Doom Bible


A wall texture showing the text "TEI TENGA"

The Doom Bible is the original design document for Doom, written by Tom Hall in 1992. Much of the content seen in the document is not featured in the final version of the game. There have been several attempts by fans to make custom WADs based on the content seen in the document.

One of the prominent features of the Doom Bible is the extensive story, calling for in-game cinematics and cutscenes. The exact opposite is true for the final release of Doom. It is known that John Carmack felt that the emphasis on story slowed down the game more than it helped it. This disagreement eventually led to Tom Hall's departure from id Software before the game's release.

The Doom alphas feature much more, albeit progressively less with each successive version, of the Doom Bible's content than what made it into the final game. Some of the locations that are mentioned in the Doom Bible are fully realized in Doom 0.4. Office chairs, an assault rifle sprite that is not seen in the final release, and a bayonette sprite and animation can be found. There are also several Doom marine models seen in a lounge-like area playing a game of cards. This was mentioned in the Doom Bible as the setting for the game's opening cinematic.

The film Aliens, released in 1986, is frequently cited by Hall in the document as a point of reference and inspiration. Star Wars is also mentioned several times, and is known to have influenced the game's texture art direction.

Remnants in Doom[edit]

Some bits and pieces from the Doom Bible still show up in various places in Doom itself and its later sequels:

  • The WAD file extension, an acronym for Where's All the Data?, was coined by Hall in this document.
  • The prefixes TROO and SARG on IWAD lumps for the Imp and Demon come from their Doom Bible names: Demon Trooper and Demon Sergeant.
  • Of all the proposed episode names, only Knee-Deep in the Dead made it into the final game. It was originally to be the third episode of six.
  • The game originally took place on a planet called Tei Tenga. Some of the Doom computer panel textures still contain the text "UAC BASE TEI TENGA".
  • The four characters that were featured in the Doom Bible as playable were all supposed to be similar in appearance in-game, presumably to save time on development. The only major difference would be the color of their outfits. This manifests as the four translations for the marine in the final game.
  • The demon troops were described in the bible as very damaging at close range. The document also stated that later troops would be able to cast magic of some kind. In the final game, these demon troops are Imps, and they are able to throw fireballs from the beginning, and they are, as the document says, damaging at close range.
  • The Unmaker, an evil weapon described in the Doom Bible as being made entirely of demon bones, would later appear in Doom 64.
  • Some features suggested by Hall could be considered prescient of things to come in future games, and perhaps even too far ahead of their time to yet be practically implemented. Amongst these, his ideas for monorail transport systems and in-game interactive consoles would much later find a place in Doom 3.

In other games and media[edit]

The hand scanner in Doom (2016).
  • The 1995 3D Realms game Terminal Velocity [1] also featured a planet called Tei Tenga.
  • All of the playable characters in Rise of the Triad, a contemporary of Doom also designed by Tom Hall, had origins in the Doom Bible. Some had their names altered, and one only appeared as a possible name, but a few were unchanged from their original descriptions.
  • The Doom Bible proposes the idea of a severed hand that the player must use to open a door. In Strife, there is a place where the player must use a severed hand to unlock a door. Similarly, in the movie, Sarge uses a severed hand to unlock the BFG room. Both of these may be coincidences, however. In Doom (2016), a direct homage is paid to the idea with the player being required to rip a dead captain's arm off and then use it to unlock a door via a security scanner in the Foundry level.
  • In the Doom movie, the BFG 9000 is named "BFG 3.14"; The original description of BFG can be found in section 14 of the document. (This likewise may be a coincidence.)
  • The Doom Bible is one of the bonus items offered for download along with The Ultimate Doom on

External links[edit]