This was great. Great joke wad and a great Terry trap collection.
Instead of the generic "Oh it's a well made map at first then BOOM" it's actually a well-made megawad that simply has them as little traps that can be avoided. It's able to be completed, seriously. That's new.
I especially love the final boss and highly suggest using a cheat against him. Trust me, do it, it'll be worth it.
Are you up for a brutal, non stop challenge through detailed, but bland environments? The Secret Energy doesn't let up, so it's either a low health slaughter map or a speed runner's dream to get from switch to switch, all while enemies constantly spawn in with each button press. There's little health for such meaty enemies and even on the easiest difficulty, it's a slog to kill them all. The place is so big and centralized, you might miss where you need to go next. No arrows, the switches are around corners and walls inside of rooms that may or may not have opened.
It feels like a punishing experience from the first room. It fills with imps, then pinkies, then flying enemies, then revenants and a cyber demon. The entire map is like that. Enter a room and it will flood in via waves. Each wave opens up something new and you need to find where that new thing is. Is it a switch on a wall? Is it a switch inside of a pillar? Did a door just open up? Are you supposed to go back into the main corridors of the complex? At least on my first play through, I felt there was a poor flow to the level.
The game has its detail, but detail with greens, browns, a few blue wires across the floors, perhaps to guide you to the next area. It was all lost on me and blurred together into a jumble. While the structures of each new room was different, it's the color scheme and darkness that stayed the same.
Give it a try. There is something redeemable in here for those hardcore enough to endure the first room, let alone the entire map.
Believe the hype, Sand Chain is indeed a terrible map. Not terrible like oh this must be someone's first map or designed by a team of kinder gardeners and their friend in second grade who can use DoomBuilder, I'm talking hall of mirror walls, coupled with the fact you can go through the game's exit switches. The map is short and sweet, which only adds to how terrible it is. The level is a single hallway with... get this... a bend! Oh stay with me here... and then after that bend, there is a bank of switches! Yeah, that's it. The level isn't meant for Nightmare, but it should become everyone's first accomplishment of, "I can beat this level on nightmare."
I suppose in an artistic way, the hall of mirror affect on all walls is to disorient the player, so they miss the big twist at the end. Thus costing speed runners valuable seconds on their first play through. The big twist being the bend. Other than that, there are plenty of shotgun shells, shotgun troopers and health to ensure you make it to the end of this brutal and rigorous test of endurance over the course of 5 - 30 seconds.
This is the level that has become famous, because everyone needs to play it themselves to add their two cents of "it's crap" to the pile of reviews that will no doubt entice more people to play this game. It's a gorgeous display of everything wrong without the annoyance of having to play it for longer than a full minute. Complete with someone from an aol email to spice up it's true 1995 feel... despite being made in 2009.
* slow clap * You've done it. You've found a new twist on terrible.
I guess this was meant to be a serious wad, just using a trick to make the C-Demon hard to see. I don't think it was a deliberate troll of the style that caught on later, eg Sand Chain and the Terry wads. IMHO it nowhere near holds the record for "worst wad ever" (even if it did once) so it is now "over-rated" in that respect. There are wads where you die quicker (eg "Stupid Benchmark #1"), and wads with worse graphics( eg "Sand Chain"). TBH, after all the hype I was a bit disappointed, I was expecting worse LoL.