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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

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MAP23: Deuce Take It!

53% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

I didn't like this one and just ended up running from a lot of the encounters. The map has a lot of open arenas connected by cramped cavern hallways, which usually meant I would enter the big area, find a bunch of AVs running around with very little cover, and so decide to just hoof it to the next corridor, gather supplies, and repeat. Maybe this is just me trying to play catchup and want easier levels to get through but I just don't really feel like sitting around trying to blast AVs on vertical levels above me with the SSG in open areas. Visually it actually looks quite nice though, especially for a speedmap.

 

MAP24: Blood Lake

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

At first glance this is an old-school hub map, though really it's just switches hidden behind the key teleports, and the blue one is actually just a secret for a mega-armor (like Phobus, the monsters happily opened it for me). Nothing amazing here but I found it to be a solid and enjoyable little romp, definitely more on the level of difficulty I'm hoping for at this point speeding through these. At only 61 monsters, a large part of the difficulty comes from the similarly skimpy ammo, so playing this on continuous will be a breeze.

 

MAP25: Hell's Atrium

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

I agree with @Phobus that this one definitely has E4 vibes due to the marble/blood design as well as the general use of monsters/items - heavy slant towards shotgunners, demons and barons, and lots of single shotgun work. The start can be a bit of a pickle, if you run into the blood without firing a shot you'll just get stuck between spectres without a proper gun, instead you need to wake up all the shotgunners to teleport onto your lap so you can grab their guns. And don't kill those imp snipers too quickly! The hidden AVs were a bit dick too, as well as the constant teleporting of monsters on top of the player (lost a decent amount of life getting the keys). I liked it overall though, felt challenging without being grindy.

Edited by Magnusblitz

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MAP24: This one was very interesting, with a rather strange take of a lake theme but this is what imo makes the best hellish levels. The first arch-vile is in an awkward place  where taking cover isn't easy, the battle against the cyberdemon was fun (thanks barons).

 

MAP25: I agree with the others that this map has a E4 feel with the emphasis on teleporting monsters and the gameplay is rather harsh. I must is the Shadowman level here I had the most fun playing it. It took me a while to realize where the hidden arch-viles were located, there could have been a crusher to kill them when you reach the end, shooting them would take so long to kill them.

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MAP26 - This feels a lot like a MYFIRSTBOOM.WAD, in the sense that features are used one-at-a-time and the actual map is a stringy collection of corridors to get you from event to event. I think of these as "and then" maps. In this instance, you start on the shotgun AND THEN you fight a few zombies in a room AND THEN you get a berserk AND THEN... There's no non-linearity, really, as branching corridors lead to dead ends that open one-by-one. Each idea or event clearly has a demarcation point (usually a door) and the overall feel is that somebody is working through tutorials. The map starts of laughably easy after what we've been through up until this point, but once you've made it halfway round the sky-garden-path with minor cacodemon encounters off to the sides, the difficulty spikes through the roof, treating you to a horde of enemies teleporting in, including an Arch-Vile that you don't really have any cover from. Sure, the pistol-starting player has a plasma gun, a soulsphere and a blue armour at this point, but the pain is still doled out. After that it's basically just AVs and Revenants until the end, which isn't too bad in the narrow corridors. There is an unmarked secret BFG that I found far too late for it to be useful. Once again, good thing I'm a continuous player...

 

I think, when people think of ZDoom maps that they don't like, this kind of map is exactly what you're thinking of. Simplistic design to show off features. It's just that this is made in Boom... Possibly not even using Boom features aside from the ability to have sky as the floor and ceiling of a sector, TBH.

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Map23: Deuce Take It!

 

Why do I keep reading "Dunce" instead of deuce?... 

 

Dunno. Part of it wasn't that fun, like the running around at the start, or the roaming archvile on that giant platform in front of the exit, basically anything up there hard to aim at with rockets. The closeups BFG bumping and several mini encounters went much smoother. The map looks pretty good in its minimalist aesthetics, I'm not familiar with "3EPHOEd"'s work besides the two maps in this wad. They share similar design patterns: big open spaces, irregular geometry, various staircases, block lines, risk to fall into the chasm. Although some of these result in questionable execution, it's an ok map imo.

 

Map24: Blood Lake

 

Nice setting, lots of bloodfalls and marble green walls. The map was interesting on a replay, as I could see better its pros and cons. First of all, I would imagine the start being tricky to accomplish in speed mode, I door-camped the pinkies knowing about the vile, but they also could serve as meatshields for the hitscan snipers, but also not because the vile is there too heeeeh. We all saw the incongruity in the blood rivers, right? It's only safe in the cavern sections, but it doesn't make sense because it's all blood from the same lake. Also, the spectres there can infinite block you forever if they woke up early, if you had rockets then it's problem solved but if not, you might have to restart the map. The highlight is the YK setup, sort of a "tricks 'n traps" gimmick in a much open space. It felt like an old-school Alien Vendetta-ish map, Dragon Hunter's previous maps also felt like that, and his last one in the set is purely AV-like. Well, that's it.

 

Map 25: Hell's Atrium

 

Hmm I'm not doing this one again. It was manageable throughout with extra health/armor from continuous, but on a pistol start it's a roll of the dice at the beginning and throughout. Agreed this would picture an ideal "Thy Flesh Consumed" starter if it had Doom II monsters and less obnoxiousness, the marble/blood is a very appealing combo. I didn't really spot any fun part in the map, the way you start is already a pet peeve of mine multiplied to three: armor shortage, heavy random teleporting hitscan, and forced to steal their guns. The rest feels unthreatening compared to the beginning, although zerking barons is good, until the hidden archviles that are obnoxious as hell to kill. I did gave the map some tries but never got a consistent start and quit, not a fun map at all. 

 

@Phobus The wad is limit-removing, complevel 2. 

Edited by galileo31dos01

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Forgot to link the video after the stream: 

 

 

Got up to MAP15 before calling it quits today; I figure it'll take me around 2 more sessions of these before I complete this, so it would really behoove me to start these playthroughs earlier. As for the maps themselves, they were more of a mixed bag than the first session; more than a few of these felt like they might be one of the author's first maps. MAP10 in particular really pissed me off, wasting a cool aesthetic on boring, grindy gameplay. MAP11: The Source, however, impressed me with its scope and fairly difficult gameplay, even if I did get lost a couple times. It's probably my favorite from the set so far, with MAP03 close behind.

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MAP26: Hellsky

100% kills, no map secrets

 

Ahhh the brown brick returns nooooo!!

 

This one actually doesn't look too bad, with some nice detailing here and there (and I'm a sucker for floating levels in skyboxes) but boy does this have a bad case of tiny hallway syndrome. I think this contributes to @Phobus's sense that it does feel like a tutorial map with bits and pieces being dolled out between hallways, culminating in a somewhat bullshit coverless AV battle followed by a few more revenant/AV battles that rely on the crutch of the inherent difficulties of the monsters rather than actually creating any interesting encounters with them. Honestly can't decide if I like this one more than MAP18; they're both overly cramped, that one was ugly but charmingly weird, whereas this one is more conventional aesthetically.

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MAP26: I enjoyed this level, there's a nice theme and it looks good with some details and the floating rocks in the sky, plus the calm music was very fitting. The gameplay is mostly uninteresting with only the ambush in the outer walkway that provides something more fun, while the map initially it has some easy fights and it ends with few revenants and arch-vile combos. It's a good enough linear level with some atmosphere.

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MAP27: Onslaught

100% kills, no map secrets

 

A medium-sized sandbox map to run around in, locate keys and find the exit. While the initial enemies you'll encounter are small fry, don't move towards the smaller modules quite yet in case you get cornered by the large pack of cacos or other bigger monsters roaming farther off. I had a lot of fun with this, the encounters are well-tuned and thought out, and the sandbox layout has good variety and mix of open area and cover. Really the only annoying thing is trying to hit some of the snipers on top of the columns since the columns are big enough for them to run around and watch your rockets pass harmlessly into the sky. And I wish it wasn't so damn brown (though it does look nice for what it is).

 

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I was about to say that DTWiD had been done, but holy crap it hasn't been done yet (D2TWiD, on the other hand ... ). I'm not changing my vote away from D64inD2, but DTWiD might be a fun choice for the December thread, seeing as that will be around Doom's 25th birthday.

 

On a note for this month, I'm going to try for another stream tomorrow and see if I can finish this bad boy up before next month.

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MAP27 - Actually not a bad map, as you're basically chipping away at an entrenched enemy where you've got a lot of freedom of movement. There's a couple of AVs free to roam at the start, some hitscanners, cacodemons, a shit-ton of Demons and some turret Revenants all to make life dangerous for you, plus a lot of turret imps and some Hell Knights. The Revs are a bit of an arse, as their rockets can sneak up on you as there's a lot of space for them to take circuitous routes whilst you're running around like a blue-arsed fly, and they've got ample space to dodge your rockets on their spine towers, as @Magnusblitz mentioned. The little brick mini-mazes are back and remarkably harmless. Progression was interesting, as continuous play meant I didn't need to seek out the plasma rifle or rocket launcher and that didn't seem to be a big deal, as I was primarily working with the shotguns and chaingun in my initial assault.

 

Of course, the map needs to ramp up difficulty, so I got to enjoy the early BFG when the yellow key building had been cleared and I could run around invulnerable for 30 seconds clearing four AV/Rev placements just around the building. I took one look at the four Cyberdemons and decided they would live... Kind of dodged my way to the end after that, escaping with a full megasphere and a lot of ammo for my full arsenal. Handy, as the next map is clearly going to be an arse ache.

 

Also, plus points for the Terminator theme tune.

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MAP21: Hell's Maw

41:52 | 100% Kills | 96% Items | 57% Secrets

So I played this one in two sittings. I was already in a bad mood from the ending of MAP20, and this one didn't help any. To start with, you've got a tedious section of run-and-find-the-symmetrical-switches, including a couple of switches totally hidden (!) in the pitch black shadows of what are made to look like ordinary lineblocked corridors. (It doesn't hurt that there's four such corridors, and only two have switches!) That's just lame. Finally escape that section and IT'S SLAUGHTER TIME. A big fight up the staircase and into the main hall, and then there's a pop-up (@#$!) rocket-spam battle on the ramparts, and then the red key tower. I hated that thing. Archies way high overhead that you can't even see, but they can obliterate you without warning? Check. ... And, that was mostly it, really. Cleared that effer out and saved and stopped for the night because it was late and I was not looking forward to doing all this again in the blue tower. So tonight (3 days later) I tackle the blue tower... and it's waaay easier. Yes, there's still viles, but you actually have places to hide, and after the first one the rest don't come as a surprise. Blue key get. This time the rampart battle happens on the return trip, capped by another surprise archie (who killed me this time as I was pinned in by spectres while attempting to switch weapons.) Then some time spent in the main hall finding secrets and on to the final section. Slaughtericious. But I beat a hasty retreat and found the invul (actually there were two, but I didn't manage to snag the second until I'd already killed everything!) This lead to a pet peeve (guess I shoulda put it in the pet peeve thread) where you have a big slaughter battle that requires hitting a bunch of switches scattered all around in order to escape, but it's not made clear that that's what's required, and so you kill everything first and then have to go through the tedium of hunting the switches in order just to open the door. Anyway, that's my rambling about all the ways MAP21 pissed me off, but still managed to look really cool and be memorable at the same time, thanks for coming to my TED talk.

 

MAP22: Citadel

22:50 | 100% Everything

Only 200 baddies here, but it felt like a lot more, especially that monster cacoswarm at the start that caught me off-guard my first attempt and packed all the exits to the starting building while I hemmed and hawed about what to do and then killed me. Escaping the building (very cool moment later when I saw this building sticking out of the ground and realized that's where I started from) leads to a huge field of turreted baddies all shooting crap at you. It would be easy enough to run around taking potshots at everything and ducking in and out of cover, but there's also a small handful of arch-viles running around on the ground as well as a couple elevated ones. Once those guys are dealt with, things become very manageable, if still quite frantic. A couple weird choices that stuck out to me were the blue key building, were I could just plink at the HKs below but they couldn't hit me in return, and the exit that eventually let you leave without facing the cybers. (I did, though, since I wanted to find the secret and couldn't effectively do so with 4 cybies roaming the grounds.) Not a bad map, all told, but boy did it feel like work, and I'm afraid the rest of the WAD is gonna have that feel, too...

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You're not wrong @Salt-Man Z...

 

MAP28 - Looks like I was wrong about this map. It's a actually a really cool mountainous/volcano map with suitable build-up from humble beginnings to a two-wave cluster fuck at the end. A lot of big enemies and heavy hitters here, but you're well supplied and the actual map feels like a good adventure. The Cyberdemon at the end is a bit unnecessary, and I never worked out how to actually get the secret invulnerability (just how to get on the secret sector around the plinth it's on), but I enjoyed this a lot. I like maps with "You Suck" as the BGM, too, because it gives a nice building sensation of how screwed we are. I'd have escaped with just under a full megasphere, but I decided to rush around the final cyber and lost some health and armour as a result. Not bad at all and a decent, lengthy map that I took cautiously, for the most part.

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MAP27: It's weird to listen to a slowed down version of the Terminator theme but whatever. It's competently done even if the browness this time looks a bit dull. At the start it was fun to run around to search for ammo and the weapons, later the level turns to be something more easy with only the monsters on the pillars that were annoying to kill.

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MAP28: So, how many of you guys fell down in the pits on the pentacle with the 3 keys? I thought that there was just a black floor. This one was cool all in all, the area with the 3 keys can be a bit annoying with those narrow catwalks and monsters shooting from various places. The first spiderdemon is really tedious to kill. The second half of the map is rather impressive with the cool scenery of the mountains (those stock lava waterfall don't look so good though), it was a good place to stage the slaughter battles. The music was very fitting.

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Next part of my playthrough is up: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/315964259?t=00h11m45s

 

We're starting to trend towards longer maps as the megaWAD progresses, with shadowman's maps standing out as particularly slaughter-influenced. Spawning Vats stood out in that regard, although it was rather irritating to search for progression between every encounter. Favorite map from the stream was probably Arch-Maze, if only for taking the concept of Hunted and making something interesting out of it. MAP21 might have beaten that out, but I ended the stream around a third of the way through that, so who knows if it's going to descend into junk by map's end.

 

I believe I'll be finishing this up next Wednesday, alongside the first few maps of whatever the next MegaWAD will be (likely Doom 404, but who knows what could happen in the next few days).

 

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MAP28: Mount Doom

93% kills, 4/8 secrets

 

I know it's a ROTT track, but I always think of Scythe MAP30 when I hear it, so any map using this track needs to be suitably epic... and this was! This one was a lot of fun, with some low-scale cramped quarters to build tension before opening up and revealed a large canyon with lots of catwalks along the edges, almost an outdoor The Living End. After taking the time to clear out all the snipers and monsters in the main area, it's off to unlock the three keys one by one at the pentagram (and yes, I did fall in at first too). Lots of enemies in the final battle but a good area to run around in, and plenty of supplies too.

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I didn't fall into the pits that make up the dark parts of the skull key pentagram platform, but that's because in GZDoom I could clearly see they were holes. I did knock an AV into one at one point, which was an awkward thing to mop up.

 

MAP29 - This is remarkably underwhelming compared to the previous map and surprisingly easy, as well. You take a tour of some big, immobile creatures digestive system, mostly picking off Imps, Demons/Spectres and Revenants along the way, with a few other enemies thrown in for interest. You're well-supplied, from what I could see, and finish by walking out of it's arse and detonating the charges somebody had helpfully set up. I hid behind the switch and activated the charged whilst the Cyberdemon guarding the bunghole decided to shoot at the back of said switch, so he lives to fight another day. I like Death's Bells, so the music was good, even though the silliness of the map (the creature has a building inside it, for some reason) didn't really suit the music. Bit of an interesting throwback. EDIT: Forgot to mention how pissed I was that the AV at the start ran around me as I went to BFG it from behind. Sneaky bastard...

 

MAP30 looks suspiciously like an Icon of Sin map, what with the enemy count of 11 on UV, so that's probably not going to be treated well by me. I'll have a go at MAP33 after I've done that.

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Map26: Hellsky

 

There isn't much to say that others didn't. It's aesthetically quite fancy for being merely narrow corridors, almost like an Alien Vendetta knockoff, thought that doesn't exempt the gameplay from being uninteresting from my pov. I'm just not sold on that layout design, combat is mostly peekaboo, several pointless archviles, spectres and even a caged pinky, a caGED PINKY?!?!?! (gotta admit it was funny though). The BFG via wall bumping is an essential tool for the curvy bridge setup, at least for a mad rush towards the vile/chaingunners, since there is no effective way to avoid damage otherwise. That way of getting the BFG is actually a nice throwback to E4M2, bonus points for that. I suppose "Dragon" has nothing to do with "Dragon Hunter", just two different people. With this and map 18, I'm inclined to believe Dragon is or was inspired in 90's style, which is cool, fits in the project. 

 

Map27: Onslaught

 

Whew... back to fun, forgiving yet somewhat taxing Shadowman territory. Similar sandbox setting as in maps 03/21, only difference is more damaging surface. The initial vile/pinkies/etc cleanup can be sped up with a quick dash to the RL, and then the sniping part is the only letdown since the monsters have all the space to relax on your rockets. The maze holding the RK wasn't a big thing, maybe just an excuse to use the chainsaw and that's ok for me. I had a bit of trouble to find the YK on a replay (map is short anyways), it's not that clear that you teleport onto another teleport. The multiple vile/revs releases caught me off-guard though what can you do if they appear without any sound indication :/, well I didn't hear anything lol. I enjoyed the modest BFG participation at the end, with a bunch of archviles everywhere and some male vacas. Funny how you get a load of rockets when there isn't much to kill at that point anyways XD. 

 

The map reminds me a lot to one in Unholy Realms, 26 iirc, which is also sandbox-hell style with run-and-gun combat. Pretty fun too. (:

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MAP29: Evil Inside

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

Definitely a step down in scope and difficulty after the last couple of epic maps, but I suppose you could charitably describe this one as a bit of a palette cleanser before the final fight. It definitely feels like one of those 'made up as you go along' maps given the linear nature, but there's nothing annoying (except maybe the coverless AV at the start, I got lucky and got a stun on each of my first three SSG blasts) and the visuals of entering the giant creature's gullet are cute.

 

MAP30: Call of Cthulhu

 

Yeah, it's an Icon of Sin map. First run through some empty areas (that I suppose are to set the mood or build tension, but they didn't really stand out much for me) then fight a cyberdemon (better to just hide and wait for the next room to open, then grab the BFG to wipe him out). The actual IoS fight requires running around in a circle a couple times to reach the typical rising pillar while hopefully avoiding the revenant rockets coming at you, which feels like pure luck and isn't very fun. At least the Romero head is pretty close to the target point, I think I killed it with only 2 rocket shots.

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Map28: Mount Doom

 

Whereas Magnusblitz thinks of Scythe when he hears that midi, I automatically remember Alien Vendetta and not map 25 in particular. Perhaps because that's where I heard it for the first time. Also because the beginning exploration took me to AV27, and man I cringed so much... Fortunately, it was alike AV in essence and spirit though nowhere near to that slog of a map. I'd like to say it felt epic in a certain way, contains all kinds of combat and areas, faux linear progression (that is to say, not feeling straightforward), and lots of dark nooks to explore. Standout was the diverse horde in the huge outdoors part, only dispatched the viles first as infighting did all the job until it left me with a few remnants (some barons iirc). That surprise pit of spectres was evil grr. I also liked the vistas you get when you're on top of a high area. Pretty fun map that I'm not replaying because it's lengthy. 

 

In regards to the star shaped platform, I can see why it would entice some players to believe it's all solid to walk. I think I figured the black spaces were holes because the manc corpses disappeared at some point, and also the everlasting archviles never walked on them. The secret invulnerability had me struggling for a while too, for the purpose to achieve 100% everything I looked it up in the wiki. Would have never found it anyways. 

 

Map29: Evil Inside

 

Ok so, not the best midi choice, "Death Bells" would suit better somewhere in the mid maps imo. Pretty easy for a penultimate map, yet a bit more substantial in combat from what I've experienced so far by Azamael. The opening mouth is creative, whatever the creature is supposed to be, it's holding a huge lots of things inside, like a house near the end. About the harshest bit should be to get a fair start, the area leaves you exposed to the archvile. The teeth serve as cover, if it stays on the mouth, otherwise it's RNG. On my first playthrough he was hit by a fireball from the stomach imps, so that gave me some leeway in the meantime. Rest is chill, that is even if you're oblivious of the free BFG, but I suppose it's a necessity from a pistol start. Well so, map was good, just in a strange slot.

 

Map30: Call of Cthulhu

 

Ohh so the thing in the previous map was a cthulhu? aaaaa whatever. It's a decent version of the traditional IoS, at least in that there are no timed shenanigans. There is a miniboss cyberdemon setup before that's a little awkward as he likes to stay behind every pillar in the way, and some empty openings for atmosphere. I had it easy in the finale because there were no archviles or pain elementals, only cacodemons and less pesky things. Also the pit isn't inescapable. It went fast and furious, just how I prefer them, traditional IoS wise.

 

Instead of repeating my final thoughts, that I already expressed in a review, I'll post the top 4 in no particular order:

 

- Map10 - "Mudrun" by Nil 

- Map11 - "The Source" by Shadowman

- Map16 - "Dark Cave" by Archi

- Map27 - "Onslaught" by Shadowman

 

I'd choose 03, 17 and 23 for mmm runner-ups (?). Also a honorable mention to "Impocalypse" by Archi for bringing a lot of good feelings that I rarely get from imps (:

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ah, it looks like we're at the end of the month now. i feel bad for not finishing this WAD. i started out liking Map 21, until the copy + paste and slaughtery encounters in narrow spaces started again. i think it's probably better i didn't push through because it was really starting to piss me off. will have to check out some of the other maps at some point in the future.

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MAP30 - I dodged the cyberdemon and then skipped around the boss section for a little before just using mouselook and putting a couple of rockets in the hole. Game over, the IoS still sucks.

 

MAP33 - I wasn't impressed by the stream of Barons and Revenants that this map seems to be for the most part, or how tight the ammo was. An AV turned up and resurrected a room full of enemies which rather quickly made me lose interest with my low ammo situation, so I called it quits.

 

 

All in, it's an OK megaWAD. Mostly short maps, which is welcome, and usually reasonably difficult, with some larger maps for interest. I'm glad I've given it a go.

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MAP29: Azamael here shows more of his silly side. It's a nice map overall and it has the right length with some stuff to entertain us.

On 9/29/2018 at 11:31 AM, Phobus said:

(the creature has a building inside it, for some reason)

It was swallowed by the creature :)

 

MAP30: All in all it's a short and simple IoS level, so at least that's good. I liked the usual monsterless intro but here it feels like something rushed. The IoS (or is it Cthulhu?) made with flesh tentacles was cool.

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At this point, I am pretty damn committed to finishing this up, but damn, is it going to be a slog if this back half is any indication.

 

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/318072840

 

Today's session went from part way through MAP21, to MAP27. Shadowman's maps really took a nosedive during this back half; the grind that the later portions of Hell's Maw puts you through is just miserable, and Hell's Atrium's start has far too much hitscanner RNG for my tastes. Onslaught, in comparison, feels much more fair and much better paced, but suffers a bit from "where-the-fuck-do-I-go-itis" in spots. The maps surrounding Shadowman's remaining entries were hit and miss; Citadel and Blood Lake were pleasant enough, and moderately challenging to boot, while Deuse Take It! turned out insufferable, and Hellsky felt a lot like the author's first map.

 

I was planning to play through to the end so I wouldn't have to bump this thread once more, but I threw that out the window once I took a gander at Mount Doom's monster count. Thankfully, I'm fairly sure I can wrap this up by next week.

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