Doom is the quintessential speedrunning recreation and, in the end, that comes right down to a few of id’s early design ideas: Doom’s WAD format (‘The place’s all the information?’) made it straightforward for gamers to fiddle with the sport, and you can argue that the modern modding period started right here.
The gamers who coalesced round and obsessed about one man’s quest to slaughter plenty of demons have finished nearly something you may consider with the sport, and one notorious oddity is known as Nuts.
Nuts is a map created in 2001 by the prolific Doom modder B.P.R.D. Whereas a lot of this modder’s output is genuinely nice stuff like Equinox , Nuts would turn out to be a trilogy of ‘joke’ maps. This being Doom, the joke is thus: Nuts incorporates 10617 monsters throughout two rooms, and is just about unplayable in consequence.
One of many largest parts of the joke, and a vital one for context right here, is that even in the event you wished to kill all of those monsters, you could not. The extent offers the participant a plasma gun and BFG, together with a bunch of ammo, however there’s nowhere close to sufficient to kill every thing, notably because the second room is stacked with high-health cyberdemons.
The map is infamous sufficient that speedrunners labored out methods to speedrun it anyway. The 2 important kinds are a race-to-the-finish the place you do not kill something, and easily must keep away from being boxed-in by the enemies, and one the place you kill as many enemies as potential earlier than ending. The document within the latter class was held by Hurricaine Jr. with 92% of enemies killed.
Enter Doom speedrunner ZeroMaster. ZeroMaster had a principle, and in their very own phrases here’s what got here of it: “Ache. I began engaged on this 4 months in the past…”
I will clarify the run, however ZeroMaster did this round a yr in the past, and I discovered about it because of the wonderful Youtube channel of Karl Jobst, a former speedrunner who now makes in-depth movies about cool issues that varied communities pull off. His video is beneath.
ZeroMaster’s thought was easy, but in addition not. In Doom, sure enemies will combat one another. “The difficulty with maxing this stage is that even with actually good infighting and ideal ammo administration you’re left with roughly 800 cyberdemons at 4000 well being every,” writes ZeroMaster, “and nothing apart from your fists, which deal 2-20 harm per hit, to kill them with.”
The cyberdemons are just too chunky for the opposite monsters to make any form of a severe dent in. “So there is just one answer,” writes ZeroMaster. “Collect up sufficient homing revenant rockets to tear by way of all of the cyberdemons.”
The revenant enemy kind fires rockets straight on the participant, but in addition has a 25% or 75% probability (relying on spawn situations) to fireplace homing rockets that comply with the participant. Their harm can also be calculated inside a spread of 10-80 that averages out to 45 harm per shot. “850 cyberdemon at 4000 well being,” writes ZeroMaster, “[…] meaning we have to merely collect up at the least 70000 rockets, nice!”
Right here comes the rub. To assemble this many rockets the participant character goes to must hold the revenants alive in the course of the room by killing the barons (which might in any other case kill the revenants), then start circling across the revenants to draw an ever-increasing path of homing rockets. ZeroMaster estimated it will take about 5 hours. However that is real-time, and 1000’s then tens of 1000’s of rockets with smoke trails… yeah, we’re gonna want an even bigger PC.
The sport begins working slower because the variety of rockets enhance, till finally the participant character is transferring the equal of 0.5 seconds in each real-world minute.
“So in actual time it takes about 23 days to collect the rockets, which might be extraordinarily boring to do,” writes ZeroMaster. However as a result of the higher space of Nuts is so giant, the speedrunner took a section the place they circled the world as this tactic required, then took these inputs and repeated them on a 6-hour cycle. That makes this a tool-assisted speedrun, and mentioned software took 23 days to run by way of the programmed cycle. Sure: someplace on the earth, unobserved, a bit doom slayer was working round revenants for 23 days.
After this, ZeroMaster re-took management. “Then after all the enjoyable half begins, the place you’re transferring 4 frames each 14 seconds to information the rockets to the cyberdemons. There’s a number of locations the place I do some bizarre issues like take harm for no motive, which is due to simply horrible controls (I can not even transfer backwards) and doing it over once more takes at the least half-hour, so I left it like that. I might have tried to make it a bit higher trying, however placing in effort to do this would have pushed me mad, so it’s going to must do. It took roughly 20 hours to do 10 minutes, for sure that’s simply an terrible expertise.”
Virtually unbelievably, ZeroMaster ran this on a laptop computer. They be aware that you can in all probability do that with out instruments, “you simply want an precise tremendous pc optimized to play Doom and about 6 hours.”
I mentioned Doom is the quintessential speedrunning recreation; and in some methods this positively bonkers achievement is an emblematic speedrun. A part of the enjoyable of speedrunning is that it grew out of the gaming tradition of setting your personal challenges. When you’d crushed a recreation, particularly within the previous days, you needed to work out how you can nonetheless have enjoyable with it.
I imply, possibly ‘enjoyable’ goes a bit too far right here, however the pleasure for the viewer is in how overreaching and albeit pointless that is. It is one factor to suppose that you can probably kill 850 cyberdemons with revenant rockets, and in so doing obtain what the Doom neighborhood thought unimaginable: Nuts was by no means meant to be ‘accomplished’ like this. It is an entire different factor to work out how you can truly do it after which, tool-assisted or no, pull it off.
“What an absolute waste of my time this has been,” writes ZeroMaster, “hopefully you will take pleasure in this greater than I did.” Take a bow my pal, as a result of we most actually did.