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The Sky May Be

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The Sky May Be is a semi-serious joke WAD for Doom.

It was created by Doug the Eagle and Kansam, and released in 1997 after two years of development. Kansam is also known for Kansam's Trial. Doug the Eagle has recently been mostly known for his highly humourous "anti-walkthroughs" and strange findings from the Ultima game series, and other games as well.

The WAD is named after a texture experiment, where one of the textures was called "sky (maybe)". While the texture ultimately wasn't used in the WAD, the name stuck.

The WAD consists of three levels, two of which are training levels: E1M1 is a stock-up level, E1M2 is another tutorial level.

E2M1 is the actual giant level where most of the action happens. It has extremely ugly graphics (most wall textures consist of a single colour, or are based on Windows 3.11 screenshots), incongruous music (Bach's Brandenburg concerto no. 3), and strange sound clips (from various movies and TV series), one of which is from an audiobook called the magic box.
Skymaybe

The Sky May Be played with ZDoom.

Also included is the Blessed Engine DeHackEd patch, which changes a lot of things about the weapon and monster behaviour in ways that don't make a whole lot of sense, but will undoubtedly be quite amusing.

Plot

From the text file included with the file:

The Great God Imp has shown mercy on your soul and cast you into the hellish pits of his virtual toybox.
Running around the garish lego buildings, you become aware that the virtual toychest is actually running under windows 3.11. However the mouse is broken and the ALT and F4 keys have been removed.
You must find a way to shut down the system and end this nightmare!
Oh, and watch out for the Great God Imp. He may not be so kind next time He sees you.

The Blessed Engine

The Blessed Engine is an optional DeHackEd patch which can be used separately from The Sky May Be. Among other things, it does the following:

  • Most of the in-game messages are changed.
  • Monster behaviour is altered wildly:
    • Zombiemen now moonwalk and turn into Shotgun Guy/Pinky shapeshifters after they die. These guys can then shoot from afar and bite when up close and they always die as Pinkies.
    • Shotgun Guys wield super shotguns and have their torsos fly into the air when they die.
    • Imps throw BFG blasts in place of their normal fireballs. Other Imps are not immune to these blasts. They shrink when they die.
    • Pinkies shoot harmless plasma bolts out of their mouths that shoot chaingun fire. When they die, they either split in half vertically and shoot a rocket or vanish into pure energy.
    • Spectres are now fully visible and split in half vertically after shooting a rocket when they die.
    • Lost Souls now kill you instantly at full health and armor but explode when they collide with the walls.
    • Cacodemons purify the player when up close, i.e. spit BFG blasts, and disappear into pure energy when they die. Other Cacodemons are not immune to these blasts like with the Imps.
    • Barons of Hell throw fireballs that deal 80 million damage points, way higher than the 1000 damage point limit for God mode.
    • Cyberdemons now shoot radioactive missiles in place of rockets. They are not immune to the radiation from these missiles.
    • A single Imp, the Great God Imp of the description, appears to lack any discernible hitboxes, rendering it totally invincible. It also has the ability to noclip through walls.
  • The weapons are changed:
    • The fist is continuous-fire, like the Chainsaw, and damages every tick.
    • The chainsaw's sprite is replaced by the Plasma Rifle's and damages every tick.
    • The pistol is continuous-fire, like the original chaingun and accurate.
    • The shotgun, now referred to as the "Shellgun" (the pickup message is "You got the shellgun!" "Picked up a box of shellgun shots") is continuous-fire.
    • The chaingun, now referred to as the "Instant Discharge Cannon", empties all the bullets the player has simultaneously, causing a tremendous amount of damage to whatever you're pointing at.
    • The rocket launcher shoots radioactive projectiles.
    • The plasma rifle is now a radioactive mine-layer that shoots mines that follow you briefly and has the same sprite as the rocket launcher.
    • The BFG 9000, now referred to as the "Blessing Cannon", deals two billion damage points. Due to integer overflow, this weapon can either vaporize the target or "bless" the target, rendering them immortal. Does nothing in source ports that fix the integer overflow bug like ZDoom.
  • Barrels now very slowly follow the player and explode on contact.

Reception

For a long time, the WAD has divided opinions; it is often seen as either the worst WAD ever made, or a work of a genius. On the aims, Doug the Eagle writes, "my chief aim in 'The Sky May Be' was to create something totally new and utterly unlike anything that had ever been seen in Doom before. I believe, that for good or ill, I succeeded in that goal."[1]

The review by Cranky Steve's Haunted Whorehouse, a feature hosted at Something Awful that focuses on inept custom level design on various FPSes, gave the WAD the score of -48, the lowest of the three Doom/Doom II WADs reviewed on the site. It is also enshrined in the DoomWorld's Top 10 Infamous WADs list.

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