John Romero, the game developer virtuoso behind Hexen, Quake, Wolfenstein, and other games still being remade and sequelized to this day, just dropped a massive, free mod for one of his most famous and popular creations: Doom.
In case you missed my tweet this morning, SIGIL v1.1 is now available for free download at https://t.co/4iBwNEocdw. If you have the paid version (from a box USB or digital download), download the free SIGIL v1.1 to update it.
— 𝕵𝖔𝖍𝖓 𝕽𝖔𝖒𝖊𝖗𝖔 (@romero) May 31, 2019
The new expansion is called “Sigil”, and it’s the unofficial fifth episode in the game’s story (three episodes were part of the original release, a fourth was added with the Ultimate Doom edition from 1995). It contains nine single-player levels and nine deathmatch levels and is “megawad”-sized, meaning it’s almost the same size as a commercial game.
Despite the popularity of its excellent 2016 reboot, the original Doom still has a massive, devoted community of players and modders. Typically when I hear news about Doom, it’s about how someone managed to make it run on a smart toaster or something. It’s cool to see it getting an addition so substantial after all this time, especially from the person who gave us the original game in the first place.
Almost as interesting as the episode’s release is the “Megawad Beast Box” physical release. It includes, among other things, a “16GB 3-1/2-inch floppy disk-themed USB that includes the free megawad data and extras” and a “pewter statue of John Romero’s head on a spike.” I’m trying to think of a more metal gaming accessory to possess, and I admit I can’t think of any.
Romero originally revealed Sigil late last year, for the original game’s 25th anniversary, and promised it would be free — which it is. The game was briefly delayed from its original release date in February, and was finally released today. The delay apparently came from a production snag in the aforementioned Beast Box, and Romero‘s apparent determination to ensure those who paid for the special edition got it at the same day as the free release.
If you want to try your hand at “Sigil”, you can download it from Romero’s website. You’ll need the original Doom in order to play it, though that’s readily available on Steam.