“God-dang it, Bobby. The legions of Hell have come for our Clean Burning Fuel,” So begins Modder FreewayHere’s description for their King of the Hill Doom WAD (opens in new tab). “We must rip and tear until it is done, or else Arlen will succumb to the will of the damned.”
There are truly few things more virtuous and right than Doom WADs riffing on ’90s TV. The ambitious total conversions, voxelized sprites, and ray tracing overhauls of today owe a debt of honor to dopey hacks from ’04 (opens in new tab) that turn all the Pinkies into Barney (opens in new tab).
FreewayHere is keeping the tradition alive with this King of the Hill Doom pack. I’m a big fan of its file name: Hank.wad. The absurd, often heartwarming trials of the Hill family make for a surprisingly nice accompaniment (opens in new tab) to the horror and ultra violence of Doom, almost like fries with Worcestershire sauce, and it’s about time someone brought that combo to the game itself.
The star of the show is FreewayHere’s sprite work, especially for Hank himself. The Doomguy Hank multiplayer sprites and Zombieman replacers are nice, but the HUD health indicator Hank head just kills it. He even gets all bloody and determined and changes his expression like Doomguy. The wad also replaces numerous other sprites, including swapping barrels, health pickups, and the hazard suit for propane canisters, Alamo beer, and Dale’s exterminator outfit respectively.
FreewayHere’s replaced the shotgun with a sort of riding mower shotgun combo borrowed from the WAD, Lawn of the Dea (opens in new tab)d, and the BFG 9000 is now a man-portable gas powered grill. The WAD also contains WIP versions of custom King of the Hill maps, including the Hill residence itself, but it’s early days for the custom episode, “That Imp Ain’t Right.” The midi versions of the show’s main theme and Travelin’ Man by Ricky Nelson (opens in new tab) do bang though.
“Are the new levels anywhere near finished?” FreewayHere rhetorically asks in the mod description, “No way. Am I a good level designer? Nope. But can you play as literal propane legend Hank Rutherford Hill? Yes you can.” Good enough for me. I’d also be remiss if I failed to mention the addition of Smoking “Sammy” Salmon, the Singing Manitoba Fish (opens in new tab) to E1M1.
I look forward to even more Arlen goodness getting added to Hank.wad in the future. For now, if you’d like to sample the current state of the mod, you can check it out yourself on ModDB (opens in new tab). Be sure to grab the open source GZDoom (opens in new tab) before doing so.
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