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The DWMiniwad Club Plays: Suspended in Dusk, The Unholy Trinity, Port Glacia, Bauhaus, Castle of Evil, and Village of Rotten Bones

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The music in Port Glacia stopped after a while and it was all silence from there. Does this happen to others? I'm on glb+ 2.5.1.4. 

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2 hours ago, galileo31dos01 said:

The music in Port Glacia stopped after a while and it was all silence from there. Does this happen to others? I'm on glb+ 2.5.1.4. 

 

This did not happen to me, using prb+ 2.5.1.5

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Yet another issue, for those who played trinity in pr/glboom+ or choco/crispy, did you get any texture errors? Because this is just one of the oddities I see in both prb and glboom:

 

679yox2.png

 

while in crispy it's all good:

 

0yVwwDn.png

 

Unless I should be using another complevel and not 3? an earlier version of doom.wad? idk, help :<

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Anyways

 

Back to SID map 01, it so happens that I'm suddenly not against the og doom music for the first map anymore. I think it suits the initial seconds, even if the road to the interiors is straightforward walking. My new complaint is the roof zombiemen somewhere close to the BK section, because the shits tend to hide and it's easy to think "well I guess they're all dead" and leave, as I did in the video.

 

Other stuff is that one chaingunner who in several other attempts died to one shot, but not this time around!. I didn't ever die, I'm just nitpicky with missing stuff behind, like remembering the secret green armor too late, or feeling wrong with movement, but there comes a moment when one just has to let it go. 

 

Almost a reality attempt says how defensive I play when shotgunners abound :p

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Map 02

 

From the video, I guess I got a little lucky with hitscan cheap shots throughout, but getting a blue armor almost at the final skirmishes isn't a type of balance I'm keen of. This is an epitome of 90s/early 00s mapping, where armor was a "forbidden treasure" usually found halfway after surviving squads of shotgunners and heavy hitters. In other wads like AV, MM2, Perdgate or Armadosia, this balancing can give a stomachache, in this map there's practically no impact unless idk, bad luck with dodging, but there's a lot of safe places to play carefully if desired.

 

So that early secret soulsphere is pretty good stuff. The radsuit is cute, of course I wanna grab clips under zombie corpses. The PR is a godsend.

 

Barons of hell because barons of hell... thought that the BK bodyguard could be tricked into fighting the two cacodemons, but that was more trouble than worth in practice due to hell nobles tendency to stay passive for long periods of time when they can't get into melee combat. I think with the limited ration of rockets and cells it's possible to, at least, weaken every baron then finnish up with bullets. Everything less bulky than barons has to die to SG/CG, which has been a fine habit for me lately.

 

Aesthetic highlight: rusty metal textures as usual, the compred turbine or cylinder (I like how the low light changes the color as you get closer), and that one room full of computers (5:24). 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Map 03

 

It's been a couple weeks already since I played the maps. My most visual memory is the greenish concrete texture variants and the long corridor of spectres, probably because those sections stand out between the predominance of gray. I'm still amazed at the sector detailing within the limits, Espi was an artist. 

 

Long map though the most interesting in terms of action. We get the SSG via "wait, how, oh, nvm, yay!", useful arachnotrons, other bulky demons are introduced, fun with barrels. Speaking of, in my first playthrough I didn't summon the barrels until halfway that it occurred to me to use that computer. These now useless barrels then prevented some final monsters to teleport in. I really thought something broke, but nope, thankfully.

 

There is something oddly satisfying about the BK ambush: of course nobody buys one lone imp, but wait two seconds and an army spawns in what my brain immediately interprets as "infight show", barely visible from the window, and you can still be surprised though (a kinky pinky bit my cheeks). It would be out of place if say you were locked in where the monsters spawn, that rockets are a no no while your chaingun stock is minimal, so it's the cinematic aspect that counts.

 

Various other ideas I like are the use of chaingunners in general, some are quite cheeky that manage to opaque incidental sergeants. This reminds me, chaingunners on higher platforms who roam from one end to another are just as funny to watch as angry lost souls behind block lines (e.g. Reverie map 19). 

 

Standout map so far. 

 

I had one perplexing moment where an archvile resurrected the RL baron through infinite tallness. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Map 04

 

Okay, the airplaine is cool. The other examples I can think of, in terms of vanilla elaborated sector planes, are the plane in Kama Sutra map 13(?), a helicopter in some third-chunk map from Hell2Pay I think, and that's it. I feel like a DoomCute fan around this creativity with sectors. Yesterday I finnished "Comatose", a large map that every doomcute enthusiast should experience imo. Those sliding doors at the end, they look like adjacent floor/ceiling sectors but how many are used is a mystery (not looking at the editor right now). 

 

Gameplay, not too exciting, but serviceable. Many ugly monster block lines unfortunately, like the finale could have been much better without one of them, the archvile duo is rocket fodder and some spectres that can't even reach you. If I had to modify something about the central ring is that I'd summon a pain elemental or two on the opposite portal from where the archviles spawn each time.

 

On the other side, we get one last trip armorless for about 40% of the map, so those sneaky sergeants need to be killed with caution, and unless you can't see that secret blue armor, the rest might get a little painful in such cramped rooms. Something that weirds me out sometimes is whenever you can go through midtextures that don't look like you should (different than a solid wall is a fence, if you get my point), so for the blue armor a broken version of that window would make more sense. 

 

Oh, this is done. Suspended in Dusk is good. I'll continue with the rest tomorrow.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Unholy Trinity

 

So, before TUT (haha, TUT), I'd never actually played a non-commercial custom map this old. My first impression was very positive, I could see the love the mappers put into emulating realistic visuals of the place through the textures, which the wiki page implies are based on actual photographs. It was easy to ignore for a minute the place is a big flat rectangle, because my attention also went to the cute sky. Once inside whichever first room, that's where visuals are nothing to write home about, except maybe some beds and one kitchen I think, oh and imps bartenders. Then I began to see curves, not Ribbiks curves, but stuff like winding stairs and semi-circular shapes, and I thought that was pretty nicely done, admirable for a relic map. 

 

And since the age of the map, of course something in it wasn't going to click at first sight: where the hell are the keys to open those doors?!... Thinking 90s or early 00s, they could be inside unmarked secrets, behind fake walls or requiring to cross super ultra nonsensical obscure WR linedefs (Armadosia entered the chat), but most probably visible in the automap, and I'm an automapholic like Horus. So for me progression fortunately didn't get bogged down, I think the "hidden" paths kinda make sense since the midtextures resemble open tunnels. 

 

There is an intention to make deep lava effect in a secret annex but without self-referencing sectors, so it doesn't render very well visually, though the intention is there. Is this the earliest (failed) attempt in the doom history?

 

One or two things I liked about the monster placement is the low population, relatively speaking, and using my imagination, like maybe zombies are dead students and barons are respectable and rigorous teachers they probably didn't like, thus the "fearsome" appearance. In terms of "low population", it'd become boring were there masses of pinkies or cacodemons because of the vast space and limited powerful supplies (secret RL!), but there're enough rockets to mop up almost every baron and cacos I guess, not too much fodder around which is good imo. The plasma rifle didn't exist in shareware KDITD. Every other tool is available and does the job efficiently enough, berserk vs barons for example.

 

Anyways, cute old map overall. Video in spoilers where I obviously had to spend a minute looking for a troopers party I was missing.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I know, I know, third post in a row may be considered spam but in my defense I can't be arsed to make a huge single post about every wad that'd take me a day to write and people to read :x. If this isn't right please let me know and I'll make one last big post covering the rest instead of staggered but consecutive posts.

 

Anyway, I forgot to bring up the texture problem in TUT yesterday and how it got fixed (with NIH's help). The problem is the original wad file appears "corrupted" with the Ultimate Doom iwad if using pr/glboom+ to play, while in Crispy Doom it gets fixed by default. Reasons are unknown, probably engine differences. I believe Fabian made an internal patch on purpose for wads that use previous versions of doom but you don't own any, so that's cool, but if you want to use pr/glboom+ you need "trinityu.wad" along with trinity.wad, which thankfully doesn't cause demos to desync. 

 

Another thing I mentioned very vaguely in the first SID post, for those interested, Espi made a limit-removing map for NewDoom Community Project. This one isn't as artistically detailed but the tone of the gameplay is similarly modest with some actual surprises. Just imagine a SID "bonus" map but without that many gray star variants (:

 

 

Port Glacia

 

Before my memory fails again... the music problem seems to be with pr/glboom+. After the fadeout, the track doesn't loop back correctly, which is unfortunate and weird when either playing or recording because I can hear monsters from across the map, then suddenly the music is back only for five seconds then silence again. I checked on 2.5.1.5 too and the issue was still there, idk about 2.5.1.7.

 

The map looks excellent imo. It's an already distinctive map in my head from the aesthetics alone: a big part is because of the palette changes specially in the blue shades, which contrast great with grays and low lighting, and the other is the difficult combo "modest detailing-varied geometry" makes for attractive visuals everywhere I look (strong BTSX/Valiant ep1 vibes on this side, whether intentional or not). My only gripe is that ugly stripe in the skybox sometimes would disturb the view.  

 

From a gameplay perspective, it generally feels tidy and enjoyable. I liked this sort of low-density combat staggered between incidental and close-up traps. The fun part is you can choose what to do first, where to start something (most particularly the road to the RK), and sometimes what's better left for later, e.g. giving zero fucks about the first spider mastermind pays off. The other double-the-fun part is the secret BFG quest, which doesn't necessarily soften up too much of the map since at that point the toughest part has just happened, rocket/plasma supplies grow more generous later too, but allows for a few quick slaps where you please (I still did the HKs/viles setup without the BFG like in the first time because it was more fun).

 

Progression is intricate enough that halfway through I started to sense Mechadon vibes, with how areas connected together and with such convenient secrets aside from the BFG quest, like that one annex to the blue skull packs a lot of reward if you can find it early. Come to think, even one of the plasma rifles seems kind of "hidden" or easy to overlook the teleport, which gives it even more value than if it was an official secret. 

 

Additional neat stuff is the freezing water - my personal deployment of stock liquids is more or less 5-10-20% for mud-nukage-lava, while blood and water can hurt in special cases where it fits a theme or a gimmick, like electrified or contaminated (e.g. Alpha Accident, Urania map 12), or freezing perfectly works here, doomguy can't stand his feet cold :p

 

There're a few subtle minuses in the map though. For example, at the indoors watery section the invisible sectors for the bars can block rockets as closer as you get, something I found by pure chance in god mode (so not the hard way, technically). Horus brought up the YK switch backtrack, which I agree in part, it didn't harm my playthrough but I don't see a reason to justify the setup, other than to lengthen progress. I also spotted a huge misaligned wall nearing the second silent teleport, not like it matters much. And, yeah the skull switches are soooo thin they can be annoying to press... Oh, I guess there's a chance to get horribly fucked via infinite height in that blind jump to the RK section if some hell knights, who previously saw you playing rock-paper-scissors with the YSK vile, just happen to be perfectly standing toe to toe right in the spot you land. Ay mama that gave me a jumpscare...

 

Very good quality stuff overall. As far as an_mutt maps around the community, I know his two or three maps in D2INO, all of which are neither great nor bad, though the map 08 in it might reflect similarities in the monster usage with what he did in Port Glacia iirc, so for the curious people I can suggest that map alone.

 

Anyways, this is a second exit where I could cut one minute :D

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by galileo31dos01

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28 minutes ago, galileo31dos01 said:

I know, I know, third post in a row may be considered spam but in my defense I can't be arsed to make a huge single post about every wad that'd take me a day to write and people to read :x. If this isn't right please let me know and I'll make one last big post covering the rest instead of staggered but consecutive posts.

 

rd mentioned in their original post that it's fine to either stagger your posts like you've done or combine everything into one. Personally I'm glad I'm now not the only one to have written about Port Glacia lol, interesting that your view of the map is almost the opposite to mine.

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Posted (edited)

+++ Hurt

+++ Tartarus

+++ Hanging Gardens

+++ 60 Secrets (6 maps)

 

+++ Dante's Gate & Crossing Acheron (2 maps)

+++ Chord series (5 maps)

Edited by Horus

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[old post, please see below for updated votes]

 

+++Antaeresian Reliquary (6+1 bonus maps)

+++Woodcraft

+++Horus' suggestions

Edited by FrancisT18

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4 hours ago, FrancisT18 said:

+++Antaeresian Reliquary (6+1 bonus maps)

 

AR is a bit big for this; in terms of content, two of its main maps are each on the same order of magnitude as Port Glacia, or all of Bauhaus -- then it has that meaty bonus map, then it has more maps on top of that. 

 

Since there aren't many votes yet, and this was something I very nearly picked this month, I'm picking Uplink from this vote: 

 

On 5/31/2020 at 12:14 AM, Pegleg said:

+++ Uplink

+++ Aeternum
 

And I would also cast a vote for:

 

+++ Castle of Evil

+++ Suspended in Dusk

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I was thinking the bonus map could just be ignored given how over-the-top it is, or used as the bonus for the month; but either way there are still perhaps even three huge main maps so in that case I'll take AR out (will have to wait for a DWMC pickup probably), and instead go by (with some short details):

 

+++Uplink (by @Katamori, seconding rd here)

+++Aeternum (this is an early @skillsawwad from 2007, 3 maps, only map02 is long)

+++Woodcraft (a medium to large HR2 inspired map by @Roofi)

+++Horus' suggestions (maybe leave Hanging Gardens for another month, or Aeternum for another month, as both are by skillsaw)

Edited by FrancisT18

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+++ The Eye, a mouldy map

 

 

Bauahus 1... 2, 3, 4

 

Quote

@vdgg With Bauhaus I have another problem. [...] I really find it hard to describe.

 

Same here. Doesn't help that I'm an ignorant when it comes to art. I just tend to find everything neat, pretty, complex, lacking or invasive. In Bauhaus, I think only the first three adjectives (vaguely) sum up the aesthetics, nothing that felt cheeky or "too much" imo. There wasn't a moment where I didn't take a couple seconds to look at the little details, the light sequences via scripted sorcery or the most striking textures, like the blue tiles in the second map which immediately brought back Eternal Doom memories. But this is as much as I can put into words.

 

First map has beautiful houses, a piece of art in a basement and a locked tall exit pad in the middle of everything that looks odd, the only ugly thing of the map. We get some solid SG/CG combat with a tiny chainsaw setup, for the few scattered hitscanners I can't complain about the armor scarcity, and a soulsphere on a pedestal that looked suspiciously part of a design trope of the mapper. Even the two or three cliff imps weren't too bad, and you may or may not know I can't stand "cliff imps" cleanup. There was also a shotgunner who must have teleported in silence behind the exit. Cute map.

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Second map is slightly more punchy. Exactly how vdgg and Andromeda described it, the little gimmicks reminded me of old-school maps where for example one switch is "repurposed" or has more functions than you might believe at first glance. I think in this case it's 8p-wide sectors that vanish each time to reveal a new switch, though for example in STRAIN map 06 you get switches that look like are linked up to three different purposes, but in reality they are various switch lines very close to each other, so the texture repeats the animation as many times as lines are pressed.

 

Once again combat remains fun in those mini tight-ish encounters and secret hunt, the SSG, RL and PR ideas feel good rewarding, even the few hidden potions. The outdoors part had quite a lot of cliff imps and one mancubi that I didn't fancy much but the map ended in good terms with a group of assorted idiots in a toxic relationship, I only had to shoot the most toxic apparently. Oh yeah, the berserk concept in these maps is a neat touch.

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Third map is even more punchy, and now counting with the complete absence of substantial armor, not like a few helmets make a difference. But hey, pretty cool setups here and there. My favourites are in the first room and the finale, it would also be the teleport suspense in between but it lost "appeal" on subsequent attempts (I figured a better way to deal with the finale after a first exit demo). The first setup is weird, I mean, that fast lift sometimes didn't activate until I pistoled the imps and triggered the next ambush, but other times it activated as soon as I fired a zombieman. Then I really liked how this first area was reused much later, something that the mapper worked on every map and one kind of design I like a lot. And the final room is cool, it is much cleaner to rush towards where the monsters spawn and work from there. Apparently doing that can delay the archvile.

 

The heck is that skeleton painting though?. My first thought was "oh please don't tell me that's the new icon of sin...". Thankfully it's just inoffensive art :p

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Fourth map is the richest in terms of tricks imo. This is where I started to view Bauhaus as not just art and construction but also a gallery of (boom) mechanics in yo' face: for example the corridor with the red carpeted ceiling has to be voodoo doll sorcery to achieve such light sequence; conveyors added to the soulsphere trope; silent teleportations right in front of the player's view, something unusual (at least not how I'd personally use them); the staged warp-in at the "X" wing including another light sequence. Part of the scripted stuff might be translatable in vanilla format, like the corridor light sequence if restricted to a hundred control sectors. Now I remembered about the teleporting soulsphere in Breach. I might have to look up these stuff another time.

 

Gameplay has one personal downside, and is the order in which you must do the word puzzle. You can't do "X" until you've uncovered "T" first. This puzzled me so much that I looked up for a demo that could show me if I was missing some subtle clue to raise the X bridge because I wanted to do the puzzle in the correct order, only to find out exactly what I said before. Doesn't make sense, and it's not that big deal, but it makes no goddamn sense. Letter "T" also holds the plasma rifle, an essential to kill one wall of health in "I" which isn't just well placed for lucky BFG shots.

 

Rest is fine I guess. There is a cacodemon in a vent, a cute chess board, the skybox in opengl looks gorgeous (videos are in software mode because they show glitches if I convert them with opengl on), and one monster that couldn't spawn because the sector doesn't have loop lines << not fine.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Bauhaus (prBoom+, cl9, pistol start)

 

Bauhaus 1

 

The screenshot and concept didn't inspire me to be honest so I had put this off for a long time, considering not playing it at all.

 

And yet again, just like with death-destiny's levels, I find myself surprised. I am far from an art buff (hence my reluctance to start this mapset) but was thoroughly entertained by the first level of this mapset. I cannot comment how well this map captures the 'bauhaus' style, but I do know that is visually a very pleasing map, which to me incentivised exploration in and around the buildings.

 

Combat was perhaps not the focus of the opening map, but nor was it boring either, enough was put into the mini-traps to keep me interested. The chainsaw placement was a bit odd to me (I had to kill all the demons before I could get to it) but otherwise no complaints. 

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Bauhaus 2

 

This one certainly ramps up the combat. The start of this level is very congested, it plays like a 1024 map, even if it is a bit larger than it. I did enjoy the secret hunting in this map, I found 4 of them and the ones I got didn't seem too hard to find. However, I do wonder how I would have fared without such secret hunting, given that I found an SSG, rocket launcher and plasma gun, the latter two of which I don't remember finding in non-secret locations (and I can imagine some players not getting the non-secret SSG). 

 

Visually the level certainly takes a lift once you pass the congested section. The house looks nice, but I like the outdoors section even more. The generous use of foliage plus the low brightness creates a pleasant atmosphere.

 

The final battle seemed difficult to me at first glance, but I found it much easier when you lure the mid-tiers back to the house, take care of them, then deal with the spider mastermind alone in the usual peekaboo fashion.

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Castle of Evil

 

Second ancient map of the month and my favourite of the two. 

 

It's visually way more refined than I expected, given the age, actually every aspect of the map surprised me in how much hard work was put into replayability and thematic cohesion -- it's more like an hybrid castle-dungeon-tech base, because in a "castle" alone I might not expect to see computers or toxic -- so even when visuals might seem too messy at first sight, I could quickly memorize where the "Inferno" and "Phobos/Deimos" sides were with some consideration of the automap and remembering where the first hub-like room was. That said, visual details are cool, particularly those big and small pentagrams, I always like to see this figure used like a portal or with a powerup in the middle.

 

Replayability value is as high as one's will to uncover every single secret, get all the weapons, leave some monsters behind for more proper moments, and so on, and obviously you have to love getting a bit lost in this kind of magnum opus-esque non-linearity. I think the mapper succeeded in creating an experience worth "improving" each time: for example, with all the rockets and cells in the map, you're actually never required to grind a single baron with weaker weapons, and I'd go as far as to say not even cacodemons, though you do need to figure out the secrets, which ones have higher priority is only foreknowledge material, and leaving some stragglers behind for later may be the best option in several traps. Since there're tons of teleport lines around, monsters generally will find the right path to your back << this has pros and cons, the downside is when one or two shits get lost in somewhere you've already cleaned up before. 

 

There are two secrets impossible to register. One is a very thin sector adjacent to a higher platform, casually a door-like sector. There is another very thin secret you can only register if you stand on the sector as it raises. Second impossible secret is in the plasma rifle room in the tech base portion, it's the teleport pad. 95% is the max. Tons of other secrets were annoying shortcuts and mandatory backtracking. 

 

First complete playthrough must have clocked around an hour, if less I believe. This taking into account that I had to IDDT some of the secrets (after I gave up on guessing), killed many barons with berserk and the few rockets I could see, because fuck me I couldn't find a single plasma gun until it was too late. Then I looked up for the record, and to my surprise the only demo is 46 minutes, which means that nobody could be arsed to beat that time?!. I was quite sure you could get something sub 30 now with source ports and not necessarily speedrunning, so I opened up gzdb and drew a route in my head. Not too bad, I never really planned out a route so meticulously. Having said that, I typed IDDT multiple times and I believe this would immediately disqualify the demo if I post it in the subforum, someone could please confirm this?.

 

Anyways, I must be forgetting of something else to say as usual. Whatever. Gorgeous map. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

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6 minutes ago, galileo31dos01 said:

Castle of Evil

 

First complete playthrough must have clocked around an hour, if less I believe. This taking into account that I had to IDDT some of the secrets (after I gave up on guessing), killed many barons with berserk and the few rockets I could see, because fuck me I couldn't find a single plasma gun until it was too late. Then I looked up for the record, and to my surprise the only demo is 46 minutes, which means that nobody could be arsed to beat that time?!. I was quite sure you could get something sub 30 now with source ports and not necessarily speedrunning, so I opened up gzdb and drew a route in my head. Not too bad, I never really planned out a route so meticulously. Having said that, I typed IDDT multiple times and I believe this would immediately disqualify the demo if I post it in the subforum, someone could please confirm this?.

Yes, IDDT usage is forbidden in demos submitted to the DSDA. That said, kudos on maxing it in under 30 minutes, must haven taken a while to memorize the layout of this huge level!

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Bauhaus 3

 

This almost felt like the opposite of the first map in the sense that it seemed to be more focused on the combat, whilst the visuals were noticeably less interesting than in the prior two levels. I can describe my experience as having 'just enough' pretty much throughout. Just enough health to survive without dying (I was on <20% health for a fair chunk of this level, at one point at 3% before a secret soulsphere came to the rescue), and just enough ammo to deal with the bestiary safely (I missed the other secret). The archviles were placed were tricky spots too.

 

The opening lift right at the start was annoyingly janky to use, but other than that no real complaints.

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Bauhaus 4

 

Well, full props to Didy for using the EXITSIGN texture in this way, can't believe I've never seen it used this way before.

 

I started on 'E' but couldn't find the final switch that raised the letter to complete that section, so I moved on to 'I' which was really horrible. I was on low health throughout with no armor and measly health bonuses given out here and there which are practically useless. Died countless times to all the hitscan and surrounding enemies. Then there's a cramped cyber for good measure. I hated that section.

 

'T' was so much better. It helped that I first traversed back to 'E' and found a soulsphere that I missed, and generally I felt a lot better equipped for the task. The archvile battle was still a bit tricky, but I managed it first go. 

 

Then to 'X', which was again a lot of fun. I particularly liked the ambush with the mancubi and crew. I also liked how 'X' interacted with the 'T' area later on. Finally off to finish 'E', where it didn't take me long to find the switch I missed the first time. A simple mini-battle later, I'm all maxed out and ready to leave (talking of which, there were zero secrets, which is strange, the soulspheres one could argue should be secrets, the green armors can be missed too).

 

Overall

 

Four maps that may share the same art style but each play very differently. From a simple exploration map where visuals are key, to a final switch hunt of a map with many tough encounters. The first map was easily my favourite, but the second and third maps were also enjoyable for the most part. The finale was a mixed bag.

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Village of Rotten Bones

 

The reason I suggested this is because, on one side we don't get that much Heretic content very often, and this map quite probably got buried in the time even between heretic fans, which brings the other reason >> since rd picked "The Iron Forge" last month, I figured why not digging up this forgotten map as well. Though I have some mixed feelings about the map, most reduce to "Heretic's design" things that I personally disagree, so I'll keep it map-centric.  

 

Positive aspects include that this is only crafted with stock textures, managing to look very nicely varied. I think this map works like several microcosms around a central area creating a sense of place altogether. It's not like this "village" is too obvious to me without reading the title, there're many cave sections and dungeons and whatnot, but with the many small house-like rooms, the lake and how progression takes you back to the first area more than once, it kinda feels like revisiting a mini-city just to make sure it's cleaner than before. The "destroyed church" concept is in every Heretic wad I played for some reason, never gets old I must say.

 

The meat of the action is, chewy. Most is defined by incidental conflict with moderate but still bit high body count interfering with normal progress, outside of perhaps two or three "main showpieces" counting the finale. Silence is never a factor, usually you stumble upon noisy sabreclaws in the way (one of the most meh monsters), or find yourself surrounded by explosive pods, scary moments, so gameplay is ongoing danger. In some areas there're see lots of perched shooters that might seem better ignored forever -- mostly nitrgolems, gargoyles and warriors -- and since weapon progression leans towards the typical "slow buildup" of big epic-adventure maps (and in Heretic in particular), it makes the stronger tools feel much needed earlier. Cool stuff is that you get the phoenix rod with full stock about 5-7 minutes, thanks to the overwhelming amount of spheres in tough spots, maybe a bit too much ammo and gadgets in general (my final item count was something 100 of 150). I still appreciated all the options with artifacts: shadowspheres for example come in handy in two warrior ambushes, bombs are great for stuck monsters or to summon them on upper platforms, and I even lighted a torch for giggles. 

 

There is a big factor in the map. At the end you meet a copy of D'Sparil in a sort of awkward cinematic finale, and if you happened to leave monsters behind for any reason, there's nothing to worry about, because killing the boss automatically kills every other monster in the map, something inherent from Heretic that I wasn't aware of until I played this map when it was released. Now I can't point my finger into this decision and say "this is good/bad", because it has its conveniences -- forced sniping 20 caged monsters from the distance one by one for max kills would be too tedious, period -- but at the same time it may render a large portion of the body count psychologically not worth the trouble, or are they just added ambient hazards? Depends, the design is confusing, though I guess more Heretic fans could still find the joy of taking out til the last dude in their own terms. I preferred to work my way like a race track, and beat only the most invasive obstacles. It's more fun this way imo. 

 

Unfortunately I don't have a video yet. There's this, if anyone is interested in watching 30 minutes, I'll still edit this post when it's on youtube. It runs with Crispy Heretic 5.8.0, add demoextend along with playdemo like this:

 

[-playdemo votb_e1m1 -demoextend]

Edited by galileo31dos01

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Just a heads-up: I'd prefer not to use my old screenname anymore (it's changed basically everywhere I use it and can change it), just the shortened form 'rd'. 

 

edit: thank you :)

Edited by ‹rd›

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