Doom IV - Team TNT
you asked me to give you one word to describe the maps in Eternal Doom
IV, I would say "epic". If you asked for 8 words, I
would say "Whoa, like, these maps are really freakin'
huge!" This really should be no surprise to anyone who has
followed the Eternal projects. In 2003, the original Eternal Doom was
nominated, in 10
years of Doom, as one of the 10 best wads of 1997. Now, 11 years
later, Team TNT continues the Eternal series with another set of sprawling, epic maps.
All of the maps in Eternal Doom IV are impressive, but several stand
out above the rest; in particular, Espi's offering is absolutely
breathtaking (see image on the right). Every map is filled with
dozens of new textures and utilizes all of ZDoom's editing features;
slopes are everywhere, scripting is used well, and there are tons of new
enemies. Some maps may take over an hour to complete from start to
finish, but do not give up; you will be rewarded with strong gameplay and
wonderful architecture. Pay particular attention to map 27, Espi's
breathtaking castle. No mapper has, to this date, utilized portals
in any port to produce such an impressive structure. Sitting
atop a giant mountain, the enormous castle has several layers, buttresses,
towers, sewers, multiple levels... and all of this with ZDoom's broken,
limited portals. This speaks more to Espi's skill as a mapper than
the port. If you enjoy massive, time-consuming maps with tons of
demon slaughtering, you owe it to yourself to play this wad.
For future reference, I have always tried to avoid nominating
"demos" or "X map teasers", since I prefer to wait for
the final release so I do not end up, like RTC3057, with the one map demo
being one of the "best" in 2003 and episode 1 winning a Cacoward
in 2004. That said, the chances of Eternal Doom IV being completed
into a full 32 level megawad seems highly unlikely (my apologies to the
developers)... so I felt the project needed to be rewarded for its
accomplishments so far.
part of ZPack, Vader chose to give Thunderpeak a release of its own... and
we are all better for it. When ZPack was finished, it was given a
very lukewarm reception; it had several good maps, but most were mediocre.
Everyone agreed, however, that Thunderpeak (and Blackrock) were single-handedly
worth the price of admission. I was left at an impasse—do I
nominate ZPack just for Vader's maps, or not nominate the
project... which would be a slam to Vader's maps. Fortunately, Thunderpeak
became a standalone release.
Vader contributed significantly to KDiZD and
his style has continued from maps like Z1M6. This two map set is
full of the brilliant architecture, texturing and secrets the author is
known for. The first map, a ruined techbase, is absolutely
breathtaking with wonderful use of portals and slopes. I found
myself just standing in new areas to admire the architecture and marvel at
how intricate the map is. Many often bemoan "detail" in
current projects and how it detracts from the map, but the
"detail" of Thunderpeak is part of what makes it a great
project. The second map is an impressive, ruined techbridge, leading
base one to base two, and ultimately the boss battle. A much shorter
level, it is a great boss battle and includes a brand new enemy, the
Terminator. Vader managed to create an enormous bridge that is
believable destroyed... something that's actually difficult to do.
Thunderpeak is an amazing project, and I'm glad Vader chose to release it
as its own proejct.
to Basics - Espi
to basics is a self descriptive project; Espi decided to create an episode
replacement, styled after Episode 2, that runs on vanilla
constraints. Knowing how to push the boundaries of the original exe
should be common for the author of Suspended in Dusk, one of the most
breathtaking vanilla maps.
Espi has suffered some hardships recently, such as
needing his arm amputated... but this is not a pity nomination, Back to
Basics really is a great episode. It is amazing just how well Espi
was able to capture the Episode 2 texturing and design. Using purely
stock Doom textures, Espi was able to take the style of his Suspended in
Dusk maps and create a gorgeous episode replacement. I am always
astounded that, when any other mapper creates orthogonal
walls at varying intervals, it feels sloppy; however, Espi is capable of
varying wall angles to feel very natural. The opening map may seem a
bit bland, but stay with it—the project continues to improve each level.
It really speaks to Espi's mapping skills
that, despite advanced ports and limitless architecture, his vanilla
projects continue to appear in the Cacowards. Many Doomers have
given Espi their condolences regarding his arm, but his attitude seems
very positive. Let us hope we see some new Espi maps in the future.
Where are they now?
Over the last few years, several prominent Doomers have moved on.
Let us take a look...
- Cyb - Moved in with a supermodel and works for Telltale
- Doomboy - whereabouts unknown. Presumed dead or just
- Ubik - Eaten by zombies.
- Linguica - Enrolled in Law school. Will return in 2030
after several degrees.
- Mewse - Died of hypothermia; eaten by wolves.
- Silverwyvern - Took a high paying job with Disney, drawing
anthropomorphic animal sex.
- Fodders - taken to Guantánamo Bay.
- BBG - Now Naked Snake. Still here but won't go away.