Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Doom Zero

Recommended Posts

So i finished this early, won't go into detail about any particular map. I enjoyed the wad despite the weird sound effects and creepy boss. Thankfully the platforming and puzzles weren't too complicated, though a couple maps stumped me for a little while. Was fun enough to make me plow through it in a few sessions, so it's a keeper! Now I've got to catch up on Rowdy Rudy 2...

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP17: The Testing Labs

UV, pistol start, no saves 

100% kills, 5/9 secrets

 

This level has a rough start. After taking down 3 oblivious shotgunners, you have to deal with 3 arachnotrons using only your shotgun. Then after dropping down, you have to sprint to the chaingun past more arachnotrons for the means to take these ones down. Starting a level with a slow, tedious encounter always kind of rubs be the wrong way because it makes replaying the level a lot more painful, but oh well. After taking down some cacos with a harmless pain elemental (always a bad omen), and berserk punching some revenants, you arrive at one of the more memorable parts of the map: a small mazy area with 3 barons, and chaingunners on the sidelines. This is probably my favourite use of barons in the wad so far, sure they are spongey as ever but they are a big threat here and keep you on your toes, as at any moment they can corner you and you are toast. It's an encounter that can be surprisingly difficult if you make a wrong move. Following this encounter is a neat little switch and lift puzzle, and you are on your way out of this room.

 

After taking care of a pretty wimpy archvile, you enter the area with the blue and red key. The red key is the only one needed to progress through the level, with the blue key being obtained via a secret. You will definitely want to obtain the blue key though, as it is needed to gain 100% kills and impacts the level in a very neat way. Opening the red door reveals some platforms that you must sprint across leading you directly into a techbase swarming with hitscanners. I love the cheeky design here, the platforms take away your ability to enter the room with care and caution since you have to sprint across them, so you just end up running yourself right into the middle of a bunch of zombieman. Thought it was pretty funny. Taking on this section leaves you walking through hallways filled with hitscanners and lost souls both on your level and above, but if you got the blue key earlier you can open the blue key door which lets you walk on the ledges above instead, allowing you to strike from a more advantageous position and obtain some items on the upper area that are inaccessible otherwise. Very cool design choice here. After you take care of this room, you have to hit a gargoyle switch absolutely covers the room in lost souls. Pick an area where you won't be cornered and sprint there, then take care of them from there. You can then exit the level once you are done with them.

 

Pretty cool level, got off to a not-so-great start but the baron encounter and hitscanner filled techbase were all well designed, and the blue key route was a very well done idea.

Share this post


Link to post

Map 13: 100% kills and secrets

 

     Arachnotron makes its first appearance here.  It does not have any pain sound I can detect.  Right away, opening doors reveals 3 keys in plain sight.  OK, what twist will the WAD pull now?  For some reason, it didn't occur to me to look at the automap which would give it away.  Anyhow, I went after them in the order of yellow, blue, and red.  Red took a little more thinking to work out how to reach.  Never mind that it does not appear to be necessary to find them all to finish the map.  The other two do get blocked off after taking one but they appear to be 30 second doors.  Most of the secrets of the map are within the regions where the keys are.  Most but not all.

     Yeah, I got sprayed with spider plasma at least once just like almost everyone else.  That one that appears close is a sneaky one even with the pentagram on the floor serving as a warning.  The end of the map is frantic though it really comes to taking down the multiple pain elementals fast.  Used a few BFG shots to rip into them and cleaned up the remainder with chaingun fire.  All those lost souls around angered some lurking imps with their infinite height charges.  I find it much easier to go left rather than right from the non-secret plasma gun on display so that I'm not trying to dodge spiders while exterminating the flying threats.  The last couple of secrets are hidden pretty well but looking at the automap gave me enough hints to find them.

 

Map 14: 64% kills, 8/9 secrets

 

    I did work out how to max the map; I just chose not to bother.  Opening looks like one will get dinged repeatedly by hitscanners while shooting out all the monsters on the ledges.  Except that most will not wake if I attack from the starting nook so I end up picking them off one at a time at little risk.  Ha ha ha.  The caverns are dense with resistance and they have a way of creeping up on ya' while dealing with something else.  I ended up taking the blue key-yellow key path to open up the exit.  Most of the monsters that way are deaf so other than a trio of arachnotrons with limited space to retreat, they are susceptible to creeping around only alerting small numbers at a time.  Like one every time I could get away with it.  With exit within reach and access to enough goods to get up to full health and armor, opted to cut and run for it and not travel the other path.

    Never mind the archvile that appears when approaching the exit, it's the sneak attack from behind that sticks out to me.  Some heavy hitters with not much cover.  Even less if you've opened up all the pillars.  Neat little setup there where it's to one's advantage to leave some there if not needed for progressing.  Some neat secrets too.  The one which allows access to both the blue key and the face switch is the key one to locate for maxing the map.  Also a leap of faith and a hidden path in lava which is what the radsuit is really for.  Plenty of action too, feels like the most busy map so far on the dealing with monsters front.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, DisgruntledPorcupine said:

Starting a level with a slow, tedious encounter always kind of rubs be the wrong way because it makes replaying the level a lot more painful, but oh well.

 

The next level start will not be slow and tedious, but can be painful indeed. I play continuous but as we progress into the WAD, I see that the level start and weapon distribution are gradually becoming less balanced for pistol starters. Looking forward to read your experience.

Edited by Book Lord

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP 19 – Quantum Processing

Doomsday Engine, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

Besides the starting Arch-Vile, another wall-staring dimwit, this level marked a strong change of pace. Not only it was the most expansive and long map so far, but it highlighted a brand-new feature: instant harassment after solving a puzzle. As soon as I was able to unlock a progression step, the level immediately threw monsters at me. I died on the first two occasions, then learned it for good.

 

The first teleport ambush was meaner and more dangerous than any previous instance. A Mancubus appeared behind me and began shooting in a frenzy, forcing me to prioritise him and retreat into the starting corridor, where I took a deep breath and dealt with the remaining aggressors. I searched the area for lurking monsters and noticed the feet of an Arch-Vile, which I could not shoot. I took a note in my book and jumped in the TEKWALL4 pit, then fought a big group of Revenants by an acid pool. There I found the first hot job to handle, which consisted of crossing the hazardous fluid with sluices going up and down. I was almost through, when I was thrown off balance by 2 concealed Lost Souls with hitscanner backup snipers. At second attempt I pre-emptively alerted everyone to wipe them out.

Spoiler

1134949800_DoomZeroMap19_01.jpg.2e60a18f1a8dd6e71d0f4921d67b27ee.jpg

On top of the stairs, a switch freed the still deaf Arch-Vile from his prison, but my instinct was to backtrack instead of jumping into the escapeless pit. The Vile saw me from afar and got his usual business underway. I could have planned better ahead if I knew the stuck door would open by jumping down. However, shortly after I found myself trapped in a room with 4 levers, which must be flipped in a sequence to get out. Arrows appeared on the floor to guide my choices, since this was just the training for a similar puzzle in programme before the exit (without hints). The demons waged a sudden and powerful attack just after the lever room, but I was not expecting anything like that and succumbed in disbelief.

 

Lessons were learned for the next section, a series of jumping puzzles unfolding around an eight-shaped staircase. It was remarkable how the paths intertwined around that hub, with a detour through a beautiful open courtyard and then into a dark, overcrowded computer room. Every platforming challenge invariably ended up with an ambush, but I quickly got used to that “new normal”.

Spoiler

852154447_DoomZeroMap19_02.jpg.29395eff788e9305b8b3bbbfd6630d9e.jpg

 

839880632_DoomZeroMap19_03.jpg.54f87888f82e563dcf31172d7075b19a.jpg

 

Christopher Golden conceived good combat set pieces, interesting gimmicks, and some striking secrets around that hub. He even made sure that a shortcut became available after every challenge in the map, to avoid losing progression because of a mistake or misunderstanding. It felt streamlined and not so realistic, but practical nonetheless. I must praise the author for the scenic effect he created in one of the last rooms, where bloody red eyes seem to look at Doomguy from a monitor, then they suddenly disappeared into static noise. Cool, disturbing stuff.

Spoiler

1752554142_DoomZeroMap19_04.jpg.acf217b6edcfa147fe62e7321f8fcb93.jpg

There was never a dull moment, like somebody was playing his last cards to stop me before I reached MAP20. The wall of Mancubi in front of the exit door was hard to bring down and I could not imagine that something even bigger was in store in the exit itself. It was a worthy conclusion for the hardest, longest, trickiest, and most exciting level in the first two-thirds of this WAD.

 

Edited by Book Lord

Share this post


Link to post

MAP19: Quantum Processing

UV | Continuous Play with Saves | GZDoom

 

Hoo boy, this map was a ball-ache. Naturally, I'm a bit of a whiny sod sometimes, so bear that in mind lmao. Anyhoo, I found the first big encounter to be kind of bullshit to be honest, but I found a way to cheese it a little. That encounter alone is going to be a REAL pain in the arse for pistol-starters, so good luck you handsome maniacs. Found myself rather low on ammo in some regard with only my chaingun and SSG to see me through the majority of this fuckfest of a map with its really large groups in stupidly-tight spaces in close proximity to one another and platform-riddled puzzles. It's a good and nasty challenge for sure, but by the end I was just desperate for the bloody thing to be over. It's not a terrible map, but it's one of those endurance-test kind of maps that leave me feeling irritable by the time I've finished with it. DZ has well and truly taken the training wheels off now, kids.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Biodegradable said:

That encounter alone is going to be a REAL pain in the arse for pistol-starters, so good luck you handsome maniacs.

 

Yeah, I guess a secret in the starting room is just mandatory for pistol starters. Getting through first ambush without it requires some special skill or luck.

I hope they find it remembering how they got RL in MAP05, if they ever did.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

UV with saves, pistol start, glbloom+ (complevel 2)

 

Map 32 Dark Roof

 

After the Final doom megawads and countless PWADS super-secret maps are often held to very high standards. It is often expected that those maps either bring some kind of "next level challenge" (Plutonia, Alien Vendetta, Going Down) or combine a strong set of intense fights with strong thematic twists (TNT:Evilution, Scythe, Ancient Aliens, Going Down again). Judged by such standards, map32 of Doom Zero feels rather disappointing.   
But not every map 32 should aim to be the next Go2it or Caribbean.
Dark Roof is quite a nice short map, with many interesting traits. It has awesome spooky atmosphere, it continues the map31 theme of "Twisted first levels", and it offers a nice opportunity to relive a classic Doom 2 moment.

Spoiler

That said, I wonder how this map would play out with the addition of another spider mastermind. Free for all brawl between three boss monsters sounds exiting.

 

Edited by Azure_Horror : formatting

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP16 – The Natural Base

This was a fun map, with some nice green vistas and larger areas than we’ve seen in much of this WAD so far. This one had some more puzzles in it, and platforming too, hooray. More spots with two different levels of floors in the same room separated by a small barrier of entry. And lots of nukage too. Sorry, it’s been a few days since I played it. I remember the room with the rising forked path and the fun lifts, flanked by caves you visit at various points in the progression. I also remember the barrel room that killed me a bunch. I’m glad I use saves.

 

MAP17 – The Testing Labs

I really enjoyed this one. I found a lot of secrets, I thought “surely this is all of them?” only to check the automap to see it was only seven out of nine in total. Oh well, it was still fun to hunt for them, even after all the monsters were dead (Which I also didn’t know was the case until I checked the map at the same point as before). I really just wanted the blue key, and didn’t get it (Or the BFG that follows) until the very end. Anyway, the map is fun, except for the “baron room” which is never a phrase you want to hear. Just barons and a few chaingunners in a switch puzzle cube, while all I had was an SSG and Chaingun. I got lucky during one of my many tries and got one of the three barons stuck on top of a lift, so I only had to fight two on the floor. Once the slog of killing them was done, the switch puzzle was actually kind of fun, since all the switches were near each other and none of them were too slow. After this bit you get a Rocket Launcher and fight an arch-vile, then bumble around in the puzzley hallways looking for ways to get to the keys, and then you can get to the final room, a techbase area full of hitscanners and, later, lost souls. Lots and lots of lost souls. Btw, this map had the first megasphere I found in the megawad so far, it looks really cool!

 

MAP18 – Atom Transporter

Another fun map, although one part kinda ruined the experience for me (mostly my fault though). It was that damn straferun section to get the blue key. I kept trying and failing to do it legitimately, and eventually I did, only to die a minute later and realize I forgot to save. So I was like “fuck it” and turned on god and noclip. Now I remembered to turn off noclip (to get the key), but I forgot to turn off god mode and didn’t notice until the end of the level. Luckily none of the monsters beyond that point seemed too scary anyway (a few barons, but I don’t think I took any hits from them, so I wouldn’t have lost health there anyway). I guess I noticed some of the hitscanner parts seeming easier than normal, but even then it was mostly zombiemen. Combat-wise (What I got out of it, I guess), was good. The map was really fond of teleporting monsters behind you, which is fun for a while. Anyway, the map looked really nice and had a cool layout, and I still enjoyed it despite my accidental invulnerability.

 

MAP19 – Quantum Processing

This one was frustrating at times. The visuals were good and the layout was great (Do I spy a “cool S?”) and there were some nifty puzzles. The combat was pretty hard though, and ammo was getting tight. I’m doing pistol start too, which meant no RL or PG until close to the end. Lots of barons, mancs, HKs, cacos, and even an AV or two with just SG, SSG, and CG. Not even a berserk fist to help with the tight ammo for a while. The first room gave a nasty teleport ambush of mancs and nobles, the only way to avoid them was falling into a pit. The only way out of the pit was covered in a shit-ton of revenants. Eventually I figured to use the rising barriers in the rev room to trap them, only letting a manageable few out at a time, while still having to avoid the nobles above. Beating this room lets out an arch-vile into that mass of noble meat you just killed, have fun with that. After this is an interesting switch puzzle (with hints even!) that left you in a precarious situation afterwards.

 

Lots of monsters later you get up to the top of the “Cool S” room through another series of puzzles, one involving a lift and a door that had to activated at the right times (this one I couldn’t find a way around after the first time, so that was nice. Thanks Noclip.) After another cool platforming section I finally got a rocket launcher, and things went up from there. The bit with the eyes changing to static was cool as hell. The AVs nearby were not, luckily they died quick. A bunch of mancs later and you’re at the little exit building! Only it’s not actually little, it’s full of 3000 hp of Spider nonsense. Luckily I had enough plasma to kill it before it took my last 16% of health.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP18: Atom Transporter

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 7/8 secrets

 

@Book Lord wasn't kidding about the start, it's a pretty funny trap. You start in an empty hallway with chaingunners in nooks on the side, and upon firing at them, more chaingunners pop out from the other nooks to turn you into swiss cheese. From a pistol start you obviously only have your pistol to take care of one with, and need to grab its chaingun for the rest. If you do manage to get the chaingun you are usually safe though, since typically most of the others have begun infighting at this point so they'll be too distracted to finish you off. So it ends up not being too difficult, but mean (in a funny way) nonetheless. This map has some very good combat in it overall, some of the best in the wad so far. It also seems to like making use of sprinting related puzzles. The first one you run into after taking the right door at the start and taking care of the enemies in the hallway with helpful barrels at the sides. You have to hit the face switch and sprint fast enough over some platforms to make it to the other end and through the door. Pretty fun to do.

 

The room at the other end is one you will want to take slowly, as running ahead too soon will have you waking up the enemies further away which can make the room incredibly hectic and can make it difficult to survive. After you take care of these enemies and the couple archviles dotted around the building, you have to sprint across a nukage moat which has the door at the other end immediately open to reveal revenants, and then another sprint puzzle. This time, you have to sprint into nukage to catch a quickly raising platform on its way up, but you also have to slow down the moment you hit the platform or you will fall off before being taken to the other side. This one was pretty annoying, but fine once I got it down. This grants you the blue key which allows you into the middle door, and contains probably my favourite fight in the level. Once you walk in, you will notice some pinkies and hell knights with their backs turned. On your left, there is a rocket launcher, and once you go to pick it up a pinky will immediately teleport beside you. Killing him wakes up the other monsters, which all start coming for you and some start teleporting all over the place. This hallway is filled with a pretty large number of enemies, so you have to be very fast here or they will all converge on you and you will have no way past them. It's quite a thrilling encounter.

 

The leftmost door takes you through a few fights with cacos, hell knights, arachnotrons, and barons (with some imps on the side), some of which teleport behind you once they awaken. You are able to take this door at the beginning of the map, but you won't find any progress unless you come to it last, as the switch in the blue key door reveals the switch needed to progress here (I tested and you can ALMOST sequence break by pressing space while standing on the right spot on the platform where the switch raises from, but the bridge in the room that opens is also triggered by the switch that raises the switch for the door, rendering it impossible to progress unless you then go the correct route). The door reveals from revenants and arachnotrons to take care of, and stairs going down to an area with hitscanners, imps, and pinkies to mow down. There is another sprinting sequence here, this one just being narrow platforms over nukage to straferun across, nothing too fancy. After grabbing the yellow key and dealing with a few monster closets that open, you can progress to the yellow door and fight two pain elementals and teleport to the exit room. The level throws one last nasty ambush at you with revenants, mancubi, and archviles. There is an invulnerability secret right before this that trivializes it and I did find it on my playthrough, but I imagine this would be pretty difficult otherwise.

 

There are 2 secrets you need to find to get 100% kills here, one of which is the BFG secret. This one is pretty easy to find as it is not very hidden, just appearing behind a lift/bridge you can raise as a shortcut back to the blue key room from the left room from the start. Grabbing the BFG reveals a spider mastermind right beside you that you will need to take care of, luckily not being too much of an issue with the BFG in hand. The other secret you need is the red key, another optional key similar to the last map. This one you find by running off of the platforms  and to the right side in the sprinting section nearest to the end. I think from the ceiling the level wants you to take a more winding path, but it's pretty generous with what triggers the secret. This gets you the red key, and behind the red key door is an incredibly annoying encounter. You have to progress through a dark nukage-filled hall with imps and spectres, and no rad-suit. This means the clock is ticking for you to get to the end, and fast. I ended up just BFGing my way through as the time you have to get through is tight, but you are rewarded with a megasphere.

 

Overall a really good map. I did not like the red key secret much, found it quite annoying to go through, but otherwise this one was a blast.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP 20 – Familiar Face

Doomsday Engine, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

The starting point was surrounded by dozens of exploding barrels. I caught myself holding my breath at every corner, waiting for some foolish enemy to attack and blow everything up. This was not meant to happen: I had to be the madman who initiated the explosion, and this required a good amount of faith. But by now, I believe in Christopher Golden, so if he put a shotgun by an opening that is the right place to use it.

Spoiler

251380787_DoomZeroMap20_01.jpg.f6b8cdf8ace02a27c4fc3f3d27585930.jpg

I shook off the dust and searched the now empty tunnels for hidden goodies. I was right and I found some stuff, including a radiation suit that made the following challenge a breeze. I was supposed to cross a rapidly collapsing bridge over toxic waste, but the protection compensated for any error I could have made. The next big chamber hosted another platforming task: running to the top of a structure as fast as I could, making careful bends and avoiding slow crushers, until I landed on the RSK.

Spoiler

335376636_DoomZeroMap20_02.jpg.80e68d86c0e5753495d06cc86bb84bf3.jpg

The absence of monsters started to make me nervous. MAP20 was supposed to end the episode, but it showcased only three small challenges. It felt like someone was playing with me and the final revelation of the Demon Witch was a fitting climax. There seemed to be no way to damage the boss, so I just endured the monster spawner until a door opened and I fled with honour. It was about time because the hideous thing had just summoned an Arch-Vile.

Spoiler

791826232_DoomZeroMap20_03.jpg.edc80ab29d02e173a7df4fefe36545ba.jpg

This level accomplished the task to carry on the storyline and build up some dramatic tension. The gameplay was not a primary concern, especially combat. I found only 1 out of 4 secrets, but on the first playthrough I think it is unlikely to pay much attention to them, especially in the last hallway before the boss.

Edited by Book Lord

Share this post


Link to post

MAP 20: Familiar Face

UV | Continuous Play with Saves | GZDoom

 

This one throws you for a curious loop out of the gate with a couple of environmental puzzles, giving you a false sense of security with the obvious lack of demons at first before the big reveal of The Demon Witch. Certainly had me fooled as I thought the map was going to consist of more puzzles and no demons at all. Incidentally, if the voice clip used for the Demon Witch is a reference to something, it's completely lost on me. The crusher-runner puzzle is fun to beat, but that's all I can really say with this one, though it is cool that we're introduced to a new (if not somewhat familiar) villain for us to conquer.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, princetontiger said:

What's the demon witch saying? Super creepy

We should ask @DASI-I for some clues.

Share this post


Link to post
Spoiler

MAP31: Meat
The first secret level. It contains references to the early id software FPS games. You go from Wolfenstein 3D E1M1 (Episode 1 Floor 1) to Doom E1M1 (Hangar) to Doom 2 MAP01 (Entryway) to Quake E1M1 (The Slipgate Complex) to Quake 2 Base1 (Outer Base).
Basically first level of each FPS game released by id from 1992 to 1997.
Only the first room of Wolf3D E1M1 (actually modified MAP31 from Doom 2) and first room of Quake E1M1 are included. Quake 2 first level rooms are mostly included (besides ending area and the secret areas), while the entirety of Doom & Doom 2 levels are included, just modified.
The differences are mostly in enemy placement, since the levels would have been too easy if they only contained zombies or nazis or whatever. Plus it is almost impossible to recreate the Wolf3D, Quake and Quake 2 enemies within vanilla Doom limitations. It can be easily done in a ZDoom based port but that's not necessary, since the mod is supposed to be for vanilla game.
It would have been nice if we got a crossover (as the id games all take place in same universe apparently) but I think what we got so far was still very much appreciated.
As for the map, there were some tricky parts, like some secrets contained deadly enemies. For example, in Entryway part of the map, there was a revenant I didn't expect in that stimpack secret, so I got punched and then I ran away to take cover, then also killed the archvile that was guarding the RL. Later, I went outside for what was originally the shotgun secret containing imps, this time there were more revenants! I carefully kill each of them waiting on the doorway. Then grab the soul sphere and get my health back to 200% (since I began the level with around 100% health, thanks to not managing my supplies better at end of MAP15)
Then there is the first room of The Slipgate Complex that you had to jump to reach the green armor, this time it contained revenants and archviles that teleport right behind you, so I didn't realize they teleported behind me until I took a revenant rocket in the back. I acted quickly at least, before the archvile tried to blast me.
The Outer Base part of the level was also tricky at times. There were many deadly enemies that I carefully took with my BFG and RL. The arachnotrons at bottom I carefully took with the single shotgun, since shells are usually plentiful and I try to conserve my ammo most of the time depending on the situations and how enemies are positioned. There is the trap with the FOUR archviles guarding the blue skull key. I had my BFG ready because I knew there was something deadly waiting for me. One blast I think only injured one or two archviles but the next one took THREE archviles instantly! The fourth archvile didn't wake up yet and I approached it with my BFG before it woke up. All was left is to time the BFG blast! Then continue my way towards the exit.
There are two chaingunners in the exit room and after you kill them, DON'T step yet into the exit! Carefully check around the corners and you will notice two revenants waiting for you. I noticed them immediately and thought "Nice try!". I always check around the corners when entering the rooms, I don't blindly rush. At the cost of having to check around corners for hidden enemies, I end up with a slower approach throughout the levels, where I conserve most of health and armor, most of the time I play custom Doom wads, especially when it's my first time playing them. Anyway, I used my chaingun for both revenants, because there were plenty bullets remaining. After I was done, I saved and took a look on YouTube for the remaining secrets and the secret level exit. I had also saved the megasphere secret for the end.

 

Fun fact: There used to be a Quake 2 mod back in the day called Generations. And it included playable BJ, DoomGuy, Ranger and Bitterman classes. Unfortunately, due to legal concerns and a bit of misunderstanding of communication between the Generations team and id Software, the mod was shut down. The main reason was the games' sounds and the Quake models (Wolfenstein and Doom models were their own apparently) were all used without permission. Plus the whole first episode of Quake was included (and even the extra DM levels). There were plans to include the Wolf3D E1 & Doom E1 campaigns as well but this didn't happen since mod was cancelled. There were some Doom levels that still made in, such as Doom E1M2, E2M8, E4M3, Doom 2 MAP02 and MAP06. According to the Generations overview video by WhamNinjaMolehill that was uploaded years ago on YouTube.
At least later we got Generations Arena mod for Quake 3 that has the same purpose, to bring characters/classes from early id games into Quake 3 universe with all their own weapons, physics, sounds, etc. While most characters are already present in Quake 3 by default (with the absence of BJ strangely, though he may be replaced by Sarge), this allowed Wirehead Studios (the team behind Quake 3 Generations Arena mod) to safely work for the mod, as long as they still follow the rules and they have been consulting id software just to make sure what they are allowed to do and what they aren't allowed to do.
Also forgot to mention, later the team behind Q2 mod, released a mod called SOG (Some Old Games) that was basically a legalized version of the Generations mod and it even came with its own campaign. The mod is considered very rare and can only be found available at a single download link these days. The same applies to Generations mod. I won't link to them, especially since I'm getting off-topic but the Quake 3 Generations Arena mod can be easily found at Wirehead Studios official website and after all these years, they are still working on the mod, mostly for the final 1.0 release that will not only add the missing animations and many other fixes and touches but also bring Team Arena support and other surprises! Now to get back on topic...

 

MAP32: Dark Roof
The second secret level. Features the return of the first level with a twist! Not only it is pretty dark but also the only enemies present in the level are a Cyberdemon and a Spider Mastermind! It is obvious what you have to do. To make them infight! Like in first level, you have the choice to grab one of the keys. I grabbed the blue key this time, as others did on YouTube videos, since you will have an easier time to make them infight. For some reason, I couldn't initially make the bosses infight first time (I tried making the cyber fire rockets to the spider while dodging but maybe Cyber didn't hit the Spider?), I was lucky to not take rockets to face, so I jumped into acid when cyber came over there while I was raising the bridge and got into elevator with only the minimal nukage damage. I then was peeking around the windows while avoiding cyber rockets to somehow make the spider notice me. The spider eventually noticed me and when started firing at me, they started fighting!
The spider mastermind won and the winner gets a BFG to the face! I took some damage from the spider's chaingun but the lost health was repaired with the soulsphere secret. Then I backtracked to the beginning for the berserk + green armor secret, I saved this just in case my health and armor would drop below 100% but thankfully that wasn't the case. My blue armor was still around 150%, meaning I didn't have to replace my armor with the weaker green one.

 

MAP16: Natural Supply
This level contains a lot of acid that you have to traverse in the next room after you clear those zombies at beginning. Thankfully it's not very difficult and I timed the two radiation suits rather well to make use of them, so I don't get to walk through the acid without any protection. I just acted quickly with my RL and Plasma instead of my careful approach I employ most of the time. There are no secrets at beginning of level (you can't backtrack to this area anymore), so don't worry about missing something, the author didn't put a secret at beginning to screw over those of us who like getting 100% in each level! You will then arrive in a larger nukage room that contain an assortment of monsters. I recommend taking the nastier enemies first and then rushing to the land, since your radiation suit should expire soon. I didn't get to grab those health bonuses yet but later there was time for that.
There are interesting traps every now and then, problem I had is that cave area I felt was a bit too dark, just like there have been some parts so far where I couldn't see very well where I was going, though I could barely see the enemies, so I mostly just spammed chaingun and SSG at them. Automap helps navigating these areas. I managed to get rid of monsters without problems but I imagine there are people that would have trouble seeing the monsters in darkness.
There was a trap that I somehow predicted, when I entered the next room. The trap activated before I got to press the switch, so I just turned around and noticed the walls lowering, which revealed two Mancubi, a pain elemental and some imps. Switching to the more powerful weapons (RL or BFG, forgot what I used) got rid of them quickly.
Later in the level there was an interesting barrel puzzle, a bit similar to MAP23 from Doom 2. Now I will admit I had to quickly check on YouTube the solution instead of trying myself and doing something dumb (I remember this scene was also shown on the official Doom Zero trailer) but the solution was easy and feel kinda bad having to check out the solution. All you have to do is detonate the barrel from ahead of you, then as soon as that happens, just start running as fast as you can. I got to the end without any damage. Then I switched to Plasma when I met those cacodemons. Then there's a few platforming sequences as well. At the end of the level, there are two archviles that can be easily taken out with the BFG. However there is a third archvile on last room along with an arachnotron (another BFG blast to take care of them) and two more revenants waiting around the corner, can be easily killed with SSG and taking cover from their projectiles.
Of course I backtracked to find the remaining secrets (or I did that before the final rooms, probably around time I looked for barrel solution?), since I'm not leaving any missed enemy/item/secret behind!

 

MAP17: The Testing Labs
Quite a few tricky traps happening at times. I also got stuck a few times at beginning. There was another puzzle where you had to time those platforms and run through them while they are raising. It took me a couple attempts doing this right. I wasn't really in the mood of yet another puzzle. But after doing that, I was able to collect the yellow key. Oh yeah, before the puzzle, I killed the archvile that was standing in middle of the room, so I don't have to deal with it later.
The next room (with blue floors) was one that caused me to lose almost half of my health and armor. There were chaingunners that were sniping me and I also had to deal with those barons quickly, though the barons weren't that much of a problem since they didn't corner me, so I just BFG them and use my chaingun for those pesky chaingunners. Then I look for solving the next puzzle with the switches you have to time and press quickly. There was a secret I noticed but I couldn't reach it from there, so I gave up in trying to strafe into it from the first platform. The secret in question was a plasma gun and can be reached by getting into the last platform and then try getting over those platforms, you should make it into the secret. Since I played continuous, I already had my own Plasma, so I wasn't missing much other than 40 cells, as I had plenty of cells and could always backtrack to it later.
After raising the elevator and making it to the room where the first Archvile is found, I was under impression that there are multiple different rooms you had to choose but I think they all lead to same rooms. Kill those chaingunners and grab the red key! Also there is a secret area containing two revenants and an archvile but I didn't find this (and most secrets) until I was already done with the level, so I kinda got spoiled in seeing this trap when watching on YouTube, then I was ready for it.
After you go back to the yellow door, open the red door and you have to do a bit of platforming before reaching the next area. It contains mostly zombies, so don't worry about that! The blue key is optional and requires finding secrets, so at that time I didn't have it to check what's behind that blue door. I have also been wondering what's with the lost souls in the level and where are they, because the pain elemental near beginning wasn't spitting any lost souls (due to the lost soul limit in vanilla Doom 2). Turns out, there is a trap that summons about 30 or so of them! So I carefully use my chaingun and plasma to get rid of them. After reaching the exit, I went for the remaining secrets (most were tricky to find) and the nice megasphere in the final room, though I already had 200% H/A from the blue armor and soulsphere I found after that.

 

MAP18: Atom Transporter
Once again, there's few tricky traps happening every now and then. I simply run and kill the shotgun guy and those chaingunners that were appearing behind me, though most were busy killing each other. I first cleared the left room but then realized I can't progress further, so I went to try the right room. There is yet another puzzle to solve, you need to press the switch and quickly platform to reach the door before it closes. Falling in acid isn't too bad and it only does 5 damage, so you can get back up quickly and try again. It may take a few tries but funnily enough, one time when door was closing, it got opened by one of lost souls or cacodemons. So I tried killing them quickly (didn't want to enter in that room yet) before door closes. After killing them and entering the room, I carefully checked the corners and there was an archvile waiting for me in each corner. I took each one with the BFG, no problem. After that I got surprised when I tried to open the door and there were revenants waiting for them. So, I backed out quickly before getting punched and took them out with RL or Plasma. There was an interesting puzzle to grab the blue key. Although I liked these puzzles so far, I find a bit annoying how many maps contain so many puzzles and gimmicks in them. Don't get me wrong, I think they are all nice and innovative but I find sometimes a bit tedious and I wish that there were levels that didn't rely on so many puzzles.
Since I don't feel writing much anymore for the rest level, I will just say that there were interesting traps, such as the trap at end of level (with archviles and other nasties) somehow didn't cause me any damage, mostly thanks to my careful usage of BFG. Then saved and I found the invulnerability secret! Don't worry, I got one use of it. I saved it for the BFG secret (that I initially avoided, knowing it was a trap) which contained a surprise spider mastermind! However there was another tricky part that I wish I saved the radiation suit at least for that (after checking YouTube for most of the secrets I missed) instead of using it for an earlier acid crossing part. The part that leads to the megasphere secret! It requires running through nukage while imps and demons/spectres try to stop you! I had my plasma ready for that and killed all of them with only taking damage from the acid, meaning I still had around 60% or so health. Then the megasphere was mine! Another level finished with 200% health & armor! And that was absolutely needed for the next level as well...

 

MAP19: Quantum Processing
This was a lot more difficult level that did some good damage to me every now and then, mostly because the enemy placement was a bit trickier to deal with. The archvile at beginning of course had to dodge my BFG blast, so I got burned and had to use another BFG blast to take it out. Then I carefully deal with the ambushes in next room. It was putting some pressure to me because I had to dodge a lot and think what weapon to use at times. By the time I got to the acid room and trying to get over those platforms, my health and armor had dropped to around 60% or so but then I find some health and I stuck with my remaining blue armor until much later in level. There are even more unique puzzles to be found in this level as well, plus platforming bits but now I will talk about next room. Somehow I avoid the next couple of ambushes with minimal damage. I guess I got really lucky. I only found the invisibility with automap secret so far and I confess even with automap I had trouble finding most other secrets, though I was mostly concerned at dealing with the rest rooms, since it seemed like this level didn't have as many goodies as the previous levels. I guess the helpful secrets were very well hidden.
Going back, after clearing the next few rooms, I got into a techbase. Then I had to do a puzzle with pressing a switch that lowers the elevator and another one that opens a door. Time it correctly to proceed further. After the platforming, I got into a room with some zombies guarding a berserk pack and green armor, while cacodemons were firing behind a small window. After clearing them, I decided to replace my blue armor with the green armor, since I think it was the time to replace it. My health was around 80% or so but I still ended up grabbing the berserk pack anyway.
The next few areas were tricky and I had to do another platforming to reach the next area. Forgot to mention but every time you reach a new area in this level, there should be a "checkpoint" that allows you to get back to last part you unlocked instead of having to do the puzzle again.
There was a room with a knight, baron and some revenants. I mostly used my BFG but SSG also worked at times when I didn't feel like wasting too many BFG shots. I only took a revenant fireball to face and did only 20% damage, thankfully. But then I got to the part where I had to cross damaging floor quickly. I took some damage here and my health was almost 60%, then noticed an archvile waiting me around the corner. I take a deep breath, take my BFG out and start firing while approaching (there were actually two archviles). Then after successfully taking them out, I look for two medkits to get my health back. I then looked for a blue armor and soulsphere secret because I knew there would be some tricky parts near end. But before that, I killed those revenants that showed up behind me when I lowered that elevator, I rushed back to previous room and waited for them to come out of corner. I then backtrack for every secret and get ready for the final battles! But before that, we need to press those switches quickly in a certain order, to lower the elevator (similar to an earlier puzzle). It was all good until an imp shows up in my face while I was firing at those mancubi (ouch!). Then I proceed to kill the spider mastermind in final room with my BFG. Some damage was taken and my health and armor were around 90%. Because I had less than 100% armor, I decided to grab a new green armor and look for a stimpack/medkit and at least have 100% health and armor for the next level. Once again, like MAP15, I wish I handled my resources just a little better. But hey, at least I didn't die!

 

MAP20: Familiar Face
Probably one of shortest and easiest levels in the mod. Since I had only 100% health and armor (green), I wasn't sure where is the safe spot to blow up the barrels without getting blown myself and had to take a look at YouTube just to make sure, especially to find the secrets and see where they are (plus in this map there is no way to backtrack, it seems, so I did the right choice to look before finding out I didn't get everything and have to replay it).
I reached the shotgun and blown up the barrels from there. I moved and one barrel still caught me in explosion but I survived with around 55% health! No problem, there is a nearby secret that gives you backpack, berserk, chainsaw and radiation suit. The radiation suit will be good for the next part where you quickly cross over the acid. Then quickly platforming to reach the red skull key, grab a new radiation suit and the blue armor secret. The last two secrets contain a soul sphere and a BFG!
After getting the stuff, when you are ready, drop down and take a look at the Demon Witch! You can't kill this new demon (at least not yet) but you can kill the monsters she summons! I killed 14 of them (1400% kills) before exiting the level. I don't think you can kill everyone before another enemy is spawned, so those who play in ZDoom family ports may not be able to get 100% kills.
I can say that it is not the last new enemy you will encounter and you will get to actually fight the Demon Witch in a later level! But for now, let's give a verdict for the entire episode two.

E2 (part two) deaths: 0
Total Deaths: 1
E2 (both parts) overall: Pretty good! I only think that there have been a bit too many puzzles and platforming sequences for my taste but the levels have been very fun overall and I really can't nitpick the abundance of puzzles because the difficulty was pretty much perfect for me (at least on a blind continuous 100% run on UV with saves and occasionally taking a look at YouTube videos in advance if there is a part I can't figure out myself or to simply find secrets at end of level). You can tell that the wad had a lot of love and care put into it. I may be 10 maps earlier to judge the whole wad but I guarantee the wad didn't disappoint at all! Especially with the occasional references to other Doom games!

 

Also, I admit I have just finished Doom Zero an hour ago and I will not spoil the rest maps (I can only spoil that there was another death near end which affected the final level but I won't reveal more information just yet what exactly happened) and I will post for the remaining 10 maps on next couple of days, hopefully before the end of month. Then I will also vote for the next month's choice, when people will start voting.

 

Screenshots (only maps 16-19, didn't take any from secret levels to not spoil them at time playing them and I didn't bother taking a screenshot during map 20 boss battle)

Spoiler

DOOMZERO_MAP16.png.ac38094e39e03ac22088a0e2b36b1d95.png

DOOMZERO_MAP17.png.2a5dd80fcc6d82a9c76bb1693723c9c1.png

DOOMZERO_MAP18.png.8fe662ba6c9f8748fb63fce9051841d1.png

DOOMZERO_MAP19.png.7b617e55b268b302c3d77edc79e9920f.png

 

Share this post


Link to post

MAP20 – Familiar Face

A bit of fun double-meaning in that title, referring both to the familiarity of some of the puzzles here, as well as the face from the texture revealing herself as “The demon witch” in a teleport fight at the end. Before this there were no monsters, but lots of weapons and ammo. I thought it was something only continuous players could enjoy, even the automap said 0/0 monsters. The fight was fun, if not a bit confusing as to what would do anything (The answer is nothing, just wait for the exit to open). I also lucked out with the secrets, getting ¾, including a BFG. Cool map, I wonder how we defeat the demon witch at the end of the WAD…

Share this post


Link to post

Map 15: 101% kills, 6/7 secrets

 

     Well this outpost is lightly guarded with a monster population of about 70-ish on HMP.  The more prominent feature in the intricate progression and secrets.  Some very forgiving pillar hopping over lava, the puzzle to reach a high ledge, and the maze in the labs with the interlocking paths.  Maze is a neat area with the arrows on the ground hinting at which key will be gained by following its path to the end.  That plasma gun dangled out of reach for the longest time and I tried to leap from the rising platform several times without success.  Only found it near the end of the level when I was doing map up and resupply.

   The early chaingunner or two posed more threat than most of the rest of the map.  There's not really space to hide from it yet.  Only the double archvile surprise posed more danger to me and it's certainly possible to not trigger it at all if you're not aware of it.

 

  That door that's opened by shooting a face and then slamming down every time one passes under it got on my nerves.  I was passing through it to reach secrets multiple times and needing to shoot the face to reopen the door each time felt like an artificial ammo drain.  Given how this mapset is often good about not having the player redo puzzles after solving them once, it feels even more awkward.

 

  I leave through the secret exit.  Off one secret again and no profit in seeking it out so I moved on.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP 21 – Starbourn

Doomsday Engine, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

We are in a hellish realm now, trapped inside a star-shaped structure. The Demon Witch’s icon is everywhere and the one with glowing red eyes shows the way. I have always been obsessed with that ugly face from Doom and I am thrilled that DASI-I shared my fondness, making it the main antagonist of Doom Zero. A map where the face with downcast eyes eerily turns into that bloody, piercing gaze has been a dream of mine as a teen. A nightmare, sometimes.

 

Maybe still upset by my youth’s dreads, I quivered when I saw that WALK writing on the floor. I found it bone-chilling, but the effect vanished in thin air as soon as I realised the truth: I was just being instructed to jump correctly from the star hub to the branches. Was this training and colour-coding really needed, at this point of the WAD? Are there really fellows that are going to complain, because they fail some jumps and must lose 10 seconds to get up again?

Spoiler

669469669_DoomZeroMap21_01.jpg.a559c2bdfff280a119db3873520f1ce5.jpg

Soon I was introduced to one last custom enemy: the ‘Alpha Soul’, a revived old sprite from Doom v0.4. An interesting addition to the bestiary, it combines the offensive power of a Cacodemon with the slender hitbox (and HP) of a Lost Soul. They emit disturbing sounds, do not bleed when hit, are difficult to aim from afar and are extremely quick (with -fast on).

Spoiler

982272703_DoomZeroMap21_02.jpg.a5fc2e09ee24bc50645fa7d18ae956d7.jpg

I shrug off that mood-killing tutorial and delved into the map, which displayed the right lighting and texture choices to deliver a creepy atmosphere, defined by a sense of gloom and loneliness. From the first, introductory area I had to get back to the star, where a new Witch face had opened her eyes. In the second part there was a moving lift puzzle that got me stuck for a while, more than required by its real difficulty.

Spoiler

361631801_DoomZeroMap21_03.jpg.6d0b2bd5ab0731880ff4f33b44eec2ee.jpg

The third branch featured a caged fight with Hell Knights and a big closet with a flock of Alpha Souls opening behind me. Not a pleasant surprise. In the fourth segment, the highlight was a Baron hit squad that could have posed less of a threat, had it not been supported by those devilish Alpha Souls shooting from above. This showed how dangerous those glass cannons could be, but also that the Rocket Launcher was perfect to dispatch them quickly.

Spoiler

 

1647701809_DoomZeroMap21_04.jpg.557229d546f15ed6d6e3ef459d7e0796.jpg

 

1236276964_DoomZeroMap21_05.jpg.a0e1cce7745252354412c74ca96a62e8.jpg

 

Except the Baron room, I felt not really challenged by combat. I was playing very cautiously, but the encounters were less stinging than the last maps of second episode. The last room was supposed to land a heavy blow and would surely have killed me, but I had found too few secrets and before the teleporter I was in hunting mode. I discovered the alternative teleporter that completely spoiled the final showdown. I replayed it properly afterwards and found that the ‘Starbourn’ trap was harsh, but manageable with prescience and aggressive attitude. Pickups are available to heal any wounds.

Spoiler

2137532946_DoomZeroMap21_06.jpg.0d0687756bcf780f647306f7e7b1927b.jpg

Secrets abound everywhere, but most of them are difficult to find, especially the one where you have to jump in a trench and shoot a specific torch. You will receive point-blank Revenant rockets in your back and a measly reward for the brainteaser. I gave up that cursed Plasma Gun and the other, counter-intuitive secret in the same area (why would I shoot at blood?). Great atmospheric level, but with some self-defeating flaws.

Edited by Book Lord

Share this post


Link to post

MAP21: Starbourn

UV | Continous Play with Saves | GZDoom

 

The Demon Witch's face adorns walls aplenty in a star-shaped map, acting as the main switch and glaring at you with those burning red eyes. Puzzle elements feel like they're at full-force with this and I like how it teaches you how to approach some of the platforming to reach door-frames be it walking or running. We finally meet custom demon, the Alpha Soul from ye old alpha build of Doom 1 who zips around spitting out fireballs in rapid succession while screeching at you with his own unique voice and bursts into a puddle of green snot rather than blood. No doubt he's going to prove rather threatening in larger group encounters. Honestly, I wish he replaced the vanilla Lost Souls lmao he's way more interesting and fun to fight. The gnarliest encounter for me was the tight area shaped like a plus sign (+) with the gaggle of Hell Knights accompanied by a couple of Revs, plus the monster closet filled with Alphas. That bit proved a little tricky and took me 3 attempts hehe. Visually, the map's a little dulle thanks to the overly wooden aesthetic. Not a great deal of detail or interesting layouts (besides the obvious encompassing star shape) going on, but the map's otherwise a solid challenge.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

MAP21 – Starbourne

This one had a really fun ‘90s-hell sorta layout. Of course, being centered around a pentagram, who could blame it. This map introduced a new monster, a beta Lost Soul that continuously fires caco balls until you leave its sightline, like an arachnotron. Ooh, they’re a bitch! But they add a fun element to the gameplay. This whole level was a bitch, lots of tough fights in tough spaces with tough amounts of ammo. I still somehow enjoyed it, there were always enough secrets that I had something to fall back on if I put in the effort to find it. I still left with only like 6/8 or something. I did get another nifty megasphere. I’m considering asking if I can use this sprite in my WAD when I get closer to releasing it. I also found a BFG in a different secret.

 

The level was mostly linear, despite how the layout might appear at first. Each witch head is a closed door until the eyes turn red, which happens in a certain order. Again, it took some time to get good weapons, but the secrets eventually did me pretty well. There were also some ammo woes in the earlier parts of the map. Those caco-souls have a good amount of health for an enemy of their danger level, but they kinda eat time if the best you have is a shotgun or, later, a chaingun (that often runs out of ammo). The cramped room full of hell knights was one of the hardest parts for me, even after running by it to get the RL (And getting killed by the AV). I unluckily fell out the top of this area before everything (Or much of anything even) was dead inside, so I had to get back up somehow, but the elevator was chocked-full of the monsters I didn’t kill, no getting up that way. Luckily this is where the BFG secret is, just a weird midtex skull where you came in. I saw the skull like 5 times before I remembered to actually press it, I was usually dead when I saw it. I never could figure out the plasma rifle teleporter deal in the baron room, but the BFG made that alright with me. Thanks to secrets I took the teleporter with200/200 and didn’t end up dying inside, that was great. Really fun map.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

UV with saves, pistol start, glbloom+ (complevel 2)

 

Map 16 Natural Supply

 

Many parts of this map felt very un-memorable to me.
I mostly remembered only the frantic run though the toxic canyon at the start, the toxic lake after the canyon and the three archviles at the end. Only after the second playthrough I remembered other details, like draining the poison and outrunning the explosive barrels. I think the problem is the following:
1) Without secrets the map is very monotonous. Your weapons are SSG and CG, monsters often appear far away, and you have not a lot of health items, but plenty of room to fall back. All those factors reward safe, corner-campy gameplay and punish risk-taking.
2) With secrets the action becomes much cooler, but the solid chunk of the encounters become noticeably easy.  

In both cases the middle part of the map becomes uneventful from the gameplay perspective. Setting-wise, the cave and techbase parts also feel rather bland. Green, half-underground techbases above poison reservoirs are present in many, many different wads.

 

The level is not bad: it is well-crafted overall, and the beginning green canyon is definitely a good piece. But a significant chunk of this map felt like a filler to me.

 

 

Map 17 The Testing Labs

 

The map begins with a smooth transition from Map 16. Such little details are always nice!
What is not nice, is the first area. Killing the 6 arachnotrons with a combat shotgun (And a chaingun, I guess) takes a lot of time, and... And it takes nothing else. The same can be said for tomato salad blocking the SSG. At least, the lost soul limit is in effect on complevel 2, so the pain elemental is completely harmless. Why do those fights even exist? I have no idea. The revenants, which come next, at least offer some tactical choice: they can be either lured away, or punched out with a berserk. But they still feel kinda filler-y.

 

The block puzzle room, on the other hand, is nice. It can be very treacherous due to hidden chaingunner positions and barons threatening to block you in. And I definitely like this room. But I would have liked it even more without the aggravating grindy encounters before it.
After completing the puzzle, there are not that many cool things to talk about. The key area is rather tame, with only the archvile-revenant ambush being somewhat threatening. The Labs themselves are complex and nice looking, but they lack in the opposition for the most part. And we have already visited awesomely detailed lab location on map15. Only the last lost soul ambush is somewhat interesting.

 

The big lost soul warp ins in semi-cramped spaces are used very rarely by the mapmakers, so it is nice that @DASI-I decided to use one in The Testing Labs. But there is a problem: the final fight can be trivialised in so many different ways! You've got the BFG? Two or three shots, and the encounter is trivialised! You know where the exit room is and how to reach it quickly? Camp near the exit, the encounter is trivialised! You have the plasma rifle and decide to blast your way back to the red door? Camp there, the encounter is again trivialised!   
So yeah. The basic idea of the last fight is pretty cool, but this moment cannot carry the map17 on its own.

 


Map 18 Atom Transporter

 

The map is full of cheeky "mean" moments. The result is rather good, if sometimes a bit frustrating.
Take the starting hallway with chaingunners, for example. This setpiece is both funny and rather mean, but I managed to find a consistent solution: to quickly run forward and wait for the former commandos in the main hub. This approach results in minimal health loss (not that health loss matters at this stage).

 

The long north section seems to be pretty easy, if played right, but it holds lots of main surprises. Don't blow up the barrels on the run - they will apply the blast damage exactly right to kill you. Mind the lost souls. Don't wake up the PE too early. Mind the chaingunners. Etc. The meanest surprise at the north part involves archviles. There is a lot of empty space in that area, and thus the viles can catch you far away from cover. Surprisingly, I got the blue key on the first try, without any straferun. It seems that the good running start propels you far enough forward.

 

The blue door section can be pretty easy. Or it can turn brutal, if you get too cocky and allow the monsters to corner you. I appreciate the pinky teleporting in your face right when you grab the rocket launcher. This is mean in a funny way! Also, that area allows you to access the BFG secret (to find it, explore the mancubus lair). Be careful though, the BFG secret will reveal a spider mastermind behind your back! Yet another of cheeky evil surprises of Atom Transporter.


But my favourite mean trick is the poison tunnel behind the red door. This tunnel leads to a secret megasphere. But you must move quickly, otherwise you will you die to poison and monsters! The amount of monsters is sufficient to kill an unsuspecting player before they reach the megassphere.

The combat on this map is relatively tame, with the exception of some ambushes and the final room. The final room throws a bunch of midtiers and two archviles and you, while blocking the way to retreat! I hope you have your BFG ready! (Invulnerability also works.)


 

Map 19 Quantum Processing

 

In my opinion, this is another candidate for the title of Best level of Doom Zero. It is very well made and full of cool things.

The first room with an archivile one ups the chaingunner corridor from Atom Transporter. It also contains secret plasma rifle. You will need it. Right about now. The big fight outside the starting room will try to surround you with monsters. And the plasma helps greatly in that situation. The lower section after the starting area is  a rather boring part of the Quantum Processing. It involves mostly corner-camping spectres and revenants with SSG.


After returning to the upper level, the map truly begins to shine. It has inventive puzzles, intense fights in tight spaces, cool secrets, and awesome decorations. I really liked the timed platforming around the stair area. The funny part is that the narrow platforms here also can hide secrets! Overall, @DASI-I uses space very effectively on Quantum Processing. Once you complete the map, you will be amased how interconnected the different areas of the map are. In this regard Quantum Processing feels almost like Anagnorisis from Eviternity.

 

My most favourite sections of Quantum Processing are all found near the end of the map.

My most favourite part is the spooky irradiated corridor with stone gargoyle faces staring at you from computer screens. Not only does it look amazing, it also offers a very good setup for the archvile trap, which comes right after the corridor.

My second most favourite section is the final courtyard and the exit building. The courtyard is half normal and half corrupted by infernal sorcery. It looks awesome! The exit building, which presumably is the source of all the corruption, looks tiny, but it is bigger on the inside, than on the outside. Not only this effect is cool, it also creates a strong feeling of anticipation before the next map, which supposedly will fully hell-themed. The combat in those locations is not super hardcore, but difficult enough to direct the player's attention towards the layout of thess two ending locations. It ensures that the courtyard and the building within will get the chance to be noticed and appreciated.

And finally, my third most favourite part is the puzzle right in front of the ending room, which echoes the puzzle from beginning of the map. The twist is that there are no hints for the puzzle encountered near the end of the map.

 

Overall map19 offers an awesome adventure centered around the classic doom plotline: "The journey to the source of corruption". I think that Quantum Processing is my favourite among all Doom maps with this plotline. It has an amazing layout, beautiful locations, and offers interesting challenges in platforming, puzzles, secret-hunting and combat. I especially love the fact that the fights and the over challenges are used to emphasize the journey and the complex layout of the map.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP 22 – The Cracks

Doomsday Engine, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

‘The Cracks’ had the first hot start of Doom Zero, a feature that I was not missing at all. It was only a minor nuisance though, before I could explore these fascinating rocky cliffs. The music and the broad use of SP_ROCK1 texture hinted to an E3M2 homage, but the map had a completely different feeling and gameplay.

Spoiler

1179660643_DoomZeroMap22_01.jpg.72ceab71668e09bf9e13543c5a65036d.jpg

One common trait with 'Slough of Despair' was the requirement to search the whole area and eliminate all monsters hidden in stone recesses, lurking in dark caverns, and shooting from ledges, before devising a plan to beat the map. Combat was anything but difficult, with relatively few monsters that were easily managed at choke points or in wide-open space. In the dimness of the caves, I witnessed the first infight between Alpha Souls and Cacodemons.

Spoiler

233868888_DoomZeroMap22_02.jpg.ef6c6dcbe237d2018c9e6a05617d58c9.jpg

Cacodemons and Pinkies emerged from a FIREBLU fake wall during my wander, but I delayed checking that uncharted red zone until I mapped the rest. The RSK was resting there on a parapet and was required to access the other two keys, tucked away in secluded places.

Spoiler

270615056_DoomZeroMap22_03.jpg.5ff988f2ffdad0c74d79a2e55ed05819.jpg

BSK and YSK allowed operating some ugly face switches spread across the map, that opened nearby doors. Some were entirely optional, except the ones granting entrance to the two small buildings close to the exit area. The one behind the big yellow monolith was the scene of the only dangerous trap in store for the player: both the lever and the escape route were deviously sealed, Alpha Souls and Revenants appeared at both sides, in a theatrical scenario of corpses and spilling blood. I was fully stocked and could take some hits, but being caught in the grips that way contrasted the otherwise relaxed, exploratory mood of the map.

Spoiler

613605093_DoomZeroMap22_04.jpg.7a7986a7f85445b53e604b9fe5466628.jpg

 

1549301594_DoomZeroMap22_05.jpg.86ba6838a65bd487265a37b0198c51ff.jpg

This time no jumping puzzles were required to advance; on the other hand, most secrets were revealed after such stunts. It was in the secrets department that this map really shined, as they were all clever and satisfying to unveil. The Computer Area Map helped me to get 100% and it should be easy to find after a comprehensive tour of the area. Many secrets had monsters inside and some of them were more dangerous than regular progression. A relatively tame map whose main qualities were the environment and the exploration, softly leading to an unexpected adrenaline discharge. I liked this one.

 

Edited by Book Lord

Share this post


Link to post

Map 31: 100% kills and secrets

 

     This map picks a theme and sticks with it.  IWAD maps but fleshy is not something I care for myself but the map seems to know what it sets out to do.  I recognized Wolf3d E1M1, Doom E1M1, Doom2 map 1, Quake E1M1, and the last part I didn't recognize but felt confident the layout was identical to another id release (other poster says Quake 2, how fitting).  Secret hunting was less engaging as most of them are found the exact same way as their original maps.

 

    To it's credit, the gameplay doesn't feel phoned in with sneak attacks to try to catch people off guard.  And alerting multiple archviles at once spooked me good.  I had little trouble finding the secret exit.  It was already instinctive to want to climb up to where the chainsaw in Doom2's map 1 is and the mechanism that allows access is something the WAD has conditioned me to do up to this point.

 

     That skywalk is really neat too.

 

Map 32: 100% kills and secrets

 

     Seeing a monster count of 2 felt ominous wondering when they'd spring out and seeing the BFG waiting nearby gave some idea of what to expect.  Sure enough, I spot a spider mastermind when looking out a window.  As the layout matches Map 1, this time I consciously choose which key to pick up to gain the most advantageous position to me.  Find the cyber, bait it into hitting the spider, finish off the winner, done.

    This map excels in its atmosphere with the corpses and doors that are already opened fueling the impression of returning to the first map in the state one left it in.  Unlike my initial trip through here, I find all the secrets, shaking my head at how simple they were to reach yet somehow missing them the first time through.

Share this post


Link to post

MAP 22: The Cracks

UV | Continuous Play with Saves | GZDoom

 

Man, this map goes hard and fast right out of the gate. Besides MAP019, this is the most intesne combat DZ has delved up so far with this winding, yet open map that's utterly riddled with demons from every angle. The heavy use of Alpha Souls, Imps, Arachnotrons and Hell Knights litters the place with projectiles, causing me to constantly race around for more health... it's great! The progression was a tad annoying at first, but it lets up once you find the red key and things start to fall into place. It's just good frenetic fun, honestly. It's another case of DZ turning up the heat a notch and I'm curious to see if the succeeding maps show a particular new form of intensity when it comes to combat scenarios.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Missed a couple of days due to being a little busy. I'll be doing 3 writeups today to make up.

 

MAP19: Quantum Processing

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 3/9 secrets

 

This map gave me far more trouble than any map in the wad so far. I was lucky enough to find out how to get the secret plasma at the very beginning relatively quickly, but even with it this map steps up the difficulty a fair bit from what has come before. It's also probably my favourite looking techbase in the map so far, beginning in the first main room which has some pretty cool machinery-based architecture, and the flickering lights give it a nice flavour. The map also doesn't waste any time trying to kill you here, as when you venture into the room a bit you'll be greeted with a pretty hefty teleport ambush, containing hell knights, barons, cacos, mancubi, imps, and hitscanners. They all start standing in various places in the room, but if one walks into one of the single-use monster teleporters dotted about they will be teleported to the entrance of the room to corner you. Next up after mowing down a bunch of spectres in the lower levels of the room, you are greeted with a large number of revenants coming at you from a nukage filled room. These guys can be pretty deadly depending on how they choose to behave, and if they avoid getting caught up in the raising barriers within the nukage. Speaking of this room, it's "puzzle" really confused me as to how to trigger the lowering ledge that allows you to progress. I'm still not sure how I got it (I think it's tied to standing atop the second barrier), but it caused me a great deal of pain.

 

After a bit of a breather and some easier encounters, you come to a relatively easy lift puzzle and the next challenging encounter: right away you are greeted with two chaingunners in your face, and then some hell nobles, pinkies, and fodder behind them. This fight is in relatively tight quarters and there are enemies at all sides, so it can be pretty brutal if you didn't find the secret plasma earlier and save some cells. You eventually reach a neat outdoors area with some arachnotrons, and a big machine in the centre. This machine also contains a secret BFG, which I was lucky enough to find. The gameplay leading up to and for a while after this area is pretty standard "mow down the big groups of fodder" gameplay with some mid-tier enemies sprinkled about. It's pretty fun stuff and the computer-y techbase area it takes you through is pretty nice looking.

 

After some more ambushes and switch puzzles, you reach a section with some pretty cool foreshadowing (which I was able to catch by peeking at some earlier writeups of the next map), as you spy a demonic face texture in a TV screen that soon turns to static. After a few more nasty ambushes with archviles, revenants, and mancubi, the level soon closes off with a pretty cool spider mastermind encounter. If you didn't grab the BFG at this point or used all your cells for it, it's a pretty nerve-wracking encounter as you have to use tiny pillars for cover, and with no cells you'll have to try and creep out to the corners of the room to scrounge out more. I liked this fight a lot.

 

In comparison to the rest of the wad, this definitely feels like a turning point difficulty-wise. Excited to see how the rest of the wad stacks up (I haven't played the next map yet upon writing this).

 

MAP20: Familiar Face

UV, pistol start, no saves

N/A kills, 1/2 secrets

 

Room full of barrels, monster count of 0? The hell is going on here? Well all you have to do here is search the room for the shotgun, get into that corner, and blast away the barrels. After a couple more sprinting puzzles, you reach an eerie hallway with demonic face textures whose eyes open as you walk past them. Very cool little effect. At the end of all of this, you are faced with a giant version of the face texture spouting demonic glossolalia, which soon begins to spawn monsters. After not too long, a door opens, and you are free to leave. 

 

Pretty cool little boss level, although by playthrough of it ended up being trivial. As it is a monster spawner level though, I wonder if I just got good RNG and most playthroughs of this level would end up being more of a challenge. In any case it was a nice breather map after the pain inflicted in the previous one.

Edited by DisgruntledPorcupine : Added in the MAP20 writeup since it ended up being so short.

Share this post


Link to post

MAP22 – The Cracks

As stated above, this map has a hotter start than most in this WAD so far. Arachnotrons, PEs, Alpha Souls, cacos, mancs, barons, HKs, they’re everywhere. Once you find a foothold and start piling up meat things get considerably easier. Secrets were abound again, and an explorative mind is a great help in a map like this. Almost everything except some small buildings is open from the start, its just a matter of killing your way to a good position to assess what to do. Behind a FIREBLU fake wall is an AV and the red key, the one that unlocks the other two. Once you get the other two you can fight some optional fights and try to find the yummy secrets, or go straight to accessing the exit. Once in the exit building, one final dickish ambush of revs and alpha souls, and you’re out.

Share this post


Link to post

MAP21: Starbourne

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 5/8 secrets

 

A linear map that starts you off in a wooden star-shaped room with demon face textures with closed eyes, and one with open eyes. This room acts as a hub where you take the door marked with the open eyed face and fight through the rooms it takes you through in order to open the eyes of another demon and progress. Immediately past your first door the map introduces you to a custom monster: the Alpha soul. This monster looks like the old version of a lost soul and will rapid fire cacodemon projectiles at you once it sees you. A decent addition to the bestiary. The first route takes you through hallways filled with these guys, along with regular lost souls, imps, and a pain elemental near the end. The next route takes you to a room with imps and an arachnotron, plus a couple more pain elementals and more lost souls. There is a secret in this room mandatory to getting 100% kills, as it has a bunch of revenants hiding inside (pretty nasty secret from pistol start for the arsenal you have at this point in the level). 

 

The third route starts you off with another pain elemental (stop please), and then a couple of hell knights. Soon after these guys you have the nastiest fight in the level, a bunch of hell knights and revenants in the small cross-shaped corridor, if you try to run to the safer area up the stairs you'll notice a star-shaped teleporter, which sure enough begins spitting out some of the enemies you were running from. Running farther here puts you in a room with an archvile and a rocket launcher. This is definitely the most exciting point of the level for me, I found running and dealing with the archvile to be the best strategy here, as this area does give you more ample space to deal with the rest of the baddies. Your next quarrel will be with some revenants, alpha souls, and way too many barons. The barons in this fight can lean on your ammo counter a bit unless you notice the lift out mid-combat and grab the goodies up there or if you've made use of the secret berserk pack, but if you don't find yourself choked for ammo the fight is mostly a cinch. The final encounter is really cool, it takes place in another star-shaped room, that gradually lowers doors and feeds in more monsters as you progress.

 

I enjoyed the layout, the encounter in the cross shaped room, and the final encounter a great deal in this one. However the rest of the map does feel a little bit sluggish combat-wise for my taste. Decent map overall.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

MAP 23 – Atmos Caves

Doomsday Engine, UV-Fast, Continuous, blind run w/saves

 

Another hot start with Alpha Souls on all sides and Revenants in the niches of a nearby sanctuary. I experienced a strange glitch there, as my hitscan weapons could not hit the enemies when shooting at certain angles. Weird. I thought it was a mapping trick, but most likely it was a bug, maybe engine-dependant. The landscape around had majestic views, as if the building were on an island floating in the air. Our best friends, the ugly face switches, were readily available to lower 3 gates leading to other distant isles, with this one acting as the main hub and level exit.

Spoiler

1918162416_DoomZeroMap23_01.jpg.e3e6cdd7daae6ee6b3f94cc5b182806e.jpg

The teleporters were tagged with coloured torches and could be tackled in any order. You can bet I chose the blue one first. Besides dropping off in a tranquil spot, the gate brought me on a sparsely populated grassy height, from which a downhill slope led to a hole in the ground. In the subterranean cave, I was attacked by Alpha Souls opening a door behind me while I was still fighting Hell Knights. To my surprise, the quest for the BSK was already over and neither big resistance nor mind-boggling puzzles have been planned for this section, which displayed nice texturing and architecture.

Spoiler

624213328_DoomZeroMap23_02.jpg.6a8666cc422b40c34fda6b9e453307be.jpg

The green teleport zone had a visual theme built around toxic slime. I moved swiftly to promote infighting around the small pool, but after that, the section was mostly hell noble grinding (which I like, in these numbers) and a room-transformation puzzle that I solved by flipping switches randomly. Secret goodies were… just for the taking, I guess.

Spoiler

1715465676_DoomZeroMap23_03.jpg.18025a0194279412258667d939d659aa.jpg

I entered the pad with red torches lastly and it was a good idea, since the landing spot can be troublesome. I appeared in a natural amphitheatre, with two Arachnotron turrets in the middle, Imps all around, Demons roaming back and forth and some Lost Souls for good measure. My first attempt was a failure, but the second went ok because I equipped my Plasma Gun.

Spoiler

702196385_DoomZeroMap23_04.jpg.c3dfd69a7b7f0a875f04fb82f53198f8.jpg

The solemn building hosted an assortment of bovine meat to mince, a T-bridge with “leaky” metal grids where Cacodemons appeared out of nothing a couple of times, and two short, multi-level mazes made of square blocks. Nothing seemed awkward or overly complicated in this stretch, not even passing through solid metal gratings.

Spoiler

 

1676911939_DoomZeroMap23_05.jpg.8b3a4b982ba9801c96c822fda179c1f3.jpg

 

431141985_DoomZeroMap23_06.jpg.19ce54f601a0212eb7b95eb646e339f2.jpg

 

Stairs had risen on the hub sanctuary island, and the exit was finally accessible. Except on very few occasions, this map featured tepid gameplay. When I stepped into the exit room with a yawn, 3 Arch-Viles from the Plutonia Experiment instantly materialised for a rude awakening. Good finale and consistently nice visuals on this level, but something was lacking in the combat and puzzle department.

 

Edited by Book Lord

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×