Argent energy is a form of energy researched and catalyzed at the UAC Mars Base in the 2016 Doom, supposedly based on scientific principles discovered there. It is gradually learned in the course of the game's plot that Argent energy has become innately tied to Hell and that demons use it as their primary source of power. Stated by information downloadable to the Doom Slayer's codex, Argent plasma is the basic substance from which the energy is derived via neutron activation, and the efficiency of the reaction is such that the most advanced conventional nuclear reactors require a year to produce as much energy.
Argent energy was first discovered by the UAC in 2095 during a geological survey of an area on Mars known as Promethei Terra, in a small gorge which mysteriously emits the substance. First thought to be a mere cloud of ionized gas, later experiments showed it to be a unique plasma capable of self-containment and absorption of large amounts of heat. With the production of small battery arrays capable of powering city blocks for months at a time, Argent energy was rapidly accepted as a solution to Earth's looming energy crisis despite concerns expressed by Earth's top scientists over the unknown nature of the substance and the safety of its production and use. The UAC refuses to provide further information on its proprietary production techniques.
It is well-known within the UAC that Argent energy displays metaphysical properties not explainable through quantum theory, leading to a field of study internally referred to as spiritual energy field theory. The research undertaken in secret on the UAC Mars Base swiftly expanded into interest in the occult as a result, and it was learned that Argent energy could also be channeled through such practices, including human sacrifice, from what were then unknown extra-dimensional sources. These were later identified with the Well, the source of the energy which rests in an area of Hell known as Argent D'Nur, the shattered remnants of a realm long ago conquered by the demons. It is sustained by the souls of Elemental Wraiths, beings of immense power which once dwelt in that realm.
With the construction of the Argent Energy Tower and its massive but carefully regulated interdimensional rift by Dr. Samuel Hayden, the UAC became capable of extracting Argent energy from Hell directly with a terrifying efficiency, a practice which naturally attracted the demons' attentions and eventually led to the corruption of Dr. Olivia Pierce to their service.
Containment devices such as Argent cells and Argent accumulators can be used to store vast amounts of the energized plasma in compressed forms. Most of these containment devices are subject to rupture, sometimes spontaneously, and if enough of the energy is released at once, a temporary interdimensional rift may be opened which is capable of transporting nearby objects and people to Hell. This came to be exploited for transdimensional travel by the UAC in expeditions known as the Tethering Operations, in which artifacts and demons were recovered and transported back to Mars for research.
Phenomena and uses
Biowaves of Argent energy, referred to as Lazarus Waves after their discovery by Olivia Pierce, are known to convert ordinary people into the possessed, and are also involved in the creation of revenants. Lesser Argent waves can also be used to subdue demons, particularly ones whose attacks and activities are directly dependent on the energy, such as the summoner. It can also be channeled into the remains of dead demons, and will eventually resurrect them into living forms if sufficiently sustained.
Most technologies developed or refined on the Mars base are dependent on the energy for their functionality. These include most of the weapons found throughout the game, and especially energy-based ones such as the UAC EMG pistol, the plasma rifle, and the BFG-9000, all of which fire projectiles directly composed of the energy. More mundane devices such as the Delta V jump-boots also make use of it.
The sentient AI VEGA is powered by the substance, and maintains a core of the energy which surpasses the surface of the Sun in temperature.
Use by the Doom Slayer
The protagonist of the game is capable of harnessing Argent energy for purposes of destroying the demons. His Praetor suit, said to have been forged in the fires of Hell by an unknown entity referred to only in the demons' annals as the "wretch," has been enhanced with the ability to absorb the energy directly and through use of specialized weapons. Means of utilizing Argent energy during game play include the collection of Argent cells, small spheres of the energy which can be used to increase the marine's innate statistics, and through use of the siphon grenade, a side-arm weapon which can absorb the Argent energy from demonic foes and use it to replenish the marine's own health and armor.
In Doom Eternal
The true nature of Argent energy is explained in Doom Eternal when the Slayer goes to Nekravol, where demons torture their victims until the last flickers of hope are removed. The soul is then extracted from the victim, and the husk body mutates into a new demon. The extraction of the victim's soul provides Hell with an energy referred to only as Hell essence, however the Maykrs found that the process was not as efficient as it could possibly be, and could procure greatly increased amounts of energy with some refinements. As the Maykrs cannot go to Hell directly, they approached the Night Sentinels with a proposal, an event depicted on a lithograph entitled "The Gift of Argent Power". The Night Sentinels went to Hell and made a pact with the demons on behalf of the Maykrs. A new soul extraction facility was designed and built in Hell at Nekravol, using Sentinel and Maykr technology. The Hell essence obtained from soul extraction is mixed with Sentinel energy from the Wraiths to create Argent, and this Argent energy is then sent to Urdak, which shares part of the bounty with the corrupt Sentinels who follow the Khan Maykr. In exchange for giving away this energy, the demons are provided with new worlds to consume by the Maykrs and the corrupt Sentinels, countless worlds being sacrificed to ensure Urdak's prosperity.
Through study of the demonic Crucible, Samuel Hayden was able to extract the Argent energy stored in it, using its properties as an "Argent conductor" to produce an artificial form of Argent energy.