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Counterattack

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About This File

Counterattack is a 7-map mini episode for Doom II. Each map was designed to be played from pistol-start; continuous play is fine but will make the play through much easier. This map set originally started out as a single map contribution to the Vinesauce map contest held in 2016 by Joel "Vargskelethor". The map in question (MAP02) was started on in early September, and finished on September 9th. Afterwards, I officially started the project on October 10th (shortly after finishing MAP04).

My goal with this project was to exercise with the Doom II texture assets, and to create some maps for practice. All maps use stock Doom II textures (aside from skies and minor extras). The maps are medium-to-large in size and have many different paths that you can take. Replayability was a design goal I tried to aim for. Difficulty is somewhat middling, but should ramp up a bit towards the end.

There is no way to exit to MAP31, so you will have to warp to it in order to play it. There is a secret exit in MAP31 that leads to MAP32, so have fun hunting for it!

Note that MAP06 and MAP30 are not meant to be a part of the main campaign. MAP06 is for story purposes for ports that can't display the ending text. MAP30 is there as a way to keep the game from [potentially] crashing because I replaced some of the IoS things in the DEHACKED (its also a dumb in-joke).

Also note that you shouldn't use jumping or crouching in these maps. It has been disabled in ZDoom, but some ports will still allow it. If you do use jumping or crouching, you may break the maps. Mouselook is ok but it may make certain secret triggers easier than intended.

Note for PrBoom+ users: Use complevel 9


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Trupiak

  

Awesome level design, good fights, just the right ammount of pick-ups.... just play it, what else have i got to say

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galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4, complevel 9.

- Ultra-Violence.

- Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset. Actual pistol start in map 31.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

An excellent creation. This is undeniably a great example of inventive grand-scale layout design, where the author brought us extensive geometry variation and clean architecture with only stock textures, something different from the traditional 90's scheme most known from older releases, not precisely a better or proper usage of them, instead innovating and also inspiring in my opinion. The detailing is a big plus, not only to keep the player out of any sort of interference with movement, but also to add an extra ingredient that makes encounters more tactical and engaging, such as when darkness controls the area, and not to forget those astonishing fitting skies, seriously that dark blue one in map 01 is beautiful to contemplate. Of course, fitting music too, more on the environmental side though. 

 

What accompanies the impressive art these maps are is the style of progression, in every context possible. These are non-linear above all, which means that rooms and setpieces are generally interconnected via multiple accessible openings and/or pathways, where you can get your resources at many different points of the maps. Mandatory keys can be found in no particular order too. What I liked the most, in this specific context, is how getting lost was never a real problem, since the maps encourage the player to explore every sector for important things and somehow arrange their own route, something I personally enjoy a lot, and it was easy to get back on track. I'm sure this might call someone's attention: there are no cryptic switch hunts here. On another side, in the context of monster placement and combat, there's a mix of everything, whether you get incidental ambushes, small number of roamers, lock-in traps in darkness, heavily populated arenas in a slaughter(y) tone, crowd controlling, fun with barrels, all combined with the theme of the maps make for very interesting key and filler-ish encounters. Of course, you are busy at least 80% of the time, that depends on how you approach each map, but a very important touch is the freedom of choices, like instead of jumping off a ledge to explore a sewer that could sandwich me between spectres and archviles, I could take a nearby lift and find some other powerful resources and combat in the middle, to eventually approach the sewer from another entrance, without trivializing the fight that much. There are a few surprises in some of the maps, in the form of custom enemies, one is the turret, which shoots plasma cells in a faster rate than the arachnotron. Although I wasn't a fan of it at first, mainly because it was too hard for me to not get hit even with circlestrafe, its best usage came later, when it functioned as a proper turret. I won't spoil the biggest ones though, all I'll say is that those new creatures are no joke, seriously, take them with respect, specially the secret one, don't be fooled by its aspect. 

 

Secret-wise, hidden arenas are always welcome, secret passages that give you an advantage over certain places (such as to give sneaky archviles a taste of their own medicine) are always welcome too, chains of secrets of course too. While most of them are pretty easy to find, some required an expert eye to spot the hint, that I lacked, or to understand a certain gimmick, like shooting switches that reveal for one second, which took me 230 bullets to finally trigger the secret ffs... But in general, multiple secrets in non-linear maps are always welcome. My favourite has to be 04, but to be honest all the maps were really fun.

 

Overall, I obviously recommend this to anyone, it has a great replay value, that's a success. I hope one day Mechadon manages to complete Vela Pax and Supplice, those look tempting too. My rate is 9/10. 

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trrobin

  

When I first played around in Mechadon's earlier work "Vela Pax"; I was, like many others, simply FLOORED by the sheer scale of this doomer's mapping prowess.

 

His other maps, like on BTSX, were also exceptionally good; but these maps were/are on another level of map design.

In terms of sheer creativity; Mechadon shows what is possible, with a vision and determination; and with just stock textures to boot!

 

With Counter Attack, it's more or less the same sort of vibe that was on Vela Pax but a little more streamlined and "compact" if you can even say such a thing about maps like these...

It has some similar looking areas to Vela Pax, but it's mostly different and of it's own, and absolutely just as awe-inspiring.

 

This is pure inspiration. Thanks Mechadon.

 

 

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Ajora

  

Mechadon must be some kind of a wizard because the map pack I just played through was pure magic. 

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Eris Falling

  

Absolutely amazing. The detailing/architecture, the atmosphere, the gameplay, the music selection.. everything is spot on here. Each level takes at least 20 minutes and you can expect to get lost a bit but at no point does it feel boring. I love maps like these.

 

That was 2 hours well spent, fantastic WAD.

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NuMetalManiak

  

holy shit i got lost, and i fucking ENJOYED it. now there's some pretty amazing combat in each and every one of these gargantuan maps too, but you'll definitely need a guide if you want to get through these maps and their secrets too. so much fun still.

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silentzorah

  

Absolutely amazing, from the challenging combat to the map detailing.  Worth every star I can give.

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Gallic00

  

Very impressive adventure maps.  I like how the levels unfolds like a geometric strip-tease.

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Scotty

  

Somehow these maps manage to feel absolutely huge and nonlinear without drastically creating confusion for progression, and this creates a lot of replay value. Combat is varied and traps inventive. Astonishingly beautiful detailing.

 

This is a masterpiece.

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Zalewa

  
Each single one of these maps is like a juicy megawad on its own. The text file has horridly broken whitespace, though.

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WH-Wilou84

  
Expertly-made maps. Mechadon is one of the very best, and here's to hoping he'll continue to release new Doom-related content in the future.

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Killer5

  
Sick wad.

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Fonze

  
Mech gives us all something to study; these maps are simply beautiful with expertly made layouts.

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  • File Reviews

    • By galileo31dos01 · Posted
      Done with these settings:   - Crispy Doom 5.2
      - Ultra-Violence
      - Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
      - Saves every 10 minutes or so.   Important note: The wad is almost fully playable in Crispy Doom or complevel 2, but due to two inaccessible doors which are part of progress, maps 03 and 04 cannot be completed without cheats. Because of that, ZDoom is the source port to be used like the author said in the text file, or else for PRBoom+ users I suggest to use this patch file that fix them. Thanks to WH-Wilou84 for sending me it, though Alfonzo made it for this thread. Also, other specifications about what's recommended to play this wad will be described below.    This is a solid episode of mid-sized maps for those who fancy Alien Vendetta in its semi-slaughtery way. Same for its visual design, the wad features mostly a similar texture arrangement from the earlier and latest episodes from AV, ranging from techbases and industrial factories to underground caverns in a lite hellish context that gave me some nice throwbacks. It apparently includes new textures, but their purpose don't seem to stand out in any particular context, more like a complement to the stock ones, and to be honest they went unnoticed during my playthrough. I did see the blue Wolf3d texture usage as part of colour variation among other details, a modest appearance though, which was neat. If something cannot be overlooked is detailing, specifically the part that refers to "things". Users of source ports that allow to turn off infinite height will have it softer to maneuver around, because of dead trees and hanging corpses out of the FOV you can get stuck in. I understand they are part of the transition from man-made structures to more natural landscapes, yet they can be potential annoyances in later maps. It's a little slip in design, given the existence of many ports that support this wad, and regardless of the author's recommendation, not everyone is going to stick with it. Anyways, I liked the midis, they certainly fit in their maps except the one in map 04, it's a beautiful calm track but not for outdoor areas, in my opinion.    Vae Victus is only short in number of maps, but it's plagued of monsters to kill, assuming you're ready to dispatch every meat shield in the road. Difficulty is forgiving for the skilled player, there isn't much in the way of pressure or hectic encounters as long as you have your feet on the ground, literally speaking. I did notice how limited in ammo are some maps, requiring berserk usage specially from pistol starts. Also there is an oddity in the 4th map, all of the weapons minus berserk are multiplayer-only, and while you'll eventually steal the shotgun and chaingun from zombies, all of the cell packs are of no utility, which indicates the author missed to place weapons in single player. Still, what's more strange is the sheer absence of the BFG throughout the wad, not that you'll really need it. On another side, the wad is easily comparable to the two wads the author got inspiration of: the aforementioned Alien Vendetta in its design structures, hallways connected by compartments (of which resources are located and typically small intruders too), few switch/key hunts involving backtrack and mostly the kind of meaty incidental combat where you either stay and fight or escape and camp, which is up to the player's will. The mapset gets more in the vein of Deus Vult later, when the bigger areas are meant to be explored in depth, and killing everything turns a bit more time-consuming and less obligatory, besides monsters completely out of the player's aim. The penultimate map is where this wad excels, although I must admit the initial area is a chore to navigate. Nevertheless, it's a decent romp in difficulty, the skinned walls room is the first fun lock-in trap, followed by some crowd-herding in order to eliminate the primary targets. It's unfortunate that the last map is a bit of an anticlimax after the previous longer map, which could have served perfectly as a closure to the wad.    Secret-wise, if you wonder why you still haven't found any of the 13 secrets in the third map, don't worry, 10 are on top of crates the author probably forgot to untag. Maxing the map is impossible due to that, though. Outside of that, the secrets don't require much skill to find, if anything you'll be ok with humping suspicious walls, pistol starters will definitely appreciate the berserk in map 04. For favourite maps, that's hard to tell, I honestly don't have any highlight whatsoever, I liked all of the maps pretty much the same, except for the underwhelming map 07. I also wonder why they don't have names, huh...   Overall, it's fairly enjoyable in what it offers, I'd recommend it more for the casual player rather than the one looking for a new challenge, but still should deliver some relaxing grind with bits of slaughtery if you're open to it, just don't expect anything bizarre. Oh and, non-ZDoom maxers, remember to turn off autoaim to try to kill those snipers from afar in map 05, although in Crispy Doom it was still impossible to reach them :/ ... My rate is 7/10. 
    • By tib_ · Posted
      Very impressive, VERY spooky
    • By Classicgamer6 · Posted
      Valhalla is a dark industrial techbase level that almost immediately sucked me in with its bleak atmosphere and amazing ambient music. Gameplay wise this level isn't too complex with its rather simple monster encounters that in a few spots provided a fair challenge for me on Ultra Violence. My only issues with Valhalla is that there are a few spots where the detailing can impede movement and cause pressing a necessary switch to be awkward.
    • By Stale Meat · Posted
      If you could describe the general multilevel WAD of the early 90s, you would have experimental and very abstract level design and texture placement, a MIDI soundtrack of popular song covers and whatever else was readily available on the BBS networks, a handful of custom sounds and textures, and a difficulty a bit higher than base Doom, but nowhere near many of the WADs released today. All of this is present in Serenity, and it makes for a memorable and pretty fun jump back to the past and the basics.   Serenity has some pretty good effort put into it, with much of its design geared towards quality in all of its aspects. The textures are placed with care and do well to compliment the unique theme each level has. Layout is pretty solid with a healthy dose of experimenting with the various sector effects like stairs, lifts, and crushers to add variety. A few simple traps and complimentary barrel placements help emphasize a more tactical approach to each level, and a few secrets can certainly change how you can engage a future room full of bad guys by opening windows and alternate paths. There isn't much aesthetic detail beyond what is absolutely necessary, but it doesn't take away from the main focus of its gameplay.   It isn't a very difficult level set, so if you handled base Doom on UV just fine you will probably do the same here. Supplies are spread but plentiful and weapons are acquired slowly but surely through the 8 levels. Difficulty for me was fairly even, with action picking up in the last few levels in particular. This and the levels being fairly short meant that in most cases I didn't feel a worry to save more than once in a level, if at all. Enemy placement is pretty good overall, with most of the enemy types appearing early on but are often placed in ways that makes it engaging and fun to deal with most of the time. The whole WAD took a bit over an hour to finish with thorough exploring of secrets and close to full level completions.   Overall I quite enjoyed this charming throwback to the past. It was engaging yet not overly challenging and most of the levels I quite liked. A few were a little subpar, with the 7th map being the most annoying with its many doors, switches, and stairways dragging it out longer than it needed to be. But overall it is an hour well spent with gameplay that certainly holds up after all these years and some interesting level designs. If you want a fun experience of early 90's WADs, Serenity should be one of your first picks.
    • By Lane Powell · Posted
      A good, very HUGE map, plus or minus 1000 monsters depending on difficulty: the kind that can take upwards of two hours on the game clock to run through. Naturally it's not for the FDA/no-save crowd. Frankly I had to do it in multiple sittings over the course of a day, as map fatigue kept setting in. That said, and despite the fact that it largely uses the same green marble/stone and tech textures throughout, the detailing and designs manage to keep areas from feeling too samey, though personally I would have used a greater variety of textures in different areas to keep them more distinct, or at least widen the color palette a little. While most of the map takes place indoors, there are a few cool outdoor void areas (which I could've used more of, to be honest—even peeks out of windows would be nice!), some cave areas, and even a small ruins setpiece. There are many side areas and a great deal of interconnectivity (though few if any true route choices), but the pathing is very good: I never felt lost even when coming back from a break. The fact that buttons almost always acted on something close by was naturally a huge help.   Gameplay was appropriately challenging and about as varied as it could be in such a huge map, though there are a few tricks one can tell the author was especially fond of. For example, there are plenty of archviles. Luckily I'm fond of stomping archviles. On the flatly negative side I felt some areas were much too dark. Unfortunately these were often populated with stealth demons—not very clever. Also I don't know the idea behind fighting multiple Cyberdemons in a near-pitch-dark room with tons of geometry to get stuck on, but it wasn't a good one.   While there are some things I would do differently, this is all told a pretty fine map—provided you're among the intended audience of people who like trawling through huge-ass maps to begin with.
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