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T-Rex

The Casali Brothers

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Does anyone ever have the feeling that Dario and Milo Casali are the founders of slaughtermaps? Looking at their works like the maps they made for Memento Mori, TNT: Evilution, and their megawad The Plutonia Experiment, you can tell that a lot of their maps involve facing armies of monsters, usually heavyweights like Cacodemons, Barons, Revenants, Mancubi, and Arch-Viles. Those two surely originated slaughtermaps and their style and megawad The Plutonia Experiment are the forerunners of Hell Revealed, followed by Alien Vendetta, Scythe, Kama Sutra, and so on.

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Dario thought so:

Punisher is the first EXTREME wad. It is sure to have it's followers and copiers, but they will be copies all their lives and probably won't live up to this one anyway.

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I don't know, but Go 2 It was a blast and they are both awesome for all of their work.

Be sure to check Requiem map23. It was intense and fun.

Edit: actually, I like to play Plutonia before Alien Vendetta before Kama Sutra. There is a sort of continuity between the sets in term of difficulty.

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K!r4 said:

I like to play Plutonia before Alien Vendetta before Kama Sutra. There is a sort of continuity between the sets in term of difficulty.


And gameplay style since without Plutonia's knockabout theme, Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta, Kama Sutra, Scythe, and Deus Vult would have been completely different, so props to Dario and Milo for introducing slaughtermaps.

As for TimeofDeath's comment, while Punisher is the first EXTREME wad you can download, Go 2 It is the first and influenced Punisher. And much as I should say, slaughtermaps have become more and more sadistic nowadays.

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Isn't Punisher the wad that got the Casali brothers in contact with id?

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K!r4 said:

Isn't Punisher the wad that got the Casali brothers in contact with id?

No, while Evilution caught Romero's eye, prompting him proposing to Team TNT to make it part of Final Doom, the Casali brothers created an unreleased 8-level wad, and sent it to American McGee. Being impressed by what they were capable of doing, he, along with the rest at id, commissioned them to do a full 32-level megawad, which as we know, became The Plutonia Experiment and the second megawad for Final Doom. This is why I'm wondering which came first, Punisher or Plutonia's Go 2 It, because according to some, Punisher was released in the same year as Plutonia, 1996.

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I didn't know that part of the story. Did the 8 levels be included in Plutonia in some form?

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Interesting that go2it is actually Milo's. It's quite unlikely to assume that punisher and go2it would have different authors.

There is also that funky wad aimed for co-op called "squadron 417" which, if the date of last change is to trust, is roughly 3 months younger than plutonia and features cybs, bfgs and stuff in majority of 20 or so maps it contains.

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Thanks for clearing that up. Some people told me Punisher came after Plutonia, but I always have that hunch that it was otherwise.

I think for the Casali brothers' rejected maps they made for TNT, they became part of Plutonia, but were changed heavily to match the gameplay and feel of it. And yes, Punisher and Go 2 It seem similar, using Doom 2's Map01 as a base and all, but they were by a different brother, with Punisher by Dario and Go 2 It by Milo. The Casalis were famed for their slaughtermaps and started the knockabout adrenline-charged gameplay which we associate with Plutonia, Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta, Kama Sutra, Scythe, and Deus Vult.

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Funny, always thought pl32 was a refined version of Punisher, judging by the /idgames date.

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T-Rex said:

The Casalis were famed for their slaughtermaps...

Not entirely; I can only think of a few "slaughtermaps" by one of them (Go 2 it, punisher, showdown, and SEEJ.wad). Sure, Go 2 it may be their most famous level, but overall I think they're more famous for their ability to create difficult maps (at least by mid-90s standards) with relatively small amounts of monsters (most of Plutonia's maps have monster counts less than 100).

T-Rex said:

...and started the knockabout adrenline-charged gameplay which we associate with Plutonia...

Not me, I consider most of Plutonia's gameplay to be pretty slow-paced.

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Processingcontrol said:

Not me, I consider most of Plutonia's gameplay to be pretty slow-paced.

For most Doomers who end up experiencing more extreme megawads like Speed of Doom and Deus Vult 2, Plutonia and HR may seem slow-paced since their monster count never exceeded 1000. However, back at their time, they were regarded as being the most difficult megawads of all time since they used a lot of powerful enemies though not in the same scale as the modern difficult wads.

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The art of making something difficult is not to throw tons of enemies at the player but instead managing it by clever enemy placement and map design.

In that regard the Casalis were absolute masters.

As for Go 2 It, it's still the only slaughtermap I ever enjoyed playing because it just got the balance right. The map just contains 200 monsters, not several thousands - so I wouldn't even dare comparing it with stuff like Sunder. It also means that it's over before it gets tedious.

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T-Rex said:

For most Doomers who end up experiencing more extreme megawads like Speed of Doom and Deus Vult 2, Plutonia and HR may seem slow-paced since their monster count never exceeded 1000. However, back at their time, they were regarded as being the most difficult megawads of all time since they used a lot of powerful enemies though not in the same scale as the modern difficult wads.

plutonia may have paved the way with go2it and perhaps other maps like the final frontier inspired other famous slaughtermaps, but i would never call the iwad itself slaughterish in any way. the super secret map? well, not THAT prominent. final frontier has 66 monsters on UV and the usual count doesn't go high above 100 in the vast majority of the wad. the maps are (were?) difficult because "designer danger", well planned mini-fight scenarios. plutonia has more in common with scythe than with speed of doom. hell revealed, on the other hand, is truly the granddad of all slaughter megawads, despite possible older ancestors.

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Hell Revealed may have had more slaughtermaps than Plutonia, but with that being said, like its predecessor, it has its share of maps where when it doesn't rely on hordes of monsters will resort to strategic enemy placement which the Chord series and Scythe are known for. Even so, both Hell Revealed and Plutonia can't be compared to over-the-top wads like Sunder and Deus Vult because they used WAY more monsters and had more intricate design, much more than the more complex maps of Alien Vendetta. Some of you may or may not agree with me, but I give credit to the Casalis for introducing devious to near-sadistic enemy fights because without their trailblazing back then, the works of Yonatan Donner, Anders Johnsen, Fredrik Johannson, Erik Alm, Jonas Feragen, Huy Pham, and other mappers famous for hard wads (not necessarily slaughtermaps) would have been different.

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That's just my opinion, yet I could be wrong. Still, the only thing both Plutonia and HR had in common was difficult maps. Sure, HR may have different gameplay to Plutonia, but at least the monster count never went higher than 600 - 700 (Map18 and Map24). Nevertheless, most of the maps of HR were between 100 - 200, and HR2 exceeded more than that in a lot of the maps, not to mention current wads with ludicrous monster counts like Deus Vult and Sunder.

I also want to note that some of the maps on HR that don't rely on hordes will resort to tricky fights with tough monsters like Plutonia.

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