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Magnusblitz

The DWMegawadClub Plays: Dawn of the Dead & Earth & Classic Episode

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Okay! Well, I've played 2/3 of these. Classic Episode is one of my favorite D1 episode replacements (looks like I last replayed it in 2017) and I wouldn't mind revisiting Earth. But first up is Dawn of the Dead, which I've never played before. Here we go! I'll do this on UV, GZDoom/continuous/saves/keyboard-only per usual.

 

E1M1: Warp Station

5:00 | 100% Everything

Not a lot to say, here; it's a pretty short E1 techbase map. Already I can feel the similarities between this and Classic Episode. The main thing with this map is it's just chock full of baddies. I lost a lot of health right away; I ignored the starting area imps and charged inside to nab a shotgun as quickly as possible, and pretty much didn't stop running and gunning until I had reached the exit door. The only real area I had skipped on the way in was the lower nukage area. A lot of frantic fun. A chaingun sure would be nice if the rest of the set keeps this up. Crossing my fingers for next level.

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56 minutes ago, Salt-Man Z said:

I lost a lot of health right away; I ignored the starting area imps and charged inside to nab a shotgun as quickly as possible, and pretty much didn't stop running and gunning until I had reached the exit door.

Yeah my 1st try on this map had me waste ALL my bullets on those imps only to get blasted by a shotgun partway inside the door hehe.

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ZDoom, UV, pistol starts, mouselook, save/reload as desired.

 

Dawn of the Dead

E1M1: Warp Station

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

Decent opener, it certainly gets you right into the action. The ledge imps at the start should just be ignored, the rest is basically baddies all in front of you along a linear path, so it's not the most exciting of levels but at least it gets things moving. I was a little disappointed there wasn't an easy way to get back from the exit area to the start, wish you could've jumped out the window or something. A bit bright for my tastes too, and definitely overstuffed with supplies (quite easy to leave full up on shotgun ammo with 200 armor).

 

E1M2: The Reactor

90% kills, 2/4 secrets

 

Monster density is the name of the game here, with almost 200 monsters stuffed into this level. Again, no real difficult setups, but simple attrition started to added up as the map went on and I was wishing I had kept that blue armor from last map. Didn't find any secrets at first, went back and later wallhumped my way around to finding the backpack/chainsaw and shellbox, but couldn't figure out how to get to the soulsphere. Hard not to see the IWAD homages here, especially E1M7.

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E1M2: The Reactor

19:23 | 100% Everything

A lot more meat to this level (both figuratively and literally!) I lost a good chunk of health again near the start; this time from the shotgunners perched atop the central column just out of sight in the second room. A little more nonlinearity to the map, too; at one point I got turned around and didn't realize I had never crossed the catwalk over the central nukage room. Like the first map, this one was so fast-paced with nonstop action that even playing with saves, I never actually paused to save until I had reached the exit switch. I will say that final room was a bit underwhelming; not sure what the nuke pits flanking the exit were for. They look like they should be more than just decorative, but there's no way you were gonna fall in there by mistake. 

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DODEAD e1m1

There aren't many people who can do the e1 aesthetic like Van der Veken.  This really captures the visual design of the original episode, and includes an obvious homage to the zig zag room from Hangar.  Gameplay wise it is very straight-forward, though the monster density is a bit higher than in 1994.

 

 

DODEAD e1m2

Love the many room-into-room-into-room views here, with opportunities for you to engage enemies via sniping early on, or face to face later.  And we have the pleasure of hosting The Best Monster Ever, which will be great for Phobos property prices I am sure!  I spotted a couple of the secrets here but didn't get the 'ding' for them: one because I couldn't find what the hidden switch was lowering (which after looking at the map in GZDB, I really should have), and the other because I didn't want to paddle in nukage tunnels without a suit.

 

Some backtracking in this, which was a tiny drag, but otherwise good.

 

DODEAD e1m3

The scope of the map here is considerably larger than those before it.  Some elements I loved: the tunnels winding around tunnels with views between them were great, creating lots of interesting flows and design.  I also liked the secret switch on the back of one of the nukage pillars.  Others were less great: there's a fair bit of empty room backtracking here if you don't know the optimal route.  Also not fond of the insta-death teleporter, but then I guess it does tell you not to go that way.

 

Made an effort to locate the secret exit and eventually did so.  The id room is pretty amusing.

 

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Well, I think it's time to join finally join the club.
I see everyone started with Dawn of the Dead, so I'll follow as I play it with Chocolate Doom:

E1M1 Warp Station  (100% K/I/S):

Really a solid first map, I was hoping to see something resemblant to the second episode more than the first, by the looks of the first room. But I guess we'll play some Knee Deep in the Dead now. When I entered the first room I thought I would see a really complex map, but no, just a classic "horse-shoe" design just as Romero would like on the first map. Classic Shotgun action with a cacodemon at the end and a weird invisibility grab close to the start, weird decision.
I liked this starter map, and the new music (Is it from Dwango5?), it's welcome to hear a E1 styled episode with new music. Sometimes the original music is just... tiring.

E1M2 The Reactor (100% K/96% I/25% S):

The starting room with the red door is straight E1M2, I really liked this one, it has a mixture of every level from the first episode, even a reference to the second episode with the computer nukage room. (Straight from E2M2). Enemy counter suddenly bumps up quite a lot. What I didn't like to roam around the sewers with lost souls. Lost souls + running in nukage with the rad suit timer going down = never a good idea.  Lost souls are a time waster. The rest of the map is fine. And the music was even cooler.
There is another cacodemon at the end, hope it doesn't become a gimmick.

maps in order of preference at this moment.

E1M2
E1M1

Deaths so far: 0

It looks as the most solid contender to Fava Beans for the "Best E1 episode recreation ever", two levels in and it's already better than DTWID E1. (We have to test another "Classic Episode" later, aswell, so let's see which one turns out to be the best).

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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Oh, sweet! I cannot resist jumping into the DWMC this month since it contains two of my favorites, plus Earth, which I've never played before. I'll be starting tomorrow.

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This is going to be a somewhat busy month for me but these levels don't look so punishing (my famous last words).  ZDoom, Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play with saves.

 

Dawn of the Dead

 

E1M1: Warp Station

 

This is a pretty conventional offering as far as E1M1 replacements go, even if the title screen asserts that this is instead "Episode V;" the only significant breaks from the theme are the lion ornaments flanking the entrance door and the cacodemon which emerges from a glowing red closet that calls to mind Deimos more than Phobos.  The layout offers a compact little coil of rooms through which the player is invited to advance, swatting aside imps and zombies along the way.

 

E1M2: The Reactor

 

...Either this layout and music have been recycled into another WAD, legitimately or otherwise, or I've played this level quite recently and not been aware of it at all.  It's very familiar!  There's some fun back-and-forth through the slime-filled central space of the map as you gradually dissect the overall layout of the map, which turns out to be quite sprawling for a level occupying the E1M2 slot; the secret slime tunnels perhaps fill the role of the light-and-shadows maze of Nuclear Plant but are quite different in flavour, especially following the discovery that they're haunted by lost souls.  The map makes up for the generally low quality of its monster population with quantity, cramming lots of imps and zombies into corridors and ambush spaces and maintaining a generally high pitch and pace of carnage throughout.

 

E1M3: Space Port

 

Yup, I have definitely played this one not so long ago, though perhaps this is as far as my prior excursion into this WAD carried me; the early nukage areas and layers of catwalks around the computer core that yields the red key are familiar, but much of the level, not so much.  There's some of what feels like unnecessary dickery with close-delay-open doors around the secret exit, and at least one segment where I found myself wondering why a particular area or sequence wasn't flagged as a secret, but in general this is a very solid crawl through a high-tech maze with thematically strong areas that aid in navigation.  I feel as though the placement of the regular exit very close to the start, requiring extensive backtracking as well as rather more work than getting to the secret exit, is an odd choice, designed to funnel players toward E1M9; I guess if you go the trouble of building a secret level, you want to give players every chance to experience it?

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E1M3 Space Port (81% K/82% I/ 100% S):

No new music on this one, it uses E2M4 music, sadly :(. Not a fan of gray textures and all that samey gray startan texture at the start, although I  really fancy those lighting effects. This time the cacodemon is at the start.
This map is still good but not good as the previous one. The problem is that it's easier to find the secret exit than backtracking to the normal exit, so  I missed it. Bad trick to close the doors on that point while you are trying to explore. Well at least they are 30 second doors, so I could backtrack a little bit more and then exited on the secret exit. I thought I would forget more things.
I like the ID room with the BFG, you get introduced into a mini slaughter arena with 4 barons on UV.
Although it really gets challenging, I stay pretty healthy with all those secrets found
I checked DB to find the original exit, and I also found a death trap near the secret exit, a telefrag spot, pretty clever, but you can run through it without noticing the signal, and I think it's  really cheap trick, so I don't like it, luckly I forgot to pass through it, so still 0 deaths. BE CAREFUL.
Also guess what I found right at the regular exit door...
... another Cacodemon. Ok it just turned into a gimmick. From now on every map with this gimmick will lower its score :kappa:

Secret exit adquired


maps in order of preference at this moment:
E1M2
E1M3
E1M1

Death counter: 0

Still better than DTWID E1

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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Thanks for making the thread Magnusblitz, I was wondering if the club stopped for this month. These are some classic wads that are on my to play list for a long time. I only played the first couple of maps from Earth.

 

Dawn of the Dead

E1M1: Nice map, it's your standard opener with some simple but fun action. The imps at the starting point are good to push you directly into the base. I though this would be very close to E1 specifically, and it is, but I liked that caco in the red closet, it hints that the style could also be a bit more varied but I'll see that in the other maps. There's also a nod to the iwad.

 

E1M2: The iwad homage keeps going at the beginning, this part is obviously inspired by Nuclear Plant. Soon the map become a totally different thing and the scope gets bigger with a 3-keys-hunt. There isn't so much health on UV and you have to manage it well. Initially I thought I could play this map with an aggressive style but I had to change approach with all the hitscanners that will chop your health. Nice soulsphere secret that must be unlocked in two parts. My favourite moment was the BK ambush and I liked the exit in its simplicity.

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Looked like a nice enough setup that I'd carve out some time to join in.

 

Dawn of the Dead
E1M1

Eternity Engine 4.00.00, UV, pistol starts, saveless

An action start, this map does not hold back in showing what might be in store.

The action is dominated by the shotgun here, and there's more than enough ammo to kill everything.

Gameplay favors moving quickly, and while there are many hitscanners, there is a blur sphere to spice things up.

The wad shows its teeth a bit by introducing a cacodemon early, clearly demonstrating it's not just another E1 replacement.

The aesthetic is dominated by stone, primarily, with some tech here and there, making it look a little more like a Doom 2 base to me than a Doom 1 base.

Overall, pretty fun, and looks sharp.

 

E1M2

This one has a start that reminds me of Romero. Barrels + zombiemen == Ludicrous gibs!

Also available immediately from the start is a blur sphere, which is mighty useful if you don't realize there's a shotgun behind you at the start and attack the zombiemen ahead with only the pistol.

How to progress is a little confusing at first. I didn't quite know where to go, and the way only opened after I went back and explored the start again.

It's a key hunt, but not an annoying one, and each key has its own way of greeting you, particularly the blue card.

Stone gives way to STARTAN in aesthetic, with some tech and slad interspersed.

The gameplay favors defensive play, with the many corridor setups to funnel the monsters straight ahead of you.

Hitscanners are plentiful, but with a little luck (a staggering amount, in my case), you can squeeze by them with little to no difficulty.

A little slower than the previous, but a solid map, regardless.

 

E1M3

This one's much more intricate, and far more interesting to me than the previous two.

This map wants you to move, and move you will if you don't find the secrets.

Hidden away, you can find a rocket launcher, a chaingun with ammo and a blur sphere, shells, bullets, and a soulsphere, and even a BFG.

There's a nasty trap or two here, but they become much easier if you get the 'zerk beforehand.

Also, there's a nice teleporter that should not be trusted. It turns out if there's a teleporter with the "no people" sign, you shouldn't go in it.

The door to the blue card will close and lock on you, unless you back out fast enough, which I did, and so broke the whole encounter by mistake.

Gameplay is kinetic, much more than E1M2, and much more fun in my opinion.

Aesthetically, this map reminds me of Toxin Refinery, but there's one particular bit that stands out.

Spoiler

etrn17.png

Very fun map, my favorite at the time of writing.

 

As I don't quite remember the rules on secret maps (I believe they can be written on the day they can be accessed) I will put my review for E1M9 in a spoiler.

Also helps for post brevity.

 

Spoiler

E1M9

This one reminds me of both Military Base and Fear at the same time.

The monsters will teleport about sporadically, which makes this map far more interesting than it otherwise would be.

There's a BFG available in an easy to get secret, which makes some parts of this map go far more smoothly than they would without.

I like the way this map flows, and it plays rather nicely.

I don't have too much to say for it.

 

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DODEAD e1m9

As with the original Military Base, the layout feels a bit more abstracted and "non-representational" in this secret map. Not to the extent that Romero did, I think - there's no pentagram room or parkour goody pillars – but there's a lot more "hump anything inset to see what it does" (which works quite nicely at times, e.g. you can use it to fight a baron under less difficult circumstances than you might otherwise). There's also the inaccessible blue key near the start, which I guess is just a playful red/blue herring since there appears to be no reason to go into that room at all, except to slurp up dropped shotguns.

 

Liked the use of support3 insets and bars here. It's a nice little detail texture and Jan does some cool stuff with it. Probably the best example is also the most fun combat moment, with the blue key room.

 

 

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E1M9 Hunted Down (100%K/I/S):

I love the atention to detail on the lighting department on this one. This map looks like E4M9, which is in my opinion the best secret map in Ultimate Doom.
In the gameplay, on the other hand...
I DIED 20 FUCKING TIMES.
Impossible to pistol start this, so I had to reload my save and still died 3 or 4 times until I got to the end. That fucking room where the hitscanners from the side halls teleport into is one of the worst things, I managed to find two good secrets with one BFG and one blue armor, still this map is a pain in the ass, long time I don't rage so much on a map, but this is one of the first times in  long time since I don't rage quit by losing so many times. the BK room is one of the cheapest so far in this mapset. No space to maneuver, if you go upstairs you get bodyblocked by spectres, I had to waste BFG ammo on them. I could find (Luckly) the soulsphere and move on to the next level. I know where the exit is, so I think this can't get worse...
...then another cacodemon at the exit. OH, come on!

Still didn't find any plasma rifles, but two BFGs, did I miss one?

This map is not bad, but is infuriating, and at least has some action in comparison to E1M3, so even though is hard, I'll place it higher.

maps in order of preference at this moment:
E1M2

E1M9
E1M3
E1M1
 

Death Counter: 20 (from 0 to 20 in only one level lul)

 

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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Alright, ok, so: Crispy Doom 5.4, Ultra-Violence, pistol starts, saves every 10 minutes or so, demos in max mode except the speedrun part. I already played through this between last friday-saturday and it was a blast, damn, one of the best Doom I episode replacements out there imo. This guy knew how to apply tension using the limited rooster, and adapt the gameplay to each individual. Too bad this episode wasn't part of a megawad because that would have been dope. I have yet to play Classic Episode seriously, excited to see the missing DOTD map in that one, I expect nothing but fun, whereas Earth was terrible, omFg, sorry not sorry, we all experience different emotions. Anyway...

 

E1M1: Warp Station

 

Decent opener which puts you right in the action. I like how the start tells you to move forward rather than staying to pistol the imps, and there's more than enough leeway to bar hitscan attack while you steal a basic shotgun. In general, really, it's a forgiving map. I believe that secret blue armor must be gold for a d1all or an ironman as opposition is light, plus it renders the green armor pointless given how close they are to each other. Uh, fun map overall. 

 

 

E1M2: The Reactor

 

Oh nice start, this guy knows how to use barrels in funny ways. This map sends all kinds of KDITD vibes throughout its corridors, nukage maze and monster closets. Also the roofless path a la "Toxin Refinery" seems very neat to me, including the toxic pool with deep water effect. The secret soulsphere is either a gift or a tiny punishment depending on your perspective: if you already explored the maze and found out about the soulsphere later, you'll have to waste health in exchange for a boost, though the damage is minimal. I'm thinking of those who despise "mandatory" damage via pain sector :P. On the other side, with foreknowledge you can access to it later while in a radsuit. Besides, the author lets you jump back to the bridge, how nice!. I had to use IDDT to find some missing secrets, like the backpack+chainsaw, the switch to get in there is a little well hidden. Again, a fun action map, and an interesting midi. 

 

 

E1M3: Space Port

 

Oh I loved this one. First of all, the midi selection is one of the rarest you only get to hear in Doom I wads without custom music, not even in any Plutonia stuff has been used and that's a crime imo. Fits delightfully with the several traps in darkness and since there's some inevitable silent backtrack, I can properly listen to it. Bonus points!. I dig the intricate nature of progression, others claimed that it's less demanding to reach the secret exit than the normal one. At one point you need to flip a switch twice to lower a second teleport pad which takes you outside. I'm not sure what's the trick behind it, I can't think of another example using that mechanic. That to me wasn't obvious, although I noticed that one could access the secret exit in less time by knowing where to go and what to do in advance. Anyway, highlights are plenty, the secrets constitute one part, like the BFG setup where it's possible to use just two shots, unless you fail like me. I sense TheOrganGrinder was speaking about the soulsphere+armor which is oddly not flagged secret, and I felt the same way. However, it's not the only hidden something the author left out of the secret count for reasons unknown (see E1M7). The BK trap is another standout moment mainly for atmosphere, like I said above, the midi elevates the suspense, even if the fight results to be very simple. Another highlight is the barons+spectres ambush which comes a shock the first time. Escaping is easy, and the barons become rocket sponges, but it's a nice change of pace. I don't have anything to complain about this map :)

 

 

 

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I'll join the club for some if not all of this months offering, 3 fine wads for sure. I'll play with my usual settings:

  • game mode: zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, first time played
  • stats: seeking 100% k/i/s
  • play speed: resembling the movement of an old man with a walking stick.
  • play style: hiding in a corner with one hand on a rifle while sucking his thumb.

e1m1: Warp Station

You get to blast your way into a rundown facility. Hey, how come the zigzag path never lowered into the slime when the enemies walked over it to get at me? I wish the exit room window allowed you to jump through it to get back to the start.

e1m2: The Reactor

This map is a barrel of fun. The soulsphere secret is out in the slime but you have work out how to get into the slime and take a risk to find a nearby rad suit. You can't linger out in the slime if you want to kill everything out there and pick up all the goodies. Fortunately, a second rad suit is unlocked, guarded by some monsters along the way.

e1m3: Space Port

This map is larger than the first 2 and quite fun for the most part. As others have mentioned, there is  a sucker teleporter trap that can ruin your run. To be  fair, the teleporter is marked with a danger sign, but c'mon, you just got to try it!

There is a small bug going into the blue key area where if you pull back at the wrong time, a wall will lower and you will get locked outside and can't progress. So don't do that (like I did and was forced to restart)!

There are 2 non official secret areas in the two outside slime areas, one with sorely needed ammo and health, the other only needed if you are a crazy completionist like me that "just gotsta to find all the items".

e1m9: Hunted Down

The secret map has a berserk bonanza beginning (say that 3 times fast). After punching the lights out of the teleporting riffraff at the start from one of several vantage points (I used the narrow horse shoe corridors), you can tour the facility with little danger except for the yellow and blue key areas. As Capellan notes, the yellow key trap can be avoided completely. The secret areas are a rewarding find and clue you in on the non official secret toxic waste area where you can find even more goodies. The trick is finding out how to get into the slime.

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E1M9: Hunted Down

 

This is a level that takes us from the Phobos-spiced-with-Deimos setting of the first three maps to a place that feels more heavily inspired by the nebulously defined environment of Thy Flesh Consumed, particular the classic E4M9 with its tan-textured techbase spiced with infernal and baroque elements.  It's faced-paced and, like the preceding maps, employs and quantity-over-quality approach to monster placement that helps to maintain a high pitch of excitement even when all you're fighting are shotgun guys and imps - and when the big guns come out (a couple of Barons of Hell, some cacodemons you're given an opportunity to flank via a secret door) they're all the more noteworthy for that rarity.  The atmosphere and detail are wonderful and I think the layered layout works better her than in E1M3 which is just a bit too big with the important areas of the map separated by too much physical distance - here, the curving nature of the connecting/separating corridors means that you often have to walk quite a bit to get to your destination, but the bars and windows that are everywhere allow you to see where you're ultimatly going even so.  Very good stuff!

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E1M4

Eternity Engine 4.00.00, UV, pistol start, saveless

We're thrust back into the stone and slad here, with a bit of startan for some extra flavor.

Nukage is the dominating feature here, with it scattered about rather liberally.

This one holds a bit of a Spawning Vats feel for me, particularly in the plasma/red card room.

Just a simple key hunt with a lot of extra content to go explore, I do rather like this map.

Gameplay is a little easier than before (never mind that I died. I was too busy screwing around with a baron to actually dodge properly), and the chaingun and shotgun will get quite the workout here.

The secrets are of the exploratory and "notice this odd bit" variety, and the only thing I couldn't get was the rocket launcher in one of them.

The aesthetic is definitely reminiscent of E2, but it still plays more like E1.

 

1 hour ago, tmorrow said:

There is a small bug going into the blue key area where if you pull back at the wrong time, a wall will lower and you will get locked outside and can't progress. So don't do that (like I did and was forced to restart)!

In both situations there should be a switch to open the door (or bars). If you're referring to the support door that closes off the blue card room entirely, the switch you use to open it is repeatable, so you can avoid a softlock there. That was what happened to me.

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E1M3: A very good exploratory techbase level, and the choice of using the calm and moody E2M4 music was good. There are lots of varied places and nicely designed areas, my favourite was the double nukage courtyard with the pillars. You have tan brown (what is used the most), grey rooms, bricks. I would say that there's a distinct lack of startan so far for an E1 replacement, but I think it's cool that it doesn't follow so much the norm. In the starting areas those tall openings in the ceiling were a nice touch of detail to contrast with the small rooms you walk in. There are few light effects used that always cool to see, they are rarely used. At the nukage pools ouside there are a couple of unofficial secrets: a blur sphere and a rich looty (a soulphere, a green armor and some ammo). Ahead you have also the mandatory preview of the exit room. Until this point the things are straightforward but once you pick the RK the layout gets more complicated. At the twin elevator behind the red doors the path splits in two and going through various corridors and rooms you have to unlock the BK basement that is accessible from what seems to be a landing spot for starship. The use of verticality with in the various areas was cool and added a nice 3D feel of the place. Depending of what you do here you may have to do some back and forth before you can pick the BK. Finding the secret exit is probably easier that going for the normal one and it's accessible much earlier. The id room was a nice surprise, I wasn't expecting at all a BFG and some barons.

 

8 hours ago, galileo31dos01 said:

At one point you need to flip a switch twice to lower a second teleport pad which takes you outside. I'm not sure what's the trick behind it, I can't think of another example using that mechanic.

It's done with 2 switches. The first instantly lowers the first teleport pad and the sector of the first switch that is 1-pixel wide, behind this sector there's the switch that lowers the second teleport and it's opportunely textured with the flipped switch.

 

E1M9: The parallel with Fear is obvious, this level starts with a symmetrical blueprint (that at least it changes soon) but mostly the visuals use the same scheme of tan-brown textures and metal pillars. At the Yk and in the BK room are also reprised the metal bars used as details to create also arches, though Fear did that with silver bars and it was the only interesting thing in what I consider one of the most dull iwad levels. Is this one of the first examples of daylight shadows? The light contrast was good in all the level and it helped a lot to improve the visuals that otherwise would be rather bland. In the outdoot that is cool to look at but I can't imagine this level to look as good without the shadows. On UV you have to punch your way for a while before. Similar to M2 the health given is low and you have to be careful with that. The BK room is rather nasty with that because you will be locked there with only a couple of stimpacks and 2 barons and a dozen of lost souls will come to keep you company. There's a marble room nearby but the monsters can also teleport there so you don't really have a safe space. For this claustrophobic encounter there's a secret BFG that can be found, and in one of the nukage pits you have a soulsphere.

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51 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

In both situations there should be a switch to open the door (or bars). If you're referring to the support door that closes off the blue card room entirely, the switch you use to open it is repeatable, so you can avoid a softlock there. That was what happened to me.

 

Thanks for pointing that out, you are right. This demonstrates the confusion that is rife with remote switches on maps you haven't played before. In this case there are 2 switches to open that large support door, one inside the room (that I thought I was locked out of) and one in a remote room to the north. If you visit the north room first (before going to the blue key area) and action that switch, you are likely to think that its purpose is to raise some bars to the northeast (because that switch raises both the bars and the support door). Then when you visit the blue key area, you can freely walk in, oblivious that you are walking under an opened support door.

 

Anyway, you've clued me in so thanks again.

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A day behind schedule -- nothing new for me. ;D

 

Playing GZDoom in Dark mode, keyboard only. Switching from pistol start to UV continuous in order to lower my death count. Makes it more likely I'll actually complete my runs, too.

 

This mapset was very influential for me back when I first played it in '97. How will it hold up all these years later?

 

E1M1 Warp Station.  Maxed. Death Count:Zero

An adequate opener. Rooms were a bit oversized and underdetailed even for the time, but the Blue Armor secret was really cool. Incredibly easy combat made for a lot of grins as I mowed down my victims. It's not often I feel like a Doom God, so this is much appreciated. ;)

 

E1M2 The Reactor.  Kills - 100%  Items - 100%  Secrets - 75%  Death Count:Zero

I suppose a reactor is hiding somewhere in this nifty little blast-fest, but I never found it. What I did find was a lot of easy action with a bit more teeth than in Warp Station. The layout was also much more complicated and the secrets even more devious. I found all of them except the backpack I was lusting for. The Soulsphere secret was totally badass! I especially love how the rising sector allowed me to jump onto the catwalk instead of backtracking through the slime. Two thumbs way up. Natch, I copied this to some extent in two of my maps. The influence is strong.

 

I loved the Blue Key trap. Nice jump scare. The only thing that bugged me was that platform with Sergeants in front of the Blue door. Variation on a theme from Computer Station, but much nastier because it's harder to see where the shots are coming from. Seemed a little cheap, tbh.

 

It was nice to see Cacos and Lost Souls in the mix, and my heart soared when I grabbed the Chaingun. Just the thing for mowing down masses of pesky little hitscanners. :)

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E1M4 Atmospheric Processor (100% K/I/S):

Interesting setup on this one, with a weird starting room that screams early 90's map, but not by any means bad. This one has the perfect balance in between difficulty, gameplay and aesthetics. It is at some points a classic E1M7 Wannabe (full of them in DTWID). I liked the part that homages Spawning Vats with a room that is an exact ripoff. And finally we get a plasma gun. This area is probably the best in the map. 

Hence the similarity of the exit room to some others on the original game which had a Cacodemon at the end I expected one of them, but none of them to be found!

 

Not sure how to get the RL at the courtyard, but I guess is for DM only since I've 100% anyway.

I also noted with DB that player spawns are scatered for multiplayer, si that makes the map Even more interesting.

 

Best map so far.

 

Maps in order of preference at this moment:

 

E1M4

E1M2

E1M9

E1M3

E1M1

 

Death counter: 20

 

On the other hand I have the feel that tomorrow is going to be a boring day...

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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E1M4: It feels a lot similar to M3 as the design of E1 and E2 are mixed together. The E1 style is more predominant, especially in the first part with the simple but nice starting courtyard, and completed with the unmissable secret courtyard. While elements of E2 are more obvious at the north-west part with the plasmagun machine/reactor, the RK, and the side room at the right. It's nice to see how the design take a more realistic bent there. At east there's also an optional area that show a hint of hell corruption. The layout isn't as convulted as M3, a lot of areas are optional and just to be explored. The central nukage ring has also an unofficial secret that will raise a bridge to have a safe walk to the red door.

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E1M3 Space Port. Kills:94%  Items:97%  Secrets:Zero  Death Count:3

Well, at last I successfully died, not once but three times! Yay me. :D

 

I honestly hated this map from beginning to end. On the one hand, there's the embarrassment of coming in with tons of health and ammo and having it all stripped away from me several times. This was the result of me foolishly exposing myself to an excessive degree when lots of Sergeants and zombieboys were about, but the ammo problem is also a function of the skewed Hitscanner to Meat Ratio. There are tons of Pinkies and Spectres in this map, and because I didn't find the Zerk until after I'd already died twice to the sucky Rocket box Baron-Spectre traps, I was constantly running out of ammo because most of it came from dead hitscanners, and there simply weren't enough hitscanners on this map to keep me tanked up. I was constantly shooting my last shell or bullet and usually picking up something from a freshly killed hitscanner, but taking a hit or two from the ones still living that I wouldn't have suffered if I'd had the ammo to kill them. Even when I finally found the Zerk, I ran out of ammo fighting the monsters guarding it and ended up punching out zombieboys, Imps and a Spectre with my wimpy default fist. Imagine my misery if I'd pistol started this thing. So my belief is that in maps with large numbers of Meat monsters -- especially Barons! -- and relatively small numbers of hitscanners, it's necessary to be fairly generous with shell and bullet boxes, and not rely on players finding secrets, including unofficial ones. Waaah! ;D

 

Well, at least I found the Soulsphere and armor.

 

I found the map to be very unattractive with its samey Brown1 corridors, monotextured walls and overlarge, underdetailed rooms. IIRC, that was true even back in the day. I haven't played these maps in 22 years, but I seem to recall finding this one to be very bland compared to the others, and certainly compared to Fava Beans. One thing I believe I can definitely say after the first 3 maps is that DoD does not match Fava Beans in appearance, and until this map, it was basically a wash in terms of difficulty, with the advantage going to Fava Beans, IMO, because you were forced to turn in that one and deal more often with multidirectional attacks and attacks from different heights. This map, however, to me was harder than the entire Fava Beans episode, so Mr. van der Veken wins on that metric.

 

I found the progression obtuse thanks to the nonlinear layout. The loops seemed to take too long for you to get anywhere, and they needed more access points. I like nonlinearity but I'm not a cheerleader for it, nor do I like it in all circumstances. In fact, I prefer that big maps be linear so as to avoid confusion. I'm perfectly fine with going to one new area after another and playing through setpiece battles, and never backtracking at all.

 

The only thing that made this map difficult for me in terms of gameplay was the aforementioned ammo shortage, and also the up in yer grille Baron-Spectre traps. All of us like to throw in cheap, dickish traps like this from time to time, but without the Zerk, this is really extra cheap. Once I got the Zerk, I went back to these areas and got the rockets with little trouble, and then ran away from the Barons because I don't box with Barons if I can possibly avoid it, nor do I plink at them with an undernourished single-shotty.

 

The most traumatic parts of the map for me were the Blue Key area and the room with 2 red doors, owing to their full-room epilepsy lighting that left me feeling nauseous. Maybe I shouldn't have played right after breakfast. :D

 

There were other niggling issues, like the chaingun and ammo on all those platforms in the blinky room that were a chore to get; door textures that were not doors; and Lion switch textures used for decoration in cubbyholes with Imps you didn't need to kill, when Lion switch textures were switches elsewhere in the map, so that I killed the Imps and shot a switch just to be sure, and so on. These are not unusual features in '90s maps because at that time we were still stoked over just shooting monsters. We didn't have the years of playtesting refinement we enjoy today which can help people avoid these little things that drag on a map.

 

In summary, this map just didn't work for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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E1M3: Space Port

24:17 | 100% Everything

This was again a step up in complexity. It also marked my first death, when I entered the death teleporter. I was a bit peeved to find that I hadn't yet saved. So when I started over, I took a slightly different route. Not a fan of the way the red key pickup was handled; it's out of reach atop a pedestal, but it's also locked away in a room where you'll never see it, and in fact the only way in is to teleport directly on top of the key, such that you never actually see the key. The first time I played, I went through that teleport before ever entering the central command station, so not only did I not noticed that I had picked up the red key, I hadn't yet seen any red doors indicating I would need said key! Other than that, this was another super-fun map. The secret exit was tricky; also very sneaky, since it wasn't marked as a secret, and in fact I had already maxed the level, but was still curious about the doors I hadn't managed to open in those westernmost rooms...

 

E1M9: Hunted Down

19:14 | 100% Everything

Holy hell, this was brutal. Whittled down to like 30% health just trying to gain a foothold in the first couple of rooms. After that it wasn't terrible, except for the first double-baron showdown which for some reason killed me like a half a dozen times, grrr. The blue key fakeout had me concerned for a little bit ("Was I supposed to grab that? How do I get it back?") and the actual blue key ambush was absolutely panic-inducing. Loved loved loved those high-contrast shadows in the outdoor section, very cool.

 

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DODEAD e1m4

Fun little map built around two nukage pool areas. I actually finished the map with quite a bit still unexplored, because I didn't think to shoot the BROWNGRN wall there. Darn you, shoot activated secrets! Why do I always forget you?

 

 

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e1m4: Atmospheric Processor

Yuck! You've got to wade through a slimy tech base. It appears you have put on weight since the platform holding the chaingun and ammo collapses into the goo after you step onto it. Fortunately there is plenty of ammo and health strewn throughout the level. There are only a couple of rad suits so you will want to do most of your fighting outside the slime. You can score a plasma rifle - woohoo! It's guarded by a trap - boohoo! There are really only 2 secrets but one counts double. Finding a way out to the courtyard is a non official secret, there's some goodies to be scooped up out there.

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