Thursday, February 22, 2018

Testament of Judgement I v0.2c (demo) (TOJ_E1M1.WAD)

by Sam "Metabolist" Woodman

Take two. Or not, since this one's for the original. SW put out a promotional release of his Testament of Judgement project in 1999, then for Doom II. By 2000 he had switched gears, going back from Boom to the original executable and more or less disowning TOJ_15B. While still a single map replacement, this time E1M1, Sam included quite a few custom resources including a level title graphic. He certainly seemed committed! Alas; time makes fools of us all. Sam had more luck with his Mortiser series and shepherding the Plutonia 2 project through its early days, among other things.

Woodman never elaborated on Testament of Judgement's story, but it apparently would have been in the usual vein of Doomguy single-handedly fending off Armageddon. Like its MAP01 variant, this level (titled "Titan Research Base") suggests an interstellar overdrive. That's pretty much the only real comparison, though, outside of some sector machinery. TOJ_E1M1 is a sensible opener and fields a bit more than twenty monsters during regular play. Heck; I managed to miss half of them over the course of my initial clear, including the blue key ambush which is apparently easy to cheat. The monsters are all either zombies or imps, making the biggest threat a slow crusher encountered and telegraphed quite early on.

The monster placement is still kind of threatening since it's built around a courtyard with copious amounts of windows and the imps on the west side are more than happy to lob a few fireballs in your direction. It's kind of tough to see them through all the midtextures and things. Pairing up the pistol and a minute amount of health means that you're likely to suffer a fair bit of attrition. Eight of the zombies must be teleported in by the player, a nice DoomCute moment that's right there with the switch-fu required to gain access to the air duct containing the button to lower the bars.

TOJ_E1M1 is Hell of flat, insubstantial as far as size and action, and its texturing is kind of a hot mess, but it's way more promising as a direction for a megaWAD than Testament of Judgement circa 1999. I'm looking forward to see what kind of sector machinery Sam goes on to cram into the rest of his single player levels since all I really knew him for were slaughter tributes. I can't say whether this little morsel is worth your time but if you prefer really short maps featuring Doom's easiest monsters then there's a lot of a little to like here.



  1. I dig the custom textures in this one.

    1. it's certainly an interesting aesthetic, though it doesn't seem to have carried over into MORTRES, which became the de facto theme for the never-finished TOJ