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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia

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Posted (edited)

Hoo boy, “4: Caged” is rough! I think this is the first Plutonia level that has a Plutonia opening where before you can really act, you have everyone shooting at you. The lack of hard cover is one of Plutonia’s defining tropes, if you ask me. It’s a difficult chaotic level, but a very good one.

 

I died a few times at the start, but once I took care of the closet that opens in the northeastern part of the intersection, the close with a couple chaingunners and pain elementals (who summoned about ten lost souls), the rest of the level wasn’t so bad, even the yellow key room where the barons teleport down onto the floor (I had forgotten that happens).

 

I got all the secrets so I left the level with good vitals and the plasma rifle.

 

The midi pack’s soundtrack takes a darker turn with ‘Claustrophobia’ from Clumsydoomer which is moody and sinister, even with that groovy bassline.

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MAP04: As @Spectre01 and others just wrote before, this map takes a really big influence from Doom 2 MAP26 thematically and in layout terms and starts the second theme of plutonia map trends: from brown jungle surrounded temples to dark brown metal labs (or military bases?) and talking about gameplay this map is pretty challenging like the previous one, the fake exit surrounded by chaingunners was a evil touch, damn. Also, this map is the only one with a switch exit instead of the usual teleport thing, iirc.

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Posted (edited)

3. Aztec (Milo Casali)

This wasn't any better. It has a similar layout to the last level in that you have a few areas linked together with corridors except this time the coridors are unnecessarily narrow and windy and the route I took involved a bit of backtracking. I even used the automap a couple of times because the corridors all look the same. Furthermore, the setpieces themselves were mostly either underwhelming or had annoying traits like the arch vile near the stairway that you fight locked-in with no cover or the arachnotron area where they are too far for auto-aim to work. Progression is as unimaginanative as the visuals - pick up the two keys and then end the level. I did like the use of crystal sectors where the blue key was.

 

4. Caged (Dario Casali)

This one I quite enjoyed. The drawback is the quite confusing progression. There was a couple of moments where I did not know where to go next, most confusingly at the end where hitting the switch after the blue door opens the start area. I didn't realise that is how I opened it, which double confused me when I took the wrong teleporter and found the start way closed off again. There was other questionable design choices like the use of Pain Elementals behind cages but the combat was generally more fun. At the start you appear much more vulnerable than you actually are and you can quite methodically clear monsters from a safe distance, particularly if you are carrying over ammo from previous levels. My favourite area of the game so far is baron/hell knight fight. The use of damaging floor provides tension to what would otherwise be a rather ordinary encounter. With this map the Casali shoot-out is tied up 1-1.

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MAP04: Caged

 

Plutonia doesn't really do hot starts often, but when it does you'll be running around like a headless chicken for like 5 minutes before you figure out a safe spot (after dying a lot, obviously). Problem is, once you realise what needs to be done the level loses all of its bite and it's just going through the motions thereafter. In this case, following the small black arrow on the sky leads you to safety, where you can take a breather and gather supplies to get you through the rest. Secrets are interesting and the concept of being like a rat in a cage at the start is great, but that's all the positives I can muster for one of the most uninspired levels in the set.

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MAP03 - "Aztec" by Milo Casali

 

Yeah, this is one better played on continuous than pistol start, thanks to the lack of SSG. It would be fine but for the lack of bullets and rockets. Instead the map spams ammo for the single shotgun, so I'm forced to things the grindy way.

 

It's a shame because I do like the trap setup for each key path in this map (for which the soulsphere secret is very helpful!), but the weapon situation turns it into a bit of a tedious grind. 

 

The map is very cramped but that didn't bother me too much. 

 

MAP04 - "Caged" by Dario Casali

 

Plutonia has a lot of homages to the IWADs, to a fault I would say. But whilst the Abandoned Mines homage is obvious, that's about as much criticism as I would give this level, it otherwise played pretty well to me. As others have mentioned the start is very hot, you really have to scramble a lot at the start, with the familiar combo of revs and chaingunners providing the main nuisance. 

 

After that things ease up, but not too much. I did like the damaging floor / space pressure in the barons/imps room. The secrets were fun to find too, and gave a significant power advantage to the player.

 

Level rankings:

 

Spoiler

MAP04 - "Caged" by Dario Casali

MAP01 - "Congo" by Milo Casali

MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali

MAP03 - "Aztec" by Milo Casali

 

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

hc_plu04.zip

MAP04 - Caged

 

This is more like a traditional Doom 2 level, as there's a big nonlinear space at the beginning which you will crisscross multiple times as you advance the map, along with a lot of side-paths which contain valuable rewards. I've said before that Plutonia is usually content to just hand you everything you'll need at the beginning of the level, but I do appreciate this outlier among the bunch that required me to explore it & figure it out.

 

That central, Abandoned Mines-inspired area is the site of a chaotic, messy brawl which is a lot of fun. The resources you need to keep fighting are placed generously around the space, with health & ammo found at the terminus of each bridge, so no matter where the disorienting scramble deposits you, you've still got a chance. Even after internalizing the route that claims the Chaingun & Rocket Launcher ASAP, I still find that the big battle in the center plays out a little differently every time.

 

The Barons' shrine behind the yellow door is another setpiece I found quite memorable while I was learning the game. When I finally realized that it was better to stand in the ooze and take the small amount of damage-over-time in order to get the space to rocket the barons, I have to admit that it was slightly mind-blowing - I'd never been put into a spot where that was the correct tactic before. Of course, nowadays I just knock over the Imps while going right for the escape hatch. Even back then, everyone knew that Barons have too many hit points, so I always enjoy an encounter setup where the goal is to get past them, and is an agility check rather than a DPS check.

 

I think it's cool how a Continuous player can get the Plasma Gun one level early if they're quick enough to make additional use of the blue-key battle's RadSuit. It takes time to clear those infinitely-tall Spectres and then take as many runs at the platforming sequence as you need to, and I like how you're rewarded for thinking up other things to do with the powerup's timer after its primary purpose has been served.

 

The final moments of this map have a bit of the dreaded "I wonder what that switch did. Guess I'll go double-check the entire level" aspect to them. While it's admittedly a momentum-killer, I do at least appreciate how the final switch has an exit-door texture bordering it, as a clue to what it does.

 

The "crystal sector" mapping trick (which was used to baffle the player in the previous two levels) is utilized in a less-annoying way in this map, since the reveal of the three chaingunners behind their "force fields" is a pretty good scare without actually endangering you at all. The other major novelty here is the nonstandard exit, which breaks with tradition by replacing the act of stepping onto the Plutonia teleport-pad with the act of hitting a switch while within the exit pod. I said before how I enjoy the qualities which make this map kind of an outlier in the set, but those two novelties just seem more like "weird for weirdness' sake" than anything else.

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MAP05 - "Ghost Town" by Milo Casali

0432A498B38E6A2178AE70FE98F5EBA37C07166A

 

This map is fun, though the opener from pistol start may rub people the wrong way: You get a regular boomstick and have to clear out 2 Barons and Revenants in the cramped starting area, or try and zoom past them into the courtyard and not get shredded by well-placed Chaingunners, infinite heighted by Pinkies etc. The progression demands you visit the Mastermind wing of the map first, but the Rocket Launcher is hidden behind a Chaingunner turret in the exit wing. The area pictured above is somewhat obnoxious. You use cover to take out all those Chaingunners and Mastermind, only to have 8 more gunners repopulate their ledges after you step onto the spider pad. The Revenant trap at the Blue Key is fine, assuming you've got the RL and you run back quickly. By now, this wad has generally established the "everything is a trap" motif. More dickhead Chaingunners lower behind you at the exit stairs, which are also annoying to autoaim without exposing yourself. The final room has a 4 Baron + Vile bottleneck, which I assume exists to make skipping the previous trap and running into the exit more difficult. Otherwise you just funnel the Barons out and blow your remaining rockets and cells.

 

Despite the above possibly not sounding fun, I still like this map and the visual direction. Also, those SP_FACE textures scroll really damn fast in PRBoom+ while moving at normal speed in GZDoom. It makes for a quirky visual which I've never checked how it was done under vanilla conditions. The more intimidating Plutmidi works well here compared to vanilla's Hiding the Secrets.

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Day 4 ~ MAP04: Caged ~ DSDA Doom/PRBoom+ 2.5.1.5 ~ UV-Max ~ NM100s ~ Pistol start ~ Midi pack

 

Demos - pl map04.zip

UV - 0 deaths: Hot start! I retreat back and snipe off the close hitscanners before making any other moves. Wasn’t sure about what route I should go with here. For the d2all UV-Max run I had some trouble finding a good balance between speed and survival. On a pistol start the same issues resurfaced. In retrospect, I was way too greedy with rockets and cells, partly due to the fact that I’m so used to saving them for later maps. My health got quite low a number of times (close calls pog). I was able to recover, thanks to the abundance of medkits and stimpacks lying around. ClumsyDoomer’s midi for this one is very fitting :) I enjoyed it overall despite coming close to death a few times.

NM - 200 deaths: I DIED IN THE EXIT CAGE BUT STILL HIT THE SWITCH!!! What a ball-buster. So much bad luck, so much death, so unforgiving. This is the first true difficult Plutonia map for nm100s. In one of my failed attempts, all the projectiles came flying at me after teleporting into the exit cage, it was too much, and I died. Without ending the map. Beating all the levels will require plenty of persistence and patience. Heartbreaking deaths like those are going to happen. Now, don’t worry, the rest of episode 1 (1-10) will cool off. The difficulty curve for these maps on NM is very inconsistent. But map04, my god, you can either pray for the game to show some mercy, or die. There is no safe place.

doom06.png.e0b6c440bab5f286ecd20341a31d9771.png

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Posted (edited)
On 1/3/2021 at 7:20 AM, T-Rex said:

Even on I'm Too Young To Die/Hey, Not Too Rough, this wad is relentless. Plutonia could very well be seen as the Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels of Doom in that sense.

 

As someone playing through Plutonia for their first time.. I agree. Normally I'm UV all the way, but I'm ratcheting it down to ITYTD. Even at that difficulty, it still has buttkicking moments. I'll probably boost up to HNTR or HMP once I'm comfortable with the Casali bros' teaching style of "Kill you" and I understand the map layouts.

 

Map 1: Congo - ITYTD

Interesting map. I initially tried this map on HMP. Enjoyed the opening of this map. Pretty good. Got torn apart by the chaingunners in the room just before the chaingunner/manc room on HMP. ITYTD was much more gentle. I didn't find the secret backpack & Mega Armor on my playthrough, will need to do that again. I enjoyed it, though I'm a bit apprehensive about playing it on harder difficulties. But that will happen! A+ level.

 

Map 2: Well of Souls

Wasn't THAT fond of this map. It was interesting, and the under-the-rock chaingunner by the SSG was solid. The skull triggers. Oy. Even on ITYTD they were moderately intense. The chaingunner trap in the falling floor trap was definitely Plutonia. 

 

It'll be interesting to complete my first Doom 1 and Doom 2 playthroughs after beating Plutonia.

Edited by Rytrik

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Map 05 is one of my favorites in Plutonia. I'll always remember the rows of chaingunners and pop-up mastermind.

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Continuing my -solo-net playthrough. As before, pistol start on UV, all kills and secrets, no additional wads except for the Plutonia MIDI pack, and using the dsda-doom source port.

 

MAP05 - Ghost Town

When I think of Plutonia I think of chaingunner firing squads, and when I think of chaingunner firing squads I think of this map (and MAP15, but that's for later).

 

Describing this map is like drawing a caricature of Plutonia. Walk forward from the start and get greeted by two chaingunners, then slip past the barons and revenants into the central arena and enjoy the soothing ambiance of no fewer than ten chaingunners turning you to Swiss cheese in an open field (and I really mean no fewer, those chaingunners are there on every skill level). Step forth into another arena and reveal a spider mastermind flanked by eight more chaingunners. Get past that and you'll find the blue key, but of course that comes with a revenant trap. And while you were there, you know those chaingunners you painstakingly sniped down? Yup, say hello to eight more. The antics continue on the other side of the map, with chaingunners used as cannon fodder where most mapmakers would be content with imps, and some crafty arch-vile traps leading up to the exit. The part with the chaingunner reinforcements in particular feels like a prank played by the Casali brothers. The super fast scrolling faces texture really sells it, as if they're laughing at the sheer absurdity, and the upbeat stock music takes on an almost comical tone when backed by the din of chaingunner fire. The Plutonia MIDI pack replaces this with a more serious track with a heavy rhythm, which I think also works, but is a different interpretation of the level from what I see.

 

Despite all the silliness the level throws at you, it's not terribly difficult if you know what you're doing. Find some cover and you'll find that the chaingunners can't do much as you gun them down one by one. Same goes for the spiderdemon, or alternatively you could run right past it and draw out the revenants to infight with it.

 

Co-op/solo-net mixes things up in a couple ways, the most obvious being the cyberdemon patrolling the central arena. It's intimidating but not too big of a problem since it's in an open area and the infighting it incites can actually be useful. You just have to be careful not to get rocketed when peeking your head out of cover. The addition of a BFG at the start of the level also helps deal with it, though there aren't many other additional resources for co-op. Other enemy additions include several pain elementals (which may actually be more of a problem than the cyberdemon since they quickly fill the map with lost souls as they infight while you take cover), two arch-viles in the opening section (you won't have enough ammo for them at the beginning, just run past them and snipe them with rockets later), an extra mancubus overlooking the central arena, and a bunch more barons at the end (these aren't hard but may stretch your ammo thin, I was down to just bullets in my playthrough). Overall, the extra enemies spice up the map a bit but don't fundamentally change its essence.

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MAP05:

    This map further reinforces my belief that Plutonia is mostly hard because of the first-time shock factor, some maps being the outlier. On Pistol Start, the only really hard part of this map is the beginning scramble for cover and a point from where you can carve yourself a niche. With foreknowledge, each trap generally has a fall-back point. On the start, I take the Shotgun and scramble for one of the Chaingunner wings, and clear it out. Do the same with the other one, and after that the map can be taken at one's leisure.

 

    The Continuous experience eliminates even that starting challenge, as the Barons and Revenant can be easily disposed of with the carried-over weapons. If you picked up the PG in the previous map the double Archvile trap becomes much easier, as it eliminates the risk of Good At Doom™ moment in the tight hallways. All in all, after the MAP03 these two maps were rather easy. 

 

The Video:

 

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Map05: UV-Max in 4:09 (also NM100S in 0:45)
I recall Civvie11 saying this is the "first 100% full-on Plutonia map" but I've always thought map04 is harder. There certainly are some intimidating fights here, like the Spider Mastermind encounter. There isn't much to be afraid of, though. You can just run in, grab the key, run out, and let infighting do much of the work while you grab the rocket launcher. Of course, you can also just grab the rocket launcher first. Either way, that's hopefully what you'll use to kill the barons and revenants from the starting area rather than slowly killing them with the shotgun. There's a "secret" megasphere that's hard to miss, and Nightmare difficulty would probably be impossible without it. The exit room is easy to do slowly, as nothing prevents you from backtracking to lure the barons out, but it's hard to do quickly.

 

pl05stuff.zip

 

 

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So, I restarted with supercharge, to see if it was a bit more fun. So far, yes. 

The new info is : HMP, continuous, with supercharge.

 

MAP05 : Again, I start on a platform, and two chaingunners are ready to tear me a huge amount of new holes. I kill them, grab a blue armor and press a button, on the left as always. A couple of HKs were standing on top of the pillars, but an SSG is a good thing to have. A rev was waiting for me on the stairs, and outside mancs and cacos. Oh, and more chaingunners. Many more. Ripped and teared I restart the level. This time, using the power of the rocket launcher I remove some of the chaingunners before falling outside, such that I only have to deal with a few of them and pinkies. Now I have a choice : left, right or teleport. I decide to teleport. Which gives me the plasma rifle and a megasphere! And now, left. Spiders guard my path, nothing a bunch of rockets wont solve. He says, seconds before a ton of chaingunners and a SMM show up. Hiding on the door I use the assault riffle to remove the chaingunners and now.. For the SMM... Rockets and plasma do it. Grab the key, run and let the revs kill the shotgunners, and them enter again to mp up. And done. Now, for the other side. A couple of chaingunners walking around and a couple more standing on mini-guard towers. kill them, enter the techno-organic building. Going up the stairs releases HKs and more chaingunners.. After killing them all, I climb all the way up. A few well deserved health packs, a pair of barons poorly hidden behind the marble faces and a door. I kill the barons before openin the door. And an archville. Rockets! Many rockets! The av is down. I press the switch and it's the end of the level! (also, this automap shape is.. highly suggestive, specially in this meaty color..)

10m18s, 1 death, 100% everything. 

(it's way more fun to play with supercharge, that is for sure)

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MAP05: Ghost Town

 

Difficulty seems to have plateaued out since MAP03, this one had the potential to be the hardest one yet but isn't thanks to all the armor. The start is rather lukewarm, just a couple of chaingunners, barons and revenants - the latter two I tend to skip and kill them later with more adequate weaponry. Then we drop into a small courtyard surrounded by a firing squad, you're best off running up the stairs to get away from the crossfire. Afterwards we have the first boss encounter in Plutonia, where we'll duel a Spiderdemon under the watchful gaze of the scrolling faces on adderall!

 

The whole blue key wing is very memorable, with traps springing left and right and culminating in a scary moment where you'll have to quickly evade a mob of revenants in the dark as you're under fire by a second wave of chaingunner snipers. Surprisingly when the arch-viles start to appear is when the level peters out: lots of cover, static enemy placement and a wall of meat you can easily avoid near the exit. At least the visuals are good in this area. Despite the lackluster ending, it's still one of the more solid efforts in E1 in my opinion.

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5. Ghost Town (Milo Casali)

 

This is my favourite level so far. It is symetrical to a fault - if you spot something on your left you can safely assume there will be something similar on the right and I'm not sure what the purpose of the Spiderdemon is (I may have been able to nerf the intended strategy due to having enough plasma to kill it from a safe distance) but outside of those quibbles there is not much bad I can say about it. The architecture may be basic but everything feels like it has been designed to accomodate the action in the most efficient way and have you fighting multiple angles at once. In this way the level feels like a microcosm of Plutonia's arcady or meta-gamey style. It also hosts the infamous cast of characters in some cruel ways. Chaingunners will spring out and ambush you from multiple directions and from awkward positions to return fire, revenants will rush you en masse and arch viles will be guarded by barons - however, I found that by making sure I was aware of my surroundings and always having an exit strategy they were safely beatable first time. The rocket launcher was very useful in the level as you can take things out quicker than with the SSG and I think that is the sign of a level with well made battles. Milo scores with this one so goes 2-1 up on Dario.

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If you take ‘5: Ghost Town’ slow, back up whenever you hear the roar of revenants or chaingunners, it’s not too bad. And I really like it’s coliseumesque design. There’s that combat armour at the start that I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to retrieve if I went ahead; I assumed you couldn’t get back up to the opening sector after you jumped down into the level proper, so instead of saving it I grabbed it and went ahead into the level. I did save that accessible megasphere for the end, though.

 

That archie ambush in the flesh room with all the impaled bodies still freaks me out. Luckily I had the foresight to kill the pinkies growling behind the pillars before I triggered the ambush. I singed myself with some of my own rockets trying to shoot at the archvile while ducking around a curved wall, but nothing too bad.

 

The spiderdemon ambush wasn’t too bad. I triggered it, ducked back outside, and clipped off all the chaingunners with my shotgun. The spiderdemon was too far away for my SSG so I zipped up closer, hiding behind the chaingunner pedestals until I was close enough to get some SSG shots in.

 

If you take this level methodically, especially when dealing with the ledges of chaingun snipers, you remove half of the difficulty.

 

The midi pack of ‘Sepulchral’ from Hellish Godzilla works well for this boss-ish arena level. The looming bassline and sections with menacing percussion contrasting with the waves of daunting strings infuses the level with tension.

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MAP05: Oh boy if this map is though, even on the easy skill i'm playing now! The level is sets in this sort of brown military base (sorry, but for me didn't recall a city at all) that is slowly subverted by hell forces. Hell-tech forces, to be precise, if we can call in this way the style of this map. Imagine a sort of Doom Episode 2 style but in a earthly location. Monster placement is pretty though, as i wrote before, with many chaingunners and a spider mastermind guarding the blue key, with a E1M3-style trap when you get the blue key, but with revenants instead of spectres that give the last nail to the coffin. How delightful.

 

Also i noticed this thing for the first time, but how it could be possible that Milo made fast scrolling walls?

fst-scroll.gif

Or is the vanilla exe crushing down for some mysterious reason?

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About the face texture scrolling really fast in Map 05, here is an old-ish post I found explaining it, written by @Wagi:

 

"

This is a bug in Vanilla Doom*. What's happening here is there is a linedef action you can assign that scrolls the texture to the left at a certain speed. There is also a technique that is used to save space in WAD files called merging sidedefs. This is featured in a number of popular Doom editors. What it will do is check for multiple linedefs that all have share the same sector, textures, and texture offset, and only create one sidedef, and then make multiple linedefs reference that one sidedef.

 

The problem is, that the texture scroll action actually modfies the sidedef's texture offset. So, if multiple walls are all referencing the same sidedef, and they have that it gets scrolled multiple times per gametic, once for every linedef that references it.

(* Actually not really a bug. After all, this sidedef merging thing is something that the engine wasn't designed to handle )"

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MAP05 - "Ghost Town" by Milo Casali

 

Just like the previous level, this one has a pretty hot start, which I like (as long as you aren't getting fired at in your starting position, which you aren't here). I skip straight past the barons and drop straight down to the arena, where the group of chaingunners on both sides cause the most hassle. Plutonia loves its chaingunners. but this map spams them even by Plutonia standards. Fortunately as purist mentioned the symmetry helps out a lot in predicting monster placement.

 

I died in the SMM area so decided to just trigger everything at once the second time round, which worked quite well thanks to a bit of help from infighting. 

 

We get our first glimpses of hellish influences, with skin textures used on both sides of the map. Architecturally, it is my favourite map of the set so far, not needing to use many textures to look nice. Fun to play gameplay-wise too.

 

MAP06 - "Baron's Lair" by Dario Casali

 

A simple hub map with each self-contained area presenting its own challenge. The name is odd since there aren't any barons in the map. A fair few hell knights in the BK fight though. The ammo situation is tough on pistol start unless you find the secrets so I needed to use some infighting to help me out, especially in the rev-pinky area. 

 

The map contains Plutonia's first cyberdemon but the map geometry renders it pretty easy to kill. Overall one of the weaker maps so far I think, none of the encounters were particularly engaging to me. There are six secrets but four of them are symmetrically placed, meaning you're unlikely to find one but not the other.

 

I like the intermission music on the Plutonia MIDI pack. It provides a nice calm aura between the chaos of each level. The MIDI pack has definitely boosted my enjoyment of the mapset so far, to be honest I imagine except for maps 1 and 11 I will prefer the MIDI pack over the original.

 

Level rankings:

Spoiler

 

MAP05 - "Ghost Town" by Milo Casali

MAP04 - "Caged" by Dario Casali

MAP01 - "Congo" by Milo Casali

MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali

MAP06 - "Baron's Lair" by Dario Casali

MAP03 - "Aztec" by Milo Casali

 

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MAP06 - "Baron's Lair" by Dario Casali

87C5D4D3D9A553F08550815D1739B4725875FB90

 

Pro strats are to hit those 2 switches that open later through the walls right away. That way you've got everything you need from a pistol start. Progression is entirely linear as you sequentially visit each of the 4 side areas around the main hub. The first section behind the black door is the most interesting with its Arachnotron trap. The one following, less so as you're likely to blow up the barrels when the flyers finish spawning from the safety of the entrance. The Hell Knights in the pit don't do much more than drain your rockets. The Pinky/Rev area is visually my favourite: A nice little courtyard with a fountain. I believe the Pinkies don't path up the stairs particularly well, so you can probably camp the stairs and funnel enemies down there. I like the final area too, as the layout is the right size to care about the Cyber's splash damage without being too annoying. Plenty of plasma and rockets in this map too, which is always a plus. Hot take, but I prefer the original map's more bleak atmosphere with Sign of Evil as the midi.

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Day 5 ~ MAP05: Ghost Town ~ DSDA Doom/PRBoom+ 2.5.1.5 ~ UV-Max ~ NM100s ~ Pistol start ~ Midi pack

 

Demos - pl map05.zip

UV - 3 deaths: Just rush everything, get infighting going, and then begin the cleanup process. No need to take down the 2 barons/2 revenants in the starting area, just run past and kill ‘em with rockets later. I find that the map is less fun when everything is played safely. For the ending trap, you can kill 1 or 2 barons in advance before actually opening it. Easy map.

NM - For the UV run, I rushed everything to have more fun. On Nightmare!, you need to rush in order to survive. Make sure that the mastermind infights with the chaingunners, otherwise you’ll get torn apart by her. Don’t stop running in the open areas! The ending always feels so chaotic with the aggressive barons plus the archvile in a very inconvenient position. I get rid of one baron before opening the trap and just pray. Other than that, the map is trivial.

doom08.png.538c463cc62583f92e991112f09635e6.png

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Map 06

I really like map 6. I enjoy the hub style with the obvious color keyed doors leading to the also obvious progression. The arenas are fun and lead up to a cyberdemon battle. Good times

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Posted (edited)

MAP03: Aztec (HMP/continuous)

13:52 | 100% Everything

Playing this with the MIDI pack, and as I'm zipping along, I'm thinking, "Holy crud, is this a stewboy track? Sounds just like a stewboy song." It is, and it rocks. The map itself is like Dickish Traps 101. Lotsa chaingunner surprises everywhere. The invisible bridge was cool, but dealing with the spiders and revvies was more obnoxious than anything. First real death was on the exit area bridge, with the friggin' pop-up chaingunners. (First actual death was falling off the starting teleporter into the inescapable nuke pit.) The red key trap absolutely would have killed me if I hadn't gone forward a little farther and found the soulsphere secret first. A little goofy how a lot of the floors here I expected to be damaging weren't.

 

MAP04: Caged (HMP/continuous)

15:48 | 100% Everything

A classic. I would always expect this map playing through Doom 2, and was always a little let down by The Abandoned Mines instead. A frantic opening, just run and find an alcove to catch your breath in and work your way out from there. Nothing really too strenuous here, besides the start. More obnoxious is dealing with the numerous jumps down into the nukage.

 

MAP05: Ghost Town (HMP/continuous)

12:08 | 100% Everything

The last time I played this, the southeastern corner gave me absolute fits. I think I somehow ran dry on a couple ammo types and had difficulty getting past the mastermind and his chaingunner pals. No real sweat this time, for whatever reason. The starting teleporter has an inescapable death moat around it like in MAP03, and the entire starting area can't be returned to once you've left. Weird. The end always catches me by surprise, it feels like there should be more map beyond that last door.

 

MAP06: Baron's Lair (HMP/continuous)

19:43 | 100% Everything

The only reason I took so long on this map was searching for the last secret... which turned out to be the fountain with the berserk pack; I had picked up the zerk earlier, but hadn't stepped in the right spot to trigger the secret... This map is fine. It's a scheme I feel a lot of other maps have copied: the elevated start area surrounded by the four hub doors. I actually thought this felt like a TNT map at first, but no, those hub wings are pure Plutonia. The final arena is one of those bits of the WAD that's burned into my memory.

 

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Map06: UV-Max in 4:37 (also NM-Speed in 3:01)
The standout fight for me is behind the red door, where there are large groups of barrels, several cacodemons, and three pain elementals. The blue key is in a pit at the center filled with hell knights and surrounded by more barrels. The resulting fight is pretty chaotic (and fun). This map has the first cyberdemon in Plutonia, which will be intimidating to many, but it's pretty simple and easy to deal with if you're not playing on Nightmare.

 

pl06stuff.zip

 

 

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MAP06 - Baron's Lair

UV-Max (-solo-net) from pistol start

This map is interesting, but not for the usual reasons like intense fights or cool visuals. In fact, I find the map itself rather bland. Simple design with four rooms, none of which are very noteworthy, linked by a central hub and which have to be tackled in a fixed order. Even without triggering the starting room secrets early (more on that later), this is not a hard map. Co-op doesn't change this much; there are extra enemies here and there but I don't think I would have noticed without checking Doom Wiki's tables. What would be the first cyberdemon of the wad in single player is dulled by the fact that in co-op this is already the third cyberdemon, after maps 3 and 5. There's an added BFG on top of the fountain in the room behind the blue door (in addition to the berserk pack), which makes the cyberdemon a bit less tedious to kill.

 

So let's talk about something more interesting. Let's talk about exploits, more specifically how walls are merely a suggestion in Doom.

Spoiler

It's relatively common knowledge that the switches hidden in the starting room and revealed after the first and second wings are cleared can simply be pressed through the walls hiding them:

switches.gif.dbf0892b28dc1460d1a8af34a821c5c2.gif

 

There are two additional tricks that are unique to co-op item placements. The first comes from a red key that is revealed next to the red door after grabbing the "normal" red key:

key.png.318118dfd3d77a4943521d6a0f00d898.png

I'm not sure what it's doing there. Perhaps it's so players who die and respawn don't have to run through the first room again to get the red key, but then why only this key and not the blue key? Anyway, as you may have guessed, you can grab this key through the wall before actually revealing it:

key-grab.gif.fd3b7dd1b097c526b575ee17e4332271.gif

This allows you to skip the first room entirely if you so please.

 

But wait, we're not done with this doorway, as there's another trick you can exploit nearby:

bfg-grab.gif.41369e3ceea4cbb6801414022424162c.gif

What's going on here? Turns out there's a second BFG in this map, hidden within this pillar. This (and other weapons in the other pillars around the room) are intended for deathmatch; exiting one of the deathmatch spawns will raise the pillars, providing access to the weapons:

dm.gif.d15791ed4245014ac1b727484fad088e.gif

 

As with the red key, by colliding firmly with the wall, you can grab an early BFG in a manner very similar to the BFG grab in E4M2. There are plenty of ripe BFG opportunities throughout the map, so combined with the other exploits (and the extra cell ammo around the starting room provided in multiplayer) this near-trivializes an already easy map.

To me, the most interesting thing about this map is how you can break it, which means co-op redeems this map in a most unexpected fashion.

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it's time for my daily dose of punishment.. Let's go.

MAP 06 : the flying cube grants me weapons! I go down the steps and there are doors. One requires the red key, another the blue key so he door with he black banners it is. A couple of revs in the distance and a manc in a pool of brown sludge. This being Plutonia there's no way to know if it is damaging before entering it to press the switch, so I take a deep breath and run towards it... It isn't. But the hell knights are! There now are two doors, so I pick the one on the left, that doesnt open and then go to the other one instead, and find that it's actually a switch that opens it up. A couple shotgunners guard the stairs, and up there the red key and a soulsphere that I can't reach.. Ah, but after pressing the switch the door on the left opens! Inside, a imp and the soulsphere! yey. Now, two teleporters, but both of them lead to the start of the room. With the red key in hand, there isn't any doubt as to where I should go now. Oh, the first chaingunners of the map! Also, barrels. Lot's of them. Grabbing the blue key, a caco and imps show up. Followed by a pain elemental and another caco and.. that's it. A smudge anticlimactic. Passing on the way to the blue door I spot two switches and grab me a secret auto-map, rockets, cells and a megasphere that I'll leave for later. The blue door opens to a room down below, so I walk down the stairs and press the switch : the wall in front of me opens up and pinkies start to run towards my SSG. A pair of revenants join the fun, but before soona ll is done. The water in the central fountain is damaging, because fuck you, I guess.. It also lowers to give me a berserk. Having pressed both buttons I step once again into the central courtyard.. The big gate is open. From one side I snipe at a rev, and from the other at another rev and a chaingunner, before I even look inside the room.. More chaingunners, quickly dealt with, and I finally grab the megasphere and get ready for whatever else the level still has for me.. A couple specters, more chaingunners, so far so good, I press a switch and here come revenats. Now, they opened up a small alcove with another switch that I press and oh fuck is that a cyber? Armed with a fully loaded plasma and guarded by the geometry of the room I get rid of him and then press the switches. Since I was missing two secrets I went back to the only place I could see them being and it's a shootable wall, I see! That being done, it's time to step into the teleporter!

17m24 seconds, no deaths and 100% K/I/S!

 

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MAP06:

*Yawn*

 

MAP03 still has my "Hardest map thus far" award. This map sets you up nicely at the start, although not to the "spam ammo" degree. The first tricky fight is the Arachnotron fight. What I found to work is to face the side with the two Arachnotrons, kill one and punch into their alcove, smoking the rest with the Rocket Launcher. The barrel room is weird, and the only challenge there is to not let the Pain Elemetals get out of hand. The Hell Knights are just an ammo sink.

 

The rest of the map is quite easy. Revenant and Pinky trap can be camped at the door, pumping rockets or shells into the seething mass below. No wonder the Boners are agitated! The Cyberdemon fight is just tense enough for me, as the space is tight enough to make you take the pillars into account when dodging the rockets. I remember one video by @UglyStru where the Revenants punched out the Cyberdemon, that was a laugh. Alas, no such shenanigans here.

 

The Continuous playtrough was pretty much the same, just without the careful ammo rationing.

 

The Video:

 

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MAP06: Baron's Lair

 

A level called "Baron's Lair" that features not a single one of those adorable bruisers? I want my money back! To make matters worse, the layout is uninspired, the fights are really easy and the only potentially troublesome moment is the arachnotron trap. There's two things I like here, one of which is the quirky blue key room filled with barrels and cacodemon/elemental dispensers. The other one is the fact that there's a lot of rockets/cells here, which means you can kill everything with the RL/PG and still have plenty to spare when pistol starting.

 

After the Spiderdemon on the previous level, to conclude the episode we naturally have a Cyberdemon "fight" - yeah, not much of a fight when you can easily cheese it. Kind of a mediocre level.

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map 05: Ghost town, UV, continuous 

Remember in my last post I gave my sympathy to pistol starters? This map cements my statement

The first true map in plutonia that shows the authors capabilities of being cruel, uncaring gods, subjecting their players to untold cruelty and devious traps that only a true madman could think up. Coincidentally, this is my favorite map in Plutonia....

 

The map starts in a room with chaingunners  to the left and right of the doorway. No real difference there. A pistol starter has only the shotgun to deal with the barons that lower once you push the button that lowers the pillar they stand on. The courtyard, however, is an absolute nightmare. Mancubi up high and chaingunners on either side. Your best bet is to run for cover and pick of the chaingunners with the super shotgun. The only secret(a megasphere) in the level is borderline essential to your survival, So don't be a fool( like yours truly) and grab it too early. The blue key area is yet another layer to the pain-filled cake that the Casali brothers are stuffing down your throat whilst giggling with glee at their evils( vivid imagery, I know). Once you fire at the arachnotrons on either side you're  greeted by 10(?) chaingunners on either side and a spider demon in front. Once you clear them out and step on the platform the spider demon, MORE chaingunners come out of monster closets. the blue key pedestal, three monster closets open and have revenants in them. A bit excessive, don't you think?

 

The most evil trap( probably going to get sued by Civvie, oh well) is a stairway that, once you climb it, lowers the pillars in the room and reveals.... you know what? Take a good long guess, it's fine I'll wait...  do you have the answer? Well if you guessed Chaingunners, than you're correct! AND then two archviles spawn in.

The author gives you a break by by allowing you to take potshots at the archviles and barons through slits in the walls. Nice.

 

Why is this my favourite map again?

Kills: 100%

Secrets:100%

Deaths: 13

Patience: 0%

Wondering why I decided to join the club while they were playing this specific mapset: 100%

 

Map 06: Baron's den, UV, continuous

Nowhere near as hard as ghost town, but still difficult( that's going to become a common sentence from now on). this map introduces the first cyberdemon of the megawad. Not really that evil. A half-hearted apology for the last map's insane difficulty. The teleporting revenants is the only evil trap in the entire map.

Kills: 100%

Secrets: 66%

Deaths: 4

Dread for the next few maps: 100%

Wondering if anyone actually gets a laugh out of these joke stats: 100%     

 

       

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