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Ultimate Doom: DETHSTAR.WAD UV max in 2:18

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Published on May 5, 2010

WAD Title: DETHSTAR.WAD
Filename: DETHSTAR.WAD
Level(s): E2M1
Author: Jackson Harvey
Year: 1994
URL: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/inde...

Demo Category: UV max (100% Kills and Secrets; "Ultra-Violence" skill)
Time: 2:18
Player: Eric "The Green Herring" Baker
Recorded With: Ultimate Doom.exe v1.9
Recorded On: March 10, 2010
Video Recorded With: DOSBox 0.73

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

This is one of the scant few levels in the idgames/ archive that cannot be found on the HTML frontend... because it's in an .ARJ file, a format that was popular among early 90s networks for its ability to split an archive into volumes (vastly superior to that of its competitior, PKZIP), which the frontend isn't programmed to recognize. Considering that very few people use the ARJ format anymore, I can understand why. As a result, however, there are a few levels, such as this one, which can only be found if you access the idgames/ FTP archives directly.

[UPDATE (June 17, 2015): The ARJ has since been converted to ZIP and can now be found on the HTML frontend, with the WAD download URL updated accordingly. The above paragraph is kept for historical reasons.]

This early level -- early enough that the author specifically notes that it's an entirely original level and not a hack of an IWAD level (which, in the earliest days of modding, was the only way you could make new levels) -- starts you off in a star-shaped room that appears to be impossible to escape from... at first. Once you've made it past that interesting puzzle, you progress through a regular techbase, and then a subverted one, both with incredibly simplistic design. The WAD is not without its bugs: Early on, you encounter a large cluster of foes who are placed so close together that they overlap, and are thus immobilized. However, there are some neat ideas here and there, and puzzles which can be figured out in a short amount of time. Overall, while it's not particularly impressive, it's a neat look back in time to 1994.

When playing the level max-style, some of the monsters in the slalom room and the final area will teleport away, necessitating a return to the first room. Setting off E2M9-style infighting in the red key room does, of course, take some luck, but it pays off because it lets you punch out the baron without fear of retaliation. Also, it's possible to take out /all/ of the bunched-up enemies in the blue room with a single BFG blast, but you have to be standing at the right distance and angle to pull it off. My previous recorded exit times were 2:42, 2:31, and 2:23.

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