27/01/2006 @15:06:29 ^17:30:28


RBoom is what I shall call my PrBoom patch due to the following arguments in addition to those previously given:

So yeah. I guess I should make a site or at least expose the repository. But I don't want to because I'm shy about my code and especially dislike having to deal with "users" haha

Castle of Evil and UAC Experiment

UAC Experiment has been mentioned on this site many times before because for me it is the definitive sprawling E1 style map that you can get happily lost in. Having over 350 monsters and 25 secret areas it can easily take an hour to do properly, although nowadays I know it too well and can do it in half that. It was released in late 2000 and replaces E1M4.

You can run round it any which way you like and there's no death frustration; you get tons of health and ammo and most of the monsters are demons or smaller. I heartily recommend it if you like large exploration type maps and the E1 style, and aren't too fussed about everything being pixel perfect.

You can get all the secrets although some of them are extremely tricky and you need to know exactly what to do. The only outright bug is a walk trigger that stops you lowering a wall due to being in front of a switch. This is the wall opposite the red key door, it's meant to be a one-way shortcut, but you don't lose much by its inaccessibility.

Such was its impression on me that as I have found similarly large maps I've played them thinking "this could be the next UAC Experiment". But they're too hard, or too linear, or not open enough. Then I found Castle of Evil.

Castle of Evil, well, my first reaction was "this is UAC Experiment on crack." Look at this: it has over 500 monsters, 47 secrets(!), but most impressive of all, it predates the former by six years. Yes this is the answer to all the people who say 1994 stuff is half-arsed junk. God only knows how the guy managed to make it. It's insane.

But I've played it pretty much every day for the past week and I'm still not bored of it, even though each attempt takes at least 40 minutes. I think this is deliberate; I realise that if I left it since finishing the first time, when I came back I'd have to rediscover everything over again but remember it as I was going along, so you don't get that initial unfamiliarity that draws you in.

The map is in two halves, roughly, although they're more like a third and a two-thirds. The best place to start out is the E1/E2 base style side, the E2/E3 hell part is harder and it helps to have accumulated guns health and ammo before you go there. The two sections are fairly self-contained, the link being the lift room at the start that has about 8 passageways leading away from it to choose from; although there are teleporters everywhere so there's still plenty of interconnection.

There are a number of annoyances, places you can get stuck, doors that only open once, that sort of thing. Also two of the secrets are inaccessible without no-clipping mode; one is a step that's too thin and the other is a teleporter pad you can't step onto. There are also a few others that are nearly impossible to get unless you know exactly where to walk.

Still, I really, really like this map. Both of these maps, in fact, although I know UAC Experiment too well now. I suggest you play them both - if you can find several hours to spare...

Speed Villa is in the /idgames archive

It got uploaded as dac19.zip, part of the Doom Advent Calendar. You know they're already planning for next year? Well, I guess it makes sense, hopefully it won't be six maps short next December! Anyway, take a look, the reviews are funny.