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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: (Ultimate) DOOM

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E3M1 – Hell Keep. Kills- 100, Items – 100, Secret – 0. Time 6:52. End Health – 100, Armor – 4. Death Count – Zero

Here, Sandy Petersen shows that he takes a back-seat to no man when it comes to 64-wide hallways with Pinkies in them. Take that, Tom Hall!!!

This ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ map continues E2 themes of tight ammo, Pinky-Power, fiddly details to get stuck on – trees, stalagmites, marble pillars – and it’s a pretty safe bet I won’t be overjoyed by the experience, which is why I’m switching to UV continuous.

That said, it’s not a bad intro map at all. There is the major problem of the start looking like a Hollywood façade owing to poor execution of the sky texturing at the doorway. It’s like a billboard that magically opens into another dimension with a hallway beyond the door. ;D If we want to make excuses for errors, we can say this was intentional on Petersen’s part to make us realize that reality as we know it is over and Hell is making a mockery of our senses. Or something like that . . .

Once inside this magic portal, I took the wrong path and encountered the Pinky hallway after fleeing a Caco/Imp battle, and naturally, I soon ran out of ammo, so back I went to the bridge over toxic blood that sinks beneath you, and it’s all-important shotgun. Coolest part of the map, because I got distracted by the sneaky side passage which only takes you back to the start of the bridge, and was severely damaged by Imps as a result. Damn near lost my life in the opening map!

It’s all pretty easy after this, though, and we soon have more indicators of wrongness, for example free-floating structures in the sky, and I might add, the very impressive E3 sky. It’s awesome! We didn’t see much of the E2 sky – no loss, IMO – but I hope to see quite a bit of this one.

All in all, a nice intro map.

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E3M2 – Slough of Despair. Kills - 86, Items – 60, Secret – 66. Time 14:35. End Health – 165, Armor – 123. Death Count – Zero

You can’t play this map without mentioning that it’s a big giant hand. How can that not put a smile on your face?

I pistol-started this by accident a month or two ago and conquered it with ease and an early exit because I started with the pinky finger, then found the blue key and blazed. I wanted a full play this time, but somehow I missed a bunch of critters even though I started in the thumb and worked my way back.

This is a weird but cool map, despite those silly metal walls in the middle finger. These caused me major problems because I played in the morning, and even though the sky was overcast, all available light was amplified by snow on the ground. The upshot is that I was all but blind inside the fingers, this one especially, and I had to use the automap to get out of there.

Combat is fairly relaxed in this map, though from time to time I sweated a little over ammo, not being the punching champion that Hurricyclone is. ;D

The palm and thumb are in the open but the palm is spilt into all kinds of weird angles, almost as if Sandy was finger-painting in the editor! Groan away, I got a million of ‘em! :P

Bottom line, I liked it.

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Magnusblitz said:

Fortress of Misery???

Oops! Right map, wrong title! ;D Corrections to come. Sheesh, I'll have to delete the joke now, won't I? I hate it when that happens. ;D

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E3M3 – Pandemonium. Kills - 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time 24:19. End Health – 108, Armor – 195. Death Count – Zero

I’ve played Cannonball’s much lovelier take on this map in Concerned, and after that I foolishly pistol-started this puppy to see what the inspiration was like. Indeed, the result of that experience weighed heavily in my decision to play this episode continuously.

I managed to take plenty of damage on continuous, too, but at least I wasn’t hopelessly cornered by Barons and Pinkies with no ammo.

I’ll go a bit against the grain and say that, to me, this map is damn close to brilliant, Tom Hall or no Tom Hall. After all, Tom is the real king of nonlinearity, and for once, his maze isn’t flat. The fight design encourages you to race here and there, waking up monsters all around, who then pursue you. Yes, roamers! That’s how I got dusted the last time – I had nowhere to turn that wasn’t stuffed with enemies.

This obviously isn’t a beautiful map, but I thought the Sladwall opening area, especially where the Imps were elevated behind behind the Midgrate, looked really cool. Okay, the Midgrate was passable and it looked a bit silly to have Imps bleeding through, but it would’ve been fun to unleash a few rockets up there to see them flying through the bars.

I agree with DoTW that the upper maze was horrendous. I agree with others that random damaging sectors really suck. But I still like it, a lot. The concrete area looked good, after all, and it was cool to get an overlook on the Chaingun secret. It’s obvious, too, where Sean Birkel got the inspiration for his bridge in E1M2 of Fava Beans.

This map took me a long time to complete because it was so intricate, and yet, it’s just 192 sectors.

One of my fave maps in Ultimate Doom so far, no lie. And I’ve got the BFG. Yay! Turns out I’m liking E3 better than E2 as well.

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E3M4 – House of Pain. Kills – 100, Items – 95, Secret – 100. Time 27:49. End Health – 135, Armor – 200. Death Count – Zero

The hits keep on coming for E3. This was a coolass map with tons of action, and with so many Pinkies at the start as to make me feel no guilt for playing continuous. I might’ve hated this map otherwise.

So you get Pinkie-pounced at the start with a rocket launcher in front of you. Ah, quite possibly where Antoni Chan got the idea for his diabolical RL/Spectre trap that I copied.

With Pinkies to both sides at the start, I chose to go upstairs, where one of the highlights, as DoTW said, is the ‘diorama’ detail. Very, very cool. There was also tons of action. I was leaving hillocks of corpses as I went. In places, the piles of dead Cacos were thick enough to block my view of attackers, and I took many hits as a result. However, I got a bit lucky in spying secrets, which healped keep my health and ammo up.

Ultimately, it’s not a difficult map if you walk in with weapons and ammo. You’re at least spared some of the weapon-switch heartaches that might otherwise result, and you won’t have to flee screaming from every Pinky you see until you find the Zerk, which took awhile. There’s also a few ugly parts, and then that crazed switch-puzzle at the end, but overall, I think this map is a winner thanks to its blazing action, some good, moody lighting, its overall Hell map look and feel, and of course, it’s blazing action!

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Ooh, Russian wads sound real nice :).

E4M2 Perfect Hatred

I got trapped in the lava pit in the southwest trying to figure out what the fuck to do there, then realized I had to touch the lava triangle just north of the switch in order to open things up. That's dumb.

As for the map, it's a relentless action starter where flying cacodemons will piss you off as are barons in certain places. Oh, and the lava too, it's easy to die in it every now and then. I got the rocket launcher and plasmagun while dancing with those baron bastards. But at least I got my lovely berserk in a secret area. Unfortunately, there's not much I can use it for other than the eastern half of the level.

Even more so, I could not telefrag the cyberdemon in Beautiful Doom. He explodes all over the place when you kill him which means I'd be in the explosion when it happens. So I waste plasma on him then rocket the cacos, then hit two secrets then exit.

E4M9 Fear

This map was a varied fucking nightmare.

I couldn't be arsed with the level as a whole. Another relentless action start with all sorts of enemies prompting to be too much to handle (I guess I'm one of the few who hates lots of variety in temrms of monster placement.) There is this nifty shortcut to the plasma gun which involves jumping on crates at the beginning. I take this shortcut at least three times! Just to bypass the southern half of the map and clear the north, that's all. Then getting the berserk in the secret proved fruitful. I tried the berserk strategy I've been using for the past two episodes, and it hurt me more than it helped! Oh well, at least I could telefrag a baron in a cage, but only once the rest of the rude enemies died, and I got cornered so many times by these jerkoffs! One chaingun in the north, but apparently two rocket launchers in the south area?

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E4M9 -- Fear - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
This was a pretty cool map, better than I remember it being, really. Of course, in keeping with the name, the 'secret level twist' here is for the most part purely aesthetic--the map is textured more or less in a KDiTD style (although green is conspicuously absent, in more ways than one)--as it plays more or less like a 'regular' map, although I suppose it's more both nonlinear and easier than a lot of the other maps in this episode, largely by dint of the easy plasma rifle and steady supply of cells. Though easy, it's very fast-paced, as monsters are able to persistently give chase around most of the level, and given the wildly yo-yo-ing possibilities in map traversal afforded by the various teleporter pads, it's pretty easy to have the majority of them awake and pursuing you at once. I was actually seriously injured by the Baron that Hurricyclone mentioned telefragging (probably the closest I've been to death thus far in this playthrough, though he showed hesitation and thus was burnt to a crisp by my plasma rifle before he could finish me) because he was somehow already awake when I beamed in, despite my not having visited that half of the map yet--like I said, monsters can wander all around this one because they can open most of the doors, so my guess is that some dick imp probably went up there and warned the neighborhood about my presence while I was somewhere else entirely. You can actually leave this one in a matter of seconds and with very little violence if you know where you're going, but it's more fun to stick around and fight. Downsides? Well, both secrets feel pretty perfunctory and phoned-in, and the backpack secret is downright stupid in its placement, but eh, you could say that's part of the charm.

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E4M1: A hard start, but not as tough as E4M2 from pistol start, especially if you're fine with leaving the Baron surprise hidden. With no health anywhere it is pretty unforgiving, but there are a few different routes and ways of handling the hordes. You can alert a lot of them in the red key room by just pressing up against the bars, which makes that indoor structure much less treacherous.

The monster teleport lines everywhere are an added screw-you to the player, and I got a Baron appearing right behind me at one point. Still scraped through.

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E4M3 Sever The Wicked

Booyah, this is my favorite level in E4, although shotgun guy frenzy starts to kick in here. But at least the barons hold back, kind of. I'm not getting cornered by those bozos. But if there's one thing I hate, it's that invisible wall directly to my left when I start, once I notice enemies are attacking me from there. But then, there's a switch raising a bridge to an invulnerability! Not only that, but there's a convienient berserk, invisibility, and a backpack just to my right. There's also another invisibility somewhere not far off as well. Guess what? All 5 items are the only ones to get 100% items! And they sure are helpful, especially that invulnerability was used right to get rid of pesky hitscanners, before I start berserking enemies to save rocket ammo for later. Rockets of course, were used on those barons in the lava pit and on some enemies close to the exit. Of course, I wouldn't forget those secrets, those nineteen steps :p. Beautiful Doom uses Painkiller's sound for secret revealing, so I got a lot of heavenly voices, lol.

Speaking of Beautiful Doom, it's weirding me the fuck out. I just saw an imp claw a shotgun guy now, and he somehow exploded into pieces from getting clawed.

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Great, everyone disappeared again. Probably Christmas stuff but I at least have a free hand today.

E4M4 Unruly Evil


This is the episode's breather map as far as I know. Didn't really have too much trouble overall. I chainsawed imps instead of shooting them. Again, with an invulnerability, I would take full advantage of it. 100% items was a problem as some are kinda in weird places. There's a blur artifact down in the lava right next to a teleport, and I embarrassingly missed the berserk in a secret I triggered, was trying to get the two secrets in one go :p. On my pistol start run, I made sure to get it, once I survived the beginning, that is. The beginning is somewhat hard to control on pistol start. Pretty breezy otherwise.

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Hurricyclone said:

I just saw an imp claw a shotgun guy now, and he somehow exploded into pieces from getting clawed.

Strange, I've seen a lost soul gib a zombieman before (in normal Doom), but an imp shouldn't be able to do enough damage to gib a shotgunner.

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Yeah I'm playing UD in Beautiful Doom v4.7, maybe it has something to do with the mod that causes the gibbing threshold to be larger for the former humans :p.

E4M5 They Will Repent

Lol at that stray outside cacodemon.

It's possible to skip keys here too.

Aargh, items are strewn around again. Even worse, I embarassingly miss one at the end, and it turns out to be a fucking invulnerability! To be honest, that item's not really that helpful for this level since I get it so late, same goes for the BFG and even the secret berserk. Handled this one quite carefully, so no problems to be honest, other than item collecting and backtracking to kill that stray cacodemon on my pistol start run.

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E4M3 -- Sever the Wicked - 100% Kills / 90% Secrets
One of the most blandly textured and plainly structured levels in the game, what this map lacks in aesthetic splendor it makes up for with some intense violence. It's positively lousy with shotgun guys; brash players may quickly find themselves rendered into a bloody slurry by volleys of flying buckshot moments after the action begins if they aren't careful, as the player starts on an elevated wooden scaffold which can be easily attacked from many different angles, particularly by the cluster of sergeants behind the illusory wall to the north. This being an IWAD map, there is of course an intended solution for players with some presence of mind: stay quiet at the start (only a view zombies face the player as action begins) and hit the nearby switch, which grants access to an invulnerability sphere, which can be used to go to town on the opposition. It's easy to dominate the map once a foothold has been gained, as ammo balance is almost non-existent; the piles and piles of rockets sitting around as well as the veritable mountain of shells alone (from both many pre-placed cartons and countless dead sergeants) are probably enough to maxkill some of the earlier episodes in their entirety. As with many of the E4 maps, Barons make a strong showing as well, although some of them are not placed very well, e.g. the ones in the lava trench who represent little more than busywork for maxkillers.

As aforesaid, from an aesthetic standpoint it is very plain, rather orthogonal and with the vast majority of the areas rendered in monotonous wood paneling, although the lava trench/scaffolding scene at the start is fairly striking. Also of note is that 90% secrets is the maximum possible score for the level without using IDCLIP, as a design mistake sees two sectors flagged as secret that the player can't enter, as he is blocked by torches.

E4M4 -- Unruly Evil - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
While I'm fairly fond of McGee's E4M1, I don't think very highly of this map. The workmanship here is pretty sloppy, the map is thematically out of place in the episode, and apart from the somewhat pressuring pistol-start, it contains very little in the way of interesting combat. Of these concerns, the issue of being a thematic outlier is of course the least pressing, and would probably be even less so if its theme were interesting in its own right, but unfortunately it's quite bland, being mostly comprised of blocky dirtwalled rooms with dirt or stone floors and a bit of lava, along with one asynchronous green composite/lava section. All told, it's a texture scheme that looks particularly unnatural on McGee's characteristically orthogonal architecture, which leads me to the issue of sloppy workmanship--the misaligned dirt textures look surprisingly awful, and the map also has a number of bugs, most famously the visible HOMs and the stuck UV closet-cacos in the final area (apparently there's a similar issue with specters on some of the other skill levels?). As to the issue of dull gameplay, well, there's not really much to say on that account--it's mostly lower numbers of weaker monsters (and far fewer shotgunners than in other recent maps) that attack from inferior positions, complete with several superfluous powerups, ala the invulnerability sphere in the lava room. I suppose the opposition might be slightly more relevant if the player doesn't find the secret (which is counted as two even though it might as well be one), although the berserk pack is not particularly relevant on this map, and the RL is generally complete overkill, just as well considering there's not much ammo for it.

All told, some say 'breather'; I say 'boring filler.' One of the game's weakest maps.

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E4M2: Perfect Hatred
100% kills, 3/3 secrets, ~30 deaths

Ah, Perfect Hatred. Always had a soft spot for this map despite arguably being the toughest in Ultimate Doom. Unlike many of the E4 maps, it actually looks pretty nice without having a boring, monotonous texture scheme, each area has its own look. I've gotten to the point where it's still pretty breezy on UV, so let's see how it is on -fast!

My first mistake was trying to do this continuous, as I finished last level with 3 health. I died about 10 times trying to get the health packs at the start, it's impossible on -fast to run past the sergeants or kill one before the other gets you, they're just too quick. Eventually figured out how to use the imps to take them out for me.

Died another 6 times clearing out the imps and cacodemons at the start. Someone made a map a little while ago that was basically just an imp shooting gallery to be played on -fast, this is a decent approximation. Not a lot of area to dodge on the starting platform and plenty of fireballs. The limited ammo doesn't help - the shotgun is not a good weapon on -fast, especially if the enemies are far away. The lack of bullets on this map really hurts, damn you Romero!

After clearing those out, finally time to stock up. The yellow key trap is the next difficult spot, and unlike normal UV (where you can blast the baron in front of you with the plasma gun and probably eat one fireball max from the three behind) you HAVE to run. Hope you cleared out the area with the teleporter first... I ended up abusing the edge here pretty badly, if you stand on the area behind the yellow switch (facing the "doorway" into the yellow key area) the barons can't walk all the way towards the doorway, but the player can still snipe the barons with the plasma gun by shooting their elbows. Mwhahaha.

The onto the white rock area, which is tough simply because of Barons in short range and making it difficult to dodge. The worst part by far however, was that one goddamn lost soul made it through the teleporter... and then sat BEHIND the teleport exit. I had only 7 health at this point, and the goddamn lost soul will instantly kill me every. dang. time. Before I could even run or turn around. I finally managed to get him to wander into a corner and give me enough time to dodge when I exited. Fuck that lost soul.

One more death at the end clearing out the cacodemons. (Pro tip: telefragging the Cyberdemon freezes you until his death animation ends, but doesn't free the cacos from shooting you). Then onto the secret level! Hopefully I won't die 30 times on this one.

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E4M1: And so the first of two difficult levels begins, with sergeants warping in and little room to maneuver. The real kink in the map is the baron that warps in, forcing you to move around more than you’d like and fire the bulk of your ammo into his pectorals. It’s not too difficult if you play it safe, but it will leave you aching come E4M2.

E4M2: Speaking of which, oh hey it’s Perfect Hatred, id software’s most brutal map. This map is pretty memorable but has plenty of flaws all over the place, most notably forcing you to memorize nearly the entire level in order to survive it. My pistol start & no saving runs all wound up… badly, including a terrible time where I died to the cacodemons in the exit room. It’s pretty cramped with some really evil placement of barons, but I still can’t get myself to dislike it—it’s a style I’m glad got refined in later custom wads.

(Confession: I still don’t know how to get the BFG/secret level)

E4M9: A pretty good secret map, one I think I’ve only beaten once. It’s singular fault is that it’s entirely symmetrical but the frantic start and great flanking use of the cacos definitely makes it one of the strongest E4 maps.

E4M3: An alright map, one that suffers personally from the lack of the SSG, turning a lot of the combat into a plodding mess. The dash to pick up the RL could be slightly interesting but the invul sphere nullifies the threat, letting you get fully situated before taking on the baddies. Just alright in the end.

E4M4: Wow this was a tough one. Didn’t find any secrets so I just had to shift my way around the hordes. Got pretty hairy when I was trying to get to the exit.

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The Ultimate Doom E4M1: UV, Pistol Start

This is the only map from the Ultimate Doom that I remember playing in 1995. This map is memorable to me because it was the first map that I ever beat by myself, which is kind of funny because it took my dad forever to beat it himself. In fact that's why I only ever played the first map of E4, it really took him a long time to finally beat it, & he really hates this map almost as much as I hate E3M5.

Right off the bat we face off against a number of teleporting shotgun guys. These guys appear throughout the level in the most annoying spots, along with a Baron. The lack of Health is pretty bad on UV, I was low enough that I decided not to fight the other 4 barons. It's a fair introduction of what to expect from E4, which is tough levels & Barons everywhere. It also sets the overall Marble / Wood theme of E4.

The Ultimate Doom E4M2: UV, Pistol Start

This sure is a tough map, but compared to the last map I would say that this one is actually easier, though that may be due to the fact that I found every single secret, also there's health in this map. The hardest part is easily the start, but if you drop down into the lava right in front of you you can get the rad suit and Soul Sphere & fight the cacos from below. The Yellow key trap is pretty bad, but you can just run out of there and up the stairs & take care of the Barons from the door. I think the cave is pretty cool looking, but I think it would have been more enjoyable with less monsters in it, they just seem to get stuck on one another at every turn. The Cyberdemon is kind of a joke here even if you don't telefrag him, you can easily kill him without him being able to hit you.

The Ultimate Doom E4M9: UV, Pistol Start

Again we have another map with a tough start, but then gets really easy due to the plentiful amount of weapons & ammo. This seems to be selected as the secret level due to being so symmetrical, sure it doesn't have any marble in it, but all the brown1 could have easily been replaced by marble & it would have fit well thematically as a non secret level.

The Ultimate Doom E4M3: UV, Pistol Start

Yet again another map with a tough start, but then gets really easy due to the overabundance of ammo & weapons. This is my favorite level of the episode, I like the openness of the start, it reminds me slightly of E3M6. The interior isn't as good, but I still like the way it's connected.

The Ultimate Doom E4M4: UV, Pistol Start

This is an incredibly easy level compared to the previous 4 maps, the start is tough, but not compared to the last few maps. This level is also really ugly, it's also lacking in wood & marble textures making it the oddball of the episode, even more so than E4M9 which at least had a room entirely made of Wood. There's some pretty horrendous placement of Cacodemons at the exit that can't even move. Makes you wonder how much this episode was even tested, or if it was tested at all.

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dobu gabu maru said:

E4M3: An alright map, one that suffers personally from the lack of the SSG


E4M6 Against Thee Wickedly

Here's yet another highlight of E4. It's got a nice gradual opening, but becomes problematic with lotsa lava and cacodemons much later on in the level. That central teleporter leading to different places was sure novel. Now, the yellow key part kinda stumped me on pistol start, until I realized that the switch is where the baron is *gulp*, I had to use plasma on him since he's on top of that rocket launcher. And I really was trying to save ammo too. The area with the colored barricades washes me in MORE lava again! Geez, and you thought that the shotgun guys and cacos were enough but the damaging floor really shines.

As for the cyberdemon, I formulated a great plan, lower the red key barricades, get the (useless) berserk and the (useful) BFG and ammo, then go back to this one small area that housed an invulnerability, formerly barricaded. Now let him have it and I'm done!

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E4M9: Fear
100% kills, 2/2 secrets, ~10 deaths

An interesting one, this. Kind of a circular level, with a large southern portion that's entirely optional. Hectic start, which provided a few deaths for me, with the rest coming in that tough southern section (mainly due to lack of health). With a non-biblical name, "Fear" ala Phobos, and the use of STAR textures, one might thing it was made to elicit an E1 sort of feel - but the rest of the texture scheme and layout kinda stops that. Somewhat interesting just for the start, especially if you poke your head in a few directions and the monsters start using the teleporters to attack from multiple angles.

E4M3: Sever the Wicked
98% kills (left the lava Barons alive), 20/22* secrets, 4 deaths

One of my favorite E3 maps. The layout and combat is really good, which makes the texture scheme so disappointing. It's not really unfinished - all the METAL textures are in the right places, for example - but the rest being nothing but WOOD is really ugly and a waste of an otherwise striking layout, with its interesting use of vertical space and the large outdoor area (that actually strains some of Vanilla Doom's limits if you look certain directions). There's a ton of enemies here, and the start is pretty dangerous, making a smart player hunt out that invuln sphere. There's plenty of ammo though, which is nice. My only real complaint is the room beyond the red door is a bit bullshit on -fast, since the sergeants can blast you from above before you can even see them. Aside from that though, it's a pretty kick-ass map. Shame about all the WOOD.

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The Ultimate Doom E4M5: UV, Pistol Start

Like the previous level this one is downright easy compared to the rest of the episode. The layout of this map is great, I really like how it's very nonlinear & connects all over the place. Plus you have windows which let you see all over the map, it's pretty much an E1 map with a nonlinear layout. The gameplay is where this map suffers, it seems to go for a more atmospheric route & is rather low in the monster count, which really makes it oddly out of place in E4.

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So...any decision on next month yet? This thread seems to be almost completely dead or something. Where's that enthusiasm? :}

E4M7 And Hell Followed

Hello Dr. Anderson!

This may seem like it could have been a sort of "B-Side" level, due to a somewhat different playstyle, but I really love it a lot. Not as much as E4M3 or E4M6 mind you but for some reason, it's a sort of second breather map, except for that outdoor area where the exit was. Unfortunately, there's no marks for locked doors which meant some guessing along the way. But I used the chainsaw and berserk whenever I could and did it quite well (uh, but to be honest, Beautiful Doom's chainsaw sucks ass, it kills much slower than it should.) That cyberdemon at the bottom was pretty cheesy, with TWO invulnerabilities and a stocked BFG helping me out, and sadly I can't get 100% secrets, damn it all! And for that north area, it was definitely murderous, so I used the second invuln to help me out with that bit. I really hate those caged enemies, especially that one baron in the corner took too many rockets.

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E4M5 -- They Will Repent - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
My memory of this one was not very clear, which ultimately resulted in my needing to essentially play it twice in the interest of completism--there are several different ways to traverse the layout (indeed, both the blue and yellow keys are optional, although this is barely relevant in the latter case), and if you go a certain way before picking up the blue key, you end up permanently locked out of one part of the level and unable to backtrack. Getting the blue when you have the chance, by contrast, allows you to see the entire level and ultimately enables you to backtrack all the way to the beginning, if you so desire.

In contrast to the strange muddy Legoland look of E4M4, They Will Repent returns to the definitive E4 texture scheme of marble and iron, here arranged as some kind of strange blockhouse full of channels, sluices, and overlooks; the main structural walls are often thin and fairly porous, with most major rooms having several entrances and often a number of viewpoints into adjacent rooms. Oh, and of course, the sluice system itself is full of tainted blood (and lava, deeper in) although the player doesn't usually spend a lot of time sweating the platforming. It's not a bad map, but it's much more interesting as a construct, with its numerous vantage points and multi-terraced arrangement, than as a battle engagement--it's mostly zombiemen, imps, and pinkies who are usually unable to physically reach the player, here. Lost souls, of all things, are actually the enemy MVPs here, since their propensity for silently rising out of the blood channels and their ability to pass through the high windows and other openings between individual rooms allows them to sometimes attack unexpectedly and from strange angles. The BFG secret is kind of clever here, one of the earlier examples of its kind.

E4M6 -- Against Thee Wickedly - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Ah, yes, I think that this is one of Romero's most interesting maps in all the DooM series, and apparently lots of other folks agree, as this is probably the most-imitated map from E4, and many maps in well-known WADs that are not otherwise imitations by any stretch contain nods or winks towards it. A marble fortress built in and around a bitter volcanic cyst in the planet's surface, it combines dangerous terrain, some light platforming, non-standard teleporter logic, and a strong enemy presence (including another cyberdemon guardian watching over the exit) into a fairly short but very brisk outing.

I remember thinking this was the most difficult map in the episode (and thus, the game) waaaaaay back when I first played it, not only a function of the monster population, but also of a certain element of environmental attrition. While you can access most of the map from the outset, and characteristic of Romero, many of the rooms have more than one path through which they can be entered/exited, the truth is that the actual thing placement in the map means that there are really only one or two 'correct' itineraries for finishing, and many more that are vastly inferior, most often so because they'll end up requiring more radsuit-less dips into the lava than necessary, partially a function of the quirky central 4-destination teleport design. Indeed, while my combat skills have improved enough in the years since that I'm not particularly threatened by any of the monster encounters here, I ended up taking one of the aforementioned highly inoptimal routes (due again to cloudy memory), and so probably ended up soaking more damage from lava than from all of the monsters combined. Not to downplay the monsters too much, though, as they are an ever-present concern given the generally restricted footing available; I think I've already observed once earlier in an earlier post that cacodemons tend to be used pretty badly in most maps of the original game, but not so here, as their flight ability is put to fine use given the awkward terrain. There is once again an easy way to quell the cyberdemon (assuming you've explored thoroughly) in the form of another V-sphere, but at least he can troll you a bit by knocking you back into the lava and causing you to lose powerup time if you aren't careful.

It's a cool map, fun even if you play it very inelegantly, like I did this time.

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The Ultimate Doom E4M6: UV, Pistol Start

I hate this level, it is easily the hardest of E4 due to the damaging floor that is everywhere. It's starts off fantastic with a great homage to E3M2 which leads to a nice looking castle, then everything goes downhill from there with a jump into lava & more lava. I've never been able to beat this map & I didn't beat it for the club either. It always made me so frustrated that I would always skip the rest of the map along E4M7 & just go to the last map to finish up the episode. In fact it wasn't until October 14th of this year that even played E4M7 which made it the last Doom map I've ever played.

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Well shit, I dropped off after ep2 but I did play ep3 too. Just never got around to write anything about that. So here's a quick summary:

E3M1: Terrible.

E3M2: Meh.

E3M3: Okay now this was pretty good. I didn't remember about the shotgun so I "ran" around the map for quite a while just dodging enemies.

E3M4: Another alright one. Berserk action is the name of the game for the most part, which is totally fine by me. Gets a bit in the confusing territory in the latter parts but that's alright as well.

E3M5: More confusion. I finished this but I couldn't tell the route if you asked me now. Pretty good stuff when there's actual action though.

E3M6: Very little memories of this map, which is rather strange because it seems like easily the best map in E3. Pretty unique but a little weak visually in my opinion though.

E3M9: Ded. Surprise shotgun alley is surprising.

So again I fail to reach the episode boss. Maybe Thy Flesh Consumed then?

E4M1: Yeah right, fucking ded already. Good night and good bye Ultimate Doom. Tough map and dying was pretty much expected really, if not here then in the next map at the latest.

Needless to say, dobu's challenge was a indeed a challenge. It was an interesting experience but I think I'll stick with running and strafing in the future :)

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Finishing up, folks.

E4M8 Unto The Cruel

I was gonna pistol start this map, but due to health-related reasons (Doom-related health reasons, E4M7's ending is pretty rough on me), I only did a continuous run.

I lagged HARD when BFG'ing the crowd at the beginning. Still, a group of hitscanners deserved to be gibbed. I then cleaned the rest of the area before moving on to the next one. In the next area, I love that watery place with pillars, so many free goodies :3. I tried a rather dumb tactic at this part, since one of the goodies was my lovely berserk, I went down the elevator to the wooden area, and tried to lure two barons up so I can berserk punch them. It worked somewhat, I got two shotgun guys too, but only one baron. The invisibility helped me punch out the rest of the other monsters.

Boss arena: First things first, rushkill the spiderdemon with the BFG ASAP. Then try not to get cornered as you clean up the other enemies. And that's it! Of course I went into the non-secret that's supposedly behind the big spider, it had a BFG in it for those who don't know. But it's all over now, baby.

Final Thoughts: Thy Flesh Consumed

You want my opinion? Sure, it's the hardest episode I've ever played for Ultimate Doom, hands down. The first few levels prove that point, throwing varieties of monsters right at you from the get go, including some very nasty barons in the first two maps. And there sure is a lot of former humans in this episode than the other ones. I think I've got hitscan flu now. Did I use the berserk much in this episode? Not too much, unfortunately, they were smart enough not to give it right away, preventing me from punching lots of things. Then again, I'm glad I'm not risking melee damage then :). The maps sure are unique, all in their own ways, I liked a lot of them, except E4M1 and E4M9.

Best maps were E4M3, E4M6, and E4M7.

Hope the next month's pick isn't gonna give me the hitscan flu.

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Memfis said:

For the next month you could do Ultimate Doom 2. :)

Nah, those maps are rather drawn out and boring TBH. And we're really due something contemporary (none since October).

I'd say either D2TWID or Concerned is the best choice out there.

Concerned is a bit short on maps so could do either Visions of Eternity (another very recent Doom I episode), Swim With the Wales, or Kuchitsu alongside it.

Or - give Tarnsman a little motivation and do Suitcase of Gor to cover about two-thirds of the month!

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Hurricyclone said:

So...any decision on next month yet? This thread seems to be almost completely dead or something. Where's that enthusiasm? :}

Ultimate Doom brought out a lull. If there's no strong contender I'm not pressed to make a thread for next month.

E4M5: Not really a memorable map to me. Guys here and there but it’s easy and quick.

E4M6: Another brutal level that has something in common with E4M2: a big damaging pit. You have to map out your plan of attack pretty well here, taking advantage of the PG secret and invul later in the level in order to survive as there’s a low room for error. Pretty interesting, although overly punishing.

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I reckon it was probably the holiday season that brought on the lull, not Ultimate Doom. Assorted Yuletide nonsense is certainly what's been slowing me down, anyway, both in this thread and on my NOVA playthrough. I can't speak for anyone else, but whatever WAD is picked next (even if it's by a vote of 2 to 1 or something extreme like that), I'll be up for it. Well, unless Daedalus or some other WAD I can't stand suddenly sneaks in. Hell, maybe even then! What can I say, I'm Just a Doom Addict (TM).

E4M7 -- And Hell Followed - 100% Kills / 50% Secrets
Presumably this was originally designed to be a Canto in Dr. Sleep's Inferno series (the original title is 'Chiron', e.g. 'Charon') before id got hold of it, and as a result the map, like E4M4 before it, is something of an outlier in the episodic progression, both thematically and in terms of gameplay (difficulty, style, etc.). It's a better map than E4M4, certainly, but another I remembered very little about until I was well into it, other than that it's yet another mildly glitched E4 map in that 100% secrets is again impossible (without cheats) here.

In terms of aesthetics, this seems more like a Deimos map than anything, largely a result of the strange juxtaposition of texture/decor themes; the largely wooden southern structure has cement basements and disparate mystic/Hellish setpieces like the altar room, whereas the north is a distinctly Refinery-esque dirt-tech affair. The layout seems kind of directionless (particularly in the southern half) in that several of the rooms are completely optional and seem conceptually unrelated to one another, being connected only in the most pragmatic way by basic hallways with light opposition. There are some setpieces, ala the cyberdemon scenario, but most are rendered paltry by overpowering the player in one way or another. I do kind of like the various 'E1-Plus' imp-closet traps, at least, and there's potential in the northern area held back by a high degree of symmetrical enemy placement. The exit switch also doesn't feel like it's going to be the exit, to me, a minor (but real) quibble. On the whole, the map's low degree of pressure for being the M7 slot at first seems disconcerting, but if you think about it, episodes 2 and 3 both had rather sedate penultimate maps as well, so perhaps it's really not as anomalous a selection as it may seem.

E4M8 -- Unto The Cruel - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Heh, the giant hitscanner clusterfuck (almost feels like it's played for comedy) in the opening room makes this map a bastard on Nightmare!, and makes that chaingun secret in the first room more or less mandatory (incidentally, there are a number of other stashes that seem like secrets, ala the BFG in the final area, but none are actually tagged as such). Like Green's E4M3, it's decidedly bland in appearance, and suffers in particular from a lack of lighting effects, but compensates fairly well simply by virtue of its high bodycount, although it's even more of a straight-ahead corridor shooter than that map was, especially where the trek to the second key is concerned (incidentally, this could've easily been a one-key map, as the other is just stuck listlessly in a closet early on). That the level features a lot of 'normal' map before the boss fight probably benefits it (although I feel the items-on-pillars area detracts more than it adds, feeling VERY 'D!Zone'), as said fight is probably the poorest in the game, versus another spider mastermind who is wedged into a small space and can't get a good angle to fire on the player unless s/he is extremely careless or is trying to go for style points by going for the BFG (<--guilty) or something. Again, though, anticlimax is kind of par for the course in Ultimate Doom IWAD boss fights, I guess....

...I know it's a small thing and silly to be too concerned over, but I wish the ending text (which supplies what little narrative context E4 has) had been a little less slapstick. Guess E4's strange time of birth relative to other Doom products sort of wrote them into a corner, though.

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