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Why does the boss brain take 2-3 rockets?

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I know that rocket splash damage is not calculated using the RNG, and I also just learned that the area of effect is a square aligned with the cardinal compass directions on the map. So a rocket that hits the wall behind Romero's head should always inflict the same amount of damage. So why does it sometimes take 2 rockets to kill the final boss, and sometimes 3?

I have never heard of it sometimes only taking 2 shots.

This is how the head is positioned within the corridor behind the brain hole.

Note how the space behind the head (to the north of the thing) is bigger than the space to its sides (to the east and west of the thing). Therefore, if the rocket doesn't fly exactly to the north, but slightly to the east or west, it might sometimes hit the side of the corridor at a spot that is nearer to the head than the back side of the corridor, inflicting more damage. And if 2 rockets both hit the wall at the nearest spot to the head, they deal just enough damage to kill it (one rocket deals max 128 splash damage, the head has 250 hit points, and 2*128 > 250).

From the doom wiki:

The head has 250 hit points meaning it is usually killable in two to three rockets.

2 minutes ago, scifista42 said:

This is how the head is positioned within the corridor behind the brain hole.

Note how the space behind the head (to the north of the thing) is bigger than the space to its sides (to the east and west of the thing). Therefore, if the rocket doesn't fly exactly to the north, but slightly to the east or west, it might sometimes hit the side of the corridor at a spot that is nearer to the head than the back side of the corridor, inflicting more damage.

Just what I was looking for! :-) I was wondering how to make it take 2 shots... probably not very easy to pull off, though.

11 minutes ago, 42PercentHealth said:

From the doom wiki:

The head has 250 hit points meaning it is usually killable in two to three rockets.

That refers to the Romero head as a game object in general, not to the specific Romero head as it is placed in Doom 2 MAP30, where the rocket's damage is nerfed due to hitting the wall and exploding behind the Romero head, rather than directly hitting the Romero head itself.

EDIT - but directly hitting the Romero head itself should actually kill it in 1-2 shots, so I don't know how did the author of the wiki text mean it.

Edited by scifista42

It takes a random amount of times to kill it because you probably didn't shoot exactly at the wall behind the romero head, but you did to the walls on the sides, which lead to varying results.

It could take you even more than 3 shots if you shoot further away from the head.

In the days before high resolution graphics and mouselook, killing the IOS was actually a bit difficult. It's not surprising it doesn't have very much HP.

It always slightly bugged me that rockets could kill the final boss, but the BFG (a weapon supposed to be the most powerful available) couldn't.

I understand why from a technical sense, but it just seemed a bit odd in terms of the fiction of the game.

That's because Romero's head is positioned in a way in which it can only be damaged by the rocket's explosions.

On 3/21/2017 at 0:10 PM, scifista42 said:

And if 2 rockets both hit the wall at the nearest spot to the head, they deal just enough damage to kill it

The rocket thing also has a finite radius, which gives a slightly larger safety margin because the center of the explosion isn't exactly at the wall.  I seem to recall COMPET-N demos on Final Doom that took two shots and made it look easy.

That said, scifista42 is probably correct that the wiki assumes you're shooting Romero directly in the face, which only happens in shovelware.  :>  I should try explaining all this in the Icon article (unless someone else gets to it first).

5 hours ago, Bauul said:

It always slightly bugged me that rockets could kill the final boss, but the BFG (a weapon supposed to be the most powerful available) couldn't.

I understand why from a technical sense, but it just seemed a bit odd in terms of the fiction of the game.

It's as if the rocket launcher is presented like a ceremonial / chosen weapon for this task.

5 hours ago, Bauul said:

It always slightly bugged me that rockets could kill the final boss, but the BFG (a weapon supposed to be the most powerful available) couldn't.

I understand why from a technical sense, but it just seemed a bit odd in terms of the fiction of the game.

It's probably so that the following text screen makes sense. :-P

If the Romero head was right behind the lava hole, the player could fire at it from the ground level, the autoaim would target it and the subsequent shot hurt it, making it possible to kill the boss a bit too easily.

I'm not certain if the boss brain has the proper flags to be picked up by autoaim, actually.

12 minutes ago, Arctangent said:

I'm not certain if the boss brain has the proper flags to be picked up by autoaim, actually.

It does -- it has the same flags as a barrel.

Edited by RjY : Add picture

Some ports have a special case for shooting Romero's head when infinite height checks have been turned off, cause height checks with explosions can make it more difficult to inflict damage as well. This is the one case where infinite height is undeniably a good thing :)

4 hours ago, kb1 said:

Some ports have a special case for shooting Romero's head when infinite height checks have been turned off, cause height checks with explosions can make it more difficult to inflict damage as well. This is the one case where infinite height is undeniably a good thing :)

Wait, rocket explosions had infinite height in vanilla Doom? Huh, you learn something new every day!

11 hours ago, Arctangent said:

I'm not certain if the boss brain has the proper flags to be picked up by autoaim, actually.

Having a SHOOTABLE flag (which primarily makes the thing able to receive damage at all and makes it die when its health goes down to 0) is enough to be picked up by autoaim.

7 hours ago, Bauul said:

Wait, rocket explosions had infinite height in vanilla Doom? Huh, you learn something new every day!

Yep. Often you'll see clever players shooting the wall above a bunch of monsters, so as to kill them without exposing themselves to danger.

I was disappointed to find out that the *ZDoom source ports don't have this bug... anyone know if there's a way to turn it on? If not, I guess it's a fair enough trade for being able to run under/over monsters.

1 hour ago, 42PercentHealth said:

Yep. Often you'll see clever players shooting the wall above a bunch of monsters, so as to kill them without exposing themselves to danger.

I was disappointed to find out that the *ZDoom source ports don't have this bug... anyone know if there's a way to turn it on? If not, I guess it's a fair enough trade for being able to run under/over monsters.

Oh, good 'ol shitty(?) classic DooM Physics. :p

And you can revert to vanilla one, go https://zdoom.org/wiki/Compatibility_options

and enable "Actors are infinitely tall" option.

Or set the "compat_nopassover" CVAR to true.

Of course, enable that and you won't be able to go through any of actors anymore like vanilla.

Edited by playerlin

Just now, playerlin said:

You can, just not by default... go https://zdoom.org/wiki/Compatibility_options

and enable Actors are infinitely tall.

Or set the "compat_nopassover" CVAR to true.

Ah. I was hoping to get infinitely tall explosions without getting infinitely tall actors. PrBoom+ keeps looking more and more attractive all the time.

1 hour ago, 42PercentHealth said:

I was hoping to get infinitely tall explosions without getting infinitely tall actors.

You can do that by redefining all damagable things in DECORATE to give them an OLDRADIUSDMG flag.

5 minutes ago, scifista42 said:

You can do that by redefining all damagable things in DECORATE to give them an OLDRADIUSDMG flag.

Dude, you must be John Carmack's evil twin or something! I'll have to look into doing that later on...

My hobby is taking things that look like mathematical equations, but aren't, and pretending that they are.

"Why does the boss brain take -1 rockets?"

Because having it take 4294967295 rockets made the level tedious to play.

On 22/03/2017 at 4:36 PM, HavoX said:

That's because Romero's head is positioned in a way in which it can only be damaged by the rocket's explosions.

yeah he's saying its a bit odd in terms of the 'boss' only being susceptible to the less powerful weapon

They could have made the fight a lot more challenging and IMO better if they took out the annoying elevator mechanic and instead used switches to raise a walkway that is high enough to shoot at the brain back wall, meanwhile the brain spawns enemies at a much faster rate so you have to watch your back more once up there firing away. Then they could have given the brain much more health and it would take more like 10 rockets.

Anyone have a video of someone killing the IOS with only two rockets? Curious to see what angle to shoot at, etc.

Never knew it was possible with only two shots.

1 hour ago, RUSH said:

Anyone have a video of someone killing the IOS with only two rockets? Curious to see what angle to shoot at, etc.