Demon of the Well
Greetings all. Longtime lurker, first time poster. Reckoned it had been too long since I participated in a forum, as opposed to just watching over one, and the MegaWAD club seemed like an enjoyable, easygoing pursuit, so here I am. I had actually meant to join for the playthrough of Memento Mori, as that's a WAD I've played through on a few different occasions in the past, but turns out I was indisposed for most of last month. Ah, well, Interception it is, then.
I have played a little of Interception before, via inter-beta.wad. At the time, I played four maps, warped to at random. Of those four, I remember being satisfied enough by two of them, pretty unimpressed by one of them, and I greatly enjoyed the last of them, so suffice to say I'm looking forward to a pleasing variety of styles and sizes in the full experience. I'll be running the set in Eternity (my port of preference), with what I like to think of as an 'honorable' mouselook--that is, I won't be hurling pinpoint rockets at any distant, elevated sniper perches sitting well outside the reach of Doom's autoaim (I still leave the autoaim untouched, even with the mouselook on), or anything like that. I also like to play with infinitely-tall actors disabled, but this being a vanilla-compat set, I will gladly go back and replay any map I manage to break or any scenario I can metagame out of in this way with the setting re-enabled. Oh, and I'll be playing on UV, starting each map from scratch. I generally avoid the use of saved games, as well, although I have no ironclad personal rule against this. Finally, as this set seems to use just the original texture set, I think I'm going to try out Sigvatr's "PalPlus" palette modification, just to see how it looks during real gameplay.
Alright, with all of that windbaggery out of the way, on to the maps.
Map 01 -- Excavation Site - 100% kills / 100% secrets
This did feel a lot like a proper "Map 01" to me--just the right size, offers a few different possible routes, etc.--although the very first encounter involving a pair of shotgunners teleporting behind me was unexpected (though not unwelcome). I thought the crate room with the dirt textures and the open pale sky looked nice, as did the scenery beyond the fences (although the rivers of blood on what is presumably an earthly setting were a little odd--perhaps it's seepage from a massacred camp nearby, or something?). I played it a few times, and by the end I'd worked out a route wherein I used the chainsaw and the blur artifact to blitz the last room, which was fun.
Map 02 -- Research Facility - 100% kills / 100% secrets
Ah, this is one of the maps I'd played before. It seems to have gotten a bit nastier since then, with entrenched groups of sergeants behind shutters in the opening room and the sudden teleport snare which drops the marine in the midst of a zombie jamboree as new additions. That latter encounter might have been pretty rough (I was a little banged up from rambo-ing the opening room), but I'd located the hidden blur artifact right before, and so got off pretty easy. Aesthetically, I enjoyed the persistently dim lighting and the juxtaposition of the dark metal, lacquered tiles, and brown masonry, although the whole doesn't really communicate "Research Facility" to me in any real way. On the whole, it's not a bad map, although its play theme of narrow corridors without much in them (including a secret section I don't remember from before) is a little dry, so it's probably for the best the map isn't very long. My compliments for that pair of Barons at the bottom of the small lift at the end, though--having to suddenly quickdraw that rocket launcher I hadn't previously found a use for helped the experience feel more complete.
Map 03 -- Flooded Caverns - 100% kills / 100% secrets
More of that dim lighting, and the verisimilitude factor is back up. This felt like a pretty easygoing romp. I was feeling pretty saucy, and so after killing all of the monsters that had immediate access to me at the start, I had a nice jog through the roomy eponymous cavern, largely ignoring the various cacodemons, demons, and lost souls floating around in there. I even skipped the commandos in the cubbies up on the wall (they didn't seem terribly interested in shooting at me, for whatever reason) and went right into the RL/bridge room, which was my favorite bit in the map--one of the mystical little joys of Doom is certainly rocketing contained pockets of zombies and imps through windows (bonus points if the elevation is different), and this was no exception. Immediately thereafter I found the lengthy mud-tunnel secret which culminates in the invulnerability artifact, so everything worked out perfectly--I got to do some demented pointblack rocket spam against not only the horde of cacodemons that had been released at some point, but also against the crowd of monsters I'd ignored during my initial grabassing around in there. After that, things were pretty rote for what little of the map was left. Overall, I had a good time with this one, although I reckon that's at least in some part up to dumb luck leading me along a very efficient/ideal route. If I'd played more conservatively, things might have been rather less heady...all the more reason not to play too conversatively, I suppose!
In the interest of not throwing up too huge a wall of text, I'll wait a bit before posting about some of the other maps.