Friday, February 28, 2014


by Kurt Kesler

Kurt Kesler's KBOOM series doesn't get the love the rest of his works have, mainly because 1) they weren't collected in a megaWAD for easy enjoyment a la his vanilla levels into KMEGA1 and 2) KZDOOM was the stuff that got mentioned in the proto-Cacowards. They're just as good as his other works, though, if not better, since all of them were made or at least uploaded after his last map for the original Doom II. KBOOM_3 is the third installment of this series by name, though it was released on the archives exactly the same time as numbers four and five, and only a few days after one and then two - all in 1998, and all MAP01 replacements. All I can conclude is that Kesler was a fucking beast when it came to making maps.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Doom: The Mars Missions (MARSPR9C.WAD)

There are plenty of projects for Doom that get started and are never finished. Sometimes, the authors release demos, which become the disappointingly final releases. Berthold and Thomas's Doom: The Mars Missions saw an unfinished tech demo release in 2000, replacing eight maps (more or less) for vanilla Doom II, and it IS pretty shaky, if showing a lot of promise. The finished project would have been for ZDoom, but they never completed it. The only copy easily available is from Sparky of KISS software, simplifying horrifying install packages for ancient releases. The package includes the .DEH and .WAD, so you're good to go once you whip the little contents there are out.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Explanada (XPLANADA.WAD)

by "vdgg"

Doomworld Forums superstar vdgg is a speedrunner and classic Doom II enthusiast. It was inevitable that he'd make a map, and I'm not talking about the interesting proof-of-concept "TAS reversed". Explanada is a single map for Doom II, released in 2013 for limit-removing ports. vdgg wasn't all about accompanying his PWAD with a story; instead, he has a list of influences and credits, including classics like STRAIN, Plutonia, Requiem, Memento Mori II, Insertion, and some less old works like Suspended in Dusk. That's quite a pedigree, and a lot to measure up to. You won't have time, though, to think about what maps XPLANADA looks like, because the entire run will be spent getting your head kicked in.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

October (OCT11.WAD)

Here at Doomworld, we believe in the act of gifting. Authors release levels, and when I can get off my ass to do it, I give them a review! Some people prefer to give demos, so you can actually see someone else playing your map. And, well, some people go through the trouble to give Doomers maps on their birthday. October is a collection of six birthday maps for Doom II gifted to Doomworld Forum superstars in October 2011. Maybe, if you were generous / conceited enough, you might say that this is a birthday WAD to everyone born in October. Thanks, guys! This Halloween baby salutes you for your time and effort. Note that at least one of the levels makes no claim for vanilla compatibility, so use a limit-removing port for a full playthrough.

Monday, February 17, 2014

An Idgames Troll Walks Into a Bar... (ID_GAMER.WAD)


by Michael Jan "valkiriforce" Krizik

2013 was a quiet year for Doomworld Forum superstar valkiriforce. A few single maps made it to the archives, but nothing on the scale of 2011, Brandon D. Lade's "Year of the Valkyrie". An idgames Troll Walks Into a Bar... is the only solo release that didn't find its way into PULSE (that I know of). It's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II, with a curious note that suggests that Krizik misses the anonymous, thoughtless needling of /idgames trolls and released this typical valkiriforce map as a way to stir up the hornet's nest. And, hey, you're the troll! At least, you're the dude who walks into a bar at the beginning of the map which has a big ol' sign across the top that says "IDGAMES" and then proceeds to ice all the Hellspawn inside.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


To drive an already overwrought comparison to the ground, Doomworld Forum superstar Michael Jan Krizik released Eternally Yours in 2012, which was basically the equivalent of an album of new material plus some rarities. PULSE, assembled from essentially the rest of his unreleased material and (un)officially released in 2013, is the final scraping of the barrel, coming from myriad places. As usual, it's all for vanilla Doom II, and it's a pretty mixed bag containing a bunch of works from the beginning of his craft to the more polished stuff I've come to expect from valkiriforce, who's otherwise pretty consistent.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mayhem Mansion (MAYHEMM.WAD)

by "Darsycho" aka "Jack101"

Mayhem Mansion, released in 2013, is the latest outpouring of madness from Doomworld Forum superstar Darsycho (aka Jack101). It's heavily inspired by a bizarre FPS released in 1999, titled Exploding Lips. Jack takes things in a bit of a different direction, ditching the -unusual- intro of the original, which has you crawl upward through some concrete tunnels, only to arise from the earth and climb out of a coffin. Instead, he's focused on the aspects that endeared the game to him. Like, well, having explosives spit at you by giant, disembodied lips. The real question is, are you ready for Mayhem Mansion?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Danne's E1 (DANNE1.WAD)

Daniel Jakobsson's forte is slaughter maps, if you hadn't already guessed with Combat Shock, Combat Shock 2, or his Slaughterfest entries. It comes as some surprise that he published a limit-removing Episode One replacement for Doom in 2013, though it's a surprise tempered with some bemusement, as he's outspoken about his dislike for the original Doom in general and Doom the Way id Did. Danne's E1 was a learning experience from a player who had moved far beyond the original Doom and, indeed, Doom II with the advent of mapsets like Speed of Doom and Sunder. Here it is, though, his token E1 replacement for those of you who can't get enough of Phobos.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Inquisitor 2 (INQSTR2E.WAD)

by "Shadowman"

Back in 2012, Russian Doom community superstar Shadowman released The Inquisitor, a GZDoom adventure that pulled an Army of Darkness, sending Doomguy to one of the realms ruined by Hexen II's Eidolan in order to save it. Its biggest problem was that it was really a mod using Hexen's gameplay, but with faster, super-powered monsters. The Inquisitor 2 shares these same foibles, as well as the fact that it's a single map for Doom II to be played in GZDoom, but the delivery of the adventure is very different, with some improvements and some new issues privy to the format. It's still a very interesting experiment, one you might want to look into if you love first-person RPG gameplay.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Shadowman released Khorus in 2012, the same year he published The Inquisitor, which was set on a fan-fictional world called Khorus. I don't know whether the two are related, unless this is where Doomguy winds up after scouring Khorus from the taint of Eidolon. Given that Hexen iconography features in the title and intermission screens, that may very well be the case. KHORUS is a 9-map Doom II episode for Boom-compatible ports that takes place across wilderness landscapes, canyons, temples and sewers. I never did find my missing red cow, and I always knew why no one likes the Cyberdemon's voice, but I did feel the Spiderdemon's wrath. What is the court of Doom? Given that the episode just slides right in to "Refueling Base", it's a mystery I'll never solve... until Khorus 2.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Inquisitor (INQSTR.WAD)

by "Shadowman"

The Inquisitor, as released in 2012 by Russian Doom vet Shadowman, is a single map for Doom II to be played in GZDoom. It's not really Doom II, though. Shadowman cribs a lot of the vibe (and story!) from Raven Software's works, particularly Hexen II. There's also an unsavory detail I'll get out of the way right now. There's an Easter egg found at the gallows in the map with three women, two of which have been executed. The detail of the original graphics (now quite different after the blowup) created an image of sexualized violence, though why Inquisitor got so much flak for this while Temple of the Lizard Men 3 skated by, I don't know.