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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Japanese Community Project

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MAP11 - “My fav” by Nanka Kurashiki

extra tall rooms decorated in colorful texture. you fall into a pool of acid where a suit and some monsters await. this is the hubspoke with the exit in a tower, and the map leads you through sections representing the author's favorite foods, i presume .. cross a nukage maze to get a bfg (and it seems that way is the only one), and if you grab the bfg... :D i had to do without the bfg, at least i didn'T find a way to get it, but didn't really need it with the more incidental combat. i found the orange section tedious, because of how those segments lower and rise, all for a few imps and switches. the blue section had a funny riddle of torches, reminding of tnt's "last call". the yellow one looks like sunder's honeycomb map, with some archviles dwelling here, however you can fight them one by one comfortably. ammo was tight but sufficient. the highest concentration of monsters is found in the red section, where circling the brick tower and firing rockets inside solves the problem. oh, and then there's the end where it's advisable to like cacos and remember the order of the color sections. overall a humorous map, with fitting easy-going music by an author who seemed to have fun building it.

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MAP10 - “The Odd Encampment” by Yullie

Quirky map with a weird mix of visual themes and challenge, progression is sometimes a bit of a puzzle and there are occasional tricky fights. On the whole its fun and works ok.

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MAP10 - “The Odd Encampment” by Yullie - UVMax with saves and dozen of deathes

I was close to drop the difficulty to HMP on this one but hopefully managed to exit. There are nasty fights there for sure, and I somewhat managed to get to the teleporter to go on the far left of the map way earlier than I was supposed to, even before grabbing a single key. This map is almost all about ammo management. Gotta use those BFG shots scarcely, I went against using cells anticipating some cyber or mastermind fight but there was not. Oh well.

I was not thrilled by the map design and architecture overall, it's probably not an encampment but sure it looks odd. However I found the progression went quite smoothly, compared to MAP06.

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Map 8: 86% kills, 1/4 secrets

This one gets my attention just from clever use of the automap for a comic. A completed map also takes on a shape of something though I'm not sure if it's a backpack, a radio, a pistol, or something else. Granted, automap gimmicks by themselves do not necessarily make a fun map (zelda.wad from the archives is an example of a bland map reliant upon an automap gimmick). So how does this play?

It's fun. Difficulty is on the casual side though it is easy to get cornered in the optional brawl behind the yellow door in the derelict machine room. This map pours on atmosphere. The chaotic detailing works well in conveying a ruined lab complete with frozen containment. The haunted bathroom is memorable. I was stumped for a while on how to exit. The switch on the inaccessible side was key though moving to where it would be was not the first thing I tried. Correctly guessed I didn't need to fight the 30 revenants near the end. I actually got hit by some homing missiles here; they do have a second or two to launch a missile before being warped away.

On my initial exit, didn't think to go back to see if the forcefield had lowered. Reloaded save to experience the parts I missed.

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MAP11: My Fav
100% kills, 1/3 secrets

Killer Colors with food... fruit, ice cream, etc. Another cutesy minimap comic, too. It's a series of little setpieces, each one taking place in a different food, each with its one color scheme, including items... so if you were sad that Killer Colors left out "yellow" and the chance to get flamed by Arch-Viles, here ya go.

As one might expect from a cutesy level, it's not very difficult. The only part that gave me trouble was the blue torch puzzle, as I couldn't figure out how to solve it beyond brute trial-and-error. The orange part was just boring with the lifts, and playing in ZDoom I also had the same error Antares mentioned, where picking the "no" switch did nothing except leave me confused. Love the music track though, is it from VVVVVV?

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Map 11 -- My Fav - 100% Kills / 33% Secrets - FDA
I didn't care for this at all. A highly conceptual level, "My Fav" presents a linear series of....I guess you'd call them 'obstacle courses', all shaped like fruits (except for the final one, which is shaped as a bowl of sherbet containing all of the previous 'flavors') and color-coded, ala AV map 31 (or "Warp of Time" from our recent playthrough of Hell Ground, at that). Apart from the color-coding, each area has its own unique environmental mini-challenge to drive progression, from lift-riding to door-sequencing to tip-toeing, with the usual cast of monsters dotted here and there to run interference.

My beef with this dish is simply that it feels like it's loyal to its concept first and to being a functional Doom map a distant second. The meat of play isn't combat, but rather the quirky traversal that each area requires, ala the soft-timed maze-run over damaging slime in the green area, the short instakill teleport-maze sequence in the blue area, the pie-lift layout of the orange area, etc. Most of these are quite short and simple, and so are not really stressful in an investment sense, but none feels very substantial, and doing them one after the other rapidly began to feel to me like doing admission paperwork at a hospital stay or something like that (not helped along by my dying twice via telefragging a voodoo doll, once in the more or less untelegraphed blue port-maze, and once in what was admittedly the most obviously trapped BFG setup in the history of Doom). Perhaps much of the problem is that while combat is obviously not the focus of the map, the author was compelled to put it in anyway--simplistic as the concepts are, they generally aren't nuanced enough to carry the map on their own, so there are a number of filler monsters used, which often don't seem entirely at home in the impractical environments, and usually don't serve much purpose other than to make you spend longer moving through each segment than you otherwise would, which sort of defeats the purpose of compensating for each area's conceptual shallowness, you know? This is most pronounced in the orange pie-lift room, where on a first run you have to studiously activate every section one by one so you can check each imp-cubby for one of the many switches needed to leave, and in the yellow 'grape' maze, which is a very glibly disguised way of having you SSG something like a half dozen nonthreatening arch-viles one by one. It's an unfortunate collision of styles and priorities, where neither the thing placement nor the map's designed flow seem to complement each other very well, if anything serving to exacerbate their respective shortcomings.

The visuals are probably the map's best asset. The central/exit hub area has a little too much color-spam for my liking, but each of the main play areas is a visually bold take on the now well-established 'killer colors' gimmick, where the author has made the theme pop in what is really the only proper way to do so, via striking lighting contrasts. There's also an original spin on the idea in that each of the areas has a slight touch of a second complementary color for contrast, which I felt helped the various courses remain visually stimulating even as the gameplay consistently flatlined.

What's supposed to happen if you pick "no" in answer to the last question? More misfortune befalling that poor voodoo doll?

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No deaths? What the hell.

Edit: Oh wait, you just didn't append your customary -- but rare ;) -- # of deaths parenthetical.

This map aside, Nanka Kurashiki has made a number of great contributions to the community, such as AAAAAAAAA and that awesome Gotcha birthday pic.

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MAP11 My Fav

Well here we go. Right from the outset I am greeted by colors upon colors. You know, I never understood why some people hate seeing tons of colorful things in a map, and then those same people bitch at something for NOT having a lot of color. That happened like once or twice here, I think. But I personally love a colorful map.

Green, yellow, white, blue, orange, red. Is this some sort of puzzle hint? Hmm, the first notable area I head into via a huge drop is a radiation-filled zone. Through the maze, the BFG is an instakill trap so I avoid. There's another voodoo doll later with some enemies, and then a segment with some dropping floors. also the teleport pads on the walls are switches, if you didn't notice. So that was the green section?

Oh, you'll NEVER guess where the orange section goes. Oh wait, it's an orange. Five switch presses and I'm home free from that stupid nightmare of a room. I have to be quite vigil in the blue section, considering the Last Call-style maze here, most of the other stuff here is pretty normal although there are two secrets to acquire. The yellow honeycomb section with archviles and chaingunners was pretty cool. Red section afterwards has a trap, but you can move through the forcefield. This ends up in a room very reminiscent of MAP27 of Epic 2, except you know, without all those revenants there.

DO YOU LIKE CACO? Well, since you'll teleport barrels on my voodoo doll if I say N, or something Y. Not like he is of any trouble since I have the guns to kill him and he's the last enemy here. The puzzle here isn't quite "Last Call" as opposed to the one in the blue section, but you have to remember the sections you went through. So that "hint" at the beginning of GYWBOR, isn't a hint at all. I imagined it to be a hint, but didn't take all the sections in that order. Although green was first. The puzzle here actually reminded me of a certain puzzle on MAP09 of Super Sonic Doom, where the order was of a certain color and you had to traverse (quickly) on each one. There's no time limit to this one though. Certainly a weird puzzler of a map. I wouldn't call it "My Fav" but it's a major outlier of the set by a wide margin.

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Looks like I'm going to be pretty busy this month (not disappearing again, honest), but I wanted to say that I really liked MAP10, some neat ideas there. One of my favourite bits was how you could see the demons and barons teleporting in on you when you had a small amount of space to move, you could tell what was left to come but also had to dodge their shots that way. Very neat take on a popular slaughter-style concept.

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MAP12 - Magnetic force apparatus
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/100/100

A tech-base in space with claustrophobic rooms and corridors. The author put his effort into decorating space station with shiny stainless steel frames and guardrails, and they do look pretty good. But then again, combining narrow spaces and steel frame decorations makes this level look even more claustrophobic. To make it even worse, because of steel frames, it's hard to notice chaingunners across the space, while they're spamming bullets to me. About the gameplay. The layout is simple and straight-forward. And the combat is also fine, except the chaingun snipers behind the steel frame I said earlier. One thing I want to mention is that, for some reason, it took me a while to figure out that I got a blue keycard. Still, it's an okay map to start the another episode.

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12 - FDA. Strong Community Chest 4 feel here. I like that. Most areas are quite cramped and not very comfortable to move in, but that's a big part of the gameplay and it makes hitscanners a lot more menacing. I spent a lot of time looking for the blue switch, then finally looked at the automap and spotted it immediately. Why do I always refuse to look at it?

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MAP10 : The Odd Encampment by Yullie

At first I thought this one was an abomination, but it turns out to be manageable with the right thinking and good enough reflexes. Although, I did finish 0 ammo of every type. Beyond that, I don’t have much to say, it’s a well-executed Final Doom type level. The puzzles were cool. I don’t quite feel ready to demo this one… I’ll give it a shot if I can regain enough ground.

MAP11 : My Fav by Nanka Kurashiki

Another one that’s stingy on ammo, I had to leave two Barons alive (could have punched them out, but meh). Still, cool trippy place, I really like these Gauntlet type levels. I’m not going to describe every room, after all we all played through them. I guess the final one (red) is my favourite because it’s the most tense, and the second one (orange) my least favourite because it’s just really awkward.

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MAP10

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but this map reminded me (like many others before me) of a TNT map with Plutonia style difficulty (maybe even harder). It doesn't help that it used to most infamous track from TNT. I didn't really care much for it though. I don't know why but I am not a fan of resurrecting chaingunner turrets ever, even in Plutonia I hated it. Luckily you can actually kill the Arch-vile doing it eventually, unlike MAP27 of Plutonia. It appears that the huge Revenant ambush survived MAP08 after all as there is a really tight encounter with them in one of the buildings. The RK encounter was kind of fun but just too dark to manage without taking massive damage. Other than that though the rest of the map wasn't too bad, just the enemies weren't used all to well here.

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MAP11 - “My fav” by Nanka Kurashiki

A colourful detour into a fruity rubics cube. For what it is, it works well. I'm not massively keen on these kind of maps, I don't play doom for this kind of experience, but i can appreciate that it does the job and looks good. The instant death platform section, those things never work because they force you to save, and once you force a player to save before making a simple left or right decision they may as well do it for each platform, and you have a simple trial and error waste of time. Unless there was some kind of visual clue I was missing. I didn't want to spend any more time on that bit than I needed to. The final platform "puzzle" was better since you didn't get insta killed, so it was no big deal to make a few mistakes. But its still not my cup of tea.

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MAP11 - “My fav” by Nanka Kurashiki - UVMax minus a secret after some random telefrag deaths

Yum, yum, goody goody... That could've been a more appropriate BGM for this level I guess?

Anyway, I was not expecting another ammo management level given the previous reviews, but gimmick automaps seems to be a reccurent theme here.

- The green zone being the worst one at that, I had to finish the arachnotron with the pistol as waiting for infights was not an option as radsuit time is ticking out.
- The orange one is unexiting as soon as you learn you can hole yourself down and use the quarters as lifts, at least it was time to pile on ammo and health.
- The blue one reminded me of TNT MAP30 with the small candle labyrinth (moreso than the entire MAP10 for some reason). The rest reminded me a bit of the blue section of Killer Colors.
- The yellow one was okayish, got to empty cell supplies on those archies.
- The red one was the small slaugtherish part wich reminded me somehow of the revenant arc from AV MAP29.
- The grey part was yet another, much more forgiving, color platform puzzle akin to TNT MAP30.

And I still missed a secret even with IDDT active. Found the soulsphere and green armor ones but I have no idea of the last.

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MAP11

This was a really cool map for sure. 5 different color themed areas, all nice and short and sweet. They seem to ramp up a little bit more as the level progresses. The first green area was a nice little damaging floor sewer tunnel with mostly low tier enemies and a fake out death BFG. The next was the Orange area which was probably my least favorite as riding lifts up and down can become nauseating kind of like the part from MAP09 of Doom 2. The Blue area was my favorite. I don't know what it is about blue but it is so easy on the eyes compared to the rest of the colored areas for me. The usage of cacos here was fun. The orange area was a kind of maze with tons of Archies that aren't too hard to deal with. The Red area was my second favorite as the encounters are at it's hardest here with tons of enemies surrounding you, forcing to manage them in a lunatic fringe styled area. Then the last area with a funny caco encounter and a cool puzzle about the colors of the map, have you been paying attention? Basically. I really enjoyed this one however I was having a frame rate issues on this map, but I'm not sure if I just need to reboot my computer. This was a blast of a map though, a lot of fun, and not too difficult.

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MAP11: My fav

This is... the weirdest thing. o_O

I'm a bit late in getting to this one and others have already talked about its structure and aesthetics at some length. Gameplay is unconventional by Doom's standards, though not uniquely so, and the music (with its "ripped from a 1992 platformer" stylings) encourages reckless progression into the next gummy-candy coloured section of the obstacle course. I think Demon of the Well is right on the mark with his "concept first, function as a Doom level second" assessment - so whether this level works for any given player probably depends on their fondness for this kind of quirky concept map. Following on, as it does, from MAP10's sharp-toothed gameplay and more familiar environment, I think it stands out enough to not overstay its welcome.

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mouldy said:

MAP11 - “My fav” by Nanka Kurashiki

A colourful detour into a fruity rubics cube. For what it is, it works well. I'm not massively keen on these kind of maps, I don't play doom for this kind of experience, but i can appreciate that it does the job and looks good. The instant death platform section, those things never work because they force you to save, and once you force a player to save before making a simple left or right decision they may as well do it for each platform, and you have a simple trial and error waste of time. Unless there was some kind of visual clue I was missing. I didn't want to spend any more time on that bit than I needed to. The final platform "puzzle" was better since you didn't get insta killed, so it was no big deal to make a few mistakes. But its still not my cup of tea.




the clue is the type of torch: step only on platforms with plain wooden torches, those with the larger metal torch kill you. the problem is that there's no way to know this beforehand. i just happened to get squished only once because the similarity to tnt map30's torch puzzle was obvious and i noticed that the type of torch was the only visible difference. but if you had just played through the whole map without saves and are dead now, then it's no wonder this is rather suited to anger players. i'd place some gibs on the first deadly platform to give the player a hint. i think there is a group of wooden torches and one metal torch standing out just before the platforming, but guessing anything from here would be far-fetched...

luckily i had saved after finishing the orange section, simply because i didn't feel like doing that one again, shoot a bunch of imps and watch some lifts go up and down until i had pressed every switch. this part was pretty useless in terms of gameplay as it's only for sake of the food gimmick.

and the bfg trap: obvious as it is in hindsight, most players will try to get it, possibly expecting an ambush they can defeat with the bfg, only to get trapped in that corner, with no possibility to escape, regardless of skill. i picked up the bfg after carefully scouting the area, went through the portal expecting a good fight, and... squish. meh. ok, i thought, that bfg can't be there just to troll the player, so i looked for another way to enter the corner. didn't find one. perhaps then there's another way to exit the corner? squish.

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MAP12 - “Magnetic force apparatus” by burabojunior

a space map with railings and glowing metal poles. very compact in places, and those damn chaingunners have their line of fire and can perforate one quickly. the most action takes places in a courtyard where at least 2 waves of enemies teleport in, so use the crates there for cover (there are several chaingunners and some cacos to flush you out, and one bit me in the butt badly while i was busy with the chaingunners). then proceed to the YK bunker where grabbing the key will unleash an assault through 2 lower passages, but fortunately these are easily defended and monsters can't come through the upper entrace if you have killed all cacos before. the exit was not very spectacular, i shot 2 knights and pressed a plain button on the wall, wondering what it will release, and it was the exit already.

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MAP 11: I just... I don't know what to say about this level at all. It feels like the fever dream of a mad man thanks to the crazy use of colors and the subtle puzzles which all result in an Icon of Sin death teleport if you fail them. The “Do you like Caco?” switch is just the cherry on the top of this crazy level.

Kira said:

Pretty good point here. And that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fake it with voodoo dolls and sectors shenanigans as well.


Brutal Doom had some effect like that in a bathroom. I have no idea how they did that and it doesn't work without the Brutal Doom pk3, but it appears to be possible somehow.

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MAP11: Don't know if anyone posted it but if you don't like caco on complevel 2, nothing happens, whereas in ZDoom you take a lot of damage which is what I assume was supposed to happen. Are bug reports OK in this thread or should they go in the wad thread? Anyhow cute level.

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Pirx said:

the clue is the type of torch: step only on platforms with plain wooden torches, those with the larger metal torch kill you.


I feel kinda like a moron for not noticing this. But I guess a lot of other people missed it too...

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MAP12: Magnetic Force Apparatus

A "space station"-type map, which reminds me a lot of CC4's "Interstellar Sickness". The difficulty here is once again pretty high, but unlike MAP10 I enjoyed this one, as it seems much better playtested.

The beginning is tough: lots of hitscanners and imps attack you from all directions, and it's hard to pick them out among the mess of gratings surrounds you. Don't consider this a condemnation of the visuals -- they are overall beautiful -- but at times it's annoying how cramped and miniature the map is, especially when you get snagged on details.

While ammunition is hard to come by, most of the time you can fairly easily get the monsters to infight. I suspect that the reason I enjoyed this map so much was because I happened to be particularly lucky, completing it on the third try -- and when you consider fights like the very final encounter, where you're besieged inside a narrow-halled two-story building into which imps and revenants squeeze through several entrances, you can see that luck will come in handy here. Another memorable fight was when I managed to get through a large hitscanner onslaught by teleporting into some kind of a floating lattice far away from the action; there not only I could provoke infighting, but also got a chance to get rid of the crowding monsters near the beginning of the map, who would otherwise mob me and rip me to pieces the minute I teleported back to that section.

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Map10
It’s technically proficient in terms of assembling lines and sectors and putting textures on them. Gameplay-wise, I hated pretty much every second of it. Hidden switch nonsense, obtuse progression, constantly rezzing elevated chaingunners ... awful. I now dread map26.


Map11
Well, that was gimmick city. Definitely not to my tastes, but far less infuriating than map11 was. Though that might not be true if you play without save games, as I was certainly spamming the quick save/load buttons during the (stupid, stupid) instadeath teleport mazes.


Map12
Now this is more like it! A fun, action-packed map that looks and plays the way I like a Doom level to do. The space base / gantry look is executed well and - while it does let the author indulge a little too much in long range chaingunners sniping you to shreds - makes an evocative place to battle through.

I like the way the map recycles some areas so you have to pass through them multiple times, with monsters re-stocking each time. It’s a good way to get extra gameplay out of a relatively confined space. It’s also a technique I have used myself in the past. About the only thing I would suggest here would be to consider making the different waves more different in terms of the monsters they use, so that they felt more distinct. The northern courtyard did some of that, with the use of PEs and ‘trons in the second wave, but the “main” gantry area just felt like “bigger swarms of the same thing”.

The exit room HKs felt pretty pointless. I just danced past those ammo sinks and left.

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MAP12: Magnetic Force Apparatus

This map manages to conjure feelings of both claustrophobia and agoraphobia at once; the playing space consists of narrow corridors and catwalks punctuated by surprisingly cramped and cluttered arenas, but beyond this, the level takes place on some kind of space station or floating installation which gives long-range snipers and various flying monsters an absolute field day in tormenting the player. It's a style of environment that discourages camping and hoarding, and indeed, substantial quantities of health are strewn around to allow the player to recover quickly from whatever mishap or ambush might befall them. There's a sense of relief on those occasions when you can plunge into a structure that offers more than the most transitory of cover. Overall this is one that I enjoyed.

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MAP12 Magnetic Force Apparatus

And now for something resembling Scythe X in both gameplay and design with a smathering of CC4 or Deus Vult II's Stargate or so. There's a boat load of enemies, most of them small fry, but remember the small ones deal the most pain. The blue key gathering is clearly a fun welcome, as is the yellow key gathering. Very fun map with lots of combat, one of the better ones.

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As it turns out, Nanka Kurashiki and 88alice are one and the same. Anyway:

MAP12 : Magnetic Force Apparatus by Burabojunior

The classic Burabojunior formula of combining gorgeous, atmospheric visuals and soundtrack with an intense slugfest. I like this style very much, to be honest I think it appeals to me way more than what Toooooasty does (as nifty as MAP05 was).

Actually, This is my favourite setting yet, a huge high-tech complex suspended in the void. Gameplay-wise, I have mixed feelings. I like how savage the butchery is, especially after the blue key, but on the other hand you’re exposed from everywhere and there are tons of hitscanners, which doesn’t feel entirely fair… oh well, it's not too bad considering the resources you're handed.

In fact, this is a trend I just noticed with this author, placing chaingunners in tricky spots while making the whole situation feel a lot more balanced than this type of setup usually does. So far this has happened in all three of Burabo's maps...

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MAP13 - Bad Morning
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/99/100

You woke up from sweet dream, and grabbed two boomsticks to greet your bad morning. It's the first level that the amount of monsters exceeds three hundred on UV. So, is this level bad enough to crush you like some previous levels? No, it's not. Thankfully, this level always provides lots of ammo and supplies to assist you. And more than a half of monsters are just low-tier monsters, such as a hundred of imps and tens of zombies. Just grab the rocket launcher at the very beginning of the level, and throw some explosions to these poor bastards. The layout is good enough to give you a fun experience, while I have a mixed feeling about the architectural detail. Some parts of level look pretty cool, but some parts of level look awkward. Maybe that's because of the texture choice which is not harmonized very well, especially at the last hellish part with huge 死(which means "death" in chinese letters) structure. It's not a bad level, though. It was worth to reclaim my rightful rest, in the end.

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13 - FDA. I think this level was put just in the right slot. After maps 10, 11, and 12 that were kinda tense and challenging, we get something more relaxing with simplier monster placement. It's definitely nice to get easier stuff like this once in a while. Visually it's a bit crazy but certainly isn't boring, as there is always something new to look at. Quite an adventure overall. There is even some kind of a story. You wake up and go to fight, then at some point you encounter the 死 kanji which means "death", then at the end you get back home and see a corpse on the bed... So maybe you died in your sleep? Or maybe it's not a corpse but just a sleeping body and you had an out-of-body experience or whatever... I guess you can choose what you want depending on how optimistic you are.

Possible improvements:
- middle textures on linedefs 285 and 297 bleed through the floor in software visual mode, this needs to be fixed.
- I think alignment of linedefs 1851 and 1853 should be "0".
- For linedef 1816 maybe add a switch texture to the lower or upper part. It will be invisible but it will make a switch sound when pressed, which is nice IMO.

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