Doom95 is a port of Doom to Win9x operating systems included in some releases of the Doom games. This port was developed by Microsoft to serve as a flagship for their DirectX technology, and was released on August 20, 1996. It supports four screen resolutions; 320x200, 320x240, 640x400 and 640x480, which can all be used either in a windowed or a fullscreen mode. The port also has a launcher to configure options for external PWADs, player controls and multiplayer settings. It has a slightly higher visplane limit than the original Doom, allowing more complicated maps. Doom95 works with Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom II and Final Doom. It also has cheat codes that are exclusive to it, such as the ability to kill all of the monsters in a level. Several additional command line parameters were also implemented into it.
In late 1995, Doom was estimated to be installed on more computers worldwide than Microsoft's new operating system Windows 95, despite million-dollar advertising campaigns for the latter. The game's popularity prompted Bill Gates to briefly consider buying id Software, and led Microsoft to develop a Windows 95 port of Doom to promote the operating system as a gaming platform. One related presentation to promote Windows 95 had Bill Gates digitally superimposed into the game.
The team at Microsoft who ported Doom to Windows was started by Gabe Newell , who later co-founded Valve Software and developed Half-Life, and headed by Alex St. John, the creator of the DirectX specification.
Differences between vanilla Doom and Doom95
- Unlike the later DOS versions of the Doom games, Doom95 cannot play back true MIDIs, only real MUS files.
- The engine supports a larger amount of sound channels, with a maximum of 32, whereas vanilla supports only eight.
- The sound effects are played back at a slightly lower pitch than in regular Doom played under DOS.
- Some of Doom95's quit messages differ slightly from vanilla Doom, mostly by removing references to DOS.
- The port handles its configuration differently from the DOS version, which in turn disables the always run trick.
- This port has additional Doom 95 cheats, (fhhall, fhshh)
Some copies of the Id Anthology contain a newer version of the Doom95 executable (dated 11/1996). The only noticeable change in this version is that it fixes the Sky never changes in Doom II bug - a change first introduced in Doom's official source code release. This version also appears to break the "Read this!" screen in the Ultimate Doom - it causes the game to crash.
The newer version of the executable can be obtained via an unofficial patch created by the community.
- A bug in Doom95 prevents demo recording when starting the game via the Doom95 launcher. As soon as the game is launched (with instructions to record a demo), Doom95 quits and returns to the desktop with an error: "I_Error says: demo <demoname> recorded". An unofficial patch has been released that fixes this bug (by altering the file DOOMLNCH.DLL).
- In resolutions above 320x240, the automap function for marking the current position with a number is extremely buggy. In addition to severe rendering bugs, the actual markers are not displayed at all or are displayed in the wrong positions. Adding the markers can even crash the game, though this is rare. The automap can be restored from the buggy state by moving the view away from the marker or by clearing all marks.
- The intermission screen background shown during Thy Flesh Consumed intermissions is the one from Knee-Deep in the Dead, and the level names are from that episode as well. The bug only affects the intermission screen; in the automap the level names are correct.
- After MAP30 of Doom II has been completed, a few frames of the monster animations are displayed in the upper left corner of the screen instead of the center. This seems to affect the hell knight, arachnotron, revenant, arch-vile, and spiderdemon; monsters whose front-facing walk cycles alternate between regular sprites and ones which are mirrored by the software. The DOS version also has anomalies related to sprite offsets and mirroring but none so apparent.
- The aspect ratio in some resolutions is slightly different than the DOS version; pixels and texels are square (that is, drawn at the actual aspect ratio of the art), instead of rectangular as they were in the DOS version (stretched slightly vertically to fill the screen). As a result, enemies look shorter, rocket explosions are oval instead of round, etc. This is most likely a consequence of the fact that Doom95 was designed to support true 4x3 resolutions (at multiples of 320x240), but the DOS version (at 320x200) was not. (Most console ports also use the 4x3 square pixel ratio, as opposed to the DOS version's rectangular ratio.) Another effect of this is that the vertical field-of-view is slightly higher, though the range of auto-aim is not adjusted to compensate for this.
- Less of the player's weapon is shown on screen when compared to the MS-DOS version.
- By default the game does not launch on Windows Vista or 7 at all due to the lack of the file DPLAY.DLL. The issue can be fixed using this workaround.
- Mice do not work with Doom95 under Windows 2000 and later Windows versions. This is because these operating systems do not support VXD files, and Doom95 uses the file DMOUSE.VXD to communicate with the mouse. An unofficial patch for this issue was released in 2010.
- Most of Doom95's video modes do not work with modern video cards and Windows versions.
- The IPX protocol multiplayer mode does not work in Windows XP and later Windows versions as they do not support the protocol. The TCP protocol mode is also broken on Windows Vista and later Windows versions.
- Due to a bug in its handling of certain types of graphics cards and DirectX versions, Doom95 does not render the partial invisibility effect in its original form. Instead of seeing directly through the sprite, with some cards the user sees a wall texture or other background "refracted" through the creature's body at a slight angle, as though looking at an object through a glass of water. This makes invisible enemies somewhat easier to see, especially in dark rooms; on the other hand, tracking the movement of non-invisible creatures behind them can be more challenging, especially when trying to aim one's weapon through a pile of invisible corpses (which can easily occur, for example, in E1M9: Military Base). On other cards the effect produces bright yellow and magenta pixels which make the affected things stand out very clearly. Both visual glitches can be prevented by disabling DirectDraw acceleration using the -emulate parameter.
How to run Doom95 on Windows 8/10
Doom 95 will not launch at all on Windows 8 or 10 due to the removal of various files with DirectX, this can be fixed by downloading and installing a program named "DXGL" and copying "ddraw.dll" from the dxgl installation folder and placing it in the Doom95 folder. then, copying the "dplay.dll" file from the directx installation archive folder in the Doom95 folder and placing it in the Doom95 folder. Then, lastly run the DXGL program, click "add" and select the Doom95 executable and set it to "aspect corrected stretch" and selecting 4:3 aspect ratio. This should scale the correct aspect ratio even on widescreen LCD monitors. The unofficial mouse patch does still work however is heavily delayed and causes the game to be almost unplayable. The mouse patch executable must be launched in administrator mode.
How to run Doom95 on Windows Vista/7
Another method is to obtain a file named DPLAY.DLL. This file can be found inside the Doom95 installation archive in the DIRECTX folder. Another way to obtain the file is do download it separately via DLL-files.com. After you have the file, it should be moved over to the location of the Doom95 executable (doom95.exe). After this the game should launch normally.
Once you have downloaded the file, the screen will be in the top left corner of the screen with different colors. The patch to this glitch is to use the "-emulate" command line parameter. Alternatively, change the screen resolution to 640x480 Window and the game should run properly.
Note that on Windows 7, some screen resolutions are not supported, so you may have to use the supported screen resolutions for the game to work properly on the screen.