Thursday, November 21, 2019

Mod 1: Barneystein 3D

Mod for:Wolfenstein 3D
Time:1 hour

When I first started Wolfenstein, I knew I wasn't just going to do the base game or Spear of Destiny. I had to do my first experience with Wolfenstein 3D. You see, while I started with the shareware version of it. I didn't start with the official shareware, but rather, a mod of the shareware version*. I didn't know this right away. You see, the enhancements weren't on by default in my version, so I didn't find out until later when I went messing around with the disc of shareware I got it on. Lo, and behold, I find Barneystein is on my version. Barneystein graphics, and a bunch of stories. Stories, I should add, that a pre-teen child should not have been reading. Sure, this game contained scenes of violence involving people getting shot and creating bloodpiles, but it was all in a cartoony way, not as all realistic. Sure enough, I was terrified of the story and quit the setup instantly.

...if you even care.

Barneystein is a confusing story. It takes place after Wolfenstein. BJ is back in America, presumably raising Commander Keen's dad with his famous actress wife. He's stealing cable FROM THE FUTURE! One of Barney's children, Maca'hzar, also a time and dimension traveling wizard, teleports to his house and asks to come in. BJ takes issue with Maca'hzar's use of his nickname by way of threatening to murder him and asks him to call him Bill. "Bill" then lets him come in and the discuss both "Bill" and Maca'hzar's adventures. "Bill" being completely freaking psychopathic in this story, putting this game in line with a slightly alternate reality New Order series.
Maca'hzar of course, relates the tale of Day of the Barney, in which Barney convinces the children of the world to kill all the adults. His new world order involving killing any male over the age of 14 and impregnating the females. How a boy named Johnny finally killed him. And how Maca'hzar became such a mystical fellow.
"Bill" is perfectly willing to handle ol' Barney, because he always wanted to kill a dinosaur. The game also makes fun of Wyoming. Personally, I think if you make an elaborate backstory for your game about killing a stupid children's mascot character that no one over the age of five likes, you shouldn't be making fun of anyone. Also, apparently The Doctor** gave "Bill" cable. Given the writing, I buy it. "Bill" also whines about not getting sent directly to Level 9 and so forth.
Maca'hzar also goes on to mention that Barney clones his enemies so he can kill and torture them multiple times. He's also cloned and brainwashed...Beavis and Butthead. I actually remembered this, what gave me real pause was The Doctor. He also goes on to mention that the gatling gun will be a laser particle cannon. Now, I'm just a dumb American, but aren't lasers and particles completely different? Jeez, I haven't even played it yet and I'm already questioning the game's entire logic.
To finish it all off, the author of the game breaks the fourth walls, and whines about Wolfedit. Oh, joy, its going to have Blake Stone sprites. It ends with him saying I have better things to do, but I won't do them anyway. With the use of the word "smeg". You know, I vaguely like Red Dwarf and The Doctor and I want to strangle this guy through time. Well, you know, I could read Moby Dick instead. Herman Melville is a much better author than I think any of us give him credit for. Recently I read Typee and thought it quite intriguing. I could work on making a game. No, I've got to relive a Wolf mod from my childhood.
Barneystein, when you get down to it, is a slightly modified Episode I. You get some recolored sprites, some recolored textures from Blake Stone. I think one of the wall textures is from Spear of Destiny. That's great. Smoke comes out of the pistol barrel now for some reason. All the other weapons are recolored. There seem to be two sets of sounds in this game, one for the crappy cards which sound like complete garbage, and the other one which is fine. Ripped, but fine.
Onto the meat of the mod.
Its a riff on the original. Follows most of the same beats but does it differently. Doesn't link to the secret level, which is smart. We also begin with some subtle satire, like the MTV logo replacing the swastika and Barney replacing Hitler. We also get a boatload of purple. I don't mind that, we're assuming that Barney is very vain.
We also get to see some other cartoon mascots tortured. We a pile of bones with a Merlin hat, and what appears to be Tigger tied up. There's a sentence I don't want to use again.
Commits a cardinal sin of level design, having the area behind the player be a new area rather than the blocked off way back. The real attraction of this level is a long hallway where you're trapped between two groups of B&B. You can't enter either area with the enemies, so you have to fight them at a disadvantage. If you want to. There's plenty of ammo and health hidden behind some Catacomb Abyss level secrets. Also in the subtle satire layer, we have a McDonalds meal replacing the blood from the base game. The health items go like this now: Medikit>Candy Bar>Something vaguely green in a bowl?>McDonalds. Is there a cheaper shot at this point?
Ground floor already? This level is a castle-type level. For the first half. Its certainly densely packed. The latter half has basically no health or ammo beyond McDonalds and scavenged ammo. If I need McDonalds for health, chances are I'm already dead***.
I'm starting off weakened and about to die because nobody left any ammo on the last level. This feeling is extended because there's a horde of enemies nearby that I have no choice but to kill in my current state.
The level itself brings to mind Nitemare 3D's E1M2, a square room with four exits leading to another square room with six exits leading to different areas. This level has no mercy in terms of supplies. There's probably something inside the secret rooms here, but there was no obvious place for them to be. Excepting the exit, which is hidden behind a level exit that turns out to be a pushwall.
Yeah, start me off with a ton of enemies, that isn't annoying at all. This levelpack seems to be balanced around you just surviving off the scraps of your enemies. Also, Piglet is here in a cage. And some elephant. There are certainly elements of greatness here, several areas that you see can later be entered, but we aren't quite there yet. Some unnecessary locked areas with supplies in them is a nice touch.

24 enemies and I have almost full supplies. Very disappointing. Don't mistake that for ease. This is a big level and its easy to wake enemies early. You won't be the only one scrambling around the labyrinth.

A bunch of zig-zagging corridors with enemies on both sides. This was in registered Wolf. I can't see why Apogee and Id would be upset at this at all. I don't think it had a bunch of supplies at the start nor a pushwall at the end. The rest is just a long walk through a corridor with some side rooms. Also hope you weren't shooting for 100% secrets, bud, because some of them are mutually exclusive. Like ones on either end of a blocked off area. Absolutely no health items after the start, yay.
Why its a maze. You know what I like after a maze? Another maze. A corpse of Kermit is here. Its probably earlier in the game, but I didn't find it. Its funny how all the characters here are owned by Disney. You could change a few words and graphics around and blam Disney satire. You'd also have to work in the acid mines to pay off Disney when they sued your ass, but hey, we can't have everything.
We once again get the required push wall, this time a mini-pushwall maze. I did not realize how low this game was going to dive.
I guess I missed the secret level. How horrible. How will I ever live with myself? How can I go on with this project? I'd continue this, but guess which level needs you to find a secret to win? How lovely.
So, Barney looks like that, he has some badly done audio I presume is ripped from something. That's the end of it. The final area looks like a wide open area with a couple of swastikas.

That was certainly something. Let's see how it stacks up. The enemies and items are all the same as Wolf, despite the different graphics.

Eh, some were better, some were worse, and some did what I would call 'bad level design'. 2/10

This section can be summed up as, look ma, I changed the palette in my shootin' game. Some are ripped from Blake Stone. Some, I presume, is original. 2/10

The guy didn't even bother to change the in-game text. 1/10

There's a lot of sound ripped from other sources. It clashes with each other and with the sounds that are still from the base game. Not even bothering to change the music either. 0/10

Now, I may have lost the ability to add in the hour I played this game, but I think that adds up to 5 out of 40. Of course it does, why would you play this today?

I'd also like to add that this mod also has a post taken from Usenet about the content of Barney compared to Seasme Street and Mr Rogers. Honestly, the content contained next to the mod is far more interesting than the mod itself. (scroll down, you'll see it eventually)
Of course, that last link shows me I'm not quite done with that damn purple dinosaur.

*Hence, why, if you check early stuff regarding Doom, they ask you to make modifications only for the registered version. I'm guessing this had something to do with it. If they give a shit now, who knows.
**As in Doctor Who.
***Please take this out of context. I don't hate McDonalds like so many others do, but I would find a random inclusion of that quote hilarious.

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