Sunday, January 26, 2014


by Kurt Kesler

Kurt Kesler made twelve maps for his KBOOM series, but not all of them were originally made for Boom. Enter KBOOM_2, a 1998 release which was originally known as KMETL_13, as well as the thirteenth level of his KMEGA1 megaWAD collection of vanilla levels. It's a techbase occupying MAP01 that has received some Boomification as well as a bit of remodeling in his typical style, which is loaded with more ammo than you could possibly need but maybe a bit low on health and armor for more reckless players, especially after hitscanners are taken into account. Also typical is the complete lack of a story.

KBOOM_2 plays basically the same as the original. There are bullet-shooting bastards lurking around every corner, tactically arranged against the player. The monster surprises are basically identical, for example the big wave of mancubuses that try to fill every space at the end or that arch-vile that can turn into a teleport surprise if you can't quickly kill him. The only real danger is in carelessness, as all the heavy-hitters are dodgeable and if you can make it into the latter portion of the level you get a fair bit more health. The northern section is my favorite in terms of combat, insofar as it has a few crazy crossfire shootouts, like pinning the player on grabbing the blue key, possibly eating all those mancubus fireballs.

Boomification brings some significant changes to KMETL_13's gameplay. Among the minor edits, some detailing that pretties things up, and some of those psychedelic scrolling textures that I can't quite figure out, plus the removal of the custom textures from the original as it appeared in KMEGA1. The big changes are the addition of two areas. One has a bunch of walled-off crushers acting as machinery in an annex of the eastern wing while another has a combat shotgun as one of several scrolling prizes on a conveyor belt transporting goodies to and from the ether. The latter area adds more to the level, in my opinion, as it has a decent combat scenario or two while the machinery room feels like imp-slaying padding.

If you haven't played KMETL_13 or KBOOM_2, well, here's your chance to make your choice, between Boom features and wholesome vanilla goodness. Personally, having played it, the Boom version is kind of rockin'. It's not like it's a brand new map, though.

This post is part of a series on
Kurt Kesler's KBOOM series


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