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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club's April Fool's Pitch Party!

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-Wait, what the hell is going on?
The year is 1996. The world has been conquered by id, and the most lucrative business is selling Doom wads. You’ve waded waist deep through terrible wads to sell to investors with no success thus far, foreclosing your house and going days without food on the streets. Fortune smiles on you this morning however as premier entrepreneur dobu gabu maru hands you a card and invites you to suggest this “amazing work” of yours to be included in the forthcoming Master Levels for Final Doom 4: Get Doomered. The trouble is you don’t have a single wad in mind to pitch.

Scrambling through the archives, you download a random map and play it on the bus whilst on the way to the Doom Enterprise Building. As you scramble up the stairs late to the meeting that will decide your destiny, you string together what it is you want to laud about this piece. Once you arrive to the top floor, Mr. Maru ushers you in to sit across from him and his loyal associates. You take a deep breath, knowing you can’t feign or falter now, and strap on the slimiest smile you possibly can before performing your ultimate ruse.

-So what’s really going on?
Choose one of the four maps down below to play through. Once you’ve had your fill, you’re to write a summary for the map, pitching it as the best map you’ve ever played. Afterwards, I shall pick the summary I like the most, and that person will go on to become Romero's foster child in this hypothetical (alternate?) universe.

Download Afro 2 by (ID)ries "Afroman" Hamadi (MAP01)
Download Cathedral of Doom by J. Brown (MAP27)
Download jimstout by James Stout (MAP01)
Download Wacky by Chad Raeside (MAP01)

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And I'm a good looking black woman. No complaints.

When's the deadline, boss?

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I played through "cathedral of doom" and this is what I thought of it:

Layout: OMG, the design in this map is so good. It is so intuitive and it is non-linear. There are absolutely no bland spot and the layout goes very well with the overall flow of the map.

Architecture/visuals: The visuals are some of the best I've seen in any wad. They even top thunderpeak and other wads such as Alien vandetta. KDIZD has nothing going on compared to this map. The visuals are absolutely stuning and most of the time I just stopped and enjoyed the scenery.

Gameplay: The gameplay is probably the best part of the whole map. It is very unique and it offers infinite replay value. The monster placement is amazing and no fights feels boring.

Sound/Music: The music is perfect and I could listen to it non stop. Sadly, this wad didn't come with any custom sounds but heh, the stock ones are still very good.

Overall, this map is definitely the BEST MAP I'VE PLAYED. PERIOD.

The author should win a cacoward for this. Heck, this wad should even be a commercial release because it looks so damn profesionnal. This map even manages to make the stock ID maps look like crap.

This is definitely a map everyone should play over and over again. It is so much fun.

My only gripe with this map is that I can't find anything bad to say about it.

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Afro 2 by (ID)ries "Afroman" Hamadi

This map takes everything you thought you knew about doom and turns it on its head. Its clean and uncluttered design ethic belies a complexity that will stretch players to the limits of their mental dexterity - you will need all your wits and cunning to navigate this labyrinth.

But its not just your brain that will take a beating, this map is literally exploding with action. Your trigger finger barely gets a moments rest as the bodies pile up in the doorways, culminating in an epic boss battle that will truly test the resolve of even the hardiest players.

This really is the pinnacle of doom achievement, in fact I would go so far as to say that if you never play another doom map in your life, make sure its this one.

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Jimstout.wad by James Stout.

Where to begin. This map is way ahead of it's time. I dare say I don't think we will see a map this good for another 20 years, and that's only if people are willing to give up their lives to learn to map like this amazing person.

The traps are what really got me on this one. Go get your MRE's and suit up for the fight of your life men. Have you ever fought an archvile in a blood-soaked room with acidic floors, only to be followed with a key finding puzzle with invisible floors and walls? And then another archie with a door trap that will have you flailing at the keyboard for dear life.

Then there's sky door puzzle which was particularly daunting to me as well, I didn't even know you could use a texture like that.

To top it off, there is even a fake exit. I won't spoil the final battle for you as I believe it to be the most amazing use of a cyberdemon I've ever seen.

Bottom line, you gotta play this map. Trust me, go have an experience of a lifetime and send postcards of the final room all over the world.
You'll be glad you did.

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Wacky.wad by Chad Raeside.

It's a wad by Chad, so you know it will be a fad and totally rad.

Chad brings us this small compact levels which uses all 3 keys in an interesting design. It pushes the boundaries of understanding and texture usage to the limit, deviating from the bland layouts of our previous endeavors.
This map is not only strong on a visual and layout perspective. This map contains many baddies, with all the weapons in your armory to make the map a literal blast. This map doesn't kick your ass too hard and the monster placement is fair but also challenging.

If you like a mapper with a different flair to our previous works then Chad is the man for you. Wacky by name and nature, but awesome too.

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Attention - here we have a hidden gem of the year 1996. I wonder how people could overlook it for the whole time. It's simply the most impressive map I've ever had the honour to try out!

Right from the very beginning, you'll immediately feel the charm. While many maps embarrassingly try to attract the player by a starting view, this map shows its true genius. It will show you only a little - keeping you in uncertainty - yet enough to realize the horror which is going on. Excellent employment of tension factor and unsettling atmosphere, underlined by a hardly expected classic music track.

When you'll eventually overcome the stun and your fear and decide to finally move and turn around - the terrifying place will take your breath away once again. Such an openness, even surreal-like! I hope you're not afraid of height, because the ceiling is so high that you might get sick of it. In addition, the area unusually abounds with various textures, greatly announcing the quality of the following parts of this map. Many smaller objects and items will catch your sight and make you wonder, and in combination with the starting tension, the overall effect is better than any start view that could have been.

Now when you find the courage to do so, you can start exploring the map. There's a lot of things to pick up, right at the beginning there's even a weapon! But it's not that easy as you may think. Very soon you'll run into your opposition. Monsters! Many of them! Better to finish them off soon. Be sure to aim precisely and don't shoot into walls that many times. If you can succeed in that, I believe you shouldn't have problems. Ammunition is greatly balanced and enough weaponry is provided to deal with your foes however you'd like to. Just be sure to dodge monster projectiles and pay attention to nasty chaingunners. You'll even meet enemies which you wouldn't normally expect in a Doom level (spoilers). Overally the challenge is decent, but fair, and that's another reason why I consider this map so good.

The environment changes throughout the level, but each room and corridor stays loyal to the impressive visual style already seen in the first area. Gameplay is spiced up with well thought-out and hard-to-predict teleporter mechanics. Of course there's also a golden-classic 3 keycards quest. One of the coloured locked doors is even used two times. Progression logic and navigation stays intuitive and pleasant, though. Really enjoyable.

I can't recommend the map enough. Go play it. Now. I hope the experience will open your eyes if you haven't ever had that keen eye for pleasant aesthetics.

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Afro 2

What's so good about Afro? How about strobing lights! With some disco music you can feel like you're dancing with the monsters while having a seizure! Oh what's that? You like a lot of monsters and barrels too? Well shit we got that as well! Watch as 20+ barrels explode all the 50 monsters that poor into the room needlessly! And what level isn't without a blood pool with a cyberdemon you can totally avoid? Runs great with your imbalanced gameplay mod!

Edit: After some thought the voice doesn't match. Oh well.

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Cathedral of Doom by J. Brown

Right from the start, we know that this map has been authored by someone with the utmost, tender, loving care. Even before we load the level! How do we know this? Because J. Brown didn't just rush and slap down this level onto MAP01 like every other short-slighted plebian out there. No, J. Brown put the blood, sweat and tears into making the agonizing decision as to which sky, music slot, and mapslot would best fit this masterpiece. And so, Cathedral of Doom rests in MAP27. MAP27! Before we've even loaded up the level and started moving our sweaty fingers in anticipation on the IDCLEV keys, we know that this map must be 27 times better than the other MAP01 filth out there.

Now, let's load up the map proper. The first sight which greets the player's eyes is the front entrance of the titular cathedral itself. If one looks closely, one can notice that the top of the cathedral appears unfinished, worn down by time, or possibly even enveloped my the skies of Hell itself! Truly stunning.

The player's curiousity is quickly crushed though, as a push on the otherwise unremarkable front door reveals a sinister secret: a blue key is required. Leaving the auspices of the front door and exploring the back, the player finds themselves presented with a venerable cornucopia of weapons and ammo. Like the cornucopia of the Hunger Games though, this one provides great risk, as that Baron of Hell sniper can easily hit those barrels, injuring the unwary player. Also, it is important to note that all the good weapons (SSG, RL, BFG) remain suspiciously absent.

One can also climb to the building on the right, giving a sneak preview into the hedge maze which holds the blue key.
Any player doing so will realize they are truly in hell, as the hell in this WAD routinely violates the law of physics as we know them!

Continuing on into the hedge maze provides our first real taste of opposition, as the maze is guarded by a multitude of arachnatrons. In an interesting design decision, a careful player will note that one arachnatron chooses not to fire at the player, but instead merely dances in place, as if to say, "fear not O mighty player, I am your friend, please spare me!" I'm not sure how the author managed such a gameplay mechanic, but it's quite refreshingly novel in a Doom map.

Killing the baron of hell and grabbing the blue key allows the player another peek into the rest of the hedge maze, spotting a Spider Mastermind guarding the heavy weaponry! If the player dares, soon enough, the SSG, BFG, blue armor and berserk will be theirs.

Blue key in hand, the player can finally enter the cathedral itself. Opening the door indeed reveals a huge, demonic cathedral, complete with a blood-encrusted, free-standing swastika!

Care though, because stepping near the giant swastika unleashes a devillish trap - the entire ceiling begins grinding down the crush unsuspecting souls! Truly evil. The entire cathedral appears to be made of such horrendous sights, whether it be the entire altar made of souls or the door greased with the blood of the innocent. The later reveals a room which, well, just watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p4_L_8mh3c

After slaying the cyberdemon and grabbing the red key from the reality-warping altar, the player can finally proceed to the east part of the cathedral, where a cavernous pit leads to a teleporter to the swastika. Finally, after trudging through the hard work of slaying 36 denizens of hell, the player has finally reached the dark heart of the cathedral. Be forewarned, however, for four switches are present. Pressing the right one will open the exit, but the wrong one will unleash unspeakable horrors such as bathing the cathedral in unholy light or shrouding the cathedral in eternal darkness. Once having selected the right switch, the player must then puzzle his way back to the high building near the hedge maze, finally discovering the portal leading out of this hellhole.

In the end, this level speaks for itself: pure top-notch design. Every encounter has been carefully tuned, from the empty, atmospheric start, to the bloodbathed demons awaiting the giant swastika crusher, to the Arch-Vile guarding his river of souls. J. Brown also manages to push the Doom engine to its limits, whether it be the friendly arachnatron or the reality-bending rooms in points, things I didn't even realize were possible. This is a truly stunning tour de force that deserves, nay, requires your immediate attention.

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What a genuine, wonderful masterpiece...

This ma- no wait, this Michelangelo sculpture made not of marbles and stone but of electronic data bits show already it's genius right in the text file description, where's at the very start there's a hymn to the greatest game ever, "Doom 2! Doom 2! Doom 2! Doom 2! Doom 2!" shouted in chorus by million of people, worshiping it like a God...

But the real God, ladies and gentlemen, is here ready only to be played, and when you play this you'll shitting bricks!

The texture choice are sublime, for not talking of the wonderful layout, easy and extremely recognizable also at the first time you playing this level, with some really audacious designs like triangular teleports, and gameplay is simply perfect, fluid like a river...

Is really a work of too many and many hours (or, according to the manifesto alleged to this rare jewel of beauty, "2 many hours & hours & hours & hours...."!) of hard working that ended in this stunning masterpiece...

I don't known many other words to comment on this, just play it!

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Before I talk about jimstout.wad, I'd like to first say a little about the text file, which is recommended anyone read before playing the map unless they want to fall into a coma from the sheer beauty of it all. The fact that the author speaks in the 3rd person in the .txt is only just a small hint of the greatness that will soon become reality, rising from some secret hidden place within the author's cranium.

The author is also kind enough to leave details where one may donate, and I have personally allocated my entire life savings and all future earnings/assets to the continuing work of the author. This might be seen as a financial risk, but those are the people who obviously have yet to play the map. Closing the .txt file felt like closing a chapter of my life, I was sad to see it go but I was also looking forward to what the new dawn could bring. For it is like the dawn, this jimstout.wad, for what dark night could not be cast away with the essence of its purity? But I digress...

In my own past-time and hobby research into central-american archaeology, I have read ancient Aztec legends that speak in hushed tones of a "Great feathered serpent-bird" who will descent into the body of a single man in order to do a great work: design a map for a game which just happens to be popular at the time.

"When the galactic plane and the solar system are aligned, all textures will be misaligned" - The scroll of Atualpec-chotitlan

Upon loading the map, my mind was rapidly sent into a near-death trance and it took the greater part of my willpower to hold onto the mouse/keyboard. I feared my spirit might attempt to leap out of my chest, through the screen, and into the glorious promised land that was shown there. I realized every end is a new beginning, and this is the map to end all maps. Clearly the type of landmark genius that occurs only once every ten thousand years or so, it has potential to shift all those of lesser consciousness to a new and wonderous horizon.

When I woke up it was dark outside, but I felt like Gandalf did after killing the Balrog so it was cool. I have returned again to sit with you here today to tell you that this map proves all we know about level-design is false, and after playing it humanity will be sent on a new trajectory, possibly forever. Who can say except old Jim Stout?

It was difficult to play the map at first, the graphics were hard to see from the constant tears of joy streaming from my eyes and onto my hands, desk and shoes. Every once in awhile I would take a break to wipe my eyes, maybe have a little bite of a cookie, and just smile to myself knowing that the ultimate treasure of destiny was within my grasp (the map jimstout.wad of course, not the cookie)

It is also difficult now to talk about the map, since it changed all my views on life and wiped my memories from the time before I played it. Through the diligent work of teams of psychoanalysts and physiotherapists I can only now begin to encompass in words what this map means to us as human beings.

I and many others like myself have spent a great part of our lives worrying about such horribly outdated concepts as 'texture alignment' 'monster placement' and 'overall focus/cohesiveness' and this realization came with wave after wave of hammering nausea and blurred vision. It is a great burden to report on this map, but also worth it for the sheer and precipitous amounts of unbridled joy it will bring to the lives of little tiny babies everywhere. It takes a staggering god-mind to see the "normal" conventions of an art and then throw them away selectively to create something as affecting and sublime as jimstout.wad, where every room is different and requires its own strategy. I like to think of it as the metaphorical representation in map form of the progressive life-stages of a human being on a quest to achieve ultimate destiny. It is obvious by the lower unpegging of the 64-wide doortraks that the author was aware of certain concepts, yet throws almost all other rules out the window as he blazed a new path into surrealistic abstraction.

Fate has smiled upon me with this jewel of many colors, and with the transition from room to room I could feel myself transcending the mortal bounds of this worldly realm. Already in the first room I felt as if I was in the presence of Zeus, or maybe Quetzalcoatl. The way that the computer and crate textures are thrown on outer walls like wallpaper made me shudder with ecstasy, and I knew from then on nothing else could compare.

SO five minutes into the map I divorced my wife, and it's okay because she's happy, but the alimony payments are a real bitch on account of my funds, of course, being allocated entirely to the author of this map.

The placement of enemies and weapons reveals a supernatural level of tactical awareness and consideration on part of the author. When I saw the two SSGs right at the beginning of the map a little part of me died and then became a small flower not unlike a petunia, which I keep on my desk. Her name is Carl Winslow. Most encounters are fought one-on-one, so anyone who has played the game for about 5 seconds will already be master-level, so you can then take the time to soak in the rest of the visuals.

Varied light levels in the map are a rewarding part of the gameplay experience, it's always fun to guess if you will be able to see in the next room or not. Thankfully most of the map is fullbright, simulating the glory of the heavens which radiated from the author's fingertips while he was crafting this unparallelled achievement. The crowning moment of humanity is jimstout.wad, and the best part of the map is the boss fight: I couldn't even figure out how to get into the last room because some invisible barrier. I took this to mean that I was not good enough, and I will continue to practice the earlier parts of the level until I am deemed worthy. For the sake of this report however, I took the liberty of giving myself jim stout-like powers to walk through walls.

Much to my chagrin the only place that seemed possible to hit the icon of sin was from the doorway, and I only had 2 rockets. There was a cyberdemon in the way of the icon, so I had to drop down into the room to get more rockets. Having dropped down I then realized there was no way to shoot the boss and finish the map, so again I am admittedly only a novice in the ways of the jim stout. I can only hope with practice and lashings I may one day be able to beat the map. Can I handle that? Can I handle a world where jimstout is old-hat? I don't think I could take it, mentally.

So to sum up, jimstout.wad can be ranked on the same level of accomplishment as the Great Wall of China and space travel. From this one seed of a map the next evolutionary step for our species shall grow outward, fractally then recursively, into the hearts and minds of every man woman and sea-horse on the planet.

In short, this map is like one of those dogs that brings liquor to avalanche victims, warming you up from nose to tippy-toes when you thought that all was lost, and forsaken.

In shorter, I wish that when I die I may sit at the right hand of the throne of jim stout.

In even shorter: *weeps gently*

In shortest: <3

Thankyou for your time.

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Huh, I saw this coming a long way off.

Cathedral of Doom played with friends X234 and Josef from bots.cfg

First off, that music "I Sawed the Demons" = awesome.

The lovely marble texture on the cathedral is by far, the sexiest texture that ever graced the Doom texture set. But wait, adventure first! We need a key. It's essential to have them adventures. A maze! A must have in every map! And with arachnotrons no less. Plus a baron sniper. What else? Of course, a glitched monster. It's essential to have this too! Josef helped me somewhat by distracting that guy.

Before the maze, I get some awesome stuffs. But inside, there's even more awesome stuffs, including a spiderdemon. Shotgun away! Where's the key? Of course, on the baron's ledge. Ain't NOBODY expected to get up there!

Well I did, and I'm not telling you how.

Inside the roar of a cyberdemon awaits, along with the essential library and the essential church pews. Even a swastika just like E1M4 Everything's stacking up. Imps? Mandatory. Mancubi? Of course. How about demons in a pit? Indeed! Is there a crusher that can kill demons as well as me? Why of course. The essentials are there and I say that with utmost regard. Another thing, no one is flagged deaf. Brilliance.

The cyberdemon is made so that he isn't cheap, unlike a lot of maps today. This is good. The archie is devious but still easy to take down if you don't fall in. YSK area was a fun bend of reality and not tricky either.

Is there a way to cross the 20x damage moat? Try straferunning, as it's our best bet! And don't forget that key. To the southeast is a teleporter into the swastika, with four devious switches. There's two with light switches, essential, one that does nothing, also essential, and one that does the last thing you'd expect, opening up the exit. Well what's the red key for? Nothing! Why then did your dumb ass pick up the key. Maybe cuz I wanted to, duh.

Actually the RK switch is accessible from the entrance of the cathedral, and all it does is lower the barrier that blocks it from the other side. A red herring switch! Again, essentiality!

When the right switch in the swastika is pressed, victory is assured, and resistance is futile. The map gets rid of mapping clichés such as hitscanners and teleport traps in favor of the following: potentiality, adventure, swastikas, marble, cyber and spider, baron snipers, demons in pits, crushers, oddbending zones, and red-herring switches. This is definitely a groundbreaking masterpiece. No gimmicks of the yesteryear or compulsive tricks, just classic action. This is what our game is about.

Only complaint is that X234 and Josef were retards while I did everything myself.

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jimstout.wad -- The Greatest In Doom WAD Creation

This WAD will change your life. Seriously. By the time I had loaded the thing up for a second run for the purpose of checking that my first run wasn't some wonderful dream, I'd cancelled all immediate business plans and put dinner on hold in anticipation of fainting from pure euphoria out of living through what I can only describe as a masterpiece for the ages. Gods look upon this work and shy away out of respect for the things within; for it holds designs and experiences beyond even their omnipotent and omniscient capabilities.

It starts off innocently enough; a typically-textured room that doesn't give too much away, yet -- with it's wonderfully clashing textures and duplicate weapon cache -- also lets the player know that he/she/it is in for something truly special once the adventure begins. Taking out the initial monsters (a lone Cacodemon) is but the first step on a path to greatness. Soon after this, they are thrown into a wild series of events that will not only test their resolve, but push them to the limits of their abilities and beyond.

I don't want to spoil things, but I really must tempt you in with a short description for the opening of this map. Beyond the first door is the darkroom, a beginner's test where players are given a tough monster (a Baron of Hell) and some tools to make the encounter shorter, provided that the player displays keen enough intelligence and reactions. After this there's the sky passageway, a remarkably well-executed corridor that has been textured in such a way that it really looks and feels like you are travelling between dimensions -- you are then greeted by the first puzzle of the game, which will test your skills in finding secret doorways to the realm beyond our own. This next realm is a horrifying (in a good way, and purely in an artistic sense) land of visceral materials dripping and leaking from all angles, and guarded by the dreaded Arch-Vile. This is where the second test comes into play, in which the player's ability to phase in and out of the realm while maddening the fiendish Arch-Vile is examined. Upon success, the player may enter the bloodrealm for himself and proceed with finding the first of three Keycards...

As you can see, it's some pretty tense stuff that only the bravest and most cunning will be able to deal with. Add to this some incredibly thoughtful gameplay ideas (at one point you have no choice but to think outside the box and actually employ a cheat code to progress!) and it's simply undeniable that this is no mere WAD, but the closest to a complete stand-alone gaming experience that the Doom engine will allow. I refuse to share any more spoilers for they'd only sour the surprises of the journey for anyone who chooses to experience jimstout for themselves, but I will give the various aspects of the map a score:

Texturing: 10/10
It's unbeatable. Everything here is perfect, with subtle clues and markings to assist players on their adventure. No single texture is out of place -- it really cannot get any better than this.

Music: 10/10
It seems like any other use of D_RUNNIN from the days of Hell On Earth, but here it serves a purpose. It's like playing Doom II for the first time all over again, but with vast improvements. The atmosphere is nostalgic yet curious. You think you know what's coming up due to the music, but then it shocks you with something you never thought would happen. Masterful use of a classic tune.

Gameplay: 10/10
Every encounter is something different, a puzzle which takes a different approach to those either side of it. Never a dull moment, you're blasting away one minute, fearfully checking your remaining ammo the next. Unbelievably immersive.

Level Flow: 10/10
I don't want to say why this gets a perfect 10, but it's obvious to anyone who's been there.

Overall: 10/10
Perfection. Pure perfection. You'll never want to play the base game again.

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I read all the entries and had a ton of laughs, but the meaningless reward ultimately has to go to reflex17, largely for his goddamn Atualpec-chotitlan quote that had me crying. Runners up are BaronOfStuff and Magnusblitz for being equally hilarious and breaking the maps down bit by bit, and a special nod to Alfonzo for saying the most words that mean positively nothing. Thanks for the chuckles fellas!

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Huzzah to reflex17! Now you're John Romero's bitch. Er, adopted stepson. Or something.

I also thought Alfonzo did a very good job of pulling me in despite actually saying nothing about an actual level.

After playing all four, I kinda regret picking Cathedral of Doom - it's not a terrible level (though it's got some obvious nodebuilder issues), but the other three feel like troll levels, especially jimstout.wad.

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Thanks dobu gabu maru!

For what it's worth I would also pick Alfonzo if it were me to decide. His entry was, in terms of concept and style, very close to perfection. Extremely strong writing and funny as hell too.

Anyways, I'm off to facebook to hassle my new step-dad for a ferarri. If he asks me what the hell I'm talking about, I'll just say I'm from another dimension :D

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I agree that Alfonzo had the most masterfully written prose out of the group, but I was ideally looking for an entry that would blend that obscenely lavishing praise with details about the map. His would've definitely won if this was based on style alone.

And funny you should say that magnus, considering it was my favorite map to read about (nothing beats that goddamn swastika crusher), and I felt your style was more suited to it given that there's nearly an endless amount of things to make fun of for jimstout & wacky.

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Hey man, I had to sell that sucker! 'Aint no way they would have considered giving me an offer if I talked about the map, are you kidding me? That thing's a total farce!

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