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 RAVE is a MAP01 replacement, originally made available in 2003.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.