Itsa Me, Ripandteario: Brutal Doom 64 Released

Borrow a seven-year-old child, fill them with sweeties and juice, make them spin in circles for five minutes, give ’em a nip of whisky, and have them play Doom for fifteen minutes then describe it to you. Whatever giddy image of Doom their imaginations vomit up, Brutal Doom actually is: a frenzy of ultraviolence with gibs by the bucketload. Now it’s slopped all over Doom 64, the game release on Nintendo 64 in 1997. Unlike the Quake port for N64, I’m only now realising, Doom 64 was a new game with new levels, art, and weapons. And now Brutal Doom 64 [official site] is out to brutalise it.

Brutal Doom chief gutripper Sergeant Mark IV released the first version of Brutal Doom 64 over the weekend in preparation for Spookyday. You’ll need asset files from Doom 2 or Final Doom to play it (installation instructions are through the link, okay?).

Along with the customary Brutal Doom lashing of gore, it revamps levels a bit, adds new effects, animations, and sounds, and restores some monsters and other content cut from the original game. Here’s the fancy featureboast trailer:

And here’s straight action from the launch party server, in the Survival Cooperative mode where each player only gets one life per level:

I’d somehow missed that Doom 64 was its own game, despite hearing chatter from folks who adore it. Maybe I was confusing it with the shoddy Quake port. I suppose I didn’t really pay attention, as I was content with Doom and Quake on PC. How about you, gang: have you much experience with it?

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12 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    I’m not sure if it’s still around but I believe there was a total conversion or something called Absolution which brings Doom64 back home.

  2. Dominic Tarason says:

    Doom 64 is a fascinating thing. I didn’t realize it was a seperate game in its own right until relatively recently (2010 at least), despite owning an N64 and many games for it.

    It was a marvellous surprise. See, Doom 64 is the real Doom 3. The manual states that it’s set directly after Doom 2, and the level design and atmosphere are clearly the missing link between Doom and Quake. It’s a darker, grittier, more atmospheric game that still keeps up a very high level of action.

    The only thing holding Doom 64 back is that due to the N64’s teensy tiny RAM limitations, they couldn’t have as many monster types as they wanted, hence the loss of a few types such as Revenants and Archviles, and the addition of Nightmare Imps, which share a sprite with regular imps and as such are cheap on RAM.

    BD64 removes those limitations and makes it feel a little more like a full PC sequel to Doom 2. That said, purists may want to check out Doom64EX, by the guy that Night Dive had porting Turok 1 & 2, Strife and (if rumours are to be believed) Blood. It’s a direct PC port of the N64 version. You even need the ROM for it, although that’s very easily found now.

    link to doom64ex.wordpress.com

    As for Doom: Absolution, the old Doom 64 mod for ZDoom? I’d say skip it. It’s not a very good adaptation. You definitely want either BD64 for modern updated style, or Doom64EX for retro purity. Both are pretty great.

    • Distec says:

      Your specific comment on how Doom 64 seems to “bridge” classic Doom and Quake is spot-on. The first level of D64 feels like an opening level from Quake’s first chapter, with the industrial environments being fully gloomed up and even the soundtrack seeming to take it’s cues from NIN-style drones and ambient noises.

      I downloaded the EX port after after consuming a hero’s dose of Brutal Doom 1 & 2 (+ the BD campaign). After that clown-car of ACME style gore and violence, I found Doom 64 to be surprisingly unsettling.

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        Interestingly, BD64 is much more restrained than regular Brutal Doom. No headshots or enemies dying slowly. It’s basically regular Doom 64 with better hit-impacts and gibs and a few more enemy types.

        Biggest change is visual. There’s a lot of nice, surprisingly subtle upgrades.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I remember reading an article after nuDOOM came out about how the storyline for that appears to connect to the storyline for Doom64.

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        It’s only a faint tie, but yeah, Doomguy decides to stay in Hell at the end of Doom 64 and keep on kicking arse until the end of time. Doom 4/NuDoom begins with (minor spoiler) him waking up in a sarcophagus excavated from the depths of Hell, in which the demons had sealed him after being not quite able to kill him, ever.

  3. dethtoll says:

    You mean Doom 64: Klebold and Harris edition.

  4. Ricc says:

    Just logging in to say that headline made laugh out loud. :D Well done.

  5. renzollama says:

    Headline just barely makes it back around into “it’s so bad it’s good” territory.

  6. Kasjer says:

    Doom 64 is a game I desperately wanted to have back when I owned N64 but couldn’t find it anywhere – Nintendo consoles and games for them were not widely available in my country, importing was not an option as my parents weren’t fond of paying extra to already expensive N64 cardriges. I only got to play it jears later via Doom64Ex and I must say I was pleasantly surprised how the game held up. I think it is safe to say this was one of best FPS games on N64/Saturn/PS1 generation in terms of technical execution, controls and gameplay – way better than Doom 1 and 2 ports on two other consoles, better than Quake port for N64 and even better than Playstation and N64 versions of Q2. Two years ago I had a chance to play it on original hardware and it runs at fluent framerates and thus, plays very well even today, while the same can’t be really said about blockbusters Goldeneye and Perfect Dark that feel sluggish and are best played on emulator.

    Thing is – Doom64 came out late, when 2.5 engines were considered outdated already and actually after Quake port, so many people were not bothering with it.

    Still, it worth to get a hold of it and see the game for yourself. Doom engine has been given a couple of neat features like colored lighting, textures and sprites are completely new in most cases, the game does have much darker atmosphere than PC Doom titles (it actually feels a bit Quake-ish) and music and sound effects are brilliant. Level design is also top notch, one of best in 2.5 shooters I dare to say.

    Sure, the game does have less enemies and doesn’t throw as much of them at you at the same time as Doom 2 does, but fights are smartly directed and keep you engaged.

    And the PC port plays perfectly fine on both m+k and gamepad, so there is no excuse to not give it a go!

  7. Baines says:

    Gggmanlives has a pretty decent YouTube review of Brutal Doom 64, as unlike some of the “Brutal always means better” type reviews, he covers both negatives and positives about the mod.

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