Tech Gone Bad
Tech Gone Bad is a single Doom level for limit-removing ports created in 2016 by John Romero as a warm-up exercise before working on a new FPS game, Blackroom. It is an alternate take on E1M8: Phobos Anomaly.
It was named as a winner of one of the 23rd Annual Cacowards.
- 1 Walkthrough
- 2 Areas / screenshots
- 3 Speedrunning
- 4 Deathmatch
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Technical information
- 7 Inspiration and development
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Sources
- 10 External links
Those with any familiarity with The Ultimate Doom will remember that Romero's contributions to Thy Flesh Consumed (E4M2: Perfect Hatred and E4M6: Against Thee Wickedly) marked the peaks of difficulty of the game. Unfortunately for you, Tech Gone Bad is somewhere around that difficulty level. Packing 291 enemies on Ultra-Violence and above, this level would have made a fitting end to Knee-Deep in the Dead if the episode had been tuned to "modern" difficulty levels.
Any time you see red "cracks" in the floor, do not stand anywhere near them - the surrounding areas are damaging floors.
You begin in a rectangular room, with a zombieman facing away from you in a far corner. On Ultra-Violence and above, there is also an imp facing away from you. When you attack them, a teleport trap activates, and up to three shotgun guys, a spectre (Hurt me plenty and above only) and an imp (Ultra-Violence and above only) begin teleporting next to the barrel to your left. That barrel is a problem - blow it up at the wrong time, and you might be badly hurt. On Hurt me plenty and above, there is another barrel in the west of the room, which poses the same problem. Kill each monster as it teleports into the same spot, but if the spectre is first out the gates, you might wish to grab the shotgun in the south of the room first (blow up the barrel in the south first!).
On difficulties other than Hurt me plenty, the fastest route is to drop into the slime channel of this room. On Hey, not too rough and below, you will get a radiation suit near the entrance of the channel. On Ultra-Violence and above, the radiation suit is further into the channel. After a while, the channel will widen. Kill the shotgun guy ahead (and an extra demon and imp on Hurt me plenty and above). As you continue forward, watch for a demon ambush from the right. Continue to the end of the passage and grab the blue key.
On Hurt me plenty (or if you want a chaingun and a box of bullets), the best course of action is to head east from the starting room. Kill the imp ahead and jump across the slime channel to the other half of the room. On Hurt me plenty and above, you have an imp and demon to deal with (and an extra shotgun guy on Ultra-Violence and above). Grab the chaingun in the east. On Hurt me plenty, the radiation suit is the west of this area. Grab it and drop into the slime channel between the two halves of this room, which is the same slime channel that leads to the blue key.
Exit the blue key area via the south. You are now in the slime surrounding the main part of the level. Make a dash for the northernmost rock platform, which is low enough for you to step up onto. All this while, you will have to dodge fire from shotgun guys and imps. Head up the stairs in the south, and mow down the cannon fodder in the blue corridor ahead (a nearby barrel may come in handy here). Grab the armor from its alcove and continue forward to a blue door.
Open the blue door and drop down onto a rock platform. Follow the trail of rock platforms around to a T-junction. Head southwest, face the steps and make a running jump to make it to the next rock platform. Follow this platform around to a door in the side of an isolated building.
This next computer equipment room is full of former humans. There are also up to four imps and on Ultra-Violence and above, a spectre. Make your way to the switch in the northwest of the room (on Ultra-Violence and above, watch for a shotgun guy in ambush). Flip the switch and immediately turn around: The lift in the west of the room will lower with two shotgun guys (one on Hey, not too rough and below). Dispatch them and ride the lift up.
This takes you to a room with a shotgun guy. On Hurt me plenty and above, there is also a zombieman and a demon. See if you can cause some monster infighting by getting the shotgun guy to hit the demon. Grab the well-needed box of shells and flip the switch ahead. This raises a bridge to the island with the yellow key and reveals some enemies near that island (an imp and up to four shotgun guys).
Use the switch to the right of the platform to re-lower it. A window will have opened in the north of the previous room, and some steps will have formed next to it. Use these to jump out of this building and land back on the earlier rock platforms. This time, make your way southeast and pick up the yellow key from the island.
Head to the north side of the map, and climb the rock platforms to the west to a yellow door. Open this door and dispatch the enemies in here (up to five shotgun guys, an imp and a demon). Follow the passageway to the west around, being wary of demons (Hurt me plenty and above only) and spectres (Ultra-Violence and above only). At the end of the corridor is a large room with some zombiemen and up to two spectres. Flip the switch in the southwest corner to open the easternmost of three alcoves.
Head into the eastern alcove and clear out the cannon fodder until you reach a larger room with a demon. Blow up the two barrels next to a wall. Unless you want 100% kills, do not flip the switch you see ahead. Instead, head into the central slime pool to the north and collect the rocket launcher, then head back into the larger room. A switch will have opened south of the switch you saw earlier. Flip this switch and backtrack to the room with the three alcoves. Two imps and a shotgun guy will have teleported into this room, so kill them.
The centre alcove is now open, so enter it. This leads into a darkened corridor. Kill any monsters, than carefully proceed forward. Once you hear a door open, immediately turn around - a trap has opened between the two floor lamps in the corner, with up to three imps, a shotgun guy and a demon. Move forward - you do not want to fall into the eastern part of this room with a substantial number of monsters. Collect the armor from the trap. Once done, cautiously proceed east again until you are able to aim at the monsters in the pit to the east. Dispatch of them (preferably with the help of the barrels), then drop into the pit. Lower the pillar with the box of rockets on it, and collect it to light the room up. Flip the switch in the west to lower the nearby platform, then ride it back up. Backtrack to the room with the three alcoves. Two imps and a shotgun guy will have teleported into this room, so kill them.
The western alcove is now open, so enter it. Head up the steps and mow down the former humans. You will reach a raised area with a spectre (and an imp on Hurt me plenty and above). A rocket should deal with the imps on the ledge to the west. Enter the corridor in the east and run forward, eliminating any shotgun guys and imps in your way. At the end of this corridor is a doorway leading to a walkway in the northwest of the central slime pool. Run along it to reach the octagonal platform in the northeast. Flip the switch in the south of the pillar to raise a bridge to an alcove in the east, then enter this alcove.
Follow the corridor around, mowing down imps and former humans. Collect the red key in the room at the end of this corridor.
Backtrack to the yellow door. The fastest route is to head to the south of the central slime pool (returning to the area after the easternmost alcove), then backtracking from there. Beyond the yellow door, you will find that a new set of rock platforms has appeared to the west, leading to the red door. Dispatch the newly-revealed enemies with a well-placed rocket, then go through the red door.
Beyond the red door is a computer building. Clear the floor of former humans. If you managed to acquire a berserk pack from one of the secret areas, you are in good hands. Proceed through the alcove in the north. It leads to a long, winding passageway with shotgun guys, imps, demons and spectres - all of which are easy prey to a berserk fist. At the end of the passageway, a silver platform will lower as you approach it. Ride it up (do not fall of this next ledge!) and flip the switch in the west.
Backtrack to the first room beyond the red door. Two traps will have opened along the passageway, so be wary:
- On your way back, when you first see a tech wall (TEKWALL2), approach the corner facing left and take out a shotgun guy.
- At the next corner, face left and prepare to kill a shotgun guy (and an imp on Hurt me plenty and above, and a demon on Ultra-Violence and above).
Back in the first room, watch for a trap with up to three imps. The northwest of the room will have opened up, so walk towards the silver platform to lower it, then ride it up. Clear out the cannon fodder along this walkway. You will face another building across the slime, with a sizable number of enemies. A carefully-placed rocket should do the job. Jump across the slime into the new building.
From where you landed, take the eastern passage. Equip your chaingun and kill any imps in this passage. You will come to a room with a divider - kill the imp and shotgun guys (if any) beyond it. Head to the southeast of the room, kill the imp in the alcove and flip the switch behind it.
Head back to the northernmost part of this building. This time, take the westernmost ledge to reach a corridor that allows you to go around the divider in the previous room. Grab the rocket launcher in the west of this room and prepare for a massive teleport trap. On Ultra-Violence, this is what you will face:
- Teleporting near rocket launcher: Two imps, two zombiemen, a shotgun guy and a demon.
- Teleporting into lit oval east of rocket launcher: Two imps, two zombiemen, a shotgun guy and a demon.
- Teleporting to blue room west of rocket launcher: One shotgun guy, five imps.
- Teleporting to northernmost part of this building: Two imps, two zombiemen, a shotgun guy and a demon.
Head back on the ledge you used to enter this part of the room, clear the enemies and return to the areas north of the divider in this room, where you can mow down the enemies with your rocket launcher safely. Once done, take the westernmost ledge and head back around the divider. Enter the blue room to the west and walk into the corridor in the southwest.
The floor in the corridor will begin lowering you into a massive arena with two massive structures. This is the arena of the original Phobos Anomaly, re-imagined 23 years later. Just like old times, you will face two barons of Hell who emerge from their respective "portals". However, this time, their supporting monsters will emerge from their "portals" as well. In total, each portal will generate a shotgun guy, a spectre, two imps and two zombiemen. Kill them all, and when the barons have been felled, the south of the arena will open.
Head through the blood-stained corridor to reach a demonic altar. Once you step into it, you are taken to a dark room with monsters and a damaging floor. Once your health falls below 11%, the level ends.
Other points of interest
- From the starting room, head into the slime channel. and head east. You will soon find a part of the southern wall with a "poison" sign on it. Open this sign to reveal another slime passageway (beware of the demon ahead) with eight armor bonuses, a stimpack and a radiation suit. (sector 19) On Ultra-Violence, there is also a shotgun guy lying in wait. At the west of this passage is a switch; flip it to lower a nearby lift that takes you to an invulnerability in the central slime pool. To exit the central slime pool, use the switch in the southeast corner, ride it up and press use on the north wall to open a window back into the starting room.
- In the room divided in half by the slime channel (east of the starting room), there is a wall in the northwest with a different texture from the nearby walls and two barrels in front of it. Blow up the barrels and open the wall to reach a secret room with a box of shells, a rocket, a stimpack and a megaarmor. The secret door (sector 349) counts as the secret.
- After taking the blue key, head south. Once you cross the southern edge of the two metal strips, head back to where the blue key is. In the southern wall of the inset to the west, a switch will be revealed. Flip this switch to lower a hidden platform (sector 167) in the east, which you can ride up to an area with a soulsphere.
- While in the area with the soulsphere, open the wall in the north. It leads to a blur sphere. (sector 546)
- After collecting the blur sphere in the previous secret, open the wall to the west. It leads to a room with a rocket launcher. (sector 547)
- After going through the yellow door and opening the eastern alcove in the room with three alcoves, head through the alcove and go to the easternmost part of the room. Open the wall at the end of the corridor to reach a secret area with six health bonuses, three rockets, a box of bullets, a clip, two sets of 4 shotgun shells and a berserk pack. (sector 371)
- After going through the yellow door and completing the center alcove, head north and you will find two opened traps (these stored the monsters that teleported into the room north of the three alcoves). Head into the western alcove. Part of the western wall has a different texture. Open it to access a secret room with a soulsphere. (sector 332)
- After reaching the platform in the northwest of the central slime pool, press use on the western wall near the midpoint of the wall (the patch of wall is unmarked). The wall will lower, revealing a secret room with three armor bonuses, a box of shells, a box of rockets and a computer map. (sector 367) You can open the computer panel north of the berserk pack to head back into the main room.
- In the room with the red key, the walls have notches. From the northeast corner, count six notches on the northern wall and press use on the wall. The wall will open, leading to a secret room with two rockets, 4 shotgun shells and a medikit. (sector 560)
- Once you have taken the red key, backtrack to the western alcove in the room with the three alcoves. Head up the stairs to the raised area again, and a wall to the north will have lowered, allowing access to a chainsaw. (sector 557)
Areas / screenshots
Routes and tricks
The records for the map on the Doomed Speed Demos Archive are:
The demonic "cracks" in this level seem to have an area of effect that is larger than their size. This is because the floors surrounding the cracks have been made damaging floors, but they do not have any flat commonly associated with damaging floors. This is another instance highlighting the separation between damaging sector types and flats commonly associated with damaging floors (such as lava or slime flats).
A side effect of this is that the cracks, having been set to sector type 8 (light oscillates), cannot have the sector type required to be a damaging floor. However, since they are so narrow, the player will not be able to stand in them, and will instead be hurt by the damaging effect of the surrounding areas.
Inspiration and development
- This is the first map John Romero created with a third-party editor (Doom Builder 2) rather than his own DoomEd.
- On September 30, 2016, John Romero released a walkthrough video of him playing through the level and commenting on its design.
- While the final room in the original Phobos Anomaly contained impassable linedefs confining the player to the centre of the room, such linedefs are absent in this level's final room.