1001 Video GamesDoom II: Hell on Earth appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Boss' Sound FileIf you play the boss' sound file backwards, it says "To win the game, you must beat me, John Romero." John Romero is one of the developers.
Columbine High-School ShootingWhile it's a well-known fact today, it is worth mentioning that after the much-publicized Columbine high-school shooting, DOOM II became a showcase for media finger-pointing and for a collective lawsuit by parents of teenagers killed in the shooting. The reason was that Klebold and Harris were both into DOOM and Quake, and Harris even made some amateur levels for DOOM II. He went under the names RebDooMer, Rebldomakr and Rebdomine, and hosted a set of WADs on AOL. In his AOL profile he listed himself as a "professional DOOM and DOOM II creator", although all of his WADs appeared to be for DOOM II, mostly deathmatch, and he was not paid for them. The most polished one is UACLABS, which is a simple pair of levels for DOOM II. They are short, crude but entertaining, and give no clue as to Harris' later actions; the architecture does not appear to be that of Columbine High School. Harris' AOL directory, which was mirrored at http://columbine.free2host.net/aolhp.html, also includes what appears to be a menu image reading "Quake Files", although no Harris-designed Quake levels have surfaced; he seems to have hosted a Quake level designed by another person, and a utility for viewing and altering Quake sprites. Harris seemed to lose interest in DOOM at the end of 1996. The text file for Bricks.wad credits "My good friend Dylan Klebold for helping me play-test this WAD", although as before it bears no resemblance to real-life architecture.
It is rumored that Harris made some levels which bear an uncanny resemblance to Columbine High School. According to the rumor, Harris and his friend Klebold modeled the levels after the school, filled it with enemies meant to represent students and teachers, and played through it again and again...until the day they decided to do it for real.
DevelopmentMAP10: Refueling Base, was originally started by Tom Hall as a level in the original DOOM, and even appeared as E1M6 in DOOM 0.5, but did not make it to the final game. Instead, it was completed by Sandy Petersen for this game.
DOSBox ControversyThe Steam download version of the game is listed as running on Windows 2000/XP/Vista because the executables are modified to use a DOSBox variant (v 0.70); additionally the traditional setup.exe is missing. It is confirmed that neither Valve nor id Software contacted the DOSBox project staff and initially the game didn't even include the txt files that must be present under the GPL license (so they failed to fulfill 2 points of the GPL license). Two days after the launch, there was an update that included COPYING, AUTHORS and THANKS.txt of DOSBox 0.71.
ESRB RatingsDOOM II was the first game to be rated by the ESRB, as its predecessor naturally inspired it due to the violence controversy.
German RatingsOn December 31, 1994, DOOM II was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. Indexed products by the BPjS/BPjM are illegal to sell or make available to minors in Germany and it is illegal to advertise for it in any form. But there is absolutely no law forbidding any adult to buy such a product. The only exception is when a game was in addition also confiscated (or put on the so-called "List B" for BPjM games), but this is rather seldom the case. In this particularly case here, DOOM II was just indexed, but not confiscated. However, due to the fact that advertisement also means the presence of a product on the shelves of a store, the product will disappear from the public. But it can be bought in supporting stores "under the desk" (per request).
The Game Boy Advance version is the only one not banned in Germany, as the color of blood in that version was changed to green in an attempt to preserve the GBA's kid-friendly reputation.
- Like in its predecessor, some soundtracks in DOOM II are similar and were likely inspired to be created after songs by famous heavy metal bands. For example, the soundtrack for the first level, Entryway, is similar to Megadeth's Hangar 18, the soundtrack for MAP07: Dead Simple is very similar to South of Heaven by Slayer.
- DOOM II has a few references to Ultima games. One of the quit messages is "You want to quit? Then, thou hast lost an eighth!", which is a reference to Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, and the automap title of MAP11: Circle of Death is The 'O' of Destruction, which is a reference to the Ultima VII weapon Hoe of Destruction.
- In MAP13: Downtown, a very big black building can be seen. id Software's offices in Texas are in a building that looks like this one.
- MAP21: Nirvana may be an homage to Kurt Cobain and the band Nirvana. Cobain committed suicide the same year DOOM II was released and used a shotgun to do so. As a possible reference, the level starts out with a double barreled shotgun in front of the player.
- The final boss of the game shoots out cubes, which contain demons, from his brain. This is similar to how Satan gives birth to his daughter Sin in John Milton's Paradise Lost, where she is born out of his head (a parthenogenesis based on Zeus and his daughter, Athena).
Retail ReleaseDOOM II actually preceded the retail release of its predecessor. While the shareware version of DOOM was available before DOOM II's box release, it wasn't until the release of The Ultimate DOOM in 1995 that the full version of DOOM was finally available on retail shelves.
Secret LevelsDOOM II features two secret levels. Both pay homage to earlier id Software titles. MAP31: Wolfenstein (accessible from MAP15: Industrial Zone) is a recreation of the first level of the first episode of id's Wolfenstein 3D using the DOOM engine. The map layout is almost identical. Even the secret areas from the original game can be found in the same places, and some additional secret areas have been added. The brown-uniformed guards from the original are replaced by blue-uniformed SS troopers (complete with re-recordings of their original exclamations "Schutzstaffel!" and "Mein Leben!") and dogs are replaced by pinky demons.
When using the secret exit (also present in the original), MAP32: Grosse can be accessed. This is a recreation of the last level of Wolfenstein 3D's first episode. The end boss Hans Grosse (hence the level name) is replaced by a Cyberdemon. In the room behind him, there is another reference to an earlier id title: four Commander Keens are hanging by their necks on ropes. They have to be shot and killed to reveal the button that exits the level. The sound effects heard when shooting at them are renditions of PC speaker effects from the first three Commander Keen games. According to John Romero (source), this gag was artist Adrian Carmack's idea, who never wanted to work on Keen again.
Both levels also feature music taken from Wolfenstein 3D, rearranged from the original FM sound to General MIDI.
The levels are missing from the version of the game sold in Germany due to restrictions on the use of swastikas and other Nazi symbols. The Game Boy Advance version does feature the levels, but removes all Nazi symbolism.
Sound EffectsThe shee-koufff noise heard when the final boss spawns a flying cube has been continuously used since the game's release, in TV shows, movies and commercials. It is not known whether id actually created this sound effect or that it existed before DOOM II.
TechnologyThe DOOM II engine has some minor speedups over the original DOOM engine. Removed, however, is the low-res option that made 386 gameplay possible.
User Created Content
- The jDoom port features a 1024x768x32 resolution with dynamic colored lighting, completely customizable controls, mouselook, and 3D sound. See the related sites section for a link.
- The US Marine Core created their own DOOM II WAD files for training in four-player co-op levels. More information was available at http://www.tec.army.mil/TD/tvd/survey/Marine_Doom.html .
Xbox releaseIn April 2005 a full port of this game was brought to Xbox as part of the DOOM³ (Limited Collector's Edition) special edition.
- Computer Gaming World
- 1994 - Game of the Year
- PC Gamer
- 1994 - Game of the Year
- Power Play
- Issue 02/1995 – Best Doom Clone in 1994