09/11/2007 @08:50:20 ^10:49:40

Tuning Contest Wad

Freak4.wad is the result of a contest to edit an Oblige level. The results are impressive. For example map05 is like two maps with a huge cleaver stuck between them, it really has to be seen to be believed. Maps 07 and 08 are almost completely unrecognisable compared to the original (which is map01) They also do lots of clever things with Boom features that you don't often see*. Map06 tries to be a bit too clever and is rather fragile as a result. Also its author can't spell. "YOU'R DOOMED" indeed.

Play this now, it's easily one of the wads of the year.

* Be careful that the dying cyberdemon doesn't get stuck on a wall; it's meant to float over a linedef when it is killed, if it doesn't you either have to start over or save the game and edit it. Savegame editing is not trivial.

1 Monster Megawad

Developed in a single, huge Doomworld thread over the course of a year or two, this is 25 maps with a gimmick; each map only features one type of monster. It was roughly inspired by the Congestion 1024 project ("okay, we've done everything inside a 1024x1024 area, what other restrictions can we come up with")

Unfortunately I don't think it is a great success. The problem is simply the initial design restriction. In C1024, nearly all the maps were extremely cramped; they had to be. Here, we have highly repetitive gameplay. Killing the same monster over and over again is boring, no matter how pretty the surrounding level is.

Furthermore, none of the maps suggest that you would only find the one type of monster on them; these look like regular maps, just with inexplicably bizarre monster placement. Compare it with Equinox map10. This was set on an enormous flying saucer, so it made a kind of sense that the entire crew are archviles.

They try to play like regular maps as well. Somehow I was expecting more Cyberdreams-like puzzle levels. There are a couple, the one with the three spiders was good, although I never quite managed to finish it.

In summary, we have here a large body of high-quality work but ultimately misplaced effort; the initial idea was... well, let's put it this way. Do you think a map with nothing but 350 chaingunners is a good idea..?

Full Options

This appears to be one map split across several. The thing overall is a number of tech/industrial building interiors around some natural rock formations. (The style is vaguely reminiscent of Vae Victus 2)

In map01 you clear out a few of the buildings on one side of a fence; there's a red door no key. In map02 you get outside of that one compound and find some others, eventually finding the red key and re-entering the first compound. It's quite clever and takes that old trick of making the exit of one map look like the start of the next one to a whole new plateau.

It's quite disappointing that there isn't a map03 but according to the text file the author never planned that far. Oh well. On map02 there is a super shotgun on a crate. Don't spend ages trying to get up there like I did. There's a teleporter but it's not accessible until much later, by which time the map's just given you an ssg already. Pretty stupid really.

The monsters are generally quite small and not in hordes, but you're not granted much health and ammunition either and the traps can catch you off guard, so it's quite a tight challenge. Detail level is very high, slightly overdone perhaps. Despite seeming unfinished, very good and worth playing.


Bold as War Green marble castle and surrounding canyons, feels E4-ish with maybe a bit of Doom2 map17 thrown in. Decent architecture, fairly well interconnected. It's quite easy as long as you're careful.

Station 12z Really nice E1 map, but too short, and the secrets were pointless - when you get the soulsphere everything is dead. However, it's good-looking and has great interconnection. Should be map1 of an episode.

The Arterial Fortress E3-style map that manages to feel hellish and organic. It's not often you see decent E3-style mapping. However, gameplay is cramped and awkward.