Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Eye (EYE.WAD)

by Cyriak "mouldy" Harris

The Eye is an unassuming single map for Doom II, meant to be played in Boom (or Boom-compatible) engines. It isn't the first thing Doomworld forum superstar mouldy's made, but it's the first solo release that found its way onto the archives. There's no pomp and circumstance in the .TXT, just a terse description that gives you a vague idea of what you're in for. The Eye isn't exactly an enormous level. It's certainly smaller than other maps I've played featuring more than 500 monsters. But, yeah, there are a bunch of enemies to fight, found in what are essentially two different areas of the level.

The first part of the map you'll play around in is the outer ring, a collection of semi-open areas arranged like a circle of dioramas that surrounds the second, an inner ring of flesh that isolates the exterior from a winding tower of a walkway leading to the exit. The outer area can be approached from either direction, with you eventually winding your way back around to the beginning with all three keys in hand. One of the doors can only be opened once from one direction, though. Once you clear out the side areas you jump into the fray at the ground floor where hordes of monsters teleport in both above and below. From there you have to lower some barriers and then climb up to the party waiting at the apex.

The Eye can be brutal at times, which is interesting considering mouldy has toned the difficulty down a bit from its original incarnation. Each of the dioramas plays out as its own encounter with its own dynamics. Some of them are pretty easy, like the plasma gun / rocket launcher traps, where others like the key fights get ugly very fast. The cyberdemon fight to the southeast sticks out in my mind as the safest way for me to handle it was to let infighting go on for awhile until I snagged a semi-secret invulnerability sphere where I could run back and off the survivors. The organic growth to the northeast is also a bit tricky considering the constant trickle of revenants that teleport in as you creep along the squishy halls.

That's not even mentioning the central area, the eponymous eye. Handling monsters circling around from both sides gives some potential for critical errors, and while the climb up to the top isn't at all exhausting, there are a handful of teleporter ambushes you'll want to head off straightaway or fall victim to one of the level's many arch-viles. They aren't just limited to the inner region, but that's where you'll feel the most exposed to their fiery blasts. At the very least, mouldy shies away from showering the player with flying monsters at the climax, though some might see that as a missed opportunity.

EYE is a gorgeous level, treading in the familiar green marble and red stone Hell theme. The major rooms like the weapon areas look quite gorgeous and the eye itself while layered in repetition is an impressive structure when viewed as a whole. Certainly the abundance of side-detailing might render the map too busy for some, but I was entertained for my entire playthrough, either by the vistas or the villains I had to plow through to get to the end. The glut of secrets was a nice touch, too. Not too obscure and very rewarding. Altogether, I had a ton of fun with this map, and if you're looking for some semi-slaughtery Doom II gameplay, then you should give The Eye a try.

This post is part of a series on Doomworld's 2012 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
Doom the Way id DidWhoDunIt?Beyond Reality
Strife: Absolute OrderBest Gameplay ModMasters of Chaos
PutrefierRussian OverkillFrozen Time
5till L1 ComplexMordeth AwardPlanisphere 2
Community Chest 4Community Chest 4Coffee Break Ep. 1
The EyeCall of Dooty II
Combat Shock 2Mapper of the Year
Winter's FuryKhorus
Base Ganymede: Complete


  1. I loved the Hell out of this map. The whole ending sequence after grabbing the three keys is great--no better way to send off the brave player who just defeated a massive horde than spawning a bunch of archviles behind them to bring it all back and chase them up the tower. Delicious.

    1. mouldy certainly knows how to top off the action.