Whenever I try a new Doom mod, I always do a quick run on E1MI, as its the classic opening level. I had heard that Complex Doom: Clusterfuck was a very intense mod, so I ran it on that classic first Doom level. I did not know how intense that could be until I heard some special music start playing in the background, the theme you hear in movies when some kind of massively overpowered villain is about to strike.
I saw a figure approaching, surrounded by flames, and fired. But, according to the helpful HP bar on top of his head, he had over 1000 hit points and I had only scratched him. He promptly returned fire and blew me away. Later on, I was moving through E1M3 and I encountered another glowing superempowered enemy. This one had a chainsaw. He moved insanely fast, either soaking up shots or dodging them outright. With little space to avoid him, I fruitlessly dodged and weaved until I got cornered and cut up. Owned.
After a little detour in the secret level E1M9, I ended up in E1M4. I saw an odd-looking but very dangerous Japanese schoolgirl. Her name looked familiar from somewhere that I couldn’t quite place but I wanted to blow her up before I could investigate further. Her attacks were too dangerous. After I got her, she revived and started glowing. Uh oh. I grimaced as I heard Touhou music. It was Kaguya, and I was mere seconds from being toasted by a barrage of danmaku.
After all I had gone through, I thought I was safe. I thought I could take the heat. And then I forgot that they have Touhou girls on top of all of the evil demons and stuff. Ragequit time. This is what Complex Doom: Clusterfuck is like. It’s never-ending chaos and destruction. And it keeps getting crazier the longer you play it.
More specifically, it’s an extension to Complex Doom that combines a number of different Complex Doom add-ons to give you an enormous amount of (randomized) new enemies, new weapons, power-ups, and an enormous amount of pain and suffering. Many of the new enemies are much stronger, faster, and deadlier versions of basic Doom enemies. But that doesn’t quite do justice to it.
In between my bruising encounters with the chainsaw boss and the Touhou girl, I ran into a variant on the classic Pinky, a large hulking melee attacker. To my surprise, this one could shoot projectiles at me too. In addition to being large, hulking, and capable of fast melee attacks. Guess I’ll die. But yes let’s get back to the chainsaw boss and the Touhou girl. They’re not ordinary baddies. They’re legendary.
A critical component of Complex Doom: Clusterfuck are legendary creatures, extremely strong monsters that can sometimes also drop extremely cool weapons and power-ups. Legendary creatures are randomly spawned on maps. But I wouldn’t worry about whether or not you’ll encounter them. You will. Very quickly. And often. And trust me, you will immediately know when you’ve run into one.
Like everything else in Doom modding you can heavily customize Complex Doom: Clusterfuck and all of its sub-mods. But I think you’ll want to just play through some of the defaults first and take in the scenery. Complex Doom: Clusterfuck is available for Zandronum, the other popular Doom source port besides GZDoom. And it’s only available for Zandronum at least for the time being.
Zandronum is optimized for multiplayer gaming but its single-player mode offers many of the same features as GZDoom. Setting it up is also pretty similar to GZDoom so many of the steps I gave in my own short install guide on GZDoom (at the end of this post) work too. If you want a wild and extreme challenge, I think Complex Doom: Clusterfuck more than justifies setting up Zandronum as well even if you normally use GZDoom for most things.
Now if you excuse me, I have to figure out how to stop that damned Touhou girl. The helldemons were one thing. Barrages of danmaku are another.