The shotgun guy (which is referred to as former human sergeant in the game manuals, and by extension sergeant) is an armored human which has been turned into a zombie during the invasion from hell. The monster appears as a red-eyed bald man wearing bloodstained, slate-gray body armor and clothes, and wields a shotgun.
The Doom instruction manual says: Same as the Former Humans, but much meaner, and tougher. These walking shotguns provide you with a few extra holes if you're not careful!
This type of zombie is armed with a shotgun, which is less powerful than the player's shotgun: one round produces only three pellets instead of seven, and each pellet inflicts slightly less damage on average. When the shotgun guy attacks, it aims its shotgun at the player for about 3/10 of a second and fires a single round. Each pellet has the same dispersal as a trooper's bullet (standard deviation around 9°, to a maximum of ±22°); this is calculated independently for each pellet, so multiple hits are occasionally scored even at very long range. After firing, the monster moves again.
When killed, the shotgun guy drops its weapon, which contains 4 shells (or 8 on ITYTD and NM). If it subsequently respawns or is resurrected, the shotgun remains. The shotgun guy's chest and its abdomen spill blood as it is felled, assuming it is not gibbed, which is not uncommon, considering its relatively low number of hit points.
Due to the dispersal of the pellets from its shotgun, the shotgun guy is only a marginally greater threat than the zombieman at long range. However, at closer ranges its shotgun blast can damage the player significantly, and many stock levels create ambushes by placing sergeants on ledges and around corners.
The player's shotgun generally kills individual shotgun guys at medium and long ranges, and can occasionally kill two or more with one shot at close range. All other weapons are effective against shotgun guys, although the pistol leaves it ample time to retaliate, and the fist and chainsaw are dangerous to use because the player risks being shot at point-blank range. This can be fatal if the player does not have any form of armor available.
The shotgun guy's contribution to monster-monster battles is average at best. It is more durable than a zombieman, and can damage more than one creature per shot. However, it fires much less frequently than a player would, and circles its target in an irregular pattern which prevents it from attacking at close range every time. Thus it can be defeated by a healthy imp more often than not, and most often by a demon.
Certain stock maps (especially those of Knee-Deep in the Dead) include a large number of additional shotgun guys on UV as compared with the lower skill levels. Their dropped shotguns greatly increase the number of shells available to the player.
Inspiration and development
- Despite being called a "sergeant" in the manuals, the shotgun guy has the type name MT_SHOTGUY in the Doom source code, and the sprite prefix SPOS, while the analogous MT_SERGEANT and SARG are given to the demon. This is arguably because the demon was initially named "demon sergeant" in the Doom Bible (section 7.2).
|Shots needed to kill1,2||Mean|| Standard
health, no armor)
health, security armor)
health, combat armor)
|Baron of Hell||117.61||17.02||100||159|
- This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal 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.
- The target must be close enough to compensate for the monster's inaccurate aim.
- Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
In classic Doom, the shotgun guy is first encountered on these maps:
The IWADs contain the following numbers of shotgun guys:
|Game||ITYTD and HNTR||HMP||UV and NM|
|Monsters from Doom and Doom II|
| Doom: Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Imp | Lost soul | Shotgun guy | Spectre | Spiderdemon | Zombieman|
Doom 2: Arachnotron | Arch-vile | Commander Keen | Heavy weapon dude | Hell knight | Mancubus | Pain elemental | Revenant | Wolfenstein SS | Final boss