Zen Dynamics

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20-06B interrupts a ritual in the City of Dis, the fourth level of Zen Dynamics
Zen Dynamics
Author Xaser
Port ZDoom
IWAD MiniDoom2LogoIcon.png
Status Released
Link Zen Dynamics at Doomworld/idgames

Zen Dynamics is a 7.5-level semi-partial conversion created by Xaser. It includes new monsters, crazy boss fights, and arguably the most advanced weapon set ever created in the ZDoom engine. It requires either ZDoom 2.1.7 or later or GZDoom.

After a long wait, Zen has finally been deemed finished for good! The 2.5 release has added alt-fires for all the weapons, as well as a couple of brand-spanking new toys for your entertainment.

Although development is complete, visit the official Zen Development thread on the ZDoom forums for questions, comments, and support. (see external links)

Story

Zen Dynamics was a company formed by a disgruntled UAC researcher that focuses on weapons research and biological research, with their main project focusing on bio-mechanically enhanced soldiers. However, due to the demonic invasion of Mars and Earth (the events of Doom and Doom II), the company was devestated, losing over half their staff to the disaster. After the disaster, Zen Dynamics merged with the remainder of the UAC, which kickstarted the shattered Earth economy and placed both companies as head government bodies. Zen Dynamics and the UAC resumed the bio-mechanically enhancement project under the name "Operation Biophage" and also resumed research on teleportation technology. At the beginning of Zen Dynamics, two successful prototypes were created in Operation Biophage while a prototype gateway is due to be tested.

However, during the testing of the two prototype Biophage units, codenamed 20-06A and 20-06B, something went wrong and 20-06A was rendered helpless. The reason for this was visual sensor failure cause by a Biophage researcher, Dalton Wright, who sabotaged the unit. Dalton was quickly fired for this and swears revenge on Zen Dynamics.

Meanwhile, 20-06B is cyrogenically stored in a Zen Dynamics lab in New Fork City in Texas (MAP01 - Laboratory). However, the next time he's activated, the first thing he sees are imps. Quickly, coming out of his storage cell, he kills the imps to find that more demons are in the lab. 20-06B aquires some weapons and slays the demons in the lab before escaping it. He then goes into New Fork City (MAP02: Urban Doom) to find that it has also been taken over by demons, with his scanners detecting the prototype gateway set up at the refinery. After doing some cleanup duty in the city, 20-06B unlocks a rapid-transit lift that takes him to the location of the gateway, an abandoned refinery (MAP03: Refinery), where he finds the bodies of those who viewed the gateway test, including the only survivor: The head Zen Dynamics Research and Development, Dr. Marshall Lanning, who is rapidly dying when 20-06B finds him.

Lanning lives long enough to reveal to 20-06B that Dalton had sabotaged the gateway in revenge for his sacking so that it's destination was Hell, releasing the demons in the process. 20-06B sets off after Dalton and when the two meet, Dalton reveals that he is actually sent by Baphomet, the lord of all Hell, to re-open a gateway to Hell so that Hell can conquer earth. Dalton then turns into a bio-mechanical monstrosity and fights 20-06B. 20-06B defeats Dalton and goes through the Gateway, landing in the City of Dis.

Upon landing in the City of Dis (MAP04: City of Dis), 20-06B, stripped of all his weapons, finds the body of Malcom Sailor, the researcher who discovered that Dalton sabotaged 20-06A. When the demons invaded, Sailor went through the gate to escape, though died after going because of the injuries sustained in the process of escaping. However, he lived long enough to make a log of the disaster, noting that once he came through the gate, noting that the only way to stop the invasion is to kill Baphomet himself, he overheard a couple of Demons talking about an ancient artifact called the "Bloodsphere" hidden in a nearby Cathedral. 20-06B sets off to find Baphomet and stop the invasion.

Baphomet was originally thought to be in a cathedral at the center of the city dedicated to false Gods. However, upon entering the cathedral, 20-06B finds a large horde of demons. 20-06B defeats them but finds no sign of Baphomet. 20-06B then goes underground searching for Baphomet(MAP05: Shadowrun). After going underground and surfacing again, 20-06B finds a powerful prototype weapon before managing to find a portal in the area. This portal take 20-06B to one of the inner circles of Hell (MAP06: Malebolge) where 20-06B does a mass assassination of the higher ranking demons in Hell's army. After struggling through the heavily guarded Malebolge, 20-06B finds a more organic looking portal, which leads to the center of Hell

20-06B eventually finds Baphomet at the center of Hell (MAP07: Death Sentence) and, after defeating monsters similar to the one that Dalton transformed into, the two fight to the death. 20-06B is the victor but at a cost: he is trapped in Hell, with no way out.

Secret maps

MAP08: Core Zero: Core Zero is accessible from MAP02: Urban Doom. To access Core Zero, you first need to get the yellow skull sky. Once you have it, grab the Stinger in the room unlocked by the yellow skull key and then return to the previous room. Shoot the section of the main pillar that's brighter than the rest and it should begin to glow blue. A bounce pad will appear outside. Complete the rest of the level and, once you defeat the Arachnophyte, use the bounce pad to get up to the building across from the bridge that leads to the red skull building. Once on top of the building, follow the level until you get on top of the elevator at the end. Once that's done, you'll be in Core Zero.

The aim of Core Zero is to destroy the titular core to cripple the demons operations in the area. However, there are two downsides: The first is that you lose your weapons upon entering the Core Zero facility and the second is that once the core is destroyed, you only have 20 seconds to escape from the facility. This is the only location before Hell where the ChaosZero SMG can be found.

MAP00: Lost Station: The Lost Station is accessible from MAP04: City of Dis. To access the Lost Station, you first need to shoot the switch through the barred windows of the second building, past which a Soulsphere and fusion cell lies, which opens a back door to the room. Enter the room, defeating the Hell Knight in it first, and then hit the switch in here to lower a lift at the other side of the building, behind the bars next to this switch. Ride this elevator up and at the top, hit the switch to lower the bars. As you re-enter the secret room, the pillar with the Soulsphere on it will lower. Grab the Soulsphere and, if you wish, ride it back up so you can jump to the pillar with the fusion cell on it.

Once you've done that, complete the rest of the level until you get the red skull key. Once you have the red skull key, run back to the area where you hit the switch to raise the bridges in the room with the yellow skull key. They now should be a door here, requiring the red skull. Open the door, get the goodies and step on the pentagram floor switch. Now head back to the cathedral and head to area near the end: In the tan room before the end, take the second right. Hit the floor switches and head back up to the room with the coffins. A previously closed door should now be open. Enter this door to find a room with a Megasphere and a closed force-fielded door at the other side. Press use on the force field and you should see through the other side that a door has opened at the other side of the cathedral. Find this door, enter the room and go in the hole. You'll then fall into the Lost Station.

The main objective here is to retrieve the Bloodsphere Sailor mentioned in his log. Once again you've lost the weapons but you should find sufficient armament for the fairly easy fights before you find the Bloodsphere, including the only ChaosZero in the Hell levels. Once you find the Bloodsphere, however, you need to get back out and the way in is not an option. To make things worse, Hell sends a massive amount of demons to stop you, knowing that the weapon could easily turn the tides of the invasion. After fighting your way back to the start of the level with the Bloodsphere, you'll get teleported back to the normal levels.

Weapons

Machete - The weapon 20-06B has at the beginning of Zen Dynamics, the machete is the only melee weapon in the game and is extremely effective in the right hands. The primary attack swings the sword, with the combo mechanic similar to Devil May Cry while the secondary attack reflects incoming projectiles. Pressing the primary attack button while blocking makes a powerful downwards slash.
Machete.png
"Zenroids" performance enhancers - Zenroids are a blue mixture of liquids that increase the strength when consumed (via the primary attack button), as well as fully healing them. Zenroids are found in small syringes, prepared for injection. These syringes can only be used once and 20-06B can only carry one at a time. The secondary attack of the Zenroids syringe is to slash the enemy with the needle which causes large amounts of damage, though the syringe is still usable after slashing. While active, the 20-06B's vision has a cyan tinge and his machete combos are different as well as more powerful. If 20-06B finds another set of Zenroids while under the effect of Zenroids, the slash is more powerful and the primary attack becomes a powerful, quick triple-stab using the syringe. Replaces the berserk pack.
Zenroids.png
The Ancient Bloodsphere - The Bloodshere is an ancient, sentient weapon that takes the users life force and converts it into power. The primary attack infuses the sphere with 5 health points and unleashes a torrent of bloody energy that bounces around, causing heavy damage to whatever it touches. The secondary attack infuses the sphere with 20 health points. The sphere is then thrown, causing the sphere to create an immensely powerful explosion, easily capable of killing the user should he get too close. After the weapon has explodes, the weapon has to be retrieved or it cannot be used again.
Bloodsphere.png
.357 "Viper" Magnum - The Viper is a powerful Magnum pistol with a slow rate of fire that can hold a maximum of 6 .357 rounds at any one time. The primary attack fires a single shot with pinpoint accuracy, where as the secondary attack fires off all the loaded rounds at once with the spread varying on the amount of bullets fired. The Viper is dropped by Shotgun Guys, who are first found in Laboratory.
Viper.png
12-Guage "Streetsweeper" Shotgun - A crank-action, drum loaded shotgun that is more powerful than the Viper but has a larger spread. Each Streetsweeper drum can hold 16 shotgun shells. The secondary cranks shells into the weapon, while the primary fire fires off all the currently cranked shells before cranking a shell into the weapon. A maximum of three shells can be cranked into the weapon at any one time. The Streetsweeper replaces the shotgun and is first found in Laboratory.
Streetsweeper.png
10-Guage "Egosmasher" Sawed-off Shotgun - A semi-automatic, double barreled, chain-fed shotgun. The Egosmasher is more powerful than the Streetsweeper and fires faster as well. However, Egosmasher chains only hold 8 shells at a time compared to the Streetsweepers 16 shell drum. The Egosmashers primary attack fires both the weapons barrels at once. However, the weapon has no secondary attack. The Egosmasher is first found in Shadowrun, the second Hell level.
Egosmasher.png
"Zen-II" Sub-machine Gun - A fast, moderately powerful sub-machine gun. The Zen-II holds 30 standard bullets per magazine. The primary attack fires off bullets at 700 rounds per minute, while the secondary attack fires rounds in semi-automatic 3 round burst. Both modes have a short delay before the weapon can be fired again. Dropped by Chaingunners, first found in Urban Doom.
ZenII.png
"ChaosZero" Sub-machine Gun - A powerful sub-machine gun with a slower rate of fire than the Zen-II. ChaosZero magazines hold 25 standard rounds. The primary attack fires bullets at 525 rounds per minute, while the secondary fire semi-automatically ejects 5 bullets at once as flak that bounces off walls. Found only in the secret levels, Core Zero and Lost Station.
ChaosZero.png
"Stinger" Assault Rifle - A powerful 5.56mm assault rifle with a moderately fast rate of fire. Each magazine holds 25 5.56mm bullets. The primary attack fires 5.56mm bullets at 425 rounds per minute, while the secondary attack fires a single, very powerful 40mm grenade that is heavily affected by gravity. First found in Urban Doom. Replaces the chaingun.
Stinger.png
"Aeolus" Dual Plasma Sub-machine Guns - Only found in pairs, the Aeolus plasma sub-machine guns fire off small bursts of plasma at a high rate of fire. Aeolus cells hold enough power each for 30 bursts, which means a pair of Aeolus' hold 60 bursts worth of power. The primary attack fires off small plasma bursts from both weapons at a varying rate of fire while the secondary attack fires larger plasma bursts that uses three times the power of a standard from both weapons. First found in the Refinery. Replaces the chainsaw.
DualAeolus.png
"Sawtooth" Nail Projector - A slow automatic weapon that fires deadly spikes at enemies. The weapon is fed by chains of nails, which typically contain 20 nails. The primary attack fires single spikes at 350 spikes per minute, while the secondary attack takes 2 nails and fires a spread of 5 miniature nails per shot at a rate of 233 shots per minute. First found in the City of Dis, replaces the super shotgun.
Sawtooth.png
"Scorcher" Flame Weapon - An extremely powerful fire-based weapon that can take down the most powerful of demons with relative ease. The weapon uses special charges as ammunition. A Scorcher charge contains enough energy for the weapon to fire 3 shots before needing replacing. The primary attack fires off an extremely powerful fireball that can, on occasion, kill a Baron of Hell with a single shot. The secondary attack launches a fire trail along the floor, seeking out enemies, causing heavy damage to the target before exploding, causing further damage. First found in Urban Doom, replaces the rocket launcher.
Scorcher.png
Z-4 "Synthesis" Railgun - A very powerful and accurate slug-based weapon. The weapon uses specially treated uranium slugs as ammunition. The synthesis' magazine can hold 5 slugs at any one time. Primary attack fires off a high-velocity slug that tears through enemies, causing heavy damage. The secondary attack fires the slug even faster, though the wounds inflicted by the faster slugs tend not to be as severe as the slower ones. Only found in the Malebolge, replaces the Plasma Rifle.
Synthesis.png
"Orion" Fusion Cannon - The most powerful weapon in Zen Dynamics, the Orion is an experimental and very powerful weapon. The weapon uses highly-concentrated fusion cells as ammunition, which are extremely rare. The Orion can hold 15 fusion cells at any one time. The primary attack fires a high-velocity bouncing sphere of energy, devastating any living being it touches. The secondary attack launches an energy sphere for a short distance which then explodes into hundreds of miniature, bouncing spheres which are very effective at clearing out rooms of enemies. First found at the Refinery in a secret area and then again Shadowrun as a non-secret, replaces the BFG.
Orion.png

Reception

Zen Dynamics is one of the more popular WADs of the ZDoom community. The WAD uses almost every ZDoom feature that was available at the time. Many agreed that the new weapons and the reloading system made changed the Doom experience just enough to not ruin the Doom gameplay but make things feel much fresher, however some people found it more of an annoyance than anything. The amount of new monsters and interesting boss fights was also appreciated by Doomers. Today, the WAD as more than 80 votes on Doomworld's Idgames at a 4.5 star rating. The WAD just came short of receiving a Cacoward but was mentioned on the article as a runner up.

External links