Hello again and welcome to a Thanksgiving edition of The /newstuff Chronicles. While some of you will be stuffing yourself with various festive food, most of you will be puzzled by my opening statement. This week shows itself to have a bit of a theme; namely, medium-sized single-player maps with medium-sized enemies. We have also have the odd deathmatch map, weapon replacement, and novelty mod. Of course, there is the odd submission that seems really dumb, but the better reviewers will always give these endeavors every drop of respect that they deserve. Now put away your flux capacitors, shut your storm shutters, open your watches and drink from the spring, and then set aside a few hours to enjoy the many enjoyables that The /newstuff Chronicles has to offer.
by Ryan Feltrin
7kb - Doom - DM - 1 map - -
We start off the week with a strange, although understandable when you think about it, WAD file. According to the documentation, this map was released ten years ago today. Why it took this person that long to upload it is anyone's guess. As for the actual map, it's about what you would expect from 1994. It's a simplistic, jagged-circle map with a slurry of red, brown, and yellow decor. All deathmatch will take place in one open area, which is actually somewhat acceptable. However, the chances of someone ever deathmatching with someone else in this map seem quite slim. If you love WADS that are extremely rich in the "What's the point" factor, this one will fill an orifice.
by Raphael Quinet
11kb - Doom - SP - 1 map - -
Following up a "What's the point" deathmatch map is a strikingly comparable "Why bother" single-player level. Anyone familiar with the registered version of Doom will almost immediately identify this as a touching tribute to the first level of Inferno. Misaligned textures, illogical gameplay, and an exit switch that can be thrown in four seconds, all take the defining factors of Episode 3 from Doom and far, far beyond what they ever were. This is a must-download for acrophobic blimp pilots and houseboat arson extortionists.
1.0 by Jon Washburn
43kb - ZDoom 2.0.63a - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - -
The continued evolution of nested games results in this. This version of Pong allows two players to compete simultaneously in an epic battle for bachelor pad domination. The map consists of a single room in a high-rise apartment with an arcade machine next to a window overlooking a city full of buildings with no doors. As for the actual arcade machine, it's just fine. If you choose to play by yourself, then you can set different levels of computer intelligence by picking a higher skill level. For example, Nightmare skill will be nightmarishly hard, or something like that. I didn't actually bother to check. Gimmick fans will have a decent few minutes.
- Knee Deep
In The Waste
by Marcus Areschoug
196kb - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - - - -
There may be the rare week where we go without anything worth downloading, but it's not this week. This "first time" single-player map for Doom 2 brings the qualities from such episodes as Doom Episode 1, Doom Episode 3, and the Vrack series, and merges them together as one. This level has the green-brown "platformy" feel that you might see in E1M9 of Doom. It has the twisting, sheltered sewer feel that you might see in the early levels of Episode 3. And it almost has the utter size and complexity that you would see in Fredrik Johannson's Vrack levels. In addition to these qualities, this level is rich in its use of mixing dark areas and light areas together, which is another Episode 1 staple. The ammo and health balance is almost ideal for all skill levels. And rather than spoiling a large, complex map by making it egotistically difficult, this map has a sustainable difficulty that is ideal for its size. There are many small-to-medium sized enemies, and they seldom seem to "jump out" at you through monster traps. Despite the complex map architecture, the level is "zig zaggy" linear. That is, you are pretty much required to throw every switch in a certain order, but it does so in a way that takes you back and forth through the map. Don't get the wrong impression, though. It's never very difficult to find out what a switch does. There may be a few cases where you find yourself backtracking and searching for where to go next, but that all comes down to your mental state while playing. All-in-all, this level is extremely worthwhile, large but not too hard, and it has a buffet of unique and non-unique qualities.
348kb - Edge v1.28 - Doom 2 - SP - 8 maps - -
As you may possibly guess from the title, this WAD is inspired by the infamous "Nuts." However, unlike the original Nuts which inspired Doomers to make speedrun demos and engage in various discussions about the experience of having ten thousand monsters in an open area, this WAD is far less identifiable. This is really a "just screwing around" WAD, and since the author claims it to be his first release, you shouldn't expect much. There is virtually no gameplay, and there are many non-accessible areas. Some of the levels don't even have an exit point. Since most of the levels start out by swarming you with an attempted army of various monsters, the only way to see what is actually going on is by doing a very quick IDDQD upon entering these maps. However, there are some enhancements. Since this uses the EDGE port, floors-over-floors make their appearance. We also see a cameo from Wolfenstein 3D. Regardless, this is an experimental WAD that was never really intended for public consumption.
Death by Todd Cook
15kb - Doom 2 - DM - 1 map - -
This is a medium-to-large sized deathmatch map for Doom 2. It takes on a "dirt" theme that is used on walls and floors throughout the map. It is fairly varied in its mix of indoor and outdoor areas. Weapon balance is fair, with different weapons obtainable in different corners of the map. Some "negative" things that may be noticeable about this is the odd missing texture (or HOM effect) and a general use of textures that just don't mix together very well. Still, this map is on par with something you might see in Dwango 5, which is perhaps the most popular deathmatch WAD of all time.
- Mansion Of Time
by Lexus Alyus
87kb - Ultimate Doom - SP - 1 map - - -
We have another quality single-player map. This time, though. it's for Ultimate Doom, running on level E4M1. With a mix of lava, wood, and small-to-medium enemies, it contains many of the elements that you would see in Episode 3 and 4 of Doom. It is medium-sized for a single player level, although it's bigger than anything you would see in the original Doom. Ammo balance is decent, but you may find yourself needing to try hard to conserve your health. In additional to the themes shown in the later Doom episodes, it makes use of such artistic elements as caves, broken walls, and pillars. Overall, it's a fair single-player challenge.
Of Duality by Jon Washburn
197kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - SP, Coop, DM - 1 map - -
This single-player map for Doom 2 continues this week's theme of medium-large size levels with small-to-medium sized enemies. When you start playing, you are immediately swarmed. Some people like this, and some people don't. The map itself makes use of hallways, large halls, and a few outdoor areas. The map is also symmetrical in most places, which adds to the predictability factor. The level itself is quite difficult. It makes heavy use of "spawning" monsters, and there are few places to take cover from the constant barrage. Health can be a problem, especially if you choose to use the berserk pack that is provided to you at the very beginning of the map. All in all, this map would definitely be worthwhile if this were The /newstuff Chronicles #199.
by Woolie Wool
1,476kb - Skulltag - Doom 2 - DM - 1 map - -
The largest WAD so far this week also happens to be one of the simplest. This is a single deathmatch map for Doom 2 running Skulltag, and as the title very accurately implies, it is quite symmetrical. It takes place in a dark, metal, factory-like area of sorts with some red and blue lighting. It contains some replacement sounds from Quake, and a fairly common piece of music in MOD format. In addition, it contains your typical Skulltag-only items such as the Turbosphere.
- New Nightmare
253kb - Enhanced Port - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - - -
The trend absolutely continues this week. We have another single-player map for Doom 2, medium-large in size, with roughly medium-sized monsters. Unlike most of the single-player treats this week, this level is fairly open-ended in that it has its mix of mandatory and optional areas. It has a brown-base-and-mine theme all the way through, with a varied mix of indoor/outdoor areas and elevations. Ammo and health are balanced quite well. It is also fairly detailed in areas, with finely-painted collapsed walls and mined holes providing the "decorations." This is certainly worthwhile for anyone into the single-player scene.
- Uzi Submachine Gun
by Luiz Eduardo
19kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - -
This is a simple weapon addon for Doom 2. According to the documentation, it requires ZDoom. It is a double-automatic-weapon that takes the place of weapon number 4. It fires faster than the chaingun, which arguably makes it more powerful. The loud popcorn sound may be satisfying to some.
by Brendon Chung
3,378kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - - - -
This is one of the most unique and original Doom add-ons we've seen in a long time. It can best be described as a mix of Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life, and a little bit of Doom. This one-level, story-driven adventure takes the player through a base that is, predictably, overcome by monsters. You will face green slimes, red blobs, and blue jellies that are hand-drawn by the artist. You will fight with several weapon replacements, follow instructions from computer terminals, and watch poor little hostages take what they've got coming to them. It's not all that difficult, but you can quite easily find yourself dead in a few seconds if your fingers slip off the keyboard. This addon also contains many new sounds, various high-resolution objects, and a very high-quality music replacement that kicks in at certain times. The overall design of the map is highly non-symmetrical, with a variety of light and dark areas. This is a highly enjoyable add-on that is rich in creativity as well as quality.
- Akimbo Pistols
by Luiz Eduardo
15kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - -
This is a another weapon-4 replacement for Doom 2. Again, it is a dual-weapon system that fires faster than the chaingun. The sound is similar to the Uzi Submachine Gun.
- Seeker Missile
66kb - ZDoom 0.63a - Doom 2 - -
As you might guess from the title, this weapon replacement is a rocket weapon that "curves" toward enemies that are near the line of sight. It also fires faster than the rocket launcher. That's pretty much all that can be said.