Thursday, April 25, 2019

Voyage to Deimos map02 (VODEIMO2.WAD)

by "Memfis"

VtD has an interesting history that partially resembles Sam Woodman's aborted Testament of Judgement project. Memfis only ever released / finished two of its levels - the other VODEIM21 -and the existing material is split between the original Doom and its sequel. VODEIMO2 was actually one of the first levels that the author ever made, back in 2007. It was only uploaded in 2014 as part of Memfis's epic archive dump after an approximately year-long period where he had effectively boycotted /idgames. True to its name, this leg of the Voyage is a MAP02 replacement for Doom II. The .TXT specifically cites it as being tested in prBoom+ using -complevel 2 but it should work in any limit-removing port.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Doom64 EX (DOOM64.EXE)

Doom64 EX was one of Samuel Villareal's passion projects, a source port developed for the express purpose of playing the original Doom 64 on the PC as accurately as possible. It also has its own level editor, allowing fans to make their own PWADs using the same features that the original designers used. As opposed to, you know, painstakingly recreating it all using a source port like GZDoom or Doomsday. The latter was the base of the Doom 64: Absolution TC, a project that Kaiser had a hand in and which is featured as one of Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2003.

Doom 64 (DOOM64.WAD)

Doom has been ported to a staggering number of platforms but a select few of the commercial releases hold a special place in the hearts of a generation. The Playstation and the Nintendo 64 each got their own version (two in the case of the PSX's Final Doom). Both were created by Midway games and used the talents of three of the same authors: Randy Estrella, Danny Lewis, and Tim Heydelaar. They also featured haunting, atmospheric soundtracks from Aubrey Hodges. I am reviewing the 64 iteration first even though it was released later. Roughly a year and a half in 1997, to be exact. No offense to the PSX fans; there's just way more meat for me to sink my teeth into.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


by Karthik Abhiram

KA was a fixture of the early source port BOOM era. He started out making vanilla compatible levels and while he eventually moved on to mapping for engines with raised limits he never gave up the basic set of features. His biggest claim to Doom fame is his Congestion Control, one of Doomworld's Top Ten WADs of 2002, but he also worked with Brad Spencer - one of the core components of the Alien Vendetta team - as well as his brother Varun. Ick wasn't his initial finished level - an honor afforded to KARTHIK2 - but it was the first one that he felt worthy of uploading to the /idgames archives. Released in 2001, it's an E2M1 replacement for the original Doom.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


by Karthik Abhiram

Karthik had a solid string of releases from 2001 to 2003, working with both his brother as well as Brad Spencer of Alien Vendetta fame. He even garnered a coveted spot in Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 2002 with Congestion Control. Every author has to start somewhere, though, and while he never uploaded this particular level to the archives it was his first finished creation. KARTHIK2 is an E3M1 replacement and was finalized in late 2000. As far as I know it's only available on his personal website alongside a couple of sector tag 666 experiments.

Friday, April 12, 2019

CyberDoom (CYBER.WAD)

by John Bye

1994-1996 was a watershed period for the Doom user community. A significant minority of folks in the games industry got their start making mods during this time. Heck; as of right now one of them is running id software! John Bye started out by reviewing PWADs before delving into a level editor himself. He would go on to publish a large solo project, Cygnus IV, as well as his idtech1 swan song in 1997 (The Talosian Incident). Bye kicked off his authorship in 1995 with CyberDoom, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II. The core of his person is evident in its construction but if you only knew his levels for their careful sector-based lightcasting then this may come as a shock.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Shadows of the Nightmare Realm (SOTNR.PK3)

Alexa Jones-Gonzales started out making vanilla Doom levels for the publicly-released and then rescinded Kill megaWAD. Later, in 2010, she created One Doomed Marine for the Doomsday engine. With 2016's Extreme Terror YukiRaven appears to have taken to roost in GZDoom since this subsequent minisode (and, looking ahead, the next two) is for the popular GL engine. Shadows of the Nightmare Realm is a four plus one secret level experience for Doom II. It technically has a skill selector intro map, too, bringing up the total to six. The work builds on many of the tropes developed in EXTERROR with room-over-room geometry and colored lighting but SOTNR has a very different feel.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Extreme Terror (EXTERROR.PK3)

by Alexa "YukiRaven" Jones-Gonzales

Alexa has been making Doom maps since the classic days with the as yet unfinished one-woman megaWAD, Kill. One Doomed Marine's release in 2010 broke from form, a five-level Doomsday minisode that tried to take advantage of its capacity for scripting and dynamic lights. It would be six years and an engine change before her next publication. Released in 2016, Extreme Terror is a MAP01 replacement for GZDoom to be played in Doom II. Like ODM, it also has a custom soundtrack written by the author for this specific occasion. It's a more technologically advanced outing than its older sibling, too, since it makes use of features like room-over-room geometry and slopes. Not to forget GZDoom's own brand of scripting. The one big thing you might not be expecting given all of these niceties - you're strongly advised against (but not expressly forbidden from) jumping. Keep that in mind.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

One Doomed Marine (ODM-V1.1.PK3)

Alexa received accolades for her work in GZDoom - Shadows of the Nightmare Realm in 2017 and, more recently, 2018's Umbra of Fate - but she has had a lot of prior practice in Doom editing utilities. Much of it went toward her incomplete one woman megaWAD (Kill) but her advanced source port debut was in the Doomsday engine with One Doomed Marine in 2010. I'm pretty sure that Jaakko's .EXE was my first community port since it was the target for Kaiser's D64: Absolution TC. It looked a bit different back then, though, and the gap between this five map minisode's original release (made for v1.8.6) and the current version of Doomsday (v2.1) has introduced a number of complications in its functionality.

Friday, March 29, 2019


by Malcolm Sailor


The last act of the boy wonder was to publish all of his unreleased outtakes and incomplete fragments as Assorted Scraps and Leftovers. Uploaded to the /idgames /prefabs directory at the end of 2000, the intent was to allow them to serve as the inspirational springboard for any aspiring author. A handful of these maps were actually fully functional (if not realized) levels. He collected six of them into MS1.WAD for Doom II. MS5 has the distinction of being Malcolm's second release for id's original trilogy after 1996's SKULL. I doubt whether it uses any advanced source port features but Sailor implied that no serious bug-quashing was performed. You might be better off playing it in any limit-removing .EXE.

Sunday, March 24, 2019



Assorted Scraps and Leftovers was Malcolm Sailor's final gift to the Doom community, a collection of previously unreleased materials split into five different PWADs. The package was published in late 2000 and ranges from fully functional levels for Doom II (as well as the original) to deathmatch outtakes and aborted scraps. The majority of the items, which are found in MS2.WAD, are not "complete" levels per se. The author considered another seven to be fully functional in single-player, though. MS1.WAD contains six of them, all designed for Doom II. They are probably - mechanically speaking - vanilla compatible but the author did not polish them for release so I would play them back in a limit-removing port just to be on the safe side.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Foul Ruin (AP_004.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

AP was a pretty cool dude who made a bunch of maps starting in 2002. His World's End series was named for the first of the set and spans twelve levels, two of which were only released as part of the original Community Chest alongside other craft single makers like Gene Bird and Sphagne. Foul Ruin is the fourth entry. As is the case with the majority of his /idgames uploads it's a MAP01 replacement published in 2002. It's also probably not compatible with the original Doom. I don't think that it uses any ZDoom-specific features but it was Alex's only testing port. It should work in any limit-removing .EXE.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Disjunction (DISJUNCT.WAD)

Disjunction had its genesis in TerminusEst13's Doom Upstart Mapping Project series. DUMP is similar to several other events (e.g. The Joy of Mapping) in that it is all about getting people psyched to make levels. floatRAND was a participant in the fantastically bloated DUMP3, dubbed the BFG edition. His or her three entries - "Felt" (MAP45 there and MAP05 here), "Lambda Base" (MAP57 cum MAP02), and "Electron" (MAP09 nee MAP65) - formed the foundation of a single episode, released in 2017 as Disjunction. The final product is an eleven-map replacement for play in Boom-compatible source ports.

Friday, March 15, 2019


by "Memfis"

In my mind the Russian Doom Community is perhaps the most tightly knit of all the idtech1 diaspora. Looking back through their history I see tons of little mapping competitions and many of these had their entries included in larger projects like Heroes' Tales or Whitemare. Horalky originated as a prospective submission to a "Grid 64 Contest" but Memfis didn't finish it in time. I'm not sure whether the project ever saw completion. At least, it doesn't look like it was uploaded to /idgames and I'm not willing to spend my time researching its fate on We have this, though. It's a MAP01 replacement and should work in any limit-removing port.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


by Richard R. Ward

Rich's levels don't constitute a series as much as they share the same general filename. His first two maps, RRWARD01 and 02, were single releases in 1994 and served as self-contained adventures. The other two, RRWARD03 and 04, made up the only bits of an episode replacement - Nocternal Missions - that he felt comfortable releasing. They were also released a good bit after his debut, the former showing in 1996 with the latter arriving on the archives in 2003 (though it appears to have been finalized in 1999). RRWARD04 stands out from the rest insofar as it is an E1M8 replacement but it should play in most any engine. The author does mention some visual bugs in the now ancient glDoom source port but I doubt whether it concerns the average player of today.

Monday, March 11, 2019


by "Capone"

Duke 3D mods were popular dumping grounds for smut but Doom wasn't entirely innocent given themes/x-rated/i_am_old_enough_to_look_at_this. It just didn't kickstart horny nerds by including strippers and other things that seem really cool when you're a teenage boy. Capone released a handful of levels from very late '96 to '98 but the one that he will probably be remembered for is AOL Girls Museum, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II which was made in '97 but released during the following year. My intro implies otherwise but AOLGIRLS is not in the /x-rated /idgames directory because it lacks any nudity unlike, say, SPACIA.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Outlands (AP_003.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

The World's End series is mostly notable because a couple of its levels were exclusively released as part of the original Community Chest. It had similar company in the works of Gene Bird (Blind Alley) and, to a lesser extent, Sphagne. The Outlands is the third level in the series, following World's End - for which the sequence of releases is named - and The Underground. As was the case with the previous entries, it was released in 2002 and is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II to be played in any limit-removing port. There are some other similarities, too, and they show that Parsons had a definite style coming out of the gate.

Thursday, March 7, 2019


by "Memfis"

2012 wasn't as big a year for Memfis as the previous one as far as solo releases went but he did manage to squeeze out a few. Kukuku is the second of his uploads from 2012. It's a single level for the original Doom which is technically similar to the previous Beware of False Prophets. The latter is an enormous E4-style map, though, where this E1M1 replacement is better-primed to kick off a more or less traditional Knee Deep in the Dead episode. The title actually has a citation this time and is explicitly mentioned as being the catchphrase of a thirteen-year-old anime girl. I doubt whether it directly informed the construction of the level.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


by Richard R. Ward

Rich published a couple of large and wicked cool levels back in 1994, RRWARD01 and RRWARD02. In 1996 he uploaded part of the remains of his aborted Doom episode, Nocternal Missions, to be followed by a last gasp in 2003. RRWARD03, the first of the two later releases, is just as much an E1M1 replacement. It's a very different level in scope, though, which makes me wonder just what Ward was up to with the entries that didn't "[work] out very well". .TXT appears to describe the mapset as it was intended to be and mentions "bad jokes, weird maps and lots of bloodshed as only DOOM can bring it to you". My interest is certainly piqued; the author is unfortunately some fifteen-odd years distant from being convinced to show us the rest.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Titan 2 (TITAN2.WAD)

The advent of source ports with "advanced" features drove authorship in two additional, different directions. One of these strove to make Doom closer to the popular first person shooters of the time, making mapsets featuring hub systems and missions (Quake II) or using scripting to augment the story with cutscenes and the like (Half-Life). The other path was more comfortable using graphical enhancements, e.g. slopes and room-over-room geometry, as well as scripts to render an experience that was relatively close to Doom's gameplay, just slightly more dynamic. Ixnatifual was definitely a disciple of the latter trend. TITAN2 was released in 2009, some five years after the publication of his debut, Titan. It is a ten-level episode for Doom II and was designed for play in GZDoom.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dock 69 (DOCK69.WAD)

by "Capone"

This author didn't make a lot of levels but of the four he released, three were based on previously-published maps. The only one that I could find for a before and after comparison was Ryan Hilman's Fortress of Doom which revealed how little work Capone had put into the map when it came to linedefs and thing placement. Whatever differences there are between Dock 69 and the level it was edited from probably amount to a paint job. It's interesting to think that the main draw of the one level he made with apparently original geometry - AOL Girls Museum - is essentially copy and pasted photos from the internet. Like the author's first two releases, DOCK69 is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and was uploaded in early 1997.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Underground (AP_002.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

Alex Parsons was one of the contributors to the original Community Chest. Most of his World's End series was released as single levels on the /idgames archives but two of the entries are only available as a part of CCHEST. The Underground, released mid-2005, is the second step of the journey and as was the case with AP_001 it is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II for play in a limit-removing port (even if it comes inside a folder called ZDoom). I hate to say it but I have a feeling that I'll be sick of D_RUNNIN all over again by the time I make it to Community Chest. It certainly looks that way from a perusal of the Mossvale Dungeon .TXT.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Beware of False Prophets (BOFP.WAD)

by "Memfis"

I'm not sure how Memfis feels about Paul Corfiatis's Doom II levels and I'm too lazy to ask him while I write this but based on what I've read regarding 2002: A Doom Odyssey I think it's safe to say that he's a fan of pcorf's episodic stuff. It wouldn't surprise me if he'd made a level inspired by 2002: ADO or, say, the trilogy of Thy Flesh Consumed tributes known as the Death Tormention series. In fact, that's a pretty good description of Beware of False Prophets, Memfis's first solo release of 2012 as well as an E4M1 replacement meant for play in limit-removing ports.

Monday, February 18, 2019


by Richard R. Ward

Rich was a pretty cool dude who published a couple of fantastic 1994 levels. The promise of his early work gave way to the aborted remnants of an episode for the original Doom, published in 1996. I enjoyed RRWARD01 in spite of its sometimes featureless rooms and corridors. It's cool to blast through, features some great larger areas, and has a neat twist partway toward the end where the monsters start to come through the walls. RRWARD02 is a bigger level and while it's no less complex I think that it takes the weakest aspects of his debut and merely reshapes them. It's still a great E1M1 replacement, though.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Abyssal Speedmapping Session 5 (ABYSPED5.WAD)

The Abyssal Speedmapping sessions changed hands a couple of times but it's still going strong. At this point I'd go so far as to call it a Doomworld institution. The general idea is that a bunch of authors get together on a group Skype session and then kick off a two-hour limit for making a map. Once the initial period is up they get 15 minutes to change textures and pick music and then 15 more for bugfixing. Excepting chaps like Gus, who was notorious enough for taking an extra hour that doing so was dubbed "The Alfonzo Treatment". Session 5 was released in May of 2014, replaces MAP01-MAP12 of Doom II, and is meant to be played in Boom-compatible ports.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


by "Capone"

If Capone has any sort of claim to fame it's as the author of AOL Girls Museum. A dubious measure, to be sure, but it beats his previously released material. The author's pre-AOLGIRLS modus operandi appeared to be editing relatively old maps. I couldn't gauge the level of artifice involved in Capone's Pit because ol' Scarface had apparently forgotten the source material. Fort Scar, on the other hand, comes from 1994's Fortress of Doom by Rylan Hilman. Both levels are MAP01 replacements for DOOM2 but this one was published in 1997 during the author's brief flurry of activity. Metallica fans may note the inclusion of a "Fade to Black" MIDI.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Fortress of Doom (FORTRESS.WAD)

by Rylan Hilman

Many of the mods made during 1994 cannot hold up to the aesthetic standards of a community that has dissected and built upon the vanilla executable but a lot of the early energy seems to have come from the sheer novelty of being able to make a level and then share it. Fortress of Doom exhibits a few of the tropes, firstly because it professes to be compatible in both single player as well as deathmatch. It's also part of the first wave of Doom II levels, standing as a MAP01 replacement. I initially believed it to be a conversion of an earlier level made by the author, hence the parenthetical 2, but in the .TXT for MAZEDOOM he distinguishes between this and I assume FORT.ZIP for the original Doom.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

700 reviews

700 reviews sure sneaks up on a person. Gosh, that's a long time and a lot of words to be writing about a twenty-five year old computer game. To mark the occasion, I decided to post my review of Kama Sutra a little earlier than it would normally have been and further stepped up the timetable in the running by posting each one a day earlier than usual (e.g. two instead of three for single maps).

In review:

Kama Sutra (KSUTRA.WAD)

Plenty of people have offered their opinions on the Promethean works leading up to the high difficulty / slaughter genre but Hell Revealed is the big one. It ultimately served as a monograph that crystallized notions about the style, establishing a baseline for future experimentation. The first big wave of HR progeny was largely Scandinavian in nature and took several different routes. This resulted in 2001 / 2002's Alien Vendetta (organized by Anders Johnson); 2003's Hell Revealed II (largely characterized through Jonas Feragen's work); and Erik Alm's run from '01 to '03, culminating in Scythe. Adolf "Gusta" Vojta's Kama Sutra, a full Doom II megaWAD released in 2005 with some assistance from Jakub "Method" Razák, is a synthesis of all these influences.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Mayhem 2013 (MAYHEM13.WAD)

The MAYhem series is sort of like a speedmapping session but the target for making maps is the very merry May. Sometimes the polishing phase wraps up a few months later. At other times it doesn't finish until, say, March of the following year. The first session - MAYHEM12 - wasn't really centered around a gimmick unless you counted its three suggested themes but it did have a much-maligned texture set. MAYhem 2013 elected to use the Community Chest 4 pack but actually ended up with one less level. Maybe that's because of the 2MONSTER gimmick. Released in 2014, the final product is an eleven-level mapset for Doom II that's meant for Boom-compatible ports.

Friday, January 25, 2019

World's End (AP_001.WAD)

by Alex Parsons

Besides kicking off a Doomworld institution, the original Community Chest is notable for including levels that had been previously released on a serial basis or were intended as such. Alex Parsons was one of the big three and his particular solo series shares its title with the opening level - World's End. This is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and can be presumably played in any limit-removing port, even if the folder inside its .ZIP archive is labelled "zdoom". The only guidance offered on that front is "advanced port needed"; the author hints at potential visplane overflows. I can vouch for it running fine in modern ZDoom, though, and I didn't see any sort of exclusive features.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


by "Memfis"

The previous Green Day had the author on some sort of an upturn in terms of making moods in Doom levels. Kurogane takes itself more seriously, pulling back from the DoomCute elements and then developing a heavy atmosphere through careful lighting and his customary, highly-tuned thing placement. It's a MAP01 replacement as well as his final solo upload in 2011. As usual, Memfis abstains from including any sort of framing narrative. He also neglects to explain the title. Given his deference toward manga I assume that it refers to a work bearing the same name and apparently translates to "Black Steel". There are plenty of other potential sources, though.

Monday, January 21, 2019

RRW_D201 (RRW_D201.WAD)

by Richard R. Ward

Rich released a couple of well-regarded levels in '94 and then went through the trouble of converting his very first release (RRWARD01) to Doom II. The end result is RRW_D201, a MAP01 replacement released in 1996. Ward may have eventually intended to bring RRWARD02 up to the same sort of package as his later publications since this "port" includes his common custom status bar and difficulty settings, a few of which appear to contain Monty Python references. He appears to have been done with Doom as of '96, though, after releasing the finished portions of his failed Knee Deep in the Dead replacement.


by Richard R. Ward

Rich is one of those guys who gets a lot of word of mouth as an author who made maps that were pretty cool back in '94 and is still recommended today. He released his best-loved efforts in 1994 and while there are four RRWARD0X levels they don't comprise a serial mapset. The later two are actually the remnants of an aborted episode for the original Doom! RRWARD01 is one of the '94 publications, an E1M1 replacement for Knee Deep in the Dead. Not to be confused with RRW_D201, a conversion of this level to Doom II made by the author in 1996. More on that later.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Capone's Pit (PIT08.WAD)

by "Capone"

The author known as Capone had a brief stint in early 1997, finishing the quasi-notorious AOL Girls Museum during that period but uploading it to the archive a year and a half later. He didn't make many levels but his few releases were short and not particularly challenging or even inventive; all of them but AOLGIRLS claim to use a pre-existing map for a base. Capone's Pit is the first of these, a Doom II MAP01 replacement released at the tail end of 1996. It doesn't mention what the original source was; I presume that it shared the PIT moniker and was maybe a Deathmatch level but none of the stuff I looked at fit. I didn't try too hard, though.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Samsara (SAMSARA-V0.3666-BETA.PK3)

Samsara allows you to play as a formidable complement of classic FPS heroes and either duke it out in deathmatch or slay monsters alone and in co-op. The intent was to provide something like Marvel vs. Capcom for Zandronum. Term eventually discontinued development when he moved on to a new project to drive all the Doom players crazy - Demonsteele - but Kinsie of Reelism fame eventually took up maintenance of the mod so that you can use the same package in both GZDoom and Zandronum just as easily as you can use all of the heroes in any of the idtech1-derived games.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Memfis has a lot more going on than being a dude who makes tightly-balanced maps with relatively light action. To be fair, though, it seems like the sort of gameplay that he tends to target. Green Day is no different and thus follows in the tradition of Kashimir which he published earlier during the same year in 2011. This minisode for The Ultimate Doom was meant to be played in limit-removing ports and features two levels in the first couple of slots for Thy Flesh Consumed. They're linked by theme and have an intro map / main attraction dynamic going on but the author has elected to exclude any sort of a framing narrative.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Short and Hard (SHRTHARD.ZIP)

by Malcolm Sailor

Quick is GoodBaron GateCenter

3PACK_1 and DS-61-2 (later updated to DS-61-3) were among Malcolm's earliest releases in 1995. Both consisted of ZIP packs containing multiple, separate PWADs. In 1997 he released Short and Hard, the third and final of his collections prior to the largely archival MSSCRAPS. SHRTHARD has one thing in common with 3PACK_1 in that it contains Quick is Good, which was released nearly a year earlier in 1996, but the overall experience has been streamlined. There's only one .TXT for all three PWADs and none of them occupy the same map slot so they can be loaded together. They don't follow any sort of serial pattern, though. QUIKISGD occupies MAP01; Baron Gate has MAP27; and Center can be found in MAP31.


by Malcolm Sailor

Quick is GoodBaron GateCenter

SHRTHARD was the last of Sailor's "compilation" zips prior to dumping all of his unreleased material at the end of 2000 as well as his last non-CHORD series release. The 1997 package includes the considerably older Quick is Good as well as two new deviations, BARONGAT and CENTER. This one is a MAP31 replacement for Doom II and like the other two was grouped together based on Malcolm's perception of their relative difficulty as well as their length. It definitely qualifies as short when placed up against NOSUN and 3, both of which the author had under his belt before uploading this .ZIP.

Friday, January 4, 2019


by Malcolm Sailor

Quick is GoodBaron GateCenter

Whatever the final release order looks like on /idgames, it appears as though Sailor hadn't made NOSUN5 before compiling Short and Hard. The 1997 collection of three individual PWADs - much in the spirit of his earlier 3PACK_1 and DS-61-3 - gathered 1996's Quick is Good and threw in two new punchy, pint-sized Doom II adventures. CENTER will be covered in a different review; this is all about Baron Gate. Sailor was very happy with the way his MAP27 replacement played but felt self-conscious about its appearance based on the layout as drawn from the top down. I can agree with him that the automap is not the important thing when it comes to levels.