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Demon of the Well
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E2M3 -- Refinery - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hey, lookie here, boys and girls. It's the worst map in the game!

No, I won't take it back, not even if you say to me "But Mr. Demon, what about E2M9?!?" This is the map that I've always sort of assumed was the final product posterchild for why Tom Hall ended up being cut from the team--he just didn't seem to get that DooM wasn't supposed to be Wolfenstein-plus. This map is almost entirely flat-flat-flat and almost entirely static in terms of its dynamics, being entirely bereft of switches and true lifts. Sure, there's that one instance of height variation crammed over into the southwest corner (plasma rifle stairs), and of course there's the little room with the twitching floor grid (presumably just Sandy screwing around because he felt like it), but almost no actual gameplay happens in either of these places. Even the overall map shape is kind of unappealing, with a sort of orthogonal artificiality to the contours of many of its main rooms that most of the other IWAD maps lack....sort of telling that all of the most interesting parts of Refinery are the ones where almost nothing goes on. Monster placement's very static, based almost entirely on direct frontal assaults, although a player rushing his way through the map might see a bit of the 'wandering monster' effect on the initial side of the blue door (incidentally, like several other E2 maps, this one does at least work fairly well in Nightmare mode, and is also somewhat entertaining on -fast/pacifist). At one point darkness is used to add some kind of tactical layer, but the monster placement is so unimaginative (and lost souls are of course always fullbright) that it falls flat.

It definitely does play a little better from a pistol-start since you have to work a little bit to get a primary weapon, but I'm kind of reaching for charitable things to say about it, here. I suppose you could say that it does have something of a legacy in that, together with E2M4, its texture scheme seems to have loomed large in the minds of WAD authors over the years--most of the time, when folks set out to make a map in a 'classically Deimos' style, it seems to me like the end result almost always looks either like this map (vines, sludge, lots of tan composite) or Deimos Lab (blue/computer stuff, grey stone/gargoyle stone, green nukage, token cherry-red room).

So, anyway, not a very good map, like a herald of the dregs of D!Zone. Using the intermission music is the final nail in its coffin, that track gets real old real quick.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 12-10-13 at 20:34

Old Post 12-10-13 20:26 #
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Jaws In Space
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The Ultimate Doom E2M3: UV, Pistol Start

Here we have waste processing facility from the Doom bible, E1M3 from both Doom Alphas, early versions of this map are noteworthy because it is shaped like a triangle, which makes it easy to identify it on the 0.5 Alpha intermission screen. Of all the E2 maps I'd say that this one has a layout that is the closest to what Tom Hall had originally designed, really thing placement & texturing is the only thing that Sandy did, except BROWNWEL Tom did that.

This is the level for E2 that I remember the most from my original playthrough, especially the opening shot where you see cacodemons in front of you behind the cages, I really feel that it was a waste that were introduced on E2M1, it's even worse seeing as they didn't even appear in E2M2, this would have been a much more memorable introduction, plus it still would have been hard to tell that they could fly which would make for a good surprise later on.

I'm going to admit that this is my very favorite map from E2, but this happens to be my first time pistol starting it & that really completely changes the gameplay, making it noticeably worse in my opinion. I starts off somewhat hectic, I died a few times trying to figure out a good path to survive, eventually I just avoided the 2 imps at the start & ran for the berserk pack in the startan room. Then I ran to the little cubbyhole with the box of rockets & punched everyone to death that came to say hello. I skipped killing the caco's in cages because I didn't have the ammo to spare & then went about finishing up the map. Once I got to the exit I realized that I forgot to kill the caco's but I didn't want to go back because I would have to go back through the nukage so I just left without killing them. On a continuous playthrough I would have easily been able to kill the caged caco's with spare ammo from the previous maps. I don't think I'll be playing this map again from a pistol start. I have to confirm Demon of the Well's theory, this is my go to map for inspiration when designing E2 maps, I love the visual style of this map, vine textures are just great all around. The only thing I don't really like about this map...the music, I mean seriously the intermission screen music blah.

Old Post 12-10-13 21:10 #
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Magnusblitz
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E2M3: Refinery
100% kills, 6/6 secrets, 0 deaths

While E2M2 was much better than I expected from memory, E2M3 is much worse than I expected. I'm not sure if I would call it the worst map in the game (gotta play the rest first) but I agree with DOTW it'll be in the running. The map design is very flat and quite boring - and aside from a couple of secret doors, very linear. Much like E1M4, I like the start design, but the hallways then turn off into much less interesting areas. Immediately to the right is an area with some armor and shells, and every STAR texture crammed together. The marble area has a baron, but that's about it (it feels VERY empty once the monsters are killed - couldn't even throw in some torches or candelabras?). The first slime area doesn't even have a height difference between it and the carpet. Ugh.

The coolest part of the map is the flesh cubes, not sure if that's Hall or Petersen. And as others have said, the music track is ill-fitting and repetitive. And even on -fast, combat is pretty trivial, the only slightly hectic part is the start where the cacos basically serve as fireball turrets.

Old Post 12-10-13 21:34 #
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Getsu Fune
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E2M3 Refinery

Lulz, intermission music as main music.

Once again I berserk nearly half the individuals throughout this rather ugly map, yes, including some cacodemons and the sole baron of hell got punched here. It's in the room to the right at the start, for those who want to be spoiled (most of you know already :)) That room that contained the baron, a lot of barrels were destroyed causing lotsa gibs (again I lagged hard), but the baron survived, and I danced till I punched him down. Pretty easy on continuous, but on pistol start I handled it differently. Beautiful Doom handles invisibility differently, the monsters see you for a second, then stop (well, most of them anyways), which means I can silently attack them with the silent fist. Therefore, I dodged the imps at the start to get behind the cacodemon cage where the invisibility lays, and grabbed it before heading into the room with the berserk. Then I cleared that room off while they didn't see me. The "square pillar" room where lost souls and imps were was a nightmare for getting 100% items. I guess it's nothing too shabby in gameplay, but I never really was into this level that much either.

Too bad there's no BFG 9000 in this episode on this map, unlike in the PSX edition.

Old Post 12-11-13 02:42 #
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Avoozl
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Map: E2M3 Refinery / Kills: 100% / Items: 100% / Secrets: 100% / Time: 13:07 / Difficulty: UV / Mode: -fast

One of my favorite maps of Episode 2, a few noteworthy features is it's the first map in the episode with an open view of the sky and the caged room with the Cacodemons trapped inside, walking into the area is quite brutal on fast mode as the Cacodemons lightning ball projectiles are fast and a few volleys from tham all at once along with the Former Humans and Imps firing at you can give you quite a beating if you're not careful enough. This map is also the first in the episode to feature a Baron of Hell.

Old Post 12-11-13 04:12 #
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Demon of the Well
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E2M4 -- Deimos Lab - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Coming off of the misfire of E2M3, we have this, a much more pleasant affair. Like Phobos Lab in E1, it seems to me like this map has gotten a lot more popular over the years, interestingly for largely the same reasons as E1M5 despite the worlds of difference between Romero's and Petersen's (and Hall's) styles--the main reasons being that it's a very successful map in the realm of atmospherics, and that it features at least one quite good setpiece that can be tackled in a couple of very different ways in the 'control kiosk' area behind the yellow door (analogous to the violent area behind the yellow door in Phobos Lab, fittingly enough).

People seem to talk about this as a 'spooky' map, and while I think that E2M6 trumps it pretty soundly in that regard, there's no denying that it does have a memorable atmosphere to it. Whereas many of the other E2 maps take a sort of bloody flesh-horror tack in establishing the corruption of the Deimos operation, here we see a strange cold decrepitude of silent blue halls and many abandoned computer rooms in combination with some phantasmal gothic touches, ala the long ooze corridors where the grey masonry shifts into that gargoyle-face texture. The spaciousness of many of the areas adds to the feeling of haunted abandonment. On the whole I'd say that it's a fairly visually attractive map, in spite of the boxy Tom Hall rooms to the west or Sandy's relative lack of concern for aesthetic niceties like texture alignment or doortrack issues here and there; really, the big open ooze halls around the floating tech gazebo and the viney kiosk area are two of the coolest areas in the episode.

Coming back to this map now after a number of years, I'm most surprised to see that there's only around 70 monsters, so I guess it's a lot like E1M3 in that it somehow seems a lot more involved than it really is. Assuming you nab the all-important first secret, the pistol-start is quite gentle. A few of the areas seem empty/underpopulated as a result, but like E2M2 before it it's a map whose main strength is in its atmosphere, and the relatively meaty chunk of opposition in the kiosk area (two Barons, a few cacos, several imps) whose constituents can all become active more or less simultaneously sees it out in a high note. Incidentally, despite the overall leisurely pace of the action, this was the first map where I entertained the notion that I might die--more than once I've fallen for that damned rising floor crusher in one of the side areas, even after reminding myself that it's there at the start of the map. Not this time though, thankfully.

Old Post 12-11-13 07:21 #
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SteveD
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For E2, I’m going with pistol starts, UV, keyboard-only as always, and switching to Risen3D over GZDoom in case barrels are a big deal here – I want to hit them. ;) Will play 2 maps a day to catch up.

E2M1 – Deimos Anomaly. Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time – 12:59. End Health – 100, Armor – 190. Death Count – Zero

This is a dandy little map. Haven’t played this in years and years, but I can see that I’ve incorporated some of its design elements in my own maps. Specifically, the ceiling height design technique seen after the first teleport also appears in my own E1M7 of Shotgun Symphony, so I guess it got into my head a long time ago and stayed there. This area is a bit amusing, though, because the skylight shows a sky much lower than the surrounding ceilings. ;D There’s also some sloppy work with completely unnecessary ceiling light textures, but overall, it looks pretty damned cool, and Stone2 is one of my fave Doom textures.

This map is notably more violent, IMO, than E1M1, and is very tricky. I had to consult DB2 to find the red key – shoulda watched Jayextee’s video first! :D – after I had already completed the map. I also liked the teleporting around. This kind of progression doesn’t bother me, as Map09 of Realm of Chaos demonstrates. It can be a really handy way of moving the player around.

I did find the Plasma Gun secret on my own, and a violent encounter it was! Again, I have no problem with the Cacodemon reveal. Putting a powerful monster like that in a tight space, and giving it back-up with Sergeants and Pinkies, makes for a good challenge even today given my skill level, and probably scared the shit out of people facing it for the first time. I mean, it’s so damned big! ;) The next Caco can lift off a bit, though it’s confined in a sort of tunnel, rather like a Baron was in a map I played recently, Da Werecat’s Administration Processing Complex Facility. And the third Caco is uncomfortably placed right at the exit in a confined area. Good thing I found that PG, because I was low on shotgun ammo.

All in all, I think this is an outstanding intro for E2.


Jayextee said:
Mind, I know how you love it when a map kicks your butt -- I think UV should be this setting, it's for people who want to battle unfair odds, right? ;)


Well, you certainly made me know how it feels to be on the bad end of a chaingun when you don't have one yourself. And speaking of unfair, in Map04, IIRC, you had that Chaingunner on a ledge near the end, but I couldn't get up there, which means -- you violated a Romero Rule! I'm calling the cops! ;D

As for UV being about unfair odds, I guess that depends on the UV player, whether they are good, or "power players," or whether they're like me, and are middling players who just like to get murdered. ;D There is, after all, a vast gulf between the UV of Hell Revealed and Ribbiks maps like Swimming With Whales, and the UV of BTSX-E1. The UV of BTSX-E1, on the very hardest levels, is, at best, equivalent to HNTR on Swimming With Whales, Map02. Historically, I design and play maps at the BTSX-E1 difficulty level, because that's what I enjoy, but for -- ahem -- Realm of Intensified Chaos, I decided to do what Adam does, and let power players guide the nastiness of UV. The result? I put up Map04, ex-Map22, as a preview, and after some testing and tweaking, I gave up on UV after 42 deaths (I may back down from this nightmare in the end, though). 14 deaths on the latest version of HNTR. So HNTR and HMP are going to be more like the "Old UV," except harder, and UV is for power players. I put out a call for HMP and HNTR players to join in, and got one, but need more. They'll have their last chance when the public beta of the whole set goes up in a month or so. Squeaky wheels get attention, as they say.;)

I'll be finishing your mapset starting tomorrow. Sorry about the break.

Old Post 12-11-13 12:26 #
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SteveD
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E2M2 – Contaiment Area. Kills – 100, Items – 89, Secret – 83. Time – 30:26. End Health – 100, Armor – 172. Death Count – Zero

Man oh man, this map is huge. I have a love/hate relationship with this map because I love the sinister atmosphere and the killer music track, but it’s so nonlinear that it’s confusing as hell. I guess I personally don’t understand the love affair many people have, or think they have, with nonlinear maps. Probably played this 10 years ago and as a result I was lost at sea for much of this adventure. Hell, I even walked right past the yellow key because I was distracted by Imps, and later I had to consult DB2 to find it! ;D This map also has a texture theme which is – oh, hell, there’s no theme and no rhyme or reason to it at all! :D Concrete here, marble there, Brown1 elsewhere, whole walls of Tekwall – pretty much everything people say you shouldn’t do, is done here.

And yet, it’s really cool. If you accept that this is an exploration map, your enjoyment will increase. There are some super-nifty features, too, such as the moving “pie segment area” that Magnus referred to, which have always delighted me, and luring monsters to their death in the crushers always elicits a sinister chuckle. As DoTW said, the somewhat horrific mish-mosh of textures actually adds to the sense of subtle wrongness.

OTOH, the map is very, very flat and Wolfensteiny, but perhaps the greatest Wolfenstein map ever (“I’ve never played Wolfensten,” he admits in a hushed whisper). It would be a real challenge to recreate the qualities of this map because, ostensibly, it has so few of the features Doomers claim to like, such as active height variation and engaging, often massive, conflict. But it works!

One thing I love about this map is the intensity of the fights in the secret areas. Any time someone bitches about getting attacked in the secret areas of my maps, I always think back on the IWADs. Like, we’re not supposed to do what they did in the IWADs? You’re kidding, right? ;D

This map also has a massive “Fuck you!” to the player in its long and utterly pointless nukage tunnel to the exit area. Good thing I play frequent save-and-reload or I’d have been pissed! And let’s not forget some looping secrets. This makes me wonder if highly-interconnected, nonlinear maps with looping secrets are, in fact, more a design style of Tom Hall than they are of John Romero.

In any case, this map is pretty damned cool.

Old Post 12-11-13 12:52 #
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Jayextee
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SteveD said:

I'll be finishing your mapset starting tomorrow. Sorry about the break.



No problem. Sorry about the chaingunners. ;)

And for everyone else, sorry about the derail. I'll play some E2 later, just undecided as to whether I'm doing videos for it. What say you?

Old Post 12-11-13 12:59 #
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Veinen
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Okay, The Shores of Hell here we go.

E2M1: Deimos Anomaly - 100/-/100

Well, I'm afraid I'm on the side that thinks E2 starts with a puff. There's an illusion of challenge and bloodiness here as the enemies are plentiful and come in bunches, but they feel like slapped in in a hurry and aren't able to provide any interesting moments gameplay-wise, perhaps a part from the PG secret. I agree that the Caco introduction is poorly done since their outstanding mobility is not being used at all. Tele and PG intros I don't have a problem with.

E2M2: Containment Area - 100/-/100-1

Woo, it's the infamous crate maze. The map is huge and confusing, not just because of the crate maze but because it's very non-linear and features many optional areas to visit. Thankfully I had vivid memories of the corresponding map from Wonderful Doom, which was played in the TNS session at Zdaemon a couple of weeks back. Helped a lot with navigating in the marble areas and beyond. Still missed one secret though, the soulsphere in the corner closet that I just couldn't figure out how to open. Gotta love the secrets within secrets within secrets (within secrets) though!

Combat-wise this map is even easier than the previous one. I did a Tyson + no running playthrough after the regular one had no problems at all even then. An enjoyable map overall in my opinion. Like Steve put it before me, it's an exploration map and if you play it as such it's good fun.

Old Post 12-11-13 14:30 #
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Demon of the Well
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E2M5 -- Command Center - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
While certainly not the failure that E2M3 is, this one's a bit of a 'dark horse' of the episode--I reckon it probably quite appeals to a particular sort of preference, but it's not a map that one seems to hear a whole lot about on the whole. The 'angle' here is that this is a completely key-free map; if you want, there's nothing to stop you from heading straight for an exit at the outset, as long as you know where to go--indeed, you can leave the level in seconds if you use the secret exit (incidentally, I discovered the secret exit the first time I ever played this map, and so went for quite a while before I ever saw the area around the normal exit, heh). The upshot of this is, of course, that a lot of the map is optional. While this may sound like a recipe for a fine and endlessly variable adventure, the reality is that it's a lot more limited. While it's quite non-linear, it's also very door-heavy, and many of these are of the switch-door hybrid type, meaning that monster wandering is almost nonexistent, so most areas are pretty static in terms of how they play. This is also another example of a map that probably functions more optimally on a continuous playthrough; the lack of heavy weapons from a pistol-start sort of requires that you either do a lot of shotgun-slogging against Barons and the like or, alternately, take a specific route over to the optional plasma rifle in order to be able to burn cleanly through the rest (this is yet another E2 map with no native rocket launcher). Not much in the way of particularly memorable combat setpieces....my favorite bit is actually the demon trap right next to the standard exit.

Old Post 12-11-13 16:17 #
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SteveD
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Jayextee said:

I'll play some E2 later, just undecided as to whether I'm doing videos for it. What say you?



Me want video! :)

Old Post 12-11-13 18:33 #
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Getsu Fune
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E2M4 Deimos Lab

Well, shit, ANOTHER MAP conquered by the berserk pack! Everyone loves this level, and the open spaces and spooky atmosphere tell why. There's imps, cacos, and barons, but with my fists and the openness, I didn't have trouble re-RE-practicing my punchy movements. I didn't even use the plasmagun in the secret on my pistol start run. Many fun secrets that are actually useful (that one right at the beginning with the shotgun totally helps). One secret is the berserk itself which helps with the other secret that contains all the demons/spectres, not to forget the lovely invisibility that keeps the demons from moving. The one secret with the chaingun can be grabbed in at least two ways, by impact weapon, or by running very fast to it, and it too has a useful invisibility for a few shotgun guys later. So yeah, great level, as it's always been. The one large circular room with the teleporter leading to the exit room was a trouble spot for punchers though, sometimes when punching one monster, another imp or even a baron could sneak up on you.

Old Post 12-11-13 21:54 #
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Jaws In Space
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The Ultimate Doom E2M4: UV, Pistol Start

My best guess is that this map was supposed to be Lab from the Doom bible, unlike the other maps though this a complete guess based on the final name of the map alone. This map first appeared as E1M13 of the 0.5 Alpha the last map of E1. This is another map started by Tom Hall & finished by Sandy. Sandy made quite a few more layout changes here than he did the previous map, but surprisingly a large portion of this map uses Tom Hall's original texturing, pretty much every thing up to the REDWALL room is all Tom Halls texture work.

From E2M3 until E2M8 I have no memory of Episode 2 at all.

Here we have another of the more atmospheric maps from E2, like E2M2 the lack of any monsters here really makes this one drag on forever. In addition here is where Barons as a common enemy starts to get annoying, 4 on UV is a bit much, especially since they are often faced in a room alone. If there were to be any music track in Doom I would complain about it would definitely be this one, it's repetitive & annoying to listen to, it's clearly the worst.

Old Post 12-11-13 23:33 #
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Magnusblitz
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I think I'm gonna finish up E2 now since I'll probably be busy the rest of the week.

E2M4: Deimos Lab
100% kills, 10/10 secrets, 0 deaths

One of my favorite maps, aesthetics/setting-wise. One of the things I always liked about Doom was the use of color. It didn't shy away from bright blues, or reds, or greens, or what not. Back in the day, there was a big split between colorful FPSs like Duke Nukem and Unreal Tournament, and the more gritty, brown, colorless ones like Quake. I myself always enjoyed the former because I found it visually interesting. And so I always had a soft spot in my heart for this level, with it's wide COMPBLU hallways, coupled with the green slime and the greenish gargoyle textures. Sometimes it can get too gaudy (the big red crusher room), but it still works somehow. The large rooms and high ceilings also combine with a great, creepy music track to really give a sense of place, of exploring something large and monolithic, bigger than the player. While the final setpiece (the vine area with the staircases) gets away from this, at least it's a decent combat area with lots of cacos and multiple barons.

Like E2M2 though, it fails a bit in the combat. Nothing is very difficult here, even on -fast, as the large rooms give plenty of room to escape the souped-up demons or dodge fireballs. Even the last area is relatively easy thanks to Mr. Plasma Gun. Still, love the way it looks.

E2M5: Command Center
100% kills, 10/10 secrets, 7 deaths*

Confession: I have played very little of this map before - I would also play up to about the point where the barons/comp map are, then jump into the secret exit and move on. So there's lots I haven't seen before... and to be honest, most of it is underwhelming. After the aforementioned baron trap, the design here is very much room-hallway-room-hallway with textures changing vividly from room to room with little thought for cohesion. Red brick! Startan! Vines! Skin! Wood! Ugh. There's also not that much height difference either, which contributes to the corridor feeling (there are plenty of floor texture rule violations though, and even a HOM on one step). The start is decent though, and feels like it could've been an E1 map, especially with the opening room and first area (feels similar to E1M7).

Combat definitely picks up in this level, with lots of enemies shoved into rooms, some of which can be very deadly on -fast (my first death came fighting some lost souls near the blur sphere off the marble area, those fuckers are deadly in tight spaces on -fast). 4 barons by my count, and plenty of hitscanners and demons as well.

Unfortunately, the secret exit is nearly impossible to beat on -fast, as you'll spawn in the middle of a bunch of lost souls, some of which are looking at you before you can turn around. It's very difficult to try and get out of the circle of death and back through the teleporter, I eventually managed to do it with the plasma gun after 6 tries, and even then I only made it out with 18 health.

E2M9: Fortress of Mystery
100% kills, 1/1 "secret", 2 deaths

Worst map in Doom? Might be, since it's basically two rooms and little else. Still, back in 1993, it was a pretty fun map - surrounded by 6 barons at the start, frantically running into the next room only to find it infested with cacos, lure them back out into infighting... fun stuff. And of course, the first glimpse of that awesome dead baron wall texture. (Makes sense, especially since the cacos always seem to win the infight...) Aside from that, though... well, it is two rooms, and you can stock up on health but there's not a lot of ammo. (E2 in general has been very low on rockets) It's a map that has definitely aged the worst of the original Doom maps, but I'm not necessarily going to say it's slam-dunk the worst.

E2M6: Halls of the Damned
100% kills, 3/3 secrets, 6 deaths

Ah, the kitty cat map! Heh.

Tough map, mainly due to the hallways being just wide enough for enemies to surround you but not wide enough for the player to really move around and avoid enemies. Most my deaths came from getting cornered by demons, some from the fake exit and one from the devilish crusher near the yellow key. This map definitely packs a greater punch on -fast.

It's an ugly map, but at least it hangs together a bit more aesthetically than E2M5. There's tons of blur spheres and light amplification goggles (I found the one in the dark maze after I cleared it out, of course, and didn't really need any of the others). Like most of Sandy's maps, its chock full o' enemies, which provides a good romp. I've always loved the fake exit - nice bit of cheekiness. Overall, an enjoyable map - it hangs together a lot better than E2M5, despite some similar design points.

Old Post 12-12-13 01:05 #
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SteveD
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E2M3 – Refinery. Kills- 100, Items – 96, Secret – 83. Time 19:14. End Health – 177, Armor 98. Death Count – Zero

Ah, another flat map, this time with lots of nukage. Most of the walls have 90-degree angles and remind me of that wonderful Amiga Doom clone, Breathless. Which is one way of saying I don’t mind rectilinear design, but I do find the texture mix a bit unpleasant, and in many areas, there are no border textures, for example that big Star texture room.

Okay, so it’s basically ugly and flat, but it does have frantic combat and some cool lighting in Sector 80 thru 94. I dodged past the Imps at the start and was dashing around for quite awhile, avoiding combat as best I could, until I grabbed the shotgun and then the Zerk. I’m not good at punching anything but Pinkies, but there were a few areas, for example, the Brown96 room with the Sladwall column maze, where the spaces were so tight that I was able to pound on Imps and Lost Souls. Satisfying.

Okay, enough with the Cacos not being allowed to fly. It was understandable in E2M1, but here it’s a bit ridiculous, and nothing is more ridiculous than the Caco cage. They were the last things I killed after I backtracked from the exit.

Not sure which secret(s) I missed. I figured it would be a rocket launcher but the map doesn’t have one even though there’s a box of rockets. I did get a plasma gun and backpack, and a rad suit and Soulsphere in a chain. I’ll make sure to watch Jayextee’s video, if he does one.

In spite of the frantic, high-pressure early combat and the interconnected non-linear design, this is among my least favorite maps thus far.

Old Post 12-12-13 02:31 #
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Magnusblitz
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SteveD said:
Not sure which secret(s) I missed. I figured it would be a rocket launcher but the map doesn’t have one even though there’s a box of rockets. I did get a plasma gun and backpack, and a rad suit and Soulsphere in a chain.


Two of the secrets are merely extra pathways that open off of the room with the slime pool in the floor (and a blue armor), so it's quite easy to miss one or both since they're not that necessary, especially if you find one. Also, one opens in the room, the other opens from outside the room.

Old Post 12-12-13 02:46 #
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SteveD
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Magnusblitz said:


Two of the secrets are merely extra pathways that open off of the room with the slime pool in the floor (and a blue armor), so it's quite easy to miss one or both since they're not that necessary, especially if you find one. Also, one opens in the room, the other opens from outside the room.



Thanks, Magnus! That must be it. Now my mind is at ease. ;)

Old Post 12-12-13 03:22 #
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Demon of the Well
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E2M9 -- Fortress of Mystery - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
A common candidate for the game's worst map, and certainly the shallowest of the secret maps, but nevertheless I can't say I harbor as much disdain towards it as I do towards E2M3, not by a longshot. The Fortress of course has the most simplistic layout in all of DooM, and is populated only by cacos and Barons, found together with their own kind in each of the two big, simple rooms. From a pistol-start, the only really sensible way to tackle this map is to stir up infighting between the two types of demon, and then clean up the weakened survivors with some of the weaponry found in the Baron room; in contrast to Magnusblitz's experience, I can only remember seeing the Barons lose a couple of times. Doesn't really matter who wins, in any case, since the rooms are spacious enough to deal with any/all survivors easily regardless, even on -fast (on Nightmare! skill it's mainly just a herding/kiting exercise, since killing stuff is not really a viable strategy in this case). Like I said, it's quite shallow, but as a secret map/concept map built purely to showcase a wrinkle in the enemy AI, I think it's acceptable. I had of course already noticed the infighting behavior prior to first seeing this map, but this was indeed the first time my eyes were opened to the possibility of exploiting this behavior as a primary offensive strategy, and so I reckon it had about as much success in contributing to my experience of the game as something as one-dimensional as this could reasonably expect to. Oh, and it occurs to me that this is also really the first time in the game's history we see an over-articulated exit mechanism/sequence designed expressly to prevent the player from just easily skipping the last fight (which in this case is also the only fight, but regardless), sort of an interesting quirk.

E2M6 -- Halls of the Damned - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Man, my opinion of this one sure has changed over time, perhaps more than for any other single map in (Ultimate) DooM. Long story short, I used to absolutely hate this map, but these days it's one of my favorites not only from the episode, but from the whole game.

A lot of the reason for my initial dislike stemmed, ironically, from something that I eventually came to really appreciate about it: simply put, this map's pretty scary, one of the scariest in the game, really, and was definitely very intimidating to your average player back when the game was new. This intimidation factor stems from any number of things--not only is the layout claustrophobic and intrinsically oppressive on a psychological level, it's also jammed full of point-blank closet traps and can drain your ammo fairly efficiently if you take certain routes, and of course I'm sure we all remember that mean-spirited fake exit trap. Even the environment itself seems particularly malicious, what with a strong showing by crushing ceilings, and the mandatory poison-swimming early on that reveals itself in a decidedly demoralizing way. The largest jewel in the map's crown, however, is that it also features some of the best usage of Barons in the entire game; here, they lord over the narrow hallways with their packs of demonic hunting hounds leading the charge, and can very easily use their decent footspeed and scads of HP to corner and eviscerate indecisive players before they can be felled; I remember that more than once in Ye Olde Days I'd end up killing myself with rocket splash trying desperately to take them down. The best of all is the one who appears behind you in the blinky wooden maze (incidentally, probably the game's best maze from a gameplay standpoint, despite its flatness) and is liable to chase you into the darkest, most heavily-populated part of the level; good stuff that. Shame about the one Baron trapped behind his inept siamese-demon-twin cohorts, though (only on UV, I think).

Anyway, back then I used to deal with most of this level by just retreating/door-camping the shit out of practically every single encounter (too cowed by all the darkness and pain to do much else), which of course makes it a bit tedious, only adding to the dislike. But as I became a more confident player and began to tackle it a little more boldly (and I learned to enjoy the thrill of being killed in a pitched battle), its sinister choreography began to appeal a lot more to me. As a bonus, it's also aesthetically one of the neater/more cohesive Deimos maps--very spartan texturing (mostly cement and grey stone, and of course the strange wooden death-maze), and very corridor-centric, sure, but it 'hangs together' well as Magnus says, and hence feels more like some kind of discrete location than many of the episode's other maps, barring E2M2 and E2M4. Really, I think this should've been E2M7 rather than Spawning Vats, but alas, it's a good map nonetheless.

Old Post 12-12-13 04:36 #
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Getsu Fune
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E2M5 Command Center

NO KEYS NEEDED! And there's switch doors! Loved those little facts about the level, even though the route to the normal exit can be linear. But it can be a bit tedious for those coming back to the secret exit like I did. Again, with the berserk in a nice, easy-to-reach place, (it's behind the demons near the start room) things aren't necessarily hard. I make extra good use of the plasma gun as well, particularly the lost souls near the secret exit is where it's best used. Here's a tip, unless you're REALLY good, don't try punching that baron in the cage in the northwest, it's not worth it. Plus there's no rocket launcher when pistol starting, and the plasma gun is a two-parter in terms of actually getting it. My pistol start run was pretty much hampered hard by that baron, although I didn't have problems punching the other barons, lol.

E2M9 Fortress of Mystery

The baron/caco infighting technique wins. In fact, on both the continuous and the pistol start runs, the four barons killed all ten cacos, which doesn't happen often I'll admit. It really isn't too hard to utilize infighting here, a good map to practice on. Too bad it's ugly on the whole.

Old Post 12-12-13 13:33 #
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Jaws In Space
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The Ultimate Doom E2M5: UV, Pistol Start

Ah finally a Sandy only level. The first version of this level I played was actually Fernitio's Switcharoom version & it's my favorite map from that projects E1. After playing the switcharoom version I decided to play this for the first time & I made it to the secret exit & that was it. So for this I went all the way through the entire map for the first time, I've got to say that this is a pretty solid level, my second favorite of the episode now. It's got the same texture choices as E2M3 with vines everywhere at the start, but then it gets really wild looking the further you go in. Finding that secret exit though is a complete joke though, it's by far the easiest to find in the entire Doom series, I guess Sandy liked his E2M9 concept to much that he made the secret exit easy to find.

The Ultimate Doom E2M9: UV, Pistol Start

This is another map by Sandy only & it is the first of 3 levels that I had never played before this year, though like the previous map I have played Death Eggs Switcharoom version many times. Like Tom Hall for E2M2 Sandy considers this to be his best designed map from Doom due to the whole map being designed around the tactic of infighting. I can see why everyone complains about this level, it's kind of meh. Maybe back in 1993 when infighting had never even been heard of this may have been a interesting concept, but even then this late in the game I'm sure most players would have figured out about it anyways, & for those who didn't this would have been a very frustrating level, but then again this is pretty easy from a continuous playthrough so it kind of kills the idea anyways. So this is really a rather poorly executed concept.

Last edited by Jaws In Space on 12-28-13 at 21:55

Old Post 12-12-13 14:26 #
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Jayextee
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I'm working on videos to go with my next contribution to The Club, but my laptop is really throwing a fit when I try.

Although I did manage to throw together an embarrassing first-attempt at recording my own voice with a playthrough...

Old Post 12-12-13 14:32 #
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vdgg
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Just a random thought I'd like to share as I'm not really playing through this. The starting room in E2M5 is ridiculously small. When I open the wide door with lion faces, go through it and turn around I just can't help staring with disbelief "how nonsensical this little niche looks behind this mega door". The starting room should either be bigger or, preferably, the player should be standing outside of a complex, like in The Citadel in Doom2.

Old Post 12-12-13 15:17 #
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Demon of the Well
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Just one of those things, like the entrance door in E2M6 that, according to the automap, can't possibly actually lead anywhere. That's Deimos for you.

Old Post 12-12-13 15:54 #
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esselfortium
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vdgg said:
Just a random thought I'd like to share as I'm not really playing through this. The starting room in E2M5 is ridiculously small. When I open the wide door with lion faces, go through it and turn around I just can't help staring with disbelief "how nonsensical this little niche looks behind this mega door". The starting room should either be bigger or, preferably, the player should be standing outside of a complex, like in The Citadel in Doom2.

And there's no door behind you in the start room :)

Old Post 12-12-13 16:00 #
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Rook
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Erk, I'm way behind in posting, if not too badly in playing.

E1M4: Command Control (GZDoom, UV, -fast)
What I find interesting about this map are a few elements which feel a bit ahead of their time – at least one corridor has inset sector details in the walls, something which has become incredibly common in modern PWADs but which is not (as far as I remember) seen much in other UD maps. Also, the small “building” which contains the chaingun also feels oddly newschool to me, for some reason. In a few cases there are examples of arguably inappropriate textures being used because a better alternative wasn't available until community-made textures arrived – the most glaring one being marble ceilings which look pretty awkward. Gameplay is reasonable even on UV -fast, although the cramped maze is still for me one of the worst things in Episode 1.

E1M5: Phobos Lab (GZDoom, UV, -fast)
This map can be reasonably tough, I think – I mentioned about a part in E1M2 which is one of the few which makes me hesitant in the original Doom, and the section beyond the yellow key door in this map is another one of those few. I'd never really noticed how high the number of secrets in this map was, but still found only around four this time around. I do quite like the dark maze at the end; I think it's probably the best use of the light amp goggles that I know of, and they seem quite essential on this difficulty.

E1M6: Central Processing (GZDoom, UV, -fast)
For some reason I don't remember this map well despite having played a lot of times, and yet this time I still found all of the secrets and it consequently felt even more unfamiliar, opening up in all sorts of surprising ways that feel quite dynamic. I like the ending area a lot, although you have to be very much on your toes and to have secured a decent number of rockets in order to face off against the spectres before they encircle and rip you apart.

E1M7: Computer Station (GZDoom, UV, -fast)
Again, I don't remember this level too well and this time around I don't think I found any secrets at all. The level layout is quite confusing, but has some nice ideas such as the small balconies jutting out over the nukage and the lowering column on which four shotgun guys stand. There are a lot of windows in this map, which I have mixed feelings about given how frequently this causes texture misalignment (which is obviously an endemic and understandable problem in the original Doom).

E1M8: Phobos Anomaly (GZDoom, UV)
The big reveal is what this map is all about for me, as even on UV it doesn't pose much threat at all (I imagine it'd be easy to get encircled by spectres with fast monsters on, but then I tired of that and turned it off). Personally I can't think of any IWAD or PWAD maps that have so dramatic an “environmental” change in the map, which really makes this one stand out and (as others have said) provide a great conclusion to the episode I feel is the best in the original Doom.

Old Post 12-12-13 16:37 #
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Jayextee
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Jayextee said:
I did manage to throw together an embarrassing first-attempt at recording my own voice with a playthrough...


E2M2 - 87k/79i/83s - 8:37



What can I say? Atmospheric crate-maze with somewhat tech/gothic hybrid tacked onto it. This is where the game is letting you, the player, know for sure that something ain't right. It's been noted that there are no living (former) human enemies on this map, which is a bit awesome and sorta narrative without actually overtly telling this fact. It's also a pain in the toe to navigate at times, hence my stupidly-bad performance kills-wise on this video.

Lots of fun to berserk though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's amazing to try a Tyson run on.

I'll either catch up very quickly with the rest of this episode without videos, or a miracle will happen and my laptop will behave for me. ;)

Old Post 12-12-13 16:49 #
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Jayextee
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E2M3 - 90k/80i/50s - 6:30

I do not like this map, said Sam I Am.



ARRRGH, QUIET VIDEO IS ONCE AGAIN TOO QUIET.

But still. This map is the missing link between Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, with very little to offer except (admittedly) a pretty good ammo balance for pistol start. Texturing is pretty haphazard, monster placement seems not to follow any sort of logical thought save for the lost souls in the dark area past the blue key door.

Old Post 12-12-13 20:55 #
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Getsu Fune
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E2M6 Halls of the Damned

Fuck this map. Probably the one E2 map I actually hate. Okay, they gave me a rocket launcher and a berserk really early; I only really used the latter mostly. As a result I pretty much punched everything again in what seems to be a recurring gameplay tactic for E2, cuz I'm good at that sort of thing now. But why do I hate E2M6 exactly? Well, I just discovered the hidden chainsaw, which I never knew about. That fucking dark maze really reaks, despite the fact I can easily cleanse the first part of it with my fists. I'm not fond of the secret with the crusher, it's too easy to simply reach. And that fake exit, oh god no. At least Beautiful Doom's invisibility handling allowed me to silently take out the miscreants quickly, but not before the cacos get lucky with hitting me. Of course, I wouldn't forget that final demon/baron ambush, which I think the fists and rocket launcher can quench nicely.

Did I forget to mention that the dark maze is a nightmare for getting 100% items? Oh, and some of the ones I missed were actually light visors. How humiliating.

Old Post 12-12-13 23:45 #
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plums
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Like Rook, I'm way behind in posting. I'm also kind of behind in playing though. Anyhow here's the rest of E1, quickly.

E1M5: Another death at the start, two in fact. Shooting in the starting room alerts too many monsters to deal with at once, when you have no ammo or maneuverability, and so I had to just avoid them as best as I could to get the armor and grab a shotgun. Once I got going it wasn't too bad. This level has a number of memorable moments, the big platform that raises along the wall when you step into the alcove being the most prominent to me. But there's also that glowing light room, that I still feel unsafe in. When I first played Doom, it was here that I first realized that enemies could hit you in total darkness, and that really added to the tension.

E1M6: Hm, yet another early death. I'm sensing a theme here. In this case, it was silly of me to try to fight in the red key room; grabbing it and running out proved much more successful. Absolutely swimming in ammo in this level, even from pistol start. This is quite a sprawling level in places, and still feels fresh when I play it. The multitude of key doors, even though they all join paths quickly, really helps to make this map feel bigger. Definitely my favourite after E1M4, and I'm kind of surprised to see so many people dislike it.

E1M7: Unfortunately, a death right at the start. I really underestimate how dangerous some situations can be, playing like this. Unlike the last level, finding the chaingun is not so obvious. A decent level but beyond that I don't find I have a lot to say about it; it kind of gets overshadowed by the maps before and after it.

E1M8: So you think fighting two barons is easy, huh? Well, try playing without running or strafing, and I think you'll find that they're... still pretty easy actually. A bit of a lengthy fight, but with so much room to run, it's quite simple to take a few shots and then move somewhere favourable. Like others have said though, the atmosphere really works in this level, first taking the lift up to the Barons' lair and then having the walls fall.

Overall, E1 still holds up in terms of architecture and atmosphere, even if it's a bit easy to play. I feel like a lot of the gameplay decisions make a lot more sense playing so restricted, and that id didn't anticipate how good people would get at playing it. But with limited movement and ammo, demons can be deadly, fireballs move just slow enough that you can dodge them properly, the blur sphere is actually useful. Shotguns are easy to get but chainguns are prized finds, and without one bullets are all but useless; the pistol is a tedious weapon when you can dodge all over the place while shooting, but a dangerous one when you can't move around so easily.

On to Episode 2! I don't know if I'll be able to keep this playstyle up. The cyberdemon will be trouble, I know that much...

Last edited by plums on 12-13-13 at 02:47

Old Post 12-13-13 01:02 #
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