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Escape from the Catacombs

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About This File

Here it is: my debut in the art of creating levels for FPS video games. Or rather, my first real attempt at doing so, where I genuinely try to make a playable level rather than to mess around with the editor. So, this is the time where I have to provide a story for the WAD or something, right? Well, if that's so...

You used to be a cunning mercenary who never resisted the urge to protect his homeworld from demons or whatever sorcery. However, citizens if the land thought you were a dangerous criminal, and so they decided to incarcerate you in a dark dungeon. They decided to lock you up in a chamber in an underground catacomb, beneath an old military base. You had spent a few months in solitary confinement, being fed a meal made of a chicken three times a day by the guard. But one day, the guard didn't open the cell door to deliver your lunch for whatever reason. This felt rather strange, so you wondered what's happening. Suddenly, a ghastly figure entered your room with murderous intent. You dodged his attacks and karate chopped his head off. Then you had realised that the compound has been overrun by evil, and it's your duty to escape and save the day once again. You picked the sorcerer's staff and decided to set out.

....That works. While it's true that it's my first map, I did my best to make it appear decent and iron out any flaws. I had to use some magic tricks to do what I want, which might make you see a void sometimes, but there's not much I can do when mapping in the vanilla map format. Besides, there aren't many Heretic maps being made these days, so I don't have a lot of competition. Nonetheless, I hope you will have fun! I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Who knows, maybe I will create more maps for other games in the future.


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rdwpa

· Edited by rdwpa

  

Escape from the Catacombs, KUBA18i's debut, is an e1m1 replacement for Heretic using stock assets.


The visuals are rough and primitive, but the author's handling of concept and contrast places it above the usual beginner "everything is STARTAN" exercise. Like an oldschool adventure game, each area has its own look and identity: among others, there is a vast dungeon chamber, a sawtooth network of caves, and an outdoor mini-town. It's hard to call much of this elegant or compelling, but it holds clear hints of promise for future work.  

 

The combat swings all over the place. A ruthless saberclaw trap early had me geared for a rare Heretic combat-puzzle map, but from that apex the action settles into a sustained lower pitch. While this works when exploration is the focus, it falters when the monsters get buff. The finale tosses out three maulotaurs that pose little threat in their spacious environment, and even with two tomes of power, the battle is protracted and toothless. A single maulotaur might have provided the same climax.

 

A bright spot in the balancing is how the ample items, found both freely and in a sloppy bunch of secrets, are crucial to making efficient headway. I chucked one of those magical eggs through a small doorway to morph a few ophidians into chickens, avoiding dull clearance of one of Heretic's tankiest monsters. The core gameplay isn't without delights either. In the underground caves, a savvy player can dismantle another saberclaw ambush with a cluster of explosive pods. And at one point, I had a laugh watching iron liches -- which I saved for the end because of tight ammo -- hurl ophidians shockingly high with their tornadoes. 

 

Overall, Escape from the Catacombs is a respectable debut that Heretic fiends might enjoy.  

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D'Craven.0ne

  

Pretty basic, but fun. Ammo might be on the low side at the start - more specifically after the switch behind the yellow door. Once you manage to get a foothold in the underground section it gets better. The surface section is decent, although you can cheese most of the action by standing infront doors and continuously opening and closing them (causing monsters to infight).

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  • File Reviews

    • By rdwpa · Posted
      2.5/5   Core combat is a strength. It's brisk and easy, and you'll be using the SSG to double-kill imps, pellet-slap mancubi's bellies, and get a firm grip on boners in your area. Apart from that, I found the experience lacking. Visuals, though okay, suffer from alignment issues. Wandering back to the exit door, far from its requisite key, accounted for a good chunk of my five minutes playing. 
    • By rdwpa · Posted
      Lakeside might also be named Loopside: every major area appears on your itinerary no less than twice, no backtracking. Don't want to pick off cliff imps in the start area? Pouring bullets into a fatso too slow? Ignore those Bezos. Come back with a bigger weapon.   Though the whole arsenal minus the BFG appears at some point, I ended up replaying this and restricting my options to the berserk fist and the carefully rationed plasma rifle. Naturally that implies a lot of punching, with the motley cast -- 89 monsters, many punchable, many not -- offering a slate of tricky, fun Tyson challenges. To get a max this way, navigating a pair of hectic infight-baiting scenarios is pretty much mandatory. I loved it. It makes good pugilistic practice. There is even a {spoiler}demon to fist.   This is a speedmap, also a positive! Speedmaps have two big traps to avoid: the first is outright sucking, the second is having no ideas and half-baked content. Once they do both, I usually like them.
    • By rdwpa · Posted
      In Bricked, Rhys does nothing offensive. Over 10-20 minutes of play, depending on pace and completionism, you can expect fair and balanced combat, and a gradual ramp-up through the arsenal and bestiary, starting at the bottom and settling before the BFG and big bosses come out. I'd describe the dominant theme as "stock brown," with help from assets like computer panels, the silver starbase cluster, and CEMENT (the bathroom tile suite).   Having played many user maps, I've seen a lot of all of this before. It's okay, but little stood out. I liked the fighting most in the larger spaces, which allowed me to go out of my way to get numerous factions infighting. Interactive triggers like lifts and stairbuilders and optional switches are more common than average, and they are used smoothly (which is important, because extra machinery is simply a detriment if it's awkward and inscrutable).   Note: though the tally lists eight secrets, two are errant flags on a window sill. 
    • By MuratMikal · Posted
      Played at UV with keyboard only (as I always do). EPIC II is a very good megawad with challenging gameplay and very beautiful textures. After MAP 19 there're a lot of tough encounters, mostly with wave of chaingunners and cyberdemons in tight spots as well as frequent usage of archvile in all maps (with MAP 29 having 87 archviles at UV!).Thankfully the author gives enough ammo and powerups to deal with them, so it's fair game. However, a complain I have is in 3 or so maps the author uses teleporting cyberdemon to create artificial difficult to the player and in my opinion it's dumb enough to warrant the loss 0.5 less star. My final score is 4.5/5, but doomworld rating system doesn't allow this so I'm gonna rate it 5 stars. I will certainly replay this one and would recommend UV difficult only for advanced players.
    • By silentzorah · Posted
      Solid wad with a purple color scheme and new enemies.  Music choices are enjoyable, difficulty starts off low and ramps up considerably towards the end.  MAP07's end was a total beef wall, though.  Make sure you find all the secrets in that one if you want to stand a chance.   All around, no bad maps in this wad.  Four stars.
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