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Video Game / Reelism

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The logo for the third expansion pack.

Reelism is an invasion-style Game Mod for Doom II by Kinsie of It Runs DOOM! fame.

In Reelism, gameplay is divided into several "rounds" each lasting 60 seconds, with a different combination of randomly chosen slots that affects gameplay. Each of the three reels have different themes to them; the effects in the first reel are basic modifiers such as low gravity or infinite ammo, the second reel either affects what weapons are spawned and ammo dropped by enemies, or transforms the player. Finally, the last reel affects what enemies are spawned during the round, with any surviving enemies remaining even after the round ends. After a certain number of rounds has passed, a boss will appear and the player must defeat it to win the game.

There are four modes of play; Standard is the normal mode of play, in which the players must endure five rounds before fighting the boss. In Endurance, the player must survive ten rounds before the boss appears. In Infinite, the player must survive for as long as he can before he is killed, with a boss appearing after every five rounds. And finally, Boss Practice simply pits the player against a boss with no other monsters spawning.


It was first released towards the end of 2011, and has recived three expansion packs since. It was also awarded a Cacoward near the end of 2012.

Reelism 1 can be downloaded here, while Reelism 2 can be downloaded here, and both require GZDoom and a copy of Doom II: Hell on Earth to play.

In the end of March 2020, Kinsie announced that he is developing Reelism 2. A demo was released August 12, 2020.

Compare TurboCharged ARCADE!.


The Tropes are Rolling...

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Dog Launcher in the sequel shoots friendly dogs.
  • All There in the Manual: A manual is included with the recent version, with descriptions for all the reel effects and bosses.
  • Batter Up!: One of the weapons you can pick up when you get the "Melee Masters" reel is a baseball bat called "The Louisville Slugger". A hit with this sends enemies out of the park.
  • BFG: The "HYPERPOWER!" reel allows these to spawn. Even the Trope Namer.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Snowball-flinging yetis appear as enemies in the sequel.
  • Blown Across the Room: Some attacks such as explosives or point-blank shotgun blasts will send enemies flying across the map.
  • Boss Rush: One of the maps is devoted exclusively to this game mode.
  • Boss Subtitles: The name and a brief description of each of the three reels is announced when a round begins. The name and description of a boss is also announced the same way when it appears.
  • Cap: The round number on the HUD will not go above 99, though the correct round number will display when you die.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Bosses explode like this when they are defeated.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: The Wizard enemies in the sequel wear a color-coded robe. As you can expect, red ones attack with fire.
  • Cyberspace: The "Internet Machine" and "Grid Based Combat" maps are set in one.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Parodied by the boss Ms. The Jerk, which is a pink version of The Jerk that can actually be killed.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Getting three same numbers across the reels will result in a special jackpot bonus.
      • Getting 1-1-1 will keep spawning lots of colorful Sonics which are ridiculously harmless, like bronies, and which die completely a-la the source game.
      • Four Is Death: Getting 4-4-4 will instantly kill the player four seconds into the round.
      • Number of the Beast: Getting 6-6-6 will transform the player into a Cyberdemon during the round.
      • Time Stands Still: Getting 10-10-10 will freeze everything, including the player, until the round ends, complete with elevator music. Fittingly, the reel combination is one of the most frustrating to have otherwise.
      • Couch Gag: Getting 9-9-9 executes map script 999, the effect of which depends on the map played. For example, on Reel Stadium it spawns an army of 8-bit football players while a remix of One Winged Angel plays.
    • If the round consists of "HYPERPOWER!" and "Crate Shower", large golden chests will appear. If the player breaks one, it has a chance of dropping a Holy Stone. If the player then throws a Holy Stone at a boss, it will trigger a secret Gainax Ending.
  • Eating the Enemy: The Cutlery is an interesting melee weapon that allows you to cannibalize enemies with a fork and knife. You gain a small amount of health for each kill.
  • End Game Results Screen: One is shown after you either die, or defeat a boss in all modes except Infinity. It records your score, round, monsters killed, and amount of time you survived. It's also Played for Laughs by recording a list of three random nonsensical things you didn't actually do, however if you did beat a boss, then it adds something related to that boss at the end of the list.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Holy Stone, which is the strongest single-target weapon in the entire mod, is a brick filled with...holes.
  • Frictionless Ice: The "Grease is the Word" effect in the first reel.
  • Game Mod: Besides this obviously being one, the latest update (as of September 2015) added compatibility for custom reels, bosses, etc. See here.
  • Gainax Ending: If you throw a Holy Stone at a boss (using the method above), you will be sent to "Valhalla", where dogs bark in harmony. Yep. After spending a few minutes in paradise, you get sent to credits that spoofs Super Mario Bros. 3's credits.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: And how! Nearly pretty much all of the bosses count.
    • The World's Most Boringest Ghost, a spectral entity who shoots plasma at you.
    • There's Dog Pope. It's a dog wearing a pope hat, who shoots out bees at you when he barks.
    • There's MacGuffin, a gigantic green hobo who breathes fire at you.
    • And to top it off, there's a wizard who drives around in a monster truck.
    Manual Description: You know what? I think this pretty much explains itself. Have fun getting run over!
  • The Goomba: Bronies cannot attack at all. Same with the hand puppets from the sequel. About the weakest enemies that can attack are the Strife NPCs, which are restricted to a slow melee attack.
  • Goomba Stomp: Can be done by enemies and players alike when falling from a high place in the sequel.
  • Gratuitous German: Mecha-Hitler's description in the manual is written in German as opposed to English.
  • Grave Humor: Present in one area of the "Creature of Chaos" map.
  • Hand Puppet: The second game’s “Everybody Hates Puppets” reel spawns these as enemies.
  • Hub City: The sequel has the Reelism city. In this place, you can buy various weapons or power-ups from NPCs, and start the next run.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Any enemy, no matter if it is a robot, a cowboy, an alien or a dog, will conveniently drop ammo for the weapons spawned by the current weapon reel when killed. There's also a reel that will turn all enemies into Money Spiders.
  • Interface Screw: You came for it? You'll get lots of it then - dense Kryptonite fog, onscreen touch controls which don't do anything...
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • The Jerk. This is a giant dark blue reskin of Doom's Pinkie, which moves very fast, crushes anything nearby in one hit (including other enemies), and is invincible. Fortunately, no other enemies spawn during the round, and it despawns after the round ends, unlike the other enemies which remain inbetween rounds.
    • If you get the 2-2-2 jackpot, a cartoon "number two" with a happy face drawn on it appears. It acts similar to The Jerk, except it moves slower, and does not despawn.
    • A 17-17-17 jackpot will spawn a "friendly" golden Jerk. He will not hunt you actively, but you will still die if you get close to him
  • Level Ate: The "Candy Planet" map.
  • Logic Bomb: "HYPERPOWER!" and "Bullet Hoses" together spawns a rifle that fires your entire supply of bullets in one shot. "Gunfinity" gives you an infinite supply of bullets. If you try to make that rifle fire "infinity" bullets at once, you hear evil laughter, following by the gun exploding, killing you instantly.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: As usual for a Doom mod, the graphic violence is increased. Sometimes, it might be caused even without your direct participation: either it'll be monster infighting or the "Bloody Mess" bonus, which causes everyone around you to blow up into pieces.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Sometimes, you get to drive the tank. Sometimes, the tank gets to drive over you. Sometimes, you just explode...
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • One of the super weapons fires a huge cluster of missiles. It's even called the Macross Cannon.
    • The DevilDriver, natch.
  • Man on Fire: The point of Porkchop Sandwiches! Reel all the weapons spawned during the round that reel is picked cause fire damage and when a enemy is killed by such damage they run around screaming on fire for a bit then die, although the same can happen to you if you get killed by a fiery attack generally from the splash damage from these weapons.
  • Mega Crossover: Weapons from other glorious 90s-era FPS games are snuck in.
  • More Dakka: The whole point of the "Bullet Hoses" reel. You will see various automatic weapons like assault rifles or miniguns.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • God Mode note  does not protect you from instant kill effects, such as leaving the map boundaries, falling into Bottomless Pits or certain bodies of water, such as ocean, or getting crushed by The Jerk, Imp Tank, Ms. The Jerk, or the Wizard's monster truck.
    • If you cheat yourself all the weapons, your score counter is replaced with the words CHEATER!, and then the end of game results screen will record you having zero points. Doubles as a Shout-Out to Descent II, which done the same for a player trying to use the same kind of cheat.
  • No Item Use for You: Getting a 5-5-5 jackpot will strip you of ALL your weapons and inventory, except your starting pistol and fist.
  • One-Hit Kill: the Jerk Ms. THE JERK and the Wizard while in the Monster truck and the Imp Tank instantly kills anything they touch monsters and players as for weapons the Holy Brick that can be obtained from the super weapon + crate shower reel combo Easter Egg instantly kills any non boss entity it hits except for The Jerk and the 2-2-2 jackpot monster.
  • Punny Name: Heh heh, reel, realism, get it?
  • Reference Overdosed: One of the main challenges of the game is to recognize where all the enemies, weapons, and songs are from.
  • Retraux:
    • The "JRPGvile" map, which references the 16-bit JRPG era, such as Final Fantasy.
    • Most of the music throughout Reelism is taken from the 16-bit generation, such as from the SNES or the Sega Mega Drive.
  • Sequential Boss: Both Mecha-Hitler and the Wizard are fought in two phases.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Dog Pope" shoots out bees when he barks.
    • Tank Mode's flavor text quotes Cowboy Bebop's intro. (Which is, obviously, named Tank!.)
    • One slot gives you regenerating health, at the cost of slow movement. The manual description states this was done to appeal to racist 12-year-olds who are only interested in modern FPSes. Its' title is "BLOODY SCREEN SO REAL!" - a callback to the yet so famous DutyCalls.
    • The "Creature of Chaos" map is based off of the Castlevania games. To complete the reference, the boss spawns in a throne room in a keep seperate from the rest of the castle, where Dracula would normally be fought, complete with a secret room up above accessable by invisible stairs.
    • The victory theme that plays when you defeat the boss is taken from ActRaiser. Additionally, the Game Over theme that plays when you die is taken from Clock Tower.
    • The secret Gainax Ending is followed by a curtain call sequence presenting all the maps in the game in the same way all the worlds were presented in the curtain call from the end of Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • HYPERPOWER!, one of the slot possibilities, is named after the opening track from the Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero
    • One of the slot possibilities is called "This is My Boomstick!", where all the weapons spawned are shotguns.
    • When dying from being killed by a fiery attack or hazard the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog drowning music plays while you run around burning and screaming before you die.
    • The results screen phrases detailing things the player didn't actually do are parodies of NetHack's eulogies when the player dies or ascends. If the player beats a boss the results even say the player "ascended."
    • The "Quick Draw" slot - which spawns cowboys - asks mammas to not let their babies to grow up to be Reelism slots.
    • The third expansion pack teaser titles the expansion as Reelism XIII: The Canine Pain. Sadly, it's not the expansion's true name, it's simply called Reelism Gold instead.
    • The third expansion also introduced two more Konami inspired maps alongside the aforementioned Creature of Chaos map: Planet Eioneus and Fort Firestorm.
    • The Alien Ship map references both Contra: The Hard Corps and Metal Slug. The mutated Alien Cell boss from the good end route in Hard Corps also shows up as a wall texture in the central control room during the Boss round.
    • The boss theme used during the Wizard battle is "War Like Requiem" from Thunder Force IV.
    • If you approach the map's out-of-bounds (which is fatal), the "Chicken! Fight like a robot!" sound clip plays as a warning.
    • One of the new weapons added in the latest expansion is the Master Sword.
    • A (rare) inventory item is a mini RTS base.
    • There's a reel called Quad Damage. It grants you the same effect the powerup had in its original game, complete with blue-ish screen tint and the characteristic sound when firing.
    • There's a reel called Bomber, Man that spawns grenade-like weapons, among which are the Lynn-Quay ice bombs and the PariasCo poison flechettes.
    • One of the energy weapons is the CabalCo Thunderbolt, and one of the third reel's options sics the Cabal's cultists on you.
    • One of the quit messages says "Game Quit Would You Play?" This odd message is actually a reference to a Dummied Out continue screen from Super Metroid.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The "BLAU!" reel allows only explosive weapons to spawn. There's also a gameplay reel called "Birthday Party", that makes all enemies detonate upon death.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Mecha Hitler features as a boss.
  • Take That!:
    • Bronies - depicted as fat neckbeards in jeans - are one of the enemy slots, and don't do much but neigh and talk about the show in stilted, high-pitched voices, and serve as cannon fodder, meatshields, and ammo drops. Given that the mod author's a goon...
    • The "iReelism" effect is one at games ported to, well, smartphones, by plastering the screen with useless smartphone-styled "controls". The manual's description of the effect further states that using Windows Surface is less useful than self-flagellation.
    • The "poorly-censored health kits" that can be released from the random crates is this towards the Bowdlerised health pickups in the BFG Edition rereleases of Ultimate Doom and Doom II, which replaced the Red Cross symbols on them with a red and white pill.
    • The Regenerating Health effect states it was done to appeal to angry 12-year-old elitists who are too into modern games.
    • One of the reels is a jab at Superman 64's very poor rendering distance.
    • Jackpot 1-1-1 Original Character do not steal which creates a 60 second spawn wave of harmless recolored Sonics is a jab at extremely lazy "custom" sprite/official art that only consists of being recolored and is then being presented as original work which the Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase is infamous for.
    • In the manual, the description of Fort Firestorm berates Konami for their infamous Pachinko buisiness nowadays. During the Super Mario Bros. 3-style curtain call in the Gainax Ending, the map is also mentioned to be "coming soon to a Pachinko parlour near you".
    • The readme for Reelism 2 comments on how the readme template most commonly used for Doom WADs mentions distribution via BBS and diskettes, saying that it must be older than most Brutal Doom players.
  • Tank Goodness:
    • One of the reels temporary puts the player into a Nigh Invulnerable tank capable of firing very fast powerful missiles, a vulcan, and the ability to instantly crush enemies under its treads.
    • One of the bosses is also an Imp driving around in a tank who can fire the same missiles as well as crushing nearby players and enemies under the treads.
  • This Cannot Be!: The Wizard when his monster truck is destroyed. Much like when bosses make their entrance sound, the voice clip can be heard anywhere on the map regardless of distance.
    Wizard: No! NOOO! Not like this! Not like thiiiiiis!
  • This Is a Drill: Might appear if melee weapons are spawned, and are essentially chainsaws on steroids.
  • Video Game Flight: The "Wing and a Prayer" effect allows the player to fly during the round. In the sequel, there’s a similar effect for enemies.


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