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Idiot’s Guide to Old-school Doom and BrutalDoom on Windows 8/10

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UPDATE FOR SCREENSHOTS IN-GAME 11/11/16

You might have seen our test video of Brutal Doom or you might have heard of Brutal Doom. Maybe you have been wondering how to play your legal copy of Doom on your current systems with Windows 8 or 10. This article is for you, my friend.

I should point out that I got my start in this because of this site, but the article you are currently reading will be more in-depth. I’d like to think this will be more detailed, easier to read, and add in some configuration options that I found helpful.

I will only be focusing on setting up single-player games. I haven’t tested any online or network play with Doomseeker. Regardless, this will get you to the point where you can experiment with it on your own.

Before we start, always be careful about downloading and installing files onto your computer. You recognize that these files could cause your system irreparable harm. RCandOP does not own, did not create, nor does it take any responsibility for these files.

You will need the following:

  • A legal copy of Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, and/or The Ultimate Doom.
    • This procedure will also work for Heretic or Hexen, but I will not focus on these
    • You can also legally play without these files, but I will not focus on this either. To do this, download this Brutal Doom file instead of the one discussed below.
  • Zandronum
    • There are other programs that might work better, but this is the only one I’ll focus on for the moment
  • Brutal Doom (main file only)

To start, install Zandronum. This is a utility that lets you play old-school Doom on current systems. It also has a server browser and other great features.

zandronum_install

The default is fine. Just click through. It will create a shortcut on the Desktop.

Next, you can install your version of Doom or simply copy certain files from your installation media. With any luck, this is probably the hardest part of this. All you need are the WAD files – doom.wad, DOOM2.WAD, and plutonia.wad. You can use any or all of these. Simply copy them into the Zandronum folder (default C:\Program Files (x86)\Zandronum )

doom_cdrom

I have this CD-ROM. I can actually just browse the disk in File Explorer and pull out the files I need. If you have your game installed in Steam, there are a couple things you can do to find them.

  • Windows search (WindowsKey+s) for doom.wad. Right click the file that comes up and select “Open File Location”

windows_search

  • Browse to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Doom 2\base or C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Ultimate Doom\base or C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Final Doom\base and get the WAD Files
  • As discussed earlier, you can play without having Doom by downloading the Hell on Earth Starter Starter Pack (Complete)

Lastly, open up the Brutal Doom zip file and extract the .pk3 file directly into the Zandronum folder. When you’re finished, it should look something like this (I have a couple other WAD Files that you don’t necessarily need)

file_manager

After you’ve finished the above, you are basically done. The only thing that’s left is to customize your gameplay. Run Zandronum using the Desktop shortcut or doomseeker.exe in the Doomseeker folder. I use the shortcut. You can simply launch using zandronum.exe but you are missing out on some configuration options that I like. After running Doomseeker, click the “Create Game” button. You can close Doomseeker after Zandronum opens.

doomseeker

This is where the fun starts. The window that pops up doesn’t really need any customization other than choosing your IWAD and adding in the Brutal Doom package. Under the IWAD section, click the three dots and choose the wad file from the game you want to play. We’ll start with Doom 2 for this, so choose DOOM2.WAD. Since you’ve copied all of those files into your Zandronum folder, they should be easy to find.

After that, click the +Add button near the bottom and choose brutalv20b.pk3. You CAN add other WAD Files here, but I’ve had some issues that prevent the game from launching when having other files added in, even if they are deselected.

zandronum

Lastly, click Play Offline and you should be dropped into the game.

Grab a jar of Memberberries because you’ll need ’em. You’ll instantly notice a lot of great features and additions. =)

When you’re ready, hit ESC and go into the options. You’ll definitely want to change a couple things:

  • Display Options>Blood Type and Bullet Puff type to Particles
  • Display Options>OpenGL Options>Texture Options>Enable HiRes Textures and Texture Format
  • Set Video Mode (resolution options)
  • Customize Controls because there are a LOT of new options.

brutaldoom-texture_options

These are the options that worked best for me. I don’t have a super-great system right now and this was a lot of guess and test, but don’t be afraid to get in there.

After getting all that, here are some hints while playing.

  • Upon getting into the game, hit ESC and start a new game. That will let you choose difficulty and whether you want the modern or classic Doom guy. Classic is just the way you remember, while modern has new weapons, dual-wield on some weapons, secondary weapon options, grenades, and the kicks.
  • There are new difficulties and they are not fucking around. There’s a reason they are at the end.
  • You have a small jump. It doesn’t make much difference in most places, but you can use it to your advantage in some important cases
  • You can push barrels and explosions have a tendency to do a type of backdraft. When you might have been safe from an explosion before, new physics might let the explosion tentacle towards you. Be wary!
  • Default settings have certain weapons set to the same button, and selecting them depends on how many times you hit them. For example, modern Doom guy has a machine gun on his pistol button. After picking up another machine gun (which just counts as ammo normally), you can dual-wield these guns. Also, shotgun and super shotgun are both set to 3.

zandronum-2016-11-05-09-56-28-22

  • The default mouse-aim is very nice, but it takes a little bit to get used to. I would suggest turning on the aiming reticle in the options. Also, modern Doom guy can right-click and aim down the sights of many weapons.
  • Just because it falls down does not necessarily mean it’s dead! Pinky can get his arm torn off and it may look like he’s going to die, but he’ll pause for a second then come charging back after you. Rocket launchers can knock guys off of their feet, only to see them get up and attack you moments later. Lastly, guys will fall to their knees and scream. You can execute them. If you do not, there is a chance they will just stand up and start attacking you again
  • IF you want to take in-game screenshots, you should install into a different folder than Program Files(x86). I would suggest making a new folder in your My Documents section.