Doomguy, also referred to as the Doom Marine and the Doom Slayer or just Slayer (in the 2016 reboot) is a fictional character from the Doom video game franchise of first-person shooters created by id Software. Introduced as the player character in the 1993 video game Doom, Doomguy is the protagonist of several Doom video games, novelizations, and other media.
|First appearance||Doom (1993)|
|Created by||John Romero|
|Designed by||Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud|
|Voiced by||Matthew Waterson (Doom Eternal)|
Jason E. Kelley (The Ancient Gods: Part Two)
|Affiliation||Union Aerospace Corporation, Mankind, Armored Response Coalition, Night Sentinels|
Within the series, Doomguy is a space marine dressed in green combat armor who rarely speaks onscreen, and his personality and backstory was intentionally vague to reinforce his role as a player avatar. In Doom Eternal, he is voiced by American voice actor Matthew Waterson, while Jason Kelley voices the character in that game's downloadable content The Ancient Gods: Part Two. He has appeared in several other games developed by id Software, including Quake Champions and Quake III Arena.
Concept and creationEdit
The Marine is not referred to by name in the original game. Romero described this choice as increasing player immersion: "There was never a name for the [Doom] marine because it's supposed to be YOU [the player]". John Romero's original sketch and model of Doomguy was made on clay. In 2017, Romero stated that he was the original model of the character for the cover box art. In 2020, id Software co-founder, John Romero revealed that the real name of the character is Doomguy. In 2021, According to Doom Eternal's director, Hugo Martin that the female Doomguy was nearly added, but scrapped due to how much of an endeavor it would have been.
Tom Hall's original design draft, "The Doom Bible", described several planned characters, all of whom went unused in 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 the player survives. Later, when asked, Tom Hall and John Romero confirmed that the Marine was, at least originally, a descendant of B.J. Blazkowicz.
On the box art for the original Doom, the Marine is portrayed as a muscular man standing 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) tall and weighing 230 pounds (104 kg). His face is seen in the game's HUD, where it is shown as a Caucasian male with light brown hair, a buzz cut, and blue eyes. In single-player mode, the Marine wears green armor and a light grey space helmet that conceals his facial features. In multiplayer mode and in the ending of Doom II: Hell on Earth, the player's in-game avatar is based on this depiction, wearing green, red, brown and indigo. The Marine is firing a machine gun that doesn't make an appearance in the final game and fighting a CyberDemon. This image, with the addition of a shotgun, clutched in his left hand, is carried over to the introduction screen of Doom. The Marine appears without a helmet in the cover art of Doom II and in the ending to The Ultimate Doom episode IV, "Thy Flesh Consumed".
In Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom, the Marine expresses little emotion at the horror unfolding around him, maintaining a stern and alert glare, eyes constantly darting left and right. When the Marine takes damage, his reaction is a mixture of pain and anger. The Marine grins upon picking up a new weapon, and the most emotional face is seen when the Marine suffers 20 hit points or more taken away during a single attack, showing a shocked face. The Marine is often referred to in the fan community as the Doomguy. However, whilst id Software chose a somewhat generic, male pictorial representation of the Marine for the box art, as well as gameplay purposes (damage feedback, story transitions), the true identity of the Doom Marine is meant to be the player themselves and so these depictions should only be considered illustrative. The Marine in Doom 64 is less muscular, with slightly modified green armor with black highlights, a black helmet with an antenna, and a blue visor. In Wolfenstein RPG, it is hinted that the Doom 64 Marine is a descendant of William "B.J." Blazkowicz, to whom the Marine's helmetless look in the original games bears a striking similarity. 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. In Doom 3, the Marine's appearance is similar to that of his classic Doom incarnation as he wears green armor with exposed arms, however the Marine's facial features are not concealed, his muscular build is less exaggerated, and he has black hair. 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. Contrary to previous incarnations, Doom 2016's Marine is more vaguely characterized: the Doom Slayer is never seen nor heard other than from the first person, and other than gameplay at the beginning of the game that shows him having a Caucasian skin color and the muscular masculine suit seen in the introduction, practically no details are revealed. However, the Doom Slayer's eyes and nose can be made out through the visor of his helmet on the game's box art, the 3D model viewer, and his Quake Champions appearance. It has been also noted for its visibly irreverent tone conveyed by its hand gestures, fist bumping a small Doomguy figurine, and a late-game moment where the Doom Slayer decides to make a backup of a friendly AI rather than erasing it. Doom Eternal is more specific about The Slayer's characterization relative to the previous episode: Doomguy is seen without a helmet in first-person, and for the first time in the series' history, he also speaks, voiced in flashback by Matthew Waterson. According to the character description, he is 6'8" (203 cm) and weighs 360 lbs. (163 kg). He also follows the streak for irreverence: a room in his Fortress of Doom is filled with comic books, collectible figurines, and guitars. Doomguy also contains Alternate costumes, which players can dress up the character as winged unicorn skin at Doom Eternal.
Doomguy appears as the lead of the original 1993 video game Doom, and its sequels Doom II: Hell On Earth, Doom 64, Doom 3, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, the 2016 series reboot, also titled Doom, and in its sequel Doom Eternal,
Doomguy also appeared in the mobile game Doom RPG and Doom II RPG. and in 2016's Doom Pinball, the virtual pinball adaptation of that game developed by Zen Studios as one of the three tables of the Bethesda Pinball pack, an add-on for Zen Pinball 2, Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3.
The Marine's corpse appears in a secret area in Duke Nukem 3D; they are seen halfway through their Classic Doom death animation clutching their throat and gurgling, surrounded by various Satanic iconography. Upon seeing them, Duke Nukem says, "That's one doomed space marine". Doomguy's outfit appears in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. In the Saturn version of Quake, the Marine briefly appears at the end of the bonus feature "Dank & Scuz". Doomguy also appeared in Quake Champions. In Quake III Arena, the Marine appears in three levels under the name "Doom". 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, a woman named "Crash" is mentioned as being Doom's training instructor before arriving at the Arena. A Doomguy costume was made available in Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, alongside with Cyberdemon and Cacodemon on January 12, 2021 for a limited time.
In the 1990s Doom novels, the main character is referred to as Flynn "Fly" Taggart. 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 the command to save some of his fellow marines. During the Hellish invasion, 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. He 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". It also appeared in point-and-click visual novel Doomed Love that were on Itch.io.
In 2009, GameDaily included the Doom 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. UGO Networks ranked the Marine fourth on its 2012's list of best silent protagonists in video games, noting his courage to continue in silence even when faced with Hell's army. In 2013, Complex ranked the Doom Marine 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". Both CraveOnline and VGRC ranked the Marine the fifth most "badass" male character in the video game's history. Kirk McKeand of VG247 described Doomguy as "Jesus with a super shotgun". David Houghton of GamesRadar claimed that Doomguy is the smartest player character around, even with fistbumps, violence and zero dialogue.
The Doom Marine'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. 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". 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." 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", Sterling, along with a number of other reviewers including Houghton, Conlan, and Croshaw from Zero Punctuation noted the initial moment of the game with Doomguy throwing away a communications monitor while a mission briefing plays as a minimalistic, but effective way to convey the entire character's motivations. Cody Gravelle of Screen Rant criticized Doomguy's winged unicorn skin alternate custome, noting that the skin was great, but somehow missed the crossover opportunity, such as adding Isabelle skin from Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Doomguy was a popular choice for inclusion in the roster of Super Smash Bros. by fans, and also by multiple websites, including PC Gamer, GamingBolt, GameRevolution, and Shacknews staffs.
In popular cultureEdit
The character has been the subject of extensive fan art. One popular variant involving them has fans creating and sharing images of his hypothetical visage using 3D graphics software program and AI enhancements on social media platforms. On May 4, 2021, Bethesda featured Doomguy as part of a Star Wars Day tribute on its official Twitter account.
When Doom Eternal was delayed and released the same day as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, fans of both games began creating and sharing artwork depicting Doom Slayer and Isabelle together as friends, which eventually trended on social media in 2020. Commentators responded positively towards the fan-made pairing, including acknowledgments from Aya Kyogoku, director of New Horizons, as well as Bethesda. The Doomguy and Isabelle friendship pairing has also been subject to other forms of fan labor, like a fan video and cosplay.
Promotion and merchandiseEdit
In September 2020, Limited Run Games offered a Doomguy Helmet Collector's Bundle, which includes a wearable "full-size" helmet, a recreation of the game's original floppy disk pin, and a limited edition print. McFarlane Toys released two Doomguy Figurines. Animal Crossing's Isabelle and Doomguy mashup Amiibo has been also made and gets a seal approval from New Horizon's director and producer. In 2020, subscribers to twitch prime were entitled to an 1980's style blonde mullet themed Doom Eternal skin for Doomguy. In April 2021, the Xbox brand released a series of portraits featuring Doomguy and Master Chief to commemorate Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda Softworks' parent company ZeniMax Media.
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