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T-Rex

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  1. Kama Sutra, Speed of Doom, Plutonia 2, PRCP, and Scythe 2 are the ones that come to my mind aside from the ones I mentioned.
  2. You might want to avoid wads like Plutonia, Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta, Scythe, and the ilk, cause aside from being super-hard, they have their share of slaughter maps, though not to the same extent as Deus Vult, Sunder and Sunlust, which are all really ridiculous slaughterfests.
  3. Might as well finish The Classic Episode, so here we go! E2M6: Outpost 666 (Jan van der Veken/Anthony Soto) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 12:17 The placeholder map from Dawn of the Dead is here in its completed form, and this is by far my most favourite of the set, a techbase map in the Episode 1 style, but it's got some elements from Episode 2 thrown in as well, including textures and enemies. Jan only did the starting area, while the rest was all done by Anthony, if I recall correctly. Level design layout is solid all the way through with lots of areas to explore and running up and down the various levels, feeling just like a map John Romero would have done if he contributed to Episode 2. The challenge is pretty tight as well, with the regular cannon fodder of Episode 1, some cacodemons and even a few barons to tangle, though with the later, the first two are easy to snipe off. However, the last couple of baron encounters are the most precarious, where you search for the red key in the outdoor area and get locked out while you have to fight two barons plus a bunch of pinkies who could hinder your movement with their fast movement and zigzag patterns, making you easy prey for the big bruisers themselves. Another encounter is at the end where the last baron guards the exit. Luckily, you got enough ammo to fend off the resistance, and I save the rocket launcher for the twin barons, but I would suggest using them before alerting the pinkies or when they're all dead. Overall, another fantastic map and even though it's mostly by Anthony Soto, it's very cool and pretty close to what Jan would have done. I save the soul sphere secret for when I'm about to end the map as it will be needed for the next one. E2M7: A Place of Sin (Jan van der Veken) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Secrets: 11:26 The penultimate map is quite a tricky one! Unlike all the other maps that were Episode 1 and 2 themed, save for the secret level which took inspiration from Episode 4, this one takes after Episode 3, particularly E3M3 Pandemonium, and it starts you off rather intensely as you got a spectre coming your way, and attacking it alerts some shotgunners and pinkies. Careful if you choose to venture to the sides as in one you got more shotgunners, while at the other are some spectres and a baron. Either side has a couple of cacodemons that will teleport into the room as they get closer. There's also another baron opposite of the fake wall with imps and goodies in it. It's also where you'll get the BFG9000 at last. Almost every single area in the map is a trap, with a couple that are quite nasty. Going after both keys open up alcoves holding an assortment of monsters, beyond the yellow key door where you'll find the blue key reveals a baron and more enemies spawn in, and there's the optional area with the soul sphere where you get trapped in and when you pick up the rockets, all hell breaks loose with tons of pinkies and some barons emerging from their cubbies. If you know what to do in these situations, however, it shouldn't be that overwhelming. Once again, it's possible to exit with 200% health and armour if you save the soul sphere and the mega armours available. Just be mindful of that cacodemon guarding the exit switch. Hectic map from start to finish. E2M8: Evil Refinery (Nick Baker/Travers Dunne) The boss level of the episode. You start out in a hub where after you clear off the imps and gunners, you have the choice of teleporting to either the west or east quadrants each containing some enemies and even monster closets, and you'll have to visit both in order to finally gain access to the ending arena. As you hit the switches you find, a bunch of monsters will spawn in, saving the boss cyberdemon for last. At that point, the best strategy is to have the monsters infight with the cyberdemon so that by the time he has eliminated everyone, he would be softened enough to kill with just 2 BFG shots. Waste him, and the episode's over, ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom. So in conclusion, I must say that this is one of the best Doom episodes I have every played. All the levels have a very id-like quality to them, with a lot of cues and homages to the original Doom. The level design for the most part screams John Romero with a few Tom Hall-like maps, and the secret level nails American McGee's style and the Episode 4 vibes too. Challenge is mostly on the easy side, but there's a couple of tough nuggets here and there, especially A Place of Sin and Dissession. It's hard for me to decide which are the best maps as every one is very good, so if I have to say which are my most favourites, it would have to be E2M2, E2M3, E2M4, E2M6 and E2M9. All that leaves me now is to rate the three wads we played on a scale out of 10, like always whenever I play along with the DWMC. Dawn of the Dead - 8.5/10 Earth - 6/10 Classic Episode - 9/10 Well, that's it for me. It was fun playing these three wads, though Earth was a bit of slog with all those maze-like caverns and armies of barons that slow down the gameplay. May you guys enjoy the next megawad you'll be playing for March, if it's one that I won't take part in, take care see you all again next time!
  4. Continuing on where I left off with The Classic Episode. E2M3: The Deimos Complex (Jan van der Veken) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 11:27 After two Anthony Soto maps, we finally get a map by Jan van der Veken. Even though it is called The Deimos Complex, it still feels a lot like Phobos, right down to using the basic enemies of Episode 1. Unlike the first two maps of this episode, however, it's larger and houses a lot more monsters. Be wary of the gunners as they can chip off a substantial amount of your armour and health if you let them. Although this is a Veken map, he still puts great emphasis on John Romero's level design sensibilities, and there are quite a few neat little homages to Knee-Deep in the Dead, which I see a bit of E1M2, E1M4, and E1M6 along with a few other Romero maps I may have missed out on. The enemy ambushes are well-orchestrated and they keep you on your toes, so every time you do something, you have to keep moving, or else you'll take more damage than necessary. The computer area in the southeast and the area with the stairs in the northwest are where you'll have to watch out for the enemy hordes. Nevertheless, this is still a fairly easy map. E2M4: The Evil Base (Jan van der Veken) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 12:41 The difficulty ramps up in this Shore of Hell-style map as we are introduced to stronger enemies like cacodemons and barons. While the first three maps were John Romero in style, this map takes after the design tropes of Tom Hall, particularly E2M7 Spawning Vats since there's a couple of areas reminiscent to the map, like red monster closets overlooking the slime pool, the greyish stone wall textures, and the computer rooms. The tricky spots include when you reveal a secret holding the backpack and monster closets holding cacodemons open, and then there's the room en route to the red key where you have to contend with two barons while trapped in. Thankfully, it wouldn't be too much of a problem if you got the rocket launcher handy. A radiation suit will allow you to wade through the slime areas including the small room with rockets and a baron on the damaging floor. Beyond the red key, you get a nifty little warehouse with enemies and be ready for a couple of ambushes as you go for the blue key. This map is fun while on the tricky side. We're finally getting a bit of challenging, which would only get more interesting as we press onward. E2M5: Deimos Observatory (Jan van der Veken) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 11:08 Here is yet another Episode 2 style map, and there's a bit of a sense of nonlinearity to it as at the start you have one path to take and another. Both passages lead to separate floors of an area reminiscent to Deimos Anomaly. Level design is all Tom Hall-esque, much like the previous one, and there are thankfully not as many tricky areas to tangle with, but still, you have to be careful of potential enemy ambushes. One ambush happens at the very start when you take another passage that leads downstairs to a switch. Another when you collect the red key in the northeast section, and then when you grab the yellow key. Ambushes consist of spawning monsters or monsters emerging out of closets that eventually open. Save collecting the berserk pack and the soul sphere for when you're done with the level so that you can max your health to 200% for the next map, whether it be E2M6 or especially the secret level. Again, this is another neat and fun map with lots of places to explore and enemies to plough through. Secret exit is rather easy to find, and I like how it's a neat homage to the fireplace area of E2M5 Command Center. E2M9: Dissession (Travers Dunne/Jan van der Veken) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 11:30 The secret level of the episode. This one pays homage to Episode 4 with a hint of Episode 3, and it is a rather tricky map. Immediately when you hit the switch, you lower down to find yourself surrounded by monsters. First order of affair is to take out the shotgunners are they'll do more damage than any other enemy. My advise is to get the green armour first, then find the blue armour secret much later as you'll need it for the last couple of areas. Much like Episode 4, there are a lot of barons, so get ready to use your rocket launcher whenever you see them. Luckily, you'll be getting the plasma gun pretty shortly which will come in handy for a certain upcoming ambush. As Walter pointed out, this map is heavily inspired by American McGee, and it shows in the architecture. There's a part where you'll encounter a group of barons with their backs facing you and you can do some damage to them by activating the crusher trap, which also works for some shotgunners that will spawn in. Final testing ground is where you grab the blue key for the exit, and here is where the rocket launcher and plasma gun shines. Tough cookie all the way through. Alrighty, that's more than half of the episode done, and I'll play the next couple of maps tomorrow. See you then!
  5. Okay, after that slog wad that is Earth, it's back to good stuff with The Classic Episode. Smooth sailing at last. Returning to more maps by Jan van der Veken, with Anthony Soto, Travers Dunne and Nick Baker. Pretty funny how the episode consists of mappers who worked on both Darkening episodes. Like Dawn of the Dead, The Classic Episode is a love letter to the Doom maps designed by id Software, which makes them all the more close to Doom the Wad Id Did than the actual megawads, in my opinion. Nevertheless, much like its predecessor, it manages to house some rather trickier gameplay than the original Doom, with a couple of maps that will put you in some very tough spots. Additionally, The Classic Episode is where you finally see Dawn of the Dead's placeholder map Outpost 666 in its complete form, though it is Anthony Soto who finished the map and not Jan. But enough rambling, let's get on with the last third of the set played for this month. The Classic Episode on vanilla Doom, Ultra-Violence difficulty. E2M1: Foray (Anthony Soto) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 05:07 We're off to a good start with this episode. This map is a techbase in the style of John Romero, and it's loaded with a lot of monster closets that open up as you make progress. Although it is an introductory map, it throws you into the action straight off, and there's so much to do, like finding all three keys, for example. There's an blur sphere with a chaingun as a secret, which helps to avoid getting perforated by the gunners, though you'll have to be careful as it affects the aim of the imps' fireballs too. Tons of exploration, and although the map is techbase themed, it's got a nice variety of textures to keep it interesting. The windows are also a nice touch and it helps in rendering the map to feel very interconnected. Enemy resistance is all gunners and imps with some pinkies for good measure, so this is quite a meaty starter. E2M2: Mars Outpost (Anthony Soto) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 06:45 Here is yet another Romero-style techbase map by Anthony Soto, but it's a bit more complex, and it immediately starts you off facing enemies, with some teleporting in as soon as you make your way out. If you keep your cool, however, you should be fine. The windows and locked key bars provide a lot of opportunities to snipe off the enemies so you won't have to bother with them when you get to the areas they're in. Get the radiation suit after getting the yellow key, so you could be able to wade through the toxic slime, which you'll need to a couple of instances to progress further. Lots of switches open up mandatory areas or secrets, and getting the keys will spring some ambush traps. When you get pass the red key bars, there are two switches, one will open the door to the blur sphere secret, while the other activates a crate elevator holding the rocket launcher. This map is definitely a lot of fun. Right, I'm gonna take a break from here and continue more tomorrow. See you guys then, take care and have fun. Oh, and now that we're on the topic of what megawad to play next month, here's my vote: +++ Dimensions of Time
  6. Right, time to finish off Earth. Map07: The Emerald Tower 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 02:40 This is basically Roger Ritenour's own spin on the Dead Simple concept. You start by seeing a huge green tower overhead, which you'll be getting too pretty shortly. Make your way through another tunnel (groan) to enter a temple. Find the secret filled with goodies, cause you'll need it for a battle against an army of pinkies. While the intended way to take them out is by going for the berserk pack inside the alcoves they came out of, I found that in continuous play, it's much easier and quicker to use both the double barrelled shotgun and rocket launcher since with punching enemies, the hit detection is very finicky in Doom. Just be sure to alternate between weapons so you won't come up short on ammo, especially rockets which you'll need for the mancubi, and you can use the berserk on a few of the remaining pinkies. With them dead, you can exit. You'll be running another long bridge to the tower guarded by the mancubi, so waste them and the entrance will open. By far the shortest map in this set. Map08: The Ammo Pit 134% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 17:48 I think at that point I'm getting sick to death with these caverns, but unfortunately, this map has to be tackled. So named because at the start there's a pit full of enemies, many of which are zombies that will drop their ammo, and there are also arch-viles that will revive them, which will allow more to be stocked up, much needed as throughout the rest of the map, there is no ammo to spare, except for health and armour. Trick is to get the monsters in the pit to infight with each other, weakening the arch-viles in the process. The cavernous tunnels have a very stringy and mazey layout, and you have to watch out cause some of the monsters spawn in them and with the majority of the tunnels so dark, you'll be having a hard time trying to gun them down. The keys are spread out, so look around carefully for them, especially the red key which is easy to miss even though it's situated in plain sight. Lots of backtracking involved too. Getting the megasphere secret will require you to have an arch-vile set you up in flames and you'll need to run at the right angle so you can be launched into the spot. Don't forget the invulnerability, but once you grab it, you really need to get it right otherwise you'll be forced to do it again without it, and that really hurts. After you navigate the caves, you'll reach the outside, but you have more enemies to face there and inside the building at the end. Not a terrible map, the over and under effects which The Innocent Crew are known for implementing are a nice touch, but the caves are so dark, and with no other ammo, you'll need to get the monsters to infight with each other, especially as there are a shitload of barons lurking around. Thank goodness this is the last cavern map in the wad. As for the music, well, I don't mind that much the midi rendition of the 1492 Conquest of Paradise theme. It may not be that fitting for Doom's gameplay, but it's rather quaint, to say the least. Map09: Islands 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 09:59 This is quite a welcome change from all those dark caves I have to endure, and it's a bit on the fun side too. It also plays rather unfitting music, a midi rendition of Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now, so this map is another one with a lighthearted atmosphere. Rather good to finally be able to stock up on ammo as I'm almost dry from the previous map. First order of affair is to kill the mancubi in the starting island, then find the teleporter to get to the other island where there's two structures, one of which houses the red key you need to enter the large structure. You'll also need to scale down some narrow ledges to get the blue key. Watch out for all the teleporting monsters, though you can get them to infight. Make your way into the large structure in the yellow key, kill all the resistance inside and locate the yellow key. Return to the starting isle, now full to the brim with monsters. Finding the secrets will reward you with some health and ammo, including a megasphere that will come in really handy for the final map. Overall, while the map is rather bland in design, the gameplay is thankfully not as gruelling, and it's another short affair that goes by rather quickly. Map10: The Hill 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 06:08 So here we are at the final map, which consists of a large mound hosting some baddies including a cyberdemon guarding the red key. Get them infight, and BFG the cyberdemon while he's distracted. Once everyone's cleared out, enter the northwest building where you'll be facing more enemies and the blue key. Go to the southwest building and take the elevator all the way up to your apartment with a TV and a grandfather clock. Turning on the TV will get you a rather pointless megasphere secret, but I'll still go ahead for the 100%. I can't say that much about this map as it's pretty anticlimactic and doesn't really offer that much. I do like how there's an invisible barrier between you and the elevator, giving a "glass" effect. Now for my final thoughts on Earth. Roger Ritenour opted for realism with this wad, and for its time, it was rather impressive. There's a mixed bag of pros and cons. Pros are that the mapset went for exploration, the lighting effects were done right. The wave graphics made for some rather cool effects, and there were some nice renderings to give glass effects in a couple of the maps. Cons, well, the monster spawn randomisation can cause you to be facing some of the tougher enemies rather prematurely than needed, the caverns are way too dark, making it difficult to see where you're going, let alone shooting enemies lurking within, and there are way too many barons, not helped by the at times lack of resources needed to take out those bulky walls of meat. Facing them in cramped winding tunnels where it's tricky to manoeuvre doesn't help either and makes the gameplay quite unfair at times. I used to like it before, probably cause I used to play it at lower difficulties, but after trying it on Ultra-Violence, I felt that it crosses the line between genuine difficulty and pure annoyance and tedium. The music selection, while it uses some Doom and Doom 2 soundtrack, the others tend to be unfitting due to how bubbly and lighthearted they are. In conclusion, this isn't really a wad I'd want to play again for a long time, but nevertheless, it offered some rather neat and quirky effects that push the boundaries of the vanilla engine, and as Capellan summed up, it's an interesting wad to think about. If you want a good wad by Roger Ritenour, check out Phobos. While it's got similar level design to Earth, it's a lot better in terms of gameplay, despite it being only four maps in total. That's it for now. Until then, I'll rejoin to play The Classic Episode. See you all in the brighter later.
  7. Continuing on with my playthrough of Earth. Let's go. Map04: The Chasm 100% kills, 85% items, 100% secrets Time: 09:29 Finally! A map that I was able to beat in under 10 minutes! It also seems rather humorous that it plays a midi rendition of "Self Control," another light-hearted track that just doesn't fit in Doom. The map seems quite short and straightforward. Start isn't so bad either if you have the BFG from Map02, which will be effective against the arch-vile, baron and a couple of arachnotrons at the start. Get the blue key then climb up to a tunnel where you'll be greeted by a long bridge over the eponymous chasm, including some barons coming your way. After crossing the bridge you'll find the blue door, so go in to be teleported into the chasm and hurry across to the other side to collect the red key. Monsters will start spawning all around, and thankfully you could get them to infight with each other. Let them have it out, then wipe out the remaining stragglers. With all the enemies, locate the switch that will lower the teleporter so you can be back on the bridge. Return to the start where more monsters are spawned in. A yellow key will also be revealed which you'll need to exit. This map is a bit more manageable than the first few, but still, you'll have to keep your guard as some of the big, nastier monsters can be spawned in the inaccessible ridges. Map05: Strategic Defense Command 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 17:27 Don't be fooled by the start. You would have thought the map will finally have some variety and include some techbase locales, if only that were the case. Instead, the techbase makes up a small portion of the map as like always most of it takes place in underground caverns. Anyway, the start has you battling a couple of Nazis, supposedly the stand-ins for possessed security guards. Enter the structure, and you descend into the caves below. You'll be doing a lot of climbing up and down, but be very careful when the monsters start spawning in. You'll be facing two different waves; the first is from when you start exploring the caves, and the second is when after you collect the blue key, located in a large room hosting the spider mastermind and several other baddies. Beware of revenants and arch-viles as they can do massive damage to you if you don't pay full attention to where they are. Getting back to the top will require you to activate the elevator through the tech section. Overall, it is not a bad map, but the darkness of the caves can be quire frustrating, and the lack of variety doesn't do it much favours either. Map06: Observation Station 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 18:34 This is probably the only map that has more emphasis on the techbase theme despite it having a few cavernous sections. There's quite a lot of enemies to plough through, some of which can be quite lethal if you're not careful. At least most of the fights take place outdoors, so there's that. Perhaps the trickiest part of the map is trying to find the secrets and there's also the rather disorienting climb through the rugged cliffs, where it will be hard to have a footing while you're blasting the enemies away from the distance. Getting the blue and red keys are rather self-explanatory, though you'll have to stay on guard as you deal with the horde of enemies that appear. Then comes the yellow key section where you'll be having your first encounter with a cyberdemon here. Sometimes it helps to have him infight with a few of enemies, and if you have the BFG9000, the battle is slightly easier, though you have to be mindful of some of the weaker monsters that can get in the way. Getting the yellow key will require you to find a switch tucked away in a narrow ledge. One of the secrets you have to find makes use of the crusher ceiling/door trick famously used in Memento Mori 2 Map07: Frustration. The ending has you wasting Romero's head overlooking the big fight. This is somewhat better than the previous maps, though the rocky textures continue to persist throughout the set. The shoreline graphic effects make a return, so at least the map has some nice, striking visuals to compensate for the lukewarm combat scenarios. Well, that's three more maps done, and I'll finish the rest tomorrow after a nice, long sleep. Take care, everyone.
  8. Hey, everyone, I'm back to continue on playing through the wads picked. So now, it's time for Earth, a 10-map episode designed by Roger Ritenour, famed for his 4-map episode Phobos, which along with Earth was listed in the top 10 wads for 1998. Here, you are battling through a rugged coastline infested with demons. This mapset consists mainly of natural environments, including ancient ruins, coastlines, mountains, underground caverns and a few bases as well. There is a great deal of realism applied and there are some really neat graphical effects including waves crashing. One of the most notable oddities of Roger Ritenour's level design sensibilities is the randomness of the monster spawns. To explain it perfectly, in most wads, monsters that repopulate maps spawn in exact locations, whereas here, Roger has set various spawn points in different locations, and any of the assortment monsters can spawn at these locations, so they're not always the same, giving the maps different challenges each and every time. One of the most annoying aspects of Earth, however, is that a good number of these levels are dark, so navigating through these dim tunnels can be a hassle unless you consult your automap. Anyway, let's dive right in to Earth, playing on Ultra-Violence difficulty. Map01: The Ruins 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 12:31 You start off in a vista where you can see the waves crashing below, which makes the episode start off very beautifully. In spite of the action you'll be getting yourself into, Roger Ritenour selects a rather light-hearted midi rendition of "Stand By Me," which felt rather peculiar, but humorous, nonetheless. Immediately, you'll be picking up the shotgun, and rightfully so as there are some medium to heavyweight monsters to contend with, including hell knights, barons, cacodemons, pain elementals, revenants and mancubi. Watch out as you enter the first dark cavern as that opens up an alcove with monsters already spawned within. Soon after you get the red key, you can enter the ruins, and you'll need to find a switch to raise the bridge for the yellow key. Radiation suits are there so you can wade through the toxic sludge, and I dig the deep water effects. The fun of the map is searching for secrets, 10 in total, and some of them are found either in the toxic sludge tunnels (the rocket launcher) or humping walls (various goodies including a backpack, soul sphere and partial invisibility). There is also a secret that will allow you to kill the mancubus via a crusher. Decent starter, but mostly good for the exploration. Combat is nothing impressive and it mostly amounts to random monster spawning. Map02: The Tomb 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 16:48 Here the map starts off overlooking a large pyramid. Unfortunately, you won't find any Egyptian hieroglyphics, but still it's another ancient ruins map like the previous. You have to go around to the back and climb up near the top and find the way in. Once you do, you'll teleport into a hub where you'll be hitting some switches revealing various passages to take. Random enemies also repopulate the base, and while the last map had fairly tight ammo, here you receive a lot more to spare and you'll soon be getting the plasma gun and BFG90000 as you search every nook and cranny for secrets. The first two keys are pretty easy to get, while with the last one, it's guarded by some monsters that did not spawn around. Use the BFG if you already found it, otherwise, you might want to have the monsters infight with each other. Layout is somewhat puzzly, but thankfully they're not as cryptic as Jim Flynn's maps or Eternal Doom. Once you found the blue key, the six passages are sealed off, leaving you to exit the pyramid. Overall, this is yet another exploration map. Despite the monster spawns, they're yet again not that great, and the rooms fell somewhat empty with all the resistance being disposed of. Map03: The Mines of Moria 117% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 13:13 Eh, I'm not too fond of this map. It takes you into some rather deep, dark caves, so dark that it's almost impossible to see when an enemy is coming up at you or about to open fire. Doesn't help that now the map introduces arch-viles that will revive some of the monsters that you have already killed. Sometimes, they're spawned in spots that where the claustrophobic layout of the tunnels make it difficult to manoeuvre, rendering you helpless as they set you up in flames, so while the enemies are a hassle, it's the level design that will work against you at times. Thankfully, the map does offer a few neat visuals and there are a couple of lava pits as well. Neverthless, you'd want to turn up the brightness level, because the confusing layout of the tunnels will have you running around in circles, and the monsters can easily corner you if you are unlucky. Although you can collect all three keys, really you only need two to exit, unless you're trying to 100% everything, of course. This map is somewhat linear to a certain degree, but there's a sense of nonlinearity with all the multiple passages to take as you make your way through. The saving grace is that once you reach the end, you'll get to see Baphomet's face just before you hit the exit switch. That should do for me. I'll continue on with the next couple of maps tomorrow. For now, I'll be playing some Commander Keen and Quake II. See you all then.
  9. Continuing on with finishing Dawn of the Dead. Let's go. E1M4: Atmospheric Processing 100% kills, 98% items, 100% secrets Time: 14:18 This is yet another fine techbase map by Jan. Tons of enemies to plow through, and this is where you finally get the plasma rifle. While it's a pretty lengthy map, there's thankfully not as much backtracking as that in E1M3. I like the nifty little homages to Tom Hall in a few spots, such as the room with the plasma rifle which echoes E2M7's computer rooms and that baron chamber with the inverted cross. There seems to be a bit of E2M4's style as well in that secret with the baron and chainsaw after finding the switch through the nukage canal. Watch out for sneaky ambushes as you grab the important keys or certain items in secrets, and when you check out the optional outdoor area, don't drink the radioactive water, keep your eyes on anything unusual on the wall and think fast to get the rocket launcher. I saved the mega armour and soul sphere for when I'm close to finishing the map as it's inevitable you'll take damage from the hordes and ambushes littered throughout the level. The map was quite a ball. E1M5: Outpost 666 0% kills, 0% items, 0% secrets Time: 00:01 Nothing but a placeholder map that remained unfinished until The Classic Episode which we'll get to later on. Next. E1M6: Fortress of Hate 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 15:54 Anyone who enjoyed Doom 2's The Citadel would feel themselves at home with this map. It's a castle map in that style, but much more crisper and cleaner in design, and also not loaded too many monsters. Even so, opposition is somewhat tricky and you'll be keeping your eyes peeled so that you won't be sniped off by anyone. Don't forget to dive down into the slime moat and grab the radiation suit so you can obtain a secret down below. Once you enter the castle, you are locked in until you find the keys and solve some rather mind-bending puzzles. It could be assumed that it's an establishment of the ancient relics as mentioned in the story. You'll be doing a lot of running around as you scour the place for switches. Once you gain access to the central courtyard, you'll need to watch out for a nasty ambush after you grab the red key, which involves a bunch of monsters spawning in consisting of some pinkies, spectres and even the bruiser brothers. As you explore the ramparts, you'll eventually come across as neat little Quake-style slipgate, and I like how you can be able to open and close the windows of the castle. Despite it being a stony castle map, which is a far cry from the techbase theme that make up most of the episode, it manage to house in some computer panels. Overall, this is a good map, but it can be quite tough and the progression tends to be counter-intuitive. E1M7: Death Awaits 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 19:45 Hoo boy, this is by far the toughest map in the entire episode. Immediately as soon as you plummet down from the start, you are greeted by two barons and some spectres, so you'll be pressed to go ahead quickly, but onward are some shotgunners. This map does not pull any punches whatsoever, it will be trying to kill you with all those ambush traps and the sheer number of barons that can rival that of some of Episode 4's maps. Speaking of Episode 4, I couldn't help but notice that the level design is very reminiscent of Dr. Sleep. You'll be in desperate need of secrets to get yourself better equipped and in good shape as a lot of these fights are merciless, and if you don't know about the traps in hindsight, you could be trapped inside as all the enemies pour in and lose so much health in process with the possibility of dying. Guess that's why it's called Death Awaits. Luckily, you have some moments to breathe before you are thrown into more traps. Be sure to search for irregular bars the further you go as that will lead to a non-official secret where you'll pick up a mega armour, a computer map and some health if you need any, but the mega armour is absolutely necessary to track down as soon you'll come face to face with a cyberdemon, which promptly awakes once you shoot the baron marble face. Get the hell out of that room as fast as you can once you shoot it, cause stay while you wait for the bars to open, it will appear and blow you up. Make sure to stock up on cells if you have the BFG as it will help in the climactic fight. Luckily, there's a berserk pack for if you're in dire situation, and I would recommend picking that up first then fins the soul sphere secret to get 200% health. So glad to be done with this map, it took me a while due to being very wary of my surroundings and having to ration up enough rockets and cells, which is easier said than done as there are a lot of barons along with other nuisances. E1M8: At the Heart of it All Here we are at the finale, and it feels more like a souped up version of Phobos Anomaly, with the swarm of spectres at the start in place of the pinkies, including a cacodemon in the mix. Getting the soul sphere will require you to quickly step on the flashing sector further up ahead and race back before the block raises up. This has some rather neat homages to E1M8, E2M1 and even E3M3 with the imps hiding in the indentions that looked like the start of that map. After obtaining the blue key, you'll be able to get the lift up to the ledge where all those zombies were, and then you reveal a teleporter leading to the big fight against the bruiser brothers, flanked by some spectres and shotgunners. Fortunately, with the BFG handy, this should be an easy showdown. Once everyone is dead, you'll be able to leave and you teleport into another void getting murdered by cyberdemons to end the wad. Okay, so now my final thoughts on this episode. Dawn of the Dead is a classic, and it truly feels like an id-style Doom episode, while mixing in all the elements of Episodes 1 and 2, including 3 and 4. Jan van der Veken has made an episode that starts off easy to being more difficult in the latter half. The execution was well done, and some of the traps were pretty fiendish, especially monster teleport ambushes. We get a good assortment of themes, from techbases to castles, both in flavour of stone, metal or marble. We also see the variety of styles Jan has cleverly emulated, from John Romero, to Tom Hall, to Sandy Petersen, and to even Tim Willits and Dr. Sleep. It's definitely worth playing and I highly recommend it for classic id-style Doom gameplay. The best maps in the set include E1M2, E1M4, E1M7 and E1M9. Who knows if we'll play another Jan van der Veken somewhere down the track, like No Sleep for the Dead, perhaps? Anyway, that will be it for me. I'll come back to play Earth. See you guys next time!
  10. Greetings everyone, T-Rex here to take part in playing the trilogy of wads set for this month. Let's get started with Dawn of the Dead. Dawn of the Dead is an episode 1 replacement by Jan van der Veken, released back in 1997. The gist of the story was that simple lifeforms were discovered in Jupiter's moon Europa, leading to attempts to terraform the planet. The end goal was the colonise the moon, and at "present" time, there was a quota of 20,000 civilians and 500 marines were brought to Europa. They then discovered relics from an ancient alien civilisation that mastered teleportation technology, including later on some manuscripts containing vague warnings. Now the moon's colonies were overrun by unknown hostile forces, and having been experienced since the events on Mars, it's up to you to take care of the situation. As for the level design, Jan's calling cards were emulating John Romero's level design sensibilities. However, he is by no means a one-trick pony as he has also dabbled on other design styles of the others names associated with id, including Tom Hall, Tim Willits and Dr. Sleep. Most of the theme is techbase, but Jan explored other themes like marble, stone, etc. Gameplay starts off easy, and gets progressively difficult. It also comes with a music wad which consists of some new tunes including a couple of Doom's soundtrack. So time to be underway, here's Dawn of the Dead, played on Ultra-Violence. E1M1: Warp Station 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 03:50 The episode immediately starts off with imps looking down at you. Don't waste your bullets on them. Instead, hurry straight into the base entrance, kill all the gunners and imps, collect the dropped shotgunners, then go back and deal with the imps at the start. Progression is linear, straightforward and pretty easy, though you later on will face a spectre and a cacodemon as you reach the end. The theme is predominantly techbase, but you get some metal textures to give somewhat of an Episode 2 vibe. There's also the classic Doom tropes, including the walkway that sinks into the toxic slime, and the little callbacks to E1M1, E1M3 and E1M4. Nice little secret which requires you to make use of the radiation suit, and the partial invisibility really helps to avoid getting shot by the zombies. Fun opener, and the midi rendition of Nine Inch Nails' Last sets the tone well. E1M2: The Reactor 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 10:29 Fairly longer than the previous map and with plenty more enemies to slaughter. This map emphasises a lot on exploration much like E1M7, and it even lifts from it with the large nukage area where the catwalk is including the pillar that lowers revealing imps and a soul sphere. There's also another nukage chamber not far from the start after getting the red key which reminds me of that area in E2M2 leading to the backpack that gets raised up by the three columns as you approach it. Scan the walls beyond so you can find a switch that will lower a lift, giving you access to a much needed backpack for all the meat you have to plough through. The chaingun comes in very handy for the nasty ambushes in this map, especially when after you obtain the blue key. There's some backtracking involved as you search for the yellow key. Then as you get close to the end, you'll finally meet the lost souls in the sewers, but before you do any exploring, hurry to your left to grab the radiation suit, then you can search around for the switch that will allow you to reach the soul sphere on the pillar. A good map and it really picks up thanks to the sheer number of enemies to kill. E1M3: Space Port 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 18:50 Much longer than the previous maps and the difficulty has scaled up significantly. Some of the nastiest parts this map offers is firstly the outside area which reminisces E1M6, and as you explore around the walkways, imps will start teleporting on the columns scattered throughout. Then there's the BFG secret, as soon as you grab it, the block lowers revealing a quartet of barons. Seeing the id logo where they stand makes me chuckle at the obvious homage to the Nine Inch Nails secret of E4M1. Another really tricky spot is the Episode 2-esque room with the arch-vile marble face where you grab the rockets and suddenly demons come teleporting in. You can easily lose a lot of health in those ambush traps if you're not careful. Anyway, the map does very well with the lighting effects, such as when you navigate dark passages and then they light up, allowing you to see the enemies better. The launch pad area is nicely done, and there's also the elevators behind the red key doors. One thing to keep in mind is that in the northeast section, do not take the teleporter with the symbol inside as you'll die through telefragging a voodoo doll. Another thing in the same area is don't go straight for the secret exit, or you'll be locked out from the rest of the map, including getting 100% of everything. This is by far a tough map, though t's only going to get tougher as the episode progresses. E1M9: Hunted Down 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 09:39 Deviating from the Romero-style architecture, Jan van der Veken graces us with a map that is clearly influenced by Tim Willits as this map bears a resemblance to E4M9. As soon as you open fire, enemies are alerted to your presence, including a marching band of pinkies and spectres. Also watch for the gunners and imps that will hunt you down as they teleport into the atirum as soon as you make your way up. A couple of lethal ambushes, but they're not too overwhelming if you're ready for them. Try not to get hit too much as health is pretty much at a premium. Luckily, you got a berserk pack at the start, and once you find a radiation you can search for the soul sphere in the nukage pool. There's also a nifty mega armour secret guarded by those killer tomatoes. Overall, this is a map that while it is fairly easy, the scenarios and sparse health keeps you on your toes. Okay, I'll stop right there for now. See you in the latter half of the episode. Take care!
  11. T-Rex

    The DWmegawad Club plays: A.L.T.

    I'd like to play these maps as well, and makes sense as it's 28 maps altogether, so +++ for Earth, Dawn of the Dead and Classic Episode
  12. Wow, this looks very promising. First John Romero treats us with two standalone E1-style maps, and now he creates an episode. Happy 25th Anniversary to Doom! If only we could get a full megawad with maps by him, Tom Hall, American McGee, and even Sandy Petersen, if they are also interested in making more Doom maps, then it would be definitely something.
  13. Most of Plutonia's maps are excellent made with the intent to give the veterans a formidable challenge with the compact level design and nasty monster placement, but it does have its share of stinkers, most notably Hunted. I know some people can take it, but it's very annoying with the doors opening randomly in the arch-vile and the key switches are opposite to their respected bars.
  14. T-Rex

    Best/Worst maps in TNT

    TNT may not have aged well as its sister wad Plutonia, but it has some charm, and its quite fun if you love the techbase theme. There's numerous maps to name that are my favourites, but the ones that stood out for me are Wormhole, Open Season, Stronghold, Redemption, Crater, Nukage Processing, Dead Zone, Processing Area, Mill, Ballistyx, Heck, River Styx and Caribbean. Pharaoh, while a good map all the way, the yellow key bug does drop it points, especially if you're going for all kills and secrets. System Control is a neat little opener, and pretty much everything else is okay, with the exception of the following maps. I wasn't too fond of Prison cause its needlessly lengthy in spite of appearing short, Metal, it really felt like a map designed by someone who just started Doom mapping, so it's ugly with questionable design tropes along with monotonous texturing. Administration Center is a boring slog, unlike Central Processing, and as for Mount Pain, well its not because of a celebrity thing, it's more the fact that it's unfair and difficult for the wrong reasons. I mean, aside from it being lengthy with unappealing design, the ending bit is the worst part as you're forced to snipe at enemies on a ledge with no place to take cover from enemy fire, but your movement can be impeded by the shitload of lost souls that come flying in, and that makes it easy for chaingunners and revenants to waste you. The final area cuts no slack either as you have to be really fast and precise with taking out the more dangerous threats like the revenants, mancubus, chaingunner and arch-vile in that huge red cavern, and on top of that, the map just gives you the bare minimum of health with no soul sphere or megasphere present, so you're given little to no margin for error. Anyone who is still a fan of Mount Pain, just take it in stride as you're entitled to like the map, regardless of how infamous it is for a lot of players.
  15. The Twilight Zone, Project X, and Icarus: Alien Vanguard are some of the wads I like to play through for a respite from the hardcore, knockabout wads like Plutonia, Hell Revealed and Alien Vendetta, or the sprawling puzzlers like Eternal Doom.
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