Shooters are a very occasional thing for me. Sometimes they can be a good break from the more involved CRPGs. I like mine in the classic style: fast, furious, and detail-free. That’s because I cheat ;)

Not that I started out that way. The first true shooter I played was Gemstone Warrior on the Apple, and it was third-person, not first. It was also easy enough that I could get through it without dying every other encounter. So I didn’t need cheat codes (I don’t think the game had any).

Then, in the PC era, along came Doom. It was actually Doom 2 I played first. At that time, the original game could only be bought by mail, whereas the second was sitting right there on the shelf.

So I looked at that and thought: “I could send away for Doom, or buy this right now, and be killing things this very afternoon!”. No contest. I bought the Doom 2.

And yes, I started off honest, on the lowest difficulty level. It wasn’t too bad at that setting. That is, until I reached the level called “Dead Simple”.

This was a big circular area, the boundary being something like a porch. My opponent, out in the center, looked like a Sumo wrestler on steroids, with guns for hands (can’t imagine how it ate, if it did).

So I was running in circles, ducking behind pillars, taking what shots I could, and wondering if this thing would die before I ran out of ammo. Of course, many of those shots were a bit wild, as I didn’t have much time to aim. Something to do with staying alive.

Finally – finally! – it went down. Yay! Whew! Slowly, I made my way to the corpse. I was about halfway there, when all the walls behind me dropped. Out marched a small army of spider-like things, shooting steady streams of plasma bolts. WHAT?????

I leave to your imagination what I said (screamed). Okay, you want to play like this? I can do it, too. No more Ms. Nice Guy here. I started over, this time on “ultra-violent”. Put myself in god mode, gave myself some REAL weapons, and just let loose (besides, I had to get that little surprise out of my system). Wheee!

Once in awhile, just for a change of pace, I’d let the monsters do the killing for me. All I needed was a mix of critters and no clipping. Run through them like a ghost, then watch as they started hitting each other. Hehehe. Carnage galore!

Of course, I haven’t played many shooters. The three Dooms, Quake, Quake II, Dark Forces, Half-Life, another one whose title escapes me at the moment….and Heretic.

Heretic was special. It was the first one I’d played honest since Gemstone Warrior. Not right away, of course. But after I’d been through it a few times, I figured maybe this could be done without cheats.

That turned out to be the case, at least with the first two episodes. The finale, well, I just knew it would be impossible to beat Foozle playing fair, so I didn’t. But hey, two-thirds honest; for me, that’s an accomplishment!

And I’ve always had a fondness for that game, probably because it was fantasy-based, and featured weapons other than “big guns”. It was really a great modification of the original Doom engine.

Speaking of which, I didn’t much care for the third Doom. The graphics were good and creepy; gave me chills even in god mode. But there was too much detail stuff: looking for those PDAs with information and codes I needed to progress.

Nah, keep all that. Just give me that old-time shooter: lock, load, and massacre. And cheat codes. Gotta stay alive somehow!