UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Discuss anything ZDoom-related that doesn't fall into one of the other categories.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

30. Red, Dead, & Ready (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... ead-ready/

A tough compact map in hellish style, presented by @Quin. Can serve as a good test of skills for passing on the "Nightmare" difficulty without saving. Of the key elements for a successful passage, three can be noted - provoke the baron to attack the imps at the start of the level, pick up a machine gun in the segment with towers, without which it will be difficult to proceed later, avoid a skirmish with a cyberdemon in the finale, which can and can be dealt with, but one mistake will be aggravated by the start the entire map again.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, Nightmare difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~4-5 minutes, not counting unsuccessful attempts.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

168. DBP64: The Vast Silence (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... t-silence/

The sixty-fourth wad from the high-performance team of the DBP forum, dedicated, as the issue suggests, to Doom 64. Consists of 14 maps. While the style as a whole inherits the spirit of the original, the actual gameplay here is rather purely inherent in Doom II. If at first there are still some hints of a similar atmosphere, then the vector changes to a generally typical one for the second part, without any particular bias towards horror and puzzles, the classic run & gun.

In addition to the traditional attention to detail, one can note the presence of monsters that were not in the original game - machine gunners, revenants and archviles. At the same time, there was no place for the mother of demons, and, apparently, neither was the unmaker.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, difficulty "Watch Me Die!" (4/5).
* Complete completion will take ~ 3 hours.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

169. DOOM: Final Desolation (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... esolation/
The wad is an 8 level chapter starring Joan Dark as she fights against the forces of Hell as it invades the UAC bases and gradually takes over. A powerful demon, code-named only DESOLATION, has risen from the depths of Hell and brought with it an army of darkness that is utterly relentless. DoomGuy isn't around. Nobody is around except the demonically possessed corpses of former fellow UAC military... so it's up to Joan Dark to deal with this on her own.
Wad of 8 levels in which you will play on behalf of Joanna Dark, whose prototype was apparently the heroine of Perfect Dark (2000). The surrounding area is completely depopulated, the doomgai has also disappeared somewhere, so there is nowhere to wait for help for the young lady, she can only rely on herself. Vad is designated as vanilla in spirit, but at the same time there was a place for two new monsters, and the old ones can fight, among other things. and with their own kind. You can definitely find custom textures.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, UV difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~ 2 hours.

Contras:

* It was possible to leave three of the eight levels only with the help of noclip. Apparently there is a problem with the triggers, or the switches are located in places that are not particularly logical.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

*. Diablo Monsters (2017 / 2023). Build 52.

https://archive.org/details/diablo_monsters/
viewtopic.php?t=3216 (outdated)

Returning to the topic of Diablo, I would like to briefly dwell on this development. If in IronTusk's Diablo 3D the overall goal was to create a full-fledged TC, which ultimately ended with a rather ambiguous result, then in this case the author emphasized two points - monsters and weapons, extremely close to the original, which can theoretically be combined with any wad where no custom content. The result is quite interesting, but at the moment there are a couple of serious caveats:

- balance is lame on "both legs", regardless of the chosen difficulty.
- the work, apparently, is not compatible with GzDoom, you will need ZDoom, the last build of which was released in 2016.

To start, just drag the files onto zdoom.exe and make sure that doom2.wad is nearby.

Settings and features:

* ZDoom 2.8.1, UV difficulty.
* There is a player in the inventory that allows you to switch between different tracks.
* Also, when starting each new level from scratch, it is possible to call on various party members for help, ranging from an archer to a barbarian.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

170. Operation: MDK (2023).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... ed-282024/

A wad of 15 compact maps, with a small number of enemies and a large amount of custom content, inspired by various works of the era of the nineties and early noughties. There is a plot exist that, once again, plays out the events of the original Doom in its own way.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, difficulty "Hard" (3/3).
* Complete completion will take ~ 40 minutes.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

31. Outpost 13 (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... utpost-13/

A short map, completed within 15 minutes, notable for its extreme, pixel perfect level of attention to detail, and at the same time being the first work of the author for Doom, who previously specialized in Duke Nukem 3D. In recent years, the level of detail and elaboration of small subtleties, not so much on individual cards, but on wads, has increased significantly, but the height reached in this case is still much rarer.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, UV difficulty.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

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171. Crate Expectations (2024). Build RC1.

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... ectations/

A set of 32 (2 secret) relatively compact levels, with a predominance of high difficulty. At first there is some variation in the theme and style of the levels, ranging from typical man-made locations to various spaces with a spirit of surrealism, from elaboration of the smallest details due to default textures to walls drawn by hand in a black and white palette.

Somewhere in the middle the balance comes to naught and the previously consistent, more or less understandable structure of the levels comes down to quite chaotically concocted maps with the same chaotic, tough skirmishes, as a result almost the entire second part of the wad, with the exception of individual maps closer to the final, is not expressive and significantly inferior to the first.

As for the boxes themselves (crates). They are divided into two types. Some disappear when you shoot them, others explode and can be reactivated in more than a few seconds.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, UV difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~ 6 hours.

Pros:

+ M4 - "Barely Door".
+ M5 - "Firing Squad".
+ M6 - "Bludgeonator 6:66".
+ M7 - "I am the one who Xornox".
++ M9 - "Caco Accessible".
+ M13 - "Sleep Paralysis".
++ M15 - "Drawing Conclusions".
+ M24 - "Heatwave".
+ M25 - "Panic Attack".
+ M27 - "Wood".
+ M28 - "Exit Land".
+ M30 - "Fat and Furious".
+ An enemy in the form of a soda machine on one of the levels.

Secret levels.

M15 -> M31. Towards the end you will notice a not very noticeable door.
M31 -> M32. There is an inconspicuous switch in the northeast of the map. In order to open the path to the teleport itself, you need to somehow solve a series of puzzles, which I didn’t understand. However, M32 is unremarkable, just another hastily assembled carnage map.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

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172. Take A Shower (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... -a-shower/

A short-lived four-map wad, that plays on the theme of liminal spaces and dreams associated with them. The difficulty can be rated as low.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, UV difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~ 10 minutes.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

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173. Alphabet Doom (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... -removing/

There are 32 levels (2 secret), each of which is either structurally designed in the form of a particular letter of the English alphabet, or in one way or another somehow reflects the essence of the name for the corresponding letter. The levels are mostly compact and short, with difficulty ranging from easy to hard.
Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.11.3a, UV difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~ 4 hours.

Secret levels.

M15 -> M31. Climbing into the tower, you will notice a door that requires a yellow key. If you go outside and jump off the tower from one of the ledges, you can pick one up.
M31 -> M32. Located next to the main exit. You need to jump onto the curb nearby and go around the section.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

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174. DoomGPT (2023 / 2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... oject-v12/
The future is now. Bots are taking people's jobs, and us Doom mappers are no exception. Today, we are doing as our AI overlords say. Our beloved Doom II is too outdated, but leave it to Artificial Intelligence to re-imagine it! Water on the ceiling? Sure. Yellow key card locked behind a yellow door? Done. This is DoomGPT.

We were messing around with ChatGPT and found a few prompts that generate amazingly detailed Doom map descriptions, so an idea was born - a megawad where every map is directed by ChatGPT. Every chaotic idea it provided, we brought to life.
Can neural networks dream of their own wads for Doom? Today we can give a clear answer - yes. A group of authors came together to, with the input and guidance of ChatGPT, come up with detailed formulations of what a particular map should look like, ranging from the architecture of a specific room to the location of keys and secrets. The result was a rather interesting project, consisting of 32 levels (2 secret). The difficulty increases gradually, the number of enemies varies, from a small number to a value of over 700 on M29, which also applies to the scale of the maps and their elaboration. There are simple and uncomplicated ones, and there are those where you have to wander around or think about how to cope with a tough skirmish in a small space, or, conversely, defeat a horde of monsters.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.12.1, UV difficulty.
* During the passage you will face three bosses.
* Complete completion will take ~ 7-7,5 hours.

Secret levels.

M15 -> M31. After about halfway through the level you can find two fairly noticeable switches and leave M15 without completing it.
M31 -> M32.

Pros:

+ M31, M32. Quite unusually played levels in the style of Wolfenstein.
+ M17.
+ M23.
+ M26. A map built according to non-human logic.
+ M28. A combination of mysticism, strange architecture and surrealism.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

175. Terror Signal (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... des-mbf21/

A wad of two episodes and 17 relatively short but tough levels (2 secret + 1 slot occupied by the epilogue), notable for the presence of three redesigned weapons, three modified enemies and five more types of new ones, two of which are bosses. So the pistol now fires in long bursts, the plasma gun can charge during the process, after which it begins to cause more damage over a larger area, the chainsaw can cause the effect of temporarily stopping a particular monster. As for the roster of enemies. I will briefly dwell only on the main ones. The Baron of Hell now throws two fireballs, there are aggressive, black gargoyles and a new subspecies of lost souls that deal more significant damage and explode when destroyed. In the context of bosses, it will be possible to meet with a ghostly mage and a demon who arrived from Doom 64, but the paths have been modified in the direction of greater destructive power.
Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.12.1, UV difficulty.
* Monsters on M30 seem to spawn endlessly.
* Complete completion will require ~ 5,5 hours.

Secret levels.

M3 -> M31. You'll have to do a rocket jump. Nearby you can find an invulnerability guarded by an archvile.
M9 -> M32. When you pass a certain area on the map, a trigger will go off and the area where Commander Keen is located will open for a second. You need to find four in the total mass, after which a section will open at the end of the level, where there will be a switch. Apparently, it should open the passage to the secret exit, but either I missed something, or in my case the trigger did not work - I used noclip.

Pros:

+ Successfully converted plasma gun.
+ Interestingly designed boss battles.
+ M31 - "Varied Recollections". Man-made base, gothic structural elements, corridor without textures. On this map, which directly reflects its name, everything is mixed into a single, strange whole. The ending contains a reference to "Space Invaders" (1978).
+ M5 - "Power Struggle".
+ M9 - "Revenant Reassembly Program".
+ M12 - "Skullkrusher". A fortress with many traps, made in the gothic style.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

176. Alchemist's Masterpack (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... s-46-maps/

About 10,5 years ago I wrote a spontaneous and, initially, not very informative note, which was subsequently moved to the very beginning of this topic. In a sense, it served as a harbinger of the subsequent, long-lasting direction. Today, there is another spontaneous reason to return to what is known to the general public as "Master Levels for Doom II" (1995).

A week ago, a guy under nickname elf-alchemist posted an updated release, which, unlike the original, turned out to be much closer to the original concept, both conceptually and technically.

As a result, initially many levels literally turned out to be bits and pieces from full-fledged planned episodes, and contact from id Software, apparently, was established in a hurry. In particular, we can separately note the set authored by John W. Anderson, which was supposed to ultimately consist of 9 levels and play on Dante Alighieri's "The Divine Comedy", which I once talked about earlier, when reviewing one of the wads. The release included 5, without any structural component. Here this aspect was taken to its logical conclusion.
The 'Master Levels for Doom II' were by far the lowest quality official release by id Software in it's classic days.

In short, it is a grab-bag collection of various unstructured, unorganized WAD files, all made by various map authors with a wide variety of styles and design conventions.

Most of the authors involved in the project, made these maps with the intention of them being a part of larger episode or campaign overarching a certain theme even before being contacted by id Software for this project of theirs. John W. Anderson, for example, directing a series of 9 total levels themed around the first third of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Inferno.

However, not all maps made by these authors were accepted by id Software, being later released freely by their creators after the fact, with some of them even continuing their work further, beyond the original submitted level sets.

With all this in mind, why should anyone play the works of these masters in their original amorphous format? Why should we accept the way things are? Why should we allow people to miss out on the great works of these authors just because the pieces are all over the place? Why should we be holden by the shackles of someone else's bad decisions? Why are we not allowed to have fun with some of the best level designers of 1995?

This script fixes that and much more, by taking everything made by the authors past, present and future to the original Master Levels release and bringing it together in a single WAD file for your enjoyment. All 45 relevant (plus 1 bonus) map are now fully playable as 5 separate, organized episodes. And with this, you can now properly enjoy the works of Doom's early great authors, some of early Doom's most timeless work.
Otherwise, the result was a wad of five full-fledged episodes and 45+1 maps. The first episode, "Inferno" (for context, see https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Inferno_(series)), plays on the above themes.

Despite the changed formula over the years, my attitude towards "Master Levels" has not fundamentally changed - "TEETH" and "Bad Dream" remained my personal favorites, and it was also interesting to see the full compilation of the "Inferno" episode. For this reason, I limited my excursion to the passage of only the first episode.

Some of the compact levels may still look fresh indirectly, but that's about it, and the "Titan" episode, with its penchant for huge spaces and large numbers of monsters, feels tame by both today's and 1995 standards.

Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.12.1, UV difficulty.
* There are some specifics to the launch, details can be found here.
* On E1M7 - "Vesperas" I did not find how to pick up the yellow key without noclip. It seems impossible to perform a rocket jump, no switches were found that would raise the platform and not a single teleport leads to the desired segment.
* E1M9 - "Waters of Lethe", according to the wiki, is listed as unfinished, but there is a map in this set. To complete the episode it is not necessary to explore the entire map and its many secrets, just find the way to the center.
* Completing E1 will take ~ 2 hours.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

177. Realm of Chaos: 25th Anniv. Edition (2021 / 2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... n-idgames/
As far as classic '90s megawads are concerned, there are a few key monoliths which we still think back on today - Icarus, Requiem, and the Memento Moris chief among them. But dig a little deeper, and you may just discover some hidden gems...

On Halloween night of 1996, Realm of Chaos hit the scene, a megawad developed by TMT. And no, that's not a typo - they're The Macintosh Team! A mere seven Mac users, given a mere six months, managed to assemble an entire 32-map megawad. It flew under the radar for most, not being as Triple-A as the above-mentioned megawads and not pulling off many complicated puzzles or mapping magic. But in its place, Realm of Chaos distinguishes itself with a prevailing focus on straight-up combat, often in quick and concentrated levels. There's plenty of creative maps and fun action to be had in this hidden classic, and I think it deserves its time in the limelight.
A wad of 32 levels, which act as a remaster of the wad of the same name, released at the end of October 1996. A characteristic feature of this was the fact that people calling themselves "TMT" - "The Macintosh Team" (not to be confused with "TNT"), that is, initially users of the then Apple products, had a hand in its creation. According to the author, at the time of release, their work remained in the shadow of more high-profile works, three of which are mentioned in the quote, as a result of which one of the goals of developing the remaster was an attempt to illuminate it a little more.

As for the wad itself, the final version of which was presented to the public about ten days ago, not much can be said about it. The structure of the levels is generally typical for the works of those years. On average, the architecture is not particularly intricate, as a rule, relatively small locations and few enemies, or a large number of them, destroyed without any problems, not counting the last third in places. It moves towards some experiments, especially characteristic of many modern wads, where such a part is quite regularly filled with extensive and complex maps. There are custom textures, expressed in particular by splashes of blue, which is not so common.

By the way. A sequel, "Realm of Chaos 2: The Revenge of '96", is currently in development.
Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.12.1, UV difficulty.
* M30, apparently, was not designed for mouse look enabled. As a result, the map can be completed in just a few seconds. On the other hand, once again dealing with an "annoying boss", albeit this time multiplied, is not particularly interesting.
* Complete completion will require ~ 7 hours.

Secret levels.

M15 -> M31. At the very beginning you will notice several switches. Their work is lined up in a chain. Completing the entire chain will allow you to get a map of the level, from which it will become clear where to look for the secret exit.
M31 -> M32. Found near the main exit, there is a ladder in the lava area.

Pros:

+ M7 - "Deathstay".
+ M11 - "Mar Starport".
+ M15 - "Infestation".
+ M32 - "Nowhere to Hide".
+ M18 - "Dead Radio".

Contras:

? M26 - "Above and Below". I couldn’t find a way to get up if I went down or fell from the platforms. It is possible that the entire level will need to be started over again if it happened before a certain point.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

178. Alpha Centauri (2020 / 2023).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... n-idgames/

Since Doom's release, there have been numerous attempts to recreate "the original concept", partly based on the famous publication by Tom Hall and the alpha version of the game, but overall most of them are difficult to call anything noteworthy, probably not least due to the lack of a clear vision. A rather interesting exception to this phenomenon was this wad of nine levels, which has its own spirit, but a large number of textures from the earliest versions.

The locations are purely man-made, intricate bases with many corridors of varying degrees of compactness. The difficulty, although the number of enemies on average is around 150, is tough, especially due to clashes with barons, archvils and cyberdemons separately, in small rooms.
Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.12.1, UV difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~ 4 hours.

Pros:

+ Unique surroundings.
+ M4 - "Forgotten colony".

Contras:

? M7 - "Quarantine". The script that opens access to the elevator at the end of the level appears to be broken.
- M8 - "Toliman Fading". I haven’t figured out how to get the yellow key. Apparently the required switch is too hidden.
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Re: UnknDoomer's corner of ultra silence - Short WAD Reviews / Longplays / Hints

Post by UnknDoomer »

179. Duality (2024).

https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/1 ... -mini-wad/

The 5-level wad, is notable, in addition to its sulfur-raspberry and acidic tones, for its serious attention to small details, that is, read aesthetics, which is not so common. Last but not least, this aspect is brought to a high level due to custom textures. Other features include a forced start with a pistol at the beginning of each new level and the fact that the number of enmies is limited to 100 for each.
Settings and features:

* GzDoom 4.12.1, UV difficulty.
* Complete completion will take ~ 1,5-2 hours.

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