines for major damage

hlthchamLooking back I think one thing I would’ve changed was to have more health chambers. I’m not sure what happened there but somewhere along the way it seems like we forgot we had them when we were building out the levels. We split up all the levels between several people and maybe some of them didn’t know how to add the health chambers, not sure.

I've always been a big fan of the snazzy blue there
Like finding a spring of water in the middle of a desert!

Steve: I have to ask about the random Solrac “coming at you out of nowhere” moments — where did that come from? It creeped me out so much as a kid! It was awesome :)

So freaky! Still gets me every single damn time
So freaky! It got me every single damn time…

Les: Oh man, the “messiah” as he was known internally. So this is an interesting story. It started out when one of our programmers said that we should add a random encounter with Elvis as you play through the game. He even created programmer art of an Elvis head that we put in the game. Later on we thought, maybe it should be a religious experience so we made art of Jesus with a crown of thorns and our audio guy made the jump audio for it. Our producer took the game home and played it that night and came in the next morning and called us all into her office. We got a major chewing out about it. She said “Les, tell me I didn’t see Jesus when I was playing the game last night.” We all kind of laughed but she didn’t think it was very funny (and in reality it wasn’t very funny). She immediately ordered it out of the game. We all thought it worked really well as a jump scare so we convinced her to let us keep it if we changed the art to the final boss character. She agreed and that’s how it came to be. I have to say that even when I play the game today I jump every time it appears. I’ve spent so many rounds of ammo shooting into thin air because of it.

Suck it, Solrac!
Suck it, Solrac!

Steve: Talk a little about the Corridor 8 project and how it wasn’t meant to be. Might we see Corridor 7 remade or revitalized in some way one day? Or has that ship sailed for good?

Les: Capstone was struggling to stay alive. At the time they were trying to take the company public and they put every penny they had into making this happen. They needed a game that would save them so we came up with a sequel to Corridor 7. I personally wanted to call it Corridor 7: Alien Invasion II, because Corridor 7 was already a known brand but the designer rejected that idea and wanted to call it Corridor 8. We were using the Build engine, same tech that we made Witchaven, Witchaven II and TekWar with and the same tech that was used to make the original Duke Nukem 3D game.

Duke Nukem 3D 1996
Duke Nukem 3D (1996)

vortexWe were in the very early prototyping stage when Capstone could no longer fund it. We were experimenting with vehicles, alien AI and weapons at the time and had some designs for some of the levels. The team was only 3 people at the time, just me and 2 artists. As for a Corridor 7 remake, I’ve been tossing around this idea for quite some time. I’ve explored some ideas for remaking it but it’s difficult to find the time to do that now. At one point I had it running on an iPad using DosBox for iPad, I think I posted a video on my YouTube channel of this. I’d definitely be interested in revisiting this some day when I have the time.

Steve: Let’s briefly switch gears to another game of yours: Operation Body Count. Talk about your specific role on Operation Body Count, the inspiration for this game, development time, and your general thoughts.

Les: Operation Body Count was our second Wolfenstein 3D engine game. My role on this game was very minimal except to support it because it used the same engine with the same mods as Corridor 7. When production started on this game I was finishing up the CD-ROM version of Corridor 7. I recall being part of the initial design team and we were all trying to think up a name for the game. I don’t remember who came up with the name but everyone agreed that it was the most fitting. I had mixed feelings towards the game. Development time was around 6 to 9 months I believe.

It has some neat ideas but yeah...
So many cool concepts… what a shame

Steve: I had the one level preview for OBC and absolutely loved it. Spraying bullet holes into the walls, shattering glass, bodies twitching for a second after dying, bazookas blowing up toilets, setting enemies on fire which can kill others… I thought it had the potential to be great. But then I bought the full game. I was turned off at how the first 10 or so levels took place in the sewer. Was it just to increase the length of the game? The one level preview was loads of fun. The actual full game, sorry to say, not so much.

Les: I totally agree with you. I think the first 10 sewer levels were put in to increase the length of the game. I always hated games that had sewers where you had to shoot rats and critters. Never could understand the logic behind that and never understood how that made any game more fun. The one level preview showed off all the best parts.

Shame this game didn't live up to its potential
Such a waste of potential…

Steve: Thanks again for your time, Les. And thank you for making Corridor 7. It was one of my childhood favorites. Any projects or anything you’d like to plug? Or any closing remarks?

Les: I actually still think Corridor 7 is one of my best works. I think back about how much fun it was to make and how much freedom I had to just put whatever I thought would be cool into the game. I also really liked how we would all just randomly come up with ideas and then just make it happen. The eye probe for example was an alien that one of our artists made one day and he showed it to me and I said “Man that is awesome! Let’s put it in.”

It was just a bunch of us making a game that we wanted to play and Capstone paying us to do so. Fun times and nothing like how games are made today, except maybe by some of the awesome indie studios. Thank you Steve for reaching out. I love talking about Corridor 7.


If only this came out in mid 1993
If only this came out in early 1993…

Corridor 7 has a lot of good things going for it. Some killer alien designs, lots of color, military and alien guns with differentiated ammo for both types, some sweet death animations and sound effects, health chambers, land mines, enough varied guns to keep one pleased and so forth. There’s also a visor system where you can switch to night or infrared. The night vision however is fairly useless as it’s not really implemented much. The infrared will help you spot a certain enemy that is invisible and you can figure out which computer panels contain the security code. However, its March 1994 release really hurt its chances of leaving a truly favorable impression. Doom was already out three months by then and Corridor 7 felt a bit outdated upon its release. It’s a shame, because had Capstone put out this game a year earlier, March 1993, there’s no telling what its legacy today might have been. It’s a perfectly playable and solid Wolfenstein 3D clone set in an alien world. If that appeals to you, you’ll probably enjoy Corridor 7. Just watch out for that creepy Solrac jump scare!

Well hello!
Well hello!

Sure it’s got its flaws. But Corridor 7 will always have a soft spot in my gaming heart. It’s a relic from the good old days of PC gaming. A time in which Wolfenstein and Doom clones were churned out seemingly every other month. There were a lot of bad ones, but there were enough decent ones to sink your teeth into. I’d say Corridor 7 falls into the latter more than it does the former. Although the game is dated, it’s a childhood favorite and a reminder of a simpler time in my life. Playing first person shooters late on Friday nights after a long school week, trying to save the world from Nazis, demons and aliens. It was a good time to be a gamer, and an even better time to be a kid.

And good-bye!

Nice review of Capstone’s shooters!


Les Bird, programmer of Corridor 7

This old Corridor 7 fanpage for the GIFs

Doom (SNES)

Pub: Williams | Dev: Sculptured Software | 9.1.95 | 16 MEGS + Super FX2
Pub: Williams | Dev: Sculptured Software | 9.1.95 | 16 MEGS + Super FX2

By September 1995, the SNES was quickly entering the final stages of its life. Although game quality was at an all-time high in terms of what companies could now do with the system, it’s a given that every 4-5 years the new wave of next gen gaming takes over, and the older models quietly fade out in the background. This however did not stop the unlikely conversion of PC smash hit, DOOM. And on the first of September 1995, SNES owners had their own version of Doomsday.


Doom changed the very landscape of gaming
Doom changed the very landscape of gaming

I consider the early-mid 1990s as a very special time. Not only was I in the thick of my childhood, but those years cranked out some of the most iconic and groundbreaking video games around. While the whole Street Fighter II craze was sweeping the nation, in December 1993 a little violent game by the name of DOOM came out and took the nation by storm. Playing as a marine battling a horde of zombie soldiers and demons, Doom was the most intense action game of its day. It made your heart beat a little faster. Palms perspired. Those growls you hear around the corner… that ammo count dipping dangerously low… Doom produced an adrenaline kick like no other. Who could ever forget the first time you experienced Doom? It’s one of those things that you carry with you for life. Kind of like the first time you came across a Playboy Magazine. Doom was a transcendent gaming experience that turned boys into men and soiled more than a few underwears over 20 years ago. It is revered fondly for a good reason.


One year later, Doom II kicked our asses
One of the most anticipated sequels of the ’90s!

December 1994. One year after the epic release of Doom, we were given the sequel, Doom II. It was only a matter of time. While the clones rushed in and out the door (and backdoor, for that matter), the original king stood mighty, proud and tall and victorious over all comers. But now it was time for round two. A game with more weapons, monsters and mayhem. It did not disappoint! Doom II was a worthy sequel indeed and although my brother and I didn’t own it, we definitely found ways to experience it. Because it was simply something you just had to. No ifs, ands or buts here. Doom II was the SHIT.

Games weren't 'cool' in the mid '90s, but Doom II sure was
Games weren’t cool in the mid ’90s but Doom II was

How badass was Doom II? So badass that I put it on my 7th grade “All About Me” poster. I somehow found this pic here on a computer store ad, mighta been Comp USA (damn there goes a name from the past) or Fry’s Electronic. Cut it out and pasted it on my poster to show the whole 7th grade world. At that time gaming wasn’t considered cool, much. But not Doom IIDoom II broke barriers. You were proud to declare to the entire universe of its greatness. Keep in mind gaming in 1995 was a lot less mainstream and “accepted” than it is in today’s society.


It's a day I still vividly recall, even 20+ years later
It’s a day I still vividly recall… even 20+ years later

A few weeks before Doom II came out, my world changed forever. It was mid-November 1994. It was a cold and dreary, foggy Monday morning. I remember the fog being so thick I could barely see past my first neighbor’s house. I was walking to school with my good old best friend Nelson, and it was another week in the ol’ neighborhood. Little did I know, leaving my house that morning, that when I would return later that day, my innocence would be lost, ripped and shattered.

You never forget the first time you're robbed. It sucks
Bad days always seem to start out innocently enough

2:25 PM. The school bell rang and Nelson and I rushed out. We walked home laughing and talking up a storm, crunching the autumn leaves on the gavel beneath our shoes. We got to the fork where he went left and I went right. We bid farewell and I vividly remember to this very day how much I couldn’t wait to get home from school just so I could play Doom for the 1,000th time. Shoot, I was already daydreaming about firing the rocket launcher on the two Barons of Hell on the Phobos Anomaly map. Nothing was better than coming home from a long school day, tossing your backpack off, and wading over to the computer room where your most favorite video games resided. And I was deep in the middle of my daydreaming when I turned the corner and had the wind knocked out of me. There my house lied in the distance, with a police car parked in the driveway, and two policemen conversing with my mom. I ran over and my mom quickly embraced me, hugging me harder than she ever had in years, with tears streaming down her face. My eyes widened in terror when I looked straight ahead from the driveway, saw the front door wide open, and realized the mess that laid before us. We were robbed. They took nearly everything, including the computer and Doom. That day I didn’t just lose material things. That day I lost a large chunk of my innocence :(


My brother, on occasion, would do something really nice
My brother occasionally did something really nice

September 1995. As some readers may recall from my Memories of Renting article, back in the day I did 90-95% of the game renting, and most of those times that I did, I was forced by my older brother to rent the titles HE liked. Well, in September of ’95 my bro surprised me one weekend when he left the house and came back with SNES Doom. He thought I would be happy but I was actually pissed. Seeing it, although it did have a cool red shell case, only reminded me of that fateful day where I lost my innocence. After playing it I was DISGUSTED with it. I couldn’t help but constantly compare it to its PC original. And under those given circumstances, I hated the SNES version with a burning passion. So much that I vehemently refused to play it for the rest of the weekend that we had the rental copy. My bro never mentioned it, but I think he was a little hurt by it. He made a nice gesture, but instead of gratitude I showed him contempt and annoyance. And that was the last game I can ever recall him renting for me…


At the time I thought this was the greatest score EVER
At the time I thought it was the greatest score EVER

December 14, 1996. Two full years after the initial release of Doom II, my dad took me to Staples one night. Yeah, some dads take their kids to Disneyland. Other parents take their kids to Universal Studios. Mine took me to friggin’ Staples. Hey, I’ll give the old man credit. Because on this night I saw a deal that blew my mind. There it was, Doom II, for only $4.97. I rubbed my eyes not once, not twice but trice. I thought maybe there was a 2 in front, or at least, surely a 1. But just $4.97?!?! I grabbed the box, flipped it over and read front and back 10 times over. Was this shareware? Was this April Fools? No, you fool, I thought to myself. It’s December 14, damnit. Holy shit. It was the real deal AND for a real deal. I snatched it up quicker than OJ Simpson driving away in his Bronco, and of course, at less than the cost of a #1 Big Mac combo meal, there was no way my pops could deny me this one. Maybe the old man knew. My brother and I always wanted Doom II two years ago, but we never got it. Now we were vindicated. When I got home and my bro saw the receipt, he just about fell over. I have kept the receipt all these years later. Thing of beauty when an awesome deal drops unexpectedly into your lap. Look at that up there. “YOU SAVED $25.02″ — damn sick! $5.36 for Doom II in 1996? Hey, it happened. Moral of the story… screw Disneyland. Next time I’m taking my kids to motherfukken STAPLES, bitch.


Years later, I was greeted by an old friend...
Years later, I was greeted by an old friend…

In 1999, after being out of the gaming scene for a year or two, I came back STRONG with the Sega Saturn (check out the previous blog post if you don’t believe me). But it wasn’t until 2001 that I became a diehard Saturn fanatic. I amassed a huge collection, and by 2005 was pretty much done with my collecting. Then I took a chance on the Japanese version of Saturn Doom, seeing as how it was released months AFTER the US reject. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, the frame rate on the Japanese version would be improved. And it was! I recall fondly making usenet posts way back in the day (late ’90s to mid 2000s) on the old newsgroup, spreading the news that the Japanese version was superior. Hell, I even created a YouTube account way back in December 2005 (yeah, when YouTube was just in its infancy) just to show off how improved the Japanese version’s frame rate was, compared to the lame version we received in the US. It was a discovery that no one had spoken of on the internet yet, and it felt like I was breaking some news there. I love the feeling of spreading obscure gaming knowledge. Man, those were the days… it’s amazing how different the internet has become in the last 10 years, but I digress.


It was a homecoming for me in more ways than one
It was a homecoming for me in more ways than one

On January 17, 2006, I returned to the SNES scene. I was a man on a mission. I was now a young adult longing for my childhood and to discover “new” gems I missed out on. I bought most of my wanted games in 2006; Doom was never on the original want list. I had some… ahem… sour memories of it you understand, and so never wanted to give it another shot. But finally, in 2010, I said what the hell. It’s time to face old demons [Well played for once -Ed.] and see what’s what. So I bought Doom, replayed it and did so this time with a clear open mind. And I was surprised to find out that I actually enjoyed it a good bit. I had a few four hour marathons with it where I tried my damndest to beat all of the 22 levels in one sitting (because they gave you no other choice). I’ll be damned. My opinion of SNES Doom did a complete 180. Taking it for what it is, I can’t help but marvel a bit at the fact that it’s even up and running on my Super Nintendo. It captures the essence and spirit of the original Doom pretty damn nicely, and that’s the bottom line. In many ways, I felt like I had come full circle with not only the SNES but with Doom as well.


A huge part of me refused to believe it. SNES Doom? HA!
I refused to believe Doom could run on the SNES…

Thankfully, by late 1995 the SNES’ kid friendly mantra of no blood had shifted. Games like Mortal Kombat II, released about one year prior, broke the mold. Doom without its grisly gore just wouldn’t be the same. The SNES port keeps the bloody mayhem intact at the very least. Because when you think of Doom, you instantly think of the carnage. Oh and…



FORMER SOLDIER: At one time you swapped war stories with this guy. Now he’s nothing more than a rotting, pistol-toting maggot. So waste this sucker without remorse. He stopped being your buddy a long time ago…


FORMER SERGEANT: Similar to above, but with more piss and vinegar. Packing a heavy duty shotgun, you best take these bald baddies out fast or they’ll do more than pelt you. Aim carefully, because if you miss that means you’re likely eating some damage. You need every last health point!


IMP: When you think of imps, you might think of a small hideously cute thing that is sneaky and mischievous. Think again! This bastard heaves fireballs down your throat and will claw the hell out of you up close. It’s time to find a shotgun.


DEMON: Yes, finally, an enemy with no long range weapon. That’s the good news. The bad news? It moves faster than you might think, and if it bites you, it’s gonna HURTA LOT. The chainsaw works well on these bad boy, and saves the ammo.


CACODEMON: This big red bastard takes a lot of bullets to go down. It’s time to upgrade from the shotgun if you haven’t already. Cacodemons make a loud, nasty screech when they first see you or hear of your presence. They launch fireballs that pack a more potent punch than the imp’s. A chaingun works well since the rapid firing bullets prevent this vile creature from sprouting fireballs off at your head.


LOST SOUL: Maybe the Doom makers were fans of Ghost Rider? It flies around. It screams. It scorches. And it dies with a few well-placed shotgun shells.


BARON OF HELL: Ah, here’s the man. Er, demon, rather, I suppose. Deman? Sorry. I can write and reminisce about this goat-legged horned menace all day long. His debut at the end of Episode 1 has got to rank in the top 10 of all time as far as boss entrances go. It’s an image that has been burned into my retina for over 20 years now. There was nothing like staring at the two pods knowing hell is coming.


CYBERDEMON: Remember the first time you ever laid eyes on this bastard? You thought the Barons of Hell were bad news. This guy is basically death on two legs. From his heavy stomps to his lightning-quick rockets coming straight for your head, the Cyberdemon is the stuff nightmares are made of. Before Resident Evil had the Tyrant, Doom had the Cyberdemon. He was a hulking weapon of mass destruction. ProTip: Shoot ’til it dies.


THE SPIDER MASTERMIND: Ever since I was a kid, I hated spiders. Just hate the buggers. They make my skin crawl. So when I first came across the Spider Mastermind, I probably screamed like a little girl [I have no doubt you did -Ed.]. Thank goodness for small favors — at least ol’ Spidey wields a chaingun and not the plasma gun. That’s one big motherfukken spider, indeed.

With such deadly demons and maniacal monsters milling about the hellhole, you’re going to need more than quick feet and wit to survive this apocalypse. You’re gonna need top-of-the-line artillery to give you even a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning. Which brings us to…


You start the game out with your fist and a standard military-issue pistol. You better find some upgrades quickly or you’ll become dinner even quicker!


CHAINSAW: Anyone who has ever seen the Texas Chainsaw Massacre will smile at the inclusion of this death instrument. Perfect for confined areas, the chainsaw will bring out the Leatherface in you. The only bad thing is it doesn’t actually slice demons in two. Guess you can’t have it all.


SHOTGUN: One of the most iconic and memorable weapons in video gaming history. Blowing away zombie soldiers and imps with the shotgun was immensely satisfying. From the sound effect to the reloading animation, the shotgun delivers the good.


CHAINGUN: Take your pistol’s puny bullets, and pump them out rapid fire, and suddenly you’ve got a formidable weapon of choice. Pull the trigger and watch the monsters of Hell do one hell of a dance number.


ROCKET LAUNCHER: Pure destruction. A specialty weapon in every respect of the word, this can either make your day, or make your grave. Few things rival the sheer joy of watching demons explode into a quivering bloody mess. Just make sure you’re not standing nearby!


PLASMA GUN: The “perfect” weapon. The plasma gun has it all: speed, strength and style. As an added bonus, it’s just strong enough to potentially blow the weaker enemies into tiny bloody bits — making this the preferred weapon of Doom 90% of the time.


THE BFG 9000: Here is the mother of all shooting game guns.. the BIG FUCKIN’ GUN. Excuse my language, but with a weapon this destructive, it simply cannot be censored or contained. It eats up a lot of ammo, but fire this baby and admire how it can take out an entire room of demons. Besides, any gun that can kill a Baron of Hell in one shot is definitely badass.


Much was sacrificed, but it’s still an admirable effort
Yeah, things get pixelated but what do you expect?
Yeah, things get pixelated but what do you expect?
The SNES port captures Doom's essence
The SNES port does a nice job capturing the essence
The nooks and crannies made me feel uneasy...
The nooks and crannies made me feel uneasy…
This part still gets to me to this day!
Even to this day, this has me on the edge of my seat
It adds a lot to the game's tense atmosphere
It adds a lot to the game’s tense atmosphere
Screw aiming up or down. If you can see it you can kill it
No aiming up or down. If you can see it you can kill it
It never gets old blasting an imp up close with a shotgun
It never gets old blasting an imp up close
Toxic barrels only added to the fun and chaos of Doom
Toxic barrels only added to the fun and chaos
What a way to let off some steam at the end of a long hard day!
Nice way to let off some steam after a long hard day!
Never forget the time I turned around and a demon was chomping on my face
Once I turned around and a demon bit on my face
Ol' pinky has gotten all of us at one point or another
Pinky has gotten all of us at one point or another
What they lack in style points they make up in survival %
They sure brighten up your day
... and after
… and after
Remember experiencing this for the first time? Incredible
Remember experiencing this for the first time?
You just had to be there in 1993. Amazing memory
You just had to be there in 1993. Good times
Remember gawking at your handiwork while admiring the computer's glow?
Who didn’t stop to admire their handiwork for a bit?
[Ya know... I was gonna say something but naaah -Ed.]
[Ya know… I was gonna say something but naaah -Ed.]
Demons lurk on both sides but you're more concerned with what lies ahead
This must be Hell’s version of the green mile…
Seeing this back in '93 made me nearly crap my pants!
Seeing this back in ’93 made me crap my pants!
Its design, its roar, its debut... thanks for the nightmares
Its design, its roar… thanks for the nightmares
... well, you know who. Love the Baron's death animation
You know who. Love the Baron’s death animation
The ending of Episode 1 always creep me out...
The ending of Episode 1 never failed to creep me out


Oh I sure hope you have more than a lowly pistol...
Oh I sure hope you have more than a lowly pistol…
An upside down cross in that demonic block looms ahead
Including an upside down cross — yikes!
The source of many jump scares over the years
Indeed, the source of many jump scares over the years
It's an adrenaline rush to kill 10 demons in as many seconds
It’s a rush to pump lead into a room full of monsters
Little details like this made Doom one memorable affair
Little details like this made Doom a memorable affair
You know it's bad when Barons start appearing regularly
You know it’s bad when Barons  appear regularly
You'll especially need it on Ultra Violence or NIGHTMARE
You’re gonna need it, soldier


Get this, not the US version
Get this version instead if you can

Years ago I happened to wonder whether the Japanese version of SNES Doom was any different than its US counterpart. The reasons being twofold. Number one: I recall fondly discovering that the Japanese version of Sega Saturn Doom was released later than its US version and had an improved frame rate. What really hampers SNES Doom in my opinion is the complete lack of a password or save system. At least Wolfenstein 3D gave us passwords level to level. That increases the likelihood that I’ll tinker with a game long after I’ve finished it. It’s always fun to go back to a random level and muck around, after all. Well, SNES Doom afforded you no such luxury. You had to beat the game in one sitting. All 22 levels. That’s a 3-5 hour task for most. It’s just too much. So when I found out the Japanese version of SNES Doom was released in March 1996, a full six months after the US release, I became real curious. Scouring the net for information, I read that the Japanese version does indeed have some noteworthy differences compared to the American version — making the Japanese version superior. Unfortunately, the frame rate remains much the same, but there were still some pretty cool differences. Here, let’s take a closer look at the two versions.

Choose your difficulty level on either US or Japanese version
Choice of difficulty level!
US version
US version
Japanese version
Japanese version

In a nutshell, the main difference between the Japanese and North American version is that the NA port restricts which episode you can start off in. Sure, you can start off in The Shores of Hell or Inferno on the NA port, but the game punishes you by forcing you to select Ultra Violence or Nightmare. And since you start off an episode with only your bare hands and a pistol, it’s essentially a suicide mission. You might as well forget about even trying.

The Japanese version, on the other hand, allows you to start on the last episode even on the easiest difficulty level (I’m Too Young To Die). Although it’s still lacking a save or password system, at least it helps to SOMEWHAT mitigate this glaring flaw of having to beat all 22 levels in one sitting. For this fact alone, the Japanese version is the one to get for diehard SNES fans who simply must have Doom in their 16-bit game library.


Doom has etched its mark in gaming lore. I love it to this day
Doom has etched its mark in gaming lore. I love it still

PC Doom needs no backing. Its place in gaming history has long been cemented, and it’ll be fondly remembered long after all of us are gone. But how did the Super Nintendo port fare? For the most part, people either backed it or they hated it. Gamers either cited the port as an incredible 16-bit effort and a small miracle, or bashed it, questioning the reasoning behind even bringing this over to the SNES as late in its lifespan as it did. EGM was in the latter camp, as they gave it mediocre scores of 5, 55.5, and 6. GameFan was plenty more generous and impressed, rating it 89, 92 and 95%. Super Play Magazine scored it 92% and ranked it as the 17th best SNES game in their Top 100 Best SNES Games list. SNES Doom was one of those love or hate affairs. You either get it for what it is, or hate it for what it isn’t.


Doom is a quintessential, seminal first person shooter for the ages
A quintessential first person shooter for the ages

As I sit here thinking of the times I’ve had with DOOM over the years, both good and bad, I can’t help but just smile. Doom blazed an amazing trail. It was the first game that really made me feel like I was the character himself. It was an intense, gripping and unrivaled experience. Doom always had me on the edge of my seat. The SNES version is one that I have grown to appreciate and genuinely like as time has gone on. When I first played it in ’95 I thought it was a steaming pile of horse crap. But when I revisited it years later as a young adult, I realized it’s no small programming feat, and when viewed entirely on its own, it’s actually quite good. It captures the spirit and essence of Doom nicely, and that’s what ultimately matters. Graphics took a hit, naturally, but are still serviceable. On the bright side, the music is stellar! It really adds to the tense atmosphere of the game.

Sometimes you learn to appreciate a game as time goes by
The SNES port captures Doom‘s bleeding heart

Other than the annoying few instances where you creep along a wall and get “stuck” to it, the game plays surprisingly well. It’s by no means the definitive version of Doom, but for the SNES it’s impressive. There seems to be two camps: those who enjoy SNES Doom, and those who hate it. It depends on whether you look at it for what it is, or if you look at it for what it isn’t. When I first played the SNES version in 1995, I was looking at everything it wasn’t, compared to the original PC king. But when I replayed it some 15 years later, I did so consciously from a posture of “Let’s see what it does do well rather than what it doesn’t.” And I found myself pleasantly surprised when approaching it from that angle. While I still prefer the SNES port of Wolfenstein 3D (it plays a bit more smoothly), I genuinely feel that this port of Doom doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Although I understand where the critics are coming from, I like to view it from this perspective: is Doom a quality Super Nintendo game or not? My answer to that is a resounding yes. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go blast some demon ass to Kingdom Come!

Graphics: 7
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8.5
Longevity: 7

Award3Overall: 8.5
Double Silver Award

Nothing like playing Doom in the dark
Nothing like playing Doom late at night in the dark…