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CROSSING ACHERON

   (94 reviews)
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About This File

As in my first level -- DANTE'S GATE -- I have tried in CROSSING ACHERON to achieve a gaming atmosphere that is not only fast-paced (once the fur starts to fly), but just plain creepy. Once again, I went for the aesthetics (you know: The Look); but this time, I also tried to keep the game from being too easy. I think once you get inside, you'll find that CROSSING ACHERON has been fully optimized for DEATHMATCH. But it's just as enjoyable (if I do say so myself) in Single-player and Coöperative modes.

CROSSING ACHERON (pronounced 'ak eron) is a sequel to DANTE'S GATE -- thematically, anyway. (It's an E1M3 only because I thought the music was more appropriate than M2.) For any of the two or three of you out there who have read Dante Alighieri's THE DIVINE COMEDY -- or even only "Inferno" -- I'm sure you've been able to appreciate the many allusions to this work in DOOM. I have tried to take a tack of my own along the same lines. (I do this not only because I think the idea is neat, but so that people will think that I'm very clever.) I'm not so naïve as to expect everyone to rush out and get a copy of "Inferno" (I mean, it IS pretty tedious stuff, at times), but it's well worth the read -- and a little patience is a virtue that is often well-rewarded.

(By the way: Acheron is a river in Hell (basically). But don't look for any rivers in here: I tried it several different ways and just wasn't convinced.)

I thank those of you who sent me mail on my previous effort, and I hope to hear from more of you about this one. (Just a line would do: "It's great!" or "It sucks!" or "Now I know what John Cormack MEANT to do in "Unholy Cathedral.")

Thanks. Hope you like it.


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Stale Meat

  

One of Dr.Sleeps earliest works, Crossing Acheron is a simple but atmospheric map made in a time where mapping tools were both simpler and more user unfriendly than the Doombuilder of today.

 

Gameplay wise, it is quite subdued compared to his later maps in the Master Levels and Thy Flesh Consumed, with an enemy count and difficulty on par with most of Doom 1. The action is fairly brisk save for a few more intense areas, leaving the player a good bit of breathing room between fights to take in the sights and decide how to proceed. It is fairly nonlinear and doesn't give you a strong sense of direction other than searching around for more bad guys and bigger guns. It isn't enough to be completely lost, but you may want to keep an eye on the automap to figure out where to go next. You can get the entire arsenal in this map, but chances are you will probably kill most everything by the time you get it all. There is definitely enough ammo and health to take care of things with a good margin for mistakes anyways.

 

Layout wise, it looks its age but not necessarily in a bad way. There are some not so obvious lifts, a few spots where sectors are angled oddly, and the texture placement is a little rough, but otherwise it is pretty close to the standard of Id's own levels at the time, all with Dr.Sleeps signature emphasis on ambiance. His choice on E1M3 for the music fits well with the level, and combined with the sky and temple-like architecture it leaves a sort of eerie serenity as you wade through the chapel and surrounding open ceiling hallways. Compared to many WADs of later years it certainly pales in almost all aspects, but by even today's standards it is a fairly solid if simple level that can very well be a good standard to compare ones own early works.

 

Overall it is neither a spectacular experience or a particularly flawed one. You could probably skip it if you aren't attracted to its history or care much for shorter and simpler levels. But if you are interested in studying Doom history, making levels yourself, or even just want a fairly quick and laid back experience, I would recommend you check Crossing Acheron out at least once.

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Guest

  
well made

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Guest

  
Great for '94 and not too typical of it's era. Still fun to play now. Give it a quick play. -TRRobin.

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Guest

  
Overpraised. Unlike other great levels from top'94 it has no style or concept at all. Except a cathedral part (which executed quite poor even for '94) design here is just a room-by-room 2D drawing. Texture choice is very poor too, most of level consist from green stone without much differencies between walls and floors. Gameplay is average but those countless teleporters are real annoyance. /hth

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Guest

  
Actually not too bad but quite overhyped 1994 level. All-over a bit simple and sometimes chaotic, but has beside a lot of typical 1994-type flaws, some nice ambiance and @ UV gameplay with a few amusing moments. Rated as a 1994 map: 3*. BTW @ all 5* raters here: there are a sh*tload of 1994 maps which blow away this one completely on all aspects, so 5* is obviously ridiculous. /nofi

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Guest

  
I always like a delightful challenge on Ultraviolence, and this WAD offered just that. It presents itself as a classic style DOOM map, as the atmosphere of the map is quite flavorful and faithful to id's depiction of Hell. Play it, you'll die! -Amphedark

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Unknown date

  
For it's time.. and still today, unbelievable. A must have for everyone who calls themselves a doomer. -Fusion

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Even today I still love playing this map I just like this one alot, an nice old school map and in some cases even better than maps you see today 5/5.

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Unknown date

  
classic ***** -sargebaldy

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Very good map, the teleporters and key locations kept it a challenge to find the exit. 4/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I like Dat Shi

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Dante fan? Good job

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I wouldn't call this the best release of 1994 (Eternity or TEU, as those are whole episodes), but as far as level design is concerned this is remarkably close in quality to the original and more or less the best you'll find from '94. I'll even sneak a 4/5 from today's perspective.

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cs99cjb

Unknown date

  
All doors have bad ceiling textures and it's easy by modern standards (how many soul spheres?!) but never ugly or boring. This is mostly about puzzles not slaughter. Best just to go with the flow. Completed in 18m. 4/5.

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It's awesome, but it doesn't seem as creepy as I thought it would be but it's still a good WAD. Indeed a worthy download.

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One of the old classics. On par IMO with his TFC maps.

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A true classic. I got so much of my inspiration from Dr. Sleep. It deserves no less than 5. -PC

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Guest

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Amazing, a great old school style with nice clean map design

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Updated version here: http://www.doomworld .com/idgames/index.p hp?id=13978

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Guest

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Gameplay in singleplayer is good, so its hard to think that he designed this with deathmatch in mind.

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Guest

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Oldchool flava -- Brun Ohn

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Hooking graphics and level design, with enough difficulty and enigmas to keep the gameplay entertaining. Still, the supposedly "plain creepy" part is kind of a failure. Overall, pretty enjoyable for one of the oldest maps released. 4/5(Pretty Good)

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Guest

Unknown date

  
yeh this ain't a bad level i mean its the second in the canto of inferno series but yeh its worth playing through i hav this and the other wads that complete it =P so overall the levels are quite good but this and the first level (Dante's Gate)are better then the later levels with the expection of Geryon which was awsome! but yeh they are worth playing through =]

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Unknown date

  
not bad 3/5

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  • File Reviews

    • By SeanLeal · Posted
      Dear Doomkid,

      I was involved in the design and play-test of each of these levels. Please know these were created from *scratch* and we spent our time making sure the levels were as playable as possible. We were not terribly focused on texturing, other than to give players positional awareness in different parts of each arena.

      Map 6 -- Offices of Death -- Was intentionally designed to be as accurate a representation of the office we worked in as possible. Admittedly, playability was taken as a second priority. We did manage to create working "elevators" and "stairs" to give the illusion you were going up and down floors. I was pretty happy with how we did.

      Considering it was 1996, and no way to simply "Google" different ideas. Your best bet at the time was to jump onto the Usenet and hope you could find a decent board with active members. Other than that, it was pretty much all self-taught.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the other levels. Yes, they are old-school, big arena, style. We spent a LOT of time trying to make sure they were as balanced as possible, with escape routes, and required risks for rewards.
    • By Summer Deep · Posted
      Excellent stuff for the mid-1990s. Lots of action, good layouts, pretty challenging on UV.    9/10
    • By Meril · Posted
      For 1995 design is ok. But is VERY short. 3 min in slow pace.  Map is easy af.
    • By Meril · Posted
      Square rooms, no details, ugly. Secrets aren't flagged as secret. Only for crappy-wad-lovers.
    • By Meril · Posted
      For 1995, not bad. Some ideas, are really cool, but they're mixed with dumb things. Texture misalignments are common. Overall I had nice time with this.
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