The DWmegawad Club plays: Serenity & Eternity & Infinity



What is the DWmegawad Club?
This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

Can I join?
Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

What levels am I allowed to post about?
We are playing Serenity first, then Eternity, then Infinity. One map per day.

Do I have to post an entry every day?
Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

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The wad we are currently playing through is Eternity

>>>DOWNLOAD SERENITY HERE<<<
>>>DOWNLOAD ETERNITY HERE<<<
>>>DOWNLOAD INFINITY HERE<<<

(Or you can download all three compiled into a single megawad here)

Yet another triple threat this month! The Serenity trilogy (Serenity & Eternity in 1994, Infinity in 1995) are a series of Doom 1 maps made by Bjorn Hermans and Holger Nathrath. The levels are touted as being “mind over muscles” and focus on quality gameplay. As E3 was curiously made first, we’ll be experiencing the maps in chronological order, going from E3 -> E2 -> E1.

Maplist for Serenity/Eternity/Infinity

E3M1 - "A Warm Welcome"
E3M2 - "Doom - The Movie"
E3M3 - "R You Lonesome?"
E3M4 - "All the Marbles"
E3M5 - "Dungeons of the Dark"
E3M6 - "I’m Here. I’m There. Stairs Are Everywhere"
E3M7 - "Big Time"
E3M8 - "Church of the Poisoned Minds"

E2M1 - "From Here Till Eternity"
E2M2 - "The Fat Imp Sings Your Blues"
E2M3 - "Totally Crossed Out"
E2M4 - "Clear & Unpleasant Danger"
E2M5 - "Through The Eye Of The Needle"
E2M6 - "The Underground"
E2M7 - "Escape While You Can"
E2M8 - "Serenity Forever"

E1M1 - "Switch Bored?"
E1M2 - "Say Jazz To Another Excess"
E1M3 - "Beat It!"
E1M4 - "Everybody Frag Now"
E1M5 - "Dungeons Of Doom"
E1M6 - "Who’s Afraid Of Red, Yellow And Blue?"
E1M7 - "Blaze Of Glory"
E3M8 - "StarGate Into Infinity"

BONUS CONTENT
DSDA Archives: Serenity | Eternity | Infinity
Doom Wiki: Serenity | Eternity | Infinity
Kmxexii reviews: Serenity | Eternity | Infinity
Suitepee plays: Serenty & Eternity | Infinity
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OLD THREADS
BF_THUD!
Community Chest 4
Jenesis
MAYhem 2012
Memento Mori
Interception
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Hadephobia
Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact
HYMN
Stardate 20X6 & Monochrome Mapping Project
Realm of Chaos
Back to Saturn X E1 & Favillesco E1
Kama Sutra
Unholy Realms & Zone 300
Vile Flesh
Ultimate Doom
Whitemare & Sacrament
Scythe
Epic 2
Whitemare 2
Sunder & Countdown to Extinction
Doom 2 the Way id Did
MAYhem2048
Stomper
Back to Saturn X E2
Going Down
Rylayeh & Crimson Canyon & Azagthoth

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Just wanted to state that part of the reason why we're playing it chronologically is because I think it will help people remain invested knowing the "better" stuff awaits them (or that's the hope anyway).

Going against my best judgment and I'm doing pistol starts. Also UV, saves, keyboard, yada yada (fun fact: I don't think I've explained it, but my keyboard setup is like this: my right hand hovers over the arrow keys, which are your usual forward, bacward, turn left, turn right. But my left hand hovers over the ASD keys, which are strafe left, shoot, strafe right—in that order. Spacebar is interact. I dunno if other people use this setup but it feels really natural to me).

E3M1: Like what I see here so far. The opening gauntlet is a bit more fun if you don’t find the secret/opt not to use rad suit, and the long hallway with hitscanners pelting you from the windows is good too. The way the map closes out with Lost Souls in a giant room is a bit stale, but otherwise I’m fairly impressed with how this wad has started given the year of creation.

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Serenity: E3M1 - HMP, Pistol Start

This is my first go through of these 3 WADs & as of map 1 I'm off to a really bad start. It took me 2 deaths to realize that the first room that you enter has a 20% damaging floor. On my third attempt though, I made it all of the way to the exit without any death's. This map itself is nothing special, it's extremely liner & doesn't offer much more than stand in the doorway & kill all the monsters in the next room game play, except for a very small section of the map near the curved stairs that offers a bit off monster crossfire. Visually it's okay I guess, it's hard to judge the visuals of a map when there really isn't much to the layout, though there is a typical 1994ism of using the sky3 texture as a wall texture. I've seen much worse maps from 1994, but I've also seen better so this map doesn't get any sympathy points from me, I hope the series improves as we progress.

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I've been looking forward to this set! The Serenity Trilogy was one of the first PWADs I fully played through (as it didn't crash Doomsday circa the early 2000s) and I always get nostalgic playing through it. I'm sure the first time I played it on HNTR, later plays would have been HMP. This month I'll be giving it a go on UV for the first time. I also discovered (thanks to either DoomWiki or kmxexii's reviews) that Serenity has its own music wad that's not included on the idgames archives for whatever reason, so I'll be listening to that for the first time. As usual, GZDoom/continuous/keyboard-only/frequent saves.

E3M1: A Warm Welcome
Brutal start. I got caught in the crossfire at the foot of the stairs and lost a bit of health there. Then I went up to the yellow key door and was ambushed hard. Died for the first and only time when I went back and opened the door to the yellow key room with 8% health and was immediately gunned down (I was smart enough to at least not walk right in, but alas.) Thank goodness for the stimpack in the slimepit, or I would have died grabbing the key, as well. The baron at the end was a pain to kill, I just had to keep him in between me and the "S" so he remained visible (at least shells were plentiful.) A quick introductory map, kind of ugly, but at least not totally boring, architecturally. The midi got annoying quickly, though, as it looped far too rapidly.

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dobu gabu maru said:

Going against my best judgment and I'm doing pistol starts. Also UV


abandon all hope

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Let's see how much I manage to stick around for this time. I don't think I've ever gone past the 20th level. Will start on UV pistols no-saves, may switch to a lower difficulty, continuous, or saves if I feel the need for it later on.

Wad: Serenity
Slot: 3 1
Map: A Warm Welcome
Author: Holger Nathrath, Bjorn Hermans
Notes:
Very 1994. High quality 1994, but not much going on visually, and what there was consisted mainly of stark lighting contrasts and out of place hell textures. The shadow path room killed me the first time around, but I like the mechanic, and introducing it less than a minute into the map means that even if I die it's not a big deal. Other than that it wasn't a very hard map (though I did come really close to death in the pit because of mis-timing the lift). I liked the look of the final room. All in all, a pretty fun corridor shotgun blaster level.

On a general serenity note, should we toss this one in as well? http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/s-u/ser3lv11.zip

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Well guys, for the first time, I think I'm going to play this with you. Let's see what happens.

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Alright, Serenity, Eternity, Infinity. I've played these all before, but it's been about a bajillion zillion years since last time, give or take, so there's no way I'm going to remember everything about them. They generally appear on any historically-inclined list of notable PWADs that one is likely to see; IMHO this is largely eliding from a case of "right place, right time" rather than from any truly undying virtuosity (even by the standards of the early PWAD era, I mean), but nevertheless these WADs are not without virtues. Nathrath and Hermans liked to focus on concept-based setups (many of them quite experimental by the standards of the time), as we shall see, and it's generally this characteristic that lends these maps most of their flavor, for better or worse.

Incidentally, as Dobu and KMX have hinted, not all of these maps have really been made with pistol-starts in mind as a practical option (voluntary pistol-starting of maps as an everyday playstyle was considerably less common in those days), although a lot of them will still play 'normally' if taken this way, if memory serves. Nevertheless, I'm going to do what I usually do, pistol-starts, UV, etc. etc. etc. Periodic adversity aside, I reckon I can make it, and you all can too. So, without further ado....

Serenity E3M1 -- A Warm Welcome - 96% Kills / 100% Secrets
Of the three episodes, the original Serenity is the one I seem to be having the most trouble remembering in detail, but I do remember this opener well enough to snag the radsuit secret right at the start, anyway. Fittingly enough, the level's most memorable feature is right behind the first door, presenting us with a tableau of an infernal sun glaring down on an expanse of white gravel, with an erratically zigzagging beam overhead casting a narrow shadow that offers the only shelter from the harmful rays from above and the scorching heat baking up from below. This room is emblematic of the Serenity experience as a whole; that is to say, it proudly presents a discrete gameplay gimmick (e.g. stay in the shadow-path or get roasted for 20% damage, unless you were resourceful enough to find the radsuit secret) with very little preamble, hoping to impress and entertain via novelty and variety (and for its time, it certainly would've had an uncommon share of both). Visually and structurally, by the standards of the time the general presentation is above-average (especially in regards to concourse issues like texture alignment and such); while generally very simplistic, the various rooms are lent some flavor by contrasts in scale and shape, and there are some little bits of more memorable craft here and there, ala the surprisingly effective miniature skybox-illusion near the lift leading to the cage room's upper level. Connections between the major rooms, by contrast, are often simply forgettable hallways, which is also pretty typical of the WAD as a whole, IIRC. So, in other words, the setting/structure is a lot like the gameplay: a lot of straightforward conceptual stuff with a like amount of filler to pad it out.

On that point, the action is generally very simplistic--in this map, we mostly shoot small numbers of directly-placed monsters that wait for us along our path, and that's something we'll be doing a lot of; where monsters make any impression at all, it's generally as a distraction element in one of the setpieces, as is the case with the monsters in the shadow-path room. Back when this was contemporary, I imagine many players probably just shot a lot of these guys from the threshold before entering, but supposing one were to charge in, the monsters' obvious purpose is to try to get you to step out of the shadow (or indeed, to fail to initially notice it at all), where the real hurt begins. Beyond this situational use, though, the monsters are pretty much non-entities; there's no armor in the map, so maybe some of the shotgun sergeants might sting a bit if RNG is unfavorable (although the glut of health potions in the shadow-path room builds up a nice buffer against this). I forgot that stepping on the 'S' symbol in the dramatic final room would immediately cause me to exit, so the Baron at the end escaped my wrath. Pretty uneventful, all told, though I imagine the map probably makes a better impression if you've never seen it before, since that's when whimsical concepts usually shine brightest.

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Note that compiling all wads together will result in a couple of wrong textures here and there. I've noticed this when I put the series on my ZDaemon server. That was when I just learned how to configure port forwarding, I was really happy, so I started hosting a new server every day. I would typically choose something obscure that I've never seen people playing online, so my servers would usually attract quite a few players interested in trying something new. Good times, we explored a lot of relatively forgotten wads together.

e3m1 - awesome music. Cool shadows at the spawn, fun idea in the next area with a possibility to play it differently if you know where the secret suit is. Pleasant brightness contrast in rooms, great moment with the "S" lighting up.

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Never played these wads before. I'll play with Zandronum, UV, pistol starts. I've looked up SERENITY's music wad and merged it with the /idgames version.

Serenity

E3M1 - "A Warm Welcome"


Well, 1994 - most of the design looks orthogonal and blocky, often also plain and textured rather blandly. On the other hand, author's sense for creativity is apparent, and that's a great thing. Unconventionality can be a strong side of old wads, and in my view, here it actually is.

Combat primarily consists of clearing big rectangular rooms with monsters seemingly randomly scattered around. However, there are 2 aspects that balance it out more than well. Firstly, it has actually proven to be challenging - I've died 2 times in the map! And secondly, every other room provides an original gimmick, even if a simple one. It starts right in the second room, with a "damaging Sun" or something. The teleport trap was kind of weird, 2 monsters were even stuck, but okay.

I also liked the nukage lift trap, because it provided me a really interesting challenge, as I only had 3% health and 0% armor when arriving there! What to do? Well, there was just one stimpack in the pit, so I've jumped onto it (+10% HP) and then rushed to the key platform ASAP. The nukage managed to harm me once, reducing my health to 8%. Now I was standing in a safe place in the pit and the wooden lift started moving. I waited till it went down, and then waited some more before it started going up, then quickly rushed and stepped onto the lift's edge. That way, I wasn't damaged at all! And that's how I survived. Incredible. You can't experience things like that in other games than Doom. :)

I agree with everything that Memfis said about the map in his comment above. I also understand why Memfis likes this wad, and I sympathetize. As of lately, I've preferred playing inventive unpolished (even ugly) wads over "standard" "quality" ones. Just recently, I've randomly fired up a few levels from BTSX E2 and Resurgence, and lost enthusiasm halfway through the level and mostly quitted after first death. Then I've decided to try out Icarus: Alien Vanguard. Damn, the levels were ugly and gimmicky, but the whole semi-realistic spaceship theme, mixed with easy-ish Doom gameplay, got me interested for a long time and I've had a lot of fun in there. I don't know, I just felt so that day, tomorrow I might feel the opposite, but I wanted to say - Memfis, now I think I understand how inventiveness is the greatest. :)

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Might see if I can squeeze this into my streaming schedule after I finish D2INO and Mayhem 2048 this month.

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E3M1 – A Warm Welcome – Kills – 97, Items – 100, Secret – 100. End Health – 156, Armor 8. Death Count – Zero. Shells – 85, Bullets – 280

UV continuous, Risen3D, frequent saves, keyboard-only

Nice to be back in the DWMC, and what an easy way to get back in the saddle. Whee, I owned this fucking map! Well, not as great a boast as saying I owned a Ribbiks map, which is never gonna happen. :D

@Dobu thanks for revealing your keyboard set-up. Quite different from my right-hand on keypad and left index finger on the firing key; A, in my case. I may give your setup a whirl one of these days.

Anyhoo, on to this map. This was just what I needed to feel like a badass given that I have raging tooth infections, a fever, my lower lip is tingling with numbness, and I'm so weak I'm creeping about the house like an arthritic codger in his 90s. Yes, as in every SteveD review, it's all about me. ;D But I had planned to include all those true statements in case I got my ass kicked real bad, so I could use it as an excuse. I decided to heed the warnings about pistol starts and play continuous. Further, I hunted down a version with the music, and smiled when I heard Chicago's “25 or 6 to 4,” kind of an anthem for those of us who grew up during the Paleolithic Era in Chi-Town, now known, alas, as Chiraq, owing to the massive gang-fueled murder rate, making certain parts of the city more dangerous than Iraq during wartime.

All that said, this was easy. I appreciated being jumped by the Sarge, because starting under fire is cool, even if it's cheap. No real need for giddy-up action, just a casual pistol kill. Took a look outside and, benefiting from prior reviews, found the secret radsuit and ran out there. Thus began my quest to try and survive the map without taking a hit. This required savescumming as I cheesily tested the map's defenses, then went back to a prior save and played it again in pursuit of perfection.

I survived the outdoor battle without savescumming, taking only one bit of sun-damage. I had to replay the Backpack area because I took hitscanner shots the first time. The open killbox room managed to strip all my extra health the first time because I Ramboed it, but after that I replayed the battle and door-camped my way through most of it before running in to dust-off the Caco and some zombieboys and Imps.

The crazy Block Monster lines made my quest all the easier since monsters were bunched-up for the slaughter.

My first try at the yellow key room was another Rambo event that dropped me to 22% thanks to that jagoff Sergeant I didn't see down in the pit. On the second go I leaped down, turned, and got that creep and his little Imp buddy without taking a hit.

Upstairs to the rather sad teleport trap which allowed me to practice middle-distance sidestepping technique, but I might have taken a chip-shot from a Sergeant here, which dropped me from 160 to 156. Then on to the stairs where the hopelessly-pinned critters had “Victim” signs above their heads, and were treated accordingly, and finally, by accident, I camped the “S” room because I wanted to see if the Lost Souls were trapped by a Block Monster line. As we all know, they weren't, and they were at the entrance, along with a Baron, in no time. Killing the trapped Baron through corner-abuse was a bit of a slog, but it kept my almost-perfect run alive. In the end, I probably missed some monsters in the malfunctioning teleport closet scifista referred to.

Overall thoughts would be that this is definitely not in the same league as Doomsday of the UAC, but it's a pretty solid '94 map. The Block Monster tomfoolery makes gameplay quite dire, since the map is utterly linear and set-piecey, an early example of the “One Hamburger Hill After Another” approach, which continues to this day, albeit with vastly stronger forces arrayed against you. As a result, monsters that could start hunting you and complicate your life are instead gathered in easily-annihilated clumps. However, if you make a few mistakes in this map, it can rip your ass up. There's a decent population of hitscanners to perforate your hide if you aren't careful, and I like the monster balance overall. I think the blazing sun room is a clever idea, and I also liked the way they illuminated the “S” at the end.

It's also the case that a good portion of my Doom brain is still lodged in the '90s, which I think helped me deal with the eccentricities here. It's as if my reflexes are honed for what this map threw at me.

It also gladdens my heart to see young mappers and players like Memfis and scifista42 enjoy this '90s experience.

So all in all, I had fun.

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It's a Revenant-free Zone! Might do something with this, if I can drag myself away from other stuff for long enough.

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That radsuit's a secret, eh? I got turned around while cleaning out the starting room and assumed that door was the classic entrance door, so I put my back to it, moved forward and--voila!--a radsuit and a dead end. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if that was the first time I'd ever found the suit.)

Also, if anyone's curious how I keyboard, it looks like this (my boring ol' left thumb does nothing):

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Well. I'm doing this on UV, pistol-starts.

E3M1: OK, so I died the first three times under the "burning sun", because the last time I played this was maybe like 5 years ago, and I thought I was being killed by the sergeants. It wasn't until I cleared the zone completely that I realized it was the floor doing damage. The rest was fairly easy, with the exception of the last room with the Baron and Lost Souls: I died two times there because of the goddamn barrels.

About architecture, well, it's better than most 1994 wads, but it doesn't looks that good today. Monster placement is not bad, but maybe another Baron or a couple of more Cacos would fit great here.

So, 6 deaths, final time 7:34. I can't wait for tomorrow.

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Well since my newly fixed computer went and died on me again, I'm back to my ancient XP machine, so an undemanding set like this is perfect! I played these years ago, so it will be nice to revisit. I'll probably switch between mouse and just keyboard as the mood takes me, UV, pistol starts, no saves - though, I might give up on the pistol starts if it's really not well suited to it.

E3M1 - "A Warm Welcome"

A nice starter map - the non E1 monsters make a very quick appearance. The overlapping light fields in the starting room was a stylish touch. The damaging sector and wiggly path was instantly recognisable; nice to collect all those potions, which came in handy when I took a major unexpected pelting from the hitscanners flanking the entrance to the main hall. I like the design of the latter, with the elevated monsters on the sides - good to see the monsters being used in these ways in such an early PWAD, rather placed straight in front of player. The sky-wall was a fun addition. I guess there was a Baron in the final room, but I exited sooner than I intended to, so it (or I) was spared. Cool contrast with darkness and the 'S'; this is a running theme as I recall.

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I've heard about these map sets but never played them for whatever reason, so here we go with Serenity

E3M1 - "A Warm Welcome"

Very old school and basic, guess that goes withoout saying though. Still, not much of interest in gameplay terms, lots of shotgunning stuff from doorways and corners and flat/square/linear layout. a bit of variety with the elevated cages. Some quirky design choices, the strange wiggly health bonus path, the 'sky-wall', and the final room is a bit odd. I didn't fancy killling a baron with a shotgun, but luckily i stumbled on the exit. Be interesting to see if these maps get any tougher as we go along.

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Salt-Man Z said:

Also, if anyone's curious how I keyboard, it looks like this (my boring ol' left thumb does nothing):


I'm certainly curious, and your setup is intriguingly different, since it's 2-handed and all spread out on the horizontal plane, whereas mine is clumped-up in a tiny 1-handed square, which leads to wrist fatigue on big maps with a shitload of dodging, such as were found in BTSX E2. Do you ever get "dodging fatigue"?

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I guess I'll bite. I tend to prefer the oldschool stuff and this is a series I never played for one reason or another, so this is pretty much a blind playthrough. Will use Choco since it's a little smoother performing than DOSBox (maybe, sort of, I can't always tell) and I don't feel like hooking all the cables and stuff back up on my old box at the moment. Setting skill to UV.

So, Serenity E3M1:

For a map this old, it had more teeth than I anticipated. Took me a few attempts although the first one was wasted on "Does this hurt me? Yeah, this hurts me" in the winding path room, which might be the most memorable feature of this level. It's a quirky room, I've seen this sort of gimmick before, but maybe this is the first map that used it. On the one hand, the sector damage is pretty heavy if you mess up, but on the other hand, the fairly easy to find secret radsuit lets you just ignore the whole "puzzle" anyway.

Looks are mostly of the spartan-yet-functional variety but there's some decent stuff like the wood room with the elevated barred walkways and the rather interesting dark/light contrast in the last room. I like that they got the lighting such that you can just see what's going on but it still feels very dark. Varying floor and ceiling heights are there, but gameplay-relevant in only a couple places.

A couple of specific peeves, I never liked the "sky texture as wall to fake a window" thing. I'm not sure at what point the "proper" way to make a window like that with real sky was hit upon, though. I was also mildly annoyed at the big "S" being the exit. It's noticeable, but didn't come off as an obvious "hey, this is the exit" type thing to me so I ended up exiting without realizing I was going to. Also, near the end I heard monsters teleporting to... somewhere. Wherever it was, they didn't seem to be coming to trap me in any way.

All in all I'd say this map is tougher than the id Doom levels, but a bit less interesting visually and architecturally.

K/I/S - 96%/98%/100%

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Salt-Man Z's keyboard setup looks barbaric. I put my hand into that configuration and felt like a maniacal piano composer (if that makes any sense)

E3M2: I kinda like how white textures are primarily being used here—gives episode 3 a vastly different feel from Doom’s original rendition of it. The progression through the map is a bit weird (I was at the end before I even realized it), and the big room with the E was a little ugly, but otherwise it was an alright corridor crawl.

mouldy said:

Be interesting to see if these maps get any tougher as we go along.

I've played a bit into the mapset and you're in for a fucking treat come E3M6.

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sErenity: E3M2 - HMP, Pistol Start

I have played this map before, at least 4 times in fact, anyone who has attempted to get through all of the Maximum Doom should be quite familiar with this one as it appears in Maximum Doom a minimum of 4 times, with various changes made each time. I didn't die at all in this map, but I did come close in the blue computerish room. I found the layout & visuals to be much better this time around and there is good use of windows & height variation to connect the map together, which in turn really helps to improve the game play compared to the previous map. There were a few thing that I didn't like though, like finding the right wall to hit in the exit room to be able to leave the map & it did take me a little while to find the door that took me back to the start room after I was teleported to the E room. We have our first appearance of Custom resources in this map, there is a movie theater room that I believe has a texture with Sil from Species on it. I did enjoy this map quite a bit & I guess it really impressed people back in 1994 if they went out & ripped it off so many times in such a short period.

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UV (for once), continuous, frequent save/load.

e3m1
It's better than I was making in 1994, I will give it that :) Blocky, of course, with minimal detail. Also has that 'early WAD' tendency for dramatic height/lighting differences or none at all. Couple of pretty nasty traps in it, but it is mostly just a straightforward, linear corridor shooter.

e3m2
The texturing is a bit more varied, but not in any logical or thematic way: they just used a bigger variety. The movie theatre is amusing, I guess. Exit room is kinda asinine. Still better than my 1994 stuff, though.

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e3m2 - awesome music, I'd love to know its origin, it appears in 1994 compilations quite often. This map is a great example of directionless design: there are no keyed doors or any other signs of what your "mission" might be, the exit comes completely unexpected, which is interesting. The use of a letter-shaped symbol is amusing again, this time you can move it several times. I'm also a big fan of the switch sequences leading to the blue secret and the teleport inside it, something about them is really neat. And, of course, there is the cinema.

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Slot: 3 2
Map: Doom - The Movie
Author: Holger Nathrath, Bjorn Hermans
Notes:
Still not very appealing to look at, but this is a pretty cool layout. There's a good mix of tight corridors and open spaces, and despite a bit of backtracking the map flows pretty well. I thought there might be some sort of secret having to do with the letter E raising, but I couldn't see anything after I got it to raise a couple times. I did find the secret health pack. :) This is a pretty fast map pack so far.

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SteveD said:

Do you ever get "dodging fatigue"?

Fortunately, I don't recall that having come up. The biggest danger for me is my thumb slipping off the fire key (my new keyboard's edges are rounder than I'm used to) and of course, switching weapons using the regular number keys--not usually a problem, but in the dark it's easy to stab 5 when I want 4, etc.

Dobu: "Maniacal composer" sounds good to me. :D

Anyway...


E3M2: Doom - The Movie
I don't particularly care for this map. The opening is interesting enough, if ugly. The "E" room is, of course, iconic, as is the tiny little (completely optional?) theater that gives the map its name. The corridor battles aren't actually too bad, either, but I overlooked the teleporter to the E room early on ("I'll get that later, let me explore first") and then completely forgot about it, and wandered around trying to figure out how to proceed for way too long. Anyway, man that E room is ugly. And I hate how the exit room is so sudden and inescapable, plus the dumb gimmick to raise the step up to the switch. Anyway, apparently when I say I'm a fan of the Serenity Trilogy, what I really mean is I'm a fan of Infinity/Eternity. :D

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E3M2 - "Doom - The Movie"

Bigger, but a little easier than E3M1, IMO, mostly thanks to the megaarmor introduced early on. Definitely an oldschool map. I'd complain about visuals and mandatory secrets and secret-like mechanisms if it was a today's map, but well, these standards didn't yet exist back then. It wasn't downright frustrating, so all right. Not a bad experience for an old map, but well, it looks ugly.

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So, how do I get the music if I download off /idgames? Didn't even realize there was supposed to be music until I saw Memfis' comment, and the Doom Wiki simply says the music file isn't included in the /idgames file. Is it contained in the megawad (and does it contain the texture errors?)

Anyways, I'll probably just do continuous this time through since apparently it's not designed for pistol starts.

E3M1: A Warm Welcome
100% kills, 1/1 secret

Yeah, damn, this is really 1994 ... and I have to remember that it actually WAS made in 1994, without the tools and such we have today. So can't be as picky about the texture misalignments and whatnot, I suppose. I'm a fan of the 'sun damage' room - it's a cheeky setup, but being near the start helps, and there's an easy secret radsuit nearby as well. The rest of the map is a bit of a bore, though - lots of corridors and bland setups. The crossfire in the dual-layered room is the only real spark. Not really keen on the unmarked yellow door, either... especially back in 1994, when there was no helpful YOU NEED A YELLOW KEY or yellow line on the minimap to indicate it. Maybe that's supposed to be part of the fun? I dunno. The block monster line in the staircase completely nullifies the baron threat. Aesthetically, not that all that special - the textures chosen are pretty bland and this map is pretty square even for 1994.

E3M2: Doom - The Movie
100% kills, 2/2 secrets

Uh oh. The first map was charming then bland in a 1994 way, but this one is just chock full of annoying choices. The first is the almost pervasive all-grey texturing choice, which makes coming across rooms like the marble 'doors' room or the end room like Dorothy entering Oz. And in a problem endemic to many maps of the time, there's one huge room coupled with a bunch of tiny-ass corridors (why did everyone love making such huge rooms? I can't recall id doing that, and for good reason - they're not fun). And the exit room is also terribly designed - if you don't happen to land on the square from the blind jump, then have fun guessing which nearly-unmarked wall section to push to make the step rise! (I assume it was tagged as a secret by accident due to the tag and sector effect both being '9'). Blah.

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E3M2 – Doom – The Movie – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. End Health – 111, Armor 148. Death Count – Zero. Shells – 98, Bullets – 313

UV continuous, Risen3D, frequent saves, keyboard-only

Coming in on continuous makes this map even easier than E3M1. Gotta love the Block Monster line that prevents Lost Souls from coming through the window. A camper's paradise! I did take some shots from hitscanners there.

I gotta give props for that awning at the start, a nice bit of architecture for back in the day.

The Chaingun was a sweet addition to my arsenal, allowing me to fan the hitscanners into oblivion. I got the Chainsaw long after I had any need for it, but it should come in handy in E3M3.

The theater was a bit awkward, but a cool concept.

I also noticed an early effort at gradient lighting in the big hall. IIRC, that was very rarely seen back in the '94, so props.

The main problem, as before, is the awful monster placement and, even worse, the Block Monster lines. I also had to use my Jump key at the exit since I couldn't get on to the platform. Was there an “E” in that room? I didn't see it.

All in all, another nice, relaxing blast from the past.

BTW, nice to know the Salt-Man doesn't get dodging fatigue. Wish I could say the same!

And, wait, Capellan playing on UV???? I thought that was against your religion. ;)

Edit: Wanted to mention that I agree with Memfis about the music. It's really good!

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Magnusblitz said:

So, how do I get the music if I download off /idgames?


I never found a separate music wad, so I Googled and found a version with the music in it. It's date-stamped 9/16/1994 instead of 10/30/1994. I'm guessing the music file was rejected at idgames over copyright issues.

Hmmm, will we have to do this for each episode?

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