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Rudolph

Nobody Told Me About Doom: The Lost Episode

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Posted (edited)

So upon hearing about John Romero releasing an unfinished E5M1 a good while back, I set upon to find out more about it and that is how I stumbled upon Doom: The Lost Episode. And holy shit, you guys!!! I was not around back in 2009 - I mean, I knew about Doom, but I had yet to get super into it as I am today - and as such I totally missed out on it. What I want to know, though, is why people no longer seem to be talking about it these days.

 

I mean, it brings the console-exclusive maps to PC (with a twist), it has its own unique and striking aesthetic, it has been made by forum staples/community legends and overall it looks and plays very much like an official mapset, so what is not to love? In many ways, I like it better than John Romero's "official" fifth episode SIGIL and even definitely better than the actually official fourth episode Thy Flesh Consumed. Yet somehow, unlike the TWID projects and so many other high-quality mapsets, I have never heard of it until today.

 

Am I really this unlucky? Are the authors embarrassed of their creation? What is going on?

Edited by Rudolph

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I thought the lost episodes of Doom was that Jupiter wad. 

Title                   : DOOM: THE LOST EPISODES   
Filename                : JPTR_V40.WAD (JUPITER v4.0)

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@sht Me too! The team behind Doom: The Lost Episode must have know about this, as the fifth episode's in-game title is "Evil Unleashed".

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I knew I wasn't the only one! The Lost Episode is bloody genius, dripping with atmosphere and delicious retro vibes. It is one of my all-time favourite episode-replacements, up there with the likes of Phobos: Anomaly Reborn and The Classic Episode (I & II). A hidden gem if ever I saw one.

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Posted (edited)

The only things that I sort of disapprove about The Lost Episode is the custom sprites for the Supershotgun and the Arch-Vile. They are not bad themselves - in fact, the new Arch-Vile fits the mapset's funkiness rather well - but they strike me as unnecessary. Otherwise, it is all good in my book!

 

Also, I never was much of a fan of transparent floors, but since they are a mapping trope (thanks Plutonia), I do not view them as a flaw per se.

Edited by Rudolph

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Posted (edited)

As the wiki said, and for some comments back when it was released, it was not that much welcomed, even when it has great quality, mostly because of the zdoomism on it, making it only playable on advanced source ports like zdoom and eternity engine.

I considere it a great mapset, for sure.

Xaser make it something really unsettling and amazing.

When Sigil was release, i used it midis to musicalize E4 with new music, and use the Buckethead soundtrack for Sigil E6, renamed to use in combination with the Evil Unleashed as the fifth episode.

 

5 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

The only things that I sort of disapprove about The Lost Episode is the custom sprites for the Supershotgun and the Arch-Vile. They are not bad themselves - in fact, the new Arch-Vile fits the mapset's funkiness rather well - but they strike me as unnecessary. Otherwise, it is all good in my book!

That is for giving the mapset a proper boss, and the SSG is the same used on the console version of Final Doom. Being these maps recreations of some console maps for PC, it fit quite right for sure.


As for me, i will say that it would had been great as a Doom 2 little mapset, along with all the neat tricks and surreal atmosphere. But being a Ultimate Doom mapset...its weird to see the Doom 2 monsters in there.
I know its possible to make it even on vanilla, but well, its the only case that i know by now that use them for a UD Pwad. 

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Posted (edited)

I do not mind Doom II monsters in a Ultimate Doom mapset, since they were already featured in the console maps. Also, it makes for a better transition between Inferno and Hell on Earth than Thy Flesh Consumed and SIGIL.

 

12 minutes ago, P41R47 said:

When Sigil was release, i used it midis to musicalize E4 with new music, and use the Buckethead soundtrack for Sigil E6, renamed to use in combination with the Evil Unleashed as the fifth episode.

 

Tell me more!

Edited by Rudolph

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2 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

Tell me more!

A simple map info tweak and renaming on Slade.
That way, every time i opened UD, it has six episodes.
Oh, i also used the unofficial E4 intermission screen that adds a map and locales the intermission screen.

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Just now, P41R47 said:

A simple map info tweak and renaming on Slade.
That way, every time i opened UD, it has six episodes.
Oh, i also used the unofficial E4 intermission screen that adds a map and locales the intermission screen.

That is hella cool! Do you do this sort of unofficial compilation often, or is this a one time thing?

 

Also, I agree with @Rudolph in that I have no issue with D2 monsters in UD. Hell, my current project is built around that very premise, with a twist.

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Posted (edited)

I wish Id Software could release a compilation of all official/semi-official Doom mapsets, i.e. The Ultimate Doom + SIGIL + the console-exclusive maps + Doom II + Final Doom + Doom 64. I guess they could call it "The Definitive Doom" or something!

Edited by Rudolph

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3 minutes ago, Omniarch said:

Also, I agree with @Rudolph in that I have no issue with D2 monsters in UD. Hell, my current project is built around that very premise, with a twist.

Tell me more!

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Omniarch said:

That is hella cool! Do you do this sort of unofficial compilation often, or is this a one time thing?

I used to do those kind of things a lot when i used GZDoom.

I made my own mood effect wads with tweaks to the dynamics lights, sector coloring and a lot of things like texture animations to make them more fluid or added swirling animation to some textures that doesn't have it.
But i delete all those things long ago, when i started using more conservative ports, as i realice i would never achieve what i was aiming for with my current PC, and since GZDoom 3.3.2 was the last build i was able to use without lagging all the time, well, i delete all since i thought i wouldn't use zdoom base ports anymore, except if the mapset actually needs it.

I reached a point i was spending more time making tweaks and modifications than playing. And i just wanted to play, that why also the reason i went for something more conservtive.
Now i play those zdoom especific mapset the way the authors intended them to be played just with tweaks to the resolution and display options to make them playable on my end.

 

I also like the the doom 2 monsters on it, even when it was weird at firts, it fits perfectly the console doom port of the maps. But well, most people didn't catch it at first. Back then there was a lot more puritism than what we have already. :/

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17 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

Tell me more!

Basically, I had an idea for a grand (sort of) re-imagining of Ultimate Doom's "'story'", set on a real tidally-locked* exoplanet called Proxima Centauri b, shortened to simply "Proxima" for the sake of convenience.

 

Each episode is to correspond to a different time of day, E1 being high noon, E2 being twilight, E3 being nighttime and E4 being the nightmare beyond reality. This idea was originally kind of a minor background thing, secondary to Infinite Doom, my original over-ambitious megawad.

 

Over time, though, I came to realize that I liked the idea of Proxima a lot more than any other, until eventually Infinite Doom was dissolved and partially incorporated into Proxima. This of course brought its own problems, the biggest of which was the inevitable feature creep that tends to consume my primary projects.

 

Basically, Proxima was supposed to be a simple limit-removing or even vanilla-compatible project, with a design philosophy more comparable to DTWiD than anything else. The incorporation of Infinite Doom's grand scope changed all that.

 

Long story short, I realized that in order to achieve my excessive ambition, I would need to port Doom 2's expanded bestiary into UD. Of course, I didn't want to just copy all D2 assets into a UD wad and call it a day, since that would certainly preclude the wad from ever making it onto idgames.

 

It was then that I bumped into Amuscaria's fantastic Hell-Forged sprite-replacements for the Rev, Arach, and Manc. I then had the rather unorthodox idea of incorporating the rough mechanics of the D2 bestiary without the original sprites, and the project just kind of spiraled out from there.

 

After about a week of feverish tinkering, I had created an entire MBF-compatible mod, that touched pretty much all corners of Doom's bestiary and arsenal in some way. I won't go into the details here, suffice to say that the mod had definitely strayed into the realm of partial conversion, comparable in its deviations to sets like Valiant.

 

This mod now forms the foundation of the project.

 

So, that's more or less the story there. Naturally, it took a giant wall-of-text to get the point across, but whatever. I hope it answers your question!

 

* if you don't know, tidally-locked objects always face their parent object, which in the case of planets results in one side of the planet being perpetually lit, while the other is drenched in eternal darkness, with a thin band of twilight in between.

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Another cool thing about this mapset is that it made me discover another phenomenal Bobby Prince soundtrack, i.e. Demonstar.

 

Not only is it great, but it does sound like it belongs in a Doom game!

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38 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

Another cool thing about this mapset is that it made me discover another phenomenal Bobby Prince soundtrack, i.e. Demonstar.

 

Not only is it great, but it does sound like it belongs in a Doom game!

 

I used it in one of my own maps, fits like a glove 

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37 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

Another cool thing about this mapset is that it made me discover another phenomenal Bobby Prince soundtrack, i.e. Demonstar.

 

Not only is it great, but it does sound like it belongs in a Doom game!

I love E5M2's midi as well. Its so bloody catchy!

 

I can't tell you how nice it is to see someone else appreciate this set in the same way I do. Tell me, which map is your favourite?

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Posted (edited)

I'll check this out, will be interesting to see how the console exclusive maps look on the PC.

 

FYI, PSX Doom used Doom 2 monsters throughout Ultimate Doom, generally Chaingunners, Knights and Pain Elementals. You could also get the Super Shotgun in Ultimate Doom.

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I remember people hating on the wad heavily when it came out, i really enjoy it though, i love the shattered spacetime aesthetic, although for some reason if feels like the WAD stops going for that aesthetic after E5M4, rather it just being Normal levels but with a floating rock SKY5. but it was still fun, shame its only ZDoom though.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Omniarch said:

I love E5M2's midi as well. Its so bloody catchy!

 

I can't tell you how nice it is to see someone else appreciate this set in the same way I do. Tell me, which map is your favourite?

Hard to say at this point, as I have just discovered the mapset. I will need to replay it and think about it before I can give you a good answer.

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Thanks for bringing this to attention! I didn't knew that episode as well. Very interesting project.

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Posted (edited)

So I am finally done with E5M1, in the sense that I managed to find all the secrets. Overall, it is a good map, albeit a difficult and even complicated one for a first level, but it does not feel as brutally unforgiving as E4M1 or even SIGIL's E5M1. It is also interesting how they managed to rework an old alpha map into something that is completely different and otherwordly - right down to the occasional "trolling" with the Red Keycard.

 

However, I find myself enjoying E5M2 more, probably because it is a straightforward adaptation of Playstation Doom's "Hell Keep". Of course, being an American McGee map, it is much blander visually and the mappers behind the remake did not update it much in that aspect, but it is still an enjoyable breather from the fever dream that is "Logos Anomaly" and it does not look downright ugly like E4M4.

 

As I am writing this, I made it to E5M3, which I instantly recognized as the Playstation version of "Spawning Vats".

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I fired this up the other night and immediately knew I had played it before, the swiss cheese hole things in E5M1 were a dead give away. 

 

Based purely on E5M1, ultimately, I'm not sure how well it works. What I will say is that I've certainly never seen anything like that before, definitely a unique style and I can appreciate that much.

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Playing through the mapset, I realized that it actually uses mostly vanilla Doom, Doom II and even unused Doom music. It is a bit disappointing, so I took upon myself to replace them with Demonstar's tracks. I am surprised the team behind the project did not think of doing that themselves!

 

Also, according to the readme, E5M2 uses a track from Xenophage, yet another Bobby Prince-scored game I did not know about! :o

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Posted (edited)

Okay, so I got to E5M4 and I am starting to see where the negative reactions came from.

 

The map is really big, confusing and full of inescapable pits, and there does not seem to be many enemies to be fought so far - even though the total enemy count tells me there are 266 of them). I keep getting lost and I am not sure where I need to go in order to get the keycards. Xaser Acheron seems to be a fan of the Marathon Trilogy - "Carroll St. Station" is a direct reference to Marathon: Infinity, apparently - so I guess this is all on purpose and I cannot fault him there. However, it is still rather jarring when contrasted to the Playstation maps and American McGee's simplified level design, and I can definitely see people getting caught off-guard there; even I, a Marathon Trilogy fan, needed some time to get used to it.

 

I suspect Doom 0.5 map 1 and E1M11 must have been in such an unfinished state that many creative liberties had to be taken; either that or they were just not good maps to begin with and the author did the best he could with what he had. Maybe the team should have remade and expanded upon MAP16: "Hell Gate" and MAP59: "Club Doom" instead? I wonder if they ever made a post-mortem where they explained their creative decisions.

Edited by Rudolph

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Yeah, I also just arrived at e5m4. But I love non-linear maps and the suspenseful low enemy start is nice IMO. Inescapable pits are a no-go though.

 

What was the idea behind these episode's theme? Crazy space? Hell corrupted a UAC space station and reality starts to fall apart? They did some interesting stuff with that, especially in the first map.

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I do not know if the people behind the project still hang out on Doomworld, so I hesitate to tag them into the conversation or write to them unprompted.

 

Still, if they are reading this, I would love to hear their thoughts!

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13 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

I do not know if the people behind the project still hang out on Doomworld, so I hesitate to tag them into the conversation or write to them unprompted.

 

Still, if they are reading this, I would love to hear their thoughts!

Xaser at least is still active. Actually, he announced a new mapset just last month, which looks pretty enticing. From what I could gather on Doomwiki, it seems most of the other people who worked on the set were mainly denizens of the ZDoom forums, so even if they are still active they'll probably not be reachable on DW.

 

3 hours ago, Rudolph said:

Okay, so I got to E5M4 and I am starting to see where the negative reactions came from.

Stuff

Interesting take. My opinion couldn't be more different: E5M4 is far and away my favourite map of the set. I spent over an hour exploring its enigmatic depths, 100%-ing it was one of the most rewarding Doom experiences I've had since my first full No End In Sight playthrough.

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