What was the inspiration behind the Doom universe?

Not always futuristic games are so far from our reality. Sometimes, under the guise of a fictional world, there is a very important message that some developers are trying to convey. A kind of metaphor for modern reality, as seen by some theologians and sociologists. Throughout its history, Doom has become just such a game, with its own lore, in which you can draw parallels with existing pictures of the world. It would seem that the philosophical can tell us the bloodthirsty demons? Here’s what. And now in more detail.

Part I. A plot that shouldn’t be

Initially, John Carmack did not even consider working out the plot part. The id Software co-founder simply did not see the point in the plot when it came to the genre of bloody shooters. Although such a formulation for the genre will not be entirely correct, since it was Doom who became the ancestor of 3D shooters.

But the game turned out to be commercially successful, and it was followed by a sequel in the person of Doom II (1994). And after a rather long break, after 10 years, Doom III (2004) arrived, which went into the framework of unhurried horror games using cheap screamers. After another 12 years after the lull, the industry got acquainted with the re-release of Doom (2016), but already without the “four” in the title.

By this point, the game was back on a dynamic track and practically blew up the genre again while it was in decline. And in 2020, Doom Eternal appeared to the world, in which controversial innovations such as acrobatic stunts or a new ammunition extraction system appeared, but still the project became a commercially successful game (more than $ 400 million in revenue at the end of 2020)

For almost twenty years of history, technologies have changed, but the main ideology of all Doom games has not changed. Direct communication with Hell, fighting demons and trying to save humanity As a result, id Software released five full-fledged parts of Doom, not counting the ports and the strange Doom 64. By this time, the plot could not but become overgrown with details, a separate philosophy and ideology.


Real knowledge begins where the boundaries of limitations and what is permitted end. The United Aerospace Corporation (UAC) is located on Mars, and its leadership did not deny itself to go beyond the physical world. What this led to, we all know: an open portal to hell and hordes of demons rushing from there.

Part II. Hellish social ladder

The hierarchical structure is inherent not only to the inhabitants of the earth. In Doom 2016, this topic was indirectly revealed through in-game texts. Apparently, UAC employees were engaged in research on this topic, but the management did not allocate sufficient funding for this area, deciding to focus the main resource on the extraction of Argent energy.

But still it was possible to draw up a rough picture. At the lowest level are zombies. Previously, they were ordinary people, but greed prevailed, because of which many inhabitants of the earth stepped on a path that was not for themselves.

Sometimes the appearance of that creature, which was previously called a human, changed beyond recognition. The more faithful to the forces of the underworld, the stronger the obvious effect on the body.

They are ranked higher – imps, which play the role of infantrymen and consumables in battles. They are distinguished by increased hostility and permanent aggression towards all living things, including other representatives of their camp. The higher in the hierarchy, the more power such creatures have, up to their unique capabilities.

It’s not just magic that makes the bestiary of hell unique. The engineers of the underworld do not hesitate to borrow the technological developments of recruiting new combat units designed to increase the influence of the army of darkness in the earthly world. For example, to create arachnotrons (literally giant walking brains) in the UAC corporation used the remains of genetic material found in the mistress of the spiders. For greater mobility, such creatures use an exoskeleton, which is directly connected to the nervous system. Now they are under the control of the forces of hell.

What the UAC employees thought when they created such creepy monsters, they will not give us an answer.

After getting to know Doom Eternal, you understand what trick the forces of hell went to in order to increase your bets on victory. For example, in the enclaves of sectarians, they did not hesitate to create combat units from pieces of bodies of other creatures. So “carcasses” were born, which are a cross between Frankenstein and cybernetic zombies. Cybermankubuses can also be written here.

An eerie (and dangerous) sight

What conclusion can be drawn about this? In the “Hell” structures have their own managers and those who carry out orders from above. Apparently, it has its own system of positions, depending on the abilities and intelligence level of creatures, and it differs quite a lot.

For example, revenants (skeletons with rocket launchers) at least possess weapon skills and the necessary coordination that allows them to easily move through space. And cacodemons, despite the ability to soar in the air (in the lore of the game, this is explained by psionic abilities), do not have the proper level of intelligence to control other demons.

Part III Icon of Sin – who is he?

Of particular note is the Icon of Sin, a new antagonist that has appeared in Doom Eternal. It is noteworthy that according to the LOR of the game, the Icon of Sin has its own soul, warped, beaten, but still a soul, and a human one.

You don’t need to have deep knowledge of religious studies in order to draw parallels with Lucifer, who, according to the biblical covenants, was thrown to earth for going against God himself. In Doom Eternal, we learn that the Icon of Sin also dwells on earth as a punishment, while retaining the remains of a soul that has not yet completely lost its humanity. A similar story is the source of the protagonist with a famous biblical character. Of course, we are talking about Lucifer, cast down to earth by a fallen angel, who was once prepared for a better life.

Despite the hackneyed clichés like pentagrams and the presence of horns, the Icon of Sin turned out to be quite distinctive in its image

The matches are not limited to one visual image and biography. By the way, the Icon of Sin can enslave a living being with its anger. Some representatives of the “Creators” fell into this trick, which will be discussed in more detail below, as a result of which they went over to the side of the forces of hell. It is noteworthy that Lucifer also has the ability to cloud the mind of a person, which in simple terms is usually called a temptation.

Part IV Bottom up

In Doom Eternal, the developers decided not to limit themselves to hell and turned their attention to what is exactly above the ground. For this, developers have included in ENT games a whole race of angelic creatures – “Creators”.

The hierarchy here is also very large, and its roots go back to the All-Father, who began his creation with the creation of the so-called Seraphim, the descendants of which are the representatives of the Creators.

The seraphim helped the All-Father in creating the world, also acting in the role of the builders of the universe. It is still not entirely clear whether the All-Father is impersonal, or whether we are talking about a specific character. Doesn’t it look like anything?

Part V Doom Executioner as the main hope for humanity?

Playing with biblical stories is not always bad, especially when it comes to incompatible, at first glance, “genres”. Still, in the case of Doom, we are talking about one of the bloodiest shooters in the gaming industry. But this did not stop the developers from adding depth to the classic plot of “kill the demons, save the rest.”

Turning the executioner of Doom into a kind of messiah is original. In such a layer, the protagonist no longer perceives as a typical savior of humanity (although this is what he, in fact, is doing).