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Alfonzo

The DWIronman League dies to: The Darkening E1 & E2

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Welcome.  My demos also tend to be on the very slooooow side.  This month I was a bit quicker being a prepared Type 3 run but still slow and cautious over 90% of the time.  I played E1 for the MegaWAD club (a blind ironman attempt is there) and E2 ages ago so spent some time learning maps.

 

E1: Dead on map 7:  Got careless when trying to hunt down mancubi.  Fought/revealed monsters I could have skipped without triggering.  About 80-90 minutes at end of map 6.  Got a ghost monster on map 3 which would have been a terrible way to lose with only 2 rockets; fortunately was a lowly zombieman.

E2: Dead on map 3: Eaten by a demon  About 18 minutes at end of map 2.  This episode is really stingy with health; medikits don't start appearing until map 4 (?!)

 

E1 is -complevel 2 while E2 is -complevel 9 due to a review mentioning it's not truly vanilla compatible.  PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4

dwiron_darkenings_cnr.zip

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Almost forgot to post my run! Streamed it last week, the VOD is here.

 

Spoiler

A mixture of satisfaction and disappointment. I was pleasantly surprised with surviving Episode 1, especially with that little archvile scare in map 10, as I'd only played the set once a few years back, so there was a lot I'd since forgotten. On the opposite hand, I'd played E2 a bunch of times (even once last year as an Ironman run! I died on map 02), so I was hoping to do better than a death on map 05.

 

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Here's my demo pack for both episodes (category 2).
 

Spoiler

 

Survived both wads, but there definitely were some near-death moments. :)
I had little knowledge of the first Darkening (never played it entirely, that's for sure), but had watched Andy Olivera's TAS demos on E2 multiple times (they're highly recommended !).

The Darkening E2's map 12 seemed scary at first, even if I got there with a full arsenal, because I knew there would be mandatory journeys through toxic slime and thought I'd get lost and die in some dark corridor. Definitely got lost, but I didn't die.

 


 

Two solid episodes and great examples of wads using custom textures to create a fantastic and oppressing atmosphere. E2's my favorite by far.

DARKEN-Darken2-Ironman-WH-demos.zip

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Well well well, we have two wads for this one. For the sake of saving Alfonzo time I have managed to die on the same map in both and if I can remember to the same monster type as well.

Darkening E1 - Dead on Map07 - I did something really stupid at the start of the map reducing my health to naff all, snuffed by a mancubus.

Darkening E2 - Dead on Map07 - Jumped into the fatso pit and the remaining mancubi can enjoy more glutonny on behalf of my fried corpse.

 

The first episode feels like it has aged quite badly, but it was quite fun to play, the second episode took a while to get into gear but by map04 it was quite fun to play and I enjoyed what I did play of it.

This is category 2 for both wads, I only vaguely recall the first map or so of both and the rest was pretty blind.

darken1+2cb.zip

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SpGqtnf.gif

 

Spoiler

 

2:06:15 (prepared)


MAP01    46/46    0    9/9  2/2   2:29+11     2:29
MAP02    76/84    8  32/36  3/3   3:53+05     6:22
MAP03    66/66    0  11/11  2/2   3:20+28     9:42
MAP04  127/139   12  60/72  1/2   7:25+00    17:07
MAP05  126/128    8  19/33  2/4   5:33+31    22:40
MAP06    42/68   31    3/3  0/0   3:21+22    26:01
MAP07    69/73    4  20/21  0/3   4:44+26    30:45
MAP08   14/149  135    0/1  0/5   0:43+10    31:28
MAP09  104/118   14    1/1  2/3   4:26+34    35:54
MAP10    87/98   11  14/19  0/1   5:05+17    40:59
MAP11    26/52   26   3/16  0/2   1:22+07    42:21

Although I have never played this before I went around it with an unrelenting
sense of deja vu. Parts of map01 were remade in Crusades, for example. Much of
map02 could be mistaken for parts of MM2, or Requiem. And so on. Preparation as
usual, learn the maps via saveless UV-max, do one practice run, then record.

Tricks: on map04 the spider can be goaded into getting itself telefragged.
Collecting map06's yellow key, I carefully avoid crossing the surrounding
lines, which close the passageway by the red key. This allows sneaking past the
teleporter when the latter key is collected. Sadly I missed the key bump on
map07, only becoming aware of it after I had recorded the run. However a strafe
run out of a window on map08 skips almost the whole map. A small benefit came
from pressing the cyberdemon release switch on map10 through the side of its
platform; the monster's rockets are very close as I exit.

MAP01    26/62   36    1/1  2/2   2:19+15     2:19
MAP02    58/73   15    0/0  0/0   2:30+21     4:49
MAP03   89/110   21  44/54  2/3   5:34+25    10:23
MAP04  111/111    0    0/1  2/3   9:40+23    20:03
MAP05   88/133   45  38/70  1/3   7:14+00    27:17
MAP06   64/110   46  13/15  3/6   3:53+05    31:10
MAP07    59/98   39    0/1  2/3   3:54+13    35:04
MAP08  133/158   28    1/1  0/1   8:21+03    43:25
MAP09  193/212   19  23/33  4/6  12:52+30    56:17
MAP10  126/153   27  29/31  2/3   8:22+20  1:04:39
MAP11   82/124   42  14/21  1/3   6:50+14  1:11:29
MAP12  149/200   51   8/19  2/4  12:25+00  1:23:54

Another old classic that I had somehow always put off for later. I learned the
maps in the usual way, but skipped the practice run before recording, having
done more pistol starts of individual maps than usual.

The only real shortcut I used was on map07, a strafe50 over the broken bridge
gets the red key early. Map10's cacodemon horde could be avoided by walking off
the side of the platform through the blue door. On map12, I tried a glide to
the blue key instead of the crate hopping sequence, but it didn't want to work,
even after lowering mouse sensitivity; I shouldn't have bothered.

Finally apologies for the odd movement at the start of map07, due to an
unintentional pressing of the freelook key. This has no visible effect during
demo recording other than to simulate novert, so it took a moment of spinning
around on the spot before I realised what had happened.

 

 

 

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Bugger, I only went and died on Episode 2, map09. ded as usual! x_x

 

That brings my survival count to 19 maps; a better performance than expected, but I still have an underlying feeling of shame / irritation, knowing the way I died was so preventable and sudden. Oops!

 

I guess this is TECHNICALLY Category two? I had pre-knowledge of up to MAP07/08 or so for each wad, but nothing beyond; I performed beyond my practice sessions, so everything after a point was blind.

 

VOD for episode one (SURVIVED)

 

 

 

 

 

VOD for episode two (MAP09 Death)

 

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 6:04 PM, Crusader No Regret said:

E2: Dead on map 3: Eaten by a demon  About 18 minutes at end of map 2.  This episode is really stingy with health; medikits don't start appearing until map 4 (?!)

 

I honestly did not expect my map to claim any victims. :)

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Died both time on map 9:
 

(EP 2 start at 59:09)

My first death was caused by an obsessed horde of Barons.
My second death was due to poor level design.

It was pretty great overall considering both wads are almost 20 years old.

Category 1

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Category 1 (blind) run:

Darkening 1: Thought I was fucked in MAP05, when I teleported right into a Baron's face, but I managed to pull through, only to die to a bullshit Archvile ambush on MAP08.

Darkening 2: A series of unfortunate events on MAP04 left me with 3% when I got to the red key door, after which a chaingunner ended my suffering.

Hey, at least I didn't die to revenants this time. :p

 

 

hellodarkness.zip

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On 7/18/2018 at 11:55 PM, RjY said:

SpGqtnf.gif

Reminds me of my near miss in Coffee Break, heh. Nice escape.

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Iron Aloha!

 

I've recorded all the demos two weeks ago, but wanted to upload it together with 4K YT renders at once, and that was a mistake. IDKY, but Шindoшs 10(R)(c)(tm) aka "my little hysteric schoolgirl" does not like my hi-end rig, so it BSODs (aka "blue sad smiley") randomly with absolutely no reason (since January update. Great job, Mon(k)eySoft(tm)(R)(c)). I also have Arch Linux installed separately and often try some other OSes just for fun, but Win10 is "the only one" who misbehaves. Bad, bad girlie.

So, after two weeks of trying just to render fqkn vids with no success even progress, it'll be better to post demo lumps at last and give this bitch a rest.

 

darken: MAP07, 43/73 K, 3/3 S, total time 46:18. Died from purifying Manc fire in a one step to Berserk pack, IM NOT JOKING. Kinda like classic style WADs like this.

darken2: MAP06, 38/110 K, 0/6 S, total time 51:03. Died from hungry Lost Soul bite. Can't name Darkening 2 a straight sequel, it's some radically different, with those pretty little horses infinite tech hallways and all that.

 

Cat one traditionally.

 

dwidark.zip

 

Edited by Vince Vega

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A good choice, two memorable sets which stood out from their contemporaries due to a unique texture set and cohesive level design which made the gameplay flow naturally, I've played both several times.

 

Here are my cat 2 runs in 19:19 and 1:16:00 respectively.

 

DWIronman_Darken_BlooditeKrypto.zip

DWIronman_Darken2_BlooditeKrypto.zip

 

I was disappointed with the latter, I was hoping for under an hour but got disorientated, I made a mess of navigating 09. Darkening II can be infuriating to navigate in the later levels due to most rooms looking identical to one another, as the same color and texture scheme is often used for an entire map, this makes it difficult to remember rooms visually based on photographic memory alone, as everything just melts into a blurred mess where you can't distinguish rooms based on color and textures but only geometry most of the time, no other wad manages to cast an effective shade of confusion on myself. This doesn't detract from the gameplay however, the sequel is still a good challenge to this day and is an excellent entry for the millennium, the original surpasses a lot of 90's wads and is still fun to play.

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Here are my runs for both E1 and E2. They're Category 3. This time I wanted to survive the first map, so I practiced. Of course, in my practicing, the farthest I ever made it (with a fair amount of saving, because that's how I like to play) was Map 03 in E1 (pesky archvile) and Map 02 in E2. Oh well, the maps were fun to play.

 

For my Ironman run I made it to:

 

E1: Died in Map 02, with 58/84 enemies killed. I was going rather well, and then a demon that I knew was there, took a decent chunk of my health out before I could get it, but it was ultimately a chain gunner that I thought I had hit with my shotgun that finally finished the job.

 

E2: Died in Map 02, with 41/73 enemies killed. It turns out that a swarm of imps and single digit health make for a poor combination when your aim is survival, even if you have a well-loaded chain gun.

 

So, I accomplished my (quite modest) goals.

 

pegleg_dwi_darkene1e2.zip

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E1: Dead on MAP09

E2: Dead on... MAP09

 

Essentially blind though one of the E1 maps looked vaguely familiar to me.

 

Interesting pair of sets. I'm a little surprised how dissimilar the two were, though. E1 felt like an old-ish school grab bag. Lots of fun to be had but rough around the edges with some hilariously useless monsters and goofy oversights (Mastermind that can wander into a teleport for an easy telefrag, high chance of ghost monsters on the same map). I died in a fucking bullshit tricky secret slime pit just as I finally was figuring out how to escape it. E2 is a real "experience" with great Doom-but-not-Doom atmosphere, cool textures, and demanding gameplay. I would've hated it if I had died on MAP01, which I really should have based on my playing. Some lucky breaks allowed got me past the first couple of grueling levels, and then I *really* started getting into navigating these oppressive bases, rationing my equipment, etc. By MAP09 it was starting to get a little wearying after a few too many "uh how do I get back to that keydoor now that I have the key??" moments, which probably had something to do with my skellie-sandwich death. Still, good stuff.

 

bob_darkenings.zip

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Hey up, here's my offering

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gpwzxuli6qjlsbu/dtdarken.zip?dl=1

 

Survived e1 in just over an hour, quite happy with that

Died in map09 of e2, seemingly killed by a dead imp, not sure how that happened but eh

There's another massive pause in e2, round about the halfway mark where I went out for some ice cream, sorry about that, the end of the demo is about 6600 seconds in where you see my tragic demise

 

Both are cat 2 this time, I'd played them along with the DWMC a few month back, and a few weeks ago I played them on fast and hard on a zdaemon server

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4 hours ago, dt_ said:

There's another massive pause in e2, round about the halfway mark where I went out for some ice cream

 

Wandering around maze-like bases can make anyone want some ice cream. No shame in that. Although I find it funny that in the midst of demon-killing action, you thought, "I could really go for some ice cream."

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Well it was a hot day, and I needed to cool off after 2 hours of solid doomin'!  (Sorry @Alfonzo)

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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/290001195 = cat 1 run, beat the Darkening I in 1:28:29 but died on map 5 of the sequel.

 

It looks like the Britbowl this year is a two-horse race, barring a miracle.

 

I tried to play as smart as I could, but I made the dumbass mistake of being too aggressive against an Archvile bunker on map 5 of the Darkening II, instead of considering other options. I was genuinely gutted to die like this; it seems this year I've provided nothing but disappointment in my Ironman attempts to my fans.....

 

At least GZDoom held up this time.

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Category 1, totally blind, I have never played both wads before. Both wads are rather easy, lots of low-medium tier monsters with few very dangerous monsters like revenants and archviles, although the Darkening E2 is scarce on health and ammo. Unfortunately for me, I died in both episodes... by the environment. The blind run is to blame I guess.

 

I have really enjoyed playing the Darkening E2 during my run. I may replay and finish this episode later.

 

Deaths :

Spoiler

The Darkening E1 -> In MAP09 (Kills 47/118), I shouldn't have gone to the green and harmful slimy secret area where I didn't find any way to get out. Runtime : 1h10min01sec
The Darkening E2 -> In MAP09 (Kills 167/212), I was crushed to death. Runtime : 2h01min13sec

 

File : Malrionn_Ironman_Darkening.zip

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http://www.mediafire.com/file/xr6dxa88ih0j2nd/Darken_DotW_Iron.zip/file

 

Survived, imagine that. Feels like forever since that's happened. Final time for E1 is 22:13, final time for E2 is 1:07:10. Category 2, of course. The original The Darkening is both old/famous enough that even a speedrun Luddite such as myself knows a lot of its big skips (though I had never heard of the exploit with the YK in m06 that RjY speaks of before now, quite ingenious, that), and despite piles and piles of hitscanners and the like I reckon it's a fairly accessible WAD for going quickly, since most of the layouts are compact and mostly intuitive, m05 perhaps excepted (which is one of the better maps, mind, just not as intuitive perhaps). A mixed bag even by the standards of its own time, it has some lovely maps (m04 and m05 are my personal favorites) and a few which are rather weak I think (m03, m07, m08), fitting in with the team CP flavor of yore neatly, reading like a smallscale 'classic' WAD ala the Moris or the like which if nothing else should be credited for keeping the bloodshed up across all 11 of its levels, elegant or otherwise.

 

E2 is quite a different beast, more strictly balanced and vastly more complex/intricate than its older brother. Survival aside, navigation is a challenge here, especially for blind players I should imagine, since as Krypto rightly remarks the styling of all of these levels is persistently 'realistic' and commits to the grungy, gritty, and visually homogeneous theme of rimworld squalor unrepentantly, meaning that both parts of levels and whole levels themselves can tend to blur into one another. There is, however, method to the madness, and almost all of these levels flow in a really elegant, intricate way once you've become oriented. Criss-crossing paths and shortcuts to minimize backtracking abound; the rub is that the designs almost never billboard-signpost these, so seeing where and what they are relies on your own sense of in-world spatial realization (or just brute familiarity!). There is real charm in this, I think, a certain sense of satisfaction in navigating well in this kind of setting versus a more modern tendency for layouts to flow openly/overtly (where the evident flow is part of the aesthetic itself, you might say), though granted it's certainly not something I'd want to confront all the time! I think I navigate pretty well in this run, but don't play particularly well otherwise, with some really shameful near-death bumbling in the m10/11 stretch and an almost universal incompetency for anything which could be loosely termed "platforming." Nevertheless, glad to have finally managed to survive again.

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@Veinen that was awesome (just watched E2). Under an hour too, deeply impressive. Will you put it on your youtube channel?

 

And apologies for the weird berserk secret in map01—you're not supposed to start at the top of the stairs, but if you do don't strafe run! =)

 

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On 7/21/2018 at 1:41 AM, Eris Falling said:

Reminds me of my near miss in Coffee Break, heh. Nice escape.

I have to admit it looks a lot less impressive at normal playback rate. As I was finishing the run I thought it'd look cool to turn back and watch the rockets close in, then, at the last moment, whip around and hit the exit button. Sadly I bottled it and span back far too quickly; it needed careful choice of demo frames, cropping, and slow motion, for the animation to look effective.

 

17 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

(though I had never heard of the exploit with the YK in m06 that RjY speaks of before now, quite ingenious, that)

Thanks. I doubt it would help in a traditional speed demo; that may be why it was previously unknown, or at least unpublished. It's a longer route, and needs slow fiddly movements to avoid activating certain lines -- likely quicker just to barge through and restart if it goes wrong. But of course you can't do that in ironman, you have to guarantee survival, and I found map06's monster teleporter to be sufficiently dangerous that it was worth searching for a way to neutralise it.

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3 hours ago, Dragonfly said:

ep2 is MUCH more fun, for what it's worth

 

I think it is clearly a much more mature mapset, but whether it is more "fun" probably depends on how you feel about its specific set of design drivers (sometimes opaque progression and emphasis on resource starvation).

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