Ok, deathz0r's landed on "miss a go" again, so you've got me this week. And for my 2nd newstuff in a row there's a ton of maps (47!) and a megawad to play! There's also some impressive single maps this week, some weird, wacky and wonderful entries, and some pretty pointless ones, too. Which makes for a rather varied chapter in the long running chronicles. Let's begin:
- Metamorphism by Brad Spencer and Karthik Abhiram
283kb - doom2.exe - SP -
Somewhat larger than his other maps (although it was co-written this time), this is a mish-mash of styles that manages to come off (and it's not the first time Karthik has achieved this). Nukage and tech are the main themes, with some Doom 2/Plutonia brick areas thrown in. Architecture is pretty good, with some nice lighting effects throughout (and the one looking out of the reactor room is particularly good). Gameplay is fairly good, with a reasonably fine health/ammo balance, good traps and some battles that require thought, although the cyber battles might annoy some of you. Recommended.
- Bughunt by deathbringer
415kb - ZDoom/Legacy - SP -
If you've ever felt the need to squash every bug in your house, garden etc. then this is for you. This 6-map wad lies somewhere between Mockery and One Man and his Doom, as all monsters are giant ants, there are 3 new weapons and all the graphics are of a cheesy non-serious nature. The first map comes close to resembling a normal map, and after that, you're in the silly stages with plenty of ants to squash. Naturally, a wad of this kind is aimed at non-serious rather than serious features, so it's no surprise that the wad is poorly detailed and not very challenging. It does however have that novelty value, and it is fun for the few minutes it takes to complete it. After that, you'll probably forget about it.
- Arch Vile's Oddness 1 & 2 by Alberto Sposito (Ismaele)
7kb - ZDoom - n/a -
A pair of demos (with accompanying maps), showcasing some of the archvile's weird behaviour - namely suicide and infighting. Funny, but you need ZDoom 2.0.38 to see the effect. (it does NOT work in 2.0.47)
- IPX Setup for CTF DooM by John Cole
16kb - doom1/2.exe - CO/DM -
Self-explanatory, with the updates listed in the text file.
- Novert by Istvan Pataki
1kb - n/a - n/a -
A program that turns off vertical mouse movement in dos games like Doom....what use that has is another question.
- Doom v1.1 to v1.2 patch by id Software
441kb - doom.exe - n/a
If you don't know what this is, you need to be slapped around the cheeks with a trout....this patch upgrades registered Doom v1.1 to v1.2...not that anyone will want to do that of course.
- Doom v1.2 to v1.666 patch by id Software
752kb - doom.exe - n/a -
...and here's another one - the difference is that this patch lets you downgrade from Ultimate Doom v1.9 as well as upgrade from registered v1.2...not that anyone will want to do that either.
- Doom Raider: Crypt of the Vile by Russell Pearson
1350kb - ZDoom - SP -
And now for something completely different...a single ZDoom map with a certain Croftiness about it. And it's really well done, too - the textures/flats give the authentic lost tomb look to it, enhanced by the excellent use of slopes and intricate architecture. It even has some real lost-tomb-style deathtraps in it, along with some other cool special effects that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. Hexen sounds and a nice string-laden tune completes the atmosphere. Gameplay-wise, the emphasis is clearly on environmental tests rather than monsters, as you'll be jumping around, avoiding deadly traps, inhaling poison gas and even running away from a boulder! Monster-wise, there's only imps, spectres and pain elementals (not much of a challenge, especially with the 3 new weapons) but the modified arch-viles will have you fighting for your life. Ammo and health are both in fairly short supply, and the choice of weapons used throughout will make a big impact on whether or not the fight with the boss is impossible or not. The only downers are the lack of tougher monsters (although that's not the aim here), the potential impossibility of the boss fight and it's easy to get caught by the traps if you've not played the map before. Fans of Lara Croft and Dr. Jones will love this, as will fans of exploration and of course, ZDoom. Enjoy the ride.
- The Arena by Daniel Carroll
21kb - doom2.exe - DM -
A large arena with weapons in the middle, and two secret areas that branch off from it with rewards at the end. Oh, and there's no deathmatch starts.
- Castle of the Dead by Reverend Maynard
1000kb - source port - SP -
A huge gothic map with textures to match. There are some impressive architectural features in this map, including a rising castle, a broken stone passage and a dark room with flashing lights that looks almost futuristic in nature. There's also a variety of neat vanilla tricks, many of which relate to gameplay as well as eyecandy. Many of the 500 monsters here will sneak in behind you, and given that a lot of them are zombies, the amount of health is a bit low. It is pretty challenging though, and there are many traps to catch you out. The 6 minute metal tune fits the map well, adding a bit to the atmosphere along with the many dark areas in the map. If you've got the time to spare, play it.
- Two test levels by Sphagne
646kb - ZDoom - SP -
Two demo maps, showcasing some new ZDoom ideas. The first is a haunted mansion with buzzing flies, a fruit machine, a fake 3D lift and some camera sequences (ie. innovative, but with no real playing value in this demo map, as it's more to look at than to play). The second is simply an ashwall screen with cacos coming at you, which have to be taken down with a plasma gun turret (ie. not very interesting). But these are demo maps.
- Schreienwolf Fortress by Lutarez
118kb - ZDoom - SP -
A Wolfenstein-themed ZDoom map. And it looks the part too, as all the areas (except the odd one here and there) are classic Wolfenstein - square rooms/passages, zero detail (except for things) and all the appropriate textures, although it is a bit on the dark side. Some Doom features (stairs and switches) and ZDoom features are present (teleport lines, coloured lighting and the odd scripting effect) but these don't detract from the atmosphere in any way. Gameplay-wise, it's pretty easy, with mostly small monsters and a few larger monsters, too. Ammo is plentiful and health is reasonable, although there is an interesting battle to finish with. If you're a fan of shooting up Nazi's, then turn away as there aren't any here....if you're a fan of Wolfenstein you'll love this, if not then I don't know what you'll think of it.
- Heroes 2 by AL and Various Artists
2500kb - doom2.exe - SP -
Wheeee, another old wad getting it's place on the archives after all this time. But this time it's a megawad - cue the delight of nostalgia hunters everywhere! 32 single maps compiled together to form one, and the quality is inconsistent - some good, some average and some bad. As you'd expect, the themes vary throughout, often within the same map as well as the wad as a whole. You'll encounter some interesting designs and some downright bizarre ones, too. The downside on the design side is that many of the maps are simply Doom 1 maps with little retexturing when moved to Doom 2 (and some of them will be familiar). The detail is typical mid-90's, with some areas looking pretty nice, others a bit bare, and some looking weird. Gameplay wise, it gets off to an awful start with the first couple of maps, gets better throughout and tails off in the last couple, although not helped by the Doom 1 maps containing mostly Doom 1 monsters. There's far too much ammo when played through properly (resulting in a weaker challenge), so challenge-seekers are advised to play each map from a pistol start. Health varies from map to map, and those powerups are all over the place again, particularly towards the end (though not as abundant as in some of the old wads in newstuff recently). The atmosphere is classic mid-90's, enhanced by some new sounds, tunes and the feel is of classic Doom 1 as well as Doom 2 because of the Doom 1 maps present. If you're a nostalgia hunter then this is the wad you've been waiting for - if not then it's still recommended, as it's surprisingly good, and far better than it's Doom 1 counterpart (The Lost Episodes). An interesting journey.