10. Doomsday of UAC - Leo Martin Lim (1994)
Early 1994 maps in Doom were abstract things made by aspiring map designers looking to create either fun, monster-blasting romps or some kind of new experience, usually accompanied with a story or somesuch to flesh out what the map is supposed to be, since early Doom still didn't allow a whole lot of detailing or extensibility. Enter "Doomsday of UAC", an early, '94 era map that set a high bar for map features - letter sculptures in sectors, invisible walls and bridges, and a large expanse begging to be explored by the lone marine investigating a Hellish presence at UAC Corporate. For those just getting into the Doom mapping scene, UAC_DEAD.WAD was the one everybody talked about, and with good reason.
Yes, yes - and it had an overturned truck made out of sectors as well. How could I forget that?!
9. Darkdome - Sverre Kvernmo (1997)
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One of Eternal Doom's crown jewels, Sverre Kvernmo's "Darkdome", set in a gloomy old cathedral beetling out of a great lake, remains a defining 'adventure map' for Doom, with several specific homages by other notable authors and a generations-spanning shadow of general influence to its name. The genius of the piece is in believably marrying ED's puzzle-y gameplay to a really fleshed out location with a strong sense of mood for an experience one won't soon forget, provided you ever find your way out!
8. Twilight Massacre - darkwave0000 (2010)
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This map is a legend: 3,000 enemies, six keys, BFG-only combat, an incredible swath of fire-and-brimstone landscape high above a sea of lava, imposing structures silhouetted against the red sky, a placid sanctuary starting room that makes it clear exactly what is going to hit the fan as soon as you step outside. It’s one of the great early modern slaughtermaps, one of the great megawad climaxes, one of the most stunning settings darkwave ever created, and one of the great sources of mapping inspiration in recent years.
7. The Sky May Be - Doug the Eagle and Kansam (1997)
A landmark work in the field of Doom Stupid, The Sky May Be is one of the earliest notable jokewads. With hideous graphics based on MSPaint flood-fill and Windows 3.11 screenshots, absurd enemies (moonwalking troopers; BFG-firing imps; the invulnerable, no-clipping Great God Imp), and silly weapons to match (the Blessing Cannon!), its impact was monumental enough that IQ seismographs detected a momentary dip on the night in 1997 it came out. The world recovered but was forever changed.
6. Void - Mike "Cyb" Watson (2003)
Back in the day when the Doom engine was still just being ported to other platforms and operating systems and getting additional features, the ZDoom engine forged ahead with the ambitious task of merging all of the actor and weapon code from every Doom engine game. And early on after that milestone, Void by Mike "Cyb" Watson was made with those additional features in mind, creating a new experience never seen before in Doom. With advanced scripting, new enemies both sourced from Doom and created using a primitive version of DECORATE, and a locale somewhat inspired by American McGee's Alice, Void is one of those maps that is an unforgettable and influential milestone in Doom mapping, even if it is a teensy bit dated by today's standards.
5. Culture Shock - lupinx-Kassman (2016)
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Departing from the neon-tech alien landscapes and ancient Earth ruins that dominate the rest of Ancient Aliens, this floating cloud city takes players on a completely different kind of ride through one of the most unique and stunningly detailed settings ever conceived. Is the exit really the Gateway of Knowledge? It doesn’t seem to be, but the map makes you want to believe it’s out there somewhere.
4. Nuts - B.P.R.D. (2001)
As one of most infamous and iconic godmothers of two controversial genres – slaughtermaps and jokewads – Nuts has left an indelible impression on the community that continues to echo down through the ages. “Fun” might be a bit of a stretch, but you must admit it's undeniably cool to watch 10,000 monsters start ripping each other to shreds the moment you fire a shot.
3. The Mucus Flow - B.P.R.D. (2004)
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"The Mucus Flow" is *the* map we remember from Community Chest 2: a tech complex set in a rocky wilderness left scarred by acid. With a stingy ammo balance and those insanely awkward chaingunner snipers, it is as spiteful as it is desolate, with a moody, cryptic MIDI that fits perfectly. It is tough to imagine that this is the same mapper who made "Nuts"! You know a map is inspirational landmark when future mappers of high repute end up forming their style around it.
2. Deus Vult - Huy Pham (2004)
Deus Vult was a first in many ways. The first notable map of its scale – it was even split into four maps to run smoothly on many PCs of the era. The first notable bridge from the classic era of slaughter (Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta, etc.) into arena-focused modernity. And also the first notable entry in the "Hey guys this is just my first map *opens briefcase and out drops a masterpiece*" genre. An epic journey out of a Deimos base under siege from hell's denizens and through the unrelenting fire itself, it offers grand fights and vistas aplenty.
1. Misri Halek - Kim Andre Malde (2001)
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I’m sure you can picture it in your mind just as easily without the screenshot: the pyramid against a starry sky, the moody and labyrinthine halls, the lava caverns eating away at ancient mysteries, the hauntingly enigmatic music. Whenever something has been widely loved, there are bound to be cries of “overrated!”, and it’s true that Misri Halek has since been surpassed in quality by many of its own creative children. But underneath it all it’s still a great map, and that’s why we’re happy to call it the most memorable map of all time.