EDIT 3/27/2017: As the original author of this pasta, I havetaken it upon myself to re-write this piece. Mainly because when I originally wrote this, It was rather poorly organized and written.
This is a true story that happened in the ZDoom forums in the year 2013. At that time, there was a forum user called Zygo, which was apparently a big fan of horror games that address psychological issues, like Silent Hill for example. This is not something very unusual to find in the community of fans, many people ask for mods with these themes. (And consdiering this is Doom we are talking about, some people may prefer the horror atmosphere of Doom 3 or the original Playstation port of Doom.) Several users attempted to create mods inspired by Silent Hill and similar themes. If there anything in the psychological horror that seems to Captivate people, causing them to feel a genuine fear that is born within you, much stronger than simple images of monsters can cause. But nobody could have expected something like the more macabre and unsettling created by Zygo, called RootPain.
The post was literally just an attachment image of the project's logo, with text reading "NO INFORMATION PROVIDED" and a link to download was all the topic recently created the ZDoom Forums. Zygo didn't say anything more, letting the players find out that it was. Soon, users started to comment that the mod was disturbing, including people who said I wouldn't sleep well at night after playing the mod. Before I begin, Zygo originally was an avid forum member, More so a pretty normal guy. Originally working on a mod themed after the video game, Blood called "POSSEST" which was sadly canned due to him losing all his progress reportedly. In April of 2013, before releasing this mod he released a short-lived mod called "Classic Rivalry" ; Essentially to 'compete' with Terminusest13's Samsara in being a similar mod starring FPS heroes and material from an assortment of different games from Doom to Duke Nukem all the way to Killing Time... It was heavily criticized for being unbalanced and he ended up having an egotistical response to his criticism. It is also worth noting that Zygo, since 2014 had been banned from the forum for unknown reasons. All this created a mystical aura around the mod, as if it were something that would be hidden forever unless one checked it out for themselves. RootPain had awakened my curiosity, by causing a certain feeling of revulsion in the other users that is not uncommon to see if this was a "screamer" (those typical Games/videos in which a frightening picture emerges of anything on the screen, with an exaggeratedly high scream), or someone completely different. There was something uniquely grotesque that was in the mod, and I soon would find out what it was.
I decided I wouldn't read anything past the first page of the thread, so I spoil my “experience”. After downloading the WAD and starting the game, I opened up the menu to find only three options: Start, Epilogues and Xcape (a pun on the word Escape, how original – I know). I decided to explore each of these bottom-up option. Xcape would be the equivalent to Quit Game, except that the only confirmation message that seemed to be configured to appear was "It will live ...". That made me assume that the mod's intention was to kill something specific. But what would it be? Was this something like CutmanMike's Ghoul's Forest trilogy or something? The Epilogues option was only the configurations options in disguise, and with a limited number of options to choose from. There remained only the start option. I quickly selected it, and for a moment is displayed an image with a symbol that represents female depicted a bloody way before the map loaded up.
When the game begins, it is noticeable that the scenario represents the inside of a living creature of sorts: the walls and floor are made of pulsing meat, there is no sky, instead it's this pink, misshapen texture representing the guts of whatever it is that the player is in. Red blood cells can be seen hovering in front of the player, for the entire length of the map - Moving into contact with any of the cells them causes them to drop onto the ground. Moving on, a fork with identical paths to the left and right who drove to the locations, but that were inhabited by a strange sphere which also appears to be a cell, or an internal organ. The player is disarmed, there is no information on the screen indicating your amount of health, not even the traditional Doom HUD bar with “Mr. Doomguy” looking left and right, and there's nothing to do there but to roam for that limited space, to the sound of a sinister BGM of the environment made of synthesized notes blended with a sound that resembles the beating of a heart. There are no switches to be pushed, there is nothing equivalent to a door, no secret passages or enemies. Then, when you open the map, I realize that I was right about the theory of the game being inside the bowels of someone: the map’s name is simply “Womb”, and the drawing of the map formed on the screen is nothing more than a female’s uterus.
That would explain the female symbol at the beginning of the game, as well as in the spheres of the map that represented ovaries, but still didn't give me many directions about what to do. Confused, I resolved to resort to only measure that was appropriate at that time to try to keep playing: use the classic IDKFA cheat code for access to some weapons, and curiously even after having them on hand, there was no counter on screen to show ammunition, items, or really anything. It's no use shooting the red blood cells, they just wander around there. I only have the ovaries. I took the path on the right and after firing a rocket into the egg, the sound of a woman screaming in pain could be heard while the whole map shakes violently while the ovary simply explodes into pools of blood. I repeated the process on the left ovum, which also disposes into a bloody heap while the whole map shakes and the moan of terrifying agony is played again. When I decided to return to the beginning of the map, I come across something even more bizarre, something that nearly made me jump out of my fucking chair: a giant fetus monster of sorts, graduating in the same place where the player starts the game amid a distorted sound as it floated toward my direction. The sound was just... disgusting honestly, and my reaction was to fire several rockets against the towering unborn baby. he kept moving forward, and once it touched my player - another scream even more horrible than the first is heard and the game crashes, while the distorted sound of the fetus continues to play infinitely.
Through the administrator of tasks, I was able the close my frozen game. I felt sick, the pain in the stomach was big and I thought I was going to vomit right there in front of the computer. I had just finished playing a mod where your goal was to perform an abortion, and I began to understand why Zygo probably would have been banned. Upon returning to the thread on the ZDoom Forums, I came across more information which were discovered by other users about the grotesque mod:
There were secret messages within the file that should appear on the screen when running the usual Doom cheat codes. (things like "You are insterile!" for IDDQD or "Mifepristone added" for IDFA, being the name of Mifepristone abortion pill), and when you tried to get out of the game there was a chance the confirmation message "long lives the UNBORN" would be displayed on the screen. The names of the Actors are bizarre to say the least. The playerclass is no longer DoomPlayer and becomes a "Parasite", while the fetus is called Zygo. Yes, Zygo, the name of the creator of the mod. This made things worse in hindsight by being about aborting a fetus, The fetus of the fucking author who made this sick mod. That to me was the sickest thing I had seen in a gaming community. As if that wasn't enough, looking at the properties of the fetus, it is possible to see that their values are absurdly exaggerated, perhaps to make it impossible that the player can kill it by normal means (the fetus is still vulnerable to console commands, such as the "mdk" who kills any monster that the player is looking, which triggers the secret message "You have successfully aborted the child.") but one thing called a lot of attention from some forum users : the overall health of Zygo is expressed by the number 1215182091514. It could just be a random number, but people were thinking that the number was too specific to be a mere coincidence.
As theories continued rolling by the thread of RootPain, until the user Pyroscourge discovered the meaning of the 1215182091514 number. Basically, it wasn't meant to be a single giant number, but an encrypted message. Each of these represents a letter of the alphabet. We could separate the number as follows: 1 2 15 18 20 9 15 14. Now, if we replace each of these numbers by your respective letter of the alphabet, appears:
1 2 15 18 20 9 15 14
A B O R T I O N
All this raised several questions in the thread: some speculated that Zygo had suicidal tendencies, or that he might have suffered an attempted abortion (coincidence or not, the name he gave himself was the resulting cell after fertilization, called Zygote, or in English, Zygothe, which led some people to question whether there was any relationship between the word Zygote and the choice of the name "Zygo" for that user). Others were quite skeptical about the mod in General, some making jokes and others just saying Zygo wanted attention – Especially after the Classic Rivalry fiasco. As for Zygo, he never gave a response. He never even reposted in his own thread. From the moment of his creation, until his community banishment (for other reasons that don't relate to the mod itself), there hasn't been a single answer from the Creator. To this day, Zygo hasn’t been seen again on the face of the internet.
I still stick around in the Doom modding community to this day but even so – I’ve never been disturbed this much from an actual Video Game.
You can read the original thread here: http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=36738