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CH Retro Episode (retroeps.wad)

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About This File

The summer of 2001 brought you CH Retro. A level filled to the rim with all that good John Romero episode 1 stuff we all know and love! Here's the entire episode!

E1M9 is a bit different from the other levels. I've used some ideas in that level which aren't exactly hard-core episode 1'ish.

Other than that, CH Retro Episode uses 99% of the episode 1 design 'codex'. There's only a few things such as a couple of episode 2 flats, which makes it deviate a tad. I've tried to make it look and play like Romero's masterpiece, but have also mixed my own style in with it to make it unique.

And please, don't warp into the middle of the episode. It's an episode and ment to be played as such. You'll get the most out of it by playing it from start to end. And E1M5 along with E1M7 is really worth making it through to! They're some of my better levels.

Finally, I'd like you to NOT use features such as jumping if you choose to play it using a sourceport!

The names for each individual level in the epiosde is as follows: E1M1: First Contact E1M2: Computers and Electronics E1M3: Main-Frame E1M4: Command Center E1M5: Chemical Processing Plant E1M6: Primary Base E1M7: Laboratories E1M8: Old Habits... E1M9: Strategical Offensive Array


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CapnClever

  

Playability notes: Built for vanilla, so use Chocolate Doom or anything else (PrBoom+ should go with -complevel 3). Pistol starts and continuous would both play just as well, much like the original.

 

CH Retro Episode is a refined reproduction of Knee Deep in the Dead, occasionally to a fault, but carries enough uniqueness and variety to be enjoyable as a whole. Everything here may well fit easily into the original Doom1 limits, and levels tend to be compact with the very occasional open area; the aesthetics are very familiar to anyone just coming out of the original shareware episode, as well. Gameplay picks up earlier than its precursor, though it burns out a little earlier as well: it's still worth going through the whole thing, but expect some low points here and there.

 

Being a replacement of Episode 1, there are a number of expected limitations. In this wad we see:

  • No plasma weaponry.
  • Stock IWAD E1 textures, with the occasional exception.
  • No enemies outside of Former Humans, Imps, Sergeants, and Demons/Spectres, with Barons used as the boss enemy.
  • No berserk packs! (Need to remember to check this one more often.)
  • Plenty of teleportation used beyond pentagrams.

 

In quite a few ways, the mapset excels in not standing out: much of the focus goes towards the duplication, with distinct variation, of the original's aesthetic. There are, in fact, some very obvious set pieces used early on that feel more like an outright steal of design rather than a borrow. This improves in later maps, where the design is more clearly related to the author's ideas rather than Romero's.

 

On the gameplay front, things always stay easy by playing it safe, but there are number of surprises that require a fast reaction and keep the player on edge. The use of teleportation doesn't help very often, often being used to either dump groups in an easily-maneuverable area or distinctly bars progression without being challenging to overcome. One of the specialties in this set has to do with timed switch puzzles, sometimes to the point of expecting straferunning: I found it interesting and a nice change of pace from combat, though easing up a little on its difficulty would benefit players as a whole.

 

Some highlights:

  • The secrets are quite fun in this set. M3 does a great job of recreating the hunt to find the secret exit, though it lacked the grandiose exposure when finding it.
  • The first couple of levels make this episode seem like it'll be a complete walk in the park, but expect some real surprises once you hit M5.
  • M7 is awkwardly interconnected, and while the progression is interesting the layout is a little forced and lacks enough space to create fun combat outside of a couple set pieces.
  • M8 is an unfortunately typical boss experience, though at least on a pistol start you do have the challenge of using ammunition carefully.

 

Although there's nothing especially exciting here, I would recommend giving CH Retro Episode a go if you want to see an E1 replacement that respects the original's aesthetic and pacing. It uses the limitation well, even if it doesn't explore much beyond the specifications accomplished in 1993.

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Zapzop

  
Good E1 wad, the levels flow, and this wad has balance between gameplay and detail.

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Ezepov

  
Super

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TheUltimateDoomer666

  
Very well-done episode. The maps really succeed at imitating the original E1 style.

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Guest

  
The last level is a disappointment. But otherwise it's probably one of the best faithful E1 wads out there, even after over a dozen years. If this (excluding the last level) was E1 I wouldn't have been let down.

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Unknown date

  
The episode gets off to a bit of a slow start, (I'll admit that I didn't care for the first level very much) but after that it quickly becomes an incredible journey filled with some of the best architecture ideas I've ever seen. Really inspiring stuff. The gameplay is very well thought out as well. At one point I seriously considered calling the author and asking if I could pay him for his work, it's that good. -Stormwalker

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Excellent episode 1 clone, plays real great 5/5 - PerOxyd

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Guest

Unknown date

  
^And better, if you play them with a mod such as AEOD 5 (not 6 because it's awful), Brutal Doom, Beautiful Doom, etc. you will have more fun than you played in vanilla state. I'm not sure who even plays these old wads in vanilla state but I'm one who uses some gameplay mods. This gets 5/5 -Doomer95

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Guest

Unknown date

  
^ I still play everything in plain vanilla mode (Chocolate Doom), coz that's Doom to me and nothing else feels quite right. When I want something more advanced, I just play Duke3D or Quake or something else. Anyway if you liked this one, also check out Classic Episode and Dawn of the Dead.

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Unknown date

  
5/5 just for the obvious Chris Hansen jokes.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
9 levels of strict E1 style architecture and gameplay. And since it's by Chris, you know it has to all be great, right? Well, it no doubt is every bit as good as you'd expect. This really could have been Episode 1 itself - only the other 3 Doom episodes would surely pale in quality in comparison! 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This is exactly what I've been looking for in a pwad. Bravo!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great job, Chris!! You've made the best Episode 1 style Doom wad EVER, literally!! Get in NOW!!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I am a bit tired of this whole "PhobosRetroClassic " culture, as there are just so many authors that have made in one way or another an imitation of original phobos levels, so just as with the "Classic episode" or "Dawn of the dead" it's hard for me to get as excited about this set as I should be. I just find the levels too predictable, too "familiar". This, however isn't the authors fault, so I'll give it a high grade (4), as it trully succeeds in what it was made for.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Could have used a little more creativity in the level layouts, as some of them seem like nothing more than cut-and-pasted versions of the originals. Still worth four stars and worth your time.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great gameplay. Great fun. 5 stars - Starburst.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This wad deserves a 4 star rating for having complexity, good stationary sprite placement, good enemy placement/difficulty settings, and also excellent choices in textures. The reason I didn't give this wad a five star rating was because it used the regular levels as a base.

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LurkerNo.9

Unknown date

  
It is because of levels like these that I still play Doom.

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Hyomoto

Unknown date

  
This is THE best Episode 1 wad I've ever played, without any close contenders. These levels have great layouts, are brutally difficult and boast great detail. To top it off, somehow c-cooper was able to create a map set that not only stands the test of time, but also gameplay. It complements Brutal Doom amazingly and is a must play wad for that modification as well.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Definitely one of the greatest pwads I've ever played, I just love this one. 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Really cool, but I think Fava Beans is better.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This is the kind of ep. that I would have wanted to make if I were a mapper. John Romero's KDITD is the greatest contribution to the Doom Canon, and this is its finest tribute. Well done.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This captures the E1 style pretty much perfectly. Good stuff.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Awesome work, this wad is a must. -Tango

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