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Blastfrog

What if full Doom 1 was structured differently?

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So, you know how ROTT shareware was its own small set of levels as a chronological prequel to the full, different game? What if the full Doom was one big 3-act episode without KDITD, rather than KDITD + 2/3 extra episodes? I think it works a lot better this way, and I'll explain why.

If the below elaborations and explanations are too TL;DR, here's a summary of the hypothetical campaign.

It's justified that the player is forced to pistol-start status after being ripped to shreds in the teleport in the Phobos anomaly, but not so much when entering new areas by foot. Console Doom rectifies this, but also unfortunately loses the original plot event when traveling to Deimos. Making episodes 2-4 a single 3-act episode keeps the best of both worlds, and 3-act structures "feel nicer" and more even somehow. I think plot-wise, it also serves as a nice story arc. The episode title "To Hell and Back" from the Doom Bible not only sounds cool, but also fits such a hypothetical story arc perfectly.

This would also provide an excuse to include the console exclusive maps without worrying about keeping an even 9-level structure. It would also conveniently total to 32 maps, with 27 of them being non-secret. E2M3 could have the secret exit from SNES Doom added, and could lead to a revamped version of Sewers. The second act could start with Hell Gate, as it isn't an actual boss level, the PSX name fits being an Inferno level instead, and the texture scheme is hellish marble instead of corrupted techbase.

PC Hell Keep is a weak map, and while the shortness is nice for an episode intro, it would feel a bit out of place when in the middle of a bigger experience. Replacing Hell Keep with its console counterpart would feel more consistent in length and challenge. Warrens already has PC Hell Keep's architecture, but has extra level after the original end, so you can still get your PC Hell Keep fix and play a bigger and more satisfying version of the map. This does have the unfortunate side effect of nullifying the original deja-vu gimmick, but it's a small price to pay for a net improvement (besides, I always though that gimmick sucked because it's only interesting the first time you play).

Act 3 should certainly include the awesome Twilight Descends, The Marshes and Threshold of Pain.

The boss maps should be moved up an episode in my opinion. Tower of Babel is a far cooler battle than Dis, and I prefer it as the ending of Inferno. It also builds more suspense by not blowing the cybie-load too quickly. I always felt that E4's ending fizzled off anticlimactically. Unto the Cruel is a great map, but it's inappropriate as a finale. Ending E4 with Dis provides a far more satisfying conclusion than either Unto the Cruel or Threshold of Pain, and allows Doom 1 to still end with the iconic battle, rather than keep going with lesser tension.

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Being one long 30-level slog as compared with the 9-level episode format of the first game was one of the things I liked least about Doom 2, to be honest.

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ETTiNGRiNDER said:

Being one long 30-level slog as compared with the 9-level episode format of the first game was one of the things I liked least about Doom 2, to be honest.

I don't see why that's a problem, or even relevant. You don't have to do it all in one sitting, you can just save whenever you like and come back to it later. If one prefers to just play a particular cluster of levels without having to go through the preceding ones, you can just warp to your ideal starting point. I like how GBA Doom did it, continue the game as normal after finishing a certain cluster, but pick which one to start on. PSX essentially did the same thing, but reverted you to pistol-start status.

Besides, I was more so looking for people's thoughts on the narrative changes rather than their preferred playstyles.

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Not sure I like the seperated level set, it annoyed me in Shadow Warrior. I generally like to plough through all of the levels at once, albeit with obvious breaks inbetween sessions, likely hardcoded into me by now thanks to PSX Doom's 59 levels

I like that you included Sewers though, it is an official level now regardless of the endless hate for it, and does indeed need some more revamps/remakes. Baron proved you could do a lot with it in Lost Levels.

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OK, let me see if I understand this.

First of all, I haven't played neither ROTT or any Console version of Doom (except for the XBLA version, but just two or three times), so maybe that's why I don't get it.

When you say "structured differently", and judging from the OP, you say that it would be better to have one 9-level episode and a second 27-level episode, in a MAP## format, changing/swapping one or two maps here and there?

I have just a couple of questions.

-What would be the difference between an 'episode' and an 'act', besides the pistol start?
-I'm really not sure, but it seems that you are proposing changing the intermission screens to somehow reflect the changes, which is what a lot of mods do already, is this correct?
-Also, isn't all this possible in, for example, ZDoom?

I apologize if I messed up something, I'm not a native English speaker and I had some trouble understanding your post.

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Zed said:

First of all, I haven't played neither ROTT or any Console version of Doom (except for the XBLA version, but just two or three times), so maybe that's why I don't get it.

The shareware version of ROTT had completely different levels, it wasn't just an annexation of the full game. The XBLA version doesn't really count, it's a 100% accurate port of the PC game with no liberties taken. When people here talk of "Console Doom", they refer to a set of altered maps that first originated in Jaguar Doom, and was expanded upon by PSX Doom. They were generally just slightly (and sometimes significantly) simplified versions of what maps could be found in the PC version, sometimes radically retextured, and also contained a few brand new maps not found in the PC version at all.

Jaguar introduced 2 new maps:
Tower of Babel (renamed to Hell Gate in PSX) - Entirely different than the PC map of the same name. It's an arena with many normal monsters, to compensate for the fact that the Cyberdemon was cut.
Hell Keep - Entirely different than the PC map of the same name.

PSX introduced 6 new maps:
Doom 1:
Twilight Descends - Neat map where you run around an earth building
The Marshes - Dark marshes with a Cyberdemon hunting you
Threshold of Pain - Awesome hellish map with twisting caverns
Doom 2:
The Mansion - A decent map in a mansion
Club Doom - A rave club, complete with techno music (I'm not kidding)
Redemption Denied - A grueling slaughterhouse arena to make up for the lack of the Icon of Sin

Zed said:

When you say "structured differently", and judging from the OP, you say that it would be better to have one 9-level episode and a second 27-level episode, in a MAP## format, changing/swapping one or two maps here and there?

Actually 32 maps, 5 of them secret, but you get the idea. Regarding map replacing/moving, the list I linked to in the OP shows my level order, which is consistent with PSX's map order (PSX restored Tower of Babel, but moved it up an episode, they never restored Dis, however).

Zed said:

1. What would be the difference between an 'episode' and an 'act', besides the pistol start?
2. I'm really not sure, but it seems that you are proposing changing the intermission screens to somehow reflect the changes, which is what a lot of mods do already, is this correct?
3. Also, isn't all this possible in, for example, ZDoom?

1. No difference, besides sky texture. Think of how Doom 2 handled the different areas, with the Spaceport, City and Hell not being divided into standalone campaigns like how Doom 1 divided Phobos, Deimos, Hell and Earth into standalone campaigns.
2. Not exactly sure what you're asking. The new story text in the linked pastebin in my OP is merely to compensate for shifting the bosses around.
3. Yes, and other ports can too. The technical implementation isn't what this thread is about, though.

Zed said:

I apologize if I messed up something, I'm not a native English speaker and I had some trouble understanding your post.

There's no need to apologize, you've done nothing wrong.

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Thanks, I think I get it now.

Sodaholic said:

2. Not exactly sure what you're asking. The new story text in the linked pastebin in my OP is merely to compensate for shifting the bosses around.


-I was talking about changing the intermission texts themselves or the map they appear in, so that new changes in the story make sense, considering the new "level organization".
-Are you planning on doing this for real? I mean, like a personal project or something like that?

Anyway, thanks for your explanation. And if you make this, let us know how it's like.

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One thing about Doom/Ultimate Doom's structure was that since it was broken up into episodes, it provided a richer experience, in my opinion. Not only did it paint the adventure better, but it also worked perfectly for gameplay; it struck a nice balance of keeping your inventory, with each episode starting you off fresh. As someone who tries to shy away from pistol starting everything, I grew pretty fond of episodes. It's pretty much the one thing I wished Doom 2 had. The nine level structure also worked nicely for remembering, and gave Doom more of that arcadey/wolf3d feel.

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Sodaholic said:

I don't see why that's a problem, or even relevant. You don't have to do it all in one sitting, you can just save whenever you like and come back to it later. If one prefers to just play a particular cluster of levels without having to go through the preceding ones, you can just warp to your ideal starting point. I like how GBA Doom did it, continue the game as normal after finishing a certain cluster, but pick which one to start on. PSX essentially did the same thing, but reverted you to pistol-start status.

Besides, I was more so looking for people's thoughts on the narrative changes rather than their preferred playstyles.

It feels more organized, and each episode would tell a part of the story. Doom 2 just feels like a new set of maps.

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I've never liked that about ROTT. It feels somewhat clunky. Woulda been better IMO if they did what Shadow Warrior did and included The HUNT Begins as a selectable first episode, at least.

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