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Published on Jun 15, 2012
Pwad: Surrounded! Author: Jim Flynn Date: 22nd August 1994 Map: e2m8 Category: UV Maxdemo Executable: Doom.exe Time: 0:22
What the hell is this?
Okay, first thing, the author. Jim Flynn has been making wads since 1994. Two of them ended up in Master Doom (I have no idea what either of them is like). Mostly he's famous for Doom 2 levels, such as the Titan series, the Enigma mini-episode, and he contributed three levels to Eternal Doom. He's a longtime member of TeamTNT, and was one of the main coders on the Boom sourceport. So he's fairly well known in the Doom community.
Not the sort of person I'd expect to have their name attached to a one room trifle like this, in other words. It's so slight, so pointless that it was obviously intended as some kind of showcase. But for what? Some technical trickery? There's none here. Some brilliant design? It's an octagonal room in full brightness and with scrolling wall textures. Some interesting gameplay? Nope, just the one Cyberdemon and some plasma. The teleporters that pass you one to the other? Well, they're a little unusual, but hardly worth a whole level.
After playing the level a little, I finally got it. Each of the teleporters position you so you're aiming directly at the Cyberdemon. It's the ultimate fire and forget level. Pick up the plasma, hold down strafe left and fire, and enjoy. The Cyber might loose some rockets at you, but you'll have teleported to the next pad. There's a gap of half a second or so while the teleport effect plays through, allowing you to shoot a dozen or so cells, and then it's directly onto the next teleporter to do the same. The teleporters are the right distance away from the Cyber that you never have to worry about cycling through all four teleporters and taking a late rocket in the face. And plasma crossfire isn't a problem either, with the Cyber slightly elevated up on that narrow platform the cells are angled so they'll always pass over your head.
So I demonstrate the level as intended to be played, and how safe it is under these conditions. You can exit the teleporter cycle any time by just heading forward or back, as I do at the end, but it's no fun that way. Sorry about the quick exit before the stats finished, but trust me, it's 0:22. Still, amusing as this was, it still feels too slight for a whole level. I'd like it more as the end of a new episode, but on its own, underwhelming.
And really, three playtesters were needed for this?
PS: Finished uploading S* wads, finally! Phew, that all took longer than expected.