FAT BLOKES IN THE SAND
Yes it's holiday season again!
Hats and Spiders, Lights and Doors
It's been one of those days. It started at 3am last night. Waiting for the drum and bass show to finish recording I was poking around on a shelf. I picked up my pointy hat and was startled by a spider as it scuttled down the point. I dropped the hat and fetched a tall, thin metal tube I use for catching spiders. I found it somewhat odd that the thing hadn't acted like usual and run for a dark corner, but had stayed with the hat. This made it easier to catch, which I did. But poking around the hat I saw the reason.
The damn thing had built its nest in my hat! Somehow the brim was folded under itself. Inside was what looked like a pile of white powder surrounded by cobweb, except that there were a number of lumps in the middle. I reasoned these must be the eggs. No wonder the mother didn't run off. In fact the mother was desperate and angry enough to escape the tin tube I caught her in - yes, one minute she was there in the bottom of the tube, next time I looked, it was empty. I've never known a spider that could climb up the shiny walls of that tube before... Have you ever seen one try to escape a bath? It just falls down again!
Already quite freaked out and full of adrenaline there was no way I was getting to sleep in a room with a nest of baby spiders that could explode at any moment, spewing forth a thousand tiny screaming demon spawn to rend my helpless body to dust under the guidance of their vengeful matriarch. I got my pool cue, put it into the hat and very slowly and carefully carried the hat downstairs and threw it out the back door. I never saw the mother again, but could not stop thinking that, having lost its babies, it was enraged and in a frenzy and having nothing more to lose, would still try to exact vengeance!
Needless to say I didn't get to sleep for hours. Oh, and then I was woken really early by a guy drilling holes outside my window; the neighbour was having a satellite dish installed.
I pulled myself together and went out with a pair of tongs and a ruler. Gingerly holding the hat I swatted the nest. It detached all in one piece! I was expecting it to explode and spew babies everywhere, but thankfully it didn't and also only seemed to be attached via its edge to the brim.
Having explained this bizarre event to my mum we decided we should probably clean the shelves, so we took everything off them and dusted and so forth. I threw some stuff away, amazingly. Unfortunately my clip-on spotlight, which has for some time had a loose connection in its moulded plug, now doesn't work at all, so I'll have to get into bed in the dark - or stay up until it gets light again, whichever.
Then finally a bit later I heard a crash from the kitchen and found my mum holding one of the cupboard doors... One has never been quite lined up right and the extra stress put on the hinge caused it to snap, suddenly. Having no replacements the only option was to take the door off the cupboard completely. I made some remark about the house being about to fall down.
Thankfully, though, that seemed to be the lot. Nothing else has gone horribly wrong or broken or exploded today. There's only one thing unresolved.
I never did see the mother spider again...
thud, more like whimper
It turned out to be 29 maps(!) Yeah it replaces all but the two secret levels and the final map. I must confess I've only done about half of it, but the majority of maps seem to feature one or more of the following characteristics
- Smallness (most of the maps I've done in under 10 minutes of game time)
- Not a great deal of monsters (I've only seen one over 100 and many are under 50)
- Small rooms, somewhat cramped
- Way too much health and ammunition and stuff. There's a megasphere on nearly every level.
- Annoying puzzles and lots of them, many involving switches that rise out of blocks in the floor (and they reminded me of those evil cube robots from Terrahawks)
- Tiny levels should not try to use all three key colours. Putting a key in a 64x64 square surrounded by locked doors of another key colour is contrived and looks stupid.
- The maps are allegedly based on the names of the corresponding Doom 2 maps, but I can't really see it.
Having said that, I remember maps 11 and 13 being pretty good; 11 is a large circular thing and 13 is a town. At least I can move around properly in them.
I probably would have got further but I found them somewhat of a chore to play. The construction isn't bad and I didn't spot any obvious mistakes, which is quite refreshing for such an old set of maps. However I found the puzzle oriented gameplay annoying, especially during the number of numerous occasions that I'd killed all the monsters on a map but had all the annoying puzzles left to do. Oh well. If I find any later levels that make it worth it I'll let you know.
Addendum: I might have got further had I not, via an unprecedented chain of events, been inspired to start developing elixir for the first time in months. However its completion is still strongly within doubt, as is the status of the CC2 project. I'm still too scared to go back to Doomworld.