The DWmegawad Club plays: Slaughter Until Death & The Evil Unleashed & Obituary

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What is the DWmegawad Club?
This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

 

Can I join?
Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

 

What levels am I allowed to post about?
Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it’s the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

 

Do I have to post an entry every day?
Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

 

When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?
Voting begins on the 25th of the current month. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example:

 

+++ Ultimate Doom

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>>>DOWNLOAD SLAUGHTER UNTIL DEATH HERE<<<

>>>DOWNLOAD THE EVIL UNLEASHED<<<

>>>DOWNLOAD OBITUARY<<< (or here for the fixed subdirectory)

 

The Casalis aren't the only famous brothers in Doom history—prepare to enter the twisted world of the Möllers! Thomas and Denis Möller—otherwise known as The Innocent Crew—were some of the biggest mappers of the 90s (they designed a little thing called Memento Mori), and this month we're going to be playing through their earliest wads, two 1994 Doom 1 episodes Slaughter Until Death & The Evil Unleashed, and the 1995 Doom 2 megawad Obituary. How do this classics hold up today? Let's find out!

 

Author & Maplist for Slaughter Until Death:

E2M1 – “Flying Guts” by Thomas Möller

E2M2 - “Mysterious Halls” by Denis Möller

E2M3 - “The Blazed” by Thomas Möller

E2M4 - “Death Pain” by Denis Möller

E2M5 - “Mutilated Corpses” by Denis Möller

E2M6 - “Damned Bastards” by Denis Möller

E2M7 - “Dehumanization” by Thomas Möller

E2M8 - “Baphomet's Throne” by Thomas Möller

E2M9 - “Arena of Punishment” by Thomas Möller

 

Author & Maplist for The Evil Unleashed:

E3M1 - “Out of Control” by Denis Möller

E3M2 - “Military Depot” by Thomas Möller

E3M3 - “Lost Defense Base” by Thomas Möller

E3M4 - “Disastrous Unrest” by Denis Möller

E3M5 - “Infernal Vortex” by Thomas Möller

E3M6 - “Dark Altar” by Thomas Möller

E3M7 - “Infested Ruins” by Thomas Möller

E3M8 - “Raze” by Thomas Möller

E3M9 - “Savage Area” by Thomas Möller

 

Author & Maplist for Obituary:

MAP01 - “Entrance” by Denis Möller

MAP02 - “The Cataract” by Thomas Möller

MAP03 - “Chambers of Confusion” by Thomas Möller

MAP04 - “The Church” by Denis Möller

MAP05 - “The Hidden Below” by Thomas Möller

MAP06 - “Reactor” by Thomas Möller

MAP07 - “Slaughter Until Death” by Denis Möller

MAP08 - “Observation Station” by Denis Möller

MAP09 - “Nuclear Research Base” by Thomas Möller

MAP10 - “The Stand” by Denis Möller

MAP11 - “Incubator of Chaos” by Thomas Möller

MAP12 - “Biochemical Factory” by Thomas Möller

MAP13 - “Pandemonium II” by Thomas Möller

MAP14 - “Halls of the Requiem” by Thomas Möller

MAP15 - “Castle of Damnation” by Thomas Möller

MAP16 - “Conclusion” by Denis Möller

MAP31 - “Divine Inferno”

 

BONUS CONTENT

TiC website

Doomwiki for The Innocent Crew

DSDA: Slaughter Until Death | The Evil Unleashed | Obituary

kmxexii's reviews: Slaughter Until Death | The Evil Unleashed | Obituary

DoomLover234's playthrough: Slaughter Until Death | The Evil Unleashed

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OLD THREADS
2012


2013


2014


2015


2016


2017

Edited by dobu gabu maru

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2 hours ago, dobu gabu maru said:

What levels am I allowed to post about?
Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it’s the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

 

You may need to update this :)

 

We have 32 maps (not counting secret levels) to get through this month, so I suggest the first two maps of SUDTIC on the 1st, and then a map a day thereafter?

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@dobu: How do you know the authors of Obituary (Denis/Thomas)? I've been looking for ages for this information!!

 

SudTic E2M1: Not a good start. Shotgunners everywhere, I didn't find any armour. Bare looking corridors, rather ugly textures and texture combinations. The only mapping highlight is the big bridge... If anyone's interested I died 3 times, even though I knew what to expect.

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It make me sad don't play these dw megawad club recently, since you guys choose for us lots of pretty mapsets recently!

Especially for this month (July), since i can't be all the time at my pc...

All i can say is that this is part of my old school playing and inspirations, i always wanted to do a The innocent Crew style map one day or the other.

I played a lot of these mapsets (expect for The Evil Unleashed, that.. i never played properly, expect a pair of levels), and the mapsets still goes good until these days... for the most part. In little parts they sure shows they 1994/1996 identity a lot, but is nothing that is awful to look.

Edited by Walter confetti
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Never played SUDTIC and TEUTIC tbh. I'm pretty sure I've played Obituary but it was long ago, I don't remember anything about it other than the titlepic somehow.

 

So SUDTIC...

 

E2M1: It wasn't bad, but neither good. It's pretty tepid for a start, lots of sergeants in those corridors and the health and armor are almost absent. The thing that standout is the bridge, for the rest it is something I could expect from that era. The pentagram windows are cool, although now those look very dated.

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I think Hitherto and Never_Again won't forgive me if I play these without fastmonsters (at least the first two wads). Expect me to drop out soon!

 

e2m1 - demo. I feel like I might have seen Ryback playing this on YouTube before, but pretty much the only thing that seemed familiar was the corridor with these neat pentagram windows. Anyway, this wasn't too bad even with -fast. Sure, that funny Plutonia Map10 style start can easily destroy you while you're stretching your fingers, but the rest is not so dangerous if you exercise some caution. Still, the lack of green armor means that just one serious mistake can result in a quick death.

 

Not sure what to say about the design yet. It's polished but also somewhat lifeless for 1994. Shittier levels from that year often look cooler because they offer so much various crazy stuff to look at, whereas this is mostly just "technically competent" without being terribly creative. I can surely appreciate things like the blue key structure though. I'll need to see more before judging, but I wonder how far I can get playing like this...

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Though I didn't participate last month, I did poke my head in the thread from time to time. Towards the end of the month I saw people mentioning SUDTIC TEUTIC OBTIC and I thought it was some weird Latin phrase someone had co-opted for their megawad. Nope! Just strange abbreviations. I'm familiar with the Möller via Memento Mori, a WAD I've seen countless speed demos for but have never played myself. So this will be my first experience from the duo. It's also the first '94 WAD I've played in a while. Will try to tailor my writeups to a '94 mindset.

 

Playing pistol-start, UV, no saves. 

 

SUDTIC - E2M1 - Flying Guts

Kills: 100% Secrets: 100%

 

What's the best way to approach a '94 WAD with 20+ years of hindsight? Lowering expectations doesn't seem like a bad route; machines were quite limited, the Doom engine was quite limited, so user created content was going to be limited. No monstrous architectural achievements like what one would find in Sunder, no floating multi-colored spacecraft like in Ancient Aliens. '94 was about approaching the polish of the IWAD maps through diligence. This was before Doom II. 

 

So what can be expected from SUDTIC? Based on my first taste I'd say puzzles and a decent mix of linearity and looping map structure. Before the blue skull key, the player loops around through a central room opening doors and fighting baddies (mostly shotgunners). Pathways open up as the player explores, making the map feel like it is being unfolded rather than purely discovered. This evaporates after the blue skull key is grabbed in favor of a linear romp to the red skull key. This is done I think so there's one last fold to be undone, revealing the exit door not far from where the player started.

 

Gameplay is standard for a first map in an Ultimate Doom WAD. Zombies, shotgunners, imps, pinkies, and spectres all make their appearance. No cacodemons or barons or boss monsters yet. Nor are there any power weapons. It's shotguns and chainguns all the way. The gameplay isn't super important here. There's a puzzly bit at the beginning, probably just a hint of what's to come. I haven't played Memento Mori but I have a notion of it being a touch puzzly. Maybe I'm wrong.

 

Aesthetics. This is where '94 WADs usually get lambasted. Texture alignment in '94 was all about trial and error. That there are no overt texture misalignments is a huge credit to the WAD. Thomas Möller goes out of his way to include various textures while keeping a sort of theme. I think there are more different textures than necessary. The weird room with the imp in the bloody chunky pit with the tech textures looks weird after adventuring in mostly green marble halls. I do appreciate that Möller tried to add these little unique flares. They make the map stand out above so many mazey, same textured maps from the era. The blue skull key pyramid is a great example of this. It's at an angle and it's lit from a hole in the ceiling and it just looks cool.

 

There's a lot to be excited about here, even if the map is straightforward and the gameplay leaves me bored. 

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Great wads this month! Hope I can make time to play!

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8 hours ago, vdgg said:

@dobu: How do you know the authors of Obituary (Denis/Thomas)? I've been looking for ages for this information!!

Doomwiki!

 

Regarding what levels to play, I think Capellan has the right idea—play two maps today and the secret maps with the levels that have secret exits.

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Trying to claw my way back into the DWMC . . . 

 

Slightly new wrinkle is that I'm playing keyboard + mouse instead of just keyboard only. I'm still doing all movement on the numeric keypad, and using the mouse in my pathetically unskilled left hand. And boy, do I suck! :D The mouse is mostly just a stationary Fire key ATM, but who knows, I may get the hang of it someday. Otherwise, it's the usual GZDoom, UV, pistol starts, savescumming like crazy.

 

So on to SUDTIC, E2M1:

 

I liked it. An absolutely brutal beginning earned me the first of 6 deaths. I was still trying to grab the mouse as I got blasted down to about 15% health before I took my first breath. Yes, a gen-you-wine, honest-to-God Dick-Move start! Oh, such larks!

 

Setting my filters to 1994, I have to say this map shows pretty good polish plus some nice decoration and even a bit of mood. I can understand what Memfis says about the reserved style being perhaps a bit dull compared to the excitingly hideous and freakish texturing one can find in other 1994 maps, but I was happy to not be eye-raped.

 

The central metallic structure with 4 entrances prefigures a very similar structure in Doom 2 Map03. Unless there was a Doom 2 demo they could copy the idea from, I say give TiC a big round of applause.

 

Gameplay was pacey, but for the most part fast and extremely vicious at every major encounter, especially for dumbasses trying to learn the mouse. ;D If the Mollers were around today, people would be beating them over the head for designing a Hitscanner Holocaust with no Green Armor, unless it was in a secret. I only found 2 of 5. The result of leaving out the armor was a nice pile of Steve D pelts for the brothers.

 

I liked the pentagram windows, and overall, pretty much everything about this map. Great start. 

 

 

Edited by Steve D
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ive played the first 3 maps and boy, the secret counts are sending me into a cold sweat.

anyway, as usual ill try and play uv/pistol-starts/no saving until i give up or get bored.

a note: i did play these about 2 years ago when i first started playing Doom, but i can safely say so far they only feel familiar and i cant remember any traps/item locations etc. so im comfortable labeling these as FDAs. its weird - the familiarity feels like deja vu so far.

 

s2t1 fda

that start! i actually got really lucky and none of the sergeants decided to fire at me. i wonder if the brothers knew you could 'wall-run' to pick up an early shotgun? it definitely helps as (aside from perhaps a secret i missed, get used to it) there's no armour to speak of so an early blasting here is a big handicap.

my 1 death came when i decided to copy the lone imp and have a blood-bath in the pit; in my defence i thought there might be a secret but nope - just death.

 

Edited by rehelekretep
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s2t2 fda

another relatively easy map. my 1 death came when the curved bridge (after the rising maze bridge) didnt raise for some reason, and i fell down and couldnt get out >.<

some more interesting architecture in this, but still quite abstract.

Edited by rehelekretep
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E1M1 - I let myself die the first time I've started the level ahahah, taking > 50% damage after one second was quite brutal. Regardless, the level itself was quite primitive, IMO, which isn't surprising because it's a '94 wad. There's a lot of hitscanners, but action is quicky and easy as long you're careful with the shotgunners. There's no need for ammo management, since you will easily get 50 shells. Layout and progression is really basic, most rooms are simple shaped (with very low detail, which is expected), but progression was really linear to me and the rooms + the encounters didn't offer much surprised or interesting layouts (Mano Laikas, for example, which has even less detail shines in these aspects). Thematically it feels like an E2, but with more hellish elements.

 

5/10

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6 hours ago, Steve D said:

Slightly new wrinkle is that I'm playing keyboard + mouse instead of just keyboard only. I'm still doing all movement on the numeric keypad, and using the mouse in my pathetically unskilled left hand. And boy, do I suck!

Are you left handed? 'Cuz if not you're doing it backwards ya goofball. You should learn to embrace WASD!

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SUDTIC E2M1 - HMP, Continuous

 

Slaughter Until Death is the first wad created by brothers Denis and Thomas Möller who together formed The Innocent Crew. TIC would be one of the early powerhouse teams of early Doom mapping along with the likes of Team TNT. TIC would go on to create or contribute to other major releases such as Memento Mori, Memento Mori 2, Requiem, & HACX, before moving on to Quake mapping.

 

Flying Guts by Thomas Möller is a pretty good example of TIC's early talent. When comparing this map to another 1994 episode that the club has played, Serenity, this opening map feels more polished in the visual department, you don't really see any of the major 1994 mistakes here. In addition you get a few custom textures to make things a bit more interesting, which were all created by Thomas. Hitscann Hell is the name of the gameplay here, lots of shot gun guys to face here, with just enough health to make it to the exit alive. There is quite an overabundance of ammo though. I must say that while not a great level, I'm am very intrigued by what may come further into the episode.

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1 hour ago, dobu gabu maru said:

Are you left handed? 'Cuz if not you're doing it backwards ya goofball. You should learn to embrace WASD!

Being right-handed is why I chose the numeric keypad, so that my skilled fingers could handle all the movement. All I ever did with my left hand was press the Fire key, which is A in my setup. I wore off the A in every keyboard I ever owned. ;D That won't happen anymore now that I have this awesome Razer Black Widow, which is utterly tyrannic. I do have one more option, though. Awhile back I bought a left-handed keyboard, so the keypad is on the other side and that way I can mouse with my right hand. Early results were as discouraging as WASD, which leaves me about as competitive as a parapalegic at a tango convention. I may haul it out to test against a map or two here.

 

So on to E2M2 and . . .

 

This map is dreadful. You have elevated snipers at the start, then a dismal sequence where you release one Pinky after another except for a couple times when you get a bunch of Sergeants. By and by you teleport into a nukage room, which I recognized from when I played this once in the Paleocene. Then -- yay! -- you get to blast away at caged Cacos. Talk about tedious shootage! And finally I died in the exit fight because I'm still trying to master which mouse button shoots and which one opens doors and presses switches. I would have survived this fumbling if I had found the secret armor, but the Moller's seem to specialize in obtuse secrets, so I didn't find any of them.

 

Overall, I found this map annoying, and the setups dull, but these kinds of scenarios were common to all of us mapping in those days. Since this map was by Denis and the first, more vicious and entertaining map was by the far more prolific Thomas, it will be interesting to see if a pattern emerges where I prefer the maps of one brother to the other.

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don't think I ever played this set on ITYTD yet...also I love TEUTIC the most and can't wait to get to that. So SUDTIC...

 

E2M1 Flying Guts

 

One thing I always hate about shotgun guy starts is that it is next to impossible to avoid damage around them. The first few enemies being shotgun guys totally proves that. Regardless, there's not much else to this rather introductory level, all things considered. The side path leading to a shotgun has those pentagram windows which I think were used in Memento Mori, and then there's the bridge that drops you to the zombiemen pit, kind of boring when you have already killed them from the window. Still, it's alright.

 

E2M2 Mysterious Halls

 

Monster movement tends to screw up my shots quite a lot whenever I play with the shotgun, which is why I prefer the chaingun (or SSG for Doom II) over it instead of wasting another shell taking out that lucky imp or shotgun guy that survived the first. At least this one offers a chaingun, and I can *grab* a backpack from that beginning lift early as well. A few hidden switches and blocks with switches on them, might as well hit them all, as this level doesn't have any major traps. Only thing that's really of note are those inescapable pits, around the nukage maze and on a bridge. Quite nasty to have a run ending there. Also only 83% secrets possible :<

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Okay, let's give it a shot.  ZDoom, saving regularly, playing this on Hurt Me Plenty as I'm prone to.

 

E2M1: Flying Guts

 

Not sure I'd call this an auspicious beginning, with its health-tax shotgunners right at the start and various other encounters that seem intend on bleeding health from the player in a cheap fashion.  It's not without a sense of claustrophobia that's enhanced by the map's tendency to pit the player against shotgunners at point-blank range, a feeling that a split-second's hesitation or lack of situational awareness is all it takes for you to suffer a gaping, ragged, and bloody wound.  One interesting quirk of the map is that it likes to give you a key before you've even been given access to the area where the corresponding locked door is, dispensing with the usual "find door, locate key, backtrack," sort of pacing; this does reduce the usefulness of locked doors as navigational aids somewhat, and instead the rhythm is "find key, backtrack through the map until you find an area where something has changed."  It would, I suspect, quickly grow tedious in a map any larger or less linear than this one.

 

E2M2: Mysterious Halls

 

This is a more substantial offering, with an environment that feels more varied and some puzzle sections to investigate, and more variety in its monster types, though the closest I came to giving up a pelt was still the close-quarter hitscanner rush at the very end.  The green stone room early on is, I feel, meant to stress to the player the importance of patience here; there's very little present that demands reflexes and agility over a willingness to search thoroughly and explore all the map's various rooms for changes and revelations, and fortunately, it's compact and interconnected enough that this isn't a chore.

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e2m2 - demo. Died to some demons once because I don't have enough brain cells, no major problems otherwise. Even in the last room I didn't rush to press the exit switch: the soulsphere gave me enough confidence. I think I like it more than the previous map since there is a bit less symmetry and the texturing is more to my taste.

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Hello. Long time admirer of the DWmegawad Club, first time participant. I decided to record myself play through these WADs, because I want to get back into video making and uploading. Anyway, I'm playing on GZDoom, Ultra Violence, and with saves. BTW, this is so cool. My first attempt at this, and it focuses on Doom 1, AND maps from 1994? I chose the best time to do this.

 

 

E2M1: Holy crap, this IS from 94 isn't it? Long hallways, and a big overall feel to it. Level feels very basic...but gameplay wise, it's anything but. I know I'm playing this on UV, but damn, this level really needs to ease up on the shotgun sergeants. Also sucks that the only armor available are those armor boosters. No green armor? Man, this one was tough. I hope I can make it through this entire experience.

I love how there's a room that looks like an alter for a shotgun...a mirror into what the map designer was thinking of at the time perhaps?

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10 hours ago, dobu gabu maru said:

Are you left handed? 'Cuz if not you're doing it backwards ya goofball. You should learn to embrace WASD!

I'm left handed, and I use WASD. Would kind of feel weird to do what I've been taught for years backwards.

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Well, being 1994 maps I should hopefully be able to actually finish these... though of course I'll have to lower my expectations to account for the era.

 

E2M1: Flying Guts

100% kills, 4/5 secrets

 

What a nice welcoming start with the three shotgunners behind, I bet it's loads of fun with -fast monster. :) After that it's pretty easy, as the monsters are generally in front of you (aside from the shotgunners that pile out of the first secret) though the lack of armor, middling amount of health, and large amount of hitscanners means sloppy play can be punished. The amount of ammo is definitely overkill. Layout-wise it's okay, the first part is decently interesting, but the second half is pretty linear and boring. I think both times I found the key before the door, which always felt a little pointless to me with a linear design like the one here.

 

E2M2: Mysterious Halls

98% kills, 4/6 secrets

 

Much more interesting and fun map. I really like the amount of stuff moving around - floor lowers at the start, then starts rising later, the columns with switches rise, etc. I think this is something that's unfortunately been a bit lost with modern maps and I'm always glad to see it show up in early stuff. Speaking of which, it's also interesting to see how the rooms are all set at heights of multiples of 10 instead of 8 like we're used to. I found it most noticeable in the green brick room but the whole level appears to be like this.

 

I get a weird invisible wall/glitch when moving around the compmap pickup... anyone else get this? I don't see anything in the map editor so I wonder if it's a nodebuilding error.

 

Some of the shooting is pretty tedious (all the demons in the green brick room, or the three cacos nearer the end). There appears to be no way out of the open-air green pool, which seems unfortunate, especially since the sludge is only 5% damage and there's a spectre in it (which poses no threat to the player unless he falls in, and is therefore doomed anyways). Weird.

 

 

Edited by Magnusblitz
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Did some FDAs for e2m1 and e2m2 of SUDTIC on a whim. It's unlikely that I'll participate for the whole month. 

 

 

 

 

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On 30 June 2017 at 7:41 PM, dobu gabu maru said:

Slaughter Until Death

Urgh, not another slaughter wad.

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24 minutes ago, Slipgate Ranger said:

I'm left handed, and I use WASD. Would kind of feel weird to do what I've been taught for years backwards.

Welcome to the club, Slippy. I enjoyed watching you die in your video -- nothing personal, I'm just like that. ;D 

 

It's cool to know that you use your unskilled hand for the mouse and your skilled one for the keyboard. You seem to be doing just fine that way. I did a little afternoon testing with my left-hand keyboard to see if my unskilled hand could handle the keypad. Well, I gained much better mouse control, but died like a dog. Too much fumbling at the keys. I played E2M1 again with my normal keyboard-only approach, plus the benefit of foreknowledge. Zoomed through with no deaths but did get reduced to 32% at one point. So I think I'll do keyboard-only for the rest of these maps -- much safer! :D -- and do my mouse training in private.

 

Looking forward to more vids, Slippy!

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2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

Did some FDAs for e2m1 and e2m2 of SUDTIC on a whim. It's unlikely that I'll participate for the whole month. 

Nice vids, as usual. An absolute streak of lightning, you are. Watching you race past all those monsters which pose no actual threat, I felt bad for killing them in my runs. I also like the way you hit all the switches at once in E2M2 so it isn't just, "Press switch, get Pinky" again and again. The slow pace and low threat is what really bugged me in that map. I could have made it faster.

 

It would be interesting to see how you like OBTIC. IIRC, it's Hell Knights in 64-wide hallways in Map01, and later there's Rocket Troopers, plus Chaingunners shooting through fake walls. Fine wine indeed! ;) 

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These are actually some of the earliest user-made levels I ever played. My exposure to PWADs predates my having access to the internet, and thus early on primarily came in the form of various shovelware collections. SUDTIC and OBTIC are both found in Maximum Doom, for example (though OBTIC is included there without the DeHackEd component and thus makes little sense from a gameplay standpoint); not so sure about TEUTIC, though I definitely played it at some point in my pre-internet days, and so it must've been buried somewhere in the depths of Demon Gate or Doomsday or one of the various D!Zones or summat.

 

They certainly leave an impression (though for OBTIC this was again mostly because something was obviously mechanically awry with it), or at least they did on me, anyway. The level of craftsmanship here--of level design that at least loosely resembles the uncannily whimsical yet focused experiential corridor of the original game--is so vastly more pronounced and coherent than that found in most contemporary levels that it was impossible not to sense, something like comparing a short film with a palpable sense of direction and arc to the wildly unfocused and disjointed fever-dream logic of most user-made levels of the time (and that's just counting those that had anything worth seeing in them in the first place). Those old shovelware collections also housed a number of other notable ancestral mapsets as well--the various parts of the Serenity trilogy were commonly encountered, for instance, and Fava Beans and a few others--but the WADs of the Brothers Möller tended to fascinate me more because they were palpably more violent and difficult, and they represent some of my earliest experiences with concerted attrition-based gameplay and things like "fuck you traps" and the like. A rite of passage!

 

That being said, though, I have to admit that what these mapsets actually contain on a map-to-map, room-by-room basis has become very hazy in my memory with the passage of years (though I expect some major déjà vu as I proceed through them), whereas most of my fondest and clearest PWAD memories of the time are of much more oddball 90s pulp weirdness far less obviously belonging to the early lineage of what we might today loftily dub 'normative' mapping, things like DARKHELL.WAD and APOCALYP.WAD and others of that nature. Ironic, no? It was a strange time, and while I personally don't subscribe to the starry-eyed, faerie-bothering notion that the lawless and amorphous creative sump-tank that was 90s mapping possesses some ineffable "soul" that has been lost through time as both craft and conventional conception have become more focused and refined, it's interesting that the main thing I remember the TiC stuff for after all of these years is for being so conspicuously 'normal' and concept-complete while so much other content was something like blurry, rumpled margin doodles in the notebook of a somewhat disordered mind. Making the usual allowances for the vast gulf of time and tool advancement between then and now, I suspect they'll hold up at least moderately well, but we shall see, I suppose!

 

E2M1 -- Flying Guts - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets

Ah, that player 1 start position! I fully approve. Already this jogs my memory somewhat, stirring recollections of Slaughter Until Death being replete with design decisions that regularly elicit all sorts of bellyaching from a wide range of players, old and new--forced damage-floor navigation, 'mandatory' secrets/mandatory 'secrets', little spates of RNG-roulette via hitscanner placement, things of that nature (then, as in their later work, it seems that the shotgun sergeant is --the-- signature Möller monster). I also recall that this level was very likely the first place I learned about 'grabbing' stuff through bars being a technique it was worth keeping in one's repertoire, as being able to finger a shotgun from one of those first three caged gankers gives you an immediate edge vs. the dudes who attack when you step on the pressure-plate in the recessed metal room down the stairs.

 

While it really comes to the fore even more in the next map, it struck me how notably much progression and changes in the environment here are activated by walkover triggers of various stagings rather than through directly opening doors or the like. You blow away the imp in the wraparound marble junction who conspicuously won't leave his little tiled square, and as the burst of buckshot sends him stumbling backwards in a could of arterial spray he triggers the little sinking elevator pad to show you a switch recessed in the floor. That's neat! Often, you make progress in the level by backtracking to a previously visited area after hitting what appears to be a dead end, often acquiring a key with no immediately obvious use, but seldom does progression feel like it enters a holding pattern since there are almost always new enemies trickling out of the areas which have opened in the distance to lead you in the right direction like so many ambulatory, carnivorous breadcrumbs.

 

It's mostly shotgun vs. zombies with the occasional imp, with high enough of a bodycount to feel more bloody than average (for an m1 replacement of the time, certainly); the narrow corridors mostly limit enemy fields of fire while funneling them towards the business end of your gun, so it's very plain stuff, though if you don't show the design respect (which, of course, a modern player is VASTLY more likely to insist on doing than someone playing this back in the 90s would've been) it's quite easy to get shot to shit and die, especially in the trap-lift in the wooden room to the north. Ammo's no problem (and it almost never is in these maps, given the preponderance of walking shotguns everywhere), but health is conspicuously rare relative to enemy damage potential, and real armor is nowhere in sight. Strikes me as a somewhat of a shame that the level's name is never delivered on, come to think of it; there are only a few barrels, and they're placed in such a way that it's hard to put them to any use without some finicky metagamery. Those given to lamenting the alleged 'predictability' of modern encounter design can take heart in some of the early signs here, though, ala a blue key (first key of the game!) which is lightly guarded and not boobytrapped in any way, despite its somewhat ostentatious visual staging.

 

@rehelekretep: Don't get too discouraged by the secret counts, in most cases the actual number of secrets is less than the official count, since many of them evidently contain multiple sectors individually flagged 'secret.' Somewhat bothersome for completionists, perhaps, since it's very easy to walk into a secret without necessarily triggering all of the sectors, particularly if you don't need all the items in the room at a given time (as was the case with me and the medikit in the store behind the wooden pushwall).

 

E2M2 -- Mysterious Halls - 100% Kills / 83% Secrets

Action is more sedate here and skews noticeably towards proper demons in lieu of zombie squads, not sure offhand if this contrast often holds true for Dennis/Thomas comparisons or not. The cacodemon and lost soul both debut here, the latter floating casually around more or less by its lonesome in the toxin-flooded yard visible past the barred windows in the upstairs wishbone corridor, and the former first encounterable in a number of different ways depending on one's secret-sniffing prowess. I initially missed the stuff available off of the unfurling marble 'dungeon' room (i.e. the narrow path back up to the backpack + shells first seen during the initial descent), which I think presents the earliest opportunity to meet one upon your return, and so first encountered one with its back turned sat next to a green armor vest off of a backroom secret. I'm also struck by proper usage of specters (i.e. in dark/pulsing light conditions where their partial invisibility actually makes them harder to spot), though for the most part the overall pace is a mite more ponderous than one might like--lots of shotgunning pinkies and such--making the repeated visits to certain areas feel perhaps a mite more labored than in the first map.

 

It's really the map itself where most of the personality is found, though. I really dig the level intro here, where an intuitive walkover trigger starts the cement casing descending behind you, taking you past some caged imps before dumping you into the aforesaid wishbone corridor, overlooking an area you'll visit much later. Even moreso than in the first map, immediate changes in the environment are actuated by simply walking around in intuitive ways, and barring a switch or two hidden inside 'secret' compartments most of the regular progression seems to unfold with a will of its own, rather than through deliberate/staged actions on your part. The actual secrets themselves, by contrast, involve feeling around rapping on walls and such and the like, ala the little hatch hidden behind the impaled carcasses in a particularly gruesome form of lampshading. I also like the sneaky switch directly behind you which raises the jig-jaggy walkway in the soulsphere/toxin room. This degree of persistent mechanical sophistication is not something that should be undervalued given the time period, and helps in the more 'authentic' feeling of the WAD as a whole when stacked up against the IWAD content. Notice also that the Möllers actually took the trouble to change the level names on the intermission/map screen, and the reshuffled (stock) music selection is of note as well, contributing to impression of a more 'complete' product, which one could very well view as watershed at this early point.

 

Whether all of this whimsical experiential virtue entirely makes up for the somewhat listless action is another matter, of course, but thus far I'd say the episode is off to quite a respectable start.

 

 

Edited by Demon of the Well
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HMP, continuous, frequent saves, no music.

 

I'll confess I don't actually have especially high hopes of these WADs.  But I've never properly played them, and I wanted to do so at some date.  This way I have company in the journey :)

 

SUDTIC E2M1

I think it was back when we were playing ConCERNed that I made the remark that sergeants are the most dangerous monsters in OG Doom.  Clearly TiC thought so as well, as the shotgun dudes make a nasty early appearance and are a mainstay of the level's opposition.

 

Looks-wise, it's understandably primitive.  There's pretty much no X-alignment done at all, and Y-alignment is generally avoided by either keeping consistent height levels or by using insert texts like METAL to conceal the switch (see the transition between sectors 85 and 86 for an example).  The author does seem to know what unpegging textures does though, which is frankly a step ahead of where I was at this date.  There's also some early efforts at nice lighting, such as in the blue key room.

 

 

SUDTIC E2M2

This feels like a more gimmick-driven map than the first, with lots of switch-flicking required.  Also clearly a lack of understanding of the fact that you can flick switches you haven't raised yet, but hey the iwad had the same oversight.  Not a fan of the opening, really: those slowly lowering platform gambits are rarely all that enjoyable to me.  On the other hand, I liked the exit room fight quite a bit.

 

Generally the looks of this level are less polished than those of the first map: there are lots of upper and lower textures that haven't been unpegged, and some pretty ugly transitions (BROWN96 to GSTONE1 is not a good look).  On the other side, there's a deliberate Y offset in the blood room with the teleporter which looks quite nice.

 

Also we get some cacos.  Everything is better with cacos.

 

 

SUDTIC E2M3

Obviously the most ambitious map so far, though also probably the most obviously linear, since it blatantly gates off three doors with keys, right at the start.  Has a group of teleporting troopers which by modern standards is pretty hilariously awful in its implementation.  

 

I used Doom acrobatics to run the platforms in the northern wing but it looks from DB2 like if you fall off there is a (secret) door you can open which ultimately leads to stairs being raised.  TiC do seem to love the stair-raiser linedef, as they use it a lot ... sometimes for no apparent purpose.  On the other hand, the blood stairs that grant access to the yellow key did actually look quite cool.

 

What's up with that floating STARTAN3 texture in the blood stairs room, though?  That's a pretty obvious bug.

 

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I have a full playthrough of both up on YouTube so I know what to expect. Im just waiting for Infernal Vortex and Savage Area... that is where I will get savage.

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On 1.07.2017 at 8:17 AM, dobu gabu maru said:

Ah, so it's The Green Herring. But how does he know? Unlike SUDTic/TEUTic, Obituary had no info in the .txt files? In 2010, I wrote in my ob08-526:

 

I would love to know who created which part of each map: Denis or Thomas. This one - MAP08 - looks more like Denis' work. Hidden pain elementals in MAP04 and MAP05 are again probably by Denis (like hidden PEs in Forgotten Town or hidden imps in Outpost). On the other hand, I suspect in MAP06 and MAP13 Thomas was the main designer.

 

So I was 80% right.

 

 

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