Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dystopia 3: Re-Birth of Anarchy (DYST3.WAD)

Anthony "Adelusion" Czerwonka and Iikka "Fingers" Keränen got together and had a baby. The baby's name was Dystopia 3, the apparent descendant of Czerwonka's DYST2.WAD, itself a conversion of a Heretic WAD (DYST.WAD). Really, I'd be hard pressed to draw any parallels between Dystopia and Dystopia 3. It's clear that Adelusion considerably honed his mapping skills, producing much tighter and deliberate gameplay through encounters and layout. His partner, Keränen, contributes a formidable six levels of his own, rounding out an 11-map episode for Doom II.

The story: You're hanging out at the bar and some gorgeous Tank Girl-esque woman makes a pass at you. It's only a dream, though, and you wake up to a phone call from your Sergeant. Before you know it you're shanghaied off to "Dystopia", a lawless region of space populated by demons and mutants. Apparently they've been getting squirrely and it's up to you and your comrades at arms to put down the monsters and their cult and report back with any information. That is, if you even survive. Your Sergeant sure as Hell isn't rooting for you and the officers neglected to form an extraction plan. I guess you're just gonna have to build a ship out of demon corpses so you can stuff the cult leader's heart down your Sergeant's throat and then spend some time chasing your dreams.

Architecture, detailing, and layout are all very nice. Czerwonka tends to make more techbase-style levels while Iikka tends toward outdoors areas and clusters of buildings. They both utilize an assortment of new textures to give the maps a healthy, fresh feel, and make significant use of special effects, like deep water and 3D bridges, as well as 3D lifts. There's also a gorgeous, dark-blue night sky that contrasts nicely with some of the new graphics, as well as the dark red brick Iikka is so fond of using. While the maps may not have names suggestive of what they are to be, each has some kind of defining feature that really helps it stand out, whether it's the intro, the outro, or something else entirely, like the hazard-marked pits in the opening of MAP04.

Gameplay is pretty hard. Experienced Doomers might not struggle so much, but fresh faces may find it tough to sink their teeth into DYST3.WAD when playing on UV. Each encounter has been designed with a particular effect in mind, and there are quite a few lethal traps to be had apart from the monsters themselves. They tend to use Doom II's toughs more often than not (with the exclusion of the pain elemental, who isn't quite so ubiquitous).

Dystopia 3 contains eleven fast (but hard) levels well worth adding to your Doom collection. It's more fun stuff from '96, but in a unifying theme (or themes), unlike some of the community megaWADs from the era. It will challenge you, and perhaps, inspire you, like the guy who decided to make a map with 5 levels of criss-crossing 3D bridges. Czerwonka and Keränen would go on to participate in more ambitious, quality projects like STRAIN and HACX, but this appears to be their watershed moment, and while Czerwonka may dislike his work from this particular period, I'll gladly stand it up as a shining example of the ingenuity and progress of Doom's potential circa '96.

by Anthony "Adelusion" Czerwonka
and Iikka "Fingers" Keränen

MAP01by Anthony "Adelusion" Czerwonka
An interesting introduction. It's a simple construction but adequate and the new textures help make the level features pop, especially that green texture around the ceiling of the main hub room. It's mostly open air, which gives you a nice vantage of the new sky, and features three short wings off the main hub. Ammo is at a premium; you're restricted to chainsaw and pistol for much of the level, not that it really inflates the difficulty of gameplay.

by Iikka "Fingers" KeränenMAP02
There's a crashed car with a busted fuel tank and a gorgeous toxic temple layout, not to mention the castle ramparts section. Like MAP01, the emphasis is on ammo control and monster placement. There's plenty of nasty traps, like the revenant / mancubus pairing in the blue key tower or the simultaneously opening red key doors. There's also a nasty trap you must trigger to access the end of level exit, but the tools to finish it out are easily found if you take stock of the situation. The opening is pretty scarce ammo-wise but rife for infighting opportunities.

MAP03by Iikka "Fingers" Keränen
I love this level. It's a race track, lined with assorted buildings to explore. You can't explore until you win the race, though. If you lose the race, you die. The track has a few tricks put in place to prevent you from making the loop the first time. The rest of the map involves exploring each individual building, clearing them of some brutal monster layouts, in order to access the three keys and thus make it to the end. It's mostly dodging sniper fire from commandos and mancubi. There's at least one clever trap, at the very end, where you need to wait for the opportune moment to pass.

by Anthony "Adelusion" CzerwonkaMAP04
Very interesting techbase-style level with a great opening layout. You've got quite the gauntlet to traverse, navigating lethal pits full of monsters while harried by hitscanners and imps. Raise each pit and clear it to figure out which switch opens up to the rest of the level, where you get a nice outdoor area rife with more hitscanners and some lost souls that will sneak up on you. Then the meat of the level, a cargo bay with crates, an overwatch station, and even more monsters. There's a neat secret here and a few nice traps, especially the one in the blue key room that reveals the yellow key (though the mancubi are stuck for some reason) and the red key trap, though that one isn't much of a shock. It's a bit tough, but very nice, with great custom texture use.

MAP05by Anthony "Adelusion" Czerwonka
A small chasm-based level that's dark and damaging. It mirrors MAP03 insofar as it's a race track ringed with enemies you can't really stop to deal with. When you make it to the end you can pick up the pieces and then sort the melee out. The use of revenants here ups the difficulty considerably as well as the difficult to snipe sergeants across from the opening. There's a great faux-3d bridge, for special effects, and two side areas. The techbase is deviously trapped (though you'll see it coming) and serves as a great refresher with a small switch puzzle inside. The marble ruins at the end look gorgeous, but they're much easier to handle than the rest of the map (though there are a few good scares). This one got a lot of cursing out of me, but I loved it.

by Iikka "Fingers" KeränenMAP06
A tough as nails level based on a demonic outpost spanning two small islands; you arrive and leave on small boats. There's a lot of great stuff here, like climbing the cliff face, not to mention the faux-3D floors AND moving faux-3D elevators. There's also a nice bit with an imp on an isolated 3D ledge. The basic gameplay gives you a limited amount of resources with which you must make your way to a "checkpoint" of sorts which usually includes more ammo (shells) and a berserk pack to heal yourself to full. The initial island is a bit tricky to clear out with some chaingun crossfire, but once you clear out the safehouse you're pretty much home free. The second island isn't quite as difficult except for a blind ascent in the red brick building, though you're exposed to a few more toughs.

MAP07by Iikka "Fingers" Keränen
You arrive at this level in style, but the welcoming party sets the tone. This level will abuse you with monsters hidden around every corner and some of the most ingenious traps I've borne witness to. There's a nice indoor complex that comprises most of the low-key encounters, with mancubi stuffed into small areas and a nice mineshaft elevator with a nasty surprise. I particularly like the layout of the stairs and platforms in the eastern section, looking very organic. The northern compound, housing the yellow key, has quite a bit of panic, but there's a method nearby with which you can check yourself. The southern section is a cavalcade of violence, dropping you blindly to face a horde of cacodemons, followed up with a Cyberdemon arena that must be seen to believed, and ending with a final encounter as you dispose of your special friend and his personal guard. Tough, but fantastic.

by Iikka "Fingers" KeränenMAP08
There are two halves to this map. The outdoor area and compound, which is a bit tricky to pass given the amount of hitscanners out for your blood, and the mineshaft. The compound has a few neat secrets, but except for the initial onslaught is pretty rote, though there is a nice helipad area. The meat of the level takes place underground, with a giant elevator with seven floors (including the ground floor) you get to explore. Each floor branches off into a different mine shaft, but the shaft paths criss-cross as necessary to get the full level of exploration. The tiers are cramped and difficult encounters, and there are some nasty traps to go along with them, like some explosive health or a volcanic section that collapses after you traverse it, requiring you to leap across on subsequent attempts. The standout encounter, however, would be the level's end, a warp to a strange chamber that thrusts you into a boss shooter fight. Think fast, though, you don't have much time.

MAP09by Anthony "Adelusion" Czerwonka
Nasty, brutish, and short. Most of the level occurs in a small, square-shaped arena with three tiers, with most of the interesting stuff happening on the middle tier. You're constantly harried by mancubi and somewhat short on ammo while you have to contend with a number of challenges, like instant barons and pain elementals, as well as a very rude arch-vile you may not be prepared for. Eventually you crest over the gauntlet and get access to some well-deserved goodies, after which you play around in a mad scientist's lab of sorts, with a decent climax involving a Spiderdemon. The custom textures really sell the laboratory, as well as the bizarre transparent spine cages housing the hanging corpses. My most memorable encounter is a tossup between the AV and the Mastermind. The destruction of the experiments is a nice touch.

by Anthony "Adelusion" CzerwonkaMAP10
A long, fun romp through a Dystopian techbase. It's a pretty big map that slowly opens up as you find keys and switches, with most of the action centering around a four-way intersection that leads to three distinct areas. I hit a bottleneck before I figured out that you need the blue key in order to grab the yellow key, otherwise the latter is a death trap. There's actually a lot of really fun fights here, with revenants, mancubi, and pain elementals managing to not be too obnoxious. The most intense fights tend to involve the arch-viles, with the second fight having some possible complications. The security room is a very nice touch as well. As for puzzle-solving, you'll have your work cut out for you. It's not as complicated as some of TNT's maps, but there are several teleporter tricks you'll have to work out before you can escape (and they're quite rewarding).

MAP11by Iikka "Fingers" Keränen
Another short, brutal level, this one in the style of Iikka's MAP06. Among its two most notable features are the astounding pseudo-3D bridges that cross over each other, as well as the map's climax, which I won't spoil, but is well worth the price of admission. The gameplay really puts you through your paces, with a pretty nasty beginning, dodging revenant rockets while blocked off by a mancubus. There's ample opportunity for plasma rifle use, something I find rare, as plasma ammo is usually restricted, but I appreciate the gesture. It really helps the map move along. There may be at least one other tough spot, down by the shoreline, not to mention a strategically placed arch-vile near the map's exit. All told, it's not exactly what I was expecting to finish the WAD, but it works.


This post is part of a series on
Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 1996

Memento MoriMemento Mori II
Dystopia 3: Re-Birth of AnarchyAll Hell is Breaking Loose
Army of Darkness DoomIcarus: Alien Vanguard
Polygon Base99 Ways to Die
The Troopers' PlaygroundA Hidden Mountain Factory


  1. WTF! I am so annoyed because on third level I die for no reason! I get instantly killed then the monsters continue shooting me until I die for real! I don't understand what's happening, please help. I'm using Eternity to play and I already overwrote my saves from level 2 (because I died twice at that stupid arachnotron trap because I didn't see invulnerability sphere right there). I tried pistol starting the map and I still die for no reason. I don't understand what's happening, please reply!


    1. Oh wait I think I got it. I had to complete the race in a short time. Weird because I remember racing before few times and I always died after race. Seriously fuck this stupid map! Already got frustrated at maps 2 and 3 (though first one was okay). I don't like this wad so far. :(


    2. I take that back. While level 3 also had a stupid crusher trap at end of it (that almost killed me), level 4 was amazing and I think the rest levels will going to be awesome as well. At least I did level 1 and 4 without dying so far. :P

      Sorry for spamming your blog.