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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Hell Revealed 2

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Posted (edited)

cGsxfpz.jpg

 

What is the DWmegawad Club?

This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

 

Can I join?

Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

 

What levels am I allowed to post about?

Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it’s the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

 

Do I have to post an entry every day?

Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

 

When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?

Voting begins on the 25th of the current month. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example:

 

+++ Ultimate Doom

 

Note that you can only nominate up to three separate wads for a single month, and the wads must contain at least three maps each. The winning wad must receive at least four votes for a thread to be made. Ties will be decided by RNG.

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>>>DOWNLOAD HELL REVEALED II HERE<<<

 

Do you like Hell? Do you like sequels? Do you like revealing yourself? Well then have I got the megawad for you! 2003’s Hell Revealed II, led by Jonas Feragen, may lack the iconic Donner & Niv duo, but it has a lot of other talented authors taking up the mantle! Let’s see how the more metal successor stacks up to the original, shall we?

 

Author & Maplist:

MAP01 - “IGNITION!” by Jonas Feragen

MAP02 - “High Voltage” by Jonas Feragen

MAP03 - “Shackled” by Jonas Feragen

MAP04 - “Reluctant Pain” by Jonas Feragen

MAP05 - “Insatanity”  by Jonas Feragen, Derek MacDonald

MAP06 - “Revival” by Mike Watson

MAP07 - “Not That Simple II” by Jonas Feragen

MAP08 - “Ballistics” by Sam Woodman

MAP09 - “The Siege II” by Jonas Feragen

MAP10 - “Base Blaze” by Yashar Garibzadeh

MAP11 - “Raw Hatred” by Mike Watson, Eric James Roberts

MAP12 - “Anti Static” by Michael Reid

MAP13 - “Hardcore” by Jonas Feragen

MAP14 - “Metal Meltdown” by Sam Woodman

MAP15 - “The Path II” by Jonas Feragen

 

MAP31 - “The Descent II” by Mattias Berggren

MAP32 - “Playground” by Jonas Feragen

 

MAP16 - “The Chapel of Black Granite” by Sam Woodman

MAP17 - “An Eye for an Eye” by Yashar Garibzadeh

MAP18 - “Excess Meat” by Jonas Feragen

MAP19 - “Mind Trap” by Jonas Feragen

MAP20 - “Fear of the Dark” by Martin Friberg

MAP21 - “Conflux” by Jonas Feragen

MAP22 - “Sewer Slaughter” by Yashar Garibzadeh

MAP23 - “When the Heavens Fall” by Martin Friberg

MAP24 - “The Inmost Dens III” by Sam Woodman, Andy Olivera

MAP25 - “The End is Nigh” by Pedro Arturo Gomez Blanco, Sam Woodman, Andy Olivera

MAP26 - “Dis 2000” by Pedro Arturo Gomez Blanco

MAP27 - “Resistance Remains” by Sam Woodman, Andy Olivera

MAP28 - “Beyond the Sea” by Andy Olivera

MAP29 - “Hell’s Cauldron” by Jonas Feragen

MAP30 - “Source Control” by Jonas Feragen

 

BONUS CONTENT

Doomwiki

DSDA

kmxexii reviews

Lingyan203's playthrough

Suitepee's playthrough: 1a 1b 2 3 4 5 6

Doom Underground review

Doom Travelogue: 1 2 3

--------

OLD THREADS

 

Spoiler

The DWmegawad Club Metathread

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

 

 

Edited by dobu gabu maru

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Alright, showtime.

 

MAP01 (UV Continuous)

For this wad, I’ll play on glboom+, since I’m expecting slaughter as the month goes on and I want to keep my framerate high.  The main thing that struck me about this map was how many ways there are to fight the archviles.  Any of the three keys gains access to the final room.  Which of them you want to grab is up to you.  In my case, getting all of them may have been a mistake, as I left with little in the way of ammo remaining and lots of health and armor.

103% Kills

50% Secrets

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Playing on GZDoom 4.3.3, UV continuous (definitely not pistol starting this one, going to want all the weaponry I can get!).

One of my habits that I do before starting any megawad is to IDCLEV through every level, to get an idea of theme and monster count (without actually playing any of the levels). Unsurprisingly, it looks like there are some big nasty maps coming up in this set!

 

MAP01 - “IGNITION!” by Jonas Feragen

 

The original Hell Revealed was a mapset I had attempted to complete on UV a few times, last year was the first time I actually managed it. And now let’s see if I can repeat the feat with HR2, or if I’ll need to downgrade to HMP.

 

So although it is a sequel, the two mappers of the original have no involvement, so it’ll also be interesting to see how closely it captures the original.

Well, one thing the original did was introduce you gently. The first few maps were a piece of cake, only really kicking in with Knockout and then Underground Base. I had heard the sequel doesn’t really do that, and you can see that at the very start when there’s an SSG and multiple enemies both at your back and front in the opening scene, including the sound of an arch vile when you make your first shot.

 

And yet for the most part, this level had more bark than bite, nothing really too threatening until the end. And then you have not one, but two arch viles. On the first level, lol. And they can be very awkward to deal with depending on the way you approach them. If you approached them via the YK/BK bars like I did, they can be very dangerous, as you have a long retreat to get out of their attack path. On the other hand, the RK door / YK door routes are most likely safer.

 

Visuals are pretty basic without being ugly (somewhat like the original), with a small indoor section surrounded by the grassy outdoors, a cave section and a poison pit. Simple enough for now, but doesn’t seem like it’s going to take long for it to get spicy

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Posted (edited)

Alright, I was getting a bit worried... lol

 

Anyway, for most of my time playing Doom I've stuck to newer (2010s) mapsets. Other than Doom II and Evilution, I haven't really played much of anything from the '90s or early '00s, so this WAD is pretty new ground for me. I know I need to go back and play some of those, I've been eyeing Alien Vandetta specifically, and I know I need to play Plutonia too. Let's see what there is to see in this older set, and find what would and would not fly in a highly-regarded mapset released today. Anyway, I'm doing HMP pistol-starts here.

 

MAP01

Short little starting map, not much to say. I liked the layout here, although it was a little confusing at times. I completely missed a couple of the little caves for a minute because they were so shrouded in that dirt texture. Looks like you only need one key to leave? Couldn’t quite tell, there was the little exit room with a red door, yellow door, and blue bars. I got 2 of the keys before getting there, blue and red, and wondered about the other area before going there too and collecting the soulsphere after everything in the level was dead.

Edited by Snikle

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https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/323172684 = part 1a.

https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/323173364 = part 1b.

https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/329919205 = part 2.

https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/330360892 = part 3.

https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/331722657 = part 4.

https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/332552226 = part 5.

https://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/video/334702487 = part 6.

 

I livestreamed this last year. Apparently @Jaws In Space was determined to request this from me on my list, instead of choosing one of his own beloved projects like he should have done. (goddamit WHY DIDN'T YOU PICK BLOODY RUST OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU GODDAMN SPACE SHARK!!)

 

In my view, Hell Revealed 2 was only slightly better than the first one. And I didn't like the first one to begin with. Make of that what you will.

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Posted (edited)

Guess I'm trying this, UV PS for now but I'll probably dial it back to HMP before too long.

 

MAP01: What an unusual start. @Nine Inch Heels commented in the fake DWMC thread about how many megawads want to start you off with the pistol against harmless enemies; HR2 starts small in scale but doesn't waste any time getting you into some action, giving you an SSG with alert monsters in front and behind you. Three keys but any one of them will get you to the exit. Some nice 3D stuff but nothing exceptional, and makes dobu's joke(?) about monster-blocking lines more of a prophesy it seems. Anyhow good map. Doesn't remind me of HR1 at all so far, but that isn't a complaint.

 

Is trying to read the HUD font supposed to be part of the challenge? :p I think I'm going to edit that out when I play.

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MAP02 - “High Voltage” by Jonas Feragen

 

So we start in pretty much the same environs we left the previous map on, with an orange sky and a poison pool. The similarities in theme carry on right through to the end of the level.

 

Again the start is high tempo, with a baron and a number of shotgunners right there on spawn. Carrying over the SSG definitely helped here, and also made the next section very satisfying indeed, just slaughtering low-tier fodder with the SSG.

 

The chaingun secret is in an interesting spot because if you get it before the hell knights spawn it can actually hurt you by taking away all your cover and giving the hell knights an extra chance to catch you up.

 

The baron trap is pretty mean, you are in a pretty cramped area so it can be hard to deal with them without taking damage / dying. The final secret seems more targeted towards continuous play, because you don’t really need 200% health at the end of the level lol.

 

So yeah, no easy-in this time!

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Played through on UV - I've tried previously and got absolutely destroyed, but I think my practice in Slaughter maps like Sunder have made me slightly better.

 

Managed the first two maps (I didn't record because I thought I'd get owned, but so far so good (One death on Map02 when I teleported straight into the Hell Knights.

 

Hopefully I'll keep going with it, I've never gotten further than Map02 before.

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Posted (edited)

Alright, time for a bowl of bees aka Rell Hevealed 2, except I won't be eating it again because I already burnt myself during Christmas last year and January. As usual for me, when it's keyboarder-friendly or doesn't upgrade to Flotsam levels of challenge on ultra violence, I feel like maybe making demos. Originally played in Crispy Doom then converted them to videos via viddump command in glboom+. Fair warning that if you really care about a steady fast-ish pace, avoid higher skills at all cost, specially in the latter third chunk. I'm impartial to the difficulty in the context of "manageable and fair". For every dirty trick, there's usually an easy way out, and when there isn't, it's a showstopper you beg the game doesn't laugh at your fragile tiny body, lest you have to carve through all the grind again. Oh yeah, UV players going blind, I suggest to use saves from time to time. Without further ado, let's explore the wondrous world of, this thing.

 

 

Map 01

 

As a rule of thumb for my own stuff, the first map in a wad should be informative enough without spoiling the entire package, kinda like a pilot episode in a new series. This for whenever in the future I put something to the world that's more than two maps together. I think Ignition is a very likeable appetizer, but as the megawad features a great number of authors, you need to meet each one first to get a good picture that encapsulates HR2. So here we're told that monsters are oppressive until they meet an obstacle of some sort, that brown might be a global colour, that the author had fun with 3D floors, and secrets could take a while to figure depending not only on your enthusiasm but also on tasting walls. If this is what HR2 is going to be about, better be prepared.

 

What does this make a cool opener imo? That it doesn't waste time to show every positive or negative aspect of the mapping. You see about everything in bites, from the SSG startup in the line of sight of nearby imps and shotgunners behind, to the pinkies who can't go upstairs, to the various keys which are patrolled by chaingun forces and cacodemons (although the trio of HKs is pure meat to grind, there's nothing insulting in it considering what's yet to come), to the archvile brothers who don't welcome your presence through the BK bars, but are much easier to attack from the other door. 

 

Visually it's fine to look at the metal pillars and faux 3d bridges, then seems to run of ideas on the nukage portion where the soulsphere is located, that view is plain. One thing to point out, the author used "shadowcasting" in the exit room. It's one of those exotic tricks you might never notice until you read someone else mentioning it, like I saw in a post not so long ago. Kinda cool, despite being very subtle to be relevant, but it may have been a novelty for some back then, if people even noticed to begin with.

 

Had I not played the wad in two different occasions before, it still wouldn't surprise me if this map ends up in my top 5 list anyways. It may not be one of my favourite megawad openers of all time, but it sure is from the most popular older/B.SoD (before Speed of Doom). 

 

I'll put each video according to the day, instead of the whole playlist. Hope they are helpful for the curious. 

 

 

Edited by galileo31dos01 : bad wording

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Map 01 : IGNITION !

 

277px-HR2_MAP01.png

 

The first level is characterized by a very compact layout, an almost total non-linearity as well as an alternation between outdoor and indoor environments. The layout looks like a Deathmatch map because all areas are quickly accessible. 

 

Map 02 : High Voltage

 

239px-HR2_MAP02.png

 

A narrow and bulky map because of its very corridor-like layout. The very square architecture doesn't make this map visually very interesting but the choice of textures is correct. The secret of the beginning is quite obscure but is very useful.

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Posted (edited)

MAP02

Pistol-starting this was rough. Entire baron between me and the bunch of shotgun guys, and then a whole other load of hitscanners on the other side of the door. Luckily I worked my way through that, and got both secrets in the SSG/Hell Knight room. Speaking of which, this level really liked pairs of Hell Knights. There were a bunch of times two of those pasty bastards were crammed in a small space. Once again I got the soulsphere right at the end, but hey, I can’t remember the last time I got 100% secrets on a map with more than 1. Gotta love these different times, I guess.

Edited by Snikle

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Map01: Ignition

I guess I should start off by saying I don't like this WAD very much, so be prepared for some pessimistic write-ups. This first map showcases one of the reasons I don't like this WAD, and that is overpowered secrets. One of the secrets is a blue armor and if you don't find it there is no armor in the rest of the map aside from some bonuses. I think there should at least be a green armor somewhere for people who don't find the blue armor. I was missing a secret, I don't know what it was, probably a megasphere or something.

 

Combat is okay, but nothing really revolutionary in my opinion. A little too many hitscanners near the start for my tastes. I liked the archviles in the end. I also thought the layout was pretty cool and interconnected. You can access the final room with any key, I believe.

 

Personal Ranking:

Spoiler

Map01: Ignition

 

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All right, let's do this.  ZDoom 2.8.1, Hurt Me Plenty because even a decade and a half after this WAD's release I know my limits, continuous play with saves.

 

MAP01: IGNITION!

 

A fun little map and the archetypal "hot start" experience, though I'm less than impressed with the decision to put a gaggle of shotgun guys behind the player start in such a way that avoiding damage depends more on foreknowledge than on good situational awareness and quick reactions.  For such a modest amount of real estate, it's an interesting decision to allow the player their choice of three separate routes to the exit, each dependent on a single key, although if you're not rushing your way through things, clearing out all three paths is just as valid an approach and will likely set continuous players up better for the maps to come.  Each monster or cluster of monsters is placed with a very clear, encounter-specific purpose in mind and this can make it hard to get a more general sense of how the mapper likes to use each, but it's not a level that's shy about rolling out the heavy hitters early on.

 

MAP02: High Voltage

 

I don't know if this one is physically smaller than the preceding level but it certainly feels more claustrophobic, with about half of its real estate given over to a toxic reservoir (navigable but strictly optional unless you're going for all the secrets) and its remaining available area given over mostly to tunnels with low ceilings.  The cramped feeling of this particular techbase is enhanced by the fact that many of its corridors and spaces are positively crammed with low-tier meat, with the super shotgun feeling like a scythe as it cuts down half-a-dozen bodies in a single stroke, or the chaingun playing the role of combine harvester as it chews its way through any flimsy former human unforunate enough to blunder into its line of fire.  Outside of those corridor-sweeping gore-fests the gameplay involves a fair bit of stop-start and back-and-forth; you can defang a couple of later encounters by diving into the much at the very start of the map, and you'll get a better sense of the overall layout that way too, otherwise you'll have quite a bit of close-quarters dancing with Hell Knights in store.

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Hell Revealed 2

 

Here is small boom dehacked, it's only provides corrected level names on automap:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/bc5kwrmr0cfnvhx/hr2final.deh/file

 

PrBoom-Plus, HMP, continuous play.

MAP01

This font on the status bar is familiar, and the MAP01 midi sounds similar like the one from Underhalls of Doom 2.

 

The initial frame of the level shows us that this wad will not be a walk in the park, given that we will have SSG available at the beginning. But at the same time, since I play on HMP, for me this difficulty is quite comfortable and at the same time quite challenging.

 

I liked midtextures which creates pseudo-3D effect. Non-linearity also gives freedom of movement, you can collect the appropriate keys to go through alternative routes.

 

MAP02

Another compact short map. In the beginning, I was left without shotgun shells, and I had to retreat into the danger zone, but berserk was still useful to me later.

 

There are mostly no tough moments except when hell knights arise suddenly. Do not miss a few panels that hide secrets.

By the way, there is an interesting ENDOOM splash screen available, but many will not see it if it is disabled in the settings of their source port.

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Posted (edited)

Were those screenshots in the OP taken with another mod? I have regular looking monsters.

 

MAP01 & MAP02 (Skill 2, pistol starts, glboom-plus-2.5.1.7um -complevel 2)

I am going through this one on Skill 2, as I have no doubts my adrenal system would not survive a month of Skill 4 at this point.

 

First map went down without a fight on skill 2 and I wondered if I'd made a mistake, then the chaingunners showed up in map02 and I decided that no, this was the right choice.

 

Both maps look great. I love the E4 sky (or at least E4-inspired sky). The ZIMMER grass wall textures and grass flats are always an easy way to get my interest. Also plenty of outdoor area so far, which is great.

 

These first 2 maps are also nice and short, which I also enjoy. I'm sure that's going to change though.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Map02: High Voltage

This one was pretty good. First off, I was able to telefrag the baron coming out of the RL secret which made me pretty happy. There's lots of close quarters combat in here, and some people may complain about the SSG/Baron action, but I think the barons were used well in this close-quarters space, so I enjoyed it. Also playing this map made me remember the nasty traps of this wad. Overall, way better than map01 in my opinion.

 

Ranking

Spoiler

Map02: High Voltage

Map01: Ignition

 

Also thanks @riderr3 for the patch!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DuckReconMajor said:

Were those screenshots in the OP taken with another mod? I have regular looking monsters.

They're from this wad, not sure why dobu placed them here:

 

Time for Hell Revealed II! I never played it, though I did watch decino's playthrough in its entirety (back when he only had 600 subs or so) so I might recognize a few spots. Funny thing is I replayed the original last week and it's incredible how they managed to cram so many monster blocking lines, perhaps what I dislike the most about it. Hoping this one at least improves on that regard.

 

MAP01: IGNITION! (Hell Revealed II)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

Unlike the original where the first episode is chill (even on UV), this level shows that it's going to be a wild ride from the start to finish. It's not afraid to throw a few mancubi and cacodemons at you, while the very interconnected layout makes you vulnerable to being shot from every angle. Fortunately you're provided with adequate weaponry to quell the threat and the secret megaarmor removes the challenge entirely. There's also some extensive use of faux 3D bridges, perhaps as a way to introduce these advanced (at the time) tricks to a player less familiar with the community's output. A neat opener, quite fun to blast through!

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP01: IGNITION!

 

MAP02: High Voltage (Hell Revealed II)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

Despite the name it's a lot more relaxed than the previous level. There's a clever secret accessible from the start where you use the teleporter you spawn on to jump into the nukage, which rewards you with a decent health boost and a rocket launcher that is useful to nuke the large amount of hitscanners hiding behind the first door. The progression is done in a very linear fashion, which I normally enjoy but this level has too many back and forth sequences for my taste. The only two midtiers are two hell knights after picking up the yellow key, which are easily dispatched. Perhaps the only tricky moment in the level are the two instapop heavy weapon dudes in the chaingun secret room, which can actually be more dangerous than the hell knights that appear instead on higher skill levels if you don't react quick enough. In my case, I fired a SSG shot that killed both so I didn't suffer. Overall it's a bit dull, but a decent level nonetheless.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP01: IGNITION!

MAP02: High Voltage

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Oh cool HR II, I remember mostly the early levels that shows some very pleasant simple detailing and clever setups. I don't remember too much about the 2nd and 3 rd episodes. Time to revisit it then...

 

MAP01: It doesn't pull the punches, starting immediately in the battle. It does a good job at making you to keep moving and small layout keeps everything connected, you may think to retreat or to escape to an safer area only to find more enemies there. Looks like only 1 key is required to exit.

 

MAP02: The pistol start looks hopeless but a good secret come in hand and it's nice how for that the expectation can be subverted since in Doom the fences and midtextures are impassable almost everytime. Compared to the first level here you are set to follow a linear track, and the gameplay introduces better the cramped combats which will be very prominent from what I remember. Better get used to dance inside this tight spaces. Nice texturing and the "custom" yellow door looks neat.

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MAP02: High Voltage (UV Continuous)

Feragen here does a good job using hell nobles to box me in.  Getting the switch to reveal the YK door cost me a few deaths.  At least when he uses barons after the BK, there’s room to run, unlike the earlier part.  Switching up the severity of the traps is the mark of a good level designer, in my opinion.  Props to Jonas for doing a great job on these opening two levels.  Seeing that he made a lot of the WAD makes me optimistic for this month.

 

100% Kills

100% Secrets

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MAP01: Ignition

Not particularly a fan of how this starts off with so many hitscanners in a tight area, Your options are basically get nailed by the shotgunners who start behind you or get repeatedly drilled in the ass by a chaingunner. I do like how there's danger in basically every corner of this map giving you no practical option other than to fight as running away just puts you in more and more danger. I took the archviles in the exit room from the red key door and found it rather easy. Just keep them in the room and dodge out before their flames hit and they're easy enough to take out.

 

MAP02: High Voltage

Really tight map and much more of a corridor shooter than the much more dynamic first map. Whether you use the Shotgun, SSG or Chaingun there's nothing like mowing down the hordes of meat packed into these tight corridors. Besides the initial Baron I felt the rest could have easily been hell knights to cut down on some of the tedious combat expected to come from such a boxy collection of rooms and corridors. First death came from the barons at the blue key, Second came from the hell knights and caco after the blue key teleporter. Taking them out from behind the bars with your chaingun certainly isn't the most exciting option but it's the safe one.

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MAP03: Shackled (UV Continuous)

I don’t think we’re in Plutonia anymore guys.  This is more of the Hell Revealed I remember: lethal traps around every corner, rather than the variance of the earlier levels.  The wall of barons on the way to the RK is ridiculous.  Any map that makes me grumble, “are we there yet?” as I cut through doors with HP using my SSG because I have no rockets has a problem.  This map has a problem.  Even with rockets, which can be found AFTER the damn barons, that section would have vastly overstayed its welcome.  Slaughter can be fun.  This is not.  I like the post-RK trap with the skeletons and the lack of space to fight them in.  That’s good!  More of that and less of the snooze inducing baron waves, please.

114% Kills

0% Secrets

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MAP03 - “Shackled” by Jonas Feragen

 

This MIDI, really!? Was it just designed to piss off the player!? Because it is so damn annoying.

 

Again we have a similar setup in terms of environment, but this time the monster count goes way up. Not that threateningly at the start, save for a rather irritating archvile that resurrects the imps you already killed earlier. But when you cross the bridge to the keyed doors, things start getting dicey.

 

But before then, some lazy mapping, with the sector heights not enough to cover the height of the hell knights. I mean come on I expect better for a Cacoward-winning megawad, even if it is 2003.

 

Later on, all hell breaks loose, first with a baron and revenant trap that really requires you to get the hell out of there back across the bridge asap. And it doesn’t let up from there onwards. The baron and archvile trap was a real brainteaser, one that I really couldn’t deal with well because the barons kept overtaking the archviles.

 

Eventually, I realized a trick. With careful movement, you can trigger the barons’ advance without opening the arch vile closet. So I did that and mowed down all the barons with the SSG. Following which I sped ahead to pick up all the rocket supplies and cleared out everything else.

 

Dickery continues later on with a very cramped battle with a trio of hell knights. Another nod to continuous players at the end, as if you backtrack to the start, there is an RK door that grants you a plasma gun.

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GZDoom

UV: Continuous

 

Map01: Ignition

Results: 100% Kills/Secrets

1 Death

 

This map is effectively a frantic gathering of items while everything is trying to kill you. You start with a SSG right in front of you, along with a group of imps and hitscanners. Kill the chaingunner at the far side and take his gun, go out into the courtyard, dodge all the Manc fires and Pinkies and get the RL asap. If you don't do those 3 things, and quickly, you will probably run out of ammo. After that, it's your choice which key you want to go for before killing the AV(s) at the terminal and leaving. Or, you can be like me, and get all the keys, if only just to gather as many items as possible, especially that Soulsphere at the other side of the lake.

 

A little tense for an opening level, but nothing extraordinarily difficult. It's definitely doable if you move fast, and don't attempt to kill everything immediately. Certainly one-ups the first one, and sets the stage for what will be a pretty hard journey. It does its job, and it's pretty fun imo. Orange sky is cool, and blends well with the acid rivers and rocky cliffs. Secrets kinda suck, though. The timing on the PR secret is extremely tight. If you dick around for a half-second, you're not getting it.  Let alone the fact that there's no clue as to where it is. You gotta just happen to see it close while running around and riding the lift in the YK tunnel, and connect the dots from there. It took me several tries to get the timing right, and just barely. The blue armor secret, on the other hand, I just kinda stumbled into while dodging fireballs. Like, what? I don't even know whether to call that well hidden or not, but I'm not complaining. Free mega-armor, that's what's up!

 

TL;DR: 6/10. Decent opening level. Chaotic and tough, but fair. Color Composition lookin fresh. Secrets are a little on the cryptic side.

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Map02: High Voltage

Results: 100% Kills/Secrets

1 Death

 

Starts out on a small balcony overlooked by shotgunners and a Baron, in front of a small techbase. Has the same orange sky/acid theme of the first map, with more tech/computer stuff. Word to the wise; Run across the teleporter at the start, aiming for the RadSuit in the acid. That allows you to step over the railing, and get the Berserk and the Sphere/Rocket secret at the very start. This is essential for a pistol start, because without that berserk, you'll run out of shells dealing with the swarm of Pinkies and Zombiemen in the halls just ahead. 

 

I'll be honest, I kinda don't like this one, because it relies so much on sudden HK/Baron ambushes in cramped conditions where you can't easily dodge, and the sheer volume of hitscanners chipping away my precious armor and the general repetitive nature of the gameplay doesn't help much. Music's nice, and I like the exit teleporter. It reminds me of the first HR, which had a lot of fancy looking exits like that. But overall it's a tedious, cramped and not very fair level, when it comes to challenge. It's at least pretty short, so if you die to one of the spontaneous ambushes (which I did), you don't have to redo a whole lot.

 

TL;DR: 4/10. Cramped, repetitive, ambushes too harsh. Secrets too essential. Music's cool, at least.

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Map 02

 

This map is an introductory for several design tropes we'll see recurrent in HR2 including mobs in narrow corridors and extremely tight quarters, the latter plus a sub-trope I'd like to phrase "sudden bitch slap": it encompasses all sorts of instant presences as intimate to the player as possible, some of them just take you by surprise and that's the most danger you'll get from that, fool me once but not twice, or something like that. I generally support instant or fast popups from soil, grass, blood, a grave or a doomcute toilet, because the environment justifies the shock, otherwise they look odd or feel cheap, like the first hell knights, because unless you completely forget them, on a second time there's no threat anymore. The double baron pincer attack is the same, only more grindy. 

 

The start is interesting, choose to poke holes on the baron with SG or leave him behind then be the target of a crowd of zombies, I prefer this latter a little more even if it's dicey on paper. It's funny because this same baron can be approached from the other side of the fences, by that time with the SSG. The UV max skips the corridor by jumping on the nukage directly, something that looks like a happy accident, or was it part of the author's plan?

 

Not a fan of the second pair of hell knights, and anyone who doesn't snipe them to death in beforehand might share my sentiment. Reminds me of a similar setup from Memento Mori map 05, it's just a meh idea to ensure severe damage or death on the player. 

 

Oh, funny thing, right about three minutes ago I found out about the RL in the secret pentagram room. Tbh I never saw it under the darkness, but you may believe I chose not to grab because it was useless by the time I got there :p

 

 

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Map03

This one is just plain annoying at some parts, most notably the 2 archvile trap that will more likely than not ressurect a handful of barons at great expense to your shell count. I don't like the beginning either, it's pretty dumb that you can't re-enter the crate room, plus there's some major peekaboo areas in here that kinda drag. My favorite part by far was the big revenant spam. It was the only time I felt like I was actually using my doom skills.

 

Ranking

Spoiler

Map02: High Voltage

Map03: Shackled

Map01: Ignition

 

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Map 03 : Shackled

 

 

300px-HR2_MAP03.png

 

You take the narrow, corridor-like layout of map 02 and add mid-tier monsters, you have map 03. Nevertheless, some elements make it a bit more unique such as the line of shotgunners behind a kind of desk, the room with the crates or the two bridges connecting the two buildings.

 

This map contains bastard traps in every corner, ammunition is limited, no speedrun opportunities. This map is a purge. Just expect to die a lot if you are not very experienced.

 

 

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Map03 Shackled

100% Kills/Secrets
2 Deaths

 

You start this one getting shot at by 4 sergeants in the front, and an arachnotron and mancubus from the back. Getting away from the window as fast as possible is the best thing I can do. 

 

I don't like this one. It's another hallway ambush type map, thankfully more refined, but way more annoying. I have to go through a hallway crammed with imps, into a storage room, with lots of chaingunners and hell knights, to push a switch. As soon as I enter, an AV teleports into the hallway above, and starts resurrecting the imps. But I don't have time for that, I gotta kill the two Mancs that are blocking the key. So I go deal with the Archie, but by now, he's probably res'd every single imp, so I got a fight on my hands.

 

Oh, and just as a warning, you better get the Green Armor secret before you leave, because you can't go back in that room for some reason. 

 

Then there's the staircase encounter. The one where a series of monster closets open up with 2 chaingunners, 6 barons, and like 15 revenants, all clustered together and just rushing in. The only way I can figure out how to beat this is to run back to the stairs as soon as this happens, and shoot them from a distance. I don't have any rockets for this, so I'm forced to plink away with the SG. I feel like I'm cheesing it, but it's seemingly the only viable path to victory.

 

Then there is the elephant in the room, or rather, the Barons in the hallway. This is just the worst. I go in this hallway, there's like 10 of these things, and then there's 2 AVs, and they trap me in the hallway, and they start resurrecting Barons. By some miracle, I get out of the hallway, and I still have no rockets, so I gotta do 9000+ damage with just a SSG, which takes forever, and is a drain on my ammo. Is this really necessary? I mean, come on!

 

Someone above said it best, the big rev ambush immediately after getting the red key is the best part, because I'm actually dodging and actually have rockets. It's also more varied and interesting than the previous map, architecturally speaking. So ends the positives. It takes the so-so aspects of the previous map, and makes them a little better, but takes the worst aspects and makes them even worse. Everything besides the revs feels like a shitty "Gotcha" designed to kill the player, where the only way out is A) Having foreknowledge, B) running away, and C) taking potshots. I don't consider that genuine challenge, because that's not a test of my skill.

 

TL;DR: 4/10. Tedious, boring, annoying. 

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