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Khalil4life

Did Dante's Inferno influence Doom in anyway ?

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I'm very interested in this question and please try not to give me your opinion, i just want proves from Doom games or developers

Thank you

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In a round about way, every modern depiction of Hell owes something to Dante's depiction.  Dante was one of the first mainstream authors to describe Hell as a very real, very physical place.  His descriptions of towering castles, burning lakes and dense trees were very visual in a way Hell hadn't previously been thought of.  It was much more like how Heaven is now: we don't really have a good physical sense of Heaven in the same way.

 

Whether id software specifically referred to the poem is debatable.  the only directly link I can think of is the city of Dis, but the description of Dis in Inferno is nothing like E3M8 (no Spider Masterminds, weirdly).  I reckon it's more they lent on the popular depiction of Hell that Inferno has been influencing for generations.

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I have never read or heard anything over the years that would suggest that the developers were specifically referencing Dante's Inferno when they created the third episode of Doom.

 

I would say that other than the use of the words "Dis" and "Inferno" there is little connection between Dante's Inferno and Doom. I suppose you could argue that there were 9 levels in Hell as described the Dante and the are 9 levels in Inferno in Doom, but E3M8 is the final level (which would be the 9th level, I guess, if you played through and included the secret level).

 

But if you read Inferno, the depictions of the various levels of Hell are, in general, quite different from the depictions of the Hell maps in Doom.  I don't think they borrowed directly from any of them (there are no ice levels like Cocytus in Doom or deserts like the Plain of Burning Sand for the violent, for instance). They may have borrowed abstractly. You could argue that there are abstract similarities, such that slime could be used to represent the putrified slush in which the gluttons spend eternity or the swamp of the river Styx. You could argue that the blood and lava could represent the boiling rivers that permeate the lower levels.

 

However, I would tend to agree with Bauul, that they more likely borrowed from the popular notions of lava, blood, fire, inverted crosses, and demons when they were created the Hell of the third episode. Many of those notions were influenced by Dante, of course, so there is some connection, but I don't think they meant to create purposeful homages to Inferno.

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You could argue that the boss of hell is immovably frozen in place in both Doom (II) & The Divine Comedy, but Bauul hits the nail on the head - Dante's vision has affected modern opinion of what a hell might have been like, so the answer's quite obviously "yes", though not by way of id directly referencing the author or linking directly to locations in the poem. John "Dr Sleep" Anderson (Ultimate Doom & Master Levels contributor) of course made a series of levels that were directly inspired by Dante's Inferno, but (a bit like Doom II) that's all after the fact of "influencing the original Doom".

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I wonder why all the artists mentioned above only show the hellish parts of Dantes' Divine Comedy. Wasn't it about paradise too?

 

Tutuapp 9apps Showbox

Edited by nadhim

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Because purgatory, and paradiso even more are boring. Inferno is by far the most interesting part of the divine comedy.

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I've actually been thinking about making a (simple) WAD called Doom's Comedy. I own the whole set (with the engravings of Doré) so I can actually look up parts, and it's a story with a strong sense of direction, so that means I can get away with a lot of smaller levels as befitting someone starting out with making WAD's.

 

Only problem is that I haven't really seen any sprites that say "You're a huge angel, rip and tear RIP AND TEAR" because of course we're going to rip and tear through Purgatory and Paradise.

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Considering the hell in question is filled with real people Dante hated, perhaps Gamarra's Soul Story is the real Inferno homage?

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