The Vaults of Zin is the second level of The Netherworld. It consists of a series of dark and narrow corridors, with several larger rooms, pools of Lava, and an outdoor area beyond the Silver Key door. The player will often be ambushed by Zombies and other enemies concealed in the shadows.

This level brings back the Zombie, Scrag, Ogre, and Fiend. This level also brings back the Shambler on normal and higher difficulties. The player must search for the Silver Key and Gold Key in order to proceed. The Silver Key is seen across from the start, but it is only bait for a trap which releases Zombies. Luckily for the player a Grenade Launcher is nearby, as there is none found in E3M1: Termination Central. The Vaults of Zin are most likely named after a location in the H.P. Lovecraft Dreamland Cycle with the same name, set in the Underworld and being the place where Ghasts (Fiends) are said to have lived.

Quick Level Completion

  • Go towards the Silver Key.
  • Go through a doorway to the right and press a Button.
  • Repeat for the other side.
  • Exit the alcoves and follow the corridor to the right until you reach an Elevator.
  • At the top of the Elevator, head to the opposite side and push the Button.
  • Quickly drop though the hole in the middle of the room to land on a Floorplate.
  • Follow the newly opened doorway to the left until you reach a room with a crucified painting.
  • Go up the next pair of stairs and go down the Elevator at the top.
  • Press the Button to the left at the bottom.
  • Go through the newly opened wall in the middle and follow the corridor to another Button.
  • Return to the main corridor of the floor and go through the newly opened Wall revealing a Teleporter to your left.
  • Drop to the lower floor of the crucified painting room.
  • Enter the room below the upper floor and push the Button.
  • Return to the beginning of the lower floor and follow the newly created corridor to the left until you reach the Silver Key.
  • Go through the nearby Teleporter and follow the corridor to the Silver Door.
  • Go through the Silver Door and go between the pillars to find a Button on one to push.
  • Push the newly revealed Floorplate
  • Drop through the newly created hole and press the Button on a wall opposite a locked door.
  • Collect the Gold Key, go through the newly opened door, and follow the corridor to a Teleporter to go through.
  • Follow the corridor to the Gold Door, and go through to get to the exit room.


E3M2 - The Vaults of Zin09:04

E3M2 - The Vaults of Zin

Collect the two 15 Health, one on the left and the right side of the entrance. Go forward and collect the Grenade Launcher in the middle of the hallway towards the Silver Key, which drops into the floor on its platform as you get closer. Doors in the hallway open, each with a Zombie inside, two to the left and two to the right. The right room has Rockets, and the left has a Button, opening the Door at the end of the corridor to the right. To the left is the Silver Door, but to the right is a ledge that can be jumped across for a Quad Damage. The pit has Lava at the bottom, but a corridor leads to an Elevator as well as a 100 Health (#1). Go through the opened doorway in the right corridor, and turn left at the end while collecting the two 25 Health and a Nailgun. You are now in a room with a square pool of Lava and a pillar in the center of it. Shoot the Wall on the right side with the skull to open a Wall with a Zombie and Quad Damage. Collect the Nails to the right, and go up the Elevator at the opposite side as the Door to the left is locked. On the left passageway at the top is a 25 Health, and on the right is Rockets. The central pillar can be accessed from the opposite side, which also has a Scrag and Yellow Armor. The pillar is raised by the Button on this side as well. Drop through the hole to get to the top of the pillar of the lower room, which has a Floorplate on the top to unlock the Door on the left side. Kill the 2 Ogres that spawn as the Door is unlocked. Go through the unlocked Door and turn right. Collect the two 25 Health in this corridor and kill the Ogre to the right in the next room. Ignore the lower room with the crucified painting to the right and go straight into the next room. At the top of the stairs collect the Nails and step into the next room. As the room lowers, kill the Ogre and collect the Nails and 25 Health to the right by a locked Door. Avoid the Lava in the middle of the room and cross over to the left side. Collect the Rockets and 25 Health, and push the Button to open a Wall in the middle of the room. Turn left inside the wall, kill the Ogre, collect the Shells, and push the Button to unlock the Door in the previous room. Return to the Door, and enter the Teleporter inside to return to the room overlooking the room with the crucified painting. Start to walk towards the edge of the upper room, and look up to the rafters to kill an Ogre. To the right of the crucified painting on the same wall is a shootable Wall (#2). Drop to the lower floor and kill the Fiend. The Wall to the left opens up to reveal a room with another Fiend and a shootable Wall to the right (#3). A Button, which opens a Door that was straight in the previous room, as well as raises a platform with 3 Zombies. Go past the doorway, and turn left at the end into a room with an Ogre, two 25 Health, Rockets, Nails, and the Silver Key. Go through the Teleporter to get to the corridor to the right of the start. Return to the Silver Door.

Go through the Silver Door and turn right while killing 2 Zombies. This room is large and has many pillars. Going clockwise on the outside border there are two 25 Health, 25 Health, Nails, and Rockets. To the left of the end of the left passageway from the start is a corridor with a 25 Health and the Gold Door to the right. On the middle front pillar is a Button which raises the Walls of the pillars on the sides facing you, and the Walls of the middle pillars on the opposite side, as well as raises the middle pillar. In each pillar is a Zombie, thus there are five total, as the upper right pillar has Rockets instead. There is a Floorplate where the middle pillar was raised, opening the floor around the pillars to the room below, besides the Floorplate. Kill the 2 Scrags that come up from below. Drop to the floor below, kill the Fiend, and collect the two 25 Health and the Gold Key by a locked Door. On the diagonal opposite side of the pillar is an alcove with a Double-Barrelled Shotgun and the Button to unlock the Door. Turn left through the newly unlocked Door to a Teleporter leading to the upper left side of the large pillared room. Return to the Gold Door. Collect the 25 Health to the right and go through the Rune Gate.

Differences from Easy to Normal

Differences from Normal to Hard/Nightmare


To the right of the Silver Door is a pit of Lava that can be jumped into for a 100 Health and an Elevator leading back to the corridor of the Silver Door.
Shoot to the right of the crucified painting to open a Wall with a Ring of Shadows and a Teleporter leading back to the room overlooking the crucified painting.
In the room to the left of the lower level of the crucified painting room, shoot the Wall to the right with a different texture to reveal a Teleporter. This leads to the rafter overlooking the crucified painting room. Collect the Shells to the left, and the Rockets and three 25 Health to the right.


Type Count
Easy Normal Hard/Nightmare
Zombie 15 18 19
Scrag 3 3 5
Ogre 7 11 16
Fiend 3 2 5
Shambler 0 1 2
Total 28 35 47


  • A Grenade Jump can allow the player to jump from the lower level of square Lava room to the Floorplate on the platform.
  • A horizontal Grenade Jump boost can allow the player to retrieve the Silver Key at the start before it retracts into the floor.


E3M2 - The Vaults of Zin (Deathmatch)05:03

E3M2 - The Vaults of Zin (Deathmatch)


Spawn Locations

  • Upper level of crucified painting room
  • Start
  • Large pillared room
  • Prior Silver Key room
  • Upper level of square Lava room

External Links

E3M1: Termination Central Quake Levels E3M3: the Tomb of Terror

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