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E2M5: Command Center (Doom)

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This level occupies the map slot E2M5. For other maps which occupy this slot, see Category:E2M5.
Knee-Deep in the Dead
The Shores of Hell
Inferno
Thy Flesh Consumed

E2M5: Command Center is the fifth map of The Shores of Hell in Doom. It was designed by Sandy Petersen and uses the music track "Demons on the Prey." The par time is 1:30.

This level contains a secret exit leading to E2M9: Fortress of Mystery.

Walkthrough

E2m5dots

Map of E2M5

Letters in italics refer to marked spots on the map. Sector numbers in boldface are secrets which count toward the end-of-level tally.

Essentials

Whichever exit you are heading for, the map starts the same way:

From the start point (A), go through the first door. Make a hairpin turn in either direction and ascend the staircase in the corner, which leads you to a wide hallway. Go through the skull switch door at the right (west) end of this hallway, and follow the concrete passage down to an "H"-shaped green marble room (B).

Your path now diverges according to which exit you want.

Normal exit:

Continue southward, turn left, and cross a "T"-shaped hallway with columns. Beyond this is a wood-paneled area with skylights; walk forward and leftward to the next skull switch door, and enter a wood-paneled hallway (C). Ascend the spiral staircase and go through the door at the top. Take the left fork and go down the stairs into a trapezoidal room with some red pedestals (D). Exit to the right (east) through a slime-filled chamber — the radiation suit near the door can help here — and continue up the stairs to a flesh-toned room (E) full of sergeants and lost souls. Cross to the door directly ahead, which leads to the final area, a corridor of deep red stone. Turn right, then take your first left or right (avoiding the blue floor in front of you), and follow the red stone hallway around to the exit door (F).

Secret exit:

Immediately bear right and open the nearby skull switch door, revealing a small room with another skull switch inside. Activate the switch to raise a stairway before the fireplace in the northwest corner of the "H". Walk through the fire and into the hidden teleporter beyond. You will find yourself in a circular metal room (G). The lion-faced wall directly behind you can be opened to reveal another hidden teleporter. This takes you to the final hallway leading to the exit room (H).

Other points of interest

In the wide hallway near the start point, another skull switch door opens to the left (east). Beyond this is a green armor (I) along with several imps.

In the wide hallway near the start point, a third skull switch door opens to the south. Beyond this is a vine-covered room with an inner chamber (J) containing a backpack, a berserk pack, and a shell box. These are guarded by a demon (I'm too young to die and Hey, not too rough), a cacodemon (Hurt me plenty), or both (Ultra-Violence and Nightmare!).

Just south of the wide hallway is a largish outdoor area, containing various ammo pickups and a broad green column with a "baron skull" texture. Crossing to the south area of this room lowers the two wooden columns near the center; the western column reveals a chaingun (guarded by a baron of hell on UV and NM), while the eastern column holds a computer map (guarded by a baron of hell on HMP and higher). Note that the trigger line does not extend on to the short ledge overlooking the slime pool on either side, so it is possible to avoid the trap by tiptoeing along a ledge. If you fall into the slime, you can escape via the lifts in the north corners (K, L).

At the north end of the "T" hallway, the brightly lit region in front of the alien skull texture is a damaging floor.

If you exit the "T" hallway through either of the doors to the west, you will enter a vine-covered walkway overlooking a nukage river. Follow the walkway around to a square button on the wall (M), which opens a panel to reveal a second button. This button raises the gangway to the plasma gun (see secret #5 below).

If you exit the "T" hallway through either of the other two doors to the east, you will find a short, angular stone hallway containing a green armor and a blur artifact.

The wood-paneled area with skylights is connected to the chaingun area by a rectangular wooden room (N). The south end of this room contains a medikit, but approaching the medikit will automatically activate the door to the east, behind which waits a group of imps and (on HMP and higher) sergeants.

Instead of leaving at the top of the spiral staircase, continue down the wood-paneled hallway to the door at the end. Beyond this is a wide rectangular room (O) with a bullet box, a shell box, and at least two medikits. (On HMP and higher, watch for fireballs coming through the window from the vicinity of the normal exit.)

The blue-floored area near the normal exit offers you a bullet box and a blue armor. As you approach these, however, a trap opens directly ahead, releasing a pack of demons.

Secrets

  1. After going through the first door, head to the left side of the next room. Pick up or walk over the medikit here and a door will open, releasing three imps. A box of shells is inside. (sector 126)
  2. On the opposite end of the same room, walk over the pool of blood and another room will open, which also contains three imps and a box of shells. (sector 219)
  3. From the rectangular wooden room, enter the room with the group of imps and sergeants. To the left of the skull/candles decoration is a misaligned wall (P); activate it to get a chainsaw. (sector 8)
  4. As you reach the top of the spiral staircase, a room in the center of the staircase will open (Q). It contains a radsuit, a medikit, a demon, and (on HMP and higher) a lost soul. (sector 11)
  5. After passing through the door at the top of the spiral staircase, take the right fork. Go down the stairs into a nukage-filled tunnel (the radsuit from secret #4 can help here). Follow the tunnel all the way around to an ammo clip sitting in the slime in front of a misaligned wall (R). As you pick up the clip, the wall will open, revealing a further tunnel leading to a caged baron of hell (sector 188). Beyond him is a semicircular slime pool with a plasma gun on a platform in the center (S), guarded by a group of imps and sergeants; the platform may not be immediately accessible (see "Other points of interest" above). A shortcut back to the start area is provided by a teleporter in the southwest part of the pool.
  6. In the plasma gun area, a second hidden alcove in the northwest part of the slime pool contains a bulk cell. (sector 229)
  7. On the way to the secret exit, the area immediately behind the fireplace counts as a secret. (sector 186)
  8. On the way to the secret exit, the first circular metal room counts as a secret. (sector 238)
  9. On the way to the secret exit, the second circular metal room counts as a secret. (sector 234)
  10. At the secret exit, the switch room itself counts as a secret. (sector 121)

Bugs

The chainsaw can sometimes be picked up without opening the secret door. This occurs more often if the player wallruns along the north wall (sidedef 222).

Demons can open the outer door to the backpack/berserk area (sector 91), even though that side of the door is a linedef type that monsters are not permitted to activate.

Each doorway in the rectangular wooden room (linedefs 184, 1045, and 1059) is tagged to the two-baron trap. However, they have no associated actions, so they do not actually do anything.

The door of secret #1 also uses the same tag number as the two-baron trap. Though the triggers for this door do not prevent the baron trap from working (and vice versa), if the player activates the door after having already activated the baron trap, the ceilings of the sectors containing the barons will lower to the nearest adjacent ceiling.

Two pillars containing one baron each (plus a computer map) are found in the middle room. However, in the PlayStation/Saturn ports, only one of the pillars actually comes down. It order for the other one to fall, the player has to stand on the north end of the pillar and fire singular shots from either the pistol or chaingun; doing so will automatically aim at the baron who is still sealed away (usually evidenced by droplets of blood falling down). Killing it will cause the pillar to finally come down.

Linedef 590 has both its upper and lower textures on the wrong side. This creates minor "bleeding" effects at the floor and ceiling of the step, one from each side, although these are unlikely to be noticed at game speed (the height differences are only 8 units).

Linedef 1027 has its upper texture on the wrong side. This creates an obvious anomaly when the player turns to look back down the passage, whose stone slab texture (CEIL3_5) appears to roll beneath the ceiling of the cacodemon area.

The following actions may trigger the blockmap bug:

  • Reaching the end of secret #2 and turning to fire at pursuing monsters.
  • Shooting into the chaingun room along the eastern staircase.

There are 7 known anomalies in this level's REJECT table.

Demo files

Areas / screenshots

Speedrunning

Routes and tricks

This map has no locked doors or puzzles between the start point and the normal exit, so a straight speedrun need only choose a path between the wide hallway and the wood-paneled area with skylights. The chaingun room turns out to be the most direct. [1] [2] [3] [4] Although firing a few bullets helps by shaking certain monsters out of the way (particularly in the chaingun room and with the demon in the slime chamber), it is not necessary that they connect, and pacifist submissions are common for both the UV and NM categories. Wallrunning up the stairs to the flesh-toned room, and northward in the final red hallway, occurs in the newest Compet-n entries. In NM speed mode, Adam Williamson advises opening the south door of the chaingun room at the dead center and leaping backward as it opens, to keep those fast demons dormant for a fraction of a second longer. [5]

For a UV speed run to the secret exit, take the most straightforward approach by killing the first sergeant and picking up the shells just before the "H" room. [6] In NM speed, it is actually faster to grab the berserk pack first and punch everybody [7], although this may injure you sufficiently that you are holding your breath in secret #8. [8] If you use this method in UV speed, note that your final elapsed time may depend sensitively on how many punches each demon requires. [9]

The following sequence is recommended for UV max.

  • Take the first shotgun you see, clear the adjoining rooms and pick up the green armor, and start the two barons fighting with the nearby cacodemons.
  • Enter the "H" room from the north and go to the secret exit. [10] (Some players put off clearing the second room until after this part, so that infighting can occur in the meantime. [11])
  • Pick up the chaingun and use it on the sergeants in the plasma gun area. [12]
  • Use the plasma gun on the three barons you've awoken (it is by far the fastest option among the weapons available).
  • Kill the troopers, and the sergeants in the flesh-toned room, with the chaingun.
  • Use up your remaining cells on the way to the normal exit.

Compet-n demos in this category have used more and more punching as the years pass (it has a higher damage rate than the chaingun and shotgun after all). This tends to conserve bullets sufficiently to make the chainsaw irrelevant, so it is harmless to collect it on the final pass. Because you teleport back to the start point twice, secrets #1 and #2 need not be opened immediately, although most players do so for the extra ammunition. The demon guarding the blur artifact can also be confronted at any of several times; many players conserve health by being invisible in secret #8, which also reduces the route's length slightly, as the plasma gun button is closer to the blur artifact than to the chaingun.

NM100S runs typically require frequent short detours to health pickups — there are no soul spheres here, and the blue armor is about as far out of the way as it can be. [13] That said, common sense argues against traveling to the normal exit, since there are no secret sectors in that direction:

  • Kill the first sergeant as above.
  • Go to the blur artifact/green armor via the "H" room, then press the plasma gun button.
  • Collect secrets #4, #5, and #6.
  • Collect secrets #1, #2, and #3.
  • Leave via the secret exit.

In the fastest Compet-n entries, the overall tactical principle is to kill as few opponents as possible until after returning to the start area; it will be faster and safer to use cells later. [14] Some players do not bother to kill the imps in the "H" room in any case, relying on evasive maneuvers and infighting to get them in and out of the switch room expeditiously.

To complete a speedy UV -fast run, take the UV max route, although its duration will end up longer because it is simply too unsafe to punch that many zombies and groups of demons (which leads to a lot of shotgun usage at the beginning). Also, preemptive kills of lost souls are encouraged to prevent attacks from behind. [15]

This map is a natural fit for the UV -respawn style because the start room must be re-entered in order to get 100% secrets. In addition to bypassing large monsters (even to the extreme of not picking up the chaingun), Compet-n players tend to spend extra time firing through the window on the spiral staircase in order to clear the trooper room twice, and then avoid the region of the normal exit entirely. It is also seen [16] that the detour to the plasma gun button is compensated by the increased damage rate on the second trip through the northern areas; when you have no more cells, it is about time to head for the exit. [17]

The footwork of the best Tyson players allows them quite generally to use the berserk fist much more often than in the George Bell era. In this case, the UV max route was soon adopted, which cut the world record time by almost half. [18] Because 100% kills can be obtained without going anywhere near the secret exit, a third trip through the start area becomes unnecessary; the chaingun room and the "H" room should therefore be cleared immediately to reduce backtracking. For maximum efficiency, kill the barons as soon as they are released, by hitting them from behind during infighting. There is no broad agreement on when to enter the trooper room; do it whenever you most need the medikits. [19]

Although the relative infrequency of zombie encounters makes the chainsaw a slight detour, it is often used against cacodemons to conserve health. [20] [21] A related refinement, introduced by Xit Vono [22], is to open the chainsaw trap before attacking any of the nearby demons; by the time you close on the humanoids, a fair amount of infighting has occurred. This saves time by not using the pistol, and saves health by not charging as many sergeants and not having to deal with the lost souls at the blur artifact.

Pacifist runs to the normal exit use the UV speed route without issue. For the secret exit, the key step is unclogging the switch room next to the stairs: Compet-n's consensus is to open the door and trot straight backward, trusting that fireballs will strike the first few demons and draw them aside. In p2m5s043 (June 22, 1999), Adam Williamson reasons that having a lot of demons in the switch room delays one's pressing the switch, while having a lot of demons in the "H" room delays one's reaching the stairs afterward, and concludes that baiting three demons is the best compromise. In later demos, however, Williamson and others achieved even faster times with two demons. [23] While thus engaged, it is also more trouble than it is worth to reopen the door yourself: one must weave around the room a little to keep the imps reasonably spread out. [24]

Although every Compet-n submission arrives at the "H" room via the chaingun room, because of the imp in the narrow passage, it has been shown in UV speed that said imp is capable of walking away from the player if the door is opened far off center to the left. This trick may depend sensitively on the index of P_Random, however. [25] The movements of the lost souls in secret #8 are assumed to be completely unpredictable. [26]

Current records

The Compet-N records for the map are:

RunTimePlayerDateFileNotes
UV speed (normal exit)00:27Adam Hegyi2001-02-07e2m5-027.zip
UV speed (secret exit)00:24Jonathan Rimmer2000-08-03e2m5s024.zip
NM speed (normal exit)00:28Ranjo "Mummi" Kahluff2002-12-29n2m5-028.zip
NM speed (secret exit)00:44Xit Vono2003-02-28n2m5s044.zip
UV max04:35Radek Pecka2003-06-23e2m5-435.zip
NM100S01:53Radek Pecka2002-09-26n2s5-153.zip
UV -fast05:37Radek Pecka2002-09-26f2m5-537.zip
UV -respawn03:47Radek Pecka2000-08-26r2m5-347.zip
UV Tyson05:13Xit Vono2003-05-24t2m5-513.zip
UV pacifist (normal exit)00:27Adam Hegyi2001-07-02e2m5-027.zip
UV pacifist (secret exit)00:24Jonathan Rimmer2000-08-03e2m5s024.zip

Deathmatch

Statistics

Map data

Things326
Vertexes1109
Linedefs1353
Sidedefs1710
Sectors241

Things

MonstersITYTD and HNTRHMPUV and NM
Barons of Hell124
Cacodemons156
Demons101626
Imps242740
Lost souls81726
Sergeants122222
Troopers141414
PowerupsITYTD and HNTRHMPUV and NM
Armor bonuses313131
Backpacks111
Berserk packs111
Blue armors111
Computer maps111
Green armors222
Health bonuses666
Invisibilities111
Light goggles100
Medikits1188
Radiation suits222
Stimpacks111111
WeaponsITYTD and HNTRHMPUV and NM
Chainsaws111
Chainguns111
Plasma guns111
AmmunitionITYTD and HNTRHMPUV and NM
Ammo clips999
Bullet boxes333
Shells999
Shell boxes766
Rockets222
Rocket boxes111
Energy cells222
Bulk cells222

Inspiration and development

Trivia

The switch texture with the red on top and the green on the bottom (SW1STON1) makes its only appearance here as an exit switch, although it is used as a normal switch elsewhere in this episode.

In single-player mode, this map contains 8 rockets (16 on I'm too young to die and Nightmare!) but no rocket launcher.

The PlayStation and Saturn version of Command Center is heavily edited with several portions of the level removed (the long, vine-ridden nukage area, for example) and does not include the original secret exit to E2M9: Fortress of Mystery . It also contains a Radiation Suit that, for all intents and purposes, is worthless.

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