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H!Zone for ZDoom (alternate version)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:10 am
by NightFright
I played through all the episodes in the last few days and realized that an all-new release with a few fixes to guarantee full playability is needed.
Therefore, I have made a new compilation of the H!Zone levels:

H!Zone for ZDoom v1.1 (PK3, 4.2 MB)

> ZDoom PK3 file structure
> Levels separated into single map wads
> MAPINFO added (all episodes available via ingame menu, level names based on episode name)
> TEXTURES lump added for proper support of custom textures
> Fix for Iron Lich replacement not shown in GZDoom (HEAD* lumps renamed to LICH*)
> Reset health and inventory when entering next level for multiplayer episodes (10-12)
> Custom TITLE and M_HTIC lumps added
> Map fixes:
- E1M2: Upper texture (PANELING) added for line #1121
- E1M4: Rendering of center metal bar at level start fixed (lines #1298-1301 redone)
- E1M9: Several Morph Ovum items (things #231, 236, 237, 241) flagged MP only
- E3M9: Entering the pool in the final area now ends the level (line #548 added)
- E4M6: Green key now also appears on easy skill (duplicate yellow key [thing #74] changed)
- E4M8: Yellow door cannot be opened from the outside by monsters any more (line #39 blocks monsters)
- E6M3: Blue key was not reachable, therefore changed thing #322 (Quartz Flask) in front of blue key door to Wings of Wrath (so you can now fly all the way back to the blue key and get it from the pedestal)
- E6M7: No blue access door in spite of blue key being present, therefore changed lines #1282-1301 to "D1 Door Blue Key" and flagged lines #1285/1289/1293/1297/1301 as monster blocking
> Level transition/episode ending fixes (MAPINFO):
- E1M3: Secret exit now leads to E1M9 while E1M7 secret exit behaves like normal exit
- E1M8: Killing D'sparil now ends the level (specialaction_exitlevel)
- E2M9: Now loaded after E2M4 (since there is no secret exit in this episode)
- E8M8: Killing Iron Liches now reveals switch for exit (dsparilspecial changed to ironlichspecial)
- E9M8: Killing Minotaurs now reveals exit (dsparilspecial changed to minotaurspecial)

While playing through the maps, I noticed a few mistakes, some of them being actual showstoppers which required me to edit the maps via SLADE. Comments about the changes in detail:

This should now be fully playable and completable, even the multiplayer episodes (the first three ep.11 maps even have monsters in SP, if you really need to check it out). Main goal was to eliminate showstoppers, so I did not fix badly aligned textures, alter music or skies, sprites or anything else. You are supposed to experience it as close to the original thing as possible with this. Even though this edition is not based on AstroCreep's version at all, I have decided to credit him in the included readme since he was the one that motivated me to do this, and hopefully the result is something that is pleasant for everyone. I was surprised about the quality of the episodes in general, especially episodes 5-8 are quite sophisticated and challenging due to their huge numbers of monsters. The E8M8 boss fight might be the most excessive one I have ever encountered in any Heretic wad, with about a dozen D'sparils, Minotaurs etc. It got pretty messy, but it's doable. E8M7 also has an interesting Descent-style map completely based on using Wings of Wrath the entire time. A pity I couldn't track down the authors of these maps, would have been interesting to see who made this and if there is any background story to understand the purpose of some design decisions.

Long story short, if you haven't already, you should check this out now.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:05 pm
by AstroCreep
Nice. Glad you’re fixing this up all nice lol. I kinda gave up on zdoom modding due to gzdoom being too sexy for my computer lol.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:45 am
by Gez
I'm pretty sure in Northern Mine the exit to the secret level is supposed to be in M3. If you find the secret in the room where you open the normal exit, you can get wings of wrath that let you go in the fires of the ankh. There eventually you can trigger an exit (they may be set as having to be activated rather than crossed). The start of E1M4 looks just like the regular exit for E1M3; and after taking a quick look at E1M6, where the vanilla secret exit is, there doesn't seem to be two separate exits here. I would consider that a show-stopper. E1M9 has several unreachable items (seem to be at deathmatch starts, should probably get the relevant flag not to appear in SP) and broken secrets (seem to require coop so that other players can morph you into chickens -- or you can crouch, since it's ZDoom).

Also E1M2 lacks a upper texture in the elevator next to the maulotaur. The entire setup is kinda weird, with the door opening all the way to the ceiling, and the elevator climbing far above the level of the upper floor so if you don't leave it while it moves you get raised into HOMland and then bump your head on the ceiling, but making this sane is probably out of scope for your showstopper-only fixes.

Version 1.1 released

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:24 am
by NightFright
You make some compelling arguments there, enough to release a new version with some changes.

Changelog v1.1 (Nov 7, 2019):
> MAPINFO: E1M3 secret exit now leads to E1M9 while E1M7 secret exit behaves like normal exit
> Map fixes:
- E1M2: Lift special for line #1121 removed again (lift is activated differently); upper texture (PANELING) added for line #1121
- E1M9: Several Morph Ovum items (things #231, 236, 237, 241) flagged MP only

There's still a secret exit in E1M7 as well, so since it's stupid to have two exits leading to the same level, I have basically turned the secret exit in E1M7 into a "dummy", leading to E1M8 anyway. I have also figured out that the "green key lift" next to the bar in E1M2 is actually supposed to be activated by pushing the bar next to the lift, so I removed the possibility again to just lower it by pushing against the wall. It's still a weird and stupid mechanism, but that's the way it was obviously intended, so I can't mess with that.

Thanks a lot for the input, Gez! Highly appreciated.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:42 am
by Tyr
Hello NightFright!

Thank you that you created this patch/mod for H!Zone.
I use GZdoom 4.4.2

Completed Episode 1-3.
Now i started with Episode 4 (let's say the first 4 maps WITH cheating, because it's impossible - try it)
Not working door/piston triggers or switches that when activated trap yourself in or "map 1 - featuring the not reachable armbrust".
They're all horrible showstoppers...are they not?

Hoping and praying that somebody have the mood to fix the maps. thanks in advance.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:52 pm
by NightFright
All maps were completable last time I tried it. If they are not, GZD broke some functionality. There are a few maps that are a mess, but Youtube videos can get you through. And I think the crossbow not being reachable in E4M1 is intentional. A dick move by the map designer, but you get the weapon in the next level. You cannot always apply common sense assumptions to these maps, some are really dickish.

I will try ep.4 again with the most recent GZD build to check for myself what's going on.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:12 pm
by Tyr
Thanks for your fast response!

I was used to invisible floors above a pool of lava, but i was not used to E4M2 invisible timed trap triggers. If found out it was my fault, this was no bug.

Forget switches... you only have to stand on a specific point to trigger/open a piston/wall.
E4M3 or 4: If you see a switch in a small room...don't dare to push it - it will trap you.
Quicksave and Reload....thats the gameplay at the moment.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:23 am
by NightFright
There were really a few maps that couldn't be finished without fixes, but those have been taken care of. And I really tried hard to play through these levels without any edits first and only then took a look at them in the editor to check if there was anything I had missed. The idea was to temper with the maps as little as possible.

Some mistakes were obvious, like that wrong yellow key in E4M6, for others I had to improvise (like adding Wings of Wrath in E6M3 - hard to tell if that's what the author intended, but it works). In general, H!Zone is one of the better Wizardworks addons. Those for Doom, Duke3D, Quake had absolutely horrible levels which could have been done better with a random map generator even.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:49 am
by Tyr
There is also a 13th BONUS Episode (Studies) only 5 maps.
Which i personally load seperatly a the moment.

If you are making an overhaul already ...maybe it could be a good idea to include this bonus episode so thats a complete pack.
Thanks for looking at the problems. JA (Yes) H!Zone is the best WizardWorks Shovelware Addon judged from all their work i have seen/played so far.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:26 am
by NightFright
Studies.wad is one of many downloaded user wads that were placed on the H!Zone disc. As it was not made by Wizardworks, it cannot be included in this compilation. Anyway, since it is a common non-commercial episode, you can obtain it easily from online archives.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:46 pm
by DemonSlayer
NightFright wrote:Here's a version with unaltered statusbar. I am sure most people prefer that.

H!Zone with original statusbar (PK7, 1.4 MB)

- Uses original Heretic statusbar (alternate graphics removed)
- MAPINFO: H!Zone episode titles added
- MAPINFO: Return to title screen after last level of each episode (instead of directly continuing to the next episode)
- MAPINFO: Level names slightly changed from "H!Zone x-x" to "H!Zone ExMx"
- GAMEINFO added

Hope you don't mind these edits. In general, great work and thanks for providing it. I would have never even looked for this!

Hello. I am working on getting my Heretic collection setup and if you are able to please attach a link where I can download your version.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:32 am
by NightFright
It's right there, first post on the second page. If you are looking for the version of the quoted post, it's gone since it's outdated.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:21 am
by SiFi270
I'm not sure if all episodes are supposed to use the sprite replacements. Because without them, the first map of Dream Worlds is a volcanic area with stalagmites and stalactites, but the new sprites change those to wooden stools, trees with snow on their branches, and floating snowballs. I'm not sure how many maps this is the case for, and I wouldn't blame anyone who didn't want to comb through every single one to find out. If I could only get the original DOS version working, there's a chance I could check the IWAD after loading each episode to see if the graphics are always replaced, but it wouldn't surprise me if Simply Silly were lazy enough to do it that way without checking to see if it actually worked.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:24 am
by NightFright
As far as I know, the original release came as single episodes which all replaced ep.3. This is the first time all episodes are bundled. If some of them did not contain sprite replacements, that's something I have not taken into account.

Just weird I did not notice this while playing through the episodes, then. Need to see again how it is done in this pack vs the originals.

OK, it seems sprites, flats and textures were in separate wads. That means it might be that the Sillysoft loader probably only loaded the necessary extra wads if the episode needed them. Flats and textures wouldn't collide with anything since they have names different from standard Heretic patches, but the sprites CAN collide. It won't matter much if the monsters are everywhere (even if it's weird if the water monsters are outside of water), but the three props sprites might indeed look weird in some places. This might require some hack.

H!Zone v1.2

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:40 am
by NightFright
I have figured out that the ice theme is only used in the first episode, so it is basically excluded that the related sprites (snow-covered tree, snowball) are used anywhere else. Same goes for the bar stool since there is only one inn in the entire pack (E1M2). Quick playtesting also revealed that in pretty much any episode other than the first, the stool is used in the wrong way. Therefore, I have changed it so that the edited stalagmites/stalagtites only appear in E1M2 and E1M9. At the same time, I finally found a solution for the half-broken lift in E1M2 which would "raise you into HOMland" (quote Gez) if you did not get off before it reaches the ceiling (potential showstopper). ZScript is a wonderful thing!

H!Zone for ZDoom v1.2 (PK3, 4.2 MB)

Changelog v1.2 (Oct 12, 2020)
> E1M2/E1M9: STCS/STGL/STGS replacement sprites (snowball/snowtree/chair) only used here
> E1M2: Fixed green key lift (sector #230) raising too high
> Added LANGUAGE lump for customized Iron Lich/Undead Warrior obituaries
> MAPINFO: Some code optimizations
> Patches relocated into "patches" subdir instead of "textures"