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Ancient Aliens

   (121 reviews)

27 Screenshots

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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It was interesting,sometimes fun,sometimes hard,sometimes annoyingly hard but we later smile about it(Going Down feeling you know?),i loved the fact that everything feels and look different in terms of level design,sounds,texures and visuals,and the music is here to say to you "you're on a vacation/exploration trip...but not too much,it's Doom !",and technically some levels are great creations,obviously with a modified Id Tech 1,because the original one couldn't do things that some level showed i guess.


Ancient Aliens have a very good overall feeling to play,it's Doom,with a bit of Blake Stone,Star Wars,System Shock and maybe others inspirations,it's very risky to merge differerents inspirations into one big work.


DeadLostSoul,Commander Keen,EvilMarines new enemies are nice too.


My favorites Levels :


Arachnotron Arrival (Nice constant spider in the middle that keeps the pressure on you to move or hide,i liked the monster placements and traps too)


Last Refuge Of The Anasazi


Sinkhole Showdown


Dare To Fly Where Eagles Soar


Ancient Aliens


The Nectar Flow (Huge Level and fun to play)


Polychromatic Terrace


Blazing Boulevard


Wormhole Junction (Damn this is a Going Down Style level !)


Leave Your Sol Behind (A three time height ramp/elevator[don't know how to call that]in Doom? Didn't know that was possible,and flying saucers travel to others worlds,seriously?,didn't expected that o_O,loved the creativity on this level)


Daylight Under A Dark Sol


Culture Shock (A level in the clouds and touching the sky,successive teleporters,a tv working,ropes to elevate yourself,real scales,we need more levels like this,It reminds me that WOW EFFECT i had with Zeal World in Chrono Trigger when i saw all that,too bad it was short,but fantastic idea)


I Skipped Illuminati Confirmed (Too many details and enemies,lags as hell can't do anything,it looked like an insane level)


I Skipped Trinary Temple (Too Much Lags)


I Skipped The Ones Behind It All (Too Much Lags)


The lasts levels lags a lot on Brutal Doom,but that's not your fault,i don't want to play Vanilla Doom,BD is way better to me haha.

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Perhaps the best megawad I have played so far. Ancient Aliens is a very distinctive WAD, with its unique tone, custom textures, choice of colors, scenery and meticulous encounter crafting. The overall look of many of its maps is pretty relaxing, (especially as far as Doom is concerned) and that feeling is helped big time by the masterful Stewboy compositions, whose MIDIs often give the journey a mysterious laid-back style or embrace a fun bouncy techno-jazz jive. But don't be lured by the calm looks and sounds, because Skillsaw and his guest mappers know how to turn the heat up and throw you into peculiar and inventive combat scenarios.


Map 1 sets the tone for the action perfectly: after the trippy teleporting sequence, you immediately zoom at full speed past a caged cyberdemon, who will constantly hinder your progress and have you frantically look for the way forward. The following brawl with hell knights, revenants and other foes in tight corners does set a tone for the combat to ensue in the first few maps: resources tend to be initially scarce and berserk punching a few skeletons will help you keep your supplies for fights where ammo truly matters. If that doesn't feel like your cup of tea, do not worry: a fair amount of maps do provide ample supplies for when the heat truly gets turned up. Finally, many big enemies in beginning maps are meant to be telefragged (or, in the case of MAP04, the game will eventually spawn a truckload of explosive barrels to kill archviles with little fuss) so the obvious approach is not always the best one.


The layout of levels often features traps, but at the very least you can't fault the WAD for lack of variety because it's rare that the same trick gets repeated. Encounters are memorable and my favorite of the bunch include a collapsing staircase where you must fight foes quickly under the eye of an archvile, but you must do it fast because the ledges eventually rise up, bringing you closer and closer to him being able to resurrect the fallen monsters. But each time a ledge rises, new monsters can now get to you so you're never safe no matter what! Additionally, the WAD features two new monsters: the plasma marine and the rotating skull cube. Marines make static noises, are cloaked when not attacking and their plasma shots can be hurtful, but they thankfully need to pause before shooting and are very fragile. The skull cubes pack a wallop, firing a barrage of 3 revenant missiles at any time, which can be homing or not. They would be the worst if they didn't have only about 80 health and exploded upon death, hurting everything in their vicinity. This means that when this enemy appears in tight packs, a single rocket can blow away the whole group.


Skillsaw doesn't hog the whole WAD for himself, he offered a few guest spots for other worthy mappers to shine. Joshy from Speed of Doom fame gets two maps, MAP 9 (The Nectar Flow) and MAP28 (Floating Arena). Both are completely different to each other gameplay-wise, but both are fun. The former is a journey through caves of nectar that features the highest monster count in the WAD at the time, but most of them are zombiemen and imps, so happy chaingunning! The latter effort is a slaughterfest that sets the table for the end of your journey. The numbers are high, but the space, ammo and powerups are abundant as well, not making the carnage too mean spirited. Stewboy gets the MAP 31 slot, but this one doesn't work as well; the pacing is too slow and there's a little too emphasis on secret hunting (13 secrets in total!) and the layout even is a little too gray and drab. AD_79's MAP 20 is a strong showing with its tubes full of enemies and the clever archvile hologram trap. Esselfortium's MAP 22 is a scenic ancient castle that is one of the prettiest maps of the set, only upset by MAP24. lupinx-cassman offers a spectacle for the eyes with a sky temple that appears to worship several cultures at once, hence the name. While some of its combat is a little stilted and uncomfortable at times, the looks all make up for it. Tarnsman's MAP 26 is a pretty old stone temple, but the heavy chaingunner usage makes it feel like some weird Plutonia homage. MAP 23 by Pinchy is probably the only guest map I can bring myself to dislike: it's too big, sprawling, confusing, loves to spawn chaingunners that snipe you at great distances and finally, that final fight can go to hell.


As for skillsaw's work, the best part about his works is that he's very consistent quality-wise, I can't bring myself to dislike any of his work in this WAD (MAP 32 might be his only map I didn't really like, it felt a bit by the numbers for a secret secret map). Some of the levels have gimmicks attached to them, like MAP 6's sinkhole, which occurs as you're grabbing a shotgun (?). But you better not think of it too hard, or hordes of shotgunners will come to take you away. MAP 18 shows how dangerous the Illuminati are, with the surprise inclusion of an Icon of Sin (in the form of a giant Illuminati pyramid!) that makes incursions in the main courtyard a tricky affair. MAP 19 is a berserk and pistol level that will get you up to speed with punching enemies, your champion contender here will be an archvile you need to punch down so good luck! My favorite Skillsaw maps of the WAD would be Maps 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 16, 25 and 29, aka the last regular map of the set. It's 3 big fights, the final of which is punctuated by the shattering reveal of who's behind everything. Then, they get to watch you do the final fight against seemingly unsurmontable hordes in a big, colorful arena.


All in all, Ancient Aliens is a masterpiece. It is surprisingly approachable for being a modern WAD and the difficulty is hard, but often fair. Keep in mind this is still an harder WAD than Plutonia, though. I had a pleasant time on UV with saves and continuous play and if your skills aren't up to the task, lower difficulties will make sure you are not left behind. If you're like me and somehow took this long to finally play this, remedy the problem and play it now. It's one of the all-time greats.

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Cybernight Zero


The visuals are the obvious showcase here. Don't get me wrong, though; there are great levels with fun to be had. 

Many levels do contain design flaws I believe are at work in making a number of these levels not fun.


For one, the design is overall too symmetrical.  The visual communication of Doom has always been outstanding. (Red stripes indicate a red key required, and you see an outside area, the tunnel in E1M1 is a clue of how to get there; green liquid usually indicates hurt floors, as do lava and blood. (and sometimes poop brown water tee he.). What key do I need if a door looks like fire, red or yellow?  If you have four hallways/corridors going around a middle piece and all look the same, the player won't be pushed into what he/she needs to do next. Sometimes the switches blend right into the environment.


This is Doom, so great combat is a must. At times this wad gets this right on the money. I'm thinking of the second level, where you start the map fighting lower-level enemies and then run into higher-tier ones toward the end. In that regard, this wad was great. But hold on a minute, is it great? Well, yes and no. There are levels where you run into so many archvilles it's downright predictable. How about dropping the player unexpectedly into an ambush? I expect that in Doom, but this trap gets worn out here. In many cases, this wad "repeats its refrain too much."

The second part of gameplay is ammo and weapons. How is that? Well its a mixed bag TBH. There are levels where you won't have enough shotgun shells or rockets, and somewhere you run out of ammo completely. (I almost gave this wad a 3 but decided not to.) This was done with the intention of artificially increasing the difficulty, and levels become tedious because of it. (I understand the "Tyson" map idea, but come on, punching a caco, how bout no!.)


My last point relates to this wad being "boom compatible." Sure, it was configured for that but not all levels run in PR or GLboom. (Map 24 in particular.) and besides that the intermission screen text doesn't appear except in Z or GZDoom (There is also audio in maps you wont hear. That said, playing this in GZDoom or ZDoom is highly recommended (and that's what this wad is meant to be played in. doh!)


So to wrap it up, overall, the maps are beautiful and offer something unique in terms of look and even gameplay, but the lack of ammo and symmetrical design might leave you running around scratching your head on what to do to pass the level. (I honestly didn't struggle much but have seen it enough to bring it up.

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Walter confetti

· Edited by Walter confetti


Visually impressive, musically smooth af, but the levels starts to show their full potential not until the second episode. A really beautiful megawad, i don't quite enjoyed big part of  the first episode with their arena-like design, with some rare exceptions. Also a pair of maps (MAP04 and MAP19, even a small section in MAP26) have a very cryptic progression for the map, even with the small sizes of MAP04 and MAP19.


Best maps: MAP01, MAP08, MAP11, MAP15, MAP16, MAP17, MAP18, MAP21, MAP24, MAP25, MAP27, MAP29


Interesting maps: MAP06, MAP13, MAP26, MAP28, MAP32


"It could be better": MAP31, especially the first half that made me hate that boring gray structure of ass. Also big part of episode one maps.


"Worst" maps: MAP04, MAP09, MAP19

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There's not too much for me to say about this one. While it isn't exactly my jam 100% of the time, I'm struggling to see how any creative endeavor could entertain me so thoroughly, throughout all the 32 parts of it. Ancient Aliens is charming, somewhat challenging, mysterious, well-paced... I could iterate over plenty of different variations of lavish praise, but I guess that in and of itself describes my feelings: AA is remarkably well-rounded. A DOOM blockbuster - and I use that description as an honest compliment rather than the pejorative it's sometimes thought of. One for the ages, and it'll be one of the WADs to which many of my future experience will be compared.



In case anyone cares, these are my favorite levels (yeah, there's a bunch):


MAP04 - Bad Medicine Men

MAP07 - Dare to Fly where Eagles Soar

MAP09 - The Nectar Flow

MAP15 - Wormhole Junction

MAP16 - Leave your Sol Behind

MAP21 - Cyberbullying: Beyond Earth

MAP22 - Acerola Orion

MAP23 - Trinary Temple

MAP26 - Egyptian Metaphysics

MAP29 - The Ones Behind it All


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I love SkillSaw's work and this is a magnificent wad, but I am writing this review to mark it for folks like me, who would love the level design, but wouldn't connect with the gameplay. Which is fine, no wad is made for every player.


What didn't work for me in this megawad - as far as I checked it out, playing several levels from different packs - was gameplay geared towards maneuverability and making it without strong weapons and much ammo.


To me Doom is a shooter. When faced with a lot of strong enemies, I would like to be able to get them down with a double shotgun or a rocket launcher. These levels are more about running around quickly with a gun, a berserk pack and a shotgun with only a few shells. In he middle of the level you typically get a chaingun.


And that just turns the game into a platformer for me, which is fine, just not my kind of gameplay.


The design and music are top notch. Even the menu is eye candy. I wanted to adore this project, but I just cannot connect with it.


I will, however, keep it on my hard drive and return to it from time to time. Will update this review if I ever get it.

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it fun


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Osmosis Bones


I'm starting to think maybe it was aliens

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baja blast rd.


973 out of 1012 stars


An all-time classic that is a shining model of how to seamlessly integrate gameplay, visuals, concept, music, and meme into a thoroughly enjoyable package that appeals to both experienced players and newcomers alike. 


There is still clear room for improvement -- most stars were lost for failing to hit the McGeeism quota, and a few maps (especially the esselmap) called for a stewboy rearrangement of Toto's "Africa" -- so here is hoping the sequel is even better.

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This map is beautiful to look at and amazing to play. It reminds me of a something I'd see from a map in the late 90s and I love it.

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I forgot to review it when I first finished it, but I played it again with final doomer so I think it's time.


Ancient aliens is beautiful, and it plays as well as it looks.  SkillSaw gives some of his best maps in his career, only matched by his heartland performance.  But the heavy lifting is really done by the presentation, stewboys midis always fit, and the fact the soundtrack is bespoke is incredible.  I personally enjoy all of the maps, only the secret maps have any issues fitting in, and secret maps are allowed to not be great.  My only issue with the wad are the inconsistent 3rd episode, and ironically it's skillsaw's work in that episode that is probably the worst (So good, but not as good as the earlier work in the wad) as the rest of the team turns in great work.  

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Are we moving on from the NUTS meme reviews and making serious Ancient Aliens reviews now?


Okay, here's mine:


I have played this, and I plan to play it again...

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i loved this wad! the theme is pretty good, and the music is nice!

the thing i disliked about it its basically the thing you grab a key and automatically... archvile. Besides that i really loved this wad :))

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Taw Tu'lki


Nice and very beautiful atmosphere. Good WAD. I love it. 5/5

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Jacek Bourne


I did not enjoy this at all, however it is very well made and mostly looks very nice. I cannot rate it lower than 3 without becoming unreasonable.

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How could i miss this gem for all this time...

This is going to inspire me so much, level design is fantastic, top level creativity and a nice challenge. Texture usage is perfect and new sprites and monsters fit in perfectly.


1000/5, easily one of the best megawads ever made!

Thank you Skillsaw!!

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Ancient Aliens is one of those WADs that, once you play it, you'll understand exactly why it won a Cacoward. Skillsaw designed this 32 MAP masterpiece, a HUGE step up for me since all I've cleared besides stock Doom and Doom II was Eviternity.


The WAD starts with a quiet desert day and a peyote pipe, and launches you into a hectic level set filled with Archviles, Cyberdemons, annoying Arachnotrons, and a couple of new enemies: the Stealth Alien who runs around cloaked until it stops to shoots bolts of plasma at you, and the Alien Guardian which looks like a floating skull-cube that pumps a triple barrage of Revenant missiles at you. The HP on these guys is thankfully low, but the monster placement is (mostly) so well placed they don't become as much of a pain as you might think.


The environments are extremely pretty to look at; the first episode has you in a sort-of New Mexico/Egyptian vibe with stone structures and sunset skies. The second takes you to the stars as you explore massive alien structures and study strange hieroglyphics. And finally, the last has you starting on a distant planet, exploring the landscape to discover who the aliens are and what they want with you. Skillsaw's use of textures is fantastic. Deep purples and blues really sell the vibes, and some borrowed bits round out a great space for the player to fight in.


Another great factor is the music. Stewboy lays down some great tracks, with everything from upbeat techno to Native American sounds. One of my favorites is The Incessant Flow of Time, paired with MAP 02 it sets a great tone for the WAD. You can find the soundtrack on Bandcamp and I would highly recommend listening to it, even if you don't play this WAD.


Finally, the levels are top notch. Skillsaw has a style you soon learn to recognize. He gives a little and demands a lot out of you with interesting traps and tricks to make the player adapt to new conditions and really consider their next move. The rocket turret of Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp, the frantic arena of Wormhole Junction, the berserk-fueled rage of Crash Landing, and the mini levels from Leave Your Sol Behind. Ancient Aliens has fantastic level design with fair fights and great surprises.


There are a few notable outside contributions: Joshy puts up two great levels (even with one having a very nasty Archvile trap), AD_79 comes in with Code later in the third episode, and the famous Culture Shock by Chris Kassap with some changes by Skillsaw. Stewboy even throws in a great MAP 31. However, there are a few poor maps: Acerola-Orion by esselfortium is great except for the inability to explore the level again after entering the final arena (something that Skillsaw always seems to remember for those of us who want to kill first and find secrets later); Trinary Temple by Pinchy is a slog for the first half, having to deal with distant hitscanners and a nasty final room with 2 Cyberdemons in an enclosed space; and Egyptian Metaphysics by Tarnsman is practically Plutonia with the Ancient Aliens skin, as there are WAY too many chaingunners for my tastes.


But overall, this WAD is a masterpiece. A fantastic challenge for both new and old players, this WAD will test your abilities and force you to improve or die. What's the best map pack of 2016? I'm not saying it's Ancient Aliens, but...

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Skillsaw is a genius. This is a legendary megawad with amazing level design, unique visual style and tones of new ideas. Levels are very non-linear, mostly arena-like. After every ten levels you lose all your weapons and start over, making berserk packs much more useful. One complaint: There's just too many teleporter ambushes. 

Brutal compatibility: The map pack is playable with Brutal Doom/Project Brutality, only with some minor graphical glitches, except for around three maps by the end of the game that contain too many monsters for the scripts to handle. Had to iddqd through a few encounters on those maps because FPS dropped to single digits.

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Decent slaughtery WAD with cool palette, interesting levels (although lot of cheap traps in the second half), and an amusing theme.

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[McD] James


I really can't think of anything to nitpick about this masterpiece. Probably the best megawad I've ever played through. 

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Even though I do not like the idea of aliens being the doom demons, I love this wad, is beatiful because uses the things I love, the space bases and exploration of the universe


the second and third episode, they are really masterpieces because you see the amount of work of the creator and you really see his dedication


also some maps are ruins something that really valued since I am a lover of history so it was fascinating


Although I got stuck on some maps since the switches were too hidden, I managed to get through


I think the only thing I find bad is that their palette destroys a few mods, but if you do not care about the colors, then this is a wad that I recommend!


and also the end, it's something that really, you say



but they are details and if you like the pretty and funny maps I recommend it


5/5 Gaia74

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· Edited by SilverMiner


Overall that's cool wad. (I said that's cool of only two lumps here: the PLAYPAL and the COLORMAP, ok the graphics and maps too :)


But... It said: Boom compatible. But I can't run this in Boom.

( Hehe, they thought I won't check this :)


And so on, ofc, action scripts were used these only work afaik in Eternity 3.40+ and not old Zdoom.


I don't like Eternal Doom sounds and also arach's and mancubi's sprites.


And again, that's cool wad


my rate was (5/5)




I've grown up a bit, and replayed this wad. The maps are too booo...oooring and my eyes and head were hurt on this. The colours are too epileptic... There's no even a bit of enthusiasm in any map.


Pushing player on a distant archvile without strong weapons IS NOT GOOD IDEA.


Forcing player to find keys and switches to lower the pillars where the keys are being IS NOT GOOD IDEA.


I really love killing large lovely hordes of lovely skeletons with only chaingun, oh yeah ^_^ (no)


I really love locked doors which look like lamps :3 (nohoohooo)


This wad weighs around 130 MBytes. Why. It loads for an hour on my gran's comp.


And more, this wad being boom compatible cannot be runt with Boom202 (OH YEAH, AND THEY THOUGHT NOBODY HERE WON'T CHECK THAT)




It'd be better if guys who made THIS got on to make a LOVELY OLDSCHOOL ADVENTURE like Monkey Island.


It's name on the idgames starts with "aa" so it smells like an OVERHYPED CLICKBAIT WAD that is even underrated by its authors at the back of their mind already.


I suggest authors of this wad to play Knee Deep in Zdoom and see that their work is total crap relating to kdizd.



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· 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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These maps are poopoo >:O

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  • File Reviews

    • By CravenCoyote · Posted
      Lots of traps and monster closets. Some switches are activated by shooting but there's nothing to really tell you about this because they look the same as other switches.   Texturing is good and enemy placement proved rather difficult at times. There aren't may health pickups on UV so it was a fight to get through.
    • By costadevale · Posted
      It's pretty good for 1994. If you don't mind having no health items at all (except in a few maps) and the outrageous amounts of cyberdemons per map, you should give it a try. It's pretty challenging and I like it. E2M3 is a bit 'eh...' though.
    • By entropy122 · Posted
      What the actual f*ck is this map. I love having 4 rockets, a shit ton of bullets and like 10 shotgun shells to take out a revenant, and whatever was in that cage. Doesn't look too bad, maybe this negativity is cus im no expert, also rather unskilled at the game?
    • By Pepo · Posted
      thank god Underhalls was the map that followed this mod as that level was able to remind me what actually competent level design looks like.
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      Not that bad, even kind of interesting find the secrets in the map! But yeah, that switches jungle is a awful choice really.