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BFG (weapon)

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BFG 9000
Doom element
The BFG 9000 as depicted in Doom (1993, top), Doom 3 (2004, middle) and Doom (2016, bottom)
PublisherId Software
(Zenimax Media)
First appearanceDoom (1993)
Created by
GenreFirst-person shooter
In-universe information
AffiliationUnion Aerospace Corporation

The BFG ("Big Fucking Gun")[1] is a fictional weapon found in many video games, mostly in id Software-developed series' such as Doom and Quake.[citation needed]

The abbreviation BFG stands for "Big Fucking Gun" as described in Tom Hall's original Doom design document and in the user manual of Doom II: Hell on Earth. The Quake II manual says it stands for "Big, Uh, Freakin' Gun". This euphemistic label implies the more profane name of the BFG. Another version of the name used in the Doom motion picture is "Bio Force Gun". The versions found in the Doom games are called "BFG 9000" and those in Quake "BFG 10K".[citation needed]



The weapon first appeared in the press beta release of Doom. In that version, the BFG 9000 released a cloud of 80 small plasma balls (randomly green or red) per shot, which could bounce off floors and ceilings. However, it was scrapped as developer John Romero stated that it "looked like Christmas" and severely slowed the game down due to the large number of on-screen sprites.

Computer Gaming World described the BFG 9000 in the first commercial Doom game as "the Ultimate Weapon".[2] It is a large energy weapon that fires giant balls of green plasma as well as 40 invisible rays in a cone shape. The most powerful weapon in the game, it causes major damage to most types of enemies and can clear an entire room of foes in one shot, or deal huge damage to singular enemies. In the first Doom, the weapon can only be picked up in the third and fourth episodes. The BFG 9000 also appears virtually unchanged in Doom II: Hell on Earth, Final Doom, Doom 64, and Doom RPG.[citation needed]

Other versions[edit]

In Doom 3, the BFG 9000 is a charged weapon: holding down the trigger causes the weapon to accumulate energy before release, resulting in a more powerful shot. Overcharging the BFG too much will cause it to overheat and explode, killing the player instantly.[citation needed]

Quake II and Quake III Arena pay homage to the BFG 9000 with a pair of weapons both called the BFG10K. The Quake II version fires a slow plasma glob that fires rays at any enemies in range and line-of-sight. The Quake III Arena version of the BFG fire a series of fast plasma orbs, and acts quite like the Rocket Launcher (rocket jumping can also be done with the BFG10K). The BFG10K from Quake III also appears in OpenArena (with a different appearance) and Quake Live (with slightly modified characteristics). Rage also pays homage to the BFG 9000 with a weapon known as the "Authority Pulse Cannon", which fires "BFG Rounds".

In the Doom movie, the "bio force gun" fires a bright blue projectile that appears to burst on impact and spray a caustic substance over its target and the surrounding area.[citation needed]

The BFG makes a return in the 2016 reboot, but unlike in its first two appearances, it follows the mechanics of its Quake II rendition, firing a projectile that shoots beams at enemies. The game itself doesn't resolve the acronym "BFG" either in-game or in its codex entries, although one challenge in the game's final campaign level involving the BFG is called "Big [REDACTED] Gun" as a nod to the original vulgar name.[3] In that game's pinball adaptation, it is called the "Big Fancy Gun", and is the most powerful weapon that the Doom Slayer can obtain;[4] collecting it will grant the player an extra ball.

In 2020's Doom Eternal, a new version of the weapon, the BFG 10000, appears, as a massive interplanetary cannon mounted on Mars's moon, Phobos, used by the in-universe UAC organization to protect its control of mars and the surrounding airspace. The BFG 9000 also returns as the main component of the BFG 10000, and, after it is commandeered by the Doom Slayer to shoot a hole into the surface of Mars,[5] he removes the 9000 from its socket and carries it around as a usable weapon, where it's functionally identical to the 2016 version.[citation needed]


Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth and Final Doom[edit]

The BFG's internal game mechanics are two-fold. When the trigger is pulled, there is a pause of 30 game tics (≈0.857 seconds) before a large, relatively slow moving green and white plasma projectile is ejected. The actual projectile deals a significant amount of damage (between 100 and 800 hit points of damage, in multiples of 100), but the majority of the damage is dealt 16 game tics (≈0.457 seconds) after the direct hit in a 45-degree (90 degree wide) cone originating from the player who fired the shot, via 40 invisible tracers, causing each tracer to deal random damage of between 15 and 120 hit points of damage (but is limited to between 49 and 87 hit points of damage due to the pseudo-random number generator that Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth and Final Doom uses) on a solid object within 1,024 map units.

Standing closer to the target causes them to absorb more tracers. The direction of the cone corresponds to the original shot, but it radiates from the player's current location at the time of the main projectile's impact. The player can move, even into a different room, and deal damage there, given enough time before the projectile's impact.[6]

Appearances and homages outside Doom and Quake[edit]

The BFG also makes an appearance in Avalanche Studios' Rage 2.

A similar weapon makes an appearance in MachineGames' Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. According to the game's plot, the weapon, named "Übergewehr" ("Super-rifle" in German), was developed by the Nazis in the 1960s. It utilizes a mixture of laser and diesel energy, as well as a mysterious third source of energy, described as “extra-dimensional microportals", possibly hinting that it is the same Argent Energy mentioned in Doom (2016) onwards.[7] The behaviour of the weapon is similar to Doom 3's BFG: it can be charged in order to release a sphere of energy strong enough to vaporize a horde of soldiers.

Epic MegaGames' Jazz Jackrabbit named the gun of the protagonist as LFG-2000 (Laser Flash Gun 2000)[8]

The fusion research company First Light commissioned Physics Applications Inc. to build a high velocity projectile fusion research tool, which is named “The Big Friendly Gun”, and refer to this as the “BFG”. [9]


"BFR" was the codename for SpaceX's privately funded launch vehicle announced by Elon Musk in September 2017.[10][11][12][13][14] SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has stated that BFR stands for "Big Falcon Rocket".[15] However, Elon Musk has explained that although BFR was the code name, he drew inspiration from the BFG weapon in the Doom video games.[16] The BFR had been referred to informally by the media and internally at SpaceX as "Big Fucking Rocket".[17][18][19][20] The upper stage was called Big Falcon Ship (unofficially "Big Fucking Ship").[21][22][23][24][25] The BFR was eventually officially renamed to "Starship".[26]


UGO.com ranked the BFG 9000 at number two on their list of top video game weapons of all time, stating "it was marvellous and complex, and we should not hesitate to put this weapon down in history as one of the best."[27] X-Play ranked it number one on their list of top "badass" weapons, stating that while "not as fancy as the Gravity Gun", it was the first weapon that "really made us swoon".[28] IGN also listed the BFG as one of the hundred best weapons in video games, placing it at number 2, saying that "The BFG established exactly what we should expect when it comes to powerful in-game weaponry".[29] Machinima.com named it number one on their list of top video game weapons, stating "Do you really need a reason why this tops the list?"[30]


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  2. ^ Walker, Bryan (March 1994). "Hell's Bells And Whistles". Computer Gaming World. pp. 38–39. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
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  4. ^ Zen Studios (December 6, 2016). Bethesda Pinball (iOS, Android). Level/area: DOOM Pinball Table - Table Guide, Page 9: Lock 'n Load. You're gonna want to find better weapons to deal with the demons and this mode is all about finding those Big Fancy Guns.
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  7. ^ Another Hint That Wolfenstein And Doom Share The Same Universe Archived October 27, 2021, at the Wayback Machine, by Ethan Gach, Kotaku, November 17th, 2017
  8. ^ Roberts, Cory (2022-07-19). "Jazz Jackrabbit & Jazz Jackrabbit 2". Shinkansen Retrogaming. Archived from the original on 2022-08-02. Retrieved 2022-08-02.
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  10. ^ Jeff Foust (September 29, 2017). "Musk unveils revised version of giant interplanetary launch system". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  11. ^ William Harwood (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk revises Mars plan, hopes for boots on ground in 2024". SpaceflightNow. Archived from the original on January 30, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2017. The new rocket is still known as the BFR, a euphemism for 'Big (fill-in-the-blank) Rocket.' The reusable BFR will use 31 Raptor engines burning densified, or super-cooled, liquid methane and liquid oxygen to lift 150 tons, or 300,000 pounds, to low Earth orbit, roughly equivalent to NASA's Saturn 5 moon rocket.
  12. ^ Tim Fernholz (September 29, 2017). "SpaceX's Elon Musk unveiled a rocket that can fly to the Moon, Mars—and Shanghai". Quartz. Archived from the original on October 3, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  13. ^ "Artist's Rendering Of The BFR". SpaceX. April 12, 2017. Archived from the original on October 3, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  14. ^ Sherisse Pham; Jackie Wattles (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk is aiming to land spaceships on Mars in 2022". CNNMoney. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Mike Wall (October 7, 2017). "What's in a Name? SpaceX's 'BFR' Mars Rocket Acronym Explained". space.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  16. ^ Heath, Chris (December 12, 2015). "Elon Musk Is Ready to Conquer Mars". GQ. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  17. ^ Fernholz, Tim (March 20, 2018). Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 244. ISBN 978-1328662231. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2020. SpaceX would build a huge rocket: the BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket—or, more crudely among staff, the Big Fucking Rocket
  18. ^ "The world is not enough". The Economist. London. October 1, 2016. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  19. ^ Slezak, Michael; Solon, Olivia (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk: SpaceX can colonise Mars and build moon base". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  20. ^ Burgess, Matt (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk's Big Fucking Rocket to Mars is his most ambitious yet". Wired UK. London: Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on May 12, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  21. ^ What's in a Name? SpaceX's 'BFR' Mars Rocket Acronym Explained Archived February 7, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Mike Wall, Space.com. October 7, 2017.
  22. ^ Foust, Jeff (February 6, 2018). "SpaceX no longer planning crewed missions on Falcon Heavy". Spacenews. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  23. ^ Space tourists will have to wait as SpaceX plans bigger rocket Archived September 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Stu Clark, The Guardian. February 8, 2018.
  24. ^ "Making Life Multiplanetary: Abridged transcript of Elon Musk's presentation to the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia" (PDF). SpaceX. September 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  25. ^ SpaceX signs its first passenger to fly aboard the Big Falcon Rocket Moon mission Archived September 15, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. CatchNews. September 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "Musk renames BFR spacecraft Starship". BBC News. November 20, 2018. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  27. ^ Top 50 Video Game Weapons of All Time. UGO.com. Retrieved on December 17, 2008, now on archive.org
  28. ^ (June 18, 2008) X-Play's Top 10 Badass Weapons: Part 2 Archived September 2, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. G4. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.
  29. ^ "BFG9000". IGN. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  30. ^ Top 10 Video Game Weapons Archived February 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Machinima.com. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.