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Polaris - The Gift
Polaris Corporation is the latest and most promising in the series of subsidiaries stemming from UAC. Specialized in the research on advanced cryogenics technology, the company has developed a significant array of strategical weapons, based for the most part on its groundbreaking, revolutionary nitrogen-based fuel - the 'Coolant Gel'. Official plans announced that the corporation was starting to build a specially-trained army of its own, that of the 'Rangers'. Unfortunately, this last effort is currently facing serious issues in the "collateral effects" deriving from flawed thermal isolation of the 'Coolant Gel' pods - and despite the deadly effectiveness of Polaris' weapon offerings, more and more Ranger-wannabes are experiencing fatal frostbite phenomena.
13.84 MB
WAD Type
Archive Maintainer      : Ty Halderman
Update to               : rslpolar.zip in /combos subdirectory, this is RELEASE #7!
Advanced engine needed  : GZDOOM 1.6.0 (OpenGL renderer)
Primary purpose         : Single/cooperative play
Title                   : Polaris - The Gift
Filename                : rslpolar.wad
Release date            : March 29, 2013
Author                  : Richard Smith Long
Email Address           : ferratos@tiscali.it
Other Files By Author   : rslproto.zip, rslvenge.zip, rslrebel.zip, rslengee.zip, rsliczdp.zip,
                          rslforce.zip, rslredux.zip, rsldiazp.zip, rslshino.zip, rslquest.zip,
Misc. Author Info       : AKA "Dick S. Long"

Description             : Polaris Corporation is the latest and most promising in the series of
                          subsidiaries stemming from UAC. Specialized in the research on advanced
                          cryogenics technology, the company has developed a significant array
                          of strategical weapons, based for the most part on its groundbreaking,
                          revolutionary nitrogen-based fuel - the 'Coolant Gel'.
                          Official plans announced that the corporation was starting to build a
                          specially-trained army of its own, that of the 'Rangers'. Unfortunately,
                          this last effort is currently facing serious issues in the "collateral
                          effects" deriving from flawed thermal isolation of the 'Coolant Gel' pods -
                          and despite the deadly effectiveness of Polaris' weapon offerings,
                          more and more Ranger-wannabes are experiencing fatal frostbite phenomena.

My rationale:

When I was done with the first version of the Salvo Jettison mod, Chronoteeth contacted me on the ZDOOM
forums, and proposed a challenge: each of us would produce a resource set for the other to turn into
a full-fledged modification. He provided me with what was an almost-ready set dedicated to a now-defunct
total conversion called 'Polaris'... And I accepted the challenge, trying to turn such set into a weapons/
gameplay modification. This is the result of my efforts, and my final outcome in our little "contest"... :-)


December 31, 2011: initial release.

January 29, 2012: release #1+.

- added appropriate flags to A_WeaponReady
  in the NitroLance reloading DECORATE section.
- vitrified foes can no longer be trespassed by the Vitrificator stream
  (makes Vitrificator less overpowered).
- increased duration of on-ground flares.
- revenants' dismembered half-corpses are no more blocking.
- reduced abundance of coolant gel ammunition.
- improved cold servant A.I., effectiveness.
- improved power handgun and dispersion shotgun zombie sounds.
- fixed HUD message typo: "Thank God" instead of "Thanks God".
- fixed Stake Gun reload, improved weapon power and rate.
- slightly sped-up shovel attack animation.
- improved spawning chance for rare weapons.
- pistol can now fire freely, more in accordance with
  trigger speed of the wielder.
- dispersion shotgun reload can now be interrupted to quickly fire
  the first two shells.
- improved Flaregun effectiveness and behaviour.
- added alternate fire modes to NitroLance and Vitrificator.
- Passepartout now appears more rarely.
- tuned the relationship between cryogenics-based attacks and
  bosses affectability.
- added new fire modes to Mine Discharger and Blizzard, introducing
  the new "Cold Motion" damage type.
- made semi-mechanical monsters drop thermal patches, too!

February 11, 2012: release #3.

- made shovel blow chargeable.
- made Ranger hypothermia level decreasing when hurt by fire
  (hereby including lava and other damaging floors).
- made Stake Gun reloadable even with a single coolant gel pod
  of 25 units only.
- adjusted hypothermia thresholds for Ranger class.
- introduced dead Ranger corpses as an additional supply
  of thermal patches.
- fixed HUD fragcount.
- marked cold motion foes as uncountable kills-wise.
- fixed behaviour of cold motion cacodemon, fatso, arachnotron.

March 05, 2012: release #3+.

- introduced "warming decorations" that positively affect the
  Ranger's cryogauge.

July 19, 2012: release #5+.

- fixed A_WeaponReady extra calls for Steel Claw.
- added custom teleportation effect.
- fixed player sounds nomenclature.
- added missing decals.
- accelerated weapons deselect lowering.
- fixed tripmines for compatibility with The Next Big Thing:
  GZDOOM 1.6.0 official (thanks FDARI!).

March 29, 2013: release #7.

- made magazines ammunition independent from skill level.
- fixed behaviour of particle actors on moving flats (MOVEWITHSECTOR).
- fixed Vitrificator 'Idle' behaviour after altfire without ammo.
- remade Avalanche wind-down sound.
- improved appearance of still actors whenever applicable (FORCEXYBILLBOARD).

Modification details:

IMPORTANT: you get to experience this modification as either one of two possible soldier classes -
           their stats and characteristics deeply affecting the gameplay.

           *~            Ranger
           The RANGER has overall better stats, but as you guessed from the top description, he suffers from
           *cryophobia*. That is, the most 'coolant gel pods' and 'glacier bombs' he is carrying simultaneously,
           the faster his body temperature drops, leading him to exceed a threshold beyond which he starts to
           constantly lose health... Up to frostbiting.
           To avoid such an end, the Ranger must:
           1. continuously scour enemies and locations for 'thermal patches': each patch grants one health point,
              and bursts up his body temperature so to allow him a few more seconds of resistance...;
           2. unload as fast as possible his cryogenics-based weapons;
           3. warm up his body near any light source, which is anyway also damaging to him.
           So, to sum it up: ***keep an eye on the cryogauge at the bottom of the screen!***

           W H A T   I S   T H E   C R Y O G A U G E ?

           A progress bar at the bottom of the screen that gradually fills up as long as you carry large quantities
           of cryogenics (coolant gel / glacier bombs), depicting your descent towards hypothermia. Its rapid completion
           being the overall result of adverse thermal conditions and stress on your character, the gauge is prone to fill up
           when the character is moving / running. Once it fills up completely, you start losing health.

           H O W   T O   P R E V E N T   T H E   G A U G E   F R O M   F I L L I N G   U P ?

           Again, there are basically two ways:

           1. Dispose of your cryogenics stores as soon as possible. They're valuable, but also dangerous to you...

           2. Kill former humans or semi-mechanical monsters to steal their thermal patches, or raid the levels for them.
              Applying one makes the gauge drop down quite a bit, and grants you one health point, keeping hypothermia at bay for
              a bit more.

           3. Try to warm yourself up near a heat source, but keep in mind that you will most probably damage yourself, too.

           *~          Cyberian
           The CYBERIAN is an android soldier being developed by Polaris in response to the first
           incidents occurred within the still-forming army of Rangers. Since Cyberians are being designed
           exactly for this purpose, they do not suffer at all from cryogenics-related issues as a
           purely-human soldier would, and as such, they are set to eventually replace all the Rangers
           already in service.
           Cyberians, however, are still in-progress prototypes and suffer from a series of issues,
           the main one being seriously-impaired movement.


 PLEASE NOTICE: higher-class monsters such as Cyberdemons or Spider Masterminds
                are not affected by cryogenic attacks. You are adviced to seek out
                for more traditional weapons in such cases.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Steel Claw

   The starting melee weapon, its attacks can be stringed together continuously.
   With berserk, both power and frequency of attacks increase dramatically. Also,
   Very effective to shatter vitrified opponents (more on these later).

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Shovel

   This compact shovel model can be often found in UAC installations. Its light
   and swift body makes it an effective weapon, even more than a tool.
   Each blow is slow to charge, but delivers heavy damage (if timed correctly,
   one hit can mow down a demon).

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Power Handgun

   Another evolutionary equivalent of the standard issue pistol, this one
   is semiautomatic and shows decent power for any former human or imp opponent.
   Plus, ammo findings are abundant.
   Requires reload after 20 rounds.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Dispersion Shotgun

   Obtained by stacking and tightening most of the bodies of two double-barreled,
   breach loading classics, this one fires dispersion shells - containing special pellets
   that can bounce off walls shortly after having been projected, when momentum
   is still high. Great for hunting around corners, but very slow to rearm.
   Requires reload after 2 rounds.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Stake Gun

   One of the first successful Polaris weapon designs, this weapon is able to transform
   the input coolant gel into ultra-sharpened, fast ice spikes that are then given a
   very-concentrated kinetic energy amount. The rate of fire is excellent, the kickback too.
   Requires reload after 50 rounds.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Compact Flaregun

   A basic yet surprising model, this compact flaregun can fire special flares with high
   incendiary power. Once an opponent is hit, the flare sticks to the target's body by
   tearing through it until it exhausts, often setting on fire its victim.
   Try it on groups of flammable bodies!
   And don't forget its primary use as a light source: point to a wall or directly to the ground.
   Requires rearming after each shot.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ NitroLance Assaulter

   A custom grenade launcher design that retains some pecularities - for one, the ability to
   propel its unique "nitrocubes" at high speed, making them bounce off surfaces and reach
   unexpected places. Continuous rapid fire is there, although a bit jerky.
   A secondary firing mode (AltFire) might be used to hurl a single nitrocube at a time in
   rocket fashion, ballistics-wise - no rebound can be sustained in this case.
   Requires reload after 50 rounds. Sequence can be interrupted.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Marksman Rifle

   This ultra-light, strong-coated kevlar rifle is optimized for long range attacks. And while it certainly
   proves generally effective up to mid-range in fast-paced combat sequences, to make the most
   out of it, it must be held in "Marksman Stance" (AltFire): target view, recoil and
   single-round power are dramatically improved, at the cost of impaired movement speed.
   Requires rearming after each shot.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Vitrificator Rifle

   Another pride of the Polaris Corp. weapons research division, the Vitrificator treats
   the input coolant gel at a higher temperature than usual, transforming it into a
   silicon-based composite that permeates any target body and transfers to it the properties of...
   glass. That is, you can turn your opponents into statues of glass, that can act as
   (destructible-anyway) barriers during battles. Use your trustworthy icebreaker claw
   (AltFire) to quickly get rid of these glass puppets.
   Requires reload after 100 rounds.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Avalanche

   Aptly-named for its devastating fire, the "Avalanche" is a special assault minigun that can
   fire - in rapid sequence - a special kind of explosive slugs, in a deadly hitscan pattern.
   Beware not to fall under the effects of your own fire...
   This weapon is fueled seamlessly.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Blizzard

   After experimenting so much with alternative reactions for their miraculous 'coolant gel' fuel,
   the Polaris engineers went for a more direct utilization of the fuel itself in the form of
   cryogenic attacks. With its rotor, the "Blizzard" manages to project a flurry of nitrogen threads
   that bounce off randomly when hitting a hard surface, thus effectively creating an artificial
   snow storm that easily leaves all surrounded enemies in an irreversibly frozen state.
   A quick, last-resort fire mode (AltFire) propels three depleted nitrogen blobs with a spinning
   trajectory at once - if they are not fatal to the target, they leave it in a so-called "Cold-Motion"
   hypothermal irreversible state. See Mine Discharger.
   This weapon is fueled seamlessly.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Glacier Bombs

   Working on the same underpinnings of the "Blizzard", each "Glacier Bomb" does exactly that: after
   having been deployed, it erogates its coolant gel by slowly filling the air around with it, producing a bitter
   nitrogen fog that freezes almost everything in proximity. Great to clear out medium-sized rooms or
   enemies in groups!
   Also, take into account that when holding a lighter one-hand weapon, you can quickly toss one of these
   without the need to switch (i.e. handgun, shotgun, flaregun).

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Laser TripMines

   The most tactical weapon in a Ranger's arsenal, a "Laser TripMine" can be launched on the ground
   using an aptly-made discharger. Once it lands, it activates shortly after by creating a laser barrier
   which is orthogonal to the given trajectory.
   Whenever an opponent interrupts said barrier...

   ...the mine dumps its depleted nitrogen filling all at once with a heavy explosion. All affected targets
      that do not get frozen instantly, nevertheless enter the so-called "Cold-Motion" hypothermal irreversible state:
      they are jammed by low temperature, and as such, they retain half the endurance and half the movement speed.
      Their attacks are similarly nerfed.
   ...the mine inverts the thermal cycle of its depleted coolant gel filling, then erupts and generates
      four devastating explosion sequences in a X-shaped pattern.

   Needless to say, this is the preferred way of setting up traps - and very convenient, too, since
   the suits or Polaris soldiers can go through the laser field without triggering the device...


 *~*~*~*~*~ Passepartout

   A special morphable unlocker created by Polaris, this composite key is structured into several
   moving parts that slide each one on another, thus allowing to plasmate the unlocker to resemble
   the shape of any possible key. The utility can help trespass doors and barriers whose keys
   cannot be found - but beware, due to security policies the utility works only once!

 *~*~*~*~*~ Airborne Thruster

   Another gadget conceived by Polaris to overcome blocking obstacles, this pocket-size
   thrust reactor lifts the wielder up in the air for a few seconds before exhausting its limited fuel supply -
   enough to pass over one unsurmountable wall, or reach a high ledge. Use carefully...

 *~*~*~*~*~ Cold Servant

   Scientific research is not the only commitment front for the Polaris crew. Mainly due to branding
   and symbolic reasons, they set up a specialized team of archaeologists devoted to recollect all
   ancient, overlooked knowledge on the uses of ice and frost in the history of mankind.
   This is how they happened to discover about the existence of artifacts scattered throughout
   the world, that according to legend would have allowed to invoke the wrath of the frost element...


 *~*~*~*~*~ Thermal Patch

   A thermal patch is a chemically-engineered, blister-packed nutritional ration that has the immediate power
   of fighting detrimental effects caused by excessively-low temperatures. Polaris Rangers often need
   them to survive during battles - the close contact with coolant gel pods as part of their ammunition/
   equipment is unsustainable without medical treatments like this one. As a positive side effect, their application
   also grants a slight health improvement.


(1) The suggested commandline for launching the modification is the following one
    (assumes that the modification has been decompressed in subdirectory 'RSL' of your (G)ZDOOM directory):

    (g)zdoom.exe -iwad <IWAD_PATH>\<IWAD_FILE> -file <CUSTOM_LEVEL_PATHNAME> RSL\rslpolar.wad

    (if under GZDOOM, add option '+gl_nogl 0' to enable hardware rendering -
     this is only useful for flares)

(2) Do not forget to bind a key for weapon reload under 'Options > Customize Controls'
    in (G)ZDOOM.

(3) To obtain the complete set of weapons and/or carriable items for quicktesting
    without breaking the weapon set at your disposal, type 'rsl' in the console.

(4) The modification is compatible with the following IWADs: The Ultimate DOOM, DOOM 2, Final DOOM.

By reading the following credits you may spoil certain "surprise monsters" in the modification...

Additional Credits to   : Various sources for resources and/or inspiration (see below):

                          WildWeasel for the color palette

                          Woolie Wool for the bullet puff redefinition

                          WildWeasel for the enhanced explosive barrels

                          NoseHair26 for the enhanced, pure-DECORATE blood system

                          Chronoteeth and Z86 for the casings

                          Vaecrius and DoomRater for the scripts

                          3D Realms for the LameDuke custom teleportation effect

                          Snarboo, ScubaSteve, Marty Kirra, WildWeasel, Chronoteeth and MG_Man
                           for the Steel Claw

                          EA, WildWeasel and Chronoteeth for the Shovel

                          Eriance and Chronoteeth for the Power Handgun

                          id Software, Snarboo and WildWeasel for the Dispersion Shotgun

                          id Software, Dracken and Chronoteeth for the Stake Gun

                          Monolith and JoeyTD for the Compact Flaregun

                          id Software for the NitroLance Assaulter

                          id Software and Snarboo for the Marksman Rifle

                          PerKristian for the Vitrificator Rifle

                          Snarboo for the "Avalanche"

                          Lobotomy and Snarboo for the "Blizzard"

                          Lobotomy, The_Funktasm, 3D Realms, WildWeasel and DBThanatos
                           for the Glacier Bombs

                          Apogee/3D Realms and Lobotomy for the Laser TripMines

                          Woolie Wool, id Software for the Power Handgun Zombie
                          Logan MTM, id Software for the Dispersion Shotgun Zombie
                          Chronoteeth, id Software for the Stake Gun Zombie
                          WildWeasel, Monolith for the NitroLance Zombie
                          Black Shadow Software, Woolie Wool for the Sniper Zombie

                          The Alpha Dog Alliance for the Frost Elemental

                          The Skulltag crew for the Ranger skin
                          Russell Pearson for the Ranger mugshot
                          Rogue/Velocity for the Ranger sounds

                          Xaser for the Cyberian skin and mugshot
                          Magban724 for the Cyberian sounds

                          xXx and Chronoteeth for the HUD
                          Jimmy91 for the small fonts
                          Huy Pham for the big digits font

                          ...and for the actor-wide gore and special death states:
                           - Velocity/Rogue,
                           - Daniel,
                           - The Kins,
                           - Zero Prophet,
                           - Eriance,
                           - Sergeant_Mark_IV,
                           - Jekyll Grim Payne.

                          Good feedback from the ZDOOM forums.
                          Thankyou to (in order of thread appearance):
                           - Steve1664
                           - Marty Kirra
                           - Hellstorm Archon
                           - GuildNavigator
                           - terranova
                           - HexaDoken
                           - insightguy
                           - Doomer_1996
                           - Ethril
                           - FDARI

                          > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                          > a special thankyou to fellow weapon designer Chronoteeth
                          > who gave me the concept, a large portion of the resources,
                          > the cryogauge idea, but most of all... good company
                          > in the world of weapon modifications!
                          > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

All other authors I forgot to mention: please forgive me! I tried to be accurate as much as I could.
If you here notice some of your resources un-mentioned, please notify me and I will try to remedy.


* What is included *

New levels              : None
Sounds                  : Yes
Music                   : No
Graphics                : Yes
Dehacked/BEX Patch      : Yes
Demos                   : No
Other                   : (G)ZDOOM-specific lumps
Other files required    : None

* Play Information *

Game                    : DOOM
Map #                   : None
Single Player           : Designed for
Cooperative 2-4 Player  : Maybe (untested)
Deathmatch 2-4 Player   : Maybe (untested)
Other game styles       : None
Difficulty Settings     : N/A

* Construction *

Base                    : New from scratch
                          (for the nitpicky ones, resources previously produced by Chronoteeth
                           and the community)
Build Time              : 6 months (of intermittent work, and unstable ideas, too)
Editor(s) used          : Adobe Photoshop, GoldWave Audio Editor, Notepad, XWE, Slade
Known Bugs              : 1. Widescreen modes are perhaps unsupported. Sorry.
                          2. When controlling the Ranger, do not try to grant yourself invulnerability via cheating
                             or else the game will crash soon after. This is due to the cryogauge support;
                             there is no problem when picking up an invulnerability sphere, though.
                          3. Stake Gun zombies have no angled sprites when firing; even when fighting against other
                             monsters, they'll appear as pointing to the player.
                          4. Tripmines laser fields strangely appear to permeate walls.
                          5. I haven't found a way to make terrain injuries an improvement for the Ranger
                             thermal situation in case of lava only.
May Not Run With...     : Ports not supporting DECORATE; level WADs with heavy amounts of DEHACKED / DECORATE modifications

* Copyright / Permissions *

Authors MAY use the contents of this file as a base for modification or
reuse.  Permissions have been obtained from original authors for any of
their resources modified or included in this file.

You MAY distribute this file, provided you include this text file, with no
modifications.  You may distribute this file in any electronic format (BBS,
Diskette, CD, etc) as long as you include this file intact.  I have
received permission from the original authors of any modified or included
content in this file to allow further distribution.

* Where to get the file that this text file describes *

The Usual: ftp://archives.3dgamers.com/pub/idgames/ and mirrors
Web sites: None others than the IDGames archive
FTP sites: None others than the IDGames archive
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