Monday, March 10, 2014
(by Angelo Jefferson)
Angelo Jefferson released his Doom episode, #1KILL, in 1997, and published this little offering in the 1KILLXTR package right alongside it. It's a single map replacement for the original Doom, occupying the E3M1 slot. It shares a lot of similarities with #1KILL, though I think that the architecture, layout and thing placement are a shade better than what he did in his first glut of maps, and it isn't the same marble / wood theme. Instead, it's got the feel of a base stranded in Hell, with the main building of the map made of concrete and tech with the outer wall on the grounds composed of green marble.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Some PWADs get "canonized" through the Top 100 WADs of All Time and Cacowards. Others avoid the oblivion of time by word of mouth. Angelo Jefferson survives in the public conscience through his Number One Kill The Next Generation, which usually comes up when people talk about lesser-known PWADs they think deserve some praise. Less recognized is the Original Series to #1KILLTNG, that being plain ol' #1Kill, an E2 replacement released in 1997. It's full, at nine levels, but I wouldn't say it's in the Deimos style. Rather, it's some kind of vague mixture of wood and green marble, kind of suggesting Thy Flesh Consumed, except Angelo is not there at all.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
(by Kurt Kesler)
KBOOM_4 is, understandably enough, the fourth level in Kurt Kesler's KBOOM series, a sequence of levels developed that stand distinct from his vanilla maps - designed to run in the original Doom II .EXE - and the limit-removing levels, which merely took advantage of the removal and raising of various hardcoded Doom limits. Then there's KZDOOM, which is an entirely different beast, but beyond the scope of this review. As always, Kesler cares little or naught for the prospect of framing stories when it comes to his levels. He just wants you to know that this MAP01 replacement, released in 1998, is in a different style, at least when compared to the techbase maps that dominate so much of his work.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Bob Reganess was a somewhat experimental author from Doom's early period whose works would have been lost to the ravages of time with the death of Compuserve. Thankfully, Graham "Grazza" Burgess could archive his works due to a relatively open distribution clause. System Vices was probably his most ambitious project, a partial conversion featuring new textures, enemy / weapon graphics, and sounds. Released in '96, this eight-map episode probably had another installment coming - given that the filename is SYSVICE1.WAD - but it doesn't appear to have materialized. Too bad, because this is a pretty interesting outing on its own.
Friday, February 28, 2014
(by Kurt Kesler)
(by Kurt Kesler)
Kurt Kesler's KBOOM series doesn't get the love the rest of his works have, mainly because 1) they weren't collected in a megaWAD for easy enjoyment a la his vanilla levels into KMEGA1 and 2) KZDOOM was the stuff that got mentioned in the proto-Cacowards. They're just as good as his other works, though, if not better, since all of them were made or at least uploaded after his last map for the original Doom II. KBOOM_3 is the third installment of this series by name, though it was released on the archives exactly the same time as numbers four and five, and only a few days after one and then two - all in 1998, and all MAP01 replacements. All I can conclude is that Kesler was a fucking beast when it came to making maps.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
There are plenty of projects for Doom that get started and are never finished. Sometimes, the authors release demos, which become the disappointingly final releases. Berthold and Thomas's Doom: The Mars Missions saw an unfinished tech demo release in 2000, replacing eight maps (more or less) for vanilla Doom II, and it IS pretty shaky, if showing a lot of promise. The finished project would have been for ZDoom, but they never completed it. The only copy easily available is from Sparky of KISS software, simplifying horrifying install packages for ancient releases. The package includes the .DEH and .WAD, so you're good to go once you whip the little contents there are out.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Doomworld Forums superstar vdgg is a speedrunner and classic Doom II enthusiast. It was inevitable that he'd make a map, and I'm not talking about the interesting proof-of-concept "TAS reversed". Explanada is a single map for Doom II, released in 2013 for limit-removing ports. vdgg wasn't all about accompanying his PWAD with a story; instead, he has a list of influences and credits, including classics like STRAIN, Plutonia, Requiem, Memento Mori II, Insertion, and some less old works like Suspended in Dusk. That's quite a pedigree, and a lot to measure up to. You won't have time, though, to think about what maps XPLANADA looks like, because the entire run will be spent getting your head kicked in.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Here at Doomworld, we believe in the act of gifting. Authors release levels, and when I can get off my ass to do it, I give them a review! Some people prefer to give demos, so you can actually see someone else playing your map. And, well, some people go through the trouble to give Doomers maps on their birthday. October is a collection of six birthday maps for Doom II gifted to Doomworld Forum superstars in October 2011. Maybe, if you were generous / conceited enough, you might say that this is a birthday WAD to everyone born in October. Thanks, guys! This Halloween baby salutes you for your time and effort. Note that at least one of the levels makes no claim for vanilla compatibility, so use a limit-removing port for a full playthrough.