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About Poncho1

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    Giallo enthusiast

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  1. Poncho1

    NOVA III Demos [-complevel 9]

    Map17 UV-Max in 5:58 n317-558.zip
  2. Poncho1

    Going Down demos [-complevel 9]

    Map31 UV-Max in 4:38 gd31-438.zip
  3. Poncho1

    What country are you from?

    Born in the land of the rosbifs, currently living among the frogs.
  4. Poncho1

    Mutiny Demos [-complevel 2]

    I did indeed try Map08 in particular with cl2, but an entire area didn't open up; using cl9, it did. So, I don't know what the heck's going on.
  5. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map30: Evil Itself Author: Thomas van der Velden A very quick IoS map, and frankly, after the monstruous entry that was Citadel at the Edge of Eternity, it's well-needed. It's a shame that van der Velden hasn't done much in the way of mapmaking since... Plutonia 2, I think? In any case, you get all the guns and ammo, jump through a teleporter, flip all the switches at once, get the Megasphere, fire a shot, watch all the enemies telefrag themselves, go to the IoS room, raise the liquid level and blast the boss brain (with a BFG, if you like). I beat this in less than 2 minutes to 100%. One of the easiest maps out there. Final Verdict I must say that I'm actually glad to have finished the original Community Chest. This is far from a cohesive, well-organised set of levels, owing to the insane variation between mapping styles, mapping quality, stylistic continuity between each of the maps, difficulty curves and so on. It has perhaps the worst opening map to any megawad in existence, one of the most notorious maps in existence, gimmicks up the arse, magnum opuses followed by more magnum opuses, bizarre progression, and a lot more. I suppose that these negatives are what give this megawad some of its charm. These days, we are far removed from this sort of management; we expect levels to be playtested, balanced and well-paced. WADs such as this are a callback to the almost anarchic way community projects were thrown together. With the exception of something like Alien Vendetta, projects worked on by multiple people just didn't quite nail any form of consistency. That said, for all its faults, there are still a few levels worth checking out. Special mention to Andy Leaver, Thomas van der Velden and Gene Bird for making some of the best maps in the set. Leaver's mix of competent detailing with a sense of urgent action, van der Velden's slick attention to detail, and Bird's sole focus on small-enemy massacres all managed to stand out among the other levels, though if I'm being honest, if they were put into a more competent WAD, they wouldn't have been quite as noteworthy. But hey, this is the WAD we got, and they delivered what I feel are the better outings. Best Level: Map16 (Methods of Fear) Honourable Mentions: Map02 (Nullth Precinct) ; Map07 (The Boardwalk) ; Map14 (Substation) Worst Level: Map27 (Afterlife) Dishonourable Mentions: Map13 (Another Dead Hero) ; Map01 (Pistol Panic) ; Map06 (Goin' Down) So, there you have it. I've been told that Community Chest 2 is of a similar vain - Andy Leaver, Gene Bird and Use3D even returned for the first sequel - but I think I've had my fair share of Community Chest for a while. In due time, I'll go through it...
  6. Poncho1

    The Next Iteration of DSDA

    Ahhhhhh... Excuse my ignorance.
  7. Poncho1

    The Next Iteration of DSDA

    Is it just me, or has the DSDA been updated recently? For me, it hasn't since the 11th. Weird question, I know.
  8. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map29: Citadel at the Edge of Eternity Author: Kevin Reay (Magikal) This is it: THE map from Community Chest that we all remember. And what a level to build up to. In a way, it's somewhat fitting that this was indeed Magikal's final map before his tragic death. What a legacy he left. Citadel at the Edge of Eternity is a behemoth of a level, epic in its grandeur and its disgust towards the player. The author makes use of everything to test the player's abilities: forced wallrunning, repetitive scenarios, fake bridges, tight combat, stingey ammo and health distribution, and numerous puzzles that'll disorient the uninitiated. Rather obviously, I saved throughout this level. 10 mid-level saves later, I beat the map just under the 2-hour mark, in-game time. The whole east wing should be a taster of things to come: multiple identical-looking rooms filled to the brim with enemies - many of them stronger ones like Mancubi, cunning ones like Revenants, or evil ones like Arch-viles - and, if you're Pistol-starting, only a Super Shotgun and a Rocket Launcher at hand. Even with carried over resources, the east wing's a bitch to beat, not just because of the high-monster density and the fact that enemies from across the level can hurl their projectiles your way if you neglected to kill them, but due to the aforementioned repetitive nature of it: room after room of the same-ish combat, but you're forced to deal with them in order to progress. In between are little puzzles that unleash Revenants, Pain Elementals, Imps and Arch-viles in very close encounters. All of this for a switch (behind a fake wall, naturally) to the next area and for a Rocket Launcher. The level gets more interesting hereafter: a zombie massacre in the northeast section and, with the Red Key in hand, a second zombie massacre in the hills. Onwards is... oh goodness, the lift area. Nonsensical slow-moving lifts, borderline-necessary secrets and cheap enemy placement will make anyone's blood boil. Completing that brings the player to one of the map's more fascinating areas: the opening-block traps, or as I like to call it, the Serious Sam room. To reveal all the monsters, the player has to criss-cross randomly until everything opens. Very "going-for-100%-kills-in-Serious-Sam"-y, that. The Icon of Sin room has the second-most bullshit Cyberdemon in the map. By this point, the Yellow Key should be in your possession, so return to the lava lake at the beginning (sidenote, if you fall into the moat without the YK, you're as good as dead). Scale the lake's central structure, revealing the enemies until you get the BFG, and kill the Cyberdemon. Then onto the worst part... not just of the map, but possibly the entire megawad: the Cyberdemon guarding the switch that reveals the Blue Key. All you have is a thin fake bridge as wiggle-room, and damaging lava beneath. Seriously, *fuck* that Cyberdemon. Hit the switch, unleash the four remaining Cybers, destroy them, get the Blue Key, kill the remaining resistance around the citadel, and finally breach the building of the title. It's one of the more straightforward areas, and thank God. Simply keep each side of enemies at bay, whether it be the ground floor, or on the upper ramparts (which you need to wallrun to catch the lift). The middle of the citadel is a large outdoor area with three respawning Spider Masterminds and the last few Barons and Revenants. Once they're toast, you are finally free to exit. ... Well. That was quite the ordeal. I have a real love-hate relationship with this map. On the one hand, it's extremely cruel; this is one of the hardest, if not *the* hardest, map I've ever completed in my 7 or 8 years playing this game. It is exhausting, tedious, sometimes infuriating, and I'd wager only a few people would genuinely happily return to play it over and over. However, its epic scale and unique design choices - flawed as some of them are - cannot be ignored. I even enjoyed some of the individual sections (the Serious Sam room, the two zombie massacres, and the siege of the citadel itself are pretty fun). It carries the rest of the megawad, and in some ways, for good reason. However, I feel that this was a map that was made only to please its author. Magikal made one of the most iconic fanmade Doom maps in history, and while he justly deserves recognition and some level of praise for his magnum opus, in the end, it feels much too personal a level to be fully enjoyed, at least by me. It's certainly a one-of-a-kind experience, illiciting a multitude of emotions from yours truly, and completing it felt incredibly rewarding. Then again, this is probably the Doom equivalent to some of Jean-Luc Godard's more pretentious works: overly personal and impenetrable to many.
  9. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map28: Necrophobia Author: Gene Bird Now this is more like it! After a trio of maps that were either insanely difficult, cryptic, or both combined, it's joyful to be able to sit back and feel like a god whilst blowing away the opposition. Gene Bird's fourth and final entry in the first Community Chest is yet another SSG blaze, with hard-to-miss secrets, little height variety, wooden texturing, and copious amounts of smaller enemies to butcher. As is often the case, there're still some things to complain about with a GB map: having to know to flip a switch behind you when you teleport onto a tiny island is dumb, because if you fall in you can't get back out. *tsk tsk*. However, Gene does spice things up from now and then: I liked the area with Hell Knights and caged Imps, which makes for a more intense encounter. The ending also has, *gasp*, a staircase! Whoa! Another distinguishing feature about this Gene Bird map is that it has some of his best detailing yet: the Supercharge chamber and the outdoor section housing the Yellow Key don't look too bad for 2003 when this was released. I must thank Gene Bird for making some of the least frustrating and playable maps of the set: in spite of looking mostly primitive, they were all good breather levels. And, knowing what the next map is, this kind of level was desperately needed here.
  10. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map27: Afterlife Author: Sphagne I swear, every map with the word "afterlife" in it has it out for me. To this day, I still haven't beaten Scythe 2 because of its own Map27; as for Hell Revealed... well, I simply gave up as early as Map18 due to the sheer boredom and bullshit I was feeling. This is the only map of this unofficial trilogy that I have beaten, and thank fucking God I pulled through to the bitter end, because this was utterly exhausting. As with some other maps (like the later Speed of Doom's Map21), the player begins in a hollow grave. The first area is some sort of demonic town, filled with rooftop snipers ready to chip away at your health (have fun with the hitscanners!), Cacodemons and Pain Elementals descending, launching all manners of hell at you, and then the Imps, Barons and the like in the centre building only add to the misery. There're two vital secrets tucked at the end of the corridors in the central area, which you'll need going forward. This map's main problem is its lack of resources. For as long, tedious and filled with tanky enemies as it is - usually firing at you from a distance, no less - Sphagne withholds the player of the necessary equipment meant to simply beat the areas. It is this that really bothers me: the difficulty from this level comes by simply handicapping the player; not through inventive scenarios, but by keeping them at arm's length from needed supplies. Even with my continuous run, I suffered major ammo shortages about halfway through, and I'm not someone who wastes ammo easily. On top of this huge issue, Sphagne's progression problems return in full force. Whilst not a navigational problem like Avenger was, this map opts to drag its runtime well past what it should've been: having to solve an idiotic puzzle or two to obtain the SSG, or the Blue Key; jumping onto the ship in the harbour, only to find you can't disembark until you pick up the Plasma Gun and hit a switch; the retarded fight in a cramped area filled with Mancubi, a Cyberdemon and sniping Revenants; the barely-visible ledges needed to get out of the damaging blood; making sure the bridge to the final island also blocks you from making it to a platform with loads of Mancubi, forcing you to backtrack through a Red (I think?) door where there's a teleport room to the right, and a door to the Mancubi platform to the left which will finally grant you access to another part of the map... the list goes on. Let's not even forget the glitched-out Cacodemons stuck in the Invulnerability island, for example. As for the ending, well, it's a clusterfuck. I couldn't tell you how to go about reaching the exit: random switches to raise bridges leading to sniper towers, constantly respawning snipers, walls lowering revealing hordes of Chaingunners, and so on. From a megawad with a whole lot of crap, this quite possibly ranks as one of the worst. One of the few times I can't say it was better than Pistol Panic. A truly horrible level.
  11. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map26: Breakout Author: Samuel Villarreal (Kaiser) As @Book Lord mentioned, this indeed could be classified as "hellbase". Usually, mixes of Hell and techbase tend to be very haphazard (even Sandy Petersen, a mapper I admire a lot, was somewhat guilty of this). However, Kaiser seams these elements together in such a way that it really feels natural. As with his previous maps, the detailing is pretty good, whether it be an outdoor area between the two indoor sections with a nukage river passing through. As it to be expected with Kaiser though, the pacing can be somewhat sluggish. The gameplay is, once again, of a largely incidental nature. I wouldn't say that there's much in the way of traps, just enemies dotted around the map. Getting the Red Key's a bit of a head-scratcher. I watched the Dean of Doom video a few weeks before this month began, and while I have my disagreements with his opinions at times (especially with some of the Master Levels), his critiques for this map's RK scenario is pretty bang on: you literally go through the map, to the point where it feels like you can't continue, so you simply backtrack to the RK and it's open. Yep, Kaiser's backtracking bollocks is back. The confusing progression again dampens this map's pacing. I also hate the Megasphere secret: who'd know that it opens just by getting really close to the exit and backtracking (again!) to the outdoors nukage river area? With all that said, I must say that I liked this one better than his previous two offerings. There's a certain atmosphere in this mix of marble Hell and tech, and the combat, while nothing special, wasn't Termination Center [sic] levels of dull. I'd say this was acceptable.
  12. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map25: Blood Demesne Author: Will Hackney (Archvile46) One of the dreaded maps of the WAD. I'd had my fair share of difficulty from some of the previous maps, but those were generally of a navigational nature, or more awkward than hard. So far into this mapset, this one outdoes both of Use3D's levels in terms of difficulty. I'm on the opinion that this wasn't playtested thoroughly. If it were the case, then it shows: tons of claustrophobic action involving Barons, Revenants, Arch-viles and even a Cyberdemon in the southern shrine area, and in between these clumsy battles are tight passageways marked with damaging blood. The Rad suits are not plentiful, considering how slow a lot of the fights are, so chances are you'll only use the suit's potential for a good 15 seconds before spending the rest of non-damaging floors doing battle with an annoying swarm of monsters. However, if this map was indeed made the way it was, to me it makes it be irresponsibly vicious. The open area right at the start is a real pain, because if the enemies don't behave, they'll simply block and scratch you to death. I should also mention that there's Revenant snipers in the back, and also an Arch-vile in this first fight, all with no real cover. Lucky infighting will save you a lot of health. Speaking of, I dunno if it was just me, but there's a bit of a shortage. Sure, there're a couple of Supercharges, but they feel more like band-aids that don't add a whole lot, especially with the aforementioned damaging floors that're peppered throughout the level, so you'll be getting hurt constantly. I also felt that there was some ammo shortages: now, I'm on a continuous run, something I balance out by making as few saves mid-level as possible, whilst also going for 100%, but even then the map sapped away at my resources, even when I was doing as asked. Once again, as with Use3D's maps, I mid-level saved before entering the shrine in the south section because I got really impatient with the opening and the other wide-open area with the Arachnotrons, more Revenant snipers, and Spider Mastermind. The best part probably is the shrine: it looks kinda nice and the Arch-vile on the stairs is a neat touch, though I question why a Cyberdemon had to be in a small room with even more damaging floors, and there're also two Cacodemons in pits that never seem to be able to escape them. Naturally, every WAD needs a level that really snaps the player out of their sleep, but I found this one's waking call to be rude. A couple extra Rad suits and some more cover would've gone a long way. +++ Sector 666 +++ Aeternum Dunno about any other suggestions, those 2 would make up maybe half a month.
  13. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map23: Blood Runners Author: Sphagne Sphagne is definitely the Drake O'Brien of the first Community Chest: three big-ass levels (two of which coincidentally take up the Map 21 and 27 spots) which also happen to be some of the hardest in the WAD. Their second outing, Blood Runners, is by far the easiest, both in gameplay and in navigation, and for that I'm very thankful. First of all, I appreciate the custom midi that was included here, a track that seeps with mystery and suspense, which in all adds to the atmospheric tone. Nowhere near as mind-bogglingly confusing as Avenger, Sphagne makes each section much more easily identifiable: rivers of blood, a UAC warehouse, and an area that leads to an outdoor... uh, shrine area? Not too sure about that last one. Figuring out the correct way is still a bit of a chore, and I didn't know that a metal bar guarded by zombies was a door (for reference, the door in question is close to the Arch-vile in the sniper tower, by the secret stack of bullet crates). I also overlooked how easy getting the Invulnerability in the finale was, though that's my fault, of course. On a happier note, Sphagne's much more forgiving what comes to ammunition, so you won't need to Tyson quite as much as previously, and the ending's pretty good (even if most of my Invuln was wasted because the Cyberdemon kept blasting me out of the windows). Far and away my favourite map from this author; the less said about his last offering though, the better... Map24: Bring Evil Upon Thee Author: Kim Bach (Torn) Imagine if Gene Bird made a map with some pretty decent detailing. Torn - whom I think is best known for making Scythe's Map31 - delivers upon thee a Hellish, marble set of rooms chock-full of Imps and Pinkies, along with some zombies and a few Arch-viles; on that last note, if it *wasn't* for the Arch-viles and Chaingunners, this level would've fit right into an Ultimate Doom megawad. Here, Torn throws us the SSG and basically tells us to lit 'er rip the demons. Simple, inoffensive stuff, but as I mentioned, the detailing's pretty decent, what with the variant lighting thanks to the diagonal bars running along the ceilings. Naturally, the Arch-viles are the trickiest part, but even then a few are locked away behind unreachable cages; the deadliest ones are the two that ambush you from behind by resurrecting previously-killed enemies, and the last one with a small gathering of Imps in a wide open room as the final trap. All-in-all, very quick, brainless fun, though a little too simple to be genuinely thrilling.
  14. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map22: Future Grave Author: Jason Allison (ravage) So we go from a techbase (Map20) to full-on Hell (Map21)... back to full-on techbase? This would've worked so much better in the first 5 or 6 maps. Actually yeah, Map06 should've been here, since it did indeed have a Hellish section, at least. ravage's sole entry in Community Chest is rudimentary and simple in its design, making use of some very dull beige textures, broken up only be grey poles or the nukage. So, come to think of it, it's very much like Map05 in that regard. The gameplay evokes Ultimate Doom with the heavy use of Imps and zombies, with the odd Hell Knight or whatever breaking up the monotony. In spite of the extremely easy combat and the fact that the overall level isn't very big, it's surprisingly easy to get lost, which I chalk up to the aforementioned texturing that makes everything look the bloody same. There are very few points of interest, such as a very basic maze with Pinkies where the walls eventually lower to turn the room into a courtyard, and maybe an ambush where Imps descend from all sides, but that's about as difficult at the map gets. An entirely forgettable entry.
  15. Poncho1

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Community Chest

    Map21: Avenger Author: Sphagne As I understand it, Sphagne's three maps for this WAD - much like Gene Bird's - were standalone releases before being thrown into this, probably to get the whole package to 32 maps. Some great lead development right there, eh? For the first time in Community Chest, we have a non-Doom II music track! Wow! However, that little tidbit isn't enough to redeem this one. It's one of those "where-the-fuck-do-I-go?" kind of maps, and the author forces you not only to figure your way out through the samey-looking corridors, but also to Tyson a good chunk of the enemies. This'd be okay if the connectivity worked well, but alas it doesn't, mostly due to the fact that Sphagne uses the same goddamn textures for any particular section, so you'll be running around in circles before finding a really-hidden switch that lowers a wall to another switch, which in turn... and you get the point. A lot of the weapons are hidden, so Pistol-starters should be in for a load of crap, here. The SSG's in a well, and the Rocket Launcher and Plamsa Gun are locked away in secrets. Speaking of, Sphagne really hid them well, to the point of outright frustration. Trying to 100% this is probably* a nightmare (* - we'll get back to this point shortly). I mean, I suppose the idea's sort of cool: it's a Hellish village, what with the living quarters you can breach at times, the narrow alleyways, little details like the aforementioned well, and the caves that give off a rural impression, but any amount of nice touches don't save this map from its complete lack of pacing. I spent ages without encountering a single enemy about halfway through my run trying to figure out my next step, and I couldn't tell you what I did that made the pace pick up. I accidentally exited the map with 99% kills and a little over half of the secrets, breaking my UV-Max-esque rules; however, considering how long, boring and confusing this was, I bent the rules on this one occasion and simply continued without looking back. To me, this is one of the worst maps in the WAD.