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The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia

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I’m not good at ‘6: Baron’s Lair’. It’s not an incredibly brutal level, but encounters like the revenant assault at the start and the arachnotron pit right after are my kryptonite. The first time I went into the barrel room, the pain elementals spawned so many lost souls that I gave up and restarted the level. The second time I awoke them by shooting the wall and then as they gathered around the barrels, I set them off and watched as those pitiful pain elementals were vanquished.

 

In the same room, there’s a ladder. I don’t know if I mentioned this before or even if there was a ladder before, but the first time I played Plutonia I remember being so confused with ladders. I didn’t have trouble using them but I made weird assumptions on their behaviour that never came into play, like assuming that they were just very small lifts that could have a Build-style freakout and kill me.

 

I knew the cyberdemon fight was up ahead. I tried not to worry about it but I’ve died to so many cyber rockets over the years, I get nervous. I forgot about the revenant squad beforehand but I used the stairs to funnel them and herd them in orderly fashion, and when the cyberdemon was released I hid up in the stairs and no rockets got close to me. I know that’s cheap but cyberdemons are scary!

 

I liked the hard rock jam of “Plusfort” by Bucket on this midi pack.

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

hc_plu05.zip

MAP05 - Ghost Town

 

I'm a fan of the way this map begins, as this megawad continues to provide moments where my instinct of "turtle up and try to clear every monster first" instead gives way to a "just run for it and escape" strategy. The entrance bridge (and its Chaingunner guards) causes a little grief to a player encountering it for the first time, but a returning player doesn't even notice that the obstacle is there. Juking past Barons is always good fun, and the immediate followup - of squeezing past a Revenant to launch out into the actual level - is a thrilling way to kick off the opening action scene. Getting the weapons, getting an advantageous position, and getting your targets prioritized all add up to a battle that plays somewhat similarly to the previous level's opening scrap - more compact yet less restrictive.

 

This level starts you off with a Megaarmor and offers a Megasphere as a refill partway through. And yet, I still refuse to try to squeeze past the Spider Mastermind and steal its key while being shot to pieces. No, I take the slow & boring route: making use of the abundant shell boxes by switching to the single-barrel to snipe down the boss & the first wave of minions, and then completely ignoring the second wave. It's a grindy setup to get there, but hearing that roar of outrage as I escape with the key is a pretty good payoff - I do enjoy kicking that hornet's nest and running like hell to hurtle back down into the central courtyard.

 

I like the looks of each of the three main areas of the map, but my favorite is definitely the "house of pain" where the Arch-Viles live. The duo who guard the foyer are part of a nasty trap, but the resources are provided to pretty-much guarantee survival during the retreat back outside. That boss battle is a bloody one, but probably the most fun part of the map besides the chaos of the opening scramble. All the actual danger is contained in that first wave of guardians - the ones in the exit room exist purely to trip up players who are trying to go fast, and can be whittled down from safety once you've claimed the entrance hall as your own.

 

Most of these maps have tried to contain a memorable gimmick or mapping trick - like the crystal sectors in the previous levels and the voodoo-doll trick in the next level. I wonder if the superfast scrolling textures revealed in the blue-key courtyard's second wave (along with the one on the sign marking the key-locked switch) were a deliberate choice, or an accident.

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MAP06: Is a pretty basic arena style map with some crossroads in the key locked rooms, a little puzzle at the end, some cool touches like the "Super Mario cube" that you cross getting the RL and the arches in the "city" courtyard place... is this place a sort of little city? I don't known... anyway, a basic map, final fight is the toughest part, but it's a ok level overall, like a extended version of Dead Simple in some way. Oh, it also contains the best usage of CEIL1_1 i've seen so far.

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On 1/5/2021 at 6:21 PM, Starduster said:

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 )"

 

Thanks for this useful info!

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MAP07 - "Caughtyard" by Dario Casali

 

Nice play on words lol. An early example of a dead simple clone, albeit one that’s a bit more imaginative than your bog standard clone that plagues a lot of mapsets (e.g. as good as the Scythes were, boy did their map 7s suck). The player is stuck in a small fortress and has to work their way out and escape to the realm.

Thanks to the cramped space, the map is more challenging than Dead Simple (though still not that hard), and when the revs start spawning in up top, it can be tricky to avoid both them and the barons at the bottom. The megasphere spawns a sneaky archvile, but it’s hard to complain after getting all that extra health and armor. The action tames a bit after the YK switch, but it’s engaging enough until then.

 

Level rankings:

Spoiler

MAP05 - "Ghost Town" by Milo Casali
MAP07 - "Caughtyard" by Dario 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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MAP07: From a extended version of Dead Simple to better version of Dead Simple. This map is a pretty cool compact fortress style surrounded by a cool looking canyon , grass and water. In the fortress at the lower section you have to deal with mancubi, while reverants and zombiemen (the first time i saw these type of monsters in this megawad!) are shooting at you from the upper section of the castle. After beating them, you have to battle some arachnotrons in the outer section. Beat them, reach the lift that takes to a underground mine (or is it a little jungle area?), shoot a hell knight inside a cage, fight some monster and it's done. Pretty cool layout and gameplay, pretty fast map that i finished in 5 minutes more than less.

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Day 6 ~ MAP06: Baron’s Lair ~ DSDA Doom ~ UV-Max ~ NM100s ~ Pistol start ~ Midi pack

 

Demos - pl map06.zip

UV - 0 deaths: One of my favorite maps in the first episode :D only 60 monsters here but it feels like a lot more. I loved all of the rooms in this map. Texturing is great (one of Plutonia’s strengths), the midi rocks and the fights are so much fun when you dive right in. Plenty of ammo and resources (one megasphere, one supercharge, one megasphere, lots of medkits) are lying around. For pistol-starters, I recommend hitting the 2 secret switches through the wall to fill up on ammo before tackling the rest of the map.

NM - 20 deaths: Once you learn the route, secrets, and strategy for the final room, it’s nothing. Yoloing the first room of the map like that probably isn’t a good idea if you just want to survive. It’s more consistent to get rid of the far-away revenants with the rocket launcher before heading further into the room. Since I didn’t do that, I instead took the opportunity to weaken/kill them from the supercharge secret. Tagging the berserk secret is always sort of scary with it being hard to trigger and pinkies closing in on you from all angles. I save the megasphere for the ending room. Just clear everything out, hope for a lack of respawns (specters being the most problematic here), and do what you need to do to exit. Really good map. I mean, this is from 1996. Bravo to the Casali bros.

doom07.png.8cb4e52215fad6b14a2782145074e4aa.png

Nice view :)

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MAP07:

Short and brutal. Many deaths were had, but thankfully the map is very short, so I did not mind restarting. Catching one too many Mancubus fireballs was the primary cause of death. After killing the last Mancubus, I lured one of the Barons off the lift, and climbed up, quickly blowing up the Revenants on the ramparts. I knew I just had to survive since there was a Megasphere waiting for me. The Archvile was a nuisance, but I managed to climb up the ramparts and dispose of him from there. Smooth sailing after that.

 

Continuous playtrough is surprisingly not much easier, all that happens is you have a choice between plasma or rockets when killing the Mancubi/Revenants. The Chaingunner at the start is also an annoying enemy.

 

The Video:

 

 

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Map07: UV-Max in 2:24, NM100S in 1:21
Even on UV, I died an embarrassing number of times which I won't specify. Probably in part because I was trying to do it fast without practice, and kept using bad strats. That was a few days ago when I recorded the demo, but after playing it again today, it really isn't that hard, and I maxed it twice consecutively without any deaths. The beginning works pretty consistently if you shoot rockets at the revs immediately after coming up the elevator. Trying to snipe them from downstairs with the weapons afforded by a pistol start (rocket launcher and SSG) is a waste of ammo and time. Until going up the elevator, after the last mancubus dies, it's helpful if you don't fire a shot. Otherwise, the revs will wake up and their positions will be unpredictable in the narrow ramparts. The teleporting archvile is simple enough to deal with if you take cover from one of his two possible positions. He'll stop teleporting when he attacks, which is the best opportunity to fire rockets. Usually, the damage from the rockets will move him enough to teleport him out of your line of sight so he can't hit you. If you mess up, you picked up a megasphere anyway, so there's plenty of room for error at this point. 

 

pl07stuff.zip

 

 

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Posted (edited)

MAP 07 : I take an aggressive approach : destroy the mancs, focus on the revs, clear the zombiemen after. With that done, I pick a lift and enter it. Kill the imps, runn towards the YK + megasphere combo, go outside, kill the spiders from the moat, teleport back inside and then use the yellow key. Oh. Teleporting chaingunner is a dick move. Go back outside, kill the spider I missed, fall into the hole, kill all remaining enemies and then return to grab the secret goodies, finish with 0 deaths, 100% K/S/I in 4 minutes 28 seconds.

 

(for fun I did it a few more times and managed a 1m57s 100% everything run, still in HMP)

Edited by kalaeth

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MAP07 - Caughtyard

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

 

Fun fact: On Ultraviolence, this is the first map in the wad to feature the zombieman. No idea why the Casalis thought this was the right time to introduce them, but whatever. Anyway, this is a pretty decent Dead Simple style map, even though the mancubi and the arachnotrons are probably the least threatening parts of the map (after the zombiemen, of course). It can be tough to clear an opening in the top arena, but @Pseudonaut's tip to avoid waking up the revenants helps a lot here. This map also features the wad's first instance of the "very fast arch-vile teleporting at incredibly hihg speed," but it's not too bad as long as you don't panic, especially since you can save the megasphere for afterwards.

 

Co-op adds a couple extra monsters, but most aren't significant... except for the cyberdemon at the end of the hallway leading to the exit. The arachnotron, normally the main threat of that corridor, instead takes on an interesting role: like a fuse for a ticking time bomb, it effectively delays the cyberdemon's onslaught for one attack cycle, since the first three rockets will hit the arachnotron and kill it instead of you. This gives you enough time to kill the chaingunners blocking your path and whip out your BFG. Oh yes, co-op also provides a BFG behind the yellow gate, and you'll need it to kill the cyberdemon. Fighting a cyberdemon in a tight space like this can be a harrowing experience, but careful strafing should allow you to avoid heavy damage. If you run out of cells you can run back to the secret that opens up behind you at the start of the corridor and grab some more cells there, and if you run out of cells again or simply want to play it safe you can take cover and lob rockets at the cyberdemon from there. Speaking of cells, the cell ammo is present in both co-op and single player, but only co-op features any weapons that use it. Make sure you enjoy it, continuous players. :P

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MAP 07: Caughtyard, UV, continuous

Short, but oh so deadly like many of plutonia's later maps. One thing can be noted about this particular map( and the Casali's mapping style  in particular ) is the abundance of ammunition. Putting the player in a difficult combat scenario, but giving them enough resources to overcome said scenario (if used wisely) is one of the reasons I respect plutonia. The most evil trap in the level occurs once you've grabbed the yellow skull key, with an archvile teleporting between two pedestals, making him exceedingly hard to hit. As @Shepardus said, this is the first map to feature the zombieman/former human. Why? To mock you for playing on this difficulty. Reminds me a a lot less of dead simple, though. The secret in the level is odd, too. Requiring you to backtrack from the exit accelerator to where you fell in the hole where chaingunners and supplies await.

 

The next map is much worse, though.....

 

Kills:100%

Secrets: 100%

Deaths: 0

Stress: 10000000000000%

Fear: 100000000000000% 

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“7: Caughtyard” is a much more interesting Dead Simple. The level design is small, simple, but very exciting, aside from that outer ring with the arachnotrons. I triggered the revenants around the perimeter of the level but it took awhile for me to take them out with the simple shotgun. I think if I tried to lift up there to take them out up close, I would have just brought baron in the courtyard and caused trouble.

 

Not much to say except I missed the secret at the end but I had the foresight to remember that the jump down into that final pit is a point of no return so I grabbed the megasphere in the middle of the level at least before I did it.

 

The midi mack song, ‘Seasons of Insanity’ from Jimmy, works great with this level. It’s a fast heavy rock song; perfect for quick and loud fights like Caughtyard. I like the breakdown towards and then going quiet before coming back and looping again.

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MAP07: Caughtyard

 

One of my favourite aspects about idtech1 is its ability to "convert" a simple layout into a beautiful vista as demonstrated below:

 

372px-Plutonia_MAP07_map.pngPlutonia-map07.png

 

Anyway, this level is just a slightly improved "Dead Simple" clone. If MAP07 of Doom II is one of my least favourites from that game this level doesn't fare much better in my view, as like most "Dead Simple" clones it doesn't try to bring something new to the table and instead just reuses the good old "Progression through tags 666/667". Somehow it ended up being one of the most influential levels in Plutonia, with Alien Vendetta's MAP07 drawing many elements from it and the BFG area in Hell Revealed MAP18 bears resemblance to a much longer and punishing (and sloggy) version of Caughtyard's starting area, just to name two high profile examples.

 

Gameplay wise it's pretty simple, collect the RL, rockets and the megaarmor and just go to town, killing the mancubi and the snipers above. Then it's a matter of not getting surrounded in the closed off ramparts, as the rest of the level is very easy other than the bullshit teleporting arch-vile - not the last time we'll see this type of setup, but thankfully the last time it's implemented in such a bullshit way. The noble that teleports behind you as you press the yellow switch is a great move, on the other hand :) The finale is 100% padding and the fact that you can't backtrack is just the cherry on top, ugh.

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

hc_plu06.zip

MAP06 - Baron's Lair

 

In addition to the floating cube which magically outfits you for the task ahead, I think it's cool how the central hub offers a new boon to the player each time they pass a trial & return alive, but it's a shame that the compartments on the upper level end up with a tiny sliver of an awning above the button. That's a glaring flaw in what is otherwise a solid example of the consistent, understated way that Plutonia does aesthetics & architecture. The different sections each manage to look distinct from one another while still feeling like one cohesive whole; it's nothing flashy, but it does the job.

 

It's a tricky stunt to pull off, but I really like the dive into the Mancubus pit followed by the dash past the Arachnotrons to the escape hatch. I sometimes get bodyblocked and instantly wrecked, but since their sewer cistern is the very first challenge you undertake, I don't mind playing it for maximum risk & reward. Leaving the monsters to make their noise in the pit (since I'll just warp back across) and safely SSG-ing down the Revenants (who can't walk down the stairs behind their platform) means that I preserve all my heavy-weapon ammo for the next trial.

 

When entering that next area on the upper floor, there is first an explosive battle vs a wave of fliers before you can focus on herding around the cows who are penned up on the lower floor. It's kind of a half-baked execution, but I like the base idea of having these barriers that must be broken which also function as mines to be detonated - it brings to mind the joys of liquifying zombies in Knee-Deep In The Dead, but scaled up to match the mid-tier enemies of Doom 2.
Similarly to the architecture by the Revenant battle in MAP01, this room draws attention to the act of kiting monsters around. The way that you have to dash to the other side in order for AutoAim to provide clear rocket shots is also a way to suggest the idea of luring the monsters away from the blue key & just bypassing them by making a successful key grab & escape up the ladder.

 

The SSG battle in the garden past the blue door is honestly fun to do on its own merits, but once you know where the buttons are at the back of the room, it's even more satisfying to nail the whole loop in one fluid motion and leave all those chumps behind, cut off from pursuit by the steep staircase. It's a unique-looking area; I can understand why the trouble was taken to use another one of those Map04-style "invisible walls" to show off a decorative view in one of the earlier sections.

 

The mapset's first Cyberdemon is referred to as "the guardian" by the text screen that follows, and as the "baron" of this place by the map's name. Kind of an odd choice, considering that there's already a Doom monster who lays claim to that title. Plutonia names are sometimes whimsical like that. It's a small thing, but I appreciate the way that the wall seals up behind you as you enter the final arena, along with the way it reopens after the battle is over just in case you want to go scrounging for leftover supplies in a Continuous playthrough.

Even though you've got plenty of heavy-weapon ammo to spend if you want to put the boss down quickly, I just don't like the risk of getting snagged on one of those tiny pillars or on one of the decorations. So I always take the boring option and use the provided arrow-slits to grind the Cyberdemon's HP down with hitscan fire while he's contained and incapable of doing any harm. The whole level's been teaching you about how height-differences create cover, so this bypass is the natural conclusion of the lesson. The stark difference between the tactics here (wait until the ammo tax has been paid -vs- hit both buttons in a single cycle without getting exploded) demonstrates how Plutonia has this crazy-high skill ceiling, but takes care to keep the skill floor low enough to accommodate people who are still learning & finding their feet.

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MAP08: A much more proper style of level after two arena style maps, beginning isn't that great expect for the lowering water that reveals the entrance to the "Realm" (or better say the fortress) and some of the details with the waterfalls, but from the middle it begins to be pretty cool and challenging. The semi-linear progression and the part of the maps that hides behind water sectors or water falls is pretty cool. The final battle with all teleporting revenants is pretty thought and unexpected. Is a cool map.

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MAP07 - "Caughtyard" by Dario Casali

9E1AE5041FBDE4BCC10E1219480430C3A8967472

The demon's rigged the last teleporter to send you into the heart of their fortress!

 

It's a Dead Simple map but you can walk on the walls of the inner arena. The problem I have is with the 2nd phase of the arena fight after killing the Mancs: The Revenants above are rather annoying to hit with rockets, as the walls often block direct hits or autoaim doesn't cooperate. A regular Shotgun or Chaingun would have been nice for once. I ran out of rockets and had to ride the lift up to clear the rest with the SSG, which proves non-trivial as you're open to a lot of projectiles on that lift. The teleporting Archvile is cute, but your attacks have a tendency to make him teleport while he's lighting you up. Since you have a Megasphere, you can just tank his attack without issue. The secret is easy to miss as it triggers near the exit teleporter. It gives a lot of resources that are nice for continuous players but would have been better earlier on for pistol starters.

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MAP08 - "Realm" by Milo Casali

 

Another great MIDI here, a sort of calming MIDI that takes the edge off some of the map’s more frustrating moments. The realm is a water-dominated map where a peekaboo or a camp and wait strategy both work well. Barrels are placed well for some pretty satisfying kills.

 

The BK chaingunner trap is nasty the first time round, but once you know what’s coming, you can just take the lift down and snipe them down as they come. The health bonuses are placed in trollish positions in the nukage where collecting them hurts your health more than avoiding them thanks to the pain sector. Thank goodness UV-max doesn’t need max items!

 

The last battle is entirely cheesable with foreknowledge, but that’s okay, personally I welcome the occasional cheese. Despite its (minor) faults, this map was one of the most enjoyable for me so far.

 

Level rankings:

Spoiler

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
MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali
MAP06 - "Baron's Lair" by Dario Casali
MAP03 - "Aztec" by Milo Casali

 

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

hc_plu07.zip

MAP07 - Caughtyard

 

I have a love-hate relationship with this map on Pistol Start.

One the one hand, I think it's really satisfying to get a feel for that opening loop around the fountain (to grab the gear & get started) and to nail that first shot on the Chaingunner up above before shifting your attention to the brutes you're trapped with. It's such a short sequence, but it has enough nuance to be interesting when trying to squeeze all the value you can out of each piece of cover and each successful stun.

On the other hand, that panicked spraying of rockets to put down the Mancubi before I run out of health always means that I don't have enough left to bombard all the Revenants from a safe distance and will have to go fight them face-to-face, which is not the way I'd prefer to do it if I had deeper ammo stores.

 

So I don't. Rather than take either of the elevators up to the battlements, I try to exploit them by running over them just as they begin to raise. If you can time it right, the extra height will send you sailing over the moat. It's not sporting, but it's the simplest path to victory. Plus, I was growing frustrated with the Arch-Vile battle. I think it's a genuinely interesting setup how he'll keep warping between two vantages and how you have to keep track & dodge in the correct direction each time he tries to light you up. But I was finding that my shots kept pushing him into the teleport lines & putting him in a position to damage me even after a successful dodge.

 

The exit tunnel is hilarious; the initial shock of the Chaingunners combined with the delayed realization about the Arachnotron makes for a pretty good gag. The level goes out on a note just as frantic as the one it began on.

...Unless you care to take a closer look around after securing the tunnel. The just-barely-audible sound of the compartments opening is a really subtle way to hide a secret, but it all functions as a nice way to reset the resources of a Continuous player who just barely scraped by. Assuming, of course, they survive the level's last little jolt. That supply cache is not unguarded.

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Hey there everyone, here to continue on with Plutonia as we get more juicier, meatier gameplay. 

 

Map04: Caged (Dario Casali)

100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 07:04

 

Man, the difficulty keeps on hammering, and Map 04 is no exception. Despite starting off calm at the start, chaos erupts as soon as you teleport into the main area and hit the switch that exposes you out into the open with enemies firing at you from all cylinders, including shotgunners, imps, cacodemons and revenants. First order of affair is to eliminate the shotgunners on your platform and then the revenant so he won't bombard you with homing rockets, and then eliminate the snipers from behind where he stood. The rest is manageable once that's done, but it doesn't ease up for long, you have to wipe out the revenants from the chamber with the switch that raises the stairs, and when you hit the switch that reveals the path to the yellow key, watch out cause out will come pain elementals including some chaingunners. Getting the plasma gun also requires you to do a rather precise straferun jump across the pillars over the poison sludge. When you hit the switch that raise the stairs, run like hell so you can instigate the now awakened chaingunners that were initially sleeping to infight with the hell knights. The area behind the yellow key door is rather nasty cause once you hit the switch, it opens some doors revealing a couple of imps and some hell knights and barons that teleport into playing area. A pretty lethal trap, but once you've defeated the enemies, the rest is not so problematic. Find the teleporter past the opened doors that will take you to the platform with the stairs, hit the switch and take out the mancubi guarding the blue key, and enter the blue key door to hit the switch opening the door to the exit, but you have to take out a few gunners before you can really exit and there are two teleporters. The red one teleports you to one of the alcoves the nobles teleported from and the white one takes you to the exit where you hit the switch to end the level, the only time Plutonia does something different. Dario made a pretty good yet difficult remake of Doom 2's Map26: The Abandoned Mines, but eventually we'll see Milo's own version later on. Caged may not be as hard as Aztec, but damn, it's surprisingly difficult and you could get easily and quickly killed if you're not careful and don't act fast. I like it though as it's well designed and looked as if Romero made a variation of his own creation.

 

Map05: Ghost Town (Milo Casali)

100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 08:32

 

Another very difficult map. You start with a couple of sniper chaingunners, and don't fall into the water, because it does hurt you and you won't be able to get out. You then have to hit the switches of either one of the pillars for them to lower which will reveal a hell knight and baron (two hell knights on ITYTD/HNTR and two barons on UV). Then you have a couple of revenants to deal with before you enter the central courtyard where you have a mancubus on the upper platform, chaingunners from both ends, some cacodemons and pinkies, so yeah, quite a brutal place where you can lose a lot of health. Just make a run for it and take out those annoying chaingunners so they won't be a problem as you tackle the southeast area, which has more chaingunners, a couple of arachnotrons and the first spiderdemon in Plutonia. My strategy is to take out the arachnotrons first, then step on the grass which will reveal the gunners and spiderdemon, and then take out the chaingunners while avoiding dealing damage by hiding whenever it is needed, then once they're all dead, wipe out the bitch herself, alternating between the plasma gun and rocket launcher to conserve ammo. Don't think you can get away unscathed, cause when you step on the platform the spiderdemon was to collect the rockets, doors will open to reveal more chaingunners to replace the ones you've killed. Take them out and then grab the blue key, but haul ass because alcoves will open to reveal revenants and they can waste you with ease. Try to group them together so you can take them down with the rocket launcher. Now for the southeast area, deal with the chaingunners, and watch out as you make your way up the stairs as it will reveal another dangerous trap in which chaingunners will be revealed on the lowered pillars around the room including a hell knight and archvile (two knights in the lower difficulties and two arch-viles on UV). Once you've dealt with them, there's one more lethal trap, open the door past the top of the stairs and the Baphomet walls open revealing barons and an arch-vile guarding the blue key switch. Lure out the barons so you can kill them from the hallway without getting zapped by the arch-vile and then kill the arch-vile to hit the switch to open the door to the exit teleporter. Pretty good map, but symmetrical in design, and there are so many parts that can be troublesome if you don't know what you're doing. Again, really difficult, and it seems that out of the two authors, Milo's the one that likes to use death traps at every chance he gets, so his maps are much more brutal than Dario's. I dig the level design as it looks Greco-Roman in style.

 

Map06: Baron's Lair (Dario Casali)

100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 08:53

 

This map is a misnomer since there aren't any barons in it. You start out in an outpost of sorts, and when you step under the skull cube, you'll be filled with goodies which you'll need for the fights that awaits, and boy are they quite tough, though nowhere near as much as Aztec and Ghost Town. Enter the door marked by the black banners and you'll have to snipe some revenants with a rocket launcher, though beware one that will teleport to your area. Once they're defeated, go down and you'll have some mancubi to take care of, and when you hit the switch on the pool below, the stairs instantly lower revealing some arachnotrons so get ready for them. Kill them all, and then hit the switch for the doors to open, one takes you to a nifty secret holding a soul sphere and the other takes you to the red key. With the red key, you can open the door marked by the red banners, where you'll have chaingunners. Open fire and a bunch of monsters will spawn in including cacodemons and pain elementals and some imps (hell knights on UV). The barrels can be useful to kill or wound the lot. Once they're taken care of, you can head down to collect the blue key. With the blue key, open the door marked by the blue banners, and you'll see a switch which lowers the wall to a fountain, but don't go in the drink as the water is harmful. Not only that, but you have a horde of pinkies and some revenants to contend with. Best bet is to wipe out the pinkies so they won't get in the way when you pump rockets to the revenants. Hit both switches, and you can access the final area which hosts some spectres, chaingunners and revenants. Don't step out there yet, but instead stay behind the lowered doors and snipe the enemies out, and then collect the megasphere via a secret you can get by hitting switches revealed at the starting area as you progress, you'll need it for the last fights and heading straight for the switch raises them up, meaning you can't get back. First one is when after you hit the switch where you face some revenants guarding a switch which reveals the first of many cyberdemons in the wad. Luckily, he's not really difficult to take out if you stay on the high ground and attack him with the plasma gun as his rockets will always hit the wall, given you adjust yourself in a position where he can't get his aim. A bit easier than expected for a Plutonia map, but don't expect it to go that easy as it still provides some unique challenges and you need to know how to make the fights a bit more manageable, especially the one with the cyberdemon.

 

Gonna take a break for now. Take care and have fun.

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Map08: UV-Max in 5:25, NM-Speed in 0:46
This one feels quite stingy with health, since there's practically no armor. For the early fight with the pain elementals, I like to grab the plasma gun and rush in to kill the PEs first, which tends to result in a lot of damage taken, so I play a little cautiously for the rest of the map. The next noteworthy fight is the blue key trap, which can be a death sentence for the unprepared, but the right strategy makes it easy. What I did in the demo was this: when the elevator reaches the top, immediately rush to the other end of the structure while spamming plasma. This should kill any chaingunner(s) in your way and allow you to stand on one of their teleport destinations, so they can only teleport in through the other one. At this point, I switch to the chaingun and shoot at the other teleport destination where there is probably already another chaingunner. I took no damage from this fight in the demo. Afterward is a fight with a 10 point damaging floor, a pain elemental, several cacodemons and distant revenants. Safe floors are scarce enough here that you're almost forced to take damage from the floor, not to mention the enemies, so it's helpful to come out of the previous fight with a decent amount of health. Finally, the exit has another rough ambush with two archviles and several revenants. It's a good idea to save several rockets for this to take out the viles from cover.

 

A few days ago, I actually started learning to do glides just so I could beat this one on nightmare. The same day, I recorded this nightmare demo. Surprisingly didn't take that many attempts once I finished practicing the glide itself.

 

pl08stuff.zip

 

 

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MAP08: Realm

    At the beginning of this map I like to stand still for a couple of seconds and listen to the MIDI, take a couple of deep breaths, calm my nerves. The opening can be tricky if you miss one too many SSG shots, as in my 3-4 practice attempts I always ended up with 3 shells on PrBooM+. In the video, I used the GZDooM to record and there I ended the encounter with 7 shells. This is probably due to GZDooM fixing the Blockmap bug.

 

    The following encounter has rather nasty Pain Elementals. All you have is the SSG, and they can sometimes annoyingly hang back, or worse get propelled into one of the teleporters in the water moat. Lack of armor is really felt, as unlucky Revenant fireballs can take out 50+ health in one go. The basement with the Spectres really showcases how annoying they can be with software rendered and fuzz effect, as I had a lot of trouble seeing them. GZDooM kind of eliminates this. The Chaingunner tower is not too hard since the map generously provides a Plasma Gun. Run forward and hose the teleporter with plasma, and ride down the lift. Once down, just make sure they do not surround you. The final Archvile and Revenant trap can be cheesed by diving back into the cover behind the stone walls. Once there, just spam rockets at the impotent monsters.

 

    The continuous experience is soo much easier. Plasma, Rockets, Bullets, you can use anything you like against the opening Barons and Pain Elementals. This is one of theose maps that, I feel, is heavily defanged by carrying over weapons, at least in the opening stages where you would otherwise be rather lacking in ordnance.

 

The Video:

 

 

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Map 08: Realm, UV, continuous 

A great map with some evil traps scattered around. Also way too many revenants. I mean, seriously, did the Casali's forget about the other monsters? Anyway, the level has two standout traps that make it memorable. The first occurs on the bridge where the blue skull key is located, you ride the lifts up and grab the key to suddenly find chaingunners teleporting in from both sides, forcing you to watch both sides, plasma gun at the ready.

 

I died once in the area with the lift and platforms over sludge. Stupid place to put a damaging surface, considering the fact that you're being attacked by revenants on the opposite side. The second standout trap occurs once you've accessed the area with the exit accelerator, with two Archviles spawning in on either side of the platform.... as well as four revenants on each side, because dealing with two archviles just isn't enough.

 

The next map is much, much worse though( Deja' vu much?).

Kills: 100%

secrets: 0%

Deaths: 4

Wondering who in their right minds decided to vote for this wad: YES

Wondering how in the world game critics managed to play and review this wad(considering their skills now) as part of Final Doom: Yes

    

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time for my daily dose of punishment.

 

MAP08 : I start looking to a water body that drains down as soon as I step into it. A pair of shotgunners try to impede my entry but, ah. Two more are waiting inside to shoot at me from the back, but I'm completely fueled up from the previous map so they pose no threat. A switch operates a lift that brings me to a new open space, from which we can see the exit, although still closed. Two cacos and two HKs and a plasma gun. I plunge down into the water and I'm reminded that I have played this level before. The fact I remember it is not a good sign. Into the tunnel, imps, mancs, a door into a switch. It opened the door back there, releasing a rev. Now, another switch.. Yup, this is the part I remembered, a stream of revenants! Not sure if I've gotten better at doom or if it's just supercharge making this easier than I remembered but I deal with them quickly and move forward, into a room of three switches. Pressing either of them brings the walls down and chaingunners shoot at me, specters roam free. A healthy dose of SSG removes them, and I'm ready for another fall. At the end of the corridor, a weird structure with the blue key in the middle. Grabbing it, zombiemen start coming out of the teleporters, so I shoot at them. A lot. After that, I open the blue door and shoot a lot at the cacos, PE and revs. Damaging floor and platforming, my favorite combo! Not. Still, I manage to reach the top on my first try, press the switch, pull the lift, kill the cahingunner and exit back to the watery tunnel. I use the opportunity to open up the secret room before moving back, pressing the switch and opening the exit. And releasing the final wave. And dying to them... Once more, from the start! And of course, since I did the tiny platforming great on my first try, on my second one I die, missing the last "jump" 4 times in a row.. And on the third attempt at the level I save just before the platforming and do it on one try. and then, with 5m52 seconds, 2 deaths, 100% K/S/I, it's done for the day.

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“8: Realm” begins with that submerged stone hut, then the big arena with the locked off exit in the center. The staging area isn’t too bad– I use rockets for the revenants and chaingunners on the ledge and let the pain elementals creep close before I turn the corner and get them with the SSG.

 

Later on there’s that part where you go down the stairs and after hitting a switch, you have three chaingunners looking at you. The first time I did this, I ran back up the stairs and that was a mistake. Although I was able to kill the chaingunners from atop the stairs, I wasted a little bit of ammo and took a couple hits.

 

After that you fall into the hole and you come to that blue skull key tower. Shamefully, I died the first time but on my second try I fired continually with my plasma rifle and didn’t take any damage. The archvile trap at the end wasn’t too bad either. I jumped into the water pit when I opened the blue key door and fired at it from the pit, trying to lure the squad of revenants away going around the balcony and flanking me. Pretty decent level! Personally, I didn’t feel good about leaving with only 100% health and some armour.

 

This level’s theme is ‘Tower of Fire’ from Jimmy. I love the steady bassline and organ-like choir vocals sustained in the background of the song. The song is accented with serene harp.

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Hot damn the last room of MAP09 had my heart racing and hands shaking trying to record live and not fall into the nukage. What a map. I love it so much and hate it at the same time.

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Posted (edited)

6. Baron's Lair (Dario Casali)

 

Oddly, despite the name and the Sign of Evil music from E1M8, there are no barons on this level. Maybe the Cyberdemon that guards the exit is the nominated baron.

 

I had my first death in the red key area but I will cowardily blame it on a distraction from the wife and give myself a mulligan rather than pistol starting. In truth, I have as much myself to blame as I let impatience get the better of me and jumped into the mancubus pit rather than using the ample cover to methodically take out the revenants.

 

This level shares the blocky, broad strokes architectural style of so many of the Plutonia levels, which I really like. Action wise it was a sedate affair with ample space for me to outmanouvre the traps. I always find Cyberdemon fights tense, particularly near the end of a level; but I had saved a lot of plasma and took care of him from the the ledge near the exit without any bother. I was surpised Dario didn't place more revenants in the southern area with the demons. My tactic was to take out the demons so I could more safely use rockets on the revenants but there were so few it was simple enough to take them down with the SSG and save my rockets for a trickier spot.

 

I will award Dario a purist point for a rather agreeable map to level the scores again 2-2.

 

7. Caughtyard (Dario Casali)

 

This was very basic. Maybe a little more elaborate than your common or garden Dead Simple clone but not by much. Some trivia about this level is that it is the first time in Plutonia that zombiemen appear and I am convinced Dario either used up his chaingunner quota or placed the wrong enemy type as they are pretty much superflous scouting the permiter of the fort you start within. The revenants were pretty much the only monsters to put up a fight and that was because my rocket launcher aim was not up to snuff today - maybe I could have done with their homing missiles. There were a lot of lost opportunities to spice up some of the action, not least the final area oddly guarded by two chaingunners and a Hell Knight behind bars.

 

Still, as tame as it might be it was also too brief to bore so I will give Dario another purist point to put him in the lead for the first time at 3-2.

 

8. Realm (Milo Casali)

 

Upon appearance this is looks like a typical Plutonia map but unlike the previous levels it was very different to play. Firstly, it is very linear - until you get the blue key and back track to the start you just move forward opening another new area at a time. Secondly, and more unusually, the action is very one dimensional. Aside from some sergeants teleporting either side of you at the blue key (easily countered by standing on one of the warp spots) and the final revenant battle (admittedly pretty fun and tense too, mainly because I was keen to avoid dying and having to play the level again) all opposition is placed rather unimaginatively straight in front of you. Not only that but some of the setups reward door sniping. For a challenge WAD it seems philosophically against the grain and I wonder if Milo was being rushed or feeling uninspired making this one.

 

There is an interesting gameplay wrinkle in that the only armour is 12 bonus helmets, which left me feeling a little vulnerable by the end despite coming into the level with more than 100% health and armour so maybe this is the sort of map that plays very differently from pistol start. With this benefit of the doubt and for a fun finish I will donate a slightly charitible purist point to Milo and set the score even again 3-3.

Edited by purist : Added another map

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Posted (edited)

I'm kinda late, but I had to take part. I love Plutonia, and I will be playing it on PrBoom+ with complevel 4 and the midi pack. I will put the maps before map08 in a spoiler to keep things more organized.

 

Spoiler

-Map01: Congo

This level teaches you that Plutonia isn't messing around. High tier monsters including Arch viles are present in this map. Wasn't too difficult, but it's still early plutonia. Nice level.

 

-Map02: Well of Souls

More high tier monsters and nastier traps, including an invisible bridge. This map, like most Plutonia maps, has a nice aesthetic. Another nice level.

 

-Map03: Aztec

Plutonia's first true mean traps start here. Wasn't really a fan of the narrow pathways, but still, a neat level. Shoutouts to Doom's Autoaim, made me shoot a rocket to the floor and instantly kill myself >:( .

 

-Map04: Caged

First map that is inspired by Doom II (map26). It is definitely chaotic, with monsters seeing you immediatly after going down the first platforms. Cool map. Also blew my face with my own rocket XP

 

-Map05: Ghost Town

This is the first level that is true "Plutonia" difficulty. Tons of chaingunners, revenants, traps inside traps inside traps... I am honestly surprised I didn't die here. Another cool level.

 

-Map06: Baron's (nah mate) Lair

A level easier than the last one, even though I died twice due to dumb mistakes and almost died because I fell into a hell knight in the red key room. Also, no barons? The last trap with the cyberdemon is cool, I guess. Cool level, still.

 

-Map07: Court Caughtyard (I honestly never noticed it was "Caught" and not "Court" ._.)

Here's Plutonia's version of Dead Simple. It's... deadly... and simple... but cool! (Don't tell Dario that I skipped part of the level with a strafejump :>)

 

-Map08: Realm

This level has plenty of cool details. The architecture is pretty cool. That one blue key trap is pretty evil :P

 

Oh yes... next map... it's going to be fun.

 

(Also, are map05's scrolling textures supposed to scroll THAT fast?)

Edited by Valhen

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MAP08: Realm

 

Interesting level. Feels like it should be a breather but actually isn't, mostly because of the dearth of armor. Like @purist said, the only armor you'll get is through bonuses, so use them well. With only a few troublesome moments, namely the blue key trap and the sludge fight immediately after, it's a level that is something of a slow burn but will punish you heavily for even the tiniest mistake. Good stuff.

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gzdoom +set compatmode 2 -iwad plutonia.wad -file plutmidi.wad jovpal.wad psxsounds.wad

 

Map08 is one that I enjoy, it seems like a steady stream of fights in the sewers. Predictable traps, which helps you survive. Well, usually. Not in my pistol start demo. I progressed in my continuous save however, and feel no shame.

plut08.zip

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