Monday, May 23, 2016

No Sleep For the Dead (NOS4DEAD.WAD)


Jan Van der Veken made a big splash in 1997 with Dawn of the Dead, an episode replacement for the original Doom, and followed through with contributions to The Darkening, The Darkening E2, The Classic Episode, and finished with the latter's sequel, Singularity Complex I. That was, of course, before No Sleep For the Dead. Released in 2016, NOS4DEAD is Veken's first mapset in more than ten years... and it's wicked cool! Jan replaces the entirety of Knee Deep in the Dead, along with a bonus map in the E2M1 slot, for another trip to the likeness of Phobos that's sure to delight Doom players from all walks of life.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bloodstain (BSTAIN.WAD)


There is a small but potent Doom Czech community, and with Pavel Hodek of Galaxia fame for a godfather on the cutting edge of 1994, they have something of a reputation... even if a lot of that reputation was established by the two guys from Androm- I mean, the Czech Republic, Adolf Voltja and Jakub Razák, the creators of Kama Sutra (and hopefully Kama Sutra 2) and the resurrectors of Plutonia 2. It's a legacy that their compatriots felt compelled to measure up to, producing Zones of Fear in 2012. Pavel Tvrzník worked with Adolf and Jakub for Plutonia 2 and had his own entry in Zones of Fear. Now, with 2016's Bloodstain, he's cementing his own prestige with a one-man megaWAD for Doom II, to be played in Boom-compatible ports.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fait Accompli (GOTHIC.WAD)

FAIT ACCOMPLI
by Christian Hansen


This level made me smile before I even played it; reading through the .TXT, I believe that this was intended to be Christian Hansen's final level, back in mid-1999. The Danish dude has of course gone on to have a long and storied authorship, releasing many beloved works, the most recent one at the time of this writing being Monument. No, I haven't played it yet, but I'm working on getting there! Fait Accompli is a MAP19 replacement to be played with The Plutonia Experiment. It's not related to the two Plutonia squeakuels he released before; it's actually something of a remake of the first level he ever released, The Revenge of Avind, but with eight levels worth of hindsight backing his imagination up.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

InstaDoom (INSTADM.ZIP)

INSTADOOM
by Andrew "Linguica" Stine


If you bore witness to any aspect of the InstaDoom craze back in 2015, it was probably its included add-on, Selfie Doom. Given the mod's title, it's clear that the selfie stick wasn't the original focus, but for awhile it was One Hot Topic. I was right there, too, taking a number of Doomguy selfies for the Doom WADs Tumblr until some people became especially tired of them. Like Vuvuzela Doom, the star burned bright, searing its place in the big book of Doom history as one of the more humorous footnotes, to be resurrected for a laugh when the need presents itself.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Star Trek: Voyager: Antithesis (VOYAGE1.WAD)

STAR TREK: VOYAGER
ANTITHESIS
by Christian Hansen


Chris Hansen is part of a talented stable of authors who got their start in 1998 and kicked around through the early '00s; he continues to walk among us, releasing maps pretty much every year since his debut. This one is, uh, a lot of things. After cranking out a couple of maps using the Plutonia IWAD, Chris decided to employ Evilution and spruce up one of his earlier releases, A Time to Face Your Fears. The result is Antithesis, a MAP13 replacement for TNT: Evilution. The title is apt on a variety of levels; TNT versus Plutonia, long title versus short, old map versus new, and fanfic versus no fic.

Monday, May 2, 2016

UAC Nukage Processing Area (WASTE1.WAD)

UAC NUKAGE
PROCESSING AREA

by Christian Hansen


After cutting his teeth on a bunch of Doom II maps in 1998, Chris Hansen turned his eye toward the official Doom II expansion, Final Doom. The aptly named UAC Nukage Processing Area is a MAP18 replacement for The Plutonia Experiment released in early 1999. It's kind of part of a series along with his previous release, The Aqueous Rise and Fall, but like his Doom 3: Ad Infernos, there isn't a whole lot tying these maps together apart from the block of narrative text. I will say that WASTE1 has some stronger parallels with Plutonia as far as the combat style goes, even if a lot of it is easily bypassed. More on that later.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Phobos Mission Control (E1M4B.WAD)

PHOBOS MISSION CONTROL
by John Romero


The man with the blood on his hands is back again. Romero released his first Doom map in, like, nineteen years with Tech Gone Bad. Just as that one was an E1M8 replacement, Phobos Mission Control - John's newest publication - slots into E1M4. And, like E1M8B, it requires some kind of limit-removing port to run. As Romero points out, E1M4 was built on top of a framework supplied by Doom co-conspirator Tom Hall; E1M4B completes the clean sweep, giving his fans something they'd (probably) always wanted, an entire episode of Phobos-themed Doom maps. I can only hope that his Kickstarter campaign for BLACKROOM continues to yield such dusky jewels.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Aqueous Rise and Fall (AQUEOUS.WAD)

THE AQUEOUS RISE AND FALL
by Christian Hansen


Christian Hansen made a lot of single level maps during 1998 and 1999, originally publishing them on the now defunct "Doom Zone", but uploading them to /idgames in 2000. While all of these were made for the collective experience we've come to know as Doom II, some made use of the Final Doom IWADs. The Aqueous Rise and Fall is part of this category, being a MAP13 replacement for The Plutonia Experiment released in 1999. While it uses the textures, it's actually pretty far from the Casali style of gameplay, not that that's any surprise if you've played any of Hansen's previous releases. And, like a Doomer after my own heart, he's included an in-depth narrative.