Castle Of Eternal Carrot In The Sky


Fact Sheet

Authors Fredrik
IWAD Doom 2
Engine Boom compatible engine
Date 2001/06/20
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot After playing Vrack2 by the same author, it might be hard to imagine a castle themed level in the same style, but somehow COECITS manages it. To give it its full (and unexplainedly silly) name, Castle Of Eternal Carrot In The Sky is a large and imposing castle - floating in a red hazy sky. The player starts on a large runway jutting out from the castle entrance, overlooked by two large towers and battlements teeming with imps and sergeants. The castle has extremely tall towers at each corner, which inside are more tall pillars and buildings, including a large keep which is the eventual target for the player. In addition there are a number of overhanging metal staircases which give access to features at higher levels of the keep, and a kind of floating metal cage which gives access to some switches at a higher level. All in all, it's a very surreal and strange castle.

COECITS is certainly pushing the engine to its limits, and it shows. There are a few noticable visual bugs (noted in the text file), in particular red streaks in the sky around the overhead walkways. The sheer complexity of views over the main part of the level causes the framerate to suffer on older computers (although it feels odd calling a PII "old" for Doom). Probably the main drawback of the level is the rather cluttered feel, including the skyline crowded with giant stone pillars, metal staircases spiralling upward, etc.

The castle is not just an imposing sight either; the inside of the castle is divided up by internal walls topped by imps, and there are caged firing positions overlooking most areas, so as soon as the player passes throgh the entrance they are under fire from above as well as from the many imps and barons on the ground, and wandering cacos mean the player has to stay alert. There is easy access to the battlements but they are no easy option, packed as they are with imps and sergeants. I was forced to adopt a raiding approach, darting in and out of the entrance picking off one or two firing positions each time, and trying to get those on the ground infighting. As you probe deeper into the castle you need to make use of the cover available as more enemies come in to sight, and a number of traps keep the main areas dangerous.

Unusually, the level makes quite a lot of use of monsters-can't-cross lines, with such lines even used to divide up open spaces in order to keep monsters in their starting areas. This is necessary due to the size of some areas; without these lines the monsters would all converge on the player at once, and the level would reduce to just a few (albeit massive) fights. This gives the player plenty of opportunity to get the opposition fighting each other, but you can't rely on these entirely, as in several places there are ways for the monsters to get around these lines - so you can be merrily wearing down a bunch of barons one minute from relative safety, and then suddenly one will work its way around the barrier and catch you by surprise. It's rather an articifial effect though, and the no-cross lines take the sting out of some traps by giving the player known safe zones to fall back into.

The level progression is not always obvious, especially as the map is of little use in such an open level, and a number of acid lakes within the castle separate the two main areas making it tricky getting around the place until later on. Once the main castle is beaten and the keys obtained, the player enters the keep and descends to a lower level, which is actually set in a series of passages looking out on the underside of the floating castle through metal bars - like I said, quite surreal. It's a clever and tricky area, with cacodemons both inside and outside firing in at the player.

Overall, a strange level with some good action but some unusual quirks too. Note that the level requires a Boom compatible port, partly due to the sheer complexity no doubt, but also for the silent teleporters used to make the lower level, and some of the switches and other special features used.


File List