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Rudolph

How Do People Feel About Wraith Corp Megawads?

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Posted (edited)

I have been playing Doom for a while now, yet I only found out about them recently - mostly by accident. As far as I can tell, unlike the slapped-together* Master Levels for Doom II, they seem to be rarely brought up by community members and I have not seen Id Software even acknowledges their existence, as they have yet to be included in the Steam and Unity re-releases.

 

Why is that?

 

Are they supposed to be considered the black sheep of commercial Doom releases or something? Because I am currently playing them and aside from some design issues (too much ammo) and Hell to Pay's questionable new graphics, there are surprisingly pretty good!

 

*By "slapped-together", I mean that Id Software could not even be bothered to compile the levels into a proper mapset - at least, on PC.

Edited by Rudolph

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They're pretty good for their era IMO; definitely on par with Final Doom. I think I like Hell to Pay more on the whole, but the first several maps of Perdition's Gate are really great.

 

Unfortunately, the issue with them is that they were published by WizardWorks, so there's copyright issues with redistributing them. WizardWorks was bought by GT Interactive, which itself was bought by Infogrames, and in 2004 Atari closed down WizardWorks for good.

 

So presumably, it's Atari who owns the rights to Hell to Pay and Perdition's Gate. Getting them into an official re-release (as official add-ons) is something I'd like to see, but it would definitely require id Software or Bethesda to acquire the rights to it from Atari, and I somehow doubt they'd agree on the price; with Atari being prone as it is to overestimate the worth of their dormant assets.

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Posted (edited)

I've only played Perdition's Gate so I can only comment about it, but I thought it was pretty good. The last episode feels 100% rushed, but I don't mind since most megawads tend to have an overlong final episode so it was a nice change of pace. Only found out about it because it's a speedrunners' favourite, which is a shame since it's certainly one of the best PWADs of the 90's and deserves more love!

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Gez said:

Unfortunately, the issue with them is that they were published by WizardWorks, so there's copyright issues with redistributing them. WizardWorks was bought by GT Interactive, which itself was bought by Infogrames, and in 2004 Atari closed down WizardWorks for good.

Oh no! Really? That is so absurd.

 

But does this mean that it is technically illegal to share and download them?

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36 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

Oh no! Really? That is so absurd.

 

But does this mean that it is technically illegal to share and download them?

Yup, unfortunately.

 

Never really got into Hell to Pay but Perdition’s Gate is frigging great.

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Posted (edited)

I'm a big fan of Perdition's Gate. It's an awesome set of levels that unfortunately got a bit rushed at the end (because Mustaine wanted to include his wad on Final Doom), but it's still pretty great! I recommend keep an eye on the fan-made sequel as well (not released yet).

Edited by Noiser

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2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

I've only played Perdition's Gate so I can only comment about it, but I thought it was pretty good. The last episode feels 100% rushed, but I don't mind since most megawads tend to have an overlong final episode so it was a nice change of pace. Only found out about it because it's a speedrunners' favourite, which is a shame since it's certainly one of the best PWADs of the 90's and deserves more love!

i recommend you to, at least, play the demo of h2p (link on the doomwiki ;) as its a great experience.

Far above, in terms of originality an uniqueness, to the other mapsets from the same time .

Think TNT: Evilution with a touch of Dystopia3, but with better cohesion, and the sense of adventure of Eternal Doom.

 

Yes, Hell To Pay is that good!

 

Sincerely i love the WraithCorp. megawads. Both are really great and are really really similar to it sister pair of megawads on Final Doom.

Fortunately, both were on one big bootleg cd-r that was commercialized on my country, so i kinda adquire them properly.

 

As much as Gez said, i would love to see them officialy rereleased, but atari is managed by a bunch of really dumb airheads.

So probably, unless they are bought at an irrational overprice, we will never see them.

 

May it be worth to make a charitable community fundraising to bought the rights and liberate them?

 

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Posted (edited)

I've got both of them, and they are definitely worthy of the 'Final Doom 2' moniker that they get.

 

Perdition's Gate is a mapset of smaller high impact maps with a really strong first episode. It only starts to lose steam when the Wraith guys shat out some lazy maps with some of the lowest effort map names to finish up the 32 slots. 

 

Hell to Pay is TNT on steroids; it takes the 'sense of place' to new heights and utilises a ton of tricks to create all sorts of tricks with huge wow factor for its time, and is extremely story focused,to the point that the secret levels aren't even actually secret, they are part of the regular progression. The only downside is the enemy replacements and weapon replacements; they could have used a bit more polish, but they are also highly typical of its time. 

 

I definitely think they are worthy of being on the Doom re-release, if the rights weren't an issue. 

 

EDIT: it's also worth pointing out that just like Master Levels, lots of the people behind the Wraith duo went on to have prominent roles in the game industry. One of the Hell to Pay guys now works on Call of Duty games in a high up position iirc. 

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3 hours ago, Noiser said:

I'm a big fan of Perdition's Gate. It's an awesome set of levels that unfortunately got a bit rushed at the end (because Mustaine wanted to include his wad on Final Doom), but it's still pretty great!

Really? That is unfortunate. I am surprised Tom Mustaine did not go back and properly finish Perdition's Gate after it got rejected by Id Software.

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38 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

Really? That is unfortunate. I am surprised Tom Mustaine did not go back and properly finish Perdition's Gate after it got rejected by Id Software.

even tho, the quality doesn't come down, just the scope of the epicness.

And even when the scope come down, it is really epic!

Go grab it from Mustaine site, if you not already (but i'm having a deja vu about some questionable bondage-like photographies).

After that, have an eye on the unnofficial sequel, it will be something really good.

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16 minutes ago, P41R47 said:

Go grab it from Mustaine site, if you not already (but i'm having a deja vu about some questionable bondage-like photographies).

...Why did you have to bring this up?

 

But yeah, I have Perdition's Gate downloaded, I am just currently going through Hell to Pay first.

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2 hours ago, Devalaous said:

EDIT: it's also worth pointing out that just like Master Levels, lots of the people behind the Wraith duo went on to have prominent roles in the game industry. One of the Hell to Pay guys now works on Call of Duty games in a high up position iirc. 

For those who are curious.

 

Tom Mustaine founded Escalation Studios along with former ID Software employee Shawn Green. Their company has work on several ID games including developing SnapMap for Doom 2016.

 

Jimmy Sieben has pretty much been with Gearbox Software since it's founding & is currently the head of tech at Gearbox Software.

 

Mackey McCandlish, who made all of the tiny weirdly textured maps in PG & HTP along with making the new custom sprites for HTP has gone on to be lead designer on some of the most high profile first person shooters in the game industry including Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, Titanfall, Titanfall 2, & Apex Legends.

 

Pavel Hodek & Genesis Krzyzaniak as far as I am aware didn't do anything beyond Hell to Pay.

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I wonder if Tom Mustaine has considered or is considering making more Doom maps.

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12 hours ago, Faceman2000 said:

Yup, unfortunately.

 

Never really got into Hell to Pay but Perdition’s Gate is frigging great.

 

perdition's gate resembled tnt for me, really enjoyable.

 

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They're some of my favorite megawads of all time! I played the shareware versions of both a lot since I could never find retail copies, but I did finish Hell To Pay for the first time this year after locating one. While some of it is rushed and has aged poorly (looking at you, Mancubus replacement), Hell to Pay is some of the most fun I've had with Doom in a long time. Hell to Pay definitely feels like a commercial Doom chapter, and knowing Perdition's Gate was intended for Final Doom explains a lot about their design and polish.

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I finished Perdition's Gate yesterday and I am working my way through Hell To Pay. 

 

PG is one of the best megawads I've played. The map lengths and monster count is similar to Plutonia, only much easier. It's a shame it missed out on the deadline for Final Doom. I think it would have made for a better companion to Plutonia, but that's just me. A must play for 90s WAD enthusiasts. 

 

As for H2P: The sprite/ sound replacements (Monsters: pinkies, spectres, cacos, PEs, lost souls, and mancubus; Weapons: PG and BFG) are horrendous, let's get that out of the way. Their behaviour is exactly the same as in Doom II. Would seriously recommend deleting the custom sprite and sound replacements through Slade. The gameplay otherwise has been pretty solid so far. The body count is a lot higher PG (150-200+) and the maps are exploration heavy. TNT fans might wanna give this a try.

 

The music for both WADs is awesome. Tom Mustaine is a legend. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/10/2021 at 12:27 AM, paturn said:

As for H2P: The sprite/ sound replacements (Monsters: pinkies, spectres, cacos, PEs, lost souls, and mancubus; Weapons: PG and BFG) are horrendous, let's get that out of the way. Their behaviour is exactly the same as in Doom II. Would seriously recommend deleting the custom sprite and sound replacements through Slade. The gameplay otherwise has been pretty solid so far. The body count is a lot higher PG (150-200+) and the maps are exploration heavy. TNT fans might wanna give this a try.

Tom Mustaine also composed the music?

 

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about the sprite replacements: the Imp and the Pinky look pretty cool, and what bothers me the most about the Cacodemon is its underwhelming death animation. I still have not run into Pain Elementals and Lost Souls, but I agree that the Mancubus is not great. But all in all, after witnessing the spritework and sound design of certain other Wolfenstein and Doom clones, I am willing to give Hell To Pay a pass.

 

I would be curious to know if there are interviews where Tom Mustaine talks about its development and why he felt the game needed new sprites.

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Posted (edited)

Just finished Hell to Pay. Perdition's Gate was good. Hell to Pay was better, and harder. Has a good map 30 for a change. It's only flaw is that is that the sprite replacements are awful, but you can easily remove them through an editor. 

 

PG 7̶/̶̶1̶0̶ 8/10 

H2P 8.5/10

Edited by paturn

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Posted (edited)

I have been playing both games in parallel and so far I much prefer Perdition's Gate in terms of level design, as Hell To Pay feels a bit amateurish in places; some levels just start you up in plain square rooms with weapons and ammunition just lying around.

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Of the weirdly commercially released Doom things from that era, Perdition's Gate is the one I enjoyed the most. Definitely of that era, definitely very TNT. Hell 2 Pay I haven't played enough of to really give it a fair shake, but oh gosh those new sprites are horrible. Of what I've played it seems fine for the era.

 

Both definitely leagues ahead of Lost Episodes.

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I actually quite like the Wraith corp wads. Perdition's Gate is just as good as Evilution imo. I just wish Hell to Pay didn't have the custom sprites - some of them are good, but some haven't aged well. Not to distract from the thread, but is there a way to remove the custom sprites from Hell to Pay?

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40 minutes ago, Arrowhead12 said:

but is there a way to remove the custom sprites from Hell to Pay?

 

Slade should do the trick. It's pretty intuitive to figure out. Just load up the wad, locate the sprite and sound replacements, and remove them. You just need to make sure that you remove the sprites and sounds for all angles/ states. Recommend making copies of the wad file just in case and testing the modified wad to see if everything's been properly replaced.

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i played perdition's gate not too long ago, and it was actually pretty good. i really enjoyed it

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10 minutes ago, paturn said:

Slade should do the trick...

Oh, its that easy? I thought there was more going on w/ the mod than that. I know what I'm gonna try playing tonight... thanks!

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Just be sure to leave the sounds and sprites for Commander Keen and the SS Trooper intact! Those are used during a few sequences in Hell to Pay. You'll also want to preserve the sounds used by the Icon of Sin, too.

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Posted (edited)

Instead of throwing out the new enemies, i made a custom wad that add the Freedoom monsters for those that are not replaced. And also the weapons for those not replaced.

That way, Hell To Pay feels like a Total Conversion :)

I not use Freedoom as an iwad because, for some reason, Freedoom interscreen numbers are bigger and the cover up the intermission screen images. And even if i change them to the normal Doom intermission numbers, they still are drawn as if they were bigger.

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On 3/10/2021 at 5:27 AM, paturn said:

PG is one of the best megawads I've played.

 

15 hours ago, paturn said:

PG 7/10

 

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What a stupid typo, I really meant to type an 8

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