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The Terraces

   (3 reviews)


About This File

Classic Doom 2 city-style map originally designed for the cancelled "Plain Ol' Doom 2" community megawad. Originally designed as a Map 20 replacement. Level layout is a homage to "Central Yharnam" level from From Software's Bloodborne.

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I think I like the unique feel of this level. While the textures consist mostly of brown bricks with some green thrown into the mix, the city itself is constructed in an odd way that makes you feel like you're inside a great aqueduct. The map is expansive, it will take about 20 - 30 minutes to beat and the ammo is a bit scarce (though should be sufficient) so mind your shots. Other than that, the progression pacing is very smooth and an average player should be able to beat this level without sweat.

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I should warn you that I haven't visited Yharnam before, so if you're reading this review in the hope of finding some cool Bloodborne puns then you're shit out of luck. Sorry, pal!


This is a very good level. That it was sitting for nine months on Bauul's harddrive is pleasantly surprising, also, because it means that it was made roughly three months after the release of his debut map and troubled magnum opus Foursite, reviewed here. In that short span of time he must have been putting on some sort of clinic, refining his skills in preparation for the Plain Ol' Doom 2 community project. Are we seeing the emergence of another strong talent so soon?


Comparisons with Foursite are few, although honing in on any one of the quadrants in that level — which is deliberately sectioned and advertised as a four-in-one proposition — does bring into focus a few similarities. The broad, abstract approach to scene-setting is again at play, but whereas that level's direction was confused by the fusion of disconnected ideas, here is it delivered singularly and in quite an attractive way. In fact, everything from the appearance right down to the mix of monsters and the way they're used suggests that while Bauul's interest in building big, believable spaces is the same, his methods have shifted positively, prioritizing gameplay as the biggest factor when it comes to appreciating the mood and feel of the world. In this case, that world is a city; a medley of mortar and scattered guts. A little spartan in places, maybe, but you can definitely feel the vibe.


Combat is guerrilla. What the level lacks in set piece encounters it mostly makes up for with tricky, messy street fights that increase in intensity as you push through the wide boulevards of brick, wood and metal (it's quite a linear layout). The way the light provisions, decorations and monsters are spread out around you also helps to maintain this impression of a broken city that's perhaps already been purged, and is now just choked with renegade demons. No doubt the empty appearance of some of the areas — as well as the sound of Message for the Arch-vile playing in my ears — assisted my imagination, here.


If this level were about five to ten minutes shorter it may have snagged a fiver. It's slightly let down by an unwillingness to divorce any one part of its admittedly fun union of ideas for much longer than a few moments (though the nukage fight and ending setup are very welcome). A few distinctly scaled areas with a different look or dynamic would have gone some way to making this experience the complete package, at its current length. All up, though, a recommended download if you can spare twenty minutes.


Bullet-points of Interest:

  • A fun, skirmish-filled level that keeps the player wary of health and positioning.
  • A great sense of place that's aided by a liberal plastering of decorations and a limited texture set.
  • Slightly under-cooked in places, visually, despite the coherence.
  • A little more diversity would have gone a long way!
  • Reminded me of Romero's design in places, which makes me biased. Thanks, D_MESSAG.

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I knew I recognized the Yharnam feel from somewhere!


Great map, fun layout with good progression, and it feels a lot like classic Doom2 city gameplay. Ending is a little wonky, but other than that it's a super solid level. 

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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.