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Agent6

Your thoughts on Plutonia

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Well, not much else to say about the purpose of this topic, the title is self-explanatory.

 

Having just finished Plutonia today I was eager to hear your thoughts on it. What you liked, what you did not, your favorite maps, memorable/fun moments, secrets, tips, and so on. I for one did not enjoy it, not in the sense that I disliked it as a whole based on its quality and whatnot, but it really showed it's aimed at being challenging and pushing you to your limits. I have never played Final Doom before and decided to play it on UV (I'm nuts, but damn proud of it sometimes :v ) and I feel like this truly was the Dark Souls of the shooters back in the '90s. Every single level was painful, it places too much emphasis on hitscanners and difficult to reach enemies, ambushes and traps of all sorts, Archviles, and especially Revenants and Chaingunners (especially those who cannot be reached at distance due to their placement). I found myself save-spamming in almost every single map, I could not finish any of them in one go. The levels themselves were good, my favorite map is Odyssey of Noises for being open and quite large, actually fun to play, overall calmer with less action going on, no crazy ambushes, with good enemy placements. I wish more maps were like this... I really feel that beside Doom veterans and very skilled players only masochists are going to enjoy this experience. Finishing it surely was deeply satisfying, but the overall experience was not. I don't want to experience this kind of frustration again anytime soon. It would've been much better if it was challenging and fun at the same time, but it focuses too much on the difficulty imo, which to a degree I liked, it was good to see how it made me calculate my moves and actually come up with a plan than just go berserk and hope to kill everything in sight, something that's not going to happen here.

 

One difference from the other Doom games (from my experience anyway) is that enemies tend to attack each other much more frequently here, typically resulting in infights that most of the time work in your favor. This was especially useful in the last level where everyone was super busy killing each other at some point while I was throwing my rockets at the Icon of Sin, unlike Doom 2 where everybody wanted to rape me as hard as they could. I have jumped into TNT Evilution after finishing Plutonia and so far I'm actually enjoying this one, although I now do expect running into trouble sooner or later. I'm also noticing the levels are much shorter and less complex here than in Plutonia. And fun, the barrels did their job in the first 2-3 levels :v .

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I loved Plutonia. Definitely the best iwad for me, even better than Ultimate Doom, and without a doubt 100000000x better than TNT. My only regret is doubting whether or not I could actually play it on UV. People definitely overhype the difficulty, as it wasn't very hard on UV at all. In fact, it was quite a pleasurable experience.

 

Though surprisingly enough (or not, I don't actually know), I have absolutely no interest in playing any of the community Plutonia sequels, similar to how I feel about Heretic (unironically my mostestest favoritest game of all time): loved every second of it; never want to play it again.

 

Favorite map: Odyssey of Noises as well. Pretty wonderful penultimate map for a pretty wonderful wad.

Second favorite map: Hunted. tbh the music completely sells it for me

Third favorite map: Go2It. I don't think I've ever been so terrified and stressed out over a level in my life. I probably cried and even peed a little while playing it. My biggest Doom accomplishment is probably me UV-maxing Go2It with only one death on my first playthrough. Pretty heckin solid if you ask me c:

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Plutonia is the bee's knees. Easily my favorite IWAD of them all. <3

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the Plutonia concept of reducing Doom down to arcade scenarios with no real theming at all is basically the opposite of what I want from the game but frankly some of the maps are still really cool anyway. Caged is a difficult early map I admire in particular cos of how it pushes you around

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5 hours ago, bonnie said:

My only regret is doubting whether or not I could actually play it on UV. People definitely overhype the difficulty, as it wasn't very hard on UV at all. In fact, it was quite a pleasurable experience.

Wow wow wow, it shows you really loved Plutonia, but no, people definitely don't overhype the difficulty, it was a fucking nightmare for me on UV and a blind playthrough. You probably are just skilled at the game so it didn't pose much of a challenge to you. But to me it did, I spammed the saves on most levels, died hundreds of times (or at least dozens), got pissed off most of the time, etc. I eventually managed to finish it, Go2It was surprisingly easy since everyone was so busy killing each other I just hid and ran like a maniac most of the time and easily killed the Icon of Sin.

 

I liked Plutonia, but I did not enjoy it. I love a good challenge whenever that is, but Plutonia took it to a whole new, masochistic level. Glad I played and finished it, I'm not hating or bashing it, but don't want to come back to it anytime soon, or at least not until I become a better player to actually enjoy the challenge rather than getting pissed at dying most of the time in almost all maps, it's zero fun this way. I'm perhaps going to be one of the fewer players who will enjoy TNT much more than it, I already like it more, it's actually fun for me, and the soundtrack is fantastic.

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You don't really need to be a 'skilled player' to find Plutonia not so tough. It was quite difficult by the standards of the mid-'90s, but people who keep up with modern wads won't find it too harsh compared to what they usually play. Modern hardcore wads make Plutonia look like an actual walk in the park -- not even exaggerating there -- but experience with those is hardly necessary; anyone who has played through, let's say, the 7 or 8 easiest wads of the top 20 on this list will already be inoculated against most of what Plutonia has to offer. 

 

Edited by rdwpa
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In my opinion, Plutonia is not difficult anymore due to modern standards or such, so I would say the difficulty of Plutonia could be casually enjoyed. Yeah, I understand when you first got into this difficulty, you may think Plutonia is kind of unfair, but on the other side, it makes you think for any type of trap, which is a good point here. I used to think Map32 is difficult, but now it's somewhat easy to me if you know what to do.

 

I totally understand some of the maps will scare players away because of the tough start, such as Map07 and Map15. To be honest, Doom is never a new player friendly game. Most of the time you need to have foreknowledge in order to enjoy it. Some of the TNT maps are definitely sort of Plutonia-ish difficulty, so yeah. I'm glad that you enjoy Classic Doom. Keep it up, maybe some other popular WADs after TNT.

 

EDIT: Save-spamming is fine when you don't know what to expect in a map because I also do this (I mean a lot) for pathfinding runs, but eventually I'll figure out what to do and try to beat the map in single segment, which I will consider "actually beating" the map.

 

Favorite map: Map15, Probably Map29, Probably Map32

Least favorite map: Map11

 

BTW: Remember to use the Community Midi pack for Plutonia, which boosts the experience quite a lot.

Edited by GarrettChan
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First played some of the Plutonia maps in PSX Final Doom in the mid 1990s, but completed the whole PC version more recently. Even so, can't remember too much about many particular levels, which may be saying something about the overall nature of the wad. The one thing that does remain in the memory is the final level IoS confrontation: hard but fair, unlike many IoS versions released in megawads since then which have seemed to put the emphasis on baffling the player, or just being downright silly or impossible - I'm looking at you, Alien Vendetta, Icarus, D2TWID and others....

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I replayed Plutonia last summer for the first time since I was 12(20 years later) and I still have a hard time remembering it.  I can remember there being lots of hitscan, some simple traps, but I still found it as forgettable as TNT.  I do recall enjoying myself more but I can think of other wads I'd rather replay as time goes on than either of the Final Doom wads.  I could see it being harder if I forced myself to play keyboard only or something; but I can't see any enjoyment coming from it. 

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1 hour ago, GarrettChan said:

In my opinion, Plutonia is not difficult anymore due to modern standards or such, so I would say the difficulty of Plutonia could be casually enjoyed. Yeah, I understand when you first got into this difficulty, you may think Plutonia is kind of unfair, but on the other side, it makes you think for any type of trap, which is a good point here. I used to think Map32 is difficult, but now it's somewhat easy to me if you know what to do.

 

I totally understand some of the maps will scare players away because of the tough start, such as Map07 and Map15. To be honest, Doom is never a new player friendly game. Most of the time you need to have foreknowledge in order to enjoy it. Some of the TNT maps are definitely sort of Plutonia-ish difficulty, so yeah. I'm glad that you enjoy Classic Doom. Keep it up, maybe some other popular WADs after TNT.

 

EDIT: Save-spamming is fine when you don't know what to expect in a map because I also do this (I mean a lot) for pathfinding runs, but eventually I'll figure out what to do and try to beat the map in single segment, which I will consider "actually beating" the map.

 

Favorite map: Map15, Probably Map29, Probably Map32

Least favorite map: Map11

 

BTW: Remember to use the Community Midi pack for Plutonia, which boosts the experience quite a lot.

 

Well I think it feels so challenging due to its overuse of aimbot perfect and hitscan enemies such as Chaingunners who tend to be placed in hard reaching areas, damaging you from a distance, and of course Revenants and Archviles. I think there even are some hidden Archviles in some levels since enemies seem to constantly respawn and make your life more difficult than it already is, but they are nowhere to be seen. The levels were great and maps such as Odyssey are quite memorable, it's just the murder-hungry enemies who tend to ruin the experience.

 

There are some occasional traps, and not to mention ambushes, but after a while they're kinda becoming predictable. Later in the game I found myself running into rooms with valuable items that I could almost feel screaming "TRAP!" at me. "Hm, lots of ammo and a Megasphere/Key. Yeah, something's about to go down here. *grabs the items* Pff, yeah, Revenants and Archviles. Of course, been expecting you."

 

Save-spamming was bad in the first levels but later things got even uglier, occasionally saving after killing any of the more powerful enemies or clearing a room, regardless of its size. Not having recent saves in most maps would be disastrous given their length and difficulty, relying on autosaves to restart the map and replay it from start to finish yet again is absolutely detestable most of the time, glad I rarely did this. Quite a memorable and painful experience. I'll definitely look for wads after I'm done with TNT. I've had this is mind for some time since I am yet to play anything else than BD and PB and I'm no longer really interested in them.

 

So far TNT is much more bearable and enjoyable, it also features a new soundtrack, something lacking from Plutonia. But I did run into certain Plutonia-esque areas in some maps, namely the (hidden if I'm not mistaken) caves in Wormhole full of Cacodemons, Pain Elementals, Revenants, and Barons of Hell. Unexpected, but definitely not as bad as similar rooms in Plutonia which would result only in death during the first tries.

Edited by Agent6
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Merry Christmas; I'm putting on my late-night, drunken, nostalgia goggles here:

 

In General:

Plutonia was one of the earlier wads I'd played.  I think I played Doom2, Shareware Doom1... (then after a gap of many years later)... Cyberdreams, Plutonia, TNT, in that order.  Plutonia was gruelling, but damn fun.  If someone asked me to describe Plutonia at that time, I would say "The hardest iwad; extremely hard compared to Doom 2, but also pretty good".  Also, I disagree with OP that the 'overall experience was not' deeply satisfying.  I actually thought Plutonia was engaging through the whole thing, and I was hooked through the whole thing.  I used tons of saves, but persevered to the end.  I even detoured to the secret maps before going to Map16.

 

OP mentions Map29:

I thought Map29 Odyssey of Noises was good but overrated w.r.t many forum members' appraisal of it.  I kinda liked Doom2's Downtown and Industrial Zone better, where Odyssey of Noises is all brown and has fewer jumpy-jumps than those two.  I like Doom 2 a lot so I'm biased :)

 

OP mentions playing on UV:

I think I recall UV in Plutonia being not that different from its lower difficulties.  Or at least, the lower difficulties seemed not worth playing.  This is especially true when compared to Doom 2, which had very high difficulty variance between the difficulty settings.  I don't think there was any reason to play on HNTR compared to UV in Plutonia.  It didn't matter because UV still felt doable despite being hard, so why bother?  Also, I was a patient fellow with lots of time on his hands, so going through UV with saves was fine.

 

Note that these things were all from the perspective of a newbie who looooooooved playing DOOM2.WAD repeatedly as a child, but hadn't been exposed to harder wads until Final Doom.

 

PS. oh yah Hunted was a great map too, especially for newbs.  Archviles are pretty much the most terrifying creepy thing when you start playing Doom.  (Full disclosure: I had frequent nightmares of Archvile-esque monsters that lurk outdoors at night and run at you very fast; I literally had a nightmare once where an Archvile killed my father).

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13 minutes ago, Agent6 said:

I think there even are some hidden Archviles in some levels since enemies seem to constantly respawn and make your life more difficult than it already is

 

(TNT)

Haha, I knew you would say that, and I also happen to pick that map (Map15) as one of my favorite. I guess people may think I'm crazy that I like Map15 because it's so not nice to new players. There's another one on Map27, but UV Max doesn't require you to kill that one, so I guess people don't really care about that one.

 

4 of the maps are actually from the authors of Plutonia in TNT, so they may have similar feeling to Plutonia. Also, there are also quite some strange maps (or bad maps) in TNT due to being an early community project.

 

↓↓↓Sorry for the bad spoken English if you're interested in these type of things.

Spoiler

 

 

@NoisyVelvetWhy you're always sort of sleep or drunken :D  I guess having a nightmare where an Arch-vile resurrects something or someone who you don't want to see is worse...

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I really like Plutonia, easily my favorite iwad. I love that most levels aren't too long, so I'm comfortable playing them without saves.

I think cause I played Hell Revealed and Alien Vendetta before owning Final Doom (didn't get it until like 2004), I never really saw Plutonia as super hard. Just as a step up from Doom 2 UV.

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29 minutes ago, GarrettChan said:

Haha, I knew you would say that, and I also happen to pick that map (Map15) as one of my favorite. I guess people may think I'm crazy that I like Map15 because it's so not nice to new players. There's another one on Map27, but UV Max doesn't require you to kill that one, so I guess people don't really care about that one.

 

4 of the maps are actually from the authors of Plutonia in TNT, so they may have similar feeling to Plutonia. Also, there are also quite some strange maps (or bad maps) in TNT due to being an early community project.

 

↓↓↓Sorry for the bad spoken English if you're interested in these type of things.

  Hide contents

 

 

 

Holy shite I missed that so obvious secret, didn't even think about looking down. I had no idea there was a teleport :v . Had I found that secret and Invulnerability the level would've been much easier, but overall I'd call it one of the more bearable maps in Plutonia. I also didn't have to bother with many enemies on that platform since they started attacking each other after a while and killed the Spider Mastermind for me. Great, since I ran out of cells.

 

 

37 minutes ago, NoisyVelvet said:

Merry Christmas; I'm putting on my late-night, drunken, nostalgia goggles here:

 

In General:

Plutonia was one of the earlier wads I'd played.  I think I played Doom2, Shareware Doom1... (then after a gap of many years later)... Cyberdreams, Plutonia, TNT, in that order.  Plutonia was gruelling, but damn fun.  If someone asked me to describe Plutonia at that time, I would say "The hardest iwad; extremely hard compared to Doom 2, but also pretty good".  Also, I disagree with OP that the 'overall experience was not' deeply satisfying.  I actually thought Plutonia was engaging through the whole thing, and I was hooked through the whole thing.  I used tons of saves, but persevered to the end.  I even detoured to the secret maps before going to Map16.

 

OP mentions Map29:

I thought Map29 Odyssey of Noises was good but overrated w.r.t many forum members' appraisal of it.  I kinda liked Doom2's Downtown and Industrial Zone better, where Odyssey of Noises is all brown and has fewer jumpy-jumps than those two.  I like Doom 2 a lot so I'm biased :)

 

OP mentions playing on UV:

I think I recall UV in Plutonia being not that different from its lower difficulties.  Or at least, the lower difficulties seemed not worth playing.  This is especially true when compared to Doom 2, which had very high difficulty variance between the difficulty settings.  I don't think there was any reason to play on HNTR compared to UV in Plutonia.  It didn't matter because UV still felt doable despite being hard, so why bother?  Also, I was a patient fellow with lots of time on his hands, so going through UV with saves was fine.

 

Brown and green sir ;) . Dunno whether it's overrated or not, but that's the map I actually enjoyed in the whole Plutonia. I also didn't say I didn't find the experience satisfying, if anything, finishing it was just that. I said I didn't enjoy the experience (2 different things) since it was masochistically difficult for me, constantly dying on most maps, but felt terribly relieved after being done with it.

 

@Mason. "I'm comfortable playing them without saves." - I'll be damned, seeing most people saying they found Plutonia easy makes me feel more and more like a terrible player (never been a great one tbh, so maybe that's why). Been hearing Alien Vendetta is very difficult, so maybe that explains how this came.

Edited by Agent6
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11 minutes ago, Agent6 said:

I'll be damned, seeing most people saying they found Plutonia easy makes me feel more and more like a terrible player.

Everyone has a different way to enjoy things, so you don't need to feel bad about anything. If you like the feeling of achieving something, you can try to do this one day, but don't force yourself into something you don't like. Otherwise, it makes no sense to "play games", right?

 

BTW, don't forget to post a similar thread after the completion of TNT.

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I got 3 things to say about Plutonia

- The level design and monster encounters are amazing

- Thank god for Quick Saves

- Fuck Map11, it made me quit Plutonia.

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It was tough in UV single player but started to like it more in coop. The violent jungle themes of maps 1-3 were good but what I liked the most were the brown brick textures and SKY3, giving an apocalyptic look in MAP29. Fav maps are 23, 28 and 29. Most of E2 is meh.

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1 hour ago, ASD said:

It was tough in UV single player but started to like it more in coop.

Bout that, I'd be up for some coop, if someone can point me the steps to set the game right for this.

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Plutonia is kinda eh, everything melts into samey generic matter, definitely lacks the clearly distinguishable, memorable maps of Evilution and Doom 2, or the atmospheric backed-to-wall adventures of Ultimate Doom. 

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Plutonia is the kind of mapset that gets more enjoyable the better you know the maps, in my experience. The maps are more fun to attack at with pace (my preferred playing style) rather than slowly picking your way through. As the maps are combat rather than exploration driven they have far more replay value than the other iwads.

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geez, I didn't think plutonia was this loathed, though I can understand the people who find it too easy. it's definitely a product of its time in that regard.

 

Anyways, its definitely my favorite of the IWADs, I honestly had more fun playing it than any other doom game (not that they were unfun, though). The levels are a bit of a blur, I admit, but I feel that way about a lot of games I loved. I loved Doom IV but I barely remember any of the maps, for example.

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I enjoy the first half of TNT but it slowly loses it charm as it goes on for me. Plutonia however for what it is I feel is great all the way through.

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7 hours ago, rdwpa said:

You don't really need to be a 'skilled player' to find Plutonia not so tough. It was quite difficult by the standards of the mid-'90s, but people who keep up with modern wads won't find it too harsh compared to what they usually play. Modern hardcore wads make Plutonia look like an actual walk in the park -- not even exaggerating there -- but experience with those is hardly necessary; anyone who has played through, let's say, the 7 or 8 easiest wads of the top 20 on this list will already be inoculated against most of what Plutonia has to offer. 

 

 

7 hours ago, GarrettChan said:

In my opinion, Plutonia is not difficult anymore due to modern standards or such, so I would say the difficulty of Plutonia could be casually enjoyed. Yeah, I understand when you first got into this difficulty, you may think Plutonia is kind of unfair, but on the other side, it makes you think for any type of trap, which is a good point here. I used to think Map32 is difficult, but now it's somewhat easy to me if you know what to do.

[snip]

eventually I'll figure out what to do and try to beat the map in single segment, which I will consider "actually beating" the map.

59 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Plutonia is the kind of mapset that gets more enjoyable the better you know the maps, in my experience. The maps are more fun to attack at with pace (my preferred playing style) rather than slowly picking your way through. As the maps are combat rather than exploration driven they have far more replay value than the other iwads.

 

 

precisely this. many of the "omg plutonia is too hard" come from 2 decade old reviews or people without much experience of the wad. while its chaigunner / revenant / archvile combo still provides tough gameplay, these scenarios can be beaten quickly if you know the map. this being said, its jungle theme is still one of the staples of doom mapping. and thanks for the community midi pack suggestion.

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People talk a lot about Plutonia's gameplay, but its visual side deserves just as much attention. The Casali brothers had a fantastic sense of architecture. The way they relied on repetition of structural elements and harmony of neat geometric shapes allowed them to create believable environments without copying real life locations. Their work was also a lot more professional and consistent than in any other iwad or maybe even pwad at the time. Anyone can name a bunch of ugly id Software or TNT maps, but Plutonia maintained the same high quality throughout all levels. There is nothing bad in it as far as the visuals go. And it was incredibly influential and I still see traces of Plutonia's design philosophy everywhere in user-made maps.

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I liked the theme of red, green and brown. Intriguingly enough, these correspond to Abaddon, also known as The Destroyer, the King of the locusts, and the Angel of the bottomless pit who binds Satan for a thousand years. He is associated with intuition, sacrifice and challenge, resulting in great fighting and overcoming near impossible odds. Hmm?

I also dug the naturalistic design of the earlier levels, which amusingly enough seemed more earthy than Doom II's and the sense of penetrating this deep, dark web of jungle and ancient civilizations. Appropriately themed with the amount of traps and nonstop peril you face when trying to explore it. Later on it goes into more of a traditional Doom style, looking like the world is becoming infested by Hell before you are finally transported to the other side, with some of the hardest fighting you'll do in a Doom IWAD.

I further enjoyed that most maps did not rely on throwing hundreds of monsters at you, but instead carefully placed them in strategic positions to maximize their effectiveness. It's as if the maps themselves are what's hard, and the monsters are merely following orders. The first two levels of Doom's episode 4 comes to mind, where the difficulty did not lie specifically in the fighting, but the levels themselves, which amplified their threat scope to previously unseen levels. Outside of MAP32: Go 2 It, none of the maps have the elements of a slaughtermap, and even MAP32 is tame compared to what you'd later seen in Hell Revealed and beyond.

The only map I didn't really care for was Hunted, if only because I find it boring to navigate and it's not really that hard. Maybe back in 1996. Not a bad concept, it was improved upon in Plutonia 2 (have yet to play Plutonia Revisited). Sometimes the sheer amount of chaingunners can be annoying to deal with, but ultimately its the insidious hidden Archviles that revive them over and over again that are the worst. I never really had a problem with a bunch of Revenants, seeing as you can make their projectiles collide into other monsters. I didn't even mind the homages to id levels, especially Doom 1 maps, complimented with the abundance of Doom 1 music, it certainly lends a sense of familiarity, while being uniquely sinister all on its own.

The difficulty of the IWAD is IMHO overrated, I'm not saying I'm a Doom god, because I'm not, but I would like to consider myself competent, with some expert tactics I employ often, and find Plutonia hard but fair. I don't understand how some people can play without savegames though, namely in a lot of these modern maps which send the skill level required past the ceiling. I can get past a lot of levels in Plutonia without dying, save a few exceptions where it's easy to make a mistake or just plain bad luck. The technicality required to overcome some fights and your proper usage of some weapons is more advanced than your average IWAD map, but nothing so out of the way as to be completely baffling to anyone who plays Doom regularly.

Also, the Icon battle is my favorite of the IWADs, if only because it's over very quickly, even with the added monsters placed in the level. Doom II's and TNT's Icon fights are just tedious and more trial and error than anything.

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Plutonia is pretty great. It's easily my favorite IWAD (Although The Ultimate Doom's E1 is a close candidate). Strangely though, I preferred TNT over Plutonia for a while, mainly because I never really bothered to play anything after the first episode of Plutonia.

 

I find Plutonia's main source of difficulty to be its ambushes. Compared to some modern WADs, these traps aren't particularly unforgiving but they can be quite harrowing for newer players. They certainly were for me. However, mere knowledge of the tricks Plutonia uses is often sufficient to crush the levels. This gameplay-style is reflected in a lot of newer WADs, with difficulties scaled appropriately for modern #hardcore players.

 

Also, I think Plutonia offers the most replayability out of the four IWADs. The small levels and sharp focus on combat make Plutonia the first mapset I play with any new mod. Plutonia is the first mapset I completed on UV-Max, UV-Fast, and UV-Respawn (without saves). Co-op's a blast too... Interestingly enough, Plutonia loves ripping off DOOM 2 (and The Ultimate Doom to a certain degree), but I found Plutonia to basically be "DOOM 2, but better".

 

As a whole, I think Plutonia has aged remarkably well, better than TNT and DOOM 2, in both gameplay and visuals. The visuals may be repetitive to some but, I found them to be consistently good and memorable. TNT adopted a more "realistic" approach (graphics over art-style) and has suffered over the years because of it.

 

Plutonia and TNT also serve as the primary examples of the two major mapset paradigms I still observe to this day. TNT focuses more on experimentation. A lot of ZDoom maps follow a similar vein, tinkering with port features, often with mixed results. Plutonia plays it safe in this regard, by designing compelling combat instead. And although I'd love to see more mapsets that adopt both styles (such as Sunlust and Valiant), the paradigm established by Plutonia is easier to emulate and more consistent.

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Plutonia is my least favorite of the Iwads for completely subjective reasons.

 

Though Doom is a action heavy, fast-paced game in general, I usually prefer to take my time and play somewhat carefully. It felt like Plutonia's maps were designed for aggressive and fast game play. So I felt like it was forcing me to play in a way I don't normally play. The more I played it, the more it felt like it dragged on. Also, fuck the infinitely resurrecting chaingunners.

 

One map I found really fun though, was MAP24.

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