Phobos Throwback: Doom Reborn Total Conversion

Doom Reborn is a mega-mod, with the sole aim of proving that the shotgun sound effect in Doom is more exciting than the entirety of Doom 3*. To achieve this goal, a team of modders (currently consisting of the contrarily named duo, GameHacKeR and Brent) are reconstructing Doom and Doom 2 in the idTech4 engine. I think they might be on to something. During the hour of footage below, edit: the shotgun can be heard punctuating the action with its signature ‘BOOM CH-CHCK’ the shotgun sound hasn’t been replaced at all**. Some would argue that the shotgun sound was outdone by its own sequel, Doom 2’s super shotgun, which went ‘BOOOM CA-KLUNK-CA’. If memory serves, the Doom 3 shotgun went ‘PFFFFFFFFT’ and the pistol simply uttered quiet apologies whenever the trigger was pulled.

Doom Reborn is pre-beta is available now.

Perhaps you’d care to argue that the superior level design and pacing in the original Doom games are more important than the weapon sound effects? That’s all here too, of course. As well as the music, which has a holiday home in my memory, popping in on bank holidays when my brain falls idle.

Personally, I’m not convinced that the idTech4 engine will add a great deal to the games. It’s fun to watch imps ragdoll about the place a little bit when a rocket hits them, sure, and I guess there will be pretty lighting effects. But I’ll miss the death animations, repetitive as they become, and the few parts of the games that managed to trick me into thinking the lighting was far more technically advanced than it really was. Best lighting example I can think of is the dark maze secret area on E1M2, which seemed almost exactly like something out of a top notch horror movie when presented to my young imagination.

I don’t want to seem like one of these cool kids who thinks Doom 3 is the worst thing ever. I played it all the way through, which is more than can be said for 90% of FPS games that I start, and there were elements that I enjoyed. The guns really did feel like peashooters though and I demand a greater quantity of monsters to maul.

Doom Reborn isn’t finished, either in terms of the quality or the content, but remarkable progress has been made on the path to this latest release. Here are some instructions for those who want to play. You will need a full install of Doom 3.

– Setup
Using our new installer simply just select your Doom 3 folder and click next

Example “C:\Program files\Doom 3”

After the install has finished you’ll have the option to place a shortcut to the “DoomReborn.exe” on your desktop

– Launching the Mod
Brent has made many code fixes and changes that will only work with the new DoomReborn.exe
and gamex86.dll
Like last time this is the new method to launching the mod and for now on
You should always been using the DoomReborn.exe found in the Doom 3 folder
Example “C:\Program Files\Doom 3\”

*May not be the actual aim of the mod.

**errr…I was listening to the sound files on the website linked at the beginning of the post and forgot to distinguish between them and the sounds in the video. I have berated myself.


Top comments

  1. Craig Pearson says:

    Just saying:
  1. widowfactory says:

    So they’ve basically added loading screens to Doom :| Interesting from a technical perspective i guess but why not just play the original if they’re not actually changing anything?

    • DrScuttles says:

      So you can play all the exciting and memorable levels of Doom 1 and 2 with the flaccid feel of Doom 3? Uh.

  2. BTAxis says:

    Well, I have to say the gameplay in that video isn’t at all appealing to me. The 3D enemies in particular lack the character the 2D sprites of the original game had, having instead turned into every nondescript 3D modeled humanoid enemy ever.
    For my part, I’m happy to stick to Brutal Doom.

    • Niko says:

      There’s also some inconsistency between overall better graphic fidelity and Doom’s low-poly level design.

  3. PoulWrist says:

    The sourceports of original Doom hold up better and will hold up better in future too :|

  4. Jigowatt says:

    Um… but that IS the Doom 3 shotgun sound effect. :S link to

  5. FuriKuri says:

    Tsk, tsk.

    That footage clearly has the Doom 3 shotgun sound (albeit somewhat beefed up) and not the original Doom shotgun sound.

    Consider whatever credibility you were hoping to establish DESTROYED, sir! ;)

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:


      Listened to the original shotgun on the soundboard that’s linked in the first paragraph – skimmed through the video. Still had the soundboard echoing through my skull.


  6. Bravado says:

    So, when can we expect to see some of the new Doom game?! I hope it’s soon, it’s been exactly 2 months since the QuakeCon demo.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Didn’t they say it will be in 2016?
      Game isn’t publicly previewed yet, they only showed it to people who paid for it (hmm, strange how nobody attacked them for that marketing ploy, can’t wait for more “pay to view” ads).

      • Bravado says:

        Well, they said 2015, they’ll most probably delay it to 2016. I just want to see where they’ve been up to so far…

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Man, more “pay to view” ads would be a dream come true. Then I just wouldn’t pay for them, and I wouldn’t have to view them…

  7. derbefrier says:

    Doesn’t look too bad but if I am playing a modded doom its gonna be Brutal Doom.

  8. Not_Id says:

    There’s a Doom 3 mod for the older Dooms too link to

  9. Halk says:

    >I don’t want to seem like one of these cool kids
    >who thinks Doom 3 is the worst thing ever.

    Don’t worry, these kids don’t even exist. There is nothing less cool than the constant bitching about Doom 3.

  10. bill says:

    I’d like to see a version of Doom2 in the Doom3 (or newer engine) that was pretty loyal to the original, but which updated the lighting, textures etc..

    This is only a beta, but right now they don’t seem to be getting much benefit from the new engine, as the textures are low res, the lighting is basic and there is no bumpmapping. So it looks worse than my memory of doom2.

    If this is just a starting point and they can get the whole game in there, and then start upgrading the models and lighting etc.. then we might have something. Right now, I can’t get that excited.

  11. mutanteggs says:

    Superior level design? So giant mazes?

    • Distec says:

      Some levels were definitely better than others, and I recall a few where I was running around trying to figure out what key I was missing or where the damn exit was long after I had mowed down every demon.

      But I will always give it points for its non-linear, arena-like feel. Also, it meshed will with the speedy movement. It rarely felt like a slog to backtrack somewhere since you zipped around like a rocket on skates. So it wasn’t just the maps themselves, but the way the gameplay kind of coalesced around it.

      I’m watching the video at the top of the page, and I don’t think the maps work as well when you’re slowed down and have to worry about that darn Y axis.

      • mutanteggs says:

        I love the Doom games, don’t get me wrong. The level design was good at the time, and it went perfectly with the gameplay.
        Just some levels were giant horrible mazes where you killed everything five minutes ago and you’re just trying to find the exit.

        • tangoliber says:

          I don’t remember getting lost in the Doom games, though I mainly just play community maps these days. The original level design just doesn’t compare, considering that the community has been creating levels for 20 years now, and have very convenient tools for fast creation and play-testing.
          I believe that if you ranked the top 10 level designs of all time, more than half of them would probably be community Doom levels.

        • Shooop says:

          The first game didn’t have that problem too often. They were small enough for most players to stumble onto the exit without really trying.

          The second on the other hand can be a massive headache to navigate. The levels are much bigger and they made much more liberal use of teleporters.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Though I play a staggeringly enormous amount of Doom 2, it’s hardly ever the original levels. I’m honestly not that keen on them. I love Doom’s weapon balance, its sound design, its speed, pretty much everything except the second game’s levels, which vary between “yes that’s actually fairly good” to “oh jeez now I remember why I haven’t played the vanilla campaign in so long”.

      On the other hand, there are so many genuinely amazing fanmade maps/megawads out there there that I can play all the wonderful Doom I want without having to tear my hair out over the, uh, yeah… ‘giant mazes’.

      Current favourites right now?

      “Nova: The Birth” (which admittedly has some really rough points, but also some of the greatest moments I’ve seen in any Doom maps) link to

      And by one of Nova’s mappers, “Going Down” (Which is hard as hell, but very nearly every map does something unusual and inventive with its very simple theme) link to

  12. Synesthesia says:

    Isn’t that the first doom 2 level?

  13. Mollusc Infestation says:

    The only true Doom sounds are the PC speaker sounds. The shotgun was like “Squark, bloop bloop!”

    • phlebas says:

      PC speaker sounds? We should be so lucky. Most of my Doom experience was in a college computer room with no sound from the computer at all, listening to something appropriate on the walkman. Alien 3 soundtrack or maybe Blade Runner.

  14. wengart says:

    This actually reminds me a lot of the Turok games for N64.

    • Jackablade says:

      Nah, there isn’t fog obscuring everything thats more than 2 metres away.

  15. TVRFalcon says:

    Kind of cool, but Brutal Doom will probably continue being the definitive Doom 1 & 2 makeover from the way the game looks right now. It would probably help if the colors didn’t look so washed out and the enemies looked more distinct from a distance.

    Besides, does this game have a button dedicated to flipping the bird? I rest my case.

    • dethtoll says:

      The definitive makeover for Doom 1 and 2 is Doomsday with certain bells and whistles bolted on. Brutal Doom is for teenagers who’ve just discovered that video games have blood.

  16. Shooop says:

    I think I’ll be sticking with Brutal Doom for Doom 2 instead thanks. Just slapping the models from 3 into 2 doesn’t look right.

    For Doom 3, I’d recommend trying VGames’ Perfected mod instead: link to which modifies the weapons and enemies to play more like the first two games. No idea if it works with any of the graphic enhancement mods like Wuflen’s textures though.

    • dethtoll says:

      Can’t you just play Doom properly, without a godawful juvenile gore mod bolted onto it?

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        On the one hand, I want to defend Brutal Doom, because it does a whole lot more than just add red for the sake of red.
        On the other hand, I played with it for awhile, I nodding approvingly, and then I never really went back to it. I’m a longtime DoomRL player, so sometimes I play with the DoomRLA mod for giggles, but it’s really, really hard to change anything about Doom’s balance without it just falling to pieces.

  17. Megazell says:

    This looks great. I still play DooM II and DooM II Brutal. I will give this a spin so long as it’s not a big deal to get it up and running on Linux.

  18. The_invalid says:

    I don’t want to be a dick, because it’s clear there’s been a lot of love and time lavished on this…
    But I can’t help but feeling that you’re just kind of getting the worst of both worlds. The sprite animations and blocky texturing were a huge part of the charm of the originals. There’s just something so essentially grisly about the hand-painted look and ‘feel’ of the game that’s totally lost here.
    And really, the things that Doom 3 did so right were the fully real-time lighting and the interactive consoles and surfaces, which have been completely omitted here.

    Hell, I would totally play a straight set of Doom 3 levels which featured the overwhelming numbers of monsters and super-fast action of the original. That would be fantastic. But take out the atmospheric lighting and insane attention to detail of Doom 3 and you’ve got a bit of a dud. :/

  19. honuk says:

    I’ve always said that the best moment in video game history is any time you fire the Super Shotgun in Doom II

    I don’t see the point of this at all

  20. dethtoll says:

    This mod not only lays bare the abstract and downright ugly quality of classic Doom’s maps (particularly Sandy Petersen’s) that only look worse for the “high res” textures and badly reskinned monsters, but is utterly extraneous in the face of Classic Doom 3, which combined the Doom 3 aesthetic with the classic Doom level design and which for legal reasons did not remake more than the first episode. That this thing hasn’t been C&D’d to pieces yet is stunning to me, and I can’t think of anything that deserves it more.

  21. SheffieldSteel says:

    Doom’s single-barrelled shotgun is in my opinion the “original and best” implementation of this classic FPS weapon.
    So I watched as far as getting the shotgun. Looks: crap. Sounds: crap. Animation: crap.

    Sorry, but end of.