[Doom] SWFORT.WAD - E2M1 UV Maxdemo





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Published on Aug 14, 2012

Pwad: Swfort.wad
Author: Unknown
Date: 22nd June 1994
Map: e2m1
Category: UV Maxdemo
Executable: Doom.exe
Time: 7:25

This is pretty decent for an unknown level with an unknown author from 1994. You start outside a large castle/fort, apparently inaccessible on the far side of an enormous moat. After finding your way in, you'll find yourself given a series of challenges and obstacles to overcome, all quite varied and interesting, and all very playable. That sequence at the start for instance - where you're inside a large cavern climbing extremely thin staircases hugging the walls - could have been a nightmare but is actually quite forgiving of the player. There's always a way out of the lava, you can't get trapped, and the paths are just wide enough where they need to be so the walls won't bump you off. And it shows the author's skill in layout - the cavern's really a small space but it's still very easy to get turned around and lost in it.

That layout skill is what holds all the disparate areas and themes inside the fort together. You'll find yourself traversing the interior in a counterclockwise path, and every area has some role to play in getting you to your ultimate goal. Even that missing bridge at the start of the level, which seemed to be there just to taunt you, eventually becomes part of your route to the exit. The monster count is decent, with a few surprising ramp ups in store. Probably the worst you could say about the level is typified by that missing bridge at the start - the obvious route forward is almost never the real route forward. So sometimes you've got to explore very closely to find out where you're going next. Also the nodebuilder used on this level is a little buggy, not quite up to the task of handling such a large space, and so there's parts of the level where projectile weapons impact on empty air. Amusingly, this includes the fist - you can see a bit at 5:06 where a couple of swings of mine hurt the air, rather than the demon I'm trying to hit.

So where did this level come from? Here's all I've been able to find out. Judging from the filename, and the fact that the letters SW are embedded in the map, I'm going to guess those are the author's initials. And from a listing I found of a PC Zone coverdisc from 1994, this was apparently an entrant in the PC Zone Doom design competition. And it was good enough to be one of apparently three runners up (the other two are called MELTDOWN and PSYCHO, I haven't played either). Which would explain why this was on my April 1995 PC Zone coverdisc, and I'm starting to get an idea of where all the other levels on that disc that aren't on /idgames might have come from originally. So putting all that together, the level author was designing in mid 1994, has the initials SW, and is probably British. If this rings any bells with anyone, let me know :)

Download from /idgames here: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/inde...
Video captured using prboom-plus


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