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Level Review: MM.WAD
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Overview

More than twenty people across the Internet collaborated on this superior MegaWAD. Over the course of four months this team crafted the standard by which all future levels would be judged. No MegaWAD has since achieved such perfect balance between design and gameplay as Memento Mori. Even its sequel couldn't touch it. Memento Mori is the very essence of what DooM is about. It's not about fancy special effects, or realism, or how many Linedefs you can pack into a single area. It's about worlds so immersive yet unreal that no logical thought could apply. It's about carefully balancing elements to keep those worlds from collapsing. Design and gameplay are not equally important. The excess of one doesn't account for the lack of the other. Memento Mori may not be the only MegaWAD ever to create this balance, but it is the only one to carry it throughout its entirety. Why Memento Mori is better than its sequel and why it's the best MegaWAD in existence can be summed up in four simple words: Memento Mori is DooM...


The Teleporter
Michiel Rutting/Denis Moeller
1:01
Easy
It goes without saying that a journey beginning with you staring at a giant pentagram can't be blessed. Built in the TechLab/Gray styles with a small outdoor segment at the end. Very easy, very short. An appropriate start... images/mm_01.jpg

The Bridge
David Davidson
2:53
Easy
Beautiful Brick/Wood/Tile design with excellent lighting, a transparent door, and two great bridge areas. Unfortunately, it's nearly empty in terms of monsters. Could've been great... images/mm_02.jpg

Interlock
Tom Mustaine
:57
Easy
Smaller than the first two levels(should've been MAP01). TechLab design has only its excellent texture alignment to distiguish it from fifty other levels of its type... images/mm_03.jpg

The Stand
Jens Nielsen
8:15
Medium
The warm-up period over with, Jens gives us a nice medium size level to play with. Complex design in the Brick(also thrown in are a few Marble/Metal/Wood textures) theme with six secrets to find, plenty of monsters to kill and more than enough switches to hit along the way. Great fun... images/mm_04.jpg

Hell's Kitchen
Orin Flaharty
5:16
Easy
Good immitation of Romero's style. A few textures are misaligned, but an otherwise good job on design. Enough action, but, with the exception of the Hell Knight trap, not very tough. Most certainly falls in the above average category... images/mm_05.jpg

The Powerstation
Eric Sargent/Mark Klem
7:51
Easy
Not-so-great level has too many style changes and some texture alignment problems. Good lighting and the cool Yellow Key area(the blackout) help to redeem it slightly. The generally fun gameplay doesn't hurt, either... images/mm_06.jpg

Not That Simple
Jens Nielsen
9:56
Medium
The title, while very appropriate, is a major understatement. This incredible level is one of the most complex in the collection(yet still falling distantly behind Jens final level). Using his own texture scheme(a Brick/Marble/Metal/Wood montage) he's created a level that feels(and, to some extent, looks) like classic DooM2, but plays completely differently. Seven very tough secrets to find enhance an already intricate design. Gameplay will appeal to some and frustrate others. The level's only flaw(to some people) is a maze, but it has an original twist. As you find your way through you'll see a good number of switches that, when used, cause part of the maze to disappear(sometimes revealing more switches and the occassional monster). The result is you running through a maze that is slowly deconstructing itself. A very cool idea, to say the least... images/mm_07.jpg

And The Dead Shall Rise
Orin Flaharty
3:39
Easy
A small level in the style of Thy Flesh Consumed. Several good areas and accurate texture alignment(most of the time) make playing it worthwhile. Much like the episode it's imitating, the gameplay is easy without becoming boring... images/mm_08.jpg

High-Tech Grave
Thomas Moeller
11:19
Medium
Some inventive scenarios save this visually impressive level from mediocrity. To start, the Demon fight near the Yellow Key is staged well and the rising slime immediately preceeding it is also quite creative. Gameplay barely makes the grade, though. There's so much ammo it's almost insulting. Sixteen secrets and not a clever one among them. This isn't bad, but Thomas can do much better... images/mm_09.jpg

The Mansion
Alden Bates
7:48
Easy
Lots of large, undetailed rooms comprise this mess of a level. Practically empty in most areas with the populated sections being extremely easy. Not much of a challenge here... images/mm_10.jpg

Halls Of Insanity
Eric Reuter/Denis Moeller
6:10
Easy
Fair co-optimized level. I don't care much for this one because it's so dark and the overall design isn't that great. Unreachable areas and monsters if you're playing alone. Tell me, how hard is it to tag those stray monsters as Multi-Player Only? No secrets, either... images/mm_11.jpg

Kinetics
Avatar
8:32
Medium
The worst level in the set. Completely dark most of the time, which could be a blessing because it's very ugly. No secrets and at least two places where you can get trapped... images/mm_12.jpg

The Inmost Dens 2
Denis Moeller
10:42
Medium
A more than worthy tribute to the DooM2 level. Designed in the same style, but more complicated and detailed this time. The whole thing is beautiful and the appearing area at the end is incredible. The effect is actually so simple that I'm surprised not to have seen it anywhere else. Relatively the same level of difficulty, but more violent. Excellent work... images/mm_13.jpg

Aquaduct
Tom Mustaine
2:53
Easy
Good, quick gameplay in this Brick level. Texture alignment is off in a few places, but it's otherwise fine. The Cyberdemon at the end is easily disposed of, as are the rest of the monsters. Fun for speedrunning... images/mm_14.jpg

Karmacoma
Florian Helmberger
12:38
Medium
Made in the style of Industrial Zone, this level is large, but oddly empty. The landscape is virtually devoid of monsters, while the buildings are full of them. Some monsters in the open area would make those long trips go by a bit faster. I've always liked the design, though. Maybe because it looks like something I might've built. Whether or not you like this level depends largely on taste. There are two secrets that can't be reached... images/mm_15.jpg

Stoned
Kurt Schmid
11:30
Medium
Lots of open spaces, just like the last one. Again, I'm quite fond of it because it reminds me of my work. Anyway, the design is primarily Stone with variations here and there, but not often enough. It could deffinately use more monsters, too. Contrary to popular belief, you can get 100% Secrets... images/mm_16.jpg

House Of Thorn
Eric Sambach
6:22
Medium
Though there are some texture alignment problems and one secret can't be reached, this is a pretty good theme level. Does a good job of creating the feel of a real house. Most of its strength is in the clever secrets. Fair gameplay with some very tight quarters making movement difficult... images/mm_17.jpg

A Dead Man's Town
Henrik Rathje
14:55
Hard
Overall excellent design slightly marred by dim lighting. Texture alignment, item placement, and progression are all top notch. The only design flaws are those two thirty second doors. It's one of the toughest levels in the set with an Arch-Vile around every corner(almost literally). Fairly large, too... images/mm_18.jpg

Maltraiter
Michael Rapp
5:41
Easy
Before you start a level, you must first decide what style you want to build in. Unfortunately, this one uses just about all of them. Though individual areas aren't bad, there's absolutely no sense of continuity between them. If the author could decide on a single theme then he'd probably be able to create something worthwhile, but this one's not... images/mm_19.jpg

Mountain Depot
Scott Lampert
9:29
Easy
Not the greatest design, but it can be fun, if a bit empty. The main problem is texture alignment, but the rest is up to par with DooM2. Monsters are spread rather thin over a very large playing field, making it easy to forget one or two of them... images/mm_20.jpg

Twilight Lab
Andy Badorek
13:14
Medium
A prime example of how substance is more important than style. Awesome Gray level with nonstop action. Sure, the design isn't detailed. In fact, some of it looks quite plain, but that doesn't change the fact that the layout and progression are perfect. Gameplay is right on with monsters around every corner. It's not as hard as it could be, but you're not likely to get bored, either... images/mm_21.jpg

The Escape
Denis Moeller
9:32
Easy
Sewer/Cave design is interesting, but much too dark. Some nice scenes like the Spider Mastermind duel and a tricky secret help, but that series of four identical runs(the Blue Key) is annoying. Enough monsters and a clever design, but not much of a challenge... images/mm_22.jpg

Showdown
Milo Casali
7:11
Hard
Now here's a fun level. Wide open spaces, hundreds of monsters, lots of ammo and health. Made in the Brick style, the design is very dull, but you really don't have time to notice. No secrets... images/mm_23.jpg

Diehard
Dario Casali
3:33
Hard
Good level in the style of The Living End. Design and layout are fine and monsters are everywhere. There's so much ammo that it can be completed amazingly quickly. Not bad, but Dario's Plutonia levels are better... images/mm_24.jpg

Cesspool
William Sullivan
7:23
Easy
While the design is realistic, the execution needs work. Extensive use of the deep water effect is fine, but if you ever go below the water's height you get HOM(when landing after a jump). Another flaw is the Reject data. Monsters can't see into, or out of, deep water sectors so it's very easy to hide from them. Example: stand on the stairway in the final room and the Spider Mastermind won't shoot at you... images/mm_25.jpg

Between Scattered Corpses
Denis Moeller/Thomas Moeller
5:47
Medium
Short, violent level from both halves of TiC so, naturally, everything technical about it is great. The gameplay, though not hard, should provide enough of a challenge for most players. The very inventive Arch-Vile trap can be bypassed... images/mm_26.jpg

Fort Hades
Scott Lampert
9:30
Hard
An intelligent layout and progression make up for its aesthetic shortcomings. Some textures are aligned, but others are not. An unreachable secret(placed within a DM area) means 8/9 is the best you can do. That's about the only flaw in the gameplay category. Very enjoyable... images/mm_27.jpg

City Of The Unavenged
Jens Nielsen
24:01
Hard
Here it is! The mother of all Cityscape designs and one of the most complicated levels in existence. A total of 149 triggers(tripwires and switches) in what is, in actuality, a medium/large size playing area(doesn't qualify for Eternal status). The difference is, Jens uses virtually every inch of space and with a deffinate 3D mindset, too. The gameplay keeps things moving at a fast pace. Nevermind those four Cyberdemons(almost one after another), worry about the fourteen Arch-Viles spread throughout the land. They tend to appear in areas containing many corpses(just about everywhere) and often a fair distance from your current position. It progresses quite well in a non-linear fashion and it isn't at all easy to keep track of where you've been(which doesn't really matter because you have to visit just about everywhere at least twice). In conclusion, even moreso than in Jens other levels, this is very player specific; you either love it or hate it. Did I mention that this will forever be my favorite level??? images/mm_28.jpg

Island Of Death
Thomas Moeller
18:03
Hard
Good design, but there's no particular style. My guess would be that it's some sort of installation built around an old structure(the Marble portion). Fairly large and complex layout. Heavily co-optimized, but it can still be completed with all secrets and all but two kills(two Chaingunners, I think) in single play. However, it may still be possible to get those final two... images/mm_29.jpg

Viper
Milo Casali
1:33
Medium
Finally, an original MAP30! Good use of the shingle texture throughout. Of course, there are two ways to complete it. The easy way, run through as fast as you can without getting killed and waste Romero's head(speedrun). The hard way, kill everything before moving on to Romero's head(UV100)... images/mm_30.jpg

Technology Base
Denis Moeller
14:13
Medium
Good co-optimized TechLab level. In multiplayer mode the players are split from the beginning and have two different paths to follow. When Denis built this he didn't plan for single players to have access to the whole level. Thanks to Istvan Pataki, who found a place where you can switch sides, it's possible to run through the whole thing in single play. Not only that, but the secret exit is accessible, too. A poorly designed teleporter room that can sometimes leave monsters outside the level is the only downside... images/mm_31.jpg

The Hidden Slime Factory
Mark Klem
8:22
Medium
Most of this is a TechLab, but there are other styles, too. Generally attractive with some very cool scenes(the rising staircase, the texture that bends throughout an alcove). Gameplay's easy, but lots of fun. Its fairly straightforward progression make for good speedrunning if you like longer levels... images/mm_32.jpg