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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Realm of Chaos 25th Anniversary Edition

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8 hours ago, Cammy said:

Above and Below is the most divisive map I've ever seen in Doom and it's not even close. There isn't even an IWAD map that matches it. Sure, I could have reworked it, made it more palatable to the general audience and ditch the current gimmick, but then where would all this great discussion be? More than any other level in the megawad, Above and Below is boldly, defiantly itself. I love it so, so much for that. :D

 

Great post, Cammy. I, too, stand by my opinion that Above And Below is a fun, wonderful map, and my fave by Rob in RoC, though Infestation comes close.  And just wait till y'all see what he did for Realm of Chaos 2!  

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Map18: Dead Set Radio

Others may already have mentioned this, but there's a box of revenants north of the blue key that doesn't open properly.

Map20: Teleportation Central

In the Western area, the switch to lower the platforms if you fall into the nukage doesn't work, because it's tagged 34 instead of 32.

Spoiler

In the room just north of that, I also think the secret switch and the walk-over line that reveals it should be closer together somehow, so the player can actually hear something happen. Otherwise, I don't see how anyone would find the secret naturally without checking the editor.

Map23: That speedrunner guy, I think he did a single segment UV-Max of Alien Vendetta? Yeah I double checked and it was him.

There's something funny about the southeastern megasphere secret. If you wait for it to lower all the way, it merges with the surrounding sector and can no longer be registered as a secret. Am I right in thinking you can use dummy sectors to ensure it stops a few units before that?

Map25: Castle of the Hell Knights

In the last room I had one of those moments that I wished I'd been recording so I could prove it happened. I was in desperate need of the berserk I'd saved for such an emergency, so I rushed over to get it, but on what felt like the very same tic a cyberdemon rocket brought me back down to 13%. I can't really put the experience into words so I guess you had to be there.

Map26: Above and Below

I'm very much in the camp that likes this map, but one difference I was hoping to see between the original and the anniversary version was all the linedefs I've drawn over in green here being made monster blocking. There may be consequences to doing that that I'm just not seeing though.

Map27: We Are Venom

Because I first played the original shortly after watching this year's Halloween special for Homestar Runner, the phrase "unhand her, Dan Backslide!" was repeating in my head the whole time, and now it seems that has to happen whenever I play any version of this map. You could say I'm getting in a rut.

 

I feel bad about mostly using this thread for bug reports and similar feedback when that's properly better off in the thread for the wad itself. The truth is I just suck at saying what I like about something, but I am liking this. I probably would have liked the original wad more if not for some bad apples souring the rest of the bunch, but even if I had, I wouldn't be able to deny that the changes in this version are welcome improvements.

Edited by SiFi270

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MAP27: Venom by Steve Duff

 

I'm noticing a pattern in maps that were originally made by Steve. They are long, taking about half an hour to complete with the bulk of the map consists of a slow crawl through tunnels and hallways in search of keys. The maps feature some truly grand locales, but monster density is rather low, that is, aside from a slaughter fight at the very end. 

 

Venom ticks all those boxes, with early parts feeling especially sluggish without an SSG. When you do finally spot it, it's booby-trapped by the most effective ambush of the map, where a floor lowers and you get flooded by imps. More stuff like this, please. The ending fight is also good, with two masterminds that suddenly appear, tons of cacodemons and other monsters. Be careful of a group of archviles that are released when you try to proceed forward. A BFG helps a lot, there are two hidden in secrets, so I hope you'll find at least one. 

 

I think my issues are the same as with previous maps - I'm just not a big fan of this whole slow burn level that only hits hard at the end.

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map24 fda

undercooked, and that fire-blue room is just annoying. annoying is the key word for this map. its also quite dull - 3 rooms mostly flat, with a lava path between them.

 

map25 fda

pretty cool ending - almost got caught in a caco-sandwich. couldnt for the life of me work out the one switch in the faces room. could hear something lowering but  couldnt work out the next step

 

map26 fda

full marks for trying to be inventive/minus marks for the slightly too narrow bridges. its also repetitive.

 

map27 fda

SteveD you evil bastard; when those viles spawned in the final room i damn near shat myself. then i did a little cha-cha slide with a rev who didnt want to let me go and almost died. great map!

Edited by rehelekretep

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Map 27: Venom

by Steve Duff

 

In many ways, this probably isn't terribly different from the original version because it just has those kinds of sector tricks and overall map shape, though perhaps there's greater interconnectivity. Still, this is a sick midi, dunno if I'd even call it a midi, but it's this highly experimental and industrial-influenced number that really tells us we have entered the shit! Although that Imp ambush from all sides seems like a Cammy trap somehow, and the ending even more so. Speaking of which, said ending sort of asks the question on whether it's legtimate to expect someone to find 100 percent secrets on a UV playthrough without foreknowledge of what's coming. I certainly wasted a fair amount of ammo, but emotionally, that 4 Arch-viles shit needs to die. In a fire of deepest blue. KEK. Nah, but really, even allowing for some infighting, would you rather use those two Masterminds to infight the other demons or each other? If you immediately answer the former, then you're doing better than I was! But if there's going to be a mass Caco cloud, perhaps there should be a few less tanky enemies.

 

It was a pretty good map otherwise, showcasing some unfriendliness right at the beginning in quite the impactful way. But on the other end, we only suffered one death (yes, and not in the Cyberdemon arena either!) before reaching the final area but a sustained plan might be best here.

 

 

 

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MAP11 - Another short and sweet map, but easier than the last one. This one is trying to be some sort of starport (thus the name), and I'd say it's successful in evoking that idea. This map seems to lean into trivial slaughter of easy enemies. I love all of the doomcute in this map though!

 

MAP12 - The beginning of this map suggests that we flew here from stealing a ship in the last map. This is the first time I've noticed a link between levels, but I may have just not been paying attention. Found the secret SSG right off the bat, which is probably going to make me enjoy this map a lot more. Still, I ended up punching the two barons to death because why not? Otherwise this level seems to be mostly boring. There's a lot of killing hordes of enemies in tiny killboxes with the SSG. The one big exception is when the map looses three archviles on you! That was definitely exciting! I do like the overall design of the map though. The music is delightfully creepy, which is perfect for this map. I did find all of the secrets, but a couple of them eluded me until I went searching for them.

 

MAP13 - This map has quite a high monster count, and the start is pretty hectic. But it's not that bad once you clear out the first area. The end room has a bunch of voodoo dolls for some reason. Looking at the monster count made me realize I must have missed something pretty big, so I went on a secret hunt. Eventually I gave up and looked in the map editor (sorry), but even there the secret was subtle. The fight in this last secret area was pretty fun too.

 

MAP14 - The start on this map is brutal. It took me a few tries to survive the initial onslaught... with 1% health. Luckily I found the secret megasphere because I desperately needed it. The crate room might have been exciting, but there's no real way to get past the door and the enemies all get stuck on that door, trivializing the fight. Then I found a secret BFG. I screwed up the grey marble room and rocketed a barrel. That threw me into the slime. Somehow I survived, although barely. The last room with the two masterminds was definitely interesting, but much easier than the first room. I didn't even use the BFG that much. I accidentally played this map with the music turned off (I turned it off while secret hunting in the last map). I went back to listen to it and it's quite good.

 

MAP15 - Oh boy, this map has a lot of monsters. The initial fight wasn't very interesting, but the weird switch puzzle was. I kept at it until I found the BFG secret. While this map definitely throws a lot of monsters at you, none of the fights are really as epic as you might think. The hardest part was dealing with this narrow split tunnel going up toward the lava lake outside. I kept bouncing inside the tunnel, making myself unable to dodge. I finally just made a break for it, and that worked out much better. The computer map that came with the BFG trivialized finding the secret exit, which I don't actually mind.

 

MAP31 - Thanks to the music, this level was actually pretty relaxing. Finding the yellow key for the secret exit was the hardest part of the map. I did manage to find it without help, though it took a lot of wall humping.

 

MAP32 - I had a lot of fun on this map. It's a pretty short but intense slaughter map, that isn't too awfully difficult. It took me three or four tries to figure out what to do. If you can survive the first 60 seconds you probably have the map beat, since infighting will take care of most of the enemies. When you kill all of the keens, you get access to another large cache of resources which will make cleanup trivial. Knowing that up front the entire difficulty is just getting to and surviving the outer ring.

 

MAP16 - The first fight out in the open is pretty fun. There's enough variety and not too much cover. I barely made it through, though I found the secret blue armor pretty quickly. The rest of the map was pretty fun. The mastermind at the end was useless as usual. She got scratched to death by imps. I ended up getting everything killed before I noticed the BFG, and so I didn't use a single cell on the map. I felt like that was a slight waste of potential.

 

MAP17 - The main standout of this map is having to fight three cyberdemons with the secret BFG. The "RUN" room is a close second though. I took the floor's advice and booked it through here, so it was ultimately not a dangerous room. The two arch-viles in the main room was a surprise, but the aforementioned secret BFG made it pretty easy. The last two secrets I didn't find until the end.

 

MAP18 - This was a really fun map. The large multi-part battle in the slime pit was the highlight of the map... at least it would be if it wasn't for the great music. The secrets were tricky for me to find as well. The double secret with the soul sphere was very cleverly hidden.

 

There was one gaggle of skeletons that were stuck in a sector, partially crushed. I ended up no-clipping them to BFG them. I don't think they can be killed normally.

 

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8 hours ago, rehelekretep said:

map27 fda

SteveD you evil bastard; when those viles spawned in the final room i damn near shat myself. then i did a little cha-cha slide with a rev who didnt want to let me go and almost died. great map!

 

More like, "Cammy, you evil bastard!" The original '96 map had only 2 Archies, both Multiplayer Only, and the first Steve/Cammy version I played a few months back was pretty easy, especially at the end, where I was able to easily rocket the Archies to death by using the spine pillars as cover. Indeed, I suggested to Cammy that he should make it tougher, and in fact, make all my maps tougher. I guess he listened. ;D Taking a look at the map in UDB, I see that Cammy has completely re-engineered that room, which is the kind of thing I like to see. I find these maps more fun when they have enough of the old stuff to feel familiar, but enough new material to simultaneously feel fresh. I haven't played the new Map27 yet, so I'll try finding time tomorrow.

 

I look forward to checking out your playthroughs. I still remember your entertaining FDAs of my TNT:Revilution maps, which were a big help in fine-tuning the fights. With luck, I'll find some time this weekend.

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14 hours ago, Celestin said:

MAP27: Venom by Steve Duff

 

I'm noticing a pattern in maps that were originally made by Steve. They are long, taking about half an hour to complete with the bulk of the map consists of a slow crawl through tunnels and hallways in search of keys. The maps feature some truly grand locales, but monster density is rather low, that is, aside from a slaughter fight at the very end. 

 

Quote

I think my issues are the same as with previous maps - I'm just not a big fan of this whole slow burn level that only hits hard at the end.

 

I appreciate it when players state that some types of maps don't appeal to them. We mappers try to appeal to as many playstyles as possible while remaining true to our own artistic styles, but you can't please everyone.

 

The original '96 maps didn't have any slaughter fights. After all, it was 1996, and Hell Revealed was a year away. Aside from something like Casali's PUNISHR, which I tried to play back then, there was no such thing as slaughtermaps, though there were maps, including RoC's own Nowhere to Hide by Rob, which were moving in that direction.  And of course, there was Plutonia.

 

It's probably hard for modern players/mappers to imagine being unable to see anyone else play your map. I want to stress again that MacDoom could neither record nor play demos. PC Doomers thus had a big advantage in fine-tuning fights. It's a whole different world when you can see someone like @rehelekretep play your map, because he's a much better player than I am, so if I can kill him or at least make him struggle, then as far as I'm concerned I'm doing well. Killing the player is my goal, after all. ;)

 

When I came back into the Doom community, one of the things I did was watch speedruns of RoC by Heretic, Hitherto, SAV88, and other great players. And all of my maps have been playtested by @Demon of the Well, who is one of the best players in the world and very hard to kill. What I'm trying to say is that watching what great players did to my maps encouraged me to figure out ways of making that difficult for them. As a result, the relatively lightweight incidental combat of the old RoC maps evolved into what I call Severe Incidental Combat, punctuated by chaotic, unscripted combat with high monster density in trappy, mean-spirited maps. Just tonight I discovered that decino played through TNT:Revilution, so I watched the videos of my two maps. I almost killed him in Map04 and I finally took him out in Map14, his first death in the megawad. My heart soared. :)))

 

I still like to do the occasional big, exploratory map, and I have a Michael Krause tribute in mind that will be quite large, but these days I mostly focus on my Amiga Demo Party-style maps, which are short blasts of carnage. They might be more to your liking. If you play Heat Miser, which is Map25 of Mayhem 2048, aka Mayhem 2014, that is the most extreme published example. If you decide to check it out, take my advice and use a port where you can turn off infinite tallness. ;)

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Map 27 - Venom by Steve Duff and Cammy

(A somewhat shorter review for now)

 

There is a particular Doom pWAD trope - maps that start routinely and somewhat easily, only to suddenly explode in challenging combat set ups around the second half. Lots 2000s maps work this way.

 

For me, such design often felt not fun. If I wanna a challenge - than sitting through a slow-&-easy start feels like a time tax. If I want to play a chill map - than a series of challenges in the second half go against the whole "chill map" idea.

 

And here we come to Venom of Realm of Chaos anniversary WAD:

This is a rare chill-becomes-challenge map, which felt great to play from start to finish!

Why is this, I cannot pinpoint. I can only say that there is very good balance of different elements.

Really cool map-crafting achievement. I am really glad that I played this map.

 

Yet still, I think that some elements of the final fight go a bit too far into the "challenge" direction:

The 4 AV wave at the very end is an overkill relatively to the rest of the level.

 

The arena is full of cacos, so a sudden vile ambush is a disaster: the viles will get a perfect meatshield. Especially if the player ran out of cells and rockets at this point, which is likely... IMO, those 4 viles should be replaced by something considerably moderate like 4-5 revs, or 1 vile + some chaingunners, or a group of different high DPS, decent hp monsters. After all, by this point, Venom has already droppped quite many memorable setpieces, after all. Vile Ambush hogs too much attention, overcharges the challenge aspect of the map, and feels too much like a retread of tried-and-true ROC-25 tropes, which have been there as early a s map 04.

 

And last, but not least, I would prefer to remember finale of map 27 as "that one wacky spider masterminds teleport trap", rather than yet another tough-as-nails "vile flood" combat challenge. Sadly, the 4 viles are too imortant during that battle, and overshadow the other phases of this fight.

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MAP27 - “Venom” by Steve Duff

 

Map23 2: electric boogaloo. At least has less monsters, that doesn't compensate for the fact this drags like map23 did. This and map 23 expose how trying to implement slaughter in these old ass maps just doesn't work, the 2 styles just clash completely. From a slow-paced key hunt with mostly hitscanners and imps like tnt, to alien vendetta esque arenas with midtiers? How they're implemented in this map just feels like combining water and vinegar, it just doesn't feel natural or fun to play.

 

 

For one thing, because the large-scale fights just lack any sort of interesting dynamic or challenge, as most of it you can just ignore and wait for everything to just unlive itself. Another is that the layout of the original map actually fucks over some of the fights, like the yellow door one that you can completely and utterly chesse if you just shoot rockets opening and closing the blue key door.  This is an oversight? Also, deviating a bit, the one who teleported 2 masterminds in front of you at the start of that fight, needs his head examined, fucking bullshit.

 

Combined with the fact this map has present the flaws of the previous maps, like the crappy texturing, lack of thematic consistency, and those weird archviles in open spaces out of nowhere, makes this map really dirty. Sorry for Steve, he got the short end of the stick compared to Jim Bagrow.

 

2/10

 

MAP28 - “Fortress of Death” by Slava Pestov

 

Another abandoned mines homage, if i had a nickle for every abandoned mines homage I saw, I will have 3 nickles, which isn't much but is weird it happened 3 times. At least is better than "wachas abandonadas" ujum ujum downcologo chupame la verga ujum ujum.

 

This was actually really fun, the start can be ballbusting if you aproach it wrong, I liked the lava pit ambush with the barons and pinkies, and that 3 cyberdemon fight nearly to the end is not bad, a decent challenge for how small the available space is, and trying to practice cybermon 2hko's is fun. The ambushes just start and end quickly, making the combat of the map just snappy and fun to blast through. The only things I dislike about the map are the fights over tight corridors like the ones from earlier points of the set, but it compensates for being competent for 96 and not drag like the previous maps.

 

Btw cammy, I like the somber feel of this mid, fits the hell aesthetic.

 

7/10

 

MAP29 - “The Fountain” by Rob Berkowitz

 

Where's the fountain? The exit is the fountain? This feels like the least edited map of the wad, since most of the encounters are underscalled, massive amounts of room to move there are. The concept of fighting in pitch black like this is doom 3 would have been interested, if it was actually more developed in more intensive fights, that weird double mastermind room with just pinkies and PE isn't enough. The cyber finality is hilarious, and i ended up save scumming since i'm a bitch that tried to rush trough it. Not a bad map, but it lacks more.

 

Btw another good and somber midi cammy, you truly tried to heat things up for the last maps.

 

6/10

 

MAP30 - “Apocalypse” by Rob Berkowitz

 

Actually, this is probably one of the best classic icon of sins I've ever played. Although unintuitive at first, at some point it instinctively becomes just quick to hit the switches and go for the lifts to just smack the 4 brains apart. These 2 aspects actually make this feel more like, an actual boss fight with different faces, instead of you know, the rng heavy mess the original doom 2 fight was. Also, the large space also helps not getting bulldosed by the icon, so that is a plus. It doesn't overstay it's welcome, so that's good for me.

 

7/10

 

(btw apreciate looking at the kill percentage, i'm the only one on earth that finds funny how high the kill percentage can get in icon of sin maps?)

 

 

image.png.fac4052bb741f2745da1d9149d9a903b.png

 

Happy New Year everyone!

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MAP28: Fortress of Death by Slava Pestov

 

The start reminds me of Abandoned Mines, with an elevator that lowers into a fenced-off walkway between pools of damaging liquid. It's a rude start where you have to deal with chaingunners in front and lost souls behind with no guns. There are some decent encounters, like a cramped fight that gives you a rocket launcher and starts teleporting in monsters. I generally like the interconnected nature of Fortress of Death and how the starting area gets reused for one of later setpieces, where you have to balance yourself over lava (or find an invuln before - I must say, ROC25 will make you a champion in spotting hidden switches). The map concludes with a fight against three cyberdemons and a final room that can be cleared with leftover cells. 

 

What I don't like are the narrow corridors that the map uses a lot. I think there was one place here where it was used well, where you teleport to a platform with a row of spectres and another platform to your right, this one filled with zombies. Other than that, it's an okay map that would land a spot somewhere in the middle where it comes to my enjoyment.

 

@Steve D, thanks for your insights. I came to this community quite recently and lack a certain historic prespective, so I appreciate explaining certain things that we nowadays take for granted.

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Map 28: Fortress of Death

by Slava Pestov

 

A map it's hard to see having been changed that much because this is an old-school puzzle box map with some incredibly nice interlinking to previous areas, perhaps with a little bit more intensity but otherwise, an obvious riff of something like Abandoned Mines or another Plutonia map I hope isn't Caged, but that's just the most obvious example. The midi is another high for the wad, with tribal minimlaism as displayed in the previous midi giving way to a more traditional Touhou-genre blending experience that also recalls later-game JRPG boss battles. It's probably among the 5 best for sure.

 

Moving on, the two Revenants in the lava pit killed me an embarrassing amount of times (3) because I have this strange repulsion to claustrophobic battles that directly leads to laziness and failure in general. On the other hand, the fight in the pit on the other side with the nobles and pinkies with chaingunners placed in some hard to reach spots went considerably better. Combat's mostly not too much to speak of though and mostly exists for toe-rapidity purposes. Running the gauntlet to get the yellow key for real was kind of nice, although there was a humiliating death from a Spectre who charged us the instant we turned out backs, resulting in us not realizing how badly we were bungling until the damage rolls hit a high number.

 

The triple Cyberdemon fight felt much fairer on the other hand, probably because there was actually barriers to help block the Cyberdemon rockets unlike Map 17, though we still felt like they could all have been 2-shotted seperately with a little bit of luck. No matter, there's plenty of health here and the bit at the exit might ruin someone who charges in without taking stock but this should be completed first try without taking into account high damage rolls from chaingunners or the Baron that's also in one of the side cages.

 

 

 

Edited by LadyMistDragon

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Map28-----------------------------
I quite liked the interconnectivity and general navigation in this map on the bridges, it's very satisfying. The gameplay is fairly relaxed most of the time but manages to not get boring. For the map's length there's good variety in exploration and the kinds of combat you face. Just a very solid map for me.

Spoiler

woof0107.png.5b637100f0f5a03ee4ee16ee6a73390a.png



Map29-----------------------------
Ammo-starve map where you have to use a lot of infighting and chainsaw enemies until you get to the later part of the map where you finally get the rocket launcher... I wanted to say before I found out that there's a very missable rocket launcher with 7 boxes of rockets and a box of shells near it right at the beginning of the map. I experienced the map without knowing about that spot until I got the second rocket launcher and I think the map was more interesting the way I played it without the RL. The beginning is very dark and doesn't give you much ammo but thankfully the map gives you enough opportunities to start infighting, which is both fun and optimal (assuming you miss the rocket launcher!!!!). If you don't use infighting then you'll just run out of ammo, the shells you have are enough only for leftover enemies that can't reasonably infight. I also found the first plasma gun in a long cave with an ambush with archviles and revenants but that looked so ridiculous I thought it wasn't worth getting that plasma gun, and I was right because the map gives you a second one later anyway.

When the map progressed to the marble area I thought the map died there because it just looks and plays boring and drops the premise but it returns to what you've seen before after a couple minutes. When you press the final switch in one room it lowers the walls and reveals the dark hell area again with a pretty nice transition. This time you get a lot more ammo but still not enough to go wild. The use of spider masterminds was annoying, I ended up making one infight with barons so she's distracted and kill the other with the plasma gun, press all the switches and leave the area forever, there wasn't enough ammo to kill the barons and the distracted spider nor a reason to do it (what a change after thinking I was gonna max every map when we started).

I don't exactly remember what happened next in the map but at some point you arrive to the doom 2 reference room where you make a spidermind and cyberdemon both standing on high pillars infight. Seemed pretty silly. You get a yellow key, run away from the revealed cyberdemon horde and in a minute get back to them with a BFG and lots of cells to take them down. The fight is actually pretty hard, you don't have much freedom of movement while fighting them and dodging simultaneous rockets in such conditions isn't easy. Felt like an abrupt end without proper build up but it seems like the final map is gonna start where this map ended and it's gonna be slaughter from beginning to end. Also, not to sound like I disliked the map. It was fine.

Spoiler

woof0109.png.2181d3e6ab9e1afe431249e98860a391.png

 

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MAP19 - Another map with a large slaughter room which this time is a dock with a doomcute ship in it. A few cyberdemon and mastermind turrets are here. The arch-viles are probably the most dangerous part of this fight since they can zap you from a great distance. The monsters will mostly kill or distract themselves through infighting, so most of the fight is just taking out priority targets before moving on. Eventually you get a BFG for cleanup, and to kill a massive caco-cloud. There is a secret invulnerability sphere, although I'm not sure how anyone would find it in normal play, and it isn't required to beat the map. I also like how the midi in parts sounds like some sort of sea shanty.

 

MAP20 - While this map doesn't have as many monsters as the few previous maps, it's definitely a step up in difficulty. The two arch-viles that get released into the red area are brutal, especially since I killed an arachnotron right in front of where one arrives. The four arch-viles at the end though... what's up with that? It took me well over a dozen attempts to finish this area. I probably have died here more than the rest of the wad combined now. It's an insane difficulty spike, and not something I was prepared for. It didn't help that most of the platforms decided to synchronize on their way down at one point, making it nearly impossible to complete the fight. I also don't like that there are a few mancubuses at the end that makes it almost impossible to get 100% kills on this map. I very much disliked this map. It's probably going to be my least liked one in the wad, and all because of that arch-vile room.

 

MAP21 - The first thing I notice is what sounds like a phone ringing. It's part of the midi, and I'm not sure why it sounds like that. The two cyberdemon turrets at the beginning put the fear in me real quick.. especially after I eat a rocket the first time. Luckily you don't have to kill them, since they will be crushed later. The map is a good difficulty, with some fun fights. The caco-cloud was a bit boring because they were getting stuck trying to move around the curve and I could just rocket them slowly. I didn't find any of the secrets until I had everything dead... they would have made this level a lot easier, but I'm not sure that would have been a good thing.

 

Also, will someone please pick up the phone?! It's driving me crazy. :)

 

MAP22 - My first time through the opening rooms was rough, and ultimately I died to the rocket launcher trap. The next time I made it outside, but got blockmap bugged to death while trying to saw some specters. Still hate that bug. After that I was good to go for a while. I died a few times in the central area due to just being dumb and letting myself get cornered. The main fight in the central chamber can be cheesed by just stepping outside real fast. Near the invulnerability inside the chamber is a texture that is different from what it should be, and so looks like it must be a secret... but it isn't. The line does nothing. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to activate that line until I looked it up in the editor and figured out the secret was in another linedef. Woops. Well, I ended up with the invulnerability for the last fight with a cyberdemon and two arch-viles. I kind of wish I didn't have it because I think it would have been a fun fight. I really enjoyed this map, it was tough but fair.

 

MAP23 - I had a blast with this level. It's pretty long, but I prevailed. I ended up reaching the end without the BFG even. There were a few times I was very low on ammo because somehow I had missed the rocket launcher. I think if I played this again with foreknowledge it would be a lot easier. The final battle was really fun and chaotic. I did get lost at one point, but on a level like this I don't mind that so much. I did end up figuring out that the megasphere secret won't trigger, so I had found all of the secrets but didn't know it.

 

MAP24 - I just kept getting blockmap bugged in this map. I managed to kill two imps through the spectre I was trying to kill. All of the baron turrets are annoying, but not too bad to take out late in the level with a rocket launcher and plasma rifle. They do add a sense of danger that would otherwise be lacking in this map. There's also a secret to crush them, but I didn't find it until after I had already dispatched them. The fireblu and flesh room was an assault on the senses, and that arch-vile duo in there was mean. The first time they spawn they are probably going to zap you before you can make it back to cover.

 

Also, I'm going to be using "Pestov Platform" from now on. He really uses those a lot doesn't he?

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I probably haven't mentioned before that Slava Pestov was 13 years old when he worked on RoC, and Antoni Chan was 15. Methinks they did okay for a couple of youngsters.

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MAP29: The Fountain by Rob Berkowitz

 

I was disappointed with the start, a network of dark caves that reminded me of Ballistyx and simply wasn't that fun to play. The gets better later on, with the blue key arena containing two elevated masterminds, pinkies and arachnotrons. I generally have a feeling that this map is underpopulated. Early levels of ROC25 were stuffed with basic monsters that you could mow down in droves, in The Fountain they are replaced with smaller cast of tankier ones.

 

The ending was funny, first you enter a huge cavern to see a Gotcha! rematch, only to reveal more cyberdemons on a ledge. As it turns out, they guard the exit, a circular structure in a circular room. I've died here a couple of times, as I had troubles keeping an eye of all of them (plus the one that managed to kill a mastermind).

 

For a penultimate map, The Fountain disappoints, being neither the ultimate challenge of the wad, not a breather before the ending.

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Map 29: Fountain of Death

by Rob Berkowitz.

 

Once again, the midi indulges in a sort of tribal minimalism that thanks to the map in question, takes on a more definitely creepier character. This is made largely of darkened hell caves, though flesh and (ewwwwww) pea-soup marble intrude every once in a while though at least these areas aren't too ugly. The large flesh cavern especially is actually quite imposing, weird as those high meat walls might seem, it complements the flesh-related floor nicely.

 

Combat is....kind of routine, although the monster placement isn't necessarily one that follows logical progression. Maybe that's why there's an early rocket launcher because why else would you stick 2 Arch-viles in a room that also happens to contain a plasma rifle. Otherwise, combat leans more towards the satisfying incidental end of things. Ammo is incredibly tight though at a certain point. There is the Mastermind and Cyberdemon at the far end, and before that, a large room with two caged Spider Masterminds, along with several Barons, Imps, and Pinkies with a Pain Elemental lurking somewhere in the back. This last encounter is probably the best in the map. It's not too hard but there could be some issues with getting boxed in by the pinkies.

 

But at the end, we get something like 4 Cyberdemons that we saw in the Mastermind and Cyber room, but we skipped it because we were certainly over 20 minutes at this point. It's not a perfect finale, but do we really need more Citadel at the Edge of Eternitys?

 

PS. That face was frickin' hilarious. If that was an original feature, props to Rob.

 

 

 

Edited by LadyMistDragon

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MAP25 - This is a mean map, but really fun for the most part. There's a dead icon of sin in this map, and we get to explore its innards. I don't know that I care for fighting two elevated cyberdemons with a plasma rifle. The problem is it just takes a long time due to them not wanting to sit still. The next fight in this room was pretty tricky and killed me the first time I attempted it. I wasn't expecting a mastermind to show up, so of course I hid from the cacodemons with her behind me. It didn't end well. The second time I was able to manage to situation much more effectively. I really like how this map isn't slaughter but is still hard. It makes use of its relatively paltry monster count well.

 

MAP26 - Finally, a map I just don't like. Not because of a single unbalanced fight that made me angry, but because it's symmetrical, repetitive, and time-wasting. It's not obvious you're expected to jump over the pits in the upper level, and it's not obvious that the bridges lower. This is especially true if you fall into the first pit. Then you just wander around killing things not knowing what you're supposed to do. Once I killed everything I could reach and found my way back to the top, I had to continually wait for bridges to rise. Sometimes I had to kill a small number of monsters while dodging on thin platforms, or even just fall down and try to bait them down with me using the bridges. I just didn't like this at all. If I hadn't fell into that first pit, I might have enjoyed this more. Even still, the bridges really should rise faster.

 

MAP27 - Is it just me, or is this music track seem a little loud at times? Otherwise I think this map is excellent. Maybe one of my favorite so far. There was a nice ending fight, and many of the fights before that were interesting to me as well. The final four arch-viles definitely scared me, but I managed to kill them with the two BFG shots that I had left. Three of them died with the second shot, and that was pretty satisfying. I will report that one of the cacodemons refused to leave his teleporter closet. I had to move back to the ziggurat to allow him to teleport back out so I could kill him. I found all of the secrets fairly easily. The BFG and mega one especially was well hinted through an aural clue. Also, the cyberdemon on his pedestal couldn't move or shoot until I started BFGing him. He should probably actually work, because otherwise that room is kind of boring (if neat looking).

 

MAP28 - The opening was pretty intense, and immediately killed me. The second time I made it through without too much trouble. I ended up triggering the teleport trap in the lava area with the barons without actually falling in. I did this completely by accident, but it trivialized the fight. The cyberdemon trio gave me trouble the first time, but technically I didn't die until after I killed all of them. I ate the last rocket. The second time I grabbed the secret invulnerability for this fight which made it trivial. The last room has a bunch of unnecessary ammo in it, I assume for continuous players. I still enjoyed this map, although not as much as some of the previous maps. And of course the required Pestov Platform makes an appearance, but this time made of lava!

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Right I have played the rest of this (Just was unable to use the laptop to properly write these up).

 

MAP27 - “Venom” by Steve Duff
Last time

Quote

You can tell it's a first or second map of someone, mix of square boxy rooms connected to sometimes insanely shaped rooms with extreme height variation. But the gameplay is solid enough to not put it in the Jim Bagrow camp :)
Missed a couple of kills near the start where there were some extra rockets, not that I needed any more after rocket spamming the final room.
I guess some areas near the start need a little redesigning, some of the latter areas could be made a little better looking with some good texture usage.
The gameplay could have been a little harder too

 

This time;

This map is a pretty slow plod for the first half (It improves a little when you get the SSG, the trap for this offer the best fight in the map). The map tries to pick things up beyond the red door, but even these are a little clunky and not overly hard to dismantle with a bit of patience. Note the BFG is soft-lockable if you end up like I did dropping from the upper ledge after the fight in this room, you can get stuck behind the torches. The final fight initiates nicely but given that it is easy to spend all of your cells before the archvile quartet, the possibility of screwing yourself over is quite high here. There maybe be some value in redistributing ammo in this room to try and minimise this. 

Overall the issue I have is that the first half is probably the slowest and dullest of Steve's outings, it isn't as obnoxious as other maps which means I don't rank this at the bottom and in the end this still sits in the middle of pack.

 

MAP28 - “Fortress of Death” by Slava Pestov

Last time

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Ah this map, will give a huge variety of different emotions, from rage to joy, facepalming to hilarity. This map has it all.
I didn't have too many issues with ammo, the start is interesting as it will kill you the first two times, once you know where everything is, you can use the awkward start point to your advantage.
Radsuits are used sparingly which I think is a good thing in this case.
There are a lot of cramped spaces which don't make for good gameplay. And that lift past the red key can game over you if you don't pay attention.
The blue key fight was hilarious, one fist pump and watch all the bestiary slaughter themselves :P
I rather enjoyed this map overall, some for the right and wrong reasons.

 

This time;

I think the negatives outweigh the positives here, the start is aggressive but honestly the only real viable strategy was to quick nab the SSG and return to the start lift, the map doesn't really encourage aggressive play as the walkway/open area set up makes being slaughtered quite easy. A lot of this map involves some quite annoying design decisions, including those platforms you can manipulate and the narrow corridors, these are not particularly fun. Add to this the fact that some fights are ruined by other elements of the map design, for example a warp in of monsters after hitting one of the yellow key switches where many of the monsters are cacodemons/lost souls that of course cannot reach you in those walkways. The blue key fight is another cyber triple threat, not bad I guess but not exactly the most inspired choice, especially as this was done earlier in the wad after a relatively prolonged period of quieter combat.

Overall this one wasn't that good, though I guess some elements can be salvaged by a few tweaks. There are worse maps in this wad.

 

MAP29 - “The Fountain” by Rob Berkowitz

Last time;

Quote

This map started ok, a bit weird and a bit flat, but I like the fact you need to put effort in to get weapons.
Blue key area is also quite nicely done with such minimal detail.
Then the stuff after the blue door happened. Not amused.

This time;

A bit of an oddball and unfortunately still falls into the dud category. The start has some nice lighting, but there isn't much going on and combat is pretty simple. It is worth noting that it is very easy to miss stuf unless you use the automap to spot the knooks. Beyond this is probably one of the worst hubspoke designs I have seen, the fact you need to ride a lift to reach the centre each time (One that is devoid of interest) is not a good progression tool. Then you have the wings, the first is a marble room where you need to build a series of platforms to open up the one meaningful fight, it is slow and not particularly interesting. The big fight itself is pretty chaotic and having the masterminds behind blocking lines means that they can actually pose a proper threat, again an oddball design choice are the side rooms that have mid-textures on one side. After this and a return to the "Hub of doom", we get a fleshy section, the monster looks cool but the room beyond this still isn't great to deal with, then a gotcha rehash and a laugh out loud moment for the exit room.

The map just let me slightly baffled by its design choices, it isn't particularly difficult and its worst bits are not obnoxious than challenge.

MAP30 - “Apocalypse” by Rob Berkowitz

Last time;

Quote

I'm so cool, I killed the icon with the BFG :P
Yeah far far too easy this one.

This time;

This is thankfully a rather easy map to beat once you know what to do. Three switches, all need to use 3 annoying lifts, three commander keens, another 3 annoying lifts and finally one more for the ICON itself. Luckily despite the fact that a lot of monsters will spawn in, the fact that the lifts are quick guarantees enough time to get a clear shot of the demon spitter hole. The only way of failing this is poor archvile RNG.

In the end this gets an average mark but at least the map avoids being annoying by not having a timed element on a lift for instance.

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MAP30: Apocalypse by Rob Berkowitz

 

Okay, so remember when how I've said I had played the original Realm of Chaos, but I have absolutely no memories from that wad? Well, booting up MAP30 did indeed bring back something, mostly because I didn't like the original's ending, finding it confusing and frustrating with the amount of monsters spawning and random pits you could fall into (though I was a noob back then, so I might be exaggerating). 

 

Apocalypse 25th Anniversary Edition is an expanded version of the original - whereas the initial objective was to press three switches that opened a way to shoot the brain, in the remake, the switches remains, but each opens up one of three towers. Riding a lift up and firing into the Icon kills a hidden Keen, with all three dead you can enter the fourth tower and finish the map. At least the pits and random voodoo dolls are gone.

 

I feel like the goal here was to extend the map and while not frustrating, it's still a basic Icon of Sin.

 

Conclusions

 

A month ago, when Realm of Chaos: 25th Anniversary Edition was voted for December '23 run of DWmegawad Club, I had very little interest. Truth be told, I completely misunderstood the purpose of this project. I expected it to be mostly a midi pack for the original release with a couple of tweaks, but largely retaining its gameplay. And since I didn't enjoy the original (considering it almost completely evaporated from my memory), I didn't expect much.

 

What I got instead is an interesting retro experience. I think Steve put it the best, saying it's how the wad would have looked like in 1996 with a more experienced team, better feedback and higher production value. I wish I remembered more from the original, so I could have separate the work of TMT and Cammy's additions. I thought for a while about playing the 1996 and 2023 releases side by side, but in the end decided against it and only checked out some of the OG maps either on YouTube or played through them with IDDQD on. From what I've seen, 25th Anniversary is a greatly improved version in every regard - much better lighting, more engaging combat and the brand new music. I especially like the inclusion of slaughter sequences and in general the increase of monster density. Maps like Bloodlands, Infestation and Dead Radio had some expansive areas that felt underpopulated in 1996 version, so I'm glad Cammy has found a good use for them while retaining an old-school vibe.

 

So, to wrap it up, while I'm not a big fan of retro maps, Realm of Chaos: 25th Anniversary Edition was a pleasent surprise to stumble upon and a wad I would have easily passed on. It's a rather unusual concept to take an older wad and comprehensively update it, without losing the spirit of the original and I think Cammy succeeded here. It's not without faults, as there are a couple of maps that weren't very good and this whole structure of some maps, where one big fight is preceeded by a long and slow crawl, got tired by the end. Still, I have a feeling this has more to do with the original works, as I greatly enjoyed the parts I knew were the new additions. 

 

TOP 3 maps:

MAP18: Dead Radio by Steve Duff
MAP15: Infestation by Rob Berkowitz
MAP24: Burnt Guts by Slava Pestov

 

I feel like this month got a lot slower by the middle, partly because of Christmas, parly because all the stuff that was released. Thanks to everyone who stuck to the end, especially cannonball for providing insights regarding the original maps and Steve for sharing his experiences with RoC's development. See you next year.

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MAP29 - The beginning of this map is dark and creepy. I kind of liked it, but died too many times to demons I couldn't see. It got better when I turned out all of the lights in my room. I still couldn't see at any sort of range, but at least I could tell when I bumped into something! I did find the initial rocket launcher and plasma rifle, although the trap with the latter killed me the first time. I made use of infighting where I could just to make the map more interesting. The music is really creepy, which matches the look and feel of the map. After I got past the first few traps in the dark area the level got a lot easier. The four rooms in green marble area was kind of annoying, but the fight after was fun. I didn't like the inclusion of the pain elementals, since I couldn't see them. I had to try to look at where the lost souls were coming from, and that was difficult since they were hiding near the masterminds. I had a lot of boring cleanup to do afterwards dealing with the lost souls. Oddly enough, even the committee of cyberdemons was easier than the opening dark cavern! I managed to kill them all the first attempt, although I have to admit I didn't come out of it clean. The weird demonic face in the wall was kind of disturbing. I did manage to find all of the secrets before I exited, although I didn't get the mega until after everything was dead. I also exited with plenty of leftover ammo due to using infighting as much as I did. I enjoyed this map well enough, but there were a few times when I got a little bored in the middle.

 

MAP30 - I have to admit I kind of dislike icon of sin maps just as a baseline. My first attempt at this was just me running around confused trying to figure out what to do. It seems like there are four icons in this map? And they are all spitting monsters out like mad. Oh boy. My second attempt didn't go much better because I got confused as to which icons I had already destroyed. Third time was the charm though, as that time I went in a clockwise motion. This map ended up being easier than I expected given the number of spawning monsters. I also liked the bloody credits on the wall when you rocket the final icon of sin. Overall I'd rate this as a decent icon of sin map, which puts it as one of my least favorite of this set. It was a good attempt though.

 

Final Thoughts - I liked this wad more than I expected to. I've played a few "retro" wads this year, and I think the improvements Cammy made really helped the quality of these maps. It's hard for me to know for sure though since I never played the original, but reading all of the comments here makes me confident in that opinion. It turns out I like the sort of easy slaughter fights that were added here, especially when I'm just trying to relax and have fun. I don't think this would have been possible though if there weren't some good bones in the original wad to work off of, but it no doubt took a lot of work to get things to this level of quality. I did run into a few mapping bugs, but nothing that harmed the experience.

 

The real standout in this wad was the music though. There were several tracks I really liked, and there wasn't a bad track in the wad. The only criticism I can have is the weird phone sounding noise in the MAP21 track, but I'm sure that probably has more to do with my DSDA-Doom config than the track itself. I am interested in what it's supposed to sound like though. What were these tracks composed with?

 

I'm now a little hyped for Realms of Intensified Chaos. I'm interested to see what Steve D will do with those maps after all these years. I'm expecting something a lot less friendly than Cammy's version.

 

As usual, the best part of the thread were the posts from the authors giving us a view behind the curtain of the development of this wad. I also enjoyed the comparisons to the original that cannonball and Roofi posted.

 

It's sort of expected that a lot of people would drop off during the month of December with everything going on, but oddly enough it was all of those goings on that caused me to join at all. I'm looking forward to see what the club plays next year, since I'm sure I'll end up joining a few times here and there. Hopefully next time I won't decide to join halfway (or more) through the month and can take a little bit more time with my write-ups. :)

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Map 30: Apocalypse

by Rob Berkowitz

 

It's an Icon of Sin map....but it's actually quite painless. Kind of like Evilution but with no need to aim crookedly. It's a massive courtyard surrounding a structure with Cosmo'nath in the center and basically, we've got to enter some buildings on the sides to open different buildings which takes us to the top and pump 1 rocket each from the different buildings into the exposed skull. After three of these locations are used to damage the room, the final building opens up, containing some slapped-together but kinda touching credits (who was Max Price?) then pump one last rocket to put an end to this guy and save Earth! Very cool final boss-esque midi too! The size made it imo less intutive than something like JPCP Map 30 but things are considerably easier, it's just hard to guess something like accessing the final room in advance.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

I didn't vote for this one in part because I just found the idea of voting for the updated version of an old wad lame but could think of no reason why I should avoid it. Good thing because this is actually a really solid product for the most part! Some maps were difficult or impossible to salvage and some of the attempts at making them better might have gone too far in making this feel like something else. However, I quite enjoyed my time overall and the custom soundtrack was shockingly strong all around. Steve Duff was clearly quite the most compelling designer overall already, but while Rob was probably a little duller, he definitely showed serious inspiration at parts and the other 2 main contributors certainly weren't that bad, as well as Jim Bagrow, mostly. It is a shame because the incentive to check out the originals has mostly dissipated, though some maps are changed quite a bit. Anyways, I gotta go because I'm not sure what else to say atm. Looking forward to Realm of Chaos 2 though (surely Rob has done a little more mapping than this since '99?)!

 

 

 

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Since people are giving final thoughts, i think I should give mine as well:

 

Very inconsistent, from the maps themselves and the remastering quality. I know that the Original RoC was made by a very inexperienced crowd of mappers with rudimentary editing tools from what was posted here, and some concepts are plainly impossible to save without changing the whole map, like map26, but I think the project as a whole, didn't fulfill its full potential, or didn't have a defined goal in the first place.

 

The slaughter gameplay ends up clashing with these 90's more exploratory, simple-minded philosophies. Someone said these encounters felt like trying to turn memento mori into speed of doom, and I definitely agree with that statement. Not to mention, I think for slaughter standards, many of these ambushes ends up being poor, like in maps 27 and 19. It feels more like, the levels were changed with the mindset of "How many monsters can we put in almost the same layout and call it a day?" instead of "how we can make these maps play good?"

 

If map 4 for example, was a complete overhaul for what I read here, why not make all the maps a complete overhaul? why not trying to define an identity from these attempts at overhauling the whole thing, and make something more consistent and fun? If the reason was to preserve as much of the originals as possible, then we have a problem there. If we take what steve said from granted, the objective of the project should be just polishing a bit the original maps to present a more polished version of the exact original vision, so why the gameplay ends up being so different? what is the actual point of this whole project and which design philosophies they wanted to propose for the project as a whole?

 

Music is definitely the best part of the project, not my favorite doom ost, but some decent music that gives all of these maps a bit of personality, like map 08 or 26.

 

Hope the people involved in this learn from its experience here and make more projects in the future, in a more consistent and better way, because with the right mindset, they can only go up from here!

Edited by Cutman 999

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Final thoughts;

 

I raised the question of how far you go when remastering an old megawad such as Realm of Chaos, and that question still remains because it is completely honest to say that the level of work done of each map was not equal, some maps really had work done to them whilst others not so much. Now there were some maps where there were hardline concepts (Map26 for example) where you would need to remake the entire map to make any difference. As such there is quite a difference between the old version and the new one, in particular some mappers who had some quite shocking entries originally had new life breathed into them, some to the point where they went from being quite awful to being some of the best maps in the set.

Now the big win on this remaster is of course the midis that Cammy made, that in itself is a crowning achievement, especially as the all felt right at home in their slots, this in turn doubles down of some of the personality that this megawad had as a whole. 

ROC was lost somewhat in the void, overshadowed by projects led by other groups of mappers, so it was great to play something left-field in 2013, and it is great that effort has been made to highlight this set because it does offer something a little different to the likes of Memento Mori, Hell revealed etc, I would say that this set fits nicely between the two, it is still rough but the original mapset had the likes of Steve D who was very unappreciated back in the day. Now I don't know whether digging into the maps was a good idea, because when you start, where do you stop? But I will say that this megawad is now a better product compared to the original release. That said it still shows its age and of course it has been bettered by many the megawad, however there is a lot of charm embedded in this, not least that we get some subtle sprite edits for items which makes the set a little more unique. In the end my overall opinion is to play this and go in with low expectations and then be surprised by some of the more quality maps that reside within.

 

Overall score - 2.5/5

Favourite map - Map18

Honourable mentions - Map16, 20 and 25

 

Last note - This of course will not be the end of the Realm of Chaos journey, there is still in development a sequel that I will hope will be released in 2024 (I can't be blamed for slowing this down now Steve), I assume this will be covered by the club too eventually, so expect another Realm of Chaos in the near future.

 

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I kind of accidentally and informally wandered into this month's megawad club. I wanted to play something from the mid 90s and happened to download this anniversary edition of Realm of Chaos because I'm dumb and wasn't paying attention to what this was and oh boy. I jumped right into UV thinking this would be no harder than something like Memento Mori, Icarus, or Requiem and am honestly having a lot of fun getting my ass handed to me by some of the more slaughtery parts. I'm about halfway through, so well behind the club pacing but I just wanted to chime in and say how much fun I'm having with this. It's a bit beyond my skill level, but it seems to be in a comfortable spot where it's making me keep trying instead of giving up.

 

And, oh gosh, the music is good. Bravo, Cammy.

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Happy new years to everyone! I completed map30 on 30th but somehow didn't send the post I wrote (happy I didn't) and only noticed now.

Map30 is a very tiny map that is completed in under 3 minutes. I expected something way bigger than this when I was about to play it but I could've guessed that a 90s wad would have an icon of sin ending. For an icon of sin map (I can only compare to doom2 and plutonia) it's fun. Having foor IoS at once greatly speeds up enemy spawn rates and if you don't finish this quickly the entire map will be swarmed with them, though they're basically background props because they don't do much unless one of them is an archviles. The way you take them down is much less passive, instead of standing on a lift and waiting to get to the right level you are actively hunting down switches to open up towers with fast elevators from which you can snipe out the first three IOS. After the first three die the tower for the final real one opens up and then you finally win the map, with cute credits walls on the sides (no cammy there sadly). This is a decent attempt at making an IoS map work.

Spoiler

woof0110.png.92ebba8fc2bdbef32586bc5512c66abb.png


As for the whole wad itself... I don't have that much to say so it'll be short. I think the wad is imperfect and somewhat rough, not my favorite wad of all time, but it's not without some charm. The premise itself of a whole megawad being made by macintosh users is pretty cool. I haven't played the original so I can't really tell but it seems like cammy has done good modernization work here because this wad was better than I expected, but it's also possible that the original mappers were decently competent too, so shrug. The biggest highlight of the wad is the music of course, on many occasions it's better than the maps themselves, and it's especially good when it matches the atmosphere of the maps it plays on. I can't really pick a favorite because it's so consistently good. It enhances the good maps and carries the more average ones.

This DMWCM is my first attempt at writing reviews and I kind of hate to have send everything I did. It should have been written for practice and forgotten forever. Something about my posts is just wrong, while I write them they seem okay but when I reread them later they seem to just not match how I feel about maps. Most commonly I exaggerated nitpicks and made it sound like I find the maps worse than I really did. I'm gonna try better in the next one.

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Map09 - Machine Gun Etiquette by Steve D and Cammy

UV Max'd, 3 Deaths

 

Time for some more massive posts. ;D

 

I really like what Cammy did with this map. This is one of the more purist revisions, but IMO it didn't need much except for more monsters.

 

This map is named after the classic 3rd album, released in 1979, by British punk rockers The Damned, which is one of my all-time faves. Oddly enough, the namesake map is the 3rd one I ever finished, and it is my favorite map -- by me -- in the original Realm of Chaos. Considering the widely divergent reactions to this polarizing map, one might ask why it is my favorite? My answer would be that the design is dynamic in certain ways that I find enjoyable. The map has some odd features, though, so let's take a look at its weird structure in the original 1996 version;

 

 qnj92Sl.jpg

 

Viewed this way, the map looks more like a series of big rooms than a linear corridor crawl, but putting that aside, just look at this thing. I have never seen another map that looks like this. It is, as Cammy said, more like a Ramen brick than a Doom map. The walls of adjacent rooms are close enough to kiss. Why did I do it this way? Simple. I designed this map on a Mac Performa 6200, whose 15-inch monitor was capable of 800x600 resolution. With Hellmaker's window size maxed out, I was able to almost completely fill that window by making the map use all the available space. I am not kidding. What I didn't realize at the time was that you could move the map around so that some of it would be offscreen, thus allowing you to make a more normal map. That said, I don't regret what I did, though it encouraged me to use teleports for progression. Many mappers believe that teleporting is bad because it creates a less cohesive feel, but tbh, I don't care about that. There are plenty of good maps that use teleporters for progression, and in general, I believe there are many ways to make a fun map.

 

The actual progression is sort of a racetrack that loops one-and-a-half times, so that you return to the corridor with the Yellow door, the second time with a wall lowered so you can get the Yellow key. In the original map, you had to find a secret door to leave, without question the stupidest design decision I've ever made, though that door was clued by a huge vertical texture misalignment, as was the Rocket Launcher secret. I have watched at least one gameplay video where the player eventually wall-humped the entire hallway, except for the two misaligned walls. ;D Anyway, this was an example of "cheap difficulty" which was quite prevalent in those days. You wanted to get over on the player somehow, so you did dumbshit moves like that to leave them scratching their heads as they tried to figure things out.

 

However strange this map may look, IMO the far more important thing is how it plays. I decided to use guard houses, a feature of my first map, in this one as well. There are a total of 4 such structures on this map, the most important being the two in the big nukage room. When I speak of dynamic features, I mean things like jumping onto a pressure plate in the nukage to lower the lift and ride it up to the guard shack, where you can battle with Chaingunners, invade the guard house, and grab a secret Megasphere. Once you've done this, you can run and leap off the structure, which is something that gives me child-like enjoyment. As for the other guard shack, from there you can leap onto the stairs below. It's all about the leaping, you see. ;)

 

When I did the Realm of Intensified Chaos version, I kept most of the original map intact -- complete with full-wall monster closets and an upgraded RL trap -- but added on to it by creating outside areas and a new arena;

 

 KN6mRmL.png

 

By contrast, Cammy went with a pretty pure version structurally but added to the monster count and created a much-improved Wolfie battle that I really love. In addition, Cammy included a Plasma Gun secret that harkens to the RoIC version in a fun way;

 

IXMLv9D.png

 

Monster Count on UV

RoC      -- 221

RoIC     -- 324

RoC25  -- 259

 

The only complaint I have with Cammy's version is that he nerfed the RL trap, but against that, he has the best Wolfie fight -- which is where all 3 of my deaths occurred -- so everything's cool. I thought the extra monsters added more spice to the map, and the visual improvements are welcome. In addition, I'm completely in love with the midi, Mélange de Goldergeist. It's a pumping action track with sinister undertones and a ton of parts, and I think that fits with the somewhat chaotic layout of this map. All in all, I'm very happy with this collaboration.

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