Corridor 7 for DOS

Title Screen

Title Screen

Corridor 7 was released by Capstone software in 1994 and is a 3d First person perspective shooter which uses a 3d engine based on Wolfenstein 3d. It had the misfortune of coming out after Doom did, which came out the year before blowing away pretty much all the simpler Wolfen-clones with superior everything. At the time we only had our old 386sx (@ 20 Mhz) which couldn’t really play the more advanced games such as Doom, but surprisingly Corridor 7 performed quite ok. We didn’t have Wolfenstein 3d or any of the other shooters around at the time so we thought the demo of Corridor 7 was pretty cool. Unfortunately for me and my brothers, it was basically impossible for us to get registered copies of the shareware games we liked.

In the "Secret" passage

In the “Secret” passage

The graphics support is VGA only as was the case with most games by this time. The graphics are quite dark and atmospheric in stark contrast to games like Wolfenstein and Blake Stone. The graphics engine supports some graphic effects not found in many other games like it, such as walls with transparent elements (such as a windows) and animating textures. Of course Doom has much better graphics and implements these things far better, but for a Wolfenstein engine game the graphics are quite good.

The mini-gun

The mini-gun

Sound support was through the Soundblaster card, which we unfortunately didn’t have on our 386sx, so we played in silence. Playing it more recently on dosbox now reveals that the sound effects are reasonably good, but it’s music and sound effects aren’t as nice as those in Doom. This is probably due to me playing the demo and the developers not having room for higher quality sound in the limited space they had.

Health Regenerator

Health Regenerator

It plays very much like other shooters of the time, but is not as focused on high speed action. Instead of simply finding a level exit, you are tasked with killing all the aliens with in a level. I found the best way to accomplish this is by trying to pick of small number of aliens at a time. If you rush in headlong, you often get swamped by enemies and killed simply because of the number of them. Enemies normally hide around the level until they see you but can also be woken by another one dying or gunshots, so care must be taken to avoid waking too many of them.

The Alien Blaster

The Alien Blaster

The weapons in game are your normal garden variety guns. You start out with a taser that is surprisingly powerful and some kind of automatic weapon. You can find a few other guns in the demo if you know where to look. There is a mini-gun that is by far the most powerful weapon in the demo, it often kills most enemies in one shot, and there is an “alien blaster” that a nastier enemy drops. The blaster is reasonably good, but the mini-gun is significantly better. Near the start of the demo is a box of mines you can use to lay traps for enemies in the case you don’t want to fight them.

Killing floating eyes!

Killing floating eyes!

I had a lot of fun playing Corridor 7 on the old 386sx as a kid, and it still has some merit today. The atmosphere in game is much thicker and spookier than many other games of the time. The game used to scare the pants off me when this weird red face would come flying towards me out of no where, and I would sometimes be caught off guard by some of the enemies. The demo is however a bit short, and levels can be difficult to navigate because of how similar areas can look, but this is a problem that many Wolfen-clones shared and it isn’t as bad as many of the others. I’d imagine that playing through a number of levels could also get a bit repetitive as there is little to vary the game play. However if you’re interested in old school FPS games it’s worth a play as the atmosphere of the game is very good.

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