Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Chocolate Doom: Play the Old Doom on a Windows PC

If you're born in the 90s, (or are fond of games from that era) you've probably played, or at least heard of Doom. For those who haven't, it's one of the early first-person shooters which revolutionised the concept of 3D shooters on PC. It was released in 1993 and spawned a sequel in 1994. These games were obviously built for MS-DOS since that was the only available platform at the time. Considering their age, it's not natively possible for these games to run on any modern machine. Here comes Chocolate Doom to the rescue.

General Information:

  • Distribution Type: Open-Source
  • Developed by: Simon Howard (Fraggle)
  • Reviewed Version: 2.2.1
  • Available for: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux
  • Download Size: 1MB
  • Chocolate Doom Website 

Chocolate Doom has been designed to run Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom (including other similar versions) just as they were meant to be run in the 90s. That means you get the same textures, the same sound effects and more importantly, an unadulterated experience. Of course it is possible to run Doom in DOSBox, or using a virtual machine, but Chocolate Doom takes away all the hassles of setting up from the user, and lets you focus on playing the game. All you need to do is download your copy of Chocolate Doom, extract it somewhere, and drop the doom.wad/doom2.wad file from your original copy of Doom into the extracted folder. Now simply run the application and you have the DOS version of Doom running on your modern computer.

The above image represents what Doom looks like running in full-screen in Windows 10.

For the cynical ones among you, this is Doom running in windowed mode in Windows 10.

Keeping with the whole idea of the application, it also includes an old-school configuration utility which allows you to configure various aspects of the game such as sound, video, controls, and even network multiplayer. What really sets this application apart is full support for command-line parameters and IWAD based mods.

Feature Highlights:

  • Authentic 90s Doom experience.
  • Supports old demo files.
  • Support for old savegames.
  • Support for mods and user-made WADs. 
  • Configuration tool for fine tuning options.
  • Support for command-line parameters.
  • Network Support.

What's Good:

At just 1MB, this is a great source port for getting your fix of nostalgia. It runs on practically any computer you can think of. Unless your computer is incapable of running Windows XP, Chocolate Doom should have no trouble running on your computer.

What's also great is that it maintains the original feel of the game. This is as authentic as it gets when it comes to experiencing the game in its prime. The configuration options are great, catering to a novice as well as advanced users.

A comprehensive guide and FAQ is available on their website which should take care of most of your difficulties.

Support for Windows, Mac, and Linux is just icing on the cake.

What's Not:

Chocolate Doom can get a little difficult to use with multiple wad files existing in the same folder. A simple workaround is to create a separate copy for every version of Doom you have and using only one wad file per folder.

The old look and feel is great, but if you're looking to improve textures and rendering quality, then you're out of luck. Chocolate Doom does not support customising textures or sound effects. (although it does support modded wad files) If you're looking for options to change textures, or make Doom look and feel more like a 21st century shooter, then there are other source ports available which allow you to do just that.

Although popular version of Linux such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint have their own repository for Chocolate Doom, most other versions require you to build the application from the source code. This is not exactly very difficult to do, but it involves some extra work.


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