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SteveD
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E1M2 – Nuclear Plant. Kills – 100, Items – 95, Secrets – 100. Time – 19:25. End Health – 100, Armor – 66. Death Count – Zero

Sticking with fastmonsters, I played this one very carefully, since I remember a lot of hitscanners having decent firing angles, but it turned out easier than I expected.

The beginning is fun, but I agree with DoTW that the block monster line drains a tiny bit of fun out of it, though I can see why it was done – to keep one soldier at a distance to potshot you when you emerge from the entrance. I took a decent amount of hits from all the gunslinging zombieboys, and was in a bit of difficulty when I faced the outdoor Sergeants, who dropped me to 35% or so, but once I grabbed the Soulsphere and chaingun, the rest of the map was pretty smooth sailing. I was actually surprised at how ineffective the fastmonsters were in the blinky computer maze – perhaps the only maze I’ve ever enjoyed in Doom apart from its homage in Double Impact. The only real hairy area after the start was the dark pre-exit area. I went through the secret door to tackle it from above and took several fireball hits in the process. I decided not to jump into the pit, so I went back towards the lift and allowed my Imp victims to ride their way up to slaughter, but the grim little jagoffs hit me a couple more times before they went down. ;)

What really sticks out in this map is the staging of the areas – starting with all the active lifts at the beginning. It’s creepy to hear the lifts moving and wondering whether some monster is going to turn the corner, and on top of that, it looks cool. In fact, the whole area looks cool with its active floor and ceiling lines. The double staircase leading to the red key and the outdoor area is also very impressive, looking great both inside and out. The blinky computer maze with its stark lighting – usually not logically sourced ;D – is a well-known masterpiece, and the dramatic setting of the Chainsaw with all the huge windows impresses to this day. Lastly, the pre-exit area with its darkness and height variation, memorably homaged in Fava Beans, sets a nice tone of horror and dread.

The chaingun shows its power against hitscanners when playing with –fast enabled. Being able to fan a few zombies with bullets was very effective compared to blasting away with the single barrel.

All in all this is, as DoTW said, a fairly “sedate” map even though, in places, it shows more teeth than E1M1. But the first real test is just ahead when the hammer comes down in E1M3. I may make it on –fast if I accept a high death count. We’ll see.

@plums - thanks for that explanation. All I've ever really known about the settings of my fave ports is that infinitely tall actors are turned off, they're limit-removing, they play in GL, and IMO, Risen3D is the fastest (uncapped frame rate), the best-looking, and sees best in darkness. It also has the most aggressive auto-aim, so you need to be careful with the old rocket launcher sometimes when shooting across gaps. ;)

Old Post 12-02-13 04:07 #
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Cynical
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E1M2:
I feel like I should be somewhat ashamed for finding 0% secrets.

At any rate, this was still awfully sedate. I'm a bit surprised by the step down to Zombiemen here, after the Sergeant-heavy previous level. The dark compmaze is one of those things that was probably somewhat effective on a first-timer, but it just doesn't have enough ferocity to apply the tension these days.

Not bad, but it definitely has that "early level" feel, which is sort of a strange feeling to have in a game that I've been playing for nearly 10 years without actually knowing the "early level" in question, and thus being unable to blast through it quickly.

Old Post 12-02-13 06:39 #
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joe-ilya
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E1M2-I tried not to look for secrets because that would make my game too easy.
Nuclear plant? I barely see any nukage, 3 out of like 10 rooms has nukage and that's all, man that's cheap.
The start is a medium sized chaos where you have to go to the lift at the left side from the start room and start sniping from there.
The dark tech maze is actually pretty fun, and there's another bridge that goes over nukage, reminds me of the zigzag bridge at E1M1.

For a second level it's pretty hard because there's chaos in two rooms and the tech maze is a challange too, but for me it's easy, don't say imma noob.

Old Post 12-02-13 09:00 #
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Rook
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I've been looking forward to this. I last played through the whole of Ultimate Doom through the BFG Edition a few months back (mainly for the purposes of achievement hunting) but I'm only too happy to revisit it for Doom's big twentieth. I was going to play through using Parkour, but that doesn't quite look right in the absence of Doom II resources, so in the end I settled for a more standard UV playthrough with fast monsters on to bump up the difficulty.

E1M1: Hangar (GZDoom, UV, -fast)
While I've played it a lot of times, this map doesn't have quite the iconic feel for me that it does for a lot of other Doomers, because it was really Half-Life rather than Doom that has that status as my foundational shooter. That's probably why I don't know where the third secret is – in fact, I'm generally poor at finding secrets perhaps especially in Ultimate Doom so I'll have to try to work on that. I've actually never played any WAD with fast monsters enabled but I felt I ought to in this case, as I've found Ultimate Doom very easy on my last few playthroughs. The first four shotgun guys tore me to shreds on my first couple of attempts!

E1M2: Nuclear Plant
Nuclear Plant has always seemed like an odd title for E1M2, especially because of how the large computer bank area dominates so much of the map. In any case, the other thing that stands out for me is the lift descending into the room with imps on the high ledges – this is one of the few places in any original Doom map (at least excluding episode 4) that has often given me reason to be a little hesitant. Naturally, it's particularly savage with fast-moving imp fireballs coming at you.

I only managed two of the six secrets, although I'm sure I've found at least one more on previous playthroughs. I actually didn't know that there was a chaingun in this map, which may have made things a bit harder on me.

Old Post 12-02-13 11:14 #
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Avoozl
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Map: E1M2 Nuclear Plant / Kills: 100% / Items: 100% / Secrets: 100% / Time: 6:37

One thing I've found enjoyable about this map is it's secrets, they just have such a satisfying feel about them.

Another thing I love about this map is the placement of the barrels nearby the Former Humans, easy gibbing.

I like the neat trick used to make the green slime appear to be draining from around the platform holding the chainsaw before it lowers.

Old Post 12-02-13 12:00 #
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plums
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E1M2:
While E1M1 introduces the player to the basic ideas in Doom, E1M2 takes it a step further and shows you what you might expect to find later in the game. The design is quite masterful in that way, being a tutorial-type level without being obvious about it, and still being fun to play once you've been through it a dozen times or more. You've got: secrets-in-secrets; a secret outdoors area that you can see even if you can't figure out how to get to; a great introduction to shootable doors by making the player almost certain to hit it unless they're a real careful shot; an entirely optional computer maze that nonetheless draws the player in by way of level design; great barrel placement that rewards you for shooting them early sometimes, and for leaving them at other times; some great use of the Doom engine's height and light effects; a sense of danger that is never actually that dangerous; and abstract design and texturing (computer terminals on the ceiling near the red key!) that is still colourful and visually engaging.

That computer maze is really one of the most interesting parts of this level; to me it actually feels like it was influenced by Dungeons and Dragons, being optional and full of small rewards. I don't know how many times I played this level before I even realized that it could be skipped entirely - though why would you want to? :)

In terms of difficulty, this one was a little easier than E1M1 I think, just because there's a lot more supplies and fewer hidden shotgun guys.

Old Post 12-02-13 12:14 #
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Jayextee
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E1M3 - 100k/100i/85s - 8:52

Toxin refinery sure lives up to its name. A large vat of toxic nukage (supposedly a byproduct of the nuclear plant we just left) meets the player with a mixed bag of soldiers and hellspawn. At this point, we don't even know if they're aliens, but they don't seem to be fighting with the humans. Only you.

There are a few notable areas. This facility has a large server that holds a yellow key, which in turn leads to an observation tower. Don't be fooled, this is a trap designed to lure you with supplies as the united forces of imp and sergeant take pot-shots at you. Blue key is in some barely-used storage alcove, presumably to keep the empty barrels before they're filled with toxins. Tellingly, it's been a long time since this facility was used for its intended purpose and a blue key is carelessly left there with a waiting ambush; said key leads to access to operations, or Command Control - interestingly, the foyer to the next level's installation is actually the exit area to this one.

Searching the tunnel access to the server area yields results; a rocket launcher and a switch that raises the access bridge to the training area the soldiers of Phobos used to use before the invasion hit; although not without an observation area to monitor the contents of a purification vat -- you did close the lid on that, didn't you?

(At this point, I'm realising that I'm far too familiar with the gameplay of these levels to be experiencing much that is new, so I'm looking at these levels as representations of places, a thing I don't do much)

E1M9 - 100k/100i/100s - 9:04

A series of what used to be training areas, since left and neglected, and in a state of disrepair -- indeed, the Agility Training Stacks(tm) area door (found some way into the blue section, path back to the main installation's operations area) has been crusted over with dirt and is hard to spot.

The story is, early on in the invasion before the UAC soldiers' minds were compromised, this place was used for observation of the invaders. The central parade ground was host to a makeshift cage made to hold some of the brown ones for study; the ones who weren't acting as replacements for the target practice dummies on the towers in Training Area B.

Of note in this Military Base is the fact that its proximity to the Toxin Refinery wasn't such a good idea in the end; what was originally an arrangement of convenience (keep the refinery workers fully-fit with runs around stairs and climbs up stacks, so they may transport full nukage barrels easier - and to prevent muscle atrophy whilst living in Phobos' lower gravity) saw this base one of the first places semi-flooded with the toxins after a particularly bitter skirmish at the adjacent toxin facility. Indeed, the chaingun range is almost un-navigable without some kind of protective gear -- which nobody thought to keep in stock as a precaution.

Of course when the soldier's minds started to unravel is unknown, but it can be theorised that this place was one of the first (probably related to the hellspawn kept alive for study here and their continued presence around the recruits?). Evidence to suggest this would be in the pentagram created in Assembly Area C. It seems to have been built to summon demons.

It worked.

Last edited by Jayextee on 12-02-13 at 14:12

Old Post 12-02-13 13:48 #
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Demon of the Well
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E1M3 -- Toxin Refinery - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Ah, the good 'ol Toxin Refinery, probably a top pick for map of the episode for many (though not for me), with its juxtaposition of quiet mood music and persistent shotgun violence (incidentally, I would be interested in hearing what folks' favorite/least favorite maps from each are). Oddly, replaying it now, my biggest impression is just how short it really is, especially if you know where you're going. 'Back in the day', this used to seem like a big, confounding map to me, and I reckon that fact hints at what the map's main virtue is: it's full of intrigue. There are so many areas you can see into before you can reach them here, and so many that can only be reached by unraveling secrets (the secret-within-secret chains grow ever longer here), that sticking to the required parts of the path gives the impression of a vast complex extending far beyond the player's ken. Exiting this map for the first time, probably with very poor kill/item/secret scores, really drives home the point that there's a lot beneath the surface in these maps, and encourages you to revisit them and try harder to solve their mysteries, always a magical feeling. If I do have a complaint, it's that the specter is introduced to the game pretty haphazardly--the first one appears in a well-lit room alongside a bunch of assorted undead detritus. Seems to me like the E1M2 server maze would've been a much better place to introduce them!

E1M9 -- Military Base - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Kind of an interesting one on a sort of 'meta' level, this. If a map like this were released today, it would likely be shrugged off for having a bland, basically orthogonal layout, a poorly-disguised keyhub progression, and a monotone texture scheme. Even by the standards of the episode itself it seems pretty tossed-off....and yet, it's an entertaining map, something it accomplishes more through thing placement than through architecture. From a pistol-start, the opening moments here are amongst the most dangerous in the entire episode (and it can be a bitch on Nightmare!, let me tell you), with a torrent of undead soldiers spilling into the main square from all around at the first sign of trouble. Knowing the most efficient way to access the secret chaingun helps immensely, otherwise you actually do better to camp in the starting hallway and pick stuff off with the pistol--the chip damage you take this way is still usually less than getting all shot to hell trying to run out into the level proper with no clear plan. And that's the nature of the map....it endears itself through senseless violence, featuring the game's first teleportation assault trap, more gratuitous barrel-violence, and monster closets that are inch-perfect to be devastated by a well-placed rocket. Its singlemindedly action-centric focus makes it a good pairing with E1M3's more exploratory nature.

E1M4 -- Command Control - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
In the context of the episode, I'd say this is sort of a 'breather map' in more ways than one. While it has a few clever secrets for the inquisitive sort (the one-chance soulsphere being the most notable), generally speaking its layout feels more straightforward than E1M3's (bearing in mind that the non-secret path through that map is very simple as well), and its action is less intense than that of either Toxin Refinery or Military Base, and I believe it has the game's first non-secret chaingun. The music is pretty laid back, the facility is generally well-lit, and outside of the claustrophobic Tom Hall maze leading up to the yellow keycard there's generally quite a lot of elbow room. Even that maze itself, while technically more dangerous in terms of monster population than the one in E1M2, always felt a lot less intimidating to me, simply because it's smaller and less visually disorienting. Incidentally, something that some players may not know is that you can actually skip the maze with a good straferun to the little sill from the top of the stairs leading out of the small nukage pool the key overlooks. Other than that, my other observation is that I like the pistol-start on this map--it makes use of small groups of basic zombies at various heights/ranges and some well-placed barrels to kill some of them in brutally efficient ways, generally a good recipe for satisfying pistol use.

Old Post 12-02-13 18:37 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Demon of the Well said:
If I do have a complaint, it's that the specter is introduced to the game pretty haphazardly--the first one appears in a well-lit room alongside a bunch of assorted undead detritus. Seems to me like the E1M2 server maze would've been a much better place to introduce them!

On the contrary! Introducing them in an area where you can see them clearly enough prepares you for future encounters where they may be harder to notice. If they were introduced in a dark area such as E1M2's maze, you'd most likely just end up taking damage without knowing what the fuck could be the cause. Never a good thing when it comes to game design.


E1M3:
Playing cautiously results in an easy enough journey during what I'd actually anticipated to be a bit of a bastard to plough through -- the increased damage is obviously something to beware; the increased aggression though generally serves to create a lot of infighting among zombies and demons alike, with more than a few barrel explosions taking care of business for me.

Taking hits from Shotgun Guys while going for the Yellow Keycard resulted in some horribly saturated flashes of red; fucking hell, that hurts now. It's like being shot by another player -- not by one of these mouldy old corpses. Health never dipped below 100% (this level's curiously generous with those two Soulspheres, and even those Health Bonuses are plentiful enough to make a difference), but seeing a huge block of 40% health + armour just disappear like that is nothing short of frightening when it's caused by one of the weaker, common foes.

E1M9 should be interesting then.

Old Post 12-02-13 19:03 #
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Demon of the Well
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Ah, but being slowly babied into everything doesn't really seem to suit a visceral action game like Doom.....that's more of a strategy sim thing. In a game like this, periodic instances of shock, terror and panic are good for pacing and really emphasize the mood. While the impression has been mostly lost over the two decades of its existence, back when it was new Doom comported itself as a game that would periodically scare the pants off of you, and a small number of specters in that maze would've been an excellent opportunity to do so. Nor would it have been terribly imbalanced, as after all, specters can be killed effectively with 2-3 shotshells (or a burst of chaingun fire) once they've been spotted. Spotting them would of course be the hard part for a first-timer, but I would reject the notion that it would be unreasonably so.....what sort of hapless fool is just going to stand around slackjawed puzzling over what's happening when he starts hearing that bestial chomp sound and his screen starts flashing bright red? A more realistic reaction would probably be to shit a brick and start firing wildly while trying to escape in a panic....and that sounds like good gaming, to me!

All that being said, it does occur to me that introducing the specter before the demon would be kind of odd, though. Oh, even better....save the specter for that ending section in Phobos Lab! :)

Old Post 12-02-13 19:38 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Started playing on HNTR and HMP with a gamepad. As previously mentioned, Doom doesn't have a weapon switch button when playing with the gamepad, so you're stuck using a keyboard anyway. Also, the run button is labeled Forward in setup for some reason. I'm playing in v1.0 for E1, then probably v1.2 for E2 and E3 since v1.1's calibration option doesn't work with my gamepad.

E1M1: Hangar

The most notable thing about playing E1M1 on lower difficulties is that there are no shotgun guys. This makes the secret shotgun slightly more relevant, but you still have to backtrack for it. I still don't really understand what Romero was going for with that. I guess it kind of rewards you for exploring, except that by the time you find it there's nothing to use it on. If he intended you to take it with you to the next level, it's still pointless since the one at E1M2's start is easier to find. Kind of baffling.

v1.2 adds the pointless (in single player) new secret lift that leads from the shotgun secret back to the zigzag room. It seems like it was added for DM, specifically to give someone camping the shotgun an escape/ambush route.

Jaguar is based on v1.2, with some small optimizations made. Let us all mourn the loss of the tech columns before the armor.

Ultimate Doom adds the switch from the armor room to the courtyard you're probably call familiar with, along with the new window in the computer room and a bunch of multiplayer barrels and items. I wonder if the computer room change is a throwback to the pre-0.99 version, where there was a window in the hallway that was originally there instead of the room.


E1M2: Nuclear Plant

I take no issue with the name - it's a nuclear plant, not a very leaky nuclear plant. id might've though; they changed it to Plant in the Jaguar version. Anyway, I find it amusing how the huge maze area only exists to lead you to a chainsaw, then requires you to backtrack out. If I were doing it, I'd lower the window after you grab the saw and let you take the lift up. I do like how the imp is positioned in front of the gunfire door, so that more often than not one of your pellets hits the trigger and opens it for you, almost makes it seem like killing the imp(s) opens it for you.

This map is completely forgettable on lower difficulties. There are no shotgun guys again, and very little opposition at all. Strangely, there's a MegaArmor in the tall, interestingly lit room on HNTR, which serves almost no purpose since there's like two enemies after you get it. I definitely think Romero was trying to provide you with some provisions for the upcoming maps, which disproves that they didn't plan for continuous play at all.


E1M3: Toxin Refinery

The start of E1M3 is my only memory from playing Doom for the first time, so it must've left a bigger impression on me than anything else. I remember falling in the nukage (how?!) and finding the walkover trigger leading to the secret exit. That was confusing.

Anyway, this map introduces both the shotgun guy and demon on lower difficulties. HNTR gives you a shotgun right from the start. On HMP, the shotgun guy is at the start, near the door on the left. On HNTR, though, you won't run into one until the area before the blue key. The first demon is at the yellow key in HMP, but only the one in the closet leading to the secret area is present on HNTR. Speaking of that secret area, the third (or second, if you trigger both at once) ambush isn't there on HNTR.

v1.0 of this map just had a walkover trigger for the center of the donut walkway. There was also a switch to raise it on the other side, if you managed to avoid falling in. v1.1 put it into the configuration we all know, with the switch inside of the pit. The Jaguar version just removes the pit entirely and raises the surrounding nukage so that it's escapable. Speaking of Jag, this map is retextured in METAL2 there. I like it, it breaks up the STARTAN monotony.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I don't know how long it took me to find the secret area with the yellow door. I just never backtracked there, and missed the texture alignment. You get your first blur artifact here, too.

Last edited by Dragonsbrethren on 12-02-13 at 20:21

Old Post 12-02-13 20:16 #
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dobu gabu maru
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E1M2: I never realized how terribly balanced this map was. The bulk of enemies are zombies which are hardly threatening and there's ammo and health practically spilling out of every corner. I've also been noticed how jam-packed some secrets are, rather than the 1-2 items we get nowadays.

Old Post 12-02-13 20:51 #
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cannonball
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E1M2- “Nuclear Plant” by John Romero
Kills 100%, Secrets 100%
176/160
This map is easier than Hangar to be honest, I managed to lose a monster in the start area too. Nice big optional area though full of secrets which is nice. Great map to plough through in my opinion.

E1M3- “Toxin Refinery”by John Romero
100% Kills/89% items/100% secrets
188/188
Yes all secrets are obtainable, even being a stroller :P
I like this map, again lots of optional areas and a lot better combat than the previous one.

Old Post 12-02-13 20:54 #
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esselfortium
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It's been noted before that it seems like Romero just stuffed E1M1 with shotgun guys on UV to make the hard skill look more intimidating, and didn't bother following through on the later maps.

Old Post 12-02-13 21:01 #
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Veinen
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E1M2: Nuclear Plant - 100/xyz/100

A peaceful stroll. Zombiemen and Imps provide little threat even if you move at snails pace so I thought this was perhaps even easier than the first map. Well, knowing the map inside out sure helps too but it's pretty light anyway. I remember the compmaze being the first terrifying spot in the game as a little kid, even though there's nothing but pesky Zombiemen hiding within. The chainsaw secret was the safe haven there amidst the darkness where I could run back to get my shit together again haha. For some reason the maze is also filled to the brim with CG ammo.

E1M3: Toxin Refinery - 100/items!/100

The first map where the doomguys crippling injuries actually make a difference. Even though I managed to grab the SG from the twitching corpse of the first Sarge quickly, I was still in a pretty poor shape after the initial scrum. Pinkies provided distraction while the hitscanners scored potshots from the back row. After that it gets more leisurely, although this is probably where my knowledge of the maps starts to help big time. Precision barrel explosions for the win. This is probably my second favorite map in the episode after Phobos Lab. Really dig the secrets within secrets opening more secrets thing here. Two soulspheres is indeed pretty generous but I guess resilient secret hunters must be rewarded appropriately.

E1M9: Military Base - 100/---/100

Easily the hardest map in the episode. The start can again be rather unhealthy but there's stuff that can kill you afterwards too if you're not careful. I was closer to dying that I care to even admit when I had to run, or rather stroll, away from the pentagram tele due to ammo concerns, only to be very nearly cornered in a completely different area by the hellspawn that teled into the base in that room. This is the only map that I don't know THAT well too, which meant I only found the CG later on. While the layout and aesthetics aren't this maps strongest suits, the gameplay is very well done. The traps can be nasty if you're unaware and even if you know what's coming, cleansing the base is an enjoyable affair.

Old Post 12-02-13 21:03 #
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Jaws In Space
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The Ultimate Doom E1M2: UV, Pistol Start

If you have ever wondered why Doom is so abstract & Id decided to stray away from Tom Hall's real location designs described in the Doom bible, look no further than this map. The room that changed it all, see 5th image. This map is also notable in that it forced Carmack to change how the game was rendered. This maps first debut was in the 0.4 Alpha as E1M8 known then as Control Center/Power Plant. It was also included in the 0.5 Alpha & was one of the 3 maps chosen for the Press Release Beta.

The computer maze room has always been one of my first memories of Doom from that 1995 playthrough, the blinking lights, the eerie shadows & monsters that would always sneak up behind you scared the crap out of me, of course I was only 4 or 5 at the time, but I still loved it.

How does it hold up today? I'd say extremely well, Unlike the first map which is meant to introduce new players to the game E1M2 doesn't waste time & throws you right into the action. The monster blocking lines are a little disappointing but blowing up zombies with barrels more than makes up for it. The 2nd green armor in the secret room always seemed pretty silly to me, the non secret one is so close to it. The worst thing about this map I think is the shootable wall, it really never made sense to me, why would a computer open when you shoot it? Then there is that one annoying imp that likes to ride that elevator right before the exit switch that always seems to hit me no matter what I do. But those are all minor complaints & E1M2 has always served as an inspiration for my mapping.

The Ultimate Doom E1M3: UV, Pistol Start

Have you ever wondered why http://tcrf.net/images/e/ec/Doom-SWxSTARG.gif appears as a useable texture even though it's not used in any of the Doom games. Well in Doom V1.0 this switch was used to raise the floor of the nukage pit near the blue key. Unlike the previous map E1M3 didn't debut until the 0.5 Alpha appearing in the E1M10 slot.

This is an extremely important map to me, because I believe that it was the first Doom map that I ever played by myself. When playing I remember dad had somehow raised a bridge to the secret exit, but I didn't know how. So I jumped into the toxic pit to look for a switch and slowly started to die, I started running around frantically looking for some way out of the pit, but I found nothing & I watched & listened in horror as the Doom guy let out his death scream. I didn't play Doom by myself for a long time after that.

This map starts to up the challenge a bit, but it is still pretty easy. I have to agree that introducing the specter on this map seems like a real waste of some good scares for the exit of E1M5. One thing I love about this map is how you can see into a lot of the secrets & have to really think of how to get to them. The Secret exit is really well hidden, but you can see into it by opening the window. I love the illusion you get when you open up the door past the bridge to the secret exit, I always get the feeling that the whole level is sinking into the ground instead of a door opening.

The Ultimate Doom E1M9: UV, Pistol Start

I have very fond memories of this map from the 1995 playthrough, it has always been my favorite Episode 1 map. The imp cage at the start & the exit room were always standout areas to me. A funny thing about this map is when I replayed Doom in about 2006 I was shocked to learn that there was no way into that imp cage at the start.

Had my first death on this map, shoutgun guys blew up a barrel next to me when I was coming up the elevator with the chaingun. So why do I love this map so much, because it's so much fun to play. That rockin music starts up & as soon as you take the first shot everyone shows up to kill you, so you are forced to run, but there is hardly anywhere in this map for cover so you are just going non stop. The real oddity of this map is the teleporting monsters, I almost wonder if that is the reason that this is a secret map, or maybe because this map looks nothing like the rest in the episode. Visually this map is quite bland & linear, heck 2 of the rooms are pretty much identical, but I could really care less about how ugly a map is so long as it has good gameplay.

Last edited by Jaws In Space on 12-02-13 at 23:52

Old Post 12-02-13 21:16 #
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Getsu Fune
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E1M3 Toxin Refinery

The first level that can kick your ass if you aren't prepared. There's plenty of enemies going about many of the hallways leading up to the blue key, demons and spectres make their first appearances as well. I love the barrel placement, it was very good when trying to get enemies close to the barrels so I can kill some multitudes. (though Beautiful Doom's autoaim acts retarded somehow and doesn't hit the barrels) I also think the blur artifact placement was a good one, as I can snipe at enemies rather easily, the blur artifact also helps in the areas leading to the secret exit as well! And finally, Dark Halls is the best of the E1 songs.

E1M9 Military Base

A military base has sargeants.

Easy on continuous, but on pistol start I had to get a shotgun and quickly get the chaingun secret which means pushing through the zombie crowd while avoiding imps in the middle. Pistol start also means I won't use the chainsaw until that last secret, and only on a few spectres that appear shortly after raising the last bridge. I used the rocket launcher in the red key area to kill off a crowd, and again when some demons ambush me (on continuous I used the chainsaw instead) My continuous playthrough ran into a bug with enemies somehow not teleporting at the rocket launcher room. I only killed about five imps, somehow the others didn't teleport. Didn't have this problem in pistol start though, so I'm not entirely sure what was wrong here.

Old Post 12-03-13 00:04 #
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Jaws In Space
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The Ultimate Doom E1M4: UV, Pistol Start

This map is the oddity of episode 1 because it was originally designed by Tom Hall, & I think it really stands out as not belonging here, they should have put it in Episode 2 with most of the other Tom Hall maps, plus that would have meant we would have gotten another John Romero map! This map kind of has a tricky history, the Doom bible describes a map called enlisted quarters & a map called officers quarters. Based on the numbering of the maps in the 0.4 Alpha I believe that this map was originally designed to be the officers quarters. But in the 0.5 Alpha all the locker rooms & showers had been removed from the map so the name was changed to Control. This map appears in the E1M7 slot in both Alphas.

I have absolutely no memories of this map from the original 1995 playthrough.

This map is very non linear for an Episode 1 map, but it seems to have a specific direction that it wants you t follow, I went for the path all the way to the left to try & get the 100% health first, but I wasted a lot of ammo on the imps & decided to retreat & go get a shotgun, which lead to another death. On the 2nd playthrough I went for the shotgun first & everything went much more smoothly. I think that the maze in this map works much better than the one in E1M2, it's much more claustrophobic & has stronger enemies. The only other notable room is the swastika, a nice tribute to the game that made Id famous, but I think it was a good idea to change it in later versions of the map.

The Ultimate Doom E1M5: UV, Pistol Start

Along with E1M1 & E1M9, E1M5 is one the maps that was never released in the alphas, I wonder if it was one of Romero's last maps to be finished.

The dark pulsing exit room is one of the things I fondly remember from first playing Doom, finding the goggles was exciting because I could see all of the monsters, but now I find them a little disappointing.

A far as the map goes I was never really a big fan of this one I really don't get all the hype. There are some interesting things done here, but we are starting to see repetition with this map. I can't help but be reminded of E1M2's outside area when I pickup the soul sphere on this map, & the computer room just uses things already done in previous maps. A side note, I don't think I've ever found that secret with the chaingun & auto map before. I think the Teleporter is really out of place on this map & it was never even in the original release, it wasn't added until V1.2. Now there is some really good things in this map as well, the use of lighting is the best so far & the specters really become a true threat on this map. Also the music really helps to set the mood for this map.

Old Post 12-03-13 00:42 #
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Cynical
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What's with everyone playing ahead?

E1M3:
Man, this place is secret central. I found the secret exit, thought I *had* to have found all of the secrets... and was stunned when my secret tally was only 85%. I like how they're hinted at; you can clearly see that there's *some* secret in the area, which definitely puts you on watch and really encourages you to figure them out. Or at least it did me. Usually, I'm not a fan of puzzling and finding secrets, but it was oddly enjoyable here, thanks to the copious hinting.

E1M9:
This was pretty unremarkable, aside from the forced slime walk that nearly killed me because I didn't know where to go. That secret with the backpack is truly grating.

Old Post 12-03-13 01:40 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Cynical said:
What's with everyone playing ahead?


We're playing this an episode per week this time, so anything from e#m1-e#m9 is fine to post about up until Sunday of the following week. This means we’ll be done on the 29th.

Old Post 12-03-13 01:44 #
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SteveD
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E1M3 – Toxin Refinery. Kills – 96, Items – 96, Secrets – 100. Time – 19:01. End Health 104, Armor 110. Death Count – 4

I knew my first deaths would happen here. That opening is nasty on –fast, where I died 3 times in a row, and when I finally survived, I was at 1% health! ;D One death came from standing next to a barrel at the wrong time. One came by 2 simultaneous shotgun hits, and one came from Pinkie bite. The Pinkies and Spectres were by far the biggest problem in the map. They move like little buzz-bombs and are on top of you in the blink of an eye. As a keyboarder, I’m basically reduced to backing up and blasting away with the shotgun, or even worse, the pistol, at least until I get more appropriate weapons. And sheesh, no Zerks!

I suffered another death, this time by Spectre, in the upper computer room that leads to the first Soulsphere secret, when I got stuck in a corner. Aside from that, the map was a good challenge all the way through, although when I found the Chaingun in a secret area, I almost did a victory dance, and when I went back into the hallway, I opened the door leading to the blue key area with great anticipation, and if I could talk to sprites, as I opened the door they would have heard me say, “Alright, you miserable jagoffs, behold the power of the Chaingun!” as I laughed maniacally while slaughtering them. I swear, I have never loved the chaingun as much as I do playing these maps on –fast. It is a literal terror weapon in these conditions. By the same token, I grabbed the chainsaw like a thirsty man seeing water in the desert. At last, a weapon to use on those light-speed Pinkies!

As DoTW said, this map is, for many of us, the highlight of the episode. It’s been enormously influential on my mapping for precisely the sense of intrigue he cited, which is created by the insanely clever and fun secrets. IMO, this is the greatest example of secret-building in all of the IWADs. No matter how many times I play it, the chain of secrets leading to the first Soulsphere, the rocket launcher, and the chaingun while looping back around to a previously-visited lift, is pure genius. It’s playful and fun and is enormously satisfying to me. I also love all the crazy wall angles that mainly work in the player’s favor in terms of firing angles. You don’t even have to be good at corner-abuse to take advantage of this.

I have to disagree with DoTW about the introduction of Spectres in a brightly-lit room, and go along with the Baron. This is because the reason I first played Knee Deep is because I couldn’t beat Map03 of Doom 2. I kept dying in that Chaingunner pool, but not to Chaingunners. Instead, I’d look up at the sky and see this scary demonic shadow, and say, “What the fuck is that?” ;D Screw RTFM, instead, I finally figured it out in Knee Deep, which I was playing as a sort of Boot Camp so I could go back and tackle Doom 2. ;)

And I gotta say, the first time I grabbed the Blue Key and the lights went out, and I heard the hiss of angry Imps, I damn near shit my pants! :D Sorry about the TMI, but moments like these are how legends are built.

E1M3 is thus on my short list of all-time great Doom maps, and it helped that playing this on MacDoom back in ’95, on MacOS 7.5.1, the Quicktime Midi Instruments made this the creepiest track in either game, with synthesizers that sounded like a choir of the damned moaning from the depths of hell. Ah, nostalgia. ;)

One last thing - Romero violated one of his own Rules For Level Design at the Blur Sphere secret, because you can't go outside to get ammo from the fallen Sergeants. Heh!

E1M9 – Military Base. Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time – 17:41. End Health 29, Armor 17. Death Count – 9

Holy Happy Horseshit, Batman, this map is insane! This map is the one exception to pistol starts because it follows so directly from E1M3. That’s my excuse, anyway. I doubt I could beat this from pistol start on –fast without a death count of at least 20. As Veinen said, this is the hardest map in the episode, though sections of E1M6 will provide serious competition. There’s a lot of monsters and not a lot of health, with predictable results. This map shows that Romero was capable of going for the jugular even before being influenced by that insane lunatic axe-murderer Sandy Petersen.

I died 4 times in a row at the start, because I lack patience, and after killing a few hitscanners, I ran out to shoot rockets into the Imp cage, angering more hitscanners. Add a zig when I should have zagged, and the deaths piled up. But damn, was it ever a fun way to die!

This is just a way-cool, flat-out action map, a bloodfest from beginning to end and one of the truly great maps in Doom history. Orthogonal rooms? Who gives a shit? I don’t find this ugly at all. Effective use of light and darkness helps create mood, and the gameplay is beyond reproach. Bad layout? I disagree. Actually, there is an error, because in one of the areas you set off a Pinkie trap, but they can’t come down the stairs, so all you have to do is wait for the nearby Pinkies behind the barrels to go upstairs and try to come back down, and you’re safe to just potshot them with the single-barrel. I had to die twice to figure this out, though. ;) Making the stairs wider front-to-back would have made this area more dangerous. Then again, maybe Romero wanted you to figure out this strategy.

I also have to give props for the dropped-floor trap, which has been so inspirational to me. And let's not forget the wonderfully dickish ending. Died twice there before finally surviving at 4% health. Whee!

I have to say that playing this map on –fast is one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had in Doom. It’s perfectly-pitched to the edge of difficulty I still find to be fun before tipping into the frustration zone. Alas, it also convinced me that I’ll forego –fast in the following episodes unless I play on HMP and/or continuous. I won’t be able to handle all the Pinkies and Lost Souls on –fast unless I have a Plasma Gun. ;D

@Jaws In Space - Thanks for the historical perspectives, it was very interesting!

Old Post 12-03-13 01:48 #
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Demon of the Well
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E1M5 --Phobos Lab - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Seems like this map's star has really risen over time, and rightfully so, I think. It really nails the dreary, defeated Phobos atmosphere that Knee Deep in the Dead is famous for better than any other map in the episode except arguably for E1M7, courtesy of one of Doom's best ambient tracks, generally dim, uninviting lighting, and a decidedly 'cold'-feeling grey/green color scheme. Not to say that it's a primarily atmospheric map like 'Nuclear Plant', though, as it's quite violent in places, with a fast-paced pistol-start that requires you to act quickly and decisively or else be cornered, and a real massacre behind the yellow access door. The chaingun comes rather late in this one, and only in a secret at that, so it's quite a lot of shotgun work against some fairly sizable enemy groups, but outside of skill 5 or -fast or some other monster-augmenting parameter the ball generally remains firmly in the player's court--there are a ton of opportunities for sniping enemies from the relative safety of window vantages, and most of the more direct combats (e.g. the aforementioned segment behind the yellow door) are rife with conveniently positioned barrels that can give one shell a 3-5 kill payoff. The disorienting end section is a bit of a dick move on Romero's part what with the excellent use of specters (and ninja shotgunners), and I wouldn't have it any other way, really sends the map off on a high note. That is, unless you know where all of the secrets are. This was actually one of the last maps in all of (Ultimate) Doom that I mastered in this regard, although I'm pretty sure that the weird/not particularly helpful hidden teleporter wasn't there in the version I first played.

E1M6 -- Central Processing - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
This is my least preferred of the KDiTD maps. I do quite like the red key and exit room setpieces, and also the way you can eventually end up a bit flush with rocket ammo such that you can go gung-ho with the launcher in the later parts, but a lot of the stuff in between the two aforementioned encounters is pretty underwhelming, both in terms of action and aesthetics. Lots of beige, lots of neutral lighting, lots of flat, low-ceilinged corridors, lots of symmetrical monster placement, the blandest of the three major E1 mazes, etc. This is also a map where one sees a bit of the ol' id laziness that the TWiD projects have recently made a topic of interest, like secrets that aren't flagged secret (ala the computer area map in the maze), an instance or two of monsters stuck together in their closets on higher difficulties, etc. One of the secrets provides an interesting alternate route that allows you to eschew the yellow key, but the overall flow of the map isn't much different either way, since you still end up dealing with everything behind the yellow access door anyway. As a topper, the level also uses one of my least preferred music tracks from the first game.

Old Post 12-03-13 06:55 #
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Jayextee
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E1M4 (shit, I forgot to note the time and stats for this one. Whoops)

Command Control indeed. If it were anything of the sort, most equipment has been removed from the labyrinthine halls of the blue area (beyond the blue keydoor) and all we're left with is hellspawn roaming the halls.

I actually don't like this one much. Music grates on me as I'm playing (I have indeed prepared myself a music .wad -- in this case the excellent 3DO soundtrack, though I'll need more ideas next week when E2 rolls around, and so forth), and the visuals aren't up to much; probably because of all the time spent in the maze section.

Old Post 12-03-13 12:58 #
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Getsu Fune
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E1M4 Command Control

A nonlinear affair which is of course not hard. I went for the shotgun guy guarding the rocket launcher to get two weapons easily. Kinda had it easy until "Oh joy another fucking maze!" It wasn't too frustrating, but it's cramped as hell, and since there's no chainsaw in the map I had to just shotgun, chaingun, and even fist a few demons. Continuous play of course I use the chainsaw. Other than that, I kinda don't know what else to put for this map.

Old Post 12-03-13 14:33 #
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plums
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Demon of the Well said:
Ah, but being slowly babied into everything doesn't really seem to suit a visceral action game like Doom


Doom did so much that was new that I think gently introducing things like invisible enemies was a very good idea. It's easy to forget now, but back in 93/94 it was so far ahead of everything else that I think throwing everything at the player at once would have overwhelmed most people.


Dragonsbrethren said:
Started playing on HNTR and HMP with a gamepad. As previously mentioned, Doom doesn't have a weapon switch button when playing with the gamepad, so you're stuck using a keyboard anyway. Also, the run button is labeled Forward in setup for some reason. I'm playing in v1.0 for E1, then probably v1.2 for E2 and E3 since v1.1's calibration option doesn't work with my gamepad.


Since I have to use a joystick to keyboard program anyhow, I put prev/next weapon on some buttons. Also on the mouse, the "forward" button actually moves you forward, so that in theory a player could play with the mouse only, so the joystick button name is probably a holdover from that even though it does something different.


E1M3:
Like many, I find this the most memorable level of the episode, perhaps the whole game. It was the first level to give a sense of vastness to the game, and hinted at being full of lost corridors to explore and hard-to-reach areas that you could only find with careful investigation. Or a FAQ. I don't think I ever figured out how to get that soul sphere before the infamous work of Hank Leukart eventually graced my computer.

In any case, this isn't too hard or even that large a level once you know where to go, and supplies are numerous, so not much problem beating it.

One interesting thing about this level is that there's a lamp in the blue key area that only appears on HMP and lower. On UV it's missing, leaving you in total darkness when the imps attack.


E1M9:
Okay, that was hard.

Without having any supplies to carry over, and very limited mobility from not using run or strafe, taking a lot of damage was inevitable. At the start I simply camped out until the shotgun guys were mostly dealt with, then made a run for it, grabbing as many shotguns as I could. Ammo was low for a while, and so when I grabbed the rocket launcher I was eager to use it - too eager as I shot a spectre point-blank, bringing me to a mere 6 health. I thought that might be it for me, but I survived, only to run out of ammo after opening the yellow key door with 3 imps remaining. I tried to coax them up the stairs, but they weren't leaving, so after a while it was clear that my only choice was to make a run for it (or a walk for it, as the case may be) and try to grab a shotgun before getting burnt to a crisp. I held my breath, pressed up on the joystick, and... just made it, retreating up the stairs and shooting. The health in that room was enough to venture through the slime in the chaingun secret, and before long I was back in action.

I had another close call in the slime pits by the exit, though, just because without running, some guaranteed damage is inevitable. I was feeling quite toxic by the time I escaped, but I managed. Also had to give up most of the supplies in the secret platforming room, because the chainsaw was the only one I could reach. I still got the secret count for it though. All in all, the most tense and difficult experience I've had playing anything on E1 in a long time.

E1M4:
Sadly, this is the level that killed me. I got ahead of myself at the start, getting several hitscanners after me before I'd dealt with the imps that were already mad, and with no maneuverability, my only hope was to go forward and hope for enough supplies until I could get to a safe area. That didn't happen.

On my second attempt I played a little more carefully, and beat it without too much trouble. Sad that after E1M9 it was pure carelessness that did me in.

Anyhow, the level itself is nice, lots of secrets and nonlinear pathways. I really like the music too. You can skip about half the level if you know exactly where to go, or you can wander around gathering secrets. The maze-corridor area isn't great, but it's a nice change from the openness that we've seen so far, and it is fairly short. Periodic changes in height and the occasional 45-degree wall remind the player they're not playing Wolfenstein ;)

Last edited by plums on 12-03-13 at 18:37

Old Post 12-03-13 18:09 #
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Cynical
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E1M4:
I just played this, and I can barely remember it. Not really a rousing endorsement.

E1M5:
Easily the best map of episode 1 so far. That trap behind the yellow door can kill you quite easily if you don't know what's coming and don't find the RL secret (it did me on my first time), and the ending is certainly tense, excellent use of flashing lighting. For a lot of E1, I've been surprised at how little verticality there is given that it's something that id would have surely wanted to show off in what is, effectively, a demo, but that changes with this map's main room. All in all, quite an enjoyable romp.

Old Post 12-03-13 19:27 #
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Ultimate Doom, eh? This won't quite be the trip it would've been before I started working on the Switcheroom maps (and played some of those Doom maps over and over and over again) but should be fun. I'll stick with playing on ZDoom with my mouselook and saving, but to amp it up I'll also play with -fast, which I've never really done before. Should be fun.

E1M1: Hangar
100% kills, 3/3 secrets, 0 deaths

Well, -fast certainly is interesting. Hitscanners basically turn into turrets and imps are actually threatening! There's definitely some gameplay adjustments as well - for example, monsters behind doors are almost guaranteed damage if you just stand and wait for the door to open, the imp in the last room hit me in the face with a fireball before the door even opened enough for me to react and shoot him. I think playing against regular monsters has made me quite lazy. I should probably go back to playing multiplayer shooters against people again.

I think E1M1 is a wonderful start map. It really does a good job of showing off all the new features of the Doom engine over Wolfenstein (Outdoors! Sky! Staircases! Windows! Non-orthagonal rooms!) and does so in a way that's pretty bright but also has some darkness to set the mood. Well-placed barrels, too. The music is pretty kick-ass, as opposed to the somber, eerie music used later. Had it been used elsewhere it may have been a poor choice, but for the opening level it's great.

E1M2: Nuclear Plant
100% kills, 6/6 secrets, 0 deaths

Ah, Nuclear Plant. Another map I'm nostalgic for, mainly for the music track. Not quite the pump-up, kick-ass music of E1M1, but also not eerie or creepy yet. A good middle ground, and fits in with the starbase theme. I think we see more of the non-orthagonality creep in here - the staircases leading to the red key are a great example, or the double hallways to the exit.

I've never been a fan of the computer maze (though I notice this doesn't stop me from making my terrible dark mazes in my own levels). Maybe it's because the strategy guide I had in '93 is so ingrained in my brain that I know exactly where to go for the secrets, and feel the rest is just a waste of time to get 100% kills. But even knowing that it's completely optional, plums is correct that the design instinctively draws the player into it. It's a dark glowing area! I must explore it!

I noticed a Floor Rule Violation. In a Romero map. I might have a fixation.... nahhhh.

E1M3: Toxin Refinery
100% kills, 7/7 secrets, 2 deaths

My first deaths! The first was getting surrounded by imps near the switch that opens up the computer area with the yellow key. The second time was in the same location, though it was because I was trying to shoot the enemies in the secret exit area and got killed by those same imps. On the third time, I somehow managed to get the two imps to infight each other, though of course since they were on -fast, they just stood 3 feet away and tossed fireballs at each other. Figures.

Man, demons/spectres sure are fast on -fast, aren't they? They still seem to pinball off walls/players at a high rate though, which is nice.

I have another soft spot for this map, mainly due to the secrets. There's a LOT of optional areas here - even an optional/secret door. Of course, I still remember all the secrets like the back of my hand, even if I can't remember how they work (which switch raises the bridge to the secret exit, again?)

Old Post 12-03-13 20:19 #
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Demon of the Well
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I think the switch that raises the bridge to the secret exit is the one off of the rocket launcher secret.

Old Post 12-03-13 20:31 #
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cannonball
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I've decided to play on fast mode from now now :P
E1M9- “Military Base” by John Romero
I ragequit, I'm sure I selected fast mode, not 75% of my shots will simply pass through each monster without even scratching them, not only that but I was unable to blow barrels up despite aiming at them, only to be killed by the very same barrel when hit by a monster. Serious trolling going on here by pr-boom :P
The map is pretty meh because it's a hubspoke and the layout is probably the weakest of the set.

Old Post 12-03-13 21:11 #
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Cynical
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E1M6:
I like the ending setpiece here a lot. Quite frantic; it nearly killed me (I had multiple single-digit healthpack grabs here), and surely would have if I hadn't been good about finding those secret Soulspheres.

The rest of it is so totally uneventful that it's hardly worth mention.

Old Post 12-03-13 21:15 #
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