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GULAG

   (25 reviews)
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About This File

A five-level wad for Heretic, incorporating numerous new graphics. The appearance of each level is quite different; there is no unifying theme except that the action takes place on a series of islands. If I could have figured out how to replace the end screens, (assuming it's possible with Heretic), I would have named the levels:

1) On the Beach 2) Subterranea 3) Skull Mountain 4) The Flying Dutchman 5) Circus Maximus

Three of the levels are quite large (Circus Maximus is over 700K); I have been told that Gulag plays "too choppy" on a 486, so the wad may require a Pentium, or similar processor, for smooth gameplay.


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Unknown date

  
Architecturally great. But new textures is motley, work with light is lame, gameplay, oriented on cave crawling with savegames is fault. **

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Unknown date

  
Great. I'm downloading this WAD for fourth time now :) Never gets boring. - Trollmann -

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Guest

Unknown date

  
BEST,BEST,BEST

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I didn't play all Heretic levels (How could I?) but this is simply the BEST I ever did play. Great style of mapping, big, really epic Levels, a Pwad you will never forget!

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Unknown date

  
epic boredom

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This is a great set of levels, with clever puzzles and game play with some tight fights. I love it. 5/5 Kristus.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Amateurish. In the rough. 2 stars.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Balanced gameplay, puzzles are tough but not too tough, an all around excellent WAD!

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Unknown date

  
Quite an adventure! 5/5

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Unknown date

  
Great! 5 stars! Awesome, well-detailed level design and new textures, very splendid. For those who like Eternal Doom, this is a must play! The levels are enormous with a lot of switch-hunting to confuse you :) and wtf 1997? that's quite nice for its time.

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Unknown date

  
Decent WAD you have here. The cave parts were boring and summed up to be relentless switch hunts while the later levels were wonderful. 4/5

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Unknown date

  
very good the caves aren't boring imo either

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Unknown date

  
I would say "Best Heretic WAD ever", but I don't have tested all Heretic WADs avaiable. The fact remains that I love this one, levels have an "Eternal-ish" style with their puzzles and triggers. I need more PWADs like this one ! Legendary for sure. 5/5. ~Naan

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Unknown date

  
The first level is epic, and then the second builds on it ever moreso. I don't like how you have to wait so long to get the Dragonclaw, same with the Hellstaff and the Phoenix Rod also. It's not designed for wand-starts in any level which is a let down, and the third level is truly infuriating as going back and forth between 5 floors all the time is time consuming and it gets very monotonous.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Tango · Posted
      awesome stuff, love the atmosphere!
    • By galileo31dos01 · Posted
      Done with these settings:   - Crispy Doom 5.3
      - Ultra-Violence
      - Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
      - Saves every 10 minutes or so.   A strange, okay old one-man megawad with a long story included. Basically, the protagonist is part of a worldwide terraforming organization whose objective was invade Mars, they sent a spaceship with him inside. Troubles happened and he had to work it out on his own for several years, running out of oxygen and supplies. Rest is your job to survive, and if you care, the background of the maps is thoroughly explained in the text file. By the time I played the wad, I opted to ignore the story, but you don't have to do the same. Mars War has as many themes as basic Doom II resources allows, including spaceships (from where everything starts), tech bases, bunkers, underground caves, and other ambiguous environments. The peculiarity is that the visual themes appear in alternation rather than like a classic thematic progression, which seemed a bit disorienting at times. Texturing and detailing are generally a take-it-or-leave-it. Sometimes the looks are very bland, which is due to the a lot of monotexturing and misalignment combined with full brightness and boxy design in many of the maps. Think of huge walls of, for example GRAYTALL, to get the idea, or any other textures you might not like. However, I will admit the bits of surreal architecture helped some parts to look memorable in a good way, like a giant kitchen sink or the chambers with floating crates. I get that the author tried to tease people with Microsoft references, but that was not of my concern, in fact I liked the tricks with lifts resembling bar and pie charts, once I got the joke. The labelled textures, on the other side, seemed like silly memes. It was hilarious to find a big "DOOR" text on a door, that sort of things aren't common these days. All of the maps contain different midis, some gorgeous songs and tracks while others quite noisy. The one in the super secret map was the best by far.   The levels have a sort of gradual progression as monster species go, with the biggest demons appearing in particular boss-like situations. Figuring the correct way to exit is part of the regular gameplay of the wad, specially in the larger maps when becomes a maddening task, so as feeling constantly exposed to, mainly, hitscan attrition. There are a few instances of pressure from mixed groups of enemies here and there, and some interesting ideas like a zoo of monsters and infight simulators, but what will mostly keep you alert are the chaingunners and shotgunners, usually sneaking in resource compartments or from higher positions. Well, and the death traps. Teleporting in the middle of a round of zombies was devilish enough but dying my way through chains of nearly inescapable crushers was a tad obnoxious. Or the inverted case, you get sandwiched between the raising platform and the ceiling if you don't time perfectly your escape, which is the gimmick of map 20. Kudos for making an average player rage, heh. Anyways, the pace isn't necessarily slow in spite of the hitscan preponderance: health supplies exist aplenty, weaponry is available pretty soon in every map, with some exceptions, so I can only believe pistol starts are enjoyable with proper knowledge.    Secret-wise, usually they are very easy to spot. If you're familiar with 90's wads, it just takes a good eye to catch the hint, but sometimes you're down to trial and error, since the author had a fetish for punishing unwary players (yes, death traps). I like that there are plenty to find and some lead to hidden areas for extra kills and stuff, keeps the exploration side more engaging. For favourite maps I'll pick 16, 21, 29 and 32 for their cool concepts. Maps 15 and 17 would also be in the list because I love city maps, but the visuals are garish. The rest vary from acceptable to mediocre or boring.    Overall, it's quirky, rough, perhaps provocative for some people, as I could see around here, and still got me immersed until the end. Not sure if I would recommend this outside of nostalgic reasons, it definitely didn't aged so well, but unless you're opposed to the creativity of mappers from the past, this might worth a quick check. It's not going in my list of favourites, though. My rate is 5/10.
    • By dylux · Posted
      What I disliked: The 64/PSX (whatever) sounds, the lack of ammo, the unrewarding secrets, the recoiling of weapons and the "new" translucent Imps. I especially disliked the atmosphere - my eyes were hurting after Map 04. Almost every button you activate will spawn monsters coming out of the woodwork.    I DID like the Mapsets, though. It's unfortunate that the atmosphere ruined them for me.   This game should've been called "Spectre" 'cause there were more of them than every other monster in the game. Again, the gloomy atmosphere made them especially annoying.   I've read the sequel to this WAD is much better...but for this one, it just wasn't fun for me.   1 1/2 Stars out of 5
    • By Rimantas · Posted
      Layout is superb, difficulty is hellish. Would be perfect final level, because as pistol start is way too hard. However i'm finishing it on UV without freelook, jumping or any other cheats.
    • By Spectre01 · Posted
      Cool circular layout and a very high level of detail. Gameplay provides a fun challenge and none of it feels like a chore. 4/5
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