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    The /newstuff Chronicles #130


    Cyb

    Well, Hyena has apparently disappeared again this week without a trace. I'll start to worry when I see his face on milk cartons. Too bad I buy milk in those plastic gallon jugs. Anyway, on short notice this week you get your old buddy, Cyb. Hooray! This week's /newstuff gives us seven wads, with a total of 24 maps. Yeesh. On top of that the majority of them are rereleases and/or reuploads, but I guess that's okay. On to the reviews, my minions!

      007: License to Spell Doom - Stephen Clark (The Ultimate Doomer)
      Ultimate Doom/ZDoom2.0 - SP - 6,253k
      This is a rerelease of the popular release by Doomworld's own reviewer, presumably to fix any bugs present in the first and also it appears a few things were changed here and there, though the text file makes no real mention of what has changed.

      Anyway, due to the rerelease nature, and the fact that I'm running a bit short on time, I'll be briefer than I normally would. The episode is very well done, though the main flaws are some spots seem underdetailed and the entire first map makes me want to rip out my hair due to that wind sound (plus the texturing of the map is very boring). That aside, it makes excellent use of ambient sounds, and you can see many of the areas and missions are heavily influenced by Half-Life, which is good because I liked Half-Life. LTSD is neat because you always have a little odd job to complete rather than 'hit a switch, find a key' (though sometimes that is the mission), though some of the race against the clock missions will possibly annoy the piss out of you, though the escape from rising lava is quite cool.

      I'm still not sure that the name means though, or what Ultimate Doomer's strange affection for those odd looking sector-based trees is, but regardless, it's a solid episode to check out, and if you haven't already played it I recommend that you do.

      Barbershop Doom II - Samuel Horwitz (insertwackynamehere#)
      Doom/Doom2 - N/A - 379k
      Replaces all the Doom2 weapons (except the fist) with a barbershop prop. Shaving cream cans, two shaving cream cans, talcum powder, an electric shaver, etc etc. The sprites look like they were made in MSPaint and the sounds sound like they were made by the author blowing into the microphone, but the humor value was there (for me at least), though it only lasted around fifteen seconds. After that I'm sure you'll never look at it again.

      Return to the Exit - KGy SOFT (György Kõszeg)
      Doom2 - SP - 155k
      Another rerelease, this one originally from '96, which is pretty much what it stinks of. Misaligned textures, squarish layouts etc etc. The map is fairly fun to play however, if not a bit easy, and there are some interesting secrets scattered about (which only make the map easier) but all in all it's really mediocre at best. It's also one of those fun zip files that includes a buttload of random files, including a bunch of doom2.exe v1.666 demos (hah) and a batch file to load each one of them. Hooray, better bust out prBoom.

      Nostromo's Run for DOOM ][ - Rich Johnston (aka Nostromo)
      Doom2 - SP - 115k
      Yet another rerelease, this is even older, the original file being released back in '95. Actually I'm not even sure who uploaded this, but I surmise that it wasn't Nostromo. Possibly this was missing from the archives after the great migration from Walnut Creek. Anywho, I suppose you could consider this map a classic, but only because it's so old. In reality it's not that good, but being released back when Doom was really new I suppose it's forgivable. The map starts out nice but then it jumps into a bunch of randomly themed areas interconnected (first it's brick and wood, then it suddenly becomes a tech base etc etc). It's actually fun to play if you can get over the random areas and various weird texture errors, though it's rather painfully easy much like Return to the Exit. Also much like Return to the Exit I'd say skip it unless you're pressed for half-decent, old Doom maps.

      UAC Mine - Lexus Alyus
      Ultimate Doom - SP - 212k
      For whatever reason this zip includes a second wad which appears to be the first map of the three in the other wad. I'm not sure why, but it's a nice way to waste space. The maps are painfully boring, though they look nice enough, they're quite linear and you are given almost no weapons or ammo aside from what you can shake down from the plentiful amounts of former humans throughout the maps.

      In fact, the entire first map is devoid of any sort of ammo or weapons so you need to kill everything with a pistol, which gets really boring if you're an impatient bastard like I am. However I'm sure some speedrunners will enjoy making tyson or speed or pacifist runs as the maps seem to beget that sort of play, though the large amounts of zombiemen I'm sure will hinder that a bit. Better looking than the previous two maps, but not as much fun to play.

      Southern Cross - The Solution and Bryant Robinson
      Doom2/ZDoom - SP - 2,162k
      Of course we all know Bryant Robinson from his excellent Dark7 and Dark7 Mission Pack (if you haven't played those I highly recommend it). However, this is nowhere near up to par with those. Most of the maps are laid out nicely, and had they been detailed in the slightest they would have been excellent maps, but as they were they all come across as massive hallways and stuff with the same texture and zero detail except for the occasional light here or there. Blah. If you aren't too hung up on detail, or that fact that Slige could probably make a level with more detail, then it's fairly fun to play, with roughly the same level of gameplay (in terms of toughness and flow) as Dark 7. Oh, on top of that, some of the maps are painfully similar looking, in fact when I got to map04 I actually had to double check that I hadn't somehow warped back to a previous map.

      Helpyourselfish - Chris 'c-cooper' Hansen
      Doom2/Advanced Port - SP - 569k
      Well of course I'd expect nothing less from Chris Hansen, and this map is nothing short of amazing. It's themed after the majority of the maps in Doom2, that is an blend of brown metals, bricks and rock, but it works very well unlike the mishmash which is some of the Doom2 maps. In fact, the flow between areas and the connectivity of this map are quite stellar, and some of the best I have seen.

      At times it seems that Chris is trying to use all the textures Doom2 offers (sans the Wolf3D ones of course), but despite that each area blends well with the next one rather than seeming like it has nothing to do with any of the previous ones. Very cool. The map is also quite hard, even on lower skill levels, and expect to take a better part of an hour to complete it the first time. Ammo and health balance are nicely done, though you need to be careful not to rush into a room full of monsters, lest you get smeared on the walls. Without a doubt you should not pass up this map.

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    Grazza said:

    fp!! props to all logged in trolls!

    damn, you took the words right out of my mouth =P

    and i was the one who uploaded nostromo's run. i also uploaded zar last week. and i'm going to continue uploading stuff that the archive is missing until my demands are met!

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    sargebaldy said:

    and i was the one who uploaded nostromo's run. i also uploaded zar last week. and i'm going to continue uploading stuff that the archive is missing until my demands are met!

    It might be a good idea to add some words to this effect (and give a current e-mail address) in the accompanying textfile. I asked Ty about this before I uploaded some wads (i.e. ones by people other than myself), and he made this request.

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    I completely agree... especially for wads like these which the author obviously made a conscious decision NOT to post their work, or give their work to someone else to sell/use/own.

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    Grazza said:

    It might be a good idea to add some words to this effect (and give a current e-mail address) in the accompanying textfile. I asked Ty about this before I uploaded some wads (i.e. ones by people other than myself), and he made this request.

    i would have done this on my own, but i didn't want to go around modifying people's text files =P

    Opulent said:

    I completely agree... especially for wads like these which the author obviously made a conscious decision NOT to post their work, or give their work to someone else to sell/use/own.

    the text file for nostromo says

    You have my full permission to distribute this wad as long as this
    text file accompanies it with the following exception.

    You may NOT place this wad on a marketable CD-Rom without the express
    written consent of Rich Johnston. If you should find this wad on a CD-Rom
    without the mentioned permission, contact nostromo@sonic.net immediately.

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    Damn it, I can't stand the ad popup that it makes all the links on the page unclickable. Wth is wrong with Telefragged!?

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    sargebaldy: good point... that is really the end of that topic; but adding one line to the top so people know what's up surely wouldn't hurt.

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    Cyb said:

    you know technially I had the first post :P

    Yes, but "fr! props to all logged in trolls!" would look silly. :p

    sargebadly: what I did was to leave the .txt in the .zip completely unchanged (and therefore the .zip as a whole is completely unchanged), and append the relevant details at the start of the .txt file that appears separately in the archives. That way the archive has the clarification that Ty requests (and that the community would presumably appreciate too), and the .zip is kept fully in accordance with the author's request (assuming it included the "may be distributed ... unaltered" line).

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    Opulent said:
    I completely agree... especially for wads like these which the author obviously made a conscious decision NOT to post their work, or give their work to someone else to sell/use/own.


    You mean like in this case, where Nostromo didn't upload it to the Archive in all this time? Yeah. I agree that it's an honest move to add a note to the accompanying file including at least the uploader's name and email, but leaving the text file in the ZIP untouched, especially since the Archive is a more or less public space. If any of us were to host the file (any file that can be freely distributed) on our own sites or FTPs a note of this sort would not be necessary, as it'd be clear we'd be responsible for hosting it, but on the Archive it makes sense.

    This is what I did when I uploaded someone else's file once:

    ftp://3darchives.in-span.net/pub/idgames/levels/doom/p-r/room101.txt

    (...whereas I left the TXT in the ZIP untouched, naturally.)

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    sargebaldy said:

    damn, you took the words right out of my mouth =P

    and i was the one who uploaded nostromo's run. i also uploaded zar last week. and i'm going to continue uploading stuff that the archive is missing until my demands are met!


    In which case, have you ever played fullon.wad?

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    Ultimate DooMer said:

    In which case, have you ever played fullon.wad?


    fullon.wad isn't in the archive because nearly half of the maps are ripped from doom.wad

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    Cyb said:
    Barbershop Doom II - Samuel Horwitz (insertwackynamehere#)
    Doom/Doom2 - N/A - 379k(img)
    Replaces all the Doom2 weapons (except the fist) with a barbershop prop. Shaving cream cans, two shaving cream cans, talcum powder, an electric shaver, etc etc. The sprites look like they were made in MSPaint and the sounds sound like they were made by the author blowing into the microphone, but the humor value was there (for me at least), though it only lasted around fifteen seconds. After that I'm sure you'll never look at it again.

    Yup, you nailed it!

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    Ah here we go, Helpyourselfish! And barbershop doom too? I'm playin them both at the same time.

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    I thought UAC Mine was a little better than Cyb seemed to find it. The first level could have done with a shotgun a bit earlier, but given that it was supposed to be the first level of an episode replacement it is entirely appropriate for it to be a small linear map with small enemies and not much in the way of weapons (it's a little more complex than E1M1 anyway).

    The other 2 maps were quite good fun to play. Mind you, I like chopping my way through former humans using the shotgun. All in all I thought they were 3 pretty reasonable to good levels which provided a bit of vintage style dooming. They were also pretty well paced and sized for what was originally supposed to be the first 3 levels in an episode. Interestingly, although they are meant to have an Episode 2 feel I thought a lot of the areas felt somewhere between Episode 1 and 2. Quite a nice mix IMO.

    Edit: Oh yeah, the first map does have a shotgun in a secret area, but you have to have reached the end of the level to activate the line that makes it available, so you can't really make use of it on that level.

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    Mm, played helpyourselfish, it was awesome, except I thought it was a little long. And I can't say I liked that sky. But that gameplay was ownage!

    Okay, and barbershop doom I haven't seen all the weaps yet, I'll play it with UAC mine next.

    EDIT: Ok, played with UAC mine, it started out totally awesome, then got kinda crappy. Barbershop ownz.

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    Sparky_KISS said:

    fullon.wad isn't in the archive because nearly half of the maps are ripped from doom.wad


    So have some other wads, but they're on the archives.

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    Ultimate DooMer said:

    So have some other wads, but they're on the archives.


    and if I had Ty's thankless job for all these years, I would have quit filtering years ago. We all owe Ty a HUGE debt of gratitude. How many other communities died purely because they didn't have an accessable and reliable archive?

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    Ultimate DooMer said:

    So have some other wads, but they're on the archives.

    Maybe Ty would appreciate you sending him a list of such wads, so he can consider whether to remove them.

    Anyway, Fullon.wad can be found online for public download. I won't provide a link just in case it is against forum rules to link to wads that contain maps based on the original id levels, but a Google search will suffice.

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    Grazza said:

    Maybe Ty would appreciate you sending him a list of such wads, so he can consider whether to remove them.


    He'd probably say something like, "Oh, how... helpful."

    It's probably appropriate, though if I got such a list I'd want it to tell me exactly what it was (like, which levels) that made it unacceptable. At this point I'd probably have to think twice before nuking something from the mid-late '90's as those authors probably aren't around any more. And I guarantee it'd take a while to go through them.

    Mostly the whole original thing was that because we were hosting id's FTP mirror as well as the community's wads, and we were further on a commercial site (cdrom.com) we didn't want to step on any toes. In the "old days" (which I seem to remember, though I've misplaced yesterday) it was so hard to create a map from scratch that people were proud of just changing the textures and moving a few walls. To avoid a flood of that stuff was one of the biggest reasons for the rule, I'd suspect (wasn't my job then). Sort of like why we don't want Slige maps now.

    Anyway, I think a single "Uploaded by: " line, with name and email, would be appropriate for people who are finding old maps, especially when the original didn't have an email address in the first place. BBS phone numbers used to be as much as people had (all together, kids, "what's a BBS?")

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    Grazza said:

    Anyway, Fullon.wad can be found online for public download. I won't provide a link just in case it is against forum rules to link to wads that contain maps based on the original id levels, but a Google search will suffice.


    As long as it's out there somewhere, that's ok.

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    Ultimate DooMer said:

    As long as it's out there somewhere, that's ok.

    I mentioned this in an e-mail to you (including a link); did you not receive it?

    Ty Halderman said:

    In the "old days" (which I seem to remember, though I've misplaced yesterday) it was so hard to create a map from scratch that people were proud of just changing the textures and moving a few walls. To avoid a flood of that stuff was one of the biggest reasons for the rule, I'd suspect (wasn't my job then).

    It sounds like you're a bit more relaxed about these issues than the "Don't upload anything that's based on or modified versions of the original levels of any of the id Software games" from the instructions suggests. Might you consider accepting wads that are essentially (and mostly) original works, but contain a few areas that are clearly recognizable as being from id levels (and there is a legitimate reason for this; e.g., the idea is to suggest that the wad follows on from where the Icon of Sin got destroyed)?

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    Cyb said:

    For whatever reason this zip includes a second wad which appears to be the first map of the three in the other wad. I'm not sure why, but it's a nice way to waste space.


    Actually the second WAD you mention (uacminet.wad) contains a "reworked" version of E2M1 of uacmine.wad. It was modified by Tobias Münch, and I think Damian (Lexus Alyus) included it because he liked both the versions. The reworked version contains one extra secret and it also plays differently (i.e. you get the shotgun in the beginning itself, and the monsters are also different).

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    Karthik said:

    Actually the second WAD you mention (uacminet.wad) contains a "reworked" version of E2M1 of uacmine.wad. It was modified by Tobias Münch, and I think Damian (Lexus Alyus) included it because he liked both the versions. The reworked version contains one extra secret and it also plays differently (i.e. you get the shotgun in the beginning itself, and the monsters are also different).


    Ahh, I just glanced at it in XWE and saw it looked pretty much exactly like the first map so I didn't bother to play it, though some mention of it in the text file would have been helpful, but I'll have to give it a go in a bit, thanks

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    Heh wtf, I thought Southern Cross rocked. I still do. Sure it's underdetailed, but when you're having a good time, do you even notice?

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    goddamnit, pay attention doomboy, that's exactly what I said:

    "If you aren't too hung up on detail, or that fact that Slige could probably make a level with more detail, then it's fairly fun to play, with roughly the same level of gameplay (in terms of toughness and flow) as Dark 7"

    and yes, I did notice. I noticed quite a bit

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    I played Nostromo's Run just now. I didn't find the "randomization" that bad, actually. The beef I had with it is the ease. I usually play maps on HMP first as a default. And when I got to the end, with the big radiaiton pit and all, I'm thinking, "where's the ten freakin' Cyberdemons I'm obviously supposed to fight with all this damned plasma?" Okay, turns out there weren't any, except on UV (I checked). If you don't have any Cyberdemons or Spiders on a given skill, then don't include over a thousand extra cells. And even on UV, you get two Cyberdemons and two Spiders... but you still don't need a thousand cells.

    Ah, well. /me downloads Southern Cross.

    EDIT: Was Dark7 ever reviewed in /newstuff, or was it released before /newstuff started? Guess I'd like to play that, too.

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