A Letter From One Gaming Legend To Another

A Letter From One Gaming Legend To Another

Before John Romero co-created Doom he was just a kid. A very smart kid. When he was a teenager, he wrote a letter to Jordan Mechner, a very smart man who made a game young John Romero liked very much.

Romero had taste, because Mechner’s Karateka was awesome, as was his later invention, Prince of Persia.

On Wednesday, March 7, Romero and Mechner will join Markus “Notch” Persson (he merely made Minecraft), Tim Sweeney (founder of a neat company called Epic Games), Adam Saltsman (thank him for Canabalt) and USC’s Jane Pickard (gaming reporter-turned-developer-turned academic) for one of the most star-studded panels the Game Developer’s Conference has ever had.

They’ll be talking about the resurgence of indie development. And maybe Mechner will spill more on his new Karateka game. It’ll be cool no matter what happens.

And now, thanks to this letter Mechner is sharing with us, we can now see how two of the gaming industry’s titans made first contact.

John Romero, you were a hell of a 17-year-old. That’s for sure.


  • Such a cute little raving fan. Who knows, maybe he will break the big leagues some day.

    Or maybe he’ll just ripoff Fallout.

    • Ok, so I get that you’re sarcastically dissing Romero… but what’s the deal with the ‘ripoff Fallout’ bit?… What are you talking about? 😛

      Maybe you’re referring to RAGE? If that’s the case then you should know Romero hasn’t worked at iD for over a decade. But then again maybe Romero has been involved in some kind of ‘Fallout-ripoff’ that I’m unaware of…

  • The Pyramids of Egypt? Surely I’m not the only person who read this and thought that perhaps Romero’s drawing (if Mechner saw it) inspired Prince of Persia.

  • accroding to Mechler’s own homepage;

    “John assures me that he has my answer in storage somewhere. I don’t remember what I wrote.”

  • Heh, it’s great to see stuff like this. To assure you they all started somewhere.

    However we then got within 10 years of that, Johns ego going into hyperbolic steroid mode then being brought down like a B17 flying over a field of AA guns with Daikatana.

    Oh John you went from pleasant fan-boy to raving egotist back to interesting industry person again. Surely there’s got to be an industry documentary in there somewhere…

  • I love the letterhead. I think I will add “Greetings Earthling” and some robots in the header of all future work correspondence.

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