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SNES Doom Box Art

Box art for the SNES version of Doom


A screenshot from the SNES version of Doom

The Super Nintendo version of Doom was published by Williams Entertainment on September 1, 1995, near the end of the system's life cycle. This is the first SNES title rated M for mature, and one of only three rated as such (the others being Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, coincidentally also published by Williams Entertainment, Inc.). The cartridge features a Super FX 2 chip, and Doom was one of few SNES games to feature a colored cartridge; the NTSC release was available in a red casing. The game does not use the Doom engine, but features a custom engine, known as the Reality engine, programmed by Randy Linden.

SNES Doom features 22 levels from the PC version, but the player's heads-up display does not take up the whole screen. The floors and ceilings are also not texture mapped. The game lacks a back-up system, meaning that each episode must be finished from the beginning. Multiplayer was available if the player bought an XBAND modem. Due to memory limitations, the enemies are only animated from the front, which meant that they always appear to face the player. This renders monster infighting impossible, although it was made possible for monsters of the same type to damage each other with projectiles in this version of the game. Perhaps as a concession to this limitation, circle-strafing was also removed, though standard strafing is still possible. Also, perhaps as a means to conserve processing power, sound propagation is unused, rendering all enemies deaf. The game runs at the system's native 256 x 224 pixel resolution, though it doesn't fill the entire screen; instead, it runs in a window, with a black frame. Additionally, enemies, scenery, and items are increasingly pixelated the farther away they are, to the point where far-off enemies may be indistinguishable from the scenery.

Interestingly, some of the maps used in the Super Nintendo port are actually more intricate and detailed than their counterparts on the more powerful consoles, though several are still heavily retextured as in other console versions. The Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon monsters that the Atari Jaguar, 3DO, and Sega 32X versions lack are also present. The musical score, which uses the system's on-board sound processors, plays new arrangements of each song rather than the PC version's own MIDI format. The musical arrangements of the SNES version were generally praised. Episode 2 cannot be started on "I'm Too Young to Die" or "Hey, Not Too Rough", and Episode 3 can only be begun on "Ultra-Violence" and "Nightmare", although if the player beats Episode 1 on easier difficulties he will sequentially start Episode 2 on that same difficulty level (yet cannot move on to Episode 3 the same way), and can access Episode 3 on "Hurt Me Plenty" if Episode 2 is beaten in the same fashion . According to concerns from Nintendo, the Super Nintendo version was modified to not include any hell references (this proved to be false, as the "Inferno" chapter still takes place in Hell and contains at least one inverted cross); furthermore, blood drawn from gunfire was removed due to hardware limitations (though the graphic death sequences still remain). Many believe that this issue led to mixed reviews.

The automap display takes advantage of the rotating and scaling of the Super FX chip, with the entire map spinning around the player's position rather than the player being portrayed with an arrow. Due to system limitations, no particles such as blood impacts, smoke or bullet sparks are present in the game — indeed, the shotgun does not fire seven individual shots as normal, but rather functions something like a slug gun or hunting rifle. This allows a player to shoot (and be shot) from a distance using the shotgun with no decrease in power. Moreover, the player's chaingun is now capable of single fire (although emptying one's bullet stock still produces a doubled sound effect). Finally, Nightmare mode does not feature respawning monsters, but still contains very fast and tough monsters as normal.

Fans of the game frequently criticized the port for its graphics, the difficulty of seeing far-off monsters, clunky controls, and low frame rate. However, fans praised the port's music as superior to that of the Sega 32X and Atari Jaguar versions. Some of the port’s appeal has become lost in hindsight, as it was a cheaper way to play Doom in 1995, when computers were more expensive.


Hidden credits screen


Level name
E1M1: Hangar
E1M2: Nuclear Plant
E1M3: Toxin Refinery
E1M4: Command Control
E1M5: Phobos Lab
E1M6: Computer Station
E1M7: Phobos Anomaly
E1M8: Military Base (secret level, accessible from E1M3)
E2M1: Deimos Anomaly
E2M2: Refinery
E2M3: Deimos Lab
E2M4: Halls of the Damned
E2M5: Tower of Babel
E2M6: Fortress of Mystery (secret level, accessible from E2M2)
E3M1: Hell Keep
E3M2: Slough of Despair
E3M3: Pandemonium
E3M4: House of Pain
E3M5: Mt. Erebus
E3M6: Limbo
E3M7: Dis
E3M8: Warrens (secret level, accessible from E3M5)

Missing Levels[]

A total of 5 levels from the original are missing from the SNES version:

Level name
E1M6: Central Processing
E2M2: Containment Area
E2M5: Command Center
E2M7: Spawning Vats
E3M5: Unholy Cathedral

Other differences from the original version[]

  • In the absence of the Command Center level, the secret exit for episode 2 is now located in Refinery, behind the secret supercharge in the nukage near the exit, unlocked with an added switch.
  • Rockets are much stronger, and are able to take out enemies such as the Baron of Hell with only three shots versus the five to six in the PC version. This also makes them more dangerous to the player.
  • The plasma gun is significantly stronger and uses fewer sprites in its firing sequence.
  • It is possible for the player to collide with his own fired projectiles (such as rockets and plasma) if the projectiles are fired while the player is running.
  • The BFG does not display an explosion graphic as it does in other versions; it simply fires a round that looks like a Baron fireball and causes a ripple effect without the animation.
  • All three of the aforementioned weapons utilize the Imp/Cacodemon/Baron fireball sound effect when fired. In addition, the sound effects for the chainsaw are dramatically different from the original.
  • The player falls to the ground faster.
  • In a rather humorous fashion, the Cyberdemon's rockets fire out backwards.
  • The Demon, Lost Soul, Cyberdemon, and Spiderdemon do not have their own death sound effects; the demon uses the pain and death sounds from the Imp, the lost soul makes the Cacodemon hissing sound and the Doomguy's "mmph!" sound when killed, and the Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon use the baron of hell's death sound.
  • Only the ST face remains in the status bar.
  • There are no cheat codes. The only way to cheat is to use a cheat device, such as an Action Replay or a Game Genie.
  • Regular marine corpses replace gibbed ones.
  • All bloody sacrifices and tortured bodies have been removed in order to abide by Nintendo's standards.
  • E1M3’s fifth secret has no enemies in it.
  • Enemies do not teleport into levels. This is especially apparent in E1M9; they are stored in monster closets instead.
  • The ending texts for all three episodes display on the intermission screens with the intermission music and use a unique font.

External links[]