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dobu gabu maru

The DWheretic Club plays: Heretic

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If anyone is wondering why I didn't include Shadow of the Serpent Riders, it's because 47.5 maps is a really awkward number to split up into 30 days. If you guys really want to stuff yourselves full of Heretic, maybe we could do two maps on every even-numbered day (so E1M1 on the 1st, E1M2 & E1M3 on the 2nd). Before you get to writing about the maps, let me know if this is something you're interested in. If so, I can easily add the other maps to the list—these old 90s levels aren't terribly big.

 

Also, who the hell made these levels? I checked the wiki but didn't find any info. Is this actually something we don't know?

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I think the expansion episodes are better saved for another month, maybe with Curse of D'Sparil thrown in too. But if I'm outvoted I won't mind.

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1 hour ago, dobu gabu maru said:

Also, who the hell made these levels? I checked the wiki but didn't find any info. Is this actually something we don't know?

Indeed, we don't have per-map credits. The best we have is this interview with Michael Raymond-Judy.

 

Quote

Hi Michael. You were Level Designer on Heretic. Exactly what tasks did this title involve?

Well at that time it was pretty much just making maps and placing enemies and goodies. I did help a little with story background and defining locations, enemies and weapons/items, but since that was really the first project I worked on from start to finish the bulk of my work was map-making. I also got to "help out" with some other peoples' maps doing stuff like aligning textures (the words "firstcol" and "firstrow" still give me shudders) and making sure there was a balance of ammo to enemies.

[...]

What were the main advantages and disadvantages of the DOOM engine? Were there things you planned but had to scrap because of engine limitations?

At the time the Doom engine was so far beyond anything else out there we really didn't hit to many limits (other than the aforementioned maxvisplanes). The worst thing I ever had to do was take one map (not mine) and put a big honking wall right in the middle of it so you could actually run it. I think it was e1m4 (the big city "square" with lots of buildings and castle walls outside). Nice map. Too complex.

[...]

What did it feel like to create all the maps of a whole game alone?

I never did that, but I did touch every map that went out. I think I ended up making a bit more than half the maps for the original 3 episodes, and thankfully Eric Biessman got hired and he cranked out a bazillion maps for the SotSR add-on. But I can say that FIXING all the maps for an entire game, especially ones done in a hurry by someone else, is, well, "not fun". Except of course that I got to add little secret rooms and traps to their maps and move weapons for deathmatch, so when we played the "builder's edge" suddenly shifted to me :) (or as someone one said, "Now I am the master!").

 

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Posted (edited)

I've never liked Heretic. But I've also never played it with Wayfarer's Tome. So, what the hell, let's give it another go and see if I can actually finish it.

 

GZDoom, UV, wand starts.

 

E1M1 - The Docks

 

Romero did a lot of things right. One of them was giving you a quick shotgun on E1M1 (on UV at least). Heretic doesn't do that. A lot of Heretic's E1M1 is spent holding down fire and slowly grinding through filler enemies. WT helps a bit, but the Elven Wand is still not an enjoyable weapon to use. Getting the Ethereal Crossbow secret makes the final bit of the level more enjoyable, especially when WT makes it feel like an actual shotgun equivalent. Still, the fact that it's possible to miss it entirely is... dumb. The map itself is fine, I guess, and I appreciate that the central watery courtyard would probably have felt quite special in 1994.

 

Decent, if slightly dull, start. Liking the buffed Crossbow though. This might actually make E1... fun?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, SiFi270 said:

I think the expansion episodes are better saved for another month, maybe with Curse of D'Sparil thrown in too. But if I'm outvoted I won't mind.

 

Clearly the optimal next Heretic project is all 9 single player episodes of H!Zone squeezed into February 2022

 

Anyway, I played through Heretic E1 to E3 not too long ago, even streaming some of it, but im kind of stuck having to replay the first three episodes on Doom Launcher to get those lovely completion stats recorded. So I might squeeze in some levels like I did for Plutonia earlier in the year. I enjoy the megawad club doing IWADs and other 'official' content.

Edited by Devalaous

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Kept you waiting, huh?

 

In 1994, some time after the release of Doom and Doom 2, Raven Software, with John Romero of ID software as producer, released Heretic, A so-called "Doom clone" that ran on John Carmack's Doom engine. To say that Heretic is merely a "Doom clone" these days is an insult to the game, since Doom clones were often games made with very little effort or heart put into the game( Looking at you, Capstone). Heretic does some very interesting things to differentiate itself from Doom, in that it has an inventory system, allows freelook and a bunch of other effects that only the Doomwiki can cover, and that I'll probably get wrong and somebody will correct me. So let's get into it.

 

You are Corvus, the last of the Sidhe. Your people were nearly wiped out by the Serpent riders, mysterious beings of chaos that took control of the land of Parthoris. Your race were branded as heretics for disobeying the Serpent riders rule, and were massacred by terrible creatures summoned by the Serpent Riders. You are determined to have your revenge on the serpent rider D'sparil, and secure the salvation of Parthoris...

 

We're doing this on "Black Plague possesses thee" difficultly. I'm considering doing wand starts, though I'm not sure the game is balanced around it( leave a comment or like if you'd like me to do wand starts, or if the game is balanced around wand starts). I'm also using the Raven midi pack, since I don't want to hear the same midi tracks over and over again... and I like Jimmy's music projects.

 

We begin in the docks of Corvus's hometown...

 

E1M1: Docks ( Black plague)

I had a whole bunch of ship puns for this one, but I'll spare you my shipposts.

 

The opening map introduces us to a variety of enemies, weapons and new advancements to the Doom engine. You start with the Elven wand ( and your borderline useless staff), which is a little bit more powerful than Doom's pistol. Right off the bat you're introduced to gargoyles, or the melee variety, at least, as well the golem, another enemy with a melee and ranged type. The map also introduces the gauntlets of the Necromancer, a melee weapon, as well as the ethereal crossbow, which acts like a shotgun, though the projectile at the centre does the most damage. For some reason, the weapon is in a secret. I can't imagine finishing the map without it.

The tome of power is another subject I'd like to discuss, since it is my favourite aspect of Heretic. The tome, when used, gives a temporary powered up version of your weapon's attacks. For example, the wand fires in an arc and the Crossbow's projectiles fly faster and hit harder. Always try to have one of these on hand. Your life may depend on it. 

 

The map itself is fairly simple, though it does show off some new effects, such as wind pushing the player and some nice water effects. The map, to me at least, isn't as iconic or memorable as E1M1 or entryway.

 

The map ends with a look at the undead warrior. We'll be seeing a lot of him in the future. I am playing on the hardest difficulty, after all. Do I regret it? Yes....

 

I'm really glad that we're not doing the expansions, though. Thy Flesh Consumed times two doesn't appeal to me.

 

Silhouette's Stats

Kills: 44/44

Secrets: 4/4

Deaths: 0

Heresy levels: Critical

Pain to follow: Plenty

 

    

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2 hours ago, Silhou3tte said:

We're doing this on "Black Plague possesses thee" difficultly. I'm considering doing wand starts, though I'm not sure the game is balanced around it( leave a comment or like if you'd like me to do wand starts, or if the game is balanced around wand starts)

I think it is, the turbo nerd Dwars made a walkthrough in black plague with wand starts. But who knows...

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I'll be interested to play this (had to make sure I even owned it first). I remember playing it ages ago on DOS but didn't make it through the opening levels. I'll try playing it on GZDoom this time instead. I'll try playing continuous this time since I think that makes more sense in this context of the story. 

 

I still need to play the bonus map of 180 minutes so I'm going to finish that tonight after class. I think I'll miss the map designer commentary we got with the last wad, but I'm also looking forward to having a wad that doesn't absolutely crush me with difficulty.

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Alrighty, this ought to be interesting!

 

For this, my first ever playthrough of Heretic, I will be playing on Thou Art A Smite Master (TAASM), using ZDoom (shock and awe!) and aiming for 100% kills and secrets. Additionally, I will be following @Horus's advice and loading up the Raven Midi Pack as well.

 

All that said, to the wad!

 

E1M1: The Docks - 100% / 100%

 

As to be expected from an E1M1, The Docks is a very simple, straightforward map, incredibly easy even to a complete Heretic novice. To an armchair analyst like myself, however, the experience of playing it is deceptively dense with new information.

 

This map tells the player a great deal about Heretic's new features, its differences from Doom, as well as what to expect going forward.

 

The first thing I noticed was the music, which I immediately recognized from Alien Vendetta's MAP19. As a complete music ignoramus, I cannot comment on the technicalities, suffice to say it gives off a very different vibe when compared to most of Doom's tracks. It feels, heavier, somehow, less upbeat, more serious. I'm not sure if this trend will continue going forward, but it certainly sets some tonal expectations.

 

The second thing that stood out to me was the visuals. The opening shot is a telling one indeed, centered on a large door to the outside world, bordered on both sides by glum shadow. This establishes that the outdoors is not an exotic, secretive thing as in Doom's E1, but rather something mundane. I can't say I'm a fan of the palette on display here, it is rather drab and pedestrian compared with the relatively colourful palette of the original Doom.

 

The textures themselves are quite nice, though, simple in their abstraction but representative enough of their real-world counterparts. They do however seem a little low-fi when compared with Doom's striking selection, and a tad generic as well. Actually, the whole visual style feels a little generic, lacking the flair of its elder brother. It is not at all unpleasant, though, and reads well. I'd describe it as pleasing and competent.

 

The part of the game that stood out most as substandard was the soundscape. There is something, muffled about it, for lack of a better term. It comes off as indistinct, lacking the crisp clarity that makes Doom's soundscape so good. Everything from the pickup sounds to the monsters' groaning and growling suffers from this, similarly to Freedoom actually.

 

Another thing Heretic shares with FD is robust, distinct spritework in contrast to weak sound effects. Visually, each enemy I encountered was distinct and relatively easy to read, though perhaps a little unoriginal in terms of design.

 

The weapons, by contrast, are great, very visually distinct so far and enjoyable to use. The Gauntlets in particular are a joy to use, vastly superior in my opinion to Doom's Chainsaw. The Wand also feels more powerful than the anemic Pistol, and the Crossbow is an immensely satisfying replacement to the SG, with great animations and projectile sprites. I approve of this emphasis of projectile over hitscan weapons so far, since it helps to keep the combat distinct from Doom.

 

From a mechanical perspective, the new enemies are fine enough in isolation, but decidedly underwhelming compared with their Doom counterparts. The Gargoyle seems like a pretty worthless foe, with little potential for challenge and a great deal for annoyance. The Golem is basically a slower, less bulky Pinky, easy to avoid, though rather tanky for its low threat level. The Undead Warrior is a bit more interesting in theory, though its projectiles are hilariously slow and the its audio feedback is terribly muted and indistinct, even compared with the rest of its compatriots.

 

Still, the base mechanics of the engine are enough to make the combat enjoyable enough, and the satisfying weapons seem to make up somewhat for the mediocre opposition.

 

The above does not encompass everything Heretic has to offer from a mechanical perspective, however. The addition of an inventory, along with some fairly advanced movement and mapping features, should make for some interesting gameplay down the line. This post is getting a little long, however, so I will save that topic for another day.

 

Right, now about the map itself.

 

In terms of layout, this map shows both its age and position in the set, though not in a bad way. There is a certain innocent simplicity to the layout, which bares a strong resemblance to some of Petersen's works.

 

The secrets were pretty good, easy enough to find but satisfying nevertheless. Resource balancing was quite generous, though I doubt this will last. I found the progression to be clear and easy to understand, mostly due to the small size of the map. I hope this trend continues.

 

Overall, my impression of Heretic is solid so far, lacking when compared with its big brother but worthy enough in its own right. I hope that the game proves itself to be more than off-brand fantasy Doom, but even if it doesn't, off-brand fantasy Doom is still Doom, and that's good enough for me.

 

 

T'has been a while since I've written a mega-post like this. I promise my future write-ups will be more... manageable, most because I will inevitably run out of things to ramble about at length. Until then, Heretics.

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I can't remember the exact date that I played Heretic for the first time, unfortunately. But I do remember that I played it, a few years after I played Doom. So it's been more than 20 years now. While Heretic still uses Doom's game engine, Raven Software made some improvements and new features (such as inventory system, wind & ice physics, separation of physical attack and magical attack, and so on), making this Doom's cousin feel more interesting than just a mere reskinned Doom clone. The textures, the monster sprites, all of artworks were done pretty good, and they were used on some of early Doom mods, and contemporary wads and pk3s as well. The music is also top notch, boosting the gameplay experience even further, courtesy of musician Kevin Schilder.

 

During this month, I'm going to play each level on Black Plague-Wand Start, with DSDADoom 0.18.0 source port.

 

 

E1M1 - “The Docks”
BP-WS, KIS(%): 100/100/100

 

Raven Software did a great job on designing the first impression of Doom's cousin, by giving us this simple and straightforward, but really memorable opener. The contrast of bright lights and dark shadows at the very beginning, more tasteful water with cute splatting effect and sound that Doom didn't have, this banging background music, and an elven wand, which is basically Eviternity's pistol, but less accurate. The level also introduces two low-tier monsters; gargoyles and golems. They might look weak and useless in here, but we'll see more powerful variations of them sooner or later.

 

If you're good at finding secrets, you might be able to find some useful goodies. Especially Tome of Power, one of the coolest power-ups in this game. Once you grab it, you can hold it to your pocket, thanks to Heretic's inventory system, and use it whenever you want. It's not Quad Damage from Quake, but it boosts every weapon you have, by changing its attack pattern deadlier than usual. Using a tome will empower your elven wand like a full-auto doom shotgun, but weaker pellets... but also comes with two extra projectiles for each side. Pretty cool, I must say. It's definitely cooler than Doom's pistol.

 

Another secret gives you an Ethereal Crossbow, the actual shotgun of this game. But this one feels like something between Ultimate Doom's single barrel shotgun and Doom 2's super shotgun; the crossbow shoots much faster than a single shotgun. Empowering this crossbow with a tome will give it faster firing rate, more projectiles, and fancy magical trails for each main projectile. Beautiful.

 

Almost at the end of the level, and the windy secret area outside of the docks, you'll encounter an another enemy; undead warrior. This low-mid tier armored skeleton may look not too bad, compare to agitating skeletons with homing missiles from Doom. But watch out for their rare bloody red axe, since it's not just double, but 3.5 times deadlier than usual green axe.

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2 minutes ago, omalefico32x said:

so how does this exactely works? i have to play one level per day?

Yup, and you can say what you liked and disliked etc.

 

Captura de pantalla de 2021-04-01 10-21-35.png

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3 minutes ago, Lol 6 said:

Yup, and you can say what you liked and disliked etc.

 

Captura de pantalla de 2021-04-01 10-21-35.png

thanks dude so we begin today?

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Just now, omalefico32x said:

thanks dude so we begin today?

I think so, and  sorry for the pìcture, my internet went nuts xd

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Just now, omalefico32x said:

thanks dude so we begin today?

I think so, and  sorry for the pìcture, my internet went nuts xd

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7 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

I'll wait until tomorrow, AF jokes are getting old


Heretic won the vote in last month’s thread, so I’d say the chances of this being april fools are practically zero

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Just now, Horus said:


Heretic won the vote in last month’s thread, so I’d say the chances of this being april fools are practically zero


Well in that case, I'll wait 'till tomorrow aswell, Heretic is totally worth a replay

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Posted (edited)

Speaking about Heretic, the game on the surface looks and feels a lot like Doom. However, once you delve deeper, the game has quite a bit of differences as well. Firstly the game introduces many new features like the inventory system, ability to look up/down, ice and wind sectors and a few more that I can't remember. The game also plays somewhat different from Doom at higher skill levels. Heretic doesn't have any hitscan enemies which means that you have more freedom to be out in the open, but on the other hand, the game is much more stingy with ammo, which means that quite often than not, you have to run past enemies on a wand start and deal with the starting enemies later once you have some arsenal to deal with them.

 

As someone who is fairly knowledgeable of vanilla Heretic's maps, I am going to play the maps on skill 5 and do wands starts. However, since vanilla Heretic has very grindy combat, I am going to make use of Wayfarer's Tome. The mod might make the maps a bit easier, but I feel it to be worth it for making the game more fluid. So here are my rules:

  • Skill 5
  • Wand starts
  • Wayfarer's Tome (on GZDoom)

 

E1M1: The Docks

Kills = 44/44

Secrets = 4/4

Deaths = 0

 

A fairly straightforward and a solid opener map. The level introduces us to the first 2 enemies of the game, namely gargoyles and golems, and also an undead warrior towards the end of the level. All 3 these enemies have different variants. The gargoyles have 2 variants, the melee gargoyles and the ranged gargoyles. The golems have 4 variants, depending on their ghost and ranged attack capabilities. And the undead warriors have 2 variants.

 

However, we get to fight only the most basic variants of these monsters on the first level. If you aren't secret hunting, the map is pretty much just spamming the wand at these enemies to the exit. However, those who are good at finding secrets have fairly good rewards waiting for them. The rewards include the crossbow (the shotgun equivalent in Heretic), the bag of holding (the ammo pack equivalent) and the awesome Tome of Power, that you can carry with you and activate it at any time to briefly change the attack of your weapon by making the attack more powerful or completely changing it altogether.

Edited by ReaperAA

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Let's go! I played Heretic on Doomsday a while ago, but never finished it. I did like the game a lot, so it's nice to be playing it again.

 

E1M1: The Docks

Crispy Heretic 5.10.0, Thou Art a Smite-Meister, continuous, saves allowed

HTIC00.png.daa1d37fa73b67b5c80ee33b1243f751.png

 

Let's get this out of the way: I really like Heretic's graphics. They're more similar to The Elder Scrolls Arena/Daggerfall than Doom, and contribute well to the fantasy feel of Heretic. Seems already that this game is going to have a lot less abstract nonsense design than Doom.

 

Anyway, this is a fine first level, introduces the player to several weapons and enemy types in a natural way, though it's not really challenging to someone familiar with Doom. The titular docks are a good landmark, though most of the rest of the level just has the player go through stone hallways. There are quite a few optional rooms that are easy to miss, and they include the Necromancer's Gauntlets and the Ethereal Bow (might be getting their names wrong).

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Posted (edited)

I may not follow this closely. I'll probably try to focus more on the miniwad club if that's still happening.

 

E1M1 - The Docks (Wayfarer's Tome, wand start, Smith-meister because skill 5 disallows cheats like warping and I don't want to search for the right option)

 

One thing I can say this level is excellent at is setting the game's tone as well as establishing expectations for what'll come next. Kevin Schilder first establishes his style as a classically-influenced, medieval-style but highly energetic composer with a track that hits every note perfectly and is probably more closely akin to rock than anything else in the game. While I can get sick of some of his midis, he phones in much less than Bobby Prince does, if that makes sense. Maybe I'll use the Raven midi pack to compare the efforts but yeah, maybe they can repeat too much.

 

This level, like the majority of levels  in the original Heretic, was designed by Michael Raymond-Judy. The two other designers listed in the credits seem to have been hired when Hexen was first proposed and before Raven decided to create 2 other episodes we thankfully won't be doing because....they really aren't all that fun and just seem difficult for difficult's sake. Anyway, Raymond-Judy also establishes his style early on, meaning a level that's essentially abstract but has more a sense of place than practically every other Doom level. Sure, it's basically just one (probably two in this case) sections of the map in general, but at least you can imagine these places existing unlike, well, "Central Processing" or whatever. Don't get me wrong though, much of this map is more of a dungeon than anything and has a simple structure. As you'd expect for an opening level, the enemies are basic. This level introduces one of the mos ubiquitous Heretic enemies immediately, the gargoyles. They're kind of a combination between Lost Souls and Imps but with weaker attacks than either. But if you've played enough Heretic, you'll know that they can be absolutely ABUSED, but they aren't too bad here. The secrets are fairly obvious for the most part, but anyone who doesn't places them behind completely anonymous walls is fine by me. The Eternal Crossbow that you find in a secret will make slaying the Undead Warriors you find much easier than you would otherwise because they have more noticeably more health than the other enemies. You can also enter another part of the docks you can see through a long, curving window inaccessible normally to tag another secret, which reminded me of a similar area in Marathon 2's first level containing a shotgun, which came out after this incidentally(though the way to access that secret is much different). This area also introduces another new Heretic feature, sliding floors. You won't move too quickly right now but just wait until we get to ice-covered floors. Much annoyance will follow.

Edited by LadyMistDragon

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e1m1

well there isnt much about this level to talk about it looks good is a good introduction to the inventory system and how some monsters work so im gonna dedicate this spot to talk about how i feel about heretic

 

 heretic is one of my all time favorite fps games theres so much to like about it its gothic asthetic, the level design is great even if simple, the weapons all look cool, the inventory system is what makes the combat of the game truly shine really making you feel like a powerfull mage

 

 ok now lets talk about its blunders (just my opinion of course)

 

 heretic didnt age as well as doom (even though it has aged way better then other fps games from that time)

 first the status bar is bigger then its doom cousing and shows way less information definitively a downgrade in my opinion, the monsters arent as fun to fight due to their variations and the levels can sometimes look a little samy as we progress though the campaing (though thats also an issue with doom)

 

overall heretic isnt a masterpiece in my eyes but there are a lot of things in this game that really clicks with me and i still feel this was raven software best work

 

also can someone tell me if there is an crispy heretic of sorts? (that is 100% vanilla behavior but with resolutions higher then chocolate heretic)

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, omalefico32x said:

also can someone tell me if there is an crispy heretic of sorts? (that is 100% vanilla behavior but with resolutions higher then chocolate heretic)

Actually yes, there is. @omalefico32x here

 

Edited by Lol 6

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I have played through Heretic about once, and so I think it'd be interesting to participate in the club for once this month.

For this playthrough (on chocolate-heretic) I'll try wand-starting each map rather than going through with continuous (though it is at least nerfed by only being able to carry one of each artifact, with one special case). I'll also play on the hardest difficulty, Black Plague Possesses Thee, which is notable for it's non-bullshitness, in comparison to Doom's nightmare. I'll definitely be using saves, the only question is when I'll start doing so.

That said, I probably won't mention much of my experience playing the map, and will instead point to things I find interesting. Will only mention my opinion if I have a strong feeling one way or the other. I'll probably also replay the map of the day if there's anything that I want to double-check.

I am not as bothered by any grindyness in the combat of the original game as some others are, but I've not played as much Heretic as some might feel I should, so that may change in the future. I doubt it'll happen during these 3 episodes though :P

 

E1M1:The Docks

First map of the first episode, blah blah blah...

There's some things that look like docks at the start of the map, so the name's accurate! :D

 

One secret here that trips most people who aren't super-familiar with Heretic up, including me, is the teleporter that leads you into the dark and windy outside area. If you backtrack after reaching the exit,you'll easily find it, but then the trigger remains a mystery.

I decided to retry the map to check what opens it, and it happens to be tied to the same switch that opens the stone door. Neat!

 

Not gonna have a list of maps ordered by preference, ranking things isn't fun for me. I'd just be agonizing over which to prefer, and I'd rather not go through doing that.

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Posted (edited)

Heretic. The best Doom engine game IMO

 

Vanilla looking Lzdoom (320x200), bringest them oneth, saves. I'll show a screenshot of the final stats in each level.

 

E1M1: The docks.

429590168_Capturadepantallade2021-04-0112-28-30.png.5b5506a5ab294dc35698b80601268728.png

567802129_Capturadepantallade2021-04-0110-25-03.png.8b4d552bb5f210ffd984902da10a537f.png

 

Not a bad way to start our journey to kill D'sparil, the level itself has more monsters than Doom's E1M1, but it introduces many cool elements like keyboard look and the inventory. We are also greeted by low tier and "almost medium tier" monsters (Of course I talk about the undead warriors, with bad RNG they do a lot of damage). Beware of the "RAVEN WALLS", they may hide a secret. Overall it's a nice level, the music is good too.

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Just now, omalefico32x said:

thanks for your help dude

Glad to help!

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