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Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures #1 [A WAD diving, exploration & review adventure for everyone!]

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Posted (edited)

Day 4


My adventure ends if I stop or I die. I don't review the wad where I die/quit.


Wad 1) chgcol11.zip by gerry browne (1995)


Little graphic mod which may be a bit useful for purist deathmatchers. I copy-paste the description.


"With two player deathmatches one of the players is green and the other grey. On most WADs this gives the grey player and advantage because grey is harder to see. This archive contains recolored player sprites to make all the players appear the same colour. I have only used it on two player modem games but three and four player games will have the same effect."


Wad 2) Forgotten Place by Christopher Emirzian (Udderdude) (2007)









Well, this is a really long level. I took 47 minutes to complete it but I had a good time.


You have to explore a large brown fortress lost in a sort of forest of dead trees.We are introduced to this dark universe from the beginning, starting outside in areas without monsters.


However, contrary to its appearance, the level is full of monsters. I could say that the gameplay is similar to a HR2 or Alien Vendetta map, with lots of narrow spaces full of monsters and where the SSG is our main weapon.


There are plenty of rooms to explore and the close-quarters combats were fun for me, although ammo tends to be a bit scarce at times. My main complaint about this map is that the progression relies a lot on switch-hunt with metal bars to lower. It gets confusing in the long run and it's sometimes hard to know what you've activated.

The level contains some new textures and sounds that are discreetly inserted into the map. This map uses the music of Doom' E1M3. I like this track and it definitely adds a suspenseful mood. However I would like to hear something more mystic.


Wad 3) SLUGFEST.WAD by Shamus Young (1995)












Funny anecdote, yesterday while watching the DSDA twitch channel, I saw a demo of memfis on map 02 of this wad and strangely enough I came across this one while doing random file!


In any case it's a good find. Indeed, Slugfest is an episode of 10 maps which have the particularity to be small and compact, but non-linear. Most of them consist in finding three keys in a non-established order.


The levels have a fantastic gameplay and layout. Aesthetically, it is above average compared to other wads released at the time. I absolutely love the blue sky and the mix of textures is particularly interesting in some places such as the fairly heavy use of beige brick in some levels. 


If I could compare this wad to wads of today, they would be levels made by James Paddock.


However, expect an array of cheesy sounds and facing the mapper's head as the final boss! The 90's oblige.


Wad 4) WinDEU for Beginners: A Pictorial Guide (Microsoft Word Document) by John W. Anderson (aka Dr Sleep) (2004)


The famous mapper Dr Sleep wrote a very detailed guide to learn you how to make doom maps with WinDEU. Very useful guide except if you are a healthy-minded who uses GZdoombuilder.


All kidding aside, the guide contains mapping tips that can be applied to all software, such as explanations of the types of actions for linedefs. Keep it in a corner.





I got crushed in the beginner mapset Don't care, make one up for yourself :) map 05.





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Here's another one. It's called Ratzepimmel's World, it's from 1996, the author is 'Jan "Ratzepimmel" Mehler' and apparently it comes from the subsection of early doom efforts centered around slotting in pornographic content into maps. Modding a game was not only a novelty in itself in 1996, putting custom content in a 3d engine was double novel -- a powerful tool for materializing and immersing oneself in one's desires. As Frankie would put it, a Pleasuredome, heh.

We can look at Second Life or VR Chat for the continuation of this tangent of expressing sexuality and lust through immersive 3d experience, and it has been a continuous tangent, historically. 3d immersive space, first person embodiment and sensuality. This wad in particular may be gross and sophomoric but I think I'll resist the moralizing and just look at it like a little bit of cyberpunk-anthropology. How did this happen and what does it mean? 


The map itself is bare-bones to the point where there's no exit at all, and most of the encounters are just there to complicate a deathmatch setup. However it'd be a mistake to assume that the author (a 16 year old punk rock kid by his own admission in the text file) didn't care about their map, as said text file also reads:

*          This is a new version of my Porndoom-file                  *
*  It containes one new graphik (the coolest I have got) and   *
*  I changed a little bit the map (mainly allignment-repairs)    *

So the clearly German-speaking author cared enough to find his 'coolest graphik' and update his map and do 'allignment-repairs'.

The fairly random encounters in the map serve only to delay reaching the porn, in essence. Furthermore pay attention to the weird central midtexture teleporter maze room that I theorize was what the author started doing before they decided to devolve the map into a smut gallery. The combination of these vestigial little teleporter puzzles and semi-constructed fights all serve the function of a strange sort of 'pleasure delay' for the person that downloads this hoping to see 3d textures of pornography. There is a different version of any such porn wad where you load it up and immediately are in a room full of smut, is what I'm saying. This is why I decided to post these thoughts about this one, because of the interesting (and probably unintentional) transitional quality of this map from a deathmatch arena by a 16 year old to a "I'm gonna shock my friends on irc with porn in doom" ambition that probably arose from the frustration of actually completing a competent deathmatch arena. This transitional quality is interesting to me because it is very revealing of the psychology of the doom player and mapper of that age, of that time and internet circumstance. 

At 0:00 we see two textured signs welcoming us Ratz's world, and his well wishes for a painful death. At this point I am sure the author wasn't intending to make a pornowad. But how revealing is it that we do, indeed, step into his 16 year old libidinal reality, anyway? This isn't the sort of thing you would ever get to experience playing any commercial game, fps or otherwise. The uncensored creativity of a young person, no matter how unplayable or gross the result, is there, on the idgames archive, preserved for posterity 25 years later. Also, welcome to a painful death? Eros, thanatos, a release all the same. Oh, well.

00:35 German punk rock band 'Germ Attack', formed in 1992, is blessed with making an appearance in this 1995 pornowad. Angry red ms paint anarchy alphas line the walls. A purely decorative chainsaw in the corner. Already we are veering out of the space of 'deathmatch arena' and more into the 'hi, welcome to my cyberden' realm of early internet self expression through architecture, arrangement of symbolic elements, etc. A space that would be colonized thoroughly, later, by a plethora of games selling you virtual couches to put in your virtual room online and have other people come visit. 

This opening room has a very punk rock feeling not just because of the germ attack and anarchy alphas. The central teleporter jail, the burning barrels, the texture selection, I think Ratz was actually expressing himself, here, fairly successfully, in the context of age, means and technology available. 

2:13 I'm not sure I'm supposed to jump over the burning barrel (in 1996, no less) but I see no other path forward, plus fuck the rules, this is punk rock 

2:24 We break out in a symmetrical deathmatch arena kind of room with Nightmare on Elm Street and Hellraiser posters up on the wall. The amalgamation of "some of my favorite things" and deathmatch arena continues. I wonder through such rooms and think, did kids that are now 50 years old zoom around with rocket launchers in this virtual space, really? I'm doing some haunted archeology in this long-abandoned deathmatch playroom, but also in a long-abandoned virtual home for an edgy teenager from 1996. 

2:45 This room with loads of enemies in it just looks like an early mapper experiment more than anything functional or relative to the deathmatch concept. It does have, however, the curious effect of feeling like a stacked waiting room before you get to the porn. Certain things line up by accident if you're a human making human things, it doesn't have to be by intention, it is because of libidinal volition. We are about to experience a drastic shift of focus from "check out my favorite horror movie posters and my music collection" to "check out this crusty porno mag I found in the woods". As odd as it may appear, if we leave aside the moralization or cringe element of this, we are basically hanging out with this Ratz kid, back in 1996. The invitation is eternal.

3:08 We HAVE to get invulnerability before we go into the room with the bonemen and the cyber, and now this is where I have to note this cascade of events leads us to a cramped cyberdemon fight with a lady frozen masturbating right on the periphery of our vision in a room that could only be described as menstrual bloodfalls. I find it so curious and fascinating that to get to this Ratz gave us invulnerability, as if to hype us up for the moment? To make sure we are bounced around by the cyber harmlessly as we're trying to look at the smut? To make us feel literally invincible and superheroic before we are about to in a virtual sense get sexual with a lady? To immunize us from the lady cooties? There's many ways to read this libidinal sequence, and it's also quite fascinating that to get to this room you stumble through fake walls while chaingunners pepper you futilely. It is a confused, dangerous, exhilarating, stumbling mess of a transition. Much, I would imagine as Ratz's conception of what sexual experience at that age.

3:16 I enter the vulva. Of course there's a fuckin' archvile in the porn room. 

The smut on the walls we will discuss a bit later. The interesting experience worth talking about here is how it feels to be surrounded by pieces of pornography you barely have any time to look at while a cyberdemon steps in this 'room of shame' to hound you. This is not a guilt-free room, for Ratz, otherwise there wouldn't be an archie and a cyber to reprimand you for your vices. Not as punk rock as Ratz thought he'd be when it comes right down to it. I am thinking of a german 16 yeard old punk kid with his tiny red mohawk blushing as I actually do look at the crusty porno mag he found in the woods.

4:02 I will forever be haunted by this emergent collage of lady plus dog plus cyberdemon. A curse is cast upon me upon death. Ratz had his way with my vulnerable psyche, in the end. All I can do to fight the curse is >resurrect and return to my defense-as-analysis of this cultural artifact, thank you very much.

4:38 To exit the porn room you have to steadfastly enter the bestiality image. Ratz wants you to embrace the sordid element of his presentation, not even just to acknowledge it. Surrounding that image are much more tame depictions of nudity, closeups of genitals, lesbian love, oral sex etc. The bestiality picture (which I presume is one Ratz added to this in his  exciting update of this work) sticks out from the rest as on both a different realm of perversion/legality: the centerpiece of the shock value of the map. This is why I think this map has no exit, because all you can do is loop back from the bestiality picture to Ratz's living room with the horror movie posters. The juvenile equivalent of seeing something too terrible in the porno mag, closing it to avoid psyche damage (futilely) and having a laugh with your friend before putting on the Black Sabbath again or going downstairs to watch a movie. Only to later, sneak back up and burn your retinas, again on this media transgression you found. So, these things exist in the world as well. People do this. How do I feel about this? Let's put it in a doom wad and find out through how other people feel about it.

You can stop watching the video at this point nothing much of interest happens until I select a picture and pull out my phallic rocket launcher and explode myself all over it (apropos to everything) to end the video. 

Final thoughts

There is a layer of discomfort here beyond the obvious cringe of a teenaged boy showing us his virtual porno mag in doom. I think it has to do with that you're killing and fighting and shooting guns all around the depictions of flesh and sex. I noticed (though, obviously, a GZDoom artifact) the burnt marks on the walls from the plasma rifle over genitalia and it gave me pause. Even back in 1996 without any decals of the like, I am sure the concept is to shoot at these images with your penile paraphernalia. In any case, as uncomfortable as all this is to look at straight-on, it is also an interesting and definitely existent part of the culture of modding, of being boys on the internet, of doom in particular. 

The community has moved to more constructive pursuits as the median age of a mapper has crossed well into the third decade, and I am sure a lot of people look at the gradual minimization of this sort of lurid juvenelia  as a welcome relief, but to understand ourselves and our culture and history it's good to remember all of our aspects and sides, not just the favorable ones. And this was definitely a kind of thing you saw for a while in the doom sphere. There is certainly something visceral about first person experience in doom, and visceral experience and lasciviousness ultimately meet. If there is something to take forward from thinking about an old, haunted wad from 1996 isn't that this stuff has no place in a game, but that if it inevitably will manifest, we should be brave and honest about what it means and how it can be used. The current that continues from the then to the new is the 'boy energy' that doom mapping, to this day is mostly about, and for. It may not be smut, but it's quite hardcore punishing challenge maps for the brave hero to overcome against all odds, etc the other side of the power fantasy that is embarassingly revealed in wads like this one. I would wander how this 1996 wad would look if a queer kid wanted to use the space to express their manifesting desires, or how it would look if *ghasp* a woman made it. Would it still have closeups of genitalia to shoot at with your rocket launcher? 

Anyway, this was Ratzepimmel's World! The next one just a doom level to kill some monsters in and have fun, I swear.


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Posted (edited)

Sunday slaughter...


everyone else in the family is playing Minecraft, so WTF, lets play another Doom level.


The randomizer gave me this:




which is a big-ass megawad with a few familiar names as authors...


As it's a megawad, I only played the first map. It's set in a mall or, as us Brits would say, a shopping centre. I have to say up front, I'd not choose this style of mapset to play.


First impressions - eye-watering visuals and really bad music. But that I think is the point, that is what shopping centres are like. From a technical PoV, clearly a lot of work has gone into it (3D floors, translucency, custom things etc.) and it does indeed feel like you are running around a hell-infested mall. The progression is solid and the gameplay is relatively easy - it is MAP01 after all. I played UV with no saves (though did not get all secrets).  I definitely got a DN3D feel from it, particularly from the mirrors in the toilets.  


Here's some screenshots:


















Not really my thing, but excellent nonetheless.

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Another day, another random choice of mine:

kboom series (Kurt Kessler, 1998, Boom - played on Boom 2.0.2 at DosBox)


boom-000.png boom-001.png

boom-002.png boom-003.png

A small canyon / hellish map from the famous kboom series,this is the 6th from the series. The Boom special stuff usage are pretty well executed, gameplay is a little bit tought especially when you enter the first building, a SSG near that point will be better. Layout is simple but cool and efficent with it's loopy design. New textures are cool, too. Also, if there's any new music in it it will be better.


Fun map overall. Nothing else to say about it.

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Day 5 | the abandoned base | 2000 | John Cartwright | Played on LZDoom + UV




comp_01.wad is a single-map WAD designed by John Cartwright in about 2000. For a map of yesteryear, though of course not as old as others, The Abandoned Base has some decent qualities that make it stand out from the pile of junk we tend to find randomly in the archives. With a simple but sophisticated design that establishes its bases well, the author manages to create a map with a good flow and a pretty decent and entertaining gameplay at times. While the map is not a marvel in any way, I can appreciate the effort that went into making this modest attempt at entertainment.The layout is particularly commendable, because during the early years of WAD-making history, one of the biggest problems was the authors' ability to create maps that felt cohesive and natural, failing to create something organic where getting lost is almost always part of the gameplay.


On the other hand, Abandoned Base is nothing more and nothing less than a decent map that satisfactorily fulfills the features presented, giving a healthy 5 to 10 minutes of gameplay in a somewhat square map, visually lackluster and with simple gameplay. A relaxing experience, to be honest.


BONUS | Waterworks - my newest map [GZDoom] | 2021 | @iUsuallyDie | Played on LZDoom + UV




A simple little map with a decent design that makes use of vanilla textures and a layout that reminds me quite a bit of the WADs of yesteryear. While the level doesn't stand out for much and features a simple gameplay system, it lives up to idealized expectations and manages to satisfy on its own merits as a short but fun map.




And that concludes this week's Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures! The first edition and a success as far as I can see. I hope you all had fun and good exploration sessions in this vast world that offers us so much. Of course, this is not the end, and tomorrow Monday the new edition will be released and we will see what else we can find on /idgames archive. ;)

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Posted (edited)

Day 2


DEIMOS - replacement missions for DOOM, Episode I (Knee-Deep in the Dead) Missions 1 and 2 - 2005(?)




Pretty short, though the pacing is top notch. You go through this... awfully undetailed and bland techbase? With a lot of pistol ammo though barely any shells (until near the end), where it becomes a really fun run-and-gun through corridors, which doesn't get repetitive due to how short the map is. Great start.

Kind of ugly but otherwise pretty fun and has good and varied pacing despite being short.




Come on man, i had high hopes...


I'll be blunt, this map wasn't playtested in UV. I've consistently got to a certain point with 1-6 HP (because the map is littered with hitscanners and NO health), at which you press a switch which reveals a platform with realistically infinite ammo for the shotgun, mega armor, and BFG with also realistically unlimited cells. So the first half is worse than playing through E1 with fast monsters (or even nightmare. seriously.), while the second half is the same as if you were playing episode 1 and decided to IDKFA and blaze through the maps without any risk of death.

I've never had my hopes for a map broken as hard as with this map.






Yep, this is something that i just found.


Believe it or not this is the most fun one so far but i will admit it's an odd taste and not everyone is going to like it, since it's a huge map and you can get lost very easily if you get sidetracked (emphasis on that last part. DO NOT GET SIDETRACKED!), but still despite it clearly showing that the author isn't a very good artist or level designer, his creativity is off the charts, which leads to some crazy encounters that keep surprising you (at a point i even smiled at an ambush because it was that surprising/fun) despite the architectural simplicity and technical primitiveness of the map.

The only hidden gem i've found so far, but if you do play it, keep in mind that this is a huge map and it's not as pretty as it is fun.




I might not check out as many today because i stumbled into too many that were just pure unremarkable low effort garbage and that last map was really long, but i still had fun :)



EDIT: Oops, i think i took a bit too long to write this, i hope it's still fine that i posted this D:


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I play Crispy Doom and Prboom


Last Mission https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/j-l/lastmisn

Fun simple level idea. A dark cavernous cave filled with imps and you have a shotgun. Atmospheric, just pity that Running From Evil is blaring instead of some ambient.


Northern Powerhouse https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/m-o/npowh

Another single level, with a unique colour palette that's primarily pink. There is this towering impressive landscape, with industrial and natural elements, that reminds me of Sunder. I think it's some sort of a battle puzzle. You're facing high tier enemies right from the bat and apart of fending them off you need to figure out how where to place your steps to keep climbing forward. I'm interested in giving this more effort.


Heartless https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom/Ports/g-i/heartles

E2M4. Vanilla assets but tastefully used with those tall blue corridors. If you overlook the rocket launcher or spend the rockets till the pinkie onslaught in the intensely growling computer room later on you'll be doomed. Kind of a challenge with the scarcity of ammo.


Forgotten Nirvana https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/g-i/gong

MAP21 but starts as a lacklustre slaughtermap. You lure hell knights into regeneration room, go down the stairs aaaand resurrection boys join the fray. I noped out

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On 3/18/2021 at 9:41 AM, Endless said:

Day 3 | Peppermint Cookie | 2020 |Timothy Brown aka @mArt1And00m3r11339 | Played on LZDoom + ITYTD


Holy fuck a slaughtermap, and this one is absolutely nuts.


By the end of the map there is an insane (and ridiculous) totality of 9000+ enemies on a large square map designed perfectly to become the largest massacre arena I've ever played. Many probably know that I'm not a fan of slaughterwads and their gameplay, but I can appreciate the (violent) charisma they convey. What we have here is a map with huge ambitions but not so great executions. On the one hand, my biggest problem with this map is the simple fact that my potato PC can't run it properly for the first 5 minutes. There are too many enemies, too much combat and an insane amount of Pain Elementals spitting out Losts Souls per second. Seriously. For every 10 demons I managed to kill with the BFG, another 10 Lost Souls would take their place. The kill counter kept growing and the action wouldn't let you rest for a single second.


This is a 2020 map, finally something modern in /idgames Random File feature; on the other hand it's just not my style, but I won't let prejudice completely ruin my rating of this. On the one hand, it's a simple map, simple in terms of its red and white design. It's supposed to be a sort of Christmas present for doomers who love to bust their heads against 9000+ demons at the same time. On the other hand, the type of combat we find here is nothing more and nothing less than pure BFG spam. It's not complicated, but it's damn difficult and victory will depend more on our patience and how well we know how to do circle-strafing. If you love unlimited violence on a gigantic map where everything, absolutely everything, is filled with enemies as grotesque as they are varied, then you'll have more than enough to keep you entertained for a good, good while. Success is not guaranteed, but pain is. The MIDI is a good match for the ridiculous style and constant frenzy of this massacre, as well as the simplicity of the color scheme that creates a perfect backdrop for painting it red. Blood red.


Unfortunately I wasn't able to complete the map properly because 1) I don't enjoy slaughter most of the time. Sorry. 2) My FPS went to 5 FPS at its worst and about 20 FPS for most of the game, which killed any fun I could had. I wasn't even capable of taking a decent picture because I needed to downscale my resolution to 0.50 to play it. Not the mappers fault, but my shitty PC fault.


Maybe some masochists out there enjoy this absolute monster. Fucking hard, but completeable.

Thanks for the feedback. I can't wait to see someone try my Lemon Blueberry Cake Carnage map. Good luck surviving that map because it is excruciatingly long (has over 15K 9/11'ers from the start and takes an average player 9 - 10 in-game hours to complete). You will need a good computer to run it because it has 55K linedefs.

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Posted (edited)

The randomizer mostly picks single maps, if not deathmatch or some zdoom stuff. I waited until I drew a megawad.


Estranged https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/megawads/estrangd

My impression after diving into, but not finishing a few levels is thus: it does a really good job blending Doom 1's themes with Doom 2's attention to detail. So it genuinely has the feel of the original games, giving the impression of playing Doom 1 and Doom 2 at the same time. The important thing is that it doesn't seem tedious or boring. The lowest point is probably the soundtrack which mostly consists of The Ultimate Doom tracks. I quickly came to the conclusion that I appreciate this wad and want to play more of it.

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13 hours ago, <<Rewind said:

Forgotten Nirvana https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/g-i/gong

MAP21 but starts as a lacklustre slaughtermap. You lure hell knights into regeneration room, go down the stairs aaaand resurrection boys join the fray. I noped out


Thanks for trying it, i re-played this some months ago and... Yeah it's not the best work i made, there's also a broken switch after the red skull(?) door iirc. But yes, this map is hard... but I think it's beatable without cheats

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Posted (edited)

Hmm... Got this:












OK! A 1996 map by Kevin Waugh - says he was 12 at the time. The readme implies it is designed for deathmatch. Let's see:

Yep, it's deathmatch only. Nice design, though a few visual glitches with sky:














Argh! A 1 v 1 deathmatch level.





"Hell's Revenge"


All right! A Fiffy map. I remember him from back in the day and had fun on some of the Fiffy maps.



Let's see about this one:


GZDoom 4.4, UV


 - Custom spash screen: Check

 - Custom music: check

 - Custom sounds: check (nice beefy weapons sounds)

 - Custom textures: check

 - Shootable textures: check (breakable windows)


This is not one I have played before, though s I noted I have played Fiffy maps before and really enjoyed them.


Playability: This is excellent old school stuff, with very good progression and nice monster usage.

Design: very nicely done and never confusing. It flows well, and no noticeable alignment or HOM issues 

Custom stuff: Some nice sound replacements for weapons, a nice shootable breaking window effect, wading water in a couple of places

Oh, and a review by our own @Doomkid


It's quite long - getting on for an hour and I still haven't found the blue key - well, I found it with IDDT, but I can't get to it. Having said that, so far it is excellent. I'll come back to this later on, but so far no deaths on UV.


Part 1, screenshots:

























































Edited by smeghammer

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