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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia

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21 hours ago, AD_79 said:

 

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.

 

 

I can definitely agree with you on that. Since we know what both Milo's and Dario's mapping styles are like, with Milo leaning more towards Tom Hall geometry with circular areas, curved hallways, etc. and Dario having more abstract shapes and architecture that seem to resemble John Romero, most of the author credits are just right, but some like Realm and The Crypt are erroneous as those two maps look nothing like what Milo would design and look more like Dario's work. Abattoire, while some argue that it looks like Dario made it, we know it's actually Milo's since as we all know, it's based on his Butcher.wad map. In fact, given that it's an early work by Milo, you could compare the map to his sole TNT contribution Map28: Heck, or his two maps for Memento Mori Map23: Showdown and Map30: Viper, which share very similar design traits to Abattoire. That said, while Milo's early maps may seem like they share similar styles to Dario, they still have distinct geometry which looks very different to Realm and The Crypt. I've also been thinking of posting at the end of month the entire map list on who I believe done which map, and I think we'll both reach the same conclusions.

Edited by T-Rex

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Map14: UV-Max in 3:53
Another pushover, but it makes sense to give us a breather before map15, one of the more challenging maps, and potentially the secret levels. It's partly because I remembered it well, and already had a good idea of where to go. Foreknowledge helps a lot in Plutonia in general since you'll take less damage from chaingunners if you move quickly. This map still has a few things that stick out in my mind, like the ambush with the partial invisibility. I'm not sure how helpful this powerup is here since the hitscanners died so soon in my demo, but it was at least not disastrous. The soulsphere secret is cool, and the suicidal chaingunners behind the yellow door are amusing.

 

pl14stuff.zip

 

 

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MAP12 - "Speed" - Milo Casali (100%K/I/S) - 22 deaths:

Ahhh, Thy Flesh Consumed looks with Milo's design style, if this did not work, nothing would do. Great map, nice pace, everything inspired from UDoom's fourth episode, where wood and metal walls reign. Milo has ripped the hell out of it, even a Cyberdemon at the center trying to cause havok everywhere, when you are trying to run and jump from wall to wall. Big problem, chaingunners hitting you from space itself, they would put any Awper to shame, why would you need an Arctic Warfare if you have an automatic sniper rifle like those disgusting chaingunners? It pretty much sums up this level. I'm kind of a sucker for Thy Flesh Consumed aesthetics, the layout is a little bit confusing but not disgusting. It is confusing that there is too much inconsistency in which fluid does damage and which not for our beloved brothers, it feels like you can take damage here, but no.
Again there is a set of teleporting, annoying arch-viles, at the top.
What is really interesting here is trying to spot a good "sweet spot" to kill this Cyberdemon at the middle, seems like the ledge at the bottom left with two chaingunners is your best option.
Too bad the music yet again feels off for me, it feels I'm playing a new wad, it's clearly based on something like Dragonforce, and for me, power metal is a big no no, specially for Doom.

MAP13 - "The Crypt" - Milo Casali (?) (100%K/I/S) - 6 deaths:

Yes, this is a Milo map, one of the old ones, but doubts come when trying to compare this map with MAP20 (we'll discuss this later). It feels like a Milo map because of the blue armor, heavy use of the "Plutonia" textures and overall a map quality that does not feel like something Dario would do.
The Crypt has nothing too interesting to offer, you have a similar "fort entrance" start like the previous map, but with a different setup, also, annoying lost souls to take your life out if you don't start moving right from the get go. I always found weird how the entrance door opens.
The "rampart section and the outdoors at the eastside of the map present the most interesting moments, but after that, getting into the little "sewer" with the arch-vile and the surprise revenant, I found it quite boring.
This map ends kinda abruptly at the outdoor area with a big fight you can cheese if you manage to  get rockets and spam them safely from the outdoor area entrance. I like this area anyways, just by how it looks. 
This is one of the weirdest Plutonia maps for some reason, feels off, isn't it?
Also I love the Soundgarden reference in the Plutmidi choice here, finally making some justice to Soundgarden, as every single one of the beta Doom sounds that were inspired by Soundgarden where sadly discarded.
 

MAP14 - "Genesis" - Dario Casali (100%K/100%I/66%S) - 0 deaths:

Another map I love and gets me really inspired to make some fast maps, this feels like one of those maps Dario and Milo rushed to get a final product. It's compact, has a great interconnected layout, and good combat. We are entering probably into the best Plutonia episode, I remember all those maps being played 'till death in Multiplayer source ports. It gives me so many memories.
The map itself is kind of easy if you have all your equipment from the previous map, one of the easier maps, it kind of feels like a break from some of the previous maps, and a needed one, as I got gang raped by most of them hardly. As with most of maps that have a pretty interconnected layout, once you kill everybody this can feel pretty empty. I feel it lacks some monsters at the end. You can have a bad time if you let the arch-viles revive too many hitscanners, but other than that, when you killed everyone, and enter the yellow key room, you are pretty much finished. This may kill the feeling of the map a little bit.

Deaths: 122 (UV Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)
 

Order of preference:

 

Spoiler

 

MAP12
MAP14

MAP11
MAP04
MAP01

MAP10
MAP03

MAP09
MAP07
MAP05
MAP02

MAP13
MAP06
MAP08

 


If somebody is asking, the midi in MAP13 is clearly inspired by Fell On Black Days by Soundgarden.  Take a listen if you want. Thanks for this piece, Mr. Freeze

 

 

Edited by DJVCardMaster

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MAP14: Genesis

 

This is a level that I remember giving me all sorts of trouble the first time I played it. I think it was because you're placed in a pretty nasty crossfire from the get-go and the first real safe spot is the rocket launcher corridor, which is somewhat far from the start point if you're not familiar with the layout yet. Otherwise, apart from the annoying arch-vile placement (read: effective) the level's not too difficult. One particularly underwhelming moment is the ominous looking bridge with the invisibility, where I expected a chaingunner firing squad to be revealed... only to get a few knights, cacodemons and shotgunners!

 

The ending is neat, with a cool barrel frag sequence (where I somehow died the first time I played the level :P) followed by a mini obstacle course with a couple of revenants to test your reflexes. All in all, a short but sweet level.

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MAP14: A really neat and fun level, pretty much inspired from The Immost Dens, only more open and compact in layout term. Gameplay is thought but addicting. One of the best maps here, together with MAP12 and MAP09

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Map 14: Genesis UV, continuous

The calm before the storm.....

 

A  great level, this one. Short but sweet, with plenty of teeth to boot. The layout flows really nicely and the map still looks good, in my opinion. The traps are really good too. The bridge with invisibility sphere is a noteworthy one, with the hitscanners  infighting with the tougher enemies. As @Andromeda mentioned, the Archvile placement is... effective. The level's midi is also one of my favorites.

 

I wonder what map is tomorrow *checks calendar* the 15th.... map 15.... oh no..... please.....NO....!

 

THE TWILIGHT HAS COME

 

Deaths:0

Kills: 100 %

Secrets: 66 %

Chances of my death counter going up by 1 million %: 100%

Buttocks clenched: Affirmative( A necessary  action.... I'm not weird! You're weird!)

 

  

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one more time, with feeling!

 

MAP 14 : a HK walks around, he didn't have a permit so I shot him. A couple of times. After that I went to see the sights but a couple of revenants (and a chaingunner) started shooting at me, so I switched to the rocket launcher and repaid in kind. On the other side, a caco and some shotgunners were just standing there so I killed them before they killed me, it' called proactive defense, look it up.  With that taken care of I finally went inside, only to emerge outside again. Standing on the door I snipped as much as I could : imps, chaingunners, a shotgunner and a spider. Down the steps, two more shotgunners walking around the blood were touched by my wisdom (yes, I am calling my SSG wisdom from now on) and stopped bothering me. I go into another building that seems to serve no purpose other than having doors and steps. From it I reach another building where a rocket launcher was just left there, in the floor. There was also a green armor and a medikit but those weren't yet needed. Even so, a caco decided to come pester me.. More wisdom dispersed. Oh, a secret passage on the wall and I'm 'ported to a ledge to grab a backpack and then, down below, a soulsphere! Generous secret. Returning to where I found the secret I spread a bit more wisdom on some ignorant shotgunners and the move to grab a invisibility sphere. If I've learned anything about plutonia by know it is that as soon as I grab that chaingunners are gonna be surrounding me... Strangely enough it was but one chaingunner! And a lot of shotgunners, a few cacos and hellknights as well, so I share with them my knowledge. Which is how I just nicknamed my rockets, yes. Killing all of them, pressing the switch and returning to the original path took so long I lost the invisibility and return thinking that maybe it was wasted time.. But then a baron shows up and while sharing wisdom with it I realize there might have been a purpose to that detour, as a new path to the yellow skull is now risen. Stepping on the lift brings me face to face with a baron. We argue bu wisdom prevails. Finding myself a bit low on health and armor I do a quick backtrack to grab them before opening the yellow door, where a pair of chaingunners are quickly blown away by barrels.. the teleports they so unwisely used take me to the exit but I'm missing a couple secrets yet, so... One was the soulsphere that hadn't been triggered so only one to go.. And the second, actually third, one was inside the bloodfalls and gave me a well deserved blue armor. And then, finally, me, my wisdom and my knowledge and the rest of my unnamed weapons, step into the exit on the 19th second of the 13th minute, with 100% K/S/I.

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“14: Genesis” is a smaller map. It’s the opposite of cozy, though. The early parts of this level is me shooting everyone I can from the opening center area. I usually take out one third of the map’s pretty small enemy count. I was still stocking up on vitals from the previous map but walking out into that southern section with the arachnotron in the cage quickly put an end to that. I was getting punctured by the chaingunner in the corner and I didn’t realize that the floor is damage floor.

 

I overcompensated in that room with the bridge where you pick up the blur effect and the shutters come down. I was beaten down pretty badly. That archvile that appears in the southern section, though… I got him to ride up the elevator by the yellow key in the western section of the map and took him out in his lonesome. Going down the elevator to take out the caco the archie revived sounded a little unpleasant with the possibility of the caco blocking the exit, but luckily the secret nearby teleported me to a ledge in the room, so I was able to take out the caco easily and grab the supercharge in the well.

 

I don’t know what was up with that barrel room with the chaingunners. The barrels seemed inconsequential. The revenants on the way to the exit weren’t a problem and before I left the level, I remember that secret by the bloodfall and got the megaarmour. I took some hits between getting the supercharge and leaving the level but I still left in good condition. This is a short tricky level, but very good.

 

‘Plugged In’ by Bucket is a duet between suspenseful orchestral plucks and serene and melancholic waves of string section with electric guitar in the background. The motorik bass that feels like its inspired by post-punk wraps the song together in a ribbon.

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MAP14: Genesis

    A bit of a breather before the next map. I still died a couple of times while practising, but all of those deaths were concentrated at the beginning. After I figured out where to go at the start, there was no real problem. The map is quite small, and the monster count is low even for Plutonia. I took the Invisibility Sphere, and am still wondering if that was a good move. I bled a lot of health in that encounter, but the Soulsphere had me covered.

 

    The "Decino explains Doom mechanics" MIDI was a nice one. A more laid-back MIDI for a relatively laid-back map.

 

The Video:

 

 

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Dear everyone calling MAP14 easy or "a breather,"

 

I envy you.

 

Sincerely,

 

A -solo-net player

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MAP13 - "The Crypt" by Milo Casali

 

Strangely, I think I actually found this level harder than Speed. I died more, that’s for sure. For all Speed’s toughness, once I cleared the opening area I didn’t have too much trouble. Here my deaths were sprinkled throughout the level.

 

The level started on a disappointing note for me, first with boring lost souls, and then a standard circle strafe mancubus + imp fight. But after that, things got a lot better. I enjoyed the outdoor battle, with the relative ammo scarcity forcing me to move in search for the next supplies. The arch vile and chaingunner battle got me a few times, especially with the sneaky revenant that teleported in.

 

Then the final battle too, with the archvile that appears in open space with little cover, and trying to rocket it instantly may lead to you rocketing a charging lost soul from a pain elemental instead. It didn’t help I started this battle on pretty low health lol.

 

I enjoyed the MIDI on this one, and aesthetically it was a step up from the last few levels.

 

MAP14 - "Genesis" by Dario Casali

 

A short map (even by Plutonia standards) with a pretty simplistic layout, and nothing really to look it. The action starts off decently well, but tames into more corridor type fare as it goes on, with the exception of that blursphere trap.

 

I didn’t enjoy this one so much, whilst I have vastly preferred the MIDI pack to the original soundtrack overall, this one I found too dull and repetitive for my tastes. The barrel finale was fun, I suppose.

 

MAP15 - "The Twilight" by Milo Casali

 

This map is one of the few that really stuck in my mind from my last playthrough of Plutonia all those years ago. I remember clearly the feeling of never being comfortable, always having to be on the run, which I found exciting then and I found exciting now. This feeling was the inspiration behind the opening area one of my 64KB maps (map 7 of limit removing set), even if it turned out a pretty different map.

 

To me it’s the hardest map so far in the set, although secret hunting certainly helps tame it significantly. Apparently there are 19 secrets, of which I found 8 (including the secret exit, which thankfully was not overly cryptic). The final battle appears terrifying at first sight, but thanks to the blursphere, megasphere, and earlier secrets, it was the easiest part of the map to me.

 

Having already had an Abandoned Mines homage in Caged, this is yet another homage, which seems lazy, but being such a good map otherwise I forgive it. The MIDI is also fantastic, an imposing high-octane track that is certainly a better fitting track for the map than Waltz of the Demons.

 

Level rankings:

Spoiler

MAP15 - "The Twilight" by Milo Casali
MAP09 - "Abattoire" by Milo Casali
MAP05 - "Ghost Town" by Milo Casali
MAP08 - "Realm" by Milo Casali
MAP07 - "Caughtyard" by Dario Casali
MAP04 - "Caged" by Dario Casali
MAP01 - "Congo" by Milo Casali
MAP12 - "Speed" by Milo Casali
MAP13 - "The Crypt" by Milo Casali
MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali
MAP10 - "Onslaught" by Dario Casali
MAP06 - "Baron's Lair" by Dario Casali
MAP03 - "Aztec" by Milo Casali
MAP11 - "Hunted" by Dario Casali
MAP14 - "Genesis" by Dario Casali

 

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MAP15: Another really thought map and another well known map, like MAP04 takes strong inspiration by "The Abandoned Mines" from Doom 2, with it's labyrinthic, open layout with lots of windows where monster snipes (especially chaingunners, there's a really lot of them in this map!) and it's major usage of metal textures. So far, episode 2 is where the really cool maps are in this wad! Next levels, they will be deadly serious.

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Map15: The Twilight

This is the second map based on map26 from Doom 2. It also includes the classic Chaingunner that gets resurrected by an Archvile infinitely. Plenty of tricks and traps in this map. Surprisingly, it was way easier than I remembered. I only died once. I probably just got lucky and remembered all the secrets though. Cool map, next the secret levels and uh... "Cyberden"? "Go 2 It"? Can't remember them, can't get harder than this map, right?

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

My body is ready.

 

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A little bit of catch-up...

 

MAP07: Caughtyard (HMP/continuous)

7:11 | 100% Everything

A tight little arena that's not too difficult if you're fully loaded from the last map. Dodging the revenant missiles on the ground was a bit tricky; I might have been better served getting up on the ramparts to take them on. Took me a second to figure out how to nab the key; it's a goofy little quirk that lets the rampart wall keep you from stepping over it, but running toward it will take you over. Having the knight teleport right behind you at the key switch was a bit of a dick move. And the (sole) secret is a little silly, but it was nice to reload a bit since I couldn't get back up to the map start.

 

MAP08: Realm (HMP/continuous)

12:34 | 100% Everything

This is a weird little map. I never remember the first bit, but then I see that big green walkway and it comes back. Lots of revenants here, (mostly) easily handled with rockets. I really hate the damaging slime in the eastern room, that's killed me so many times (including once today!) There isn't really a lot to this map, is there? It's very distinct, though.

 

MAP09: Abattoire (HMP/continuous)

13:14 | 100% Kills | 75% Items | 100% Secrets

This map feels short on substance, but didn't play super quickly. The opening room makes me think of TNT for some reason. The blue key fight in the crusher room was mildly amusing, as a bunch of imps got crushed, and a lot of others decided to infight with the revenants. The eastern wing isn't particularly memorable, apart from maybe the initial wooden room of cages with its walkway above the blood. No, the real memorable bit here is the incredibly-hard finale. This is the part I remember being the hardest, and this playthrough has changed my opinion! I died more than a couple of times. Eventually, I was able to quickly rocket out the imps and chaingunners and take cover in one of the alcoves. My rockets couldn't reach the spiders from there (to far for autoaim) but I could at least take a couple steps, let off a few quick rockets, and retreat. X4. (I see on the wiki that a slow and cautious approach might be a better strategy, but that's not necessarily how I roll.) I forgot to check the archvile alcove in the start room to grab the blursphere, and since there was no going back from the exit room, I missed out on maxing the level for the first time in the WAD. :(

 

MAP09: Onslaught (HMP/continuous)

13:51 | 100% Everything

One of my favorites in the WAD. Those opening-view arches are burned into my memory for whatever reason. Lots nasty surprise here; at first it seems like everything you do releases another batch of beasties. A couple of wicked fights around the yellow key, with viles involved. Worst part is the entrance to the sewer tunnels, with the ring of automatically-reviving chaingunners, and oh once you cross the killing floor, your reward is a baron in your face WTF! The sewers bit and the climb out into the cute little base is a nice change of pace, until you unleash another big wave of opponents. The exit area is a bizarre-by-contrast brown dirt canyon which feels really out of place, but still manages to literally squeeze in two more vicious traps: a noble pincer and a mob of surprise shotgunners! Goofy end, but I do love this level.

 

MAP10: Hunted (HMP/continuous)

12:38 | 88% Kills | 100% Items | 100% Secrets

The most infamous map in Final Doom. The MIDI Pack music for this is pretty good, but it does lack the absolute surreality of the bunny theme. I (initially) only died twice, due to getting surprise-pinned in a dead-end by a vile who didn't flinch at my first SSG blast. Otherwise, I was surprised by how easily I handled both the opposition and the maze. I did find the secret near the end, but I've never really understood its usefulness in navigating. Finally got the BFG (yay!) and spent maybe 7-8 saves trying to max kills in the "bad" exit room. At best I only ever managed 2 kills before exiting, keeping my kill score at 88%.

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Map15: UV-Max in 4:17
When I played Plutonia for the first time, this is the map that gave me the most trouble. For those going in blind, it can be a real ballbuster, as some very important items are hidden in secrets, including a sousphere, BFG, plasma gun, invulnerability, megasphere, and partial invisibility. These aren't hard to find at all, but not obvious either, especially while you're busy being perforated by this map's many chaingunners, not to mention all the other monsters on the narrow walkways that make up the center of this map. Four of these chaingunners are backed by hidden archviles, so they'll be constantly resurrected if you try to kill them until later in the map when the viles are killed by crushers. However, with good routing, the map is very manageable. Ammo for the BFG is abundant, and the weapon itself is available almost immediately, as is the invuln. When combined, you can safely and quickly take out the most dangerous stuff. Under these circumstances, this map turned out to be quite lenient with health and armor; in this demo, I actually forgot about the secret megasphere until everything worth mentioning was already dead. In any case, one of the best maps in Plutonia.

 

 

Map31: UV-Max in 8:11
Advertised as the second-hardest map in Plutonia, presumably because cyberdemons were more intimidating in 1996. Even when I played this for the first time (which was probably only two or three years ago), this was one of the less difficult maps. There are four cyberdemons, more than any other IWAD map except you-know-what, but they can all be fought one at a time, with plenty of space, while no other significant threat is around. You can also leave them alive and fight more than one at a time if you like, or leave just the last one alive and let it infight with the horde of revenants at the end. Allowing the player this freedom is probably the best thing about the map, though I didn't show it off in my demo. I'm less fond of the start, where two archviles teleport into cubbies behind walls, which you can shoot through, but can't see through, and the viles can see you. Killing them is as simple as it otherwise would be, but now the amount of ammo you spend is much more dependent on RNG, since you have to shoot some vague area where the vile could be and hope it's standing there by coincidence.

 

 

Map32: UV-Max in 5:46
Babby's first slaughtermap. It's not hard if you take your time, but I wanted to do it quickly, so it turned out to be the most difficult UV-Max I've done for this playthrough so far. It took 72 attempts, and the main problem is those cyberdemons guarding the red key and the switch behind the blue door. Normally, you could kill them by shooting rockets from a distance, or peekaboo shooting with the SSG, but that's slow. You could also peekaboo shoot with the BFG, but that's inefficient and ammo for that weapon is actually not very abundant here compared to what you're up against. The situation is cramped enough that two-shotting them with the BFG is almost impossible to do with a safe/consistent method, and slow anyway, so the only option is to rush in and hope they don't shoot rockets before they die, or that you survive if they do. This resulted in many deaths.

Aside from that, it was a fun map to play. I still remember the first time I played it, and that wave of archviles spawned on top of a pile of corpses along with multiple cyberdemons, and I thought something along the lines of "what the fuck am I supposed to do about this?" The answer is some combination of infighting and BFG spam. If I recall correctly, this is one of three maps in Plutonia that are exactly the same on UV as they are on HMP and HNTR, so difficulty settings will not help you here unless it's ITYTD.

 

 

pl153132stuff.zip

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Here's something I found about The Crypt which debunks the whole "Milo did it" myth. The fort-like structure including the rampart at the east section makes me look back to Caughtyard, and the ending has a fountain similar to Baron's Lair, so it seems like Dario likes to add fountains to some of his maps, case in point Requiem Map23: Hatred with the blood fountain where ghost Nazis will emerge from. With the comparison to The Death Domain, I noticed how the map has a few inaccessible ledges that's supposed to add more realism, and that's something seen in The Death Domain and also TNT Map31: Pharaoh, so clearly The Crypt is a Dario map, and not a coincidence. But anyway, moving on to the next couple of maps.

 

Map14: Genesis (Dario Casali)

106% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 05:57

 

Another relatively easy map in continuous play, but it does have a hot start with a couple of hell knights, and while you're fighting them, you need to be careful not to get in range where the shotgunners in the area with the yellow key can see you. Taking out the revenants first, then the arachnotron and chaingunners will help alleviate the rougness of the main area in which you can see the exit, but if you're starting with just a pistol, you're only option is to dodge the enemies and run to the safe area to the right of the yellow key door until you have better weapons. The chaingunners may sometimes infight with each other, and if they infight with the chaingunners on the ledge that you can reach from a secret teleporter by opening the hidden door north of the bridge, they can sometimes kill the cacodemon hiding in the soul sphere secret which is accessed by jumping from the chaingunner ledge. The bloodfall west of the bridge also conceals a teleporter to another secret area. The most dangerous part in this map is the northern area where you cross a bridge and collect some health and a partial invisibility, causing the bridge to lower while the wall around it lowers revealing a bunch of monsters including shotgunners, chaingunners, cacodemons, hell knights, and even a mancubus. Kill them all before you go up to where they were, but just when you think you're done, watch out, cause hitting the switch will not only raise the bridge to the yellow key, but will also cause arch-viles to spawn in, and they while they are separate, they can catch you unawares. The ending just has you taking out a couple of chaingunners which you can easily blow up by setting off the barrel barricade when they teleport to the lower floor and then fighting a couple of revenants before you reach the exit teleporter. So yeah, Genesis is still a fairly chill map much like The Crypt, but still can decimate you with its nasty traps. Walter compares it to The Inmost Dens, but there's a later map we'll be getting to pretty soon that is an homage to the American McGee classic. Also worth mentioning for those who played Plutonia 2 that this map served as inspiration for Eternal's contribution to the sequel with Charon Eclipse, also on Map14.

 

Difficulty: 5/10

 

Map15: The Twilight (Milo Casali)

103% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets

Time: 08:32

 

This is considered to be one of the most memorable maps in Plutonia, and for a good reason. It's one of the hardest by far for just one thing, the chaingunners that will continuously be resurrected by hidden arch-viles. As Dario did his take on The Abandoned Mines with Caged, we get to see Milo's very own, and true to his style, it's got all the curved corners and such. If this were a map made by id Software, you would have thought that Tom Hall decided to take John Romero's The Abandoned Mines and make it his style, if only he didn't leave id and made more maps back then. One of the most notable things about The Twilight is that it houses nearly 20 secrets, which is absolutely absurd, but I'm not complaining. Makes me think of Ultimate Doom's E4M3: Sever the Wicked with having so many secrets due to a majority of them being on a flight of stairs and also Doom 2's Map10: Refueling Base, coincidentally enough since I mentioned Tom Hall. With the exception of the chaingunners that will continue on being resurrected until the end when the arch-viles get crushed, all the others will stay dead once you kill them, but they're not any less lethal as most of them are situated in far away areas much like Speed. First place to when you reach the infamous central area with the chaingunners is head to the right to locate the yellow key, but watch out for the revenants and hell knights that spawn in. Once you got the yellow key, head next to the left area and find the switch to raise up the stairs for the big fight with the spiderdemon including a bunch of pain elementals. Be careful as that area has so many chaingunners, and as for the end fight, it's definitely a very tricky part, especially as there's more chaingunners including stationary mancubi, but if you know where the secrets are and saved the invulnerability for this part of the map, it's all trivial. Just take down the evil lady spider, and then eliminate everyone else. The ending also takes you to two different exits, one, being the sky on the floor teleports you to the main exit, which is located at the very starting room, while the other, which you can see a teleporter accessed by a hidden door, teleports you to the yellow key switch area to where some chaingunners were, and there's the secret exit that will take you to the secret levels. Since I'm somewhat of a masochist, I might as well go for the secret levels. Having played so much Hell Revealed, I'm all up for the challenge. The Twilight is exceptionally brutal, but we haven't seen nothing yet, for the two-punch secret levels await us...

 

Difficulty: 8/10

 

Gonna leave it there for now. Things are going to be REAL intense when we take on the two secret levels of Plutonia! See you then!

Edited by T-Rex

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So, about the MAP15. I expected hell, and to basically die and die and die until I manage to barely scrape by.

 

But, ... After doing one practice run, I managed to do it in one take. Commentary was crap, so I will re-do it. I have to say, it felt fun. Never comfortable, and the secrets are almost mandatory, but fun.

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MAP15: The Twilight

 

More bark than bite, this one - a trait shared by the following secret levels as well, in my opinion. While "The Twilight" is undoubtedly challenging, it's nowhere near as difficult as it looks. Hell, if you can find even a few of the easy to find secrets you'll breeze through everything the level throws at you, and if you uncover all of them you're practically unstoppable, even from a pistol start. I think the overpowered secrets is what makes this fun to play, with the exception of the boring last area. Shoutout to the most insidious "arch-vile perpetually resurrecting chaingunners" yet, located in a hub area you'll traverse many times, so ignoring them like in MAP10 is not an option. I also like the way the secret exit is hidden. Good one!

 

MAP31: Cyberden

 

I remember being scared shitless upon seeing FOUR Cyberdemons so close to the start position the first time I played this, until realizing they couldn't see me yet. It actually proved to be a cakewalk of a level, other than the bullshit arch-viles hidden behind fake walls that killed me once and the marble room with chaingunners where auto-aim doesn't work well for some reason. Can't help but think this level wastes some of its potential though - if it had a backpack at the start and more cells at the end (say, enough to make 600 in total if you didn't use any and obviously removing the excess of rockets), it could be a high-risk high-reward strategy to speed through the level as fast as possible and use the extra cells to spam BFG at all the Cyberdemons and revenants. As it stands you're better off tackling one at a time, which is boring.

 

Not good, but not bad either - just bang average.

 

MAP32: Go 2 It

 

Nowhere near slaughter I think, but a damn fun and easy monster fest regardless :D Very approachable, but you're going to die over and over if you just run around like a headless chicken. Slow and cautious play works well, where you plan your moves on the fly, as does extremely aggressive play like in the current UV Max record but requires planning ahead of time. I've used the former approach on my first completion of this level, no deaths but 1h30 on the in-game timer :P The latter (though not as aggressive obviously) is what I use nowadays, which nets me times below 10 minutes consistently and is still pretty safe thanks to the large number of megaspheres, in fact I don't remember ever having died on this level.

 

Its difficulty is far overrated, but I always have a good time here and it's one of my favourites in the set.

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Took another stab at Plutonia.

 

Map 14: Genesis

This was a quick forgettable map like 13 before it. Nothing at all about it really stood out to me, it was just a calm before the triple punch in the face that is 15, 31, 32.

 

Map 15: The Twilight

I always dread this map. You cant do anything near the central chamber without losing some health, due to the most iconic use of the 'infinite reviving chaingunner', the most perfect use of it in the whole wad. No matter how much punishment you give hem, they reform the moment they hit the ground in an eerie fashion.

 

I found the only way I could survive was to go left first and snipe all the snipers, and take out all the hidden cacos and pain elementals early, then I had to utilise the secret invuln to trigger the huge monster rush at the right side of the junction, as you are rather cruelly suddenly penned in by HKs and Revenants, and I died here a lot trying to muscle past. In addition, archviles are set loose to revive chaingunners and other bodies. So with the invuln, I quickly charged at the revs and viles with rockets, getting the worst threats out of the way ASAP. Second priority was opening the exit room to get those chaingunners killable.

 

twilight..png

 

The exit room once opened reveals a Mastermind, but she isnt a threat at all; she keeps getting stuck in a huge infight session with EVERYTHING else in the room; I actually saw her get killed by Lost Souls! After that it was just mopping up and heading to the secret exit with 200 health and armour. As much as I'd like to skip the secret levels, I need them complete for Doom Launcher's stat tracking, so its pain time.

 

Map 31: Cyberden

 

'This will be a snap, its just four cybs, alone, and some randoms along the way. I dont even NEED these rockets everywhere, the SSG will do!'

 

cybden.png

 

'Well, shit.'

 

This is where I died a lot, a LOT. Probably coulda just BFGed them, but I was determined to see if they could kill the final cyb. They couldnt.

 

Bonus points to the awesome midi from my friend @Eris Falling, a lovely tune that I ALMOST never get tired of (I admit, the novelty wore off when I died a ton at the end of the map). I SWEAR I heard an early version of this midi before it ended up in the midi pack, but I have no idea what in; it wasnt in my birthday wads like I thought. Maybe im just forgetful in my older age :V

 

I was GOING to do Go 2 It, but then I saw it was 1 am, and I need FULL energy and motivation to get through the hell that awaits me.

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Map 15: The twilight UV, continuous

 The twilight wasn't AS hard as I expected...(He says, making ominous warnings in his prior posts)

 

I usually struggle with this map since the Casali hivemind throw everything they can at you. This is evident in the level's main trap: archviles resurrecting chaingunners behind walls that you cannot kill... for now at least. Running for cover is the best option. Traps in the level are absolutely brutal with teleporting revenants and  hell knights, chaingunner closets and many others. There are also way too many secrets in the level, considering that one secret room triggers more than once( this is absolutely pointless).

Once you make it to the exit room, crushers will kill the archviles. Good riddance.

 

I took the secret exit, since I like heightened blood pressure.

 

Deaths: 2

Kills:  96%

Secrets: 63

Existential dread: 80%

Wondering why I took the secret exit: YES

 

Map 31: Cyberden UV, continuous

The second hardest..... sure....

 

I honestly expected to fight all 4(?) cyberdemons at once. The level itself is fine, not too hard since you get an abundance of rockets and cells. The "exit room" trap is honestly pretty underrated and one of my favorite traps in plutonia. Expecting to exit when you hear those familiar screams. There really isn't much else to say. The plutonia midi pack track for this one is really good....

 

Things are about to get... bloody.

Deaths: 1

Kills: 100%

Secrets:100%

Bloodlust: 100%

Ready to go 2 it : 100%

 

Map 32: Go 2 it, UV, continuous 

 

Go 2 it is a bloodbath

 

Here is my best advice to beating this map:

1. Use chock points to separate enemies

2. Don't be afraid to retreat and find another angle. Utilize guerilla warfare

3. manage megasphere usage. there is enough health to get by

4. Utilize infighting

5. To defeat the cyberdemon shoot him--I'm sorry, I just had to do that, It was way too easy to put that in there.

 

The layout represents itself as a twisted version of Doom 2:map 01, entryway. Archviles are everywhere and there are more cyberdemons than Doom, Doom 2 and TNT combined. You Know what to do.....

 

Deaths: 7

Kills: 100% (leave no survivors. rip and tear, You have huge guts, Doom reference, etc.)

Secrets: 100%

Adrenaline in the(ir) blood: 100%

testosterone: 100%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ok, this is the map where I can't forget to find the secret exit (and also maybe save before it)

 

MAP 15 : Ok, so I start looking at the exit.. If I had some bolt cutters instead of a ton of weapons, this would be an easy level. Alas, that is not the case so I jump into the 'port. And I'm kicked hard by a pair of revs outside the window that seemed to be more protection than it actually was. Oh, the other one had a chainguner. That I couldn't see but he could see me, oh yes. One death and I've not even left the second room.

 Second run : I waste no time on the second room only to fall down and be snipped at by several chainguners so far away I can't even rocket them to death! 

So I approach them, blast them, go back to get rid of the HKs on either side. Only then do I move forward, grab the RL, kill the other two chaingunners and then I have to make a decision : left or right? Who am I kidding, it's left. Oh fuck, oh fuck, there' chaingunners everywhere! AAAH, dead.

 Third run : Overall a better initial scramble. Also, found the secret that leads to the megasphere, good. After that I am ambushed by HKs, but I'm still carrying plasma. Damned chaingunners get me good but not good enough. Press the switch and cahingunners. Chaingunners wherever I look. Opening a door, a single HK and several revenants do their best to make me hate this level but I shower them in rockets. And then i get stuck. Really?! No way out, stuck between two elevated platforms. Rocket to the wall it is.. Oh wait, I'm being shot at! A chaingunner! In a passage that just opened. I kill him and it closes again. Ah, it opens. 'port into a rev face, shotgun him, replenish my health, go grab the yellow key. Done. Press the yellow switch, another corridor to another switch. Go back, kill cacos, notice a potential secret on the blood below. Save and jump. Uh, soulsphere. And I got the chaingunner before he saw me! Then walk the blood, 'port and face a bunch of things killing each other. I help, as much as I can. Out of rockets, damn.. Oh good, a few boxes of them. Oh, a secret. 'port. door, kill the rev, and oh look, an exit! Save. Damn, there are 10 secrets still to find! Let' go. Ok, one secret found via jumping into the blood and trying 'ports. From it, another secret, a health pack on top of a pillar. 8 to go. Falling into the obvious exit leads to the start and the exit but I can't proceed from there so, reload. Another secret that I have no idea how I opened up. Secret invunerability, that 13/19 done. 14 : rockets, armor, health and another hidden 'port. 15 : to the door. 17, inside the door. 18, inside another secret! 19 : as well! 

And done! 

20 minutes 11 seconds, 100% K/S/I, a bit over 1 minute per secret. And 3 deaths total. 

 

MAP 31 : *looks around* oh one, two, three cyberdemons. Maybe more.. I'm having a cup of coffee first... Done, let' do this! 4 cybers, caged. Only one place to go. SSg, chainsaw, rockets, plasma, armor, a couple chaingunners and a switch. Health and a blue armor. And thing begin! A cyber is loose and HKs roam the corridors, there are two doors that wont open, and so it's back to the start to get rid of the cyber. I snipe him from the grates, but he still gets me a few times.. Open the door inside his cage, more rockets and another switch. It opened one of the non-opening doors where a couple specters wait for me. Kill them and another of those switches. I'm guessing those open the cages so.. Here goes another cyber? Yup. I did a stupid and stood too close to the grates and so I got blasted into tiny bits.

2nd go : I decided to be more adventurous so I go into the courtyard and fight the cyber face to face. He dies but I took a small beating. Still alive. Second cyber dead, he didn't even touch me! *saves* This time there are two HKs bothering me before I can open the next door, but I kill them fair and square. Another door opened, a couple chaingunners dead. Now, a BFG as a gift, good I need more plasma. Mother fucker hits me as I try to cross into the courtyard but after that not even a scratch on me while I kill him. Three cyber's dead, and I'm pretty much all out of plasma.. His cage has a manc inside, and damaging floor. Final cage switch. A single chaingunner, ah. No more plasma, I waste the only BFG shot I had left, so it' gonna have to be rocket vs rocket.. just for fun I finish him off with the SSG.. And I die inside his chamber, chaingunners take most of my health and a rev rocket does the rest. 

3rd life : 2nd try at the final cow, this time I didn't waste my final BFG shot and got rid of him faster. Now, to finish this.. Fuck the chaingunners.

4th life : I go ultra aggressive, rockets in hand, and still the modafakers get half my health.. I grab the berserk and pinkies! Sure, I could kill them with my fists but... SSG. I press the switch and now.. Oh, a hidden 'port? Oh, yey, more shells... I open the door and climb towards the yellow key.. Before opening the door I go and grab a medikit and now, I'm ready! A couple of pinkies and the exit.. Or not. More rockets? And a swarm of revs. Done. Stuck up on rockets, press the switch and here's the exit.

100% everything, 3 deaths, 14m20 seconds.

 

MAP 32 : I've long heard of this map but I've never played it.. Lot's of weapons, and I go up some stairs, catch a pair of AVs unawares, kill them.. I go back and kill the mancs on the first room, or get killed by them more precisely. 

2nd go : I immediately go for the mancs, from the door.. I manage to kill them all while suffering only one hit.. A quick loop around the room to restock and rockets and I find myself at the place where I can snipe the AVs from, so I do just that. After I spot spiders, from afar, rockets into them! Oh, how cute, mama spider and her baby spiders! First I kill all of her babies and then I go for the big one.. Done. Now, I'll go to that MAP01 replica.. Surprise manc! And a stuck cyber that gets me because my dodge game isn't that great inside a corridor.

3rd try : From the shoulder of the corridor I unload my plasma on the cyber until he dies and then go and grab the megaspherehe was protecting.. Another MAP01 room.. Three AVs inside the exit room, evil. And, of course, no exit. Outside, a cyber, which no big deal. And a bunch of Pain Elementals who could go die in a fire as far as I am concerned. The do die on a fire, a mix of fires actually, plasma, BFG and assault riffle. I go back inside for the next megasphere and save before advancing further. The side room in MAP01 has pinkies. Loads of them, plus chainguners. And a couple of AVs. All dead, and I go back for health. Another PE flying around, I kill him. A spider guards another megasphere so I go grab it. And then I press a switch. Idiot.

4th attempt : I open the door into the pink/chain/arch combo room and go back to the blue door to SSG all pinkies to death, far from the AV's resurrections.

here I save and go have lunch. Back. Ok, chaingunners, pinkies and AVs dead. Good. Now lets go down! Damn, that's a lot of mancs in a short space. Plasma unto them. And now, the other side, mancs dead, a new megasphere! And now, that switch for the yellow key.. I know there will be a ton of of revs and cyber demons... Damn. I had killed all but one cyber when a stray rocket go me.

5th iteration : ok, let's try this rev+cyber fight again.. And trying to do it from the tunnel turned out a bad idea.

6th round : Ah! Done! The final BFG shot killed the final cyber! Now to grab a megasphere, run around for more BFG ammo and then I'll go for the yellow door... Oh look, another cyber. He hit me once, this could have gone better... Oh dammit, outside has been repopulated.. Oh. F5cked. 

7th trip around the level : Damn. That's a lot of AVs.. Can't find a vantage point from where to kill them...

8th (couldn't run fast enough to the megasphere) 9th : ok, managed to run to the megasphere and kill a few while at it, now camped in a tunnel rocketing every one there.. And eventually I rocket the wall. 10th (a rev came into the tunnel while I was firing..) 
11th : killed the final AV, BFGed the last cyber, fight cleared. And three more AVs waiting for me on the path to the blue door. Also, chaingunners. and then, more AVs, more chaingunners, more revs. I think it's all clear now. Time for the blue door.. Another cyber? Goddammit! I've killed more cybers today than in most megawads! There, he's down. Grab megasphere, press switch and.. Barons. A shit ton of them. Plus, more cybers.
On the 12th death of Go 2 it I got : killed by a cyberrocket after clearing most barons.
13 is my lucky number, let's go! Nop. 14? one cyber down, and I got stuck in a pillar trying to dodge. 15.. stuck on the door. 16, different approach : fuck the barons, focus on the cybers. It worked!  All enemies down! A quick lap around for ammo and I'll call it a day!
15 deaths, 24 minutes and 16 seconds, 100% all and it's done. I can finally say I've beat Go 2 It! 
 
see y'all monday!

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Map31: Cyberden

This is Plutonia's first secret level, and it's honestly not that bad. The gimmick is that you press a baphomet switch and a Cyberdemon lowers, then you press a switch and a step raises to the Yellow key. The exit trap is probably the hardest part of the map. Aside from that, the music is probably one of my favorites from the nidi pack. Next, however...

 

Map32: Go 2 It

A remake of map01 from Doom 2, but harder. Honestly, this map wasn't too bad. I mean, I died like 9 or 10 times, but it wasn't as hard as I remembered. It's one of the first slaughtermaps (even though it's a remake of a wad named PUNISHER.WAD or something like that) ever made. Probably my favorite map of Plutonia.

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MAP15: The Twilight

    I honestly ended up liking this one far more than I anticipated. I expected an absolute battering, but ended up finishing it in 2 tries. I actually re-did the successful recording because I thought the commentary was not up to snuff, and did not mind repeating the map. Am .. am I ...

 

... getting better at DooM? Is Plutonia making me better at DooM? Perhaps it is just showing me my perception of my ability is far lower than my actual ability.

 

Maybe I am getting way ahead of myself.

 

The secrets are absolutely a difference between suffering and dunking on all of the enemies. This is perhaps one of the first maps with such a difference between finding secrets and not finding them. I mean, a BFG, a Plasma Gun, Megasphere, Invincibility and a Soulsphere are in secrets!

 

The Video:

 

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MAP15 - "The Twilight" - Milo Casali (100%K/66%I/47%S) - 12 deaths:

Milo wanted to make his take on the Abandoned Mines thing, as with Caged by Dario, this is Milos view, and sister map. His take is not by any means a walk in the park, in fact, it is even more painful, since you have right from the start, a hallway that is going to be raided by chaingunner bullets, oh god, why? Seriously, why? Seven or so chaingunners shooting you from distances worse than in Speed, and I'm not even counting the fact that when you're trying to move there are enemies at the sides sniping you aswell, luckly, most if not all of them, are not hitscanners, but still.
This map presents a mechanic of item stacking. Most medikits are stacked in top of each other, most time, filling your life completely, because +25 is clearly not enough. Thanks to god Milo wants you to be fully stacked with everything and came up with this idea, since this map would had been a nightmare. I really like how much secrets there are, there are so many that I thought I found every single one, but I didn't even found half of them. Luckily I found the secret exit.
This trick I already saw in TNT Evilution, where the brothers hide the rest of the level with a "sky wall", making you feel like there is nothing there, but suddenly you reach that place again and there are things that were not before. 
Did I mention how painful are the chaingunners at the middle of the map? Four of them, the ones on the turrets at the sides, get revived constantly by hidden arch-viles behind the walls, I fucking despise this trick, how annoying.
Both Caged and The Twilight are different representations of the same concept, but the skybox makes The Twilight have an apocalyptic atmosphere, which I like more, still both are samey maps, and I kinda prefer Caged a little bit more.

MAP31 - "Cyberden" - Dario Casali (100%K/I/S) - 2 deaths:

Not by any means a hard map as the brothers state in the read_m screen, and specially not the 2nd to worst one. It's a regular map with nasty traps like the arch-viles that teleport behind the walls and can kill you without you even noticing. The good thing is that you have plenty of supplies to deal with most of the enemies inside the "building". It's not difficult as there are only two big fights with revenants at the end but nothing more. You have to fight each Cyberdemon by one at a time, by this point, you know how to deal with them, specially with a BFG in hand, and a space as open as the middle arena. Also, it is not a surprise, since you can see them resting at the start, so you kinda know you'll have to deal with them at some point. Nothing particularly special. Layout is boring and straight-forward. I always saw this map as a letdown.
 

MAP32 - "Go 2 It" - Milo Casali (?) (100%K/I/S) - 30 deaths:

I doubt it is a Milo map aswell, by looking at Dario already making and submitting a pretty similar map to this to the archives, a map called "Punisher". Maybe again a Milo take on a Dario concept? I don't know, I feel like playing a Dario map. 
This is an instant classic, the map people remember the most when talking about Final Doom itself, that fucking hard map, this may be one of the earliest examples of a slaughter map, and still, well done up to some extent. The layout is ripped off based on MAP01 from Doom 2, with a twist, and Plutonia textures, there are new rooms, new fights, and monsters packed in small places. Something at the time was crazy to even think it existed, nowadays, the archives are filled with this kind of maps. The map is a journey, and actually is not as difficult as I remember, I recall most of my deaths by trying to make some juicy 2-BFG shot-kill to some cyberdemons out of boredom. But most of my normal deaths were me not paying too much atention.  The map can get hard at the moment  you get the blue key, as the map opens yet again inside, revealing more monsters.
I like how every single door you open has a pack of monsters inside, specially the yellow door, which has a cyberdemon guarding it. You kill it, open the door, and you find yet another cyberdemon inside. The blue door has the same trap. Having to fight cyberdemons in such a narrow corridor may be a pain, but it's a matter of peak-a-booing the cyberdemon, shoot rockets and repeat, with care of the splash damage of its rockets.
Not a master piece, not the highest point in Plutonia, but a classic, and a memorable "Gamer" moment. If you beat this in UV, you become a true gamer. Still, it did not feel difficult as some other maps, deaths don't mean that.

Deaths: 166 (UV Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)
 

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP12
MAP14
MAP11
MAP04
MAP15
MAP01
MAP32

MAP10
MAP03

MAP09
MAP07
MAP05
MAP02

MAP13
MAP06
MAP08
MAP31

 

 

7 hours ago, T-Rex said:

Here's something I found about The Crypt which debunks the whole "Milo did it" myth. The fort-like structure including the rampart at the east section makes me look back to Caughtyard, and the ending has a fountain similar to Baron's Lair, so it seems like Dario likes to add fountains to some of his maps, case in point Requiem Map23: Hatred with the blood fountain where ghost Nazis will emerge from. With the comparison to The Death Domain, I noticed how the map has a few inaccessible ledges that's supposed to add more realism, and that's something seen in The Death Domain and also TNT Map31: Pharaoh, so clearly The Crypt is a Dario map, and not a coincidence. 

 

 

Yes, that sewer room at the start, I'm sure I saw that in MAP20 or in Pharaoh, that is an actual good find, still, feels weird compared to other Dario maps, maybe one of the earlier Dario maps rather than Milo's?

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

hc_plu11.zip

MAP11 - Hunted

 

More than any of the MAP30s, more than any of the MAP07s, even perhaps more than any of the E*M8s, this is my favorite boss fight in all the IWADs.

 

Hunted wants to present itself as a nightmare. A disorienting environment and death closing in from all sides. At the same time, it forces the player to face their fears - taking the most-hated monster in the game and making it clear that you'll have to kill every one of them between you and the exit. No matter how familiar I get with the monster, this map is able to fray my nerves as the mocking laughter echoes from somewhere in the distance, and is able to induce sudden panic whenever one of those fiends actually does manage to sneak up on me (or whenever I'm unlucky enough to face a group of them).

 

There's a cheeky twist on the "use Doom 1 midis for these maps" idea here, since this map uses one which was never intended to play during gameplay. The first time I heard the background music, I loved it (I thought it was creepy and matched the opening scene well). By the tenth time I heard it, I hated it. By the hundredth time I heard it, I loved it again.
I dunno. It's obviously "wrong", and I think that's what works so well about it. The midi's got a mocking, sing-song tone, like this is some sort of twisted carnival. It gives the sense that the Arch-Viles are toying with you, and they conjured up this maze in order to play with their food.

 

I really like the use of the "crystal sector" trick here, as it seems totally in character for the gang of Viles to watch you bemusedly before teleporting away to begin the chase and start the fun. It has a villainous character to it, like Shao Kahn passively observing you from his throne in Mortal Kombat 2 before finally being bothered to get up and see about murdering you.

 

That strong sense of character applies to the maze itself. Its disorienting nature makes it a struggle to stay on top of your surroundings: you never know just when the attack will come, but you need to know which way you'd dodge if a Vile came around the corner just now. The floor tripwires which control the doors add to the amount of sounds which come from nearby but out-of-sight, and introduce a bit more anxiety since it's often uncertain which direction you should be looking to keep watch for any monsters coming through.

 

It's an oppressive mood, a tension sustained for almost the entire journey. I said before how this level has a "face your fears" theme to it. And while that's true in an aesthetic sense, it's also true in a mechanical sense: all the dead-ends and restrictions on movement raise the importance of successfully body-blocking the Arch-Viles in order to slow their advance and maintain the cover you're using against them. If one gets behind you, there'll be a moment of panic, running blind while repositioning and hoping not to be incinerated. So, standing toe-to-toe with the monsters instead of retreating is a tactic that actually increases your survivability.

 

I appreciate how this level scales across the different play modes: a Continuous player can just bring in a backpack full of cells in order to melt each miniboss in turn, but someone on Pistol Start has to play by the rules. Just like back in Congo, the player is locked in to a lower DPS and must demonstrate that they can reliably survive the boss's attack in order to proceed. I respect the laser-focused specificity of the Pistol Start design here: the game's down to one weapon, one monster, and one environment, and demands mastery of that encounter format. I even like the arcade sensibility of how you're effectively at 2 hit-points and are allowed to screw up once along the way, but only once.

 

Hunted is a level designed for maximum stress and worry. I call that singleminded focus a benefit, although I admit that it does perhaps go on a little long. What a payoff, though, when you finally reach the end of the maze and are awarded with the long-awaited final piece of the arsenal as a prize for making it out alive.

It's an empty gesture on Pistol Start, except for the fun that can be had by taking one of the bastards with you when you leap into the fake exit. Yes, even after you've escaped the maze, these sorcerers have one last spiteful trick. I find that imaginative little gag to be amusing, especially because it only takes a second to reload after taking a look.

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11 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

Yes, that sewer room at the start, I'm sure I saw that in MAP20 or in Pharaoh, that is an actual good find, still, feels weird compared to other Dario maps, maybe one of the earlier Dario maps rather than Milo's?

 

Now that you mention it, the sewer room behind the yellow key door looks a fair bit like the one in Map26: Bunker, not the water canal surrounding the structure, mind you, but there is a sewer-like area inside the bunker. Also, the sewer room near the start houses this kind of trap in which you open the blue key door to be greeted by a baron who starts moving towards you and teleports from behind. That trick has been used in a couple of Dario's maps, notably TNT Map32: Caribbean in the sewer area of the second floating house and this wad's Map10: Onslaught at the ending area. So the teleporting baron is a trap only Dario likes to implement.

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MAP31: Cyberden

    As many have already noted, the text in between the MAP15 and MAP31 is dead wrong, if anything this is one of the easier maps in the WAD! Perhaps the Casali brothers thought the presence of 4 Cyberdemons made the map hard, but I kind of feel they knew better. The hardest encounter in the map is the final Revenant ambush, and even then the strategy is clear: herd up and blow up with rockets/BFG/SSG. The Archvile hidden in the wall trick is used here, and is sure to net a couple of cheap deaths for a first-time player.

 

    So yeah, I guess you could say I am not a big fan of this map. The MIDI however, is sombre and feels like DoomGuy is remembering some long-past times. Perhaps he was remembering his first encounter with the Cybie way back on Deimos ...

 

The Video:

 

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‘15: The Twilight’ is a big sticking point in Plutonia. The aesthetics are cold and metallic. That opening hall sets the tone for the level. It’s not easy to shoot at the enemies that are firing back. You feel exposed. I was sniping the chaingunners in the distance with my chaingun and they were still getting hits on me in their return fire. In each of the six times I played this level, I opened the megasphere secret early, killed the revenants through the starting ‘nest’, but saved it to the end.

 

I missed many secrets during the actual level, including that useful invulnerability sphere. I think the nastiest trap is the eastern wing and how it warps revenants and knights to the center of the intersection. The nastiest trap aside from the infinitely respawning chaingunner snipers. It’s been a long time since I had to just ignore a threat and walk around the place staying out of their line of fire (for most of the level, actually).

 

The eastern wing, I can’t tell if it’s worse than the teleporting monsters. You can barely see the dozens of chaingunners sniping you and I used rockets to make sure most of them were dead. By the entrance to that big room is those small closets with cacos and pain elementals and I shot them dead each time. Never had to deal with that trap. The revenant that appears on top of the switch sucks, though.

 

The final part of the map, the big spiderdemon room, is chaotic, but I fell back and let some infighting happen only to fire at pain elementals so they don’t spawn too many lost souls in the infighting. After the spiderdemon was dead, I ran up and grabbed the megasphere then returned back to the intersection halls to let the crushers crush the archviles.

 

The only remain challenge was taking out the chaingunners around the spiderdemon arena and I guess the mancubi too. Before leaving the level I looked for some secrets and claimed that megasphere by the entrance. I’m surprised how easy it is to find the secret exit but my mind has been poisoned by all the community made wads where every map 15 you have to solve a complicated puzzle to open the secret exit.

 

Anyway, this level is what I think about when I think of Plutonia. It’s got the chaingunners, the traps, and the tension that defines Plutonia. On the note of the midi pack, I love the uplifting and epic undertones of ‘Plummeting’ by Bucket. In such a climatic map, the big prog rock sound is warranted.

 

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