Can It Play DOOM? The Atari XL/XE Can Thanks To A New Port!

Image Credit: Saberman RetroNews

You are ever wanted to play the clunkiest version of DOOM that’s not the 3DO or SEGA 32X version? Then break out your Atari home computer because DOOM is going 8-bit!

Thanks to Indie Retro News, we learned that DOOM has come to the Atari XL/XE. If you thought the original Wolfenstein 3D was primitive, wait until you try to navigate Mars now!

The controls are split between the joystick and the XL or XE’s keyboard. To strafe, you’ll have to use the A and S keys. The joystick will help you move forward and back, while the fire button will trigger your selected weapon.

There is an automap, too! That can be activated by pressing TAB.

While the controls are clunky, this looks like a serviceable DOOM port. Although, I’d play it more as a novelty rather than trying to complete the included shareware levels.

According to Saberman RetroNews, here’s everything included in the port:

cut down versions of shareware Doom’s levels, minus the secret level sergeants, demons, imps and cacodemons, with AI code cut down from the Doom source fist, chainsaw, pistol, shotgun, chaingun health, ammo, keys, weapons, security and combat armor corpses exploding barrels secrets 11 music tracks, converted from the original Doom midi files 20 sound effects, converted from the original Doom PC speaker sounds cheat codes panning and zooming map intermission and victory screens arbitrarily angled textured walls


The Atari 400 and 800 XL/XE machines were a line of early ’80s home computers that initially cost around $1,000. They came with a keyboard and could play a variety of Atari carts that were already on the market.

Atari’s home computer would see various releases during the 1980s as the company tried to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System and SEGA Master System. Yes, it even came with a zapper at one point. Although remarkable in some respects, it couldn’t compete with the Nintendo juggernaut.

What do you think of this simplified version of DOOM running on such old hardware? Let us know in the comments section below.

[Source: Indie Retro News]
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Mike Phalin

Longtime problematic entertainment journalist. The former workhorse for Dread Central,, and Fanbolt.

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