Monday, August 6, 2018

0scraps (0SCRAPS.WAD)

Paul Corfiatis is one of the community's most prolific authors and it's only natural that a dude who had released nearly a hundred levels from 1996 through 1999 would have some unfinished stuff that he was just disinterested with. Enter 0SCRAPS, a Doom II episode pulled off of pcorf's drawing board and released in early 2002 alongside Spacia: A Silly Doom Space Adventure. The compilation has a total of nine levels, two of which were clearly designed for deathmatch and appear here in their eerie, deserted glory.

The rest are very short Doom II levels that generally feature around twenty or so monsters. The one major exception is MAP04, whose opening half is clearly descended from Paul's previously released PC_PLAN. None of the maps are particularly difficult and as a whole should provide a pleasant if not exactly inspiring experience, tied together through the use of a starry sky texture. In these respects it almost has something of a unified character and might appeal to the same audience that loved the much-later-produced and more polished Zone 300.

This is especially the case if you love blasting your way through Doom II trash monsters. The chaingunner appears sparingly and the only other exclusive is one single Hell knight. The rest all belong to the original but are limited to the shareware monsters apart from a handful of Cyberdemons, none of which you are forced to kill. No kickboxing skeletons shooting homing missiles; no lost-soul belching meatballs; no rambunctious resurrection rapscallions. Just Zombies, shotgun guys, and imps, with the occasional demon and a few clusters of Barons toward the end.

If ascetic detailing, layouts, and monster placement appeals to you, then you might be pleasantly surprised by pcorf's collection of leftovers. It's a humble mapset, has a few surprises, and goes by blazingly fast.

by Paul Corfiatis

A sort of castle-base hybrid thing. All of the monsters are Doom II trash, fielding only one commando toward the end in a storage room. Features include a tiny 64-grid labyrinth and a blood trench chamber with a teleport ambush that makes it the combat highlight, almost by default. Basic but mildly enjoyable room clearing, ending with a Plutonia teleporter.

Very short level. If it weren't for the earthen materials, it could be interpreted as a space ship / base thing. The rooms are pretty cool, I think, especially the eastern one that descends to the yellow key. The two main monster groups for you to fight have shotgun guys so you'll need to pistol whip one or the other before you can snag a weapon upgrade. The chaingun reward for the northern pit fight doesn't seem at all helpful.

Something about the stair sections leading to the southern ramparts if very familiar but I can't quite put my finger on it. This starts out in a blood trench. You fight your way up the stairs, clear out the vantage point, and then press a button. This lowers the trench in the starting area (always a neat progression gimmick), granting access to the key room which has an encounter with among other things a Hell knight. It looks pretty cool; again, it's just short. Something waiting on the way back to the key switch would have been a nice change-up.

I recognize the first half of this level as the layout of PC_PLAN. The monsters have all been changed from the original, tough-as-nails placement to a host of zombies. This includes using SS Nazis to replace the cacodemons at the beginning. The other part is a tacked-on sewer section that tries to get you with a megasphere trap after emerging into a humdrum techbase. You can probably kill the Cyberdemon that surprises you but the utmost patience is required lest the blockmap bug send your bullets flying through him.

A deathmatch level featuring no monsters. It's a base built out of big, expansive rooms and hallways for movement and some neat set pieces like the southern yard's megastructure and the western balcony. Something resembling a control room to a reactor leads me to believe that it's a power station of sorts. All of the weapons but the BFG appear. Some of them are tied up in long, weird annexes like the plasma gun and its corridor of explosive barrels.

MYHOUSE.WAD. Deathmatch, of course, with one tall exception. All of the weapons appear but this is more for screwing around in than raw combat given the cramped layout, furniture, and doors. Features include a kitchen, three bedrooms (one of which I assume Paul and his brother Joe shared given the computer), a bathroom, a water closet, living room, and car port housing a vehicle.

A very short scrap, kind of like an underground base. The entirety of its 14 monsters are zombies, shotgun guys, and imps with one semi-surprise chaingunner. The northern section is clearly derived from "Entryway" given the cage / secret alcove and the positioning of its exit. I think that the way to the hidden chaingun is actually pretty cool.

Part base and then whatever you want to call the meat-colored stone lining the walls of the opening section. Most of the map is straightforward if cramped corridor shooting broken up by a little bit of switch hunting. Toward the end you'll trigger a fairly big ambush complete with crusher-triggered explosions. This trap has another nested surprise that could slay you dead if you're slow to react since the firepower provided won't allow you to quickly clear an exit route.

This one is a little more like a boss setup. The core is rotationally symmetric and staffed by pushover zombies and imps. Eventually you'll realize that you need a blue key but won't be able to find it anywhere obvious. It's in a hidden closet, so thank goodness that there isn't a lot of space for it to hide. While looking around you might also find a secret stash filled with health as well as a ton of cells and a plasma gun. You don't need it to kill the Barons in order to open up the exit, even if it makes your job much easier. You WILL want to access it if you're interested in killing the Cyberdemon guardian. You can just lead him around the periphery, though, and be done with it.

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