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The DWmegawad Club plays: Hadephobia

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Ah, yes it worked after several attempts. So far I've come out of these streams pretty well. I have broad enough shoulders to take criticism on my lighting.

To answer a few questions that I remember being posed:

-Hadephobia is on /idgames because it was considered finished. There will be a new version but only because of some bugs found after release that make max kills or secrets impossible in a few of the levels.

-Damaging floors do remain consistent. Blood doesn't damage in any level, including MAP05. Unless I missed something.

-In MAP15 XXXT is actually XXXI. Roman Numerals to give you a clue which exit leads to MAP31. In the story it's accounted for by saying the distress call came from Sector 31.

-Also in MAP15, windows don't cause cacodemons to teleport. There was a teleport pad in the nukage that one of them floated over.

-Death Egg/TrueDude are the same guy.

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I'm a bit behind, but just finished MAP09 and MAP10.


Another bite sized map that I enjoyed. Good fights and I liked the design of it. I really felt as if I was underground. Even though I've stopped reading the story by now, I could tell where the plot was taking me. I feel this should be a compliment aimed at the map author. While I'm at it, I am really enjoying reading the playthroughs of the creators of this megawad. Purist, among others. Keep it up!

If there was something I maybe didn't like was the backtracking I had to do after grabbing the blue key (I think I remember that right, it's one of the keys anyway?) toward the ending of the map. I retraced my steps but nothing "new" had happened to the level. There were no new monsters, or traps or anything like that. Minor gripe.


Right off the bat, let me say that I felt this map complimented the previous map really well. But this was a lot better, and sorry to say, a better map by comparison. I felt that the previous map suffered somewhat being followed by this, thematically very similar, map as this map, not the previous one, is the one I remember from my recent sit through.

I enjoyed the scale of it. The map had a higher ceiling and greater space to move around in than the previous one, despite still being set in the depths of the cave or mining facility which I found myself in.

Overall, a great map. Lots of good fights and a good usage of monsters. I play continuously so I start off with lots of ammo, so I can't judge for it's pistol-start difficulty, but I had a blast with it.

A few gripes, however:

Monster-pop-ups. I hate them. They feel cheap and always do. I've yet to play a map where they have been used well. In fact, I don't encounted them often and when I do I always feel a bit cheated. This, I reckon, is some kind of trick of the engine. But just because it exists doesn't mean it should be used. I don't like it, and it was used several times throughout this map.

Second, the final fight. I, like many others I'm guessing, chose to just shrug and jump into the exit, rather than facing the monsters teleporting in well behind me.

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Making a boss-map in Doom is tough, as far as I'm concerned. The vanilla boss maps in Doom and Ultimate Doom are all pretty easy, relying only on the monster itself to provide difficulty. I´d say Tower of Babel is a tougher map than Dis, if only for the Lost Souls plaguing you while you rocket the shit out of the cyberdemon.

Therefore it's always fun to play a boss-map that does something new, as this one does. The locale is a hellish pit itself. It's pretty straight forward, but there is a nice build-up to the fight. Love the texturing. The fight itself I actually failed twice before managing, and that time I only made it through with 1% of health!

Speaking of that, I was a little bit bummed that there wasn´t a medkit for the player on his way out. In any case, I had decided beforehand to start the next map from a pistolstart. New episode, and all, but still. There might be others that don't.

This, as well as E2M8 and E3M8 from DTWID rank as three of the better boss maps I've played in recent times.

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Posting early tonight.

...The concrete beneath you fell away under the stress of the powering turbines to be replaced by the shallow splash of a green corrosive sludge. You quickly move onto a nearby kerb and realise that there is a series of sub-rooms the UAC had built beneath the power station to process the radioactive discard.

You've not got far before the cursed voices filled your head again. Weaker than before, as if you've hardened to them, but still there. You head deep into the bowels of the plant where you find the source of your torment - another Spider Mastermind. You wonder how this could be and come to the conclusion that after the monsters had escaped they had raised a breeding ground or a portal to Hell. This is another concern for later, right now you concentrate on felling the Spiderdemon.

After you vanquished your foe you search grim flesh and marble for the access key cards you need to progress. You take a close look at a ripped open wall. It is man-made at it's deepest, with a lining of flesh covering it and marble brick covering that. It appears Hell subverts the material by first covering it in this rancid flesh that spreads accross walls like moss and then hardens somehow into satanic materials.

You are close to exiting when you find a small radio facility. Eager to test the powerlines you switch it on, just to find it's an internal network only. You're about to head on when a distress signal from two marines flashes on-screen. They say they're trapped in sector 31 - the UAC armoury. The time stamp on the recording is several hours ago, which means they outlived most of the other UAC staff. But they are probably dead now.

You're left in quandary. Do you take the decrepit lift up the mountianside to the Communication Tower or do your crawl through the flesh hole into the UAC Armoury and try to save lives?...

MAP15: Probably my favorite level of the megawad thus far. While it has a certain “path” you need to follow, there’s a lot of variation in how to go through it making the level feel very open ended… somewhat like magicsofa’s MAP05 but this time with more corridors. Gameplay-wise there’s a whole bunch of fun and interesting moments, playing out for me just as purist probably intended. A few examples include the two starting revenants that coming hot off the elevator, the mancubus right behind the yellow key door (forcing me to duck down into the acid like an idiot), the baddy party in the room with the switch that lowers the blue key and of course the splendid finale out in the mountains with the baron bodyguards serving a single archvile. I really can’t stress how well done I thought that challenge was since you only had the zigzag mountain walls to provide cover, forcing you to optimize your shots on your target or dart past them to snag the exit.

There are of course a couple of low points, such as the sector XXXI battle (the sign itself used from the exit texture? BRILLIANT) being surprisingly calm and the PE’s in the PG room not providing much of a challenge, but I think the highlights of the map for me far outweighed the downtime. Another thing I liked too was the large arena you had to battle the mastermind in (although I cowardly sat near a wall and blasted it with my SSG between reloads, it was nice to know I had the option to move about). Visually it’s a really fine level too, utilizing good lighting contrast between areas (and how purely bright the outside is) and giving out plenty of wall and ceiling detail for the player. Great map.

The MAP31 message got cut off at the end though…

...Maybe you shouldn't have jumped down here after all. It's hard to see through how dark it is, but from the looks of it the base has been compl- wait, over there. There appears to be an entrance to the base through rotting flesh, though only the door remains unchanged by the deterioration. Entering, you discover that a large portion of the armory still remains intact, but something else seems off...

As you enter the yellow key door, you realize that the boundaries of hell here have been completely torn down. This is one of their entrances to the mortal realm, and the only way to prevent more from coming is to go in and close this portion. After entering the correct portal, you see a small fortress, and realize that the men you saw on the radar are likely deep within the confines of the fortress.

Unfortunately, the way to them is blocked by a red key, and you're not sure about running after them further. If they've been dragged this far, the chances of them having survived is slim to none. You take off for now, not sure if you'll return for them. After all, what are two men to the millions already likely slaughtered by the forces of hell?

After a small skirmish in the armory, you return with the key. You begin to contemplate on going back in for the men or just continuing you previous mission. Decisions, decisions...

MAP31: An interesting, mostly linear base that continues in the hell infestation theme, this time with a bit more pink and guts to walk through (which I enjoyed… something about that organic texture fascinates me). Combat is largely tame, and although there are large numbers of baddies swarming whenever you open a door they always come from directly ahead of you. Only tricky/dangerous fight I experienced was the revenant horde after the red key. Besides that though, the map experiences an interesting diversion, where you can choose to exit it or continue to explore the complex. Death Egg also puts in a cool twist where the player can head back over to the communication tower and experience a second set of fights in the area, this time with stronger monsters. Fun fact: Spidermasterminds are pretty good at stair climbing. Overall this felt like an alright level, nothing too special.

...The moment you stepped into the shallow torrent of blood you are violently pulled in the current along with the marines into the darkness. You try shouting to them but get no response and keep losing sight of them as the tunnel twists, turns and plunges into the pitch black.

Suddenly, as the tunnel banks out of a bend you see both marines dead within the blink of an eye. One of them horribly disfigured. You are clearly being swallowed into the belly of a trap but there's no way of returning.

Without warning you warp into what appears at first glance to be another UAC installation but your insticts warn you to distrust. Your instincts prove right as the ceiling falls in jagged angles crushing monsters beneath. You explore the base and eventually find a teleporter which takes you back into the fast moving river of blood. Any hopes of it taking you back from where you came are shattered when you warp again and find yourself in a new foriegn zone.

You are surrounding by barrels and powerful beasts materialise everywhere causing havoc. The area appears to have been built from man-made material but in increasingly bizarre abstract designs. Following another battle with a huge Cybernetic demon overlord you find another teleport which leads back to the blood filled tunnel. You feel like you're being toyed with.

Your next location is unmistakenly Hell. An abyssal cauldron of lava hosts islands of rock that raise and lower perpetually. You navigate the guantlet in the searing heat while fending off floating terrors and finally make a break for the exit. Goblets of gore shower down on you as you fly through the final warp - relieved to find yourself back in the UAC waste processing plant where resistence is thinned and you can finally get back to your primary mission of finding the Communication Tower...

MAP32: Wow. This was definitely… something else. Very fitting for the MAP32 slot.

MAP05 might have seemed strange but magicsofa definitely lets loose the jagged geometry here, warping the player between three distinct monster playgrounds. The first is the best IMO, as it provides a bunch of unique traps combined with a very resilient monster composition (the revenants coming to assault you between the crushers was horrendous!) I found myself frequently switching between weapons to conserve ammo but I was ecstatic to snag the BFG. The second area was also really neat, being a long strip smattered with barrels and only handing you rockets to blaze a path through the legions, although the invul seems to quell some of the fear the player may initially experience. This follows into a pretty fun cybie maze with a bizarre series of possessed inmates you’re forced to shoot down, whom are eerily missing from the story text.

Finally is the hell area, a really neat concept that doesn’t pan out well in gameplay. As soon as I saw there were PEs I just booked it for the exit, not turning back to admire the scenery. The very end is okay, with the knights flooding the courtyard, and I would’ve found the AV surprise very cheap if not for the BFG in my hand. Overall a very interesting level with some nice fights and uncanny scenery.

And lol at those marines dying before the map even begins. GREAT RESCUE MISSION.

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Hmm, watching st. alfonzo play through my map is kinda painful to watch because that was one of my first maps and I realize now that it's pretty terribad.

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MAP14 - Power Up by C30N9
Non-linear map where either blue or yellow key can be collected first though the blue is useless until the end.
This map suffers in the way map12 does, everything is straight at you, but at least it throws a couple of avs which add challenge. There are some decent fights. The crushers annoyed me and got kill whilst having the choice of either being toasted or pancaked :P
An ok map.
MAP15 - Septic Underbelly by purist
Cool underground level with a lot of variety. Gameplay is pretty good here too with lots of interesting fights. As this is story driven then the secret exit isn't exactly secret but where your path splits with map31 one way and map16 the other. I had a lot of deaths due to awful RNG abuse on me.
2 monsters failed to teleport in.

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What does RNG stand for? Please forgive my ignorance, and recall that I only recently emerged from a time capsule sealed in the year 2000. ;D

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SteveD said:

What does RNG stand for? Please forgive my ignorance, and recall that I only recently emerged from a time capsule sealed in the year 2000. ;D

Random number generator. Basically I seem to take a lot of damage from single hits. I think i died on about 30 health when hit by a sergeant who was over 100 metres away and stupid stuff like that throughout the level. In the end I died several times in the nukage area but didn't die at all anywhere else. Probably sloppy play but I had little luck with hitscanners here full stop (though I didn't have to shoot the mastermind once)

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Map 15 -- Septic Underbelly - 97% Kills / 100% Secrets
Like Dobugabumaru, I liked this map, although it doesn't top map 10 for me. This sticks pretty well to its theme of a utilitarian toxic waste disposal system, and continues the theme of inexplicable flesh/organic substances plopped down into otherwise mundane manmade settings, earlier explored a bit in maps 05 and 06. The prevalence of cement, rock, and dark iron plating, with a relatively limited amount of full-on tech stuff in evidence helps to create the impression that the area was dug directly out of the living rock on a limited budget/purely pragmatic basis; it gives the setting a certain verisimilitude without having to reign in the abstractness of structure that suits DooM so well. Combat-wise, it's a well-paced affair with a few different climaxes--the spiderdemon battle in the large toxic settling pool; the cluster of gasbags on the route to the normal exit; the arch-vile/teleportation assault in the strange hell-industrial 'human processing' room with the soulsphere, etc. There are quite a few teleportation ambushes, which some might find overused, but for my part persistent use of this kind of monster delivery is not something I generally find distasteful; regardless, combats are also laid out many other ways as well, the sheer variety of which makes for a satisfying excursion. Actually, I think the variety and distinctness of different discrete areas is the map's greatest asset; despite what I said about verisimilitude earlier, this one isn't afraid to try out some pretty abstract setups for the sake of doing so, ala the aforementioned zombieman/soulsphere room (just what the hell is really going on in that room?), or the zany lap-running "PFCP" secret. Being openly presented with a choice of which exit to take seemed kind of odd to me, but I guess that's probably in large part because I'm so used to the secret exit being handled in a different way (e.g. being secret)...fortunately, you can explore each path to its end before picking which final switch to actually throw, so there's no maxrun issue. Wait, yes there is, I'm afraid...a handful of monsters failed to teleport in again here; in fact, my posted kill percentage is slightly inflated on account of arch-viles. The only other technical issue I noticed is not really much of an issue: if the player for some reason decides to run back into the generator room from the previous map, the ooze surrounding it does no damage.

Map 31 -- Hell's Armory - 113% Kills / 100% Secrets
"Dammit, you picked the most obnoxious music track from TNT for this one." This was my first thought upon loading this one up...that track really grates on my nerves after a few minutes. Boorish music aside, I also felt that this one was a bit on the homely side, with a lot of big, boxy rooms where the task of creating visual interest was left more to placement of props like torches, skull lanterns, and whatnot than to things like structure or texture consideration. There's also a noticeable aspect of symmetry in both structure and the aforementioned prop-based detailing, which tends to make the map (or indeed, most other maps where this is the case) feel a bit....artificial? I was going to complain about the lighting again, as well, but looking at it again, I guess it's not all that bad or all that monotone throughout--it's just that some of the ugliest areas (the main hub, the hell-fort, etc.) are also the most brightly-lit; some dimmer lighting would've helped most of these out, I feel. There were a couple of aesthetic touches I liked, though, like the fleshy, irregular imp cells in the corridor behind the blue door, or that narrow flesh tunnel section in the later parts of the map (where lighting was well-done, incidentally). As aforementioned, this map also marks a comeback for the keydoor hub progression type we saw so much of in 2002:ADO, but since it's the first time I've seen it lately it didn't really bother me. Now, for all the time I've spent harping on the aesthetics, I do want to say that the map mostly still played alright. The early going here was the first time in Hadephobia where I felt any ammo real pressure, although this naturally dissipated as soon as I got to the armory proper. It has an extremely direct style, with few real traps--you just open a door or walk down a corridor and hell breaks loose, as epitomized by the surprisingly large mob of vicious creatures with a couple of arch-vile overseers inhabiting the actual 'armory' itself. Flip a switch, and three fastdoors fly open: the one behind you is full of shit screaming for your blood, and the other two off to the sides contain big, scary, masculine weapons that you frantically use to shut them up. Like I said, pretty direct. If combat is handled this way throughout a mapset it tends to get pretty old pretty quickly, but in small doses like this it's a nice shot in the arm. I also liked the way the end of the map (or that part leading back to map 16) loops around to the normal exit area with map 15, complete with new (albeit simplistic) fights against some big bads. Two final things I wanted to mention: One, I literally stood around in disbelief for several seconds when picking up the BFG sprung no trap of any kind; talk about "playing against player expectations"....maybe a vile could've beamed into the pile of fresh corpses outside, or something? The second thing is that, unless I somehow missed a free one somewhere, I believe there is no armor anywhere in the map. This seems odd in a narrative sense, given that this is a storehouse for combat gear; in a gameplay sense, it didn't keep me from finishing on my first attempt, but I suspect a lot of players would appreciate it if you'd at least throw them a security armor or something, since the map uses a lot of mid-tier monsters with high-damage attacks.

Map 32 -- Sirenum Scopuli - 100% Kills / 71% Secrets
Apart from another somewhat irritating music track (this one a remix of a TNT original), I quite liked this one, much moreso than map 05 by the same author. More than any other author who has had a map in the set thus far, I feel that Magicsofa might be trying to tell us that, despite what the story file and intermission texts say, Hadephobia really is just going on in this DoomGuy's head....this map is utterly wacky, full of completely abstract, nonsensical environments riddled with references to mental insanity, like the trapped hadephobics at the tail end of the second section, the secret crazy 'backpack dimension', the space-bending secret corridor in the barrel runway, or the circle of brains on the small island in the final section. Generally, the map looks pretty good (the first segment being the best, I'd say), painted in broad brushstrokes that rely more on effective texture/color combinations and the sheer strangeness of the structures than on fine detailing. Lighting is generally handled in a similarly broad, utilitarian manner, but the generally large bright(ish) areas are occasionally punctuated by large dark areas (e.g. the cyberdemon maze with the trapped hadephobics), preventing the whole from seeming too flat. The action here is also quite robust; the map has a starting monster count that's at least 200 or so bodies larger than any other map thus far. These tend to come at you en masse in large, highly heterogeneous groups (especially in the second section); in a simpler map, infighting and the ample amount of heavy ammo available would render combat a relatively ordinary affair. The single most defining aspect of the action here, however, is that it tends to take place in highly dynamic environments--the angular crusher nest in the first section, the barrel-laden runways in the second, the combination of floating rocks and crushing pillars over deadly lava in the last, and other setups all make each big fight feel unique. Some players will probably find this approach to be little more than artificial difficulty created through environmental gimmickry, but I myself really enjoy this kind of thing; it makes you appreciate and use the marine's agility that much more. While I feel that the map succeeded in many different areas of consideration, the use of dynamic environments as part of serious combats is its main virtue; kudos to Magicsofa for being willing to commit to the idea to this degree, as this is the most pronounced iteration of it that I've seen in a recent WAD since "Recall", A. L. T.'s map 11.

Edit: Sorry for the text-nuke, I didn't realize I'd written so much about maps 15 and 31 (wrote about map 32 at a different time).

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MAP15 - Septic Underbelly by purist

I think this was the point when the week limit "speedmap" finally got buried for good. MAP05, MAP06 and MAP14 where all still outstanding 15 weeks in and it was a case of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and so I agreed that within the week a skeleton layout would do provided the story was written and the exit was complete enough for the next mapper to work from. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not but from around this point the megawad starts to feel closer to a compilation of maps than a cohesive whole.

On the other hand, this meant I could spend more time on this level than either Washed Up or Terminus and this resulted in a bigger, more complex map.

I'm trying to remember what my inspiration was for this map but I really can't. I think I started with the large nukage area and branched off from there. I do remember that I had to 'force' creativity in this map, rather than letting ideas flow naturally to me. As a result of it's relatively strained creation I don't enjoy the map as much as the earlier two and in some areas I think it's very ugly, especially if you find the light amp goggles.

One area where the level does succeed is the exit transitions, the MAP15/MAP31/MAP32 penultimate section in particular.

MAP31 - Hell’s Armoury by Death Egg

I felt like this was a bit of a missed opportunity. The reason why I placed optional (not secret) MAP31 in an armoury was so that the player could earn the BFG. I'm happy it was placed in a secret but I think a more imaginative secret would have been more appropriate and like DOTW said, a setpiece directly following would have been neat.

Also, there's not much evidence of the marines until you get to the exit (to MAP32) and the cross roads isn't handled too well here either. I really feel this could have been a more literal representation of the story but instead it's a regular hub-map with some, admittedly fun, quirks.

My personal favourite of these is the fight just before the armoury itself. Yes, the monsters attack head on but it's easy to get overwhelmed if some squeeze into your area between rocket blasts.

I have to hold my hand up here and say I screwed up with the music. The TNT track (I love it by the way) was a placeholder and whitedamp made an original track to replace it. Problem was, not knowing TNT music well, I didn't know which was which and the wrong one ended up in the .wad. I will fix this in the revision if I can find whitedamp's midi.

I'll comment on MAP32 and MAP16 tomorrow.

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Since you're during a revision, purist, you should remove the obstructing tech pillars in my map. (Things 345 and 346) Maybe also replace all the TEKWALL1 after the armory with CEMENT9, which will at least look a little bit better.

Fun fact: I "misspelled" armory as the British spelling (armoury) instead of the American spelling, and I have no idea how I managed that despite being American myself.

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I was only planning on doing a revision on maps that prevent 100% secrets or kills. I don't want to cause demo de-syncs on other maps without good cause.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Armoury spelling was mine since I am British.

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Finally, BaronOfStuff wakes up and fucks around and makes mistakes and rages and talks shit and whatever with...


Oh fuck me sideways what a bellend I've been with updating this. Hurrgh, time to get things moving at last. I'm going to be far less image-intensive this time around, because ADO resulted with some 650 screenshots in total, and constantly sorting out reams of PNG files to find a specific image is no fun. Ever.

10 seconds in and we're already looking down an absolutely huge dirty toilet bowl.

Poopy diarrhoea doo-doo ass shit!

Right, that's the immature stuff out of the way. Nice opening map, suitably eerie lighting and layout. "Suspense" is probably my favourite piece of music from Doom, and while it's a fitting track to use on this map, I think that a completely new soundtrack would benefit things.

But then composing 32 new tracks would be a bitch, so I'm not even going to joke about docking points for this (not that I even give scores). Uh, little else to say about this one. I found the secret without even trying (going to assume that more toilet adventures -- the switches behind the Lost Souls -- were responsible), and got to the exit without any difficulty. That rush of stuff at the end could potentially be pretty vicious if you're caught unaware, but it's hardly unacceptably tricky. Good stuff.

I like it when maps are designed with consecutive themes like this; the WAD feels coherent and less like a bunch of random adventures. More stylish darkness... good! We don't get enough of this. No, I am not being sarcastic. This is well-engineered and gives the map a real sense of gloom, as opposed to the more common "LOL IT GO DARK SUM STUFF APPAER!".

Again though, it's an early map so there's little else to comment on. A couple of teleport surprises kept the action up, but again it can all be put down with relative ease. The secrets were also hidden well without resorting to ADO-esque bullshit (I'm somewhat surprised that the Berserk doesn't count as one), although the contents may be a bit too overpowering so early on..? I don't know, I saved them until the end as always. One of these days though, such behaviour's probably going to give me grief. Ah fuck it I have a backpack already now so who cares?

...and everything suddenly feels very, very familiar. Oh of course, I'd played through some levels of an earlier version of this WAD!

Tidy 'sewer' map. There's the inclusion of what might be the most worthless Radsuit ever in a secret (really, what is this for?), but I don't recall any instances of having to plunge into a river of shit. All in all, pretty good. Short, simple, and with one of 'those' visual moments that are weirdly striking:

I can't explain why, but I really like this view.

The fighting here is good; it does keep you somewhat on your toes for this early on, but doesn't resort to anything out-of-form with weird/cheap shit -- everything can be handled with great ease if you play sensibly. Also, it looks good. It's not super-detailed or anything like that, but it looks natural enough to be convincing, at least as a Doom map is concerned.
It also uses D_E2M2, and suitably at that. Bonus points forever.

Hmmmm... while I appreciated the shifting around of the environment and admired the attempts at creating a 'living' environment, the blocking access to previous areas does nothing but irritate me. Especially when it blocks access to a secret; just what the hell are you playing at with this idea?

...on inspection, it's an invulnerability. On MAP04. Of a mapset with a 'conventional' (read as "Doom II styled") difficulty curve. No, really; just what the hell are you playing at?



I guess next time I'll just stand still and get slapped around if I want to read a message, yeah?

Oh Jesus Christ my eyes.

Also released as:
Drag Me To Hull, (EU)
To Hull And Back: Mysterious Super Demon Ship Hadephobia!! Mega Action Marines Go!!, (JPN)
When Hull Freezes Over, (AU)

Enough of the crap Hell/Hull puns. Pretty ugly and very simple boat map, but at least it plays well... or does it? Erm, well... as stated before, I hate maps that block areas off as you progress; you can potentially end up missing things you were saving for later (such as secrets and even basic ammo pickups) completely, which -- as far as I care -- docks points when there's really no need to do such things.

Haha, 'docks'. Ships, docks... Oh for fuck's sake, forget it.

Whatever. It's okay I guess, but there's nothing particularly memorable (giant novelty crusher aside). A few things might want to be checked before any final release though, such as:

Please make these lumps of concrete and wiring impassable for monsters. The Arachnotron was bouncing up and down and it looked worse than Han Solo being 'shifted' while stepping on Jabba's tail in the Special Editions of 'A New Hope'.

NO. Budgie Mode Activated: Cheap cheap cheap. Put this motherfucker somewhere else so that he doesn't immediately claw my spine open while the engine dictates that I must stand stil and let him.

This Radsu-... oh wait, I somehow acquired it without opening the secret.

Help, I'm drunk.

Reasonably intense action throughout, with that handy Plasma Rifle secret. Believe me, this makes the job so much more manageable when playing consecutively, because let's face it; the Chaingun is shit at crowd control, and the Rocket Launcher is no good when there are crates popping up in your fucking face all the time.

The 666 tag here is very nice; much like in Interception, it serves a purpose other than contributing to "k u can leev nao lol" mechanics, and oh god is it worth finding.

The 'ambushes' are really obvious, but aren't full of shit. In fact it's pretty open in giving you a choice between melting everything that appears (thanks, PR!), or trying to play it smart and just letting the assortment thin its own numbers out each time they invade. Good stuff. One issue though..?

Hello, I am Eagle Eyes Action Man. Can you spot the difference in this dark room with dark textures?

Alright, so that's not the worst secret ever, but given how 'busy' the textures are it'a a bit... ehhhhhh. I want to accept it as reasonable, but it really toes the line.

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Glad to have you rippin' and tearin' with us Baron.

... After escaping the nuclear waste and the second spider mastermind nest, you found yourself at the climb of the mountain, where another station waiting for you, here's the Eisenhower heliport, a forgotten old base now used as a refueling station and a island personel barracks, and you can see in the middle of the mountain valley a green brick tower, the Communication Tower that will help you to dispatch the broken signal of the marine base. You think you'd better check out some of the caves around the mountain summit for some kind of object to lower the bars and get your way to the tower...

But the spiderdemon influence is still heavy in the neighbourhood, and some hellish parts are around the installation, dying and decandent.

Patroling the human barracks, you found a map in the mess hall, The map shows the dormitory, a storage, a giant teleport station, and near it a place called "the firehouse". Inside this place you found some exavacations in the entry hall, is locked by some tape, and it leads to the old sewers, you heard some strange engining noises from the open hole... maybe this section is interconnected with the Communication Tower?

The valley is divided by a little river, but for some reason it became a nuke river, maybe there's a nuclear plant somewhere that junked their waste in the river...

You reach the last base, and after you climb the stairs you finally reach the communication tower, what danger's awaiting you?...

MAP16: I was unprepared for the sheer length of this map. No matter how one feels towards walter’s mapping style, I think it’s easy to admit he puts a lot of charm into his maps… this one definitely exhibits it the most. A host of little touches bring out some flavor here, like the signs on the ground designating the purpose of each building, the wide use of textures and ceiling lights, and even the red key stand is quite detailed for being something you pass by very briefly.

From a gameplay standpoint, the map is pretty decent, with 1-2 well placed monsters for every ill placed monster. Despite coming in at 400 bullets 100 shells 60 rockets and 600 cell, I certainly died a lot due to a whole bunch of poor mistakes I was making too... I wasn’t really on my A-game tonight. I’d say the lack of abundant health and ammo definitely made this level tougher than it would be if it was handing them out like candy. Not much to say beside that, I enjoyed it, although I probably shouldn’t have started it while I was so tired.

Oh, “dying and decadent” is a unique combo… I like it.

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Map 16 -- Eisenhower Heliport - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hmm, another map by Walter. I find his style of gameplay and general thematic preferences pretty hard to pin down (I've seen him make all different sorts of maps, and this map is very different from map 11), but one can usually expect a certain degree of lightheartedness or breaking of the 'fourth wall' in his maps, along with a generally "classic" level of detail, and this one is no different. As Dobugabumaru mentions, there are the strange ground-plaques in the yard full of buildings that sort of cheekily suggest each building's function, and at one point we see some more of those "go this way" arrows on the floor (including some that appear in a purely natural environment) that appeared in Corfiatis' maps from 2002:ADO a few times. As aforesaid, detailing here is quite simplistic, which is okay with me--alignment seems to be mostly in order (although I spotted a few errors at various points, mostly where console flats and computer wall textures were concerned), and texture choices are generally sensible. Lighting is pretty boring, though--it's generally fullbright everywhere outdoors, and one other mid-range light level inside any given building. On the upside, I did like the idea Walter had of continuing the WAD's running theme of Hellish flesh growth, but modifying it with a lot of blood and loose bits, like it's indeed "dying and decadent", presumably a consequence of the last Mastermind's death. It's also amusing how pretty much every actual comms tower (e.g. your ostensible objective) you come to is busted our otherwise out of commission in some way; like I said, there's a certain playfulness to Walter's maps.

It starts at nearly 300 monsters, which is on the high end for this mapset, so I was expecting a few pitched teleportation battles ala map 32 or perhaps even a modest "big arena brawl", but neither of these is the case--it's just a long map. As I've said before, I often enjoy long maps, so this is alright with me. Combat is generally not particularly memorable or thrilling, but it isn't really repetitive or paltry either--there are quite a few DooM II monsters used in groups, but there is often a great deal of wide open space to run around in, and plenty of ammo (esp. shell boxes) scattered around, so there's little real pressure; I remember breezily teleporting back and forth from the ground to one of the control towers to toy with the arch-vile that appears in the midst of the aforementioned complex of buildings. I reckon it's not really a map focused on combat, anyway....it's more about exploring, again, kind of like a map from a bygone era. Despite that sort of general flavor, modern gameplay sensibilities are in evidence in some ways; for instance, Walter generally does a good job of opening up shortcuts or alternate paths back to earlier locked doors shortly after you find the keys to open them, saving people who don't like manual backtracking a lot of legwork.

Overall, I would most readily describe this map as "pleasant" more than anything else; I don't think it's going to win many awards, but its leisurely pace does work well as a cooldown after the relatively intense map 32.

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I like many of the elements of this map - the invuln secret, everything behind the yellow door - but for some reason it doesn't form an especially satisfying whole, for me. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was just the elements I didn't much like ... the octagonal southern room, and the general squarishness of the architecture in the spiderdemon area.

I elected to go to sector 31, which strangely (from a game design perspective, anyway) seems to have had the less impressive final battle.

So from the fact that the super-secret exit is also easier than the normal exit, I guess the in story explanation is that this is a trap, hence the ease of getting to it.

This level is a pretty fun, if rather random, conglomeration of base and hellish areas. The visuals of it are often good, with striking hellish "growths" in the tech areas. The flow ... well, I get what the idea was, and why it changes up its game so often, but it's not entirely successful, thematically.

On the other hand, it's filled with pretty fun, if easy, fights. Only the red key revs and the spiderdemon had much impact on my health, and in both cases there was plenty of healing nearby.

I chose to take the super-secret exit.

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MAP31 - Hell’s Armoury by Death Egg
Pretty much all the enemies come from the same direction again. But a lot of heavy duty monsters too to up the anti a bit. The hardest fight is the horde where you get ssg and rocket launcher which includes 2 archviles, my first death came here as one av literally trolled me by resurrecting everything then running to the back of the large room and lighting me up. The second death came stupidly on the red key trap. The final death was just bad luck with the cyber where attempting to 2 shot bfg him is rendered useless when the cyber decides to rocket spam faster than fast mode (nothing worse than landing a second bfg shot only to discover you are a pile of giblets by then)
This map is ok with the flesh parts well done and lighting is reasonable. Other detail was fine here. Gameplay suffers from the same issue other recent maps have suffered by, the lack of variety and at times ease to just ssg everything in front of you.

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cannonball said:

Random number generator. Basically I seem to take a lot of damage from single hits. I think i died on about 30 health when hit by a sergeant who was over 100 metres away and stupid stuff like that throughout the level. In the end I died several times in the nukage area but didn't die at all anywhere else. Probably sloppy play but I had little luck with hitscanners here full stop (though I didn't have to shoot the mastermind once)

Thanks for the explanation. I wonder if that applies to Revvies who seem to have an 80% ratio of heat-seeking missiles. I can't catch a break with these things.

Do you mean to say you didn't shoot the Spider Mastermind at all? Quite an accomplishment, if so. ;D

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SteveD said:

Thanks for the explanation. I wonder if that applies to Revvies who seem to have an 80% ratio of heat-seeking missiles. I can't catch a break with these things.

Do you mean to say you didn't shoot the Spider Mastermind at all? Quite an accomplishment, if so. ;D

Not a shot, basically she angered an imp and demon who decided to kill her. Maybe Purist should look at this because Larzuks playthrough also had the mastermind killed through infighting, a single imp that time froze the beast. I think the floor height variation might increase the chances of freezing the mastermind if a monster takes offence to the spider blazing bullets all over the place.

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I can't even remember why I put the Spiderdemon in there now. As usual it proves a pain to make an interesting fight out of. Not sure what would increase it's odds of surviving infighting. I am amending MAP15 anyway because of the max kill error so if anyone has any ideas I'll look to implement them. I could block monster the kerbs surrounding the nukage in it's vicinity.

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Map15 – Septic Underbelly – by purist – Kills – 84, Items – 67, Secret – 25. Time 52:57. End Health 99, Armor 175. Death Count – 5

I enjoyed this map, even though it didn’t kick my ass the way I thought it would.

The map was divided into three basic areas; the GStone area, the nukage area, and the canyon fight. My favorite was the nukage area. I thought it looked really cool thanks to the gradient lighting and the overall feeling of expansiveness. The truly bizarre rooms in the nukage – bizarre because they clearly served no function other than to host a switch and a bunch of monsters shooting at you through windows – were a lot of fun. I died by Chaingunner going past one of the windows when I switched into full frontal assault mode with all guns blazing. I learned my lesson.

I fought that area before trying the lift that unleashes two Revvies into your face. They killed me twice because I fought them stupidly with, first, the SSG, and after that death, the RL. The chaingun came to my rescue and I dusted both Revvies without taking a scratch. BTW, I also thought it was cool that the generator from the previous level was included.

Like an idiot, before I found the blue key I went walking up the stairs that lead towards the exit terminal, or whatever you call the place where you choose between the normal and the secret exit, and obviously before the floor there was lifted. This woke up the two Pain Elementals hiding in the room past the blue door. That was a sucky fight because I had to rocket the bastards from a considerable distance, and I could barely see them past all the Lost Souls they spat out. I do so hate PEs! ;D Once I got into the room where they died, I was reminded of Michael Krause’s grand architecture. It was a cool room, with a rather impressive Revvie teleport trap that I fought several times just to get a better health result.

In the end, I decided not to pursue the canyon fight, where I was killed twice, and chose to go for the secret exit.

This map didn’t have a lot of truly memorable fights, except for the big Archie trap in the GStone area. I was constantly menaced, but there were sloggy aspects to killing so may mid to high-level monsters. For example, I chose the dodge-behind-the-wall approach to kill the Spider Mastermind, which took a long time and was really fucking boring, and I was never menaced by the damned thing, so my advice on how to deal with the problem of getting it frozen by Imps is to leave it out of any revision, unless you put it somewhere else where it might be dangerous. It seems to serve no purpose now other than to suck up ammo. There were also several Mancs, and one that appeared the second I opened a door was quickly dispatched with the SSG, and another I enticed into a crusher. It was funny to listen to it moan like an aching bullfrog. More importantly, these Mancs were placed in a way unlikely to harm even a shitty player like myself. If you can’t kill me, you’re not trying hard enough. ;D What I’m getting at is that a lot of these monsters were in front of you, or maybe some in front and some off to one side. One exception was the fight in front of the entrance to the exit area, when monsters came from three sides – an Arachnotron in front and Hell Knights from left and right, among others. That was a good fight. Otherwise, while I was always menaced, I rarely felt panic or was in any serious danger. Three of my deaths were just because of mistakes on my part. Only the big gigantic fight at the very end scared me enough to send me running for the secret exit. In other words, a little more killer instinct would have been nice.

End map ammo; 364 Bullets, 83 Shells, 32 Rockets, 68 Cells

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cannonball said:

Not a shot, basically she angered an imp and demon who decided to kill her. Maybe Purist should look at this because Larzuks playthrough also had the mastermind killed through infighting, a single imp that time froze the beast. I think the floor height variation might increase the chances of freezing the mastermind if a monster takes offence to the spider blazing bullets all over the place.

Ah, okay. It's hilarious when that happens. If only that happened to Cyberdemons, too . . .

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It does occasionally :P
Heh map32 will be reviewed tomorrow, gave up after a little while (this map should be renamed death by very slow teleporters)

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MAP32 - Sirenum Scopuli by magicsofa

This map is what happens when you assign an unconventional map slot to an eccentric mapper. If you thought Rumex Crispus was off-kilter this one is totally haywire.

It was another level with a laboured birth but in this instance it didn't matter since the exit was already defined. I was pleased with the map overall and magicsofa certainly took my suggestion to be creative to heart, providing three separate, very different and increasingly hellish setpieces linked by that bloody log flume corridor.

My literal suggestion was to have some sort of Mousetrap contraption putting the marine voodoo dolls at threat, which effectively forced you to play to a timer. While that would have been fun, what you get instead is wicked - the marines are killed before you start the level proper and instead it is you inside the contraption - your life seemingly being toyed with by some malevolent overseer.

Like most concept maps it works better in the head than in the game but there is enough fun here for it to be appreciated it it's own right. My favourite fight is probably the barrel run, which leads to the gloomy cyb/manc zone but a special mention has to be made for the gore shower just before the level lets you back to reality.

Not entirely loveable but a wildly creative and admirable romp.

MAP16 - Eisenhower Heliport by walter confalonieri

Another epic. This time the vibe is more of a take at your own pace adventure than the high tension and monster dense Sirenum Scopuli. Walter Confalonieri maps may be hit and miss but even his critics must concede he has a definite style. Large rooms and architecture are often bare looking whilst other areas contain intricate and superfluous details. Often his monster usage is limited to one species per encounter and the player is usually given the advantage. This is still the case here but much less so than on previous efforts by the author that I have seen.

I actually find this one good fun to blast around in and I have an inherent distaste for large maps. Perhaps it's something to do with knowing my way around it but even so I occasionally lose orientation. A lot of work was done post-first draft by walter and I to aid navigation such as lowering walls, teleporters and big arrows. Still, I worry about st.alfonzo playing this on his stream since he seems to have a similar lack of direction to me.

Oddly, for such a huge map, it might as well not exist in story terms. This lead me to suspect that the map was "donated" to the project instead of being purpose built. I suggested to walter that he either makes the communication tower or has the decrepit lift at the end of MAP15 (and MAP31/32) break down part way up the mountain and use this level as a hillside trek back on course. Instead he made a heliport with other miscellaneous military facilities and an unexplained connection with President Eisenhower...

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Another nice, bite-sized map. Reminded me of Plutonia, and I suspect the author drew inspiration from there. Not that difficult, however, although I did die once at the start. Being cornered by the Hell Knights and slimed to death.

Otherwise the map felt as if it was always in motion, always moving forward. New areas, new fights, new arenas.

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SteveD said:
my advice on how to deal with the problem of [the Mastermind] getting frozen by Imps is to leave it out of any revision

This, basically.

There are three ways to engage the Mastermind right now:

1. infighting.
2. peak out, shoot, hide, repeat a billion times.
3. find the invuln secret (is this something else on UV?), waste it without risk.

All of these options are really rather boring.

A cyber would work better, as splash damage makes peak and hide from the area near the invuln a dangerous proposition, and engaging it in the nukage area would actually be a fun fight.

Alternatively, put walkover lines down in the nukage, so that as soon as one of them is crossed, the player gets more monsters to fight. "Oh look, teleporting monsters" can be a bit overdone, though. Maybe just make it an AV monster closet, near where lots of monster corpses are likely to be? That way the AV (or AVs) gets to do its monster-rezzing thing.

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Liked the scope of the map. This project seems to do every other map smaller, every other bigger. I like it so far. Good gameplay to be found here, maybe a bit too easy sometimes. I was surprised at how few some of the monsters that teleported in. A demon, a chaingun guy and an imp? Not that difficult...

I ran out of ammo about half-way through, despite bringing over some ammo from the previous level, as well as a chaingun and SG and SSG. But I managed, thanks to the chainsaw and berserk packs, both of which saw plenty of action in this map. This map marks the third time I've chainsawed an Arch-Vile to death. I should start making a list for that...

The Cyberdemon fight was pretty easy. I turned all the other monsters against him, them finished him off. Was fairly straight forward fight.

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MAP14 Power Up

I didn't really like this map. We deviated from the previous two maps of Plutonia-territory and enter a pretty run-of-the-mill TNT-ish Map. While I did appreciate the non-linearity of it, it was pretty basic "non-linearity" in the form of "You can do either this first or that first". So don't be fooled, there wasn't really any exploring to do.

Thought the power up part of it worked nicely, tho. Overall I felt much of the map looked pretty bland, however. Straight corridors, no real variation in texturing... Oh well.

MAP15 Septic Underbelly

This map I thoroughly enjoyed. A lot of different arenas that tied themselves together into a coherent world with many different fights. The Spider Mastermind guarding the large slime pit, that you had to traverse several times, was a great idea. I actually skipped fighting him/her/it at first thinking I could save ammo. I got it to kill a bunch of monsters for me as well, so that was nice, but you also always had to be on the run down there. A great idea!

The rest of the map had such a nice flow. I could navigate easily and go back and forth. I think I skipped a part however... At the very start of the map, infront of your starting position, you can either backtrack into the slime or go ahead. I went straight into the slime, thinking I´d utilize the radiation suit. After that, I never really came back and explored the starting area.

Having not read the story, I had no idea about the differing endings. I ended up picking the secret exit. Nice idea, by the way.

Overall, I enjoy the music choices in this megawad. I think the TNT music is great, as is the re-use of Doom 1 tracks.

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actually, purist, the layout from map16 comes out from another project, however i don't remember you've suggested me that options... anyway i'm glad you guys liked that map...

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Great to see you back, man! Ya know, I still chuckle over your comment for E3M1 of 2002:ADO, "Look! This Lion's had a stroke!" The first time I read it, I spat out half a cheeseburger! :D

Keep up the good work!

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