Monday, April 14, 2014


by Kurt Kesler

Kurt said he was done with KBOOM_7, that from then on, he would make only maps that used features available to every source port. Here we are with KBOOM_8, though, and an amusing .TXT note - "This WAD will run ONLY under BOOM. If you don't like BOOM, tough SHIT, I don't want to hear about it, because most people DO like it." I dunno if people were pissed he was making Boom exclusive maps or what. Anyways, KBOOM_8 is predictably a 1998 MAP01 replacement for Doom II from the prolific Kurt Kesler, author of past vanilla works and future KZDOOM levels.

KBOOM_8 is another base map, taking Kurt's experimentation to a whole new level. This structure is loaded with faux-3D bridges, though why one would use easily rotted wooden planks in this toxin facility is beyond me. He also uses midtextures to make the various pipes you see on the walls, a nice element that pushes Doom just a bit further beyond its 2.5D domain. Lighting is at Kesler's standard, not contrasting enough to dominate the level but adding a little flair wherever it's highlighted. I do like the bridges, though some of the sorcery leads to some gaffes with the demons in the brown sludge pit, or at least their corpses.

KBOOM_8 begins with some light hitscanner punishment before settling into some easygoing imp shooting. Of course, commandos are likely to get the jump on you with all the other zombies shuffling around, but I never got punished that bad. It's a bit tricky once you get to the previously inaccessible chaingunner alcoves, but I found that the revenants weren't too keen on leaving their little territory. After that, the only real kick is on activating the yellow key switch, which unleashes a virtual horde on your position of hell knights, mancubuses, and revenants, not to mention some commandos in the back that might sneak up on you. It could get pretty hairy if you aren't quick - the shotgun and SSG are your only real weapons.

It's very fun, even if it's very short and linear, and still exhibiting a level of craft beyond Kesler's freshman efforts. KBOOM_8 is yet another nukage facility, but Kesler loves his base maps ("...DOOM just belongs in a 'BASE' theme"), and it won't take you very long to gun your way through this one.

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


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