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MegaDoomer

Cleverest secret exits? (Non-commercial material only)

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Basically the thread title is the question, but anyways, what are the most cleverly hidden secret level exits you recall seeing in a Doom wad? To avoid spoilers, it is fine just to post the wad and what map the secret exit is on. Any additional information is optional (it's not even necessary to state as to why you think it was clever, if you think that'll spoil it for some, but if you still want to then just feel free to surround with a spoiler tag).

By the way, secret exits that are hard to find because you have no ideas and/or clues whatsoever and must essentially use brute force exhausing through the whole map for something hidden are NOT considered clever in my view. I'm looking, instead, for exits that DO have at least some small indication as to how to proceed, yet are still very well hidden with, generally, several steps usually being necessary before actually gaining access into the exit.

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In the interest of not making this just be a boring list thread, please actually describe what makes these secret exits so interesting when you're posting about them. Thanks!

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Community Chest 2 had probably my favorite secret exit ever, on The Ultimate Doomer's Map15: City Heat. Normal progression of the map requires you to visit every building and hit all 9 switches to open the exit door. To open the secret exit, though, you'd go back through all those buildings and look for the better-hidden blue-numbered switches.

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esselfortium said:

In the interest of not making this just be a boring list thread, please actually describe what makes these secret exits so interesting when you're posting about them. Thanks!


I agree that would be preferrable. If it's spoiler content, you can always use spoiler tags.

CC2 Map15 is definitely in my list as well, so I hope this thread brings good things to come. :) Maybe a wad I haven't played yet will even come up. (This is not a trick, there are some wads I have not played.)

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I don't think I've ever found the secret exit in any PWAD ever so I think I can safely say all of them.

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I think cc3 was more interesting. TGH's Clash of Galaxies level contains a secret exit where you can see a picture about the next level. And reaching that was funny - and hard. :D

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Katamori said:

I think cc3 was more interesting. TGH's Clash of Galaxies level contains a secret exit where you can see a picture about the next level. And reaching that was funny - and hard. :D


I remember taking a LONG time to find that secret exit. However I seem to remember at least one point where it was designed cluelessly. But I may just have missed the clue, not to mention I might be remembering things wrong. The second secret exit in CC3 isn't really even "secret" if I recall correctly; it is simply a reward for playing all of Map31 and completing that level's story rather than prematurely leaving through an alternate exit early.

On another note, since CC2 was brought up, I recall being unable to find two of the switchest for the longest time. But I just missed the clues; that staircase on to the crate in (if I recall correctly) one of the northern buildings requires great finese to spot.

Still I'd think there'd have to be some quite strategically hidden exits in more than just the CC wads.

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I particulary loathe secret exits that can only be reached by rocketjumping or an archvile blast. And somehow I wager that most favorites being mentioned here will be of that kind :)

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The only PWAD secret exit I've ever found was in Titan 2 (ConsoleDoom notwithstanding). Being a GZDoom mapset, it requires some precision jumping and a fourth key. The secret level itself is definitely worth the effort, particularly if you've plated Titan 1.

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40oz said:

I don't think I've ever found the secret exit in any PWAD ever so I think I can safely say all of them.


Come to think of it, I don't think I have either. That would make sense however - it took me several playthroughs to find the ones in Doom I + II, and I don't usually play PWADS over and over

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As I'm quite the completionist when it comes to playing .WADs I tend to find secret exits eventually. However, praising one for being clever... I dunno, I find they're either really easy to find or incredibly difficult through dint of being convoluted or too well-hidden.

Can't say I remember any ones that stand out now to be honest, either.

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I kind of like the one in Doom II: Reloaded. It's kind of a pain but it prepares you for what's to come (The Super Secret Level) to ensure that players who aren't that great at finding secrets won't get stuck on such a level.

Does it really have to be non-commercial? Cause personally I think The Express Elevator To Hell (TEETH.WAD) wast the most clever in that category.

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Thinking back, the only one that sticks out in my mind is in Xaser's Lost Episode. The others I only half-remember.

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I can't take credit for that one -- that's how the original PSX did it. The only thing I did was swap Club Doom for The Marshes. :P

It sure confused the heck out of me when I first saw it, though, since it's actually broken in consoledoom.wad :P

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Fragport's exit to the secret levels is very cleverly done. Just finding the secret exit room is clever enough, but the way you access the exit teleporter involves searching every nook and cranny of the level and each time you find one of the ways to open the exit, it feels like a real accomplishment.

Seeing how finding this exit leads to a neat looking map 31 and after that, the most fun, original and creative idea for a map 32 in a doom wad, it's worth finding.

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I can't recall the cleverest secret exit, really, but I remain enthused about certain types. In particular, the "sequence" or "puzzle" style secret exits that require the player to complete a number of objectives in order to gain access to the secret room / switch.

WildWeasel already mentioned City Heat from CC2. Simply Phobos's e1m3 and Speed of Doom's map31 exits are also examples of this type. And even though it doesn't lead to a secret level, I've always been pretty KEEN about Plutonia 2's map29 puzzle.

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Xaser said:

I can't take credit for that one -- that's how the original PSX did it. The only thing I did was swap Club Doom for The Marshes. :P

It sure confused the heck out of me when I first saw it, though, since it's actually broken in consoledoom.wad :P


Fair enough!

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End2 by Natural Tvventy was pretty unique for 1998 IMO, as getting to E3M9 required a serie of rocket jumps, requiring very precise aiming (you must see it to really appreciate it). That E3M6 level is among my favourite Ultimate Doom maps "ever".

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valkiriforce said:

Does it really have to be non-commercial? Cause personally I think The Express Elevator To Hell (TEETH.WAD) wast the most clever in that category.


That is okay. I'm mostly against including anything in Ultimate Doom or the original Doom II.

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vdgg said:

End2 by Natural Tvventy was pretty unique for 1998 IMO, as getting to E3M9 required a serie of rocket jumps, requiring very precise aiming (you must see it to really appreciate it). That E3M6 level is among my favourite Ultimate Doom maps "ever".


yep, I remember constructing that crossing. I really didn't want it to be THAT precise, but if I widened the ledge even a little bit more the player could build up momentum enough to just run between ledges. So basically the player just has to do it via automap, and even still it only works half the time. I made that level before the DOOM source code was released too, so before Boom or any other limit-removing port, so there was no save/load due to savegame limit. One shot was all ya got.

Glad you like the level :) Thanks for mentioning it. I might have a few more secret exits up my sleeve before I'm done...

EDIT: Ha ha, I already told this story in the txt file 13 years ago.

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MegaDoomer said:

That is okay. I'm mostly against including anything in Ultimate Doom or the original Doom II.

OK, cool; I'd go for TEETH.WAD for the most clever secret exit. The level itself didn't require keys to reach the exit; the keys were used specifically for the secret exit door. The keys themselves were well hidden and the friendly arch-vile blast after obtaining an invulnerability sphere to launch upon the platform of which also contained a secret exit door that required the three keys to access the secret exit itself was pretty cool. I had the most fun with the finding of this exit. I made Reverie's secret exit a bit complex to reflect upon the puzzle map that is MAP31, so well-trained secret searchers could handle it (and even if they couldn't, I placed the normal exit directly across from the starting area in case the player gave up trying to solve the level). So yeah, I'd draw a bit of inspiration from both TEETH.WAD and Doom II Reloaded.

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st.alfonzo said:

I can't recall the cleverest secret exit, really, but I remain enthused about certain types. In particular, the "sequence" or "puzzle" style secret exits that require the player to complete a number of objectives in order to gain access to the secret room / switch.

WildWeasel already mentioned City Heat from CC2. Simply Phobos's e1m3 and Speed of Doom's map31 exits are also examples of this type. And even though it doesn't lead to a secret level, I've always been pretty KEEN about Plutonia 2's map29 puzzle.


My DTWiD map should be right up your alley in that regard then.

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st.alfonzo said:

I can't recall the cleverest secret exit, really, but I remain enthused about certain types. In particular, the "sequence" or "puzzle" style secret exits that require the player to complete a number of objectives in order to gain access to the secret room / switch.


I did something like that, I don't like the style much but it's a compromise between accessibility and secrecy. If you hit a secret switch somewhere in the level and later see, say, a set of bars, of which one is lowered, you should be able to "get" what you need to do.

These are probably used somewhere else already, but I thought of a couple of secret exit tricks:

-Kill yourself with a rocket in order to slide beneath a wall to the exit teleporter. I think most of the maps in Icarus could be quickly completed this way.

-Complete a segment of a level without attacking in order to not alert a specific monster into triggering a one-use teleporter. The teleporter could lead to the exit itself or to a switch that opens the door etc. to the exit. The problem is that it's in no way self-explanatory, and if you screw it up, it's lost forever and you have to load a save.

-Run a gauntlet through to the exit, starting as soon as you begin the level. Like the secret in Monster Condo. The problem is again the fact that it's missable and not obvious, if you don't get there in 30 seconds, it's lost forever.

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I was quite surprised when I found a secret map on AV.wad last night, because I think I never even found the secret levels in Plutonia or TNT... Can't remember which level was though. Some of them are so big that by the time I reach the end, I can't even remember the begining. Sometimes I'm like "wow, is this still the same level?"

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