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What are your top 5 hell-themed maps?

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Hello ! Officials games and wads made by the community contain a lot of various hell-themed maps. So just for the fun , let's make our own top 5 favourite hellish maps. :)

Try to explain why you love these maps.


For me , from the "worst" to the best :


5/ "Black Tower" by Sverre André Kvernmo





My favorite hell map for the vanilla format. This is one of Kvernmo's maps for master levels. Several things make me love this level:


- The gimmick "rise to the top" by climbing the floors
- The enigmatic progression with hidden switches
- Vicious and creative fights using darkness in particular.


4) Hell Revealed 2 Map 29 "Hell's Cauldron" By Jonas Feragen.





One of my favorite 29 maps from the doom community. The reasons that make me love this level are :


- Epic music made by Thyrbse that goes well with the fights.
- The gimmick "rise to the top" once again, but in a mountain.
- The slaughter aspect with many ennemies.


3) Dark Resolution 2008's map 10 "Soulscarred Universe" by Death-Destiny





It is in my top 3 thanks to its atmosphere that I could call "infernal but oniric". More in detail:


- An extremely memorable atmosphere with the use of Dream Theater's "Pull me Under" music (one of my favorite metal music), as well as the starry sky.

- High difficulty with brutal traps that mix well with the rhythm of the music
- A pretty map mixing hell with tech-base detailing.


2) Slaughterfest 2012's map 29 "Degrassi" by TimeOfDeath





Probably one of the maps that knows the real definition of the word "infernal". The extremely twisted music and progression suggesting that the level was created by a psychopath. :) In short, the reasons:


- Emblematic but totally strident music.
- A very long and exciting map to explore with a lot of mapping tricks and puzzles.
- Quite atypical slaughter fights
- Countless secrets to torment the maxers. :)


1) No Chance by Death-Destiny





The ranking is a little hard to do but it is one of my favorite maps from the doom community mainly for its diabolical difficulty and epicness.An emblematic level from the 2000's that I could call  "Erik Alm"s hell map on steroids".


- The hell map that has the best use of the  Symphony X's "Absence of Light" music.
- A long and non-linear map with many violent and deadly traps.
- A clever placement of monsters and items in such a way as to provide a real challenge without having to create arenas.
- A very red hell theme reinforcing the infernal aspect.
- The demos of the maxers (Ancalagon, Killer5) are exciting to watch on this map.




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I can't really think of 5 hell themed maps but I really liked Netherworld Citadel from No End In Sight and Insanity from Going Down

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I really like the aesthetic of most hell levels

Valiant- Candlecove (MAP 10)

Not sure if this qualifies as a hell level but the looks tell me that this takes place on hell or something like that. I like the open-non linear progression of this map. I really dig into the MIDI as well, fits in the map.

Whispers of Satan - Vulcana (MAP 25)

I really, REALLY like this map, the later half of Whispers of Satan is the most boring for me since the progression for the maps is the same, HUB after HUB, but this level has a cool atmosphere and a nice use of hell textures, as well as some lava falls, so It makes me forget that I'm playing a HUB map again.

Plutonia 2 - Black Ice (MAP 25)

What I like from this map is the aesthetic and the looks of it. It's pretty unusual to find a level that takes place in hell with Ice and snow textures. 

SIGIL - unspeakable persecution (E5M6)

Boi, this gotta be one of the best looking hell levels ever made with Ultimate Doom stuff. I like the cyberdemon maze at the end, it has to be one of the most memorable parts of Sigil. The atmosphere and the MIDI are amazing too.

Doom 2 - Nirvana (MAP21)

I don't get why everyone hates this level, it is a good introduction to the hell of doom 2... :) 



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In no particular order.



Anger - Scythe Map23 - Erik Alm

I really enjoy compact and punchy maps, and this is one of the best examples of that. No armour means that if you fuck up, you pay for it, and i quite like that.





Anaemia - Nova II Map29 - Tourniquet & Ribbiks

I played this map when i was just getting into mapping and it completely blew me away - the level of detail and polish just seemed absolutely impossible to me at the time. This map was a huge driving force behind me wanting to improve my mapping back in those early days. Even now i still think it is a spectacular map :)





The Burrow - Sunder Map02 - Insane_Gazebo

One of my all time favourite maps.





The Unholy Cathedral - Deus Vult II Map21 - Huy Pham

A visual masterpiece.





Grime - Death-Destiny

The first death-destiny map i played - and it instantly changed my outlook on combat design in Doom maps.





Honorable mentions:

Alien Vendetta Map29

Counterattack Map04

Doom E3M6

Hellscape Map28

Scythe Map24

Speed of Doom Map24 & 26

The Eye

Edited by Scotty

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Depends what you mean by "Hell".


Off the top of my head, and in no particular order:

-Scythe 2, map30 "Haunting Dreams": It really ties the whole wad together and the midi is great.

-Hellbound, map24 "City of Pandemonium": Massive and nonlinear. Probably the best example of a city in Hell. I particularly like the upside down buildings.

-Bloodstain, map25 "The Disciples of Babel": Another huge gothic city/fortress, with a towering cathedral looming over it. The bloody sewers linking various parts of the map are great too.

-Plutonia 2, map29 "Ticket to Eternity": It's a large, nonlinear city. In Hell.

-Valiant, map24 "None More Merciless": Emerging from The Void, you find yourself having to climb the cliffs to reach a towering skintech cathedral.


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2 hours ago, Scotty said:

In no particular order.



Anger - Scythe Map23 - Erik Alm

I really enjoy compact and punchy maps, and this is one of the best examples of that. No armour means that if you fuck up, you pay for it, and i quite like that.



Yes! I was just thinking the other day about how amazing map23 of Scythe is, shame about that archvile skip though, otherwise the speedrun would be a lot more interesting.

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XXXI CyberSky [Eternal]

In all honesty, to me, this might just be the best single custom map ever made for this game. Epic and gorgeous, quite lengthy yet never boring or dull, and the style of action is definitely right up my alley. Whenever I revisit this one I immediately fall in love with it, again and again. What else to say?


Eleven (Tuning Contest WAD map08) [Eternal]

This might be one of Eternal's more humble "hardcore" offerings in terms of scale (which is understandable given its base), yet it's ungodly fun to play, an extremely versatile slaughtermap that pits you against frighteningly dense opposition, yet it's so generous with supplies and gives you so much freedom that you essentially forge your own way of having fun while blasting those demonic hosts into oblivion. Brilliant, and yes, I definitely would recommend this one to those looking for "entry-type" slaughtermaps, as well as for great slaughtermaps in general.


Belial's Bad Brain [Eternal]

Obviously inspired by the entry below, this map still manages to expand upon its source of inspiration in a rather intriguing way, adding interesting twists and references, and, of course, throwing in even more fun combat scenarios for good measure. Yet again, I can hardly imagine becoming bored throughout its considerable length, so there, we're at it again.


The 24 Cyber Spirits (oneweek.wad map11) [Erik Alm]

The above entry's progenitor isn't too shabby either, the behemoth spawned by the one and only, Erik Alm even before all those works that made him famous, this oldschool-aligned slaughtermap stands quite tall among its peers, sporting a notable degree of nonlinearity, considerable length and delightfully frantic action all packed into one endearingly daunting ordeal not intended for the faint of heart. Legendary stuff.


The 32-nd Dimension (32 Inch Nails map05) [Eternal]

Probably the hardest map from this author, this is very much Eternal's take on Deus Vult (mostly influenced by map02 but also having nods towards its other maps), and it definitely means business, Huy Pham should be proud. The scale of this map is jawdropping, the opposition is overwhelmingly omnipresent and harsh, yet there's more than enough variety to keep things fresh while it lasts (which at this point shouldn't be surprising I suppose); this beast will keep brutally tearing you to pieces until you figure it out, discern its pace and learn to come (or rather run) along with it, yet I can't help but to say it's totally worth it. This map sure leaves one hell of a lasting impression.


Honorable mentions:

Deus Vult II map21 "The Unholy Cathedral"

Scythe map26 "Fear"

Alien Vendetta map29 "Fire Walk With Me"

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Hell is kind of a vague theme. Maps with red rock and/or lava seem to be taken to be explicitly hellish, but why? Are quake 1 maps hellish? Would they be hellish if they had red bits? Doom 2 has several maps set in hell that essentially have no hellish features. Are those hell-themed maps?


Anyway, for my list I mostly went for maps with an archaic/eerie/dark setting, particularly if they had red highlights. Ordered with my favorites at the top:


1. Inverti in Darkness (sunlust map20)

2. Dying on Cue/Gloomy Glacier (sunlust map24/summer of 69 map05)

3. The Bloodwall (plutonia 2 map28)

4. The Hag's Finger (sunder map10)

5. idk what to put here. ks29? sl28?

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3 hours ago, Grain of Salt said:

Hell is kind of a vague theme. Maps with red rock and/or lava seem to be taken to be explicitly hellish, but why? Are quake 1 maps hellish? Would they be hellish if they had red bits? Doom 2 has several maps set in hell that essentially have no hellish features. Are those hell-themed maps?


1. Inverti in Darkness (sunlust map20)

2. Dying on Cue/Gloomy Glacier (sunlust map24/summer of 69 map05)

It is vague, which is why I tried to pick something more conventionally Hellish. Fire and brimstone, flesh and blood, and gothic architecture full of occult symbolism. As for Doom 2, a lot of the E3 maps don't feel like they're in Hell whatsoever. More like a combination of underground caves and industrial. Something like Inverti in Darkness would be more in the abstract/void territory. Otherwise I would have picked God Machine. Dying on Cue is also underground/tech themed.

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1) Scythe Map23 (Anger) by Erik Alm

Of all of the hell themed maps that he made, this one hits the sweet spot in terms of being fun to play. Nothing special in technical aspects, but it gets the basics right down to a tee.


2) Alien Vendetta Map29 (Fire Walk With Me) by Andy Johnson 

The best hell themed map in AV, after a couple of rather maps which were a slog, you end up with this shorter map which has so many memorable moments which have been copied many times since (The revenant curve for example). It is an oppressive blast to work through from start to finish.


3) Going Down Map26 (Insanity) by Mouldy

This is a fantastic reveal which suddenly turns a sterile grey series of corridors and boxy rooms into a twisted mess of flesh, metal and blood which I can only assume took a long long time to get right. The level plays well, which isn't really a surprise given the wad as a whole is decent in that regard.


4) Deus Vult Map02 (Torture Chamber) by Huy Pham

Of all the sections of Deus Vult, I think most remember the second section the most. That drop at the start and walking through the lava to reveal this gigantic cavern of red with monsters approaching from all angles. In terms of incidental combat it was certainly the hairiest and I think this helped it over the others which tended to heavily rely on rather crude lock-in type scenarios.


5) Hell Revealed Map24 (Post Mortem) by Yonatan Donner

I guess this one has to be in the list, purely from a "WTF" point of view. Upon the release of Hell Revealed, this was the high point of difficult maps with a start which gives you the choice of near instant death or jumping into a sea of damaging floors, the multiple nasty ambushes along the way. It certainly leaves a lasting impression to this day.

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1. Ultimate Doom: E3M4. The eerie background music, the flesh textures, the tortured corpses, in blood pool vista, the confusing skull switch puzzle. Yes, this is hell.

2. Doom 2: tie between the creepy hell of Map 27 and the full-on fire and brimstone hell of map 28


Final Doom doesn't have memorable pure hellish maps. Which leaves me space to choose 3 pwad maps.


3. No End in Sight: E3M5 Forgotten Caverns. This levels combines the "fire and brimstone" and "twisted reality" themes to create a very uncomfortable and dangerous environment which really feels like being very deep in hell.

4. TNT Revilution: map 12 (transduction) and map 16 (Devil's Den) both have a very disturbing hellish atmosphere. If I really have to choose, I would pick map 16. Disorientation + a constant feeling of danger + darkness + confusing puzzles + too many arch-viles = hell.

5. PRCP: map 15 "Enigma Helix". To quote the author: "one of his most diabolical creations".

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