The DWmegawad Club plays: Hellbound



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. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example:

+++ Ultimate Doom

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>>>DOWNLOAD HELLBOUND HERE<<<

Are you ready for an even bigger adventure? Hellbound is a one-man megawad by Zoltán Sólfavi (Z86) that takes the player from the sunny surface of the Earth down into the vile bowels of Hell. Steel thyself for a long, beautiful, action-packed journey!

Maplist for Hellbound:

MAP01 - “Apartments”
MAP02 - “Canal Road”
MAP03 - “Testing Chambers”
MAP04 - “Processing Plant”
MAP05 - “Underground”
MAP06 - “Gateway Lab”
MAP07 - “Woods”
MAP08 - “Military Depot”
MAP09 - “Disposal Facility”
MAP10 - “Cisern”
MAP11 - “Venom Canyon”
MAP12 - “Power Station”
MAP13 - “Encrus Station”
MAP14 - “Doom District”
MAP15 - “The Vault”

MAP31 - “Diabolus Ex Machina”
MAP32 - “Spear of Destiny”

MAP16 - “City Bounds”
MAP17 - “Star Port”
MAP18 - “Computer Complex”
MAP19 - “Frontier Lab”
MAP20 - “Border World”
MAP21 - “The Gates of Hell”
MAP22 - “Stygian Depths”
MAP23 - “Fortress of Ages”
MAP24 - “City of Pandemonium”
MAP25 - “Bastion of Void”
MAP26 - “Forbidden Archives”
MAP27 - “Crimson Abyss”
MAP28 - “The Black Citadel”
MAP29 - “Ascension”
MAP30 - “Worlds Collide”

BONUS CONTENT
Hellbound on Doomwiki
Kmxexii’s review
DSDA Archives
Rayzik's playthrough
Lingyan203's playthrough
Suitepee plays: 1 2 3 4 5 6
----------
OLD THREADS
2012

2013201420152016

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Nice, we did it Doomworld! Hellbound is one of my personal favourites. I've gone through it twice before and was holding off for the club to pick it up to play it again.

I'm gonna throw out some tips for anyone who hasn't played it before:

1. It's a very large wad. My continuous playthrough clocked at around 20+ hours.

2. On that note, it's balanced well and possibly intended for continuous play. Evident by the fact that you collect cell ammo in every map but get the first Plasma Rifle on map06. There is also limited rocket ammo and you progressively acquire a decent amount throughout the maps. What I mean is, don't Pistol Start every map unless you know exactly what you're doing. i.e. If you miss the secret SSG on map03 you'll have a very bad time. Though shalt not Pistol Start Hellbound and complain about #pistolstartproblems!

3. It's an atmospheric adventure wad with huge levels and frequently high monster counts. If you play with a speedrunning mindset you may have a bad time.

4. Mouselook is recommended by the author. There is some insane verticality in a few of the maps and it helps to know where the hell you're falling to.

5. If you love trap-based maps you won't find that here. The gameplay is 95% incidental and a lot closer to something like Half-Life than your average modern PWAD. You're not gonna have junk teleporting in every time you grab a key.

6. There is monster and difficulty progression so don't expect to find Archviles in the starting maps.

7. Each map has a bit of story behind it which enhances the experience, similar to Hadephobia, so it's usually worth it to read the text file while playing the maps. I'll probably post it in my writeups since they are quite short anyways.

Happy adventuring!

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Dang rileymartin, that information is much appreciated! Now I know to play this on continuous w/ mouselook for my livestream playthrough this month.

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Well, I guess it will be nice to revisit Hellbound, I remember some good stuff in the first 2 episodes. Though for the third episode aside MAP29 I don't recall nothing in particular.

MAP01: It sets really well what will be the style of the wad. There's a nice ominous mood here and it does a good job to drag you into the journey you are about to start. The lightning is very good but the lack of colors in the outer areas is rather underwhelming.

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Not sure if I play this one seems to be filled with very long maps. Saw that some UV-Max are 30-40 mins lenght

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Alright, let's get to it! Since I'm a hipster, I'll be playing in QZDoom 1.0! Mouse look/aim + usual plethora of visual and sound mods, including high rez textures since Hellbound uses vanilla assets aside form the skies and whatnot. UV-Continuous, since I don't view Hellbound as a set of maps but rather a single journey with loading screens like in Half-Life.

"Story:

You are called into service from your home late at night. Even though you retired as a combatant - all those hellish invasions were enough for now - UAC seems to need your talents again. You grab your pistol you keep at home, and realize what is going on again as you hear a familiar growl from the corridor. Time to put that demon-slaying experience into action again...

MAP01 - Apartments - Difficulty: Easy

You awake in the middle of the night as a desperate UAC message gets through on your communication devices. UAC installed plenty of hardware in your home for a situation just like this. You head out to the infested streets to reach the nearest UAC installation."

So the wad opens with a similar premise as Doom 2 - surprise hell invasion on Earth and you've got to deal with it. As the map title implies, you start in your nice looking apartment while your building and surrounding streets have already been infested and the residents killed. There's a bit of ammo in a secret and a Green Armour to grab so you don't leave defenseless to fight the lone Zombieman wandering the halls. Pistol gameplay is kept to a minimum but you do have to pop a cap in three Imp asses to leave the building and plunder a Shotgun from one of the Sergeants waiting outside. The main street looks very nice with the tree island in the middle of the road, a sector lamppost and the buildings casting shadows. Quite a few dudes to shoot there with some more lurking in the alleyways with minor loot to plunder.

There a rather surprising trap in the lobby of the main building with a Hell Knight and lotsa Imps. I must've died at least once here when I first played because space is limited due to the pillars and it's possible to get cornered or just dodge poorly due to the surroundings. And elevator leads to more apartments on the top floor, with some dark lighting and Spectres to go with it. A small switch reveals the Rocket launcher secret in a closet, but with 3 Rockets the most you'll be doing is killing one of the Arachnotrons now roaming the street below. One of the cool large doors opens up to reveal a Chaingun as well. There's another medium fight with two Hell Knights and some low-tiers before the exit.

Good intro map that establishes the urban Earth setting and shows some of the realistic aesthetic and strong sense of place that the wad is known for. The eerie ambient midi fits well too.

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thanks for those tips, rileymartin! i'll see how playing continuous looks like here, as opposed to pistol starting maps.

also, i'll look into this qzdoom.

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You're the man, Rileymartin. Thanks for the tips. That sounds exactly why I wanted to play Hellbound. I am excited for this! I'll have a level one write up tomorrow but...

I gotta ask, what mods do you use!? I dig the UI in those screenies. Is that all in QZDoom? Please, help a noob out.

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Paul977 said:

Not sure if I play this one seems to be filled with very long maps. Saw that some UV-Max are 30-40 mins lenght


Some of the later maps are quite daunting, and very long. Still, they prove to be quite enjoyable and probably more so at a leisurely pace instead of speedruninning them.

I'll add that I have a playlist of every map in Hellbound being UV-Maxed on my YouTube channel, if anyone wants to check it out or use it to guide them to secrets or help them get un-lost. ( /shameless self-promotion)

Enjoy the playthrough! :)

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Thanks guys, glad to help out.

Demtor said:

I gotta ask, what mods do you use!? I dig the UI in those screenies. Is that all in QZDoom? Please, help a noob out.


Here's a list and load order of what I'm using. None of the stuff is QZDoom specific and I'm using the GL renderer so it's basically like running the latest test version of GZDoom but with an extra option of ambient occlusion, which I don't have on because it's a large FPS hit. The HUD I'm using is the HXRTC HUD that's loaded last in that list. Smooth Doom is modified to remove gib sprites to run faster.

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good luck to all adventurers; you are in for the journey of a lifetime.

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rileymartin said:

2. On that note, it's balanced well and possibly intended for continuous play. Evident by the fact that you collect cell ammo in every map but get the first Plasma Rifle on map06. There is also limited rocket ammo and you progressively acquire a decent amount throughout the maps. What I mean is, don't Pistol Start every map unless you know exactly what you're doing. i.e. If you miss the secret SSG on map03 you'll have a very bad time. Though shalt not Pistol Start Hellbound and complain about #pistolstartproblems!

3. It's an atmospheric adventure wad with huge levels and frequently high monster counts. If you play with a speedrunning mindset you may have a bad time.


I restarted continuously a couple months ago and it was still boring, probably even less fun than pistol starting because now I had infinite ammo. Also playing fast was the only way to wring any fun whatsoever out of it. Not my cup of tea, I guess.

These days I don't really have a problem with maps that are light in traps and full of incidental combat levels in principle (they can make for good UV-max runs!), but Hellbound's placements are of the fillery sort, where instead of interesting configurations of directly placed monsters arranged in interesting ways (q.v. dobu2816.wad for what I mean, even though that is a jokewad), it's like the mapper decided to toss in stuff mostly anonymous groups of meat to occupy space or something, and placements are largely interchangeable, rarely with any unique identity other than "group of monsters that happen to be here at the moment".

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Oh hey, a wad I've actually extensively played. A good one to start with I suppose.

Map01 - Apartments
Difficulty - UV
Time - 6:06

Really cool starting level. Atmosphere oozing from every corner. I especially like the use of the brick textures, as well as the makeshift light posts outside. Despite a few hell knights and arachnotrons making an early appearance, first level isn't too difficult. This wad starts off pretty smooth, but let's see how long that lasts.

Also, that surprise hell knight teleporting behind you always tricked me the first few times I played this wad.

Spoiler

Get ready for a lot of that later on.

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will this play in regular zdoom with no problem? my regular computer is malfunctioning and can no longer handle the gzdoom

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raymoohawk said:

will this play in regular zdoom with no problem? my regular computer is malfunctioning and can no longer handle the gzdoom


I don't see why not. It's only limit removing so you could play it in PRBoom+ or something if performance is needed.

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I'm going to play through this with complex doom, 'cause with regular doom this is incredibly boring.

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Time for me to try and get back on the train. I've played through this one before and will probably be skipping the secret levels this time around; the WAD itself is a gargantuan enough undertaking, and I don't recall the secret levels having that must-play quality to them. ZDoom, Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play with frequent saves.

MAP01: Apartments

This one starts of as something of a slow-burning horror experience as you crawl your way through a gloomy apartment building and infested streets, with the density and intensity of the demonic presence gradually ramping up until you're facing hell knights and an arachnotron. Mostly you're dealing with shotgun troopers and imps in dark environment that alternate between claustrophobic interiors and wide-open outside areas with a tendency toward corner-camping gameplay. The choice of Opening to Hell as a music track is an interesting one; it's a perfect match for the gloomy visuals, with its ominous bass notes, creepy whine, and gradually building intensity, but it also gives a sense of "starting where you left off," the final music track of Doom II becoming the first one here.

It's also a good introduction to the WAD's overall style: large-ish environments with strong verisimilitude (arguably something that the later levels go overboard with, to the detreiment of playability, but we'll hash out that argument when we get to it). Certainly there's a sense here that, when corners are cut in the depiction of the buildings and their interiors, it's due to the limitations of the engine rather than the demands of gameplay.

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Seeing as Hellbound is one of my all time favourite megawads, I think I'm going to join in again, hopefully I'll send in more than just one post this time! I'll be playing GZDoom, UV-continuous, save scumming and freelook.

Map 1 - Apartments
Straight away I can see what made me like this wad so much, the excellent use of atmosphere and sense of place as a key driving force. It's really great to see a doom mapset use progression like we'll see, it makes the set feel like an adventure, rather than a simple set of levels. I like the way the combat escalates, using the pistol against zombiemen and imps while still in the building, before giving you a shotgun with a whole lot more critters running around. Also, it's always good to hear 'Opening to Hell' used more often, its a good track that doesn't get its fair share of play.

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rileymartin said:

Thanks guys, glad to help out.

Here's a list and load order of what I'm using. None of the stuff is QZDoom specific and I'm using the GL renderer so it's basically like running the latest test version of GZDoom but with an extra option of ambient occlusion, which I don't have on because it's a large FPS hit. The HUD I'm using is the HXRTC HUD that's loaded last in that list. Smooth Doom is modified to remove gib sprites to run faster.


Sweet, thanks very much. I'll have to look in to some of this.

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MAP01: Apartments
gzDoom - UV - Continuous

Loved the slow and creepy start here. The haunting ominous music fits so well with the eerie high pitched warbling melody set to a pulsing fade in and out of brooding awesomeness. I really dig it so I looked up the wiki and discovered that it is from Doom II! It's entitled "Opening to Hell" by Robert Prince. I don't remember this being in Doom II at all. I didn't remember this music from the original Doom II at all. I had to go back and find out why. Icon of Sin, that's why. F that map. Beaten it maybe twice when I was 14 years old. Which would explain why I don't remember it. It's awesome and is the perfect choice here to start of Hellbound.

I recently bought a new sound system too and my subwoofer picks up the bass REALLY well on the low beats. Can't believe I went this long in my life without a good sound system. It really adds to the experience, but I digress.

So we get a slow start to set up the story. Looking down dark apartment hallways, wondering what is going on. The lone zombie roaming around informs you that hell is coming back and its time to gear up. So you put your pistol to work on the new neighbors and attempt to get your armaments together. The plan is to stay alive and move to the next location while putting anything down that tries to stop you. Off to a good start.

The map is deceptively simple but there really is a lot of design choices that work toward building it's own world space and making the player feel like they are in a city. With the apartments, elevators, roads with street lights. Complete with little traffic signs in front of the grass and tree area that splits the road. Along with dumpster fires, back alleyways and underpasses. I enjoyed the design of it all because it fits together with a theme. Nothing feels disjointed.

There are enough guys roaming around outside to make things interesting if your not paying attention. Nothing too serious until you reach the next building. Taking on the HK and his imps in such a tight space with just a single pump shotgun is great. Brought me back to my Doom 1 days. Follow that with a lost soul swarm working the desk security. Good change of pace there. Up the elevator you deal with pinkies/specters with more imps and shotgun security staff. Few more HKs and a couple room fulls of mixed baddies. All in all, that building is tightly packed!

Your reward is this beautiful night sky and the RK.



I found it funny that the view might distract a player here enough to have the chaingunner hiding in the window get the jump on you if you don't listen carefully enough to hear him. Survive that and there are now arachnotrons stomping around below with more guys. Glad we got to revisit that road area again with more violence. I enjoyed running for the chaingun. It helps quite a lot.

I liked the design of this bit at the end after going through a small underpass too.



Author's Notes: This is a quite old map, but it looked decent without much overhauling needed. It was started
with an old DOS editor, and finished in DoomBuilder 2. It was kind of a shot at a "scary city map".


Well done. Small but very effective.

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UV, pistol-starts, saves (no way am i slogging through 1+ hour maps and not saving!)
-----

map01 - fda here

atmospheric opener. really convincing city-scape. i liked the secret use a lot - helps that i could find them. one thing im noticing playing with software-style lighting (sector light mode, here: )
is that some parts of this set so far are really dark which makes it considerably harder to dodge preemptively as you cant see where the demons are! so if my demos look a bit funny it may be because you can see more than i can!

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Demtor said:

I recently bought a new sound system too and my subwoofer picks up the bass REALLY well on the low beats. Can't believe I went this long in my life without a good sound system. It really adds to the experience, but I digress.


not to go on and on but it blows my mind how many people are quite happy to listen to their music on the most garbage sound systems imaginable. i guess if you dont know any better it sounds OK...

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MAP01 - “Apartments”
The atmosphere here is really good and the visuals are pretty nice too. The gameplay is pretty slow and full of suspense, there was one trap which killed me once where the pillars really restrict movement. The rest of the map is really easy in comparison. The demons at the exit are pointless though.
Overall it is a nice starter map.

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MAP01: Apartments
Difficulty - UV
Time - 8:21


I never played any Map of Hellbound before. Pretty hard and big start with these arachnotrons, Hell Knights and lots of Shotgunners. But on the other Hand very atmospheric and simple design. Nearly died from that Chaingunner left to the red Key -_- ! Also cool Lighting and shadow throw. I liked this Map :)

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Giving this a try with D4D 2.0 in GZDoom 2.2... UV difficulty. I don't know why but I've heard lots of people saying that Hellbound works well with this mod. So I figured I'd find out.

Cool atmosphere through most of the level but it is quite dark. As rehelekretep mentioned with Software sector lighting it is almost unplayably dark. With Doom lighting it is still pretty dark. I am now using Standard lighting and it's mostly ok.

The intro in the apartment is fun in a low-tech sort of way with a hilariously textured bedroom/bathroom. Getting outside in the open the difficulty ramps up because marines and imps are considerably more difficult in D4D. Then the first ambush after entering the ground floor of the next building was really, really difficult. About 12 imps attack from all sides with a Hell Knight leading the charge. Again, the Hell Knights are so much faster and more aggressive that led to this encounter being a bit frustrating.

Moving on, there is another similar encounter with two Hell Knights and a bunch of imps/marines right at the end of the level that is considerably more fun/fair. But the problem with it is that you can also back out down a long corridor if you choose and kill all the demons quite easily. So it's the classic issue with incidental Doom combat - sometimes the best way to survive is to play in a very cowardly fashion. It probably would have been a good idea to close off your retreat from this area so that isn't possible.

Anyway, cool start. We'll see if I can keep up with the group this time, but these maps are all looking pretty large so who knows.

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rileymartin said:

3. It's an atmospheric adventure wad with huge levels and frequently high monster counts. If you play with a speedrunning mindset you may have a bad time.


I agree somewhat but then again, I have less trouble speeding through it than I did other, more recent mapsets. Also, it's very straightforward, although long at times. So I'm going for ITYTD pistol starts for this.

MAP01 Apartments

Reminds me a lot of the way Shadowman makes his buildings, generally orthogonal, with several places to go in each building. The street itself is rather droll but the lighting is nice. Only really had to worry about the RNG being a bitch like usual here, as it's generally easy even with the arachnotron and all (the secret RL wasn't too hard to figure out). Intro level.

MAP02 Canal Road

Pretty natural level here, with walkways above the canal. I sometimes miss enemies, those that are actually at the beginning, which come in after getting the chainsaw. I don't really know why I always skip the chainsaw in maps since I really have not found much use for that weapon whenever I play. The canal itself requires the radsuits, and until a certain point I usually stay on the walkways. I'll go ahead and say that seeing a radsuit right in front of barrels in a corridor disgusts me, it's one of those things that traps speedrunners in a passive-aggressive way.

The whole blue-key area has some interesting lifts around, plus a computer room where solving a puzzle nets a very nice but impractical secret at the very beginning. The path to the red key is generally straightforward, but I ended up turned around trying to find my way back to the doors. That invulnerability in the puzzle secret really wasn't necessary though. Okay level.

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Been curious about this for some time. Since I heard the gameplay is somewhat grindy, and having a strong hatred for receiving the SSG too late in a map, I’m doing a continuous playthrough on HMP with restarts every episode.

MAP01: Man. Maaaan. I love this atmosphere. Its dark, dreary, and depressing—all stuff that’s low key and not often seen in Doom. I mean yeah, you occasionally get dark maps or maps with plenty of decay (like Unloved), but rarely do you see a MAP01 commit itself to an oppressive setting. I also can’t overlook how amazing the detailing is here, especially as someone that adores stock textures—there’s a lot of variation in a single wall but it all sticks to a theme, making the map look detailed but not noisy. Gameplay isn’t anything to write home about though, since it’s your standard MAP01 low tier brigade with a couple of bullies here ‘n there.

Rayzik said:

I'll add that I have a playlist of every map in Hellbound being UV-Maxed on my YouTube channel

Gimme a link so I can add it to the OP!

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