Doom 64 is, as the name implies, the N64 version of the seminal id first person shooter, Doom. Pretty much everyone in their right mind (at least anyone who is reading this) has played and beaten Doom and Doom 2, or at least is very familiar with the game and its enemies, weapons, etc. Doom has been ported to almost every platform known to man so an N64 version was not a shocking reveal. The true shock is that this version is its own proper game. All new maps, redrawn weapon and enemy sprites, and a completely original dark ambient soundtrack.
The old Doom soundtrack was handled by Bobby Prince, and he's responsible for most of the Doom music we know and love. Ok, actually Pantera, Metallica, and Alice in Chains are responsible for the Doom music we know and love but that's beside the point. Due to drama, id needed new soundtracks for the PSX and N64 versions of Doom and to that end one Aubrey Hodges stepped forward and produced a dark ambient masterpiece.
Really, the soundtrack is great. The best track is for map 20, Breakdown, but we'll get there when we get there.
Good old Wikipedia, source of all internet knowledge, lets me know that the original game was supposed to just be called The Absolution and include all of the Doom 2 monsters and even a few extra levels but cuts had to be made and brand recognition won out so we got the bland but effective title, Doom 64.
The Absolution name lives on, however, in the lovingly crafted fan remake of Doom 64 called...the Absolution. It is a total conversion of Doom using the Doomsday engine source port. If you want to try out this game, that's certainly the easiest way to do so. Consequently, the PC version includes a few extra maps, and a few new monsters as well as a few particular tweaks to the levels. As the levels were recreated by hand (instead of copied from a ROM dump for instance), there are many little details that are off and pick at the soul of a Doom 64 purist like myself. For this reason, as well as masochism, we will be playing through Doom 64 on a real N64 and playing on Watch Me Die - the Doom 64 equivalent of Ultra-Violence.
If you are interested in watching an LP of the PC version, the Absolution, you can find one here by CyRaptor.
This game also happens to be extremely dark, even at max brightness. The videos are pretty much as bright as they are going to get so make sure to watch in a darkened room.
VideosNote: The first two parts were recorded live and edited down due to the taxing nature of Hectic. Other parts, unless noted, are recorded first, then commentary is added later.
The starting weapons. The Pistol is accurate when fired and bursts but very weak otherwise. The fist attack is even more useless unless you've picked up a Berserk pack to increase unarmed damage by ten fold. The pistol hits for 5-15 damage per shot and the fist hits for 2-20 per hit. As mentioned, this last number increases to 20-200 damage when a berserk pack has been picked up.
The double chainsaw, twice as awesome as a single chainsaw, is mostly used to stunlock pink demons and specters to death as its high rate of "fire" prevents them from escaping. Naturally, this weapon doesn't use any ammo. The actual damage from the chainsaw is a random number between 4 and 40, approximately 8 times a second.
The shotgun will be soon outclassed by its bigger brother, but until we find one of those, the plentiful ammo and good damage it does makes the shotgun very useful. A single shot sends out 7 pellets at 5-15 damage each for a total of 35-105 damage if all of the shots connect.
The super shotgun is the best weapon in the game due to its utility. It has the stopping power necessary to tackle the medium and high tier monsters as well as an abundant source of ammunition. Each blast fires off 20 pellets that each do 5-15 damage resulting in a possible 100-300 damage when all of the pellets connect against the target.
The chaingun is a very fast firing weapon that uses bullets, just like the pistol. Also like the pistol, it is much more accurate when fired in bursts. This has to do with the fact that the first bullet out of the gun is always aimed dead center and subsequent bullets are subject to an increasing spread of inaccuracy. The chaingun is also very good at using all of your bullet-type ammo up very quickly since it fires at 10 shots per second.
The Rocket Launcher has approximately the same stopping power as the super shotgun. The rocket itself hits enemies for 20-160 direct damage. This number is randomized. The splash damage, which is between 0-128 damage is based the number of map units from the center of the explosion an onject is with the damage falling off 1 to 1 with map units. So, if you shoot a rocket at the wall in front of you and you're standing 64 map units away, you'll take 64 damage.
The Plasma Gun in Doom 64 is a vast improvement over the ear-splitting vacuum cleaner design from Doom 2. It is now sleek and blue and has quite a euphonic firing sound effect. The rate of fire is a guesstimate based on the fact that it fires a tad bit slower than its Doom 2 cousin. Unfortunately, this gun's utility is greatly diminished by the other two weapons that share its ammo type.
The BFG 9000 is one of the most memorable weapons from Doom and Doom 2 and also one of the most unique. Its firing pattern and damage calculation are quite complex. The initial projectile hits for 100-800 damage and then, at the point of impact, 40 invisible tracer rays are spawned from the player's current position and fan out towards the direction the blast was initially fired. Each tracer does between 49 and 87 damage and can penetrate multiple targets making this a very powerful weapon that requires a bit of finesse to use properly. In Doom 64, the BFG works in much the same way although I can't confirm the specifics regarding the damage values and tracer rays. The info above is for the Doom 2 version of the gun for what it's worth.
The Unmaker is the best weapon in the game with higher DPS and more utility than even the BFG. It fires faster and more accurately than the plasma gun with approximately the same damage per shot. It also has the benefit of becoming more powerful the more demon artifacts you have (we'll be getting more soon). The first artifact increases the rate of fire to about 7/sec, the second to 14/sec and the final artifact increases it to a whopping 21/sec. The Unmaker is actually from the original Doom design document called thre Doom Bible, the relevant entry can be found here. As you can see, the weapon was originally powered by killing former humans or "hell slaves". This functionality was worked into the Soul Cube, one of the new weapons exclusive to Doom 3 (which is actually a remake of Doom 1...confusing, no?).
Zombiemen, or Former Humans, are the most basic enemies in Doom and come in two varieties in Doom 64. The first is the pistol wielding version found here.
The second type of zombie is the shotgun guy or sargeant type that is, naturally, equipped with a shotgun. Unlike their Doom counterparts, the shotgun guys in Doom 64 apparently have a higher attack power which makes them quite dangerous. In Doom 2, there was a third type of former human called the Heavy Weapons Dude that toted a chaingun, but they were unfortunately cut from this version of Doom.
The original Doom monsters were photographs (scanned and retouched) of clay models, but the Doom 64 versions are based off of high res 3D models that were then scaled down into the appropriate sprites. The redesigned imp has more spiky bits and a face somewhere between Raziel from Soul Reaver and Fulgore from Killer Instinct.
Functionally the only new enemy in Doom 64, the nightmare imp is a little disappointing in that it is just a translucent blue imp with slightly faster fireballs. Ho-hum.
Another iconic Doom monster, the pink demon (or pinky or bull demon) is much larger and, for my money, more fearsome in Doom 64. They still can't handle the stunlocking properties of the chainsaw, though.
Yet another iconic Doom monster, the Cacodemon is the beholder-like floating eyeball of death that contents itself with throwing fireballs in your general direction. The Doom 64 variation of the Cacodemon has been redesigned to be more like the Doom 2 Pain Elemental insofar as its brown skin. The other major difference is that the Doom 64 version actually has hands.
The monster with the most significant and terrifying change from Doom 2 is the Pain Elemental. Originally just floating brown blobs that spit out lost souls, the Doom 64 variants are abominations that spit out two lost souls at a time. The uncanny valley is in full effect here, with the elements of a face becoming distorted into a wrong whole not unlike if Francis Bacon decided to get into Cubism.
The Hell Knight is the little cousin of the Baron and was added into Doom 2 in order to buff up the number of mid-tier monsters that would be ideal to fight with the then newly introduced super shotgun. Three super shotgun blasts will kill one of these guys. The only mid-tier monster that didn't make the cut in Doom 64 is the Revenant, so we don't have to worry about dodging homing missiles.
The Baron originally appeared as the boss of the first episode of Doom, i.e. Knee Deep in the Dead. Internally at id, they were known as the bruiser brothers as a weird parody of the hammer brothers from Mario. They are the first high tier enemy in the game and can tank quite a bit of damage. In Doom 64, they are considered a different species than the Hell Knight and can infight with their green cousins.
The Mancubus, which, by the way, is a great and silly monster name, is mostly unchanged from their Doom 2 cousins. Like all of the Doom 64 monsters, they've been redesigned. Now they sport awesome metal bandolier/harness thingies and their fireballs look a bit more like rockets. They shoot 3 volleys of 2 fireballs (total of 6...yay math) each time they attack.
The Arachnotron in Doom 64 has been given quite a facelift, most notable they look interesting and creepy instead of cheesy. The Doom 2 versions of the Arachnotrons are a lot more Krang-esque than the 64 versions, but I digress.
The Lost Soul in Doom 64 is much more vicious and dangerous than their Doom 2 counterparts. Firstly, they charge at you twice as fast and as often. Fortunately for our Marine, they are also the only enemy to have a 100% pain chance, which means anything and everything will stun them - potentially knocking them out of a charge. The Lost Souls are also special with regards to infighting in that they will only retaliate once before returning to torment the player as well as being capable of attacking their own species. To offset their improvements, their health has thankfully been cut in half for Doom 64 meaning they can be felled in a single shotgun blast if necessary.
One of Doom's most famous monsters, if not the most famous, the Cyberdemon is found very rarely in Doom 64. It fires a volley of three rockets from its arm-mounted rocket launcher, each of which are capable of nearly killing a player with 200 health and armor. The splash damage on the rockets ranges from 0-128, but this number is based on distance so a direct hit will always inflict the full 128 splash damage in addition to whatever the Random Number Gods have deemed for the damage from the rocket itself (which ranges from 20-160).
The Mother Demon is the last boss and the final unique enemy in Doom 64. She has four arms and an unknown collection of vestigial legs, but mostly just floats around menacingly while spewing homing rockets and fire trails that upon impact cause you to fly into the air much like the Arch-viles' fire attack from Doom 2. She is extremely easy with a fully powered Flesh Rifle and extremely difficult without.