Castle of the Damned


Fact Sheet

Authors Massimo Ciano
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1996/9
Levels 1

Review by DrCrypt

screenshot Pretty small and sparsely populated, but I dug it. It is a more or less accurate translation of Quake's E1M2 "Castle of the Damned", only done in DOOM. I found it most interesting basically because it manages to show the differences in Quake and DOOM level design, most noticably monster placement, while at the same time showing how many of the id Quake levels were essentially DOOM levels with a few more bells and whistles. What I mean by this is that id, fresh off of DOOM editting, really have more or less DOOMish level designs in a lot of levels in Quake, with only a few real 3-dimensional locations. It shows that the level designers weren't entirely used to creating maps from a 3d perspective, as opposed to a 2d with heights perspective. However, Monster Placement is very different, since monsters in Quake choke up polygons, which in turn choke up system resources, so that a DOOMish horde of monsters in Quake is hard to implement, since it slows game speed. Sprites, on the other hand, are relatively unintrusive. So Monsters in Quake tend to be tougher and placed more pertaining to an advantage in their surrounding architecture, while being dispersed much more carefully. Since this entire review so far has been an aside, let me mention that it is simply because of the system limitations of polygon based enemies that I think Quake fails to a large extent as a single player game. Some of the monsters in Quake are brilliant (I think the Shambler, Ogre, and Fiend are -easily- better and more original enemies to fight than are, say, the Pain Elemental or Revenant from DOOM 2) and quite scary to come across... I just wish it were possible to use them in greater number, with less hit points. Marc Pullen, who I believe is working on a Quake to DOOM conversion (, take note. :)

Regardless, this level is pretty good. Sargeants take place of the grunts in Quake, Hell Knights are Ogres, Demons are Knights, Lost Souls are Scrags, and Fiends are Revenants (sort of a dubious replacement). As I said before, I was rather impressed with how well this level converts to DOOM... granted, you can't swim in the water, and bridges are two dimensional, but still, these things make negligible impact on the way the level plays and I think sort of show the design evolution of the id level designers. Another excellent Quake to DOOM level is level 31 in Requiem.

I have some gripes with Castleof, but these lie really in the fact that it is a bit too faithful to the original E1M2 from Quake. My real problem lies in the fact that the level is really much too easy. It only has 36 monsters , which is about what the original level has: however, DOOM enemies are inherently weaker than Quake ones, so I flew through this level. Also, some of the enemy replacement choices are a bit bizarre: for example, there is no -way- a Lost Soul is nearly as powerful as a Scrag. A cacodemon would have been a much better choice. Mainly, monsters in this level needed to be overkilled a bit more. I think this level needs about two-three times as many monsters to be any real challenge.

Other than that, this level is great, and interesting to play. The sound pack, replacing many DOOM sounds, like monsters sounding off, with Quake noises, is pretty good, although honestly, I prefer the original DOOM sounds. It gets a three only because it doesn't prove much of a difficulty, but still, I think people should download this, since it is a very interesting level to look at.


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