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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: JENESIS (open to suggestions for next WAD)

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Secret maps!

Map 31 - was nice to see a familiar old map given a twist, although the first time i went through it I made the mistake of using all my ammo to kill the cyberdemon when he first appeared, which left me nothing to fight the rest of the map with. There were some annoying bits in it - the room of certain death unless you knew which teleport to take to kill the arch vile was a chore, as was the distant chaingunner above the distant revenants across the invisible bridge (that bridge always struck me as one of the most bullshitty puzzles ever devised in the original game). And of course the reason I had to go through the whole map again was that the floor that rises to carry you into the exit room only goes back down again once it seems. Which I found out after I saved in there and couldn't get back out to look for the secret exit.

Map 32 - this was a tough one, it took a few attempts to get through the start of it in one piece with enough ammo to tackle the arachnotron room. After leaving that room with a secret megasphere I thought well at least it will get a bit easier now... Close range cyberdemon guarding a switch and not enough ammo to kill it followed by revenants and arch viles with no cover made the rest of the proceedings a bit arduous. This was a hard map, though mostly for awkward reasons - was glad to get it out the way really.

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secret maps retrospective
HMP continuous playthrough, savegames used liberally

I'd rather not play through these again. There are some interesting elements in each map though.

map 31
mouldy covered every gripe I have with this map so I'll mention what positives stuck out for me.

- the start area is well orchestrated. I worked around it by luring the imps to kill the shotgun guy. The fact I had an arsenal is inconsequential here as I'd do it the same way from pistol start unless I'm inclined to speedrun.
- Want a BFG? Got to come here then as this is the only place to obtain one until map 20.
- I entertained the idea of using a rocket jump to access the secret exit early but chose not to experiment.

map 32

I blocked myself off from 100% kills here. Just a warning.

First time I made it to the blue key area, I thought a 30 second door locked me in which caused to hate the map. It didn't happen this time though. That cyber is still hazardous if playing without saves from pistol start. It can be cheesed safely at long range but you may not have the ammo to tackle it this way. Seems the intent is to risk up close SSG usage.

- Teleporting revenants and no cover? Actually, there are two hidden ways of circumventing this trouble. Yes two, one is really well hidden.
- I'm not sure how someone would locate the berserk, accessing it seems a bit random. Maybe I'm missing the visual cue though.
- Came in with 100 shells and left with 65. Totally my fault for favoring the shotguns. I chose to handle the cyber with SSG, swift dodging, and a lot of save reloads.

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A techbase with a few outdoor areas and cave & waterfall sections, once again tastefully designed in Jimmy's minimalist detailing. Gameplay is again good, although I struggled a lot with ammo from pistol start on HMP. Layout was good as well, except for when I forgot where the red door was! DEMO


One of my favourite map themes, a subway! One thing that irks me: why do most subway maps have the rails as damaging floors? This one was trickier than it looks, it took me about a dozen tries to figure out what to do. As non-linear as it looks, there really is only one pathway to the exit, and you can get sidetracked for a while figuring out the first step. A lot of difficult enemies, but unlike the previous level there is sufficient ammo here. The start is probably the most difficult part. I loved it. DEMO

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Map 16 - more rocky terrain and bases to explore, I liked the non linear start. The maps seem to be more generous now with the health and ammo (or I am getting better at playing them) I don't remember having trouble with any points in particular here. In fact given the hard bastard nature of the first few maps it feels almost like its getting easier lately. Still fun to play though - these more recent maps seem to be more about setting the scene.

Map 17 - This one is quite a cool and memorable setting, quite a maze-like layout - i'm not sure those numbers on the wall helped me navigate much but I never really got lost. The electrified tracks add a sting of awkwardness that makes things interesting, although the last section was a bit of a deadly surprise. Again loads of ammo and health made it a blast rather than a crawl.

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Onwards lads!

MAP15: Definitely one of the best maps of the megawad, hands down. It blows away everything else in Pt. 2 so far, combining a bleak atmosphere, pretty architecture, great fights, and chilling music. Only gripe I had is that there was an overabundance of ammo, since I exited with 100 shells and there were still shotguns to spare.

But man, what a level! It starts you off with a troublesome archvile which is fun to fight in the starting room, and then you escape to explore more of the bizarre complex. The use of hitscanners isn't quite as ludicrous as the early levels, and each of the archviles are a welcome surprise. One of my things I liked is how when you hit a switch that you're not sure what it did, there's always a revenant wandering around to point you in the right direction. The gold sewage tunnels-area was my favorite, featuring a dangerous slew of enemies while you constantly tip toe around the hazardous sludge. The haz suit makes it much easier, but it's far more wild and unpredictable to clear the place of enemies without it.. Paddock sure loves his nukage. The big fight of the level was also really well handled, albeit a tad quick to teleport demons on top of you, but it was so fun that when I accidentally teleported out, I ran back in to finish the battle. Great, great, great level.

MAP31: And then AARRRGGHHH! A level pops up with no health and hitscanners everywhere! Cool concept to combine Plutonia MAP02 and TNT MAP02 in a E3M9 fashion, but I didn't have fun with this level... a lot of it felt like BS, especially that "HI IM AN ARCHVILE HAVE FUN AT 50% HEALTH" battle. And those revs across that canyon... when I finished I ran straight to MAP16, not caring to see what was in store on slot 32. Shame my fun was spoiled by frustration :(

MAP16: Another good level. This time it's the flipside of "large base with small outdoor area", having the player traverse canyons, ravines, and... could it be? Our second sighting of a jade temple! Hooray! That much closer to hell people!

Died a couple times to some dumb mistakes, good level overall. I like the undead units stationed next to the computers. And the detailing in this level was quite superb.

MAP17: Another absolutely fantastic level! This one gave me a big Community Chest vibe, since it had a strong theme throughout. I really like clearing out the central base and hopping over the electrified track, trying to figure out where to go... but that was one problem with this level, is that I couldn't figure out where to go first. It's not bad to have a big level you run around and explore sometimes though... although it felt like it dragged on a while. Still a superb experience, even with an electrifying ending!

My favorite part of the whole megawad so far was stumbling upon the sergeant in this level that was just watching the fire past a grating in a cave. Such a unique little detail that made me smile.

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dobugabumaru said:

My favorite part of the whole megawad so far was stumbling upon the sergeant in this level that was just watching the fire past a grating in a cave. Such a unique little detail that made me smile.

One of the things in these maps which never fails to make me chuckle is when you come across a dead tree stump planted in a place where a tree would never grow, like in a cave with no sunlight. Maybe its just me that finds that amusing...

While I'm here: Map 18 - some underground exploration in mysterious mineshafts and tunnels. I liked the way everything linked up in this one, it took a fair bit of looking around and back and forth to get through it. The fighting was kind of subdued again, maybe thats just a feature of the caves and tunnels setting making it easier to deal with the monsters, or maybe this one was more about the puzzley layout than the shooting. I never really felt in mortal danger, but the surroundings were intriguing enough to keep me interested.

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Haven't felt inclined to log in for the past few days so there's some pileup

Map 16

Two secrets are missable after a certain point.

Coming from Map 32, I had less than 10% health. So I was definitely cautious seeing as I wanted to keep my weapons. Pistol start is a different adventure: still low health for a while and there's not enough ammo right off to kill everything on first sight. I chose to handle that with infights; the hellknight and cacodemons were conscripted into killing the imps and weakening the revenant that seems perfectly placed to be alerted upon picking up the SSG. It's less hairy after the start though ammo is somewhat tight. Like the music here.

- Another map where the max health percentage is 100.
- There's only one green armor for the whole map so make it last.
- AV jumping is not required for 100% secrets.
- Interestingly, the computer map is easily accessed and does not help with obtaining any of the secrets. It does hint at an upcoming encounter.

Map 17
Hey, I think that train car at the start also appears in Suburbia. Favorite part of journey is descending into a basement. The end stretch will surprise on a first time run and remains interesting with advance knowledge; I aimed to grab frequent airtime to minimize damage.

Map 18
Hmmm, remixed Rise of the Triad music. The cavern similar to Doom 2's map 5 stuck out for me. Start is intense with hitscanners placed where at least one can reach you anywhere. Mostly exploratory after that. Take the down elevator first to boost one's arsenal earlier. Red key may be skippable with a glide.

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Looks like wad-fatigue is setting in now? Well I'm going to keep fighting to the bitter end, so here are a couple more maps:

Map 19 - a river of lava flows in an underground cavern (complete with yet another stump of a tree that never saw the light of day). Some kind of mining operation is going on here, rooms and boxes - even a forklift makes an appearance. I probably should have taken some notice of the story running behind this wad, but as it is I'm quite content to keep blasting my way through base after base for no other reason than wiping out monster-kind. I didn't face anything too perilous here, I'm starting to wonder if the difficulty is going to ramp up a bit for the last 10 maps. We certainly seem to be approaching the depths of the earth...

Map 20 - this base has a more hellish flavour to it, and a surprisingly sedate start. An enjoyable mix of killing and switch hunting follows, mostly straightforward but with an occasional arch vile to spice things up. And then a cyberdemon appears, which was a treat - although the first time I killed him before hitting the switch that summons a horde of all kinds of monstery stuff (which I foolishly thought I could dance around until a couple of viles appeared to barbeque me). The second attempt I let them all have it out with the cyberdemon while I looked down and chuckled. Then on to the exit and... hello who is this? A deceptively deadly new foe appears. That was a nice surprise this late in the wad, followed by a nasty surprise when you step through the gate. I left some monsters alive somewhere, someone else will have to kill them.

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mouldy said:

One of the things in these maps which never fails to make me chuckle is when you come across a dead tree stump planted in a place where a tree would never grow, like in a cave with no sunlight.

Heyyy I use that technique too. THAT STUMP JUST DOESNT LOOK LIKE A TREE! Looks more like weird rocks to me.

And yeah, we got some pretty heavy fatigue going on. Although I just want to remind everyone that we have no plans/upcoming wads we're playing currently, so continue at your own pace. No pressure.

MAP18: A neat little underground area that has two connecting sections. It's a surprisingly timid level, most of the enemies coming at you in a linear corridor with plenty of cover to zip behind, although there's plenty of baddies to salsa with. Visuals are pretty good, nothing special, although I did like some of the lighting on the floor. My secret-sense was going strong in this one and I got about 3 of them... I really liked the inter-connectivity the most in this level.

However, the recurring problem of monsters standing a floor below you reappears, with two more sections where I found myself aiming rockets at my feet. The first with the rev isn't bad at all, but the second at the end of the level with the pinkies and the AV was pretty bad. Since the AV has full control of that area with no cover, it keeps the player standing on the ledge above, wasting ammo into the pinkies shielding the AV. It's not game-breaking, but it was frustrating in an otherwise calm, slowly paced level.


Other than that one room where monsters warped in before the blue key, I really liked this level. It was tougher than the previous, throwing a lot more monsters at you in fewer rooms, and there was plenty to look at. Really liked going through the lava-filled caverns, as they were the most interesting and the most difficult (monsters were everywhereeee). Really fun level.

MAP20: This level was alright. Not too much detail, very reminiscent of Episode 2 again, some nice pacing, and a bit of an anti-climactic ending. The highlight was definitely the cybie in the helipad area, generating a surplus in confidence as I circled around him, pummeling him into the ground with cell. And then I hit that switch and proceeded to have my ass kicked. Only problem with that fight is that if you don't use the life, there's only one safe spot in the helipad area to hide from TWO archviles that come hunting after you, and it makes it tough to subdue them due to the meaty enemies protecting them.

New enemy was cute. I was expecting a frightening hell beyond the door with a dozen corpses next to it, to just be greeted with a stronger zombie. Killed the arachs safely through the windows.


MAP21: And Hell begins with a healthy dose of "I'm gonna kick your ass!" A bareknuckle battle breaks out as I run around the area looking for equipment, antagonizing hosts of enemies to do battle with me. And it's topped off by an AV that's easily ran from, but true men will do battle with him face to face before the gate. It's a good, tough, short level that will hopefully be a sign of things to come. Music was oddly uplifting.

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Man, that map 21 was a real short sharp shock after the previous few. Guess its time to bend over and prepare for the arse kicking now. I'm not too keen on having to kill a whole load of monsters with just a pistol, apart from anything else its just tedious (especially when you keep dying and have to do it again). After that it was a case of using every scrap of cover I could squeeze behind and leg it for ammo. The ending took me a bit by surprise but I was glad to get it over with.

Map 22 - Now we are in hell and the walls seem to be decorated with fireballing imps, while gangs of hell knights and barons laugh as they soak up the shells from your puny shotgun. I was thankful for finding all the secrets as I went through this one: 2 megaspheres and I felt like i needed both of them. As the map progressed things got easier with more ammo and weaponry, but the difficulty certainly seems to have kicked up a notch.

Map 23 - I've no idea what map we are meant to me on any more but what the hell. I started this map off on the wrong foot, didn't notice the shotgun hiding behind that baron and didn't want to disturb him, so took me a few goes to figure that out. This map played very nicely, back to the familiar layout of earlier maps with everything arranged in a close-knit symetrical interlinked style. The ammo was a bit tight once or twice, but after a couple deaths at the beginning I didn't have any problems staying alive.

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More backlog Finished my HMP playthrough a few days ago, all maps cleared.

Map 19

- I take advantage of the monster blocking lines where the zombiemen are at the start to pick off monsters in the lava river.
- Doors do not close manually which shuts down a cheap tactic. I think there is one door that can be closed but monsters can open it too.
- Hit switch, watch huge brawl break out through a window. Not a single projectile reaches my vantage point. Interesting secret gives a choice of means of approach.
- Could not find any plasma weapons on HMP. I suspect it's in one of two secrets I didn't find.
- Lighting in lava caverns is effective at concealing monsters.

Map 20 retrospective
continuous playthrough on HMP

The cyberdemon works well into creating a false sense of security. I'm glad I went to the trouble of keeping my BFG from map 31 here. On my first blind run of the map months ago, the cyber actually killed me which is rather sloppy on my part.

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Whoopsie. Guess I've fallen way behind again with my commentaries. Have some more slightly abridged notes.

MAP16: Crestfallen

I really like how this map turned out - another one of my top ten. I think this was the final map I worked on before finishing Jenesis.

The brown sky is a unique thing that I did specifically for this map, after I couldn't decide on which of the existing skies in jenesis.wad I wanted to use.

Originally this map was going to be called "Fortified Zone" and was going to be far more centered around the base itself - a huge steel plant of some kind that slightly resembled my old junior school. (Cool your jets, I'm not insane.)

The music is "Cliff" by stewboy. The first MIDI by him that I listened to - and I still really like it to this day. Its dramatic orchestrations and slow buildup fit the map perfectly.

MAP17: Deadline

This has to be my all-time favorite map in the WAD. Amazingly the majority of it was created in about 7 hours' time. Fine-tuning and devising the layout and the interconnection between the areas was a lot harder and took me the whole of the following day - I think in the end, I just went with a slightly linear flow in a largely open and non-linear environment.

I find that there's just so much to this map. It's very explorable but I don't think there are that many points where you can get lost. As long as you remember to open gates 1-3 (especially 2) you should be alright. The Requiem textures I borrowed really add something to this map, I think - the lights above the tunnels, the grated window with the opening through which you shoot a switch, and some of the other textures like the warning strips and the platform numbers. Probably the most realistic map in the set, although while it's a train station (given the presence of a ticket booth, a waiting area and several couches next to eye-level monitors), there are no trains... just a railcar.

Incidentally, this is the third instance of that railcar being used (but only the second that I've released). Originally I made it for that incomplete Omega TC I went on about previously (in a room very much like the opening area of this map) and it's also present in my CC4 map. It's rapidly becoming my answer to the Pizza Planet truck. :P

The music is a collaborative effort between me and stewboy, called "Prototype". I extended the track specifically for this map, to incorporate a short section in the middle that borrows from Shameboy's "Strobot" (listening to the Netsky remix really inspired me).

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Map 24 - more hellish red firey shenanigans here, key hunting and back tracking around an evil base and its glowing molten surroundings. This one was very enjoyable to play, no real "you bastard" moments I can recall, and an abundance of ammo and health which made me go a bit rambo in places. As usual all the areas link together nicely, making the adventure seem less linear than it is. Music is getting creepier now as well.

may as well do map 25 while I am here: you know its going to be fun when a map gives you 200 health from the start, altthough i wasted most of it navigating the first few corners of corridor. This felt like a relatively short map, but full to the brim with big monsters nonetheless. Some awkward long range battles with spiders and fatties (i kind of made them more awkward than they needed to be by trying to shoot them from behind trees).

Not many maps left now.. not many players either :)

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MAP18: Mineshaft

Completion stats:
Kills: 100%
Items: 100%
Secrets: 100%
Time: 9:22
Best Time: 3:20

Originally going to be for GForce, this map did also feature a "shaft" - as in, a large, slow-moving elevator that took the player to different floors of the mining complex... well, to the only higher floor, that is.

This map is another example of me having a fairly good idea for a starting room and then losing steam almost immediately, which is what happened with Slime Vaults. Like that map, it's very flimsy in places - the flow itself is an absolute mess - but probably not quite as bad.

It also suffers from "unsatisfying automap syndrome", like Devil's Industry does. It's entirely too blocky, and for a place that's supposed to be a mining excavation it's completely orthogonal, which, now that I've played it several times since its completion late last year, I've found really weakens it.

My texture usage varies only slightly - color-wise it's just a bunch of boring browns, but I tried to use combinations of rock, ash, wood, water and brick to give the place a little bit more visual appeal than it started with, which was not very much.

If I had the time or motivation I'd definitely make this map all over again and try to make it more visually appealing.

I'm not sure what possessed me to do a mashup MIDI of "Chant" from ROTT, and "I Just Love the Airport" from Diehard Trilogy. Whatever my motivation, it resulted in "Airport Chant", one of the quickest mashups I ever did.

Pointless trivia:
Hawkwind hates this map. :P My elevators were broken on his end, so he worked really hard on them, and then I took them out and replaced them entirely because then they wouldn't work on my end.


MAP19: Subterranean Labs

This started out as a SLIGE map. Yep. (That's why the facility's layout is as boxy as it is, if you're wondering.)

More accurately, Impboy asked me if I wanted to make a map for his All SLIGE'd Up project idea, and I had a quick look at the random SLIGE megawad of the day and found a map that tickled my fancy. As per the rules of the project, I then remade the map from the ground up, doing a very rough approximation of the map's shape and layout from scratch, and adding detail to it, which was a lot of fun.

The idea for the subterranean lab setting came from a very loose idea for a map I had, which started out as a rough vision of the grey room with the monster teleporter and the raised platform, but that was definitely to be the map to follow Mineshaft. So, I actually sort of made the map for Jenesis, even though it was going to be for Impboy's project. :P I never actually told him I wanted to use it elsewhere, but I made some changes to it so it wouldn't be exactly the same map. I almost extended it to include a yellow key and door but couldn't find spots for them.

Oh man, how I love this map. Given that the detailing only took me about a day or two, I'm really happy with the results. That southern cave section just looks so great. Sorry, I'm ego-tripping.

It's the only map I've ever done that was in any way based on a randomly-generated map. Although maybe it's worth trying out again, just because the detail level of this one, and my more recent attempt at mapping, "Sauce Port" from the most recent 32in24, indicates that I do have it in me to add some really nice-looking (if superfluous) detail.

This map would probably be the last in my top three, meaning that it occupies the top of my favorite Jenesis maps list along with MAP02 and MAP17.

My choice for this map's music was almost instantaneous - it was stewboy's recently-composed "In Space", which he wrote for the speedMIDI writing event I hosted, with the requirement that the song be in 7/4 time. The guy amazingly did two songs for that event, but I really really liked this one in particular. Very cool song.

Pointless trivia:
I kept my spirits up while making this map by watching several "Argumental"s back-to-back. Brilliant show. :D

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Map 26 - this is an evil map, thouroughly enjoyable though. The revenants hidden behind a curtain of lava at the start are particularly evil. Then I took the left hand route and subsequently missed out on some of the weaponry, which made things more difficult than they should have been. The room full of arch viles on pillars was also evil, as was the staircase of revenants with no ammo to kill them and a pair of arch viles waiting for me at the top. Also the large cavern with long range revenants on shelves and the staircase of barons with an arch vile behind them, these were evil. And the brigade of distant cybers at the end, this was a map I wont forget in a hurry. Oh and the crescent of revenants was nasty too.

good stuff

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map 21

Anyone lured into thinking the difficulty has let up after the moderate map 19 will be shocked awake here if map 20 didn't do the job. Fired up in UV to see what the fuss is about. While tower revenants being able to cover most of the map pose a constant threat, it's actually the possessed marines that would end an attempt at the map. My best of 3-5 attempts ended with me rushing to escape revenant exposure and being eaten by a spectre. Monster placement is suitably evil here. Oh, the music reminds me of approaching a castle gate. Coincidentally, entering the fortress gate is the goal here.

Map 22

Having played through this on lower difficulties, decided to take a crack at UV. Cleared the starting room with 3 shells; it's definitely worthwhile to have the mancubus take out some of the imps. Used the baron in the next room to kill off imps in that room as well as the hall leading towards SSG. Acquired SSG and secret RL and decided to go for backpack next; got boxed in and mauled in outdoor area.

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Map 27 - we are in full-on hell mode now, player is handed a bfg straight away and thrown into a cyberdemon crossfire. There follows a hunt for the 3 keys of the apocalypse. I really liked the flow of this map, the placement of monsters and ammo made for some nice running and gunning. Very dangerous and very fun. Great music too. Looking forward to the arse kicking of the next few maps.

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Lagging behing mouldy, slightly ahead of Crusader.

MAP22: Quite a timid little level compared to the last. It had more of a standard “Doom” feeling with traditional traps and two different paths to pursue right out of the gate. Nice enemy composition although no room really feels quite that dangerous, as there is plenty of space and ammo so that the player can deal with the hand they're dealt. The little trap at the end totally got me though, as I took my hand off the keyboard like a fool. All in all, not bad, but not that memorable.

MAP23: A more devious hell level set in a surprisingly small area... reminds me of MAP06 "Waystation". You spend a lot of time zipping and zagging around corridors, dodging fatal attacks and outrunning bloodthirsty demons. One thing I really enjoy about Paddock's style is that he will, without fail, throw in damaging floor segments without radsuits. I always liked the feeling of having to brave the nukage/lava, and he certainly doesn't disappoint here. Only complaint is that at one section past the red key gates, he has a couple of lost souls that hover near the elevator, making it impossible to go up until you take them out... just seemed like a time waster.

A lot more difficult enemy placement though, which I enjoyed; liked this map more than the last. The AV battle with the rev and pinkie as backup near the invisibility was my favorite part, as the tiny arena meant you had to be constantly on the move.

MAP24: Another great level! Love the new textures in this one, as they provide such a unique feel to the map... the crimson building was my favorite part, due to looks alone. Gameplay wise, the map isn't too difficult, constantly putting you into tough situations but giving you viable options to deal with each one. Mastermind battle at the end was vicious though, forcing me to try it 3-4 times just to find a safe spot to recoup my health. I really liked the level overall... music was also fantastic.

MAP25: A neat, shorter thematic map. It would definitely be pretty rough if I did it from pistol start. Enemies are on all sorts of alcoves, covering you in fire as you move out of the fort and into the valley. The eponymous pit was pretty neat, as you work together with the cybie to take out its teleporting denizens. Mancubus trap at the end got me, and I bit the dust to their widespread fireballs. Fun level.

One thing I find interesting about Paddock's hell so far is the use of white, making it more reminiscent of Doom 1's hell than any modern wad's direction (like Whispers of Satan). Pretty interesting progression so far, I'm awaiting to see how he closes Jenesis out.

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hmm, i was going to talk about map 28 but I think I'll wait and give people a chance to catch up. I will say that you have a treat in store if you get this far.

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MAP26: I'll echo mouldy's sentiments: this map is evil. It is, from start to finish, a mass of death and hell from a flurry of Hell Knights, Revenants, and of course, Archviles. The blue key pit was by far the worst for me since I was low on ammo, and the room is specifically designed that revenant missiles can easily track you AND you have to be standing about in the center of any branch of the room to shoot the revs, which puts you in a dangerous spot. Archviles are used less like trap enemies and more like big dicks: they pop up in the most inconvenient spots where there can sometimes be little or no cover from their fire. Definitely the hardest level yet.

Not sure how I feel about it otherwise. It was fun to get my blood pumping, but the mass rev abuse and ludicrous cyberdemon swarm at the end just felt like overkill, especially since all the other levels have been around the same relative difficulty; many parts felt out of place for this megawad (not that variation is discouraged, since I enjoyed MAP12 quite a bit).

MAP27: Paddock keeps up the heat in hell, dropping you into an archvile duel followed by an archvile sandwich which is complimented by the special archvile-on-cliffsides. Inside the crimson palace stands three different journeys, each in a linear fashion with, thankfully, doors to enter and exit out of. Since you can retreat from any battle, this does make it easier than the last level, although Paddock does throw some nasty surprises in here, like the baddie infested lava tunnels. The AV triple-decker supreme at the end was less terrifying than I thought it was going to be. I think I liked this more than MAP26 overall.


On a separate note, I'm not sure what we're doing next, but I'm already throwing my nomination in for Combat Shock 2. It's only seven levels, so it might be fun just for the slaughter enthusiasts to jump in and play it real quick, allowing everyone else to take a break (and possibly catch up with Jenesis). Plus it'll motivate me to finish Combat Shock 1.

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I'd heartily recommend combat shock 2 to anyone who likes to have their arse thoroughly kicked by an army of monsters. I've been working my way through sunder recently and c-shock 2 is similar but maybe a bit more forgiving.

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MAP28: An interesting, slow & somber map. The difficulty takes a step down from here, opting instead to provide a cool down for the player before the finale (at least playing through consecutively). Some okay fights here, AVs are used in their classic “SURPRISE, BETTER KILL ME AS FAST AS YOU CAN” fashion, and there’s enough goodies to keep your head above water. The cyberdemon fight is handled really well, since you pretty much strafe in a dangerously small corridor with him, and the closing act is pretty interesting… I definitely wasn’t expecting that. Timing on the switches is kind of tight, but it didn’t take more than 3 tries for me. Visuals towards the end were also surreal and fascinating.

Where is it going to go now though?

MAP29: Suddenly, Doomguy is whisked away to a strange, ominous nightmare, showing the potential result of hell overtaking the earth. The lighting and atmosphere in this level is sublime, along with the amazing amount of detail and enemy placement, which oddly consists mostly of lower tier monsters. Only hangup for me was that it took way too long to realize how to get the doors to the blue key open… the little arrow on the ground blended in with the dark corner it was in.

This is another favorite of mine, on par with MAP17. There’s just a lot of neat little things about it, from the crazy amount of details in the cubicle area, to the eerie and strange hallway filled with the wild and roping damaging floor. And the music was very fitting. Although, it wasn’t that rough for a penultimate level besides ridding the intro of baddies, so I’m interested in seeing what the final battle is like.

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Interesting to see your take on map 28, playing from pistol start was a bit more of an adventure - I was so low on ammo through most of it I ended up having to punch a lot of stuff to death. That ending was something of a surprise though, took me a while to figure out. I will check out map 29 later this evening. I can't even remember how this wad ends, hope its not a torturous icon of sin..

Map 29 - a very atmospheric creep through a dark and ominous tech base, with hints of evil doings afoot. The detailing of this map is really top notch, it almost jars with the more simplistic look of earlier maps. The difficulty seems to have dropped in favour of brooding anticipation - with every item I picked up I kept expecting a battle that never came, the only trap I recall was the red key (which was more inevitable than surprising) which seems odd for a map featuring a bfg. That said I did exit the map unexpectedly and probably missed some stuff.

I caught a glimpse of the final map and it looks suitably fleshy and nightmarish.

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The late maps continue to be interesting in one way or another.

map 23

This turns out memorable for the amount of durable monsters to weave around in order to obtain some weapons. Low monster count but cramped spaces: either luring monsters around to infighting or simply killing them (that first berserk pack seems meant to be used for offense) both carry risks to managing the restricted access to weaponry. Once the SSG is available, the challenge lets up for a bit until reaching a pain elemental behind some lost souls. The archvile and revenant combo makes a difficult yet fair combo; the room layout ensures there's always cover somewhere with the challenge being reaching it and herding quickfooted monsters. There's a megasphere secret that by the time it's accessible, the map is pretty much done making leaving with max health and armor trivial after the trial the map presents.

Since I'm carrying over my arsenal on a 32 map romp, that does take much of the sting out. Still, I can picture this being scary starting from scratch.

map 24

I chose to not use the mapfix and that's probably why the cyberdemon never came out. Eventually gave up and left with it still alive. Mean start exposed to durable hitscanners; it helps to have them fighting each other, especially from pistol start. Rest of the map has some tricky moments but nothing so luck based; the archvile and revenant escort can be tricky if not cheesed out though. Secrets are placed thoughtfully, taking careful searching to uncover but there's always a clue and don't feel like random wallhumping.

There's an interesting design choice with the switches near the blue and yellow keys. There's just enough time to open the doorway leading to one of the switches, run towards the switch, hit it, and run backwards before the door closes. Of course, the experts can line up perfect straferuns both forwards and backwards but I'm not at that level of skill.

map 25

- I believe getting the sole secret requires an AV jump. I forgot to do this so access denied.
- For those insistent of exiting with 200% health, it's easiest to leave the soulsphere in the start room for the end. Also suggest saving the berserk nearby as well.

I can see why the map is called "The Carcass Pit." It's the most memorable part of this map for me. Chose to handle the horde that appears upon taking the blue key by booking out of the pit and watching from above. Blue key may be skippable with some jump trickery which may require strafe50.

Succeed at creating atmosphere but I found the map rather dull.

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MAP30: “So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt”. Jenesis however, ends a little differently than Genesis, as Doomguy works his way into the heart of hell to destroy a very interesting custom final boss, who basically serves as a glorified John Romero. Still nice to battle him without the elevator gimmick, which will never be missed wherever it’s replaced. The level is a cakewalk with the BFG in hand, so I decided to redo it from pistol start, and found it to be quite a fun fight, although once you get a bfg and the window straight to the boss, it feels too simple once again... would've been nice to pick up the BFG and battle him in his little blood pit. Good finale overall, glad to see that it’s not exactly a pushover.


And that’s Jenesis! Paddock offers quite a fun and wild ride, throwing in some pretty memorable and creative maps. I didn't care much for the new enemy, but he was used quite wisely in hell, since you couldn't just pew-pew-pew him like the zombie. I had quite a bit of fun and am glad everyone else picked it, because it was pretty far down on the "must-play" list.

The most disorienting thing to me is the wild rollercoaster of difficulty. I may be remembering it incorrectly, but the first few levels were pretty much as threatening as those in the middle (and some at the end). And it feels weird to have MAP26 be the climax in difficulty, although I liked how Paddock twisted the ending. The enemy balance could've been tampered with a little more IMO, but he was learning as he submitted his maps, so I can't fault him for this. Damn solid mapset overall, almost no maps that made me sigh or quit from frustration (MAP31 being the outlier)

Favorite: MAP08, MAP10, MAP15, MAP19, MAP29 (MAP17 was good too, but I don't think it beats these five for me)

Least favorite: MAP13, MAP31

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Just finished Map 30 - A suitably compact ending to a wad of small but perfectly formed maps. Its an icon of sin, but you get the feeling the author isn't keen on icon fights and so there is no annoying dropping of a perch to shoot a single missile into a hole, just a bare minimum of awkward puzzle solving amongst a hail of monsters, followed by a helpful window through which to blast away at the boss.

This wad was a great adventure, I'd agree the difficulty was a bit up and down, but I see it as a story with moments of drama and moments of intrigue and occasionally just moments of setting the scene. For that reason its hard to pick favourite or least favourite maps because they all seem to be parts of a whole experience (although at a push I could single out a few that gave me a headache). I found the ammo a bit dry on a lot of the maps from pistol start, so playing this again I would probably prefer to hammer through it keeping all weapons. Its definitely one I will play again.

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Well done and thanks a bunch to you guys for sticking through the WAD as long as you did! :D Thanks a shedload for the comments, too. :) I have to apologize for not writing up a full behind-the-scenes commentary on every map, but this last month has been pretty busy for me overall. I will be posting a full commentary on the WAD on my blog, hopefully soon. :)

I will also be compiling a big ol' to-do list for the eventual release of Jenesis v1.1. :P


EDIT: If you want my opinion on the next mapset to playthrough, I highly recommend Doom 2 Reloaded. Most of these maps are quick and easy, have smooth layouts, and look really really good. I've had a lot of fun with it. :)

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Thanks Jimmy, it was great having you along with us while we started. Shame we lost so many people, as mouldy and I were the only ones to finish (and post about it).

Because there hasn't been a lot of activity about what megawad to play next, I'm not going to start a new topic unless there's more of a demand for it... no sense in having it be the mouldy & DGM club. The wads I've wanted to play recently are Combat Shock 2, Eternal Doom, Scythe 2, Zones of Fear and Vanguard, but I'm open to anything.

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Eternal Doom should make a very entertaining thread, just imagine all the rage from people being totally lost. :D

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