|First game||Doom (1993)|
|Created by||Tom Hall|
|Designed by||Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud|
The abbreviation BFG stands for "Big Fragging 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". These euphemistic labels imply the more profane name of the BFG, "Big Fucking Gun". This name was most likely borrowed from the character Dick Durkin, played by Alastair Neil Duncan in the 1992 film Split Second. Another expurgated 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". In mods, various other versions made by fans can be found.
The first appearance of the weapon is 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.
Computer Gaming World described the BFG 9000 in the first commercial Doom game as "the Ultimate Weapon". It is a large energy weapon that fires giant balls of green plasma. 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 use. A direct hit from it is often an instant kill. The player is unaffected by the splash damage, which makes it possible to use the BFG 9000 safely in close quarters, unlike some of the other powerful weapons. 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.
The BFG's internal game mechanics are two-fold: the actual projectile deals a huge amount of damage, but after that, a large dose of damage is dealt in a cone facing away from the player who fired the shot; this increases the weapon's devastating area-of-effect. One peculiar quirk about the internal workings of the game code is that it remembers the direction the player fired the shot in, but not the position, meaning that the player is allowed to move far away even into an entirely different room, and still deal damage to whoever is in that room depending on the timing of the projectile's impact.
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.
Quake II and Quake III Arena pay homage to the BFG 9000 with a pair of weapons both called the BFG 10K. 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 Jump can be done also with the BFG 9000). BFG10K from Quake 3 also appears in OpenArena (different look, but same behavior) 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".
The BFG makes a return in Doom (2016), 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.
UGO.com ranked the BFG 9000 at number two on their list of top video game weapons of all time, stating "it was marvelous and complex, and we should not hesitate to put this weapon down in history as one of the best." 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". 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". 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?"
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- Top 50 Video Game Weapons of All Time. UGO.com. Retrieved on December 17, 2008, now on archive.org
- (June 18, 2008) X-Play's Top 10 Badass Weapons: Part 2. G4. Retrieved on December 25, 2008.
- "BFG9000". IGN. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
- Top 10 Video Game Weapons. Machinima.com. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.