Ionized Plasma Levitator

From DoomWiki.org

Player with the grabber weapon.

The Ionized Plasma Levitator, better known as the grabber, is a new weapon introduced in Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil and appearing again in The Lost Mission. A portable tractor beam, it has the ability to lift certain objects above the ground for a limited time and can throw them with great force. The grabber can reach otherwise inaccessible pickups, remove obstacles in the player's path, hurl objects at enemies, seize incoming fireballs thrown by enemies and launch them back, and even destroy certain smaller enemies by disintegrating them in the tractor beam. It is first acquired early in the game - the first level in Resurrection of Evil, and the second level of The Lost Mission.

"The Ionized Plasma Levitator creates an electromagnetically charged plasma stream that can move objects over short distances."
PDA description

Weapon schematics[edit]

Unlike most other weapons, the grabber does not use ammunition. It can only fire when locked onto a target, and has a rather limited range. However, it is possible to hold the trigger before the object enters the grabber's range and crosshairs, enabling you to catch the target the moment it enters your range. Once an object is seized in the tractor beam, the player can hold it and move it for a few moments, or immediately launch the object, or drop it in its current location. Releasing the "fire" key will launch the object directly forwards, or pressing the "reload" key will drop the object, but the gun will automatically cut off the tractor beam after a few seconds if neither is done by then. The weapon has a noticeable cooldown period after firing, taking a moment to recharge before it can fire again.

The beam has the ability to disintegrate Forgotten Ones, trites, ticks, and cherubs simply by catching them in the tractor beam and then "firing" them, killing them instantly.

If a player is strafing to one side at the moment they fire the projectile, it will tend to veer in the direction they are strafing.

  • Clip size: limited use of beam
  • Reloading: approx. 0.5 seconds recharge time
  • Ammo: infinite
  • Damage: Varies
    • 150 (Imp fireball)
    • 200 (Cacodemon fireball)
    •  ??? (Martian turret projectile)
    • 250 (Hell knight)
    • 300 (Vulgar)
    • 400 (Maledict's meteor)
    • 500 (Mancubus fireball)

Tactical analysis[edit]

The HUD icon.

The grabber remains a solid performer throughout the game. Explosive barrels can be thrown at enemies where they will explode upon impact, and the medium-sized orange-yellow oblong crates are fairly powerful when hurled at enemies, being able to kill some of the lesser enemies in one strike, without expending ammunition. The grabber can be used to set traps for enemies, moving explosive barrels around to where enemies are likely to walk towards. Intercepting enemy fireballs from the air and launching them back is often a worthy way to defeat enemies, generally being effective against imps, vulgars, cacodemons and even Hell knights. It is less effective against mancubi due to their greater rate of fire; the player may seize some of a mancubus' fireballs but will have to dodge others, since their fireballs seem to lose some of their accuracy when launched back. Bruisers launch too many fireballs for the grabber to cope with, so do not make good targets for this tactic. Revenant rockets can be intercepted by the grabber in an attempt to protect the player, but in the original game they cannot be launched back; once caught in the tractor beam they tend to veer off into nowhere and usually cause no harm. In the BFG Edition, however, seizing a revenant rocket will cause it to veer back and attempt to home in on the revenant who fired it, without actually requiring the player to aim at the revenant at all.

Enemy projectiles caught by the grabber and then fired back are generally much more powerful than the original projectile would be. For example, if an imp were to inadvertently hit another imp with its fireballs, it would normally take around ten fireballs to kill the other imp. However, if you catch an imp's fireball with the grabber and then launch it back at the imp, one fireball is enough to kill it. Most enemies can be killed by a single hit from their own projectile fired back at them, although a mancubus requires two of its own fireballs to kill it and a Hell knight can survive three or four of its own projectiles. It is also possible to intercept and then toss fireballs on other enemies, although some enemies are slightly tougher and can resist projectiles from lesser demons. Be advised that the levitator can only hold one fireball at a time and takes a short period to recharge, so groups of enemies can quickly overwhelm the player.

The grabber is generally a good way to kill Forgotten Ones, trites, ticks, and cherubs without expending any ammunition; simply catching them in the tractor beam for a moment and then releasing them is enough to kill them. However, be advised that the grabber has a noticeable cooldown period between each firing, so it may struggle against large groups of these enemies unless the player has sufficient space and stamina to keep running and dodging. Its rather limited range may also present a risk when attempting to kill cherubs, since they are capable of suddenly leaping towards the player from quite some distance.

The grabber can also be used to move artifact charges (i.e. glowing corpses) from one location to another if desired. However, the player should drop the corpse with the "reload" key; if the corpse is "fired" instead, it will disintegrate. The same principle is true for explosive barrels - if the player wishes to move them around without detonating them, the player must drop them with the reload key; firing them will cause them to explode upon impact.

Once the player has the grabber, the "1" key is bound to selecting both the grabber and the fists. In the original game the grabber is selected first upon pressing "1", with the fists being selected if "1" is pressed twice. In the BFG Edition, however, a press of the "1" key will select whichever of the grabber/fists was used last, the default being the fists and being reset to the fists at the beginning of each new level.

Trivia[edit]

  • The grabber bears a close resemblance to the gravity gun of the Half-Life 2 games and portal gun from Portal, as these can also be used to pick up objects such as physics props or ammunition, though only the grabber and gravity gun can launch them across a distance. Unlike the gravity gun, the grabber will automatically drop the object after a few seconds, and the grabber does not "force pull" objects to the player if they are out of reach.
  • The vulgar's plasma ball attack is normally weaker than the imp's fireball, but it does more damage after it has been caught by a grabber.
  • Both Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission require the grabber to be used at one point. In Resurrection of Evil it is the only means to defeat the first boss, and in the Lost Mission it is required to restart the Enpro Plant's plasma conduits.
  • Resurrection of Evil includes a video disk introducing the grabber. However, since the protagonist of the Lost Mission found a grabber in the Enpro Plant, it would seem the product was already in use during the events of the original Doom 3 campaign.
  • The grabber is powerful enough to lift and fire an inanimate corpse, but cannot seize a zombie.