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Wednesday 30th August 2000:

Dm1m2: "Stronghold of the Battereds"
(Size: 560 k. No Alternative downloads.)
Speedrun demo: 1:01

This map was part of the long-lost unfinished episode that also contained Ih1m2 and Ih1m4 (reviews) and is quite similar in feel to the former map - this too is a smallish, well detailed, and rather tough metal map. It also has a nice end teleporter, but is more spacious and better balanced for gameplay. The map has a typical metal theme: grey stone, metal trim, lava, crucifix lights, and rusty vents, but some designs are quite distinctive. Architecture is all good though unspectacular, with consistent, well used angles, supported by pillars and interesting details, the best designs being lights barred off by rows of crucifixes, and large pipes hidden behind ceiling beams. However the layout is a simple and linear room/corridor/room design - a more complex or 3D layout would have encouraged better architecture, exploration and gameplay. Also, the grey walls sometimes look bland, mostly in the few less detailed areas. A good, nicely made, map.

With the simple layout, the only exploration comes from a couple of useful secrets that are hard to spot unless you know where to look. Gameplay is tough right from the start but, aside from an ammo problem, mostly fair. All areas have solid combat and often surprises, the exciting highlights being waves of Ogres and Scrags, a brutal Fiend ambush, and a brief Ogre combat on a platform above a potential fall into lava. Monster selection is quite limited and some "boss" combats would have spiced things up, especially at the weak, simple ending. The main challenge comes from sparse supplies: Health is found in spaced clumps, and sometimes you have to go some distance without any, while ammo is tight, there being "just enough". Curiously there are some nails but no Nailgun, and this weapon would have made the ammo balance just right. However skill settings are well used, providing an alternative if it turns out to be too tough.

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