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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.

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

At the end of March 2020, Kinsie announced that he was developing Reelism 2. Version 1.0 was released on April 15, 2022.

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

Compare TurboCharged ARCADE!.

The Tropes are Rolling...

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • Reelism 2:
      • The Dog Launcher shoots friendly dogs that will go to town on the nearest enemies until they die.
      • The Roulette Revolver is an innocuous-looking revolver that fires different ammunition every time it is reloaded. Said ammunition can be blanks, harmless Ludicrous Gibs, regular pistol shots, desert eagle slugs, rockets, bees, energy beams, the BFG projectile, or cars.
  • All There in the Manual: Reelism includes an HTML manual that describes all the reel effects and bosses. Reelism 2 replaces it with an expansive in-game help menu.
  • Alpha Strike: Reelism has the Instant Discharge Cannon, which can store up to 200 rounds. Pressing the fire key unloads all the rounds simultaneously on whatever is standing in front of the cannon. At its ammo cap, the gun does enough damage to One-Hit Kill most bosses.
  • Art Evolution: The crates in the "Crate Shower" reel, the tank in the "My Tank Is Fight" reel, and the cars on various maps all became 3D models in Reelism 2
  • The Artifact: The Flamethrower uses Team Fortress 2's flamethrower sounds because it initially had sprites based on its model as well. In Reelism 2, this is no longer the case, however the TF2 flamethrower can still be seen behind the counter of Phat Burners.
  • 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, including 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.
  • Breakable Weapons:
    • Grandpa's Antique, which is a very strong shotgun, with two catches: Each shot has a HUGE amount of kickback, and each shot has a random chance to break the gun. The breakable part is negated with the infinite ammo reel, thankfully.
    • The chaingun, from Wolfenstein 3-D, can be found in a room akin to a museum in 2's Clockwork Solarium, which breaks after only a few shots.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Dog Hell. 1 small circle, 10 rounds, and hordes upon hordes of canines of varying sizes. Oh, and no weapon drops. May Dog have mercy on your soul.
  • Cap: The round number on the HUD will not go above 99, though the correct round number will display when you die.
  • Captain Obvious: The hand puppets in the sequel speak like this. “I’m made of felt! There’s a hand inside of me!”
  • Car Fu:
    • In Reelism, Motherfucking Wizard's One-Hit Kill attack is to drive into you with his giant monster truck. In Reelism 2, he can do the same thing, but with his new (and smaller) ice-cream truck.
    • Reelism 2:
      • A Bridge Too Far takes place in the middle of a highway on a suspension bridge, with cars traveling down both directions that will instantly kill most things in their path.
      • The "super ammo" for the Roulette Revolver is also a car, which travels in a straight path and plows through everything it hits until it takes enough damage or hits a wall, whereupon it explodes.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: The wizards in Reelism 2 wear a colored robe that corresponds to the type of elemental attack they use to attack you. Red wizards shoot fire, blue wizards shoot ice, yellow wizards shoot lightning, and green wizards shoot tornadoes.
  • Cyberspace: The "Internet Machine" and "Grid Based Combat" maps are set in one.
  • Developer's Foresight: Attempting to play the regular Doom II campaign by typing "map map01" into the console will instead lead you to a Doom-themed version of the "No way? No way!" screen from Sonic & Knuckles in Reelism 1 or the "Fun Is Infinite" screen from Sonic CD in 2. However, map02 and onwards still work.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Reelism:
      • Getting three same numbers across the reels will result in a special jackpot bonus. For example, 1-1-1 spawns an army of multicolored Sonic the Hedgehogs that are harmless and have the same death animations as their source game., 4-4-4 kills the player four seconds into the round, 6-6-6 transforms the player into a Cyberdemon, and 10-10-10 turns the round into a Mid-Battle Tea Break, complete with elevator music.
      • If the round consists of "HYPERPOWER!" and "Crate Shower", golden crates will appear, and each one has a very low chance of containing the Holy Brick. Throwing said Holy Brick at a boss will trigger the game's secret Gainax Ending.
      • There is an unused map ominously called "Dog Hell", which contains 666 dogs. You can only use the starting pistol to survive.
  • Eating the Enemy: The Cutlery in Reelism 2 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 Glass Bottle and Brick, which are...literally a glass bottle and brick respectively.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Footbaww!'s attack causes the player to charge forwards, elbow-first, at very high speed with limited turning ability. Regular enemies in the player's path will be pulverised by the charge. The player only stops charging if they hit a wall or die, or if a reel overrides the player's current weapon (such as the "My Tank Is Fight!" reel).
  • Frictionless Ice: The "Grease is the Word" effect in the first reel.
  • Game Mod: Besides Reelism as a whole being a mod for Doom II, the latest update (as of September 2015) added compatibility for custom reels, bosses, etc. See here.
  • Gainax Ending: In Reelism, throwing The Holy Brick at a boss will teleport you to "Valhalla", where you are greeted by an army of dogs prancing and chanting the verses to Auld Lang Syne. The game then congratulates you for finding the secret ending and sends you to a 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 Boring Ghost, a spectral entity who shoots plasma at you.
    • Dog Pope is a large dog wearing a pope hat that shoots a swarm of bees at you when he barks.
    • MacGuffin is a gigantic green hobo who breathes fire at you.
    • Motherfucking Wizard, who starts every encounter driving a giant monster truck.
    Manual Description: You know what? I think this pretty much explains itself. Have fun getting run over!
    • Reelism 2 continues this trend, featuring such bosses as a trio of deathmatch players on dial-up (with the shoddy connection issues that implies), the same Motherfucking Wizard who is now reduced to driving a smaller ice-cream truck, and a giant ape dressed up as Abraham Lincoln.
  • The Goomba: Bronies from Reelism and the hand puppets from Reelism 2 have no attack. The weakest enemies that can attack are the Strife NPCs, who only have a melee attack, and are slower and less common compared to the dogs, and constantly infight.
  • Goomba Stomp: Reelism 2 allows anyone to do this from a high enough drop.
  • 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: Reelism 2 adds Town, which serves as this. In Town, you can spend the points you earned from your previous run to buy weapons and equipment to use for the next run.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The "Sportsball" reel in the second game, featuring a baseball bat, a football that lets you tackle other enemies, and a basketball with an explosive dunk. There’s also a shotgun that shoots basketballs.
  • 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...
    • Even Reelism 2's ENDOOM screen is affected by it, as an ASCII dog obscures a list of supposedly upcoming features, most of which are just yelling at said dog to get out of the way.
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • The Jerk. This is a giant dark blue reskin of Doom's Pinky, which moves nearly as fast as the player, 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
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: The Roulette Revolver sounds like it's a bit detrimental by the name, the fact that it has to reload every six shots, and its tendency for those six shots to be empty chambers. However, it can often be one of the best weapons in the game. Each reload is a random projectile, with the non-empty ones ranging from regular bullets, to plasma bursts, to rockets, all the way to a BFG shot, or a whole freaking car.
  • Level Ate: The "Candy Planet" map is filled with candies and sugar coated grounds.
  • Logic Bomb: "HYPERPOWER!" and "Bullet Hoses" together can spawn the Instant Discharge Cannon, which fires your entire supply of bullets in one shot. "Gunfinity" gives you an infinite supply of bullets. Attempting to fire the Instant Discharge Cannon while "Gunfinity" is active will cause the gun to explode and kill you.
  • 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 from Demonsteele fires lots of them against you.
  • 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.
    • Attempting to load "finale" or "townwar" via the console in Reelism 2 will have the former scold you for cheating after seemingly starting out as it normally would, ending with you sent to "Dog Limbo", a white room with nothing but a giant dog on a pedestal. The latter just takes you directly to Dog Limbo.
  • 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:
    • On the monsters' side, The Jerk, Imp Tank and Motherfucking Wizard (in his monster truck or ice-cream van) will instantly kill the player upon contact.
    • On the player's side, the Instant Discharge Cannon can one-shot almost anything, including most single-stage bosses, if it is full on ammo, a single shot from the Electric Discombobulator's will destroy any non-boss enemy, and the "My Tank is Fight" reel puts the player in a tank that instantly kills anything it is driven into.
  • 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:
  • 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... This was ultimately considered an Old Shame, and was replaced with the hand puppet slot in Reelism 2.
    • 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.
    • Reelism 2's Micro Mode reel states it makes the player smaller than Joe Pesci.
    • In Reelism 2's manual, the description of the "Night of the NPCs" reel states the Strife NPCs are probably mad because their game sold "like six copies".
    • The reel that spawns puppet enemies is named "Everyone Hates Puppets".
    • An NPC in the Cop Shop is turning himself in for the crime of... giving a Nintendo game an 8/10, referencing the reactions to reviews such as Gamespot's The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess review that gave it such a score.
    • Reelism 2's manual states that the Cowboys from the "Quick Draw" reel are "endlessly drawling Dan Houser's poorly-written dialogue".
  • 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.
  • Unexplained Recovery: You can still return to Town after losing or beating Town in Trouble, and the Town will be intact.
  • 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.
  • Villain Decay: Motherfucking Wizard. In Reelism, he appears as a boss, driving a giant monster truck that can One-Hit Kill you if it runs you over; once the monster truck is destroyed, he fights you directly with a variety of ranged attacks. In Reelism 2, while he still appears as a boss and fights you in person once his vehicle is destroyed, said vehicle is now a much smaller and easier to avoid ice-cream truck (although you will still die if he runs you over with it). In addition, he appears in Town as a friendly NPC, and after you buy a Jackpot Dice from him, you can ask him some questions, where he reveals that he had taken out loans from multiple banks and loan sharks to build a casino in town...but cannot open it because he does not have a Casino Operator's License. As a result, he had to sell his monster truck to prevent his creditors from giving him a High-Voltage Death, and opted to purchase an ice cream truck to replace it because he could still use it to Car Fu while also making money from selling ice treats.