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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Fragport

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Posted (edited)



What is the DWmegawad Club?

This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.


Can I join?

Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.


What levels am I allowed to post about?

Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it’s the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.


Do I have to post an entry every day?

Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.


When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?

Voting begins on the 25th of the current month. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example:


+++ Ultimate Doom


Note that you can vote for up to three separate nominations in a single month, and every wad must contain at least three maps each. The winning nomination must receive at least four votes for a thread to be made. Ties will be decided by RNG.




Everybody has to start somewhere, and in the case of The Ultimate DooMer, what a somewhere it is! Fragport is a 2001 megawad with semi-realistic environments and seamless transitions from the end of one map to the start of the next. Expect some mazes, big boxy rooms, and the occasional gimmick in this classic adventure!



MAP01 - “Desert Prison”

MAP02 - “Labour Mines”

MAP03 - “Durncrag Mines”

MAP04 - “Mining Colony”

MAP05 - “Durncrag Town”

MAP06 - “Ironclad”

MAP07 - “Remote Island”

MAP08 - “Barren Shores

MAP09 - “Volcano Valley”

MAP10 - “Military Base”

MAP11 - “Military Bunker”

MAP12 - “City Sewers”

MAP13 - “Pipe Factory”

MAP14 - “Urban Wasteland”

MAP15 - “Freight Depot”


MAP31 - “The Void”

MAP32 - “Crystal Maze”


MAP16 - “City Centre”

MAP17 - “Laser Quest”

MAP18 - “Northgate”

MAP19 - “Dockside”

MAP20 - “Spaceport”

MAP21 - “Spaceborne”

MAP22 - “Tech City”

MAP23 - “Monad”

MAP24 - “Balanced Chaos”

MAP25 - “Arena: 11”

MAP26 - “Arena: 16”

MAP27 - “Arena: 18”

MAP28 - “Sub-Level 05”

MAP29 - “Reactor Core”

MAP30 - “Escape!”





kmxexii reviews

Midi Pack Download




The DWmegawad Club Metathread















Edited by dobu gabu maru

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Posted (edited)

Yay Fragport ! Count me in for another month ! I played this wad years ago so I have troubled memories about it but I remember enjoyed for its realistic and adventurous tone.


So, here are my rules for playing :


- I play on ultra-violence

- I record my videos on pistol start after playing the maps on continuous mode.

- I play on DOSBOX , except if technical issues prevent me to do it.

- I can't stand Doom 2 soundtrack, so I will use ".MID the way id did" midi pack for this wad.

- I will try to find the secrets as much as possible.

- I play without saves, except if the map is too extreme to be played saveless 




Map 01 "Desert Prison"




So, we start this megawad among extremly open environnements and quite a lot of areas to explore such as prison cells, dormitory rooms or a small warehouse. For a opening map, "Desert Prison" features an elaborate progression with 3 keys to find in three distinct buildings. Of course, you'll quickly notice that green replaced yellow concerning the keys color scheme.


The first map also introduces other assets I really liked in Fragport such as words written on buildings in order to clarify their purpose or small vanilla tricks like the transparent door at the very beginning map whereas it generates small visual glitch. Also, this map contains many abnormally asleep enemies but I don't think it was intentional contrary to Requiem's map 02 for instance.


At last, the desertic theme is another thing I remembered the most in Fragport. I don't consider "Desert Prison" as visually pretty but it matches so well with the ochre traditonal sky which had been slightly modified in Fraport.


Fragport has a really cool introduction map which also perfectly fits with the tempo of the custom midi !


Grade : B+




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Posted (edited)

Part of me is a bit surprised that Fragport actually got voted into the month, but a pleasant one for me.

I'll be going into this WAD fully aware im biased from nostalgia. Fragport was one of the first non-commercial WADs i played as a kid and was actually an inspirational set for my very early years of doom mapping. The basic but pseudo realistic settings were something that interested me and made this a fun WAD to replay. My standards were very easy to impress back then but im sure this replay will prove to still be decently entertaining.


Map01: Desert Prison - UV, FDWL, Continuous

K: 98 | I: 0 | S:66

This map for some reason always stayed in my head, and was a map i could mostly recreate from memory despite not playing it for likely over a decade. Something about the design of the simplistic prison box, or the text-labelled buildings, or the (at-the-time) unusual see-through doors just stuck with me.  That being said this map displays what can be summed up as early 2000 abstract doomcute. There are jail cells furnished with toilets and beds, an execution center for the troublemakers, and a barracks with tvs and bunks. Its all done in very minimalist blocky fashion but still gets the intended design across. For the most part the map is visually unremarkable but considering the time it gets the job done well I feel; a dusty old prison out in the middle of nowhere.


The map on UV holds little progressive punches, introducing a swarm of chaingunners and a revenant before you even leave the jail cells, and most high tier foes aside from bosses by the time you escape. Combat is not hard given how much empty space is presented, but for a map01 this wasn't exactly a cakewalk either. One thing that also stuck with me from this mapset was a rather strong connection to a level narrative, with map starts and ends often connecting or blending together.

A memorable map for me, but one that i could see being off-putting having replayed 23 years after its creation.


Map01 - duh


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Woof!, -cl2, UV, pistol-start with saves, I've played MAP01 before, everything else is blind.

I'm also using the midi pack, which replaces stock Doom 2 soundtrack with midi versions of rock songs and changes the status bar picture to a bandana-wearing badass. This gives Fragport an old-school action movie feel which seems to fit it well.


MAP01: Desert Prison

The protagonist finds himself behind bars with a handgun and 50 bullets, obtained apparently after tricking a guard. Shoot at the red button to begin your prison escape. You can release your fellow inmates, especially a shotgunner, as there are chaingunners guarding the exit and I don't recommend fighting them with just a pistol. With basic weapons, you can now leave the prison block and enter a courtyard outside. It's a hectic fight, with snipers on the walls and tanky monsters on the ground. Clearing them out is a bit of a chore and it's easily my least favourite part of the map. 


Once the courtyard is secured, grab the red key and visit a series of buildings in search of the blue key. The action winds down here, but you can see Clark's vintage attempts at realism: an execution chamber with crushers, imp barracks with an AV room and finally a warehouse. The storage building contains the super shotgun and the blue key, picking it up releases hell on the courtyard, but with a double-barrel and a rocket launcher on the walls it isn't that hard to deal with. Climb the walls to open the gate and get out.


Desert Prison is a fine opener, with a decent combat and environmental details that sets it apart from abstract maps that are a norm in Doom wads. I'm curious about the rest of the set.

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I *checks wad library* don’t think I’ve played this one before. In fact, I think I’ve only ever played two maps by The Ultimate Doomer; City Heat and Void Base from DMP2015. Should be fun, I won’t say no to new material from any year.


I’ll stick with the rules I’ve been using. GZDoom, two playthroughs, UV, all kills, try for all secrets, saveless unless I can’t realistically beat it without saves.


I think I’ll also use a midi pack here, which I’ll decide on later. By the looks of it no midis are replaced and I’ll pass on listening to the Doom II soundtrack all month.


Map01 “Desert Prison”


Let’s start this one up and… Omigod its adorable!


We begin in a prison cell, number seven by the looks of it, at the corner of a cell block. The other six cells have some items and/or enemies (which might not open properly) and there are four guards (chaingunners) chumming it up at a desk by the stairs leading out. Apparently these guards didn't hear the sounds of gunfire or the prison bars opening? Must be on loan from SPECTRE. Anyway, this area is loaded with doomcute, toilets, beds, the desk, and even cell numbers. I also like how the stairs lead upward into sunlight, which adds legitimacy to the setup.


Come outside and we find ourselves in a no-frills desert encampment. It’s walled. It’s spartan. The buildings are locked and labeled. Good stuff. We go through the red door first and take out a revenant and a couple guards overlooking some caged (captured?) imps. Don’t shoot them! They’re scheduled for execution… Didn’t you read the sign? Of course, because this is Doom rather than rescuing them we get to sadistically perform the execution ourselves. Does this count as cute? I think it does.


The sense of place detailing continues with the barracks (love the little bedside skulls) and the storage area. The switch here clearly sounds the alarm because a bunch of mid-tiers marshal outside, which can cause problems if you dally in leaving the building. Once they’re dead get on the walls, grab the rocket launcher (that’s your RL sound replacement?) and run around to the other side of the gatehouse to open the bars and leave.


That was fun. A good first impression. For a map that isn’t actually all that detailed, it succeeds at presenting the desert military outpost setting well enough. We also have some new sound effects and that nifty fireball lighting effect I've always associated with Epic 2. I'm with Celestin, definitely interested in seeing where The Ultimate Doomer is going with this.

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As last time, I'm going to be going as far as I can recording my blind runs as demos. I'm not going for the best time, just trying to beat the level. If the wad gets tough enough I'll switch over to doing a blind run with saves, and then recording a single segment demo afterwards. If it gets crushingly difficult, I'll abandon doing single segments entirely. That didn't happen last month, so I hope it doesn't happen here.

I'll be playing on ultra-violence, with pistol starts. I'll be using complevel 2 in DSDA-Doom with the software renderer.

I've never played Fragport before, but I have heard of the author. So these will be blind runs initially.

The text file states there are some alternative levels. Map07 and Map15 apparently have a "better" version, presumably for limit-removing ports. If someone has more information about what the requirements are for these levels it would be appreciated. I'll also be using the pistol-start-friendly patch for maps 29 and 30, and the Fragport midi pack by P41R47.

MAP01 - “Desert Prison”
dsda-doom v0.25.6 cl2, UV, Pistol start, blind run, single segment
100% kills and secrets

You start out imprisoned with a dead guard just outside the bars. Presumably we stole his pistol. You have to punch the red button (that looks like some sort of light) with the pistol to open the cell. Once you get out you can just punch them with your fists, but be careful. In my first attempt, I punched the button for the cell with the backpack with the chainsaw and broke it. It worked fine in my next attempt (which is what the demo is of).

You come out into some sort of prison yard with an armory, barracks, and an execution room. Amusingly they are actually labeled in game. You just have to go from one to the next while grabbing keys. There isn't anything particularly difficult, but the arch-vile hidden behind a crate could catch some people unaware. I lucked out and saw him before meeting him, so I was prepared.

I did end up executing the prisoners in the execution room with my weapons, and not the crusher. I did somehow fail to read the sign. But hey, my way was more fun I think.

I like the open nature of this level, but it is a bit linear due to the key hunt. It was definitely more exciting than I was expecting for a first map. The only detailing is some doom-cute, but the sense of place is still pretty strong.

Grade: C

MAP01 - 10:17.31 (10:17)  K: 92/92  I: 1/1  S: 3/3


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Oh hey, this finally won! And I didn't have to vote on it either! Cool! I haven't done a DWMC in a minute, but this was one I campaigned for a bit, so I'll probably take part this month. I'll do the first 2 maps tomorrow, and like DFF, this was one of the first PWADs I ever played, back in like '05, so I'm looking forward to revisiting. May add Corruption Cards to it to make it more interesting. Looking forward to seeing everyone's thoughts and to see if it holds up 20 years later.

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Posted (edited)

Well, this was an unexpected turn. I was all set to play PRCP2, but only when I feel like it because let's just say I need more of a break from Plutonia-esque stuff than 6 months, so I guess I've got to do this! As usual, I'll be playing on UV, pistol-starting and recording demos when I can but with zero hesitation to rewind because I can't be bothered to play through an entire map more than once and on the From Doom with Love source port!


Map 01: Desert Prison


Stephen "T3h All-tuh-meet- Dummer" Clark is a mapper with a seriously mixed record in the early days. But in 2001, two megawads were released by newcomers that both contained a strong sense of place, Revolution! by future Plutonia contributor Thomas van der Velden (and will actually be covered in a future podcast I'm on, look for it to drop next week!) and FRAGport, made by a mapper that would soon prove himself to be someone who was willing to try all different sorts of things, as his two maps in the first Community Chest would most unfortunately and near-disastardly demonstrate (the voodoo doll placement in the former especially is pretty damn close to some Kaizo level of design fuckery). Is there any of that here? I'm told by those in the know that it's largely absent, so I guess that's sort of a good thing. 


But anyway, we start in a cell with seemingly no guards and several imprisoned demons whilst T!N!T! - Dy-no-mite plays in the background. No original midis were composed for this project, sorry and I have neither the time nor the inclination to look up why that is right now. I think the locked-up demons are just here for decoration but it got me thinking on what exactly they'd done to get a time-out. But in any case, supplies are in all the cells for some reason, but that's reason enough to break in. We end up taking a shotgun from a sergeant and a backpack from another cell. After handling a quad of chaingunners and shockingly taking zero damage, we take a chaingun and then proceed to exit....and come out into a rather hairy situation!


See, there are some scattered Revenants on the ramparts, each accompanied by a small group of Imps. There's also a Cacodemon or two around just in case we were foolish enough to take some chances by trying to stunlock a Revenant from 40 feet above.  Taking the time to chaingun them isn't either good for our health nor for our ammo supply, so we wander into the larger courtyard for a few minutes and find ourselves confronted in the distance by an Arachnotron on a fountain and a Hell Knight 'hanging' around near the red key. After some more wandering, it becomes clear the key is needed, so we run around the hell knight to pick it up, then duck inside the barracks to enter the most impressively Doomcute area of the map! Ammo clips are sitting on the bedposts along with other supplies, with the lit skull being a clear sign as revealing the way to a secret, in this case, a little closet containing a green armor! On a bedpost in the far room is the green key! First we've got to chew our way through quite a few Imps in some rather cramped space. Needless to say, we're glad we didn't waste our time with the Revenants, which is a sort of common mistake I've seen in streams of this game (shooting vertically at enemies in areas that might be successful later) and that we were able to pick up some bulle boxes earlier!


The blue key opens the "execution" chamber, where some rebellious Imps that probably took too much PCP or refused to kill helpless humans or whatever have been placed in a crusher because this is totally a 'backwards' Third World country the prison is located in. No the demons did not set this up, that gives them far too much credit! Anyway, pick the blue key up here, head into the blue door and a claustrophobic storage area where we have a number of options including chainsawing to fight off the Imps, the chaingunners, and the Revenant here! A differently-marked crate marks a secret, an SS is finally acquired and the Arch-vile sticking out is easily spotted. Yes, Steve is quite bold but maybe not bold enough.


No matter, press the switch here and we can now access the ramparts.....along with opening a massive trap involving Hell Knights, Revenants, and Mancubi. We trigger some infighting, get the Arachnotron in the plaza to infight with a distant Revenant, but wait until everything is dead. All the remaining 4 Hell Knights go down with a single SS blast!


Ascending the ramparts, we run into surprise Barons of Hell in both of the towers. One is guarding some.....rockets right after picking up a rocket launcher, and the other is guarding a pair of (now useless) medkits, and a switch which opens the gate of the prison. We go through, towards a cave, and the catchy riffage of possibly Jimi Hendrix's greatest hit "Fire" starts blaring through our speakers.


This is definitely an excellent introduction to Fragport, more impressive than that train map that begats Revolution! Although I'm not sure Stephen has figured out fine-tuned monster placement at this stage, it's actually quite bold of him to make a map like this that may or may not be the first he saw fit to release publically! The SFX replacements aren't half-bad I suppose with the chaingun sound managing to come across as particularly chunky, although the shotgun's more of a mixed bag.


Edited by LadyMistDragon : typo

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Posted (edited)

Oh cool, another on my to-play list wins. I tend to like TUD's level design but balk at some of his pet tricks (those unmentionable voodoo dolls...), it'll be interesting to see how I feel about this wad. Naturally I will feel compelled to vote to play the sequels in April.

I'm playing with 2 additions: the widescreen status bar by @NightFright and the MIDI Pack by @P41R47 to avoid hearing all the default iwad music. I must say the MIDI pack seems to fits the action and mood of each level perfectly. I would've liked to ask P41R47 if there's a preferred soundfont for the pack but I don't think he's been online in a long time. I'm also not sure if I should play this in software or hardware, I initially had it on software but saw some odd glitches in MAP02, and there's a lump for OpenGL definitions in the wad, so I might go with hardware for now.


GZDoom, Doom compat, hardware, HNTR, blind, continuous with saves.


MAP01 - “Desert Prison”

Right off the bat we have some doomcute and the action picks up immediately: there's a series of cells with one enemy and one item in each, starting with a zombie with a clip and ending with a revenant guarding a green armour. Most of the heavies are already introduced later in the map (including an archvile), but combat is fun without being overwhelming on HNTR thanks to the placement and composition. The prison complex is small but looks the part, with the cell block, barracks and the interactive execution chamber (TUD mentions liking Quake 2, the chamber definitely reminded me of that game). Getting the keys in quick succession goes well, then it's off to the battlements to open the exit. There are quite a few ambushes (including the instant-floor-raise trick) around the map, I admit the baron guarding the RL took me completely by surprise. Running out of the complex and into the open is a nice feeling. Off to a good start.


MAP02 - “Labour Mines”

Immediately on starting I was reminded that the levels leading into each other is a thing in this wad. It's done pretty well, not just in terms of the levels seeming linked but also in terms of creating some non-verbal storytelling at each map. I liked the mines a bit less, there are a lot of closets opening behind you but they got predictable quickly, and the symmetry and general look of the mines is not terribly interesting. Still there are some nice tricks, the use of deep water to simulate crouching through watery passages is very cool, and the valley of fire looks imposing with simple detailing.

Edited by brick : Fixed credit for wide stbar, thanks to Gez for the correction.

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Map 02 : "Labour Mines"




If you were traumatized by the crampy monster-filled levels from Hell Revealed 2 or similar, you'll probably dislike that one. Indeed, you have to go through a narrow network of dark caverns in the shape of a grid. I don't think the second map was harder than the previous one, but you can quickly be in trouble if you miss critical weapons such as the super shotgun located at one of the dead ends of the mine. In my video, I had to kill the surprise vile near the yellow key with my single-barrel shotgun. Fortunately, several monsters have eyesight problems and can't attack me so the bug reduces a bit the difficulty of this map.


As other participants stated, the author incorporated some deep water effects which contribute to make the environments more credible and therefore immersive. However, most of the map looks samey and blank and it didn't please me as much as the first map.

Grade : C+




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3 hours ago, brick said:

the widescreen status bar by @Gez

I don't remember making one. I know @NightFright made one, among the collection here, maybe that's what you meant?

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Posted (edited)

MAP 01 – Desert Prison

DSDA-Doom v0.24.3, UV, Pistol start, blind run w/saves


In this interesting opener the playing character, the top marine Jody Russell a.k.a. “Kill Crazy”, must escape from a prison block in the middle of the desert. His aircraft was shot down and he was captured by the hellspawn, obviously responsible for the invasion of Fragport, the remote city where he had been sent to investigate. While he was waiting for execution, he caught the opportunity to snap a guard’s neck and break free, armed only with a pistol and his natural fondness for killing.



The first thing that struck me was that the map was packed with way more monsters than needed. There was plenty of ammo to comfortably kill everything, but even the four Chaingunner wardens felt excessive, let alone the guards patrolling the outer walls and populating the barracks. Clearing the whole place was time-consuming with basic weapons. The ‘revolutionary ALPHABET texture’ was showcased in the cell wing and on nameplates that identified the function of each building, elevating them from square blocks to semi-realistic structures. The RK allowed to access the executions house, offering the fun option to crush unruly Imps in a gruesome press and the GK (Green Keycard) as a reward, another feature of this megaWAD.



The barracks were full of Doomcute beds with lovely skull cabinets to check for ammo, the BK, and a secret medikit that I really needed thanks to my sloppy play. The storage was a super-cramped combat space, holding a few enemies hiding behind crates, and a switch guarded by an Arch-Vile. Instead of opening the way out of this place, it raised stairs to climb on the perimeter wall and summoned a mob of mid-tiers in the courtyard. Once on the wall, I found the rocket launcher and two Medikits protected by pop-up Barons of Hell, but it took me a full recheck of the ramparts to find the switch that opened the main gate. Desert Prison presented the megaWAD in an excellent way, showing both its positive features (realistic design, sense of place, engine tricks, new sounds and textures) and its shortcomings (boxy structures, monster overload, excessive length), all offspring of its author’s ambitious mindset.

Edited by Book Lord

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This month I have way less free time but I had such a good experience playing along with the rest of the forum warriors I'm gonna do my best to participate again. Fragport is bound to be a bit more together, anyway.

I learned from the textfile my name is Jody this time so I'm imagining this is a more femme version of doomhuman for this multiversal excursion. Jody's hobby is killing shit, I also learned, so at least some things never change. Since Jody likes killing I suppose we'll do more of the same, get at least all kills wherever possible, try to not let the game devolve into rewinds/reloads/testing busted doom contraptions. If I can protect a little bit of muh immersion I'll go for it. I'll endeavour to post footage but at least a textual impression as I go as time allows. I'll definitely read and watch all your reports, though! 

Fragport Map01 - Desert Prison

Sense of place. Our chopper got shot down by demonz and they took us to this prison cell, we apparently broke a former human's neck and stole their gun so we shootswitch our way out of here. Already a little bit from the text file a little bit with doomcute, we are establishing some layout rationality instead of full on abstraction from the mapper. Let's see how a commitment to more naturalist and human-manufactured topography is going to serve them!

Breaking out of prison wasn't easy, I had to chainsaw a revenant! Blood soaked and desperate, we get ambushed by the guard reinforcements. Some chaingunners that heard all the commotion down the way from the cells. Now I have a machinegun, ho ho ho. 

We exit the prison to find we are in the internal courtyard of the archetypal mycastle.wad. There's been very many variants of this layout, as usual we have to clear out some middle space, snipe off annoying hitscan from the wall, navigate some homing missiles. All this is well done and simple enough, good for a map01. I am enjoying being in a map where seemingly nothing is broken, no doom machinery to pussyfoot around. 

With the red key found on the bloody planks of the baron executioner's altar we breach his building, appropriately named Executions. In there some naughty demons are in cages waiting for their time to come. This storytelling stuff is cute, let's see if the mapper will retain their sense of humor and playful quality of this is going to evolve-devolve into just serious no frills doom time. I can only hope it gets whackier.

Executions hides the beautifully recolored green key! What exciting radical departures we are already getting in this set. You can do some titular executing if you want to operate doomcute machines in here, but I found the bullet and shell method works as well.

With green key we enter the barracks, complete with doomcute bunkers for the demons and the only health secret I could organically find. This is more - simple but effective - dungeon ecology stuff, to use the Gygaxian term. These justifications for what the demons are doing here and how open up more questions that the answer and sometimes in destabilizing ways for the Doom fiction at hand, but it's all a bit of fun in the end. Suffice to say doom cannot look or feel like quake 2 or half-life 1 just by sectoring in some beds for demons to sleep on, but this is in no way a criticism that the sector beds shouldn't be there. I accept and love this as it is, but I can also see the conceptual limitations of the approach in this case.

Green key begat blue key and blue key allows us to enter a cramped storage room, our Time to Crate (tm) was about 7 minutes but if you speedrun you can get your Time to Crate drastically down to what, 20-30 seconds? A worthwhile venture. The door-key stuff is rote but it's a good introduction to what's going to be going on and the enemy compositions to expect. As we exit the doorhunt structures and back in the courtyard we get the glut the demonic force of the level. It's a fun, short fight. I am sure things will get much more difficult.

We make it up to the parapets as we always must and clear out the stragglers, inoffensive adventure, fairly solidly designed and paced. I like the narratively interesting level exit, I like the attempt at storytelling but without sacrificing simple arcadey time-honoured doom gameplay. 

I see an interest in revenants, I bet that's going to develop as we go. I didn't stick around to get all the secrets because I'm not going to try continuous anything for this one. footage

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This wad I was planning on playing soon anyway so this came at the right time

Played on dsda cl2 with midipack


Decent opener in a prison area I think? Kinda clunky but not bad.

Map02 after map01 continuesly into the mines. Neat environments especially the lava ravine at the end. Had to switch to software because of a few rendering homs. Much to my 120 fov in hardware rendering chagrin.


First 2 maps are ok but nothing special

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Posted (edited)

MAP 02 – Labour Mines

DSDA-Doom v0.24.3, UV, Continuous, blind run w/saves


You’d better be a big fan of ROCK5 texture since good old Wolfenstein 3D to enjoy the visuals of Labour Mines. Irregular brown stone hallways and corridors were today’s specialty, combined with a gameplay design that I found aggravating in some places. The closets at the mine entrance surprised me well, the Hell Knights in particular, then the progression allowed to choose between two separate branches, identified by Shaft A and Shaft B. I did not like how those imperfect multi-floor elevators interfered with combat, especially when I descended for the first time and learnt how they worked. Missing the heavy weapons caused unnecessary hardship, for example having to kill the RK Arch-Vile with the chaingun and hope he would not revive the Mancubus. My instinctive reaction to the Revenant closet was to move back into Shaft B, thus being forced to manage the skeletons while they moved up and down the lift. What a bore(hole)!



Shaft A offered a Berserk Pack, the rocket launcher, and a secret ammo stash that I missed. It also contained a narrow tunnel leading to a steep staircase, possibly emulating a ladder, and to the red door. The second tunnel network was populated by Spectres and included both a supply depot and a first-aid room. Ammo was everywhere and seemed a bit excessive for the opposition, even though I liked the Cacodemon and Revenant double closet by the GK.



The locked door opened on a claustrophobic, meandering tunnel with deep water and a few doors with health, then it made way for a lava chasm that must be crossed to reach the exit. The large ambush at the BK might be skipped due to the small triggering line, but it was not a problem since the monsters took care of themselves. I was almost killed by the Hell Knights alerted after raising the bridge from the control room, since they shot from behind invisible walls and caught me unawares. Not very fair, if you ask me. There was a Megasphere to collect from the nearby river, but I failed to check that section. Labour Mines was more about hard labour than challenge, it had its share of entertaining moments, but I did not like the monotone colours and the confusing shaft elevators. Deep water was a good addition, though something was lost in translation to DSDA-Doom (see screenshot). All things considered, this was a worse entry than MAP01.

Edited by Book Lord

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MAP02: Labour Mines


The second map starts where the first one ended, in front of a cave with a prison behind. A sense of continuity is a rarity in Doom and I appreciate the effort. Sadly, there aren't many positives I see in Labour Mines. First of all, it looks bad, with monotonous textures and corridors that feel copy-pasted. The only interesting things are tunnels utilising deep water effects and the giant chasm at the end.


Similarly, the combat feels bland, with a mixture of corridor shooting, dark halls with spectres and a handful of more open rooms that turn into infight parties by themselves. Also, hell knights behind fake walls that fire at you after raising the bridge to the exit. Just stupid.


MAP02 is a disappointment, feeling much less developed than the opening level.

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Map02: Labour Mines - UV, FDWL, Continuous

K: 98 | I: 66 | S:66

I decided to add Midi the way ID did 2 to the mix, i wanted a substitutional pack and this was a great suggestion from the other commenters.

The labour mines provides some staunch and slightly claustrophobic rat fights in the tunnels, with several flooded mine shafts to swim through and deep bored elevators to descend on. Another simplistic map, with majority of what you see being tan rock and wood support beams, but the idea of this being some sort of slave project using the prison labour is a nice connection. The rough hewn tunnels provide a good amount of room, and the only times I felt trapped or claustrophobic was when i got stuck in bad spots during traps or the long water tunnel. The map moves from manmade tunnels to a deeper, larger crevice; with more freeform and likely natural tunnels aside from the command station. I think for the level of visual detail this WAD goes for, this was a well detailed map and doesn't look overly or under detailed. The map makes good use of natural elements and lighting effects to denote deeper sections of the tunnels and camps, as well as rock segmentations to give a carved appearance.

The difficulty from pistol start (due to adding the midi) was very rough, but manageable. What seemed like an abundance of ammo in places proved to be well balanced aswell, with the supply stations acting as a respite before delving deeper into the tunnels, which often lack much other than some health. The only major gripe with this map is that backtracking is a pain, and those shaft elevators could maybe have a shorter delay. MAP01 was probably a better setpiece map but this was fairly enjoyable all things considered. The later mine levels were a bit more memorable from what i recall but they all kinda melded into one segment for me, we shall see in the next few days how they stack up.





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11 hours ago, Gez said:

I don't remember making one. I know @NightFright made one, among the collection here, maybe that's what you meant?

My bad, thanks for the correction!


2 hours ago, Book Lord said:

Deep water was a good addition, though something was lost in translation to DSDA-Doom (see screenshot). All things considered, this was a worse entry than MAP01.

I think the deep water glitching is a general software renderer issue, even GZDoom's (which IIRC works differently from vanilla's and DSDA-Doom's) displayed this problem. It's one of the reasons I ended up switching to the hardware renderer, which I otherwise never use for older wads like this. The text file makes me suspect TUD did a lot of his testing with Legacy and its OpenGL renderer, where these issues wouldn't appear.

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MAP02 - “Labour Mines”
dsda-doom v0.25.6 cl2, UV, Pistol start, blind run, single segment
100% kills and secrets

So you leave the prison, only to have to escape into some hell-infested mines. Your first obstacle is a massive locked door... which you can get around by just using a small cave to either side. It seems just a little bit silly, but you're quickly past it.

If you want decent weapons, you'll have to scrounge around the mine shafts to find them. They are hidden at the ends of various blind tunnels. You have to take lifts that have exits at various levels to reach them. I'm not a huge fan of these lifts, since actually getting into the mid levels can sometimes be tricky and dangerous.

The tunnels themselves are very nicely done. You don't have any perfectly straight walls here. It really adds to the feeling that you're actually in a mine somewhere. The tunnels themselves are still perfectly straight though. They are pretty easy to navigate. This is not a maze. Some of the tunnels are also flooding, making a very nice use of the deep water effect.

You're first job is to grab the red key, which allows you access to the back part of the mines. In this area you'll find some rooms with plenty of ammo and health to keep you for the rest of the level. There's another small fight for the yellow key, and going through the yellow key door you will find a huge chasm filled with lava. The map layout here reminds me a bit of the old 2d dwarf fortress, although that game came well after this map.

Grabbing the last key opens up a trap that is the most fun fight of the level. A mixed assortment of mid-tier monsters will appear once you touch the key. They have a habit of infighting each other, and you should have enough rockets to make quick work of everything.

The last switch opens up a precarious ledge across the lava. I didn't fall off of it, but it would be easy to do if you get in a rush. The level ends with a tunnel heading into the unknown.

This is a nice mine level. Presumably falling into the chasm would kill you, but that's something that's easily predictable. The secrets are well hidden, and I actually had to look one up (the one in the flooded tunnel).

Grade: C

MAP02 - 19:46.89 (19:46)  K: 108/108  I: 3/3  S: 3/3


Edited by Ralgor : getting details confused between different mine maps

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Map02 “Labour Mines”


Dust off your CQC skills for this foray, which takes you on a claustrophobic tour of a mining operation assuredly conducted via slave labour.


At the start we get our first instance of one of this wad’s calling cards, beginning a level at the exit area of the prior one. You can see the camp you escaped from behind you, and it even has the labels on the buildings. You can’t enter it though, there’s an invisible barrier (I’d have just closed the gate). Heading into the cave we see a chainsaw and a locked entrance, but there’s a way in to the sides (what's the point of this door?). Use the chainsaw on the private security to get a chaingun and begin our incursion.


We have two shafts to explore, A and B, with B (right shaft) the one I’d recommend first. It has the SSG, a green armor, and the red key needed to continue the level. There’s an archvile ambush at the key which is a pain if he revives the mancubus but if you’re quick you can pin him in his closet, neutralizing the encounter. Watch out for revenants at the top and get the backpack, berserk, and RL from shaft A, which also has the passageway to the red door. While the deep water effect is notable, I don’t really like this area. The lift times are long and I had to wait multiple times for them to rise/lower to explore all the side areas.


Now on the other side of the bars, head south to find the green key, grabbing resources in the side rooms along the way. It’s at this point the underdetailing starts sticking out to me. It feels like I’m playing Wolfenstein with all the symmetry and abundance of right angles. The green key is found in a watery cave and taking it triggers a rev/caco ambush and opens up another group of revenants back in the orthogazone. I’ve got a funny feeling I’m in for a lot of skeletons this month, there have now been three cramped rev ambushes and a number of singleton encounters in a map that clocks in at 108 enemies.


After the green door, wade through more deep water to come upon a massive lava canyon that would disappoint me if it wasn’t inescapable. We need to find our way across so ignore the snipers for now and head south to the blue key. Taking it opens up an obvious trap, though with more room (and the megasphere secret) it’s not a problem. The blue key takes you to a switch that raises a walkway across and also opens up this weird fake wall hell knight ambush that leaves me scratching my head. Take out the snipers now and traverse the lava chasm to leave.


I don’t mind Labour Mines, but it lacks the charm of Desert Prison. I was going to disparage the texture use and boring design but Ralgor makes a good point that the mine tunnels are not smooth, which helps offset the wolfensteinness. Besides… it’s a mine, they’re not known for glitz. The combat is ok, I’m down for intimate encounters, but there aren’t any moments of note. The best part of the map is probably at the end, the chasm looks impressive and the blue key ambush is relieving after fighting in confined spaces the whole level.

Edited by Veeda Vidlak

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I believe the very first Doom mod I played that wasn't the level my dad made in the 90s was Super Sonic Doom, which was literally my dream mod. I remember thinking back in middle school that it would be awesome to combine Doom and Sonic into something, and that WAD was exactly that. I don't remember how I found it, but I loved it, even if there were some bugs in it like HOMs and an area I couldn't go past cause of bugs. Because I loved it so much, I decided to play more stuff that author did, so I downloaded Fragport, probably off his own website. I really liked the more realistic areas of this WAD as opposed to the abstract theming of the IWADs. I didn't like it as much as Super Sonic Doom (I mean, there's no Sonic elements so that's already knocking points off it). I knew this never won a Cacoward or anything, so I had always wondered how it was received. I also have always wondered if it holds up to modern design. This being a 2001 WAD means we've had 20 years since of more refined map sets. I'm not sure if people had really been able to finetune their maps as well back then. So does this WAD manage to do that? We'll see. Also, the thing I remember the most about this WAD is how big and brown it is. There's a lot of big areas with brown textures and not a ton of enemies. But I know I had fun with this back then, and I had started a Corruption Cards playthrough on my laptop last year, but only made it to map 18 before getting distracted by new stuff. Gonna keep this playthrough normal tho.



Map 01: Desert Prison

Kills and Secrets: 100%

Time: 10:21

Deaths: 1


I've always liked this opener. You've been imprisoned and now it's time to escape! Immediately, we get a sense of Stephen Clark's sense of realistic environments, as we have prison cells, barracks, a storage area, and the execution chambers. The detailing is light and nowhere near as impressive as the Doomcute of now, but it's enough where you can easily tell what everything is supposed to be. Each prison cell has some solid goodies to start your journey, and a very early rev to shotgun/chaingun to death. Getting outside gives you a surprisingly hot start, as the compound walls have chaingunners, imps, and revs taking pot shots at you, while pinkies and cacos approach you on the ground. A hell knight guards the red key up on the firing wall. There's not a ton of health here, but there's a lot of bullet and shell boxes to help out. The storage area nets you the SSG, but this is a very cramped area, and you have to take out 2 revs before getting to the SSG, and an archie guarding a switch. My death occurred here by getting hit by a rev missile after taking out the archie. Back outside, there's a rev, knight, and manc security detail waiting for you to prevent your escape to the walls. The walls have a RL and some barons, but it's not really a threat. After opening the gate, you can escape to the mines.


Overall, a strong opening level! Surprisingly tough, with a nice amount of charm to it. Also, the yellow key is now green for some reason.


Map 02: Labour Mines

Kills and Secrets: 100%

Time: 13:34


Idk how often these early megaWADs were designed with continuous play in mind, but Stephen gives the player a chainsaw right at the beginning of each level. I'm sure nowadays most people would prefer a berserk, or even nothing, but it's a nice gesture. We're heading into some british mines (basing this on the spelling of labour), and things get cramped. This map really shows how often this WAD is just BROWN. It makes sense since we're underground in caves, but it's only going to continue after we escape to the surface. Since we're in caves, the room to maneuver is pretty small. These passageways are pretty narrow and the wooden support beams placed periodically make things a little more obtrusive. Doesn't help that there's several rev ambushes that you can't really dodge easily. You get a decent amount of rockets in the map, but the narrow quarters make face rockets more likely. There's even an unfair archie when you grab the red key, since there's no spot to break line of sight, so you have to hope he flinches or gets distracted by reviving the manc. The other 2 key ambushes are easier, as you get put into big empty rooms that open up more when the demons show up, allowing for easy infighting. My favorite part is toward the end when it opens up a little bit, revealing a ravine. Looks pretty nice. 


Overall, I do think this is one of the weaker maps in the entire WAD. At least we get rid of it pretty quickly into the WAD. The crampedness of the map makes fights awkward. I do think Stephen improves on the mines concept in Super Sonic Doom's Nautical Mines Zone, though it's still one of my least favorite zones in that WAD. There's more water effects, usable turrets, proximity mines, and a better design, but it's still just as cramped for the most part. 

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MAP 03 – Durncrag Mines

DSDA-Doom v0.24.3, UV, Continuous, blind run w/saves


In the second mine level of Fragport, the shaded ROCK5 texture was swapped for the brighter ROCK4 for not much of a change. Durncrag Mines was set in a broader tunnel network used for rail transport, even though no train or wagon could be found. The SHAWN2 rails looked bad, as they were too tall and too shiny for a mining environment, but at least they did not hinder actor movement or cinematic effects set up by The Ultimate Doomer. Combat in the tunnels was rather boring, with a lot of meat appearing in front of the SSG, interrupted only by the water-filled antrum to the west, where a Baron and some Cacodemons were ready to infight. The Berserk pack was on a secret sector that I could not score, and the visible switch was only one of the three seemingly purposeless triggers I must find in the various branches of the mine.



A large cavern opened at the centre of the level and allowed for the easy slaughtering of a Mancubi squad. To the left, an inescapable pit with a switch on the other side; to the right, stairs led to the ‘Foreman’ cabin locked with the RK. The exploration of the northern rail network should lead to the key ambush, a replica of the BK set piece of MAP02, and to two more switches, one close to a secret Blur Sphere I did not uncover, and the other near to an exit that was blocked by a supposed cave-in. Fragport was conceived as a realistic experience, and still I was hunting for switches to raise the water level and cross a narrow river, just to press another switch that lowered the first step of a staircase, too high for the top marine Jody Russell to climb. Please suspend your disbelief before you proceed.



The level gimmick continued by gradually filling the central cavern with water, flooding the previous sections that slowly became unreachable. The player should resist the temptation to drop down when fighting the Cacodemons released after picking up the GK, or he will be trapped there forever. To leave Durncrag Mines, Kill Crazy must press switches to fill the cavern with water until he reached the highest tunnel in sight. The buttons were buried in meandering tunnels with Lost Souls and Revenants; moreover, two Arch-Viles tried to surprise the marine on the way back to the cavern. The green door appeared at some point, and it contained another Arch-Vile and the BK, required to open the storage, gain some ammo and leave the map. It was a bit weird that a detour in a seemingly optional warehouse was essential for the water to raise at the required level, but the water gradually rising inside the winding tunnel was a nice effect that added fake urgency to the last section. The water rising mechanism was fascinating, but some steps were clunky, and they could not redeem the map from its dull combat action.

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Map 03 : "Durncrag Mines"




From all the levels I played from Fragport, Durncrag Mines figure among the ones I remember the most thanks to its gimmick I never seen in a Doom map : You're continuing progressing in the network of tunnels and you have to escape before the water rises and floods the whole area. There is no timer or something like that which could kill you if you don't escape not quick enough but rather an ingenious way to create an evolutive layout, taking in account Fragport was designed for vanilla.


Notwithstanding the memorable gimmick, Map 03 shares some of the characteristics of Map 02 with a lot of corridors which look samey and enemies placed in your way you mostly have to get rid of with the SSG. In brief, nothing really elaborate on that side. However, map 03 benefits from a larger layout and more pronunced height variations which are highlighted by the rising water. And damn, those rails are THICK.


In conclusion, I think Durncrag Mines is a fabulous mix of realism and adventure, although the combat remains very mundane.


Grade : A-



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Map 02 - Labour Mines 

As has been mentioned, there is much to appreciate about the exits / starts of the maps having some continuity. However as will I think become a theme in this set it is not always apparent you're about to exit the map because the exits are diegetic like this. Which means I leave monsters alive behind me, but since the exits are like this I take it as a sign that I should let go of my completionism ideas and just have a natural time through the levels. If you can exit a map blind by mistake, the map wants you to 100% in at a latter point anway.

The labour mines aren't the most amazing level, they're slowed down by dead end corridors with necessary guns hidden behind slow and clunky lift accesses that provide the kind of tactical challenges lifts usually provide in Doom. Not the fastest or most interesting way to play to go up a lift waiting for the split-second that three chaingunners are in view to do some mutual perforation. 

However there is an SSG and rocket launcher in those dead ends so it pays to be thorough with resource gathering. Once I had guns I didn't go looking for any other secrets too hard. I think I got 1 from the 3 naturally.

There's a place some hell knights shoot at you from behind some solid walls. The worst TNT trope of all, that of the false wall seems to have been a big inspiration. We had similar woes with 1KILL TNG. Easily the worst part of an otherwise well made if conservative layout. The second lowlight is this part of the mines where you have to SSG 8 spectres just set on ambush in different, dark junctions. We blast some cacos and mancs guarding extra ammo and health down the central east mines and carry on to the southern end of the mining complex.

This is where they have the prisoners working, I suppose. Now what on earth are spectres doing mining down here (I imagine them chomping on the walls with their stupid torso faces) I think we'll never find out. Their archvile foreman is also down here ready to zap anyone who no longer feels like taking bites out of rock wall in the service of satan. I don't know, dudes.

The environment is chunky in a good way, the mapper has a great idea about how fat and significant wood beams / supports should be, how to do interesting low poly doom walls and spaces without going crazy with brushwork. it gives the space this cohesive and thick feeling carapace where the shape of doomhuman Jody is considered in relation to the gameplay spaces. Compared to 1KILL TNG we did last month I feel much more that the mapper spent time in these maps and help movement too, not just to make the spaces realistic. 

There is a silly baron to fight down the narrowest of water flooded corridors, I wouldn't have done that, but also if it's the only such baron door, it's fine, everybody gets to do it once.

I quite enjoyed the experience of being in this place more than I enjoyed methodically taking care of the encounters. By virtue of this being a dungeon crawl of a map, it's slower and less exciting than the opening map. But it's not bad. I had good time! At least it culminates in a rounded mine room where revenants, manubi, cacos and such all flood in to have a nice infighting disco at the end. footage


Map 03 - Durncrag Mines 

From one mine to the next!

In this one we're introduced to some tram tracks (quite tall and chonky in fact). What were they supposed to transfer, from where and to where and for what purpose? Even having a couple of questions like that in the mind spices up the pinky dispatch sent to greet you. I see a revenant while holding the standard issue shotgun and I am lamenting not going continuous through this obviously very designed for continuous experience map set. Ah, I never pick the right thing for the experience! Oh well. Down the train tracks we go, dispatching mid-tier with the gentleman's shottie.

We do get a free RL to deal with some mancubi at the opening of the train tracks, though. I do some sick dodging for 2 seconds in my footage, felt really pro. Then immediately I get blasted by the next volley of manc fireballs twice, so I guess not. I miraculously make it out alive, note that there's an inaccessible staircase here and carry on down the mineshaft north. The mineshaft north collapses to block me and then releases some nobility and manc from behind. I should use rockets but I single barrel everything down to save my ammo stash. It's a bit hairy but I counterattack successfully. This is a good feeling, back against the wall on a collapsed mine shaft, pushing overwhelming odds. And then 2-3 chaingunners make the turn and I swear I love it when old-ass doom maps create these scenarios of, like, You just rocketed 6 nobles and two mancs at a mineshaft corner, as you're taking a breath, naturally, 3 chaingunners make the turn coming from a further away part of the map to you. Other engines have to spend time to expensively script little events like this but a good mapper gets them for free by making a layout monsters can walk over and placing them smartly.

We carry on down the reverse shaft, clearing out chaingunners and, now, arachnotrons until we make it to the end of the tracks, conspicuously nothing is there, no discarded tram, no idea what was getting pushed back and forth.

Increasingly down there in the mines you find yourself tracing water corridors to switches that make the water rise. The feeling of claustrophobia is there, I made a note in my footage that I found it affective! More affective experientially than almost anything in 1KILL TNG for example. We are truly in a different decade, people have played different games and are coming back to Doom.

Nonetheless, in essence this is just some rocky mineshafts and some mild encounters for a couple of maps straight. Hopefully the mapper is just building up steam. This is a much better mines level than 02 though.

I have a goth little dance to Fields of the Nephilim down there in the watery, flickery round rock room, it's a good time. I am probably the first doomperson to dance around in that virtual space, I might be the last.

Helping the water rise grants access to the other side of the softlock ravine where the final switch allows us to finally climb the wooden stairs we noted at the start of the map. At the top of the stairs is the foreman wooden box house. He doesn't get any windows. It turns out Archie the foreman was in the middle of a meeting with one of his baron mine managers and all I brought to the party was rockets. Oh well.

At the side of the foreman room is a very narrow shaft that makes another narrow shaft drop when you walk through it and another one will drop if you walk through the last one etc etc. Boring and slow, and I do some super stupid shit down here: at around 13:00 in my footage I try to line up some RL shots from within the curved, narrow shaft and of course autoaim gives me a few degrees to the left once, twice, three times I rocket myself and somehow survive to exit this map. Absolute nonsense, like I knew the moment I pressed 5 that it wasn't going to go well :P

More archvile surprises happen when you go from emerging mineshaft to mineshaft. There's going to be a lot of archie and a lot of revenant in this set. FINE. To punctuate my disagreeable attitude, I pump 5 (!) SSG blasts into one of them and then three pistol shots pew pew pew for the kill. For the next one I just sit in the middle of the room and gamble with my lucky SSG, it works out. I will stop pressing my luck soon, I know it. My luck will be pressed for me, soon. I know it. This is going to get devilish hard later, I feel it.

The way back through narrow tunnels shows why the tunnels had to be so narrow I think. On your way back you cross linedefs opposite side and raise the water. For the machinery to walk you have to cross all the linedefs once and if you skip anything it would be bad. Stuff you wouldn't think about unless you map yourself.

I quite enjoyed this map, got all secrets though not all kills. Much better than the first mine map, and on the whole on an upwards trajectory as a set! Enjoying myself so far. footage

Now time to see all your runs and demos so far!

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MAP03: Durncrag Mines


Another subterranean level, Durncrag Mines improves MAP02's concept in every regard. Sure, it's still brown as hell, but at least there are gray tracks on the ground and blue water of an underground lake. It actually plays a crucial point here, as the further you progress, the higher it raises, cutting off the previously visited areas. The very final stretch, a narrow tunnel with water gradually rising with an exit in the distance, is feels especially tense, even though you are in no danger.


Combat is also way better here. Early on you have a ton of weak enemies to kill and The Smashing Pumpkin's rocking track makes you feel like an action movie hero. I made an awful mistake early on and didn't spot a super shotgun - it's in a chamber to the left from the starting tunnel and it blends right into the surroundings. It turned later sections, especially archvile encounters and a horde of revenants that appears after you find the blue key, into a tedious task, but would be a breeze with an SSG in hand. Also, be careful with a flooded pit next to foreman's office. You can get soft-locked here, as for some reason stairs up disappear at one point. I forgot to save at all and, to avoid starting from the beginning, I had to IDCLIP my way out.


Still, I greatly enjoyed MAP03. It's a fun and creative level, bringing Fragport back on track after a previous forgettable map.

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Map03 “Durncrag Mines”


More mines, but this one is better than the last. The layout and combat are largely the same, but Durncrag Mines includes a memorable gimmick that will ensure I remember this map years from now.


Coming out of map02 we find ourselves in the transport tunnels of another mining operation, presumably owned by whoever Durncrag is, and need to find our way out. This endeavor looks like it has a higher budget… the tunnels are smoother, wider, and have a rail system to transport materials through. The start is a standard SSG corridor crawl against revenants and the like, though there is a somewhat interesting watery cavern along the way with a chaingun and berserk (and a switch you should hit now). I also have to say the rails are preposterously large, what absurd demonic vehicle is being serviced here?


Eventually we come upon a large excavation with a bunch of mancubi, possibly a nerve center for Durncrag’s enterprise given the foreman’s cabin overlooking the place. We need to reach the switch across the gap to access the upper level. To do so we continue exploring the railways, hitting a total of three switches, one of which was in the earlier cavern. These switches do not raise a walkway, rather they seem to control floodgates somewhere given that pressing them raises the river in the gap, allowing you to cross.


After ascending the steps look down to see the water is continuing to rise, now starting to inundate the railway tunnels. It would appear messing with the hydraulic systems has resulted in uncontrolled water release, which from this point forward will slowly submerge the level. This is superb immersion (teehee), giving the impression the mines are flooding and you need to get out of there (roleplaywise at least, you aren’t actually under any pressure to move quickly).  The only other time I’ve seen anything like this was in Pinchy’s Alfonzone, which had a level with gradually rising damaging liquid that absolutely did require the player to hurry.


After killing the foreman (baron), we move through some thin crevasses with switches, all while the water continues to rise. Eventually we can enter a hallway leading to a supplies depot, and a small room with the blue key. Taking said key results in a large revenant ambush back in the hallway, which is probably the most dangerous fight of the level given they can cut off your escape route. That’s essentially it, the remainder of the map is taking the path through the blue door back to the foreman cave, where the water is now high enough for you to take the tunnel to freedom. I’d question why we didn’t just stay here and wait, but I’m too busy liking the concept to complain.


I like this one a fair bit more than Labour Mines, atmosphere adds a lot to maps with resting heart rate combat. The rising water gives this outing a sense of adventure, and gets the megawad momentum leading into map04.

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Map 03: Durncrag Mines

Kills and Secrets: 100%

Time: 12:51


We're halfway through the mines, we just need to finish this map to return to the surface. We're at the point of the mines were tram tracks are being implemented, and man these things are THICC. It makes dodging rev missiles wonky, and sometimes it's hard to grab the ammo on the sides of the tracks. The main aspect of this map is to raise the water level in order to get out. You'd think you can just go out one of the floor-level tunnels, but the one that actually leads into the next level collapses as you approach it. At least there's a switch there. The switches help initially raise the water level, then crossing over some linedefs will continue that as you reach higher areas. There's more open areas as opposed to the last mines map, like the first switch in the water with cacos and a baron, and the main mine hub with the high upper level. There's still some tight corridors, but other than 1 rev ambush, it's mostly pinkies, imps, and chaingunners to deal with, making the combat a little less frustrating. The red key fight is a carbon copy of one of the key fights of the last map: key in big empty room, grab key, room opens up more with monsters, circle-strafe to encourage in-fighting. The biggest threat in this map are the 3 archies, since once again, there's not really cover to break line of sight with them. You might be able to hide behind the Foreman's office to take out the first 2, but the one behind the green door is a lot harder to take care of. The water level is rising much more now, but it's still all linedef controlled, so you're in no danger of drowning or anything. 


Overall, this one is much better than the last mines map. More open, fights not as restrained, cool water rising gimmick. Pretty solid, if not overly exciting. The next map brings us back outside to the first map that really emphasizes those maps that have a huge scale, but maybe not that much going on. Still like it tho

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For the longest time I dismissed Fragport as just a deathmatch or other multiplayer wad, due to its misleading name. I'll have to try this someday as it sounds like its my kind of wad, but im swamped already. Never even managed to finish CC2 in January, or in February for example.

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MAP03 - “Durncrag Mines”
dsda-doom v0.25.6 cl2, UV, Pistol start, blind run, single segment
100% kills and secrets


Out of one mine, into another. This time the mine has a rail track going through it. The rails are comically tall, and it really affects your ability to dodge in the tunnels. I'd rather have the more cramped but rail-less variety. I think the weird size of the rails is the only major problem with this map, but it's very annoying since it causes dodging across them to feel floaty.

There are a few surprise arch-viles, and they can definitely get you, but you also have plenty of room to hide. There's plenty of health and ammo around. The fight around the red key is probably the most exciting part of the level. The hell knights and mancubi will fight each other, and you can just stand in the tunnel and rocket the rest down. The blue key will throw a bunch of revenants at you, but you can use the curvature of the mine to deal with them. Overall I'd say the combat is fairly dull.

It is possible to soft-lock yourself in a couple places, but it's usually pretty obvious that will be the outcome.

This mine will slowly fill with water as you progress through the level. It's a really neat effect and bit of storytelling. It adds a sense of urgency to your crawl through the mine, especially toward the end. Unfortunately this is the only interesting thing about this level. The only downside is it makes it impossible to backtrack and grab anything you missed. Because of that my demo is actually my second run through the level. The first time I managed to get all of the kills, but not all of the secrets.

In my previous write-up for MAP02, I actually got the blue key ambush confused with the red key ambush from the this level. They are so similar my mind just fused them together. It was only when writing about this level that I realized my mistake. If this wad keeps reusing fights like that it's going to bring down my opinion of it.


Grade: C


MAP03 - 12:04.54 (12:04)  K: 104/104  I: 2/2  S: 3/3


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GZDoom, Doom compat, software, HNTR, blind, continuous with saves.


MAP03 - “Durncrag Mines”
Right away the mines look a bit more interesting with the tracks and wider tunnels. The farther I got into the map, the more I liked it. The beginning is not too interesting (that huge underground lake with the secret berserk looks strange though), until I saw a bit of sky at the north end of a tunnel, outside at last? Unforunately not, the tunnel caves in and forces me to backtrack and look for a way out. Crossing an underwater river and going up the stairs to the foreman's cabin (TUD mentions making an Alphabet texture; it's pretty cool how much he does with it using offsets to create a big variety of signs), I see another northern tunnel. Maybe it leads out too, but this one is too high to reach. In the next part of the map, linedefs and switches keep raising the water level, until this tunnel becomes accessible, and it's very cool watching the entire bottom part of the map slowly get flooded. I admit I even got worried at one point, going through a narrow tunnel with a low ceiling, watching the water rise and wondering if it was going to get too high. The cinematic feel of the map is really remarkable for something meant to run on doom2.exe. Great map, even more so when remembering that this was so early in TUD's mapmaking.


MAP04 - “Mining Colony”
Back outside. The sense of continuity is great, with the tracks coming out of the collapsed tunnel ending in a little mining town taken over and destroyed by the enemy. The keys are scattered around, as are the switches that need them. The green key is guarded by a Spider in the ruins of what looks like a fort, but she's easy to deal with since the stone ruins do a good job of blocking most of her fire. There are 3 little pressure plates scattered around, and setting on each opens a secret (the blur sphere makes the Spider even more trivial), they're hard to see but are visible on the automap. Short and quick-playing map


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