Tuesday, February 16, 2021


by A.o.D.

I was strolling through the Doomworld Forums in TYOOL 2021 as is my wont and saw a WAD name that caught my eye - TROUSLED. Someone tried to be helpful to the author and linked them to the mod posting FAQ without any context so I foolishly decided to be a bit of a wise-ass. In the process of doing so I dug a little deeper than I probably should have and raised some questions that I decided to answer for myself. In the process I saw the INTERPIC at which point I realized that the mood of the PWAD was probably Undertale-related. I'm tangentially aware of UT but not familiar enough for this mod's title to have clued me in. Trousled is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II meant for play in GZDoom.

The plot - you're the REPAIR GUY GUY GUY GUY GUY. The .TXT makes references to two past repair jobs; I'm reasonably sure that the allusions are to the author's previous works. In this case you get a notice that a hydroponics lab is suffering some sort of malfunction due to a vehicle-related accident. When you arrive you notice that part of the facility has a castle-like growth coming out of it. Aw, shit, here we go again. Why is it always demons? In the process of breaking into the lab you lose your trusty utility belt. This double sucks since the only way you can get machinery to respond without it is, heh, mechanical agitation.

Trousled's combat involves you, upwards of 70 revenants, and a Berserk pack. And, uh, a Cyberdemon. That last one is a late player but no less appreciated. It's punchy punchy time and even with the upgrade it's still against skeletons. If this seems like a bit much to you then you can enjoy the simple premise while using a more traditional toolkit. ITYTD gives you a shotgun for the very first bony encounter and then a SSG after with a rocket launcher to close. You're still better off encouraging the two sides of the final fight to work against each other but that's to conserve your ammo more than anything. There's a veritable busload of skellingtons to confront.

That's the other major reference - Revenant100's Revenant Bus. I'll give you one guess as to what crashed into the side of the hydroponics lab and why the site is now overrun by spooky scary skeletons. You might not get a chance to see it before the rest of the boneheads unload depending on whether or not you are just strolling around and swinging your fist during the cargo bay portion of the map. It doesn't pay to be standing inside the ruined garage when you set them off, though. The teleporter is ruthless in its efficiency and you will be quickly up to your armpits in raging boners.

Trousled has some fun things going on in it but the main technological showcase is the crane room. This drab and flat-looking locale explodes once you hit the button, shaping itself to change the shape of the battlefield that you fight in as you progress. Access to old alcoves becomes restricted while new nooks open up. As an Easter Egg (I assume), the shape can go one of two ways depending on whether you're inside of a certain chamber when the battlefield changes. This will prevent the revenants in the garage from emptying into the main arena but adds in certain pitfalls that you must be aware of as you cannot leap out.

Oh, yes; A.o.D. has disabled jumping and crouching. Freelook is untouched but it isn't exactly game-breaking when all that you are fighting is revenants and you can only use your fist. There are a bunch of other little settings that the author encourages you to use but it basically boils down to a relatively vanilla playthrough apart from the scripting. The author uses it for some other stuff in addition to the crane room. Some of it is initiating and stopping "Bonetrousle", Papyrus's theme from Undertale. There's also a little bit where your vision is tinted blue prior to being given the Berserk pack and what research indicates is a quote from his fight.

If you are adept at punching revenants then Trousled probably has nothing new to offer you in terms of difficulty. Most of the technique involves keeping a respectable distance and recognizing that they retaliate with a rocket attack whenever they get pain stunned. So, like, be wary of darting in for another punch if you agitate one. I don't think that the four or so multi-revenant brawls really get harder for having a couple more. It's sort of how I feel about huge, monotypical monster packs working more like a multicellular organism. It's just a jerky amoeba that spits missiles at you and sometimes the projectiles home in on you.

It's a cute PWAD, though, and props to the author for including a weapons mode on ITYTD for anyone who wants the giggles without running the gauntlet. If you don't mind a spot of funnin' with revenants then you could give Trousled a shot. The shifting cargo bay is definitely worth a gander for its sector machinery. This goes double if you're dying to see a little Undertale mixed in with your Doom or find the whole revenant-meme spectacle infatuating. Remember to say hi to Axel and Denver!


  1. goddamn, you're just banging out review after review these past few days

  2. I just learned that there's a bug in the last fight. I'm going to have to investigate that. Somehow something causes the floor shift to double trigger.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. It's fixed. I'm still working out how to get the finale theme to not loop without causing the rest of the exit script to delay. Once I figure that out, the map will be in its final state, barring the discovery of any other bugs.

  3. Good to have you back kmx!!