demo, MIDI

XWIG.MID and D2RELOAD.WAD MAP 02 “Return to UAC”

Return to UAC takes place in a small but high-tech facility and pits the player against some very securely placed monsters, the stand-out fight involving an Arachnotron guarding a berserk pack from slightly higher ground than you. If you approach too recklessly, you’ll get snagged on the roaming spectres and then either grilled by the spider or pummeled by the circling rockets of the Revenants on the railings to each side. You could exhaust all your chaingun rounds here and enemies would remain and, while you have ample shotgun shells to clear the area, it’s slow and pyrrhic progress, with some of your incursions into the darkness just resulting in a direct collision with enemy projectiles, forcing you back into cover. Even the speedrunner’s “dash past them all and hope they turn on each other” strategy is flawed since more enemies lie beyond the choke point, including two dangerous chaingun commandos. I think this is a very interesting problem so soon into a Megawad!

D2Reload comes with a text file providing a little back-story for each chapter of the adventure and the map architecture does a good job of representing the scene the stories set. This time you’re in a small substation looking for ways to fix a power transporter that’ll send you to the larger master station, so this is a concentrated, techy-basey map with no real side areas of note (incidentally, I wonder if the level wouldn’t be better if the Arachnotron was simply guarding the blue key? The actual fight with a baron isn’t so impressive…) but just enough fleshing out that you can imagine people once lived and worked in this facility. It still has its doomy, silly moments though, for example the corridors walled with tumbling nukage… and of course that’s a good thing!

and…. XWIG.MID

A faintly ludicrous bit of robot rock, with odd chords and scraping flickery sounds fading in and out, like metal filings poured inside and interfering with a player piano. Er, a player piano stuck on some brass and synth patches, anyway. Also contains a totally out of place riff which started as a joke but sort of… anti-works enough to be considered part of the tune itself. You might find this to be utterly un-DOOM-ish and that’s the way I like it!

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