Doom 3 was released in August 2004 after a long production cycle, work on Doom 3 started back in mid 2000. The game was well received for its graphics and lighting but not so much for its gameplay, which was very different to the classic run ‘n’ gun formulae of previous Doom games. Clearly the team had spent a long time designing the game and its world and clearly it shows. The research facility on Mars, where the game is set, feels lived in and worn. When you enter rooms there is blood, remnants from fights, damaged surfaces and misplaced objects. But the rooms were like that originally.
When the levels for Doom 3 were created, they were created immaculate. Brand new rooms! Like a newly built office. As if the Mars research facility was a brand new, vacant building. Developers were then given the task of going through each level and giving it that tattered, lived in feel. How they did that you ask? Well, the developers created special weapons to do the work. Details of these weapons are very scarce but I like to imagine they made guns that put dents into walls, smudges on surfaces, smeared blood upon the tiles and a variety of effects to make the world of Doom 3 a damaged one. Once they had gone through each level with these weapons, the levels were then used in the game.
It’s a clever idea. It helps give the research facility that authentic feel that helps our ability to believe in this universe. Also, how fun would that be, to be one of those developers? To create something and after months of hard work and detailing the levels, you get to go round and smash up the place. I bet it’s very therapeutic, especially wrecking certain rooms that were more difficult than others to design. I would love that job. Professional level wrecker!
Publicity stunts are a funny thing. Some companies just miss the mark in spectacular fashion while others hit the tone of their respective game just right. Others, try something a bit different. Different is good……sometimes. Resident Evil 5 had such a stunt.
For those that don’t know, Resident Evil 5 is a third person shooter set in sunny Africa. The series is known for having zombies but the main enemies in RE5, are villagers under the control of the Uroboros virus. This virus basically puts whoever is infected, under the control of whoever is controlling the virus. Now that that’s explained, let’s talk about something completely different! This Resident Evil 5 stunt! Rather than taking place in Africa, this stunt take place in murky London. 50 contestants set off in the early hours of the morning, for a scavenger hunt in the city. The prize you ask? A trip for two to Africa. Not a bad prize at all. I’d give my right leg for that trip. And a hand. A torso. Another leg. Oh wait……I wouldn’t have to give them my body parts! Just the ones the organisers have scattered about the city.
Yes you read that right, body parts. Just lying there, no big deal. Someone’s grandma out for a morning stroll, wanders round the corner and hello there! A leg in the alley. Whether that happened or not, I am unsure of. Maybe the heads, torsos and limbs were hidden well enough. A little too well apparently because at the end of the competition, a few mounds of flesh hadn’t been returned. Yup, apparently one head, two torsos, six limbs and lots of chicken liver, for added effect, were not returned.
I like to think that this was one of the contestants who just ran off with his finds. Perhaps he was really happy with him or herself. Strolling along, limbs tucked under each arm, head in a carrier bag and torso shoved in a back pack. Then he sees the winner of the contest, Steve Long, walking by with more limbs. And our body snatcher decided that he/she wouldn’t win today. So, like a sulky child they took their football and went home. Only this time, it was a head instead of a football. Just like the Mayan’s used to do. There’s an extra fun fact for you!
Redead’s are the stuff of nightmares. I don’t care what anybody says, The Legend of Zelda series can be dark at times. From paralysing screams, giants hands that spring from the shadows, the Happy Mask Salesman and that sadistic, smiling moon, the Zelda franchise is deceptively twisted. Exhibit A:
What is that!?!? Nintendo, that ain’t fair. A few hours ago I was in an open field with my trusty steed Epona, whistling a merry tune with my ocarina. Then you open the gates of hell and invite Satan’s creepy uncle to Hyrule. That is an abomination of a mind I don’t want to delve into. Some creatures in the Zelda universe are creepier than horror game monsters.
None show this more than the Redead’s. These shambling corpses just stand there moaning like us Brits at a bus stop. Until you get close enough and then suddenly they scream. A scream so terrifying, that the main character Link, freezes in place. The player then has to mash the buttons to try to unbind themselves from the spot, before the slowly moving figure, latches onto you and starts biting. As a child, this put the fear right in me! So much so, that there were times that I’d just close my eyes and run through Castle Town. That was until I learnt that the Sun Song freezes them and then it’s easy. Easy but still scary.
So, I wanted to try and figure out where that scream came from and whose vocal chords it belonged to. Alas, I didn’t find the person in question, I did find where Nintendo got the scream from though. The General Series 6000 Sounds Effects Library! A catalogue of sounds that can be purchased for use in media. The scream that I have found is different to the Redead scream, but I believe this to be the base form before audio tampering. The scream even has The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask listed as one of its times used in media form. Here is the scream I believe to be the Redead’s origin:
Compare it to the completed game’s version:
I may be wrong on this but I do believe that is the same scream. The very first half a second or so sound to me. It then changes and a sound effect is added, that is like a whooshing sound. I listened to quite a few women’s screams (what an hour that was) and that one sounds the part. For now and until I master audio mixing, that is the Redead scream to me.