The Doom Update Part I: Mini-Reviews!

Tuesday · 6 Jan 04 · 10:54 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Here is a set of mini-reviews for some of the Doom and Doom II WADs I've seen recently.  Note that I have not played through all of them completely - in this case the review would have general comments on the map(s).  At the moment I don't have the links on hand for each one of these WADs, so I have mentioned the ZIP file's name, which you can search for on the Doomworld /idgames Archive.  Where possible I've also linked the author's URL.  Note that these mini-reviews are not in any particular order.

  • Endgame by Lee Szymanski, Anthony Soto, Joe Pallai, Jan Van der Veken, Josh Zylstra and Erik Alm ( This I most recently downloaded.  It's a set of 8 quality levels for Doom II.  I played MAP01 (Arctic by Jan Van der Veken) and MAP07 (Water Treatment Facility by Lee Szymanski) so far, and both maps were really good.  Part of MAP01 is the same as Classic 11, and it's a really nice map.  MAP07 was all about creating a haunting atmosphere - it is a dark tech base type map that really suits it's name.
  • Classic 11: Deimos Spaceport by Jan Van der Veken ( I had played this a couple of months back but I played it again as MAP01 of Endgame is partly this same map.  Anyway, this is an E1/E2 hybrid style map that runs on E2M1 for Doom I.  It's a very nice map that I really liked, it is not that difficult to play even on Ultraviolence skill.
  • Hell Revealed 2 by several authors (site) ( This is what I am playing currently!  It's the long-awaited sequel to the toughest megawad ever (Yonatan Donner and Haggay Niv's Hell Revealed), and consists of 32 superb maps all designed for the original doom2.exe.  I am playing this on skill 1, continuously saving games, and have managed to get up to MAP15.  On a somewhat unrelated note, I should mention that I was listening to some good hip-hop/rap music (some Eminem songs) while I was playing this.  I love the gameplay of this set, the maps so far are not very large, but of high difficulty!  The maps also have a very professional look, and it can be easily seen that a long time was spent on making the maps have nice texturing etc. apart from the gameplay.
  • Doom Redemption by Simon "SlayeR" Judd ( A set of nine classic-style maps for ZDoom (ZDoom is used so that the author could have different skies for the maps within the same episode, replace map names in the automap, intermission texts, such things), replacing E1M1 through E1M9 of The Ultimate Doom.  E1M1-E1M3 are in E1 style, then we have three E2 style maps.  E1M7 is in E3 style, and E1M8 is a boss map that is more or less again in E3 style (though it has some elements from the original Doom's E2M8).  The secret map E1M9 is in my opinion E3 style with a hint of E4 style.  Overall it's a great set of levels that managed to capture the original Doom's feel very well (in terms of texturing and layout - the E2 maps for example are large ones that have lots of switches), and the music tracks (remixes of original Doom songs) are an added bonus!  While playing one of these maps (E1M2: Phobos Waste Facility) I realised that it was present in a slightly altered form in Doom Center's E1 Contest WAD.
  • Flashback by Torn, Espi, Erik Alm and others ( Flashback is a project that aims to replace all of The Ultimate Doom, with maps closely following the style of the originals.  This is a 6-map demo of the project (replacing E2M1 through E2M6), released on December 10, 2003.  It is kind of coincidental that I played two "tribute" WADs in a short span of time!  Anyway these levels are all compatible with the original .EXE, though if played with ZDoom the skies and map names are replaced appropriately.  We get a taste of each episode, E2M1 is a reinterpretation of Hangar, E2M2 and 3 are based on Refinery and Deimos Lab, E2M4 and 5 are Hell Keep and Slough of Despair, and E2M6 is called Nameless though it is clearly based on the original E4M1.  These maps are all really beautifully done, and have some nice touches (Slough of Despair's map here looks like a foot, as an in-joke to the original that looked like a hand).  I look forward to the full megawad!
  • kaiser_* Series by Samuel Villareal a.k.a. Kaiser (kaiser_1 through I downloaded all the WADs in this series as they were released and I really was impressed by them!  The first in the series is called Internal Reaches 2 and is for MAP01 of Doom II.  This is a brown metal-themed tech base map.  The next in the series is called Not Another E1 WAD and replaces E1M9 of Doom I.  It's a very nice and compact Knee-Deep style map, pretty easy to play too.  kaiser_3 (Untitled) is for MAP01 of Doom II, but it's not a conventional map in the sense that it basically shows off some great special effects with Boom.  The next one in the series, Their Selfish Realms is a large and complex Doom II MAP01 replacement (with some new graphics including a purple sky, new music) and is quite difficult.  It's got a variety of themes running through it and looks very nice.  The final one in the series is called Nickel Electroplate Facility and I am somehow very fond of this map.  It's a tech base utilising a good variety of styles in texturing (original Doom Phobos-type base, Doom II MAP01 and MAP02 type tech base, etc.) that all blend well together.  Parts of the base are cramped, there are also some scenic outdoor areas.  The WAD has a music replacement taken from the NES game Batman.
  • Daedalus: Alien Defense by Team TNT ( The long awaited sequel to Icarus: Alien Vanguard, previously known as Doom 2000 was released on December 10, 2003.  I have only played a little bit of this but it is a very different kind of experience.  It's a tremendous piece of work and very complex.  It utilises a lot of ZDoom features (requires v2.0.60), I particularly loved the teleport sequences.  It looks like an interactive science-fiction movie.
  • Void by Cyb ( A very unusual ZDoom level (Doom II) where you are sucked into a void that flashes in different colours and you must keep jumping around to navigate through broken remains of buildings.  It has a unique look and I fell in love with the music (two MOD files requiring the FMOD player to play back if you've pulled them out of the WAD) the moment I heard it.  Once again, I have not played the whole map.
  • Dead Base 2.0 by Sarge Baldy ( This is a modification of the original (1994) map by Alberto Barsella, running on E2M1 of Ultimate Doom.  Sarge Baldy's update uses ZDoom features well to make a fountain in the middle of the map look good, to print messages on the screen when you use computers in this base, things like that... also, all textures are aligned properly and the map has a nice clean look.  The level is an easy one even on Ultraviolence skill, mainly because it's a huge base that's sparsely populated.  I somehow recall having played the original level sometime, though I don't seem to have it at present.
  • Vrack 3 by Fredrik Johannson ( I remember seeing some ultra-detailed screenshots of this level back in 2001 (or was it 2002?), and wondering when it would actually be released!  So I was surprised when it just sort of showed up one day!  Again this is a level I haven't played fully yet.  But from what I have seen it looks very good (it largely consists of grey and silver/aluminium textures but I think it's accomplished a very nice varied look with those) and it seems to have a high monster count (400+ on skill 1) as expected.  Fredrik had mentioned somewhere that it's better than Vrack 2.
  • Bella II by Chris Hansen and Paul Corfiatis ( A 40 map megawad for ZDoom/Doom II.  Chris made 5 maps, the others are by Paul.  So far, I have had a brief look at this set, and the maps are nice ones.  Many of them are short maps with challenging gameplay (i.e. they have few monsters but of the more difficult variety).  There is a part of the song "Me Julie" by Shaggy & Ali G. playing in MAP40, which coincidentally, I got the full version of recently!

Other WADs which I got to see recently are Nanami's detailed Heart (, the joke megawad Mock 2: The Speed of Stupid ( and Doom64: Absolution TC which had a new version released just a few days after I downloaded the old one!  By the way I downloaded the 52 MB music WAD for this, heheh!

I didn't realise how huge this list has become!  Just goes to show how much creative work is being done for Doom, and I'm glad I'm able to play it all!  There's even more good work that people have done - and for this, a couple of other Doom issues are dealt with in another post!

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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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