Castle of Eternal Carrot in the Sky
|Castle of Eternal Carrot in the Sky|
Castle of Eternal Carrot in the Sky is a single-level PWAD created by Fredrik Johansson for Doom II in 2001. It requires a Boom-compatible source port and uses the music track "Castle of Eternal Carrot", title music "Ruska" and intermission music "Knight of Waffle", all created by Fredrik himself.
Johansson's dream turns out to be your nightmare. With a fairly open layout, you'll have to figure out progression yourself - all while being caught in crossfires with increasingly tough monsters. Combine that with a nasty finale sequence and you have one wild ride of a level.
Start and Yellow Key
You begin on a long bridge approaching the castle. From player 1's starting point, walk backward to collect a concealed radiation shielding suit. A demon will begin charging you from dead ahead. Run around it, grab the megaarmor and head into the castle proper.
You are now in the southern part of the castle, with a large wood and steel structure in the middle surrounded by a fence. At this point, you are going to find yourself in a massive crossfire of imps, shotgun guys and cacodemons, with the occasional demon to boot. However, the biggest threat is the pain elemental at the back. Your first task is to cause some monster infighting to fell a shotgun guy, then grab his shotgun. Now you have some firepower to begin thinning the crowd. Head through the gap in the fence surrounding the central structure and go down either set of steps (watch for any stray demons on the way down). At the bottom, you will find a passageway with two shotgun guys, two boxes of shotgun shells and a super shotgun. Take the super shotgun to progress the level.
After taking the super shotgun, a marble wall in the northeast will lower, revealing a new blood pool. Up to three revenants and three demons will approach from there. Up to four barons of Hell and two arachnotrons (Ultra-Violence and above only) will be also released into the level. Again, try to cause some infighting (easier on harder skill levels). Head into the new blood pool in the northeast and go east to collect a rocket launcher (and another radiation shielding suit).
Taking the rocket launcher causes another marble wall in the northwest to lower, revealing another new blood pool. Again, up to three revenants and three demons will approach from that area. Four mancubi, two arachnotrons (not on Hey, not too rough and below) and up to two more barons of Hell will be released into the level. This horde is better for infighting, but you still will want to scavenge for rockets to clean house. Head into the new blood pool in the northwest and go west to collect the yellow skull key.
Head to the north where the yellow skull door is. Open this door to find a rectangular blood-filled room. There are three cacodemons, two imps, two chaingunners (not on Hey, not too rough and below) and a baron of Hell (Ultra-Violence and above only). Take the chaingun, backpack and berserk pack (although you might want to save the last one for dire situations).
Go through either opening to reach the northern courtyard. This place is teeming with enemies, and it is strongly suggested that you clear this place out. Regardless of which opening you choose (left or right), you will have to face an arachnotron and an arch-vile (not on Hey, not too rough and below) in a raised cage;
- The left (west) side of the courtyard has a raised marble area with plenty of imps and a Hell knight on Ultra-Violence and above). On Ultra-Violence and above, there is an extra mancubus too. Crossing onto the blood causes a teleport trap to activate, causing a mancubus (and an arachnotron on Ultra-Violence and above) to teleport onto the blood. Crossing onto the dry area near the arch-vile cage causes a nearby structure to lower, revealing up three revenants.
- The right (east) side of the courtyard has up to four mancubi lying in wait. There are also a few imps here.
- The top part of the courtyard has up to three barons of Hell and a revenant, as well as an imp in a cage. On Ultra-Violence and above, crossing the exact center of the courtyard causes a baron of Hell and an arch-vile to teleport in nearby.
Go to the west side of the courtyard and look for a wooden structure that looks like an upside-down U. Walk around its southern side to reveal a narrow passageway (on Ultra-Violence and above, watch for the Hell knight in here). Facing south, you will find a dead end with a satyr switch on one of the metal walls. Flip this switch and steps will rise, allowing you to get on top of the metal walls. Watch for imps at the top. Run from the metal wall onto the wooden structure, then climb a floating staircase to the top. At the end, watch for a chaingunner and an imp. Head into the marble building, kill the mancubus inside, and follow an L-shaped ledge in the east out. At the end is a skull switch flanked by blue lights, as well as a lit arrow on the floor pointing east. Flip the switch to lower the blue key in the east of the northern courtyard.
At this point, you probably should detour for a plasma gun (non-official secret 1). Head back into the marble building and notice that some bars to the north have raised. Carefully run out of this opening to land on a wooden platform with a plasma gun and four energy cells, which will be extremely useful.
Head back to the east of the courtyard and collect the blue skull key. This causes the courtyard to fill up with enemies again - up to nine cacodemons, ten imps, three Hell knights, four revenants, three barons of Hell (Ultra-Violence and above only), and a pain elemental (Ultra-Violence and above only).
In the north of the courtyard, find the blue door and open it. Head down the spiral staircase to a darkened marble area, then go south to a series of floating caged walkways. This is a maze-like switch hunt. While there is plenty of ammo here, health is scarce - you get two stimpacks and one berserk pack to deal with up to 54 angry cacodemons. They are released in packs of three (Hey, not too rough and below), four (Hurt me plenty) or six (Ultra-Violence and above). These cacodemons can teleport all around the exterior, and sometimes into the central junction of the walkways (although they will teleport out soon after). The sequence is as follows:
- Go south, west then north. Flip the switch near the berserk pack.
- Go south, east than south. Flip the switch near the two stimpacks.
- Go north, then all the way west at the junction. Flip the westernmost switch. (This release three packs of cacodemons!)
- Go all the way east and flip the switch.
- Go west, south at the junction, the east. Flip the switch.
- Go west, north, east at the junction, then south. Flip the switch.
- Go north, west at the first junction, south at the next junction, then west. Flip the switch in the south. (This releases no cacodemons).
- Go east, north, east at the first junction and north at the second junction. Follow the path and flip the switch at the end.
Now, you need to get ready for the finale of the level. If you snagged the BFG9000 from one of the secret areas and have two shots worth of cell ammo, you're in good shape. If not, you better make sure your "running rings around monsters" skill is as good as it gets. From the last switch, head south, then west to the westernmost junction. From there, go all the way south around a winding walkway leading to a large area with the red skull key. If it seems too quiet for the ending of this level, it is.
Ready your BFG9000 (if available) and approach the platform. A spiderdemon suddenly appears from a fake floor trap. If you have a BFG9000, fire it off and follow up with another shot if needed. If you don't have the BFG9000, your chances of killing this beast are fairly low for the position you are in. Instead, move around the spiderdemon and snag the red skull key, then run. Your goal is to get back to that darkened marble basement.
Back in the marble basement, open the locked door in the north. Walk onto the silver teleporter pad to exit the level.
Other points of interestEdit
- After unlocking the northern area (beyond the yellow skull door), head to the northeast of this area and enter the red teleporter. This teleports you on top of a blood channel in the northwest of the map. Just before the channel ends in a bloodfall, drop off to the north. You will end up in a blood moat, with an invulnerability and two energy cells in the middle. Step onto the patch where these items are located to register the secret. (sector 1209)
- Also in the northern area, head into the structure with a white teleporter in the northeast. This will take you to a floating, invisible walkway surrounded by bars. Head to either end of this walkway, which faces a side of the main building in the southern part of the map. Notice two lion switches on each side of the building. Shoot all four switches, and the cyberdemons in each turret of the castle will be crushed. Head up onto the rampart of the castle, go to each turret and flip the four switches the cyberdemons were protecting. Finally, go to the exact northern part of the ramparts. Lower the wall and ride it up. Alongside a blur artifact, bulk cell and megasphere, a BFG9000 can now be collected. Collect the BFG to register this secret. (sector 845)
- While on the L-shaped ledge with the switch that lowers the blue skull key, stand at its western side (where there is a boundary between darker and lighter floor colours). Drop down gently to the south to access an otherwise inaccessible ledge with two backpacks and a blue artifact. (sector 1191)
- After pressing the switch that lowers the blue key, head east of the U-shaped wooden structure that marked the start of the invisible staircase leading to that switch. A metal wall will have lowered, revealing a new teleporter. Take it to an otherwise inaccessible stretch of the map with 27 health bonuses.(sector 789)
- At the end of the map beyond the red skull door, instead of walking onto the exit teleporter, go around to the southeast side of the exterior of the final area. You will find a patch of ground spelling out "ALL YOUR VRACK ARE BELONG TO US". Step on it to register the secret. (sector 1286)
- After pressing the switch that lowers the blue key, head back into the marble building and notice that some bars in the north have raised. Carefully run out of this opening to land on a wooden platform with a plasma gun and four energy cells.
- From the L-shaped ledge with the switch that lowers the blue key, run north off the ledge. You will land on another wooden platform with a soulsphere.
Areas / screenshotsEdit
Routes and tricksEdit
The records for the map at the Doomed Speed Demos Archive are:
Invisible staircase and walkway
At two points in the level, the player is able to walk up an invisible staircase and walk along a floating walkway, with no risk of falling off. This effect is achieved through a combination of two concepts: invisible self-referencing sectors and instant-moving sectors through use of "raise to lowest ceiling" and "lower to lowest floor"
Self-referencing sectors have all their sidedefs (both front and back) set to the same sectors. They are in effect, invisible. All these self-referencing sectors are linked to an array of control sectors, each bordering two more control sectors - one at the lower "base" height, one at the higher "target" height. the level is set up so that when the player is about to enter the walkway or the staircase, they trigger a line with "WR Floor lower to highest floor" as its action. Since there are no lower floors neighbouring the control sectors, the self-referencing sectors instantly move to the "target" height. This is used to create an invisible walkway and invisible barriers.
Due to Doom's engine limitations, these sectors would still impede movement as long as they are at the "target" height. Hence, trigger lines with "WR Floor raise to lowest floor" are strategically placed so that if the player doubles back, the self-referencing sectors will instantaneously lower in a similar manner, preserving the level geometry.
Inspiration and developmentEdit
The accompanying text file claims that Johansson had a dream about a "very weird Doom level" which he remembered almost exactly after waiting up. He then proceeded to construct the level, with some minor changes due to "engine limits (no RoR etc), design improvements and input from the testers."
- The words formed by the final secret area, "ALL YOUR VRACK ARE BELONG TO US"", previously appeared on a panel in a secret area in Vrack 2. They are a reference to "all your base are belong to us", an infamous mistranslation from the intro of Zero Wing, a 1992 video game.
- The setpiece of a switch maze featuring teleporting cacodemons would reappear in Vrack 3 as part of the latter's "laser maze" area.