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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Three is a Crowd

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6 hours ago, Horus said:

By my count that makes 3 votes Plutonia, 2 votes DBP23/19 and 2 votes CPD. No WAD has the four votes necessary for a thread to be started yet 

I updated my vote to Plutonia, so it has 4 now.

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I'm going to +++DBP26/7/19, in that order, which is 28 levels total along with the outro of DBP26 and the hubs in DBP19. Let's have a DBP Xmas!

 

[DBP26 could easily be substituted by another one, if desired.]

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Part Two:

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MAP 23 (Quatered):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 0

*Saves: none

 

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(Doom 1: Episode 3 Flashbacks intensifies)

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A really large map, although it is not very extensive, actually consists of 4 places that are divided by a center that connects them all, each one represents different challenges to complete, and then obtain something useful from each one, such as, for example, keys or ammunition / health / armor, although in this part I must admit that it is much more worked than the previous map, where everything was a plot of "hidden" sites that were not classified as secret, or anything like that, even so, This set of places on this map does have good decorations and really good structures, except for the wall that only has those red and blue colors from episode 3 of Doom 1, but otherwise, everything was very good, even that ornament where you see two elevators in malfunction. Now with the difficulty, here he does win again, because each map has its risks, and the one that is quite ugly in my opinion is the area that has the blue key, because it has 2 Archviles that arrive from a distance, several Revenants and Imps, and that on top of that, also has Arachnatrons and Cacodemons coming to the attack, a very ugly place that is literally in the main area where the Marine appears.

 

MAP 24  (Dirty Dealings):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 0

*Saves: 1 (I did it to verify the exits because the map really had me very confused on that)

 

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This map did not turn out to be to my liking either, I ended up being very confusing in the aspect of progress, because there were many exits, in addition to the way in which the secrets are placed is fatal, although I will admit that the structure used here I liked with that There is sunset background, and palm trees with the city in full black, but I feel like the way it was executed to make progression is just ridiculous because there is no clear specification on what happens with the outputs, or certain switches that you come to find yourself on the way, like the one at the exit that requires the yellow key for example. The enemies here if they become annoying at first, especially since there are enemies that are very irritating because of the way they launch their attacks, for example, the Pain Elementals in the area where the blue key is, or even the excessive use of imps that attack everywhere because they come to launch their attacks almost constantly in closed areas, and the Pinkys well... it goes without saying that they are a huge waste of ammunition and resources when they come in too large groups, As for the other monsters like the Hitscanners or the high resistance enemies, they didn't give me much trouble while exploring this map.

 

MAP 25 (Perturbator):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 0

*Saves: none

 

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This map has been very entertaining, again it has its moments of confusion, which does not surprise me at this point, but the truth is that at least here the site is not so exaggeratedly large, nor does it have errors in the areas that the Marine you are visiting along the way, the truth is that this map has an implementation of very well achieved structures, something simple but that again makes up for the variety that the map has been able to give during all the progress, and in truth that I did know enjoy it a lot, even the fights here were not boring or stressful, it is a privilege to feel again these kinds of maps that do not confuse so much when looking for the exit. The difficulty here could be considered standard, since it is not unfair at any time, but it is not easy to defeat all the enemies present inside a site, here if there are a bit hard fighting but that does not exceed the limits anymore known to veteran players, despite having all the normal enemies of Doom 2, at least here if I got to have fun with the encounters that the map was presenting while exploring all areas of the site.

 

MAP 26 (Unlikely Ally):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 0

*Saves: none

 

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(Hey Partner!, What's up?, Thanks for the bluecard key)
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(Noooo!!, You killed my partner, you piece of Sh*t!!)

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Heck, this map has been very interesting, apparently, everything starts as usual, but then something happens, in one area we find an Imp that is trapped in a square cell, at first it did not seem very trustworthy, but when we released him With the help of the yellow key that is obtained in a labyrinth of leaves, as thanks he ends up helping the Marine in the progression of the rest of the level, apparently, he did not want to be shot in the face by the Marine so he better decided to help him Although I suppose they were both at hand when the Imp saved his life in the barrel area, the Imp really wanted to help the Marine complete the level, so with the help of the Imp, the third hero makes his way around the place, finding demons to kill, and traps that he had to survive, and after the Marine obtained the red key, the Imp helps him get the blue key, after passing an area that had toxic brown liquid, and of des to overcome the threats that were on both sides of the walls that were raised, and by the time the Marine reached a place where he had to descend, later on he would find a cruel scene, and it turns out that, one of the demons with the most resistance (referring to the Baron of Hell) he found out that the Imp was helping the enemy to progress in the level, for which, he did not hesitate for a moment to kill that traitor, the Marine upon seeing such an act, decides to avenge the death of his ally who died at the hands of that beast, and with weapons ready, completely annihilates the Baron, comes the death of his ally, and leaves the map with a very bad memory in his head, without a doubt, a sad story for the last survivor of the group.

 

MAP 27 (Pushback):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 2 (both were because of the Cyberdemons)

*Saves: none

 

(Bruh moment.mp4)

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(¿Game Over?)

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This map is extreme, since you have 5 Cyberdemons chasing you, but in terms of structure and architecture, well, it's a really good map, with really great decorations in the visual aspect, and that also has quite a lot variety in its rooms and corridors, really charming. Now in the difficulty, here it is atrocious in every aspect of the word, because there are Cyberdemons behind you, and at the same time, there are enemies that must be dealt with, or escapes or faces them, clearly I chose a little of both, since with the barrels a better idea came to me, and that is, I preferred to jump them and then use them as a small barricade for the Cyberdemons, and thus be able to fight against the monsters in a slightly calmer way although it did not last long. Indeed, there are so many demons here that it is a bit difficult to evade them easily, what if it came to my rescue was the sphere of invisibility, with it, I managed to evade them all, well almost, to be then in a place with a large wall in the middle, and thus fighting the Cyberdemons with the help of my Rocket Launcher, although the revolver that Serious Sam sold me was also quite helpful, although it took me a long time to kill them all, and the rest of the level was a piece of cake. Something that I am going to highlight is the instant death that the map gave to our third Marine, stupid mandatory death mechanisms!

 

MAP 28 (Reunion):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 0

*Saves: none

 

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(Wait, y-you... are alive?...)

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(This IoS is fake!!, He not have a John Romero inside!)

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A map really made in the style of Slaughter, although fortunately there are not many enemies present in the act, the truth, in the visual aspect I do not have much to comment, basically it is a huge square, with elevators that lead to a second level that has a door that requires a key, and on the other side there is ammunition, and in the middle a teleporter that takes you to the lower floor with different things to carry, in addition to that the square is divided by many pillars, and that at the beginning they give us a Soulsphere and an InvencibilitySphere, nothing more to then collect weapons and kill the enemies present, and with a brief description, the difficulty here is a bit high if you only keep using the gun throughout the tour, so, taking advantage of it well Invulnerability, take all possible weapons and start with the kill without grabbing the health sphere, use it for almost half, the good thing is that the map also gives you a "MegaSphere" Thanks to a Blue Armor and another health sphere, it was at least quite useful to keep it until the kill was over. The end of this map brings back memories of another map that had already been played before, I just can't remember which one it was, but unfortunately our third hero suffers from another stupid instant death trap, I really start to have a deep hatred of this kind of things, even more so that most of the companions had survived the dangers.

 

MAP 29 (Sheer Poison):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 2 (Both deaths from toxic soils, I was already advanced in the adventure)

*Saves: none

 

Important note: Please read the description that I have left at the bottom of the images before criticizing the content (just in case something like this arises with what is shown on this map)

 

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(In this part of the map, it is a secret, but it has a very bad configuration problem, and it turns out that if it takes you a few seconds to pick up what the anti-radiation suit is, the door of the room will It will close, and you will be trapped without being able to escape.)

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*From here on, certain things that I discovered while playing the map will be shown, but they will be posted on Spioler because no one else has published about this map.

 

First analysis:

Spoiler

I have realized that not all the secrets here are worth finding, some of these can turn out to be a trap too, as is the case of a secret found where the room with the red key is, since, when accessing This secret, you not only find items, you also find many anti-radiation suits, and in the next thing that is observed, it is a long, very, very long way full of toxic green liquid, so long that the suits you will not really reach. They give when going down a platform, because the path turns out to be a kind of small maze that can confuse you, and in the worst case, you can die from constant loss of health, so, I am not surprised that this has been put here as a secret, since technically all the floor of the level is dangerous, except for some very small places, but in general, everything hurts the Marine.

 

Therefore, if you want a little help with this secret, here are some screenshots of what the entire path looks like, and where you should go to avoid getting lost and dying because of the harmful soil, since, in this secret There are no first-aid kits to collect, if not until almost the end of the tour. I do not guarantee that you will leave this site without losing the Soulsphere / Megasphere that you have obtained, but at least it will help you not to get confused while traveling through this horrible place.

Spoiler

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Second Analysis:

Spoiler

Holy F#ck!, This really is a damn torture, having to climb that thing a maximum of 10 to 15 times while receiving the enemy's attack from all sides, and even more so that the IoS throws them quite fast and in the amount of 2 to 3 enemies per launch, and with the annoying ground damage, it really seems like a more than unfair fight to me.

 

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Not to be relied upon seeing all those Medikits there, because the monsters will really drain the Marine a lot before he can even get to the switch to lower the platform.

 

I am aware that also in the final battle there are 3 spheres of the soul, and a blue Armor, but the truth is that you will end up using them all because this battle is a big headache, so any hope that you can save any sphere is practically nil, the same applies to the Mega Armor, which will be the first thing you will grab in the middle of combat, and without the IoS bringing Archviles, because if many of them appear, then it is over in a few attacks.

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(Marine #1: Friend, what are you doing?)
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This map is a damn joke, it is very easy to die because of acid soils, and I really hate these damn levels that have this kind of thing as their main mechanic, the worst of all is that they do not have a safe place where to be standing to avoid the loss of health, not to mention that there are quite a few enemies that drain your health very quickly, which no longer makes the journey fun, so it is better to use the god mode trick to pass this level, and when I found out that there was an IOS, and I sent everything to hell because there were too many enemies to deal with, and like cherry on the cake, the platform to climb on is so fucking extensive that it must be stretched with the same function of switches so that you can have that long height you need and be able to get on it and thus access the last area that is where a switch is, while on the other side there is again the Marine of the first route, and not It does not matter if they are going to criticize me for what I did, the map is crap for me, and I totally lost myself with this health-draining soil that is present everywhere, even with medicine cabinets everywhere, they do not help much if you have enemies that lowers your health to critical levels, adding the fact that the ground damages you automatically, then something seriously is wrong here, and I dare say that it is even worse than Map 16 of the Megawad "1K Lines CP", is that Seriously, these kinds of areas are not to my liking if from the beginning they are already giving you declines in health in absolute nothingness, and even having a very good structure, with great and fantastic designs, everything goes down the toilet with this of the harmful soil. I don't even talk about the difficulty, that this if it exceeds my limits with respect to how difficult a map can be in this MegaWad.

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map30

Our hero is released from his cage at last. The final map is made up of 5  main encounters. There are 3 secrets containing a partial invisibility, a  berserk pack and an invulnerability. Picking up the invulnerability is almost mandatory to survive the archvile set piece.

At the start of the map you can pick up your weapons, take out some riffraff and advance into a large round blood room with stairs in the middle leading up to an icon of sin. It's a room we have become quite familiar with but is always a little different each time. On this map, 5 of the steps have one time only teleport lines, each taking you to a set piece encounter. After completing each encounter you can climb a little further up the steps, to the next teleporter.

The 1st set piece is a imp/zombieman trap. You appear in the middle of them. The secret partial invisibility is quite useful here as is the secret berserk pack to top up your health after the scrap.

The next time you take the stairs toward the icon of sin, you will be whisked away into the 2nd set piece, hellknights, barons and 2 revenants in a room with the secret invulnerability. Save the invulnerability until after you've cleared the entire room of enemies. Take the invulnerability and drop and collect the bfg and 2 cellpacks and race for the return teleporter and take the stairs and teleport to the archvile trap.

The 3rd set piece is a tiny archvile room with 8 archviles surrounding you. Take them out under the protection of invulnerability. Then work out how to return to the icon of sin room.

The next trip up the stairs toward the icon of sin teleports you into the 4th set piece, a large room with 2 spider masterminds and a lot of other enemies. Infighting is easy to cause and circle strafe and/or hiding behind one of the engaged SMM's will serve you well.

Climbing the stairs yet again teleports you into the final set piece, a room full of barrels. One well placed super shotgun blast and timed movement to avoid the crusher will win the day. Follow the L shaped corridor to a teleporter to the sight and sound of cybie appearing in front of you. You will arrive back in the large blood room trapped inside a waist high maze that has magically appeared. Cybie will have teleported somewhere outside the maze and he wants you real bad and not in a good way. There are 3 switches you need to use to get the maze to lower. Cybie tends to start firing and closes in quickly. I found it easiest to stick to the outer part of the maze and concentrate on avoiding cybies rockets and then bfg spamming him once he gets close before using the switches to lower the maze.

Finally you can climb to the top of the stairs, select your rocket launcher and lob a rocket into the icon of sin to end the level and beat the wad. Our 3 heroes have triumphed over evil but at a great cost.

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(Great comeback, @ElPadrecitoCholo! I'm impressed!)

 

MAP29: Sheer Poison

 

The 9th map, and yet another one with an extra intense and unrelenting gimmick. In this one, you're taking damage. Non stop. Unless you're standing in water, but there's almost no water, so that doesn't help much. The water thing was mostly just to easily make secret sectors, really. You just gotta run, collect health, and run some more. It was hard to predict how this one was going to feel for other players, cause when every step you take hurts, knowing the layout beforehand makes a REALLY big difference. That's why I decided to be pretty forgiving and health stuff is all over the place. That should give you a chance to survive as you try to find your way through the not entirely linear level. I mean, you have to press a fairly inconspicuous switch just to escape the first area.

 

The ending is similarly non-obvious. You have to find a secret wall with a switch behind it, which temporarily uncovers another switch, which after being pressed enough times can let you reach the way out. Maybe it will be slightly easier now that I added a very similar looking lift pillar on MAP05... if anyone remembers that after 24 maps, that is. Either way, it doesn't feel straightforward at all, and that's for the narrative first and foremost. This level is supposed to be the protagonist's inescapable punishment brought upon him by the big demon in charge, and similarly to MAP08 it tries to evoke the feeling that you're not meant to succeed.

 

Firs, the hero gets tricked with a fake techbase. This bit (right at the start, appropriately enough) might be the most unforgiving - the health is scarce, you have little in the way of armor, and then there's also a whole bunch of hitscanners ruining your day, taking advantage of your initial lack of weapons. The room is confusing even despite its tiny size, forcing you to jump over some crates just to get to the exit. And when you do, the facade melts away and you find yourself in a hellish cave with no exit.

 

The lack of exit, of course, is greatly exaggerated. One of the skulls on the wooden boxes is a noticeable switch, which opens a nearby wall. Not very hidden, but certainly not the most obvious either. Past that, you reach a somewhat more spacious location. With a lift on the other side of the canyon not yet ready, you can either jump in and find the secret on the far side, or follow another tunnel to the castle. With the last three maps still having the city sky enforced by vanilla doom, I had to resort to tricks if I wanted to create the impression of hellish outdoors - and after MAP28, I opted for more artistic solutions, instead of technical ones. In this case, the castle area simply happens to be brightly lit, and topped by the one and only, glorious CEIL4_1 - the ultimate dark sky substitute, utilized even by Romero in Sigil. The castle area has a whole bunch of different paths - you can take the very literal path or follow the trail of medikits and stimpacks, you can take a detour to grab some cell ammo, you can approach the staircase from the front, or from the back if you fancy an extra berserk. I love rushing up those stairs, letting the imp at the top stop me from overshooting, and rewarding them with a super-accelerated fist to the face. Up there, you can simply drop down, or manouever your way to the plasma gun first, or jump further to get the invulnerability secret, or even run across the entire castle wall until you reach a teleporter that skips you all the way to the other side of the lift. The last part is so secret, it doesn't even count as a secret.

 

On the other side of the ravine, there's more paths to take. You can either go through one of the two obvious doors, or take a sidepath to grab a blue armor, and blow up a bunch of zombies early. The right door leads to a shotgun you can pickpocket from a revenant, inside a really cool-looking room with a bunch of cages and corpses. I really love the way it turned out, and it's one of the few things that make me wish the player wasn't forced to run everywhere. Maybe I'll reuse that design in another wad somewhere. I kinda did in MAP05's backpack secret, but that variant was not quite as good.

 

Anyway, the left door is the way forward, and it leads to you a fiery courtyard that contains another creative replacement for the sky - bright FIRELAVA walls above the regular bricks, topped with a blood ceiling. It goes great together,  and looks considerably more 3D than either of the two alone. The courtyard also comes with another selection of paths. Two of them converge soon after to lead further into the level, and require both the red and blue skull either way. A shorter tunnel on the opposite side only requires one key (either red or blue), and lets you lower the central pillar with the megaarmor and the hell knight/revenant/arch-vile (depending on skill level). Finally, there's two paths that let you obtain the two keys needed. The blue key path contains a little taste of The Chasm, with the walkway actually getting progressively thinner as you walk alongside it. It also contains the wad's only instance of a secret hidden behind a waterfall. The red key path contains crushers... as well as something else.

 

Spoiler

It starts with a chain of secrets, that's inspired by wolf3d more than anything. The wolf3d engine doesn't offer many options when it comes to designing secrets, and one common way to spice it up was secrets inside secrets. Inside secrets. I loved that as a kid, and I still do. my favorite bit was in E2L3, in which you keep opening secrets with more and more valuable riches inside, culminating in a few 1ups. If that's still not enough for you, you get treated to a crowd of soldiers pouring out on you, as if to punish you for your greed. I already implemented this once in this megawad, in the yellow key area of MAP17, where you can open a series of closets with a medikit, shells, rockets, and finally a chaingunner. That one is a double subversion though, as you can get the blue armor after that. On MAP29, though...

 

This whole secret was the last thing I added to this map, after the megawad's initial release actually. MAP29's name is obviously a reference to @yakfak's map of the same name, but then I thought that aside from the love/hate factor, my map doesn't really live up to its namesake. And so I decided I should add at least one big, dangerous and unnecessary secret area.

 

So you open up a wall to reveal a stimpack, and that in turn may lead you to open up more walls after that one. You find a medikit, then a soulsphere, and then what? The answer is: a one-way dropoff, and a bunch of radsuits. It's time to make a run through a long branching tunnel that encircles nearly the entire map.

 

To begin with, you pass a bunch of pillars, with one stimpack to the side of each of them. You may want to memorize their positioning if you want to avoid some nasty surprises along the way.

  • Surprise number one - a boring old fork in the road, with the wrong path terminating quickly.
  • Surprise number two - a mundane fork again, but this time the wrong path goes on for a little longer before you get to realize you've wasted your time.
  • Surprise number three - this time, the wrong path ends with a little loop to confuse you.
  • Surprise number four - the wrong path goes back to wrong path number three, through a fake wall.
  • Surprise number five - this one's less confusing but still plenty time-wasting, as you get mocked with a barred pathway.
  • Surprise number six - this one's real interesting. Two dark paths, both of which seem equally valid... until you take the wrong one, and get set back all the way to the castle at the other end of the ravine. Hope you left a few medikits over there!
  • Surprise number seven - the grand finale, starting with another dropoff, but this time you get the see the bars from the start... guess what. The bars are intangible, and the seemingly better path has an invisible wall. The only way out of that is through a fake wall, and an entire maze to get through on the other side. I also reused the maze as a deathmatch arena, which might have been a mistake.

After all those forks, there's still a long bit of path that squeezes the last bits of durability from your radsuit before you reach one of the very few areas of the level free from constant pain. Your reward is three medikits, three cellpacks, a computer area map... and a tantalizing view of a radsuit that could actually help you with the level proper. Then it's back to the grind...


So you got both of those keys, destroyed the zombies on the other side, and what to you get? A tantalizing view of a hole labeled "EXIT", and a maze. At least there's a radsuit secret nearby... though @joe-ilya had to suffer without it. The maze is short, but it does its best to mess with you - forcing you to go inside and then outside of the metal walls, making you pass by a grate that looks just like a dead end... well, eventually you can make it through and drop in. You drop in, land in a wet hole, and it no longer hurts. Congratulations, you win.

 

What? That's not enough for you? Fine, have it your way. You can press the exit sign to lower a chunk of the floor. The pain is back as soon as you step forward, and after the eerie silence of the maze you're greeted with more demons to kill or be killed by, again. At least this time, there's plenty of health, ammo and armor to assist you, and after painstakingly waiting for some stairs to raise, you finally get to reach the good old exit door, and press a switch behind it.

 

No, wait, that's not it. What happens is the floor collapses under you, you hear a demonic greeting, and you get looped back to the beginning of the big room, as it gets refilled with demons all the while. Enjoy your eternity.

 

Alternatively, you may find the secret switch that lets you raise a certain lift (much like the one on MAP05), and keep pressing it until it's raised high enough to let you slip away. At last... you have escaped the grasp of your oppressor, and got to save your loved one. Too bad you're running on fumes at this point...

 

 . . .

 

As you can see from this wall of text, I've but a whole lot of thought into this map. Most of 3IAC's maps is just a bunch of good old demon-shooting action with gimmicks sprinkled here and there, but this? This is a whole experience. With an intense-ass narrative I wouldn't compromise on for gameplay's sake. And same goes for MAP30, but at least that one's both shorter and more linear, so you may find it more bearable.

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3 hours ago, FrancisT18 said:

I'm going to +++DBP26/7/19, in that order, which is 28 levels total along with the outro of DBP26 and the hubs in DBP19. Let's have a DBP Xmas!

 

[DBP26 could easily be substituted by another one, if desired.]

 

I will also cast my vote for that Wad.

 

+++DBP26/7/19

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@dobu gabu maru Seems this might be worth clarifying; DBP23/19 (or DBP23/7/19, DBP26/19, DBP26/23/19, etc.) can take the place of DBP26/7/19 if needed, as the main spirit for my vote (that was later seconded) was simply 'something including DBP19'. I never meant or had any intent to state my vote in a way that separated DBP pairings/triplings into more than one category. More intended for a view that 'DBP19 has five votes and if necessary the one(s) to put it up with can be picked among those that have any votes'. Though DBP7 is also Xmas themed.

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Map29: This one has a somewhat irritating gimmick. At first, it isn't so bad, besides the constant pain sounds from doomguy. The map is pretty simple and straightforward, at least until you reach the maze, which is a terrible pain in the ass without the secret radsuit because its mono textured and its really difficult to tell where you are, even with automap. The final room is also a bit of a drag, its basically an icon of sin fight on a timer, the solution took me a few times to figure out, I think the player should teleport looking at the switch so that its clear its there.

 

Map30: A short, and triumphant map. Here, we're playing as the original protagonist, escaping the cage and finishing the icon of sin. Luckily there isn't a traditional icon of sin fight, as that was in the last map, rather we're climbing a staircase that seems specifically built for the purpose of firing rockets into the icon's gaping skull. Odd, that. Each time you reach a certain point on the stairs, you teleport to another encounter, the final of which being a maze you must traverse while being fired upon by a cyberdemon, this really reminds me of map20 of Resurgence, which has a portion very similar to this. The quick pace of this finale makes it so it doesn't outstay its welcome, and while it isn't special, portions of it are memorable.

 

Overall: This WAD can be really hit or miss for me. There are some maps that are absolutely some of the most creative stuff done in vanilla Doom. It has personality, and a narrative, two very rare qualities for a megawad, especially of the 'nilla variety, to have. But there are also a number of maps (I'd say about 30 percent) that are dull and plain. I don't think there are any terrible maps in here, but there are a surprising amount I don't think I'm interested in revisiting anytime in the future. I'd give it a C+, or a 7/10. I think for having so much good in it, it should be commended. A 32 (or 31 and a half, I suppose :P) map project is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a single author.

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Right, time to wrap this up!

 

MAP28: Reunion

@Phobus summed this one up really well, actually. To expand on his assessment, I'll add that there were far too many specters in the initial resource dash for it to be enjoyable. Apart from that, I really like the narrative aspect of this one, and the fake sky is clever as well.

 

MAP29: Sheer Poison

I'll be honest, here, I couldn't actually be bothered to beat this one. I loathe mandatory damaging floors at the best of times, but a whole map of them? It is far too much. Which is a shame, since from a visual and narrative perspective this map is quite brilliant. The music in particular makes the experience profoundly tragic, as the third marine gradually succumbs to the poison within.

 

That sense of a hopeless uphill battle against decay and eventual death is a core part of the human experience, and this map evokes that to an uncomfortable extent. While I personally am not and have never been chronically ill, I know/have known people who are/were, and such illness has always been one of my greatest fears.

 

Okay, that was a little dark, I'll admit, but that was my response to the map.

 

The feeling I described before could have been a lot more effective if the map had a clearer and more logical progression. Difficulty actually hindered the experience for me, which is very unusual.

 

MAP30: Extinction Burst

And now, the end is nigh! Once again, the first marine takes up arms, this time in vengeance. After all the Icon of Sin has put you and your loved ones through, it is time for payback.

 

This map is a satisfying final romp, centered around a series of encounters reached via W1 teleport lines on the staircase before the Icon. This is a great gimmick, since it really feels as though the Icon is throwing everything it has at you in a desperate attempt to hold off the fires of vengeance. The fights themselves are short, tight and brutal. Beating each challenge one after the other, with the midi blaring in your ears and baying for blood is a great way to build anticipation for the inevitable end.

 

After clearing the Icon's final gauntlet, the first marine stands before his tormentor. With a shout of anguish and rage, he fires a single rocket into the vile creature's exposed brain. The ensuing explosion rings out across all hell, the dark lord of the underworld's agonized death knell causing the tortured earth itself to shudder in fear. The facade crumbles and burns, collapsing into the roiling blood beneath, unholy smoke curling skywards from the remains. The first marine falls to his knees. It is over. The demon is dead. But what now?

 

Yeah, that about sums up the mental images crossing my mind during the Icon's demise and the following text screen. This is a better ending in terms of narrative satisfaction than most megawads achieve. Bonus points for avoiding yet another terrible Doom 2 MAP30 repetition, that boss fight was a mistake from the start.

 

 

Right, time to go over my thoughts on the wad as a whole!

 

Three is a Crowd is a fascinating and unique creation, eschewing traditional design conventions in favour of the author's unique vision. Usually this is to the wad's credit, though some conventions do exist for a reason. Each map is essentially an experiment in one way or another, whether it be in terms of gameplay, aesthetic or some combination of the above.

 

Each episode represents a unique take on a Doom episode archetype. The first episode, set in a very unique and alienating hell, is my favourite part of the megawad. Imaginative gimmicks, an original aesthetic, a strong sense of narrative and surreal midis all come together to make one of the most interesting Doom experiences out there. I could easily play a whole megawad of Scypek2's hell!

 

Episode two takes a unique approach to the standard techbase aesthetic. There are two styles at play here: a dark, grimy, subterranean aesthetic and a forest base aesthetic. Some maps make use of both, but in general every map of the second episode (and the first part of the third) makes use of one of these styles. Both give the maps a more grounded feel than most Doom maps, which plays off the abstract, almost Petersen-esque architecture and layouts in interesting ways. The forest base feels like a real place twisted and subverted by demonic influence.

 

The third episode is the most grounded of the three, and represents a very unusual take on the 'earth' aesthetic. Scypek2's city is a warm though slightly disreputable place, dotted with palm trees and doomcute details, all sitting under a glorious sunset sky. Blood-pumping, up-beat midis, extensive use of heavy weaponry and an abundance of resources make this episode the most conventionally entertaining by far.

 

Overall, Three is a Crowd is a unique and fascinating megawad, jammed full of creativity and imagination, with a strong vision and compelling narrative. Thanks @Scypek2 for this wonderful wad! I will definitely be replaying this in the future.

 

 

Okay, that's Three is a Crowd done! I'm so glad I decided to participate in the DWMC, even if I started to run out of steam toward the end. It feels great to be writing again, helps keep the rustiness at bay. I am interested to see what corners of wad-dom the club will take me to next in the months to come!

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+++ DBP26/7/19. Would participate for sure because I always enjoy the DBPs, and the ones chosen strike me as far more fitting for the season than Plutonia. 

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MAP 28 Again we stare at the infernal sky of gore. As soon as we fall we are in a square room. From my first time playing this I remember this level well and how much time I spent here. Each of the 4 sides has a weapon and a shitton of enemies. I clear the "ground" floor and then find the non-keyed door. Pick a yellow key, fight te new monsters, go to the yellow door.. You can see the drill. First door : 2 HKs, Pain elementals and specters. Second door : 2 chaiguners and mancubi. Third door : 2 revs, imps chainguners and a archville. Now, a bit of fueling up before, Fourth door : a soulsphere, two archies, a cyberdemon and a couple revs. I had saved the invencibilty (and pretty much all the cells) for this fight so I end the level with 0 deaths. Going to the exit we find our dear friend, caged. We have the yellow key, we can finish what he failed! Unless we step on the final step, if we do that it's squish time!

18m 17s, 0 deaths, 100% K/S/I.

 

MAP 29 : The air is poison. And we start in a crate maze. First death : didn't even reach the room exit. Same for the second. I can't even find the way out. Third time : I got out. reached fake-exit and got mancubed. This level leaves you no time to think, it's action non stop or death. Fourth death : I managed to reach teh end again but was eventually killed by spawn + poison. This time I saved at the little pool before the fake-IOS, so this death was a little less frustrating. And it was the final one!

So, 9m23s, 4 deaths, 93%kills, 16% secrets.

 

MAP 30 : Caged. Our friend who sacrificed himself to give us freedom also dropped a few weapons. On one side we have a few imps and on the other side it's that damned stairway to the IoS. So we go imp-side first, grab a chaingun and then up the stairs only to be yanked into another room, where imps try to gangbang us. This room has a secret berserker whose access can be guessed. And then, it's back to the stairs. New teleport, a room with a lonely invun sphere and rockets. yup, can't see what could go wrong here. Ah, barons. Quickly I got rid of them and grabbed the invun (the bars are avoidable), then ran into the stairs to be 'ported to a tiny room filled with archvilles. Killed them all and pressed walls at random until one opens, revealing a imp and a button. Repeat 2 more times to open the teleport.

Another room awaits, this time you'll be surrounded by enemies with 2 SMMs, one on each side. Use the plasma to get rid of everything, and then look for the one different wall panel. Still, we aren't done. We arrie at a room full of barrels, that finally manages to kill me. Second time I got out of most of the explosion, but I'm now on single digit health, until I found the single medikit. And we've unleashed a cow. That kills me instantly as soon as I 'port. And then, one more death to the barrels. And then one more to insta-gibbing by the cow. Another death, this time I managed to press 2 of the switches... And this next time it would appear I got lucky and the cybercow did not 'port after me, which means KABOOM!

6m65s, 5 deaths, 98% kills, 100% S/I.

 

totals : 19 deaths spread over 8 hours 58 minutes and 48 seconds of time and hell has been conquered! 

 

It is indeed a really good mapset both gameplay and storytelling wise.

 

as to my vote.. I don't really want to play plutonia, so I'll go with DBP

++++DBP26/7/19

Edited by kalaeth

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7 hours ago, Catpho said:

Formally changing my vote to +++ DBP26/7/19. Killer suggestion from Francis :)

I must say I am a little confused by the DBP naming scheme. When you say 'DBP26/7/19', which of the projects are you referring to?

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12 minutes ago, Omniarch said:

I must say I am a little confused by the DBP naming scheme. When you say 'DBP26/7/19', which of the projects are you referring to?

DBP 26 

+

DBP 7 

+

DBP 19

 

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Ah, thanks for the explanation. 26 in particular looks very interesting!

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9 hours ago, Omniarch said:

Okay, that's Three is a Crowd done!

 

Almost ;)

 

On 11/15/2020 at 4:25 PM, Omniarch said:

I will not be writing about the secret map today, I've had quite enough 3IAC for one sitting. I will probably share my thoughts about it on the 30th.

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that one, even if this month's DMC is officially wrapping up by now!

 

MAP30: Extinction Burst

This was the third map I made, alongside with the hellish area also partially featured on MAP06, MAP09, MAP28 and MAP29. In this one, the original protagonist finally gets released from the cage, and sets out to avenge the one who just set him free in his final moments.

 

It's a really unusual map, linear and fragmented. Semi-reasonable challenges alternate with a few ridiculously unfair ones that throw you into rooms full of monsters with no cover and require foreknowledge. Fortunately, the level's pacing keeps trial and error from being too painful. Once again, evoking a particular mood took priority over conventionally attractive gameplay. As its plans backfire, the powerful being you're fighting against loses its cool, and uses the same teleport attack as it did against your friend to fling you into a number of unfair traps - such as a room with eight arch-viles and no cover whatsoever, for instance. But you still prevail, through sheer determination... with a sprinkle of time-bending powers, perhaps.

 

It begins with a pistol start once more, but this time you regain your gear very quickly - some of it you kept in your cage the entire time, some more, alongside the fateful yellow skull, taken from your fallen comrade, and the chaingun from the teleport hub your comrade originally came through, where a little skirmish between imps and chaingunner zombies apparently took place while your comrade was busy suffering through the trials of MAP29. That entrance from the playable area of MAP28 is an interesting one, but I didn't think of mentioning it before. While 3IAC as a whole cares little about realism, it has a whole bunch of worldbuilding bits here and there, even in Hell. MAP05 has a little conveyor belt with hanging bodies and lava, and you can see it extend beyond the playable area through a pipe made of midtextures. MAP28/MAP30 has this room that looks like a teleport hub, seemingly allowing demons from all corners of hell to come and speak with their leader.

 

On to the actual map, the first trap you get thrown into as you try to ascend the stairs is one of the unfair ones, with enemies from every side and no cover. My preferred strategy for this one is to fire the SSG immediately after teleporting, before you can even move or see anything. This clears out some of the demons in front of you, freeing up a bit of precious maneuvering space. And since it's meant to be a death trap, just making it hard to survive wasn't enough. It also has no apparent exit at all, but of course it doesn't take our hero too long to locate the hidden passage, probably built for the demons themselves.

 

Next up is a little less chaotic obstacle, inside a quasi-outdoors area just like on MAP29. The bars that drop down suddenly don't do much to hamper your ability to grab the invulnerability, but it's the thought that counts. After that comes the ultimate unfair trap, eight archviles with no cover and no hope unless you still have the invulnerability left over after treating it as a very expensive radsuit. And of course it has no obvious exit again. Neither does the area after that, which is a different style of quasi-outdoors (also used by MAP29 before), and is much more forgiving thanks to spider masterminds being spider mansterminds. Let's just pretend that making them infight was a feat of ingenuity on our hero's part.

 

And finally, there's the part with barrels. Believe it or not, the intended way to survive this one is actually to grab the armor, let the barrels in the back get crushed, and then race the chain reaction to the teleporter, killing the monsters along the way and trying not to set off any more explosions along the way. And I did it, many times. Then I discovered that thing with shooting the barrels behind the crusher and running towards them. I really would've patched that out, and forced you all to race the barrels, if it wasn't for the fact that not letting the player take advantage of the designer's oversight would go against the entire concept behind this level.

 

One of the fun things about this map is that all the wild teleporting gave me an excuse to incorporate a lot of different themes. Every place you get thrown into looks different - first the gritty brown dungeon, then the bright burning yellow rocky valley, followed by a borderline techbasey room, then some vine-covered green brick exterior, and finally a fancy wooden mansion. I didn't have any custom textures yet when I was making this map, and so the long corridor has a bunch of weird lava cubes to serve as ceiling lights.

 

It all culminates in a scene that closely parallels the title screen: you find yourself in a gray orthagonal maze, with a giant goat-headed monster looming above it all and trying to stop you from making it out alive. I didn't think of that parallel when I designed it, or at least not consciously, but it's really cool that it's there.

 

 . . .

 

Once again, thanks to everyone who played through this megawad and offered their unique perspectives! I hope you enjoyed my own commentary as well. I might release one final update to 3IAC, with a few final tweaks/bugfixes and improved deathmatch levels, inspired by DMC's observations, the deathmatch games between me and Omniarch, and Thursday Night Survival #481 coop session helpfully recorded by @valkiriforce. I can't believe I implemented all those co-op anti-softlocks, but somehow overlooked the one-use door on MAP10.

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52 minutes ago, Scypek2 said:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that one, even if this month's DMC is officially wrapping up by now!

Oh dear, I completely forgot about that one! I'll play it soon and share my thoughts here, as usual.

 

54 minutes ago, Scypek2 said:

I hope you enjoyed my own commentary as well.

I did indeed. Hearing the thought processes behind maps is always interesting to me, both as a player and an aspiring mapper.

 

53 minutes ago, Scypek2 said:

I might release one final update to 3IAC, with a few final tweaks/bugfixes and improved deathmatch levels, inspired by DMC's observations, the deathmatch games between me and Omniarch, and Thursday Night Survival #481 coop session helpfully recorded by @valkiriforce. I can't believe I implemented all those co-op anti-softlocks, but somehow overlooked the one-use door on MAP10.

Yes, please do. That'll give me an excuse to play 3IAC again! Also, I'll be more than happy to help test any new deathmatch areas.

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A few notes about maps I feel I should make clear for a DBP26/7/19 December:

 

-Map12 of DBP26 is a credits map only, so DBP26 would run the 1st-11th, DBP7 start on the 12th

-DBP19 is technically 25 maps, but odd-numbered maps in DBP19 are simply a tour through the 'story hub' (and intro/outro), so there would be two maps per day for DBP19 - there are 12 (even-numbered) 'gameplay' levels per se. If DBP19 was started on the 18th or 19th, there would be the 31st (and maybe 30th) to spare for 'catching up' still

-If this makes the month a bit 'heavy' still, then DBP18 might be a good substitute for DBP26, with seven levels as opposed to eleven

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A DBPs collection for the next DWmegawad club? That's like throwing gold to my face. I'm in!

 

(Tho, I have already finished both DBP26 and 07.)

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MAP30: Extinction Burst

This is a strong final level, and a high note to end on. Things seem tough, but easy to get to secrets, decent early supplies and possibly a little GZDoom luck on my side (particularly with the little maze at the end, where the Cyberdemon rockets couldn't clear the walls and I was safe until they lowered). The music is hectic, the challenge works through multiple stages and there's no stupid IoS fight (we got that in the last map, instead). No complaints here, I had a blast with this one.

 

 

And that brings me to the end of the WAD. 32 maps played in 30 days. Probably five or six that I didn't enjoy much at all, maybe 10-15 really strong ones and the remainder were serviceable, functional and generally alright. First episode definitely was the weakest for me, whilst the third had the best highlight maps and the second was probably strongest overall... I think. Third might have just pipped it, with the great city theme and sky. I summarised my overall thoughts for the map set in my post for MAP29, and I stand by that assessment. This is a strong mapset from a technical perspective, and something I can respect as a mapper, but not necessarily one I'd recommend to play for the average player. I suspect it's going to be under strong consideration for the awards in 10 days time, though, as it's quite the feat!

 

Congratulations to @Scypek2 on this set and all you've managed. Hopefully we continue to see maps from you pushing the boundaries of Doom.

 

 

As for the vote for next month, I guess I'll go with the flow and rule out my last vote (I'll cross it out in my other post, or something) in favour of:

+++ DBP26, DBP07, DBP19

 

It's a shame 19 won't fall on "the 12 days of Christmas" like I'd originally hoped, but this does incorporate both Xmas sets and one of the strongest DBP themes to date. Plus I didn't map for 2/3 of these, so I don't have to try and dredge up anything to say :P

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MAP 30 (Extinction Burst):

 

Status:

*Deaths: 2 (Both deaths from barrels)

*Saves: 1 (Barrel area)

 

Important Note: I played this map with the Pistol Start to be fair, since, if I had played it from where I left it, I would most likely not have needed to have made a Save for progress.

 

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-142910.png

 

(YOU!!!)

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143009.png

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143045.png

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143159.png

 

(xD moment.jpg)

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143325.png

 

(Dude!, This area is brutal!)

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143503.png

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143739.png

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-143954.png

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-144116.png

 

(Die B*tch... DIE!)

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-144840.png

 

(Game Over)

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-144846.png

 

(Rest in peace, fallen warriors...)

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-145052.png

Screenshot-Doom-20201130-145057.png

 

To be a final map, in truth it was very extreme, in the decoration part, because there is not much to say, except that most of them were confinement boxes with enemies, but the one that stands out in this part would be the area of the barrels, since this area has at least some interior decoration, for everything else, there are no important comments. Now in the difficulty, heck, it really was quite a spectacle of shootouts, enemies running around there and there, unforeseen ambushes, and much more, here they are all, ALL the enemies of Doom 2, well, not all of them actually, I lack the Pain Elemental, but everything was fine anyway, the part that was most horrible was with the area where there were 2 Spider Masterminds, and the area with the barrels, which apparently made the barrel fun a little more intense than any other. seen, anyway, it was a very interesting way to end all this crazy adventure full of sacrifices, goodbye IoS!!

.

.

.

.

.

 

Well people, it was a pleasure to have participated in this MegaWad, the truth is that I will have to retire from the club for a while, because now, hard times are coming for me, so, maybe in a new opportunity I will be able to rejoin the club to complete Another Megawad, at some point in the not too distant future, I wish you all the best for your lives, and we will see you very soon.

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12 hours ago, Scypek2 said:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that one, even if this month's DMC is officially wrapping up by now!

Well, here are my thoughts, belatedly. Enjoy!

 

MAP32: Wrong Turn - 111% kills 100% secrets

Well, that was a trip! Like in all the best 3IAC maps, everything comes together in this one to create a unique and interesting experience.

 

Now, before playing this map, I thought to myself "Since 3IAC is already so odd, odd enough that regular levels here are stranger than most secret levels, how on earth (or hell) is Scypek2 going to one up himself?" Well, turns out this is how.

 

Wrong Turn, out of all the Doom levels I've played, comes the closest to emulating true dream logic. Obviously, due to the inherent rationality of game systems and the uniqueness of each individual's dreamscape, true emulation is impossible, but this map does a damn fine job!

 

There are essentially three sections to this map, all of which play out in linear order (a mercy in such a strange map). These are the opening hallway and its adjoining rooms, the northern section and the twisted memory section.

 

The opening hallway is an interesting encounter, encouraging first-time players to simply let the opposition tear itself apart. Of course, if you have played the map before, grabbing the large cache to the south will kit you out nice and early, though in this case you might find yourself a tad short of ammo later on. Interestingly, if you play with any degree of competence, it is very difficult to actually run out of ammo or health in this map. I appreciate the restraint here, since it would be so easy to make the map overly frustrating by depriving the player in addition to confusing them. This area also contains the map's first secret, easy enough to find with a little pattern-recognition, which comes in very handy in a few encounters later on.

 

The northern section is probably the most eccentric. Initially I was quite confused, and it took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that the play-space was offset by 64 map units north relative to the textures. After that, the area was relatively easy, apart from the revenant fight, which takes advantage of the player's subconscious reflexes to make the encounter far more interesting. This area is where the dream logic really starts to kick in, forcing the player to abandon their ideas of what is normal and conform to an alien mindset in order to progress. This represents an (albeit brief) return to the principles of the first episode, which relies on subversion and alienation to sell its particular brand of hell.

 

After this comes the twisted memory section, a tour through maps completed and maps yet to come (at this point in the progression at least). I am personally really fond of maps that make use of elements from previous entries in a wad to their own ends. My favourite example of this is No End In Sight's E2M9 "Castle of Illusion" by Xaser, which is a brilliant, Warrens-style subversion of his strangely-ubiquitous "Receiving Station".

 

Interestingly, this section's main source of tension comes from the fact that the player does not know which of the revisited areas will contain actual encounters. I actually died in the MAP10 section since I was not expecting opposition of that magnitude. I also like the secret in said area, a nice twisted callback. I also find it quite poetic that the exit of this level is the regular exit of MAP15. Nice touch. I'm not sure how it is possible to be nostalgic for a wad you just played, but this section had that effect on me regardless. This map actually works surprisingly well as an epilogue of sorts, reminding me of all the good times I've had playing this wad.

 

Overall, a very good secret map, representing everything I like about Three is a Crowd. Wrong Turn is everything a secret map should be.

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