Friday, December 6, 2019

Blind Alley M., The Citadel (BNDALYM.WAD)

BLIND ALLEY M.
THE CITADEL
by Gene Bird


G.B. had been mapping since 1998 but he was one of those authors who kept his works to himself. Until 2002, that is, where he started to publish them as he finalized each entry. Most people who are familiar with Gene know his entries in the original Community Chest and CCHEST2. He still hangs out on the forums as Searcher, though, and appears to be primarily interested in watching the speed demos of other players. All of Birds's works are part of a series called Blind Alley, each one having a letter designator to signify where it would have appeared in the running order of the finished megaWAD. The Citadel is situated before the previously released Nukage (O) and The Boardwalk (P), probably occupying MAP22. As an individual release in 2002, though, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Dark Tide (DT-LUTZ.WAD)

DARK TIDE
by Chris Lutz


2017 was Chris's biggest year to date. He could have just ridden the high from having helped to flesh out 2016's No End In Sight but he also finished off his ambitious Hellscape, a re-envisioning of Doom II's final episode. His last surprise was a single level release - Dark Tide. This MAP01 replacement is meant for Boom-compatible ports but as with DHS Lutz recommends an engine that has more complex Z clipping. Vertical mouselook is also a nicety to make the gameplay considerably less frustrating. As far as WADs go, you can't get by with just DOOM2.WAD. DT-LUTZ also requires Team TNT's resource package for The Return.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Suteni (SUTENI.WAD)

SUTENI
by "Memfis" and Aleks Shahov aka "Plut"


Memfis has had a long and obscenely productive authorial career. 2011-2012 was a sort of warming-up period, followed by an even more prolific string of ideas in 2013-2015. Suteni isn't the last of his '12 period - that honor belongs to Horalky - but it wasn't uploaded into 2014, part of a huge dump to /idgames. Of all his early releases it's distinct for being a tag team feature. I dunno what sort of relationship Memfis and Plut had back in 2012 but they appear to share some similar interests. After all, they both cameoed in the French community's 3 Heures d'Agonie II. On this particular occasion they collaborated to produce a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that affirms compatibility with limit-removing ports.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Hellscape (DHS-LUTZ.WAD)


A large portion of Chris's inimitable career has been spent taking classic Doom themes and rendering them in his particular idiom. This began with his debut, Inferno, but extends to Phobos: Anomaly Reborn as well as several aborted attempts at a similar E2 scenario. Doom the Way id Did's "Lake of Fire" and No End In Sight's "Poison Control" were more id-oriented but the latter's "The Blood Beneath" is a considerable E4 take. I dunno how long Lutz had kicked around this particular idea but The Dying End, its MAP29, was released individually in 2007. Not as a teaser or anything; as far as I know there was zero indication that Hellscape was in development until its public unveiling in 2015. This Doom II episode was finally released in 2017 and replaces MAP21-MAP30, Chris's least favorite run of levels in the original campaign. The bare-minimum compatibility is Boom / MBF but the author suggests using a port with more complex Z-clipping, e.g. ZDoom.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Tyrell Corporation (TYRELL.WAD)

THE TYRELL CORPORATION
by Brad Spencer


The Brad who goes by "Vorpal" has a fair bit of prestige. His Atomic Tomb, released in 2000, was named one of Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2000. He was also one of the main not-Anders Johnson voices behind Alien Vendetta, responsible for part of the character of its second episode. He had a bit of a hiatus but he's still making Doom maps. His pre-AV career consists of a roughly even mix of single / coop levels and deathmatch. Something missing called AMBUSHA was his first released level but it isn't on the archives. Instead, we have 1999's The Tyrell Corporation. It's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and is recommended for ZDoom. I see that the actual geometry is probably limit-removing but Spencer makes use of MAPINFO and MOD music files so you might as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Inn-Escapable (INNESC3.WAD)

INN-ESCAPABLE
by Mike "Impie" MacDee


Mike debuted in the community making relatively vanilla Doom II levels in terms of action if not necessarily the intended settings. Impie made his first major mark exploring the Cthulhu mythos with Strange Aeons but he also delved into Alone In the Dark's Derceto manor. He additionally riffed on a toy line (MAX1 and MAX2, the latter for Heretic). Inn-Escapable doesn't reference a recognizable property because it actually comes from a series of one-off adventures that he composed for the HeroQuest board game. It doesn't look like it's currently available on his website, though. INNESC is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that apparently requires a ZDoom-family port but not for any obvious reason. Jumping is not recommended as it could break the level.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Chemical Base (CHEMICAL.WAD)

THE CHEMICAL BASE
by Pablo Dictter


Pablo was another prolific figure during the source port boom beginning in 1999 but mostly from 2000 and on. He rubbed elbows with the likes of his soul brother Tobias Münch as well as the Abhiram brothers (Karthik and Varun) and even found his way into the Alien Vendetta lineup. Dictter made a lot of levels but something like half of them - all early works - didn't find their way to /idgames. It's no wonder then that his first-archived material shows a lot of craft in, if not making interesting layouts or room shapes, adding a lot of visual panache. The Chemical Base is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and was released somewhere on the borderline between 2000 and 2001. The WAD itself has an older timestamp while the .TXT leans toward the latter.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dissolution (DISTION.WAD)


Bryant (aka "Gunrock") and Kevin ("The Solution") Robinson made Project Slipgate some time in 2001. It was a Quake-themed outing that explored the cool but sparingly-used (at least in the original campaign) "Complex" scheme as well as darker, disturbing fortresses. It also had something of a Doom 64 feel due to colored lighting, heavy atmosphere, and other aspects. The brothers decided to revisit the aesthetic with a side-story, released in 2002. Dissolution is yet another episode for ZDoom. It replaces MAP01-MAP07, though it's worth noting that the opener is a cinematic sweep of a fortress and neither requires nor takes any player input.