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The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia

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Map 12: Speed UV, continuous

 

The Map's title has to be some kind of sick irony, right?

 

Playing cautiously and thinking tactically  is the only(can't wait for someone to correct me) way to beat this map. There are hitscanners on high ledges and alcoves that you will probably not see the first time. Luckily, there aren't any damaging surfaces in this entire map. The cyberdemon  on the red key platform is a tad overkill, and contributed to most of my deaths. The most evil trap has to to be the teleporting archviles trick used once again.... to great effect.

 

BEWARE THE TWILIGHT

 

Deaths: 9

Kills: 98%

secrets: 100%

Wondering why the plutonia midi pack isn't official yet: YES

lack of ideas for these joke stats: Affirmative 

   

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‘Always Watching’ by Lippeth is a good theme– with its complex rock and sawtooth chords contrasting with a simple gothic chorus– but “11: Hunted” is a level that calls for a lower-key theme. The original’s use of ‘Sweet Little Dead Bunny’ is special and a highlight on how Plutonia breaks the rules. The concept of an archvile-only level is breaking the rules in itself!

 

I remember when I first played this map, seeing that closet of archviles at the start was an ‘Oh crap’ moment for me, and there was a thick tension walking around the level with archies stalking you. It was brilliant. I’m not so scared of the level now, even though I died twice writing this post.

 

I was waiting for the BFG3000 and happy to get it at the end. I like how this campaign makes you earn it here in Plutonia, while in Doom 2– it’s first appearance is pretty unceremonious. I don’t hate that archvile trap at the end. I just realized that the doomguy corpse is beside the trap exit.

 

 

 

That opening lobby part of "12: Speed"– I usually camp there for a couple minutes, killing the monsters around the two adjacent rooms until I move into the western part of the map. I killed the cyberdemon with hitscan weapons while he fired into a torch on a corner of his plateau.

 

That warping archviles trap made me sweat but I didn’t get hurt. The final leg of the map is a challenge, and that large room with the raising bridges is one of the most memorable parts of Plutonia. Sniping all the chaingunners around the room wasn’t too troubling. When the revenants and archvile popped out, I retreated back through that long hallway and fired rockets and plasma at them. I wasted some ammo but didn’t get hurt trying. The final door with the archvile and BFG caught me off guard but I kept my cool, blocked the exit so the archie couldn’t run around, and killed it with plasma.

 

Before leaving the level, I searched for the secret I didn’t find earlier and got a combat armour.

 

‘Blood Rush’ by Eris Falling is fast, with guitar notes that might be as brief as a MIDI can make them. The level is called ‘Speed’, after all.

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MAP12: Speed

This map in a nutshell:

mtn_chaingunners.jpg.7769fd1a1ec0812f435d7bfd67a0ecea.jpg

 

Not a big fan of this one. Basically, all that happens is you see your screen go red while trying to snipe faraway Chaingunners. Either that, or you curse the autoaim that refuses to lock onto the red bastards. The Cyberdemon was a joke, and the Amazing Teleporting Archviles were not very impresive. The music does not fit the map either, but then neither does the map's name.

 

The Video:

 

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MAP07 - "Caughtyard" - Dario Casali (100%K/I/S) - 8 deaths:

Our first consecutive map from one of the brothers, and our third "boss-map" in a row, and luckly the last one, this arena is shorter, but well detailed. Basically, is a Dead Simple clone, kill the mancubi, and open the rest of the map. Killing them is not an easy task, as you have little to no place to hide, luckly they are not facing you at start, only some hitscanners on the ramparts. Killing the mancubi will lower the walls that protect the rampart's lifts, but also triggers the revenant teleporter, so immediately, you'll start dodging revenant fireballs at the "caughtyard", and remember, little to no place to hide from them. If you manage to kill most of them, go up the rampart and start killing the rest, but beware of the barons guarding the lifts. This map presents one of the earlier examples of one of the most annoying clichés in Doom mapping, The Teleporting Arch-Vile. The only way to kill him is to wait for him to attack you, which stops him from teleporting, shoot, and hide at the nearest wall. There are Arachnotrons outside the fortress, but they serve no purpose, as they don't trigger the 667 tag, not even for a secret. 
It's a little annoying to get stuck at the wooden walls in the courtyard itself, and this is the reason I died many times, while trying to dodge bullets.

Once you fall into the last hallway you can't go back, and this is starting to get trendy.

MAP08 - "Realm" - Milo Casali (100%K/85%I/0%S) - 19 deaths:
 

Ahh, the sewer map, overall the problem is that you can't see shit. This was back in the day the map that made me ragequit Plutonia when I was a kid. It feels quite different to most Milo's maps, curvy walls and shapes are not present here, and overall layout is kind of lame. Fun fact, there were 8 maps made before the Plutonia project as an IWAD started, and judging by its looks, Realm was one of those older maps. Have in mind some of those maps, were TNT rejections, and this map feels like a TNT rejection, indeed, with Plutonia textures. It's not long, but it feels long, and difficult because of the low visibility. I started save-spamming here because there are some stupid but nasty traps such as the blue skull one, and the one at the end with the AV's. The map feels like a journey for some reason, like one of those TNT maps, maybe in a bad way.
Again, the starting area gets inaccessible once you get to the central area. This part of the map can catch your attention, but it quickly draws away when you enter the sewers.
The squared area with slime at the blue key door is just lame. 

Deaths: 65 (UV Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)
 

Order of preference:


 

Spoiler

 

MAP04

MAP01
MAP03
MAP07
MAP05
MAP02
MAP06
MAP08

 


Possibly Realm is one of the older maps. I'd like to know what you guys think, which ones are the TNT rejections/older 8 maps?

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MAP12: Ah yes, the WOOD5 map, another level that i easily recall. This map is much better from its predecessor, with a interesting layout and hellish like design of the map, surrounded by a sea of blood and containing puzzle items and cool traps. Gameplay is thought and you need to be careful while walking around the place. Pretty cool map.

MAP13: I think to have seen the starting room been inspiration for another map, maybe Jenesis? Or another level from Hell Revealed 2? Anyway, another complex (in layout terms) map with a thought gameplay that goes with it, maybe too thought in some parts (like the yellow key trap). The best part in layout terms is the outdoor area at the right yellow door. Faster to be completed from the previous map (7 minutes instead of 14) and there's no damaging floors, neither the nukage floor in the left yellow key door! For the rest, is a cool map like the previous one. Good levels here so far!

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Day 12 ~ MAP12 ~ DSDA Doom/PRBoom+ 2.5.1.5 ~ UV-Max ~ NM100s ~ Pistol start ~ Midi pack

 

Demos - pl map12.zip

UV - 3 deaths: I can’t say that I like this map on a pistol-start. Having a continuous BFG from MAP11 helps a ton. I missed killing a pinky, so after backtracking, I took the opportunity to rocket jump to the exit, as it seemed like the only reasonable way to end the map at this point ;D.

NM - 565+ deaths: Shit. Shit. Shit. This is a real one. An entire day was spent grinding to get a NM100s demo, I can’t express how crushing it was. I’m pretty sure that the map is impossible to complete without using skips, but then again the skips are tough enough to pull off in a run. You can be insane like this dude, performing a rocket jump AND archvile jump simultaneously with perfect timing/position while hoping that your corpse slides over the exit linedef, or use the regular rocket jump. I’d say both are equally tough. Why? I think the RJ + AVJ explains itself, but the regular RJ strategy has a BFG from MAP11 in mind. All you get for this map are the shotguns, chaingun, plasma rifle, and rocket launcher. To do the normal RJ the area around it must be cleared out before attempting it for obvious reasons. Slower firepower means an increased chance for respawning monsters, blab, blah, blah, I give up on explaining what to do, experience the freaking map for yourself >:). Included in the zip is a failed MAP12 NM100s ending because of the all-ghosts effect (intercept overflow).

 

Playback of the all-ghosts demo:

 

Video of my setup for the rocket jump:

 

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MAP12 - Speed

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

 

First of all, let's get the discussion about co-op changes out of the way, because there are none. In fact, there aren't even any deathmatch starts except if you're playing the wad from one of the id Anthology versions (according to the Doom Wiki). It's like multiplayer was entirely forgotten for this level.

 

When I last played through Plutonia a couple months ago, I remember this being one of the harder levels. I didn't have much trouble this time around (in fact I survived on my first attempt), but I still think it gets rough, especially from a pistol start. The biggest challenges are the large height differences that enemies attack you from, which is awkward for the autoaim, and a lack of resources for the first third or half of the map. Expect to run low on ammo if you try to fight all the enemies you see. You don't get any armor until pretty late in the level, too.

 

I didn't realize for far too long that you don't have to trigger the cyberdemon's appearance immediately upon entering its area - only one of the three entrances to the arena triggers that, otherwise you only trigger it when you enter the lift out of the blood pool, at which point you're in a good position to kill it. Knowing that would have saved me some trouble when I was playing this before, as I kept eating rockets trying to get around the map. Speaking of that lift, the mancubus at the top of the lift can be a problem if it blocks your path, but when I played this today the chaingunner managed to kill the mancubus for me.

 

Similar to MAP11, the BFG only arrives near the end, limiting its usefulness. I forgot to note this when writing about MAP11, but what would be the first BFG in single player is far from that in a co-op/solo-net playthrough, so its significance is kind of lost.

 

5 hours ago, Pechudin said:

MAP12: Speed

This map in a nutshell:

mtn_chaingunners.jpg.7769fd1a1ec0812f435d7bfd67a0ecea.jpg

Haha, this is great!

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Map13: The Crypt

A calm, easier map than the last one. You start surrounded by Lost Souls, which is better than getting perforated by a Chaingunner. I like the way you enter into the crypt by pressing two different buttons. After getting the yellow skull key, you immediatly get access to the yellow skull doors (I guess it looks aesthetically better than a switch?). The hardest part is probably the Chaingunner and Archvile trap. The exit is also pretty tough, three Archviles, bunch of Pain Elementals and Revenants. Not much to say. Neat map.

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MAP11 - "Hunted" by Dario Casali

910CFDE395B8DA5600D0A812F42FA1FEDC50B0A1

 

One of the most memorable maps from Plutonia and all the IWADs. The sharply divisive Hunted is often mentioned as one of the worst Plutonia maps or as a cool thematic gimmick. I am in the latter camp which likes this map. The frozen Vile horde which teleports away from the starting area has been imitated in multiple community levels, famously in Skillsaw's 13 and 14 Angry Archviles. I can only imagine this being mindblowing at the time as an official map, considering how rarely Archviles appear in all of Doom 2. 

 

On to the actual level, pistol starting gives you an SSG with 100 shells and nothing else. You are allowed a total of 2 mistakes because there is no health until the Berserk, at which point the maps is basically over. The 14 Viles in the maze usually roam in pairs, and with some degree of randomness, this map remains engaging despite the gameplay consisting of popping Viles with the SSG 4 times while hiding behind corners. The layout is like a cramped Wolf3D level, entirely monotextured and without height variation. The way door triggers work can also make it confusing on how to progress or backtrack. The one secret attempts to create some guiding hints on the floor but I've never found them useful.

 

The final area contains this wad's first BFG, which I assume is meant to represent the particle accelerator the subsequent story text refers to. There are also 2 ways to exit the map, with the right teleporter packed with the remaining 4 Viles. Continuous players will have enough cells to get 100% kills, while pistol starters won't be killing them all with a max of 60 cells. That's it for the Earth maps, because the rest of the wad, according to doomwiki at least, takes place in Hell!

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MAP12 - "Speed" by Milo Casali

DF51A8D324DC226C1129C46877C405DB8D66F47B

 

Looks Hellish enough for me! They can't really keep getting away with this monotexturing, but the wood+metal+blood theme holds up surprisingly well. First of all, I love the new power metal midi in the music wad. Secondly, this map is relentless with Chaingunners who are often out of autoaim range. This wouldn't be as much of an issue if you could get armour earlier or if the map had any damn bullets to snipe them back. As seen above, at the end of the map my BULL is 0/200, and that's with the more ammo efficient Supercharge weapons! The BFG placement is also a joke - you get it after likely killing all the major threats. I do like getting all the other weapons early on. The lift being the only way up from the blood in the Cyberdemon area is dickish - you're forced to trigger it without taking a rocket and then likely take splash damage while trying to ride it up. I do like the teleporting Vile gimmick with the 4 switches. It can be annoying if they feel like being in a teleport loop but it's a neat trap nonetheless.

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After playing some Hell Revealed to get me up for Plutonia, it's time to play some more.

 

Map12: Speed (Milo Casali)

100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 09:15

 

Phew! I'm speechless at how punishing this map is. It's incredibly tough, and probably one of the hardest normal maps in Plutonia. The start isn't so bad as you first battle a few imps that pop out of the ground, but once you open the door at the bottom of the stairs, things really get intense and chaotic. Every bit of this map is dangerous with no safe spots as no matter where you go while you're fighting the enemies, you can get sniped anywhere, with shotgunners overlooking balconies and even the chaingunners from far distances. You also need to take out an arch-vile with a rocket launcher, but be ready to run for it and hide when he begins to light you up. The worst and most offending part however is the cyberdemon fight as you need to ride up an elevator to the higher ground in order to attack him, but watch out as he can quickly fire his rockets and if you don't act fast, you're dead. I barely managed to survive that part, but I was able to find a certain spot where his rockets will hit the torch stands instead of heading towards you and you can BFG him, but still, you have to be careful cause there's a good chance he can hit you if he's at the right position. On top of that, you also got more sniper chaingunners to deal with. Collect all the keys, find the switches guarded by the teleporting arch-viles, and locate the switch that opens the door south of the cyberdemon area where you get more sniper chaingunners, including some revenants that make their way towards you. The final part is just as ridiculous as you need to raise platforms but constantly taking cover from even more sniper chaingunners, and there's some revenants you need to watch out for, not to mention the arch-vile guarding the switch in the middle. And there's the switch to the exit guarded by chaingunners. Losing health to those snipers is inevitable as they're placed very nastily. Nicely designed level, but damn, this map really worked me up a sweat. Also worth mentioning that this is one of the two Plutonia maps with no deathmatch starts.

 

Map13: The Crypt (attributed to Milo Casali)

100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 06:33

 

Like Realm, I find it doubtful that this is by Milo Casali as it lacks his signature Tom Hall-ish geometry. The level design credits aren't always accurate so it's best to take them with a grain of salt, but I would consider this a Dario map. Other than that, this one's a bit more calmer than the previous level, except for the start with the lost souls, though there are still a couple of spots you have to be careful. When you grab the yellow key, prepare for an ambush of enemies that are revealed from the squares that lower. Take the yellow key door to the right as the left one requires also requires a blue key, which you'll find at the east section. Opposition there is mostly manageable, but get ready to take on a slew of chaingunners in the indoor area where they rise up from the blood, and when you attack them, a revenant spawns in. Locate the switch that lowers the teleporter to the blue key and don't forget that when you jump down the bloodfall, a swicth will be temporarily revealed, so hurry for it to lower the soul sphere platform which counts as a secret. Return to the atrium and take the right yellow key door to open the blue key door for a switch guarded by a baron. The ending has you dealing with a revenant ambush aside from some hitscanners, and keep an on the arch-vile at the window. Hit the switch to reveal the exit teleporter, but watch your back as the door lowers revealing another arch-vile and some zombies, including pain elementals from the sides. Thankfully a relatively easier map from the previous, and pretty fun with some good stuff, but still throws in a few nasty surprises.

 

Alright, time for my break from Plutonia. See you in the next couple of maps!

 

5 hours ago, DJVCardMaster said:

Possibly Realm is one of the older maps. I'd like to know what you guys think, which ones are the TNT rejections/older 8 maps?

 

I'm not too sure. It's too small to be considered a TNT rejection. That said, I still question if Realm really is a Milo Casali map because stylistically it looks more like it's by Dario, especially if you compare it to his other maps we played through. There's a later map credited by Dario that looks more like a Milo map, which you'll see when we get there, and given its size, I believe it's one of the TNT rejected maps.

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2 minutes ago, T-Rex said:

I'm not too sure. It's too small to be considered a TNT rejection. That said, I still question if Realm really is a Milo Casali map because stylistically it looks more like it's by Dario, especially if you compare it to his other maps we played through. There's a later map credited by Dario that looks more like a Milo map, which you'll see when we get there, and given its size, I believe it's one of the TNT rejected maps.



Have in mind that Abattoire, while being a map that looks nothing like other Milo maps, in fact they look like Dario ones, we know it's from him, since this map was uploaded to /idgames as a standalone map, BUTCHER.WAD, under his name. Abattoire looks like a Dario map, making it feel like both had similar styles, until Milo decided to test new grounds, like staying with 32 line grid and fancy circular corners, possibly to save time and make maps on a faster pace. Having a Tom Hall "canvas" is one of the things you would use to make maps on a faster pace, I tend to do it myself lately.

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Just now, T-Rex said:

I'm not too sure. It's too small to be considered a TNT rejection. That said, I still question if Realm really is a Milo Casali map because stylistically it looks more like it's by Dario, especially if you compare it to his other maps we played through. There's a later map credited by Dario that looks more like a Milo map, which you'll see when we get there, and given its size, I believe it's one of the TNT rejected maps.

 

Realm is a little too... messy (those curves in the exit area. Additionally, that start area is blatant Dario work) to feel like a Milo map. Actually, a few of the author credits in the OP feel incorrect to me, which I believe is a consequence of grabbing the list from Doomwiki. Not Dobu's fault, nor is it anyone else's necessarily, as there's never been proper confirmation on who exactly did what. I have a list of who I think did what though, which I'm thinking of posting at the end of the month alongside reasoning for why I think a given map was constructed by Dario or Milo.

 

2 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

Have in mind that Abattoire, while being a map that looks nothing like other Milo maps, in fact they look like Dario ones, we know it's from him, since this map was uploaded to /idgames as a standalone map, BUTCHER.WAD, under his name. Abattoire looks like a Dario map, making it feel like both had similar styles, until Milo decided to test new grounds, like staying with 32 line grid and fancy circular corners, possibly to save time and make maps on a faster pace. Having a Tom Hall "canvas" is one of the things you would use to make maps on a faster pace, I tend to do it myself lately.

 

Abbatoire is an unusual case, as it's the one map I've never been able to properly pin down as being a product of one author or the other. For the longest time, I thought it to perhaps be a Dario creation, but then I learned of butcher.wad's existence. This revealed it to be a Milo map, if a bit less refined than some of his later work. Note the exit area in this version being a much cleaner-looking circular shape, very reminiscent of areas you see in obviously-Milo maps, in contrast to what we see in the Plutonia edit. Abbatoire's exit area has more going on and feels less anti-climactic, which is good, but construction wise it feels... off, completely out-of-character for Milo. The central ring structure does not look like anything else made by him in the set, and the same goes for the walls of the room containing it. Theory time: It's possible that Abbatoire is a Milo map that Dario edited later on to have a more interesting ending.

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8 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:



Have in mind that Abattoire, while being a map that looks nothing like other Milo maps, in fact they look like Dario ones, we know it's from him, since this map was uploaded to /idgames as a standalone map, BUTCHER.WAD, under his name. Abattoire looks like a Dario map, making it feel like both had similar styles, until Milo decided to test new grounds, like staying with 32 line grid and fancy circular corners, possibly to save time and make maps on a faster pace. Having a Tom Hall "canvas" is one of the things you would use to make maps on a faster pace, I tend to do it myself lately.

 

If you take a closer look at the map, however, there's a circular area in which you collect the yellow key, including a circular walkway at the final area, and some of Milo's maps would have the green marble ceiling and brown floor combination which this map has in some sections while Dario never did, and some of the wood-metal texture selections look at bit like what he applied in parts of Memento Mori's Map23: Showdown and Map30: Viper. And speaking of texture selection, I noticed that one of Milo's signature tropes is having a texture near the end of a room that "wraps" around the texture of the main passages, usually the rusted metal texture with the rivets lined vertically or the vertical wooden textures, which is often seen in his maps, but Realm, The Crypt, and The Temple of Darkness don't have those characteristics, and Abattoire used the fire wall and blood floor texture combinations seen in speed, so you can tell that's by Milo.

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MAP13: The Crypt

    Not much to say about this one. I died 2 times practising this map (once in the Vile and Chaingunner trap and once in the final room), but after every death the course of action was clear. The initial fight was interesting, like a smaller and deadlier Dead Simple, trying to dance around the Mancubi to collect the Blue Armour. I managed not to get hit (somehow). While Plutonia usually likes to shower you in ammunition, in this map I had to go on scavenger hunts to find ammo. The MIDI was a bit naff IMO, felt like a generic rock/metal MIDI rendition.

 

The Video:

 

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Map13: UV-Max in 4:14
After the last few maps, this one feels like a pushover. The part that gave me the most trouble is the fight before the blue key, where an archvile spawns alongside several chaingunners. When they wake up, a revenant spawns behind you downstairs. I actually retreated downstairs and fought the revenant up close, but it's probably better to run to the other way out of the room and come back in to get the kills. Then again, that's probably slower. The other memorable encounter is the exit courtyard, and it's not hard. It's staffed with hitscanners at first, and entering it will reveal two perched archviles and several revenants, but it's pretty easy to just run in and grab the rocket launcher, retreat, then kill them as they follow you. Pressing the final switch will reveal two pain elementals plus an archvile and some zombiemen, while also opening the way to a megasphere that I didn't really need.

 

pl13stuff.zip

 

 

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MAP13 - The Crypt

UV Max (-solo-net) from pistol start

 

This map is tamer than the last few; like the early maps of the wad, it has some nasty setups but can be mostly disarmed. First up is an ambush by mancubi upon grabbing the yellow key, but circle-strafing will mostly do the trick and you're rewarded with a blue armor for your troubles. The green torches around the room are also surprisingly good at blocking fireballs. Next up is the trap on the far east side of the map, with the arch-vile and chaingunners in a room and a revenant to block your retreat. This is probably the most difficult part of the map, and I usually end up taking some damage from the revenant and chaingunners. At least the level is fair enough to show you what you're dealing with by having the arch-vile and chaingunners rise out of the pool facing away from you. Reminds me of the glass monster closets in Swim with the Whales and other Ribbiks maps. Last is near the end of the map, where an arch-vile and two pain elementals assault you at the same time. By this time you'll have the rocket launcher, though, so you can use that to deal with the arch-vile quickly and then deal with the pain elementals at your own pace. Everything else is run of the mill SSG combat that shouldn't pose a problem if you've made it up to this point.

 

The inconsistency in textures used to indicate damaging floors is really noticeable here. I keep expecting the nukage floor in the room with the baron and the blood pool in the room with the chaingunners and arch-vile to deal damage, but they don't.

 

The co-op additions to this map are pretty minimal, but there's one in particular I want to talk about, which is a single baron placed in the most annoying spot possible in this map. At the bottom of the lift, where you're flanked by two hell knights facing away from you, there is an additional baron facing towards the lift. When you descend that lift, the baron will certainly move forward and trap you with it and the hell knights, netting them an easy kill. The way I dealt with that was to carefully trigger the lift to descend without getting on the lift myself, then only dropping down just before the lift is about to rise again. This allows me to get a shot on the baron without getting trapped by it for the full duration of the lift. I repeat this until the baron's dead, or it randomly walks far enough away that I can run out from the bottom of the lift. Once, it actually came up on the lift, so I was able to fight it on the upper level. Pretty nefarious baron placement that had me stumped for a little while.

 

The only other changes to this level for co-op are an extra mancubus in the outer area where there's normally one mancubus (adding one more really doesn't make a difference), and some extra ammo (mostly boxes of shotgun shells) and weapon placements probably intended for deathmatch. Once again, the level hands out a bunch of cell ammo but doesn't give any cell weapons, and unlike in MAP07, co-op doesn't change this.

Edited by Shepardus

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MAP09 - "Abattoire" - Milo Casali (95%K/100%I/100%S) - 4 deaths:

This is a really nice looking map, feels like you are on some kind of cultist cathedral or something. Fun fact, this was previously a stand alone Milo map called BUTCHER.WAD, so, being one of the earlier maps, you can notice some mapping differences from other Milo's maps, in fact, most of Dario's maps look similar to this. The only differences in between BUTCHER.WAD and the final map is texturing, maybe monsters, and the last circular room. The area teases you a "key-hunt" exit, but it's actually not, as progression is linear, you go to the right room with the teleporter, get the blue key, open the blue door, and find a yellow door, get the yellow key, enter the yellow door room, get the red key and get to the "exit". Yes, it feels kinda off, but it is excusable knowing is one of Milo's first maps.
The exit is actually not an exit, as there is more progress to go, you get teleported into a nasty area with tons of monsters, so equip your plasma rifle and start shooting everything. If you go behind and open that middle wall you'll get a soulsphere.
The last room is that classic circular-shaped room in which everybody is shooting at you. Get to the imp room with the blue armor, kill them, try to peak one mancubus at a time, and then start circle-strafing the area to kill the rest, something that I did not do, because I know I can easily fall into the inescapable pit. Great map, but it kinda lacks something.

MAP10 - "Onslaught" - Dario Casali (100%K/I/S) - 22 deaths:

Well, this is another one of those ragequit maps, the starting area recieves you with a chaingunner right behind you, but luckly there is a well placed invi-sphere too. It's possible you'll have your first death here, you won last map, here is your price, get fucked. The map is nasty right from the get go, chaingunners when trying to grab the blue key, cacodemons from behing, you enter the complex and you get fucked from every single way, from behind, arachnotrons, from the left, chaingunners, in front of you, revenants, oh, and also from behind some mancubi. Back to the start, circle strafing around the blue key passage, trying to make all those creeps infight. 
Before you get to the complex you'll need to go to a sewer system, but to get inside you'll have to deal with chaingunners, this is an annoying instance since they will randomly revive because of a hidden Arch-vile at both sides behind the walls, I hated this section. I started save-spamming from here, as this level is kinda impossible for me. You can skip great part of the level by doing some easy parkour from the yellow skull pillar through the window of the complex. It is weird to see startan textures here, in Plutonia, something that is pretty common on most Doom wads, but here we kinda forgot about them, still, we are not seeing them again any time soon.
Agh, this map does not give you a break, even at the last section in that weird courtyard with benches, there are traps even at the very end, filled with enemies.
I think it's pretty clear from now that everything is a trap in Plutonia.
 

MAP11 - "Hunted" - Dario Casali (77%K/100%I/100%S) - 3 deaths:

This is a great concept, yet so simple, possibly one of the best IWAD maps, a maze full of arch-viles, the map can look samey at all times, but is a really nice setpiece. You start with a scary jail of arch-viles next to you, but suddenly when you go away from the crypt, they'll start going berserk and teleport into random places, here you notice you are trapped in a maze with them, stalking you, making those noises. This map may get you scared the first or second time you play it, but that's what mattered back in the day, one of the most atmospheric Doom maps of course. You'll feel constantly nervous of having to face one of them. It's not precisely a difficult map, but nerves and trying to use the automap to orientate, could kill you if you are not careful. If you didn't know how to duel an Arch-vile, this map will make you run away from Plutonia. I hated this map as a kid, as it legitimately scared me. And this time I played it... I'm not going to lie, it got me some times.
You need to get one of two keys to exit this map, so you choose in-between two paths. There are some secrets like opening a random wall that reveals a switch, pressing it will reveal you the way to go, which is really nice.
Doors open if you pass through some wall bars, nice mechanic, but it starts getting quite annoying when the bar you passed through does not open the door in front of you.
It is a great map, but sadly, the end ruined it a bit. Having to choose two exits, one of them leads you to a death exit, the other leads to a regular one, and the death exit is a trap full of arch-viles that will make you start the next level with only 1 health or so. You can't even kill them unless you blast a perfect BFG shot, which is almost impossible, so no 100% kills here.
A classic setpiece, it makes you feel like Alien: Isolation, a modern game that has a similar maze/stalker mechanic. That's the good thing you can get from this map.
Sadly the midi from Plutmidi here sounds a little bit cheesy, I preffer the bunny song over this, in fact I prefer this map without music, it feels even shadier.

Deaths: 94 (UV Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)
 

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP11
MAP04
MAP01

MAP10
MAP03

MAP09
MAP07
MAP05
MAP02
MAP06
MAP08

 


I'm having good memories of me playing Plutonia on survival mode in ZDaemon, those were good days...

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MAP 13, here we go : Immediately attacked by those annoying flying skulls, I run and shoot. Two switches, one opens the top half of the door the other the bottom half, presenting us a room with a yellow skull just sitting there. What could go wrong, right? A quick run around the room to gather ammo, kill the two imps waiting for me and then, a deep breath and I run to the key. This closes the way back and lowers 4 chaingunners that my SSG is more than pleased to meet. Now, two doors and as always, I go left. Hum.. Sludge and a blue door. Ok, this one time I'll go right, T.I.N.A., right? Imps and other snipers and a pair of cacos.. The right always fucks you up. And now, a jump into an unknowable  future where the only certainty is more monsters. Oh, the teleporter was a fake! I fall down into a face to face with a HK. Or two. And, of course, this is plutonia so.. Chaingunners. Gifts of rockets and health do not make me feel safe. And the 'porter is too high up, so I must find some other avenue of progress. Ah, hidden steps. And a baron. A bunch of chaingunners were just taking their daily blood bath when I stepped into their giant comunal bathtub and they took offense. I am, at least, grateful that they bathe clothed. The rev security guard that allowed me to pass comes running to rectify his mistake, but it's too late now. Pressing the switch releases some guard dogs, nothing worthy of my concerned. The 'port is now opened but I kinda do want that soulsphere.. Well, maybe later.. Grab the key, go back up and I think I saw something on the wall.. There's something there, alright but I can't understand what or how to trigger... Well, off to the rest of the level. Oh the sludge is non damaging.. Baron rocketed to death, switch pressed and here we go forward. I snipe a few former humans and then face a couple of couples of revenants with the RL. Oh, the thing I saw outside was a window! I press the switch, opening the exit and the door behind me with the AV. I get shredded to little bits, and it's back to the start....

 Round 2! Knowing the lost souls will be there, this time I take no damage. Way better of life and armor I keep going, still unable to lower that soulsphere. And then, the AV trap. Easily defanged. And I could finish now but that soulsphere.. It irks me that I can't find out how to reach it, even if I am at 200% H/A thanks to the megasphere.. Ah! it requires a quick run to a switch that shows up when I fall from the bloodfall? Done! And soulsphere not grabbed because I'm at full heath but, secret triggered.

So that's 1 death, 100% everything in 12m09 seconds.

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MAP 13: Crypt UV, continuous

 

Crypt has some....annoying traps that keep it from being a standard faire. The first involves you starting in an area rife with lost souls, who immediately attempt to violate your personal space. The second... "trap" involves an archvile and chaingunners rising out of the blood river, which looks cool. The final trap involves the exit area where you have to deal with two archviles in the windows of a building, the door of which you open to find.... another archvile and 3(?) pain elementals....

 

Do people play this for fun?

 

BEWARE THE TWILIGHT

 

Deaths: 6

Kills: 100%

secrets: 0%

Hatred of archviles: 100%

One of the maps I repressed: Yes

 

 

 

 

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"13: Crypt"...

 

Another level with enemies attack you right away but at least they aren’t hitscanners. I didn’t remember this level much until the outdoor room with the ramparts. I was riding high on my additional health and armour but when I went down the elevator and got thugged by a hell knight, I wasn’t doing so good. It took me a minute to figure out that you need to go behind the circular wall on the floor and find the ladder.

 

The archvile and chaingunner room gave me some trouble even though I rushed past them to the drop exit and took the revenant that appears near its opening. I saved the combat armour so the last leg of the level was instigated with 400% vitals. The final outdoor room is the other memorable part at the end. Those archviles are far off from the entrance so I snuck closer while hiding behind the wooden poles. After hitting the switch, I’m sure you can just leave the map but I like how there are good ammo pickups and a megasphere in it if you fight through the remainder of the enemies including two pain elementals and an archvile, which I admit I let produce a couple of lost souls and revive some enemies before taking care of them. I had nearly perfect health when I picked up the megasphere so it felt like a waste. Pretty good level.

 

‘Untitled’ by Mr Freeze has these cool warped guitar licks. After the high-tempo track on the level before it, I appreciate this song for its slower pace. I also like the dynamic range in the rhythm guitar, which has lower pitched and quieter riffs at some parts.

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MAP12: Speed

 

Ah yes, this level. I'd go as far as to say that it's the hardest in Plutonia from what I remember, mostly because of the abundance of faraway chaingunners that are REALLY effective. The title does give you a hint to minimize your troubles, keep moving and those pesky hitscanners won't be able to hit you. Two things in particular stand out to me in this level: yet another innefectual Cyberdemon and a not-bullshit implementation of the teleporting arch-viles setup (take notes, MAP07). The Cyberdemon poses almost no danger and is boring to kill to make it worse, should have a secret teleport somewhere to telefrag it like in E4M2 (now that I think of it, this level does remind me of "Perfect Hatred" a lot).

 

The arch-vile quadrant on the other hand is pretty cool and can be tackled in a few different ways; some are quicker, others slower but all are painless as long as you don't mess up. The finale is very tricky, similar to the one in MAP09 if you try to do it quickly but you can backtrack if needed so it's not as punishing. Still, clearing that area efficiently without a clear cut strategy is an exercise in frustration due to the lack of cover. Good level and the MIDI is on point as well.

 

MAP13: The Crypt

 

Somewhat of an antithesis of the previous level, here the player controls the pace of the combat. Despite the fairly high number of traps it ends up being one of the easier levels so far, mostly because the ambushes are for the most part not very effective. The first time I played this level I actually bit the dust to the simplest trap though, scratched to death by a hell knight after I got stuck between it and a lift :P The other troublesome moment I can remember is the arch-vile & chaingunners room before the blue key (in which the monsters appear in a neat cinematic way!), but the megaarmor should see you through as long as you don't mess up.

 

Have to say though, the level looks rather disjointed with two halves that look and play nothing alike, a less extreme version of "Nirvana" in that regard. The traps are also less dangerous in this second half; the first baron may catch some players off guard, but the other two surprises are not very well thought out. The pack of revenants that appear behind you should either not teleport ahead because it's easy to backtrack and kill them from safety, or have them teleporting but close the final area until the exit teleporter is accessible, which would also require moving the trigger line into the courtyard since the revenants are revealed WAY too early.

 

The last fight, yes I'm not gonna call it a trap since it's a pitiful attempt at one, is again easy to defang - upon seeing the megasphere and only one arch-vile behind the door that leads to it, the player will obviously barge in and collect the powerup. Even better, the room doubles as a pretty convenient spot to safely dispose of the arch-vile and the pain elementals. However flawed as it is, I actually like it a little bit more than "Speed" since it provides a welcome breather before the punishment you'll endure in some of the upcoming levels...

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

hc_plu10.zip

MAP10 - Onslaught

 

Hot Start: a gamestate where your two choices are "get shot in the back" or "blitz the nearest soldier and try to tear his service weapon from his cold, dead hands." It's undeniably rude, but after the surprise has faded, it's actually kind of a fun twist on the traditional "gear up" sequence. I can't say it's inappropriate - the map as a whole plays things fast & loud the majority of the time.

 

For me, this map is defined by two sequences where you have to make it past a horde of monsters without being torn to shreds, and also by the quiet, tense moment between them. I've gotten used to the Invisibility run to the sewers, and the Megaarmor run out of them, and even when I get tripped up & murdered, it's over quickly and relatively painlessly by Doom standards. It's the dungeon crawl in the sewers partway through that stresses me out. This is another "no armor at all, until the 200% buff at the final battle" kind of map, and the low DPS on Pistol Start makes the Hell Knights legitimately scary because of the way they could conceivably tank enough damage to corner you and tear you limb from limb. Even today I still abuse the sound-blocking lines in order to take the encounter apart piece by piece for safety's sake.

 

Getting out of that dungeon alive sets you up for the second run across the surface, where you're awarded some heavy weapons along with a Megaarmor, and matched against a full army of hell. It's definitely risky to just release the Arch-Viles and try to make the sprint to the key and the matching door without getting wrecked along the way, but that armored bunker is strong enough to hold off the onslaught if you can get inside of it, and I really prefer to calmly snipe down the threats from a defensive position. It's a tricky proposition to get there, but once you've taken possession of the yellow-door bunker, it's finally time to relax and shoot some fish in a barrel. Oh, fliers can still come through the windows, but that's to your benefit since it makes it easier to remove the Pain Elementals.

 

There's some cheeky details in the sequence that unlocks the exit in the aftermath of the big battle (like how the red switch gives you a fake jumpscare, or how the path past the red door has a baron capable of teleporting itself right in your face if you're trying to just run for the exit), but really it's all over at that point, and that's fine by me. That army outside the bunker makes for a hell of a main-event, and it's probably for the best that the exit path doesn't try to top it.

 

So, it's the beginning that gets all the memorable moments. After getting used to the Invisibility powerup always being placed in situations where it was practically useless (in the 60+ maps in the id canon), I can respect the way that it provides such a tangible benefit to survivability when facing down such brutal firing squads. The fact that you have to wait a moment in order to bait the Baron away from the button - all the while under 360 degrees of incoming automatic weapons fire from those immortal zombies - makes that setup into something that won me over through sheer audacity.
That audacity is matched by the way that the final escape from this Chaingunner yard ends up being nothing of the sort - instead immediately depositing you into a frantic, messy close-range brawl with a pack of bull demons. Only after extricating yourself from their jaws do you finally get a quiet moment to catch your breath and focus on the dungeon-crawl ahead.

 

We expect Plutonia to be antagonistic, of course, but the point where that crosses the line into being aggravating is perhaps a matter of personal taste. For me, the excitement of that opening obstacle course justifies its cruelty, along with the convenience of instant restarts whenever one crashes & burns.

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I killed all four of the arch-viles at the end of Hunted.  I thought that was cool. :)

 

 

 

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

 

I enjoyed Map13! The rev trap near the end almost got me, as you can see. I was rewarded with powerups and ammo for the next level though.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20210113_132745.pngScreenshot_Doom_20210113_132900.png

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2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

Ah yes, this level. I'd go as far as to say that it's the hardest in Plutonia from what I remember, mostly because of the abundance of faraway chaingunners that are REALLY effective.

 

So the faraway Chaingunners are a nuisance. Well, what about ....

 

5 hours ago, Silhou3tte said:

BEWARE THE TWILIGHT

 

*Shudders*

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I didn't get to do this in my run so far, so I will do a difficulty for the levels I've completed so far, but will add them from here on for my next posts. The difficulty ranking will be on a scale out of 10.

 

Map01: Congo - 5/10

Map02: Well of Souls - 5/10

Map03: Aztec - 6/10

Map04: Caged - 5/10

Map05: Ghost Town - 6/10

Map06: Baron's Lair - 5/10

Map07: Caughtyard - 5/10

Map08: Realm - 6/10

Map09: Abattoire - 6/10

Map10: Onslaught - 7/10

Map11: Hunted - 5/10

Map12: Speed - 8/10

Map13: The Crypt - 5/10

Edited by T-Rex

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MAP13 - "The Crypt" by Milo Casali

B3A25248BA5D37653B109FF2C02CEBCCAE2D6A70

 

Good visuals and layout here. I especially like the area with the bridge, which you are then able to explore on both sides below (not that there is much to find). My biggest gripe has to be how SSG-focused the map is from pistol start. It is all you will really be using, since you are flooded with shells, before the very end where you get the Rocket Launcher. It's not a long map or anything but weapon variety is always nice. Regarding the traps, the first one with 4 Mancubi can kill you quickly if you stay in the room or run for the bridge door where enemies can block you. If you escape left into the sewage room, it's easy enough to funnel the Mancs and kill them from there. There is also that asshole Revenant which teleports behind you as you engage the Vile and Chaingunners, though it's easy enough to run past there down the bloodfall and loop around back. The two Viles pictured above are cool, I guess, but they don't do much aside from stall the exit. Final fight is pretty good, though nothing is stopping you from running back out. You can also pre-fire rockets at the door Vile to kill him before he gets an attack off and then run around clearing out the Pain Elementals and Lost Souls.

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Map14: Megadrive (oh god this joke was terrible please end me-) Genesis

This map felt oddly easier than the last one. Maybe because it was more symmetrical? It was still tricky though. The hardest part was the invisibility sphere trap, mainly because I grabbed said sphere like an idiot and had trouble dodging the projectiles. Aside from that, I like the looks of this map. A brick fortress filled with blood and blood falls. Cool map, next one is going to be even trickier though :|

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MAP14 - "Genesis" by Dario Casali

CFE3AAE3719C4BD6D7128E0E38CFA1A20BFBF0E6

 

This map is surprisingly compact, with one big fight occurring around the trapped bridge. Quite a few mandatory pain sectors around, which add up a bit of chip damage. Thankfully, the secrets all give you really good stuff that you'll want if you pistol start. SSGing is still the main focus, though you do get some rockets to deal with the 2 Viles post Yellow Key grab. The bridge trap can be rough if you don't know where the stairs going up are after it lowers. Once you get up around the perimeter, rather than being in the crossfire, enemies will start infighting each other and you've pretty much won. I also like the detailing with all the linked metal pillars in the starting room as well as the new midi.

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