Saturday, December 28, 2019

Maximum Breakdown (MB01.WAD)

by Brad Spencer

Brad is probably best-known in the community for his single-player contributions. They figured into the 2000 Cacowards with Atomic Tomb as well as a portion of the legendary Alien Vendetta. I get the feeling that deathmatch was his real passion back in the early '00s, though. This is mostly due to how much of his pre-AV work was focused on multiplayer. Maximum Breakdown actually began life as the kickstarter for an 11-level episode for Doom II but Spencer found that he loved it too much in DM to make any more. The end result is a MAP01 replacement for ZDoom, originally released back in 1999.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


by Pablo Dictter

Dictter's WADography is kind of a pain to sort out. He shopped some of his PWADs around online before uploading them to /idgames so the dates of creation are less than clear. Forget the fact that his first ten or so levels never found their way to the archives! This particular release has its own curious detail. Pablo notes that Warehouse won a Doom WAD Station contest. I can't find anything mentioning it on the current iteration of Larkin's site, though. While there are a few snapshots of DWS back when it was hosted on the now-defunct NewDoom they are pretty much identical to the way it's currently laid out. Minus the garish background, of course. Whatever the case, it's an E1M1 replacement for The Ultimate Doom. The author suggests that you use a Boom source port but Varun Abhiram was able to play it in vanilla.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Industrial (INDUSTRL.WAD)

by Kevin "Magikal" Reay

When I decided to do a deep dive into the depths of the original Community Chest there were three things that I was dreading. The first was the sheer magnitude of single level releases from authors like Alex Parsons and Gene Bird. Second and opposite, I knew that Kaiser's back catalogue would involve most of the megaWADs of the DSV series. Last but by far not the least was Kevin "Magikal" Reay's levels. His entries have been the most consistently derided element of CCHEST but it's not hard to see why having finally played this level. Every author has their own design language and Kev's is somewhere in the realm of mid-'90s cryptographers like Jim Flynn and Bob Evans. His 2002 solo debut was Industrial, a very large and long MAP01 replacement. It was originally tested in Legacy but will probably work in any Boom-compatible port that has complex Z-collision, e.g. Eternity or (G)ZDoom. This is almost entirely due to a couple of instances toward the level's end, most notably a torch that you will have to ledge-crawl over. The author's only real caveat is for you to not jump.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

800 Reviews and a Happy Doomsday!

When I posted the 700 review milestone back in January I wasn't expecting to hit 800 at the end of the year. Close, maybe, but not within ten months! This was a crazy year, my most productive since 2012. I've been writing a lot about a twenty-six year old computer game.

In review (with a repost of my mid-year state of the blog to start):

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

10 Sectors Part 2 (10SECTO2.WAD)

In 2000, Doomworld hosted a contest inspired by an Unreal community challenge. 10 Sectors took more than 120 submissions from authors looking to create the most interesting Doom II level they could using - you guessed it - no more than 10 sectors. The premise actually allows for fairly complex levels as demonstrated in the official 10SECTOR megaWAD. It collected the thirty highest-rated entries plus two special mentions. 10SECTO2 is then the first and only spillover release. 27 of these levels were part of the top 32 for at least one judge. The illustrious Linguica hand-picked the remaining five to round the collection out to the mythic "complete game replacement" status. Like the primary release, this 2000 PWAD should be played with Doom II in a Boom-compatible port.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Blind Alley M., The Citadel (BNDALYM.WAD)

by Gene Bird

G.B. had been mapping since 1998 but he was one of those authors who kept his works to himself. Until 2002, that is, where he started to publish them as he finalized each entry. Most people who are familiar with Gene know his entries in the original Community Chest and CCHEST2. He still hangs out on the forums as Searcher, though, and appears to be primarily interested in watching the speed demos of other players. All of Birds's works are part of a series called Blind Alley, each one having a letter designator to signify where it would have appeared in the running order of the finished megaWAD. The Citadel is situated before the previously released Nukage (O) and The Boardwalk (P), probably occupying MAP22. As an individual release in 2002, though, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Dark Tide (DT-LUTZ.WAD)

by Chris Lutz

2017 was Chris's biggest year to date. He could have just ridden the high from having helped to flesh out 2016's No End In Sight but he also finished off his ambitious Hellscape, a re-envisioning of Doom II's final episode. His last surprise was a single level release - Dark Tide. This MAP01 replacement is meant for Boom-compatible ports but as with DHS Lutz recommends an engine that has more complex Z clipping. Vertical mouselook is also a nicety to make the gameplay considerably less frustrating. As far as WADs go, you can't get by with just DOOM2.WAD. DT-LUTZ also requires Team TNT's resource package for The Return.

Saturday, November 30, 2019


by "Memfis" and Aleks Shahov aka "Plut"

Memfis has had a long and obscenely productive authorial career. 2011-2012 was a sort of warming-up period, followed by an even more prolific string of ideas in 2013-2015. Suteni isn't the last of his '12 period - that honor belongs to Horalky - but it wasn't uploaded into 2014, part of a huge dump to /idgames. Of all his early releases it's distinct for being a tag team feature. I dunno what sort of relationship Memfis and Plut had back in 2012 but they appear to share some similar interests. After all, they both cameoed in the French community's 3 Heures d'Agonie II. On this particular occasion they collaborated to produce a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that affirms compatibility with limit-removing ports.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Hellscape (DHS-LUTZ.WAD)

A large portion of Chris's inimitable career has been spent taking classic Doom themes and rendering them in his particular idiom. This began with his debut, Inferno, but extends to Phobos: Anomaly Reborn as well as several aborted attempts at a similar E2 scenario. Doom the Way id Did's "Lake of Fire" and No End In Sight's "Poison Control" were more id-oriented but the latter's "The Blood Beneath" is a considerable E4 take. I dunno how long Lutz had kicked around this particular idea but The Dying End, its MAP29, was released individually in 2007. Not as a teaser or anything; as far as I know there was zero indication that Hellscape was in development until its public unveiling in 2015. This Doom II episode was finally released in 2017 and replaces MAP21-MAP30, Chris's least favorite run of levels in the original campaign. The bare-minimum compatibility is Boom / MBF but the author suggests using a port with more complex Z-clipping, e.g. ZDoom.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Tyrell Corporation (TYRELL.WAD)

by Brad Spencer

The Brad who goes by "Vorpal" has a fair bit of prestige. His Atomic Tomb, released in 2000, was named one of Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2000. He was also one of the main not-Anders Johnson voices behind Alien Vendetta, responsible for part of the character of its second episode. He had a bit of a hiatus but he's still making Doom maps. His pre-AV career consists of a roughly even mix of single / coop levels and deathmatch. Something missing called AMBUSHA was his first released level but it isn't on the archives. Instead, we have 1999's The Tyrell Corporation. It's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and is recommended for ZDoom. I see that the actual geometry is probably limit-removing but Spencer makes use of MAPINFO and MOD music files so you might as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Inn-Escapable (INNESC3.WAD)

by Mike "Impie" MacDee

Mike debuted in the community making relatively vanilla Doom II levels in terms of action if not necessarily the intended settings. Impie made his first major mark exploring the Cthulhu mythos with Strange Aeons but he also delved into Alone In the Dark's Derceto manor. He additionally riffed on a toy line (MAX1 and MAX2, the latter for Heretic). Inn-Escapable doesn't reference a recognizable property because it actually comes from a series of one-off adventures that he composed for the HeroQuest board game. It doesn't look like it's currently available on his website, though. INNESC is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that apparently requires a ZDoom-family port but not for any obvious reason. Jumping is not recommended as it could break the level.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Chemical Base (CHEMICAL.WAD)

by Pablo Dictter

Pablo was another prolific figure during the source port boom beginning in 1999 but mostly from 2000 and on. He rubbed elbows with the likes of his soul brother Tobias Münch as well as the Abhiram brothers (Karthik and Varun) and even found his way into the Alien Vendetta lineup. Dictter made a lot of levels but something like half of them - all early works - didn't find their way to /idgames. It's no wonder then that his first-archived material shows a lot of craft in, if not making interesting layouts or room shapes, adding a lot of visual panache. The Chemical Base is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and was released somewhere on the borderline between 2000 and 2001. The WAD itself has an older timestamp while the .TXT leans toward the latter.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dissolution (DISTION.WAD)

Bryant (aka "Gunrock") and Kevin ("The Solution") Robinson made Project Slipgate some time in 2001. It was a Quake-themed outing that explored the cool but sparingly-used (at least in the original campaign) "Complex" scheme as well as darker, disturbing fortresses. It also had something of a Doom 64 feel due to colored lighting, heavy atmosphere, and other aspects. The brothers decided to revisit the aesthetic with a side-story, released in 2002. Dissolution is yet another episode for ZDoom. It replaces MAP01-MAP07, though it's worth noting that the opener is a cinematic sweep of a fortress and neither requires nor takes any player input.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Blind Alley P., The Boardwalk (BNDALYP.WAD)

by Gene Bird

The original CCHEST - and, to a lesser extent, its sequel - gets a bad rap nowadays. Part of this is due to Gene's involvement, or rather looking back without its original context and holding the project to an unrealistic standard. Community Chest didn't have a lot of motivation beyond "Did you ever want to see a level of yours as part of a megaWAD?" Some folks made new ones. Others like Bird and Sphagne did not and opted to submit from their own, singles-heavy back catalogue. G.B.'s series was called Blind Alley and eight of its fifteen levels can be found in the first as well as CCHEST2. These maps began as part of a larger, more ambitious megaWAD and were released piecemeal as Gene finalized them. The Boardwalk originally occupied the MAP25 slot is MAP01 here mostly for ease of play, I imagine (the author suggests idmus25 or 22 for music). It ought to work in any port, including vanilla, though Bird recommends the use of something more advanced.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Overheat (OVERHEA1.WAD)

by "Memfis"

Memfis has tried on a variety of different WAD themes. Some of them, like ICARUMEM and RELIVEX2, were explicitly based on classic-era releases if not in the absolute content then the texture schemes represented in them. Others e.g. Kurogane are more vanilla but each one tends to have its own little twist. Overheat was originally published to the Doomworld forums in 2012 but, like so many other things by Memfis, only found its way to /idgames in mid-2014. It's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and is theoretically vanilla-compatible but an engine bug restricts it to limit-removing ports that have squashed the "Medusa" effect.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Project Slipgate (SLIPGATE.WAD)

Bryant and Kevin are the brothers Robinson. You might know them as Team Demise but I wasn't aware that they had a website until I started poking around for this review. They more commonly go by Gunrock and The Solution and they generally make levels for feature-rich source ports. (G)ZDoom, Vavoom, you know the type. Unraveling their development history has been a challenge because they are fond of going back and remastering their old works while eliminating the older versions. Where their debut, quake2doom, tried to bring the magic of Quake II to Doom, Project Slipgate worked with idtech2's flagship title. The most recent version replaces MAP01-MAP11, the same number but not slots as the original 2002 (2001?) release. It's built for ZDoom but the authors are fond enough of GZDoom's special effects that they recommend using it if you can.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Congestion Control 2 (CCT2.WAD)

by Karthik Abhiram Krishna

Congestion Control 2 actually started out as Out of Phase 4: Interview With the Cyberdemon. It got a little out of hand for K.A. to file it alongside his light-speed OPHASE stylings, though, and thus became CCT2. There are a few other little details worth mentioning, too, like it being published on Karthik's 21st birthday. More on that later. This 2003 MAP01 replacement is the author's first limit-removing release but it also has bonus features for players using ZDoom. It takes advantage of the MAPINFO lump for a few extra bells and whistles whose absence won't mechanically affect your playthrough.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The River of Fire (RIVERF.WAD)

by Pablo Dictter

Pablo made a good number of Doom / II levels that are no longer publicly available before he started uploading stuff to /idgames. The confusingly titled They Will Repent (House of Pain Part Two) was his archival debut. The quasi-E4 styled map pointed pretty strongly to the level design that he would be infamous for in Alien Vendetta. As it turns out, though, he also dabbled in making levels for Heretic. The River of Fire is the first of these irregular morsels to find their way to broader publication. It wasn't uploaded until 2001 but it was available elsewhere circa 2000. It was made for a now-defunct source port called wHeretic but as far as I can tell the engine did not have any special features, primarily existing to bring the game from DOS to Windows.

Friday, October 25, 2019

No Quarter (DOME1M3.WAD)

by Will "ArchVile46" Hackney

Some Doomers have big dreams. Will, who later went by Kid Airbag, had a grand vision borne out of a failed project that I've heard little of - Doom Revisited. He salvaged his submission and set out on his own epic, Doomed Once More, which would span the Ultimate quadrilogy and - he hoped - the entirety of Doom II as well. DOM barely got off the ground, though, and Hackney eventually released the finished portions of the first episode in 2003. This was after the release of the original Community Chest, in which he was a participant. In 2002, though, came this promising teaser. No Quarter is an E1M3 replacement for limit-removing source ports.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Enjay Doom (NJDOOM1.WAD)

Nigel Rowand has one of if not the longest and continuous careers in the community. His Waterlab GZD was released in 2017 and he had probably the first "complete" megaWAD in 1994. If you want to be an ass then Enjay Doom was technically published as three individual episodes before being collected and put on Compuserve. It's not as though each one was separated by years worth of development. This compilation formed the basis of several of his future megaWADs. It was followed by a Doom II conversion and, later on, a retooling for ZDoom. I half-suspect that it's also part of his private project, the Aspects total conversion.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Blind Alley, Nukage (BNDALYO.WAD)

by Gene Bird

Gene Bird was a fairly big contributor to both the original Community Chest as well as CCHEST2. All of his submissions to each were previously released as part of his Blind Alley series, however, much like fellow participant Sphagne. BNDALY is all over the place in the archives because GB had made some if not most of the material during the previous five years and finally started polishing it to a comfortable level in late 2002. He also says that the finished episode would contain somewhere between seven and ten levels. SPOILER: The Blind Alley catalogue spans fifteen entries, more than half of the alphabet. I say that because all of these levels were given a corresponding alpha(-numeric) character. Nukage, for instance, is "O" (judging by the filename) and would have occupied MAP24. Because one can never get enough D_RUNNIN, though, it is a MAP01 replacement.

Monday, October 14, 2019


In my review of ICARUMEM I mentioned the idea of further galactic adventures in the vein of Memfis's MEM_OLD1. Tayutayu may not use the Icarus: Alien Vanguard texture set but it is another level on an interstellar station which makes it pretty cool in my book. Like his old space base it's also for the original Doom, occupying E1M1 and E1M2. This minisode was explicitly tested in PrBoom-plus but the parameters suggest that it ought to work just fine in any limit-removing source port. It was soft-released to various forums in early 2012 but was not uploaded until his great archive dump of 2014.

Monday, October 7, 2019


Kaiser has made a ton of stuff for the Doom community which is why he was the first person to receive the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award for the 2013 Cacowards. He put out more than a hundred levels with his DSV series, not to forget an impressive array of singles; was a common fixture through Community Chest as well as CCHEST2 and 3; led the Absolution team, at the time the definitive experience for PC users; took the piss during The Community is Falling 1, 2, and 3; and worked to bring authentic classic FPS experiences to modern users. He started out on Strife but eventually fulfilled the promise of the 64 TC with the Doom64 EX source port.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Dark Fate (DFT.WAD)

by Karthik Abhiram Krishna

Karthik had released eight levels spanning 2000-2002 and all of them could be conceivably fall under the techbase theme. A few of them - namely Congestion Control and Out of Phase III - contained some reality-bending accoutrements of Hell, though, in a sort of freewheeling "Pandemonium" style. Dark Fate changes direction a bit and takes things all the way to the abyssal end of the spectrum. Released in 2003, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that draws on the texture scheme of the original Inferno episode. It isn't limited to Ultimate's bestiary, though, a fact that will quickly become evident as you play.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

They Will Repent (House of Pain Part Two) (PD-TWR.WAD)

by Pablo Dictter

It's unfortunate to generalize an author's entire career based on a single level but Pablo Dictter has been most remembered for Alien Vendetta's "One Flew Over the Caco's Nest" (MAP21). It's not a horrible level but it can't compare to the masterstroke of "The Spooked", his MAP16 submission to Doom 2 Unleashed, Paul Corfiatis's 2011 community project. Judging by his AV work, his 2001 self had a pretty good eye for architectural detail but little ability to create interesting spaces. He made many levels prior to here but this is his earliest /idgames material. An archived version of his 2001 home page lists a bunch of stuff but circa the included.TXT in 04/05/00 he listed Two Gates - I believe a work in progress - and what I assume is this very PWAD. It's titled They Will Repent (House of Pain Part Two) and is an E4M5 replacement for The Ultimate Doom. Pablo doesn't mention a source port but I don't see anything that a limit-removing one couldn't handle.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Baron's Domain (AV46SP01.WAD)

by Will "Archvile46" Hackney

Will was a part of the source port boom scene and parts beyond with a career spanning 2001-2007. Later known as Kid Airbag on the Doomworld Forums, he had a standalone release - the finished portions of his Doomed Once More episode - as well as a few single levels. His most lasting contributions were to the Community Chest series, with an entry in the first iteration as well as CCHEST3. Unlike a few of his peers - namely Gene Bird and Sphagne - his submissions were exclusively developed for the collections. The Baron's Domain is the first of his small collection of solo publications, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that should play back in any source port.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Return to Hadron Episode 2 - The Collider's New Clothes (HADRONE2.WAD)

Matt Powell aka "cannonball" made a splash in 2012 dabbling in both Slaughterfest 2012 as well as some scattered Ultimate Doom works. One of these - his speedy episode 1 - eventually became 2013's ConC.E.R.N.ed, a megaWAD replacing the original trilogy. 2014 drove E4 fetishists wild with Thy Flesh Turned Into a Draft Excluder. DRAFTEX was a leap forward in his craft and while it wasn't meant to be appended to CONCERN he passed the savings on to the player in 2015's Return to Hadron. E1 revisited the locale of his megaWAD's first episode while changing some things up to suit his developing gameplay sensibilities. In 2017 we were fortunate to receive the second part, The Collider's New Clothes. This one replaces The Shores of Hell and should play in any limit-removing source port.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Installation B (AP_013.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

For better or worse this is the final standalone release in the World's End series. The levels spanned eleven individual publications with another two appearing within the original Community Chest. Alex had an epic adventure in mind based on the short, punchy descriptions and titles. He lost the thread around the same time that he started looking into a new theme, though, leaving us with a handful of small but competent techbase levels. Installation B, released in 2003, is a limit-removing level for Doom II. Parsons teased a "C" in the series but neither it nor the more relevant AP_10.WAD ever materialized.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


by "Memfis"

If you've been following along then the fact that this level showcases textures from 2002: A Doom Odyssey should not come as a surprise. I've seen Memfis as an outspoken fan of 2002ADO and even surmised in my review of Beware of False Prophets that he might have tributed it at some point. This PWAD is right in line with an MO established in Requimem and then continued in MEM_OLD1, MM2MEM01, Relive X2, and ICARUMEM. I just hadn't guessed at this one because - as he admits - Memfis grabbed its title from a hentai manga. Menkui is an E4M1 replacement originally released in 2012 but not uploaded until 2014 and should play back in any source port.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Counterattack (MEK-CATK.WAD)

I have played a handful of Mechadon levels but they were all within the context of community projects. Granted, his outstanding work in larger pieces like Claustrophobia 1024 was why he was chosen as Doomworld's Mapper of the Year in 2009. A large portion - the majority, even - of Brett's material is actually created for multiplayer mapsets. This is a major aspect of his pie-in-the-sky project, Supplice. His single-player solo work is much rarer but he tends to use his powers for good, e.g. bailing out megaWADs in crisis. Counterattack is its own thing, though, a set born from his submission to the first Vinesauce Mapping Contest (this one's MAP02). The rest of the material was built bafflingly quickly and released in early 2017. There are about nine map replacements in all consisting of five normal, two utility, and two bonus. The set is meant for play in Boom compatible ports but the engine has got to pack some horsepower under the hood. It was specifically tested in PrBoom-Plus, ZDoom, GZDoom, and Eternity.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Out of Phase III: One Cloudy Afternoon (OPHASE3.WAD)

by Karthik Abhiram Krishna

2002 was KA's year. He made a technical leap forward with The Other Side of Phobos, a stylistic one in Congestion Control (featured in Doomworld's Top 100 WADs of All Time), and put a nice bow on his Out of Phase series. OPHASE3 is of course the third release of the trilogy, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II. Looking through the .TXTs it's clear that he was working with his brother Varun at this time as well as a team for a project called The Ninth Gate which would have been a full E4 replacement. The roster included Tobias Münch, Pablo Dictter, and Damian Lee (aka Lexus Alyus) so he also appears to have fallen in with good company.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Gestalt666's Town of Heresy (666TOWN.WAD)

by John "Gestalt666" Bye

By mid-1997, John was pretty much done with Doom. He would still contribute a few maps to The Darkening E1 but he had gone over to the Quake side after seeing Black Star Coven's first team release, The Talosian Incident. When the time came to open a relief valve, then, he opted to design something for a different idtech game - Heretic. Thus became Gestalt666's Town of Heresy, an E1M1 replacement. It's Bye's final solo release and caps off a career characterized by atmosphere more than anything in its level design. He also had a wild, unpredictable streak with bits like the computerized domain of CyberDoom and "The Living Maze" from Cygnus IV. 666TOWN is - for the most part - unlike any of these things.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Complex 867 (COMP867.WAD)

by Simon "Volte-Face" Broadhead

Simon was a minor fixture in the Doom community from 2001-2004. He didn't make any maps and he was also in his early to mid teens for all of his authorial work. He had an entry in the DoomCenter E1 Mapping Contest, submissions in the first Community Chest as well as its sequel, and even participated in Exquisite Corpse. Broadhead only had a couple of solo releases, Hell's Arena in 2001 and Complex 867 in 2002. The latter, COMP867, is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II. Volte-Face suggests that the level itself is vanilla-compatible but recommends using a limit-removing source port.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Installation A (AP_012.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

The original Community Chest took in submissions from authors who had previously released them, like Gene Bird and Sphagne, in addition to exclusive originals. AP differed because he published two levels in the collection - AP_015 and AP_016 - and then placed them in the running of his World's End series with his next outing in 2003, Installation A. It's an unusual spot in the timeline because CCHEST hadn't been released yet but they occur after this level, AP_012, and his last solo venture, AP_013. It's still dependably a MAP01 replacement for Doom II for play in a limit-removing port but... other things have changed.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

icarumem (ICARUMEM.WAD)

by "Memfis"

Requiem, Memento Mori II, Phobos - Relive the Nightmare... and then Icarus: Alien Vanguard. It would be neat to see Memfis continue to check boxes of classic-era megaWADs after experimenting with their resources. It's something that I've actually thought of doing. Until then, here's icarumem. This one was published to the Doomworld Forums in early 2012 but, again, didn't make it to the /idgames archives until the 2014 June powerdump. It requires the actual ICARUS.WAD since it's used as a texture resource and should work with essentially all limit-removing source ports. Apart from the PWAD dependency it's also important to note that icarumem occupies the MAP24 slot of Doom II. It isn't thematically linked with "The Haunting". The author presumably enjoyed its slot's track, "Ghost In the Machine".

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Doom the Way id Did: The Lost Episodes (DTWID-LE.WAD)

Doom the Way id Did generated a ton of buzz in the community, who turned out to craft approximately 100 submissions. The only event that I know to have surpassed it - as far as single-player levels go - is the 10 Sectors contest. It has also enjoyed a number of spinoffs during its lifespan, including the long-lived but recently finalized Ultimate DTWiD. It's crazy to think that a handful of levels went on to form the foundation of No End In Sight, something like an 850% increase in volume. All of Callum Guy Oliver's entries were gathered together in their own package, PhobosDeimos Anomaly, in a posthumous tribute. A few even saw solo releases. The lion's share of the "rejects" were published as a gargantuan collection dubbed The Lost Episodes. DTWID-LE saw a beta release in 2012 but thereafter entered a drawn-out polishing phase where a few new maps were made or substantially changed. It didn't see its first iteration on /idgames until 2016.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Congestion Control (CCT.WAD)

by Karthik Abhiram Krishna

It was interesting to follow KA's authorial career because it was like watching him fuck off in the editor in real time. It wasn't hard to believe that Karthik would get his act together and increase his level of skill to the point where I could see his PWADs standing alongside Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2002. But it was starting to look like he was going to have to take a few massive steps if he was to make it there from Out of Phase. Congestion Control is the sweet memory which got him an entry in the Top 100. Like OPHASE, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II that features a dance mix MIDI. It's a technical leap forward, though, building off of the complexity initially seen in The Other Side of Phobos.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Sacrifice (Doom Tutorial) (SACRIF.ZIP)

by John "Gestalt666" Bye

I made some assumptions on Bye's back catalog based on the way in which they were uploaded to the archive but I've come to find out that Sacrifice was actually his first published level. In 1996 he converted it to a Doom II map and then offered it up to the community along with a slightly worked-over version as a sort of Goofus / Gallant pairing. His intent was to illustrate some freshman foibles in order for beginners to have a better idea on how to handle part of PWADcraft's essential window dressing. This is the equivalent of polishing a turd due to the source material but John does show in a few instances that a bare minimum of work can breathe a bit of life into stale scenes.

The Subway (C4SUBWAY.WAD)

by John "Gestalt666" Bye

When Bye released The Park in mid-'96 his Cygnus IV episode was just beginning. The author had despaired of the amount of effort that he had poured into Magnum Opus and was focusing on shorter levels. With the publishing of The Subway a few months afterward, though, his work was nearly complete; the original version would release later in September. This single map offering was a primer for the sort of level design that prospective players could expect from the entire adventure. It's a MAP09 replacement for Doom II and if you've already played CYGNUS20 then you can check out because, much like PARK, C4SUBWAY is functionally identical to the finished product. It has the same backing track, too, so you don't even get that novelty.

The Park (PARK.WAD)

by John J. "Spook" Bye

Bye released a handful of small, single releases before declaring his Magnum Opus, after which he vowed to stick to less time-consuming level design. The result of this three-month creative streak would outpace his previous levels in just about every aspect and result in his most accomplished solo work - Cygnus IV. Two of its maps actually saw additional publication in 1996 - apart from the not-quite-megaWAD. The Park is the first of them, being the opening level of the episode. It's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II. Spoiler alert: if you've already played the entire fourteen-level publication then this offers absolutely no mechanical differences.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Hell's Arena (HELLARNA.WAD)

by Simon "Volte-Face" Broadhead

V-F was a contributor to a few community projects - most notably CCHEST and its sequel - and has more submissions to these than solo releases. This may be part of the reason that he never achieved the same level of renown as some of his peers. Broadhead was no older than thirteen when he started mapping, kicked around for a few years, and then disappeared after Exquisite Corpse. As far as I know his debut work was a lackluster submission to Doom Center's E1 Contest (E1M7). Hell's Arena is the first of his two individual releases and is a MAP01 replacement, published in 2001. Simon suggests that this will work with the vanilla executable but recommends using a limit-removing port. I failed to see any reason why it wouldn't work inside the Doom II executable... but I played it ZDoom so I don't know for sure.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

One-Week Megawad (ONEWEEK.WAD)

Sam Woodman was bitten by the bug. Inspired by the Quake community, Doomworld was hosting Speedmapping Sessions on a weekly basis. Another site, Doom Center, kicked off a week in tribute to Knee Deep in the Dead. The intrigue was amplified with a contest where authors had a fortnight to craft an E1-themed level, to be judged by John Romero. Metabolist ultimately settled on hosting ten consecutive invitationals. The turnout was... less than spectacular as far as numbers go. He received an average of 1.5 submissions per event. The eleven that Sam did not reject were collected and compiled into the One-Week MegaWAD. Released in 2001, this Doom II episode is generally limit-removing but ought to be played in a Boom-compatible port due to MAP10 at the very least.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Catacombs (AP_009.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

AP_009 is the ninth entry in the World's End series and is the last to feature in sequential order. Alex never released parts 010-012, instead skipping ahead to 012 and 013 (Installation A and B). We also know that Parsons considered his two Community Chest submissions, "Ground Floor" (MAP03) and "Mandrel" (MAP11), as 015 and 016, respectively. Like the rest, The Catacombs is a Doom II MAP01 replacement for limit-removing ports. It was released in 2002 but has a couple of interesting deviations. The most obvious is that it draws direct inspiration from American McGee's level of the same name. It's the first time for the author to reference any sort of influence. He also explicitly suggests that players use idmus to play something other than D_RUNNIN. Specifically, MAP22's "The David D. Taylor Blues".

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Relive X2 (RELIVEX2.WAD)

Memfis loves classic PWADs. If they're relatively obscure, then even better. Shamus Young made a couple of things that he really enjoyed though the Doom City tribute wouldn't come until 2013 as a part of his Kuchitsu. RELIVEX2 is his little love letter to Phobos - Relive the Nightmare, a Doom II episode that drew inspiration from the names of Knee Deep in the Dead's maps. This couplet - originally released in 2012 - is a limit-removing minisode which occupies MAP01 and MAP02. It doesn't require Shamus's PWAD as a resource since it incorporated all of the relevant assets. The author forgot something along the way, though, because MAP02 references textures which aren't included.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Abyssal Speedmapping Session 6 (ABYSPED6.WAD)

The Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions have been going relatively strong since 2013. These events get a group of community members together to create maps based around a choice of themes with two hours for the raw sector work and fifteen each for texturing and polishing. Unless you go by Alfonzo, in which case you use a third hour so often that it gets named after you. The sixth occurrence happened in May of 2014 and resulted in eleven Doom II levels for play in a Boom-compatible source port. Two other maps were made during the allotted time - one by scifista42 and another by Doomkid - but the organizer did not include them in the final package.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Other Side of Phobos (OSP.WAD)

by Karthik Abhiram Krishna

K.A. had a lengthy span of small solo releases. His most active period spanned 2001-2003 during the slow burn following the source port boom. Karthik's main claim to fame is 2002's Congestion Control, which found a coveted spot in Doomworld's Top 100 WADs of All Time retrospective. I would not have guessed this while playing most of his pre-CCT material, though. The good news is that 2002's OSP is a giant leap forward in terms of level design. This makes the transition from rough and semi-competent to award winner a little less jarring. The Other Side of Phobos is an E1M1 replacement for the original Doom.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Magnum Opus (MAGNUMOP.WAD)

by John "Spook" Bye

It's interesting that Bye felt comfortable using this title since he would go on to craft the Cygnus IV episode / megaWAD and then tag team The Talosian Incident with Malcolm Sailor. Not to forget his two submissions to The Darkening E1, of course. Magnum Opus occurs relatively early in his career history. This MAP01 replacement for Doom II was released in 1996 and marks an important turning point that points the way toward his future productions. First, John tries his hand at crafting his own soundtrack and delivers a simple and moody piece. Second, the author was apparently dissatisfied with the amount of time spent making the level. He vowed to spend his future on less "huge" levels, possibly creating a series composed of smaller ones.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Max Saga: The Doom Dragon (MAX2.WAD)


Impie is now best-known for his impressive portfolio of mods and TCs but his career circa 2014 had him playing around with standard Doom II gameplay. The plots still drew on other properties, of course. They just didn't mess around with "advanced" engine features. Three of these releases ended up as part of Strange Aeons's fifth episode and this one is no different, appearing there as "The Vaults of Zin" (E5M3). The Doom Dragon is unique because it is actually an E1M1 replacement for Heretic, of all things. As far as I know, any limit-removing port that supports it ought to be able to play MAX2. If not, well, then I can personally vouch for ZDoom.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Mayhem 1500 (MAYHEM15.WAD)

Every May since 2012 Doomworld community members have gotten together in an attempt to make a megaWAD in a month. It isn't polished and finalized by June, though, and it might not even be finished during the same year. The 2015 session followed in the grand tradition of MAYHEM13 insofar as it wasn't released until 2016. It is also the second of the projects to reach the symbolic status of a full game replacement, occupying MAP01-MAP32 with additional bonus levels in the MAP33 and MAP34 slots. MAYhem 1500, like its forebears, is meant to be played in a Boom-compatible source port. If you play it in something that supports a brand of MAPINFO, though, then the secret levels will transition smoothly into the extra stuff.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mossvale Dungeons (AP_008.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

Alex made a bunch of maps for his World's End series but he's probably known better for being a contributor to the first Community Chest. His peers Gene Bird and Sphagne submitted levels that they had originally released as standalone singles. Parsons's maps are however exclusively available as part of CCHEST. I dunno whether they were sitting on his hard drive before he submitted them or if he made "Ground Floor" and "Mandrel" specifically for the 2003 project and then retroactively dubbed them a part of World's End. Whatever the case, Mossvale Dungeons is the eighth level in the series and was published back in 2002. Like most of his solo stuff, it's a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and targets limit-removing ports.

Monday, July 22, 2019


by "Memfis"

Memfis has published a ton of material, most of it in small packages. His early works displayed his infatuation with classic PWADs both popular and less so. Requimem used Requiem's resources, of course, and actually consisted of remakes of its first two levels. MM2MEM01 was released in 2011 but not uploaded to /idgames until 2014. It continues in the same tradition as far as using another PWAD's assets, in this case Memento Mori II. It doesn't purport to reimagine Dennis Moeller's "Outpost", though. It is a brand new level for Doom II that merely occupies the MAP01 slot. You'll need MM2 in order to play it without any missing textures. The .TXT also implies that it is meant for limit-removing source ports.