31/10/2008 @07:16:31 ^09:18:10

Death-Destiny's Doom Projects

These are a bunch of maps all by the same guy. He first came to my attention with maps in Dark Resolution 2008. Since then he's done another new map every few weeks.

When you play a bunch of maps by the same author the similarities are obvious. In this case you will notice that UV is always unplayably hard and sometimes even HNTR is too (it's basically this guy's fault I ended up investigating slaughter maps on ITYTD) However you will also notice meticulous detail, high quality of architecture, exploitation of lesser-known engine features and behind-the-scene mechanics, simply, the impression that a lot of effort has been spent. And a refreshing lack of ZDoomisms, especially commendable to see from a relatively new mapper.

Crimson Horizon

Proof you can texture a level like it's 1994 and not have it look awful. This thing uses what seems like every texture in doom2.wad in quite a small area, but it works because all the textures are aligned properly and used in sensible places. The glowing power cables and random boxes of electrics from DR2008 make a return.

It all ends up looking crazy, but not ugly. Refreshing to see in this age of extremely sanitised, thematically well-defined and strictly consistent maps.


This map manages to mix the hellish and Doom Gardens themes of the later maps in Scythe 2. The resulting mix of red, green and brown is quite striking. (I can't recall if this was a deliberate deconstruction of the "Hell does not resemble Christmas" rant from the Deus Vult II text file, but it seems like it)

Other than that there's some great scenery and height differences worth mentioning in this one, once you're past the start areas.

The Beesong

The first of three maps that imitates the theme of CC2 map24 ("The Mucus Flow") and also the only one that uses ZDoom features. However, similar to Deimos Anomaly Redux mentioned a few months ago, they're the kind that degrade gracefully in the Boom-compatible engines I use, so the map remained playable. Ironic given the inspiration is famously unbeatable due to ZDoomisms.

Incidentally the gimmick here was pain-elemental-style beehives that spit large quantities of fast-moving bees at you until destroyed. So I'm quite glad they didn't appear when I played the map!


Very much in the Mucus Flow theme again. Inspired by a thread on the forums about the relative uselessness of the chaingun and the tendency to favour the super shotgun over it and other weapons, so there are no shotguns. However it speeds up the chaingun making it more powerful, which misses the point, or maybe proves it. It also replaces most of the weapon graphics and some of the sounds, which I didn't like, but they're easily dealt with.

Having said all that though this map is enormous and is probably the pick of the bunch. The gameplay is a bit strange, having huge caches of ammo that you must keep returning to, and a hidden network of teleporters, and over 1000 monsters - but most of them you don't kill yourself, there's this "infinite demon teleporter" which needs to be deactivated instead. Then after battling your way through most of the map you "disturb the land" and all hell breaks loose.

A very nice touch: when you open the weapon cabinets at the start the shadows in the light spilling through the bars is removed. This is great attention to detail.


The third Mucus Flow map. In this one it's even raining slime. The infodump consoles from Disturbia return - there is a huge wall of text right in front of you at the start.

I didn't enjoy this one so much. It's quite cramped, mostly indoors, there's a lot of hiding behind crates, and the different areas are mostly separate from one another, so it feels a little disjoint. However it has some amusing secrets ("Suspicious crate #1") and a few other nice touches (e.g. the rain)


Back to the hell with a bit of tech stuff thrown in theme. This one is supposedly vanilla compatible so isn't as full of detail as the others. Has a decent, interconnected layout. I liked the look of the blue key area where you're on an observation deck looking out into a cave.

The game balance on HNTR seemed a little off - easier to kill cyberdemons, like one of the ones that is set up as a telefrag, were reduced, but others that were harder due to having to fight them in quite enclosed areas were left alone. In particular I felt the two-at-once in the final area was a bit much, even if it gifts you a BFG and a lot of cells, that didn't stop me being unable to avoid taking too much damage. Had there been only one it would have been much more doable.

No Chance

Billed as "The hardest map you will ever play!" and indeed I lasted about 10 seconds on UV and that was only because most of the monsters start facing away from you. However, surprisingly HNTR wasn't so bad. The theme is the usual reddish hell cave with the now familiar occasional glowing power cable lying around.

Suffers a little from disjointness as you go off into separate side areas to retrieve the three keys (lots of ambushes here) Then you jump down a hole to the exit, which gifts you a megasphere and throws a ridiculous number of monsters at you. The exit itself is rather underwhelming - the cave you're in just kind of stops, and there's a floating eye marking where you're supposed to walk to, but it's a bit unclear (I only realised it was the exit because the lines showed up in a different colour on the automap)