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Memfis

Which George Fiffy maps should I play?

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That's a question ive been afraid to ask for a while. I know several years ago I played some that were released around quake era, and I liked them a lot, despite most people saying he's sucky ir pretentious or something. I can't for the life of me find them again though. I have quite a few of his wads but his 1994-1996 stuff is pretty abysmal and i lose interest pretty quick.

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Well, he was notorious for his big ego I guess (read any *.txt and you'll understand), personally I find it funny rather than annoying though so I don't really mind it. Then there is the evelator fetish thing but again, we're all weird in our own ways. And if you play Euthanasia, you'll see that he didn't call his levels TOUGH for nothing: it's a really challenging map for 1997. I like this sort of "oldschool hardcore". I'll post in this thread if I find more cool stuff.

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GooberMan said:

Sweet zombie Jesus, he actually got funnier with age.

I suppose I should see if wmull is still on the Internet.

This is glorious. That video.

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I started laughing as soon as he entered the elevator. It's just so bizarre that videos like this actually exit. But really it's not much different from trainspotting and stuff like that, so eh.

His face reminds me of Thijs van Leer from Focus.

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What are the naming conventions for his wads? Everything he releases is usually #fiffy#.wad, what do the two numbers mean?

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The first number seems to correspond with the game/engine the map was made for: 1 is Doom, 2 is Doom 2, 6 requires a port or limit removing. A few of his releases start with the number 3, but they seem to be for Doom 2. I'm not sure what the second number means, could be sequential ordering based on release.

Edit:
Seems the number 3 is for Hexen!

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I've downloaded every Fiffy map in the archive (barring the Hexen maps) with the intent to play as many as I can tolerate! Not sure how many I'll do a trip report for, but here's one for 2fiffy7.zip:

Filename: CITADETH.WAD
Name: Citi-DEATH (really, not Cita-hell? :p)
Game: Doom 2
Map #: Map 01
Year of Release: 95?
Difficulty: REoL TOUGH! (Reasonably hard)

Description:
A decently sized slaughter map with 350+ monsters. Takes place in some kind of castle, with a number of themes (wood, brick, metal) throughout. A custom HUD and title graphic are included, as well as custom sounds and music. Will probably take you about 30 minutes to beat.

This playthrough was done on UV.

Pros:

  • Lots of variety in terms of visual themes. Plenty of contrast between wide open and confined spaces, light and dark areas, etc. Not a lot to complain about here.
  • The texture work and alignment is impeccable. Reminds me quite a bit of Romero's Doom 2 maps in terms of look and feel.
  • Most of the fights are reasonably fun, but do get repetitive towards the end.
Cons:
  • The start of the map is brutal. You open the first door only to be greeted by a Spider Mastermind and a few shotgun guys. Very rough until you figure out a good flow to get past the first encounter. Smooth sailing afterwards
  • The super shotgun is a bit out of the way at the start and is easy to miss. Be sure to explore the starting courtyard completely before moving on.
  • Plenty of ammo and weaponry, not enough health and armor.
  • There are 5 secrets, and I managed to find none of them. I suspect this is where most of the health and powerups are hiding.
  • Way too many switch puzzles! Half the time you'll hit a switch, only for it to open a room halfway across the map.
  • A few bottomless pits here and there
Overall an above average map.

Edit:
Added some stuff I forgot.

Edit 2:
Here, have another quick trip report for 2fiffy0.zip:

Filename: SPECIAL.WAD
Name: REoL TOUGH: Special Edition
Game: Doom 2
Map #: Map 01 - Map 03
Year of Release: 98
Difficulty: Medium to REoL TOUGH!

Description:
A set of 3 medium to large sized maps for Doom 2. Map 01 is a bog standard Doom 2 techbase. Map 02 is a smaller, remixed version of Cita-DEATH (2fiffy7.zip). Map 03 is a techbase built into a mountain, and what appears to be an attempt at a Quake style techbase with Doom 2 textures. Monster counts never exceed 180 monsters, making for quick but reasonably challenging maps. Also included are custom sounds, music, a custom HUD, and a custom title graphic. Cool stuff overall!

Maps were played on UV as a continuous unit. The maps don't seem balanced for pistol starts, so if you go that route, expect some resistence.

Most of my criticisms for Special Edition (2fiffy0.zip) are the same as Citi-DEATH (2fiffy7.zip), so I'll keep this short:

Pros:
  • There's still a pornographic level of ammo in each map, but health and armor are much better balanced!
  • Yet again, lots of contrast in the maps, and the layouts are rock solid.
  • Maps flow well, with lots of interesting encounters and traps. I was never lost or confused while playing any of the maps in this set.
Cons:
  • Fiffy loves 90 degree angles a little too much.
  • Still way too many switch puzzles. I understand the limitations of vanilla mapping necessitate it, but I could have done without them. They are better balanced than Citi-DEATH at least, with little backtracking needed after hitting each switch.
  • Some questionable thematic and texture choices, but they're unusual enough that I'll let them slide.
  • Secrets are still hidden too well, requiring wall humping or liberal usage of the map cheat to find them.
A rock solid set of maps for 98, and some of the most fun I've had with vanilla Doom 2 in ages. I can see why Fiffy has the ego he does: he was already approaching Romero levels of quality in 95(!) with Citi-DEATH, and he payed lots of attention to texture usage, alignment, contrast and flow. He also seems to be one of the first mappers to have dabbled with the slaughter map format. Naturally, this opinion is subject to change as I go through the rest of his maps, but so far I'm impressed. :p

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Oddly there haven't been that many elevators in the maps I've played. :p Mostly switch hunts and boxes of shells.

Edit:
Time to barf up another trip report, this one for 2fiffy8.zip!

Filename: HELL.WAD
Name: Hell
Game: Doom 2
Map #: Map 01
Year of Release: 95
Difficulty: REoL TOUGH!

Description:
If ever there was a wad that lived up to its name, it's this one. Hell is a large sized slaughter map with 300+ monsters. The level consists of a stone, brick and wood temple, split into four separate sections.

Before you figure out the gimmick, the map seems almost impossible. At the start, there are no weapons, health, or armor, and tons of enemies. The only sanctuary seems to be a courtyard filled with chaingunners. Then you figure out that the glass windows - denoted with a custom graphic - can be smashed. This doesn't make the map any easier, as you still only have access to chaingun drops from the heavy weapon dudes at the start.

If you can get past the rocky start, the map evens out and becomes enjoyable. All the same criticisms apply to this map that applied to my previous reviews.

Pros:

  • The smashable glass is a unique gimmick.
Cons:
  • Figuring out the glass can be smashed. :p
Another decent map from 95. I'm starting to see a pattern here with Fiffy's output, so I expect the rest of his maps to be much the same.

I'll probably play through a couple more maps, but to answer the thread's initial question, it seems like most of Fiffy's maps are worth playing? If you can put up with author specific mapping quirks, and enjoy slaughter maps, most of them should be satisfying. I'd also recommend his maps if you like Plutonia, since they have similarly clean layouts and emphasis on gameplay. Otherwise, I'd avoid, especially if you hate switch hunts.

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Hey, no problem! Can't promise I can play through all of them, but hopefully this should give people an idea of what his maps are like. Speaking of which, another trip report, this time covering a port enabled mapset.

Filename: 6FIFFY0.WAD
Name: REoL TOUGH: Cyber (According to .txt file) OR REoL TOUGH: DeatH FesT 2000 (According to idGames)
Game: Doom 2
Map #: Map 01 - Map 04
Year of Release: 2000
Difficulty: Low to REoL TOUGH!

Description:
A set of small to large maps. Map 01 is your typical stone and metal castle. Map 02 is a network of caves joined by an opening. Map 03 is a bog standard hell castle in a pit of fire. Map 04 is some kind of hellish cave, with both rocky and fleshy bits. As the title of this set implies, Maps 2 introduces the cyberdemon, with each subsequent map adding more and more. The final map culminates in a showdown between ~12 cyberdemons! None of the maps feature more than 200 monsters.

Maps were played on UV as part of a continuous unit. Maps are not designed for pistol starts.

Pros:

  • More organic than Fiffy's usual output.
Cons:
  • Dubious texture choices in Map 04.
  • Finale is absolute bullshit.
Probably the best set of Fiffy maps I've played so far. It seems Fiffy was experimenting a lot with non 90 degree angles, as most of the maps in this set feel very organic. Balance gets a bit wonky by Map 03, but it's still a playable set. Map 04 is where shit really starts to hit the fan. Despite the low monster count, there's lot of difficult encounters. The finale is complete bullshit, so I advise you to run.

Interestingly, the text file included with 6fiffy4.zip explains the deal behind his file names:

(Q) Why do your files begin with numbers? 6FIFFYx.ZIP? Okay....

(A) Originally, it was to push entries closer to the top of lists, to be
visable, but come DooM II, the prefix (the number) dictates what game
(or version) it represents. 1FIFFY*.ZIP are DooM series maps, 3FIFFY*.ZIP
is HeXeN, 5FIFFY*.ZIP is for Quake II, and 6FIFFY*.ZIP is for DooM Source
Ports. At the moment, the 7FIFFY*.ZIP series is slated for Quake 3:
Arena.


It also goes into his notorious ego:

(Q) Why do you have such a huge ego? You look so lame.

(A) If anyone who PERSONALLY knows me can tell you, I actually LACK an ego,
rather than having one. However, when I actually think I really am good
at something, extremely rare as it is, I am not afraid to say it. Of
course, the people that say I have an ego problem never once mentioned
how I helped out new level authors out there, as well as the fact that I
like a lot of peoples maps, so no, I don't think I'm the greatest, and
everyone else sucks, like you might have heard.


Pretty interesting read, as it explains a lot about his personal philosophies.

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