Thursday, April 18, 2019

Doom64 EX (DOOM64.EXE)


Doom64 EX was one of Samuel Villareal's passion projects, a source port developed for the express purpose of playing the original Doom 64 on the PC as accurately as possible. It also has its own level editor, allowing fans to make their own PWADs using the same features that the original designers used. As opposed to, you know, painstakingly recreating it all using a source port like GZDoom or Doomsday. The latter was the base of the Doom 64: Absolution TC, a project that Kaiser had a hand in and which is featured as one of Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2003.

Doom 64 (DOOM64.WAD)


Doom has been ported to a staggering number of platforms but a select few of the commercial releases hold a special place in the hearts of a generation. The Playstation and the Nintendo 64 each got their own version (two in the case of the PSX's Final Doom). Both were created by Midway games and used the talents of three of the same authors: Randy Estrella, Danny Lewis, and Tim Heydelaar. They also featured haunting, atmospheric soundtracks from Aubrey Hodges. I am reviewing the 64 iteration first even though it was released later. Roughly a year and a half in 1997, to be exact. No offense to the PSX fans; there's just way more meat for me to sink my teeth into.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ick (ICK.WAD)

ICK
by Karthik Abhiram


KA was a fixture of the early source port BOOM era. He started out making vanilla compatible levels and while he eventually moved on to mapping for engines with raised limits he never gave up the basic set of features. His biggest claim to Doom fame is his Congestion Control, one of Doomworld's Top Ten WADs of 2002, but he also worked with Brad Spencer - one of the core components of the Alien Vendetta team - as well as his brother Varun. Ick wasn't his initial finished level - an honor afforded to KARTHIK2 - but it was the first one that he felt worthy of uploading to the /idgames archives. Released in 2001, it's an E2M1 replacement for the original Doom.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

KARTHIK2 (KARTHIK2.WAD)

KARTHIK2
by Karthik Abhiram


Karthik had a solid string of releases from 2001 to 2003, working with both his brother as well as Brad Spencer of Alien Vendetta fame. He even garnered a coveted spot in Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2002 with Congestion Control. Every author has to start somewhere, though, and while he never uploaded this particular level to the archives it was his first finished creation. KARTHIK2 is an E3M1 replacement and was finalized in late 2000. As far as I know it's only available on his personal website alongside a couple of sector tag 666 experiments.

Friday, April 12, 2019

CyberDoom (CYBER.WAD)

CYBERDOOM
by John Bye


1994-1996 was a watershed period for the Doom user community. A significant minority of folks in the games industry got their start making mods during this time. Heck; as of right now one of them is running id software! John Bye started out by reviewing PWADs before delving into a level editor himself. He would go on to publish a large solo project, Cygnus IV, as well as his idtech1 swan song in 1997 (The Talosian Incident). Bye kicked off his authorship in 1995 with CyberDoom, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II. The core of his person is evident in its construction but if you only knew his levels for their careful sector-based lightcasting then this may come as a shock.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Shadows of the Nightmare Realm (SOTNR.PK3)


Alexa Jones-Gonzales started out making vanilla Doom levels for the publicly-released and then rescinded Kill megaWAD. Later, in 2010, she created One Doomed Marine for the Doomsday engine. With 2016's Extreme Terror YukiRaven appears to have taken to roost in GZDoom since this subsequent minisode (and, looking ahead, the next two) is for the popular GL engine. Shadows of the Nightmare Realm is a four plus one secret level experience for Doom II. It technically has a skill selector intro map, too, bringing up the total to six. The work builds on many of the tropes developed in EXTERROR with room-over-room geometry and colored lighting but SOTNR has a very different feel.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Extreme Terror (EXTERROR.PK3)

EXTREME TERROR
by Alexa "YukiRaven" Jones-Gonzales


Alexa has been making Doom maps since the classic days with the as yet unfinished one-woman megaWAD, Kill. One Doomed Marine's release in 2010 broke from form, a five-level Doomsday minisode that tried to take advantage of its capacity for scripting and dynamic lights. It would be six years and an engine change before her next publication. Released in 2016, Extreme Terror is a MAP01 replacement for GZDoom to be played in Doom II. Like ODM, it also has a custom soundtrack written by the author for this specific occasion. It's a more technologically advanced outing than its older sibling, too, since it makes use of features like room-over-room geometry and slopes. Not to forget GZDoom's own brand of scripting. The one big thing you might not be expecting given all of these niceties - you're strongly advised against (but not expressly forbidden from) jumping. Keep that in mind.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

One Doomed Marine (ODM-V1.1.PK3)


Alexa received accolades for her work in GZDoom - Shadows of the Nightmare Realm in 2017 and, more recently, 2018's Umbra of Fate - but she has had a lot of prior practice in Doom editing utilities. Much of it went toward her incomplete one woman megaWAD (Kill) but her advanced source port debut was in the Doomsday engine with One Doomed Marine in 2010. I'm pretty sure that Jaakko's .EXE was my first community port since it was the target for Kaiser's D64: Absolution TC. It looked a bit different back then, though, and the gap between this five map minisode's original release (made for v1.8.6) and the current version of Doomsday (v2.1) has introduced a number of complications in its functionality.