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Chapter 5: Sourcewhat? Sourceports!

Doom Legacy
Next to Doom Legacy there has been a huge amount of other source-ports: Doom Legacy, ZDoom, PRBoom, SplitDoom, GZDoom, Doom64Ex, jDoom, Doom95, Doomsday

It was the summer of '69 1998, my friend Acidflash31 called me at home (yes, no mobile phones in the late 90's, so he had to do the casual parent-gate procedure: "Hello, this is Boris, is Daniel at home?") and he was totally excited and talking as on steroids: "Dude, I found something! Doom! With better resolution! For Windows! And you even can play it in Splitscreen on one computer!" At first I thought he was kidding me, so I had no expectations when I took my bike and drove the 5 kilometers from home to my friend's flat. Good lord, the surprise was overwhelming.


If you are used to 320 x 200 pixels, a cap of 35 frames per second and playing Doom in multiplayer over a serial modem connection to a phone line that got instantly broken if someone from the family did a call on a second phone in the house, Doom Legacy was a revelaton: Higher resolutions, a heads-up-display, mouselook and a 2-player splitscreen mode for multiplayer deathmatch or coop games. What an amazing thing!

We always wanted to play Doom together but LAN parties haven't been an option without an IPX networks card and on top my father was not happy with considering that his business computer was used in a dark and clammy cellar. And now we finally could do exactly that on a single computer. We played it all together: The original games in cooperative mode, deathmatch in MAP01 and MAP07 of Doom 2, some maps from the Legacy creators themselves or other megawads like Gothic Deathmatch for example or one of the TeamTNT deathmatch megawards. And even though we suffered the problem hitting too many keys on the keyboard at once resulted in beeps and frozen conztols, we somehow arranged ourselves and had a really amazing time playing Doom together on one single machine.

On top of the possibilities from a player's perspective, we also gained information when it came to editing. Doom Legacy was the first Boom port we got our hands on and the new engine features were already quite impressive: colored sector lights, water effects or silent teleportation. After playing around with other sourceports like Dosdoom and WinDoom, we came across a variant that turned into a gamechanger for us: ZDoom.

Doom Legacy Split Screen

KURT KESSLER's Milestones

Kurt Kessler's KZDoom
One thing I can remember from the old ZDoom page from where I got my version 1.22 was, that one of the featured demo maps was Kurt Kessler's KZDoom, the very first installment of a series with 7 maps in total. The quality of new features was beyond everything I have seen before in a Doom mod and the potential of ACS was unlimited. I was fighting my way through this single map, encountering totally new mechanics that changed the way I experienced Doom. I was used to keyhunts, doors, elevators and nukage pits. And now? Did anyone of you ever expect an earthquake to happen at the very end of such a map?

A discovery responsible for a new level of motivation for me. But for my friend Acidflash31, he started to loose interest in - what he was calling back then a - "retro game" and moved on with his Playstation 2, destined to be more a player from now on. I was sad loosing him as a companion for this 'weird hobby' but we stood still friends for a long time.

On the contrariy, I was inspired by the complexity of this sourceport. The additional features being added almost every month encouraged me to start over again with mapping myself again, finally something that I am going to finish and to release after all of my failures. I got myself ZETH and started right off. The first try called TZDoom (shamelessly inspired by Kurt) was already a nice start but got wasted due to a hardware crash (thanks to Chen Ing Hau for nothing, don't ask how funny my father found his motherboard broken). And then out of nowhere, Newdoom.com announced the Wad in a Week Contest in December 2000...


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