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Emerald Bathhouse

   (8 reviews)
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About This File

A Small-Medium sized level for vanilla Heretic that replaces E3M1. The map was originally part of a bigger episode wad that I was working on, but I stopped working on it later, leaving only this map finished.

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Good map

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Fun, short, and easy map to romp through centered around the lower-tiered weapons and mobs, with a decent few books thrown in.

The encounters were pretty fun when tackled head-on, but on the flip side the map suffers from some drawbacks in its encounter setup in that most of the encounters can be cheesed fairly easily if you wanted to.

With that down side out of the way, a lot of what was here in this short map was good stuff, from the starting encounter to the final one, with some good incidental combat and a set-piece-or-two in-between; some clever and fun low-tier monster placement. I liked the use of the UWs at the start, as well as a few other placements that managed to apply some good pressure throughout the map, as well as the pacing of the encounters and items/weapons available. Just a few small changes to the existing encounter setups and areas could go a long way to bring out the good this map did, but as it is it was still fun times. While the map does focus mostly on the wand and the gauntlets, the book use (and situationally great time bombs) really makes the map fly by and pushes you onward. The powered up gauntlets act as a life-leech, so like a can of pringles once you pop the fun don't stop and you can easily push your way through a set-piece and the section after it with nigh-invulnerability, interspersed with bwasting from a powered up wand/etc, while the unpowered wand can be used to take down the stragglers, or to snipe if that's your fancy given the low-tiered mobs present and risk of taking damage while using the gauntlets. Or you can just hold backward and use the gauntlets anyway to speed up the clean up. You can find a secret crossbow as well which is nice.

 - I liked the use of the gap: how it made the overall map flow and added a small bit of interconnectivity to an otherwise linear map. It added interest to that area of the map.

 - One unmarked secret?

 - Speaking of secrets, some variety between them could have also been a nice thing.

 - The map's aesthetics were safe and serviceable, but I get the feeling this was more function over form, which to be fair isn't necessarily a bad thing on its own.


All-in-all a fun, quick map to barrel through. Like a great c-list movie, this wad may not have all the special effects or fancy design, but its labor of love will win you over on its heart and fun design ideas. Give it a go if you got 5-10 minutes to spare :)

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A uniquely-balanced level. You don't get any weapons besides the starting Wand, but you're continually fed Tomes Of Power for it (as well as Morph Ovums and Time Bombs). This at least prevents the level from being total tedium, but it's an odd choice not to just include more weapons. You will spend most of the level rushing to avoid the Tome running out before finding the next one, so it goes by fairly fast. Not that it's a particularly large or complex map to begin with.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Ordon · Posted
      well, the concept is good  BUT...   WHAT THE FUCK EVEN IS THIS??
    • By Cinnamon · Posted
      Definitely shows its age. It was a real grind to play through, mostly due to the levels being boring, but also from a remarkable over-reliance on hitscan, especially shotgunners. For some reason. The third episode does indeed pick up much of the slack, but with the really fun levels being shining exceptions rather than rule for two thirds of the WAD it still left me annoyed and exasperated in the end. The maps look fine most of the time and the music is good to really good, which is something to hold on to. I would still advice my past self to skip most of this one.    
    • By Cinnamon · Posted
      There's not too much for me to say about this one. While it isn't exactly my jam 100% of the time, I'm struggling to see how any creative endeavor could entertain me so thoroughly, throughout all the 32 parts of it. Ancient Aliens is charming, somewhat challenging, mysterious, well-paced... I could iterate over plenty of different variations of lavish praise, but I guess that in and of itself describes my feelings: AA is remarkably well-rounded. A DOOM blockbuster - and I use that description as an honest compliment rather than the pejorative it's sometimes thought of. One for the ages, and it'll be one of the WADs to which many of my future experience will be compared.    
    • By VoanHead · Posted
      On second thought, this wad is kinda mid if you ask me. After playing through all of it on pistol-start I wasn't really blown away by it. The midi pack that was made for this in 2020 was very nice if you ask me, but why this wad ever deserves a midi pack when it's so bland is what makes me scratch my head. Idk man, I didn't like this one as much as others do :/.
    • By baja blast rd. · Posted
      This reads as an early example of arcade-style mapping.   Areas are defined largely by color combinations, with no real overarching theme to the map: there are silver techbase rooms, brick-like Earth rooms, red hellish rooms, without much in the way of detailing or setting-building -- all centralized around a square hub room with key doors, which repopulates with monsters each time you find a key. It's on the simpler side visually, but still a very clear step above "monotextured square rooms"-type design, with some solid architecture, shapes, and texture combos here and there, and even a clever crushing UFO-like "ring" at one point.    The gameplay concepts are very straightforward, with one exception being a room that has you platforming over damaging floor while closets of lost souls and cacodemons open up. Instead, the bulk of the fighting is more often dished out as blocks of monsters often revealed in closets -- blocks at a density far below what you'd consider slaughter. Some of the potential fun involves herding monsters towards barrels; once I waited several seconds for chaingunners to walk halfway across the room, right next to a clump of barrels I could blow them all up with. The ending fight is designed for you to pour rockets into two static cybs while circling, and I skipped that one.    Completed in a bit under 10 minutes.