This article is about the monster in the classic Doom series. For other games, see:

Cacodemons are bumpy red monsters with large spherical bodies, crowned with horns. Cacodemons float slowly through the air, over ledges and through open windows. They have a single green eye placed above a large wickedly grinning mouth, showing a series of nasty teeth and a bluish, electrified interior. Given their floating abilities, cacodemons can roam virtually anywhere in their attempts to seek out the player.

Given its unique, "hideously cute" appearance, the cacodemon has become popular as an unofficial mascot in the Doom community.

The official description of the cacodemon is as follows:

"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."
― Doom instruction manual [source]

Combat characteristics[edit]

Cacodemons 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. Biting attacks are a rare occurrence due to this behavior, but can be seen in close quarters with low ceilings.

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 from the air, splitting open like rotten melons as they crash. These death animation frames are unique, as they depict the monster in agony, spewing copious amounts of blue blood, with its intestines and eye flying out upon impact with the ground.

Tactical analysis[edit]

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 cacodemons flying out of unexpected places 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).

In the Atari Jaguar version of Doom, cacodemons move and attack noticeably faster. This is due to their states' durations having been rounded down to account for the game's 15 frames-per-second logic refresh rate.


The illustration on the cover of the Manual of the Planes from which the cacodemon sprite was cropped
  • The name cacodemon, derived from the Greek κακοδαίμων (kakodaimon), was likely intended to convey the meaning of "evil spirit", or more conventionally, demon. The original Greek term, in use since ancient times, actually means "wretched" or "ill-fated" and does not have supernatural connotations.
  • 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."
  • 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 and as the executable icon.


Damage done by a cacodemon's bite
Bites needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
3.31 0.82 2 6
Player (100%
health, security armor)
4.74 0.97 3 8
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
11.86 1.30 9 15
Barrel 1.15 0.36 1 2
Zombieman 1.15 0.36 1 2
Shotgun guy 1.34 0.51 1 3
Wolfenstein SS 1.87 0.74 1 4
Imp 2.16 0.74 1 5
Heavy weapon dude 2.50 0.65 2 5
Lost soul 3.31 0.82 2 6
Commander Keen 3.31 0.82 2 6
Demon 4.74 0.97 3 8
Spectre 4.74 0.97 3 8
Romero's head2 7.65 1.14 5 11
Revenant 9.04 1.21 6 12
Cacodemon 11.86 1.30 9 15
Pain elemental 11.86 1.30 9 15
Hell knight 14.73 1.34 12 18
Arachnotron 14.73 1.34 12 18
Mancubus 17.68 1.44 15 22
Arch-vile 20.56 1.58 17 25
Baron of Hell 29.15 1.81 25 34
Spiderdemon 86.67 1.96 81 92
Cyberdemon 115.34 1.37 112 119
Damage done by a cacodemon's projectile
Shots needed to kill Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
5.02 1.09 3 8
Player (100%
health, security armor)
7.16 1.23 5 10
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
17.99 1.97 13 22
Barrel 1.44 0.60 1 4
Zombieman 1.44 0.60 1 4
Shotgun guy 1.80 0.75 1 4
Wolfenstein SS 2.75 0.78 2 5
Imp 3.16 0.86 2 6
Heavy weapon dude 3.61 0.91 2 6
Lost soul 5.02 1.09 3 8
Commander Keen 5.02 1.09 3 8
Demon 7.22 1.29 5 10
Spectre 7.22 1.29 5 10
Romero's head2 11.68 1.70 8 16
Revenant 13.90 1.83 9 18
Pain elemental 18.27 2.04 13 22
Hell knight 22.80 2.24 17 28
Arachnotron 22.80 2.24 17 28
Mancubus 27.28 2.45 21 33
Arch-vile 31.76 2.58 25 37
Baron of Hell 45.16 3.09 36 52
Spiderdemon 134.41 2.61 128 140
Cyberdemon 179.12 2.55 173 184

  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).

Appearance statistics[edit]

In the IWADs the cacodemon is first encountered on these maps per skill level:

The IWADs contain the following numbers of cacodemons per skill level:

Of the maps covered on the Doom Wiki, the following have the highest numbers of cacodemons in single-player:

Map Count
MAP07: - (Dance on the Water) 12784
MAP05: Cosmogenesis (Cosmogenesis) 4969
MAP99: Sunset Configuration (Hardfest 2) 4160
Holy Hell Revealed 3625
Doomworld Mega Project 2019 2685

This data was last verified on March 13, 2024.

Other games[edit]

PlayStation Doom[edit]

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 translucent with 50% 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.

Doom 64[edit]

Doom 64 cacodemon.

In Doom 64 the cacodemon underwent a major design change, becoming beige 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.

Doom RPG[edit]

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.

Plush cacodemons[edit]


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 various modifications such as Skulltag and MassMouth 2; the plush cacodemon itself is on a "world tour." She has been in the hands of over a dozen community members in the past 20+ years.


A short series of plush cacos known as "cacopets" were created by Laura Herrmann (BahdKo). One such was given to Dylan McIntosh (Toke) as a gift in August of 2001. Cacopet is smaller than Hissy, a brighter shade of red, and is more round, but is otherwise quite similar in appearance. Toke's cacopet is now cared for by his longtime friend Ganja.


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.

Official plush[edit]

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


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