The demon is a pink, bulky, somewhat ape-like monster with small horns, dinosaur-like legs and feet, and a large, bloody mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. The demon and its partially invisible counterpart, the spectre, are unique in their exclusivity to melee attacks, requiring the monster to be near the player in order to deal any damage. To make up for this, the demon's fast speed and zig-zag motions allow it to cover more ground and dodge the player's fire.
As one of the more widely recognized Doom monsters, the demon has accumulated many notable nicknames. In the Doom Bible it was originally called the "demon sergeant," while id Software staff have often since referred to the monster as pinky, in reference to its coloration. This was especially true during the development of Doom 3, when a new version of the monster was designed and still called by this name, despite no longer being pink. Demons and spectres also are sometimes referred to in the community as "pigs"; though without an official precedent, this name is used in more than 100 Compet-n submissions.
The official description of the demon follows:
Demons let out a sort of growling snort when spotting a player. Demons do not have a ranged attack, so they are no threat at long range. However, they have a huge speed advantage over many of the lower-ranked enemies. They can outrun any monster except the charging lost soul, the cyberdemon, the revenant, and the arch-vile. Due to its speed, the demon closes distances very quickly, often running towards the player in a zig-zag pattern, making it harder to hit, and helping corner the player. Under Nightmare! or with the fast monsters setting, the demon moves and attacks twice as fast, thus becoming the fastest monster in the game, and the second quickest to attack, after the cyberdemon.
In the original Doom, demons were usually found alone or in small numbers, but in Doom II, which offers the player the powerful super shotgun, they are often found in larger packs, and are quick to swarm and overwhelm the player from all angles if they are given enough running room. They emit a loud gurgling sound and spit up some teeth and blood when they are killed.
A very useful weapon against demons is arguably the chainsaw; the demon is unable to attack the player when being damaged with the chainsaw, and the chainsaw does not use up any ammunition. This strategy is especially effective if the player is able to lure the demon(s) into a tight corridor, as they will be able to cut them down without having to worry about being swarmed from all directions. Another quick way of killing them without wasting ammo is to punch them to death when in berserk mode (generally taking anywhere from one to three such punches) which is faster than the chainsaw although at the risk of taken damage from the demon, so you have to use hit and run attacks. Neither melee method is advised in nightmare mode or fast monsters.
The shotgun is quite effective if you use hit and run, blasting them at close range and retreating while reloading; it will take 2 shells if right on target at point blank range. The super shotgun, which uses two shells per blast but somehow does the damage of three shells, can kill a demon at close range with one blast. The chaingun is also substantially effective.
In monster infighting, healthy demons are able to make short work of former humans and, in tight spaces, imps, and are generally the easiest monster to trick into attacking other enemies. However, it must be noted that the demon's bite attack is rather slow (and the demon stops moving when it bites), so it may take quite a while until provoked demon successfully retaliates against its assailant (even slow one, like an imp or a cacodemon), thus starting commotion. Demons actually appear to be considerably less intelligent (or more oblivious) than imps, as they often run around for quite a long time aimlessly before attacking the player. If provoked by an unreachable monster, they will run around helplessly under their target, and effectively will be out of combat for a while.
Groups of demons on thin, distant ledges tend to run back and forth in formation and can easily be plucked away with a shotgun.
Inspiration and development
The demon's legs were drawn using a digitized Jurassic Park Dilophosaurus toy as a reference model. As with many other sprites, the images used were captured via Fuzzy Pumper Palette Shop, the custom image capturing software designed by John Carmack for Doom's development.
- The name of the demon thing or object in the source code is MT_SERGEANT, as it fits into the role of a "demon sergeant" according to the Doom Bible in section 7.2. Correspondingly, the root of the sprite name of the monster is SARG.
- In the Doom 0.5 alpha, the demon uses a different death animation where it stretches and distorts horizontally and explodes into a ball of yellow fire. This could have been the standard death animation or it could have been a gib animation (when hit with explosive weaponry).
- The demon, along with the mancubus, spiderdemon, pain elemental, and cyberdemon are the only monsters whose death sound clips include noise other than the monsters' vocals; in this case, the demon makes an audible thud when it hits the ground after it dies. This is the only monster to do so.
|Bites needed to kill1||Mean|| Standard
health, no armor)
health, security armor)
health, combat armor)
|Heavy weapon dude||3.84||0.99||2||8|
|Baron of Hell||46.72||1.79||42||51|
- This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, and blood splats 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.
- Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
The IWADs contain the following numbers of demons per skill level:
Of the maps covered on the Doom Wiki, the following have the highest numbers of demons in single-player on skills 4-5:
|Okuplok Slaughter Map||4838|
|Holy Hell Revealed||3419|
|Holy Hell MAP05||989|
|MAP08: The Demon Rush (MAYhem 2013)||739|
|MAP11: The Furnace (Sunder)||648|
This data was last verified on December 16, 2020.
Doom 64 includes the demon, occasionally called a "bull demon", giving it a more menacing appearance, with black horns, smaller red eyes, and accentuated teeth and claws.
In Doom RPG, the demon appears as the "pinky" class of monster. There are three variations, identified by color:
- Bull demon (olive green)
- Pinky (normal colors)
- Belphegor (blue, or transparent, depending on version)
A pinky will attack automatically the moment the player steps into an adjacent square, even if it has already moved that turn. They are resistant to rockets and susceptible to shotgun attacks.
In the BREW edition of the game, the belphegor is rendered using a fuzz effect which is similar to the original spectre effect, albeit with a blue shading.
Doom II RPG
In Doom II RPG the demon appears as the "pinky" class of monsters. There are three variations:
- Pinky (the "normal" version, based off the original demon)
- Bull demon (a "baby" version of the pinky, scaled down; olive-colored in iOS but pink in other versions)
- Belphegor (blue colored)
Also in Doom II RPG the pinky class monsters have a charge attack that can knock the player backwards, in addition to a normal attack.
In Doom II RPG the pinky demons are given birth from a creature called the "Pinkinator", which is battled as a boss. Pinkies spawned in-battle by the Pinkinator will be the "baby" bull demon variations.
|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
|Monsters from Doom 64|
|From Doom: Arachnotron | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Hell knight | Imp | Lost soul | Mancubus | Pain elemental | Shotgun guy | Spectre | Zombieman|
New: Marine | Mother demon | Nightmare imp