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Ancient Aliens

   (99 reviews)

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About This File

Ancient Aliens is a megawad featuring 32 colorful, action-packed maps for Boom compatible ports.

Go on a journey to discover the truth about the enigmatic origins of human civilization...

I'm not saying it was aliens, but... the truth is out there.


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elend

· Edited by elend

  

Ancient Aliens is an incredible achievement and maybe one of the most unique megawads out there. Not only does it looks vastly different to stock Doom, but the maps also „feel“ different. The first couple of maps have a certain: "Oh, it's one of those gimmick things..." feel to it, but very quickly one realizes that there's much more effort put into the maps, than they first let on. This feeling only grows with each map, culminating in one of the most creative mapsets I have seen so far. The use of architecture, game mechanics and overall feel of the maps is - stupid pun intended - quite out of this world. Towards the end I found myself swarmed by too many enemies, though, but I am not a really good player, so others might have no problems with it.

 

All in all, amazing texture work, great music, great maps, just overall one of the most enjoyable projects to emerge from the Doom community.

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Shreddy Krueger

· Edited by Shreddy Krueger

  

My new favourite set of 32 maps. Definitely the best MegaWAD that Skillsaw has ever made, destroying Valiant. Lots of unexpectedly cool ideas can be found within these solid maps. From the very first level with the neon "Wolf Warp" you know that you're in for a real treat. "Leave your Sol Behind" also blew me away with the whole space ship travel gimmick.

 

In terms of difficulty: I was playing with Project Brutality on its equivalent of Hurt Me Plenty, so that amped up the difficulty considerably. A couple areas really constrict you for ammo, and according to Skillsaw that was supposed to be a main feature of the WAD but was dropped for a majority of the maps. Occasionally you encounter some slaughter-like areas and maps but nothing that got bland or seemed like a crutch for bad level design. You will face a considerable number of Cyberdemons and Spider Masterminds, which is par-for-the-course when it comes to custom Doom maps.

 

In my opinon, some guest maps sucked (Nectar Flow) while others fit very well (Culture Shock, Acerols-Orion). Maybe some could say that the second episode did start to blend slightly together from level to level due to the visuals, but I would also say that the second episode had the best content for the MegaWad.

 

So all in all I'd definitely recommend this Wad to anyone who plays Doom and is looking for a beacon in Doom map design.

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SOSU

  

These maps are poopoo >:O

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damned

  

One of the best megawads I've played in last few years. Great design, gameplay, story. 5/5

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Agent6

· Edited by Agent6

  

And here goes yet another megawad, still done on UV, and well well, what a journey it was. I must say that I expected something completely different than what AA really is, more exactly that it's not very difficult, but I jumped into the deep end and did my best. In fact, I daresay that having played and finished Alien Vendetta right before AA, AA undoubtedly puts it to shame in terms of difficulty, the standards have surely been raised since the days of the former. AV is little more than a walk in the park compared to how challenging AA is. There are some slaughter like levels towards the end, such as MAP18, MAP28, or MAP29, but these aren't the main focus of the megawad. In fact, they were among the easiest levels from my POV due to their nature and style of gameplay involved, after all the most efficient method of finishing MAP28 and MAP29 is just strafing, firing BFG blasts or rockets, avoiding damage, and nothing else. But as I said these were among the easiest levels, because the majority of the maps in AA rely on strategic enemy placements, and skillful and mindful gameplay on the player's end in order to survive, and while all maps do feature a few hundreds of enemies, none of them count on their sheer numbers to overwhelm the player, after all getting cornered by dozens of enemies is neither fun, interesting, or challenging, and the people who worked on AA understood this, although there still are instances when the player does get trapped and a significant number of enemies teleport in to crush him, more or less forcing him to take damage, same for the moments where you have little to no resources left, take an elevator, and surprise, you're assaulted by a few Revenants once you reach the top. Some of the levels also feature a significant amount of Arch-Viles as well, sometimes at the very end of the level, acting as a sort of final, deadly trap. One such example is MAP26 where a bunch of Arch-Viles (like 4) wait for the player in the final (tight) room. Oh, and if this isn't enough a small wave of Hell Knights, Barons, and Revenants will also teleport in after the (unavoidable) trap is activated. There are also some very interesting ideas regarding enemy usage as well. For instance, MAP01 has a Cyberdemon that you have to more or less use as a turret to kill the few waves of enemies who teleport in, and at the end you telefrag him.

 

If wads such as AV were more forgiving, not to mention much more predictable, this one shares none of these traits. It's unpredictable, you never know when and what enemy is going to pop up and in what numbers, and some encounters are simply merciless. All this leads to a very simple conclusion: This megawad is definitely not targeted at average players. I actually fall somewhere around this category, but my point here is that it's very difficult, so if you do decide to take it on and are not a skilled or experienced player, and also doing it blindly like myself, your day will suck, there's no doubt about that. Expect a lot of trial and error, raging, and frustration in a few levels. Moreover, also expect a few forced pistol starts similar to what's seen in Scythe due to suicide exits, which from my own experience weren't needed as I haven't had many resources left. Always be on your guard. There isn't really any difficulty curve in AA, or not using the same traditional formula. By this I mean that it starts a bit difficult and tricky and from the very first levels you're made aware of what you're getting yourself into, and it only becomes more difficult as you progress, however by MAP18 it reaches the maximum difficulty so if you survive or do well in this level, you'll survive what follows, that's basically as far as it goes. Megawads such as AV on the other hand start very slowly and nicely increase the difficulty in steps, with a few occasional spikes.

 

My favorite levels are going to be MAP23 and MAP24. MAP24 is also the most unique level as it's a map where the action takes place in a heavenly dimension, radically different from other maps where the action takes place near or inside ancient ruins on exotic islands, though there are some very futuristic maps present as well. The name "Culture Shock" fits MAP24 like a glove. As for MAP23, there's nothing really special about it to make it stand out of the crowd like MAP24 but simply a personal favorite due to its great size and large open area, it's epic and atmospheric, especially after clearing the outside area and spending a few moments admiring the vastness and beauty of the level and its music. Invigorating, uplifting, peaceful and soothing.

 

There is no final boss fight at the end of the megawad. In fact, MAP29 is the last level where you face anything, MAP30 acting as a sweet thank you for playing from the authors in which you return to the same island where you embarked on the expedition instead, now inhabited by lots of scientists, presumably waiting for the hero.

 

AA also introduces a new and amazing soundtrack along with high quality textures for all its maps, including replacements for some items, they're all beautiful and really add to the overall quality and atmosphere of the megawad. It also comes with a brand new menu, status bar, ENDOOM screen, and teleporters usually take you through a black and purple tunnel with various drawings before reaching the destination. Some enemies such as the Arachnotron and the Mancubus are also retextured or use new sounds. Moreover, there's a few new enemies introduced, a slow red flying sphere with an angry face that fires a lot of homing missiles. They are weaker or just as weak as a Lost Soul, but are especially deadly and also inflict damage upon death, so make sure you keep the distance. Another new enemy introduced is a small black trooper who turns invisible while running and fires the same plasma the Arachnotron uses. Of course, this means they're also very deadly since they are fast and also invisible while moving, on top of instantly locking on the player once spotted sometimes, but have easily recognizable sounds so watch out when you hear them. Luckily, they're also very weak, a fire from the Chaingun or the regular Shotgun kills them. But if you're careless, you think Chaingunners are bad? You'll be surprised by what they can pull off, they can be much, much worse. If there are no Arch-Viles or other dangerous enemies in a small or big wave of enemies that includes a few troopers it's best to kill them first. I'm not very sure how infighting works with those guys, yet I am pretty sure you can't turn them against each other, or I've never witnessed this behavior anyway. They're probably similar to Arch-Viles in this aspect.

 

On the technical side of things there's not much to say, only that PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4 (on which I played AA) doesn't seem to be able to run some of the levels at a constant, very high framerate. I myself noticed a decrease in performance in the outside area of MAP18 and MAP23 when a lot was going on, but it was still noticeable even after I silenced the enemies, mostly while looking in the distance from certain points. I suppose it's just the high quality assets and the large size of the levels that push the source port to its limits, but note that these performance issues are very far from something major or serious, just a mild inconvenience, and results will likely vary with each source port.

 

All things considered, this megawad is without a doubt very solid, not to mention challenging. You're free to try your luck but remember, it's not for the faint of heart, especially if you decide to go for it blind like I did, and perhaps even if you watch a walkthrough before. Otherwise, best of luck to anyone who embarks on the journey, it's well worth the time.

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Gato606

  

Very nice maps, nice design, spaces, many details in the geometry and elements that makes it look different to other megawads I've seen, interesting work on mixing the colorful textures.  The only downside for me was the constant ambushes and slaughterfest setups, I think it looks like overdoing it, it would have been an enjoyable mapset without the constant ambushes and innecesary slaughter.

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valkiriforce

  

Finally got around to playing this through recently. Most of the maps were good but there were some that were especially good; Culture Shock is easily my favorite because I love sky levels and the last few levels with a fun little ending. Also liked stewboy's secret hunt on MAP31 and managed to find all of them in an hour.

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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- PRBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9.

- Hurt Me Plenty.

- Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

An amazing megawad I truly recommend for experienced players. This is a hard mapset that develops a style which I'll surely recognize from now on in other maps made by the same author, Skillsaw. I liked this style, takes some time to familiarize, in fact, the first 5 or 6 maps were some of the hardest ones (except map 02). One just doesn't expect to find a cyber as the first enemy in the entire wad lol. There are also what I've read are called "guest" maps, showing some contrasts between Skillsaw's maps. For instance, Joshy's maps are recognizable at first sight, and at first deaths.

 

Anyway, visuals are on point, and midis very fitting. My favourite set of textures are in the second episode, a lot of violet/indigo, not common in Doom. And also in map 24, incredible. One thing that I highly appreciated is that almost all maps provide you ways to return to previous areas, in case a secret is still missing or whatever the case. One thing that I highly appreciated is that almost all maps provide you ways to return to previous areas, in case a secret is still missing or whatever the case. 

 

Two new monsters: Trooper in black (or plasma trooper), fast deadly enemies but weak and easy to kill; Alien Drone, I loved this one, especially their sounds that come from the Iron Lich.

 

My favourite maps are 10, 15, 31, 32, 17, 22, 24, 25, 29, and of course 30, those scientists lol. The other maps vary from good to very good.

 

Overall, I'll give this a 9/10   

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tempdecal.wad

  

the MIDIs, the Colors, the Beautiful environments, yummy.

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Combinebobnt

  

good maps good color good ayy lamys

 

noobs complaining about difficulty: 1. use small brains to read the menu before starting a new game aka 'difficulty selection menu'. 2. swallow small pride and choose something before UV (hmp is highlighted by default u have to literally select UV yourself). 3. accept worthless whiny existence (aka u r a b ! t c h) if you rate something too hard for you but refuse to choose easy mode... killsaw next time make the maps even harder for them o yea

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Nazgul9

  

Not a fan of the pink/pastel thing
Other than that, excellent

 

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FTM

  
Excellent MegaWad, fantastic levels, textures and music, a solid 5/5, also Aliens.

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Doomkid

  
This isn't my cup of tea, but just in terms of effort alone this deserves a 4. Clearly a labor of love

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sandmanbrasil

  
After A aliens, every 5 wad star wad i played loose 1 star. It's the greatest wad ever. The Gameplay is amazing; it1s very dificulty in UV and it's realy beautifull.

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Tifosi 92

  
One of the few wads I've played that hooked me like the original Doom; just wanted to play for a few minutes and ended up playing for two hours. Love the colors and the atmosphere; looks brand-new, but plays like an old-school shooter. Don't pass this one up.

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trrobin

  
A pretty fun and well conceived original idea for a wad, with decent ammo and monster placement to boot. A few frustrating moments here and there but it's mostly good. The choice of colours were a bit stark and garish for my liking but that's not a slight on the gameplay which carries this wad through. Recommended.

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Nostalgick

  
Other than a few missteps, the texture work, level design, music, and overall presentation value is great. The difficulty gets pretty tedious after a while, but it's worth the grind to see where this crazy, drugged-up, tongue-in-cheek trip through space goes.

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Zalewa

  
Cacoward approved. Excellent visuals, excellent gameplay. Difficult, and sometimes slaughterish, but still fair - all maps can be beaten on one life and there's little random factor involved in the action.

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ZaBigBoss

  
Amazing and daring visuals and colors!! The whole wad has an amazing sense of progression. The end was PERFECT. I lol'd heartily and then I closed the game and said "daaaamn"

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Pinchy

  
I'm not saying it was aliens, but... ';,,;' //

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ChaingunnerX

  
Ugly colors and boring level design.

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Szymanski

  
Somewhere in space, this may all be happening right now

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WH-Wilou84

  
One of 2016's finest stuff for sure. Chock-full of unique ideas and visuals, and some funny humour too. Stuart Rynn's music is excellent. There's a bit too many gimmicky maps and forced gameplay paradigms in there for my tastes though, even if these perfectly fit the "alien" theme of the wad, and that's why I enjoyed Valiant a bit more. The palette might not please everyone and E2 was a bit of an eye-strain at times, but I think it's fresh enough. Thanks a lot, skillsaw & co. !

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NuMetalManiak

  
you have to really get used to skillsaw's design style in order to really enjoy this. it'll take awhile, but it is easier than Valiant in my opinion and worth a play and a replay.

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bzzrak

  
I played this until MAP07. And I can tell you this: i felt like an absolute idiot whenever pressing a switch would reveal an ambush. But then again, I perhaps am an idiot.

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  • File Reviews

    • By BChricton78 · Posted
      Umm... From the brief snippet I played, I'd definitely give them an A for effort... But this just feels... wrong to me. I'm sorry but playing Doom 64, without the lighting, atmosphere, redone sprites and ambient music? No thanks. It just takes away the things that make Doom 64 so special. Still a nice little attempt at recapturing Doom 64, but I'm better off with Doom 64 EX, for my fix.
    • By Agent6 · Posted
      And thus, oh you know what I'm going to say already, Doom 64 for Doom II has been finished, played through GlBoom+ 2.5.1.5 on UV.   So for an introduction, as the name implies D64D2 is a recreation of the classic Doom 64 originally released as a console exclusive for the N64. It aims to recreate the levels along with their gameplay using mostly vanilla Doom II resources. It features a new menu background, ENDOOM screen, new music, a few new enemies, namely the Nightmare Imp and Cacodemon as well as the final boss the Mother Demon, a few new textures, new intermission messages, a new end level screen, but no custom sounds or weapons, meaning that the unique and iconic Unmaker was not recreated in any way.   For a recreation, I must say that the levels and their gameplay come quite close to the original Doom 64, nonetheless various liberties have been taken in different forms, ranging from new takes on various puzzles to completely new levels, as well as the usage of the enemies who were absent from the original due to memory limitations. The usage of enemies who were absent from the original game comes with mixed results as it doesn't always work, probably one of the most obvious flaws in the game. This is most noticeable primarily in the levels that came closest to their D64 counterpart as the environment was clearly not designed with them in mind. For instance, you'll encounter Revenants on narrow corridors quite often, and sometimes even Arch-Viles. This isn't a problem in larger areas where it's usually quite fun to fight them, but not in those particular areas. Chaingunners do seem to work quite well however since they can easily blend with the rest of the hitscanners.   Compared to the original D64, a major difference could be the tone and atmosphere of the game. D64 was slower paced and more atmospheric, whereas D64D2 is faster paced with less emphasis of that element, supported by the amazing but more action/fun oriented soundtrack. Perhaps the darker, much more hellish levels such as Unholy Temple are the most atmospheric levels in the entire game, and also the best looking. Unholy Temple is definitely my favorite level here.   While on the subject of changes, some of them are very interesting. In the Void is probably the most surprising for me. The original featured a light blue sky and a rather foggy atmosphere while the level itself was pretty bright, how does this map look like in D64D2? Well, it seems to literally take place in a void now. Indeed, the sky is now completely black, but luckily poor visibility was avoided, at least for the most part, so there's no difficulty in seeing the enemies and where they are. It's a change that works well, unlike others. The most drastic changes were probably done to The Absolution, where you can now find 3 keys, but you need to complete various puzzles to reach them, and not the exciting or fun type. The room with the yellow skull was probably the only fun one, the others? Well, for the red key you have to go through an awkward platforming section where everything, including the enemies are obviously, cloaked in darkness, while the blue key has a puzzle comparable to the room with the red key (Demon key on the original D64) on Outpost Omega, except that it's more tedious. Not exactly changes done for the better. I don't know how exactly they impact the level though, but in my playthrough I didn't even fight the Mother Demon, I just heard her screaming once while I was fighting the teleporting enemies thinking that she finally showed up, only for the end level screen to appear, so I assume she died somehow.   D64D2 also comes with some exclusive levels that were not part of the original D64, and I personally think they're little more than filler maps. They're not terrible, but not great either, and I can't find any reason for why they exist. Well, at least they're very short and straightforward, so you don't waste much time with them. And while being on the subject, some of the secret levels from the original have been turned into regular maps, meaning that you don't have to search for secret exits to reach them. One such example is Outpost Omega.   All things considered, D64D2 manages to capture the spirit of D64 while also making plenty of changes, yet generally remaining faithful to the original. Some changes might have been for the worse, but there's plenty done for the better as well. It's pretty short and easy, just like the original, so it can be finished in a day, you can't go wrong with it. A collective effort for an ambitious project that should be well worth your time if you like Doom 64 and want to see a different take on it.
    • By AgentSpork · Posted
      This one took me by surprise. Absolutely wonderful use of stock Doom 2 resources, great atmosphere / world building, and doesn't overstay its welcome. 5/5.
    • By AgentSpork · Posted
      Pretty cool couple of maps! Nice use of stock Doom 2 resources.
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