Tuesday, August 30, 2011


by Tom Mustaine

Tom Mustaine, contributor to Memento Mori and TNT Evilution and primary creative force behind Perdition’s Gate, submitted four maps to id’s Master Levels for Doom II. Two of these made their way into Evilution (MAP01 and MAP17). The other remained unreleased for some time until Mustaine posted it on his blog. The fourth and final submission was none other than ParadoX, which occupies Doom II’s MAP01 slot. It’s a small level in a castle theme. It’s not at all that difficult but it can be; it uses most of Doom II’s bestiary, eschewing the two big bads. No story, just Dooming.

The layout and architecture are fairly open and very nice. Most of the level’s action takes place in the central castle area, which has an outer ring lined with columns from which you can access the rest of the map. The inner yard has four smaller buildings, three of which house some revenants that will harry you as you fight your way through, and one large building in the very center, whose battlements are dotted with sergeants. Crossfire is one of the more lethal aspects of the map as every corner of the bailey is fully staffed while more hitscanners hide between the columns at the map’s edge.

The most interesting structure is a great hall extending from the northern edge of the map, with some kind of marble altar at the northernmost point and long rows of columns on either side leading up to it. You’ll find the yellow key here, along with a wave of monsters teleporting in, though they’re not all that dangerous. The hall overlooks an outdoor area you can access as a secret, a nice touch. There’s a similar extended area, this one underground, which houses a megasphere with a suitable guardian. Both secret areas help to add flavor to a map where secret “nooks” would be more underwhelming.

The final level sequence has you warping to the three smaller interior towers via the teleporter previously locked in the bailey (opened up after a skirmish behind the yellow key door). There’s a surprise waiting for you in each one, of course, and a bit of a teleporter puzzle to work out, though it’s pretty straightforward. When you’ve finally cleared everything, you can enter the fourth tower and call it a day after an underwhelming final ambush.

ParadoX is a fun map and a worthy inclusion in id’s Master Levels for Doom II. The ringed layout creates several deadly tiers of gameplay as you run around trying to clear a safe haven and the extraneous areas like the northern hall help break up the map’s action. Monster use, with a few exceptions, is quite devious, like when Mustaine staffs the corners of the map with mancubuses, and the scattered hitscanners provide more than their fair share of trouble. It’s a good exercise and one more reason for you to get the Master Levels for Doom II, already. Jeeze.

This post is part of a series on
id's Master Levels for Doom II



  1. what the hell is that shot at end of review?

  2. Now this is a good level! I also really dig Tom's levels in Quake's Scourge of Armagon pack.

    That said, I personally do not recommend the Master Levels overall. I can see why you would love it though, considering you have an almost scholarly appreciation for all Doom levels, and their place in the overall development of Doom map making.

    Just for me, overall it's not even close to on par with any of the other official Doom releases, or countless user WADs.

    1. attributing my opinions to "scholarly appreciation" devalues the sincere enjoyment i get out of the levels that you earnestly hate. granted, the fact that i rarely post with any appreciable vitriol may confuse the issue.

    2. I mean in complimentary way. But in reviews you always mention context, how these are the impressive mappers of 94-95 etc. To me, even though I was there then, if it's good it's good, if it's bad it's bad (subject to personal taste). That it's from 94 is interesting only in a historical way, not in a reviewing way.

    3. yeah. context is important to me. sort of like establishing the scene, especially in my review format.

  3. Pretty straightforward really - I completed it at my second attempt on UV, having been caught out first time by a revenant which attacked at close quarters at the entrance to the great hall. Adopted a policy of inching my way forward through the level, using a fair amount of sniping. Was restricted to a considerable degree by finding no armour, though as I only collected 33% of items, maybe I didn't search hard enough.