Dark Claw

From DoomWiki.org

The Dark Claw is a weapon mentioned in the original design document for Doom, the Doom Bible. Its description there is as follows:

"Demon weapon that casts a dark cloud of tortured essence. Silent but deadly. The Dark Claw feeds on human souls. Killing possessed humans or hellslaves allows the weapon to feed."
― Doom Bible [source]

Like the Unmaker, this demonic weapon never made it to the finished game. While the Unmaker was eventually realized in Doom 64, the Dark Claw remained abandoned.


An image of a severed red hand can be found in the pre-release alpha 0.4 and 0.5 WAD files. Whether this is the actual graphic file for the weapon remains to be proven, although there exists precious little evidence to support any other hypothesis.

A HUD overlay image from the first alpha 0.2 version contains a mention of a "Captain's Hand". Game programmer John Romero has confirmed that this item — along with "Heart of Lothar", the other item mentioned — was only meant to be a special key, reflecting the story outlined in the Doom Bible. In the following alphas the overlay was gone. No further mentions of these items can be found.

Draining life energy from enemies was a design decision that was discarded in the later stages of game development. However, the concept was used in Doom 3, in the shape of the Soul Cube. A "vampiric powerup" can also be found in the alpha versions, up until the very last versions prior to release.