Your entire life is one long selfish episode, you introverted wanker. Ahaha oh burn, I insulted myself. No this is about Self-ep, a 7-level pwad for Doom 2. It's yet another project with Paul Corfiatis's name on it. In fact I believe he did the whole thing.
Back in the day... ah, yes, back in the day... I start looking up at the sky, everything goes misty and wavy... No, okay, look, all I was going to say was that I remember the first three Selfish maps when they first came out, in 2000 or thereabouts. Then self-ep was released, containing Selfish 1, 2 and 3. In fact it replaced them in /idgames, and they were deleted from it, so I can't link to the original versions. Then over the next few years, Selfish 4, Selfish 5, and Selfish X-Former came out. Logically those links shouldn't work, since they were replaced by the new self-ep.wad. But who cares about consistency... Indeed, Doomworld's /idgames frontend doesn't seem to update itself if a wad is rereleased and the text file changes, so if you click the link above it will still refer to the original three-map self-ep.wad release. Okay, got that? No misty eyes (just utter confusion, I imagine)
Anyway. The theme is roughly Doom 2 hell, although it varies. Decent architecture and texturing, it's not horribly overdetailed but not underdetailed either. Difficulty varies; map01 is trivial, map04 quite the opposite, the others somewhere in between.
- (Selfish X-Former) So you're in a brick building in Hell. Torches, crosses and squares of skin inscribed with pentagrams on the walls, that sort of thing. There's a red key to get, to open the exit. You have to travel through time and space or some goofy thing to activate two things to get that key. That is to say, there's two big teleporters that take you to an Episode 1-themed area and an Episode 2-themed area. It's all pretty nice looking, although a bit silly. As I said already, it's very easy too. There's crates in the E1 bit which will annoy purists and make people overly accustomed to climbing on crates to find secrets roll their eyes.
- (Selfish 1) Ah yes, the first Selfish map, this takes me back. You are in a cave which rapidly emerges out into the open air. You're out in a big canyon full of lava - don't fall in. Down a slope there's a building, but ignore it for now, the door needs a blue key. Furthermore there's lots of monsters around and you don't have the resources to take them out so try to find the opening in the rockface. In there is a lift. You should sprint to the lift and press the button before you get too damaged. Make your way around the caves. You should find a red key. Then there's a round staircase up to a blue key in the middle of a pit. You press two switches, a red and a yellow, to get to the switch that raises the bridge to the blue key. Don't make the mistake of looking for a yellow key, you don't need one. Poor use of textures! Anyway once you have the blue key and lots of ammunition you can go back up top and clear out the canyon, then go into the building, where you find the exit at the end of a corridor lined with cages full of monsters.
- (Selfish 2) The second Selfish map came out soon after the first one. I think it's marginally easier as you can clear it out "conventionally" (each room as you come to it) rather than having to run at the start and leave huge areas for later. The theme varies quite a lot, there's caves and wood panels and tech all in the same map. Pretty oldschool, I guess. The corridors with monster cages on either side make a return. There's a hot rocks and lava cave, and then the exit with a cyberdemon in a pit. It's an easy kill though if you find the invulnerability hidden in a pillar.
- (Selfish 4) This one was new to me. It's roughly in the same style as the connecting area of X-Former, but also has tech and castle bits. Doom 2 hell theme, see? It never was very consistent. Anyway, this one is noticably harder than the others, especially in regard to teleporting archviles and lack of ammunition. The defining moment was when about fifteen demons and an archvile teleport in, and you can't kill the archvile because the demons come in first and are in the way. So you try to shoot them, and it brings them back to life, then you run out of plasma. This is the only one I didn't manage to beat from a pistol start.
- (Selfish 5) Also new to me. Could be the lost level from Death Tormention 3. Is very much in an Episode 4 style, marble, blood etc. Quite large, lots of traps and stuff. Not too hard. One bit that annoyed me was the megasphere secret which only opens once. I don't like stuff that only works once. But otherwise it's a very nicely detailed E4-style map.
- (Selfish 3) Probably the biggest map here. In the style of Selfish 1, more than anything - large canyon, a few buildings dotted around the edge of it. The reason I keep on about Doom 2 hell is that the original Selfish 1, 2 and 3 replaced maps 21, 22 and 23, so they had that sky as well. Inside the buildings: one is a library, with an outdoor bit at the back. Watch out for teleporting archviles here - although one of them doesn't work, as extra lighting sectors have been added since the initial release and the tag is now on the wrong sector! The second is merely a corridor and lift taking you to the blue key. Watch out for pain elementals when you collect it. Yeah, pain elementals in a huge outdoor area where they've plenty of room to spawn. Oh dear. In fact one of my most frustrating deaths on this map was, in an effort to hide from the pain elementals so they wouldn't shoot until I could destroy them, I jumped from the blue key pillar, but missed the ledge and fell into one of the pits and died. Fortunately in this new version of the map there are teleporters in the pits. Anyway lastly you trek through a cave, past the exit, and into a little underground base thing where the last key is stored. The base seems a little out of place given the rest of the level's theme, but there you go. Very good.
- (Boss Battle) This is basically just a castle with a monster spawner in it. It was apparently made a very long time ago (1996) and tarted up for release. It's not bad, you don't have to mess around with shooting rockets off a moving platform or anything. You just have to go up a platform and shoot the brain once with your shotgun to open a door, then go press a switch which crushes it. There's a cyberdemon wandering around and of course monsters are being spawned but I never feel I have to kill the monsters on a spawner level.
So if you got through all that, the bottom line is, it's a decent wad that's worth playing. Off you go!