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Havoc Crow

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Everything posted by Havoc Crow

  1. I've played this a year ago, but never posted my brief thoughts, so here goes: Finished the first three maps in about 10 minutes E1M1 is the best from the ones I've seen, although it has the unnecessary crusher and the nukage area seems undercooked. E1M2 is Containment Area except worse; its flatness is very visible and some areas feel pointlessly lengthened with unneeded rooms. Its fights, outside of the central crate area, feel dull. E1M3 seems to be an exercise in very tight-quarter fighting, including Barons; actually a quite good idea. I'm also attaching a FDA demo. e2msADV_mape2m1_mape2m3.zip
  2. Havoc Crow

    Bootmans factory

    An example of how not to make a map. Lots of ugly rooms filled with same types of enemies. The blue key room in particular has about ten hell knights and barons trapped on pillars, and you have only a super shotgun to fight them; thankfully, what _would_ have been a mind-numbingly boring fight is skippable because the blue key is right there for you to take. Errors large and small abound, such as the pass-through metal bars or the clumsy approach to detailing and shading. New music, in the form of a bad-sounding midi which barely has any rhythm.
  3. Havoc Crow

    Tough Guy 2016

    Finished within 4 minutes or so A 2016 re-release of a 1994 level. The text file warns: "Bad, really bad 1994 quality", and is right; there's nothing whatsoever interesting about this level -- you enter one flat room after another and shoot at haphazardly spread out monsters. There is an "invisible teleporter" gimmick which, however, I have barely noticed in my playthrough. The exit isn't even hidden or locked in any way, and can be easily stumbled into accidentally. There's nothing to say.
  4. Havoc Crow

    Twisting Halls

    The map feels very linear throughout, with you basically doing one thing in each room and moving on to the next. The rooms are very varied though, and there is actually something pleasant to uncovering the successive areas. There are some puzzles, one of which involves illusionary walls, with a zombie shooting at you from "nowhere" being the only hint; this is a clever puzzle but it could ruin the map if the player accidentally kills the zombie early and gets stuck. The spiderdemon hall near the end contains what is either a glitch or a really annoying "trick": columns that seem safe at first, but actually don't shield you from the spider's gunfire at all. Almost finished, ~20 minutes; died to the spiderdemon.
  5. Havoc Crow

    Proxyon Sector KGx/57 mini Episode

    (MAP03 review only) Finished, ~20 minutes Yet another map which drops the ball in terms of difficulty. Health is provided in extreme abundance, and even when heftier enemies show up, their attacks are easy to dodge in the huge arenas (even the cyberdemon/spiderdemon fight at the end provides such ample cover that you need almost to be _trying_ to die -- as, uh, has happened to me). I've once read that, with the advent of modern source ports which streamlined mouse aiming, older Doom levels suddenly became very easy; this would explain why so many of these mid-90's maps feel so strangely unchallenging... The area beyond the yellow key door offers a more interesting fight, what with the corridor filled with lost souls. However, the map quickly loses momentum after that, wasting the player's time with the pointless room of six teleporters, which all turn out to lead to identical closets with medikits. Turns out, that room is just a red herring; the real way to progress is to open a door indistinguishable from a wall. Annoyingly, having to hump the walls to find the hidden door happens several times throughout the map. Powerups are scattered haphazardly, including a pointless invulnerability sphere, numerous invisibility spheres despite the total lack of hitscanner enemies (this is another 90's thing, it seems; did the people back then _really_ think invisibility spheres helped against projectile-throwing demons?), and a light-amplification visor despite a lack of dark areas where it'd be useful. The map topology is as basic as it gets: a small starting room with four doors, one initially open and three locked with keys, each door leading to a totally separate area housing the key to the next door over. Each area is distinct visually, although there's a lot of simplistic-looking, overly large rooms. There's fairly little interconnection between individual rooms within each area; mostly you just progress from room to room, and things like windows are rare. The map suffers from "symmetry syndrome", where the mapper goes out of his way to make every room symmetrical, without thinking if it improves the room or not (example: in the red door area, there's a side room housing an irritating slow-moving lift, not worth visiting except to get 100% kills... and this side room of course gets dutifully duplicated on the other side of the area). There is custom music in the form of a rock midi, not particularly well-made, but not overly grating either.
  6. Havoc Crow


    Played for 13 minutes before dying. Did not enjoy this one; the caves ("catacombs" according to the text file?) section being unmapped AND full of samey corridors AND full of "mystery meat" switches was obnoxious. Likewise did not enjoy the "nested squares" section at the start, with ugly gray walls. Only visual highlight I've seen during my playthrough were rooms with water pools. Could not find a way to access yellow key, or do much of anything in the nukage area except dying, although it was satisfying to risk the run across nukage in hopes of finding a radsuit--and subsequently find one. Slightly interesting is how enemies roam the interconnected caves and can surprise you from unexpected directions, but this only happened to me once or twice. The revenant was placed uselessly and could be taken out too easily with hit-and-run tactics. Too generous with health (soulsphere) and weaponry (room in caves). The entrance to caves, with a long corridor which has to be entered from a demon-infested pool, was a briefly tense moment, but not sure if the demons chasing after me from the pool could enter the cave area; would have made for an even tenser experience.
  7. Havoc Crow

    DBP62: Haunting Hollow

    Thank you. The source of the problem seems to be GZDoom's compatibility option "Use Doom's floor motion behavior". I'm not sure why this happens; the map works perfectly fine in Boom or DSDA-Doom with -cl 2. I'll look into this later.
  8. Havoc Crow

    Dreadful Change Upon us....

    Bit of "style over substance" problem here; the map is visually polished but has barely any combat to speak of, and so the weapons and other pickups seem unnecessary. On the other hand, it can be seen as a pretty "jewelbox" for the player to explore and find all the secrets, with the monsters being just there for flavor. Annoyingly, couldn't finish this because, just before the end, a bug trapped me between a door and a nonfunctional lift.
  9. Havoc Crow

    TekBase ver. 3

    Rather uninteresting visuals (apart from some attempts at fancy realistic decor). The level progression isn't too shabby, but the central room full of slow-moving lifts is annoying to go through. There's not a single exciting or difficult fight, especially if you play with the .deh that increases the health and ammo limits to ludicrous levels. ---- [More detailed review] Finished, ~20 minutes A long-ish techbase level. There is some fairly competent design; for example, the red key doors/bars provide a simple way to trek around the entire level near the end, without having to deal with the annoying middle section of slow-moving lifts. The visuals are underwhelming though. Many rooms feel too big overall. There are some fancy details here and there, such as the ship at the start (and inside of the ship at the end), or at least one multi-part door, but they feel haphazardly thrown in to dress up the bland scenery. The "office cubicle" room makes an attempt at realism which feels pretty unfitting. There is a .deh file included which modifies the weapons, including making the pistol, shotgun and chaingun faster, changing the rocket launcher to a rapid-fire "flame thrower" (projectiles explode with Arch-vile flame effect), and the plasma gun to a nerve gas weapon (rapidly launches extremely slow-moving baron fireballs; kind of useless). It also greatly increases the health and ammo capacities, making the level a breeze overall. The enemy placement feels rather uninspired, especially since the abundance of ammo and health makes each fight very easy. There are too many small fries and not enough of the bigger enemies. There is not a single exciting or difficult fight in the level. The blue key is hidden rather deviously (inside an opaque nukage fall), although not quite impossible to find. The entire section beyond the blue bars gave me trouble because some necessary stairs are surprisingly hard to spot; that part could really use some visual variety beyond the depressing gray. There is a spot where a necessary radsuit is hidden inside a secret (although a rather obvious one, if you think in realistic terms -- within the airlock), but then again, you have so much health that you can afford to run through the damaging area unsuited.
  10. Review of One Sector Collection by Engired (2021)



    A collection of short maps with a super-cute concept: each is limited to a single sector, making it more like a prettified Wolfenstein (except without doors).

    There's not much to say about these maps; arguably the main point of this mapset is a romp through the various visual themes offered by Doom's textures, from yards, through libraries, to Hell. Visual effects are in short supply for obvious reasons (although the way the "sky" in the library is done is cute).

    MAP06 feels oddly short with only 3 enemies on HMP, surely it could've been dragged out a bit more? MAP07 feels pointless with the exit switch very easy to reach. MAP31 gave me a chuckle with its Entryway demake concept.

    Overall, good for a laugh but hardly a serious thing to play. 


    3/5 stars.



    [Since it's not possible to leave reviews on the old /idgames/ frontend, and the new frontend apparently doesn't include any uploads from the last few years, I have no choice but to publish it here.]

  11. Havoc Crow

    Gimme inspiration for a doom2 1 level wad!

    Listen to some music to get inspiration. Get away from the computer, crack open a notebook and start writing down all your ideas, no matter how dumb, until something finally clicks.
  12. Havoc Crow

    Underwater-themed Doom mods?

    Doomer Boards Project 36: Aquatic Wonder is set underwater, even to the point of implementing bubble special effects. https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/d-f/dbp36
  13. Havoc Crow


    A 10-minute long map with fairly unremarkable gameplay. As is the case with many old maps, its main strength is the visual variety of the different locations. Still, there's not that much in terms of exploration or branching paths; a good part of the map is just going from room to room and shooting at the anemic groups of monsters. Not terrible, but not a classic.
  14. Havoc Crow

    Is it even fun to play Doom without saves?

    playing saveless is risky, but fun. It really makes you feel competent. Doubly so when combined with a first-time playthrough. When you survive a tricky trap, and it's not because of your perseverance in reloading a save over and over, but thanks to your fast on-the-fly thinking... there's nothing quite as empowering as that.
  15. Havoc Crow


    Alright, played it. Unfortunately, I have to say I didn't really like it. I don't like how little the game makes use of its otherwordly premise, and how inconsistent its mood is. It doesn't know if it wants to be a horror, or a moody artpiece, or a goofy comedy. The first level starts with a desperate message scribbled on the wall, and startles a first-time player with rapidly-moving loud monsters that come out of the walls. The second level seemingly tries to expand upon the setting (such as it is): it has those odd, unidentifiable and intriguing objects scattered around, such as the creepy crow-like things leering at you (?). At that point, I thought the game had promise as an artistic project about a strange surreal world, something along the lines of Hylics or Foreverhood. Even the eerie, melancholic music made me think this was the author's goal. ...But then, after traversing this all-too-short alien landscape, you come face-to-face with a bad guy (very obviously drawn crudely in MS Paint) who taunts you with cliche lines (including an actual "muahahahaha" laugh!) and sounds like, well, a guy speaking into a cheap mic. And every time you die during the boss battle, he reacts with a tongue-in-cheek quip, sounding more like a YouTube streamer than an extraplanar horror. Yeah... there goes the mood. Gameplay-wise, Sorrow is different from most Doom games, with emphasis on fast-moving or fast-shooting enemies that kill you near-instantly if they manage to connect. The fights... aren't bad, I guess, but the game's so short that there isn't even much gameplay to talk about. While the first two levels are quite easy, the final boss kicked my ass, and I'm afraid I've never managed to defeat him. The problem is that you can't tell in advance when is he going to use the ranged attack, which is very hard to dodge if you don't see it coming; so the fight feels more cheap than anything. ...All in all, I'm afraid I don't really have anything positive to say about this one. The game could be more memorable if it was longer, expanded on its concept more, and stuck to a consistent mood.
  16. Havoc Crow

    Sandy's granddaughter plays Doom

    The video was released a few days ago, but apparently it hasn't been mentioned on the forums yet. Very wholesome! How lucky these kids are to have Sandy for a grandpa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NbiI7RKGxM (Huh? It doesn't embed?...)
  17. I'm guessing the last "P" stands for Pistolet? That word, unsurprisingly, means "pistol". I think that for the BFG, a better word would be something like "działo" (cannon).
  18. Havoc Crow

    The City of The Damned Apocalypse

    A genuinely scary, atmospheric mod. The story may be cheesy but the mood is excellent, and the level is short enough not to wear out its welcome. Combat is difficult enough that each encounter is an unnerving drain on resources, although ammo starts getting more plentiful towards the end of the level. About my only complaint is that you're often left without an inkling where to go, since doing something in one area may reveal a pathway or a hotspot in another area without any indication. Also,
  19. Havoc Crow

    So... internet shutdown on september 30th

    That website certainly doesn't look trustworthy. I mean, the article looks like a mashup of copypasted text, with awful grammar and spelling: You're best off using other, more established source. For example the article at Tom's Guide provides a lot more detail, and is actually written in readable English.
  20. Havoc Crow

    No Turning Back

    Six thousand enemies... so yeah. This is a level set around slaughter-style fights. The visuals are no-frills (to the point of having some square rooms with standard GZDoom Builder textures!) but the gameplay can get pretty fun. Annoyingly, there's quite a few doors and switches that look like regular walls. Hint: you are given an area map — use it! Unfortunately, some parts are simply tedious. For instance, there's a scenario where you have to travel across a narrow catwalk with hundreds of Chaingunners and Cacodemons crowding around you from all sides. Turns out, the author's preferred way to complete this part is simply to stand there in the starting alcove and fire rockets blindly while dodging caco fireballs in the tiny space until you finally thin out the enemy numbers enough. Yeah, no, this kind of thing is not fun. It gets worse. Later on you face a horde of hundreds of barons and you're forced to duck into a giant room with lots of BFG ammo, from which you slowly chip down the crowd one by one. No challenge, just crushing tedium. And then the final room, where you have to kill more barons on a tiered tower; simply get out your rocket launcher, circlestrafe around the tower holding down the fire button, and try not to fall asleep. Overall, this level is quite fun at times, and might be good practice for people who don't have much acquaintance with slaughtermaps. Sadly, the aforementioned dull parts significantly degrade the experience. PS. I'm not sure if any ZDoom features are used, but one reason why this map must be played in ZDoom is that the lifts don't work properly in prboom. Considering that prboom is usually considered the port of choice for demo-recording AND for maps with lots of enemies, it'd certainly be a good idea to fix this map to make it prboom-friendly! [Originally written in September 2018 for The /Newstuff Chronicles]
    A set of 3-hour speedmaps, revolving around a common volcano theme. They are all quite friendly for first-time playthroughs, so you should be able to hop right in. MAP01: Do I Look Like I Know What A Volcano Looks Like? — A bite-sized map with just a handful of enemies. Press a few switches and you're set. The visuals are very polished. MAP02: Speedmap #04 — A trip through dank caverns. Again very nice visuals, and a good music track that I haven't heard anywhere else. MAP03: It Blows (The Volcano, I Mean) — One of the more atmospheric maps. It starts in moodily lit vine-overgrown corridors, then leads you to the edge of a volcano, complete with a breathtaking vista. The ending feels a bit awkward if you've run out of rockets but a secret megasphere can even the odds. This might be my favorite in the set. MAP04: Tectonic Arachnotronic — The weakest of all maps. It has you climbing a truly humongous mountain on your way to the exit at the summit (reminds me of the classic earth.wad a bit). There is little excitement here, you simply hold down the run key for a few minutes until you reach the end. The monsters are so sparse you'll likely want to run past them all. The few arachnotrons and mancubuses at the end are hardly a payoff either. Don't go the wrong way or you'll waste a minute running around the entire mountain to get back. MAP05: They Called Him Lava Man — Starts with you surrounded by enemies in a lava field, then you infiltrate a small base until finally unlocking the grand finale; all this set to comfy Donkey Kong Country music. The beginning is quite hectic, at least until you realize it pays off more to run into the building right off the bat. The ending is a little disappointing since there's nothing stopping you from ignoring all enemies and making a beeline to the exit. A cool little map, but I wish it had more of an incentive to face the hordes head-on instead of cheesing them from a safe spot. MAP06: Center of Chaos — Has a troublesome opening where you're always under fire with barely any weaponry to your name, unless you go out of your way to collect some. Avoiding the copious missiles and hiding behind crates is a pretty cool experience. The abrupt ending is likely to kick your ass the first time, but once you figure out how to approach it, it's really fun (I almost wish there were more enemies to fight in the lava cavern.) Overall, this is easily one of the better speed mapsets I've ever played. The choice of music is consistently great and especially the first few maps are polished technically (although not devoid of bugs — you can get stuck in a pit on map02). Recommended for everyone. [Originally written Dec 2018 for The /newstuff Chronicles]
  21. Havoc Crow

    The Deimos Incident

    An E2 replacement, consisting mostly of the author's previously released maps. Just like E2, the overarching theme here is a techbase being overrun by Hell. Thanks to the large amount of detail, the resulting distortion of reality comes across very strongly, with most rooms being a bizarre amalgamation of earthly techbase and infernal torture-chamber. What I didn't like were most of the outside areas, which look messy and ugly; the interiors are a lot more pleasant to look at. The difficulty level is perfect. The challenge is just high enough to keep you from dying too many times, although you'll have tense moments of low health. The mapset's a very good choice for people like me who like playing without saves; it is hard enough to be fun from beginning to end and has no unfair traps (except for an unexpected crusher near the end of map05.) I've grown weary of most Doom 1 mapsets, since they struggle to keep the action interesting across an entire episode without Doom 2's extended enemy roster, but in Deimos Incident the enemies are used perfectly and the fights never get old. Easily one of the best episode replacements I've ever seen, and one of the overlooked gems of 2017 (though, if you want to be exact, some maps were first released in 2016). Strongly recommended! [Originally written Jan 2019 for The /newstuff Chronicles]
  22. Havoc Crow

    First Mission after Holdiday

    A set of two maps, which according to the text file is the author's first foray into mapping. Unfortunately, it shows all too well. The level design is simplistic and amateurish, texturing is haphazard, and the visuals are very bland. The author also fell into the old trap of unnecessarily trying to spice up his map with random ZDoom features, such as particle fountains or stealth monsters. In particular, there are lots of custom DECORATE enemies (I've counted at least six), all of which pop up only a few times and contribute pretty much nothing (for example, the axe-wielding scientists are essentially reskinned demons). The first map ("Overture") is a rather short one, mainly set in bland-looking gray bases with some cave parts. The second map ("Pluto Cave") is a lot larger and has lots of disparate areas, but none of them look or play very well; it feels like a chore to play, and I ended up bailing about halfway through. I don't know if the author is still reading this, or if he still needs the advice, but here's a hint to all newbie mappers: skip out on ZDoom mapping for now and focus on trying to create good-looking, playable levels in the Boom or vanilla formats. If your WAD isn't playable, no amount of spicing it up will save it, not even replacing title and intermission screens with fancy pics. [Originally written Dec 2018 for The /newstuff Chronicles]
  23. Havoc Crow

    Hall of Blood

    Doom 2 -- SP/Coop -- ZDoom A slaughter-style level with a number of ridiculous challenges. How ridiculous? It opens with you battling a Cyberdemon at point-blank range in a tiny room, and escalates from there. One "memorable" part is the room filled with about fifty Arch-Viles; according to the author's own UV-Max video on Youtube, you're supposed to pick them off one by one with a SSG by poking your head through the doorway... which takes a few minutes of mindlessly moving back-and-forth. Not all the fights are as over-the-top as that, and they can be pretty fun at times, but overall this is kind of an exhausting map to play. The visuals are pretty cool, though. [Originally written Dec 2018 for The /newstuff Chronicles]
  24. Havoc Crow

    Merchant Map for Wrath of Cronos

    A small map for use with the RPG-styled mod Wrath of Cronos. It contains a whole lot of free items to pick up, as well as several merchants to buy items from. I'm unfamiliar with Wrath of Cronos so I'm not sure how this affects the gameplay, but if you want some way to gear up without using cheats then I guess this map will help. [Originally written Dec 2018 for The /newstuff Chronicles]