Doomguy in The Ultimate Doom
|First game||Doom (1993)|
|Created by||id Software|
|Designed by||Tom Hall, Adrian Carmack|
|Voiced by||Mike Dopud (grunts/screams)|
The Doomguy (unofficial title given by the fans), also known as the Doom marine or just the Marine, is the protagonist or protagonists of the Doom series of science fiction horror video games created by id Software, and its sequels and spin-off media. In all the games, he is a space marine clad in a green combat armor, who never speaks onscreen.
Classic Doom series
In the games, he is never referred to by name. The original game's co-designer John Romero said this was to increase player immersion: "There was never a name for the DOOM marine because it's supposed to be YOU."
On the box art for the original Doom, the Doomguy is portrayed as a muscular man wearing green armor and a light gray space helmet that conceals his facial features. He is firing a chaingun and fighting off a Baron of Hell that is grabbing his left wrist. The introduction screen of Doom is slightly different, as he still has his machine gun but is also clutching a shotgun in his left hand. The player's in-game avatar, as seen in multiplayer mode and in the ending of Doom II: Hell on Earth, is based on this depiction. Colors in multiplayer include green, red, brown and indigo. In Doom 64, the Marine is portrayed as a less-built counterpart to his original version, with slightly modified black armor and a black helmet with an antenna. His visor is also blue rather than grey. The Doomguy's actual face is seen in the game's HUD, where he is shown as having light brown hair, a buzz cut, and brown eyes. The Doomguy also appears without his helmet in the cover art of Doom II and in the ending to The Ultimate Doom episode IV, "Thy Flesh Consumed", where the marine's face is similar to what is depicted in the HUD, although his armor and pants are a darker shade of green. His face is never seen in Doom 64.
The Doomguy's personality is never examined in any of the games, although his past suggests that he has a strong sense of right and wrong. In the prologue of Doom, it is told that he assaulted a superior officer when ordered to fire upon civilians, and was therefore reassigned to the Martian outpost in which the game takes place. The back of the SNES port box cover describes him as 'one angry marine with a handgun and a bad attitude.' At the start of Doom II, shortly after having arrived on Earth and realizing that a zombie is attacking the people, he instantly blows away the monstrosity with his sidearm. Later, having fought his way to the spaceport and deactivated the force fields to allow Earth's population to escape, he nonetheless volunteers to stay behind and find the source of Hell's incursion. During the events of Final Doom, he promises to slay as many of the demons as possible after they overran a moon base and slew the entire population (in the TNT: Evilution compilation's backstory) and in the Plutonia Experiment, he single-handedly enters the infested Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) complex that contained the Quantum Prototype Accelerators after he learned that an entire Marine platoon with heavy air/ground support are on their way to assault the complex, and because the Marines have never encountered the Minions of Hell, he knew they would not stand a chance. In Doom 64, he is depicted as having nightmares due to his experiences, including the admittedly traumatizing descent into Hell itself. He fights his way through a long-sealed base and descends into Hell once more, alone, and when he defeats the Mother Demon, he decides to remain in Hell to make sure an invasion never happens again; his fate there is unknown.
In Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom, he expresses little emotion at the horror unfolding around him. His typical expression is a stern and alert glare, his eyes constantly darting left and right. Should he take damage, his reaction seems to be a mixture of pain and anger. He grins upon picking up a new weapon, and his most emotional face is seen when he has 20 hit points or more taken away during a single tic, showing a somewhat shocked/surprised face. This expression is rarely seen since the code states that you have to take damage and get 20 hit points back. The end game text for "Thy Flesh Consumed" reveals that the rabbit killed in a previous cutscene was his pet rabbit Daisy — he is shown holding its severed head with a look of anger on his face. The Doom box picture of Doomguy fighting is the same as the inscriptions found on the Martian tablets in Doom 3, where the Hero is seen fighting the demon horde (the location of the demons is reversed and the Hero is portrayed as a muscular figure holding the Soul Cube rather than a rifle).
- Tom Hall's original design draft, also known as "The Doom Bible", talks about a character named Buddy Dacote. "Dacote" stands for "Dies at conclusion of this episode", as the character was slated to die at the end of the first episode. In the game's final version, this is indeed the fate of the Doomguy, although he continues his adventure in the second episode.
- In the Wolfenstein RPG, it is implied that Doomguy is the descendant of William "B.J." Blazkowicz. In a reference to the Doomguy's confrontation with the Cyberdemon, when Blazkowicz defeats the "Harbinger of Doom", the creature states that he will return in the future to confront his descendants. In Doom II RPG includes the character Stan Blazkowicz who is the descendant of B.J., he is however not the same character as the Marine in Doom RPG (though both look the same). It is mentioned in related Doom II RPG comic and in the game that there were no known survivors of the Mars Incident.
In Doom 3, Doomguy appears similar to his classic Doom incarnation, with the exception that his facial features are not concealed, since he does not wear a helmet (even though all other marines in the game wear the same helmet as the original Doomguy). His muscular build is less exaggerated, he has black hair and appears to be in his late-twenties or early thirties. There is no background history on Doomguy in Doom 3; apart from the fact that he had just recently arrived on Mars, and is the newest member of the Marine detachment sent on the planet, his past remains a mystery. It is established he is a corporal and was sent to replace one of the marines that had mysteriously disappeared. When Dr. Betruger opens the gateway to Hell, he somehow manages to avoid being transformed into a zombie and ends up fighting through the UAC facility to survive.
This time, Doom's plot is similar to that of the original Half-Life (which itself shared similarities with the original Doom); before the unexpected accident, the player can talk to several people, but most of them do not say much other than the fact they are busy and the UAC base is a frightening place. However, there are several characters, such as Sergeant Kelly, who give the player some briefing regarding his mission, especially after the demons invade the UAC base. Even on these "chatting" occasions, the player character is addressed simply as "marine" and remains silent. The Doom 3 Doomguy is portrayed as tough and fearless in the game's cut scenes; he generally just glares at the creatures he comes to witness, including several bizarre and disturbing psychic visions. He does, however, open his mouth in awe when he sees the towering Cyberdemon, just before the final battle of the game.
In the Doom 3 novels his name is John Kane (who has the same last name as Quake 4 protagonist Matthew Kane). His past is elaborated as similar to the character in the original Doom, only having been demoted after disobeying command to save some of his fellow marines. He is a combat veteran of the various wars raging on Earth for its remaining resources, including one between the United States and Russia. After arriving on Mars he finally resigns to his fate as a "glorified security guard." Whilst there he befriends fellow marines such as Maria Moraetes - a marine with a similar fate.
During the Hellish invasion, he is forced to take command of several of the surviving marines despite his stripped ranking. Afterwards, he battles the demons singlehandedly or with a few other marines - such as Maria, Andy Kim, or Jack Campbell. He is shown to be very compassionate to his fellow survivors, working to save the child Theo, and even working to save the damned in Hell. After volunteering to enter Hell to retrieve the soul cube, Campbell is shown as very impressed by him. During all of this, he and Maria start to feel romantic ties to each other. During the end of Doom 3: Maelstrom his leg is blown off, and he is admired as the "man who saved Mars City."
Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil
In Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, the main character is different from the Doomguy of Doom 3. This Doomguy is a combat engineer, and thus is trained to operate a remote manipulation device known as the Grabber. He wears blue armor, and appears to be older than his Doom 3 counterpart (in his late forties or early fifties), based on his heavily-weathered (but similar-looking) facial features.
The game presents very little information on his background, only that he is part of a detachment of Space Marines under the command of Dr. Elizabeth McNeil sent to investigate the Mars UAC facility in the aftermath of the demon invasion. While investigating the Martian ruins he finds and touches the Heart of Hell artifact (simply called The Artifact, also known as the Blood Stone), which releases a wave of energy that disintegrates the rest of his squad and opens another portal to Hell underneath the UAC base. In Resurrection of Evil, he appears to be more of an anti-hero in outlook, as he seems to enjoy using the Heart of Hell artifact, which ended up killing almost everyone at the base because of him.
In the film adaptation, John "Reaper" Grimm (Karl Urban) is the son of UAC scientists who were killed in an accident during the early excavation of a Martian dig site. Reaper abandoned his scientific heritage and joined the military to forget about this personal tragedy, eventually becoming a member of the elite Rapid Response Tactical Squad.
Grimm, his commanding officer Sarge and the other members of the RRTS are dispatched to the UAC Mars facility to investigate the disappearance of several scientists, which ultimately pits them in a confrontation against humans who have mutated into the classic Doom "demons" after being injected with an artificially created "24th chromosome". Near the end of the film, Grimm is fatally wounded and injected with the 24th chromosome by his sister in order to save his life; as she explains, not everyone is made into a monster by the chromosome, and Grimm is instead granted superhuman strength, reflexes, and regenerative abilities. These new abilities allow him to stride through the infested base with ease, single-handedly mowing down a small horde of demons; among those killed are many zombies, several Imps, a Hell Knight, and a Pinky Demon (all seen by the audience in the game's classic first-person perspective). After killing the now-mutating Sarge, Grimm leaves the base with his nearly-unconscious sister in his arms.
- Doomguy's corpse makes an appearance in a secret area in Duke Nukem 3D: he is posed halfway through his Classic Doom death animation (clutching his throat and gurgling his own blood), surrounded by various Satanic iconography. Upon seeing him, Duke Nukem remarks, "That's one doomed space marine." A similar scene also takes place in Duke Nukem Forever.
- In the Windows version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the Doomguy is a secret skater, added by developer Gearbox Software, who ported the Windows version. This was included because Activision, publisher of the Tony Hawk series and Doom 3, wanted to promote the latter, still in development. Doomguy has decent to good ability ratings, except for "Air", "Hangtime", and "Ollie" (which are excessively low; a joking reference to the lack of jumping in Doom). He replaces Darth Maul, who is featured in the sixth generation console versions of this game.
- A mod for Quake II allowed the player to access the original characters, weapons, and enemies from Wolfenstein 3D, Doom II: Hell on Earth, and Quake. Depending on the character used in normal gameplay (playing through the normal Quake II scenarios), the weapons they receive and the appearances of powerups and ammo change to fit that character's game. There is a story mode that also utilizes the appearances of the various enemies all together (the player must fight off zombies, demons, Strogg, and Nazis all at the same time). Notably, the mod used content taken directly from the games in question, and for this reason the mod's creator was contacted by id Software and ordered to cease production.
- In Quake III Arena, the Doomguy appears in three of later levels under the name "Doom". He is described as 6' (1.83 m) tall and weighing 180 lbs. (81 kg), according to the character description from the game. The character "Phobos" is also a Doom Marine, though his skin is darker and his armor is orange instead of green. The third Doom Marine in the game, "Crash", is mentioned as being Doom's female training instructor before arriving at the Arena.
- In Rage, after the initial cut scene, the player enters a dune buggy with a bobble head of Doomguy on the dashboard. The Easter egg in the Gearhead vault level of the game is the first room from the Doom game, where the player can pick up a Doom Marine bobblehead.
In 2009, GameDaily included him on the list of "ten game heroes who fail at the simple stuff" for his inability to look up and down in the original series. UGO Networks ranked him fourth on its 2012's list of best silent protagonists in video games, noting his courage to continue in silence even when he faces the Hell's army. In 2013, Complex ranked Doomguy at number 16 on the list of the greatest soldiers in video games for being "the original video game space marine" and "also one of the classic silent protagonists." Both CraveOnline and VGRC ranked him as the fifth most "badass" male character in the video game's history. The 2013 Vidya Gaem Awards included the Doomguy Award for the best character.
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- "Character Flaws: Ten Game Heroes Who Fail at the Simple Stuff Gallery by GameDail". Web.archive.org. 2009-04-25. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- Basile, Sal (March 15, 2012). "Best Silent Protagonists In Video Games". UGO Networks. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- Chad Hunter, Michael Rougeau, The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games, Complex.com, May 25, 2013.
- "Top 10 Biggest Gaming Bad Asses". CraveOnline. October 17, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- McCabe, Sean (June 17, 2010). "The Top 10 Male Badasses in Gaming". VGRC. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- "/v/GAs - Voting". 2013.vidyagaemawards.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.