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Jannak

What was the Icon of Sin originally intended/supposed to be?

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I know that that the Icon of Sin was just a huge wall with a demon face texture but what was originally intended to be?

I have figured it was originally supposed to be a Godzilla sized demon which was impossible on the Doom engine which they made it a huge wall instead because of the engine limitations.

I think if they ever made a Doom II remake I think it's most likely that they will make the Icon of Sin like it originally supposed to be and you have to kill it God of War style (since it's entirely possible now to create giant characters on modern game engines compared to back then).

That's what I'm guessing.

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It was suppose to be "the biggest demon you ever seen". But seriously anyone would of known it was just a wall in 1994.

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I've said this before, but I've always thought the Icon was more intimidating because it was the wall. It's like this demon is hell itself. Like every hell level you walked through was part of it.

I also like the fight itself. You rise up from the sludge to smite the ruler of hell's evils.

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Jannak said:

I know that that the Icon of Sin was just a huge wall with a demon face texture but what was originally intended to be?


I'd imagine that the Final Boss was originally planned as exactly what it is; a giant wall-based thing that sounds way cooler in theory than it actually amounts to in the game. Where do you get the idea that it was ever planned as anything different?

Jannak said:

I think if they ever made a Doom II remake I think it's most likely that they will make the Icon of Sin like it originally supposed to be and you have to kill it God of War style


I highly doubt that they would turn the Final Boss into a Godzilla-sized monster in the vein of the Cyberdemon (but bigger!!!!). If id 'reimagines' Doom 2 like they did with the first game in Doom 3, my best guess is that any Icon of Sin or derived monster would be heavily embedded all around the level itself in some massive setpiece sequence where the player dismantles/kills it.

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I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw it. The walls are your enemy!

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Xaser said:

I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw it. The walls are your enemy!

Yeah, you're more or less fighting a billboard.

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Or the devils guardian who happens to have gone rogue (against hells rules).

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Probably inspired by the depiction of demons imprisoned in blocks and walls of ice in the D&D cosmology, itself derived of course from Dante's Inferno where the traitors (and especially Lucifer) are stuck in ice at the lowest circle of Hell.

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BurningCadavre said:

But seriously anyone would of known it was just a wall in 1994.

I didn't know it was just a wall setup. First time I saw it, I didn't suspect it was made of nine linedefs stacked on top of each other. I thought it was a single seamless huge graphic, which was atypical for the rest of Doom's walls, which were always 128 units tall. Not to mention that the "wall" was speaking, shooting objects, could take damage and even crumble in explosions. It looked very real to me. In fact, I did read the Doom FAQ beforehand, and was expecting a mere brain/demon head texture of regular 128 height, as a mere target. The real thing looked rather majestic and dangerous.

Second trivia question: Why is the same monster (with complete forehead) sculpted on almost every Quake 3 Arena gothic facade? I always thought it looked neat. Doom needs more of this than just MARBFACE, especially in PWads that come after Doom 2/Final Doom. Texture artists anyone?

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printz said:

Second trivia question: Why is the same monster (with complete forehead) sculpted on almost every Quake 3 Arena gothic facade? I always thought it looked neat.

I always thought it was meant to be an easteregg.

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I expect the Id guys decided that they needed something to top the Doom 1 bosses when making Doom 2, and of course the obvious way to do that is to make a bigger monster. I can imagine the vision they might have had, the Doom guy coming up against a gigantic towering demon, the mother of all demons, endless smaller demons crawling from a hole in its forehead to attack the player. So gigantic that any conventional weapons, even the BFG, would have no effect on it. The only chance to defeat it, a carefully-aimed rocket shot into its exposed brain. An epic and legendary boss battle to conclude the previous 29 levels of carnage that the player had fought through.

Of course, when it comes down to the execution, it all falls flat. The biggest problem is that it is very obviously just a scary looking face on a wall. Because of that it's very difficult to believe that you're really fighting against a gigantic monster. There is no sign of the rest of its body anywhere, it's a static image that never changes, it's obviously flat and attached to a wall (the normal Doom monsters are flat too, but the fact that they aren't attached to a wall means that you don't notice).

There are various tricks that I imagine they could have used to improve the Icon of Sin. The simplest would have been to make the face animate. A simple change of expression whenever it launched a spawn cube or was hurt by a rocket would be enough to make it clear that you're fighting against a real monster and not a wall texture. They could also have made some attempt to depict its body, maybe having it extend to the bottom of the wall so it's clear that there is more than just a head. Finally they could have used special effects - imagine teleporting into the room to find it initially empty, and then seeing the Icon of Sin slowly rise from the slime floor before beginning its attack.

The challenge posed by the monster is also as laughable as the monster itself. Clearly the point is that the rocket shot has to be carefully aimed, otherwise you could just stand on the pillar, fire off a few rocket shots and be done with it. But fact is that if this was a real scenario, there's no reason you couldn't do exactly that. The entire challenge of the battle stems from the fact that you're unable to aim downwards. So what is intended to be an epic boss battle actually becomes a rather comical demonstration of the limitations of the Doom engine.

Again, I can imagine ways that this might have been done better. Imagine if you *could* fire straight into the hole while standing on the elevator, but a successful hit caused a blast wave that pushed you off it, so you were forced to climb back aboard to fire another shot. Further challenge could be added by making it only possible to lower the elevator from the button at the top of the stairs. This is just one suggestion, I'm sure it would be possible to come up with any number of others.

I don't think the idea itself is necessarily a bad one, it's just that everything about the Icon of Sin seems rushed and clumsily executed - from the minimal effort put into its appearance, the challenge of the battle itself, even the cheesy sound effect when it launches a spawn cube. I guess the most surprising part is that TeamTNT didn't make any further effort to improve on it when they made Final Doom.

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fraggle said:

They could also have made some attempt to depict its body, maybe having it extend to the bottom of the wall so it's clear that there is more than just a head. Finally they could have used special effects - imagine teleporting into the room to find it initially empty, and then seeing the Icon of Sin slowly rise from the slime floor before beginning its attack.


Incidentally, that's how Plutonia 2 did its Icon of Sin. It looks like a full body (well, upper body anyway), and it rises from the depths before beginning its attack.

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Technician said:

That boss was such a cop-out.

I agree. It's like they ran out of time/ideas to do anything awesome.

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The idea of gigantic demons probably comes from Milton's Paradise Lost, where the fallen angels are said to be huge in stature.

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Two old "pic of the week"'s (when Doomworld had such a thing) concerned the "real" Icon of Sin. One was a huge MD2 sticking out of the wall and the other was the Doomguy being dwarfed by a vast creature with the icon's face in a huge slime pit.

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I disagree with all the Icon of Sin bashing. I think it was a pretty awesome boss. I don't like how it requires a couple extremely precise aimed rockets to the head to kill it, especially since the level of the platform is so tantalizingly offset and takes forever to ride up when there are pain elementals and spectres all over the place. I'd prefer the weak spot to be in an easier place to shoot but with much more health. But I think the way the monster clarifies where all these monsters came from was very efficient way to close up the game.

The actual look of that horrendous visage is really pretty gruesome. Before that point in the game, the cyberdemon and spider mastermind were the biggest you could get, and halfway through the game they aren't even used like they are bosses anymore. This monster is fucking huge. It's like 40 times your size and the music is extremely intimidating. Even at this point in my life I get nervous when it starts playing That boss had me trembling in fear when I was younger.

As for the actual look of the monster, yeah its just a wall. The first boss in Contra was just a wall, and so is the second one, and all the walls preluding the second boss too. Also, In highly pixelated 320x200 resolution its difficult to tell that its just a wall. You weren't supposed to noclip to it or look at it in a map editor. The demon itself is very frightening looking and quite obviously the signature mark in Adrian Carmack's demonic art. There's been visual clues of this monster's existence all throughout Doom. You've been warned since it's first appearance as the teleport in Phobos Anomaly.

The textures that comprise the monster depict metal pipes leaking with blood and puss and monitors and tangled wires and gears and other various machinery. It doesn't make sense for it to have a body. Evidently the final demon is an entire diabolical machine. The heart of the disaster. The source of the demonic invasion wreaking havoc on planet earth. You may only see the face of the monster, but the slime flushing down the walls, the vomit, decrepit human remains and waste flooding the bottom floor, the industrial machines, and tortured humans strapped againtst the walls with wires and pipes impaled through their vital organs are all essential components of the monster. The actual monster occupies the entire map.

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When I first saw the Icon of Sin in 94 it terrified me and felt like The Ultimate badass, and the art for it is very well done. It actually still looks very cool to this day for me. Crying about how something is just a wall, is like crying about how something is just a sprite. :)

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DeathevokatioN said:

When I first saw the Icon of Sin in 94 it terrified me and felt like The Ultimate badass, and the art for it is very well done. It actually still looks very cool to this day for me. Crying about how something is just a wall, is like crying about how something is just a sprite. :)


I tend to agree, but at least the sprites were animated!

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darkreaver said:

I tend to agree, but at least the sprites were animated!


The Icon of sin has that animated lava texture where it's brain is!

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fraggle said:

The challenge posed by the monster is also as laughable as the monster itself. Clearly the point is that the rocket shot has to be carefully aimed, otherwise you could just stand on the pillar, fire off a few rocket shots and be done with it. But fact is that if this was a real scenario, there's no reason you couldn't do exactly that. The entire challenge of the battle stems from the fact that you're unable to aim downwards. So what is intended to be an epic boss battle actually becomes a rather comical demonstration of the limitations of the Doom engine.

I'm so sick of hearing this. Especially from a community that cherishes a game's lack of realism so much.

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Abstract design is not the same thing as illogical design.

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fraggle said:

Of course, when it comes down to the execution, it all falls flat. The biggest problem is that it is very obviously just a scary looking face on a wall. Because of that it's very difficult to believe that you're really fighting against a gigantic monster. There is no sign of the rest of its body anywhere, it's a static image that never changes, it's obviously flat and attached to a wall (the normal Doom monsters are flat too, but the fact that they aren't attached to a wall means that you don't notice).


I like to think that the flesh you've seen on walls, floors, computers, and machinery are all part of the Icon. It's body IS Hell itself. When you kill him, Hell's foundation crumbles: http://www.classicdoom.com/doomends.htm#02

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