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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact

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Greetings! I play with PrBoom-plus and the proper compatibility level, 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.

Here we go!

Map 1 -- Storage
Joining the general praise here. An excellent starting map, which is just small enough not to be too big for map 1. Gameplay and progression is delightful: straightforward, and with enough fights to keep things ticking along nicely. D.o.t.W. is spot on with his "feels like a good (Ultimate) Doom map and not Doom 2 map" comment. I got the exact same vibe, even with the chaingunners, Hell Knight and Revenants. Difficulty is easyish, although there are crossfire situations and hitscan monsters punish you if you rush things too much, you can pick off all assailants carefully and methodically. Monster placement is top tier and forces you to do basically just that, unless you're crazy enough to blast through. The two traps were well-done but very obvious, as were the secrets. The berserk was so obvious I would not even count it as a secret... :-) Cannot find any faults at all with this and I hope it all continues in this fashion (as has been indicated by people's comments). --5/5

Map 2 -- Reservoir
More sensational monster placement, just look at where Matt places the Revenant in the CG room, the chaingunners after riding the lift up, or the two Revenants in the closet when returning to the starting area. I like how he plays with preconceptions on how gameplay (and traps in particular) should be executed and instead places monsters and monster closets where you're not expecting them. This map was more challenging for me than the first, simply because there are more traps, but it's nothing too tough. The RL trap was great, as it's kind of surprising, and you're placed in a very open area vulnerable to all manners of attacks without any safe place to hide. I didn't particularly like having to kill packs of heavier monsters (multiple Revenants several times, multiple HKs and multiple Cacos at the end) with "only" the SG/CG, but I can understand why the SSG could be considered overkill. I dig the whole metal theme, which although monotonous is all right for such a small map. Progression is excellent. The two secrets are okay but again very easy to spot (and placed where it's hard not to notice the texture change) and not particularly useful. Anyway, another very fun litte romp. --4/5

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This was really good. Squarish, symmetrical, but I think I really like METAL as a main texture (endgame MAP07...) and monster placement was more than fine. Now I wonder if there was a secret SSG or something? If yes, I'd have to deduct some points. I just found a secret with a few rockets.

I died an embarrassing amount of times. The first time was because I was too fascinated by the following Boom error:

The rest because of being careless, tired, etc.
Good map!

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Map01 : Reservoir | 6:47 | 100% kills, 100% items, 100% secrets | 0 deaths

Yeah. 0 deaths, but a couple of REALLY close calls. You see, a pet peeve of mine is not using the rocket launcher until some really nasty stuff starts happening (read: slaughter mobs), or when an enemy with high HP appears and I just don't have the nerves for it. Apparently, 8 demons (I think?) and a couple of revs were kind of a big deal, I got lucky with the homing shots not killing me. But I prevailed, even without the rocket launcher.

Fun map, using a midi I personally used on Techwars, that comes from the awesome soundtrack of ROTT. The map itself is nothing you haven't seen before layout/detail wise, with the whole metal/water theme going on. Felt pretty TNT-ish for me, but I still liked it.

Maybe I should use the RL more often... :P

I won't be here in the next couple of days, so I'll romp through maps 03-05 on Sunday. Until then, take care guys!

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So, midnight is passed from 7 minutes here in the old continent, and so...

MAP03: Now stuff become serious. The monster count raises hardly from the 30/40 monsters to the 90/100 monsters in this level on HMP. Level itself is a remake of TNT's MAP02 (somewhat looked a "switchroom" version of it remake in plutonia style...) And the map layout is fast and easily navigable as the above maps in the pack, gameplay is a bit harder than the above maps, in some parts i found myself with scarce ammo, but nothing too dangerous (i play this in continous way).

However another cool map.... Also started and saved at 4th map start like yesterday....

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Map03 – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time 23:11. End Health 108, Armor 31. Death Count – 5

143 monsters on UV, and yet, in some ways, the easiest map yet. Yes, for me, 5 deaths means an easy map given my playstyle. The reason this map was easy is that it marks a shift to ‘big’ monsters, and traps, with fewer well-placed hitscanners in sniping and melee scenarios.

The map looks okay, but the layout is basically one large L-shaped hallway with a couple wings. It was also almost all right angles, which isn’t a big problem for me, because in that way it resembles the Amiga game Breathless, my all-time favorite Doom clone, which had a completely orthogonal engine, but that fog effect sure was cool! :))) Map03 also seemed to have only two height levels. The outdoor areas were well done, but I wasn’t in love with the Brick13 texture, which I thought looked godawful next to Tekgren3. So I wasn’t overly impressed with the layout and looks, but it was still sharply rendered for the most part, and IIRC, there were no egregious violations of the floor texture rule.

The fights were okay, but not frantic enough for my taste. The opening battle featured monsters primarily in front of you, including the ones that rounded the corner to attack. I’d have liked a couple more corridors feeding into the hallway, loaded with hitscanners that can hear, maybe backed up by HKs, so they’d come hunting you.

The SSG trap was pretty easy, as was the yellow key trap. I played that one twice because I lost too much health the first time by playing stupidly. The second time I went around the monsters to the left, circle-strafed, and was hit by only one bullet, and all without using Always Run! ;D

The red key trap, though well-telegraphed, was more serious. I think I died twice there, until I managed to incite more infighting on the third try.

My other three deaths occurred in the final outdoor arena as I went running around and around to entice the Mancs into killing the Revvies. Instead, they killed me twice, and the Revvies got me once. Even though I died 3 times here, I don't consider this much of a fight. It was mostly a tactical exercise to see if I could get enough infighting to happen, as was the red key trap. So for me, the two biggest fights on the map were mostly infighting exercises, and I was mostly, um, unexcited. I’d have preferred to be more directly threatened and forced to fight for my life.

There were 2 Archies on the map, both easily dealt with, though I fought each one twice to keep my health up.

Overall, this is a pretty good map, but a step down in difficulty after the red key trap in Map02, and without dazzling looks to compensate for the somewhat ordinary combat.

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03 - demo. Weee, first death. Can't say it was difficult but hitscanners posed a considerable threat. In particular, entering the last outdoor area was very tricky, that's where I died one time. I didn't have enough ammo to take out the hell knights from a safe distance so I had to deal with hitscanners below while dodging deadly green spits. I was also a bit afraid of the final trap but it turned out really easy. After all, shotgunners and chaingunners are a lot more dangerous than hell knights, revenants and cacodemons on -fast.

Kristian Ronge said:

if I can't find them I check what I missed in a map editor and replay the map.

That sounds tedious, why not just alt+tab when you give up on the secrets, look in the editor where they are and then go back to the game?

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Map 03: Outpost (100% Kills/Items/Secrets, played on UV)

http://youtu.be/i8KkXgPEPqo = my playthrough of Outpost.

Our first 3-figure monster count....oh boy. At least this time there's no ambush for getting the opening pickups of a shotgun and 20 shells. After a couple of grunts and demons I'm greeted by three cacodemons early on, which seems a bit of a pickup in early monster type compared to the other two maps. An interesting early expenditure of ammo takes place.
Berserk pack is inside this room for those that need a 100% health boost.
Rounding the corner reveals two Pinkies and then.....a wild Archvile appears! He resurrects two monsters but dies to the shotgun. That early escalation of monster types definitely confirmed, although granted I wasn't supposed to go there yet as red and yellow locked doors abound; still, one less Archvile to deal with.

Outside a nice mix of monsters are dispatched, with brick textures everywhere. Some typical Revenant/chaingunner corner ambushers out here. Armor located near some water. Up ahead lies the SUPER SHOTGUN! Grabbing it reveals an obvious wall lowering trap in front of the player, consisting of Pinkies, a Hell Knight and some Lost Souls, who do what Lost Souls tend to enjoy doing; fighting each other and flying around like drunken people at 2am.
I am liking the enemy variety on display here considering what happened in Reservoir.
Approaching the red keycard triggers a bunch of monsters to come from another lowered wall, including another trio of Cacodemons. Three's company for the high fliers in red I guess.

Circling back through the red doors to the yellow keycard, when suddenly a nice little trap is sprung! Barricades spring up to block your exits, the wall behind the keycard lowers to reveal two chaingunners, demons and a Cacodemon and you're caught in a small area! I panic slightly here but luckily I get a good angle where the chaingunners end up putting more lead into their comrades than me. Nicely executed trap though.

Through the yellow doors lies an interesting area with some Hell Knights in a caged area of sorts, and lots of Pinkies/chaingunners about. The zombies with guns are mostly located below your overhanging position, providing some nice hitscan tension (when they aren't infighting each other that is!) whilst you try to clear the top. Mouselook proves useful here for dealing with the hitscans below. I snipe out the Hell Knights in the 'cage' with the shotgun and eventually go below to receive the rocket launcher again near some more water. No trap this time though.
Entering the 'cage' for the blue keycard triggers several wall lowerings around the top area which reveal yet more monster variety as some beefy Mancubi appear.
Man I'm really liking how many different types of monster are on this map!
This trap wasn't really that dangerous (despite my initial reaction in the video!) as you can clear them out pretty comfortably once you deal with the one side that has the fewest monsters clumped together. Still, nice to see Mancubi's spread fire being more dangerous here than the Revenants and their rockets!

The blue keycard door reveals....another Archvile!
This one proceeds to resurrect a Mancubus and a Revenant then burns me for high damage. In an instant things are looking very bleak, and then for some odd reason the Archvile decides to target the Mancubus that attacked him in the back! This was odd considering I'd opened the damage on the Archvile; I guess the Archvile really didn't like that Mancubus or something. In any event it saves my bacon as I clear out the resurrecting pest with some rockets while he's distracted, despite managing to raise a Cacodemon in the process also.
One last Pinky takes a rocket to the face and the level is done.

I eventually find the secret hinted by the dead marine outside in the previous area to reveal a backpack. Guess I can go hiking for how useful this is now!

Overall this level was much better than the last one, with some lovely monster variety and some clever (if not always effective) traps displayed. Not so visually pleasing in terms of textures (just kind of meh for me, but gameplay > graphics anyday), but a nicely paced level all the same. Will the good times last?

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Map 03: Outpost

I think I've been spoilt already. In an episode like MAYhem 2012, which was of mixed quality, this would have been one of the highlights but because the standards have raised so have my expectations and as a result this level is a little disappointing. Tropiano doesn't badly misfire here but if feels like he's played safe. That doesn't mean I can't have fun though.

Thing placement was my chief issue for me. Maybe this was just because HMP did not have a lot of thought put in. For the most part the monsters just felt dropped in carelessly - particulary the hitscan mob in the lower area around the yellow key building. The setpieces obviously had more intent but still did not sparkle.

My memory may be playing tricks on me but has Matt used teleporting mosters yet? It's something I'm so used that I don't mentally note anymore but I have at least noted that most traps have been monster closets. Although variation is nice a do like my traps weighted this way and warps saved for special occasions or infrequent suprises.

We get the SSG in this map, which to be fair is needed by now due to the groups of mancs and cacos, but I would have preferred fighting less monsters with the regular shotgun in honesty.

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MAP03 - Outpost
Another squarish level, this map can readily be split into three sections; the opening corridor; the northern area with the red and yellow keys; and the southern area with the blue key. Each area contains its own set piece battles.

And I think maybe that's why people are kind of shrugging at this level. Because it's all set pieces, without any real organic encounters just growing out of your exploration. Putting a few non-deaf monsters in the northern section, so they could trickle into the opening hallway, would have been a good start for creating some sense of movement. The level is probably too small and tight for much ebb and flow, though.

Monster count and types are much higher/bigger than before, but difficulty is not. The final battle with the mancubi and cacos is fun, but not terribly difficult; ditto the cacos released when you grab the red key. The other set pieces open have only limited excitement; in particular, the blue key room saw almost every hitscanner killed by friendly fire while I tooled around blasting demons.

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HNTR pistol start.

MAP03: Outpost

An entertaining romp. This level offers up a berserk pack early on and a heap of pinkies to slap around. There's enough ammo available to kill all of the enemies without punching but it's back loaded so you'll have to run around the enemies to get a it, so you still feel rewarded for punching despite getting a SSG early on.

Had I played consecutively I'd have gotten a lot of use out of the rocket launcher I'd have carried over from the previous level, which again came fairly late in this level.On this difficulty the SSG wasn't really much use thanks to most enemies being either chaingun fodder or pinkies, which could be safely berserk slapped.

The layout of all of the levels so far have all followed a similar theme, mostly linear with revisiting areas from different directions via locked doors. No complaints as the levels are small so this approach makes the most out of the space.

I thought the TEKWALL and brick motif was a bit weird, personally I don't think the washed out green colour goes well with the brown but MTrop's solid visual design keeps it looking nice regardless.

EDIT: Wait, is it called TEKWALL? The green panel stuff.

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Much better map than the first 2. Lots of open areas found here that contains hitscanners sniping at you. This map is entertaining, and it's a good thing the author didn't put hitscanners at the blue key trap, or else it wouldn't have been finished by me.

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MAP03 - Outpost
Oh man chaingunners had it in for me this time. Pretty much every death was caused by a chaingunner.
The difficulty is higher in this map, it's offset by the eventual acquisition of the ssg. But the out door areas were by far the toughest with the blue key area causing a lot of pain with hit scanners on your level and below on the grass. Add this to other sniping monsters. The final trap felt easier than the initial slaughter but was fun to playwith a few rockets in hand. I then let the arch vile escape which was a big mistake having to kill another half dozen monsters.
The map looks fine, I don't mind the mixing of plutonia brick and tekgreen. Layout of the map is simple but fine.
Monsters behind the exit door is a theme which seems to be repeating itself.

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Melon said:
EDIT: Wait, is it called TEKWALL? The green panel stuff. [/B]

That's the TEKGREN family of textures. The TEKWALL textures is all the "wall of wires" stuff.

BTW, nice to have you aboard, Melon!

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MAP03: The difficulty is ratcheted up once again with this outing, being somewhat stingy on ammo and placing a ton of hitscanners together in close proximity. For the most part I thought the level was difficult yet well designed; but the blue key courtyard sticks out to me as somewhat egregious, since there are such an overwhelming amount of enemies (and hitscanners) on the walkways and on the ground that its nearly impossible for the player to do anything other than corner shoot from the yellow key door. The trap afterwards was good, although I wasn’t really excited about the AV finale, seeing as you have to keep him under house arrest or risk getting roasted.

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Memfis said:
That sounds tedious, why not just alt+tab when you give up on the secrets, look in the editor where they are and then go back to the game?

Well, to be honest sometimes I do that, too, but more often than not it's not practical. For instance, the monsters or secrets may be unreachable due to once-only teleports, one-way teleports, closing doors, etc. Also, some maps are so large that looking around the entire map for a missing monster or secret takes quite some time and by then I may no longer be in the mood to keep playing, so I just play it through again from scratch next time (and fight the monsters/find the secrets as they were intended to be fought/found)! :-)

Oh and no, purist, no teleport traps as yet. :-)

Map 3 -- Outpost
A bit of a letdown for me. The environment doesn't lend itself easily to a quick run-through but rather to sniping monsters through doorways (especially true for the YK courtyard) and that's not much fun. Yeah, I know I could just rush into every area and hope for the best but that's not my style. The traps were pretty fun, though, especially the excellent RK trap where I ran in panic for the stairway back to the starting area and was almost cornered by the emerging Cacos. The BK trap was also frantic but ended up almost being awkward because of the cramped surroundings. The traps were very expected though, which is a step back from the more surprising traps of the first maps.

Monster placement is again good for the most part, but the hitscan monsters in the courtyard were almost annoying. The lone backpack secret is, as a contrast to maps 1 and 2 (almost as if Matt was expecting my complaints that the secrets in the first two maps were too obvious) almost impossible to find.

Technically well executed, but the fights are just too slow-moving, and/or constrained for my taste. --3/5

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MAP04 - Toxic
Hey look, a hub level! It's like 2002:ADO all over again ... except with better action :)

The kid gloves are definitely off, with the red key trap in this one. Quite the ambush, there. I died the first time. Second time, I bolted back to the entrance without engaging anything, and was able to let infighting take care of many of the enemies.

Gameplay in general remains set-piece focused, with resistance as you enter a room, and plenty of monster closets (always with "there's a trap here" design vibes to them). They're better executed here than in the last level, I think, and the level layout is more interesting and varied in general.

Interestingly, both this and the last level had significant traps on the red and blue keys, which you get 1st and 3rd, but little or nothing on the yellow key, which you get 2nd. A motif? Conscious or unconscious?

I liked the use of barrels in this. There were many of them, and they were given chances to function as a danger, a weapon, or both at the same time.

Looks-wise, the love affair with TEKGREEN continues. I'm OK with that, since I think it's a pretty good tech base texture, and it gives the episode a visual theme.

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Map 4 -- Toxic
This is right up my alley! A smallish techbase with some toxic floors and intense fights. If you don't find the RL early on you will find the ammo balance reeeeeally tight. You are forced to switch between weapons continuously throughout, partly because of the opposition and environment and partly because of the way the ammo is dispersed. The difficulty is high for map 4, mostly because of excellent monster placement yet again (chaingunners especially are placed where they are likely to surprise first time players and chip away health) and because of the RK trap which is a setup similar to the one in map 3, but with much better infighting possibilities.

All three keys are boobytrapped actually (yes Adam, even the YK -- I consider the Cacos and AV a pretty hefty trap) but the last fight around the BK, strangely, is the easiest, because by then you have lots of rockets to spare. Finding the blue armour makes everything from the YK and to the end much easier, and fortunately it's not that difficult to find. One of the other secrets, the backpack one, does require some psychic abilities though. The whole map looks great and I had a blast with this one. The gameplay is focused around smaller battles, barrel setups (which I love) and the aforementioned key traps. Fortunately it never bogs down as with map 3. --5/5

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Kristian Ronge said:
(yes Adam, even the YK -- I consider the Cacos and AV a pretty hefty trap)

It's just a revenant and some lost souls on HMP. Also, it happens before you get the key, rather than being a trap on the key itself, so in my opinion it's a pre-key setpiece, not a boobytrapped key. Both the red and blue release bulk enemies on pick up. When you pick up the yellow ... nothing. Definitely a different tempo on the middle key.

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Suitepee said:

Suppose I should mention at this point that I play each level from a pistol start, as the author intended according to the .txt file for Coffee Break.

Not sure I would say that it's intended, as "with pistol starts in mind" is kinda vague, could either mean that he meant it to be played that way or just that he provided the tools for pistol starters.


The monster density kicks up a ton here, but still not that difficult. Bit surprised to see so much dislike for the texture matching here, as I think the green and brown go together (and in a novel way, as most of Doom is brown and green and red). Disagree with Walter C that it's a "remake of TNT02", I think the most you could go for is "the outside areas are loosely inspired by the outside area in TNT02". After a few maps not relying on keycard traps, we get three of 'em here, with the last one actually providing a decent challenge. Aside from the last battle, most of my damage came from unseen hitscanners abusing the fences in the first oudoor area. Like Kristian, I was unable to find the secret, and consider it pretty damn vague (I guess the doodad in front of it gives it away? I don't consider a marine corpse to be that much of a tip-off where it was used). Overall, I agree that the level is probably just a bit too small. Not enough demons and imps for punchy-punchy either.


Hub level? Spectres in nukeage pits? 2002:ADO flashback!

Might just be unlucky, but this map is where I started dying a lot. Some areas were a breeze, while others proved frustrating. One would be the chainsaw trap, since it releases two chaingunners right as you pick up the chainsaw and switch to it. I finally managed to get through it with acceptable damage, but strongly considered turning off weapon switching... the red key trap was pretty difficult too, as the chaingunners were merciless and there's nowhere to hide. The rest of the map was pretty easy, though. The barrels were used in a large density, which made them useful both as a danger and tool to the player, which I liked.

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MAP04: i liked this map! First, the layout is still straight-forward but there's more un-linearity than the first, fast maps, and difficulty is like in map03, but more focused on layout puzzling nature with various traps and secrets here and there and less slaughtermap-ish than the map above...

if I'm being picky there's some thing i don't liked like here needs more texture homogeneity and if here will be added a little light that hitting the above wall in a little part (well, if i was me i'll did it in that way...) it could be looking much more cooler, anyway is still a cool map, best of the bunch so far... Oh, and the ammo problem i've wrote for map03

Reached the entrance of map05 and saved at that point...

EDIT: @Melon, checked on doom builder and the texture you quoted is TEKGREN actually....

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Map04 – Kills – 100, Items – 83, Secret – 75. Time 28:14. End Health 69, Armor 127. Death Count – 1

138 monsters on UV and yet, for me, this is the easiest map so far. Only one death, at the chainsaw trap, because I made a bad prediction about where the attack would come from, chainsawed a Chaingunner, then battled the HKs after forgetting to grab the radsuit. Hah! Death by nukage!

But back to the beginning. You open the first door and see a very nice homage to E1M2, then kill the hellspawn and marvel at the barrel conveyor, which later came in handy against some Chaingunners and Cacos. The map is a bit of a hub, yes, but a very nice-looking one except for the numerous floor texture rule violations – though not as bad as in the next map. I especially liked the Tekgren room with the nukage tunnels, once again very nicely lit using the Boom trick that shines light at the floor but not the ceiling.

I guess the red key trap was the biggest monster flood, and I was a bit low on ammo after defeating the pre-trap opposition. I decided the best thing to do was to charge the key and keep going towards the nearest trap wall. This worked out well, since I killed a Chaingunner and got behind the Cacos, who were then distracted by hits from other monsters, so I was able to use them as a meat shield, and the whole fight turned into a rout in my favor. Nice to be lucky for once! I also found the secret box of rockets since I had already found the secret Computer Map. Things were really going my way in this level.

After this battle, I grabbed the chainsaw and rocket launcher. The chainsaw trap was very nicely done, the rocket launcher less so, though it would have been more trouble if I didn’t already have the RL from continuous play.

The yellow key fight was easy but fun. I re-fought the Caco battle several times, attempting to win without taking a hit. I ultimately settled for suffering one glancing blow, and made good use of the barrel conveyor to hurt the gasbags. Then came the big surprise when the Archie rose from the upper-level nukage. A pretty easy fight thanks to the architecture, as all the other Archie fights have been so far, but a good shock.

The blue key fight was the map’s big disappointment. Way too easy, and the whole room had numerous violations of the floor texture rule. For example, going from Floor0_3 to Floor0_1 without a height change, right as you enter the room. On the upper level, Matt used Flat3 nicely as a border texture for Flat14, so I give a pass on that, but not on the use of Flat23 at the edges where switches and Doorblu are located. Further, the walls that lower to reveal monsters go flush to the Flat14 floor, but have Floor0_3 as their floor texture. Looks awful. Would have been better to use turbo doors instead of walls, or just use Flat14 as their floor texture, or lower the floors to 8 above the lowest floor.

Those gripes aside, this was mostly a very enjoyable map. Although it was easy, the fights were nicely designed, except for the super-easy blue key battle. I made a mistake by lowering the blue key platform too early, which made it impossible for me to trigger the last secret door, leading to a box of rockets. I’d also like to congratulate Matt for never placing power-ups in unavoidable positions. These maps are nicely tuned for health and ammo, even for continuous players, and unavoidable power-ups could lead to serious problems for players, especially pistol-starters.

Overall, my favorite map so far.

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Glad to see you back, Kristian. Welcome to all of the new players, as well.

Map 03 -- Outpost - 100% Secrets / 100% Kills
Ah, yes, TNT music. Between this and Hadephobia last month, I've been hearing a lot of that lately, seems like. I was ready to call this a "Hell on Earth meets Plutonia" mashup of some kind, but I think the comparison to 'Human BBQ', which didn't occur to me until Walter mentioned it, is closer, although it's not what I'd call a "remake." This seems like the smallest map yet, if not in terms of actual square footage, then certainly in terms of room count--it's basically two yards with an interstitial space (the actual outpost, presumably) between them. It's fairly unassuming aesthetically--certainly not as striking as map 02--although there's little to actually complain about in this regard. I'm not sure I like the choice of sky here, but alas, that's a small thing. It's a bit more challenging than the previous two maps. People have attributed this to the presence of more powerful monsters (and higher monster count in general), but I'm inclined to think it has more to do with health and ammo placement--most of the health is centralized around the berserk pack in the outpost itself, and it's easy to get a bit sloppy and pick up too much before you really need to, leaving you a bit light in the final battle. Similarly, bullets and particularly shells are measured fairly carefully, such that you might run low if you try to play things too safe and constantly camp at thresholds. Rockets are also in short supply, and should probably all be saved for the last trap. It's partially by nature of the layout (e.g. lots of long corridors or walkways), but monster placement doesn't shine as much here. It may be slightly too heterogeneous in some places (e.g. last trap), and with hitscanners tending to cause as much attrition to their comrades as to you. I do like the red key trap, though--it's fun to fight with the SSG if you stubbornly refuse to leave the platform, as the approaching cacos pose as a sort of soft time limit to the first part. Things went well for me here, and I was quite pleased with myself until being surprised and badly hurt by that deaf arch-vile just chilling out by the red door--which, I seem to recall, is pretty much the same thing that happened to me the first time. D'oh. The first part of the last room is fun if you run back and forth between the two entrances rather than just camping one, but the final fight itself seems like a bit of a misfire, as it tends to result in A) comical infighting, B) rocket spam or B2) running around down on the ground taking awkward SSG potshots if you squandered rockets too early (guess which one of those three was the case for me). On the upside, I found the secret this time, which I recall not doing last time. I'd actually consider a dead marine to be a kosher telltale broadly speaking, as I've seen it used this way in a number of other WADs (although it is more commonly used in hallways than in alcoves, in my experience), but in this case, I think something else would have been better, reason being that it is extremely easy for a dead chaingunner to land on/obscure the 'hint.' Not a terrible map, but it's definitely one of the weaker ones in the current iteration of Coffee Break, I think....

Map 04 -- Toxic - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets
....and by contrast, this is one of the better ones. It's actually kind of crass, but in a delightful way--between the tons of barrels and relative plentitude of rockets, it's certainly geared towards situations wherein explosions regularly kill tight groups of weaker monsters with brutal (and comical) efficiency. I think that the fairly broad mix of metallic and cement materials comprising the plant itself looks fine, as the pale green metal and deep green nukage help to tie things together, but I'm inclined to agree with Walter that the outdoor area comes off as a little tacky if you stop and really look at it (I reckon it's the gargoyle faces that push it over the top). The generally neutral tone of the lighting seemed to fit pretty well throughout, at least. Cool music track, too. I can't remember its name, but I figure its presence in this toxic-themed map is a fond nod towards nataS ot etubirT, from Requiem. Anyway, like I said, barrels make great weapons in the early game, and there's enough rocket ammo to let you make heavy use of the quasi-hidden (non-secret) rocket launcher. One of the players mentioned that he's loath to use the launcher when he doesn't have to--take my advice, in this map at least, use 'em if you have 'em. It's great fun. Monster/thing placement is a bit more thoughtful (and devious) than in the last map; take, for example the chainsaw trap. Tropiano knows that your first instinct will be to shit a brick and switch from the chainsaw back to something else, but you'll probably take much less actual damage if you use the saw to quickly dispatch the chaingunners, at least. Similarly, he rewards players with good instincts for refraining from detonating the many palletized barrels visible in the outdoor area from the aforementioned chainsaw trap (maximum preservation requiring swift deaths for the mancubi at one end); if you noticed the red key was out there while looking through the filter, and smelled something fishy, good on you, as with a little trick shooting you can use these barrels to great effect if they're still around when the red key trap springs. The last couple of fights after the yellow key aren't as thrilling, but they're still fun if you remember not to be stingy with those rockets. If there's any real misstep, I'd say it's the last secret--it doesn't have anything except a rocket case in it, and it's placed/triggered in such a way that you're 90% likely to find it only because you happen to be running around a now-empty facility in search of whatever it was you missed. Despite this, and the fact that it may perhaps climax a bit early, I just simply like using explosions to hurl zombie and imp entrails around too much to not like this map.

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MAP04 - Toxic

Well straight from the word go this map is much more intense than the previous maps. Monsters trying to surround me in the start room, and that's a theme that continues for the entire map. It also has the first use of revenants in HNTR, which in typical HNTR-player fashion kicked the crap out of me. Almost died a number of times but the health resources were generous enough to keep me going and made it fair for the difficulty setting. While fighting the HKs at the red key with the SSG I accidentally triggered the trap which added to the map's intense gameplay.

The map had a metric butt-load of ammo, but there was lots of barrels to waste it on so whatever.

Looks-wise the map was just a generic techbase but the consistently green theme was done very well.

I really enjoyed this map, it's definitely getting a bit harder now. I wonder how it'll get towards the end of the mapset? Looking forward to finding out.

Edit: On second thoughts the map probably had a ton of ammo because the rocket launcher is easily missable, I can see a HNTR player not wanting to dive into the slime. If that is the reason then I give 2 thumbs up.

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Map 4: Toxic (100% Kills/Items, 75% Secrets. Played on UV, Death Count= 4)

http://youtu.be/_HxEy5C_OPY = my playthrough of Toxic. (sorry about the bad video resolution, was badly attempting for HD at the time)

This level is where the gloves well and truely came off. I am not going to forget this level in a hurry for its awkward trickiness. The death count being introduced here should tip that off.

Super Shotgun acquired straight away, alongside 20 shells. Was half-expecting a trap right here, but no dice once again. The SSG makes clearing the next room pretty easy (triple kills!), and due to not rushing for the chaingun I prevent the awkwardness of having 4 chaingunners upon me at once. Loving the looping conveyor belts in this room, a nice detail there Matt.

Next room has some radioactive floors and some corner ambush chaingunners, of which 1 of them nearly kills me. Through the next door lies imps and pistolmen (welcome back basic enemy of Doom!) to guard some armor, another round the corner chaingunner and then....A Baron of Hell enters the fray! Good thing I have the SSG, otherwise this could have been more awkward. The switch in this room triggers a bridge over the radioactive goop.

The next outside area has lots more barrels in it. A few enemies lerk around, including the billionth Revenant corner ambusher. Two Mancubi also ahead, and I get a sense of deja vu from Barrels of Fun. Picking up the red keycard unleashes hell, as 4 different wall lowerings occur revealing all sorts of enemies, forcing me to retreat all the way back indoors.
I die TWICE to this ambush; once due to thinking I was safe by being exposed from the outside whilst dealing with the indoor compliment of enemies, and once due to accidentally strafing INTO a non-homing Revenant rocket on low health.
This trap could probably be ignored in its aftermath if you don't want all the kills to be fair, but I did and it cost me. So far this has been the nastiest trap in the wad!

Anyways after deciding to use saves for the first time mid-game, I realise that the indoor wall lowering is easily cleared with the barrels it also places next to its enemies....too bad the other three don't have this luxury unless you want to risk being blown up yourself by the ones already outside.

After searching around from finally beating that trap, I notice there's a chainsaw below in some radioactive goop through a brown grid below in this area. I decide to leave exploration of the toxic floor area until later though.
Through the red door lies a mixture of monsters, with Revenants and a Hell Knight on the right side. Barrels and toxic floors abound here also. I use the conveyor belt barrels to damage a few of them as they come through the door that stays open permanently once used (interesting!). My ammo runs kind of low by the time I clear them all out, so I'm hoping to find some ammunition soon but...A PAIN ELEMENTAL?! Seriously?! I waste all my ammo trying to down it and am now screwed. So I make a mad dash past the pain-in-the-arse elemental and find a lucky berserk pack. RIP AND TEAR, I PUNCH ANNOYING SPAWNER AND HIS FLAMING SOULS!

I start to head up the stairs to the right and trigger more cacodemons to appear from wall lowerings above. Not exactly what I wanted to see considering I've only picked up 20 shotgun shells after clearing the Pain Elemental, but they must die anyway! I then peek out two shotgunners hiding behind corners to once again waste my ammo completely and then.....AN ARCHVILE FROM THE TOXINS APPEARS!?! WHAT THE DUCKING DUCK!?!?
An intense fight occurs as I rely on my fists to deck the resurrected Hell Knight and the SSG with ammo from resurrected shotgunners to kill off this accursed Archvile. That had to be the most intense fight ever given the circumstances! (even moreso than the last Archvile scrap in Outpost)

After regaining my composure, I grab the timed switch yellow keycard and head through its door. Thankfully this area proves to be significantly less stressful as its plentiful occupants go down with little trouble. A switch near the blue keycard triggers a shortcut back to the barrels of Mancubi area, revealing the first secret of 5 rockets straight in front of you as you head down the stairs. (yet no rocket launcher yet!)
The other switch triggers several wall lowerings, but thankfully I can simply run off the side and into the conveyor belt room, allowing time for infighting to take place. After they're dealt with, another secret can be found through one of the dark openings that has a gibbed corpse in it, revealing three backpacks and some armor, as well as a shortcut back to the yellow keycard switch area. Interesting how there's shortcuts back to previous areas from the blue keycard room....encouraging quicker secret exploration perhaps?

Opening the blue door reveals 3 tightly packed Revenants, which are dealt with painlessly. The end is open but I decide to seek out the remaining 2 secrets and few enemies left. I investigate the conveyor belts and am somehow 'telefragged' by a looping barrel for death #3 of the level.
I then decide to go into the toxic goop through the unkeycarded door earlier and grab the radioactive suit down here. Down here the chainsaw lies, and grabbing it triggers an immediate chaingunner trap next to you, with Hell Knights blocking the exit. Somewhat awkward to say the least, especially when I ran out of chaingun ammo on the last chaingunner and got lucky he didn't run me down whilst I switched back to the SSG!
The room amidst the toxic goop on the furthest side from the conveyor belt door (the bridge that seperates them is easily lowered) has a rocket launcher that would have been useful earlier! Grabbing that triggers a Revenant straight in your face (which I should have just punched out in hindsight straight away) and several Spectres to try and block off your exit. I choose to run and then fail to dodge a homing rocket that somehow does 54%+ health damage through about 70% armor. Death #4, due to my own stupidity and underestimating rocket damage.
The third secret is located behind a candle in the indoor room lowering from the red keycard area, revealing a quite handy automap that also would have been useful earlier.

The final secret is located in the yellow keycard room, although I fail to recognise the sound trigger that gains you access from the computet terminal (it's located next to the red keycard door inside the room). Don't know what's up there, so I leave the level with one secret unfounded and definitely needing an actual Coffee Break of my own!

Overall this was a huge difficulty step up, with the traps now extremely deadly and devious at the same time! The berserk pack in the yellow keycard room leads me to believe Matt possibly expected some players to run out of ammo by that point, in which case kudos to you sir! The level design was pretty good for the most part, and I liked the variety of monsters and dangers that were thrown up here. An intense experience for myself, to say the least. So far the best level of the wad for me; but what will the future hold.....

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MAP04 - Toxic
Nice map with a definite tekgreen feel. There are a couple of optional areas to explore in the nukage which is a nice change. The map is pretty tough but I didn't get roughed up as much as the previous map as chaingunners seem easier to neutralise here. Also lots of barrels to blow up which is fun.
For some reason the secrets were very easy to find in this map in my opinion.

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I guess I'll reveal my stats, the SteveD way and explain how I'm playing.

MAP01 – Kills – 98, Items – 80, Secret – 50. Death Count – 4. Total Time ~6:05 Final Time 4:17
MAP02 - Kills - 100, Items - 62, Secret - 50. Death Count - 6. Total Time ~21:45 Final Time 5:17
MAP03 - Kills - 100, Items - 70, Secret - 0. Death Count - 0. Time 9:11
MAP04 - Kills - 100, Items - 79, Secret - 25. Death Count - 3. Total Time ~24:50 Final Time: 8:35

PrBoom+, pistol start, skill 4, -complevel 9 (Boom), "-deh notransl.deh" so that projectiles and power-ups are displayed non-translucent, vanilla way. Highest gamma correction and 640x480 resolution.

So yeah, I found this one to be the easiest so far. Or maybe I just played it better or more cautiously. Some decent weapons were available now. Solid map.

I almost made it on my first try. But as I refused to go down the slime tunnels, I end up with no ammo, except rockets. Finally got the rocket launcher after 10 minutes, when cacos were chasing me and there was an arch-vile guarding an important switch to the yellow key. Died on the last trap (a chaingunner shooting "in my face", and I had a rocket launcher ready to fire expecting some distant monsters).
I liked the conveyor belt idea, but I think there is a problem with Boom compatibility, barrels are getting closer together (?) Another above average map. I think I like this WAD, and, being "generic" I must say I wish generic WADs were of this quality. As mentioned, some traps are planned in a such a way that monsters are not where you expect them.


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04 - no demo because I suck. Oh hey, it's the magic conveyor map! I don't understand why people make such impossible conveyors in Boom all the time, that's so goofy, not to mention disorienting. Anyway, yeah, I couldn't beat this map. The farthest I got was the yellow key room and ironically it was on one of the first attempts, after that I got angry and my performance got worse. I know I can reach the exit by being cautious enough but... meh. If the next maps will be as annoying on -fast I'll probably stop playing.

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Whew, finally got through reading the first page. In case anyone is curious, we have over 7000 words on the first page alone, which I think is the most so far. This thread is going to be quite a lengthy read.

MAP04: Tropiano continues his love affair with murdering the player in this nukage themed map. I appreciated barrels being thrown about here and there at random as it spiced up some of the gameplay, particularly in the red key courtyard if you leave some around (as the mancs like to blow up the barrels behind you). I noticed, like cannonball pointed out, that the brunt of Tropiano’s nasty attacks often come from releasing chaingunners right next to you (and often two so a single blast of the SSG won’t suffice). The red key is a particularly riling example of this, since the high amount of enemies and hitscanners will tear the player to pieces pretty fast if they're trying to SSG through it. I still really enjoyed this map, especially the yellow key sector had a smart caco trap for the player with an abundance of rocket ammo where their other munitions had been bled dry (like me). I’m still amazed at how simple but effective his enemy placement is, especially those hanging around corners and pillars.

Closed the level out at a measly 7% health… thank goodness for pistol starts!

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