Hello everyone, and welcome to my Doom 64 Be Gentle Any% run! This run aims to complete the game on Be Gentle, the easiest difficulty, as quickly as possible. This run clocks in at 32:38 RTA timing (difficulty select to loss of control on the last level) and should be just a few seconds shorter for SDA timing.
I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions to this run in one way or another:
Graviton: He did a lot of research and found many of the tricks and strats used for both this run and the Watch Me Die category, not to mention always helped me with strats and support.
Peaches: Thanks goes to him for being the first runner I saw for this game and showcasing the WMD run at previous GDQs, he also gave some good support when I was learning the run.
Garrison: He found some key clips long ago and has been just a chill guy to talk with.
IcySpeedruns: He found the Gate Clipping trick detailed below not too long ago, definitely a big find.
WinDEU: A great friend of mine, he helped motivate me when I was first starting out on this by doing some fun races together.
Neutral Reset: The D64 engine does not have a hardcoded limit on Doomguy's speed so the only limit is how far I can push the control stick. By holding the control stick all the way down and pushing L+R+Start to lock that position as neutral, letting go of the stick makes the game think I am holding up, and then actually holding up tells the game I'm going twice as up which increases my speed significantly.
Control Mapping: The default controls are quite awful, but thankfully I can remap all the necessary functions to convenient places:
- Use to R
- Strafe Left to C-Left
- Strafe Right to C-Right
- Map to D-Pad Down (just moving it out of the way)
- Run to L
- Backwards to C-Up
I then use a hairband wrapped around my controller to keep L held through the duration of the run and reset my Neutral Reset position more easily for a couple of tricks. Since I cannot move backwards with the stick due to Neutral Reset, I have Backwards mapped to C-Up so I can back up at run speed as needed.
SR40: Strafe-running by holding forward and pushing Strafe Left or Strafe Right to run diagonally.
SR50: Strafe-running by doing above plus holding Strafe On and left or right on the stuck to get a double-strafe, cannot turn while doing this so it is only used a couple of times.
Monster Routing: There are two main reasons I will kill monsters:
- Monsters will block my path at one point or another if I don't kill them
- Killing certain monsters will trigger events that are necessary to advance
Spawn Blocking: Some enemies will spawn in specific spots after activating an event trigger. If I place myself over the spawn point when that happens, the enemy will fail to spawn.
Trigger Skips: Running over a floor trigger at a fast enough speed and good angle can cause the trigger to fail, which can be both good (skipping enemies) or bad (skipping triggers that make floors rise and fall).
Scripts: Some events have timed scripts running and cease when the timer runs out. Because only one script can be active at a time, we can abuse a scripted event in a couple of levels to prevent other scripts from activating during that time.
Key Clipping: Similar to PC Doom games, running into a wall at a high enough speed can partially clip you into the wall for a short period before getting pushed back out. We can use this to our advantage to grab some keys that barely sit out of reach on pedestals and skip some events.
Gate Clipping: If we manage to cause enough lag, the game will fail collision detection for a frame before catching up. By running diagonally at a gate edge and firing the Super Shotgun into a nearby wall, we can get enough speed to push through the fence during that one frame and clip to the other side.
Fist - Short range, never runs out of ammo (obviously) and powers up with a Berserk pickup, almost never used in either speedrun category.
Chainsaw - Slight upgrade to the fist, still never used.
Pistol - Default weapon that does almost no damage, never worth using except for hitting wall switches or waking up monsters in a casual playthrough.
Shotgun - Good for killing Zombiemen, Shotgun Guys, and Imps during the earlygame but is quickly outclassed by the Super Shotgun.
Super Shotgun - The main workhorse for most of the game, one-shots weaker enemies and creates lag when fired close range at walls (good for a few tricks, bad when fighting).
Chaingun - Rapid-fire weapon that's good for weaker enemies or stunning Lost Souls, not used much in Be Gentle due to having more ammo for the Plasma Gun.
Rocket Launcher - Powerful and fairly quick weapon that's good for handling stronger enemies, difficult to use in close quarters due to the splash damage.
Plasma Gun - Fires rapid bolts of electricity, stronger but slower than the chaingun, generally good but has problems targeting airborne enemies at close range due to the angle the shots get fired.
BFG 9000 - The most powerful weapon in the game with some interesting mechanics. A large plasma ball is fired and the game remembers which angle the shot was fired at. After the ball explodes and does its initial damage, a swarm of invisible tracers fire from Doomguy's position in a cone using the original angle and the current position. Great for crowd control or dealing with Cyberdemons at point blank range.
Unmaker - A strange weapon that fires single lasers and is upgraded with Demon Artifacts from the secret levels. Since we acquire it so late and never get any upgrades, it is useless for a run.
1 - Staging Area: About average for this stage, just some minor bumps and hangups on walls here and there.
2 - The Terraformer: First try Blue Key clip is really nice, then I hit the switch to trigger the Blue Key puzzle and start a script to prevent a crusher script from activating in the hallway leading to the Red Key. Second try Yellow Key clip is reasonable, some bumping on enemies near the end could have been avoided.
3 - Main Engineering: Not sure why that first spawned Nightmare Imp gave me so much trouble. Enemy-based triggers start appearing here: Killing the two Lost Souls is necessary to spawn the Yellow Key and killing the two Nightmare Imps in the final hallway raises the exit switch. Overall, an acceptable level.
4 - Holding Area: I missed getting straight onto the ledge in the outside area and got stuck a bit, could save a few seconds there.
5 - Tech Center: Bad maze and I got stuck in a crusher in the blue hall due to poor movement. The Blue Key is the worst key to get in the game due to the pit being easy to run right over, I didn't get the 0-cycle but waiting only 1 cycle on the crusher is fine. Everything else not mentioned went okay.
6 - Alpha Quadrant: Save for one mishap at the very end, this went well. Killing the Hell Knight in the large pillar room causes more enemies to block off the path so I avoid it as best I can while making the jumps. Unfortunately, I accidentally skipped a trigger early on and the elevator leading to the exit was blocked by a floor that didn't rise so I had to go back and trigger it, costing about 5 seconds.
7 - Research Lab: Didn't get the trigger skip for the Lost Souls but otherwise this level went fine.
8 - Final Outpost: First gate clip of the run, I was in a bad position for the first couple of shots and had to set up again, can definitely save 5 seconds by getting the clip immediately.
9 - Even Simpler: All of the necessary fighting went great, including spawn blocking a Baron on the last wave. Fumbled a bit getting to the exit though, I blame slippery controls.
10 - The Bleeding: Some bumping underground and I took more damage than I would have liked, but otherwise this was solid. If you're wondering why I seemingly look at a random demon face on a wall, pressing it lowers the stairs to the BFG.
11 - Terror Core: Grabbed the Berserk to compensate for low health but bad Hell Knight RNG chewed it up unfortunately. There are a lot of potential trigger skips that cause problems with rising and lower floors so I was relieved nothing went wrong and the rest of the level went well.
12 - Altar of Pain: A large SR50 jump is used to jump straight from the top of the castle to a blocked off area early and skip most of the level. I flicked the control stick badly when attempting the jump the first time and bumped into both the wall and the imp waiting below, so it cost me about 8 seconds to get it set back up but it was better than falling off the castle and having to go all the way back around.
13 - Dark Citadel: Triggering the Blue Key script makes the switch behind the Blue Gates unhitable so I clear out a couple of Imps on the way to reduce lag. There was some bad bumping in the library but otherwise this level was good.
14 - Eye of the Storm: Only things of note are that all of the Hell Knights at the beginning need to die to summon the Blue Key and there is a floor trigger to raise the switch in the crossroads room. This was pretty much a flawless run of the level, really nice.
15 - Dark Entries: Another solid level, the key clip is always consistent if you're running top speed out of the teleporter.
16 - Blood Keep: Minor movement flubs falling off the elevator and slime platforms, otherwise good level.
17 - Watch Your Step: I missed spawning some energy pickups going to the crossroads room and had to compensate for this later on in the run but it wasn't a huge deal. The arena portion of the map went mostly well, first Hell Knight didn't die as fast as he should have but I didn't get kicked out of a spawn block on the next wave so it's fine. Cyberdemon went extremely well to finish the level off.
18 - Spawned Fear: Bad Lost Soul room at the beginning was made up for with a quick setup on the Red Key window jump. I got blocked from the last elevator on my way back from the Yellow Key and had to waste some time reactivating it but everything else went okay.
19 - The Spiral: Nothing of note, could cut the corners a bit tighter and save a couple of seconds.
20 - Breakdown: One of the quirks of the Doom engine is how height is handled on what is technically a 2D engine. The downside of this is that enemies all the way above or below you can block your path, but the upside is we can trick the game to let us activate the Blue Key pedestal by firing from below and skip having to run upstairs. The Red Key room can't be left until all the Pinkies die and I didn't get the best RNG from them so I had to chase a couple down with the SSG. Despite that, this was another strong level with a really clean maze area and ending.
21 - Pitfalls: Had a little trouble getting to the hallway teleporter, not getting the Blue Key clip lost me a few seconds but got me some energy back so it balances out a bit.
22 - Burnt Offerings: Nothing of note other than some enemies getting in the way a few times, definitely could save a few extra seconds with better RNG.
23 - Unholy Temple: Second Arachnotron didn't die in one shot (thanks damage RNG) but was offset by all the Spectres getting killed quickly on the second floor. I get only three tries to skip floor triggers for an early Yellow Key so skipping the second trigger is acceptable enough. Those two silly falls in the switch press room were really dumb but the rest of the level went okay.
24 - No Escape: Lost some time losing my grip on the stick while setting up an SR50 gate clip, could save 6-7 seconds there. Another good Cyberdemon fight helps pad that mistake at least.
28 - The Absolution: Solid last level, no complaints.
This run is by no means perfect but it's a solid start for an SDA submission. The controls are rather slippery when moving at such fast speeds and it's easy to lose control and a bunch of time at literally any possible moment. That being said, this run is fairly solid with all the really major tricks hit and most of the levels played well. I plan to improve this run to sub-32 in the future but for now I'm signing off.