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  • Tristan

    Doomworld Multiplayer Digest #49

    By Tristan, in News,

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #286 - TNT: Revilution (Part I)
    Date: 2 February, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Zandronum Friday Night Fragfest #360 - IGPack Terminator & Chexpack DM
    Date: 3 February, 2017
    Euro session: 18:00 GMT / 13:00 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 01:00 GMT
    Other events that have not been posted here may also be running, so keep an eye on the multiplayer forum for further updates. Happy fragging!


    Doomworld Multiplayer Digest #48

    By Tristan, in News,

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #285 - Invasion UAC (Part II Revisited)
    Date: 26 January, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Zandronum Aussie Friday Night Fragfest #10 - Instagib 32in24-10
    Date: 27 January, 2017
    Time: 18:00 AEST / 06:00 GMT

    Odamex Friday Night Nitro #200 - UDM3 Deathmatch
    Date: 27 January, 2017
    Time: 19:30 EST / 22:30 GMT
    ZDaemon Sessions and the main Friday Night Fragfest have not yet been posted this week, so keep an eye on the multiplayer forum for further updates. Happy fragging!

    Overkill, Shadows Fall & Hypocrisy music - Mr. Chris
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 205.61 KB
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    This music wad is basically what it says on the tin. It contains music by three different metal bands in MIDI form, set up as a complete music replacement for both Ultimate Doom and Doom 2 (though the two IWADs share many of the same songs). I feel like it would be pretty annoying as a replacement for Bobby Prince's soundtracks, because the mood of every song is pretty similar. Let's face it, would it really be fun to play "Phobos Anomaly," "Tricks 'n Traps," or "Icon of Sin" with music this hard? If you answered yes to that question, or if you're looking for a different soundtrack for a hardcore megawad like Slaughterfest, this wad could be for you.

    Aside from being sort of monotonous, these songs seem pretty decent in general, and they translate well as MIDIs. In addition, I feel like they have a newer sound to them than the standard Metallica, Rammstein, and similar music that's commonly used in classic wads, making them a good alternative for wads with more modern visuals. Two tracks that I thought stood out as different from the rest of the pack are map 04/E1M6 and map15/E2M4, both of which are songs by Hypocrisy. The former alternates between soft, almost hymnal sections and more driving metal sections and would probably be great for a hellish cathedral map; the latter is also on the slower side but is consistently intense and ominous.

    If you can't get enough metal MIDIs to use for your wads, this seems like a good resource -- particularly if you question the sexuality of the new wave of Doom music and want everybody to know about it, in which case you can create your next megawad with this music as the soundtrack and then everybody will be sure you're straight. As with most metal MIDIs, these tracks will most likely fit best with grungy, rusting bases or red/black Hell levels.

    Tough Guy 2016 - Bzzrak Ktazzz
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 18.31 KB
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Tough guy 2016. Only one part of that is correct, and soon to be a lie, so let's just say it's entirely a lie - it's not tough, it's not a guy, and it's not 2016. So, what is it? It's a 1994 wad. Yes, that kind of 1994 wad. It's supposed to show off a new "mapping trick" with teleports, but I don't think mapping tricks would save this junk. Everything's one light level, there is no height variation, the textures are crap, nothing is aligned, and...

    From the text file:

    "Tutti-fruttis everywhere, because using SKINLOW and SW1EXIT on 128-tall walls was apparently cool back in the day. The author, apparently, didn't care. Bad, really bad 1994 quality, but you can expect that from a level made in... you know... 1994."

    Not really. Galaxia came out in 1994 and it looks fantastic. Let's be honest here; this was a concept level that had zero thought put into it other than the teleporter trick, that isn't even used well enough to show off the benefits. There were good 1994 wads, and this is not even close to one of them. Perhaps this one really should've stayed on the hard drive.

    Asbestos Queen - Jaxxoon R
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 11.69 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Asbestos Queen is a 7-map set by Jaxxoon R, one of the many newer mappers whose names I mainly recognize from levels I liked in Nova 2. In this set, Jaxxoon seems to be experimenting with lots of styles, which leads to some nice variety from level to level -- and the author does a pretty damn good job with all of them.

    Map 01 is a base map with techy details and a very smooth flow. One thing I noticed is that pretty much every raised surface is low enough to the ground that you can walk on it, creating an unexpected level of freedom of movement. Hell, there's even a lift so low that after you've lowered it, you can just use it as a step up instead of waiting for it to rise again. It's almost like the whole level is slathered in Vaseline -- a pretty weird thing for the UAC to do, and occasionally it led to me accidentally strafing out a window into the wrong part of the level, but it was definitely fun.

    Map 02 is a quick little level with a strong Team TNT vibe. It's one of my favorites visually due to all the plant growth. I also like the tiered layout and the teleport transitions into the more hellish fortress area at the end, not to mention a cool sky-within-a-sky effect that I'm not sure if I've ever seen before.

    Map 03 feels like it could have come out of the Russian community, with its grandiosely weird yet genuinely epic OGG track and quirky realist details (most notably the elephant in a cage near the start). It's set in a large, watery cavern with the remains of an old building complex at the center. The open, explorable layout is fantastic and makes this my favorite map in the set.

    Map 04 is a boss arena battle against a Cyberdemon and his minions, followed by a very short underground key hunt to get to the exit. The large amount of space makes the battle pretty easy, though I imagine it's a lot tougher if you're pistol starting, as you'll have to search around to find the weapons and ammo you need to win. The level has various small side areas that you can complete in any order, making it feel more sandboxy than your standard arena fight.

    Map 05 is the sort of thing you'd find in a typical high-profile modern megawad. It's set around a series of beautiful floating towers in the middle of an endless red sky, with lots of teleport hopping to get around. It's one of the more hectic and challenging maps in the set, mainly due to the large final arena battle where platforms keep lowering to reveal more enemies as you try to deal with the ones you're already fighting.

    Map 06, in contrast, is a slow-paced, creepy haunted mansion where you hunt around in the dark for the three skull keys. Like most of the other maps, it's pretty simple, but it has great atmosphere. It doesn't have any puzzles that I remember, just exploration.

    Map 07 is a battle against a custom boss, sort of. The giant creature you face is an environmental construct like the Icon of Sin, but it doesn't spawn monsters and feels very different from the Icon. Jaxxoon has done a pretty good job of creating one of those head-plus-two-hands monster bosses that were so common in '90s console games. The boss's attacks seem to come from a few normal Doom monsters hidden behind the custom graphics, and the whole thing felt like it went down in a matter of seconds despite the Cyberdemon and other monsters that teleport to its aid, but there are some pretty neat effects that make it seem like you're destroying the monster piece by piece.

    There's another custom monster as well, a plasma-shooting zombie that first makes its appearance in a map 03 secret and starts showing up in earnest around map 05. It's basically a slightly slower-moving reskin of the Alien Trooper from Ancient Aliens, with no stealth effect and an appearance that fits in much better with the standard Doom aesthetic. I like these guys: deadly but easy to kill, and the sprites look good.

    I should also mention that the whole sountrack is awesome, though most of the tracks are pretty bizarre. All of the music is in OGG format, and many of the songs are strangely jazzy, creating a bit of a surreal feel just from how much they clash with the blood and grunge of Doom. Any one of them could get stuck in your head for days.

    Asbestos Queen is a great coffee break type of mapset, since it's very quick to play through and every level is pretty much its own separate game. It does lack a certain degree of polish, though. There are some texture alignment issues, and several nasty HOMs on map 05. The bonkers gameplay shifts are pretty cool, and the concepts are well executed, though none of the mapping styles can be fully explored in the space of such short levels (except for map 03). Still, Asbestos Queen is great for a wad that doesn't take itself too seriously, and every map offers its own breed of bite-sized fun.

    Warphouse - Ed C.
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 11 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Warphouse is single level that makes extensive use of GZDoom features, especially for the architecture. The map is for Doom 2, though only textures from Doom 1 are used, and the setting can be considered as a corrupted base in the style of Shores of Hell. I must say that actually the level has plenty of nice and inspired stuff on the architecture, but it really would have benefited from using a different texture set rather than the iwad textures. Everything looks like an undefined mess, a mishmash that somehow clashes with the atmosphere that the map wants to achieve.

    The gameplay is all right overall; there are few ambushes on the way, mostly involving teleporting monsters, though nothing felt really special. Despite that the map is big and the visuals make the navigation a bit harder than usual. You will hardly get lost since the map pretty much takes you by the hand on where you have to go. All in all, this is nice as a tech demo that shows what you can do with GZDoom, but it isn't nearly as successful as a map to play.

    Lilium - Lainos
    Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 5.15 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Even if he hadn't just won the Mapper of the Year award for 2016 (in part for creating Lilium), Lainos wouldn't need any introduction. This strange, twisted genius has left an indelible mark on the Doom community as a whole, and especially on the Russian community, which seems to me to have evolved largely around the eerie, ultra-realist mapping style that Lainos created for Sacrament and other early B0S wads. His maps are all haunting and unapologetically dark, but Lilium is probably the most deeply personal one he's made so far.

    In the textfile, the author says he created this wad while going through a rough time emotionally and that it ended up absorbing a lot of those negative emotions. Like all of his settings, the wintery cityscape of Lilium is shrouded in mystery, full of symbolism and references that I can't clearly identify, but the posters of Putin wearing a crown that are plastered all over the walls and the words "-45C without you" scrawled on a frozen fountain are probably the clearest indications of what was going on in Lainos's head when he made this. In addition, the level starts out next to a highly detailed and rather graphic train wreck -- not one of the bloodiest scenes I've seen in the Doom engine, but possibly still one of the most disturbing.

    The gameplay is pretty much given over to the storytelling; it's not so much about creating engaging encounters as it is about giving the city its own population of inner demons. As a result, some of the gameplay can be annoying, particularly if you're trying to max kills. Near the start of the level is a park with a labyrinth of fences, and each section of path that you take causes groups of Imps to appear, resulting in many tedious minutes of maze running and dull shotgun/chaingun combat if you actually want to get them all to appear and then kill them. After that comes a more straightforward network of streets with enemy ambushes at pretty much every turn, and although the combat is more challenging here, it's still pretty monotonous after the first couple of ambushes.

    If you can get through these two areas, the level really hits its stride after that. All of the remaining locations are beautifully designed and interesting to explore. There's the abandoned street marketplace with merchandise hung up along every passageway, and then the big, shadowy water treatment complex. Eventually, you find yourself in a cardboard box village where the city's homeless population must have lived -- at the risk of repeating kmxexii's Mapper of the Year writeup, it's got to be one of the most unique locations I've ever seen in a Doom wad, but it's also dripping with very real social commentary, which isn't something you see every day in a modding community. The level seems to reach its climax as you face off with what might be Vladimir Putin's spiderborg stand-in, but the real final battle takes place inside a mall, where floating candles and water lilies contrast beautifully with the barrage of rockets coming your way and a strange bunny image watches over you as you attempt to find your way up to heaven... or something like that.

    Part of the fun of this level is just trying to figure out what it all means. You don't have to love allegory to appreciate Lilium, though. You just have to love wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere. Like all of Lainos's other levels, it's about the thousands of little clues and stories that the dead have left behind, painting a picture that's entirely mundane but still strangely moving. Lilium isn't as much of a masterpiece as Comatose, 5till L1 Complex, or Doxylamine Moon, but it's worth delving into. Just don't expect it to lift your mood.

    No Demon Left Alive - theSil3ncer
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 99.53 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    No Demon Left Alive is a very short single map for Doom 2. The main thing of this wad is that the gameplay is all about the melee combat of Doom. Here we will have to fight demons, spectres, and some lost souls with our chainsaw and a berserk pack. There are also many damaging floors in the first half of the level, which are really dangerous as the health provided is extremely scarce. It isn't actually bad, apart from that visually it's very bland, but it's a rather poor level overall. It could have done something better with its ideas.

    Fucking Hexen - Matthias (enkeli33)
    Hexen - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 788.65 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Hexen wads are so rare that I'm always tempted to play one when it appears. Sometimes I regret that decision. Sometimes I'm not sure whether I regret it or not.

    Fucking Hexen is sort of a jokewad, and it's often a successful one. The main joke that runs throughout the wad and textfile is the gratuitous swearing. To start with, the levels have names like "Fucking Woods" and "Fucking Ice Palace." Anyone who's ever been 12 years old can appreciate this on some level; personally, I found it funny in the beginning, but it faded into the background after the first five minutes of playing. For better and for worse, the humor doesn't stop there, and the first few levels are peppered with many other little jokes. The best ones manage to poke fun at Hexen's particular quirks, such as the message, "You lowered all the stupid forcefields by ringing this bell," or "The task is done, here is some earthquake to make it look more epic." Others are just random but mildly amusing gags, like the "puzzle" where you have to choose between three emerald keys and two of the paths will kill you, but a message pops up telling you which key is the right one. There's also the big annoying trollish platform section in "Fucking Woods" with the message, "You're going to hate me for this." I just cheated in a Wings of Wrath for that one.

    Fucking Hexen is an OK jokewad, but the first map makes it seem like the whole thing is going to be horribly tedious to play. Most of the combat is against giant mobs of one or two enemy types that pop up in front of you, and the vast majority of enemies are Ettins and Centaurs (this observation comes from playing as the Mage, so I doubt there's any class balance), and the battles are slow and boring with little danger of getting hit. What could be more fun than Sapphire Wanding a horde of Centaurs, right? The "floor is lava" section in this map was almost welcome just because it was the practically the only place in that map where I took any damage. It might be more fun as the Fighter, though. Health and items are incredibly overabundant, given that you hardly need anything except mana to win the fights (and even then, only if you're a Cleric). There are tons of decorations everywhere (mainly trees), making it even easier to herd the enemies and block any incoming projectiles.

    The remaining levels are significantly better, though none of them feel super polished. The huge amount of health and huge number of power-ups continue to trivialize the fights, and the main frustration still comes from running into all the decorations stuck in the middle of everything. There are lots of large-scale battles, which is interesting for Hexen, but the spaces you're fighting in are just too big and make everything really easy, even when you're slipping around on ice. Most enemies still come from the front, though there are a few battles that are almost really tricky, like the ambush at the beginning of "Fucking Ice Temple," which would be brutal if the mob didn't get hung up so easily around the door -- the Serpents that make it difficult to escape into the next room are a nice touch, though you can easily outmaneuver them and exploit the whole battle by jumping onto a glitter bridge if you want.

    Matthias has a ton of great ideas, I have to give him that. There are many interesting and varied puzzles, and some of them are really inspired, but most of them feel like rough drafts. In "Fucking Fire Temple," there's a section where you have to use an Icon of the Defender to get through lava and reach a puzzle item, but there are no enemies or hazards to slow you down, just a run from point A to point B, and you have plenty of time to get there, so what's the point? The best puzzle was the one where you have to turn into a pig and get through a slippery ice maze before you change back, without falling into any deadly pits.

    The best map is the penultimate one, "A Shitload of Enemies," which throws everything Hexen has to offer at you. There are lots of different areas leading off the central castle section, each with its own set of challenges and a puzzle item at the end. The combat is pretty well balanced throughout the level, except for all the annoying decorations in some areas, and the mana and health are more tightly balanced. The last level is an arena slaughter battle; it looks terrifying, and although it turns out Hexen slaughter isn't all that hard (until Kristus proves otherwise), it's very action-packed and fun.

    For the most part, Fucking Hexen isn't a great wad, or at least it isn't very refined. However, aside from the first map, I found that it held my interest all the way through, which is probably the most important thing a mapset can do. There's a ton of creativity here, and I kept wanting to see what would happen next. The quality of the maps steadily improves as the levels progress, so Matthias's next wad is bound to be awesome.

    Distress Call - Soldier993
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 291.08 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Distress Call is a set of four small E1 maps that were originally intended to be part of a full episode replacement. They have a pretty old-school look and feel, but more of a 2004 old-school than a 1994 old-school. You'll encounter smashed doors, heavy machinery with pumping pistons, hexagonal holes in tile floors with the loose tiles lying next to them, and various other classic 2000s detail tropes with a bit of a rough appearance. I spotted several texture alignment and midtexture/linedef errors, including an HOM in E1M4 from a missing texture or something. There's also a set of red key bars in E1M4 that you have to open individually because the sectors aren't properly joined. Generally, however, the maps look pretty decent.

    The gameplay is easy enough to breeze through with a keyboard-only setup. There aren't any Barons or bosses, and most of the more difficult spots come from cheap use of Sergeants -- ones that teleport right next to you, ones that are attacking you from off-screen at the start of a map, ones that snipe at you from pitch-black cubbies high off the ground. These few minor setbacks shouldn't be much of a problem, though. Health and ammo balance is solid -- there's always more than enough shotgun ammo, few enough bullets that you have to ration the chaingun a little bit, and a handful of rockets, which is exactly how E1 should quintessentially work.

    The layouts aren't as smooth as they could be, and there's some annoying backtracking. E1M2 requires you to get the yellow key in the north end of the map, go back to the south end to hit the locked switch, and then go back to the north to go through the exit door that the switch opens up (there's a little bit of monster repopulation along the way, but not much). E1M3 is probably the most interesting map because of the liberal use of damaging nukage, which forces you to plan your movements. The majority of the map is spent running back and forth through a set of slime-flooded halls as you get keys and use them to press switches. It's kind of fun how it forces you to be careful with the rad suits and deal with combat while trying to manage your time on the damaging floors, but again, the backtracking can get really annoying, as you have to cross most of the same ground each time you get a key or hit a switch.

    Overall, Distress Call isn't great, but it's pleasantly casual and quick to play.

    The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.


    Doomworld Multiplayer Digest #47

    By Tristan, in News,

    Odamex Thunder #36 - Quake III CTF
    Date: 19 January, 2017
    Time: 18:00 GMT

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #284 - Newdoom Community Project (Part II)
    Date: 19 January, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Zandronum Aussie Friday Night Fragfest #9 - Greenwar 2
    Date: 20 January, 2017
    Time: 18:00 AEST / 08:00 GMT

    Odamex Friday Night Nitro #199 - 8-bit CTF
    Date: 20 January, 2017
    Time: 19:30 EST / 00:30 GMT Euro/US Friday Night Fragfest and ZDaemon Sessions have not yet been posted this week, so keep an eye on the multiplayer forum for further updates and other news. Happy fragging!

    ZeniMax Media, id Software's parent company, is accusing Oculus of stealing its intellectual property from the time when John Carmack was still an employee at id. These accusations go back to 2014 when Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion, and resulted in the current trial where ZeniMax is seeking damages equal to the price Facebook paid for Oculus; they claim that John Carmack, who became Oculus's CTO after parting with id, used ZeniMax's "copyrighted computer code, trade secret information, and technical know-how" in the development of the Rift. ZeniMax is now further accusing Oculus of "intentional destruction of evidence to cover up their wrongdoing." Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is also to appear on the stand. A Slashdot report based on this Ars Technica article offers a wider summary and historical links.

    2countrv - Jonathan Dowland
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 12.42 KB
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    This is a 2-bit ripple counter, built using WadC. That's it. It's compatible with any port that can run Boom maps fairly competently, so I suppose that's anything these days. This is more of a proof-of-concept wad. Jon hopes that other maps can use this for some interactive questing, maybe for some crude scripting bits. So, all mappers check this out, it's worth a look.

    As for everyone else, there's a nice, nice surprise if you overflow the counter. I don't want to spoil it, so everyone download this and try it! Enjoy the fun! I'm totally not saying this under threat of being gang-punched to death by bony fists! Honest!

    Doom: Damnation - Ofisil
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.64 MB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    Doom: Damnation. A 3-episode Ultimate Doom megaWAD. Made for vanilla.

    Warning: this review is quite long. tl;dr at the end if you're impatient!

    A guy named Ofisil decided a few years ago to remake the Ultimate Doom (stock textures only, of course). However, as it tends to happen with such ambitious projects, he ran out of steam and couldn't complete E4. So he uploaded what he had, 27 levels. And apparently, he made an entirely new soundtrack as well! This looks promising!

    I played through this with Crispy Doom 3.5 (I wanted Chocolate, but 640x400 is necessary for acceptable screenshots), on Hurt Me Plenty difficulty, continuous play, but without saves.

    Well, obviously I can't elaborate much on every single level, so here are short summaries:

    E1: The levels here are techbases, but with occasional Hellish details, like an Icon of Sin marble panel. I completed the episode in a single sitting and it took me around 1 hour and 20 minutes. I didn't regret it.

    M1: UAC Base -- nice, short opener. Feels like it came straight out of E1.
    M2: Nuclear Plant -- interesting, creepy, challenging. This feels like an early PWAD, like the UAC_DEAD we all love.
    M3: Prison Area -- a more "rocky" level. There are some natural areas here, as well as a super-boring and repetitive crew section with lots of dark, identical rooms. Hint: the marble one is a death pit. Maybe the prisoners are executed there? And what's a prison of this size doing on Phobos anyway? The music here is an AWESOME remake of "Dark Halls"; words can't describe how great it is.
    M9: Phobos Sewers -- didn't play. And even if I did, I wouldn't describe it to you. It's a secret level dammit, find for yourself!
    M4: Crimson Mines -- goes even further with the "rockiness". This is a mining complex. The caves look great.
    M5: Powerhouse -- centered around a huge reactor or something. An interesting level with a weird, but small outdoor area.
    M6: Warpgate Research Facility -- cool level. Maybe a bit too brown, but still fun. Also the first appearance of the Cacodemon! The teleporting section was confusing, but not annoying.
    M7: The Core -- big level, with some cool areas. The debut of the Baron of Hell. The monster count starts to increase (182!), but it shouldn't be something you can't manage.
    M8: The Guardians -- a reimagining of Phobos Anomaly. First you see the two Barons, say "ahahaha this is gonna be easy", but then 50 monsters warp in to make your mission harder. Still, with all the soulspheres, this isn't much of a challenge even for those who suck at Doom, like me. By the way, 100% kills is achievable if you save the invulnerability for the finale.

    E2: Hellish bases. As with E1, Hell influences things here more than in the original episode it replaces. The difficulty starts becoming more of a problem; Cyberdemons show up already in the middle of the episode, but still nothing you shouldn't be able to handle. Besides, that's what difficulty levels are for! This episode is the best that Doom: Damnation has to offer, so if you have to play one of the episodes, make it E2. I have completed this episode in one sitting as well; took me 1 hour, 20 minutes, just like with E1.

    M1: Deimos Satellite -- also an OK opener. A rather dark and (very) sparsely populated level that still manages to hold your attention for a good 8 minutes. Watch that lava pit, you might fall in! Has some strange details, though.
    M2: Sector 0 -- where's the crate maze? A more substantial level. Starts out as a techbase, with the color blue being the most dominant. There is a really huge ambush at one point, be careful. After the "bars" section things become hellish and... boring. There is a maze of raising/lowering red platforms; just IDSPISPOPD through that one and save your nerves for something else.
    M3: Warehouse -- ahh. Here it is! Begins in a stone/brick ambient, then becomes a (small-ish) crate maze, ending with marble all over the place. As I've said before, there are some homages to "Halls of the Damned" and I think even "House of Pain". Lots of Barons and Cacodemons in this place, but luckily you're given a Plasma Rifle, a Rocket Launcher and even a BFG if you're attentive enough, which I wasn't.
    M4: Deimos Base -- big level, actually scared me. Remember the times when people were scared of Doom? I don't, but now I know how it feels. The cross between the techbase and hell themes feels the most successful on this level. There are a couple occasions when Ofisil plays around with two different levels of architecture, which is interesting. As I said, the level has some parts that felt creepy to me. An area which you can see through some narrow windows with a lot of monsters fighting. The room behind the blue door. The marble gargoyle that will probably kill you on your first playthrough. The music contributes to the suspenseful mood of the level. This level rocks. This is a genuine masterpiece.
    M5: The Temple -- a hub-based level. You start close to a door that requires all three keys and you have to find them... I mean, you don't have to, but you wanna save the world and get out of Deimos, right? From the start area you will get to a big room with a Baron, lots of Lost Souls and some Imps that guard three teleports to each area with a key. One is a techbase-ish maze of hallways, another is a big, big hellish cave with yet another bunch of Lost Souls and Cacodemons, the last area is a... huge-ass arena where you face... a Cacodemon and 4 Pinkies. C -- Challenging! OK, so you got the keys, now you're back at the door (technically 3 of them, but it's really one), you open it, face a lot of guys and exit to E2M6. Thanks to Lost Souls not being cool enough to count as monsters, the monster count on this level is deceptively low. Stay sharp, marine!
    M9: Chaos Fissure -- see E1M9
    M6: Volcano -- a level that thinks that it's much harder than it really is. MANY Soulspheres, all weapons and lots of ammo against 78 monsters + numerous lost souls. Not hard at all. A cave theme here. You basically have to fight your way through the caves, then you go out to the... volcano, I guess, where a Cyberdemon will warp in. After killing the cyber with your cells/rockets (which is trivial even for me in this setup), you proceed to the next level. There is a big group of Pinkies contained behind some sort of skin "bars" which is meant to be unleashed when you pick up one of the keys, but... you can just kill off the Pinkies before taking the key, and they can't exit the "cage", so they're absolutely helpless. Not cool. However, this level is a nice breather before...
    M7: The Legion -- a slaughtermap that I actually liked! I never thought I could enjoy a slaughtermap! What other miracles does Ofisil have in stock for us, I wonder? This is a big spacious level, mainly coated in the colors red and gray. It starts out completely empty. You will wander around, gathering supplies, understanding that something big is about to happen... and you will be right. At some point you'll unleash a countless wave of Hellspawn, which will teleport all around the level as soon as you see them. The enemies were really plentiful, but ammo and health wasn't lacking (especially if you find a secret Soulsphere, as I did) and the level was a pleasure to play through. A cool touch was a Cyberdemon hidden behind a FIREBLU wall that fires rockets at you. One of the best levels in the megaWAD. You're given another Soulsphere in the room with the portal to the last bastion of Deimos, use it wisely.
    M8: Hellgate -- suddenly... a Dead Simple clone? WTH?

    E3: here the levels start sucking hard. I recommend you to play only until E3M3 or M5, because it gets BAD after that. Around the middle of the episode, the texturing starts becoming insane, in a very, very bad way. This episode took me three days to complete, and I even skipped two levels because they were 2hard4me even on HNTR. Oh well, they sucked anyway :]

    M1: Shores of Hell -- despite what I've said of E3 as a whole, the beginning of your journey through Hell is quite decently made. You start off in a small room with computers around you and a door. When you open the door, you will see that you're on the edge of a big canyon with rocky platforms around. Eventually you will raise a bridge and teleport to a marble fortress inside of which there is a wood+metal area with many crushers and Barons to make your task harder. After you turn the first against the second, you enter a huge room that looks like a cathedral, enemies warp in, you kill them and proceed to M2. Also a good opener. The music is cool as well.
    M2: Unholy Valley -- this level vexed me a lot. A big open level, kinda similar to the original E3M2: Slough of Despair, but without the fancy automap gimmick and with red bricks added to the colour scheme. Many, many Lost Souls here. Be sure to find a safe spot to snipe them off, or you just won't survive the level. Also, be VERY CAREFUL at the end of the level; a switch is supposed to raise out of the floor, but if you move too fast, you'll skip over it and unexpectedly melt in the lava. That's a shame, because the level is rather cool.
    M3: Pandeimos -- a dark, suspenseful level. Reminds me of E4M7: And Hell Followed of the original Doom, because of frequent use of wood and the layout. Not particularly hard, but there's a part of the level where the everything is pitch black, you're in a pool of toxic blood and you have to follow the trail of the candles to progress. And there's some Pinkies and Cacodemons to keep you company. In the end there's a big wave of monsters, but that shouldn't be too hard. The music was cool. It felt very zen in the beginning, but got creepy as hell by the end.
    M4: Deathlight -- I couldn't complete this level, to be honest. Huge, huge, bland, symmetric open area with two Cyberdemons, some Cacodemons, a lot of Barons on a high ledge, and swarms of Pinkies periodically released at you. There's a small closed area with all the keys and doors made of marble, wood and crushers. Two of the key doors are partially open and have nothing behind them except for another key. Damn slaughtermaps.
    M5: The Eternal Citadel -- a rather cool level. A hellish citadel made primarily of red bricks. The monster density is high here (i.e. you'll fight big groups of hellspawn); getting through is hard, but manageable. The fortress is also pretty nonlinear, with many hidden passages leading to useful things you might need. Also, you'll find the level a lot harder if you don't have some semblance of a strategy. Hint: save that invulnerability sphere!
    M6 -- imagine Mt. Erebus. Now double the monster count. Now throw in Cyberdemons, Barons and Spider Masterminds all over the place. I'm not reviewing this, sorry. 214 monsters. Play at your own risk.
    M9: Pit of Nightmares -- see E2M9
    M7: Event Horizon -- dear god, what I have done to be punished with this? A level that takes the retarded texturing to the EXTREME. Door textures? Crates? TEKWALL? In a hell level? Mmm yes. There isn't much ammo; find the chainsaw and berserk ASAP. The map isn't hard compared to some of the previous levels. Some of the ideas are interesting, like a room where you get teleported right on the center of a lowering crusher, and then monsters start pouring out of everywhere. You become forced to form an alliance with the crusher against the Cacodemons, Imps, Lost Souls, and, after those, Barons of Hell. Also, the long FIREBLU hallway was nice to look at, and the way you obtain the chaingun was an awesome concept. A weird level; play only if you really want to.
    M8: The First Portal -- just a big arena made of marble. You enter the level and find yourself surrounded by Cacodemons. As soon as you fire, lots of monsters teleport into the arena, including at least four Spider Masterminds. At this point you can just relax, circlestrafe around and let the magic of mass infighting do its thing. Remember, marine, Masterminds can infight with each other as well! The spiders are on a platform slightly raised from the rest of the arena, so they tend to get stuck on the small height difference, where they become easy prey for the Barons of Hell.

    What can I say about this mapset, overall? (i.e. tl;dr?)

    1. It feels like the IWAD very much. I think, even more than DTWID! There are lots of very unusual gameplay ideas, which is something that makes the good ol' IWADs stand the test of time.
    2. The soundtrack is top-notch. Some of the tracks are remixes of tracks from Ultimate Doom's OST, or very much resemble them. According to the text file, you can use it for your own purposes.
    3. The levels feel extremely 1994-ish, but in a good way. Mostly.
    4. However, the texturing and alignment suck; even '94 levels did it better. This is by far my biggest complaint about the WAD. Just press "A" in Doom Builder sometimes, damn it!!! It's not that hard, but makes your levels look much more professional! Yes, I'm pissed off by this. Also, some of the texture placement is so bad and totally nonsensical that even Sandy Petersen would throw these levels out of the damn window!!! Argh! Ofisil, why?!
    5. The door tracks are not always lower unpegged, for god's sake! Unacceptable in 2016!
    6. The difficulty is on par with the IWAD in the first half of the megaWAD (E1 + half of E2), but gets quite tough in the second half. Some of the E3 levels are full-on slaughter maps, so I skipped them :]
    7. The detailing is better than in the Ultimate Doom. A bit bland sometimes, but hey, this is for vanilla!
    8. The levels often continue "on top" of each other. You know, the end of one level is the same as the beginning of the next one.
    9. You will often see homages to original id levels throughout the mapset. You will see the Imps + Chaingun building from the original E1M4 on E1M7, the wooden maze of the original E2M6 shows up on E2M3... see if you can find them all.
    10. The author has provided level names, music track names and par times, but didn't bother with putting it into a DeHackEd file, instead keeping them in an included text file. A small DEH patch wouldn't have hurt, you know...
    11. The "Barons + Cyberdemon" cliche a-la MAP08: Tricks 'n' Traps is really, really overused. Yet another gimmick that appears in MAP08, monsters teleporting behind you as soon as they see you is something that you will encounter a lot, too. The Lost Souls are overused as well, as a way of increasing difficulty without frightening the player by the maps' monster counts. Clever, but cheap!

    As a conclusion, am I waiting for an Ofisil-made E4 remake? Yes. If you're reading this, Ofisil, I urge you to finish that megawad you started no matter what. This is the kind of things that gets Cacowards. Doom: Damnation is awesome.

    My First Wad - Jayfeather
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 66.05 KB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    Hey, some newbie's first WAD! Let's review it and tell him what a goddamn dumbass he is and how much his maps SUCK! Hehehehe... Well, no. This is cool.

    Many mappers decided to participate in the Vinesauce mapping contest, but some of them have never mapped before. One of those fellas is named Jayfeather, and he released his entry to the public. Its name tells you everything: "My First WAD". The WAD comprises three maps made for ZDoom-compatible ports, and it does use some of the port features.

    I played through this mapset in ZDoom 2.8.1 on HMP difficulty and it took me about 30 minutes.

    MAP01: "the very first thing I've ever made in Doom Builder". It shows. Here we are in some sort of techbase. Huge and/or bland rooms. A single ceiling flat across the entire level. To make it even worse, that one flat is DB2's default one, CEIL1_1. 32 or 64 thick doors, but at least the tracks are lower unpegged. Secrets being simple item closets and easily visible on the automap. Floor textures used as wall ones.

    Despite not being technically ideal, the gameplay is fun. That one room with Chaingunners and Mancubuses killed me a few times, but it was rather fun and easy, especially because those secrets were rather poorly hidden... Hey author, ever heard of the "Secret" linedef flag? This reminds me of my own first level, heh. This is bearable. It took me eight minutes.

    MAP02: "basic premise is shamelessly copied from Map08". It shows, as well. You start in a "hub" area with a lot of doors around you. The theme here is mostly stone and bricks, and thankfully the author sticks to that theme throughout the entire level. There are a lot of huge and completely bland stairways and corridors. The author does throw in a few traps and monster closets, but the automap helps you predict those. This one generally looks a lot nicer compared to MAP01; it has that plain, but enjoyable 1994 spirit and aesthetic, and that's a compliment. One part that sucked was a huge maze with single (completely harmless!) Pinkies, while the player is given a SSG. That was just boring. IDSPISPOPD!

    The finale is a completely harmless Spider Mastermind fight. You have a lot of plasma ammo on this level, so I literally didn't move at all and shot the spider until she died. B-o-r-i-n-g! After that, a door opens (ooooh scripting!), you get a key, and face the "surprise" behind the yellow door. Next stop, MAP03! This map is actually cool, I enjoyed the 11 minutes I spent here.

    MAP03: "made almost entirely while intoxicated, and plays around with outdoors areas". O-kaaaaay... "Intoxicated" means "sick" or "high"? The theme here is outdoor/stone/bricks, then it goes into a small techbase part, then the BOSS FIGHT, and then you're done. Just like in the previous two maps, there are three keyed doors, and you start the level fairly close to all three. This level is more simplistic than MAP02 and even MAP01, but it's fun, and that's what matters! It's all really bland, but I've already said that, like, 25 times in this review. The PE + 2 Mancubus area with the lava looked kind of cute. So basically you fight monsters, get a few keys, everything is made of stone and bricks and things like that, then you get to the red door... and then WHAM! Techbase! A trident-shaped corridor, but all three doors lead to an arena that is just too big for the monsters inside of it. After you clean that, you face an Arch-Vile, but... you know... you have a load of plasma, so it isn't a threat at all. You take the yellow key from the AV room and head for the yellow door, behind which is a teleporter that leads to the aforementioned BOSS FIGHT, which is actually just a single Cyberdemon with lots of health and ammo lying around. So you blast his ass with your plasma gun, a door opens just like in MAP02, and you're done! This map is weaker that MAP02, but still fun to play. I found it a good way to pass nine minutes.

    Overall, how would Bzzrak advise Jayfeather on the subject of his future maps?

    1. Please use the "Secret" flag on linedefs that open item closets. They are really too obvious and make the maps too easy. By the way, a "secret" doesn't always have to be a wall you press to reveal a medkit.
    2. The gameplay was all right, but please don't make boring mazes like the one in MAP02.
    3. The maps were maybe a bit too linear, but there's nothing really wrong with linearity.
    4. Don't be a ZDoom sissy and make a map for vanilla. :]
    5. Some new music would've been cool...
    6. Use the "map check" option of Doom Builder. There were a lot of unclosed sectors and, as a consequence, lots of HOMs.
    7. Needs More Detail (TM)

    The Day of Chains - Serious_MOod
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 431.71 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    The Day of Chains is a single map (with a bonus ending level) for Doom. This is a birthday map that the author made for the user Chaingunner. The setting is good old corrupted techbase of E2, and here the nice use of tech and flesh mixed together and the overall low brightness give this map a more grim mood. The gameplay relies on very closed spaces and traps, some of which are rather tricky as the health and ammo given isn't really generous. This is a pretty cool level overall, so check out for sure if you particularly love stuff for Ultimate Doom.

    Travelling to the moon - The_trigger AKA Yugiboy85 (Youtube and others) and Chaos (doom CFD)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 6.05 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Traveling to the Moon is a very large (around 50 minutes to beat) lunar base level in the vein of Valiant E5, but decked out in the CC4 texture set. The map is stunning to look at, with plenty of panoramic views, gorgeous spot lighting, and lots of those cool scrolling forcefield effects that always seem to be at the heart of CC4-tex maps. The whole thing is set to a great laid-back electronica OGG track (at least if you're playing in ZDoom; the textfile makes it sound like Boom players are treated to Jimmy's "Voyage 1," my all-time favorite Doom MIDI), and although the music and the pulsing lights make you want to trance out, the action rarely gives you a break.

    This map is very challenging. As you explore around the non-linear central base area, you'll face a lot of what I'm going to call incidental combat on steroids: moderate monster density, plenty of roaming hitscanners, and smallish ambushes at just about every turn. The toughest action takes place in the three peripheral keycard arenas, two of which feature rather elegant slaughter-level battles and one of which has a pair of slightly smaller fights instead. After you collect all three keys (in any order), you open up a final arena for a really impressive multi-stage horde battle that includes several Cyberdemons. There are two things I like about the slaughter-type battles in this map that help bring them down more toward the average player's skill level. First, most of them let you feel out the arena and gather all your ammo before you trigger the enemies via the obvious and ominous switches. Second, the hordes all contain a ton of fodder enemies, making them really fun to blast apart with the rocket launcher (which is easily the favored weapon for this map, as there's a ton of rocket ammo all over). Unless you're an invincible Doom god who demands the utmost difficulty, this map on UV should be a pretty nice balance for just about any experienced player who's looking for a challenge. The one thing that can be irritating at times is the abundance of hitscanners, though they can also be very helpful for infighting purposes.

    Traveling to the Moon isn't just fun, it's inspiring -- everything from the architecture to the combat hits the spot. Highly recommended.

    The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.


    Doomworld Multiplayer Digest #46

    By Doomkid, in News,

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #283 - Invasion UAC (Part I revisited)
    Date: 12th January 2017
    Euro session: 19:00 GMT/14:00 EST at [L@P], Germany (usually lasts over 6 hours)

    Zandronum Friday Night Fragfest #357: ProCTF + Overload maps & 32in24-16
    European FNF: January 13th, 2017, 18:00 UTC
    American FNF: January 13th, 2017, 20:00 EDT

    ZDS #489 - DmPaQ Deathmatch
    Date: Saturday 14th January 2017
    Euro: 19:30 GMT / 14:30 EST
    USA: 01:00 GMT / 20:00 EST Head over to the multiplayer forum for more discussion about events, matches, wads and more. Happy fragging!


    ZDoom ceases development

    By printz, in News,

    As of 7 January 2017, Randi has stepped down from development of the ZDoom source port, and there will be no more releases under this name. Meanwhile, the offshoots GZDoom – the hardware-accelerated version, led by Graf Zahl, who has also massively improved ZDoom throughout the years – and QZDoom – with true-colour software rendering, led by Eruanna and dpJudas – continue to evolve, so any further development should be sought there.

    The site zdoom.org, containing among others the forum and the wiki, is going to be maintained by Eruanna. You can read Randi's announcement and the discussions further in a news thread at the ZDoom forums.

    Shrooms - Albertoni
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 3.46 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    I really wanted to like Shrooms. I really did. Unfortunately, the mapper didn't want that to happen. I suppose the malicious, coordinated attack on my ears, eyes, and soul was well deserved, knowing that I would eventually pick this one up out of curiosity. But did I deserve this? This WAD physically hurt me.

    Oh, you think I'm kidding. That I'm using that literary hyper-bowl. Friends, this is not the case. I had to stop playing for a while so my eyes could regain trust that I was still on the firmament. My ears wanted to deafen to stop the horrendous music, which sounds awful no matter how I choose to play it.

    Let's get on with this, shall we? Gameplay is unbalanced as fuck. Aesthetically, it feels like specks of dirt in your contact lenses. The music is sonic trash. The level design varies from 1994 to "hey, I bet I can make a level for this new ZDoom port!" If this had been released in 1998, I still would have thrashed this thing, because it pulls the WORST of the terrible ZDoom mapping cliches: Dense, purple fog.

    This is why GZDoom was "recommended", I take it. It's too bad, because that purple looks like garbage regardless. Using a hardware accelerated video card with this WAD does not mask the terrible, puke-inducing colors of obnoxious purple and green. And to top it off, there is a red so dark you can barely see imp fireballs.

    The levels try to pull a few jump scares/a few "cinematic" bits, but they are implemented so poorly that they immediately break any sort of immersion that could possibly exist. Teleporting me to a box with horizon lines in it for a split second as I walk down a hallway does not scare me, especially when I can see the setup in front of my face. All that tells me is that you know how to use silent teleports. The Z height didn't even change! So I fall down into the "scary room" and then my momentum I had building goes to shit as I'm teleported back, Doomguy-oofs-and-all. There wasn't even a music change, or a sound effect, it just... happened! Imagine if Doom 3 jump scares had puppet strings visible on the monsters and some duct tape on some of the cardboard cutouts that made the "scenery" of the Hell flashbacks while Betruger was laughing. That's what this feels like.

    And then one of your maps somehow breaks ZDoom so bad that I think I will have to report it as a legitimate rendering bug - how did anyone not catch this?

    This really feels like a 1998 WAD with some ZDoom scripting tacked on. While some of the environments feel "huge", that's the only thing that's notable - unless you walk off the center path a bit and find beginner's mistakes like midtex fences eating through the floor!

    Oh, and the later levels are so dark to be unplayable. Just to make sure it wasn't just ZDoom, I played it with GZDoom, and it still looked the same. I have no idea how this happened, I just want to forget I ever played it.

    That's a good idea. Forget it. Don't play this.

    Sparta 2 - Project vesuvius - Matt "cannonball" Powell
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 3.9 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Sparta 2 - Project vesuvius is a megawad by Cannonball, and this time for Doom 2, contrary to the mapper's preference of making wads for Ultimate Doom. It's the sequel to Sparta, which I didn't play to be honest, but it seems that the only bond between the two wads is that they share the same concept of being collections of scrapped maps. This is a mapset of difficult levels; even in the first few maps you'll have a challenge, which grows as the levels progress into slaughter scenarios for the most part. Every map has its different things from the others that makes the wad more varied, at least to a certain extent.

    My biggest complaint is that many situations end up the same: arch-viles spawn behind you or in nearby areas, and combos of Afrits + Pain Eelementals. Regarding the Afrits, there are also the Evil Marines that everyone hates; both were originally featured in Scythe 1 and 2. I don't dislike their addition to the wad, but I must say that I liked more how they were used in Scythe 2. Other negative things, but not so much considered that this is a wad of scrapped levels, is that some maps are glaring fillers. Other than that it was a really fine wad; MAP06-09 and 17 were the best for me. This is surely recommended if you are geared towards hard and slaughter maps.

    Foursite - Bauul
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.71 MB -
    Reviewed by: Voros
    Foursite, one huge map. I'm not exaggerating.

    Bauul first came up with the idea many years ago, but the idea never became a reality. Then suddenly, after one year of work, Foursite showed up in late 2016. It's also his first map.

    This map is impressive in both detail and gameplay. Initially, when I heard of this map, my mind said "it's probably another one of those crazy hard maps." Surprise, it's not (at least not "crazy" hard)! Starting out in what I assume to be the bottom of some small canyon/valley, you don't encounter a single enemy for a few minutes, then tons of enemies later on.

    Bauul used excellent monster placement here, as it progresses from very, very, very easy (some Possessed Humans here and there) to Nightmare-like difficulty (the Spider Mastermind room, while walking/running over very thin bridges).

    The map is called Foursite for a reason. There are four massive/gorgeous quadrants of the map. Each quadrant is basically a switch-hunt, which will open the next quadrant and a bit of the exit each time. Foursite requires the player to have good platforming skills, because jumping on moving platforms with Mancubus fireballs heading your way ain't simple.

    There are also keycards being used here, but they're not necessary to finish the map. Use 'em to get more powerful weapons instead!

    Bauul mentions that the Spider Mastermind has been beefed up with DeHackEd. It never stops firing its chaingun, and its health is around 7x higher than before. The arena you encounter it in makes it nearly impossible to "shoot at it until dies". That's where the switches come in. These switches bridge the gaps found in the arena, leading you all the way to the final switch. Remember "MAP06: The Crusher" of Doom 2? Same concept here.

    This is a great map, albeit a lengthy one. Try it out when you have free time!

    Ave Terra - LPDem
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 75.61 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Ave Terra is a pretty simple and straightforward hellish arena level. Its main trope is changing geometry, with walls repeatedly lowering to make the central area wider and wider, usually revealing more monsters in the process. It's a pretty short level that never gets very big (monster count was a little under 150 on UV), and the geometric shifts are never super interesting, especially compared to what someone like Xaser can do, but it's not a bad idea to base a level around.

    The battles can sometimes be a bit challenging, but they're mainly done in the style of "throw lots of random monsters together into the same space." The ammo and items placement feels similarly random, though there's enough of everything to go around, and the map could probably do with fewer keys given how compact it is; I kept getting the next key so quickly that sometimes I forgot I even had it by the end of the current battle and got momentarily stuck wondering where it was.

    The map is pretty bland to look at, and there's little finesse to the design (virtually no cover to dodge behind, for instance), but it's an OK map overall. I wouldn't recommend it, but here's hoping it was a good learning experience and a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

    Simple Pistol Starter - Coldiron
    N/A - N/A - ZDoom Compatible - 19.75 KB
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This is a little patch for ZDoom-compatible ports and compatible with all the original Doom games and some Doom clones as well (like Heretic, Freedoom, HACX and Chex Quest), plus some of the major mods like Brutal Doom, Strange Aeons, Beautiful Doom, Valiant, and many others (check the description in the textfile for further information) that makes you start every map with a pistol, making a discontinued gameplay experience instead of the usual continuous play with all the weapons you have. If you like to play this way or you want to play some mapsets designed for pistol start (like Doomworld Megaproject series), download this!

    Blood Tunnels - VeeTHis
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Skulltag - 10.61 KB -
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This is a short wad by VeeTHis for the forgotten Skulltag port (or Zandronum using the Skulltag data PK3s, but it works kinda fine on all ZDoom-compatible ports, except a missing thing in a room near the end of the map) that claims to be a short jokewad.

    But could it be defined as a jokewad?

    Is it somewhat fun? No.
    Is it somewhat cringy? Not really.
    Is it an ugly map with insane layout and texturing? Yes... sort of.

    It is a short, linear map with a huge bad 1994 mapping style. There's an ASHWALL2 cave with fast-opening doors in player passages showing the path to reach the exit room; you reach the room and... you finish the map without any sign or warning. Woah.

    Gameplay-wise it is not really hard, except a compact army of shotgunners after the starting room, but when you get the trick to defeat them it becomes easier. Also in that spot there's a Wolf SS soldier frozen in position for some reason; probably the author wanted make a statue of a Nazi in the middle of a short bloodfall room, or an actor that will be activated after a script that the author forgot to put in... who knows?

    Overall, this map is just pretty forgettable for whatever aim it has; it is too ugly and stupid for a serious map and is too bland and unfunny for a jokewad. Skip this thing and play something else.

    Kamikaze Suicidal - Michael Jan Krizik (valkiriforce)
    Plutonia - Single Player - Vanilla - 252.79 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Kamikaze Suicidal is a single release from the well-known valkiriforce. It's a sort of sequel to his MAP22 of Plutonia Revisited, since that map wasn't so different from the original. This is a pretty big map for Plutonia, set in a techbase with toxic waste, and the look is made by the distinctive textures of the iwad. The gameplay reminds me a bit of Plutonia and it was quite tricky sometimes, but more prominent is the style of the author: a rather sprawling layout, and the monster count is high (around 400 on UV). This is a really well-crafted level and it's and easy suggestion, both whether you are familiar with this author or not, but more importantly if you are looking for a good Doom map.

    Killing Adventure 2 - Ruba
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 3.39 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    There once was a time when I was wrong.

    Shocking, I know.

    It was around 2010, when I declared, "GOD DAMMIT RUBA STOP MAKING MAPS ALREADY." And today, I officially apologize to Ruba for this terrible statement. While Ruba was notorious for making map after map of supremely unplayable crap, I couldn't help but notice there was a serious mapper in there, somewhere. I was convinced it was an already well-established mapper's alter ego just making maps like that to either get it out of his system, or to ride the jokeWAD fad. Either way, I was confused and angry at those maps. Plus, the name "Ruba" sounded like "Ruby" and my brain immediately dreams of hot redheads, like Christina Hendricks, Marilyn Monroe, Piper Fawn... wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, I kept typing "Ruby" instead of "Ruba". How embarrassing.

    Anyway, Killing Adventure 2 caught me off guard, and sucked up an entire Saturday afternoon. Gone are the days of 500 identical rooms with five imps in each one, and 90 degree walls because "texture alignment". If this is really Ruba, then Ruba is one of the best examples of a Doom success story: a mapper can turn it around. While it isn't "Doom Jr." levels of improvement, Ruba has gotten better to the point that I can play without throwing things.

    So should you play this? A better question is, why are you still reading this, and not playing it? For those still here, let's go over the basics:

    Ammo balance is tighter than a 12-year-old back injury. You're going to be counting shells as if you were playing in Vegas. It doesn't help that MAP01 itself requires that you defeat earlier enemies a certain way, as to save ammo for the tougher ones ahead. This does not let up, either; The whole mapset is on an ammo diet. What this means to you is: you better not pick up any more ammo than you need. If you have 190 bullets with no backpack and you pick up a box of bullets, you're already fucked. There were many occasions that I found myself completely out of ammo. This is not a good feeling. And I know it was because of my carelessness, not the mapper's. And that's a bitter pill to swallow, considering that the gameplay in places invites you to spray bullets everywhere and play with your brain turned off.

    This being Ruba, of course, there is some "jokewad" material in here, but not in a way that drags the mapset down. Most are in the form of imitation - one map imitates all the start maps of all the Doom games, plus one of John Romero's new maps. Sometimes there are things that are just there to bring a chuckle, like a picture of George W. Bush on a wall somewhere. One of the weirdest moments during my playthrough was when I entered a room with chaingunners and cacodemons, with "I'M NOT GAY FAG" written on the wall, with arrows pointing to pictures of women. I then found myself filled with bullets. Well played.

    The music selection is random as hell, yet I could not stop listening to it. They add a little something, and I'm not really sure what that something is. I assume it's video game music, but some selections do not sound like that at all...

    Ruba's maps all share a creative uses of textures. Remember the Icon of Sin face? It's used liberally here to make new creations like studio monitors. Wolf textures are used for big red brick steps, stone supports, and more. GRAYTALL also gets a chance, with its trademark red stripe put to good decorative use. It's really cool to see this level of creativity with stock textures.

    The environments are BIG. I mean that. This gives the maps an oppressive tone with the advantage of increased maneuverability. This may be a problem, however, if you fall onto a hurtfloor and have to book it to a teleporter or rad suit before your health reaches zero. Ruba nails this aesthetic in this mapset - something I thought only B.P.R.D. could do.

    Now, for the bad stuff - this mapset starts packing in monsters Holy Hell style about... 15 maps in? If you're playing with a fancy-shmancy weapons mod because you've already given up playing it normally (me), you may see your frame rate drop into the single digits. If you use enhancement wads that add crazy decorative shit to your kills, guns, or lights/trees/hanging dudes/whatever, you're gonna have a bad time. One of the maps is titled "DON'T KILL ME!!" which I assume is my computer, screaming.

    Yes, there are a lot of gimmicky maps, a lot of slaughtermaps (well, slaughter-lite to some of you), and because of that, it looks like a great thing to play co-op on, because even as I've been playing since 1993, I routinely got my ass handed to me.

    And before I wrap this up - what the hell is with your face in this thing, Ruba? You plastered your face in the weirdest of places, with the weirdest of emotions. At least I know you're human, I suppose. That's always a relief. Or, that person is being held hostage. Who knows at this point?

    I can't hate this mapset. I genuinely like it. Ruba, please make more of this. Doomers, please play this. You won't regret it.

    Legacy of Heroes - Gaspe
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 6.84 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Eternal Doom: divider of nations, breaker of souls, object of devotion. A megawad both praised and cursed for its slow pacing and its focus on difficult puzzles that require players to carefully search and uncover secrets to progress. A wad that I've ragequit less than halfway through each of the three times I've tried to play it.

    In many ways, gaspe's Legacy of Heroes feels like Eternal Doom Lite -- and for those of us who can't hack the cruel labyrinth of its predecessor, lighter is most certainly better. Legacy of Heroes has that same heavy focus on exploration, taking in your surroundings, hunting through the darkness, and finding the right switches to progress -- but those switches are (almost) never hidden, so you won't get lost or overly frustrated as long as you're careful and thorough. As a result, you get to spend your time enjoying the atmosphere and the fighting instead of grinding to a halt while you try to solve the progression. The set does offer some more hardcore puzzle elements for the true Eternal Doom fans in the form of secrets -- about a half dozen per level, and many of them seem to require multiple steps of puzzle solving. I never even came close to figuring out most of them, but I appreciated how they added another layer to the maps, a totally optional hardcore challenge that you can come back to whenever you want, either at the end of the level or in a second playthrough. If you want a BFG, however, you'd better get cracking.

    The combat gets pretty tough, though it (usually) feels significantly more casual than Eternal Doom's other favorite child, Epic 2. Combat in Legacy of Heroes is very tactical. There are lots of snipers, particularly chaingunners, and setups frequently revolve around enemies that are entrenched by the architecture, have the advantage of the high ground, or both. To make up for this, the levels typically offer a decent amount of cover that you can use to advance on your opponents. There's a lot of relatively easy incidental fighting due to the exploratory style, but the larger battles require you to act with precision, moving quickly and prioritizing your targets.

    One area in which this wad doesn't go light at all is the architecture. Boom's increased engine limits allowed gaspe to take the beauty and realism of Eternal Doom's resource selection up to 11, and the outdoor levels in particular are defined by sprawling, gorgeous views. The interior sections are much more confined and a lot darker, with tight swaths of high-contrast light around the torches and other light sources. With every cavern and corridor fading out into shadow, these interiors really ooze atmosphere. Eternal Doom's textures have always felt somewhat monotonous to me because they all use the same few sets of colors and dim lighting blends them together even more, but this mapset still gets a lot of mileage out of them, creating an array of ruined cityscapes and dungeons that mainly distinguish themselves through the shapes of the architecture. One of my favorites is the underground town in map 03. There are also some really wild scenarios here, like the gigantic whirlpool you drop down at the end of map 05, only to find yourself in some kind of spider temple that's infested with a mysterious blue glowing coral structure. Map 08 has one of the better sector ships I've ever seen. Every setting helps to add to the implied story and the feeling of adventure. Also, this may sound odd, but one of my favorite aspects of gaspe's detailing are the fancy little key/item platforms, like the plasma rifle pedestal in map 04 or the red key platform in map 05 that's shaped sort of like the Dragon Claw from Heretic.

    The difficulty gets more intense around maps 07-09. Map 07 and map 09 are both dark dungeon crawls that feel a lot bigger than their monster counts would suggest. Both of them have much stronger puzzle elements than the rest of the set, and each of these levels had a spot I got stuck on for a long time. Getting the blue key in map 09 requires hitting three switches scattered around the level, and while I found two of them eventually with normal exploration, the third one seems to require solving an Eternal Doom-esque puzzle to lower a wall. I eventually just clipped to the other side, but at least I was able to make sense of what I needed to do, so I wasn't stumbling around blindly. Map 08, by contrast, is a huge city level that has you fighting through dense architecture with plenty of enemies at every turn, and for me it was the most fun level in the set just because it's the most action-packed. Map 10 is pleasantly small, with a slow and suspenseful build-up followed by a final boss battle against two custom Maulotaur monsters. The bosses aren't much more than Mancubuses with a ton of health, but the arena itself makes the battle interesting, as most of it is damaging slime and you have to try to stay on the various little rock islands while still focusing on beating the Maulotaurs. Map 11 is just a small closing scene, and it seems to hint that what you've been through is part of a much bigger story in which the time continuum gets rather... complex. Maybe there will be a sequel?

    If you really dislike the style of mapping that Eternal Doom and Epic 2 represent (if you're me, for instance), then you'll probably find Legacy of Heroes frustrating at times. The pervasive darkness can be a little much sometimes, especially in the beginning of map 06 and several parts of map 09, and although it adds a lot to the atmosphere of a dungeon crawl, it can detract from gameplay at the same time. Finding your way from point A to point B can be confusing, and the pacing often felt slow to me, especially when I was fighting too many Hell Knights and Barons or suddenly facing yet another pair of Cyberdemons (pretty sure I did that twice in the exact same arena on map 09). All of this is intentional, of course, and it's all done in faithfulness to the mapping style; it could probably be refined a bit here and there, but it's well done, and you'll just have to take it or leave it. However, I will say that I got hung up on columns, stray rocks, and decorations a little more often than I should have, especially in the earlier levels.

    Despite the few small flaws and aggravations, Legacy of Heroes is a very good mapset, and I enjoyed playing it -- especially when I found myself standing on top of a wall or bridge, my view suddenly opening up into an amazing panorama of distant towers and domes. Eternal Doom fans should find plenty to love in this more modern take on Team TNT's classic ideas, and lay-Doomers will find it much more accessible and fun than its predecessors.

    The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.