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The Uprising

   (11 reviews)
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About This File

Looks like you're coming out of retirement, son.

Another citadel was taken over by the forces of Hell, just when you thought you exterminated them all!

This time, it's not so easy. The minions are more dedicated than ever, to take over the world! They've teamed up in larger numbers, and in tougher groups. This will be the toughest battle you may ever have been in, provided you can last through this marathon of gunfire.


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Woolie Wool

  

Layout: 2 | Visuals: 3 | Combat: 2 |  UV: 2 | Overall: 2/5

Time to completion: 30-60 minutes

Release date: 9/6/98

IWAD: Doom II

Format: Boom compatible

This wad made quite an impression on me when I first played it in 1999 or 2000, shortly after discovering PWADs and source ports for the very first time. Colin Phipps’ Doom Underground gave it a positively glowing review, and being a cheater using the default keyboard controls, I really had no idea what made a good level and just marveled for what, at the time, seemed like incredibly detailed architecture. In the day, Fiffy was a notorious internet troll going by “King REoL” who declared himself “The MetallicA of DooM” [sic] but the only quality he shared with said band was his pathological grandiosity (versions of his website from before he embedded it inside a homebrewed Flash monstrosity can still be accessed on archive.org and make for interesting reading), and while his level-design “brand” did garner some notoriety, it was mostly a secondary effect of the drama he generated everywhere he went. So how does this map hold up over 15 years later? Not too well, I’m afraid.

 

“The Uprising” is a sort of castle-like thing built into a cliff face; with the “back” of the fortress being a rock wall, and all approaches to the gatehouse except from the front blocked by other rock walls, the need to actually plan a coherent castle layout was obviated, and it really seemed like George Fiffy had no real plan for this map but just kind of added stuff as he went along, starting from the start across the moat and working his way in a mostly straight line back to the bailey, and thence sprawled out in various directions for the various key hunts. There is a succession of five or six areas but each is its own “thing”; they don’t connect together or look into one another, and correspondingly there is very little sense of place (for instance, the underground chamber you access from the moat to raise the drawbridge has no connection to the fortress at all; it’s just there, with no way to tell that they’re supposed to be part of the same structure, and a teleporter near the drawbridge switch just dumps you back at the start of the map. The color selection is very drab; almost exclusively dull greens, browns, and grays; a strongly colored sky would have added greatly to this level’s eye appeal, but knowing Fiffy’s taste in custom textures (the Taz-Mania yellow sky from 2fiffy4, anyone?), perhaps the drab look is for the best. On that note, there is a really ugly new status bar and a set of modified sounds; I strongly recommend opening the wad and deleting them. Fiffy also included a breakable glass texture; as usual his art looks awful but the effect was so novel in 1998 I can let it pass.

 

The infamous detail that old Socket 7 machines struggled with back in the day manages to be both elementary and gratuitous; almost the entire map is made of rectangular areas with straight walls, connected by long straight corridors and dotted with pilasters, sector furniture, and (very ugly) rows of stepped sectors to give the impression of sloped or vaulted ceilings. The only area that aspires to more than “a room” is the bailey in the center of the map, a walled courtyard with some buildings (the keep included, which doesn’t actually fit inside the wall but just kind of splatters outward in a diarrhea of nondescript birds and trees and rocks and rooms and corridors and things) which conjures memories of “Industrial Zone” from the original campaign but is more orderly and, consequently, less fun to play. Everything here is simple, regular shapes, with no overlapping geometry or structural complexity; all the detail is just ornaments tacked onto floor plans that aspire to nothing beyond mere existence. The lighting is very basic, with little contrast between lighting and shadow with none of the complex chiaroscuro gradients employed by contemporary “extreme detail” wads like 99 Ways to Die, GothicDM, or Caverns of Darkness. Fiffy’s lazy lighting combine with his ill-chosen graphic and sound replacements to give a slapdash, amateur look and feel to nearly all of his work, but the sheer laboriousness of this level undermines any naive outsider aesthetic such art might cultivate in say, a 1994 wad.

 

The gameplay is very much what someone who can’t beat a difficult map thinks a good difficult map is; lots of monsters (431 after PE spawns) placed in blocks directly in front of the player or to one side on a flat plane, but not even the most perfunctory attempts at choreography or pressure. Furthermore, a lot of these monsters are shotgunners or chaingunners, which brutally punish any attempts to rampage through areas and sow infighting. The result is a festival of corner-camping, chain-sniping, and pie-slicing that some might call “tactical” but I’d rather just call a slow, tedious grind. Making this worse is that the plasma rifle and most of the rocket ammo are tucked away in secrets, so if you don’t find any, you just have to grind, grind, grind away with the SSG. A few revenants and archviles are placed throughout the map in situations where they cannot possibly pose any threat; one of the switches required to access the red key had the first two-archvile pincer I’ve ever seen with literally no difficulty because you can slice the pie to draw them down a narrow corridor one at a time and casually butcher them.

 

Fiffy’s love of narrow doors doesn’t help; there must be a hundred of the things, usually with some monsters right behind it to serve as a “door with health” to retard your progress. Most egregious is one small room, which, when opened, disgorges four Barons of Hell clown car-style to waste your time and your shells. They file out into a long L-shaped corridor with plenty of room to dodge them, but there’s not quite enough room to move around them without risking melee, so you just have to stand, dodge a few fireballs, and occasionally move back a bit while firing your SSG over and over until they’re all dead. A solid minute of your time wasted. It took me 37 minutes to complete this map (I got turned around a few times; I expect a player good at FDAs could manage a thorough exploration in 20) but because the layout was so incohesive and the combat so dull, there was no “epic” feeling to any of it. It’s long, bombastic, and superficially violent, but simplistic, rote, and soulless…just like a bad Metallica song, come to think of it.

 

Also, instead of a proper /idgames/ text file, the documentation is in a batch file full of echo commands called !!READ!!.bat, the relevant information being interspersed with bragging and grandstanding and force-fed to you screen by screen, because King REoL is just that kind of guy.

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Played the whole series and this is the best. 4/5 coldfusio.

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You all suck! I'll kill all of yaz! *****

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Unknown date

  
it's good

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While this level feels somewhat bare detail wise the gameplay is top-notch with some nice enemy placement. Its also a long, long level so don't play this unless you have 30 minutes+ spare.

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sextastic

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King REoL is an asshole, but he can make himself a damn level. 4/5 --Woolie

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Nicely Done. 4 stars.

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pretty darn good-4/5

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I liked it

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This is an early source port level, but it's pretty good. There are very few gimmicks, and lots of action, with just over four hundred monsters. It's a castle level, much better than typical 1994/95 dreck. The detail is simple but there's lots of action - you get masses a weaker monsters rather than a few toughies. Lots of ammo. Some dire new sounds and graphics but that's normal. Not too hard, although the archviles near the end are a bit tricky.

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  • File Reviews

    • By tempdecal.wad · Posted
      Um lol the TITLEPIC, also this wad lets you shoot crates to lower them and get ammo, and I like how the Minecarts puzzle was recreated using only Pain Elementals, however I have to say this isn't really well done, the puzzles are weird and you're expected to hug, shoot and press walls and some weird "Dormant" monsters, I applaud the effort that went into recreating the layout of the level, could use some 3D Floors and some Slopes though, but the visuals aren't all that great and the puzzles are somewhat different so if you haven't played the original level this will confuse you even more than their Decay counterparts, partly due to lack of hints and the weird and confusing visuals (I keep using the word confusing but there's really no better way to describe it).   1 star for the layout Faithfulness (barely), 1 star for naked Rosenberg.
    • By BaraKornel · Posted
      Fun map, with some decent design. I don't get the last teleport though, where the player can use the teleport to teleport to exactly the same place.
    • By Nine Inch Heels · Posted
      I've never done a review for a rocket jump WAD, so this might turn out somewhat like a ramble. Apologies in advance if it does.   I picked up RJSLOTH while learning the most basic things about rocket jump maps. That said, I really should have waited with this WAD until later, when I'd be more consistent with basically everything this genre entails. For those of you who have never made contact with this genre I'll have a short description in the spoiler below:

          Even map 02, in spite of being dated in the sense that it was made prior to some discoveries in rocket jumping, turned out to be somewhat demanding at first. However, as is the case with many ToD maps, there are consistency checks here that really helped me to get some moves into my muscle memory with brute force. Especially things that require precise timing are something that you either learn to do properly while you play this, or you give up trying. The map also features some "combo-jumps" in places, basically as "highlights" of a given section to round off the package. I'm glad I didn't give up. Beating map 02 felt really good.   As for map 10, which is a brutally tuned up version of map 02: You're looking at something that seems to have been built in a laboratory with a calculator. Each one of the jumps there requires extreme precision, and if you're anything like me, which means you're still looking to become consistent with the techniques for "(relatively) modern rocket jumping", you should only attempt this map during a weekend or so, because it could take you "some" time to nail these trick shots perfectly. I didn't manage to finish this map yet, but from the obstacles I have made it past I can tell that this map, as well as map 06 of this WAD, is aimed at people who can do certain tricks of ZDaemon rocket jumping blindfolded. Being able to build maps like this, so precise and unforgiving without feeling totally unfair is an impressive feat for sure, but for my tastes and current skills it is almost impossible to "digest", also due to the sheer size of map10. I will come back to it eventually though, because I wanna see the end of it.   The only reason I'm not putting down 5 stars here is that these maps are a little bit too repetitive for my liking in places. Obviously that's an easy impression to get when I can't do things very cleanly, which results in repeated attempts, so take this reason with a grain of salt and you'll be fine.
    • By galileo31dos01 · Posted
      Done with these settings:   - GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9
      - Ultra-Violence
      - Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
      - Saves every 10 minutes or so.   This is a slightly improved sequel of a mediocre megawad. It has no story whatsoever, not that it needs one, it's practically designed without an overarching theme and focused on Boom compatibility, something that the prequel didn't communicate very well. Although you rarely see tricks like conveyors and silent teleports put to specific purposes, they're mostly for the atmosphere. A couple of maps use custom colormaps in particular setpieces. One is to simulate immersion in toxic, and the other in blood, or perhaps portals to hell?. Anyway, Community Chest 2 has some nice visuals using stock textures. While not every map looks great, a bunch are simply awe-inspiring because of the author's creativity. I dig the idea in "Death Mountain", the sinuous terrain with mounds everywhere is very neat, as it's theoretically a mountain floating in the air. My only gripe is the trees are placed to get stuck in. Other locations are plain techbases, brown caverns, wooden complexes, Inferno-styled hell and unknown places. Most of the music available are tracks from other wads and games, with only one self-made piece for map 24 by the same author, an amazing melody by the way. I would suggest to add your own tracks for the maps lacking them, for a stronger experience if it helps.   For those who have played the prequel first, and I'm sure everyone did, there are quite a few familiar names to be found, some of which contributed with more than one map. Gene Bird cooked around five for example, evoking a conservative "rooms with monsters" 90's style. His maps don't vary in any aspect to each other, nor to his previous works in Community Chest 1 unfortunately, but they blend well enough with the tone of the mapset. The first map is already by Erik Alm in his well-known Scythe fashion. Then we have individual entries from Andy Leaver, Kaiser and Use3d, the latter came as an improvement to be honest. On the other hand, a big portion of the people involved were completely new to me, and that's when I had to expect the unexpected, sort of. I'd say the maps had their ups and downs, generally enjoyable if some exceptions. They were also organized in a very random way, but that's no news. Just like a traditional community project, this megawad features a wide range of concepts, layouts, and forms to entertain the player, for better or worse. Fans of old-school and/or adventure maps will be delighted, as there are a lot of them in all sizes and difficulties, even several inspired by the original Doom levels. The obvious standout is "The Mucus Flow", a brutal map that can only be understood with patience and dedication, mostly the former one, and heavy chainsaw practicing. Besides, its curvy "mint-chocolate" design is beautiful and unique, or used to be, since tons of future releases found inspiration from it (e.g. Speed of Doom). A shame it has glitches in the sky. There are other remarkable moments to be experienced, such as to explore a city in depth to figure out the secret exit, or to fall in a sequence of fake exits that only exposes you in circles of chaingunners. I'm not sure how others will take it, but I couldn't hold my laugh after the second time.   Secret-wise, the first thing to know is that PRBoom users need to activate the "Linedefs w/o tags apply locally" option to enable access to some ZDoom-only secrets in maps 06 and 24. There is also a secret in map 20 that requires an archvile jump, but it's not possible to reach it outside of ZDoom versions. Other than those, hope your sense of exploration is wide awake, as there is plenty to locate and highly appreciate. I'm thinking of the standout map, of course. For favourite maps I will pick 19, 24, 27, and 31. Some others like 06, 13, 23 and 32 were entertaining for the most part, but not convincing as a whole. The rest range from good to dull or tedious, like the final map.    Overall, it's certainly an upgrade in quality, and I'm inclined to believe the successors are much better. Still, it's nice to traverse the history of the community chest projects. If you and I share similar tastes, then you'll probably find content to enjoy here, and if not, well, skip the unnecessary. My rate is 6/10.  
    • By tempdecal.wad · Posted
      It's bad because it's hard.
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