Monday, April 11, 2016

The Revenge of Avind (AVIND.WAD)

by Christian Hansen

Hansen is one of the community's longest-running authors, a dude who has published pretty much something every year since 1998... though his early work didn't make it to the archive proper until 2000. He's also been one of Paul Corfiatis's chief collaborators, guest-starring in 2002: A Doom Odyssey as well as Bella II. The Revenge of Avind is his first original level as well as the first of a short series of Doom II levels (Doom 3: Ad Infernos), this one followed by The Blessed Hex. It's a MAP01 replacement, originally published in 1998, and has its own bit of flash fiction to go along with it.

Set after Doom II, the marine is recently victorious, having witnessed the death throes of the ultimate evil, Exhausted, you dial home with your trusty wrist communicator, expecting to arrive at the remnants of the UAC's headquarters. Of course, it would never be that simple. Hell is a big place, and while you kicked their asses up and down the whole Half Acre, the few you managed to miss were in possession of one of the ultimate technologies - the secrets of time travel. They hijacked your trip from Hell to home and sent you to their own past. Why they thought it would do them any good is anyone's guess, seeing as how you slaughtered them all when they were actually prepared for war. They can't even get their own ambush right, anyway, accidentally beaming you into a less... populous area, so at the very least you can get your bearings.

Avind is a pretty short level and doesn't field anything stronger than lost souls. It's still a tough play, due to a relative dearth of health and some save or die scenarios like the blue key platforming segment, which offers precarious footholds over an inescapable death pit. The hitscanners and imp cheap shots and - sneaky lost souls in the northern hallway area - may chip down unwary players before wising up or getting access to substantial health stores, like the secrets, one of which has a combat shotgun that will leave the Doom II trash feeling quite outgunned.

It's got pretty good architecture, especially for a debut level. Some people may wrinkle their noses at the FIREBLU crack in the northern hallway, but it's just a bit of fun, The study with fireplace to the northwest is both cool and DoomCute; I like the recessed torches. The starting area is pretty boxy but it has some visual hooks like the inexplicable pit before the front door and the roofed in patio where you start out. The marble brick hole behind the red key door is another fun looking section, though I imagine that the commando snipers lurking in the corners are bound to cheese a few people off.

Given that there's about a thirteen-year gap of experience between this release and the first Hansen level I played (Doom II Unleashed's MAP33), I know that I'm in for quite a ride, and I'm looking forward to every bump. AVIND isn't a must-play knockout, but if you're looking for a little light action with a dash of death pits, you ought to give this one a shot.



  1. Time to clear some of Hansen's back catalog, I'm guessing?

    Honestly, you're not missing a whole lot if you just start with his 2002 work (CH Retro Episode and his 2002ADO maps), continue on from there, and ignore the first couple of years. But it's only a suggestion, you can do full coverage if you want, of course. :)

    Also, for the road map, suggest Project Notebook and Paul Schmtiz' 'Return Resources' Artifact maps (more on both in the road map comments).

    1. "you can do full coverage if you want, of course. :)"

      yeah, exactly