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The DWmegawad Club plays: KINDa

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MAP 24 – Frontier in Situ

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

 

The first time I opened the big door into the red brick building I died without even understanding what happened. My PC had a slowdown, and I did not see the -fast Cyberdemon teleporting behind me and blasting me with rockets. I started over again with foreknowledge and better fortune, obviously. What an ill-advised way to trick the player, what was it supposed to accomplish?

Spoiler

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The first part of the level consisted of clearing the building from the customary population of hitscanners. Both BFG and plasma rifle were readily available, offering enough cell ammo and a perfect position to safely spray the Cyberdemon outside. I did not give up until I resolved both the combat armour and the cell pack secrets, which took less than reaching a mandatory switch, opening the door to the back side guarded by a lonely Arch-Vile.

Spoiler

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I understood each part of this level as a roadblock on the very linear way forward, as if I was crossing a frontier of sorts. The second customs house was packed with Imps, Hell Nobles, a pair of perched Revenants and an Arch-Vile, who spotted me while I was standing on the stairs and was then distracted by his minions. I camped the entrance until they kept coming, then I patiently eliminated the enemies on the sides, the AV officer, and the teleporting zombies & Demons.

 

The last few rooms consisted of more cramped hitscanner action, an overcrowded control tower to approach with plasma rifle or BFG, and a single Revenant jump scare after a teleporter. He was alone because I nailed the other ambushers from the windows beforehand. Ammo supply was more than adequate on the whole level, which ended with a Cacodemon battle around the first building, maybe the only opportunity to use rockets. The hardest challenge of Frontier in Situ was finding the inconspicuous, almost camouflaged teleporter pad that led to the exit. 

 

Once I saw the name, I feared it could have been inspired by The Final Frontier, but my worries dissipated quickly. Last map's imposing scale and terrible gameplay memories were still too close to tolerate another sprawling indoor setting. Probably conceived as a breather, this level had an irksome start, followed by mild, traditional Doom action in a classic tech-base/industrial setting. About average map for Kinda standards.

Edited by Book Lord

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Map22 - Skin

Ruthless map. The only reason I was able to complete with 100% kills was the early berserk. The sheer amount of monsters sicked on you at the beginning makes it hard to snipe at the archville and pain elemental in peace. Once they’re out of the way the main method for winning the level is making sure you lean on berserk enough to save enough ammo for everybody. Not a bad level but definitely difficult on pistol starters.

 

Map23 - Bloodlove

Man, fuck this level. It looks great and has some crazy fights but the progression is god awful. The first part is easy enough, run around to gather weapons (I ended up missing the super shotgun since it’s tucked in a corner). After that I basically explored most of the map, grabbed the blue key, and then explored where the blue switch was, hit a button and then what. Ended up wandering the level, finding a few secrets and then stumbling upon the red key (not sure why that was unlocked), but still needed the yellow key. Ended up studying the automap, finding a few more secrets and then finally finding the hidden switch that reveals a hidden teleporter that you need to run to in order to teleport to the yellow key. What the fuck, this is harder than most of the secrets on this map! This is some bullshit.

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GZDoom/Blind/UV/Continuous/Saves

Map 23 - BLOODLOVE 

100% kills and 40% secrets

Time: 21:51

 

Welcome to another edition of "Nonsensical Progression"! Though to be fair, I think I've figured it out. Grabbing the red key ASAP will raise bars in front of the red door. Finding either of the other 2 keys will allow you access to the switch that lowers them. Grabbing the blue key was easy enough. The yellow key took me a lot longer to figure out, until I noticed a teleporter on the automap I hadn't gone through. I found the switch that opens it pretty much instantly, but I didn't notice it opened the teleporter until I had already killed (almost) everything. Only found 2 secrets: the shell box, and the teleporter to the megasphere. The fights themselves weren't too bad. The red key spawns a bunch of arachnotrons and barons which was pretty hairy. More arachnotrons spawn when you hit the northern-most switch too. That's about it for threats. This is the first map in a long time where I noticed the lack of ammo, especially shells. Colud really use more of it. Visually, it looks pretty nice. The big open areas are kinda imposing, even with there not being a big population of monsters there. So this map was ok. Would I hate it if I hadn't read the spoiler to grab the red key ASAP? Maybe?

 

Map 24 - FRONTIER IN SITU

100% kills and 66% secrets

Time: 13:23

 

TMW has stated a couple times in this thread that some of his design choices were "dickish". Prior to this, I wouldn't call any of them that, I would have just called them "frustrating". This map's very first encounter is the first time I'd say he was "dickish", as when you open the front door of this small building with a small courtyard, you're greeted by a cybie, that immediately teleports behind you. I'm very glad I had last map's megapshere, since I did take a rocket to the back, but I didn't die. There is a BFG in this room, and a plasma rifle if you take the steps down to a teleporter, but continuous players should have enough cells to 2-shot the cyb before venturing in, drawing the attention of the baddies in there. After that surprise, the map eases up for the most part. This map is very compact, so you don't have a ton of room to maneuver, which can be annoying with the revs in the area. The archie outside is no threat, and taking the lift down is more ominous then it actually is. The archie in this next big room will spend most of its time reviving the shotgunners and imps around it, making it annoying and not threatening. The only other scary moment in the map is when you take a lift up to a room with 2 barons, a chaingunner, and at least another imp. It's a small room, so if you're not ready, you can get trapped. I got lucky honestly. The only secrets I wasn't able to grab are the 2 in the big room with the archie that some revs are perched in. The exit is through a teleporter behind the first building that I found accidentally. It's been a minute since the exit popped up in some random spot. I enjoyed this one, though the cyb was a rude awakening.

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MAP22 - Skin (98% kills, 66% items, 0% secrets)

My goodwill towards the wad is steadily approaching low points, as indicated by my not finding a single secret and not even bothering to try.

Hotstarts with multiple hitscanners approaching from different directions are obnoxious enough. But then putting a berserk on top of the start, making me pick it up and force-switching to fists while chaingunners turn me to swiss cheese? Just why?

 

MAP23 - Bloodlove

This is unfortunately where I'm going to call it quits. The level looks nice and the combat is less bullshit than the previous, but the progression is completely obscure. I found the red key, I can see the yellow key, but I have no clue how to get to it. Either I'm missing something obvious because I'm tired or access to it is hidden better than most secrets. Unfortunately sunk cost is a thing, and I realize I stopped enjoying the wad several maps ago and don't feel it's worth it to force myself to finish it.

 

I feel bad abandoning my first DWMC. I think the mapset starts off a bit awkward but then really hits its stride and has some great maps in the first half. After a while though it just feels mean, and while most players will I think enjoy the challenge it's not really my thing. I really did enjoy a good chunk of the megawad, and even with maps that I hated I could still admire some specific aspects.

Edited by brick

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Map 23 - Bloodlove

 

 

Took Whoosh's advice to grab the red skull early, and had no real issues from there, really. Access to the blue key confused me a little at first with the steps required; we take a teleporter to another location, then take a timed teleporter back to where we just were? Whatever, I got it I guess.

 

Still not sure which switch or action made the exit available, and somehow I got to the end despite not getting the yellow skull (loaded back in to see where that went and still don't know what that got me, beyond further access to the other blood pool that I already had), but hey, gift horse.

 

The large open blood pool at the start made for a good battle, and beyond there I felt I had to always watch my back. And when I thought the level was mostly cleared of threats...spiders, spiders everywhere. Thumbs up emoji.

 

After Whoosh's post I was expecting the worst, but I dunno, maybe thanks to his warning --- for me at least --- this level worked out pretty well.

Edited by kawadec

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MAP23: Bloodlove

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 4/5 secrets 

 

Quite an odd setting, some sort of strange blood factory. Charming in a sort of ridiculous way that only Doom can provide. This one kind of takes the open and busy combat that the last map showed us and mixed in some of that obscure KINDa progression. I see this one catching a lot of flak for its layout, but it didn't really bother me a lot. I did actually grab the red skull key pretty early despite not noticing Whoosh's note earlier until now, so maybe that made it a little better for me. The only thing that I found a little irksome was getting the yellow key, which was pretty much the very last thing I did since I needed it to get the only missing kill in the level. The switch to get it is pretty hidden, and it is difficult to notice the teleporter that it lowers. I even got the megasphere secret in the process of trying to obtain it. 

 

Difficulty-wise, imagine my surprise when I breezed through this level on my first playthrough. Not sure the last map that I even managed that on, but it would have likely been way back in the first episode. So I guess this one seemed quite easy to me, but maybe I just got lucky. This level does love its arachnotrons a lot, but the thing with them is that they are very effective infighters, so that can be used to great effect. If you combine infighting and smart berserk usage, the usual ammo squeeze doesn't feel too bad, with the only time I really felt pressure being close to the end of the map, when I lowered the bars blocking the exit. Even then I was actually missing some ammo pickups, so I was able to get myself out of that situation.

 

So yes, I did find this one to be a bit on the easy side. The setting was cool though and combat was relatively fun.

 

 

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I’m not feeling up to dealing with MAP32’s ammo starvation at the moment so I’ll come back to it later. I've actually made it to MAP23, but four maps is more than enough for one post.

 

MAP31: Hell’s Party

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Using saves!

 

So TheMightyWhoosh was pulling punches with the other arch-viles. This is a harder map than most others we’ve seen. Unfortunately it’s just too luck-based for me to find it fun.

 

The problem is the hitscanners. I haven’t found a good way to deal with them. Switching to the faster, regular shotgun helps, but even so, the amount of damage they can dish out is just incredibly random. Sometimes the shotgunners have almost murdered me before the chaingunners even arrive. Sometimes I make it through the entire arena almost unscathed. It just feels as if my survival is down to luck.

I did find that as soon as the hitscanners were gone, everything got a lot easier. In fact, at that point, I’d usually just stop fighting altogether and let the projectile-spewers infight. Alone, they’re really not hard to dodge.

 

So the hitscanners are bad enough, but then we have the arch-vile as the cherry on the Hell Party cake. An arch-vile we face with no cover, with our health already damaged from the last battle, and all I can do is spam him with the SSG and pray he doesn’t burn me to a crisp.

 

You can see why I chose to play this one with saves.

 

The second room is easier. There’s nothing trapping us in there and we can easily make a quick swoop around the room to get the Mastermind and cacos infighting. From there we just walk out the door and let them settle things among themselves. Maybe popping our heads back in now and again to take a potshot or two with the rocket launcher.

 

I’m going to rank this map quite low. Maybe I'm just bitter and need more practice, but it felt to me as if this level misunderstands what makes for a good arena.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

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MAP16: Patino

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

Okay, after trying my hand at the secret maps, this one was kind of KINDa a relief. It’s not too difficult and ammo is comparatively plentiful. That’s not to say there aren’t a few traps to keep us off-balance, but they shouldn’t be a problem for any player who has already made it this far.

 

The capstone, of course, is the huge teleporter ambush which beams into the central courtyard. It’s not too difficult to deal with, as long as the player is wise enough to either retreat into a side room—or just run past the hitscanners and dive into the end teleporter. But it’s refreshing to be able to mow down such a huge horde when KINDa’s ammo is usually so tight.

 

On a side note, I’m not sure I understand the point of the soulsphere secret. It doesn’t seem particularly hidden, and—as other users pointed out a week ago—its position lets you sequence break the entire level by running to the end switch. It’s weird. But I’m no speedrunner, so I just ignored it and played the level normally.

 

I needed this break after dealing with the last few maps. And I really like the way the way this map looks. I’m a sucker for Doom’s wood textures, and that sky glowing in through the windows is very pretty.

 

I’m going to go with my gut and rank it high.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

Bloodfountain.png.d124027ffee3e4958f98b765108afbfd.png409972079_OohPretty.png.1341e9bee1f5806341410a60c969beed.png

 

 

MAP 17: Naive

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

I like the visual style of this map. The simple, flat textures might be ‘naive’, but the overall impression is charming. I particularly like the little house in the northern courtyard, which, incidentally, is also home to the best battles of the level.

 

Ammo is once again tight, but I can forgive it somewhat because we’re handed a berserk pack almost from the start. It does mean I had to do more “Tyson-ing” than I’m comfortable with, especially because I wanted to save ammo to deal with the tougher enemies imprisoned behind bars in various places around the level.

Speaking of which, I’m a bit confused by the mastermind at the end. We can easily run past her if we’re not trying to 100% the level, but she’s a major ammo drain if we are. She just seems kind of pointless sealed there behind the end portal.

 

I also found progression strange at times. Some of the switches have obscure effects. The button which controls the southern bridge is particularly guilty of this, since it’s very close to the related sector, but doesn’t have a direct line of site.

 

As much as I enjoyed the northern courtyard and as much as I like the visual style, there are other maps in this collection with better design and better tuned ammo, so I’m going to give it a fairly low rank.

 

On a side note, I’m really appreciating how much effort TheMightyWhoosh has gone to keep these maps looking unique, despite the limited default texture set.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

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MAP18: Doomsday Machine

Spoiler

UV, Pistol-Start, Saveless

 

This is a fun one. Aesthetically it reminds me of MAP07: The UAC Project, but there’s more texture variety here making it feel more mature. It’s TNT-esque, and I mean that in a good way.

At the start, we’re given a peek of the hitscanner-filled area above the trenches, but we’ll need all three keys before we can fight our way up there. Meanwhile we’re left to battle our way through the trenches themselves as gunfire and imp fireballs rain down upon us. There’s some good encounter design here. Most of the ambushes feel quite varied and they’re just tough enough to keep the player off-balance.

I also didn’t find ammo to be a problem. Though I did have to be careful with how I tackled the pain elementals to keep the enemy count down.

Progression is also very sensible. There’s a small amount of backtracking, but really I’m just nitpicking. This map is just a joy to play the whole way through.

 

Then we have the massive final battle, presumably representing the Doomsday machine itself. It certainly lives up to its name with well over half the enemies of the level spilling out from the three teleporters in the corners of the chamber. And if that wasn’t enough, a cyberdemon towers over all, backed up by revenants to add even more explosive firepower.

 

It’s an impressive setpiece. There’s just maybe a few too many chaingunners for my taste. I would have preferred to fight it out in the room itself rather than hiding in the entry room. But it’s still a fun climax to a great level. I’m going to rank this one high.

 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

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Ranking:

Spoiler

MAP08: Deux

MAP18: Doomsday Machine

MAP12: Monster Monopoly

MAP16: Patino

MAP03: Toxic

MAP05: Leak

MAP14: Death’s Dwelling

MAP09: Death Delivery

MAP15: Blackout

MAP13: Blast

MAP11: Her Keep

MAP10: Blood and Mud

MAP01: Go

MAP02: Hell’s Cavity

MAP17: Naive

MAP07: The UAC Project

MAP06: Cement

MAP31: Hell’s Party

MAP04: Treehouse

 

 

I'll rank MAP32 later.

Edited by Haruspex

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MAP24 - Frontier

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+

 

A short, fun brick house/techbase map with a rude awakening at the very beginning to slap you awake. Given its lower monster count, I thought it was going to be a breather map, but it's actually a breather map in disguise! It's a fair bit more basic than its predecessors with far more straightforward progression for the most part, but it definitely has some teeth.

 

 

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Not unusual; however map 25 may be frustrating for pistol start and speed runners:

 

Spoiler

1) The SSG isn’t available until quite late on in the map. 
 

2) Crushers! 
 

3) Imps on high ledges (I quite enjoy sniping imps; however I’ve learnt this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea).  


Maps 25 and 26 are probably my most ambition maps in terms of size; especially map 26 which is by far the largest and will definitely be Marmite!  

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Map19: Calculator video

 

Tough map, can be downright brutal for pistol starters playing blind. I dislike the SSG placement in this map, it is an essential weapon to have here and to have it in a secret is sketchy in itself but a secret that becomes inaccessible almost immediately? That's a bit too much... If you do happen to find the SSG though, the map turns from survival horror to a relatively normal doom map in the KINDa style. In my first few playthroughs the progression seemed confusing as the layout gives a lot of options at the start and the dark narrow ducts have little in the way of landmarks to give clue where you're now heading. But coming up with the proper route was rather simple in the end and there's not much you have to memorize. This one fills the AV quota of the second episode with seven of them, of which half are easy to deal with one on one but the other three pose a little more threat. The second to last one is pretty deadly, teleports in fast and typically targets you immediately with few places to hide and made even more problematic by the likely somewhat poor health situation at that point of the map. The threat level in this map feels consistently high throughout the map though, whatever your approach to the encounters is, which makes this probably the hardest map in the wad thus far. I like the aesthetics too, the texture theme is rarely used (though there are few maps I recall doing this) and combined with the quirky lifts it does give a certain feel of being inside some mechanical device. So yeah, it's a good map overall although personally I would have probably placed the SSG in a less cruel location. The demo is yet another case of extremely shit health near the end, more so than usual, and I was definitely not confident in surviving the last few areas in that shape so I had to resort to spending a few extra seconds to grab that extra green armor which I usually skip.

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Map24 - Frontier in Situ

Good map except I really disliked the very beginning and the very end. I love the idea of the intro area. Small secret laden house with lots of close quarters combat with a cyberdemon just outside. The thing is teleporting him right behind you right away is such a dick move, and so the combat in the first minute is extremely difficult. And again I think this level suffers from very obtuse progression. I was able to get all the secrets but struggled to get through the first house (I didn’t notice the step in the upstairs room also lowered the opposite panel where the switch was), and finding the exit teleporter was just maddening. I ran around the level at least 3 times before I noticed it. Shame because it’s a cool looking level with a fun idea to it.

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MAP24: Frontier in Situ (100%/100%/83%)

1.       Arch-vile deals extra damage if wounded

2.       Revenants are able to fly

3.       Hell knight projectiles explode on impact

 

In what is supposed to be the most trollish move, The Mighty Whoosh unleash upon us a surprise cyberdemon, which immediately teleports BEHIND you as soon as you open the first door. You won’t even realize what kills you, especially on -fast settings! Even with leftover cells, killing him still turned to be a pain, though the author does provide you with more cells, and the door itself is a no-monster linedef, which allows you to hide in the building while building up your cell ammo supply.

 

And if you think that you can skip the cyberdemon, then that’s where you’re in the wrong! Eventually, after clearing the second part of the map, you will be teleported back at the beginning of the level! And be greeted by a bunch of cacos. Outside of that, you need to deal with few archies, and health is against at premium – in fact, one of the secrets holds the only medkit in the map that I ever remember seeing! Pistol starting will be an absolute nightmare, especially if you won’t find the hidden SSG and blue armor.

 

The hardest part for me was dealing with two card-boosted Barons in a tight place. While BFG is more than enough to take them down, due to their rapid-fire chain of projectiles, getting point-blank shots was more difficult. But as long as you can keep your focus and undivided attention, you should be fine with the rest of the map. Another nitpick is the teleporter leading to the exit location – for odd reason it was placed in the back of the building that I was teleported back to.

kinda map24.png

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MAP24 - Frontier in Situ (92%K/100%I/66%S):

Another map that was just there, a surprise cyberdemon at start, BFG gameplay, tons of dumb secrets, and easy to miss switches. I've felt softlocked at blue armor area, the thing is that I did not see the platform lower when I lowered the front one at the computer panels, still, this feels like searching for secrets more than knowing what to do to progress, something you would only see in TNT (where at this point, you can see lot of similarities to said megaWAD). 
It does not look bad but is boring and linear. It's good that I'm playing continuous, no SSG (non-secret) until the very end here, so I feel that would be a serious problem, forcing you to get secrets to have at least a decent arsenal. Not a clever map.

(UV Playthrough - PrBoom+)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

 

MAP09
MAP12
MAP22
MAP10
MAP23
MAP08

MAP05
MAP11

MAP01
MAP16
MAP21
MAP20
MAP17
MAP13
MAP04
MAP06
MAP14
MAP19
MAP02
MAP24
MAP15
MAP07
MAP18
MAP03
MAP31

MAP32 (Unrated)

 

 

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MAP25: Her Company (100%/81%/100%)

1.       Mancubus will try to dodge your attacks

2.       Hell knights are always focused on players

3.       Hell knights have increased movement speed

 

Even more blood! True to the map’s name, a Spiderdemon is set to appear sooner or later, but again, this map will be remembered because of another feature that I would be covering here. But let’s write things in order.

The outdoor blood-covered areas are full of imp snipers, made more annoying by -fast fireballs. You have the mega-armor right in sight, but continuous players should save it for later – and they will need it. You have to check out the nearby buildings in order to collect the weapons as well as the secret soul sphere, and to find the secret rocket launcher too. The progression in the map is obscure as usual – you need to pull few switches here and there before the blue key becomes accessible.

 

And after opening the blue key door we come to the map’s ugliest feature – the crusher room! Your initial fun in crushing those imps and pinkies is quickly marred by realization that you need to pass through those crushers. And you are forced to do that not only once, but twice – and Whoosh does not provide us any shortcuts after picking up the red key! Not the mention that revenant sniper along with imp entourage – If you did not take him down from outside, get ready to grit your teech after stepping into that teleporter! The Spiderdemon is rather tame encounter compared to everything else.

 

There will be few ambushes beyond the red door too, the hallway monster closet being the nastiest of them. But the hardest part of combat for mere were the hell nobles near the end – again, because of the card bonuses. Funny enough, I found the super shotgun only after the exit was revealed. Was it stolen by one of the monsters with card bonuses? Not sure myself, just thinking about the nightmares that pistol starters are sure to experience. As for me, I sticked with a regular shotgun to conserve ammo.

kinda map25.png

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27 minutes ago, FragsBunny said:

And after opening the blue key door we come to the map’s ugliest feature – the crusher room! Your initial fun in crushing those imps and pinkies is quickly marred by realization that you need to pass through those crushers. And you are forced to do that not only once, but twice – and Whoosh does not provide us any shortcuts after picking up the red key!


Regarding the crusher:

 

Spoiler

When you grab the red key, the window lowers where you originally collected the shotgun and ammo (in the same building as the crusher), so you can bypass the crusher room on your return journey and exit the building through the thinner of the two doors. 

 

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Map20: Monster HQ video

 

The maps seem to be getting bigger and bigger, this one is easily the grandest in scale thus far and takes almost 8 minutes to max even with a clear route in mind. It's a bit of breather in terms of difficulty though, after the hitscan & AV filled map19 and the grueling map17. There's a good amount of recovery items in the first half of the map and only in the underground section you're starting too feel the heat a little bit, but then you're given a handy Megasphere which easily takes you through the rest of the map. Several people commented on ammo scarcity in this map but at least with the pre-planned route this felt one of the more generous maps in the set with a lot of cells and rockets to use. Compared to the previous map this one relies much more on constant incidental combat rather than separate encounters, which is good for the flow and since the progression makes you loop around the map a few times you can just leave shit behind and clean up later. A slight problem are wandering monsters in the hub area if you do leave stuff behind but fortunately they seem to be in a certain few places that area close by. The Gotcha fight is easy to initiate but I almost feel bad doing it since the Mastermind never has a chance... Tiny switches are my pet peeve big time so I don't really appreciate those and a couple of times I had weird bug with the rising bridge to the blue key where it starts rise but doesn't go all the way and then lowers back to the ground. You're stuck at that point and I have no idea what causes it to happen Overall an enjoyable map, a lot of TNT again I feel.

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KINDa - MAP25 Her Company (HNTR, blind, continuous w/ saves): K 100% (156/156), I 100% (22/22), S 100% (6/6), T 49:31

 

Spoiler

A city-style map of wooden buildings, situated in some secluded region of bloody hell, wherein the ground is covered by endlessly flowing blood.  The start is hot, as Cacodemons fly everywhere and Imps and hitscanners fire incessantly from the windows, and a central covered elevated pathway.  i die once near the start, and even when not, my health goes down to 2%, and stays there for quite a while, as i go through all the available buildings pressing switches, doing what no one yet knows.  After a while i have the building harboring the BK opened, and after grabbing item, Imps and hitscanners teleport in to compete who gets a hit at me first.  i die a couple of times, and must take out the plasma to survive the situation.

 

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The BK building is extremely interesting, fun, terrifying, frustrating, annoying?  i don't know.  At first i kill a thousand Imps, and only for the last few the crushers become active.  i like crushers.  But i don't like the idea of having to go into that room where every inch is covered by crushers at varying speeds and phases.  After a while i concede there's no avoiding the room, and after two or three tries (once i got smashed just for standing too close), manage to, mostly by luck as i daresay it's near impossible to find the full pattern of their movement and thus determine a safe moment to run through (another question is, run exactly where in the room??)  Still i find this part of the map absolutely audacious and outrageous, and i'm glad it's there.  i like the crushers in (John Romero's Greatest Megawad Ever) Si666il, but this is about 29x harder.  Getting through them leads to a teleport, that leads to the RK, located on one side of the central covered ramp.  And grabbing which effects the appearance of the Spiderdemon!  Coming back through the teleporter, one by mercy of the Mighty Whoosh does not need to run through the crushers again, as a door has opened in the preceding room.

 

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Thus there is only one more building to visit.  The opposition there is hardest of the map, apart from the crossfire of hitscanners and Imps, and obviously the Spiderdemon, as there's not only the Arch-Vile, but also an ambush of four Hell Knights and Barons as the final fight, which i took care of with the BFG, finishing them off with the SSG.  So far i've found only two of the secrets, and the hunt for them takes a while.  The 3rd one is easy, near the exit.  But the rest cause me some problems.  They are all rather simple - once you hit upon the right idea, if not, extremely tricky!  There was in one of the buildings a locked door which i couldn't figure out how to open, until in an act of desperation i shot at it - yes, there has been shootable doors in this WAD before.  This door lead to two of the three missing secrets.  The last one i couldn't find on the video, but as i soon thought after quitting, it turned out to be in the one place i failed check, en route to the RK - and expectedly the last enemy was also waiting there.  Well, semi-expectedly anyway, because the Chaingunner managed to maim me enough for me to load and open the secret second time, as i went in with the pistol...  So i finally managed to net 6/6 secrets, as in the last few maps i've mostly failed (after the fact i saw some of them in Biodegradable's videos.)  And very useful, too, as i'm nowhere near perfect health or armor, so the last secret was a very necessary find. 

 

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Another absolutely EPIC map.  It's vast, but the progression was relatively easy this time.  Throughout the level there was a feel of constant threat, both from windows outside and inside the buildings.  i'm not usually one to approve of health-starvation, and there was a Soul Sphere, which was absolutely necessary, but somehow here it was appropriate - proceed with caution or else.  As usual, the map is a fantastic work of neoclassicism, and one of the best 'city'-maps (even if this properly isn't one) i've ever played (i would say probably best, but Doom Island which i played recently had also a superlative city-map.)  i look forward to MAP26 which Whoosh says is the largest with interest and some trepidation...

 

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Kind of Top Ten:

Spoiler

MAP24 - Frontier in Situ

MAP25 - Her Company

MAP10 - Mud and Blood

MAP08 - Deux

MAP12 - Monster Monopoly

MAP09 - Death Delivery

MAP05 - Leak

MAP21 - Melancholy

MAP19 - Calculator

MAP20 - Monster HQ

MAP17 - Naive

MAP15 - Blackout

MAP16 - Patino

MAP23 - Bloodlove

MAP06 - Cement

MAP04 - Treehouse

MAP07 - the UAC Project

MAP02 - Hell's Cavity

MAP01 - Go

MAP18 - Doomsday Machine

MAP13 - Blast

MAP14 - Death's Dwelling

MAP22 - Skin

MAP11 - Her Keep

MAP03 - Toxic

MAP31 - Hell's Party

 

Edited by dei_eldren

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Map24 - Frontier in Situ

 

The start is very rude, but I liked it. It is a shame that the map tends to peter out after the first little outpost. Strange for such a short map to feel like it outstays its welcome, but it somehow manages this with a mixture of less interesting rooms/corridors and some strange progression that makes little sense. This would have fitted well in the first half of the wad if the latter sections were simply cut. Heck the first archvile could have easily have been the end of the map and it would have been one of the strongest in the set because frankly it was quite fun to run through. Oh well....

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MAP 25 – Her Company

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

 

I was in for another dance with the Spiderdemon mistress on this MAP25 and I was eager to see whether it would be something more substantial than what was devised in Her Keep. The action began quickly, and the surroundings immediately gave away the nature of the level: a hellish town consisting of several wooden buildings bathed in a lake of blood, offering a classic red & brown juxtaposition that always hits the spot.

Spoiler

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The starting basin was surrounded by far-shooting enemies, supported by flying Cacodemons. Not big numbers, but their -fast attacks required constant movement and attention. I used the chaingun a lot to snipe the countless Imps, although that weapon was not given to pistol starters until late. A teleporter led to the top of the blood falls where two wood structures could be explored. The BFG was readily available through another gate, while the rocket launcher and other secret goodies were found with a thorough search, that I performed before leaving.

 

The BK was inaccessible for now inside a small building, near a landmark that resembled a wooden shack destroyed by the flood of blood. I entered the fortified northern section, a keep where the customary Imp garrison was reinforced by a Revenant and hitscanners. The latter were the main source of damage, landing blows when I could not even hear their guns. I do not like these arrangements; the former humans work better when relatively close and if you are aware of their position. I finally entered the building with MARBFACEs outside and pushed a switch, summoning a punitive raid by Sergeants and Commandos which took a while to come in. I registered the progression step in the library of the nearby building, finding another switch to press.

Spoiler

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I checked the BK and it had lowered, but I smelled the trap. I found the slowly teleporting Imp & Shotgunner mob in a bit disappointing, as I was expecting something bigger to trap me inside that corner. I got out in the blink of an eye and half of the assailants died during infighting. I saved some shells, just for spending them right behind the blue door, where my corner checking habits made me shoot enemies that could have been crushed by taking a step forward. This time I was not squished and found the crusher crossing section quite interesting.

 

The way to the RK was paved and picking it up finally released the lady in disguise. The Spider Mastermind appeared in the blood courtyard below and posed minimal threat. I was tempted to use the cover and elevated position to my advantage, but I wanted a more interesting fight, so I backtracked and took the newly revealed pad by the blue door. It was not a great idea, since it dropped me exactly under her nose; I received a hefty ration of bullets before escaping and coming back with the BFG.

Spoiler

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The last area behind the red door was not so interesting combat-wise and featured a chaingunner ambush, an irrelevant Arch-Vile, and a final quartet of Hell Nobles ready to take my rockets. Her Company was enjoyable; for once I really liked how the progression was intended, since it allowed to visit every part of the map and gave plenty of options to uncover the 6 useful secrets. The visuals were competent and matched well-established infernal aesthetics with unusual embellishments, like the cracks and fissures seen in many places. I only wish some hitscanners were replaced by tougher enemies at this stage of the MegaWAD, and that the Spiderdemon battle were a climactic one, instead of being a MAP11 replica.

 

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MAP24: Frontier in Situ

UV, pistol start, no saves

100% kills, 4/6 secrets

 

The start gives you a view of a brick structure in the center of an unassuming green field. Then you open the door and a cyberdemon pops out, teleports behind you, and ends you right there. Pretty hilarious start to the map, I got a kick out of it. If you are good at two-shotting cyberdemons with the  BFG (something I've gotten more comfortable with over the past while) he's not a big deal, but it's a funny little jumpscare.

 

After he's done with though, the rest of the map feels even more lax than the previous one. The monster count dips below 100 for the first time in a non-secret map since MAP11, which in itself was a bit of an oddity of a map. Ammo and health feel plentiful compared to most maps in the set and you're given quite a lot of cells in this map which, paired with the BFG you get at the very start, will quickly make mincemeat out of most of the map's attempts to stop you. Without the cyberdemon the map almost feels like it belongs in the first episode, it even has a weirdly placed exit which was something I called out in a couple of the very early maps in the set. 

 

Not a bad map at all, I actually enjoyed it, but it does feel a little misplaced this late in the wad.

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Played most of these maps yesterday, so the details have all started to go fuzzy. I do recall that hitscanners remained brutal, health remained generally scarce, with progression not always entirely clear, though less obtuse than earlier maps have been. HMP/continuous/saves:

 

MAP17: Naive

28:43 | 99% Kills | 100% Items | 50% Secrets

I liked this one quite a bit, just pretty fun all around. I missed the RL secret (like just about everyone, sounds like) and missed a kill, which I IDDTed to see was an imp that got resurrected in his window-perch in the building by the blue key. I'm sure there was something that bugged me while I was playing this, but I can't remember it anymore. :)

 

MAP18: The Doomsday Machine

27:39 | 100% Everything

This was a fantastic map that I had two major issues with: First, a couple of the blue key teleport traps were borderline unfair (I survived them all, if barely). And secondly, the switch that launches the final exit ambush was ridiculously hard to find; I think I spent at least 5 minutes wandering everywhere before I thought to look behind the exit platform. Otherwise, this was a lot of fun, with a memorable layout. It was a little funny that the yellow key was sitting just atop the yellow switch, right next to the yellow bars that it opened. I guess it was a good way of signposting what was going to happen, but it still seemed a mite silly. :)

 

MAP19: Calculator

27:14 | 100% Everything

A very cool layout full of (again) some nasty nasty hitscanner traps. At least the viles were easy enough to deal with with carryovers. (Especially the completely useless archie at the exit.) Very convoluted and easy to get lost in--the multi-level nature made it hard to tell how to get from A to B via the automap--but the aesthetic was really neat.

 

MAP20: Monster HQ

33:17 | 100% Kills | 100% Items | 60% Secrets

Sigh, this map. I started at low health because of continuous, and found like 2 stimpacks in the first 10 minutes. Ammo was almost as hard to find as health early on, and at one point I was down to my last dozen bullets. At the point I opened the door beyond the cyber/spider combo, I had like 17 health left, and to figure out a way to kill at least the mastermind before she got me first. (Took me maybe a half dozen attempts, but at least that point I still had a half-loaded BFG.) Eventually I was able to access the rest of the level and restock. It surprised me how much of the map seemed optional, like the yellow key which opens the exit but also can be used in two other places around the level. Not a bad map, but it didn't leave a great taste in my mouth.

 

MAP21: Melancholy

19:50 | 100% Everything

I don't like nukage maps, I think I mentioned that. There's a lot of (damaging) ground to cover here, and limited radsuits. Only two are accessible early on; I basically used the first one to scout around, and then used the second to actually go somewhere... but where I went didn't have a suit for a return trip! Thankfully, I think most of the other locations did. The "outdoor" sections with the geometric-lattice ceilings were particularly striking, very cool, though the popup ambushes they contained were less so. (I ran from the big one, and when I went back, they had mostly taken care of themselves.)

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Map25 - Her Company

Interesting map. Love the nonlinear layout with this one, and I especially liked how progression wasn’t too cryptic. I’d be curious to play this again knowing all the secrets and being able to grab the rocket launcher early. For most of the level I was relying on the shotgun and chaingun, and luckily you get the BFG to fight the Spider Demon. I especially liked the fight after getting the super shotgun where you have to take on a gang of barons and hell knights. Pretty fun map with lots of moving around. You never really feel safe with the hordes of imps raining fireballs at you as well as the wandering cacos that can sneak inside a window and get you. Still this map does have a fairly tight ammo squeeze (at least for pistol starters) and there were times where I was super short on bullets and shells despite all the hitscanners. This wad really makes you try and conserve ammo, so what ends up happening is that I’m constantly being followed by a gang of aggroed enemies. Despite the ammo shortages I was able to get 100% kills and found 5 out of 6 secrets.

 

I guess it's the 25th so time to start voting for more maps to play.


+++ Oops All Techbase

Spoiler

 

 

I'm a fan of techbases so I'm nominating this one.

 

 

Edit - Removed vote for Judgement due to bugged level.

 

+++Interception 2

Want something a bit more complex than what we've played recently.

 

+++ Good Morning Phobos;

Looks dope, want some more action heavy maps.

 

I think I'll save my last vote for later, I want to see what else gets nominated and see if anything catches my eye.

Edited by Doritos420 : Changed vote

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+++Wonderful Doom

+++Oops All Techbase

+++Interception 2

 

And i'll leave one vote open for now because can't decide whether to back Interception 2 or nominate Nicolas Monti's Mass Extinction.  Maybe something else will come up to break the tie in my mind.  Since Oops All Techbase actually has two maps by Monti, i'll back Interception 2.

Edited by dei_eldren

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Ugh oh, it’s the big map today! Well, big compared to all the others in this megaWAD anyway! 
 

Spoiler

1) Generally I’ve tried to aid the player slightly in this big and confusing map by having teleporters lower after a main action which then takes you to the general section that you’d need to explore next. 

 

2) The optional red key is obtainable through a switch puzzle that opens a secret switch for said key. I know this isn’t desirable to many, but I really enjoy this particular puzzle personally! Your rewards for locating the red key are quite big! 
 

3) The theme is a castle in hell and is purposely huge and intentionally underpopulated. This and the E2M4 music are to create a creepy, desolate map with similar atmosphere and I hope it’s worked.   

 

Edited by TheMightyWhoosh

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Map25 - Her Company

 

Not sure about how I feel here, the fact that the SSG is right at the end of the level is something that really sours the map, especially as the rocket launcher is behind a secret I didn't find. I got the BFG but you get limited resources for it. So I had to deal with most of this with the shotgun/chaingun. In fairness it is actually quite possible to get through this map with only those two maps, however some elements like the archvile are a bit of a chore to chew through. 

I guess this is the mos blatant example of a map that actually has a tonne of potential to be really fun, but ultimately is held back by deliberate design choices.

I left a dozen monsters including the mastermind after I ran out of ammo, well except rockets but no weapon to use them....

Also I guess I would vote for +++interception 2 next month.

Edited by cannonball

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+++Interception 2

Judgment is still RC1, the death exit on MAP06 is broken, don't pick this until the final release!

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+++Interception 2 (idk if I will actually do the club if it wins since I've already played it kinda recently, but I really, really enjoyed it!)

+++Judgment (would this be the first MBF21 pick?)

+++Uprising (This is what the new Cheesewheel WAD is called, right?)(edit: yup)

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Looks like we already have selected the next month megaWAD in a matter of minutes, so I will only try to confuse things a bit:

 

+++Hexen: Beyond Heretic

+++Community Chest

+++Oops All Techbase

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MAP25 - Her Company

UV | Continuous | GZDoom and Vanilla+

 

Blood, lots of blood, welcome to Bloodland! Bit of a fun romp, but it gets really mean and things take a desperate turn towards the end as health and ammo depletes as you make a mad-dash to the exit. Visually, it's an interesting map: A wooden city flooded with blood. It's kind of like a spiritual successor to old Bloodfalls from D2 and taking the Hell on Earth approach a bit more literally with these building-esque structures, complete with windows, doors and elevators. The scope of the map is even a little overwhelming, even though in retrospect, it's not that big. This is a good thing. Whoosh has done a great job of making the player feel small and outnumbered, giving the map a longer lasting impact than some of its predecessors. One of the better ones for sure. 

 

 

I don't have any ideas for a megaWAD to pitch for next month. I'd definitely have voted for Oops All Techbases had I not already played it last year. However, +++Community Chest piques my interest, so that'll be my vote.

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