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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: 2002: A Doom Odyssey (My God... it's full of imps!)

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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're playing this an episode per week this time, so anything from e#m1-e#m9 is fine to post about up until Sunday of the following week.

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.


The megawad we are playing through is 2002: A Doom Odyssey

Note that there are quite a few different versions of 2002ADO, each with numerous changes, bug fixes/additions, and level rearrangements, so for simplicity's sake we're going to be running through the 10th anniversary edition Paul Corfiatis released last year. You can look at the readme.txt to see the changes. If some of you aren't happy with these, feel free to play through the older editions although please state if you are doing so in order not to confuse other players. Also note that you need a limit removing port to play 10th ed.


2002: A Doom Odyssey is an Ultimate Doom megawad organized by Paul Corfiatis with maps by various authors. It was completed in July 2002, received much acclaim and uh... that's as much as I can dig up.

The author & maplist is as follows.


E1M1 The Entry by Paul Corfiatis
E1M2 Helicopter Bay by Kristian Aro
E1M3 The Doomed Lab by Paul Corfiatis
E1M4 Substation 537A by Kristian Aro
E1M5 Combat Station by Paul Corfiatis
E1M6 Toxic Treatment Plant by Kristian Aro
E1M7 Service Base by Paul Corfiatis
E1M8 Paradox by Kristian Aro
E1M9 Lugano Base ZRX by Paul Corfiatis

E2M1 Station Alpha by Paul Corfiatis
E2M2 Station Beta by Chris Hansen
E2M3 The Lost Labs by Rory Habich
E2M4 Shotgun Blues by Paul Corfiatis
E2M5 Fortress of Fatalitiea by Paul Corfiatis
E2M6 Between Demons and Insects by Rory Habich
E2M7 Puzzles to Solve by Kristian Aro and Paul Corfiatis
E2M8 Total Disturbance by Paul Corfiatis
E2M9 Dungeon of Hate by Paul Corfiatis

E3M1 Gatehouse by Sam Woodman
E3M2 Caves of Bosnia by Paul Corfiatis
E3M3 Stronghold of Damnation by Rory Habich
E3M4 Halls of Ebola by Rory Habich
E3M5 Blood and Guts by Paul Corfiatis
E3M6 Obituary Written by Chris Hansen
E3M7 System Central by Paul Corfiatis
E3M8 Spider Temple by Paul Corfiatis
E3M9 The Lost Chord by Sam Woodman

E4M1 Unity by Paul Corfiatis
E4M2 Back to Base X by Anthony Soto
E4M3 Hell Unleashed by Chris Hansen
E4M4 Disreputable Stronghold by Chris Hansen
E4M5 Indomitable Haunt by Chris Hansen
E4M6 Dementia by Joseph Pallai
E4M7 Odious Grounds by Chris Hansen
E4M8 Impossible Mission by Paul Corfiatis
E4M9 De-Moon Side by Virgil the Doom Poet

March 2nd-9th: Episode 1
March 10th-16th: Episode 2
March 17th-23rd: Episode 3
March24th-30th: Episode 4

Community Chest 4
MAYhem 2012
Memento Mori
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact
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
Epic 2
Whitemare 2

Edited by dobu gabu maru

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Count me in (again) -- I'm getting used to this format.

Once more I'll be playing a consecutive run on UV, and spewing obscene rants/occasional screenshots with my feedback when necessary. So without further delay, it's time to get things going...

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Cool, I shall begin tomorrow with E1M1 and E1M2, just of note. Shall I shall playing the original version but will pistol start the new maps. I shall make note of any map differences throughout. Though it's only e3m5 where things start to differ apart from some visuals.

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UV with 10th anniversary.

-Quick pew pew map. Fun guitar midi.
-Pinkies in E1M1? No way!
-Lots of blue.
-See that odd texture in the beginning? You probably forgot it, so here's 2 gigantic arrows to remind you!

-Not sure what that secret shootable switch did, but I'm assuming it lead to the chaingun secret.
-Had a mix of E1M3/E1M9 going on.
-The slime tunnels were more of a trap if anything, thank you spectres.

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2002: A DOOM ODYSSEY - Tenth Anniversary Edition
Here we go again. Another foray into the relatively ukno-... wait, I know most of this, or at least the earlier incarnation. Playing in GZDoom (software renderer), 'Doom (strict)' compatflags enabled*.

Oh god, this takes me back. I used to go through the original release of this one frequently enough in Survival Co-op, with various players, and almost immediately I'm reminded of just how much fucking fun this WAD can be. Will the tenth anniversary edition keep this intact? Who knows? There's only one way to find out!

...but first, there's a problem, in the form of 8 Zombiemen. Said problem lasts about 8 seconds, with half of this Pistol Ponce Patrol getting obliterated by the barrels. Shame I didn't get a screencap of the ones at the back blowing themselves up, but given that everyone probably does roughly the same thing here I can't really say it's much of a special moment. Moving on, stuff gets killed for not being me, and I acquire a Shotgun in the process. The Blue Keycard, plainly waiting for some dawdling idiot to come along and collect it, is half-guarded by a quartet of Demons which are afraid of staircases:

"Chew on this."

Hmmm, so much for him. Of course the rest of the map -- being E1M1 -- goes swimmingly with no hitches, snags, bullshit or screaming. Unless you happen to be one of the denizens, but then you'd be too dead to read this now anyway so you don't count. One thing that caught my eye is this very subtle but clever attention to detail:

It's not often that these flats are used in combination in this way; usually it's just one or the other for the entire room.

Where was I? Oh yes, a nice start to the campaign. Concise, engaging, and with a music track to draw you in and make you want to splat some Imps. Now fear my tally screen you puny mortals; the atrocious time will make you tremble in disbelief:

I have forgotten how this WAD's secrets work and I am only on E1M1. Brilliant.

*With the exception of original (aka: buggy and shit) hitscan detection behaviour. I'm here to shoot things, not the wall behind them.

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Greetings! I shall be playing the 10th Anniversary Edition (with the exception of maps E5Mx since I play with PrBoom-plus and doom.exe compatibility), the usual way: every map from scratch, on UV, no saves, no cheats. If I reach the exit I check the HUD for missing monsters and/or secrets and go hunt them down, if I can't find them I check what I missed in a map editor and replay the map.

E1M1 -- The Entry
An appropriate start to the WAD: appropriately small, appropriately simple, appropriately easy. Perhaps it's a trifle *too* void of action, though I did like the two mild demon traps. Nothing else really stood out at all. I shot through everything in about 2½ minutes and then hunted down the secrets. I'm not sure, but is one of the secrets the tech columns with demons on them which lower? That's a sucky secret. The chaingun is good for continuous runs, but I'd already killed everything when I got it.

It's an inoffensive enough map, but then again it's hard to be offensive when you're uninteresting. ;-) --3/5

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No pistol start for me this time around, seeing as I'll be losing my equipment each episode.

E1M1: Good start. It's hard to find any more descriptions for the first map other than its a solid starter, only taking about three minutes but giving us some classic doom gameplay. I tried v2 and was amazed at all the little differences like textures and lighting... the tenth anniversary edition definitely feels more "modernized" in that respect.

E1M2: Ramping up the difficulty a bit more here. Dumb mistakes led me to finish with 11% so the next map should be interesting. Really like all the little details like lights in the wall and signs. Searched for how to get the supercharge for a while and failed... my sense for secrets is pretty poor.

E1M3: Longer level that's somewhat mazey. Nothing too tough here, still the same mix of enemies with a pinch more pinkies thrown at the player in this level. Great details, music, balance as always. I just realized that since this is Doom 1 that I don't have to worry about rev or AV spam... but I'm really missing that SSG.

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HMP, continuous play. Frequent save and reload. The date-stamp on the wad is July 2004, since it seems there are multiple versions.

The secret right at the start that opens up later seems weird, but I guess it's a callback to the original, with the imp platform that lowers once leave that room? Pretty straightforward stuff, in any event. Didn't find the chaingun secret. Ignored the pinkies when they were released - just danced around them gathering the helmets, then left. OK, but nothing all that memorable here. Use of a key door seemed superfluous.

I like that this level has a backpack and a supercharge on it. Nice nod to the original e1m2. Managed to find the supercharge thanks to the automap. Again, no real difficulties here. I liked that the nukage sections were optional and not required to finish the map. There should be solid pillars ending the mid-textures in the central walkway of the first nukage room, though. Midgrates without an anchor at each end look kinda weird.
The monsters I ignored in this level were the imps overlooking the yellow key.

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E1M2 -- Helicopter Bay
This one is considerably more violent than the first map. Don't get me wrong, it's still pretty easy but you can't fuck around because there are several crossfire situations and one or two good traps (especially the one after returning from the helicopter landing area). Fairly large monster count for map 2, but it's not at all drawn out. In fact I was surprised it was over so quickly.

The fights are generally entertaining, but a few minor annoyances draws down the grade. For example: what is the point of the nukeage corridors? You get no rad suit and there are no goodies to be found. It seems to exist just to punish players who fall down there (or who want to play max). The chaingun secret was nice -- and easy to spot -- except that you are likely to take some damage when riding down the lift to it, unless you killed the two shotgunners waiting for you. The soulsphere secret requires very good instincts or psychic abilities (so I understand why dobugabumaru missed it). Visuals overall are good. I really dug the open area with the helicopter landing pad, talk about retro design! --4/5

EDIT: Note to dobugabumaru: SSG withdrawal symptoms... yeah. It passes. :-)

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Okay, I'm playing. Can't resist as this is still one of my all time favourite wads!

Playing on UV and pistol starts, time to once again embark another trip through episode one.

Oh wait, revamped areas...

E1M1: Lovely starting area with barrels to fuel me up with excitement to the next areas, though I always slow down to pistol down the shotgunners one by one. Taking the right door, I instantly remember the nice Soulsphere secret, similar to Ultimate Doom's E1M8's secret. Going back to the start is another secret area that is rewarding. Blasting off to the last area, shooting down all the baddies, I open a slightly sneaky secret near the exit switch in which I obtain the chaingun. Always satisfying to finish the map with.

E1M2: Another nice barrel-blaster start. The next area I always use to just miss a shootable switch which opens a nice secret to the chaingun. Another nice tiny area has a backpack where a spectere is blocking - you'll have no radiation suit to protect you however, but you shouldn't have lost too much health before reaching the area. The chaingun makes the map much more easier as I did not lose too much health, but I pressed on the wall to get the soulsphere secret, again, obtaining 100% secrets. Personally I thought the yellow key area looked better when the fence built where the hitscanners and imps where based, but that's just me.

E1M3: No barrel start this time. I am sad.

I cut this journey short as I always go to the secret level as soon as I reach the area with the switch leading to the map. I hit the switch and warped straight to the next base!

E1M9: I charged in the room with the demon and hit the switch and take out the lone shotgunner before going back to the starting area where the hitscanners are based, though my fearlessness led me to my death. Tried the same tactic and succeeded. Blue key area can be rather nasty if the player charges in, where a horde of shotgunners await you - carefully picked them off without taking much damage. Entering the blue key area, jumping outside from the platform gives you very nice goodies, so I went rather carelessly again, but luckily not taking much damage in pressing the red key switch. As I pulled the switch down and slaughted the specteres, I jumped left off the platform and found two imps and a switch, opening a secret to the soulsphere.

So then I obtained the red key, then went on and beat the next challenges in the red key area and obtained the yellow key. I wondered how to get the BFG, so I took the second red key door and found a switch in front of me, then hit a second switch. Hearing something opening, I charged to the BFG area, rushed in, took the invulnerability and eventually snagged my BFG. I am not sure if this is different in the original version, but heck, I got it! Too bad I'm going for a pistol start each map!

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Ok lets start
E1M1 - The Entry by PCorf
Short and easy romp, a lot of demons, but with the secrets it's pretty fast and fun. Not a bad start and the music already has it's presence felt.
E1M2 - Helicopter Bay by Kristian Aro
This is the hardest map to speedrun in episode 1, my experience and others alike. Lots of crossfire and secrets containing monsters. Another linear romp but lets you explore areas at times from different angles and the secrets on show too. It's a good map but oh so frustrating to max cleanly.
As I play these wads consecutively this is going to feel very strange as I'm so used to pistol starting, in fact I've only gone through this wad like this a couple of times and that was a straight episode max which of course is a lot more challenging. I was very proud of completing episode 1 in just over 33 minutes :)

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Didn't find the secret exit. Looking at the level in Doombuilder ... that's not surprising. Near enough unmarked. I did find all the other secrets, so now I have a rocket launcher and lots of ammo for it.

Other than the ... dubious ... secret exit, this was quite good. I've always had a soft spot for the startan textures, and they were used well in this. Monster resistance was pretty minimal, but there were one or two fun encounters.

The trap after the yellow door is complete bullshit. It's a real shame it exists, since the level is otherwise pretty good fun, with the post blue key fight being a standout moment of manic combat.

The absence of anything that didn't make me shout at the screen is a good thing. :)

Other than that, this was a squarish, fairly basic looking level with some good fights in it. The traps were always hinted by context, and made for some fun moments when they happened.

I found the supercharge secret, but it was the only one I did locate.

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While I miss the SSG, I don't miss Revenant overuse. Or Pain Elementals. Or boringly-placed Arch-Viles. So... it's a small price to pay.

- Ah, the classic techbase feel. Love it. Hard to beat.
- Green door at the start, obvious secret. Doesn’t open right away. The arrows when it does open makes it a bit too obvious, IMO.
- Rooms after the blue door feel a bit too large for the monsters.
- Weird pegging of textures in the chaingun corridor lift, if you stand in it it feels like the ceiling falls rather than the floor raising.
- I don't mind having pinkies on an E1M1, but felt like there were a bit too many.
- Overall, it's solid, but nothing spectactular.

- Love the design cues here, really reminiscent of id-style KDITD. Lots of windows, being able to go to the outside area via secret, being able to see the secret soulsphere, etc.
- I'll agree with Kristian that the nukage corridors are a bit lame - there's no radsuit, so I didn't go in while playing through, but checked them out later out of curiousity. Yeah, they seem to just be for punishment. A few health potions doesn't offset the damage you'll take from nukage and possibly getting trapped by spectres.
- Nice subtle use of detail here. The ceiling has lights where it's lighter, then gets darker where there aren't lights. And there's small little inlays for the wall lights. Touches like this are found throughout, and they're very nice, without detracting from the otherwise old-school design.
- While it's hard to fault a KTITD-style WAD for abstract design, this doesn't feel much like a helicopter bay, minus the H helipad outside. And even that would only hold a very small helicopter!

- First level to jog my memory... I remembered this one when I saw the big acid pit at the start.
- Man, that rocket launcher secret is stacked, especially if you find the armor/soulsphere.
- The secret exit is pretty dang obscure. I sussed out where it was (you can see a hallway from the outside nukage area), but was only able to find the door by humping everything nearby until I finally blundered upon it.
- This applies to every map, but I'm also glad to see barrels abound. Most WAD makers don't use them.

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Probably my favorite level of the set so far. Lots of nicely done environments, with fun fights within them. Good use of terrain and objects - especially barrels, which are plentiful.

The crate room felt a bit like inspiration was waning, but other than that, this is really neatly done level in the ID style. Thumbs up.

Fairly forgettable e1-style level. Nothing particularly memorable or exciting about it, and the linearity felt more obvious than in other levels in the set (even though they were often really just as linear).

It's a boss level. I liked the decision to switch to more hellish textures, though. Helped it stand out a little from the original.

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lol at e1m4 barrel trap. rest of e1 was mindlessly easy, but it's a doom1 wad, so waddaya expect.

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2002: A DooM Odyssey is something I've already played in its entirety, albeit quite a long time ago. So, while this will not really be a new/blind experience for me in the way that Interception was, I imagine memory will have atrophied enough at this point for a lot of this to feel brand new to me, all the same.

I'll go ahead and use the 10th Anniversary Edition, and as before, I'll be playing on UV and doing pistol-starts for all of the maps, using mouselook for gawking at stuff and with infinitely tall actors turned off, though again I'll gladly replay anything that breaks as a result under the strictures of the original .exe. Again, the port will be Eternity; since I'll be doing pistol starts anyway, having to just warp into the bonus maps in this version (E5M1 and E5M2, although I know I'll remember the one Virgil made) will pose no issue in the event that the secret exits connected with them don't function correctly outside of ZDooM.

Hold on, Steffie, I'm on my way.

E1M1 -- The Entry - 100% kills / 100% secrets
Ah, yes, I remember this one. Zombies loitering around some barrels and an obvious secret at the start that seems like opening it might not be so obvious, except a garish video-gamey LOOK AT THIS arrow pops up out of nowhere on the way back from the demon/blue card area (more fun to run around in there with them than to fight them from the stairs). As you'd expect for the first map in the first episode of an older set like this, the combat is extremely frivolous here, though a moment of fun can be hand if you spring all the traps in the last area and then use the chaingun to kill all of the demons and imps at once. Everything was dead within a couple of minutes of beginning the map, but I ended up wandering about embarrassingly for another couple of minutes afterwards before finding the E1M8-homagey soulsphere secret (I'm sure the exact same thing probably happened when I last played this, so many millenia ago). I did notice while was I doing this that the map looks nicer than the old version, especially in the halls before the keyed door. The music track here is vaguely irritating, but the one for the end-level tally screen is quite nice.

E1M2 -- Helicopter Bay - 100% kills / 100% secrets
I remember this one, too. I like the simple but clean looks of this one....it's something like a Phobos Sampler Platter aesthetically, using a little bit of pretty much all of the iconic E1 textures and many of the E1 constructs in a very coherent way. As in the first map, action here is quite basic--again, you're mostly just shooting stuff a short distance away that's standing around when you open a door--but it feels a lot better than in that map, by virtue of little details that make all the difference; like using a barrel cluster at one side of a small corridor to take out a monster cluster in the middle of said corridor, or blasting sergeants so that their corpses fall down some short stairs.....little stuff like that is 'chicken soup for the Doomer's soul.' The helipad's the big attraction, of course...it plays alright, but I reckon it'd feel better if there were a rocket launcher somewhere to use on the monsters on the ledges. One does wonder what the hell happened to see a helipad of all places flooded with nukage, though. As far as nitpicking goes, the backpack that can be had by jumping into the nukage channels feels like it should be tagged secret, but it isn't. Also, putting that imp in the little inaccessible tower with the tiny window-slit near the chaingun seemed like a really....odd decision, as he can do literally nothing constructive from in there.

E1M3 -- The Doomed Lab - 100% kills / 100% secrets
In contrast to the previous two maps, I have essentially no recollection of this one. I didn't really care for the play or pacing of this one, with the security armor secret that was barely a secret, and the overpowered rocket launcher/soulsphere/combat armor combo secret(s) appearing far too late in the map to be good for anything. I don't begrudge the armor/sphere on behalf of folks doing a continuous playthough, but I wanted that launcher sooner, dammit. Would've alleviated some of the crass shotgun work versus the imps in the grated-in cage made out of supercomputers (there's corporate budget mismanagement for you) or all of the stuff in the yellow key room that didn't seem to want to leave said room. Given the lack of interesting combat, it's not a wonder I didn't remember this one. If I do have something nice to say, it'd be about the secret exit....I think it's pretty cool the way the landing where it's located can be seen from the nukage/red door area (though it's not really 'obvious'), which, if you happen to notice it, prompts you to search in the next room.

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E1M3 - The Doomed Lab by PCorf
Fairly easy map, yeah the rocket launcher secret is a bit late in the day. Didn't stop me using it haha. The gameplay is offset by plenty of chaingun ammo which is fine I think. Secret exit I could never really find until I started speedrunning and of course like riding a bike, you can never forget now haha.

Started E1M9 but got crushed twice and gave up...... for now :P

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Nevan said:

So then I obtained the red key, then went on and beat the next challenges in the red key area and obtained the yellow key. I wondered how to get the BFG, so I took the second red key door and found a switch in front of me, then hit a second switch. Hearing something opening, I charged to the BFG area, rushed in, took the invulnerability and eventually snagged my BFG. I am not sure if this is different in the original version, but heck, I got it! Too bad I'm going for a pistol start each map!

The only difference with the original as far as the BFG secret is concerned is that there was no helpful hint imprinted on the floor. I spent ages years ago trying to get that damned BFG, never realizing the way that door operated.

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Cool a new wad to play. I was toying with the idea of posting video commentaries but I have a feeling most of it will just be me swearing at monsters...

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Let's hope this goes bit better, since I somehow lost my interest to previous megawad Interception for reasons unknown...

This one I haven't played yet, so why not?
Playing on GLBoom, difficulty set to UV, and this time, trying pistol starts just for shits and giggles. Unless I forgot to do that.

Nothing too hard, nothing too special. Map looks normal, feels bit cramped on ceiling heights on those side rooms in that T-junction area. Layout is quite linear, and has minimal amount of backtrack.
100% kills, items and secrets.

Somehow, this is bit harder than I thought. I had 22 HP left after I dealt that slime room with surprise pinkies. Maybe it was just me slacking. (most likely.) Map isn't really that tough, though. Even when trying 100% Everything, including slime pit monsters and bonuses. Surprisingly, didn't die in there, but left hurting.
Map itself, there isn't much to tell. Looks all OK, bit linear and bit of backtracking.
100% kills, items and secrets.

Wasn't tough when it came for enemies, and I didn't took heavy amount of damage. But it was still quite pleasure to slog through the hordes.
Quite large map. Neat. And I like the design, like you're going one big circle. There is some backtracking, of course, but nothing too drastic. As for looks, no special comments. All OK for me, I guess.
100% kills, items and secrets.

Most awesome fail: I see former humans at front of me, so I decided to get a good look just for measuring. And what we got? Sergeants right behind me. Even with the careful planning, I still died. TWICE. How embarrassing... As for the rest of the level. Again, not too hard, but still had to keep on toes.
As for map, layout seems slightly linear and bit bouncy to where to go. You went before those bars for red key went down? Backtrack! Map aesthetics, no special comments here. All OK for my eyesight.
100% kills, 98% items and 87% secrets. Dammit.
DEATH COUNT IN MAP: 4 (2 from that BFG bs crusher.)

So far, feeling good. Might even play this through. Special mention for awesome music.

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-The supposed linear flow opens the map up like a explorable map. Nice touch.
-As stated above, hard to find secret exit.

-Good music for a secret map.
-Speaking of, the music as a whole hasn't been very intrusive and it's not trying to impress you. Rather, it creates a new tone for an E1 setting.
-I love how 100+ monster maps are shorter than Doom2's would be simply because the abundance of zombies rather than brutes (which don't quite exist yet it E1 to begin with).
-Again, good flow.
-Two doors I felt like they were open-able didn't quite open. Oh well.

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E1M9 Lugano Base ZRX by Paul Corfiatis
Nice secret map, with a swastika in the blue key room, some secrets which are a bit different and plenty of action. Not sure about the 10 year anniversary version but you have to wait 5 minutes for a secret door to open (invulnerability). This is not the first time that PCorf uses this trick (Twilight Zone 2 Map21). Another includes a strafejump out of window which is a bit of a pain but for a secret it's fine. The bgf is intended to be claimed at the end of the map, but you can strafe(40/50) under the crusher and grab it at the start which has always been my route as you can clear the red key trap with efficient ease.
The map flows excellently and is a lot of fun. Not much else to say.

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E1M3 -- Doomed Base
Delightful E1 style map which is just about right in size and difficulty for E1M3 (i.e. not too large, not too small, pretty easy). Several great, memorable locales (anyone who's ever played the red key are will remember it, I think), nice fights and cool traps throughout. I don't agree at all that the secret exit is *that* difficult to find. As D.o.t.W says, you can clearly see the ledge and the lift opening from the outside area, so naturally you'll wall hump a bit in the vicinity. Likewise, the RL secret requires some good sense of where to wall hump -- it could have been more obvious but it's not annoying. Like others have said, it's a shame it comes so late (as does the soulsphere and mega armour). I didn't find the gren armour secret until very late, as well, so I basically ran through this with no armour and used the SG throughout. Which was perfectly fine. Good map. --4/5

E1M9 -- Lugano Base ZRX
Apparently, we've relocated to Switzerland. And Switzerland now looks like a grand nukeage base with lots of great gameplay. Everything about this is excellent, apart from one thing: the BFG/invuln secret. I played this map years ago but naturally have since forgotten how it works. Died the first time I tried to grab the BFG, wisened up the second time and wanted to get the invuln but missed the 5-minute timer (because I'll be damned if I stand around for 4.5 minutes doing nothing, so I ran off and started cleaning house elsewhere and forgot the time), but the third time was a charm :-)

It's really the only annoyance in an otherwise excellent E1 style map, and since it involves a secret and not something needed to finish the map I'll overlook it. The rest of the map is delightful: the violent blue key ambush, the red key trap, the red key bar-lowering-switch trap... Tons of secrets, none of them are difficult to find, I kept stumbling into them without actively looking! I especially enjoyed the one which involved jumping to an outside area, since it rewards the curious player. The gameplay basically focuses on what makes Doom so fun and why we still play this game. It's about constant action (without ever being unfair or overwhelming).The best map yet. --5/5

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I’ll jump in because this may be the only way I’ll play full megawads. ;)

I thought it was interesting that 2002:ADO was chosen. I’ll say in advance, I’ve never much liked this megawad, but chances are I never played beyond E1. I’m hoping to see if further episodes please me more.

My play style is UV, continuous, cautious, with frequent saves and no cheats. I seek a UV Max result, but I will not play endlessly looking for secrets or monsters I missed. I play keyboard only, no mouse. If I fail to find a secret level, I will finish the episode and then play the secret level from a pistol start. At the end of each level I will write down my final stats. Lastly, I play on my beloved Risen3D.

E1M1 – Paul Corfiatis - Kills – 100%, Items – 93%, Secrets – 100 %. Time: 7:33. Ending Health 200%, Armor 116%
I’ve always been a fan of Paul’s from the Death Tormention days. That said, this amazingly easy (even on UV) map sets the pattern for the maps that follow. The design emphasis is on tricky secrets and sometimes puzzles, while the fights are mainly snoozers with monsters almost always in front of the player. Having played this map before, I breezed through, snagged the chaingun, and subjected all the pinkies to the Chaingun Cha-Cha. My favorite part of the map is actually going back to the secret area at the start, because I get a kick out of the arrows on the floor. I was also happy that the 10th Anniversay Edition deleted the replacement sky. The map is actually low detail compared to the original E1M1, and is also easier. One last note – the stairs leading to the blue key room should have been only 8 units high and 64 units front to back, so that the Pinkies could chase the player.

E1M2 – Kristian Aro - Kills – 100%, Items – 36%, Secrets - 100%. Time: 13:20. Ending Health, 177%, Armor 78%.
This one has the clever Chaingun secret, which I finally figured out at the end. Starts off with an easy battle. A few Imps have you in a crossfire, and there’s a Sarge in another sniping position. There follows a series of non-fights, basically just the player slaughtering helpless monsters served up in front of him. Health and ammo are plentiful, so there is literally never anything to worry about. Getting the yellow key in the open "Helicopter Bay" is probably the most dangerous encounter, mainly because it gives you the option of running in, guns blazing, and being targeted from more than one direction. This illusion of danger passes quickly, however, and what’s left is mainly finding the important Soulsphere secret. Also, the Backpack secret is one where the player gets punished a bit for exploring the level, all to the good in this case, given the ease of the map’s fights. As a nit-picky detail, the very first room has vertically misaligned SUPPORT2 textures in the window. On the positive end, the level is nice-looking and has very good lighting in some of the passageways.

E1M3 – Paul Corfiatis - Kills – 100%, Items – 97%, Secrets – 75%, Time: 30:16. Ending Health 109%, Armor 89%
A few promising battles ultimately lead to disappointment because there is no killer instinct shown by the author. Again and again and again the monsters are all in front of you. Even when backtracking leads you to opened areas and new monsters, it’s like the fights were designed by your mom and she wants to make sure you won’t get hurt. There are also odd design choices, such as a nukage pit in the first main area, with 2 Spectres, that seems to serve no purpose whatsoever. On the plus side, this is the best-looking level so far, with excellent lighting and some clever secrets. My favorite part of the map was finding my way to the rocket launcher. My least favorite part was the yellow key puzzle that required you to cross about 80% of the map to solve it, and end up with nothing but boring fights.

I was able to see the secret exit, but shame on me, I didn’t use the automap well and I never found the path to reach it. After examining the map in DB2 I smacked myself in the head. It was so easy!

E1M4 – Kristian Aro - Kills – 100%, Items – 100%, Secrets – 100% Time: 20:57. End Health 148%, Armor 137%
Another decent-looking map, another set of dreadful fights, though there was one moment of joy. After the start, you enter a big square room with a Soulsphere on a central column. It reminds me of an area I think I encountered in an E3/E4-style Death Tormention map, but in that one there were Barons about and it was quite a corker of a fight. Not so here. This room leads to the famous barrel trap, which I remembered from back in the day and decided to set off from a distance, but when I first encountered this in the mid-Miocene it put a smile on my face as I was roasted to death. :)

The map has the typical Doom 2-style flow of the entire mapset so far– linear all the way. Beat one area where monsters are – you guessed it! – thrown up in front of you for easy chaingunning, then go to the next. One Hamburger Hill after another. However, at the yellow key, you find yourself in a trap that swamps you with Sergeants. My first time through, I was reduced to 32% health. I jumped for joy! Finally, somebody tried to kill me in here. Woo Hoo!!!! In celebration, I opened a saved game and played it again, this time ready with the chaingun, and left the trap at 115%. I sort of regretted that, because I was never in any danger again. One last note is that there’s a secret rocket launcher in this area.

For me, the nadir of the map came after you climb some curvy stairs with health bonuses and drop into a room where you can look into another room that contains the red key. In that room are 3 Spectres. Why? Why on earth would a designer put 3 Spectres in a room, helpess before my shotgun, when instead they could have put some combination of Sergeants, Zombieboys or Imps – monsters that could actually shoot at me through the window? To be honest, I was offended by this. I could not imagine the purpose behind this design choice, except to drain me of ammo, of which I had so much that killing the Spectres was easy. Long before this, I was progressing through the map with my lip curled in sneering contempt at the insanely easy combat, but this moment annoyed the hell out of me.

There was one more notable trap with a blue key at the top of a platform. Going up there triggers a monster closet with 3 Sergeants. Even though I play without the mouse, and thus turn slowly, only 1 Sergeant shot me before I killed them all. Thus, at least twice as many Sergeants were needed, or a combo of Sergeants and Imps, at least 4 of each, I’d say. There was also a monster closet opened below, a much bigger one filled with Pinkies, hitscanners and Imps. But you have a convenient pylon for cover, so I decided to unload a few of the 500,000 rockets I had by this time and killed everything while taking only a couple hits. ZZZZzzzzzzz. Might’ve been interesting if I’d played the map from a pistol start.

The last thing that annoyed me in this map is back at the start. After I exited and found I had discovered all the secrets, I was surprised, because at the start you can see this raised METAL1 platform in an outside area that leads to the starting room. I was sure that somewhere or other I’d trip a switch that would open the TECHWALL and let me go out there. No such luck. I guess it’s supposed to indicate that you crossed the METAL1 path to get into this level, but E1M3 doesn’t end at a METAL1 path, so there’s a continuity error here. There’s also questionable texture use in the Sector 123 area, with PLAT1 on a lift that is too tall, COMPWERD on a 32-length line, and DOOR1 in sectors too low, thus cutting off the top of the texture. These could have, and should have, been easily fixed before re-release. And yes, in the blue key area, you go from FLOOR4_8 to FLOOR0_3 without a change in floor height, a flagrant violation of Romero’s Rules. Yes, I went there! :D These are noob mistakes that we all make, that shouldn’t be made in a mapset with the reputation this one has, especially when it’s been re-released after 10 years.

In summary, the maps are pretty good-looking for the most part, but no real grand architecture, not enough outside areas, and a mid to lower level of detail. In continuous play, I find the maps much less challenging than the original Knee Deep In The Dead or even Fava Beans. The problem is that while the maps have a look somewhat similar to Knee Deep, the fight structure is entirely different. The original E1 features cross-connecting corridors with often sneaky angles, so that monsters frequently come at you from multiple directions, leading to some non-linear and unpredictable combat. These 2002:ADO maps, instead, are very stiff and linear with no flow at all, Doom 2 style. Monsters are almost always in front of you. If you have enough ammo, there is no challenge whatsoever to the fights. No stress. No worries. The way the fights and traps are designed, the maps would need Cacos, Lost Souls and even (gak!) Barons to provide entertainment. Sticking slavishly to the E1 monster group, but with Doom 2 style traps and gameplay, made these four of the most boring maps I’ve ever played. Sorry if I sound like an asshole, but I call it as I see it. I’m a crappy player, yet I went through 4 maps on UV without being killed or even seriously endangered. That’s just not acceptable to me. That is not fun to me.

My only hope is that in Episode 2, Paul and Kristian shove all these negative words right down my throat and smack me around the way the masochist inside me wants to be smacked. ;D

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I'm saying to hell with this and finishing E1 tonight. So, am I the only one playing this for the first time? Seems like most of you guys have already gone through this.

E1M4: Those nasty barrels got me :/ I enjoyed this map quite a bit, even on the second time around, and just took it nice and slow. A lot of Episode 1's themes don't quite pop out in my mind, so many of the levels tend to blur together for Doom1 megawads. Still having a blast uncovering secrets and corner sniping however. Music was good this level too.

E1M5: Worst map out of the bunch by far. It's slow, filled with legions of baddies, visually tame, pinky-ridden and too linear coming hot off the heels of the last "find a key and return to the central room" map. Yellow key trap got me since I couldn't tear my way through the spectres fast enough, so I redid the map running from most of the enemies which was pretty easy. Strange to see a level so "blah" coming from Corfiatis.

E1M6: I have a higher opinion of this map than the last, but it still felt somewhat mediocre in my opinion... it was another variation of "find a key and return to the central room". The crack in the ceiling and crate maze were nice variations in the map though. Difficulty doesn't seem that different from the last two maps.

E1M7: OH HEY A CENTRAL ROOM WITH 3 DOORS THAT NEED KEYS. This map was a bit more fun than the last two for me, although some parts of it (like the switch hitting to get to the yellow key) didn't strike my fancy. Red key fight was pretty creative, forcing me to balance on a small platform while taking out high priority targets, and the exit battle was definitely a much welcome surprise. But I can't really forgive this map for the massive pinky battle it throws at you after the yellow key... that was too much.

E1M8: A neat "boss" stage with some hellish overgrowth I did not expect. The baron fight was quite fun, trying to herd them all together until I was just circlestrafing a dejected few among the corpses of their brethren.

And that's it for Episode 1. I think because of my thickheadedness towards finding secrets I don't really fit the bill for this kind of playstyle, and find the maps doing little to please me. Glad others are enjoying it a bit more. Episode 3 is my favorite so I'm eagerly anticipating my trip to hell.

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Hello Nevan, SteveD, others. Steve, I generally agree with your summation of the action in the WAD thus far, although some of this is assuredly a result of the continuous playstyle you've adopted, to the point where you're probably coming into each map with enough ammo for any given weapon to kill all or most of the new map's entire occupancy twice over. From what I remember, the lion's share of the maps in the earlier half of 2002:ADO are by Corfiatis and Aro and in a similarly straightforward style as the ones posted about thus far, with more outlier maps (many of them by different authors) beginning to show up in E3 and on. I think that rather static fights are a weakness that a lot of the earlier part of Corfiatis' large body of work has (he's gotten much better about making interesting traps with time, it must be said), and I can't tell you the number of times I've played an Aro map that seemed like a really cool place to be but felt very anticlimactic in the action department (most recently "Reaper's Digest" from CC4). Both authors seem to see their strong suits in the areas of creative layouts or very atmospheric settings, with action either feeling oddly artificial (e.g. Paul's propensity for putting demons/specters in places where they can't harm you, and putting most of the opposition right in front of you) and Kristian's habitual lack of, as you call it, "killer instinct." 'Whispers of Satan' epitomizes this dichotomy; it's certainly a WAD worth a playthrough, but it's an engaging WAD whose least interesting aspect is certainly the pitch of its action. All that being said, sometimes these guys might surprise you, as some of Aro's solo works have more teeth than you might at first imagine, and with any given Corfiatis map there's always going to be the chance of his peculiar design sensibilities culminating in something that's distinct enough to be really enjoyable even if the action is largely of the 'shooting gallery' type.....

.....which brings me to E1's secret map.
E1M9 -- Lugano Base ZRX - 100% kills / 87% secrets
This is kind of a weird map, and one that I quite enjoyed. I don't seem to have remembered it very well, suggesting that maybe I never found the secret exit back in E1M3 when I first played this lo those many years ago.....it seems like I'd remember something as out of left-field as the open yard high in the base that depicts a platoon of zombie sergeants being debriefed by their imp overseers on a drill space painted in the form of a swastika. Is this Hell's sense of humor at work? Some kind of unimaginable geopolitical conspiracy involving the UAC's top brass? Who knows, but it's amusing to think about. Aesthetically the map's as simple as Corfiatis' other works thus far, but I think it ends up being more memorable in this regard, largely by virtue of being the first map of any considerable size--it's big enough that you can start to feel something of a specific texture theme beyond "this is E1", and motifs like views of the sky through high, austere windows and narrow bridges that rise out of ooze pits (suggesting that you're in the upper levels of a base largely flooded by nukage) making themselves felt. The opening couple of minutes, from a pistol-start, represent the most engaging piece of action in the WAD thus far--the player starts in a rather untenable position, and must pick a direction to flee in (where shotgun ammo is initially scarce) or be turned into bloody swiss cheese by the squad of sergeants and troopers in whose midst s/he begins. While the action is still very easy all told, I think some of the fights here do a better job of capturing that IWAD E1 magic than previous maps, particularly those for the blue card on the swastika terrace (darting from column to column for cover while picking shotgun targets) and in the red card room, where you end up using the chaingun to mow down a surprisingly large number of zombies and imps that all come unglued from three different big monster closets. Hunting for the 8 secrets was also enjoyable, but I must admit that the mystery of the door to the invulnerability artifact completely defeated me. I saw the "5" on the floor next to it, of course, and so I spent some time looking for rooms shaped like the number "5" on the automap, or groups of five decorative objects in the environment, and then I replayed the map to see if it was one of those secrets that closes forever a short time (e.g. 'get here in 5 steps') after the map begins....still no luck. Didn't occur to me it might be referring to a delayed timer mechanism. Of course, while the sphere is presumably to allow you to survive the slow crusher to get the BFG, you can still get it anyway and come off scot-free with a well-executed high-speed straferun (which I assume was intentional).....uh, not that you'd need a BFG here, anyway. Still, it was a quirky challenge that added additional interest to the map, even though I basically had to game the system to get the prize.

Edit: Oh, yeah, I wanted to mention that this map has an excellent music track, too. I've heard it a few other places besides here, and I feel it remains one of Paul's single best Doom tracks.

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^ Great analysis of Corfiatis' and Aro's mapping styles Demon; as a fan of both of their work I definitely agree with you on the difficulty perspective. Aro's Brotherhood of Ruin was one of the first set of custom maps I played for Doom 2 and I remember it being a pretty vicious experience... of course I'll have to replay it sometime soon after suffering the likes of Deus Vult and Sunder, but I too am hesitant to call 2002 "boring" for making a pretty easy, laid-back Episode 1... from my perspective at least. I am hopeful that more asses will be kicked sometime soon.

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dobugabumaru said:
am I the only one playing this for the first time?

Nope. If a wad came out between Requiem and CC4, and isn't Darkening 2 or AV, I probably haven't played it :)

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dobugabumaru said:

So, am I the only one playing this for the first time? Seems like most of you guys have already gone through this.

I haven't yet gone this through. :)

Anyway, E1M4:
Now, it seems I start running out of shells. Until I get to yellow key area. AND GODDAMMIT I knew there would come some sort ambush, didn't except shotties. Seems I am getting lax day by day. Or not. Looks like I have some sort sixth sense when I went to yellow door and... O_o Medkits seems to be rather scarce, or I took way too much beating than I should.
Map itself, no special comments. Linear and neat and all that.
100% with kills, items and secrets. (That RL wasn't THAT obvious.)

DEATHS IN MAP (because people likes fails): 2 (I mistook in slime pit that there were stairs, instead dropped into the pit and got chomped by spectre. Second, I suck at dodgeball with imps.)


Just checked calendar. Four episodes, four weeks. How wonderful.

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E1M4 Substation 537A by Kristian Aro
Nice easy map with a very notorious barrel trap which kills about 90% of first time players... yay.
Otherwise the map is quite cramped but never overwhelming. With some nice handy secrets.

E1M5 - Combat Station by PCorf
Weakest map of the episode in my opinion. THough it is more difficult as you find that hitscanners pick you off a lot more here. Missing kills is very common in fact I had to go back and find a spectre that hid from me earlier in the map. Main problem comes from dodgey slow teleporters. Horrible for speedrunning and many will recall getting 99% kills on this map.

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