Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DICKIE05: Waterworld (DICKIE05.WAD)


by Richard Wiles

DICKIE05.WAD, alternatively titled "Waterworld", is the fifth map released in Richard Wiles's DICKIE series, ten maps made for vanilla Doom II back in 1998. The decalogy chronicles the adventures of a benevolent protector of the universe who touches down on a planet overrun by Hell. After dispatching the leader in DICKIE01, the player "finishes" the job by destroying the rest of the Hellspawn so that the planet can be free of the taint of evil. Evidently, this particular outpost of Satanic forces is located in a region that's inundated with water.

This is one of those maps that appears to take some inspiration from Doom II's "The Inmost Dens". The texture scheme is pretty familiar, with the beige bricks walls (mixed with a lot of wood) and channels of water all over the place. Unlike MAP14, your action isn't largely constrained to islands, but it's a complex map that has several points of jumping across the water from raised area to raised area, complete with a tightrope walk across some fences near the very end. Navigation is complicated as there are several teleporters you have to use to get to key areas. I felt slightly lost a couple times, mainly due to the way Wiles uses the map's native geometry to create three-dimensional space, but it should only take you a few seconds to figure out.

Combat is very tricky. The opening fight is a dead run to some area of safety, ducking chaingunner fire and trying not to get caught up on packs of imps and the occasional demons in the trenches. Once you manage to make a safe area, things calm down, but Wiles still has some tricks up his sleeve, like the oh-so-Plutonia regenerating chaingunner cage, which thankfully doesn't overstay its welcome. After you make it to the switch it was guarding, the author tears back the veil and you can disarm it. The only other really tricky bit is the northwestern battleground. You have to act decisively to knock out some pain elementals and then watch your back while you take care of the roamers.

DICKIE05 looks very nice. Lighting and texturing are a step up and Wiles has put in some neat little bits like caged barons / hell knights and one particular room where the blood from four hanging corpses drains underneath an imposing marble baron face. That collapsing staircase to the switch that lowers the blue key is pretty cool, too. Altogether, it's a nice, challenging level with gameplay that should be familiar (though in a few ways not necessarily desirable) to experienced Doomers. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for more fun Doom II maps to play.

This post is part of a series on
Richard Wiles's DICKIE series


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