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Tarnsman
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Voting for D2INO or D2TWID. I agree that the megawad club should focus on new shit where a decicated feedback cycle could still be useful or old stuff no one ever played (Realms of Chaos for example) and not the classics that have been played a billion times.

Old Post 02-26-14 22:05 #
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EvilNed
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Tarnsman said:
Voting for D2INO or D2TWID. I agree that the megawad club should focus on new shit where a decicated feedback cycle could still be useful or old stuff no one ever played (Realms of Chaos for example) and not the classics that have been played a billion times.


I'd play any of those two as well.

Old Post 02-27-14 00:42 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP28: Run From It My Time: 0:32

Another memorable E3 map just for its concept. 30 seconds before you start taking crusher damage with a voodoo doll. Didn't bother with max kills here due to that, but I did get the soulsphere secret. Another thing is that shortcuts appear on lower difficulties; if you play on a higher difficulty, there are torches blocking off all or some of the shortcuts. If you played on ITYTD or HNTR, you could get to the exit much faster, though on HMP one shortcut is blocked and UV both are blocked. I've actually never beaten this on UV for that matter. I'll admit I tried to play pacifistic too but couldn't do it since I had to push some monsters away.

Old Post 02-27-14 01:16 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP27: Terror
96% kills, 1/2 secrets

Bit of a "break" map, not only in terms of gameplay but also in a break from the red, which thankfully is withheld to a small outside portion of the level. The rest is more back to the brown brick, marble and bookcase theme of Book Lords, with a bit of underground tunnels as well. This is basically "Monster Closets: The Level" as it's a lot of hallway shooting and retracing steps with monster closets constantly opening as you go along. I prefer closets over teleporting monsters, or even worse, insta-pop enemies, but this is a bit much. Still, the combat is decent but still nice for a break map. The end is a bit bizarre with the multiple hidden teleports and cyberdemons.

MAP28: Run From It
53% kills, 0/1 secret

I'm not sure if ZDoom hastens the death or what, because it feels like this map should be a LOT easier to run with mouselook, but I found it very difficult. Can't imagine how a keyboarder would handle it. (Maybe wallrunning was intended?) So, a bit frustrating in just how hard it is, as there's pretty much zero room for error. Also frustrating are that runs can be ruined by aspects beyond the player's control, such as a lost soul or imp at the start getting in the player's way. Just as I was about to give up, managed to get my corpse across the finish line thanks to momentum, heh. Thank goodness for that soulsphere at the end of MAP27 :P

Old Post 02-27-14 01:34 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP29: Hell on Earth
92% kills, 3/3 secrets

Looks like that portal in Run From It was the one out of REDROCK hell, because we're definitely back on Earth. Not quite as expansive as Downtown, but similar design with plenty of tall buildings to explore. Combat isn't dense, but it can be tough, especially given the heavy use of Arch-Viles and Cyberdemons as traps. If you need resources (as I did after suicide-exiting the last map), then be prepared to pay for them - grabbing the plasma gun, for example, not only unleashes a group of cacos, but also teleports in some chaingunners and an Arch-Vile. I never did find the RL on this level, and was constantly low on shells, so the plasma gun got a lot more use than normal. Progression is a little bit confusing (why does going into the yellow key building raise a step for the exit?) but not too bad.

Also, is the only map in Scythe that uses custom textures? Lots of grey, and the hazard stripe ones, as well as some weirdly washed-out computer ones.

Old Post 02-27-14 04:28 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 27 -- Terror - 108% Kills / 100% Secrets
In the context of the greater mapset, this feels decidedly similar to 'Envy' from earlier. Like that map, 'Terror' also has a rather basic and not particularly attractive architectural style--its greatest failing is probably that the highly orthogonal central underhalls don't look good/right textured in dirt--but could hardly be called an eyesore, once again due to decidedly subdued lighting (which tends to make just about everything that doesn't have a good reason for being bright look better) and the fact that it's another break from the Great Red Oppression, this time depicting some kind of dusty old archive in a nondescript backwater of Hell.

Also like 'Envy', the gameplay is a bit one-note as well, but I think it works fairly well--the two main ideas at work here are A) that the whole archive is essentially a minefield of monster-closets and B) that you tend to revisit most areas several times, constantly running to and fro in the course of acquiring the three skull keys. It eventually becomes clear enough that the map is going to be pretty predictable in what it throws at you, but this isn't necessarily a deal-breaker: at first you see the general scheme of things before you and think "okay, fair enough"; then you play onwards and see that the map is continuing to stick to that scheme and think "really, you're still doing this?" and then several minutes later when the map is STILL doing the same thing--albeit at a somewhat more intense pitch, crucially--you almost can't help but smile a little and admire it....I reckon that lots of maps that only really present one or two basic combat ideas fail not because they only have one or two ideas per se, but because they don't commit to said ideas steadfastly enough, which is not the case here. Uh, or maybe I'm just being soft on it because I really like the left-field shenanigans Erik pulls with the cyberdemons at the end....for him to set up those sneaky teleporter lines the way he did demonstrates a genuine understanding of 'DooMer psychology' (or at least that of those of us who tend to play acquisitively/aggressively), and the way he reveals that last cyb amongst the bookcases is the icing on the cake. Never mind that you can just ignore them all and exit without a care, it's the thought that counts.

Map 28 -- Run From It - Some low killscore I can't remember now / No secrets
Arguably Scythe's most famous/infamous map, certainly its most divisive. This is hardly DooM as it is typically understood, rather it's a sort of obstacle course/time-trial that punishes failure with phantasmal death (read: there's a voodoo doll getting squished somewhere). It's an interesting concept, and was certainly a pretty novel idea when the WAD first came out, and hell, it arguably still is today--I can only think of a handful of other time-trial maps, and only one (the IoS map from 1monster.wad) that really resembles this map in the particulars of its execution.

So is it fun? Maybe for a little bit, yeah, but I personally don't think it has much staying power, and I can't say I really regret that there aren't many maps like it. It's very metagamey (not something I usually admire in mapping), and not just because it's a time-trial, but because completing it successfully on UV requires some nonstandard special maneuvers (e.g. SR40-ing, the wallrunning behavior apparently only works in certain directions of travel which happen not to be at play very much in this layout), though it's vastly easier on HMP and laughable anywhere below that. Of all the maps in Scythe (including map 30), this is probably the only one that still gives me personally anything close to an inordinate amount of trouble. Maybe it's my key config (based on the ancient id model that's been around since Wolf3D), I dunno (read: maybe I just suck). Practice does make perfect, though, and on this particular playthrough I actually cleared it on my very first attempt!.....

....albeit as a zombie that entered the next map with 0% health and no weapon. D'oh. Good thing I prefer to pistol-start, I guess. Incidentally, for those having trouble, you can give yourself a slight advantage by killing the lost souls and the imp from down in the blood cave where you start--the death-timer doesn't actually start until you touch the stairs. Beyond that, my advice for port-users is that the movements required to complete this generally seem much easier to do the closer your options are to 'classic' settings, so might as well try that. Note that the gibbed bodies that teleport along the route at a few points are supposed to save you some time--basically if you can clearly see them actually materialize ahead of you you know you might as well abandon the run and try again. Oh yeah, and might as well BFG that last spiderbaby out of your path, not like there's any other use for the ammo.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 03-01-14 at 01:02

Old Post 02-27-14 05:05 #
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Phobus
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Magnusblitz said:
Also, is the only map in Scythe that uses custom textures? Lots of grey, and the hazard stripe ones, as well as some weirdly washed-out computer ones.

I've been noting custom textures since about MAP05 - the grey water has made several appearances since MAP12, too.

Old Post 02-27-14 05:50 #
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Magnusblitz
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Phobus said:
I've been noting custom textures since about MAP05 - the grey water has made several appearances since MAP12, too.


Yeah, I forgot about the grey water. But aside from that, what else besides the slightly-recolored exit door?


Demon of the Well said:
the Great Red Oppression


I feel like this would be a great name for a ROCKRED Scythe homage map some day.

Old Post 02-27-14 06:22 #
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Phobus
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There's a grey stone STARTAN-like texture that shows up in that E1M7-styled map near the end of the first episode. Probably one or two others too, although I'd agree that MAP29 is the first map to really make use of new textures.

Old Post 02-27-14 09:02 #
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BaronOfStuff
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MAP19: 3000 AD
The best/most enjoyable map of this episode, and quite possibly the best map in the WAD; if not, then certainly a strong contender. While difficulty isn't anything to cause concern, the constant action coupled with a surprise or two around some corners should keep most players on their toes. And probably kill the dopey ones.

The layout and combat is fantastic for the mid-tier difficulty of this WAD, although the battle with the Spider Mastermind does mean that the ending is a bit limp. Still, a small fault in an otherwise very enjoyable level.


MAP20: The Starport
Continuing the texture theme of its predecessor, but not quite living up to the action expected at this point. It does have a few moments (one of which being the duel with the Cyberdemon featured in the WAD's TITLEPIC), but by and large it's something of a breather between MAP19 and MAP21. Which is odd, considering that this is a 'boss' map.

Kill everything, get some stuff, and leave. Oh of course, end of the episode. You dirty stinking motherfucker.


MAP21: Solitude
And so begins the final chapter, and with it a series of one-word map titles. This one, as an opener, is actually nowhere near as harsh as MAP11 can be considered, although it will still gladly turn things around to rip your dick off and make you eat it if you get too lazy or drop your guard.

As always, I get some real use out of the Berserk, and I don't mean as a health recovery item. Having recorded this almost immediately after MAP20, it's pretty obvious that I was still oh-so-slightly peeved fucking livid over the whole 'suicide exit' thing. Is it really so hard to just add a 'recommended playstyle' note in a text file? Sure most people would ignore it, but fuck you for forcing stupid shit like this, Alm. No, giving me most of my weapons back doesn't make up for it.


MAP22: Despair
Alm's favourite colour is red. I don't have much to say about this one to be honest. I wouldn't regard it as 'filler', but it plays like a small compilation of common Hellmap tropes; there's an ambush by a key, there's an easy BFG, an obligatory Cyberdemon, and finally there's that typical faux-surprise bullshit at the exit.

For whatever reason, I didn't bother using the Berserk on this map. Probably because it would have been a stupid idea on such uneven terrain.


MAP23: Anger
Ehh, I actually have very little to say about this one too. The entire map can be skipped (if you feel like taking damage) via Arch-Vile Jumping, although that's not really the way to do things. A lot of the groups can be thinned out significantly by getting them to turn on each other, leaving the Cyberdemon duo as the only major obstacle. All in all it's not as dangerous as it looks, although any panic and you might be looking to open the Load Game menu.


MAP24: Hatred

Arguably more of the same in places; infighting where possible followed by some light cleanup. In a big red area.

What this one does do differently though is introduce us to that loathesome design of insta-raise platforms and Revenants. In large numbers. I fucking despise this design and this segment is no exception... in fact it's probably one of the worst examples. Firing some rockets ahead so that the horde materialises on top of them works well enough to soften the assault, but it's still a shitty way of creating a trap when the aggressors are appearing so close to the trigger line.


MAP25: Envy
Oh wow, you mean this map isn't just a load of red?

More Soulspheres on this map alone than in the entirety of some MegaWADs? Perhaps not, but there's still more than enough of them littered around to cover up any damage taken. A somewhat linear affair, and one which reminded me of how much I hate Arachnotrons for their size; even when collapsing in death they manage to just get in the fucking way. Ohhh, there's something to think about in a few maps' time.


MAP26: Fear
A-ha! More red shit everywhere!

Scythe's first truly memorable map, and one with a sudden change of pace and style that comes completely out of nowhere. We've had bullshit ambushes, reasonably big packs, and even pairs of boss monsters, but none of that is really enough to prepare the player for this thing.

Is it difficult? Depends. Of course it is -- and monstrously so -- when you're not expecting it (and who would be the first time through this WAD?), but if you know what's abut to kick off then the difficulty drops like a rock and is little more than an exercise in herding a bunch of shit together so that it can have a bunch of disagreements. All while dodging projectiles, but that goes without saying.

While it's certainly faster (and with it arguably safer) to just dispose of everything by hand (and there's an absolute fucking tonne of ammo for the job too), it's not often that this WAD dishes out such ripe opportunities to give the player a show. So instead of nuking everything ASAP with the BFG, I figured I'd let things play out on their own. The only problem with this approach is that it takes a lot longer to deal with, but oh well.

Old Post 02-27-14 18:30 #
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Phobus
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MAP30: Fire and Ice
This is the first time I've played this map properly - last time I just had a look at it, died and gave up, under the impression I could never beat such a map... Well, many years on and with higher population maps now beaten, it turns out I can, although not easily, given it took me 57 minutes, plus quite a few save/loads in areas. A very solid challenge.

We're in some kind of large cavern system, with an E4M2 starting homage, where the outdoors area is a frozen-over bridged area with a focus on open battles with large hordes and the deeper caves are dark, red rock areas which are very densely packed with enemies. Cyberdemons, which are very popular in this map, tend to serve as turrets, sometimes doubled up in certain key locations - where possible their ability to massacre all around them is definitely best utilised, but there's ample ammo in the map to kill all nearly-800 monsters yourself, even with AVs and PEs doing their thing. Much like in maps like Post Mortem, homogenous clusters of enemies tend to hold ground (plenty of Mancubi and Revenents doing this) and cause the player to have to fight through in a war of attrition. There's also huge hordes of Revenants unleashed at various points, usually backed up by AVs, whilst the usual mixed noble herds only pop up rarely. I'm glad I came into this map with the BFG rather than having to fight towards the one in the middle of the map, as it and the rocket launcher got an awful lot of use, with my SSG used for lower threat moments like mopping up.

The one saving grace for us is that teleporting hordes can't really happen due to MAP30 telefragging rules, so you just get a couple of surprise AVs. The 5 secrets are helpful stashes, although I can see how you'd get through without them.

For a culmination of small maps that ramped in intensity near the end, it seems fitting that this one map took longer to beat than the whole first episode and really makes you fight for it. When the last horde is dead and you get to leap down the hole to blow up Romero, it feels like Scythe has had its climax and you're now set to lay back and enjoy the afterglow. The tense atmosphere built up by ROTTs "You Suck!" is finally relieved by the upbeat intermission music and now I'm left to wonder what else I can do with my time.

Very good map and a truly great megaWAD.

Old Post 02-28-14 15:28 #
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scifista42
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Yay, I got quite belated.

MAP24 - Hatred

I actually started playing the map on the 24th as I planned, but the beginning killed me so many times that I... kind of... ragequitted. :D Well this map has difficult high-scale fights, and when you decide to ignore some monsters, you may very soon regret that, as they'll snipe your back from distance. I wasn't brave enough to rush forward, therefore the map gave me a hard time. But despite my initial feelings, it was quite a fair challenge.

Nice visuals throughout. Well crafted layout and well working gameplay and flow. I also appreciate the map's large scale, providing enough place for comfortable mass slaughter and dodging projectiles. My another favourite, I'd say. Not really hatred.

Old Post 02-28-14 16:51 #
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BaronOfStuff
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MAP27: Terror
Aesthetically speaking, there are obvious echoes of Monster Condo with the brown walls & bookshelves on display, but past that you'll find little similarity. Compared to MAP26, this one's reasonably relaxed and offers little in the way of nasty surprises, although there's one big dickheaded surprise toward the end in the form of Partial Invisibility and a trio of Cyberdemons.

As for that Megasphere, fuck designs relying on AV-jumping.


MAP28: Run From It
And fuck this map design too. By far I'd call the worst map in the WAD, with timing that can be considered too strict for its own good. I honestly really like the concept of a constant, passive pressure on the player, but this execution is simply dogshit and seems to be used purely to create excessive difficulty which is beyond beating with normal player movement -- you at least have to SR40 all the way to make it, and even then it's no guarantee of success. It's practically another 'filler' map.

And fuck that fucking Arachnotron. So obviously placed as nothing more than an obstacle rather than a direct threat, and clearly with unspeakably malicious intent considering its slow death sequence. Fuck you, Alm.


MAP29: Hell On Earth
Now this is more like it. An escape from the obnoxiously red Hell caverns and into a vast, relatively sprawling (for vanilla limits at least) ice-stricken city map. At a glance it's not quite as busy as Doom II's 'Downtown', but it makes up for that with far more interesting play and building interiors.

Despite being reasonably heavy with Cyberdemon encounters, these aren't particularly troubling moments of the map, with the exception of one, placed (or rather, released in time) to guard a switch toward the end of the journey. The rest -- even in the group encounter -- are more likely to serve as ammo-sinking distractions. The last one can just be avoided entirely, such is his bad positioning.


MAP30: Fire And Ice
And we're back in some sort of Hell domain, aren't we? Well haha, fuck you. You think I'm putting myself through all this shit again? Get out.

I completed this map 'legit' the first time I got here many years ago, and it was just such a slog comprised of 'smash wall of monsters, advance, smash wall of monsters, advance' moments that I have no intention of ever doing it the 'right' way ever again.

So I take my agression out on Romero's face, with my fist.



And so ends Scythe. Largely enjoyable with some very good maps and generally ideal pacing, but some small moments of filler, coupled with a prize turd of a map (MAP28) manage to take the shine off things every so often. The suicide exits are another mark off as far as I'm concerned, it just seems cheap to do this. MAP30 itself is a long, tedious brute-force affair that feels like it was shoehorned into being as packed as it is purely because it's MAP30, but some players enjoy that sort of thing so whatever. It's nice to see a departure from the standard 'over in 30 seconds' Icon Of Sin showdown, but I can't say it's a finale I particularly enjoy arriving at.

Old Post 02-28-14 18:10 #
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plums
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Brief thoughts on Scythe Ep. 2 & 3:

Episode 2 was by far my favourite, with a lot of variety in scenery and encounters, and solid gameplay overall. I did end up playing it a few weeks ago now, so I'm having trouble remembering much in detail apart from MAP31 & MAP19, but I do remember enjoying them, and wishing the maps were just a little bigger at times.

Episode 3 was more memorable, but mostly because it was so red and full of pain-in-the-ass setups. I liked MAP29, which I did pistol start after all (and not because of 28!). MAP30 was good though too hard for me from pistol start on UV to really enjoy, I should've toned it down a bit, and also quite a surprise with it's length. MAP26 didn't do anything for me and MAP28 is as bad as everyone said it would be, though I managed an exit after not too many tries with 20% health. I know some people consider Episode 3 to be the highlight of Scythe with it's suddenly vicious gameplay, but it was my least favourite section overall.

Overall a nice and short megawad, with something for everyone and maybe something to annoy everyone too.

Old Post 02-28-14 18:25 #
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Veinen
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Map26: Fear

One of the most memorable maps in the wad, not because it's particularly amazing but because the gameplay is very different compared to other maps in the wad. It's basically just a gigantic BFG-spam and you're doing it wrong if any other weapon is even fired during the battles. Despite the slaughter-styled design, it's not avery difficult map at all due to shitloads of ammo and powerups just waiting to be consumed lay everywhere around the map. Fun and relaxing massacre, I approve.

Map27: Terror

Another break map of a sorts, though the difficulty doesn't drop that much. It's not full red so that's something at least. Pretty enjoyable anyway, other than the bullshit forced invisibility against three Cybers stuff at the end.

Map28: Run From IT

Hehe, this is an interesting idea. I didn't really mind this that much this time around but I do remember having a million attemps at it when I first played the wad. Even though I haven't really played this more than any other map in the wad, I have memorized the route pretty well and can very consistently exit without troubles. But yeah, I can see why this is disliked heh.

Old Post 02-28-14 19:15 #
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Darch
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map 29 Hell on Earth

IDCLEVed to this map, because I really didn't feel like trying to win that 28 map race too much.
Ok, so after hell, we are in a snowy town, with pistol only. Reminds a bit of downtown level from Doom2, there are even arrows on the floor. I really liked how this map has enough ammo, but not so much that you can choose your weapon anytime, you gotta fight with what you got. There is also a very welcome sense of non linearity and movement freedom. This leaded to some "what do I do now?" moments, but nothing too serious.

Old Post 02-28-14 20:52 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 29 -- Hell on Earth - 110% Kills / 100% Secrets
While Scythe has even less of a story than is typical for a game of DooM, we seem to run into a slight bit of some kind of narrative here. The title states that apparently now we're back on Earth, and during the dead of winter at that (or maybe this is summer in Greenland for all I know)....it's a snow-covered day in some kind of little mountain-town, itself decidedly Downtown-esque in aspect, right down to the arrows on the ground; apart from a strange bit of flesh on a wall in the last major building, there's very little of Hell (or REDness!) in evidence here, that is apart from the sky....apparently Hell is seeping through into the earthly reality again? Ah, well, nothing some intense violence can't fix, right?

Despite the crystal-clear Downtown influences, this really doesn't play a lot like said map. Sure, it's a sandbox, and you can run all around all of the buildings at will from the start, but there's a fixed sequence in which they must (and can) be entered, and nearly all of the play space is ultimately mandatory, so there's really only the illusion of a sandbox at play here; if it seems like you're running around like a headless chicken, it's probably because the early going makes you search and maybe take a few early risks to acquire good weapons and adequate ammo stocks, rather than because you can go and play around in any part of the map that you wish. Not that this disguised-yet-stringent linearity really hurts the map much, mind--most of the buildings contain memorable setpiece encounters (my favorite is the cloud of cacos that are unleashed in the distance along with an arch-vile and some commandos right next to the player in the redbrick building) or are otherwise conducive to engaging fights, e.g. the height variation in the red key and final buildings. And, as a treat, there's some pretty entertaining cyb usage at various points as well (although the three that appear out in the snowy courtyard at one point are really only as relevant as the player chooses to make them); commendable that Erik went 21 maps without using this monster before using them liberally, as he clearly is very fond of them.

Ultimately, this is probably one of Scythe's best maps (perhaps even THE best); apart from the much-welcome categoric change of scenery (again, I think coming up with something thematically out of left field is a brilliant approach to take to the last 2-3 maps in the game) it has the same straightforward but enjoyable medium-difficulty battle style of the majority of the other maps, but has time to develop a much more solid sense of progress and achievement simply because the map constitutes a much more filling portion than the little appetizers that precede it. Incidentally, I have never played this map from anything but a pistol start (time was I used to think it was intended and indeed only possible to exit map 28 on a death-slide....)....I imagine it's unusually easy for a map 29 played otherwise, which one could perhaps interpret as being Alm throwing the player one last bone before going for the throat in....

Map 30 -- Fire and Ice - 113% Kills / 100% Secrets
I reckon the only reason that map 26 is Scythe's combat posterchild rather than this one is simply that map 26 is probably a lot more accessible to many folks, being both short and surprisingly forgiving of mistakes in spite of its huge horde of monsters, only slightly smaller than the 700+ that await at the start of this final map. Yes, Fire and Ice is absolutely Scythe's longest, largest, and for most players most difficult map (I....still have more trouble with map 28, like I said... :s ), representing a protracted and grueling battle against plentiful hellish legions in and around some derelict buildings (observatories, perhaps) huddled around a volcanic seam and thermal cave system in the same icy mountains from map 29. The overall playstyle is repeatedly punctuated by slaughter of great homogenous hordes (esp. revenants) in large yards, but there are some smaller battles on irregular terrain as well, particularly in and around the thermal cave system where the red skull is found, and the elevated central platform upon which the BFG and blue skull rest; so I suppose I would say that it's actually fairly varied in content and quite replayable from a battle perspective, assuming at least that you're willing to approach it in a loose, freewheeling way, as opposed to F6ing/door-spamming your way through its somewhat substantial duration.

It occurs to me that this map almost seems like a more developed sequel to an earlier, comparatively obscure (although Eternal, author of next month's WAD, clearly homaged it in several places in his "Belial's Bad Brain" map!) level by Alm called "The 24 Cyberspirits", which was the finale map in a small community project released in 2001 or thereabouts (the exact name of that project eludes me at the moment)--a lot of the battle setpieces and architectural constructs share a great deal of kinship (particularly in deploying viles and cyberdemons), although in surface aesthetic 'Cyberspirits' was a much more full-on redstone/lava/marble/flesh Hell-romp than the earthy feel of Fire and Ice.

What makes FaI feel a lot more mature is that it interconnects and loops back into itself vastly better than the older map does; indeed, this interconnectivity is probably the map's greatest virtue. While each of the three key zones is initially very discrete and distinct, and the initial hordes of monsters tend to oppress the player somewhat and thereby obscure the intricacies of the layout, as progress is made navigating the map quickly becomes a lightning-fast and very intuitive proposition, as apart from an extra degree of separation between the eastern and western extremes, most major areas connect to the others in at least one easy way (and often more than one). There are also no restrictions on the player's itinerary other than those presented by the hellspawn--you acquire the keys in any order you wish, and with the exception of the red key caves (which you are stuck in for at least a bit once you enter from at least one particular entrance), you're free to come and go as you please. This lack of route restriction combined with the many shortcuts between and multiple entrances/exits to most major battlegrounds means that the big battles (and by extension, the map as a whole) can be played in a great many different ways; while some routes are bound to be vastly harder than others, in broad form your imagination's the limit on how you want to go about things, not only in terms of route but in terms of tactical options as well. Ironically, then, this is really a vastly more non-linear map than the superficially sandboxy map 29, and for that reason it's quite enjoyable to try different things while spending time with it--whatever else you do, though, I certainly recommend getting the BFG ASAP, even if it does seem like a suicide mission!

I'm not a fan of the way the Romero-head is openly presented at the end (hurts immersion and setting and all that), but that's a very minor complaint about what is otherwise an enjoyable and fitting conclusion to the WAD. Those of you who dislike IoS maps on principle should feel vindicated here, I imagine...that is assuming of course you didn't sour yourself on this alternative selection by savescumming your way through it, thus depriving yourself of its surprising degree of variability! ;)

Old Post 03-01-14 02:17 #
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worrior
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MAP27 Terror
Finally, a break from those red rock walls! But hey, map design looks sort of familiar... a spiritual continuation to MAP17? Looks like it is! I enojyed this level much more than MAP17 though. Those tall bookshelves are really making for a great atmosphere and whenever I see those, I can literally sense archviles running around the place. I didn't expect those cyberdemons though, who let those guys in? Either way, map provides some good corridor clearing fun. And archviles. Good stuff.

MAP28 Run from it
Two maps to go and a map author (or was it our friggin' thief?) placed a tip on the floor: "RUN". And of course I didn't obey, just for kicks. Soon I started to loose health like crazy, making me believe that there was a voodoo doll and a crusher in a remote sector somewhere. Oh well. Then I ran and noticed that map lets you pick a way on a crossroads and lets you make your way through a collapsing bridge. Basically, a trial and error map - a filler one guess? Dragon Lair's gameplay type doesn't do the trick for me. Let's move on.

MAP29 Hell on Earth
That's a map title I like! "It's gonna takbe a city map, it's gonna be a city ma... YEAH!" And it's a pretty big city. Pretty frozen as well (insert random climate warming jokee here). It lets you explore a lot of buldings (they're not shaped after real-life counterparts but rather pay homeage to DOom 2 city maps) and manages to keep you on your toes. I especially like the placement of mancubi - Scythe uses those bastards in a really dangerous well. Once again some wild cyberdemons appear and can catch you off guard - watch out for their rockets coming through the windows!


MAP30 Fire and Ice
Alright, a final map. It's name isn't exactly threatning but let's give it a shot. And it turned out to be a big shot. It's an another slaughter map (with 700+ monster count ) and I'm not going to lie, I had to watch a yuotube playthrough to see what was going on there. Since I don't enjoy slaughter maps at all, I wanted to end this as quick as possible so I just did an archvile jump in the end to punch that Icon of Sin into its explosive death.

So here I had it, Scythe. It had some awesome maps (Power shortage, Burial grounds, Terrir) and moe bland ones (most of first episode maps). Hell levels were fun too. Overall, it was a thriling ride - a one that any doomer shouldn't miss.

Old Post 03-01-14 17:39 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP30: Fire And Ice
78% kills (788/994), 3/5 secrets

Ah, the final map of Scythe. Don't think I had actually ever beaten it before (and wasn't sure what the northeastern part of the map was for, turns out it's to get the blue key). This time around, first I did it Baron's way (grab the yellow key, then take advantage of how the key walls are stacked up), but then I also decided to try and beat it "normally". I didn't end up maxing it, as I would usually leave most of the monsters released after grabbing a key, but still grabbed all the keys without any trickery. It's one heck of a map, and while at 700+ monsters (before AVs/PEs get involved) it's definitely got some slaughter aspects to it, it's also not as simple as just "hold down the fire button on the BFG." Ammo is plentiful but still somewhat restrained, often I would need to figure out how to get to the next trove of cells or rockets before moving on. There are a few spots where someone who knows the map can abuse monster block lines to create infighting (I sure did). Aesthetics-wise, it's a nice-looking sandstone cavern split between an icy outside area and some hellish caverns. The use of ROCKRED here is actually pretty nice, for once, with nice lighting, as opposed to just being slapdashedly applied to every possible wall.

It's a hard map, but a very good one.

Final Thoughts

I've always had Scythe on my short list of favorite WADs, but this time around I was a bit more sour on it. Part of it, I think, is that the "one map a day" pace really hurts Scythe, since most of the maps are so short that they're the "blink and you'll miss it" variety. When playing the WAD at your own pace, this isn't a problem - you can sit down and churn through 10 levels easy, and feel satisfied. But when you're only playing for a few minutes a day, it's easy to be underwhelmed.

On the other hand, I might just also have evolved a bit. I still prefer smaller maps to the overly-long slogs that seem to have risen in popularity as the Doom engine ages and ports become more powerful. But I can also start to notice some of the underwhelming design choices, such as the lack of texturing care or the RED RED RED episode 3 choice. Also, the middle kinda bogs down a bit due to ease. The first part is fine because the player is slowly but surely getting more weapons (the SSG doesn't show up for quite awhile, for example), but the difficulty doesn't really start amping up in response until episode 3.

Still, there are definitely some reasons this WAD is worth playing. The small maps are one, but there's also some outstanding ones near the end. MAP26 remains one of my favorite maps of all time. MAP29 is great, and MAP30 is pretty good too. MAP28 is an interesting design piece, even if it's a bit bullshit hard on UV. I also really like MAP11 (Sneak Peak), MAP17 (Book Lords), and MAP19 (3000 AD).

Old Post 03-01-14 20:15 #
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Demon of the Well
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Hmm, I think I forgot to do an overall commentary last time, better do one now in order to avoid totally losing the habit.

Well, I've always greatly preferred Scythe II personally, but it's certainly not hard to see why the original Scythe is as popular as it is. It's fundamentally sound (if a bit simplistic) in the gameplay department, and as a bonus it has a few oddball/concept maps that keep it from ever feeling too same-y in that respect. In all fairness, for the most part this is true from an aesthetic standpoint as well; while several of us have made light of E3's persistent REDness, even that episode had a few thematic departures to keep it from becoming too one-note.

I do certainly agree with Magnus that Scythe (and, no doubt, WADs of similar age/format, ala Demonfear or TVR!) is not particularly well-suited to a strictly-played DWMC schedule (good thing we're not very strict!), as taken individually most of the maps don't feel particularly substantial--they absolutely go down better played in strings of 5-6 maps at a time at least. Fair enough, one might say, but why judge the WAD according to some arbitrary formatting standard? Well, wholly apart from the DWMC format, I frankly think that the WAD's bitesize nature, probably viewed by many as one of its greatest assets, is also one of its greatest weaknesses, precisely because single maps from it tend to be so individually diminutive, or even fragmentary, that they sort of blur together--it's a solidly entertaining blur, no doubt, but a blur, nonetheless. I said back when we started the WAD that I felt like I could remember a lot of E1 and pretty much all of E3, and almost nothing of E2....well, as it turns out the only one of those I was really right about was E2. It's easy to remember certain particular maps from the set (the majority of which are stuffed into E3, incidentally), but the rest.....well, in truth, as I sit here typing this, I'm already having to put real effort into remembering a lot of E1 and E2 in detail, which, by the way, is not an issue I have with Scythe II--I haven't played that in years, either, but I can remember at least two-thirds of its individual maps on a relatively detailed level as I sit here. The very strong episodic theming of that WAD probably helps this to some degree, but I reckon it's got a lot to do with most of its maps being more substantial as well, either in size or in concept, if not both. Incidentally, I can still remember both Unholy Realms and Jenesis (two recent openly Scythe-esque megaWADs) on a pretty detailed level as well, for whatever that's worth.

And so, picking favorites from this WAD is very easy for me: just go with the ones that stand out in memory (other than map 28, which hurts my pride too much to dwell on at length...)! In no particular order:

1. Map 19 -- A.D.
2. Map 17 -- Book Lords
3. Map 29 -- Hell on Earth
4. Map 30 -- Fire and Ice
5. Map 27 -- Terror

So....a strong skew towards the last third of the game, and towards the set's longest maps, as well. Not surprising. For my part, I don't really share the marked predilection for short/punchy maps that a lot of community members seem to have at current; I prefer long, immersive outings instead, and if they happen to be bloody to boot (as some of Scythe's best are), all the better.

Still, critiques aside, Scythe's a worthwhile WAD to spend one's time with, no doubt......the sequel is just a lot better!

Old Post 03-01-14 22:27 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP29: Hell On Earth My Time: 17:32

A snowy Downtown-esque utopia filled with mancubi snipers and other stuff. Lots of big monsters but some room for hitscanners so late in the game. I explored the area for perhaps too long, spamming rockets at mancubi snipers around the map making sure the whole coast was clear before grabbing keys. Nothing too interesting, though when I went over the bridge through the BK door I had an opportunity for some berserking and infighting which I didn't really use anywhere else. The cratetacular area after the yellow key door was cool when the floor rised up. Two cybers appear on the "ice rink" when I go to the NW building and then another cyber right after the YK, not forgetting the one guarding the exit, who I had the hardest time with. For some reason I sniped that last one. Not really hard to survive unless you eat a rocket, but not a bad map either. Also, we are really out of the monotonous red except for one building.

MAP30: Fire and Ice My Time: DNF

This is the other slaughterific Scythe map, quite fitting for a finale, but I never really couldn't enjoy this one as much as MAP26, where it was more open. Heck, I didn't finish it here, gave up after several bad attempts. My slow ways don't work much either. There was a red section but at least it's not that big, though filled with lotsa meanies. The ice theme still looks sweet though.

Final stuff

It's a modern classic, "short but hard" level set which is easily replayable for it's worth. Lots of uses of the berserk pack, surprisingly late appearance of the SSG, but still tons of fun. Enough detailing to make it fit too. Secrets are weird but that's okay. Of course the slaughterful maps 26 and 30 can be called "BFG spam" by some but they are likely some of the first slaughtermaps people play, considering the popularity of Scythe. That's what makes them good. MAP19 is great also. MAP28 is obviously infamous. The death exits, okay, Alm tried to do "episodes in Doom II" and it's generally fine, although MAP11 can be tough especially since it directly follows one. Scythe II is generally better and full of thematic goodness, but the original still keeps its mark.

Old Post 03-01-14 22:42 #
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scifista42
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Posts: 1920
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Desparate and very late attempt to a "post-mortem" catch up. Well, I just want to finish the megawad, so I'll keep posting here.

Also, this is my 1000th post! Senior member now. :)

MAP25 - Envy

This map wasn't that pain in the ass I expected it to be. Although admittedly, it pretty much drained most of my cell ammo out of me. I don't think this map is any poorer in design or gameplay than the others though, I enjoyed it. Nice visuals, distinct from the other hell maps.

Thanks to an obvious mapper's overlook, it's apparently possible to exit the map prematurely.

MAP26 - Fear

HECK, WHAT A BOOST!

Now prepare for a surprise: I've died only once during this map, and quite very late! I'm myself very, very surprised. I admit I used saves (but loaded the game only once, after my one death). I've also depleted all megaspheres. But I eventually did it! Such a slaughter... But I actually enjoyed the action a lot, even though I normally dislike slaughtermaps. Probably because this one had "a lot of room for mistakes", thanks to all the powerups lying around.

I couldn't believe I would say something like this, but - well made one slaughtermap! :)

Old Post 03-02-14 10:39 #
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scifista42
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MAP27 - Terror

From slaughter back to more standard and milder gameplay, relying on small ambushes of high-tier monsters. Actually this map killed me many times. Mostly, of course, in the devious final battle. It was an unfair, yet exciting fight. I felt like in the final level of Duke Nukem 3D. :) I highly approve that battle.

Well, more or less a linear map which unveils to be nonlinear later on. Looks nice and somewhat reminds of monster Condo by its sheer atmosphere (supported by the music), even though the texturing isn't the same for the most part. I found both secrets pretty much by a lucky accident, not by searching for them.

While slow and mostly non-intense, this is a good map on its own, but I admit that my feelings are influenced by the previous nutso map. MAP28 ahead...

Old Post 03-02-14 12:37 #
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scifista42
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MAP28 - Run From It

How to start...

I've never liked racing games much. My father used to play Trackmania Nations for quite a time, but I've always known that this isn't the right kind of game for me. You know, I like to take my time. To do anything. Whether it's playing, mapping or taking a shower. No surprise I found this map... eh... You know, I can't say bad. It's a brilliant concept, the timed run. But I'm really glad it's already over.

I loudly screamed when I finally won, after hundreds of previous failed attempts. In some of these attempts, I was so desperate that out of anger, I tried to help myself by jumping (in the game, as I play in Zandronum). Mostly it wasn't really my planned intention, it was just like: "SCREW IT, JUMP!!!", when I got stuck on an enemy or was about to fall into a pit. I think my eventual success was done without jumping, but I'm suddenly not sure. I'm not gonna replay the map anyway.

Of course, I'm gonna forgive this map all kinds of aesthetic imperfections, because it's the concept which creates this map's essence.

Better move on.

MAP29 - Hell on Earth

From pistol start, thanks to the last map. I didn't like this map much. You know, sandboxes aren't generally bad, but this one just didn't turn out well for me. The changed theme AND pace doesn't make sense to me. This megawad kind of annoys me towards the end. I want to finish the thing already, and instead I get more and more obstackles prolonging it, but they are of a lower quality than I'd expect.

This map as for itself would get 2/5 or 2.5/5 rating from me, but given its late location in the megawad, I dislike it.

Last edited by scifista42 on 03-02-14 at 19:47

Old Post 03-02-14 19:07 #
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scifista42
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MAP30 - Fire and Ice

Reminded me of the situations in Zones of Fear (one of my older experiences with megaPWADs). I can no longer stand if a map forces me to such a savescumming like this one. Obviously, not a fan. The slaughters are oversized (WTF revenant fields!). Leveldesign itself isn't that bad though, but the enemy plague unfortunately didn't let me to explore it in peace and calm. Somehow I finally managed to find the exiting Romero's head, and that was really a relief.

The late Scythe maps disgusted me a lot, but I'll still admire the megawad for the earlier, middle and early-hell maps with compact layouts and nice gameplay. Thanks to the Megawad Club that I could experience Scythe, otherwise I probably wouldn't.

Old Post 03-04-14 19:58 #
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Darch
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Another late one here. Just finished last map today.

MAP 30 Fire and Ice

It took me 53 minutes to beat this map, with save scumming. I fought some fights that could easily be avoided and ran from the ones where there were buttons or keys after it, having to go back on them. So I ended up killing almost all monsters. Lots of ammo, health was not so generous this time, but still manageable. It would be a good map if it wasn't the last one: I think it misses epicness as the closing of a megawad. Not that I've finished any megawad before this, but oh well, you've played 30 or so maps, I think the ending should be something more epic. It felt like just another map, a bit harder. Map 26 was better IMO.

Overall opinion:

Scythe is one of my favorite wads as I really dig short, fast (and easy :P) maps. I think the flow of first episode is unique. Around map 27 it got a bit out of my taste, and I didn't even cared to finish map 28. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it ended at map 26, it's the peak of this wad IMO.

It was my first time at the megawad club and I really enjoyed the experience of joining it, I had never finished any megawad before this, and posting and commenting the maps here motivated me to do so. I think I'll try to catch you guys up on Epic 2 :)

Old Post 03-06-14 01:54 #
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Suitepee
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee

Perhaps somewhat overdue, but with NOVA finished and some spare time at hand, it's time to resume my playthrough of Scythe for the DWMegawad Club! Resuming from map24....I'm apparently in for some hellish maps in the final third of Erik Alm's 2003 classic.

Hopefully some people show up to help me SCYTHE my way through this!

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Old Post 03-24-14 18:59 #
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Suitepee
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/c/3947139 = part 2 of my playthroughs (maps 24-30 covered).

Scythe ends on a horribly tricky and unsavoury note. I have never raged over a final map so much since Coffee Break ended with the Revenant-infested 'Stalker'.

Erik Alm was a real bastard with maps 24, 28 and especially 30. Oh god, I do NOT want to play another map like Fire and Ice for a very long time. A slow, sloggy and obnoxiously difficult slaughtermap ruined by bastard Revenant spam and general awkwardness.

Generally I feel that Scythe was an experiment by Erik Alm that had some good ideas/maps, but largely consisted of maps that were either nothing special or annoying as fuck. Whilst the last third of Scythe left a sour taste for me, I don't feel Scythe was entirely bad. I'd give it a 2.5/5 in total, and hoping that Erik Alm perhaps improved things for the sequel.

Or at least, learnt not to Revvie spam so damn much!

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Old Post 03-25-14 00:26 #
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