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

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Not much to say about this one that hasn't been said one way or another; like most of E4 it's well-crafted and doesn't just go out and kick you in the nuts for the sake of it. It's not really all that difficult in any way either, but it's also short enough to not be a laborious affair. The best thing in my experience? This:

Taking no damage from two walls of Killer Tomatoes and having a Soulsphere saved for leaving, all at the cost of my Cells.

That's pretty much all I have to say. The Demon/Spectre rush after getting the RL/Backpack combo was unexpected and at least played toward having them appear in your face, but they were still put away with the Chainsaw.

...and we all know what's coming up next.

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E4M5 – Chris Hansen – Kills – 100, Items – 86, Secrets – 33. Time 24:17. End Health 150, Armor 97. Death Count – 1

This short, punchy map is probably the most fun Hansen map I’ve played to date. Not very hard, obviously, but the fights were fun, especially the red key trap, where I took some serious damage but won through on my first try. My only death came when I ran across the platforms that triggered the teleporting Caco trap. I zigged when I should have zagged, got stuck on something, and met my Doom maker.

I found the map very attractive, and enjoyed the way collapsing walls revealed more of the outside area and overall structure. The style was very much like “Thy Flesh Consumed,” and I was impressed by the use of bright light and contrasting shadow in many areas. A very successful map.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. On at least one occasion I can recall, there was -- gack! – a Medikit in front of a switch! Jesus Fucking Christ, why can’t these guys stop that? If there’s ever another anniversary edition, I volunteer to personally move every Medikit from every switch. :D

E4M6 – Joseph Pallai – Kills – 96, Items – 75, Secrets – 28. Time – Sucks. End Health 100, Armor 0. Death Count – 2

This is one of those maps where I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but I did enjoy, and even admire, parts of it. Funny thing, this map is closer to my style than any other map in the megawad. It’s a great big splashy mess with large secret areas – most of which I obviously did not find – but the fights are mostly quite boring, and many of the features, even those I liked, seemed gimmicky “look at me” kinda stuff, for example, when you had to run across that series of Metal platforms to reach the Rocket Launcher at Sector 147, which incidentally guards the path to a Soulsphere, one of the few secrets I uncovered. But anyway, I thought that was just goofy, even though it looked good when you first saw the room from outside.

My main complaints about the map are that a lot of it was just bland, narrow GSTONE corridors so that, overall, it was not very attractive even though several large rooms with heavily-worked ceilings looked fabulous. The mapper also could have used much more dramatic lighting to avoid the blah look found almost everywhere. But without question, the most annoying aspect of the map is that it was an interminable switch-hunt. Bars everywhere, doors that won’t open. I was so pissed-off by this I could barely think straight.

My only deaths came from the Cyberdemon I encountered outside near the lava ocean. One rocket in the back as I was climbing upstairs, twice. You definitely have to be quick in that area!

When I say the fights were boring, you have to consider my style. As a walking keyboarder, I play cautiously. When enemies appear en masse in front of me, I don’t rush right at them, I back up, shooting, which is to say, I “advance to the rear.” Therefore, unless the mapper has enemies attacking me from multiple directions, every fight becomes a shooting gallery. The yellow key trap is a perfect example. I grabbed the key, walls opened, enemies appeared, I fired and backed into the corridor. On this occasion I did use crowd control while in the corridor to draw enemies in one direction, and then ran out into the open to kill them all, which was pretty easy despite the Baron and the Cacos. But that made the combat a bit more stimulating.

We then come to the gimmicky end, with more Barons but, weirdest of all, a Cyberdemon inside a teleporter. Amazed and disgruntled by this sight, given that I lacked the firepower to kill him, it took a few moments before I realized that I had to run towards the Cyberdemon and survive long enough to teleport, and before that, I first had to survive long enough to activate a switch (of course). To say that this was, in my eyes, a completely asinine gameplay decision is only to hint at the string of profanity I’d love to unleash on this subject. I took rocket damage while flipping the switch, which took away my entire 100-point Soulsphere bonus. But I survived the run to the teleport, only to reflexively run right back into the arena, meaning I had to do the teleport run again. Good joke on me. Amazingly, I survived again, killed everything at the destination, and exited.

To be honest, this map was not even close to something I’d enjoy, and like many maps in the megawad, it makes me reconsider my own designs. Maybe short to mid-size maps are best. It also reveals my prejudice where Cyberdemons are concerned. If there’s a Cyb in the map, in my view, that Cyb must be allowed to come to battle, and I must be provided with the firepower to kill however many Cybs appear on that map. I just don’t like gimmicky use of Cybs. If the mapper gives me the option of fighting or declining to fight, that is good, because, as a continuous player, I give higher priority to having enough health and ammo to start the next map successfully, than I do to killing everything in the map I’m currently playing. The point is that this option should come with a Cyberdemon that’s a credible threat, that will come after you no matter what. Mappers may also choose to force the player to fight the Cyb, and that’s okay, too, but sticking a Cyb in a tight place where it can’t move effectively, or on a platform it can’t descend, just bugs me and seems terribly wrong.

So in the end, I found parts of this map very attractive, but much of it blah, with poor lighting and little atmosphere. One further annoyance is the large number of Barons in rooms too short for them, so that they walked around with their heads in the ceilings. That just looks stupid. And of course, I remember seeing the occasional power-up in front of a switch. I almost wish I did visual aids like Baron to confirm this. This was also a somehat ammo-starved map where I frequently ran low on shells and bullets, which almost, but not quite, led to some interesting fights. So for me, this map was basically meh.

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E4M7 – Chris Hansen – Kills – 93, Items – 97, Secrets – 66. Time 25:28. End Health 67, Armor 95. Death Count – 8

Holy flying fuck! What a completely, utterly, insanely brilliant map this is. This is without question one of the greatest Ultimate Doom maps I’ve ever played. Chris Hansen is back in axe-murderer mode. He’s shed his electronic monitoring device and is on the loose with blood in his eye. If anyone wants to know why I don’t want to become a truly good player, this map is Exhibit A, because if I could play like Memfis, I would never have enjoyed the manic, thrill-a-second horror ride I got from this map. This map is precisely tuned to my skill level, although it’s not quite at the outer edge of it, whereas Capellan’s Memento Mori 2 Map15 is – it’s about as hard as I can possibly stand without breaking down and crying like a little girl. And that’s about as far as I want to go as a player. If I was to get much better it would completely ruin Doom for me and I’d end up playing and designing slaughter maps. That’s not a dig at superior players and slaughter maps, it’s just a statement of where I personally want to be as a player and mapper.

Back to Hansen. This map is gorgeous, a perfect evocation of the Thy Flesh Consumed theme, although, to nitpick, some of the areas could have been darker for more dramatic lighting. The gameplay is staggeringly good as Hansen releases one grisly horde after another, and allow me to thank him for his excellent use of Lost Souls. I spent most of the map limping along at between 5% and 36% health. I had to play certain fights over and over again to get better health results. At least I found the Blue Armor thanks to my “advance to the rear” style. ;D

My first death came after riding the lift down into the lava area where you get jumped by a Pinkie and an Imp. I stepped off the path into the lava and died while discovering I couldn’t get back up. Didn’t see the radsuit off to my right. I died again when I reached the infamous blood floor/2-switch room, when a Lost Soul chomped me. I re-fought that battle with the chaingun and did better. Another great fight is off from the big open area containing the yellow key, when you drop down into a narrow, watery corridor, then trigger a big Pinkie/Imp trap. Hansen was kind enough to provide a Pinkie teleporting behind me. Now that’s what I call fun! I died once here when I chainsawed a Pinkie and realized, too late, that an Imp behind it had launched a fireball. I was then killed by the Baron guarding a very E1M3-like lift to the upper floors. It was a combo of blast damage and me stupidly slugging it out close quarters. My next death came against the Insta-Lift Baron behind the red door. I kept fighting that battle until I came out of it with 61% health, but on one of those fights, I was somehow lifted above the Baron and rendered helpless while he slimed me. I also can’t forget my death at the yellow key Cacoswarm trap. Got cornered on the first try. And let’s not forget my death behind the yellow door where, once I got the opposition down to 1 Caco, I rushed in to finish it off and triggered teleporting Pinkies and an Insta-Lift Baron. Fled the Baron and hit the meat wall, with predictable results. And, yes, the Insta-Lift Barons at the exit killed me on the first try. 8 deaths, and each in a different location. That’s by idea of Doom excitement.

The only thing that kept this map from perfection was, of course, the 2-switch nonsense on the Blood floor. This was such a jagoff move that I allowed myself the first genuine cheat of the megawad. After numerous tries I realized I’d never make it, so I clipped through.

Apart from that silliness, I rate this map a masterpiece. This is the most thrilling map in the megawad for me. Thank you, Chris Hansen!

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Good fucking god. Here we go again; this is huge.

This is going to take a long, long time.

Once again, I was pretty drunk during this escapade, and as such memories for the most part have been lost, dissolved into the ether. Oh well, there's still some pictures. The longest map in ADO is not at all the toughest; it's got a few moments here and there to catch you out (and is fucking loaded with Barons Of Hell), but it's pretty straightforward and doesn't try tearing your asshole inside-out every time you go through a door. Instead, it just fucks over anyone who doesn't get through these bars in time.

I hope you're alone, because any of your buddies present ain't getting through here for a while.

This map dishes out a Berserk; now this is either because ammo is incredibly tight, or because IT'S A TRAP to encourage reckless and foolish punchy behaviour. Unsurprisingly, the latter applied to me.

Can you see the Spectre? Congratulations! I didn't!

Several times.


And I always came through it alive and in good (or at least reasonable condition. Then this bastard shows up and I run around like a fucking idiot looking for a way forward that doesn't involve getting obliterated by the pseudo-airstrike nature of rockets from higher ground. I avoid getting hit, but spend several drunk seconds shouting incomprehensible nonsense along the lines of "oh that's just fucki*belch*ng great!"

A few seconds later, he just DISAPPEARS!

The rest of the map really is something of a blur. There's a lot of winding around, ending up where you started but with new paths open (and the bars eventually raise to let your buddies in! Hurrah!), the combat almost never lets up (and I mean this in a good way), and then...

Oh, it's you again. Hi.

Out with the Plasma Rifle, and the Cyberdemon puts up about as much fight as a blind paraplegic. Seeing the exit (after murdering one last rabble), it's time to go back and hunt for the secrets. And holy fucking shit, this took me far too long. But it was all worth it. All the pain, all the wandering around, all the watching Barons of Hell step on and off the same fucking teleporter pad. Because now I have the means to make paste out of anything that looks at me funny.

Jesus fucking Christ, it's about time I found this.

Despite the length and somewhat tiring nature of all the fighting here, it was exceptionally enjoyable. The fact that it's practically incompatible with co-op aside, this doesn't have many faults. Some sense of accomplishment in finally getting to the exit here, and the option to approach encounters with Berserk-heavy combat is always something to liven things up. Great fun.

But don't put another map this long in here, because one is enough.

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I don't remember this one much, so I'll have to be very brief with it. In short, it went from kicking me around to being kicked around by me, then back again, with one last reversal before I got to the exit.

Oh alright, I'll be a bit clearer:

Low health; durrrrrr let's Chainsaw stuff!

Some much-needed health recovery, followed by oddly ineffective Cacodemons. This probably should have triggered sooner or something, because they didn't stand a chance.

But they took long enough to fucking die.

Back to being beaten around like underpants in a washing machine.

Yo-Yo health.

Aaaand we're back in reasonable condition. Time to go, because I can't think of anything to say other than...


Pretty fun from what I remember, with some really nasty fighting going on, immediately followed by a sense of dread that keeps luring you further in to try and heal before the next pack of demonic assholes turn up. I probably shouldn't be so drunk when I'm reaching the very end of a WAD, especially when it's where all the best maps are. And especially when I keep getting hit in the face as I gaze at my keyboard looking for the screencap button through my beer-goggles. Balls.

...and I missed that secret at the start. Lousy shitty fucking thing.

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2002:A Doom Odyssey, 10th Anniversary Edition
Final Thoughts

I know this is late, but I played through this thing and I had to get my last words in. ;D First, it’s been a blast joining the Megawad Club. Playing the maps and reading the comments has been both fun and illuminating. And while it’s true that I’ve been lavish with both praise and condemnation, it hasn’t been my intention to deliberately insult or offend anyone.

I entered 2002:A Doom Odyssey with low expectations, having previously played Episode 1 and parts of Episode 2 and not being especially impressed. Episode 1 has issues with gameplay being too easy and linear – a problem to some extent in other episodes as well. However, as I continued and the difficulty ramped up, the megawad rose in my estimation, finally climaxing with Chris Hansen’s incredible E4M7, one of the best maps I’ve ever played. I played through part of E4M8, but it fell outside the deadline and I decided to pass on it, though the parts I saw were exceptionally good-looking and featured the nastiest traps Paul Corfiatis delivered in the entire game. I’ll polish it off sometime down the road.

This 4-episode megawad represents a tremendous amount of work, from the maps themselves to the titlepics and the outstanding music score that seemed to get better as it went along. Pcorf delivered a number of exceptionally attractive maps and all of the music. His mapping style here is old skool and very well-rendered, with often masterful use of textures. Chris Hansen also designed some great-looking maps and was the author most likely to deliver one hammer blow after another in gameplay. He played rough. For me, the most consistently entertaining maps were by Rory Habich, a name I was completely unfamiliar with prior to this. He delivered old-fashioned blood ‘n guts Doomplay again and again, and I enjoyed it. Even his “Fuck you, player!” moments were delivered with a brio that made me smile. Kristian Aro distinguished himself as well in E1M8 and E2M7, his collab with pcorf.

My favorite episode was E4, followed by E2, E3 and E1. My favorite maps;

E1M5 – pcorf – The ultra-cool Plasma Gun secret!
E1M8 – Kristian Aro – A fun boss map, very good-looking to boot
E1M9 – pcorf – An exceptionally well-done E1-style map
E2M3 – Rory Habich – The nasty but fun damaging floor fight
E2M4 – pcorf – I enjoyed the teleporting sergeants. Every time.
E2M5 – pcorf – It was so good-looking. That Skintek hallway.
E2M6 – Rory Habich – That four-teleport trap was epic
E2M7 – Kristian Aro and pcorf – Stunning to look at, with excellent gameplay
E3M3 – Rory Habich – Better eat your Wheaties! The shooting never stops in this one
E3M6 – Chris Hansen – A little dance in toxic blood is good for the soul
E3M7 – pcorf – A bit of a switch-hunty slog, but pretty fun in the end
E4M1 – pcorf – An excellent episode-starter with fun battles
E4M2 – Anthony Soto – A masterpiece in the E1 style, by a master of that style
E4M5 – Chris Hasnsen – An easy but very good-looking and fun map
E4M7 – Chris Hansen – IMO, the best map in the megawad and among the best I’ve ever played. Hard but fun and totally gorgeous.

All things considered, I’d rate this megawad a 3.85 out of 5. Very good work, could have shot higher with more consistently good gameplay. And then of course there’s that issue with Medikits in front of switches . . .

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Okay, let's blow this thing and go home!

If anyone's tried playing this map on co-op, you'll be well aware that your progress is immediately impeded; this bridge sinks the moment you set foot on it, so it all boils down to deciding which one of you gets sent on "Operation: Bad Enough Dude" while everyone else sits at the start and takes turns kicking each other in the dick.

At least those bizarre cats are gone. What were they for anyway?

There's really not much to say about this one. Resistance is pretty worthless if you've played consecutively, and compared to the horrors of E4M7 and pretty much every other map of this episode, fighting your way past the opposition is a straightforward case of just shooting everything that appears in front of you. Sometimes really suddenly...

...but he's in a really bad position to pose any threat.

Once more we're treated to some really obvious 'traps' that seem to be more of a token gesture than a legitimate threat. Everything's all just a bit too flat for a sudden rush of these things to cause any difficulty. As such, it's Chainsaw time again...

It's nice to know that even at the end, Demons are still being employed as walking lumber.

Eventually you get all the keys (oh no, we finished on a fucking hub map!!), and after a really dirty crusher trap (it just comes from nowhere and WILL smash you if you're not paying attention), it's time for the final showdown. Well, sort of. It's a bizarre boss setup that comes in three stages. First, it's a bunch of Cacodemons accompanying the worst combination of Cyberdemon and Spider Mastermind since... whenever. They get into a fight, you kill the victor (turning him into a loser), and then it's immediately time for the second event; two Cyberdemons that refuse to step outside. But don't worry, because any and all difficulty that could have come from this is soon fucked off and away somewhere by... wait for it... INVULNERABILITY.

Well, it was nice while it lasted. Might as well just get this over with.

As expected, they die. And now it's the grand finale itself. The third round of this epic-in-theory-laughable-in-execution confronta-... oh. Ohhhh no.

This... you know what? I just don't care any more.


Fuck off.

And it's all over!

One last lulzy textscreen. Ah, it was all just so very worth it.

Victory is mine! I greet my mongoloid wife and contemplate some way of disposing of her properly by my own hand, because Hell was fucking useless at it.

Oh my god, what's wrong with your face?!


So with that finally all over, what's left to say?

I have mixed feelings about this mapset. I remembered it fondly due to so many co-op sessions, and we all know this sort of stuff is almost always more fun when you're blasting the shit out of things with a reliable ally or two (or three) to have a laugh with. But when running it solo, all the glaring issues really start to stand up and let themselves be known; almost exclusively linear exploration and fighting, stupid fucking secrets that should at least have some sort of hint to their very fucking existence (I thought this re-release was supposed to fix all that shit?), some hideous design choices (fuck you E3M6) and some of the worst boss confrontations ever (somehow, E1 was the best; E2 was remarkably dull, and E3/E4 just ruined themselves with Invulnerability pickups).

But... for some inexplicable reason it really isn't that bad a mapset overall and is actually quite fun in places. It's by no means as great a WAD as it's all been cracked up to be (and given a 10th anniversary tune-up, there really wasn't much that was actually tuned-up), but the difficulty progression (episode by episode at least) makes sense, and E4: Torment Ultima really is the saving grace. If there's one episode that's worth the time it takes to play, E4 is it.

Sure it shows its age now, but it's worth a spin. Just don't expect some sort of masterclass in WAD design, because that it ain't.

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This is the first time I've seen a "screenshot LP" (this is one of those in part, right?) and I have to say, you make it and the wad sound pretty fun to do. Such awesome descriptions and the like from what little I saw.
Also good to see 'BaronOfStuff' hangs around here also!

I didn't view too much of the thread due to the fact that I may be playing this myself in a future Let's Play and don't want to spoil it for myself too much, so I mainly just wanted to thank the creator of this thread for making me aware that there was an updated version of this megawad, as I was originally going to use the older version.

Have the DWMegawadClub covered Knee Deep In ZDoom may I ask? I'd love to hear their thoughts on it having just recently finished it.

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^ We vote on the megawad to play through on a month by month basis. If there's enough desire to play through KDiZD, we'll get to it.

Thanks for contributing everyone.

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what the hell is going on with that woman's head?

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I have a question regarding this mapset, so I hope it is okay to bump this three-year old thread. If not, then I apologise.

Anyway, is there a way to get to E3M5's secret exit without cheating?

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