Dreams of Doom

Remember Doom, the biggest FPS video game of the Nineties? I found myself exploring a rather busy level that was not in any of the games I played. Might have been a custom WAD.

In this level, I could see nine circular platforms separated by vast gulfs, stretching off to the right. Each contained dozens of monsters, active but trapped behind invisible panels on big pillars like pedestals. There was a platform behind me, and a glowy skull switch that I had to shoot to activate to raise the first land bridge to grant me access to the first circle.

And then the Cyberdemons appeared.

There were two of them, the big hulking bastards that fire rockets at you. But they weren't alone. This version of the game had two new kinds of Cyberdemon - a smaller cousin, just the head, arms and upper torso, fused to the front of one of those small spidery Arachnotrons like some weird centaur with the Arachnotron's brain exposed behind the Minidemon like some bizarre camel's hump, able to fire one rocket for every three their regular size cousins could fire; and then a truly colossal King Megademon with a rocket pod, dwarfing the Cyberdemons with footsteps like the fall of asteroids on cities, able to shoot six rockets simultaneously, three from each side. King Megademon could also apparently fire one rocket at a time, three from the right and three from the left, or fire the top two, middle two and bottom two; the firing pattern was never completely predictable, except that if you did manage to injure it - and at 10,501 hit points a fresh one could even survive a telefragging attempt - it would always respond immediately with a full six-rocket broadside against the aggressor, as I saw when it turned an Archvile into bloody stumps.

And they were all behind me, advancing along the land bridge. I could either fight them or fight the creature in front of me and raise the next land bridge and outrun them.

Or maybe hide behind a pillar and let the monster try and pick a fight with King Cyber and then run across the next land bridge. H'mm. I never thought of that.

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