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K3K

What were the first impressions of Classic Megawads like MM and AV?

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Having only been in the Doom community for about 4 or 5 years and playing through most of the classic megawads and mapsets.  I would like to know what people thought of these mapsets on release? For example, was Memento Mori 1 and 2 considered incredible for its time? WADs like Alien Vendetta, Eternal Doom, and etc. are also some that I would like some perspective on. 

 

Note: I have played through all of these, and know their impact on the map making community, but I'm just wanting to know from the 'OG' doomers what the initial impact of these WADs were..

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mm1's release was before my time on the net, but after finding it I was blown away and wanted more, found some news about mm2. I remember having a collection of 10-15 wad review sites that doubled as "news" (almost identical to what we call blogs today, except with flashing yellow text and midi embedded into html), and I'd check all of them 2-3 times a week just waiting for mm2 because I didn't know what a newsgroup was.

 

The hype was fun, and the mapset was and is still great, but I think I still prefer mm1 to almost all other pwads ever made.

 

Eternal doom I don't really remember hype or news about, I had never heard of it one day, and then there it was the next day. It was unique among megawads, which usually had months of "buzz" and teasers before a release.

Edited by Vorpal

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42 minutes ago, Vorpal said:

mm1's release was before my time on the net, but after finding it I was blown away and wanted more,

I saw this comment out of context in the Activity feed, and genuinely thought "People liked MassMouth that much?"

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6 hours ago, K3K said:

Haha, judging from that second comment on there it seems like people really didn't like TNT very well..

This rant wasn't really about the quality of TNT.... 

You got to consider the "background" of the whole situation. TNT was highly anticipated at that time and announced to be a "free" release.

I am sure you can find all about it somewhere on the doom wiki...     

As far as I remember it was one or two days before TNTs planned release when Romero "aquired" it to be released as part of Final Doom.

Many people of the community were extremely pis**d about that - therefore the hostile comments.

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36 minutes ago, Capellan said:

 

Man, who let that Adam Windsor guy into that thread?

"I don't play with music"

 

Which makes me wonder, have you ever kicked back after a session of Doom and said, "Hmmm, I wonder what this music I never play sounds like?" and then played it?

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7 minutes ago, Steve D said:

have you ever kicked back after a session of Doom and said, "Hmmm, I wonder what this music I never play sounds like?" and then played it?

 

I've got the Memento Mori 2 soundtrack on my phone.  But I really only listen to music in the car, and even then it's usually just by hitting shuffle, or my fiancee picks a playlist from her spotify account.

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2 hours ago, Capellan said:

 

I've got the Memento Mori 2 soundtrack on my phone.  But I really only listen to music in the car, and even then it's usually just by hitting shuffle, or my fiancee picks a playlist from her spotify account.

So you've never heard the original IWAD music?

 

Come to think of it, I doubt that I've heard the complete soundtrack for either of the Moris.

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14 minutes ago, Steve D said:

So you've never heard the original IWAD music?

 

I'm sure I've heard a fair bit of the original Doom music - I did buy a Soundblaster and played with it for a few weeks before deciding I wanted the music off again.  But other than the e1m1 music, and the Doom 2 title screen music (which I've heard several times from fresh installs of the game before I turn music off) I doubt I would recognise any of it.

 

elm1's music was a big part of why I went back to playing with no music, since so many PWADs were in that slot :)

 

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I wasn't around for the very earliest big releases, unfortunately, but the impression I picked up from my first looks into the Doom community online is that people often knew that big things were in the works quite early on. Particularly if the project had a lot of authors, because the recruitment was quite visible. I suppose in that respect they probably felt like community projects used to, before they became quite so numerous. I know when I first started looking for WADs online there were properly disparate lists of recommendations from all over the place, which often had little in common. Like, one website I remember was pimping the Goldeneye TC alongside some dodgy Great Escape mapset as the true ZDoom experiences of the time... Which I lapped up because I didn't have a clue what I was looking at. Hell, given it was 2002, they might have been right! The boom in megaWADs in the later half of 90s was something I had to get into retrospectively, because my information was second-hand... Mostly from Hank Leukart, who obviously published his book at a finite point in time (although his WAD selection was pretty strong... Ignoring Clinton Doom), but occassionally what my dad would find when he had a look online. One was from just after the Batman TC, which was lauded as a landmark that pushed the boundaries of the day (and rightly so) and my dad wasn't an avid fan, so presumably just found whatever was most visible at the time. A WolfenDoom episode is one I remember him finding at one point.

 

Of course, these days with ready internet access and an easily accessible front-end full of reviews, plus a centralised Doom site with some heavily calcified opinions, anybody just turning up can get that history all at once with very little context. I think it was more interesting to explore back then, but much easier to find good stuff these days.

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2 hours ago, Capellan said:

elm1's music was a big part of why I went back to playing with no music, since so many PWADs were in that slot :)

Blasphemy!!!!!!

 

I mean, there's always IDMUSxx if you get tired of hearing that magnificent track. ;)

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Given that I started Dooming in '95, it's surprising how little I remember of my reaction to the big-name mapsets. The main reason for this is that I rarely play a full megawad. I believe I was a bit more impressed by early maps in MM2 than those of MM1. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed The Darkening. Shorter mapsets were definitely preferable to me.

 

To a large extent, I played single maps and 3-map minisodes. Some of the usual suspects on my hit parade included Hoover Dam by Mike Reed, Castle of The Renegades and Waterfront by Scott F. Crank, and for somewhat longer works, there was Fava Beans by Sean Birkel and Osiris by Glen Payne and Marshall Bostwick.

 

I suppose it's fair to say that the big-name megawads of the day left very little impression on me, though I remember having some fondness for Evilution. I also recall quitting Plutonia around Map08. I might have had a reasonably high regard for Eternal Doom, but again, it's hard to remember that far back.

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Mike Reed was a bit of a big deal for me, as Hoover Dam was one of the first WADs I played for Doom II. I also played his Villa map, which is remarkably tough. Then again, by 2000, when it apparently came out, we'd all gotten pretty good at Doom, I guess!

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To answer the OP's question, my own personal reactions to MM and AV on their release were very positive.  On replaying both for the DWMC, my opinions have downgraded somewhat.

 

My reaction to Icarus was pretty negative, and frankly playing it for the DWMC did nothing to change that assessment.

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There was some hype received post Eternal Doom's release but I didn't personally hang out on any kind of forum, or even know of any. What feedback you got was mostly through emails and word-of-mouth between fellow team members, who stayed in contact on mailing lists. One particular quote that stuck with me was from a deeply excited Texan, who after finishing ED mailed me with a long letter of praise, rounding off with the claim "Your team has created Doom III". That brought a smile to my face anyway. The most valuable hype in those days was when you got praise from fellow wad contributors who'd taken inspiration. I have fuzzy soft-glowing memories from mail exchanges with Malcolm Sailor at the time. Never backed any of it up.

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Btw, the darkened imp sprites from Eternal Doom was something that really set people off at the time. Apparently, the shift in palette completely threw people's dodging game off when facing it. One Eternal Doom team member, who shall remain unnamed, was during production worried it might be considered racist (I also pitched a chaingunner replacement toting two uzi's who was deemed "too Mexican"). The butt-ugly red/white impballs in Eternal Doom were always (and expressedly so) work-in-progress and never meant to be included in such a crude state. I begged for extra time to polish them in the final weeks of production, but the other team members were impatient to get the (initially much more ambitious) project out the door.

Edited by Soundblock

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6 hours ago, Steve D said:

Some of the usual suspects on my hit parade included Hoover Dam by Mike Reed... 

 

Oh hell yeah that brings me back. There was something special about his work, even though the maps were quite middling even for the time. One thing that separated them was the super strong "placehood", while still abstract and doomy, as a kid they were realistic enough where I thought these must have been actual blueprints haha. There was also a strong description/story iirc, can't remember if it was told on his site or in the txt but yeah, that was unusual and my adolescent brain absorbed it.

 

Don't think I saw him "release" anything though, by the time I found his stuff he was pretty much done with doom.

 

One more bonus factoid about Reed's maps is that they were copy/pasted by myriad modders back in the day. I think I've seen his hotel hell "pirated" in more trashy wads than I have any other.

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