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DustFalcon85

20 Years of PlayStation Doom.

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This upcoming date of November 16, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the PlayStation port of Doom. Which is hands down IMHO, the best Doom port ever. Aubrey Hodges did a hell of a job creating the new music and SFX. His music will forever hold a place in my heart because it is sooo dark, atmospheric, legendary and beautifully ambient. Same thing goes to the others at Midway San Diego. They added colored lighting to Doom that it never had before. Kudos to them. I think of it as a prequel to Doom 64 which is hands down the most scariest Doom in the franchise's history.

So what are your memories of PS1 Doom? Did you play single player and deathmatch all the time? How about you Mr. Hodges? How was the development like 20 years ago?

UPDATE: Believe it or not. I bought a sealed and new greatest hits version of PS1 Doom for $33.99! Lucky me! I still have it and did not cracked the seal at all.

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Wish it could be celebrated by a source code release. Aaron Seeler, get in touch with me please. I can purge the code of all the PSX-specific Sony SDK junk under indefinite NDA, and make it live again on the PC where it belongs :)

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PSX Doom was the port that got me and my friends into Doom proper (and also into dark ambient music strangely).

I remember playing a level or two everyday when I'd get home from school and having a ton of fun, it truly was the greatest port of the game.

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I also mainly played the Playstation version as a kid (I only first played the PC version a year or two ago). It certainly had some good things going for it, but being a PC only player now, there were certainly some drawbacks, so I don't think it should be a total whitewash celebrating it.

Some major drawbacks:
-Too easy. As a kid I thought it was difficult, but being a PC Ultraviolence player now, I can see it was way too easy.
-They removed some of the better levels, especially if there was a Cyberdemon or Spiderdemon. Levels in Doom II, like the Spirit World (the best level), The Living End, Downtown, and a few others - nowhere to be found.
-No Arch-Vile. I understand this to be partially a limitation of the Playstation hardware, but I feel if they split up Ultimate Doom and Doom II onto 2 separate discs, it could have worked.
-They butchered many levels by removing/replacing more difficult monsters. Doom II's Map 27: Monster Condo is a total joke in the Playstation version.
-The Revenants are NO threat in the Playstation version.

Some Advantages:
-The Look. The lighting affects, as well as the Fire Skies, were a major improvement.
-The Sound. Awesome sound affects for just about everything.
-The Music. I personally prefer the regular Doom soundtracks, but I can see why everyone likes the
ambient music of Playstation Doom.
-No Map 24: The Chasm

An Issue I'm neutral on:
-No Nightmare! Skill Level

Overall, it's a well-made game, but falls short of the PC version. Whether it was for hardware issues, or for issues regarding decisions they made, there were certainly some things that could have been better. But as I mainly played the Playstation version as a kid, I'll remember it fondly.

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It's weird how they never bothered to include Cyberdemons or Spider Masterminds in the Jaguar version or any port based on it and it's not like they can blame the hardware because the SNES version, of all things, actually included both of them in it. It's probably the first console port to include them. In a way, the SNES' limitations helped it since ID couldn't just slap on the Jaguar port.

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My first Cyberdemon encounter was on Playstation Doom. I spent all my time running around, taking care of those pesky Lost Souls and Fatsos that by the time I saw old Metal-chops himself I was already falling to the floor. This was made all the more unnerving by the low resolution - all I could see in the distance was this strange creature, bigger than anything I'd ever seen up to that point, and I was terrified.

Now, here's the thing - the PSX port was never going to be as good as the PC original. Console ports never were back then. What Williams/Midway did was play to the system's strengths, creating an experience unique to the system. Yes, the framerate was ropey in places (even for the time), but the sheer atmosphere of the game was what made it compelling. So much so that when I finally did get my arse a PC, I found the original sounds and music to be pretty jarring (despite my first Doom experiance being on the 32x of all things). IMO it remains the definitive console version of the game. Susbsequent ports don't count as they were simple PC ports with little or no modifications. Basically, there's a very good reason that there's a PSX Doom "Lost Levels" project nearing completion right now.

And one other thing - how many full-price console shooters can you name these days that ship with 59 levels?

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RobinSena said:

-The Revenants are NO threat in the Playstation version.

Not entirely true, the slower projectiles have a much tighter turning circle which can be a real bitch if you lose track, and in that sense they will fuck you over if you try to treat them like you would in Doom2.exe.

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The turning radius of a Revenant's projectile is pretty tight in the PC version - it would be hard to imagine it being any tighter. (It's been about 15 years since I last played the Playstation version though, so it's hard to remember.)

I've seen Revenant projectiles turn so tight on the PC I wanted to throw my laptop out the window. Seems very inconsistent, but that's an issue perhaps warranting it's own discussion in another thread.

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RobinSena said:

The turning radius of a Revenant's projectile is pretty tight in the PC version - it would be hard to imagine it being any tighter. (It's been about 15 years since I last played the Playstation version though, so it's hard to remember.)

I've seen Revenant projectiles turn so tight on the PC I wanted to throw my laptop out the window. Seems very inconsistent, but that's an issue perhaps warranting it's own discussion in another thread.

My understanding is that there's a cute little special case in there (in A_Tracer) where a revenant missile can make a sharper turn than its nominal turning radius would imply if it only needs to make a single delta-theta to be back on course at you. I call it the Revenant missile "troll" effect. You can see this in action if you watch closely.

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Fact: Revenant missile's turning angle is a constant.
Fact: Revenant missile is slower in PlayStation Doom.
Conclusion: Revenant missile's turning radius is smaller in PlayStation Doom.

However, this assumes that A_Tracer is called with the same frequency (=once per 2 tics) in both PC and PlayStation Doom, and that the turning angle constant is the same constant. Is it really true?

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20 years of my favorite PS1 title.

Honestly, my copy is destroyed to the point where it makes the zombies make elevator noises and imps just belch buzzing static and beeps whilst the music attempts to violently shift pitch and notes (and as a kicker the game melts down at MAP03 and gives me an invalid memory error) because I used the thing too much, 14 years of strain took the toll on that poor disc.

At least my Final Doom works.

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Aside from the levels, there's one other thing that bothers me about PSX Doom. It seems that the person who processed the graphics was a hack. Blatant resizing artifacts, weird sharpening filter on some assets (but not others), etc.

So it's hardly a perfect version, but it's certainly innovative, inspiring and important.

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MetroidJunkie said:

It's weird how they never bothered to include Cyberdemons or Spider Masterminds in the Jaguar version or any port based on it and it's not like they can blame the hardware because the SNES version, of all things, actually included both of them in it.

The Jaguar version had rotations which would have necessitated including said frames, which they really didn't have the room for on the cartridge. Not only that, but they only appear once, whereas Barons are used as a normal enemy after E1, which somewhat justifies prioritizing him over the latter two bosses.

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Sodaholic said:

The Jaguar version had rotations which would have necessitated including said frames, which they really didn't have the room for on the cartridge.

They could've went the Wolf3D route and excluded rotations for the boss monsters alone.

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PSX Doom IMO is not the definitive article but has enough of its own merits to warrant inclusion in even the smallest of any Doomer's collection. Although I aren't interested in most ZDoom projects I will make an exception for the Lost Maps megawad when it is finalised. Makes me wish there was a source port that automatically converted PWADs into PSX style maps complete with ambient music, reverbing SFX and colour lighting.

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The Jaguar DOOM ROM is exactly 4 MB and that is the largest ROM size that Atari had carts available for. The system could theoretically handle 6 MB carts (48 megabits), but such carts were apparently never manufactured because the console died before there was a chance.

So I believe the various sacrifices made were in fact required. The end of the IWAD is a few bytes away from the end of the ROM file, there's some weird stuff at the very end that doesn't *look* like part of the wad proper to me as it follows the tail-written directory.

They might could have sacrificed the intermission music and squeezed in the bosses without rotations, but you'd have to do the math on that. Keep in mind they'd need sound effects also.

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mrthejoshmon said:

20 years of my favorite PS1 title.

Honestly, my copy is destroyed to the point where it makes the zombies make elevator noises and imps just belch buzzing static and beeps whilst the music attempts to violently shift pitch and notes (and as a kicker the game melts down at MAP03 and gives me an invalid memory error) because I used the thing too much, 14 years of strain took the toll on that poor disc.

At least my Final Doom works.

Lucky you.

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Well what the fuck can I say? This is the port that laid down the foundation of gaming for me way back in 1997, (it was one of the first, if not the first) game I ever played), when I first met my step-dad. I used to spend practically every minute of the day paying it and loved the ever loving shit out of that port. I must say though that when I first played the PC Doom I felt a little disappointed due to the lack of coloured lighting and thinking that the sounds were completely down graded. The soundtrack of the first few levels (especially Map 01, 03 and Limbo) have remained right in the back of my head for god knows how many years. I'll have to whip out my copy and slam it in the PS2 again just to relive those days.

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mrthejoshmon said:

20 years of my favorite PS1 title.

Honestly, my copy is destroyed to the point where it makes the zombies make elevator noises and imps just belch buzzing static and beeps whilst the music attempts to violently shift pitch and notes (and as a kicker the game melts down at MAP03 and gives me an invalid memory error) because I used the thing too much, 14 years of strain took the toll on that poor disc.

At least my Final Doom works.

Please upload as much of this as you can to YT, I remember over a year ago you showed a screenshot where every item on the ground had a sergeant head or some shit and it made me laugh my ass off!

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RobinSena said:

-No Arch-Vile. I understand this to be partially a limitation of the Playstation hardware, but I feel if they split up Ultimate Doom and Doom II onto 2 separate discs, it could have worked.

Nope, it was a matter of RAM, not disc space.

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Jaxxoon R said:

Nope, it was a matter of RAM, not disc space.

Interesting. I feel like I have to take it one step further though:
Was RAM the issue of not being able to have a Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon on the same level/screen?
I've read about some issues with that, which would explain the fact that the level Gotcha! was left out of the Playstation version (though apparently, two Spiderdemons were possible, a la PSX Map 54: Redemption Denied.)

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RobinSena said:

Was RAM the issue of not being able to have a Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon on the same level/screen?

Most likely. I dunno if they had enough memory to do both at once, but they didn't have the memory to do them AND any of the other cast members.

Everything in PSX Doom was pre-cached AFAIK, so what you had loaded was what you were stuck with for the whole map, no swapping stuff out mid-level.

RobinSena said:

(though apparently, two Spiderdemons were possible, a la PSX Map 54: Redemption Denied.)

Because it's exactly the same set of graphics, they don't incur any extra memory usage just by reusing cached assets.

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RobinSena said:

I also mainly played the Playstation version as a kid (I only first played the PC version a year or two ago). It certainly had some good things going for it, but being a PC only player now, there were certainly some drawbacks, so I don't think it should be a total whitewash celebrating it.

Some major drawbacks:
-Too easy. As a kid I thought it was difficult, but being a PC Ultraviolence player now, I can see it was way too easy.
-They removed some of the better levels, especially if there was a Cyberdemon or Spiderdemon. Levels in Doom II, like the Spirit World (the best level), The Living End, Downtown, and a few others - nowhere to be found.
-No Arch-Vile. I understand this to be partially a limitation of the Playstation hardware, but I feel if they split up Ultimate Doom and Doom II onto 2 separate discs, it could have worked.
-They butchered many levels by removing/replacing more difficult monsters. Doom II's Map 27: Monster Condo is a total joke in the Playstation version.
-The Revenants are NO threat in the Playstation version.

Some Advantages:
-The Look. The lighting affects, as well as the Fire Skies, were a major improvement.
-The Sound. Awesome sound affects for just about everything.
-The Music. I personally prefer the regular Doom soundtracks, but I can see why everyone likes the
ambient music of Playstation Doom.
-No Map 24: The Chasm

An Issue I'm neutral on:
-No Nightmare! Skill Level

Overall, it's a well-made game, but falls short of the PC version. Whether it was for hardware issues, or for issues regarding decisions they made, there were certainly some things that could have been better. But as I mainly played the Playstation version as a kid, I'll remember it fondly.


-No Map 24: The Chasm
^^^ This, 1,000,000%... fuck that map (and Perfect Hatred)

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Sodaholic said:

The Jaguar version had rotations which would have necessitated including said frames, which they really didn't have the room for on the cartridge. Not only that, but they only appear once, whereas Barons are used as a normal enemy after E1, which somewhat justifies prioritizing him over the latter two bosses.


They could have saved up a bit of space by simply removing the level music that plays in the intermission screen. Since the Jaguar couldn't have music due to its music processor being used for collision detection, they may as well have just used the standard intermission music and used the space to add more things from the PC version such as more texture variety.

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MetroidJunkie said:

They could have saved up a bit of space by simply removing the level music that plays in the intermission screen. Since the Jaguar couldn't have music due to its music processor being used for collision detection, they may as well have just used the standard intermission music and used the space to add more things from the PC version such as more texture variety.

As I said before you need to do the math before claiming this. Total up the size of the DSP music programs, instrument patches, and the code to play them that's in the EXE against the total size of the two boss monster sprite sets, their sound effects, AND the maps that they appear on (Tower of Babel, and the real Dis). If that stuff comes out to a greater amount of space than the DSP music, then it couldn't have been done period, without some other sacrifices being made as well.

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That's true, the SNES version certainly had to make some compromises to get it all to fit, such as making the Spider Mastermind's death and pain sound (seemingly) the same as its sight sound and making the BFG 9000's blast the Baron of Hell's green fireball.

It's not like you can say the same about the Playstation, though, unless they just honestly didn't want to put in the effort or the system somehow wasn't powerful enough to base it off the PC version or something.

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