Saturday, June 13, 2020

Catacomb Apocalypse: The Longest Maze

Last I left off, I was about to take a wonderous journey through another maze. Just think, Jim and Mike, the leads on this project, created over 100 levels between these games and Blake Stone. To put things into perspective, Tom Hall and Romero did 80 between Wolfenstein and Spear of Destiny. Come to think of it, what is their excuse for not beating these guys in quality? Not here though.
Golden...trolls? What is this, Golden Axe? After cleansing the "portico" of trolls and wizards, its time to follow one of these maze drones. Joy. As I'm not waiting around for this sucker, I just walk through. It's not that difficult, wrong ends just have treasure and wizards. And this level has a flashing sky. Its not cool anymore, its just distracting.
Even the addition of more nemesi doesn't make things any worse. They're just melee enemies. That's really sad. Some of the wizards are too. Something's weird on this level, I don't know what. At this point, I'm just wandering around. This level is very much worse than the hellmaze. I can only dread what further mazes there are.
 Also get this, to get through the maze, you have to follow two different kinds of the maze eye. Each through a different walkable wall. You can't make this up. Fortunately, the way out is at the start. This pathway is the longest possible pathway through a level without straight up screwing with players.
Sewers. Didn't we have one of these already? Ugh. Skeletons...with guns. Pretty hard-hitting too. Same design as Mr. Headbangin' Man from Armageddon.
A flying manta ray...that shoots. Joy. They're effectively the same as the skeletons, so I question this level's choice of enemies. They can get a shot off on you as you approach, they jump out of the water. That would have been nice, why do we have the skeletons? One visible and one not? Meh. I continue on, through the southern drainage sluice, then to the western, mostly just killing enemies.
Spoke too soon. Feels weird having a big open area like this in a water level. Feels bigger than the proceeding big areas in sewers. Big splattering of Manta Rays, then of skeletons, and then the level is over. Whatever.
Flooded City? More water? More lightning. Okay, open door...and this is terrible. Firstly, from a distance, you can see the skeletons are floating on air. Good job. Secondly, the brick from the generic walls and the painted walls don't match. The Death Squads, as the game calls them, are no trouble. Also, get this, the way from the sewer has two hidden niches, each with a death squad skeleton in it. Why they didn't attack when entering the level, I don't care. Anyway, I'm confused at first, since there's no yellow key, but a side chamber in the Death Squad Hearing Room, full of skeletons, has it.
You know, a lot of the monsters seem to be waking up when there's no reason for them to. Whatever, the DSS, as I might as well call them, seem to have accuracy issues at times, but there are a lot of them. Also, if you can, check out the chest that's in a water jet. Its just hiding a room with the key out.
Finally, I end this session against one final horde of skeletons. Thanks to the way they designed this, I know I'm not going to see them again...unless there's another sewer level. There's going to be another sewer level, isn't there?

This Session: 1 hour

Total Time:3.5 hours

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