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Gez
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Demon of the Well said:
The tranquil, vaguely mysterious music track, which I know I've heard in some other game before (perhaps the PC version of Powerslave/Exhumed, as many of the other sound/texture/sprite resources have their origins there)

Daggerfall! It's a MUS conversion of Daggerfall's 21.HMI track. Or, possibly, of DAG_11.MID from the Daggerfall music preview pack released by Bethesda waaaaaaay back then. (Pack archived here as DF_MID.ZIP.)

http://doomwiki.org/wiki/Epic_2#Soundtrack

Last edited by Gez on 03-03-14 at 13:55

Old Post 03-03-14 13:49 #
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Demonologist
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Map03 - “Black Magic”
While this map isn't entirely different from the previous one, I'd say, hovewer, that it's got a bit more attractive appearance. It still has its fair share of tight corridors and tiny rooms, but it also throws some more open areas into the mix; texture scheme also shows a little more diversity, so that all in all this map looks pretty interesting. It even features simple yet fairly effective (more from the atmosphere perspective I suppose) 'puzzle' with subsequently opening wall segments. And there are some nice ambushes, too, many of them use teleporters to take the opposing party closer to the player and/or surround him.
Not a bad map.

Old Post 03-03-14 14:33 #
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Getsu Fune
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Too bad not all the songs were found in the Epic 2 soundtrack, starting with MAP03. I really like that track, gives the map a spooky, foreboding atmosphere.

Old Post 03-03-14 15:39 #
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scifista42
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MAP03 - Black Magic

Continues in the same vein as the previous maps. Introduces chaingunners and a couple new weapons, but atmosphere and playability remains the same, as I feel it. The rooms got bigger and wider than in MAP02, to portrait structure of a realistice-like tomb, therefore the map is closer to MAP01 in its aesthetics, yet follows up on MAP02 gameplay. I think this map has nicely balanced health and ammo, and while easiish (I didn't die), even provides an increased challenge. Once I stopped paying attention for a moment, and a pair of sergeants drained my health below 10%. I was lucky to survive the forthcoming fights. Well made secrets again.

To be honest, the previous map's layout was more sympathetic to me, as it looked better artfully crafted out in an intertwined shape and the sense for lighting was also better in MAP02. After that one, I couldn't unnotice the increased boxiness of MAP03 - but I probably wouldn't if I'd played MAP03 before MAP02. I really liked the aesthetics and structure in both. Gameplay wise, they're OK too.

Old Post 03-03-14 16:07 #
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Gez
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Hurricyclone said:
Too bad not all the songs were found in the Epic 2 soundtrack, starting with MAP03. I really like that track, gives the map a spooky, foreboding atmosphere.

Which is why I dislike it when people keep converting perfectly fine MIDI files to MUS. It strips away all metadata which could help identifying the files.

Old Post 03-03-14 17:02 #
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Phobus
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Ok, I'll be playing continuous-UV on ZDoom with as much save-scumming as I like and full mouselook and "always run" on. Going from my /idgames review from a few years back it looks like I loved this, so that's cool...

MAP01: Entrance to the Secret
Very poor showing by me, considering the minimal resistance, as I came out of this level with only 4 health left, despite a berserk and a soulsphere. I love the theming and music so far, with the Egyptian locale being very well-realised and the various sprite replacements and edits fitting in nicely. Design is unintuitive in places, but conversely it is rather expected that Eternal would do stuff like that, so it has long stopped being an issue for me. A good opener!

MAP02: Voodoo
Well, finding the secrets was easy and the added population density made the map feel a lot more traditional than the previous one did - the dark PE looks kind of odd, although I suppose the added contrast with it's mouth and eye is cool. I see what people mean with the Lost Soul sound; that is pretty high-pitched. I like all of the stuff opening up in this map and was pretty glad to get the rocket launcher so early.

MAP03: Black Magic
Another shorter, denser offering that introduces us to the Baron of Hell, Chaingunner and SSG whilst carrying on the creepy ruins feel and theme from the previous map and reuses a couple of the ideas (like caged imps overlooking a room with more imps). The AV wasn't welcome at all in this map with the low cover and potentially dangerous things to resurrect, but I got through first time. I've got my stride back now and am coming out of these situations with reasonable health.

Old Post 03-03-14 18:44 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP03: Black Magic
95% kills, 4/4 secrets

Another solid outing, though not much to distinguish it from MAP02 - it's another Egyptian-style tomb with some wrapping around in the layout for a singular key. Didn't have any ammo troubles this time around until near the end (and the imps were hiding a shell box to make up for it). Only thing that really stood out to me was 1) the appear-out-of-thin-air demons beyond the red bars, UGH, and 2) the headbands on the chaingunners, so silly.

Old Post 03-03-14 18:45 #
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Rook
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Map 03

Probably the best of the three maps so far, I'd say. Some nice-looking areas and a very good opportunity to expand the arsenal with no less than three new weapons available around the map. Again, one or two traps would seem a little unfair without foreknowledge, and I felt very reliant on saves - but a fun map nonetheless.

Old Post 03-03-14 20:17 #
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Veinen
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Map02: Voodoo

Yeah, this felt like a more traditional styled shooter. Ammo is rather tight but finding the secrets helps a lot in that regard, especially the berserk pack. And if you payed attention in map01, the secrets wont even be very hard to find. The secret are one part I really like about this whole wad actually, they are generally very rewarding and logically reached so secret hunting doesn't feel like a chore at all. Gameplay in this one is decent, though I think the AV introduction could be a bit better than this lone closet encounter we have here.

Map03: Black Magic

Quite easily the best map of the first three. Visuals have some more variety and the map is perhaps a bit more open too. The layout and how it wraps around to the opening area a couple of times is aspect I liked here. Gameplay is pretty interesting as well and we begin to see some potentially lethal traps thrown in the mix. As opposed to map02, the AV here was much more effectively placed. I didn't remember that guy at all and he kind of surpised me in the SSG/RK stairs, but I had found the RL secret earlier so he couldn't do any damage. Fun map indeed.

Old Post 03-03-14 20:55 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP04: Sarcophagus My Time: 6:04

Longer, but presents pretty much a linear challenge. Go right first, then left. But don't forget the berserk secret, cause it's real helpful. The area with all the wall sarcophagi might be confusing at first, but press the one with red eyes and you'll eventually wind up with a minor switchhunt, with an archvile surprise somewhere. There's one big room that has some monsters, and some encounters which can be fun if you like to punch enemies. Another minor puzzle there. Finally, there's the spiderdemon at the end with a caged-in archie. That part was very boring as I simply just peek out and fire with SSG then go back to cover repeatedly until they are dead.

Old Post 03-04-14 03:06 #
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Demon of the Well
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Magnusblitz said:
...and 2) the headbands on the chaingunners, so silly.
Heh, I think it's that little yellow peridot or whatever it is in the center of the headband that makes them look just a little bit off. If it was just the black headband I reckon it would probably work better, although the difference in feel from the original sprite might be argued to be utterly inconsequential, in that case.

Map 04 -- Sarcophagus - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets
I see that I've been sort of loosely referring to the aesthetic of all of this first group of levels as 'tomblike', but that description only really becomes genuinely appropriate for the first time in the dark, spacious vault at the end of the trip here. It certainly has the aspect of a burial chamber, though it is suspiciously sarcophagus-free, the only coffin in evidence actually appearing in a small side-chamber much closer to the desert's surface, perhaps a vague reference to the ancient Egyptian practice of hiding a dupe coffin, sometimes with the body of a minor vassal (or a revenant, apparently) in it along with a small portion of wealth in a relatively easy-to-find location high up in burial complexes in order to trick graverobbers into thinking they have reaped the main spoils while the real burial chamber remains undisturbed. Intentional or not, I like that this level sort of juxtaposes the gloomy, sepulchral aspect of the inner reaches with little scenes hinting that the sunlit surface world is still only a few feet or even mere inches above our heads, ala the revenant ambush-tunnel that introduces the first unhidden rocket launcher; indeed, even that last deep, dark burial chamber is only a few steps away from a nice sunny skyhole. In a sense, 'Sarcophagus' is a hint of things to come much later on, while yet leaving us feeling as though we've only just scratched the surface.

From a gameplay perspective, this actually seems a bit less sinister and inscrutable than the previous map. There are less instantaneous monster ambushes (and a bit more ammo), and a general turn away from the supernatural, with most monsters being introduced through purely mechanical means, perhaps best represented by the unwholesome cavalcade of imps that dogpile onto you in the boobytrap off of the main burial chamber, or the distant squad of revenants at the end of the aforementioned RL hall. It gives the level a sort of broadly 'realistic' Indiana Jones-y feel, which is pretty typical of most of the remainder of this first part of the game, and again, another contrast with the game's final stages. The ending is memorable, although perhaps not for entirely positive reasons....I'm not sure how I feel about the bizarrely-placed spiderdemon, who is guarded by a boorish cadre of Baronic meatbags and attended by a self-effacing arch-eunuch who is easily liquidated in his initial confines. All of this high-tier monsterspammery does sort of communicate that the game intends to start increasing its pace from this point, I suppose, but in execution they all manage to find a way to be suspiciously ineffective...maybe Eternal is just toying around at this point. Patronizing!.....but I still like the map, overall.

Old Post 03-04-14 03:10 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP04: Sacrophagus
100% kills, 0/4 secrets

Man, just as I think I'm getting the hang of the secrets, I don't find any on a map where you guys find 'em all...

Even though the other maps have had a fair amount of small windy corridors, this one is the most linear of them all, with only one large room near the end (and aside from the lost soul ambush, it doesn't really play much differently). There's also a bizarrely ineffective spiderdemon near the end, existing in a room barely large enough to house it, making it easy pickings (but for some reason, the only ammo provided to kill it with is one box of bullets. Woo!) The barons before and the AV next to it are nearly as toothless.

Oh, and as an aside, while I normally disdain sprite/sound replacements I actually really like the rocket launcher sprite here.

Old Post 03-04-14 04:58 #
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Capellan
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map03
I'll join the chorus of 'best map so far' voices. I liked this quite a bit: good use of vertical space, a slightly more slick visual look over all, and some fun set pieces. I could do without the floor trick monsters, as I dislike that gimmick a lot, but other than that, thumbs up. And I have an SSG now, which always makes me happier.

Old Post 03-04-14 09:12 #
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Crusader No Regret
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Map03: Black Magic 100% kills, 4/4 secrets, 1 death

I remembered almost nothing about the map's combat except that it's easier than the last two maps. Got sloppy with a revenant early and it two-shotted me. SSG and chaingun make their first appearances so gameplay speeds up. Dropped to zero shells once or twice near the end though had 30 or so at the exit. Some more devious monster placement such as the revenants likely to box in anyone rushing for the SSG.
So there's an archvile on UV? It's more dangerous in the context of a UV Max since it will have more time to resurrect stuff.

MAP04: Sarcophagus 100% kills, 4/4 secrets

Played through a week early. Semi-blind as I remembered the secrets and a few of the setups and not much else. The first archvile surprised me and totally forgot about the spider mastermind at the end. First time I played this in 2011, I missed all the secrets and was hurting for armor but have located them since.
Pretty much an underground setting with few glimpses of outdoors. Not my favorite setting but as long as gameplay makes the grade... I enjoyed making my way through. Intensity of encounters ramps up from the start. It's mostly close quarters combat. Still feels like a warmup in some ways too. There's some cleverly concealed lost souls but bigger encounters tend to still be predictable. There's still no green or blue armor to be found outside of secrets so tracking some down is a large aid in survival.
This map has one of my favorite secret setups. I find the different colored torch, activate it, and... nothing. Naturally, I know it's location and am choosing not to spoil it.
One possible reason for the spider's inclusion may be to punish those who are wasteful with ammo. Sure, it's easily handled by ducking in and out of sight with SSG, but scooting past it to open the path to the exit is a whole different task.

Old Post 03-04-14 09:26 #
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Demonologist
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Map04 - “Sarcophagus”
Corridors, corridors... tiny rooms and corridors...
Some refreshing bits like one demonstrating an 'outdoor' piece with a soulsphere and its skeletal guardians may break pulsating thoughts of boredom in this monochrome maze. Another room with a number of switches subsequently revealing themselves. And even a coffin. Well, it's the sarcophagus after all. Yeah, I remember some work stories involving coffins... Nevermind.
The most memorable part is definitely a penultimate area, it looks somewhat oppressive and more threatening than it really is. This impression can be easily explained though, after the claustrophobic odyssey you suddenly enter this big wide dark hall and go woah. Overall opposition isn't even modest, the most severe part is probably an imp ambush. However, there you have enough space to react, so this severity is only a matter of comparison. Final encounters are pure ammo sinks. And that brainiac insect isn't difficult to outrun after all.

Old Post 03-04-14 15:30 #
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Rook
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Map 04

I think this map feels like more of a complete experience than the previous ones, which feel more like sketches. The atmosphere is still generally cramped and oppressive, but as others have said the penultimate area makes a change even if the threat level there is surprisingly low. The thing that does wind me up is the ending, which provides very little threat but is a massive ammo sink - it just feels like a cheap ploy to reset the player's reserves more than anything else.

Old Post 03-04-14 19:00 #
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marver0PS
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Map04 - Sarcophagus 100% kills; 96% items; 50% secrets

I agree with what Demonologist said.But i actually enjoyed this map,here we see more stereotypical Egyptian structures,like the coffin.It still has some interesting areas to it,the green armor secret and the revenant trap with the soulsphere.But by far the last room is the best highlight of this map.After the loads of bright areas we pass trough,then enter a big dark room with cool traps,diverting a little from the previous experiences.Demon of the Well had a interesting view at the coffin.

More on the gameplay side,i think the switch hunt next to the revenant coffin was too easy,the archvile could have been put in a more threatening manner.Also the spiderdemon trap,which i've made it infight with the barons.Aside from that,it's cool.

Old Post 03-04-14 20:10 #
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scifista42
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MAP04 - Sarcophagus

Looks nice and keeps the atmosphere and aesthetical feel and rules set by the previous maps. Plays quite decent too, even though most encounters are very mild (often only one monster). I didn't die, but a couple times I was really close to death. I was thoroughly satisfied with ammo and health balance here. Mastermind fight was easy, but I don't complain about it.

At first, I couldn't find any secrets. Then I backtracked searching for them, and found three. I like how one (or two) of them can be accessed only if you press a certain switch texture with a face, which isn't obvious at first glance. I thought I located the last secret (different torch in a hall), but couldn't trigger the entrance. I cheated and confirmed my thoughts, and found out that I needed to press a wall behind me, I would never think that off.

I liked the level. Adventurous wad indeed.

Old Post 03-04-14 21:11 #
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Eris Falling
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I've tried both MAP03 and MAP04, and all I can say is that it needs more Revenants.

Old Post 03-04-14 21:26 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP26 has plenty of revenants for you Eris, if you're willing to skip some maps. :D

MAP05: Abu Gurab My Time 7:54

I love this track. Magus Theme owns.

This is the first open air map and the first map where I run into some problems with avoiding damage in the outdoor area. Even then, it's still not too tough, not even with the somewhat complicated berserk secret. I did grab the soulsphere a bit early though, probably not my best strategy. Northeastern section was okay, but the gold-filled area with the red key was a highlight with four nasty barons ambushing the player, and another archie afterwards, plus cacodemons once you get back outside. Fun.

Old Post 03-05-14 03:07 #
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7hm
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Map 2 - Voodoo

I enjoyed this. It felt like I was really exploring the crypt. The loopy nature of the hallways, being able to see where you've been, was a really nice use of space. I played this a few days ago, and the only encounter I remember is the archvile.


Map 3 - Black Magic

Quick and easy one here. No standout encounters. Even the Archy wasn't a big deal at all. Secrets were very simple. Fun, but a filler map.

Map 4 - Sarcophagus

I really like this map. Kind of building off of what Demon of the Well said, the big room works because of the tight corridors you've been wandering through up to that point - not just in this map, but in the previous ones as well. It was a nice change. The imp ambush was pretty memorable, if somewhat dickish, and I enjoyed murdering the big spider. I did wonder where the hell to go a couple times - I walked backwards after picking up the yellow key and as a result didn't trigger the teleport opening up. That was annoying. I think it happened somewhere else too.

Old Post 03-05-14 06:34 #
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Capellan
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map04
I liked this map up to the yellow door, and then it turned into string-of-switches tedium. I wish it had been more dynamic and interesting in the way it went about building the encounters, because some of the actual monster mixes were quite good fun - the AV and spiderdemon at the end, for instance.

Old Post 03-05-14 08:45 #
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SteveD
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Map02 – Voodoo – Kills - Not Recorded, Secrets 100%, Death Count - 3

As Magnus noted, Voodoo has nothing to do with Eqypt, but just the same, this was a spookyass map.

It starts off with the kind of gameplay I generally detest – survivalist against fairly heavy enemies in tight spaces. Ammo? Fuck you! I died twice in the early going, first because I failed to find the secret shotgun on the initial attempt, and then because I zigged when I should have zagged against the first teleporting Revvie. When I found the Soulsphere, things were looking up, but I still died the first time I had to fight the Archie with just a shotgun. I realized I made a mistake by wasting ammo on a Sergeant and Hell Knight on the walkway I’d jumped down from, and then drained my ammo against all the Pinkies and Imps I’d run away from at the start. Eternal caught me with that loop-around. ;D So my next time through I started with the Pinkies and Imps, went into the first Pinky trap, killed them and their Imp buddies, and found a switch in an Imp alcove that lowered a Zerk. Ah, just what the doctor ordered! Since I was currently at 92%, I immediately formulated a plan to attack the Archie with my shotgun, back my way down the stairs towards the Zerk with the Archie in hot pursuit, and kill it with the shotgun, afterwhich I’d go for the Zerk to repair any damage. This plan worked almost perfectly, but the damned Archie was very resilient against a single-barrel shotgun. I rained down shot after shot, watched my precious ammo dwindle to nothing, started to sweat, and screamed, “Die, motherfucker!” But he wouldn’t die! After unloading my last shell, the bastard was still alive and I took a full Archie blast. I ran to the Zerk, then dashed out, made one wiggle move, and toasted the jagoff with a one-punch KO! I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever punched-out an Archie. I feel so proud. ;D

The map was easy after this. I was happy to find the Rocket Launcher, which came in handy against at least 1 Revvie and some Imps on an elevated walkway. The weird-looking Pain Elemental at the exit probably survived because I rushed him and was punching away when I pushed him far enough back to walk over the exit line.

This map has very basic architecture and lower detail than 1995’s Osiris, but the tension was incredible. Thanks to the paucity of health and ammo, I spent a lot of the time scared shitless. The first Revvie screech almost gave me a stroke. [Edit: That must have been those dying Imps DoTW was talking about]. I have to give Eternal a lot of credit because this map oozes atmosphere and horror-movie mood. The textures are excellent and very well-used, and happily enough, make it easy to find secrets here in the early going. The music track is wonderfully brooding and compliments the creepy lightning, and it reminded me strongly of the music from an Amiga game of the mid-90s, though I can’t remember which one.

I was hating this map at first because I felt so oppressed, constrained by tight ammo and facing Hell Knights and Revvies in straight hallways. I could literally feel the weight of rock pressing me down. But by the end, I was loving it. This is a small but nasty map for first-timers of my limited skill challenging the catacombs on UV. In some ways, it felt more like what a real adventurer would have to face than the usual “I Am Death Incarnate” Doomguy who can wipe out battalions of hellspawn because he has the firepower of an armoured division and the speed of a musclecar. This was tense, nail-biting action for me. Killer map.

Last edited by SteveD on 03-05-14 at 09:58

Old Post 03-05-14 08:46 #
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SteveD
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Map03 – Black magic – Kills 104%, Secrets 100%, Death Count - 2

This was a good map, although I liked Voodoo better. The music track was another good one but after awhile the high notes became grating, so I turned it down.

I was thrilled to finally obtain the SSG and the Chaingun, plus another Rocket Launcher.

Combat was much easier than Voodoo, with HKs, Revvies and all their little jagoff buddies falling like reaped wheat to my mighty SSG. My only 2 deaths came at the Archie/Chaingunner trap, mainly because I refused to use the RL until the 3rd attempt, as I was worried about a “Good at Doom!” death. I had to build myself back up from 18% after that fight, and luckily figured out how to get the Soulsphere which I’d missed earlier. From that point, the map was a cakewalk. Admittedly, I’d have had a harder time if I pistol-started.

This map was good-looking, especially the well-staged Soulsphere room, but overall maybe a little unambitious for my taste. A solid but not exceptional map.

Old Post 03-05-14 08:57 #
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scifista42
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MAP05 - Abu Gurab

A very good level. I already got used to the style. The maps (gameplay-wise) aren't very dynamic for today's standards, but that more they're impressive for their own architectural style, even though partially oldschool-based (I feel so). Actually the gameplay seems to improve to my likings with every next level, this one had a lot of enjoyable/interesting situations. I died once, when a revenant hit me in my back, which I should have expected though, I had seen him before.

What new to say about the aesthetics? It's still pretty much the same spirit. Atmosphere is nicely set up thanks to the specific way how the architecture is built, how monsters are encountered, and also by the music. Actually I liked the music, I found it fitting for a Doom wad with this theme (maybe I wouldn't if this was a serious historical movie, but for something like a mod for a 90's game it's great).

I managed to find 4/5 secrets, the last one remained a mystery even though I really tried to search everywhere. Exploring and seeking for secrets is quite very enjoyable in this wad, for me. I already remember the couple textures which are usually marking a secret, and I'm pleased that both old and new ways of hiding secrets. Simplish architecture is also encouraging.

Old Post 03-05-14 13:30 #
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Demonologist
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Map05 - “Abu Gurab”
And what awaits us in this sun temple?
Believe it or not - the diversity. Our death-dealing unlucky opportunist finally breaks out of the dusty catacombs and into the open. And gets attacked from several directions and height levels at once. What a pleasant misfortune for a newly aroused sadistic killer.
This map is short, but it compensates its lack of length with fun fast combat throwing you into the fray shortly after the start. So finally we may forget about wandering around (there's just nowhere to wander in here) and dedicate ourselves to killing. Visuals are really nice, too, this certainly looks much more interesting than rectangular anthill covered with a single texture, or a limited number of them. As it was already mentioned above - the gold pit is also pretty memorable, I'd say that I was able to carry my memories of it through many years of not playing this wad. Simple, yet surprisingly efficient.
Really good map.

Old Post 03-05-14 13:46 #
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Rook
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Map 05

Let there be light! Finally, we're back out into the sun on this one, and it's quite a relief. It's also a good map, with an interesting mixture of scenarios and a genuine sense of challenge that Map 04 lacked. There are lots of chaingunners and one even "respawns" which is a little frustrating, but the encounters are generally great fun. The gold chamber is interesting as others have said - surprisingly, fighting four barons isn't actually incredibly boring here.

Old Post 03-05-14 19:13 #
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Phobus
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MAP04: Sarcophagus
Very corridor-y, but pretty fun. The Spider Mastermind seems deliberately neutered to the extent that it was a pushover and the rest of the map wasn't particularly threatening either! I missed one secret, but never mind, it's still early days...

MAP05: Abu Gurab
Adventure music! Open areas! This is what I like in this map set, although the majority of the game play was in the little corridors round the side. I found all 5 secrets this time and didn't have any real scares, although the Baron fight needed a bit of fancy footwork to keep going without taking too much damage. I liked the Eternal Doom III portal at the end.

Old Post 03-05-14 21:40 #
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7hm
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MAP05: Abu Gurab

I was expecting something like the second map from Epic when people talked about seeing the light again. I wasn't looking forward to it. This was great though. Eternal has relied really heavily on monster closets and ambushes for encounters so far (and he did in lots of this map too), so it was nice to have the map start out with a more traditional turkey shoot.

The archvile after the Baron fight had the potential to be dangerous if you back up into the room, but he got distracted quickly during our fight and was a pushover.

This is an aside, but I don't like the lost soul sound, nor the pickup sound. I do, however, really like the chaingun sound. It feels so much more hefty.

Old Post 03-05-14 22:01 #
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Veinen
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Map04: Sarcophagus

Hmm, mixed feelings about this. On the other hand, there's a bit of a storyline here with the aesthetic progression from cramped dusty tombs to this gigantic chamber. This aspect of the map I did like, felt like a journey. Also the alcove with the soulsphere and daylight shining through was a nice touch. Gameplay isn't sadly much to write home about though, minor encounter after another which can be handled with ease. The Imp ambush in the chamber area is probably the most memorable "battle". Mastermind is a non-factor unless you somehow run out of ammo completely (obviously]. A little step down in quality overall I'd say, still fairly enjoyable because of the aesthetical factors though.

Old Post 03-05-14 22:30 #
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