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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Mars War

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4 hours ago, Pechudin said:

MAP29: Choices (Kills: 99%, Secrets: IDK, Deaths: 0)
I am curious, for those of you that did this map from pistol start, how did it go?

I don't usually pistol start, but I gave it a shot. I don't know if I overlooked a cell weapon or not, but I did it with just weapons 1-5. It was close. I went back through the level near the end just trying to scavenge ammo for the SMM. I stayed true to my LP title, though...

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On 5/28/2020 at 4:16 AM, Wneaf said:

Doom didn't revolutionize the FPS for exploring. That's for sure.

Actually, by introducing non-orthogonal level design and considerably more varied environments, actions and triggering options, Doom very much did do this over it's peers. Unless, of course, blocky mazes that either had doors or secret moving walls were the pinnacle of exploration game play.

 

 

MAP29: Choices

Playing continuously, this map is pretty counter-intuitive. You definitely don't run for a rocket launcher when confronted by a horde of Revenants, if you've got a BFG and tons of ammo. Yet doing that would trigger infighting, which would save you ammo and pain. To be fair, I never got low on any ammo other than rockets in this map and inadvertently kept infighting to a minimum anyway. I also managed to two-shot a Cyberdemon on my first attempt, which is rare for me, even with GZDoom and it's more favourable RNG.

 

As is often my argument, I felt fewer monsters used more intelligently was the more engaging experience, so having to fight an Arch-Vile, a Pain Elemental and a couple of chaingunners from a narrow doorway to a small room with angled sides (minimising cover) felt a lot more harrowing than nearly dying because I couldn't dodge through a cloud of Revenant rockets effectively enough. I suppose it did help that my carried-over megasphere's worth of health and armour had been removed in the Revenant room before going for the red key, though.

 

The texture-based puzzles that follow didn't do much for me, as they were either nullified by the automap (those DOORs do nothing, I know) or weakly implemented. As the others have pointed out, if a whole trench is texture with PLAT1, we are aware that the odd line out is the actual lift. The ending teleport/bed/crypt room was kind of atmospheric, and I like that edited BSTONE texture we've seen a few times.

 

Thus concludes the last "proper" map of the set, IMO. An IoS map never does much for me, so I'll probably end up just cheesing it after working out how I'm supposed to win. I'll summarise my thoughts tomorrow anyway, but this map wasn't a new favourite.

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1 hour ago, Phobus said:

and I like that edited BSTONE texture we've seen a few times.

Wow, you may be right. I always thought that NL_ROCK1 is a Spear of Destiny texture, but he probably only took inspiration and used the same colors, but BSTONE was the base.

 

(Spear of Destiny video in the spoiler)

Spoiler

 

 

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10 hours ago, Horus said:

MAP29 - “Choices”

 

So at first I thought Pechudin's 'warning' was referring to the previous map, but then I realised they play continuous and that map is probably significantly easier that way.

 

Now I realise it’s this map Pechudin refers to.

 

    I was more referring to the volume warning when entering the Revenant and Cyberdemon room.

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MAP29: Choices

 

If there's a "high concept" to this map it's probably some meditation on the falsehood or illusory nature of choice, asking you "left or right?" before subsequently revealing that both are necessary and presenting you with a room full of non-functional doors and switches in the process - some ultimate expression of things that look like choices but aren't.  A commentary on the business practices or user interface choices of late-'90s Microsoft, I guess?

 

Outside of that conceptual layer the map features more setpiece encounters and less in the way of incidental combat than the WAD has generally been interested in delivering thus far - the stand-out example is the Cyberdemon-vs.-revenants infighting simulator in the right-hand branch adjacent to the start, though it's far from the only such encounter in this level.  It's also interesting that for a WAD that made it clear from the very first level that it was geared toward continuous play, loading the player up with cells on MAP01 for a plasma gun that's not supplied until MAP02, a lot of this map's challenge seems to arise from an assumption that the player will be tackling it from a pistol start or otherwise in a resource-deprived state - certainly getting the Cyberdemon and revenants to infight is optional (though fun!) if you come loaded to hew them down with the BFG.

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MAP29:Choices managed to surprise me on my first go with an intense scream that is often depicted with many instances of the first letter of the alphabet. Continuous play made me bfg the ear-shocking revenant horde, and only until after that did I see the cybie that they were meant to infight with. I managed to get another go on it, though, because that was on my first attempt, which was saveless. On that run I died at the red key trap, and because of that death I got to save my BFG ammo for the mastermind at the end instead :). Oddly enough, the nukage isn't damaging, and instead the radiation is on the upper floor of that room. Strange quirk, but also a fun one.

 

The map has a lot of choices that don't matter, multiple entrances to the same place, and so on. The only really optional area in the map is what is marked as a secret. It lets you go back, just like how you can theoretically always go back to older hardware. But, it means you're left out on progress (exiting the map).

 

Overall, I found the map an interesting challenge, even on continuous. The quirky nature of the map also made me like it more.

 

Maps in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP14:Civilian Center
MAP25:1984

MAP10:Transport Ship (moved down! Can't say it's a favourite, but I still like it.)
MAP09:Death Management
MAP08:Bunker Zero
MAP28:Doom User Interface

MAP29:Choices (new!)
MAP06:Beta Base
MAP04:Alpha Base
MAP21:Highway to Hell
MAP16:Enlightenment
MAP31:Wolfenstein
MAP26:Maximum Security
MAP27:Marketing
MAP20:Land of the Lame
MAP19:The Foundation
MAP24:83' E
MAP12:Operations
MAP11:Dropship
MAP22:Xerox
MAP32:Hell Labs
MAP07:Infestation
MAP17:Commercial Sector
MAP15:The Fringes
MAP13:Warehouse
MAP03:Manufacturing plant
MAP05:Crash Sight/Site
MAP02:Theta base
MAP01:Terraforming station
MAP23:The Gates of Hell
MAP18:The Edge

 

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MAP29: Choices (Mars War)

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

 

Well, the title couldn't be more wrong since the level's almost completely linear and there's no optional areas (other than secrets)! While it follows the trend of these E3 levels being neat looking, it's on the gameplay side of things that it really shines (although it loses some of its charm from a continuous point of view on that front). Indeed, the main gimmick of this level is that you don't have anywhere near enough ammo to kill everything, requiring infighting to clear most of the monsters.

 

The main event of the level lies beyond the door on the right at the start, with a quasi-slaughter setup featuring over 70 revenants and one Cyberdemon. It's actually impressive how powerful the Cyberdemon is as it killed all but two revenants, which I finished off with the newly acquired rocket launcher. The other room at the start is more dangerous as it contains a large number of well placed hitscanners but nothing that a few rockets won't solve.

 

The red key trap is deadly if you stand your ground, I find the best way to deal with it is to retreat, kill the imps and the baron of hell and then pump the remaining rockets into the hallway as the arch-vile and pain elemental make their way to you. The rest of the level is fairly easy provided you didn't miss the megasphere. I really liked the cemetery at the end where you fight the Spiderdemon and a few arachnotrons, I found it interesting that the gravestones are tall enough to protect you from attacks but they aren't tall enough to break the monsters' line of sight. There's also a few weird touches as is tradition in Mars War, for example the automatic doors, the red key door with a wall texture, the non damaging nukage (the upper platform damages you instead) and the walls around it that use lift textures except one section that actually functions as a lift. The exit room reminds me of HR2 MAP25 for some reason. Overall this is a really fun level, very enjoyable!

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP29: Choices

MAP21: Highway to Hell

MAP32: Hell Labs

MAP26: Maximum Security

MAP27: Marketing

MAP15: The Fringes

MAP22: Xerox

MAP13: Warehouse

MAP08: Bunker Zero

MAP09: Death Management

MAP28: Doom User Interface

MAP07: Infestation

MAP20: Land of the Lame

MAP16: Enlightenment

MAP25: 1984

MAP14: Civilian Center

MAP19: Foundation

MAP04: Alpha Base

MAP10: Transport Ship

MAP12: Operations - Earth

MAP11: Drop Ship

MAP24: 83' E

MAP18: The Edge

MAP17: Commercial Sector

MAP31: Wolf 3D

MAP02: Theta Base

MAP05: Crash Sight

MAP06: Beta Base

MAP03: Manufacturing Plant

MAP23: The Gates of Hell

MAP01: Terraforming Station

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MAP29: Choices

glBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4 and 1 pistol start, no saves

 

I pretty quickly switched to skill 1.

I loved the revenant/cyberdemon fight but the chaingunners in the other half were too much.

Maybe I could deal but with low health from the other area and no armor I was not going to go through that.

 

The damaging platform scared me because for some reason I didn't notice it until I'd been on the platform for a while. Thinking it was a bug that would soon take my life I got scared and ran to what I found to be the exit as fast as I could.

edit: oh i see what happened. My radsuit wore off. Then I thought I'd triggered the damaging slime sector effect and somehow borked toggling off the effect.

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by DuckReconMajor

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Andromeda in liking ammo-starved map non-shocker :P

 

MAP30 - “Icon of Sin”

 

A missed opportunity here. Loads of ammo at start, I finish restocking, and my ammo reads as: 400 bullets, 100 shells, 600 plasma, and….93 rockets. 93!? What happened to the other 7!? Disgraceful ;)

 

That aside, you can skip straight to the BoS (Bill of Sin) if you please, but I prefer to hit the switch with the 7 cyberdemons (hey maybe they had the 7 rockets I was looking for). Here, you can see the terraforming station of the first map brought to hell. I like it when mapsets return late on in the WAD to a corrupted version of the first level.

 

The 7 cybers can be trivialized if you jump down and pick up the invuln, then launch your BFG at them. You should kill or nearly kill them by the time the effect wears off. Highly amusingly is a whole line of SSG ammo. You seriously I think I would choose the SSG to fight 7 cybers, Nathan!?

 

Anyway, after that, time to pick up the second invuln and megasphere then start the IoS battle. Nothing to say here really. The new face does nothing for me.

 

Overall

 

Well I didn’t think I was going to finish the wad after that first level. And that opener was terrible, and the following level wasn’t much better. After that, things got miles better. It’s still probably the worst megawad that I’ve ever finished (there are a lot of megawads I have played a few levels of then deleted), but interspersed between the crap were quite the number of pretty good levels that are well worth playing.

 

What the first level did do right, is show the player the aspect that received by far the greatest focus of this megawad, which was exploration. This is what sets it apart from most other megawads out there, with tons of optional areas that aren’t just small single rooms, but entirely new areas that tend to be quite well thought out. Even the more non-linear maps that you see nowadays seem to lack this extent of optional content. And it was that that probably kept me going on to the end of the month tbh.

 

Because there was a whole lot of BS here, from the amateurisms that are most obvious in the first map but are present throughout, the dull expanse of the Transport Ship, the boring reimagining of Wolfenstein, the dumb super-secret monster zoo, and the ridiculous situations in 83’ E and Land of the Lame (lame indeed).

 

Combat was not this mapset’s forte for the most part, but there were times when it was interesting, sometimes even the main focus. There were some where pistol starting presented quite the challenge, especially on maps like Highway to Hell, Doom User Interface and Choices.

 

Levels in order of preference

 

Maybe I should start maintaining this throughout the month, let's see, never bothered until the end for now:

 

Spoiler

[8/10]
MAP25 - “1984”
MAP09 - “Death Management”
MAP12 - “Operations - Earth”
MAP27 - “Marketing”
MAP19 - “Foundation”
MAP29 - “Choices”
MAP04 - “Alpha Base”
[7/10]
MAP15 - “The Fringes”
MAP07 - “Infestation”
MAP28 - “Doom User Interface”
MAP03 - “Manufacturing Plant”
MAP17 - “Commercial Sector”
MAP26 - “Maximum Security”
MAP13 - “Warehouse”
MAP08 - “Bunker Zero”
MAP14 - “Civilian Center”
MAP06 - “Beta Base”
MAP16 - “Enlightenment”
MAP18 - “The Edge”
MAP21 - “Highway to Hell”
[6/10]
MAP23 - “The Gates of Hell”
MAP05 - “Crash Sight”
[5/10]
MAP11 - “Drop Ship”
MAP30 - “Icon of Sin”
MAP22 - “Xerox”
MAP24 - “83’ E”
[4/10]
MAP02 - “Theta Base”
MAP32 -  “Hell Labs”
[3/10]
MAP10 - “Transport Ship”
MAP31 - “Wolf 3D”
[2/10]
MAP01 - “Terraforming Station”
MAP20 - “Land of the Lame”

 

 

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MAP30: Icon of Sin

 

This is very much a map of two halves, with a northern arena that largely replicates the structure of Doom II MAP30 with Bill Gates in the starring role and a southern area that instead duplicated the space transport and terraforming outpost of MAP01, embedded here in a boxy infernal landscape of flesh and fire.  Of the two areas, there's little enough to say about the first so let's focus instead on the second, which is now the stomping ground of a cohort of Cyberdemons rather than the lonely, wandering zombies and imps of the WAD's very first level.  You can load up on health, weapons, and ammo before tackling this bevy of monstrosities (it is MAP30 after all) and a couple of invulnerability spheres are provided to further simplify the process of blasting them down.  There's a secret switch inside the terraforming outpost which I think is intended to allow for some fine-tuning of the player's firing platform in the northern arena but which might also permit the fouling-up of the level if it's mashed repeatedly by a player unaware of its function?  There's little enough to indicate just what it does as you're pressing it, after all.

 

EDIT: Wait, is the number opposite the switch an instruction?  That does seem to be the intend, although - again - since you can't actually see what your switch-presses are doing you're essentially taking it as an article of faith that it actually is a number and not just a set of cracks or other piece of decoration.

 

I do wonder, if Mars War were a product of recent years rather than the late 1990s, whose face might be grinning smugly out at us from the wall there?  Mark Zuckerberg, maybe?  Animosity for Microsoft and Bill Gates predates the rise of the modern notion of the "techbro," but intrusively ubiquitous or ubiquitously intrusive technologies of the sort that seem to have sparked the WAD author's ire have if anything become a source of frustrations for a much greater cross-section of the population because we all deal with technology more regularly and extensively than was the case 20-25 years ago.  On the other hand, outside of the three replacements maps of the 2009 update, the combination of off-key theme and idomatic level design is very much a product of the WAD's time and maybe it's useless to speculate on the possible nature of a "modern" Mars War because, I feel, "they don't make 'em like this any more."  In what ways and to what extent that is a good or a bad thing is left as an exercise for the player.

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MAP30:Icon of Sin is an Icon of Sin map. Usually I don't have the patience for the actual Icon of Sin part of them, so I only seriously played the revisit of the first map, and then had a mini-giggle at how silly the reversed bill gates clip sounds. Then I noclipped and took out the Romero head.

...It's all right, I guess. Didn't know what the switch in the base did, but considering what TheOrganGrinder says about it, I probably would've liked knowing what it did, since I did give the IOS a fair attempt or two.

 

Maps in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP14:Civilian Center
MAP25:1984
MAP10:Transport Ship
MAP09:Death Management
MAP08:Bunker Zero
MAP28:Doom User Interface
MAP29:Choices
MAP06:Beta Base
MAP04:Alpha Base
MAP21:Highway to Hell
MAP16:Enlightenment
MAP31:Wolfenstein
MAP26:Maximum Security
MAP27:Marketing
MAP20:Land of the Lame
MAP19:The Foundation
MAP24:83' E
MAP12:Operations
MAP11:Dropship
MAP22:Xerox
MAP32:Hell Labs
MAP07:Infestation
MAP17:Commercial Sector
MAP15:The Fringes
MAP13:Warehouse
MAP03:Manufacturing plant
MAP05:Crash Sight/Site
MAP30:Icon of Sin
(new!)
MAP02:Theta base
MAP01:Terraforming station
MAP23:The Gates of Hell
MAP18:The Edge

This is the final list... I suppose if I were to do a list like this again I'd put ratings to give an idea of the general opinion so it's not just a contextless list, but if I participate next month it'll be something different.

 

I haven't played many megawads through fully (I think one of the only other megawads I've done that with is TNT:Evilution lol), so I don't really have a baseline for "good megawad". I do think the maps are overall fun, even if they get a bit annoying at times. I enjoyed a lot of it's strange quirks, the oddities didn't really diminish my opinion of the maps a lot of the time.

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MAP30: Icon of Sin

We begin in the Internet Explorer logo, with plenty of weapons and ammo to go round, some vine-covered Wolfenstein bricks and some nice, decorative torture pits. Also a switch and a teleporter. I pressed the switch before grabbing half of the ammo, to see what it did. 7 Cyberdemons let me know that I'd been a bit quick with that, so I saved, grabbed the rest of the ammo an bolted.

 

Behold, it's the station and shuttle from MAP01, but decidedly in Hell! I like the idea that they've dragged my home down with me, and would happily see that sort of thing in maps where you start in a house or other dwelling in other megaWADs, as it's a nice touch and it's always fun to revisit an area in a different theme. The station is damaged (with a "damaged" texture variant outside and some large cracks showing TEKWALL), but the shuttle seemed fine. I evaded the Cyberdemons and checked out the shuttle first... Which had nothing in it. I didn't check to see if the old exit switch was still working, but I'd assume not. I then scooted round and accessed the station, using Doom logic to get through the airlock with no waiting. Again, there's not much of interest inside other than a new switch and a number "14" burning into the opposite wall. As all the other terminals are powered down and there's visible damage inside as well, this switch is clearly important.

 

I got back outside, grabbed the invulnerability from the pit and emptied my BFG, taking out 5 of the 7 Cyberdemons whilst being bounced around like a pinball. I switched to the SSG, rather than going back to grab the remaining cell ammo, and finished off the other two after my Invulnerability had worn off. It's not like I was in danger of running out of shells! It only took 20 shots, so I was pretty comfortable. I then topped up my ammo (340 cells only), saved and jumped into the Bill of Sin teleporter. For some reason the Revenant was hyper-aggressive and spammed seekers at me, but I didn't think to kill him. I tried the traditional IoS method and got knocked off the platform by the Revenant, seeing myself in a hopeless situation. So I loaded my save and went back to the clearly important switch. I pressed it, waited a little, and then pressed again, over and over until I'd hit it 14 times.

 

One teleport later, and the platform is already raised and to the optimum height, I blew the Revenant off of the face of the Earth (and Bill Gates) and got a couple of rockets into the brain with ease! The first paragraph of the final message is identical to the original (I guess to continue how obviously this map is just IoS with new wall paper) but it then goes off on it's own tangent.

 

A satisfying-enough conclusion, and I'm glad there's the option to fight 7 Cyberdemons to make the actual IoS battle trivial. I think I'd have happily done it without the Invulnerability, rather than have to legitimately beat an IoS again.

 

 

 

Overall, this megaWAD is very clearly the product of one mind, but you can tell when a level was a newer addition. As one-man megaWADs go, you're obviously going to be comparing it to Scythe, valkiriforce's works, TVR! and The Rebirth, amongst other great, earlier examples of the genre. I'd say it comes up a bit short. The closest comparison point I can think of is probably Enjay ZDoom 2001. It also started life with maps for the original Doom, then made it's way through Doom II to a touched-up example that covers modern (at the time) port features. However, Enjay did a much more thorough job (embracing more than just MAPINFO and non-MIDI music, for one thing) and, if I'm honest, started from a stronger baseline. I guess the point I'm skirting around here is that this doesn't stand out as a strong example of it's genre. In fact, it's one of the weakest one-man megaWADs I've ever played.

 

There's a lot of clever and creative ideas here, though, and it's never unimpressive to make 32 maps. The focus on continuous play and the early attempts to stick to a story are laudable, but the derailing of the story in favour of jokes about Microsoft and Bill Gates, experimental maps based on dreams and other strange choices remove that bonus, even as the game play improves significantly in some of the later maps. I can't imagine I'll ever play this again, but I'm glad to have experienced this slice of history nonetheless. Plenty of good, non-MIDI music here, too, which is nice.

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I wanted to write something for each level but it started getting dry, and I didn't have much to say so I kinda forgot about the club. I'll maybe try to write about episodes instead about every level (if OP is okay with that).

All right enough excuses, lest's talk about Mars War as a whole. One man megawads tend to get uninteresting for me because you start noticing the author's mapping patterns (monster placement/traps, architectural and texturing styles), but this one kept me guessing the whole way through, like the mapper wanted to try something new in each map. I've already said this in my first post but I'll say it again, this wad has that element that most maps from its era had where creativity trumped sensibility, which is something I always appreciate.

Plus not only has Nathan introduced me to a fun wad he also introduced me to Star Control 2 and its excelent music and writing, so kudos to you sir.

 

I hope everyone else in the club had as good of an experience as I did, see you next month!

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MAP30: ICON OF SIN
glBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4 pistol start, no saves

 

I of course loved the starting room shape. The secret MAP01 I thought was awesome, but going to the text file for explanation you get no more than "they brought it to hell for some reason idk".

 

Entering the boss room you get a Bill Gates demon-speak, all I hear is "See me on the dropout with David Caruso! Beep beep!"

I haven't read all the other responses here yet but if you don't know, the message is the second half of this, reversed and echoed.

 

There is nothing quite like an Icon of Sin battle to make me want to play some newfangled doom and tear demons apart with my fists.
Get out of the way! I'm trying to kill your mother!
As with each time I play this map, I try to pull off the SR50 to the first platform ascent, always unsuccessful.
But finally I did it! Somehow I never noticed the first lift is much slower than the subsequent ones, making putting two rockets into the brain on first ascent easy. I got lucky on my jump down and put in the third rocket! 

 

edit: just read and tried out the 14 switch Phobus and Andromeda mentioned and holy crap I didn't know that was possible! awesome mechanic there

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by DuckReconMajor

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MAP30: Icon of Sin (Mars War)

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

 

Half of the level is lifted from Doom II's MAP30, with the addition of two monitors in the nukage for some reason and Bill Gates' face instead of the Baphomet - boring. The other half is what gives this level some interest as we revisit the very first level, though it has been subverted by the forces of hell as the seven zombiemen have been replaced with seven Cyberdemons. It's actually pretty fun and is a nice training ground for fighting large numbers of Cyberdemons. A good challenge is to try to kill the Cyberdemons using only the 600 cells contained inside the Internet Explorer room, it's harder than it looks. There's also a secret switch in this area that if pressed 14 times (as indicated behind it) will raise the platform in the Icon of Sin area to the optimal height, making it really easy to blow up the final boss. Not much more to say about the level, other than I felt like recording a satisfying clear of the Cyberdemon arena:

 

 

Final thoughts:

 

A decent megawad. Starts off very lukewarm but slowly but surely the quality of the levels increases, culminating in a pretty good episode 3. The author had previously dabbled in Wolfenstein 3D modding and it shows, most levels are filled with optional areas which is something you don't see too often in Doom wads (from my experience at least). There's also plenty of hitscanners and little height variation in some levels which is a further hint to the author's past endeavours. I think what gives it its charm nowadays (considering that the anti-Microsoft stance is a bit outdated) is the quirky nature of its levels and the cool music tracks which are enough motivation to make it through the dull first episode.

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP29: Choices

MAP21: Highway to Hell

MAP32: Hell Labs

MAP26: Maximum Security

MAP27: Marketing

MAP15: The Fringes

MAP22: Xerox

MAP13: Warehouse

MAP08: Bunker Zero

MAP09: Death Management

MAP28: Doom User Interface

MAP07: Infestation

MAP20: Land of the Lame

MAP16: Enlightenment

MAP25: 1984

MAP14: Civilian Center

MAP19: Foundation

MAP04: Alpha Base

MAP10: Transport Ship

MAP12: Operations - Earth

MAP11: Drop Ship

MAP24: 83' E

MAP18: The Edge

MAP17: Commercial Sector

MAP31: Wolf 3D

MAP02: Theta Base

MAP05: Crash Sight

MAP06: Beta Base

MAP03: Manufacturing Plant

MAP30: Icon of Sin

MAP23: The Gates of Hell

MAP01: Terraforming Station

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Levels 29 and 30:

Level 29 is a lot of fun. I already uploaded my pistol start, which I recorded after this video. As noted above, 29 has some nice combat and can keep you on your toes. The cyberdemon was a level 5 with colorful hell. This could have been a problem if it had come earlier in the wad, but I decimated it with my absurdly powerful BFG replacer. The SMM fight was nothing compared to my punching it to death in the pistol start, though.

I don't like Icon of Sin maps, so I planned on just noclipping to victory. However, I wandered off into the cyberdemon area first and found a level 6 cyberdemon, which was awesome. Too bad I had planned on skipping to the end so I had already used IDDQD and forgot about it. There I was thinking I was doing really well not getting hit. I have no idea if I would have done well or not. Oh well. That was the first level 6 cyberdemon I've seen.

 

Overall I enjoyed Mars War. It wasn't the greatest megawad ever, but it was still loads of fun. I think there are enough fun levels that I would play through it again and just plow through the bad ones.

Ranking: (preferred <---      ---> less preferred)

11, 27, 29, 8, 9, 15, 18, 25, 10, 32, 13, 17, 20, 5, 4, 6, 26, 1, 22, 16, 12, 31, 7, 19, 21, 28, 14, 2, 3, 30, 23, 24

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As someone who takes a liking to quirkiness, as expected you can count me in as a fan of this wad.
As a one-human megawad of course there was filler, but I liked the filler too, especially when it gives a break from the heavier parts.

 

I only knew of this wad as "some megawad with bill gates boss haha ok" but going through it there's plenty of 90s tech humor on top of the surprises here and there with more than a little thought put into them.
Also those computer and room designs that I was unaware could look that good without any custom assets.

 

Reminds me of a time when nerds were actual nerds, not jerks who are mean in code reviews in an attempt to assert dominance (that means YOU derek)

 

I had to split the final video in two, as mkv merge did not like the resolution change AT ALL

 

 

 

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MAP29

 

The HR-esque bony encounter is simple and genius :) Also, one of the most memorable, if not the most memorable, fights of the WAD.

In my first playthroughs years ago I felt so much overwhelmed (this is one of the maps where skill 2 = skill 3 = skill 4), but somehow Nathan created something addictive, I wanted to try and try again, until I succeeded.

 

Let's break down, why is this so great:

  • The number of revenants. The match is even! Of course, if we discount anomalies such as the cyber getting stuck (then it is total rev win).
  • The distance to the switch, you have just enough time to press it and grab that rocket launcher and escape.
  • We have a rare example of a 30 second door which is well implemented

 

Now, my second playthrough was maxing this whole level. We had this 6:42 record on the old version by Method (one of the men behind Kama Sutra), and a few years ago Memfis posted a demo in which he almost got ~4:40, but he died to the spider mastermind...

 

The demo etiquette which I adopt is, if I want to submit a new demo, it must not only be faster than 6:42, but also be at least comparable to 4:40. Something like 4:45 would do, but being faster than Memfis would have been even better.

 

While at first it seemed impossible, it turned out to be doable because of one important factor: luck.

 

The strategy is to enter the hitscanner section, provoke some infighting, enter the revenant section, after getting the RL do a full circle, then make the cyber fire three rockets, possibly at three diffrent angles, so many, many revenants get angry. Then leave.

For arch-vile + pain elemental, the PE gets maximum priority.

After clearing the hitscan massacre Icarus-like section we come back to the revenants. In my 4:14 demo I only had 7 survivors (luck). But once I even had a better outcome: 1 cyber (170 HP) and 2 revenants were left. If you are not lucky, you have plenty of revenants which did not get angry and a cyber with still 1000-2000 HP left, but normally my strategy works fine.

 

The rest is not so interesting speedrun-wise, but I love these "things are not as they seem" quirks. Everything was already said in this thread, but if I remember either Method or Memfis were collecting the radiation suit, convinced that nukage was damaging, so Nathan was really convincing :)

 

 

MAP30.

 

Nothing to add, it is a copy of MAP30 from Doom II, and the 7 cyber encounter.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

It is kind of a minor old classic. I cannot agree with Memfis who put it as the best WAD of 1998 (or did he put 1996 by mistake? I cannot remember). I rate it lower than MM, Icarus, even Evilution, which I am not a big fan. But Mars War manages to be quite OK, a bit less serious, more relaxed, with mostly short maps.

 

My favourites are of course MAP05, 11, 14, 21, 29. MAP25 is the best out of three "new" maps. Also, first episode has most charm to me overall.

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    I kind of don't feel like playing the final map. I tried it once, several Pain Elemental spawned and I got reminded why I usually cheese Icon of Sin maps with mouse look. Other than the outside area with the Cyberdemons, the rest of the map is a retexture of the MAP30 of DooM II (and re-sound I guess).

 

Final Impressions:

    I like it when the mapsets are easy enough for me to complete without constant saving or often do-overs. So that's a plus. I liked the whimsical nature of the first few maps, and my absolute favorite map was probably the MAP15, that one will probably remain in my memory. Middle of the mapset was rather bleh unfortunately, and I do not quite understand the reasoning behind deciding to include some of the less quality maps from that section of the megaWAD. I know I wouldn't. I do appreciate the fact that the author decided to experiment a lot.

    I got nothing else. I wish @Demon of the Well decided to play this one, he'd deliver rather interesting 'reviews', I think. Much longer though heh.

 

    See ya on the next one guys. Which one will it be? 

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MAP27: Marketing

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

Ah yes marketing, the true villain! Though this map is pretty abstract outside out of the myhouse.wad secret, so the name doesn't really have anything to do with it. The revenant/chaingunner two-prong fight was a pretty nice little fight (especially since the player is probably pretty limited on munitions) but other than that the map didn't have much to offer. Thankfully it's a small map so it doesn't outstay it's welcome. The house portion is actually pretty decently detailed, this author has a better eye (or creativity) for the texture usage than most.

 

MAP28: Doom User Interface

93% kills, 6/6 secrets

 

I want to say I'm torn between loving it and hating it; I like seeing some creativity but... overall I did not have fun playing this map, so I guess I have to say I hate it. The theme didn't really work for me and just sorta looked ugly with so much COMPBLUE slathered everywhere and big bright red bits breaking it up. Text file says it was inspired by TRON, can't say I see it. The southeast area is probably the most extreme, in terms of being interest (verticality, figuring out how the lifts go together) and also annoying (too many cacos in that area, too many blind lifts, not enough weapons). I interpreted the ending room as a pie chart representing hard disk usage or something.

 

MAP29: Choices

99% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

In which your choice is "revenants or chaingunners" what joy (the chaingunners are definitely worse, thanks to the cyberdemon in the east wing). Another map where it felt like the supplies maybe came a bit too late and I was starting to get tired of scrambling. The final section with the reversed textures is just sorta weird. The idea of things being "not what they seem" wasn't executed too well here, I agree.

 

MAP30: Icon of Sin

 

Okay, the Bill Gates thing is amusing, but... the room is pretty much the exact same room as the original Icon of Sin, which is kinda lame. I did like the secret that let you return back to the bunkers/truck of the first few missions.

 

Overall

 

Had never heard of this WAD before so wasn't sure what to expect. At first, I kinda figured we might be getting a very thematic-heavy WAD, as while the first few levels were boring and amateurish, they at least had cohesive theme and design. There were a few cracks in this by inclusion of recycled Wolf3d levels (god why), but usually it would return back to the theme. Unfortunately after MAP15 the thematic cohesion goes out the window, and much of what follows just felt like the author messing around and including whatever scraps he found amusing. I can't hate the secret levels too much since they're secret, but the regular levels contain too much stuff like the floating toothbrush or giant computer system representations. Combat throughout is generally too easy to be interesting, with an overuse of annoying enemies like the Pain Elementals. At the end of the day, there's some interesting stuff here and there, and a few standout levels, but most of it is uninspiring.

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@dobu gabu maruNext thread? I counted six or seven votes for 25 Years on Earth which is well more than the requisite four. The next closest looks to have four votes at most.

 

(Though...if the thread is a little late...Level 1 is quite trivial, it could easily be combined with Level 2, if necessary, to catch up.)

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also, can i ask some small thing, please? is it possible to put a link to the next thread in the first post when the time has come, so it will be possible to follow them in both directions (and silent lurkers like me could simply click on it instead of searching for the new thread manually)? it will be really helpful little thing.

 

p.s.: and while i am on it, i want to say Big Thank You to all participants. i really love to follow DWmegawad threads.

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prboom+, no saves, uv pistol starts

 

map 28
lift maze was the most interesting thing here, possibly the most interesting thing seen in several maps.  
 
map 29  
pain sector :|  
 
map 30  
not the most obnoxious IoS map i've seen but no points for the lackluster bill gates humor either.

marswar demos 28-29-30.7z

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I actually finished this WAD up Friday night, just never got around to posting...

 

MAP26: Maximum Security (UV/continuous)

31:09 | 95% Kills | 97% Items | 60% Secrets

This might be the first (and only, not counting the IoS) level that I didn't max. I could tell from the automap there were like 3-4 random closets still unopened, but who knows how to get into 'em? Anyway, this one was... fine. The computer architecture was kinda weird/cute. The 3 gates that almost let you right to the exit were amusing. The PE fight at the pit near the beginning was not. I died a couple of times (kept forgetting to save) and ended up just rushing them my carried-over BFG to end it. The ending fight also felt undermanned and anticlimactic, with what? two revvies, and two knights? Not a huge fan of this one.

 

MAP27: Marketing (UV/continuous)

19:11 | 100% Everything

A shorter affair that (again) was going so smoothly I kept forgetting to save. So I got nailed by the early central ambush a couple of times, and had to repeat that interminable berserk pinkie hallway at least three times before I wised up. (I refused to waste ammo on all those pinkies.) Mostly this one turned out fun. I enjoyed the little My House, though I wish there had been more to do there than open the closet in each room. The cyberdemon I made the mistake of confronting head on, wasting a bunch of BFG ammo and taking damage, killing him before discovering the crusher switch. The last secret had me baffled for the longest time: I could see the chainsaw from the window, but how to get to it? I eventually gave up the search for a teleporter, and decided I'd just jump into the nukage (save first!) and see what happened. Of course, I never hit the nukage because the path raised up out of the muck to catch me. Huh.

 

MAP28: Doom User Interface (UV/continuous)

28:31 | 100$ Everything

I liked this one a lot. Rather interesting to provide two ways into the meat of the map. I passed up on the teleporter, and so found the blue area more organically. (I will almost always choose a visible path to a blind teleport!) The yellow key area with all the lifts was cool, but it did get tiresome having to repeat the number of times I did (to make sure I got everything, and of I course I got lost along the way more than a few times.) I agree with what some said above that the double row of imps near the exit was a great visual. Good level.

 

MAP29: Choices

15:48 | 100% Everything

This sure was something! I took the chaingunner route first, ugh, wow. I did like how things opened up at the end with the infernal ambush. The revenant path was less interesting, as I just ran around in a circle and BFG/SSGed them all to death. (I don't actually remember the cyberdemon, but then it's been 4 days!) The second (third?) section is the least interesting/memorable part, even though it has the largest footprint. Could have had a bit more going on there.

 

MAP30: Icon of Sin (UV/continuous)

10:09 | 54% Kills | 66% Items | 100% Secrets

I hadn't realized the cyber fight was optional, didn't see the teleport there, I guess? I barely got any use out of the invul, as the cybers knocked me around like a pinball. Ran out my BFG on them, and then offed the last 3 or 4 with my SSG. The final fight is just basically the Doom 2 IoS, though? That's pretty lame. I did actually complete it legitimately, even not having figured out the secret of raising the lift. An okay finish let down by the IoS.

 

 

MARS WAR OVERALL (UV/continuous)

Pretty 90s, yeah, but one-man megawads are an achievement in themselves, and this one's pretty good. Some great maps, and only a couple of stinkers. If I wasn't playing with the Club over the span of a month, I'd probably blitz through it in a couple weeks and think, "Yeah, that was pretty decent." I did much the same with Vile Flesh earlier this year (though that WAD was superior to this one.)

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