27/07/2014 @07:54:21 ^09:25:04

Commando Mission 1 (3 fortress)

A.K.A. joi-cm1.wad. A single map running on E2M1. A medium-sized courtyard, surrounded by small buildings and structures, hiding alleyways and passages. It claims to be a deathmatch level. I think it would be quite a slow deathmatch as even four players would be able to hide from each other.

In single player it is absolutely smothered in sergeants (131 of them) and there is no health besides a soulsphere in the centre of the courtyard. It is remarkably difficult because of this, you lose health very quickly and cannot replenish it. As such it is quite frustrating, but I ended up playing it repeatedly, as it seems just on that cusp where you think, "I should be able to do this, let's have one more go".

Trivia: this is another map I found due to a reverse image search, it being featured on doomwiki:Shotgun_guy for a screenshot. (cf. Derelict)

THE-END.WAD

12 years later, and we're still playing Doom. Isn't it time for *THE END*? Well, this is the end... and it begins back at the beginning. A beginning which will look very familiar at first... and then becomes very *wrong*. It is the most ridiculous wad I've ever created. Can you defeat... 128 cyberdemons? I can! And now I can say I'm finished with Doom. If you can beat this wad (it takes a good half hour to complete), then you can do the same!

I had to play this one - a chance to finally be done with this stupid game forever!

Seriously though. I recall reading, a long time ago, a statement on modified IWAD levels in /idgames - "if they were allowed, the archive would be flooded with copies of E1M1 with a billion cyberdemons in the courtyard".* That is an accurate description of this level - a modified E1M1 with 256 cyberdemons in the courtyard (the description miscounts them).

Actually playing it is not difficult provided the player maintains concentration and doesn't do anything silly. Easier said than done, as playing it is quite tedious and repetitive. There is a BFG obviously, a large stack of plasma, and a row of soulspheres. The main difficulty comes from not running into a rocket you didn't see coming before it was too late to react to it. Changing movement direction proved to be unwise. So the level reduces to:

On lower skill levels the start area of E1M1 has no monsters so you can get the BFG quietly, but on UV there are four sergeants to dispose of, and doing so wakes up the horde. This makes running towards them slightly problematic as you charge into a hail of missiles. I found it prudent to approach at an angle and make one initial orbit of the lake before trying to pick up any of the plasma.

Alternatively you can just run past everything and press the exit switch.

* Sadly where I cannot find, and furthermore, the reason has been more recently stated that /idgames had an agreement with id software to not host IWAD maps, modified or otherwise. This all came out when Switcheroom was rejected from /idgames some months ago.

04/07/2014 @20:53:16 ^21:22:46

The Fireworks Factory

A Fourth of July map by The Green Herring. It's a small techbase in some surrounding watery canyon, mostly themed like a "normal" Doom level except the textures are all recoloured in red, white, and blue. Even the three keys are red, white, and blue. However, it's not over-the-top with its gimmick, and all seems quite tasteful, especially the secret area with the painting in it. That said I think if I ever played with the game music on, it might seem a little more blatant.

The map itself is fairly disjoint with separate rooms to fight for each key. The monsters are numerous but so are the rockets (the only type of weapon you get). Lots of imps, revenants through a window, a room of cacodemons, more revenats, hellknights, and a finale involved even more revenants and a cyberdemon.

In summary The Fireworks Factory is a fun if not entirely serious little map, and certainly worth playing. I didn't find it particularly difficult, there's plenty of health and rockets. The main danger is blowing yourself up, with careless treatment of revenant missiles a second.

24/05/2014 @12:45:45 ^12:58:57

I said goodbye to my .ath.cx hostnames a couple of weeks ago. I think I first registered them in early Feb. 2005, but haven't used them except as temporary file sharing URLs since 2009 or so, so I wasn't too fussed about losing them.

What goodwill I had gradually evaporated as greater and greater measures were introduced to make the service inconvenient for non-paying users. It would have been better if the free service had been dropped after a grace period at the first instance, instead of compelling users to log in manually once a month.

I registered with freedns.afraid.org to get a public hostname for the rare occasions I need it.