Wad, short for “where’s all the data,” is the file format used by Doom. Over the past twenty years, Doom‘s fanbase has produced thousands upon thousands of these Wads, ranging from simple sprite swaps to full-fledged total conversion epics. Here on Tight.Wads, myself and Perry Ruhland aim to bring you some highlight wads—be they the most creative, punishing, or downright fun.
When many people think DOOM mods they think Aliens: Total Conversion, and with good reason. The popularity of this mod extended beyond even the most casual DOOM fans and into the mainstream. Justin Fisher, the mod’s creator, was even offered jobs at several game developers but ended up declining to finish his degree. The original mod was made for DOOM 1.666. It was updated for DOOM 1.9 and then one final time for Ultimate DOOM.
It’s also called Aliens “Total Conversion” with good reason, as the game takes on a whole new style with this mod. The first level is completely devoid of enemies, and when the Xenomorphs do show up, it’s best to avoid taking on too many at once. You get the classic motion tracker from the films, and creeping through dark cramped vents while listening to a slow steady beeping is an experience wholly unlike DOOM and wholly excellent.
A number of iconic weapons from the film make an appearance in Aliens: Total Conversion as well, from the M4A1 Pulse Rifle to the Smart Gun, and even a brief appearance from the powerloader. They all sound like their film counterparts, and Fisher actually ripped a lot of sounds from the Aliens film so everything from the doors whooshing open to M4A1’s iconic chatter is spot on. There are also a lot of lines from the movie sprinkled throughout the mod as well. I think it’s supposed to create the feeling that you’re part of the team of colonial marines clearing LV-426, but it often feels strange to have a disembodied voice from the film spouting lines at you. Furthermore, the Aliens: Total Conversion actually follows the plot of the film pretty well, and sometimes lines will crop up from characters that would be dead at that point in the film.
The mod contains 9 levels and 2 bonus levels, and can be completed in about an hour. So if you are a DOOM fan who has some how managed to avoid this for the 22 years it’s been available, you have no reason not to jump in now.