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Vorpal

The Underdogs

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This topic has probably been done many times, but it is an evolving beast so I am shamelessly bringing it up.

I'm talking about those lesser known wads that you love endlessly and have been keeping secret from everyone! It's time to share.

One of my personal underdog favorites is John Gaughan's Legions of Hell. Every time I fire it up, I feel like I am 12 years old again and playing doom2 for the first time... the gameplay is just perfectly fluid and capture's the essence of doom like nothing else I've played.

There's also a sequel which updated some levels, and added several new ones, but I can't speak for that yet... need to give it a go this weekend.

Legions of Hell: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=11091

Legions of Hell 2: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=12368

So, what are your favorite "unknowns" that you think deserve props?

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Before lupinx-Kassman mentions this, Insertion, 11 level episode by A.Williamson, Tolwyn etc. names which have a lot of in common with MM2 and Requiem. I would describe it simply as "Requiem minus Adel's and Iikka's maps". My favourites are those by Thomas Evans. And thanks to Andy Olivera for the demos - without them I wouldn't know about this WAD.

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Funny, I was thinking of making this topic myself. Here are a few (note that some of these are just personal favorites, not things that I particularly think deserve better ratings):

Infected Area <-- Gets an award for best Doom storyline. While there are levels that feel a bit switch-hunty in this wad, it has some pretty clever tricks and I still find it to be one of my personal favorites. Good use of REJECT lump in map 3 too.

Chief's Wad <-- Good mindless fun. While the level design isn't really complex, the gameplay feels heated and entertaining.

Proxyon Sector KGx/57 mini Episode <--There is just something about this wad that I found really appealing. I can't quite put my finger on it, so you would just have to play it and see. Note: the first level in this 3-map wad had been included in other wads in the archive....4 times!

The Adventures of SUB <-- This is a cute 95 or so wad that hadn't been on the archive until I uploaded it about four years ago. It has an ammusing storyline progression where you play as a German agent named Sub, on a mission to stop the U.S. from nuking Germany. Definitely an interesting and nostalgic experience.

Missions for Doom2 <-- Unfortunately, like the above wad this hadn't been uploaded to the archive. I will probably get around to doing it sometime soon. This wad is also a nice memory. In it you get to use funny photo-captured M-16 with ms-paint muzzle flash, on a path that takes you through a plane, "sky-diving", and a space station.

Last but definitely not least:

vdgg said:

Before lupinx-Kassman mentions this, Insertion


=P

Also anything by an author named Michal Mesko should be checked out. He has made several underrated wads in my opinion.

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The Spire, one of my favorite levels. Endless slaughter, slowly conquering that enormous map. Kind of plays the same time everytime though, so I can't say I play it a lot anymore, but it was a fantastic experience the first few times.

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Nice, looks like this weekend is going to be spent hunched over the keyboard playing doom ;-)

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Vorpal said:

This topic has probably been done many times, but it is an evolving beast so I am shamelessly bringing it up.

I'm talking about those lesser known wads that you love endlessly and have been keeping secret from everyone! It's time to share.

One of my personal underdog favorites is John Gaughan's Legions of Hell. Every time I fire it up, I feel like I am 12 years old again and playing doom2 for the first time... the gameplay is just perfectly fluid and capture's the essence of doom like nothing else I've played.

There's also a sequel which updated some levels, and added several new ones, but I can't speak for that yet... need to give it a go this weekend.

Legions of Hell: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=11091

Legions of Hell 2: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=12368

So, what are your favorite "unknowns" that you think deserve props?


Just wanted to check them out and nearly played through all of them... awesome - feels very Doom2-ish

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I really like Michael Krause's maps, mostly his later work. You probably know his "run buddy". He has a very recognizable style - huge, open areas and a very clean look. If you hate cramped wads, then you should definitely check out "go to hell", "moon 2000", "A hell day" and "Dark star". Some of the things that bothered me were the Quake sounds and the fact that these levels don't occupy the MAP01 slot, but it's nothing that a lump editor couldn't fix. While the detailing is not impressive by today's standards, the sheer size of the architecture really makes his work stand out from the crowd.

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Philnemba said:

DEATH IS JUST THE BEGINNING, I downloaded it somewhere else some 3 or 4 years ago before Lorenzo upload it in the archives so most people didn't know about here til April of 09. I simply like it cause of its 'classic' level design.


Thank you...

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Here are a few more entries that aren't only personal favorites, but I think are pretty underrated as well.

City of Doom <-- An 11-level episode from 2000 with probably the best city-themed levels I have ever seen. (Well, as far as doom-style goes, otherwise I would probably give that to AD2.)

Dark Covenant <-- A 12-level episode from 96. This one is really good, especially for the time it was made. The first level might give you second thoughts due to it resembling a "my house" level, but this would have to be one of my all-time favorites.

Project Space <-- A 20-level megawad from 98 that didn't get very much attention. Using only the stock doom 2 resources, it isn't a bad wad and is worth checking out. It even has a sort of 'hub' that goes on towards the end of the wad.

The Invaders <-- This is a six-level heretic-themed episode from 95. For such an early wad, its pretty good. Warning though, this is one of those wads that lends itself to nostalgia in my sake, since it is one of the first wads I played. It can get a bit switch-hunty at times.

And finally, the serenity-eternity-infinity trilogy. Although the wads were listed in Doomworld's ten years of doom, they don't really get the attention they deserve.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

Infected Area <-- Gets an award for best Doom storyline. While there are levels that feel a bit switch-hunty in this wad, it has some pretty clever tricks and I still find it to be one of my personal favorites. Good use of REJECT lump in map 3 too.


This is fantastic. Very creative choreography. I laughed out loud at the audacity of some of those traps.

Vorpal said:

One of my personal underdog favorites is John Gaughan's Legions of Hell. Every time I fire it up, I feel like I am 12 years old again and playing doom2 for the first time... the gameplay is just perfectly fluid and capture's the essence of doom like nothing else I've played.


This, however, is best appreciated in a nostalgic stupor.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

Chief's Wad <-- Good mindless fun.


Agreed!

lupinx-Kassman said:


Adorable.

lupinx-Kassman said:

Proxyon Sector KGx/57 mini Episode <--There is just something about this wad that I found really appealing. I can't quite put my finger on it, so you would just have to play it and see. Note: the first level in this 3-map wad had been included in other wads in the archive....4 times!


Know what? I don't think I've ever come across that first level before. However, I have seen the second level... somewhere... (no idea where) and I've also seen the third level before - as a Heretic mod! Come to think of it, it's possible that I've seen level 1 in Heretic form as well. Are you including a Heretic version in that archived four or do we need to add another one to the tally?

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lupinx-Kassman said:

Infected Area <-- Gets an award for best Doom storyline. While there are levels that feel a bit switch-hunty in this wad, it has some pretty clever tricks and I still find it to be one of my personal favorites. Good use of REJECT lump in map 3 too.

That map03 is just way too crazy for me! D:

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Creaphis said:

Know what? I don't think I've ever come across that first level before. However, I have seen the second level... somewhere... (no idea where) and I've also seen the third level before - as a Heretic mod! Come to think of it, it's possible that I've seen level 1 in Heretic form as well. Are you including a Heretic version in that archived four or do we need to add another one to the tally?


Well lets see...the level was released standalone here (a year after the episode I might add, and all that was changed was the midi.) It was retextured with a cement theme as level 4 in this episode (Probably the only wad I have played with u2 midis in it.) The map was refitted as a swamp-theme map in this Hexen hub. You were right about seeing this map in a heretic setting before..because apparently the whole damn episode was refitted as a heretic episode here (this one came as a surprise to me, even if it probably shouldn't have.) And naturally, a year later it was released as a standalone heretic map here (once again, with nothing new but the music.)

That makes five copies, not counting the original. As far as I could tell, Scott Mcnutt whored out his other maps in a similar fashion, so it would come as no surprise if you have seen the other maps somewhere before.

Jodwin said:

That map03 is just way too crazy for me! D:


Well, at least that was what I remember as being the brainfuckiest map in the episode. If you could get through that one, the others should be somewhat easy puzzle-wise =P.

I am glad people are beginning to recognize infected.wad now. Too bad he never made any other doom maps. Instead he made this, a Hexen hub that I am playing through currently.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

That makes five copies, not counting the original.


There's a Duke version of that map too, a moonbase called dukeprox.map (it does have a lot of extra bits added, but I could easily recognise it when I found the Hexen and Heretic versions some time after)

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Might be wrong but I think that multiple uploaded map started life as a Heretic map. I downloaded the 3map episode and saw the comments about multiple uploads but when I saw map01 it just screamed repainted Heretic map. The pillars blocking the player in the water, the large covered pier section at the start all very Heretic I think. It's had changes done to it but the first section is very Raven :o)

Travers

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Number One Kill The Next Generation: some very neat design, very challenging levels, good music, great skies, all vanilla Doom. What else could you need? :P

World of Deth: a full megawad made by one person, with absolutely no new texture or music or Dehacked file, and little variation, but very well designed. The ending level was a blast, a good challenge.

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Heh, I still haven't checked all of these. I'll definitely support Cleimos 2 which I played a long time ago and enjoyed it tremendously. OTOH, Dmonfear isn't an underdog for me - rather the opposite (an overrated, simplistic WAD which lacks personality).

I checked some WADs in my old computer, so I can recommend some more, mostly old-school (I love these...)

Justify - an excellent big map from 1995 which I discovered thanks to its review in Doom Underground .

Andy Badorek's maps. This guy somehow didn't release anything bad and had a very recognizable style (difficult to imitate, though). ZAP18 and ZAP28 should be a good introduction to his maps (or continuation, for those familiar with Twilight Lab from MM or MAP27 from STRAIN).

Endgame, a rather inconsistent set of excellent maps by Lee Szymanski, Erik Alm, Anthony Soto and others. Still less known than it should be.

FDC(m)6, my personal favourite from last year which is a gray '96-style base with little detail, no crates (always a big plus for me) and absolutely no bugs. Very tricky to finish on the first try because of its complicated and misleading layout.

Realm of shades, yet another wonderful WAD. It has 7 levels and was released in 1998. It is relatively unknown (I discovered it last year).

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I don't really keep it to myself, but I love Doom Redemption by SlayeR.

I also keep a short list here on my website which I really need to expand with more of my favorite maps.

vdgg said:

Endgame, a rather inconsistent set of excellent maps by Lee Szymanski, Erik Alm, Anthony Soto and others. Still less known than it should be.

Good pick. MAP01 of this was absolutely brilliant! Although it is just a modified Classic11, which was already pretty good to start with. I felt the other maps were not so consistent.

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Here are a few more wads I forgot to list.

Killzone and Killzone 2 <-- These are two seven level episodes by Don Howard with medium-to-large nicely constructed maps. The sounds are a bit hokey, but stuff like that never really bothered me. Recommended!

Post <-- An 11 level episode from 96 with clever ideas, nice looking maps, and an amusing storyline to boot. Very recommended. This wad happens to be the sequel to...

Debut <-- A nice episode for Doom. Good enough that it is worth a mention here. If you are to only play one of Tony's wads however, I would still recommend Post.

Relive the Nightmare This is a nine level re-imagining of Knee Deep in the Dead. Note that by re-imagining I mean it isn't trying to mimic episode 1's style as closely as possible. Instead, these levels feel like unique creations that were inspired by episode 1. I could have put any three of Shams Young's entries into the database here really. They are all worth checking out.

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Chex Warrior said:

Cleimos 2!

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=3863
[url]http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=3864[/url


This set is forcing me to reevaluate what constitutes a "cheap trap." I've been instantly killed by crushing ceilings so many times in this wad, but every time that I return to these traps I find that there were crushed gibs on the floor, warning me. Who's really to blame?

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Have a look at the "Other levels" section of my web-site ("Outpost of DooM 2": http://www.webalice.it/sposito.lag/): it includes several nice, but underrated .WADs, as well as some great levels (like Fredrik Johansson's "Vrack" and its sequel) and famous classic maps (such as Dr. Sleep's "Crossing Acheron 2").

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