Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Garrison (GARRISON.WAD)

by Christen David Klie

Of the 20 (21) maps present in id's Master Levels for Doom II, Christen David Klie submitted six, outnumbering any other contributor. Indeed, if one considers all of the Doom and Doom II maps created by each Master Levels author, Klie has been the most prolific of them all, with authors Jim Flynn and Tom Mustaine considerably far behind. Part of this is due to Klie's mapping style which favors smaller, less architecturally complex maps. The Garrison is one of his contracted works. It's more of a castle-themed level, using wood, stone and featuring lots of nukage and water in the lower portions.

It's larger than some of Klie's other contributions and features a comparably hefty monster count, beginning at just over 110. They're mostly hitscanners and imps, but there are a few grains of sand in the Vaseline, not that the overall lack of health doesn't mix things up. There are a few pain elementals and perhaps a baron for you to watch out for. The Garrison itself is half outdoor areas with ramparts staffed with monsters and half somewhat cavernous underground featuring a tricky sequence or two. If you find yourself wondering what the yellow key puzzle is, try and attack it from a different angle.

The eastern half of the level, more or less a basement, is the more memorable section of the map. It's got several crushers (quite easy to spot), an ambush that may keep you flummoxed long enough for the traps to sting, and a bit more straightforward teleporter puzzle accessing the red key. I fell prey to some bug, however, and got stuck in the red key platform, as though there was an invisible ceiling crushing me, preventing me from moving. Perhaps a bug in ZDoom? The map ends with a large pit of toxic waste with an isolated exit tower. Most (if not all) of this level's secrets are tough to find, the largest of which houses a rocket launcher and a plethora of imps for you to splatter.

The Garrison is a fun map in a style unlike that which I normally recognize Klie for. It's got wide, open spaces, a fair crop of beasties, and lots of advanced weaponry to slaughter them with. There's even a BFG or two lying around, probably a testament to Chris's deathmatching sensibilities, similar to the one-way wall housing the backpack secret, an ideal sniping point for those in the know. It's certainly an adventure, one which even got me a few times when I was acting a little too cocksure. Just another reason for you to play id's Master Levels for Doom II.


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id's Master Levels for Doom II



  1. The yellow key doesn't seem to be accessible via normal gameplay and this could well present an insuperable barrier to progression for many. Surprised for this reason alone that the level passed Id Software's criteria for acceptance into the Master Levels. Klie's 'The Hive' would have been a better choice in my opinion.

    1. by "normal gameplay" I assume you mean dropping down from the railing as described in DoomWiki. It's hard to say; I think that most players who managed to struggle through Doom II's freewheeling puzzle design could think through grabbing the key.