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View Full Version : Favorite level, creatively (possible spoilers)


ironchefmike
05-07-2005, 08:14 PM
What's your favorite level from a creative standpoint? I'm not asking necessarily which one made you laugh the hardest or which one had the best boss, gameplay.

Which one had that element of something that made you go: "Aha! What a great way to express that!"

For me I thought my favorite two were Waterloo (I don't identify with schizophrenia, I just loved the gameplay both shrinking down to gamepiece size and then, um, 'unshrinking' to gameplayer size. Plus the 1812 overture playing in the background was okay, too.

That's topped only by the design of Black Velvetopia. I loved the look, the guitar music in playing in the background, and the character of the protagonist, Edgar. Then the switching of his nemeses into the varsity cheerleading squad. I thought this level pretty much epitomized the creative genius of the entire game.

Your thoughts?

Mike

edit: I've allowed multiple votes - on this poll. Have at it!

SerialFreak
05-07-2005, 08:33 PM
I voted for Gloria's Theater which is one of my favourite's - when you really think about it the first portion of the area takes place exclusively in two or three rooms. It gives backstory to Gloria while giving you clear and original objectives. :D Plus it's damn hilarious. :) I voted for the summer camp and asylum as well. Although it was 'grounded in the real world' it also had this awesome, cartoonish art direction - it felt like a totally real place and was always fun to explore. You got back story about characters and locations through exploring. Also the twisting level design of the asylum was great as well. :D

KnifeFace
05-07-2005, 08:57 PM
I couldn't stand the theater level. Worst level EVER! :P

But moving on. I voted for Milkman, Waterloo & Velvetopia.

Milkman, possible the best level in the history of the games! I really loved the influences of Big Brother by George Orwell. And those robots(?) were funny as hell.

ironchefmike
05-07-2005, 09:06 PM
I don't know that this game has a poorly designed level (although I haven't been to the Meat Circus, yet). Tha's why I didn't feel right starting a 'Least favorite level, creatively' thread :P

I enjoyed Gloria's Theater, too. It really captured the feeling of amateur theater. And the Phantom/Critic was hilarious.

Milkman was also very cool. I loved looking at the agents to see what they were doing with their props. Did anyone else notice the agents that: had a plunger stuck to their face? using the telephone for arm curls? looking down the barrel of the sniper rifle? using the flowers to practice their golf swing or play air guitar? Some brilliant gags, there.

I'm glad to see other people (okay, ONE other person) appreciate Waterloo and Black Velvetopia, too :)

SerialFreak
05-07-2005, 09:06 PM
What's not to love about Gloria's level? :D 'Mother, Mother, Tell me true - of the dad I never knew', 'He was brave in thought and deed, can't you here his noble steed?' :D (Something like that anyway. :D) Also trying the different plays on different sets. :) Hilarious! :D

When I try to rank the levels to find a favourite I can't cause they were all so great. I liked Boyd's conspiracy theories, though.

AceFox
05-08-2005, 02:26 PM
I can't agree with you more, ironchef. Black Velvetopia was my favorite too, followed by Waterloo World. I loved 'em all but here's how I'd rate them:

1. Black Velvetopia
2. Waterloo World
3. Milkman Conspiracy
4. Milla's Dance Club
5. Sasha's Shooting Gallery
6. Coach Oleander's Basic Training
7. Circus/Tent City
8. Lungfishopolis
9. Asylum and Towers
10. Gloria's Theatre
11. Under Lake Oblongata
12. Self/Brain Tumbler Experiment

Keep in mind, I liked them all. I didn't rate the Summer Camp because I thought it was essential to the game; can't have the other worlds without having that; if I did rate it, it would probably be tied with #3.

My only comment about Gloria's Theatre is that I felt it could've been funnier. The concept was great, but the voice of the little girl annoyed me so much... It was also a bit abstract seeing the dancing flowers act as people... or maybe I'm missing something...

SerialFreak
05-08-2005, 05:52 PM
I thought the voice acting was hilarious. :D

ironchefmike
05-08-2005, 07:09 PM
I went back and played Gloria's Theatre again this morning and liked it even more the second time through (though still not enough to vault it over Waterloo and Black Velvetopia). I think the level design just defies convention so much in that it's one of the smallest levels there is - just the theater stage/dressing room, and the catwalks. However, you're able to expand the environment with the instant mood changer contraption, which also allows for subtle changes in the script of the actors. I was finally able to pay attention to all of that now that the general level was familiar.

I thought the voice acting of the actors in Gloria's level was hilarious - they were obviously trying to act 'badly' and the voice actors doing these parts did them really well. The Phantom/Critic guy, again, was absolutely hilarious, as was Becky, playing the histrionic play director.

AceFox, nice list. Yeah, the poll limits us to 10 choices, so I had to leave two out - I left out the Brain Tumbler experiment because it was the shortest brain level, and I have to confess that I totally forgot Under Lake Oblongata. Perhaps a subconscious suggestion that it wasn't one of my favorites :)

Plankhead
05-08-2005, 10:23 PM
The Milkman Conspiracy was amazing. I loved that one. But Gloria's Theatre was hilarious as well. I loved how the term "mood swings" was interpreted quite literally with the lighting.

ironchefmike
05-09-2005, 11:11 PM
Yeah, I caught on the mood swing thing second time through. Great stuff.

The only thing about the Milkman Conspiracy that I couldn't take was the warping of the street. While it looked great, I have to confess to developing a little nausea running through that level.

AgentJess
05-10-2005, 09:38 PM
I love Black Velvetopia. It's visually very very pretty and colorful. Second, I'd say The Milkman Conspiracy and Lungfishopolis. They're both hilarious.

ironchefmike
05-10-2005, 09:46 PM
Ironically, Black Velvetopia almost didn't make the cut - Majesco and I think other level designers tried to get him to cut it, but Tim Schafer stood his ground to keep the level in.

Good thing, too.

AgentJess
05-11-2005, 12:21 AM
Why'd they want it out? They mention it in all the reviews- and rave about it. I love it, everyone loves it; why would you cut such a cool level?

And also, Raz looks cool as well.

ironchefmike
05-11-2005, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by AgentJess
Why'd they want it out? They mention it in all the reviews- and rave about it. I love it, everyone loves it; why would you cut such a cool level?

And also, Raz looks cool as well.

Yeah, it turned out well - I expected it would hurt my eyes, but it didn't.

Anyway, Tim Schafer mentioned briefly in this interview that the publisher and members of the development team suggested cutting it. He didn't elaborate. Perhaps it didn't look so hot in early concept meetings. Or perhaps it looked too much like Tron.

http://pc.ign.com/articles/585/585122p1.html

Jake
05-11-2005, 02:32 AM
Crazy. That must have been a while ago... A demo of Black Velvetopia was the level they were using at last E3 to try and sell Psychonauts to a new publisher after Microsoft dropped them.

SerialFreak
05-11-2005, 08:47 PM
I really liked the Black Velvet level but it wouldn't be in my top three list of favourite levels in the game. :D Every level was awesome, though...

Dopefish
05-13-2005, 12:30 AM
The Milkman Conspiracy.
"As time goes on my husband will desire me less, sexually, but he will always enjoy my pies."
So awesome.

And, for the record, I absolutely hated Black Velvetopia. Simply couldn't wait for it to end. Made the game slightly less enjoyable, in my opinion.
It is still one of the best games I have ever played.

ironchefmike
05-13-2005, 01:37 AM
Originally posted by Dopefish
The Milkman Conspiracy.
"As time goes on my husband will desire me less, sexually, but he will always enjoy my pies."
So awesome.

And, for the record, I absolutely hated Black Velvetopia. Simply couldn't wait for it to end. Made the game slightly less enjoyable, in my opinion.
It is still one of the best games I have ever played.

Care to elaborate on your disdain for Velvetopia?

Gameplay-wise, I found it to be one of the most frustrating levels due to El Odio running through the street. I thought the design of the level as a whole, especially the music, made it my favorite.

Dopefish
05-13-2005, 01:50 AM
I enjoyed the graphical style of the level a lot.
However:
It was, in my opinion, the least funny level in the whole game, and the level design felt very... closed.
There is probably more to it than that, but that's all I can come up with at 7 AM. :P

AgentJess
05-14-2005, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by Dopefish
The Milkman Conspiracy.
"As time goes on my husband will desire me less, sexually, but he will always enjoy my pies."
So awesome.


XD I don't remember that! LOL! I need to rerent the game and listen to that...

Thrik
05-15-2005, 07:32 PM
The campgrounds are my favourite. Whilst they are obviously set in the "real world", and nothing too crazy happens there, the way that it's all put together is just awesome. The atmosphere of the place, combined with the music which accompanies both the night and day versions, is just great to soak up. The general art direction was astonishing too, with the way that the mountains faded off into the background and oh man.

The other levels were all great too, of course, with the possibly exception of the Meat Circus which I have to say didn't really strike much of a chord with me. I've never had a thing for anything remotely circus-related though, so what can I say? Black Velvetopia was beautiful visually, and pretty fun to navigate too. The Milkman Conspiracy was just too many kinds of cool to list. Best. NPCs. Ever.

AceFox
05-16-2005, 01:16 AM
Yea, the campgrounds kind of stand on their own. It's essential since it's the heart of the game, and was done quite well. That's why I didn't rank it along with the others. It also brings back a lot of memores... especially, all the hormone charged camp kids.. <sigh> the days of youth... [One time when I was in band camp...]

The Tingler
05-17-2005, 06:30 PM
I'm shocked that Lungfishopolis is only getting a brief mention from a few people. You play a GIANT MONSTER RAMPAGING AROUND A CITY! How much more creative can you get for a platform game? A level without basically any platforms? I hope the King Kong game is gonna be this good.

Milkman Conspiracy IS my overall favourite though, both creatively and, um... funnily.

Some of my favourite agent quotes, that I remember:
"Should I re-marry, or remain faithful to my dead husband?"
"You may help us make pies, but do not try to steal my husband. Tramp."
"Please stay away. The sewers contain many hazards that can be harmful to your health. Also they smell bad."

JofaGuht
05-17-2005, 08:09 PM
Gloria's Theatre. It was the first time I realized that game had a very dark layer underneath its goofy, cartoony, surface.

VSTM
05-17-2005, 09:10 PM
Lungfishopolis is probably the one I enjoyed the most gameplay wise(except those tanks could get annoying and my computer kept getting really slow a lot during that level)...but I'm kind of twisted like that.

Milk Man was the funniest, to me, because a lot of the conspiracies are kind of based on common paranoias. Looking at the background made my eyes water though. I also had to look up some hints on it because I didn't realise you could punch open the black cars...which probably kind of ruined a little, but not much. "I am the milk man. My milk is delicious."

Creatively, I enjoyed them all. All of them had humour interspersed and the designs were fantastic. Not to mention the psychological undertones, among other things. The meaty bits in the meat circus were pretty nasty, but I think that's the idea.

The real world had a lot of funny stuff too. That's probably the level I spent the most time enjoying, but I can't quite remember, because my memory is bad.

If I run through the game quickly on a faster computer, or an xbox, I might change my mind about some of the levels...but I think subcionciously I probably have a god complex and a lot of conspiracy paranoia...so lungfishopolis and milk man conspiracy will probably maintain on the top.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned any of the other levels. No one a big fan of organization and shoes? No one a big fan of disco and dancing? No Army fanatics?

Edit: I liked waterloo world's size change thing(anyone ever play Shogo: MAD?), especially the fact that you could look in one of the building's to see Fred and Napolean, but I think I might have enjoyed it more if it had more of a strategy aspect in it. You know, Tim once thought about making a Warcraft type game? I figured the Waterloo level was somewhat influence by that enjoyment of strategy, and I think it would have been more interesting to me if it had more of that. It's still pretty awesome though.

AceFox
05-18-2005, 12:41 AM
In response to several people's posts; I actually loved Lungfishopolis and Gloria's Theatre- just rating them in the order I like them best. That says a lot when I they get ranked near the bottom- there were just so many well designed levels it was hard to choose. I just wish there was more cohesiveness to the story overall. Milla's disco party was probably the most fun and made me laugh the most. It was just so silly. And I really liked both Basic Braining and Sasha's cubist world.

Hearing comments from the PC owners, it seems us xbox owners really made out well: only 1 disc and gameplay almost unflawed.

Yes, I think it would have also been cool in Waterloo world to actually have played a strategy game. Course, I wish the whole game could have been even longer; even given it's immensity as is.

stevedroid
05-18-2005, 01:57 AM
LUNGFISHOPOLIS!

Though I'm partial to that because for whatever reason I loved to watch cheesy Godzilla movies when I like very young. Brought back fond childhood memories and was the funniest level in the game in my opinion.

Joshi
06-03-2005, 01:32 PM
Black Velvetopia reminded me so much of Grim Fandango, I had to go for that, it was sort of Tim's signatuer on the game.

Jarren Katarn
08-01-2005, 10:54 PM
Black Velvetopia rocks, with the whole blacklight thing, as well as the stoy, and... oh heck, I just loved the whole thing!

I also enjoyed Sasha Nein's mind, he was my favorite character!
Quote: Oh, It's so tacky, I can't...look, directly, at it!

JofaGuht
08-02-2005, 12:28 AM
Here's, I guess, my full list.

1. Gloria's Theatre
2. The Asylum
3. Blackvelvetopia
4. The Milkman Conspiracy
5. Meat Circus
6. Sasha's Shooting Gallery
7. Brain Tumbler Experiment
8. Milla's Dance Party
9. Lungfishopolis
10. Waterloo World
11. Campgrounds
12. Basic Braining
13. Lake Oblongata

I liked them all as well. I know we're going by creativity, but I gotta say I probably liked playing Milkman Conspiracy the most and playing Waterloo the least.

Zetz Darke
08-17-2005, 08:57 AM
I liked Edgars level. It had a neat atmosphere and Raz's outfit was BA.

Zetz Darke
08-17-2005, 09:00 AM
Here's, I guess, my full list.

1. Gloria's Theatre
2. The Asylum
3. Blackvelvetopia
4. The Milkman Conspiracy
5. Meat Circus
6. Sasha's Shooting Gallery
7. Brain Tumbler Experiment
8. Milla's Dance Party
9. Lungfishopolis
10. Waterloo World
11. Campgrounds
12. Basic Braining
13. Lake Oblongata

I liked them all as well. I know we're going by creativity, but I gotta say I probably liked playing Milkman Conspiracy the most and playing Waterloo the least.

Yea...I got really agitated with waterloo world...but i think I hated playing the Meat Circus the most. The battles were easy but I had to have done everything like...50 times. Especially the first part. After a while I just sort a wanted to...I dunno, set little Olly and the bunnie on fire or something.

Rubacava
08-17-2005, 02:07 PM
Creatively, my favorite level was Black Velvetopia. My overall favorite, however, was the Milkman Conspiracy level.

Purple Squid
08-18-2005, 07:42 PM
I voted for three- Milkman Conspiracy, Shooting Gallery, and Milla's Dance Party. Sometimes I go back to Sasha's cube and use the levitation ball to go as fast as I possibly can. And you can freakin FLY! I took the most time in Milkman Conspiracy because I loved the G-Men and listening to Boyd. (The G-Men cradling the gun was cute.) Milla's Dance Party was pretty and pretty big, so I always miss a bunch of figments there. It gives me an excuse to go back and explore the racing track.

Purple Squid
08-18-2005, 07:42 PM
Oh wait. I also voted for Meat Circus because it was nasty. =D

Klia
01-15-2006, 09:57 PM
I'm suprised Gloria's Theater did not get more votes than it did. The atmosphere was amazing, the music was fantastic and actually palyed a vital role in the gameplay, and for the first time I really felt like the person's past was catching up to them.

It was a hard choice. The Milkman Conspiracy is hard to beat however that loses points for the slightly confusing level design. (Mainly the garden)

DarthAve
01-15-2006, 10:54 PM
I loved Waterloo World because I've always wanted to be a pawn in a board game(like war)

Smon
01-16-2006, 12:10 AM
I loved Waterloo World because I've always wanted to be a pawn in a board game(like war)
Get Mortal Kombat:Deception. It includes Chess Kombat which let's you assemble a chess team of MK characters and duke em out in a huge game of chess.

Gruducuuz
01-16-2006, 01:02 AM
I liked Milla's mind mainly because of the things you can do acrobaticaly. I just found it really fun.

I Am Lee
01-22-2006, 01:40 PM
I couldn't decide. I voted for all.

Megan
01-22-2006, 04:40 PM
The Meat Circus was one of my favorite levels, though I understand why most everyone hates it. The only part I really, really hated (until I got the hang of it, anyway) was those stupid knife-throwers where Oly was. They made me late. >.< My favorite part of it was following Raz's dad and trying not to drown. You get to actually use all of your acrobatic abilities without being able to cheat using Levitation. [whistles]

I also loved the campgrounds and asylum grounds because they were so much fun to explore, and the asylum is all mysteriousy...

I forgot to vote for Coach Oleander's Basic Braining, but that was a favorite of mine too. Maybe it's singing the first level song to me. But almost every other level I loved. I even loved El Odio. Sometimes.

The levels I didn't like..hmm..I didn't really like Gloria's Theatre, but it was funny at times, especially when you get the wrong set for the magical balloon, and the actors argue about it. Sasha's Shooting Gallery wasn't very fun for me the first time. I like it a little better now, but it's still not one of my favorites. Lungfishopolis was hilarious the first time around, but after that the Navy started getting on my nerves, and the music depressed me. O.o I absolutely hated Under Lake Oblongata. I always have trouble with the final part of the fight with Linda. Maybe I just get too nervous and jump out of the way too fast.

Paranoidish
01-22-2006, 06:32 PM
I would have to say the Milkman Conspiracy because it is just an experiance you can't find anywhere else. Although, I must say every level is designed and executed superbly.

Everytime I go back and play that game I can just feel the countless hours of sleep the animators/producers/designers/etc lost over all the small details that make Psychonauts the great game it is.

needlewarbler
01-23-2006, 04:38 PM
I would have to say Black Velvetopia. It has a way of bringing everything together. Like the saint bernard saying that art is their only escape. Then there's the way Edgar dresses up the people he knew from highschool (What with the changed names and Lampita's rose dress.) like characters in a magical story. It just seems so amazing.

Meat circus is okay though.

i_luv_nein
01-23-2006, 04:55 PM
i like milla's dance party the best because of the colors and the beat of the music.

kaecla
01-25-2006, 08:55 PM
I haven't quite gotten to the Meat Circus yet, but I didn't feel like waiting - my two favorites were Milla's Dance Party (I absolutely loved the music for some reason - I burned it to a CD after making it longer. Also liked the atmosphere - bright and shiny) and Waterloo World (super original, as well as just plain fun to play)

CaptainNemo1138
06-30-2007, 01:13 AM
Personally, I thought all the levelswere highly creative, but Sasha's Shooting Gallery has to be my favorite. Both the design and dialogue are freakin' brillaint! :)

P.S. First Post! Woot!