Doom's protagonist (often called Doomguy by fans, or just "Marine") represents the player's characters of Doom and its sequels or offshoots, who are also referred to as the Doom marine or the Marine (the latter especially in Doom 3), as well as our hero at the end of Doom II. In all the games (Doom II RPG excepted), these protagonists are futuristic marines that are never specifically referred to by name. In Chinese the character is known literally as "Doom Warrior" or "Doom Fighter" (Simplified Chinese: 毁灭战士; Pinyin: huǐ mìe zhàn shì), which is also the release name of Doom itself in China.
A different way of referring to each protagonist is as the "player," although this is a technical denomination similar to that of player character in role-playing games. And so, the player knows the player isn't the only marine and will see a bunch of other marines that were killed on their missions.
The Doomguy has no actual name because, according to John Romero, The protagonist is supposed to be YOU. The only game to give the traditional armored male marine a name is Doom RPG and he is one of three character choices all who are said to be marines.
It should be noted that the Marine in Doom RPG, and Stan Blazkowicz are two separate individuals (apparent clones or relatives) this is made more clear by the Doom II RPG comic in which it refers to the Mars Incident, and that there were no known survivors, and Stan Blazkowicz had not previously encountered the demons. Likewise Doom 3 character may represent a separate Marine as well (despite looking vaguely similar to other Marines). There are allusions/predictions of future events on the moons of Mars, and Earth as well in the Doom RPG series which may suggest a rough link to the original Doom/Doom II games as future events.
Likewise the Marine of Doom 3 ("John Kane") is not the same marine as the marine in Resurrection of Evil ("Enigineer"). Or the marine of Lost Mission of Bravo team.
The Marine of Doom I/II may be a separate marine as well ("Flynn Taggart", although the novel history deviates from the games).
The Doom Marines have rather impressive acrobatic skills. They can run at a whopping 57 miles per hour without losing stamina, fall from great heights without getting hurt, and carry a large supply of rockets and other ammunition without being weighed down.
The introduction of "jump" and "duck" controls in source ports such as ZDoom and Skulltag , although not canon, seem to quash the widespread rumours of the 1990s that the Doom marine was a paraplegic transporting himself by a rocket powered wheelchair.
In Doom 1 & 2, the Doom marine appears to be left-handed. In addition to gripping his weapons left-handed, he punches with his left fist. However, this is contradicted by the cover of Ultimate Doom, where he is firing his gun with his right hand, while clutching the air with his left. Oddly, the in-game version of the cover shows a near-exact copy of the physical cover, but has the Doom marine holding a weapon in his left hand as well. More likely the marine is ambidextrous as he's seen operating the shotgun weapons with his right hand on the trigger. In Doom 3, the marine is right handed, with all the weapons appearing on the right side of the screen. This could have been due to the fact that most shooters have right-handed players, and having a left-handed character could have been disorienting to gamers.
Understandably, many arguments have been made over the proper name for the player characters, or as to whether a names would be appropriate at all. The original story and in-game cut scenes by id Software are composed in the second person, suggesting that there is no definable "Doom guy" and that the character simply stands for whoever is incidentally playing the game. John Romero has pointed out the main reason for the lack of a name for the game character by stating the following: The less you know about him, the more likely you as the player will feel free to invent your own personality for him. There was never a name for the DOOM marine because it's supposed to be YOU.
In the early Doom Bible, a character named Buddy Dacote is described in a way that, of all the characters described, makes him most similar to the game's eventual protagonist. The Doom Bible notes that Dacote stands for Dies at conclusion of this episode, and correspondingly the marine in the finished game seems to die or to be close to dying at the very end of Doom's first episode, Knee Deep in the Dead, as a result of the final ambush in the dark room after taking the anomaly's demonic teleporter. According to Tom Hall, Buddy was meant to be the character that foreshadowed bad things ahead through fuzzy HUD transmissions for the player, and occasionally telling what to do. The player was supposed to try and to get to him, and when they did, the boss at the end of the episode shredded Dacote in half.
Other products that extend the Doom franchise do provide a name for the main character. The Doom novels roughly based on the classic games give the marine the name of Flynn Taggart. This name was re-used in the famous Call of Duty series, where the main character was just called "Taggart" for short. In the Doom movie, the name of the protagonist is John Grimm, nicknamed Reaper. Another game from id Software, Quake 3, includes a playable character named Doom that is presented as an incarnation of the so-called Doomguy (as well as a female version named Crash). In Doom II RPG the playable marine character is named Stan Blazkowicz, who is a descendent of William "B.J." Blazkowicz of Wolfenstein 3D. John Kane is the marine of the Doom 3 novels (and perhaps not coincidentally, the protagonist of Quake 4 is named Matthew Kane).
There are at least seven different protagonists in all Doom games.
It's very important to note that there is no official information which states that these protagonists live in the same universe — although some cutscenes in Doom RPG and Doom II RPG imply that all Doom games happen in the same universe. Some evidence, such as the resemblance of Stan Blazkowicz with the original Doom's protagonist support the theory that they are, in fact, the same person living in the same universe or clones/relatives of each other (the classic Doom protagonist, therefore, is the same person in the RPG'S), which coincidentally also has the Mars base from Doom 3 — but no game has proven this theory so far.
Classic Doom (Doom, Doom II, Final Doom and Doom 64)The original box art portrays the protagonist as a rather muscular man wearing green armor as well as a light brown space helmet that partially conceals his facial features (yet his facial appearance is still revealed from the very start of the game as the status bar face). The player's in-game avatar, as seen in multiplayer mode and in the ending to Doom II, is based on this depiction. The Marine's face is seen in the game's status bar, where he is shown as having light brown hair and a buzz cut. The protagonist also appears with his head uncovered in the title screen for Doom II and in the final screen for The Ultimate Doom, but in both cases displaying a more unusual haircut and wearing armor and pants of a darker hue of green. The character's personality is never examined to any extent in any of the games, though he appears to have a strong moral compass, as it was his refusal to fire upon civilians and subsequent assault against his commanding officer who gave the order, that got him stationed on Mars in the first place. Also, it could be said he is passionate about battling Hell's hordes as, after a new weapon is picked up, the protagonist grins devilishly, and also grits his teeth intensely when firing a weapon continually. When taking damage, the marine similarly clenches his teeth in anger and pain, and otherwise his eyes are constantly and alertly darting to and fro. At the end of The Ultimate Doom there is a jocose tidbit about our hero, saying that the severed rabbit head shown at the end of the third episode, Inferno, is the protagonist's pet rabbit, Daisy. After completing the fourth episode, Thy Flesh Consumed, a battered Marine is shown outside of a burning city on Earth, a not too seemly look of vengeful defiance on his face, with the rabbit's head clenched in his fist by the ears, and ready to wreak yet more violence on the Hellish invaders, thus leading to the events in Doom II and, subsequently, Final Doom.
In Doom II, the Marine join other marine troops to stop the invasion on Earth. When the remnant population of Earth and their ships are trapped on the starport controlled by demon, the Marine and other soldiers goes there to deactivate the force field which contains the last spaceships. Since he had other Hell encounters in the past, the Marine is the only one who survives on the starport. After he reaches a demon outpost, he manages to free the spaceships on the MAP11: 'O' of Destruction, thus becoming the only human left on Earth. After this, the Marine seems to accept his fate and wait for death.
After the spaceship's sensors locate the center of the invasion, which is located on the Marine's hometown, he abandon his suicidal waiting and goes there to stop Hell on Earth forever. However, after he reaches the main gateway on MAP20: Gotcha!, he learns that the only way to close it is on the other side, going to Hell again. This Hell is sightly different from the one on the original Doom, since it has some demonic urban building - probably part of Earth inside Hell dimension. There, he discovers the Icon of Sin, the biggest demon he has ever seen, who is capable of creating demons and possibly the leader of Hell. After the destruction of Icon of Sin, the Marine returns to Earth to help rebuilding it, and Hell is left in ruins.
However, in TNT Evilution, we learn that Marine continued to work on the UAC, now as a sergeant of marine troops on Io. There, the UAC is conducting experiments to close the link between our universe and Hell, and after some successful tests, the base is invaded by an enormous demon ship, which invades the base and kills all personnel, with the exception of the Marine. He, once again, manages to go to Hell and destroys another Icon of Sin.
In The Plutonia Experiment, its learned that the UAC finally found a way with the quantum accelerator to close all the seven gateways between Earth and Hell. But when the Gatekeeper, another Icon of Sin, leads another demon horde and manages to keep one gateway open, he began a full scale Earth invasion. The Marine, who was on vacation, is called to contain the invasion on the UAC base and prevent another Hell on Earth. The Marine manages both to recover the quantum accelerator prototype and to destroy the Gatekeeper, which leads them to believe that Hell would be back as the place that only the bad people go when they die.
However, Hell tries once again to reach our universe in Doom 64 by using the old Deimos and Phobos bases, but now they are led by the Mother Demon. The Marine on this version looks almost identical to the original one except that his armor is black instead of being of the same green as his clothes, his boots and helmet are black too instead of grayish beige, and his visor is blue rather than gray. Also, his helmet features a radio antenna on the side in a way somewhat reminiscent of Boba Fett's helmet in The Empire Strikes Back. His face is never shown in Doom 64 since there is no status bar. The game's background story text implies that he is, in fact, the same person from the original games, denoting him as "the only experienced survivor of the DOOM episode" and "the only Marine to endure the slaughter."
In the end of Doom 64, the Marine once again goes to Hell and manages to kill the Mother Demon. After this, the Marine accepts his fate of eternal confrontation with demons and decides to close the gateway between Hell and our universe from inside. Staying there forever, the Marine prevents any other Hell invasion once and for all.
Doom 3In Doom 3, the Marine's appearance is roughly consistent with the above, except that his facial features are not concealed, since he does not wear a helmet. His physique is also somewhat less powerful looking, although he is still very muscular. He has black hair and appears to be in his late twenties to early thirties. He is not given a name in the game but referred to as John Kane in the novel.
Unlike in the original series, the player can "talk" to various people. Most of them do not say much - other than that they are busy and the UAC base is a frightening place, but a few, such as Sergeant Kelly, give the player some briefing regarding his mission, especially after the the forces of hell invade the UAC base. Even on these "chatting" occasions, however, the player character is addressed simply as "Marine" and remains silent, either because most of the discussion is about his orders (this is a similarity to the Half-Life series), or due to the silent protagonist narrative. Although the marine never truly speaks, he utters grunts of pain when injured or a scream when killed.
The Marine is depicted as tough and fearless in the game's cut scenes. He rarely shows any fear or panic, despite the increasingly horrific events occuring around him, including several bizarre and disturbing psychic visions. Throughout his entire ordeal, he is only seen once showing a brief moment of fear, (stepping back slightly and appearing to mouth a curse) when he first encounters the towering Cyberdemon. It seems that the rank of the Doom 3 Marine is "Corporal", as heard from a member of the rescue team in the final cutscene.
Resurrection of EvilIn the Doom 3 expansion pack Resurrection of Evil the main character is a different Marine, also without a name. This Marine is a combat engineer, and thus is trained to operate a remote manipulation device known as the grabber. He has black shaved hair, wears blue armor, and appears to be somewhat older than the one in Doom 3, based on his heavily weathered facial features.
The game presents very little information on his background, only that he is part of a detachment of Space Marines under the command of Dr. Elizabeth McNeil, sent to investigate the UAC facility in the aftermath of the demon invasion. While investigating the Martian ruins he finds and touches the Heart of Hell artifact, which releases a wave of energy that disintegrates the rest of his squad and opens another portal to hell underneath the UAC base.
The Marine in Resurrection of Evil appears to be more anti-hero in outlook than the Doom 3 protagonist, as he seems to enjoy using the Heart of Hell, which ends up killing almost everyone else at the base. He also shows brief bursts of anger throughout the game, especially toward the Hell Hunters and Maledict. However, one could say he has more "personality," than the Marine in Doom 3. As he has better interactions with the characters, on occasion, he smiles, and even shows intrigue at one point.
The Lost mission
In Doom 3: BFG Edition, the extra solo mission "The Lost Mission", the player assumes the role of the last surviving Marine from the ill-fated Bravo Team. The Bravo Marine fights his way through to reconnect the dimension gateway to get help from Earth.
In the iPhone game Doom Resurrection, which happens between the events of Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil, the protagonist is a normal marine from the deceased Bravo Team. After his survival from the outbreak, the Marine has to fight the remaining demons on the Mars base to escape the facility and warn Earth of the threat.
The Marine in Doom RPG is another nameless marine, which possibly is protagonist of the original Doom from the classics, since they use the same HUD bar, it is not the Doom II RPG's Marine (as that prologue of that game makes it clear that they are sent to investigate the Mars Incident as there were no known survivors, before having their own issues during a stopover on the Moon). In Doom RPG, the Marine use the same weapons as on the original Doom game, with the additional axe and fire extinguisher. On the game, he manages to stop the Hell invasion by killing Kronos and the Cyberdemon.
Doom II RPG
In Doom II RPG one of the three playable marine characters, named Stan Blazkowicz, bears a striking resemblance to the protagonist of the original Doom. In the game's storyline he is a descendent of William "B.J." Blazkowicz, the Wolfenstein 3D hero.
Classic Doom NovelsIn the Doom novels, Doomguy was given a personality that was shunned by many fans and members of the Doom community. His name is Flynn Taggart, or "Fly" for short. The novels describe him as somewhat cocky, rather intelligent, well-worded, mechanically gifted, loyal, and in some ways, arrogant. He is a faithful, yet long-suffering Catholic with a strong belief in God, having attended four years of Catholic school. He ended up joining the Marines as a result of a strong belief in honor, and also because of his father, a person he held much disdain towards, a petty criminal who was frequently at odds with the law. Flynn's father never understood the concept of honor, as Flynn sees it, and also never understood why Flynn joined the Marines in the first place (nor did Flynn admit that he was one of the main reasons he did so; to not end up like him). He is also shown to have an aversion/hatred to officers. In the novels he is given the rank of Corporal in "Fox Company" and is best friends with another Marine named Arlene Sanders, Fox Company's best scout. In the prologue, his CO Lieutenant Weem orders his company to shoot monks, believing them to be be enemy soldiers incognito. However, Flynn tries to reason with him and, when he is unable to, he tries to punch him out in order to prevent the upcoming slaughter (echoing the beginning of the PC title's original story.) He is sent to Phobos to stand trial for assaulting a superior officer, but as he arrives, a distress message was sent from scientists working on the Two Gates, and Fox Company was sent to investigate sans Flynn, who was forced to stay behind. He was still able to incapacitate his two guards, "Ron and Ron 2", and make his way through the Phobos compounds alone.
The way Flynn's appearance is described in the Doom novels is identical to the original Doom games, though at times he removes his helmet.
Doom 3 Novels
On the Doom 3 novels Worlds on Fire and Maelstorm, which has the same Doom 3 storyline with few modifications, the name of the protagonist is John Kane, who has a similar backstory of military indiscretion as the original marine.
Doom (2005 movie)
John "Reaper" Grimm (played by Karl Urban) is the son of UAC scientists who were killed in an accident during the early excavation of the 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 (RRTS). Grimm, his commanding officer nicknamed Sarge, and the other members of the RRTS are dispatched to the UAC Mars Facility to investigate the disappearance of several scientists, which ultimately pits them in a confrontation against genetically engineered monsters created by an ancient Martian retrovirus released by the UAC. Grimm also differs from the protagonists in the games due to having an actual name and interacting with other characters via his own dialogue.
Grimm's personality can be seen as rather angsty, as he is still dealing with his guilt over his parents' deaths and his concern for his sister, Dr. Samantha Grimm (also known as Sam), a researcher at the UAC Mars Facility. However, like his computer-game renditions, he has no problem killing multiple demons and even his own commanding officer, Sarge, after the latter begins to murder unarmed civilians in order to contain the outbreak.Notably, at the end of the film, Grimm is injected with the Martian genetic material. Instead of turning into a monster, he instead gains superhuman strength, reflexes, and regenerative abilities. These powers allow him to stride through the infested base singlehandedly mowing down a small horde of demons including many zombies, several imps, a hell knight, and a demon (all seen by the audience in the game's classic first person perspective). This plot device is apparently the film's way of incorporating the berserk powerups in the games (see Berserk pack and Berserker).
- See Player for details on the character entity from a technical perspective.
- In Doom's opening splash screen, and in the game as a sprite, the protagonist is shown to be wearing a helmet with a visor. In the earliest known alpha version of Doom the visor framed the screen, and was planned to be used in the way the status bar works, much like the Metroid Prime series.
- The marine in the original Doom games is seemingly ambidextrous since he punches and fires the pistol with his left hand but fires every other weapon with his right hand.
- In vanilla Doom (and the Xbox 360 port) it is possible to get the Doomguy to make a shocked face by standing on a medikit found on a hazardous floor (such as slime or lava), due to the ouch face bug.
- In Quake III Arena the Doom marine is a playable character, referred to simply as Doom. He is 6ft (1.83 m) tall and weighs 180 lb (80 kg), according to the character description from the game. He is the second to last opponent in single-player.
- The marine in Doom 3 may use the shotgun as his weapon of choice, as he is seen wielding it in most of the cutscenes in the game.
Other media with references to the marine
- Duke Nukem 3D
- Quake III Arena / Quake Live
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (featured in the PC version as a secret skater)