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Mid 90s 'forgotten' gems

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No Cacowards or Top 25 snubs here...what are some of the best more 'lost' 94/95/into early 96 wads that can still today provide a solidly enjoyable game? DooM I/II, doesn't matter, any length is fine too!


Starting the list myself with RRWARD02, and CASTEVIL, the later was pointed out by @Roofi in another thread. And Castle of Blood/Shamous Young works too, are obvious contenders. But far from all probably.


Note...not so much a fan of Cleimos II, BTW, everything I put above is better designed IMO.

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Back in the day when my website contained more stuff than just my own I was contacted by Brett Johnson of Half-Life fame. He wanted to have some of his old levels hosted at my site. I haven't played them since, but I do remember that they were pretty cool for their age. I think they were made in 1996. Check them out :)

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See all the file reviews by @lupinx-Kassman. There's good chance you'll stumble into something worth playing from the 90s.


Michal Mesko did some cool SP stuff. Check out The DUSK (read the Kassman review too!), Annihilation and Annihilation 2.


Every Paul Schmitz release that isn't in the Top 100 is well worth your time if you like puzzles (skip The Artifact 2004).


Andy Badorek's stuff

Edited by Catpho

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Outpost21 (this is the Doom2 version made in '95)

all of the RRWARD stuff is gold 


also these are great:

Die Young by Grzegorz Werner (also did Mt. Factory and some others)

Level Uno Redux by Michael "Prower" Reed (a remake of his 1st level) (anything by Michael "Prower" Reed is good)

anything by Michael Krause (though his sound replacements are meh in the early stuff..)

Edited by joepallai : added more

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The Abyss, very good '95 megawad that provides solid fast-paced maps, clean visuals and somewhat punchy gameplay. Easy for the experienced, yet satisfying, maybe the latter maps on continuous unless you're fine with just a chaingun and shotgun sometimes. 

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I think I recalled another I'd been trying to remember: Hell Run (the single level...not the E2 replacement)

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1) Go to their profile

2) Click on "View their activity"



Look at the "Downloads" section and you should see "file reviews". It contains all of kassman's /idgames comments

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10 hours ago, Bryan T said:

Here's a wad for zdoom that contains a ton of classic wads in a HUB format. https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=61211

A must for fans of the early works.

Just gave this a try and it is absolutely amazing how much content is available through the HUD. The one thing that is, unfortunately, heavily ruining things for me is those atrocious zombiemen voice clips. I don't know why ZDoom mods seem to like giving the undead voices that make them sound like soliders. Yes, in Doom 3 we get some garbled static. These guys, however, call out to each other like I'm fighting an opposing squad in COD. That has the opposite effect on immersion for me; these undead sound more "human" than "former human" and I really, really wish there was the option to disable their vocalizations.

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1 hour ago, 666shooter said:

The one thing that is, unfortunately, heavily ruining things for me is those atrocious zombiemen voice clips

I didn't know such a thing existed but it seems fairly trivial to just delete the sound file from the wad.

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From 1996, I would add Infected Area (replaces Maps 1 through 7 and has a great backstory) to the list.


I agree that Michael "Prower" Reid did very good work. Even though the bulk of his maps, including his "The Seventh" series, were posted from 1997 to 2001 (and are actually out of scope for this thread), you should still look them up. He also released a few maps through 2006.


Additionally, I came across these newsgroup threads from 1994 (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/alt.games.doom/fSyqALn5ZuM) and 1995 (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/rec.games.computer.doom.playing/NsSz2AmtPsE) complete with fun questions such as "which of the 500+ levels you should get?"


Some of what's listed is on Top 100 lists and is rather well-known (e.g., Galaxia and Unholy Trinity), or has been mentioned on this thread already (Outpost 21). Avoiding them, and the deathmatch only levels (like the Ledges series), it looks like you have these (there are many other maps listed, but these seem to have been considered the cream of the crop by these individuals):

  • Invasion (level 1 and level 2 -- they replace E1M1 and E1M2, respectively -- it looks like Andy Chen and Claude Martins never made the rest of the maps, or at least never posted them to idgames -- only level 1 is mentioned in those threads, but level 2 seems good, too)
  • Dragon12 (replaces E1M2)
  • Escape.wad (replaces E1M4)
  • Escape.wad (replaces Map 01 and is not a revision of the previous map)
  • The Wasteland Series (replaces E2M1, E2M2, and E2M3 -- only Mountain of Fire, which was the second, was explicitly mentioned in the threads)
  • Tree3.wad (replaces E1M1, E1M2, and E1M3)

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1 hour ago, Bryan T said:

I didn't know such a thing existed but it seems fairly trivial to just delete the sound file from the wad.

Apparently it is the "Compen-Play" that causes the annoying sound replacements. There's also a new HUD, but I can live without that. I tried two different Wads and they seemed to start up and play fine, so I guess you don't have to load that file alongside it. Which was really confusing, since that's where the majority of the download is located. xD

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