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Doom Missions That Are Practically Impossible

When it comes to iconic video game series, it's hard to beat the cultural significance of a franchise like Doom. This long-running series of chaotic shooters is known for a lot of things. The original game is known for birthing the entire first-person-shooter genre, inspiring decades of brand new games that explored a three-dimensional world of running and gunning as no other game couldThe visceral feeling of running through a fully immersive, first-person world like that was absolutely groundbreaking at the time, and that visceral gameplay was complemented by the nightmarish Demons and beasts you fight in each game.

Of course, there's something else the Doom series is known for, and that's being incredibly difficult and challenging. Standard Doom maps can be a breeze if you're experienced with the genre, but pump the game up to it's highest difficulty and things can quickly turn into a hectic, nigh-impossible challenge. With that, here are some of the toughest battles in the entire franchise.

Hell Beneath is stingy with the health packs

The toughest maps in the Doom series tend to earn their status by cranking up the number of enemies you face or by throwing plenty of super-powerful demons at you at once. Other times, maps will be notoriously difficult for their wild layouts or frustrating puzzles. One particularly challenging map from the original Doom, though, has earned its title as one of the hardest levels in the entire series for one very specific reason: the absence of health packs.

E4M1: Hell Beneath is the first map of the "Thy Flesh Consumed" chapter of The Ultimate Doom, and was designed by iconic game designer American McGee. On paper, this is a pretty short and standard map where you find a couple of colored keys, fight through an arena, and make a swift exit. When playing this map on Ultra-Violence, though, there are absolutely zero medikits or stimpacks to pick up. The issue of having no health pickups is only exacerbated by the massive hordes of enemies and multiple Barons of Hell you fight in this level, making it one of the most difficult challenges of the entire series.

Perfect Hatred is a little cramped

One map from The Ultimate Doom has consistently proven to be one of the most frustrating areas of the entire game. E4M2: Perfect Hatred is the second map of the chapter "Thy Flesh Consumed," and was designed by Doom godfather himself, John Romero. Interestingly enough, this level took the least amount of time for Romero to design out of all the maps in Doom and Doom 2, as the acclaimed game designer started developing it at midnight and wrapped the entire thing up at 6 a.m.

Don't let the brisk nature of Romero's design schedule fool you, though. You'll likely be spending just as much time — if not more — simply trying to beat this map. Perfect Hatred is made up of a lot of compact areas with open ceilings and barely any cover, meaning you will always be alerting swarms of nearby demons. Fending these hordes of Imps and Cacodemons off in close quarters is hard enough, but having to do it while also navigating incredibly precise platform jumps to avoid pools of lava below you turns this map into an absolute nightmare.

Barrels o' Fun isn't much fun at all

While the original Doom has plenty of frustrating maps, the beloved sequel Doom 2 has just as many scream-inducing challenges for you to conquer. Take, for example, MAP23: Barrels o' Fun.

As if it weren't obvious from the name of the map alone, this level is cluttered with countless barrels at every turn. Some of these barrels are purely decorative, but many of them are explosive barrels that can, and will, detonate right in your face as you navigate tight corridors and cramped passages. All the while, you'll be dealing with frustrating enemies like chaingunners and arachnotrons who seem all but too thrilled to immediately shoot at and explode any barrels in your vicinity.

A lot of classic Doom maps feature mere spatterings of environmental hazards like these, but Barrels o' Fun designer Sandy Petersen decided to crank things up to 11 and craft a dastardly map full of hazardous barrels that went on to be one of the most memorable maps of the entire game.

The Plutonia Experiment took nearly two decades to speedrun

A lot of the most challenging levels in the Doom franchise are daunting tasks, but still regularly completed by dedicated and skilled players. When a Doom campaign has a handful of particularly unfair maps sprinkled throughout it, it can be a breeze for longtime fans. What about a 32-map campaign made entirely of frustrating, brutally difficult maps, though? Meet The Plutonia Experiment.

Created by brothers Dario and Milo Casali, The Plutonia Experiment was one half of the official Doom 2 expansion titled Final Doom. The brothers were longtime fans of the series, and put their creative efforts toward crafting what are arguably the 32 hardest maps in the entire series. They're so hard, in fact, that it wasn't until 2015 — nearly 19 years after the levels came out — that someone was able to speedrun them to completion on Nightmare difficulty for the first time ever. Many of these levels feature absolutely insane hordes of enemies, such as MAP32: Go 2 It, which sees you fighting 13 Cyberdemons, 11 pain elementals, 19 arch-viles, and more. Good luck!

Delta Labs is hell on Earth

Doom 3 was a much different take on the franchise. Released on Aug. 3, 2004, the FPS ditched the campy action and head-banging music of previous games for a silent, dark and much more atmospheric adventure that bordered on horror. This was a game all about quiet, careful exploration that kept you on your toes like no other game in the series did. Still, that focus on a solemn and uncomfortable atmosphere doesn't mean that the game didn't still pack in some wild combat challenges from time to time.

Take, for example, Sector 4 of the Delta Labs area of the game. This section starts simple by throwing a pair of unsuspecting chainsaw zombies at you. Things quickly escalate, though, when a cutscene reveals a portal to Hell that deposits multiple Hell Knights directly into the small and cramped room that you're currently in. Facing two of these daunting Demons at once is a nerve-wracking challenge that rivals classic Doom experiences.

Even Simpler wasn't that simple at all

You would expect the first foray onto a 3D Nintendo console from the Doom franchise to be a more forgiving, lackadaisical, and perhaps even family-friendly affair. No such luck, as Doom 64 bucks those expectations and is considered by many to be the hardest game in the franchise. Some of that notorious difficulty is chalked up to the awkwardness of playing the game on an N64 controller. Many frustrations with the game, though, stem from curious design decisions that are a significant shift from prior entries in the series.

Puzzles and secrets in Doom 64 are much more intricately hidden and complicated than they were in other games, and the usually unimposing Lost Soul enemy packs a much meatier punch and shows up far more often in Doom 64. You can point at any map in the game to see all of these challenges displayed in full force, but the first level in Doom 64 to take place in Hell, MAP09: Even Simpler, ups the ante with hordes of Hell Knights and your first introduction to the deadly mancubus.

Hectic is really, really hard

While the main campaign of Doom 64 presents plenty of daunting challenges and unforgiving battles, the secret maps of the game make those other levels look like a breezy afternoon stroll. Secret maps in Doom games always pack in particularly frustrating fights and wild ideas, but the escalation of difficulty in the secret maps of Doom 64 are on a whole other level. The hardest of them all is MAP32: Hectic, which is the first secret level of the game.

This map mainly consists of three separate challenge rooms connected by a shared main arena. What makes these rooms special, though, is that the three level designers of Doom 64 each created one of these rooms. Randy Estrella made the room full of cunning arachnotrons, while Danny Lewis designed the room in which you fight multiple Hell Knights across a cramped bridge. Finally, Tim Heydelaar designed the room in which you precariously navigate various lifts while avoiding deadly darts in order to secure a key.

Argent Energy Tower escalates quickly

After Doom 3 divided fans in 2004, the series stayed dormant for over a decade until the 2016 reimagining of the iconic shooter franchise, simply titled DOOM, arrived on modern consoles. It was a return to form in many ways, bringing back the bombastic music, arena-focused combat, wild weapons and fast-paced action the series had pioneered. It was also a return to the often brutally difficult ways of the series, as numerous levels in 2016's Doom presented an absolutely punishing challenge to players. One of the earliest levels to push players to their limits was the Argent Energy Tower section of the game.

Early into this level, you encounter the huge and daunting Mancubus enemy for the first time in the campaign, requiring deft reflexes and constant movement in order to overcome it's volleys of turret fire. You aren't safe for long after you defeat it, though, as you'll next have to climb a massive tower that is filled to the gills with hordes of relentless demons that make this one of the most daunting areas in the entire game.

Vega Central Processing puts you on a pain train

In classic Doom games, there are usually entire levels and maps that experienced players can point at as being utterly frustrating experiences. When it comes to Doom 2016, there are fewer levels, but they're much longer and more involved than classic Doom maps. Because of this, while there are still a couple of levels that are nightmares from beginning to end, there are also specific sections of the campaign that have gone down in history as the most difficult moments of the entire game. For many fans, one such section belongs to the level Vega Central Processing.

Most of this map is a standard trek through an argent energy facility on Mars, but near the end of the level you find yourself in a wide-open train hanger that you'll need to battle your way through in order to advance. The issue here is that you're almost immediately greeted by multiple Barons of Hell, as well as a constant swarm of Cacodemons that can, and will, tear you to shreds in an instant on the hardest difficulty.

Argent D'nur pulls a bait and switch

It should come as no surprise that, of all the challenges present in the 2016 reimagining of Doom, some of the hardest moments in the entire game would come from the very final level. Argent D'nur is the final chapter of the hectic, face-melting campaign for Doom 2016, and it's the ultimate test of your skills.

Your goal in this map is simple: you need to lay to rest the souls of three wraiths at different corners of the map. Each of the three areas of this map is full of daunting encounters, with the most notable one being an arena in which you'll have to fight a terrifying trio of Barons of Hell. You might think it's all taken care of once you flip those three switches, but instead, you end up dropping down into a boss arena where you'll do battle with the Spider Mastermind, a terrifying creature with a massive amount of health that proves to be the hardest boss fight in the entire game.

Beginning of the End is pretty rough in VR

While the Doom franchise has graced countless platforms and consoles and home appliances over the years, Doom VFR marked the first time the iconic shooter series was officially playable in virtual reality. Unfortunately, there proved to be some growing pains with translating the fast-paced action of Doom to a VR headset. Much like the technical struggles with Doom 64 that led to frustration for many fans back in the day, a lot of the difficulty and hardship in playing Doom VFR stems from the clunky controls of the game.

There are a variety of different movement options and calibration schemes available in the game, and without finding the perfect combination for you, playing the game will often be more of a frustrating exercise in fighting the controls than fighting demons. Unfortunately, the action of stage 4, "Beginning of the End," might be where you'll end up falling off the game entirely. Without getting a grip on the sloppy movement of the game, fighting the fast-moving aerial demons of this level will lead to plenty of rage quitting.

Sentinel Prime's Gladiator might whip you

Of course, the latest game in the series, Doom Eternal, is no slouch when it comes to difficulty either. A completely redesigned combat experience involving oodles of new tools and gadgets forces you to stay on your toes and think five steps ahead at all times. There are plenty of sweat-inducing and palm-drenching combat encounters with hordes of demons throughout the campaign, but the boss battles of Doom Eternal present an entirely different and just as punishing challenge. The perfect example of these wild boss battles is the fight against the Gladiator in mission 8, Sentinel Prime.

While other missions in the game feature multitudes of wild battles, this lore-heavy chapter only presents you with one incredibly daunting fight against a giant warrior wielding a huge shield and a deadly whip. You'll need to dodge massive flurries of bullets and catch the Gladiator in his weak points if you want to make it out of this alive.

Taras Nabad features two tough encounters

Of course, some of the standard enemies of Doom Eternal can be just as frustrating and challenging as these larger than life boss encounters. One recurring enemy, in particular, is a notable headache to fans of every skill level due to the fact that he starts out as a boss. An early mission in Doom Eternal caps off with a fast-paced and difficult battle against the axe and sawed-off shotgun wielding Marauder. It takes a lot of patience and razor-sharp reflexes to defeat him here when he's alone in an arena, so imagine the challenge of fighting this enemy again in mission 9, Taras Nabad, as a standard enemy surrounded by plenty of other demonic grunts.

Worse yet, mission 9 of Doom Eternal features the debut of an iconic old-school demon called the Archeville. This cruel and hardened foe can not only summon hordes of other demons from thin air, but he can power them up with increased health and speed, proving to be one of the most difficult enemies to overcome in the entire game.

Final Sin's boss fight is intense

Much like the previous game in the series, Doom Eternal steadily ramps the difficulty up throughout the entire campaign until it crescendos into a grand finale of controller-smashing excellence. The last mission of the game, Final Sin, is littered with a handful of incredibly tough battles against hordes of demons that will push your skills to their limits. At this point, you've got access to a bunch of incredibly powerful weapons like the iconic BFG, but that doesn't mean fighting multiple Archevilles, Marauders, and hordes of all sorts of other demons is a cakewalk.

If you manage to get past those fights, you'll be met with the most daunting and intense boss fight of the entire series. You'll need to battle a cybernetically enhanced Icon of Sin, all while dealing with constantly spawning waves of dastardly demons. Blasting away eight different sections of armor on the incredibly beefy boss, only to then have to blast away eight more sections of his fleshy, exposed body proves to be one of the most stressful experiences of the entire game.