Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Beginning of the End (Part 1) (END1.WAD)

Emil Brundage, aka NaturalTvventy, is one of those 90s authors who continues to kick around this old-ass game. His most recent releases are tied up in projects like Back to Saturn X and No End in Sight, but his first set, released in 1997, was The Beginning of the End (Part 1), a pair of episodes released for the original Doom. Part 2 would follow the next year, which would complete this megaWAD, but that's a slightly different story. Speaking of story, with a name like The Beginning of the End, you'd think that there'd be some kind of framing narrative for all the crazy action that follows. There isn't, though you might be able to wrangle some kind of narrative out of the map titles... Heh.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Chris Harbin is one of Doom's more obscure authors. While he donated one of his unfinished levels to Death Tormention II, his magnum opus is this, Operation: BIOWAR. Released in 1999, BIOWAR is one of those Doom II megaWADs that didn't bother to stretch to fit the mythical thirty-two map slots. Instead, it's eighteen normal maps plus one secret level, and I believe the whole thing plays back in vanilla Doom. Of course, Harbin didn't necessarily go it alone, and Biowar also features the stylings of Paul Corfiatis, who revised one of his levels from Twilight Zone II, and John Bishop, who released a smattering of solo releases over the late 90s, and was apparently a contributor to Plutonia 2 in its initial stages of development, though those levels are now confined to the archived development WADs.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Death Tormention II (PE4_DT2.WAD)

1999 saw the release of two Doom episodes bearing Paul Corfiatis's name. The first was Death Tormention, Paul's in-depth study of the Thy Flesh Consumed aesthetic that is so popular among authors. The second was, you guessed it, Death Tormention II, which shows a lot of personal growth... and a few unhealthy fixations. This episode is also among the first of Paul's collaborative works, joining fellow Team Insanity member Kristian Aro in the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship, as well as Chris Harbin, who is known for Operation: BIOWAR, if you know him at all. The bulk of Death Tormention II is a nine-level episode with a .DEH that apparently only works in source ports like Boom. Paul has also included three bonus levels that are pretty silly and underdeveloped and which are hiding in the secret map slots for Knee Deep in the Dead, The Shores of Hell, and Inferno.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Twilight Zone II: Final Dreams (TWZONE2.WAD)

Paul Corfiatis, to me, is the working man's WAD author, a dude who has hundreds of levels under his belt starting from 1998 and continuing to this very day... though he'd be among the first to distance himself from his earlier, "experimental" works. His first release was a full-fledged megaWAD, The Twilight Zone, where you battled Hell through your dreams to get a good night's sleep. A year later, we got The Twilight Zone II: Final Dreams. The current iteration of TWZONE2 is a Boom-compatible megaWAD; though it was released in 1999, Paul went back and remastered it in 2014, stripping out the resources that had fallen out of favor with him... More on that in a bit.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Death Tormention (PE4M_ALL.WAD)

Paul Corfiatis has made a lot of maps, and more than a few of them have been specifically in the style of Doom's fourth episode, Thy Flesh Consumed. Death Tormention is the beginning of a series of such works, released in 1999 in between his first two megaWADs, The Twilight Zone and The Twilight Zone II: Final Dreams. It's apparently vanilla compatible, but the .DEH only works in source ports, I guess. There isn't any sort of attempt at setting up the plot in the .TXT, but you can glean some stuff from the end text.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The City of the Damned (TCOTD.ZIP)

Doomworld Forum superstar Daniel Gimmer, aka Tormentor667, is one of the biggest reasons that the ZDoom engine - and its family - is as popular as it is today. The man has an undeniable passion for the Doom community, especially on the GZDoom side of things, and Realm667 - in spite of what feels like a constant barrage of hacker attacks - remains the most organized collection of custom resources available to authors that want to play around in the Doom engine. Most of his work is highly regarded by a subset of the community that treasures each and every GZDoom level that emerges, confused and alone, into the /idgames wild. The City of the Damned is one of his earliest releases, a single level that was originally meant to showcase his Blood Resource Pack, which has an amusingly draconian permission requirement considering that all of this stuff was made by the hard workin' folks at Monolith.