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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 Yandere_Doomer · Posted
      The level design is absolutely great! i love how it makes you genuinely feel like you are in a building the whole time..   For some reason this wad gives me a Die Hard vibe [probably the whole "Go down a building" Motif... now all we need is a demonic Hans and we are all set]   but yeah.. great wad overall...
    • By Argenteo · Posted
      Amazing episode, some custom decorations and good care to lights and shadows. I like how he uses the playing space (wide corridors) and how it affects the combat. Despite her beautiful voice, you gotta kill her. Burning trees.
    • By aargh · Posted
      Nice, tight level design. E1M8 was an amazing puzzle map.
      It's surprisingly difficult for a Doom 1 WAD, but for wrong reasons: constant ambushes, monsters teleporting right behind you. Also, there is a serious lack of medikits. Fights with 5 % health and hitscanners all around are common.
      Still, it was quite fun.
    • By northivanastan · Posted
      Seriously underappreciated WAD. If you've played the Japanese Community Project, Manbou (burabojunior) was the most prolific contributor, and without his nine maps, the JPCP wouldn't have the same reputation for fun and artistic flair. He announced Water Spirit in the text file for JPCP, and released it a year later. These are three somewhat challenging maps with high enemy counts and visuals even more stunning than his JPCP maps. Manbou is probably my favorite visual artist in Doom. My only complaint is that the PWAD as a whole is really short, consisting of only three maps that are about ten minutes of gameplay each. It leaves me wanting a lot more.
    • By Argenteo · Posted
      Big non-linear tech-base with no music replacement (D_running ad-eternum).
      I know there's a more polished version in an unfinished megawad, with a lot better combat and navigation. Cool idea, not sure about the execution. I recommend playing the reworked one.