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Any non-ZDoom map or mappack with melancholic atmosphere and/or music?

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For several months now, I've become a fan of the concept of communicating emotions through indirect means - for which Doom is great as basically, it has minimal amount of text, and other direct abilities to tell a story are missing.

Unloved (even the WIP shots of Unloved 2 posted by BlueEagle) was a truly amazing gem in this field, but with all those scripting, it was a bit easier to achieve.

On the other hand, I've played several vanilla or Boom-compatible maps which could achieve atmosphere similar to Unloved, or even something better, but sometimes, only music provided it, not the map itself. (e.g. I've always found Icarus MAP30 music quite melancholic, but the map itself was totally irrelevant to this feeling)

Can you show me maps that communicate a (not or only loosely horror related) story through design, gameplay and visuals?

Examples I've already known:

- valkirifoce's several maps in Reverie (e.g. MAP24 or MAP30)
- Lainos' city maps like Doxylamine Moon, its Overdose remake or 5till L1 Complex (maybe the best examples beyond Unloved)
- Oniria 1-2 (those are actually ZDoom stuff, but with minimal scripting)
- Kassman's CC3&4 submissions (not melancholic, but tells a story anyway)
- A.L.T.

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The Talosian Incident does a pretty great job at setting the atmosphere of a hostile alien world. Cygnus IV is of the same mold, though you might not like it that much.

Equinox also does a good job at story-telling without any hint of what's going on anywhere. it's not really melancholic at all though. in fact, most of B.P.R.D's work that isn't Nuts does a pretty good job at making you feel absorbed into another world through the music and setting: Grove and map 24 of CC2 does it, though again, the atmosphere isn't exactly melancholic (except for Grove.)

i know you mentioned ALT but it's probably the best modern example of great story-telling in Doom.

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Reconstruction / Deconstruction
You mentioned Lainos; Overdose 2 is even darker with its silent, specterized monsters and remnants of gang warfare
Hellbound has an enormous, weighty atmosphere in part due to its scale that left me with an impression of the final days of Earth
Sacrament's final level, Controlled System
Voodoo Guns

I'm sure I can think of others but that's it for now

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e1m2 from The last hope of UAC has one of the most sad and powerful songs I've ever heard in Doom. I normally avoid sad music because I'm easily influenced by it and I don't want to ruin my mood for the day, but I can listen to this one because it has some jazzy parts, which create very nice contrast.

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doubling up on the Talosian Incident recommendation. strange WAD but I love MAP02

Epic 2 has moments of calm... its 21st level springs to mind

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scifista42 said:

Melancholic atmosphere and/or music? BTSX.

i can attest to that too, actually; the hub levels and the epilogue level kind of brings that sort of story-telling you can only do with visuals. i'd argue BTSX EP 2 is even better in that regard.

i've gotta try some of these other recommendations on here at some point. i'm a sucker for good story-telling in Doom.

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These are for Doom II:
Too Dark Park (2drkprk.zip)
System Vices (aboosysv.zip) - some levels are more melancholic than others, but make sure to play them in order if you want to experience the story

And this is for Doom, but the music is barely audible in chocolate doom with OPL, so most of the atmosphere comes from the sound fx.
The Pumping Station (pump.zip)

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Da Werecat said:

BTSX as a whole still falls into the crowded category of megawads with cheerful videogame music, especially E1.

this is true. there's a few moments were it's rather atmospheric, but it's probably not what OP wants unless he'd just jump to certain maps.

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