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Valiant

   (150 reviews)

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About This File

Valiant is a MBF megawad for Doom II featuring 32 new maps spanning 5 themed episodes. Each map is designed to be played from a pistol start, but some effort has been made to support continuous play as well.

Additionally, Valiant includes a number of new monsters and weapons implemented through an extensive MBF format DeHackEd patch. As a result, Valiant is not compatible with gameplay mods, and can only be played in ports with full MBF DeHackEd support. At present, these include ZDoom, GZDoom, PrBoom-plus (complevel 11), and Eternity. Zandronum is also supported through DECORATE.


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amackert

·

  

Visually there is a ton of attention to detail which is always a treat to look at, and the actual map designs of the first four episodes are very well done. I enjoy the "new" monsters and some of the upgraded weapons, it definitely makes certain parts of it feel fresh compared to the typical wad. The challenge on UV was just right for me with few if any parts being too overwhelming. Overall it gets a 4/5 from me because I wasn't a big fan of the fifth episode set of maps, both thematically and gameplay-wise. Ammo starvation was real there in those last few maps which isn't a lot of fun to me, not to mention its too drastic of a change compared to how the rest of the wad plays. Also, thematically I feel like these end-game maps would have made a bigger splash as mid-game maps, not finale maps. Great idea with the final boss mix-up though, I enjoyed that. I do still prefer Ancient Aliens as a whole (a wad that I feel is much better balanced overall and is more interesting of an experience), but Valiant still comes highly recommended from me.

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LouigiVerona

  

This is one of the best Doom experiences I had. Valiant plays like Doom 3 as it should've been done in the 90s. The map design is breathtaking, and I just cannot stress this enough. These maps are some of the finest maps I've seen in my life. And the talent of the author is such that not only maps look beautiful, they are also very fun to play. And this combination is very rare in gaming in general.

 

The mix of new enemies and new weapons is as close to perfection as it gets. It begins to make so much sense, you think that you need more Valiant maps. I would rather welcome, in fact, a whole custom mod community around Valiant. Because I want to see more.

 

The whole experience has brought me to a state of absolute gaming satisfaction more than once. This was a megawad that made me rush from work to play new maps.

 

Valiant also rewards playing a map over and over again. Many maps are non-linear and you wonder what is the best way to beat them.

 

The music selection is superb and adds so much thrill.

 

Of course, the megawad is immensely difficult and I could only master it at difficulty levels 1 and 2. But even if you are not a hardcore player, it is well worth it. Just set it to the easiest level and set yourself on a magnificent journey.

 

Definitely, a gem. Valiant, in my personal opinion, is a separate game built on the Doom engine. It is a milestone of the Doom community, and something that deserves to be considered legendary.

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Dwaze

  

High quality maps with well-paced action! I liked the new monsters as well.

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Agent6

· Edited by Agent6

  

Alright, here goes another skillsaw megawad, the first (or previous, if you will) one I played being Ancient Aliens.

 

So, what is there to say? Well, starting with the beginning, Valiant is a megawad that consists of 32 new and challenging levels. The levels carry the player through various locations, starting with space bases in sometimes tropical settings similar to those seen in AA on many occasions, then medieval settings and of course, some hellish dimensions.

 

Gameplay wise, one of the main differences between the two is the difficulty curve. Both megawads are designed in such a way they pose a challenge to the player thanks to intelligent design and enemy placement in strategic positions so that the player is required to think before jumping straight into the battle as well as observe and pay attention to his environment since there's plenty of traps involved, and reaching certain areas every now and then requires the player to be at least decent at platforming. Still, in comparison, one of the key differences is that AA was often very unforgiving. Some enemy encounters and traps were designed in such a way they forced you to take damage to some extent or even die, while Valiant is less cruel with them but not going as far as making them useless, striking a balance, giving you plenty of chances while still very much remaining a threat. AA was also rather challenging from the very beginning, starting hard and only becoming harder further down the road, but I can say Valiant definitely starts easier and the difficulty increases in steps, therefore it can be fully enjoyed by both less skilled players and the more experienced ones. The early levels still offer a challenge, but the megawad keeps its surprises for much later and allows the player to get used to it first.

 

The levels themselves are almost exclusively inspired by Plutonia's gameplay style this time around. AA had plenty of slaughter-esque maps in its second half, whereas Valiant has almost none. Some of the maps do have close to a thousand enemies, but are designed in such a way they're still difficult without relying solely on the sheer numbers of enemies, which is something AA did try to do on a few occasions. Some of them also require a specific gameplay in order to complete. For instance, MAP07 requires the player to avoid attacking the Mancubi and, if necessary, prevent them from dying (infighting can be accidentally triggered, so keep this in mind). You don't "fail" the level if they do, but not survive it anyway. If the Mancubi die loads of Arch-Viles will be unleashed, giving you a very quick and unavoidable death.

 

Just like in AA, forced pistol starting thanks to suicide exits still is a major element that plays a crucial role in the gameplay. Moreover, virtually all levels are designed around the philosophy of pistol starting, although only a select few feature suicide exits in order to force you into it in the next map. Playing Valiant or AA in a saves + continuous style will therefore not bring many benefits.

 

Things get most intense around MAP19. After a suicide exit the player ends up in a different location from the space bases he's been through until that point, and the location is none other than Hell. Or, could be described as such anyway, they feature its typical style and the difficulty the name itself implies, but lack the surreal elements, blood falls, altars, sacrifices, and use new textures such as orange magma rocks and are pretty bright for the most part. Some of them seem to take place in void like dimensions where the sky is pitch black. These levels are also the most difficult and closest to slaughter-esque stuff in the entire megawad, featuring the highest enemy count, with the sole exception of some of the very last maps. Killing everything in the aforementioned MAP19 may, or may not be possible. In my playthrough I simply ran away, my top priority was survival here. They end after MAP24, MAP25 returning the player to space bases set in a different location, no more forests around. They're still fun and challenging, but a decrease in difficulty can be easily noticed.

 

As for new things introduced in Valiant, beside some new high quality map assets it also features a new atmospheric soundtrack with a few epic touches, a new status bar, a new menu background, a different font, new weapons, or rather improved versions of the old, these being: A black, furiously fast Chaingun with the same ammo capacity like the BFG/Plasma Gun, and a black, futuristic pistol which seems to have a greater rate of fire, accuracy and damage output than the vanilla counterpart. They also feature new sounds, the ones used for the Plasma Gun are also present in AA. The megawad also features new enemies, these being a magma Hell Knight who unleashes devastating fire storms, a deadlier Mancubus who fires more rockets and has more health, a mechanical Pinky who is faster, a black Imp who moves and attacks faster, a Cyberdemon inspired Baron of Hell who fires rockets, suicide bombers, and the Arachnotrons now have a chance to leave their mechanical bodies once destroyed and fly. Other enemies such as the Lost Souls only have their appearance altered. The new enemies are used very efficiently in the game, neither underused nor overused, overusing them would be disastrous considering they are simply deadly and tricky to deal with. For instance, the attacks of the magma Hell Knights are very fast and damaging, thus requiring the player to have quick reflexes, while the cybernetic Barons can be deceiving. One would easily be inclined to think the Rocket Launcher is very efficient for dispatching them, well, I'm going to tell you otherwise: Use that weapon only if the circumstances demand it because they're pretty tough and likely aren't affected by splash damage. Use the SSG instead, they require the same amount of shots to kill the Hell Knight does, which is only 3 at close to point blank range.

 

MAP30 introduces an entirely new boss, a giant, red Arch-Vile who is even more dangerous than the regular version primarily because it takes no breaks between attacks, so if you manage to get struck and the blast doesn't move you behind some cover, you're dead, there's no way around it.

 

My favorite maps are among the first this time around, particularly MAP06 which is a small city. I don't find any other level surpassing the quality of this map. Despite this, a few other levels I enjoyed almost as much as MAP06 are MAP25, MAP26, and MAP27 mainly for their atmosphere, but they also play very well, MAP25 being really fun with all the explosive barrels lying around, and all share some slaughter influences here and there. However, some levels have flaws, particularly MAP14, one of the maps with medieval tones. "14 Angrier Arch-Viles" they say, well, this level absolutely wants to hurt you, which is why it has enough resources for just that, but unfortunately offers very little and feels more like a filler map.

 

I think this covers everything, with the final question being: Is it better than AA? And my answer is simple: No, it isn't. It's a fantastic megawad which brings plenty of new ideas to the table, maybe more than AA did (after all there's no level with gameplay similar to MAP07 in AA for example), there's no doubt about this, but at the end of the day noticeably more effort was put in the other one (that's not to say Valiant is "a lazy effort", but it doesn't quite come close to AA) and it was overall a more interesting and especially intense experience. But if you're looking for megawads made by skillsaw, look no further and start here, you'll also get a solid idea about his mapping style and what to expect from him later by playing this first. It also carries far fewer slaughter influences which, depending on your preference, is either going to be a plus or not, and it's considerably easier than AA is which means much less trial and error and frustration will be involved. Yet, despite their similarities there's plenty of stuff that creates contrast between the two, each work of art standing on its own feet, so if you're familiar with AA but not with Valiant do not assume it's "more of the same but with changes", it offers much more.

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Deadwing

  

Played on UV, with saves and continuous.

Valiant is one of these mapsets where people will always refer as a major influence, such as the ones like Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta and Scythe and many others. Is it as good as them? Honestly, I didn't like Hell Revealed and Alien Vendetta at all, and Valiant thankfully has nothing compared with them: The levels are more robust, featuring much more refined visuals and gameplay. As for modern standards, I thought that Valiant would be hard as fuck, but instead I got something that was really carefully balanced, being a really tough but also very fair experience. Also, I was surprised of seeing no slaughtermaps at all. Instead, there's some slaughter-lite sections, which are much more accessible, IMO. 

Anyway, I think these are the two biggest quality of that wad which surprised me a lot: The very-well crafted architecture and how well the balancing was done.

The architecture focus on creating a really detailed environment, but at the same time there's a lot of care to keep things very clean and easily readable. It features a lot of modern trends, where the textures are not only well aligned, but with the limits being also respected vertically, so you don't get that "cut-off" texture that we usually see when there're different ceilings and a wall texture that doesn't really match the difference. As for the themes itself, the tech-bases are creative and easy to identify as something from Valiant. The same goes for the last moon-based episode.

As for the gameplay, the mapset reminded me a lot the process of mastering a song. For example, you want to keep the volume of the song loud, but at the same time you take care to avoid going too much (and then the clipping happens). Same could've been said about Valiant, where the player goes through really tough setpieces, but they're still always fair. Most of them I've died once or twice (if it happened), but after the "surprise" effect, things went a lot smoother. I believe that a more skilled player than me (especially because I suck badly in doom lol), wouldn't have much problem in these setpieces and at same time would enjoy a lot the experience.

The monster placement is also really well done, and never did go into full slaughter territory, also keeping the grind level very low while forcing the player to use more interesting strategies instead of just circle-strafing or cover-fighting. The new bestiary and the new Chaingunner definitely gives more intensity and increases the pace of the gameplay. Thankfully none of the new beasts are bullet-sponge, although I don't think all of them were really necessary, but a fun addiction anyways.

For the negative aspects, there's some stuff that annoyed me, which I think wouldn't mind other people, though.

My main complaint would be that a good number of levels are similar to each other, which few exceptions (and some exceptions gets its concept repeated, such as MAP22 x MAP23). The mapset follows a very popular modern trend that is that mix of outdoor areas with some indoor sections, which creates some really beautiful landscapes, but at the same time some levels ends up being unremarkable because you've already had a similar experience, which gives the player a feeling of "padding". This is also increased by the fact that most levels from the same episode shares a similar textures set, so they end up having a similar look. Furthermore, episodes 1 and 3, and episodes 2 and 4 shares similar visual elements, which also enhances that feeling.

There's also "two major" set of levels, which is the more linear approach and there's the hub focused maps where you have to find all the 3 keys to reach the exit. Some levels go away from that trend, though, featuring cool gameplay gimmicks (the 14 arch-ville ones and the first of the 4th episode, for example), which is a really good way to refresh things out. In the end, there's lots of really cool and unique setpieces, but I don't really remember from what levels are they from.

As for the gameplay standards, the use of sniping monsters got me annoyed on some levels. Some of them are placed in odd angles and/or far away which makes them hard targets to kill, so I ended up ignoring them and kept running around. In one hand, this is good because the player has to keep moving and avoid using simple and boring tactics (cover shooting, circle-strafing), but at the same time this reduces the room to breath, the player ends taking hits from random places and sometimes the sniper is placed between cross-fires, which makes taking them down an even more annoying task. The first levels from the last episode were also a bit disappointing since I didn't find any SSG in the way and that slowed down a lot the gameplay in a not good way.

At least, not but less important, the soundtrack is really well done, with some tracks making me think if they were actually MIDI's or not. They are really energetic, featuring lots of layers, complex sections and effects. My only complaint would be that they have similar style to each other (very energetic rock songs, usually featuring the "power drum kit" with multi-layered synths and guitars everywhere), so you don't end up remembering its melodies or sections because the song of the next level has also a similar feel. I believe that some less percussive tracks between the energetic ones would help pace things better and it would make the more energetic ones shine more.

Still, apart for these annoyances, I don't think you can go wrong with Valiant, and the quality material surpass by far the few annoyances. Definitely a wad worth checking out, if you haven't done yet for whatever reason lol.

9/10

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Cacodemon345

  

Pretty solid megawad. Everything about this wad is simply excellent.

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Gato606

  

Nice megawad, really tough and challenging, I enjoyed a lot the futuristic textures and architecture on the "episodes" 1 and 5.  Though, it was really frustrating the pistol start for episodes 2, 3 and 4, it's impossible to beat those episodes from pistol start.  Overal, a nice megawad, with many details and design.

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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 11.

- Hurt Me Plenty.

- Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

Top quality megawad here. Lots of incredible visuals and details, each episode has a different theme, designed with really nice custom textures. You get mountain bases, dark castles, hellish environments, huge underground caves, lunar bases, and a few secret surprises. And there's a fun adventure factor in every episode, the author not only put work into fast-paced gameplay but also exploratory settings. For example, almost all of the maps in further episodes are open spaces with platforming and walkways descending into damaging liquids, and lots of optional caves to find goodies. In addition, tight scenarios are dark and spooky, creating a real sense of suspense on what's coming. Music is really good, some of the tracks are also in Ancient Aliens. Favourite tracks are 06, 11, 22 and 27


So, like I said before, the maps are all fast-paced. Right from the beginning, you are demanded to move and find appropriate tools to get started. Nothing is overwhelming, but the usage of monsters is really well thought. Skillsaw seems to have a fetish for snipers in the form of "dead simple" enemies, because they are mostly used to harass you from different distances if you're not fast. Apart from that, he mixed incidental combat with multiple traps. From a viles+crushers maze, to a mancubus you have to guard, to a ghost town (yes, stealth monsters), or even a secret full filled with explosive zombies you'll probably panic and laugh out loud like I did. 

 

The new monsters have their ups and downs. From the get-go, imps and demons suffered a few transformations. Upgrade pinkies are fine, creepy, bite quicker. You don't want to use the chainsaw against them, which is my only dislike because I'm fond of that weapon. On the other side, the new imps are annoying... nothing else to say. Lost souls look cool. Then, spiders have red eyes, and the smaller ones can spawn arachnorbs (mostly a cinematic effect, only problematic when telefragging the spiders), which are my favourite enemies of the set, nasty but fragile, and funny. Kamikaze troopers are like explosive balloons of meat, hilarious enemies, I simply could not get mad at them for killing me. Pyro Knights are my third favourite, I recall one instance where a cyberdemon hit a pack and they scratched him to death in a matter of seconds. Super Mancubi don't add something special, they look cool though. Cybruisers are a fair replacement for the cyber/baron in the way they were used, and also look good, but just that, and poor SMMs were deprived of their boss privileges (immunity to splash damage and loud sounds). Diabolist is a great boss, although I feel like there should have been a texture showing the monster, like in Doom there's an IoS texture. 

 

As for weapons, well the pistol may shoot faster but it still aims like crap at any range. I did used it a lot more than the regular pistol. The minigun is awesome, and the idea that chaingunners don't drop them is good, makes it a higher valuable weapon. 

 

Secret wise, there is a wide variety. Hidden switches, a passage behind a waterfall, a teleport on liquid floors, those are the most common. I like that some of them provide an intense fight before you get your gifts. There's a secret easter egg I found via IDDT (of course, behind a generic wall), it has a really cool effect with the music and if you have played other Skillsaw's mapsets, you'll recognize it. 

 

Favourite maps: 06, 07, 10, 18, 22, 24, 27, 29. The rest are nice too.

 

Overall, yeah it's obvious that this mapset has a high value for speedrunning, but if you're a slow motion player like me, you'll still love this, just don't forget to always charge your minigun first! My rate is 9/10.

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Demtor

  

The WAD that made me remember the name Skillsaw. Top notch quality. Crazy maps filled with awesome tricks and visuals. The last episode, makes me feel like I am playing a good Mega Man X hybrid with Doom. Especially the end. The custom weapons fit in well. New enemies are used menacingly. Stellar original music. Great great stuff from a very talented mapper.

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Faust

  
A seriously great wad with great map design, secrets, enemy variety and more. However the heavy reliance on chaingunners and archviles on some maps does kind of set it back a little.

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Killer5

  
Sick wad.

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swat37

  
Not my cup of tea, it could be yours tho.

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Rambosee

  
Astounding. The level design is truly amazing everywhere you head, but what seals it is the gameplay. It manages to be tough but fair without being a slaughterwad, a very rare thing! I mean it, there's no BFG horde slaughtering. In fact, I only saw the BFG 4 times the entire game, one of which was in a secret and the other in a super secret that's in episode 5! Solid 10/10

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damned

  
Amazing. I've enjoyed every single aspect of this art. The design on maps is great. Especially the last episode is outstanding. I like the new minigun, which makes bullets more useful. I like custom monsters, because you have to adjust your tactic to get them. Just perfect. 5/5 Damned

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Nazgul9

  
Not bad but i liked the vaccinated edition better

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Spectre01

  
The GOAT megawad. Legendary map design, aesthetic and music. Great use of the occasional slaughter mechanics without the unlimited ammo BFG spam nonsense. No shitty Icon of Sin maps either. 10/5

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Bryan T

  
Easy 5 here. Love the new monsters and the music is kick ass.

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AnonimVio

  
Meehhh

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Zalewa

  
Extremely good WAD.

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Guest

  
Valiant! It's something pompous and minimalistic in the same time! Lots of breath-taking, elegant and unforgettable places in each map. Genuine ideas in many aspects of design. I reckon Cacowards will be raped by this piece of art. That's for damn sure. The only thing I really can't appreciate is the sector damage on each liquid floor texture. 5/5 (enkeli33)

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Combinebobnt

  
good wad many funs

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Louigi Verona

  
The maps are absolutely gorgeous. I am yet to actually play through the later ones, but this is fantastic beyond belief!

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Guest

  
This is easily in my top 3 modern mapsets (along with Speed Of Doom and Going Down). Well done, dude! And I hope you will keep on mapping! Also the dehacked stuff complements the mapset REALLY well. -Firedust

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Guest

  
It's been a while since i've had this fun in doom. The maps are Incredible. Only thing i noticed is that some maps have portions from other wads but nothing too bad. Chapter 4 was not as good as the rest but still good enough to keep me playing. Map 28 and 31 are two maps i won't forget. Great soundtracks and maps. Hope for more wads like this one. 5/5 no doubt.

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Guest

  
For me this is one of the best wads for many years. All the new designs work perfectly the monsters are actually an improvement on IDs in my opinion. I could go on but I suggest you try for yourself. I did all 32 levels without saving on HMP and some of them took me days and days such is the quality. I personally got more value from this wad than I would from a $100 Xbox/PS4 title and for that I say thanks. Well done.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Superb firework display of thousands of fireballs seeming in slow motion because of the vastness - mostly avoidable as they land where you were ages ago; but worth playing just to see it. A HUGE square surrounded by tiers with hundreds of imps and a few others, plus a blockhouse you can enter first to collect ammo.  Fighting through the hundreds of monsters when you get onto the tiers is another matter, overwhelming at UV. I cheated to finish so at least I could review.  Some HOM bugs.
    • By CountArchvile · Posted
      Terrence For fucks sake...
    • By Yura04kizel · Posted
      Laggy hell with 32k monsters and too much invulnerability spheres. Just... total vomit.
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Insanity, with voodoo dolls (see second screenshot).  I get the idea of a shooting gallery if that rocks your boat, but 6000 monsters behind railings- as far as the eye can see, FFS! My PC crawled when I looked towards the invuln spheres (someone said 32 k of them and you can't avoid picking up thousands at a time). In the end I cheated with god mode and no-clipping, and waded in among the chaingunners until I got bored.  
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Simple, clearly a first wad.  All on the flat with big, brightly lit, and architecturally implausible rooms. The first map has two rooms, the second map one, and the third map one plus a kind of exit lobby. You can do one of two things - just run past the monsters and finish (I did it in 35 seconds), or have a bit of fun killing the monsters first. No noticable bugs. I hope the author will go on (or went on) to greater things.
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