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".
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 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). BFG10K from Quake III 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 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. 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. Collecting it will grant the player an extra ball.
The BFG also makes an appearance in Avalanche Studios' Rage 2.
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?"
SpaceX's BFR and BFS
"BFR" was the code name for SpaceX's privately funded launch vehicle announced by Elon Musk in September 2017. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has stated that BFR stands for "Big Falcon Rocket". However, Elon Musk has explained that although BFR was the official name, he drew inspiration from the BFG weapon in the Doom video games. The BFR has been referred to informally by the media and internally at SpaceX as "Big Fucking Rocket". The upper stage was the Spaceship, or BFS (unofficially "Big Fucking Spaceship"). The BFR was eventually officially renamed to "Super Heavy", and the BFS renamed to "Starship".
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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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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.
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SpaceX would build a huge rocket: the BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket—or, more crudely among staff, the Big Fucking Rocket
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