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MattGuy1990

Best episode in TUD?

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For me it's a draw between The Shores Of Hell and Inferno; one takes all the eleents of KDITD and makes them better, the other tae a whole new direction with claustrophobic rooms. mind-screwing maps (map02 is a freakin' hand!) and more difficult monsters placements.

 

What's yours?

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Mine's going to be The Shores of Hell. It was going to be a draw between it and Inferno at first but then I remembered my struggle with the latter due to the limited quantities of available ammo and high number of enemies in the first levels. E3M1 and E3M2 were not fun for me...

 

I also like a number of maps from Thy Flesh Consumed a lot, such as E4M4, but I wouldn't count that episode among my favorites overall. And E4M1 is infuriatingly difficult for some odd reason, with lots of dangerous traps present.

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5 hours ago, UAC-Janitor said:

map02? uhhhh e2m2 or e3m2??

Well, only e3 have a map shaped as hand, last time I checked xp

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Knee Deep in the Dead is the best. It has the best looking maps and thoughtful level designs. That's not to say that I'm not tired of killing zombie men and pinky demons or that all maps would look better if they had more startan and nukage in them, but against the other episodes it's just the best, fully cooked maps there are for Doom.

 

I prefer the ideas that make up the themes of the other episodes, but they just aren't as well done as E1 is.

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To be perfectly honest, I can't decide between E1 and E2. I love Knee-Deep in the Dead's level design, but I also love The Shores of Hell's theme.

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Hell's Maw. (Oops, wrong game... :P )

 

You know, that is a very good question... I haven't played UD as much as I should be.

But when I do, I always play the game in order. Unless I'm exploring of course, but you know how I am... ;)

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As much as I love Sandy's stuff, I have to say my favorite episode is Thy Flesh Consumed. The style, gameplay, the steep difficulty curve(compared to the other official releases)and the diversity of mappers just hit all the right buttons for me. It also introduced one of my most favorite themes in Doom: marble, metal, wood, hellslime(lava/blood), sp_rock and the easily recognized orange sky. I think there's a good balance in map sizes and in terms of quality and consistency, I think it fares better overall than the second and third episodes. Of course there are weaker maps in it, more specifically Green's but I still think they're pretty good in the context of the episode just because it's really easy to make a good looking map with that particular style, very versatile and works in both large and small maps. 

 

I even liked the secret level which was more of a "techbase" than the actual episode theme, but I thought it was sort of good looking and a nice shift in mood for that particular map slot. After all, it's the secret level *wink*.

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E3 > E4 = E2 >>>>>>>> E1.

 

JXT has it right on E3 (well, he underrates Pandemonium, but it only really works right from a pistol start.  Also, the simulated colored lighting in that level always makes me smile.).  E4 has three great maps (1, 2, 6) and then a lot of forgettable ones.  E2 is hit-and-miss, but some of the intimidating Baron usage is cool; when E2 is really rockin' it's got a certain horror feel to it that's hard to do in Doom.  I will never understand the love for E1; shooting harmless zombies through windows, YAWN, "oh but it flows and has windows" oh but who cares.

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Definitely E2 for me. The Cyberdemon is epic, I gotta love the sky, and the whole "Hell consuming a techbase" is just perfection in my opinion. I wish the whole game was like that.

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I find my rating to be:

 

E1 = E3 > E4 = E2

 

E1 has the best level design in the game and is by far the most consistent in theme, gameplay quality, and weapon progression. It plays it pretty safe in terms of ideas but serves as an introduction to the different weapons and monsters in Doom 1.

 

E2 is competent and has good thematic quality. It has some good baron usage but doesn't really expand the ideas presented in E1 all that well. It does have the best level (E2M2) and the Cyberdemon "boss" at the end is particularly memorable.

 

E3 is full of gimmicks and sticks with them, making it well-executed. I love it for that. Unlike the half-hearted gimmicks in Doom 2, E3 expects you to deal with the stuff it presents. Hell maps, sandbox maps, sewer maps, etc. see their glorious introduction here. Also has the best replay value according to me.

 

E4 has some great maps, namely E4M1, E4M2, and E4M6 (What else were you expecting?) but suffers from a lack of consistency in both challenge and quality. A smoother/non-existent difficulty curve would have been much better compared to the roller-coaster we got instead.

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E3 is my favorite, it has a whimsical quality to its concepts married to a mordant mood that stands the test of time, and as with many of Sandy's levels quite a few of the maps can be played in different ways, though this is naturally more true of some than others (i.e. E3M1 and E3M4 are both very linear any way you slice it), and of course not nearly as pronounced in this regard as his Doom II levels would eventually be. E2 has also grown on me a great deal over the years, again largely a question of atmosphere, and the episode's penchant for horror that Cynical mentioned. Considering how the IWAD content is pitched and balanced, granted, I would almost certainly be numb to this if I were playing E2 for the first time today, but the fact of the matter is that I first played it as a kid in the 90s, and have had an ongoing relationship with it (and the rest of the game) over the years as my perspective has changed.

 

All that being said, I think it's difficult to argue against the notion that E1 is the most polished, refined and deliberately paced and framed of the original episodes from an 'objective' standpoint, whether we adopt the mores of our current time, those of 199x when Doom was the hot new thing, or of any period in between. We might say that it's a more 'ideal' first episode than The Shores of Hell is an ideal E2 or Inferno is an ideal E3, if it helps to think of it that way. Regardless, the capriciousness, mood, and sheer variety of the Sandy/Tom stuff just simply suits me better than Romero's more focused/singleminded vision (and more than McGee's, later); to this day I can still have a surprising discovery or experience in one of Sandy's maps, whereas John's for the most part all play more or less the same every time.

 

As for E4, well.......when I was a younger player I went through a phase where the most important thing to me in Doom (and in most other games as well) was challenge, and so during that time I probably would've said E4 was my favorite. No longer....these days it always reads to me as a lot more awkward, and it has been difficult to maintain that fondness for it, even though it presents a more thematically focused/coherent experience (i.e. dusky gothic marble + tougher action), ala E1, but with much more advanced gameplay in general. Part of this is probably due to its wider roster of authors giving it a more drastically up-and-down quality. As it stands, I'm still fond of E4M1 and E4M6 ( the oft-cited E4M2 has lost some of its shine for me, probably a result of pure incidental overexposure in my case) and find E4M5 conceptually fascinating as well, but other levels fare less well. When DWMC played the original Doom I said that I think E2M3 is the worst level in that game, and while I stand by that, if we include E4 as well then it is soundly trounced in that regard by E4M4, which is bad enough both in and out of the context of the episode it appears in that it sort of represents for me how much better E4 could've been if id had had the time/inclination to give just a little bit more of a shit than they evidently did when making it. :D

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Any episode that isn't Thy Flesh Consumed, it always seemed inconsistent and bad arranged to me in terms of difficulty progression. However, it has the hardest maps of the game (iwad), and in E4M2 is where I found out about the "run" and "strafe" keys, not exactly where I started to use them continuously. I'll admit this one is the most memorable episode, as it took me way longer to finnish it.  

 

Knee Deep was my first steps in Doom, there's some special value on learning how to move the marine, shoot and stuff like that, I don't exactly remember a few of the maps but it is overall pretty consistent in designs. E1M8 was always a mystery, the ending sequence, why Doomguy died after teleporting into pitch blackness, yeah there's the story but I'm talking about before reading it. 

 

Shores presented me my favourite monster, cacodemons! But that wasn't the main reason I liked that episode. It started to get more spooky and bloody, more tough, more complex. Second boss appeared, or actual boss, or actual ex-boss, or just a tall cow on two legs, I didn't know how to strafe or run, so the rockets always caught me. Funny how a little bit of experience makes the map uninteresting, even though I did see the whole map unlike E3M8. Unfortunately, it isn't the most memorable episode in my case. 

 

Inferno looked really how with those red bricks and lava everywhere. This has one of my most memorable maps, Unholy Cathedral, what a bastard of a map, always confusing me, putting me in front of those cacodemons with my 0 skills. Another memorable map was E3M9, mostly because of deja vu and the two surprise traps (the cyberdemon was back again, though I really appreciated the invul sphere back then; and the hordes of shotgunners and barons, a torture for a noob like I was). Third boss appeared, or final boss, or ex-boss, or just a brain on four metallic legs, coward me never wanted to leave the entrance, so it took me a while to actually meet the spider's full body, besides when I saw her it looked much bigger than it actually is. It wasn't until last summer that I explored that map entirely, I just didn't have the guts years ago. Things are different nowadays, yet it is the second most memorable episode. 

 

In conclusion, I don't have a favourite episode :P

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Hmm, i'll go with E1, although by now techbases have been done to death i've always enjoyed the theme itself. I don't really know how i'd rank the other 3 episodes but they never give me the same level of fun as E1 does.

 

On the subject of PWADs, the E1 levels often tend to be my favourites. Classics such as Double Impact and No End In Sight (E1M7 specifically) just further fuel my love of techbases.

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Personally, E1 and E2 are a tie for me. Episode 1 is the iconic episode that shows you the adventures that will end up in a progressive hellification in episode 2 with the cybie waiting for you in that tower. I love the setting of episode 1 as much as the "dynamic" setting of episode 2.

Episode 3, which I also like it, doesn't have the same impact as the other 2 episodes in my opinion. And episode 4 is my least favorite of the lot for several reasons...some mixed feelings that I have with that one.

1 hour ago, Shanoa said:

On the subject of PWADs, the E1 levels often tend to be my favourites. Classics such as Double Impact and No End In Sight (E1M7 specifically) just further fuel my love of techbases.

Try 2002: A Doom Odyssey and Concerned too. ;)

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15 hours ago, Cynical said:

I will never understand the love for E1; shooting harmless zombies through windows, YAWN, "oh but it flows and has windows" oh but who cares.

Hey fuck you, man!

 

The attention to texture alignment, lighting, height variation, thematic consistency, contrast of small and large spaces, and the unique shapes of the sectors that make up the maps all facilitate everything the Doom engine is good at doing. The puzzles are cool, the secrets are great, and despite being pretty labyrinthine, many of the maps are fairly easy to navigate compared to the rest of the episodes because of the use of central hub areas and noticeable landmarks. I really don't think the same can be said with as much enthusiasm for the other three episodes.

 

I can't defend the gameplay. I can only excuse it for being the beginning of the game and by design, expect to appeal to people from 1993 who may have no interest in video games otherwise. It's basically a forced 9-level tutorial that builds a skill platform so you can be a capable player when you play the rest of the game, Doom 2, Final Doom, Master Levels, and the community PWADs that come after it. I think E1 succeeded in that very well, but I can't, with any shred of dignity, play it looking for a thrilling and adrenaline pumping experience. Zombiemen, imps, pinky demons and infinite shotgun shells is just sooooo boring.

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20 minutes ago, leodoom85 said:

Personally, E1 and E2 are a tie for me. Episode 1 is the iconic episode that shows you the adventures that will end up in a progressive hellification in episode 2 with the cybie waiting for you in that tower. I love the setting of episode 1 as much as the "dynamic" setting of episode 2.

Episode 3, which I also like it, doesn't have the same impact as the other 2 episodes in my opinion. And episode 4 is my least favorite of the lot for several reasons...some mixed feelings that I have with that one.

Try 2002: A Doom Odyssey and Concerned too. ;)

I played 2002ADO, was one of my earlier walkthrough on Youtube even! Did not try Concerned though, i'll go download it.

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My favourite episodes are in this order:  E1=E3 > E4 > E2

 

Knee Deep in the Dead is a classic. Fast music, awesome tech bases, and sweet level design.

I like it very much, thanks to E1M1 (most played map), E1M2 (goes in pair with E1M1), E1M4 (my favourite map ever), E1M8 (pretty nice for a boss fight) and E1M9 (Hiding the Secrets...).

 

The Shores of Hell bores me to death for some reason, which I haven't discovered to this day. I just play it when I want to finish the Ultimate Doom as a whole, but otherwise I stay away. Ask me to tell you any map from this episode and I will only remember E2M2, because it is a great map. The rest of the maps I don't remember, but I can think of a moment when you had to traverse a toxic floor labyrinth, which had some vines here and there (don't know why I can remember it). 

The problem for me in this episode, must be the textures, or maybe the tight spaces, if it has tight spaces (seriously I can't remember).

Edit: I forgot E2M1 and E2M8. E2M8 is the best boss fight in Doom1 and E2M1 was ok for a start, but still, not a fan of most of the levels in E2.

 

Inferno is a masterpiece. Atmosphere is strong thanks to the hellish design and the music is pure evil. I think it is a sign...

Gameplay is also pretty fun.

E3M1 is a memorable beginning, E3M2 is a hand in the map, which made it stay in my memory and it is well designed as a rocky exterior, E3M6 is a very open and interesting map, E3M7 feels like a very dark place (imo, it is the most hellish level in the episode), E3M8 is just memorable, although I admit that the first time I played it, it felt awesome, because I killed the Mastermind with the Rocket Launcher, which took some time, compared to a few BFG shots and E3M9 is one enjoyable secret map (love the idea of the map unfolding, as the player makes more progress).

By the way, the Victory music rocks!

E3M5 is a stain in this otherwise flawless episode (I have nightmares from those constant random teleportations).

 

Finally, Thy Flesh Consumed is unique thanks to its difficulty, which is higher compared to both Doom1 and 2.

In this episode I enjoyed E4M2, E4M3 and E4M6 mostly.

Edited by ShotgunDemolition

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2 hours ago, ShotgunDemolition said:

the music is pure evil. I think it is a sign...

I see what you did there.

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To me...

 

Knee Deep in the Dead is like that friend who you know so well you can just be with them, have your typified nice conversations with them, and everything is chill.

 

The Shores of Hell is a strange mystery. While I've played it multiple times and know the layouts, it's like I'm still lost in some way when I play it.

 

Inferno left the deepest impression on me. The sky texture, the red bricks, the bodies hanging over lava in HoP, the unorthodox layout of Mt. Erebus. It freaked me out the most as a kid.

 

Thy Flesh Consumed is a bit of a black sheep. I never beat it solo on UV like I have the others, but mostly remember it for when my brother and I co-op'd through it.

 

Out of the four, I'd have to pick Inferno, purely because it freaked me out with its imagery, and doing stuff like forcing me to run through lava in Limbo.

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I think it's really a matter of preference on what the player prefers when it comes to level design,

-KDITD, is probably the best of the four gameplay wise. It was fast, fun, every level had a great layout and was mostly memorable, and in my personal opinion, was the best set of techbase levels ever created. Honestly nothing could top them when it comes to design and overall fun. I think It's even the best set of levels Romero has ever made.

 

-TSOH, was a neat change of pace. Instead of being fast and fluent, the levels were more slow and exploration based, which was really nice and the hellish theme and ambient music gave the episode a really creepy vibe. The levels even feel more like an actual facility that had a purpose in the world (thanks to Tom Hall's design. This is HIS episode).

 

-Inferno, I feel was more of the same of episode 2 except the design was more creative, and I think I bit more difficult but I never found it to be any harder. Every time I would play it I felt like I was playing some first person dungeon crawler, which is neat.

 

-TFC, this is obviously my favorite because of it's design. It kinda feels like a mash between E1's gameplay, cranked up, and E3's creativity. Plus the pre-Quake gothic design is my preference for an episode theme. I think the only thing that needed fixing in the episode is the order of the levels. (This is the episode I imitate the most, and prefer to see imitated)

Edited by nxGangGirl

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