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STRAIN 1.0 (repackaged edition)

   (19 reviews)


About This File

This is a reupload of the legendary 1997 total conversion STRAIN to repackage it in a manner suitable for modern users. The original version uploaded to /idgames on September 14, 1997 was distributed as a self-extracting LZH file, which one could run only in DOS, split into four pieces so the user could copy them to four 3½-inch floppy disks and install the WAD that way if they wanted. Because both DOS and floppy disks have been obsolete for decades, this method now serves only to deter all but the most tech-savvy users from playing it, and thus it has been repackaged as a regular ZIP file.

strain.zip contains the complete contents of the self-extracting LZH extracted with another program so that the timestamps are preserved. No files are needed to play the WAD in modern ports apart from STRAIN.WAD and STRAIN.DEH, but they are included anyway for historical accuracy.

The WAD's permissions (see below) allow it to be redistributed as long as the original text file and package are included with no modifications. Thus, the original 1997 strain10.* package is included as two separate files complete with the original /idgames archive timestamps, not only to follow the permissions but once again for historical interest. The original package also remains available on the archive itself as a separate download.

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· Edited by galileo31dos01


Done with these settings:


- Crispy Doom 4.2

- Hurt Me Plenty.

- Continuous combined with double fists start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.


This is an interesting old megawad. Looks and feels different from the usual Doom. That is to say, it's a partial conversion, there're a lot of new textures, new monsters, new weapons, new sounds, and a new character. All of these are combined with a gameplay that is focused not only on killing monsters, but on exploring too. So yeah, Strain is pretty unique, and I liked this change of pace. There are a lot of nice visuals and detailing, not very polished but that's fine. 


As something that clearly claims to stay away from the ordinary Doom style, what predominates here are puzzles, lots of puzzles, some are good, some are obscure, and some are the entire level (map 21 ahem...). Also, labyrinths, switch hunts, corridors, lift after lift, and the incidental hordes of monsters to remember you're actually playing something alike Doom. I'm not saying the mapset is boring, no no no, it brings a lot of cool battles, brutal starts, and makes you work your brain, again not in a popular Doom-ish way, to find the exit or grab something important. In many maps, progression is far from intuitive, sometimes you'll cross a linedef and hear something opening or closing, or you'll flip a switch that opens a cabin of monsters that has a wall with different texture that you must open to progress. In other maps, it's quite simple and relies on the typical key hunt. Backtracking is heavily present in this mapset. 


About the new monsters, of all of them I liked the Minister of Pain and Dopplegangers the most, mainly because I found them quite funny, specially the mini-cyber which is adorable. Holo-bots are fine, their stealth version can be a pain in the ass. Red demon isn't more interesting than the original, it just consumes more ammo and time. Demon Lords are dangerous, I found that I could exploit their attack from a certain distance, but from close it's best to treat them as a hitscanner, that is to say, covering yourself everytime he shoots. Polydrones are another dangerous enemy, their corpses are damaging and I found myself inevitably stepping on them and aching. They might replace the mastermind but their chaingun is not the super one. Second class imps are creepy. Finally, BFG Troopers are just cheap, specially on map 30, at least they are not that common. 


About the new weapons, well the rapid pistol and shotgun are more useful, the double fists are good, the NFG is ok but I didn't like that the maximum was only 100 cells, it runs out so quickly. It also has a safety pin for whatever reason. I didn't understand the BFG replacement, it apparently functions like a slower rocket launcher, and why does it shoot stealth balls? Idk, I barely used it anyway, all I know is that it's powerful.


Secrets, there are a lot of non-secrets in the maps, almost all of them contain a megaarmor (which equals 300 not 200). The midis are good. My favourite maps are 04, 18, 22, and 24. The IoS map is acceptable, but didn't feel like a truly boss map. Map 21 is all puzzles, some without hints, I didn't enjoyed this one too much.


Overall, enjoyable, probably hasn't aged so well. If you're in the mood for anything that I said above, this is going to be your thing. One personal recommendation, there is no pistol start but fists start here, a lot of maps are very very tight on ammo and weird balanced (e.g. punching shotgunners at the start, tons of rockets and no rocket launcher, having to shotgun a lot of demons), so be patient, or try on continuous first... anyway, 6,5/10.

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A "classic" 90's wad which nevertheless hasn't aged entirely well. Some graphics (such as the Holobot or the BFG replacement) are cheesy and ugly; the level design is usually not bad, but some levels (such as MAP17, MAP23, MAP25) are too difficult and unbalanced for pistol start. The ending is nothing to write home about either. Still, the megawad has quite a lot of atmosphere and some maps are really good (MAP18).

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Puzzly levels with some excellent DeHacked work from a technical point of view. New monsters and weapons are a definite mixed bag but are sensibly employed making this more than just a curiosity. The obscurity of progression may put some Doomers off but persistence should earn the player a degree of intuition for these going forward.

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STRAIN has quite a legacy, although for me it's not a good-playing megawad. the custom monsters are nice to fight, but the overall gameplay tends to get me lost. some annoying puzzles (MAP21), and really annoying gimmick moments happen in this set, which prevent it from being truly amazing.

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Landis, Klem, Keranen, Helmberger, Windsor, Herman & Nathrath all on the same team? This would get an automatic 5/5 if they had released nothing but the TXT file. Kudos to TGH for the much belated proper!

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If you want to play it with Brutal Doom or other gameplay mods that bad then be prepared to open up SLADE 3 and delete/edit the custom monsters and weapons in STRAIN. As it stands I'm glad this got repackaged for modern users as this is a legendary megaWAD that no one should miss.

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· Edited by AD_79


No, screw your shitty-ass Brutal Doom, play it the way it should be played. Excellent wad, by the way. Ignore this.


If I could change ratings as opposed to just review text, I would gladly bring this way down to a 2, or at the very best, a 3 (2.5??? The system doesn't support those, but that's what I'm feeling). This set does not hold up well. It's got some cool ideas buried beneath a pile of "yeah this is a 90s wad" issues. I'd love to go deep into the problems in a full review, but for now: Most of the interesting monsters from Doom II were cut, with stuff like " sort of rapid-fire imp", "tankier baron" and "flying revenant with sluggish projectiles" taking their places. Actually, most of the changes made in the Dehacked don't seem to serve a good purpose, and instead boil down to "hey look we can do this, let's do that!". In addition, levels are sometimes very uninteresting and filler-y (examples: MAP05, MAP20), loaded with hallways upon hallways (examples: MAP06, MAP25) or feature progression which can seem frustrating or broken to the average player (example: MAP10). There are some solid moments (MAP02 being an early highlight), but the set is old and clearly shows its age, and I don't see much reason to play it nowadays.

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Great Classic Megawad.....But i was hoping that one day this would be reuploaded with out the custom fast imp..... so Brutal Doom would be more friendly with it.

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holy shit a release finally 10/10

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