Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact

Recommended Posts

Capellan said:

I really, really recommend switching to HMP. Most of the levels the difference in monster count is not large. For e1m5, where there actually is a significant difference, there are two dozen monsters on HNTR, and 18 of those are troopers. i.e. e1m1 is harder on HNTR than e1m5 is


LOL, that's a good catch, Adam. But I wonder why you don't go for UV on this mapset? It's not against your religion, is it? ;)

I played E1M2 last night on continuous, but I think I'll play it again today from pistol-start. Some of these maps are at least a tad bit challenging from pistol-start and I could get killed. E1M3, for instance, is IIRC much more bloody than the first two. I was also reduced to 26 health on E1M1 when I played it with -fast, and this mapset is a good one to practice -fast skills, which I lack in abundance. ;D

Share this post


Link to post

SteveD said:
LOL, that's a good catch, Adam. But I wonder why you don't go for UV on this mapset? It's not against your religion, is it? ;)



I've actually already finished the episode. :)

I didn't realise how easy it was going to be; only ran the stats when I saw Melon's post.

If I ever replay the wad, I'll either do pistol starts on HMP or play continuous UV.

Share this post


Link to post

BaronOfStuff said:
I know I'm in something of a minority when it comes to questioning constant Revenants, but come on; it does nothing but add to monotony when it's the same thing waiting around a corner or behind a door.


Oh believe me, I agree with you here! The constant Revenant use throughout Coffee Break was the outstanding negative of the whole wad, with Stalker being a goddamn joke with the Revenant spam. I despise the overuse of Revenants, chaingunners and Archviles on doom maps.

Capellan said:

You should at least consider doing Fava Beans, if the community projects are delayed*. It'll take you less than an hour for the whole episode, most likely :)


I will consider doing Fava Beans for the CLUB, but if I do I won't provide any video uploads (maybe screenshots!) for the write-ups as I'll be focusing on uploading my other non-Doom channel projects until Switcheroom/Monochrome Mapping Project release. And with my Internet connection, HD uploads take a while to process.

Share this post


Link to post
Capellan said:

I've actually already finished the episode. :)

I didn't realise how easy it was going to be; only ran the stats when I saw Melon's post.

If I ever replay the wad, I'll either do pistol starts on HMP or play continuous UV.


Ah, I see. ;) Yep, this is a mapset you can literally finish in one sitting, and I've done that a time or two myself, though some of the bigger maps can take a while with their complex layouts, especially E1M7, if memory serves. I do look forward to contrasting the pistol-starts and continuous play of these maps, and who knows, I might get surprised. For example, I can and have been killed at the start of both E1M3 and E1M7 of Knee Deep. And both times, I said to myself, "That did not just happen!" ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Suitepee said:

I will consider doing Fava Beans for the CLUB, but if I do I won't provide any video uploads (maybe screenshots!) for the write-ups as I'll be focusing on uploading my other non-Doom channel projects until Switcheroom/Monochrome Mapping Project release. And with my Internet connection, HD uploads take a while to process.


I'll miss the videos, but understand the reasons. I'd be thrilled if you did write-ups, if you can find the time. Your write-ups are very detailed and fun to read.

BTW, I'm desperately trying to find some spare minutes to watch your Map11 video. Sounds like it'll have a fair amount of cursing and yelling, and what's more fun than a good Doom rage video? ;D If you check the Community Chest 4 thread, Matt534Dog does a rage classic for Map07. I fuckin' howled my ass off! ;)

Share this post


Link to post

e1m2: another nice and fast map, some tribute (or even stolen parts?) to e3m3 (in the northern room) and e1m7 with the open windows and hitscanners everywhere in layout, gameplay is really easy even on UV, there's only a little amount of monsters with already badass guns (even the BFG 9000 as a secret weapon...)

Gameplay video: http://youtu.be/C4qLvnw6c6w

Share this post


Link to post

E1M2: ARE YOU SERIOUS?

While the peculiarity of MAP01 might have tickled me pink, this one tickled me until I was laughing out loud. Elevator spots on the floor, stairs that lead to dead ends, temple textures abound and an exit you can cross before killing even half the enemies. Again, none of this is bad—it’s just so unpredictable that I can’t help but find humor and joy in the design. The elevator patch and dead end were ruses though, as each leads to a secret that is unbelievably overpowered for this early on. I do like the interwoven layout of the maps, and how it feels like I’m exploring a complex rather than a series of rooms intentionally designed by someone to challenge me. So far the layout, texture composition, and silly secrets have been far more memorable than the gameplay, as I can’t remember a single encounter looking back on this map.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M2 -- Hangar 18 - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Yeah, after being completely surprised by E1M1 and thus beginning to suspect that maybe I'd had Fava Beans confused with a different vintage E1 replacement entirely, this one comes along and restores some measure of confidence in my mental faculties. It is a highly memorable map--the way practically the first thing you do is go into one of those big barren E1 yards so you can plink away at all the little zombie noggins gliding around behind the big windows in the building's annex, the "homage" to the secret switch in the original E1M2 that makes the soulsphere obtainable, the incongruous marble slabs and staircases, and yes, most of all, the ridiculous hidden-but-not-secret BFG 9000 in the ooze pit. It has character, I'll give it that, but frankly, it's also rather daft. Everything that's interesting about this map comes from exploration and secret-hunting; combat is purely perfunctory, less dynamic and bloody than most anything in the original Knee Deep and even more trivial than in Fava's own E1M1. Essentially, you kill the monsters only so you don't have to listen to them scuttling around while you explore. Given the standards of the time period, the layout is highly complex, and knits together rather nicely, and still manages to look fairly coherent (albeit more like a nukage plant than a hangar) despite the odd bits of marble here and there. A lot of its square footage is largely inconsequential to the single player, and I reckon the signs that Birkel designed this with Deathmatch in mind are in abundance. The BFG's inclusion, well....it's cute, but it was not a good choice, full stop. There is nothing in Fava Beans that requires the BFG, and putting it in this early only underscores how meaningless the actual action often is in this WAD. In a way, though, the powderpuffery that is the combat is already so lifeless to begin with that it actually sort of reduces the absurdity of having the BFG, I guess--you might say that in Fava Beans, at least in its earlier half, even a mere shotgun is tantamount to a BFG. Nevertheless, I maintain that the big gun being here is the result of the WAD being made in 1995 (when the privilege of slapping it down wherever you wanted must've been intoxicating) rather than any kind of visionary design or whatnot.

However! I tried the map on Nightmare, and it naturally makes the combat relevant in a way that it's not, normally, although it's still far from difficult. It called to my attention more that a lot of the monsters are, as in Knee Deep, not static--that is, they're active and moving around well before you can reach them, or they you. However, in this map at least, this still doesn't make much of a gameplay impact, because despite being active, many of the monsters simply cannot reach you until you take lift A. or open door B., and most of them cannot reach you once you've left their area after they respawn--so no suffering a heart palpitation when a perky zombieman manages to sneak up and goose you ala the original E1M2's darkened mainframe maze. And the BFG being here is still stupid! Maybe I'll try some of the other Fava maps on Nightmare, too, although I expect HYMN might take up most of my non-Fava time once it hits its stride.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M2 - Hangar 18
ANother level with lots of height variation and interesting layouts. Except this one is bigger.
Woo I found a bfg and nothing to blast with it. Regret pistol starting every map this episode now.
Another fun to explore map, if anything the combat is even more low key in this one. At least in the first map there was a couple of small mobs, didn't really get that here to be honest.
I guess this map isn't about combat but finding the secrets and exploration.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M2 (Continous) – Kills – 100, Items – 90, Secret – 100. Time 11:33. End Health 176, Armor 129. Death Count – Zero

E1M2 (Pistol Start) – Kills – 100, Items – 90, Secret – 100. Time 9:34. Death Count – Zero

What a nifty little map this is, and how hugely influential it’s been on me as a mapper. Yes, as DOTW noted, it’s quite daft in many ways, with the crazy and completely useless BFG and the really bizarre secret sector that’s empty – it’s just the bottom of a rising wall -- and which, for some reason, I could only obtain credit for by walking back into the building. What on earth was going through Birkel’s mind when he did that? ;D

But Birkel’s gameplay decisions have never been as important to me as the mapping techniques themselves and, oddly enough, the occasional quite interesting fight designs. But let’s start at the start.

On the continuous playthrough using GZDoom, the Sergeant in the window blasted me immediately. A little buckshot in the face for breakfast, boyo! This opening room was, I think, homaged by Anthony Soto in E4M2 of 2002:ADO (it was off to your right). It’s a really cool start room, with a pool of nukage to inflict some environmental damage, and a choice of 2 paths -- up into the building or out into the “barren yard,” as DOTW said. Of course, in the pre-source port days, we had to be careful because if we added too many sectors things would go wonky with HOMs and such, as happened to me on Map19 of Realm of Chaos. Birkel could have done more here, though, but he was deliberately seeking an id look. Going outside gets you the Blue Armor and reveals a Soulsphere on a column. You’ll also be sniped by hitscanners from the exit area, and you can shoot them through their windows and also shoot at some hellscum higher up behind you – they can’t shoot back – and further, you can go around the exit structure and get the rocket launcher, along with most of the rockets you’ll need for the entire episode, and shoot some more monsters up in the area beyond the blue door. In this way, Birkel provides constant, though easy, combat pressure.

Back inside the building, you have to get the blue key down a corridor which showcases one of Birkel’s idiosyncratic, and I think very successful, texture choices – marble floors in a Startan corridor. He will also use this flat, along with Flat14, in windows. I, of course, copied these choices many times. Before you get to these marble floors-- and please note that he obeyed Romero’s floor texture rule! – you pass a lift to one side and a slit in the wall to the other, that gives you a view of a courtyard with a Blursphere, and also allows lightweight hellspawn to shoot at you. This had a big impact on me back in the day, and ever since I’ve been enamored of seeing things you can’t get to immediately. If you continue down the corridor you can grab the blue key, and on occasion get sniped by a hitscanner in the window above. If you elect to take the lift first, you’ll easily kill that hitscanner and grab the chaingun. That upper room is an interesting one for me as a mapper, because it makes intriguing use of Ickwall, Metal1 and Compohso textures bordered by Support2. Somehow, they all go together. This room also has windows on three sides looking into three separate areas. Birkel did not exploit the combat potential of this architecture, but he showed the capabilities of such a structure. The structure also aided the sense of a real place that is a nice feature of Birkel’s maps.

Taking the lift down can expose you to significant fire from the courtyard if you haven’t already killed a bunch of the dwellers there. Then up you go to the blue door and one of my favorite Doom rooms. I like it so much that I homaged it in E1M4 of my own E1 project. What I like about this area is the stark lighting, with recessed Teklite6 blazing at 255 over Floor3_3. This is a happy combo, and Floor3_3 is a great choice for bright light. Also interesting is the use of Tekwall1 in the light recesses. The Cement center walls, with Sladwall at the windows, makes for another cool combo. This area also has one of the more interesting fight designs, where you are attacked from 2 sides down corridors, and from a third direction and higher elevation thanks to the upper hall. Again, Birkel uses too few monsters to really challenge the player, though using my kamikaze style on pistol start saw me reduced to 57% health in this battle. This area also has the E1M2 secret homage, and yet another nice feature of the map is how you can see the Soulsphere through almost all the windows. You can also jump down into an edge pit and grab another chaingun. This weapon distribution makes sense for a deathmatch map, which is basically what this is.

Going through the upper hall and jumping across leaves you at a door opening onto a more hellish courtyard. Birkel’s use of a zigzag walkway gives the Imp up there a chance to hurt you. You then take a lift down into another nicely-designed fight. It may not seem like much because Birkel again provided too few monsters, but the design is quite cool. The lift has 2 open sides, a rather unusual design approach, so you get attacked from two directions. You also take fire from another angle as monsters plaster you through the window, and stepping forward exposes you to monsters from a side corridor. With more/stronger monsters, this would be quite challenging. Imagine Revvies and Chaingunners here. Another nice touch in this area is the bridge over nukage. But perhaps most importantly, this area introduced me to the hellish techbase concept, which is a design style I’ve enjoyed ever since. It’s worth noting that when I took the lift down to the nukage bridge in GZDoom, the monsters behaved as if they couldn’t see me, and only became active when I opened fire. Sleepy Monster Syndrome.

The last design element worth mentioning is the BFG area, mainly because the Amiga Doom-clone Breathless (1995) had a very similar area, and also in the second map, but in Breathless it was a mandatory part of the progression.

This map was roughly as easy on pistol-start as continuous. I played pistol-start on Risen3D with Always Run, and did it faster, with no saves.

So there you have it, a map which holds a special place for me because of the impact it had on my mapping style. And to this day, I have still never matched Birkel’s use of height variation. Maybe someday . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Capellan said:

I really, really recommend switching to HMP. Most of the levels the difference in monster count is not large. For e1m5, where there actually is a significant difference, there are two dozen monsters on HNTR, and 18 of those are troopers. i.e. e1m1 is harder on HNTR than e1m5 is

I'm already getting the feeling that shooting monsters isn't really what this wad is about and if the lower difficulty levels being garbage is something this wad does, then somebody needs to experience it so it can be criticised. Not that heavily criticising 1995 wads is very fair, but I'm eager to experience for myself what's in store. If it ruins my enjoyment of the wad (although I doubt it will) then so be it.

-----------------

E1M2

I really can't get over how totally bizarre some parts of this map seem by modern standards. The room with a bridge over a slime pit that has absolutely nothing on the other side was the standout moment for me. Everything about this map screamed deathmatch to me, with only a small token placement of monsters scattered around to make it compatible with single player. The weapon placement such as the BFG and RL with a crapton of rocket boxes next to it is the largest part of contributing to that feeling. It amuses to think back to a time where nobody really thought of the novel concept that is wads entirely dedicated to deathmatch without trying to shoehorn in single player play.

I can't really complain about anything however because the map is still fun to explore and I still like the aesthetic of lots of windows and major height variation. A bit too homage-y in places perhaps.

Share this post


Link to post

i'd say the bfg was supposed to be flagged as multiplayer only, the rocket boxes perhaps as well. the plasma is. birkel mentions e1m2 being a DM map which he edited for inclusion in fava.

Share this post


Link to post

e1m3
In terms of textures and design, this is more of the same as the last two maps: it's solid, especially for its age, but unadventurous and bland, and progression feels a bit random at times. There's also a lot of key-fetching for what feels like the sake of key-fetching: get key, open matching door, find single room with next key in it, repeat.

I did like the method of accessing the secret level. It's perhaps a little easy (I spotted it without ever locating the switch that raises the route to the normal exit), but it's a change from the norm.

Use of windows remains good, and I like the way that the different areas inter-wind with each other. It creates a nice 'exploratory' vibe. I just wish the height variations were actually relevant to the action: almost all the fights are with monsters on your own level, and right in front of you. We do finally get a monster closet or two here, but they're very anaemic affairs.



e1m9
Well that was pointless.

Share this post


Link to post
Capellan said:

e1m9[/b]
Well that was pointless.


Alfonzo and I really liked it.

Share this post


Link to post

Tarnsman said:
Alfonzo and I really liked it.


I know. I've watched the video. I even sent alfonzo a twitch tv message about the part of the video where you're discussing texture choice (11-12 minute mark). :)

e1m9 is even more obviously a DM map than e1m2 was. They've just stuck a few monsters in it to make it single player.

Share this post


Link to post

Still on my coffee break guys.

MAP10 -- Fort

The theme is a little stale after 4 maps now but it's certainly as well designed as any other map in the set. Finally Matt throws a few curveballs and while I'm not sure I like the sticky mud, I appreciate the inventiveness.

I found this a tad harder than MAP09 but still too easy, even for HMP. Worse, I feel like I've missed out on the much lauded monster placement by choosing too easy a difficulty setting.

This is probably my favourite level in the set so far.

I don't have time to play MAP11 just yet but might get it done tomorrow. At least Fava Beans should be quick to catch up with.

Share this post


Link to post

e1m3: another fast and kind of much more linear map, still follows the easy way of the above maps and also the hellish mixture present in e1m2, gameplay is still, again, really easy even on UV... died one time in the nukage plasma pit...

EDIT: video gameplay: http://youtu.be/yIYevBLgjGo

Share this post


Link to post

FAVA BEANS

ZDoom on software renderer, UV, continuous play through, constant saving (though I suspect I won't need it...)

E1M1: GASPARA ARMORY

Yeah, wow, major nostalgia here (despite never playing this mapset before). It really does encapsulate the KTitD style, with good use of height and angles. Keys feel a bit overused and being able to just push the metal column to lower the yellow key was a bit strange (but maybe that was par for the course in '95?) but decent romp.

E1M2: HANGAR 18

Immediately I run to the right outside, picking up a combat armor and looping around for a rocket launcher and 25 rockets. Uh, yeah, I can see why people say he might've left DM weapons in the SP by accident. Run upstairs, run by a miscolored wall that doesn't seem to open, and grab the blue key and go down the staircase into... a no-exit hallway. What the heck? Turn around, blast a few more enemies, then... exit switch. A whole half of the level is left untouched, so I go explore it, though there isn't much except a chainsaw and apparently the secret BFG (lol). There are lots of empty parts in the level and then rooms with a few health/armor powerups sprinkled in. Like E1M1, there's nice use of height variation and darker areas, but very strange layout and item placement even by 1995 standards.

E1M3: IMPLALEMENT STATION

I admit that I got lost a lot more in this level, between the tiny ever-connecting corridors, forgetting where keycard doors where, and the disorienting teleporters, I had to spend a lot of time looking at the minimap. (There's also a few switches that aren't quite clear what they do - do they open a secret or finally raise that bridge I need for the exit?) The texture design kinda falls apart in this one, as there's lots of E2 textures (cement, marble, etc) used, and the horrendously ugly slime-edged brown used on the edge of ...water pools. Why not just make it regular green slime? Whatever. It's still very easy, and the monster closets containing - gasp - one zombie and one shotgunner are pretty funny by today's standards.

E1M9: CREEPING DEATH

Haha, wow. Short level - run across the courtyard, up a staircase and bam, exit switch. Yeah, pretty pointless. There's another rocket-laden rocket launcher and an invulnerability if you look around, so yeah, might be another deathmatch level with a few enemies thrown in for kicks.

Share this post


Link to post

Magnusblitz said:
push the metal column to lower the yellow key was a bit strange (but maybe that was par for the course in '95?)


Fairly common, yes.

Magnusblitz said:
there's lots of E2 textures (cement, marble, etc) used


This is something Tarnsman and Alfonzo discussed when they got to the level. As noted above, I sent Alfonzo a Twitch TV message about it.

When it became clear that user-created levels were going to be a Thing for Doom, in 93/94, iD asked that people ensure their wads were not playable with the Shareware, e.g. either set your levels to an E2 oe E3 slot (which is why a lot of early maps are in E2M1) or alternatively use monsters or textures from E2 as those aren't supported by the shareware wad.

The idea of sticking rigorously to E1 textures/monsters in order to most closely match the KDitD "feel" was something that developed later.

Share this post


Link to post
Capellan said:

When it became clear that user-created levels were going to be a Thing for Doom, in 93/94, iD asked that people ensure their wads were not playable with the Shareware, e.g. either set your levels to an E2 oe E3 slot (which is why a lot of early maps are in E2M1) or alternatively use monsters or textures from E2 as those aren't supported by the shareware wad.

The idea of sticking rigorously to E1 textures/monsters in order to most closely match the KDitD "feel" was something that developed later.


Thanks for the info, Adam, I never knew that. I started playing Doom in '95 and missed the whole dawning of the PWAD era. By the time I took notice, there was already a squillion user maps, numerous megawads, mods and TCs. And yes, I have noticed the surprising number of maps starting at E2M1 from those days. Perhaps id's request had something to do with spurring development of the hellish tech base? If so, it was a happy accident, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M3 -- Impalement Station - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hmm, I liked this one a bit more than the previous two maps. Combat is still trivial, but it seems to have been paid at least a little bit of attention in this outing, which is evident (from a pistol-start, anyway) from the outset by way of the welcoming party poised just beyond the door out of the homage-y start room. Other examples of this that come to mind are the surprisingly large (to my by this point very low expectations) enemy group backed up by imp snipers in the roofless western room with the ooze canal cutting through it, or the succession of monster closets in the room overlooking that same area; they are completely nonthreatening, yes, but to at least some degree "it's the thought that counts." Specific examples aside, suffice to say that this map certainly feels like it was created primarily for single play, rather than the evident Deathmatch focus of E1M2 or the forthcoming E1M9. Still, there are some awkward idiosyncrasies--monsters visible through the various windows are yet again usually not able to hit you, while you can still snipe at them with the impunity, and pinkies are generally still placed such that all they do is take rounds in the backside and end up turning on the zombies behind them. Nevertheless, it's the first map in the set where I was able to remember specific battles afterwards, and that counts for something.

It's not actually the combat that helped me get into the map a little more, though, but rather the map progression and general mood. In many ways things aren't as zany here as they were in the previous map, but that's not really a bad thing--it makes the space a little more intuitive and helps promote smooth navigation. The structure itself is more pleasing, e.g. the two staircases that both lead to the outbuilding with grated windows in the small yard, or the way the upper reaches with the monster closets look down into a number of the other areas. I liked the overall look of the map a lot more, too, with its pleasant subdued lighting in the interiors contrasted with the brighter open sky exteriors. There are some nice, simple details as well, like the bright strips of light on the floor between the wall-lights ringing some doorframes, or the unfortunate soul hung from his neck high above the larger yard. It does end on a bit of a strange note in that the regular exit is more 'hidden'/difficult to reach than the secret exit, but this doesn't really hurt anything. Birkel mentions somewhere that 'Impalement Station' is his personal favorite from the set, and I found it more likeable than the first two maps, as well.

E1M9 -- Creeping Death - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
This, on the other hand, felt like a waste of time. Hardly worth the effort of even visiting, at least for the single player--this is clearly a Deathmatch map (and I believe the text file says something to a similar effect?). What you get is about 20 monsters (one of them a stuck specter, and most of whom are dead within the first 45 seconds), an obvious tribute to the original E1M9, and a marginally clever little chain of secrets right near the exit, which (harmlessly) breaks the E1 vibe a bit more by housing a lost soul. You can look to the juxtaposition of the marble faces with the tan compound walls in the main area and surmise that this may or may not have been an influence for certain later mapsets of some renown, but there's not much else to see or do here...unless you're a Deathmatcher circa '95, I guess. I agree with Capellan on this one: pointless.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M3: Nothing as hilarious as a BFG with 200 cell here, but it was still an alright, mostly brown level. The two things I liked were the over arch that dangled a poor man’s corpse and an exit window opening up after nabbing the yellow key. One thing I’ve noticed (which I wrote "that Capellan probably noticed too" before reading that he in fact, did) is that each room past a key door merely serves as a room to house a key in. While fine for some maps, this has been a pretty consistent feature of Fava Beans, like the key hub for 2002: ADO. Fights were a little spicier here with some actual traps involved and a few more sergeants, although in terms of heat, this is still a black pepper. Shame the secret exit wasn’t marked, as I was whisked away before I had time to explore more.

E1M9: Wow that was fast. Accidentally ran into the exit again here. I replayed the level to look for more secrets but could only find the PG, so I gave up, unwilling to do whatever linedef dancing was required in the nukage.

Hearing alfonzo’s love for this was interesting. It’s one of those instances, like staring at a Barnett Newman painting, where one person goes “eh” and the other goes “brilliant!” at such a brusque creation.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M3 (Continuous) – Kills – 93, Items – 97, Secret – 100. Time 21:42. End Health 132, Armor 190. Death Count – Zero

E1M3 (Pistol Start) – Kills – 100, Items – 97, Secret – 100. Time 11:14. Death Count – Zero


Pure Doom nirvana for me. E1M3 is yet another highly influential map for yours truly, especially with the double staircases, a motif I’m working heavily in my Team Mapping levels. I also ripped off the secret exit idea for E1M3 of my E1 project. I actually did that map back in ’97.

This map, as DOTW noted, seems to actually be designed for single player rather than deathmatch, and both benefits and suffers as a result. It starts off with a nice bit of combat that is homagey to E1M3 of Knee Deep, but far easier. You can then choose to go down the stairs to your left or one of the two staircases to your right. If you choose the two staircases there is some decent fighting – especially for newer players -- as you descend two levels, where you can look into a courtyard you can’t access ATM. You can also find the Plasma Gun in a secret area and the Computer Map in a super-secret closet. I forget what the true definition of a super-secret is, but to me, it’s a secret within another secret area. Birkel blows it a bit here by not marking the Computer Map’s door line secret, so people who use the Automap a lot – I don’t -- will find it a little too easily. BTW, I’m sure Baron will complain about being forced to walk on nukage to get the PG and Computer Map. ;)

You’ll have to revisit this area to go through the blue door and access the secret exit, but for now you can go back upstairs and take that stairway to your left. At the bottom you’ll look into an intriguing little Sladwall area you can’t get to right away, and this is the map’s zany and somewhat irritating feature, because to get there you’ll have to unintuitively jump into a big nukage pool, find a secret door, walk on nukage through a curving tunnel, and flick a switch that opens a window onto the secret Plasma Gun area, which you almost certainly found already (unless you missed it like alfonzo did). And to get back up, you’ll need to find an unmarked teleport line. The first time I played this map, back in the days of the Assyrian Empire, I died a lot, until I figured out Birkel’s actually rather clear signals, and it’s really just a clever yet flat-out silly “Fuck you!” to the player. But even so, I almost kinda like it.

The big nukage pool is surrounded by a walkway with some nice detailing and moderate fighting, bounded at its end by a red door. To get the red key you have to fight a surprisingly large mob of monsters in an open courtyard, including sniping Imps up high. This area is all kinds of tasty from a mapping standpoint. There is the secret door marked by stark lighting that leads to a Soulsphere and Rocket Launcher. Again, Birkel fails to mark the door line secret. And in the courtyard there’s a beam running across with a hanging Twitcher, and a canal that has run straight in from an Fwater pool encountered earlier, complete with the Nuke24 side textures that Magnus didn’t like. ;) When I played this area on pistol-start, my kamikaze tactics dropped me to 7% health, so I hauled out the PG and blasted away, then grabbed the Soulsphere.

Suffice to say that the rest of the map shows the complex looping we’ve come to expect, the gazing into currently inaccessible areas, all of it tremendously clever and fun in my eyes. I like the way high windows show moving monsters, even though, as Capellan said, it’s not well-exploited for its combat potential. It’s really more of a mood thing, giving the impression of a place with living things. The stark lighting also enhances the mood.

I had some trouble on continuous play because of GZDoom’s peculiarities. I like to play without the big HUD, but on GZDoom you don’t see which keys you’ve picked up, and because I was interrupted by a phone call, I forgot I had the red key, so I wasted a lot of time looking for it before I brought up the HUD and saw I already had it. ;D I also couldn’t figure out which areas were unvisited using the confusing Automap, which has a weird brown background and shows all the flats, and even blinking lights. It’s too cool for school. Meh. So 4 monsters survived. They weren’t so lucky when I pistol-started on Risen3D with its more classical Automap.

I really enjoy this map with its very active height lines and overall wonderful architecture, lighting and texture choice. The fight design is a bit inferior to that of Map02 in that monsters are almost always in front of you rather than attacking from multiple directions and elevations, but at least there’s more of them. The Block Monster line in the big courtyard was also a bit unfortunate, but just the same, a really fantastic map.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M9 (Continuous) – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time 7:05. Death Count – Zero

I share alfonzo’s and Tarnsman’s enthusiasm for this map. So what if it’s pointless? All Doom maps are pointless. What is Doom anyway but a bunch of rooms and corridors with monsters in them? You kill them and leave. The end. In many ways, Doom can be viewed as a fancier version of Space Invaders. If a Doom map is cool-looking and fun, it has all the point that Doom can really have, and for me, this map has that.

Of course, the invul secret is just weird. But it’s good for a laugh, and probably for deathmatch, too, which obviously is what this map is for, but as with many Birkel maps, for me the secrets are what make it fun, and unlike DOTW, I found the chained secrets at the exit very clever and thoroughly delightful, albeit an obvious homage to Knee Deep’s E1M3 Soulsphere/Rocket Launcher chain. But I suppose this comes down to my personal view of Doom secrets. You can have your super-clever pcorf secrets that require you to flick 10 switches and do 9,000 circumnavigations of the map to see what changed 10,000 miles away from the switch you just pressed. Maybe some people like that. I don’t. Zero fun to this Doomer. Instead, I like the main secrets to be easy to find, and lead to expanded map sections and/or harder to find super-secrets. That’s what Romero did in Knee Deep and that’s what Birkel does here. Once again, however, he fails to mark the super-secret line secret, but this probably indicates that he wants you to figure it out once you’ve got your nose on the trail.

Not much combat-wise here, and points are deducted for the stuck Spectre, which is just sloppy. I got bit by that thing, however, because I didn’t know it was there and I walked over its head. ;D

Share this post


Link to post

E1M3

A surprisingly linear map which is a break from the norm. I thought the secret exit was easier to get to than the regular exit. I like how secrets in this mapset are all visible from the main part of the map and how secret area paths intertwine with the main play area but beyond that there sometimes seems very little else to go on other than wall humping. Fortunately, very few if an of the secret walls have been marked secret on the automap so accessing secrets like the plasma rifle is very easy.

Gameplay-wise this mapset continues to bring nothing to the table, but that's not really the point is it?

E1M9

Huh.

Share this post


Link to post

E1M3 - Impalement Station
Linear and pretty well designed, a little backtracking involved but nothing annoying due to the small compact size of the map. The design continues in the same vein of fit every room around each other to get a as many sights of a certain room as possible and maximising height variation. Found two secrets, the plasma gun and the secret exit.
Another good map, though not as crazy as the last and pistol starting this map offered a little challenge as I was close to death a few times thanks to shotgunners.

E1M9 - Creeping Death
Very simple map, the irony of a map like this using the music track hiding the secrets. You can exit immediately or stay and uncover all the secrets which are all in a chain more or less. It's different and fun and I don't see why people should be slamming a map for this concept, especially if it's a secret map.

Share this post


Link to post

E1m9: Well, this a very fast map, but i liked it... It's a very fast version of original e1m9, just a courtyard filled with nuke and stuff, reach the door and exit. But the fun stuff of this map is about finding all the secret, i've missed the one in the northern upper plataform...

video gameplay: http://youtu.be/7N7xQp20wy8

Share this post


Link to post
SteveD said:

Not much combat-wise here, and points are deducted for the stuck Spectre, which is just sloppy. I got bit by that thing, however, because I didn’t know it was there and I walked over its head. ;D


I almost wonder if it's intentional, because I've seen it work as a trap to almost everyone - I did it, you did it, St. Alfonzo did it in his playthrough, etc. Whereas another spectre just charging up the staircase wouldn't do much.

(Then again, you couldn't walk over it's head back in 1995, so maybe not...)

Share this post


Link to post
Melon said:

E1M3

I thought the secret exit was easier to get to than the regular exit.


You, DOTW and Capellan all made note of that, and my guess as to why is that Birkel wants you to find it and go to E1M9. He doesn't want you going straight to E1M4 and missing the secret map. I'm seeing this as a recurring theme in his secrets, and I like it.

Dobu mentioned the window that opens when you grab the yellow key, showing the normal exit. But there's no monsters on the other side. I love this detail, and I hope I'm right in guessing that Birkel just wanted to say "Boo!" because we all expect to be attacked when we hear sectors moving. If so, I love it even more, because it takes discipline to prank the player. If it was my design, I guarantee there'd be at least 2 Sergeants on the other side of that window waiting to plaster your ass. One of the reasons I enjoy this mapset so much is because Birkel does crazy, funny shit like this that I wish I could do, but can't. ;)

Share this post


Link to post

SteveD said:
I found Coffee Break Map11 to be very hard, but not in a fun way. Others disagreed, and still others, like Kristian, found it easy because of their playstyle.

I need to correct you here: I never said I found it easy. It wasn't easy. It's just that I didn't have the enormous struggle others seemed to have with the layout and gameplay, that's all. :-)

Anyway, "Fava Beans" yay! I play with PrBoom-plus and the proper compatibility level, the usual way: every map from scratch, on UV, no saves, no cheats. If I reach the exit I check the HUD for missing monsters and/or secrets and go hunt them down, if I can't find them I check what I missed in a map editor and replay the map.

Here we go!

E1M1 -- Gaspra Armory
What a great first map! Sets the tone for the episode perfectly. It's a fair bit more violent than the original E1M1, for sure, but very easy, in spite of there being no armour. Design is spacious, simple (or should I say restrained) and very effective. It mimics Romero's deisgn patterns to a T, as SteveD explains more eloquently than I could hope to, while still maintaining its uniqueness. Only one key is needed to reach the switch opening up the exit, but you need to run a bit back and forth and collect all keys to get to the chaingun. This is a theme which will become very familiar later on -- allowing the player to exit while having seen only parts of the map.

Interconnectivity is good for such a small map, you can see monsters in areas you've been and areas you'll visit later, throughout. Some of these visuals are clear clues for the nifty secrets, and if you still can't find your way to the outside area you certainly will with the computer map found in one of the other secrets. A near-flawless map, with only one strange thing in my book: the nukeage ceiling above the yellow key, WTF? --5/5

E1M2 -- Hangar 18
I can only agree with people who find some of the design decisions here to be a bit bizarre, the map is clearly intended for DM with SP thrown in as an afterthought. Furthermore, one of the secret sectors (a door which opens up a previously encountered dead-end) only makes sense in DM, as it allows players to circle around the outdoor area and BK/BFG area. Just as for E1M1 you can easily exit in around 30 seconds or less without having seen much of the map. In this map though you're not missing as much as in the others.

The second secret (the E1M2 secret homage) is impossible to spot. The exit area is more of a ripoff of E1M7 than an homage. And let's not speak of the BFG, whoops, sorry we just did. The weakest map in the set. --3/5

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×