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Darkman 4

Were Episodes 2 and 3 reversed at one point?

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While looking through the Doom Press Release Beta's files in SLADE, I noticed that the E2M2 is called "E3M2" and E3M5 is called "E2M5". The levels are also ordered in the menu so that the E3M5 is "Demo Level 2" and E2M2 is "Demon Level 3". It's making me think that Episodes 2 and 3 were originally reversed.

There's some justification for this. In the Doom Bible, it states that the second Episode would take place in Hell, while the third episode would take place at the moon base Episode 1 was in, but the moon would look like a warzone and you'd have to escape. Right after you left, the moon would go unstable and blow up. I think this gives a good explanation for a reversed final Episode order, even if the final game heavily deviates from the Doom Bible.

So here's my original proposed plot order:

1. The usual Episode 1.

2. After beating Episode 1, the teleport would send you straight to hell (explains why you have to die at the end of Episode 1, because you're landing straight in the middle of Hell). You'd have to fight through Hell and defeat the Spider Mastermind in the hopes that you can find a teleporter out of there.

3. When the Spider Mastermind is dead, you'd find a warp to Deimos, which would be in shitty condition because of all the demon infestation. The demons would be building the Tower of Babel and the Cyberdemon for something like invading Earth. Deimos' unstable condition would be represented by the Press Release Beta's FSKY5, a cloudy sky with lighting striking, being used as the skybox. You'd defeat the Cyberdemon, then possibly do something like use the Tower of Babel to escape back to Earth before Deimos would destroy itself from being unstable. I have no idea where Deimos would be; Earth perhaps (one of the skyboxes in the Doom Press Release Beta has Earth on it)? That would tie back into Doom 2.

The episode themes would still be consistent in this new order. First, you'd go through a techbase in Episode 1. Then, you'd go through Hell in Episode 2, showing off a pure Hell environment. Finally, Episode 3 would merge the two, serving as a "summary" of the two environments you've seen before. It would also make the Cyberdemon fit more because he'd be the final boss instead of a boss in the middle of the game that's harder than the final boss.

There are still some flaws, such as where the hell Deimos would be, but I think it's basic enough that it could work. Thoughts?

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E2 originally being designed as the third episode doesn't seem out of the question, but by the time of release (and even by the time of the pre-beta) E3's levels are tougher than E2's, so the pacing seems wrong for the episodes to have been reversed at the last minute. I'm not buying your argument about the skies either; SKY2/3 definitely seems intended for E2, while SKY4/5 would seem perfect in a less fiery hell.

As for Deimos, there's another oddity in the final iwad: Deimos Lab and Deimos Anomaly were apparently given those names later in development. Their intermission screen graphics come after all of the other levels.

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I'm also a proponent of the "E3-E2" theory, and had mentioned it several times in the past. It's actually played straight in Doom 3.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

As for Deimos, there's another oddity in the final iwad: Deimos Lab and Deimos Anomaly were apparently given those names later in development. Their intermission screen graphics come after all of the other levels.



The reason for that probably being that they were reversed in older versions of the game. I have no idea how the IWADs were created but judging from the garbage that's in there it was not good what they did.

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The levels have been shuffled around a lot. Spawning Vats was originally slated to be E1M1 (aka Hangar 2).

Looking at its floorplan compared to the final choice for E1M1, it was a good idea to choose a different introductory level.

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