Alien Vendetta - Valley of Echoes

VoE is a pretty weak map. Reminds me of Hell Revealed 2 map29. Huge monotextured areas, lots of monsters just dumped into the map. The part inspired by map26 makes an okay start, but after that is just bland and boring.

Demonic Hordes, now that's a proper monster-heavy map.

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While I agree the latter half is just drab large canyons, Valley of Echoes seems good on its own. I'm a huge fan of Anders Johnsen and his mapping style, though the late Kim Malde was a far better mapper in so many ways. Despite having clusters of monsters, it still doesn't have as many as Demonic Hordes, which is an excellent slaughtermap. I don't believe there needs to be another release of Alien Vendetta with the inclusion of Valley of Echoes. The final version is as perfect as it is aside from its drawbacks, but Valley of Echoes deserves to grace the idgames library as an Alien Vendetta outtake.

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I really dislike the later AV map's gameplay style. Watchnig that video and a few others, it devolves into huge random hordes wtih no purpsoe and endless BFG spam. GRIPPING GAMEPLAY. Also: Maze filled with a million chaingunners. How do people play such repetition?

Still, I'll complete this one day, being one of the higest regarded wads there is, and I do love at least the first third of the wad.

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I have nothing against slaughter maps, they can be quite fun if done right, especially looking at the granddaddies Go 2 It (Plutonia) and Showdown (Memento Mori), both by Milo Casali. I think the AV team tried to emulate the intense gameplay style of HR in the last third of the megawad, but the execution was a bit over the top. True, one of HR's highlights are the hordes of monsters, but Yonatan Donner and Haggay Niv knew how to convey these fights without making them such a drag. HR, much like Plutonia, also implemented monster placement that keeps players under pressure. Still, too many mappers/players got the wrong idea on the concept of wads like Plutonia and HR and thought they were all about massive slaughters, hence all those wannabe-HR wads were the monster count is ridiculous (HR2, for example), going beyond 1,000. Post Mortem, the famous HR map with the highest number of monsters in the megawad, was slightly below 600 in total, not counting the limitless spawning of Pain Elemental Lost Souls.

Nevertheless, despite the high enemy count in many of the later maps of AV, I have to say they were at least justified for the ginormous size of the maps like Misri Halek and Stench of Evil. I found them more to be exploration maps (ala Eternal Doom) than just slaughter maps.

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Alien Vendetta was a very impressive WAD, but many of the levels were way too overdone with the enemy count and map design. One time it took me at least 2 hours to beat MAP20 (that Egyptian temple map) Playing AV co-op is actually more ideal than single player in my opinion. Valley of Echoes does look like a pretty cool map though.

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I enjoyed Go 2 It, because it was a one-off bonus level, and was so different at the time. I cant really take a map seriously if theres 9001 identical dudes all sitting in a room for the sake of killing. Watched the video of Dark Dome and it was exceptionally dull and repetitive. At least the early maps are still enjoyable.

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Dark Dome is one of my favourite AV maps. Now about the enemy count on that map, it is approximately around 900 on UV last I checked, so it's not as much as Demonic Hordes. I always play AV on HMP, so the enemy count is much less than that. While there are waves of monsters, there is some variety, and I use other weapons aside from the BFG (which I reserve for the Cyberdemons), so I hardly found it dull or repetitive. The architecture helped to live things up, and the map size was just right, even if HR's Post Mortem was larger, spacious, and didn't have as many monsters as this map.

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Ragnor said:

I cant really take a map seriously if theres 9001 identical dudes all sitting in a room for the sake of killing. Watched the video of Dark Dome and it was exceptionally dull and repetitive. At least the early maps are still enjoyable.


That's a horrible opinion and you should feel bad for spreading it.

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Tarnsman said:

No but being pressured solely from one avenue of attack for a long map is really tedious and boring and a big problem with the majority of Anders' maps in Alien Vendetta (which are long hallways of nothingness that are more or less straight lines connecting the interesting parts of the map). In fact I'd say Anders has more bad maps than good maps in AV and if not for the early E2 filler would probably have some of the worst maps in AV.

The linearity, atmosphere and progression of Anders' later maps made them feel like epic adventures, and Brad Spencer's E2 maps satisfied the primitive caveman bloodthirsty DooMer inside me that wants to kill everything, those maps can become very fun if you play aggressively, just watch the demos. They satisfy me in pretty much the way that this Braindead scene does, haha



I guess it's different opinions, personally I would have rather have seen Map21 go, no amount of hyper detailing could save that boring layout. Sorry to whoever made it.... the author went on to make much better maps though.

I'm a huge fan of Clandestine Complex also, with it's awesome elaborate and complex layout which has been one of the many inspirations for my huge techbase map I've been working on. :-)

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"Adventure" maps are what I live for, hence my love for all things TNT. Revilution is definitely heading in that direction. Too many monsters kind of kills that feel of adventure for me. Quite a few AV maps have this, notably Map 20.

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Ragnor said:

How do people play such repetition?


I once played an oblige megawad comprised entirely of rooms with revenants spammed in them I played that sucker from start to finish.

having heard this maps criticism, it sounds right up my alley.

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DeathevokatioN said:

I guess it's different opinions, personally I would have rather have seen Map21 go, no amount of hyper detailing could save that boring layout. Sorry to whoever made it.... the author went on to make much better maps though.

The author of One Flew Over the Caco's Nest was Pablo Dictter, and I agree that it was the black sheep of the mapset. Could have been better on its own, but history is history.

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Nearly all of Dictter's earlier stuff is stylistically VERY similar to AV map 21, although he usually prefers a techbase theme over a Hell theme.

It's weird, he dropped off the face of the earth for a while, and then he finally returned with a map (map 16, I think? 17? 18?) in the 'PCorf Community Project', which was like a total overhaul of his style and one of the better maps in that set. Wish he'd show up again and make more like that, last I heard he was making one of the maps in the apparently defunct 'Panophobia' community project.

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I kinda prefered Demonic Hordes and Clandestine Complex over Valley of Echoes. Valley of Echoes was an alright map, but it was a little too hard for me personally. I felt like a lot of the other Alien Vendetta maps were heavily detailed, while Valley of Echoes had some bland areas.

Here's my run of Alien Vendetta: Valley of Echoes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvZ1TRae8Zk

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Still, as a huge fan of Anders Johnsen's maps, well, AV in general, I personally believe Valley of Echoes deserves to be out as a single wad for AV fans to enjoy without having two versions of the same megawad. Might seem a bit bland in the latter half of the map, but there's a lot of neat and satisfying moments, and the first half really stands out. Doesn't necessarily have to replace either Clandestine Complex or Demonic Hordes (both are good maps) when it can be a wad on its own. If only Anders Johnsen could take a look at this thread and consider it.

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I did like the look of the first part, yeah. That all looked great and felt like it would be fun to play. In the titular valley though, it was bland as shit. Like one pile of monsters was copy/pasted repeatedly in large blocks. lol at the teleport into a million imps, and the outcrop with a hundred mancubi. Not to mention the cyber island -_-

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You know you can play in the lower difficulties if you dislike those hordes of monsters, which I feel you're exaggerating the numbers on. Sure there's many, after all, AV on UV is for players who went through Plutonia and HR on UV and are looking for a challenge, but there aren't hundreds/thousands/millions in the packs. I admit the cyberdemon island was unnecessary, though. Could have worked well with just one instead of a pack, which is more appropriate for enemies like imps, chaingunners, hell knights, or revenants.

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To this day, I'm baffled as to how anyone could consider Valley of Echoes a stronger map than Clandestine Complex, and I say that as a fan of AJ. The latter's always felt like one of the strongest maps in the wad from a pure design and layout standpoint. It's one of the very few maps in Doom that can actually give me a sense of location from a non-abstract point of view. VoE just felt like any other slaughter map I'd played a couple dozen times before unlike the immersive ones featured through the wad.

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T-Rex said:

which I feel you're exaggerating the numbers on


Duh, lol. The dude hates slaughtermaps, you're not going to convince him otherwise.

Also I second what Snakes said

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The thing with AV, its half "normal" wad, half slaughter. I'm fine with the earlier maps on UV. It just suddenly transitions to atmosphere-breaking hordes that leave a bad taste in my mouth.

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Snakes said:

To this day, I'm baffled as to how anyone could consider Valley of Echoes a stronger map than Clandestine Complex, and I say that as a fan of AJ.

I never said anything about Valley of Echoes being stronger than Clandestine Complex, as I have never played the map myself, only saw playthroughs of it, and I thought it looked cool and fun. Now, I like Clandestine Complex as it's one of AV's best maps and a nice level to blast through before tackling the big slaughterfests that await in the last few maps, except that it seemed out of place being a techbase map in a hell-themed episode. Nevertheless, the final version of AV had an outstanding mapset even if Valley of Echoes was laid off. My thoughts are that it could have been released as a separate wad with just the map itself, because even if it's another slaughtermap, the level design was well-knit and yielded some good things. Some of us who only have and played the final version would be curious about Valley of Echoes since it was mentioned in the textfile, not to mention the reviews of both the old and final versions, and to me, it doesn't make sense to have two versions of the same thing for just one map, unless for comparison purposes.

kmxexii said:

Duh, lol. The dude hates slaughtermaps, you're not going to convince him otherwise.

I respect if Ragnor's not into slaughtermaps. It's his opinion, but he didn't have to say there were millions of monsters in groups when it's a LOT less than that. AV may have hordes in many of the third episode maps, but they're clearly not insane like Nuts.

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I guess I should mention that I have no issues with the idea of "loads of monsters" as a whole; I just feel that the Ep 2 takes on that are generally better than the Ep 3 takes, aside from the two Ep 3 maps I keep mentioning.

Suicidal Tendencies, Overwhelming Odds, No Guts No Glory, and Lake Poison in particular are absolutely amazing maps.

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Ragnor said:

The thing with AV, its half "normal" wad, half slaughter. I'm fine with the earlier maps on UV. It just suddenly transitions to atmosphere-breaking hordes that leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Demon cum is an acquired taste. Keep practising and before long you'll be craving it!

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