Thursday, May 5, 2022

Short 'n Quick 2 (SNQ2.WAD)

by Varun Abhiram Krishna

Varun only released two levels sporting the SNQ monicker. The original Short 'n Quick, released in 2002, was a relatively straightforward Doom II starbase level with a few encounter setups that pushed the player into slightly uncomfortable places. As something that appeared to be patterned after Pablo Dictter's work, it looked nice and managed to squeeze in some worldbuilding. Short 'n Quick 2, a Doom II MAP01 replacement published in 2003, is a vastly different experience. It is still a small level, relatively speaking, but features a difficult series of encounter setups that has more in common with the sort of challenging fare seen in Congestion 1024.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Deep Core 1 (DEEPCORE.WAD)

by Mike Alfredson aka "Use3D"

I have long-assumed that Nilla Doom was Mike's in-progress megaWAD and that most of his solo-outtakes are rejects from the running order as development progressed. I was incorrect, to say the least. Beyond Doom was - and remains - Use3D's rainy-day megaWAD. It initially began life as a more difficult replacement for Doom II's Hell episode (MAP21-MAP30) before Mike rebooted the whole thing. Deep Core 1 is the original iteration of this level as it appeared in what I assume the first reboot of Beyond Doom; Use3D subsequently remade the level in 2005, hence the numeric designator on this release. DEEPCORE was originally crafted in 1997 and is a MAP02 replacement for Doom II in keeping with its original slot in the Beyond Doom project.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Entryway (KARMEA.WAD)

by Esa Repo aka "Espi"

Espi solidified his status in the Doom community with the superb environmental design of his Suspended in Dusk. The four-map PWAD had been in development since at least 2001 going by the name One Hell of a Day, as evidenced by his early release of its first level. Entryway (KARMEA.WAD - Google translates to "lurid", "spooky", "infernal") is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and it's fascinating to have it available as one can juxtapose it with the "final" product seen in SID's MAP01 slot. The author had a clear architectural style as seen in here as well as his E2M1ER and LAITOS as the latter originally appeared in the DoomCenter E1 Mapping Contest. It's his subsequent development as an environmental artist through to 2005 that differentiates KARMEA from its latter incarnation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Secret Lab (#SLAB.WAD)

by "Sphagne"

Community Chest contributor Sphagne uploaded the majority of his works to /idgames in mid-2002 but the levels themselves were purportedly crafted from 1995-1999. There are quite a few holes in the collection. For instance, Simphony of Death is the first of his creations that is available and he notes that it is actually his second. This one, Secret Lab, is the second upload from the collection but it's his fourth creation. Like the rest of his works, it is a Doom II MAP01 replacement. Given when it was created and his admission that he was unaware of online communities, it would appear that #SLAB ought to be vanilla-compatible. It appears, however, to have been tested in Boom and ZDoom prior to upload.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Shadowcaster (SHADOW.WAD)

From 2000 to 2002, Stephen Clark (aka The Ultimate DooMer) had created an episode for the original Doom and then converted it to Doom II (Operation: Lightning) and crafted his epic, 21st-century Doom II megaWAD (Fragport). His next target for his own brand of experimentation and modernization was everyone's favorite Doom clone, Heretic. Shadowcaster is an episode 5 replacement for Shadows of the Serpent Riders, released in September of 2002. I'm not up on my Raven Software lore but I don't think that there were any major engine changes between the original release and the free expansion that would have necessitated using the E5 slot. Presumably, this was more of an aesthetic decision where the author could avoid having to contend with a clashing intermission screen.

Sunday, April 10, 2022


by "Memfis"

This Doom II MAP01 replacement was initially published on the Doomworld forums in July of 2013 and was only uploaded to /idgames in June of 2014, nearly a year later. It's theoretically Boom-compatible but, in order to listen to the provided music track, the engine must be capable of playing mod tracker files. Memfis didn't have any contextual information to offer that would help clarify the choice of title, Mega Tear, and a cursory search doesn't reveal anything obvious like a manga. In the community, "mega" is more often than not associated with megaWADs, something that the author often started but never found the wherewithal to complete. One could argue, then, that it's named in deference to Memfis's practice of publishing megaWAD fragments. Would a reject removed from such a project be a "mega tear"? Or is it more of a reference to the author's regret in having so many "incomplete" productions, each one eliciting a salty "mega tear"?

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Short 'n Quick (SNQ.WAD)

by Varun Abhiram Krishna

Varun had a Doom career that ran roughly concurrent with his brother, Karthik, and each brother was ultimately enshrined in the annals of Doom history. Varun wasn't quite as prolific an author as his brother, starting out in 2001 with The Anomaly: Part II. Part of this appears to have been his participation in the ill-fated The Ninth Gate project from which his Cacoward-winning The Outer Darkness originates. His follow-up to ANOMALY2 came roughly a year later in April of 2002, the aptly-titled Short 'n Quick (not to be confused with Malcolm Sailor's similarly-named Quick is Good). This MAP01 replacement appears to have been intended as part of a series if the TITLEPIC is any indication. I suppose that UAC: Missions is as good a name for a no-nonsense series of levels as any.

Thursday, March 31, 2022


by Mike Alfredson aka "Use3D"

Mike's most recent release was as part of Ultimate Doom the Way id Did but he's been a low key contributor to big names like the Community Chest series and Back to Saturn X. Not to forget the original DtWiD, of course. All of his solo single-level publications are effectively archival releases and generally old ones at that, either from the category of "Nilla Doom reject" or "old level that predates Nilla Doom". I assume, anyway, as the former levels go out of their way to say that they were made for and then cut from the running order of his in-development megaWAD. Like Soulcage, Hell Pit is a map from the latter category, a Doom II MAP26 replacement that was handcrafted back in 1996 only to be uploaded much later in early 2004.