The Top 100 WADs Of All Time: 1999

In 1999 source ports finally began to take off with four of the top ten requiring a source port of some kind. Also interesting are the few conversions here which try and alter Doom in some way (some of them very extensively) which perhaps hints that some people were ready for a change from the norm in terms of Doom maps. However with sets like Demonfear and the Darkening, clearly this wasn't the case for everyone as 1999 turned out to be a pretty good year for variation.

Batman Doom - ACE Team

Without a doubt Batman Doom is one of the greatest efforts ever produced by anyone in the Doom community. Nearly every single resource in the Doom 2 IWAD was replaced and with extensive dehacked work it hardly feels like Doom at all. This is a true total conversion in every sense of the word. As you fight your way through Gotham City and defeat villains such as the Joker, Killer Croc and Bane you'll feel like you're really the Dark Knight. The dehacked work is also worth a second mention as it's quite possibly the most extensive dehacked work ever done. You'll see more different enemies than you thought possible, dynamic explosions (including a sequence where you must escape an exploding warehouse) and an enemy that can actually pick up rocks on the ground and throw them at you. (Cyb)

The Darkening - Various

Though Doom's heyday ended probably sometime in 1998, the Darkening is often cited as something of a more modern classic (though it is around five years old now). While it didn't have the size or hype behind it that earlier megawads like Requiem or Hell Revealed had, The Darkening is arguably better than most maps released before it, and contains some excellent maps, textures and gameplay. With level author names like Jan Van der Veken, John Bye, Travers Dunne, Adam Windsor and Nick Baker how could you expect these maps not to be stellar? This is one you need to try out if you haven't yet. (Cyb)

KZDoom1 - Kurt Kesler

Kurt Kesler was one of the first, if not the first, to dive into ZDoom specific editing back when ZDoom had just begun to support things like colored lighting, polyobjects and acs. The KZDoom series includes 7 maps (and an 8th semi-unreleased incomplete one) released from 1999 to 2001. All the maps are excellent, but this one, since it's the first, deserves a spot for being something of a pioneer in ZDoom mapping. KZDoom1 features colored lighting, polyobjects, some minor scripts, stealth monsters and other various features. While that may not seem like a big deal by today's standards, at the time these features were unseen in Doom before. As for the actual map, well, it's a metal base, Kurt's favorite theme, and it's quite excellent. (Cyb)

Crusades - Richard Wiles

I have fond memories of playing theses maps back in 98 as five of the maps in Crusades are part of Richard's 'Spooky' series. The episode is in a hellish theme, with bricks, metal and plenty of gothic textures which all look great. Each map is more detailed and tougher than the last, and they're all a lot of fun as well. In fact, I'd wager that if someone were to make a GothicDM levelset for solo-play (so I guess that would be called GothicSP) it might look something like this. The text file states the maps are meant to be completed from scratch, so you should be in for an easier time if you run through them all without restarting between maps. However you play this episode though you're in for some great maps and great gameplay. (Cyb)

ChordG - Malcolm Sailor

ChordG is, simply put, an amazing map. Malcolm Sailor absolutely pushed the Doom engine to the limits with this breathtaking map. The architecture is nothing short of amazing and, in my humble opinion, the overall greatness of this map has yet to be matched by another. It takes place in a dark underground marble sort of place and showcases some of the best architecture and lighting I've seen in an excellently laid out map. On top of that, the gameplay is quite challenging, starting you off against a Revenant with only your fists to fend him off, and it only gets harder from there. This map, my friends, is the level of detail and gameplay that all editors should strive for. (Cyb)

Jägermörder - Derek 'Afterglow' Mac Donald

Jägermörder is Afterglow's lone solo SP output, but as you might expect, it's quite an excellent looking map. It's not a hard map by any means (most of you will breeze through it on UV with few difficulties) but the detail, architecture and layout of the map are all great, and even though it's not too tough it still plays great. The major downfall of this map is the length. It's a small map and also pretty linear, so you won't have any problems finishing it in a short amount of time. That's not too bad, but the map is so great looking you might actually be sad that it ended. Well, probably not, but either way you should play this map. (Cyb)

Twilight Warrior - Black Shadow Software

Twilight Warrior is one of the few efforts to make Doom into something more realistic. There are no demons or monsters here, only men with guns and some attack dogs and helicopters. While that may not sound like Doom (and indeed it's not), TW carries with it some excellent fun, and is probably the closest Doom has ever come to becoming realistic. On something of a personal note, TW is a lot of fun if you play it in coop with decreased player speed (-turbo 30) and only allow yourself to be killed once per level. So that method of play gets the Cyb seal of approval, as does this wad, which is a very well done piece of work. (Cyb)

Demonfear - Adam Windsor

From one of the mappers for Requiem, STRAIN, Memento Mori 2 and The Darkening comes a megawad. Demonfear is interesting because it's tweaked for solo play, co-op and DM, and it plays fairly well in all three game modes (though it's better for sp or co-op). The maps have about the same variation as those in Doom 2, only they look nicer and most are pretty short. They start out pretty simple and slowly get harder, though the final map isn't overly hard if you catch the moving platforms at the right moment. Demonfear also requires no source port, so you can use the port of your choice to play it. Overall a very solid mapset which isn't overly detailed, but still contains some very excellent maps and some great gameplay. Especially if you enjoyed the more recent Scythe, you'll probably like Demonfear a lot as well. (Cyb)

Tei Tenga - Sam Ketner

Though tame by today's standards, at the time of Tei Tenga's release it utilized ZDoom's new scripting in ways never thought of before. The first ever hub made for Doom, Tei Tenga featured things such as a computer system on an abandoned spaceship that goes psycho and tries to kill you, flight between levels on a space shuttle (which you actually see flying) and one mean railgunning end boss. Though at the time many complained that Tei Tenga's scripts interfered with Doom's gameplay, it was very much a plateau for some of the newer heavily scripted ZDoom maps. If you're looking for the wad that got ZDoom on it's feet, look no further than Tei Tenga. (Cyb)

Herian 2 - Ian Wilson

If you could take Heretic, Hexen and Doom and mash them together into a big ball, then the end product would probably be Herian 2. Herian 2 takes elements of all three games and somehow makes them work fairly well. While the levels are largely Hexen and Heretic inspired (and are mostly comprised of textures borrowed from those two games), most of the monsters are Doom, with a few slightly altered Heretic monsters making appearances as well. The levels themselves are quite well done, and probably among some of the best made using the Heretic/Hexen texture set. The gameplay isn't too hard, but not so easy that you'll breeze through the maps, but I don't think too many people will have issues with any of the maps for the most part. This mapset is worth checking out for not only fans of Heretic and Hexen, but also fans of Doom looking for a different sort of megawad. Also I'd like to point out that this entire megawad, with 32 pretty large maps, was made by a single person, which is quite an accomplishment. (Cyb)