Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Russell Pearson didn't start publishing Doom maps until the year 2000, but he was working on his token ambitious TC back during the early days of Doom modding; 1995 by his estimation. DoomTown3 was probably planned to be a megaWAD, but Pearson released several select levels from it - Blastem2 and Tunnel Run - as well as a small deathmatch level (Close Kill) before publishing the remainder in a small map pack called DoomTown. I imagine that the author felt compelled to break from his history. Released in 2001, this is a three-map minisode for Doom II, to be played in any port owing to its pre-source origins.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Deleted Scene (DELETED.WAD)

by Russell Pearson

Russell Pearson released his seminal Null Space at the tail end of 2001, but not before nixing some material. Where some authors would be content to just slash and burn, though, Russell took the extract and released it on its own as a sort of extra. Deleted Scene is thus just that, plus a few small sections from the originating work so that it's a fully functional level. The end result is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II, released in 2001 for any vanilla-compatible port. Its origin as an outtake is the closest thing you're going to get to a story, though it's interesting to read Pearson's author notes, which talk about why he cut it but also posture it as a sort of teaser for the impending Null Space.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tunnel Run (TUN-RUN.WAD)

by Russell Pearson

Russell Pearson was one of several authors to come to the forefront with the advent of Doom's silver age resulting from the release of source ports like Boom and ZDoom, but where guys like Kurt Kesler and Ed Cripps were playing around with The New Technology, Russell remained to hack it out in plain vanilla. At least, until he released Crypt of the Vile. His first big project was supposed to be a TC called DoomTown3, but he doled out two of its planned levels - Tunnel Run and Blastem 2 - as single level releases before publishing the other three as Doom Town proper. This review covers the second release, Tunnel Run; released in late 2000, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Blastem2 (BLASTEM2.WAD)

by Russell Pearson

If Russell is to be believed, he started making his initial crop of maps back in 1995. The goal: a TC called DoomTown3. In 2000, he published two select entries from the TC; the language in his releases leaves room to interpret that DoomTown3 was shaping up to be something ambitious ("presented here as a straight forward Doom2 level") but I am more inclined to believe that TC was to Russell what megaWAD is to me. DoomTown3 was never finished as Russell envisioned it, but we have its finished bits and pieces. Blastem2 was the first of Pearson's levels to ever see publication, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sin City (MA_SINC*.WAD)

by Ed Cripps

Ed Cripps had a pretty unassuming series of releases before his Big One; a little Doom II water plant, a new Icon of Sin level, and a pair of Knee Deep in the Dead-styled Doom maps. He knocked off single player for awhile and did some deathmatch mapping before returning almost two years later with this, Sin City. Like his previous levels, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II, just a bit later in 2001. Unlike his past works, though, it was made for what was at the time the cutting edge, a beta release of ZDoom, showing that making stuff for rev versions and non-release Git builds has a long and storied tradition.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Reunion 02 (REUNION2.WAD)

by Ed Cripps

Ed Cripps's Reunion series is only two levels long, both made in 1999 before entering the spotlight with Sin City and parts beyond. For whatever reason, after starting out with the Boom engine Ed dialed it down to vanilla. I assume that, like so many authors before and after him, he was attempting to cut his teeth on a familiar style. Both Reunion levels are patterned after Knee Deep in the Dead in their texture themes. Reunion 02, also like Reunion 01, occupies E1M1. While the map has roughly the same amount of monsters, the number of each is a bit different, and while it still has that angled-off corners feel that makes it feel more organic, Reunion 02's approach to level design has some key differences.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reunion 01 (REUNION1.WAD)

by Ed Cripps

Ed Cripps is mostly known for wild-ass detailing and geometry that uses the most advanced Doom source ports available, crawling colossusi notwithstanding. His level design is usually compared to Quake II's, even if it's a twisted Shores of Hell-styled base (Warp House). Reunion is something quite different, aiming for a vanilla-oriented series of levels for the original Doom. While Ed describes it as a series, his interest must have waned, because he only released one other Reunion level (Reunion 02). This initial iteration, Reunion 01, is an E1M1 replacement released mid-1999.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Icon of Sin (2) (ICON2.WAD)

by Ed Cripps

If I had to guess, I would say that the Icon of Sin is the most reviled of all the Doom II level "themes" where the them describes the action. Plenty of people try to do interesting things with the "Dead Simple" triggers in addition to the usual "Dead Simple" motif, and appearances of Wolf3D stuff in Doom usually presents with some bemusement, but I haven't seen a great many words about players really appreciating the perfunctory MAP30 standard. How odd, then, that Ed Cripps of Sin City fame elected to make an IoS map for his second released level! I guess we just weren't as wore out then as we are now. The Icon of Sin (2) is a MAP01 replacement for Boom-compatible ports, released in early 1999.