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IronEagle Competition 38: By the Pricking of My Thumbs...

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Welcome to a new month of the IronEagle competition, the ironman challenge that accepts everyone who likes to play Doom. No matter who you are, as long as you like Doom, you're welcome at our party.


This month, participants will challenge themselves against By the Pricking of My Thumbs..., the 11-map set created by Rex Claussen (Doomworld's very own @ReX) as an homage to the first episode of Doom 2. Released in 2017, this mapset retains some of the feel of Doom 2, while simultaneously being a unique setting and challenge. Enjoy a visit to a place where the old is subtly new again.


Participants must play these maps on complevel 2 or Doom(strict). I don't suggest playing this on Chocolate Doom, because there is a high chance that Map 07 will crash due to visplane overflows in a few spots, and there are some spots in a couple of the maps after that where there may also be visplane overflows.


By the Pricking of My Thumbs starts at Map 01. Survival is completion of Map 11. There is no secret map.


Download By the Pricking of My Thumbs.



Congratulations to this month's winners (urther details are in the post below).

UV: @Veinen (Runner-up: @leodoom85)

HMP: @head_cannon (Runner-up: @Bloxwess)

HNTR: @Andromeda (Runner-up: @Major Arlene)



In the spirit of the season, there are changes to the rules for this month.

  1. If you die in a map, feel free to pistol start that map and continue on with your run. You don't have to do this if you don't want to, but the option is there. You get one free pistol start, and your run ends upon your second death. If you use your one pistol start exception, note that you used it, and on what map you used it.
  2. In Map 08, there is a trap at the beginning of the map. If you fall victim to this trap, you will be stuck in an inescapable death pit. If that happens, the pistol start exception from Rule 1 applies, except you may pistol start multiple times until you either succeed or grow tired of trying. A subsequent death in Map 08 would then end your run. If you use this multiple pistol start exception on Map 08, please note that you used it.





  • Template for PRBoom+:
    • -iwad doom2.wad -file wicked_0.wad -complevel 2 -skill <x> -warp 01 -record <IEprickthumb>


  • Template for ZDoom
    • -iwad doom2.wad -file wicked_0.wad  +compatmode 2 -skill <x> +map map01 -record <IEprickthumb>
      • it is possible you may have to use +set skill <x> for GZDoom


  • <x> must be replaced by the skill level. 2 = HNTR, 3 = HMP, 4 = UV
  • <IEolnoname> would be replaced with whatever you decide to call your demo, if you're submitting a demo




The rules are basically the same as they have been (with the exception of the change noted above). Either demos or streams are permissible. If you are creating a demo, post the demo. If you are streaming, post a video of the stream. Even if streaming, you can still submit a demo, if you want to.

The basic rule is that you submit a demo/stream played at a particular difficulty level (HNTR, HMP, or UV) and you play without saving and reloading, ending your run when you die (or survive).


The following are allowed (but not required):

  • Freelook
  • Crosshair
  • Mods that are COSMETIC ONLY


The following are NOT allowed:

  • Crouching
  • Jumping
  • Mods that change ANY aspect of base gameplay, including (but not limited to) enemy behavior, enemy speed, player abilities, player speed, weapon damage, ammo, and enemy drops.


Further, more specific, rules are listed below:



  • Submissions (except for streams, as described below) must include a demo.
    • You may practice a mapset if you want, but these practice runs should not be submitted as your official entry, and your run would be Category 2, unless there are exceptional circumstances (such as described below).
  • A run must be done in a singular sitting with no saves. (With room for breaks. This will be addressed below.)
  • Streams and video runs are accepted provided you post a video of the stream/run or a link to the video.
    • If you post a video of the stream, you may post a demo if you want, but it is not mandatory. You may also post a demo if you, for some reason, do not want to post the video or a link.
  • Secret levels, if present, do not have to be completed for a survival run. If they are completed, they are extra credit.


Any port is accepted provided it will actually run the mapset. There is no preference.


Of course, if you want to try a limit-removing/Boom map in Chocolate Doom, be my guest. However, be aware that your run may be over rather quickly. Don't say you weren't warned. Similarly, if you attempt this run on Chocolate Doom after you were warned that it might crash on Map 07, and it crashes on Map 07, don't blame me. You were warned.


Category System:

Category 1: Blind run.This explains itself. You have no knowledge of the wad and have not played/seen it before. I'm willing to be somewhat lenient with this Category.

For example, if you die early in Map 01, and then decide to play again for your run, you can still call it Category 1.

Category 2: Non-blind.

If you have played the wad before and/or possess significant foreknowledge, your run is non-blind. Basically, anything that is not Category 1 is Category 2.


If you're unhappy with your blind run, feel free to record a new run, and submit that run instead. If you want to submit your first run, no matter how you perform, by all means, go ahead and do it. You just shouldn't feel that you HAVE to submit a run you're dissatisfied with, just to preserve a "Category 1" status. If you want to go back and submit a second run, you're welcome to do so, but, at this time, it won't be counted.



Difficulty System:

You may submit a demo/stream for only one of HNTR, HMP, or UV. Choose only one, because subsequent submissions will be rejected (i.e., if you submit a HMP demo, the HNTR demo you then submit will be rejected). We're not using the 1CC rule set here. And your first submission is what counts.


Only runs from the same difficulty will be pitted against each other. Each difficulty will be graded separately.




When you submit your run, please the include the following information:

  • The category (1 or 2)
  • The difficulty
  • If you survived or what map you died on
  • If you used your one pistol start exception and on which map you used it
  • If you used your multiple pistol start exception at the beginning of Map 08
  • The time elapsed when you survived/died (even if it's only approximate)
  • How many kills you had on the map where you died
  • The port you used (if you included a demo)
  • A link to the stream/video (if you did a stream)


You may include a commentary about the maps or details about them, if you want to. If you do include specific information about the map (e.g. "The demon trap in Map 08 is rough"), please put it in a spoiler, so that people that want a completely blind experience won't be tipped off. In you're just putting in a general comment (e.g., "Pro tip: don't get hit"), then no need for a spoiler.


Attempting to max the maps is not necessary to win.

Ranking for this mapset will be determined by:

  • Survival (without pistol restart)
  • Survival (with one post-death pistol restart)
  • Survival (with multiple post-death pistol starts on Map 08)
  • Total time for survival
  • Map of death (in descending order from 11 to 01, dying on a map following a pistol death restart will rank lower than dying on that map if you had not had a pistol death restart)
  • Total time at death
  • Kill count at death


If you die, please wait a few seconds before quitting.




Everyone gets tired. Sometimes people survive longer than they expected. Nature calls. Every now and then, there are family emergencies. Needing to take a break shouldn't necessarily end a promising run. While you should try to complete the run in a single setting, this isn't always possible. If you have to take a break, try to make it quick.



Happy Dooming!




Previous IronEagle Competitions




  • 1 (Oct.): Scientist 2 (Winners -- UV: leodoom85   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Liberation)
  • 2 (Nov.): Vanguard (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Liberation)
  • 3 (Dec.): Crumpets (Winners -- UV: NoisyVelvet   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Pegleg)




  • 4 (Feb.): Dark Covenant (Winners -- UV: kmc   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 5 (Mar.): Brood of Hatred (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: Crusader No Regret   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 6 (Apr.): Riot Control (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: Walter Confetti   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 7 (May): Scimitar (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: Crusader No Regret   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 8 (Jun.): Bauhaus (Winners -- UV: vdgg   HMP: Crusader No Regret   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 9 (Jul.): Bloody Steel (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 10 (Aug.): The Brotherhood of Ruin (Winners -- UV: leodoom85   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 11 (Sept.): Flashback to Hell (Winners -- UV: kmc/Bdubzzz   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 12 (Oct.): A Taste for Blood (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: n/a   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 13 (Nov.): Back to Basics (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz   HMP: Horus   HNTR: Pegleg)
  • 14 (Dec.): Whitemare (Winners -- UV: Bdubzzz & NaZa   HMP: Crusader No Regret   HNTR: Pegleg)







Edited by Pegleg : Added monthly winners. Added winners to IronEagle 34.

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Category 1, UV

Completed in 105 minutes, 52 seconds, 66 milliseconds (or 1:45:52)



Definitely a friendlier choice than last month. Aside from a few close calls, couple "oh shit"s, and having an urge to go to the bathroom incrementing since map 01, I did pretty well. I kinda wished I found a BFG where you'd ordinarily find one in the original maps, but I missed a ton of secrets throughout anyways. I had played older ReX maps before and this pretty much is in line with his classic style.



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On PrBoom+, Cat1 on HNTR, died on MAP06 with 43/53 kills at about 9:20.  Total time 1:01:10.  ie38-dei.zip


Not great but better than my usual success at these! :D  Could have used a bit luck not to get shot like that...  But what a great mapset!



Edited by dei_eldren

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Category 1, UV


Result: dead on map05 with 11/111, entered at 15:26 and died at 15:58. I have no idea how I took this many huge damage rolls so quickly to just 4 enemies, even when I played the demo back at like 20% speed it still looked like complete nonsense. I guess it was just one of those bullshit Doom moments you can't plan for. This would never have happened to Krypto...



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Category 1, UV, survived in a leisurely paced 70:12 with no deaths in deathpits or otherwise.


Pretty fun mapset, though to say this retains just some of Doom 2's feel might be an understatement...


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Category: 1.

Difficulty: Hurt Me Plenty.

Survived or Died: Died on Map 04.

Pistol Start Used: Used on Map 04.

Total Time Elapsed at First Death: 19min 16sec.

Number of Kills at First Death: 17/61.

Total Time Elapsed at Final Death: 20min 6sec.

Number of Kills at Final Death: 15/61.

Source Port Used: GZDoom.




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GZDoom 4.7.1
Category 1
Died MAP08, 0/116 kills, 0:0:30
Did NOT use any of the special rules for this run. See yall next year!

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DEAD: Map04 (very cool secret btw, the one that has a death floor and just kills you and has nothing in it.)


KILLS: 42/81


Category: 1 (blind)

Port: prboom-plus complevel 2 low gamma (I also discovered the pistol has a use acually: it's The Flashlight Gun)



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This was much better. Before I post the result...

@PeglegIn map 5, I had to change the gamma value to 1 because I didn't touched the gamma option at all for the sourceport, which I downloaded a few days ago. I had it at the lowest value (which might be 0 and can be by default as well) and I saw nothing but darkness.

Anyway, result.


Death: Nope. I survived the set in 1:40:23.

Sourceport: PRBoom+

Category: 1, all blind

Difficulty: UV

Demo: dwie_wickLD85.zip


EDIT: A spoiler, just in case.


It's completely doable to completely skip map 8 because the exit switch is reachable for the player.


Edited by leodoom85

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Category 1 run on UV.

Died on map 7 with 20/32 monsters due to a linedef or some bug not triggering a teleport, so chose to pistol start on map 7.

Then died on map 8 to the trap at the start, and couldn't be bothered trying again.


Interesting enough spins on the classic maps I suppose. Merry Christmas Ironeaglers!

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Category 2


Dead on Map04, in like 12:25 with 3 monsters killed or something.



I did a blind run of this at the start of the month, got owned in the same map, decided to come back later and try again and got owned in the same map. I did play through some of this at the start of the month after junking that blind run. I'm really not a fan of it, and I'll leave it at that.

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Category 2

Dead on: Map 06

Difficulty: HNTR

Kills: 29/53

Time: 32:29


I used my one pistol start.

Dead on: Map 06

Kills: 23/53

Time: 28:57




Pro-tip: Bullets hurt. Don't get hit by them.

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Category 1

Dead on: Map 05

Difficulty: UV

Kills: 32/111

Time: 25:07




I opted to not use my mulligan. I've been using EE as my main engine for a little while now so it took me a little bit to get used to DSDA Doom at the start of this run. I've got a new keyboard and I managed to get the F keys to stop working until around map05 when I was finally able to turn my brightness up with F11. Up until that point the wad was SO dark I had to take it very slowly and it wasn't much fun to play. I think I would enjoy the maps had I managed to increase the brightness right at the start. Some of the chaingunner traps are pretty mean tho


This was my first ironman run in a long time and it was a lot of fun :)

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Category 1, HMP, PrBoom+


Survived in 2:14:30.


There were some really clever remixes of the existing levels in here, taking familiar layouts but having you traverse them in entirely new ways. And everything was well-detailed without losing playability. The only gripe I had was with the harshness of MAP04.


I quite enjoy a tense "hitscanners in the dark" dungeon crawl, but even I thought that was excessive. (Also, there are multiple entrances to the inner circle in MAP07, but it seems that several of the W1 teleport lines on those entrances did nothing when first tripped - I'm glad that the last remaining one sent me where I needed to be once I finally noticed it on my map, but I wonder what caused the earlier misfires.)


Overall, "By The Pricking Of My Thumbs" was mean & tense in just the right ways - a fantastic tribute to Doom 2 E1. Thanks for featuring it this month!

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A hearty thank you everyone who joined us for the final IronEagle of 2021. I hope to see you all back for January 2022's IronEagle, and invite a few friends (new and/or old) to join the fun.


Without further ado, here are the results for this month.



  1. Veinen (Survived)
  2. leodoom85 (Survived)
  3. galileo31dos01 (Survived)
  4. Suitepee (Map 08 + 1 Pistol Start)
  5. Terrarienn (Map 06)
  6. dt_ (Map 06)
  7. BoxY (Map 05)
  8. xvertigox (Map 05)
  9. DrJordo (Map 05 + 1 Pistol Start)
  10. NoisyVelvet (Map 04)
  11. Maribo (Map 04)
  12. 4shockblast (Map 03)



  1. head_cannon (Survived)
  2. Bloxwess (Map 04)



  1. Andromeda (Survived + 1 Pistol Start)
  2. Major Arlene (Map 08)
  3. dei_eldren (Map 06)
  4. Pegleg (Map 06 + 1 Pistol Start)

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