The BFG9000 appears as a large, solid metal gun which fires large balls of green plasma. Arguably the most powerful weapon in the game, it is capable of destroying nearly any player or enemy with a single shot.
The abbreviation BFG stands for "Big Fucking Gun", as explained in section 14 of the Doom Bible. Other expansions of the name that circulated before that document was made public include "Big Fragging Gun" and "Big Fun Gun". Characters in the Doom novels refer to the BFG as a "big freaking gun". In the Doom movie, BFG officially stands for "Bio Force Gun" , although it is called "Big Fucking Gun" by Sarge.
In older versions of Doom, the BFG was a "billion fireball gun", which released 40 small green and red fireballs with each shot. It was called the BFG 2704. This version was scrapped because, according to John Romero, it "looked like Christmas" and severely slowed the game down.
When the trigger is pulled, there is a pause of 6/7 of a second (about 0.857 seconds) before a green plasma ball is ejected. If the plasma ball hits a solid object, it explodes and causes 100-800 hit points of damage to the target, in round multiples of 100.
After a further pause of 16/35 of a second (about 0.457 seconds), blast damage is calculated: 40 invisible rays are emitted by the player in a cone-shaped area (about 45° half-angle) in the direction the plasma ball was fired. (If the player has turned around, the direction of the blast damage rays does not change — they are still traced in the direction of firing of the original plasma ball. If he has moved to another location, their origin moves along with him.) Each ray causes 49-87 points of damage if it hits a solid object within 1024 map units.
Therefore, the minimal damage of the weapon is 49 points (if an object is hit by one ray and not the plasma ball) and, hypothetically, the maximal damage is 800 + (40 × 87) = 4280 points (if the plasma ball hits an object for full damage and all 40 rays also hit the object for full damage). However, that much damage can never actually be inflicted due to the periodicity of the simplistic pseudorandom number generator used by the Doom engine.
|Damage||100-800 (main projectile)|
49-87 (per blast tracer)
|Included ammo||40 (80 on skill 1 & 5)|
|Max ammo||300 (600 with backpack)|
|Ammo type||Plasma cells|
|Shot type||Projectile (direct hit)|
Hitscan (blast damage)
|Velocity||25 (plasma ball)|
|Shots / minute||54|
|Appears in||Registered Doom|
Doom II/Final Doom
|Thing type||2006 (decimal), 7D6 (hex)|
|Sprite||BFUG (before pickup)|
BFS1 (plasma ball)
BFE1, BFE2 (impact)
As with the rocket launcher and chaingun, the full BFG sprite (after pickup) is slightly too large for the screen, and can only be viewed with a level or resource editor; the lower edge of the sprite includes a BFG logo.
Many subsequent first-person shooters implemented similar weapons, but few were quite as notorious as the BFG9000. In addition, due to its reputation, the BFG has been referenced or parodied in many other places:
- Quake 2 and Quake 3 both include the "BFG 10K". In Quake II, the projectile sprites are exactly the same as Dooms.
- Doom's remake, Doom 3, also includes the BFG 9000. It looks and acts like Quake 2’s BFG.
- In the hack-and-slash RPG Sacred, one character, the Seraphim, has a combat art called "BeeEffGee".
- Magic: the Gathering (Unglued expansion) includes The "BFM" (Big Furry Monster).
- A character in the movie Jason X mentions using a BFG.
- In the 1995 computer game Jazz Jackrabbit, one character's gun is called the "LFG-2000".
The IWADs contain the following numbers of BFG 9000s:
|Game||ITYTD and HNTR||HMP||UV and NM|
- Roald Dahl's novel The BFG predates Doom by over a decade, but is completely unrelated. Roald Dahl's "BFG" stood for "Big Friendly Giant".
- The Games Workshop tabletop wargame Battlefleet Gothic is sometimes also referred to as "BFG".