The Descent - The Architect
Hexen - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 619.51 KB -
Reviewed by: DoomLover234
I played this WAD with GZDoom 1.8.2, Hexen, with the Mage class and Warlock difficulty.
I already heard about this WAD on the site WADs in Progress. I've already played it before, but my last step was the first boss battle. I have never finished it. Now that I am reviewing it, I shall. Also, this WAD features custom music and scripting (which is very well done), so sit back as I tell you my thoughts.
MAP01: The Descent – You will come to this map dozens of times, so grow to like it, even though you start in a bland swamp with a structure full of Brown Chaos Serpents. The custom music is fitting, since the whole level is difficult (you kill 73 monsters on your first visit!). I honestly enjoyed this level, because of great scripts and a good feel. You get your second and third weapon here, and the ultimate one you must find. A quite good map rounded up.
MAP02: Hell 1 – An uncreative name, could've been better (Lava Panic for instance). Have fun dealing with no more than 29 Afrits at the start! You'll hate this level. Greenies snipe you from a far distance and you can't strike back... also there's a lot of jumping, so be cautious. Flick a switch and run.
MAP03: Hell 2 – Name problem (The Blind Maze maybe?). It's a maze that is actually scary because of the thick green fog. There's no room to dodge the attacks, and you'll often get attacked from behind. If you don't know how to circle-strafe, practice it here extensively. Grab your first segment of the weapon and the Axe Key and you're done with this place.
MAP04: Demeters Bog – Actually a nice name. It's a swamp level with billions of Stalkers and Serpents coming out of nowhere. Get your Axe and Horn Keys and find an alternate path, because the part that connects the central structure and the start collapses.
MAP05: Hell 6 – Another "creative" name (Battle Test perhaps?). A boss battle with Korax! The Dark Servant you got a while ago shall help you here. If you run out of ammo you should have a Krater of Might. Grab the Rusted Key and run.
MAP06: Frozen Tomb – You play this map BEFORE Hell 6. I forgot how much I hate Wendigos. The level consists of slippery, narrow pathways and deep pits. It's hard to stay alive with Wendigos and Slaughtaurs shooting at you from everywhere. The shortest and the easiest map in the WAD though. Make a run for it with your Castle Key.
MAP07: Hell 3 (Ice Quake?) – Why Hell 3 is played after Hell 5 and Hell 4 (maps 08 and 09) we shall never know. An ice map suffering an earthquake. Wendigos everywhere, do your best to find an out-of-place Swamp Key.
MAP08: Hell 4 (The Feast?) – Played before Hell 5 (MAP09). There's a Menelkir so don't fill your pants. This level brings disgusting to a whole new level. Poisonous mushrooms, rotting corpses of humans and even a freezer? FIVE FEASTING HALLS? The second hardest map of the WAD because of zero to no ammo. All that for a single switch...
MAP09: Hell 5 (Slaughter?) – Played before Hell 4 and Hell 3. Platforming, Afrits, Slaughtaurs, all the things you grew to hate with this WAD are together. When you think you are done and got your Steel Key, an immobilized Death Wyvern shows up. Incapable of moving.
MAP10: Finale – This is a compilation of Hell 1 and Hell 3 (platforming + moving platforms), and if things weren't bad enough with two Menelkirs and a Korax, there are hundreds of Reivers and Afrits. Also there's the last Bloodscourge piece. Not that hard because of many infighting and weak monsters in general, but still the hardest.
Overall, The Descent is a very challenging WAD and I personally recommend you to try it out. You won't be disappointed. How bad some things are, other things make up for it. The Architect opted for nice level design and quick pace, and, I must admit, he did it! But why bother talking, see it for yourself...
INKWORKS v1.0 + MIXMAPS - The Cookie Monster
N/A - N/A - N/A - 289.61 KB -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
So, this is a little Doom utility made by "The Cookie Monster" (whether it is some lone C programmer or an entire team of highly skilled specialists that made hacking programs for Doom, it will remain unknown forever) uploaded for historical purposes by Jon. Said program is a DOS tool for COLORMAP editing, and is the second version of said program, that contains another little tool called MIXMAPS that will work on mixing colormaps, but I don't get how to do that.
But what the heck is this thing, Walter? You don't want to drag on eternally like that Abyssal Speedmapping Session 17 or some of you first reviews, HUH?!?
As I wrote before, this is a little DOS program that modifies the COLORMAP giving us pretty cool effects like different color fog (yeah, kinda similar to the ZDoom fog effect or better to the Hexen-style fog), changing the player blood from visible to invisible through four different steps (but not recoloring, why? I'd liked to recolor the player blood HUD!), recolor the invulnerability sphere screen, the radiation suit and the item pick-up HUD colors into any kind of your favorite color scheme. My experiment can be seen in the third and fourth screenshot.
It also contains a little demo wad with a nice chocolate palette and a little map. It contains a new brown mountain sky that I found pretty cool. The demo is just a short woody/meat map; pretty early years of mapping stuff here, but it has a nice layout. Ah yes, it doesn't have an exit too. Oh, joy!
So, is this thing is worth a chance? For me, sure! It's a neat and easy-to-use utility program for vanilla Doom and above ports, and is actually fun to use to create neat effects for your map. Even today you can edit your COLORMAP with SLADE3 and do the same things and even more, but this looks easier to understand than SLADE3 editing for me, so put this thing in your vanilla Doom 2 folder (or other Doom-related iwads, but I'm not sure about this) for DOSBox playing and let's start doing funky foggy maps!
Or keep using your ultra-futuristic SLADE3 thing you use in your MAGI system computers, you wise guys from the future!
Ah yes, the author says in the readme that this software is PostcardWare, so send this guy a postcard if you're happy with this little program!
I just really hope that this dude never left his town and address in New Zealand in these 19 years, otherwise I will never know where to send postcards!
Custom Marathon Ally Mjolnir Items ACS Enter Script - Mjolnir Mark IV
Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1.07 MB -
Reviewed by: driftyloon
Not much to be said about this wad. It introduces an item called Mjolnir which can be spawned as an ally. Although the title gives away the first thing I thought of was Thor's hammer. Mjolnir is a battleroid from the Marathon series(an FPS for the Apple Macintosh during the 90s,though forgotten by most due to the high amount of FPS games during the time and the existence of Doom :)). It fires what appears to be a sort of railgun shot. They are pretty broken and can kill most enemies up to about the baron quite easily. You are presented with four of these when starting each map.When the Mjolnir is destroyed, it drops a chaingun despite having a railgun attached to its body,a stimpack and a another Mjolnir token a lot of the time. This means that you can keep spawning them forever. They can be chainsawed and respawned to farm ammo or life. I think there are some Mjolnir tokens scattered around the level replacing something.The AI is simple marine AI and so they wonder around aimlessly until they find something to shoot. This means you kind of have to kill them and respawned them further in the level. Their shot also damages you as well as the enemy so it can get annoying when engaging the enemy. One last thing is the sound clips used, these are really irritating although I think they are taken from Marathon 2. These play constantly while they are doing anything and the voice makes them sound very pathetic for a cyborg soldier.
Overall it is a nice concept but seems rather pointless and makes the game a little bit too easy.
Floor Demo 3 - Ethan Watson aka GooberMan
Doom/Doom 2 - GZDoom - N/A - 392.2 KB
Reviewed by: Obsidian
In the epic conclusion to the thrilling trilogy of flordmo, behold as - eh, screw it. This is a third prefab by Ethan "Gooberman" Watson for horizontal moving platforms in GZDoom, this time with support for models and suchlike: it's a tad buggy, but for the most part it functions pretty well and it'd be neat to see someone use it. Further details can be found in the accompanying textfile if you want to know more.
Huh, I really want to play Bloodborne for some reason...
A Grenade Down the Middle - XscourgeX
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 42.23 KB -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
An awful map with gigantic featureless and bland arenas, lots of snipers on high ledges, no health balance, no ammo balance and the worst: no fun. It's also lengthy for some strange reason. This wad wasn't even tested at all; it's like the author forgot to put in enough ammo and enough health and just put this unfinished map on /idgames. It's just that.
At least it's not broken.
ZDoom Secret Sound - Sidhe Priest
N/A - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 1.13 MB
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
A single sound effect for when you reveal a secret. It sounds obnoxious since it's distorted in a horrible way. A single guitar lick would work better. Wouldn't recommend it.
kusok(Kurashiki's kuso map) - Nanka Kurashiki
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1.22 MB -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
A couple of long maps equipped with challenging gameplay, reasonable progress, non-linearity, and glorious detail, with classy texturing that reminded me of ksutra.wad in a good way.
MAP01 starts you off in a storage room and an awful MIDI rendition of Metallica's "Seek and Destroy" with weird noises as solos. Anyways, after getting out of storage through the only (openable) door in sight, you proceed into a tech room with a view to a courtyard with a well containing a blue key and water, so technically this map is already an homage in layout to E1M1 of Doom. And the rest of the map is just opening doors, collecting keys, pushing all the buttons and gibbing enemies with barrels, getting more and more intense as you get closer to the exit.
MAP02 is the harder map, as it has more traps and enemies in it. It uses a Doom MIDI, instead of another metal song being converted into an awful MIDI as you'd expect after playing MAP01.
MAP02 is horror-inspired unlike MAP01, since MAP02 uses gory decorations and details and has pitch black outdoors. There is an amazing secret BFG area which spawns a group of arch-viles after you grab it; the area is a floating cracked library in the void with huge presents as an homage to Christmas for some obscure reason.
There also appears to be a slaughterfest with cybers and hundreds of enemies at the end where having a BFG would really suffice, which is the reason for this map being more challenging.
Power Metal - Zalewa
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 3.05 MB -
Reviewed by: jmickle66666666
METAL2 is one of the best textures in Doom 2. I don't think many people would try and argue this point; it's a great all-round texture that sees a lot of use in a lot of wads, rightfully so.
METAL2 in Freedoom is Very Bad. It looks like a sand-blasted piece of chocolate and I don't like it. This is my opinion and you can't stop me having it.
So when I am informed that Freedoom's textures were used "for better ambiance", the last thing I expect is to see one of Doom 2's finest textures replaced with one of Freedoom's worst. It did cross my mind what this wad would look like if it did use original textures instead, but no matter. This was the author's choice and I'll respect it. I don't have to like it though.
After sitting back and taking a sip of my Excellent Tea (Salted Caramel, very good stuff), I threw myself into the sea of Raised Imps. Attacked from all sides, I weaved round the ImpMetal trenches and turned corners to find More Imps, and eventually Arachnotrons. "Ah," I thought to myself. "This map has a lot of Imps."
After my first--very swift--death, I hit the tab key and study the monster count. "Ah," I thought to myself once again. "This map has a lot of Everything".
Indeed, at a count of over 900 monsters, I realized there may be somewhat of a challenge set before me. No matter, this just calls for some infighting magic! Running round the map through strange generator structures and So Many More Imp Platforms It's Ridiculous, I found myself with very little health, even less ammo, and almost nil progress being made. This tactic is not working.
After many more similar deaths, I tried something new. The building to the right of the start area, it turns out, has an entrance through a window down the side! Excellent! After clearing some outside noise, I jump in and am quickly mown down by chaingunners. "If at first you don't succeed.." etc. etc. I devised plans and re-devised plans and eventually made my way safely into the building and extracted not only a rocket launcher, but a blue key also! Feeling accomplished but also frustrated that I'd spent so long Going The Wrong Way (and dying), I decided now would be a good time to save the game.
I needn't tell any further excursions into this map, as you would find it contains much of the same trial and error to figure out each little situation, usually while owning not much more than a few points of health. Not to spoil any surprises too badly, but it does involves some interesting choices with surprise high-level monsters, and an outside toilet. (Which I handily took a screenshot of.)
I didn't much enjoy the grind of this level, and stopped at around 150/900 monsters killed. It at first didn't try to appear like a slaughtermap, but quickly showed signs of being so. There is some slightly interesting architecture, but personally I find it let down by the flatness of the level and the use of Bad Textures. If you're into the slaughtery stuff though, you could probably do much worse than this!
Chaingun Deviant - Sophie Kirschner
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 217.53 KB -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
A claustrophobic 1024 map based around saving chaingun ammo. A short and challenging map (especially if you try to UV-max). Every single billy-bullet counts; if you miss with one, you'll have to alter the bullet into a non-berserk punch. Overall, it's a neat little map to breeze through several times. Well-designed, I can tell you that.
DOOM Alpha v0.3 (aka "DOOM Pre-Alpha") - id Software
N/A - N/A - Solo Play - 587.22 KB -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
Ever since the early 90's, we've had access to the 0.2, 0.4, and 0.5 alpha versions of Doom. Many people have long assumed that there was a 0.1, 0.3, and possibly others floating around somewhere, but they were thought lost until August 3rd of this year when Quasar uploaded the 0.3 alpha. One of the main reasons that we didn't have access to the 0.3 alpha for so long is because unlike the other alphas, the 0.3 alpha was not released to id's alpha testers; instead, it was sent to several industry professionals for review.
This alpha was originally released on February 28th, which was just 24 days after the 0.2 alpha. This shows us the quick progress at which Tom Hall and John Romero were able to make their levels. In the 0.2 alpha, the only map was a basically square box with a few weird angles to it, whereas in this alpha we can see very early versions of E2M7, E2M2, E2M3, and E1M8, along with two map stubs. In the text file of this release it is stated that there was supposed to be a more proper release just two weeks later, but this didn't happen, the most likely cause being that that id had to devote all of its resources to porting Wolfenstein over to the SNES, after the guy they hired to do it failed to deliver the product.
E1M1 here is an early version of what would become E2M7 Spawning Vats; in the Doom Bible this map would have been known as Hangar 2, and the Doomguy would be playing a game of cards with three other people when suddenly the Demons would attack. The start room of this map contains a crate with a special flat which displays some playing cards; you can also see player starts standing around the crate as well. This map is the most unfinished of all the maps, as you will find that the entire hallway section behind the blue door is not there yet, and there are only a few crates in the warehouse area. The SHAWN textured part of the map would be relatively unchanged in the final release; a few rooms change shape and the damaging floor strip isn't there, but overall this section is recognizable. In the alpha the S-shaped exterior area in the final release is the hangar for which the map gets its name; you can see the 2's on the floor near the bay doors.
E1M2 here is an early version of E2M2 Containment Area, known as Supply Depot 2 in the Doom Bible. This map is much more complete layout wise compared to E2M7, but still there are a few noticeable changes. First up is that the player start is at one end of the hallway between the warehouse and the normal half of the map. The crate maze is mostly the same; the notable exception is that there is no difference in height in the entire room so that all crates stretch all the way to the ceiling, and there's no quick shortcuts to go over. On the other half of the map things appear mostly the same, except that the crushers have not yet been added and the exit area isn't there yet.
E1M3 is an early version of E2M3 Refinery, which is known as Waste Processing Facility in the Doom Bible. This map is the most similar in layout to the final release; the biggest change is near the start where there are a few missing rooms and everything is crammed together due to the map being shaped like a trapezoid.
E1M8 is an early version of E1M2 Nuclear Plant. Unlike Tom Hall, Romero was not sticking to the plans written in the Doom Bible, so this map doesn't really have a Doom Bible equivalent, even though there is a level known as Control Center/Power Plant. This map is in a very incomplete state compared to the final version; there is no red key section and the computer maze is much more organic looking with lots of non-90-degree angles. That is one thing that sets this map by Romero apart from Tom Hall's maps: there are a lot of weird angles here, and there is more use of heights and lighting. Height variation is pretty much non-existent in Tom's three maps, and the only lighting variation was the always good-looking light beaming through the doorway at the start of Spawning Vats. Still though, just by looking at this map in its early state, it's fairly obvious that Romero was also struggling with height variation, as there still is very little in his map; Romero was just able to adjust more easily than Tom Hall did.
A final thing to note about the shapes of Tom Hall's maps are that E1M1 and E1M2 are both rectangles and E1M3 is a trapezoid. Looking in the editor, there is an obvious perimeter wall running around the exterior of the playable map. This is of course due to Tom Hall wanting to make realistic buildings; if one goes forward a few months and looks into the 0.5 Alpha, you will find a map of Tei Tenga made by Tom Hall. If you look at the buildings labeled Hangar, Supply Depot 2, and Waste, you will notice that they are shaped like rectangles and a trapezoid just like their maps are shaped.
Finally, as far as the maps go they are all in very early stages of texturing. They are almost completely coated in a Graytall variant, though there are a few others as well. There are a few textures here that will make it into the final game, but most are early variants of the final textures.
Now there are two additional map stubs in the wad that are inaccessible. One is called SHAWN2, and as far as I can tell it appears to be a very early version of E1M11 from the 0.4 Alpha, but the only reason to believe this is because of the long vertical hallway on the far right of the map; other than that, the map appears completely different. The other map stub is know as THE STORE. If we go back into the Doom Bible we will notice a section of the map Supply Depot 2 was supposed to contain the Storekeeper's Office, which was supposed to be a place where Doomguy could go to buy supplies from an NPC. The map itself is a very small box containing three different counters, one of which resembles a counter that would briefly appear in an early version of E2M7.
Beyond the addition of actual levels, there are a few improvements over the 0.2 Alpha. The most interesting feature is the HUD, which is supposed to appear as if you are inside of a helmet; in the upper right corner of the HUD is a fully functional automap that draws as you move about the level. There are many other things to note about this Alpha, but I think I've dragged it out enough as it is; if you want to read more about it, check out the article on the Doom Wiki, or just download it and check it out for yourself.
All screenshots were taken with Linguica's quick-n-dirty conversion.
The /newstuff Chronicles #484