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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia

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New Year, new challenge! I avoided playing Plutonia for a long time, considering it too hard for my level of skill, but I realized that playing harder WADs is what I need to raise my skills. Embrace the death and do not be afraid to restart!

 

In order to force myself to finish the WAD, I decided to capture live commentaries, each map played Continuous and Pistol Start, for comparison's sake. Below is a video for the MAP01, but I got to MAP06 thus far. My overall opinion of Plutonia thus far is that Plutonia is basically a memory game where you will be able to handily finish each map if you remember all the traps. That usually goes for each WAD, but even more so in Plutonia.

 

 

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Ahh, Congo. If you wanna know a normal gamer from a Doomer, ask them about Congo. A great introduction, and features all of the primarily used monsters who are destined to kill you. Mancubi, Sergeants, Revenants, Cacodemons, Chaingunners, Pain Elementals, and, of course, the Arch-Vile. This map will show you what Plutonia wants to do to you, kill you. You want a rocket launcher? You'll have to fight six Revenants. You want the SSG? The second Arch-Vile of the wad is there to suprise you. I'd also like to say that the architecture is actually pretty good, better than the first two Doom games actually, which is an achievement in my opinion.

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Time to get back into the DWMC this year. For real this time. Maybe.

Supercharge, UV, and pistol starts so I can kvetch about map03 not having an SSG.

 

MAP01 - "Congo" by Milo Casali

We start our journey in what appear to be ancient ruins, deep in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Except these overgrown buildings have some UAC cargo and tech in them. Hmm...

 

The interesting thing about Plutonia's theme is 2/3rds of the maps supposedly take place in Hell, starting from map12. Although the levels tend to be even more abstract than Doom 2's.

 

map01 differs from the other IWAD openers in that it contains no Zombiemen. In fact, Zombiemen don't even debut proper until map07, oddly enough. Rather than giving you enemies to simply blast through, Plutonia tends to pay more attention to effectively using the below-average monster counts in its maps. This means more high-tier enemies and less fodder. The infamous reviving Chaingunner makes an early appearance, though the Vile is at least exposed right away for rocket removal. The square frame hallway connecting the starting area to the hub is the standout bit of architecture, with the rest of map going for a minimalist, utilitarian style. Texture usage is a simple but effective mix of brown brick and green vines, which permeates the rest of the wad's aesthetic. Also worth mentioning is the consistent design of the exit teleporter.

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Map01: UV-Max in 3:14 (also NM-Speed in 0:39)


My favorite thing about Plutoniamuch more frequent use of the tough new monsters that were introduced in Doom 2. Those new monsters are the best assets of Doom 2, but the level design in that game uses them infrequently and in relatively easy situations. On the other hand, Plutonia uses them much more often - revenants, for example, are almost as numerous as imps in this wad - and they're placed in more difficult situations. If a player comes into this having only ever played the other IWADs, that player will learn much from Plutonia, after being smacked around a bit. In this regard, the first map almost immediately delivers. There's an archvile placed behind a chaingunner, which will be repeatedly resurrected until the vile is dead. The solution is the rocket launcher. Trying to solve this problem without the RL is inefficient (though it certainly can be done). To get the RL, you have to unleash four revenants at once, another situation that will be uncomfortable for those who've only played the other IWADs. Aside from that, there are plenty of surprise chaingunners. Welcome to Plutonia.

 

pl01stuff.zip

 


 

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Map 01 : Congo

 

790px-Plutonia_MAP01_map.png

 

Plutonia's map 01 proposes a little adventure in fairly large and open base located among jungle ruins. Long corridors separate outdoors areas as well as some indoors places like the crate room. The layout shows how the author prioritized architecture rather than little detailing. 

 

Progression is rather complex for a first map. You have to search 2 keys. Also, you already meet some mid-tiers monsters like the arch-vile or the mancubus. However , the level doesn't feel lenghty at all because you can explore many areas without keys and no real obstacle hinder our moves , except at the east part , where you have to walk on small bridges. However the liquid located can't kill you.

 

I think this level was made to familiarize the player with the new themes and textures. The use of mid-tiers monsters is enough to make us understand that Plutonia will be harder than Doom 2.

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1 minute ago, Doomkid said:

Don’t forget to run it alongside this little beauty!

(well, unless you’re really determined to hear the stock Doom soundtrack yet again)

MAP11 requires the removal of the Midi Pack's MAP11 music to traumatize you, so I don't think it should be used unless it's fitting.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

Don’t forget to run it alongside this little beauty!

(well, unless you’re really determined to hear the stock Doom soundtrack yet again)

 

TBH I probably would be way more apprehensive about playing Plutonia if it were not for this music pack.

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Hey everyone. Enjoy your Plutonia playthrough this month. Note the following problems with max kills/items/secrets:

  1. map11 - max kills is almost impossible (requires 2 perfect bfg blasts on the 4 archviles in the bad exit), thus the non archvile or good exit is accepted for speedrunning purposes.
  2. map26 - the megasphere secret won't register due to the sector being too small for doomguy so 75% is max.
  3. map27 - the archvile is unreachable and can't be killed so max kills is (n-1)/n.
  4. map30 - max items achievable is 2/8 due to 5 berserk packs and a megasphere that are in a deathmatch only area.

Also note Plutonia has lots of unofficial secrets, so keep an eye out for them:

  1. map09 has 2.
  2. map13 has 1.
  3. map17 has 2.
  4. map20 has 2.
  5. map21 has 1.
  6. map27 has 1.
  7. map28 has 1.

I'll be following the thread from the sidelines.

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Posted (edited)

I just don't like it, but i'll play through it to participate :P


The Probem i have with Plutonia aren't the big Monsters, but the cheap placed Enemies (Chaingunners) within Traps you can't avoid on your first run are.


I've started on HMP but than went on I'm to young to die to learn where the Traps are.
I expected that the lower Difficulty will remove some of the Gunners, so it was really strange for me to see that they removed more of the bigger Demons:


- The Archvile in the Room where you get the Super Shotgun give its Place to a Revenant.

- In the same Room on the Floor above was only one Chaingunner the other one was a lesser (can't remember, shoot to fast :P)
-
Before that Room in the hidden Wall that functions as a Trap the Chaingunners got changed with Zombieman
- The Pinkies left and now there where Sergants

- The Caco was also missing, letting the Pain Demon alone.
- There was only one Mancubus on the Exit.

 

After knowing the Places with the Chaingunners it was much easier to get through it on HMP.
So i'll do the next Level in the same Manor, first on easy than on normal.

 

Edit:

 

What i like about Plutonia is that it has more Colours in it.
Doom 2 was so brownish compared to the first one.

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18 minutes ago, Azuris said:

After knowing the Places with the Chaingunners it was much easier to get through it on HMP.

So i'll do the next Level in the same Manor, first on easy than on normal.

 

That's what Plutonia basically is. If you are willing to eat a death, then usually you can formulate a strategy that makes a fight much easier. That's what I found thus far (MAP09 is the last one I played).

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MAP01 (described from memory, not actual playing, for that you have to wait some days)

 

A brown and green structure sets in some sort of what looks like a jungle environment into this abandoned old brick place with some depot and some computer panels scattered around the location, with a more challenging difficulty curve more than the original Doom 2 and big part of the users wad from the 94 / 95 community, with some expections.

 

The brown and green theme of this map will be used also in other maps here, at least for the first episode of the IWAD for what I recall.

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Posted (edited)

Plutonia... the very words bring back the pain, the psychological scars that the Casali brothers inflicted on me. The revenant screams and archvile cackles(as well as the inconsistency in damaging surfaces) still haunt my dreams to this day.

Map 01:Congo,UV, continuous 

This is probably the most brutal opening map in any IWAD. Probably my favorite, too. You start with a box of shotgun shells, and that's it. You're essentially scavenging for weapons and health items  for most of the level. My previous knowledge of the chaingunner traps helped ease the pain, slightly. Thankfully, you're given most of your arsenal in this opening map.

Can we just acknowledge that there are TWO archviles and more than 5 revenants and mancubi in the opening map? we're also introduced to the Casali's favorite trick, reviving chaingunners using archviles. EVIL. A wake-up call to any casual player.

Also, I live in an African country(South Africa, for those interested) and there are no revenant and chaingunner conservation areas. How strange.

Deaths:0

Secrets: 100%

Kills:100%

Mods used: Perk_weaports, Plutonia midi pack

broken keyboards: 0

Litres of tears: 0L

 

 

Edited by Silhou3tte : Grammer error

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I have played Plutonia, so many times... Fortunately I started recording it last month when it looked like Plutonia was winning. So I have a 20+ video head start on this. I should be able to stick to the calendar this month. I will post the first couple levels around midnight, I reckon.

 

I have a love/hate relationship with Plutonia. Some levels make me go "nope!" And noclip to the exit. I don't even remember why I hate a couple levels so much, I just remember from the start screen: I Do Not Play This Level

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Posted (edited)

Whadda coincidence! I'd just been thinking that in this coming year I should replay Plutonia and its sequels (2 and Revisited) and then I wake up to see this thread. 2021 is off to a good start, eh?

 

Final Doom is One Hundred Percent My Jam. In high school, I {ahem} "acquired" Doom 1 and Doom 2 from a neighbor, and I played them a bit (2 more than 1) but decided at one point I wanted to purchase things for myself (in my mind, this is when I left for college, but the timing doesn't seem right when I do the math.) Anyway, I hit up Electronics Boutique (just off the food court in the lower level of the mall) and nabbed the actual physical CD-in-a-large-cardboard-box copy of Final Doom. (This is also where I picked up Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders.) And I played both TNT and Plutonia a lot. When I personally think back on "classic Doom", it's the shapes and themes of Final Doom levels that bubble up in the back of my mind. TNT I remember more for its themes (the one with the truck, the one in the crater with the stars overhead, the one with the crate warehouse.) And though nowadays Plutonia is often remembered for its texture selection and difficulty, it's actually its architecture that always stuck in my mind for so long: the opening arches of MAP10, or the underground canals of MAP26, the sprawling cityscape of MAP29.

 

The other day, I was thinking I should start a thread here titled "Unpopular WAD Opinions" and mine was going to be: Plutonia isn't that hard. I say this as someone who plays continuous with saves, but I still believe its difficulty is largly overrated. There are definitely a handful of areas that are really unfair (as in "try to take 5 steps without being immediately perforated by distant chaingunners") but on the whole it's pretty manageable. I think its reputation for difficulty is more based on comparison to the other IWADs than anything else.

 

Last time I played this a few years ago, I did UV. This time I'll dial it back to HMP for funsies. I'm also throwing in the Plutonia MIDI Pack (not sure if I used that last time or not, but it's built into my shortcut now.) GZDoom/continuous/saves/keyboard-only as usual.

 

MAP01: Congo (HMP/continuous)

13:38 | 100% Everything

I just complained about Plutonia's difficulty being overrated, but in my mind the first few maps of the WAD are some of the trickiest. Shoot, this first map has (on HMP) 2 mancs, 2 archies, a revenant and a PE, for Pete's sake. And of course, you immediately find yourself pitted against a Casali Special: the distant hitscanners. You can go one of two directions at the start, and it's either shotgunners or chaingunners for you. There's a nice gift of a secret backpack and bunch of shells, which I used to take out the mancs later (before I had found the rocket launcher.) There's a couple of nasty spots where chaingunners are revealed behind you, fortunately I had the blue armor early. I did die once, and I'm kinda mad about it: in the crate room, the hollow crate that hid the archvile opened up again for me, so I hopped in to see if there was anything inside... no, just a damaging floor and no way out. Guys, I don't think that was necessary. Overall a fun map (easier than I remembered!), a good opener that really sets the stage for what to expect going forward.

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Ah man, I love Plutonia! I'm in for this month.

 

Crispy Doom, UV, Pistol Start, No Saves

hc_plu01.zip

MAP01 - Congo

 

This megawad made a very strong first impression when I was learning it - I knew something strange was afoot when Map01 geared me up with a backpack + blue armor right off the bat. I was familiar with id software-style exploring & secret-hunting, and wasn't used to this style of level design that cuts to the chase and removes the resource-management aspect from the game, providing everything you need to face its challenges head-on.

Another major theme is established here as well: this mapset's love of Chaingunners. Both the wing leading to the crate room and the one with the blue key garden deploy these glass cannons by surprise, requiring you to quickly respond to each audio cue you hear and to expect treachery at every turn.

 

The crate room offers no clues on how to reach the items up above, and requires some aimless mashing of the Use key, but it's small enough that it's really no trouble, and the two-stage reveal of the surprise waiting for you up top (and the one waiting for you down below) makes this encounter one that I'm quite fond of.

The MAP01 Arch-Vile duel was quite a memorable moment for me. See, in the base game, Continuous players would only ever encounter these minibosses while already carrying Rocket or Cell weapons, and were always given the option to just burn the ammo and put those evil things down with a minor amount of damage taken. Here, the lower DPS of the SuperShotgun forces the player to take things slow, time their shots, and internalize the rhythm of the boss's attack rather than panicking and relying on a "spray & pray" strategy. Plutonia MAP01 taught me more about Arch-Viles than the entirety of Doom 2 did.

 

The mobility required to overcome the SuperShotgun's guardian mirrors the mobility required to get past the Rocket Launcher's guardians. That close-quarters Revenant attack was something I found terrifying when I first played it, but it got a lot less terrifying once I figured out how to kite them into the niche with the window.

 

Congo does a good job of introducing this mapset's encounter design along with its aesthetics. Plutonia has these flooded stone ruins with occasional computer panels in the walls. I find it evocative, like the dimensional shift has transmuted the base where the portal device was constructed into an overgrown realm of primordial magicks with the outline of the original labs & corridors still vaguely recognizable. And I really love how this mapset repurposes the Doom 1 soundtrack; I replay the sequel far more often than I do the original episodes, so this is the main context in which I hear these particular Bobby Prince tunes.

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Posted (edited)

If you don't have it, Plutonia is available as a free add-on in the Bethesda Port on Steam. But of course it's much better to play with the custom soundtrack (PLUTMIDI).

 

I started playing Congo but it took me aback with the difficulty a bit. Far from being as short as Entryway. I think this wad goes well with such palette mods as Coldpal, Juno (Instadoom) or Jovpal. Oh yeah, and there's a standalone hud mod for Plutonia that you didn't mention in the OP. 

 

https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?t=55061 See: "Final Doom Standalone HUD"

 

gzdoom 2021-01-01 22-29-31.png

Edited by <<Rewind

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9 hours ago, Pechudin said:

 

That's what Plutonia basically is. If you are willing to eat a death, then usually you can formulate a strategy that makes a fight much easier. That's what I found thus far (MAP09 is the last one I played).

 

Played the second Level now and will stop playing it.
It is just designed to annoy you.
So i'll give it a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There are much better WADs out there.

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Plutonia really is a "trial and error" type wad - definitely not for everyone! I've had a weird, constant love-hate relationship with the wad.. leaning more towards love. But it doesn't love me back..

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For me, plutonia is hard as hell. I died like seven times in map 05.

Don't take me wrong, it's a good wad, and as the other IWADS and PWADS, it has its own challenge. But that challenge is definitely not for me.

 

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MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali

0F5EEB258A969A0FB07160C625C5AE3DF4CBED25

Cool map name and a nice intro as water descends into the well. Pistol starters will notice the lack of any armour, or major health buffs, until the final canyon area. I decided to go for the blue early on and somehow managed to rush the Revs with the SSG and not fall off the invisible bridge. (Shooting the computer by the armour raises some visual guides for where the bridge starts and ends.) Once you're no longer naked, the map is not as punishing, though foreknowledge of the traps is still quite important. The 4x4  Hell Knight/Spectre trap and the floor drop are rather mean if you don't run back out for the first one and zoom past the crushers for the second. There is also not much ammo and you're stuck with the Chaingun and SSG. It's a short and punchy map with nice, clean visuals and some memorable locations, especially the switch hallway and the ghost bridge canyon.

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35 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

Plutonia really is a "trial and error" type wad - definitely not for everyone! I've had a weird, constant love-hate relationship with the wad.. leaning more towards love. But it doesn't love me back..

 

Yep, you have to commit every step into your Memory until you can run through because you know every annoying Corner.

I have to be in the Mood for something like that.

 

I think the original Doom 64 had the right amount for me to have such Traps.

You could get into one but you were able to get through the Level in one instance (remember, save games only between Levels).

 

Will follow the Thread to see where the Anger leads :D

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Plutonia

 

It's been about 15 years since I did a full playthrough of Plutonia. I did play it again recently, but only got to map 10 before moving on to other WADs. Also, this time I'll be playing it for the first time on pistol start (on UV), and with the Plutonia MIDI Pack. I am using prBoom+

 

MAP01 - "Congo" by Milo Casali

 

This is the one of the few IWAD maps that I even remember from playing it back in the 90s. It's not much to look at, but the opening corridor leading to the perched chaingunners has stuck in my mind... It's also why using the MIDI pack on this level felt odd to me, as I've come to associate The Imp's Song more with the Congo than its original home of E1M2.

 

It's a tough call between this and System Control for my favourite level 1 IWAD map. I prefer the difficulty on Congo (I'm not a fan of WADs easing you in too much), but I feel System Control otherwise looks and plays better. This level doesn't mess around with its favourite monster, the Chaingunner. We also immediately get the revenant and arch vile, another oft-seen duo in Plutonia.

 

I remembered the supplies back at the start, but forgot how to get the secret on this one. 

 

MAP02 - "Well of Souls" by Dario Casali

 

Yikes this one is harder on pistol start for sure. Instead of simply killing everything in front of you, ammo, weapon and monster placement means you need to think carefully about routing to succeed here. 

 

I went straight to the hardest bit (the infamous rev/caco bridge area, another area I remember from back in the day) equipped with the SSG and chaingun, then cleared my way to the YK. Ammo is not so generous, but it's enough. The crusher staircase is BS and doesn't give you time enough to react. Whilst those exact kind of crusher traps aren't prevalent in Plutonia from what I remember, the gotcha trial and error trap is in abundance, and is near enough the same thing.

 

Since I don't have the original MIDI implanted in my mind so much in this map, I engaged more with the MIDI pack this time round, and enjoyed the alternate track. Visually, the map is an improvement on Congo, mainly for its use of water, but I prefer how the former plays.

 

Level rankings:

Spoiler

MAP01 - "Congo"

MAP02 - "Well of Souls"

 

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Okay, I'll give this a shot. I was in the midst of replaying TNT: Evilution and was planning on doing Plutonia next but I'll flip my schedule around and put TNT on hold while I tackle Plutonia. This gives me an opportunity to play it with the midi pack, which I'd been meaning to try. I'm going to try and play NMLS (No Mid-Level Saves) but that might kill me. Or I might just quit altogether, we'll see!

 

“1: Congo” opens hard. Even trying to get a shotgun off of one of those first shotgunners without taking a hit is a challenge. Then comes the courtyard room with the chaingun snipers. When the archvile appeared, the chaingunner in the nest practically had invincibility! I zipped across the courtyard, staying out of the chaingunner’s line of sight. My priorities were horrible; I was basically doing everything I could to not get the bonus weapons as quickly as possible.

 

I went through the red door first and got the blue key before trying to get the rocket launcher in the revenant hall before noping out of there when revenants popped out. I hid in the SSG room’s alcove and slipped inside when I saw revenants coming. The tide of battle changed when I got the SSG. I took care of the revenants, got the rocket launcher, and killed the chaingunner and archvile snipers.

 

I made so many bad decisions and could have replayed the level to end in a better state, but I went to the next with 60% health.

 

I like this theme ‘Death Mask’ from Lippeth. It’s like a gothic tango. It could be level music for that old DOS platformer Monster Bash. It fits really well here. In the original Plutonia, the theme is ‘The Imp’s Song’ which I like that theme but I wouldn’t have it for ‘Congo’.

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Plutonia with Colorful Hell and Doom Incarnate (continuous, UV), because I've played it vanilla too many times already.

Even before I started this playthrough, I was really just waiting for map 32. These mods should make things interesting...

I love map 01 of Plutonia. I've booted it up just for this level even. As has been said, they really make use of higher tier enemies quickly.

 

Map 02 is one of my least favorite maps and is always the reason why I second guess myself on a playthrough of the IWAD. "Oh yea, map 01 is great! What's next? Oh right. I guess I'll load up Evilution now..."

 

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whoa, haven't even realized that we have played all the plutonia sequels (pl2, prcp, pwinds), but not the iwad itself. 

 

happy new year everyone. i didn't get to play much in december, but i'll try and chime in for some maps.

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Hey, another excuse to play Plutonia again :)! In December of last year, I attempted a full-game UV-Max run of this WAD and got an exit in 3hr05m45s. All 32 maps, in a single sitting. Additionally, I went through and completed all of the maps, Nightmare! 100% secrets (pistol starts, no saves). So my main experience with the WAD on UV is from continuous play, aside from a few of the maps that I tried pistol-starting. Of course, Nightmare! pistol starts are going to be much different than UV because of double ammo, so I'm excited to try this out. This is also my first month participating in one of these threads :D.

 

Throughout the month I'll be posting a zip file containing 2 demos of the same map (UV-Max and NM100s), with some thoughts/additional comments on the side. These demos can be played back using a source port that preserves Final Doom's compatibility (DSDA Doom, Pr/GLBoom+, Crispy Doom, Chocolate, etc. NOT GZDoom).

 

Day 1 ~ MAP01: Congo ~ DSDA Doom/PRBoom+ 2.5.1.5 ~ UV-Max ~ NM100s ~ Pistol start ~ Midi pack
Demos - pl map01.zip
UV - 4 deaths/restarts: A nice, chill opener that shows you what Plutonia is all about. Get yourself a mega armor, backpack, shells, SSG, rocket launcher, and then head up the stairs. When I did the D2All I tried my best to bring a good number of rockets into MAP02, but this is unnecessary here :D. Many people note the archvile that opens behind a chaingunner in the main outside area. He's no problem IF you know how to hide from his attacks and if he behaves.
NM - 30 deaths/restarts: I actually improvised this route :P. Simple and easy - get the mega armor, SSG, head up the stairs, grab the secret, and then yolo the rest of the map.

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MAP02: Well of Souls

    This map offers quite a different experience depending on Pistol Starting or deciding to carry over the weapons, the chief difference being the luxury of having the RL. Also, when practising the map I accidentally released Lost Souls and they almost deleted all my ammunition supply. Had that in my mind in the later attempts.

 

    As many have noted (as did I), if you know what is coming there really is only one tricky part, the Invisible Bridge. Funny thing, when practising I devised a strategy where I pick up the Red Key before tackling the bridge, and just whizz past the Bony Bros and the Cacos. In the video I intended to use the same strategy, but forgot the Red Key and hillarity ensued. Thankfully, some lucky Revenant Rocket rolls kept me from taking too much damage.

 

    All in all, not too hard of a map with really only one part where foreknowledge will not massively ease the fight.

 

    P.S. Did anyone else have that weird bug where one of the Chaingunners in the exit room falls into the floor?

 

 

 

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Map02: UV-Max in 2:48 (also NM-Speed in 2:20)
The two main things I remember about this map are the hallway with switches that reveal monsters and the invisible bridge. The latter is admittedly kinda bullshit for first time players, but once you know about it and how to reveal it, it's not so bad. Fighting cacodemons and revenants on such limited footing will cause trouble for the inexperienced. of course, that makes it the best part of the map. There is practically no reason to press the switch that releases lost souls since they're not required for UV-Max. Cool map anyway.
 

pl02stuff.zip

 

 

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