MAP32: Hectic (Doom 64)
|Doom 64 secret maps|
MAP32: Hectic is the first secret level that can be found in Doom 64 and is considered to be the most difficult level in the game. A virtual easter egg, finding it requires execution of an obscure procedure on MAP01: Staging Area. From a chronological standpoint, this level is where the player can first come across Hell knights and arachnotrons. Each of the three Doom 64 level designers created one of the three respective challenge rooms: Randy Estrella made the arachnotron room, Tim Heydelaar made the trapped lift room, and Danny Lewis made the Hell knight room. This level uses the music track "Spaces Between," also heard in MAP04: Holding Area. The reward for finishing this map completely is the game's "Features" menu, where cheat codes and additional secret levels can be accessed.
In a textual intermission before the level begins, it is described as follows:
This walkthrough will provide guidance on using the alternate exit in this level. The normal exit can be activated simply at the start of the level, but only using the alternate exit will enable the "Features" menu option.
All items in the beginning room are booby trapped. Some of the traps can be overcome (see the Items section) with varying degrees of difficulty, but failure will lead to death. Open the door on the right and enter. Pick up the red key. You will then be lowered into a room with no exit. Immediately, arachnotrons will appear. Pick up the rockets scattered around the room and dispose of the arachnotrons. Due to the limited space available, this is difficult to achieve, as the arachnotrons can corner you if you are not careful, and there is always the possibility of splash damage from one of your rockets. When they are finally killed, you will be allowed back up to the starting room.
Now enter the door which was on the left when you first started the level. Cross the stepping stones across the blood to collect the items and the blue key, but beware of the crusher that immediately starts overhead. Turn around, and you will see that the door behind you is now closed. You must deal with two Hell knights on each side of the very narrow bridge and must kill all of them in order to reopen the door. You must not fall off of this narrow bridge, either by accident or by being pushed off by of one of the Hell knight's attacks, as the blood pit is inescapable. It is best to use the side strafe exclusively to dodge attacks while unloading rockets at the enemies.
Now enter the final door that has not yet been opened. Use the lifts to move to the yellow key, but take care not to get hit by the darts thrown by demon faces on the walls. Once you have the yellow key, return to the red bars in the starting room and unlock them, then unlock the blue and yellow bars and exit the level. When you arrive in MAP02: The Terraformer, the "Features" menu will become available. Note that it does not remain unlocked, however, if you quit the game and restart from a password.
- The blue megaarmor cannot be picked up safely; it is protected by a macro that will instantly telefrag the player.
- The soulsphere is intended to be equally impossible to pick up, as the small pit it sits in is exactly too deep for the player to climb out of, and falling in triggers a crushing ceiling. However, with careful positioning it can be picked up through a grab. This will still trigger the crushing ceiling but the player will have plenty of time to move out of the way.
- The only other item here is a berserk pack in the room with the lava. You can't miss it.
- The crusher that protects the green security armor is not triggered if entering from the east side. The east wall of the enclosure is colored differently to give the player a hint. If any of the other sides are crossed, the crusher will activate and you will be killed.
There are no official secrets in this map. Even if you head for the easy exit as soon as you enter the map, you will still be awarded a score of 100% for secrets on the completion screen. However, the main goal of the map is to try for the hard exit.
Routes and tricks
You can take advantage of the aforementioned soulsphere trick (see Items) as it is also a glitch which nearly eliminates the challenge factor in the map. When you successfully collect the soulsphere without getting caught in the subsequent trap, as the script plays for the columns that move in sequence until the column that's supposed to crush you comes down, this causes all the other scripts for the map to remain paused due to the limitations of the games programming. This will allow you to safely collect the blue and red skull keys without triggering the corresponding traps that would otherwise have you fight and defeat the monsters that appear in order to escape them. The only room that remains unaffected is the yellow skull key room with the moving floor sections and dart traps, however being a relatively easy room to escape, that is negligible. You can then use the keys to open the colored pylons which block the true exit switch and exit the level with access to the "Features" menu in the pause screen.