View Full Version : Does anyone have any tips for getting through levels on the nightmare difficulty?

08-15-2010, 09:55 PM
Hello i have been able to get through all of the levels including the secret ones on "ultra-violence" with either maximum kills items and secrets or near-maximum. Now im trying to do the nightmare difficulty but im having a hard time because it seems like the accuracy of the AI is increased a whole lot and so does the damage. Since i got through the entire game on UV without problem i thought i could handle nigthmare but i can barely get through the 1st level because of the 2 reasons mentionned above. Can anyone give me any tips for that difficulty ? I managed to get in 168th rank on the SP leaderboards while dealing with UV and i sure would like to be able to handle nightmare so i could get up the ranks even further. Thanks!

08-19-2010, 10:38 PM
"Are you sure? This skill level isn't even remotely fair."

True enough, but luckily for us, unfair and impossible are two entirely different things. In the very first release of Doom (v1.1, which I believe was shareware, only containing Knee Deep in the Dead), there were only four difficulties. Evidently some players felt that Ultra-Violence was too easy, so id created "Nightmare!" I'm not sure if they actually intended for it to actually be playable or not, but it sure as hell is and is actually the most fun I've had in a long time.

I've just recently started working my way through on this insane difficulty, and having just beaten Knee Deep in the Dead yesterday and slogging my way through the first half of The Shores of Hell today, I've got nothing on truly elite players like Ekudeht or ManInFlames (who currently hold the number one spot on the Doom and Doom II leaderboards, respectively), but hopefully I can be of at least some help to you.

First of all, it's important to know what you're dealing with. Monsters do in fact have improved AI, generally attacking you at the absolute first possible second rather than taking a few steps. They're also much faster (http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Fast_monsters) than usual; demons/pinkies and specters move and attack twice as fast and imps, cacos, and barons (as well as hell knights in Doom II) have had the speed of their projectiles increased - by 50%, 50%, and 33%, respectively.

And, of course, the hardest thing about Nightmare: respawning (http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Spawning) monsters. Oddly enough, there is no set timer on monster respawn. Instead, it's random, ranging from an estimated eight seconds to five minutes. Keep in mind that zombiemen, sergeants, imps, and (in Doom II) heavy weapon dudes and Nazis that you gib (http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Gib) with rockets, berserker, and the like will not respawn.

The final change from UV, surprisingly enough, works in your favor. The values of all ammo pickups are doubled. Although it's a little silly picking up a single rocket and getting two or four shells and getting eight, it not only allows you to more effectively deal with respawning monsters, but allows you to break out the big guns - rocket launcher, plasma rifle, and everyone's favorite, the BFG - more often. Those three guns are wonderful for getting through tight spots and finishing a level faster.

Now, this next bit might sound obvious, but save often. When you're playing on Nightmare, advancing to the next room can feel like a major victory, and you don't want to have to redo your hard work. Be careful about overwriting your old saves, though - you might find yourself in an impossible situation and want to rewind a little bit. As a general rule, I always keep a save at the beginning of the level I'm currently playing... just in case.

Perhaps slightly less obvious is the necessity to know the levels like the back of your hand, only much better. I'm not sure about you, but I don't actually know the back of my hand very well. ;) It's good to have a strategy planned out ahead of time so you don't have to muck your way through the same enemies again and again to go grab something you forgot earlier. I'm assuming you already know all the secrets if you're working on your leaderboard rank, but if not, make sure you do, especially the ones with mega armors or soulspheres.

Strafe (and run - hold down that left trigger!). If you keep moving, it's harder for monsters like sergeants to hit you, and obviously you want to dodge the relatively slow-moving imp, caco, and baron projectiles. You're going to take damage sooner or later, but the more you avoid, the better. Health is limited, and going back for medkits isn't usually an option unless you're heading that way anyway. Using corners and pillars is advantageous as well, and always know what's going on in a battle - if you let anyone sneak up behind you, you're pretty much done for. Remember to listen for the sound of respawning monsters - unless they were unaware of you or were infighting when they died, they'll come after you.

And that's another thing - infighting. If you can get monsters to kill each other, it's less work you have to do; it's also much faster and can allow you to ignore enemies as you carry on. In case you haven't taken advantage of this before, the trick is to get one monster in between you and another so that the one in back tries to hit you but gets his buddy instead. His buddy gets rather upset and turns around to kick his ass. In crowded rooms, you can run circles around groups to avoid fireballs and let monsters hit each other (demonstrated in the following video), although it's more dangerous if there are sergeants or heavy weapon dudes. Keep in mind, as well, that usually monsters of the same type can't damage or even fight with each other - the exceptions are hit-scan monsters (zombiemen, sergeants, heavy weapon dudes, Nazis) and lost souls.

YouTube- Doom II - MAP10 "Refueling Base" (Part 1 of 2)

Although this is a recording of Doom II on UV and it cuts off before the end of the level (there is a second part), it has a great example of monster infighting starting at about 1:20. As a bonus, Refueling Station has great music.

Practice makes perfect, right? I look at the higher scores on the leaderboards, and I can't imagine how it's possible to finish a level that quickly with 100% k/i/s, but it's been done. Don't try to do a max run your first time playing through on NM. A run like that will take a lot of work, and you should know every item you need to pick up/run over to get 100% items - if anyone can clarify which types of items these are, that would be awesome. I think it might be everything except weapons and ammo, but I'm not entirely certain.

Finally, don't get too frustrated when you die - and you WILL die. A lot. Nightmare is a completely ridiculous test of your skills as a gamer and your will to carry on. Most players simply ignore it in favor of UV. After all, there is a reason that beating a single level is an achievement! ;) If you do get stuck on a level you can't beat no matter how hard you try, check out Ryback's 100%S Ultimate Doom playlist (http://www.youtube.com/user/rybacksda#p/c/3AB9309FBD70DB4C). He's absurdly good at this game (holds several world records) and does all four episodes, including secret levels. On his channel, he also has a Doom II Nightmare speedrun. As nerdy as I'm sure this sounds, it was pretty fun to watch. :P

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself. Nightmare! is simply ludicrous, and few people are capable of winning. If you are one of those people, rejoice, good sir, for you are among the Doom elite.

09-29-2010, 04:01 AM
All I can say is good luck, since the enemies re-spawn, chances are you will run out of ammo a lot.

10-21-2010, 08:53 PM
All I can say is good luck, since the enemies re-spawn, chances are you will run out of ammo a lot.

You receive double ammo so it's actually not as much of an issue as you might think. You might run into a few rough spots early on - Slough of Despair (E3M2) in particular - but as long as you get through the levels quickly it's not a big deal.

12-02-2010, 05:05 PM
Slough of Despair is tricky enough on UV because it throws so many enemies at you in tight quarters before you've got much in the way or ammo reserves or weapons, on Nightmare it's a giant cockblock. Don't even get me started on E4M02 on Nightmare. >:(

08-11-2011, 05:58 AM
Stay away from Demons (Pinky's) at all costs! Use any weapon except the pistol and berserk fist. Dodge Projectiles as soon as you can. They've sped up a lot. Save every 30 seconds. If you do this, you should be good!