Friday, December 22, 2017


by "Serious_MOod"

My impression of Serious_MOod was that of an author who favored the original trilogy. S_M had two episodes to his / her name, a Shores of Hell replacement titled Dark Side of Deimos and an alpha-inspired outing with fellow Russian Chaingunner called Beta Labs. Most of the RDC crew have dabbled in one of their many Doom II community megaWADs, often derived from speedmapping contests, but MOod has yet to grace one of their rosters. As a result, the existence of BID II came as a surprise. Released in 2016 for Boom-compatible ports, it's essentially a MAP01 replacement for Doom II plus a little buffer scene in MAP02 to keep you from rolling into American McGee's Starbase.

BID 2 has no included story; I'm not even sure what the title means. The initials of the author, perhaps? The lack of a preceding BID leads me to believe that the "II" designator merely identifies it as a Doom II level... unless Serious_MOod has an unreleased map lurking somewhere. I couldn't find one on the Doom Power archive, anyway. The level itself is essentially a techbase with a couple of outdoor areas to break the action up. For whatever reason, it reminded me of one of franckFRAG's installation levels (think Muskadet) in its variety of areas, clean design, and distinctive but not overbearing detailing.

The biggest impression it left on me was via its combat stylings. S_M leans heavily on revenants, using them as area denial, shock trooper, and regular muscle. This makes BID 2 a level that isn't threatening on its face to a player who is more than accustomed to dealing with spooky scary skeletons but the resulting overconfidence is liable to get you suckerpunched by a revenant rocket. It's also weighted almost exclusively toward the shotgun and chaingun. There is a very early secret SSG in a fairly obvious location but I completely missed it because my initial forays into the area in question were wrought with pistol panic. Having it in hand is a significant increase in your skirmishing power which ought to result in quite a change in the action's character, particularly those moments when you are facing down beefy opponents like arch-viles. The only other one is found near the end.

Fighting aside, I really enjoy the environments envisaged by the author. The initial area shows off the night sky (originally from the venerable Xenomorph) and the second outdoor segment has a neat peripheral walkway that rings a dirty cistern, which makes for a nice landmark. Other memorable scenes include a storage facility, a sewers section, and a sizable cavern area using a small mine cart track and a blocked tunnel tapering off into shadows in order to do a bit of world building. The inaccessible hallway in the opposite corner of the flooded quarry pit is another instance of suggesting some sort of depth beyond the level apparent.

The progression is decidedly non-linear, which is appropriate for an author whose first release drew inspiration from Doom's second episode. You need all three keys to exit but the blue key is the only one that locks away a significant portion of the playable area. I decided to switch which part of the map I was exploring on at least two occasions and it won't have much of an impact on gunplay since your weapon kit is so restricted. I think that I ran close to empty a few times but I wouldn't be surprised if switching horses in midstream was a contributing factor. Snagging the super shotgun would have definitely helped.

I like the end / buffer level; its peaceful landscape and soundtrack - a medley composed of one of the upbeat portions of Final Fantasy VII's pre-Meteor overworld music and Aeris's theme (and maybe a snatch of the pre-Ruin Final Fantasy VI overworld?) - feels like a fairytale ending. It's uncharacteristically sweet for a community built around navigating dingy labyrinths with dismembered bodies and demons dying disgusting, gory deaths. It really complements the main map which is a solid action-oriented outing in its own right. I highly suggest it, provided you don't mind revenants or playing with lower-tier weapons, and hope that the future holds more Doom II levels from Serious_MOod.



  1. Thank you, cool review. Concerning the name: Originally there was a very short level called "BID" (named after one meme), and this wad is its "sequel" (incidentally, part of that level is used here). But I liked how you deciphered the name, so you can forget about the existence of the first part. I'm waiting for the rest of the reviews.

    1. Thank you for the information! All of the reviews are in the pipeline.