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Ultimate Doom video game box art

The Doom Marine aka “Doomguy”

(Part #2/2)


Sequence

This entry is part of a cluster of articles.

  1. The main . Read this one first.
  2. The main profile for Doomguy, part #2. This here profile.
  3. A Weapons Locker article discussing the weaponry in the 1990 DooM games.
  4. Individual mini-profiles for the monsters.

If you click on the “Doom (video game)” subcategory near the beginning of the article, you can see it all.

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History (part 3)

After Hell’s third catastrophic invasion of the solar system, the United States took steps to prevent such an invasion from recurring.

The old UAC corporation was restructured under completely new management. Since the old trustees and stockholders were all dead, this wasn’t much of a problem.

The UAC was sent to the farthest reaches of the solar system to conduct their research, setting up a base on Pluto.

Plutonia Base

With Plutonia Base firmly established, the new UAC began working on quantum accelerator (QA) devices. These were intended to close interdimensional gates at a distance. This would prevent all future incursions.

The project began innocently enough. In order to learn how to close gates, the scientists naturally had to relearn gate technology first. Beings from outside had their dire attention drawn to the new experiments, and one day a gate opened in the heart of the research complex.

But the UAC scientists had learned their trade. The Quantum Accelerator Device performed perfectly in its maiden test. The invasion gate was closed instantly and permanently when the Accelerator flicked on. A cyberdemon, halfway through, was snipped in two when the Gate closed.

Earth would now be safe from invasion by Hell. Or so the scientists thought.

Recreated Playstation Doom box art video game

A recreation of the original box art for the Playstation version of DooM, from this Reddit thread  . I guess that for people who were exposed to it first it might remain the canon version of the marine.

A quality of its own

The next day, a ring of seven Gates opened throughout the base and a monstrous legion rampaged through. The Quantum Accelerator began putting out the Gates at once. Within an hour, six were closed. But the hellish army was now too strong, too numerous.

The marines fought like mad dogs, but were finally pulled down by the enemies’ claws. The scientists, marines, and bureaucrats were all slain or transformed into undead mankillers. A demonic Gatekeeper emerged and laid claim to the base in the name of Hell.

The marine was on leave at the beach, only a few minutes from the complex, when he got the word about the latest invasion. He arrived at the base and was greeted by flashes of light, howls, and chanting emanating from the interior.

Obviously the Gatekeeper was doing something inside. Something that would soon reach some kind of awful climax.

Within an hour or two, an entire division of marines would arrive to assault the base with full artillery and air support. But they would be far too late.

Quantum of solace

One last time, the marine had to storm the gates of Hell.

Despite Hellish resistance, the marine fought his way into the depths of Plutonia Base. He slew the Cyberdemon guarding the QA labs. Alas, the prototype accelerator he needed to close the final Gate was hidden elsewhere.

In one of the most fiendish challenges he’d ever faced, the marine ended up playing a cat-and-mouse game with a small legion of Archviles in a claustrophobic maze.

The marine destroyed this collection of the most fiendish of hellspawn and found the QA prototype. With palpable relief he activated the device and closed the last Gate.

Adνеrtisеmеnt

Same old, same old

The marine’s battle was not over yet.

He still had to find and kill the Gatekeeper before it could spawn more minions or reopen a Gate. He swept Plutonia Base and found to his horror that the Gatekeeper had managed to warp itself to Earth.

The marine followed the hellspawns’ trail, catching the demons off-guard as they consolidated their hold on the Earthly city they’d Gated into.

He cleared the city of its monstrous invaders and tracked down the lair of the Gatekeeper.

Time to retire

It was an all-too-familiar tale of a marine squaring off with a monstrous mountain of malevolent machinery that spat demons in its defense.

It had the usual happy ending — the marine standing with a smoking rocket launcher, watching the explosive charge destroy the Gatekeeper’s brain and banish the remaining demons back to Hell.

The marine walked away, making a mental note to have his grandchildren include a rocket launcher in his coffin when he dies so he can do a little cleaning if he goes to Hell.

Doom 2 video game box art

Cover art for Doom 2 (or DooM ][ to be fancy about it]).

Description

A beefy guy with a gray combat helmet, clad in grayish green combat armor and pretty much bristling with weaponry (and ammo – lots of ammo).

Most of his moves are pretty much instinctive now, and seeing him shoot while moving or reload his weapons in an heartbeat while dodging fire is quite impressive. Get some !

Personality

The DooM guy has no name, no personality and practically no past. He’s faceless to most people he meets thanks to his combat helmet, though the player can see his mug.

That’s just how he rolls.

Fighting is etched deep in his instincts ever since the first few hours of combat on Mars. He’s a collection of extremely precise and fast moves and maneuvers. His disassociation and emotionlessness are such that he’s willing to take on massively powerful entities and win.

Random bonus

I once decided to make a picture of Doomguy without looking at any reference material, running purely on oooold memories of playing the original DooM games. I guess I just wanted to see how this guy looked within my mind.

In case this is useful (hey, it could happen), here it is :

An imaginary view of the Doom marine

DC Universe Adaptation

(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).

The DooM story could be set somewhere in the future – or it could happen in the present, only on a much smaller scale.

Instead of the entire planet being ravaged, Earth might “only” lose a few dozen square kilometres of wilderness (standing in for Phobos). Plus a nearby burg (standing in for Earth).

The evacuation plot might have involved busses rather than generation ships, and taken place at the bus depot rather than at the starport. When you’re in the streets of your hometown with demons running around and everyone dying, that the plot is local rather than global makes very little difference !

Further adaptations

The tests would presumably be run by Lexcorp, or perhaps S.T.A.R. If you want something less obvious, Cypher International (from Checkmate volume 1) is another evil corporation with a lot of R&D power.

With this reduced scale the protagonist could come from any military reputed for its tough guys, depending on the country where the action takes place — US Marines Corps, French Foreign Legion, British Royal Commandos, Russian Spetsnaz, Israeli Sayeret Matkal, Brazilian 1st Special Forces Battalion, etc.

If the protagonist is an operator hired by a PMC, location may not even count.

Having a foreign soldiers who does not really know the language spoken where the action takes place might be a rationalisation for why the Doomguy doesn’t speak

For a little twist, there might even be super-heroes present and working to contain the situation. But it’s one of the nameless, faceless guard types everyone assumes have all been massacred who is busy fighting deep within enemy lines as the heroes are outside saving lives.

Doom ending splash screen dead bunny

In-game splash screen showing the marine holding the remains of his lil’ pet rabbit.

DC Heroes RPG

The marine from DooM

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 06
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 07
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 07
Init: 013 HP: 060

Skills:

Acrobatics (Dodging): 06, Evasion (Ranged only): 06, Medicine (First Aid): 05, Military Science (Cartography, Danger Recognition, Demolition, Field Command): 05, Weaponry: 08

Advantages:

Familiarity (Types of demonic invaders, Military Equipment & Protocols), Iron Nerves, Schtick (Double Tapping (pistol), Lightning Reload).

Connections:

None.

Drawbacks:

Exile (to a Phobos unit, as the story begins). After DooM he has PTSD  issues – a Minor Rage and MPI.

Motivation:

Military.

Occupation:

Space marine.

Wealth:

003

Equipment:

The weapons are covered in a separate article — the DooM Weapons Locker — so they can be illustrated and covered in details. The article even includes an explanation about how he carries all of this.

This leaves us with :

  • BODY ARMOUR [/BODY/ 08 (Hardened Defences), Shade: 01, Limitation: Physical RAPs on the Character are spread between the armour’s BODY and the Character’s BODY, starting with the armour (-2)]. The ARMOUR can also interface with the weapons (providing a crosshair, ammunition count, etc. but that has no benefits in RPG terms.
  • SPIKED BRASS KNUCKLES [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 05), Descriptor: Blunt, Bonus: +1CS OV/RV to resist Disarm attempts, Bonus: No Unskilled Penalties, can use unarmed AV].
The DooM Marine battling demons in hell (alternate box art)

The second take on the box art for the 2010s version of DOOM was essentially an updated version of the 1993 one.


Hardware, oddly strewn about

Much of the gear the marine finds is in poor shape, and can only be used for a short while before it breaks down. Beyond the ammunition and weapons covered in the Weapons Locker article, typical resources made using human technology include :

  • LIGHT AMPLIFICATION VISOR [BODY 02, Ultra-vision: 04, R#03]. The visor will usually burn out in less than ten Phases.
  • Medikit [BODY 02, Ammo: 01, Advantage : Enhanced Conditional Recovery (reduces the cost of Desperation Recovery to 5 HPs when used, 50 pts)].
  • Berserker Pack [BODY 02 /STR/ 08, Ammo: 01, Advantage : Enhanced Conditional Recovery), Limitation: /STR/ only lasts for a dozen Phases or so].
  • RADIATION SUIT [BODY 06, Sealed Systems: 04]. The suit will usually develop tears making it useless in about 15 Phases.

Running and gunning

For those wanting to emphasise the marine’s movement speed, add to the BODY ARMOUR’s game stats 05 APs of the Running: 05, with a +1 Bonus that it also applies to sideways and backward movement. Perhaps some sort of light exoskeleton that’s normally used to operate in the Jupiter gravity well.

This speed is already taken into account in the so-so AV of many DooM creatures, and the Marine is able to Lay Back against most of those. This help represent the evasive, dynamic nature of DooM combat.


Alien artefacts

The space marine came across several alien artifacts during his battles with hellspawn. These items had apparently been captured by the forces of Hell but could not be used by demons. The marine turned these items against the legions of doom to great effect. These devices included:

  • Invisibility Sphere [BODY 08, Invisibility: 06, Ammo: 01, Limitations: Invisibility is Self Only and only lasts for 15 Phases)].
  • Invulnerability Sphere [BODY 08, Force Field: 15, Ammo: 01, Bonus : Can attack through Force Field ; Limitations: Force Field is Self Only and only lasts for 15 Phases].
  • Supercharger [BODY 08, Damage Capacity: (Linked to user’s BODY), Ammo: 01, Note: the Damage Capacity can be accessed by the user for the RAPs scored against him].
  • Megasphere [BODY 08, Damage Capacity: (Linked to user’s BODY), Damage Transference: 06, Ammo: 01, Bonus : Damage Transference has No Time Limitation, Note : the Damage Capacity can be accessed by the user for the RAPs scored against him, while the Damage Transference is used by the Megasphere on the wielder].

Ammo: 01 for these artefacts means the wielder gets one use of the item and all the Powers it may contain. Such Powers run for their normal duration (although some have a limited duration as a Limitation, as noted).

In Damage Capacity’s case, “one use” means enough RAPs to fill up the Damage Capacity, accrued over any length of time.

Doomguy in-game sprite

The original, 1993 sprite. IIRC I scanned it from the manual.


Doom emulation

Each Doom level constitutes its own adventure, with its own Hero Points award.

This is important to the story – the marine had a solid flow of HPs backing him, allowing for a lot of Desperation Recoveries with medikits and a bunch of Pushing and LDD.

In the DooM video games, punching damage was based on the marine’s current health level. As an optional rule, the Marine’s hand-to-hand EV may be based on his Current BODY Condition using the following table :

Current BODY Unarmed EV
06 05
05 or 04 04
03 03
02 or 01 02

If using these mechanics in your game, lowering the FC of STR by 3 and increasing the FC of BODY by 2 sounds about right for character creation. This has not been playtested, however.


Design Notes

The marine probably has other military skills – Vehicles (Land) readily comes to mind. But these are undemonstrated, and we don’t have any sense of what sorts of vehicles the Space Marine Corps uses.

It’s also possible that he has more people skill, including better INF and AUR as a force-of-nature type. There too, ain’t no information at all.

At points he has the Military Rank Advantage. But this varies wildly (in good part depending on how many soldiers are available at all), and in the actual gameplay it matters not one imp fart.

For die-and-retry video game characters we occasionally throw in Luck. To represent the fact that in the “final” version of the story, the character suceeded. This wasn’t the case here, mostly because this profile is from the previous century, but if you want to add it just fill these UAC requisition forms in triplicate.

The BODY ARMOUR is also written up in an old-fashioned way. I left it statted that way for those who prefer it, and because I don’t remember the modelling discussion with Roy – it’s been decades. But ARMOUR where RAPs get spread between the armour and the user had been a design direction for a while, though it never fully materialised.

A more modern approach, including the “Running and Gunning” remarks, would be BODY ARMOUR [BODY 05, Enhance (Physical RV): 01 (cap is 07), Damage Capacity: 07, Running: 05, Shade: 01, Bonus: Running also applies to backward and sideway movement, Bonus: Damage Capacity can be Recovered using infrastructure, but in practice the marine just find new ones]. These stats are simple since, there again, we don’t have a lot of info beyond the armour’s “health” closely resembling Damage Capacity APs.


Realistic GAN extrapolation of Doomguy Doom video game from Reddit

A funky portrait using neural networks then retouching to make up a HD version of the 1993 in-game face sprite as a realistic mug. From this 2019 Reddit thread  .

DC Adventures RPG

Doomguy (1990s DooM) — Averaged PL 9.2

STR STA AGL DEX
03 04 02 02
FGT INT AWE PRE
04 01 01 01

Combat Advantages:

All-out Attack, Close Attack 4, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Evasion, Improved Defense, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Ranged Attack 5.

Other Advantages:

Equipment 4, Fearless.

Skills:

Athletics 2 (+5), Expertise (Space Marine Infantry NCO) 5 (+6), Insight 2 (+3), Perception 3 (+4), Ranged combat (Firearms) 5 (+12), Ranged combat (Heavy weapons) 5 (+12), Treatment 6 (+7) (Limited 1 to Revive & Stabilize).

Equipment

Light pistol ● Ranged ballistic Damage 3 ● 6 points
Body armour ● Protection 5 Speed 4 ● 9 points
Spiked brass knuckles ● Strength-based blunt Damage 1, Improved Critical 1 ● 2 points

Offence:

Initiative +2
Unarmed +8, Close, Damage 3.
Weapons +12, by type.

Defence:

Dodge 10
Fortitude 09
Parry 08
Toughness 04*/07/12**
Will 10

* Without Defensive Roll.
** With Defensive Roll and Body Armour.

Complications:

  • Hierarchical dysfunction The world the marine lives in seems actively callous, stupid and dystopic.

Powers Levels:

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 08, Dodge/Toughness PL 11, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 10.
  • Points total 98. Abilities 36, Defences 25, Skills 13, Powers 00, Devices 00, Advantages 24. Equiv. PL 7.


Design Notes

The Advantages are kept basic/blocky to represent the equally basic nature of DooM gameplay.

But he sure gets a lot of mileage out of Defensive Attack, as he keeps running and gunning. Most demons have so-so Defenses so he still hits, and they’ll have a hard time hitting our Defensively Attacking hero.

As you can see, the budget and PLs only includes the starting pistol. This is mostly because the guns are statted in another article, otherwise he’d have them and matching Equipment Ranks and PL.

As mentioned in the DCH notes, throwing in one or two Ranks of Luck would be reasonable. And though he technically sometimes have Benefits (a military rank) this doesn’t matter in his actual tribulations.


Hardware, oddly strewn about

Much of the gear the marine finds is in poor shape, and can only be used for a short while before it breaks down. Beyond the ammunition and weapons covered in the Weapons Locker article, typical resources made using human technology include :

  • Light amplification visor (Senses 1 (Low-light vision), will burn out within a minute or so).
  • Medikit (Healing 8, can only be used once).
  • Berserker pack (Healing 8 (only one use) Linked with Enhanced Attribute (Strength 4) (one use, lasts a dozen Rounds).
  • Radiation suit (Immunity 1 (Enviro radiation), lasts for about 15 Rounds).

Alien artefacts

The space marine came across several alien artifacts during his battles with hellspawn. These items had apparently been captured by the forces of Hell but could not be used by demons. The marine turned these items against the legions of doom to great effect.

These devices included:

  • Invisibility sphere (Concealment 2 (basic visual), lasts about 15 Rounds).
  • Invulnerability sphere (Protection 12, lasts about 15 Rounds).
  • Supercharger (Protection 6, Limited – loses one Rank of Protection per attack that hits the Character).
  • Megasphere (Healing 16 (one use) Linked with Protection 8, Limited – loses one Rank of Protection per attack that hits the Character).

By Sébastien Andrivet and Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: The video game classics : Ultimate DooM (that is, DooM plus the Thy Flesh Consumed episode), DooM ][, Final DooM (TNT and the Plutonia Experiment).

Helper(s): Peter Piispanen, Mike Semchuk, the DooM game manual and the DooM wiki  .