Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Hidden Mountain Factory (MTFACTOR.WAD)

by Grzegorz Werner

Grzegorz Werner wasn't the most prolific mapper in the Doom community. He has three single player levels and one deathmatch level in the idgames archives, but one of them graced Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 1996. A Hidden Mountain Factory is, well, a Hidden Mountain Factory, that's producing something contemptible, and you must infiltrate it and shut it down. Make no mistakes - this WAD is hard, in the knockabout Plutonia style (though not necessarily inspired by Plutonia). It has maybe one or two missteps that feel more like bullshit, but I'll cover those later.

You start out in the mountain area itself, a nicely laid-out craggy culvert in Doom's granite texture. After dispatching some initial resistance, you penetrate into the cave itself. And it's dark. So dark, in fact, that it's tough to see the hitscanners on the way down, and a few of them may get a nice potshot at you. When you get down to the ground floor and through the final guard, you enter the factory itself.

It's a neatly laid out building with running machinery you can see from the start. The layout is cramped with pipes and conduits running everywhere, giving it a very practical feel. This all leads to a nice hallway shootout with some toughs, including a mancubus blocking your path, and it rolls into a much larger machinery room with some blessed armor and an optional section in the back. There's a teleporter wave to liven things up (always appreciated in the emptier rooms) and then one of the neater challenges.

It's a small cramped room that pits you in a T-junction with revenants sequestered away in both tips of the T, and a mancubus facing you down at the head. When you take the toughs out, the blue key is up for the taking, but you'll have to contest with its guardian. This takes you to one of the trickier spots, the nukage vat. Werner gives you an enviro suit but no matter what you do it's a blind jump into four sergeants in a closed area. You might be able to pick them off from the top but it's spray and pray while they most certainly know where you are. Use caution.

From here you get a nice tour of the factory's basement, with some cleverly laid-out spectres in the darkness, but the better route involves jumping through that chaingunner window to access a nice MAP02-ish sewers section with some excellent goodies and fights to match. The red key finally gives you access to the machinery itself which you do actually get to shut down, so objective complete, a nice touch from the author.

Afterward, you make your escape, accessing a previously closed off path from the toxic cistern. This leads you into a mine shaft (custom graphic here?) with one nasty trap before the final run. It's about as dark as the opening cave, if not darker, and a bit more populated, with several cacos and plenty of former humans you'll only see by the light of their discharge. There's one final surprise at the end, but nothing you can't handle if you made it this far.

A Hidden Mountain Factory is an excellent WAD with some great detailing, architecture, and above all, it isn't afraid to kick like a mule. I'm definitely interested in checking out Werner's other two levels. If you haven't played this yet, give it a quick run-through. You should enjoy it.


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

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