Saturday, February 8, 2014

Danne's E1 (DANNE1.WAD)

Daniel Jakobsson's forte is slaughter maps, if you hadn't already guessed with Combat Shock, Combat Shock 2, or his Slaughterfest entries. It comes as some surprise that he published a limit-removing Episode One replacement for Doom in 2013, though it's a surprise tempered with some bemusement, as he's outspoken about his dislike for the original Doom in general and Doom the Way id Did. Danne's E1 was a learning experience from a player who had moved far beyond the original Doom and, indeed, Doom II with the advent of mapsets like Speed of Doom and Sunder. Here it is, though, his token E1 replacement for those of you who can't get enough of Phobos.

It's interesting seeing an author of Jakobsson's caliber tackle the less grand in scope style of Knee Deep in the Dead. His need for scale and interesting architecture definitely shine through, and while the gameplay is no doubt less thrilling due to the lack of Doom II's monsters, he knows what makes levels for the original Doom challenging. Close-quarters combat, attrition, and being forced to fight hordes with the shotgun and chaingun. To that end, DANNE1 works as a fairly challenging mapset, with its later levels inheriting more from Combat Shock's aesthetics and gameplay, though not to the scale of, say, fellow slaughter fan Matt Powell's ConC.E.R.Ned.

Jakobsson may hate the shit out of the original Doom, but he made a pretty interesting mapset for it, in spite of his feelings. It's fairly clear how bored he was with it toward the end. If you want to play some Doom and aren't afraid of being bloodied a bit, you should give this a try. It's pretty fun, if ultimately unremarkable except as yet another Phobos episode. Thanks, danne.

by Daniel "dannebubinga" Jakobsson

Your garden variety "Hangar" replacement. There's a lot of pistol play unless you grab the timed secret with the shotgun, which is pretty easy to hit on your way out. The wave of sergeants coming out of the exit is an appreciated bump in difficulty. The architecture is pretty neat.

Something a bit nicer. Loaded down with shotgun play, though there's a secret chaingun and rocket launcher, with the former very easy to get. I didn't try long to grab the latter. Demons and more teleporter ambushes abound, but nothing too serious. About the worst encounter you'll run into is probably the northwestern room which puts some pressure on you and a handful of sergeants, some of which might slip by you (like they did myself). A little claustrophobic at times, but mostly wide open.

The opening homage to "Toxin Refinery" is apparent but things diverge quite quickly as you explore the east and west sections of the base. danne uses the best aspects of Doom combat - cramped settings and up-close monster ambushes, like the spectre ambush at the yellow key - to the best of his ability. The combat is still light fare, but it's still more dangerous than your average KDITD replacement. Architecture is still very nice. Dig that outdoor view in the northeast.

danne tries a gimmick map. Chop some meat, marine! If you love using the chainsaw, you'll find plenty to enjoy about this map as you mow down tons of imps, demons, and spectres. It's mostly not that rough, as long as you pick your angles of attack and saw monsters away from blockmap problem areas. Partway through you're introduced to some problematic sergeants, first in bunkers and later as a flood in previously-explored areas. That makes reaching the exit fairly tough in a battle of attrition, depending on how much damage you've already taken, especially since they like camping out at the top of the elevator. Still, pretty fun.

Another nice Phobos base, this time using candles for a bit of supernatural suggestion. The action is pretty thick to start off, throwing bunches of monsters at you, especially if you walk up to those shotgun guy pillars. After that it kind of mellows out, though danne keeps the action hot and heavy with more claustrophobic fights and even some cool secrets to check out for the astute observers. No real standout fights for me.

Another E1 base with a light toxic touch. I like the layout and the way the main area - which you access by two keys - is bisected by a computer bank. E1M5 is trappier than previous outings, with lots of ambushes, both from closets and teleporters. You know when they're coming, of course, but that doesn't rob moments like the final warping wave of their manic nature. Also some neat SFX like the imps rising out of the muck.

More Phobos. There are a lot more open-air spaces this time and large waves of enemies, plus bits like shotgun snipers guarding the yellow key (that repopulate - thanks a lot!). Attrition is a very real threat, especially when you have to duck into a darkened nukage area with some imps in order to flip a switch to lower a blocking wall. There's probably a hidden radsuit nearby, but I managed to skate by without it. The finale includes a massive teleporter wave of E1 trash, thankfully done the fast way so you can blow all your rockets for maximum explosions.

danne makes a bunch of wide, open spaces with neat architecture and fills them in with monsters. Ready your rockets because a few well-placed missiles will cut down on a lot of the bleak shotgun / chaingun grind. This map blazes by very fast, unless you get clipped too many times and have to go find more health and armor you skipped past. There's a cute little pillar hop for the red key, very danne. Also appreciate the three different ways to get to the easternmost room housing the rocket launcher. They all funnel into the same tunnel, but it's the thought that counts.

Another superfast E1 slaughter, finally busting in the barons. It's a pretty to-the-point hubmap with key doors in several directions and one passage to the southeast you'll want to visit first as it has the rocket launcher. There are two challenging fights; the first involves barons and spectres, and is mainly an issue of clearing stuff without burning your face off from backdraft. The second is the end-of-level teleporter jumble, where a massive wave of E1 enemies comes out to greet you without any ability to retreat. Just keep that chaingun firing! A nice finish.



  1. Please change blog color scheme to more readable one.

    1. I'll change the font color to white, but that's as far as I'll go. The gray color is perfectly readable to me, personally, but if white is better for some people, then I'll go back to it.

  2. I like the black background with white/gray text.
    I don't know for the life of my why people want a screen full of white in their face when reading, that's irritating for your eyes. Maddox had the right idea all along.

    1. i might be conned into changing the color scheme to more of a pastel blue like tumblr's default UI, but thats about it