Sunday, September 22, 2019


by "Memfis"

If you've been following along then the fact that this level showcases textures from 2002: A Doom Odyssey should not come as a surprise. I've seen Memfis as an outspoken fan of 2002ADO and even surmised in my review of Beware of False Prophets that he might have tributed it at some point. This PWAD is right in line with an MO established in Requimem and then continued in MEM_OLD1, MM2MEM01, Relive X2, and ICARUMEM. I just hadn't guessed at this one because - as he admits - Memfis grabbed its title from a hentai manga. Menkui is an E4M1 replacement originally released in 2012 but not uploaded until 2014 and should play back in any source port.

The author included the same barebones setup that started his Doomworld thread. It hardly establishes anything apart from your recent arrival - via teleport - at a small UAC outpost. When you start the level it looks like a typical KDITD-style base but the next, large room shows signs of infestation. You know, piping covered by skin that's oozing blood around the penetrations. When you step out the front door there's a squat, marble fortress built into the crater wall with a moat of lava. Did the UAC build an innocent outpost only to have it suffer an extra-dimensional invasion? Or was the facility studying a nearby "archaeological" site only to invoke an infernal power?

At the risk of repeating myself, this is a short but cute and promising level. Menkui keeps the monster crew pared down to E1M1-E1M7 and at a scant 29 enemies the ammo ratio is clearly in your favor. I still saved by shaving down zombies with the sidearm but as I have so many Memfis levels under my belt it's practically in my blood. The level has a lot of interconnections but they are almost all through the outer yard. With such a wide open space it relies more on its sheer size to score hits on the player. As opposed to cheap shots from things wandering by windows, of course. There are a lot of targets and a sloppy player is more likely than normal to take an imp fireball to the back of the head.

I like the start and the outdoor area but the architectural shine comes from the cavern excursion. The linear patch weaves you in and out of the yard space through a marble shrine and, eventually, the battlement seen from the outside. Memfis cited 2002: A Doom Odyssey's "Dementia" (E4M6) as his primary influence. You only get a smidgen of it in the execution but Memfis still manages to get something of the spirit of Pallai's work in the way in which you are routed through the playing space. It can't be exactly alike - mainly because it's so short - but I still feel it. I also think that the wooden plank cheat is a great touch (appearing at an oblique angle because of its orientation relative to the shaft entrance).

This is a fun little diversion, particularly if you didn't get enough of the custom textures from Torment Ultima / The Search For Stephanie. After playing I can't help but hope to see Paul and company find some use for them in his 2002ADO sequel. Not that I wouldn't mind seeing them tried on by any other authors. If you're down for a little Ultimate Doom excursion then you ought to give Menkui a shot.


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