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Sunlust

   (236 reviews)
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Sunlust is a set of 32 boom-compatible maps for Doom II, designed to be played from pistol start. The maps meander through a range of themes, from traditional bases and temples to abstract hellish, void, and tech aesthetics. UV is designed primarily for ubermensch doom-gods, thus we encourage most players to start off on HMP or lower.


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Origamyde

  

One of the most memorable Boom-compatible Megawads available on this website. A harsh, but yet challenging enough set of beautifully-designed maps, provided you are willing to test your limits and be ready to face an onslaught of demons (and more) !

 

(Depending on the PK3 file you are choosing alongside Sunlust, this Megawad can prove to be harder of a challenge than expected. Use gameplay-changing WADs at your own risk !)

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StoneMason

  

One of the most fun and creative challenge megawads I've ever played. Really pushes you out of your comfort zone, but in a way that never feels tedious.

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Pseudonaut

  

A fantastic wad, probably the single best full 32-map megawad to receive significant "mainstream" recognition. It contains no shortage of clever, memorable combat scenarios, like the puzzle at the start of map17 "The Womb", the archvile invasion at the end of map32 "Postcoitus Doom", the incredibly overwhelming and under-equipped pistol start of map29 "Go Fuck Yourself", many of the fights in map25 "Proxyon", etc etc.

 

Much has been said about the difficulty of this set, and for good reason, but it actually spends quite a lot of time easing the player in. The first 5 maps or so in particular are surprisingly accessible, hardly if ever exceeding the difficulty of Plutonia even on UV. And even at the peak of Sunlust's difficulty later in the set, it isn't as extreme as sometimes claimed; some have mentioned the textfile's joking that UV is designed for ubermensch doom-gods and taken it seriously, but it's an exaggeration by the authors' own admission in sunlust_extra_info.txt. Yes, the fights in a map like "Proxyon" are pretty far beyond the difficulty of something like Plutonia, but nothing insurmountable for those with significant slaughter experience. In case the player lacks such experience, difficulty settings are fully implemented and are implemented well.

 

One particular reviewer has claimed, strangely, that Sunlust "eschews complex encounters". Implied in this statement is that complexity is necessary or necessarily good, which normally I might challenge in more detail, but there's no need in this case: Sunlust has the most complex combat encounters of any wad of equivalent popularity. This wad has tons of content from which I could pick out examples, and I've decided on the final fight of map24 "Dying on Cue", an enormous arena where a giant conveyor carries into the battlefield an army of imps followed by hell knights followed by revenants. From the sides, many cacodemons and a few pain elementals float in. It is a common trend in slaughter fights that maintaining space to move by killing the right enemies needs to be one of the player's top priorities to avoid being overwhelmed, and this fight is no exception; both the caco/PE waves and the demon army on the ground are significant threats in that regard (turning off 'actors are infinitely tall' is cheating, by the way). The imps are higher priority in this fight than one might expect because killing them is the fastest way to create space to move, but attention to the other threats is also necessary unless you want tons of lost souls added to the already troublesome flying enemies. The revenants' presence isn't felt until near the end of the fight, when the imps have been worn down, but there will be a horde of hell knights left to use as a giant meatshield for the revs' homing missiles. There's a lot going on in all that chaos, and writing about it doesn't do it justice, but hopefully the point is made. Another brief example: the start of map29 "Go Fuck Yourself", where the player actually has quite a lot of options for progression, and every single one of them is nasty. In any case, even if these encounters somehow don't meet some arbitrary complexity standard, it's hard to deny the fun of figuring out how to dismantle them and eventually succeeding.

 

Bizarrely, it has also been claimed by the same reviewer that Sunlust features some sort of mindless BFG-spam gameplay, leading me to suspect that he or she played with IDKFA. Nevermind the suggestion that any gameplay featuring BFG-spam is mindless (it isn't); truthfully, even the most BFG-oriented fights in Sunlust will require you to be mindful of your cell ammo, even if you aren't pistol starting each map, and you can't afford to simply hold the trigger down for 30 consecutive seconds like you can in some actual BFG-spam maps (many of which are actually good, by the way). Instead, a few well-placed BFG shots will go a long way.

 

That digression aside, Sunlust is basically mandatory. If you haven't played it yet, it should be high on your priority list, even if you have to start on HMP and finish on ITYTD.

 

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Lol 6

  

It's Sunlust

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omalefico32x

  

i was going to beat this on uv and i almost got trough all of it but i switched source ports and lost interest after

 

this wad is great the enviroments look nice and combat is really good 

 

most of it is puzzle combat and i see why some might not like sunlust because of it with good use of infighting and save scumming you can totally beat it even without being a doom god if you see the bfg as the solution for every fight then you will have a bad time playing this because you will waste cells and when you really need it you will suffer

 

also if you are having difficult with ammo on your first playtrough heres a tip: YOU DONT HAVE TO 100% IT you will end up with 98% on most of them anyway on your first time so why bother? if you are near the exit but the wad spawned another wave of demons to kill you just... run its not like you will be missing out on the wad or anything in fact i think a big part of doom gameplay is knowing with fights to pick and when to pick them leave 100% for subsequent playtroughs 

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AtticTelephone

  

@Fairen's review below is probably bait, but is still utterly wrong.

 

Anyways, amazing wad. Great visuals that are absolute eye candy and give amazing atmosphere to the maps, challenging gameplay that is incredibly creative and very fun, and great choice in music as well.

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Scotty

  

One of the best megawads of all time.

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Fairen

  

Sunlust is one of those WADs that aims to be ultra-challenging and hardcore. And like most of those WADs, Sunlust relies entirely on a handful of cheap tricks and gimmicks that very quickly grow old. Many of these maps are spent simply taking out your BFG and holding down the fire button, as the maps often eschew complex encounters based around level design in favour of simply throwing massive hordes of enemies at you. (Naturally, a large number of these hordes consist entirely of revenants.) When Sunlust isn't doing this, it's fond of warping in or opening monster closets directly behind you, trapping you in cramped arenas, and placing hitscanners in cheap locations and overabundance. The problem isn't simply the cheapness of these "challenges" but also their predictability—coupled with unpredictability, ironically enough. You know when the game is going to do something stupid, but you never know exactly what, necessitating trial-and-error to find out where you should be standing at any given time/area, whether or not you need to quickly clear out an encounter or if you can take your time.

 

Incidentally: Though the map recommends UV only for "ubermensch doom-gods", lower difficulties change almost nothing about how the maps play. You're still having massive hordes throw themselves at you(r BFG), with the only differences being that the hordes are a bit smaller and some of them are replaced with weaker enemies. It's nothing but a difference of "I have to dodge 30 revenant rockets" vs. "I have to dodge 40 revenant rockets".

 

While it didn't start terribly, Sunlust quickly devolved into a joyless experience, where almost every major fight turns into the same repetitive chore and victory felt less like a result of skill and strategy than "okay, now I know what BS happens here". It's a perfect example of how trying to design a WAD around "challenge!" often overlooks making encounters and levels interesting, unique, or just plain fun.

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One of the greatest and most important wads of the past decade, to call Sunlust Danne and Ribbiks' magnum opus is to over-calculate the importance of the words magnum opus. A level of consistent technical display is both presented and demanded; there isn't a level in this megawad that pushes the fold on articulation, design, theming, and other categories while also not hurling the player into unique, interesting, and memorable encounters that demand their attention. The challenges of the wad can be as simple as a close knit encounter with a few baddies to the post-slaughter era challenges that define both of the mappers pedigree and product. That being hundred upon hundreds of monsters flung at you while you are scrambling, not trying to get cornered. If you are not ready for such a challenge, there is difficulty adjustment present and several maps can be beaten by a mediocre player with a few saves. Few, because for most of the experience, you'll have to push yourself to standards that compare to the raw effort put in by the authors. And that is very, very high.

 

Favorite Maps:

03 - a perfect non-linear level with an emphasis on altitude, boasting a few of Sunlusts earliest slaughter-like encounters that define the majority of the experience

 

04 - a branching path level that starts and ends hotter than the heavenly body its named after

 

09 - another top-notch non linear level, with a greater emphasis on high enemy counts and perfect positioning

 

11 - slower starts have never resulted in a more spastic and claustrophobic level like this one

 

15 - the first true slaughter map of the mapset, you are constantly pelted with encounters that push you to your limits

 

18 - take a moment to admire the architecture on display as a few hundred enemies fight themselves, part 1 of many

 

20 - fuck this level

 

25 - and this one

 

28 - especially this one

 

29 - *looks at name* too easy

 

30 - when Sunlust is ever brought up in discourse, people immediately think of this map in particular. Good reason, it's probably the best Map30 ever made, cause it isn't a shitty cube spawner level. That was cool in the 90's but those usually end in 30 seconds and end very anti-climactic like. This level takes ~30 minutes for a run and is a opera climax compared to the Iclones of Sin seen ad-nausea for decades. 

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Chiraii

  

Outstandingly good WAD. Brilliant visuals, very well designed levels and a ton of great challenges - always fair, usually extremely creative. It feels like Sunlust is a wholly different game than Doom altogether, given how it makes such great use of what tools it has available.

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Rathori

  

[UV-continuous with occasional saves, played in GZDoom 2.4]

 

Beautiful levels. Amazing gameplay. Hard as hell, but fair. Died about 500 times. Secrets are done very nicely: play close attention to surroundings and you'll find them all. Creative thinking might be required for some fights and some secrets.

 

Definitely my favourite PWAD so far.

 

I heard some people had problems with performance in GZDoom, but I didn't run into any issues on the 10-year old PC I played it on (although that PC was pretty much high-end in its time period).

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VanaheimRanger

  

I had to take a break from Doom after finishing this, because I doubt I'll ever get to play anything of it's like ever again.  It's going to be a long time before I see anything of this caliber in Doom again and it makes me a bit sad.  Hopefully 20x6 and 20x7 scratch the same itch for me.

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pritch

  

I can't in all conscience not give Sunlust 5 stars.

 

This was my first run through, I'm late to the party but don't have as much time for Doom nowadays. But if something like this were released every week, I'd probably never play any other game again.

 

I've gotten so used to playing such great maps and megawads created by this community that I can honestly say commercial games routinely feel lacklustre in comparison. And these are free - the best things in life truly are.

 

Sunlust isn't perfect. I dislike the glut of killed-to-end maps in the late teens and twenties - I think once an episode is enough to rebuild from a pistol start, especially when most of the weapons are given to you anew quite quickly due to the difficulty. I do get it though - the mappers want that BFG back at times, to force you to do it the hard way. I personally don't like too many maps that prevent you backtracking for health or armor that you save for later. Some of the later maps are, in my opinion, a bit too hard, and a bit too hit-switch-for-slaughter, too soon. Some of them are only average for design and visual appeal and I dropped below 60fps in places with a relatively fast CPU.

 

These, though, are minor niggles in context. This is a great mapset, and in particular one of, if not the best map 30s I've ever played. Map 30s are usually so constrained by the need to have a demon spitter - it's just not a very good final boss and we've seen every variation on a demon spitter map under the sun now. Far better to do a grand set piece finale with a four figure monster count - and that's what we get here. The final arena when the lost souls spawn above the main battle is visually one of the most impressive experiences I can remember in years of playing thousands of wads. It's not just the final arena - the entire map has a deeply impressive and imposing ambience and deceptively simple yet awesome architecture. It was a fitting end to a great set.

 

Too many good maps to state them all. I guess a special mention to map 13 - I love the flow and feel of this one, and it has a banging track. The music is very good throughout, and feels tailored to a lot of the maps. They modified one of the PSX Doom tracks for map30 and it is just perfect.

 

4.9/5 then - I wish they'd do it all over again...

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amackert

  

I recently played through this continuously twice on UV. Overall I feel this is an expertly crafted WAD from start to finish. Beautiful scenery, great soundtrack, and intense gameplay. Maybe a little too intense sometimes, and with that it's probably not a WAD I'll recommend to newbies. If less experienced players absolutely have to try it, I suggest playing on the lower difficulty modes as the included readme suggests. Describing the later maps of this WAD as "brutal" on UV is an understatement to say the least.

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seed

· Edited by Agent6

  

And there goes Sunlust, and what a ride it was.

 

So first things first, Sunlust is a 32-level megawad consisting of challenging levels. It does not feature new enemies, but comes with a new background screen, an atmospheric, sometimes epic soundtrack, and new textures for most if not all levels making them look absolutely beautiful which adds to the overall experience. it also comes with new (non serious) intermission screens but they're just there without adding anything.

 

The gameplay is similar to that of other megawads such as AV or HR in general, with a number of maps having only little over a hundred or a few hundred enemies and the maps rely on smart placement to offer a challenge, which applies even to some of the slaughter inspired levels, although they mostly rely on the sheer numbers of enemies in various kinds of encounters. Many levels also feature suicide exits but unlike megawads such as Ancient Aliens, Valiant, Scythe and so on which have them every 8 maps or so which usually signalize an upcoming increase in difficulty and sometimes split the megawad in episodes a la Doom 1, they're placed randomly here as a surprise element. You might run into a suicide exit and the upcoming level might feature hundreds of enemies, while others might feature little over a hundred, you never know. And yet the difficulty doesn't change, it's almost like the authors put them there just so that you have to pistol start a map every now and then but not to scare you with a spike in difficulty. It's an interesting experience nonetheless.

 

Many of the later levels have the enemies in plain sight but in a sleeping state, with their backs facing you. This was probably done to offer the players who haven't played the megawad before (those who do a blind playthrough like I did) time to observe the surroundings and come up with a plan of sorts before jumping into the action or getting assaulted by enemies, which is something welcome for me. I've always had the impression that megawads such as Valiant and AA don't really want you to jump into the action without any knowledge of the levels, and in consequence involve quite a bit of trial and error before figuring out an optimal route. This might be a plus for some players, but not for those who just want to enjoy a new megawad from the very first playthrough, and in the case of Sunlust, I'd say it doesn't fall under the trial and error category, so if it's your first time playing it and are at least a decent player you're fine, no serious reason to worry about dying due to not knowing what lies ahead, and traps are easily recognizable most of the time as well.

 

On the subject of difficulty, what I have accidentally discovered while watching a video of MAP30 is that the levels themselves seem to be different on other settings than UV. Considering that UV is targeted at the most skilled players from the description I had chosen to play Sunlust on HMP this time around (I might be insane but not to that degree), and one thing I've noticed is that MAP30 was different on UV. The yellow key is somewhere else, there's more teleporters in a place, and some secret areas seem to work differently, particularly the Cyberdemon room. It would seem that the deadly platform in the middle didn't instantly kill them once activated for some reason. Or maybe I ran into a bug? I don't know, but what's certain is that it did not work for me. Something else that I have noticed is that a number of maps also feature optional areas. I realized this after I finished these maps with only 50-60% kills, so if your target is maxing out everything keep in mind that you'll have to take a detour. The levels are also fair, with the exception of an Arch-Vile room in MAP29. "Go Fuck Yourself" they said. Indeed, good luck avoiding waves of Imps and a few Hell Knights while hiding behind a moving wall with a bunch of Arch-Viles behind it in a small, circular room. Ingenious, I must admit this.

 

As about my favorite maps, well, that's a difficult question considering that the vast majority of levels are gorgeous and provide solid gameplay, but the ones I liked the most are MAP09, MAP10, MAP16, MAP18, MAP19, MAP27, and MAP28. The levels in general explore a variety of themes and locations: Some are "natural", while others are mysterious with a magic atmosphere, cavernous, hellish, surreal, futuristic, and so on. The first few levels also remind me of Requiem. As for the ones I disliked, that's going to be MAP30. The starting area looked pretty interesting, but everything else was just "alright", with a few ugly rooms before the location of the yellow key. This level doesn't feature a typical Icon of Sin boss, it's a slaughter level with almost 2000 enemies. Most certainly not bad, but not fantastic either, yet a fitting conclusion to the journey.

 

And with this I think I've covered pretty much everything. Another solid megawad, well worth the time.

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Gato606

  

The maps have nice design and the textures with glowing effects really caught my attention.  Though, all the maps have always ambushes waiting for you, that got really tiring after some maps.  Additionally, map30 is IMPOSSIBLE to play on GZDoom without the framerate dropping to 0 making in unplayable, even on ZDoom (without GL) it has to be played in vanilla mod, any mod loaded will slow down the hell of it.

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Count651

· Edited by Count651

  

A pretty decent wad but not without some serious flaws

 

Pros

 

- High detail maps

- A lot of map variety

- Long playtime

- Good variety of difficulty

- Unreal Tournament Music

 

Cons

 

- A lot of extremely brainless/spammy monster placement ( tiny rooms packed with so many monsters you HAVE to save scum )

- too many obvious traps, every item you pick up and every button you press seems to cause loads of enemies to teleport around you, a lot of levels became too predictable and repetitive because of this

- Some bad music choices ( this is mostly a matter of opinion ) a lot of tracks sounded too upbeat for Doom, a lot of these tracks sound like they were taken from an 80's workout vhs

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Demtor

  

This... this is amazing. The WAD that brought me back from my 15 year Doom hiatus. I remember hearing about this from a blog I follow from time to time on PC games. My thinking went like this... Caco awards? What the heck? People still make Doom 2 levels? Ohhhhh, my god! Unbelievable. If you can't hack it, don't feel bad. This is hard. Don't be a hero. Tune down the difficulty and try again. It's worth it.  

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Mabuse

  
5 stars :)

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Spectre01

  
I thought I rated this? Easy 5/5 and one of the best wads ever made.

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Killer5

  
Sick wad.

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Fonze

  
I should be shot for forgetting to vote 5 stars on this sooner. Such a beautiful, fun wad; a must play!

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Rambosee

  
Slaughterwads aren't my thing. That said, this is an exception. Beautifully done and crafted. It feels like careful work has been put in just about every sector of each map. It's like the most beautiful levels of Speed of Doom got ramped up to 10, filled up the entirety of the wad, and the combat, even if it is just slaughter, given thought!

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MistAche

  
Playing catch up to everyone else on masterpieces like this has never been so much fun. Went through on HMP moreso to enjoy the architecture and design. I found the gameplay in later levels to be a headache, too intelligently designed, but genius in parts nonetheless. Clearly a lot of work went into this.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Denim Destroyer · Posted
      Picture this: you are playing a community project megawad and are still within the first ten levels. Some of the levels you have already played are fun but then you arrive here. Nothing bad or good and is over before you know it. The perfect level between two good levels in a megawad.
      Vanillic Acid is not part of a megawad or even a level set but exhibits all of the characteristics of a filler level. It has all the base characteristics of a Doom level and fails to do anything interesting with it. This level isn't bad but in the ocean of idgames why bother taking the time to play this one?
    • By Argenteo · Posted
      Awesome midis. Some maps appear to be filler? I don't dislike them. I like to take breaths. My absolute favorite is Procustes Chambers (24). Replayed and re-enjoyed again. Great music!
    • By Summer Deep · Posted
      Very worthwhile map, starts out pretty tough, then becomes more manageable, but always challenging enough. Plenty of chaingunners, Barons, Revenants etc, but the big two are absent. All it really needs is a bit more of a 'big bang' ending.
    • By Argenteo · Posted
      My favorites list: 10, 11, 12 and 23. Lots of city maps (I don't like them), or inspired by renowned ones.
    • By RastaManGames · Posted
      This map pack may not aged well, but some places are nice to see.
      Specially, the wharf itself with nearby buildings.
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