This article is about the Cacodemon in the original Doom games. For the monster in Doom 3, see Cacodemon (Doom 3).

Cacodemons are red monsters with large spherical bodies crowned with horns, that float slowly through the air. They have a single green eye over a large mouth which is persistently twisted into an evil grin showing a series of nasty teeth and a bluish interior.

In Doom II, their instruction manual description says: They float in the air, belch ball-lightning, and boast one Hell of a big mouth. You're toast if you get too close to these monstrosities.


[edit] Combat characteristics

They attack by spitting a ball of lightning or by biting with their gaping maw. The cacodemon often seems to distance itself from the player when under attack, though the cause of this is that it is being pushed back by successful hits from its enemies.

Cacodemons emit a loud hissing sound when they first see the player or otherwise become active, and use the pain sound shared by most of the demonic monsters from Doom. When killed, they let out a gurgling moan and fall to the ground, splitting open like a burst pustule, spewing copious amounts of blue goo and intestines that flow forth, to reveal their bared brains while their sole eye pops out of its socket.

[edit] Tactical analysis

Cacodemon attacks are relatively easy to dodge, and with sufficient space large numbers of cacodemons can be fought while sustaining little or no injury. Because they are slow, and because their pain chance is high, they are fairly easy targets. The chainsaw can incapacitate them, and repeating weapons such as the chaingun or the plasma gun are very effective against them, as they are pushed away and are nearly unable to fight back. They are relatively easy to goad into attacking other monsters, but can occasionally be tricky in this respect if they are floating in a high position allowing most of their shots to go over other monsters in the player's area. A skilled player could use a shotgun, run in for close shots, and dodge any incoming attacks while reloading and retreating.

Because of their flight ability and versatility, it is not uncommon to see these flying out of unexpected angles once alerted.

Although the cacodemon has a melee attack, it does not actively try to use this attack; it simply "happens" if the player is at point-blank range at the time the cacodemon attempts to launch a projectile. (The cacodemon's melee attack also does not have a sound effect associated with it.) This is presumably to prevent the enemy from abusing this attack while located at a greatly different elevation from the player (where the player would not be able to retaliate).

[edit] Notes

The illustration on the cover of the Manual of the Planes from which the cacodemon sprite was cropped
  • The name cacodemon, which comes from the Greek κακοδαίμων (kakodaimon) usually meaning "evil spirit", a more precise name for what we generally know as demon (which ultimately comes from "god" or "spirit"), is in English a word that may be found in most comprehensive dictionaries.
  • The monster's general visual design is similar to that of the Beholder, a similarly one-eyed classic Dungeons & Dragons monster (with eye stalks instead of horns). In addition, the Cacodemon was created from a cropping of a creature that appears on the cover of Manual of the Planes, a Dungeons & Dragons expansion book. The creature itself is known as an Astral Dreadnought, and was created by Jeff Easley for that book.
  • The earliest known version of Doom to include cacodemon graphics is the 0.5 alpha, released on May 22, 1993, and the earliest known appearance of the monster as an in-game adversary is in the press release version of Doom, released on October 4, 1993.
  • Cacodemons are called pumpkins in the Doom novels, and the marine in the Doom comic refers to them as "big-mouthed floating thingies."
  • Homestar Runner makes two references to cacodemons. In Strong Bad E-Mail number 150, Strong Bad remarks that an interdimensional portal "looks like it could release some serious cacodemons." In the Halloween 2007 cartoon, Pom Pom dresses as a cacodemon.
  • The Cacodemon is used as the Icon for the Xbox 360 Arcade version of DOOM, specifically in the game library and on the Achievement screen. The sequel, DOOM II, simply uses the title rather than a monster to represent the icon. It is also the icon for The Ultimate Doom in the Steam game library.

[edit] Data

ID #3005 (decimal), BBD (hex)
Hit points400
Speed8 map units per frame
(93.3333 map units per second)
Reaction time8
Pain chance128 (50%)
Pain time6 tics
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

9: No Gravity

14: Floating

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameHEAD
Alert soundDSCACSIT
Action soundDSDMACT
Pain soundDSDMPAIN
Death soundDSCACDTH
Melee attack
Ranged attack
Speed10 map units per tic
(350 map units per second)
Sprite nameBAL2
SoundDSFIRSHT (firing)
DSFIRXPL (impact)
Damage done by a Cacodemon'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)
Shotgun guy1.340.5113
Wolfenstein SS1.870.7414
Heavy weapon dude2.500.6525
Lost soul3.310.8226
Commander Keen3.310.8226
Romero's head27.651.14511
Pain elemental11.861.30915
Hell knight14.731.341218
Baron of hell29.151.812534
Damage done by a Cacodemon's projectile
Shots needed to kill Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
Player (100%
health, security armor)
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
Shotgun guy1.800.7514
Wolfenstein SS2.750.7825
Heavy weapon dude3.610.9126
Lost soul5.021.0938
Commander Keen5.021.0938
Romero's head211.681.70816
Pain elemental18.272.041322
Hell knight22.802.241728
Baron of hell45.163.093652

  1. These tables assume that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, impact animations, and backfire checks 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.
  3. Hardcoded exception to infighting negates damage (excepting indirect damage caused by exploding barrels).

[edit] Appearance statistics

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

The Ultimate DoomE2M3: RefineryE2M1: Deimos AnomalyE2M1: Deimos Anomaly
Doom IIMAP05: The Waste TunnelsMAP05: The Waste TunnelsMAP05: The Waste Tunnels
TNT: EvilutionMAP02: Human BBQMAP02: Human BBQMAP02: Human BBQ
PlutoniaMAP02: Well of SoulsMAP01: CongoMAP01: Congo

The IWADs contain the following numbers of cacodemons:

The Ultimate Doom62144193
Doom II44121188
TNT: Evilution437699

[edit] Other games

[edit] PlayStation Doom

In the Sony PlayStation version of Doom, there is a single instance of a spectral cacodemon, which can be found in MAP45: Tenements, replacing the arch-vile normally found in a cage in a pillar in the center of a pool of brown slime. It appears on all skill levels and has no special properties aside from appearing to be additively translucent with approximately 75% foreground weight. Its presence is most likely a level design error, as the flags controlling this property are normally only applied to demons in order to create spectres and nightmare spectres.

[edit] Doom 64

Doom 64 Cacodemon

In Doom 64 the cacodemon underwent a major design change, becoming brown, with a single yellow-green eye, and gaining two arms with broken chains attached, and a rather terrifying face. The body of the monster has animation frames (mostly in the way it swings its arms when in flight), whereas the original Cacodemon floated in a motionless manner. It resembles Doom II's original pain elemental. The nightmare cacodemon variation, introduced in the Doom 64 TC, remained red.

[edit] Doom RPG

The cacodemon appears in Doom RPG as a class of monster. There are three variations, identified by color:

  • Malwrath (gold body, red eye, red throat)
  • Cacodemon (normal colors)
  • Wretched (blue body, olive green eye, bright red throat)

Cacodemons attack three times consecutively and are most weak against axe attacks and plasma blasts.

[edit] Plush cacodemons

[edit] Hissy

Circa 1997-98, amateur Doom level designer Jonas "Chrozoron" Feragen created Hissy, a plush cacodemon which quickly became famous in the Doom community. Hissy can be found as a character in Skulltag, Cacodemon Squad, the secret level (WTF!) on MassMouth 2 and EarthBound Doom; the plush cacodemon itself is on a "world tour." She has been in the hands of over a dozen community members in the past eight years.

[edit] Pixel

Pixel is a plush-toy cacodemon created in November 2004 by Doom enthusiast Hughe, in response to a challenge from a friend. Pixel was created to be as accurate in form as possible using five different materials, including all his horns, separate teeth, upper mouth and single eye. Pixel was created before Hughe had any knowledge of the plush Hissy, and was in no way made to compete with her. In fact, it is said that Pixel finds Hissy rather cute.

Hughe later made a second, named Sprite. Sprite was made of a couple different materials; and is believed to guard Hughe's desk at the Sony offices in London.

[edit] Official plush

Bethesda released an official plush cacodemon toy in 2013 on the Bethesda Store website, alongside a plush pain elemental.

[edit] Sources

  • This article incorporates text from the open-content Wikipedia online encyclopedia article Cacodemon.

[edit] Notes

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 | spiderdemon | zombieman | Wolfenstein SS | final boss
Monsters from Doom 64
arachnotron | baron of hell | cacodemon | cyberdemon | demon | hell knight | imp | lost soul | mancubus | marine | 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 | spiderdemon | zombieman