demo, MIDI

D2RELOAD MAP 09 “Phobos Subversion” and SHWORD.MID

Concept levels are often sneered at by those who distrust “magnum opuses” and movement away from arcade gameplay but frankly I’d love to see more. Gimmickry is… partially… what Doom 2 was built upon in the first place!

Your mission whether you choose to accept it or not is to divert a teleportation ambush from a military ground zero into a more containable environment featuring a HUGE CRUSHING CEILING and, to achieve this, means that Doomguy will have to positively RACE around a small facility laying the groundwork for this subversive counter-attack, draining a reactor, securing key-cards and activating powerlines… it is all very linear, of course, so there’s no real guessing WHERE the reactor is, just a lot of cute representations of those features made out of blocky sector art, most of those sectors being full of rather threatening monsters, with mancubi and arachnotrons actually seeming to cause the most trouble for a speedrunner – and on this level, we’re all speedrunners!

Once you get back to the crusher, you can observe your handiwork through the safety grill, score upon score of viles and barons being crushed below the pneumatic press… installed in this area… for some reason. 😀 Or you can stick around just long enough to grab the yellow key and BFG half the invasion force to come… but my vision of Doomguy is a coward who hugs walls a lot, so I only fight four straggling imps. =P

It’s a really great concept which plays out fairly believably under the constraints of doom, and the only real issue is that the base itself is decorated really dourly and is totally miserable to look at – silver and dark metal are the honey of the beginning mapper. (and also Icarus Alien Vanguard while we’re taking random potshots at under-decorated mapsets =P)  The lighting is good as ever, while sparing on sector demand considering that the maps run without problem in the original .exe, but it really is high time for a new texturing scheme. Consider this: if your levels take place in fantastical outer space outposts then there’s no need to make them look modular and plain. Just assume the colonists took a daring architect with them, preferably one whom prefers more colours than just black and white on their palette!

SHWORD.MID is some strange D&B/metal/something/something else hybrid which combines unfriendly chords with that particularly stupid “YEAAH! YA PUSH IT!” rhythmic centrepiece… in a good way 😀


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