Map06 – Rumex Crispus – by magicsofa – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 66. Time 31:32. End Health 100, Armor 89. Death Count – Zero
I thought this was a fun map. It was very weird-looking. Definitely not a beauty, but not Ugly Kid Joe, either. The “ships” were completely hopeless, says a man with 8 years in the US Navy behind him. I made an effort at such stuff back in ’96 (Map19, Realm of Chaos). At least it was immediately recognizable as a ship. In “Rumex Crispus,” I’d been fighting on the deck for awhile before I asked myself, “Is this supposed to be a ship?”
The progression was quite linear, but that’s not a big problem for me. I think non-linear is overrated, and unless you have more than one exit -- and not a secret exit -- is a map truly non-linear? The kind of non-linear that matters to me is “location-optional combat.” This map had a bit of that at the beginning, anyway, and magicsofa kept me on my toes with critters fireballing me from every direction.
As Capellan said, forcing the player to find a secret lowering floor to get the red key is very 1996. Indeed, that’s the year I did a very similar thing (Map09, Realm of Chaos). I was really shocked to see it in 2012, but this was nothing like the shock I encountered in Map06. More later.
As everyone has noted, grabbing the red key unleashes a horde of monsters. I fought them from the platform for awhile until I started taking Caco hits and had to worry about a Hell Knight climbing the stairs behind me, so I jumped into the fight and got the monsters battling themselves a bit before I took them all out. There were just enough chaingunners to seriously reduce my soulsphere bonus.
The only other noteworthy fight is a wave of monsters on the red key ship. The Revvies unnerved me in this one, and even though they never hit me, they drove me into other monsters that did. Especially chaingunners. I was even slimed by a Hell Knight. Overall, I enjoyed this wild melee. For a walking keyboarder, this fight was a blast.
After I found the exit, I opened a saved game to look for secrets, since I ended with Zero the first time. I found the Invulnerability and something else I don’t remember, but I could not find the rocket launcher I knew was there, owing to all the rockets decorating the map. I telefragged a Caco near the Berserk, which was weird, since I had left the Caco up there awhile before following. Shoudn’t it have moved by then?
In the end, this is an odd-looking map with some fun fights.
Map06 – Hull Revealed – by Vaporizer – Kills – 107, Items – 100, Secrets – 75. Time 24:25. End Health 100, Armor 35. Death Count – 3
There’s no polite way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it – this map is hideous. This is the most dead-dog-ugly map I’ve played in years. Doing a ship interior in Doom is not easy, especially if you’re on one of those rare ships with concrete walls. Ugh! Maybe the only visuals I liked were the window effects and the intestine areas.
Seriously, the second I laid eyes on the opening room, I groaned. Ah, exit doors! And no Lower Unpegged on the side textures, and no Doortrak, either. This did not look good. And neither did the lighting, or lack thereof.
I’ll skim through this. I did not discover the Baron crusher until after I had killed the Barons. Too bad, coulda used the rockets and shells later. First death came fighting the first Archie after he revived – what else? – a chaingunner. Dodging the Archie put me in Chaingun Charlie’s sights and I was done. Second death came by Archie after the somewhat enjoyable Caco swarm fight – my favorite fight in the map. I died because the Archie came out of the door so fast that I took blast damage from my rockets. Too bad I don’t play on Turbo 255 anymore. The reason I don’t is because I became sensitive to Doom motion sickness, and at Turbo 255, I’d laser-vomit all over my screen.
I died by Archie again at the same location because I killed two of them only to discover that there were three in there. I was bummed when another Archie emerged behind me atop a crate. This led to a tedious waste of ammo. And finally, yet another Archie – six in all! – backed by a couple Revvies. I took a lot of damage but survived.
I should at least respect a map that killed me three times, but Archie-spamming is kind of a cheap route to difficulty in my eyes, and there was not one thing aside from the Caco swarm that I liked in this map. Well, I did like the clever name.