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blood for the blood god (2)

ironlord in extreme_nerdery

Post two of three: heretics, heathens and excessive violence

...in which I continue to unearth the greatest WADs money never had to buy. Onto a game made on the Doom engine...

HERETIC: Fortress Of Fortitude (Hordes Of Chaos X, E5M3)

In the beginning... well, not quite, there was a standalone Heretic level called Steeplechase. It was an enormous level built around the ramparts of a humongously huge castle, in which D'Sparil was to be chased around and, presumably, faced right at the end. I say "presumably" because the ending I found didn't involve this final battle. Moreover, the level was horribly glitchy. Even taking into account its massive size, there was a metric fuckton of wonky or nonexistent linedefs and floordefs, along with several Inescapable Traps Of Doom and a green key that was hiding behind an inaccessible wall. Nevertheless, I cheated my way through it to see more missing walls behind the green door, and ended up at one stage transported to an inescapable part of the level. But, far from becoming potentially the greatest level never to be completed, the compilers of Hordes Of Chaos stepped in and saved the day.

And so it was that, in Hordes Of Chaos Episode V, the reward for fighting your way through Hell's Belly Button and Emerald Passage was this, the now-renamed Fortress Of Fortitude. HOC had imported extra baddies from Doom II and Hexen, and removed all the player's weapons at the start of each level. The layout of Fortress Of Fortitude was kept essentially the same from its original version, but had its backdrop improved, all the linedef problems ironed out, the troublesome green key was dispensed with altogether... and the number of baddies was bumped up from 231 to 530. Add in massive great stashes of ammo and tomes of power, and the resultant revival of this thunderously great castle level was a deliciously challenging rampage round the ramparts - but as with Warpzone in the previous post, not the kind of ludicrously-close-to-impossible scenario of Hell Revealed. In short, it's the perfect antidote to a shit day at work when all you want to do is kill, kill and kill again, without being killed yourself every three seconds. No doubt the Doom kvltists are sharpening their knives right now, because - as it always had to be - Hordes Of Chaos X requires a source port. Otherwise, where would all the imported baddies come from?

And the reward for completing this behemoth? An even bigger level, set in a tower in the middle of a huge valley, for the final battle with a seven-league Baron Of Hell. Only thing is, this one was annoyingly difficult to navigate through, and despite the scenery, was trounced by its immediate predecessor.

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August 2009

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