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Maes

Gloomy/melancholic WADs

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At least personally, I like the real-life melancholic, depressing feeling of dark forests, mountainous autumn sceneries, cloudy grey skies, rain, sunsets, dusk, twilight fog etc. and ofc their combinations like grey, rainy autumn foggy mountain sceneries at sunset (and no, I'm not emo :-p).

I also believe that the "grey, melancholic and gloomy" theme suits Doom, and is actually part of it since Episode 1: dimly lit concrete, stone and wood sceneries, a perpetual twilight permeating everything, as if time was trapped at a cloudy afternoon or at dusk, and a distant, misty, foggy mountain hiding who knows what. It's part of the whole atmosphere.

Here are some of my favourite maps that have that feeling, but I'd like to discover more. The map's theme itself can be anything, although a well-executed gothic/medieval theme would of course enhance the mood (so to speak). This doesn't mean that the feeling can't apply to techbases or more urban settings, and not all gothic-themed maps fit this description or achieve the right atmosphere however, especially if they are mostly indoors or alternate with/turn into a hellish/techbase theme:

City of the Damned

The City of The Damned Apocalypse

Songs of the damned

Sigma

Suspended in Dusk

Are you aware of any other noteworhy gloomy/melancholic/depressing maps?

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Job made a frankly amazing map a long time ago called "Point of No Return", which had some awesome self-made Playstation/N64-style ambience which was made from recorded space sounds or some such. Point is, it's holy shit scary in some spots.

Happy Time Circus 1 and 2 deserve mention here - not so much 1, as I believe it doesn't work with recent versions of ZDoom due to teleport lines not functioning properly.

Also, why in the hell was the Ghoul's Forest series not mentioned?

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I think that the scythe series is definitely worth taking a look at. For the most part, Strife is really gloomy too.

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Exl's Demons of Problematique wads are both pretty gloomy, not to mention fucking awesome.

Fisk said:

Also, why in the hell was the Ghoul's Forest series not mentioned?


Because those are annoying as shit, and worth about as much as any screamer video on the 'net.

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Fisk said:

Also, why in the hell was the Ghoul's Forest series not mentioned?


Well, it has outdoors, forest etc. but it's too gimmicky. Any gloomy atmosphere is ruined the moment that freaky ghoul face bites you in the ass (which doesn't take long). More scary and creepy than gloomy.

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1monster map 15. Also, just about all of Blood and the expansions, especially the swamp map in Cryptic Passage.

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Blood isn't a Doom wad.

Off topic, but I admit, Blood had some really incredible level design for the time. I enjoyed how most of them were very non-linear and many looped back upon themselves. Shows a lot of effort and planning went into each one.

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Maes said:

Well, it has outdoors, forest etc. but it's too gimmicky. Any gloomy atmosphere is ruined the moment that freaky ghoul face bites you in the ass (which doesn't take long). More scary and creepy than gloomy.


Are we talking about a Ghouls Forest WAD, or all of them? It doesn't sound like you've played Ghouls vs. Humans' Castle Ghoulenstein.

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Off the top of my head, pretty much every map made by Insane_Gazebo (you can check his WIP megawad in this forum) and by Death-Destiny (not sure if his wads are hosted anywhere, a search on the archives gave no return), XXXI Cybersky, thespire, Hellcore, RYLAYEH, dop2 and some "escape from castle" wad Creaphis made.

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Lutz said:


Holy crap, that was among the most awesome WADs I've ever played. I couldn't help but compare it with the Postal 2 mod, "Eternal Damnation" that also started up in a fucked-up asylum, but it pales in comparison with this one, and was 1000 times inferior in gameplay. Great atmosphere, I played it in a totally dark room with full screen and headphones.

For added intensity I used GZDoom, GL lights, and even my cacodemon sprite and...man...that made my skin crawl.

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Patrick said:

I had the honor of being able to review this for last year's cacowards. Jon Wasburn's Cold as Hell: Special Edition

Absolutely brilliant atmosphere.

Good call! I was just about to recommend this one, too...

I was this WADs biggest fan, even before I got the chance to get involved with the special edition.

Playing CaH is and was easily the most memorable experience I've had with any Doom wad, and really, maybe any videogame period, heh.

The ambiance is pretty stunning. The outdoor areas really chill you to the bone. And the military base areas ranging from banal offices, dingy basements, barracks that almost seem truly livable, high tech labs and more definitely strike a genuinely realistic feel.

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guitarman said:

The ambiance is pretty stunning. The outdoor areas really chill you to the bone. And the military base areas ranging from banal offices, dingy basements, barracks that almost seem truly livable, high tech labs and more definitely strike a genuinely realistic feel.


Yeah, I had to put on a parka to play this game mod

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zap610 said:

Really? Nobody posted Foreverhood demo?


This one? Never heard of it but it says it's version 1.1 full, with 2.0 being worked on.

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Maes said:

This one? Never heard of it but it says it's version 1.1 full, with 2.0 being worked on.


Interesting, I always thought it was a demo (or I fail to stay up to date).

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I do agree that the dark damned theme fits doom EXTREMELY well. It's not like id were going do make happy colourful environments ** Well, I think the Plutonia Experiment was pretty dark,gloomy and evil. You may have played it already and probably have. Especially the first level . If you turn the gamma level down a fair bit, you may find that it suits the wad very well.

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I believe some maps in Whispers of Satan had really nice gloomy and melancholic atmospheres like Undervilla, Cyrosleep for example.

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