Thursday, May 5, 2022

Short 'n Quick 2 (SNQ2.WAD)

by Varun Abhiram Krishna

Varun only released two levels sporting the SNQ monicker. The original Short 'n Quick, released in 2002, was a relatively straightforward Doom II starbase level with a few encounter setups that pushed the player into slightly uncomfortable places. As something that appeared to be patterned after Pablo Dictter's work, it looked nice and managed to squeeze in some worldbuilding. Short 'n Quick 2, a Doom II MAP01 replacement published in 2003, is a vastly different experience. It is still a small level, relatively speaking, but features a difficult series of encounter setups that has more in common with the sort of challenging fare seen in Congestion 1024.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Deep Core 1 (DEEPCORE.WAD)

by Mike Alfredson aka "Use3D"

I have long-assumed that Nilla Doom was Mike's in-progress megaWAD and that most of his solo-outtakes are rejects from the running order as development progressed. I was incorrect, to say the least. Beyond Doom was - and remains - Use3D's rainy-day megaWAD. It initially began life as a more difficult replacement for Doom II's Hell episode (MAP21-MAP30) before Mike rebooted the whole thing. Deep Core 1 is the original iteration of this level as it appeared in what I assume the first reboot of Beyond Doom; Use3D subsequently remade the level in 2005, hence the numeric designator on this release. DEEPCORE was originally crafted in 1997 and is a MAP02 replacement for Doom II in keeping with its original slot in the Beyond Doom project.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Entryway (KARMEA.WAD)

by Esa Repo aka "Espi"

Espi solidified his status in the Doom community with the superb environmental design of his Suspended in Dusk. The four-map PWAD had been in development since at least 2001 going by the name One Hell of a Day, as evidenced by his early release of its first level. Entryway (KARMEA.WAD - Google translates to "lurid", "spooky", "infernal") is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and it's fascinating to have it available as one can juxtapose it with the "final" product seen in SID's MAP01 slot. The author had a clear architectural style as seen in here as well as his E2M1ER and LAITOS as the latter originally appeared in the DoomCenter E1 Mapping Contest. It's his subsequent development as an environmental artist through to 2005 that differentiates KARMEA from its latter incarnation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Secret Lab (#SLAB.WAD)

by "Sphagne"

Community Chest contributor Sphagne uploaded the majority of his works to /idgames in mid-2002 but the levels themselves were purportedly crafted from 1995-1999. There are quite a few holes in the collection. For instance, Simphony of Death is the first of his creations that is available and he notes that it is actually his second. This one, Secret Lab, is the second upload from the collection but it's his fourth creation. Like the rest of his works, it is a Doom II MAP01 replacement. Given when it was created and his admission that he was unaware of online communities, it would appear that #SLAB ought to be vanilla-compatible. It appears, however, to have been tested in Boom and ZDoom prior to upload.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Shadowcaster (SHADOW.WAD)

From 2000 to 2002, Stephen Clark (aka The Ultimate DooMer) had created an episode for the original Doom and then converted it to Doom II (Operation: Lightning) and crafted his epic, 21st-century Doom II megaWAD (Fragport). His next target for his own brand of experimentation and modernization was everyone's favorite Doom clone, Heretic. Shadowcaster is an episode 5 replacement for Shadows of the Serpent Riders, released in September of 2002. I'm not up on my Raven Software lore but I don't think that there were any major engine changes between the original release and the free expansion that would have necessitated using the E5 slot. Presumably, this was more of an aesthetic decision where the author could avoid having to contend with a clashing intermission screen.

Sunday, April 10, 2022


by "Memfis"

This Doom II MAP01 replacement was initially published on the Doomworld forums in July of 2013 and was only uploaded to /idgames in June of 2014, nearly a year later. It's theoretically Boom-compatible but, in order to listen to the provided music track, the engine must be capable of playing mod tracker files. Memfis didn't have any contextual information to offer that would help clarify the choice of title, Mega Tear, and a cursory search doesn't reveal anything obvious like a manga. In the community, "mega" is more often than not associated with megaWADs, something that the author often started but never found the wherewithal to complete. One could argue, then, that it's named in deference to Memfis's practice of publishing megaWAD fragments. Would a reject removed from such a project be a "mega tear"? Or is it more of a reference to the author's regret in having so many "incomplete" productions, each one eliciting a salty "mega tear"?

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Short 'n Quick (SNQ.WAD)

by Varun Abhiram Krishna

Varun had a Doom career that ran roughly concurrent with his brother, Karthik, and each brother was ultimately enshrined in the annals of Doom history. Varun wasn't quite as prolific an author as his brother, starting out in 2001 with The Anomaly: Part II. Part of this appears to have been his participation in the ill-fated The Ninth Gate project from which his Cacoward-winning The Outer Darkness originates. His follow-up to ANOMALY2 came roughly a year later in April of 2002, the aptly-titled Short 'n Quick (not to be confused with Malcolm Sailor's similarly-named Quick is Good). This MAP01 replacement appears to have been intended as part of a series if the TITLEPIC is any indication. I suppose that UAC: Missions is as good a name for a no-nonsense series of levels as any.

Thursday, March 31, 2022


by Mike Alfredson aka "Use3D"

Mike's most recent release was as part of Ultimate Doom the Way id Did but he's been a low key contributor to big names like the Community Chest series and Back to Saturn X. Not to forget the original DtWiD, of course. All of his solo single-level publications are effectively archival releases and generally old ones at that, either from the category of "Nilla Doom reject" or "old level that predates Nilla Doom". I assume, anyway, as the former levels go out of their way to say that they were made for and then cut from the running order of his in-development megaWAD. Like Soulcage, Hell Pit is a map from the latter category, a Doom II MAP26 replacement that was handcrafted back in 1996 only to be uploaded much later in early 2004.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Simphony of Death (#SYMPHOD.WAD)

by "Sphagne"

Some corrections are in order. A handful of authors for the original Community Chest submitted previously published works: Daniel Trim (Redux), Gene Bird (Blind Alley), and Sphagne. Back when I started really digging into the CCHEST contributors I was pretty sure that Sphagne's offerings were part of a broader, unfinished series, much like Blind Alley or Alex Parsons's World's End. As I read through these .TXTs, however, I realized that the sequence numbers given to the maps are only presented to establish the order in which they were created in 1995-1999. Presumably a significant portion of these levels remain unreleased. Mothership was the author's 19th chronological creation and with fourteen available on the archives (one of which is Deathmatch only) that leaves five unaccounted for. This review is for the first of Sphagne's published levels but the second overall: Simphony of Death. Created at an undisclosed time in the mid-to-late '90s (presumably 1995), it was uploaded to /idgames alongside the rest of his levels in August of 2002 and is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II.

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Abandoned Mines II (AMINESII.WAD)

by Kim Bach aka "Torn"

Kim Bach is another one of those ancillary Doom community figures who made a lot of contributions to group projects without ever really enjoying a substantial single release. His submissions include multiple iterations of the 32in24 series as well as 1 Monster and Mock 2. Torn's most high-profile contributions are probably Scythe's MAP31 ("I Dunno Torn") and, most recently, Back to Saturn X Episode One's MAP02 ("Postal Blowfish", alongside Sarah Mancuso / Esselfortium). His passion project appeared to be the prospective Flashback megaWAD, which had him rubbing elbows with Erik Alm, Esa Repo, and - again - Esselfortium. His 2002 /idgames debut, however, is The Abandoned Mines II, a MAP26 replacement for Doom II that was a submission to the then burgeoning Freedoom project. This level was still present all the way up until Freedoom's v0.12.0 release in 2019 (!!!).

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Operation: Lightning (OP-LITE2.WAD)

Stephen Clark, aka The Ultimate Doomer, made his debut splash in 2001 with his solo megaWAD, Fragport, but he had previously made an eight-map Doom episode called Operation: Lightning. Somewhere down the line he converted it to Doom II and added three more levels. While it was finished mid-2000, Clark didn't publish it until early 2002, once he saw some positive feedback for Fragport. OP-LITE2 replaces MAP01-MAP12 with the final map merely being an episode bumper to keep you from coasting into the regular Doom II campaign. It is as far as I know vanilla-compatible and should function correctly in the source port of your choice.

Friday, March 11, 2022


Doomworld Forum superstar Memfis has made a bunch of small, individual releases. They span a variety of genres from relatively easy opening-map-to-megaWAD works to difficult, challenge-oriented levels. He covers a variety of themes but his favorite consists of tributes to community classic works like the Memento Mori series and 2002: A Doom Odyssey. There's some overlap between these and the MAP01 constructions because, well, many of these WADs exist because Memfis sat down to build a '96-'97 inspired megaWAD and then lost focus early on. Gredna, originally published on the Doomworld forums on July of 2013, is one such aborted project. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the work that the previously-released Silent Halls was cut from. Gredna replaces MAP01 and MAP02 and should be good for play in any limit-removing source port.

Saturday, March 5, 2022


by John Romero

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. John Romero had been working on the beginnings of his Doom II follow-up to Sigil. After the start of the invasion, he elected to release a teaser as a purchasable download on his website,, with all proceeds supporting humanitarian aid in Ukraine through the Red Cross and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund. If you wish to help in this particular fashion then you can download One Humanity for five euros. Like Sigil, this MAP01 replacement is meant to be played in any limit-removing port. The key differences are that it's for Doom II and - as a demo, more or less - it has no wicked cool soundtrack, Buckethead or otherwise. After such a wicked cool 2019 episode, well, D_RUNNIN just doesn't cut the mustard.

Sunday, February 27, 2022


Stephen Clark. Newstuff reviewer, ZDoom guru, The Ultimate Doomer. All of Clark's critical successes - 007: License to Spell Doom, Super Sonic Doom, and Serpent: Resurrection - were ZDoom releases. Fragport, his debut, is a little different. Conceived for vanilla Doom II, Stephen tried to leverage as many tricks as he could think of in order to show just how hard the original executable could cook. Sure, some suspension of disbelief is required, but that is generally the nature of the beast when it comes to doing anything complex in DOOM2.EXE. Fragport was originally released in 2001 and it is a full game replacement. I've seen it passed around the internet as BOOMSKY, much to my confusion. In the absence of any clarifying information I would stick to the official version found on /idgames.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022


by Mike Alfredson aka "Use3D"

Use3D has been a supporting player in the Doom community for ages. He is recognizable in the honor rolls for the first three levels of the Community Chest series, Doom the Way id Did and its Ultimate expansion, and even Back to Saturn X's Episode 2. The first episode release of his Nilla Doom is a perennial contender for underrated WAD lists. He started building his solo megaWAD as early as 1997 and has released various rejects from the whole, most recently a spate in 2019. I don't think that Soulcage is one of these, though. As Mike's very first level, this MAP13 replacement was crafted in 1995. It looks as though Alfredson had independently released it, perhaps on a personal website, around the same time as his Hell Pit and Deep Core 1 back in 2004. It finally made its way to /idgames about fifteen years later.

Thursday, February 17, 2022


by Esa Repo aka "Espi"

Espi kicked off his career with the experimental Barons o' Fun, a level where the object was to goad goat men into tearing each other apart over barrel splash damage. Esa wouldn't upload another single player level to /idgames until nearly a year later in mid-2001, where he dusted off "an old PWAD" for release alongside an updated-but-previously-released-elsewhere KARMEA. E2M1ER is an E2M1 replacement, natch, and a full-fledged level as compared to BRNSOFUN's arcade-style execution. Between this level and his Laitos, which originally appeared in the DoomCenter E1 Mapping Contest, it's clear that Espi liked making OG Doom levels in his idiosyncratic style. I wonder how they compare to his entries in the piecemealed Flashback project.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Duse Ex Machina (DXEM.WAD)

by Andy Leaver

As it turns out, Andy can do levels for the original Doom beyond Knee Deep in the Dead. If you'd played most of his previous maps - bitebwad, his levels in NHFL, Indifference, and Timelessness - it wouldn't be a stretch for you to believe otherwise. Every one of them was Phobos to the core with a shareware-exclusive bestiary. Here, then, is Duse Ex Machina [sic], an E3M7 replacement released in mid-to-late 2003. It also proved to be a swan song of sorts. Published shortly after the first Community Chest, it's also the last map that Leaver would make for Doom, original or Ultimate. Everything from here on out would be Doom II, whether for the CCHEST series or his aborted No Hope For Life Episode II.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Barons o' Fun (BRNSOFUN.WAD)

by Esa Repo aka "Espi"

Espi is one of the most celebrated authors of the Doom community. I've only touched on his Suspended in Dusk, but his Back to Basics and level in Eternal Doom IV, "The Shrine" (MAP27), are similarly lauded. When we instituted a lifetime achievement award for the Cacowards, it was named in his honor. And it all began with this. Barons o' Fun is an E1M8 replacement for the original Doom. Released in 2000, the name clearly refers to Barons of Hell while also implying the presence of explosive barrels due to it being a take on Doom II's "Barrels o' Fun" (MAP23). You will have both, but the execution may be simpler than you were expecting.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022


by Erik Alm

Released after Europa 3: The Dark Side of Vrack, this is an EA level that you won't find much discussion of. Comments on /idgames are mixed, the highest-rating given by someone who assumed that this is merely a troll level with the author maliciously using Alm's name. The two 0-star comments consist of a simple "barf" and someone appalled at the idea that Erik could even conceive of making a jokewad. I wonder whether it even received any attention prior to the author establishing his reputation through Scythe and, later, Scythe II. Find It is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II, published in April of 2002. It requires a source port that supports Fragglescript, originally crafted for Simon Howard's SMMU. For a long time this basically meant that it could only be played back in (G)ZDoom and Legacy but it seems like more folks are doing retro-revival ports for modern architectures.

Friday, January 28, 2022


by Andy Leaver

In spite of using another Rise of the Triad track (Lee Jackson's "Chant"), R.A.V.E. shows a break in Andy's modus operandi. Up until this point he had exclusively published single-player levels for the original Doom. Specifically, bitebwad, NHFL, Indifference, and Timelessness were all shareware episode excursions. This and the two-map demo for No Hope For Life Episode II constitute the entirety of his non-multiplayer solo Doom II releases with the rest of them appearing in the Community Chest series. RAVE is a MAP01 replacement, originally made available in 2003. It was originally intended to be the demo for NHFL's E2 but Leaver apparently changed his mind somewhere between now and 2005, I assume because he wanted to take the set in a different direction.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Timelessness (Tribute to Fear Factory) (TIMELESS.WAD)

by Andy Leaver

Andy Leaver is the only Doomworld member to have contributed to all four iterations of the Community Chest series. When he wasn't making Doom II levels, though, he was carrying a huge torch for original Doom maps. bitebwad, his debut, featured low-key E1 action in straightforward, abstract layouts. His levels in 2001's No Hope For Life Episode 1 consisted of novel constructions with the Phobos texture scheme and 2002's Indifference continued in more or less the same vein. Timelessness, an E1M3 replacement for the original Doom released in 2003, is an overt homage to John Romero's "Computer Station" (E1M7).

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Silent Halls (SILHALLS.WAD)

by "Memfis"

Memfis made a ton of levels from 2011-2014 and more than half of these were built during 2013-2014. A lot of his works were soft-released on the Doomworld forums and then uploaded in bulk in mid-2014. This was for a variety of reasons, I'm sure. As an author, he has a ton of facets and is perfectly willing to explore grueling challenge-style levels - like Download - just as readily as he pays tribute to community classics like Icarus: Alien Vanguard with ICARUMEM. Silent Halls feels like it leans more toward the latter category, which only figures as it is a reject from a megaWAD that he was developing that was heavily inspired by Requiem, Memento Mori, and MM2. Originally occupying the MAP02 slot, it is presented here as a MAP01 replacement that ought to work in limit-removing sourceports.

Saturday, January 15, 2022


Jean-Serge Gagnon released and updated his Forest Valley PWAD through 1994-1995. The final publication included a teaser for his next subject - the Ottawa University that must have been near and dear to his heart. OTTAWAU was never properly finished. Gagnon had planned out level names for the entire episode but in spite of the "ver 0.9" descriptor, the set only spans E1M1-E1M5 and E1M9. E1M5 only has the starting area built and it's apparent after perusing README.1ST that Gagnon and his team were not even finished with the maps that are included in OTTAWAU. This more or less final version was published in March of '95, a few days after the last version of FOREST.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


by Andy Leaver

If Andy has a major claim to fame in the community then it's his consistent participation in the CCHEST series. Those being for Doom II, it's interesting to see that the vast majority of his other output occurred from 2000-2003 and consists of levels created for the original Doom. bitebwad was a three-map minisode and he led the No Hope For Life team, crafting an entire E1 replacement between himself, Pablo Dictter, and Jay Trent. Indifference was uploaded to /idgames in 2003 but the timestamp appears to indicate - along with the glut of May uploads - that it was published elsewhere, perhaps as early as 2002. It is an E1M2 replacement and appears to be vanilla-viable.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

No Hope For Life Episode 1: Back to the Fight (NHFL.WAD)

The road to Hell is paved with E1 replacements. No Hope For Life is a joint venture by three fixtures of Doom's source port boom: Andy Leaver, Jay Trent, and Pablo Dictter. Andy had already done a small set of E1 levels, bitebwad, in 2000. Jay participated in the 2001 Doom Center E1 Mapping Contest (judged by the man himself, John Romero), clinching 2nd place out of fifteen entries. Pablo had published a ton of levels by this point, many of which are no longer publicly available, and was working on an E4 replacement with Karthik Abhiram, Tobias Munch, Damian Lee, and Joel Murdoch - The Ninth Gate. tNG never fully panned out, though, whereas we have 2001's No Hope For Life Episode 1: Back to the Fight available to download on /idgames... admittedly some two years after its initial, official release. The authors suggest ZDoom but it should work in any limit-removing port, the primary concern being the dreaded visplane overlord.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

bitebwad (BITEBWAD.WAD)

My first introduction to Andy Leaver was via Community Chest 4, as of this time the last of the CCHEST series as well as - as far as I know - aleaver's last published level. His authorial career began during the source port boom in the year 2000, however, with the curiously-named BITEBWAD, found in a .zip named DIGIMORT. The latter is uncomfortably close to the title of the first level from No Hope For Life, which Andy released in 2001. I'm sure that the two are related in some fashion. This is a three-level minisode for the original Doom, replacing E1M1-E1M3. At least, I'm pretty sure it would play back without the Ultimate features. Looking ahead, it seems as though most of Andy's non-community project works were for the original Doom.  It'll be interesting to see how his craft develops from here.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Blackness (BLKNS.WAD)

Samuel Villarreal kicked off his career with two sizable releases. DSV was a megaWAD that could be played back in each of the then-popular source ports. A sizable portion of its levels were based on Doom 64 maps, ever near and dear to Kaiser's heart. Blackness was released at the exact same time in 2000 and appears to have been intended for a bigger run. This second installment of the DSV series, however, only came out to a five-level hub with a final boss map. The author described it as "abandoned" and a parody of Hexen. I can agree with the first statement but I doubt whether it was initially intended to satirize or poke fun at Hexen. If so, then it would be amusing considering how much of Hexen is woven into Doom 64's DNA. This set was explicitly designed for ZDoom; owing to its relatively early place in the port's history, it is not compatible with later versions of (G)ZDoom. Jumping is absolutely required.