Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Legacy of Heroes (LEGHER.WAD)

1996 and 1997 marked the development period for one of my perennial favorite PWADs, Eternal Doom. There was a nominal time-travel element involved but most of its levels took place in sprawling, quasi-medieval settings. Legacy of Heroes is a spiritual successor of sorts. Released in 2016, gaspe took some of its base particulars insofar as its story and texture set and fabricated an eleven-level mapset for Doom II to be played in Boom-compatible ports. LEGHER includes a small epilogue in the MAP11 slot but it doesn't include any substantial gameplay; certainly not any combat.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

dead.air (DEAD-AIR.PK3)

by Xaser Acheron

In 2015, Tormentor667 hosted the Doomjá-vu competition where authors attempted to take a generalized layout of E1M7 and then twist it to their own desires. This was where Xaser produced dead.wire, a creepy level that was swamped with static and leveraged textures from Chasm: The Rift. dead.air's roots are ultimately buried in a dump of assets made by then-RNG breadbug now-breadguyfly. He submitted to another competition, this one hosted by Joel of Vinesauce. Both works interestingly ultimately took 2nd place in their respective events. The very basics remain the same, too, since this is also a MAP01 replacement for Doom II to be played in GZDoom. If it sounds like there are a lot of similarities then let me assure you that they're largely superficial.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


by Alun "Viggles" Bestor

Back in 2015, Viggles made an explosive return to the Doom community - after only having released a few deathmatch levels back in 1996 - with the publication of Breach. The first of a two-part series, it began as a single level but had to be split because it was on the verge of exceeding the extended limits of most source ports. Brigandine isn't the fairly-anticipated sequel but it is another MAP01 replacement for Doom II for limit-removing ports, this time released in 2017. Bestor's original conception was a "quickie" given the scope of the work he'd performed for Breach but the end result appears to indicate that every map of his is capable of becoming a long, torrid love affair.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sticky Blood (STCKBLOD.WAD)

by "Memfis"

Memfis somehow established a reputation - one that he wasn't necessarily happy with - of producing short, relatively low-key levels and drawing inspiration from classic releases. Sticky Blood, a MAP01 replacement released in 2011 to be played in a limit-removing port, is small but I would not describe it as remotely laid back in its action compared to his previously-released Kashimir. Like most of his publications there is a complete lack of a framing narrative so it's up to you to decide where you want to fit in the Doom II multiverse. Since it uses the third sky from Thomas van der Velden's Revolution! you could make an argument for it taking place in the realm of the Old God, Chaos. Not to be confused with Realm of Chaos.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

No Sun 2 (NOSUN2.WAD)

by Malcolm Sailor

While he did most of his mapping during his early teens, MS is primarily known for his CHORD series because of its soul-crushing difficulty and gorgeous, detailed environments. If you forget about his contributions to The Talosian Incident then you might be surprised to find him responsible for another series, this one actually attempting to draw a narrative through its action across a grand total of five entries. NOSUN2 is understandably the second level and was re-released in 1997 though I strongly suspect that it was originally published toward the end of 1996. Like most of the levels released by Malcolm, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Castle of the Hengs (CASTHENG.WAD)

Back when I started playing Doom again I had a bunch of review sites bookmarked with the express intent of finding obscure but memorable stuff on the larger end of the scale. One of these was Geniac's Doom WAD Playlist. The descriptions aren't very thorough but they give you a brief picture. One of the interesting PWADs that I wasn't able to locate on the archive was CASTHENG by "James XIII". Back when the entry was made it was logged as consisting of fourteen "tough scary castle levels". After I sent out a feeler in 2012 in the "Trying to Find a Specific WAD" thread on Doomworld, The Mad Butcher delivered and provided me with a copy. I was surprised to discover that Castle of the Hengs had been further developed to the point of replacing MAP01-MAP30 of Doom II.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Idle Doom: Tech Breakthrough (IDLEDOOM.WAD)

by "Albertoni"

I've "played" a few idle games. Cookie Clicker was my first but I've also enjoyed the depth of Realm Grinder and Clicker Heroes. If you've never played one then you're not missing out on much. The ultimate objective is to earn more of the game's currency. The process never really ends but idlers tend to have some sort of prestige mechanic where you can reset your progress for long-term benefits that accrue over time so you can have days of milestones to reach. This helps to keep at least one carrot on a stick in front of the player at all times. Idle Doom is an interesting experiment that explores the very basic mechanics behind these clicker games within the framework of ZDoom. There's at least one significant difference: you can actually reach an end.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Sequel to Quick is Good (QUIKISG2.WAD)

by Malcolm Sailor

MS began with DARKER in 1995 and then slowly honed his authorial skillset into the perfectionist machine that crafted the CHORD series. It's most fondly remembered for its last two levels, published in 1999 (CHORDG) and 2000 (CHORD3). In 1996, the author was beginning to indulge in longer maps with a more developed story by way of his NOSUN series but he still had a strong affection for Short and Hard levels. Enter the imaginatively-titled Sequel to Quick is Good, antecedent to QUIKISGD. It and NOSUN2 might just be the last things that he released in 1996. QUIKISG2 is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II, much like the majority of Malcolm's levels.