How DOOM speedrunners skip the Praetor Suit

The Praetor Suit and accompanying cutscene were one of the last major slow points to overcome for DOOM speedrunning. This is the story of how it was solved.

By Cam "Meta" Enright

Filed Under: tech

If you’ve never seen a DOOM 2016 speedrun before, you might not know just how broken the game can be. I’m talking absolutely totally busted but in the best way possible. DOOM 2016 Any% is the category that goes absolutely ham. Bouncing off of rails to reach the stratosphere and showing the demons you mean business with gruesome Glory Kills that let you phase through walls are just two things that Any% contains in the all-out battle to reach the end credits of the game as fast as humanly possible - skipping the majority of the game with one difficult trick after another. However, there was one theoretical skip that no runner could figure out. The second room of the game held the Praetor Suit and an accompanying introductory cutscene, and runners wanted nothing more than to skip it - this is the story behind the events leading up to the discovery of Intro Skip.

The Holy Grail Skip

As the weeks, months, and years went on and segment after segment of DOOM’s 13 level campaign was getting completely skipped, runners were attempting to find a way to skip this rather tedious cutscene they were watching nearly every attempt. This theoretical Holy Grail of a skip was given the title of “Intro Skip.” The idea was that if you were somehow able to clip out of either the first or second room, you would be able to move on with the level having never watched the Intro Cutscene.

Very shortly after the game launched, it was discovered that you could use the “Glory Kill” mechanic to clip through walls and floors. This was caused by the game moving the player into a set position determined by the Glory Kill animation so that the animation could play out properly. The discovery of “GK Clipping” was essential to the route of the run, allowing runners to skip extremely large portions of the game. Unfortunately, you did not get the ability to Glory Kill until after the Intro Cutscene, so it wasn’t possible to use it at that point.

Many runners tried to figure out some other way to get out of the room, as some rooms in the game simply have no collision in certain areas, allowing you to get out of bounds that way.

Unfortunately, this room did not seem to be one of those cases. It is rumored that someone was able to get out by creating a macro that spammed jump inputs, but there was never any video evidence, and attempts to recreate it were unsuccessful.

For nearly 3 years, the search for the illusive Intro Skip continued, but only left those who chased it feeling disappointed. This caused many runners to give up hope, and just accept that they would be stuck watching this cutscene in Reset Hell forevermore.

The Discovery

That was until the well-known Any% world record holder seeker__ discovered what is now known as Paperclipping. As it turns out, some walls in DOOM 2016 are paper-thin. So thin in fact, that if you find a corner or a little outcropping in a wall, you can wiggle your way in between the intersecting planes and just sorta.. pop out of bounds. Paperclips were found all throughout the game, including in the doorway before the Praetor Suit room. This meant that we could now take a very naked DOOM Guy to the end of the level and watch a (thankfully) short cutscene featuring the Slayers bare hands rather than the typical Praetor Suit gloves you’d normally get.


The Timesave

The discovery of the Paperclip ended up shaving around 2 and a half minutes from the 24-minute run, with Intro Skip saving over a minute of that alone. As for the Praetor Suit, you needn’t worry. The Slayer gets reunited with his titular armor immediately after completing “The UAC,” because a marine released from a hellish sarcophagus killing demons that bleed ammunition is fine but doing it naked?

Well, that’s just a bit too ridiculous.

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