Thursday, May 28, 2020

Catacomb Armageddon: Head Bangin' Man

Curiously, this level starts off as if the proceeding level was not a thing. More graveyard-like stuff, some more zombies. What the hell is this level progression? A long corridor of nothing, mirrored on the other side. Really? You're pulling this now? I guess that's consistent, but the last level had terror, due to the trees. I guess nothing is going to happen here.
HAHAHAHAHA! Killer rabbits? Now we're stealing Shadow Warrior's thunder? First FPS to feature rabbits as an enemy. I'm sure they'll take a small chunk out of my health, but man, could you have any more schizophrenia enemy design? Laughable enemies, with one creepy one. The other side is not mirrored either, with a lot of bats, and at the end of a long hallway, more rabbits. This puts me in a slightly annoyed mood, but at least I have three keys.
I quickly regret my annoyed mood for the first half of this level. Thanks to my incompetence here I get ambushed. I suppose this is actually a fairly clever tactic. Player assume the house is clear, player advances, sees rabbit, shoots while backing up, sees more enemies, gets stuck in hidden side niche full of enemies. All for a couple of chests. Well-played.
Now we see necromancers/mages pop up again. This area leads to the next level and once again, I have lost the advantage. I even have to use a cure potion. I think they did something to the necromancer graphic, looks worse than before. What do you know, a skeleton statue. Hmm, I guess that they changed the skeleton graphics too. Why do they look like some '80s metalhead though?
Lost City of the Damned...doesn't look that much like a city. What the hell happened to the wall? That's just the damaged wall texture for this level. Looks like someone's head made a messy indentation. Wonder what's behind it. Also, has it been a day? That's a blue sky...I think.
A...statue? It isn't moving after several moments.
Okay, they're definitely linking monster spawning to the player's location now. Credit where credit's due though, that's one nice damage animation, something players aren't going to be seeing clearly.
Yet, weird-ass metalhead skeleton. Seem a little weaker than the last skeletons. A key behind him, nothing more. When I make it back to the start area, I notice the way back and the way forward both have the same texture. Nice. The other side is just a bunch of skeletons, nothing too troublesome.
I'm starting to think the skeletons are smart. They don't seem to be advancing when I'm not in their line of sight. But as I move along the generic hallways that make up the rest of the level, it seems they do not. The level doesn't feel like a city, but it does build up the next level by making the temple feel big. There's even an early monster closet, where what you think is a single wall is actually a series of walls.
Temple of the Vipers is interesting. There's more new assets, but they honestly feel like they've been remixed from old ones. You've got the obvious first medusa encounter, then I've got two choices. One of them has a portal, I'll try that second.
The Long Hall of Truth is code for, ton of snakes. And another portal+key. I have no choice in the matter, but I'm going to go to the first one, not this one. Hang on, there's a door here...
Oh, this must be the level exit. The mages are no trouble, but the medusa seems unwilling to activate. Well, I had to do the portal one way or another.
A sacrificial room of some kind. Nothing of note beyond another key. The medusa activated while I was here, though. Subtle. To the other portal!
The Hall of Dread starts off spooky. I think a sound activates when I enter, but that's just a mage firing magic at me. Then we have the Deadly Approach, nothing terrifying, just another altar. It explodes, which is an interesting choice. Behind it, the Chamber of Unspeakable Horrors, which has a pair of medusas who at first I thought just wouldn't spawn, but ambushed me as I reentered. There is definitely some AI in here somewhere.
Then we have another hall with a spooky name, and another portal. In the portal, another ambush. That's it here, I have the key to The Torture Chamber.
As can be seen, The Torture Chamber is subtle about its name. Three skeletons. They look an awful lot like the ones I've been fighting, but I'm sure that's laziness.
Tricked by low expectations. Of course. Four locked doors, so something behind the skeletons. More hanging skeletons. Its not that effective afterward, although the game is still pulling off some kind of trickery to make the enemies seem clever.
Oh, I'm sorry, the door isn't locked. Uh-uh. Gee, wonder where this will head to. After the obvious ambush, I find the Hidden Passage of Hope, which has medusas in it. What's so hopeful about this...? was an escape route...with corpses on the wall. I have more questions.
The first actual locked door has more medusas. Which leads to another hidden corridor. More medusas, and then the level exit. Well, I got two more doors, I'll finish it up first. Nemesis might eat up some more zappers this time. Only have 14 cures too.
The next door is an empty cell, except for the hanging skeleton. And the wall that explodes if you don't aim carefully, revealing a hidden treasure room. Full of monsters. Across there, another room full of medusas and treasures. I seemingly get sent to 0% health here, but manage to recover. Huh? Am I cheating somehow? What? I think I need to stop here, so I can figure out what went wrong.

This session: 1.5 hour

Total Time: 2.5 hours

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