The MARBFACE Textures

Technician said:

Well this mystery has been put to rest.

Really? Maybe it's just John Romero echoing what the community thinks. Maybe Adrian Carmack is the only one who surely knows what he meant when he drew it. And it might be something else for all we know.

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printz said:
Maybe it's just John Romero echoing what the community thinks. Maybe Adrian Carmack is the only one who surely knows what he meant when he drew it.

Indeed. What I think happened is that Adrian used the "alien demon" face from DOOM to detail the DOOM II sprite, as creative consistency, after the first scans of the model. So people discovered the similarity and Romero eventually agreed from there, like many of us. This explains Romero's earlier post about the face not being related to existing monsters, since he was aware that back when the face was drawn, the arch-vile didn't exist yet.

It's like in game, novel or movie narratives where some later part explains or signifies some earlier detail, with a new significance that was absent in the original work, but can be applied retroactively from the later work.

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Technician said:




Adrian, for all we know, could have had the Arch-vile concept made curring Doom's development.


It makes sense.

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I personally don't see the mystery. Approaching this from an artist's standpoint I can look at every individual feature that would fit into those pixels on the arch's face and the wall face also has it. It is the same creature. I don't see how there can be confusion.

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NiuHaka said:

I personally don't see the mystery. Approaching this from an artist's standpoint I can look at every individual feature that would fit into those pixels on the arch's face and the wall face also has it. It is the same creature. I don't see how there can be confusion.


For me, the confussion comes exactly from that post I linked to earlier, where John Romero says it is not the Arch-vile. But then, he comes again on Facebook and says it IS the Arch-vile.

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yeah, and as much as I love the guy and think he is brilliant, he has said a lot of contradictory things throughout the last twenty years. He's human and he may even be recalling old thoughts from the time between Doom and Doom 2. The Archvile could very well be an alien demon and he just forgot. Archvile does look like an alien to me. Some of the text in Doom 2 even describes the monsters as "carnivorous aliens".

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I don't see why Romero had to know, during development and some time later, that the face was used to detail the arch-vile. The "alien demon" wasn't the arch-vile before DOOM II and it became the face of the arch-vile when the monster was created in 1994.

He may have perfect memory, but that won't help with a little detail he only spotted when the community detected and spread it.

On similar grounds, the "Baphomet" marble face was likely just a decoration in DOOM, but was used as a base for the final boss later.

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Oh yeah, that's right. His perfect memory thing. I have to take back a little of what i said because of it. I agree with you though myk. I've worked on a lot of games and have had a lot of control over the visual style of some of them and the designers wouldn't have had any reason to know where all of the influences came from or when I've switched things up just because i felt like it.

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NiuHaka said:

The Archvile could very well be an alien demon and he just forgot. Archvile does look like an alien to me. Some of the text in Doom 2 even describes the monsters as "carnivorous aliens".



"Aliens" doesn't necessarily mean "little green men from Tau Ceti". The supernatural embodiment of hatred from a metaphysical dimension that cannot be explained rationally are a lot more alien than visitors from foreign stars coming to pay us a visit in their flying saucer.

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Gez said:

"Aliens" doesn't necessarily mean "little green men from Tau Ceti". The supernatural embodiment of hatred from a metaphysical dimension that cannot be explained rationally are a lot more alien than visitors from foreign stars coming to pay us a visit in their flying saucer.

Hah! Bravo and agreed. I think that is a decent description of any one of the Doom monsters be they demon, alien or monster. It's all the same to me.

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NiuHaka said:

(...)he has said a lot of contradictory things throughout the last twenty years(...)

Able to be overseen, since he also did say a text in full reverse (sic).

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Doom was originally going to have space aliens so they obviously meant that kind of alien rather than any other kind.

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These things always start with conceptual drawings.
If the marbface was done from the conceptual drawing, and then much later the vile was done from the same conceptual drawing, then are they the same, or how much does the time difference and artistic license taken by the sprite creator make a difference.

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I'll go with theory that Arch-Vile was made for face, not face for Arch-Vile. Maybe during Doom II development there was a piece of paper with MARBFACE2 on it, and the guy who was making concepts (Adriann Carmack, right? I don't remember) decided to draw full body to it.

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mallo said:
I'll go with theory that Arch-Vile was made for face, not face for Arch-Vile.

Not made explicitly for it, as the model didn't use its features. The new monster model was combined with the existing face. Adrian probably thought, "I'm going to use the remianing marble faces for new bosses or tough monsters, so they aren't just decorations".

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I so wish they would make hi res sprites out of those original models, but that's not likely to ever happen anytime soon, it would've made a great surprise for the already passed 20th if it were done.

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Avoozl said:

I so wish they would make hi res sprites out of those original models

Which are crumbling and have lost many parts already. Yep. Clay figures are frail and don't age very well.

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Crasger said:

I'm guessing the MARBFACE textures are for the Monsters who are REALLY up the ladder of Hell's social heirarchy.

Baron, IoS and Arch-Vile. All monsters that can easily kill you.


heh yeah, it would be weird to find a zombieman marble face somewhere :P

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Darch said:

heh yeah, it would be weird to find a zombieman marble face somewhere :P

That would be awesome lol

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Darch said:

heh yeah, it would be weird to find a zombieman marble face somewhere :P

It would, but if, only on a 32x32 piece of marble.
Like, monsters from the HP 0 to 100 would have 32x32, 100-500 64x64, the rest 128x128. An idea for texture designers.

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Darch said:

heh yeah, it would be weird to find a zombieman marble face somewhere :P

Demons got marble, zombies got tech. I'd like to see the MARBFACE being made of TEKWALL1-5 and EXITDOOR pipes.

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Even better: Edit the texture with all the faces merged together to be a wall of the three zombiemen :D

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ASD said:

Demons got marble

Or even they'd get wood?
Though I've never figured out what kind of creature is that green face on the wood texture, also shown on the green slimey bricks.

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Cell said:

Though I've never figured out what kind of creature is that green face on the wood texture, also shown on the green slimey bricks.


A gargoyle. STONGARG, WOODGARG. Some sort of horned, satyry-looking gargoyle I suspect.

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I like that door with two demon skulls and an obvious cyverdemon skulll on it.

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