22/06/2006 @21:15:40 ^00:54:07

One Bloody Night

One Bloody Night is a 9 map compilation released in 2002. It's by Erik Alm so you can assume it's good, not quite as good as his more recent stuff but that's to be expected, improvement comes with practice! I say it's a compilation wad because the levels are all pretty unrelated thematically, except to say that about half of them are tributes or reworkings of more well-known maps. I think each map is meant to be played from a pistol start too. Gameplay is typically very hard and I gave up trying to do most of these on UV.

  1. The Abandonded Base We start off with a space station map, clearly inspired by Fredrik Johannson's Vrack series (in fact the wad uses the same sky texture) It looks nice and is easy.
  2. Stream of Death A sewer system constructed out of green bricks. Interesting layout - I like how you get a glimpse of the red key in a cage, then lower it, then jump down the sewer to retrieve it. Then you teleport to outside the sewer. It's definitely harder than the last one with monsters everywhere and lots of nukage taking hits off your health.
  3. Main Base Now we're in some kind of open pit surrounded by slimefalls in the centre of a large building, itself in a valley. Surrouding are a couple of other buildings and some caves. One of the buildings contains a secret that is nearly impossible to get; you have to lower the lift, run back out of the building to trigger a door to open above you, and run back to the lift before it goes back up. To do this requires flat-out straferunning with slaloming round crates, and if you catch yourself on one of them and lose momentum, you'll miss it. Apart from that though the rest of the level is great, the lighting is especially good.
  4. Warehouse Half of this map is instantly recognisable as a harder version of the crate maze from E2M2. Then after the yellow key there's three corridors to run down, and a nicely made puzzle where you must press three switches to lower the red key. The optional blue key gives access to a room full of supplies.
  5. Suburbs Starts off in a small village of identical fenced-off buildings, then you go through the underpass to some larger buildings. It ends at a massive staircase covered in teleporter lines. Cyberdemons patrol, and keep teleporting about so you can't hit them easily.
  6. Dreamworld A number of very dark brick corridors amongst some lava-filled, glowing caves. This map is short, but nasty, but uses its small size well, as you take quite an interesting route through. Good hell-cave at the far end, in the style made familiar by the last episode of Scythe.
  7. Cave of Hades You have a choice at the start; west to a red, yellow and white hell cave, or northeast, to some green stone halls. There's a bright maze of hot rocks, revenants and archviles, a cave full of chaingunners where a partial invisibility can really prove its worth, and a metal platform with a cyberdemon and two teleporting archviles. Unfortunately this map never had skill levels implemented so it's just as hard on HNTR as it is on UV, and further there are three hellknights stuck in a wall because the door never opens. Seems like a lack of testing.
  8. Living Dead This is most simply described as a harder version of MAP29. The resemblance is blatant and I approve entirely. My favourite part is new, the mountains in the north-west corner in the outdoor area behind the red key. Huge crowds of monsters await. There's also a demon stuck in a wall, and elsewhere, you can get stuck if you fall between the steps with the blue key on top and its surrounding walkway. It's also quite annoying if you fall off into the floor of the cavern, e.g. after you teleport up to the blue door, as you will have to run all the way back round again. But this is a decent reworking of the original.
  9. Ashes to Ashes This is a monster spawner map and it's pretty ridiculous. You teleport in, waking the double-headed Icon of Sin up before you, and its cluster of cyberdemon guards. You then teleport up to the surrounding ringway, and you can either go left or right. Both ways will take you through three sets of bars, a switch in a roomful of big monsters having to be pressed before each set opens. If you make it through, you find yourself up above the ledge you initially teleported to, now above the level of the brain. You must jump off the platform and fire a rocket while falling, at exactly the right moment to hurt the brain. But once isn't enough. Three or four rockets need to strike their target. So you teleport back up, and find the bars closed, and the rooms refilled with monsters... I have just about managed this level on HNTR, where there are very few monsters around, and none in the side corridors except for those spawned by the brain. It took six jumps to kill the thing, three misses. God knows how you'd do it on UV with all the teleporting archviles - which makes it all the more galling that somebody did, and recorded a demo of the map in under three minutes...

So in summary, as I said, 9 maps from earlier in the career of one of today's best mappers, loosely arranged into order of difficulty. Good detail and lighting considering it's for doom2.exe. Very difficult, although in most cases skill levels have been implemented. Some maps have small bugs, perhaps another round of playtesting was needed before release, but no really bad problems. All in all, recommended. Play it with super weapons or something if you feel like indiscriminate killing.

According to Erik's page for One Bloody Night a sequel was in the works with 18 maps at least, and possibly a full replacement. But that page has not been updated since 2003, around the time of the release of Scythe. Also I suspect the abandoned megawad mentioned in the text file for eaxt.wad might well be One Bloody Night, but I don't know.