Thursday, August 18, 2011


by Christen David Klie

Chris Klie worked so hard he got pneumonia getting maps ready for id's Master Levels for Doom II. It's a shame, because half of the submitted maps weren't accepted for one reason or another (perhaps the biggest factor being their arbitrary 20 map cutoff). Ever the mapslinger, Klie saw fit to release the six rejects to Compuserve (and then, after a thread on Doomworld got his attention, to the idgames archive!). As you might guess, The C.P.U. is one of the Compuserve releases.

Presumably, given the giant 286, it's supposed to take place inside a computer. Whether the computer is incredibly large or the marine incredibly small, or why the marine is inside in the first place, is left up to the player's imagination. Klie accomplishes the illusion by using a large number of techbase textures in order to facilitate the image. Walls full of identical blanked-out monitors aren't that thrilling, though, and the level as a whole is very boxy, or squarish. The eastern section contains some of the more interesting architecture, based around a t-junction that subjects you to a small crossfire.

The greatest moments can be found in the northern area. There's a semi-secret area you have to grab the invisibility powerup to open which houses the blue key and an easy leaping puzzle in order to snag the yellow key that's based off of computer circuitry, if I'm not mistaken. The aforementioned 286 processor is cute, but the final fight is fairly anticlimactic. There's a secret branch of the exit tunnel that lets you slaughter some Hellspawn, though.

The C.P.U. is an okay map by Chris Klie. It's not one of the more interesting maps he's produced; I can see why it didn't make it into id's Master Levels. It's a fun romp, though, and the brighter, bluer techbase stands in stark contrast to much of his accepted submissions, refreshing at the very least. It won't blow your mind, but I'd recommend it, especially if you like Klie's style. If you're interested in levels that ostensibly take place inside a computer (why would you?), Hell to Pay contains a map with more recognizable computer iconography, though its detail almost comes out looking a bit cartoonish.

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