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A look into the "demo" version of Hell Revealed - Hell Revealed Episode 1

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I stumbled across a zip file title hrep1.zip, which is basically just the first 11 maps of Hell Revealed. Although it is for the most part the same maps, this wad has some very notable differences, including:


- A completely different Map 01.

- Difficulty settings applied (meaning HMP and UV do not share the same monster placement like in the first bunch of maps for the full version).

- Different music soundtrack (doesn't use Rise of the Triad music, and instead uses a bunch of midis ripped from the internet, some of which include Nirvana songs).

- No knockabout high-octane Plutonia-style gameplay (of course, this is just the first episode, but this becomes noticeable in a couple of maps).

- No new textures (though the intermission screen with the level title names are there).

- Occasional misaligned textures that were later fixed for the full version.


Being a huge fan of Hell Revealed, I checked out the wad, played through it, this time on Ultra-Violence, and analyse each map and point out some differences if there are any.


Map 01: Into the Gate

Like I mentioned above, this is a completely different map, though it shares the same name, and I can see why Yonatan Donner would axe it out of the full version. To begin, the map doesn't really look all that spectacular as it's all just a series of boxy rooms with a couple of corridors past the elevator. The concept of teleporting monsters is still there, though, and there's neat little Doomcute desk and chair near the start. Pretty neat that you also can get a chainsaw this early, unlike in the full version where you get the first chainsaw in Map 08. It could be me, but the start may probably have been revamped to be part of Map 17: The Black Towers, though it's too different to be sure.


Map 02: Gateway Lab

Structurally complete. No notable differences, though the only difference is that there's no separate deathmatch area.


Map 03: The Dumpster

No notable differences.


Map 04: The Garden Terminal

No notable differences.


Map 05: Core Infection

No notable differences, though strangely, near the end, there's a pinkie on ITYTD/HNTR or Hell Knight on HMP guarding the exit door, but on UV, for some reason, there's no monster. I assume it would have been the arch-vile like in the full version.


Map 06: The Round Crossroads

No notable differences.


Map 07: Arachnophobia

Unlike the full version, this map isn't full to the brim with arachnotrons. The most amount you'll be seeing is a mere 16 (8 on ITYTD/HNTR like in the full version), with two situated in each leg. The mother spider mastermind also doesn't face you when she gets revealed, so she won't be alerted until you open fire or run towards her line of sight.


Map 08: The Jail

No notable differences.


Map 09: Slime Disposal

This is actually the latter half of Knockout (after the area where the hundreds of imps pour in when you grab the yellow key), but unlike the full version where you need to rely more on your fisticuffs, there's ammo aplenty. There are also two separate areas accessed via teleporters, the first one (which would be the teleporter to the switch guarded by imps) takes you to the end, but you need all three keys), while the second (the teleporter that takes you to either soul sphere in the room with the barons and arachnotron), takes you to another area where you'll find the yellow key. Both areas were thankfully removed because they were pretty ugly and drab. In fact, some of the doors in the area to the exit has tutti frutti effects. Speaking of the teleporters, where the switch would be in the full version is just the caged nukage pit full of imps, and the baron/arachnotron room is yet to be retextured and spiffed up to look nicer in appearance. The room beyond the door where you get the red key after lowering it and deactivating the forcefield is an ugly hallway that was also removed, and it's shaped to resemble some kind of spinal cord. There's a couple of switches at the end that serve no real purpose than one switch raises platform trapping you in while the other lowers it. Only good thing is that one of the walls is a door to a secret with some goodies. Be careful when leaving, because there's an activated crushing ceiling partway that can smoosh you unawares. Overall, this map has certainly received major improvement for the full version of Hell Revealed.


Map 10: Chambers of War

No notable differences, except there's an invulnerability in the room with the hell knights and the mancubus.


Map 11: Underground Base

I most certainly won't call this the "defanged" version, but while it has some challenging bits, it's a far from the ballbuster it would become in the full version. No groups of heavyweight enemies, no arch-viles, no spider masterminds and no cyberdemons to contend with here. This is probably good for practicing and familiarising yourself with the level's layout so you can have some advantage for when you go up against its mean counterpart in the full version.


That's all there is to the maps, but there's another interesting thing about this episode. Unlike the full version in which the story is just humorous fourth-wall breaking, this one has an actual story which takes place after Doom 2. The UAC has rebuilt the Phobos and Deimos outposts, with the gates being rebuilt reopened, then some weeks later came a distress signal from Phobos outpost, and when attempts to establish communicate with the outposts were made have failed, you as the marine have been sent to Phobos with gear all set up. However, because you had no idea how to pilot the shuttlecraft, you end up crashing into the outpost, losing everything but the pistol and its ammo full of 50 bullets. And there's a bit of humour in the story with you dedicating time playing Doom II.


So, for my thoughts with this episode, while it has little to offer, especially since you can just play the full version instead, it's quite interesting to look at the early stages of most of the maps and how some of them differ from the full version. No traces of the hard difficulty Hell Revealed will be notorious for, so given the timestamp this pack came out (June 24, 1996), it seems like Yonatan Donner and Haggay Niv would take and expand upon Plutonia's knockabout style gameplay for the full version. This isn't a must have unless you're either curious to see what some of the maps look like before they were revamped and/or repopulated, or want to play through the first episode of HR but not ready for the intense difficulty, though for the latter I would stick with playing the full version on ITYTD/HNTR to experience game more along the line of Doom 2 on UV, or HMP for maximum fun while having a stiff yet manageable challenge where your skills will be tested to the max. But anyway, check out the link below


Hell Revealed Episode 1

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23 minutes ago, Wadmodder Shalton said:

Should this earlier release of Hell Revealed be mentioned on the DoomWiki's Hell Revealed page?


Absolutely. It has two exclusive maps, and there are comparisons of PSX maps versus PC maps already on the wiki, can do that kind of stuff here. HR is a permanent classic, it deserves proper cataloguing like this. 

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