The Plutonia Experiment
The Plutonia Experiment is one of the two official 32-level Doom II IWADs which make up Final Doom. It was created by brothers Dario and Milo Casali under contract with id Software, and was released alongside its counterpart TNT: Evilution on June 17, 1996.
Dario and Milo Casali, who had contributed three and one level respectively to the Evilution project, accepted the task of creating what became Plutonia after having sent an eight-level WAD of their designs to American McGee, managing to impress him along with the rest of id Software. They created 32 levels for Plutonia in four months' time, and submitted them in January 1996. Unlike their contributions to TNT: Evilution, which were substantially edited after submission (four being rejected altogether due to being too large), these turned out to be the final revisions of the levels. Dario later commented, relieved that no further changes were required, "thank God because I was ready to throw my computer out the window at the time."
According to an interview with Dario Casali from 1998, he and his brother created 16 levels each. However, in May 2012, Dario shared accurate author information, which revealed that Milo actually designed 18 maps while he created 14 himself.
Compared to TNT: Evilution, Plutonia is considered much more difficult due to the influx of strong opposition in the earlier levels and massive amounts of enemies in the later stages, especially on the Ultra-Violence difficulty. Level designs and effects that were against the regular IWAD norms were utilized, such as invisible bridges. According to sources, the Casali brothers intended to make Plutonia harder than the usual Doom fare in order to challenge already battle-hardened players.
Six levels from the IWAD are also included in the Sony PlayStation version of Final Doom.
After Hell's invasion of Earth, the United States took steps to prevent another such invasion. The old UAC was refounded under completely new management (the previous owners being deceased) and given a new mission: to research tools and technologies that could prevent Hell's resurgence.
UAC's scientists began work on quantum accelerator devices, machines intended to close interdimensional gates from a distance. The experiments are carried out in a secret research complex, with a stationed detachment of marines. The work seems to be going well, but...
The creatures from Outside have their dire attention drawn towards the new research. A gate opens in the heart of the complex and unnatural horrors pour out. The quantum accelerator performs superbly — the gate is quickly closed and the invasion stopped. Research continues more boldly.
On the next day, a ring of seven gates opens and an even greater invasion begins. For one hour the quantum accelerators manage to close six of the gates... but the hellish army has become too numerous and too strong. The complex is overrun. Everyone is slain, or zombified. The last gate of Hell remains open, manned and guarded by a demon Gatekeeper.
The government, frantic that the quantum accelerator will be destroyed or used in some evil alien fashion against humanity, orders all marines to the site at once. The Doomguy is close to the site and gets there first. There he concludes that by the time reinforcements arrive that the demons will be too numerous and powerful.
The marine decides to enter the complex and stop the Gatekeeper alone.
As in Doom II, the levels can be divided up into four sets. There are three episodes each defined by a different sky texture (1-11, 12-20 and 21-30) and two secret levels (31-32). The player is presented with a text screen in between the episodes (before levels 12 and 21). Additional textual interludes appear before level 7, before each secret level, and at the conclusion of the game.
- Level 1: Congo
- Level 2: Well of Souls
- Level 3: Aztec
- Level 4: Caged
- Level 5: Ghost Town
- Level 6: Baron's Lair
- Level 7: Caughtyard
- Level 8: Realm
- Level 9: Abattoire
- Level 10: Onslaught
- Level 11: Hunted
- Level 12: Speed
- Level 13: The Crypt
- Level 14: Genesis
- Level 15: The Twilight (Exit to secret level)
- Level 16: The Omen
- Level 17: Compound
- Level 18: Neurosphere
- Level 19: NME
- Level 20: The Death Domain
Devil Hive levels
- Level 21: Slayer
- Level 22: Impossible Mission
- Level 23: Tombstone
- Level 24: The Final Frontier
- Level 25: The Temple of Darkness
- Level 26: Bunker
- Level 27: Anti-Christ
- Level 28: The Sewers
- Level 29: Odyssey of Noises
- Level 30: The Gateway of Hell
The soundtrack is completely derived from Doom and Doom II.
Six levels from The Plutonia Experiment were included as part of the Williams Entertainment port of Final Doom to the Sony PlayStation game console. They were converted by the Williams team to adapt to the limitations of and utilize features developed for the earlier port of Doom to the console, including colored lighting, nightmare spectres, translucency, and various minor changes to architecture and texturing. It forms the third and final episode of the port, offering the most challenging gameplay but also suffering from the worst frame rate problems. Aubrey Hodges provided custom dark ambient music for the maps.
The following levels were adapted from Plutonia:
- Level 25: Congo
- Level 26: Aztec
- Level 27: Ghost Town
- Level 28: Baron's Lair
- Level 29: The Death Domain
- Level 30: Onslaught
The Compet-N episode records for Plutonia are:
|UV episode, MAP01-MAP10||0:08:50||kunkun||2013-06-16||0850pl01.zip|
|UV episode, MAP11-MAP20||0:10:17||kunkun||2013-07-19||1017pl11.zip|
|UV episode, MAP21-MAP30||0:12:31||kunkun||2013-08-10||1231pl21.zip|
|NM episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|NM episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|NM episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV max episode, MAP01-MAP10||0:38:49||Vincent Catalaá||2005-02-25||3849pl01.zip|
|UV max episode, MAP11-MAP20||1:00:27||Revved||2011-10-04||6027pl11.zip|
|UV max episode, MAP21-MAP30||1:11:03||Revved||2012-10-06||7103pl21.zip|
|UV max run||2:54:33||Vincent Catalaá||2005-02-25||30plmax.zip|
|NS episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|NS episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|NS episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV -fast episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|UV -fast episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|UV -fast episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV -fast run||1|
The data was last verified in its entirety on July 7, 2013.
- Uncompleted as of the most recent Compet-N database update.
The Plutonia Experiment is contained in an IWAD file called PLUTONIA.WAD. The most common version is 17,420,824 bytes in size and contains 2,984 entries. It has the following hashes:
- TeamTNT's Final Doom site
- Dario Casali's The Plutonia Experiment page (archived 🏛)
- id Software's Final Doom site (archived 🏛)