Laura Beyer's Doom Mike Helm, Kody Zander and Darryl Dewald / Laura Beyer 1994

Perhaps the most infamous of all unauthorized Doom products, this was sold for $20 and featured nine maps, replacing the first episode (with an install process that modified the Doom IWAD), and coming with three "bonus" levels. Some of the new graphics and sounds, are recognize as appearing in Eternal Doom (and many other WADs of the time). As to how the team assembled, it looks like almost everyone was (and still is) stationed in Creston, Canada, so I assume they were friends. Most of the new graphics and sounds are pretty bad, including the enemy replacements. Actually, the regular zombiman death is pretty good, but the baron, which appears to be a photographed action figure, is pretty painful, though the first time I got the call and response with his wake up and death noises I admit I smirked. Just a little. The textures aren't all awful, but the solid black with tiling brown squiggles blows, and while the well-known in-game advertisements aren't nearly as pervasive as in the demo level (here E1M9), I'd still rather not see them. Actually, with a few notable exceptions, texturing in the entire series is terrible. Granted, it's '94, but still. There are some neat stabs at special effects here and there, like demons falling in through the ceiling or several instances of the "crystal sector" effect put to good use. Most of the gameplay is pretty boring, though, dispatching spaced out segments of monsters that probably can't even see you because of what I can only assume is a bum reject table. If you lob rockets, you don't even wake them up half the time. Furthering this boredom are some big design flaws, like long, slow elevators, mazes, and stale architecture. E1M7 is perhaps my favorite level but even it is weighed down by reusing its greatest aspect ad nauseum.
Review/Screenshots
Full Demo 5MB (uploaded by Leebigh's Doom Blog)


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