The Ultimate DooMer
(former) /newstuff Chronicler
Bloodshedder says: Wow, three /newstuffs in two days! Does it get any crazier than this? Oh well, I'll shut up. Here's UD:
Good evening, and welcome to a special DooM edition of the Antiques Roadshow. And a bumper edition it is too, with 25 maps on offer. So dust off that copy of Ultimate DooM, and check out the bargains:
- Full On (legal version) by Tim Ackroyd
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It's been a long time coming, but this classic episode finally gets a proper release (albeit without it's last 3 maps). It's an E2 replacer with a modern/tech bias. Detail is basic as you'd expect for a classic wad and there's also many texture bugs and a lot of startan3 in places, however the atmosphere is extremely good here. It's even quite hard too, especially with fast monsters on. No shortage of ammo and in some places powerups, but there's some big monsters around. For those who are interested, map 6 is a partly-retextured e1m7 with some big monsters in, map 7 is a mostly-retextured e1m9 with extra powerups and map 8 is an e2m8 with two hollowed-out towers and 4 boss monsters (so you're not missing too much, although map 8 and some parts of map 6 are worth a try). But in any case it's one of my all-time favourite DooM 1 episodes, a must-have for classic fans, and worth playing even if you're not.
- Wedding by Blackfist
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An E3M1 that's a maze-like green stone passage with a chapel at the end of it. Where the wedding of two monsters is taking place, so gatecrash it. Not very big or very hard (inculding the battle in the chapel).
- DOOMONAS by JOHN MARES
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One of those maps displaying the haphazardly-shaped areas of the earliest wads, together with the startan3 scheme of the same period. You get a battle in the grey room in the screenie, but not much else (apart from the atmosphere of course).
- Penze1-3 by Michael J. Penze
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A trio of tiny maps that look like they came straight out of deu 11 years ago. They have no detail except for scenery things and are pretty dark throughout. Texturing is mostly startan3 and while it does have some big monsters (and plenty of barrels too) they can't be killed due to a missing plasma gun. They do give an insight into what mapping was like in the very early days, but apart from that there's nothing else.
- STAIRWAY by JOHN MARES
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A map that starts off well (with the opening tech room) and falls apart afterwards. It has a couple of steep stairways (hence the name) and is a little puzzling at times.
- STALAG by Gabriel Basco Guimaraens
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This is more like it, a large outdoor-based map with a sort of theme. It's a military compound-type place in the mountains surrounded by a moat. The buildings are of the no-frills variety, comprising of just rooms, doors and passages, but plenty of them. You'll also have to be used to the classic ways of unmarked doors and lifts to survive here. The atmosphere is great (especially outdoors) although the gameplay suffers a bit due to the monster selection (zombies and imps). Still it's the best classic wad on offer this week, apart from Fullon of course.
- S.Y.S by Roger Scudder
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A mostly industrial-type map with bits of other themes in too. The other themes are randomly-placed though, and there isn't much detail. Monster-wise there's some tougher ones (including a nice caco section) but there's too much ammo and all the weapons. Still it's bigger than many of the maps in this week.
- TEMPLE2 by JOHN MARES
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A map with an outdoor temple at the start, but gets rather random after that with a series of rooms and passages. Teleporters offer you shortcuts to places, and there's not enough ammo to kill everyone.
- utopia by Scott
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A big-ish grey map that's based around an outdoor area. This actually looks quite good to me, and together with the starting area and some flashing effects in the gallery around the outdoor bit makes this map look quite good. Gameplay is a bit harder too, despite the plasma gun and a lot of cells. There's a lot of monsters, and you'll have to watch the middle area as you go round it for incoming fire. There's also a nifty trap around the swimming pool too. In short, a good classic map.
- WAYNE by Wayne Watt
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A small green map that has a fair number of monsters, but too much ammo and health to fight them with (plus a dark outdoor section full of powerups). You get all the weapons at the start for some reason, and there's not much detail either. Another one to miss.
- Special Operation Force by Gabriel Basco Guimaraens
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We finish the show this week with a 9-map episode. It's mostly grey-based, and some of it is green too (but these areas I feel clash a bit). It looks and feels like a classic wad, but not sticking to any of the specific Phobos/Deimos/hell themes. I always liked the grey schemes with the Phobos sky, and this makes things feel better IMO. It does have a lot of bare passages, but some parts look good too. But it falls down badly on structural gameplay - an awful lot of doors, switches and lifts are well hidden and it's easy to get lost/confused about the next move. On the monster side it's pretty good despite the lack of barons, it's reasonably hard, there's some pretty neat set-pieces and an interesting final map. It can be a slog at times (as it's shots and chains only before the end with only a small variety of monsters). So it's a mixed response from me on this one.
And now back to Doomworld for the new wads section - 6 maps here, including deathmatch, normal and eye-opening:
- Joker by Dustin Tise (BatteryHuman)
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An outdoor green stone map. It's 2 outdoor areas with some steps and a narrower bit separating them. Weapons are scattered around, but the plasma ones are hiding in secrets, one of which is really obscure. There's a soulsphere on a switch platform (which makes a good focal point) and some blue armour nearby. It plays pretty well with 6 players, although it's probably suited to more.
- Cartelli 1v1 by Cartelli
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A dark metal map comprising of a series of passages (some sloped) and rooms with some nifty triple bridges in. It has a nice new flat and enough weapons and health to go round. There's no rockets and the plasma weapons are hidden. It's too big for 1v1 (as the title says) but it is fun with 16 players.
- SALAMANDER by Cactus
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A dark brick map that requires jumping. Detail is ok, and there's a good yellow liquid texture that's used well but the gameplay is flawed. There's not enough ammo or health to kill everything, some monsters have to be killed to progress (bad when you have a lack of ammo) and the last fight sees you in a room with an archvile, with a single shotgun and no way out. In short, a berserk cheat is needed or the lack of a download.
- HeDRoX by Rodrigo Acevedo
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And it might do just that to you, given the amount of detail here. You can't move for it, and could be forgiven for thinking you were on board Vrack 4 if it wasn't for the map's small-ish size and sparse monster count. In fact that's a shame in a way, as if there was more monsters it would've lasted longer and been more memorable. You gotta play it to see the architecture (easily among the best since RTC), and the monsters that are there are reasonably challenging, but I would like to have seen more of them. Quality nevertheless.
- Total Darkness by evilhomerdoomer
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As it suggests, it's a dark map. Set in an underground base it provides the right setting for a spookathon, but sadly it doesn't really deliver on that count. Still it's reasonably hard in places (mainly due to a tight ammo balance) and the atmosphere is there even if the gameplay to match isn't. It looks quite good too, with lighting effects and some hollowed-out crates too. Not bad, but could've been better IMO.
- Unit 9042 - Part I "Termination" by Zalewa
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A hi-tech map with a twist - you're the bad guy. A Terminator (a T-800 to be precise, ZDaemoners) sent to kill Kyle Reece. All the enemies are human, and they carry various weapons. Sadly there's not enough health for an enemy set like this, and if you fail to find the armoury you'll fail it big time. The map looks quite good and has some nice ZDoom effects too (including good use of particle fountains), although the darkness outside can be a trifle annoying. It's a good map that's worth playing, but watch the health and don't miss the armoury.