Doom the Roguelike

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

So there was this First-Person Shooter called Doom. 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 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 mosters 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, though. 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 was released, which marks some major updates to the game. DoomRL now has a full tileset by Derek Yu 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.

The game can be downloaded for free here.

Tropes used in Doom the Roguelike include:
  • 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.
  • BFG: Yes, it's that one.
    • Serial Escalation: Thought the BFG was the biggest your guns could get? Think again. From version 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.
  • Bonus Boss: Pretty much any boss other than the Cyberdemon, the Bruiser Brothers, or the Spider Mastermind is one, since almost every boss level is optional.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: 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).
  • Class and Level System: As of version, 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 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.
  • Color-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, the same special items will have visible 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.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Since version, 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.
    • The special weapon called the Tri-Star Blaster gives you an energy weapon version of the Mancubus attack.
  • Degraded Boss / King Mook: An unusual case. At the end of the day, the Arena Master is "just" a souped-up Arch-vile with a Palette Swap.
  • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Get Back Here Boss: The Shambler in Hell's Armory, which teleports to lick its wounds in between shooting at you. Between its high HP, respectable Armor stat 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • Guns Akimbo: The "Dualgunner" trait lets you shoot two pistols at once.
  • High-Pressure Blood: You'd be surprised how messy an ASCII game can get.
    • Played straighter with the graphical tileset introduced in
  • 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?"
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Inherited from Doom.
  • Infinity-1 Sword: The Lance of Longinus is the second-most powerful melee weapon after Azrael's Scythe. 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!
  • Mook Maker: Pain Elementals, which as per the original Doom spawns Lost Souls, and the Agony Elemental, which spits out more Pain Elementals. In addition there is the True Final Boss John Carmack, who in addition to being as robust a tank as the Cyberdemon, also has the nasty ability to summon a full eight Barons of Hell. At the same time.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Except enforced by the game, such as the Angel of Berserk (melee only) or Angel of Marksmanship (pistols only).
    • Subverted in that some of the challenges can actually be easier to complete than a standard game. The weapon-based ones (Marksmanship, Shotgunnery and Berserk) free up a lot of inventory space usually cluttered by different guns and ammunitions and start you off with items that will help you along considerably. Marksmanship is universally regarded as a cakewalk as Technician and only marginally harder as other classes, Berserk starts off tough but essentially turns you into a murder machine after a few character levels and Shotgunnery is only considered difficult because of the scarcity of shotgun ammo on lower dungeon levels.
    • Increases to ridiculous levels with some of the later challenges, which require you to have obtained several Bragging Rights Rewards to even unlock. Try charging through DoomRL under such fun conditions as a nuke being set on every level (giving you 240 ingame moves to either reach the exit or find an invulnerability), having no standard sources of healing(you get a supercharge upon leveling up, and that's it), or being unable to attack at all! And, of course, there's always Nightmare...
  • 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.
    • That said, if you know what you're doing, Shotguns are some of the best long range weapons in the game, mainly because they automatically hit whatever is in their spread, at the cost of taking a penalty to damage the farther away the target is. Thus, even though it won't handle tougher enemies at range, the Double Shotgun murders groups weaker enemies at range(sometimes 4-6 in a single shot!), while the Combat Shotgun's spread goes past your range of vision, making it wonderful for scouting in areas where you think there's an enemy, but don't want to get closer and risk getting shot.
  • 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.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience
  • Standard FPS Guns: The exact lineup from Doom II along with a knife and a combat shotgun.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The demons will run into 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. A player going straight for the shotgun path will find themselves able to kick serious ass once he gets the Shottyman trait as early as level 3... assuming he can last that long with only the Reloader skill, which is basically useless except when using certain weapons you won't get until later anyways.
    • And for shotguns, of course.
  • 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.
  • X Meets Y: It's Doom... as a roguelike!
  • 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...