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ICID

Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures #035

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(logo by @4MaTC)

 

ICID, what the hell is this now?

Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures is a small project of exploration, interaction, entertainment and reviews where we meet once every two weeks to select random WADs in search of hidden treasures, lost promises, or our worst nightmares! We use the /idgames archive’s special feature that lets us search for random files. Of course, sometimes the results are resources or unplayable stuff, so we focus on looking for WADs.

 

So, what do we do here?

  1. Play at least one random WAD in a two-week period of time. WADs are selected using the Random File feature on /idgames or from the list below.
  2. Post a review of whatever you play. There’s no required pacing, but most of us post a review once every 1-2 days.
  3. Always provide the name of the WAD, the name of the author, and a link to the file.
  4. Play however you want, on any skill level, and with any source port, as long as you play the WAD as intended/in working shape.
  5. Be respectful. Good rule of thumb: making fun of a map is okay, making fun of the mapper is not.

 

What kind of WADs are we looking for?

Any file on /idgames is fair game, but most of us choose to stick to singleplayer Doom or Heretic WADs that work in our sourceport(s) of choice. I also pull at least 5 random WADs for the event and add them here. Feel free to play them with me if you wish, or look for your own! The point of the event is to encourage you to explore this vast, random world. 

 

Recommendations for reviewing:

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  1. Please take screenshots or video of your adventures.
  2. Commenting the source port and skill-level is not required, but provides helpful context to your review.
  3. Try to stick to no more than 1 WAD per day to avoid burnout, but this part’s all up to you, champ!
  4. As mentioned above, screenshots or videos are awesome. 
  5. Reviews of all formats are valid. Both longform and shortform are good as long as you write with integrity. 

 

Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures of this event:

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  1. Camp
  2. Trippy Skrill
  3. ANYNCE11.wad
  4. Herian
  5. Chess, Hades-style

 

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The Top 10 (out of 43):

 

  1. @Roofi | 4170
  2. @Sena | 1965
  3. @LadyMistDragon | 1130
  4. @Walter confetti | 1055
  5. @ICID | 555
  6. @Endless | 475
  7. @smeghammer | 335
  8. @LUISDooM | 235
  9. @Biodegradable | 210
  10. @Clippy | 190

 

Join the Doom Master Wadazine community for more events like this! » https://discord.gg/Q2RKn4J

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Posted (edited)

Played already "Chess, Hades-style" long time ago. It's a weird map, but somehow fun. The Beatles gif near the... exit iirc it was a extravagant touch.

Played Herian as well, it have a pretty interesting concept but kind of amateurish design in some maps from what i remember.

 

Camp by Dan S. Hadley - Limit removing(?), Doom 2, SP, 2003, played with GZDoom 4.7.1

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A pretty generic and 1994-ish semi-realistic style map sets in this camp made by the grandpa of Dan here in Maine. If this is not the greatest Stephen King trope irl i don't know what else i can say about this. The raw doomcute and design is... overall acceptable, raw but emjoyable. If this was a 1994 map, it could been some kind of hidden gem. The worst part is that this map doesn't have a exit, really. And no monsters expect hanged keens in a corner.

 

Torment and Torture 2 Armory of Pain by Daniel @Tormentor667 Gimmer - Zdoom, Doom 2, SP, 2006, played with GZDoom 4.7.1

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Been blessed by the random button generator gods with a pretty impressive map this time, nonetheless by the legendary Tormentor667!

Guys, do you remember when Tormentor667 was the man in the Doom Community? Knee-Depp in Zdoom, Tormentor and Torture series and overall the state of art of Zdoom mapping 10/15 years ago? Now he's famous for Realm667 and... for all the mess happened due to his last mod he made, Blade of Agony. And the ripping off parts from other maps in his levels scandal.

Anyway, this is a pretty great looking map, with many awesome stuff from old Zdoom maps like 3d bridges made of midtextures, massive scripting, deep water, realistic caverns made of plane aligned floors and ceilings, based upon the brown and eerie atmospheres of Quake. Gameplay is challenging and fun, the only lower point for me is the mandatory backtracking in the map. Pretty impressive map for the time!

 

The Island of the Death (S)pecial (E)dition by Fatal Cure - Vanilla, Doom and Doom 2, SP, 2006, played with Eternity "forseti" 4.0.2

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A pretty lame map made by this guy back in 1996, based upon a map made by another dude (or the same?) in 1995 according to title screen. The level itself in both layout and gameplay it's raw, undistilled shovelware type of wads you'll find randomly and put in whatever CD-rom you play just to make number. Layout is pretty abstract and extremely simplistic, filled with wood textures and some other stuff just for some modification, the monster placement is pretty sparce and big part of the "fights" are easily skippable. Doom 2 version changes some textures and don't have new music (a pirate-style song of sorts is used for the Doom version, it's funny). Nothing expectational, really.

Edited by Walter confetti

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The Night Train (2015) by enderkevin13

 

Wait, you did some maps for Nova, right? So this is a simple map for GZDoom that basically exists to demonstrate its scripting capabilities. It's not too bad though and actually possesses a fairly nice nighttime aesthetic, along with a moving train. Pretty funny to see the dialogue at the end. The Cyberdemon can just be resurrected at some odd point?  Sounds very bad. Though at least you get a glimpse of the console that is your objective. Ok for one playthrough, maybe, but the monster spamming toward the end isn't fun 5/10

 

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Cross Fire (1995) by Muskie McKay (Eternity)

 

Oddly enough, the author is actually from California rather than Canadia though the name might suggest otherwise. So, basically a fairly roundish marble temple deathmatch map with spokes shooting out, each containing chaingunners on the side ledges that'll probably cut you to pieces if you stand and fight. There's also some squares of that checkerboard industrial texture that makes me think Facility from Goldeneye. One sqaure of it forms a tower in the center I assume contains an exit, but there's also two of them on either side of this area. On one side there's a narrow passage with shotgun guys and teleporters that will take to each section of the map that seems inaccessible, including the center. Honestly, putting all the teleporters in one place is a shitty way to get from place to place. Like it makes a decent nest, but if you're getting from place to place....but on the plus side, the chaingunners especially add a sense of franticness if you're deathmatching, though this may not last long. 4.5/10 for concept, but it's about as bland visually as they come.

 

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Airliner Doom v4.0 (1995) by two guys from Australia with names done up in some non-standard script

 

So basically, we have this patch file that purports to turn vanilla rockets into A320 Airliners (but without engines) Unfortunately, since this is a patch file and not a wad file, you can't just load it with other wad files when you click and drag. And no, I'm not using DOSBOX to load it because Dosbox sucks, sorry

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Babylon 6

Played on Doom Retro, using Doomkid's dm weapons

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Date:03/21/18

Babylon 6 is not just filled with tons of monsters.                      

The installation itself wants to have you for                     

breakfast.  Crushing ceilings, platforms, and 

deceptive transporters attack you viciously, and                      

trap you for imps to devour!  This is a very 
challenging level, with a lot of secrets, and all 
of the weapons except the chainsaw.
 

 

Off to a great start! my first time in ER/IWA and i get a modern wa-

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Release date            : Nov 12 1994

AW HELL NO!

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Well, as you would expect from a 1994 map, it's full of square rooms, marble textures and HOMs, i don't have too much to say about this map thanks to getting softlocked after activating a raising floor twice, while the switch that lowers it only works once.

The only good thing i can say about this wad is that it's propably the first wad that allows the player to use a secret to skip a part of the map, if you do...erhh... something, an elevator will appear in the starting area, which will take you to a room with the yellow key, so you won't need the blue key first. 

But other than that, this map is awful, you shouldn't play this.

 

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Day 1: Sticky Blood https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/s-u/stckblod

 

This slaughtermap by Memfis is short and brutal, there is basically no time to stop and observe your surroundings, or really gauge what's happening, because if you stand still, you die, if you keep on running you die. Generally, I found that you're not ever in a position to kill anything, your weapons and not so much problem solvers as much as half-second problem delayers, you might get lucky and put an enemy into a pain state, but with the revenant to ammunition ratio, this is not a level that you can beat by just killing everything in your path, but at least that sets it apart from the millions of BFG spam slaughtermaps. I generally found the core gameplay factor that really guaranteed my survival, apart from having to hope that archviles would get hit by friendly fire and thereby they would not hit me, was trying to dodge through very narrow pathings that the map allowed in order to not just eat shit and die, which had very inconsistent results, since we all know what the AI is like, some days they're out for blood, other times they just seem to really enjoy running in circles. It's not that long, and it makes its intentions clear by putting you up against a cyberdemon, archvile, and about 10 pinkies and revenants each within the opening 10 seconds, and I'm sure if this was my kind of map, I'd be all for it, but it's not my kind of map, Bourgeois Deathmatch comes to mind as an example of a 30-map WAD that almost always started you off in the line of fire of multiple enemies at multiple angles, but by exploring the map, you had ways to deal with them, and also ways to funnel them into areas more advantageous to you, whereas this one doesn't really feel like it does the same thing. I might not necessarily be on board with its purpose, but this map wanted to do something, and it did it, so I have to give them at least some credit for that. 6/10.

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HellBase (2009) by @Archi    (GZDoom)

 

One of Russian speedrunner Archi's very first experiments with mapping. He's more known for making horribly difficult fuckers the past several years, but the first two maps at least aren't so difficult. That animated title screen's ok. First map is fairly generic techbase, though with some interesting progression such as filling out some tanks to raise a switch back in another room...for some reason. There's also a cool mudfall, along with a switch that displays Arch-vile fire for some reason before teleporting you away. You're destroying the base, probably.

 

 Later, this turns into an incredibly darkened cave with hellish-red floors wherever there is light. This room is probably too dark to be completely honest, although there is a pretty nice secret you can find here, along with a conveniently-placed chaingunner you can use on a nearby group of hints.

 

Map 02 is that sort of generic outdoor area. Long and thin with trees lining the sides, along with a sort of bike-jump looking ledge gazing out on a Turok-esque pool of lava leading to another base. You have to go here to activate a teleporter that allows you to exit. It's also near the teleporter where many groups of Imps will teleport in if you try to access it before pressing the yellow switch. Throughout, there are corpses everywhere

 

Map 03 is....a ridiculous jumping puzzle with marble walls on the sides because of course. Can you dodge the Cyberdemon and also keep the BFG balls on the sides from being fired at you from being off the lava platforms for too long? And also keep yourself from falling into the intesting-colored poison drink below Not worth the effort

 

Map 04 then is a richly red and energetic hellish level where you spend most of your time rocketing (NOT shotgunning) Barons of Hell until you can lower a barrier outside leading to three pop-up Cyberdemons in a very narrow space. Killing them lowers a bloodfall to a teleporter. Going through a brown tunnel then leads you to a place where fireballs shoot from these walls. Idiotically enough, it's actually one of these where you exit!

 

This stuff is all a bit more innovative than the full-on sadism present in many of the later Archi maps, at least in the first one. Add in a healthy dose or two of Russian surrealism and you have a largely decent wad that doesn't drag too much. 6.5/10, but unfortunately, the platforms still really suck.

 

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Day 2: ZanZan - Gzdoom Version https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/v-z/zanzan_g

 

I can appreciate this early TC as being superficially and technically impressive, but not much else. It's trying to give me some story about the Zanzans, the Zidivists, the Zesters, and basically any made up word starting with Z they could come up with, I'm probably supposed to know something about this story, but I don't, so that's what it feels like, some (at least very short) cutscenes showing me people I don't know, saying words I don't know, invoking events and magical powers that I don't know, so it's really hard for me to have any actual investment in the story, but the important part to consider is the gameplay, which isn't too great either.

There are 3D models, and they actually look good, which is pretty nuts for this era of Doom, but I could not offer a great deal of praise beyond that. Most of the level is based around melee combat, which means that they can only really put at most 3 enemies in one room for you to deal with, and while later on you get weapons, they have very poor feedback, if you think about vanilla Doom, when you shoot an enemy, the enemy will react when they are hit, blood will come out, if there's a projectile you will very clearly see it hit your target, they will let out an audio cue, it will push them back a bit, and it may also put them in a pain state. Comparatively, here when I shoot something, the number on my HUD goes down, and that's it, sometimes it seems to do damage, sometimes not, but you get exceedingly little ammo (and health for that matter), so I'd think the least they could do was make it clear that the ammo I have is actually working. And it engages in the typical sins of TCs that I don't really like, confusing level design, areas that seem to repeat, easy to softlock yourself, and it feels very arduous for something with only about 50 enemies. People might have been blown away by 3D enemies back in 2006, and even if I didn't like the level I kind of was as well, but this feels confused, it wants to be a platformer with a Tomb Raider aesthetic, but it also wants to be a first person shooter (or first person puncher), and it ends up bungling both ideas. 5/10.

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23 hours ago, Sape said:

AW HELL NO!

It's very common to find WADs that were uploaded 10-20 years later than their original release lol I do wonder why this is. I imagine some of the archivist guys find a random 90s WADs and decide to preserve it by re-uploading to /idgames.

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MOONBASE.WAD | By Curtis Turner II | 1994

 

E1M1.pngE1M1_3.pngE1M1_2.png

 

Another dull and boring map with no real gist at all. The fact that even with these ultra simple and raw maps the game still feels fun is a testament to Doom's well designed gameplay and feel. Other than that, this map has like 5 textures in total, a randomly made layout and it fees like a Wolf3D map rather than the chad 3 dimensional levels of Doom. At least to give credit where it's due, there are no major bugs, HOMs or invisible walls, and the map is pretty simple and short so it doesn't take a lot of time. This is typical shovelware-level stuff. In my new rating system, this is a 4: a bad map.

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Fartknockers from Hell (1995) by Peter MacMurchy (Eternity)

 

Here is an actual Canadian level designer. This isn't too different from the majority of maps from this time - textural misalignments and blandness with signs of surprisingly great ambition. The secrets are quite laughable but certain points of progression are still behind walls, though at least marked by blue torches. Trouble being that blue torches don't go at all with the techbase vibe here. I do sort of like how when you go up the first lift that leads to the command center of the massive computer bank room, you can glance behind to the left and see STARTAN green and grey, as well as that sort of cleaning Facility checkerboard texture. They complement each other nicely, but don't actually fit too well with anything else that you shortly start to see. Other than the bit with the barrels and Demons near the beginning, there isn't anything particularly entertaining. The aforementioned computer bank room...has an obligatory Cyberdemon, along with scattered other enemies including two Pain Elementals that will become really annoying if you didn't pick up the rocket launcher on the second floor. There is also a long brown tunnel leading to a storage closet....that's secret for some reason. Behind the blue key door is the typical surrealist masterpiece of early Doom mapping: a large computer bank floating in the middle, along with a blue-hued computer station in the far corner with  some hanging corpses and a red key just sitting somewhere. Behind the red key is a BFG you probably wished you had earlier for a Cyberdemon that ambsuhed you earlier, along with a huge Imp mob you may have started earlier. After some bland grayness then is a series of 4 switches and a long room that screams "mass ambush" but it's just two cyberdemons you can squash with the switches because that's what computer banks do.

 

After this is another map, set in a void and confronting you immediately with an Arch-vile and some Imps. Then take a walkway of teleport pads to a gullotine, complete with a stock and a star-shaped teleporter that will actually take you to the spot right below you if you step in the middle! 

 

Gameplay gets a little bit undercooked here. This is mostly standard 95 stuff. Maybe you'd call Map 02 slaughter-lite, but the map feels a touch undercooked. Feels like they wanted to do more 4/10

 

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37 minutes ago, Silent Wolf said:

 This map was in the NEWDOOM.WAD compilation that I reviewed a while back. It's a rather uninteresting map.

 

That map is actually in a lot of compilation wads from that years... Like is the perfect filler map, i guess.

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JPHOUSE https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/j-l/jphouse 

 

Quote

JP LeBreton

08/12/16

The house I grew up in, circa 1994. Sorry about filesize! There might be a secret. Get a recent GZDoom dev build here: http://devbuilds.drdteam.org/gzdoom Please play with music on!

after 5 deatmatch maps, i finally got a singleplayer wad, and it's... a myhouse.wad wit D_Runnin on the background :/

But wait! as the textfile says, there is a secret in this map, if you hit the 3 switches fast enough a door with a teleporter opens and... well, if you wanna find out then you should play this map by yourself.

Sorry for the short review but the map is really short, so i don't want to ruin the experience.

TLDR: Play it :)

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Day 3: uuuhhhtod https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/s-u/uuhhtod

 

Everyone's favourite, especially mine, jokemaps that aren't actually funny. One room, one switch, one berserk pack, you press the switch, one enemy type comes in, and you do that about 15 times, until they bring in a cyberdemon, at which point you get a BFG, and appropriate ammo for it, but then they bring a second one, and a third one, after which point I really couldn't be asked to actually deal with their shit, and just turned on godmode because I just wanted to complete the level as quickly as possible, I knew it couldn't get better, I just wanted it to be over. And after eliminating a total of 8-13 cyberdemons, I lost track, my one wish was not granted, as you can't actually complete the level. You can say the level's broken and that being unable to complete it means it doesn't work, but all things considered, none of its ideas prior to that point work either. 1/10.

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Month 10 Day 20

 

I play until I die or intentionally stop. I don't comment the wad where I died/stopped.

 

[1] HFDE/h : Hack of A Famous Doom Editor - HERETIC edition by Joe Wilcox (1995)

 

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HFDE/h is a full featured PWAD editor for id Software's HERETIC based on DEU 5.1-5.2 by Ralphael Quinet and Brendon J. Wyber. Basicly I took DEU 5.2, and hacked it; giving it a brand new interface, some new features, and of course support of heretic.

Since DEU is the most powerfull editor available, I picked it to work with. Originally HFDE (the DOOM registered version) was designed for my own use, hence the interface is how I like it.

 

Maybe useful in the past but now totally obsolete.

 

[2] slapme5.wad by Andrew J. Hulme (1995)

 

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Another deathmatch level to follow on from slapme 3 and 4.

 

This DM map replacing map 12 offers cute natural outdoors using grass floors and brown metal textures. I liked the color scheme  and the fact that the author has embedded a kind of nukage plant. Also, this map looks fun on multiplayer because of its openness.

 

[3] Pain, Fear, and Anxiety: 2 Player Deathmatch by Jason Angst (1995)

 

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Deathmatch level designed for 2 players. My recommendation is that this level is played with alt-death (respawning weapons), and monsters (there is only one). All the weapons are incorperated into this wad, however, ammo is somewhat limited. Getting armour is quite a task if your opponent is an experienced deathmatcher. There are a lot of little hidding spots, windows, and a few secret walls for the less aggressive Deathmatchers.

This is my first official home-brewed deathmatch board. I would appreciate any input (I know there is room for improving the textures). If you have any comment or find any bugs please send mail to the e-mail address above. If you like it tell me! If you don't, also tell me, but be sure to mention what you don't like and why, so I can use the feedback in my later trials at wad-editing. Have a blast!

 

An unexciting DM map where the monster mentionned in the description is just a revenant hidden behind a fake wall. Two structures catched my attention : the fountain made of pipe textures holding the soulspehre and the spiral staircase leading to a blue armor guarder by explosive barrels. The rest mainly consists of dark and cramped corridors.

 

I stop here for today , I got an electric shutdown.

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4 hours ago, Roofi said:

I got an electric shutdown

Hey turns out we live pretty close then. :P

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Wet 'N Wild (1996) by Robby Weis and Jory Robison (Eternity)

 

So, who were these pair of jokers with obvious skater boi names? I couldn't tell you, but the text file's funny, although they lie about new music because...who knows, but it's not really such a bad map. Player 1 starts are in this small blue room with a Megasphere on something like cross or swastika I think. Two teleporters will take you to 2 corners each in a 4-room, circular layout complete with gray walls and connecting passageways but not much else. There is plenty of room to run around and frag your friends, but of course, there are also inaccessible platforms that might just be for other players or perhaps accessed through some hidden teleporter crap. That's always annoying 5/10

 

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Wolf Mountain (1998) by David Meurin (Eternity)

 

So no music was replaced. Really sucks, because you've got this artificial night sky strangely BPRD-esque, but set amongst this night sky but yet underground at the same time. So I dunno why it's called Wolf "Mountain" but no matter. The beginning can be quite hairy, to the extent that I was actually killed the first time after 30 seconds away from the starting area, but oh man, this is some great design! Despite a fairly monotonous color palette, some incredibly strong and often tech-y bits of Doomcute are still evident here, fully explained by the text file as it turns out. While I probably found the 'exit' within 7 and a half minutes, there was maybe 70 enemies left out of 101 so that explains that. Only trouble is that this obviously Eternal Doom reject is even weaker than that wad in the combat department. Yeah, it can get quite dangerous in spots, but danger doesn't necessarily equal fun. Being attacked by Spectres in the dark and running into random groups of Lost Souls doesn't count sorry. Though I did like the bit with the Cyberdemon in the throne room, a In Invulnerbility placed for your convenience. This falls just short of a recommendation in the end. If the music had only been replaced, this would be going in Wad Archeology easily. 6.5/10

 

 

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Edited by LadyMistDragon

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Day 4: NH5 https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/m-o/nh5

 

Just so happens that yesterday's WAD was by the same author, TimeofDeath, and it just so happens that, while this one does not quite reach the same levels as being an unfinished joke level, it's not that far off. This one's a trilogy of slaughtermaps, and before I talk about the levels themselves, it is more important that I talk about the music, which is a rarity, but it's unavoidable now - the music is absolutely awful. I can only describe it as "what people who don't listen to metal thinks all metal sounds like", the kind that's characterised by mindless screaming, sensory overload, and basically being the kind of shit you don't want to hear. Normally, you could argue that this is just a matter of it not aligning to my own musical taste, however there is one more issue with it, and that is the songs are incredibly repetitively and short, barely 30 seconds long, and that is basically a death sentence, there is no song in the world I'd want to listen to on loop, cut down to a 30 second segment, and twice as loud as it should be. As for the levels themselves, they're not that good, as they run on the gimmick that there is no health available, a concept I've seen before, and this is probably one of the worse executions of it. I never liked BFG spam maps, and that's basically what they are, the first one has huge hallways full of zombiemen, which seems to be incongruent to the idea of a no-health map, not giving the player health to allow them to come back from having mistakes, while also putting in hordes of an enemy type who can kill the player with zero chance of escape because the room has no cover, and also putting so many that the player cannot mathematically kill them quickly enough (at least, if you get unlucky, because that level of unpredictability and inconsistency is one of the reasons why health kits exist), and once you get past the opening, it doesn't get better. I did not give the first map much of a chance, because, to be honest, it's nearly 30 degrees right now, and consequently, I am physically and spiritually incapable of being fucked to deal with revenant spam in a room with zero cover. The second map lets up a bit, at least until I got to the point where I was softlocked and had to give up, and the third map was more of the same, chaingunners and archviles up the arse, which doesn't really compute with giving the player no health. If you like kaizo, you'll like this, so long as you remember to mute the music, but simply put, I do not like kaizo, and as previous endeavours have shown me, I do like levels with health kits. 4/10.

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Edited by Sena

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1. Camp by Dan S. Hadley

This map gave me a healthy dose of WTF. The centerpiece is the starting room, with the bed, chairs, bookshelves. There's some nice doomcute in there, my favourite is the computer map sitting on the sector-built computer. There's a sweet aspect to the wad since Dan credits his grandfather for building the camp and has obviously put a lot of care in recreating it in Doom. But all this niceness sits side by side with some bizarre and uncanny things, like the Keens in the corner. I'm not sure what the grid-with-black is supposed to represent but going through them (they're passable) gets you outside, which has lots of trees tightly packed, leading to this surreal pool with an altar in the center on alternating on-off light (I like to think this is an abstraction of the moon and its reflection on a lake). There is an exit, but you're unlikely to find it without looking in an editor. Overall it's hard to judge as a level since there's no gameplay, but the doomcute is nice.

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2. Trippy Skrill by Erik Lindahl

I disliked this one enough that I forgot to take screenshots. It's visually quite plain, nothing offensive but nothing great either. Progression is pretty straightforward, though the use of the central hub with the 6 doors and coming back to it is done quite well, especially since it's not as simple as doing one door at a time (some just lead you back). The combat really rubbed me the wrong way though. Lots of ambushes, most of them in very tight quarters with all the usual Doom 2 delights, and for over half the map you have nothing but the regular shotgun (and the chaingun, but there's no ammo for it for a while), against assorted delights including PEs, revenants, lots of cacos, lots of HKs, and even a mancubus, not to mention dozens of imps and shotgun guys, and of course a baron to top it off. I was relieved when finally getting the SSG, at least until I found myself in a tiny room with 6 barons; it turns out you don't need to go in there (and there's really, really no point) but I was already soured on the map by then. The final sequence is a small bit of platforming that's fast enough not to be too hard but is still obnoxious, over an inescapable pit that doesn't even have the decency to kill you off. All in all I wasn't really a fan.

Edited by brick

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Toxic Waste Dump (2003) by Sam "Metabolist" Woodman (Eternity)

 

Sam Woodman's reputation is VERY mixed. A champion speedrunner with creative interests, his in-your-face combat approach has been praised perhaps to excess by some such as @MtPain27 But unfortunately, his maps have a habit of boiling down to shotgunning Barons, not to mention he was caught at least once stealing music from a Duke Nukem TC, leading to his departure from the Doom community to...steal from something else, probably. This map, on the other hand, contains all the strengths of his maps - visually tasteful and tons of killing - while vastly minimizing the weaknesses. It's definitely much better than some dreck like Substation from Community Chest or god forbid, almost anything he had involvement with in Hell Revealed II.

 

This wad also requires a custom texture pack, supplied by Sam himself and created for the "Mortres?" series this was a part of. Thankfully, his website as a subsidiary of Doomworld is still accessible, so this can be downloaded. Also have to like how Eviternity's Map 01 midi was used here (Mark Klem's "Midnight Call") The shotgunning of Imps and Sergeants at the beginning is a little bit braindead, but is honestly quite dangerous. Proceed slowly if you're not a speedrunner and you'll have a better chance of surviving. Bullets are quite sparing outside of the oodles of chaingunners located throughout most of the base, but you'll have enough to get by if you don't want to SS everything. By the time you get to the red key, the gloves really start to come off, as you're ambushed by chaingunners and Revenants the moment you pick it up. You'll definitely want to have your health above 50 percent because you'll have to run out of here, past a large gauntlet containing an Arch-vile and Baron of Hell and basically shoot from the doorway here.

 

Behind the red key door is a nasty cadre of hitscanners that force you to camp, lest you die, trouble being obviously that you'll run out of ammo at some point, so you'll have to rush in eventually, and um, yeah. Eventually, you reach a darkened room with the blue key and another huge trap, this one consisting of Barons of Hell and Mancubi. I initially groaned at what seemed like typical Metabolist excess before I spotted a Cyberdemon. At this point, it was just a matter of firing at the enemies farthest from him and closest to me, and the Barons then largely took care of the rest. Somewhat surprsing if not in retrospect was how the Barons took down the awkwardly-placed Cyberdemon, but it was a closed space and was probably best suited to that kind of infighting. Heading to the exit, you may see some Revenants, but you still don't get a plasma rifle or more bullets, and it's quite easy to avoid them so I didn't bother.

 

A Sam Woodman map that's actually enjoyable is quite a rare feat. Though I probably still prefer that Reverie map Smog if we're talking maps with similar combat styles, this was very good and definitely going in Wad Archeology probably about...now 8/10

 

 

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1 hour ago, LadyMistDragon said:

Toxic Waste Dump (2003) by Sam "Metabolist" Woodman (Eternity)

 

Sam Woodman's ... in-your-face combat approach has been praised perhaps to excess by some such as @MtPain27 

 

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What are you talking about? 

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Camp (2003) by Dan S. Hadley

 

Play Settings

Source port: dsda-doom, complevel 2

Difficulty: UV

 

An unconvincing doomcute facsimile of a summer camp with a total monster count of 7 Keens and no accessible exit. Even by the standards of this sort of thing it's amateurish, like the fact that the author apparently didn't know how to make doors (?) and just has you walk through door textures instead.

 

This is Hadley's only upload and my interpretation of the textfile is that he was probably a kid who just wanted to make a facsimile of his grandfather's Maine cabin in Doom. If you think of it like a Doom equivalent of the kind of crayon drawing a doting parent might hang on their fridge, it's sort of charming - especially the weird "moon" effect mentioned in brick's review. Still, it's about as useless a file as you could possibly create and one of those things that probably should have never made it to /idgames.

 

Grade: 1/10

 

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Trippy Skrill (2006) by Erik Lindahl

 

Play Settings

Source port: dsda-doom, complevel 2

Difficulty: UV

 

A blandly functional but never particularly enjoyable grey n' brown techbase that's about as far from the idea of "trippy" as you can get. Lindahl (whose sole contribution to Doom is this WAD) seems to understand the fundamentals of Doom level design pretty well - height and texture variation, monster and weapon progression, elevators out of soup pits, surprises when you double-back through a section you've already been in - which is all a damn sight better than most of the WADs we've played in these adventures (see: Camp). But here those fundamentals feel like mechanically ticking off a checkbox rather than a coherent or engaging vision. That's a rather fanciful way of saying it's no fun at all.

 

Grade: 3/10

 

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ANYNCE11.WAD (2006) by Owen Robertson

 

Play Settings

Source port: dsda-doom, complevel 3

Difficulty: UV

 

Just awful. I'm not totally sure if I got this to run correctly, since the readme says there should be original music and I got no music at all. But it's hard to say, because even the contemporary /idgames reviews note the large number of broken nodes, glitches, and nauseating Halls of Mirrors that plague every single room of this thing.

 

Even if you could ignore all that (and I promise you can't) this is still a hideous WAD with inscrutable progression and the sort of artless trolling you expect from a 16-year-old making his first WAD (that's not me being mean - that's exactly what the upload says this is.) The first room has a dozen Spider Masterminds chaingunning you under a falling ceiling - other reviews say that there's a way to escape it without idclip, but I was too busy dying and getting motion sick from the HoMs to notice it. From there it's long, brown corridors with a lot of Barons and a lot of platforming.

 

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Chess, Hades-style (1995) by Maciek "Octahedron The Unwise" Sakrejda

 

Play Settings

Source port: dsda-doom, complevel 3

Difficulty: UV

 

A big chess board where your side is all dead marines with weapons and items for you to grab, and the opposing side includes shotgunner pawns, Baron of Hell rooks, Cacodemon knights, etc. It's very easy to clear this room thanks to the infighting that Queen Spider and King Cyberdemon provide, at which point you then hop into a little green hallway to the exit. One of the oddest (and therefore most interesting) details to me is the use of a MIDI version of the Beatles' "I Saw You Standing There" and an animated Beatles texture in the exit hall; nobody loves The Lads more than me but I'm not sure what they have to do with chess. Anyway this is obviously pretty pointless but it's a cute concept and it's too short to be annoying, which puts it ahead of any other map in this post so far.

 

Grade: 4/10

 

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Paradice (2010) by UltimateLorenzo

 

Play Settings

Source port: gzdoom

Difficulty: UV

 

I don't have time to play a full megawad so I'm swapping out another random selection for Herian. /idgames brought me "Paradice", a big level apparently compiled out of five years' worth of WAD fragments assembled over the years by UltimateLorenzo, a Doom and Heretic mapper who contributed a total of 9 WADs to /idgames before disappearing from the world of Doom in 2015. Looking at his other WADS, Lorenzo seems to favor conversions (total or otherwise) and certainly the most interesting thing about Paradice is its use of other sounds and textures, including Doom 64's weapons and bestiary.

 

A jumbled-together pile of map pieces and graphics sounds pretty bad, but shockingly, I had fun with Paradice. I'm always a sucker for a little bit of environmental storytelling (like leaving a pretty impressive Doomcute spaceship before you enter the base) and the actual combat is fun even if the Doom 64 sprites don't really fit in with everything else. In short: it's not quite paradise, but it's close enough.

 

Grade: 6/10

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7 hours ago, MtPain27 said:

 

What are you talking about? 

 

I was being a little bit hyperbolic I suppose, but it was a just a way of saying you generally liked Sam Woodman maps. It was a little off-the-cuff admittedly.

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Day 5: Oreo Cake Massacre https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/m-o/ocm

 

"You will need a good video card because if not, you may not have a pleasurable experience playing the level." 

Yep.

 

"If you do not like slaughter levels, this one is certainly not for you."

Yep.

 

I've played probably 3 or 4 Timothy Brown WADs before, and they are all largely the same ordeal, some kind of food in the title, and some serious slaughter, but while his other maps contain a lot of enemies at once, none of them came anywhere close to the grand total of 25,000 enemies. So in regards to that, maybe you could argue I'm completely out of my depth to be talking about it when I only got about 2% of the way through, but I mean, slaughter is slaughter, the construction was pretty simple, you kill a bunch of enemies, push a button (I got pretty used to the game freezing every single time I did), the walls lower, and more enemies come in. I'm not particularly good at the game, so I didn't get that far, but I did manage to like what I saw, just not quite enough that I'd want to persevere to kill the 24,500 or so enemies I had yet to see. If you like Tim's usual mapping endeavours, then you should be happy with this, I sure wouldn't mind if a mapper I liked decide to release a level this long.

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3. ANYNCE11.wad by Owen Robertson

 

This is one of the most WTFtacular wads I've ever seen, and not in a good way.

 

I didn't experience as many HOMs as ICID did, possibly due to playing in GZDoom (software), but there were some here and there. What you'll see everywhere regardless are texture misalignments galore (Robertson didn't even try to align the teleport flats, and I'm pretty I remember doing this even in 1994 with DEU), very questionable texturing choices (check out that fireblu/crates mix!) and doors with a sky ceiling because why not. I tried capturing some of the more outrageous visuals but static screenshots don't do them justice. Even the MUS lump is buggy and will not play, GZDoom seems to notice something wrong with it and spits out an "invalid data in MIDI file" error. I spent some time trying to fix it before wondering why I was wasting time on this.

 

Right off the bat the map gives you all non-energy weapons and tons of ammo, which always makes me suspicious. As ICID mentioned the first obstacle is a huge room with lots of Spiders and a crushing ceiling, and yes it's possible to get out without cheating, though it took me a couple of reloads to figure it out. There's nothing clever about it, even after figuring it out I shook my head in disbelief (this was a recurring theme with the progression). Then there are barons, lots and lots and LOTS of them, though I dispatched most of them with the BFG (rockets did the trick until then). There are some cruel and frankly unfun traps, including several dead-man-walking situations (I wouldn't even dream of doing this saveless, or even with a single save slot), and some of the switches are hidden in truly bizarre ways (and some of these don't even seem to do anything). Eventually you reach a small chasm with the exit on the end side and several doors on the side, most inaccessible. The goal becomes to flip the switches one at a time to gain access to the next, until the last one opens the exit. At some point Robertson seems to have given up, as the last couple of switches have long corridors that are completely devoid of any things.

 

All in all the map really is quite awful. Some sections don't look bad at all, a few have reasonably fun gimmick (like hunting through the demon infested lava floor to hit the one switch while your radsuit ticks down) but these are few and filled in-between with horrible texture choices and tedious hordes of Barons. I really don't recommend this one.

 

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I wish I could, but there's no way I'll have time to play Herian within a week, so I'll have to unfortunately skip it.

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Month 10 Day 21

 

I play until I die or intentionally stop. I don't comment the wad where I died/stopped.

 

[1] Shalom, welcome or farewell? -- Doom ][ by Elliott Pacetti (1999)

 

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UAC Outpost Nine was invaded by alien lifeforms. A reconnaissance squad of ten was sent in to assess the situation and secure the outpost. The squad leader reported that the outpost personnel had been killed, and were perhaps cloned for alien soldiers. The last contact with the squad leader was a request for reinforcements -- losing assets fast! There was no contact with the squad leader for twenty-four hours. Since all divisions had been committed to the ongoing battle for the Earth, we turnd to you. Since you were stationed at HQ, we could only arm you with your sidearm. But hey, you're trained Marine, with combat experience -- besides, you've done nothing but bitch about your desk job. You've made it through the outpost entryway, and the Underhalls below. You even managed to escape from the solitary cell and ran the gauntlet to get out of that fortified prison. Now you near the command post at the very center of the outpost. You wonder what those evil monsters left there...

 

According to one of the idgames comments, Elliot made this level in 1995. It replaces Map 04 because it's the fourth map of an episode called "Shalom".

 

The adventure centers around a large circular room including thin walls in order to create layers. Low-tiers monsters guard the small base but a nasty arch-vile located at the centre of the room had to be killed. The surrounding pinkies protect him and the rocket launcher as well. I almost died in my playhtrough since I had 80hp but no armor.

 

Besides that, the level doesn't offer a fascinating adventure. You can access to an underground tunnel "thanks" to an annoying surprise lift or enter in a huge empty room.

 

Aesthetically , it looks average. It features a decent texturing but no outdoors to explore nor height variations.

 

Grade : C+

 

[2] Grande Coolness by The Dark Lord! (1998)

 

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MAP01 : GRANDE COOLNESS
This level is kinda big so DM ain't that cewl, but Co-op & single player are good playable!

 

The beginning of that map reminded me a lot of E2M9 "Fortress of Mistery" because you teleport first in a circular room with large monster closets containing each a baron of hell. Due to the lack of ammo, you escape the room by taking an another teleporter leading you to a place occupied by few cacodemons.

 

I want to warn people who may want testing Grande Coolness that this map is broken. As Memfis stated, the switch unlocking the red key is locked by... a door requring the red key. So idcliping is mandatory.

 

Besides the awful issue, this map has its qualities. Indeed, the author created numerous mini-areas which look like mini-levels. He mostly used teleporters but some of them require keys to be unlocked (the large nukage pool with the catwalks for instance). One of the mini-area consists to traverse a crampy red corridor filled with harmful liquid. You have to run and grab the medkits in order to regenerate your health.

 

I found the aesthetics rather pleasing . Some areas were more memorable than the others : the wide nukage pool I mentionned before and a strange staircase which combines tech textures and candelabras.

 

Items balance may get rough if you played like me. Most of the medkits are located in the first room housing a lot of barons. If you decide to not kill them , they will prevent you to go back by camping in front of the teleporter. I didn't find a lot of medkits in the whole map , except some stupidly placed stimpacks in the nukage (the medkits in the red damaging corridor don't count). Moreover, armor seems inexistent and at the end I didn't have enough ammo to kill the barons in the yellow-key room.

 

Anyway, it's a rather amusing (but broken) map.

 

Grade : B-

 

I died in a cruel speedmap from SargeBaldy Speedmapping Compilation #5

 

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15 hours ago, ICID said:

This is Hadley's only upload and my interpretation of the textfile is that he was probably a kid who just wanted to make a facsimile of his grandfather's Maine cabin in Doom. If you think of it like a Doom equivalent of the kind of crayon drawing a doting parent might hang on their fridge, it's sort of charming - especially the weird "moon" effect mentioned in brick's review. Still, it's about as useless a file as you could possibly create and one of those things that probably should have never made it to /idgames.

 

Grade: 1/10 

Oof you're a tough crowd! Also glad to see you back at playing :)

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11. Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions: Session 6-Various authors- 2014

 

This is Session 6 of the Abyssal speedmapping sessions, otherwise know by the acronym, ASS( According to the Doom wiki this acronym was completely unintentional, though I beg to differ) . ASS consists of each mapper having two hours to make a map ( three hours for Alfonzo), with additional time beforehand for music and texture selection and some time after the two given hours for bugfixing. Each ASS has a theme, this one being mappers having three dehacked monsters to choose from: Rocket zombie( self explanatory), Afrit (*sighs deeply*) and the Arachnophyte, a much weaker Spider demon that hovers. I played five out of the eleven maps, as the sixth map was severely unbalanced.

 

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 This mapset oozes quality. This is evident right from the start, with a really nice introductory map, if a bit simple. Highlights include jimmy's map 02 "J-Pad's Space Pad", Obsidian's map 03 "Angst" and Matt Tropiano's map05 " Never got a name for this one Matty boy". There are some really talented mappers and well known members of the community here: Tarnsman, Alfonzo, General Rainbow Bacon, just to name a few.

 

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Most, if not all of the maps I've played make good use of the given dehacked enemues. Putting rocket zombies in far corners so that they become more of a threat, Afrits being used as turrets, Arachnophytes playing something of a support role, etc. There enemies aren't used for show, rather they are used in a way that makes them a genuine threat.

 

 

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What we have here is a small mapset with some really talented mappers who are able to create some really great maps in two hours. I only hope to be able to map like these people one day.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

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Iz.wad (1996) - by Albert Clark (Eternity)

 

Funny story, I was convinced this was single-player for a second but I may have realized that I confused it with the next wad. Also, why would you anachronstically take your map from the nickname of a serial....eh that's bad taste.This is a set of 4 deathmatch maps, with the predominant theme being wood, wood, and wood with wood on top. If you don't see how this can get as bad as STARTAN....but these largely seems like maps that play well. Plenty of room to shoot at your opponents long range, plenty of spaces to hide, and also plenty of room. Ammo spawning seems weak though. Let's just say a few words about each of the maps since I think they deserve it though.

 

Map 01: I guess you could call this a sort of circular wooden fort, apart from the fact that what appears to be the central structure is actually not that central at all. I don't mind if said structure appears to be twisty, though. Does seem slightly confusing however. I like the nice use of lighting in the darkened tunnel just behind the Player 1 start though.

 

Map 02: Another brown map, though with that early Doom2 techbrown lighted texture instead of WOODXX. It almost looks like there could be a large outdooor area surrounding it, but it turns out that's just the southwest corner of the map. CEMENT prevails in other places, but the best room is the one with water leaking from the sides and chaingun sitting on top of rubble. Iconic...or it should be.

 

Map 03: Back to wood but with more Doom 1 tech stuff scattered throughout, a curious structure to the south which inside contains marble for some reason. I guess you could argue this is sort of an older house here. There's lots of other stuff that looks like it could be a house or castle, though the misshappen blue sector in the far south is just flat out ugly

 

Map 04: The most open map so far! Vines are in evidence here, but once again, brown Doom 1 textures and wood are most evident. An entirely open layout with less evidence of odd shapes, this seems like the best one so far! Though I want to know why there's a hell-ish room for no reason at all.

 

 

So, conclusion, this is largely a fine set of deathmatch maps. However, the monotonous color palette, large amount of misshapen areas, and general lack of ammo make it somewhat difficult to go too high Still, 6.5/10 is quite respectable score.

 

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5. Chess, Hades-style Maciek Sakrejda

Well this has certainly been an interesting week for... unusual wads.

The chess motif is completely incidental, it's really just a square arena with a bunch of baddies. I think the exit is behind a 666 tag so you need all the barons to die. I tried doing this on Nightmare as the txt recommends but the one time I made it past the 666 tag and the door a caco I didn't expect killed me very quickly. The difference between difficulty levels is quite big, Easy has armor and a BFG and even and invulnerability, Hard has none of these (and no health beyond what you start with) and more enemies. The random Beatles animated wall and the MIDI come completely out of left field but are a fun touch. It's another hard to judge wad, there's really very little to it but it's a fun concept and the lightheartedness is endearing.

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