Sounds Familiar: Doom 2 In Name Only

By Alice O'Connor on July 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

What would you expect from a level named Courtyard?

“Imagine a world where Doom II was never released, and the levels never saw the light of day. The only bit of information that ever saw the light of day were the titles of the 32 maps, cryptic as can be. What kind of map would ‘The Crusher’ be, or ‘O of Destruction,’ who knows?”

That beautiful thought from Liz Ryerson (who Cara recently embedded with) sparked Doom 2 In Name Only, a community project where members of the Doomworld forums reimagined Doom II’s campaign based purely on its level names. D2INO was released in June, 666 days after starting. It’s worth waiting for a number like that to roll around when dabbling in Doom (‘cos Satans etc).

18 mappers created 32 new levels by interpreting their names, which range from the mundanity of ‘Suburbs’ to evocative visions like ‘The Living End.’ You can download the finished map pack from Doomworld. Some reviews note Doom 2 In Name Only is a little inconsistent, but that’ll happen with 18 people and such slim guidelines. They broadly agree it’s worth a go though.

And look, let’s be honest–the vast majority of you reading this would never download this map pack anyway, so most of us are simply enjoying the (amazing) idea of all this. And that’s perfectly fine.

If the names of levels tickle your fancy, you might also take a shine to WADINFO.TXT. Twice each day, the Twitter bot run by self-described “Doom hipster” and Spacebase DF-9 project lead JP LeBreton posts the name of a level from the wide world of Doom-y things, casually dropping wonders like “MAP02: Postal Blowfish” or “E5M7: Foetid Manse” into your feed. It is a treat.

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36 Comments »

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  1. spectone says:

    I always wanted to do something like this to the original Doom levels but I never got around to doing it. Doom mapping is so much fun.

  2. Curratum says:

    As a matter of fact I came across this and bookmarked it for download a few days ago on the DWorld forums, while digging for a lost gun sprite replacement / mod. Doom is forever, dudes. Forever.

  3. John Connor says:

    Can anyone recommend some good map packs that have authentic-ish maps like Doom 2 The Way id Did?

    I’m sort of addicted to Brutal Doom at the moment but all the map packs I find seem to be spankers trying to show off how they can frig around with the engine instead of making decent maps like iD did.

    • Curratum says:

      Ultimate Simplicity by Agent Spork does use advanced engine bits but keeps the level design clean, stylized and flowing superbly.

      You can (and should) play Plutonia 2. It needs the base Plutonia IWAD and gets hard as balls halfway in.

      Scythe 2 and Hell Revealed 2 are two more clean, well-laid out megawads that are also kinda hard, Hurt me plenty is recommended to reduce frustration. You can also get the Doomworld Community Chest wads. Maybe skip 1 and 2 and go for 3 and 4 as they have somewhat higher quality maps.

      Those should keep you entertained for a while, when I get back home I’ll take a look at my collection for more recommendations.

      • crizzyeyes says:

        Scythe 2 is really good. Scythe 2 is really good. If you haven’t played it, you need to. I recently went through it playing Project MS-X, and it was a blast.

    • Scripten says:

      There’s also Doom the Way Id Did, and the Doomworld forums have Final Doom and Ultimate Doom in the works. Phobos: Anomaly Reborn is fairly classic, as well. Check out the Cacowards from previous years, as they often have good choices in classic maps as well as consistent, well-designed full-on mods.

    • tangoliber says:

      I don’t know about “authentic”, but my favorite maps I’ve played in recent years are:
      Lunatic
      Vanguard (Hard!)
      Community Chest 4
      Back to Saturn X

    • b0rsuk says:

      I strongly recommend “Alien Vendetta”. The name is misleading – there’s nothing alien about it, and certainly no silly reskinned monsters or items.

      Alien Vendetta is 32 big, hard, and very varied levels of consistently high quality. Difficulty level is above the original WAD, but well balanced and it never feels like there are two medkits per level. It’s difficult without relying on cheap tricks like that.

      At the same time, many levels are very memorable. Multiple authors worked on it and it shows. You can check youtube videos to get an idea.

    • jorygriffis says:

      It’s a bit old now but I just finished playing through 3 Heures D’Agonie, which I thought had a nice id-like feel. It was a speedmapping wad, which might have cut down on some of the tendency to show off.

    • dethtoll says:

      My absolute favourite map set of all time — still going 15 years later — is Darkening 2. If you liked the Quake 2 aesthetic, it shows really strongly in this wad.

      Suspended In Dusk is also very fun for a super clean and semi-realistic look that manages to remain vanilla-friendly.

      Also do yourself a favour and play these games the proper way, not with Doom: Harris and Klebold Edition.

  4. Lemming says:

    It’s a great thought, but I’d find it much more interesting with the original Quake’s map names

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      PoulWrist says:

      It is amusing how those level names harken back to the time of development when Quake was going to be an openworld action RPG inspired by Dungeons & Dragons…

    • jnik says:

      Marathon? For some reason “Never Burn Money” has always had a note of poetry to it (not to mention all the time I wasted on the Gheritt White terminal…)

  5. derbefrier says:

    This reminds me that I still need to check out the latest version of brutal doom. This is a cool idea though you are probably right, I’ll never download it.

  6. Casimir's Blake says:

    Oh, I WILL be downloading and playing this map pack. I appreciate that Alice has posted about this, Doom is still a thoroughly satisfying FPS experience and I still play new maps for it. I’ve noticed that RPS has posted about “old school Doom” often this year. More of this, please!

  7. Premium User Badge

    DrollRemark says:

    If they’re members of a Doom fansite, how can they truly claim to be inspired by the level names only?

    I doubt the validity of this scientific enterprise!

  8. Sidewinder says:

    A good idea- but why stop there? What kind of maps would you get from ‘Perfect Hatred’, ‘Sever the wicked’ or ‘They will repent’?

  9. Premium User Badge

    TheTourist314 says:

    I’m really happy that RPS has an in-house DOOM writer finally. I’ve been asking for it for years!

    • Ross Angus says:

      I (unironically) agree: one of the great things about having Alice at RPS is that she’s already carved a niche for herself. I read the first paragraph of this article and thought “this is an Alice article”.

      • Premium User Badge

        TheTourist314 says:

        It’s hard to tell on the internet when someone is being obnoxious :/

        I wasn’t being sarcastic though. DOOM got me through my years as a kid and through many a breakup in college. When I think back on the art of game design by maximizing minimalism, I always go back to DOOM. It’s one of my favorite games of all time, and I go back and play through it bi-annually. From the super shotgun that sounds like God smiting someone to the balance of monster stresses and interesting levels, it’s all a fantastic guide in how to balance fun with a limited amount of resources. And the versatility of the engine! It’s 2014! There are mods being made 24 years later. So brilliant.

        • Ross Angus says:

          DOOM was sort of the Minecraft of it’s day, in that it was always seemed to be written about, long after you’d assume the press would move on. I hadn’t noticed that people talked about it less until now. Let’s bring it back!

  10. seniorgato says:

    I used to make Doom 2? maps. I forget, might have been Final Doom or Ultimate. My friend and I would have a bot bash via dial up modem.
    It turns out that if you have too many enemies on your map, the enemies can get super buggy.

    So imagine an Arch-Vile, who is invincible and able to walk through walls. His job, burn you to death and raise the dead enemies.

    Well, it was supposed to be a bot bash, so nothing was supposed to be living at the end. hehe, it was a slaughter. By the end we were just trying to dodge enough to make it to the switch at the end. We had given up completely on killing everything (excluding the invincible fire demon lord) and were just trying to survive.

    If I remember correctly, we had to stop for a minute and were overrun, destroying all the work and the slight bit of an edge we had worked toward for an hour. It was downhill from there.

    Just so you can remember these hell beasts. http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Arch-vile

    • dskzero says:

      That was probably a ghost monster, which happen when a monster that was squished somehow gets revived by an arch-vile.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        It sounds like that, but arch-viles can’t normally revive other arch-viles.

  11. jorygriffis says:

    This looks great, thanks for posting it. I don’t scour the Doomworld forums like I used to so I missed out!

  12. Stardreamer says:

    Is it coincidence that I’m in the middle of a love-surge for everything DooM? Or haz the Internet been beaming DooM-waves into my brain subliminally and without conscious awareness?

    Who cares, because AWESOME.

    I’ve been Brutal DooMing this week and MY GOD it’s amazing. In a way I never have before I’ve been teaching myself how to load WADs and maps and new music and addons OH MY. Brutal Doom is fucking amazing. Doom PLUS. I Can’t wait for v20. I’m playing Brutal SE right now, through Plutonia, and just having the best time ever. 20 years old and Doom still gives the best FPS experience ever. CLASSIC

    Really looking forward to trying the map packs suggested above by all-and-sundry. Plutonia 2, Doom the Way Id Did, The Doom 2 reimagined, etc. GOD I LOVE THIS GAME.

  13. dethtoll says:

    My kingdom for nobody ever mentioning or using Brutal Doom ever again.

    • Stardreamer says:

      Shhhh.

      Brutal Doom Party In Progress.

    • Curratum says:

      Hoho, it’s dethtoll!
      I know right, man? People go after the craziness of Brutal Doom while in reality they should just grab something like Beautiful Doom, trim the obnoxious parts in SLADE and end up with a nice, tasteful visual update that leaves the core gameplay untouched.
      But Brutal Doom got so much exposure through mainstream gaming sites it’s impossible to shrug it off now. “OH LOOK, FLYING GIBS! OH, LOOK, AN OCTO-BARREL INCENDIARY SHOTGUN! etc etc”

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Yes, yes, “tasteful” is something I have always yearned for from Doom.

      • Nest says:

        The core gameplay changes added by Brutal Doom are pretty good, though. The flying gibs are great and all, but the rebalancing of the weapons and the increased speed are quite satisfying in their own right.

  14. killmachine says:

    also, plz note that you can play all these maps with the brutaldoom mod for extra awsomeness. or just go ahead and play your cod, casual. :P

    • Premium User Badge

      TheTourist314 says:

      Brutal DOOM makes it pretty, well, brutal. I’m working through it now on the ultra violence diff and it’s pretty gnarly, but I really like it.