27/10/2005 @21:37:34 ^22:15:02

DarkSoul level 1 A small map in a techbase, it is detailed but if you take away the detail you'd end up with a very simple bunch of rooms and halls. There's some monsters but not enough to really cause me a problem. You have to find all three keys to get to the exit. Sadly the three locked doors are too close together, I couldn't get far enough past the first one's linedefs to press the second one. It seemed very familiar; I think I might have played this one when it came out and instantly deleted it(!)

DSLVL2: Lost Mining Base Sequel to the above. It's better but it's still not great. Same simplistic layout with fair amount of detail (DoomBuilder makes detailing easy I guess) I managed to beat this one first time as well but I think I was lucky. It ends at a transition to a hellish style suggesting there was to be more in this series, and the text files suggest such as well, but if they exist I don't know about them.

Still Kickin' Kurt Kesler is a famous Doom mapper but this is the first of his maps I've played unless you count the ones in the 10 sectors megawad. It's in a style he is apparently famous for, that is techbases in hilly countryside. There are a bunch of new textures and decorative sprites; the trees actually look like trees instead of twisted lumps of wood, for instance. The interior of the base is very convincing and especially well-lit. The gameplay isn't so great. You get a ton of ammunition and then it throws monsters at you. This is all very well outside where there's a fair amount of room to run about but inside the base it's pretty awkward. Indeed inside the base it suffers from "elixir syndrome" of having far too many zombies by half. That is to say you lose a lot of health, because hitscan weapons are hard to dodge. Also don't fall in the lake because there's no way out and you'll drown! Still this was good and I really should play more of this guy's stuff.

Also two long-standing challenges fell recently: I managed to conquer* both prwrcol2 map03 and dystopia 3 map09. Both of these maps I declared impossible some five years ago. dyst3 9 is particularly satisfying as I remember spending several days trying to do it in the summer of 2000, spending more time with the game paused planning out precise strategies than actually shooting at the monsters. This time I just ran at it and prevailed, it was pretty funny really. Although if my plasma stream hadn't tripped the archvile's pain chance when it did, I wouldn't be writing this...

* in this context, "get 100% kills/secrets from a pistol start without using savegames." Ultra violence skill is usually assumed. 100% items is optional but I try to do it anyway.