Sunday, May 4, 2014


by Kurt Kesler

Kurt Kesler carries on his self improvement through experience plan with KBOOM_10, the search for more bases. Released in 1998, this MAP01 replacement for the Boom engine is part of his KBOOM series, a glut of levels with a similar purpose in mind - use Team TNT's added map features to enhance the look and gameplay of Doom levels. He would eventually move on to try ZDoom as well with the KZDOOM series, but that is another tale for another time. KBOOM levels tend to be small, punchy, and base maps. KBOOM_10 is no different, but there are some details that differentiate it from its brethren.

For starters, this base level begins in a naturalistic setting, though idk how common it is to have lava floes just chilling next to a military base. Location, location, location! After getting your bearings and a few killing sticks, you find the door to the south locked. Explore east and you'll get a rocket launcher and unleash some new baddies; finding new monsters in the courtyard is a nice way to alleviate the tedium of backtracking. The southern segment has Kesler's Boom favorites, deep water and faux-3D bridges, sprinkled with shotgun guys and imps at different heights to keep you guessing while you make your way toward the blue key, protected by an unusual crushing device...and a skeleton that sneaks up on you while you're caught staring at some newly-revealed monsters.

After that, it's on to the section Kesler describes as "...a slow area, but only for a few steps". The mostly symmetrical brown base section is ringed by shotgun guys with a couple of imps on the ground floor. Nothing threatening, of course, until you get down into the bottom, where you're suddenly harried by imps on the top and revenants on the bottom. Then you push a little further and suddenly you're in a tricky fight with a Cyberdemon, dodging around narrow columns in a cramped area with only a combat shotgun or rocket launcher to your name. You could steal the key and then run out, of course, but killing the Cyberdemon is so much more satisfying, plus you won't have to worry about getting cooked by rocket splash on your walk back around to the final fight, which itself is easily solvable with tons of rockets.

The most shocking thing about this map to me is the fact that, after about nine levels of using silent teleports - and this one has them too - Kesler actually deigned to use some normal monster teleport lines, a sound I never thought I'd miss, but I was pretty happy to have them back. KBOOM_10 is pretty fun; you should try it unless Kurt's map style grates on you, something I could definitely see happening. It's gotten way better, though, than his vanilla days. Dig that Iikka-esque elevator near the end!

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


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