29/07/2009 @22:29:03 ^00:34:49

I would like to write a Dungeon Crawl post as I've had a few hilarious encounters there, but I can't seem to do it without feeling I need pages and pages of background exposition for anyone reading this who doesn't play the game. Maybe I can just start with "a certain amount of game knowledge is assumed."

Anyway here's some maps, something else for which I couldn't be bothered with the usual pages and pages of background exposition.


This is a gem. It's an episode 1 replacement but with a certain amount of ep.2-like hell corruption. Lots of new graphics in fancy colours, but the map layouts and architecture are the best parts. This must be played.

I only dislike 4 things: the chaingun replacement, which is completely nerfed*, the slimefall texture doesn't tile at all well, the burning corpses don't make any sense, and the PLAYPAL replacement. It works well for the textures - but it should, they are replacements that were made with the new colours in mind. However, it harms many of the game sprites. Come on, it gives the imps gold teeth.

* Horrible gamer slang but I can't think of anything better. It's become a slow-moving, quite inaccurate projectile weapon. You can't snipe with it.

Scythe 2. Version 2

Here's something unexpected. Scythe 2, a full megawad of 32 maps. Lots of fixes: you can use the speedrunning exit on map14, (almost) no more usage of Boom linedefs, etc.

The three new maps finish the Hell episode but are somehow disappointing. I think this is mostly due to lighting. The originals have great variance of dark and light, and are moody and threatening. The new ones are more like fullbright outdoor maps that feel light and airy. Also several texture theme changes. I just don't think it works so well.

Arguably I've been spoiled by Deus Vult and some of Death Destiny's work, though.

Claustrophobia 1024

Only halfway through this one but I figured I'd get it out of the way. Much better than the original. Typically "modern" with huge amounts of texture replacements and filigree detail. Naturally cramped, being a 1024 wad, but not quite as annoying (except for a couple of maps)

Another wad that replaces the PLAYPAL. This one is mostly normal, except for slightly lurid greens and of course like all the others can't resist messing with the blue range and making it washed out. That's right up until you see what happens when you get shot. What the hell? The screen doesn't red-out, it just tints red. You can still see. The whole disorientation of being hurt is gone. I'm hardly even aware I'm taking damage...

Flashback: demo 2

Great, another Flashback release! At this rate we should have the whole lot before 2020!! Haha, only joking. This one has 4 maps:

Recommended, of course. This thing is going to rule if it ever gets done.

The Ultimate NMD

I'll just mention this, it came out a while ago, in fact only a few days after I finally bothered to post about the first two. The third episode was somehow a disappointment. Its gameplay was pretty annoying due to very very low health and ammunition (E3M4 is brutal, there's 5 barons, no resources, and damage sectors everywhere) I guess I just lost patience because I never bothered to finish it. I should maybe try to do it as a mission run with weapons carried forward, instead of each map from a pistol start.

It's worth getting for the fixed earlier episodes though. Now with proper use of unpegging flags!

Confusingly, "ultimate" is just a name - it doesn't have a fourth episode and one isn't planned.

Long Days

Eternal's version of nuts.wad. Has 8888 monsters. Despite that, it's a huge amount of fun, I played it several times a day for about a week after I downloaded it, using various methods of play (faster weapons, hoover mode - which in a map like this basically means infinite ammunition - trying to do it pacifist, etc.)

Very much recommended although I have to say you are required to use a port that can do OpenGL and high resolution textures, or the map will insult you.*

* of course I still played it in software mode. Bugger that!

The Fireworks Factory

Fourth of July map. The theme is very red white and blue. This includes the keys, one of which being recoloured to white, an effect somewhat spoiled by them still appearing yellow on the map*. You use nothing but rockets, hence the name. Anyway, it's pretty good fun. Someone make a November the Fifth version.

* Nevertheless I am still glad PrBoom does not support MBF options lumps. I am certain the potential for abuse is too high. It's already bad enough that people can screw up the cheat codes with Dehacked patches.