I am a huge Doom fan. I often browse the internet for Doom wads. But no matter how many wads play, there is one incident I still can't forget nor make sense of.
I had been in a cycling accident which caused some injuries. I had come home from the hospital a little woozy from the incident. I sat down to play some Doom wads on my PC. My room-mate was out at the time so I was all alone in the house. I browsed the internet for awhile, going to sites like Facebook, Youtube and Doomworld, before actually going into idgames. Once there, I started browsing through wads. I had already played a lot of the wads and the ones I didn't play didn't interest me.
At one point, I noticed something that caught my eye. 26112010.wad. The title got me curious. The .txt file did not tell me what a exactly the wad was about except "some levels for Doom 2" and there weren't any reviews either. It wasn't that big in terms of file size so I decided to try it out.
The first map was just the Entryway of the Doom 2 IWAD. The only things that were different were the lighting, thing placement and music. Whoever made this reduced the brightness so much that you can just barely see what the map looks like. They removed the music, monsters and pickups entirely. The monsters were replaced with their dead bodies and there were various similar decorations across the map. The first thought that rushed through my mind was, "How the hell did this get through?" Idgames rejects any wad that contains parts of the Iwad maps or their modified versions, so I was wondering how this got past the admins. I got all the secrets and pressed the exit switch to move on to the next map.
Entryway Complete. Entering Underhalls.
The 2nd map was a complete change of tune from the first map. While the first map was a modified version of an IWAD level, the second map was a completely new experience. The map started me off with a new shotgun and 12 shells. It also took away my pistol and the ability to punch so the shells were all I had to go on. I started from a raised platform. The author must have gone crazy with the Zdoom features and ACS because the map had everything short of terry traps. This level reminded me of something but I couldn't figure out what at the time.
The moment I left the platform, I was attacked by a group of zombie like creatures. I tried scanning them but they couldn't be detected. I thought to myself, "Are these guys even killable?" I shot one and it died. The creatures were as tall as revanants. Maybe a bit taller. They were as slow as the zombies. They had jet black skin wrapped with what appeared to be vines or moss. They had bright yellow eyes and a gaping mouth. Because of their slow speed and low health, I had underestimated them. I paid for my folly when one of them took out a quarter of my health with an extremely fast green fireball.
I killed the group with 7 shots still remaining. I progressed through a hallway. The map itself was just as dark as the 1st map with a greenish hue added via colored lighting and the view further limited by fog. The music was a high quality ambient track.
I ran into more groups of those black things and soon used up all my shells. I should have saved my shells because, to my surprise, the map didn't give me any more ammo or health. I had to carefully proceed as it was now impossible for me to fight back. After a few more close calls, I completed the map with only 25 health remaining.
Underhalls Complete. Entering The Gantlet.
To my surprise, the level started me off with full health and again, 12 shells. The lighting was just like the last map; dark with a greenish hue. It started me off in a narrow metallic hall with a low ceiling. It appeared to be an air vent of some sort. Just like the last level, it had ambient music. I realized what the wad reminded me off; Doom 64. Me and my younger brother used to play this game all the time on our N64 when we were little. The game didn't have multiplayer, so we'd take turns playing the game. We had our fair share of arguments over it but we had more than enough fun times to balance it out. As we grew older though, we sorta drifted apart, as both of us got busy with our own lives.
I learned from my mistakes of the previous level and played conserving ammo. This map introduced creatures similar to the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise. These new monsters were fast, tall and really hard to take down. I decided to avoid them as much as I can.
At one point, I found a poorly hidden secret. It had a megasphere, a Super Shotgun and tons of shells. Not having to worry about ammo, I hunted down all the monsters I ran away from and killed them. Soon there were no monsters left on the map. I found it a bit disappointing that the rest of the map won't have any monsters.
At one point, I was passing through a hallway when I heard the Icon of Sin say it's iconic backwards message. Since the map was dead silent save for the barely audible music, I kinda jumped. Fearing getting swamped by newly spawned monsters I ran through a huge portion of the map. After a while however, I realized that, for whatever reason, the monsters weren't spawning I completed the rest of the level without any problems.
The Gantlet Complete. Entering The Focus.
To my surprise, I kept my ammo from the previous level. The fact that this level featured official monsters like the imp, zombie men and shotgun guys, whereas there was nothing but custom monsters on the two previous maps surprised me even more.
The level itself was similar in design to the original Iwad levels. It had the same lighting as the previous levels, but the green hue was gone.
Having around 40 shells left and familiar monsters as my enemies, I was easily able to kill all the monsters. At one point, the Icon of Sin message started playing in a loop. But something was wrong. At certain times it felt like he was saying something different. When the sound finally stopped, the word 'run' flashed on the screen. I looked at the auto-map, but it still showed that I had got all the monsters. Suddenly something killed me. I loaded a save and continued from where I left off.
When I was at the same place again, I started running. I turned back to see what exactly was chasing me. I saw a glitchy mass of faces coming towards me at a extremely fast speed. I tried shooting it and scanning it. Both did absolutely nothing. I kept running until I completed the map.
The Focus Complete. Entering The Waste Tunnel.
This map, like the previous, lacked colored lighting. It also had the same type of official monsters as the previous. However, the map took away my shotgun and the shotgun guys didn't drop any either. The map itself seemed to be a fusion of E1M1, E2M1 of Doom and Map01 and Map12 of Doom 2.
At one point, I came to a room similar to the slime room of E1M1. Trying to dodge an imp's fireball, I fell into the nukage pit and the screen lit up bright red as if I had sustained insane amount of damage. When the red cleared, I was surprised to see that I had sustained only 1 health damage and all the monsters were dead. I completed the map without incident.
The Wasted Tunnel Complete. Entering The Crusher
In this map, there were no health or ammo. All my previous weapons were gone but I had a new gun in slot 9. It appeared to be an odd looking rifle. It was colored with white, blue and a brownish yellow. It had seemingly infinite ammo. Using it was like using the MDK console cheat. It one-hit-KOed anything I used it on. One thing that bothered me was the fact that I'd occasionally sustain 1 health damage from nowhere. I eventually completed the level.
The Crusher Complete. Entering Dead Simple.
This level had no monsters. It only had some marines that didn't attack. Just run away. It was just black everywhere I went. I kept getting damaged just like the previous level, except I kept getting damaged at a higher frequency. I heard someone call for help and ask me, "Why?"
Near the very end of the map, I saw a character wearing a red T-shirt and blue jeans. I was unable to move when I came close to him. The words "Help me" appeared on the screen. I saw him walk away into the void. I then lost my last bit of health and died.
I was then taken to a text screen. "Why didn't you help me?" was all it said. Then a low-res picture of my brother popped up. He seemed to be very depressed. I was extremely creeped out by it quickly shut off my computer. I washed my face and decided to take nap.
I woke up to find my room-mate home. It was now morning. He told me that he found me passed-out on the chair in front of my desktop computer. I quickly turned on my PC and went to the folder where I keep all my Doom wads. Nothing. I couldn't find the wad. I checked my browser history and saw that I had been to Facebook, Youtube, Doomworld and lastly, Idgames. According to the history, I even went to a page for 26112010.wad, but when tried to revisit the page from my history, it lead to a file not found page. There was also nothing in my download history. I know for a fact that my room-mate didn't tamper with the PC because it's password protected and he has his own laptop, so he doesn't need to share mine.
As for my brother, he had become hooked on drugs and died from an overdose 6 years ago.
I still wonder if what I played that day was real or a hallucination. If it was real, why is there no record of the wad. If it was a hallucination, why and how did I end up on the error page for 26112010.wad?