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deathz0r

The /newstuff Chronicles #160

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Good *insert appropiate timezone here*, everyone! I'm sure you're all overly excited about the grand 10th anniversary of Doom, and it is definitely a moment to remember... the fun ends here, fellas. Whoever uploaded half of the old WADs this week, don't ever do it again on any of my weeks. I hate it when I have to sift through all of the old junk that was long-forgotten. Also, I'd like to point out that SargeBaldy has updated some really old WAD, but since there's very little amount of differences compared to the original, I won't be actually reviewing it. I will however post a URL to it at the end of this /newstuff Chronicle. How's that for kindness?

Enough rambling, there's seven WADs to review this week. One Single Player megawad, five Single Player WADs and one Deathmatch WAD make up this magnificent week of /newstuff. Do ye dare uncover my ghastly reviews?

  • BELLA II - Paul Corfiatis and Chris Hansen
    8.2mb - ZDoom - SP(img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    What a nice way to start off this week, a Paul Corfiatis and Chris Hansen megawad! These guys pump out some quality levels, and this Bella II is definitely no exception. I'm going to start this review off on a negative aspect however. The particular thing that worries me about this megawad is if it's a serious attempt or not. Some of the levels (MAP14 in particular) are very damn weird, but at the same time makes me laugh really hard. I guess it's probably best to say that some the levels were made seriously, and others are incredibly weird jokes that only weird people would laugh at.

    Moving on, some of the levels are just simply excellent in every way. The detail and texturing in most levels are very professional-looking, and the gameplay is also perfectly balanced. The monster count in most of these levels are really low, but don't expect the fights to be easy. I actually died twice on MAP01, but then again, I'm just a horrible SP player. Some of the maps have a lot of switches, which may or may not appeal to the average Doomer, depending on how interested they are in flipping switches. Another debatable aspect of Bella II is that the theme is non-flowing. It feels like the levels were just randomly thrown together, as none of them really seem to match up to one another. Overall, the amount of work these two put into Bella II is greatly shown, especially in MAP39 and MAP40. The practice level was also really tough for me to complete, but I guess I was just casually playing at that point. Great job, although whether the overall theme of this WAD is meant to be serious or not still unknown to me.

  • Blind Alley X., "Forlorn" - Gene Bird
    91kb - Doom2.exe - SP(img) (img) (img)
    The latest installment in the "Blind Alley" series, and it definitely keeps up with the rest of the more recent levels. Fast, furious and exciting is one way to summarize this new Blind Alley level, but that'd be too short of a review. The detail is pretty much above-average, like the other Blind Alley series, but the one thing that really attracts me to this series is the intense gameplay that you have to endure. There's plenty of ammo (especially shells) to blast with, and health isn't that much of a problem. There's a decent amount of hitscan enemies, and as usual, there's revenants a-plenty roaming around at high points of rooms. I do recall Gene writing in the first Blind Alley textfile that he was only going to create 13 levels, but this one is the 14th Blind Alley map he's created. I guess it doesn't really matter though, as this one is yet another level that speedrunners should observe. Keep it up, I can't wait to review the next one in the series.

  • Bygone - Doug "FrootDip" Leeman
    33kb - Doom2.exe - SP(img) (img)
    This is another "my first wad" job, so I'll be a little bit more fair on the author's behalf. As a matter of fact, it's not that bad at all, but the annoyingly low light levels in some rooms don't make this level something you'd want to play again, especially when you have no clue on where you're meant to be going. I actually found a switch by accident, and I was lucky that I did, else I would of stopped playing this level a few minutes later. Some of the rooms are crowded with lots of monsters, not to mention that the brightness of the room that they're usually in is incredibly low... it actually reminds me of the Doom Comic, in a weird way. Personally, I'd change the light level in all of the dark rooms to at least 128, and remove some monsters, so that in-fighting doesn't occur as often. If you're the type who likes looking at aspiring authors, feel free to take a look at this and comment on it, else you should take a gander at some of the other stuff released this week.

  • My First UAC Base - BlackFish
    83kb - Skulltag - SP(img) (img) (img)
    Excellent, my least favourite forum monkey has released a WAD on my week! Good thing that it sucks as well, so I have two legit reasons to rip it apart!

    This is BlackFish's "first attempt of a real level", and boy does it have a lot of gameplay flaws with it. First off, the amount of stealth monsters used in this is astronomically annoying, especially the stealth revenant that's close to the first lift you go on. The amount of health and ammo in this is pathetically low, and trying to kill off Belphegors from a long distance with limited space to move around is not what I call fun. Oh, another thing I really love is if you fall of the walkway that surrounds the blue skull key, you can't get back up, neither do you get hurt in the process! I found that one out when I was just walking around the level with cheats on, so I decided to take a screenshot of it in it's full glory. I also love how there's no real theme in this level, which makes you believe that you're in one place, then suddenly in another.

    Good one DumbFish, you've created a fool out of yourself by making a really sub-standard level that is painstakingly annoying. Oh, make sure you actually pick a decent title for your next level.

  • Sewer Terminal - Agent Spork
    72kb - Legacy - DM
    Yet another Deathmatch WAD by Agent Spork, and I must say that I'm really impressed with one. It contains boatloads of Legacy features, even some really decent Fragglescript work. I really love the fact that there's only one door in the entire level, and it opens when you walk near it, instead of having to press the use key while running away from another player. The interconnectivity between rooms is also very well-placed, making this level more of a fast-paced bloodbath, rather than a "camp in some really small area where nobody will find you" level. All of the transparent floors and walls add to the rather nice looks of the map. However, there's a really bad bug which can be seen in the console, which disables the player from actually taking screenshots. Because of that bug, I was unable to provide screenshots for this otherwise flawless WAD. Go play a match against someone in this, you won't be disappointed.

  • Tower Of Pain - Christopher "Udderdude" Emirzian
    237kb - ZDoom - SP(img) (img)
    This week's only Heretic WAD is provided by the same person who hates me, because I said that one of his earlier levels sucked. Well, I'm not going to say that today, because he must have actually paid attention to my criticism, and actually made something that's worth playing! This map uses a fair bit of ZDoom features, colour translations in particular. I was having a hard time trying to look for the yellow key, and I finally found out that one of the side rooms in the south area of the tower has a secret door, which contains a teleporter. If I didn't discover this by accident, I would have said that this WAD is too confusing for the regular Doomer/Heretic player to even play. The amount of monsters is plentiful, meaning that it won't exactly be a walk in a park, but it's definitely not that hard either. There's not much more that I can really say, and that first screenshot I took doesn't help much at all. If you're after a challenge, and you want to stay away from the typical Doom environment, I suggest giving this a go.

  • Doomsday Zephyr Demo - Wes "PumpkinSmasher" Rath
    422kb - Legacy - SP(img)
    Brilliant, another quality WAD just like ULTRAMARINE! Everything about it is so spectacular, you just have to see for yourself! If you think I'm lying again (just like you all thought I was about ULTRAMARINE), then go check out the excellent screenshot that tells all!

SargeBaldy's edit to Dead Base, Dead Base 2.0 can be found here. In case you forgot my reasons on why I don't want to review this, I refuse to review it because it's just a minor update to a really old WAD.

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sp!

Edit: haha, way to go manc, first post a short one, and then edit it to make it appear as you even had time to write stuff.

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My First UAC Base - BlackFish
83kb - Skulltag - SP(img) (img) (img)
Excellent, my least favourite forum monkey has released a WAD on my week! Good thing that it sucks as well, so I have two legit reasons to rip it apart!

This is BlackFish's "first attempt of a real level", and boy does it have a lot of gameplay flaws with it. First off, the amount of stealth monsters used in this is astronomically annoying, especially the stealth revenant that's close to the first lift you go on. The amount of health and ammo in this is patheticly low, and trying to kill off Blephglors (typo?) from a long distance with limited space to move around is not what I call fun. Oh, another thing I really love is if you fall of the walkway that surrounds the blue skull key, you can't get back up, neither do you get hurt in the process! I found that one out when I was just walking around the level with cheats on, so I decided to take a screenshot of it in it's full glory. I also love how there's no real theme in this level, which makes you believe that you're in one place, then suddenly in another.

Good one DumbFish, you've created a fool out of yourself by making a really sub-standard level that is painstakingly annoying. Oh, make sure you actually pick a decent title for your next level.


You just dont give newbie wads a chance, do you?

"I actually died twice on MAP01, but then again, I'm just a horrible SP player"


That's why you died alot in the map. :P The demo was there for a reason. Oh yeah, please excuse my first level ;(.

<schepe> blackfish: well, on his weeks the real reviews are in the comment thread anyway
<schepe> and his starting post is just retarded bashing.
<schepe> :)

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Is everyone having problems with the zephyr demo? I know some other people have tested it and it worked fine for them, it also worked fine for me. So if others are having that problem as well i'll try and figure out what is wrong.

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Nice job on the reviews!

I was going to stop at 13 Blind Alley maps but I just haven't had the heart to kill the series just yet. I sort of like how the more recent ones have been turning out.

There are several new series "waiting in the wings" but no releases untill I feel like this one is done. Hell who knows how far it might go, I am almost half way to a full 32 maps now. I have at least 25 unreleased maps on the system right now.

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PumpkinSmasher said:

Is everyone having problems with the zephyr demo? I know some other people have tested it and it worked fine for them, it also worked fine for me. So if others are having that problem as well i'll try and figure out what is wrong.

It worked OK for me up until map09, which crashed Legacy when in software mode, but not in OpenGL mode.

The maps looked a bit too plain in places (but with some nice touches in certain rooms), and it seemed you had forgotten to put health and ammo in some of the maps. It would be better to make each map playable from a pistol start. (Well, OK, maybe they are sort of playable as they are, but extensive use of the non-berserk fist isn't much fun.)

schepe: the "just post fp to start with and then edit" method is pretty much a given amongst those to whom getting fp is important.

deathz0r: DeadBase 2.0 was reviewed last week by Bloodshedder. I'm sure sargebaldy will appreciate the additional publicity. Heh.

Oh, and of the other wads this week, it's worth noting that Gulch is an early version of the map that was much expanded to become map04 in Enigma.wad.

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Pretty cool maps, though has anyone been able to download Bella II yet? Or is 3darchives still waiting for it? That set looks really cool.

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ragnew said:

Pretty cool maps, though has anyone been able to download Bella II yet? Or is 3darchives still waiting for it? That set looks really cool.


Yep, finished it a few days ago. Quite a fun wad comprised of mostly small maps (sometimes very small, there were two maps that had only 9 monsters, I think) with some fun challenges and humor thrown in, such as the first crossover I've seen in a megawad (I won't spoil that).

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Searcher said:

Nice job on the reviews!

I was going to stop at 13 Blind Alley maps but I just haven't had the heart to kill the series just yet. I sort of like how the more recent ones have been turning out.

There are several new series "waiting in the wings" but no releases untill I feel like this one is done. Hell who knows how far it might go, I am almost half way to a full 32 maps now. I have at least 25 unreleased maps on the system right now.


Yay, a Blind Alley megawad!!! (keep it up, you'll get there)

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Is Bella II as hard as the first one? I have unpleasant memories of trying to pass through a cramped room containing a Cyberdemon, on 30% health...

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Searcher said:

I was going to stop at 13 Blind Alley maps but I just haven't had the heart to kill the series just yet. I sort of like how the more recent ones have been turning out.



I've enjoyed them all. Each has been action-filled and interesting to play. Destined to become a memorable series.

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Mad Butcher said:

Bella2 was rejected because it contained copyrighted MP3 music. :(

Oh DAMN!!! That really sucks man... :(

I hope this gets taken care of sooner then later. I REALLY want to play those maps.

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However, there's a really bad bug which can be seen in the console, which disables the player from actually taking screenshots. Because of that bug, I was unable to provide screenshots for this otherwise flawless WAD


Crap.. I never noticed that. Could be a script error, perhaps. For now, I'll just blame legacy, because.. uh.. I can.


(omg I actually got 2 decent map reviews in a row)

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You can still take screenshots in this map in Legacy by pressing "Print Screen" and pasting into an image editing program. Seems to work better in OpenGL mode than software mode though (the colour scheme gets completely screwed up then). Best to choose 24-bit colour with an OpenGL screenshot, since with 8-bit it gets a bit degraded (no pun intended).

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Mad Butcher said:

Bella2 was rejected because it contained copyrighted MP3 music. :(

Yeah, sure would be nice if people would read and obey the rules. This crap just wastes your time and mine.

/bitter volunteer

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Thanks for reviewing my WAD this time deathz0r :P

The secret door is given away by the pulsating light infront of it .. the door appears to glow, the wall across from it doesn't. I wanted to have some sort of Heretic/Hexen secret puzzle feeling to it.

I've uploaded a bunch of screenshots I took of it. It goes in the order of the areas that you visit. http://rydia.net/udder/!crap/tofpain/ Enjoy!

I may try to record a demo with Zdoom 2.0.60 later on.

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bella 2 was interesting to say the least :) i cooped it with my brother but one map was missing a start (forget which). oh yeah, and i'm glad to see you guys enjoyed my prefab toilet for db :P

deathz0r said:

SargeBaldy's edit to Dead Base, Dead Base 2.0 can be found here. In case you forgot my reasons on why I don't want to review this, I refuse to review it because it's just a minor update to a really old WAD.

heh, minor update my ass. my version has over 3x as many sidedefs as the original, i retextured most of the rooms, added scripts and made numerous other changes. but as grazza said bloodshedder already reviewed it last week.

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Ty Halderman said:

Yeah, sure would be nice if people would read and obey the rules. This crap just wastes your time and mine.

/bitter volunteer


Bitter....!? Are you sure that covers it? Geeez...

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BlackFish said:

You just dont give newbie wads a chance, do you?

I just hate you and your constant "YOU SHOULD BE FIRED" posts.

PumpkinSmasher said
So if others are having that problem as well i'll try and figure out what is wrong.

It didn't even display the TITLEPIC, it crashed straight away.

udderdude said:

The secret door is given away by the pulsating light infront of it .. the door appears to glow, the wall across from it doesn't.

To be honest, the brightness level I have it set to on ZDoom is at the minimum, and I couldn't see the pulsating light sector at all. Either that, or the light difference between the pulsating light and the surrounding sectors is very little.

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deathz0r said:
To be honest, the brightness level I have it set to on ZDoom is at the minimum, and I couldn't see the pulsating light sector at all. Either that, or the light difference between the pulsating light and the surrounding sectors is very little. [/B]


I just checked, the pulsating light is from 128 to 255, with the room light being 160. It should be pretty noticeable .. oh well.

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c-cooper said:

Bitter....!? Are you sure that covers it? Geeez...

Oh, please.

I've been ordered around and threatened by Paul Corfiatis for over 5 years. I don't need his attitude, when it's always something he's trying to get into the archives that is against one or more of the rules. It's especially unfortunate because he's a very good and prolific mapper, but it was in fact only his personal attitude that kept him from qualifying for TeamTNT when he applied.

The "bitter" was intended to be humorous. The "volunteer" was the part that counted. I want to see Bella2 up there as much as anyone, and when it qualifies to do so, I'll put it into the archives. I just hate wasting time and effort when it could be so easily avoided.

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After playing Tower of Pain, I have only one complaint. I couldn't find the Gauntlets. I could have used them to sap some health and heal myself in some of the tighter spots and conserve some Quartz Flasks. Instead, I ended up dying a few times.

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Humor? Sorry, but I didn't get it. I'm sorry to say this, but you've got a way of saying things at times, that can seem a bit supercilious and more or less harsh. But hell yeah, if people don't listen to what one say, I'd get "bitter" too.

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I don't see the problem. He didn't obey the rules, so it was kicked. End of story. Everybody has to obey those rules.

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deathz0r said:

I just hate you and your constant "YOU SHOULD BE FIRED" posts.



Please keep personal vendettas off the news page! He has grown past that phase for a long time now.

The other objections seem sensible enough though.

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