This level was intended to be the most difficult in the original Nintendo game. (and it was.) Being able to complete it in Doom64TC is almost entirely dependent upon your status exiting Cat and Mouse.
If you managed to get past the cyberdemon with a good portion of health left, you should have no trouble conquering Hectic. You have the decided advantage of possessing the rocket launcher, which was impossible in the Nintendo version.
The best strategy I have found to get through Hectic is to go after the red key first. This is the most dangerous to obtain, but it can be cheated (*). Open the door and the key is right there in front of you. If you are careful, you can step forward just enough to grab the key, but not far enough to fall into the room. Now, instead of being trapped in a small room with 3 arachnotrons attacking, and a ceiling that falls slowly to crush you at the same time as you are fighting, you can simply step back away from the doorway and snipe at the arachnotrons safely. They are hard to see in the dark room, but they light up just as they are about to fire, and you can see them when they cross one of the lighted spots on the floor. If you really want to avoid the fight, then you already have the red key and don't need to go down in the room anyway. Still, it is nice to wipe them out and collect the rockets and launcher down there. Move quickly and get to one of the lighted spots to avoid the crusher, if you can't make it to the teleports. (* This used to work in the old version, but it looks like someone fixed it for the latest release. I tried about 20 times to grab the red key without falling down in the room, but it doesn't seem to work anymore.)
The blue key is the next most dangerous. Head out onto the pillar tops and collect the berserk pack, then stop and switch to the rocket launcher. Move quickly into the alcove to collect the blue key, then get back out before the ceiling crushes you. Hellknights will then appear to the sides. Dispose of them and the room opens.
"Falci" discovered a neat trick that works even better here. The walls on the sides that open with Hellknights behind them are actually doors. You can sacrifice a couple health points from walking across the lava and open the doors yourself. This allows you to get back into the main room and fight the Hellknights from a much better position. The trick of doing this is NOT killing all of the Hellknights! This is very important! Once you grab the blue key, the door closes behind you. The trigger to open the door is the death of all the Hellknights, so if you kill them all before grabbing the key, the door will NEVER open and you'll be stuck there.
Now for the yellow key. This is basically just a matter of how much health you have left since there are no powerups available. The armor sets and soul-sphere are certain death traps, just like the Nintendo version, so don't try to get any of them. The yellow key room is a matrix of moving platforms with darts firing from the walls. It seems impossible to avoid damage here, so you can only hope you have enough health to take it. I could not notice any pattern to the rising and falling platforms, but perhaps there is one. Just get in and get the key and get back out.
Both exits will take you back to level 01, Staging Area, to play through again (with your current health and armor status.) Getting the keys and lowering the three sets of bars will enable cheats, which gives you the ability to jump for the rest of the game.
Acidglow has found a path through the dart room to collect the yellow key without taking any damage at all. He says:
"As soon as the door opens, the floors will not move so just launch yourself along that path. Nudge into the yellow key to grab it without the projectiles hitting you then turn around and head back down the same patch when your current position is at its highest. This way you run/fall down the path opposite to how the floor tiles started.
starting, first tile is low, second is higher and 3rd is highest so when you run back, you are on the highest elevated one, the second is lower and the last one is on the lowest part."
He also suggests a way to grab the green armor without getting hurt. This is also possible, but not as easy.
"The green armour trick is a very tricky one to get. I've only gotten it twice so far."
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