I wanted my site back up for its anniversary today
Instead you get yet another back-dated update. You don't even know when I wrote this, for all you know I could have written it on, I don't know, the fourth of March and you wouldn't be any the wiser
Yes anyway I'm trying to re-code my site in perl because if I can avoid php I will, even if it creates an awful lot of work in the meantime. I guess I should have installed php as a transitional thing, but I didn't want to. I've got apache to run CGI scripts if they're executable and called something.cgi. It's probably hilariously insecure.
Oh well at least Evil Dead II was on last night, oh man that's still the funniest shit ever.
All Hell Breaks Loose!
It certainly does when you use dodgy DeHackEd patches with PrBoom, which frankly doesn't support them very well. All Hell Breaks Loose is five maps with new weapons and monsters. Starting in your country ranch you hike to a nearby abandoned mine, over a bridge, through some caves finally emerging into a city complex(!) Yes it's pretty varied, like the monsters, here are some of them:
- Dead imps that come back to life when they "see" you
- Demons that run twice as fast because hey if you were on fire you'd run around pretty bloody fast too!
- Siamese Twin Chaingunners with two heads and a lot more firepower
- Arachnotron-riding two-headed chaingunners. When you kill the spider underneath it, it hops off and carries on shooting at you. This thing is nuts
- Two types of baron/hellknight things that float around because their legs are engulfed in more fire and that scream "AARGH, FUCK YOU" when they die
- These great big flying green gargoyle things that leave way too large a corpse that blocks your vision.
- Oversized, slow-moving cyberdemons with that fire two enormous rockets at a time
- Sniggering-like-they're-getting-more-pussy-than-you plasma-gun-toting marines (rogue players, if you like)
- Damn great helicopter gunships that firstly launch more of those fucking oversized rockets and then drop a squadron of cackling marines to chase you all around the map! For god's sake!
At least you get some improved weapons to deal with all of this
- Dual pistols
- Chainsaw with dual blades
- Just the plain old super shotgun. It's odd that dehacked patches never mess with it.
- Automatic rifle (i.e. the usual chaingun but I think it's sped up a bit)
- Bazooka, that fires those enormous rockets. You can still carry fifty but they're a head taller than you!
- Flame thrower that does an enormous amount of damage to targets within a fairly short range, and for which many of the smaller monsters have this hilarious exploding death sequence where they roll around screaming on fire
- The StreetSweeper! You only get this on map 5, it's basically a shotgun that's been sped up to all hell. I think the double-headed chaingunners are meant to have this weapon as well, as they make the same sound when they fire at you.
- I don't think the BFG actually appears in the maps anywhere, and it hasn't been changed
The maps are primitive to say the least. The problem with this type of partial conversion is that the author(s) put so much effort into making new monsters and weapons and then slap a few maps together that don't go far enough or don't really play all that well. The thing is, when one area of your project is outstanding and innovative it's really noticeable when another area falls a bit short. The levels aren't bad but they aren't great.
Also there was a huge problem in that the floating baron hellknight things crashed the game engine when they died. This was a terrible shame, and somewhat invalidates all the hype this mapset received both while I was reading about it and then while I was playing through it. Oh well at least you only have to read a shitty site update, you didn't have to play four and a half maps of this crazy shit before you find out it doesn't work properly.
I've talked about Nuts many times before. Since the last time I discovered that its author, having made Equinox, wanted to test uploading shit to the archive so he whipped up Nuts and the rest is history.
Recently - sometime in the past few months, anyway - somebody made a tribute called NutsLite. Its "tribute" factor is mostly that its final area is in a large courtyard densely packed with groups of large monsters. It starts out as a ride through some brick passages, and there's quite a nice area with some deep slime. The monsters look pretty weird running around and you can only see their top halves.
The whole thing is pretty near impossible and I had to play it on god mode, but I'm a crappy player and I bet there's people who can actually do this. It was good for a few runs around, anyway. I think the main problem is ammunition and that once you unlock the courtyard you have to run into all of those monsters as if you don't they all try to filter down the passageway. It'd be better if the weapons and some huge ammo reserves were more readily available.
Shock 'em down!
I first played Shock 'em down! when it came out in 2001, and a few months ago had cause to download it again because I was talking about deep water with the girl and recalled it as a wad that had a blue colourmap for that cartoonish underwater effect. It is a techbase, sort of E1-style but I think it uses too much E2 stuff to truly be called an E1 map. It is right to say it's a Doom level and "bloody well looks like it too"
It uses the odd Boom feature here and there, mainly the aforementioned pool, but fortunately doesn't do too much to break the basic Doom gameplay. It's pretty much faultless I guess. You could perhaps pick holes with one or two places where you have to backtrack a lot through rooms long since cleared out, or having to remove large crowds of demons with the shotgun, which is easy but quite tedious. There's a huge warehouse thing at the end which seems frankly empty other than a couple of boxes of rockets, it feels like it ought to be stuffed with monsters.
Still it was rightly hailed as one of the best maps of 2001 and you should go play it.
The Call of Ktulu
As part of the same discussion about colourmaps and Boom maps the girl pointed me towards The Call Of Ktulu. This turned out to be a Boom feature-laden castle map named after some song by some godsawful metal act whose name escapes me. The map is much better though. The moat is made of blood (red colourmap) There's a crazy bit where you walk up an wide and empty staircase to a button, press it, turn round and all these demons have appeared silently behind you. There's a point where you teleport (switch teleporter) to a kind of basement which then rapidly fills up with monsters. This is not an easy level.
As with all maps laden with Boom features some of them feel like they're only being used for the sake of using Boom features, I don't know if that's actually the case here or whether I just think that because I'm not so accustomed to them and so when I see them I'm all "hey that can't happen in regular game rules" so it's more noticeable. But, yeah. I liked the way you get drawn around it and you see bits that you can't visit yet and the blood flows through the tunnels and takes you with it down to the exit which you go past long before you actually get access to it.
Okay I seem to have lost the ability to write with any structure. So I'll just say okay it's pretty good and you should give it a go, but use savegames because it's pretty hard.
Halo of Wonders
Halo of Wonders is number 14 in the "kaiser_" series, and unfortunately it's more like 12 than 9. That is to say, it's impossible. It has some plot about every demon you've ever killed being resurrected in this arena and now it's your turn to enter the arena and blah blah who cares it just adds up way over 1000 monsters and well basically it's too hard for me to do it at all.
It is as usual from Kaiser very well made architecture with lots of detail, even too much detail maybe, I don't know. It's part techbase part gothic castle sort of thing. It does a few interesting Boom things like teleporting a red skull key into the centre of an arena. There is a dehacked patch which changes the BFG into some weapon from Doom 64 and to finish the map you have to use this weapon to kill this great big bug creature that does this hilarious dance and spits out mancubus fireballs at an alarming rate. But you won't get that far because it's way too hard.
It's okay to run around and look at or do on god mode but don't try to play it normally because it's too hard.
Putting the monster in a sandbox was quite interesting but the problem is it's rigged to end the current level when one dies. This isn't helpful in a sandbox so I managed to fix the dehacked patch to stop it happening. You have to extract the lump DEHACKED from the wad then reinsert it having removed the two consecutive lines "Pointer 423 (Frame 751)" and "Codep Frame = 783"