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    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #279 - Killing Adventure 2 (Part II)
    Date: 15 December 2016
    Euro session: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST - [L@P], Germany

    ZDaemon Sessions #485 - Jiffy Bag Instagib Deathmatch (Part II)
    Date: 17 December 2016
    Euro session: 19:30 GMT / 14:30 EST - [SDA], Germany
    US session: 01:00 GMT / 20:00 EST - [DUI], USA
    Friday Night Fragfest has not yet been posted this week, so keep an eye on the Multiplayer forum for further updates. Happy fragging!


    Doom Turns 23: No End in Sight

    By Alfonzo, in News,

    I hadn't noticed before, but that cake is supiciously stripper. Has anyone actually checked inside it to make sure there isn't anything untoward? Rogue cacowards, perhaps?

    Happy 23rd birthday, Doom. You've run out of milestones for us to make fun of (for now), but here, have some considered cacodemons instead. Eleven for the price of ten!


    DUMP Episode 1: Fuck Time Limits - TerminusEst13 (et al)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 14.12 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    DUMP Episode 1 is the wad that started the series; after it it came a bigger second episode (already reviewed here), and a much bigger third episode, which is getting close to being completed, I guess?! Even compared to the second episode this one is very short, and you can see that the thing started as a group of friends that decided to try to make a map. Among the participants are people who don't have very much experience in mapping, and others that are more seasoned. Overall it's a very fun set to play, and the maps aren't totally serious, and I would say that the mood is rather light-hearted. The maps were made for ZDoom, and many features were used and in a nice way. However I don't think there were any moments really remarkable or that stand-out to others; the maps are short, and the ZDoom stuff made the things more interesting actually.

    MAYhem 1500 AKA MAYhem2015 - A buncha schmucks
    Doom 2 - Single Player - MBF-compatible - 4.23 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Are you ready for 1.5 litres of Doom action injected straight into your spinal column? No? Too bad, because MAYhem 1500 promises just that. All made during the month of May (allegedly), these maps are restricted to 1500 lines. I didn't even notice this, as most maps worth a damn wind up in that 1000-2000 range anyway, unless you have a hankerin' to Torm it up or spam some Jimmylights.

    MAYhem 1500, because in the sparsest of conditions, diversity truly flourishes. Or something like that.

    These are all Gothic DM-themed maps, so I'm already on board. I've always wanted Gothic style SP maps, and I finally get my wish here. I think.

    Since the maps have to be at or under 1500 lines, the result is a clean set of maps, at least visually. I can tell who could competently work within those limits, and who chickened out too early and made an arena-style slaughtermap. C'mon guys!

    So, how are the levels? All over the place gameplay-wise. Some are fun romps, and others require you to plan your route before you even start playing, because 500 monsters surround you, yet are looking the other way. That's always something. If you stop moving for just a second in those kinds of levels, you can kiss it all bye-bye. There is little room to hide, and as the levels progress, you'll be swarmed from all degrees pretty much all the time. The level of "gothicness" varies from map to map, as expected - not everyone really likes using those textures exclusively.

    Ammo balance can be... what's the word... ridiculous. In all caps, because this is something that could have been avoided. Some parts feel "out of sequence", especially the first map, which throws you a super shotgun but barely any ammo to use it. Oh, and then monsters teleport in from everywhere. Great. It feels like it once was a key trap, but the key door is on the end of the hallway, so I assume some last minute fiddling was done to add a few extra rooms, and those rooms are BRUTAL.

    So in an attempt to prevent this review from becoming any longer, as is always my reviews, here is what to expect: 32+ levels with a limitation that probably didn't restrict the mappers that much. Gothic textures were used. Difficulty ranges from walks in parks to walks in the Apocalypse. Some levels wear out their welcome rather quickly. Some pull the "grab all three keys to open the exit" trope. Some cram monsters into one huge room. Boring.

    What isn't boring is MAP33 - a mansion that tries to kill you. There are no monsters. The level itself hates you. Hit the wrong switch, and the floor turns to poison. Fun! And the next map - A Joemap - it doesn't suck either. (Can't believe I'm saying these things.)

    Verdict? Skip around and play a few, but don't marathon this. I don't think they really play well unless you pistol start each one - else they become way too easy.

    Disaster Area - Maxime "Datacore" Bisiaux
    Evilution - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 24.2 KB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    In June 2016, Maxime "Datacore" Bisiaux released a vanilla deathmatch level for the TNT: Evilution IWAD, Disaster Area. For some reason it has been sitting in the review center for far too long, so I have decided to give this thing a review, although I'm not much of a deathmatcher.

    The level is set in a small techbase built of bricks; everything is mostly brown. There are a few small indoor rooms situated around a medium-sized outdoor area, but that's really it for geometry. Disaster Base is small, but very well detailed, the lighting is decently done as well. It's all really pleasing to look at.

    Datacore has also credited a guy named Oxide for a lift that raises and lowers instantly. Well, Oxide's contribution to the level was an useful one, as it's a handy means of escape from a tricky situation.

    I have been playing this level in ZDaemon with 4 bots, although the level does seem to work in vanilla just as good.

    My impressions on the gameplay:

    The weapon placement is OK. The chainsaw and one of the chainguns are located right next to each other, which might be a problem if you play with auto-switching weapons. The chainsaw is kind of a secret, though.

    The BFG isn't just lying in the open - you have to lower a lift and then run to it - but that allows everyone else to pick it up before you, so you might actually be better off not pressing that switch. Well, I guess Datacore didn't want to make the level become a BFG spamfest.

    The weapons that you'll mostly be using are the Chaingun, Super Shotgun and Plasmagun; therefore, the action is pretty fast-paced and very fun.

    Overall, Disaster Base is a neat little level that you might enjoy if you want to pass some time with a deathmatch game of good ol' Doom 2.

    Disaster Area - Maxime "Datacore" Bisiaux
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 32.71 KB
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    This seems to be the same thing as the Evilution version of the level, but most of the TNT exclusive textures have been replaced with Doom 2 ones, and the music is D_DOOM. Because of that "most of" the level won't work in vanilla.

    Download the TNT one instead of this.

    End of Eon - Overstory_Lover_63
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 353.46 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    End of Eon is a single huge map made for the Vinesauce mapping contest. It requires GZDoom for reasons not really clear to me, and it has... a lot of issues. When I started it up, my first thought was that it has over 600 monsters and very little visual appeal (the starting room, like most other rooms in the level, is large and mostly empty), and it seemed very unlikely that it could hold a player's interest for the length of time required to beat it. However, I quickly realized that this issue is totally beside the point.

    There are a lot of questionable choices in this map, and many are downright confusing. The progression is sometimes unclear -- at one point I hit a couple of switches, teleported back to the hub area, and seemingly couldn't do anything until I realized I was supposed to press Use on a random pillar-like construction to lower it and access another teleporter. The author has a habit of locking you into every room by using doors that only open from one side rather than, say, a one-time set of bars that come up when you enter and are lowered later to restore freedom of exploration. There was one point where I was teleported back into a crossroads room, went the wrong way, got locked in again, and then had to go back through several rooms to reach the teleporter again so that I could go the right way.

    There are three yellow keys in one area of the map: I picked one up off of a throne, then walked out into a previous room and found another one that had appeared there, picked it up, then made my way to the teleport room that leads out of the area, where the third one popped up from a desk. It makes me wonder if it was supposed to be one of those setups where the key keeps appearing and disappearing, and maybe it's just glitched. I'm not really sure. There was another room where, after a Cyberdemon battle, I lowered a secret wall and was greeted with little more than a dozen or so Arch-Viles. The author has defended similar choices as intentional in the past, so although I don't think it makes much sense, I'll just leave it to the reader to decide. After that, there was a room with two Spiderdemons stuck in a low ceiling, an invulnerability pickup, a few Arachnotrons, and a ceiling that starts lowering to crush you as soon as you enter. I think the idea was that the spiders are just obstacles, and you have to kill them quickly to run under their low ceiling and avoid the crusher; however, I was able to get in under this ceiling before killing them and avoid the crusher without effort, making the whole setup pointless.

    The rest of the rooms were only slightly better. Many of them are big, barren rectangles where you have a lot of fire coming at you but basically just dodge around the empty space until you beat the enemies. The author relies heavily on traps and gimmicks, and although I have absolutely no problem with this, I think they still have a lot of work to do before they reach the point where the traps and gimmicks feel really interesting and clever instead of cheap. It never seemed like there was enough ammo, but the setups make me think you're supposed to rely on infighting and maybe luring monsters into crushers and possibly even avoiding some combat. Also, there are a total of nine bloody Berserk packs in this level, so maybe that's a hint that you're supposed to Tyson it? Anyway, one final bug report before I move on to the coup de grace: there was a large HOM error in the big red room with all the crushers, and I think maybe it happened when I hit a hidden switch in the area with all the moving platforms? Unfortunately, cause-and-effect relationships are often pretty unclear in this map.

    Everything I have mentioned so far happens just in the first half of the level. What happens in the second half of the level? I have no idea. Reaching the second half requires the red key. Where is the red key? Apparently nowhere. I did a search for both red keys in Doom Builder and found nothing. It's possible that it's generated by a ZDoom feature as a result of some obscure action that I never figured out, but I have a feeling the level was rushed out the door to make the contest deadline and was never tested. It's a bit of a shame that it wasn't fixed up before being uploaded to /idgames, but its problems run deep, and I would still not recommend it if it were free of the major bugs. To the author, I would recommend starting on something much smaller and taking a lot more time with it. Overstory_Lover_63 has figured out the basics, so this is the point where they can start putting more care and artistry into the layout, use of space, thing placement, and visuals.

    The Wreck - Thomas Nijman
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 2.36 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    The Wreck is a rather short wad for GZDoom, and it was made for the Vinesauce Doom mapping contest. The maps are a remake of the levels set in the sunken ship on Tomb Raider 2. There's some usage of slopes and 3D floors to make the level look close to the original source, and there's also some nice scripting to recreate (even if not always faithfully) the puzzles. Tomb Raider is a game that focuses on platforming and puzzles instead of Doom's emphasis on action, and a few times the two things are combined well here, but for the most part the gameplay was bland. The levels don't look particularly great, and they lack the atmosphere that was really needed in these levels. I would say that overall it feels a bit rushed, but it's understandable as it was made in a short time for the contest. If you liked Tomb Raider 2 and in general the series, this could be rather interesting to check out, or if you want to see a few levels that do some different things than the usual stuff.

    WOOO 3: Too Good For the Mappers Who Made It - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 48.41 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    What are we doing, besides forgetting about our worries and, for once, enjoying ourselves?

    You have been playing Doom wads and mods for more than 20 years, when one day, pretty much randomly, you stumble upon something rather weird. It wasn't so different from the usual stuff, but it was something you never thought could exist. The jokewad. Jokewads are for everyone, and in some cases for nobody. And I know of people that are still trying to recover from their experiences and they are just playing scythe.wad for the 100th time... But that's another story.

    "Wooo 3 sucks like the other 2. Is not even a joke anymore, is a fucking cliche" -Gandhi

    This time for the third episode of the series, from the same authors, or at least some of the same authors, we are going for a journey to save Ratchet and Clank from... Anita Jackson???? Or not?! But it doesn't matter that much. Wooo 3 is a bit like I was expecting, with gimmicks, some stupid adventures which were the best part, and the inevitable crappy/nooby maps on purpose. Sometimes it was funny, and the idea of making some stuff going through all the wad made many things more enjoyable, other times it was rather bland. I would say it's a bit like Wooo 1/2.

    So, in the end, does gaspe recommend Wooo 3? Yeah, sure. And in any case you can always press the 0 stars button on /idgames. If the symptoms persist, I guess it's time to boot up scythe.wad AGAIN.

    Toilet of the Gods - Benjogami
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.87 MB -
    Reviewed by: rodster
    "Toilet of the Gods", is a five-map WAD made by Benjogami and released in October 2016. I played maps 01-04 on Ultra Violence and just IDDQD'd through Map31. I used glboom-plus. Other difficulty settings are supported too.

    The beginning of Map01 already shows you that this is going to be a hard WAD. You start in a pit surrounded by Hell Knights on pillars. The pillars progressively increase in height. It's obvious what you have to do: Kill Hell Knights and make your way out of the pit. Thankfully, a super shotgun and a Chaingun are lying around, with enough ammo and some health packs to take on those HellKnights, but it's no easy task; while you balance on the pillars, you also have to dodge their projectiles. When you've finally reached the top, you realize that this was just a warm up of what's truly awaiting you. You see two swarms of Cacodemons in the distance and know that you gotta move on to have a chance for survival. You roll up your sleeves and load your super shotgun...

    This map might remind you of Sunder Map05, but this one is more forgiving than that, and it isn't as long. We can pretty much break this map down to three main parts. The first part is the starting area with the Hell Knights, which I liked a lot because this situation was quite new to me and it was really interesting and fun. In the second part you see two big swarms of Cacodemons in the distance, and you know that the space you currently occupy won't be enough to survive, so you have to move on to have a chance. While you wait for the platforms to rise up and form a path, you have to dodge the Cacodemon projectiles. After the platforms rise up you run to the other side; there you will encounter up to three Cyberdemons as well as a bunch of Barons of Hell. A good strategy is key here (hint: infight and grab Soulsphere/Megasphere). You might have to redo this area a few times to pull off the right moves for your strategy. After you've done this part you move to the final part of this map. Here, you have to pretty much dance around and dodge projectiles while you try to kill as many monsters as you can to create more room for yourself, but don't fall down, and be aware of the approaching Cacodemon swarm!

    All in all, I like this map. It has good architecture and aesthetics, well-thought out encounters, and enough ammo and enough health to take on all the challenges. Also, the platforming part isn't too hardcore, which gets a plus point from me, because I generally don't like extreme platforming in Doom. Although, there are three points I didn't like in this map: first point is, some of the platforms are still bumpy in glboom-plus, they might actually ruin a good run. According to the Toilet of the Gods thread, everything runs smooth in ZDoom. My second point regards the tall purple waterfall-pillars, they sometimes looked like HOMs to me; what I want to say is, they looked a little bit weird. The third point regards the placement of the two teleporters in the last area which take you back to several areas of the map. Their placement is kind of in the way, because I accidentally ran into them multiple times and I really didn't want to redo the little platforming part.

    Map02 feels like a continuation of Map01, because the sky is dark now. Like, a few hours have passed since you finished Map01, and now you wake up in this map. You look at the great building in front of you, and you kind of feel what awaits you there...

    This map can be also separated in to three parts: first encounter, bridge, last encounter. Infighting is the key word for the first encounter, but you also have to do some of the killing yourself, otherwise you soon won't have enough room to breathe. Before you finally reach the bridge, several Archviles and Pain Elementals spawn behind you for maximum annoyance. The task is simple: kill those Archviles as fast as you can before they revive the whole monster army; the most effective weapon should be the Rocket Launcher, but the Pain Elementals literally make this task a pain for you. After you've finally cleared the first area, you move on to activate the bridge to reach the last area. While you wait for the bridge to raise, Cacodemons are starting to spawn in and they are after you. You don't have much time before they reach you, nor do you have enough ammo to kill them all; the only way is to keep making progress. You run into the last room hoping to find health and ammo; you aren't let down: there is a BFG and enough rocket and cell ammo as well as two megaspheres, but you have to move fast because Imps, Hellknights and the Cacodemons which are hunting you are filling up the room quickly. This is the most fun part of the map; you get to kill a lot of different type of monsters within a short amount of time, but be aware that you don't have infinite ammo. You have to find a good balance between infighting and killing, and also watch out for projectiles. You should at least save one megasphere for the blue key part.

    I really liked the initial first fight and the last fight where you kill those Imps and Cacodemons, those were a lot of fun. The ammo and health in this map is more strict than in Map01; it's almost perfectly measured. At the end I had around 40 extra shells lying on the ground and one green armor and one big medikit as reserve. The first part has an almost typical Slaughtermap architecture but it still feels quite different, in a positive way. The final part is also almost a pretty standard slaughtermap area. The bridge part was the most interesting area in this map, in an aesthetic-way. But again, the decorative pillars in the bridge part looked weird to me, just like the purple waterfall pillars in Map01. Also, in the first room, I found the Archvile/Pain Elemental fight a little bit tedious.

    Map03, one word: Amazing! A very nice slaughtermap.

    Map04, you have to experience this yourself. Don't worry, it's a short map, which won't take too much time. It's very nice, and the midi fits the map very well. Map31 is a remix/remake/rearrangement of Map03, so there is not much to say here.

    Overall, a really nice slaughter mapset. The midis are really nice too. If you like slaughtermaps, I'm sure you are going to like this WAD as well. The fights are well thought-through by the author and they create a lot of fun. I was kind of disappointed when I found out that there wasn't more than five maps; maybe Benjogami will make more, who knows, stay tuned... :D I'd like to see a UV-Max of Map03 and Map31, and I'd also like to see more maps like these.

    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.

    Eris Falling

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #278 - No End In Sight (Part I)
    Date: 8th December 2016
    Euro session: 19:00 GMT/14:00 EST at [L@P], Germany (usually lasts over 6 hours) Friday Night Fragfest and Zdaemon Sessions have not been announced yet for this week, but stay tuned to the multiplayer forum for any updates. Happy fragging!

    On December 6th, there will be a bundle of three Bethesda-game related tables for Pinball FX2 on Steam released. One of them has Doom as the theme. The other two are related to Fallout and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The base game is a free download; the Bethesda-table-bundle-DLC price is not yet announced, but 9.99 Euro is a good guess.


    Chex(R) Quest 20th Anniversary: Galactic Conflict - Tifosi 92
    Chex Quest - SP/Co-op/DM - ZDoom Compatible - 6.76 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Chex(R) Quest 20th Anniversary: Galactic Conflict is basically The Ultimate Chex. And with that, comes Episode Four difficulty. Cheap shots, overwhelming opposition, lack of ammo, weapons hidden in odd places... yeah, this episode has it all. So I guess the story is, you gotta zorch some more flemoid butt. Nothing wrong with that. Do you really need a story? It's Chex Quest, the story's as iconic as Doom itself.

    Galactic Conflict is a little more detailed than your average Chex Quest level set - but not too much. There is a liberal use of midtexture platforms, however, which may or may not eat away at your frame rate. When it comes to level design, it's a little mazey and I do feel like I backtrack a little too much, and it suffers from hallway syndrome - something I thought I'd never say again. The lack of good landmarks may be a problem here - most of them try to mimic already-known landmarks from previous levels. You'll feel a little déjà vu as you play this, if you've played the Chex Quest 3 compilation (which you should play before playing this). However I must concede that the maps are really spacious and have that late 90s TC look to them, as Chex Quest did. I do like the little touches of realism, such as signs telling me what bay I'm looking at, and tables, chairs, washrooms, beds, but no sector toilets though. You're still going to get lost at least once.

    My biggest complaint is the lack of ammo. Chex Quest is unique in that its enemies do not drop any sort of ammo upon being zorched. Demons in Doom didn't do this either, but I think my point is made - bullets and shells are important, and, in Doom, were dropped by all low-level hitscanners when taken down, and I fear that mappers' reliance on that under-appreciated fact has caused them to create Chex Quest levels that are somewhat ammo-starved. Sure enough, there were times where I ran out of zorch charges and had to resort to stabbing them all with a spoon. The modder missed a good opportunity to create an in-universe berserk replacement.

    I did find myself standing at a distance and firing my primary zorcher (pistol replacement) down a hallway until everything disappeared. I started to get bored, but soon enough the difficulty ramped up to an insane level. If you play on the UV equivalent, you're gonna have a bad time. Those who must play on NM are advised to give up now. This is because on these skill levels the projectile flemoids have been upgraded with faster-moving slimeballs, and the floating flemoid with the robotic arms has become a figurative nightmare. This dude moves so fast and erratically, and attacks with such ferocity that he can take down a healthy Chexguy in just a few seconds. Brutal little bastards. Oh, and just like Nightmare in Doom, they respawn. Shit.

    Sometimes you will scare yourself with a hidden platform, as I did multiple times - they usually lower quickly, welcoming you to the cries of angry flemoids. They share the same floor texture as the rest of the room, so be careful when throwing switches. Also look out for the rainbow squares - those are actually forcefields and will hurt you if you touch them. Most of them can be disabled with a switch, although I can see someone using these in a cruel maze setup.

    ZDoom features are used, although not for the sake of using them - just for messages, handling forcefields, slopes for sand dunes, swimmable water, just the standard stuff. You WILL need to bind a key to "swim up" and "swim down" in the options, or you won't be able to get out of the deep water.

    If a lot of areas feel the same, it's not just you. A lot of areas repeat themselves, but increase in difficulty with each room. That's a common Doom trope anyway, so I didn't even notice until like, the fourth room on one of the maps. I didn't stop playing though! Just a word of caution: you'll need to check some doors carefully - unlike Chex Quest, a few key doors aren't as obvious. Check the sides of the doors for the color key needed.

    Weasel's Mixed Tape Vol.3 - wildweasel
    Doom 2 - SP/Co-op - ZDoom Compatible - 6.4 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Weasel's Mixed Tape Vol.3 is a weapons mod.

    Oh boy, those have a mixed bag history, don't they?

    I remember the first weapons mod I ever downloaded, specifically for Quake weapons in Doom (Suprwep doesn't count). It was a DeHackEd mod, which required me to figure out how to use DOS pretty quickly in order to play. Later on, source ports showed up that let anyone load any DEH file they wanted. Then Boom showed up with BEX, which was rarely used. ZDoom showed up with this DEHSUPP functionality that allowed all kinds of crazy crap, and none of those mods work anymore. That sucks.

    And finally, DECORATE was created in one of those many many "community builds" of ZDoom, along with enemies that could change colors, abilities, and God knows what else. "OMG WEAPONS!"

    I dunno what I'm getting at, but there was a huge weapons mod fad in the 2000s, where everyone and their mother had a weapons mod that claimed to "out Immoral Conduct" Immoral Conduct, which I have not played. Ever. Mods using lasers, explosions, smarties, minute rice, plungers, whatever the author could draw (or rip) and slap together.

    Those days are long gone, and it's rare that I see a weapons mod at all anymore, especially one that doesn't play like the same old "like chaingun but faster" or "like shotgun but faster" mods that clutter the archives. This weapons mod instead does "like a gun but more damage". That feels really different than what I'm used to. It's not ammo trickery where two bullets are used instead of one - these guns actually have varying levels of power. One shot from a pistol is nothing compared to a bullet from the M1 Garand, for example. Two shotguns exist, one that emulates the SSG and the regular shotgun, to a degree. Both firing modes (oh right, there's alt-fire for a lot of these weapons, find out what they are) have intense spread. That's remedied with the "Autocannon", a semi-auto shotgun on steroids. The only problem with it is that it's less powerful. So there's a trade-off.

    And there's a vacuum cleaner in here. It sucks up barrels and launches them as projectiles. Yes, I'm serious.

    Also, a disposable camera! Except instead of a camera, it's a gun that fires lasers. Only a few exposures, so make sure each shot is worth it. And hand grenades you somehow run out of while still holding one. And an anti-tank bazooka with only one shot. And a laser cannon that only fires straight ahead, requiring you to line up directly with the target, which can be harder than it sounds, depending on how you play (I'll get to this later).

    There are "dual machetes" included. I couldn't figure out how the hell these worked, they didn't feel fun to use, they took up too much of the screen, and you can't throw them. Boooo. You only get them through cheating, so you won't see them otherwise. Other melee weapons are fists (obviously) which go Hokuto No Ken levels of fast when you pick up a berserk pack. It's fun as heck to YATATATATATATATATATATATAAAHHH imps, but given that I found it harder to gib anything using fists, I rarely bothered.

    Also included are a lot of automatic weapons, which do varying levels of damage. I assume I'm supposed to figure out which one does the most damage vs. which one does the most "stunning" to keep from being attacked. For example, firing the pistol rapidly saves ammo compared to blazing the SMG all over the place like a dumbass. Then there's the "spray n' pray" gun, the PPSh-41, which sounds like a huge fart and spits bullets in a cone. This is perfect for taking out a bunch of floating enemies trying to ruin your day - just line up with the horde and hold down the fire button. Even better - if you stand in front of an arch-vile and fire this, he flips the fuck out and forgets how to monster. I ended up using this weapon solely as my arch-vile killer.

    Oh, the BFG replacement is friggin' hilarious to use. You'll have to see it to believe it.

    All the weapons look and play their part, and are perspective correct - and very colorful, to boot. Some of the weapons that are only obtainable with cheat codes aren't so swell, but they are only available through cheating, so I can give it a pass. Animation is very smooth, and the bobbing of the weapons is "alpha-esque" - it actually looks better this way than in Vanilla Doom - a shame id changed it! The muzzle flashes are well done, and none of the guns are "in the way" - this is one of my biggest pet peeves, so to see the weapons still show an intimidating presence while not hogging valuable screen space gets all smiles from me.

    So how does it sound, anyway? Great! All the weapons sound "beefy" and match the power of the weapons. There is also a little fun sound randomizer that plays a different nostalgic sound every time you find a secret - see if you can identify them all (NO CHEATING)!

    And now I shall scold the author. Not really, but this needs to be stated - this weapons mod is designed for players that keep +mlook switched on at all times. Some of you might be reeling at this, and for good reason - no weapons mod should force a style of play that ruins the player's controls. Additionally, I like to do subtle movements forward and backward with the mouse to navigate thin passageways like The Chasm, and this mod doesn't play well in those situations.

    Basically, there is recoil. The recoil varies based on the weapon, which eventually, if I held down fire long enough, I was staring directly at the ceiling. Luckily, I found a way to turn this nonsense off - Go to Options - Gameplay Options - Allow Freelook - Turn that OFF. Now you'll never have to worry about the recoil nonsense if you play traditionally. Of course, this also creates another problem - the Tri-Laser Cannon becomes much harder to use. This weapon does NOT auto-aim, which means if you play without freelook, you'll have to get on the monster's level to attack them, so to speak. This is alright down hallways and across rooms with little height variation, but with cacodemons, unless you're lined up height-wise, you're just wasting ammo and time. I eventually figured out when and where I could use it, and honestly, that was the best choice, since I was forced to conserve its ammo. There isn't much ammo for the weapon lying around, so you gotta make every shot count.

    It hasn't been tested for deathmatch, which means that it'll likely be friggin' hilarious in how unbalanced the weapons are. Probably good for a few laughs.

    Final verdict: It's aight. Play it.

    Interloper - Notlea
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 1.31 MB -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Interloper by Notlea is a five-level wad, supposedly inspired by the new DOOM - it isn't, though. Besides a tiny section in MAP04 that's very similar to the BFG storage facility from the 2016 title, the rest never feels like it bears any resemblance to it; first, because of the overall structure; second, because of Doom II's stock textures; and third, because of the gameplay. In other words, and while this is well-designed, with some nice detailing all around, this is pretty standard, old-school Doom stuff: find the keys, kill the baddies, and so on.

    In that regard, is it good? Well, for starters it's somewhat easy, with lots of space to move, not very threatening enemy placement or clever ambushes, and lots of ammo (especially when getting close to the last Arena-like map), and, generally, a level design that makes it easy to bypass confrontations and just go for the key/door/switch/exit. Therefore, be sure to play it in UV (as the author states that it was meant to be played so). Overall, it's not bad or anything, but the fun will only last an hour or so, which is the amount of time needed to reach the finishing line. Better try it out with a couple of mods.

    The Journey - hervoheebo
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 3.21 MB -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    The Journey is a 32-level MegaWad that plays out as a series of "connected" maps, so, this one truly feels like... well, a journey, something that I personally love. Furthermore, and maybe due to this factor, the levels have a nice difficulty curve; therefore, expect each map being a little harder than the previous one. Additionally, the author is one of the few exceptions (in my experience, at least), of those who pay attention to a little thing called "Balance." No level but the last one needs more than 8-10 minutes, the enemy count rarely gets higher than 100, and the ammo is reasonably abundant in continuous play, and tough but doable when at pistol start (by the way, while I generally prefer continuous play, many levels are simply awesome at pistol start).

    Gameplay-wise, it's a pretty fun wad, one that I would gladly revisit more than once, just don't expect anything fancy; it's just Doom II all over again, with a small innovation and new texture here and there. Note that, in terms of design, this has been divided between three separate styles. Furthermore, most levels - successfully - try to look like "real places," although most retain the abstract structure that made the Doom games so great. Now, here's a brief summary of the levels at hand:

    Chapter 1:
    Map01 is a tiny, insignificant map; 02-04 offer some nice, simple, straightforward fun, and, for some strange reason, feature some out-of-place happy rock tunes, apart from the fourth that uses W3D's "Zero Hour" instead of Doom II's "The Focus". Map05 is a nice, "raise platforms to proceed" one; Map06, and 08, are nothing special, but the one between them is one of the best available: a nice small dungeon with danger lurking in every corner. 09 is a boring Grand Canyon level, with falling down requiring spending a minute go back up again; 10 is an equally boring and long-ish temple, where the gunplay feels like it's there just to be there (no clever enemy placement). Finally, 11 is a straightforward "find the keys" one, with a Cyberdemon in the center of all the fun.

    Chapter 2:
    From 12 to 18, maps tend to be more claustrophobic, maybe because they take place in city streets, sewers, industrial zones, and hi-tech bases. Some of them have a nice atmosphere, like the very dark 12 and 14, or the train station of Map16 which uses a simple but effective rain effect. Map 19 is a fun arena with lots of Barons, Knights and Spiders; and, finally, Map20 is another industrial level with an exit that's harder to find than the actual secrets.

    Chapter 3:
    Map21 is simple yet tough castle with a pitch-black sky; 22 has nothing worthy of mention; 23 is pleasantly stingy with the medikits/unpleasantly stingy with the light; and, like the "Grand Canyon" level, 24 is a boring key search-a-thon, where falling down requires retracing your steps. 25 is another straightforward map with nothing special to say about it; 26 has a nice "inside the machine" kind of vibe, but in terms of gameplay it's more of the same. That also applies to Map27, although it adds some lava areas that require being fast with the radiation suits; 28 is another tough but simple map; and 29 is a great level, which has an "endless stairs" kind of feel - as if you are climbing from the depths of hell to the tip of a mountain. Level 30 is a gargantuan arena with PLENTY of things to shoot, with the purpose being to find the "heart" of the beast and end it all - great, but also the return of the unfitting music themes.

    ECHELON - Sverre Andre Kvernmo
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom - 7.34 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Sverre Kvernmo is a very old member of the community, and also a rather "historical" one. A few of his levels were included to make The Master Levels, he made some gorgeous contributions to Eternal Doom, and after more than 15 years of absence he returned in 2013 with Plasmaplant. I would like to make a little premise, and it's something similar to what I said in my review of Endpoint (the latest release of Eternal); this isn't something that can be really compared with the previous works from this author.

    Echelon is a ZDoom megawad with 30 levels. This initially started as a megawad project where every map was supposed to be completable within the matching PAR time set in Doom 2, though it seems that the idea was revealed to be too hard to be implemented, and the project evolved into what is Echelon now. The original idea somehow remained in the final project; all of the maps are really short, and to complete all the megawad it won't take you too much time. The core thing in Echelon though is the story. Actually the plot is the same as Doom 2, but the progression of the levels accompanied with intermission texts between every map sets the original course of Echelon.

    The levels are all very small, and also very beautiful. They don't feature very complex architecture and tons of sector for borders and trim, but instead they rely on small and unique traits to detail and give character to the various locations. There's also a set of new textures made for this wad, along with some cool graffiti used in the city levels, and you may also recognize some old friends from Eternal Doom. Being very small the maps have also small amounts of monsters in them, and Sverre knows to make them also rather challenging if you pistol start the levels. The various monster are mixed well, with large use of hitscanners. In addition to the usual bestiary there are three new enemies: the viper which is a serpentine demon armed with a sort of flamethrower, which also explodes when it dies. And the others are two flying monsters: the fiend and the mind fiend; one is a recolor of the other, and they both spawn some health/armor bonuses when killed. They made many encounters very interesting with their behavior.

    The thing that doesn't work well is how the story was told, and the initial stages of the wad, that are rather underwhelming. The texts of the end of the chapters (MAP07, MAP11, MAP21) are the same as Doom 2; they match well with the new story, but having text at the end of every map feels very clunky. I admit that when I started to play this I was very perplexed and wasn't really sure if I would continue past the first few maps. To be honest I can't blame someone if they drop this after four maps. This wad takes a while to pick up, but from MAP06 you start to see more substance. The introduction to this journey makes sense in the big picture, but it isn't compelling.

    That said, I really enjoyed this wad; it provides an unique experience, and it's interesting how it uses its story, though without being free from some problems. Even with an unsure start, this wad has plenty of things worth seeing; I recommend trying this at least once for sure.

    Countdown to Core - Topi Hattukangas
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 1.11 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Countdown to Core is a megawad with 19 levels. It requires ZDoom to be played; the levels use a bit of scripting for simple things sometimes, but don't expect to see other features. The overall look is of the average amateur mapper, but at least the levels don't have ugly texture combos or blatant misalignments. The wad can be summarized as a set of cramped maps with very little ammo. The first few levels seem like they were deliberately made to disgust the player with their focus on pistol action, and I'm not even sure if those levels are actually playable. If you really want to play this wad, skip to MAP06 and play until MAP12. It's the best part of the wad, even though it's average at best. The last levels look like unfinished maps from a scrapped project. Nothing really worth to be seen in this wad; spare your time for something else.

    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.


    The /newstuff Chronicles #520

    By Bloodshedder, in News,

    Urania - riderr3
    Plutonia - Single Player - Vanilla - 3.74 MB -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Here in Greece, Urania is considered to be one of the most... third-age sounding last name. Urania makes me think of old ladies who pass their time knitting, watering their plants, or baking cookies. There are no cookies in riderr3's 32-level MegaWad, though. THIS Urania is tough, unrelenting, merciless, and, in all honesty, great fun. Needless to say, however, that it's veterans-only material, as it's actually much, much harder than the levels in Final Doom, with every single one of them being quite long, labyrinthine, and choke full of devilishly placed baddies.

    Perfect? Far from it, as it does have a couple of issues. For starters, an annoying overabundance of hitscanners, with Chaingunners especially, being hidden in every crack and crevice - which, coupled with the fact that medkits are quite scarce, makes things a bit aggravating. In many levels, the actual steps required to progress tend to be so well-hidden that one can find most of the secrets before finding that blasted blue key-card – if you are the kind of Doomer who hates squinting to see where the damn switch is, and then spending a couple of minutes running around to see what it did, stay away from Urania.

    The last flaw is that most levels feel kind of samey. Hitscanners all around the place, lots of Revenants, and lots of - pleasantly - interconnecting corridors. In other words, few stages stand out "thematically." That's not to say that levels are bad or anything, but the fun tends to wear out after a few hours. That being said, great work riderr3! I've enjoyed breaking my keyboard in half...

    Absolute Dishonor - Michael Jan Krizik (valkiriforce) & Jon "40oz" Vail
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 1.52 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Valkiriforce and 40oz may sound like a bit of an odd pairing -- or at least, they wouldn't have been anyone's obvious choice for a team-up. Valkiriforce is an extremely prolific mapper who has pretty much always worked within vanilla Doom's limits using few custom resources, creating levels that are often described as throwbacks to the era of Memento Mori and Requiem. 40oz is best known for detailed, atmospheric maps that make heavy use of custom textures. What the two share is a love of classic gameplay, and that love definitely shines through in Absolute Dishonor, a set of eight mostly stock-textured vanilla maps.

    Valkiriforce's and 40oz's maps in this set couldn't be more different from each other, but what's most interesting is that neither of them were working in their own established styles. Instead of medium-sized, semi-linear maps with arena-oriented combat setups, valkiriforce created a bunch of huge, sandboxy, very exploration-oriented levels. As for 40oz, not only was he working with few custom textures, he also eschewed the large spaces and bigger, more complex combat setups that characterize most of his maps in UAC Ultra and Mutiny in favor of compact layouts, low monster counts, and nerve-wrackingly intimate close-quarters combat, not to mention some puzzle elements.

    To elaborate a bit on the individual levels:

    OK, so I lied a tiny bit; valkiriforce starts us off in map 01 with a rather short shotgun-fest against lots of zombies and other weak enemies in a stone/water/base setting that would look perfectly at home in Reverie or Vispire. Map 03, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. It's the biggest and most complex map in the set, with so many branching paths everywhere that it's better to just give up trying to keep track, pick a random direction at each crossroads, and see where the wind takes you. Wandering through all those halls and rooms is really a lot of fun, and it gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you finally make it to the exterior ocean walkway that you keep getting peeks of throughout the level. Map 05 is similar, but the keys make it slightly more straightforward, dividing it up into several large, nonlinear sections that you complete in sequence. It takes place in some kind of mining complex complete with train yards and tracks, and it has a great secret involving a train and a Cyberdemon that I won't spoil. Map 08 feels more like a city (a la Peterson's "Downtown" or "Suburbs"), with lots of open spaces ringing individual buildings. It has a few too many Barons for my liking, but again, it's very explorable, and many of the monsters have free rein to wander all over the place, which keeps things interesting. Throughout all of these levels, the opposition comes in large numbers and is packed in fairly densely, making for a good challenge, but there aren't any forced arena battles that I can remember. You're always free to push forward, flee, try to lead enemies into a different area, or look for an alternate way around, whichever you prefer.

    Then there's 40oz's levels. Map 02 sets the tone for what's to come. It's dark and spooky, the layout winds around in knots and repeatedly visits the same central locations from different angles, the enemies have a habit of getting in your personal space without asking, and the whole thing revolves around a spatial puzzle in which you try to raise a bridge across the main chasm. Map 04 is eerily quiet after the chaotic trials of valkiriforce's massive fortress in map 03, and you know right away that something nasty is waiting for you...somewhere. The level features several tough ambushes, some tricky Arch-Vile battles, and an elaborate, fiendish puzzle that you have to solve to get the red key. Map 06 is the most straightforward (not that it's easy): a brown-stone fortress that's strongly reminiscent of classic megawads like Requiem. Highlights include an intense battle with silhouetted Demons and Hell Knights in the dark, as well as quite a few close encounters with Revenants. Map 07 is more of the same tricky goodness, wrapping up with a series of battles against teleporting enemy waves as you navigate each portion of the final puzzle.

    Ultimately, valkiriforce and 40oz *are* a bit of an odd pairing -- but so were Joshy and darkwave. That comparison is pretty apt; one of the big reasons why Absolute Dishonor is so successful is the dramatic contrast between the two styles. Every level you play is totally different from the previous one, and it makes every map feel like it delivers a totally fresh set of surprises -- something that you can't ever quite get from a one-person mapset. And when you consider that each mapper was working outside his usual comfort zone, trying something totally new, it's amazing how natural these maps feel. Absolute Dishonor is a classic transplanted into modern times, a throwback to a time long past that somehow doesn't feel derivative at all. It doesn't get any Doomier than this.

    Fuzz 2016 - Bzzrak Ktazzz
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 47.86 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Fuzz 2016 is a deathmatch map that doesn't have any reason to exist. Basically it's a square arena with few walls to use as cover and many super shotguns lying around. With all the good DM wads out there, you don't have any reason to download this crap.

    Tritium Refinery - Subucnameth
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 160.5 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Tritium Refinery is wad with two vanilla maps. Glaring is the texturing style that you can see when you start; the textures used are limited to bricks and metal with occasional computer panels and pipes to make some details, and brown is the leading color everywhere. The gameplay wasn't really bad, and there are some nice moments like the MAP01 finale with the lowering floor, though overall all the combat takes place in flat grounds, and MAP02 gets rather boring with having to use the SSG to clean corridors with mancubuses and many other tough monsters. All in all it isn't that bad, but it turns out to be very boring and repetitive, and the generic and bland music doesn't help at all.

    Deliverance: ONI Facility Demo (Stripped Version) - Elric Sullivan (Fisk)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 416.6 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    This wad contains a single level for Doom 2 that uses only Doom 1 monsters and a hybrid selection of D1/D2 textures. The title suggests that it's a demo for a larger project, but the textfile doesn't say what -- an episode, a megawad, a hub? This is apparently a "stripped" version of the map that removes music that would violate /idgames rules -- though what a level like this would be doing with MP3 music, I'm not really sure.

    This level is surprisingly tough, simply because the amount of firepower you have at any given point feels weak relative to the amount of monster meat you're up against. It requires some patience to overcome all the monsters using mainly the shotgun, and the slight frustration factor pushes you to be overly aggressive in facing what feels like a weak selection of monsters, which can get you killed. I suspect this would be a great level for Tyson players, because the Berserk pack is available quite early (if you know where to go) and is by far the most powerful weapon available (unless you find some of the secrets that contain better guns, which I didn't). If you don't mind the style of gameplay, the combat is reasonably fun, and the level feels pretty explorable due to its nonlinearity. Probably the most interesting thing about this level is that it has three different exits in different parts of the map, making me wonder if the author intends to turn it into a hub.

    All in all, this map doesn't put me on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest of the project to be released, but it definitely wasn't a bad way to spend 15 minutes.

    Industrial Warfare - Carlos Lastra
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 175.3 KB -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Industrial Warfare is as industrial as possible. It's a finely crafted hi-tech level with lots of good detailing all around, just don't expect any hell-invasion texture-wise, because it's all pure UAC tech-o-rama. Instead of Running From Evil it uses Demons on the Prey, which fits with the map's very balanced setup; not too wide, not too narrow, not full of enemies, not with a lack of enemies, not too long, not too short. Even in terms of difficulty it's balanced. Some snooping around is needed, but not so much that it feels like a key/switch search-a-thon, enemy placement is perfect, never too easy to kill, but also never unfair towards the player. There's not much else to say about this well-designed wad, so here's a brief summary: Industrial Warfare is a very old-school, pure Doom experience that's perfect for those seeking something fun, albeit not innovative in any way.

    Water Works - mrthejoshmon
    Evilution - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 121.95 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Up until now, the only mrthejoshmon level I had played was "Husk of What Once Was" from Nova 2, which I mainly remember for its enormous canyon battle in which you have to carve out space a little bit at a time while under fire from every possible angle. In Water Works, the author is working on a much smaller scale, and the tactical puzzle gameplay is traded in for basic run and gun. This level feels pretty casual for the most part -- the first two-thirds of the level are populated by moderate numbers of weak enemies in spaces that are easy to maneuver in and manage, and this section is made even easier by a pair of incredibly obvious secrets that grant a Soulsphere, the SSG and rocket launcher, and an ammo backpack. The last leg of the level presents more of a challenge, mostly because of the Revenants that suddenly start showing up in groups. Sadly, the two battles that should be the most intense and challenging are both weakened dramatically by the architectural design. The first involves a large number of Imps and zombies teleporting into the main water tunnel area, but all of those enemies appear on one side of you, and the architecture funnels them so effectively that I was able to basically stand in one spot and hold down the fire key with the shotgun until it was over. The second is the climactic penultimate battle against Revenants, Pain Elementals, and some other assorted enemies -- none of which could reach me after I triggered them, and most of which piled up pitifully against a wall in their vain attempt to do so. Between the hallway route, the ledges, and the lift that are all between you and them, you can herd them pretty much however you want. After that battle in Nova 2 that I loved so much, it was sort of sad to see the author using the layout so unimpressively.

    Aside from the disappointments of those two battles, Water Works isn't a bad level at all -- just a very easy one. The visuals are nice, basically a slightly more detailed version of the Evilution aesthetic, with some interesting scenes that include a laser beam firing into the water and... turning it into blood? I'm not sure, but it looks cool. All in all, I liked this map, and I'd be willing to come back to it sometime when I'm looking for relaxation instead of a challenge.

    QuakeGuy Skin - Massao
    N/A - N/A - Skin Support - 172.57 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    A basic Quakeguy skin for Doom. I was surprised by how good it looks in game -- it looks like at least some work was done to make sure it works with the Doom palette instead of just lazily ripping it from screenshots or whatever. It comes with Quakeguy sounds, but sadly no custom HUD face, and it's a little jarring to be playing as one character and seeing another character's face. Oh well. If you want a custom skin that actually looks good, this is a pretty solid option.

    Fort Doom - FlightPhoenix
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 151.1 KB -
    Reviewed by: Averagewalrus24
    Fort Doom is FlightPhoenix's first wad... and it's not awful. The wad is only one map long, and can be finished in less than seven minutes on Hurt Me Plenty. So with that said the map wasn't difficult; in fact, it felt like the map was holding my hand almost the whole way through. The map had a generous amount of ammo, so much so that even after I shot the BFG 6 or 7 times I had about 600 cells when I finished the map. Along with that, right before "difficult" fights you are given a super charge and blue armor.

    Sadly almost all the rooms were rectangles or squares, and were open with maybe one or two short walls that you can't go over. Despite all the flaws I ranted about, it's not that bad of a map. There are definitely worse maps out there, so for a first map this is pretty good. Sadly this map is only average at best, so I only recommend this map if you have nothing better to do.

    Infested base - Massao
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 33.57 KB -
    Reviewed by: QuirkyKirk
    Massao is new to mapping, and it shows. Infested base is his fourth map, though instead of showing some form of learning from his previous maps, it appears that he made them all in quick succession without waiting for criticism. Speaking of criticism, it seems he's attempting to dodge it by stating that he sucks at mapping in the text file. Truly, a recipe for success. I'll be providing a description of the most significant moments of the level in chronological order, in an attempt to help Massao become a better mapper.

    The story provided is that, surprise, demons have invaded a UAC base on Earth. Guess that's where the title comes from. There's also a line about another marine being sent, before being trapped and reporting THREE cyberdemons. I haven't even started playing and I want the map to end now.

    We start off, and after the very first turn, we're met with four zombiemen and a chaingunner. We haven't even clocked in a minute yet, guys, and we're fighting a chaingunner with a pistol.

    After disposing of the poor enemy placement, we can draw attention to the visual design of this place. A small, cramped room with open sky, some boxes, and a computer station. To the right is a wooden hell door, with lava for the ceiling above it. I attempt to open it, and despite the lack of marking, I'm told I need a red key. I guess I have to go through the other door. I'm immediately faced with two sergeants, and there's a cacodemon in a cage. Also, to the right is an inescapable death pit. This is the first of three.

    To the left is a poorly hidden secret, with... Oh goodie! A BF- Damn it. I'm teleported into the room with the cacodemon. Moving back to the main map, I run across a floor of slime with almost no safe spots on it. At one side is a lift up to a hidden super shotgun, but it's placed in a quick crusher trap. It's impossible for someone playing the map for the first time to see this coming. Another side contains a second death pit, and the last leads to a room with a Berserk pack, some lost souls and a demon.

    This then heads to an indoor room where Massao gets the base texturing down great, even if the layout needs some work. I then head through a teleporter, kill a Baron, and grab the red key. I'm warped directly in front of the locked door from before, and I open it to find enough ammo to completely fill all my weapons, plus a megasphere and an invulnerability pickup. I step on the teleporter in the room and I'm brought into an arena with the three cyberdemons mentioned before. For some reason, this is marked as a secret.

    Hidden behind a wall is a BFG. This time, I can actually pick it up, and I use it to quickly dispatch two of the cyberdemons. I finish the last one off with my rockets and head to the exit, where...

    Is this a joke of some kind? There are at least four mancubuses in the same place, unable to attack me and simply acting as an obstruction to the exit. I slowly kill them and end the level.

    Overall, not too great, but far from the worst I've played. My advice? Make more open areas, don't include inescapable pits, and convey the objective to the player a bit more.

    Evergrey & Nightwish Music - Mr. Chris (AKA Glaice)
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - MIDI Support - 344.71 KB
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Evernite is a midi pack composed of songs from the Metal bands Nightwish and Evergrey. All the tracks of Doom 1 and Doom 2 are replaced, and some tracks are reused for the two soundtracks. I don't think it fits well for the IWADs, but if you like these bands in particular or you are searching for some metal tracks you have something to check out. For being MIDI compositions of metal songs, they play rather well. And yes there is also the "hamster, a dentist..." song, so go wild.

    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.

    Jupiter Hell, successor to Doom the Roguelike, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The creator of DoomRL is seeking £60k to complete a turn-based roguelike with modern 3D graphics and original metal soundtrack, with significant thematic inspiration from Doom. John Carmack has backed the project. The game is scheduled for release on PC/Mac/Linux late 2017, with an early alpha available Jan 2017.


    The /newstuff Chronicles #519

    By Bloodshedder, in News,

    Mayhem Mansion - Extended edition - Darsycho
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 36.37 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    In all my years of reviewing /newstuff crap, sometimes I come across something so different that I have no idea what to make of it. Usually, that implies something negative. But this time, I was very surprised - someone had made a TC that is like no other TC for Doom, or any game for that matter - where any sort of seriousness is thrown out the window with a bizarro impostor taking its place. That would be Mayhem Mansion, which I keep wanting to call Maniac Mansion, because it reminds me of Maniac Mansion if it were done in the mid 90s during the height of the "Doom clone" phase.

    Apparently, Mayhem Mansion is based off a very obscure 90s Doom clone named "Exploding Lips". It was released at the time when Quake II was already dominating the market, and UT99 and Quake III were just around the corner. Bad time to release a Doom clone. But "Exploding Lips" was not like other Doom clones. It had floating lips. And walking TVs. If that sounds weird, this is the tame part.

    Enter Mayhem Mansion: Extended Edition.

    Upon first glance, I thought this was going to be a lame jokeWAD. And I can see evidence that one could call it a jokeWAD. But this isn't a joke as much as it is a different reality altogether. A reality of dancing televisions, floating lips, a cat having his birthday, flying toast (complete with cape), an evil toaster that makes said toast, a chibi pinky that runs on its hands, shadow blobs, helicopters with faces on them... and that's not even a third of the monstrosities I saw while playing this. By the way, the cat wasn't a monster, he was just a cool cat.

    So let's go down my "list": plot, graphics, gameplay, levels, major problems, major letdowns, why I liked it, why I hate it, why you should stop letting me do /newstuff reviews, what I ate while playing it, what channel I was watching, which episode of Matlock I like best, wh-fine...

    Is there a plot? How the hell should I know? You're stuck in a mansion and you want to investigate it, unearth a conspiracy, I guess,,and then try to save the planet. Typical 90s game stuff. The plot is the sanest thing here.

    It's everything else that's fucking bonkers.

    Graphics wise, the textures are from a mash of different sources, with a lot of textures from Freedoom. Yes, this actually works! Those Freedoom textures fit in perfectly in that "Doom clone knockoff" kind of way. Aesthetics range from dark tunnels to garish mansions, with spooky "Blood"-like cities... and, of course, the occasional full-on, opium-inspired eye-rape. I can't go far too into that concept without spoiling the game, so I won't. But I can talk about the proportions: they're all over the place. It's intentional. The mansion is haunted, so things are bound to be HWACKY. 3D floors are used sparingly, but when they are used, you won't even notice. Nothing is in this TC just to show off the port. We're past that, aren't we?

    Gameplay is simple Doom action with crazy (weak) weapons, some serious, some hilarious. The enemies are equally crazy, and all of them have a weakness. You'll need to know these weaknesses, apparently, because not only do you need to do that to save precious resources, the bastards will drop an item, usually a coin.

    A coin?

    Yep. You spend those coins in shops scattered throughout the levels. There are many of them in the game, and you never seem to have enough, given that the shops are price gouging the hell out of you. There is no healthy competition in Mayhem Mansion. You gain coins by picking them up, opening up treasure chests, or, as I said before, defeating each enemy a certain, unique way - more on that later.

    Okay, let's just get the negatives out of the way now.

    Weapons. "Oh boy, here we go". Graphically, there's no excuse for any of the primary weapons taking up half of the screen. This is one of the game's main problems, but since the rest of the game is just ever-so-slightly terrible, I have to assume that this was intended. What's not acceptable, again, is the weak feeling some of the weapons have. You start with a basic magic boomerang projectile, which, luckily, never runs out. That's good because you're going to be spamming this. A lot. And while it works well on the first monsters you encounter, it quickly becomes useless. The rate of fire is too low, and there's no way to charge attacks. There is an upgrade to the boomerang, but I don't get the chance to use it before the episode ends, and I have to start the next level with absolutely nothing. What a buncha shit.

    There are some really funny spells you can learn to cast later on, some of which had me literally laughing out loud.

    And perhaps my biggest problem with this game: The weapons feel ineffective to the point of frustration. As I said before, there is a gimmick in which certain monsters are weak to certain weapons, but this isn't really obvious, other than they fall quicker and drop a coin. And you'll need every single fucking coin you can find or create - else you're going to be running out of ammo, fast. This happened quite a lot in my first play-through. In fact, this is my primary problem with this mod - the ammo balance in the levels is beyond terrible, and you can't carry very much with you. Which means that everyone who plays this will be leaving valuable ammo behind that can't be obtained later when they need it, because that would involve backtracking all the way around and through the levels, and hopefully remembering where the ammo locations are that weren't picked up. I hate that. Don't make me do that. Else the game turns into a boomerang flingfest, where I GamePro it: throw boomerangs at a monster until it dies.

    Enemies span the gamut from hilariously useless fodder to "annoying as mo-fuggin-got-dam-shit". Especially the books. Those cheeky fucks swarm you in an instant, and they can teleport, just to make things even worse. The majority of the higher-level enemies are walking doors, in which the best method of dealing with them is to keep your distance and never let go of the fire button... unless you didn't buy any ammo and run out FFFFFFFFGHHGGHBBL

    But here's what saves the entire thing: quests. Mayhem Mansion is full of things to do, things to find, switches to throw, and this never lets up. There is even a key chase, where you have to chase - yes, chase - a sentient running key. I can't make this stuff up. Scattered throughout the mansion (and other levels) are ringing phones, which give you either valuable info, or to indicate a secret nearby. There's a huge portal bit too where things flip upside down... and I just realized, there is so much to this mod that I'm already doubting myself if what I remember actually happened, or was it another mod entirely, I just remember two bedrooms. Was there a kitchen? I distinctly remember breaking into a kitchen and talking to a bunch of aliens... hmm...and something about kings. I don't even remember.

    By the way: skeletons happen. Lots of skeletons. Which, by default, means I cannot hate this mod (by decree of the Skeleton Army) and I must recommend that everyone play this immediately.

    So, in a nutshell:

    Pros: Skeletons
    Cons: Who cares, there are skeletons

    Play this NOW.


    If you're really wanting to play this, let me give you an actual review (that matters). You're going to find the actual "Doom" part of this to be the most frustrating part, to the point of just turning the thing off. It took me an entire minute to fell an Anvil Bat with the default boomerang attack. The weapons, while funny, are frustrating to use, and one even requires you to pick up the ammo it drops - which can be somewhere you can't get to. Magic is scarce, and the weapons that use it are very magic-hungry. The damage the magic weapons do is not apparent in any way on monsters that do not have visible and audible pain states. This feels extremely lazy to me, and I don't know if I'm doing any damage, or if any shots are landing. This is NOT acceptable. On top of all that, the weakness system isn't obvious, and you might, in the heat of the moment, use a magic-heavy attack on a monster that isn't even affected by it. I give high marks to originality, music, mood, aesthetics, and even monster variety and map design, but the main part - satisfying weaponry - well, it's just not there. Taking a minute and a half to kill two small-ish monsters with easily dodgeable attacks gets old really quickly. The game needed some "fodder" to keep it going between major monster encounters, and Maniac Mansion has very little of this.

    If satisfying weapons were to be found later in the maps, why does it take so long to get to them? Making the player suffer with insufficient weaponry is not how to pace a map. The Shotgun in Doom is so good, yet the equivalent in Mayhem Mansion feels so useless. I barely used it on anything but the books, because I found out its weakness was the musket. And it's the only one I remember, aside from the handwalkers being weak to boomerangs.

    The rate of fire is abysmally slow. Some weapons take way too long to use again, even if they are weak weapons. One weak boomerang per two seconds is not good for a starting weapon, especially when the main attack, a knife, barely does anything, and since most monsters are not to be knifed, what's the point?

    Requiring shootable switches deep into the wall to be hit with the utmost precision is very hard with a weak projectile weapon. One shootable switch took me 30 seconds to activate until I hit just the right angle. And even then I need to backtrack to find out what the switch opened - unless a script activated with some text on screen to tell me what had changed, and where.

    So, here are my suggestions for improving this mod:

    For weak weapons, increasing the rate of fire may help. Give a charge-up attack to them. Add some visual feedback for the player to know if he's doing any damage whatsoever. Increase the ammo capacity or just put more ammo in the maps.

    Explain the Armor system better. I kept acquiring armor - what does that do? Does it add to the total or is it like Doom's armor? And why so many armor suits in the first four minutes of play? None of that makes sense to me.

    And now to admit - I cheated. How? Well, I went into the WAD and changed some of the weapon stats. I made the boomerang attack faster, I also increased the damage, and I made sure that visible blood would spawn on each successful hit. I also reduced the rate of fire to the musket/shotgun and fixed that terrible spread. Before, I couldn't use that gun in anything but close quarters. I also increased the speed of the bow. It's a BOW. Slow projectiles and "bow and arrow" don't mix. It's still too large of a projectile, though. I also LOWERED the weapon coordinates to saner levels where I could see. This took maybe 20 minutes, half of that looking at the wiki on which setting did what. After ironing out all that shit, I played the whole thing and I loved it.

    This is a great mod. It just needs a little more polish. Now, I'm off to play the whole thing again to see if I missed anything!

    Doomed - Marc A. Pullen
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - OGG Support - 33.05 MB
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    I knew the name Marc Pullen was ringing a bell, and that's probably because he worked on the soundtracks for Hacx and GothicDM 2. If you've ever touched EDGE in your life, you may know him better for his work on the 2001 TC QDoom, which was his last project until now. But now, like so many other great names from Doom's past that have come out of the woodwork in the last couple of years, he's back. His new release, Doomed, is a set of 15 metal tracks in .ogg format (plus two short title/intermission pieces) that you can either think of as an instrumental album or a music resource. As a soundtrack, it reminds me a bit of Quake 2. In case you want to listen to the tracks outside the game, there's a link in the textfile to a set of higher-quality .wav files on Pullen's SoundCloud profile.

    One reason Doomed works as an album is that, although I assume these tracks were composed digitally, they all feature consistent instrumentation (a couple of different guitars and a drum set), as though they were all created by the same band in a studio. My ear isn't really trained for metal music, but Doomed sounds pretty damn good to me. Like most of the metal that I've found enjoyable, Pullen's tracks feel sort of like they're on a pendulum swinging back and forth between two different moods, which in Doom terms translate roughly as "You're not dead yet but there are more demons hiding in the shadows up ahead" and "Oh shit they're here SHOOT EVERYTHING." Each individual track covers both moods, instead of some being one mood and some being the other, and when you combine that with the repeated instrumentation, the result is that they all sound pretty similar to each other. It has the potential to feel either very consistent or very repetitive, and since those words mean basically the same thing when you get down to it, it's really up to your personal opinion. I don't think it's really a problem; each song stands on its own merits, the album is too short to become monotonous, and players probably won't care in-game. This compilation would be a great resource for a large project where musical consistency is an asset but Jimmy/Stewboy MIDIs just won't work that well. It would probably fit best with a ZDoom-based project with a more modern vibe, especially a megamap where the music changes as you enter each new section or a TC with a large number of maps. But regardless of whether you're looking for music to use as a resource or just to listen to, this is some great stuff.

    Secretdoom: Disrepair 2 - Cyberdemon531
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 31.07 MB -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Secretdoom: Disrepair 2 is a 11-level mapset, where, apart from the first two-to-three, most stages are fairly large, although, thankfully, not TOO large. In terms of looks, it is divided between two styles: a very bland, arctic exterior, and lots of Quake II-like high-tech base interior areas full of brown, dark green, and grey; areas that are far better, although they do get boring after five or so levels. It would be nice if things would get more "hellish" as you get further into this wad. As for the action, it's nothing to write home about, at least initially.

    Up until Map05, stages consist of very large areas, with a few enemies sprinkled around, usually placed in such a way that it's a piece of cake to kill them, since they almost never ambush you, not to mention that the ammo is insanely abundant. Even if you speedrun through this, your arsenal will always be up and ready for ANYTHING. Even after Map05 where things get somewhat slaughter map-esque, the gunfights feel more like speedbumps than dangerous encounters. Is Secretdoom: Disrepair 2 bad? No, but, on its own, it's just "good." It becomes far better when coupled with a mod, or at least when experienced in Nightmare.

    PS: The 11th AAAAAAAAAAAA stage which is filled with Serious Sam-like suicide bombers is the worst of the bunch. Literally a map where all you do is shoot groups of these annoying morons.

    The Tunnels - HellBlade64
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - ZDoom Compatible - 1.71 MB -
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    So, this is a deathmatch map made for Zandronum and almost any ZDoom-compatible port made by HellBlade64. Layout is just a basic large maze with few details, some middle junction structures (one with a plasma gun, and if you get that you'll become the master of this arena), and dead end rooms with SSG and some boxes of shells or a backpack placed in random fashion. Also the said rooms aren't a spawning point.

    The spawning points are instead put in the crossing section of every tunnel, with an SSG in the middle of it. That is OK if you play with 4 players, but playing with 4 players is... pretty boring.

    But, on the other hand, if you want to raise the player count and put some spice in the gameplay (I added 16 bots after playing with 4), you will be discouraged from the too far weapon spot, leaving you disarmed against your opponents!

    And everything is covered in a dark purple fog, which gives a creepy and cool atmosphere to it.

    Overall, this map was pretty bland and not really fun to play.

    If the player spawns were put at the SSG, and the arena was made smaller a little bit, it could be a much better playing experience; otherwise, this a bland level. Skip to other better deathmatch levels than this one!

    Mutiny (A Doomworld Community Project) - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 5.3 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Mutiny is a 16-map community project spearheaded by 40oz as part of his return to mapping. It's intended as a spiritual successor to the many gritty cyberpunk wads of the '90s, including STRAIN, Hell2Pay, and Hacx -- no-budget fangames from the golden age of video gaming, when the primary aesthetic was over-the-top cheesiness and the dystopian future was favored as a fun backdrop for brainless action heroes rather than a vehicle for political symbolism. Everything about Mutiny is designed with this aesthetic in mind, from the texture set to the gameplay gimmicks, and the result feels distinctly retro. On the other hand, the level of detailing and the finely tuned gameplay could only come out of the 2010s (even though the wad is mostly vanilla-compatible), making this mapset feel like sort of a modern update to the classic concept.

    True to its predecessors, Mutiny's story is so campy it's fun. You're playing as a UAC marine who's been betrayed by the corporation and left to die, so naturally you immediately go on a one-man killing spree, only to discover that the UAC has been conducting terrible experiments. Unlike many of the wads it draws inspiration from, Mutiny doesn't have custom monsters -- but since most of those older wads just used weird-looking reskins of Doom monsters, that's fine with me. The zombies are meant to be loyal UAC marines, probably hopped up on some superdrug, and the demons are meant to be experimental mutants. It works.

    Mutiny is about as close to being a managed project as a community wad can get, and it shows in the quality and consistency of the levels. In addition to laying out a cohesive concept and a resource set in advance, 40oz stipulated that every level would be a collaborative effort -- prospective mappers had to work in pairs, or even in larger groups. This helped to ensure good quality control, and it also kept any given mapper's distinct style from running wild and creating a hodgepodge feel among the different maps. Don't get me wrong; I love the sort of community project where every map is completely unique. Mutiny is a very different animal, though; it's built around a single idea, and the consistency really works in its favor. If you were following this project's development, you may remember that involvement eventually started to wane, and a glance at the mapping credits makes it pretty clear that 40oz went through and wrapped everything up at the end, polishing up not-quite-finished levels and adding a few of his own solo efforts to reach the desired 16 slots.

    Even the soundtrack was tailored by the project management, which is something I'm a big fan of when it comes to community wads. Instead of having every mapping team select their own music, 40oz appointed Alfonzo to pick all the tracks. The resulting soundtrack mostly comes from Jimmy's 30 in 30 compilations (though it has a few other interesting tracks by different composers as well), and it's heavy on songs that sound like they could have come out of '80s and '90s console games or action movie soundtracks, as well as some slower, moodier pieces that fit well in Mutiny's darker, more atmospheric levels.

    The custom texture set is another thing this wad has going for it. As far as I can tell, all of it was created for Mutiny, and it mainly revolves around dark, grungy base textures punctuated by very bright colors. This combination creates a lot of contrast and gives the maps a pretty unique feel. The nearest thing I can think of to compare it to visually is (unsurprisingly) 40oz's UAC Ultra, but whereas that wad was mostly gray, black, orange, and red, Mutiny throws a lot of green and blue into the mix as well. The effect is pretty great -- just see the screenshots. In another nod to the classics, the last few levels take place -- where else? -- in a cyberspace setting characterized by abstract bars of color and a black void surrounding everything.

    The levels are pretty tough, though not extreme. Monster counts are moderate, generally falling between 200 and 300 for the larger levels (with a few exceptions), and the difficulty tends to come from cruel and liberal use of chaingunners, Revenants, and Arch-Viles in a way that often reminded me of Plutonia and its sequels. The whole thing reaches its climax in 40oz's "The Brain" (map 31), which features a Cyberdemon elevator battle followed by an assault against many layers of well-entrenched enemies in the boss chamber, and finally a beautifully choreographed slaughter battle against constantly teleporting Imps, Revenants, Mancubuses, and Arachnotrons in the big, open courtyard. The one thing that really changes dramatically from level to level is the use of space, and in many levels, spatial reasoning is a big part of the challenge. You'll be working your way across huge chasms to reach enemies sniping at you from the other side, trying to escape from ambushes in tight spaces, fighting across height differentials, dealing with big lifts and lowering walls, and strategizing to avoid or traverse large swaths of nukage and lava, all while puzzling out some pretty challenging and complex layouts. It's a wild ride. The cleverly and beautifully constructed architecture, and the huge affect it has on the gameplay, is one of the biggest reasons that many of Mutiny's levels stand out.

    Well, that and the little details. See the multiple effects on map 01 that simulate light hitting water, or the quirky platform height puzzle on map 04, or the way the giant mastermind brain gets destroyed at the end of the final level. A lot of care has gone into every aspect of Mutiny, and those little extra touches are the icing on the cake. Don't miss it -- it's one of the best mapsets of the year.

    Black: The Return of The Masters - Timothy Simpson
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 4.51 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Black: The Return of The Masters is wad for ZDoom with six levels. I don't really know how this took three weeks to be done (according to the text file), but I guess that most of the time was spent grabbing the custom monsters from Realm667 and writing the very long story which I didn't read. I wanted to see the first level before reading that massive wall of text, and it seems that it isn't worth it. The mapping probably took only one day.

    So, we start with 999% health against monsters that take too many shots to be killed (or the custom weapons are just shit), HQ decorations that look ridiculous even in a extremely detailed GZDoom level by Tormentor667, and music playing Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin. The first level is so terrible that I wished that everything was like that so at least I could laugh a bit, but the rest is generic bad stuff: combat is always frontal, and the layouts have only rooms or cramped corridors. This wad sucks.

    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.