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.