From DoomWiki.org

Elementalism: Phase 1
Title screen
Authors Various
Port GZDoom
Year 2022
Link Doomworld forums thread
Cacoward-2018.png This mod received one of the 2022 Cacowards on Doomworld!

Elementalism is an in-progress megawad for Doom II, using the GZDoom source port. Featuring extensive use of GZDoom features to create large, atmospheric locations, the project is based on the four classical elements, with 5-level episodes themed around each element, as well as light and darkness serving as fifth and sixth elements for a planned total of six episodes and thirty levels. The project also features a wide array of custom monsters, bosses and textures, and an all-original high-fidelity soundtrack. After nearly five years in development, the first three episodes; Earth, Water, and Fire, were released as "Phase 1" of the project on March 5, 2022.

Phase 1 was awarded with one of the 2022 Cacowards. The remaining three episodes are still currently in development.

Development history[edit]

The project was started in 2017 by Joshua O'Sullivan (Dragonfly) and Phade, following on from the development of Skulldash: Expanded Edition. The original development team also included Skulldash: Expanded Edition contributors Ben Mansell (Bauul), Gianluca Cilento (Remmirath), and Dreadopp. O'Sullivan's initial plan for the set was a collection of short, fast gameplay-focused maps utilising the latest GZDoom features with a development time of up to a year. Among other reasons, the complexity of mapping for GZDoom as opposed to Boom-compatible or limit removing source ports caused development to stall. This coincided with the original announcement of the OTEX texture pack by Ola Björling (ukiro), and ultimately led to O'Sullivan using the original idea for Elementalism for Eviternity instead. After Eviternity was released in late 2018, O'Sullivan transferred leadership of Elementalism to Mansell, who changed the project's direction to be more adventure-styled and much larger scope, inviting additional mappers including DMPhobos and Bridgeburner56.

Knowing that the project's estimated development time had ballooned to an enormous size, the decision was made to split the megawad into two halves, the first half including the Earth, Water, and Fire episodes, with the Air, Light, and Darkness episodes left for the second half.


From Phase 1's opening text:

"The dawning of the cosmos awake seven great gods. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Light, Darkness, and the most powerful among them: Entropy, the end of all things. The other gods feared Entropy, and conspired against it. With their combined might, they imprisoned it for all time, sealed with the power of six Elemental Runes.

Eons have passed. Now, the power of the gods is fading, and Entropy stirs. The first three Elemental Runes await you. Begin your journey to subdue the God of Entropy before it awakens once more..."


New weapon[edit]

The elemental wand is a powerful new weapon introduced when the player first enters the hub. It occupies weapon slot 8. The player keeps this weapon at all times, but it cannot initially be used as it comes with no ammo. Instead the player has to gather elementium crystals found throughout the levels to use the wand. Each crystal gives 100 elementium, with a maximum of 300 (600 if the backpack is found). In each episode, the wand has a unique attack that links it to the corresponding element of the current episode.

Earth wand
Arguably the weakest, the earth wand fires a large boulder, which is affected by gravity, but can also bounce of walls. The boulder deals 1000 direct damage, with up to 100 splash damage in a 128 unit radius (the same blast radius as rockets). The boulder shatters upon impacting a monster (or after a couple of seconds if not) into many fragments, but these do not deal damage themselves. Each use of the earth wand consumes 15 elementium.
Water wand
The water wand fires seven high-velocity ice balls in a tight spread, with one large ball at the centre flanked by the six smaller ones. The larger projectile alone deals 40-320 damage, and each of the smaller ones deal 20-160, making the water wand very effective against single targets, capable of freezing most monsters with one shot if not simply shattering them immediately. Additionally, the projectiles leave an ice cloud for a short time after impact, which deals additional damage to monsters. Each use of the water wand consumes 30 elementium.
Fire wand
The fire wand launches a large wave of fire a moderate distance in front of the player, capable of igniting surfaces it comes into contact with for a short time, to deal additional damage to monsters. The main wave itself can be extremely powerful, sometimes killing even the 2000 health pyro demons in a single hit, however it is significantly less effective against monsters with splash damage resistance, such as the spider mastermind and cyberdemon. Using the fire wand consumes 40 elementium.

Difficulty settings[edit]

Elementalism introduces two new difficulty settings to accommodate players who are maybe not skilled enough for Ultra-Violence or just want a less challenging experience, but without reducing the monster count like the lower difficulties do. On Medium-Violence, monsters deal significantly less damage if the player has taken damage within the last two seconds, with some monsters occasionally dealing no damage at all. This makes fights against larger numbers of monsters much easier to survive. Mild-Violence goes even further, keeping the reduced damage system and also halving the health of all monsters.

Custom monsters[edit]

Each episode features a selection of new enemies that are encountered exclusively in their respective episodes, as well as a custom boss encountered at the end of each episode, plus an additional final boss after the three episodes are completed.

Earth monsters[edit]

Melee revenant
These revenants are missing their usual combat armour and so are unable to use their regular missile attack, and will try to get close to the player to punch them instead. They will lunge towards the player when attacking, allowing them to hit the player from further than one might expect. Melee revenants have 150 health points, the same as a demon.
These green lost souls attack in the same way as their regular counterpart, but upon death will shake violently before exploding, dealing splash damage to anything nearby. They have 50 health points.
Stone imp
Stone imps have 120 health, twice that of regular imps, and attack with a bright green projectile known as hecteballs. These will always deal 30 damage. Stone imps have a 50% resistance to splash damage, reducing the effectiveness of the rocket launcher.
Stone demon
Stone demons have 300 health, again twice that of regular demons, but do not attack with melee, instead belching three hecteballs at a time, however, the hecteballs launched by stone demons have limited range before falling to the ground, and each one will always deal 35 damage. Like the stone imp, the stone demon has a 50% resistance to splash damage.
Stone gargoyle
These flying statues can move at high speed vertically, allowing them to easily harass the player. They attack with two hecteballs at once, each dealing 35 damage, and have 750 health points. Unlike the other stone monsters, they have no resistance to splash damage.
The God Parasite
The six-headed God Parasite serves as the boss of the Earth episode, infesting the remains of the Earth God. Each head starts with 3000 health, the same as a spider mastermind and has a 70% resistance to the Earth wand. After each head is killed, the remaining heads gain additional health and the attack pattern will change. Killing all six heads will provoke the parasite's core to emerge from the corpse. The core flies swiftly and uses a combination of attacks from the previous phases. It has 6000 health.

Water monsters[edit]

A flying arachnotron brain outside of its chassis. Arachnorbs attack with a stream of small green fireballs that each deal 3-24 damage, and have 120 health.
Vulgars are pale-green, skeletal, imp-like monsters that rapidly throw dark green projectiles towards the player, each dealing 3-24 damage. They have 50 health.
Deep One
These large, green creatures will attack with a flurry of eight fireballs that appear similar to those of the arachnorb, but deal more damage (4-32) and have a slight homing capability, leaving a trail of smoke behind them. Deep Ones have 1000 health, the same as a baron of Hell.
The Pale-eyed King
The Water God lurks inside the great pyramid at the end of the Water episode. Throughout the fight, this colossal centipede-like monstrosity will rapidly fly around its arena, using a wide variety of attacks, as well as disappearing beneath the water to summon hordes of demons to fight for it. The Water god is highly resistant to damage from the water wand and the BFG9000, due to its multi-segmented form making it otherwise very vulnerable to both weapons.

Fire monsters[edit]

These small, arch-vile-like demons can be considered as more powerful imps. They attack frequently with a fireball that always deals 30 damage, and have 70 health, the same as a chaingunner.
This disembodied upper half of an orange demon "walks" through the air, attacking with either a pair of fireballs that deal 6-48 damage each plus up to 32 splash damage, or a long stream of yellow projectiles that move in a helix pattern and slightly home in on the player, each one dealing 2-16 damage. Hierophants have 350 health.
Bruiser demon
A bright orange variant of the baron of Hell. Bruiser demons have 1300 health and attack with either a horizontal spread of seven small fireballs that each deal 7-56 damage, a single large fireball that travels at high speed and deals 12-96 damage, or, if the player is within 128 map units of the monster, they can perform a ground blast attack, spawning a short trail of fire on the ground in front of them, capable of dealing a huge amount of damage in a short time.
Pyro demon
This charred black variant of the bruiser demon can be easily identified from the trail of fire it leaves wherever it goes. It attacks primarily by throwing five large, fast-moving fireballs at once in a slightly randomised horizontal spread, each one dealing 3-24 damage plus up to 10 splash damage. Alternatively, it can attack with one larger fireball that moves even faster and violently explodes with a large radius on impact, with a direct hit capable of immediately killing a player even with full health and armour. A similar, less-powerful explosion can also be summoned by the pyro demon when the player is within 256 map units. Pyro demons have 2000 health, twice that of a baron.
The corrupted remnants of the Fire God, Nathrath, are encountered as the sole enemy in the final level of the Fire episode. Inspired by the bullet hell styles of shoot 'em up games, Nathrath's attacks feature various patterns involving a vast number of fireballs that are identical to those of the mancubus but with highly reduced damage. These attacks become more intense as the fight progresses.

Other monsters[edit]

Herald of the Apocalypse
With Elementalism's actual final boss still to be added with the Phase 2 release, the Herald of the Apocalypse was added shortly before the release of Phase 1 as a way to wrap up the first half of the story. The Herald is initially encountered in a gaseous form when the player returns to the hub after completing an episode, sending them ominous messages each time, before appearing fully in the hub after all three episodes are completed. It teleports around the hub, with a range of attacks that call back to the bosses of the three episodes. Killing the Herald marks the completion of Phase 1, and triggers the ending credits.

General gameplay changes[edit]

A new sub-menu, titled "Elementalism options," allows the player to configure a number of settings specific to the mod, including the following:

  • Since the maps are designed primarily for pistol start, by default when completing a map, only the pistol, shotgun, and chaingun and their ammo supplies are retained. This is known as semi-continuous in the options menu. Players can switch between this or true pistol start.
  • The pistol fires significantly faster, and is 100% accurate.
  • The shotgun is more accurate.
  • Lost souls have had their health reduced to 50, from 100.

External links[edit]