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Heavy weapon dude

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For the chaingun wielding zombie in Doom 3, see Commando (Doom 3).

A friendly heavy weapon dude in the PWAD DSV3-War, by Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal.

"Geeze, weren't shotgun zombies bad enough? At least when you face these jerks you get a cool chaingun."
― Doom II Manual description

The Heavy Weapon Dude (called a Former Commando in the Doom II manual, and sometimes referred to as a Chaingunner) is the third and most powerful type of human which has been turned into a zombie during the invasion from hell. It is the first of the new monsters introduced in Doom II to make an appearance in the game.

The heavy weapon dude has a different appearance from the other former humans in that they are burlier/overweight, as well as having a darker skin tone. The heavy weapon dude appears as a robust red-eyed bald man with a bloody mouth, wearing bloodstained, red body armor and boots over slate-gray pants, and carries a chaingun with its accompanying ammo belt.

Combat characteristicsEdit

The Heavy Weapon Dude emits the same three animalistic sounds that the zombieman/shotgun guy enemies do when spotting the player. This enemy attacks by firing its chaingun, which does slightly less damage per bullet than the player's chaingun and has a rate of fire that is also a bit lower. Once the heavy weapon guy begins to fire, it continues until its target has been killed or left his line of sight, or has been stunned (causing it to move immediately afterward) or killed. When killed without being gibbed, he lets out the same three zombieman/shotgun guy death cries, his right body half rips apart, head exploding, left eyeball and right arm falling off as the other half of the body collapses backwards. Upon dying, he drops his chaingun, which contains 10 bullets. It contains 20 bullets on the ITYTD and NM skill levels.

Tactical analysisEdit

Because heavy weapon dudes employ a ranged attack that starts quickly and continues in rapid succession (even the spiderdemon pauses briefly in its tracks before firing, giving the player a fraction of a second to take cover), which cannot be dodged, the player must avoid spending any time within short or medium range of them, if possible.

One shot from the shotgun at close range often (but not always) kills a chaingun dude, and continuous fire from the player's chaingun at close range almost always prevents the zombie from firing, while chaingun "tapping" normally limits it to retaliating with a couple of shots during the remainder of its existence. If there are multiple chaingunners in a clustered formation, usage of the rocket launcher or plasma gun is recommended. Since, like all monsters, heavy weapon dudes do not have any limits on ammunition used, multiple chaingun zombies at any good distance can quickly drain the player's health in the time it takes to cross a large room; in such a situation, it may be essential to remain in motion.

The heavy weapon dude's high rate of fire makes him a formidable presence in monster-monster battles; if it survives the initial hit (given their 70 hit points, this is usually the case with an unharmed one), one of these zombies can often take down a healthy cacodemon or revenant. A heavy weapon dude can also sometimes defeat a hell knight, a mancubus or an arachnotron at close range, when the chaingun manages to continuously stun the opponent, preventing any return fire. Like all hitscan-firing enemies, heavy weapon dudes will gladly turn on each other if provoked.

Because of their unrelenting automatic fire, and their tendency to appear in large numbers, they are not enemies to be taken as lightly as other former humans are. They should be considered a high priority threat in cases where there are many in an enclosed area, even when there are more powerful enemies in the area. Close range encounters with heavy weapon dudes can quickly get you killed if they are not disposed of quickly. In Plutonia, they are a common threat, often positioned in distant windows and sniper nests, making many rooms hazardous to charge in to without properly sniping the offenders.

Final Doom is noted for having a high number of these foes, especially on the ultra-violence difficulty.

Notes Edit

  • Internally, the Doom source code gives the heavy weapon dude the type name MT_CHAINGUY, in reference to the chaingun.
  • Called a "Clyde" in the Doom novel.
  • Whereas the zombieman and shotgun guy wear the same basic uniform as the protagonist (albeit different-colored versions) and have similar physiques and, thus, share a common base for their sprite sets, the heavy weapon dude's sprite is unique due to his burly/overweight build.
  • The heavy weapon dude's death animation is also unique among human zombies; while the zombieman and shotgun guy both share the same dying sequence of chest/abdomen bursting open as they fall backwards, the heavy weapon dude's right shoulder and head will burst as his right forearm falls off.
  • Interestingly, when the heavy weapon dude dies, his chaingun can still be seen as part of his corpse, despite him dropping the gun upon his death (which makes sense when just grabbing ammo, but if it is the first time the player has found a chaingun and takes it, it does not make sense).
  • Final Doom's The Plutonia Experiment has the highest number of former commandos used in a single mainstream Doom title; almost every single level has them, with the sole exclusions being MAP11: Hunted (since it only contains Arch-Viles as enemies).
  • The heavy weapon dude is one of the three enemies whose machine gun sounds like a shotgun being fired rapidly, along with the Wolfenstein SS and Spiderdemons (this behavior actually makes sense for the Spiderdemon, since it fires three bullets per shot, similar to the shotgun guy's shotgun--however, this behavior was probably applied by accident to the heavy weapon dude and SS). In the PlayStation and GBA versions of Doom, the commando's gunfire noise is "corrected" to sound the same as the players'.
  • In a ZDoom-based source port, if the player is killed by a heavy weapon dude (monster is credited with delivering the blow that reduces player's health to 0%), an obituary message is displayed at the top of the screen: "[player name] was perforated by a Chaingunner".
  • In the Playstation and Sega Saturn ports, Heavy Weapon Dude can appear in the original Doom levels on Ultra Violence.
  • In Brutal Doom, chaingunners have a somewhat faster fire rate, and sometimes will gladly keep firing at an already defeated player until his corpse bursts in pieces completely. Starting in v 0.19, these enemies can be kicked them in the crotch, which stuns them in pain and buys time for the player to kill them safely.

Data Edit

ID #65 (decimal), 41 (hex)
Hit points70
Speed8 map units per frame
(93.3 map units per second)
Reaction time8
Pain chance170 (66.41%)
Pain time6 tics
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameCPOS
Alert soundDSPOSIT1,
Action soundDSPOSACT
Pain soundDSPOPAIN
Death soundDSPODTH1,
DSPODTH3 (normal)
DSSLOP (gibs)
Ranged attack
Shots per minute466.6
Sprite namePUFF (impact, miss)
BLUD (impact, hit)

Damage done by a heavy weapon dude's bullet

Shots needed to kill1,2 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
Player (100%
health, security armor)
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
Wolfenstein SS6.371.39411
Lost Soul12.292.16919
Commander Keen12.292.16919
Boss Brain329.784.392542
Pain Elemental47.416.884064
Hell Knight58.958.615082
Baron of Hell117.6117.02100159
Spider Mastermind351.5751.06303473

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. The target must be close enough to compensate for the monster's inaccurate aim.
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics Edit

In classic Doom, the heavy weapon dude is first encountered on these maps:

Doom IIMAP04: The FocusMAP03: The GantletMAP03: The Gantlet
TNT: EvilutionMAP01: System ControlMAP01: System ControlMAP01: System Control
PlutoniaMAP01: CongoMAP01: CongoMAP01: Congo

The IWADs contain the following numbers of heavy weapon dudes:

Doom II66196273
TNT: Evilution182376601

Doom RPG Edit

In Doom RPG, the chaingun zombie appears as the "commando" monster class. There are three variations, identified by color:

  • Troop (yellow)
  • Commando (blue)
  • Assassin (normal colors)

Their attacks are capable of destroying jammed doors, much like the axe does, and will attack three times consecutively. They are weakest against plasma attacks.


Monsters from Doom and Doom II
Arachnotron | Arch-Vile | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Commander Keen | Cyberdemon | Demon | Heavy Weapon Dude | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Pain Elemental | Revenant | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Spider Mastermind | Zombieman | Wolfenstein SS | Final Boss
Monsters from the Sony PlayStation version of Doom
Arachnotron | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Heavy Weapon Dude | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Nightmare Spectre | Pain Elemental | Revenant | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Spider Mastermind | Zombieman

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