The current incarnation of rboom, based on PrBoom 23x, was a year old sometime in the last fortnight. I kind of missed this but I wasn't too bothered as it is difficult to pin a start date on it. There was an older incarnation, based on 2.2.6, but that didn't have much besides the map cheat in it, so doesn't really count - indeed you could argue that it started in September 1999 when I started hacking DIY.
Now onto some unusual wads.
A 32-map doom2.exe-compatible megawad, made in 1998 or thereabouts. A gameplay experiment, in which you are largely forced to play in a style known to some as "hypocritical pacifist".*
Cyberdreams is 32 maps of pretty much nothing but cyberdemons. You don't get any weapons, so there's not so much conventional Doom skill involved. You still need to be able to move well though, indeed your movement is your only hope. You're basically meant to get 100% kills although on some maps you can exit before you do and indeed on others it's impossible due to bugs. You hit them by teleporting on top of them, setting off crushers and avoiding the rockets until they're dead, and so forth.
You're either going to love this wad or hate it. My own opinion is that it's a good idea, but can be utterly frustrating, and - after a certain number of levels - begins to get repetitive. There's only so many ways you can kill a monster using moving sectors. However, most of the levels, if you manage to beat them, you will beat them in only a couple of minutes. The whole wad can easily be finished in a few hours if you're lucky.
In summary, there are over 200 cyberdemons, a voodoo doll that talks to you, and an extremely secret shrine to Helen Hunt.
* Pacifist is of course where you play without deliberately harming the monsters. Hypocritical pacifist is therefore trying to kill all the monsters indirectly, by making them kill each other, or luring them under crushers or teleporting on top of them. Actually that last one is dubious - the pacifist rules say "no intentional telefrags", but I don't see how you can tell whether something is intentional or not, so whatever.
This is a 3-episode replacement for Doom, with new levels, graphics, sounds and everything. It's pretty much a total conversion. It's set on modern Earth, and you're some sort of SAS guy sent in to infiltrate a millitaristic (is that even a word?) satanic cult. On the way you go through jungles, secret military bases, ancient temples, and cities.
Being on Earth there are no futuristic weapons. You get a small uzi instead of a pistol. There's a shotgun and an AK-47 and a bazooka. The plasma gun is "the big minigun" and the BFG is a grenade launcher. It still pretty much works like the BFG though. As targets for these you have:
- Two forms of basic soldier, one is more powerful than the other. It does this a lot - one set of monster graphics, using colour translation bits to make more than one version of the same enemy.
- A guy with a shotgun, chainsaw and hockey mask. I forget which series of horror movies this is from.
- Three different versions of a guy with gasmask and taser. One runs straight towards you and zaps you up close. Another has a long-range taser that fires pulses. The third has a chaingun.
- Two forms of what I can only describe as "stereotypical terrorist guy", complete with dodgy sunglasses, beard and teargas launcher.
- A small flying robot thing that launches itself at you
- A larger flying robot thing that looks a bit like a Terminator
- Gun turrets. One is large, obvious and can be killed. The other is invisible and likes to hide in walls. Avoid the latter type, it will kill you very quickly without warning and cannot be disabled.
The graphics are rather cartoonish, the sounds comical for a while until they begin to grate (the soldiers shouting "on the floor now!" and "dieeeeee!" were funny, but hearing "all right!" for the fiftieth time whenever you pick up a dropped shotgun got old very fast) and the maps very simple if you look past the fact that it's all new textures (that, as I'm sure I've said before, seems to be a peculiarity of total conversions - with all new textures, you don't need to make particularly detailed levels to make them look "interesting")
The gameplay can be rather unbalanced; it varies between quite easy and irritatingly difficult. In particular the start of episode 2 lacks ammunition. Some of the monsters seem to have too much health - the grey taser guy is basically a baron and has a baron's hit points total. The dehacked patch doesn't really do all that much - it's pretty obvious how the new monsters map onto the original Doom monsters, and same for the weapons. The last map of episode 2 is a complex made up entirely of gun turrets, and when you finish it it doesn't feel like the end of the story. But it is, as episode 3 is made up entirely of deathmatch levels.
But it's quite fun, and for something that was started in 1994, impressive. Its author went onto much greater things.