In this thread we post links (and preferably screenshots too) to strange or unusual just plain awesome wads that may have flown under the radar that most people probably haven't played.

I'm gonna kick off this thread with this seriously haunting short episode from 1996 I just played called "Mike Belcher's Doom 2" that I found in the /idgames archive. It's loaded with sounds and graphic replacements. Most of the sounds are weird gasping, gurgling or dinosaur noises, and the textures are very weird distorted images and recolors. At times the sounds may be a little annoying but I wanted to mention this because everything about this wad is really scary. The level designs can be very disorienting and tough to navigate. You're often required to find secret areas to progress, and there's a lot of strange puzzle-like scenarios to solve. It's a little difficult at times, mostly from monsters walking out of walls and chaingunners hiding behind corners in the shadows, but it's pretty playable.

It may just be me getting sucked into the experience, but everything about this wad is truly horrifying. Everything is just so alien and disturbing and unreal. Excepting the traditional Doom guns and monsters, everything else is so other-worldly that it can be rather intimidating at times. The interminable hallways, the crazy height variation, the weird trippy colors and distorted icon of sin pictures really make a nightmarish experience.

Here's some shots:

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Rylayeh is my favorite wad you've never played. It's an episode loosely based on lovecraftian mythos, and manages to mix consistent visuals and progression through the mapset with very distinctive levels structurally.

Most of the time, gameplay is essentially working your way through a seemingly endless stream of zombies; which might sound boring on paper, but the way the layout twists and turns and circles back on itself keeps it interesting, getting lost or disoriented at times, which fits the setting and only adds to the atmosphere. Kind of a "trench warfare in Doom" vibe.

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Excellent pick by Phml there, that really is a wonderful WAD, certainly Psyren's best. I don't think the issue was so much that it came out in obscurity as that its first couple of maps (map 01 in particular) have some unorthodox pacing/gameplay decisions that probably turned many folks away. Gets better and better (and bloodier and bloodier) as it progresses, though. Another WAD I hope to get the DWMC to play, someday.

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Thx Grazza, playing it in ZDaemon right now, looks fun so far. (everyone is welcome btw - zds://91.78.190.182:10677)

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I don't know how obscure it is, but there's an episode 1 replacement I've been trying to find. It's been a few years since I played it, but I do remember the first level had you start off in a prison cell. There was also a space craft you had to find in that level. Another level I remember from this megawad was the secret level, it was a massive subterranean chasm with a large spiral staircase. Does this sound familiar to any of you guys?

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Great idea for a thread - Hours of entertainment right here.

This is a "criminally underplayed" deathmatch set by TeamTNT: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?id=7375

I'm a fiend for DM and I'd never heard of it until the other day. There are some hidden gems in this one.

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i played this really old wad called myhouse.wad

it was 1 map with someones house made into a doom level

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Here is a list I made aeons ago for such an occasion.

Infected Area <-- Gets an award for best Doom storyline. While there are levels that feel a bit switch-hunty in this wad, it has some pretty clever tricks and I still find it to be one of my personal favorites. Good use of REJECT lump in map 3 too.
Chief's Wad <-- Good mindless fun. While the level design isn't really complex, the gameplay feels heated and entertaining.
Proxyon Sector KGx/57 mini Episode <--There is just something about this wad that I found really appealing. I can't quite put my finger on it, so you would just have to play it and see. Note: the first level in this 3-map wad had been included in other wads in the archive....4 times!
The Adventures of SUB <-- This is a cute 95 or so wad that hadn't been on the archive until I uploaded it about four years ago. It has an ammusing storyline progression where you play as a German agent named Sub, on a mission to stop the U.S. from nuking Germany. Definitely an interesting and nostalgic experience.
Insertion <-- A wonderful 11 map set by most of the authors behind requiem and memento mori and such. If you like those you will like this.
City of Doom <-- An 11-level episode from 2000 with probably the best city-themed levels I have ever seen. (Well, as far as doom-style goes, otherwise I would probably give that to AD2.)
Dark Covenant <-- A 12-level episode from 96. This one is really good, especially for the time it was made. The first level might give you second thoughts due to it resembling a "my house" level, but this would have to be one of my all-time favorites.
Project Space <-- A 20-level megawad from 98 that didn't get very much attention. Using only the stock doom 2 resources, it isn't a bad wad and is worth checking out. It even has a sort of 'hub' that goes on towards the end of the wad.
The Invaders <-- This is a six-level heretic-themed episode from 95. For such an early wad, its pretty good. Warning though, this is one of those wads that lends itself to nostalgia in my sake, since it is one of the first wads I played. It can get a bit switch-hunty at times.
Killzone and Killzone 2 <-- These are two seven level episodes by Don Howard with medium-to-large nicely constructed maps. The sounds are a bit hokey, but stuff like that never really bothered me. Recommended!
Post <-- An 11 level episode from 96 with clever ideas, nice looking maps, and an amusing storyline to boot. Very recommended. This wad happens to be the sequel to...
Debut <-- A nice episode for Doom. Good enough that it is worth a mention here. If you are to only play one of Tony's wads however, I would still recommend Post.
Relive the Nightmare <-- This is a nine level re-imagining of Knee Deep in the Dead. Note that by re-imagining I mean it isn't trying to mimic episode 1's style as closely as possible. Instead, these levels feel like unique creations that were inspired by episode 1. I could have put any of Shams Young's entries from the database here really. They are all worth checking out.

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I think I can add some:

Alternate Doom II 11 Levels for Doom II, clever secrets, short maps.
The Ana's Dream Strange level, some sprites and sounds replaced.
Beyond Kadath From the text file: "roughly in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos". I haven't finished this one, but looks really interesting.
Zombie Heart of Death A relatively unknown level, somewhat confusing, very large and really fun.
Castle of Eternal Carrot in the Sky Apparently based on a dream the author had.
Evil Eye Later part of NDCP (MAP22). Puzzle level. Very interesting. Also, MAP19: Darkseed, from NDCP too. Unique level.
The Grim Reaper This one has hints in the form of scrolling text in walls and columns. They aren't obvious, though.
Mescaline, Peyote and Hachisch By Eye del Cul, good design and great visuals, IMO.
Pagan's Run Interesting concept, where you have to run non-stop to the exit. Very fun.
Odessa 14 The only publicly available map from the Odessa series. A classic, and I think it's sometimes overlooked.
The Wicked and the Damned From the Wicked series, by ReX Claussen. Maybe not the best of the series, but it's a cool idea.


There's also CthuluDoom by Andrew Loly. This is also inspired in HP Lovecraft, in this case, "The Picture in the House". I have it in my PC, but can't find it online. I don't even remember how I got it.

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Phml said:

Rylayeh is my favorite wad you've never played. It's an episode loosely based on lovecraftian mythos, and manages to mix consistent visuals and progression through the mapset with very distinctive levels structurally.


I'm three levels into this and absolutely loving it so far. It's right up my alley in terms of gameplay, atmosphere, level design, pretty much everything. Great recommendation, A++ would download suggested maps again.

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Zed said:

Odessa 14 The only publicly available map from the Odessa series. A classic, and I think it's sometimes overlooked.


I have Odessa 1 and 13 in my main doom folder apparently.

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Yeah, I have them as well. The "legal" situation is a real shame. By the way, they are completely different from #14 if you ask me.

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I had lots of fun with ARENA.WAD back in the day. It's exactly what you think: a large open box with tons of monsters. It even had some errors in it but watching hundreds of fireballs flow across the map was a fun trip.

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Well damn! There's indeed some neat stuff in here I'm just gonna have to check out. In particular, "5th Project" and "Post" look super-promising, the latter especially given that it's an authentic yet super-sharp '96 creation (yay oldschool fetish). Thanks to Ragnor and Kass for the suggestions!

Also, I'm not really sure if it qualifies as "obscure" any more given how I bring it up in every conversation, but I can't let a thread like this go by without providing the obligatory end1.wad suggestion. :P

I'm sure I'm making NaturalTvventy feel quite uncomfortable by now. D:

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5th Project is extremely atmospheric, and was one of the first add-on pwads I ever played, took me forever to find it again with the help of Doomworld

I originally played it without the texture pack, and it was designed well enough that everything still looked spot-on with the original textures. Well in my memory it is, its been a long time.

Hope you enjoy it, feels like im the only person alive thats played it some times, probably wouldnt have found Doomworld if it weren't for this level set

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Neat little list you've got there, Lupinx! Zed, also. It looks like you have a pretty extensive knowledge of lesser known projects -- it sounded like it on Doom Radio, as well.

Time to get playing some of these and expand the mental database.

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Zed said:

There's also CthuluDoom by Andrew Loly. This is also inspired in HP Lovecraft, in this case, "The Picture in the House". I have it in my PC, but can't find it online. I don't even remember how I got it.

It is still available at his Tripod site.

Copy and paste the URL. Tripod doesn't allow hotlinking.

http://members.tripod.com/skydiver_1/wad-files/cthulu.zip
EDIT: Another link: http://bobnet.dyndns.org/software/doom/cthulu.zip
Thanks to CODOR.

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Over the past 4 years I've played all doom2 sp maps on /idgames (except a very small amount that I skipped) from '94 to October '98, but I don't remember names (I remember the actual maps, though)). There's been a lot of cool maps. I posted some in this thread, but stopped keeping track and just posted an /idgames comment instead (many of my comments were deleted).

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Phml said:

Rylayeh is my favorite wad you've never played.


Strangely enough I was gleaming in anticipation to play this after devouring the author's other work but it just didn't quite hook me in compared to his other gem Crimson Canyon, partly because the first 3 maps don't involve any of the apparent intricate exploration mentioned.

Probably not obscure but I always thought Armadosia and Fragport were under appreciated.

I have no idea how I found this but Last Day on Earth - Episode I apparently it's similar to Operation Biowar, haven't checked yet.

Sure something in this thread can be used for the next First Try Demo Contest xD

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