Hello! For this month's old stuff we've got quite a lot of maps again; Grazza starts off with his batch:
Funny, when I agreed to share the workload for these "old stuff" reviews, I thought it was going to be a rather minor task each month... However, it's amazing how much cool Doom stuff isn't in the archive, even including work by famous mappers, and projects that were well-known at the time of their release. This month features a few 1990s creations with truly creative dehacked and graphical work, and a more recent bunch of good quality futuristic wads from Czech mappers.
- Wheel of Time Doom by Chad Moore, Kevin Moore and Elias Agritellis
1,735kb - Doom2.exe + dehacked + deusf - SP - 5 maps - - - - -
This 5-level wad features a large number of replacement graphics and a dehacked patch that changes the gameplay to a very significant degree. There are also ambient sounds à la Aliens TC. Overall, it makes quite a coherent whole, and is definitely one of the more notable dehacked wads. Indeed, I have seen it listed in some old lists of "all-time best wads". Why it was missing from the archive, I don't know.
Before going any further, I shoul stdress three points. Firstly, Wheel of Time starts on map03.
Secondly, in many ports, even including some with generally good dehacked support, it won't work exactly as intended. This is in part due to a bug in Boom's dehacked support (specifically, for the "Max Health" setting), which has been copied by many ports. This generally results in the player having far more health than the makers intended. As far as I know, only Prboom-plus 126.96.36.199 and Risen3D handle this setting correctly. Also in Zdoom, the player moves too fast (you can modify the dehacked patch to prevent that) and the stone enemies in map03 wake up prematurely (this latter problem does not occur in GZDoom). Apart from the Max Health issue, Chocolate-Doom, Eternity and Legacy all seem to work OK. If you choose to play Wheel of Time in a port that doesn't fix this dehacked bug, it would be best to delete the Max Health line from the dehacked patch, though this will mean you are sometimes slightly penalized for picking up a health potion.
Thirdly, it is quite a weird wad, with some intentionally strange behaviour. Some of the enemies are very powerful (on the other hand, so is the player), while others can walk through walls or resurrect themselves from the dead. Possibly this weirdness stems from the wad being based upon Robert Jordan's fantasy novels. I haven't read any of them, so can't say how faithfully it adheres to those texts (assuming that a Doom wad could do so to any meaningful degree). Anyway, if you dislike wads that differ greatly from standard Doom, and especially if you like your enemies to stay dead, you might have more fun just doing some sightseeing round wotdoom, rather than playing it seriously.
Most of the weapons and enemies are modified or replaced. Those enemies that aren't used, are mostly employed instead for ambient sounds. Our weapons on the whole fire more rapidly and look totally different from the defaults. Unlike many BFG replacements, the übersword Callandor should not disappoint. In fact, it makes me think that this is what Quietus in Hexen should have been like. Accordingly, the enemies are faster, nastier, and appear to have some supernatural force behind them.
The maps are mostly medium sized, with some straying into the large category. The style is coherent within each map, but varies widely from one map to the next - I'll presume this is due to the storyline it is based upon. The maps (which are best played as an episode, rather than from pistol starts) are as follows:
The WayGate Temple: A standard sort of temple, with statues of monsters lining the walls. You need to grab some stuff and escape. You can guess what happens next.
The Ways: A black void riddled with a complex of pathways, parts of which drop away at inconvenient moments. However, the action seems relatively sedate, but as you make progress, the opposing forces multiply (remember that some monsters can resurrect; the lost soul replacement is used to excellent effect too), and by the time you are making your way back towards the exit, you will truly be running the gauntlet. A classic map of the genre.
The Eye of the World: An intense and prolonged battle in a waterworld.
The Dungeon (of the Stone): The name describes this map pretty well. I'll add that it is large and violent.
The Heart of the Stone: The final battle, where you claim the mighty sword Callandor and face the full might of your enemy. Actually, if you know where you need to go, it is a relatively easy map, and rather a fun slaughter. On a very technical note, you can get a spechits overflow on this map.
I'll leave it to you to decide whether Wheel of Time is a neglected masterpiece or an overdose of weirdness - or both. I'll definitely recommend taking a look at it though, and feel that it should at least provide some inspiration for those seeking new ideas to use in their wads.
- Nemisis experiment by Harlequin (aka Justin Fisher)
527kb - Doom2.exe + deusf - it's mostly to demonstrate ideas; DM? - 2 maps - - -
Yes, this is the same Justin Fisher who made Aliens TC, a wad that truly showed the modding potential of the Doom engine, using its resources and dehacked's potential in ways that no one had previously thought of, and with an originality that few since have approached. I'll give the next word to Justin Fisher (from his text-file): "I made this wad primarily to show how much untouched potential is left in the DOOM engine, as I often hear people giving up on WADs because they think there is nothing left to do that hasn't been done a hundred times already... If Nemisis looks like it has been done a hundred times already, then they are probably right, but hopefully it doesn't :)" He wrote those words nearly ten years ago, but today they still seem quite true; the fact that we are still here proves him right about Doom's continuing potential. The centrepiece of Nemisis, in this sadly unfinished form, is map02, the main area of which brings M.C.Escher's Relativity to life in a Doom map. One might consider it a tall order to recreate such a surreal environment, with up, down and sideways mingled so seamlessly, in a 2.5-D engine, but Justin Fisher, one of the great visionaries of Doom mapping, makes an impressive job of it.
You should definitely get hold of Nemisis. Either as a glimpse inside the mind of a genius at what could have been, for inspiration for your own products, or possibly as an interesting environment for a deathmatch.
Now we come to a series of 5 wads in the Fort series. The later ones represent more recent work by the author, so you might want to play Fort4 (largest) or Fort5 (best looking) first if you're not sure if you want to play all of them.
- Fort 1 by Martin Mirejovsky alias Duke
74kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
This is certainly a solid start to the Fort series. It's a medium to large map with mostly unelaborate design, but some nice touches of realism: there are a number of shuttlecrafts (in a hangar), a desktop computer, some moving machinery, and so on. Generally, each area of the map "makes sense", and there is a sense of progression. Like the first four Fort wads, there are no custom textures, but intelligent use is made of the defaults. The architecture is rather squarish and lacks complexity, and the gameplay is not too challenging - health, armour and ammo are supplied in such abundance that you won't have to worry about them. There are also some poor decisions, such as a lift that takes too long, and map02-style waterways that needn't have been quite so lengthy. Still, it's not a bad map.
- Fort 2: Legenda pokracuje by Martin Mirejovsky alias Duke
358kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map - -
In the second Fort map, there is no mistaking the fact that we are on a spaceship, complete with sickbay, mess room, reactor core, shuttlebay, etc. There's also a little shuttlecraft out in space, which I thought was a nice touch. I would hazard a guess that Martin Mirejovsky is a fan of Icarus (it reminded me of several maps in that megawad), Star Trek, or maybe both. The space effect is not the result of a custom sky, or even custom textures (of which there are none - this surprised me when I checked in XWE). Gameplay is again quite gentle, with little chance of dying unless you're really distracted by the surroundings. Nice map, worth playing.
- Fort 3: Gamma 6 by Martin Mirejovsky alias Duke
366kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 4 maps - -
Fort 3 finds us on a planet (perhaps we've teleported in?), but still in a largely hi-tech environment. Gameplay balance is a lot tighter than in the previous two, so you won't be able to do as you please here. I found myself using ye olde doore tricke on a few occasions, which helped the ammo situation a good deal. This is a multi-level wad, but each map leads on from the last, so there is full continuity between them. The environments vary, but the first really distinctive one is a submarine base (which has a crate room too, which will keep fans of such things happy). Those who like their tech a bit higher need not worry: we soon have a huge "reaktor" (and assorted paraphenalia, including fans, pulsating blue things and of course crates) to negotiate - it is quite well defended with hitscanners a-plenty. I recommend the coward's approach: some sniping and running, rather than standing and fighting from the outset. Then comes a slightly disappointing finale: a one-sided boss battle. Still, it's another unpretentious mapset that deserves a place on your hard-disk.
- Fort 4: Posledni uder by Martin Mirejovsky alias Duke
613kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 9 maps - - - - -
With Fort 4, Duke seems to be flexing his muscles as a mapper. Here he takes us deep underground in an increasingly complex set of maps. He again does so using just the default textures - the only custom graphics are a modified sky and the cwilv images for the map names (in Czech). Judging from the maps and an image in the package, I'd say our mission here takes place in a mining complex that penetrates to a planet's core. If you can read Czech, then I imagine the info file is quite an exciting read. Each of the maps is fully playable from a pistol start (nothing more than moderate difficulty on UV), but for a more leisurely experience (and better flow story-wise), you can play them as an episode. The first few maps are small or medium sized, and feature lifts, tunnels and large underground tech caverns. In map05 we find ourselves in a larger environment, with some nukage-processing areas and what appears to be an old sewer system with some abandoned structures. Map06 brings us to the surface for an easy boss battle, and in map07 we remain at the surface for some more skirmishes (and a tricky start if you're playing each map from scratch). Map08 gives us a nice photo opportunity (see the 5th screenshot) after a brief battle. And from that screenshot, you can surely work out what we do in the final map - and it should certainly be a case of "gone in sixty seconds". Fort4 is another recommended download, though gameplay-wise there are only a handful of slightly tense moments.
- Fort 5: Navrat na pevnost by Martin Mirejovsky alias Duke
815kb - Doom2.exe + deusf - SP - 7 maps - - - -
For this final instalment in the Fort series, Duke decided to include some custom graphics. Rather a lot of them in fact, and he used them to create a visual feast. The emphasis is firmly on quality rather than quantity, as these seven maps are all fairly small and pose little challenge from a gameplay viewpoint. Only in map06 (and if playing from pistol starts) does the player encounter any real resistance on UV. As in some of the earlier Fort wads, each map leads on to the next, but more than that, in Fort5 we often see parts of several of the other maps, and end up revisiting areas. One of the maps (map04) is in there purely as a linking area, so it is clear that Duke was focused mainly on story-telling here. The themes are snow/outdoor and tech/base, and the graphical effects include icicles, snow-covered trees, pulsating force fields and reactors, holographic display screens, and some very striking red and white pylon structures. There is also some use made of Quake2 textures and doors. If you just want to get a tour through the wad, you may be interested in the demos at DSDA by Gusta and myself. Anyway, you should definitely grab this wad.
- Akce Korian by Martin Mirejovsky alias Duke
540kb - Doom.exe - SP - 8 maps - - - - - -
We come to our final wad by Duke. This is an episode for (Ultimate) Doom, made before most of the Fort wads, and as you might expect, the maps are generally less ornate and ambitious. There were also some technical issues with these maps that I amended before uploading: I sewed the eight individual maps together into one wad and rebuilt the nodes, as there were some serious problems with them as they stood (rendering the monsters harmless in some exes, or the behaviour erratic in others). There is little in the way of a challenge in these maps (e1m4 being a slight exception), but they aren't at all bad. If you enjoyed Duke's other wads, you might want to take a look at this earlier creation too - several of his favoured themes are in evidence, but in more rudimentary form. e1m6 has the most interesting design: we are on a vessel of some sort, with recognizable areas including bathrooms, a cinema and a discoteque.
There now follow a number of single-map wads by Kelvin, who is webmaster of the Czech Doom site doom.kelvinet.cz, which is well worth a look.
- Planeta opic (Planet of the Apes) by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
122kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map - -
First off, I'm not sure what this map has to do with Planet of the Apes, but let's not worry about that. It is a fairly large and action-packed outdoor map that should give most players a stern yet enjoyable challenge (maybe something like half an hour's worth). Gameplay is freeflowing and highly nonlinear - you must judge when to stand and fight, and when it is better to run, and in what order to tackle certain areas. Ammo balance is moderately tight - I managed to kill everything, but needed to berserk the last few monsters (on the other hand, I had completely missed the rocket launcher; see those 47 rockets I had left at the end - duh!). Design themes vary, with a rail system (nicely done), cages, boats, caves/tunnels and a little urban area near the end (maybe we're meant to have escaped from the planet of the apes by then... there's no Statue of Liberty though). The final area can be quite deadly, especially if you incautiously tread on an evil-looking symbol on the floor before the time is right. In conclusion, it is well worth a blast through if you're looking for some action.
- Bazilika (Basilica) by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
101kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
A basilica is, according to one definition in my dictionary, "a large oblong hall, with double colonnades and commonly a semicircular apse ... ; [or] a magnificent church formed out of such a hall". The map delivers such a feature at its heart, together with some more standard adjoining areas. Gameplay is definitely on the hot and spicy side, with a cyber near the start (no, you do not fight this cyber at this point - grab the yellow key and run!). Once you have scrambled into the basilica, you should be able to make more normal progress through the map (you'll need to think at a few points though), and return to whoop that cyber's ass a bit later. Verdict: probably worth downloading, but it might prove a bit frustrating.
- Fastkill by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
41kb - Doom2.exe - SP/DM - 1 map -
A small map, that as the name suggests shouldn't take very long. If you play carefully, it isn't difficult at all. Should be fun for speedrunning (both Speed and Max).
- Fastkill-2 by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
41kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
This is an example of how a highly linear map can be a lot of fun. The strategy is simple: run! The opposition is fairly light but strategically placed, and overall the balance is good - you can kill everything, but you don't have a huge surplus. The map has that well-planned and well-tested feel to it. Note, for instance, that immensely useful little alcove just before the arch-vile. The replacement music feels very appropriate, and fans of the ouch face should greatly enjoy the early stages.
- G8 by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
77kb - Doom2.exe - SP/coop/DM - 1 map -
This map starts off in a scene of urban warfare, with barricades, tanks, heavy guns and an explosive charge that you have to set off (no bang though, disappointingly). We then move into a KFC that the demons have taken over. Thereafter we enter more typically Doomy surroundings for some intense battles. I felt the start promised a lot more realism than the map actually delivers, but it's still fun to play.
- gymnazium-pacov by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
154kb - Doom2.exe - SP/coop/DM - 1 map -
A large "school" wad, with some fair attempts at "realism". There's a limit to what can be done without custom textures and while making it "work" as a Doom map, but there are many hints that we are in a school, with blackboards, computers, toilets, etc. However, it is also clear that this was one of the author's earlier maps, with some distinctly ugly texturing. The gameplay isn't overly tough, though you can get into trouble if you are careless.
- Vezeni (Prison) by Martin Milichovsky aka Kelvin
82kb - Doom2.exe - SP/coop - 1 map - -
This rather more recent Kelvin wad represents a prison, and somewhat more successfully. Here we find cells, secret passages, a death chamber, exercise yard, air vents, storage rooms, a well-stocked armoury, and a desperate escape via a poisonous drainage channel.
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, we have a couple more wads from Czech sources:
- Rainbow Software DOOM II WAD 2 by Ondrej Zary
87kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map - -
This fairly standard Doom map (in both design and challenge) is medium sized and has an attractive replacement sky. It is a base-style map with a variety of areas. For instance, there's a map02/underhalls complex that is somewhat larger than it needed to be, some nukage processing and an outdoor area with a cyber (you have various ways to deal with the big guy) and a road with overhead lighting. Not much more to say - the overall construction is of good quality and the ammo balance not bad at all, though the action could be tighter.
- WARm Welcome 2 by Vit Bockstefel
44kb - Doom2.exe - SP/coop/DM - 1 map -
This small-to-medium map offers some tricky moments, which become somewhat less tricky if you find a few of the extremely useful secrets (in fact, the ammo balance is hugely in the player's favour if he finds just one or two of them). There isn't much of an attempt at realism, but the gameplay holds together well: the flow is good, and there are few dull moments. Connectivity is good, which should make it an interesting map for DM too.
Recently, not one but three versions of the full Hacx game have appeared in the archive. Most of you will already know what Hacx is, and have probably played the full version. Therefore these comments will be brief, and mainly for the benefit of those who don't know what Hacx is, or have only played the shareware release.
Hacx was a full-blown TC for Doom2 that was released commercially (under license from id software) in 1997. While it runs under the Doom2 engine, it does not use a single graphic or sound from the Doom2 iwad - in fact, if you add just a colour palatte to Hacx, Zdoom will happily run it as an iwad in its own right. Much of the behaviour is heavily modified by an extremely complex dehacked patch. The only thing not replaced in their entirety are the maps, as Hacx was released as an incomplete game (21 maps) for reasons explained here. I don't know how much of a commercial success Hacx was, but I get the impression it wasn't a get-rich-quick scheme for the guys who made it.
Anyway, in 2000 they decided to make it freely available, though not freely distributable. Later though, this was changed (see this), but this change in the permissions seemed to go largely unnoticed. This permission to distribute freely is the reason it can now appear in the archive.
The Hacx site provides a variety of information, including the story and screenshots (BTW, 14 and 15 are mixed up). The story kind of explains why at certain points in Hacx you dive through a computer screen and end up in some weird graphical representation of cyberspace. These are surely among the weirdest levels ever made for Doom, and I guess you either love them or hate them.
OK, it's time to describe the three packages:
- Hacx (Files-only package) by Banjo Software
9,333kb - Doom2.exe + dehacked - SP/coop/DM - 21 maps
This is probably the one that most people will want to download, as it gives you everything you need to play Hacx with a port (and may also be simpler for those who want to use Doom2.exe too, as long as they are familiar with the process for loading dehacked patches). Essentially, these files are what you get from running the installation package. Note that the dehacked patch is absolutely essential - don't try to play Hacx with ports that don't support dehacked. Note also that if you want to use Prboom, you'll need to use the modified version Prboom-plus, as a number of relevant issues have recently been squelched in that, as a direct result of testing it with Hacx and the various demos recorded for it.
Like Wheel of Time (discussed above), Hacx's dehacked patch uses a "Max Health" setting, this time of 400. This is meant to apply only to health bonuses, but many ports interpret it wrongly, allowing medikits, stimpacks and berserk to increase health all the way up to 400. This has the effect of making Hacx a lot easier than was intended. Again, as far as I know, the only ports to handle this correctly are Prboom-plus 188.8.131.52 and Risen3D. In other ports, you'd do better to delete that line from the dehacked patch - though this will mean that if you have picked up the "megasphere", subsequently collecting a health bonus will knock your health down to 200% - painful!
A couple more comments about the files are in order. Firstly, as explained on the Hacx page, this is not quite the same as the actual commercial release. It is a very slightly earlier (but fully complete) version, because some changes were made for the commercial release that introduced some little bugs. Secondly, there are two dehacked patches included. These differ only in the amount of health given to four of the monsters. Why is this? Well, Nostromo released two different versions (presumably by accident) when he made Hacx freely available - the one in his files-only package was the one with extra health compared to the installation package (thanks to myk for discovering this fact). The higher-health version matches that for the Hacx shareware, while the lower-health one works with the internal demos in the wad. Which is the "correct" one is hard to say. Note that they have both been used for Hacx demos, so if you want to watch these demos, you'll need to use the right dehacked patch (Sam Woodman used the higher health, while Sushkov and Bondarchenko used the lower for their TAS demo).
- Hacx (Installation package)
11,532kb - Doom2.exe + dehacked - SP/coop/DM - 21 maps -
This is the most "authentic" Hacx package, as the game was distributed in the form of an installation package. So, if you want to experience the DOS installation process just as those who bought Hacx in the 1990s did, you'll want to grab this. This package also includes both dehacked patches.
- Hacx (tweaked for Legacy by Jive)
9,756kb - Legacy + Doom2.wad - SP/coop/DM - 21 maps -
It would make sense to try this version if you'd like to play Hacx in the Legacy port.
That was Grazza with his selection of interesting mods and Czech maps. The rest of the old stuff, uploaded by funduke and RL, were reviewed by [W4GH4X] and myself, as noted in italics:
- Alley by Carolyn Schulenburg
25KB - Doom2 - DM/(SP/Coop) - 1 map - - -
A spacious map, with the classic central zone where most melees take place; most items can be found in this area, except the weapons, which you can find arranged in secret areas and hidden passages. Though the author recommends playing 1-on-1 games, it'll doubtlessly permit decent 4-player games (FFA and two-on-two team matches.) [W4GH4X]
Alley of the floating things -
Carolyn's map has monsters as well, though they were apparently placed to accompany DeathMatch games as was wont in the earlier days of wad-making; they aren't many nor particularly powerful, especially if one avoids going postal immediately upon reaching the outer court (where the Lost souls may become annoying) and instead seeks firepower in the adjunct halls and hidden doors that extend from it. myk
- Building by Kurt Schulenburg
36KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map - - - -
A good map for 1-on-1s; a central building with many rooms within, and with stairways and doors where one may find weapons. Recommended for one-on-one DeathMatch v2.0 games. [W4GH4X]
- DeathMatch "Crusher" Arena I by Eddie Walton
28KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map - -
An arena with big wooden stairs; the central zone holds the arms needed to receive the "victims" :) that come from the adjoining rooms, surrounded by mechanisms; you also get the weapons there. Recomended for games with three or more players. [W4GH4X]
- Wads of the Damned, Part one: Bloody Dreams by Sean McCulley
88KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 3 maps - - - - - - - -
These are maps of interesting construction, good for tactics combining rapid movements. The different areas connect through teleporters and narrow passages. They were made for games with two players, or perhaps a maximum of three players. [W4GH4X]
Thrice damned -
This is a trio of relatively challenging maps; the first is a fortified complex riddled with well-positioned monsters and toxic areas, the second combines darker areas and tougher monsters to squeeze the life off the marine, and the third pits the player against bigger bands of opponents. I've noted a couple of glitches though; VPOs are possible in map01 (so you might want to avoid using either Doom2 or Chocolate Doom) and in map03 you may get stuck in a room, with nowhere to go. The text file gives a preview of each map, so you might want to check it out if you want more details on what they might offer before you play. myk
- JadeDoom: Return to Hell by Jason Brown and Dave Potelle
51KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map - -
A military base surrounded by a great desert. The weaponry's distributed in each of the buildings that make up the base. Games between two players are certainly plausible, though for faster and more frag-filled games four (or more) players are recommended. [W4GH4X]
Sand, wood and concrete - - -
This relatively simple map by Jason and Dave is also suitable against the monsters. The initial part is open and rather dim, making the zombies a bit more dangerous to your health, but once you start getting enough ammo and kill enough of them you'll note the opposition is not too heavy. The latter (concrete tunnel) part is a bit less difficult overall as you aren't that much exposed to the enemy. myk
- King of the Fort by Robert Carlson
35KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map - -
There are only two paths to the fort in the middle of the map, where one may find necessary firepower. Leaving that fort is easiest through the teleporters. The map's construction ensures entertaining matches for any number of players. [W4GH4X]
- Death Frag by Keith Williams
35KB - Doom2 - DM/(SP) - 1 map - - - -
Excellent map made exclusively for DeathMatch, quite imaginatively combining areas with different feel. The map's size is perfect for quick games where players can play off varoius situations, put their skills to good use, and test their capacity to employ themselves in a varied environment. Quite recommended!!! Play it now, suckers!!! [W4GH4X]
- Megadeth 2 v1.1 by Jaswant S. Hayre
214KB - Doom2 - DM/(SP/Coop) - 1 map - -
What predominates in this map is the Rocket launcher, thus the map can comfortably be played using DeathMatch v2.0 to avoid ammo shortages which the desperate shooting may generate. The map includes two easily accesible hidden rooms. [W4GH4X]
Notwithstanding what the author says on the text file, this map does have some life to it when played against the monsters, especially if you try killing them off (as opposed to just running over to the exit.) The reason is that some of the monsters are well positioned, and you don't have that much ammo or health at hand, at least initially. myk
- Death to the Phuct by PhucK
6KB - Doom2 - SP - 1 map - -
This is a relatively small map composed of 6 rooms, 5 of which are loaded with lesser monsters, aside from the Cyberdemon that's located in the last room. The challenge resides in finding a way to cross each of the rooms with weapons of meagre destructive power, thus obtaining the 2 keys required to access the final room. The number of possible strategies that allow us to complete the map are pretty scarce. Although for each room we can use a different strategy, the quantity of permutations we may effect with all of those is also a pretty insignificant number. After testing the map on both skills 4 and 5, it's evident that not losing control of each door is a practical way to move through while staying in good health, not letting many monsters come through simultaneously, generating an uncontrollable situation, more so on skill 5. As for the last room, the one that seems the most tedious to cross at first glance, it's actually the easiest, since one may easily move amid the monsters (which face away from the door you enter by) over to the exit switch. As far as the map's construction goes, it's at all points square (from a 2D perspective) or cubic (seeing it in 3D); the lighting level allows one to see each part of the map. One needs to make use of the available arms and provisions to complete the map on any difficulty skill. [W4GH4X]
- G50 by an anonymous author
52KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Beneath the Big Apple - - - - -
This subway themed map someone made over a decade ago has a relatively tidy design, and can be played on any mode. For DeathMatch it is admittedly a bit big, especially for one-on-ones, though the sections coprising it are well-connected, so its still playable even then. Against the monsters it's not too tough; there's ample space to move around in and enough places where one may take cover from enemy fire, which is never too heavy as long as one is careful about rogue snipers (Heavy weapon dudes or Arachnotrons, mostly.) myk
- Doompit v1.7 by David B. Cox
43KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Two tiered town - - -
This square map is made up of two urban-themed sections, a lower central part with ramps over toxic sludge, and a surrounding upper section. On DeathMatch mode the upper section grants the advantages of a higher ground (being able to ponce at them, as opposed to having to use the lift) and of surrounding the opponents, but the lower section has a better arsenal, which becomes very powerful on AltDeath mode because of the many Megaspheres. Against the monsters you start below, in a well-provisioned room. The presence of Cyberdemons both below and above can make the map relatively deadly, especially as there isn't too much open space (though the areas aren't narrow either) though you do get a BFG9000 and once enough monsters are killed the Cyberdemons are easier to keep track of and nail down. myk
- The Rand Trilogy by Rand Smith
340KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 3 maps
Parks, German seamen and concrete spaceships - - - - -
Here we have a set of three maps; the first in an open area crossed by a river, the second a wooden sailing ship at sea, and the third something like a flying spaceship or some sort of floating complex. The first map is playable on DeathMatch mode due to its open design, although it's a bit big overall, while against the monsters it offers intermittent battles over the outdoors landscape, so while it can be the more challenging of the three if one is persistent against the monsters, it can also be relatively easy if one tries to avoid combat. The ship is somewhat underpopulated for single player, and is a bit more suitable for Deathmatch due to its size. The last map sprawls a bit so it's slower for DeathMatch, but more standard than the others in regard to single player mode. myk
- Such a Pretty Sight by Ashley Gilliam
17KB - Doom2 - DM - 1 map
Gilliam's Island - - -
A compact DeathMatch map; due to the use of some obstructions and that you don't spawn with weapons too near at hand it is of moderate dynamics, but quick enough because of its size. The Shotgun is the most obvious weapon, while the Chaingun is on a boat or separate smaller isle from where you can snipe at anyone on the central island. The SSG is in a box temporarily opened by a switch, so it's a bit less accessible. myk
- Doom II War by Rhys Southan
42KB - Doom2 - DM/SP/(Coop) - 1 map
Barrel the door - - - -
This is a meduim sized DeathMatch map with various interconnected rooms. most rooms have a decent amount of space to duke it out in and a number of devices are used to enhance the game, such as lifts and closing doors, and notably on doors will be jammed by (explosive) barrels once they are initially opened. Playing against the monsters it starts out rather deadly, but gets easier from there on. myk
- DMGWAR by an anonymous author
8KB - Doom - DM/SP/Coop - 1 map
Damage War? GWAR? - -
Here's a smallish amorphous startan themed map in one room. You can shoot the Spiderdemon's ass while it kills the Baron of hell. On DeathMatch mode its a bit more fun but pretty random between the facts that you're both always more or less in the same area, and that the map is relatively dim. myk
- Quick Kill DeathMatch by Eric Sheier
42KB - Doom - DM/SP/Coop - 1 map
Up and down and around - -
This map was designed for DeathMatch, although during one-on-ones there are noticeable lulls in the action, so it might be wiser to invite more players, maybe even Michael J. Fox. The map displays relatively varied heights; stairs, lifts, and higher and lower rooms that face each other though windows. This makes for intermittent interaction during DeathMatch, especially since sometimes you lose (eye) contact and wander in different directions. Against the monsters it is not really tough, but it seems a bit more dynamic than on DeathMatch with few players. myk
- Showdown in Doomsville by Eric Sheier
21KB - Doom - DM/SP/Coop - 1 map
A second effort - - - -
Another wad by Eric (see right above), and like his first one it was designed primarily for DeathMatch. In this attempt he succeeds more effectively, and the wad is more action packed and consistent when player against another marine. It shares some qualities with his first creation, mainly in the way he set up areas with different heights. But this time the map is more compact and the areas are generally seperate parts with a decent space for melees. On single player mode we also get a more interesting game than on Eric's first attempt, as this map offers relatively constant action (even though its not really tough; the monsters are small.) Eric has added a music lump (as he did in his earlier creation) that, according to him, "puts you in the mood to kick butt." myk
- Carl by an anonymous author
21KB - Doom - DM - 1 map
Simple blastathon - -
This is a one room DeathMatch wad, kind DMGWAR above, except that this map is more consistent, and actually offers a decent game, especially in DeathMatch mode (as opposed to AltDeath where the many Megaarmors and Supercharges would disrupt play.) The lighting level is proper, the arms are laid out in for quick access, and the general design allows good usage of most weapons (though the more powerful ones are favored in such an environment.) myk
- Deth E2M2 by an anonymous author
11KB - Doom - DM - 1 map
Join the plasma dance - -
And another simple DeathMatch map joins us. This one offers quick Plasma Rifle and Rocket launcher matches throughout a series of interconnected circular rooms. The Plasma rifle generally dominates play, but the Rocket launcher's quite good for surprise kills when closing in. myk
- Chess by an anonymous author
23KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
Against the checkerdemons - -
An attempt to put chess into DOOM. The author evidently went for something that would provide some sort of tactical challenge, as opposed to simply putting monsters on a checkerboard. It's possible also that the columns were not as thick initially, but that VPOs (which can still happen along with some HOMs) forced him to change them, since as they are they practically divide the map in two separate rows of monsters (except at the ends where the weaker ones reside.) Infighting and even quickness may allow one to finish the map without even killing the Cyberdemons, and killing them is not hard as long as the player is good at moving around (cover is easy to get.) It is odd that no DeathMatch support was added for such a compact map, but perhaps the map was discontinued before it was esentially finished due to the VPOs you can get. myk
- The CPU by Christen David Klie
47KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Tech support in hell - - -
Last month we had some Dr. Sleep, now some Klie (though actually I had missed this wad last month), another "master" author. This map follows a "computer" theme, although I wouldn't be sure it's supposed to be a tiny marine inside a CPU, as funduke seems to imply, but that the marine is attacking a complex that's dominated by a megacomputer. Like most of Klie's maps this one isn't too tough, but it's otherwise consistently balanced; you'll find a decent opposition throughout with enough ammount of ammo and health, but not an excess of either. Unfortunately we did not have an opportunity to try this map on DeathMatch mode, but it seems it could offer some decent matches. myk
- Fort Doom by Mark Tissue
51KB - Doom - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Fortified victims - - - -
A classic-styled keep/fort map where you start off at the entrance and make your way in. There's a good amount of ammo as you go, so the fights are never too perilous, with sufficient healing items along the way as well. DeathMatch is supported, though it seems a bit awkward for it (though it might be fun to frag each other around the central entrace area.) myk
- 2-Wad by an anonymous author
50KB - Doom - SP - 2 maps
Protohell revealed - - - -
Two early "horde" maps; they are roughly constructed but contain a good number of monsters (though they could contain many more, considering their dimensions), plus one of each greater boss per map. and also have lots of ammo and healing items. There are some standard halls-and-rooms areas as well as wide open sections (particularly near the Cyberdemons.) The maps aren't hard, as most of the tougher opposition is placed where one can comfortably attack it, so these maps are best played by trying to eliminate the opposition quickly (i.e., max-run style.) myk
- Abyss by Rand Smith
25KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Nazis beneath the waves - -
Another wad by Rand (see The Rand Trilogy above) where he shows again that he likes to create locales; in this case an underwater base. The map does not contain many opponents, and seemingly the desired effect was to scare the player, especially in the upper halls, where the sides are open and you hear the Spiderdemon to one side and growls to another. These adjacent areas aren't connected to the halls, so they are just scary, and not really dangerous. Perhaps this map would do best for DeathMatch (but we had no chance to test it so.) myk
- Deceit by an anonymous author
48KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Loma del culo, Inc. - - -
This is a relatively intricate map with various similarly designed areas, overall it's a "maze" like funduke said in the text file, but not one of those simple mazes that are practically nothing but winding hallways. The monsters provide a decent opposition but there are a few problems as one progresses through the map; the first and perhaps least being a plats related error (this doesn't affect modern engines and is probably an oversight) as well as a couple of areas where you may get stuck (getting one of the keys and before the yellow key door.) Additionally, some rooms contain multiple teleporters, most of which hurl you off to previously visited areas of the map, which can be pretty frustrating for anyone trying to play the map in an honest way (not cheating nor saving every minute, if at all.) At first these are sets of three teleporters, but near the end there's a room with many more. No idea what the author's point was, but those cease to be a problem only once one knows which the right one to take is, and by then all the annoying ones are nearly useless. If one learns where these teleporters go the map can be decent; otherwise it's a pain in the butt (literally if you sit there trying to complete it for a long time.) myk
- Dude's unfinished wads by Dude Krueger
77KB - Doom2 - Editing - 2 maps
Lands of emptiness - -
Here we have 2 incomplete maps. They don't look bad, but aren't really playable and are offered so that wad-makers can use them as a base. The author set them to map33, but also provided copies on map01. Actually, map33 doesn't always work on Doom2. At least not on my computer. myk
- Entryway-2 by Dude Krueger
25KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/(DM) - 2 maps
A moist entryway - -
This is that Dude guy again. Now he thought DOOM II's map01 isn't good enough, so he made a new one. It's a wheel shaped map, with a pool in the middle, wheel spoke-like halls, and then two adjacent facing sections. The map might be suitable as a first level due to its size, though the item placement is a bit odd. The overall architecture seems TNTish (i.e., akin to the Final DOOM wad) for some reason. myk
- Hour of Doom by Terry Neve
27KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop - 1 map
A time for doom, too - - -
This is a classically constructed DOOM II level that provides a decent if not spectacular challenge; the monsters, while not too many, are often placed strategically, and the items available are relatively consistent with the opposition's force. myk
- Mental by an anonymous author
38KB - Doom2 - DM/(SP/Coop) - 1 map
The unknown complex - -
This is apparently a DeathMatch map, as monsters are place somewhat haphazardly and it's possible to exit the level without facing any, although they can pose a threat initially if one goes against them (it gets easier once one clears off the central area dominated by the Arch-vile.) We didn't manage to play the map on DeathMatch, but while it seems a bit big for furious matches, it does offer many interconnected areas from where to strategically weaken opponents or otherwise ambush them. myk
- Nazi by an anonymous author
22KB - Doom2 - SP - 1 map
Assault on Hitler's library - -
This is a meduim or smallish sigle player map. It's relatively linear and not too rough, though it can be more fun if one pushes it. Progress is not always clear, but at least the map is small enough that one will eventaully find the way. myk
- R91 by an anonymous author
58KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Cybersports center - -
This maps seems to be, by all indications, by the same author that made G50 (see above); the wad name, the zip name and the general mapping style all coincide. Both seem the recreation of a somewhat urban environment and both include a big boss, with a similar difficulty level (this one being tougher by a little, perhaps.) This map should be suitable for DeathMatch, but might be a wee bit big for one-on-one games. myk
- Revenge by Todd L. Kolmodin
15KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Against the spiders - -
A pretty straighforward DOOM II map that offers some tight fights but nothing very difficult. It's mostly of the "halls and rooms" variety, except for a large Arachnotron courtyard and the area where the final bosses reside. myk
- Room of Doom by Patrick Mills
6KB - Doom2 - SP - 1 map
Not ready for doors yet -
Here's one of those brightly lit crude one-room maps where you start surrounded by ammo and powerups, and the monsters are randomly scattered about looking the other way. myk
- You're Skrewd! by PhibeR OptiK
8KB - Doom2 - SP - 1 map
Messing up the floor - -
This flat a square-roomed map relies on a bug to offer a "choose the right path" scenario; the switches in two final rooms raise the floor to a point where you're trapped, while the other final room holds the true exit switch. Naturally, making a map girate around such a concept makes the map get little replay value after you've discovered the true exit, and in this case the shape of the rooms don't offer very interesting fights; at best you can push through, going for more deadly chaotic fights in the rooms, and at worst you'll manage to kill the monsters through doors under a slower but safer strategy. myk
- The Downward Spiral by Patrick Mills
8KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop - 1 map
Just one hall - - -
By the author of Room of Doom this is a generally wide squarish hallway that winds itself to the exit. The monsters along the way have little chance, if any, against an average player due to the ammo (and powerups) provided and to their deployment (enmasse, unprotected, and sometimes on lower ground. myk
- The Trial Zone by Bob Back
72KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
To enter one's mountainside - - - -
This dim "rooms and halls" map is relatively challenging due to the lighting, the monster placement and the decent ammo ratio, though never very hard. There is a lot of terrain transformation as you go, as areas rise or open. We tried it on Cooperative mode, but due to the way the tunnels and rooms are laid out, the players are generally separated, or if they aren't there's a chance they may hurt each other (due to the dim lighting.) myk
- Trial by The Arachnotron
22KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop - 1 map
Temple of the spider - -
In this meduim-small sized map you move through several sections with relatively tough monsters. Ammo is abundant but not excessive, so the fights are pretty decent if not hard. Since there's a good amount of space throughout the way, Cooperative play works out, even thoough the opposition doesn't really change and instead you share the goods, which generally come in pairs of caches. myk
- The Vault by Derek Waters
39KB - Doom2 - SP/Coop/(DM) - 1 map
Going down there - -
Derek reworked his DOOM map a bit to make it run with DOOM II instead. It's still pretty much a "DOOM" map, as little from DOOM II is used. Also, the design is of the classic DOOM "dungeon" type with many halls and rooms, and weaker monsters thoughout, unlike many DOOM II add-ons that are more open and include tougher enemies. myk
- Expo by an anonymous author
52KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
Heartless walls - - -
This map by an identified author is rough, yet in addition it suffers from certain bugs; a VPO in the blood pools outer area, two instances where rogue linedefs raise whole areas and thus destroy the map (one at that strange construction guarded by Spectres, Lost souls and Imps, the other at the causeway guarded by the Baron of hell), and a very heavy medusa effect before the exit. Play is uneven, with some moderate fights and intermittent moments of uneventful wandering. myk
- Fred by Gary Comer
40KB - Doom - SP - 1 map
Fred who? - - - -
This is a debutant level, and it's pretty archaic. The author managed to create separately themed areas and a progressive opposition; you start out fighting one or two small monsters at a time in more confined areas and later move on to relatively open areas with more opponents. There is plenty ammo and healing items are sufficient, so progress is never difficult. myk
- Lamour 1 and 2 by François Lamoureux
522KB - Doom - SP/Coop/DM - 2 maps
Tricky and populated - -
François originally released these maps for DOOM, but here they were switched over to DOOM II, without heavy modifications. The second map has also been uploaded in its DOOM version, while the first one's DOOM release was already on the archive, since '04. The first and older map is pretty big, with large open areas and a good number of monsters, and the second one is medium-sized but with a good monster population as well. Both maps are pretty challenging and violent, mixing well-positioned monsters with relatively intricate switches and devices, which are most developed in the second map. Some switch hunting is necessary at certain points, though as the author notes in the text files, the devices and secrets are most usually marked, sometimes subtly so, thus being observant will prove rewarding. Purists will benefit by knowing that VPOs can occur, but these are apparently rarer in these newer DOOM II versions (as opposed to the DOOM ones), and generally show up only in the first map, which has broader outdoors areas. We did try the maps in Cooperative mode, and had some difficulties, getting stuck. It might be wise to leave Cooperative aside unless one's very familiar with the maps; at least one door (in the second map) closes and is opened later as one progresses; player deaths could make the marines get stuck in the earlier parts of the map. myk
- Hangar41 by Patrick N. Gorman
52KB - Doom - SP/Coop/DM - 1 map
Possibly I've seen too much - - - -
Behind you, in the hangar bay there's tons of arms and ammo, but you can't get any of it; instead you must go through the monster infested complex stemming from the hangar. Being an apparent remake of E1M1, the piles of armament seem out of place, plus they wouldn't help much if the player were to get his hands on them, as upcoming levels would become too easy. The map itself, a classic early base style level, is of median-low difficulty. There's not too much health but the opponents aren't too many and they are of the lesser sort (especially in the main areas.) If you manage to reach the hanger bay, what remains of the map becomes extremely easy. For DeathMatch it seems somewhat big. myk
- The Cage by Wild Man Of Borneo
26KB - Doom - SP/Coop - 1 map
You've been caught -
You start out in a pit filled cage, surrounded by monsters. The start is the hardest part of the map, but as the author implies, with a proper technique it is very possible to make your way out. Once the cage is cleared, progress is more standard. You can quickly heal yourself and get ahold of better arms. A limitless engine is recommended for this map, due to the visiplanes crash (sic), but as we know, we can ignore the author saying this has something to do with the computer's processing power. myk
- Aaiens for Doom by an anonymous author
147KB - Doom/2 - Graphics replacement
Steel scorpion men - -
This is a graphic and sound replacement for the Demon. It's supposed to be an alien form Fox's Alien series, but the coloring is really weird, possibly from scanning a model and then applying the DOOM palette to the result. myk
That's it; have fun!