E3M5: Unholy Cathedral (Doom)

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This level has a
console version.

This level occupies the map slot E3M5. For other maps which occupy this slot, see Category:E3M5.

E3M5: Unholy Cathedral is the fifth map of Inferno in Doom. It was designed by Sandy Petersen and uses the music track "Demons on the Prey". The par time is 1:30.


Map of Unholy Cathedral
Letters in italics refer to marked spots on the map. Sector, thing, and linedef numbers in boldface are secrets which count toward the end-of-level tally.


At the start, you can see two openings and green torches in them. Take the one on the left, and open the door. Go in, and grab the shotgun shells to your right. Then turn around, and follow the hallway to metal doors leading west and north. The one that in the north leads to four teleporters. Go through that door, and walk on the teleporter. When you get warped to a new location, a door will open, and the room has power-ups, and a demon, a cacodemon or a baron (depending on the skill level). Go in the room the enemy came out of, and grab the goodies (this will add to your secrets percentage). In each corner of this area are teleporters. Take the ones in the northwestern part of this room (use the automap to find the exact teleporter).

In this new room, kill all the enemies here. Heal yourself with the medikits in here too. Also in this room are two doors next to each other. Take the one on the right (west). Go into the room, and follow the hallway to a red pillar. Walk through it from the south end, and then the wall in front of you will lower. Go into this room. In this room, there are crushing pillars in each corner of the room with a switch behind each one, except for the southwestern. Hit the switch under the northeast pillar, and then in the northwest part of the room, a platform will lower, containing the blue skull key. Now, behind the southwest pillar in this room is a teleporter. Go through it (the pillar locations are from the entrance of the room).

Now, you are in this familiar room again. This time take the left (south) door. Follow this hallway to the blue door, killing any imps or lost souls in your way. Go through the blue door, go left, open the exit door, and go through the exit teleporter.

You may optionally take the skull-covered door to the right of the exit. In the right of the room behind it, you can find a BFG 9000 in the eastern alcove. However, firing any weapon in this room will cause a large number enemies to teleport into the area. Hence it is best to try to avoid the single imp in the room, that is acting as bait, rather than killing it.

Nightmare mode

E3M5 is designed like a sandbox, allowing you to choose any path. For Nightmare! mode, a route of minimal risk is as follows.

From the start, take the second or third door (leading you to the southern curved corridor). Take the left door into the yard. This will release a baron of Hell and an Invulnerability sphere. Try to avoid the baron and take the invulnerability, then make a run for the northwestern teleporter into the demon yard. Choose the northern curved corridor and go to the crusher-switch room. Stock up as you please there, make sure to have the key, and take the teleporter behind the crusher. It will take you back to the demon room. This time, choose the east curved corridor and be on your way to the exit.


  1. In the starting area, take the door on the very left (the door well-lit by the red torches). Open the wall on the left in the following room. Inside, you can get four potions and a light amplification visor at the end of the room. (sector 1)
  2. On the west side of the map is a wide corridor lined with a series of red brick columns. There is a door on the west wall; continue through to reach a not-so-secret area with a soul sphere and plasma rifle. (sector 128)
  3. In the northwest of the map there is a bright red room with damaging floors. On one of the walls here is a pair of blue symbols. Open the section of wall between them to get a radsuit. (sector 257)
  4. Take the teleporter in the aforementioned red room. You will be taken to the center of the courtyard. The southern of the four structures surrounding the center teleport will have opened, and contains a yellow skull key. (sector 106)
  5. With your newly acquired yellow key, make your way to the east end of the courtyard. There is some glowing red "writing" high on the wall. Open the wall below and slightly to the right of the symbols to get a chainsaw and another soul sphere. (sector 97) To exit the courtyard, take the teleporter in the northwest.
  6. From the room you end up in after exiting the courtyard, go through either door, then the door next to it on the other side. Walk through this teleporter and you'll be taken to the courtyard center again. The structure north of the central teleport will open up; inside are some goodies. (sector 204)
  7. In the north of the map is a corridor shaped like an upside-down "U". Search the outer walls on the western side of this corridor. One of them will open, leading to a secret area overlooking the bright red room from earlier. (sector 237)
  8. At the north end of the map is a red brick room with four crushers guarding switches (the blue skull key is in this room as well). Press the switch in the southeast crusher and three alcoves will open on each side of the room. The one containing a rocket launcher (the middle one on the east side) counts as a secret. (sector 178)
  9. Go through the teleporter in the southeastern corner of the courtyard from one of the doors inside the building (i.e. not from the courtyard itself). Like secrets 4 and 6, the structure east of the central teleport will open up; its inside counts as a secret. (sector 108)
  10. Same as secret #9, but use the southwestern teleporter to access the western structure. Again, you must enter from inside the building rather than the courtyard. (sector 132)


Six "hanging leg" decorations (Things 224-229) have no flags set for any of the difficulty classes, so they do not actually appear in the level. Things 228 and 229 are placed on top of one another as well.

Pressing use on either of the south jambs of the door east of the north-east teleporter in the central area (linedefs 609 and 611) will crash the game.

If you enter the east-most room, trigger walk-linedef 1276 which closes a ceiling behind you, and quickly escape the room the way you came, then the room can never be entered again. The map can still be finished, but not with 100% kills.

Design oddities[edit]

In the northernmost chamber there are three crushing pillars, each of which protects a button. However, it is not necessary to step under an open pillar to get a switch hit. This is due to the way the engine works as it allows the player to trigger the buttons from the edges of their walls, while standing safely outside of the pillars. The event is possible even if the crushers cover the switches at the moment they are clicked. This can also be seen as the best way to solve this puzzle, how to hit the switch without taking damage.

Areas / screenshots[edit]


Routes and tricks[edit]

Current Compet-n records[edit]

The Compet-n records for the map are:

Run Time Player Date File Notes
UV speed 00:23 Juho Ruohonen (ocelot) 2004-01-10 e3m5-023.zip
NM speed 00:24 Hi Jango 2005-09-22 n3m5-024.zip
UV max 02:58 Tatsuya Ito (Tatsurd-cacocaco) 2019-01-18 e3m5-258.zip
NM100S 01:39 Adam Hegyi 2001-06-29 n3s5-139.zip
UV -fast 04:27 Radek Pecka 2001-12-01 f3m5-427.zip
UV -respawn 02:44 Radek Pecka 2001-11-30 r3m5-244.zip
UV Tyson 03:52 Jim Leonard (Xit Vono) 2003-04-08 t3m5-352.zip
UV pacifist 00:23 Hi Jango 2005-10-06 p3m5-023.zip

The data was last verified in its entirety on July 6, 2020.

Current DSDA records[edit]

The records for the map at the Doom Speed Demo Archive are:

Run Time Player Date File Notes
UV speed 0:22.97 Zero-Master 2020-10-24 p3m5-022.zip Cross-listed from Pacifist
NM speed 0:23.83 depr4vity 2020-02-08 e3m5n023.zip
UV max 2:40.43 NightTerror 2023-01-25 e3m5m240.zip
NM 100S 1:31.89 T0yOta 2022-10-30 N3S5-131.zip
UV -fast 3:36.03 BFGandorf 2023-06-26 f3m5-33603.zip
UV -respawn 2:44.17 Radek Pecka 2001-11-30 r3m5-244.zip
UV Tyson 3:52.06 Jim Leonard (Xit Vono) 2003-04-08 t3m5-352.zip
UV pacifist 0:22.97 Zero-Master 2020-10-24 p3m5-022.zip
NoMo 0:21.86 Aleksey Kamenev (4shockblast) 2016-10-02 e3m5o021.zip
Stroller 0:41.91 Pleymo 2023-01-28 e3m5str041.zip Also Reality

The data was last verified in its entirety on July 24, 2023.


Player spawns[edit]

This level contains five spawn points:

  1. facing north. (thing 286)
  2. facing south. (thing 287)
  3. facing south. (thing 288)
  4. facing north. (thing 289)
  5. facing north. (thing 290)


Map data[edit]

Things 291
Vertices 1222*
Linedefs 1416
Sidedefs 1846
Sectors 268
* The vertex count without the effect of node building is 1132.


This level contains the following numbers of things per skill level:

Inspiration and development[edit]

An early version of E3M5 is the third map of the Doom press release beta.

Although the level is credited to Sandy Petersen, he later stated the infamous teleporter courtyard was designed by Tom Hall, but he did take part of the blame because he "didn't fix it".[1] John Romero disputes Hall having done any work on it,[2] although a sketch of a Hell worldmap drawn by him shows a level titled "Unholy Shrine", so he may have at least come up with the idea for it.


  • This stage is featured in the third demo in The Ultimate Doom.
  • The official French name of this level is Cathédrale profane (accents are not reflected in the game itself due to technical limitations).

External links[edit]


  1. Dwars (23 November 2021). ""Dwars and decino Talk to Sandy Petersen About Doom"." YouTube. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  2. Plerb (3 April 2024). Tom Hall's involvement in E3M5 and MAP28?. Doomworld forums. Retrieved 3 April 2024.