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[Doom] TMP.WAD - E1M1 UV Maxdemo (& NM 100% Secrets)

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Published on May 25, 2013

Pwad: Tmp.wad
Author: Unknown
Date: 7th July 1994
Map: e1m1
Category: UV Maxdemo
Executable: Doom.exe
Time: 7:26 (UV), 7:24 (NM100S)

With most of these 1994 levels, I'm playing something I've never seen before and nobody ever talks about, so I've got no idea whether it's going to be any good or not. Whereas I had some expectations for this one. This level won the 1994 PC Zone level design competition, of which I've already played a number of entrants, some of the runners up, and even some of the other finalists. So was this a worthy winner, and was it better than its peers?

My answer would be yes, and yes. This is a very good level. The first thing you'll probably notice about it is that it doesn't look, or feel, like a level from 1994. That gloomy opening in particular looks like something from 1997 or later. The design, too, is more intricate than 1994 standards (though the difference isn't so stark here). The theme is consistent, and there's a strong sense of geography. Sometimes the style of the level changes, but it always happens for a reason. For instance, the pink tunnels are a strong contrast from the rest of the level, but they're there to camouflage the demons (which they do quite effectively).

The author's also very good at making tight spaces feel larger than they are. Such as that ringed area around the two minute mark with the cacos and imps, which somehow twists around itself. Or the basement area shortly afterward, concealing a whole second level in a space you've already circled and which surely doesn't have the room for it.

The level maintains a consistent quality throughout, and I never felt the author was running out of ideas or repeating himself. I particularly liked the area with all the uneven platforms (5:30), which looks complicated but actually never hinders the player's movement. And finally we get a nice battle sequence with the Cyberdemon at the end. You can play safer by sniping from the window at his height, but even when you're outside a lot of his rockets will be absorbed by the platform or the torches around him, so he's not quite as fearsome as he looks. Just about the right difficulty for a level that's a nice long challenge. I had fun recording this 7:26, but no doubt the time could be improved a fair bit still.

And at the end: a bonus demo of the level done nightmare 100% secrets style. After I'd recorded the UV run I went looking to see if there were any other demos on this level. Turned out there was just the one, a nm100s run in 8:25, so I thought I'd give that style a shot. Didn't watch the demo or even plan ahead, just started from where I remembered the secrets being. This is the first run I had that made it to the plasma rifle. So, particularly in the second half of the run, you'll be able to see lots of bits where I could have played smarter or tightened the time. This can easily go under six minutes. But I'm fond of the run anyway, mistakes and all, but maybe that's just because there's so many bits in it where I thought, well, NOW I'm DEFINITELY dead...

Download from /idgames here: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/inde...

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