Wednesday, July 23, 2014


by Rich "CROW" Kyanka

Reviewer's prelude in 2022: Lowtax committed suicide after his abused wife was granted a dissolution of marriage judgement. Here is a GoFundMe that establishes a trust to provide for both of his daughters.

Almost anyone who could get their hands on an editor made a map for Doom back in '94. Some of the outpouring vanished into the ether, never to be archived, while other works are being diligently reuploaded as the opportunity comes. This is RCK2, a level for the original Doom made by none other than Rich Kyanka, aka Something Awful's Lowtax. It's not his first level - that honor belonging to RCK.WAD - but it's a pretty early Doom level. MISSION1 is the only Kyanka level not available in any capacity I'm aware of. If you have it, it'd be interesting to check it out. In spite of being the second level he made, it occupies the E1M1 slot.

RCK2 is '94 as fuck. The main area looks more like a deathmatch playground than anything with a computer / barricade to shoot through and a trench with some shotgun ammo and armor. Pretty much all the enemies you start off seeing are lowly zombies, some of which will be slain by a crusher to the northwest. The most challenging fights you'll see are an alcove jammed full of sergeants (most of which will die through careless infighting) and a trio of cacodemons, given that you're limited to the chaingun and shotgun to take them out. There's a baron, too, but it's pretty old hat with mouse and keyboard. The map is also pretty ugly, in part due to full bright and that huge, orthogonal starting area. It's, uh, 1994, what can I say? There really isn't much to comment on. I like the wooden room and the dark stone area with the drop-down chasm that hides a key. There are also two different yellow keys, so there's more than one way to reach the exit, an interesting feature.

Enjoy this for its authentic flavor or as a piece of interesting Doom trivia. If you're looking for something more up to modern standards, RCK2 won't wow you. Another interesting piece of trivia - Mike Nelson of MST3K fame was also a big Doom fan, seeing as how it got a mention in the wonderful Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell episode. Kyanka's handle here is derived from none other than Crow T. Robot, pegging him as a fan of the ol' Satellite of Love.



  1. Yeah Mike Nelson was supposedly pretty good at the game too. Apparently there was an mst3k convention where people played against him for prizes. Only he kept on winning until he threw the match for an 8-year-old kid (awesome). From word of mouth of DW's very own bucket:

    1. "This movie is like playing Doom when there are no monsters or opponents!"