Fact Sheet

Authors Eric Severn
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1994/6
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

I was pleased to see a story in the TXT accompanying this PWAD. The mission in this PWAD is to recover the BFG9000, and escape the level. It adds soemthing to a level, I think, when you have some idea of a mission when you enter a level.

The screen clears. I am in a small room, with a switch to open the door. It reveals a few troopers, I quickly deal with them. This room has a door ahead and 2 to either side. I try one, it doesn't open. I try another.

A room full of (about 30) troopers. Great. I hold down the fire button for a minute and the room is cleared. They are injuring me (enough troopers can cause significant damage), but nothing serious. Next room. More troopers. My pistol has never had so much use. The next room. A squad of imps. My pistol is getting hard pressed now. The next. A squad of troopers, dealt with...

I played this PWAD for 3/4 of an hour with a pistol and (later) the chainsaw, before finally I gave up in disgust. Most Doom players probably only use a pistol for a minute on every PWAD while getting the shotgun, so in case you don't know, playing a level with a pistol is VERY DULL :-(.

I loaded the PWAD into an editor. Well, there are 7 shotguns in this level, and 56 sergeants, but the shotguns are all in the same room, a red key room, and the sergeants are in,the blue key area - accessible only after fighting a squad of barons. OK, so if you play it in the right order (as I then did), you can get the yellow keycard, then the red keycard, and then some decent weapons. But the author should have made sure we went in the right direction. He does give a hint in the accompanying text, but I had read it beforehand and found it little use. I know the author did this deliberately - it is part of the story - and he thinks it is part of the nature of the level, but it is too easy for players to never get an idea of which way to go.

Hence I will give a specific hint to anyone playing this - don't go through the door opposite the door from the entrance room, go through the doors to either side, otherwise you'll play for ages and get no closer to the shotguns. This door should (IMHO) have been a red keydoor, to prevent players wandering the wrong way. Explore the start area thoroughly before moving on.

Having found this out, now I played again as the author intended. There were still rather a lot of troopers to deal with (150+ in all), but the opposition later on became more interesting. The best part of the level was the final area, with some neat traps and tricks.

Architecturally, the level is LARGE. The central room is huge, and looks good to, with crates stacked out into the room. More attention could have been payed to some details though. The ceilings on doors were often not chosen. There were many doors where a small texture had been used on a tall door - instant tutti-fruiti, and would look ugly even without it. There were also odd panels of different textures in otherwise uniform rooms (not radically different, but different). There were also switches tiling vertically up walls. And in places the author used the SKY texture for walls - doesn't look very good.

Object placement was not great. The author adopted a style of ammo and health dumps, with a room containing 18 medkits, and the armoury, containing the 7 shotguns, 7 rocket launchers, and loads of boxes of ammo. OK, it is a nice idea, but during play these rooms were a long way from the later areas, so running back and forward was tiresome. The author clearly found the same, so he included a few goodies later on in the more conventional manner (a stimpack here and there). This made the amounts in the early caches unecessary (I used only 6 of the medkits).

There is plenty of ammo after the shotgun room, although you will not have enough rockets to kill the cyber - but by that point, you have the BFG9000, and loads of cells, so he's no problem. In the end I found this to be a rather frustrating level, but the later areas at least are not so bad to play through.

Download 11getbfg.zip

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