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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Witness of Time & Monument & Unwelcome

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Will try to participate this month. An important reminder UNWELCOME is MBF compatible, thus complevel 11 in prboom+. I would actually like to suggest for this and future selections to add in the OP the correct compatibilities of each, or at least from those that don't come with a text file.

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Let's do this!  ZDoom, Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play with saves.

 

Witness of Time

 

Okay, so: I know nothing about this WAD other than the fact that it's by @nicolas monti, whom I tend to think of as "the Erkattäññe guy," one of the Doom community's most distinctive map-authorial voices currently active.

 

MAP01: Hic et Nunc

 

And we do start here (and now, heh) with a classic Monti not-quite-techbase, with its STAR* and TEK* texture schemed wallpapered across slim structural walls, arbitrary-seeming shapes, and playfully non-orthogonal construction.  Take a good long look at the automap; this is Doom as clay to be hand-sculpted into soft, flowing shapes and smooth curves, not a LEGO-set of square-cornered pieces to be slotted together at right angles, even if I can see exactly how the map might have been constructed and arranged along more conventionally angular lines under another designer's direction.

 

You've got zombies and imps to dead with initially, too, but things escalate quite rapidly beyond that; even on the middle difficulty there are arachnotrons, revenants, a mancubus, an arch-vile, and a Baron of Hell all to deal with, the last employed in the "exit room meat-shield" role to stop the player from skipping quickly past some of the other tough opponents present.  Fortunately it's easy enough to get your hands on the firepower necessary to deal with such sturdy opposition, and there are few barriers to slinging rockets around with glee once the pace starts to pick up.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, TheOrganGrinder said:

it's by @nicolas monti, whom I tend to think of as "the Erkattäññe guy,"

I actually find Witness of Time (and all three wads this month for that matter) considerable superior to Erkatanne.

 

IMO Monti had one style for the first two Favillesco episodes, changed to a different style with Reticula and then pretty much stuck to both that style and overall standard in all subsequent releases through Erkatanne (including the Favillesco Alphas as well BTW), then maintained similar style but slowly improving the standard of mapping with Mano Laikas, then WoT, and now Mass Extinction. Case in point - Favillesco E1 and Mass Extinction E1 (while not among the wads being played this month) are both clearly in E1 style, but they don't feel like similar wads otherwise at all.

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Super excited to see that my nominations made it through, even if that got undercut just a little by a sense of "pity vote to keep the DMWC rolling." :) I billed this trio as favorites of mine that were perhaps underrated by the community. In all honesty, I really wanted an excuse to replay both Witness and Monument, which I loved the first time through, and underwent some tweaks (mostly in the finales, I think) since I originally played them. Unwelcome was thrown in to round out the set with an E3-ish finale, even though I just played it for the first time a couple months ago. It's suitably weird, and I hope the folks here like it (if they didn't already!)

 

I do have to say that, though running 3 WADs in a month is more work for dobu (love the mash-up title and pic, BTW!) I like these months a lot because I think it's easier to keep people involved: Fall behind in a WAD? No problem, just join back in when the next WAD starts in a couple of days. Or if your summer is busy (vacations, etc.) you can still pop in for a week and half to play one of the WADs.

 

So. WITNESS OF TIME. I fell in love with Monti's work when I played the 4 Favillesco episodes in 2015. I played Erkattäññe with the Club in 2016, and then went through the rest of his oeuvre in 2017, just in time for Witness to be released. I played so much of his stuff, that a lot of it (all awesome) honestly blurs together, but I remember Witness really doubling down on the strengths of Monti's mapping, and I figured it'd be an easier sell to the Club than Mano Laikas or Eviltech (which I will get the Club to play someday, THIS I VOW.)

 

I'll be stepping up the difficulty from my first play, on UV this time, and GZDoom/continuous/saves as usual.

 

MAP01: Hic Et Nunc

20:08 | 100% Kills | 97% Items | 83% Secrets

This is a very Monti-esque opener, in a techbase with some outdoor areas manned by plenty of pistol zombies. Right away the author's sprawling, organic shapes are made apparent, and the alpha textures used give you the feeling that this isn't quite DOOM as you're used to. I feel like usually you're forced to play with the pistol longer, but this map gives you the shotgun early if you go the right way, and gets you well-kitted-out by the end, with an early SSG (that I didn't use much, to conserve shells) and chaingun, and a rocket launcher and tons of rockets. A couple of Monti's other mapping signatures are here, though not as fully-realized as later maps will show, and that's his use of height variation and having the level "open up" as you progress. The layout here is fairly convoluted, and I had to make use of the automap fairly often to get/keep my bearings. Secrets can often be pretty obtuse in a Monti map, and this had its share of puzzlers; I think I only found one by the time I reached the exit after 12 minutes, and then I was able to hunt down all but one in the next 8 minutes. The soulsphere eluded me; as is often the case, I found the door, but not the mechanism.

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MAP02: Scurrilous Knave

26:58 | 100% Kills | 86% Items | 57% Secrets

I love how this level opens with the big drop, taken one of two ways: either jumping right on into the nukage, or taking the elevator down from the side room. Lotsa nukage here, but also (thankfully) lots of radsuits, though they weren't always where I would have liked. Another convoluted map with lots of ways to get lost, though progression can only be made a certain way. As you progress, the level slowly opens up, which I always love, although this time I didn't immediately figure out that the early switch dropped the wall between the two crate rooms (and subsequently wandered around lost for a bit.) Secrets were again very obtuse; I did find the (?) soulsphere, but almost immediately lost it all to a baron in the window. The BFG wasn't a secret, but I somehow overlooked that room entirely until I found the exit (19 minutes in) and went back secret-hunting. Not usually a fan of nukage-based maps, but this one's fairly neat. The visual of the gaping silver "maw" leading out from the elevator room is pretty memorable. I did find ammo getting fairly tight, at least shells and bullets; lots of cells and rockets here, and with my carryover from last map, my rocket launcher became maybe my most-used weapon, not even counting the cyber and archies.

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MAP02: Scurrilous Knave

 

I'm not quite sure how the title connects into the layout and gameplay here, but this is a fun map built around a central nukage reservoir with an initially generous but ultimately limited supply of radiation suits serving as the mechanism by which the player is kept on track, directed to make only a finite number of trips across the slime from node to node or else suffer ruinous environmental damage.  There's enough to meet your needs with a few to spare, at least on Hurt Me Plenty, but it does turn the traditional late-map scouring of the architecture for missed secrets progressively trickier as your stockpiled dwindles and you're left wondering if whatever secrets are tucked away will be worth the subsequent acid burns.

 

Again, there's lots of rockets to be had (especially in contrast to the modest supply of shotgun shells here) but the architecture features enough odd angles, sharp corners, and small windows that high-explosive death isn't a panacea to all the various iterations of demonic infestation you'll be facing here; I did manage to catch myself in my own splash damage more often than I'd have liked, often due to a rocket catching on the corner of a crate or peculiar bit of architecture that I'd hoped it would sail past.  You're handed both the plasma gun and the BFG 9000 here, the latter serving as an indication that you perhaps should not be too quick to whip out the former in too-tight-for-rockets close quarters; and sure enough, there's a Cyberdemon waiting at the end of the level who falls over much more quickly if you've got a decent number of BFG shots left in your backpack, versus having to pump rockets, double barrels of buckshot, or bullets into him.

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Alright, Witness of Time will be. The only works I'm familiar with are Eviltech and Mano Laikas, both very contrasting personal experiences, but they were enough to meet the author's style and respect it for keeping it true to himself, in spite of the polarizing strong opinions out there. Erkataññe is probably his most recognized project and I have yet to put my hands on it, specially that anti-vertigo map. Anyways, from what I played so far (up to 04), this seems to be in the line of Mano Laikas in terms of, everything, basically. The rocket launcher strikes back as the protagonist, exploration on nukage, these extremely well-hidden secrets, and so far I haven't seen any token archviles that made me eep, but we'll see. Settings are Ultra-Violence, pistol starts, saves every 10 minutes or so, using Crispy Doom which should be fine. I did experience a weird thing in map 03 where after the YK I could hear like floors moving up or down from behind the walls with green symbols, which after checking with iddt it seemed to be a closet that didn't open, perhaps something was obstructing the linedef but can't check with idclip because my keyboard is malfunctioning, so not sure what was that. If anything I'll check with boom.

 

MAP01: Hic Et Nunc

 

First of all, excepting a title in spanish I have no idea what most of the map titles mean or their relation with the maps themselves. According to the Wiki, "Hic Et Nunc" in latin means "aquí y ahora" (translation in english: "here and now") and it's used to bring attention about the necessity to think of things from the perspective of reality rather than expectations, practice above theory. I suppose the relation would be one could think of this map as focused on the action and less on what makes a map objectively good, basically providing an appetizer that should be fun for most players. That's what it was for me, has all the classic shapes and moves from Monti and it's simple fun. It's like he pastes every infamous texture and you have to deal with it and eventually you'll be fine with graytall or doortrak or whatnot. I dig it. He still manages to hide those tiny buttons so well, I gave up the secret hunt in Mano Laikas but now it's serious, this is the revenge and I won't throw the towel so easily. 

 

But yeah thanks GZDB for pointing me out how to open that freaking wall leading to the soulsphere anyways demo below

 

Spoiler

 

 

Currently figuring out all the bloody secrets in map02. Got the berserk, the blur sphere, the soulsphere and the backpack, 4 of 7 atm. God dammit this is hard.

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Okay, Witness of Time, guess it's been three years so time for another Monti episode. Looking back at the last ones we played (Favillesco in 2013 and Erkattäññe in 2016) I found the former to be a cute/decent if not great KTITD episode, and the latter I was pretty harsh on after being annoyed by one too many misaligned textures, coverless AV ambushes or obscure tripwire secrets. So let's see if Monti's design (or my tastes) have changed!

 

MAP01: Hic Et Nunc

98% kills, 0/6 secrets

 

Yup, pretty much what I remember. The player will likely instantly notice two Monti trademarks - the eclectic soundtrack (this one is 'True Faith' by New Order if I'm not mistaken - a song I very much like but isn't very Doom-y) and visual barrage of textures. Using so many different textures, in near full-bright settings, really does unnerve, and I think even contributes to making it more difficult to navigate because rooms lack individual visual identities and all sorta mesh together. Oh, and there's a lot of those accursed beta textures I loathe so much as well. :)

 

The layout though is also a Monti trademark, and something I like - lots of interconnection, lots of strange angles. Certainly different after the very square Whispers of Satan last month. I might've felt like I had difficulty navigating but the level loops around itself that it's quite easy to just keep pushing forward, follow the monsters and go for the ride... it wasn't until I actually tried to say "how do I get back to this room?" when looking for secrets or such that I actually got a bit confused. And, no secrets for me, heh... not much has changed after all.

 

MAP02: Scurrilous Knave

98% kills, 2/7 secrets

 

Bit more of an appropriate music track here, and the texture schizophrenia is thankfully dialed down. Looking at the auto-map top down might make you think of last map with the obvious central hub and spoke design, but this one has a large nukage reservoir in the middle and a bit of puzzlers in opening up the rest of the level (like @Salt-Man Z, it took me awhile to figure out the wall had dropped in the storage box area). Lots more verticality to this one too. Unlike last map which was pretty easy to just go with the flow, this one took some thinking.

 

Another thing that sticks out is the ammo balance - many times I'll find myself complaining about maps relying too much on shotgun/chaingun and not giving me enough rockets, this one does the opposite and provides plenty of rockets and a 'free' BFG. Which doesn't necessarily make things easy - Monti's thin hallways aren't always the best for the RL, but it does provide a nice change of pace.

 

 

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MAP03: Tezzi Principle

 

Much of this map is reminiscent of a '90s-era subway or sewer map; crawling its tunnels, I found myself thinking back to the heady days of Galaxia and its contemporaries.  There's no mistaking it for the work of any author but its own, though, with its funky shapes and its layout conforming to its own devious logic.  I feel as though the main space of this map is, at least on Hurt Me Plenty, somewhat underused, with much more gameplay happening in the tunnels and secondary areas than the courtyard proper, though maybe this is a sign I should be cranking things up to Ultraviolence for once - and on the other hand I had plenty of lumps torn out of me and I hardly feel like I'm getting too easy a time of things!  I do think that by this point I'm starting to figure out the mapper's vocabulary of secret-area tells and clues (certain methods for hiding tiny switches especially) though I'm still stumbling across surprises as I go.

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Witness of Time MAP01

I'm glad other people are enjoying this.  It's not really to my tastes, and given that and my limited time this month, I'm not sure I will play any more maps from this set.  I found it a bit dull in terms of gameplay, at least after the early ammo pressure I experienced.  The only monsters that were any threat at all were the occasional high up chaingunners, with everything else more or less just lining up to be slaughtered with my excessive firepower.

 

Also, I thought it was ugly, though I did like some of the new startan textures.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Capellan said:

Witness of Time MAP01

I'm glad other people are enjoying this.  It's not really to my tastes, and given that and my limited time this month, I'm not sure I will play any more maps from this set.

I will say that I found MAP01 to be a bit underwhelming; it's by far the least interesting of the set, IMHO. (Which is not to say you'll necessarily like the rest any better, but still.)

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1 hour ago, Capellan said:

 I found it a bit dull in terms of gameplay, at least after the early ammo pressure I experienced.  The only monsters that were any threat at all were the occasional high up chaingunners, with everything else more or less just lining up to be slaughtered with my excessive firepower.

 

You don't fight the monsters in these maps, you fight the level! :)

 

MAP03: Tezzi Principle

100% kills, 1/9 secrets

 

Well, maybe in this one you fight the monsters, or more likely, the lack of health... I think I found three medkits the whole map and that was it, and after taking a revenant rocket early in the map that meant I was fighting at sub-10% health for a large part of the level. Things get less abstract here as a large chunk of the level is clearly some sort of subway tracks/station setup, though there's still plenty of ugly/random texturing going on here. Also another map where I barely got to touch the shotgun and was using rockets for most of the map which brings its own dangers, especially in thin hallways.

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MAP04: Charon Lab

 

Toxic reservoirs and intricate sewer systems transition now to an eerie maze of flickering lights and inscrutable laboratories, all built into the walls of bottomless, lightless chasms as though we're sunk somewhere deep within Charon's crust - but this far from the light of the Sun, in the frigid outer portions of the system, how would we even know?  The combination of the map's large scale and fairly modest monster population creates a sense not of an infestation to be systematically cleared, but of being hunted, especially when the tougher entries in the bestiary - arch-viles, the Cyberdemon you're compelled to release from some kind of vast toxin holding tank - come out to play.

 

This map and the last one, there has perhaps been a bit of a sense of aimlessness, with keys scattered throughout the map and the doors they open all consolidated into one area that's easily missed or not encountered until you already have one or more keys in hand; here, for example, I picked up the red and blue keys before I even found the exit atechamber with its trio of locked doors.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, I'm not asking to be led around by the nose, and it does mean that there's isn't necessarily a right or wrong way to proceed through the map; maybe there's an optimal route, but without direction there isn't a clearly intended route to which you can carefully hew or from which you can deliberately wander.

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Does anybody know how to acquire the backpack in map 04? It's the only secret I had to skip. The tiny switch only lowers the metal part, but nothing else can be done there that I could figure. Looked it up in GZDB and still no clue. 

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@galileo31dos01, I could only get it by taking the lift up and using a rocket to shoot at the floor below the lift, knocking myself up and back.  The author states that the WAD "should run in vanilla," so I don't know that a solution that depends on freelook is the intended solution, but that's the only one I could figure out.  I don't know if it's maybe possible to guide an arch-vile back toward that part of the map?

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MAP04: Charon Lab

100% kills, 0/7 secrets

 

The high verticality and the even larger empty dark chambers you can see out the windows do certainly give an atmospheric feeling to this one. The heavy use of teleporters (many of which spit you out in a different spot upon re-entry) also make progression even more potentially confusing. I think I took the least efficient route possible, missing the early shotgun and chaingun and fighting the cyberdemon right away which forced me to two-shot him with the BFG and then play very carefully to grab the RL and once again use that for most of the map. Still failing miserably at the secrets, heck, I thought the little drop-down hidden behind the three key doors would be a secret but instead was how you reach the yellow key, so clearly my thought pattern is not quite aligned with this mapset.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TheOrganGrinder said:

@galileo31dos01, I could only get it by taking the lift up and using a rocket to shoot at the floor below the lift, knocking myself up and back.  The author states that the WAD "should run in vanilla," so I don't know that a solution that depends on freelook is the intended solution, but that's the only one I could figure out.  I don't know if it's maybe possible to guide an arch-vile back toward that part of the map?

 

Hmm, text file specifies that one of the ports used for testing was prboom+, thus freelook or jumping are definitely out. It went through my mind yesterday about an archvile-boost luring one to that area, but the idea would be nonsense for a whole lot of reasons. Besides, the sector where the backpack is on isn't tagged or has a teleport destination anywhere so, yeah...

 

Guess the best thing is to ask @nicolas monti if he could clear it up for us.

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22 hours ago, Salt-Man Z said:

I will say that I found MAP01 to be a bit underwhelming; it's by far the least interesting of the set, IMHO. (Which is not to say you'll necessarily like the rest any better, but still.)

 

I played MAP02, and it is at least a bit more challenging in the combat, but I'm definitely not the target audience overall.  Especially the visuals: it's quite an eyesore!

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Posted (edited)

A fair warning for those who play in vanilla, Crispy Doom or prb+ cl2, a monster closet doesn't open in map 03, the one after you pick up the BK. Also, a switch won't work in map 04 in the room with the cyberdemon. These issues don't happen in boom and surely not in zdoom.

 

MAP02: Scurrilous Knave

 

Lemme guess, the "scurrilous knave" (thanks WordReference) is the ending archvile wandering around the dead tress, did I get it? :D. In case not, this might be another title subject to personal interpretation.

 

Anyways, a step up in navigational complexity as expected by Monti's characteristic nukage pools, which force little to no pressure thanks to the abundance of radsuits, well assuming you don't mind the secret hunt. No complaints here, though a thing that I noted from his previous two works I played, Eviltech and Mano Laikas, is that he went from resource scarcity or ultra strict management in the former to it's raining radsuits hallelluyah! in the latter, which had me curious. There's nothing wrong with this design but perhaps less forgiveness would give the player a little more awareness of the pain sectors imo. The secrets are one of each type of item Monti usually provides in every map. I finally found them all on my own, hardest were the backpack with chaingunners, chainsaw and computer ones, oof. In half of the cases there's no way to ease it up with the automap as these methods require full attention to even the slightest/tiniest difference. I will say that now that I take my time to search them all, once it's clean of monsters, it's getting easier to spot them, but not everyone will be bothered to take it carefully. 

 

There was a HOM in the berserk secret btw. The trap with fatsos can be cheesed by running away immediately and got to break it to, good trap though if it goes well. Also, I forgot to point out the song used in the first map, so thanks Magnusblitz because I could not remember the name heh. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by galileo31dos01

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, galileo31dos01 said:

No complaints here, though a thing that I noted from his previous two works I played, Eviltech and Mano Laikas, is that he went from resource scarcity or ultra strict management in the former to it's raining radsuits hallelluyah! in the latter, which had me curious.

Yeah, I remember I think it was MAP31 of Eviltech had a spot where you get one radsuit, and if you waste it, you're screwed. I definitely much prefer too many radsuits to too few.

 

Anyway, had my (now) 10-year-old daughter's birthday slumber party get in the way last night, but now we're back in business!

 

MAP03: Tezzi Principle

33:38 | 100% Kills | 86% Items | 55% Secrets

This is one of a couple of maps that immediately come to mind when I think about this WAD. Love the train tunnels; gameplay-wise, they're not terribly interesting, but they give a ton of character to the map. The main courtyard area I agree could maybe see a little more action, but to be quite honest I spent so little time there I'm not sure I missed it. (When I was secret-hunting at the end, I was surprised to see how many supplies I had overlooked just lying around out there.) Again Monti just hands you a BFG out of nowhere like it's nothing, but that's good because not only do the tunnels lead you to cybie (who I eventually figured out is much easier to deal with from down below) but it comes in handy for that nasty yellow key ambush. A lot of secrets here, again; they're so hard to find that it's really satisfying when you do, but it's also a little deflating when you see how many you still missed!

 

MAP04: Charon Lab

28:39 | 100% Kills | 98% Items | 71% Secrets

This map did not immediately come to mind when I was recalling this WAD, but dang it it should have. Because this map is amazing. The techbase-floating-in-the-void theme has been done before, but I don't think I've ever seen one where the void was inside. That half-illuminated staircase through the darkness is an iconic bit, and is even more eye-catching when you see it with the light visor. Progression is a bit trickier here with all the teleporters, but it's nice that you can hop off and back on a pad (usually) to quickly move around the map. Combat-wise, the only real snag for me was the cybie, though after maybe a dozen failed attempts, I discovered that it was (unintuitively) easier to deal with him from the hallway than try to rush him. There was also a fair smattering of archies here, but they (surprisingly) didn't give me much trouble, thanks to the surplus of rockets. Oh, and I absolutely loved the MIDI for this one. What a great level.

Edited by Salt-Man Z

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MAP05: After Cefyl

 

A quick Google doesn't turn up any definition of "cefyl" that seems applicable here.  Anyway!  This is a lovely little city/industrial map with a three-pronged entrance area that seems to mirror the room with the three locked doors in the preceding map, though obviously that can't be the case, with one map taking place deep in the chasms and caverns of some distant moon, and the other sending the player bouncing about beneath a sunny blue sky.  The opposition continues to grow steadily more tenacious; there are two Cyberdemons and a Spider Mastermind present here, acting largely as roadblocks at key points in the player's progression through the map, and the sheer scale of the man creates interesting situations with distant enemies that might go unnoticed until they start to rain fire upon and around you and pain elementals positioned to make the most of their relative freedom to roam.

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MAP03: Tezzi Principle

 

Played in GLBoom+ cl 9 to complete it. Lovely map. Took me a few attempts to get a foothold, I was looking for an upgrade (the dildo launcher, as rdwpa would call it) and didn't occur to me to FOLLOW the arrow. Monster count stays on the low side, the usual tropes appear and threats tend to come from the same species, while others are mere rocket fodder, like the hell goats in the tunnels. I will point out the trap for the YK is about the nastiest bit, if you squandered your BFG ammo previously. For that, well actually to make sure I squeezed past the cyberdemon RNG, the secret invulnerability came in handy, albeit at the cost of nullifying the YK trap's bite, but hey the effect endured longer than I expected. About highlights it's the tunnels which Monti loves to place players at least once in his works as I noticed, Eviltech had some full bright ones, so these felt closer to the "visually more train station-y" ones in Mano Laikas map 31. Serves for that spooky atmosphere I dig (although the light googles break that immersion), and the spectres love to be there, so much as one refused to leave its spot :P

 

Spoiler

 

 

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MAP05: After Cefyl

100% kills, 2/10 secrets

 

The layout/architecture of this one seems... almost standard, with a central structure protected by a moat and a general starbase theme. Not much else to say about this one, to be honest... combat is pretty ho-hum (I was a bit disappointed when the giant wall lowered after the red key switch to reveal... one cacodemon!!), and while there's a few big bosses as roadblocks, they're pretty easy to take out given the huge size of rooms (for the cybers) or the immediate free BFG (for the spider). A couple of the AVs will probably be more dangerous since they might catch you in a spot without cover if you're not expecting them.

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1: A really good intro map to get yourself used to monti's design style. It's basically a non-linear techbase with abstract shapes but at the same time with a strong sense of place. The chairs and tables are cheesy, although I didn't knew there was different alpha textures until I've played this set. Things start slow but scales up pretty fast, with an Archville in the end. Even though, it's still a pretty easy and relaxing map, with a very nice soundtrack. I was only able to find 3 secrets lol Probably the same ones that I got when I played this in the release.

 

2: This one has a more unique feel especially due to the acid drop and the big atrium central hub. It's a map that I remember quite a bit, as also with the Cyberdemon end and the crates room. This level can be quite hard if you don't manage well your health, since monti is very stingy with health trought his maps (which fits well the gameplay, imo). Rocket gameplay is also strong here (and the next maps), which was already a trend from Mano Laikas and it's something that I've adopted in my maps. Honestly, RL is my favorite weapon for Doom, it's a really well balanced weapon. The music is really weird lol

 

3: Another level that I remember well, especially due to the metro tunnels haha I didn't remember the very upset MIDI, though! The layout here is more abstract than the previous levels, with some sort of open hub techbase setting and you start exploring the whole subway tunnels that encircles the central hub. After you reach the access to exit, you find that your goal is to find the three keys scattered around. Unfortunately, I've missed to press a switch (that releases the cyberdemon) and lost some time figuring out what to do. Shouldn't happen to others player, though.

 

4: Each level in the set is pretty unique, and this is no different. This one gives you a feel of a very underground techbase, using lots of lighting effects and dark environments. Also, the teleport gimmick takes some time to figure out, but once you do it becomes a very fun gimmicky. I love some of the really weird and abstract settings, such as the stairs in the void haha The cyberdemon fight was more tougher than the usual (especially for me who doesn't know how to do the 2 shot trick yet >.<). Hardest battle, however, was the RK with some revenants + Arch-ville, since I was low on health and without plasma, but after some tries it's not a big deal haha. Loved the MIDI, although the synth melody is too loud hahaha

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MAP05: After Cefyl

42:20 | 100% Kills | 100% Items | 90% Secrets

I was planning on playing two maps tonight, but wow this one took me a while. It's fairly simple, progression-wise, but there's still a lot of territory to explore, and I actually managed to get almost all the secrets, too, which took a while. (Only missed the blue armor.) Monti makes excellent use of vertical space here (one of his trademarks) by having you gain elevation so you can "jump" across to areas you couldn't previously reach. That opening vista looks really nice, with the moat and all the structures on and around it. The start was pretty hot, with revenants and chaingunner poking at you before you can get them in range, and in fact on my first attempt I was done in by homing rockets sneaking up on me from behind. Again Monti hands you a no-biggie BFG, which comes in handy for the (surprise!) spider mastermind, though I died there on my first try on account of my apparent inability to switch weapons properly. (Whenever I'd try to switch weapons all night, my finger was always one key off from where it should have been somehow.) The final showdown with the cyberdemon was pretty anticlimactic (though the stairs reveal was neat) but otherwise this is another cool map. Oh, and the MIDI was nice and chill, too.

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MAP06: Myriads

 

After several maps defined by their large and open central spaces, this is more of a classic techbase crawl, reminiscent in some ways of E1M5: Phobos Lab more than anything else, with its low-key background music and generally menacing atmosphere.  Corridors and balconies tend be the domain of chaingunners on down, with the meatier opponents holding court in the larger rooms, though there are exceptions; the Cyberdemon in particular is classically more of a feature of pitched battles than corridor ambushes, but the way he pops up here as you're making your blithe way down a corridor toward the yellow key is a deliciously panic-inducing surprise, though the scramble to safety isn't an especially tricky one.  I also didn't realise at first just how much of a loop the outer rooms and hallways of the map formed, and in that light I suppose the abundance of radiation suits provide a way to cut across the middle of the loop and open up a new route for exploring the level and a new set of possible orders in which to tackle its various challenges.

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MAP06: Myriads

100% kills, 4/8 secrets

 

As @TheOrganGrinder says, this one is much more Phobosian, and with just a bit of standardizing (some more straight lines, less cramped areas, texture selection) it would fit right into KDITD. The cyberdemon was a great surprise for me too, though as an actual battle he ended up serving as more of a meat wall (or perhaps a 'collect 30 rockets to open this door' quest) than an actual foe. Actually took me a little while to find the RL too, wasn't the map's fault, just happened to be tucked away in the last spot I explored.

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Apologies for dropping off the radar a little bit, given that I voted for this - I'll have to be playing catch up for a few days though by the looks of things

 

Witness of Time

I play PRBoom+ UV with saves on complevel 2

 

MAP01 - Hic Et Nunc - 5/6 Secrets

I'm grateful to @galileo31dos01 for translating the latin title and saving me the time.

 

Wow - this is a culture shock after playing WoS. This map is proudly non-orthogonal and unaligned. Everything is a glorious warren of irregular 94ish higgledy-piggledy sectors, I quite like it. I did find this map a little unstructured at first, in that on starting you swiftly face imps and tougher monsters at a few junctures with several possible paths to take and nary a more powerful weapon immediately in sight - it's a world away from some more spoon-fed wads. If this kind of thing is not done carefully it can sometimes give me an impression (quite possibly unfairly) of bad design - I just expect not to be facing more than a token imp or so with a pistol - fortunately the shotgun are close by, so it's not too bad.

 

There's a great deal of variety of room shapes and sizes, and everywhere interconnects or overlooks something else - it makes it a little hard to get your head around the 3d space because of the relative complexity and convoluted feel to it. It takes a bit of getting used to but is there undoubtedly order to and deliberate design to the seeming chaos and disorder of the map - We have a kind of looping figure 8 layout, circumnavigating the big exit slime lake with a terminal point in the north and the route to the exit is revealed in full view as soon as the penultimate switch is pressed (always a plus in my book) after a lap round the bottom right of the map. Gameplay-wise, there don't seem to be many traps - rather the level makes use of open fire arcs for chaingunners and similar to force the player to head for cover where necessary. I guess there's time for more traps in larger levels.

 

The lighting and sky (and general feel of the level) is for me a bit too cheery. I suspect this is partly down to the music choice too which I'm not super keen on. Also the alpha textures are present but after their successful employment in Nihility, here they feel more like a gimmick than anything else, along with the doom furniture benches which contribute to a slightly cheesy waiting room feel. I eventually found 5 of the 6 secrets, sadly with the one for the soulsphere eluding me, though the backpack and chainsaw will come in handy as I am a continuous player.

But that's not a major issue - I'm more impressed by the misshapenness and complexity. Getting such a relatively rich layout from a simple map is impressive, although I fear I will be hitting up the automap a heck of a lot more in the bigger maps if this is anything to go by!

 

 

MAP02 - Scurrilous Knave - 4/7 Secrets

I also have no idea what the title has to do with the map, although 'Scurrilous Knave' is certainly a fine way of insulting someone if you are English.

 

This map continues the theme of bright, open spaces with unashamedly rough, and the 'noisy', slightly garish texturing (with the 94ish tiling of computer textures, say) from the previous map. The level has the same initially perplexing number of route choices, particularly if you drop down into the slime at the start, or to a lesser degree with the free-form crate strewn room down the lift. Monti's maps are so far linear (in that there is a defined sequence in which some objective destinations must be traversed) and yet feel the opposite, in that later areas can be visited early. It's almost like a city type map, but with a little more direction, which for me is quite unique for a layout style. The large slime pool at the centre forces you to think a bit more carefully about where you go and why and what secrets you look for as per @TheOrganGrinder.

 

Although playing continuous, I also noticed the paucity of shells in this map - something which turns my normal playstyle (of relying on shells as my bread and butter) and conserving other ammunition types more carefully on it's head. It also makes dealing with the monsters a little more tricky as the narrower corridors are risky for splash damage. A couple of archies are used to good effect, with the first being potentially nasty if it starts it's attack from behind before you figure out the angle and can take cover as happened to me. The second one is a little more bullshit in my opinion due to the lack of cover and freely available BFG earlier. It is essentially an "Oh I'm sorry you couldn't switch to the BFG fast enough - health tax please!" type affair. The cyb is a fairly relaxed battle and an opportunity for me to rebalance my ammo once I figured I had a surfeit of rockets and not so much of everything else.

 

I did particularly like the vertically revealed nature of the central slime pool though, with the raised balconies and promenades from the key areas seeing the player go progressively further and further up. However in keeping with the experience of @Salt-Man Z and @Magnusblitz, the switch that lowered the second half of the crate room was not obvious to me, even though with hindsight that corridor overlooks the area I needed to go! Instead I wandered, and spent some time trying to figure out what the secret soulsphere switch actually did, (or indeed whether it was not secret and actually required).

 

Secrets wise, I eventually found 4 before I decided to throw in the towel, with me secrets count being on 3 for most of the level, leading me to think that would be all I'd discover. The upper backpack secret early in the map was the fourth one and was particularly gratifying to me to find, as it was rather sneakily hidden. Otherwise the type I seem to find easier to discover are the remote switch operated door types, where you get a positive indication from the switch that something has happened, and then can usually home in on it by listening to the lift sounds.

 

Overall, I think Monti's maps so far are an acquired taste, but I'm perhaps beginning to acquire (or at least admire) them - it probably helped that the music for the second map is less inappropriate than the first.

 

 

MAP03 - Tezzi Principle - 6/9 Secrets
Google says the map name is something to do with the extinct Tocharian languages of western China...? O_o

 

This map takes the open central area trope of the last map, but instead of having it a slime filled traverse amongst tech textured canyons, we have a large open central area, juxtaposed against the small subway corridors and side areas. This is also interesting: long, repetitious corridors are normally a no-no in modern mapping sensibilities, yet here we are - it's almost as though Monti revels in being an iconoclast. The whole idea of having these nods at semi-realism is a bit weird given the totally abstract central courtyard too, although I guess that's just another aspect being juxtaposed.

 

The gameplay is initially a bit more active due to the large open space with lots of potential for hitscan sniping, although there's nothing more than a few chips to be suffered rather than anything serious. The remaining parts of the map are generally more sedate, particularly those in the subway tunnels where monsters are just encountered in front of you. There is one arch-vile hidden on the corner of a subway station, but unless you rush in you're quite likely to see the edge of it before it sees you, allowing you to prepare. Other notable parts of the map include the cyb encounter and the yellow key trap thereafter. I used the secret invuln to make BFG'ing the cyb easy, and then BFG'd the hell knights. I might have tried conserving ammo but the setup screamed trap. Ammo distribution seemed to be more even than before, although there were certainly more rockets than cells. Bullets and shells are more plentiful this time too.

 

I was broadly ready to exit with around 3 of the secrets, but went back to try and improve this and found a further 3, including the most unhelpful computer map ever, which revealed practically nothing useful. These secrets are fun to find, but they are mostly so well hidden that I'm unlikely to benefit from any other than in a continuous capacity as I don't find too many whilst initially navigating the level.

 

Decent level overall, and it's more gentle imo than Map02 as there's no arch-vile dick moves.

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