One of the great things about a long-running series is you get to see how monster designs were changed over time to fit the themes and styles being used in that entry. However, in Doom’s case, there is another, entirely different bonus to a series with this many entries, and that is the unique monsters. Sometimes, a game sports an original monster, not seen in the rest of the series. Doom 3 had many of these, with Eternal adding a few more. However, we’re starting with a much earlier, stranger entry in the series, with its final boss and the ghosts of monsters who never even made it in.
The Mother of all Demons
The final boss of Doom 64, the Mother of all Demons has a very Doom name, but isn’t very impressive as a design. Like much of 64’s roster, it’s pretty lumpy and brown, lacking in real distinguishing features. Honestly she’s kind of an uninspiring potato to me.
More interesting, however, we have the gorgeous models that Greg Punchatz made for the game, including a few monsters that didn’t make it in. The hellhound is pretty simple, but rendered in beautiful detail here. I especially like its face, half-skinned and with a very un-canine nose. It gives it a lot more personality. And of course, it has two heads, and I love monsters with too many heads!
There is an in-game sprite of the hellhound, looking quite different from the model. The spine on the back is more pronounced and the head more canine. It’s not as charming, but I do love its massive, goofy underbite. That’s just fantastic.
This monster is even less known, with no known in-game model or name. She’s got kind of an H. R. Geiger skin condition thing going on, which is nifty, although it doesn’t really make up for the fact she’s just a naked woman. However, if she was going to be the 64 version of the archvile, as some have suggested, she might still be my favorite, in competition with the original. Poor guy just keeps getting boring designs.
Guardian of Hell
Doom 3 added a whole slew of new enemies, many of which never returned. The Guardian of Hell is a unique boss, and you can guess most of its stuff right here. It’s big and tough and also, it has a heart on its face. Look! Upside down, right above its mouth! It makes a very cute face for such a big, beefy monsters. The mace hands are interesting but I don’t think they look great in this context.
The Guardian, you might have noticed, has no eyes. It summons little symbiotes called seekers to help find prey. These little guys are weird. They’ve barely got any anatomy, just floating stakes with some goo on top. But I like the goo we get. They’ve got a brain with a big spotlight, and that gaping mouth is just a touch horrific. They don’t look like finished animals, which makes sense given the Guardian creates them as minions during the fight.
Aw yeah, another two-headed monster. And a good one too. The maggot is one of the more mutated looking monsters in Doom 3. I love the almost-humanoid heads, marked by their lack of noses and those horrible tongues. I also like the asymmetrical arms, especially the little crab claw on the right arm. They’re one of the best, and I’ve love to see something like them come back.
The wraith is something I’ve seen a lot, combining reptilian and insectoid features, although in an unusual twist, there’s a lot of human thrown into the mix for something pretty cool! I like the scales on those mantis arms. Cool idea! I especially like that weird face, with the split lower jaw and insectoid third eye, totally different from the other two. Sadly there’s no real lore as to why they look this way, but they’re cool looking!
Tick and Trite
I included these two together because they’re basically the same enemy. Heads with legs, a classic ever since The Thing (which I still haven’t watched, I know it’s up my alley but I just haven’t gotten to it). The Trite, of course, is better, with a neat upside-down head and lots and lots of eyes. In a nice twist, none of those eyes are in a human position, which really adds to its alien appearance.
Aw, that’s just edgy. Oh yes, very scary, the baby has insect parts. Pffffff.
All of Doom 3’s bosses are original monsters, including this nice weird spider lady. I like how strange the joining between her two bodies is, like they don’t actually belong together. Her face isn’t the most interesting, but I do like how blocky her head is. The most interesting thing, however, is that abdomen, a clear bubble with another monster within. It appears to be a mancubus, which leads to a lot of questions. We know she makes ticks and trites, but does she also birth full-grown mancubuses? That can’t be comfortable.
My favorite cyborgs are those with a really horrific combination of machinery and flesh. This… is okay. I do like how he’s missing an arm on one side and that side has a big cool robot arm, and he’s kinda gooey, but I feel like something’s missing. I don’t know, maybe it’s the face his face is still totally human?
The final boss of Doom 3’s expansion, Resurrection of Evil, the Maledict is a bit of a standard dragon, but for the skull head. I did initially mistake the version on the cover for having three faces, which would have been pretty decent as both a design and a neat reference to better works about hell, but no, they’re just horns. Honestly, forgettable.
That’s pretty funny though.
Another unused monster, shown in early game footage. It doesn’t fit the Doom 3 style, with a bit of a muppet face and weird, spiny armor. It was probably an early version of the Hell Knight, and while I prefer the eyeless version, I like that evil toothy beak!
The vulgar was initially slated to appear in the base game as the Arch-vile, but was cut in favor of the design was saw in the last article. There’s not a whole lot to say about them, but they’ve got a little bit of Xenomorph in them with that tail and those arms, and even the lower arms have a bit of the Alien Queen. It’s pretty neat, I like it more than your average Arch-vile.
Possibly my favorite Doom 3 monster and certainly the one that fits its horror tone the best. It’s better at being the cyberdemon than the cyberdemon was, with much better metallic arms and legs. But of course, what’s most important, that face. That monitor is brilliant. It animates, with horrible gnashing teeth! Fantastic! In early footage, the bruiser ambushed from behind a whole wall of monitors, but sadly this was cut from the game. It’s super brilliant though.
Okay, so this one should have been in the last article because it’s in two games. Sorry. The prowler is a pretty simplistic imp-type creature, but I really like the mix of the dark parts. The bend of the wrists is kinda neat, and I love the arrangement of those little tiny eyes.
The Eternal version drops the black parts, which is a little disappointing, but the shape of it is just really pleasing to me. I like the spike placement a lot and the eyes are even cuter now, along with that really fun mouth. It’s a little more polished than the 2016 version and I quite like the result.
The harvester is unique to Doom 2016, and in particular, its multiplayer. This is a shame, because it’s pretty awesome. I like the bony plates over the slimy muscle and, of course, the singular eye. That is a great face with fantastic horns. I really love the “sleeves” on its arms, which emphasize a wizardly look. The harvester has a cool name too, backed up by its ability to drain the health of its enemies to heal itself.
The summoner is a lot like the Harvester, and I like it even more. This thing is awesome, tip to top. Those withered feet emphasize how it hovers over the ground. Rather than sleeves, its hands look more like red gloves. That face is halfway to a Cenobite, with that skull grimace and bizarre crest on the back of its head. It’s all tied together with those great meat capes hanging from its hips.
Less impressive than the other new enemies, the hell razer is sadly not a Cenobite, despite its name. I like the idea, with its arm melted into a laser-spitting cannon, but honestly, it doesn’t really manage to look very good or interesting. It’s just kinda blobby and sad. I’d either want it to be more of an exaggerated cannon or more of a hand, with remnants of fingers. I do like how it seems to have some claws there, but that’s not really enough!
The gargoyle is effectively a flying imp in behavior, but it’s quite different looking. I like the weirdly long neck on its humanoid torso and those bony spines. It has a few metal objects seemingly grafted on, like those huge metal claws and its bottom jaw. They’re weird, but I think they’re integrated great with those long hands.
This one is a little standard, and in an odd way. He looks less like the modern Barons of Hell, for example, and more like somebody out of D&D 5th edition. He’s cool and has decent personality with his metal eyepatch, but he’s not much as a design.
Not a demon at all, Khan Makyr is a different sort of extradimensional creature with a bunch of lore I didn’t read too deep into, but effectively, she’s an “angel”. I like her Flatwoods Monster look. It’s a pretty unusual body type that gives the impression of a dress, completed with some cool runes on her body. Her upper arms are just the slightest bit uncanny, not just inhuman but looking like the back legs of something more than the front. That’s a cool touch that helps her stand out from a lot of angellic beings.
Icon of Sin
Yes, the Icon of Sin is unique to Doom Eternal. Yes, it was in some earlier ones, but it was a wall. That’s not a monster… usually. Like the other massive bosses of Doom, it isn’t very interesting. Well, it’s kind of interesting that it looks a mech when it’s fully armored, and I admit it’s certainly cool, but it isn’t very unique. Under the armor, it’s sadly a touch generic.
It does have a lot more personality than most of these demons, however, with wild eyes and a crazed gin. This is one of the few demons that doesn’t look angry. He’s happy to destroy everything!
Evil Doomslayer, effectively. I like the amusingly heavy metal head it’s got going on, with the Jacob sheep horns and little “mohawk” of spikes. It’s a simplistic design, but it does a good job of communicating what it’s all about. It’s demon Doomslayer with a big shotgun, what you see is what you get.
I can’t say no to a cyborg whose robotic implements completely change their body shape, and that snake body meshes perfectly with the rest of the creature. I really love the way it looks “plugged in” with those ribs wrapping around the upper part of the robot parts. On some level, I wish it would have a bit more snake to the head, but on another, I think I appreciate how much it doesn’t have any snakelike features to its face. It’s a charismatic face, helped a lot by that bit of brain we can see and the wires on the back of its head.
We get a look at the whiplash’s back in this concept art, with a very nice fleshy hump, and of course the chain whips they fight with. I like those a lot, whiplashs are cute! They’re also apparently all female, so prepare for cute dominatrix whiplash pics flooding twitter in the coming months.
Another full cyborg, although one with a very different style. The whiplash has an organic feel to its robotic portions, while the hunter is a more traditional cyborg, with a very explicitly mechanical lower half. It’s not my thing, but I do like how grim its upper half is, with that veiny flesh and the solitary eye. This thing would probably be a little bit of a mess even without any robotic parts. However, neither matches up to our final cyborg, and potentially my favorite of the game.
I really love Doom’s trend of mingling demons, the undead, and cybernetics to make horrible amalgamations of all three, and this might be the grimmest of them all. Ask me in a week and one of the more cartoonish demons will likely be my favorite, but there’s just something so beautifully unwholesome about this beast. What I think gets me is how much it looks like it’s mostly a robot stuffed into a meat puppet. It’s like a T-800 if Arnold was rotting and had three legs. Now that’s how they could have kept those movies fresh.
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