Photo: William Philpott (Getty Images)

The 1993 shooter Doom looks like every morally panicked adult’s nightmare vision of video-game violence made manifest. The screen is centered, always, on instruments of violence, its levels are filled with roaring demons, and the soundtrack comprises reprobate-courting MIDI speed metal. Still, the original Doom’s hellish visuals pale in comparison to its painted box art, which depicts a totally ripped space man battling the manically grinning forces of darkness amidst a smoldering landscape of volcanic rocks.

Now, thanks to modern technology, we can see a disorienting glimpse of what Doom would look like if the game’s levels were modeled to more closely resemble its cover.

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The clip runs only 15 seconds but took its Tumblr-based creator at “the other blog” just over six hours to render with a number of software modifications, transferring program, and high-end graphics card. They describe the video as having “used a neural network to make Doom gameplay look like the Doom box art,” which follows on their past work to really just fuck the game right up by running “every single [game] texture… through a deep dream [sic] filter.” (DeepDream, in case you’ve managed to forget, is an absolutely wild image-processing program used to make amateur Tool album covers out of anything users can think of.)

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While the other results of this experiment are strikingly nightmarish enough on their own, the decision to create a clip specifically guided by Doom’s box art aesthetic has yielded the most impressive results yet. By combining the unknowable intelligence of machine learning and the dark ingenuity of a human brain, the clip’s creator has fully embraced Doom’s techno-hell source material to create results more diabolical than the game’s original makers could have envisioned.

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