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[Doom] TECHBASE.WAD - E1M1 UV Maxdemo

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Published on Nov 4, 2012

Pwad: Techbase.wad
Author: Brandon Reinhart
Date: 31st May 1994
Map: e1m1
Category: UV Maxdemo
Executable: Doom.exe
Time: 3:21

Like Tallon.wad, which I uploaded a few hours ago, this level gave me a strange sense of deja vu. Have I played this before? Yes I have - as Flash.wad, by J.D. Fraser (video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beH6Bw...). Brandon is coy about where this level originally came from - he just says he found "a pack of wads on a BBS. One of the levels had no monsters in it. No deathmatch spots....no nothing. I took it....played with it....and came up with this...". Where he actually got it was as mine1.wad, which was an example level included with Doom Editor - The Real Thing, one of the earliest Doom level editors. More than one beginning author's used this level as a base. J.D. Fraser did (and beat Brandon to the punch by about three weeks). And of the two versions of this level I've played, I prefer Fraser's. He significantly changed the texture scheme, added large extra areas to the level, and a few surprising special actions. Whereas Brandon kept the bland vanilla monotone of the original level, and added very little. The crates in the warehouse room, and a new exit area, was about all I could see.

And there's a lot of very obvious errors. There's at least half a dozen spots where if you look in the wrong direction the walls will turn transparent or there'll be a shimmering HOM effect or you'll see slime trails bleeding into the floor. Not Brandon's fault, it was probably just a crummy nodebuilder. But it's very noticeable and you'd think he would have done some trial and error to try and fix it. I mostly avoid them in this run, but you can see a little flash at about 0:49 or so.

Maybe Brandon did notice all these things, because the textfile does say this is a v1.0 release, which he intends to add some stuff to. Hopefully he was planning to fix the unbalanced gameplay at the same time. Because there is only one weapon available in the whole level - the shotgun. Which has 8 shots. There's one box of shells - 20 shots. And 9 sargeants, which will give you 36 shots if you pick up all their ammo. So that's 64 shots total, with which you're supposed to take out a Spiderdemon, three Barons, and the rest of the opposition while you're at it. It's farcical.

Fortunately, there's a trick that makes your job considerably easier. The Spiderdemon, as you can probably see when I'm close by him (I've never known why people call the spider enemies "her") has an enormous radius. But that means he has trouble turning. In particular if a monster manages to get inside its radius the spider will be frozen where it is. And if the monster has a melee attack the spider will helplessly stand there until it's killed. So I want a melee monster, and there's a couple of demons in the room, which is perfect. I pull all the monsters out by the spider, get it to attack the Baron, and while they're fighting stray bullets hit a demon, who gets in behind the spiderdemon and starts chomping. The Spider kills off the Baron, but it doesn't matter - the poor thing's already dead, it's just going to take some time. It might make for a boring demo if I have to wait around for the spider to die but fortunately there's other stuff to do. So while the demon enjoys a big meal I head off and get the rest of the shotgun ammo, and take out the two Barons in the cage. Timing worked out just about perfect here, and the Spider finally keeled over as I returned to the warehouse. Take the final key and exit.

Should probably say something about the music too - it's a T2 theme midi I found from the same period. Seems to fit the mood of the level quite well...

Download from /idgames here: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/inde...
Video captured using prboom-plus 2.5.1.2.test.

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