Friday, August 22, 2014

Micro Plutonia (MPL.WAD)

Micro Plutonia is one of those offshoots of the Plutonia Revisited Community Project. Most of the rejects have found their way to release one way or another, either as solo works or parts of larger mapsets. Matthias Johansson's "UAC Garden Facility" was one of the later, worked into this minisode for The Plutonia Experiment, released in 2011. The original is MAP06, while MAP04 and 05 were made to pad things to a trio. The story is about as self aware as can be - the demons have invaded some bases that are identified as "Plutonian" and you're going to make them wish they hadn't.

None of these bases really stand out in terms of architecture besides their more obvious homages. Johannson has a definite style (and it's highly orthogonal), but the base portions of the "major" level feel more like hallway combinations than structures. It's interesting to get a contrast to the immense, demanding "Venom" in these shorter outings. "Fray" and "Blaze" field few more than 60 enemies and while "Garden Facility" is larger, it's got a lot of empty space. Johannson tends more toward trial-and-error traps, especially since he leaves nowhere to run in several of the toughest MAP06 setups.

Micro Plutonia is a decent little map pack painted in the much-loved Casali theme. I can see why MAP06 didn't make the cut, but it's nice to have it all the same, plus the little speedmaps. Check this out for a nice, quick play, or if you just can't get enough of that overgrown base style.

by Matthias "Waverider" Johansson

Short map in Plutonia's E1-style, at least as far as textures go. It's pretty forgiving if you can stomach killing a revenant with a shotgun and if you grab the SSG before venturing forth you're pretty much set for life. The only major hangup would be the courtyard faced by the exit, which has a bunch of monsters in it, including two commandos in the balcony. Nothing too stressful, though. That door just robs the arch-vile / revenant combo of any efficacy. I like the chaingun platform and that river coming from the north on the west side.

Uh, same style, but a bit more daunting than "Fray". It's got half again as many monsters, but twenty more isn't a whole lot unless you're using them like Waverider does. If you decide to pick another direction when you see those cacos you run smack into a baron and his commandos. Nothing too bad, until you reach the switch that frees up the blue key, which is dangerous if you stay to fight; there's too much to get hung up on to dodge rev rockets while you slay the vile and if you don't kill archie fast enough, you're toast. The finale isn't too bad but it's a great example of pressure, putting two skeletons at your back, two Hell knights in the closest safe area, and a handful of chaingunners in between.

MAP06UAC Garden Facility
This map is cut from the same cloth as "Blaze" and "Fray" but there's an obvious "Onslaught" homage about midway through the level. It's a fairly sprawling base map that has several large outdoor areas divided by little bunkers. The architecture doesn't have much to it since most of the level is huge yards, and pretty orthogonal at that. It's fun to fight through, though, and Johannson is not afraid to throw some arch-viles at you, whether they're keeping a ledge staffed full of shotgun guys or assaulting you en masse at the exit. The first great outdoor fight is more of an exercise of movement and cover. The second, that borrows from "Onslaught", locks you in a cage that you have to have to fight your way out of by clearing out the monsters that block the various switches. That sneaky vile placement in the window is diabolical.



  1. hmm, the map screenshots are from something else I think :)

    1. uh whoops looks like obsidian's into the code snuck in there, thanks for the heads up!

  2. Taste For Blood is worth a go too. 6 levels, most are a bit bigger.