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About T-Rex

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  1. T-Rex

    So, John Romero is teasing a thing

    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. T-Rex

    Erik Alm's Europa 1

    Well, since you suggested that I describe the secrets I could find, here's the first five. Dunno the sector numbers though. ^^; - Secret #1: In the east section of the map after you take the first teleporter on your left at the start. hit the switch that triggers the stairs, then hit it again as it will make the stairs lower down, revealing an indention holding a mega armour. - Secret #2: In the east section outdoor where the slime fall is. Climb all the way up to the top, then using the bit of rock at the edge, race over the huge slime pool across the series of platforms that start lowering as you step on them. With the right momentum, you should land on the circular platform (secret area) holding the megasphere. Because the lowering platforms before it don't raise back up, you won't get a second chance if you miss. - Secret #3: In the west corridor before the main northern central area, shoot the middle green face. It will open a door behind you revealing an imp and shotgun ammo (secret area). Enter the small sector however will cause the wall in front to open up, revealing another imp and a couple of medikits. - Secrets #4 and #5: In the middle south area behind the fast-moving elevators, go up the stairs, hit the switch, run, get near and hump the nearmost green baron of hell face wall, then run as fast as you can before the way out closes up, quickly rush for the two backpacks that are accessible only for a short time and enter the small cubby where the baron came from. It holds the red skull key. The cubby is two sectors and count as two secrets. That's all the ones I can get by now. The other 10, I have no idea, though with the soul sphere blood canal secret, you can have an arch-vile blast you up to it, though only on the higher difficulties. The other nine secrets are in the baron and cyberdemon maze leading to the exit. It seems as if the three suspended platforms count as three secrets, each one containing goodies, one holding an invulnerability orb, another holding a megasphere, and the last one holding a BFG9000. These are the secrets I'd need to know how to reach.
  6. T-Rex

    Erik Alm's Europa 1

    Whoa! I knew that map would be so complex, but damn! While I'm able to beat the map once figuring the safer teleporter to start from and managed to find 5 of the 15 secrets, it's just the remaining 10 that I couldn't figure out. (9 of them are the 3 indentions in the ending maze with the cyberdemon and baron, and 1 is the blood canal at the north section where you can get a soul sphere, which on HMP and beyond, you can get to with an arch-vile assisted jump, but after looking at the layout of the map, there's a couple of unseen linedefs which if I don't know either mean nothing or could hint out stairs) Thing is that it doesn't say on the Doom wiki how to get to any of the secrets, it only says how many there are in total and their sector numbers.
  7. T-Rex

    Erik Alm's Europa 1

    I appreciate the suggestion, but it would save me a lot of trouble if someone can tell me how to obtain those secrets without having to resort looking up through a level editor.
  8. T-Rex

    Erik Alm's Europa 1

    I'm playing through one of Erik Alm's earliest Doom wads, Europa 1, and so far, I'm trying to get all 15 secrets. While I was able to get some of them, most recently one with the two backpacks that require some insane straferunning, I can't seem to figure out the last few. One is at the northern section where you have to go up the raised blood canal for a soul sphere that seems inaccessible in the lower difficulties as you could use an arch-vile to jump you up to it, and the others are near the end where you hit a switch to lower a pillar while avoiding getting spotted by the cyberdemon and baron. I tried firing up the DoomEd level editor to find clues, but it crashes every time I load up the map due to all the number of sectors and things, and I tried searching YouTube for a UV-max, but the only video available is just a speedrun by dew with no secrets found. Anyone who has played the map and found the secrets, please leave your comments.
  9. Time to do the last three maps of The Talosian Incident. We're almost done. Map16: The Canyons (John Bye) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 06:53 This map is very linear and despite its seemingly massive size, the layout makes it short and quick. After you come out of the base, you'll see a fork in the canyon, and the first way to go is the north route as the yellow key is located within a small mansion. There is a spider mastermind among the enemies you'll face there, but she is really easy to dispose as she is confined in a small room and you can just take potshots at her with your super shotgun and take cover when she's about to open fire, rinse and repeat. With the yellow you can finally reach the end, which is guarded by pinkies, hell knights, and barons, including some chaingunners stationed on the ramparts. Easy stuff and goes by really fast. Anyone who has played The Darkening Episode 1 would recognise the music as it is the only track in this megawad composed by David "Tolwyn" Shaw while everything else (excluding Map14) is composed by John Bye. Map17: The Great Outdoors (Malcolm Sailor) 466% kills, 100% items, 0% secrets Time: 03:55 The penultimate map of The Talosian Incident, and honestly, this is my least favourite. You basically have rush outside, hit the switch which raises the bridge and try to survive the neverending onslaught of monsters for roughly 2 minutes until the bridge fully rises. Getting the monsters to infight is a must so that they won't be coming after you, but if some like arch-viles are spawned at the other end of the area, you are in trouble. Thankfully, you get a shitload of ammo that rises out of the tip, including a megasphere and finally the BFG9000. Grab the megasphere when you are dangerously low on health and use the BFG when you need to clear out some of the more troublesome monsters. There's a soul sphere on the bridge which can also be helpful, and when you reach the other side, a rock wall will lower to a tunnel with a megasphere and the end where you see your ship. Unfortunately, it's heavily guarded a platoon of pissed off cyberdemons, so your best bet is to lure them away, open the door, but do another run around to avoid their rockets and finally race in and hit the switch as fast as you can. Keeps you on your toes, but having to endure the onslaught of enemies for a period of time and trying to evade so many cyberdemons is just not fun for me at all. Map18: Hi Honey, I'm Home (John Bye) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 07:22 Final map, which is basically the reverse of Map01, but now it is swarmed with monsters, some doors are locked off, and the elevators to the bridge don't work anymore, requiring to explore all around the ship in order to head back up. It seems the monsters have also made a hole connecting the reactor room to the southeast room where you see a voodoo doll in place of the sleeping revenant. You'll be forced to explore a room with damaging floor without the radiation suit, so be quick eliminating the enemies inside and grab the soul sphere. The ending, once everything is opened up, is a fight against a mancubus, arch-vile and various baddies, which is thankfully rendered easy on continuous play, especially if you have the BFG. Press on one of the consoles at the front to end the level. For my final thoughts on this megawad, the Talosian Incident is a pretty good set of maps. It tells a really good story, and I like how the beginning also serves as the end with you starting at the ship and the ending at the ship, The strong points is that the set has more emphasis on atmosphere than action, amplified by John Bye's evocative, ambient soundtrack. The theme is consistent as well since the maps mainly use earthy textures with some stone and marble mixed in, and also a few techbase maps in the mid to latter half of the wad. Weak points is that some of the maps, particularly those by John Bye with large open areas, feel almost empty with only a handful of monsters to slaughter. The smaller maps tend to have some dickish traps, forcing you to play slowly and cautiously. As for the authors, John Bye and Malcolm Sailor stand out as being mappers with their own distinct mapping style. John sticks with squarish, highly-detailed maps complete with connecting corridors while Malcolm favours tightly packed maps that pits you straight to the action. His offerings may not be as spiteful as his standalone wads like the Chord series, but occasionally he would whip up some nasty moments like in Map13 and Map17. My favourite maps would have to be 04, 06, 07, 08, 10, 16, 18 and 32. Now to tally up the scores for the three wads we played. I give both 99 Ways to Die and The Talosian Incident a 7/10 while I give The Trooper's Playground an 8.5/10. All of them are great and are recommended for players looking for excellent maps to play. This was a great week of playing (if catching up) some good Doom wads. Hope you guys have fun playing the next megawad for June, and see you all again next time.
  10. Time for the secret levels. Map31: Inferno Revisited (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 09:24 Hell-themed level that takes place inside a marble temple. Opening reminds me a bit of E4M1: Hell Beneath with the battle against two barons in a small space. Kill them both and then wipe out the swarm of lost souls in the next room. You'll then be doing some switch sequences while fending off against pinkies before reaching a large area with barons. Hit the switch so that more of the area will open up as it will reveal a cyberdemon which you can try to instigate some infighting so that the cyberdemon will be weakened. Hit one more switch once he's dead, and you'll have a clan of arachnotrons including an arch-vile that teleports on a Baphomet square to contend with. Then there's the main exit, but finding the secret will have you to find a hidden switch to gain access to a maze reminiscent of Map18: The Courtyard. Solid map with some intense gameplay. Map32: Portals (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 08:03 The super-secret level of The Talosian Incident is a rather unusual one. You are greeted with three portals, two of which takes you to different areas of the map and one that ends the level (but it's marked "Bad" on the floor). There's another that ends the level, but it does not open until you kill the two hanging marines (Commander Keen replacements), one found in each area you can teleport to. Killing them causes the Quake symbol to glow on their chests, indicating what game the Black Star Coven are moving to. The first area has you sniping off a revenant then some arachnotrons, while the other has you shooting off a mass horde of imps that spawn in. Intriguing map and those floating textures really gives off that otherworldly vibe to it. Alright the secret levels are done, and it's only three more to go, which I'll do tomorrow. Take care and have fun!
  11. Hey again, seems like we're at the home stretch of The Talosian Incident, so let's get the show on the road! Map12: Vulcan (Patrick Martin) 104% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 11:13 This is a neat little spaceship style map that reminds me a lot of Icarus: Alien Vanguard, but take care, cause it's got a bunch of really nasty ambushes. Getting into the engine room and shooting one enemy on sight alerts everyone, including a fleet of cacodemons. As you make your way to the north section of the map, you'll eventually come to a flickering hallway with a soul sphere, but watch out, cause two revenants will spawn in from both ends. Kill them quickly with the plasma rifle. Then when you reach the blue key room, you'll have a chaingunner ambush, so you better act fast and terminate them ASAP so you won't lose too much health. The worse is yet to come when you have access to the blue doors. When you reach the red key room, hitting one switch spawns a baron and going for the red key will spawn in several chaingunners. Finally, the ending in the storage area, which is by far the nastiest as some barons along with an arch-vile will appear. Taking cover and eliminating the enemies quickly is imperative. Good map, but the fights can be really tricky not to mention those mean ambushes. Map13: Get The Hell Out (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 02:26 Shorter than the other maps, but boy is it brutal! When you get a rocket launcher, a bunch of rocket ammo, two armours and a soul sphere, you know you're in for a fight, in which two archviles, six revenants, and two arachnotrons, all split in half, emerge from two revealed indentions. Eliminate one arch-vile first, but keep an eye on the revenants and arachnotrons, then have them infight to make things less hectic for you. Even with that strategy, it's inevitable that you'll lose a lot of health. Once you survive that part of the map, it's all smooth sailing as you grab the blue key, open one door to teleport up and fight some chaingunners to the exit. Don't step on the flashing sector with the gibbed bodies as it's a trap. Quick, small map, but the arena part is challenging. Map14: Beneath (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 06:56 Here we have another small map that takes place underground. There are fortunately no roaming arch-viles (though there's one halfway), but there are still some moments where you will be kept on your toes. Unless you have a rocket launcher, it could be quite tricky and you'll have to rely on some of the monsters to infight with some of them, like the mancubi and the enemies from the distance while obtaining the blue key. There's the aforementioned arch-vile, but he's easy to dispose of as long as you keep your distance and mind the enemies coming for you. All that culminates in a fight against a swarm of arachnotrons and their mama, which could serve as a potential infighting scenario. Nevertheless, this map is somewhat of a breeze if you're playing continuously and know how to handle each combat situation effectively. This is also the only map to not have any new music. Map15: Solvent (Brian Owens) 100% kills, 100% items, 0% secrets Time: 18:41 The longest map in the wad so far, and it's quite a boring one as well. The overabundance of silver here reminds me of the Icarus ship maps, though some brown stone textures were thrown in the eastern section of the map for some variety. Although the attention to lighting (the map is mostly dim) is applied nicely, one of the map's biggest drawbacks is the amount of backtracking you have to do in order to progress. The tight health and armour also forces you to avoid taking too much damage from the monsters, which isn't easy due to some of the cramped hallways and they're placed at a distance while you try to snipe them off with the rocket launcher in those hallways. Other issues include trying to shoot chaingunners in pitch black darkness while climbing up the stairs causing each sector to light up, and also being ambushed by imps when the room goes dark after you grab the blue key. Despite the limited supply of health and armour, there's thankfully a mega armour in the blue key area from where the imps ambush you, and there's a megasphere guarded by barons. Despite this map having a secret exit, the map has no official secrets. Overall, it's an okay map that has some similarities to Icarus, though it could have been better. Getting there, see you guys later in the secret levels.
  12. Hello, everyone, I'm back again to play more The Talosian Incident Map07: The Church (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 13:19 I don't know where the church bit fits in with this map, but it's another Dead Simple style map with additional monsters to contend with. Firstly, you run around the outer perimeter, killing every monster in sight while tracking down the blue key. Once you do find the blue key in the northern quadrant, hurry to the western quadrant where you'll find the yellow key, which also triggers a trap revealing imps and an arachnotron. With the yellow key, you can enter the outer perimeter where the Dead Simple scenario begins. There's a bunch of mancubi, including some hell knights, so you could be able to have the mancubi infight with the hell knights to make them take less shots to kill. After all the mancubi are dead, it's down to the arachnotrons. Fortunately, you can use the windows of the outer perimeter of the map to pick them off without exposing yourself, which is the safest (yet time consuming) approach to avoid having them all firing at you. Nicely done map, even if it's another variation of Dead Simple. Map08: Focus (John Bye/Ola Bjorling) 100% kills, 100% items, 0% secrets Time: 05:19 Short and quick Quake-ish map that uses a lot of brick and metal textures. Just waste the gunners, imps and demons while to hit the west switch to open the bars allowing you to reach the blue key, and then head to the east side and hit the switch to lower the blue key elevator. You then enter a hallway with more pinkies and enter a large room with shotgunners and imps guarding the teleporter to the second half of the map. From there, hit the switch to raise the platform with the arch-vile, who is really easy to dispose of, and hit the switch to raise the bridge. Step on the arch-vile platform and more of the map is revealed. While you're mowing down the shotgunners, beware of the chaingunners hidden behind the fake facewalls. Find the switch that exposes the yellow key, and you got one more big fight with a bunch of gunners, two hell knights and a baron who all guard the red key. Nice small easy map all the way, and great architecture with all the lighting and detail. No secrets in this map, though. Map09: The Palace (John Bye) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 09:53 We now move to mansion map that is pretty much in the same vein as Maps 05 and 06 as it's all just running around, hitting switches and some backtracking as well. Enemy encounters are pretty much meh, for the most part, though there are times where you have to keep your eyes open for gunners as they tend to be tucked away by the corners of the room and where you rush in they shoot you from behind, which happens a lot in the western section of the map. Beyond the blue key door is a large chapel, where you'd think there'd be a big slaughter, but alas, that is not to be. It's basically just some gunners out in the distance with a baron, where you could get them to infight. It's very annoying though how no matter you shoot at them from afar, you can't seem to hit them all the time, but they can with amazing precision, especially the chaingunners. Everything else falls into place once you obtain the red key, though you'd have to know to hump the computer in the northeast room in order to open the bars. This level could have been great with all the detail and lighting, but the monster encounters does make it a bit boring. Map10: Hardware (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 06:03 This techbase map appears to be like some kind of storage facility, which is pretty neat. You start out in the cargo hold, where you need to search for the red key. Once you do, you'll be greeted with some spawning spectres and a baron, so eliminate them with extreme prejudice. Then, pick either red door, and you'll have to start finding the blue key, which will require you to find the switch to climb to the other end and then hit the switch that raises the bridge to the end of the facility where you see a canyon ahead with some arachnotrons outside and a few cacodemons. This is yet another level that goes by really fast. Few tricky fights, but they're fun. Map11: Software (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 08:13 Here's yet another short techbase map by Malcolm Sailor, but it's somewhat cramped, so you'll have to take care when making your way around, especially when dealing with the mid-high tier enemies. Ammo and health is pretty tight as well, so make your shots count and be careful not to take too much damage than needed, easier said than done. The first section to the red key has some tricky fights with some revenants and arachnotrons, and when you head south, you'll be dealing with some enemies that are revealed when you hit a switch or progress. Beyond the blue door is a fight with an arch-vile, and after getting the soul sphere, you'll be gunning down arachnotrons and chaingunners. Taking your time is imperative so that you won't lose a lot of health, but overall it's a neat little map with excellent contrasts in the lighting. Gonna take a break now. Almost getting close to finishing The Talosian Incident. See you guys next time.
  13. Okay, now that I've done playing 99 Ways to Die and The Trooper's Playground, it's time to take on the last wad, The Talosian Incident, created by the Black Star Coven, a small team that consists of John Bye, Malcolm Sailor (notorious for designing extremely difficult wads), Ola Bjorling, Dan Huff, Patrick Martin and Brian Owens. The team intended this project to be their swan song before moving on to Quake (gee, Quake seems to be mentioned a lot this month). Funny enough, John Bye would design two maps for The Darkening Episode 1 two years later, Ola Bjorling would even make Tantrum 2, Venom, and even contribute to mapping for The Darkening 2, and Malcolm Sailor created the last two Chord maps and make some maps for the Deathmatch-only megawads Gothic 2 and Crucified Dreams. The story is self-explanatory. You're a marine setting off to a seemingly abandoned planet, but then something goes awry, stranding you in and when you try to send a distress call, the communications were tampered, so with no other option, you step into the planet and find the source of the incident. The megawad has more emphasis on story and exploration than straight up action, something which is a first for Malcolm Sailor as it's a far cry from his brutal, assholish, knockabout-style gameplay, though he still offers intense fights every now and then. In the tradition of Eternal Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, every end of a level also serves as a start of the next one, making the wad very cohesive and coherent as oppose to just exiting a level and starting at an unrelated, random location like in so many other wads. Gameplay for the most part is easy with a few tough maps, so it's on par with the difficulty of Doom 2 and other easy wads like The Twilight Zone and Icarus: Alien Vanguard. The mapping team also make attempts at showcasing detail and lighting to show that even Doom is capable to doing things Quake can do, though it doesn't come close to reaching the same calbre as Requiem. In a way, The Talosian Incident continues on the trend started by 99 Ways to Die. Now that the overview is done, I'm gonna play The Talosian Incident, on Ultra-Violence. Map01: The Transport (John Bye) 0% kills, 0% items, 100% secrets Time: 03:38 No real action in this map, it's just an introductory map with you exploring around the ship and finding the exit. Still, it's cool to check out the detail and lighting John Bye has executed to the map. It felt very realistic. Although there are no monsters, there is a sleeping revenant. However, you can't kill him and he can't attack you as you're both blocked off by an invisible wall. This is quite similar to Chris Hansen's opening map for Flay the Obscene where you have no monsters to kill and just explore the map at your own leisure. Even so, you get to pick up some weapons, ammo and armour, which I recommend doing for an easy time for the real action. Map02: Desolation (Malcolm Sailor) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 05:51 Here is where the action starts. Picking up from where the first map left off, you start inside the ship's elevator and open the door to step into the planet where you're greeted by some pinkies. Monster placement is just mostly the lightweight hellspawn, the imps, pinkies and lost souls, but there are a couple of cacodemons and barons to watch out for. It's an extremely linear level as you race into the caverns before eventually reaching the wide open outdoor area and finding some switches in order to progress further. As soon as you find the switch that lowers an elevator in the centre of the area which serves as a teleporter, you'll be transported to the northern section where you jump down some bloodfalls and see an elevator that will rise up slowly to the end as soon as you step on it, but be sure to take out the imps and baron beforehand. Map03: The Cliff Top Fort (Dan Huff) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 13:05 A rather spacious level with a silo and the eponymous fort. Lots of enemies to gun down, and you'll be encountering a lot of zombies and imps with some pain elementals. The plasma rifle secret isn't hard to find once you figure out that you have to go inside the western entrance of the fort. You'll have to know about the fake walls in order to progress, like when finding the blue key inside the silo. While you have to ride up the tower in the south section of the map in order to locate the yellow key, going back down will prove to be somewhat tedious as the elevators rise up fast but lower down slowly. Finally, after getting the red key, you have the ending which takes you to an underground red cavern with baddies. Across the silver hallway, stay on guard as the sides will open revealing snipers. The level is pretty lacklustre as the design is just rectangular hallways and circular rooms. Map04: The Chapel (John Bye) 100% kills, 0% items, 100% secrets Time: 04:56 This is a pretty short catacomb map, and there are a lot of neat lighting and considerate attention to detail. The start is a bit tricky since you got all these gunners and imps coming at you as soon as you enter the playing field. The caverns look nice and the chapel area has some beautiful architecture. There's a couple of fights with the nastier monsters, like there's a hell knight with some pinkies and imps guarding the yellow key at the west section, and a revenant with imps and shotgunners guarding the red key at the east. The ending, you'll be facing a bunch of shotgunners and chaingunners and then some pinkies in the blood river cavern. Watch out for the sniper chaingunners near the end. Fun, short map that goes by quickly. Map05: The Fort - I (John Bye) 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 13:06 The first half of a pretty big level, since John Bye has divided The Fort into two parts. This part is entirely underground, and although it's an inoffensive level, there is unfortunately a lot of backtracking involving, and the theme gets quite repetitive quickly since the majority of it uses the same texture scheme, albeit for a few parts that use different textures, especially the ending where it's techbase. The fights are nothing too memorable, with only a few big fights with some of the heavyweight enemies flanked by lighter ones. You get a couple of those with mancubi, barons, hell knights, and arch-viles, which are thankfully easy to dispose of. You can also use the doors as cover from their attacks, but with some, you do need to rush forward once you cleared out the hitscanners as it would be hard to dodge their attacks from the hallways. The ending portion of the map has you destroying a computer guarded by imps and a mancubus. Not a terrible map, but the theme and switch sequences can be repetitive. Map06: The Fort - II (John Bye) 101% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 10:32 Second half of The Fort which starts at where you destroyed the computer and you retrace your steps to find some parts of the map with new monsters and certain areas sealed off. But, the northern section of the map is extended as the door is accessible. The theme is pretty much the same as the previous, but thankfully there's no painful backtracking, except for when you have to go to the blue door after obtaining the blue key. Also not much of those switch sequences. Monster fights are almost just like Map05, and enemy prioritising is the way to go in order to survive, including those crossfire battles with the barons and mancubi and the arch-vile fights. While this level feels a lot like the last one, it seems to be a bit better in the gameplay department, and the lighting, detail and architecture sure keeps it looking as pleasant as possible. Right, that should do for now. Will continue tomorrow. See you guys again.
  14. Three more maps, and I'm done with The Trooper's Playground. Let's go! Map07: Three 'O Matic 102% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 19:14 Now here is perhaps the toughest map in this wad. It's very interesting to note that while the music for the wad is unchanged, using Doom's soundtrack, Matthias Worch has swapped two tracks around, with this one playing Into Sandy's City. Anyway, this is another map where you can choose whichever path since you have to do all three of them in order to exit. The first path has you searching for the blue key, which you need to access the hallway beyond the blue door. Be careful, as you make your way beyond, though, for a pair of arch-viles will spawn in and revived the enemies you telefragged. In fact, almost everything you do here triggers a trap or ambush. The second section leading the yellow key has a trap where grabbing the berserk pack awakens two chaingunners, and then when you hit the switch after riding up an elevator where you'll find a radiation suit, two evil troopers will be awakened, and of course, grabbing the radiation suit which you need to jump on the slime and hit the switch to lower the yellow key platform causes two revenants to spawn. Beyond the yellow door is a cavern with some fairly treacherous encounters. Lastly, the third path, best strategy is to take out the arachnotrons from one side systematically and then the other before you rush in, and you'll be doing some switch hitting which culminates into a fight against the mancubus with no cover. Completing all three paths and you're set for the exit, where you have tons of rocket ammo for a showdown against the only cyberdemon in the wad. It's advisable to also use your plasma rifle action as although there's plenty of rockets, the cyberdemon of course doesn't get full damage from them. Just when you think it's all over once the cyberdemon's dead, you've got one more obstacle in the shape of some imps, zombies, cacodemons and pain elementals guarding the exit. A hard map that is relentless from start to finish. Map08: Star Control 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 16:05 Oh, boy, this is absolutely my most favourite map of the set. It's a large techbase with so many interesting quirks and gimmicks. Monster encounter is mostly easy enemies, but be on your guard as there are some of the nastier ones roaming about. The central hub has an elevator where once you get up, the bridges raise up. You'll be doing a lot of switch hunting as you search for the yellow key. There's a nice touch where once you reach the higher platform in the central hub, you check out a room with multiple doors which contain teleporters that can warp you back to areas that are now inaccessible. There's also the invisible floor trick, which also makes the red key inaccessible until much later. Afterwards, you reach the end, but you'll be greeted by some zombies and imps, and eventually a couple of evil troopers that spawn in. Awesome map with great architecture and it's a lot of fun. There's some clever homages to some of the Episode 1 maps of Ultimate Doom. Map09: Deliverence? 600% kills, 100% items, 0% secrets Time: 01:04 Final map of the wad. Since Map07 used Into Sandy's City, Matthias Worch decided Map09 should play Shawn's Got the Shotgun. Just your typical Icon of Sin map with a twist, which STRAIN would use for its final map. Collect the rockets and fire away out the window to any level of the barred windows (I prefer taking the highest level) to waste Romero's head inside. Be mindful of the spawning enemies that can attack you while you're distracted. Starting point is set in a way that co-op players will start at different angles and they'll teleport to different levels of the main area, which is a nice touch. So that's The Trooper's Playground. In conclusion, this is a really great wad and one of my favourites to play through. Very interesting and fun scenarios, some challenging parts here and there, especially Map07, and you get to see a nice variety of themes. The new evil trooper monster definitely keeps you on your toes, but thankfully they are rare and usually appear by themselves on in groups of two. It really feels like a follow-up to Obituary, both thematically and gameplay-wise. My favourite map in the set is of course Star Control, but there are others I enjoyed as well, like Going Down and Underground Temple, including Deep Down Below which was of course in Requiem as Map09. The bonus map is also fun to play through. Matthias Worch established himself as a talented mapper which got him into being in the gaming industry. For more of Matthias Worch, there's Memento Mori II, Requiem, and his Quake episode Beyond Belief. Highly recommended. Okay, that should do for now. See you all tomorrow where I'll play The Talosian Incident.
  15. Back again to continue playing the other two wads, and I'm excited for this one. The Trooper's Playground by Matthias Worch. The wad contains 9 nicely-designed levels which showcases new textures and a new monster which replaces the Wolfenstein SS and are a force to be reckoned with as they can do a lot of damage if you're not careful. It pretty much feels like a spiritual successor to The Innocent Crew's Obituary, especially when the level design is somewhat reminiscent to the Moellers, though without the hordes of zombies and more emphasis on tightly-packed gameplay and crafty design. There's also two bonus wads, with the first one, according to Matthias Worch in his level design retrospective series, was his earliest attempt at a Doom map, and it shows. The second one contains two deathmatch-only maps. As for the author himself, Matthias Worch has not offered anything else except for being one of the mappers for Memento Mori II and Requiem, and after his offerings to Doom, moved on to Quake to create the immortal Beyond Belief episode, which ultimately led him to become a professional mapper in the gaming industry, starting with being a level designer for Sin by Ritual Entertainment (also handled by Tom Mustaine and Richard "Levelord" Gray). Now with that out of the way, let's play The Trooper's Playground! But first, I'm gonna start with the bonus wad since it doesn't require the DeHackEd enhancements to be able to play it. TTPBONUS.WAD 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 12:58 Despite being Matthias' earliest map, it's decent and competently made. It also contains embryos of many of the devices and idioms he has developed as he progressed with his mapping. The start has you taking down a few gunners and imps and you enter a hallway with more small enemies. You'll need to rush for the shotgun ammo in the room with the baron so you can be able to take him out. Also pick up the chaingun so you can kill the revenant in the cavern down the stairs. That way, he won't be a problem later on. Take the northern section afterwards where you'll be forced to wade through nukage all the while eliminating baddies and collecting the red key so you can access the nukage maze for the yellow key. Then return to where you killed the revenant, but be careful as you'll enter a dark room where walls will open revealing pinkies and spectres. Eventually, you'll reach the ledge with a switch that will raise the stairs to the yellow door. The ending is pretty interesting. After going down a spiral staircase with monsters to the bottom where you'll face a baron and imps, you'll be doing a guileless switch puzzle where you need to hit switches in order to open certain doors while clearing out the rooms holding arachnotrons and mancubi. Make sure to pick up the radiation suit and hurry to the wall from your left to open a secret room with the soulsphere as not only will you have more health for taking out the arch-vile, but you'll also have a vantage point. Finally, hit either shootable switch to raise the platform the arch-vile emerged from and hit the exit. Overall, this is a good map that feels right at home in classic Doom 2. Now for the main event. The Trooper's Playground on Ultra-Violence. Map01: Welcome 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 06:15 Great introductory map that while easy for the most, packs a bite in some parts. Eliminate the shotgunners first so you can collect their dropped shotguns, but watch out for the imps advancing on you. While you can choose either path, I always go for the yellow key first and then the red key. Either way, you need to take caution as you explore both ends as they have a few traps. Monsters are mostly gunners and imps, with a few demons, and even a cacodemon, hell knight and baron to boot. Some nifty little puzzles here and there, especially those to secret areas. Once you collect the two keys, you're good to exit, but that's where you'll encounter the evil trooper, and they hurt very badly so stay on your toes when you encounter one. Map02: Intrusion 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 11:55 The diificulty cranks up in this map as you'll be facing mancubi with a regular shotgun until you can obtain the super shotgun later on. It's very trappy as hitting switches often opens walls holding monsters. You'll also want to wait until the lowered doors open in the area with the soul sphere so you can kill the cacodemons before going in as doing so lowers the stairs trapping you, and on top of that you'll have to face a baron that teleports in from where you jumped off and a hell knight guarding a switch that reveals another switch that raises back the stairs. Make sure to kill the two spawned mancubi before grabbing the super shotgun. The yellow key area harkens to Doom 2 Map04: The Focus, which is pretty neat. Just when everything is all hunky-dory, you get one dickish trap where shooting the fake exit switch reveals the real exit switch guarded by enemies. Brutal but fun and manageable once you know what to do. Map03: Simply Dead... 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 13:37 Here's yet another map with a harsh opening. After collecting the goods, you'll reach a large area with two revenants up on a pillar and caged chaingunners along with other monsters including a pain elemental. Gameplay is mostly non-linear as it wraps around a central cross-shaped area in the centre, and you can choose to go in any of the doors that are not locked by keys. Lots of clever bits there, like the section with the crushers and you have to kill the caged by barons by rushing for the switches and hitting them so that more crushers will activate, crushing the barons. There's also the sewer section at the east, where once you grab the key, you are trapped in while a wall opens letting out an evil trooper. The ending is where you'll finally get the rocket launcher, and you'll be facing two barons, but watch out for the sniper chaingunners above. The secrets are not that difficult to find and they will help ease up the tension of this map. Map04: Going Down 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 08:38 This one is extremely fun! Very straightforward map and a good flow all the way. You need to be careful not to fall into the pit where the blue key is or you'll die. Instead, you need to solve a switch puzzle in order to make it rise up and be obtainable. A nice jaunt through a tech area while you're tracking down the yellow key, with a chaingunner ambush, and there's a nice section that reminds me of that one secret area in Doom 2 Map15: Industrial Zone. Then after getting the red key and taking out another ambush, you're good to go where you'll have a few more fights to the exit. Don't forget to check the fake wall for the teleporter to a secret holding the backpack. Neat stuff and cool map. Map05: Underground Temple 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets Time: 13:34 As the name suggests, this is a subterranean map that takes place inside of a marble temple. Lots of exploration to do. The western section takes you into doing some switch hunting where you'll eventually collect the blue key, but not before facing an arch-vile guarding it. The eastern section has you, after grabbing the yellow key, entering a large cavern which is full of cacodemons and lost souls. Well-orchestrated battles, be sure to get your circlestrafing up to snuff so you can be able to manage the opposition, which includes taking care of some cacodemons, barons, and later on, revenants. There's even some mancubi for good measure, so make sure not to overdo it. Finally, you have access to the southern section, that was near your starting position, where the map does a neat trick involving the non-blooded canals being filled up. From there, you can head down and deal with some arachnotrons guarding the red key. The ending is just facing a couple of revenants, then barons, and finally chaingunners. Lengthy but amazing map with striking architecture. Map06: Deep Down Below 100% kills, 100% items, 80% secrets Time: 13:03 If anyone has played Requiem before The Trooper's Playground, then you would instantly recognise this map. It is Map09 of Requiem, though there's no major changes to the gameplay, except for the evil trooper in the red key area and different textures in some places. But for those new to this map, it's another catacomb level that's tightly packed and has a lot of switch puzzles. Make sure to grab the megasphere from the small room where you killed the demons before raising the stairs at the start as it's a secret area. Monster placement is just mostly imps, gunners, demons and cacodemons, with a showdown against two barons at the end, including the obligatory evil trooper. While the texture is all stone and bricks, there's some techbase halfway through the map. The main highlight is the red key switch puzzle where you'll be hitting switches to raise bridges, and when you think you can grab the red key, a wall lowers with another switch to hit, which you'll be doing a few times before you finally have access to the red key. Watch out for the evil trooper as soon as you obtain it, and then you have the end against the two barons. Architecture constantly changes as you progress. There's a secret situated right near the steps around the techbase part, so you can't get 100% secrets unless you use the noclip cheat. Overall, it's a solid, fun map, but if you've already played Requiem, don't expect any drastic differences. I'm gonna call it a night now. Will finish the rest of TTP tomorrow night. Take care and have fun, everyone. Thought so, tmorrow. Ah well, 99 Ways to Die on HMP plays exactly the same as on UV since I don't think Warren Marshall has applied any differences in the difficulty levels for the monster placement. That won't be an issue since I play wads that require no source port on vanilla. I'm aware of that bug on Map06 cause I've played Map09 of Requiem and it has the same issue due to the secret being a mere tiny sector next to a staircase so the only way to make it register is to use the clipping cheat. Thanks!