Tuesday, August 20, 2019

One-Week Megawad (ONEWEEK.WAD)


Sam Woodman was bitten by the bug. Inspired by the Quake community, Doomworld was hosting Speedmapping Sessions on a weekly basis. Another site, Doom Center, kicked off a week in tribute to Knee Deep in the Dead. The intrigue was amplified with a contest where authors had a fortnight to craft an E1-themed level, to be judged by John Romero. Metabolist ultimately settled on hosting ten consecutive invitationals. The turnout was... less than spectacular as far as numbers go. He received an average of 1.5 submissions per event. The eleven that Sam did not reject were collected and compiled into the One-Week MegaWAD. Released in 2001, this Doom II episode is generally limit-removing but ought to be played in a Boom-compatible port due to MAP10 at the very least.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Catacombs (AP_009.WAD)

THE CATACOMBS
by Alex Parsons


AP_009 is the ninth entry in the World's End series and is the last to feature in sequential order. Alex never released parts 010-012, instead skipping ahead to 013 and 014 (Installation A and B). We also know that Parsons considered his two Community Chest submissions, "Ground Floor" (MAP03) and "Mandrel" (MAP11), as 015 and 016, respectively. Like the rest, The Catacombs is a Doom II MAP01 replacement for limit-removing ports. It was released in 2002 but has a couple of interesting deviations. The most obvious is that it draws direct inspiration from American McGee's level of the same name. It's the first time for the author to reference any sort of influence. He also explicitly suggests that players use idmus to play something other than D_RUNNIN. Specifically, MAP22's "The David D. Taylor Blues".

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Relive X2 (RELIVEX2.WAD)


Memfis loves classic PWADs. If they're relatively obscure, then even better. Shamus Young made a couple of things that he really enjoyed though the Doom City tribute wouldn't come until 2013 as a part of his Kuchitsu. RELIVEX2 is his little love letter to Phobos - Relive the Nightmare, a Doom II episode that drew inspiration from the names of Knee Deep in the Dead's maps. This couplet - originally released in 2012 - is a limit-removing minisode which occupies MAP01 and MAP02. It doesn't require Shamus's PWAD as a resource since it incorporated all of the relevant assets. The author forgot something along the way, though, because MAP02 references textures which aren't included.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Abyssal Speedmapping Session 6 (ABYSPED6.WAD)


The Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions have been going relatively strong since 2013. These events get a group of community members together to create maps based around a choice of themes with two hours for the raw sector work and fifteen each for texturing and polishing. Unless you go by Alfonzo, in which case you use a third hour so often that it gets named after you. The sixth occurrence happened in May of 2014 and resulted in eleven Doom II levels for play in a Boom-compatible source port. Two other maps were made during the allotted time - one by scifista42 and another by Doomkid - but the organizer did not include them in the final package.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Other Side of Phobos (OSP.WAD)

THE OTHER SIDE OF PHOBOS
by Karthik Abhiram Krishna


K.A. had a lengthy span of small solo releases. His most active period spanned 2001-2003 during the slow burn following the source port boom. Karthik's main claim to fame is 2002's Congestion Control, which found a coveted spot in Doomworld's Top 100 WADs of All Time retrospective. I would not have guessed this while playing most of his pre-CCT material, though. The good news is that 2002's OSP is a giant leap forward in terms of level design. This makes the transition from rough and semi-competent to award winner a little less jarring. The Other Side of Phobos is an E1M1 replacement for the original Doom.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Magnum Opus (MAGNUMOP.WAD)

MAGNUM OPUS
by John "Spook" Bye


It's interesting that Bye felt comfortable using this title since he would go on to craft the Cygnus IV episode / megaWAD and then tag team The Talosian Incident with Malcolm Sailor. Not to forget his two submissions to The Darkening E1, of course. Magnum Opus occurs relatively early in his career history. This MAP01 replacement for Doom II was released in 1996 and marks an important turning point that points the way toward his future productions. First, John tries his hand at crafting his own soundtrack and delivers a simple and moody piece. Second, the author was apparently dissatisfied with the amount of time spent making the level. He vowed to spend his future on less "huge" levels, possibly creating a series composed of smaller ones.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Max Saga: The Doom Dragon (MAX2.WAD)

MAX SAGA
THE DOOM DRAGON


Impie is now best-known for his impressive portfolio of mods and TCs but his career circa 2014 had him playing around with standard Doom II gameplay. The plots still drew on other properties, of course. They just didn't mess around with "advanced" engine features. Three of these releases ended up as part of Strange Aeons's fifth episode and this one is no different, appearing there as "The Vaults of Zin" (E5M3). The Doom Dragon is unique because it is actually an E1M1 replacement for Heretic, of all things. As far as I know, any limit-removing port that supports it ought to be able to play MAX2. If not, well, then I can personally vouch for ZDoom.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Mayhem 1500 (MAYHEM15.WAD)


Every May since 2012 Doomworld community members have gotten together in an attempt to make a megaWAD in a month. It isn't polished and finalized by June, though, and it might not even be finished during the same year. The 2015 session followed in the grand tradition of MAYHEM13 insofar as it wasn't released until 2016. It is also the second of the projects to reach the symbolic status of a full game replacement, occupying MAP01-MAP32 with additional bonus levels in the MAP33 and MAP34 slots. MAYhem 1500, like its forebears, is meant to be played in a Boom-compatible source port. If you play it in something that supports a brand of MAPINFO, though, then the secret levels will transition smoothly into the extra stuff.