I was recently reminded of Mr. Chris's E2 (Stoned, Iconic, Abyssus, Centrum, Maledictio, Tormentum) and wondered what had happened with it. It doesn't seem to have been finished although I did find an E2M8 and a couple of others...
Cyberdance (aka e2boss01.wad) is an E2M8 replacement. Whether or not it is part of Mr. Chris's E2 is not known. The text file doesn't mention it's part of the series, anyway. It is billed as being more challenging than the original.
- it is smaller and more detailed,
- there are more monsters, of all kinds, running about,
- the demon face pillars have monsters on top of them, and the central building has monsters in cages on the sides, and
- you can run freely in and out of the central building.
I don't agree that it's harder than the original. For one thing, the central building in which you start is completely safe due to monster blocking lines. Evidently the author intends that you step out and run around in the open courtyard outside (and so do I, hiding in the middle is boring!) Also, this version gives you chaingun and shotgun as well as rocket launcher, and full ammo for all. The original gives you slightly more health, though, and of course, there are only lost souls to which to pay attention.
This map was fun and would probably be good for doing demos. Don't forget if you want 100% kills you have to deal with everything else first as the level ends when the cyberdemon dies (although this is unlikely to happen by accident)
The second of Mr. Chris's maps is a small Doom2 techbase-style map that is completely unsurprising if you are familiar with the author's previous work. A progression of small areas, each one subdivided by lots of partition walls with windows in them, and various computer wall panels and consoles, each area more or less disjoint from the rest.
Monster resistance is numerous but fairly light, with a few larger monsters in the crowd of zombies, imps, and demons. There are a small number of secrets, which are either obvious if you're familiar with the author's style, or hidden behind unmarked walls or in unlikely places.
There is a monster teleporter trap at the end of the map that could use some work. It goes off when you pick up the last two keys (which are both together - why bother with two?) It takes too long to go off and one of its exit points requires taking a detour away from your route back to the map exit. It is quite illogical. Although, there is a teleporter next to the keys. If you were forced to use that, the trap would make sense, but you are not. Come to think of it there is another (hidden) teleporter behind a switch just before the exit area, which is also inexplicable. Maybe he just makes it up as he goes along, I don't know.
Not great but enjoyable enough for a run or two.
The third, Edgy, is like a larger version of Uncertain Doom, obviously the author's signature architectural style but in the "hell castle" theme (green stone, wood etc.) It replaces Doom2 MAP20 for some reason.
This map has well over 700 monsters, most of which exist in several large teleporter traps that go off at various points. You could guess most of them but one is completely inexplicable, being triggered by walking towards two switches in the library in the easternmost area of the map, but teleporting most of its monsters not around the player but into areas on the way back to the start. The others were more predictably placed (think keys, and I was not surprised when I walked onto the first chapel's pulpit - yes there are two chapels, isn't one enough? - and the monsters started teleporting in)
Despite the monster count, the map isn't all that hard, but it is quite top-heavy. The most obvious case is that once you have the blue key and are through the door into the second half of the map, you can always retreat back into the now-empty part 1, and the monsters won't come down the steep stairs up to the blue door so you can just go shoot rockets at the crowds as they teleport. This kind of trivialises much of the second half of the map. Earlier on, especially in working your way to the aforementioned library, you're fairly up against it and must keep a close eye on your health.
The secrets are better this time, only one doesn't have any sort of clue to its existence. I recall one small bug, probably more due to the vagaries of Doom's thing clipping than anything else, but in the courtyard with the exit sign at the west end of the map, you can force your way behind the blood fountain and for some reason I couldn't get back out again.
In summary, a decent and playable map, with a few questionable parts. But perhaps a few bits of unconventionality and curious design decisions are a good thing - at the very least they give you something to wonder about...