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Michael92

Question about secret levels [Possible spoilers]

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Hello everyone! That's my first post, although I visited Doomworld recently as a guest :)

I'm very curious for a long time about how people discover entrances to secret levels, for example how to get to MAP32 in Doom64. Aside from the Internet, how the heck I could know that...

Spoiler

in MAP01 I have to shoot barrels in some specific order to make my way to Hectic?

Are there hints hidden somewhere in game?
Also, while reading some articles about Doom on the Internet, I stumbled upon next spoiler (quite "harmful" for me, as I wanted to discover these secret on my own :)) how to get to MAP32 in Doom II.
Spoiler

I knew Ultimate Doom hid these levels, 1 per each episode. But I didn't think before Doom II's MAP31 would contain another secret level!

Did you guys know about it naturally, discovered these levels accidently by yourself, or you were searching for hints on the Internet first? Do you also consider this last one as a bad spoiler?

PS: English is not my native language, so I'm aware that my post may be not read-friendly :)

PS2: If there are/were similar topics, please redirect me to them. Blame me for that, but I failed to find such threads if any exist.

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I guess by accident or by exhaustive searching, or simply cheating with IDDT. Even if you don't know where the secret exits are, knowing which levels they are on can make you more anal than usual ;-)

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It's a common knowledge in the community that "secret exits" (=those leading to secret maps) are always on specific levels:

-In Doom: E1M3, E2M5, E3M6, E4M2
-In Doom 2 and Final Doom: MAP15, MAP31

This is because the map slots (where a secret exit action may take a proper effect) are hardcoded in the Doom engine, and it would require ZDoom's MAPINFO or another advanced port-specific game behavior modding tool to change it. Therefore, in common mapsets for the vanilla engine or a Boom-compatible one, the map slots are constant.

This makes it easy for players to know to raise their attention when hunting for secrets on one of these map slots when playing a new mapset. Or cheat to find them, or whatever. I personally try to find secrets (and secret exits) legitimately, but sometimes I cheat when I fail to do so, too. :)

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Michael92 said:

Hello everyone! That's my first post, although I visited Doomworld recently as a guest :)

I'm very curious for a long time about how people discover entrances to secret levels, for example how to get to MAP32 in Doom64. Aside from the Internet, how the heck I could know that...

Spoiler

in MAP01 I have to shoot barrels in some specific order to make my way to Hectic?

Are there hints hidden somewhere in game?


If I remember correctly, it was published in a magazine or one of the authors did reveal the secret in an interview. Personally I would never had discovered it.

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As a kid I only found a couple of the UD secret levels and they were by accident. When I started hardcore Dooming 6 years ago I spent hours scouring levels to find the secret exits. It was hard work but I found them all. I found that it became easier to find these secrets depending on what author the level was made, some of the secrets became predictable.

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^Somewhat related, I found the secret exit to E2M5 before I found the normal exit. It was pretty badly hidden -- press a switch in the corner of the next room over and that's it.

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Now that you mentioned it, I don't think I ever managed to find that exit switch in MAP15 that took me directly to MAP16 in Doom II; I just head straight for the secret exit every playthrough.

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Marnetmar said:

^Somewhat related, I found the secret exit to E2M5 before I found the normal exit. It was pretty badly hidden -- press a switch in the corner of the next room over and that's it.


Same here. I was somewhat amazed that I found the secret exit in E2M5 the legit way; and before the regular exit at that. The only other secret exits I found legit are in E4 and all of Plutonia's secret exits (though TBH, the latter I kind of figured they had to be there because of Doom II).

For something like Map 32 of Doom II, you could find out how to get there when aiming to get 100% secrets in 31.

Most classic Doom game secret exits can be discovered through exploration/trial and error. The only exceptions being Doom 64's Hectic and the XBox ports secret maps.

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For Doom 2's super secret exit switch (MAP31 going to 32) I found it because that level is from Wolfenstein and I played both games as a kid. Matter of fact, I think I remember killing Beavis and Butthead in that very level in the early Beavis and Butthead Meet Wolfenstein mod, where Barney replaced Hitler and the decor on the walls said "I love you." Good times ^^

I also actually never found the regular exit in MAP15 for the longest time because I found both secret exits on my first play through. That's prolly one reason why I always preferred Doom 2 to Doom 1, despite it's weird mapping designs. Well, that and the new content, heh.

Same goes for E2M5. I always loved that room with the beating heart, I thought that was so cool and it was ironically the first route I always took. E1M3 was much the same and the map already calls attention to the area with the monsters down there seeing you through a window a little way in. My first play through (when I was young I always wanted to get all 100's and tended to play slowly, rather than rushing in) I spent forever trying to kill the guys down there because on Simpson Doom (yup) the sprites were much taller, though I didn't know that at the time so I wondered why I couldn't kill the last couple and I came back a few times before finishing that portion of the map and heading back to the start, seeing the bridge raised and wondering what's over there. E3M6 I always forgot about, then found by accident, then cursed because I couldn't kill the rest of the monsters on the level, lol. Never got Ultimate Doom until I was in high school and had a job, so that one wasn't committed to memory like the stuff I played as a kid.

I got Final Doom at the same time as Ult Doom and by then I knew the pattern of secret exits so that really doesn't count ;p but I loved the secret levels in both of those two and all 4 in Ult Doom. Doom 2's secret levels were fun back in the 90's, but they've lost their luster for me.

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Good to know about hardcoded map slots. Especially I'm not familiar with mapping (yet?:)), this is new for me. If mapset is changed and really desperate, I guess I would search for info, which levels contain secret entrances.

IMO finding secret exits gives a nice satisfaction, provided they're well hinted and levels are enough suspicious to contain one. Doing trial-and-error by pushing every wall or shooting them is quite a nonsense :P That's why intrigues me how people would get to MAP32 in Doom64 by intuition. I guess it's only justified by guides in magazines. Correct me if I'm wrong. Save Doom II - it's legit if someone beats every level with all secrets discovered.

I found secret exit in E2M5 earlier than normal too. In E3M6 it was quite obvious to execute Rocket Jump. I've had some problems in E1, but I had to find out that floors or doors may also trigger just by passing through specific places.
In Doom64, although it was more obvious to get to 'usual' secret exits, it was more pleasant for me to discover them. Maybe because maps are focused more on explorations/puzzles... or because of artifact hunt makes more sense :)

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As far as hints are concerned...in E1M3 you can plainly tell that there's something behind that weird sniping window, which can then trigger a more thorough search.

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I wonder if anyone was clever enough to figure out the barrel trick on MAP01 of Doom 64 without resorting to a walkthrough, because that is almost TOO well hidden.

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Yeah, what Maes said.

Also, as I said before Doom 2's map 31 was based on an older level, so your hint was playing the thing before then... Or realizing that Doom had just turned into Wolfenstein which has different rules and designs that Doom... Seriously, read.

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The Wolfenstein reference was meant to be an Easter egg. The same thing applies to Doom II's MAP32.

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The MAP31->MAP32 secret exit is based on the Wolf3D E1M1 secret (or normal alternate, depending on version) exit.

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Azuruish said:

I heard once that in German version secret levels in Doom 2 were cut.

Luckily, they released a patch to undo that. That was a common loophole back then. Nowadays, the game would be banned immediately, if the publisher dares to release such a patch, I guess.

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Azuruish said:

I heard once that in German version secret levels in Doom 2 were cut.

Was either the engine or MAP15 altered appropriately to make it impossible to enter these missing levels? If not, what happened when the player attempted to do so?

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Re. E2M5: The PSX version had the secret exit on a different map, so only the normal exit was present here.
When I first played Doom on PC, about 11 years after playing on PSX for the first time, not only did I get lost in E2M5, I found the secret exit first.

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scifista42 said:

Was either the engine or MAP15 altered appropriately to make it impossible to enter these missing levels? If not, what happened when the player attempted to do so?


I'm curious about this too.

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Marnetmar said:

Wait, wasn't Doom 2 banned in Germany entirely though?

It was re evaluated and got an USK16 rating. Only problem is, it may not have swastikas in it (even if they weren't related to the 3rd reich), which is the reason for the cut version in the first place. Unlike some other publishers, id was not the kind of company which censored games for no reason.

It's actually rather odd that you can buy it from GOG but not from Steam in Germany. I don't know if GOG's version is censored when bought from Germany, though.

Also, the censored version wasn't banned either. It was on "Index", which means, adults only and no advertisement for it.

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I was convinced that the German version of Doom II also had crippled IWADs, at least the initial v1.666 version. I don't know if there were patches to later versions specifically made for it which preserved the crippling. I recall an anecdotal reference that the "normal" patches could be used and they would restore the crippled content, but I'd take that with a pinch of salt.

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