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Zulk RS

Why is Thy Flesh Consumed so hard?

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I haven't really played E4 of Ultimate Doom until recently. I'm not even done.
But after going through all of E3 and now playing through E4 in UV, it seemed to me that the difficulty level went up 5 times or something.

Though E4 isn't too hard on it's own, compared to the rest of Ultimate Doom, it seemed like the game went from being a cake walk to something that is somewhat challenging.

I was wondering why that is. Why did the put this huge difficulty spike in the game?

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Well, EP4 was added in 1995, id put less thought (they were involved in other projects) than in other 3 episodes (it features no boss at the end, only the spider mastermind). It feels like a compilation of maps, not an episode.

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Episode 4 was designed for the players who have already mastered Doom, to give them a new challenge.
The real question is why episode 4 has such a weird difficulty curve..

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I don't really mind the difficulty (I actually find E4M2 fun, honestly), but the inconsistency is what bugs me a bit about E4. You're flung from E4M2, a pretty cool map, into E4M3, which is pretty basic and dull, and the creator of E4M4 seems to have a thing for the BROWNHUG texture given that its a bunch of boxy rooms with that texture everywhere.

The weird difficulty curve wasn't a big issue for me though when I was playing the episode last, though, since I was doing pistol starts.

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It's hard because it's the last episode of Doom. It better be hard. Isn't the insane twisted intermission image a good enough clue that the fun's over now? I definitely felt that when I was teleported from E4M1 into the hellhole that's E4M2 (and I was on ITYTD… now E4M1 is quite a hellhole as well).

I know that some later levels become highly rewarding, but they still look wildly different from Doom 1's original trilogy. The main thing about Episode 4 is that its levels no longer follow any hard rule. They still lean towards darkness and oppression, but in an unpredictable way.

I'd love to relive this feeling. Have a set of episodes with nice overhead maps and well-defined objectives, and a last episode where everything is forgotten and the player is thrown into a nebulous nightmare.

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Because they're trying to emulate Doom II-style gameplay without proper mid-tier monsters, and without a SSG to balance things out. Ouch.

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It was released after doom 2, too. I think that has something to do with it.

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Maes said:

Because they're trying to emulate Doom II-style gameplay without proper mid-tier monsters, and without a SSG to balance things out. Ouch.



This! It always felt doom2-ish. And on many occasions i missed the SSG.

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I found E4 to be hard, but only for the first two levels. Probably because they toss a lot of monsters at you while you still only have the basic weapons. Once you start getting the rocket launcher, plasma rifle, etc it becomes far easier. I didn't break a sweat on level 3 and beyond.

My objection to E4 is just... how shovelware the maps seem to be. It doesn't have that iD level of quality. It's more akin to a bunch of random 1994 maps from the FTP server than anything else.

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Id clearly wanted to challenge its fans, the back of the box even mentions this. As many have already pointed out here and in past threads, it's those first two damn maps, especially E4M1 which feels more like a third map in a typical eoiside. It's pretty standard after the second level.

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Hiram Abif said:

I found E4 to be hard, but only for the first two levels. Probably because they toss a lot of monsters at you while you still only have the basic weapons. Once you start getting the rocket launcher, plasma rifle, etc it becomes far easier. I didn't break a sweat on level 3 and beyond.

My objection to E4 is just... how shovelware the maps seem to be. It doesn't have that iD level of quality. It's more akin to a bunch of random 1994 maps from the FTP server than anything else.

e4m1 is still pretty short of ammo for a max run even with the rocket launcher.

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First two levels are quite difficult but after the 2nd level, it becomes like the other episodes.

High-tier enemies in the first & second level plus a huge amount of low-tier ones, so that is ammo consuming. That's why it's difficult.

I love doing 100 % but if it's too much of a frustration, I skip it.

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E4M2 isn't nearly as bad because there's a lot of opportunities to utilize infighting to thin out the herds. In the beginning, the Cacodemons can be very useful clearing out crowds for you.

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Well, if it wasn't meant to be hard, it would be called "Thy flesh gently stroked".

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That NIN secret in E4M1 is kind of a dick move, though, spawning Barons that you aren't well enough equipped to deal with. I don't think finding secrets should make you worse off but that's just me.

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I'm doing my first UV run of E4 at the moment (After my first UV run of E1-3 and Doom 2) and I'm finding much the same as everyone else.

M1 and M2 were really challenging. The second half of M2 was easier than the first. The ammo situation improved once you get the chainsaw.

As a sadist, I then went to m9 which is quite reasonable.

The ammo situation reverses completely in m3. Finally get the backpack and boxes of ammo everywhere.

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Because it was rushed and threfore not playtested in terms of gameplay, the only map I think that took it's time was DR. Sleep's E4M7.

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joe-ilya said:

Because it was rushed and threfore not playtested in terms of gameplay, the only map I think that took it's time was DR. Sleep's E4M7.


That's right. As Carmack said, Ultimate Doom was not a priority at id and done at the encouragement of the publisher. That's why it added no new enemies or features to the episode.

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rileymartin said:

That's right. As Carmack said, Ultimate Doom was not a priority at id and done at the encouragement of the publisher. That's why it added no new enemies or features to the episode.

excuse you, that sexy orange sky is definitely good enough to be considered a new feature. :P

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It's because id wanted to challenge players. I actually liked how generous some of the levels are (E4M2 has a BFG secret).

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rileymartin said:

That's why it added no new enemies or features to the episode.


Any conceivable way they could have done that without adopting the Doom II engine and resources? And OK, you could say the engine was already kind of there, what with the unified executable and all that. Let's even say that they could have thrown in the SSG sprites and allow it to be picked as an item. What next? Thrown in Hell Knights? Chaingunners?

No matter how you look at it, "adding new enemies and features" would translate to making a Doom/Doom II hybrid, which by late 1995 they really didn't want to do anymore: Final Doom's differences with Doom II were literally a couple of lines of code and some strings of text. What makes you think they'd put significantly more effort into Ultimate Doom?

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