Thursday, August 18, 2011

The D.M.Z. (DMZ.WAD)

THE D.M.Z.
by Christen David Klie


Chris "Mapslinger" Klie made a bevy of levels in his short Doom mapping career. Counting the unique maps between CHRISK, BF_THUD! and his submissions to id's Master Levels for Doom II, he cranked out 47 scenarios for the average Doomer to enjoy. The D.M.Z. was one of the submissions to the Master Levels, but it didn't make the cut, so Klie released it as freeware for non-paying customers. There's no actual story, just a somewhat city-ish map; a circular, walled-in area with eight structures and scant few monsters.


It's mostly imps with some hitscanners. A lot of the beasties you encounter at the onset are free-roamers but I'd say half of the meatbags are found ringing the two large, wooden structures. As such, you'll find you've encountered 90% of what's around before you actually start exploring, turning things into a tepid key hunt. You'll need all three to exit, and in the process visit seven out of eight structures. The eighth isn't necessary, but it houses what I believe are the map's only medikits.


The structures themselves aren't anything to write home about. They're orthogonal and function as small puzzle-boxes you "solve" in order to gain access to the next place. The puzzles are pretty simple, though I think one or two can result in certain death if you mess things up. I guess I'd liken The D.M.Z. to an adventure game, really. On those terms, it's actually kind of fun. What the hell does D.M.Z. stand for, anyway? Given his earlier appeal to computer-based iconography with The C.P.U., I'm inclined to believe that D.M.Z. refers to "De Militarized Zone", a quite clever pun.


The D.M.Z. is a short, lukewarm map. Most of its charm comes from being open and very exploratory. I can see why id declined to accept this particular map for the Master Levels. If the structures had housed some nice little skirmishes, or if Klie had dumped some more monsters into the exterior via teleporters or something, it might be a tad bit more exciting. As it stands, I'd recommend this to fans of Klie's work or those looking for maps that tickle their exploration bone, especially shorter, simple ones.



RUN D.M.Z.

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