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gaspe

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About gaspe

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  1. MAP09: Enough of dark cramped tunnels it's finally time for some action in big (and empty) areas. The fights at the buildings were nice, a not so threatening chaos with running to cause infighting, some nasty flying monsters and a final clean-up of the buildings. The random teleports made less sense to repopulate the first island, to me all the monsters spawned on the lower tier and aren't able to climp up at the top where there's the exit. The view of the island is nice enough, not outstanding but since it's for vanilla I understand that it's hard to make it better than that. The tanbrown building is made of empty bland boxes, at the entrance there's a big picture of a real life cliff. I liked the secrets hinted with those tiny windows, though I found them when I already killed most of the enemies. There are also a couple of secrets that are accessible when you get to the exit, a reward for continuous players.
  2. MAP08: This one has an interesting gimmick: all the ammo of the level is located in a pit with a group of various hitscanners and arch-viles in the middle. You have to cause infighting and let the arch-viles to resurrect enough hitscanners to have ammo for all the level. Again the main part of the map is a maze like system of dark tunnels and caves. Avoiding monsters there is difficult in these cramped spaces. I almost ran out of ammo when I reached the exit tower you can see from the start, at least I already visited most of the maze and the remaining monsters that spawned can be skipped. Around the middle of the level you can find a berserk pack if you want to save ammo, or at least have more chances.
  3. MAP07: You can see the titular tower in the distance from the starting point, it's a pretty cool view. And after going through the dark cramped tunnel and beating the horde of pinkies you finally reach the tower. There are 52 pinkies to kill on a big flat arena, you can find a berserk if you want to bore yourself but thankfully there's a 1-time secret SSG and lots of shells before getting locked in the arena. The only door in the arena can be closed from the other side, if you are good enough you can lock all the demons on the other side and proceed to the next area without fighting. You can also get stuck, you can open the door with a non-repeatable action and if you use the door from the other side you can't open it again if you get back to the arena and the door closes. I were unsure how much ammo save for the upcoming encounter but the author gives you plenty of bullets for 4 mancubi that guard the tower.
  4. Pretty nice article. I think that for an outsider or someone who isn't familiar with Doom it would be hard to fully understand it.
  5. MAP06: Much more pleasant than the previous dark caves, this is the best level to me so far. Somehow it has also a better sense of place and the use of wide open vistas was cool, especially at the BK and the RK, and where the long corridor is collapsed on the mountain. Also there you have a perilous moment since you can fall down from the cliff and die. This is done also elsewhere, and in previous levels too, where a deadly fall is simulated with a damaging sector and switches (on MAP04) and the keys here are placed on the edges and since there aren't visible or invisible barrier you aren't sure where you can fall. Where he can afford it the author uses some shadows in the outdoors which gives a nice touch to the visuals. The action is the same as usual, though less monster come with the randomized teleporting system and more are already placed in the playable areas, most notable are the RK trap and the YK with a cyberdemon. Then you have the same alternation of corridors, and extensive areas or rooms where you will encounter big groups of monsters. Some secrets are important for a pistol start, the SSg and a green armor you can find early, I was able to find the plasmarifle that made thing easier against the cyberdemon but you are plenty of rockets in the case you missed it. It seems that every courtyard with some effort on being decorated is explorable and you can find some secrets there, like the areas at north that can be accessed with random wall humping. Weird exit with a Romero's head to kill, and it's defenseless against freelook.
  6. MAP05: What a weird start, a bright outdoor area with a couple of SS nazis at the entrance of a techbase. But the level takes mostly place in dark tunnel where you can't see shit, and those are also hidden on the automap. When you ride the first elevator the view of the dark cave with all those scattered small lights is pretty cool, and this is the only good thing of the map. Though it seems that the gameplay has more thought put into it. On a pistol start those barons are a deterrent to jump into the cave at first and the computer maze at the bottom of the lift will take you to the longest road but you can find all the ammo on the way. Rare thing to see, the key placement changes on the difficulty levels. I like these silver exit rooms. This was tedious to play.
  7. MAP04: The archvile at the start was nice, a more hectic moment for a change. Basically you have to follow a linear road and do back and forth in the same areas few times, at least I found the BK before enterting the tunnel so I could spare one trip. The YK is also at the starting area, you can't see it at first but it can be picked with a trick if you already know the map. I can't say I am impressed that much by the big canyon, it looks good enough for vanilla. With a simple trick the author makes a 3D effect for the bridge so you can pass under it. I didn't bother to fight the monsters at the RK area.
  8. MAP03: Well, at least you need only 2 of the 3 keys to take exit (the locked bars are made in 3 different combinations) and the level isn't big. The mine is a maze of dark tunnels completely hidden on the automap. I wouldn't even mind so much to play something like that is set to piss off the player once in a while but this level has nothing endearing visually. The randomized gameplay isn't so bad, supplies are placed on dead ends and monsters can come from unexpected places while you wander around without knowing where you are. I skipped monsters as much as possible after I found the 3 keys.
  9. MAP02: The music gives a big change of mood from the calm and happy tune of MAP01 but if fits since we are going to visit a tomb here. From the start the map gives a different impression from the previous level where the brown and green that create a more familiar natural landscape is replaced with grey ashwall and a pyramid that stand out in the bleak area. An arrow on the floor points at the location of the exit locked by the BK and apparently there nothing else to do. After inspecting the pyramid near the top the suspicious different red floor hints that there's something and from there you can reveal a teleport that takes you inside the tomb. At the hub room you have 6 different paths to choose, 2 lead to the YK and RK that both are required to open the way to the BK. Again we have big empty areas linked with linked with small corridors. I'm not sure what to say about the gameplay, for that times there was a good effort to make all those triggers for that randomized monster placement and it makes for another distinctive feature of the wad. The focus on the exploration is cool, in new areas you can also discover passages to that system of tunnels that runs around the major areas, allowing you to find secrets or visit areas that aren't required to progress. I wish that the visuals could grab more your attention, I liked somehow the YK area and the marble rooms with the red flat before the BK, but everything is a bit too simple and bare.
  10. Earth, I'm already on MAP03 but it turns out that I only played the first part of MAP01. Well lets discover what this wad has to offer. MAP01: Roger Ritenour doesn't waste time to show you the cool visual tricks he's able to do, facing from the start that beatiful vista of the sea with all those realistic details and effects. From what I saw he seems to be a mapper that opts for a very minimalistic style that sort of betrays the expectations as you go deeper into the level. After the hooking initial vista and the first ruins the level seems almost underwhelming with big and empty places and cramped corridors. The contrast of the open and bright areas with the dark and tiny (so much that you can barely walk in) corridors is weird. Though there was some effort put some height variations on the surrounding rocks, and those view of the sea at the secret RL and the exit builds a nice sense of place. Another defining feature are the various cryptic moments of progression mixed with secrets. I didn't notice the switch to raise the bridge at the YK but I was able to make my way by exploring the secrets corridors at east that are linked to the BK area and the blue door. I didn't had too much trouble at the BK area by tackling it slowly and going back to pick leftover ammo. It seems that it would be also easy to run past the enemies there. Mysterious stuff, lots of exploration to do, I love this. I'm not entirely sold to the gameplay but this is certainly unique which is a good thing to value.
  11. I updated my map with the difficulty settings (though those aren't tested well now) and additional stuff for coop play. Link remains the same, you can find it in the OP.
  12. E1M8: Short as you can expect from your usual Doom boss map. You start from a battlements terrace with a view of a marble fortress ahead and from that spot you will teleport inside that place. The inner areas have a mix of hellish and tech rooms. You will meet a lone baron in the middle of the map and I thought it was a rather cool thing. Usually the barons will be used only in the final arena and having them placed mid-level so you have to explore the level to find them could be a nice idea for a different boos map. Soon the map delivers the arena with the bulls and the idea isn't bad. A big portion of the floor will turn into damagin blood, 2 groups of shotgunner above are placed to push you to the center of the arena and there are few pinkies on the ground. Though only 2 barons were a letdown. I'm glad that I finally played this, fun things is that I played (to review it for the /newstuff Chronicles) first the sequel that was released in 2016. Jan Van der Veken has a cool style and he was able to combine well the strengths of E1 with some hints of E2 and E4.
  13. E1M7: For certain things the style it's similar to E1M6, using almost exclusively a limited set of textures and putting more care into the architectural detail. In this rather large brown complex where we are far away from the more varied and tech-oriented design of the first 4 levels. Maybe the map it's even too rigid in following its all brown theme (except for a grey metal passagge that sticks out nicely) but the author did a really good work with the lighting, colored torches and in what is the true jewel of this map: the architecture. You can really notice it after the red door from the bridge area and ahead where you can take a good look at the shape of the complex that feel almost city-esque with various windows, and the archways over the water canals. Gameplay still as that shortage of ammo and especialy health that was a common theme in the episode, though it isn't something too great to overcome and the secrets (with an early rocket launcher and plasma gun) will help. Before the YK there's a panic moment with a cyberdemon that will come into the small room, only to be teleported in front of the quake style gate (made with grey ASHWALL like in Darkening).
  14. gaspe

    DVII Second Edition underway. It's time!

    What a comeback, this is epic.
  15. That suggestion isn't bad but I don't think it would work well there. The cacos will likely get stuck behind the railing and won't be much of a threat, this is also the case of the lone caco when you go back to the previous room and it can be easily ignored. And you have only the SG/CG against some hell-knights already, adding more tough monsters would drag the map.
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