With over 25 years of action to its name, Doom isn’t just a game title. It’s a way of life, a brand that promises guns, gore and glory. With today seeing the release of DOOM Eternal, we’re feeling kind of nostalgic here at Critical Hit. We want to take a trip down the bloodiest lane of memories, soak up the carnage and revel in some of the most obscure trivia to ever be ripped and torn out of the various Doom games.
So here we go, a list of trivia that you may or may not know about Doom, Easter eggs of devastation that you can memorise and whip out like a boomstick of knowledge at a party. Trust me, everyone’s going to be impressed.
So where did the idea for Doom come from? While playing Dungeons and Dragons, the team at Id Software eventually ended their tabletop campaign with a portal to hell that opened up and unleashed a horde of demons on them. From there, the spark for Doom lit a fire that eventually saw the creation of the iconic game.
In another Dungeons and Dragons nod, the Cacodemon that would plague players was inspired by the Beholder from the cult classic pen and paper game. Replacing the many eye-stalks of that source material with numerous horns, the Cacodemon also shares some design elements with a creature from a Dungeon’s ‘n Dragons expansion, the Astral Dreadnought that was created by the book’s author Jeff Easley.
How did Id Software settle on the name of Doom for their new killer game? According to John Carmack, the name came from the film ‘The Color of Money’, where Tom Cruise’s character Vincent Lauria shows up with a custom pool cue and carrying case. When asked what he has in the case, Vincent merely replies with a smile on his face…”Doom”.
In the original Doom, the map E4M1: Hell Beneath contains a little Easter egg provided that you’re playing the The Ultimate Doom version. Venture deep into the catacombs, and you’ll come across a tribute to none other than American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. The homage to the legendary rockers can be found inside of a room, where the band logo is prominently displayed.
For one brief moment in time, personal computers around the world had more copies of Doom installed on them than they had Windows 95. Bill Gates apparently almost bought Id Software so that he could own the game, but these plans were put on ice for a Windows 95 port of the game instead that helped promote the operating system. And saved Microsoft a few bucks as well.
While he was known as Doomguy in the original games and was reborn as the Doom slayer in the 2016 remake of Doom, the main character of Doom actually has a name! Just not a very good one hence why you seldom hear it, as the Doom novelisation named the protagonist as Flynn “Fly” Taggart.
In one of many nods to a certain other first-person shooter that helped shape the genre, it turns out that the original Cyberdemon you face in Doom is the same one that tangled with BJ Blaszovicz in the Wolfenstein games. Having lost that fight against the original American badass, the towering demon had its leg and arm replaced with new technology, becoming the Cyberdemon of legend.
Doom 64 may have featured the original game dialled up to 11 on the visual front, but there’s one thing that was definitely missing from the end product: Red blood. In accordance with strict laws at the time regarding what content could be displayed in video games, the German and Japanese versions swapped the trademark crimson that erupted from slain demons for a brighter and more fictional explosion of green blood.
Id software has a habit of placing secret nods to their previous games in their newer titles, and Doom Ii was no exception! In addition to a secret Wolfenstein map based on the first level of Wolfenstein 3D, players could also find a secret exit in that level that would take them to the Grosse stage. A reference to Wolfenstein 3D’s Hans Grosse boss, players would need to shoot four hanging Commander Keens (which is another Id Software game reference) and then flip a switch to access the level.
One of the more disturbing villains in Doom II was the Arch-Vile, a cackling demon who could raise the dead after killing a few of them. How did Id Software come up with his trademark laugh? By capturing audio of a young girl saying “why”, shifting the pitch down and then mixing it with another sound so that the Arch-Vile’s dual personality confusion would leak through in a subtle manner.
Having become fed up with Id Software boss John Romero and his growing ego, the staff behind Doom II’s development team hid a cheeky easter egg in the first sequel. When facing the icon of sin, a section of its head is missing and a strange demonic chant can be heard. This is actually a voice clip in reverse saying “To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero”. Enter the noclip cheat mode, enter the boss and you’ll find a secret room with John Romero’s severed head stuck on a pike. Lovely stuff.
Something else that Doom II does that no other game has since replicated? In the Doom II RPG version that was released on iPhone and iPod Touch, players could step into the boots of Major Kira Morgan, the only playable female protagonist in the entire game series.
Scattered throughout Doom 3 are arcade cabinets for Super Turbo Turkey Puncher 3, a game within the game that has plenty of Doo DNA. Built on the engine that powered the first two Doom games, the level itself is based on the fourth secret level of the original Doom, titled Fear. Oh and in case you didn’t catch it, the game’s title is a cheeky parody of Street Fighter Alpha 3, complete with a phony developer by the name of Nabcon.
Doomguy may have no name in Doom 3 once again, but in the official tie-in novelisation Worlds on Fire he goes by the name of John Kane.
Look closely at one of the stone tablets in the Site 3 chapter, and you might notice something familiar. That’s none other than an homage to the iconic cover of the first Doom game, carved in stone.
Before the final battle with the Cyberdemon, players can take a detour and find a brick with the Id Software logo on it. Activate the brick and you’ll discover a room that houses an Id Software PDA. Inside of that personal desktop assistant, are words of thanks from Id Software, congratulating the player for having made it that far in the game.
Ever thought that the main menu music had a rather industrial sound to it? That’s because composer Mick Gordon got his hands on an actual chainsaw and ran it through a Soviet-era synthesiser known as the Polivoks. With a stack of old analogue equipment, used guitar pedals and numerous other obscure equipment, Gordon’s soundtrack for Doom was a heavy and literally metal composition.
If you’re feeling especially blasphemous, you can try running the Cyberdemon track through a spectrograph where you’ll not only find the number of the beast, but a few pentagrams for good measure.
DOOM’s infamous opening sequence where the Doom Slayer breaks free and begins his bloody quest? That was inspired by none other than Robocop, specifically the scene where Alex Murphy is transformed into the law enforcer of the future. Id Software wanted to convey a sense of power, and so they took inspiration from the surgery scenes where hints of Robocop’s power was shown off.
Much like the original Doom games, DOOM 2016 has its fair share of references to other games. In the first level, one of the doors bears the Vault-tec logo of Bethesda’s fallout games, while a more grisly Easter Egg can be found in hell. In a secret cave, there exists a small skull on a stick, wearing the yellow helmet of Commander Keene.
Last Updated: March 20, 2020