It has been well worth the wait- it's finally available: John Romero's SIGIL Megawad! I have been on the look-out for a copy since I heard that John was developing 9 new levels. The alternate WAD's John made (E1M4b and E1M8b) are good WAD's and so I was confident that SIGIL would turn out to be good too.

One could briefly pre-order SIGIL in standard or beast full-sized retail boxes. John Romero likes the classic big boxes (who doesn't!?) and put boxes together for SIGIL. The boxes weren't cheap ($166 for a the most equipped one), however.

John will release the free version of SIGIL (just the WAD-file) on 31th of May. If you want it now you can buy it (including Buckethead soundtrack) for a symbolic amount of EUR 6.66 here. It includes the WAD with Buckethead soundtrack.

Playing SIGIL

I fired up my Pentium 100 with Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 but quickly found out that the new WAD's are too big and complex for the original DOS Doom. Though you do need the original Doom IWAD you can't play it on the original-original Doom. Head over to and download GZDoom in order to play SIGIL. Copy both the original Ultimate Doom IWAD (DOOM.WAD) and the SIGIL.WAD into the GZDoom folder. You can launch SIGIL.WAD by dragging it onto the GZDoom executable. However, I made a shortcut in order to specify both the SIGIL.WAD and the SIGIL_SHREDS.WAD file. The latter is needed if you want the Buckethead soundtrack. See the image below how to specifiy the shortcut:

In-game I went to Options > Set Video Mode and configured the Doom Software Renderer. Default is Hardware Accelerated but I don't fancy the texture filtering that makes everything just a tad too blurry. I also played the whole game using keyboard with auto-aim on just like in the original Doom. It is not needed to look up and down in order to finish the game. Of course you can tune settings the way you like since GZDoom offers a lot of configuration options.

My thoughts about the game

I enjoyed playing SIGIL a lot. The maps have a lot of detail and are well put together. The atmosphere for Doom and the theme around SIGIL is just right. I've rarely got moments where I walked around searching where to go. The only two moments I got 'stuck' was when finding the opening to the yellow door in the secret map (which opens only in a specific way; and I was walking the wrong direction to trigger it) and in one of the other maps I found out I didn't need (nor could find) keys to open keyed buttons; confusing! All the other maps played just fine although E5M6 was a bit on the dark side.

To find all secrets in the maps you have to search around a lot and be creative sometimes. Also the exit to secret map isn't very keen on showing itself :).

John Romero really showed his creative side. Creating such levels in Doom is not for everybody. Especially making it look as advanced as SIGIL with the limitations of the original Doom, without new textures and modifying the source-code, is a tough job. Well done!

The maps are based on the Doom IWAD so you have to set your desires for the double-barreled shotgun aside; you can't get that weapon the original version of Doom. Eventually you won't miss the double-barreled shotgun even despite it's sort of the best weapon in Doom.

Look at the pictures in the sidebar (click them to enlarge) or look at YouTube for video's to get a first impression. Or even better: stop reading and go play SIGIL right now!

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