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Video Game / Final Doom

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Final Doom is a 1996 compilation of two megawads for Doom II that was published by id Software as an officially licensed Doom product. The first, TNT: Evilution, was originally developed as a free WAD by the modding group TeamTNT, before being purchased by id mere days before its initial release date. id was particularly impressed by two of TNT's contributors (brothers Dario and Milo Casali note ), and had them create an entirely new set of levels that would become the second WAD, The Plutonia Experiment. Both megawads take place after the events of Doom II, although they're not considered to be canonical continuations.

In TNT: Evilution, the UAC are continuing their research on inter-dimensional travel on one of Jupiter's moons. Their initial experiments go well thanks to an army of space marines managing to keep the forces of Hell at bay. However, the demons soon create their own spaceship to overrun the facility and launch another invasion.

In The Plutonia Experiment, the governments of Earth restructure the UAC to put a stop to any future invasions from Hell. Scientists create a Quantum Accelerator to shut down any Dimensional Gates connected to Hell, but the demons overrun the facility and steal the Accelerator under the command of the Gatekeeper.

In both cases, humanity's last hope once again falls upon the Doom Marine to do what he does best; slaughter the demonic hordes by any means necessary.

Both WADs, while perfectly capable of being loaded as PWADs for Doom II using the latter's IWAD file, are IWADs in their own right and thus do not in fact require DOOM II for one to run them. Of course, those who are unfamiliar with DOOM II are likely to find these WADs back-breakingly difficult.

A PlayStation port that combined the games into one and included maps from the Master Levels of Doom II was released later that same year. This port removed most of the levels from the combined games (especially on the Plutonia end, where only 6 of its 32 maps were included), as well as the Arch-Vile and functionally the Spider Mastermind (the latter still exists in the game data, just going unused in any of the included maps), in addition to reducing the difficulty significantly. The traditional rock soundtrack was also replaced with more ambient pieces by composer Aubrey Hodges that gave the game a more sinister atmosphere, and included the redone sound effects and colored lighting from the Ultimate Doom + Doom II Playstation port.

On January 9, 2020, both halves of Final Doom were re-released as free add-ons at the launch of the curated add-ons feature for the Unity ports of Doom and Doom II.

This video game provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: It's technically impossible to collect 100% items on MAP28 of The Plutonia Experiment in single player because of the presence of two Computer Area Maps, which you cannot collect if you already have one (Co-op doesn't have this problem if another player takes the 2nd Computer Area Map).
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you're pistol-starting a Plutonia level for an extra challenge, chances are (depending on the level), you'll find a cache of health, armour, weapons and ammo nearby, showing that the Casali Brothers were accommodating to players wishing to start a level from square one. If you're playing levels in a marathon-like session, the extra supplies ensure that you're unlikely to struggle with ammo and just need to worry about staying alive. Dario Casali would later admit though that while they tried catering to pistol-starting, they only played continuously and never tried pistol-starting their maps, so some maps aren't balanced too well for pistol-starting (e.g. Aztec lacks a Super Shotgun pickup, making the frequent close-quarter combat within the map a lot more difficult to manage on pistol-starts).
    • The Casali brothers would test each map while intentionally avoiding getting the secrets, to ensure their maps were beatable without players finding any of the secrets, making the secrets a nice bonus to help rather than being something necessary to survive.
  • Attract Mode: Like the other games in the series, Final Doom plays a demo if left on the title screen for a second or two. However, the original revisions of the game would crash because it's IWADs don't include a 4th demo recording.
  • Beef Gate: Plutonia's first map, "Congo", serves this role in a meta sense; instead of being an easy quaint map like typical map 1 fare, Plutonia starts with a map that puts most other IWAD maps to shame, while immediately busting out high tier enemies (including Arch-Viles) and some of Plutonia's favorite devious tricks (such as Arch-Viles reviving sniping Chaingunners). The map serves to turn off players who do not have the skills yet to handle Plutonia, or at least beat it into them that they need to turn down the difficulty instead of immediately jumping in on Ultra-Violence.
  • Bookends: TNT: Evilution's level Ballistyx opens with the player standing before a marble altar outside a building infested with demons. After delving deep into the hellspawn-plagued underground, the map ends with an image of the altar from the very start of the level, and approaching it will warp the player back to the start — and lower the altar, which enables the player to leave the level through it.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The second secret level of The Plutonia Experiment, "Go 2 It". You're required to beat the already brutal first secret level "Cyberden" to have access to it and there's no skipping it once you've begun "Cyberden".
    • "Cyberden" is a rough surprise for newcomers to Plutonia who are more used to Doom II difficulty. The level presents you with four Cyberdemons behind barriers overlooking the central court right at the start. The level progression is indicated by the release of each Cyberdemon one at a time, and to release them, you must progress through challenging side rooms. Complete the level and you are taken to...
    • "Go 2 It": It's packed tight with very dangerous monsters, and isn't even above unleashing multiple Arch-Viles on you. It has even more Cyberdemons than the previous map - in fact, there are more Cyberdemons in this one map than there are across Ultimate Doom and Doom II combined - and will truly put your dodging skills to the test. This map's sheer difficulty helped set the standard for super-hard custom map packs such as the Hell Revealed series.
      Betcha wondered just what was the hardest level we had ready for ya? Now you know. No one gets out alive.
  • Canon Discontinuity: For what little story there is in Doom, the events described in Evilution and Plutonia would be ignored in Doom 64, with its story picking up where Doom II left off, while Doom 64 would be tied into the canon storyline by Doom Eternal, rendering the story events of Final Doom noncanon.
  • Cliffhanger: The ending for TNT: Evilution. After you kill the Demon Spitter (another Icon Of Sin) the text crawl describes the sky turning from red to blue and all the monster corpses disappearing, implying you've been teleported back to Earth. The text then says a blue glow is coming from the remains of the Spitter and you approach... only to abruptly cut to the same "monster roll-call" that was at the end of Doom II and end with no explanation as to what would happen. Plutonia doesn't continue that story either, and later Doom games don't reference either at all, so what that was supposed to be will be a mystery for the ages.
  • Container Maze: TNT Evilution features two in Map 11: "Storage Facility", as a homage to the original from "Containment Area" in the original Doom. Map 19: "Shipping/Respawning" also features a crate maze, though much larger and not as maze-like.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Plutonia's very first map, Congo, askews the traditional wisdom of the first map being an easy map with only lowly Imps and Zombies meant to ease the player in, and instead immediately throws the player to the wolves with a map harder than most of the other IWAD maps. It has a shotgunner ambush right from the get-go, a room where you can get the Rocket Launcher as a non-secret item (which also ambushes you with Revenants), as well as two Arch-Vile ambushes (one of which is an Arch-Vile designed to constantly resurrect a Chaingunner, a trick that Plutonia loves). It immediately sets the tone for the increased difficulty of Plutonia compared to Doom 2, which isn't going to get any easier after that map.
  • Evil Smells Bad: One of the text scrawls in TNT:Evilution says that Hell smells like "fried excrement."
  • Fake Difficulty: TNT: Evilution is notorious for its maps frequently containing large and rather empty rooms filled with excessive Hitscan enemies, where you can't avoid their fire and you're sure to take damage from them as you won't be able to kill them all before they hit you without getting lucky. So while Plutonia's difficulty is derived from enemy placement that best utilizes their traits and nasty ambushes, TNT's difficulty is largely derived from the player's health being constantly drained by unavoidable hitscan fire from hitscanners in these large rooms.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Map 31: "Pharaoh", of TNT: Evilution, has a game-breaking bug in that the yellow key is missing (actually tagged as "multiplayer only"). As a result, you cannot complete the map unless you do a particularly difficult jump, then press a concealed switch, that is not obvious unless you've seen it performed by someone else or opened the map in a level editor, thus you'll most likely find yourself lost and confused with no means of progression. Though a patch is available, it isn't integrated into most Final Doom releases, apart from one version of the id Anthology which is used for the version and the downloadable add-on version for the Unity ports.note 
  • Hope Spot: In Plutonia's first secret level Cyberden, an exit teleporter lies behind a yellow key door, marked as such via adjacent signs. An unobservant player might not notice that all of Plutonia's level exits are shaped in a very specific way, and this "exit teleporter" is not that. Attempting to take the teleporter opens up a door with an army of Revenants ready to flood out into the main area, guarding true level exit.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: In "Ballistyx", level 26 of TNT: Evilution, the exit linedef is on a chest-height altar that's supposed to be lowered into the ground near the end of the level. If you're playing a source port that allows the player to jump, you can finish a normally six-minute or so map in under two seconds by simply jumping up onto it.
  • Kaizo Trap: TNT: Evilution gets in on the fun on the first level - what looks like the exit switch instead lowers you into a basement with shotgunners and a pair of Chaingunners, with the real exit behind them.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Final Doom is this to Doom II — both IWADs (TNT: Evilution and The Plutonia Experiment) qualify - in fact, TNT was supposed to just be a regular free PWAD for Doom II before a publishing deal was struck at nearly the last minute. This is notable as Doom II was itself essentially a mission pack sequel to the original Doom I.
  • Missing Secret:
    • In the PlayStation port, the Spider Mastermind is in the game's ending cast call, despite not appearing anywhere in the game's levels. This has led players unaware of her nonexistence to fruitlessly search everywhere in the game for her, believing she was hidden away in some secret they missed.
    • Also in the port's version of Ballistyx, in the caged area near the end of the map, you can see another clearly labelled exit in the inaccessible area outside the cage. This led players to believe it was a secret exit that led to a secret map, perhaps containing the aforementioned missing Mastermind, and so would search all over the map for some way to access that outside area with the second exit. The back of the game's case claiming there were over 30 maps, while the game ended after exactly 30 maps, added fuel to this fire that there was a secret map and that this exit was tied to it. It is additionally a common Doom mapping practice codified by Romero himself to have clearly visible secrets in initially out of reach areas, to spur on players to explore and find the access to those secrets, thus Doom players are inherently conditioned to think this second exit was a secret. However, it is just a normal exit added for deathmatch (as the outside area is the arena players spawn in during deathmatch, with them being unable to access the rest of the map), and triggering it will just send the player to the next map as normal, while the back of the game case lied as there are no secret maps in the port.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Plutonia Experiment is significantly harder than the previous games in the Doom franchise. Much of the difficulty is from the placement of monsters like the Chaingunner, making hitscan damage a frequent nuisance throughout the mission pack. Elite Mooks are also much more common than Doom II, especially Revenants and inconveniently-positioned Arch-Viles, who are two very damaging monsters if they actually hit you. TNT: Evilution is nothing to scoff at either, and becomes downright diabolical on the ''Nightmare!'' difficulty, with only one person (ZeroMaster) having ever completed a no-death run of the WAD without saving on such a difficulty.
  • Nostalgia Level: Level 18: "Neurosphere" pays homage to Level 14: "The Inmost Dens" from Doom II. The concept is castle-like masonry structures built over moats of liquid, with wood-metal doors around.
    • Level 32: "Go 2 It" is a harder remake of Map 01: "Entryway", the very first level of Doom II.
  • Non-Indicative Name: A lot of the level names in Plutonia are just to add flavour to the maps.
    • "Baron's Lair" would suggest a map containing a ton of Barons, yet it does not contain a single Baron of Hell on any of the difficulties. According to Dario Casali, the name was meant to refer to the Cyberdemon at the end of the map.
    • "Neurosphere" is especially nonindicative, as it's a scientific term for a culture of free-floating clusters of neural-stem-cells, while the level is an ocher-brick world with rivers of blood.
    • "Impossible Mission" doesn't live up to its name, being challenging but nowhere near as difficult as the secret levels.
    • "Odyssey of Noises" makes for an unusual name, but the level's concept has more in common Doom II's "Downtown" level, being a grid-like city of sorts with roads running between the structures.
  • Pun-Based Title: Evilution is a play on the word evolution, but there's more in some level titles:
    • TNT: "Shipping/Respawing" = Shipping/Receiving
    • Plutonia: "NME" = Enemy, naturally.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Whereas The Plutonia Experiment keeps a consistent difficulty that fluctuates but never substantially, TNT: Evilution is very inconsistent, with it ranging from being around Doom 2 in difficulty, up to sudden difficulty spikes as hard as Plutonia, back to being easy again. Of particular note, the first map is typical map 1 fare but the second map, Human BBQ, introduces a rough hitsccan hell map with little health, before going back to being around higher end Doom 2 difficulty. Then maps 7-9, Prison, Metal, and Stronghold, are a huge difficulty spike with some of TNT's hardest maps, before dropping back down to several mundane maps. Then maps 18-21 are huge with many tough sections and are quite the grind, while the next several maps after that are much smaller and again easy to mundane in difficulty. Then map 27, Mount Pain, is suddenly a Marathon Level harder than many Plutonia maps, and while the final three maps aren't easy, they're a big dropoff in difficulty and scale from Mount Pain.
  • Series Fauxnale: As the title implies, this game was promoted as the last installment of the series, since id was about to move on to Quake (released the very next month). Despite this, Doom 64 - which wasn't developed by id, but was certainly licensed by them, and continued on from Doom II while ignoring Final - was released less than a year later.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The secret level of The Plutonia Experiment Map 32: "Go 2 It", has so many enemies (at least 206) and open spaces that it is literally impossible to not have monsters infight each other, especially with 13 Cyberdemons and a Spider Mastermind.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: If the pre-level text didn't alert players to the difficulty in Plutonia's second secret level, Go 2 It, that it gives the player all the guns at the very start should.
  • Tele-Frag: "Last Call" (MAP30 of TNT: Evilution) has a second Player 1 start in a sealed-off area — and most of the islands in the lake between the start and the main part of the level have teleport linedefs which take you to this area, so if you don't take exactly the right route across the lake, you telefrag yourself.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: "Pharaoh", the first secret level from TNT: Evilution, is Unwinnable in single-player, as the yellow key is marked as "multiplayer-only". You can still complete it using strafe-running, an engine bug; naturally, in co-op mode, there is no such problem. An official patch from TeamTNT was made available to fix this bug, as well as a node-building error that would prevent 100% kills. It wasn't until the release of Final Doom almost two full decades later, however, that this patch was integrated into a widely-released version of the WAD.
  • The War Sequence: "Go 2 It" from The Plutonia Experiment, which is a remixed version of the first stage from Doom II with over 200 enemies, including 19 Arch-Viles and 13 Cyberdemons (fortunately, you don't have to fight them all at the same time; unfortunately, you do have to fight up to 4 at a time).

I'd leave: this is just more monsters and levels. What a load.