Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cygnus IV (CYGNUSIV.WAD)


UK Doomer John Bye published a few Doom WADs before gliding over to Quake, himself having some claim to fame as a reviewer of levels for various id games. His most famous work is The Talosian Incident, a megaWAD produced as part of Black Star Coven (most of the work done by Bye and compatriot Malcolm Sailor). Before TALOSIAN, though, there was Cygnus IV, published for Doom II, I believe in 1996 (with a 1997 update). Bye originally released some of these maps serially; CYGNUSIV collects the scraps and fleshes the concept out to a fourteen-map episode (right on the cusp of the idgames definition of a megaWAD).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Interview on Doom Nexus

Against better judgement, Doomworld forum superstar ReX Claussen did an email-style interview with me for his "Inside the Boss Brain" feature, which he uploaded this Thursday. Read it and weep!

In other news, Community Chest 4 has taken awhile to review because I'm in love with Borderlands 2 (<3) and have been in a bit of a funk over the past week, but I'm better now. If I don't have it done after I post Cygnus IV, There Will Be Blood. Spoiler: It's really fucking good! But you already knew I'd say that, didn't you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1 Day of Hellish Revenge (1DOFHELL.WAD)


In 20 Days in Hell, the Doom marine was slain while defending his wife from a mugger. Hell unjustly claimed his soul unless he could survive for twenty days, but the devil isn't known for fair bargains. In 32 Hours in Pain, his stoic wife Serena battled her way into the inferno to rescue her husband. In 1 Day of Hellish Revenge, released by Kristian Aro near the tail end of 1998, the Doom marine has recovered from his injuries, but not the mental trauma. To put his troubled soul at peace, he returns once more to the Stygian pit, meting out his particular form of retribution.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

5till L1 Complex (5L1C.WAD)

5TILL L1 COMPLEX
by "Lainos"


Lainos is an author of large, exploratory levels. 5till L1 Complex is no exception. Published in 2012, this MAP01 replacement for limit-removing ports with .OGG support continues the "story" of Doxylamine Moon: Overdose, itself an offshoot of Clan [B0S]'s Sacrament. Armageddon has happened, and a man who woke up from an overdose finds himself in the post-apocalyptic aftermath, where the vile members of humanity are twisted into Hellish caricatures that roam the now still earth to feed on the remaining innocents...and each other. Waking up in the ruins, you resolve to trudge through the wilderness and try to survive for another night under the blood-red moon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

More Newstuff from DoomX

Eriance's evil twin keeps plugging away. Mr. Ramirez released a beta creature pack showcasing the trite and succubus monsters of DoomX; if you want to play around with them, load the download on this page with Doom. They replace all imps and demons, though don't expect the gameplay to be balanced.


In case you didn't already know, DoomX is a WIP megaWAD featuring two new weapons (both freeze-based) and a ton of custom monsters with new sprites. Every update on this project warms this old chunk of coal's mottled heart. If he's been paying attention to community stuff at all, he might have noticed that some kind soul painstakingly created a vore sprite set, one of the creatures he was considering adding to his bestiary.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zones of Fear (ZOF.WAD)


Zones of Fear, released in 2012, is a Boom-compatible megaWAD from the Czech Doom community, a followup to the "first" Czech community project, Quake World, which shares many of the same authors. The Czech community has an unusual character, at least, from my limited understanding. On the one hand, the classic Pavel Hodek, who WADified one of the stories of the Galaxia sci-fi serial comic. On the other, a handful of authors who love the Hell Revealed style of gameplay, authoring Kama Sutra and contributing to Plutonia 2 (with Kama Sutra 2 and more delights waiting in the wings). Zones of Fear bridges this gap with something of a working man's megaWAD.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Grim Reaper (GRIMREAP.WAD)

THE GRIM REAPER
by Grzegorz Werner


Polish author Gzregorz Werner has but three solo releases for Doom. One of these, A Hidden Mountain Factory, earned a Cacoward in spirit as part of Doomworld's Top 100 WADs. The Grim Reaper is another forgotten delight, published in 1996 and occupying the MAP01 slot of Doom II. It's an unusual level that features a bunch of new graphics, that interestingly enough look to be derived from the original Doom II set, at least in part. They give the level a very distinct look between the windows and tetronimo walls. The other thing that grabbed my attention is a pair of classical poetry quotations, no doubt derived from Werner's English studies (William Blake's "Tiger" and Gerald Manley Hopkins's "The Windhover").

Saturday, September 15, 2012

32 Hours in Pain (32HNPAIN.WAD)


32 Hours in Pain is the second installment in Kristian Aro's "20 Days in Hell" trilogy, published back in 1998. The first WAD, 20 Days in Hell, began after the Doom marine was slain by a mugger while trying to protect his wife, Serena. Hell promised Doomguy that he could leave if he managed to survive for twenty days in the abyss. Of course, they reneged, and in 32 Hours in Pain, Serena decides to go to Hell and get her husband back (courtesy of the now venerable FEMDOOM.WAD). Her journey takes her to an Earth space port to the moons of Jupiter and through the very gates of Hell. Of course, the demons won't give up their torture victim so easily, and you have to fight tooth and nail.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eden (EDEN.WAD)

EDEN
by Mal Blackwell


Mal Blackwell has all of two single-player Doom maps to his name, but he's been a level designer on some of id's more contemporary releases, like Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom 3. EDEN is the first of his works, published in 1994. It's an E2M1 replacement that he felt was roughly on-par with the original trilogy, "an extension of the original game rather than 'my' level". The story is simply presented as an aside – "there's trouble in paradise, Go clean house!". It's an interesting suggestion, that the E1 aesthetic (as the map is undeniably more Knee Deep in the Dead than the Shores of Hell) is the most evocative of Zion.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Demon Eclipse Abandoned

I mention one of my long-running favorites a few weeks ago and lo and behold, its author regretfully cancels continued development. Demon Eclipse is dead. Long live Demon Eclipse! Thankfully, Eriance pledged to nominally polish what's complete (Episodes 1 & 2) and release them as the "final" beta. Some people are optimistic about Episode 3 becoming a future project (though he already has a good one in the works). I'm just happy to get the remainder what with so many projects never seeing any kind of a release. Good luck on your future endeavors. For the rest of you, keep an eye on DoomX (Youtube channel here) I'm remaining optimistic. 

EDIT: Site news... I am momentarily done with picking through older WADs (though reviews will be coming over the next month-plus) and am happily moving on to 2012 Cacoward nominees and things that piqued my interest. I also made a slight change to the review index; WADs using TNT and Plutonia as a base are no longer segregated into their own categories. They are filed under Doom II, as that best represents the kind of gameplay you can expect from them. I'm considering giving projects like Chibi Rebellion a different code to distinguish them (and other "new games") from the rest of the site reviews. Also, I'm anticipating code 64 for Doom 64 EX levels. I will eventually review Doom 64, but first, it's 2012.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

20 Days in Hell (20DNHELL.WAD)

Kristian Aro has left his own Doom legacy with partner in crime Paul Corfiatis and his critically acclaimed solo releases. What many probably don't know of is his 20 Days in Hell trilogy, released through 1996 to 1998 as part of Doomed Software alongside his friend, Lauri Kivinen. The first installment – 20 Days in Hell – occupies the latter twenty-one maps of The Plutonia Experiment. The story follows the life of the Doom marine, now a celebrity for your successes at defending Earth. While out on a walk with your wife, you attempt to defend her from a purse-snatching, only to catch a bullet in the gut and die...and wake up in Hell. The ultimate evil claims that it will release you if you can survive in its domain for twenty days. If you die, though, it's never gonna give you up. As for the map themes, Aro seems to loosely borrow the names of the original map slots (or not so loosely in some cases).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ye Olde Smudge (ChrisK for Heretic) (SMUDGE.WAD)


Chris Klie's known for his Master Levels and other megaWADs. BF_THUD! carries the subtitle "ChrisK for Doom ]["; Ye Olde Smudge is, similarly, "ChrisK for Heretic" (the original ChrisK being for Doom). Smudge enjoys the same kind of level composition as its sister, BF_THUD. The levels are small, packed into tight square areas with low-tier monsters coupled with puzzles. There's no given plot – they're just presented as the complete collection of Chris Klie's Heretic levels. Like BF_THUD, they are loosely themed on the map names whose slots they occupy.