Friday, May 11, 2018

Omelet Face (OMELET.WAD)

by Malcolm Sailor

Rule the World!Omelet FaceTEKRKBRN

3PACK_1 was released in 1995 some three months after MS's DARKER. The latter was a dark and dreary jumble of corridors. The former actually contained three levels, all occupying the MAP01 slot, that are way different than the author's debut. Two of them borrow quite heavily from the original Doom II. I'm not sure about TEKRKBRN yet but I'll find out one way or another. RULER snagged from both "Gotcha!" and mostly "Nirvana". Malcolm cheekily titled this one Omelet Face because he assumed that it would cook your countenance. He also claims it to the best Hell map he's seen other than id's but then goes on to damn Doom II's third episode in the same breath. Ah, to be twelve again.

OMELET parrots concepts explored in John Romero's "The Living End" and Sandy Petersen's "The Spirit World", just on a much smaller scale and with far less imaginative visual flair. The MAP29 segment comes first and is a small circular cavern with a central island that serves as your initial goal. There's a nice moment of intuitive platforming since the yellow key's location is not immediately apparent. There are a few free-floating heavies like cacodemons and some Hell knight turrets but the blood floor isn't poisonous and you get a super shotgun right next to the starting area so the threat isn't too big.

The second half takes after the big arachnotron / Spiderdemon cave network in MAP28 and while it isn't one huge blood cavern there are definitely a lot of arachnotrons and two Spiderdemons. Almost all of them must be slain using the rocket launcher found near the yellow key. I like the red rock with glowing crack texture but it's visually boring when wallpapering these chambers which perfectly echoes the banal task of rooting out the nest of mechanical walker brain freaks using rockets. A few arch-viles valiantly sacrificed themselves to maintain my enthusiasm level. Descending into the gauntlet like a basement is a pretty cool detail but a buffer texture between the ceiling and the glowing red rock would have gone a long way toward breaking up the monotony.

There are still kilometers to go before reaching the aesthetics and gameplay of CHORDG or even CHORD_NG but I already saw that entire period of artistic growth. All of this is just catching up to his tight, atmospheric work in The Talosian Incident that paved the way for the malevolent environments he started manufacturing with CHORD_1. Like RULER, OMELET is a simple but fun retread of things seen in Doom II. I've passed my time with far worse fare. You can either denounce it for being too derivative or go ahead and enjoy the popcorn.


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