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 game originally took place on a planet or moon called Tei Tenga and featured multiple playable characters, with plans for six episodes and a follow-up commercial 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, a rifle sprite that is not seen in the final release, and a bayonet 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.
Some sections of the Doom Bible are only skeletal or are completely empty, while others contain substantial information, some of which continued to inform the design of the game all the way to its release. The below information covers the content of substantially filled-out chapters.
- 1 Command-line parameters
- 2 End of game
- 3 Characters
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Weapons
- 6 Items
- 7 Press release
- 8 Remnants in Doom
- 9 In other Doom-series games
- 10 In other games and media
- 11 External links
The first chapter details 13 different planned command-line parameters, however none of these were ever implemented as-is; some have close analogues in the released versions of the game.
|/bugs||-devparm||Enables debug keys|
|/mem||N/A||Shows a memory usage report|
|/episode=<x>||-episode <x>||Start on episode x|
|/level=<x>||-warp <x>||Start on level x|
|/end=<x>||N/A||Jump to cinematic ending for episode x|
|/lothar||N/A||Start E1M1 with god mode and infinite ammo|
|/backdoor||N/A||Skip commercial version copy protection checks|
|/instore||N/A||Runs demo loop continuously|
|/follow||N/A||Prints a dynamic stack trace|
|/diagnostic||N/A||Additional debug information display|
|/bubbies||N/A||Replace all actors with naked women|
|/prude||N/A||Cancel effects of /bubbies|
|/drunk||N/A||Occasionally invokes bubbies mode|
End of game
Chapter 5 details various ways of ending a game, including "user abort" (deliberately exiting), death, and victory. The first option was to kill the player and then return to the menus. When the player died, a third-person camera view was suggested to be displayed - this was never implemented, however. The "win" condition suggests that a slideshow ending with text similar to those that occurred in Wolfenstein 3D would be employed at the end of each episode.
Chapter 6 details the planned characters, both playable and non-playable. Given id Software's plans to design Doom for four-player multiplayer, the game was to feature four distinct playable characters with minor mechanical differences including differing speed, strength, stamina, health recovery, and weapon proficiency statistics.
One named non-playable character of note is Buddy Dacote, a fit and powerful warrior described as "popular and courageous" who got sent to Tei Tenga for showing up a superior officer. He acts as a security advisor. He wears a hat that says "BEOS", which is short for "Butt End of Space," an unofficial nickname for the Tei Tenga outpost. He was to disappear during the opening cinematic of the game where the player characters are engaged in a card game. He would then later reappear in the first episode's ending, only to be quickly torn in half by a demon. As such, his name is stated to be "insider" code for "Dies at the conclusion of this episode". It is notable that in the released game, the Doomguy himself seems to die at the end of the first episode, making this a surviving plot device.
Further possible NPC names are given as Roland Trague, Warren Apisa, Taradina Cassatt, Melanie "Butch" Bucelli, and Janella Sabando, but these names have no details associated with them.
The playable characters would have included the following:
Described as tall, muscular, and attractive, but with "too-intense" eyes. She was assigned to the Tei Tenga outpost after losing a bet which meant she had to pull an existing application to a better post. Her speed was to be fast, and she would be proficient in use of the pistol. Her wound recovery would be poor due to her tendency to push herself through the pain, and she would be inefficient with the bayonet.
John "Petro" Pietrovich
Described as a black balding man with thick eyebrows and a missing fingertip. He was the former head of security at the Advanced Weapons Research Labs, but became frustrated with the UAAF bureaucracy, and deliberately committed an act of insubordination. He was, however, able to request a post on Tei Tenga, which allowed him to escape this annoyance. He was to be proficient with bullet-based weapons (which would have included the shotgun), and was to have high damage capacity. His speed, however, was to be average, and his performance with missile weapons was to be poor.
Described as an overweight Greek-Spaniard with a swarthy and unkempt appearance - his hair was said to "explode" from his head. He is a low-ranking military grunt with no ambition for more than a chance to take out his aggression using the UAAF's high-powered weaponry. He was to be a "jack of all trades", good with all weapons and having high endurance. His downside was to be slow movement.
Described as red-haired, trim, and "stout but gorgeous," with a "bewitching dimpled smile." Her father was a UAAF sergeant, giving her a strong sense of duty. She was a medalist in unarmed combat, and took the Tei Tenga post simply to have variety of experience. She was to be faster than average, with high evasion, and could inflict high damage with the bayonet. However, she was to have low hit points.
Chapter 7 begins detailing the episodes of the game. The game was to feature six episodes, much like Wolfenstein 3D before it. As in the released game, the first episode was to be made available as shareware, with the rest only being available to registered users.
Episode 1: Evil Unleashed / All Hell Breaks Loose
The players are interrupted during a game of cards in a hangar bay, and Buddy Dacote disappears after strange occurrences begin to sweep through the Darkside base. At the end of the episode, you learn you have been fighting against demons and are now trapped in Hell. Like the eventual Knee-Deep in the Dead, the enemies to occur in this episode would include demon-possessed humans, imps (then called "Demon Troops"), demons (then called "Demon Sargeants"), and the Bruiser Brothers, the twin barons of Hell which occur at the end of the episode. Also to be included were flying imps, the description of which is quite similar to the gargoyle enemy which eventually appeared in Heretic and for which there is no analogue in any of the released versions of Doom, nor any known unreleased resources.
|Hangar Two||E2M7: Spawning Vats||A disused secondary hangar facility; "shabbed out" and grungy.|
|Doom v0.3 SHAWN2|
|Supply Depot Two||E2M2: Containment Area (Ground Floor)||A still-active secondary storage area. Was to be the center of a hub, and a main access point for the monorail.|
|Doom v0.3 THESTORE (Storekeeper's Office)|
|Waste Processing Facility||E2M3: Refinery||Processes all facility waste and recycles it into water, fertilizer, and fuel.|
|Enlisted Quarters||E1M4: Command Control||Living quarters for the non-officer military personnel.|
|Tower||Possibly E1M7: Computer Station (Basement)||Main communications center, with a huge antenna. Usually inhabited by robots and not intended for human passage.|
|Possibly E1M6: Central Processing (Ground or Second Floor)|
|Recreation and Training Center||Lower floor contains a chapel, theater, enlisted club, officer's club, storage room, and an entrance to the monorail. A gym, shooting range, therapy center, simulator area, and exercise areas are found on the top floor.|
|Mess||Kitchens and dining areas, plus laundry.|
|Officer's Quarters||Fancier than the enlisted quarters. The captain or colonel's hand is found here.|
|Personal Storage||An optional area full of goods and weapons. The hand is required, the base's power must be restored, and a special entrance must be located from the monorail in order to access this area.|
|Control Center/Power Plant||E1M2: Nuclear Plant (Basement)||A gateway between the two sides of the base, it contains a power plant in the basement with a maze-like interior, a tool shop, and a brig where "naughty" soldiers are kept. The upper floor is a high-tech area that serves as the central hub of the entire base.|
|E3M3: Pandemonium (Ground Floor)|
|Lab||E1M5: Phobos Lab||A laboratory where Fire Dust and the anomaly are studied.|
|Observatory||A small area with a cache of powerups and weapons in the basement.|
|Supply Depot One||Doom v0.4 E1M11 (Basement)||The primary supply depot. Has a larger hangar. The basement has access to the monorail and an underground tunnel network. The second floor has guard posts and a crate maze.|
|Anomaly||E1M8: Phobos Anomaly||Upper level and elevator are UAC style, but the basement is a system of caverns which grow more Hell-like as one approaches the anomaly. The Bruiser Brothers are fought here.|
|Main Hangar||A secret level. Not well described, as Hall asserts it will "probably be cut."|
The other remaining episodes are only sparsely detailed, with a basic story. There are no plans for the levels.
|2: Lost in Hell / To Hell and Back||The goal is to fight through the demons of Hell in order to reach a dark edifice in the distance. Doing so, and defeating a boss in the process (described only as a "big boss guy"), you are returned to Tei Tenga, but at the Lightside base, which the demons have now overrun.|
|3: Knee-deep in the Dead||After fighting an all-out war, you eventually reach a hangar and commandeer a vessel. Deciding to bomb the demons' gateway, the entire moon erupts into a volcanic wasteland and is destroyed.|
|4: Armed Assault||The player characters are thrown into prison for destroying the base, and the UAAF denied ever tampering with the anomalies. A new gateway has opened in an undetermined area, however, and now you have been recruited to explore it. The demons stole a new weapon and you must retrieve it. Traveling to Hell to find it, you find it is attached to a huge techno-demon (likely an early concept for the cyberdemon). After defeating the boss and cutting the weapon off of it, you return to the moon but find the entire base covered with some kind of nasty goo.|
|5: Base Instinct||You fight for control of the base, and then return to your ship and the weapon. After defeating "some awful demon deal," you take off again, but first place a warhead on a troop carrier and send it through the demons' gate. It blows up, nuking a portion of Hell. However, the "General Demon" is seen shaking his head and touches a tactical board, changing an area on it to the color of the humans' dimension, indicating that a battle was lost but the war still continues.|
|6: The Final Gate||The military states that there is one more gate, but that they believe it is too small to be significant. Checking it out anyway, the hole is soon enlarged by a demonic machine and demons overrun the attached base. After battling strange new demons, you face off with the General Demon, but he cannot be attacked as he is too powerful. Instead you must settle for destroying his machine. The final scene shows him angrily threatening to awaken "the ancient ones."|
As with Wolfenstein 3D's follow-up, Spear of Destiny, id Software already intended to develop a commercial retail game as a sequel before the first game was completed. The team would reunite for a vacation, but would find that the General Demon has awakened powerful ancient demons in order to attack the Earth. The entire world has to fight back against the demons while the team works their way to the General Demon's palace. Again, he cannot be attacked directly, and throws the player into a cage. However, the player is able to use the probjectile on a nearby machine. The resulting damage causes the ancients and the General to be sucked into it and rendered into giblets.
The following weapons were planned. It was intended that players would change color using palette translations when using different weapons, but this was never implemented.
|Name||Player color||Equivalent in release||Episodes||Description|
|Knife||Gray||Fist||1+||An attachment for the machine pistol. Does minimum damage, but more if a back attack is accomplished. First appeared in the Doom v0.2 IWAD as a HUD icon. Was replaced with the bayonet in Doom v0.3, and then finally the fist with spiked knuckleduster in the Doom press release beta.|
|Machine pistol||Violet||Pistol||1+||Fires single shots, and allows a knife attachment for melee. Simply called the pistol in the 0.2 tech demo's resources. Replaced by the rifle in Doom v0.3, and then by the pistol in the press release beta.|
|Shotgun||Blue||Shotgun||1+||Fires single shots, but is much more powerful and targets a wider range. Has heavy recoil. It was planned to simply use bullets as its ammunition type (explained away by Hall as a "gamism.") It first appears with an early, incomplete version of what eventually became its release design in the Doom 0.2 tech demo, and was retained throughout development.|
|Automatic machine gun||Green||Chaingun||1+||Fires multiple shots with the same damage as the pistol. Initially implemented as the machine gun, with icon graphics in the Doom v0.2 IWAD and retained as such through the Doom v0.5 alpha. Replaced with the chaingun as of the press release beta.|
|Missile launcher||Yellow||Rocket launcher||1+||Shoots very damaging missiles with large recoil. Initially appeared in Doom v0.2's resources and retained the same silhouette through the Doom v0.5 alpha, with its pickup sprite being elaborated into an odd triple-barreled weapon. While a tentative HUD sprite appears for it in the 0.5 alpha which would have it appear to be resting on the player's shoulder, it was incomplete and unused in that version - the missile launcher as it appears in that version uses the shotgun's graphics and has no attack logic programmed. It attained its release appearance as of the press release beta.|
|Dark claw||Black||None||2+||A demonic weapon described as "silent but deadly" which casts a dark cloud of tortured essence. It requires souls to function, which could be obtained from killing zombies or "hellslaves." A HUD icon graphic appears for it in the Doom v0.2 tech demo, and the 0.3 alpha adds a crude pickup sprite for it. That sprite was redrawn with a superior design in the 0.4 alpha, but this was its last appearance. No HUD sprite was ever designed for it.|
|Probjectile||Orange||None||3+||Also misspelled as "probiectile" in chapter 14. Does minimal damage, but provides a statistic readout on enemies. Its name is a portmanteau of "probe" and "projectile". A HUD icon appears for it in the Doom 0.2 IWAD, but this is the last trace of it.|
|Spray rifle||Brown||None||4+||Fires multiple shots in a wide arc, with each shot being as powerful as the shotgun and with the same recoil. An icon for it occurs in the Doom 0.2 IWAD, but no further traces are found after that. It was eventually replaced with the entirely different plasma rifle.|
|BFG 2704||Red||BFG9000||4+||Described as a "horrible hallway-scouring weapon," firing it would cause damage to the player and inflict a large amount of recoil. "BFG" is explicitly explained to mean "Big Fucking Gun" here. A HUD icon occurs for it in the Doom 0.2 IWAD, but HUD sprites and attack logic would not occur for it until the press release beta. Its attack logic changed significantly before release, from firing 40 separate red and green projectiles to firing one single large green projectile and 40 invisible tracers.|
|Unmaker||White||None||Commercial||A demon-tech weapon that hurts pure demons significantly, while being of limited use against tech demons or possessed humans. It is made from the spinal column and ribs of a demon, and like the dark claw, feeds on human souls. An icon occurs for it in the Doom 0.2 IWAD, and then nothing further. However, an aesthetically similar weapon was eventually implemented in Doom 64.|
- A reference is made to grenades and a grenade launcher in the ammo subsection, but it is not listed in the table of weapons, nor do any resources ever occur for these in any of the alphas or the press release beta.
- A reference is also made to the plasma gun in the same section. It is not clear if this was added later as the design evolved, or if like the grenade launcher, it was already a discarded idea in initial development that was later brought back.
- The level section for episode 1 refers to the ability to find a sawed-off shotgun, but it is unclear if this is meant to be the ordinary shotgun weapon that is described everywhere else.
- The level section also refers to the presence of homing missiles. Accordingly, a homing missile sprite appears in the Doom 0.3 alpha's resources as a gold-barrelled missile pickup with a red tip. The notion of this ammo type disappears after this version.
The following items are described:
|Item||Equivalent in release||Description|
|Stim-pack||Stimpack||Provides a small boost to health.|
|Medikit||Medikit||Provides a good bonus to health.|
|Soul sphere||Supercharge||Contains the life energy of a human soul. Initially served as a 1-UP, giving the player an extra life. Hall expresses concern that the concept is too direct of a calque from Wolfenstein 3D. In the Doom 0.4 IWAD a graphic refers to it as the "soul jar," as its temporary sprite at that point appeared as a crudely drawn brown jar with a vague glow inside it.|
|Blood receptacle||None||A treasure item described as a gold bowl used in sacrifices. Initially a custom sprite, then replaced with an edit of a chalice from Wolf 3D. Later became the demonic dagger treasure in the press release version, and was replaced with the health bonus before release.|
|Dagger||None||A treasure item constituting a sacrificial knife. Though described as black and red in the Doom Bible, it first appears as a black-hilted knife with a gold blade in the 0.3 IWAD. It is later swapped with the skull chest treasure in the 0.4 alpha, and then replaced before release with the armor bonus.|
|Chi gem||None||A treasure item intended to be dropped by dying demons which would occur in multiple colors denoting their points value. First appears in the 0.3 IWAD as a small blue flame-shaped gem on a golden base. It is replaced in the 0.4 IWAD with a set of fused skulls bearing a red gem on top. It is replaced again in the press release beta with the evil sceptre. It was removed from the game entirely before release.|
|Unholy bible||None||A treasure item meant to be found only in Hell. Supposedly a powerful item, if you had the time to study it. First occurs in the 0.3 IWAD as a brown skin-textured book with a gold inverted cross on its cover and blood-red pages. In the 0.5 alpha the bible is recolored black and has gold-leafed pages. In the press release beta, the sprite was entirely redrawn to appear as an opened book on a stand, so as to give it a more realistic perspective. It was removed entirely before release.|
|Automap||Computer map||Maps the current area for you. First functional in Doom 0.3 as a component of the helmet HUD. Expanded to a fullscreen feature in Doom 0.5 and retained until release, albeit with various improvements and changes.|
|Infrared scanner||Light amplification visor||Allows seeing enemies through walls, in the dark, and allows seeing invisible demons (stated to occur only in the later episodes).|
|Duty armor||Armor||Unspecified absorption characteristics. First appears in Doom 0.3 as a brown suit of armor. Later replaced with the release version's green armor.|
|Guard armor||Megaarmor||Unspecified absorption characteristics. First appears in Doom 0.3 as a green suit of armor. Changed into "officer armor" in the 0.4 IWAD, appearing as a suit of green armor with a pair of boots. Replaced with the blue megaarmor in the press release beta.|
|Battle armor||None||Unspecified absorption characteristics. Appears in Doom 0.3 as a gray suit of armor. It was removed from the game after this.|
|Demon armor||None||Stated to "take all damage," yet causes "a bit of health" to leave with every hit. Appears in Doom 0.3 as a red suit of armor, but was removed after this.|
|Sonar||None||Allows the player to see all exits.|
|Beam shield||None||Lessens effects of energy weapons.|
|Disruptor shield||None||Eliminates effects of energy weapons entirely, except for the BFG.|
|Deflector shield||None||Deflects grenades and missiles.|
|Ban shield||None||Prevents all "solid" weapons from doing damage.|
|Shockshield||None||Same effects as the deflector shield, but additionally electrocutes contacted enemies.|
|Shadow cloak||Partial invisibility||Makes the player temporarily invisible. Does not actually occur as an item until the press release beta.|
|Chaos field||None||Forces nearby monsters to infight.|
Virtually all of the items described in the Doom Bible have pickup sprites in the Doom v0.3 IWAD, though most go unused. All of the sprites are also still in the slightly different palette which was used by Doom v0.2, meaning that those which do appear look incorrect. Additionally, the behavior of sprite offsets changed between the two versions of Doom, making those pickup items which are present render deep inside the floor. The following screenshots were all taken with a source port in order to avoid these various issues. Items are all named from left to right, assuming that they occur in the same order in the IWAD as they are named in the Doom Bible, which seems to be universally true for all the sprites which are 100% identifiable.
Remnants in Doom
Some bits and pieces from the Doom Bible still show up in various places in Doom itself:
- The WAD file extension, a backronym for Where's All the Data?, was coined by Hall in this document. According to John Carmack, however, the name "wad" was originally envisioned by himself as being the logical name for a collection of lumps, and Hall's expansion was added after the fact.
- 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.
- Some of the Doom computer panel textures still contain the text "UAC BASE TEI TENGA". Button labels below this text on one monitor further comprise a list of the abbreviations of several locations outlined in the Doom Bible.
- 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.
In other Doom-series games
- The basic plot element of "Hell on Earth" as implemented in Doom II was already outlined in the Doom Bible.
- 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.
- 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.
- The mechanic of obtaining extra lives that were once used for supercharges would later make an appearance in Doom Eternal in the form of a green helmet (that greatly resembles the Doom Slayer's) along with the text "1UP" on it. Although it is stated that the player would revived to the place where the player dies and not from the level's beginning.
In other games and media
- The 1995 3D Realms game Terminal Velocity  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.
- 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 GOG.com.