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The Doom3 Diary: A Gamer's Experience
Author: Michael Ahlf 
Date: August 13th 2004
Page: 5

Day Five:

Friday the 13th, and it's my final day of the diary. I'm just heading into Alpha Labs. By my guess that puts me maybe 1/4 or less through the game - yeah, I've moved slowly by relative terms, but I work days.

So down with the transfer pod I go, and out the doors. Of course, Alpha Labs is almost completely offline, and everything's pitch black. That can be rectified by reactivating the doors and lighting system. My CO is yelling at me over the radio to meet up with Bravo team already. If he'd just given me the clearance, I'd be there by now.

I'm in - manage to sneak up and stealthily take down one of the Marine zombies. At least they don't have eyes in the back of their heads. 

There's some sort of red mist wafting up from the floor plates. I don't know what it is, but it doesn't seem to be toxic. I'd still feel a little safer if it wasn't there.

What the heck does this gigantic contraption do?

Oh. It does that. Right. Apparently it's an "Elemental Phase Deconstructor"... it takes matter and rearranges it into other matter. That's the short explanation anyways. Why it's still turned on, that I don't understand.

Some wiring's fallen down the main corridor, which means I'll have to get past this EPD and into the back areas of Alpha Labs. Shouldn't be worse than anything I've done so far. Unless I've spoken too soon.

Now this is odd. Everything's gone red. That means something's coming in... yep, the place is now crawling with Imps again. At least they still go down relatively easy.

Apparently the EPD is still on because they were running tests on it. As I have no way to shut it off, I might as well leave it be. Time to get moving again.

Onle one way to go - THROUGH the EPD access tunnel. Can't say I'm enthusiastic about it, but I don't really have much choice.

I'm hearing voices. Half the time they say "follow me", half the time "help me." But they're not coming over the radio. In fact, they sound a lot like that mocking laughter from when the scientist tried to send his distress call. It's getting to be pretty freakish.

There are pipes running overhead in this section. For a moment I'm reminded of a movie with dinosaurs, and someone going through an area following pipes. I think they got eaten. The thought's not encouraging.

Now something's making a loud, repetetive banging noise. I don't like those noises much. The last time I heard them, it was when a demon was busting down a door trying to get to me. Shotgun at the ready...

I can't go down the flaming corridor, that's obvious - even this zombie didn't make it past. Looks like he burned his head pretty good trying to go through. 

My other option is down the darkened corridor with all the machinery, the perfect place for something to jump out and attack me. Or in the case of these zombies, lurch out and attack me. Backpedaling is of course useless, and there are Imps teleporting in the way I came through.

I'm so glad this batch of zombies didn't have guns. Still no sign at all of Bravo Team. I'm in Alpha Labs already, you'd think that they'd be trying to catch me on the radio chatter or something. 

Apparently the next segment is blocked off, something about a gas leak. I'll have to open it up. I've also got a PDA report stating that machinery was getting possessed. That matches with the reports from the Marines about sentry 'bots going haywire. And if people are getting possessed by demons, I can't imagine why a machine wouldn't be fair game as well. Makes as much sense as anything else I've seen so far.

The shutoff has cut the gas to the flaming corridor, thankfully, and I'm through. Zombies and Imps are using storage rooms as ambush points again. Still no sign of Bravo Team... where the Hell could they be?

I could try to jump down to the next level, but something tells me I'd either miss the bridge, or not survive the fall. Either way, it wouldn't be pretty.

Of course, the next room's the definition of ugly. Some poor guy hanging from the rafters disemboweled, his ribs showing. Wait, he's screaming... screaming? Alive?

Ohh shiiiittt... what's got four eyes, two heads, nasty arms, and can climb anywhere it goes? I don't know what I should be calling these things, except maybe for "painful." Whatever they are, they're some breed I haven't seen before.

On the upside, they don't do much damage, nor are they as fast as Imps. They just don't go down as quick. The Shotgun's all but useless, even at point blank range, it just doesn't reload fast enough. Time to backpedal and try out those grenades again.

Zombies are tossing explosive barrels in front of me. If they hit, or I shot them, it could be bad. Thankfully, I'm well away from them.

Of course, if I want to go back, it's a one-way trip; the stairs I used to get up here have fallen in.

Scratch the notion of headshots guaranteeing extra damage when I'm shooting zombies; this guy's still coming with just a neck. How he knows where I am, I can't figure out, but it doesn't matter - he is, and he wants me dead.

Above the ceiling, I've found another survivor. He says the Hydrocon unit's gone unstable and has to be stabilized, or kaboom. Does he know what's going on outside? I can't tell. He's way too calm. Especially for someone with a dead body not 15 feet away.

Did he kill Bernie Lipsitz, or did Bernie get up here? And if so, why's he so calm now, instead of attacking me as well? Doesn't really matter, my immediate worry is whatever's pacing around waiting for me to come back down from the ceiling area.

The Hydrocon seems to have gotten under control on its own - at least it's functioning normally. I move on, and can't get into Alpha Labs' "Red" section... but I do find the elevator downwards. Finally, I can connect with Bravo Team.

Something in the pipes is dropping pieces... and something in the lobby is telekinetically taking bodies through doors. Now I understand why Bravo Team's been radio silent all this time. This is as far as they got. I think I've found them, and they're scattered all around the area.

I'm on my own...

I hope you enjoyed reading this and seeing the screenshots as much as I enjoyed writing it and taking them. It's a challenge, to work through a game while recording first thoughts - while I'm aware I probably could have blown through this segment of the game in 6 hours or so, making a record like this requires a lot of stop-and-restart action and game reloads. Sometimes I have to reload 2-3 times to get a particular action shot that I want - capturing that perfect screaming face up above, for instance.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in that they enjoyed the diary as well; your comments are well appreciated. I'm off to finish the game on my own now, no more spoilers.


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The Doom 3 Diary

Added:  Monday, August 09, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf

Page: 5/5

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