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Doom II: Gulph UV max in 9:43 and UV speed in 0:05

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Published on Apr 6, 2012

WAD Title: Gulph
Filename: GULPH.WAD, GULPHGF.WAD and GULPHSP.WAD
Level(s): MAP01
Author: Avery D. Andrews
Year: 1995
URL: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?id=...

Demo Category: UV max and UV speed
Time: 9:43 (UV max); 0:05 (UV speed; starts at 9:54)
Player: Eric "The Green Herring" Baker
Recorded With: Doom2.exe v1.9
Recorded On: April 2, 2012
Video Recorded With: DOSBox 0.74

Demo Download: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6650582/GLPH-...

This 1995 WAD is one of the many "my house" WADs that were popular to make back in the day. This one, however, has more effort put into it than others. There are many new graphics, albeit crude ones, that add to the feeling that this is a /house/ and not a base that happens to be shaped like one; it has breakable windows with an appropriate sound effect; and it even simulates 3D using teleports and a clever illusion. The gameplay is also interesting at times; at one point, you must grab the red key off of a window as the floor collapses into lava around you, and if you miss, there's an alternate method to get it that's hinted at in the text file.

If you visit the DSDA, you may recall that j4rio, who suggested this level, maxed it in 15:35. I didn't watch his demo before starting work on mine, and sure enough, my route's completely different from his. The most significant difference, however, is how we skip a key. Once he gets the blue key, j4rio runs down to the backyard and glides through the gap left by one of the blue bars, which takes him a little over a /full minute/ to do. When asked by vdgg why he didn't get the yellow key earlier, he said that because it's behind a red key door, it would require him to run around the entire level twice, before ever even fighting the cyberdemons.

There's a funny thing about that, and it's that there /is/ a way to get the yellow key without the red key. In the Doom engine, there's a bug where locked doors that are locked on only one side can be opened from the locked side by a monster if they're fast enough in proportion to its thickness, exploited in speed demos of Doom II MAP27. As it just so happens, the red key door in Gulph is thin enough that an imp can open it from the locked side! But how do you get him to do it? Well, the demon in front of him is flagged as deaf, but the imp himself isn't, so he wakes up when you open fire in that area. If you wait in the bedroom nearest the red door, the imp will open it trying to get to you, then you can kill both monsters, rush in, and grab all the stuff you need, including the yellow key and all the cells in the bathroom.

Ultimately, I crushed his record by almost 6:00, using a much more optimal route and a trick that he could've found if he spent a little more time experimenting. To be fair, though, until I found out about it, I used a more elaborate version of the trick, and only discovered how to make what I once thought was a miracle happen at will during recording. Still, though, the reason I chose Gulph for my Doom II collection over the WAD I originally intended to do was because of how unoptimized j4rio's demo was.

That's not the only problem, though. For some reason, despite the WAD being compatible with doom2.exe, he decided to use -complevel 9, which emulates the source port Boom, instead of the proper -complevel 2 for Doom II v1.9. In addition, he had Extended Demo Format toggled on, which would theoretically record all the parameters needed for the demo to be properly loaded with one click... but somehow, he managed to record the demo with /only/ the level WAD loaded. So if you have it toggled on and you play his demo, the level itself will be loaded, but not the graphics WADs, resulting in a sea of HOMs and missing flats. I don't know if he merged all the WADs into one or if he played the map like this, as his text file explains little about either the WAD or his demo, but either way, if he was going to do that, he could've at least turned that feature off!

Previous exits included 10:55, 10:18, and 10:08. My target times were 10:20 and 10:10 or less before I found the imp trick. Oh, and just for fun, I also show off the intended way to get that key, unlike the previous max demo. Note that there are still many errors in this one; the ending is probably the worst part of the demo, where I run out of cells thanks to not exactly two-hitting the cyberdemons. A few further days of recording, however, produced no further results, and I decided I didn't want to wait on playing the next WAD for my Doom II demo collection. Maybe some day, I'll return to this WAD and break 9:35.

As for UV speed? Well, the exit is hidden within the grass in the backyard, and switches hidden in the floor can be activated at any time as long as you're in range. Whoops! Previous exits were 0:08, 0:07, and 0:06. Obviously, a level with a shortcut this easy needs an "alternate route" run as well, but perhaps I'll record it some other time.

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