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Doom character
The anonymous space marine from DOOM.png
The Marine in The Ultimate Doom.
First appearance Doom (1993)
First game Doom (1993)
Created by Tom Hall[1]
Designed by Adrian Carmack,[1] Kevin Cloud[1]
Voiced by Mike Dopud[2]

The Marine, commonly known as Doomguy, is the unnamed player character in the Doom series of science fiction horror video games created by id Software, and its sequels and spin-off media. He is a space marine dressed in green combat armor who never speaks onscreen. Considered a symbolic persona, the original depiction of Doomguy doesn't have a defined personality and barely portrays a predefined character. According to John Romero, he is meant to represent 'the player itself'.[3][4]

Concept and creation[edit]

The Marine is never referred to by name. The original game's co-designer John Romero said this was to increase player immersion. Romero said, "There was never a name for the DOOM marine because it's supposed to be YOU."[5]

Tom Hall's original design draft, "The Doom Bible", described several planned characters, but they were not used for the final version. The sole non-playable character, Buddy Dacote, bore the most similarities to the original game's eventual protagonist. "Dacote" is an acronym for "Dies at conclusion of this episode", and Buddy was supposed to be killed by a boss at the end of the planned third episode. In the finished product, this nearly happens to the Marine in the final level of the first episode, but he continues his adventure.[6]


On the box art for the original Doom, the Marine is portrayed as a muscular man wearing green armor and a light grey space helmet that conceals his facial features. He is firing a chaingun and fighting a Baron of Hell. The introduction screen of Doom shows him holding a machine gun and 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. In multiplayer mode, the character wears green, red, brown and indigo.[7] The Marine's face is seen in the game's HUD, where he is shown with light brown hair, a buzz cut, and blue eyes. The Marine 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 his armor and pants are a darker shade of green.

In Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom, the Marine expresses little emotion at the horror unfolding around him, maintaining a stern and alert glare, his eyes constantly darting left and right. When he takes damage, his reaction is 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 attack, showing a shocked face.

The Marine in Doom 64 is less muscular, with slightly modified black armor, a black helmet with an antenna and a blue visor. Although his face is never seen, he is implied to be the same Marine from Doom and Doom II.

In Wolfenstein RPG, it is hinted that the Marine is a descendant of William "B.J." Blazkowicz. In a reference to the Marine'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.

Doom 3[edit]

In Doom 3, the Marine's appearance is similar to that of his classic Doom incarnation as he wears green armor with exposed arms, but his facial features are not concealed, his muscular build is less exaggerated, and he has black hair. The Marine had recently arrived on Mars and is the newest member of the Marine detachment sent to the planet; his past remains a mystery other than that he holds a rank of Corporal and was sent to replace one of the marines that have mysteriously disappeared. The game begins as Sergeant Kelly briefs him to track down a missing scientist, who would then warn him of the UAC dabbling into Hell just a moment before the demon invasion begins.

During the game the player can interact with several characters, most of whom, like Sergeant Kelly, give the player some briefing regarding his mission. The player character remains silent throughout and is portrayed as tough and fearless in the game's cut scenes; generally only glaring at the demons he sees. When he discovers the towering Cyberdemon for the game's final battle, however, he steps back in fear.

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil[edit]

In Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, the protagonist is a different Marine, also nameless and silent. He is a combat engineer who is trained to operate a remote manipulation device known as "the Grabber". He wears dark blue armor, has a shaved head, and appears to be older than his Doom 3 counterpart, based on his heavily-weathered facial features. This Marine is part of a detachment under the command of Dr. Elizabeth McNeil, sent to investigate the Mars UAC facility in the aftermath of the demon invasion. While investigating the ancient Martian ruins, the Marine finds and touches "the Heart of Hell" artifact, which released a wave of energy that disintegrated the rest of his squad and opened another portal to Hell underneath the UAC base. This Marine is more of an anti-hero, as he seemed to derive pleasure from using the artifact, which would kill almost everyone at the base.

Doom (2016)[edit]

In this reboot, this silent protagonist is referred to by Hell's forces as the Doom Slayer; a legendary warrior and sole surviving member of an order of knights known as the Night Sentinels, tasked with protecting their home and deities, the Wraiths, from Hell. The Doom Slayer was considered particularly special, as he had been given the ability to absorb the souls of those he killed by the seraphim. Contrary to previous incarnations, this version is even more vaguely characterized: the marine is never seen nor heard other than from first person, and other than an early shot of the marine's arm revealing a Caucasian skin color and the game lore texts referring to its gender as a "he", practically no details are revealed.

Prior to the game's events, the Doom Slayer and his brothers-in-arms were the protectors of a land known as Argent D'Nur, until a member of the Sentinels betrayed them in exchange for the resurrection of his dead son, who ended up being brought back as a demon by the Icon of Sin. The land would then be consumed and became Hell's energy resource for traversing across dimensions. Enraged by the destruction of everything he held dear, the Doom Slayer nearly tore all of Hell down as he defeated countless waves of demons, his advanced Praetor Suit being enhanced through enchantment by a demon known only as a "wretch". Eventually, the Doom Slayer was sealed away in an enchanted sarcophagus by the most powerful Hell Priests in existence until he was collected by UAC Mars Director Dr. Samuel Hayden, keeping him sealed in his private labs as they reverse-engineered his equipment.

The game's events start as he is awakened from his sarcophagus sometime after a Hell invasion on Mars occurred. Hayden from afar would make various attempts to persuade the Doom Slayer into working together, as the latter consistently brushes him off. After defeating Hell's forces on his revisit of Argent D'Nur to stop the portal to Mars from remaining opened, the Doom Slayer was duped by Hayden into retrieving a mystical artifact from his land that can control "Argent energy". Hayden, finding it pointless to convince him of his cause to further benefit Earth and the UAC's work, teleports the Doom Slayer to an undisclosed location – leaving the game on a cliffhanger.

The Doom Slayer, despite being the most brutal of the Doom protagonists by far, is also shown to be the most traditionally heroic; he is distrustful of Hayden due to his "ends justifying the means" philosophy and goes out of his way to show compassion to the sentient AI VEGA, copying him to a personal drive when told by Hayden to destroy his main body. The Doom Slayer is also shown to express more curiosity than previous protagonists, often briefly inspecting weapons and collectibles he comes across. In one notable example, when finding a collectible modeled after the original Doomguy, The Doom Slayer shows a lighthearted side by briefly playing with the collectible before giving it a stylized fist bump. He also sought to protect humanity from Hell at all costs, destroying all of humanity's supply of Argent energy which had solved Earth's energy crisis, as it was actually obtained via a portal to the corrupted ruins of Argent D'nur.


In the 1990s Doom novels, the main character is referred to as Flynn 'Fly' Taggart.[8]

For the Doom 3 novels, the Marine's name is John Kane. His past is similar to that of the protagonist in the original Doom, having been demoted after disobeying command to save some of his fellow marines. He is a combat veteran of wars raging on Earth for its remaining resources, including one between the United States and Russia. After arriving on Mars, finally resigns to his fate as a "glorified security guard".[citation needed] While there he befriends fellow marines such as Maria Moraetes—a marine with a similar fate.

During the Hellish invasion, John Kane is forced to take command of several of the surviving marines despite his stripped ranking. He battles the demons singlehandedly or with a few other marines. Kane is depicted as compassionate to his fellow survivors, working to save the child Theo, and to save the damned in Hell. After volunteering to enter Hell to retrieve the soul cube, Campbell is shown as very impressed by him. He and Maria start to feel romantic ties to each other. During the end of Doom 3: Maelstrom Kane's leg is blown off and he is admired as the "man who saved Mars City."


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, where they confront humans who have mutated into demons after being injected with an artificial 24th chromosome. Near the end of the film, Grimm is fatally wounded and injected with the chromosome by his sister to save his life. Instead of becoming a monster, Grimm is granted superhuman strength, reflexes, and regenerative abilities. These new abilities allow him to single-handedly mow down a small horde of demons and zombies. After killing the now-mutating Sarge, Grimm leaves the base with his nearly-unconscious sister in his arms.

Guest appearances[edit]

The Marine's corpse appears in a secret area in Duke Nukem 3D; he is seen halfway through his Classic Doom death animation clutching his throat and gurgling, surrounded by various Satanic iconography. Upon seeing him, Duke Nukem says, "That's one doomed space marine".

In the Saturn version of Quake, the Marine briefly appears at the end of the bonus feature "Dank & Scuz". He is voiced by David Locke.

In the Windows version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the Marine is a secret skater,[9][10] 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, which was still in development.

In Quake III Arena, the Marine appears in three 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.[11][12] The character "Phobos" is also a Doom Marine, though his skin is darker and his armor is orange rather than green. The third Doom Marine in the game, "Crash", is mentioned as being Doom's female training instructor before arriving at the Arena.[citation needed]

In Rage, after the first cut scene, the player enters a dune buggy with a bobble head of the Marine on the dashboard. The Easter egg in the game's Gearhead vault level is the first room from the Doom game, where the player can pick up a Doom Marine bobblehead.[citation needed]


In 2009, GameDaily included the Marine on its list of "ten game heroes who fail at the simple stuff" for his inability to look up and down in the original series.[13] 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.[14] In 2013, Complex ranked Doomguy at number 16 on its list of the greatest soldiers in video games for being "the original video game space marine" and "one of the classic silent protagonists".[15] Both CraveOnline and VGRC ranked him the fifth most "badass" male character in the video game's history.[16][17]

Doomguy's 2016 incarnation has received special acclaim for its characterization and how the game presents the player character as a representation of the player playing Doom: writing for GamesRadar, David Houghton called the presentation "incidental, not explicit", which allows the players to immerse completely in the character.[18] Christian Donlan writing for Eurogamer theorised that "the guy in Doom is playing Doom", and explained that the main character's impatience with exposition is analogous to "the temporary frustration of being inside Doom while not being able to play Doom".[19] In his column Extra Punctuation Ben Croshaw wrote that the game "establishes the player character as someone who doesn't give a flake of dried Marmite for the larger context, and only cares about ridding the planet of demons. Which is hopefully representative of the player's motivation."[20] Additional praise was given for the subtlety of Doomguy's expressions: Jim Sterling noted that both the "glory kill" moves and additional pieces of animation "reinforce his consistent sense of irreverence",[21] with both Sterling,[21] Houghton,[18] Conlan,[19] and Croshaw (in his Zero Punctuation review)[22] noting the initial moment of the game with Doomguy throwing away a communications monitor as a minimalistic, but effective way to convey the entire character's motivations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "DOOM Credits (DOS)". MobyGames. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ "DOOM Trivia". Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ Hillard, Kyle (December 13, 2014). "See The Original Sketch And Model That Inspired Doom's Doomguy". GameInformer. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ NotGoodForYou (October 10, 2014). "The one thing I want in the new Doom: Doomguy's face". TechSpot. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ Romero, John (2002). "Doom Marine's Name forum post at Planet Romero". Archived from the original on October 24, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008. 
  6. ^ Hall, Tom (1992). "The Doom Bible". Doomworld (1998). Retrieved June 25, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Official Doom FAQ". Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Crap Shoot: Doom - The Novels | Crap Shoot, Features". PC Gamer. 2011-01-15. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  9. ^ "Doom Guy : Style : Street". Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Force Grab". Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Warriors - Doom > dur's Quake III Arena". Earthli. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Doom : Profile". Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Character Flaws: Ten Game Heroes Who Fail at the Simple Stuff Gallery by GameDail". April 25, 2009. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ Basile, Sal (March 15, 2012). "Best Silent Protagonists In Video Games". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  15. ^ Chad Hunter, Michael Rougeau, The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games,, May 25, 2013.
  16. ^ "Top 10 Biggest Gaming Bad Asses". CraveOnline. October 17, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ McCabe, Sean (June 17, 2010). "The Top 10 Male Badasses in Gaming". VGRC. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Houghton, David. "Fistbumps, violence, zero dialogue. But Doomguy is the smartest player character around". GamesRadar. 
  19. ^ a b "The guy you're playing as in Doom is playing Doom". Eurogamer. 
  20. ^ "Interactive Narrative Means Choosing How Invested You Really Want to Be". 
  21. ^ a b Jim Sterling (23 May 2016). "Doom Guy (The Jimquisition)" – via YouTube. 
  22. ^ "Zero Punctuation : Doom". Escapist Magazine. 

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