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Quasar

The ultimate Strife sequence break

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By doing this sequence of actions, you can break the game wide open and finish it in a bizarre order, getting a messed-up ending:

  1. Kill Macil first.
  2. Return to the Oracle and accept his mission to kill the Loremaster. Now, with the door open, kill the Oracle as well, giving you the fourth Sigil.
  3. Approach the teleporter to the Proving Grounds, but do NOT walk into it. Instead, walk around to the back side of it and begin pressing the use key near the wall behind the center of the teleport pad.
  4. If done properly, you will abruptly exit to the Proving Grounds, courtesy of what should be a deathmatch-only switch. BUT! You spawn at the normal 1P player start instead of mapspot 3, allowing you to:
  5. Go backward through Factory: Manufacturing to reach the Catacomb. From here you can destroy the Programmer spectre and obtain the Mine and Factory keys. You can also reach the Commons and all of the levels to which it leads.
  6. Go through the mines and then destroy the Factory.
  7. Proceed on back to the Proving Grounds through whatever path you want to use (they are all open to you now). Once you reach the Entity, you will hear Blackbird's voice. However when you kill the Entity, you get the GOOD ending!


Crazy what one little unguarded deathmatch exit can let you accomplish :)

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Quasar said:

Once you reach the Entity, you will hear Blackbird's voice. However when you kill the Entity, you get the GOOD ending!

Still scary that I'd hear Blackbird's voice. Also, considering how insanely difficult that game is by late, I assume your route would be suicidal after all.

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printz said:

Still scary that I'd hear Blackbird's voice. Also, considering how insanely difficult that game is by late, I assume your route would be suicidal after all.

Hardly, considering I've made it to the Proving Grounds the normal way in Bloodbath skill, and let me tell you what, it was insane. Doing this in a normal game isn't any problem at all.

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Quasar said:

Hardly, considering I've made it to the Proving Grounds the normal way in Bloodbath skill, and let me tell you what, it was insane. Doing this in a normal game isn't any problem at all.

WOW O.O

bones58 said:

Just want to say, IMO this game is the pinnacle of the doom engine.

Agreed. I love Strife. Going to try this now, this is insane o.O

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Kaiser and I had previously found out that you can trigger the deathmatch level exit switches in single player games, but at the time we didn't know of any you could hit normally due to the majority of them being positioned beyond the normal teleport lines.

This lead us to create another trick which I call the burn exit:

  1. Set yourself on fire by using some phosphorus grenades.
  2. Try to maintain control and run across an exit area such as the line which takes you to the Sanctuary while jamming on the spacebar.
  3. If you hit the switch, you spawn in the next level with 100 health, but no weapons, inventory, keys, quest flags, or objective - Woops!


Tonight however I found a slightly more interesting application of this trick. If you do it at the sewer exit to the Castle, you will end up in the MAP07 Castle, rather than the New Front Base (MAP10), even if you have defeated the Programmer.

However you spawn behind the exit line which takes you into the Programmer's Keep, and if you go in there, you become trapped due to a stone wall that blocks off the exit. So this is only good for a bit of novelty right now - I think its sequence break potential is extremely limited. I can only imagine trying to defeat the Programmer with no weapons or inventory other than what you can find on his map :/

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I'm actually not surprised by this. A lot of old games like Strife had similar problems. I know in Robinson's Requiem it was easy to screw up the right sequence of events and make the game unwinnable.

Pretty neat find, though. :) I'm sure if Strife had been more popular, this would have been discovered earlier much like the various movement bugs in Doom.

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Another new trick: skip the prison!

  1. Accept the bloody task from Mourel.
  2. Enter the power station and forget Mourel's task, it's a waste of time. Go to the red guard who tells you "Sorry, no, you do not have clearance." This guy is the key. Or rather, he has the key on him.
  3. Punch the red acolyte, and punch him every time he is right up against the wall next to the window. Save your game before he dies. When he dies, he drops a Power 1 Key. This key MUST land on the window sill. If it does not, you are screwed.
  4. Run into the ledge with a bit of speed and you will "bump" the key. You can now enter the power station and get the Gold Key for the weapons cache in the warehouse, the Power 3 key needed to open the sewers, and destroy the Crystal which is needed to clear the forcefields from the castle gate.
  5. Combined with entering through the back entrance and flipping the water tank switch, it's possible to skip straight to Sammis in the power station. Sammis must be talked to, since he gives Power Key 3.
  6. If doing the burn-death exit from sewers to the castle, you can probably skip destroying the power crystal, but this might cause problems for you later. You must also find some Phosphorus grenades before the castle, and at least on Training skill level, I wasn't able to find any. I kinda don't think that shortcut will actually save enough time to be worth the way it would screw you over anyway.

Do note that I figured out why I was spawning near the entrance to the Programmer's Keep earlier, however. This is NOT the location of the player 1 start, but rather the last place I was at in the level. The DM exits seem to use that in single player if you've been to the map before; otherwise you spawn at the 1P start. So the trick could be used as a shortcut to take you to the castle if you felt like losing all of your equipment.

Just the prison skip trick by itself would be enough to set a world record speedrun time, I believe.

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I'm really not surprised by all of this. Strife's mission tracking system is just far to simplistic to allow any real control over the game.

They should have invented a real scripting language which can keep track of such things in a proper way instead of relying on inventory hacks.

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Graf Zahl said:

I'm really not surprised by all of this. Strife's mission tracking system is just far to simplistic to allow any real control over the game.

They should have invented a real scripting language which can keep track of such things in a proper way instead of relying on inventory hacks.

It might have helped, but unless they had thoroughly debugged every line of script, there might still be sequence breaks. After all, some of these tricks are not problems with the inventory and questflags system, but rather bugs in the level design and in native code (the burn death exit is the result of a maelstrom of problems coming together to create something beautiful).

Besides that, to me, this is some serious added replay value ;)

BTW, I remembered that you can get WP grenades before the castle by purchasing an Ammo Satchel :)

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Quasar said:

Besides that, to me, this is some serious added replay value ;)

I entirely agree! Sequence breaking really makes a game all the more interesting, I remember me and you having a conversation about Sequence Breaking in Metroid Prime once, actually Quasar. The metroids that you can sequence break have so much more replay value than the ones that you can't! Prime 1 NTSC original is so much fun to mess with :P

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This is good stuff. You should make videos of this using the DOSBox video recorder.

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EDIT: I was wrong about the crystal quest and the Bailey after all. Seems line type 187 clears force fields based on the quest flag specified in the first sidedef's y offset, not being constantly based on the power crystal quest. Misleading Doom Builder line special descriptions FTL. From now on I gotta be more diligent about checking the code :P

The relevant bit (this function will not decompile so ASM is the only way to look at it):

cseg01:000299C9 crosstype_187:  ; CODE XREF: P_CrossSpecialLine+DA
cseg01:000299C9                 ; DATA XREF: cseg01:000293F0
cseg01:000299C9                 mov     eax, dword ptr [esi+line_t.tag]
cseg01:000299CC                 sar     eax, 10h        ; get line->sidenum[0]
cseg01:000299CF                 lea     edx, ds:0[eax*8]
cseg01:000299D6                 add     edx, eax
cseg01:000299D8                 mov     eax, sides
cseg01:000299DD                 mov     ecx, [eax+edx*2+side_t.rowoffset]
cseg01:000299E1                 sar     ecx, 10h        ; rowoffset is fixed_t
cseg01:000299E4                 mov     edx, [edi+mobj_t.player]
cseg01:000299EA                 mov     eax, 1
cseg01:000299EF                 dec     ecx
cseg01:000299F0                 mov     ebp, [edx+player_t.questflags]
cseg01:000299F3                 shl     eax, cl
cseg01:000299F5                 test    ebp, eax
cseg01:000299F7                 jz      crosstype_NONE
cseg01:000299FD                 mov     eax, esi        ; a1
cseg01:000299FF                 call    EV_ClearForceFields
cseg01:00029A04                 mov     word ptr [esi+12h], 0
cseg01:00029A0A                 pop     ebp
cseg01:00029A0B                 pop     edi
cseg01:00029A0C                 pop     esi
cseg01:00029A0D                 pop     ecx
cseg01:00029A0E                 retn

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Nes said:

This is good stuff. You should make videos of this using the DOSBox video recorder.


+1

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Catoptromancy said:

Most epic. I shall totally study these and will eventually one day actually play strife.

I really hope you play strife the way it was meant first. It's an absolutely marvelous game and it deserves ever bit of recognition it can get.

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kristus said:

I really hope you play strife the way it was meant first. It's an absolutely marvelous game and it deserves ever bit of recognition it can get.

Yeah. Nobody should do this stuff on their first run. Or probably the second or third for that matter ;)

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Yeah, I absolutely loved "just" playing through the game a few times on DOSBox. As a matter of fact, I'm doing a regular run again right now :)

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