Doom’s a classic. One of the biggest games in the world that, in 1995, was installed on more PCs than Windows 95. Even now it’s been ported and pulled onto almost every gaming machine possible, but it doesn’t stop there: hackers, homebrew fans and madmen have managed to get Doom running on a range of machines. Seriously, if it has a screen someone’s tried to get Doom going on it. Let’s take a look at some of the strangest, shall we?
An Apple watch
Simultaneously as impressive as it is impractical. This is what happens when tech people have a hackathon. On the one hand it’s amazing that what was the peak of gaming in 1995 now runs on *a watch* but on the other, it’s not entirely a practical way to play the game.
A portable plate edge bevelling machine
This is a little like cheating because it is just a big computer, albeit one that adds PVC strips to furniture on an industrial scale. Still, let’s not underestimate the skill involved in making Doom run on a something more used to applying the finishing touches to showers and kitchen cupboards.
A Macbook touch bar
Probably the least practical Doom hack ever, creating a version of the game that appears to be in a 100:10 aspect ratio. Kudos for getting it to work, but it looks like a visual representation of a migraine and probably plays like one too.
What’s interesting here is that this famous Doom hack was actually part of an experiment to show security exploits in wireless printers. It was, at one point, possible to force a firmware update on a printer and make it run any software - spying stuff for example to sneak a look at what was being printed. Or, in this case, a version of Doom.
A graphics calculator
Graphics calculators are good at one thing mainly: graphical calculation. In terms of innards they don’t have half the things you’re supposed to need to do this, like loads of RAM or a GPU, which makes a working version of Doom here more witchcraft than anything else. Apparently it drains the batteries in minutes.
On a single key
The Optimus Maximus was a $1500 keyboard that had a programmable screen on every single key. The idea was you could map just about any lettering or symbols to it depending on the game you were playing. And, if we’ve learned anything so far, is that anything with a screen will be forced to run Doom. In this case in a glorious 48x48 resolution.
Public access tablets
Achievement Unlocked: DOOM running on a LinkNYC kiosk (wifi and android kiosk on NYC streets) pic.twitter.com/OVevmJ3JNbApril 10, 2016
I’m not sure this is what New York had in mind when it provided hundreds of public kiosks to give people free computer access and WiFi. Still, if it can run Doom, it should. This isn’t a true hack, though, as it’s really just playing an online emulator via a browser, but it counts all the same.
This old Sony phone
It might not play any sound but this old Sony K-800i apparently “runs okay.” It’s made possible by patching the firmware to let the phone run custom executable files. Like Doom. Because what else are you going to do with phone from 2006, call someone?
On a camera
What’s most impressive about this is that the 1998 Kodak DC260 digital camera is almost as old as Doom itself. A lot of things on this list work because time moves on and there’s now enough power in a watch to run a game that originally needed an entire PC. Bonus points for the fact that this has a TV out as well if you want a bigger screen.
On an old iPod
Not just an old iPod, but a Nano at that, for extra showing off. This is probably a hack you could do yourself if you had one lying around, as there’s an Instructables guide detailing the steps needed to do it.
Not having any of the right buttons has certainly never stopped anyone running Doom on a thing. So an ATM? Sure, whatever. As well as getting the game working on a cash machine, these ambitious hackers have also got it using the buttons on the side of the screens, swapping the $10, $20 money options for pistol, shotgun and so on.
There are so many different versions of Doom now that almost anything is possible, including GZDoom, an open source port that includes support for arcade machines capable of playing other games. Like Doom. In Doom. Doom squared, if you like. Yes it is a bit Inception-y.