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DOOM: The Dark Ages – the History of the Doom Slayer and his Iconic Weapons

The Doom Slayer is a one-man army with an epic arsenal, which he has used to rip and tear his way through the legions of hell for decades.

DOOM: The Dark Ages

The trailer for an upcoming DOOM game was recently released. It shows off a prequel set in the Dark Ages, in which the Doom Slayer rides on a dragon and kills demons with a chainsaw shield. The creators stated that DOOM: The Dark Ages will return to its roots, borrowing ideas from the original DOOM and DOOM II.

Rip and Tear…

Considering how the new game and its design philosophy are going back to the past, it seems appropriate to look back at the edgy, ultraviolent hellscapes that the Space Marine has fought his way through. And you can’t talk about the Doom Slayer without the weapons that let him rip and tear his way through mobs of hellspawn.

Classic DOOM has always been about violence first, gore second, and edginess third, and somewhere down the line, a “story” existed as an excuse for said gory, edgy violence. Especially in the earliest games, the story was so bare bones and non-serious that the bulk of the plot is told in the instruction manuals.

DOOM (1993)

DOOM 1993 box art

A then-unnamed marine from Earth, who we’ll call the Doomguy, is stuck doing menial security work on Mars. Three years ago, he assaulted his commanding officer after being ordered to open fire on unarmed civilians. The marine was dishonorably discharged and transferred to the evil sci-fi emporium, the Union Aerospace Corporation, or UAC, set fifty million miles away on Mars.

The UAC performed top-secret, unethical experiments like trying to create interdimensional teleporters since those are in such high demand. The test “volunteers” for these teleporters returned with violent behavior before violently exploding. The UAC was undeterred until masses of literal hellspawn started leaping out of the teleporters and began murdering everyone in the facility.

The marine and his squad are sent in to take out these fiends. Over the radio, the marine hears the sound of his team getting massacred, leaving him as the only survivor. Armed with only a pistol, the lone marine enters the fray.

BFG-9000

Classic DOOM 1993 plasma ball from the BFG-9000
Credit: id Software

The BFG is what you might call a “big fucking gun,” which coincidentally is what the acronym stands for.

The BFG will take a considerable time between pulling the trigger and letting loose…a single green plasma ball? But once that slow plasma ball hits any solid object, everything in the room will be vaporized.

The reason for this ludicrous firepower is mathematically weird. First, you have the plasma ball, which does much damage. Next, a bunch of invisible rays shoot from where the ball hits its target and snowball massive damage. The cherry on top is that DOOM randomizes how much damage every single ray does to the enemies.

All these moving pieces make the BFG a roulette wheel of damage output, with the minimum being around 50 points of damage. However, if you shoot at just the right area for the plasma ball and all the invisible rays to hit their mark, the maximum output is an obscene 4250 points of damage. For reference, the final boss in the game, the Spider Mastermind, has just 3000 health.

DOOM II: Hell on Earth (1994)

Doom 2 box art

The Doomguy escapes Hell and returns to Earth, only to find his home turf swarmed with monsters.

All the major cities on Earth are in shambles, and the survivors are trying to escape to escape through the only starport. Unfortunately, that starport also gets flocked by demons, who kill the only soldiers left in the world, once again leaving the Doomguy as the only man for the job.

Super Shotgun

The Super Shotgun shoots the same ammo as the regular shotgun but revolutionizes the game by shooting two shells simultaneously. With one shot, this baby can massacre just about any monster instantly. It will also hurt any demon unfortunate enough to be lurking nearby.

However, that fun comes at the cost of requiring twice the time between each shot. An excellent way to get around this flaw is by lining up enemies to get blasted in one shot.

DOOM 64 (1997)

Doom 64 box art

Following the events of DOOM II, the government on Earth makes the executive decision to bombard the UAC facilities with apocalyptic levels of radiation to stave off the demons. This plan works for a few years until an entity known as the “Mother of all Demons” is spotted resurrecting the dead demons.

The Doomguy, exhausted and haunted by nightmares of the demons he’s fought, has retired during that timespan. However, still the only living human with “demon slaying” on his resume, the Doomguy is assigned back to the force.

The Unmaker

This laser gun was not given a name or an origin in DOOM 64. The name “Unmaker” or “Unmaykr” was only established in its 2020 remake. Adding to its mystery is its Satanic design. The gun is composed of the bones of demons rather than metal and has a pentagram etched above its handle.

The Unmaker has the potential to become the most potent weapon in the series (yes, even more than the BFG), so long as the player is ready for a challenge. Firstly, the earliest way to obtain this gun is by going through a secret exit on the fourth map, where, fortunately, it can be found with a “Demon Key.”

The Demon Keys are the key to unlocking the Unmaker’s power, with three hidden in the game’s secret levels and puzzles. Originally shooting a decent piercing red laser, the first key will turn the Unmaker into a rapid-fire machine gun. The second and third add more lasers and spread out the shots.

DOOM3 (2004)

Doom 3 wallpaper

Uniquely, DOOM3 is not a sequel but a soft reboot of the original DOOM with a horror twist. In this timeline, the UAC is less focused on teleporters than the Martian ruins they uncovered. One of their archaeological teams discovers a room with a mysterious artifact dubbed the Soul Cube.

However, as destiny would have it, the UAC also uncovers glyphs instructing how to build teleporters. The lead scientist, Malcolm Betruger, is so obsessed with going through portals to Hell and taking back their specimens that his whole base suffers the extradimensional costs. To cover his crimes, Betruger gives the Soul Cube to the demons.

Soul Cube

The Doomguy goes on a quest to recover the Soul Cube from Hell and finds it guarded by the blind Guardian of Hell. Throughout the fight, the cube speaks to the Doomguy, stating their name is the “Praelanthor” and revealing the Guardian’s weakness.

During a demon invasion caused by the teleporters, the surviving Martians put their souls into their ultimate weapon for a prophesized champion to save their race. This champion bears a striking resemblance to the Doomguy.

The Soul Cube is undetectable and indestructible yet utterly useless at first glance. After killing five demons, the cube says, “Use us!” to indicate it is fully charged. When thrown, the cube produces spinning metal blades that instantly kill the demon and transfer their health to the Doomguy.

DOOM (2016)

Doom 2016 box art wallpaper

The Doom Slayer awakens chained to a coffin at a demon-infested UAC. He dons his new “Praetor Suit” and wanders Mars’ surface to restart the satellite systems.

He contacts one of the few survivors, UAC chairman Samuel Hayden, who helps the marine throughout the game. Hayden informs the marine that researcher Dr. Olivia Pierce is trying to create a permanent portal to Hell.

The marine learns of an artifact called the Crucible, which he later obtains in the Necropolis of Hell. The Doom Slayer uses the Crucible to destroy the portal and confront Pierce. However, in a shocking twist, Pierce is only a pawn in someone else’s plans.

The true mastermind is Samuel Hayden, who steals the Crucible from the marine. Hayden is driven by a need to solve humanity’s energy crisis. However, Hayden knows he cannot kill the Doom Slayer, so he teleports the marine away.

Gauss Cannon

The UAC has been using Gauss accelerator designs for various projects. For their magnum opus, the UAC created a portable railgun that fires a cheap, aerodynamic, dart-like ammunition called a “flechette.” When fired through the Gauss Cannon’s magnetized chamber, the flechette reaches terminal velocity and never misses.

With a precision bolt modification, a basic scope is added to the Gauss Cannon, increasing its already fantastic accuracy. The scope gathers a magnetic charge, allowing the flechettes to shoot through several enemies simultaneously.

In its “Siege Mode” modification, Argon gas is sealed in the weapon’s chamber. The Argon gas ionizes over time so long as the player remains still. Eventually, it will create a plasma beam that penetrates several enemies and finishes with a concussive blast.

DOOM: Eternal (2020)

60% of Earth’s population has been wiped out, and the survivors have formed a resistance group known as ARC. On top of the demonic threat, now angelic priests from the Maykr race have descended, trying to sacrifice mankind.

Doom Slayer in Eternal with Crucible weapon

The Doom Slayer spends most of the game hunting down the constantly teleporting priests and the demon-spawning nests. Struggling with finding the final weaselly priest, the Slayer resorts to using Samuel Hayden’s brilliant mind.

It turns out Hayden is the leader of ARC, and most of his robotic body was destroyed while fighting for humanity. As an “apology for sending you to god knows where” gift, Hayden returns the Crucible to the marine. The Slayer reciprocates by using Hayden’s remains to find the last priest hidden in Mars’ core.

The leader of the priests, the Khan Maykr, reveals that she is resurrecting a monster to devour Earth. She produces the Argent energy used to fuel many of the weapons in the series by sacrificing human souls. She reveals this is possible due to an alliance where she allows Hell to invade worlds in exchange for her realm’s survival.

The Doom Slayer frees the monster from Khan Maykr’s control before fighting and killing her. He then kills the monster by stabbing it in the head with the Crucible, finally ending Hell’s invasion on Earth.

The Crucible

This Crucible is an unassuming dark metal sword in contrast to its demonic DOOM (2016) counterpart. It generates superhot energy that can incinerate higher-class demons with ease. But if the blade gets embedded and the handle is pulled too forcefully, the Crucible will “break” and be unusable.

DIY: To fix the issue, try getting a metal disc and holding it near the Crucible’s hilt. Wait until the disc is absorbed into the hilt. Next, dip the hilt into your local source of molten metal until the energy blade reforms as good as new!

DOOM: The Dark Ages (est. 2025)

Doom: The Dark Ages title
Credit: id Software

We know very little about the upcoming DOOM prequel. We know it will be “darker, grittier, and more cinematic” than DOOM Eternal, which was already exceptional in all three areas.

Shield Saw

Most of what we know about the Shield Saw is precisely what you would expect from a chainsaw that functions like Captain America‘s shield. This marvel of simplicity absorbs projectiles and can be a sidearm to another one-handed weapon. The shield can be used for bashing and charging the enemies as well.

The mayhem and carnage that can be caused by the Shield Saw alone are exciting. But having another weapon in hand will allow for the most creatively gory kills in the franchise’s history.

…Until it is Done

Making the player feel powerful through the eyes of the Doom Slayer has always been the goal of the series’ weapon designs.

Written By

I'm a freelance writer who loves all things fictional and absurd. I graduated from Duquesne University in 2023 with a degree in psychology and a minor in film.

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