Saturday, January 19, 2019

Capone's Pit (PIT08.WAD)

by "Capone"

The author known as Capone had a brief stint in early 1997, finishing the quasi-notorious AOL Girls Museum during that period but uploading it to the archive a year and a half later. He didn't make many levels but his few releases were short and not particularly challenging or even inventive; all of them but AOLGIRLS claim to use a pre-existing map for a base. Capone's Pit is the first of these, a Doom II MAP01 replacement released at the tail end of 1996. It doesn't mention what the original source was; I presume that it shared the PIT moniker and was maybe a Deathmatch level but none of the stuff I looked at fit. I didn't try too hard, though.

It's a very simple level. Most of it looks like it's part of an underground base of some type with you having just swam up through a dirty well. There is a big, zig-zagging catwalk across a rectangular nukage pit that is the level's namesake. The author tells you what you have to do but the progression is pretty obvious. You need to drop down and search a little network of cobblestone tunnels for both keys required to exit. All of the monsters involved are very easy to kill; Doom II trash all the way, the toughest being some specters. The two who happen to be in the pit are blocked from entering the northeast bit so they're practically harmless.

The southern half has a small crate room that's packed full of zombies which serves as a decent threat and a "boss fight" against two revenants in a tiny library. It's actually a nice little battle to close things out; the maneuvering room is tight enough to make you wary while still giving you the leeway required to consistently dodge their fire. There's also a little outdoor scene where you can become "stuck" due to author oversight. You aren't meant to visit there but the midget crate gives you the height you need to parkour your way to the little nukage fall from which you will never escape.

It isn't a great map but it's functional and should whet the appetite of people looking for stuff that feels like it came from 1994. One of the key details there are the "ammo platforms" in the first room after the starting area, temporarily lowered via switches. I didn't even notice the beautiful night sky during my playthrough. I wish I knew what the source was because I don't know how much of this is Capone's own design. It certainly feels like an appropriate beginning for someone who would go on to AOLGIRLS.



  1. Ooh neat! I vaguely recall this little level. Memorable name I suppose. Seems slightly more interesting than I remembered too.

    IIRC the cool sky is the same one that appears in an old decentish episode called The Experiment:

    The graphics for the wad are attributed to Prower, so maaaaybe that helps source it? Can't currently verify from my cubicle haha

    1. Certainly worth looking into but I believe that the beginning of Capone's "career" predates Prower's /idgames releases by almost half a year.

  2. Ah good catch! I didn't notice that =o

    After a bit more geeky digging (IE scrolling a bit further down TE.txt lol) it turns out the sky is from Vertical Soul by John Krutke: