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Megamur

Stuff that bothered me about DOOM's story.

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I know what most of you will think: "DOOM has a story?" And you have every right to react that way, since Id never intended DOOM's story to be very...in-depth. But I still think about it, and it still confuses me.

First of all, why do they have marines stationed on Mars, anyway? Okay, so the UAC has some sort of defense contract with the military, and in turn, maybe the military loans the marines to protect the UAC bases. I can understand that. (Actually, that's something else significant that even Id has seems to have forgotten over the years: the military conducted the teleporter experiments, not the UAC. They just used the UAC's facilities to do it.) But the question is, protect the bases from what? The manual itself says:

With no action for fifty million miles, your day consisted of suckin' dust and watchin' restricted flicks in the rec room.

So what in the world do all these marines do all day? Even the manual itself seems to suggest that there's no combat on Mars, so what are they there for? Even DOOM 3 made them seem more like glorified security guards than anything--basically MarsSec in fancier outfits. Heck, your first mission in DOOM 3 is to fetch a missing scientist and bring him back to Mars City. Don't marines seem a tad overqualified for a job like that?

So, anyway, you get to Phobos. You're ordered to secure the perimeter while the rest of the team goes inside... Why? I'm not terribly well-versed with how marines do their jobs, but generally, I don't think they station one guy outside by himself somewhere while the rest run in ahead of him.

For several hours, your radio picked up the sounds of combat: guns firing, men yelling orders, screams, bones cracking, then finally, silence. Seems your buddies are dead.

It's Up To You
Things aren't looking too good. You'll never navigate off the planet on your own.

Whoa, back up here. So exactly how did the marines get onto Phobos? I assume there was some sort of dropship that deposited them on the planet or something. You obviously have a radio. Why not call the ship back and say, "Holy crap, I'm the only guy left, let's get out of here"?

If, instead, the ship sat down on the planet and stayed there, where's the pilot? Did they go into Phobos Base, too? Why? What would you need a pilot in there for?

So, everybody's dead, and you decide to step inside and bust some heads because that's really the only choice you have. So you step inside the base, ready to rock with...a pistol and no armor. So, holy cow. Not only did they station you outside by yourself to guard the place, they only gave you a sidearm and no body armor to do it? I'm starting to think the UAC bases always get taken over because the Space Marines are completely incompetent.

Plus, all the heavy weapons have been taken by the assault team leaving you with only a pistol.

And maybe they have terrible funding, too, as I find it actually kind of hilarious to think there apparently weren't enough guns for all of the marines.

DISCUSS.

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To tell the God's honest truth, I seriously have no idea why they never went with Tom Hall's original story. The story that's in the game now has too many holes, and it's confusing as hell,(Don't get me started on the Quake 1 backstory).

Tom's story seemed to have more depth, and made much more sense. Even with his story, the game would have been much less linear in its gameplay also, since the game originally consisted of different hubs to go back and forth between the different areas of the game.

I can sort-of see where they needed the extra running speed for older computers, but...never mind. off topic.

The story also had a lot of the similar holes in its plot during the intermission screens of the game, as well as Doom 2. "It stinks like rotten meat, but it looks like the lost Deimos Base. Looks like you're stuck on the shores of Hell" ...huh? I thought you never found out that you were even IN Hell until the END of the episode.

There was a lot less mentioning of the UAC in Doom 2, and somehow, when you play the Doom 1 and 2 games in order, bits of the story don't match up at all.

I can't think of anything other than that to say... anyone else got any ideas for this?

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I don't think the "story" in Doom was ever supposed to be taken as a serious piece of literature. It really was like the plot in a porno: obligatory but not really the reason why people are watching.

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I can see what yer getting at about that, but IMO, I think it would have made the game feel as if it had more immersion. I personally would have loved to see Buddy Dacote get ripped to shreds at the end of Anomaly.

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TheSpazztikOne said:

The story also had a lot of the similar holes in its plot during the intermission screens of the game, as well as Doom 2. "It stinks like rotten meat, but it looks like the lost Deimos Base. Looks like you're stuck on the shores of Hell" ...huh? I thought you never found out that you were even IN Hell until the END of the episode.


Well, shoot. I hadn't even noticed that until now. Great, something else to be confused by! :)

And it's still hard to tell what exactly happens at the end of Episode 1. Did you die? Were you just beaten up and stripped of your firepower? The end-of-episode text doesn't bother to address it at all.

There was a lot less mentioning of the UAC in Doom 2, and somehow, when you play the Doom 1 and 2 games in order, bits of the story don't match up at all.


Entirely true. At the end of the original DOOM, you see Earth getting taken over by the demons. However, in the DOOM II manual:

After days of hard fighting in space, you've returned home on well-earned leave.

[...]

You've quit the military, and are heading home. Your drop pod lands with a crunch. You open 'er up, and look out. Damn! The city ahead is on fire. What the devil is going on?


So, I guess the demon invasion was low-key enough that you had time to quit the military and start your vacation? Go figure.

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If you ever served in the military, you'll know that they never do ANYTHING without having some part of the staff formally in charge of "security", even if that is just a close-shaven MP/provost standing at attention and looking pretty near the operations room where an on-map "tactical exercise" is taking place ;-) (for the average enlisted/conscript Joe, that usually means standing guard at some part of a boot camp nobody gives a shit about).

Realistically speaking, they would be stationed more for reasons of internal security that would normally be the task of mall/private/corporate police. They probably wouldn't be required to use more than physical force/their bulk/a tazer to e.g. subdue some violent altercation, two drunk workers fighting on some petty shit, guard against theft of valuables etc. or discreetly observing and reporting on any "suspicious moves" by part of the working staff (snitchin', in other words).

And of course the army wouldn't be using no minimum wagin', polyester pants wearin', maglite fondlin' squarebadges for this job, when they already have marines/soldiers for the task.

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Megamur said:

First of all, why do they have marines stationed on Mars, anyway? Okay, so the UAC has some sort of defense contract with the military, and in turn, maybe the military loans the marines to protect the UAC bases. I can understand that. . .
. . . But the question is, protect the bases from what?

They're there to protect the bases from the UAC's corporate rivals and other military powers. It appears they also "volunteer" as experimental research subjects.

Heck, your first mission in DOOM 3 is to fetch a missing scientist and bring him back to Mars City. Don't marines seem a tad overqualified for a job like that?

Send the new guy, apart from giving him something to do it also gives him an opportunity to become acquainted with his new surroundings.

So, anyway, you get to Phobos. You're ordered to secure the perimeter while the rest of the team goes inside... Why? I'm not terribly well-versed with how marines do their jobs, but generally, I don't think they station one guy outside by himself somewhere while the rest run in ahead of him.

Wouldn't want someone stealing or destroying your squads only means of transport.

If, instead, the ship sat down on the planet and stayed there, where's the pilot? Did they go into Phobos Base, too? Why? What would you need a pilot in there for?

The ship would have an autopilot which probably requires an access code Doomguy doesn't have.

And maybe they have terrible funding, too, as I find it actually kind of hilarious to think there apparently weren't enough guns for all of the marines.

Our hero killed an officer! If you were his new CO would you trust him anything bigger than a peashooter?

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GreyGhost said:

Our hero killed an officer! If you were his new CO would you trust him anything bigger than a peashooter?


I wouldn't exactly trust him with a peashooter either...

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Technically, he didn't kill the officer. He just beat 'em up. That's what slugging is. And, given the doomguy's strength being enough to kill a demon with a few punches, I can see why they sent him away.

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"Three years ago you assaulted a superior officer for ordering his soldiers to fire upon civilians. He and his body cast were shipped to Pearl Harbor, while you were transferred to Mars, home of the Union Aerospace Corporation."

I suppose it's open to interpretation but I get the impression he's dead.

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TheSpazztikOne said:

Looks like you're stuck on the shores of Hell" ...huh? I thought you never found out that you were even IN Hell until the END of the episode.


I always assumed it was doomguy saying he was in a "bad place" not knowing how ironic his use of words were.

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Megamur said:

First of all, why do they have marines stationed on Mars, anyway?


Near every TV show, story etc, has mankind go into space (unknown territory) with a defence force/weapons, even if they've never encountered aliens etc before. "Just in case" something hostile or dangerous is encountered.

Megamur said:

Whoa, back up here. So exactly how did the marines get onto Phobos? I assume there was some sort of dropship that deposited them on the planet or something. You obviously have a radio. Why not call the ship back and say, "Holy crap, I'm the only guy left, let's get out of here"?


Doom Guys comment that he would never be able to navigate off the planet by himself pretty much confirms the marines got there in some sort of ship.

The pilot query is a bit more ambiguous though; maybe all the marines can pilot drop ships (i.e. there was no dedicated pilot); one could again take the Doom Guy's comment about not being able to navigate off the planet by himself, to suggest this.

As for leaving Doom Guy with only a pistol; maybe one could assume the marines never thought they would be dealing with anything that would require more than a couple of pistol shots to put down.

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Actually, if it wasn't for the post being on "Mars" (it's actually on Phobos, no part of the official Doom storyline takes part on Mars) and the storyline implying that it's a sort of "transfer to Alaska" I'd say that normally that would classify as "champagne" duty, and Doomguy got a quite laid-off duty: sitting on your ass all day in the "rec room" or just posing/looking buff and tough as "security personnel".

I imagine that Doomguy's daily routine on Phobos wouldn't consist of much more than waking up at 6:30, do the usual spit'n polish stuff, sit on his ass, drink coffee, eat donuts at the equivalent of the PX on Phobus, maybe do some sexist comment on the ass or boobs of whatever female was to found there, and sit on his ass again. Oh and probably a lot of drinkin' to relieve the boredom (which would occasionally result in some "friendly beating" with fellow marines). Maybe the occasional watch or armoury duty (for what it'd be worth...) and lights out at 22:00, if he was not on watch.

It would have taken him quite an effort to keep in shape, too, unless his superiors enforced PT a lot (seems unlikely, though) or the post had the character of a penal unit (but this is not implied anywhere, as just the distance from Earth is considered bad enough, apparently).

All in all, Doomguy would just literally waste away by boredom, the most dangerous thing he could face being hepatic cirrosis, some sore eye from a night of drinkin' with his buddies, or doing some stupid shit like walking "outside" without a proper decompression suit. All the while, while trying to "act like a Marine" and show himself as tough'n stuff for a threat that would normally never come.

Except that it did.

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Just repeat to yourself "it's a computer game, I should really just relax"

Mystery Doom Theater 3000

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About the "You'll never navigate off the planet on your own" comment, perhaps it's implied that a crew is needed to pilot a ship, and the crew is currently very dead. Either that or there's a dedicated pilot and he's very dead also.

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Doom guy had the easy life... too bad the demons spoiled the fun.
The end of Doom64 was pretty depressing.

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speaking of stories, i'm not so fond of every modern game being required to have one. mostly this results in linear gameplay, and cutscenes and scripts getting in the way at every step. doom and quake had a very basic storyline, and what did we get? games that can be replayed 18 years later. today, you learn the story, marvel at the graphics, and barely touch the game again.

i used to recommend HR's story:

You wake up with a pistol in your hand, 50 bullets and suddenly you appear to have visible health and armor. Apparently you were sent into an invaded lab experimenting in jumpgates by two mad WAD creators. Your mission is to go through the jumpgate and find out what your mission is, and, in addition, to finish all levels and send a letter of complaint to the madmen who sentyou here.

To read the rest of the incredible Hell Revealed story, send $500 to us, or, alternatively, enter a nuthouse.

This is Doom, man - just go in there and kill!

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Actually, I do treasure the attempts WADmakers make toward giving their works some story context (and try to include a summary in my reviews). But Doom's story never really bothered me with its inconsistencies.

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Maes said:

Actually, if it wasn't for the post being on "Mars" (it's actually on Phobos, no part of the official Doom storyline takes part on Mars)

Three years ago you assaulted a superior officer for ordering his soldiers to fire upon civilians. He and his body cast were shipped to Pearl Harbor, while you were transferred to Mars, home of the Union Aerospace Corporation.

[...]

You and your buddies, the only combat troop for fifty million miles were sent up pronto to Phobos.


So the manual's story makes it pretty obvious that you and your buddies are stationed on Mars, and are transported to Phobos (by some means or another) once bad things start happening there.

http://classicdoom.com/doominfo.htm

kmxexii said:

Just repeat to yourself "it's a computer game, I should really just relax"

Mystery Doom Theater 3000


I know, I know, but I'm trying to write a bit of a DOOM fanfic, and it's hard to write it even half-convincingly when A) most of DOOM's prologue doesn't make any sense, and B) I really don't know anything about how the military operates. So I thought it would be helpful to discuss here to see if I could get things cleared up a tad.

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Megamur said:

I know, I know, but I'm trying to write a bit of a DOOM fanfic, and it's hard to write it even half-convincingly when A) most of DOOM's prologue doesn't make any sense


Well I would think that would make it easier, just as long as you write a story that
A: Takes place on Phobos/Deimos/Hell
B: Has demons
C: (possibly) involves Doomguy

Nobody can say your fanfiction doesn't make sense with Doom's story when Doom's story doesn't make sense either.

At least as far as I know, but I'm not a writer.

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Doom's story is fine. Its just enough to put you in context of your surroundings, and not so heavy that it leaves no room for imagination. I like it the way it is.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

Doom's story is fine. Its just enough to put you in context of your surroundings, and not so heavy that it leaves no room for imagination. I like it the way it is.

Heh, I was waiting for someone to say this. I wasn't so sure how to put it, but this sums it up quite well.

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