The TDM universe is a mostly grounded, realistic setting, and its fauna and flora corresponds to what you'd expect from the real world. However, one of the fantasy elements of the setting is the presence of several types of fictional creatures, some of them strange animals and beasts, others outright monsters. Some come in animal forms, some in humanoid ones. In the game itself, they usually appear as AI models, similar to human AI characters.
This article serves as a bit of an overview on the non-human creatures seen in TDM's history thus far. Some are already fully finished, fully tested, and part of the core mod. Some are merely proposals or are currently in development limbo. Bear in mind that not every undeveloped concept can or needs to be added to TDM.
This section lists examples of natural or supernatural creatures and beings (other than humans) that are currently a part of The Dark Mod, or were planned for inclusion to The Dark Mod in the past.
Creatures used in TDM
These are creatures that are currently an official part of The Dark Mod, in one way or another.
- Cats - only as ambient sounds in certain missions; a possible addition was discussed here
- Dogs - only as ambient sounds in certain missions; a possible addition was discussed here
- Horses - Horse AI, usually seen idling in stables; come with several variations of saddlecloths
- Rats - small, fully animated AI, can be included in FMs to scurry around, for added atmosphere
- Snails - stationary, "set-dressing" models
- Spiders - fairly small, greyish spiders; harmless compared to their monstrous cousins
- Giant Spiders - huge spiders, in several size varieties (some the size of a plate, the biggest ones the size of a large dog)
- Werebeasts - effectivelly a form of humanoid, bipedal werewolves or werewolf-like creatures (introduced in version 2.08)
- Manbeasts - a species of beast-like humanoids (beastmen) with yellowy glowing eyes. They come in two varieties: A beastman armed with a curved short sword, and a beastman armed with the same weapon and a bundle of simple javelins. The latter is a ranged unit, akin to a typical TDM archer, though it uses a throwing weapon. (introduced in version 2.08)
- Revenants - animated corpses of Builders executed for heresies, haunting crypts and vengeful
- Skeletons - aside from more fleshy undead beings, one can occassionally stumble upon walking, roaming, haunted skeletons; they come in several appearance variations and are often armed
- Flame bearing skeletons - skeletal undead engulfed in flames (introduced in version 2.08)
- Zombies - walking corpses of the long dead
- Fire Elementals - mysterious elemental creatures in the form of a floating ball of fire (introduced in version 2.05)
These are creatures that were contemplated for The Dark Mod, but shelved due to various reasons.
As with all concepts, don't expect all of these to be developed into working AI. Some might be eventually added as the game grows and matures, but it's mostly down to the talent available for creating and testing new AI.
- Cats - not added as physical models yet, omly ambient sounds; a possible addition was discussed here
- Dogs - not added as physical models yet, omly ambient sounds; a possible addition was discussed here
- Ravens - a partially made raven model was mentioned by Springheel in 2014
- Ridable horses - just a very rudimentary, rough-around-the-edges attempt to create the semblance of a ridable horse AI; you can see this almost forgotten idea in this old test footage (TDM being what it is, the inclusion of ridable horses is highly unlikely)
- Belchers - lizard-like or amphibian-like bipedal creatures, dwelling in caves and swamps; several model concepts and some old test footage, but development is currently in limbo
- 'Mantians' - insectoid humanoids with a praying mantis appearance; an AI concept proposed by Plutonia in 2015
- Strigis - no known models or concept art, just a proposed idea; apparently a feminine creature with owl-like features (Strix being the Latin moniker for forest owls, the Strigidae; Greek and Roman mythologies have featured the strix as a bird of ill omen or a feminine, lamia-like being, while striga-s are also vampire-like female undead or witches in various Slavic folklore)
- Spider Queen - was worked on for pre-standalone TDM; the model was adapted from Doom 3's Vagary and so cannot be used in standalone for legal reasons. (Not to be confused with the spider queen in Window of Opportunity.)
- Ghouls - humanoid undead monsters, haunting long-abandoned city quarters or burial places. A ghoul adapted from a Doom 3 zombie was prototyped before TDM went standalone.
Unique to FMs
This section lists examples of natural or supernatural creatures and beings (other than humans) that are unique to the individual Fan Missions made by individual FM authors.
Some of these tend to be eventually included in the core mod, if they get approved.
Some of the humanoid monsters in the core mod are rather easily derivable into new creatures. Animated skeletons are a good example. Several authors have added additional customised features to these beings in their FMs, such as making their skeletal bodies or parts of their bodies engulfed in creepy flames (e.g. The Rift by badccog, Volta II: Cauldron of the Gods by Kingsal).
A Night to Remember
This fan mission by Fieldmedic features spirits haunting a manor house at night time.
The ghosts haunting the manor house are relatively slow-moving, but highly dangerous to the player character if he remains in their proximity. As transparent, incorporeal beings, thay are invulnerable to arrows. Every single arrow will go through them, without any effect.
This fan mission by moonbo features several custom AI adversaries, but the most prominent are a type of armed, shadowy spirits.
One of the major new enemy AIs in the mission are "shadow spirits". They patrol like normal guards or the undead revenants, but the main danger posed by them is their partial invisibility. Depending on the lighting conditions of a given area, they can turn effectivelly invisible (or barely visible), while in others, the outlines of their bodies become more readily apparent. The player character is required to exercise some patience and extra care while traversing spaces that are patrolled by these beings.
Volta II: Cauldron of the Gods
This fan mission by Kingsal features two new creature types, as well as a variation on an established creature.
Manbeasts introduced in this mission (and originally unique to it) were later added to the core game, as of version 2.08.
The second type is a will-o'-the-wisp. It slowly flies around a local area, illuminating the spaces below it in the process. It's a harmless being, it does not take any offensive or defensive action against the player, and is invulnerable. The only danger the little flying wisp poses to the player character is exposing the player's hiding place with light, especially if the player only relies on shadow cover and doesn't have some physical cover between him and the enemy AI in the mission.
The flaming skeletons introduced in this mission (and originally unique to it) were later added to the core game, as of version 2.08.
- Monsters - General older forum discussion on monsters and their use in TDM.
- Mythical creatures - General older forum discussion on the more fantastical creatures included or includable in TDM.
- A suggestion: Vampires within the Lore - A creature idea proposed by LordPariah in 2013.
- Any thoughts on adding a Belcher ? - Most recent discussion (2017) on the proposed "Belcher" creatures, with some links to older development discussions about the same topic.
- Needed for Standalone: Animated Werebeast - Discussion documenting the gradual development of the werebeast concept's current iteration for the game.
- Werebeasts or Beastmen? - Discussion answering a newbie question about these types of creatures.
- 2.08 New Monster Characters