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For information about the Spectre enemy from Strife, see Spectre (Strife).
Map08 spectre

A spectre about to bite the player in Doom II MAP08: Tricks and Traps.

Spectres are the partially invisible counterparts of demons. Except for their blurry appearance, they are exactly the same in behavior and attributes, and thus may be thought of as demons who have a permanent partial invisibility power. In the Doom and Doom II manual, their description is: Great. Just what you needed. An invisible (nearly) monster. And in the PlayStation, Saturn and Doom 64 manual adds, These beasts will eat your face off, did you expect a walk in the park?

Spectres do not have frames of their own, as the Doom engine uses the same information used for demons to account for them, which means the monsters share sprites.

Spectres appear as "shimmering" beings, like a lens which distorts and refracts the area seen through their translucent bodies, making them hard to spot in darker areas or against certain textures (such as grey speckled walls). However, in bright areas, they are noticeably visible and "spotty".


The initial opaque appearance of a spectre in Doom 64.

In many OpenGL source ports, as well as in Doom 64 and the PlayStation version of Doom, spectres do not "shimmer", but are instead rendered as near transparent. This is because the partial invisibility effect is very difficult to reproduce using such a renderer. EDGE, however, emulates the effect.

In Doom 64 specifically, inactive spectres are initially rendered as opaque demons with a green tint, becoming translucent upon detecting the player. Upon death, they revert to an opaque state again. Spectres also appear in the Doom 64 Cast of Characters sequence at the end of the game, unlike the spectre in the Doom II cast sequence. They first appear in The Terraformer.

There are some tricks that can help make spectres more visible: their shimmering outline is much easier to see with the inverted colors of an invulnerability sphere, for example, and they feature a fully visible blood-splatter effect when hit.

Despite the fact that spectres have the effects of partial invisibility, their effect does not throw off the aim of other monsters when infighting.


  • The spectre does not appear in the Doom II cast sequence at the end of the game.
  • If a spectre's corpse is crushed, the pool of gibs left behind continues to display the partial invisibility effect.
  • In a ZDoom-based source port, if the player is killed by a Spectre (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 eaten by a Spectre".
  • In Doom95, the spectre's sprite will reflect nearby objects like oil drums or corpses.


ID #58 (decimal), 3A (hex)
Hit points150
Speed10 map units per frame
(175.0 map units per second)
Reaction time8
Pain chance180 (70.31%)
Pain time4 tics
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameSARG
Alert soundDSSGTSIT
Action soundDSDMACT
Pain soundDSDMPAIN
Death soundDSSGTDTH
Melee attack

Damage done by a spectre's bite

Bites needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
Player (100%
health, security armor)
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
Wolfenstein SS2.980.9527
Lost soul5.161.2039
Commander Keen5.161.2039
Boss brain212.151.59817
Pain elemental18.861.601522
Hell knight23.521.501927
Baron of Hell46.721.794251

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, and blood splats 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. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics

In classic Doom, the spectre is first encountered on these maps:

The Ultimate DoomE1M6: Central Processing1E1M5: Phobos Lab1E1M3: Toxin Refinery
Doom IIMAP03: The GantletMAP03: The GantletMAP03: The Gantlet
TNT: EvilutionMAP04: WormholeMAP02: Human BBQMAP02: Human BBQ
PlutoniaMAP02: Well of SoulsMAP02: Well of SoulsMAP02: Well of Souls

The IWADs contain the following numbers of spectres:

The Ultimate Doom51102183
Doom II3793175
TNT: Evilution83150224
  1. May be encountered earlier if the secret level is played.

See also

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 Doom 64
Arachnotron | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Nightmare Imp | Pain Elemental | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Zombieman | Mother Demon
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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