Doom Megawad Eviternity II Celebrates 30 Years Of Doom With A Glorious 36-Map Sequel
The original Doom and Doom II games have a rich and thriving mod community that continues to this day. The title just celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday, and to commemorate the occasion, one of the very best "megawads" of all time—that's community parlance for a level set with a full game's worth of maps—has just gotten a surprise sequel five years later.
Eviternity II MAP11, 'Titan'
If you're relatively new to the game, like, say, someone who has played Doom and Doom II but doesn't know where to start with mods, one of the very first recommendations you're likely to get from fans is to try out Eviternity. It's an absolutely astonishing achievement for the Doom engine; a legendary levelset with amazing visuals, killer map design, and surprisingly-high system requirements when played with hardware rendering. We've even used it for a benchmark a couple of times.
Eviternity II MAP19, 'Spellbound'
The original level set was the brainchild of Joshua "Dragonfly" O'Sullivan, who created the majority of the maps as well as some of the music along with a group of collaborators and guest mappers, and it was released on the 25th Anniversary of Doom 5 years ago. Well now, we have the sequel: Eviternity II. It's another 36 maps of incredible, engine-limit-pushing level design, with custom music, modified monsters, and entirely new textures.
Eviternity II MAP13, 'Colossicus'
Once again, Dragonfly takes up the lead role, contributing 21 of the pack's 36 maps, but it also includes editing work from community legends like Ola "ukiro" Björling, Derek "Afterglow" MacDonald, and Philip "Liberation" Brown, just to name a few. All of the guest mappers are well-known in the community, and feature talent from around the world—a testament to the international and diverse nature of the dedicated group of people that still mod Doom.
Eviternity was a standout not only for its stunning level design with impressive visuals and its mix of frenetic pseudo-slaughter gameplay with more laid-back exploration segments, but also for its soundtrack. Doom wads are noted for borrowing MIDI versions of music from just about any source, but the original Eviternity's soundtrack was unusually about half bespoke. The new package has an "almost entirely custom" soundtrack produced by Jimmy Paddock, Tristan Clark, Brayden Hart, Kevin Martins, and Dragonfly himself.
Okay, okay, you're sold. How to play it? It's completely free to download, but you will need to do a little setup first as you can't play Eviternity II on the official, Unity-based ports of Doom currently sold by Bethesda. Don't worry, it's not that complicated. If you don't have a copy already, dig into those games' files (in Steam\Steamapps\Common\Doom 2\Classic\) to grab the DOOM2.WAD file that contains all of the graphic and audio data for Doom's weapons and monsters, among other things.
Once you have a copy of DOOM2.WAD, drop that into a folder somewhere with your choice of either DSDA-Doom or GZDoom. DSDA-Doom is the source port typically used by speedrunners and those who want a more classic Doom experience but with modern conveniences. Meanwhile, GZDoom is the most popular version of the Doom engine for people who want advanced mapping features like support for slopes and 3D floors. You won't find those in Eviternity, but you do have to use one of these two ports to play the megawad, as it makes use of the "MBF21" map format and thus isn't compatible with the original DOS doom2.exe ("vanilla" Doom II).
How To Setup Doom Megawad
Eviternity II MAP04, 'Engulfed'
Whichever port you choose, make sure DOOM2.WAD and Eviternity II RC1.wad (get it from the official site) are in the same folder, and then from there, you can either launch it from the command line with the -file parameter (dsda-doom.exe -file "Eviternity II RC1.wad" or gzdoom.exe -file "Eviternity II RC1.wad"), or you can simply drag the .wad file onto the executable to launch it. If you get an error about "IWAD not found", you forgot to put DOOM2.WAD in the same folder.