Confront the Apocalypse: Earth’s Last Stand Begins.

DOOM® Megawad

By Tim Robinette

“Before the scourge swept over our world, the inferno was but a whisper. Now, the cacophony of chaos reignites as you return to a besieged Earth. Embrace the nightmare; the demonic legions of DOOM® beckon for your soul. Embark on an unsanctioned odyssey, an unofficial seventh episode that will test the limits of your valor and wrath.”

The Story of Blight

“As you step through the portal, it feels as if your body is being ripped in two. Like a two-edged sword, ‘piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow’. But the pain of Baphomet’s sigil is fleeting, and having narrowly slipped through his clutches and arriving through the portal back to Earth, you find your respite is short-lived as the military commandeers your fate. Aboard the chopper, the scorched tapestry of a once-thriving metropolis unfolds beneath you—flames ravage, smoke chokes the heavens, and the remnants of humanity crumble. The demonic deceit was masterful; while you battled in the bowels of hell, they invaded. Now, hellish spires, totems crowned with the skulls of the demons’ victims, puncture the Earth, channeling argent energy skywards, knitting a portal for Baphomet’s earthbound ascendancy. As Earth’s solitary sentinel who has weathered the infernal storm, you are cast once again into the heart of darkness to shatter these pillars and thwart the coming of the beast.”

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Free BLIGHT Megawad

The Blight Megawad is coming soon and will be available near the end of May. Please stay tuned for the upcoming launch.

Q. What was your inspiration for Blight?

My inspiration for Blight was a combination of the arrival of DOOM®’s 30th year anniversary in addition to seeing John Romero working on yet another follow up to the original 1993 video game. SIGIL was what I considered an excellent megawad. I enjoyed the level design, and the challenge, and seeing on of the original designers of my favorite game series create hell maps in his own style (opposed to Sandy) was refreshing to see. I do want to add though, while a lot of the community enjoy Romero’s style over Petersen’s, I thoroughly enjoy both. Most of the original game was completed maps by Sandy Petersen, and his hell maps, filled with traps, monster closets, and puzzles were nightmarish for me at the time. So I still want to give props to the entire team. With that said, John Romero started streaming his mapping of SIGIL II on Twitch with E6M5. But it wasn’t until E6M6 that he started adding commentary while he was mapping. And hearing him talk while he made maps just inspired me to do the same.

Q. What is the storyline?

I wanted to build the story into the original timeline and I knew Romero used SIGIL and SIGIL II as part of that also. So for anyone who has played DOOM®, this is my rendition of the timeline for Doom Guy; Episode 1-4, SIGIL I & II, DOOM II, DOOM 64, DOOM (2016), and DOOM Eternal. I wanted my game to take place after SIGIL II but before DOOM II. But with John Romero creating HELLION as the unofficial follow up, I wasn’t going to be able squeeze them together since he hasn’t streamed any levels yet. My story starts with Doom Guy stepping into the portal at the end of SIGIL II only to have it literally tear his soul apart into two distinct entities. This allows me to continue on my timeline, while HELLION continues on another. So in my reality, Doom Guy is ported back to Earth, the military was able to find and commandeer him after locking onto his signal through a surge of argent energy. While Doom Guy was in hell, the demons were using that as a distraction to erect and power these hell totems found across Earth. The military is hoping the destruction of the totems will prevent argent energy from opening a portal to allow Baphomet, the Icon of Sin, to ascend onto Earth. Obviously we know it fails because the Icon of Sin is the last map of DOOM II. But the journey getting there is going to be unique and interesting. It will be fun to rip and tear through these maps.

Q. Does BLIGHT offer anything unique?

I can’t say that BLIGHT offers anything specifically unique to the community because I haven’t seen everything that is out there. But as far as what limitations (eg. Boom-compatible) that I placed on myself and what I have experienced, I can say that I at least tried to include things I haven’t seen before. The most recognizable, are the idol sacrifices. These serve as switches similar to the Baphomet eyes that John Romero placed in SIGIL and SIGIL II, but they are a bit more responsive than his, and are created to serve a specific consistent purpose through all maps that you encounter them in. Another thing I did was create blood sacrifices which also work similiar, but have a different purpose that is shared consistently in all the maps. The very first map starts off with one, so when you play it, you’ll see what I mean. Lastly, I have a unique way to end or begin levels that work with the story that I created. Other items and secrets were straight inpirations from SIGIL II that gave the game more of an arcade experience. I’m happy with the way things have turned out for Blight. 

Q. Are there any Deathmatch maps in Blight or is it only singleplayer?

Of course! It wouldn’t be a complete megawad if I didn’t include deathmatch. Each single-player map will also have one deathmatch map, so in total there will be 9 deathmatch maps and 9 single-player maps. I’ve been making sure that each map also is themed consistently after the single-player map next to it. So in each level, there will be two areas that the player will spawn in depending on whether they are playing single-player/co-op or deathmatch.

Q. What is your process for creating a new map?

Everyone has a different style or approach to making maps. For me, the approach I have for making maps start with an idea in my mind based on a image or a theme. I start by trying to recreate that atmosphere, that look, or that mood that my mind is seeing. I will build off of that with the theme of the level using that vision as the central point, or main setpiece of the map. For this megawad, I was molding my maps after the place I worked. Each building would be a theme for a map, and that was extremely difficult working on multiple floors with the limitations I set. But that made for some fun mapping challenges and fun layouts. As far as which map I start with, I have no preference on that. Sometimes I need to make the last one first, or the first one last, but other times, a sequential order is needed. For BLIGHT, since everything was created to be contiguous so I had to create them in order, for the ending room to be the starting room of the next map. I also had to make sure that the geometry made sense and didn’t overlap. I would take the automap feature and size everything to the correct scale, and line all the maps up to see if the flowed as one path. That took some finessing of the rooms, but I believe everything came out okay.

Q. How would this megawad compare to others?

In all honesty, I rarely play megawads. I played single maps, but the only megawads I’ve seriously played was SIGIL and SIGIL II, and Unloved. If Sandy Petersen or Tom Hall released a megawad, I’d probably play those as well, just because of who they were. But that isn’t me saying that the community isn’t filled with some amazing talented content creators. I’m just saying I don’t have much time to play them all. I love the mapping-challenge maps though as they are always unique to see how people make creative maps under such strict limitations. One thing that has been beneficial though, in my opinion, is that where I’m not versed in so many megawads, I don’t know what is out there to copy. The ideas from SIGIL II made it into my map, but alot of the content is straight from my head with my own style. So how does this compare to others? I’d rather let the community decide that on their own. I may strike out, or hit a home-run, but I can say I put a lot of work into this project and it is a labor of love. I do believe that will show.

Q. Do you have a favorite level? If so, which one and why?

I have a lot of levels I like in BLIGHT and everytime I had created a new one, they one became my favorite. I think out of all of them though, I would say that Baphomet’s Abyss is the one that sticks out the most. The music drives the atmosphere in that map, and that is the first map where the stuff hits the fan. There is a shift in tone from that point on and it’s apparent that the Icon of Sin is succeeding in his plan for ascension.

Q. Is there another megawad in the future from Crusader Games?

I don’t think I’ll ever stop creating maps for this game, since I’ve done so for over 20 years. But will more megawads get put out under Crusader Games? That depends on how well this one does, and whether I have time between other Crusader Games projects. Most likely a new megawad would be put out under DOOM II®, and I really would like to use UDMF features, but that also makes things infinitely more complex and complicated. I have several unpublished maps that I created within DOOM II® that should see the light of day at some point. They were available on the internet back in the 2000s but were removed when I had no place to host them. If I do release them, it will most certainly be within another megawad. But under the Doom II® banner, I’m going to have more maps to make. And honestly, if the bug hits, I would probably not feel burdened to make more even if BLIGHT doesn’t do well. Although BLIGHT will be a good learning experience for any future content releases.

Q. How did you pick the music you used for the levels?

The music was challenging to pick out, I wanted to capture the essence of the original 1993 game. The PC game used music inspired by the likes of Pantera, Metallica, and Judas Priest, so I wanted to try and find pieces that fit those vibes. I even liked the work Aubrey Hodges did for the console versions. The Playstation and Nintendo 64 versions always had a place in my heart with their creepy atmosphere. So some of the tracks I actually created myself to fit the mood that I was trying to convey.

Q. What about Doom in general has captivated you so much?

You can use whatever terminology, or culural buzzword to describe DOOM® how ever you want. But for me, it simply just excels at what it wanted to do, and how it accomplished it. It also what I expect in a game. It’s simple to play, like many games that know how to perfect game design, you can jump into the game and just know how to play it with little to no explaination. You know what to do, the idea is easily laid out before you, and one can jump into the game and out of the game without having to invest a lot. It harkens back to arcade games where the gameplay was just fun, mindless action, that allowed a person to decompress. The levels are designed in such a way that invoke my imagination because they abstract, and creative. John Romero, Tom Hall, and Sandy Petersen who worked on most of the maps just created a whole bunch of memorable experiences for me. I could go on, but I believe you can already tell this is one of my favorite games.

Q. Is Blight your first megawad?

Yes, Blight is the first megawad I’ve developed and distributed.

The Shadow Of Chaos, Your Impending Doom, Looms Overhead

The BLIGHT Megawad is a free download created by Tim Robinette for the original 1993 DOOM®. It contains nine single-player and nine deathmatch levels. The free add-on is scheduled to be released in May of 2024. It will require players to own the original 1993 registered version of DOOM® in order to play. The BLIGHT Megawad is the spiritual successor to the unofficial sixth episode of DOOM®, SIGIL II, and picks up where that was concludes.