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Published on Jun 22, 2013
Pwad: Toughguy.wad Author: Rick Farmer Date: 26th June 1994 Map: e1m1 Category: UV Maxdemo Executable: Doom.exe Time: 1:22
This is not a great level, but Rick is at least trying to do something novel here. In fact this may be one of the first ever uses of the teleporter to simulate a 3D room-over-room effect.
You can spot it fairly clearly in the level. Right at the start, when I run up the stairs to the left, Rick wants to simulate a bridge crossing the passage the player began in. And so you teleport from one side of the bridge to the other, neatly skipping the gap the Doom engine can't allow. The player can still see and hear the teleportation effect, but Rick supplied a batch file and some updated graphics and sound to erase both of these. What he can't do is alter that small half-second pause during which the player can't move. He tries to mitigate this by making the bridge dark enough that you can't really see your surroundings well, but in fact it's far too light and you can clearly see what's happened. Although I can imagine this working better, say with a longer leadup during which the light levels slowly dropped away to nothing, total blackness for the brief period you're actually teleporting, then slowly bringing the light up again. That'd take a longer bridge though.
In the end, I didn't even bother to hide the teleportation effect in this run, but it doesn't really make much difference. It's a historical curiosity but not a really successful one.
As for the gameplay, from the filename and the level description this promises to be hard. Apparently Rick's roommates were complaining that Doom was too easy. Well, it is, but then so is this level. If Rick had managed to cut out most of the cell and rocket ammo this level could have gotten the player into some hairy situations - fighting through monster crowds when your best weapon is shotgun and chaingun can get tense. But the oversupply of ammo means I'm only in those situations for maybe 5-6 seconds out of the level, the rest is plasma and rocket spamming.