Videogame: Doom The Roguelike
So there was this First-Person Shooter
. And there was this genre called the roguelike
. And Kornel Kisielewicz decided to make Doom as it would be if it were a roguelike...
The result is a surprisingly effective translation of the Doom "feel" to a genre that is usually known for its slow, cerebral, and complicated gameplay. DoomRL, as it is known, is a relatively simple and fast-paced game, with an emphasis on ranged combat as opposed to most roguelikes' melee focus. The monsters paint the ground and walls red
as you riddle them with bullets, dismember them with chainsaws, and pulverize them with shotguns
. Rocket launchers and explosive barrels create flaming balls of death that destroy walls just as easily as they kill you and your enemies. Only a few levels into the game you will be turning hordes of zombies into red goo.
By no means is the game easy, however. That horde of zombies is eager and willing to shoot right back at you, along with all the monsters you remember from the FPS, including their iconic growls.
On February 28, 2012, version 0.9.9.6 was released, which marks some major updates to the game. DoomRL now has a full tileset by Derek Yu (you know, the Spelunky
guy) that uses Doom-style graphics for everything (the original ASCII graphics are still available in Console mode), interface improvements, mouse support, and high quality audio upgrades to music and sound effects.
On March 19, 2013, version 0.9.9.7 was released, which added several new special levels (including recreations of classic Doom levels like Phobos Lab), added Dual-Angel challenges (where you combine two challenges into one), and Archangel challenges (extra hard versions of existing challenges), new Uniques, as well as general gameplay/balance tweaks and bug fixes.
The game can be downloaded for free here
. In addition, there is a .wad for actual Doom
that reasonably replicates the uniques and monsters to the FPS itself: DoomRL Arsenal
Kornel is working on a Spiritual Successor
titled Jupiter Hell
. It has a trailer on Youtube
, and a Kickstarter campaign to fund development is on the way.
This game provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: There's a lot of stuff that wasn't in the original. For example, the Jackal Anti-Freak Hand Cannon.
- Animate Dead: Arch-Viles, as always.
- Awesome but Impractical: Whenever you find an exotic/unique that's of a weapon type not utilised by the build you're running, as your build will render them less effective than the weapons utilised by your build, if not rendering them completely ineffective.
- The Napalm Launcher. On one hand, you're drowning everything in lava. On the other hand, you're drowning everything, including powerups, items and the path to the exit, in lava.
- Also, the Acid Spitter. Twice as powerful as the napalm launcher (it does up to 100 damage!), but in addition to spreading acid around it can only be reloaded by walking around in acid for ten turns to scoop it back up. The Lava Armor can only be repaired by walking around in lava and unlike the acid spitter it doesn't even reduce the damage to compensate, but offers insane protection against explosives.
- The Tristar Blaster. Lets you blow up absolutely everything in one turn, yes, but it chews up fifteen plasma cells per shot and you just have to guess where two of those explosions will be. Oh and each blast doesn't even do much damage.
- BFG: Yes, it's that one.
- Serial Escalation: Thought the BFG was the biggest your guns could get? Think again. From version 0.9.9.2 onwards, with the adequate mods and one level of the Whizkid trait, you can make the BFG into the VBFG, which works like the Nuclear BFG, but packs even more of a punch than the regular one. What? Not satisfied yet? Don't worry, we've got the thing for you! With a bit more work and two levels of the same Whizkid trait, you can make the Biggest Fucking Gun, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- BFS: The Dragonslayer, which renders you permanently berserk, and which receives a damage boost when paired with the Berserker Armor.
- Bonus Boss: Any boss other than the Cyberdemon, the Bruiser Brothers, or the Spider Mastermind is one, since every other level with a boss is optional to complete.
- Boring but Practical: The tactic of corner shooting, which involves hiding behind a corner, and shooting at an approaching enemy as they come near, with a weapon that knocks them back. The corner keeps you out of their line of sight (thus they will not fire on you), and they'll keep coming back up against the wall until they die. This involves a lot of waiting in the same spot, and you can't use bigger weapons like Rocket Launchers, as they'll destroy your cover. However, this is the safest way to kill any enemy that's not immune to knockback without sustaining damage.
- Brutal Bonus Level: Some Red Stairs lead to these (others are closer to Breather Level).
- The Mortuary is the most infamous case: Five (or more, on higher difficulties) Arch-Viles, and hundreds of randomly selected corpses (which could be anything from Former Humans to Mancubi).
- For those running Pistol builds, the City of Skulls, due to the insane amount of Lost Souls with their 50% bullet resistance, and Pistols generally being poor at fighting multiple enemies in the open (where City of Skulls has no cover).
- Entering Hell's Arena while still low-level may or may not result in this — it depends on luck.
- Class and Level System: As of version 0.9.9.4, you can choose among 3 different classes for your player character: The tanky Marine, the dodgy Scout and the resourceful Technician. Each with his own starting abilities and choices of master traits, as well as the ability to get a particular Advanced Trait (Which varies for each class) from the start without having to get other perks first.
- Chainsaw GOOD: Not only does it deal incredible damage, you get a free berserk pack effect the first time you pick it up.
- Character Class System: Version 0.9.9.4 introduces three character classes: the Marine, the Scout, and the Technician, each with their own starting perks and access to different traits/certain traits earlier than others.
- Convection Schmonvection: Lava does a lot of damage, but only if you run over it.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Exotics, Uniques, and Artifacts bear respective purple, green, and yellow colors while on the ground, and will have the same colors when listed in the player's inventory. Unique versions enemies also have their own colors; in what might be a Shout-Out to Doom 64, the Nightmare variants of enemies appear dark blue.
- With the graphical update in 0.9.9.6, the same special items will have color-coded auras before they are picked up, extending to special armor that your player wears and is actually visible on the player's character in-game.
- Crippling Overspecialisation: Arachnotrons, in a sense. With their plasma guns and rapid-fire abilities, it's hard to tank or dodge them, but if you can get into close combat range, they're practically helpless.
- Design It Yourself Equipment: Since version 0.9.9.2, certain combinations of equipment and mods can result in special equipment being created. Some of them are so-so upgrades for your normal gadgets of destruction, others are true behemoths that will help you greatly in raining fiery death on the hordes of hell.
- Death In All Directions: The Mancubi launch three rockets - one directly at you, and two to either side. If you are along a wall when this happens, you may as well kiss your ass goodbye (though their rockets have been weakened in 0.9.9.7, eliminating the sudden one-hit kills that were common from them).
- The special weapon called the Tri-Star Blaster gives you an energy weapon version of the Mancubus attack.
- Degraded Boss / King Mook: On the Angel of 100 challenge, you can find most boss monsters in the lower levels as normal enemies, exceptions being the Arena Master, Angel of Death, Spider Mastermind, and John Carmack.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: Subjecting the player to this trope as well.
- Do Not Spoil This Ending: Anyone reading spoilers knows about the True Final Boss, and the official wiki provides the full details on how to get a full win instead of a standard win. However, a couple of the secret items, Dragonslayer and the Berserker Armor, require the player to meet specific conditions to pick up and use, and the few people in the community who know have figured it out have all agreed not to reveal the secret. The same goes for the highest player rank, Apostle.
- Doom Doors: Well, it's Doom...
- Dramatic Gun Cock: You can go crazy with this, especially by pumping six rounds into the chamber of an empty tactical shotgun.
- Also, picking up or readying any weapon, including the combat knife, produces a cocking sound.
- Dual Boss: The Bruiser Brothers, two buffed up Barons of Hell, at the Phobos Anomaly (formerly called the "Hellgate").
- In Deimos Lab, the player must fight two Shamblers at the end of the level.
- Dual Wielding: The Malicious Blades master trait allows you to dual-wield one-handed melee weapons with deadly precision and with a sizable defensive boost.
- Duel Boss: The showdown with the Cyberdemon, as per the original game. No mooks, no fancy tricks, just you against a T-rex sized demon lord with an armful of rocket launcher and a head full of mad.
- The Spider Mastermind as well.
- Early Bird Boss: The Arena Master is pretty much an ordinary Arch-Vile. Who happens to be faced in a sidebranch from level 5. For reference, on normal mode Arch-Viles don't start showing up until level 16.
- Early Game Hell: In the Angel of Berserk challenge (where you're restricted to melee weapons only), the game tends to be at its hardest early on, where the lack of equipment and levels really hurts a pure melee build, though the difficulty tapes off greatly once you get the Chainsaw and some levels. This was especially bad in early versions of Doom RL, where the player didn't get a guaranteed Combat Knife at the end of the first level (and would thus have to go through the first two or so levels with just their fists).
- Easy-Mode Mockery: On the easiest difficulty level, I'm Too Young To Die, some special levels cannot be accessed. Additionally, you cannot play any of the challenges on I'm Too Young To Die.
- Exploding Barrels: It wouldn't be Doom without 'em. Most of them are just Fuel Barrels that simply explode and could take out doors or a wall if pushed near them. A later update introduced 2 more types of barrels, Acid and Napalm, that could leave Acid or Lava tiles after they explode. The latter must be that Contra 3 napalm.
- Some levels have levers that could have a number of effects when pulled; one of these is detonating all barrels present in a level at the same time. Which can be great if the resulting explosions damage or kill enemies...not so much if rare weapons/items get destroyed.
- Fisticuffs Boss: The Angel of Death, as the arena it spawns in only allows melee weapons. Piece of cake if you're specialized in melee, not so much otherwise.
- If the Doomguy has fast enough attacks and movement, it's possible to nibble the Angel of Death with fists or a knife without him having a chance to retaliate. When using a knife, this almost literally invokes Death of a Thousand Cuts - you'll be damaging him for 1HP per hit and on higher difficulties, he has over 400HP.
- Game-Breaking Bug: In version 0.9.9.6, a bug nullifies the effect of the Fireangel master trait. Normally this trait would make you completely immune to explosions, but in this version this trait is rendered completely useless (woe behold any player unaware of this glitch accidentally blowing themselves up after getting this trait). This bug was fixed in 0.9.9.7
- Get Back Here Boss: The Shambler in Hell's Armory and Deimos Lab, which teleports to lick its wounds in between shooting at you. Between its high HP, respectable Armor stat, resistance to explosions, and its innate regeneration, it can be a real bitch to kill before it kills you.
- Giant Spider: Arachnotrons, just like in the original - cybernetic demon spiders equipped with rapid-fire plasma cannons, and some of the worst foes to fight in a pack. As of version 0.9.9.5, the original game's Final Boss, the Spider Mastermind, has made her return - and as might be expected, she's much worse than the Arachnotrons.
- Glass Cannon: The Former Commandos. While they are armed with a Plasma Rifle even more powerful than the one used by Arachnotrons, their HP isn't much higher than the other former humans, and is much lower than the HP of all the demonic enemies besides Imps.
- The Doomguy can easily become this, when playing the Angel of Humanity challenge. The "glass" factor is present right off the bat, with only 10HP. The "cannon" factor comes in upon finding some decent firepower - if Doomguy survives long enough.
- Gun Kata: It's a Master Trait that gives you a free shot every time you dodge, and an instant reload every time you kill an enemy with your pistols.
- Gorn: While it's no Dwarf Fortress, the gore is still impressive for a text-based roguelike.
- Guns Akimbo: The "Dualgunner" trait lets you shoot two pistols at once.
- Harder Than Hard: Nightmare! Along with the standard respawning enemies this difficulty is known for, the DoomRL take on this cuts the player's speed by 10%, gives enemies an additional 50% chance of attacking, and prevents the player from saving. That exclamation point is there for a reason.
- That's not all! Powered up, dark blue versions of these standard enemies will appear with a Nightmare prefix: Imps, Demons, Cacodemons, Arachnotrons, and Arch-Viles. The in-game description of Nightmare Arch-Viles likely mimics players' reactions upon seeing them: "Oh God... *WHY* do they come in the nightmare version too?"
- In version 0.9.9.7, there are now Archangel challenges, which take existing challenges and make them even harder. Enjoy such conditions such as having only two inventory spaces, having absolutely no source of healing outside the Vampyre mastery skill, and only having 10 HP while getting no benefits from levelling up.
- High-Pressure Blood: You'd be surprised how messy an ASCII game can get.
- Played straighter with the graphical tileset introduced in 0.9.9.6.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Arena Master will only be faced if you beat Hell's Arena earlier, which means he will only be faced if he already handed you a bunch of valuable items including a good weapon. On most runs those items include a rocket launcher and a bunch of rockets, which turns out to be an ideal weapon for fighting him.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Inherited from Doom.
- Infinity–1 Sword: The Lance of Longinus is the second-most powerful melee weapon after Azrael's Scythe and the Dragonslayer. However in order to get it you must defeat the Angel of Death in single combat - and restricted to melee weapons only. Hope you brought your chainsaw!
- Infinity+1 Sword: Azrael's Scythe, as mentioned above, is the most powerful melee weapon in the game. The catch to get it? Like above, you must defeat the Angel of Death in single combat, and you can only use melee weapons. Unlike above, you must do it in, at least, Hurt Me Plenty difficulty. And you must have killed all enemies in your way to the Unholy Cathedral. Hahahahaha! Good luck, sucker!
- There's also the Dragonslayer, a weapon as strong as Azrael's Scythe, and when equipped, grants you permanent berserk. However, it has secret conditions to finding it and being able to wield it.
- Marathon Level: The Angel of 100 challenge, which removes all the named and special levels, and makes you run through 100 randomly generated levels to win.
- Taken to the extreme in the Archangel of 666 challenge, where the player must descend 666 levels to win.
- Mook Maker: Pain Elementals, which as per the original Doom spawn Lost Souls. New to this game are the Agony Elemental, which can spit out both Lost Souls as well as Pain Elementals, and the True Final Boss John Carmack, who in addition to being as robust a tank as the Spider Mastermind, also has the nasty ability to summon a eight mooks around itself at the same time. Depending on how hurt it is, they can range from measly Lost Souls all the way to Barons of Hell, Mancubi and Arachnotrons.
- More Dakka: The usual suspects such as the Chaingun (and its upgrade, the Gatling Gun) and Plasma Rifle are here, but the BFG 10K takes the cake. In addition to the standard weapon, with the Bullet Dance master trait a Marine class character can rapid fire with his pistols and take full advantage of both Son of a Gun and Son of a Bitch damage.
- Multi-Mook Melee: A recent update introduced "Single Monster" levels that can result in one of these. The level will be populated entirely with a certain monster type, which is indicated by the 'Feeling' the player's character has when entering.
- If the game is feeling extremely cruel, there's 10% a chance that the level will be filled entirely with Bruiser Brothers, Shamblers, or even Cyberdemons. Hope you got one of those Homing Phase Devices with you.
- Mythology Gag: The True Final Boss John Carmack is named after one of Doom's developers, and the fortress you meet him in is a giant id Software logo. In addition, the Bruiser Brothers, a pair of unique Barons of Hell guarding the Phobos Anomaly, are named after the original pair of Barons that appeared at the end of Doom Episode 1.
- Nintendo Hard: Much like any other roguelike, DoomRL can get murderously hard, particularly if you're on Ultra-Violence or Nightmare.
- Oh, Crap: If you see the message "Suddenly you have a great urge to turn back! You scream in TERROR!", it means that every single enemy in the level has been replaced by a Cyberdemon, which most likely means unless you are very, very lucky, good or both, you can kiss your run goodbye.
- Player Nudge: Finding the True Final Boss requires some careful combination of rare or hard-to-find items. However, the most common of those items, thermonuclear bombs, contain a big hint in their description. And after you beat the normal Final Boss, if you look carefully at the post-mortem for your character (particularly after nuking him), the final screenshot will provide a big hint.
- Beating Angel Of 100 mode gives a hint that you missed doing something that had some relation to the Dragonslayer secret.
- Public Domain Artifact: The Longinus Spear.
- Rare Guns: A lucky player may find guns like the Pancor Jackhammer or a Minigun, or even rare fictional guns like the aforementioned Jackal.
- RPG Elements: You get to pick a "trait" every level, which have effects ranging from "more HP" to "reload your shotgun while you move".
- Secret Level: There are "special levels", signified by their entrances having red stairs, that are completely optional for entering and completing for a standard win. These levels are non random (or have a few spots of specific randomness) with a gimmick that the player must overcome (such as Hell's Arena having three different waves of enemies the player must defeat), often having a boss at the end, and great rewards for the player should they complete the stage. In difficulty, they run the gamut from Breather Level (Halls of Carnage), to Brutal Bonus Level (The Mortuary), to being unwinnable if the player did not come into the level with the required items (The Wall), though in this case, unwinnable just means the player can't get 100% kills and the level's max reward. The difficulty of a special level can also greatly depend on the build a player is running (City of Skulls is a Breather Level for Shotgun builds, while being a Brutal Bonus Level for Pistol builds).
- Shoot the Medic First: Archviles have the power to revive dead enemies. 'Nuff said.
- Short-Range Shotgun: The Combat Shotgun is reasonable, but the Double Shotgun is obscenely short-ranged.
- Shock and Awe: The Shambler's main attack consists of hurling lightning bolts at your soon-to-be-fried Marine.
- Shout-Out: Some of the traits are headed by quotes from the infamous Doom comic; many of the unique weapons such as the Grammaton Cleric Beretta or the Railgun.
- Skippable Boss: Surprisingly, the Bruiser Brothers can be skipped by just running into the portal they're guarding without killing either of them. Doing so all but requires getting lucky with a phase device however, and even then the terrain is narrow enough that you'll take some hits.
- Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Very important, since there's many things which have audio cues but no visual ones (most importantly hitting an enemy who is out of sight without killing them, enemies using healing items or teleporting, enemies reloading their guns and sounds which indicate that each type of demon is nearby). Playing without the sound on would be difficult indeed.
- Standard FPS Guns: The exact lineup from Doom II along with a knife and a combat shotgun, along with some additions.
- Super Mode: Berserking. Doubled melee damage, 60% reduction in damage taken (before applying armour!), and all your actions are faster (in an unintuitive, historically quite buggy, and still slightly glitchy way).
- Taking You with Me: You can find thermonuclear bombs along the way. Setting one off on the final boss's level will give you a "partial win". Of course, if you find a way to live through the explosion...
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: One of the messages that can occur on entering a new level is "Where the hell is the way out of here?" If by chance the exit stairs are within sight of your starting position, this is followed by a silly message as your character notices it.
- There Was a Door: This happens sometimes, mainly because of the aforementioned Exploding Barrels and rocket weapons.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: On Phobos Anomaly, taking exactly 13 steps east from inside the first doorway will trigger a large ambush.
- Timed Mission: Invoked with the aforementioned Angel of Red Alert challenge that places a 5 minute Thermonuclear Bomb (about 240 ingame seconds) on each level. With a recent update, the same can now occur randomly in a standard game, but with an 8 minute nuke.
- This is amp up farther in the Archangel of Red Alert challenge, where each level has a 2 and a half minute Thermonuclear Bomb set.
- There's also the Halls of Carnage, which fills with lava over time. The same occasionally happens on normal levels at random but is much slower when it does.
- Too Dumb to Live: The demons will run through an open pool of lava or acid if it happens to be between them and the player.
- Took a Level in Badass: Literally! Putting a point into the Badass trait reduces knockback and prevents HP above 100% from decaying.
- Less literally, the best traits require you to first learn other traits to learn them, which may not be quite as useful by themselves.
- True Final Boss: Getting to this True Final Boss is a Luck-Based Mission.
- Not so as of 9.9.2 because of the rewards which come with completing certain bonus levels on your way down.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: On the Angel of Overconfidence challenge, it's possible to spawn in an Arachnotron cave on the first level while surrounded by Arachnotrons, where due to lack of traits and items, as well as sufficient weaponry/armor, will get the player killed before they can even fight back, as can be seen in this mortem.
- Yet Another Stupid Death: It's a roguelike; there are plenty of these to be had. Lampshaded in the post-mortem text if you blow yourself up or take a lava/acid bath.
As you descend the stairs you hear a wail. They're back... There's only one way to end this...