The Demon's Keep

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Author

Carlos Lastra

About This File

//****************//

Finally, you have arrived at the Demon Lord's Keep. After a long road, you are ready to face Him and his personal Army. The Demon knows where you are, so prepare yourself to be surrounded, ambushed, shot and bitten.

The End is Near.

//*****************//

Base

New from scratch

Build Time

2 weeks

Editors Used

Doom Builder 2 (Doom settings) and Slade3 (MAPINFO)




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an_mutt

  • 2
   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

A single level for Doom I, set in the E2M8 slot to make use of the Cyberdemon death trigger.

 

(Spoilers: this map has a Cyberdemon in it!)

 

This is a fun little romp lasting for the best part of five minutes, albeit with little-to-no replay value outside of simply experiencing the map again. The mapper makes good use of the map's central gimmick to encourage you to exploit in-fighting, which goes a long way in shoring up the negative aspects of Ultimate Doom's limited bestiary. Indeed, the full gang of demons are here: Cacodemons, Barons (a lot of them!), Lost Souls and a few Imps on ledges to add a little crossfire to the mix. It's a fairly stock gimmick, but one that is well deployed here - while there's a lot of beef, much of the enjoyment is in jockeying your way through the two map segments, steering Cyberdemon rockets into enemies as best as you can in order to alleviate pressure.

 

One disappointing aspect of the map is its fairly straightforward architecture - each map section is simply a large box, with the player's movement areas consisting of a chain of corridors around a turret, or a larger, more open space around a turret. More unorthodox room shaping could go a long way in opening up these kind of encounters, and making them feel more unique. As it is, while I appreciate that the mapper has a decent grasp of designing gameplay, their potential for more interesting set-pieces or encounters is limited by the fact that what I've seen in the architectural department here is very stock, and there's only so much that you can do with monster placement in levels consisting of box arenas.

 

One other negative of the map is its aesthetics: it is an ugly mish-mash of flesh, marble and brimstone, with little consistency throughout. I am absolutely not a fan of "Garish, visually noisy Hell", which is exactly what's on display here. One strong motif I did notice is the use of sky as a floor texture, which pops up a couple times throughout the map in small slivers. Unfortunately, this is only a small part of the level's visual aesthetic, which is a shame as a map focusing more on this visual style would certainly be more striking and unique.

 

Two stars feels a little harsh (to me, it should represent a little below average, which a significant number of maps inherently must be), but I hope the mapper recognizes that there are a few good ideas within this level. Furthermore, I hope they are able to continue designing solid gameplay ideas like that which is present in The Demon's Keep, while working to improve other aspects of their design.

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Slimz

  • 4
  

On a start... Heres no medikits or more ammo, you have like 60 Energy cells on your backpack and you can't elimante Cyberdemon using a BFG9000, Even heres many Cacodemons to cockblock marines and send them to D E A T H. Its very funny if you get first time pranked by a Cacodemon and killed yourself. (No offense I'm just bad at joking...) Map is a bit confusing but its very linear and good concept than Terry wads.

I rate it 4/5

- Slimz on a nutshell.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Zalewa · Posted
      Was there a texture limit imposed here or what? It's all red rock. Shooting is straight forward, geometry is the same irregular shapes with height variation that only slightly goes up and down. The map is very short and not boring, but it's very, very basic.
    • By Zalewa · Posted
      Nothing spells meh like recycled IWAD geometry. And it's recycled a lot. The level is crampy, plain in visuals and the combat stalls at times.
    • By Zalewa · Posted
      A graveyard/mausoleum level built only out of Doom 2's stock textures. Weapons stop at chainsaw, shotgun and chaingun - there's no SSG as far as I know. The level is short and mostly not difficult. A nice map, all in all.
    • By CapnClever · Posted
      Playability notes: The mapset appears to have been tested only in ZDoom, so use that (or ZDoom-derived). Pistol starts are recommended.   Confinement 512 has a number of fun encounters and difficult matchups, but lacks the refinement to do so over its entire length. Veterans will immediately note some missing textures and odd handling of monsters under the floor, laying bare the inexperience of the mapper during this creation, though it doesn't significantly impact the gameplay. Aside from one or two major stumbling blocks, however, I consider this a good first attempt and it shows considerable thought put into the set's progression.   Much like the binary-powered iterations before it, the limitation of this mapset is to only allow the player to move within a 512x512 square, a mere quarter the size of more typical 1024 projects. This tends towards very small arenas  in which fights can take place, but with the right mindset it can be to the mapper's advantage. For example, a map can focus the player into one or two well-designed encounters instead of drawing itself out with numerous mediocre ones. Such appears to be the philosophy behind these maps.   The first four of seven maps are quite amusing, with the player bombarded at every turn. Even barons manage to become semi-interesting at such close range! Maneuvering against various enemies is a challenge unto itself, and yet there's still plenty of action through the progression of a map. Skipping a bit, the sixth map is very rough in its start, but with a few attempts you learn how to play along and it ends up an exhilarating choice of combat.   The biggest issues here are the fifth and seventh maps, for very different reasons. MAP05 is simply too constrained: there's basically one streamlined approach and it ultimately depends on luck. (I'd like to think it was me simply not learning the level well enough, but it's a really awkward map regardless.) MAP07, on the other hand, tries Dead Simple and, while the first half is actually a decent fight, the teleporting of Arachnotrons is completely trivialized (keep in mind this is ZDoom, and berserk fist is quite manageable against large opponents).   It's a small set, and its amateur placements are refreshing under the self-imposed conditions. My recommendation: try to get through it all, but feel free to skip MAP05 if its challenge isn't to your liking.
    • By CapnClever · Posted
      Playability notes: Designed for vanilla usage, so take your pick. Play with pistol starts.   Congestion 384, though quite small in stature, is solidly refined in both aesthetic and encounter design. While no level is all that hard, each one fits an interesting fight into the space available, and I can't ask for much more.   Inspired by Congestions 1024 and 64, this limitation is something of a middle ground, only allowing for the player to navigate within the confines of a 384x384 block. Needless to say this is very small, and at its very boundaries the player can only move within 12 widths of one's self along either axis. Still, it's enough to fit a fight or two, as this mapset eloquently shows.   The encounters really are well-handled, perhaps due to the limitation itself: each level has to pull its own weight, lest the entire mapset come across as filler. There are a couple stumbling cases wherein an otherwise difficult enemy can be skipped by exiting a level early, but played as-is they would be a fun challenge. The aesthetic also plays enough of a role to benefit encounters, stealthily giving the appearance of a full map but eventually revealing a new group or two.   I'd mention highlights but in the time it would take to read one you could finish its respective map, so instead I'll mention my favorites: MAP03, MAP05, MAP08, MAP10, MAP12-MAP15, MAP18. It's a fun little mapset worth a quick playthrough and an excellent primer for those just stepping beyond the difficulty of Doom1 or Doom2.