Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TOT Comics Doom Remastered (TCDOOMRM.WAD)

TOT Comics Doom is a six-map Doom II callback to those early days of wide-eyed innocence in '94, when authors mixed traditional Doom gameplay with an occasional joke. Today, we call this kind of work a jokewad, which has become a bit of a dirty word in the Doom community. Recent jokeWADs tend to be practical jokes on the community or a barely-coherent hodgepodge of memes few people care about. The joke is, the WAD blows! Are your sides splitting from barely contained laughter? I prefer a jokeWAD of a different make and model, more like Duke Nukem 3D. There's actual gameplay to be had, and every now and then the author tries to get you to crack a smile. This type of level, first exhibited by Yak World or Shrine of the Warriors, is still alive and kicking. Mandrill Ass Project is on the modern side of things. For vanilla, we have TOT Comics Doom.

As with any sterling jokeWAD, Joe Anderson clues you in via the text file. It's a wonderful day lounging around the military base until a bunch of Hellspawn appear and start wrecking up the place. You stand up to shout your one-liner and prepare to save the day, but the floor gives way beneath you and you plummet into the sewers beneath the military base, where your adventure begins. Actually, I won't pretend that tons of non-jokeWADs have humorous stories as frame pieces for their associated levels (see: The Inferno Series).

This isn't a review of the original TOT Comics Doom, actually. I played the remastered edition, a separate entry in the archives. I take for granted the author's assertion that he's improved upon his original design. TOT Comics won't win any beauty pageants, but it's a good example of workmanlike mapset that does what it wants to do, if not with any particular elegance, much in the spirit of those early pioneers. Each map is very short, so they'll hardly wear out their welcome. You'll visit city blocks, office buildings, underground complexes, and even Hell before you've saved the day. Difficulty is a steady increase, introducing tougher monsters and even a few traps as the player progresses through largely linear levels. MAP04 is the clear exception, not by being a complex map, but by essentially being an all-out brawl on some city streets.

If you're a fan of the early days of Doom mapmaking, you should really give TOT Comics Doom a shot. It's like stepping back into the better parts of the year 1994 (if a bit more playable). I wish more people made WADs like this than the usual trash that gets uploaded to the archives. If you enjoy that stuff, well, don't despair! New entries in the practical joke sector are created on a semi-regular basis. I must admit, though, I have no idea what the Hell General Kass is. I'm guessing it's a reference to something else from Joe Anderson. NOTE: TOT Comics Doom has a small, square deathmatch arena in the MAP07 slot, if you're at all interested in that sort of thing.


by Joe Anderson

Starts out in a decent enough sewer section. It's pretty simple, including the blue key puzzle, a nice little laugh. It's followed by a small city street that boasts a movie theater and some nice midtextured street lamps. HACX: The Movie is advertised. Also a nice dumpster and water tower. The street has the biggest firefight of the map, mostly due to how cramped it is, though the shootout in front of the UAC base is a nice little finale.

This is a small little UAC factory-thing with evidence of demonic intrusion. The south side is administration, housing a tiny office (and an equipment room) while the north has the guts of the operation, which has a big ol' infernal scar slicing through it. It's a nice, more serious map, with a fun little SSG ambush and tons of meaty demons to ambush behind the red key door.

This slightly larger map takes place in the infested UAC office complex, starting out with a room full of cubicles, one boasting a very large blue screen of death. There's a cool break about 1/3 of the way through where you have to open up the teleporter (riddled with lost souls) and venture to Hell to get the blue key to the door back in the office building. Things step up a bit with some higher-HP monsters inhabiting the dark dimension; several of the Doom II toughs make their debut here.

This is a nice, guns-blazing free for all in a section of city crawling with demons, including two Cyberdemons. You've got plenty of health and ammo, though, so it shouldn't be much trouble at all. It's basically an excuse to go nuts with the plasma rifle. Some of the visual highlights include the radio station (BMRF?), several midtextured Intech tanks, and those midtextured street lamps.

Another UAC office level, minus the cubicles. It's got some nicer architecture, though the plastered ceiling lights in the entrance are kind of an eyesore. The long, ugly hallway to the north pits you between a hell knight and a pack of imps hailing you with fireballs. It's difficult to work through, just because of the height variation in the chambered doorways. It's followed by a bit of a sewer trek. Nothing very mazy, plus it dumps you with the red key right next to the red key door.

Like MAP04, you get handed the plasma rifle at the beginning and have a license to go to town. Anderson starts using teleport monsters here; there's an influx of monsters near the beginning and then, later, at the final battle, an elevator gauntlet that's admittedly easy to handle. Somewhere in between you've got an awkward Cyberdemon shootout. Oblong movement is a nice way to trip up the typical Cyberdodging. When you're done, you can kick back and enjoy some Sesame Street. It's the best play of the bunch, at least, in my opinion.


  1. This wad is available here now:


    1. not sure why the original and the remastered versions got purged, links fixed

    2. This wad is gone now.

    3. There was a joke WAD here. It's gone, now.

  2. "not sure why the original and the remastered versions got purged."

    You're not the only one as this thread asks the same question for ALL maps made by Joe Anderson:


    BTW, on the same thread, someone put 3 versions of this wad on MediaFire. Which one of the 3 did you use?

    1. as indicated in the title of this article, the filename was TCDOOMRM.WAD, which i'm guessing is the version labelled in 2012. i initially reviewed it for the newstuff chronicles, and i also reviewed the 2014 upload for the newstuff chronicles. IIRC it is basically the same as the remastered version in everything but name only. from what i gathered, anderson was upset with the /idgames reviews of both the original and the remaster, so it would not surprise me if the 2014 upload was a way to purge the comments that had offended him. as someone who seemed chronically disappointed with the public consensus of his works, it does not surprise me that he would eventually attempt to purge everything as a sort of clean break. perhaps he walks among us, yet, with a different name... i doubt it, tho