Saturday, April 7, 2018

00_e2m8 (00_E2M8.WAD)

by Sam "Metabolist" Woodman

Sam all but disowned his original Testament of Judgement demo - TOJ_15B - but apparently saw fit to release this thing in mid 2001. 00_E2M8 is purportedly his first original map and it definitely looks like the sort of product someone might have as the initial, awkward forays in an editor. As an E2M8 replacement it stands in for the original Cyberdemon showdown. "Tower of Babel" was an effective boss map in its simplicity and while it's not an awful idea to try to riff on the concept it just invites comparison to something that's already been enshrined in the memories of many players.

00_E2M8 has absolutely nothing to add to the legacy of rocketeering boss fights. It does feature a handful of monsters leading up to the big brawl but you're talking about some cacodemons and demons in a toxic sluice, to be broken down by the plasma gun, and a few spectres right after you snag the BFG and a boat load of ammo. The number of Cyberdemons in the final battle varies by difficulty with a maximum of three on ultra-violence. The playing area is a little cramped for a trio of supergoatmen and the torches in the open floor will make the required maneuvering a tad bit awkward but if you can zerg down one of them with the BFG then things will be more manageable.

Every area being a squat, unimaginative eye sore doesn't help matters much. Or the fact that the bridge leading across the toxic pit can only be raised by an Indiana Jones-style leap of faith. The chamber immediately following has its floor and walls plastered with computer panels and a mysterious square in the ceiling. SPOILER: It's useless. I would have guessed that this was some sort of half-finished level and the author just happened to find it lying around in a completable state but, no. Why Sam decided to expose it to the world given that he appears to be embarrassed by it is anyone's guess.

I can't think of any reason why you might want to play 00_E2M8 unless you have a Doom community history fetish or an undying lust for the crude, early output of user-created levels. It's not really recognizable as anything that Sam might have done unless you want to paint with incredibly broad brush strokes. Here it is, though, in all its gory glory.


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