Sunday, February 26, 2017

Phoenix Rising (PHOENIX.WAD)

The year 2000 saw then-Gurkha Boy but future-Rex Claussen move away from the tried and true vanilla Doom II textures to experiment with assets belonging to other games in a minisode format. The first theme on the list was Hexen II, explored in the cheekily-titled A Hex On You. The next on the chopping block: Phoenix Rising, a five-map minisode for Doom II using resources from Hexen II's sister game, Quake II. Like HEX_ON_U, it's mean for a limit-removing source port that has several features including jumping. Anything in the ZDoom family ought to work. One important note: PHOENIX begins on MAP02 so make sure you set your clock ahead one level.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Hex On You (HEX_ON_U.WAD)

2000 was a pretty big turning point for Rex Claussen. While he was still going by Gurkha Boy he paused the manufacture of ostensibly limit-removing levels (following the trend of Military Research Complex) and returned to the minisode format of his first release, Quo Vadis. More importantly, Rex started experimenting with texture packs for new level themes. A Hex On You is the first of these "total conversions", a three-map minisode for ZDoom using the textures of Raven Software's highly popular Hexen II. The one thing that's not particularly like Rex is the lack of some sort of prose establishing the action, but the author has deigned to pitch the levels like a tour guide in the .TXT.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Arena (ARENA_01.WAD)

by Rex Claussen

Rex Claussen started out under the moniker of Gurkha Boy, making levels for limit-removing ports after enjoying Ian Wilson's Herian 2 as well as some correspondence. Arena, his fifth release, breaks with the source-port requirement for the first time for an experience that can be enjoyed in vanilla Doom II. It's a MAP22 replacement released in 1999 and it's also really easy to explain because it's actually a scant 19 monsters deep. It's literally an arena, of course, and nothing more. One of those interstitial ambushes as Doomguy travels between larger adventures, I suppose.

Friday, February 17, 2017

maintenance mode II

CURRENT STATUS: backfilled through May 2014

(the original post)

This is an update to my image hosting situation since I recently hit a major milestone. All reviews back through October 2014 (stopping at BTSX E2, the last one I had all the 1280 res images backed up for) have been backfilled. I have some others from June and May of 2011 and a few isolated stuff I did for tumblr Screenshot Showcases (like Speed of Doom) but from here on out I will be backfilling from my Imgur library, saved at a more sensible resolution of 640 / 600, depending. I did a good job at making a healthy review buffer but I will be eating through it due to working way too much overtime and my daughter, my firstborn on 11/29/16. Doom is not forgotten, but I may stretch out those Claussen episode reviews to seven days instead of the five day norm, depending on what I get done.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Military Research Complex (COMPLEX.WAD)

by Rex Claussen

Military Research Complex is Rex Claussen's fourth release in 1999 and number four of his career. Like his previous level, Decimate, it's a MAP14 replacement designed for advanced source ports and tested in ZDoom. There are a few really big differences, though. For one, COMPLEX is a HUGE level when it comes to real estate. This is in stark contrast to Claussen's relatively short levels though it meshes with the swaths of empty space in the comparatively smaller Decimate. More importantly, Claussen's previous releases specifically mentioned that they were not designed around jumping. Military Research Complex is and says as much in the .TXT. If you assume otherwise, like I did, you'll be hopelessly stuck.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


by Rex Claussen

Rex Claussen got his start in 1999, making levels for ZDoom because of its limit-removing feature. He was apparently inspired by Ian Wilson's Herian 2; Wilson subsequently played the master to his apprentice as Rex - as Gurkha Boy - learned the ropes of Doom editing. Decimate is Claussen's third career release, coming in the later part of 1999. It's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II, just what you need to get your motor D_RUNNIN. While Rex tested these levels in ZDoom he does not appear to have used any of its more specific "features" so they ought to work fine in any limit-removing port.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fear Island (FEAR_ISL.WAD)

by Rex Claussen

Back when Rex Claussen started mapping, he was making what he hoped were limit-removing PWADs and testing them in ZDoom, inspired by his admiration and correspondence with Ian Wilson of Herian fame. Fear Island is his second release both in 1999 and in his entire career, a single level replacement for Doom II in the MAP22 slot that works fine in ZDoom and might work in other source ports. Unlike his first publication, Quo Vadis (aka PUGILIST) there isn't an enormous story document; Claussen's presentation is short and to the point much like the level itself.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


Ah, 1999, when ZDoom was fresh on the streets. Ian Wilson made the considerably more polished if still contemptibly obtuse Herian 2 and thus suckered in another Doom author. I'm talking about Rex Claussen but he called himself Gurkha Boy back then. Rex went on to have a long and storied career beginning with Quo Vadis, a three-level minisode for Doom II. I'm not sure if PUGILIST - named for its gameplay and the story composed to justify it - is specific to ZDoom or if it will work fine in any limit-removing port, which is what the .TXT implies. All I can tell you is that it was tested in ZDoom and as of the time of this writing the two still work together.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Castle of Eternal Carrot in the Sky (COECITS.WAD)


by Fredrik Johansson

Fredrik's biggest claim to fame is his Vrack series, firmly establishing the space base theme in our hearts, but he released one other map in 2001 besides Doomworld's Top 10 favorite Vrack 2b. The unusually-titled Castle of Eternal Carrot in the Sky, like his previously released levels, is a MAP01 replacement meant to be played in Boom. Opinion on /idgames appears to be fiercely divided and it's pretty easy to see why within moments of loading up the level. It's a Hellish, Gothic castle of green marble and dingy metal floating in the limitless void of Hell with pools of toxic blood dominating its back half. This isn't why it's earned the ire of some of its players, though.