I love Doom. The fast-paced action, the creative levels, the large variety of weapons and enemies. It’s no wonder it’s held up as a classic in the first-person shooter genre. In recent times, people have made Doom last longer by way of modding – changing Doom‘s weapons, levels, even adding stuff never before seen on the Doom engine. Some of these mods, like Alien Vendetta and Doom the Way Id Did, take an existing spin on the tried-and-true formula, while others like Brutal Doom change the game drastically. Those mods are famous and well-known among the Doom community for their good quality. I wish I could say the same thing about the mod I’m featuring: Sonic Doom II: Bots on Mobius.

It’s like I’ve hopped back into 1998! and not in a good way!

Sonic Doom II was the work of one SSNTails, a Sonic the Hedgehog and Project GeeKer fan. (Don’t be surprised if you had to Google search that last one, I don’t remember that show either.) Back then, mashing existing franchises with Doom was pretty common – there was the Aliens TC for Doom, as well as Batman Doom, made by the guys who would later go on to make Zeno Clash. Naturally, SSNTails decided to mix the speed and fun of Sonic with the run and gun tactics of Doom and see if he could make something truly amazing in the Sonic fan games realm. Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed in that.

You get to play as either Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Metal Sonic. The only differences between each is stuff like firing speed. There were plans to make Sonic jump and have Tails fly around with the levels made to work around, but didn’t know how to do that at the time as Doom source ports like ZDoom didn’t exist yet. You choose the character of your choice and hop in, shooting a bunch of reskins of existing Doom enemies in retextured Doom levels based on levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Grounder replaces the Zombiemen, Shotgun Guys and Chaingunners; Coconuts are the imps, and various new robots replace the Demons, Spectres and Barons. You grab emeralds to unlock doors and eventually find the exit. It’s typical Doom fare. That’s all the good I can say about it. Because everything after it is much worse, especially for Doom mods.

Do you like running through large, square rooms with nothing to make it stand out besides a prop or two? Do you like areas where you have to move quickly through the area, otherwise you get stuck and are forced to slowly lose health and die? Do you like fighting reskins of Revenants and Arachnotrons that are ripped straight from Sonic the Hedgehog 3, looking terrible as a result? Do you like terrible-looking gun reskins, even for 1998? If you said yes to any of these, you’ll have a blast with Sonic Doom II.

Seriously, this Shotgun reskin makes it look like Sonic's holding his... er.

Seriously, this Shotgun reskin makes it look like Sonic’s holding his… uhh.

I know some of you may be quick to defend the mod for being creative by replacing the sprites and enemies, but by 1998 we were seeing modders do a lot of amazing stuff with Doom, such as these:

Pictured above: Requiem, Cyberdreams and Hell Revealed, custom Doom WADs released around the same time, with considerably better quality.

In comparison, Sonic Doom II is the epitome of a 1994 level. This is almost “my first Doom mod,” but the textures and sprite modifications are a bit higher than the average 1994 wad. I can forgive SSNTails a little, since making Doom levels is pretty hard, but he should’ve put more effort into this. Especially when you have levels based entirely on remaking Sonic the Hedgehog, a franchise that was in its dark period. It doesn’t help when you have levels that look that look like colored blobs:

Screenshot_Doom_20130602_105240

Seriously, he made three levels based on Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Unless you were looking at the automap, you’d just see solid colors that are hard to see and navigate through.

I remember playing this a long time ago and thinking it was amazing, but the nostalgia train hit me like a ton of bricks and made me realize how this is not good at all. This isn’t even a funny joke wad like The Sky May Be or deathz0r Online: the Internet Made Stupid, this is just bad.

Eventually SSNTails abandoned the Sonic Doom II mod in favor of continuing his next project, Sonic Robo Blast 2. Which, last I heard, is still in development and has been since 1998. This will likely beat Duke Nukem Forever for the longest-developed game award, and if it ever actually gets released in its entirety, maybe Doomworld will give it a Mordeth Award. I did play SRB2 back in the day, and I’m baffled what is taking them so long to make Sonic in the old Doom engine. Nowadays you could probably make SRB2 in the PC version of Sonic Generations faster than dicking with an old source port of the Doom engine.

Sonic Doom II used an old Doom Legacy source port to run, but SSNTails fixed the mod very recently, almost 13 years later, just to fix a few bugs involving some of the levels and change a few things, replacing a secret level full of enemies from Project GeeKer to just porting a level from Sonic Robo Blast 2 wholesale. The mod now works in ZDoom, so you can slap the files into something like ZDL and play it with mouse look and jumping, the way he intended way back in 1998. Too bad it doesn’t make the mod any more fun. But if you wanna have a laugh, you can download it from his website here.

Thanks to Sonic Retro for unearthing this gold nugget just for me to experience a little-known slice of Doom history. You can watch a stream of them playing through this wonderful mod here.

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