January 7, 2007
My old room in Essen doesn’t bear much resemblance with what it looked like 15 years ago, back when I started making my first game mods on ye olde Amiga and DX2-66. I’ve been gone for 9 years – only to reappear once every xmas – and of course my parents started using the room for other purposes. But tugged away in one of the old drawers of my old furniture, there’s two boxes with 3 1/2 inch disks that used to host many of my (then) biggest treasures. One of the boxes bears an old “Amiga – European Computer of the year 1990!” sticker; the other one is still locked with one of those cheap universal keys that nobody has ever trusted to keep anything save – with the exception of Diebold voting machines, maybe.
The lock was busted open in a matter of seconds, and as I started digging around the content of various disks, the one that caught my attention was labeled “Lord Bane’s Playground”. LBP was an Unlimited Adventures module that I had sunk over a year of my life into in 1993. I really wanted to see that old module again, but unfortunately for FRUA fans, the disk had been overwritten with something else. Fortunately for Doom fans, the new file was NoName.WAD, which turns out to be an early version of what would become The Troopers’ Playground episode for Doom 2. Apparently I had a fetish for “playgrounds” back then. Or my English just wasn’t good enough to come up with other titles.
I don’t recall the minute details of my Doom editing career. I do remember that the first ever level I made was actually created in Heretic because I liked the art so much. It was nothing more than a simple room with a player start. Then of course there’s the TTP/MM2/Requiem phase, in which I also made the two deathmatch levels that would be released as part of TTP. But in between, there is a black hole. I guess NoName.WAD neatly falls into that hole.
The WAD contains four levels, of which the first one should most interesting because I don’t recall ever releasing it. The TTP status bar was done, and there’s also some enemy frames of a fishdude that replace most Hellknight animations (but not all – I guess I wasn’t completely done yet at the time). I had completely forgotten about that fish guy! Apparently there’s also some Dehacked work that’s more of less lost on me today because the archive doesn’t contain the .DEH file, just a patched Doom2.EXE that had been renamed to NoName.EXE. If you still have an original Doom 2 setup you can try to get it to run – but if you do, you’ll have to use NWT to merge the WAD with the main IWAD.
The fish guy never made an appearance anywhere, he would be replaced by the evil Doom trooper instead. He doesn’t look particularly good, either. But I’m sure back then, I though he was the greatest thing ever, even if just for the reason that I had replaced a monster in my favorite game! What can I say, this was 1994…
Here’s a breakdown of the levels:
- Map01 – My first completed Doom 2 SP level. As far as I can recall, it has never been released before. First map ever – of course it’s rough around the edges and if you choose to play this, you should save often to not get stuck. There’s various slime areas that can only be passed with enough health.
- Map 02 – I think this is the third SP level I ever made, and would appear as map08 in the finished TTP. Definite improvements in this map, and a bunch of custom graphics. I still have a soft spot in my heart for this one.
- Map 03 – I made this level right after the initial one, and it would become map03 in TTP (with a few touchups). Still early and rough, but it had some good ideas and a neat non-linear flow.
- Map 04 – Early version of map06 in TTP, with some missing areas. I also reused this level in Requiem.
Anyway. Without further ado, here’s the file: NoName.ZIP. I hope you have some fun with it, especially if you’re an oldschool Doom player like me.
November 15, 2005
“SPECTRAL”? I don’t remember that for the life of me… Anyway, fixed the link to Arma3.zip, which incorrectly went to the Beyond Belief download instead. I guess a few people have been trying to download it lately, maybe I should convert it to Q4 sometime?
BTW, FILE_ID.DIZ files were little info files you’d add to your BBS uploads, so that the BBS could display the info its interested users. Ah, the time before the Internets…
July 5, 1997
Requiem was a troubled production. Several team members, including the moderator, dropped off the face of the Earth for intermittent periods. When it was finally released it was branded as a beta, and I don’t think there ever was an update. Despite its troubled history and late release, Requiem is a really good map pack with some impressive levels by the greats of the Doom editing. It was included in DoomWorld’s Top 100 WADs Of All Time. I created 4 levels for Requiem.
July 31, 1996
The “Doomking” was a national Doom deathmatch league that I ran back in 1996 via the FIDONet #doom.ger forum. At some point I might add a little retrospective on that time. Until then, I still have the old bi-monthly ranking lists from back then, which you can download here.
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July 27, 1996
The second MM “mega-WAD”, which brought together ~20 of the best level designers of the time (many of which are working in the industry these days). I made four levels for this. Included in DoomWorld’s Top 100 WADs Of All Time.
Download Memento Mori 2.
April 22, 1996
This was a quick beautifying pass of a pre-existing level. Looking back at the level in 2008, I’m not sure why I did it, but I guess the level has historical value
Download ROH – Enhanced.
March 15, 1996
My Doom 2 episode. Nine levels with new textures, a new enemy type and some Dehacked work. Included in DoomWorld’s Top 100 WADs Of All Time.
Download The Troopers’ Playground.