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dobu gabu maru

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

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Posted (edited)

+++NDCP1 because it's one of my favorite megawads.

 

Good to see at least a couple people still playing Unwelcome. Internet's been down at my house for a couple days now, and the repair guy won't be out 'til tomorrow, so I have to type these up at work...

 

MAP03: Unhuman

8:31 | 98% Kills | 100% Items | 100% Secrets

This one was a lot easier than I remember it being. A pretty simple map: two wings to traverse in either order, then a bit of a battle in the central hub before the exit opens. Interesting choice to have either key available, but picking one blocks the other off until you complete its side of the map. It's honestly not too different than just not having keys and letting you explore the wings in either order, but I like the touch of it. I did the wings in the opposite order this time: blue then red. I think last time the ambush behind the blue door hurt me a bit, but I did fine this time around. The pillar puzzle is neat, but kind of a pain to pull off; on this play I discovered that you can skip the third pillar with a straferun to the platform, which made things much easier. The red wing is fairly underwhelming; I think it would have more teeth if I left the mancs alone until the platforms rose and then they were at my level shooting at me, but because they see me and start shooting at me when they're still down in the nukage, I always easily take them out before that happens. The final arena battle is the most frantic part of the map, but it's still pretty easy to just circle around everything and let Cybie take them out. This time I didn't bother finishing him off, though, I just let him take out everyone else before I left. I don't think I got any secrets my first play: I missed the armor secret, and found the zerk, but left it for later (not triggering the secret sector) but then the wings got sealed off at the end so I couldn't go back. :( This time I got everything, though. A fun kinda breather of a map.

 

MAP04: Unbound

23:32 | 100% Everything

This level has kind of a mini-epic feel to it. You've got the quiet opening (some exploring will give you a peek at the exit switch), then you're dumped out into the central courtyard where some action takes place. You can go two directions from there, I think, though I always southern (?) route first: a little base of sorts with a buncha knights and revvies, plus a creepy fleshy section that gets you a key. The northern route is a memorable arena with a pillar covered in eyes that seems like it should be more important than it ends up being, but all you do is fight a cacoswarm and a trickle of mancs. Thankfully the level up to this point keeps you stocked with plenty of ammo. The only part of this map that really gave me trouble was the next key, where a vile and pair of PEs ambushes you; Archie managed to pin me in the chaingunner alcove a couple of times while lost souls harassed me. The coolest part of this map, though, is when you finally get to the exit switch. "The deed is done, open your eyes." (I love that.) And then you turn around and-- That ending fakeout is so memorable, especially with the way the WAD has conditioned you up to this point. All that remains, though, is a mess of knights and revenants to plow through, and hit a bunch of switch so you can warp back to the "normal" part of the map and leave. Combat's not terribly difficult, but man is it an ammo-sink. I left the level fairly depleted. Fantastic map.

Edited by Salt-Man Z

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Meanwhile in galileoland life got demanding and I fell behind once again. Okay, it's a no-brainer Bloodspeed is winning, the thing is, for those who have played it entirely and most specifically UV pistol starts, are all the maps apt to be demoed? (as in, no bugs, or neither overly complicated IoS maps, etc. stuff that could make a map "too much" saveless). Thinking whether to participate or not since next month is noob mapping time for me. Really seriously would appreciate any comments about my question :3

 

 

MAP04: Unbound

 

Little we know about the background of the titles, I'm starting to wonder what's the whole deal with them starting by "un-". Anyways, there's a bit of alien invasion vibes going on with the fleshy platforms and the creepy eyed column in a dark chamber, suggesting that there's some UFO shutting down operation involved, or something along the lines. Like others said, at first sight it's a non-exceptional map with miscellaneous combat and about no puzzles where the main colours suggest a particular concept, but an unexpected final twist to overcome, and I'd say an odd concept that resulted at least fair. Bizarre is the right word to describe this map, as not everything seemed to make sense nor feel out of place, such as the "innocuous" crusher which doesn't play any standout role, or the secret in the courtyard that reveals a switch on each pillar so you can take the chainguns from the commando invasion. But of course, the real deal was the final area, the mother base or whatever. We have witnessed before what the palette does to certain enemies in very dark parts: they are no-joke invisible, until they fire. I got a few scratches from those damn hell knights and occasionally bumping on zombiemen too, because one can't see them. The area was so big though that a bit of running around cautiously to herd the goats to the centre or brighter spots wasn't much of task. As a reward after killing everything was a pair of googles, yaaaaay... Well, while revisiting the map again I saw they were always accessible from early on, lol okay. 

 

Hope to get two more maps done by tomorrow and catch up with the rest.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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MAP07: Unfeeling

 

That giant pile of weapons and ammunition in front of you at the start of the map is Unwelcome letting you know that you're in for the traditional MAP07 arena-style throwdown.  It's too big and too involved to be brushed off as just another Dead Simple clone, but it's straightforward in a way that the WAD's other levels haven't really been, and I'm not convinced the direct, pitched-battle gameplay here with no branches, choices, or secret areas meshes especially well with the projects's unique assets and off-kilter aesthetic and atmosphere.  As a solitary sideways step from the gloomier and more unsettling maps Unwelcome has served up, it's interesting enough, a quick shock of adrenaline to lull you out of your fever dreams and desaturated nightmares.

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MAP08: Unwelcome

 

...Oh, that's a big pile of monsters, isn't it?  As many as any three or four other maps in the WAD put together.  So is this going to be a vast and lengthy map, or a slaughter map, or both?  I guess we'll see.

 

As it turns out I feel that both is the answer, I'll leave it to other players more experienced in and familiar with the genre to judge whether this is a "real" slaughter map but the sheer volume of hostile flesh deployed against me certainly left me with that impression.  If MAP06 was a hybrid of Industrial Zone and The Chasm then this one calls to mind the brightly-lit outdoors and fluid-filled caldera of Gotcha!, with (of course) a little Icon of Sin denouement once you've fought your way through the lion's share of the map's real estate and monster population.  Overall it's a neat inversion of conventional techniques for building threat towards a climactic fever pitch, dispensing with the classic toolkit of darkness to conceal the enemy and tight confines to prevent your escape and restrict your mobility, instead thrusting you into a brilliantly lit space in which nothing is hidden and the danger comes from exposure.  Resources are fairly abundant, even though I probably wasted far too many rockets trying to winnow the volume of cacodemon fireballs incoming from the towers dotted around the arena; I figured the map would conclude with crushers or some other method employed to shut down those gun turrets by killing the monsters within them, since distance, angle, and camouflage midtextures combine to make "manually" mopping them all up an impractical proposition, but even so I ended up pumping a good dozen or so rockets into each turret at various points just because there was so much fire washing down on me from each of them.

 

Because the WAD ends at MAP08, there's no intermission screen waiting for you once you've unloaded your rockets into the heart of corruption at the end of it all, no answers nor even any real framing device for the questions you and the WAD might have been asking of one another.  In the case of this particular project, I don't think that's any kind of a problem, since the work as a whole could easily be diminished by an author's narration providing an explanation for everything you've been through and the uniquely peculiar deviations from conventional Doom that you've experienced that just isn't as satisfying as what the player might've come up with on their own.  Things here are too strange to be neatly concluded and encapsulation like that and I'm find with being left to wonder just what happened, and those questions are going to linger in my brain for longer than a neat and clear answer would have done.

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+++ bloodspeed 

 

Well, is it bloodspeed then? I was either away or busy elsewhere during the last 3 months and found the lack of activity in the club disturbing,  but I guess that's summer for many of us.

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Posted (edited)

Well nope, life's still demanding. The good thing is I got three more maps ready to commentate between today and, later today. The bad is that I'll have to put off map 08 for past the month as it presents a new different bug each time I go recording, and my free time is extremely limited lately. Hope whenever the author has time they can fix them, sure I will sum up those issues at some point. 

 

 

MAP05: Unspeakble

 

Quickly going to sum up my positive/negative highlights in a @rehelekretep way:

 

+ Lighting in the start area and around, plus eyed texture, spooky!

+ Obviously the midi(s, all of them have been great).

+ Chaingun/RL play the main roles early, shotguns participate later, PR is for variety basically.

+ Blind drop in a tight tricky fight, turret cacos are unusual to see.

+ Usable flesh walls, idk I just like to guess what they hide.

+ Chaingunners placed behind barrels, nuff said.

+ Intentional timed lock-ins in sequence are fun, but come with a minor downside...

 

- ... that you can skip the second warp-in of cacos by quickly opening the bars (see video below).

- Another point about said setups is that they happen in front of the player, which are easy to control. Scattered teleport spots would improve the dynamic imo, e.g. the vile and one manc teleporting closer. A PE replacing one of the cacos in the second warp-in to fuck with RL users, dunno just thoughts.

- Close to the switch which raises the first platform, it is possible to flip it and not trigger the imps/revs. This case is also seen in map 08 and I think it was the same issue as in map 03 with the skull switch.

- Box of bullets in the middle of the way (at 3:52), not sure if you can surround it.

 

I said quickly ffs me. Overall, lovely map as always.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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MAP05: Unspeakable

15:40 | 100% Everything

A map of two halves, this. We've got some lovely canyon action to start with to get one key. Then we delve deep underground to get the other key. The underground section was a big problem for me the first time: when I got to the room with all the revenants and the caco turrets (!) I ran ran ran, up the stairs, away from the ambushing barons, and into the arachnotron room, where a bunch of baddies followed me to. Massive fighting ensued. This time? I ran again, but stopped at the barons, dealt with them, then turned around and mopped up the cacos/revvies/knights/etc. Proceeded to the room with the key and the spiders, and was surprised that there was very little resistance there. Almost disappointing. Aside from that, there were a couple of panicked moments in the reused lock-in room; most waves I dealt with by retreating to the room with the lift, and picking off baddies as they came in after me. Hitting the "Deed is done!" switch was a bit trickier with the archie making new friends, but there was plenty of cover in that room to deal with him. A fun map; that lower section sticks in my memory, but it might be one of the weaker levels.

 

MAP06: Undying

45:13 | 99% Kills | 100% Items | 50% Secrets

This map is maybe one of the highlights of the set. A level-spanning puzzle that hits you in two stages: the first is realizing what the puzzle even is, and then the second is retracing your steps and noting the various pieces. Eventually you'll realize you only need to make note of the blue ones. One of them is in a secret that I didn't find either play, but that just means you have to make two attempts with the other 7 clues at your disposal. I had some difficultly this time around, as I was thinking of the puzzle switch as a "reset" switch, and not the "attempt" switch that it actually is. Aside from the puzzle, the level is memorable for its size and level of opposition. Essentially a big circle, your progress is more or less dictated by various drop-offs that allow you to move counterclockwise, but often prevent you from returning in the clockwise direction. The cyberdemon is a turret with a surprising amount of freedom, and if you're not wary he can punch you out when you're least expecting it. I managed to luck into a situation where he wandered up to a drop-off edge where, from the right distance, he couldn't rocket me from below, but I could stand back a ways and just release a steady stream of plasma until he was dead. Otherwise, most of the enemies can be handled fairly easily through careful play, though it's easy to get hurt early when (along with cybie) a number of mancs and revenants can take potshots at you from far across the map. Perhaps the most surprising bit was the spectre/archie ambush at the exit switch, but its threat is almost entirely undercut by just handing you the BFG and 200 cells. Of course, I wanted to conserve ammo, and so saved the cells after BFGing arch, and tried to chainsaw as many of the spectres as I could, and took a few hits as a result. (And then, of course, MAP07 start off by loading you up with ammo, LOL.) Fantastic map.

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Quick thoughts part 2

 

MAP06: Undying

 

+ Start room, trading sweaty start for necessary weapons. Usually not a fan of having to pistol hitscanners in a context like this, but no issues here.

+ Scale, ample space to move, progression via lots of jumping and The Chasm-styled without the catwalking in this case: ergo, height variation used efficiently

+ What you need is what you get ammo-wise, therefore some cyber vs. anything else is a fun tactical approach, e.g. the spiders.

+ Different skybox for each of the two areas.

+ The puzzle concept of course, awesome idea!

+ Everything in the second isolated portion of the map, nice waterfalls.

+ Revs and sergeants infight, lol

+ Can deduce the puzzle sequence with enough hints, got 7 the first time and deduced the last one (was in a secret I didn't find).

 

- Every single time an imp was trapped in the pit, no idea why.

- Not sure about the caco/imp in the SSG room, they don't accomplish anything imo.

 

Neutral thoughts: 

 

. Can cheese the spectres horde by staying on the upper room where they can't chase you. This though isn't a necessary strategy but still important to keep in mind.

. Teleport around arachnotrons needs monster block lines, otherwise it can happen what happened in the video (self-promotion ftw)

 

Spoiler

 

 

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So I really dropped off the radar with this one - real life intervened as I was at a friend's wedding last weekend, and that probably did for my motivation, even though Map03 encouraged me to think I could keep pace owing to it being quite trivial. I do want to make a bigger bite into Unwelcome than just the first three maps though - sooo here comes the wall of text!

 

 

MAP03 - Unhuman - 1/2 Secrets
This is quite a short and rather less interesting map than before - essentially just a pair of brief side key quests followed by a progressive monster warp in concluded by a cyb. The red door quest is straightforwards but includes a secret I missed - backtracking is prevented so I couldn't clear the level and find it on my continuous playthrough (though I found it when pistol starting). The blue key has a trap with revvies and chaingunners, but is most remarkable to me for the pillar hopping puzzle, although puzzle is the wrong term since it's immediately apparent what to do, just a bit of a pain as my timing/jumping was off, so I took a long time to pass it on the first playthrough. The final warp in can be as simple as staying alive till the exit opens, by circling to dodge projectiles whilst picking off the hitscanners and then leaving the cyb. Or if 100% is sought, then there is sufficient ammunition to do so, though I sought to use infighting to help with this.

 

It's a lot more like a standard doom level, only less substantial and sadly more gimmicky than conceptual. The bichrome theme doesn't seem to be up to very much.

 

MAP04 - Unbound - 3/3 Secrets
I broadly agree with @TheOrganGrinder that this map mainly seems like a shortish conventional map with a funky palette rather than a part of a concept wad - like the last map. The dark part after the switch with the revvies and hell nobles was quite different though as the pressure to move and dodge the revvie fire really makes the obstruction of the hell nobles more relevant, although with hindsight I might simply have just gone more aggressively after one of the revvie towers and then the others can be rocketed/chaingunned as needed and you are safe from the nobles. One of them had a light amp too. The blue key archie trap can catch you out a little first time if you blunder into it and don't scrupulously take out the nearby cacos and spectre before grabbing it. Not a terrible map, but I'm not seeing much to it beyond the novelty palette.

 

MAP05 - Unspeakable - 1/2 Secrets
This map also lacks the puzzley element of the first two levels. I quite liked the initial opening vista with the somewhat creepy pair of eyes showing the way to proceed (or at least seeming to.) The rest of the map is a kind of odd mixture of cavern/hell/tech and it is quite non-orthogonal, with a sort of central hub area that the layout revolves itself around (it does put me quite in mind of Witness of Time, in fact), and a nearby trap area with several teleport ins too. Most of the teleport traps weren't too bad - I found the drop into the revenants, knights and cacos on pillars with the soulsphere to be rather more nasty. The archie after that area is quite tame as there is plenty of cover and the concluding trap after opening the blue key door gifts the player with the plasma rifle if it wasn't already available, so the AV there can be fairly painlessly neutered. There are some good contrasts between dark, muted areas and the bright flesh area with the blue key, or the manc water area, as TheOrganGrinder also noted. I found the switch closet secret to be quite apparent, but have not spotted the other one.

 

 

MAP06 - Undying - 2/2 Secrets
So this is the reason why I've been playing this wad! Now so far, other than the first two levels of the set, I have felt the maps have been rather desultory, conventional affairs with a funky palette rather than anything particularly conceptual. Other than the ending of map04 they haven't been exceptionally remarkable either as puzzle/concept levels or as conventional ones - I was unsure whether I felt like continuing with the wad. This map however really makes up for the others.

 

Feeling like some kind of bizarre cross between Gotcha, Industrial Zone and perhaps The Living End (or a scaled up E4M2) in a slightly Monti-esque texture scheme, this is a great and relatively epic open map, with plenty of exposed areas that (initially) put you in sight of lots of incoming fire from multiple angles - there is the central cyb, mancs and the balletic plasma streams of distant arachnotrons all there to add to the fun. It demands that you get moving and look for safer areas with cover, quickly - but of course on initially playing then you don't know where the safer areas are and just have to run and improvise as best as you can, at least for a short while at the start. I like this sort of pressure to dive into the map, as it makes harder to be too methodical in playing and adds a little bit of excitement. It did start to cool down quite quickly once I hit the blue key switch, as the cyb then became free to be lured into infighting the hell nobles and then some of the arachnotrons so it could then be dispatched fairly promptly thereafter. Once the initial cohort of unfriendlies hits the dust the map becomes a lot more settled. This is by no means a bad thing, as even though I liked the dangerous crossfire of the start it's good and satisfying to earn yourself a breather; however I do feel that a monster repopulation part way through wouldn't have gone amiss.

 

As I took the blue key fairly late (I like to explore what I can before using rad suits) I didn't come to the combination puzzle until I had visited much of the map already. As others mentioned figuring out what the clues are as you progress is half the battle, and I at first was a bit slow as I initially expected the main map to change a la map02. I did subsequently make the connection between the colour coded clues and the puzzle though and then backtracked round the level to the obvious clues, but by that point it had been some time since I picked up the red key and I had forgotten that two of the clues where other there. As that section was marked not to map for some reason then I didn't see return to them for awhile, leaving me with just 6 out of 8 parts of the sequence, though I did ultimately find them. It's a great puzzle and very satisfying once you do finally crack it. The reward of the BFG swiftly finds use, although I paid for my reticence in using it when the archie came in.

 

Overall this is a fun and clever map that works well as both a conventional and puzzle level and for me is definitely the highlight of the wad thus far. Two thumbs up for this one.

Edited by Sui Generis

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Quick thoughts part 3, then bed time:

 

 

MAP07: Unfeeling

 

+ Entry-level slaughter, crowd control type and survivalist past the first set piece. Dig the HK wall.

+ Not a dead simple clone. 

+ Symmetry that doesn't hurt the gameplay, all the contrary.

+ Moderately short length, emphasizing no stress on replaying many times after dying (saveless).

+ Genital-ish shaped automap.

 

- Excess of shells in the last area, practically unneeded.

- Last archviles exist to make you camp from the second room, rendering them not fun to fight.

 

(Neutral/impartial/no big deal):

 

. Can push the cybers off their platforms, or on the border where they'll be stuck and defenseless.

. The cyberdemons are no trouble at all in that space, unless on a speedrun I guess. 

. Nothing peculiar that the palette adds to the concept, which is curious, perhaps a random speedmap included to the wad?

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by galileo31dos01

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@Plusw I wonder if you put your music up somewhere? The tunes in Unwelcome are a good listen and are a standout in a cool wad, so i'd love to see more!

 

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Like @Sui Generis this week has been busy for me, but I'd still like to try and finish up Unwelcome.

 

MAP04: Unbound

100% kills, 3/3 secrets

 

I agree that this one feels pretty conventional, easily could be a normal map right up to the silent teleport surprise at the end. The open courtyard area was a bit strange, not sure what the purpose of the switches on the columns was (let you drop them to pick up ammo from the later chaingunner turrets?) Overall pretty solid combat though.

 

MAP05: Unspeakable

100% kills, 0/2 secrets

 

Another map that feels pretty conventional, and I'm starting to wonder if I should feel a bit misled by the first couple of maps in thinking that this would be a more mental-driven puzzle affair than just a series of medium-sized maps focusing on smaller-scale close-quarter combat (woohoo, four hyphens in one sentence!) I do like some of the setups, especially the underground area 'ambush' that made me run ahead into even more trouble, but the warp-ins in the key switch area felt a bit too slow, and the barrels never quite felt useful.

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Yeah now I'm being lazy to make paragraphs. 

 

 

MAP08: Unwelcome

 

+ Layout and openness in a Gotcha!/The Chasm fashion: combo of ample space to run and restricted freedom.

+ Bullet hell-ish/war zone gameplay throughout, always subject of fireballs and obstacles. Lite but demands attention.

+ The evil towers, rare to see cacodemons in the role of indirect enduring threats (well, technically you can't see them).

+ Pinkies doing their job well warms my heart, plus they look like they're shining. 

+ The fights in general are all fun, good single-species swarms, in particular the rev swarm in the parentheses-shaped room and the archviles setup where it's possible to find dead ends and be screwed.

 

- The secrets don't make sense, 4 of 5 are practically pointless. Only the invul sphere in the dark room is at least useful to tackle one part quicker, the others require to jump on the water, loose a bunch of health for nothing actually useful, and be taken back to the start, that's a lot of backtracking 4 times repeated.

 

Now the issues:

 

. Heart-of-the-invasion section: if you don't shoot, the IoS never wakes up, thus completely breaking the whole idea. (literally found this out while recording the video).

. Quite possible to get stuck in the BFG pit in one of the revs sectors. 

. Dark wing in the BFG room, it's possible to flip the switch and break the trigger that releases the pinkies/rev. Seems to be a recurrent issue in the wad.

. At the top of that room, where some pinkies and an archvile warp in, it's possible to knock them off with rockets or any ammo type. MBL are needed there to prevent that. Furthermore, I saw revs stuck on borders at the switch hunt section, so maybe block lines there too.

. GK section, if you go to the lift with the berserk and jump off while it's raising, you can't lower it back. Also, noticed you can only open the GK bars once, so if you somehow fall off and backtrack, there's no way to continue to the final area.

. No spiderdemons in any map, okie.

 

There was also that unusual bug in the sections previous the teal key, like invisible walls rejecting hitscan, can be seen in the video. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

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MAP07 - Unfeeling - 0/0 Secrets
This is not a Dead simple clone, but to me it feels as though it may aswell be. The successive manc, then arachnotron wave trope may not be strictly in play here, but the principle of arena based combats is still intact, and there's only a limited 'Unwelcome' type twist with the teleporting monsters in the first arena. The rest is quite conventional, with some good uses of arch-viles and revenants to get the player moving. The final arena leading to the return to start/'The deed is done' switch is quite crowded and @galileo31dos01 mentioned previously, infighting in MBF/comp 11 isn't as effective as the monsters revert to targeting the player if too many target another monster. Nonetheless I held off from firing for a time as I tried to get the mancs to damage the knights, and even though I found it ok to dodge around the crowd, this wasn't very effective at thinning them out like it would be in vanilla infighting compatibility.

 

The last release of archies is ok but has less scope for resurrections than you might have feared - I agree with @galileo31dos01 that door-camping when returning to the starting area trivialises many of them. It's an ok non-map07 style map07 I suppose.

 

 

MAP08 - Unwelcome - 1/5 Secrets initially, subsequently found all 5.
Whew, this is an epic final map, with vast open space between the playable areas and an almost hypnotic kinetic ballet of raining distant caco projectiles from the tower turrets. Unlike TheOrganGrinder I didn't make much of an attempt at thinning out the caco towers as I presumed it would be too costly to be practical and also felt as though they were intentionally not meant to be shot. Other than the odd sheltered breathing spot, you pretty much need to stay constantly on the move.

 

The progression in the map is mostly quite simple, albeit long. I approached the red key first, and found the revenant trap to be very well (too well?) signposted - with the shrieking emanating from the big door-less structures and the lone innocuous switch I cannot see who wouldn't be - and when it came the trap was less effective than expected due to the limited amount of access points opening to permit them to egress. I naturally strafe-ran back to the sheltered part and found that only some of the revvies were able to come out, so after they were dealt with the remainder could be dealt with piecemeal, defraying the danger of the trap. The subsequent archie trap was far more damaging however. Strangely, the blue key quest is very short and simple, with some mancs that cannot shoot you over some low walls/rocks but you can happily camp and corner snipe or shoot over the top with impunity.

 

The large interior beyond the key switches is fun, with a sweeping corridor with a revenant horde which was great fun rocketing and forcing me to concentrate more intensely. The one secret I initially discovered round here with the invulnerability was used up naively before I got to this point - incidentally the visual effect really messes up the players vision whilst in operation, as you'd expect. The other secrets I found later, and agree with @galileo31dos01 that they are pointless: the revenant health potions and nearby rocket box I had already seen but ignored as I didn't want to have to slime run to a teleporter to get back up - quite a bizarre false economy, imo.

 

Finally, the concluding area with the icon of sin is a great use of low-light levels and non-mapping areas a la map04, in keeping with the wad's theme of eyes and of vision being degraded. The transition from the bright, blue first part of the map to the dark red latter section really helps also. In spite of the non-mapping, I still found the automap helpful for marking switches to try and make clearer to me once I'd done a circuit and to know if I might have missed something, though I guess simple wall following ought to work too. The use of this whilst the icon is busy spawning distractions is a great use of a monster that is difficult to use originally and something that deserves plaudits in it's own right.

 

Overall this is a good and satisfying conclusion to the wad, albeit a tiring one. The lack of an ending text is not normally an issue in a random level set, though in something more polished with such a strong theme like this is more noticeable and I personally think might have been fitting. However I'm sympathetic to @TheOrganGrinder's view that it leaves you wondering what happened. Certainly starting off in regular Doom 2 Map09 but with the palette and no music is a slightly disorienting twist on the familiar - something the map set holds as it's stock in trade, which I guess is fitting.

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MAP06: Undying

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

To the outdoors now, and this one definitely has an Industrial Zone vibe with the division of play areas among large towers scattered around the flat ground area and one large gorge. Ammo is pretty lean for most of the map meaning you might find yourself exploring more than fighting early on. Like others, the blue key area was probably the last one I visited, so I found a lot of the cube puzzle clues before knowing what they were for, which meant a lot of backtracking. Didn't find the #2 spot either, but apparently that's tucked away in the secret I didn't find... just meant a couple of extra tries though as there's no downside to trying combinations. I'm still not a fan of the slow teleporting fights but overall this was a pretty fun map, well-designed and well-balanced.

 

MAP07: Unfeeling

88% kills, no map secrets

 

A progression of three arena fights here, but one that lets you find the two switches and then teleport away to the next one, so I ended up doing a lot of running around to get all the monsters infighting, maybe thinning the herd a bit, then leaving when it suited me. You do need to return back through the other sections, but it's not a big deal (the hell knights in the second section all cluster vulnerably at the staircase, and everything after I ignored on a run for the exit eye). The third section was the only one that gave me trouble, felt a big RNGish in that I needed the revenants to not fill both sides of the column on their section, allowing me to run around a couple times and get the infighting going. I suppose it's fun to finally just be able to cut loose with the rocket launcher and not need to worry about things like 'ammo' or 'trying to figure out where to go'.

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20 hours ago, Catpho said:

@Plusw I wonder if you put your music up somewhere? The tunes in Unwelcome are a good listen and are a standout in a cool wad, so i'd love to see more!

 

normally I don't plug my music here, but for anyone interested:
https://soundcloud.com/pluswplus

https://plusw.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Also, thank you all once again for playing Unwelcome! Episode 2 is currently in production and a lot of this feedback will be incorporated. Expect some sort of development thread sooner or later.

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Well, we had a long bathroom remodeling project over the weekend (and we're like, a third done now, maybe) so I didn't get to play any more, but I do want to thank everyone who participated for joining me in a few of my favorite episodes! Cheers!

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