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Scorpinax

What makes classic DOOM scary?

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For those that 'don't find Doom to be scary (anymore)':

 

I want Doom to feel scary, and try to get worked up about it a bit. Like a roller coaster: There's not much danger, but it's fun to let go and be taken over by it a bit. I hope to always be able to feel a little scared playing.

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It used to be scary when it was graphically impeccable, but now it's not since people are used to much worse than what Doom is. 

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9 hours ago, kb1 said:

For those that 'don't find Doom to be scary (anymore)':

 

I want Doom to feel scary, and try to get worked up about it a bit. Like a roller coaster: There's not much danger, but it's fun to let go and be taken over by it a bit. I hope to always be able to feel a little scared playing.

 

So long as it doesn't turn into a full horror game like Doom 3 was I'm totally fine with this.

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The scariest thing for me was when I first played Episode 3 of DooM 1. The sudden appearance of Cacodemons actually made me jump since I didn't expect them so early XD

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As a young child it was the mix of the dark lighting, the monster designs (I actually hated pinkys) and, as mentioned above, the "ACTION" sounds that you could always hear knowing someone/thing was after you! I came from Wolf3D, Spear of Destiny and Blake Stone where this didn't happen... apart from the sound of doors opening in the distance of course!

 

I used to turn the sound off when I was young and that helped!!

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The only thing I ever found scary was the track "Opening to Hell" from Doom II. I always get chills from it and after I listen to it I can still hear that creepy whistling from the start.

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I never found Doom to be a scary game, but there was certain tension in the air when i was playing trough the shareware back in 95 and more so when i played the originals in 97, there were a couple of jump scares here and there thanks to the ocasional lurking Spectre in the dark, a Demon about to bite me in the ass when i turn around only to see that big gaping mouth mid bite animation, a lone Sergeant or worse Revenants and/or Arch-Viles, but aside from that, a mild feeling of awe and disgust towards the gore, and a great feeling of enjoyment, no fear.

 

 

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When I first got into DOOM I was like 6 or 7.  Even then I only thought the Cyberdemons were mildly intimidating.  If you want something scary get DOOM 3, DOOM 4, DOOM VFR, or the Lasting Light mod.  Lasting Light isn't really an fps though...

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3 hours ago, Doge Sword said:

If you want something scary get DOOM 3, DOOM 4, DOOM VFR, or the Lasting Light mod.

 

You consider Doom 2016 a scary game? Like... really? I'd say the same thing about DOOM VFR, but then again, VR is a different beast.

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12 hours ago, Doge Sword said:

When I first got into DOOM I was like 6 or 7.  Even then I only thought the Cyberdemons were mildly intimidating.

 

Interesting, I was also 6 at the time I first played Doom (started with Doom 2 since that was the only one I had on the Win98 machine I used) and I found some parts of it terrifying. The Mancubi in particular, the reason why I could never make it past Dead Simple.

 

5 hours ago, Shanoa said:

How addicting and good it still is 25 years after it's release. ;)

 

That's how a timeless game should be. I actually wonder about how many games made in the recent years we'll be able to say that in a decade or two.

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I don't think I was ever really scared by the original Doom, but I think the way the maps were lit and the grotesque demon design.

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13 hours ago, KVELLER said:

 

You consider Doom 2016 a scary game? Like... really? I'd say the same thing about DOOM VFR, but then again, VR is a different beast.

Tbh I haven't played DOOM 2016 or DOOM VFR...

*runs away when no one is looking*

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1 hour ago, Doge Sword said:

Tbh I haven't played DOOM 2016 or DOOM VFR...

*runs away when no one is looking*

 

I haven't played them either, actually :P but from what I've seen they have next to none of the occasional horror elements present in the original game. I don't think the whole "rip and tear" philosophy would've worked otherwise.

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1 minute ago, KVELLER said:

 

I haven't played them either, actually :P but from what I've seen they have next to none of the occasional horror elements present in the original game. I don't think the whole "rip and tear" philosophy would've worked otherwise.

I wish there was a mod that made DOOM more scary without taking away the atmosphere of slaughter.

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I could only say this:

 

A combination of dark rooms and eerie-as-fuck music, and little to no monsters to kill surely puts me on edge!

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E1M8 - that distant but gutteral wail of the Barons and then seeing how goddamn huge they were. i mean.... back then i would have been maybe 11 or 12 or so and it was just a huge eye widening moment.... im an audio engineer and composer and i think that may have been one of those 'holy shit' moments that made me realize that sounds can be utterly terrifying... harkening back to our primal fears of predatory animals.

 

I think that what comes to mind a lot is that a lot of the sound design was based around animal sounds and that the majority of them were predatory - this is designed to instil fear and uncertainty. When i first started playing doom i had no concept of games other than basically the super mario bros and legend of zelda franchises and so when i saw this game about a guy fighting demons and hoards of bloodied and fucked up beasts my mind expanded.... i also found the landscape beyond the playable levels to be vast with a real sense of space and isolation. Good times.

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The music, lighting, and monsters. During the later levels the music gets really spooky, and the l8ght8my is sometimes very, very diminished sometimes. And of course, seeing the monsters for the first time is scary. Now they really aren't because we're used to them, but man, back in '93 you'd be scared shitless.

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That moment in E1M5, where, after you go down the lift after opening the yellow door, and pass through the hallway, without noticing the fact that both sides of the hallway would be opened( and your health is at 25%)

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I think scary is a concept changing with the historical background. We can't understand why, back in the day, a movie with a ridiculous monster that is clearly a man with a ridiculous costume could be considered scary. If we look back at horror / ghost stories of the 60, we wouldn't find them much scary. Horror is usually cheap and cheesy. But some of the stuff are scary after years or decades. Lovecraft stories are still disquieting, because they don't belong to the horror genre but mostly to the weird genre (take a look at the weird anthology assembled by Jeff VanderMeer if you want to read some of the best weird). 

 

So horror has an expire date unfortunately. Today horror isn't monsters, but psichological horror. Also most of the horror feeling come from the unknown. Meaning that after the first gameplay, the horror game will lose of the main disquieting factors. Horror experience is much caused by the unexpected. I was playing recently layers of fear, one of the most disturbing things is the ever changing architecture. You get to visit your house before the game start, in a normal environment. Then you move in this mansion that in a way expand. You get to go back to the same room after each chapter but every time you explore the house is different. And this is really disquieting. 

Ok enough of intro.

 

I played doom when I got my first pc, a 486, and having heard of this game I had to get it. Parents weren't too concerned about ratings at the time and my father did buy it for me (and I think he was interested in it, bit he never played this kind of games, I think he didn't like the player motion, at the time doom sickness was a thing, and playing the game for long would cause that). 

 

From the privilege point of someone who played the game before its expiring date I can say that yes, it was somewhat disturbing. Especially the second and third chapter levels. Main highlights, the mangled corpses hanged on the roof who turn to follow the character and the face walls in hell.

 

At the time, doom took inspiration from things like hellraiser, and did hit people imagination. Look at the imp design, resembling a bit pinhead, or the pinkie demon, looking like the machinist. And the cyber demon, humongous and lethal. And before it, no game was as much violent and realistic as doom, infact when it came out it caused quite the outrage.

 

Also during the nineties the occult / satanic theme was very felt, at least in Europe. In 1998 we had the first of a serie of satanic homicide, when a couple was killed by a sect called beast of Satan in Italy. Their activities will span until the 2004, when they get arrested. 

When Romero did his famous backward registration of his famous icon of sin speech, more then one person exchanged that for a satanic message.

 

Playing doom now, where the conception of horror changed from a "materialistic" point of view (monsters, demons, assassins) to a more "psichological" point of view is of course a bit underwhelming, because it lacks the historical background and it has technical limitations. But at the time it come out it was, if not a horror game, at least disturbing.

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Those one fucking green faces that have red eyes and the smirk. Always creeped me out when I was young. Not so much anymore, but the memories remain.

I remember trying to get away from one inside a room in MAP12 of Doom 2, only for the door to lower and the texture was three of them. Gave me a spook as a young'n.

 

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Mainly because of

1. The lighting

2. Textures (See Captain Resident's post)

3. Music: "They're going to get you," "Suspense," etc. 

4. Story is mostly absent, making the game all the more mysterious.

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On 8/13/2018 at 12:29 PM, Doge Sword said:

I wish there was a mod that made DOOM more scary without taking away the atmosphere of slaughter.

Brutal Doom 64 or any other Doom 64 TC.

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