Orcs & Elves

From DoomWiki.org

Box cover of the Nintendo DS version of Orcs & Elves.

Orcs & Elves is a mobile phone game based on the Doom RPG engine and created by John Carmack and Fountainhead Entertainment. The game has also been ported to Nintendo DS.


The game is described as an adventure RPG, in which the protagonist, a young elf, must retake a Dwarven city from the evil army occupying it. The player is equipped initially only with a sentient, talking magic wand and a sword, but other weapons become available.

Engine changes[edit]

Compared to Doom RPG, changes in the J2ME version include:

  • The level state is now saved when moving between levels. Some monsters can respawn when revisiting earlier levels.
  • Status effects for monsters.
  • Translucency for monsters and objects is supported, and used in the game.
  • Health bars are drawn (only over the first enemy in the line of fire).
  • Levels can have double-height walls (the texture is repeated).
  • In-game cutscenes are improved: the camera can now move, and objects can now smoothly move.
  • Maximum range of fire for player restricted from 8 to 5, and monsters far away from the player now stop moving.
  • In-game text screens are now variable width, rather than being sized to fit the smallest supported screen. The game will divide words according to hyphens stored internally. (Displaying an hyphen in the middle of a line requires a double hyphen internally).

Game versions[edit]

There are five versions of the game:

  • High-end BREW - The development team preferred development for BREW over J2ME, so this version was developed first. They had however noticed during development that this was a strategic mistake, as it is generally easier to add new features than scale down the project to run on less capable hardware.[1] It required a Qualcomm BREW-based phone with 176x220 screen resolution to run.
  • Low-end BREW - A scaled down version for less capable Qualcomm BREW-based devices. Despite a visible downgrade, it still retained more features than the low end J2ME version.
  • High-end J2ME - This version was available on the EA Mobile website, where it could be tried before buying with a 10 minute time limit. It was running on mpowerplayer. It retained most of the features of the high-end BREW version. Footage of gameplay from this version is available on YouTube [2].
  • Low-end J2ME - The most scaled down version for low-spec Java phones.
  • Nintendo DS - The original cell phone game had a tile-based "2.5D" engine that could only render constrained sets of horizontal and vertical polygons with aligned textures. The DS port received a new 3D engine which allowed use of arbitrary geometry, texturing, and lighting for the levels.[3] Apart from this engine upgrade, the game also received new features and enhancements.

Doom references[edit]

  • When starting a new game, you can choose the hardest "Nightmare" difficulty level. The game asks "Are you sure you want to die?" The player must choose either "Bring it on!" or "I'm too young to die..." (see Skill level) (not in the J2ME version)
  • Bruul the Orc chief tells the player, "prepare for your DOOM!"
  • Some art from Doom is reused in the game, for example, the wall texture in the hub level (similar to RROCK04 flat) and the yellow floor lamp (similar to TREDB0 patch but recolored)


  • This article incorporates text from the open-content Wikipedia online encyclopedia article Orcs & Elves.

External links[edit]


  1. Carmack, John (2 May 2006). "Orcs & Elves." John Carmack's Blog (archived 🏛). Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  2. NewSource (29 April 2020). "Orcs & Elves: Unreleased j2me version." YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  3. Litten, Matt (15 October 2007). "Orcs & Elves DS Developer Diary #2." vgblogger.com. Retrieved 21 January 2021.