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Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures #042

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51 minutes ago, AD_79 said:

 

Strange take. If I remember correctly, creators in the 90s would do this if there were no actual secrets to find in a map. This would prevent the secret tally from displaying "0%" at the end, as it would do that if there weren't any secrets. Even if this wasn't the case, outright refusing to play a map because it does this doesn't make sense to me.

 

It does to me. It's a lazy workaround that shows a lack of imagination and creativity. It guarantees a map not worth playing, and I cannot think of one single instance that even approached changing my mind to this regard.

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19 minutes ago, Thelokk said:

 

It does to me. It's a lazy workaround that shows a lack of imagination and creativity. It guarantees a map not worth playing, and I cannot think of one single instance that even approached changing my mind to this regard.

 

hmmm I don't think I find a lack of secrets in a map as a lazy and uncreative cop-out. Secrets aren't really essential to doom's gameplay as much as combat and level design is. You can have a map with a big ass beautiful encounter that's fun and also not have any secrets.

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Above and Below by Rob Berkowitz (1999)

Eternity / UV / 100% kills / 100% items / 100% secrets

 

The layout is a series of square rooms with an upper level and a lower level. The texturing is mostly monotonous marble alternating between two different variations. There is some lighting variation which keeps the map from looking absolutely hideous. While I thought the gameplay would be extremely boring due to the layout, the start of the map was actually quite fun. The limited armaments as well as the use of beefy monsters on the lower levels such as hell knights, barons, and demons actually made for some interesting pressure gameplay as you are encouraged to run away from one room into another due to the bulk, only to find you've woken up more high threat monsters like chaingunners or pain elementals as well as more bulk to push you around.

 

The gameplay becomes less enjoyable once you get through the initial pressure and the map turns into a series of pushing switches to raise various walkways and clean up. The walkway section does still contain gameplay and has several ambushes that if you were confined to the walkways (via something like the lower level being damaging floor or some such thing) would be engaging uses of barons, revenants and an archvile but sadly are not as the moment the monsters pose a threat you can drop down to the lower level to engage them from a better position.

 

As this is a map from 99 there is plenty of 90s design jank. The walkways being lifts is not conveyed as they use the same textures as everything else around them, the keys are hidden in "secrets" due to the choice of door texture for their rooms as well as the light levels said doors are located within. There is some platforming over inescapable pits. You know the drill.

 

Overall it was a fun little 10 minute side adventure and I am glad that I played it if nothing to experience that 90s charm.

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Honestly, it's not uncommon there's no secret in a 90s map. Some of the Master Levels also do this. I'm not saying who this is something important, but if a mapset is aiming for vanilla compatible, I do give comments about there's 0/0 secret because it seems this is one good way to "emulate" 90s feeling, heh.

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Lost Sanctum by @EANB Limit removing ports, Doom, SP, 2013, played with Eternity "forseti" 4.0.2

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A really impressive map based upon a modern take of original episode 4 maps (E4M1, E4M2, E4M3, and E4M8 in a way) all mixed in one lethal and awesome looking  map both in detail and gameplay department, maybe too hard in some parts for my tastes but still... a very great experience! Best from this session!

 

StoneHenj by William Green - Vanilla Heretic, DM, 1998, played with Zandronum 3.1 with bots

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A large and pretty square-ish arena with a basic design in the layout expect for the Stonehenge structure, it reminded me of a more raw E2M8. As boss arena and as deathmatch level is pretty much ok. I didn't hear the new music the author said that he put in this wad hearing only the default track, where is it? I have to open this on slade3.

 

BRUJO'S ARENA by Ric San Nicholas (a.k.a. brujo a.k.a. rooster) - Vanilla Doom 2, DM, 1996, played with Zandronum 3.1 with bots

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A level that at first i will gave it nothing by first looking, but instead is a pretty fun map! Not a good map by many standards, but a pretty fun map.

The layout is extremely simplistic, just a arena drowned in the dark with a central spot in the lower section with a toxic floor and BFG, the weapon placement is too overpowered for me and the SP placement is thought. Overall, a simple and fun map.

 

Ring Of Doom by Joe Sola [DaeDoLoN] - Vanilla Hexen, DM, 1995, played with Zandronum 3.1 with bots

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Did i just playing a deathmatch map for every ID Tech 1 game this evening? It's missing only Doom (well, for that I've played Lost Sanctum at first choice), Strife and HACX (maybe Chex Quest? There's any chex quest map in the archives?) for completing the ride! Anyway, a circular arena in the middle of a very deep that it will be better to play with human players instead of the kamikaze bots. Meh.

 

ALAIN.WAD by Alain ARRAULT Vanilla Doom, SP, 1994 but uploaded in 2004, played with Eternity "forseti" 4.0.2

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Last map of this evening and returning on square one with a Doom map! I think to have already seen this name been taken by another reviewer in a previous adventure, this is a 1994 abstract and with some trippy design choices (like strobing lights, weird cage triangular maze and other weird design choices) with the only strong points in the starting area and the map layout, based upon the Star of David and other Hebrew esoteric symbols (?), i saw a similar layout only on Return of Castle Wolfestein E1M9 (no, not the 2000s game, the 1994 Doom partial conversion episode), i like it! For all the rest, just a pretty generic map.

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Hell's Revenge by George Fiffy(1999)

 

I'm quite familiar with George's mapping stuff, I played his entries before, this one wasn't exception. It targets boom compatible port, fairly new port and format back to those days. It uses some boom features like deep water and there's more detailing - like arches that increases sector count compared to vanilla. There's big starvation of health, but if you play carefully there won't be any problem. Oh, it also comes with infopack - worth addition to check out, I can consider this a lost art of doom making. 

 

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Station Alpha Omega by Giac Veltri, released in 2000. Played with PrBoom+ on UV, it replaces MAP01 in DOOM 2.

Status: Completed

 

As the name implies, this map is set in a station. A dehacked file is also included which changes the door sounds, add part of the arch-vile attack sound effect to the flame barrel, a couple of textures and occasionally an ambient sound in a part of the level. There is no new music, instead the creator muted D_RUNNIN, so the map has no music whatsoever which adds to the atmosphere, so that was neat!

Unfortunately, my praise end there. Despite the lil extras here and there it's hard for me to call this a good map. It's not horrible by any mean but it's just "ok" at best.

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One of the earliest room with a neat little view into space.

 

The map is like 95% symmetrical, now I can "sorta" excuse it. While I know excessive symmetry isn't always a good thing this is not the reason why i'd call the map "ok". My problem is the symmetry extend also to encounters and sometimes even with ammo placement. Often though it's like copy/pasting except a texture will be on the north wall rather than the south wall.

Some examples:

 

- In the first screenshot, you fight 1 or 2 chaingunners and some sergeant with 2 extra chaingunners and 4 extra sergeants on higher ground and some nuke barrel  to the north. That room is connected to a storage room with a few more enemies and access to the ammos of the those aformentionned enemies on higher ground. That room comes back again later, same enemies, same storage room with maybe 1 or 2 crates moved, the nukage barrels are now south. (also one of the sergeant drop the yellow keycard, thats neat)

 

- There's a room with 4 sergeants and 1 mancubus, which is copy pasted, except the baron replace the mancubus.

 

- you go under the station, there's 3 doors. Left one has a caco with some imps, middle one is caco with ammos, right one is caco with same amount of imps. Both the left and right room lead into a room with 2 barons and 1 switch, except the switch is on the right wall in a room and on the left in the other.

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The underground area, I guess it's the maintenance area.

 

Rinse and repeat, and that's the map. Again, I'll accept a symmetrical map but when you mirror your encounters too is when i'm like "ok, more effort needed to be put there". It's cool it has some extra graphics, new sounds, a titlescreen and whatnot but do put more care in monsters placement, I shouldn't be able to guess what i'll fight after checking out one side of a room in each new areas. You could check it out if you wanna see that symmetry in action but it's not worth it.

Edited by Shanoa

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Let's see if I manage not to get dogpiled on by half of DW this time around.

 

Xenus:Lost Base by Alterworldruler (2006)

GZDoom / UV / 100% kills / 100% secrets

 

Endless STARTAN or variations thereof hallways, chock full of hitscanners and no armor in sight? check. Keyed doors containing a single 64X64 room with the next key inside? check. Forced pistoling for more than half the map? check. 

Yup, we're in deep 90s territory, except this is supposed to be 2006. It's one of those 1024 maps, the perennial gimmick that can make a level as easily as ruin it. The secret is not to overdo it, and this map clearly fails at it. With such little real estate, does it really make sense to have all three keys? No wonder most rooms are literally stamp sized. Combat is typical UD fare, a bunch of stuff in a line in front of you with the occasional (and unpegged) lowering wall revealing more stuff in a line, usually hitscanners. Oh, and you get to shotgun a baron at the very end. 

Some interesting ligthing work, but too little and way too late. 

 


 

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18 hours ago, Tarnsman said:

Above and Below by Rob Berkowitz (1999)

 

As this is a map from 99 there is plenty of 90s design jank.

This level first appeared as MAP26 of the fairly well known Realm of Chaos, which according to the wiki saw its first release in 1996. DocBob released his levels for that wad standalone with no changes three years later for some reason.

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Doomworld Speedmapping Compliation #18 (2001) by Various (Eternity)

 

Yet another speedmapping collection featuring at least a person or two who may not have mapped too much to begin with. Participants once again had 90 minutes to make a map. But this time, maps need a space station theme! Unfortunately, the vast majority of these maps are dull and not necessarily worth talking about, other than to say that they each have a certain uniqueness to them.

 

One might think Fredrik Johansson would turn out a map not much below the quality of his map for #16 but maybe he just had less time because he just takes a standard VRACK environment and copypastes this giant light source decoration everywhere while making combat that essentially is like something of a super-easy NoReason map. It's almost forward-looking in a way, but it's also really dumb.

 

BlackTerror actually improves on the other hand, although "improves" should really be considered a relative term, since the main room's shape is nonsensically sharp (shoutout to the the October Ironman!). The player start is a laughably-sloppy corner placing. SHAWN seems like the only texture used here and while the computer wall banks are kind of nice, you can cheese the enemies here. It would be really fun to speedrun still, especially if you wanted a UV max.

 

The fourth map then is probably the best one easily. The nonsensical fence at the beginning doesn't make sense, but then we get narrow space-station-esque corridors with brown linings, a maintenance tunnel, and most gloriously, masses of enemies around some more self-contained fences, along with a heliped to end the map. Although you probably wont' realize it until said exit is reached that the monsters past the helipad are 'window dressing.'

 

Opulent seems to have been a long-time veteran, but while his multiple-structure map is adequate (and cool 'opulent' helipad), it doesn't stand out and doesn't feel more enjoyable. Lastly, Sgt. Crispy's map could've been also great, with the sense of verticality and scale at the beginning. Unfortunately, the last bit degenerates into Sam Woodman-esque baron shotgunning that could be worst, but still should be noted.

 

5/10

 

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GATUY: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/g-i/gatuy

 

As it's a 1996 release, this might be one of the earliest depictions of doomcute, which appears in the form of sinks and toilets, which mappers have been strangely obsessed with ever since. Regardless, this is a well-crafted level, clearly a product of 90s mapping as even if it makes for a more convincing city than what id software created, Doom 2's influence is still apparent through elements of its visual design. Secondarily, there's the point that it's a product of 90s mapping on account of the fact the yellow key is hidden behind a cryptic secret in a nondescript wall that provides no indication to the player that they're meant to open it. Still, with that one point aside, it's smooth sailing from there on out, and its gameplay manages to be pretty varied and challenging for the time, with a heavy reliance on mancubi and revenants, and I can never say no to a map that knows how to use mancubi. It might be a little outdated in some aspects, but this is a fine level that's definitely worth your time. 7/10.

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Friggin Frags by David Tiemroth Vanilla Doom 2, DM, 1996, played with Zandronum 3.1 with bots

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A large (way too large) and almost empty arena with a not great thing placement with too many chainsaws on spawning spots. A very bland DM map.

 

HEXEN FRAG_YOU by David Davidson (aka DRILLER) Vanilla Hexen, DM, 1996, played with Zandronum 3.1 with bots

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A much more smaller map sets in this sewer structure, but unluckily is too cramped in spaces to be fully appreciable for my tastes.

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On 9/30/2022 at 11:59 PM, Walter confetti said:

 

ALAIN.WAD by Alain ARRAULT Vanilla Doom, SP, 1994 but uploaded in 2004, played with Eternity "forseti" 4.0.2

  Reveal hidden contents

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Last map of this evening and returning on square one with a Doom map! I think to have already seen this name been taken by another reviewer in a previous adventure, this is a 1994 abstract and with some trippy design choices (like strobing lights, weird cage triangular maze and other weird design choices) with the only strong points in the starting area and the map layout, based upon the Star of David and other Hebrew esoteric symbols (?), i saw a similar layout only on Return of Castle Wolfestein E1M9 (no, not the 2000s game, the 1994 Doom partial conversion episode), i like it! For all the rest, just a pretty generic map.

 

I already stumbled on Alain.wad, I really like to name your map with your real name.

 

Month 12 Day 16

 

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

 

[1] GAK1.WAD by GAK (1995)

 

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As my 1st attempt, very simple design... but fun nonetheless.

 

Pure garbage stuff where randomly textured rooms are linked with large featureless tunnels filled with harmless nukage. Gaz contains some cheesy sounds and I like the one when doomguy takes damage. It's a feminine voice who says "Internal damage" as if the doomguy wears a hi-tech suit as Gordon Freeman does.

 

[2] TiC's WAD Reviews #1-#20 by The Innocent Crew (1995)

 

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Here they are! The first 20 reviews of Doom, Doom 2 and Heretic WADs. All were posted to alt.games.doom and rec.games.computer.doom.playing, now you can download them here too.

Btw. there will be a WebSite with my reviews soon!

 

It's an unique file I got during month 03 day 01. I played some of wads they reviewed but from what I read, their comments tend to be too laconic and the lack of screenshots don't help imagining how the wads could look like.

 

[3] THEME17 for DCK v1.3 -- DCK.TS file by Ian Merrithew (1995)

 

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This file is the sprites file needed by DCK to display the things when in graphical display mode (hit 'T' when editing things). Putting this into your DCK directory (back up your original!) will save you the trouble of having to make it yourself by merging the THEME17.WAD file into your DOOM.WAD.

 

Totaly useless.

 

[4] I See You by Doug Carrigan (1995)

 

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Run and shoot with shotguns, or go for the big guns (no bfg). Problem is, everywhere you find a big gun there is a secret "one-way" wall. They can see you going for the gun, but you can't see them. You better be fast.

 

A sewers-themed deathmatch map I already visited during Month 9 day 31, I don't want to see you anymore.

 

[5] Hit it! Shoot it! Saw it! FRAG IT! by Michiel Rutting (1995)

 

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Deathmatch level designed for 3-4 players, but some testplayers thought it was also playable with only 2 players. Is it good? Well, we sure had fun testing it! The first test game lasted quite a while (2 of the 4 players over 100 frags). Textures etc. are aligned (this level is not one of those that consists of 4 rooms glued together with random textures on the walls). Furthermore: You won't find a plasma or BFG in here, my friends and I prefer conventional weapons. :) The rest of the weapons are available as well as a soul sphere, an armor and some extra ammo and goodies. My recommendation is that this level be played at alt-death (respawning weapons) because the amount and placement of weapons comes out best in that mode. If you have any comment or find any bugs please send mail to the e-mail adress 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!

 

A monotextured brown base which doesn't look so bad thanks to some incorporated architecture elements. You can recognize the triangular staircase from Doom map 01 for instance. I also like the curvy ones located indoors. You can explore nukage-filled canals in the lower parts of the map because liquid doesn't deal damage.

 

[6] RunDown.WAD by Stewart Presley (1994)

 

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This was going to be one of those abondoned run down buildings in the middle of nowhere scenarios...but I decided not to do that. This level plays well as a small and challenging single player level and wonderful as a DeathMatch Level with sniper points and the like. It's still a building in the middle of nowhere but...lets just say it's owners still live there and enjoy sacrificing to their Gods.

 

A strangely to not say uglily built mansion populated by 29 monsters and haunted by lots of lost souls. The authors used strange materials : the outdoor walls are made of brown rocks , while the indoors have crampy wooden corridors and rooms made of bricks. It's not the kind of house I want to live in.

 

About the gameplay, I strongly advice you to enter in the building as soon as possible because most of the supplies are stored inside. If you try to kill the enemies located at outdoors first, you're likely to waste your ammo and not be able to defeat the teleporting lost souls.

 

Not a sensational map , but I always enjoy "myhouse" kind of wads. Also, Rundown is both designed for deathmatch and singleplayer mode.

 

Grade : C (From a singleplayer perspective)

 

[7] DETHMZE2.WAD BY Brian Jackey (1994)

 

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THIS IS A *MINOR* BUG-FIX FOR DETHMAZE.WAD Welcome to the future of combat training: The Holodome. Since long before the colozination of planetary moons, Earth's finest military have been trained here. With the ability to create any environment, situation, dream, or battle, the Holodome has tested every Marine currently on earth. The failure of this final test is much worse than non-admittance to the ranks of marines: failure inevitably means death. Today is your chance to graduate from simple grunt forces to acceptance as a full marine. Your Test: Journey through the dethmaze in search of the Blue keycard, which grants you the only door from the Holodome... But beware! With luck, you will only be up against computer-generated aliens, souls, ect. But if Lady Luck has thrown you to the wolves, you'll find your selflocked in a maze with only one other,a thinking, fighting grunt like yourself, aimed on destroying anyone or anything in his path to becoming a marine! Your only hope of surviving this is the destruction of your counterpart! You stand at the edge of the pit to the Holodome with a shotgun found in your current room. with a box of shells. Now only YOU control your fate, my friend!

 

It's quite impressing how 90's mappers managed to write a story on a bland map which consists of a flat maze made of bricks. 

 

Despite being designed for deathmatch, DETHMZE2 can be played in singleplayer mode. Indeed, your mission is to penetrate a huge mazy dungeon populated by demons and a cyber which guards the blue key. He's stuck in its room and therefore he can't chase you. It's disappointing, it could have been a good cat and mouse scenario.

 

This map doesn't pose any problem if you keep your ammo for the cyberdemon, otherwise you'll have to bypass him and it's easier said than done.

 

Grade : C-

 

I stop here for today.

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