The DWmegawad Club plays: Scythe 2



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?
Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it's the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

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.

When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?
Voting begins on the 25th of the current month.

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>>>DOWNLOAD SCYTHE 2<<<

Scythe 2 is a one man megawad created by Erik Alm, and is the sequel to Scythe. It was started in late 2003 and released in 2005 with the last three levels unfinished, and then once more in 2009 as a full 32-level megawad. In the words Anonymous, Scythe 2 is “Quite Hot!!”

Maplist for Scythe 2:

EPISODE I
Map01 - “Castle Entryway”
Map02 - “Rooftop Warzone”
Map03 - “Castle Gardens II”
Map04 - “Cursed Cellars”
Map05 - “Halls of Anguish”

EPISODE II
Map06 - “Temple Entryway”
Map07 - “Temple of Isis”
Map08 - “Graverobbers”
Map09 - “Valley of the Queen”
Map10 - “Pharaos Tomb”

EPISODE III
Map11 - “UAC Base X”
Map12 - “Battlegrounds”
Map13 - “Mining Project”
Map14 - “The Haunted Mines”
Map15 - “End of the Linet”
Map31 - “Secret”
Map32 - “Super Secret”

EPISODE IV
Map16 - “Mr X”
Map17 - “Canyon of Blood”
Map18 - “Living Lands”
Map19 - “Withering Away”
Map20 - “The Gate”

EPISODE V
Map21 - “Doom Gardens”
Map22 - “The Garden Base II”
Map23 - “Whispering Winds”
Map24 - “Gaia’s Temple”
Map25 - “Forgotten City”

EPISODE VI
Map26 - “Death”
Map27 - “Afterlife II”
Map28 - “Nightmare”
Map29 - “Dust to Dust”
Map30 - “Haunting Dreams”


BONUS CONTENT
Doom Wikia
DSDA Archives
Lingyan203's playthrough
j4rio's speedrun
Suitepee's playthrough: 1 2 3
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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
Serenity & Eternity & Infinity
Resurgence
Requiem
ConC.E.R.N.ed & Draft Excluder
Doom 2 Reloaded
Valiant

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It's the exact same type of a wad like Valiant was (thematized episodes of same-y style and high polish). I was hoping for something different this time. Nevermind, I'll try to enjoy it.

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Against some better judgement, I'll be tackling this after I finish Valiant (which should be tomorrow). I am NOT looking forward to this one, especially after having met its custom enemies (albeit not as they are in S2) with Resurgence.....

I'm expecting a Resurgence level of pain with the later episodes of this one for sure.

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Eh, another "family-friendly" choice, how boring. :) I almost feel the need for an alternative "underground" kind of club oriented on wads that are imo much more interesting to discuss, but the competition would be pretty tough I imagine.

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Suitepee said:

Against some better judgement, I'll be tackling this after I finish Valiant (which should be tomorrow). I am NOT looking forward to this one, especially after having met its custom enemies (albeit not as they are in S2) with Resurgence.....

Dude, if you don't want to play it then don't force yourself to do so.

Memfis said:

I almost feel the need for an alternative "underground" kind of club

Does this underground club provide refreshments, or do we follow your philosophy and supply our own?

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Wow, i'm surprised the club hasn't featured scythe 2 yet. Its a classic alright.

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Memfis said:

Eh, another "family-friendly" choice, how boring.

Look at it this way—every time we choose a famous megawad, that's one more off the list. Come 2022, all we'll be playing is 1 star wads by a bunch of nobodies.

Anyway, I've played Scythe but haven’t touched Scythe 2 before, so this’ll be interesting. Pistol starting every map.

MAP01: A decent opener, nothing special. It has a little more pistol play than usual but not really a lot of interesting ways to go about it. Neither offensive nor clever.

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MAP01: Castle Entryway - ITYTD difficulty
Fairly nice and easy for an opener. Starts out with Former Humans and Imps, and then starts throwing in Shotgun Guys. You can pick up a Chainsaw in one of the most obvious secret closets ever right at the start, and we can pick up a Chaingun and a normal Shotgun later on. There's a nice midtex bridge we cross after going through the yellow door, and at one point, you go down through a narrow passage only to be assaulted by approaching Demons, but there's a conveniently placed Berserk pack in an alcove for you to deal with them.

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Everything about the wad's text file sounds like a recipe for Grumpy Adam, and I'm a tiny bit overcommitted at the moment as well, so I'll limit myself to watching LMPs (either from her or the DSDA link). :)

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i'm surprised scythe2 hasn't been played yet, famous as it is. i had thought about voting for hellbound, but missed the deadline. whatever. i'll miss the last 12 maps due to vacation, but i'll play it in advance and post my impressions at due date. UV, pistol start, smooth gzdoom.


1 - castle entryway

an easy opener of a quake-styled first episode castle with the known dark brown stone and red switches. it appears very dark in gzdoom at my usual settings (default gamma and brightness, which looks sharp and normally bright in other maps). this was my main problem, i'll have to tinker with my settings. glboom looks more colorful. (perhaps it's a good idea to upgrade my monitor, but it seems wiser to wait at the moment)

gameplay-wise not much to say, a bunch of imps, zombies and pinkies, the pinkies appearing unsurprisingly right when you pick up the berserk, which allows to rip and tear through the map.
i found it funny that after last month's experience with valiant, imps and pinkies look suddenly even slower than they are ;)

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MAP01

Pistoled some People
Sawed the Demons

May as well get the chainsaw use out of my system, I doubt it will see much use in the future. Even sawed the cacodemon. Other than a simple keep with a 3d bridge, nothing to see here really.

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Scythe II is the best Scythe! Let's just get that out of the way right now (not that I probably won't repeat that several times over the course of the month...). I played this mapset a whole bunch when it was more contemporary, although my level of exposure to the final 3 maps (28-30), which were added on to the initially unfinished-yet-released WAD quite some time later, is fairly limited. So, most of my opinions about these episodes/maps are already pretty set, but since it's been a few years since I've played this (at least all the way through), we'll see if anything has changed for me. Going back to my usual casual/leisure play setup this time: Eternity engine, no infinitely-tall actors, pistol-starts, UV skill, few or no savegames, etc.

So, some info not specific to any one map in the set, but one of Scythe II's most memorable characteristics is its handling of a more pronounced episodic format in the context of a Doom 2 megaWAD. By this point, Erik Alm was no stranger to the idea of establishing coherent blocks of maps unified by a strong aesthetic theme (I'm sure we all remember the original Scythe's red-red-red-red-more-RED Hell episode, and then the surprising ice & snow endgame, for example), and in Scythe II the shifts from theme to theme every 5 maps or so are very stark indeed, creating the sense of exploring and fighting in related-but-separate vignettes, or perhaps akin to reading several different pulp adventure novellas all by the same author. Apart from the aesthetic differences, the various episodes have some of their own more subtle gameplay themes/quirks as well (apart from the steadily increasing overall difficulty, that is), but we can (re)discover those as we go along.

One of the most historically controversial aspects of the way Scythe II is set up is that Erik ended every fifth map or so with a death exit in order to start the weapon progression/curve afresh in each new episode (also thus underscoring some designed Tyson/austerity-flavored gameplay in a couple of the episode openers); to some ways of thinking this is a violation of basic game design courtesy/decency in that the player has no chance to survive and thus will see his/her 'rightfully earned' level of power reduced through no fault of his/her own, but it's a viewpoint I have never been able to really relate to, or in this case even fully understand. It's not as though you lose your weapons and then get dropped into a scenario where you need them to make progress as a form of artificially creating difficulty, after all; each episode presents a neatly balanced, if mini-sized continuous playthrough that begins with its first map and ends with a death exit (and of course pistol-starts are viable on all maps as well for those who enjoy that style). So what if the first map in a sequence is in slot 06 or 11 or whatnot instead of map 01? What difference does it make if the game is balanced in chunks as long as it's still balanced? Speaking for myself, I would consider the slightly outré bit of deus ex machina in the form of unavoidable death exits to be an almost inconsequential price to pay for the reinstatement of a much more strongly pronounced episodic format, engendering greater aesthetic/thematic variety while still allowing for a sense of journey/progression from map to map, and one of the shiniest feathers in the original Doom's cap in the timeless and unending debates about whether Doom or Doom II is the better game (it's Doom II, but man is the episodic format appealing! ;) ).

Map 01 -- Castle Entryway - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Anyway, this first episode takes place in a dark ages/medieval setting, all stark stone fortresses and dour gothic veneer under a brooding blue-black sky (I tend to imagine it as all playing out within the walls of one huge castle-city, actually). Lots of assets from Gothictex and one or two from Eternal Doom dominate in this episode, although to more recent players I imagine it's reminiscent of nothing so much as the gothic/Hell sets from Community Chest 4, which employ many of the same assets (perhaps with some tweaks and reworks), and understandably so, given how ubiquitous cc4tex has become in recent years. The Entryway doesn't present the grand reception hall that one might expect; seems more like a servant entrance or the like, really, beginning at a discrete iron gate and ending with a Quake-style slipgate to the rooftops. It is geometrically quite simple apart from an elbowed stairway or two, but feels credibly fleshed out as location by virtue of its use of height variation, with several side-areas exiting into and out of the humble central yard at a variety of different heights. Rather spartan in decor, as well, but I think it looks just fine, with a believable gritty texture scheme of black and brown masonry and a bit of vibrant orange molten material (I imagine this as being metal of some sort rather than lava, perhaps part of a forge operation) for contrast. Minor details here and there fill out the scene, ala the candles on the outer wall or the imp dogsbody having his way with the impaled marine in the corner of the yard.

Gameplay, well, despite being largely remembered for his more outlandishly violent/difficult stuff, Erik always did seem to be a firm believer in traditional map 01 gameplay tropes, so what we get here is poorly-organized groups of lazy zombie pages with imp overseers, with a pack of pinkies at one point and a couple of sergeants placed to broadside you later on. It's framed as very straightforward pistol/shotgun play (and it gives you a berserk pack moments before the pinkies appear, that old chestnut), but in the name of fun what I did was pistol a couple of zombies and then take the secret chainsaw right at the start, using literally nothing else for the remainder of the level. After playing Valiant last month, it feels good to respect this weapon again! The 'zerk fist was tempting as well, but I know it's going to get more than a few moments in the spotlight later on, and so decided it could wait. I even chainsawed the 'surprise' revenant guarding the slipgate, which actually almost got me killed (he overcame painstun and bitchslapped me a couple of times before succumbing to the Eager Beaver), but "YOLO", as the kids say.

One minor detail I find charming about this map is the totally casual placement of the yellow key, just sitting in plain sight (but nevertheless somewhat out of the way) on the lip of the forge over to one side of the main yard. You can't reach it from the ground, so you have to get it by climbing around on the forge after hopping to it from the side stairs--there's no obvious in-setting path that leads to it. Doom's a really abstract game, of course, but little bits like this, where not every key/objective is found in a setpiece designed explicity to house it, always adds a subtle touch of in-world believability for me. Like, did one of those zombies drop this here on his smoke-break, or what?

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Memfis said:

Eh, another "family-friendly" choice, how boring. :) I almost feel the need for an alternative "underground" kind of club oriented on wads that are imo much more interesting to discuss, but the competition would be pretty tough I imagine.


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Zandronum, UV, continuous.

Map01 - “Castle Entryway”

Very easy, but stylish and awesome opener that sets the appropriate mood. Nice looking, simply fun. Pretty much the only Scythe 2 map that sticks in my memory (I've played the wad before, but more like randomly than anything). I've immediately revealed the secrets and blasted through the map in less than 4 minutes (I missed some items though, not that I mind it).

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Map01 - “Castle Entryway”
So we begin with a fairly simple opener, the visuals are nicely portrayed in this dark brown gothic castle which will be the dominant flavour of the first 5 maps. Gameplay is pretty straightforward but fun.
Overall a good opener for a wad many people consider to be one of the best one man megawads ever made.

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that moment I start listening to Symphony X is the moment you guys start playing Erik's maps.

I'll probably hop in for this one, but no guarantees. It's just like Valiant, except with annoying overused death exits to separate the episodes. and it's getting too old for me. tell me guys, exactly how many megawads we've played that had death exits?

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Getsu Fune said:

It's just like Valiant, except with annoying overused death exits to separate the episodes.


Doesn't Valiant use death exits to separate the episodes? In fact thats the only similarity I can think of between the two.

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Getsu Fune said:

It's just like Valiant, except with annoying overused death exits to separate the episodes.


You must be playing all of the wrong wads if you think that death exits are overused, they seem to be one of the most hated things on Doomworld. When ever someone brings them up in community project, they quickly get shot down.

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perhaps I meant death exits in one-man megawads. there's not a whole lot of community projects that do use them, so that's correct.

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Well. You can't have Doom 1 style episodes in Doom 2 so you have to think of some other way. Having six separate wads would be kinda crappy, so instead death exits are used to separate the episodes. So putting death exits in maps is actually done for the player's convenience. Or do u want to have six wads and reload the game after finishing each one? Also lol at an_mutt's post.

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Shoot, Scythe 1 had death exits.

I won't be joining again this month, but I'll share some brief thoughts here:

I played Scythe 2 a handful of years ago on HMP continuous, but never got past MAP23. On that map, I burned through all my ammo dropping soooo many monsters, and then was stuck at the point where you have to drop down into a room full of like a million revenants to get a key. I said "Eff that," and never got back to the WAD.

That said, I adore the first episode, and have played the first 3-4 maps a few times. The second episode I also have good memories of. The third and fourth I don't remember at all, and the fifth was just a pain (especially that pistol start on MAP21) but still gorgeous.

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I dont feel to replay this wad now so I think I will pass. Really cool megawad, I dont even know how I managed to finish this only with the keyboard. You'd better start to love the revenants :^)

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My favorite megawad, high replay ability and classic design.

MAP01
Pleasing megawad intro! 2 tight secrets near each other and some forced damaged floors, but that's fine, the joy covers it, chaingunning imps, punching revenants and all that, what not to like.

It's really wierd how many people don't feel anything towards this masterpiece.

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I fucking love death exits, every map should have one. I love me some Scythe 2 too so I'll hop on the wagon this month and play along. I haven't played this in a while (well, before yesterday anyway) but most of the first two Eps I managed to breeze through with 100s on every category with ease. Episode 3 I don't really remember that well but episodes 4-6 I do recall being tons of fun again. Not that I doubt the quality of episode 3 either though, I'm sure those five maps will be fun as well.

Map01: Castle Entryway

Cute little starter map. It's a very traditional map01 for sure as the map is very easy and compact, pretty much over in two to three minutes. Apparently Demon of the Well has the same notion of fun as I do since I too decided to go Chainsaw massacre on the poor Zombiemen and leave the hitscanner weaponry for later maps. I did switch to the Berserk fist when the option to do so presented itself though but still, the first part of the level was one of those rare instances where I willingly use the saw and enjoy it. The medieval castle theme is one I more often than not enjoy and this is no exception. Pretty simplistic in the end but there's enough details to make it an interesting and believable environment. I'd also like to specifically thank Erik for the GR switch, which combined with the chainsaw produces sweet music for my ears heh. Anyway, the map is completely linear but there's only so much you can do when you're trying to fit the traditional map01-mold. YK is a little bit hidden and it may just be the biggest obstacle for one's progress here. Cute starter map as I said and serves its purpose well enough.

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Welp, this wad and pl2 brought me into speedrunning, so I'm going to join. I'll try to pitch less obvious observations, maybe.

Map01: Castle Entryway

This is a really sweet and easy opener in true Almian style of ramping difficulty up slowly and gradually... when played casually. I just coasted through it at a leisurly pace in about two minutes, but it's one of the more frustrating maps in scythe2 to speedrun. Despite its tiny size, several places are pure run killers. First there's a strategically placed zombieman to thwart your attempts to quickly open the first door, then there's a pair of douchebags right behind it who block you with more aptitude than a pensioner that sees you rushing for a departing vehicle of mass public transportation. After a bunch of enjoyable corridors the runner is met with the pig gantlet at the 'zerk. A pox on you, Alm! They'll block you 99 times out of 100, but during my grinds I eventually managed to part the Pink Sea and cross it unblocked. There's one more not-so-obvious and unplanned obstacle in the way that makes you go Angry German Kid - the cute 3d bridge. The linedef meant to bring it down is rather absurdly easy to skip if you're furiously sr50'ing towards the exit, so unless you want to plant face into an invisible wall, slower means safer. Frustration.

As for maxing, this sort of shit is my trigger, so I haven't really bothered with the map, just like the first two maps of scythe. Monsters just out of your reach as you flail the chainsaw around, pigs dying in 5 zerk punches... actually, having to pick the goddamn chainsaw at all, because the alcove is so awkwardly small that you cannot easily ignore it while still registering the secret. You know, so you could switch between SG/zerk without having to go through the saw. There's also a cute design choice that you surely registered, but perhaps haven't realized. As you dispatch the cadre of pigs and grab the BK, you're bound to be all pumped and ready to punch some more shit. So what does Alm do? Greet you with a bunch of shotgunners, of course. A friendly cheeky slap reminding you the man behind the scene knows his map fu.

edit: spelling

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