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Equinox

   (162 reviews)
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About This File

'Equinox' is a 13 level wad. I mainly did it for the new graphics, sound and music. Go nuts.


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A.H. Sankhatayan

· Edited by A.H. Sankhatayan

  

There are many approaches you can take when designing a mapset. Doom is a very fun game on it's own so you can simply create maps that follow and expand on it's formula, and come up with something great. 

 

But then there are certain special wads. They are still recognizable as Doom, but use the available tools to create an unique experience, unlike anything you've seen in the original games, or other pwads. They easily take on a life of their own, as a products of legitimate artistic expression.

 

TeamTNT pioneered this approach with Icarus: Alien Vanguard, in which they used everything that could be done within the game to push the story forward, while also giving the wad a consistent tone and structure, which evolved over the course of its 32 levels to create a genuine narrative. Later with Eternal Doom, they completely shifted the game's focus from pure combat to non-linear exploration and puzzle solving on an unprecedented scale. 

 

B.P.R.D.'s Equinox is also one of those special WADs and perhaps the greatest. 

As soon as you enter the first map, its beautiful, grand architecture, combined with the ethereal choir of its midi, immediately create a sense of wonder and adventure, as you begin to explore the massive complex.

However, it quickly becomes apparent that the base is no longer under human control. As you progress through the levels, you encounter more and more bloody remains of its former occupants, and the base itself gets progressively more damaged. Over the course of the set, sense of dread and isolation takes over, as you face ever increasing amount of monsters. After a trip on a beautiful and otherworldly but terrifying alien ship, and one last visit to now completely destroyed hub level, you are transported to a hostile alien world, which culminates in the greatest finale to a Doom wad. But you should really experience that for yourself ;) 

 

People say that by buying Doom, you are opening doors to lifetime's worth of fanmade content, which often surpasses the original in unimaginable ways, and this is one of the best examples.

Aside of the completely different atmosphere and storytelling, Equinox also features complete set of new midis, some of them by B.P.R.D. himself, lot of gorgeous custom textures and replacement graphics and a whole bunch of new sound effects. The weapon sounds are great, while some of the others are... questionable.

 

I absolutely adore the new HUD graphics. They look gorgeous, fit the mapset like a glove, and the status bar face replacement is by far the most creative I've ever seen. 

      

The music is, in the spirit of the whole wad, completely different to what you'd hear in a normal mapset. All of it is great and perfectly captures atmosphere of levels themselves. 

 

Despite all the praise, Equinox has a few small issues that I need to highlight. Nothing to significantly take away from it though. 

First of all, the volume levels of both the music and sound effects are really inconsistent. You'll probably need to adjust your volume levels, sometimes even between levels.

Maps 04 and 07 end with you blowing bunch of stuff up. This is unfortunately accompanied by incredibly loud, ear piercing sound effect.

The ending of map 12 is pure bullshit. Just straferun to the rising platform and into the exit.  

There are some misaligned textures. Probably. Who cares. 

 

Very Important Note Before Playing: One last issue that is often brought up is the gameplay. Especially in regards to the difficulty due to ammo starvation. 

I understand that pistol starting is fun once you've become good at doom, and maps are often designed with it as the intended way to play. That being sad, Equinox is from 2001, and I assume pistol starting wasn't as common back then. It is also obvious that continuous playthrough was considered, as there are secrets which would be completely useless with pistol starts. It is never stated that pistol starts are the intended way to play. 

But if being an ep1c dewm god is more important to you than actually enjoying the game...

On a continuous playthrough, the gameplay is a good challenge, but you don't have to rely on chainsaw and infighting so much. There are situations where you still need them, like the giant infight fest at the start of map04, but those are very obvious.

Equinox also uses monsters to block paths or as turrets and a monster spawner, so getting 100% kills on some maps like 12 and 13 is impossible.  

 

In short: 

Equinox is masterpiece and one of the best, most unique experiences you can have in Doom.

Despite coming out in 2001, it hasn't aged at all. It's visuals especially hold up really well. This could come out today and it would be considered beautiful. Simpler than a modern ultra-detailed map, but still. 

If you do a continuous playthrough, the gameplay is challenging but not unfair as is often said. 

The new graphics and music are excellent, as well as most of the sound effects.

All the levels are good and there isn't any filler.

Everything in this wad serves to flesh out it's world and tell it's story, which is done very well, simply with its visuals.      

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Foodles

  

Let me start by saying I have a strong affection for this wad, I played it for the first time around 10 years ago and loved it, although at the time I wasn't good enough to beat it without cheating. Recently I thought I'd give it another spin and see if it stood the test of time and I'm pleased to say that it does, mostly. Firstly the visuals aren't as impressive as I remember; now allowance has to be made here considering that the wad was released in 2001 and so had likely been in development for some time before that and I believe that, at the time of release, this mapset would have looked amazing. Nevertheless by today's standards the detailing is a bit lackluster, some of the textures are a little too cartoony or garish. That said I think that there are some really cool areas and ideas in this wad for example the giant crate "city" in map 7 or the hangar of map 9 with the alien ship slowly rising up at the end and map 10 still manages to be very atmospheric and tense.

 

I found the gameplay to be enjoyable but you quickly need to realise that you're not supposed to kill everything and many fights require you to use infighting. There are perhaps, an overabundance of hitscan enemies, particularly in the early levels but I think overall the wad does a really good job of slowly building tension and danger throughout the larger levels, as you slowly run low on ammo and health supplies and the resistance slow ramps up, you'll probably need to save often so bear that in mind. Overall the author conveys a sense of place throughout and manages to tell a story without any text, dialogue, cutscenes etc. that left me wanting to know more about what was going on after I'd finished the 13 maps (I wish there were more!). One can easily imagine taking the premise, location, themes and atmosphere of this wad and remaking it as a modern masterpiece with fresh visuals and some tweaks to the gameplay.

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Grazza

  

Greatest wad ever? I'd certainly rank it number 1 for grandiosity, atmosphere, and for telling a story without using any words, tacky cut-scenes, etc. BPRD has created a world here, pure and simple.

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Loud Silence

· Edited by Rimantas

  

Some levels are cool, some - very dull. Music is very weird, but i loved track from level 3. Custom sounds and hud are very bad IMO. Two chainguns in hands dealing same damage as one chaingun...

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dylux

  

The Good:

  - Not a whole lot

  - It's only 13 levels - kinda

 

 The Bad:

  - Very linear mapsets

  - Lack of ammo - you're gonna starve in this area

  - Hallways upon hallways upon hallways

  - Terrible sound effects, especially the final Boss

  - The HUD

  - Horrible music

  - Very weird atmosphere

  - Unrewarding secrets

  - That gut wrenching, ear piercing, double "errrrrrrrrrt!" just before the explosions as the Map ends

  - 3 or 4 levels are pretty much identical

  - Slaughterfest endings

 

In Short:

 

Oh Gawd, what was that I just played? My eyes and ears hurt now...

 

One of the Maps (I forget which one - Map05?) has an "ending" that brings you to a huge city-like room with ~200-300 monsters. By the time you reach this room, you are left with hardly any ammo for any of the limited weapons you possess. 95% of the ammo available in this room is upon your entry to it - 4 cell packs and a plasma rifle. Don't worry, you'll find the other 5% as you see all the 0's by your weapons in your HUD as you're fleeing for survival from all the mid-level monsters because your chainsaw, unfortunately, is not a magical chainsaw.

 

Sorry, I can't recommend Equinox for all the reasons above. The fun just wasn't there for me.

 

1 1/2 Stars out of 5

 

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The_SloVinator

·

  

Nice visuals but the sound effects are very weird. Few of them are satisfying to hear.

The wad has some dumb gimmicks to make it somehow challenging, even though it requires luck & not skill for the most part.

(i. e. the elevator with partial invisibility power up you are forced to pick up & cyber fight with cyber waiting you at the entrance, blocking your path & shooting rockets with nothing to do to survive except reload & hope to have rng in your favor)

 

Most of the wad & especially map 12's last part, suffer from ammo starvation, so it also suffers from balancing issues.

Map 12 has "icon of sin" last area that is impossible to beat, due to ammo starvation, without immediately running into the exit portal when the building is raising & you gotta be quick to do that.

 

I like the aesthetics & story but gameplay has problems. 

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Gallic00

  

The visuals were very good but the gameplay was not to my tastes : very limited ammo and health.

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Csonicgo

  

If you were wondering how Doom handles large spaces, load this up and see for yourself. B.P.R.D.'s use of scale is on full display here, along with intelligent use of texture themes, lighting contrast, and colors. It's also a bit of a SHAWN overload, but everyone loves that texture, so what's the problem?

 

This map is best played 640x400 or higher; 320x200 just absorbs most of the areas into a pixelated mess.

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Flammable

  
Good wad, but yeah, the boss sound is fucked up, and the last map is... meh. 22.06.16

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DooManic

  
One of the best WADs of all time, period :-)

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Guest

  
BEST WAD EVER.

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JudgeDeadd

  
The giant-sized architecture and the music lends some of the maps a quite epic feeling. The visuals are a little 90's but functional. However, the infuriating ammo and health shortages, the necessity of savescumming, and rather dull monster placement make this almost a chore to play sometimes. Worth a look, but not very fun.

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Doomkid

  
A classic, with a few imperfections. It's awesome though, for sure worth downloading.

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Guest

  
This is one of the best wads I've ever played.Great graphics,decent gameplay.A few errors? Maybe.

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Guest

  
Typical form-over-gameplay mapset. Has some very nice sceneries with new textures giving great ambiance, but also too often failed texture combinations, giving a (sorry) Teletubby impression. Layout varies from excellent to plain dull, with too much copy-and-paste. Gameplay severely suffers from the 'lets make it better by adding more monsters and making it more dark' syndrom, which simply is a failure. Overall: 2 stars because DooM is first and for all about the gameplay. It's a real pity...

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Guest

  
Great classic wad!

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Martin

  
The boss sound effect is torture

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NuMetalManiak

  
insanely weird wad. MAP04 is a luckfest at the beginning though, and there are a few tricks throughout which really bring the wad down. but the cooler stuff like the last level even it out a bit. very spacey stuff.

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Guest

  
No doubt about it.Excellent wad.Liked it a lot,still do.

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Guest

  
Cool new resources and fantastic visuals but absolutely abysmal gameplay. Too much running around with no ammo surrounded by a million monsters clogging hallways. I'd like to see someone do a sequel which addresses these issues.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Make a sequel please!!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Good visuals, bad gameplay. Can't stand slaughter maps where you are not safe from enemy fire and all monsters shoot you from all directions. Pray to get the lowest RNG, otherwise you are toast. Save scumming at its best. 2/5 -CyberMan500

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Even though I am a kickass ammo conservator, I had problems with ammo balance in these maps especially with the later levels. However, health was a little abundant in the early maps as well so when I got further into the levels I found I wasn't able to rely on pickups. The levels are great but it could do without the inconvenience of having a high health monster blocking an important corridor in many of the maps.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I have just started playing it , but i must say that this is truly a piece of art.Keep up the good work 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
The maps are good in general but the difficulty is TOO FUCKING HARD!!! I DIED OVER 50 TIMES!!! What was in your head when you made the maps so goddamned hard? Sorry but I can't give more than 3 stars, so 3/5.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Doomkid · Posted
      Good maps, most of them ended up in Skulltag later on (as in, 2004-2005 lol). A solid wad that frankly deserves more play time, even in the year 2021.
    • By Lol 6 · Posted
      Sounds a lot better
    • By roadworx · Posted
      this really deserves much more attention than it gets! it definitely has its fair share of negatives like cryptic progression, symmetry, etc, but for the time it's actually very good. the visuals are very nice with interesting architecture and good lighting, and despite not being balanced for pistol start very well the combat is great fun nonetheless.
    • By roadworx · Posted
      it's like if the casali brothers got their hands on skillsaw's kamikaze soldiers   srsly tho, for 1995 this wad is pretty vicious. the moeller brothers love to throw some real nasty shit at you on the regular, but despite that it still remains very fun (albeit somewhat frustrating at times). the levels all look decent for 1995, and the spritework for the new enemies and textures is quite good as well. aside from a few specific things (the beginning of map06 for example) there's not really any genuinely bad things about the megawad. if you're a fan of older stuff then i highly recommend this mapset - it's not as refined as later stuff the moellers worked on like memento mori, but it's still great fun.
    • By roadworx · Posted
      a very fun mapset that, unfortunately, is plagued by a few bugs. it's mostly fine if you get the fix, but if you're unaware of it then it's gonna prevent you from progressing   it's a shame, because this really is a great mapset. it starts off somewhat standard but quickly becomes quite reminiscent of av's later levels. i highly recommend it if you're into that
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