Doomguy does Mario World in Doom: The Golden Souls 2

Doom: The Golden Souls 2

Doom 2 mega-mod Doom: The Golden Souls 2 is the sugary treat we all deserve today. Take one part Doom, one part Super Mario World, put them in a blender until smooth and brightly coloured then garnish with fresh gibs and candy sprinkles. It’s a full game in its own right, with lots of bouncy platforming across dozens of levels with new weapons and enemies from prolific modder Andrea ‘Batandy’ Gori, who previously brought us the excellent Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny.

The original Doom: The Golden Souls came out some years ago, and while it was fun and nailed the Mario aesthetic, the sequel feels like a huge improvement, especially in terms of platforming. It adds snappier guns, more coherent level design and Mario-style mid-level checkpoint flags for those who forget to quicksave regularly. Most importantly, Doomguy has been given a plumber-class spring to his step, making for some very vertical levels and the option to just leap over incoming enemy fire instead of strafing.

It’s a genuinely good fusion of two very different sets of game systems. There’s a Mario World-styled overworld map, and cleared levels can be returned to for exploration. Mario’s springy arcing jumps feel strange initially in an FPS, but it opens up a whole new world of secret-hunting options, with the inquisitive rewarded with special giant coins for buying permanent weapon upgrades.

The Golden Souls 2’s guns are geared towards ranged engagement too, with Doomguy opting not to saw his double-barrelled shotgun short, giving it the kind of range that most other FPS’s bless rifles with. It’s a good fit for the more open, breezy level design, and perfect for picking Cacodemons out of the sky. Just watch your step while you’re shooting, as falling off the level kills you.

As great as The Golden Souls 2 is, it’s just icing on the cake. The past few days also brought us the somewhat more traditional but similarly full-game-length Struggle: Antaresian Legacy, and a major new update to techno-magical power-fantasy character mod Guncaster, best paired with ridiculously hard levels in order to balance things out a bit. Four veteran mappers even challenged themselves this week to create a complete 32-level campaign in 20 hours, and the results are impressive.

You can get Doom: The Golden Souls 2 on Mod DB here. You’ll need the GZDoom engine and Doom 2’s main WAD file (under £1 in the current Steam sale) to play this and the other mods above.

7 Comments

  1. wonderingmonster says:

    I must say I’ve been really enjoying these Doom articles and they’ve introduced me to a lot of great mods.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      It’s probably the single most enduring mod scene ever, and still growing. Tons of new blood and beginners only just starting now.

      The fact that this week alone saw four major releases, three of which were full-game-length says so much.

  2. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    The Mario one does look pretty interesting, but that Guncaster one… Though probably less “interesting”/off-beat, that one looks to be exactly my jam as far as Doomy things are concerned. It looks like it might even be “Unreal4Ever Tournament with all weapons and god mode versus novice bots with my sister” levels of fun. (Which was a TON of fun for us but less so for the bots, to be clear.)

    Thanks for covering these sorts of things here!

  3. Spacewalk says:

    I’m almost dreading playing GS2 since platforming in the Doom engine is the devil but it looks too nice to pass on. Guncaster 3.0 is the real keeper, I thought version 2.8 was as good as it was going to get but they really hit it out of the park with this one.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      The platforming is pretty intense, but Golden Souls 2 gives you a really nice high arcing jump with a lot of air control. I’m about six levels in and have only fallen to my death once now.

  4. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    It’s a shame that the monsters aren’t Mario-based, and the gun isn’t a Super Mario Sunshine squirter. I do hope you at least get to rescue the Princess at the end of the game though.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      A bunch of the enemies are weird Doom/Mario hybrids, like shy-guy cultists, and hammer-throwing Hell Knights wearing green shells on their heads.

      Also, no princess. But you are on a quest to rescue Doomguy’s bunny rabbit, who has been kidnapped by King Cyberdemon.

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