Doom II: Hell on Earth is the first sequel to Doom, released by id Software on September 30, 1994, followed by the official release party on October 10. Featuring 32 levels in a single linear episode, Doom II continues Doom's story, seeing the player returning to Earth to single-handedly fight off an invasion of the planet by demons.
Doom II includes several gameplay enhancements over the original Doom. Most notable are the introduction of several new monster types, plus an additional weapon (the super shotgun). While the original game was distributed via shareware and mail order (to purchase the full game), Doom II was the first game developed by id Software to be sold commercially in stores, with cooperation of distributor GT Interactive. This represented a change in business model for id that would later be adopted more widely.
The Ultimate Doom's story ended with the Marine protagonist's defeat of the second Spider Mastermind in a gateway between Hell and Earth. Stepping through a portal to Earth which opens after the creature's death, however, there is a cliffhanger ending - it is discovered that the demons which invaded the Mars moonbases have now invaded Earth as well.
After Earth's major cities are left in ruins by the attack, the human survivors await evacuation from a starport, but the demons have surrounded it with a barrier of flames. All of humanity's remaining soldiers make a desperate assault on the starport, but eventually they are annihilated and only the Marine remains.
Fighting through the starport, the Marine manages to lower the demonic defenses, allowing the survivors to escape to the safety of space. Left behind, he at first prepares for death, but soon receives a radio message from the ships' commanders that they have pinpointed the source of the demonic invasion not far from his current location. He fights through the ravaged city, where Hell's reality is once again beginning to merge with our own, twisting and corrupting the heavily damaged ruins. After finding the portal to Hell and returning once more to the underworld, the Marine eventually confronts the ultimate source of the hellspawn, a gigantic demon. Pumping his rockets into the creature's exposed brain, it dies, devastating miles of Hell's surface in all directions in its death throes, ending the invasion and giving humanity a chance to rebuild.
In terms of gameplay, Doom II is similar to the first game, adding only incremental changes to its formula in the form of new monsters and a new weapon. To progress, the player must still navigate non-linear levels, find keys, and unlock new areas while defending against an onslaught of demons. Technologically and graphically the game is identical, though due to more complicated levels and larger fights the base system requirements for the game were higher.
One of Doom II's most significant changes over its predecessor is that it takes place over a single linear sequence of levels - the episode-based structure of the first game was abandoned, as was the map shown on intermission screens; this means that the player no longer has to find new weapons at the start of each episode. Occasional textual interludes are used to advance the story, in the same fashion as the first game's episode endings.
While Doom II's level design is ostensibly based on structures and locations on Earth, in practice it retains much of the abstract design of the first game. Early levels present a techbase theme representing the military starport. The mid-game presents levels with an urban city theme that the player navigates attempting to find the origin of the demonic invasion. The later levels are intended to represent Hell merging with reality, and therefore have a style reminiscent of the Inferno episode of the first game.
Doom II's new monsters include the heavy weapon dude, Hell knight, mancubus, revenant, arachnotron, pain elemental, arch-vile, and Icon of Sin. The SS trooper from Wolfenstein 3D appears in a cameo in two secret levels which reproduce maps from Wolfenstein 3D. Commander Keen also appears, albeit in effigy. According to Sandy Petersen, the new monsters of Doom II had originally been intended for the first game and had been left incomplete - this is corroborated by the timing of their sculpting by Gregor Punchatz as well.
Also introduced is the super shotgun, a more powerful double barreled version of the shotgun from the first game. The Megasphere is additionally introduced as a more powerful version of the Supercharge power up, offering a maximum amount of both health and armor.
Reviews and sales
Doom II sold over two million copies, the most sales of any id Software game at the time. The new and varied enemies, and its innovative non-linear level design were praised by critics. While well-received, the game was regarded by some as a disappointment due to the lack of major new features and boring level design. It was released around the same time as Star Wars: Dark Forces which presented more obvious enhancements to the genre.
There was no shareware version of Doom II released and it was only sold in retail stores. Internally Doom II is referred to as the "commercial" version, though an enhanced version of the first game was also later re-released in stores as The Ultimate Doom. Official ports were made to various platforms, including the Apple Macintosh, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox.
Doom II's levels are divided into three "episodes", though these are not official. The sky texture for each episode is different, and an intermission screen describes the progress in story in transitioning between them. There are also two secret levels. There are further story interludes before level 7, before each of the secret levels, and after finishing the game. Old versions of SETUP.EXE give names for these episodes, though this was later removed.
Episode 1: "The Space Station"
- Level 1: Entryway
- Level 2: Underhalls (Exit to secret level; Xbox only)
- Level 3: The Gantlet
- Level 4: The Focus
- Level 5: The Waste Tunnels
- Level 6: The Crusher
- Level 7: Dead Simple
- Level 8: Tricks and Traps
- Level 9: The Pit
- Level 10: Refueling Base
- Level 11: 'O' of Destruction!1
- 1: Known as Circle of Death on the intermission screen.
Episode 2: "The City"
- Level 12: The Factory
- Level 13: Downtown
- Level 14: The Inmost Dens
- Level 15: Industrial Zone (Exit to secret level)
- Level 16: Suburbs
- Level 17: Tenements
- Level 18: The Courtyard
- Level 19: The Citadel
- Level 20: Gotcha!
Episode 3: "Hell"
- Level 21: Nirvana
- Level 22: The Catacombs
- Level 23: Barrels o' Fun
- Level 24: The Chasm
- Level 25: Bloodfalls
- Level 26: The Abandoned Mines
- Level 27: Monster Condo
- Level 28: The Spirit World
- Level 29: The Living End
- Level 30: Icon of Sin
- Level 31: Wolfenstein2 (Exit to super secret level, IDKFA in BFG Edition)
- Level 32: Grosse2 (Keen in BFG Edition)
- 2: These two levels do not appear in the German version.
Bonus Xbox level:
- Level 1: The Earth Base
- Level 2: The Pain Labs
- Level 3: Canyon of the Dead
- Level 4: Hell Mountain (Exit to secret level)
- Level 5: Vivisection
- Level 6: Inferno of Blood
- Level 7: Baron's Banquet
- Level 8: Tomb of Malevolence
- Level 9: March of the Demons (Secret level)
- The super shotgun is a new weapon which Doom II introduced to the series.
Doom II includes all the monsters from Doom:
Doom II also has new monsters, which are:
- Heavy weapon dude
- Hell knight
- Pain elemental
- Wolfenstein SS
- Commander Keen
- The final boss
Legal issues in Germany
According to the German Strafgesetzbuch section 86a, the usage of unconstitutional symbols is forbidden outside of certain contexts such as research, teaching and others. Exceptions to this law did not originally extend to video games. Because the two secret maps Wolfenstein and Grosse use swastikas, the German version did not contain these maps to prevent the game from becoming the subject of search and seizure procedures (as Wolfenstein 3-D had been). This meant that it was forbidden to sell, hire or otherwise give the game to anybody, although merely owning the game was always legal.
On 31 December 1994 (date of official announcement), however, the game was put on the Index of the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften (Medien), which meant that the game could not be advertised, sold, rented, or otherwise given to minors. This restriction applied to all versions of the game, except for the Game Boy Advance version which has a "teen" rating in every territory.
The German release uses engine version 1.666, and its DOOM2.WAD file is slightly smaller than the international version. Under MS-DOS, when the player attempts to use the level warp cheat for either of the secret maps, the game instantly crashes.
However, the official announcement stated that not all versions were delisted at that time:
"Lediglich die amerikanische Fassung von 'Doom II - Hell on Earth' wurde in der Liste belassen, da diese zwei zusätzliche Level mit Darstellungen aus dem indizierten und bundesweit beschlagnahmten Spiel 'Wolfenstein 3D' enthält."
Translated: "Only the American version of 'Doom II - Hell on Earth' has been left in the list, because it contains two additional levels with representations from the indexed and nationwide-seized 'Wolfenstein 3D'".
In 2018, the BPjM established new rules regarding the use of unconstitutional symbols in games which would further allow games like Wolfenstein, or versions of Doom II containing swastika graphics, to be legally sold, so long as the tone of the work itself is otherwise constitutional (for example, insofar as Nazis appear in the game, they are depicted as enemies or villains).
On the 30th of December, 2019, the BPjM announced that they had deleted the US version of Doom II from the list of harmful media. This happened because Doom II was on the index for 25 years and after that time, the index status has to be re-evaluated. The BPjM declared that the use of swastikas in Doom II is no longer seen as unconstitutional in light of the new rules established in 2018. Since then, no additional titles from the Doom series have been placed on the German Index.
Current Compet-n records
The Compet-n episode records for Doom II are:
|UV speed episode, MAP01-MAP10||05:44||Looper||2011-02-14||0544uv01.zip|
|UV speed episode, MAP11-MAP20||09:52||Radek Pecka||2003-08-08||0952uv11.zip|
|UV speed episode, MAP21-MAP30||08:59||Radek Pecka||2004-09-28||0859uv21.zip|
|UV speed run||20:30||Looper||2015-06-19||30uv2030.zip|
|NM speed episode, MAP01-MAP10||07:11||Juho Ruohonen (ocelot)||2003-09-02||0711nm01.zip|
|NM speed episode, MAP11-MAP20||11:19||Drew DeVore (stx-Vile)||2002-03-24||1119nm11.zip|
|NM speed episode, MAP21-MAP30||13:35||Vincent Catalaá (Peroxyd)||2002-07-22||1335nm21.zip|
|NM speed run||29:39||Henning Skogstø||2009-07-23||30nm2939.zip|
|UV max episode, MAP01-MAP10||25:50||Radek Pecka||2001-06-15||2550uv01.zip|
|UV max episode, MAP11-MAP20||47:10||Radek Pecka||2002-04-18||4710uv11.zip|
|UV max episode, MAP21-MAP30||39:16||Radek Pecka||2002-08-29||3916uv21.zip|
|UV max run||1:53:18||Radek Pecka||2002-04-22||30uvmax4.zip|
|NM100S episode, MAP01-MAP10||14:25||Drew DeVore (stx-Vile)||2002-01-27||1425ns01.zip|
|NM100S episode, MAP11-MAP20||23:48||Drew DeVore (stx-Vile)||2002-01-11||2348ns11.zip|
|NM100S episode, MAP21-MAP30||18:27||Jan Vida (Doomgeek)||2002-07-15||1827ns21.zip|
|NM100S run||56:00||Drew DeVore (stx-Vile)||2004-05-30||30ns5600.zip|
|UV -fast episode, MAP01-MAP10||25:52||Ian Sabourin (sslasher)||2002-04-27||2552fa01.zip|
|UV -fast episode, MAP11-MAP20||57:44||Radek Pecka||2002-08-31||5744fa11.zip|
|UV -fast episode, MAP21-MAP30||1:01:35||Vincent Catalaá (Peroxyd)||2001-02-15||6135fa21.zip|
|UV -fast run||2:08:04||Radek Pecka||2003-06-24||30famax2.zip|
|UV -respawn episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|UV -respawn episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|UV -respawn episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV -respawn run||1|
|UV Tyson episode, MAP01-MAP10||1:44:45||Looper||2011-11-29||10445ty1.zip|
|UV Tyson episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|UV Tyson episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV Tyson run||1|
|UV pacifist episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|UV pacifist episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|UV pacifist episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV pacifist run||1|
The data was last verified in its entirety on November 22, 2020.
- No qualifying run verified and published, as of the most recent Compet-n database update.
|No monsters run||18:12||Looper||2011-09-26||30no1812.zip|
- Master Levels for Doom II
- Doom, Final Doom
- Cover art
- Built-in demos
- DOOM2.EXE, DOOM2.WAD, DOOM2F.WAD
- Officially licensed ports of Doom games to consoles and non-DOS computers
- Source ports
- Other games based on the Doom engine
- Doom 3
- id Software
- Various screenshots on the back cover of the original Doom II game box display scenery and an arachnotron sprite which are not found in the officially released game. These were likely screenshots from a pre-release version of Doom II which had differing level structure and graphics than what was included in the official commercial release. These unconventional screenshots have been later used in various Doom II re-releases, including the Doom95 repackaging in 1995, the Steam release in 2007 and on id Software's own Doom II page.
- The Doom II cover art was drawn by occult/fantasy artist Gerald Brom.
- id Software's Doom II site (archived 🏛)
- Level design credits, from Lee Killough's page (archived 🏛)
- Poster[dead link] of the Doom II cover art
- Doom II manual on Steam
- Top-down perspective view of all Doom II levels by Ian Albert
- David Taylor (23 September 1994). "idNews: DOOM II release party invitations." Google Groups. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- Saral, Mahmut (5 December 2018). "An interview with legendary Sandy Petersen (Call of Cthulhu, Doom, Quake, Age of Empires and much more!)." Donanım Günlüğü. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
- Announcement of the BPjM (German) [dead link]
|Games in the Doom series|
|Classic Doom|| Doom • Doom II • Final Doom • Doom 64 |
Official ports: 3DO • Acorn RiscOS • Apple Macintosh • Atari Jaguar • Doom Classic Unity port • Game Boy Advance (Doom, Doom II) • iOS • Linux • NEC PC-9801 • NeXTSTEP • OS/2 • Pocket PC • QNX • SGI • Sega 32X • Sega Saturn • Solaris • Sony PlayStation (Doom, Final Doom) • Sony PlayStation 3 • Super NES • Tapwave Zodiac • WebTV Plus • Windows (WinDoom, Doom95) • Xbox • Xbox 360
|Doom 3|| Doom 3 • Doom 3: BFG Edition • Doom 3: VR Edition
Related: id Tech 4
|Doom (2016)|| Doom (2016) • Doom VFR • Doom Eternal|
|Mobile games||Doom RPG • Doom II RPG • Doom Resurrection • Mighty Doom|
|Canceled games||Doom Absolution • Doom 4 1.0|
|Related: Commercial games • Expanded universe • List of books • List of commercial compilations|