Hello, this is myk, and welcome to "old stuff galore" week at a quite belated (sorry about that, my fault) edition of The /newstuff Chronicles. It's indeed a fact that all the wads this (past) week are either from the mid '90s, or somehow "old school." We have a huge amount of wads, so it's likely you'll want to be selective on what you try; and we can help you do that, a bit.
You'll see that many of the wads were uploaded by funduke. The rest were added by Grazza, as they fit in relatively well with the bunch, and there are some stragglers that weren't reviewed previously. Grazza guest-reviewed Scientist 2 in-depth, its related skin, the wads he uploaded, and Espi's masterpiece, and I reviewed funduke's uploads, plus some of what Grazza reviewed from a purely DeathMatch perspective. Thanks go to [W4GH4X] (aka [DMT][W5GH5X]) for the Doom2 v1.91 Kahn DeathMatch games behind my MultiPlayer reviews; if you see Green on a screen shot, that's him, while Indigo is myself.
- Scientist 2 by Scientist
4,176kb - Doom2.exe - SP+DM - 30 maps - - - -
Wow, a new megawad, and a good one too! What ever did we do to deserve this? We have here 30 maps, 10 of them deathmatch-only, a wealth of new graphics, music and some sounds too. Note that this is not a sequel to Scientist, but a much-expanded second edition. The initial release included the first 11 maps, which I understand are unchanged. You'll find Ultimate DooMer's review of the initial release in The /newstuff Chronicles #98, and Opulent's demo-pack at DSDA, so I won't say much about those 11 maps, and focus mainly on the 9 new single-player maps (12-20). If you didn't play Scientist when it first came out, then these first 11 maps are definitely worth playing first to get a feel for the wad. Note that the initial release did not feature all of the new weapon graphics or music, so even if you have played them before, there is still something new to enjoy in them.
The new weapons include a few guns, a crossbow that fires exploding arrows and a flamethrower, while a flamegrenade thrower takes the place of the BFG. Personally, I would have much preferred these weapons to be centred, as I found I was wasting a lot of ammo as it was more difficult to line them up than with the standard weapons. Given that the wad is designed to be Doom2.exe compatible, it seems odd to include weapons that work best on the assumption that a crosshair is being used. Still, they all look good, and I imagine you can get used to the aiming issue after a while. On the subject of Doom2.exe compatibility, some of the sounds are sampled at rather an odd rate, with the result that they don't get played in Doom2.exe, and cause a crash with Chocolate Doom 0.1.1 (this has been fixed in the brand new version 0.1.2, though, like Doom2.exe, it still won't play these sounds or the music). I used glboom-plus with -complevel 1 for most of my testing, and everything worked fine as far as I could tell. Scientist 2 is designed to work in all ports though, and includes a little patch to correct a problem with the crossbow that occurs in Zdaemon.
OK, so maps 12-20. The name for this episode is "Sacred City". The predominant design theme is stone, with plenty of fortress-type buildings and courtyards. Generally I'd say it has a medieval feel to it. The map called Dogma features a cathedral, which should not come as a surprise given that this wad is by Scientist. To be honest though, for the most part I was too absorbed by the action to spend all that long picking out specific design themes. Most of the maps are a good battle from start to finish - quite a challenge, though most Doomers should find them manageable on UV (from pistol starts, no saving) if they adopt a careful approach. Running through recklessly with guns blazing will probably get you killed rather quickly, though with good knowledge of the layout and enemies, these maps can be played fairly aggressively. If you use your brain as well as your trigger finger, you should spot some nice opportunities for infighting (check out those masterminds on map19, heheh). My favourite maps are probably 17, 18 and 19, but they're all fun. Map20 should be a good one to run through like a maniac too.
A lot of use is made of new textures, flats, etc. I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to what proportion of the graphics used are new, but it must be quite high. The music is all replaced too - I didn't recognize any of it, and found that it all suited the mood nicely. Scientist credits three of the tracks to Ocean's Edge and states that the rest are from Dream Theater.
I should also mention that there are quite a lot of things in this wad presumably just put there to be cool. Like a flag that goes to half mast, the bunch of immobilized lost souls in the shape of the Scientist "S" logo, and others. So try not to get so caught up in the action that you miss these nice touches.
Well, you've gathered that I'm impressed. This gets a strong "must-play" recommendation, and is IMO one of the top wads of the year so far. (- Grazza)
Ice, shadows, flaming bolts, and pale skies - - - -
[W4GH4X] and I also played some Scientist 2, but on DeathMatch mode instead; Grazza already properly went over the new weapons, the resources, and the fact that some of the weapon sounds don't play back on Doom2. In general, the ten DeathMatch maps, Map21 to Map30, use the themes and layouts suitably taken from the single-player maps, tweaked an optimized for fragging, and are backed by fitting tracks that meld very well with the icy and desolate atmosphere of the set. Also, the play of words between the single-player and DeathMatch maps is quite interesting; the single-player maps, albeit ironic, bear idealist, pristine or devout names, while the DeathMatch set has more broken (conflicted, conflicting or post-conflict) and frankly dark names playing with and contrasting the former names from the questioning and fragmentary side; the cruel and primal DeathMatch, as opposed to the heroic and philantropic single-player and Cooperative.
The first map, Decadence, is centered mainly in a somewhat dim open area where mutual damage is guaranteed, backed by indoor areas where wounded or wary Players can scurry into for cover or a stealthy frag. On free-for all action should be pretty much constant, while it's intermittent but furious on one-on-one. The only truly negative thing we did note is, in relation to Doom2 compatibility, that a VPO can occur coming out of the building to the north, while standing between the columns there.
The second map, Reconstruction, is similar to the first one in connectivity, but instead of having a wide open area, there are two heights or levels from which the Players frag each other; the brighter sky and the snowy ground improve target visibility a notch in the somewhat dim and obstructed environment by contrasting the passing silhouettes.
The third map, Perestrojka, confronts two wide open well-lit areas, one with a landing pad and the other with a Soviet star, divided by a less illuminated building and tunnel; needless to say most of the action will occur in the brighter areas, with the smaller darker sections as a no man's land where Players take cover or stalk opponents. Unfortunately at one point while playing we had a Venecian blinds error (another Doom2-specific map-based issue) by the Soviet star, looking in.
The fourth map, Blue, is true to its name and takes place in a blue tunnel that winds upon itself; this map is less action packed but more sudden than the others as you hunt your opponent down the tunnel expecting to catch up or meet face to face. The exit area provides some extra cover in the form of columns, to hide or maneuver.
The fifth map, Frost, is dominated by an open and bright snowy area encircling a smaller building. The building and an adjacent enclosed pool area provide a respite from the inevitable exchanges of fire in the clear area. The pool area is accessible through various tunnels, so it's not easily defendable, and is linked to a series of dimly lit rooms that can deliver more careful action.
The sixth map, Byte, is a larger map and more complex with several adjacent sections, providing some roaming with less players, but also defined sections for interaction's sake. But due to its complexity it bites the visplane limit from at least two vantage points, when using Doom2 to play.
The seventh map, Thorn, a fragging romp through the ruins, offers a relatively cautious game due to the shade and the lack of contrasting snow or skyline (since heights are nearly uniform outside you rarely see the opponent against the brighter sky.)
The eigth map, Green, is similar to Thorn in regard to illumination, but favors a bigger fragging ratio due to the large flat pond area and the level's general compactness. Players can still take cover in the building and the cavern, but even those areas are relatively clean, past the tunnels.
The ninth map, Scientific Heresy, also stony like the previous two levels, provides a large relatively open area with medium visibility, as well as adjacent sections to the south and to the east. Even with these side rooms and halls the map remains pretty action-oriented because of the very large central area where it's not hard to spot opponents.
The last map, Eden is rather small, but also stony and dim, plus with vegetation obscuring the central building's perimeter. In such a scenario the Players must be more observant, either being careful to spot the moving enemy, or scanning for enemy fire and sounds; spamming then once the target is located. (- myk)
- Suspended in Dusk by Espi
1,880kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 4 maps - -
This has already been out some time, and you've doubtless heard about it and maybe played it too. Still, that's no reason for it not to get reviewed here.
Of course, it's good. You know that. Espi doesn't make bad maps, especially when he has spent as long over them as he has done here. Suspended in Dusk contains four maps, which may not sound like all that much, but they are all large and complex, and each area in each map has clearly been a labour of love. Everything makes sense and is there for a reason. You almost get the impression that if these buildings and structures were made in real life, they would actually stand up, and the mechanisms would work too. The action is to a large degree indoor and in industrial/technological areas. The maps may be on a grand scale, but much of the action takes place in narrow walkways and passages.
Espi clearly decided that he wanted as many people as possible to enjoy these maps, and kept the difficulty level quite low. Average Doomers should be able to handle these maps from pistol starts on UV without dying very much at all if they play with a modicum of care, short of clumsiness or stuck keys, etc. (Or mouse glitches, such as you tend to get when you haven't played much for more than a month. Ahem.) In general, the gameplay is reasonable fun, with relatively small numbers of monsters attacking at a time, and often they are not placed so as to pose a huge threat - you have plenty of opportunity to admire your surroundings. The ammo supply is fully adequate, and especially if you find at least a few of the secrets, then health and armour should be OK too. As I mentioned, these maps are complex, so there is some danger that you might end up going round in circles if you've missed what something triggered, or failed to press on something. On the whole there aren't any mega-switchhunts though. Playing without prior map knowledge, the longest I took was on map03, which was just into "time sucks!" territory. So, don't expect to get through these maps during a coffee break.
Overall, one must admire Suspended in Dusk as a staggering mapping achievement - every Doomer owes it to himself to play through it at least once, absorbing and savouring every little facet of the world Espi has created for us. It may be somewhat linear and a bit short on replayability, but its impact on the initial play should more than compensate for that. (- Grazza)
- Scientist Skin by Scientist
20kb - port that supports skins - It's a skin
This is a separate file containing the graphics used for the "Scientist" enemy (in Scientist 2) as a player skin that can be used in any ports that support skins. (- Grazza)
Grazza uploaded 8 wads that were missing from the archive. They are from 1995 and 1996.
- Quadrant Four by Rory Kostman
63kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
I really like this map - great action throughout. It's never too easy, and not overly hard if you know what you're doing. I suspect most players won't make it through at their first attempt (due to ammo or health problems, or both), but with some map knowledge it becomes easier, especially if you're quick on your feet. As the name implies, the map has four distinct areas (the player starts off in the linking area between them), but they are not wholly independent of one another. According to the text-file, the four design themes are "High Tech, Low tech, Lava/Blood, and outdoor/telefrag caves". There are no real annoyances in this map; it is all good clean fun. (- Grazza)
- Rift by Mr. Horse
96kb - Doom.exe - SP - 1 map -
Well this one's fun. It's a moderately large map where eventually you cross a rift, but for the most part you'll just be enjoying the varied battles (some open, some in confined spaces). Level progression is pretty good - you shouldn't spend long wondering where to go next if you have your wits about you. Towards the end, the gameplay becomes easier and more slaughter-style. (- Grazza)
- Dimension Gate by Martin Rice
141kb - Doom.exe - SP - 1 map -
This is a rather creative attempt at mapping. As the name suggests, the level progression involves teleporting between totally different environments. These environments aren't especially elaborately designed, but the themes are clear enough. I'd strongly recommend exploring the first area (the office) quite carefully before going through the teleporter, as items are rather sparse from then on. Overall, if you don't try to rush through, the map offers fair and varied gameplay - not overly difficult but with plenty of dangers presented to the player. (- Grazza)
- Imp Hatchery & The Arena by Al Howe
214kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 2 maps -
Here we have two maps, which are not thematically linked with one another. Both are medium sized (or maybe medium-large, depending on what you're used to), with map01 probably the pick of the two, as it is more atmospheric and less conventional in design. Map02 does indeed feature an arena (well, a big central area), together with a lot of smaller side areas. It will probably take quite a while to play. Map01 has a "house on the edge of hell" feel to it, with some rather well-populated cavern-type areas. By the way, this map can be exited in just a few seconds, without firing a shot, by running for the yellow key, and using it to open the "red key" door to the exit. I'm not sure the author intended to allow that. Anyway, try not to be put off by the rather smug comments in the text-file (this also applies to Al Howe's other wad listed below and the two by Steve Wilson). (- Grazza)
- Imprisoned! by Steve Wilson
105kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
This somewhat cramped and dark level offers a good adventure and some violent battles. Fear not, you're given more than adequate tools to get the job done; don't be too worried about spraying the ammo about a bit. As the name suggests, many of the monsters are confined in cells, though that doesn't render them wholly impotent, as you can't tackle all of them from completely safe areas. An inquisitive nature will definitely be helpful in this map too, as not everything is presented to you on a platter. (- Grazza)
- Continue ... by Ondrej Laba
53kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
A somewhat uneven map, with some good fights and ideas alongside rather bad and annoying ones. The bad include an area you can't get out of (and can easily walk into), and some repetitive level progression, which can get even more repetitive if you forget where the four identical teleporters lead, and which ones you've already stepped upon. On the positive side of the balance sheet are some fun battles where you're under attack from all angles, with some nice little surprises thrown in. There are also some pretty good visual effects, with floating pentagrams, etc. I'll leave you to decide whether the good outweighs the bad, but it would be safest to steer clear of this one if you're the easily frustrated type. (- Grazza)
- The Octagon & Living Level & Spaceship by Al Howe
160kb - Doom2.exe - DM + SP - 3 maps -
These three maps are apparently primarily designed for deathmatch, but they aren't at all bad for single play. In fact, in the case of map02 and map03, I would have guessed that they were straight SP maps, and map01 is a decent arena-style map for a quick slaughter. Map02 is rather a complex affair with moving platforms galore, which might make your head hurt if you try to work out exactly what triggers what. The strategy of remaining silent will be quite a help here - you won't be able to get all the way through the map with that approach, but it will mean you're well tooled up when all hell breaks loose. Map03 is a very convincingly made spaceship - this isn't one of those maps where you only realize it is meant to be a spaceship when you read the text-file. It has engines, a bridge and, er, all the other stuff you expect in a spaceship if you watch the Sci-Fi Channel too much. It's quite easy to reach the exit quickly (even on NM), and on the whole it's a fun romp. The music is rather varied, to say the least. For DM, map01 should provide an intense battle for small numbers of players, with little room to hide and weapons in plentiful supply. Map02 should favour strategists who know their way around the map well, while map03 has a lot of nooks and crannies with the attractive surroundings perhaps compensating for a slightly slow game. (- Grazza)
Shadows, clowns and door wars - - -
As Grazza noted, Al Howe's maps can be played on DeathMatch mode as well as single player. The Octagon, with the lifts rough steps offers somewhat random games where you'll often lose your opponent, both because of the dimness and the varied heights, where its not unusual to fall off and then get lost in the shadows.
The Living Level offers a mildly interesting layout for DeathMatches, and Al here makes a bit better use of heights than on the previous map, pretty much giving the map two levels in the central area. The music made me expect clown visages on a wall or two, but they weren't there. Instead of the clowns, the only weird thing is the way the stairs and the Plasma gun platform get eaten up by the starry sky.
The Spaceship is a complex with shawn-textured metal doors. The Star Wars music fits in with the theme and the Quake-like automatic (turbo) doors add an interesting touch to DeathMatch; you're quite often aware of the approximate location of your opponent, which is also helped by the fact that the map is relatively compact, just enough so that the door devices serve their purpose well. (- myk)
- 4-Corners/Labrynth/Fragathon/Volcano by Steve Wilson
67kb - Doom2.exe - DM + SP (first two maps only) - 4 maps -
Another wad that is primarily designed for deathmatch but contains two maps (map01 and map02) suited to single-player mode, though in this case they are both very symmetrical and look every bit like DM maps with monsters in them. The first is not much of a challenge, even if you decide to play it Tyson-style - why all the invuls are there, I don't know. The second is kind of fun, and more varied too, at least in the monsters you face - overall this map is worth playing, but much depends on whether you get blocked when jumping between the higher-level areas, which is luck-dependent. For DM, map01 offers some interesting possibilities given that the players can close off certain routes through the map, but it is likely to be a fast-paced game. Map02, being more complex, should support a few more players, and will favour those who use the wallrunning and jumping possibilities to best advantage. Map03 is a simple "concept" map, featuring a walkway that provides better access to the other players, but the life expectancy must be pretty low once you're on it. Map04 is surely too small and simple to retain the players' interest for very long. (- Grazza)
Post-grungy DeathMatch - - - -
With [W4GH4X] we also tried Steve Wilson's maps on DeathMatch mode; the first map, 4-Corners is rather compact and provides some decent action at close quarter or over the separate ledges, though initially much depends on getting the Invulnerability spheres. Telefragging is also an option from the locations leading to the ledges above, to be applied on those foolhardy enough to go up without looking over their backs.
The second map, Labrynth, is indeed a maze that has passages on different levels, which makes it seem very large ([W4GH4X] literally said, "this is like for ten people"). The layered complex-maze concept is interesting, and it may work out better on a free-for-all, but on a one-on-one it's kind of slow and random (and thus the music can be more painful than your opponent's weapons.)
The third map, Fragathon, is based on a "runway" over lava with a landing at each end. Steve said it's one of the best DeathMatch levels he's ever played. Well, since there's nowhere to go, the score depends on being quick to get the weapons, keeping yourself from falling off the runway, and effectively spamming your opponent to inaction, especially with the BFG9000 (if the music doesn't get you first.)
The fourth map, Volcano, takes Steve's BFG fetish a step further, in a small room with only BFG9000s and Chainguns. According to him you'll be surprised which weapon is the better one, although I presume he was joking or else hadn't read the BFG FAQ. Still, in AltDeath the Chainguns can be more useful, as the BFG can be gone intermittently, and otherwise these Chianguns, which are hard to see, can play the role it plays in DOOM II's Entryway (being an obstacle, as well as another weapon in the arsenal.) (- myk)
Funduke uploaded 37 wads that were missing from the archive. They are from 1994 and 1995. I (myk) reviewed them.
- The Castle by Mark Barry
42KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map
Return to Castle Neuschwanstein - - -
This medium sized map provides a decent combination of open spaces and ledges or catwalks; a deadly moat surrounds the construction, and a couple of devices may be used to trap or hinder the unwary opponent. The weapons are a bit far apart and you don't spawn really close to them, so there's often a bit of a pause between the action, and the plasma-based weapons are hard to get, but the general design does offer appropiate space as well as defensible locations, such as the stairs leading down to the gate, or the gate itself. So it feels a bit big, perhaps more suitable for free-for-all matches than one-on-ones, but can offer some good fights. There are no monsters so it's pointless for anything but DeathMatch.
- Castle Phobos v2.0 by David G. Shrock
655KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 6 maps
The progress of fear - - - -
Castle Phobos is a set of six DOOM levels. For added "realism" the author made the maps link with each other (you see into the next map as you exit) and to go with that made the item placement inclusive as well. In effect, the whole set works more or less like a single map with previous sections that are not accessible. Powerful weapons are well hidden, yet they are crucial later on; thus these maps may be frustrating at first, and will play better if you know they layout and the placement of some of the better weapons.
Generally the maps are somewhat intricate and it's not always easy to know where to go, and though the challenges are relatively well balanced, you need to play the whole thing through. In fact, some "obscure" sections are not marked by the automap, and that can make them a bit confusing. Thus, using lower difficulty setting initially may be a good idea, unless you're really fond of saving a lot. The most effective environments in these maps are the moody outdoor courtyards, and the related areas where sections are viewable through windows, though there are also more traditional indoor locales.
The package also contains an earlier version of the set; though, unless I'm mistaken, it seems kind of pointless, as that earlier version is already on the archive. In addition, funduke has provided Donatas "Donce" Tamonis' excellent Nightmare! run through the set (only the secret map is not seen here.)
- Castle Phobos v5.0 by David G. Shrock (with Ross A. Warren and Sean Fugate)
942KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/(DM) - 10 maps
Against the shades of death - - - -
This is the DOOM II version of Castle Phobos; and the first six maps are the ones found in the DOOM version, with only a few changes; DOOM II monsters are rare and you may get the SSG. The seventh map is a nukage happy little maze that can pretty nasty at first, and the other three make use of the more open style of architecture that works well for the set, and take the proportions up a notch.
In addition to the four new maps, this set also contains new graphics that go with the "castle" theme; a dark nocturnal sky, a full replacement for the Imp, a marine-like Shotgun guy, some textures (especially doors and switches) and leafy trees. The graphics are a bit rough, but work okay nonetheless. Some of the sounds have also been changed to add to the medievalesque feel, and each map has new custom music, which is between okay and quite fitting, depending on the track.
- Death Field by Adam Holz
14KB - Doom - SP/Coop - 1 map
Walls you cannot see - -
A circular area with several geomertically formed "walls" (visible or not) dividing it into a maze-like layout. Texutres are haphazardly placed, height variations are inexistent, and there are no doors. There are some monsters, though, including one of the bosses on UV, and ammo to spare. Not exactly a masterpiece, but it's pretty old, and managed to make it's way to a few places, sometimes without the text file, so I doubt the author had much access to the best of tools or information.
- Die, scum by an unknown author
23KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
Lifts, shawny doors, and sleeping uglies - - -
Monsters are present, but between the fact that there is no exit, that ammo is overabundant (forget AltDeath), and that most of the monsters are effectively "asleep" (i.e., the REJECT lump is empty) this map is not very inspiring for one-player games. Finally, the bad REJECT entry makes recordings fail or desynch. DeathMatch is a bit more possible, but the weapons aren't usually close at hand, and you'll still have moments where the Players are far appart, but at least you can sometimes use the lifts as a guide to where your opponent is.
- Careful by Eric F. Varner
19KB - Doom - DM/SP/Coop - 1 map
Careful with the Cybies - - -
The author tells us this is his first wad; the somewhat random, rough texturing, odd lighting, and simple architecture does seem to imply that, although the design isn't bad in all respects; the fights are old fashioned but varied by the use of darkness and tactical monster positioning (they are often placed in locations that put the Player at an initial disadvantage.) A few of the rooms do seem more simple and rather redundant, though, apparently because they were initially designed as waiting or hiding places during DeathMatch games. Conventional ammo is abundant, health isn't excessive given the amount of Shotgun guys and the lighting level, and plasma is more or less tight or proper if one wants to clean out the map (it's needed in the close-up fights against the biggest foes, and I tried making use it in this screen shot... but got plastered against those red walls.) By the way, here's a demo recording by Maikl, kicking butt on Ultra-Violence. On DeathMatch mode games aren't too action packed, though the map generally confluences well with a decent weapon distribution, and the varied light levels give you good chances to ambush your opponent.
- Fortress by Curtis M. Turner II
60KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Mazes & mutants - - -
As funduke says, this is really a classic, being now among the oldest wads in idgames; it mostly takes place in a techy (startan) fortress, or near it. The fighting can be mildly to relatively challenging due to some confined areas, the way the monsters are allowed to navigate the map, and because of a couple of traps, but there is surely enough ammo to stay on the safe side if you're careful enough. The layout of the fortress is relatively simple, using mostly uniform texturing, but effective enough to set the scene, and one of the last areas consists of a veritable maze Wolfenstein 3D fans should appreciate. DeathMatch is supported, but the map seems somewhat large for it, especially counting the maze area.
- Warehouse by Eric F. Varner
22KB - Doom - DM/(SP) - 1 map
Closed frag crates - -
This warehouse themed DeathMatch map by the author of Careful has rough texturing and a more developed layout, which might be more suitable for slower-moving Players than bloodthirsty ones, since getting weaponry (which is scarce) depends on hopping onto crates, preferrably when someone isn't pelting you with lead.
- Inferno by Doug Jacoby
41KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Of infernal alignment - - -
Doug Jacoby's wad is is called Inferno, although it's more of a gray stone complex than a hellish locale. As funduke indicates, the timestamp of June '93 can't be right, so we don't know how early the map really is. The author did not concentrate much on textures, which are often oddly aligned and often badly placed (e.g., the second screen shot) and he ignored the matter of light sources (something not uncommon in early wads to a degree, but very obvious here.) The layout fares a bit better; it's not a flat or predictable map, though at least one door (secret or not) isn't very intuitive, and there's a place outside where you can fall into a pit and be trapped without dying; perhaps an oversight, as nukage is used as the flat there. Overall the map is pretty dark, though it's not paticularly difficult as the monsters usually show up ahead and are easy to manage, you can use a Light amplification visor along the way, and there is ammo and health to spare.
- Keeper by Eric F. Varner
52KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
From flesh to concrete - - -
Another map by Varner, Keeper is a level that starts out easily with wide flat hellish passages where monsters are met predictably, but as it progresses the architecture of the complex displays more elaboration and difficulty increases, till the ending, which can be somewhat challenging. For DeathMatch, while supported, it seems too big.
- Predator at Large by Marty Ray
63KB - Doom - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
A tricky adjustment - - - -
No, this has nothing to do with the movie, though Dutch built traps, and we have some here. The map has a mostly gothicish theme, and some attention has been put into making decent structures. The way it plays though, is more exceptional, and some bits are somewhat surprising. It's not exceptionally hard, but instead puts a twist of features of the engine to produce tricky situations. The author also used turbo doors, a novelty of v1.666, though the wad was apparently released shortly before DOOM II (the first place these were used officially.) For DeathMatch it has quite a few rooms, though it offers numerous ways to play off against opponents using the teleporters, lifts and numerous passages; and for free-for-all it can't be too big.
- A star is dead by Derek Morton
24KB - Doom - DM - 1 map
Don't cry for this star - -
"A star is dead" sounds like a pretty poetic name for a wad; maybe this is an "abstract" map... Though it does include a star shaped lift device. Needless to say once you've seen the screen shots, it looks crude and weird, although its layout isn't bad for DeathMatch, but it does have excessive ammo and power-ups strewn about. Monsters have been placed sparsely, and are there to possibly enhance DeathMatch, and they are so far appart that they don't really provide a challenge on single-player mode.
- Star by an anonymous author
59KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
Secrets of the four pointed star - - -
This old level of anonymous authorship uses a generally large scale, simple but tidy texturing, reasonable lighting, and a consistent arrangement to produce a fine "alien" tech environment. Only lesser monsters are used throughout, and ammo is generous, though the enemy generally makes a good stand due to the way its forces are deployed.
- TLB by an anonymous author
24KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
The Lost Barracks - -
Albeit rough and making strange use of some textures, this level manages to be relatively challenging, but it can be frustrating if one is not observant. The wad didn't come with a text file, so the author and other miscellaneous information about it are lost. The map is rather small and made up of several sections interconnected in different ways, some viewable but apparently unreachable at first.
- Wireless by Gene Field
32KB - Doom - DM - 1 map
Where'd that sucker go...? - - -
Like a good deal of early DeathMatch maps, this is a rather big level. While some sections may be suitable for more intense fights, that size and the distribution of arms and ammo make for relatively uneventful matches. The general design is of a rustly castle-like fortress surrounded by a large closed courtyard.
- Wireless 2 by Gene Field
35KB - Doom - DM - 1 map
I'll frag him yet... - - -
Gene "Wireless" Field gave us another map which is similar to the first one but offers areas that are somewhat more defined and connected. Like in Wireless, you have a network of tight halls where you can lose your opponent, and an outside section, but unlike in the first map, the outer section is somewhat varied, with a proper stairway up to the complex. Overall it still offers the same kind of hunting game found in Wireless and many older DeathMatch wads.
- Warren by Stuart Greig
30KB - Doom - SP/(Coop/DM) - 1 map
A DOOM formation - - -
Warren is a meduim sized and rather mazy map with an unfinished appearance due to simple and uniform texturing and sparse enemy population. Ammo is not lacking, and gets quite abundant if you can punch well enough. The author used darkness and sniping enemies to enhance the difficulty a bit, but it's still relatively easy.
- Faust 2 by Faust
442KB - Doom2 - DM/(SP; Map07) - 8 maps
Beyond the one-room concept - - - - - - - -
Faust included here his later Room-concept maps; at this stage he deviated a bit from the idea (see Room2x below) in order to make place for more elaborate designs, but kept the general concept where each map is dominated by a central room, with some sections that extend from it, or are otherwise associated with it. The set contains some well-known "cool" sounds in place of the stock sounds, of which the dying and gibbing sounds are rather amusing, and with the addition of some assorted music tracks, a metallic status bar, the Phobos sky, and a couple id or Raven based maps (now removed before uploading to idgames), one gets the impression of those popular mid '90s DeathMatch wads like the DWANGO series... and indeed Faust says "See you on Dallas DWANGO" in the text file.
The first map, originally Room7 (wad), takes place in a deep mossy box surrounded by three higher hex-tiled rooms you can reach through stairs or lifts. Since the central section is lower, it's easy to go down to it and much of the fighting takes place there, or around the stairs that, being narrower, are defensible, and the general layout favors confrontation over evasion.
The second map, Room8, also has an open mossy boxed-in central arena, this time surrounded by shaded trenches from where you can nail down anyone in the center. Beyond the wooden box and all around it is a hex-tiled hallway, and from there you can get into the slimy hall that leads to the exit, which is a pretty good hiding place. This arrangement is less action-oriented than Room7's, but it provides good opportunities for sniping and surprise attacks in a relatively confined area with generous enough fighting space.
The third map, Room9, takes place in an underground stone chamber filled with (harmless) green slime. Because there's a large vaguely chair-shaped construction beside the slime filled area that protects a dimly lit path, the inevitable action in the illumed main section can be complemented by some stealthy attacks using the construction's shadows as cover. Getting atop the construction is also beneficial, as it holds the Plasma guns. A long hidden tunnel leads to the exit, and here a Player may hold his ground a bit in a more defensive posture, although risking being cornered. The music here is from Heretic and does fit in with the texturing and lighting conditions.
The fourth map, Room10, is a larger level centered around pentagram shaped room, with pits in the sections of the circle not beneath the star. The action occurs mostly around the pits, often from medium distance as the players are divided by these pits, since falling into them one is confined in an awkward lower space till he manages to go back up using one of the lifts out. The very heart of the pentagram holds a teleporter to a smaller isolated room, where a Player may go off to momentarily avoid the central area, and we also have a hall stretching to the exit from the main area, which is a defensible bottleneck which has no other way out.
The fifth map, Room13, is octagonally shaped (like Room4-1) and has three towers in the center. You may teleport up to these from lava-holding nooks on the walls, and may also permanently lower sections of the towers to make space for more fragging. Without lowering the tower "arms" you get a more careful or circular game, and eventually as they are lowered the game becomes more dynamic, especially if the teleporters are used to effect, and because the map is rather compact.
The sixth map, Room14, is centered around a spacious elevator that can be made to rise to the height of various separate halls converging into it at different heights. Akin to Room7 in that most of the fighting is heavily oriented towards the central area, here you can additionally make a stand in any of the halls (from where you can lower the elevator) in a more defensive manner. The elevator also has a shaft in the middle that serves as cover and as a teleportating way out (to a secluded room), keeping it from being a mere open square with predictable fights.
The seventh map, Room16, is a large somewhat fish-shaped cavern that rises with startan reinforced wide stairs of rough design on one side, and falls with a bloody river on the other. Most of the action revolves around getting advantages using the height differences (or places to hide momentarily) within the chamber, although a hall to a room extending from about the middle of the cavern does provide a defensive vantage similar to the one provided by the exit hall in other maps on the set. This map also contains some monsters, enough to provide some fun without being too threatening, considering the available arsenal, which is quite capable of making them run on and cry to momma.
The last and ninth map, Room15, has a central square area dominated by a tower akin to Room13's, but bigger, and a bunch of hallways that branch off from the central open room, winding and meeting at different points. This is the most expansive map of the series, though the way the halls interconnect to the large central area still holds the concept of a main room dominated map together effectively. The other distinctive feature in this map is the presence of the BFG9000, with a sound fitting the general theme of the wad (match oriented and fun.) The tower is accessible, but only by teleportation, which provides yet another convergence point into the main area.
- Final 8 by Chris Kuehner
25KB - Doom - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Just a new level for DOOM - -
As the author put it, "This level has some very tough bad dudes. But, it also has some little tricks and traps to help you defeat them." The map is rudimentary and rough, with long straight stairs, lots of steely shawn walls, some catwalks an not too many monsters.
- The all signing, all dancing God-disco road show by Dan Sumption
138KB - Doom - SP/Coop/DM - 2 maps
The Bruiser Bros. show - - - -
Here's a wad from september '94 by an author with a curiously "Tom Hall-like" character. It's a concept type wad where the author set out to put an idea to work, meeting and cursing Doom's limits along the way. He also made an effort to meet id design standards; for an early wad using Doom v1.1 for development, is does well enough. There are two maps, the first one, The cloak-rooms of hell, has a relatively intricate design, and albiet not truly hard, may offer replayability, and the second, Fiddler on the roof, tops it off as a not too challenging but decent climax. The author also dabbled a bit with graphic resources, enhancing the wad's mild surreal touch. The first level is rather big, so it could be good only if you like hunting-style DeathMatch, while the second may provide some more active fun, with its lowering walls and its simpler design.
- Jail Break by Dave Yergeau
33KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
They'll keep you locked in, you might be a troublemaker - - -
This is one of a trio of prison related wads funduke uploaded. Dave's map is supposedly great for DeathMatch, though it seems rather big, dim and linear; perhaps for free-for-all, but it doesn't seem too action packed. On single-player the Shotgun guys can make it a bit painful and the linearity predictable, but it does at least offer situations where you'll have to watch your back.
- The Octogon! by an anonymous author
4KB - Doom2 - SP/DM/Coop - 1 map
One rather dark room with barrels - -
Akin to Dfield in its own way, this map is one octagonal room, except that instead of invisible walls we have an "illusionary room" in the center. There are some explosive barrels, and you can't see much due to the low light level. The author had DeathMatch in mind when he designed it, though he did add some monsters. The dates on the files in the ZIP predate DOOM II, when the map is a Map10 replacement; so the datestamp is apparently wrong. Anyway, it's made up of only one sector! So, guys, when are we starting that 1sector.wad project?
- Prison v1.0 by Dr fred441
11KB - Doom - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
No one cares, but I'm so much stronger - -
An "escape" themed map where the author attempts to place the Player in precarious situations using crushers, heights and narrow passages. Naturally, once you know the dangers it becomes quite easy. The size, simplicity, and almost exclusive startan texturing make it feel very incomplete.
- Prison by Patrick M. Fry
209KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map
The jester did it - -
This is a compact DeathMatch wad; unfortunately I misclassified it as single-player during sorting and we couldn't really play it. It's basically made up of the cells area, where you duke it out from both below and atop the elevated sections, a large open sandy area surrounded by water (you can drown in it) and a section that connects to the cells area through a ledge and a teleporter, and to the outside through a narrow hall. Due to the size and simplicity coupled with the variety of the three sections it should be okay for one-on-ones, but seems better for free-for-alls. It contains some silly resource replacements to please the clownish of character.
- Room2x by Faust
22KB - Doom2 - DM - 3 maps
Matched hexagons of death - - -
While "one-room" DeathMatch wads are not unusual, especially from back when we had little bandwidth or CPU power to spare for MultiPlayer, Faust decided to make a whole series of maps out of the concept, which is sure to deliver simple games with a lot of direct action.
The Room2x package contains three variations of this concept, all apparently based on the same base or map template. Room2 provides a hexagonally shaped frag room with four "H" shaped obstructions in the middle. In Room2-1 Faust changed the sectors in the middle to provide a single large obstruction so that you can't pass through the middle, but also raised the ceiling to display unappealingly stacked textures on the walls. And Room2-2 is similar to Room2, but less illumed.
- Room3 v1.1 by Faust
8KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map
Rain at the pentagon - -
No, this map isn't a rendition of the US defense department HQ, but it is a pentagonally shaped room, and it may not be raining, but there sure is water all over the place. This map has five isles where the Players start out, but after hopping down they duke it out in the watery surface of the pentagon, around and about the isles they can't climb back to unless they're fragged (and respawn.)
- Room4 v1.1 by Faust
11KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map
Octagon of bloodshed - -
Another of the "one-room" concept wads in Faust's series, this one has eight sides, and like the Room2 maps, it has obstuctions in the middle to provide some cover and variety during DeathMatches, including eight simple walls and a central tower or column. Both the tower and a wall on the east side of the octagon have lifts that rise high up over the bloody floor. The octagon is somewhat dim, like Faust's Room2-2.
- Room5 by Faust
8KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map
In the bloody square - -
Another of Faust's "Room" maps, Room5 is shaped like a square. The center has a stone block you can climb on to using a lift, to get the Rocket launcher. Additionally there are small crushers throughout the map, that may catch and crush a careless DeathMatcher. Except for the central part, Room 5 is pretty dark, so it requires more attention for firing flashes and sounds to get at the opponent, somewhat reducing the interaction.
- Space by an anonymous author
19KB - Doom - SP/Coop - 1 map
In search of the unknown - -
The author of this map from mid '94 is unknown, for one it seems he was aiming for realism in his "tech" styled map, and avoided using hellish decorations for the most part, sticking instead faithfully to tech columns. Design-wise our unknown author shares some qualities with the famous author "SLIGE" though he isn't perhaps as technically proficient. The monsters generally attack you in an honourable way, making sure you're not flanked or anything inproper, except a few that fire cowardly from perhaps a darkened ledge or an adjacent catwalk. I was very sleepy when I checked this map, but I defeated the opposition anyhow...
- Star-B-Q by Jim Allen
152KB - Doom - SP/Coop - 2 maps
Potpourri PWAD - - - -
This is a declared first attempt at mapping, though the author did his homework and managed to create something more or less functional and relatively tidy. It's a two-map "puzzle" type wad with traps and other devices that are as predominant as the monsters themselves, and the progression is nonlinear, especially at the beginning. Some of the fighting can be a bit challenging, but it mostly complements map navigation. We could say the first map is the main dish and the second the dessert (cake?)
- Starship by Doug Jacoby
78KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Quest for the lite-saver - - -
Another map by the author of Inferno (see above.) This one, as the name implies, takes place on a space ship (let me know if you find Spock), and to attempt the desired theme, Doug slapped in many lite, console and techy textures, though he did use some marble or cement ones as well. Well, I've never been in a space ship, so I won't be telling you if he did the right thing. Progress through the map can be slow sometimes as it's not evident where one has to go most of the time, until one notices it's not possible to continue and tries some other way. Additionally, at least twice I got into places and could not get out, once in a small nook, and then once jumping down into an area below (on the north wing of the ship.) Like in Inferno, the architecture tends to encourage frontal attacks by monsters, except for a couple occasions where the monsters have more space to attack you in a less predictable way, so overall they provide less of a threat than getting stuck or lost can.
- Telefrag by David Davidson
7KB - Doom - DM - 1 map
Don't just frag, telefrag! - - -
Another of those conceptual one room wads; in this one the Players are confined to ledges on a circular arena from where they can only teleport to other ledges or shoot at other ledges that are sometimes covered by a crusher device that dominates the central area (and which is there for that purpose alone.) The idea is pretty distinct and almost makes a little game of its own, but I tried it with [W4GH4X] and it got somewhat repetitive. The teleportations go in a linear, wheel-like sense, with the player going counter-clockwise by teleporting inward and clockwise when outward; perhaps a more intricate but marked sequence would have provided a more intelligent type of match.
- Thor by Chris Pollina
10KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop - 1 map
Some kid's first wad - -
In early '95 Chris brought us his opera prima THOR ("These Horrible Orthogonal Rooms") where he elaborated his design concept; to cross over to necessary switches or keys you need to hit another switch to raise the area before these. He did commit some virtual malpraxis here, though, since if you don't raise the areas and fall into them, you're stuck but not (necessarily) dead. The map is otherwise rather small and not much of a challenge. DeathMatch support is alleged, yet there's but one start for it.
- TimJay by Tim J. Ash and Jason Kirby
484KB - Doom2 - DM/(SP/Coop; Map05) - 7 maps
Mwahahahahaha! - - - - - - - -
Here we have a combined effort by TIMinator (I recall a demo he recorded that, among a couple Cooperative demos by some other guys, got me interested in MultiPlayer and recording) and Jason Kirby, both relatively prolific authors from Canada; these are seven maps gleaned from their previously released DeathMatch wads, which they compiled over ten years ago. The wad includes a few modified sounds, which are okay. When funduke uploaded the wad he removed Map01, that was based on DOOM's Hangar, so the set starts with Map02.
The set's initial map, Megapit, is an octagonal pit with a rim around it, and a side tunnel to the small room with the SSG. The spaciousness, clear lighting, and compactness, added to the intervening towers and the encircling ledge contribute to an action-packed game, working well for either competitive one-on-ones and especially fun free-for-alls.
The second map, Brimstone, is a quite monstrous level. Not that it's very big, but it's shaped like some prone monstrosity with fin-like protuberances (Player starts), a small tail (exits and teleporter to an area before the face) and a central decagonal belly area where lies the beast's soul (a Megasphere.) Due to its medium size and the sound of automated lifts dampening those made by the opponent, it's better for free-for-alls than one-on-one games.
The third map, Outpost, takes place in an enclosed open area encircling a moat protected building (that holds the SSG.) The other good weapon, the Rocket launcher, lies in a room you may only teleport to. The map is not very big and with the different small constructions and devices about the field, has enough variety to keep one-on-one matches exciting.
The fourth map, Citadel of Power, takes place in a symmetrical complex facing a grassy yard and backed by a rocky pool area, that's thoughtfully optimized for free-for-all games. Monsters have been placed on the level, and they offer an agreeable single-player challenge, either for longer "out to kill" strolls to quick speedruns.
The fifth map is The Serpents Ring, where a ring shaped tunnel encircles a rectangular chamber of crossing bridge platforms and it's associated rooms of various shapes. Due to the complexity and size of the level, free-for-all matches are recommended here, and the map offers games where trickery and tactics should prevail (over furious fragging.)
The sixth map, BFG Spaz, was especially designed to satisfy the "I have a Big Fucking Gun!" psycho in all of us; it's a large rounded square with "ears" at the corners from where the Players come in. The doors and walls around the central section split the map up to provide necesary cover but also allow quick BFG9000 discharges for measured after-blast results, and the stairs provide changing altitudes for less predictable plasma-toasted carnage. The BFG is excluded on the lower difficulty settings, so that the weak of heart can have their paltry "fun" too.
The last map, Go for It, is a free-for-all arena styled map consisting of a central open area with a few obstructions and a central stairway for overhead fragging. Some warp points look into the arena and there are separate areas for more powerful weaponry, either hidden or trapped. It's also pretty good for one-on-one games, as the areas converge well into the arena.
- Torture! by Marc Norris
68KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Derelict Phobos base - - -
Marc's map from mid '94 is a classic styled complex with a relatively developed layout. The different areas are well protected using keys, switches and awaiting monsters, and progress can slow down somewhat at certain points, but hints through windows and help from the automap provide enough guidance to continue without annoyance. The challenge is mild but not unbalanced. DeathMatch is supported, but the disposition of the map furthers slower hunter-style play (akin to playing in many of DOOM's larger stock maps.) The throne, you'll see, is not an exit; it seems more like the author went for something resembling the space jockey's chair in Alien (merely because of the gigerish touch of the metal cords and the skulls) while hinting the key's proximity.
- Tower v0.53 by Astro
28KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
Around the cybertower - - -
Astro's first (and only?) map revolves around a large courtyard manned by a well-positioned Cyberdemon, two Spiderdemons, and some minions. The path to the keys is guarded by monsters and some traps (including one that is quite dangerous, and one that is plain wrong), and it's sometimes open to the vigilant boss' rockets. The map's theme and layout is definitely rough and somewhat surreal, and it's not a really hard level once you know its quirks; at least the aspiring author put some thought into the map's concept as a challenge.
- Zone by Grover
26KB - Doom - DM/(SP) - 1 map
And the Cybie said "ask nicely" - -
Grover's map is a simple DeathMatch level converging in a central room. The hallways and areas winging it are rather dark and not too action friendly, but the map is concise enough, so it's not really dull. The author suggested playing with respawning monsters and AltDeath, which means that a Cyberdemon will be permanently guarding the sole Rocket launcher, making getting it a veritable suicide mission, considering the design of the room it's in.
In addition to the 37 wads, funduke also uploaded old versions of a well-know utility:
- DeHackEd - old versions by Greg Lewis
553KB - Doom/2 - Hacking - 9 versions
For historical purposes and in sake of some older patches stored here and there that won't work well with the newer verions of DeHackEd, funduke has uploaded these 9 older versions of the Doom and Doom2 binary hacking utility. This upload makes sense to me, given we have ways to downgrade Doom and Doom2 (these are mentioned in the upload's text file), and this stuff complements the older versions of Doom. (- myk)