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OliveTree

i played hell revealed for the the first time the other day and am kind of obsessed with it

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I finally managed to beat Hell Revealed on UV (continuous gameplay with saves) and my big beef with it is that a lot of it is utterly in love with the super shotgun with an unhealthy degree. So many maps devolve in circling around in rooms shooting enemies slowly until they die. But it also shows some glimpses of very advanced Doom mapping that still would hold up today, with maps like Resistance is Futile, Post Mortem and Dead Progressive still being good to play today. I'm not in love with Afterlife's gameplay, but the visuals were wickedly unique for a 1997 map.

 

Some maps come close to being classics, like Last Look at Eden, City in the Clouds, Hard Attack, but each of these maps love to stack you against impossible odds without giving you the equipment to make the fights fun or palatable.

 

The other big problem with Hell Revealed is its Baron of Hell overuse. They almost single-handedly ruin levels like The Path and Black Towers, where the game feels like it wants you to slowly super shotgun hordes of barons one at a time, bringing some levels down to a glacial pace. The best parts of the WAD are the moments where it allows you to go loose and blast everything away at your own discretion, like the maps I first name dropped and levels like Mostly Harmful.

 

As for the intro maps, they're inoffensive enough for me. I do like that the WAD that has the legacy of being amidst the earliest ultra hard level packs ever made gives you some free time to stomp the enemies helplessly and make you feel powerful for a moment.

 

I say the WAD aged somewhat poorly, but it is still an important piece of history. It has a unique look and identity which did inspire many copycats. The only maps I feel are unredeemable in the set are The Descent (boring gimmick coupled with the ugliest and most boring rooms and visuals of the whole WAD) and Hell Revealed, which likely will forever be the worst icon of sin map ever made. Did we really need a quad spawn cube shooter to close out the game?

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9 hours ago, Grain of Salt said:

HR is good!!!!

 

 

Funnily enough, iirc in the first ever demo pack for HR2, in one of the text files the runner said something like "this is nothing like HR anyway, HR didn't have blocks of homogeneous monsters" :3

 

That said, I like both HR1 and HR2. I think they're both mixed bags, but they both have many fun maps and instances of clear innovation. They have completely different styles, and I guess a lot of people that like one are likely to dislike the other (you're not really going to get much power metal 2000s proto-slaughter in HR1, and similarly you're not going to get many plutonia-but-harder quasi-set-pieces in HR2). Both of them often have a kind of "have prior knowledge or die" approach that was common in older games (imo) but isn't very popular these days.

 

I do think that HR2 shouldn't really have been called HR2, and, like you say, only Donner and Niv could make a real sequel. I think this custom we have in the doom community of making "sequels" to things we weren't involved with is tiresome. At best it's mislabeling wads that should be seen on their own merits (HR2, Plutonia 2) and at worst it's just grabbing a popular name to artificially generate interest. If you're making a tribute wad just call it Hell Reviled or Protonia or something. Back To Salad Eggs. Eeveeternity. Tsundere.

 

Anyway here's a list of HR1 and 2 maps I like.
 

  Hide contents

 

HR MAP01 Something about a gateway -- I just like this map because it's small and cute tbh.

HR MAP15 Gates to Hell -- Great layout premise imo. I like how it makes you fight a redundant amount of cybers.

HR MAP17 Black Towers -- I think this is kind of like a prototypical Kama Sutra level.

HR MAP18 Hard Attack -- Weird set pieces and rev spam, what more could you want.

HR MAP19 Everything Dies -- I really like the "series of set pieces and you don't get any health/ammo refreshments after the start" concept.

HR MAP22 Resistance is Futile -- Just a straightforward fun map. Grab the BFG, shoot stuff with it, dodge the seas of rockets and AV fire that will come your way.

HR MAP24 Post Mortem -- Kinda self-explanatory. It is post mortem, map24 of hell revealed.

HR MAP25 Dead Progressive -- Possibly my favorite HR map. I just don't like the silly things you have to do to get weapons at the start.

 

HR2 MAP01 Ignition -- Just a fun map you can play a variety of ways depending how you're feeling.

HR2 MAP04 Reluctant Pain -- Possibly the epitome of the small mean Jonas Feragen maps?

HR2 MAP09 The Siege 2 -- yeah!!!!!!!

HR2 MAP15 The Path 2 -- Again, the weapons situation at the start is a bit annoying, but I think overall this level is like a large, fun, evil pie.

HR2 MAP18 Excess Meat -- The cyberdemon set piece at the end is classic.

HR2 MAP19 Mind Trap -- Similar to map15 in how it presents a bunch of ways to go and resists being unraveled, and probably just kills you when you get to a sudden archvile appearance. The 3d bridge stack is really cool.

HR2 MAP23 When the Heavens Fall -- I think this map is pretty ugly tbh. However, gameplay wise it's pretty fun to blast through.

HR2 MAP24 The Inmost Dens 3 -- This is a weird level, but I like it. The end room kind of sums up what I don't like about 2000s hard doom maps, though. How do I beat this tough cyber arrangement? Find the secret invuln.

HR2 MAP28 Beyond The Sea -- Bizarre map tbh. Tons of opposition, no plasma weapons. But because of this it has a unique forbidding atmosphere imo. Kinda wish it wasn't so brightly lit, though.

HR2 MAP29 Hell's Cauldron -- Again, relatively uncomplicated blasting fun. With some traps that will basically kill you without prior knowledge. Oh well.

HR2 MAP32 Playground -- Try to shoot all the monsters. AVs will probably kill you. Try shooting the monsters again.

 

 

Damn, no afterlife appreciation? :(((
You have some truly unique taste my friend

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1 hour ago, Grazza said:

But that was back when the first episode - HR2beta - was being made, and at that stage it had a far closer link to the original HR. More thematically similar maps, and made by a team of mappers with a similar mind-set. I suspect Donner would have been less enthused about how the final release turned out. For the full megawad version, a bunch of other mappers came in, and their maps were further removed from HR - basically regular maps in a mix of styles and beefed up difficulty-wise with monster hordes. I suspect a number of these mappers didn't really "get" the original HR and/or had the view that it was just slaughtermaps (in reality, very few maps in HR are of that type).

 

TIL we were close to a true spiritual successor before the spiteful tryhards dominated the majority of the slots.

 

And yeah interesting point, having last played HR in 2021 I was surprised to find it a lot less crazy affair than I initially remembered from my first time playthrough in 2009, which was the hardest WAD I had managed to complete at the time. Fun fact, I went into HR because I had just finished Eternal Doom and was so worn out from all the big puzzling maps I just wanted to slaughter monsters to relax.

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I often used to host HR survival/coop servers during mid to late 2000's, remember a lot of fun and hectic sessions. 

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Well, I started HR and it seems from a cursory glance at the first few maps in UDB that HMP (my usual default, regardless) isn't supported. Playing HNTR, then -- the easy settings are supported. First couple of maps have been fine, but that RoTT music really isn't my cup of tea at all. Seems needlessly-hectic for what I'm playing, I just wish it would shut up sometimes.

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its one of the major wads which Ive never played. sooner or later i will, so far ive only watched hundreds of marvelous demos of other players, so I know maps a little bit already :)

love the style, some of the fights and music choosen

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This is a bizarre tread to read through. I've always consider Hell Revealed and Hell Revealed II as like brothers to each other. They both sport themselves as difficult WADs, but they aren't the same. It would be very boring to me if a sequel was exactly the same as the original. Plus I mean they were both created by different mappers, so I'd of course expect each project to be different based on each mapper's preference.

 

I find it strange that much of this thread has kinda become a trash on Hell Revealed II thread. I mean, yeah, it's different than the original, but I feel it has it's own charm and importance in Dooming history. Personally I actually much prefer playing through Hell Revealed II over the first one, but that could be because I tend to pistol start and aim for UV-max. Hell Revealed is honestly quite a pain to UV-max on pistol start.

 

I kinda see Hell Revealed II as like what Plutonia 2 is to Plutonia. Just another interpretation to what's come before. I mean Hell Revealed II got the approval of the original mappers, so honestly I don't see the problem. There are many game sequels that select people don't like cuz "it's not like the first one"... and yet others may like the sequel more than the original and be influenced by that. I don't see a problem with something being named as a sequel if it was created in love for the original.

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32 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

Well, I started HR and it seems from a cursory glance at the first few maps in UDB that HMP (my usual default, regardless) isn't supported. Playing HNTR, then -- the easy settings are supported. First couple of maps have been fine, but that RoTT music really isn't my cup of tea at all. Seems needlessly-hectic for what I'm playing, I just wish it would shut up sometimes.

There is HMP support, the first couple of maps are easy enough that the devs didn't see fit to make the early maps have an intermediate setting. The first map which will play different on HMP will be Map 09. On UV, it's designed as a Tyson map where you punch as many enemies as possible, but HMP will give you a rocket launcher and plasma rifle to help minimize the bruises on your right fist.

 

Map 11, which is essentially the real intro to Hell Revealed, will also give you a lot more ammo and health to make it through the stage on HMP.

 

About any map after that will start featuring actual changes in the monster count between HMP and UV.

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Oh. Looks like I'm starting over, then. I do love me some middling 'normal' difficulty, does I.

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I played through Hell Revealed recently, using my custom patch for it which adds the two unique maps from the HRE1 demo and fills out the missing music slots with additional ROTT tracks, and despite being painful for some maps, I had a good time for the majority of it. Its like a rite of passage to beat Hell Revealed on UV, or at least it WAS once upon a time, so many modern mapsets seem to eclipse it's challenge. Yonatan was clearly the more talented of the two, with most of Haggay Niv's maps being much easier and blander. I do wish they had done more Doom stuff together later on, Dead Perfect was a fun little tease that left me wanting more.

 

My only real gripe is the super low quality of a lot of the graphics, wouldn't mind a small remaster of a few of its assets, like the E1 and E2 skies.

 

I also found it hilarious that HRE1 has an actual story planned for it, but being young teens, they quickly threw that out the window, heh.

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19 minutes ago, Devalaous said:

My only real gripe is the super low quality of a lot of the graphics, wouldn't mind a small remaster of a few of its assets, like the E1 and E2 skies.

I will say that I did remaster the HR E2 sky for the bonus WAD of Hell Revealations. Didn't touch the E1 sky though.

 

HR E2 Sky:

RSKY2.png

 

HRs E1 Sky:

RSKY2-new.png

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The main issue I'd take with Hell Revealed is how the first few maps aren't really much, other than stuffing corridors full of monsters. And truth is that there's still probably two-thirds of the wad that in addition to being grindy, lives up to the reputation for ugliness. Yes, Last Look at Eden, City in the Clouds, Afterlife, Ascent to the Stars, and Afterlife are all good for different reasons but it's just not enough and I'd rather play continous if I ever touched it again (and honestly, I can't think of any compelling reason to do so).

 

Afterlife does get me thinking about if Yonatan Donner is working as a graphic artist somewhere at times (I somehow doubt his profession is computer-centered exactly but that's just me making a guess centered on his apparent disapperance) and it he looks back on Doom with a sense of amusement at his sheer childishness

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I disagree very strongly on the ugliness. I absolutely love Hell Revealed's unique aesthetic. I have heard the term "broad brush" used for those who can draw large areas using just a few lines and sectors. Well, I think Donner and Niv have the broadest brush I've seen. So many of HR's large locales stick firmly, unforgettably, in my mind. How I wish I could create something so memorable with so little. Maybe I should do one of those those n*100 lines things and shoot for size, I dunno.

 

I think an underappreciated part of Hell Revealed is its playfulness. Even the text file immediately clues you into how you shouldn't be taking these maps very seriously. They want you to revel in the absurdity of what's going on. The results can be mixed, but the highs are so good that I can almost forgive the existence of Map20. This silliness is something that Kama Sutra doubled down on with its gimmicky maps and doomcute design, and something that HR2 almost missed completely.

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1 hour ago, Arsinikk said:

I will say that I did remaster the HR E2 sky for the bonus WAD of Hell Revealations. Didn't touch the E1 sky though.

 

HR E2 Sky:

RSKY2.png

 

HRs E1 Sky:

RSKY2-new.png

 

Would you mind if I used that sky in my patch? The E1 sky tiles terribly, its likely not an easy fix short of a full replacement, heh.

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Considering the fact the wad being made by two 15 year olds in 1996/1997 it still has been a suprisingly influential wad. Wether on the speedrun community or the fact that it essentially laid the foundations for the hardcore slaughter genre.

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1 minute ago, Devalaous said:

Would you mind if I used that sky in my patch? The E1 sky tiles terribly, its likely not an easy fix short of a full replacement, heh.

Sure, just a minor edit credit please.

 

Also I can take a stab at the E1 sky... if it works out, I can also use it in Hell Revealations as well :)

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8 hours ago, OliveTree said:

The doomwiki says as much (well, more specifically that Donner gave their approval) in its page on HR1, but it doesn't source this info: https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Hell_Revealed

Ah, that's probably what I remember reading. There's no mention of it in the HR2 page at all.

 

7 hours ago, Grazza said:

I don't quite recall a "blessing", but they were aware of it, and gave links to it on their site:

https://www.oocities.org/hollywood/4704/hr.html

So a kind of weak endorsement at least. But that was back when the first episode - HR2beta - was being made, and at that stage it had a far closer link to the original HR. More thematically similar maps, and made by a team of mappers with a similar mind-set. I suspect Donner would have been less enthused about how the final release turned out. For the full megawad version, a bunch of other mappers came in, and their maps were further removed from HR - basically regular maps in a mix of styles and beefed up difficulty-wise with monster hordes. I suspect a number of these mappers didn't really "get" the original HR and/or had the view that it was just slaughtermaps (in reality, very few maps in HR are of that type).

It's interesting to think of what the mapset might have been had the original HR2 team finished all 32 maps in the wad.

 

2 hours ago, OniriA said:

Considering the fact the wad being made by two 15 year olds in 1996/1997 it still has been a suprisingly influential wad. Wether on the speedrun community or the fact that it essentially laid the foundations for the hardcore slaughter genre.

I actually didn't realize how young they were when they made HR, somehow. That gives me a bit of newfound respect for it.

 

 

The DW Megawad Club played through both HR1 and HR2 at different points; there's some interesting discussion in both, especially on the last pages of each thread. I like @dobu gabu maru's summation of HR2, even though I think at least some of HR2 stands on its own merits more than he did anyhow:

Quote

Overall, the most enduring aspect of Hell Revealed 2 is that it remains an anomaly that makes one wonder what exactly a Hell Revealed sequel should look like. In my opinion, this was not it; I don’t know what this was. It thinks it’s Hell Revealed—and at certain times it certainly plays like it—but there’s a scope and weight that HR had which is missing here. The qualities you can look to and go “aha! Hell Revealed!” are just straight-up ripped from the original game, whether it’s “The Path” or “Resistance is Futile” or “The Descent” or “Dead Progressive”. Meanwhile iconic maps like “City in the Clouds” and “Post Mortem” are curiously left out from a megawad that has no qualms about stealing layouts from its predecessor. Like, if you’re just going to remake a bunch of HR maps, how could you include “The Descent” of all things but not “Post Mortem”?!

 

dobu also had some colourful language for describing HR2 MAP28 ;)

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6 hours ago, Arsinikk said:

This is a bizarre tread to read through. I've always consider Hell Revealed and Hell Revealed II as like brothers to each other. They both sport themselves as difficult WADs, but they aren't the same. It would be very boring to me if a sequel was exactly the same as the original. Plus I mean they were both created by different mappers, so I'd of course expect each project to be different based on each mapper's preference.

 

I find it strange that much of this thread has kinda become a trash on Hell Revealed II thread. I mean, yeah, it's different than the original, but I feel it has it's own charm and importance in Dooming history. Personally I actually much prefer playing through Hell Revealed II over the first one, but that could be because I tend to pistol start and aim for UV-max. Hell Revealed is honestly quite a pain to UV-max on pistol start.

 

I kinda see Hell Revealed II as like what Plutonia 2 is to Plutonia. Just another interpretation to what's come before. I mean Hell Revealed II got the approval of the original mappers, so honestly I don't see the problem. There are many game sequels that select people don't like cuz "it's not like the first one"... and yet others may like the sequel more than the original and be influenced by that. I don't see a problem with something being named as a sequel if it was created in love for the original.


I get it, and I know it has its fans unlike me, but granted I'm still going to give it another shot because there was some maps in there I genuinely liked and I am hype af for Hell Revealations and want to see where it was inspired between the two WADs. It's just that, yeah, it's rightfully infamous, and I question the "skill" demanded at times on UV. I heard a couple or so second hand reports that insist the WAD plays (a little?) better on HMP, so maybe I'll try that. My playthroughs between the first and second are both tied at two, so this will be my third romp. Pre-knowledge helps in particularly nasty maps, it's how we eventually got good at the IWADs in the first place.

On another note I just want to say in response to some saying the first 11 or so maps are kinda boring or cramped I saw what they were going for or at least believe they were going for, it lulls you into a false sense of security that this is just going to be yet another megawad before it reveals its fangs and I only know of one video game that's done this...the first Serious Sam. It also starts with very typical FPS game levels for a little while before completely changing into a horde shooter and it's awesome for that tbh.

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8 hours ago, Grazza said:

For the full megawad version, a bunch of other mappers came in, and their maps were further removed from HR - basically regular maps in a mix of styles and beefed up difficulty-wise with monster hordes. I suspect a number of these mappers didn't really "get" the original HR and/or had the view that it was just slaughtermaps

 

At least one of the final HR2 maps (sewer slaughter) was also kicking around in the very old PL2 betas, which leads me to suspect its creator (Gemini) submitted it to PL2 and Sam Woodman just moved it to HR2 at some point. IMO it looks and plays much more like a tribute to Plutonia MAP28 than a HR1 or HR2 map.

 

That, combined with the maps that had already been released as standalones (28 obviously, but also 08 and 26 iirc) makes for a pretty uneven mix.

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1 hour ago, plums said:

It's interesting to think of what the mapset might have been had the original HR2 team finished all 32 maps in the wad.

 

I'd love to see more Jonas Feragen maps some day, I think his HR2 maps are overwhelmingly the most interesting and unique. Maybe a little episode of whatever the HR2 episode 1 style might've evolved into in his imagination over the years.

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HR2 is basically a wad of it's time. Nobody likes to talk about their awkward cyber/goth or emo phase. I felt like HR2 was a wad were a bunch of metalheads who happened to be Doomers came together one day and were like "Hell Revealed? You mean more like  \,,/ Hell Revealed  \,,/ right?  let's make make sum Hell Revealed 2 man"  \,,/  

 

If Marilyn Manson and Korn remind you of the 2000's , HR2 is the Doom wad that does the same. Atleast for me.

 

Oh, and the jam packed 32 player survival sessions? It always happened be that HR2 server on Skulltag. 

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The Path II has one of my all-time favorite tracks, tell me this doesn't get you pumped up and ready to take on the worst Hell has to offer:
 

 

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4 hours ago, OniriA said:

HR2 is basically a wad of it's time. Nobody likes to talk about their awkward cyber/goth or emo phase. I felt like HR2 was a wad were a bunch of metalheads who happened to be Doomers came together one day and were like "Hell Revealed? You mean more like  \,,/ Hell Revealed  \,,/ right?  let's make make sum Hell Revealed 2 man"  \,,/  

 

If Marilyn Manson and Korn remind you of the 2000's , HR2 is the Doom wad that does the same. Atleast for me.

 

Oh, and the jam packed 32 player survival sessions? It always happened be that HR2 server on Skulltag. 

That's not quite the Jonas I know. I remember having some long discussions with him about Doom mapping in my upstairs living room in the summer of 2000 or so. He is a big fan of both HR and Memento Mori. The problem with any map set is that it will often take too long to get 32 maps of the exact quality/theme you like. People see map set differently as well. I freely admit I didn't complete my map for hr2. Maybe I will release it one day. I've had Anders, Bahdko and a few others play it. Not sure if it was a hr style map really, but it was hr-ish in scope, gigantism and monster count. I stopped working on that one and another due to blockmap issues. I have fixed most of those with zokumbp, so I really should get back to those two maps. Maybe a suitable project for them will come around one day :)

A map set might have a few demonstration maps to show the other mappers what to go for, but as the project progresses, newer maps might have evolved and the older demo set might have been updated. A map might have fit reasonably well into a set at the time it was submitted, but not in the final version. Many mappers update and refine their maps even though they are perfectly serviceable maps. AV went through a lot of such changes. Malde added more complex lighting on the first map, but the layout itself is pretty much the same. Maps not going through similar treatment might look more out of place, while they originally didn't. This probably happened to HR2 as well.

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28 minutes ago, zokum said:

AV went through a lot of such changes.


I remember reading the readme for AV and it saying that originally the project scope was much closer to HR before toning things down, with Dark Dome as the major exception of course.

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On 10/13/2023 at 12:53 PM, Jayextee said:

This thread has made me actually want to try HR1. Well, retry I guess; I attempted it many moons ago but probably wasn't in the right mindset -- followed by a HR2 attempt which was pretty much "nah, feels like I'll have to beat the first to be ready for this".

Maybe next, after TNT Goes Boom! which I'm playing right now.


I’m thinking the same having followed this thread, at least try and give HR1 a chance.

 

Alien Vendetta has been mentioned; I once came into conclusion both Alien Vendetta and Kama Sutra as close enough proxies for HR. I’ve enjoyed them both (although KS was left unfinished somewhere in the last third). I wonder if this impression is accurate?

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Awesome post, genuinely. I don’t even like Hell Revealed but this thread about being inspired by Hell Revealed is, itself, really inspiring and I love hearing this stuff about wads that aren’t usually that popular. Makes me want to replay HR1 myself actually!

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im loving the appreciation for hell revealed =v=

 

im curious to try hell revealed 2 just to see how it treats me given the somewhat polarized reactions it has in this thread

 

16 hours ago, NiGHTS108 said:

Awesome post, genuinely. I don’t even like Hell Revealed but this thread about being inspired by Hell Revealed is, itself, really inspiring and I love hearing this stuff about wads that aren’t usually that popular. Makes me want to replay HR1 myself actually!

im glad to hear this. a lot of my initial drive to write this was just to share the inspiration

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