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The Wadazine Awards 2021

March 11, 2022

Celebrating Doom to the max!

Last year we started the Doom Master Wadazine project. A free digital magazine, dedicated to the Doom community with a great love for the classic, retro style of the 90s. The Doom Master Wadazine had quite humble beginnings, being created with MS Word and MS Paint from a laptop – a few articles, reviews and stuff. Over time, this project has grown to the point of becoming a professional quality periodical, supported by a community of active contributors and distributed through word of mouth by passionate fans. That same year, we decided to celebrate with a small ceremonial awards publication to end on a high note, and created our own awards, also called as the Wadawards. With a focus on WADs, of course, but also giving a chance to shine a light on writers and reviewers who deserve to have the spotlight of recognition for their valuable contributions to this community.

This year has been a packed one with a simply obscene amount of content, and I don’t just mean WADs, but all kinds of contributions. We’ve had hundreds of maps by different authors through different projects, as well as a huge increase in activity from composers who have been playing around to bring Doom to life with different MIDI projects, and of course, the coding gurus haven’t stopped creating and improving source-ports, making our lives easier and more attractive. Doom Eternal also saw its end this year, bringing closure to the story and leaving a lasting legacy that will be remembered as one of the best FPS games ever. Overall, Doom has had a fantastic year, and today we are gathered here to give some love to all those members who have been selected to be honored at this year’s Wadazine Awards. Without further introduction, I hope you all enjoy this.

The Master Recommendations

Every month (or more like every issue) we choose one particular WAD that stood out from the year and highlight it as a Master Recommendation, a special review made to identify the best of the best. This year was packed to the brim. Full of new and awesome content, we’ll need at least 30 Master Recommendations to mention all those WADs that deserve an accolade in one way or another. But because we simply can’t do that, here’s the Wadazine’s 9 best WADs of the year for you! Numbered from the first issue of the year to the last.

  1. The UnMaking – By Ryath aka scwiba

Our very first Master Recommendation of 2021 celebrates the resurrection of the most obscure Doom gem out there: Doom 64. The recent release of the new PC port back in 2020 brought back a massive interest in this long-neglected episode of the Doom saga, and, with it, a new wave of community made content that has showcased the true potential lying behind the depths of D64. The UnMaking is not only just another PWAD made for D64, but it also holds the honor of being one of the few full megawads done for D64 and one that’s full of absolutely great features that will make you feel jealous of the D64 folks out there.

Big names and big maps come together in micro packages. As the saying goes: big surprises come in small maps, or something like that. Just as the name implies, this mapset was made with one simple idea: to take you into a rollercoaster of E-Rated slaughter. Small maps that work as introductory steps to the greater world of slaughtermaps. Created in conjunction with a fascinating team of outstanding artists in the field, Micro Slaughter Community Project wins completely over the hearts of those that the intense action of the slaughter genre, but can’t quite get the aim of the long-winded maps. Here, you have the best of two worlds: a more humanly paced time limit with the still monstrous challenge that you can find in common slaughterwads.

Proletariat of the nations, unite! For we face, together, our greatest enemy: the empire of the deathmatcher! May your shotguns be ready, and your chainsaws full of gas, for today, we go into battle in one of the coolest and most versatile deathmatch megawads out there. Bur, bor, ber, err, Bourgeois Megawad is an interesting addition to the multiplayer field by combining the best of both worlds in quite the interesting manner. It’s meant to be used as a DM megawad to fight off in arena styled maps, but it’s also balanced to be played in singleplayer mode in a very unique way that you don’t really come across, and guess what? It works. It’s a perfectly balanced (unless you’re losing) DM megawad on its own, boosting a full repertoire of awesome arena-like levels that will make you want to frag till the end of times. On the other hand, if you don’t have friends, like me, you can always play it alone and have a good, good time fragging demons back to hell.

Llullaby is one of the year most surprising works, and probably one of the most visually outstanding pieces of mapping ever. A single-level WAD, but one that will rock your socks off, man. It’s all blue, it’s trippy as hell, it’s full of absolutely great mapping tricks, amazing to look at scenarios and just a top-notch quality that evokes a great feeling of awesomeness. Llullaby is one hell of a beast designed to kick your eyes out of your eye sockets and also give you a good time all around in some fabulous done slaughter gameplay. If Danlex keeps doing maps like that look like this one, I’m going to get pregnant.

8 maps made by skillsaw. There. That’s it. You don’t need to read more. Oh, want to hear more about it? Ok, here it goes: Heartland is an Eternity-Engine exclusive mapset created with absolute care and glory, designed to take the engine to its limits, offering a new and amazing gallery of incredible features that will blow your mind, and, of course, levels done so well that you’ll want to stick your face to the screen. We’re talking about the legendary skillsaw, so you bet you’re going to find some outstanding scenarios, fascinating landscapes, great designs, beautiful geometry and eye-candy all around. Heartland is one of those WADs that are a no brainer. It’s a must. Even if you don’t play with the Eternity-Engine, this mapset is absolutely worth the hassle to download the source-port and play it. It’s a blast. Believe me, I’m one of those guys that like to stick to one or two source-ports, but Heartland is just damn worth it. It brings you heart to the land with all skills of a saw. That’s a bad pun.

Cyberpunk, Blade Runner, Alien, Total Recall, The Running Man, Robocop, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, etc. Think of all these movies, add some demons, a lot of neon, and bang, you have one of the coolest looking pieces of Doom media ever created. Auger;Zenith is an absolute banger of a unit that made quite the waves around the community. It looks cool, plays cool, feels cool and is cool.. The mapset just encapsules the whole cyberpunk theme and cranks it up to an eleven while still retaining a cohesive design philosophy that allows it to be enjoyed by anyone. Whether you like traditional hellish maps or spaceports, you will find that Auger;Zenith is a third eye opening experience for all doomers out there.

Io, one of the most volatile, dangerous and explosive (literally) known places in the solar system. A hellish landscape that pretty much makes Hell look funny. That said, it is the perfect place for a Doom WAD, and yet nobody has done it before, until Bri came along and brought us near perfection. Attack on Io is a set of 7 maps themed around the hellish moon that combines multiple visual styles and thematic progressions under a single flag of greatness. It’s pretty impressive on its own, but it also manages to create iconic and fun maps, each one delivering something different that still joins together with the rest, making it a seamlessly flawless adventure throughout all of this nightmarish moon. A mapset that’s definitely worthy of your time.

A new team rises and a new series is born. The DBK series (no fixed name yet) is here to showcase how some of the most talented and whimsical mappers in the history of Doom are capable of bringing us some delightfully precious mapsets made in under two months, and oh they did make quite the nice first impression. Dungeon Synths is an insanely good amalgamation of some crazy ideas. Medieval, dark fantasy style under the fantastical flow of a synthwave rhythm with a very cozy and homelike visual thematic that makes you feel both welcomed and powerful. A very fantastical premier that shows you how some of the most unique ideas can come to life in the canvas of Doom mapping. If the DBK team keeps going on this awesome route, they’re bound to make history once again.

An atmosphere of dread fills the air as you plow through waves of endless demons hidden beneath fortresses deep inside a long extinct realm. This is Atmospheric Extinction. A love letter from OTEX that makes tribute to modern mapping style by creating some outstanding visuals with a solid layout that allows you to enjoy this magnificent beast like a stride through the forest. Divided by episodes, each one brings something different and unique to the table, working perfectly well in a symphony of fascinating progression that elevates both the experience of the player and the quality of the maps. All in all, a really great mapset.




By Buu342

If you’ve been around the Zandronum servers, then there’s big chances you’ve seen this mod being played there, and with good reason! Imagine, what if Mario Party, but for Doom? The result, this exciting little big adventure that brings you over 100 mini games to enjoy with your friends. One of the most complex and diverse WADs designed for multiplayer in its history. It brings with it an absurd number of options that will give you something new in each of your games, from game mode changes to incredible craziness that will make you have a great time. The WAD works by placing players in a hub, alternating game modes as they change level; the mini games are not simple variations like changing an enemy’s damage, or their attitude. The changes are notable and well present. They are complete (mini) games that can take anywhere from a couple of seconds to several minutes to complete. The huge amount of gamemodes and maps, and its variety make this mod offer you a huge amount of entertainment, especially if you play with your friends. Give it a try.



By Deadwing

From the depths of hellish jungles to the heights of exotic brick fortresses. This is Ozonia. An adventure inspired by the Plutonia series, but with its own touch of Eviternity, creating a succulent combination of two worlds under an original, creative and deliciously violent concept. Ozonia is a complete work in every sense of the word. From the new 32 levels to the soundtrack, textures and even changes to the difficulty, offering comparisons for new players who don’t have a clear idea of what kind of game they want to take. The megawad is designed as if it were an official expansion of the game, bringing the best of both worlds thanks to a contribution from different users, giving fascinating pieces that, when put together, create an excellent work in every dimension. Ozonia’s visuals are a marvel of simplicity and detail, creating a nice balance that offers an MBF feel. On the other hand, the gameplay is well designed to offer different opportunities to all types of players. If you like a good challenge, you will find it here. This megawad is designed to be enjoyed, thanks to its episodic splitting, progression, yearning visuals and fantastic gameplay. A doomer job well done.



By various authors, led by DavidN

If there’s one thing that 2021 showed the Doom community, is that we are not surviving, we are fucking thriving. Ultimately, Rabbit’s All-comers Mapping Project (RAMP) is a testament to that idea. We’ve all heard about megawads, but have you heard about a gigawad? Well, here you have the ultimate climax of what a community project can reach when some masochistic genius decides to do it like a boss. Over 200 maps, that’s right, 200 maps for GZDoom that are as varied as a fucking rainbow. I can’t overstate how insanely big this gigawad is, not only in the sheer number that it brings, but the entire scope it managed to capture, all thanks to the incredible efforts of DavidN, who also created an entire website dedicated to the project and provided the tools for an easy upload form that managed to make this beast possible. If you could choose one WAD to play for the rest of your life that actually covered all the known mapping themes out there, this one has them all. From your standards tech-base maps, to some gloriously magnificent detailed monsters that cry in sheer awe. The sheer effort that went into this WAD makes it worthy of all kinds of awards, but it’s the fact that somebody made it possible that makes us go: woah, rad, dude, rad. Here’s RAMP, your perfect ramp into Doom addiction.

So much to play, so little time!

Suffering from success in the Doom community

Here’s a little open secret for you: Doom is not dead! Surprising, I know. But seriously, looking at the stats and observing other people’s comments, as well as participating in different discussions around the web, you could say that, factually (because I say so) 2021 has been, in practice, the busiest year in the history of the community and the most productive of all, if not the most productive, without a doubt. With an average release of almost 100 WADs per month, we are talking about a quantity of fan-made productions so large that no one in his or her life could ever dream of playing them all. On the other hand, we are not only talking about raw numbers here, but also about a quality that has come in all shapes and colors: from rough diamonds to polished sapphires. This year has seen it all, no doubt about it, and we are living what is the resurgence of an age that, I like to call, the age of progress, 40k reference and all. You look left and there’s a dozen standalone projects being developed, you look right and there’s a bunch of open community projects, you look up and there’s a ton of single-level WADs being made, you look down and there’s more mappers than you can count with your twenty digits! Everywhere you look and everywhere you go in the corners of the large Doom community, you’ll find someone doing something.

This, of course, brings me to a big issue, well, not an issue per se, but something more akin to a secondary effect of there being so many goddamn WADs to play: there’s no time to play them all! While some decades ago, programs like the /newstuff Chronicles where more than capable of managing the entirety of WAD releases per week (since there was only a handful of released WADs back then), now, you better quit your job and abandon your family if you’re planning on playing the entire backlog of recently released WADs. Sure, you might manage to play the single-level WADs, but megawads are now like the fries that come with the burger; there’s quite the handful. Ultimately, I wanted to say this to explain my sincere gratitude to all you mad lads out there that keep making so much content, for free! Being a Doom fan is a lucky day. While sure, there’s some drawbacks here and there, if your main focus is in playing singleplayer WADs, then, hell to the fuck yes, you’re in for some gold, brother.

There’s so much good stuff, not only on Doomworld,, but in other websites, forums, social media and Discord servers as well. I want to express my apologies to all those authors that I haven’t gotten the chance to play their works, and I think this goes well on part of the rest of the team as well. There’s so much good stuff that I’m pretty sure, nobody can play absolutely everything. If you feel like I missed a WAD in this Master Recommendations list, then I’m sorry, but this is both the opinions of a subjective team of players, and also the time of just a bunch of human beings. I’d love to play every single WAD out there (probably not since I’ll go insane once I reach the dirty side of the road). Heck, chances are, even if I made an unlimited list of honorable recommendations or runner-ups, I still wouldn’t cover them all. Ultimately, I want to say: thank you for giving us such a great Doom year, to all of you, dear doomers. Keep it up.

Sounds and Songs of Doom

Celebrating community created music!

It is no surprise that 2021 was one of, if not the most, active year in the Doom community. From all sides and places, players, creators, writers, speedrunners, map makers and composers, …all managed to contribute to this year’s amazing output with some nicely done works. But, there’s one field in particularly that has proven how important and orchestral it is to enjoy the Doom games to the fullest. That is the field of the composers and music makers. 2021 was quite the active year, yes, indeed, but among the various surprises that were revealed to us, I’m more than happy to say that the amazing music community banded together to gift us an amazing quantity of quality compositions that bring new life to both old and new Doom works.

Starting from the very beginning and continuing through the entirety of the year. A lot of new MIDI albums were released, mostly as a way to pay tribute to both classic and new WADs that required some well-deserved MIDI-love. Thanks to the joint efforts of dozens of composers, we got ourselves one of the most unique years for MIDI lovers out there! Tons of new tunes that will bring you back to the glory days of yesteryear, when most of us didn’t have a MIDI player, and only the left side of our speaker worked. But worry not, times have changed and the community hasn’t stopped. You can now dig up your old memories and give them a fresh new coat of style with the new addition of such albums. Here are some of the most noteworthy releases and best picks of the year for the Wadazine:

Ultimate MIDI Pack The trend that started a new resurrection in classic IWAD MIDI volumes. This new album was organized by the efforts of northivanastan, bringing a collection of new songs created by a variety of composers from the community. This new soundtrack replaces the entirety of the original Ultimate Doom OST. Yep, that’s a total of 42 new songs to enjoy your way back into memory lane. An amazing effort that deserves a standing ovation.

.MID the way id did : Organized by the legendary Doomkid, is an amazing effort that brings new music to the 32 maps of DOOM II: Hell on Earth. Not only that, but they’ve managed to re capture the original spirit of the decade’s old soundtrack, and give it a new spin that feels both welcoming, nostalgic and great.

No Rest For The Living – Community MIDI Pack It’s no secret that No Rest for the Living is a solid effort of vanilla goodness done by semi-official map makers, but, sadly, the original release was pretty much a two-person-WAD that covered a total of 9 maps, which, unfortunately, lacked original songs, as to be expected it is no easy task to make a new episode and also make new music for it, especially if you’re under a deadline. But fret not, the community has your back. Organized by Peter, this midi pack has all you need to dust of your NRftL copy and give it a new try. Even the all-famous doomtuber, decino, joined the efforts! And let me tell you that the result is one of a fantastic variety that manages to breath in a new sense of wonder into this decade old mapset. It’s beauty to the ears and one that I’m quite happy to have. A lovely collection that will give some rest to the living.

TNT MIDI Pack What? But doesn’t TNT: Evilution already has new music? Why yes, dear reader, and it’s quite good! But we all know that the OST for Evilution is pretty damn fucking old, and thus, we’ve heard it thousands of times. Repetition can get quite annoying, so, why not make a new one for it and let our ears rejoice in unison? Presenting: TNT MIDI Pack, lead by Cammy, this pack brings a new collection of songs ready to bring you some sweet diversity in the form of a total whooping 35 new tracks, all done in a sweet, delightful manner that pay respect to the original work while introducing a new rhythm of grandiose symphonies. Lots of references and spiritual successors that work so well, it makes you want to play through Habitat!

RAVEN MIDI Pack project Are you a heretic? Then you’ll probably love these new, all heretical-inclusive MIDI pack for the cult classic, Heretic! The Raven album is an all-new compilation of fantasy-synth-rock-metal-ambient inspired tracks that will give your new Heretic game a satisfying, gloriously good and lovely new set of songs. Lead and produced by no other than the legendary Jimmy, you know this pack is good! If you haven’t played Heretic in years, or never, this is now the best moment to do so!

Alien Vendetta MIDI Pack One of the last releases of the year and one that I, personally, absolutely adore. Alien Vendetta is one of the monuments of Doom WAD history, one that still manages to make an echo through the annals of history. Yet, just like various old-school WADs, Alien Vendetta doesn’t have a full OST, with only one new iconic song in the entire collection of 32 maps. Fear not, the community, once again, has your back! Lead by Cammy (again, what a legend), this new MIDI pack is full of steaming songs that will leave you quite moist! New songs that follow the basic trend around, while paying homage in a very respectful and lovely way. The new medley of songs is just as awesome as the original maps, working together in a great mixture of fantastical compositions. A classic release now finally has a classic pack of classic songs that sounds too great to leave behind. Play Alien Vendetta again with this pack and you’ll fall in love.

These are some of the fantastical new releases that brought life to the classics that deserved better. As you can see, 2021 was a year to replay these golden pieces of love and give them a new spin thanks to these awesome new songs, made possible by the efforts of a joint community that goes far and wide.

There’s also been, of course, a very wide and amazing quantity of standalone WADs that come accompanied with their own OST, like the original soundtrack for Atmospheric Extinction or Ashes: Afterglow. While I didn’t have time to listen to absolutely every single piece of new music the community has brought, I want to say thanks to all of you, composers, out there, making this amazing thing possible and giving us such a joy to the senses. Cheers and here’s for more to come in 2022!

KMEXEXII Honorary Award:

Celebrating the greatest authors to have ever graced the history of our community

Demon of the Well

The loquacious member, and for good reason! Demon of the Well has been an active author of the Doom community since at least 2013, being an active participant of the DWMegawad Club during its early days, the well demon has been into WAD reviewing since day 1, and it shows. Demon of the Well old Doomworld title was for a reason: reading Demon of the Well feels like touching the tips of tulips around the mountains during the sunrise spring. A crescendo of absolute verbose technique that goes into superbly great detail, describing the ins and outs of whatever map is being reviewed.

It didn’t take long before the efforts of Demon of the Well caught the attention of the higher ups up there, and, by 2017, he was already part of the Cacowards team in a well-deserved position as a judge. Reviewing countless WADs across a multitude of maps, never failing to meet the expectations and always delivering a deliciously great prose that makes you want to giggle in excitement. Heck, I’d pay to hear a podcast starring Demon of the Well just talking about WADs all day long.

It all comes down to the sheer quality that Demon of the Well possesses and the joy that it brings to read whatever the well demon is making. With a beautiful prose, accompanied with lively words that detail every crack in every step, and a lovely structure that gives you the right amount of insight needed, Demon of the Well is one of the best reviewers out there, …one that is worthy to receive this accolade. Congratulations! May black metal never run out of your reserves and may Doom fulfill your cravings!

The Master Scroll Award

Awarded to the greatest write-ups the community has to offer

Top 100 Most Memorable Maps

By various authors

We are slowly but steadily approaching three full decades of Doom life. During all this time, our history has done nothing but endure and grow day by day. New mappers, new WADs, mods, fans, games, art, writings, etc. The community is always on the move, so much so that for a newbie it can be a bit overwhelming to jump right into the great ocean that is Doom in the 2020s. It can even be confusing to think: Fuck man, where do I start now? But luckily, here we have the community itself to offer a helping hand. Not only in creating lists of WADs, but even in offering an important historical retrospective that addresses from north to south the history of our Doom industry.

This piece of history covers a whooping total of 100 maps from all years and places, since the very beginning to modern times. It offers an insight into the world of WADs in a surgical way, carefully (and passionately) analyzing what makes these maps the most memorable of all time. Organized by Not Jabba and with contributions from several reviewers, including some favorites, the result is a fantastic work that functions as a great historical guide to the evolution of our history, as well as an appreciation of each piece that has contributed to form the great work that is this game. The objective is to order them according to their best factors and influence in the community, as well as their historical relevance. Not only does it achieve its goal, but it is also a very entertaining piece that demonstrates how, despite time and change, Doom is still alive. Congratulations to everyone that contributed to this special piece, you’ve done something absolutely great, a master scroll in all sense!

The Master Crown Award

To the best mapper of the year


There are many things we could say about a large number of mappers since the beginning of this saga. We have had fascinating marvel creators who appear once and then leave forever, and we have also had great artists as prolific as they are insane who are still active decades later. Every once in a while, like a comet flying through the atmosphere, certain new souls appear that we don’t expect, but fuck, we’re grateful. And so, like a wondrous comet reborn to claim an apocalyptic prophecy, Danlex leaves a trail of stardust in his wake as he makes his way as one of the mapping champions of the modern century.

This mapper came almost out of nowhere. Well, what not many will know is that Danlex has been active for some time, slowly but surely building his reputation as a UDMF wizard and a spectacular marvel. His creations are works that reveal how an almost 30-year-old engine is still capable of blowing a little smoke at full throttle. He is something of a monument builder to progress; a modern-day Greek molder in the form of a simple guy that knows damn well how to kick my computer’s ass and shoot right at my doomed heart.

The release of Lullaby was a marvel that surprised us all from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. The map became an instant favorite among the cult community, and with good reason. Danlex had been spoiling us for a few months with sporadic pictures of his cool project, leaving us with a thirst as barbaric as sanguinolent, so that, in the end, when the project finally came out, we had drool in our mouths. It could be said that Pavlov is satisfied with this form of conditioning, because now we are conditioned that when we hear the name Danlex, the first thing that comes to our minds is: quality. And with that quality, damn, it’s hard not to drool.

Each unique map created by Danlex during this year has brought a more than palpable quality, to the point that in a short time has managed to forge a quality comparable to that of legends such as Ribbiks or skillsaw. You look at a map made by Danlex and you immediately assume: Danlex’s hands were here. Not only that, but he’s a great guy to work with. I had the good fortune to share a project (WMC04: Thy Flesh Vored) with Danlex, and he is a star every time. His projects never cease to amaze and I can’t wait to see what other projects he has up his sleeves, thanks to his subtle perception of reality and the ability to alter it, I can say that he will always create a gravitational center towards his magnificent works. It’s like a black hole of mapping wonders. It catches you and it won’t let go. For this, and more to come, the Wadazine proudly awards Danlex with the Master Crown of 2021.

To 2022 and beyond?

And now the year is over, well, it ended two months ago actually, but it also leaves us with a legacy of sorts through sequels in both Doom’s real life and Doom’s life. While things seem to be going into a new sort of flow of normalcy, in Doom, things only seem to be getting better. In some respects, as a fan of WADs, I think there is no better year to be alive than this one. Sure, we passed the golden age long ago, but now we’re seeing what amounts to a well-marked resurgence in impeccable creative genius. Daily, new maps are released, and daily, new doomers get in on the action. All I can say is that I hope this 2022 will be the same or better!

The Wadazine has had some turbulent times, especially with the change of routine due to lack of time and my entering college. Working has become more difficult, but like any challenge, you just learn the tactics and take advantage of the bug until you exploit the loops and break records. There are no plans to stop any of our projects, we want to keep going and give this wonderful content to all of you, dear doomers.

Personal projects of which I am extremely satisfied, I can mention the Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures. A series that, thanks to the support of ICID, is still alive with a good handful of passionate participants. Roofi, Sena, Walter C, LadyMistDragon, to mention a few, have played like beasts during all this time, sharing great and crazy moments on this marvelous ocean of maps, maps and more maps.

The Wadarcheology Project was a fascinating success that, thanks to the help of the great Arrowhead, can now be presented as a successful gallery of memories and moments; an archive dedicated to the recovery of lost legacies, where future doomers can fearlessly explore and rediscover this lost past.

And of course, Wadazine Master Collection. Driven by the incitements of my two friends, Nikoxenos and 4MaTC, I launched this project with no real previous experience, hoping that something would come out of it all. With the help and welcome of Mistress Remilia, the project became more than a reality, it became a completed dream, full of great maps and creators who have become comrades in adventure.

Altogether, it has been a great success, a great year that has shown that the Wadazine is here to stay, to leave a mark and to share the passion of Doom. There are many more things to do, to explore and share, and I hope to be here to give you a little of my passion and love for this game and writing. We have come far, but far is not far enough! We haven’t crossed the Rubicon yet and I haven’t yet cried for more worlds to conquer, so get ready, because we’ll keep going with the Doom Master Wadazine!

To read the full feature in all its glory, download issue #17: