Getting Doom up and running on weird and unexpected computers is a long-running jape, with Id Software’s seminal shooter having been put on everything from digital cameras to a McDonald’s cash register. Now technotinkerer Foone Turing has demonstrated playing Doom in a pregnancy test, which is the wildest I’ve seen so far. It is not a convenient way to play Doom (and you cannot use the tester for its intended function while playing Doom, obvs) but by god, there it is. May this feat drive people to find something even weirder to run Doom on.
Yes, it’s controlled with a keyboard, not… anything else.
Foone Turing has been fiddling with Equate pregnancy tests for a few days, sharing results on Twitter. They started out taking one apart to check stories that the digital testers use the same old paper test strip as analogue tests, they just have digital bits to read the lines and translate those into “Pregnant” and “Not Pregnant” messages on a screen. Well! Tinkering inevitably leads to more tinkering, and before long they’d swapped out parts and had a video player inside a pregnancy test. It’s enough for low-fidelity memes like the Skyrim intro:
hey you, you're finally awake.
You were trying to get pregnant, right? pic.twitter.com/uCgmymvahS
— foone (@Foone) September 5, 2020
“This is a replacement display AND a replacement microcontroller,” they initially explained. “I’m not using any of the original tester other than the shell.” They added, “The existing CPU can’t be reprogrammed and the existing LCD can only show 4 things, so I had to replace both to make any changes.” However, they do think they will be able to get all the new hardware inside the old shell.
It may not really be Doom running on a pregnancy test, but it is Doom inside a pregnancy test and I’ll certainly accept that.
I tried zooming in and turning up the in-game gamma a bit, so you can see what's going on slightly better.
(It's a 128×32 pixel monochrome display, it's never gonna be great) pic.twitter.com/dAU7LZ1pkT
— foone (@Foone) September 7, 2020
For more unexpected devices playing Doom, do check out It Runs Doom!, a Tumblr account which tracks a lot of oddities. I myself once contributed a tiny, tiny, genuinely tiny amount of decoration to the Doom Piano, which had the controls hooked up to piano keys so you’d play cacophonous music as you crushed Cacodemons: