‘Doom RPG’, the weirdest official Doom game, is now playable on Windows

Creators the Doom series have featured many official and unofficial historical flashbacks, but they often leave out the strangest official ones Doom game ever made: Doom RPG.

Even Id Software’s official “Year of Doom” museum at E3 2019 left this 2005 game unmarked. It’s a shame, because it was a phenomenal example of Id once again proving to be a master of technically impressive gameplay on a limited-powered platform. And the platforms are no more limited by power or compatibility than the pre-iPhone wave of candy, which Doom RPG has been locked down since its original launch in the mid-2000s. You might think it’s “mobile Doom“ sounds strange, but Doom RPG stood out as the series’ clever and fun twist on the first-person shooter formula.

His abandonment of ancient telephones changed thanks to reverse engineering efforts of GEC.inc, a Costa Rica-based collective of at least three developers. On June 29, the group released a Windows port of the game based on their work on the original BREW version of the game (an API developed by Qualcomm intended for its 2001 and later wave of mobile phones).

It’s time for T9

GEC.inc’s free download Windows port has no copyrighted assets and will not work without the original game files. (The same usually applies to other major community efforts that revolve around reverse-engineering classic games.) That’s where this whole thing gets tricky, because a legitimate approach to the game in 2022 is incredibly unlikely. Access requires owning a compatible mid-2000s phone on which the game was purchased, presumably through an ancient game marketplace that no longer exists, then extracting the original game files from that phone—assuming its original hardware is working and not damaged , say, the slowly expanding lithium-ion battery. Id Software never re-released the game outside of its original platforms (BREW, J2ME), probably because EA Mobile got a stake in the game after buying the original publisher Jamdat Mobile.

Whether you’re one of the few who have a preserved, working phone with a purchased copy of the BREW port of the game, or figure out another way to access it somehow Doom RPG, you can upload the original game data to GEC.inc’s custom asset translation executable. Ars Technica can confirm that this process is painless and leads to near-instant gaming on Windows.

The port’s interface is admittedly simple, consisting of menus that require a keyboard to select, and its incompatibility with mice and touchpads is at first surprising. It’s hard to go back to the early 2000s to remember that, yes, this game was designed for T9 button arrays by default. Fortunately, the port works well enough with Windows to make it easy to connect a Xinput gamepad via its default menus if you prefer a gamepad (or something like the Steam Deck) to the usual WASD options.

Doom RPG was certainly not the first turn-based 3D dungeon crawler, following in the footsteps of 80s RPG series such as Sorcery—instead of swords and sorcery, this game fills your adventure backpack with axes and guns. Enemy encounters take place one “action” at a time, and after you take one step or use one weapon or item, every enemy in the room does the same. (Turning to another cardinal direction or switching weapons counts as a free action.)

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