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Doom Wadarcheology - To dig, rediscover and enjoy the classics.

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The Entryway 2.1 - 10/22/1995 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a really well-made WAD by John Walker IV. There is lightcasting and shadowcasting, careful texturing and clean geometry - very nice to see for this time period.

The map has about 150 enemies in it, and most of these are predominately lower-tier goons - there are more dangerous demons later on in the map, though, as you progress through it.


The fighting in this level is pretty easy, but it is never not fun. There are a lot of traps in this level - teleporter traps, monster closets, etc. My favorite trap is probably the one where 3 revenants pop out after picking up the yellow key - it is probably one of the harder fights in this map, and that's not saying much. Another combat situation I really enjoyed was when you're having to fight 2 hellknights and a baron, while cacos emerge from crackle4 caverns set into the walls. This wasn't a gruelling battle, it was just nice to see a map this early using well set up traps.


There are 3 secrets in this map, one is triggered just going through the map normally; the only other secret I found was the plaz one - kind of a weird placement for this weapon so close to the end of the map - I think I was at 120/145 monsters slain when I picked this up. Oh well, it was useful for the baron / caco fight...


There are 2 small complaints I have for this level. The first being that in one instance, the author uses an unconventional door texture - this is early in the map, and is before you pick-up the blue key to go to the next area - the 'door' uses one of those metal textures w/ the lights at the bottom of it. The second issue is that you need to press a weirdly specific area of a wall adjacent to an elevator - this is not obvious, but not the worst, as the author made it obvious that this is an elevator, by the use of the classic 'steps' texture -  you need to press an unseen switch just to the right of the 2 medikits in my 3rd screenshot. Once you know these two little details, there should be no issue in completing this map - the rest is really quite straight forward.


Very fun map. Looks and plays far better than you'd think from a 1995 project - I suggest you check it out, if you're just looking for an easy experience - this one won't cause the average doomer much trouble. Shame this was the author's last map - he never finished the 'Unholy' series. He has another 2 well-received maps on /idgames; I bet those are just as fun as this one was!










Download link: https://bit.ly/31wzOGS

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ZAK1 - 11/30/1995 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a map by both Dale Maltby and Wayne Marland. This is a very difficult level for the time - well, at least I had some trouble w/ it.


The map starts off giving you a single shotty, a box of shells, and a blue armor. Be careful, that blue armor has a very deadly trap connected to it - once you pick up the armor, all four walls in the room open up, and a mix of cacos and imps begin to engage you. It is really difficult to survive this encounter if you attempt to stay on the raised path around the lava pit - I recommend angling yourself to grab the blue armor, and then immediately rushing into that tunnel visible in my first screenshot. This is the only way I know of to survive this battle reliably.


There are about 70 enemies in this level - so quite a low monster count, but that doesn't make any difference to this map's difficulty. The enemy placement is so jarring, and so aggressive at times, that it may seem to border on 'unfair'. I thought some of the fights weren't fair at first, but then I learned that there's a certain way you have to approach each area - this is essentially a 'trial and error' map - I recommend saving frequently on your first playthrough - it'll save you a lot of misery in the long run.


Texturing and architecture in this map are fairly basic, rooms are pretty square / orthogonal, but the map never looks ugly, and your objectives are pretty simply laid out for you.


There is one 'puzzle' in this map; you need to press a switch that opens a door, except if you try to head directly to the door, the door will snap shut in your face! What you need to do, is press the switch to open the door, and then travel through a little tunnel around the triggering line that was closing the door. Once you come out of the tunnel, you'll be able to go through the door no problem. This sounds pretty easy, right? Not quite. There is an extraordinarily mean spectre ambush in that dark tunnel - I recommend triggering the spectre trap, and then running right past them - don't try to fight them, you won't likely survive. Instead lure them to the end of the tunnel, and kill them there. The map gives you more than enough ammo to handle the fights in this map, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem cleaning the spectres up. You can see the 'puzzle' setup in my second screenshot!


There is also a chasm-like section of the map, where you have to navigate very narrow pathways - monsters are released from below, which certainly complicates things - see screenie 4. The author also has a certain affinity for pain elementals, too - I think I saw 3-4 in this level on UV - they are fairly difficult to deal w/ in this map, as they are often paired w/ their brothers-in-arms, the caco.


Fun map! Just keep in mind that you'll probably get a bit of a kicking the first time you encounter the aforementioned traps - they certainly caused me problems. This is a really interesting map, in that it is pretty difficult, w/ a really low monster count. The authors' enemy placement is cruel and devious in this one!


Give it a try! Takes about 7-10 minutes to beat on UV! :D










Download link: https://bit.ly/3ygU1Nf

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Garden of the Imps [Doom2 version] - 07/02/1996 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


GotI is a visually basic, but enjoyable map by Eeva Marin. Marin had made an earlier version of this level, (a doom1 version) prior to this - I have not played that, so I cannot comment on any other differences between the two.


The map rudely starts you off immediately w/ an imp behind you - it is likely that you'll get scratched at least once here! I guess you could call this a 'hot start' - a pretty easily beatable one, though. This is a pretty small level - there are only just under 100 enemies, and there are 4 secrets - the secrets are pretty well hidden - I only saw the supercharge secret out of the four, but I could not find out how to access it.


The most dangerous part of this level is the 'lava gauntlet' near the end - this series of hallways is covered in hurtfloors, and is filled w/ a great many lost souls. There is a switch at the end of the gauntlet that you need press in order to lower the yellow key in the larger outdoor area immediately before the gauntlet. As far as I know, there is no radsuit in this level, at least, I wasn't able to acquire one. Ammo is fairly tight in this map, and I'm not even sure if it is possible to get 100% kills in this map - a lot of the enemies are in the gauntlet area, and it is difficult to kill many of them, as you'll likely have very low ammunition by the time you get here. Some may not like the gauntlet section - it is fairly difficult to survive, but I don't think it is unfair by any stretch.


Marin went on to create the very fun hellagen.wad - a hell themed Tyson map. That is definitely worth checking out as well, but I thought I'd recommend this one instead, as it is a bit more playable - the Tyson map is really quite difficult, and may not be everyone's cup of tea.


Fun map - once again, quite visually basic, but the gameplay is pretty solid. Perhaps a bit tighter on ammo than it needs to be, but that kind of balance develops over time, as an author refines their craft - as this is the author's first WAD, I'm willing to cut some slack on that.


Takes about 7-10 minutes to beat - make sure to save before attempting the lava gauntlet, though! :)










Download link: https://bit.ly/3IE7mne

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On 12/5/2021 at 10:15 PM, Arrowhead said:

The Entryway 2.1 - 10/22/1995 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2

Nice map!

The author improved the wad several times and the original first release (1.0) comes with no modified titlepic, no new music track, no additional graphic and no .deh file for the additional gore.

Edited by thestarrover

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Underground Maelstrom - 09/22/1995 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a very large non-linear 3-key base level by Nick Bousman. Bousman created just this one single player level - he then went on to release a 6 pack of deathmatch maps in 1996. I don't know if this is the author's first map or not, as that isn't made clear in the readme, but if it is, it's probably one of the better 'first' maps I've played! If anybody knows of any other Bousman maps, let me know!


This map is huge. This level will take you about 45 minutes to an hour to beat - so quite an impressive undertaking for an author in 1995! The map flows very well, w/ you being given many options to go in multiple directions at any given time. The first cool scenario in this level, is when you have to cross / circumvent a large chasm - you essentially travel around the side of the cliff face via a small tunnel - this allows you to gain access to the base proper by pressing a switch that opens the main door.


This map is stuffed to the gills w/ enemies and traps. Enemies will appear behind you, enemies will rise out of the floor, enemies will appear from monster closets, enemies will descend from elevators, enemies will teleport in, etc. etc. Really nice stuff to see. The full gamut of Doom1 monster encounters is present here; it is really impressive to see this level of monster placement in a WAD this aged. My favorite trap, (probably) is when you walk into a seemingly empty room, only to have an entire maze rise before your eyes! This maze room can be seen in screenshot 4.


The map has about 380 enemies - quite a big monster count - you will even encounter a cacoswarm of about 10-15 cacos at some point when you are outside near the red key area - I found this to be one of the more fun fights in the map. This high monster count is paired w/ 6 secrets - many of which were quite hard to find. I also found a couple other unofficial secrets in this map, and I'm sure there are likely more!


The main objective in this level is to find and press 7 'eye switches'. Pressing these switches will lower 7 different 'bulkhead' doors, once you eventually complete pressing the switches, you'll be able to proceed into the Cyberdemon's den. This is your standard single cybie encounter in a large room, so nothing too difficult here!


A very fun map, only play this when you're itching to explore something - this isn't the kind of level you load up and beat in a couple minutes - playing this level has to be a bit of an undertaking! Only give this one a shot, if you know you have enough time - it is best to be played in one sitting, in my opinion.


Really quite a neat map. :)











Download link: https://bit.ly/31QYTfG

Edited by Arrowhead

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Another nice finding @Arrowhead! I love huge maps which take a long time to be completed.

I made a quick check in my archive for other maps by Bousnam but I only found the standalone releases of the maps collected in the Vector Deth Pak I (vdpak1.zip):






I think the bonus level on MAP06 mentioned in the text file is an exclusive of the pack.

Let me know if you need them :)


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2 minutes ago, thestarrover said:

Let me know if you need them :)

I'd love to have them - even just to see if there are any differences at all between the published pack and the standalone stuff.


Thanks! :)

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20 minutes ago, Arrowhead said:

I'd love to have them - even just to see if there are any differences at all between the published pack and the standalone stuff.


Thanks! :)

Ok! I'll check the files just to be sure they are not corrupted and I'll upload them in the next few days :)

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snyper.wad - 10/31/1994 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a fun small 1994 map created by Snyper. Snyper went on to create a sequel for this WAD, but I haven't played that one yet - if it is anything like this WAD, then it's sure to be good.


This is a short level that takes place in sort of a hellbase? The theme rapidly changes from tech to hell and vice versa throughout the map. While the visual theme is a bit wonky, the actual geometry and architecture in this map is above average for the time period. There aren't really 'ugly' areas of this map - there are some areas that are darker than others though. The map gives you a pair of light amplification goggles - they are very useful in this level, as there are a couple hallways that are nearly pitch black.


There are only 70 or so enemies in this level, and four secrets. One of these secrets is an invulnerability sphere - this makes an already fairly simple map a bit more simpler. I only ended up finding 2/4 secrets in this map.


Combat in this map is fun, but quite basic - being such an early user level, the amount of traps in this level are quite low. Most of the enemy encounters are incidental, although there are a couple of surprise encounters, namely a caco and a couple smaller demons that rise from the ground. Another cool encounter is the darkened library area - thankfully, no arch-viles here! I thought this area looked really nice, even though the actual fight in here is not too dangerous. Speaking of 'not too dangerous', the final exit fight could have used some work - two barons versus a plasma rifle is not too hard of a final fight.


One unique feature of this map is the 'slime fountain' - see screenie 3. This structure is unique, as it is used 2 separate times for different uses. The first time you encounter the fountain you'll see that it contains a red key - the second time you encounter it, you'll see that the fountain has lowered, and a path to a teleporter is now available. I quite liked this - very cool to see geometry being reused in a map this old.


This is a compact little map, but it sure plays well - there are no visual errors, and the map plays far more modern than its age! This is good for a little bite-sized excursion - this level takes about 7-10 minutes to beat! :)










Download link: https://bit.ly/3DO1rbH

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Warcade One - 01/11/1999 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


W1 is a hub-style map w/ an interesting gameplay concept - this is a WAD by Sam Ketner. This is apparently the first level in a series of five - I'm curious to see if they all follow the same gameplan...


This map is unique, in that it is essentially 3 seperate 'levels' in one. You start off in a hub type room, w/ 3 locked doors, and one usable door. The goal here is to find the key stashed in each sub-stage, and bring it back to the hub room to progress. You access each of these new stages by opening the appropriate door, and taking the teleporter that you see there. Upon teleporting into any of these stages - you'll be exposed to a hot start. The combat in this map is insane - projectiles raining down from everywhere, enemies all around you from every angle - bullets flying and ricocheting everywhere - these fights can be tough, but very rewarding! Health is present in these stages, but in lesser amounts than what is in the hub room - this makes it difficult to heal / recover in these stages - I found this challenging, but overall fair. The 3rd and final fight is my favorite - you can release a cybie to assist in your infighting, it greatly helps make the final stage easier.


Every time you return from a fight, you're given the opportunity to heal / armor up. I liked this feature - an /idgames reviewer stated that this makes the level too linear. I agree that the level is linear, but it is linear by design - and must be linear by design - a 3-key hub-style map like this simply cannot be nonlinear - as you have to be able to split the map into 3 distinct parts - each of these 3 parts aren't interconnected, because if they were, there'd be no need for a hub room. I am not a fan of complete linearity myself - but I have no problem w/ a map that uses linearity as its central design choice - as this pretty much makes this a concept map in my eyes.


This is a violent, somewhat difficult WAD - w/ a unique gameplay set-up, I'll definitely be playing this map again at some point! I might even check out the rest of the Warcade series at some time... :)








Download link: https://bit.ly/3oZj8kq

Edited by Arrowhead

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terrere1.wad - 10/16/2000 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


terrere1 is a well-detailed single level WAD by Wim Vanrie. Vanrie went on to create the cult classic Mini-level MegaWAD in late 2009.


This level drops you into a hot start in a room surrounded by enemies. There is a large cliff system visible from the windows in this room, and this is where a lot of the gunfire will be coming from. Snipers are a big part of this WAD's combat system. The author states in the readme that "I've made the level so hard i could just complete it without secrets." I agree w/ this sentiment - this map is quite difficult, but maybe not as difficult as the author lets on. A lot of this level is about taking your time - you'll need to be doing stuff like peeking out from an alcove, shooting, and then retreating back to cover immediately quite often.


There aren't too many traps in this map, but one that stood out to me was the somewhat cruel hellknight trap - a hellknight appears instantly behind you once you pick up the SSG - this caught me off guard the first time, and cost me a lot of health. Be sure to lunge out of the super-shotty 'tower' the moment you pick it up. Curiously, the SSG is somewhat weak in this level - most of the monsters you'll be dealing w/ are often at quite a distance, rendering your SSG fairly useless!


This map has some great detailing. The location feels very believable as a real place, and the detailing is never so excessive that you will get stuck on anything - the map truly looks and plays nice in my opinion.


I encountered a rocket launcher in a damaging pit, but was unsure of how to get it, and get back out again - there's gotta be some way to do it, but I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. If anyone decides to play this, and figures this area out, let me know!


There is also a cyberdemon fight in this smallish map - it spawns in, and takes residence in the cliff section of the map - this section acts as the connecting path between the other 2 major parts of the level. Fighting the cybie in this area, (even w/ the plasma rifle) is a dangerous endeavour - as the irregular shape of the room will likely throw off your dodging capability. I recommend just going straight past him - and avoiding him entirely - I'm sure there's enough munitions in this map to defeat him without needing to find secrets; I didn't find any of the 4 secrets - so maybe there's better weapons / ammo somewhere in one of those.


Enjoyable - this level has about 90 monsters in UV, and this is really well made - I think everyone who enjoys a slight bit of challenge will like this map! Took me about 10 minutes to beat! :)










Download link: https://bit.ly/3sgcicb


PS - Pretty sure this is my 100th review - crazy how far this project has come so far!


PPS - This is a Boom-compatible map, so make sure to play it in the right sourceport!

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City In Chaos by Alex Busby (Doom 2, MAP01, 1995 but uploaded in 2003 by Graham Burges in the archives, played with Eternity Engine 4.0.2)





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After quite some researches trough the archives, i found this hidden raw gem in the archives searching for high voting maps, is a pretty large (especially for the year it was done) map sets in a City-like place where the world goes on fire, literally. Pretty reminiscent of original Doom 2 city maps but larger and more fun on the gameplay side, the level itself is pretty based upon the exploration trough the various places in the map with some occasional fight with a small or a pretty consistent group of monsters, especially after taking the yellow key. Layout is pretty rectangular but that's not a bad thing when there's a lot of interconnected areas and even some platforming trough the building tunnels and some simple "walkable" fence at the red key building! There's some new textures based upon the original sprites: a mid texture formed by tree sprites texture as a decoration around the city borders, a hell knight statue and modified arch-vile fire attack sprites as a wild flames that consumes buildings and the interiors of the wooden structure you see immediately at your left. Is a pretty good work, especially the fire textures. A very fun map both to explore and fight over. It's like Downtown meets Plutonia, but made way better.

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deathzon.wad - 04/11/1995 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


DZ is a little laidback WAD by a pair of doomers, Darren Malley and Andrew Harvey. Malley was apparently the brains of the operations on this one - as this is his design, whereas Harvey was the mapper / assembler of the WAD.


This is not a WAD that will kick your ass - this is a gentle little romp through a small dungeon system w/ distinct buildings. Your goal is to find all 3 keys in the buildings, and then use them to open a 3-key series of doors at the exit. The buildings are quite uniquely designed w/ one of them having a very odd bunker type arrangement. Hitscanners and imps like to shoot out of this bunker, but they aren't very dangerous, because the angles aren't acute enough to render your autoaim useless. There aren't too many enemies in this map on UV - I think there was just over 50, or so in this level.


There is a really interesting un-hinted secret in the very first room you start in - if you get this secret, then the whole level becomes an even bigger cakewalk - there is a BFG hidden in this first room, but it is unlikely you will find the secret on your first try, and I think there's a door that slams shut in a certain amount of time - rendering you unable to get to the secret if you dilly-dally.


Mysteriously, there is a trapped cybie in the 'well' in the center of the map - I was unclear on as to how I could 'raise' him out of the pit... There's probably some way to do it of course, likely it is associated w/ one of the many secrets in this map - 10 in total.


Visually, the map is very clean - there's next to no anomalies, or texturing issues, and the architecture as stated prior, is quite engaging and unique - especially the bunker area. The four doors located at the cardinal directions in this map won't open - I'm pretty sure they're there only for co-op - as there is a copy of the first room behind each of them. This map was listed in the deathmatch section of /idgames - and while I think it would work pretty well for deathmatch - this also works just as well as a single-player WAD.


This is a bite-sized WAD, but what's here is good - the design is sound, and the level is certainly fun, albeit a bit easy to beat for the average doomer.


It is definitely worth the 5-8 minutes it takes to blast through this one! :)









Download link: https://bit.ly/3FiKvvv

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Hell Revealed Episode 1


A walkthrough of the demo version of the famous megawad Hell Revealed. For more information on the wad , check the description of my video and my youtube comment for my personal reviews.


If you want to know differences between the demo and the final version , I advice you to read @T-Rex's post


Also, sorry the sound is weirdly low in this video....




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Installation A - 02/26/2003 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a quick compact WAD by Alex Parsons. This WAD comes w/ a new titlepic, as well as a new industrial style sky - which really adds a lot of atmosphere to the outdoors portion of this small level.


This map is quite a short experience - you'll only be visiting Installation A for about 7-10 minutes. That's not to say that it isn't fun though - I quite like bite-sized WADs, and this map's combat is actually pretty fun, despite there only being just under 50 enemies. The map is by no means difficult, but you can find yourself in trouble quite easily, as there is next to no health present in this map. The only 2 enemies I saw that were from the Doom2 roster were a pair of hellknights - the lack of Doom2's more dangerous enemies makes this level a more relaxing experience à la Doom1.


I like that the map starts you off right next to the locked exit door - I've always liked maps that show off their exits right away - I like being presented a problem to solve at the start of a map sometimes. The exit door in this WAD is an unmarked blue door - I would have maybe liked to see some 'blue key textures' around it, but this is a very minor complaint. There are also no secrets - I feel that a map this well constructed visually should have had at least a couple - would have been fun to explore a 'restricted' area of this techbase.


This is a fun map - pretty dang enjoyable for the very few minutes the experience lasts!

Most of Alex Parsons' maps have a great atmosphere, I'd recommend checking out the rest of his back catalogue, if you like this level! :)









Download link: https://bit.ly/3Elj7f8

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Two short reviews on two promising wads!


Road Kill by Kurt Schulenburg (Doom 2, MAP01, 10/11/1995 but uploaded in 2003 by Graham Bruges, played with Eternity forseti 4.0.2)





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After finding this author from the most recent Random Idgames Adventure issue and finding the wad pick interesting, i've been hooked by the Grazza review writing that this is wasn't the best map he made, so i've downloaded some of his wads and this is the best one i've played from his catalouge.

A medium\large sized and semi-linear map sets in a dark city where monsters hides behind every corner and door, the level is well detailed for a 1995 map with many places to explore around this place and semi-realistic places like a restaurant and a palace, plus some suburban city structures and a factory, the new graphics are pretty neat (are some of them from The Unholy Trinity?) and they all looks cool. Gameplay is pretty focused on exploration and it's also challenging, pretty long to complete as well. A pretty fun map.



Also, how this map can have a Hexen textures in 1995?



RIGEL I by Scott Lampert (Doom 2, MAP01, 27/02/1995, played with Eternity forseti 4.0.2)





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This is another map i've found randomly on Idgames some days and i thought that you wrote\knew already about this map, even wrote this assumption on the small review i've did for this map on ErIWA!

But, since this wasn't the case (otherwise, you can always tell me about it like for what happened on The Hunt review) i've talking about this map a little right now.

This is a pretty neat map made by this Scott Lampert guy back in the 1995 and by it's own admission, one of his best map he did. And he's right! This is a grey\white pretty interconnected techbase with some small hell marble temples spotting in some corners of the map, as well of a little leaking sewer in one isolated corner, the level itself reminded me of TNT and Stronghold, luckily without the narrow corridors here, but lots of charming small detail like arches structures and other nice little touches, but having a solid flow on the layout first (but some parts are too obtuse to get where to go without a automap or cheating... yeah is one of those maps) and a fun gameplay that accompanies it, the level is pretty challenging and the "Ride of the Valkyries" midi track immerse you in a epic showdown. There's also some puzzle elements and probably the first time i enjoy even the obligatory maze section in the map. The only two low points are that the progression is a little obtuse with some important doors textures as walls that surrounds the room and the sky texture for some reason is weirdly compressed showing it weirdly pixellated... Maybe the author got a bigger picture and shrinked to the extreme (the extreme pixels size of 256 pixels horizontally and 128 vertically)... But overall a pretty good map that deserve a play or two!

Edited by Walter confetti

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3 hours ago, Walter confetti said:

RIGEL I by Scott Lampert

I actually have played this one! I thought the combat was really frenetic and chaotic - I gave up after I couldn't find the blue key. Fun map!

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Rat in a Maze by David Priddy (1994)
















You've been thrown in this maze like a rat to be confused, disoriented and killed to sadistically entertain the architect. The automap facility will be almost useless due to the complexity of the maze. Beware the marauding lost soul maze cleanup crew. Be more wary of Cacodemons that are above the constraints of maze walls...
This is my first attempt at Doom level creation. There are a couple of areas on the map that show up strangely during play. I had planned to add more (!!) rooms, but Deu 5.21's reject data routine crashed if I attempted to add more than 512 sectors. WARNING: I had difficulty saving an Ultra Violent level until after I had killed many monsters.
I hope this level will consume alot of your time. You are the guinea pigs for my first attempt. Please let me know what you think. Enjoy!


I wasn't expecting such a map. It's not the first time I've played old wads from the 90's consisting in an effortless maze exploration, but Rat in a Maze represents much more than that. I was pleasantly surprised even if I eventually had to look at the builder to know how to advance because how convoluted the progression was.


In short, we explore a maze but the author really tried to make it worthwhile, especially by adding height variations and lots of small rooms to find. To go up, you have to pass through a weird room full of slime and stairs. There are no keys to get but rather a lot of switches to press which are sometimes extremely well hidden. To tell the truth, the level has nothing exceptional visually but I appreciate the atmosphere created thanks to its surrounding darkness.


As far as the gameplay is concerned, it was tougher than expected. I even almost died a couple of times, especially at the beginning before you manage to find decent weapons, ammo and health items. The latter don't turn out to be so abundant and most of the time they are guarded by a few enemies that sometimes lie hidden in somewhat effective traps . In the same way, the author granted you few armor so be careful.


In any case, although finishing this level without a solution requires an unmatched patience, this map remains particularly impressive by its size and complexity. Also this level contains 46 secrets.

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Wayback - 05/31/2001 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This map is very intense slaughter from beginning to end. This is a map by the talented Thomas Bringle - an author who was active from 1999-2001. A lot of Bringle's maps were quite well-received on /idgames, and this one is no different! This map is a bit linear, but it makes up for that w/ its extremely gruelling battles. This map is on map slot 11 - the author doesn't state in the readme why this is the case.


There are just over 250 enemies in this WAD, and 0 marked secrets, although there are some unmarked secrets if you look hard enough. There is a Berserk pack hidden behind dual walk-through walls right at the start of the map - see the first screenshot. I shot my pistol on either side of where the walk-through wall is. The Berserk is not needed to survive this level, but it certainly helps you retain your ammo better - this is useful, as the author usually only gives you just enough ammunition to survive an encounter. He even states this in the readme to a certain extent: "Watch yer heinie, everything's there when you need it."


This map is curious in that it is both deadly, yet somewhat predictable. Many times areas will open up behind you - this type of surprise kind of wears itself out after the first few times. Nearly all progression is met w/ some kind of trap sequence. Often times many areas will open up all at once to reveal a nasty horde of monsters! Combat in this WAD is rough. You better be ready for lots of back-stabbing surprises, lots of revenants, and lots of pain elementals...


Make sure you get the SSG! It is placed at the end of a tunnel complex after descending down a very narrow elevator - you'll know the elevator when you see it. There is also apparently a rocket launcher in this map, but I never found it. I was still able to 100% the map without it, so it can't have been too important, still it would have certainly helped me in a lot of scenarios.


Some particularly difficult fights are the mirrored battles against a pack of pain elementals, and a group of revenants. These fights initiate upon pressing either button on the left or right side of the lava area - so make sure you're prepared before jumping into that. Perhaps the only confusing part of this map progression wise, is the sequence right before the exit. There are a few sets of bars that hold monsters, once you clear them out, you may notice a switch behind one of the cages - you can actually just walk through these iron bars to press the switch which will lower the bars around the exit. I included a screenie to make things clearer for anybody interested in this map - see screenshot 5.


This is definitely a true rip n' tear map! The action is relentless and quite difficult right from the very start of the experience. Takes between 25-30 minutes to beat on UV. This is one of the more fun maps I've played in a while - the action is positively brutal, and the progression is a breeze. This map is somewhat difficult, but very worth the challenge. :)











Download link: https://bit.ly/3sxkYuZ

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Dark Mountain


By Ken Phipps




A single map for Heretic that I found playing the Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures #022.


I love mountains, but this is not a mountain, and more a sort of system of caverns and secret dungeons, still, it works! This is a small map for Heretic created in the days of yore. While the name makes us think we'll be exploring a mountain, it's actually a traditional Heretic level that makes good use of its textures to deliver a decent project with good visuals for 1998. The map is relatively large, with plenty of areas to explore and good scenery variation, offering different encounters from the surface to a deep cavern system with secret passageways and more. Combat is simple and free-flowing most of the time, with plenty of items to survive each encounter and more than enough anticipation for the player to be prepared. It's a short, attractive and fun map, and for Heretic in 1998, that's a lot! 


Worth a playthrough for the Heretical fans here.

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under.wad - 04/14/1999 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a positively massive cave-crawl map by Shane Ward. This is Ward's first published map on the /idgames archive. Later on, he would publish a deathmatch map, a Doom2 version of this level, as well as a sequel of sorts to this map. This map is to be played w/ the Legacy port, but I had no issues whatsoever in playing this w/ GZDOOM. Custom assets abound in this WAD, w/ a custom titlepic, graphics, a new sky, and monster replacements all making their appearance.


Some of the monsters are altered in this WAD, w/ the imp being replaced w/ a version of the Quake 1 'zombie', and the barons of hell are replaced by a version of the Shambler from Quake 1 also. You will encounter stretches where health is very scarce - ammo is also scarce in some areas, but this never becomes as much of an issue as the relative lack of health. A good part of this level is managing health / ammo attrition.


Much of this map is claustrophobic in nature - expect to navigate darkly lit corridors, near jet-black tunnels, and tight constricted locations. This map is a joy to explore - it truly is quite massive - once you get to the final rooms, take a look at your automap, and admire just how large and twisting this level is. The map doesn't quite reach mazelike proportions, but does get somewhat convoluted to travel through upon uncovering more and more of it.


As well as the new custom graphics, there are also some familiar ones from Quake 1. This helps to establish the new Shambler enemy and Zombie enemy in this map. Texturing is above average in this level - the textures chosen do a really good attempt at establishing this map as a believable location - I especially like when you get the occasional glimpse of an outdoors area - really helps to nullify some of the alienating effects of continued claustrophobic gameplay.


There are about 290 enemies in this map on UV, less on lower difficulties - and these monsters are pretty evenly dispersed throughout the map - you seldom will encounter larger 'hordes' of fiends. Combat is pretty solid, but expect to be single-shotgunning 'barons' at certain points - the author gives plenty of ammo for the single-shotty, but much less for the chaingun and other weapons - using a rocket launcher in this map is pretty much guaranteed suicide... I think the map is far too tight on average to successfully use this weapon in most locations of this map.


I actually recommend that you play this on a lower difficulty than UV - on UV there is a fight in a small room between you and three cybers! On all the lower difficulties, there is only one cybie - a much more reasonable encounter. There are also around a hundred less enemies on HMP - I played this map on HMP, I was finding UV a bit too difficult - rare for a Doom1 WAD. There is an invuln in this room, and snagging it is imperative, as you'll need enough time to be able to kill it w/ either the plasma or rocket launcher - I don't believe the BFG is in this level, at least I never came across it - it is likely in one of the secrets I missed.


This is a large complex cave level that some will surely dislike, (due to its large convoluted design and relative difficulty, the /idgames reviewer certainly wasn't lying) but I think it is definitely worthy of being remembered. There was a lot of time and care put into the creation of this map, and you can tell that as you progress through it - some of its gameplay flaws can be a tiny bit annoying, but the map more than makes up for it in the visuals department and overall ambience, in my opinion.


Fun map - takes about 45 minutes to an hour to beat. :)










Download link: https://bit.ly/3es2BiM

Edited by Arrowhead

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Down Town - 05/24/1998 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is a bit of a peculiar Doom1 city map by David Meurin. There are custom graphics in this map, and custom sounds. This city map has a few interesting buildings - there is a theatre, a gun shop, a church, and some kind of factory. There is also a sewer section where you travel down a manhole via a teleport - make sure you're wearing one of the many radsuits the author provides before heading down there, though.


This map is odd, in that every building in the map is readily available to be entered into - there are keys, (I found a yellow key) but they aren't actually needed to complete the level - I was able to exit this mission without needing any of the three keys. This is the main flaw of the map, as you can access the exit nearly immediately without needing to do anything special - this makes this map fun to play the first time you play it, but this doesn't provide much incentive for future subsequent playthroughs.


Another interesting aspect of this map, is that you're essentially dropped in w/ nothing but a pistol in the middle of the city - you basically have to go sprinting off at the start of the map to find your weapons - you may die during this 'weapon hunt' - but once you know where the single-shotty is, you shouldn't have any problem w/ the combat in this one. The city is spacious enough that you should be able to dodge the many vulgar pinkies running around. Why vulgar? Well, all of the enemies in this map yell 'F#$@ You' upon attacking you - yeah... I thought it was a weird choice, too. The author even eludes to this in his readme: "WARNING: Some of the monsters use bad language." There is also this distorted 'classic rock riff' that plays every time the enemies' 'wandering sound' goes off - as far as annoying sound effects go, I found these quite funny - and actually kind of endearing - they really help add to the odd / kitschy feel of this level.


This is a pretty short map, there are about 165 enemies, but you can beat this in 5-10 minutes, more quickly if you're lucky enough to find the exit fast - if you do find the exit early, don't use it, I encourage you to explore around a bit first! The map is actually quite well set-up, and the 7 secrets are nice to find as well.


Enjoyable map! Despite some flaws, this is still a solid city level to play - some might find the custom sounds jarring, but really, I don't think they're too bad, maybe you'll even find them somewhat funny like I did! :)










Download link: https://bit.ly/3ewMW1Q


PS - I have no clue why the sign that says 'MONEY' is used so frequently, I don't think there's a bank in this mission, so it's a bit odd to see the sign on so many buildings. The author makes no mention of this in the readme, either.

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Blitz Of Pain by Jim McColm (Doom, E2M1, 06/12/94 but uploaded in 2003 by Sargebaldy, played with Eternity forseti 4.0.2)





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This is a map i found while looking for the map called CRESCENT.WAD that was already reviewed and mentioned in this thread (i think by roofi or arrowhead), is the oldest map by this author that is the first time i've heard of, at first looks and feels like any other maps from 1994, but having some interesting design choice even if a little bit too cliche for the year it was done(pyramid structures at the start, GSTONE rooms, etc.), but shows a lot of potential and good design choices as well! The final semi-slaughter (get the secret BFG, you'll really need it!) battle is pretty epic and i never expected such a finale for a generic 1994 wad, layout is well interconnected (with the awful exception of the starting pyramid area and their random lift that lower to a random line in the said pyramid, really the down point of this map that even made me think to not talk about this map here) and with some neat design choices like spiral staircases, neat little details room constructions, and cool looking places to visit. The ammo in this map is kinda stingy and all locked upon the hitscan guns (pistol, shotgun and chaingun, with a berserk and the already mentioned secret BFG as only exceptions) and the monster placement is pretty hectic and fun. Overall, a pretty good hidden map, i've downloaded the other maps from this author to see how the other stuff he did was better or worst than this one, with the expection of the Doom 2 DM maps that aren't uploaded so far by anyone...


EDIT: Just played a little of the other maps from this author and... makes me want to do a retrospective of this author! Yes, is really this worth to talk about it's works in general! I even wonder if it's possible to do something like this here...

Edited by Walter confetti

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Crestfallen - 06/20/1998 - played via GZDOOM 4.1.2


This is an experimental map w/ Tyson elements by Martin Friberg. The map consists of a small cross shaped room, w/ a fireblu teleport portal at the end of each arm of the cross. Each time you enter a teleport gate, you end up in a smaller separate room - these rooms are all deviously trapped, so keep an eye out.


The map is very competently detailed, w/ border textures and alignment being of particular importance to this author.


Friberg starts you off w/ a very hectic hot start - you essentially get dropped in, and are immediately confronted by about 5-7 imps. Thankfully, there is a Berserk pack right behind you, so grab it, and start beating them down! Once you do that, you can press any of the switches in the room to call more monsters towards you. It is a good idea to use your Berserk pack as much as possible in this level. While ammo is not super tight, it may definitely be a problem if you forgo solving things w/ your fists...


You will have to punch revenants, and hellknights - but this never becomes unfair, as such monsters are released in small amounts, and not all at once. There are around 35 monsters in this map - wow, that doesn't sound so difficult, now does it? Think again - while this map is not gruellingly challenging, it certainly can get quite tough in places - especially if you use up all your ammo before the archie shows up...


Fun map, very short - this is basically a one-room concept map design. I think this map's ideas work great, and this is definitely worth playing again - just to see the unique gameplay / encounter structure on display here. :)









Download link: https://bit.ly/343z2SN

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Indeed, Crestfallen is a really great map, but i don't think that map is so unknown and underrated... Aren't it won some award like the best map of 1998 at the TOP 100 wads when Doom reached its 10th year mark? I have to check the wiki...


EDIT: Yeah, it's put at number 10 of best maps of 1998.

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20 hours ago, Walter confetti said:

Overall, a pretty good hidden map, i've downloaded the other maps from this author to see how the other stuff he did was better or worst than this one, with the expection of the Doom 2 DM maps that aren't uploaded so far by anyone...

Probably you already have it, but I found a Deathmatch wad by Jim McColm: Sed.wad (Sedition). Let me know if you are interested. :)

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