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.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Debut (DEBUT.WAD)


The works of Tony Sideris crop up on a lot of underrated PWAD lists. While his first release, Genesis, faded into relative obscurity, the followup episodes Debut and Post still get word of mouth accolades from classically-oriented players. What amazes me is that the author published all of these levels - a total of twenty-two - in 1996. It's too bad Tony didn't keep mapping into 1997; given where his skills were heading, he would have been a force to be reckoned with. Debut is a bit of a change-up, swapping from Doom II to make an episode for the original trilogy that takes the place of Knee Deep in the Dead.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Genesis (GENESIS.WAD)


Tony Sideris has left a legacy as one of the community's underrated early authors, churning out all three of his releases in 1996 and then disappearing, no doubt into a career in IT. Most of Tony's accolades in "underrated" WAD recommendation threads are for the curiously-titled Debut for the original Doom and the follow-up episode, Post, published for the 1994 sequel. Before either, however, came a two-level minisode for Doom II by the name of Genesis. There is no indication as to the reasoning behind the title of this PWAD beyond the fact that it marks the beginning of his career; Sideris included no story in the text and implies nothing through his level design. All that's there is a pair of mild-mannered maps.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Forest Valley (FOREST.WAD)


Forest Valley definitely doesn't resemble a forest, nor does it really approach a valley. The sky, though, is unmistakable. If you've played the Heroes collection you may recognize it as the backdrop of the second episode. Jean Serge-Gagnon is a quintessentially 1994 author, delivering some of the era's least endearing aspects in a relatively playable format. The final version was released in 1995 and includes a preview of his subsequent project, OTTAWAU.WAD. It's a partial episode two replacement covering E2M1 through E2M4 as well as E2M9 with a few crude graphical accents and some new music.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Nuke Mine (NUKEMINE.WAD)


The first time I heard of Nuke Mine (subtitled "Come Get Some", linking to Nuke before Duke) was, as Never_Again reminds me through an old /idgames comment, through Sverre Kvernmo hawking it in his 1995 release .TXTs. An episode one replacement released in August of 1994, it's a word-of-mouth classic whose only real flaws are just as evident in the Serenity and Eternity episodes, making it an easy recommendation for anyone who digs the more polished works from Doom's early era. It wasn't Jason Hargreaves's first release - that would be PANIC!.WAD, which was heavily revised and released as E1M2 of this publication - but you can still see steps of improvement as you play through with a couple of leaps in his proficiency as an author.