Newly famous among the Doom community for its mind-bending map (including a terrifying hallway that takes six-and-a-half-minutes to get through), the innocently-named MyHouse.wad is certainly the Doom mod of the year. It immediately earned itself a spot on the all-timer list back in March, in spite of the game's long modding history.
MyHouse.wad is a surreal, enthralling narrative, and my first encounter with it took place via a feature-length long video essay that gnawed its way through my entire afternoon. I'd recommend you play it yourself, however, as it's far more fascinating to delve into firsthand. A close second would be watching the creator of Doom try it for himself.
John Romero, co-founder of id Software, has finally given it a proper go, streaming his playthrough on Twitch. "Well here it is, my house," he begins, tucked away into a cosy corner screen after running through his microphone checks. "I don't know anything about it, other than people said it's really cool, and that I should [play it]."
What follows is a romp through the mod's surreal breakdown of reality, and it's a lovely, surreal sensation to watch an author of gaming's most influential shooter gleefully chuckling whenever MyHouse.wad throws its next big twist at him. He caps off his playthrough with a victory lap through Underhalls, the second level of Doom 2, which features in the mod as part of its winding story. "That was pretty cool," he says while parked on the level complete screen. "I'll have to try that again now that I know how to [roam] through it."
Even though he played for an hour, Romero didn't manage to chew through MyHouse.wad's entire maze of secrets. The mod features a sprawl of alternate paths and secret doors, and one was so tricky it even took Doomworld's users tons of collaboration to figure out.
"Holy shit," commented Doomworld forum member Not Jabba back in March, before throwing down several spoiler boxes detailing their explorations of MyHouse.wad like a surreal captain's log. That thread is already a piece of internet history preserved in amber, with fans all coming together to puzzle their way through the baffling labyrinth of secrets locked inside MyHouse.wad's pixelated halls.
I for one am thrilled that Romero was temporarily able to join this club of investigators, even if every stone in the mod's already been turned over.