Brothers Dario and Milo Casali, who had contributed four levels each to TNT: Evilution, were assigned the task of creating what became Plutonia (after having sent an 8-level WAD of their design to American McGee, and managing to impress him along with the rest of id Software). They created 16 levels each for Plutonia in four months' time, and submitted them in January 1996. Unlike their contributions to TNT: Evilution, which were edited after submission (four were also rejected due to being too large), these turned out to be the final revisions of the levels; Dario Casali later commented, relieved that no further changes were required, "thank God because I was ready to throw my computer out the window at the time".
Dario used DETH for his levels.
Compared to TNT: Evilution, Plutonia is considered much more difficult due to the influx of strong opposition in the earlier levels, massive amounts of said enemies in the later stages, especially on the Ultra-Violence difficulty, and level designs and effects that were against the regular norm (such as usage of invisible bridges). According to sources, the Casali brothers intended to make Plutonia harder than the usual Doom fare in order to challenge already battle-hardened players.
After Hell's catastrophic invasion of Earth, the global governments decide to take measures against any possible future invasion, knowing that the powers of Hell still remain strong. The UAC corporation is refounded under completely new management (the old trustees and stockholders are all dead in any case) and aims to develop tools that would prevent demonic invasions. It is said that the new UAC base is on one of Jupiter's moons, Io. UAC's scientists thought that this distance from Earth might prevent another catastrophic invasion.
UAC's scientists start working on quantum accelerator devices intended to close interdimensional gates and stop possible invasions. The experiments are carried out in a secret research complex, with a stationed detachment of marines. The work seems to be going well, but...
The creatures from Outside have their dire attention drawn towards the new research. A gate opens in the heart of the complex and unnatural horrors pour out. The quantum accelerator performs superbly — the gate is quickly closed and the invasion stopped. Research continues more boldly.
On the next day, a ring of seven gates opens and an even greater invasion begins. For one hour the quantum accelerators manage to close six of the gates... but the hellish army has become too numerous and too strong. The complex is overrun. Everyone is slain, or zombified. The last gate of Hell remains open, manned and guarded by a demon Gatekeeper.
The government, frantic that the quantum accelerator will be destroyed or used in some evil alien fashion against humanity, orders all marines to the site at once. The Doomguy is close to the site and gets there first. There he concludes that by the time reinforcements arrive that the demons will be too numerous and powerful.
The marine decides to enter the complex and stop the Gatekeeper alone.
As in Doom II, the levels can be divided up into three sets, defined by the skies and separated by a textual intermission in addition to the standard intermission screen; as well as two secret levels. Additional textual interludes appear before level 7, before each secret level, and at the conclusion of the game.
As with TNT, many of the levels in Plutonia were seemingly given a random name which does not match, or represent, the theme of the map, such as Congo, Aztec, Caughtyard, Impossible Mission, Neurosphere, and Odyssey of Noises. In fact, Doom 1 and 2 are the only two in the series where the maps are given a name based off of the theme of the level.
MAP01 to MAP06; initial Earth levels:
- Level 1: Congo
- Level 2: Well of Souls
- Level 3: Aztec
- Level 4: Caged
- Level 5: Ghost Town
- Level 6: Baron's Lair
MAP07 to MAP11; later Earth levels:
MAP12 to MAP20; hellish levels:
- Level 12: Speed
- Level 13: The Crypt
- Level 14: Genesis
- Level 15: The Twilight (Exit to secret level)
- Level 16: The Omen
- Level 17: Compound
- Level 18: Neurosphere
- Level 19: NME
- Level 20: The Death Domain
MAP21 to MAP30; devil-hive levels:
- Level 21: Slayer
- Level 22: Impossible Mission
- Level 23: Tombstone
- Level 24: The Final Frontier
- Level 25: The Temple of Darkness
- Level 26: Bunker
- Level 27: Anti-Christ
- Level 28: The Sewers
- Level 29: Odyssey of Noises
- Level 30: The Gateway of Hell
MAP31 and MAP32; secret levels:
The vast majority of the levels use a diamond-shaped teleport pad as the exit.
The Compet-n episode records for Plutonia are:
|UV Episode, MAP01-MAP10||10:38||Drew "stx-Vile" DeVore||2002-02-08||1038pl01.zip|
|UV Episode, MAP11-MAP20||12:28||Drew "stx-Vile" DeVore||2002-02-07||1228pl11.zip|
|UV Episode, MAP21-MAP30||13:52||Drew "stx-Vile" DeVore||2002-02-03||1352pl21.zip|
|UV Run||41:11||Drew "stx-Vile" DeVore||2002-02-11||30pl4111.zip|
|NM Episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|NM Episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|NM Episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV Max Episode, MAP01-MAP10||38:49||Vincent Catalaá||2005-02-25||3849pl01.zip|
|UV Max Episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|UV Max Episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV Max Run||174:33||Vincent Catalaá||2005-02-25||30plmax.zip|
|NS Episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|NS Episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|NS Episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV -fast Episode, MAP01-MAP10||1|
|UV -fast Episode, MAP11-MAP20||1|
|UV -fast Episode, MAP21-MAP30||1|
|UV -fast Run||1|
- Uncompleted as of the most recent Compet-n database update.
The Plutonia Experiment is contained in an IWAD file called PLUTONIA.WAD. It is 17420824 bytes in size and contains 2984 entries. It has the following hashes: