Alrighty, now that our little detour into proper item usage is over, it’s time to talk about an actual character. Welcome back to a proper How To: guide, where beginners and professionals alike can gain tips and tricks for their favorite characters. Today’s topic is regarding Doug Houser…the man himself. I used a similar intro for How To: Evans since Detective Evans is technically Doug Houser’s older model, but nope, we’re doing the real deal this time!
So Doug Houser, what to say about him…he lived a decent life as a criminal defense attorney before ditching his wife and daughter in order to get them out of his life. He begins to have regrets over this decision and tries everything he can in order to forget, including memory pills, therapy, community service, you name it. However, none of it was working, so he decided to relinquish his freedom and turn himself in to the police. Sometime after that, he was transported to Bierce’s Ballroom, where the events of Dark Deception take place.
Being the protagonist of the game, Doug’s been through quite a lot while snagging the ring pieces for the Riddle of Heaven. However, this is not a singleplayer game and there’s many more to play as. Not only that, but he doesn’t have instant use of the vast majority of his powers anymore. Does that make him good? Let’s enter the portal and find out!
Yeah…there wasn’t any good thumbnails for Doug online, so the render ended up as the tumbnail as well. Sorry :(.
Doug is designed to be a beginner character. As such, he is listed as a Balance class Mortal. This means he is average in PvP combat, while being alright at collecting shards. He is actually quite similar to Nikson and PenPen in the sense that he is a very passive character. He is at least better than PenPen in Maze Escape. The reason for this is because while he is also passive and far slower than her, his acceptable damage output thanks to being a Balanced character allows him to fight if he has no other options available to him. He also has more hp that her, meaning he isn’t a victim to Hello Friend! by default. Finally, he only drops half the amount of shards she does, only dropping 25 instead of 50. These traits alone grant him the ability to surpass PenPen in performance on average when put into Maze Escape. However, that only applies to that specific mode, as she severely outclasses him in Soul Collection due to speed being VERY valuable there.
As for his weaknesses…he shares quite a few of them with Nikson. The first of which is his aforementioned passive nature. Doug is similar to Nikson in the regard that he prefers to be left alone, which is difficult since he has no means of properly defending himself, making him easy Monster food. His Ult is more focused on escaping, which means the best option for Doug when having a run-in with Monsters is to just run away. This leads into the next point; his heavy attack having a little more startup than normal, about as much as SuperHorrorBro and Nikson’s heavy attacks. However, just like Nikson, Doug has no extra range on the attack, meaning you’ll have to have good aim and precision in order to land your hits if you do decide to fight. Finally, his Ult is RNG based, as it can potentially backfire against him, the details of which we’re going to discuss next.
Ultimate: Escape Plan
Normally, Doug would have a massive array of powers that he can use at any time thanks to the collecting of ring pieces Bierce sent him to do. However, as every other power was repurposed into items in this game, the only one Doug has left is Teleport. This takes the form of his Ult, “Escape Plan,” and when used, Doug will teleport to a random spot on the map. This in general is an okay Ult for a passive Mortal like him, but it does pose a fair share of issues. The first is that Doug is reliant on this in order to escape from opponents that are threatening him without the use of items, as his speed is merely average. This Ult being RNG based also can put him into an even worse spot, as the Ult has a chance of not teleporting him very far from the person he was trying to run away from in the first place, meaning he can be caught up to quickly and finished off. Depending on the map, using Emergency Plan can also kill you, since the random nature means it can teleport you right on top of a boss or a lethal trap such as the fake portals and steam. Overall, this is useful for getting out a tight spot, but use with caution if Trap/Boss Time is active. As a result, this is a somewhat mediocre Ult overall.
As a bonus, Escape Plan will allow Doug to instantly win Maze Escape if he uses it while the exit portal’s open, which allows him to distract the Monster so the other two can escape, then pop this Ult and escape himself.
In Maze Escape, Doug’s in a similar scenario like the other passive shard collectors (PenPen and Nikson) where he’s decent, but very vulnerable. Just like other Mortals, he can work in the gamemode, but it’s really tricky to do so since you have no proper way to defense yourself without items since your Ult can’t help you in a fight (unless you’re PenPen…which nothing can fix her bad damage output). That said, he serves as a good distraction-type Mortal; someone who keeps the Monster busy while the others grab shards since Escape Plan can let him instantly leave the encounter whenever he feels like it. Not only that, but he doesn’t even have to focus on the portal at the very end when it’s opened, as Escape Plan has the added benefit of teleporting him straight to it and instantly leaving if the portal’s open. This gives Doug a unique niche the other two shard collector Mortals can’t top, and is worth noting if there’s a Doug in the match as the Monster. Overall, Doug has his own little niche in this gamemode, but it isn’t enough to consider him a “good” character, as Evans and Nikson tend to outclass him; the former has an offense tool in the form of a flashlight, while the other can gather shards at a stupidly fast rate.
In terms of maps, he performs best on maps that have the least likely chance of Emergency Plan backstabbing him. Monkey Business is one of the most passive-friendly maps in the game since the Chefs and bananas aren’t too threatening to him, allowing for safe teleports most of the time. Stranger Sewers and Deadly Decadence are close seconds, but beware Boss Time on both maps, as Titan Watcher and Doom Ducky can snipe you instantly out of a teleport. Silent Sacrifice is also not a horrible map since there’s relative safety overall. Just keep in mind that Air Screamers are pests and teleporting will not safe you from Pyramid Head. Finally, Monstrum Madness and Elementary Evil are not worth mentioning, especially the latter since the fake portals are notoriosly good at sniping Doug out of a teleport. It’s happened…trust me.
- Performs Well Against: ???
- Performs Decently Against: Murder Monkey, Agatha, Robbie, Fiend
- Performs Poorly Against: Gold Watcher, Dread Ducky, Clown Gremlin, Malak, Brute, Nurse
Yeah, thanks to being passive, Doug’s matchups aren’t exactly the best. He has to play extremely well in order to avoid becoming lunch to every Monster in the hard counter category, and even has to be careful against the ones he doesn’t have to try as hard against. As a result of his pure passive nature, pretty much every other Mortal bar himself and Nikson prove useful to him in some way, so there will not be a team analysis section this time.
In Soul Collection, Doug is severely outclassed thanks to the lack of good traits for the mode. Emergency Plan is able to transport him to new shard locations after he finishes clearing an area out, but due to the Ult’s RNG nature, this can backfire and is overall unreliable when collecting shards. To add insult to injury, he has virtually nothing over the opposing Balanced Mortals, leaving him with no niche for himself. Nikson has a 20% shard magnet, Cybil has absurd range, Evans has the ability to stun, and SuperHorrorBro has offensive pressure. SuperHorrorBro is also not too great here, meaning if Doug can’t even compete with him very well, then Doug is very much not worth using here unless you want a challenge.
That said, he isn’t THE worst Mortal for this model; he’s at least faster than Vince, so he has an easier time grabbing shards than him and can actually keep up with other Mortals should he wish to fight. However, these traits aren’t nearly enough to justify using him. There’s a reason special attributes, character classes, and Ults can make or break characters in specific gamemodes.
Maps remain the same.
- Performs Well Against: Doug (himself), PenPen, Nikson
- Performs Decently Against: SuperHorrorBro, Evans, Bierce
- Performs Poorly Against: Vince, Borisov, 8-BitRyan, Heather, Cybil, Dawko
Because of the lack of general qualities to help Doug stand out on top of being really passive, Doug’s not that good in combat against a lot of the Mortals in the gamemode. Even PenPen’s an iffy matchup if she chooses to fight since Shooting Star can stunlock him if she chooses to go that route. Overall, I would steer clear from Doug here unless you want to challenge yourself or you just feel like it.
Doug isn’t the best family man, and he isn’t the best character to use in Dark Deception: Monsters and Mortals either. He is the epitome of “beginner character,” as his main role is to help newer players get used to the controls before using the other Mortals. Even in this role, he is mediocre at thanks to Evans also being a beginner character as well, and Evans is a much better character than Doug. Doug has his niche, but it isn’t enough to contend with the big dogs in competitive play. There was a time where Doug was one of the better Maze Escape characters, but this was because he was the only “counter” to Fiend before Mind Pull got its stun effect removed; using Emergency Exit just as he was getting targeted allowed him to escape (basically) insta-death from the Monstrum monster’s hands. But those days are no longer, and Doug is pretty much obscure and a rare sight in this game.