Tuesday, October 2, 2012


by Gzregorz Werner

Grzegorz Werner, a Polish English student and author of one of the features of Doomworld's Top 10 WADs of 1996, released three single Doom II maps in 1996. His Hidden Mountain Factory came second, while Die Young! was the first, replacing MAP01 (as do the other two). The story is short and sweet, if you can even call it a story; such was Werner's wont. You're merely informed that you must make it to the temple in the level and then escape alive. Of course, it's not that easy. You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?

DIEYOUNG is I think Werner's largest and most complex map, a techbase full of all kinds of tricks and traps, especially thinking toward the fourteen secrets (more untagged). It begins with a bang and rarely lets up as you scramble trying to avoid hitscanner fire, which you'll get in spades. Health feels a little scarce as you roam around, though if you have a nose for secrets, you'll be substantially better off. One particular series near the beginning should set you up quite handily. As it features both a soul sphere and a berserk pack, it's a good area to go to recharge if you're running low. The weapons are nicely organized, with the more powerful ones available a bit (or lot!) earlier as secrets.

Combat is pretty rough. The hitscanners are one thing, but you'll see that every room is organized against you in an ingenious fashion. Take the dual staircase to the immediate west, for instance. A ton of sergeants running around and if you get to the top you have to duel with dual barons while imps fire at you from the back and you can't lurk around the corners as revenants will pop up from behind the cage walls. It's pretty hard to read the southern room and its toxic cistern; zombies seem to come out of nowhere and the walkover-trigger doors defy player expectations, there's a delayed pain elemental that can sneak up on you, and a pretty dirty key trap (but I survived!). These aren't the only crazy things you'll endure, of course.

Werner has the level lit pretty well, so his lighting abilities don't stand out so much. On the positive side, there's a bunch of varied and imaginative architecture to check out, like the columns in the opening room or that cool altar / pipe-organ type thing on the north side of the cathedral. The cathedral itself is a nice set piece, as is the leaking nukage in the southern area. The northern room is probably the most plain section but it's just as loaded with enemies as the others so you probably won't have time to notice, initially.

Die Young is a nice, large, classic Doom II map that's pretty challenging. Grzegorz Werner has left a solid legacy behind him with what few offerings he has made to the Doom community. It would be cool if he'd put out more maps, especially considering the direction I saw him heading with his final solo release, The Grim Reaper. In the end, it's nice to get the morsels we can. I highly recommend this one.


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