In a surprise treat for fans of 90s first-person shooters, Loss series co-creator John Romero emerged this week with a brand new map for the 1994 classic Conviction II. Although the price is a bit high for this type of content—5 euros for a single old-school card– there is a good reason.
Romero clearly states in the model file for the release that the sale of this WAD is to “raise funds to support the Ukrainian people”. It can be purchased at his personal shop site, where he says all proceeds will go to two humanitarian organizations: the Ukrainian Red Cross and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. (On the non-charity front, Romero’s store also sells a heap of Loss– the sweets of the time.)
A day after its launch on Wednesday, the download has been updated to add much of the same ReadMe information found in its 2019 Conviction 1 card pack, Seal, which walks newcomers through how to easily get the new card working on Windows or macOS. (As I discovered in my own occasional testing, the same instructions don’t work on Steam Deck, whose semi-closed Arch Linux implementation currently requires a dive into its command line.) To play the new map from Romero, “One Humanity”, you’ll need original retail Conviction II installation (which is part of the last Conviction II release on To smoke and GOG), in addition to which you can apply a source port like GZDoom.
Different humanitarian aid
Although Romero’s map design in the original Conviction II is not necessarily as beloved as his Conviction 1 mastery, “One Humanity” sees the Loss the series co-creator is back in shape with a clever ring-based level design. Most of the level’s content looms over a Chasm of Despair, which Doomguy can fight and warp into an errant fall (though he’ll have to dive to find the level’s only rocket launcher). But the series of rooms on the top floor are imperative to find the keys and triggers that will open the doors and raise the bridges to the level’s exit door.
Along the way, players will come across Lossnext-level classics like a beautifully lit box maze and one of those creepy hallways that end with you flipping a switch and hearing too many enemy distortion sound effects on the other side. The layout of the level of enemy spawns and narrow walkways emphasizes the brutality of Conviction II‘s great shotgun, which is always nice to rediscover. And, yes, if you growl-grow-grow along enough doors, you will indeed find a useful BFG.
In other words, this level celebrates the solid, the classic Conviction II mechanics, instead of including graphics or structures that allude to events from a particular real-life era (although graphically, “One Humanity” pushes the Conviction II engine with cool stuff like creased doors and fractured floors).
The release joins a growing chorus of voices in games and tech to support the Ukrainian people in the midst of a Russian invasion – and while we’ve documented recent efforts and fundraisers from other tech companies , we at Ars Technica welcome more links to such humanitarian efforts in the comments section below. I’ll end by quoting the “One Humanity” model file for those of you who may not choose to buy an older Conviction II map file for some reason: