Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Entryway (ENTRYWAY.WAD)

ENTRYWAY
by Joe Pallai


Joe Pallai hasn't been one of the community's more prolific authors but he's enjoyed a fairly prestigious career during the source port boom as a contributor to 2002: A Doom Odyssey and the lesser-known Endgame as well as part of the original Plutonia 2 development team. Joe started out making his one-man megaWAD, PUREDOOM, and releasing the levels as they were finished. From what I can tell he completed four of them, with three making it to the archive and one languishing in obscurity as one of the cut Plutonia 2 levels. Entryway is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II released in 2000 and I assume that it would have been the first level of the finished megaWAD.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Squares (1SQUARES.WAD)

SQUARES
by Costa Lappas


Squares, a single level released for Doom II in 1995, has earned a place in community history for two reasons. It was one of the earliest slaughtermaps in a sense that's distinct from levels containing slaughter-like encounters (i.e. the teleport ambush featured in "Suburbs") while connoting some sort of challenge. It's also one of the pillars upon which Huy Pham's Deus Vult was built, a fact that's more obvious in the release of the alternate / early version Deus Vult Zero. In the .TXT, author Costa Lappas advertised it as "extremely hard if not impossible to complete on the hard level". A quick look at the DooMed Speed Demo Archives shows at least seven players to have successfully cut their teeth on 1SQUARES while playing on Ultra-Violence and one finishing the map on Nightmare, so it's certainly not insurmountable.

Friday, November 3, 2017

600 Reviews

In spite of a dry spell brought on by things that must dominate my time outside of this blog, with the review of Deus Vult I've broken into 600 reviews with six and a half years of operation. Gosh, that's a long time and a lot of words to be writing about a nearly twenty-four year old computer game.

Things to look out for:

Deus Vult (DV.WAD)


I would like to think that 2004's Deus Vult (as well as its development Hell sequel, Deus Vult II) has left a profound influence in its wake. I remember when I was first getting back into Doom and I was held enraptured by gameplay videos, watching the player's never-ending confrontation against overwhelming odds in wondrously imaginative environments tempered with shades of author amusement. I wanted to play Doom until I could at least get by these levels on Ultra-Violence and experience them on their own terms. I'd prefer to think I've gotten my stripes after playing through the works of authors like dannebubinga and Ribbiks; in fact, I suspect that I may have overshot my goal by several leaps and bounds.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Phobos - Relive the Nightmare (RELIVE.WAD)


Slugfest. Doom City. Torment. All released by Shamus Young, in 1995, with original music from the author, and pulling double-duty as both single / co-op and deathmatch maps and mapsets. Phobos - Relive the Nightmare, the last of his Doom II works, differs in that it was published in 1996 but otherwise continues the same trends as the author's previous uploads in making aesthetically appealing levels with more complex layouts and relatively small bodycounts. The end result is a nine-level mapset drawing inspiration from Doom's shareware release yet thankfully remaining cast with Shamus's particular idioms.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Torment (TORMENT.WAD)


Shamus Young made a bunch of maps from 1995 to 1996, starting off with Slugfest and then moving on to the seminal Doom City before ending the year on Torment. The last is a six-level minisode released in 1995 that continues in Young's tradition of trying to make levels just as playable in single-player as they are in deathmatch. I can't speak as to their multiplayer quality but there's a pretty clear difference between these maps and those featured in Slugfest, seeming more polished and less distinguishable as oriented toward player vs. player.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Slugfest (SLUGFEST.WAD)


Shamus Young has gone on to much fame as a blogger about all things geek culture. Back in 1995, though, he was making WADs like everyone else. As far as popularity goes, his authorial career peaked at Doom City, a single map released in 1995 with a bunch of custom textures to simulate an actual urban environment at a higher level of recognizability than Doom II's abstract locales. His first publication was Slugfest, a ten-level episode for id's sequel also released in 1995. It attempts to straddle the line between PvE and PvP while using a series of small maps whose layouts are clearly oriented toward deathmatch but are also arranged for demon-slaying.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Post (POST.WAD)


I may not know Tony Sideris but I'm sure that he loves three things: shotguns, staircases, and Bjork. His buckshot love affair began with Genesis, a pleasantly bland two-level minisode released in 1996. It continued on to Debut, published later the same year, but with an added abundance of interesting stair work and lighting, hinted at in his first offering. Debut borrowed its title and many of its level names from Bjork's similarly-titled solo album. Post, released toward the end of 1996, is an eleven-level Doom II episode continuing the tradition and deepening the connection in ways no other Doomer has dreamt of.