Brutal Doom


Brutal Doom
Title screen
Author Marcos Abenante (Sergeant Mark IV)
Ports GZDoom, Zandronum
IWAD Doom, Doom II
Year 2010
Cacoward.png This mod received one of the 2011 Cacowards on Doomworld!

Brutal Doom (also stylized as Brütal Doom) is a gameplay mod for GZDoom and Zandronum, created by Marcos Abenante (Sergeant Mark IV). Inspired by the Doom comic, the mod has many flourishes, including death animations, elaborate gore effects, and verbal taunts. It also revamps the weapons and monsters. The current version is v21, released in 2019.

Soon after its debut in 2010, Brutal Doom became very popular in the community and won the first ever Cacoward for a mod in 2011. It is among the most influential gameplay mods in Doom history, inspiring a number of other gore-themed mods, including the popular Project Brutality fork.

Brutal Doom is compatible with Doom, The Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom. It can also be combined with its official, optional starter pack (known as Extermination Day), a set of new levels for Doom II specifically designed to work with the modification.


The official trailer for Brutal Doom v21
  • Some maps have an Map Enhancement system, modifying maps into their 'brutalized' forms. Can be enabled or disabled in the options.
  • New game modes that can be selected when starting a new game, Standard Mode (Default gameplay and default weapons, either in a pistol start or an assault rifle start), Purist (plays through the Vanilla Doom weapons) and Tactical Mode (Lower speed, but can sprint; otherwise the same as standard mode).
  • The player can kick monsters away (Default Key: Q), similar to Duke Nukem 3D. In addition, the player can also slide kick and air kick by crouching and moving forward while kicking, jumping while moving forward while kicking, respectively. Hell knights, barons of Hell and heavy weapon dudes can be kicked in the nuts, causing them to enter a longer pain state, but attack much more aggressively afterwards.
  • Most weapons now use a reload mechanism. Can be enabled or disabled in the options, entirely disabled at the 'Black Metal' difficulty. Auto-reload can also be toggled.
  • All enemies have remastered sprites and animations.
  • Many enemies have new attacks, such as the imp's pouncing attack. Can be disabled or enabled through options.
  • Some enemies have "overkill" expanded death animations - they can be mutilated by continuing damaging them between when they suffer the killing blow and before their bodies fall to the floor.
  • Randomly, the player can also be awarded "Cruelty Bonuses": small health recovery in response to particularly brutal kills (often caused by the "overkills").
  • There are more complex gibs and extensive decal bloodstains.
  • When berserk, players can perform fatalities on enemies. These animations grant temporary invincibility and restore some portion of health, depending on the monster type. Fatalities can be disabled by pressing R while holding fists, and with R can be enabled again. If fatalities are disabled, then monsters will be smashed.
  • Players with berserk can also grab smaller enemies like the zombieman or imp.
  • Enemies also have fatality animations if they kill the player (or sometimes, other lesser enemies) with a melee attack.
  • There are dynamic fluids that flow and splash.
  • All weapons have remastered and smoother sprites and animations.
  • All weapons have been re-balanced. For example, the rocket launcher deals much more impact damage but has a lower rate of fire and a smaller blast radius, along with backblast damage that can be toggled off.
  • New extra weapons (such as the submachine gun, railgun, grenade launcher, etc.) can be optionally enabled or disabled.
  • Some enemies can be taunted with laughter. They can also be offended by raising a middle finger and shouting, which alerts non-deaf monsters like a weapon would. This causes the cyberdemon in particular to react violently, whereafter it will attack more aggressively.
  • The blur artifact has been replaced with NPC marine allies. These marines start the level tied up, and can be freed with a melee attack or simply via the use key. The latest update reinstated the blur artifact, but they are randomly dropped by spectres instead.


A fatality being executed on a Chaingunner.

Many weapons have been replaced, upgraded or added and have secondary fire modes that add various combat functions:

  • Fists - Players can now deliver punches with both fists independently. Pressing the primary fire button will result in the player giving a quick punch with the right arm. Pressing the secondary fire button will result in a powerful right punch. When the player does a left punch then a right punch consecutively, the next left punch will be an uppercut and have immense power. When the Demon Rune/berserk pack is picked up, hitting the reload button will show the player cracking their knuckles, and a text message will appear. This changes the mode of the fists' effects on enemies. "Smash Mode" delivers immense damage to the opponent, usually gibbing them. "Rip And Tear" make the player perform fatalities on the enemy, from a third-person view. This mode gives a small amount of health with each fatality.
  • Chainsaw - The chainsaw is more or less realistically accurate than its original counterpart, with the ability of actually chopping limbs from monsters. After damaging a monster, blood from the player's hands and the chainsaw will appear, it can only be 'cleaned off' by equipping another weapon. It also seems to be buffed, dealing much more damage and increased range. Primary fire swings the chainsaw horizontally, while Alt-fire swings it overhead of the player.
  • Pistol - The standard pistol remains in the mod and it's one of the starting weapons along with the assault rifle. It deals slightly more damage than its original counterpart and has a dramatic increase in its rate of fire as it is a semi-auto weapon. With alt-fire you can switch to burst fire, firing 3 rounds in rapid succession. It can only hold 15 + 1 rounds and like its Doom 3 counterpart, it no longer uses the same ammo with the assault rifle, minigun or machine gun. But like the assault rifle, submachine gun, and the plasma gun, it can be dual-wielded as long as you find another pistol within the map. While the pistol is formally introduced at version 0.21 Beta, the shotgun guy uses pistol only during their 'last stand'. Zombieman do this too, but they can spawn wielding one, and if they do, they behave much closer to the vanilla counterparts than the ones wielding assault rifles.
  • Sub-machinegun - The SMG from the Doom cover art is added from the game. And unlike the pistol, it fires at a staggering rate and carries a hefty 40 + 1 rounds inside the magazine at the time, however, it deals damage that is almost the same as the pistol and is it less accurate than the assault rifle, it should be used for close-range combat. But you can aim down the sights for an accuracy increase by pressing the alt-fire key. Along with the pistol, it uses small bullet rounds and can be dual-wielded at the increase of firepower and at the cost of accuracy. It makes its debut at version 0.21 Beta.
  • Shotgun - The shotgun does more damage than its original counterpart, but compensates for this by only holding nine shells at a time, and utilizes a one-at-a-time manual reloading system. The secondary attack causes the player to look down the sights, granting a limited sniping ability, along with an increased rate of fire due to the use of slam firing technique.
  • Super shotgun - Deals more damage than before and reloads quicker, though firing will cause a noticeable amount of recoil. Using the secondary attack will shoot just one barrel, which can be useful for taking down smaller enemies. You can switch weapons before needing to reload the super shotgun.
  • Assault shotgun - An entirely new weapon added to the mod, a drum-fed automatic shotgun with very slightly less firepower than a pump shotgun per shot with a high rate of fire, but it chews through shotgun shells pretty quickly. It only has 20 shells inside the drum magazine and using its secondary fire mode lets you aim down the sights. It makes its debut at version 0.21 Beta.
  • Assault rifle - An assault rifle that can be one of the starting weapons, which, unlike the pistol, remains useful even late in the game, with increased accuracy and damage. It has a magazine capacity of 30 + 1 rounds. Using the secondary attack causes the player to look down the sights, making the rifle useful for sniping targets at a considerable distance with complete accuracy. Picking up another assault rifle enables them to be dual-wielded, with a high rate of fire but with poor accuracy. It also disables the player from using grenades. In tactical mode, you can't dual wield the assault rifle.
  • Chaingun - Replaced with a minigun. It fires faster than the chaingun and is more accurate; however, there is a small delay before firing, caused by the spin-up time on the barrels. The secondary attack spins the barrels before attacking. This, of course, removes the delay before firing, and significantly increases the firing rate, at the cost of greatly reduced accuracy, making it very easy to shoot off-target.
  • Machine gun - A machine gun that does not use magazines, but it consumes its bullet ammo pool directly. It fires faster than the standard-issue assault rifle but is less accurate with the same amount of damage. It has an under-barrel grenade launcher that can be fired using the secondary fire key, and it must be reloaded every shot. It makes its debut at version 0.21 Beta. A HUD indicator has been added in v21 Gold, which shows if there isn't a grenade in the grenade launcher.
  • Rocket launcher - Has a "revolver style" firing chassis, forcing the player to reload after six shots. The pause between shots is greater, though the damage from the rockets has been increased. Using its secondary attack will let the player use the night vision 4x scope. The cacodemon and the lost soul both have the ability to dodge a rocket.
  • Grenade launcher - A break-action grenade launcher from its Skulltag counterpart. It only fires one grenade before reloading. Alt-fire fires a grenade that bounces several times before exploding. It makes its debut at version 0.21 Beta. The cacodemon and the lost soul can't dodge the grenade, unlike rockets from the rocket launcher.
  • Plasma gun - More powerful, has a brief pause before firing, and fires slightly slower due to needing to reload fuel cells every 50 shots. Plasma balls have a small splash radius, making firing at point-blank range ill-advised. Secondary attack fires a charged shot, releasing multiple plasma balls as a sort of "plasma shotgun" function. It takes longer to fire a charged shot than to fire as normal and uses 10 shots. Similar to the assault rifle, the plasma gun can be dual-wielded at the expense of accuracy, and during dual-wielding, you can't use the alt-fire.
  • Railgun - Functions very similarly to its Skulltag counterpart. Though like the plasma gun, it also has a small splash radius - which is very deadly even with armor on. It only fires 5 shots before reloading and uses 10 plasma-balls worth of cells when firing the weapon. Alt-fire uses the scope, same as the rocket launcher, along with the ability to see entities in a way clearly akin to a light amplification visor. It makes its debut at version 0.21. It can pierce thin walls and enemies, and can one-shot cacodemons and Hell knights.
  • BFG9000 - Has a somewhat long charge pause before firing, though the attack is more focused and powerful as a result. It also has a significant amount of recoil.
  • BFG10000 - More or less similar to its Skulltag counterpart. It makes its debut at version 0.21. It has a lot of recoil.
  • Mancubus flame cannon - Primary fire acts as fireball shot that ignites enemies upon impact, while secondary fire acts as a burst flamethrower. It can be obtained either by using the chainsaw's or axe's alternate fire on a mancubus corpse or by killing a mancubus with an explosion.
  • Revenant missile launcher - The missiles lock-on targets. Obtained via the same methods as the mancubus flame cannon, but when used on revenants instead.
  • Unmaker - An Unmaker that is very different from its Doom 64 design, but somewhat similar to Tom Hall's Doom Bible design. It continuously fires a demonic, incendiary laser beam at a high recoil that must be controlled and it expends ammo very quickly too. It uses a different type of ammo that can only be obtained by killing zombiemen, shotgun guys and heavy weapon dudes, it only holds a maximum of 999. It makes its debut at version 0.21 Beta.
  • Super flamethrower - A "proper" flamethrower weapon. It offers drastically increased power and range over the mancubus' version, at the cost of a faster rate of fuel consumption. This flamethrower can also leave more abundant fires around the environment, making it less suited for indoor combat due to the danger it poses to a careless user. As the final weapon added to the mod, the super flamethrower makes its debut at version 0.21 Beta.
  • MP 40 submachine gun - The Maschinenpistole 40 was used by German paratroopers during World War II, hence it is the weapon dropped by Wolfenstein SS soldiers. It now uses different ammo than the pistol and submachinegun and must be reloaded every 32 rounds. It can be dual-wielded.
  • MG 42 machine gun - Also known as Hitler's Buzzsaw, this new weapon alternates with the minigun in weapon slot 4. It likewise has a very high rate of fire but uses a distinct type of ammo of which 600 shots are included at pick-up.
  • Hand grenades - These are a new weapon that occupies the very last weapon slot and which can be replenished via backpacks and ammo boxes, while single grenades are sometimes dropped by sergeants. They are essentially a throwable rocket launcher blast with a delayed detonation and are quite effective as crowd control weapons.


  • Zombieman - They either carry an assault rifle or a pistol. Fires its assault rifle in short bursts. Will reload when it finishes the magazine. Sometimes goes into a "last stand" when mortally wounded, drawing a pistol and firing at the player until finished off. As of v0.21 beta, it has new wakeup sounds.
  • Shotgun guy - Shotgun fires more pellets (8), but each pellet does less damage (3). Has the ability to roll like the zombieman. It will reload its shotgun when its shells are finished. May also go into a "last stand". As of v0.21 beta, it has new wakeup sounds and has a chance of spawning with an SMG instead.
  • Heavy weapon dude - Uses the new minigun, and is subject to the strengths and weaknesses of the minigun.
  • Imp - Fireball now travels much faster than before. The imp also comes with a pounce attack, similar to Doom 3's imp.
  • Demon - Largely unchanged. Can survive losing a front limb (the monster goes into a pain state and continues attacking shortly after with increased movement speed). As of v0.21 beta, can perform a lunge attack, countering attempts to bait it into biting and backing off.
  • Spectre - When moving or idle, the spectre will remain completely invisible, save for the eyes. It has a translucent appearance while attacking. If it is severely damaged without dying, it may lose invisibility and continue attacking.
  • Cacodemon - Can dodge sideways at high speed to avoid rockets, and can even shoot fireballs while dodging. Has a proper melee animation.
  • Lost soul - Drifts around a lot more quickly when not charging. When the Demon Rune/berserk pack is used, the player can grab lost souls in midair and throw them. This kills the lost soul upon impact with an explosion. Can also dodge rockets sideways like the cacodemon.
  • Pain elemental - Mostly unchanged. Produces some splash damage upon death.
  • Revenant - Normal and homing rockets differentiated (normal ones are orange, homing ones are red). Crawls around on its upper body and only fires homing rockets if legs are destroyed first. Always "salvo-fires" normal rockets in groups of four after a short wind-up. Has a "fatality attack" if it finishes an imp, shotgun guy or zombieman off with a melee attack: it will grab the monster, smash it around a few times and throw the monster's corpse at the player. If this hits the player, it deals extremely high damage.
  • Mancubus - Fireballs leave damaging flames where they explode. Will get knocked down if hit by certain attacks (such as a full super shotgun blast or direct hit from a rocket). It can be angered by using the "offend" feature, which will increase the speed of the fireballs. As of v0.21 beta, it is also able of switching its flame cannons to fire highly damaging bursts of flame when enemy is at close range (akin to the player-usable flame cannon's secondary fire). Also appears in DOOM 1 Episode 3 in form of the Volcabus.
  • Baron of Hell - Has a new attack where the baron of Hell uses both its hands to charge up, then fires three balls of plasma at the player. It can also pick up barrels and throw them at the player for serious damage, but the barrel can be blown up while the baron of Hell is preparing to throw it. Can also be kicked in the nuts.
  • Hell knight - Mostly unchanged; similar to the baron of Hell. Sometimes throws three plasma balls in rapid succession. Also can be kicked in the nuts.
  • Arch-vile - Mostly unchanged. Has a higher pain chance and lower attack speed. Its sprite now has horns. As of v0.21 beta, can resurrect pain elementals. Also can turn friendly marines into hostile ones.
  • Arachnotron - Mostly unchanged. Also uses the new plasma gun. Also appears in DOOM 1 Episode 3 in form of Ancient arachnotron.
  • Cyberdemon - Has a new stomp attack, which instantly kills the player and demons. Rockets now have a little spread. Can be angered by using the "offend" feature, which causes the cyberdemon to fire five to six rockets consecutively at a higher fire rate instead of the normal three to four. If killed from a headshot will have a different death sprite whereas it appears to have been decapitated. Now produces an explosion on death, but the player is immune to it.
  • Spider mastermind - Uses an enhanced version of the minigun firing explosive rounds, which means it has to deal with spin-up time. Players can also walk under the spider mastermind's legs. Notably, this super-minigun is no longer a hitscan attack, but fires (very fast) projectiles. As a result, two spider masterminds can no longer infight with each other, which can make things significantly harder in certain maps (e.g. MAP22: The Escape) where causing such infighting is expected.
  • Wolfenstein SS - Replaced with a grey uniform version and its design matches more with the zombieman instead of the original sprite. They have realistically added the ability to dodge attacks as well as attacking while moving at the same time.
  • Evil Marine - A marine that was converted by an arch-vile into turning against the player. They're much more dangerous than the Wolfenstein SS as they dodge attacks more frequently. They also have an ability to jump and shoot at the player at the same time. They only spawn when an arch-vile 'kills' a captured marine, turning them into an evil marine. They either carry assault rifles or plasma rifles.
  • Icon of Sin - Unchanged in the base modification. The starter pack and its enhanced MAP30, however, replaces it with a more complex enemy known as the "Real Icon of Sin."

V20b compatibility issues with newer GZDoom builds[edit]

Running v20b of Brutal Doom with newer versions of GZDoom (2.3.0 and above) will give the following error:

Script Error, "brutalv20b.pk3:blood.txt" line 610:
Expected ',', got 'l'

To correct this error, open the mod file (brutalv20b.pk3) in software capable of opening .zip files, and extract the file blood.txt. Find the two instances of 0.l (with a lower case letter 'L') and replace them with 0.1 (with a number one). Replace the copy of blood.txt in the .pk3 file with the modified one, and the mod should run normally.

There is also an unofficial patch for v20b that fixes the bug as well as other bugs, it can be found here.


  • The sounds produced during reloading can be a tip-off to the locations and proximity of zombiemen during a level.
  • The plasma gun, chainsaw, and BFG9000 use the sound effects of their counterparts from Doom 3.
  • There are unused monsters inside the mod, originally planned to replace the Skulltag monsters:
    • Juggernaut - A mechanical, tank-like mancubus that fires rockets and can kill the player by rolling over them. Can be summoned from the console and in the 'UAC Testing Center' map.
    • Belphegor - A centaur-like baron of Hell. Can be summoned from the console, they appear to be minibosses in Hell on Earth Starter Pack (now called Extermination Day).
    • Dark Imp - A black imp with blue eyes. Unfinished monster.


  • 2011 Cacowards - Best Gameplay Mod.
  • 2012 Moddb Mod of the Year: MOTY Editors Choice - Creativity Award. [1]
  • 2012 Moddb Mod of the Year: Players Choice - 9th place. [2]
  • 2013 Moddb Mod of the Year: Players Choice - 4th place. [3]


  • If you have downloaded an installation of Brutal Doom which includes the starter pack, but wish to play original levels, rename hellonearthstarterpack.wad and copy the original doom2.wad to the folder.

External links[edit]