E2M1 – Paul Corfiatis – Kills – 100, Items – 94, Secrets – 83. Time 18:27. End Health 172, Armor 100
Circumstances forced me to start E2 at 4:00 AM on Sunday. I thought maybe playing on the fine edge of a coma would give the beasties a better chance.
Not so in the first map. Even with 3 Cacos and a bunch of Lost Souls, combat was easy thanks to Deaf Monster Syndrome and no-flow mapping techniques. Mouldy said it well in his description. There was also the matter of music, and I can’t possibly top Baron’s hilarious rant, so suffice to say, I found the music so objectionable in this map and the next, that I muted it, as I had previously done on E1M4.
Paul is in full-on Sandy Petersen mode with his wiggy secrets, although we see nothing like the torture he’ll inflict on us (or me, at least) in E2M4. I figured out the oddball “different-colored wall” secret with surprising ease. The Soulsphere came to me as well, mostly through luck. I saved the Berserk for the end and exited the level the first time in 11:36, but with only 33% secrets. So I opened a saved game and went back, finally figured out the Green Armor and Light Amplification secrets, and left again, this time with 83%. I’ve learned to accept such crappy numbers in pcorf maps. If only I’d found the computer map!
The map looked okay, but nothing special.
E2M2 – Chris Hansen – Kills – 97, Items – 96, Secrets – 0. Time 22:03. End Health 68, Armor 31. Death Count – 1
After 10 maps of 2002:ADO I’m thinking maybe I was wrong about being a mediocre player. Maybe I’m a Doom God after all. But – oops! – now I’m in a Chris Hansen map, and he reacquaints me, painfully, with my limitations.
I found the map claustrophobic and not especially likable. The layout managed to be linear yet complicated and confusing. Even so, Hansen had some neat details with intestine and blood floors bordering other flats, and overall, I found the design rather clever. I was less pleased with the switch-hunt aspects of the map, and agree with mouldy that having a switch open a door behind you to reveal a switch to raise a bridge by the first switch is just asinine.
I began playing this map with my lip curled in the same sneering contempt with which I approached all the other threat-free maps. However, it soon became clear that shit was getting serious. The fights were nothing special, but they were noticeably harder than in previous maps, especially the teleport-trickle traps, at least in the cases where I ran away at the sound of teleporting monsters and failed to cover the spawn point. Hansen was ready for players like me, and in one case thoughtfully supplied a central structure which allowed Pinkies to attack me from two sides. I soon noticed that my health was fading and that I hadn’t seen any Medikits or Stimpacks in a long time. Ammo was also a bit tight, especially bullets. As a keyboard player, I lean heavily on the chaingun when it comes to mowing down Pinkies and Spectres, but I was forced to use the shotgun more than I wanted because there weren’t enough bullets for me, and took damage as a result.
I was at 22% health when I rode the final elevator and got surprised by another teleport trap. I was hit from behind before I knew what was happening, which led to my first and only death in the map. When I rode it again, I was ready and waiting at the spawn point.
The final room was nice-looking but had that stupid two-switch nonsense which, as Capellan predicted, was frustrating to me. This is what I call a real jagoff move, done purely to frustrate the player. Of course, like most jagoff moves in Doom, I’ve been guilty of something similar myself. Specifically, Map 23, Realm of Chaos, where after you’ve finally killed all 90,000 monsters, you flip a switch that opens an exit door halfway across the Atlantic, and you have to run at warp speed before it closes. I thought nothing of it, because in those days I played on Turbo, which means I was able to dodge monsters at Mach 2.5, and incidentally, perform spectacular, unplanned aerials into nukage pits! Nowadays, I play at a walking pace. With Hansen’s trick, after 4 failed attempts I was going to clip through, but instead I turned on Always Run and made it.
When I saw my count of 0 Secrets and only 97% Kills, I was really pissed off at myself, so I opened a saved game and clipped around to see what I missed. I coulda used that Blue Armor. Overall, a solid map that managed to humble me.
E2M3 – Rory Habich – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 75. Time 27:14. End Health 200, Armor 200. Death Count 4.
This Wolfensteiny map is all flat corridors, but somehow I kinda liked it. Rory did good work with the piston trick at the yellow key and in the big nukage pumping room. The gameplay was a bit weird down there, but at this point I was happy to have easy fights and restore my health. My sneering contempt was on the way back when I encountered the infamous red key fight on the damaging floor. This is where I was killed 4 times. The first 2 times it was because I was stubborn and thought I could shotgun my way through. I realized this was impossible, so out came the rocket launcher. The first time I lost track of a Spectre and killed myself with blast damage, the second I was shocked out of my wits by the final trap and got hemmed in, but still killed everything only to die from floor damage two steps from freedom. I almost died the final time while I dithered over what to do after killing everything. Some nice monster-mobbing happened after that, but now I had the Plasma Gun!!!! Woo Hoo, I Am Death Incarnate again! Ah, but this time I didn’t get 480 cells like in E1M5, so soon I was back to shotgunning.
I give Rory credit for keeping the pressure up. And I learned that this is a map where it really pays to backtrack! I only wish I had Baron’s wall-penetrating radar, because I did not find the BFG.
E2M4 – Paul Corfiatis – Kills – 98, Items – 74, Secrets – 40. Time 45:03. End Health 148, Armor 148. Death Count – 2
What got into Paul Corfiatis? He finally gets on the warpath here in what I think is the most entertaining map so far. He got me many times with his teleporting sergeant trick, even though I came to expect it. Keyboard players turn slowly, after all. Then he showed teleporting Cacos and combat from multiple angles. Hear-hear! There was also one instance where the player gets teleported in a disorienting way.
I thought the map looked great -- Paul excels at the hellish tech base theme -- although there were too many blinking lights, as in E1M3. And this time the fights overall were pretty good. Even when Paul threw critters at you from the front, he sometimes used enough of them to drain your ammo and cause a little concern.
My first death occurred in the underground section. I was backing away from teleporting Spectres when I fell off the zigzag ledge and into the lava. I was killed a second time at the nasty Baron-Lost Soul trap. This one's a real shocker and, of course, it put a big smile on my masochistic face. One thing that annoyed me was the Imps in the underground section. I was going for 100% kills and they were often so far below me that it took a ton of shots to kill them all. I wonder how speedrunners feel about that?
The secrets in this map are positively diabolical. I finished my first run in 41:18 with only 30% secrets, so I went back in for a few minutes and came out with only 40%. Luckily, I figured out the Soulsphere and Blue Armor/Plasma Gun secrets, the latter of which is pretty fiendish, but I gave up on the others. As is often the case in pcorf maps, sectors are triggered by distant linedefs hidden somewhere in Passaic, New Jersey, and because I had a massive headache I just wasn’t up to the search. But overall, I had great fun in this map.
Last edited by SteveD on 03-11-13 at 21:32