The DWmegawad Club plays: Tangerine Nightmare & UAC Ultra & Realm of Shades

MAP02: Pretty good overall but the gameplay was a bit too much meaty sometimes. I liked the soulsphere secret.

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MAP02 Molten Desolation

 

We start to see more of the new sprites. The new cacodemon looks quite nasty, and the mancubus and arachnotron are pretty much derived from Ancient Aliens/Mayan Mishap. Still a mostly compact layout, pretty much all of it indoors this time around. More weapons to pick up makes me happy. And what's this? A map with ZERO hitscanners? Yeah, I can take that any day.

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1 hour ago, NuMetalManiak said:

MAP02 Molten Desolation

 

We start to see more of the new sprites. The new cacodemon looks quite nasty, and the mancubus and arachnotron are pretty much derived from Ancient Aliens/Mayan Mishap. Still a mostly compact layout, pretty much all of it indoors this time around. More weapons to pick up makes me happy. And what's this? A map with ZERO hitscanners? Yeah, I can take that any day.

Datacore was the former leader of Tangerine Nightmare. The rules were pretty weird at the beginning of the project because it was forbidden to use hitscan monsters. The rules have changed fortunaly , so only the Spider Mastermind is absent in Tangerine Nightmare because of its sprite which doesn't really match the theme very well (we kept the cyberdemon even if it's a cybernetic monster). 

Edited by Roofi
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Preacher and Pirate Doom have reskinned spiderdemons, particularly in the first case which has brown (or rusted) legs, it could fit in TN if the problem is her "tech" appearance, but I know there won't be any updates that would include the most ignored monster on, hell. 

 

I tried the first map even though it wasn't in my plans to participate this month. First of all, loved the titlepic, intermission screen and DAT status bar. The tangerine color and new sprites gave me Halloween vibes, despite that festivity isn't popular in my country. I almost didn't notice the welcome sign, but I liked that touch with the sparkling red things. The combat was fairly simple, the secret blur sphere seemed odd to me, by the time it was available I only found imps and that hell knight that killed me because invisibility and projectiles don't go well together. The lava in the map could have perfectly been damaging imo, unless it's something like tangerine juice, heh. Also I found that secret "fF2017", nice touch, I'd add something similar if I map. 

 

So yeah, I'll probably play this next week or so and write down something (demos maybe), depending on my times, the wad looks promising, despite the absence of one of my fav frenemies. 

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map03: Rain of Embers -Datacore / [WH]-Wilou84 / franckFRAG
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

There is one key on the map, a green key but you have some work to do to get it. The enemies are heating up, archviles attack you in pairs now. A long series of remote switches open walls and make staircases that allow you to progress. The green key allows you to get outside for the final fight in a lava infested rampart with large symbolic cross around the outer before the map takes you up some stairs to the exit.

Both secrets are fairly straightforward to find. The one to the berserk pack and health is the most helpful.

A note on items and ammo. The first 3 maps provide ample items and ammo for the pistol starter, if anything the balance leans toward being over generous. Let's see if this generosity extends to later maps.

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Map 03 : Rain of Embers

 

Tn.wad_MAP03.png.1653751b49f1afa2ef3c3fe097c9e09e.png

 

Difficulty : Medium

 

Ok, so this is the third and last map where Datacore participated in the project. This is also the only map made by three members of the team but Franck enhanced the major part. Consequently , we have a very elegant map but the gameplay is still as focused on the SSG as the previous map. Nevertheless , I widely prefer this one because the level design offers more exploration paced by a lot of action. I like also how frenetic the music is. I could play safely but the music pushes myself to rush into monsters. Nonetheless ,the music gives also a mysterious tone to the map. I feel like I'm exploring a lost  temple filled with a lot of baddies inside.

 

 

I must admit that these outdoors landscapes are just splendid , the numerous little details on the rock and on the temple make the map very realistic  and really immersive. I have a small favourite for the secret with computer map , I really like exploring large secret areas. The difficulty rises a bit in this map , I rated it as "medium" because of the trap with the teleporting HK and the 2 viles. The arch -viles are trickier to kill , especially with the SSG which requires a certain reload time between each shot but you can still conserve your rockets. It's true that we permanently use the SSG in this level but you can also kill monsters with a chaingun and a RL. The ending is boring in my opinion because you can kill monsters very easily by just camping.

Edited by Roofi
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Hey @Roofi! Should I play this in Software or OpenGL for the intended experience? I need to know!

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I don't know , I always play on Software . @franckFRAG will be more able to answer you.

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some quick replies to what others have written about map01:

 

@ reheleketep: so the instapop ambush could have been slower (dunno, i stayed at the door, so i could shoot them leisurely, but i imagine some turn their back and get shot) and the rising pillars faster, if you try to speedrun such slow movers are always a pain

 

@ dobu: yeah, tangerine got me pumped for playing this like i wasn't since we played valiant and ancient aliens! not that the other choices were bad, but TN has this dose of being special with its custom enemies and textures i appreciate a lot.

 

@ salt-man z: heh, having downloaded something already happens to me all the time! i just don't get to tidying up my disk  :(

 

 

now to MAP02 - “Molten Desolation” by Datacore, [WH]-Wilou84

 

cool hellish design with the demonic faces and flesh growth all over the place. some corridors are a bit plain and stuffed with mancubi, this shooting of enemies right in front of you, but at least it's not much of it. the map is centered on close quarter ssg-ing and offers enough ammo to make the berserk and the chainsaw useless, however i insisted on punching knights and even mancs just because  ;)


was lucky to get away quickly from the twin knight + vile trap. 

i don't get the point of having the shotgun after the ssg and then in a secret. i lost some time in the beginning trying to get the soulsphere, but it's accessible only towards the end. your fault if you're pistol starting the next map...

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2 hours ago, Roofi said:

 

I must admit that these outdoors landscapes are just splendid , the numerous little details on the rock and on the temple make the map very realistic  and really immersive. I have a small favourite for the secret with computer map , I really like exploring large secret areas. The difficulty rises a bit in this map , I rated it as "medium" because of the trap with the teleporting HK and the 2 viles. The arch -viles are trickier to kill , especially with the SSG which requires a certain reload time between each shot but you can still conserve your rockets. It's true that we permanently use the SSG in this level but you can also kill monsters with a chaingun and a RL. The ending is boring in my opinion because you can kill monsters very easily by just camping.

 

your avatar is funny  ;)

 

indeed another beautiful map. what i remarked about the gameplay: another ssg-heavy map (so it's datacore's style? fits me... i wrote about how i use to exit with hundreds of cells because i keep them for whatever might come), and the traps seem made to catch players who try running away. like the first room with the 2 viles: i ran here first and only had them pursue me to the corridor, reviving whatever i had killed here, until i ran out of ammo. wait, that doesn't work this way. so i restarted and stayed in the room, blocking them until they started their spell, and this worked. 

 

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Oh WOW... right off the bat this is amazing. So glad I have a decent set up again where I can play. Just got through the first map and am looking forward to this!!

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MAP03: Rain of Embers

19:15 | 100% Everything

Yeah, this one is just a blast. Nice small-to-mid-sized temple that gives you room to explore, but not so much that you can easily get lost. Those AVs in the imp rooms were tricky, but not too bad. I'll agree that the final stretch was a bit underwhelming, but I kinda of works as a denouement. The music choice...eh, I found it pretty obnoxious, for the most part, between the driving, almost fuzzy beat, and that part where it sounds like the MIDI's going off-pitch. Still, a lot of fun.

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                 Tangerine Nightmare

TUaiXfhl.png

 

 

                 Awesome art. Music is fantastic as well. 

 

H8AzJ6rl.png

                 Holy hell, look at that font. Nice touch with "new story." Hell of an aesthetic to start out with in the menus and I haven't even played anything yet! Really sets the tone.

 

sPIgrAbh.png

MAP01 - “Sombre Venue” by Datacore, franckFRAG
gzDoom - UV – continuous/no saves

 

What a welcome surprise this was. Such a cool opening map with lots of neat little touches. The detailing stood out to me. Every rocky wall and nook has something unique about it. Once you get over that the new enemy graphics become quite a shock as well. I mean, zombies with capes?! Lol. sure, why not? Lots of custom resources and what not going on. It all fits together very well though. It reminds me of something I played a while back, Torment and Torture, I think it was called. Tons of new enemies and AI behaviors. Barely a traditional Doom game. This is pretty cool though. Nothing too over the top, just awesome enough to add to the Doom 2ness.

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Whoa... that intermission art. Looks like something off a Mastadon album or something. God damn! 


THWOLKnh.png
MAP02 - “Molten Desolation” by Datacore, [WH]-Wilou84
gzDoom - UV – continuous/no saves

 

Awesome in map credits given. I like stuff like that. 

 

This felt cramped but not annoying thankfully. There was enough room to skirt when needed... just barely. Thankfully the SSG makes it's presence known. The RL is a dangerous get out of jail card as always. Good at dooming yourself out of trouble is never a guaranteed thing.

 

I loved the change of lighting given the enemy placement. and how it really ramps up at the end with the shift to even darker stuff before the introducion of the Baron. Those wings are killer. Love the skulls on the spiders too. A good cave/temple map, simple but complex enough to make you get turned around once or twice. 

 

The mancubi use is probably the best part of this IMO. The AV at the end of the hallway and the little pincer ambush with HK's was great but there's something to be said about good Manc usage as it's hard to do and you really have to focus on it design wise I think. *shrug* Fun map.

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MAP03: Rain of Embers

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

Another map where the most dangerous part was early on, as again I was saddled with the SSG and no shotgun/chaingun/RL to safely/efficiently take out the snipers, instead basically needing to leave most of them alone til later. I did hop to the radsuit and secret comp map early on and passed up the green armor outside, so that didn't help either. The other non-cell weapons are picked up fairly early afterwards, though you'll need to use your bullets and rockets conservatively since there isn't much ammo for them (I'd say there was actually exactly the perfect amount of rockets for what I wanted to use them on, though). The layout here was a good one, I did find myself running around a little bit but it's small enough to not get confusing. Lots of AVs here, though most of them are in pretty easy-to-handle situations (it helps to feel comfortable with blocking them though). Music feels oppressive and certain gives a grim weight to the proceedings.

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MAP03 Rain of Embers

 

Another pretty basic map. Gotta give it credit for the Verdigris in Limbo track from Crucified Dreams, but what I won't give it credit for were the somewhat confusing switch textures. I guess I should, since the cursor on the menu has one like that, but it is REALLY EASY to just skip over some of them thinking they are just decorations. It also looks like this particular blend of lava is the damaging one, and hey look! The radiation suit also looks different! The only other sprite replacement I found is the Lord of Heresy one for the baron (the hell knight is a mere palette change). I sort of wish the arch-vile had different sprites too.

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MAP03: I liked the progression that involves only one key and there's quite some stuff to do to reach the exit and I also like the setting of the level. The gameplay was similar to the previous map with the same issue of having too much meat that here was more prominent.

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map04: Bile Noire - Jambon / franckFRAG
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

A fortress map where the enemy has the upper hand as can be seen at the start of the map. The monster density has increased quite a bit to keep you on your toes. Despite the nasty looking beginning there is plenty of room to move, places to run to and obstacles to hide behind as required as you take over the enemies stronghold.

The traps are starting to get meaner. The green key trap can be quite nasty if the pain elementals manage to get away. The final exit trap can also be quite a challenge if the 2 archviles don't behave.

The secret hunt is interesting and fun. You can see the goodies beforehand but the trick is finding out how to collect them.

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Oh, weird note about MAP03 I forgot to mention: the exit room door requires a blue key to get back out, even though the door never closes once you've opened it from the outside...

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Map 04 : Bile noire (Tangerine Nightmare)

 

 

Tn.wad_MAP04.png.f40f6c0ffc4d2dea1015b11034cff187.png

 

Difficulty : Medium

 

We are still in the "easy-medium" levels but the difficulty steps it up a notch in this map. The beginning starts brutally because a lot of harassing revenants are sniping you and can kill you easily. Converselyto Datacore's maps where you are always well armed from the very beginning , you start with a poor shotgun and you must find your way to find the high located SSG. Fortunaly , Ammo become more plentiful as long as you progress in the level. Regardless of that , I love the atmosphere of this level , all is so dreamy. I feel like I'm visiting an abandonned castle in the midst of a dream where there is only emptiness. The black and empty landscape fits very well with the calm and moody lullaby.

 

The layout is very compact and offers a lot of height variations and interconnections , all is very square but Franck managed to make it aesthetetically beautiful as usual. this is my favourite map among the four first ones thanks to its diversified fights. Some traps are really nasty and it's very easy to die for the first time in them. The trap where you must shoot on a switch in order to open bars is maybe the hardest because of the vile. The berserk' secret is intuitive to find but the one with the armor needs a minimal jumping skill. when you discover this level , you never really know where you must go and which key you must find first , but it didn't bother me because a good level must always suggest some exploration.

 

 

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MAP04: Bile Noire

100% kills, 0/2 secrets

 

Pretty compact, but lotta enemies smooshed into that space. The start looks nasty but it actually isn't too bad, as long as you're careful about those revenants hanging out by the berserk pack. Took me far too long to find the little switch that creates the lift. Progression is a bit abnormal in general - you enter the red area only to trip an invisible line that opens up the RL area, and that actually teleports you beyond the green door (where the green key is) and then you come back out the other way. I liked the use of the AVs here, much better than the last couple maps, but still not too nasty.

 

Also, I assume the gargoyle faces with the glowing eyes are a midtex with changing color behind them (some were red, some were yellow). Nice effect.

Edited by Magnusblitz
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MAP03 - “Rain of Embers” by Datacore, [WH]-Wilou84, franckFRAG

 

Since I'm playing without saves, might as well hit that record button: tn03-FDA-1840.zip

 

Pretty cool, pumping midi here to go with the close-quarter, SSG-focused combat; similar to that in map02 prior. I like getting the SSG early on and having "unlimited" shells throughout the map. Health and armour are also generous, as I've managed to recover from some very silly mistakes. The Viles are the most dangerous here, and they often show up in pairs, using Mancs or Hell Knights as meaty revival shields. Fun stuff.

 

Also, here are some demos for earlier maps. Guess I'll have to open the trusty GZDB to find out how to get that map02 Soulsphere...

tn01-545.zip

tn02-1325-NotMax.zip

 

 

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MAP04 - “Bile Noire” by Jambon, franckFRAG

OEkNdRG.png

FDA-Max: tn04-FDA-2810.zip

 

Now this map I genuinely did not like. Maybe it's fun with foreknowledge/routing/etc., but playing it blind was a massive slog of taking out snipers with the regular Shotgun until you finally get some resources. I'm not going to go into a salty rant so: No Thanks Jeff / 10.

 

I will add that the larger fights provided no incentive to face them head on, and greatly rewarded cheesing after retreating.

Edited by Spectre01

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MAP04: Bile Noire

26:05 | 100% Everything

Gorgeous little cathedral-type thing. The detailing is superb. Altogether it puts me in mind of like a Ribbiks-lite kind of deal. Combat was pretty nasty; just getting a foothold at the start was maybe the toughest part. A large number of ambushes killed me the first time, I don't think anything ever got me on a second attempt. The one that I survived almost perfectly clean I was pretty proud of, for whatever reason: the lock-in with the barons and revenants, et al, where I lucked into the revvies and barons almost immediately getting into fistfights with each other. The coolest bit, I thought, was the soulsphere tower, when approaching it made the maze walls collapse around you; that made me truly panic for a second, but it was a tres cool effect. And the view at the exit was jaw-dropping. Very, very cool map, even if not typically the style I prefer.

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MAP04 Bile Noire

 

The action picks up a bit here, which is nice. Or maybe not, because from what I see, it's window shopping time. Good amounts of enemies are on the ledges, most of it is imps. You can just sort of chaingun most of them down, though the mid-tiers require you to apply a bit more pressure to the body. The level layout seems like it would fit in an orange version of Stardate, and it even has a void you can't get out of. Progression manages to be fine for the most part, no really hard moments until the eastern part with the mancubus and friends. There's also the final room just stocked with hell knights and other baddies, seriously beckoning the rocket launcher. The pop-up baron wasn't funny though.

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I figure that, seeing as I streamed (most of) Tangerine Nightmare last month, I should share it here in case anybody who's interested wants more gameplay to watch:

 

 

If I find the time and energy this month I might stream the other two mapsets! I've already recorded a playthrough of UAC Ultra, but that was for Ironman and I never managed to clear the entire thing.

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z0Obv40h.png
MAP03 - “Rain of Embers” by Datacore, [WH]-Wilou84, franckFRAG
gzDoom - UV – continuous/no saves

 

The bass on this music track. Holy shit! I loooove it. I bought a new Sennheiser headset and am glad I spent the extra bit of cheese for higher quality. This has to be the best track on this wad. 7 more maps, time will tell.

 

Another cavernous temple base map. The outdoor stuff is visually a treat that meets the high standard of quality so far in these maps. Wow. Great stuff. Inside are lots of interesting texture blends of rocks and gothic metal. 

 

I got a kick out of finding the secret back area right away. Always a good design choice for an optional area that lets the player clear out areas ahead of time to make things a bit easier later on. Also the dead marine hint was well done. I didn't pick up on that until after I cleared the map.


Tough stuff with the rev and AV use in tighter areas. Met my first death being a bit to slow to back out of danger. Fitting that the wall decoration in that area is beyond creepy. There were a lot of hairy encounters where you felt boxed in but actually weren't if you kept your head about you. The demon rush near the blocked off steps comes to mind in that regard. 

 

The gigantic black crosses in the background really stood out visually with the amazing sky texture that compliments everything in that corner section before the end. Very awesome. It was great that you're able to spot them from the very beggining of the map too. Bravo. 
 

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v9E60lrh.png
MAP04 - “Bile Noire” by Jambon, franckFRAG
gzDoom - UV – continuous/no saves

 

Interesting choice to drop the sky texture for black. I liked the evil looking towers cropping up from below and peaking out in the background. Good stuff. 

 

This map is drastically different for those coming in on a contiuous run as opposed to a pistol start. (That goes without saying, I suppose.) Here I had a head start coming in from the last map. Feeling good and loaded, ready for the worst but I blew it badly. That AV with a pair of revs and space taking demons circling a raised Manc tower... ouch. That hurt. I was so close too. 

 

So, I had to suck it up and pistol start like most everyone else and I found out it was almost just as hard even with the knowledge of where to go. So many rev rockets in weird angles! Especially inside where there are lots of varying levels and columns to hide things behind. Not to mention the nobles used almost litteraly as window dressing.

 

The caco horde after the RL was a welcome challenge but lord have mercy if you hadn't taken the time to clear out some of those revs before running around fighting the newly released floating menace. I tucked inside the secret side passage for a little extra cover to blast them as they came on. I completely lucked out in my choice of position but I could picture players struggling with them.

 

Both of the keys had some nasty ambushes I mostly just ran far far far away from. Not the most fun unfortunately. While I like the freedom of choice, I prefer a good set up that forces you to deal with things where they happen. A few times here if felt like there was not a good way of handling things as you found them. The best course was to just hide in a corner and pick off stragglers from safety.

 

I really liked the finale though. Thankfully I saved some rockets for it. Interestingly, in case you didn't do as I did, all of the ammo you need is past the metal threshold behind the horde you'd need it for! Nice touch with the "not so fast!" exit blocker. 

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Map 05 : Orange juice (Tangerine Nightmare)

 

 

Tn.wad_MAP05.png.6b31e7a5aec42378ab210a37a497265c.png

 

Difficulty : Hard

 

This is the only level made by Chaos and  also the first level in the mapset which has not been enhanced by an another person. Thereby , that map has its own style , especially in terms of aesthetics.


I'm a bit mitigated about this level , the details are just awesome : a lot of light gradations , a very  good and coherent use of textures , a lovely architecture.... I've nothing to say about the esthetic. However , I'm not really keen about the gameplay mainly because the map is too much cramped and linear for my taste. Knowing Yugiboy's works , his maps are generally more open and more suitable for exploring. This is maybe explained by the fact that he took less time than his other projects like Travelling to the moon.

 

An another point , this map is way harder than the previous ones and maybe harder than the following nexts (6 and 7). To be more accurate , the map itself is not that hard but some traps are really challenging and may kill the player in few seconds. I'm talking especially about the red key trap  and the first trap where a lot of imps and pain elementals are teleporting in a room once you pressed a switch. This map deserved the rating "Hard" because of those two traps. The plasma gun is obtained lately , it could have been more practical if it was available before you got the famous red key. However , killing the last cyberdemon is fun because he appears down below  so he can't kill you (Unless you really suck at doom) .  The cybie brings a nice touch of humor after an exhausting and dangerous battle.

 

I found the layout very interesting because you finish the level where you started. I also liked the stairs that lead to the exit , it's very creative and unexpected. The atmosphere is more joyful and significally less nightmarish than the other levels. The rythmical music and the funny gimmicky map's name  make the map pretty unique in the mapset :) Some people found that the non-damaging lava  in the first level was pretty weird , I don't know what they will think when it becomes the principal gimmick of a level. It has its originality , but Franck modified the lava texture after the map was finished , then I have the feeling this is also tomato juice. :p

Edited by Roofi
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map05: Orange Juice - Chaos
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

A more difficult map than the earlier four. The map starts at the top of a lava fall. The map is fairly linear and cleverly reuses areas for new fights as areas reconnect with previous sections. None of the lava is damaging. The progression leads you on a winding path into and out of outside lava sections and more claustrophobic indoor rooms. An excellent map layout.

There are 3 nasty traps on this map. All of them can be managed with the right strategy but can be fatal the first time you run into them. In all 3 fights you will be attacked on all sides with limited room to manoeuvre. The first trap is indoors with 2 pain elementals, imps and chain gunners. The second trap is outdoors as you grapple a swarm of demons and 4 arachnotrons. The third and most difficult trap is at the red key where you unleash a bunch of hellknights, mancubi, revenants, imps and an archvile. It took me a while to work out how to handle the third trap, it ruined 2 of my runs.

Cybie finally shows up at the end but in almost comical circumstances after the previous traps. Cybie is down below the lavafall at the start and can be easily plasma'ed to death with no risk, a sad end to what is usually a formidable foe. I'm not too sad though because I'm sure he'll be back with rockets blazing in the maps to come.

There are 5 secrets to find, all of them containing items, health and ammo to help you on this tough map. One of the hidden switches actually reveals 2 of the secrets. None of the secrets are particularly tricky as long as you keep your eyes open for clues.

Edited by tmorrow
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