Exploring the Ancient Top Ten Lists of Doom

Illustration for article titled Exploring the Ancient Top Ten Lists of Doom

id Software’s classic first-person shooter Doom is a part of gaming history, forever occupying a prominent place in the collective gaming consciousness. Let’s travel back to 1993, as PC gamers faced impending Doom the only way they could: with funny top ten lists.


Harvested from an archive by one Hank Leukart located on the website of Doom designer John Romero, what follows is a look at how witty gamers weathered the wait for the eagerly anticipated title.

First up is a list of waiting suggestions, originally posted on America Online by user Wolkonsky on August 27, 1993. If you understand the references, you’re an old person. Don’t worry, I’m right there with you.

Top Nine Things to Do While Waiting for Doom

1) Search the Internet for Beta Version.
2) See if we can go through Wolfenstein 3-D with our eyes closed.
3) Use MapEdit/WolfEdit to make Wolfenstein 3-D “look like” Doom.
4) Find out where the id “lab” is and “encourage” them.
5) Watch the new 90210 episode!
6) See if Blake Stone or Rampage will be any good.
7) Upload the Lemmings Demo as “DOOM10.ZIP” and see what happens.
8) Get girlfriends and drop them on 12/10/93, unless they like Doom and have a computer with a modem.
9) Or lastly, look at Doom slides and “pretend” we are playing.

90210! It’s like being back in 1993, curled up in a fetal position in the corner, rocking back and forth and sobbing. Don’t worry, it gets even better. The next list, posted on America Online by ScottBro on October 7, 1993, mentions Sununu. Sununu!

Top 10 Things To Do Until Doom arrives

10) Get a marker and change boxes of George Lucas’s LOOM to DOOM to confuse over-anxious gamers.
9) Issue bogus press release from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, saying the DOOMsday clock will strike midnight sometime before September 30, 1993.
8) Get a date with someone from L7.
7) When feeling depressed due to the wait, chant the B.J. Blaskowitz mantra, “This is my rifle, This is my gun, This is for killing, this is for fun.
6) Memorize the July Computer Gaming World, pages 104-5, preview of Doom.
5) Get network and sound card installed on all systems at the office.
4) Make Doom acronyms, like “Dantes Obsessive Outrageous Marauders”
3) Tell boss I’ll need two weeks’ vacation on very short notice during the third quarter, due to pending family crisis.
2. Figure a way to persuade Id to allow imports of faces on monsters, so we can make creatures like the: Sunnunu Bloated Beast, the Michael Bolton Shrieker, and the Ex-Wife from Hell, where she belongs.
1) Try and make friends with the Big Blue guys from Wolfie; We might need help this time.

Man, remember sound cards?

Next up is another one from Wolkonsky, posted on August 31, 1993 on America Online. This guy had way too much free time. Apparently Doom was delayed. I was too busy playing Commander Keen to notice.

Top Ten Things Being Removed From Doom During Delay

The Doom Delay of `93 might be worse than we first thought! Here is
a list of things that I heard were being taken out of Doom.

1) Socks the Cat
2) Cameo by the Mario Brothers (you thought the Pac-Man Ghosts were bad)
3) The “Shawngreen” monster in level 3 (too scary, it went around screaming “It’s not done yet! Not yet!”)
4) Cindy Crawford workout in level 4
5) Vanilla Ice-Amy Grant theme song
6) “Fun with Barney” puzzle in level 2
7) Pin Up GIF of Sally Struthers.
8) “John 3:15" : various locations
9) “Bulges” in monsters groin area
10) The Bathroom Scenes.


And finally we have my favorite, mainly because the unknown poster that tossed this online back in 1993 decided his list should run using the voice of talk show host David Letterman. It’s like a Late Night with David Letterman / Doom fanfic!

Top Fifteen Reasons Doom Was Delayed

The following is intended to be humorous, with no ill intent whatsoever. I hope everyone takes it in the spirit it is given. ;)

DAVE: “I have in my hand here tonight’s Top 10 List from the home office in Sioux City, Iowa. Actually, it’s a Top 15.”

(show the special graphics)

DAVE: “Them special effects is fantastic!” (grin) “Tonight’s category is: Top 15 reasons Doom’s release was delayed to December 10th. Here we go...”

15. Added near death sequence when player is shot full of holes.
14. Added networking capability via spaghetti noodles.
13. “If Origin can do it, so can we.”
12. They want to ensure it won’t run under Windows.
11. Currently using Doom as negotiating tool to get Ukraine to give up nukes.
10. Fighting lawsuit from Apogee claiming Doom is their ‘intellectual property’. (for those Letterman fans)
9. They want to increase fourth quarter earnings.
8. The boss’s wife wants to ‘redecorate’ the levels.
7. They want to make a politically correct version.
6. id aspires to be the next Microsoft.
5. NASA lost the source code.
4. Bill’s waiting for Hillary’s permission to release game. (oops,
sorry, that’s the Health Care Reform Package)
3. John’s dog ate his computer.
2. Ran out of bug spray.

DAVE: “And the number one reason Doom’s release was delayed...”

1. They want the game’s release to be just in time for Christmas shopping.

Hahahahaha. Hahahahaha. Haha. *titter*

Okay, so maybe the humor doesn’t hold up too well. It’s the spirit that counts. Plus it’s pretty interesting to see what was on the minds of fans on the eve of one of the greatest video games ever made.


Want a closer look? Check out the whole archive over on John Romero’s website, lovingly preserved for all eternity.

Doom Insanity [Rome.ro]



I'm 30... played Doom 2 on my 386 that I built just for doom. I had a "sound blaster compatible" soundcard, running dos 6.22, 4 megs of ram, and a 40 gig hard drive. It took about 2 hours to install doom 2 on it (5 3.5" high density floppies), which I got from a teacher for free. Later I bought the 5 floppies from sears. I remember the last level of Doom 2 crashing my 386 from all the monsters that spawned while I tried to figure out just how to kill a giant boss that was just a wall with a texture on it, later a guide telling me to shoot rockets through the hole in the wall. Also, iddqd idkfa idclip is your friend ;)