Thursday, April 24, 2014

Speed of Doom (SODFINAL.WAD)


No one really knows what contemporary mapsets will enter the "canon" of Doom, but I think you could make a strong argument that Speed of Doom has been strongly woven into the rich tapestry of user-created content. I've seen at least a handful of authors citing it as an influence on their own works and plenty of players, especially in the slaughter crowd, have espoused their love of Josh "Joshy" Sealy and partner in crime Darkwave0000. It is a super-hard megaWAD for Boom compatible ports, released in 2010 after a development cycle of "speedmapping" that gave way to a year of production. That's still faster than many of the high-profile megaWADs being released today, and most of those are team projects!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whitemare 2 (WHITE2.WAD)


The Russian Doom Community has this thing they do on occasion where they build a megaWAD out of selections from assorted "freakmapping" speedmapping competitions, after tuning up some of the submissions and adding a few new ones. This gave us Heroes' Tales back in 2009 and Whitemare in 2011. Whitemare 2, released in 2014, is a full-fledged megaWAD for Doom II for Boom-compatible engines (specifically PrBoom+). This time, the demons decide to ruin Doomguy's New Year celebration by stealing winter, disrupting the normal progression of the seasons. Or, something like that. I think that Doomguy starts off by fighting off another demon invasion, with them absconding with winter and causing a skip right on through to spring. You rush off to rescue it, and succeed, only to find that something evil has snuck back with the season.

Monday, April 14, 2014

KBOOM_8 (KBOOM_8.WAD)

KBOOM_8
(by Kurt Kesler)


Kurt said he was done with KBOOM_7, that from then on, he would make only maps that used features available to every source port. Here we are with KBOOM_8, though, and an amusing .TXT note - "This WAD will run ONLY under BOOM. If you don't like BOOM, tough SHIT, I don't want to hear about it, because most people DO like it." I dunno if people were pissed he was making Boom exclusive maps or what. Anyways, KBOOM_8 is predictably a 1998 MAP01 replacement for Doom II from the prolific Kurt Kesler, author of past vanilla works and future KZDOOM levels.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Flashback to Hell (FTH666.WAD)


Vordakk, aka Stormwalker, is no longer a Doomworld Forum superstar, but he remains in the hearts of those that loved his Heretic maps from 2011 (Heretic: Call of the Apostate and Heretic: Dark Deity's Bastion). He teased Flashback to Hell back in what seems like ages ago, but it's 2014 now, and we can finally enjoy the fruits of his labor. FTH666 is a Doom II megaWAD-lite for Boom-compatible ports that fields fourteen solid levels, a cinematic epilogue that takes advantage of the secret exit intermission screen, and two Wolf3D levels for funsies. There are two big "flashbacks" that Vordakk wanted to make with this megaWAD, the first being the issue of story in Doom PWADs. Yeah, I know, few of you give a shit. Still, authors back in '94 and '95 loved padding out the .TXTs with relevant flash fiction, no matter how insane, and Vordakk attempts to do the same here with some voluminous prose by any PWAD standard.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And the Bloodshed Began (ATTB_F2.WAD)


The first glimpse I had of the French Doom community was through their contributions to the Plutonia Revisited Community Project, a mapset near and dear to my heart. They've been slowly working on the much-awaited Necromantic Thirst, but somewhere along the way, JCD got a few of those that I'd never played before to contribute to 3 Heures d'Agonie, an interesting if scatterbrained sampler from authors polished and not. Datacore and Subject_119 were two such contributors, and they combined their developing talents to bring us And the Bloodshed Began in 2014. It's a full megaWAD for Doom II, to be played in... PrBoom, I guess, though I didn't see anything specific to Boom. Datacore and Subject_119 have included no story, so just enjoy this collection of carnage for what it is.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

KBOOM_7 (KBOOM_7.WAD)

KBOOM_7
(by Kurt Kesler)


Kurt Kesler made a bunch of levels for Boom, at the time a hot on the street advanced source port. He claimed KBOOM_7 would be his last one, and that he would focus on maps that had the features of every source port, but *SPOILER ALERT* the story ends at KBOOM_12 *END SPOILER*. This is another 1998-era MAP01 replacement featuring the songstyles of D_RUNNIN. Reading the .TXT, there's an interesting comment, namely that this level was playtested by Malcolm Sailor of CHORD fame. Now, there's less leeway in the ammo department than usual for a Kesler level, but don't let the phrase "ammo cruncher" scare you. Just don't expect to run around with max shells.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Into the Code (THECODE.WAD)


The last time I dealt with a computer virus related to Doom, I wound up in a mandrill's ass. Thankfully, Obsidian's Into the Code, a minisode for Doom II released in 2014, is far more reasonable. It's also fairly modest, fielding six levels with none of them clocking in over one hundred monsters. The plot feels right out of '94 / '95; there's a virus on your computer, and it's hiding in your favorite game (right?). You could just delete it, but in the interest of having fun, you boot up the ol' .EXE and get to clearing them out. I guess the logic of the code dictates that the virus oppose the player with the few tools at its disposal.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

KBOOM_6 (KBOOM_6.WAD)

KBOOM_6
(by Kurt Kesler)


Kurt Kesler made a boat load of levels during his short tenure as a Doom mapper, most of which were released as single maps. His vanilla works were all named according to their themes, but KBOOM denotes the fact that these levels were made to be played in the as of then brand spankin' new Boom engine. KBOOM_6, yet another MAP01 replacement released in 1998, shows Kesler looking at something slightly out of his KMETL fare - the castle theme, aka KBRICK. It's an interesting theme to return to, as Kesler himself admits that "its hard to do".