Doom II

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Doom II
Doom II - Hell on Earth Coverart.png
The cover artwork for Doom II, painted by fantasy artist Brom, depicts the Doom space marine firing a shotgun at a Cyberdemon.
Developer(s)id Software[a]
Publisher(s)GT Interactive Software[b]
Designer(s)Sandy Petersen
Shawn Green
American McGee
Programmer(s)John Carmack
John Romero
Dave Taylor
Artist(s)Adrian Carmack
Kevin Cloud
Composer(s)Robert Prince
Engineid Tech 1
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Doom II: Hell on Earth is a first-person shooter game by id Software.[1] It was originally released for MS-DOS computers in 1994 and Macintosh computers in 1995. Unlike the original Doom, which was initially only available through shareware and mail order, Doom II was sold in stores. Master Levels for Doom II, an expansion pack with 21 new levels, was released on December 26, 1995.[2]

Doom II was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002, on Xbox Live Arcade in 2010,[3][4] and on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2019.[5] The release of the Doom source code has facilitated ports to many other platforms, including IOS and other cellphone systems.


The Super Shotgun in use

Doom II was not dramatically different from its predecessor. There were no major technological developments, graphical improvements, or substantial gameplay changes. Instead, the development team took advantage of advances in computer hardware since the release of the original game that allowed them to do more with their game engine by making much larger and more intricate levels. The game still consists of the player navigating large nonlinear levels. Each level is infested with demons that can be killed with a variety of weapons that can be picked up throughout the game. Levels are completed by finding an exit, whether it be a switch or a teleporter; the goal is simply to advance to the next area. As with its predecessor, Doom II's levels can be completed in a straightforward fashion. However, because the levels are nonlinear players can wander off the beaten path, and those that do are often rewarded with bonuses, like health pickups and more powerful weapons. Due to the larger and more complicated maps with larger groups of monsters, the game had somewhat higher system requirements than the original.

Rather than the player playing through three related episodes as in the first Doom, gameplay takes place over 32 levels (two of which are secret levels that can be accessed from level 15), albeit with interludes for when the story develops. Instead of watching the player's progress on a map (as in the original episodes of Doom), the screens between each level simply show a background (a style carried over to the bonus fourth episode of Doom available in The Ultimate Doom, the retail re-release of the original Doom). This also means the player is never forced to lose all of their inventory after completing an episode.

Doom II doubled the number of non-boss monster types and started using bosses from the original Doom as normal level enemies, in addition to adding a new weapon, the Super Shotgun (a very powerful double-barreled shotgun), and a new power-up, the Megasphere.


Doom's multiplayer functionality was greatly improved in Doom II, including "out of the box" support for a vastly increased number of dial-up modems. The two-player dial-up connection allowed one player to dial into the other player's computer in order to play either cooperatively or in deathmatch-style combat. There was also Local area network (LAN) functionality added, which was improved upon as patches and updates were released. This functionality was later incorporated into the original Doom. As with the original Doom, multiplayer games used to be played using the dial-up or LAN by the internal setup program (setup.exe), through the online service DWANGO or with once-popular programs like Kali and Kahn (using SPX) in Windows 95. Nowadays, in the modern standards, Doom II can be played with almost any version of Windows across the internet using third-party source ports such as Odamex,[6] Zandronum,[7] ZDaemon,[8] and are still popular today.[9] The Xbox Live Arcade port of Doom II supports online multiplayer via Xbox Live.


The continuous 30 levels are divided into four areas; UAC Underground, UAC's Starport (Hellish Outpost), City, and Hell.

Immediately following the events in Doom, the player once again assumes the role of Doomguy. After defeating the Spider Mastermind, the demons of hell open a portal to Earth for the marine, as he has "proven too tough for Hell to contain". After returning to Earth, the marine finds that it has also been invaded by the demons, who have killed billions of people.[10][11]

The humans who survived the attack have developed a plan to build massive spaceships which will carry the remaining survivors into space. Unfortunately, Earth's only ground spaceport has been taken over by the demons, who placed a flame barrier over it, preventing any ships from leaving.[10] The marine battles hordes of demons and is able to deactivate the force field, allowing the remaining humans to escape. Once all the survivors have escaped Earth, the marine is the only human left on the planet.[12]

Just as he sits down to await death, knowing that he saved humanity, the marine then receives an off-planet transmission from the survivors in orbit, who have managed to find out where the armies of Hell are coming from. The message reveals that the demonic base is in the center of the marine's own hometown. He then fights through the city until he reaches the base, but sees there is no way to stop the invasion on that side. He decides to step into the portal to try deactivating it from the other side, entering Hell.

After fighting through the hordes of Hell, the marine reaches the location of the biggest demon he has ever seen, called the Icon of Sin (Baphomet). He kills the Icon of Sin by firing rockets into its exposed brain. Its death causes devastation on Hell, and the portal to Earth is sealed. The marine wonders where evil people will go when they die now that Hell has been destroyed, and reflects that rebuilding the world will be more fun than saving it as he begins his journey back home.


Most of the levels were designed by Sandy Petersen,[13] with American McGee playing a significant role as well. The final level, Icon of Sin, contains an easter egg where two of the artists put the decapitated head of John Romero as the sprite hidden behind the icon on the wall which must be damaged by rocket splash damage three times to win the game. Romero, while playing the level to work on its sound effects, accidentally stumbled upon this in-joke of himself. After realising what his co-workers had done, Romero himself answered by recording his voice saying "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero", putting it through various filters to distort it, then reverse the recording to create the "demonic chant" spoken by the head upon spotting the player.[14][15] The photo that was scanned for the "John Romero's head"-sprite was from a Businessweek photo shot in 1994.[16]


An Atari Jaguar port was announced in early 1995 but it was never released.[17] Likewise, a 3DO Interactive Multiplayer version was announced to be in development by Art Data Interactive, but it never materialized.[18][19][20]

Doom II was first released on October 10, 1994 (one of the days of the Doomsday rule and exactly ten months after the original), in both North America and Europe.[21][22][23]


Master Levels for Doom II[edit]

Master Levels for Doom II is an official expansion pack for Doom II which was released on December 26, 1995 by id Software. The CD contains 20 WAD files created by various authors under contract. There was also an additional bonus called Maximum Doom consisting of 3,000 homebrew levels.[24]

No Rest for the Living[edit]

No Rest for the Living is the title of an expansion pack developed by Nerve Software for the release of Doom II on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360. It consists of eight regular levels and one secret level. It is also included in the 2012 Doom II release from Doom 3: BFG Edition, as part of Doom Classic Complete for the PlayStation Network, and has been released as a free add-on for the 2019 Unity engine port of Doom II.



According to David Kushner in Masters of Doom, id Software shipped 600,000 units of Doom II to stores in preparation for its launch. This initial shipment sold out within a month on shelves, despite its being expected to last for three months.[25] Pre-orders for the game were so massive that it was difficult to buy from a store. The game products were displayed on pallets rather than shelves.[26] The game was the United States' highest-selling computer title of 1994.[27] It placed 10th for 1996, with 322,671 units sold and $12.6 million earned in the region that year alone.[28]

In the United States, Doom II was the third-best-selling computer game between 1993 and 1999, with 1.55 million units sold during that period.[29] Its revenues in that country ultimately reached $80 million, while those in Europe reached $20 million. Of the latter figure, Kushner wrote that "30 percent [...] came from Germany—a country that had banned the game from its shelves."[25]

Critical reviews[edit]

Aggregate score
MetacriticPC: 83/100[30]
GBA: 77/100[31]
X360: 77/100[32]
Review scores
AllGame4/5 stars[33]
GameSpot8.5 /10 (PC)[36]
GameSpy4.5/5 stars (GBA)[37]
Next Generation3/5 stars[34]
PC PowerPlay3/10 (Master Levels)[35]
MacUser4/5 stars[38]
Entertainment WeeklyA[39]

The reception of Doom II was positive, with reviewers saying it refined everything that made the original Doom good.[40] According to Dragon, "if mindless but intense carnage is what you want, you'll get your money's worth. It's not just a must-have game; it's a keep-on-the-hard-drive-forever game. If you need to have more Doom, get this."[41]

Writer/game designer Chris Crawford used the level "Barrels O' Fun" to illustrate a point about death in video games, explaining he chose the level as his example because it is "one of the most complex and sophisticated challenges in one of the very best games of the 1990s".[42]

Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Now that the first person interface has become the design of choice for the entire industry, Id will need to find new innovations, or it will quickly find it's playing catch-up in its own game niche."[34]


Doom II won the Origins Award for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game of 1994.[43]


  1. ^ Nerve Software ported the game to Xbox 360.
  2. ^ The European MS-DOS version, Game Boy Advance and Xbox 360 versions were published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Activision and Bethesda Softworks respectively.
  3. ^ Some online sources point to a September 30, 1994 release date, but that date refers to when the game shipped. The October 10, 1994 date refers to the actual release date of the game.


  1. ^ "1994 - Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design, List of Winners". Archived from the original on June 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
  2. ^ Larsen, Henrik; John W. "Dr.Sleep" Anderson; Jim Flynn; Shawn Green; Chris Klie; Sverre Kvernmo; Ledmeister; Rez; Rob Hayward; Tom Mustaine; John Romero. "The Un-official Master Levels for Doom II FAQ". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
  3. ^ Brahmin, Mad. "Shacknews". Shacknews. Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  4. ^ Jim Reilly. "IGN". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  5. ^ Craddock, Ryan (2019-07-26). "The Original DOOM, DOOM II And DOOM 3 Have All Surprise Launched On Nintendo Switch". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  6. ^ "Online Multiplayer Doom, Doom 2, and Quex Quest". 2013-02-19. Archived from the original on 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  7. ^ "Zandronum - Multiplayer ZDoom". Archived from the original on 2013-03-02. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  8. ^ "Online Multiplayer Doom -". Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  9. ^ "Classic Doom Online". Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  10. ^ a b Transcripts from printed manuals by Ledmeister. "DOOMTEXT.HTM: Storylines for Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Doom 64". Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  11. ^ Lombardi, Chris (July 1994). "To Hell and Back Again". Computer Gaming World. pp. 20–24.
  12. ^ Tim Brastow (May 13, 2009). "Doom II FAQ/Walkthrough". Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  13. ^ "Does John Romero Still Enjoy Shooting People?". Next Generation. No. 30. Imagine Media. June 1997. p. 10.
  14. ^ Romero, John (September 5–7, 2013). "John Romero talks about being the final boss in Doom 2". YouTube (Live interview). Salt Lake Comic Con, 2013.CS1 maint: location (link)
  15. ^ "Real speech of Icon of Sin". YouTube. December 28, 2010.
  16. ^ Romero, John [@romero] (December 11, 2014). "The Icon of Sin, original scan of my head from a Businessweek photo shoot in 1994. Not the exact pic, but from then" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ "Scene: Atari '95 - Eine Auswahl an geplanten Titeln". Mega Fun (in German). No. 28. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. January 1995. p. 22. Archived from the original on 2020-07-30.
  18. ^ "E-3 The Biggest And Best Electronic Entertainment Show Ever! – '95 Next Generation Software Listing". GameFan. Vol. 3 no. 7. July 1995. p. 41.
  19. ^ "Preview – Coming Soon". 3DO Magazine. No. 10. Paragon Publishing. May 1996. pp. 33–34.
  20. ^ "Preview – Coming Soon". 3DO Magazine. No. 12. Paragon Publishing. July 1996. pp. 33–34.
  21. ^ Nuttycombs, Dave (October 10, 1994). "PAC-MAN, TETRIS -- AND NOW IT'S DOOM'S DAY". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  22. ^ Dransfield, Ian (October 18, 2014). "Doom 2: Hell on Earth turns 20 years old this week, and it's still great". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  23. ^ "Out of the Blue". Blue's News. October 10, 1998. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  24. ^ "Master Levels for Doom II (1994)". id Software. Archived from the original on February 4, 1998.
  25. ^ a b Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created An Empire And Transformed Pop Culture. Random House. 182, 210. ISBN 0-375-50524-5.
  26. ^ Online Game Pioneers at Work, p. 251
  27. ^ Pitta, Julia (March 23, 1995). "News Analysis: Playing the Interactive Game". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 2, 2017.
  28. ^ Miller, Greg (March 3, 1997). "Myst Opportunities: Game Makers Narrow Their Focus to Search for the Next Blockbuster". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016.
  29. ^ IGN Staff (November 1, 1999). "PC Data Top Games of All Time". IGN. Archived from the original on March 2, 2000. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  30. ^ "DOOM II for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  31. ^ "Doom II for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  32. ^ "DOOM II for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  33. ^ House, Matthew. "Doom II - Overview". Allgame. All Media Guide. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  34. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 1. Imagine Media. January 1995. p. 94.
  35. ^ D., E. (May 1996). "Master Levels for Doom II". PC PowerPlay (1): 62.
  36. ^ Gamespot Staff (May 1, 1996). "Doom II Review (GameSpot)". GameSpot. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  37. ^ Fryman, Avi (October 26, 2002). "GameSpy: Doom II". GameSpy. Archived from the original on October 30, 2004. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  38. ^ LeVitus, Bob (March 1996). "The Game Room". MacUser. Archived from the original on February 21, 2001. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  39. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (October 28, 1994). "PC Game Review: 'Doom II: Hell on Earth'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  40. ^ "Doom II for PC". GameRankings. 1994-09-30. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  41. ^ Cook, David (April 1995). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (216): 63–66.
  42. ^ Crawford, Chris (May 1996). "The Way Games Ought to Be". Next Generation. No. 17. Imagine Media. pp. 126–7.
  43. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1994)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-18.

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