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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia

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Maps 17 and 18

Map 17 is not memorable or interesting in my mind. It is just a map that exists. Meh

Map 18 seems much more action packed and intense. This one was extra difficult because of Colorful Hell. I died a few times before finding the strategy below.

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time for more maps! 

 

MAP16 : out of a cave into a sludge pool where a caco, revs and shotgunners all want to say hi. A BFG lies in the middle of the pool, so I grab it. Continuing the inconsistency of floors, the sludge is non damaging... I grab the free soulsphere and go towards the lift. I kill the imps and specters and grab that blue key, but not before picking up all ammo I can find. As expected, there came a swarm of revs and I rocketed them to death. Up the lift again, and then I fall into a inescapable pool of now damaging floor and die... Were we go again. Second run went much better, now to not fall again.. Plasma in hand, get rid of chaingunners and cacos, then the spiders, then grab the key, then the revs and the other cacos. With both keys in hand I move to the blue door, a small swarm of pecters barely slows me down, as I race towards the yellow key. Grabbing it brings the first AV of the map, but he dies fast.Opening the yellow door, a gallery of chaingunners awaits me. Switching to the BFG I shoot. And now, a teleport waits me. If I can jump into it. I can. 5 minutes, 49 seconds, 1 death and 100% K/S/I.

 

MAP17  Oh yey, more sludge.. But this time it's damaging, yey. I run towards a suit (and some imps) and the towards a metal hashtag floor where chaingunners try to kill me. From the hashtag (after pressing the switch) I can jump inside the relative safety of a building, grab a soulsphere and be teased by the red key. Another trip round the hashtag, grab a RL, kill shotguners and zombiemen, a teleporting HK, and reach the red key, releasing a small ambush and then, it's back to the hashtag for a stroll in the sludge, towards the red door. Up the stairs, chaingunned from behind and cacoed from outside, my soulphere is now emptied. Entering a side room I get pretty low on health but find the secret teleport to the middle of the hashtag and by the time I return I'm all pumped up and full of life. Pressing the switch opens not the door but the walls next to it and I'm faced with a platforming run towards the YK. And the back to press the other switch, and I can run to the exit. However! I'm two secrets short. Seret one takes me outside, and secret two is a small short hidden cache of health potions.

9 minutes 12 seconds, 0 deaths but 100$ K/S/I!

 

MAP18 : Oh, a plutonia hot start! imps, zombiemen, shotgunners and chaingunners all around, shooting at me. I'm in some kind of castle in blood, and I cross quickly form one building to another, grab the armor, kill everything in my path, and keep running. There's a chaingunner trap after grabbing a plasma gun. I eventually fall into the blood while trying to reach a megasphere, and have to wander around until I find a teleport back to the start. From there I go grab the megasphere and then find the red switch, press, go to the new area of the castle, grab a surprisingly underguarded blue key, teleport into a ledge, press a switch and it's done. 8m07s, 0 deaths, 100% K/S/I and that's all she wrote for today.

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MAP18: Neurosphere

    Go forward, grab yourself a Shottie off a dead Sergeant, and run towards the SSG and into the building with the spiral staircase. Kill the Chaingunners on the right wall, and ...

 

... Congratulations, you have beaten the MAP18. After this S P I C Y H O T start, the map is easy. It looks very good, even better than the map it's cribbing from. The brown and red from the skies and the blood really make this map look nice. The reason for the map's low difficulty after the start can be laid squarely upon the BFG + Megasphere "secret". Without it, the final fight would be a lot scarier, especially since the map does not provide a Rocket Launcher or Plasma Gun.

 

    All in all, I really liked this map. It's not hard, but the start gets your heart pumping and the overall package is nice to look at.

 

The Video:

 

 

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Map 18: Neurosphere UV, continuous

The Inmost dens, but more hitscanners..... fun?

 

Seriously though, this map is pretty solid. The architecture is nice looking, too. The traps are also pretty lethal. The start is pretty hectic, with shotgunners teleporting in and imps on the sides. The hitscanner placement in this map is quite affective( you can tell by the number of times I perished due to the leaks sprung by chaingun bullets). The map does use Hitscanners a bit too much for my liking(yes, I know that plutonia as a whole is infamous for it's use of hitscanners, but in most combat encounters, the use of archviles and revenants outweighs it's use of hitscanners) though thankfully the first few minutes of the map have the most hitscanners. The traps are especially lethal. My favorite is the bridge you jump onto spawning chaingunners( I'm really getting tired of using those words in any sentence). The rest of the map is fine, though my growing paranoia was expecting a lot more traps.

 

What the hell is a neurosphere, anyway?

 

Kills:100%

secrets:100%

Deaths: 5

Paranoia: 85%

Worry that the word "chaingunner" will become an irreversible part of my vocabulary: YES       

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So this is it. The big one. ‘32: Go 2 It’. I still have vague memories of the first time I played this level. I was awestruck with how relentless it was. I couldn’t believe that they made a level so jam packed with monsters. This is Plutonia, once again, breaking the rules and pushing the envelope. The image of those ‘bleachers’ is one of the most memorable parts of this wad.

 

I put on invincibility and did a practice run of this level just to figure out how this level actually works and what you are supposed to do to beat it. I made notes on the fact that picking up the red key unleashes all them archviles and pain elementals on the other side of the map. Or at least that’s what I thought. When I actually played the level, before getting the yellow key, many pain elementals released. Even though the baseball arena filled with lost souls, I remained calm and took care of it cautiously.

 

This is the wad that introduced me to ‘archvile parties’, groups of archviles that go to town on a group of monsters you already slain. I had forgotten that this level did this. Years later after playing this wad for the first time I would encounter this trope again in community-made wads although I had forgotten about its use in Plutonia and wouldn’t make the connection.

 

I knew that there was an archvile party that takes over the arena when you are coming back after opening the red key door, but I forgot about the one that appears when you get the blue key later. The baseball arena one, I used about 500 cells shooting BFG shots at them and got rid of most of them. After that I moved to the northeastern stairwell and fired rockets into the bleachers. I had to plow through lots of revenants but the return fire wasn’t too bad and eventually I killed the last archvile.

 

Cyberdemon fights weren’t too bad. It was nervewracking to fight four cyberdemons especially with no mid-level saves. I got blindsided by a rocket which basically means it was time to pick up one of the megaspheres lying around the level. It felt like when it came to cell usage, I was either too frugal or too liberal with BFG shots.

 

In the case of the cyberdemon in the blue key door, I got him with a BFG shot then finished him off by shooting him with SSG around the corner. When I opened the last area of the map, I let myself get surrounded by hell barons and even smoked myself with a rocket. I switched to plasma rifle and held my ground, though.

 

The final three cyberdemons were intimidating, especially since I was at the end of the level. I got out the BFG and attacked but just as I killed one of them I was clipped by a rocket. I retreated out of there and ran around the level to find a megasphere but I used them all. With 100 health I went back into the column section and fired BFG until they were both toast. I roamed the level to find all the ammo I could then left the level. This was the first time I beat the level in one go, not that I've tried before. Still, this wasn't as bad as I thought!

 

‘Plunge Saw’ by Bucket isn’t a bad song but for a standout level like Go 2 It, I would want something really wild. I know it samples ‘Nobody Told Me About id’ to honour the original map’s use of that theme, but I don’t like the original’s use of that theme for this legendary level. It’s still a good track with intricate synth melodies.

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MAP18: Neurosphere

 

The Inmost Dens, but a little bit harder and better looking. The general impression I have of this level is the same as in MAP04: untapped potential. In this specific case it's even more blatant, since the hot start is easier to ignore and finding the secret BFG renders the rest of the proceedings a mere formality. The biggest issue I have with it is the lack of a rocket launcher, considering there's 46 rockets (!) that will be left unused if you're pistol starting (kinda like STRAIN MAP12 or Sacrament MAP11, but at least you get a RL on lower skills in those levels).

 

I think replacing the secret BFG with a RL would improve my perception of this level a lot - granted, it wouldn't solve the noticeable difficulty drop after the start but at least the two arch-viles wouldn't be a pushover and thus a lot more fun to tackle. Bummer.

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MAP17: A funnier level from the previous map, the layout uses for good the 3D space and interconnectivity between areas a gameplay is thought and fun. Pretty cool level. "Compound" makes me think of something that have to do computers lol. Instead is a synomin for "composite".

 

MAP18: And the levels goodness rises up by 1 with this MAP14 remake (another one? Sure Casali's really likes this particular map from Doom 2, isn't?) in visual department with some charming looking lighting works in the rooms, in layout for another interconnected map with another great use of 3D space, even better from the original. In the easy skill that i'm playing (HNTR) the monster placement is good and the opposition is thought, but after taking the blue key it becomes extremely empty. But overall, very good map! With the expection of MAP16, so far episode 2 contains the best maps of the wad.

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10. Onslaught (Dario Casali)

 

Working Title "My Kingdom For A Super Shotgun". Of course you do eventually get one as well as a Rocket Launcher and, in a fairly easy to find secret, plasma rifle but a good portion of this level has you chipping the HP off cacos, revenants and hell knights with a shotgun or chaingun and in my playthrough had me checking my ammo counter for what I think was the first time in Plutonia so far. This leaves the first of half of the map a little sloggish to get through. My woes were compounded after having any hopes of using my carried over weapons dashed in the opening seconds of the level with thanks to the troll chaingunner positioned directly behind me.

 

The early experiences of the level involved pushing through to new areas hoping to find better weapons but only running into more troubles. I suffered several more deaths after saving myself into a tight situation in the brown sludge sewer area, which involved a dead end, two steadily advancing Hell Knights and just a shotgun to take them down with.

 

After I got the requisite arsenal the counterbalance tipped back into my favour and the second half of the map was relatively straight forward.

This wasn't a perfect level, it felt very unbalanced and if you don't find any secrets (hard to imagine as they really only require a cursory amount of detective work) I can imagine it would cause some frustration. Still, there were some tense moments and a couple of simple but effective setups so I will award a purist point to Dario to put him 4-3 ahead of his brother.

 

11. Hunted (Dario Casali)

 

Probably the most iconic Plutonia map and one of the best ever uses of a maze in Doom. It seems like a waste of wear and tear on my keyboard to describe this level since it is so well known. Whilst it is one that I don't necessarily relish to play, Dario does an incredible job of executing the concept. Aside for the maze itself there are additional artistic touches that give the level a real menacing character such as the foreshadowing of the archviles in the start area, the choice of walkover trigger lines opening nearby doors, the use of the twisted Doom ending music, the absence of health and the twin exit areas that will bestow a final barb at a player failing to choose wisely. Even the secret, revealing the guiding lights, shows a creative effort beyond what sounds like a basic concept on paper (not that they helped me much being the inept orienteerer that I am).

 

My playthrough had me carry over a PR with a healthy amount of cells that I could use if I had the misfortune of running into more the one AV at a time and I needed a panic button. For the most part though I felt pretty much in control and, other than a couple of hairy moments, I felt like it was me doing the hunting. I didn't die on this map but I don't mind admitting I was saving in the last third of it, having spent longer navigating the maze than I had any desire of repeating from scratch. It goes without saying that Hunted gathers a purist point and that means Dario stretches his lead to 5 - 3.

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Map18: UV-Max in 2:21

This one has a 'fuck you' hot start that will be rough for anyone who tries to stay on the starting platform and fight the enemies there, which is probably what I did when I played this map for the first time. Moving forward will still expose you to some hitscan, but not as much, and there's megaarmor and two medikits right there, so your odds of survival increase significantly. The megasphere/BFG secret is available soon after that, and it trivializes the rest of the map. Any otherwise significant threat from this point can be instantly wiped out by a well-placed BFG shot, and the megasphere allows you to position yourself for that shot without worrying about the hail of bullets coming your way. Pretty enjoyable, actually.

 

 

pl18stuff.zip

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MAP18 - "Neurosphere" - Milo Casali (100%K/I/S) - 1 death:

It's 1996, you need ideas to make a map for a megaWAD, then you remember The Inmost Dens, every single mapset back in that time had an Inmost Dens recreation, Plutonia was not the exception, Doom II's MAP14 with a Milo twist, circle shapes in the automap, and a blue armor to sustain all the chaingunner damage. The only time I died is at the start, and not because everyone start shooting you immediately, but because I exited the starting area without even noticing there are chaingunners outside waiting to pummel you. It's actually better to play with the inner walls and kill everyone teleporting from the inside, before going out. I've looked somewhat stupid by no noticing that. The map is Doom II's type of hard, it had its moments, but it was kind of a relief compared to other Plutonia maps. Still, one of the maps I enjoyed the most, and posibly the best rendition of The Inmost Dens out there. Although pretty short as with other Plutonia maps. I tried many times to get this AV jump to reach the end back in the day, I love cheesing Plutonia exits.

Deaths: 141 (UV Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)
 

Order of preference:

 

Spoiler

 

MAP18
MAP12
MAP14
MAP17
MAP11
MAP04
MAP01

MAP10
MAP03

MAP09
MAP07
MAP05
MAP02

MAP13
MAP06
MAP08
MAP16

 

 

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Map18: Neurosphere

A remake of The Inmost Dens by Milo, and he did a pretty damn good job. It starts with a hot start, with monsters teleporting in as soon as the map starts. I like the layout of this map too. One of my favorites. Well done, Milo :)

Spoiler

I wanted to name this one "The Inmost Dens, The Way Milo Did" but nah.

 

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Shit, accidentally double posted. Bad internet does some wacky stuff. Is there some way to delete posts?

 

Edited by Valhen

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(Crispy Doom, UV, Pistol Start, No Saves)

hc_plu12.zip

MAP12 - Speed

 

This map is a grand, sprawling adventure for Continuous players, but kind of a slog on Pistol Start. Oh, I adore the opening movement test where you have to pick up your whole arsenal without getting instantly killed (even if it's infuriatingly random how much HP you'll preserve), but overall the experience is grueling rather than thrilling.

 

Part of it is the sheer length of the map (a 15 minute journey is a marathon by Plutonia standards) and part of it is the scarcity of resources along the course of your adventure (also a major outlier in this mapset). I had grown so used to being handed full ammo and told "now go fight!" that it was a bit jarring to have to get back in the mindset of rationing all my rockets & cells for the distant finale. There are things I like about the map, but it's probably the Plutonia map I least enjoy replaying.

 

It certainly has a strong aesthetic. This wood & metal castle - in the grand Thy Flesh Consumed tradition - gets a lot of mileage out of a small number of textures, and does a good job showing off the E2 sky (even if it's a little frustrating how the dramatically-silhouetted Chaingunners are placed way out at the very edge of what your autoaim can reach). It's got a unified color palette that uses architecture well to make the different areas stand out from each other.

 

The map's got some memorable gimmicks, too, most notably the bosses who protect the red & blue keys.

 

The sneak attack done by the Arch-Viles is a cheap shot since it takes advantage of the player being disoriented and blinded, but I think there's a lot of character in the latest magic trick that these illusionists & tricksters have come up with. It honestly makes sense based on what we've learned about how these bastards don't fight fair. Plus, the player is given a blue armor immediately beforehand to balance it out.
The "warp back & forth between different sniper positions" gimmick from MAP07 is reused here, and while it was first used to put the player in a damage-race with the monster, here it's not as dangerous and only serves as a barrier to players who are trying to go fast. After the initial surprise, managing which of the four coffins you currently have line-of-sight with is a rudimentary task; I'm glad to have been able to put the Viles down safely, but the sound of the constant teleport spam did get a little grating.

 

I can appreciate how the Cyberdemon who rules over the western area of the map is positioned specifically to protect the path to the blue key and the elevator up from the trench at the bottom - I love how nerve-wracking it is to trigger the lift, get the hell away from it, and then time the next dash in so that you catch it just as it begins to rise in order to avoid getting splattered by the overseer up above.

But it's kind of weird how, from certain diagonal angles, he's more bark than bite and the terrifying instakill attacks you had to avoid are almost completely nullified. While it's interesting how these tiny pillars are just tall enough to block projectiles, I think that the next map does a much better job of actually teaching the concept. This Cyberdemon setup just seems unintuitive and arbitrary; I don't think I'd ever have realized without checking the internet's wealth of folklore. Ignoring the trick and SSG-ing him down from the central hub seems to be the intended method anyway - I really like how you have to dash from cover to cover before you finally get to the switch that lets you teleport out of his room and get into a position to fight more safely.

 

I wasn't a big fan of the item balance on Pistol Start. The ammo-rationing required in this map meant that I would be leaning on my shell weapons whenever possible, and that meant I had to backtrack for leftover shell boxes regularly. And while I like how the architecture uses height differences and wraps back on itself, repeatedly taking the same long, winding paths got to be a little annoying. I wish this map had had a Backpack in it to nullify all that extra travel.

 

Plutonia names are usually nonsensical and firmly in the "don't worry about it" category, but I have no idea why this one was named Speed, or why Facing The Spider was chosen as its midi. Both seem very unfitting. It's not that it's a bad thing that this is a lengthy, involved journey back and forth across the map to uncover everything - I have no grudge against that old-school design sense where you let the player go in any direction they want, and trust them to suss out what the most optimal path is. I just think that Plutonia is at its best when it's laser-focused on a handful of setpiece battles, either around a hub or in a linear sequence. I enjoy this megawad most when it's keeping things short, sharp, & specific.

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I played through MAP32 (with -solo-net) and have gotten to the point where there's only cyberdemons left, but so far have relied on dsda-doom's rewind functionality to get through the cyberdemons successfully. The thing about all those extra cyberdemons is that they easily overpower everything else in the map, so it doesn't take much for the map to become nothing but Doomguy vs. 20+ cyberdemons, and I've never really enjoyed battling large cyberdemon monocultures. There's even more cell ammo in this map than in single-player, so you still don't have to be very efficient with the BFG. I do like this map in single-player. It has a nice open design that allows different ways of approaching each area. It's not too difficult if you take things slowly, but top players can play very aggressively and produce some insane runs. I like the use of E2M8's music to evoke the feeling of "shit's gotten real" similar to that first-ever encounter with the cyberdemon. The Plutonia MIDI pack's track pays homage to this but also makes me think of some sort of hellish carnival, which is kind of what this map is with its over-the-top nature.

 

MAP17 - Compound

UV Max (-solo-net) from pistol start

 

A quirky map, starting with the forced floor damage at the start. Speaking of which, the slime at the start deals damage, but the identical-looking slime in the secret area doesn't even if you go there without the provided rad suit! Then there's the barrels blocking the steps to the yellow key with their infinite height - not sure what the point of this is except to screw with the player. Maybe they're there to delay players trying to access the plasma gun and BFG in deathmatch? When you hit the switch to open the way to the yellow key, you'd expect the "door" to raise or lower, but instead it's the walls that lower and the door that stays in place. Aside from weird stuff like this I don't have much to say about this map, the combat doesn't stand out.

 

The co-op additions are a mild annoyance but nothing too game-changing. There are a couple extra spectres in the slime that have a tendency to block your way in the beginning. The most significant addition is four extra barons in the room north of the "#". From a pistol start, you won't have enough ammo to deal with them immediately, so I dealt with them by luring them into the exit room, then running past them to the red key and the nearby secret. The secret contains a lot of ammo, after which you can deal with the barons. There are a handful of other enemies added for co-op that don't make much difference to the gameplay. There's a plasma gun and BFG added too, but they're near the end of the map (on the steps leading to the yellow key) so they're not very useful for co-op.

 

MAP18 - Neurosphere

UV Max (-solo-net) from pistol start

 

A nice-looking take on The Inmost Dens, but too easy for its map slot after the (very) hot start. The secret with the BFG and megasphere is incredibly obvious, and makes an already not so difficult map even easier. Funnily enough, the BFG is there only on Ultraviolence/Nightmare, and not on lower difficulties (not that you would need it). Ammo placement is strange, with not just some, but most, of the ammo being for a weapon that's not even present in the map (the rocket launcher). Jimmy's MIDI for this map is great, but except for the start the map itself doesn't live up to its intensity.

 

In co-op, there is at least a rocket launcher, but it's near the end of the map (placed with the blue key) so you never get the chance to use all that ammo. I assume the rocket launcher was meant for deathmatch. The map showers you with even more rocket ammo too - according to the stats on Doom Wiki, there's 46 boxes of rockets compared to single-player's 9 boxes. There's also 12 energy cell packs, many of them stacked in the tunnels down in the blood pool. There's a cyberdemon outside the building with the blue key, but it's in an open area so it's easy to deal with, and with some luck the cyberdemon may also kill all the enemies guarding the blue key for you. Just be careful at the start of the map - the cyberdemon is able to shoot rockets there! There's also a line of six arch-viles in the long (and normally empty) corridor leading to the exit, so after going through the blue door's teleporter, take some cover behind the wall and spam that BFG.

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MAP16 - "The Omen" by Milo Casali

CA88A8A16F0A91B1D18D1B4D6577204C1CEABF99

 

Small and somewhat peculiar map where the Red Key doesn't even matter. What is the point of riding up a pillar, opening the red bars, and then flipping a switch to lower the teleporter when you can simply do just the riding part and walk into it? The Blue Key fight is decently challenging if you don't simply bail out, largely because you don't have any armour until the final room. Speaking of the final room, it's packed with no less than 49 hitscanners. You can pop most of them with the BFG but I'm still left wondering: "What was the point?" There are also several places where it's over if you fall off, including the exit room where I took a step back upon arrival. It does look cool with all those slimefalls.

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MAP17 - "Compound" by Dario Casali

68D9F195EF3E63CFEA223A6C306B80484E20B82C

 

Mandatory pain sectors from the very start? Yep! Pistol start progression here is highly suspect. You get 200 cells but no plasma weapon and the Green Armour is obtained in an unmarked secret towards the end of the level. The main danger here are all the well-placed hitscanners followed by the nukage. You get one suit at the start and another in a secret. The Yellow Key trap that's mostly a bunch of Imps, a Baron, and Vile is rather low energy. I am also undecided on whether or not infinite heighting the player with barrels before the Yellow Key is clever or annoying, but I'm playing with a mod in GZDoom where it doesn't apply. I do like the central piece of geometry and how it's used to connect the entrances to the main building there.

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MAP19: NME (No, not that one)

    Plutonia is starting to crib more and more from UDooM and DooM II maps, E2M1 in this case. The map is trap-heavy but you are given ample weapons and health, so you should have no problems surviving. The Yellow Key trap can be easily cheesed by retreating and holding down the fire button on the Rocket Launcher, and the map also features the world's most helpless Cyberdemon. Just bully him with the BFG.

 

The Video:

 

 

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and now, for my daily dose of Plutonia!

 

MAP 19 : I step out of the 'port and a imp is there, so I communicate in the only language he understands : shotgun. A few steps and a zombiman steps out of the other teleport, and again we talk. I step into the teleport, grab a SSG, a few ammo, kill more imps, return to find a pair of chaingunners, a plasma gun and a rev+specter trap. After killing those I stand for a while, shooting at the imps that drip in. When they are all dead I go back to the 'port and press a switch, imps revs and pinkies come to party. I play for them a music made of SSG shots before stepping into the new 'port. Chaingunners, shotgunners, imps and even a rev! Everyone wants to dance! When the music dies down I take the left tunnel . There's a imp ambush in the middle and at the end of the tunnel a bunch of different monsters. The SSG wasn't playing a tune they enjoyed so a I switched to the rocket launcher but.. I was out of rhythm and ended up fried up by a 'ville.

 Second go: This time my instrument of choice is the plasma gun,and what beautiful symphonies I make with it! They dance until their corpses line the floor, and only then do I go and grab the yellow skull. Going back, a caco and a pain elemental want a little dancing too, so I, ever the generous man, grant it to them before moving to the right side wing. I go carefully up the steps, across the bridge, up more steps until I find a door.. It's the as of yet unreachable exit, so I go back, there was a door in that central courtyard and that is the way to the next party. A single zombiman in a corridor, but before I reach the teleport, *puff* I'm magically transported to another bridge, where two more zombiemen die to my plasma, and then I port into a tight room where my plasma gives a baron and some imps the chance to make a improvised dance number. I grab ammo and press the switch, nothing that I can see happens,  but I'm ported back to the courtyard where a cyberdemon is there. He too is making music with his rocket launcher. And I loose this battle of the bands, his rocket-to-the-face proving too much for my plasma-to-the-torso.

 Third go, from the top : so far so good, but this time I sing a different tune and my BFG rages against the dying cyber, his cries unheard under the clamoring of the plasma ball blowing up on his face. Teleport, switch, stairs, bridge, stairs, and the end is here. But first, a secret eludes me.. Ah, I see. that port that was closed at the beginning.  Good, now I'll be all armored and at full health for tomorrow' challenge! 

 And at 9m58 seconds, 2 deaths and 100% K/S/I, I'm done for the day.

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MAP19: NME

 

Probably one of the most evil Plutonia levels, just about every trap here can kill you if you're not prepared for it. Thankfully you're given every weapon in the game (other than the chainsaw and berserk) outside secrets to make it a little bit easier. It also showcases a tendency for one-two sucker punches. One of them starts with the narrow corridor that opens into a crowd of imps on both sides, quickly followed by a teleport trap in the coverless yellow key room, arch-vile included! The other one also features a arch-vile plus an assortment of other demons in a coverless room, and when you teleport out you're immediately under fire by a Cyberdemon before you even understand where you are. Nasty!

 

This Cyberdemon in particular is the antithesis of its counterparts in MAP06 and MAP12 - those were merely a high HP paperweight, but this one is pretty dangerous and even more so if you want to be quick and ammo efficient. The obvious way would be to teleport into its tiny room and two-shot it swiftly with the BFG, but from experience you'll eat a rocket about 80% of the time since you literally have no space to dodge. I even entertained a wacky idea, collecting the invisibility in the secret and use it for this purpose in the hopes that it'd disrupt its aim, but it was not very effective... Another commonly used strategy I've seen is to stand in a specific spot in the blood pool just in front of the boss so that you're safe from its rockets, but it requires at 3 BFG shots if you're lucky. If I want to play it safe, I just spray the cow with plasma from near the yellow door, which works wonders but it's not very fun.

 

Yeah, I dedicated a whole paragraph to the most annoying Cyberdemon in Plutonia, mainly because there's not much to say about the ending - maybe if the exit room was filled with arch-viles like in solo-net, but alas it was not to be. Oh, and don't fall when traversing the bridges, I don't really remember but I suspect the pits are inescapable. Plutonia is slowly returning to form...

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Map 18 is a quick romp through an eviller Inmost Dens. Between this, the original, and TWM01, im tired of this geometry. Had almost no problems at any point, the only trouble I had was the archvile on a ledge surrounded by toughs. Had to BFG that group three times. Generally, I save the BFG for archviles, I don't have time for their shit. Prefer fighting everything else with 'proper' weapons.

 

Map 19 is one I generally remember for its Deimos Anomaly ripoff start room, then the odd second half. Had to BFG severla archviles AND a cyberdemon, yet still left with 600 cells (and full health, armour and ammo in general)

 

Plutonia is much easier and shorter than I remember it being, especially after playing A.L.T. in the last few days for comparison.

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MAP19: Another really good map after MAP18, with less detailing like the previous but a much tougher in terms of gameplay. Fun and hard map.

As Pechudin says, this map is highly inspired to E2M1, especially in the map mechanics and the starting point, but it's not a direct ripoff, just a sort of homage. Yeah, the inescapable pit that Andromeda mentioned is pointless.

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Map 19: NME UV, continuous

This... honestly wasn't that bad.

 

The map's traps aren't as lethal as I expected.... am I getting better at doom?.... probably not, since so many other modern wads slice up my butt and serve it on a silver platter( that was a vivid mental picture.... why did I type that?).

I thought I'd give my personal analysis of why this map heightens my stress levels and the evil traps in the map itself... then I realized that plutonia may be running out of steam. I've almost become desensitized to fighting 4 revenants and 2 archviles or enemies teleporting in after walking ten bloody steps. I don't really understand it. Maybe I'm just getting cocky. 

 

The map itself is pretty challenging and the traps are fairly good. My personal favorite has to be the teleport trap that puts you in front of the revenants and chaingunners. Also, blood hurts you now.... I just.... am so tired of mentioning it, but it bothers me a lot. The cyberdemon that you fight near the end of the map isn't really a problem as long as you stay out of his line of fire. The problem is actually attempting to hit him with the BFG, as the tracers don't perform well through my use of cover.

 

The real NME was the friends we slayed  made along the way...

 

Kills:100%

Secrets:0%

Deaths:1

Confusion: 95%

Exhaustion: 110% 

 

     

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8 hours ago, Devalaous said:

Plutonia is much easier and shorter than I remember it being, especially after playing A.L.T. in the last few days for comparison.

 

Man, A.L.T. is a completely different beast. Good reminder, gotta revisit that WAD one day.

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MAP19 - "NME" by Milo Casali

 

Well I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would. I was aware this was another IWAD ripoff going into it, which it is, at least initially, but I did enjoy the combat. I neglected the plasma rifle before taking the teleport, which made the opening set-piece pretty challenging!

 

The soulsphere and megaarmor secret helps a lot with the rest of the traps, which otherwise feel like hindsight traps. The MIDI here is an excellent choice which really helps enhance the level’s atmosphere. Aesthetically it may be simple, but it works, and is one of the more pleasing levels to the eye in Plutonia in my view.

 

MAP20 - "The Death Domain" by Dario Casali

 

Well I ended up disliking this one more than I thought I would. Mainly because I wasn’t aware until starting it how horribly optimised for pistol start it is. Unless you enjoy getting chewed up consistently be chaingunners and arachnotrons right at the start that is. This is the one to break pistol starting for.

 

Even once you escape the initial carnage, the map barely lets up, with more chaingunners in hostile positions. That is, until you find the secret stash, then the level suddenly becomes easy.

 

Aside from the combat, I feel like this level has too many different themes going on in close proximity. Part outdoor plain, part sewer, part library, part techbase, part hellish environs, I’m not really sure what this map wants to be. I suppose one unifying theme of this map, is its love of the colour brown. My least favourite map so far.

 

Level rankings:

Spoiler

MAP15 - "The Twilight" by Milo Casali
MAP09 - "Abattoire" by Milo Casali
MAP05 - "Ghost Town" by Milo Casali
MAP08 - "Realm" by Milo Casali
MAP07 - "Caughtyard" by Dario Casali
MAP04 - "Caged" by Dario Casali
MAP01 - "Congo" by Milo Casali
MAP19 - "NME" by Milo Casali
MAP12 - "Speed" by Milo Casali
MAP13 - "The Crypt" by Milo Casali
MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali
MAP17 - "Compound" by Dario Casali
MAP18 - "Neurosphere" by Milo Casali
MAP10 - "Onslaught" by Dario Casali
MAP06 - "Baron's Lair" by Dario Casali
MAP03 - "Aztec" by Milo Casali
MAP11 - "Hunted" by Dario Casali
MAP16 - "The Omen" by Milo Casali
MAP14 - "Genesis" by Dario Casali
MAP31 - "Cyberden" by Dario Casali
MAP20 - "The Death Domain" by Dario Casali

 

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Maps 19 and 20

I enjoy map 19 quite a bit. It is short, though.

Map 20 was ok. The fight starts immediately and doesn't get much easier as it goes. I got my nuke on after nearly dying, though.

 

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Map19: UV-Max in 3:17
More BFG-oriented combat, and lots of teleporters. I experienced some annoying situations with enemies rapidly teleporting in and out of certain areas, and I'm sure the teleporters are responsible for the missing imp at the end of this run.

 

 

pl19stuff.zip

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MAP18 - "Neurosphere" by Milo Casali

9446F1B8C506B016E69075C52BE1C1F661D9542F

Hey Milo, if there's no rocket launcher in this map, how come I've got 46 rockets, eh, wiseguy?

 

This map's title sounds like it would be some high-tech area, but instead we get The Inmost Dens 3 (with 2 already in Memento Mori). Texture variety is very conservative just like in the original: You've got brown brick, gray brick, blood, and some wood. The architecture is still nice, with fancy arches and curving staircases. The hot start reminds me of Caged, where you get shredded from all sides unless you escape right away. The rest of the map is much milder in comparison, although I did get perforated by those surprise Chaingunners after jumping out of the eye-shaped building. Good thing there's a BFG and Megasphere in an obvious secret. The rest of the map ain't so tough. The first Vile can be SSG'ed safely from a window and the 2nd rushed with the BFG. Interesting folky midi in the pack, which I remember from map04(?) of Resurgence. 

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So, we're at the final levels of the second episode. Let's do this!

 

Map19: NME (Milo Casali)

100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 07:49

 

It comes as no surprise that Milo Casali takes after Tom Hall, and this map couldn't be any more obvious. As soon as you start, you'll notice the first section bears a resemblance to the starting area of Ultimate Doom E2M1: Deimos Anomaly. There's also the title of the map, which seems to be a subtle reference to Rise of the Triad, if you remember the infamous boss known as the NME. Don't let the size of the map fool you, given that this is a Plutonia map, expect it to be tough, and the difficulty has certainly skyrocketed! Much like The Omen, this map makes use of sadistic, merciless monster ambushes, and you'll be seeing some of them, two of which are in the E2M1 area, first one when you collect the plasma gun, and the second when you hit the switch which lowers the wall revealing a teleporter to the next area. Prepare for a slew of imps, shotgunners, pinkies, spectres and revenants who will flood the area ready to beat you to a pulp. Thankfully in continuous play, they aren't too problematic, though you still have to keep your guard up. Next when you take the revealed teleporter, you'll arrive at the main area, where you must immediately run for cover as there's some sniper chaingunners who will promptly fill you with lead. Make your way to the passageway leading to a chamber, but watch out as halfway, the walls will drop down to reveal an imp ambush, and when you reach the chamber, get ready for an arch-vile to appear including more spawning monsters. Kill them all, and your reward is the yellow key situated on where the arch-vile emerged from. Also watch out for the pain elementals and cacodemons that are revealed when you first enter the passage. Beyond the yellow key door are more nasty fights, such as teleporting right in front of chaingunners and a revenant from the distance, and then the next teleporter leading to a small room with absolutely NO cover and you have enemies surrounding you, including a baron. Hit the switch once you manage to survive that fight, and get ready to act fast cause you'll teleport back to see a revealed cyberdemon, who can kill you with ease if you're not lucky. Remember that there's a secret with a soul sphere, mega armour and invisbility accessed from the E2M1 area, and I save those for the cyberdemon. Fortunately, everything else falls into place once the cyberdemon is dead, that is, unless you're playing on multiplayer or solo-net. Milo Casali has a penchant for arch-vile nests as seen in Go 2 It and Memento Mori's Map23: Showdown, and here he has one nest guarding the exit as the final fight for those co-op players, which he also did the same for the previous map. Undoubtedly, this is one of the hardest regular maps in Plutonia, due to the lethal monster ambushes, the nasty death traps that require foreknowledge, and of course the cyberdemon fight. The claustrophobic nature of this level also adds on to the difficulty. Nevertheless, it's very well-designed, not as detailed as Neurosphere, but there is careful attention along with the nerve-racking combat scenarios and set pieces, making it trademark Milo.

 

Difficulty: 9/10

 

Map20: The Death Domain (Dario Casali)

102% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 07:37

 

This is thankfully a slightly friendlier map from NME, but it's still a mean-spirited son of a bitch. Yet another hot start with the chaingunners, revenants and arachnotrons lurking around, and you're quite ill-equipped for the opposition when doing this from pistol start. Fortunately in continuous play, you can take out all those enemies with the rocket launcher, but either way, you have to hit the switch that lowers the stairs to the sewer area where thankfully you just have imps to contend with. Know that you'll have to hump walls to be able to gain access some of the secrets, like the marble baron face to collect health potions and mega armour with more ammo, but watch out for the mancubi. Be careful when you access the library, cause the walls will lower or open, one of which reveals an arch-vile and not only that, you got chaingunners and hell knights to deal with, so you can be killed quickly if distracted for too long. There's a soul sphere secret accessed by humping the lights next to the red banners to replenish your health, and also an invisibility orb in the next area for the chaingunners. Eventually after getting the yellow key, you'll reach an area where barons will teleport all around, but if you have the BFG you can kill them before they can reach the teleport trigger. Funny how even Hell Revealed makes use of teleporting barons on the same map slot. And speaking of Hell Revealed, seems like from Map20 and onwards up until Map27 we'll be hearing Doom 2, similar to how Hell Revealed does that with its soundtrack selection, having most of the maps up to Map19 using Rise of the Triad music, then from Map20 to Map26 it's all Doom 2 music, and then back to some Rise of the Triad, though it could be just a coincidence. But I digress, after killing the barons, you'll be seeing a switch in one of the baron alcoves which lowers a gate allowing you to leap into the pools for the blue key. Don't do that yet as they're infested with revenants. Instead, take out the revenants beforehand so you won't be beaten to death, and before you can enter the blue key door to exit, you may want to backtrack to easily kill the second arch-vile that spawns in. The map isn't all that great, but it has some intense action here and there, and the consistent brown theme in the level anticipates Quake.

 

Difficulty: 7/10

 

Episode two is done, we're getting more challenging levels, and I can only imagine that it will come full throttle for the home stretch. But until then, see you all in the brighter later!

Edited by T-Rex

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MAP19 - "NME" - Milo Casali (100%K/I/S) - 8 death:

Another classic level, recognizeable by how much you may played it on MP source ports, or because of the traps and looks of the level. It's kind of a summary for every Milo map in "Episode 2" of Plutonia, and the whole wad in general. It's not turning bad but kind of repetitive, everything is a trap, Milo spams enemies in short places but places a lot of resources, even stacking them at the same place like a dispenser, maps are really short and compressed in a "canvas". It feels kinda like a mapping challenge, in fact, a pretty good one. Make short maps, make them in a canvas, make the player grind through it, do fancy curved walls and tunnels, and also, place chaingunners shooting you from nowhere.
Still, this map is really good for what it is, you may like to explore a little bit more before taking the first teleport, as you may find that Plasma gun useful. I really like this room and the one at the oustide referencing E2M1. At this point you should know everything is a trap, and a good time to have a plasma gun, as the map may get easier if you expect traps with the overpowered gun for spraying in short spaces. A couple of traps later, if you get the teleport to the "outdoors" area, you instantly get a BFG, but I'll recommend you to save it for later, the notorious yellow key room for example. I say notorious because of the square fountain of blood at the middle, similar to the nukage fountain at MAP16, with arch-viles as well. I feel Milo repeats his traps and enemies so much that I think he was trying to guide or teach us how to deal with his fuckery. Many teleports and separated rooms that exist just because, after the yellow door, all TP's make a full circle to the outdoors area. This is maybe the least interesting part of the level, preparing the BFG for that annoying fight at the final TP room, is a good choice, but then you are left with little to no ammo to deal with the next thing, fighting a Cyberdemon in the outdoors area, luckily, he is inside the wall, and not outside, as trying to fight a Cyberdemon there would have been translated into a ragequit by me. This is still one of the most difficult cyberdemons to deal with, luckily, I found a sweet spot to pummel him with rockets. He is guarding the switch that opens the exit at the north, so there is no other choice than to deal with it. 

The map is not great, but it has its moments, starts well, gets kinda average, but luckily, ends with a pretty effective cyberdemon fight at the end, although I would have expected an Arch-vile at the last room, but I've been dissapointed (Not really). 


Deaths: 149 (UV Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)
 

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP18
MAP12
MAP14
MAP17
MAP11
MAP04
MAP01

MAP19

MAP10
MAP03

MAP09
MAP07
MAP05
MAP02

MAP13
MAP06
MAP08
MAP16

 


The midi choice here goes great with the atmosphere of the map, but I feel maps are getting darker and darker at this point, so I have to adjust gamma just not to feel blinded because hellspawn does not pay the light bill.

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