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By the Pricking of My Thumbs ...

   (3 reviews)
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About This File

Eleven maps, fully compatible with DooM2.exe, while including as much detail as possible. The first 10 maps pay homage to the first 10 maps of DooM2 Tested with Chocolate DooM & GZDooM

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this wad is...interesting, to say the least. by no means is it bad, but like previous reviewers have said, it's a strange, remixed version of doom 2's first episode. it feels a bit like playing doom 2 for the first time, but with a fresh coat of paint; it looks better with properly aligned textures and far more detailing, it has far more enemies than the original doom 2, and it's overall a bit more difficult. i'd assume that this is what it felt like to play doom 2 all the way back in '94.


however...it definitely has issues. i think the biggest one is that it's a bit of a hitscanner hell at times, with some levels being primarily filled to the brim by zombiemen, shotgunners, and chaingunners. it can quickly devolve into peeking around corners as at times there's not enough health if rng isn't on your side that day. it's obviously trying to imitate doom 2's first episode, so this is less a problem of the mapper and more a problem of carrying over traits from the episode to something like this.


overall, it's a competent remake of doom 2's starport setting. it has issues that were carried over from doom 2 but it's still an enjoyable wad if you wanna experience doom 2 for the first time again.

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*NOTE All levels played on UV starting from a pistol start*

If you took someone who played Doom II 10 years or so go and replaced the levels in this wad set with the ones in the main game I would not be surprised if anyone picked up on the difference given how closely they ape those levels. To be fair they do look a little bit better than the original levels, and arguably play even a little bit better but given how similar they are there is really very little reason to play this level set.

Its hard to give this wadset a rating given that while they are competently made, it is also perhaps one of the most superfluous wads on the idgames archive. Only give it a play if you want to see what the first 11 levels of Doom 2 could have looked like in a parallel universe.

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Quoting the description:


including as much detail as possible



The first 10 maps pay homage to the first 10 maps of DooM2

It should say "The first 11 maps", which are also all the maps.


This WAD is like a bizarro Doom 2, an alternate universe Doom 2 where the maps are the same, but different at the same time. Like strangely mangled versions of themselves. You will recognize all elements of all maps because the similarities are striking. Up to and including MAP07 the WAD feels like a bootlegged version of Doom 2. Only since MAP08 the WAD begins to feel like it stands on its own, despite still paying homages and still using familiar elements.


However, for what they are, the maps play well, with some difficult moments happening here and there. Looks are barren, but true to Doom 2. In overall, the WAD is not bad, but it's head-scratchy with its bootleggy-weirdness.

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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.