Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dimensions of Time (DOT.WAD)

Matt Tropiano is making Hell of cool maps for major projects like The Adventures of Square and Back to Saturn X. Back in 1998, though, he was a thirteen-year-old who loved Doom so much that he made his own megaWAD. Dimensions of Time is a full replacement for Doom II that's a little challenging to bite into as an experienced player; more on that, later. It's oft-cited as one of the unsung heroes of 1998. I disagree, but I can see where a lot of the appeal comes from. More than anything, I'm impressed that the author is still trucking along and doing stuff like Coffee Break Part 1 and Forsaken Overlook.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Phocas Island (PHOCAS.WAD)

by Chris "Chopkinsca" Hopkins

Chris Hopkins was something of a Doom community fixture in the mid-2000s, though he's still around. While he's most famous for Phocas Island 2, his crown jewel had to come from somewhere. To wit, Phocas Island. Released in 2004, it's a very large single level for ZDoom, occupying the MAP01 slot. The plot is pretty simple, considering that it's a location-driven story. And, well, it's not much of a story! You're shipwrecked on an island, which you quickly find out is populated by demons and their ilk. Are you prepared to clean the island out in your attempt to find a possible means of escape?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dark Covenant (DARKCVNT.WAD)

Dark Covenant is a PWAD I've seen bandied about as one of the lost classics of 1996. It's a twelve-map episode for Doom II, released by one Keith Phipps. DARKCVNT has no real story, but it kind of runs as an analogue to Doom II's main story. The player wakes up in his or her house, only to find that demons and zombies are everywhere. It's a mad trek through sewers, a ruined city, and caverns, eventually ending up at a UAC facility that takes you to Hell and back again before reaching one of those world ships that the Hellspawn were holding hostage.... It never really occurred to me how ridiculous it was that Hell was holding the Earth's escape fleets hostage with a single button. I mean, it's obviously their rules since they're warping reality, so maybe the device in "Circle of Death" is some kind of Hellish warp interdictor.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hoover Dam (HOOVER.WAD)

by Michael Reed

Early Doom authors often looked without for inspiration as much as they looked within. For every slavish reinterpretation of Knee Deep in the Dead, you had people making their own houses, work places, etc.. Michael Reed went big with this one, building his level after the Hoover Dam, on the borders of Arizona and Nevada perched upon the Colorado River. It's a pretty big MAP01 replacement for Doom II, published in 1995. The thrust is that the demonspawn have given to eco terrorism, infesting the Dam facilities with the intent to bust it wide-ass open. You who are filled with nationalistic pride must confront the insurgents and reclaim... a reclamation structure.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

KZDOOM5: The Evil Place (KZDOOM5.WAD)

by Kurt Kesler

If you're looking for Kurt Kesler's vanilla levels, they're all collected in KMEGA1. His Boom maps weren't, but they're neatly organized as the KBOOM series. There are also a few limit-removing maps as the short-lived KHILLS series, an attempt at source port agnostic levels from when Kesler got badgered into briefly abandoning Boom. They must have wailed during his final run of PWADs, since the KZDOOM series is even more selective than Boom insofar as what maps made for it will run in. KZDOOM5 aka "The Evil Place" is something of a return to form after KZDOOM4. The previous map was a brick and wood castle theme that Kesler rarely played with as he found it difficult to get in to. This one is a big ass industrial complex set in a giant lake of slag.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Escape From Natas (EFN.WAD)

First, there was Escape From Phobos, where Snake Plisskin awoke in the throes of an alien invasion of Mars, tasked by one John Carmack to come to Deimos and rescue him. Then there was Escape From Deimos, where Snake reached Carmack's research complex only after he had been undone by his own horrific discoveries. And now, Escape From Natas. The finale to Snake's extraterrestrial adventures bears more resemblance to EFD; released in 1997, almost all the action is contained in MAP01, with a brief adventure in MAP02 to serve as the true culmination of the player's efforts.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Escape From Deimos (EFD.WAD)

by Chris Christenson
and Nicol Jarvie

Escape From Deimos is the second in a trilogy of works by Chris Christenson (with help from Nicol Jarvie) that are supposed to take place roughly concurrently with the events of Doom. The protagonist of this exercise, however, is none other than Snake Plisskin, hence the title. Rather than a minisode of sorts for this second entry, Christenson restricted himself to a single map, this one also for Doom II and also released in 1997. In Phobos, Snake was released from suspended animation in a desperate bid by the Deimos project coordinator, one John Carmack. In Deimos, Carmack suffers a violent death off camera, with your actions after finding his corpse documented in the followup, Escape From Natas, where the rest of this story's assertions are made.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Escape from Phobos (EFP.WAD)

Plenty of people have tried to tell their own stories through Doom. Some of these people have dovetailed it with other worlds. Chris Christenson didn't just throw in a hot movie property, though. It's more like the world of Doom was drafted into Snake Plisskin's. Escape From Phobos is the first in a trilogy of small mapsets, followed by Escape from Deimos and Escape from Natas. This installment, released in 1997, is a three-level minisode that replaces the first three maps of Doom II. It's got a .DOC file that explains the story, and if you care to indulge in Christenson's exploitation of Carpenter's beloved anti-hero, you're more than welcome to read it in full.