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Vrack 2 is a single level PWAD by Fredrik Johansson for Doom II. It has been released in two versions; initially on March 24, 2001, and in a version "B" on December 14, 2001, with bug fixes and a REJECT map that makes it run slightly faster on low-end computers. Vrack 2 requires a Boom compatible source port.
Vrack 2 is the sequel to Vrack and was followed by Vrack 3. All three are in the same theme: gray-colored tech bases floating in outer space. Vrack 2 initially became somewhat famous for its size, level of detail, and number of monsters (over 700 on Ultra-Violence), and has been used frequently as a benchmark to test the performance of source ports and editors.
- 1 Walkthrough
- 2 Areas / screenshots
- 3 Speedrunning
- 4 Deathmatch
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Technical information
- 7 Inspiration and development
- 8 Trivia
- 9 See also
- 10 Sources
- 11 Reviews
- 12 External links
Vrack2 is a large space station packed with a whopping 722 monsters on Ultra-Violence and above. Utilising the extended features of Boom, the level uses all six keys (red, blue and yellow keycards and skull keys), with corresponding locked doors that require keys of the corresponding type and colour. In order, this is the sequence in which the six keys will be collected as you progress through the level:
- Red skull key
- Blue keycard
- Yellow skull key
- Red keycard
- Blue skull key
- Yellow keycard
While this level may not test your computer as thoroughly as it did when it was released, it is still a difficult test of your ability to manage large groups of tough monsters - some with the benefit of monster infighting, some without.
Start and red skull key
You begin on a walkway outside a large grey space station. Head forward and collect the shotgun near the dead marine. Look to the left (east) and collect the backpack, box of ammo and box of shells, then head further east and around the crates to find that one of them is hollow and contains a megaarmor, which you will need. Head back to the dead marine and lower two the blast doors to the south. You will find a small corridor with your first enemy - a cacodemon. Kill it, collect another box of shells, then open the door ahead.
You are now in a room with a window to a large open area. We will call this room the "northern overlook". Suspended in this large open area is an isolated octagonal platform, and you will be able to see two other areas overlooking the large open area - we will call these the "western overlook" and "southern overlook" respectively. You will not have much time to savour the view, because this area is teeming with monsters. On one hand, you'll find copious amounts of the usual cannon fodder of imps, shotgun guys and a number of chaingunners. On the other hand, there are also some tougher monsters in the area - mancubi and barons of Hell, even a pain elemental or two. Your first job is to initiate some monster infighting between the tough monsters, then to grab a chaingun from a dead chaingunner. The fireball volleys from mancubi are very good at clearing out cannon fodder, so try to get them distracted enough to do the dirty work for you. Once the crowds are thinned out, you can thin out the cannon fodder and leave the tougher monsters for later.
Before you progress the level, you may want to go to the extension in the east, clear out the monsters there and collect a bulk cell and a berserk pack - the latter will come in handy to defuse a trap. Do not step into the metal square with a blue circle, as that will teleport you to the isolated platform while all the monsters are still there!
Go through the door in the west. It is likely that some imps came out from there earlier, so the corridor should be empty. Grab another box of ammo and another box of shells, then open the door at the end of the corridor. You will come to a very large rectangular room with four lit sections of floor, which we will call the "main hangar". You will encounter up to two arachnotrons, four cacodemons and two mancubi (none on Hey, not too rough and below), alongside three imps and up to three demons. You may also have to deal with monsters from the western overlook, since there are windows in the east exposing the main hangar to it. Grab the super shotgun from the pedestal in the middle, then stir up some infighting. The super shotgun can then be used to finish off any stragglers.
You have no keys for now, so the only doors accessible to you are the ones in the south. Go through the western door. This leads you to a corridor with some former humans and imps - no big deal for a chaingun. If you need health, you can go all the way around the corridor to access the room with a soulsphere visible through the window in the west, but that will entail fighting through up to three Hell knights (replaced by two demons on Hey, not too rough and below) and four zombiemen. Either way, head through the door in the south of this corridor. This leads to a large outdoor platform with up to seven mancubi, four arachnotrons and six imps. Run circles around them until they're all busy infighting, then grab the red skull key from the southwest of the courtyard.
Backtrack to the main hangar. The red skull door is in the north of the main hangar. Go through this door and down a corridor with computer panels to a square room with a sunken square pit in the floor. Equip your super shotgun, jump into the pit and duel with the arachnotron down there. Flip the switch in the south to cause the pit to rise up, allowing you to return to the floor level of the square room.
Head back to the main hangar. However, on your way back, you will notice that the computer panels in the previous panel have opened to reveal two traps, each containing two cacodemons, one pain elemental and up to two arachnotrons. A teleport trap has also been triggered, and up to nine imps, two mancubi and two barons of Hell (both replaced by one Hell knight on Hey, not too rough and below) and two revenants (Ultra-Violence and above only) will teleport into the corridor. As usual, use infighting to lighten the burden on your ammo, then clean up the stragglers.
Yellow skull key
There are two switches that need to be flipped before the yellow key can be collected.
For the first switch, head through the southeast door of the main hangar. Follow the corridor to its end, ignoring the UAC door at the first bend for now. You will have some zombiemen, imps and a cacodemon (accompanied by an extra revenant on Ultra-Violence and above). Go through the open doorway to an upper walkway in a room with two +-shaped pillars rising and lowering. Use your chaingun to take care of the cannon fodder on the ledge (watch for a revenant in the south on Ultra-Violence and above) while dodging fire from the tougher enemies on the floor. Go all the way around to the south and open the blue door. This leads to a raised platform in the northeast of the yellow skull key room, with a mancubus (Hell knight on Hey, not too rough and below) and a switch panel. There is a matching platform in the southwest, with another switch panel and another mancubus (Hell knight on Hey, not too rough and below). Flip the switch on the northeast platform, and the pillar with the yellow skull key lowers halfway.
Next, you will have to get to the southeast platform in the yellow skull key room. Backtrack all the way to the UAC door just after the southeast door of the main hangar. Go through this UAC door. There are two imps and a baron of Hell (Ultra-Violence and above only) in this next corridor. Go through the hallway immediately to your right (west), which takes you to a square room reminiscent of the one where you grabbed the blue keycard (we will call this the "southern square room"). This room has up to nine imps, four chaingunners and a revenant. Clear them out and collect the powerups, then head into the short corridor in the south with two zombiemen. Kill them and open the blue door ahead.
This takes you to a raised area in the southwest of a darkened room. This area has two imps, a demon and a revenant (Ultra-Violence and above only). There is a similar raised area in the northeast, with two imps, a demon and a revenant (Ultra-Violence and above only) as well. The floor of this room has up to 12 demons and two arachnotrons. Keep the arachnotrons and demons busy with monster infighting, then clear out both raised areas. Head east and down the steps to find a cacodemon, then open the door to the north to access a pillbox with up to three imps. Flip the switch in the eastern wall, then equip your chaingun and head back west to address a trap with up to six chaingunners at the southwest raised area. A trap has also opened in the floor of the darkened room, releasing up to three chaingunners, two barons of Hell, two mancubi and four revenants. You might wish to take the chance to cause a massive infight while you're here.
Head back east down the steps to the pillbox, then up another flight of steps (watch for a cacodemon at the top). Open the blue door to arrive at the platform in the southwest of the yellow skull key room. Kill the remaining monster (if any), then flip the switch to fully lower the pillar with the yellow skull key. After this, backtrack to the southern square room. On your way there, you might wish to mop up the monsters on the floor of the darkened room - you will be heading there shortly after.
You will probably need a rocket launcher to survive the next segment, so a short detour to collect it is well-advised. From the southern square room, head east, then take the door in the southeast of the corridor. Head down the steps to arrive at the floor of the room with two raising and lowering plus-shaped columns. Take out the tough monsters on the floor (up to four mancubi, one arachnotron, two cacodemons and four imps), then grab the rocket launcher in the north of the room (along with four boxes of rockets).
Head back to the corridor, then go through the door in the south. This takes you to the northeast raised area in the darkened room. Head down the steps in the east of this platform and turn left to enter the yellow skull key room. This room contains a nasty trap. When you pick up the yellow skull key, bars will lower at the entrance, trapping you in. A trap opens in the southeast with up to five chaingunners and three revenants, while another trap opens in the northwest with up to six spectres. Your goal is to put two rockets into the southwest trap to clear most monsters and get into the alcove in the corner of the trap. This alcove contains a megasphere and the switch that allows you to escape this room. The berserk pack you picked up earlier will save you now as your berserk fist cuts through the spectres like a hot knife through butter.
Backtrack to the UAC door and go through it. Follow the corridor east back to the raised walkway in the room with two raising and lowering plus-shaped columns. Go through the yellow skull door in the north of the walkway, which takes you to the southern overlook in the first large open area. Flip the switch in the east of this platform to lower the column with the red keycard in the isolated octagonal platform. However, flipping this switch also opens five traps:
- One arch-vile near the entrance to the walkway to the walkway in the room with two raising and lowering plus-shaped columns
- A cacodemon and a pain elemental (not on Hey, not too rough and below) in the southern square room.
- An arch-vile in secret #5, which is capable of attacking the western half of the southwest outdoor platform (where the red skull key was) through a fake wall.
- An arachnotron and up to three barons of Hell in the south of the main hangar.
- Up to two mancubi, five revenants and an arch-vile (Ultra-Violence and above only) in the north of the main hangar.
Backtrack to the main hangar and deal with the enemies you meet along the way. Once you have cleared them out, go through the door in the northeast of the hangar and proceed all the way east. You will return to the eastern extension from the northern overlook where you found the berserk pack near the start of the level. make sure the isolated octagonal platform is clear of enemies, then step into the metal square with the blue circle in it. You might want to save here, as the next fight is pretty nasty.
This metal square is a teleporter and teleports you to a corresponding metal square on the isolated octagonal platform. Grab the red keycard in the east, then prepare for a hard fight. Bars will lower around the metal square on this octagonal platform, preventing you from teleporting out for 30 seconds. At the same time, a large panel to the southeast opens, revealing up to 16 cacodemons. Use your rocket launcher on them as they approach, thinning them out before they overwhelm you. Once the bars open, step back onto the metal square to be teleported back to the eastern extension.
Blue skull key
Return to the main hangar. This time, take the red keycard doors to the west. You will come to a raised control room overlooking an outdoor platform marked with the letter "F". This control room contains up to two cacodemons, two barons of Hell (Hurt me plenty and above only), a mancubus and four chaingunners (Ultra-Violence and above only). Run around to them spark monster infighting, and try to pull the pain elemental in the outdoor platform up four elimination as well. Once done, ride the platform in the west of the control room down to the outdoor platform.
This outdoor platform has up to six mancubi and three arachnotrons. Up to three barons of Hell, three mancubi and three cacodemons will also approach from the south. When in the north of the outdoor platform, do watch for a window with revenants in the northeast and put some rockets in there - it will make your life a little easier in the next part of the level.
Head into the southern building. At the corner, you will see blue skull bars blocking access to a lower area with barrels and demons. See if you can blow up the barrels below to terminate the demons early. Next, enter the corridor to the east (watch for a revenant in ambush). Ride the platform up to a ledge with a switch and up to four imps. Flip this switch to unblock the entrance to the northern building, then backtrack to the outdoor platform and enter the northern building.
Here in the northern building, you will find that the conveyor belt leading to the blue skull key is still blocked, so you have to go up the right set of stairs and cross a bridge to a UAC door. Head through to find yourself in a raised area in a rectangular room with a long conveyor belt. The room is dark with the lights only blinking every second, so it can be tricky navigating around here and getting around the assorted enemies in this room. In order, these are the tasks you need to do:
- From the raised area, jump down to the left (north). Watch for up to three demons and a cacodemon here, as well as some imps on a platform in the southeast. Flip the switch in the northeast of this area.
- Head up the steps and jump onto the conveyor belt. Ride it south. Just before the metal wall preventing you from riding it any further south, jump off to the west (between the two light strips).
- Look south to find a new set of stairs, leading up to a platform with a switch. Watch for imps here. Head up the steps, clear out any remaining revenants on the top and flip the switch.
- Head back down the steps. Watch for a trap with up to three revenants near the foot of the stairs.
- Head north and use the platform marked by metal stripes to get back on the raised area.
Backtrack to the northern building in the outdoor platform area. The bars to the conveyor belt leading to the blue skull key will now be raised. Before getting on the conveyor belt, equip your heaviest weapon. Ride the conveyor belt to the blue skull key at its end and pick it up.
As you run against the conveyor belt to exit this area, a Hell knight (Hurt me plenty and below) or a baron of Hell (Ultra-Violence and above) appears on the conveyor belt. It not only is heading for you, but also has the advantage of the conveyor belt propelling it forward. Kill it fast before it comes into melee range, then get out of here.
Head across the outdoor platform and to the southern building. Now, you can open the blue skull bars in the southwest. Drop down to where the demons were, then head through either opening into an L-shaped corridor. This corridor has a good amount of resistance (up to three imps, two barons of Hell, a revenant and a cacodemon. Kill them and head southeast into a computer room with four boxes of rockets and a raised metal plate on the floor with four blue circles. This is a teleporter that will take you to the level's most unique encounter, so be prepared.
Once you teleport, you find yourself in a raised alcove in a large grey square room, whose floor is entirely nukage. A yellow keycard locked door lies ahead. The yellow keycard lies in a pedestal in the middle, but surrounding it is a maze of fences. When you step off this alcove, eight cages in the room will open, revealing 16 (Hey, not too rough and below) or 24 revenants (Ultra-Violence and above). To navigate this room safely, the steps are as follows:
- Before stepping off the alcove into the nukage, step backwards. A megasphere is available.
- Step off the alcove to open the cages. Dodge the homing rockets and return fire with your own rocket launcher.
- Find the alcove with the radiation shielding suit in the south and enter it to get the suit and teleport back to the alcove you started in.
- Drop back down into the nukage. It is important to remember that the maze of fences is a red herring - there is no way to get to the yellow keycard directly.
- Keep running in circles around the perimeter of the room to dodge revenant rockets, and fire rockets into the cages. If your suit runs out, use the medikits on the floor.
- Wait till a new teleporter appears in the north of the room (the alcove is square, with lights). Go into this alcove.
- This teleports you into the fenced-off area with the yellow keycard. Grab it, then run backwards to be teleported back into the northern alcove.
- Open the yellow keycard door in the west and get out of there.
Head up the steps in this corridor and equip your super shotgun. Open the door at the top and puncture the cacodemon in the next corridor. Open the UAC door at the end, and you will find yourself in the east of the raised walkway in the room with two plus-shaped columns.
You now have to backtrack all the way to the eastern extension near the starting area, where the other yellow keycard door is. However, on your way there, you will have to pass through the main hangar, where you will find a [[cyberdemon], along with two cacodemons and three imps. Some other stragglers may also have wandered into here. Avoid or kill the monsters, then make a break for the eastern extension and find the yellow keycard locked door in the north. From this point on, you will face denser groups of tough enemies, so have your heavy weapons topped up with ammo.
Open the yellow keycard door and puncture the mancubus in front of you. Head right and you stare down a large lance of enemies - up to two demons, seven imps, four chaingunners and two barons of Hell. You don't have much space to handle them, so just hose them down with plasma cells. Continue up the steps, turn right (watch for a demon in ambush) and prepare for another horde of enemies.
This next area is structured as a square room with a surrounding square loop of corridors, all filled with a terrifying amount of opposition. The outer loop of corridor has up to 30 imps, three barons of Hell, two revenants, four chaingunners, a mancubus and an arachnotron. The inner room also is packed to the brim with monsters, with up to 32 imps, 11 cacodemons, five barons of Hell, four revenants and an arch-vile! Your best bet is to dump a combination of rockets and plasma to clear the outer corridor first, then single out the arch-vile in the inner room, after which you can then proceed to clear out the rest of the monsters at leisure (or course monster infighting).
Once the coast is clear, make your way into the inner room. Head down the steps in the south to the switch block in the center of the room. Flip the switch, grab the megasphere and prepare for all hell to break loose. Three traps in the outer walkway will open, revealing up to six revenants, an arachnotron and nine arch-viles. The secret to dealing with this predicament is a hidden invulnerability in an intermediate level in this room marked by dark grey metal panels on the floor, but getting there might be tricky. Put that megasphere to good use and execute an arch-vile jump to the north of the room to access the invulnerability, after which you have 30 seconds to gain the advantage on this nasty horde. Use all the ammo you need to slaughter them (but preferably, not all your ammo - you might need some later.)
Head back up to the square corridor loop and head into the southern trap. It reveals a long, enemy-free passage to the exit chamber. Follow this passage down and hit the switch to end the level-
Wait, what happened? That was supposed to be the exit switch! Why are we suddenly in a completely "off the automap" courtyard in the middle of (up to) 2 spiderdemons and 16 angry arachnotrons?
The trick is that that switch was actually a teleporter, and teleported you to a completely hidden area of the map. You'll have to survive this encounter with some clever use of infighting. A suggested strategy is as follows:
- Bunch the arachnotrons to one side, then get the spiderdemon to fire on them.
- Find the nearest stack of two crates and hide behind it.
- Peek out and angle yourself to cause more infighting.
- Kill any uncooperative arachnotrons.
- Wait for spiderdemon(s) to be toppled, then clear up stragglers.
That's the last of the opposition in a regular run of this level. Head through the silver door in the east, run along the conveyor belt and open the door at its end to reveal the real exit chamber. Flip the switch here to truly end this long level.
Other points of interest
Achieving 100% kills
Up to 146 enemies will be missed if you proceed through the fastest route to the exit of this map. To achieve 100% kills, you must return to the open areas in the southwest and west of the map after clearing the yellow keycard room in the east. Each open area will have up to 72 cacodemons and a cyberdemon (not present on Hey, not too rough and below).
Secret passageway after completing level
In the real exit area, after running along the conveyor belt and opening the door, immediately look to the left of the door (north). Press use on the metal strips just adjacent to the light strip next to the door. This opens up a hidden teleporter that takes you to an otherwise inaccessible L-shaped platform southwest of the starting area. This leads to a corridor with a panel reading "great work, soldier" and "all your vrack are belong to us". Entering this corridor opens up a computer panel in the first large room just south of the starting area, allowing the player to return to the main area of the level. Note that approaching the real exit switch will cause bars to lower, preventing you from backtracking and forcing you to exit the level.
- From the southern square room, head east and then south down the corridor. Open the door to come to an overlook with a set of steps in the east heading down to a blue keycard locked door. Open the diagonal wall in the northeast. This reveals a small alcove with a radiation shielding suit (sector 916), which will come in handy for the yellow skull key room.
- At the overlook with the switch panel south of the isolated red keycard platform, stand at the segment of railing running east-west that is further from the switch, then look west. You will see a switch on a wall in the distance. Shoot it to cause a pillar at the red keycard platform to lower, revealing a plasma gun. When you teleport to the red keycard platform, collect the plasma gun to tag this secret. (sector 1039)
- After collecting the red keycard, quickly move to the southeast of the platform and look east. You will see a switch on a wall in the distance. Shoot it to cause two pillars on the red keycard platform to lower. The northern one reveals a blur artifact, while the southern one reveals a soulsphere. Both pillars count as one secret. (sector 1045)
- From the "main hangar" in the center of the map, take the easternmost unlocked door in the south. Follow the corridor around until it reaches a doorway leading to a raised walkway in a room with two raising and lowering pillars. Opposite this doorway is a stretch of wall between two pairs of metal strips. Open it to find a darkened room with a megaarmor, a backpack and a bulk cell, but be wary of the spectres inside. (sector 1140)
- In the southern square room, open the western hexagonal panel on the south wall. This leads to a concealed tunnel (sector 1192), hidden by a fake wall from the outside. From this tunnel, you can jump to the invulnerability on a nearby crate. After flipping the switch at the overlook south of the isolated red keycard platform, an arch-vile is released from a concealed alcove in the east of this secret area - knowing this secret will help you eliminate it. The concealed alcove counts as part of the same secret, but also contains an energy cell and a box of shells.
- In the northwest of the map, you will cross a bridge into an area with flickering lights and a long conveyor belt. From the raised area, drop down to the south, then go east past the pair of flickering light strips. Head south to the end of a narrow L-shaped corridor. Backtrack to the raised area and use the platform in its southeast to get back up. Align yourself with the northwest of this raised area and carefully drop down. This takes you to a ledge with a doorway. Go through this doorway (sector 1414) to access the outdoor area surrounding the blue skull key conveyor belt. Going all the way to the west part of this area nets you a soulsphere.
- Back in the same area with flickering lights as the previous secret, from the raised area, drop down to the south, then go east past the pair of flickering light strips. Cling to the edge of the conveyor belt machine and head north. This allows you to walk north along a narrow ledge to a secret alcove containing some goodies, including a light amplification visor that will come in handy in this room. (sector 1419)
- In the southwest of the map, there is a room with a large metal panel on the floor with four blue circles on it. This is supposed to teleport you to the "slime and revenant" area in the southeast of the map. Open the southeast computer bank for a hidden room with an invulnerability (sector 1491). From here, you can lower a wall to the west, ride it up to a door and collect the BFG9000 from its alcove in the courtyard in the south.
The entirety of the surprise ending sequence is supposed to be hidden from the automap, but six linedefs (11145, 12447, 12448, 12451, 12452, 12454) in the area have been flagged as "shown as 1-sided on automap" instead of "not shown on automap". This must be presumed to be a mistake.
Areas / screenshots
Routes and tricks
The records for the map at the Doomed Speed Demos Archive are:
This level contains eight spawn points:
- facing north-east. (thing 1318)
- facing south. (thing 1319)
- facing south-east. (thing 1320)
- facing north-east. (thing 1321)
- facing north. (thing 1322)
- facing west. (thing 1323)
- facing north. (thing 1324)
- facing south. (thing 1325)
Surprise ending utilising Boom's extended teleporters
When the player presses what appears to be the exit switch, he suddenly appears in the real ending stretch of the level. This is achieved through the use of Boom's extended teleporters.
In classic Doom, all teleporters are walkover actions with fog and sound. Boom, however, extends this to include switches that teleport the player and silent teleporters with neither fog nor sound, capable of conserving angle and momentum. The fake exit switch has action 210 (SR Teleport, silent, also monsters, same angle). Thus, when the player flips the switch, he is immediately teleported into the real final stretch of the level, maximising the element of surprise.
Inspiration and development
The words "all your vrack are belong to us" on a panel in the hidden corridor accessible after completing the level are a reference to "all your base are belong to us", an infamous mistranslation from the intro of Zero Wing, a 1992 video game.
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