Easter egg

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An Easter egg is a message that is hidden or otherwise not immediately evident and is meant to amuse players and often used by the designers to refer to influences, development jokes, pet characters, previous works, or preferences.



Swastika in E1M4

In released versions of Doom prior to v1.4, E1M4: Command Control contained a swastika design on the floor of one room, meant as an homage to Wolfenstein 3D. Alpha versions of this level, dated April 2 and May 22, 1993, included the same room, but did not have the swastika design. [1] The swastika was removed in v1.4 of Doom. While the presence of a swastika would have caused Doom to be banned in Germany (where the display of Nazi iconography in video games was illegal, regardless of context), and not just restricted to adults due to the game's graphic violence, according to developer John Romero, the symbol was removed after an objection to its presence was sent to him by a veteran of World War II.[1]


Most of the cheat codes in Doom contain or otherwise trigger easter eggs as part of their name or function:

  • idchoppers references a game Choppers, created by a friend of Dave Taylor's for a state programming contest. The message "Doesn't suck - GM" is a reference to his friend's defensiveness over the game being "not quite finished" at the time of its release.
  • iddt, besides consisting of Dave Taylor's initials, also causes those initials to appear as part of the player arrow on the automap.
  • iddqd forms a reference to DQD, a supposed college fraternity called Delta-Q-Delta, for programmers which could only be joined by having at least one "Q", a common grade assigned for dropped courses, on one's transcript.
  • idspispopd is a reference to the SPISPOPD phenomenon which arose on Usenet before Doom's release.

NIN Reference[edit]

NIN reference in Ultimate Doom

E4M1: Hell Beneath includes the letters "NIИ" in a secret area of the level, a reference to Nine Inch Nails, the American industrial rock band.[2] This was included by designer American McGee, who was a fan of the band. id Software's next game, Quake, would feature sound and music by the band's frontman, Trent Reznor. Additionally, ammunition for the nail-gun and super nail-gun (a crate of nails) would be inscribed with "NIИ" on each of its faces. The easter egg is notably absent from the version of the level used by the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn ports.

Doom II[edit]

John Romero's head on a stick

Romero's head[edit]

In MAP30: Icon of Sin, after the player teleports into the huge room with the head of the final boss, a strange, unintelligible noise is played. This is stored in the Doom2 wad file as DSBOSSIT, and if reversed it becomes a voice saying "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero". The voice is shifted down in pitch and is that of John Romero himself.

In the same level, John Romero's severed head on a stick features as the main boss creature, although the head is hidden behind the face of the final boss, and can only be approached with the noclip cheat. The player must indeed kill it in order to win the game.

Secret levels[edit]

The secret maps, MAP31: Wolfenstein and MAP32: Grosse, resemble E1L1 and E1L9 from Wolfenstein 3D. Both levels include Wolfenstein textures and SS Nazis that attack the player. In MAP31, SS Nazis take the place of soldiers and Demons are found in place of the dogs.

A Cyberdemon is in the place of Hans Grösse in MAP32; the name of this map also comes from Hans Grösse's name.

In the last room in MAP32 there are four Commander Keens hanging on ropes. They must be killed in order to exit the level.

In the text screen before MAP32, the message "You'd better blaze through this one!" is displayed; Billy Blaze is Commander Keen's real name.

No Rest for the Living[edit]

In the Doom II expansion No Rest for the Living, first released as part of the XBLA version in 2010, the first map contains a secret message "THE CASTLE WAS HERE" which is almost impossible to find under normal circumstances, as it becomes invisible 30 seconds after the beginning of the level. Directions on how to find it can be found here. It is a reference to the map's author, Russell Meakim (TheCastle).

Final Doom[edit]

Two of the wall textures in Team TNT's TNT: Evilution, CR64HBRM and METAL-RM, have large blood stains which spell the name "Romero", a reference to John Romero.

There is a hidden room in MAP17: Processing Area next to the room containing the blue key that can only be accessed by using the noclip cheat. Several Demons are inside and will teleport out once the key is collected. In this room the player can see "Tom" and "NIИ" in large, glowing blue letters on the north and south walls respectively.

Console games[edit]

Super NES[edit]

Secret message visible on the sky texture.

In the Super NES port of the game, at the bottom of the Knee-Deep in the Dead sky texture is a message reading, "Randy Linden ♥ Jodi Harvey." This can only be seen if the player looks inside the ROM's graphical resources, or uses a Pro Action Replay code that allows walking through walls in areas where the sky is visible.

Within the ROM itself, a hidden message can be found which reads, "Rage/Reality Engine written by Randy Linden. Special thanks to my loving wife, Jodi Harvey." It can only be found if the ROM file is opened in a hex editor, and is found at position 10E (270 in decimal).

Sony PlayStation[edit]

Several oddities in the Sony PlayStation port of Doom are actually easter eggs, left by the Williams designers:

  • In MAP57: The Marshes, a deadly trap area with an inescapable crusher is formed out of the letters "re", which are the initials of the map's designer Randy Estrella.
  • The song "Breath Of Horror," first occurring on MAP09, contains what sounds like demons chanting or singing in low-pitched voices. If sped up 300%, the song seems to have the lyrics "Danny won. Danny won, hey." This may be a reference by Aubrey Hodges to coworker Danny Lewis (Technoman), and seems to be accompanied by the sounds of an ongoing ping pong game.
  • On the secret level MAP59: Club Doom, sectors forming the letters WDT and JRS are found far to the south-east (bottom right) of the playable area of the map. These are the initials of the play testers for the game, which included Will Shen, Danny Lewis, Tim Heydelaar, John Stookey, Randy Estrella, and Steve Kramer.

Doom 64[edit]

In Doom 64, if a player dies and waits several seconds, messages will start to appear at the top of the screen every once in a while, usually taunting the player (e.g. "HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!", "LOOK AT THOSE DEMON FEET!", etc.).

Doom RPG[edit]

See Entrance (Doom RPG)#Secrets and Geek culture references in Doom RPG.

Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders[edit]

Attempting to use some of the cheat codes from Doom and Doom II in Heretic has negative effects on the player:

  • iddqd results in instant death with the message "trying to cheat, eh? Now you DIE!"
  • idkfa takes away all the player's weapons, except the staff with the message "Cheater - you don't deserve weapons!"

Hexen: Beyond Heretic[edit]

  • Like the Heretic Easter egg, in the demo version of Hexen the cheat codes from Heretic in Hexen has negative effects on the player:
  • quicken results in instant death.
  • rambo takes away all the player's weapons.

Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel[edit]

  • In the Locus Requiescat level, the larger tombstones which have the game developers' names written on them will give funny messages from the developers if "used" by the player.

Strife: Quest for the Sigil[edit]

There is a sound wave in VOICES.WAD named SUR4A1 that sounds like a bunch of people yelling "surprise!!".

Chex Quest[edit]

Chex Quest contains many levels leftover from the original 3-episode Doom albeit trimming to 5 levels.

The texture CEMPOIS has a blackboard and in the bottom right-hand corner of said board, is the equation: √2 = chuck. Charles Jacobi was the Art Director/Lead Artist for Chex Quest.

A secret room in E1M2 contains pictures of all the people that worked on Chex Quest.

In Chex Quest 2, E1M1 is titled HHH International Spaceport. This is a reference to the HHH (Hubert H. Humphrey) Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota where the Vikings formerly played until December 29, 2013 (it has since been demolished).

Doom 3[edit]

From a nonfunctional computer in the Delta Complex the player may download an email, apparently sent to demons, giving tips for successful sacrificial rituals.

The last level contains the id PDA which contains special messages from the developers of the game. Immediately before entering the room with the Cyberdemon, there is a button marked with the id Software logo. Pressing this opens a door to a secret room containing the PDA.

BFG Edition[edit]

The Rage button.

In Doom 3: BFG Edition's expansion The Lost Mission, the final area of the Hell Outpost level just before the boss arena contains an Easter egg which refers to Rage, id Software's previously released title. It consists of a button with the game's logo emblazoned on it which can be pressed in order to reveal a secret cache of weapons, health, and armor.

Microsoft Excel 95[edit]

Hall of Tortured Souls

In Microsoft's Excel 95 spreadsheet program (included in the Microsoft Office 95 office suite), there is an Easter egg known as the Hall of Tortured Souls, a three dimensional raycasting game engine created as a homage to Doom.[2] The existence of this Easter egg is one of the results of the "religion" said to have arisen on the Microsoft campus in the wake of Doom's release.[3] Part of the Hall is blocked off by a wall, and the wall can be opened by typing "xlkfa", a reference to the "idkfa" cheat code. It features the names and pictures of the Microsoft development team.

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure[edit]

In Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, typing iddqd or idkfa shows a picture of the Pitfall staff.

Doom (2016)[edit]

At a certain point of the official video of the Doom Original Soundtrack, at 1 hour, 6 minutes and 6 seconds at the near end of Transistor Fist track, a revenant holding a trumpet will appear, flying upwards and then disappear while spinning. It is a reference of a meme associated with the Revenant photo-shopped with a trumpet as seen in this video as an example, often called DOOT and later became a running gag for Bethesda Softworks. The duration of this is also a reference to the Number of the Beast, 666.

In the Kadingir Sanctum level, a skeleton wearing the iconic "Dragonborn helmet" from Skyrim (as well as an arrow in the knee) can be found in a small cave, behind a stone column.

Doom Eternal[edit]

Doog Eternal as it appears in Doom Eternal.

In the official gameplay reveal in Quakecon 2018 and the gameplay reveal in E3 2019 one of the glory kills that can be performed on an Unwilling is smashing its head into its torso, and causing a squeak noise to play. This is always the first glory kill in the game (albeit taking place in the Hell on Earth level instead of the Super Gore Nest level)

As a similar nod to the DOOT meme above, one of the invading Revenant's player with the name D00t76 can be seen in the same reveal. The 76 on the tag may refer to Fallout 76, Bethesda Softworks' previously upcoming title of the Fallout series.

In the Cultist Base level, there are 3 Dopefish hidden across the level: one hanging on a rope, like it was caught, another stuck in ice (disappears when ice is smashed), the last on an hidden altar.

Daisy, the Doomguy's pet rabbit, can be found in numerous locations, often hidden and usually out of sight.

A reference to the Japanese Hololive V-Tuber Inugami Korone can be found by accessing the Runes tab in the Dossier during gameplay, and then pressing the dedicated Chainsaw button four times. A chainsaw rev could be heard, before the Doom Eternal logo modified to spell Doog Eternal instead pops up for a few seconds. A video of it being performed can be seen here. This easter egg is added during the release of The Ancient Gods, Part One DLC. A few days later it was removed in patch 3.1.

The Fortress of Doom contains numerous easter eggs within the Doom Slayer's personal room, many of which containing materials from earlier Doom games as well as related first person shooter games and classic literature.

Book References[edit]

"How to Win Friends and Kill Demons" - A play on "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

"Atlas Ripped and Teared" - A play on "Atlas Shrugged"

"The Picture of Dorian Slay" - A play on "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

"The Caco in the Rye" - A play on "The Catcher in the Rye"

"Green Eggs and Pentagram" - A play on "Green Eggs and Ham"

"1984 Dead Demons" - A play on "1984"

"To Kill a Mockingdemon" - A play on "To Kill a Mockingbird"

"The Great Gutsby" - A play on "The Great Gatsby"

"Ten Dollars Left to Spend, An Inspirational Tale by Ugoh Tamirn - An anagram of Hugo Martin

"Demon Farm" - A play on "Animal Farm"

"The Very Hungry Cacodemon" - A play on "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

"The Power of Positive Ripping and Tearing" - A play on "The Power of Positive Thinking"

"The Art of Rip and Tear" - A play on "The Art of War"

"The Slayer's Tale" - A play on "The Handmaid's Tale"

"How to Stop Worrying and Start Slaying" - A play on "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living"

"The Man in the High Argent Tower" - A play on "The Man in the High Castle"

"The Guts of Wrath" - A play on "The Grapes of Wrath"

"The Ripping Tree" - A play on "The Giving Tree"

"My Best Friend, Daisy" - Doomguy's Pet Rabbit

"Slayerhouse Five" - A play on "Slaughterhouse Five"

"Don Slayote" - A play on "Don Quixote"

"Slayenstein" - A play on either Frankenstein or Wolfenstein

"Fifty Shades of Slay" - A play on "Fifty Shades of Grey"

"Eat. Rip. Tear" - A play on "Eat. Race. Win"

"The Count of Kadingir Cristo" - A play on "The Count of Monte Cristo"

"Dungeons and Demons: 6th Edition" - A play on "Dungeons and Dragons"

"how to comb your mustache" - A tribute to Mark Fischbach's late father, Cliffton M. Fischbach.

"Vault Dweller's Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself and Your Loved Ones For the Inevitable Nuclear Apocalypse" - A reference to the Fallout game series

"2 Prey or Not 2 Prey" - A reference to the Prey game series and "Hamlet"

"Cooking from Hell's Kitchen: Thy Flesh Consumed" - A reference to Ultimate Doom's Final Episode, Thy Flesh Consumed

"Tei Tenga: Offworld Travel Guide" - A reference to Tei Tenga, the original setting of Doom

"From Nopefish to Dopefish: The Dope Tale" - A reference to Dopefish, an enemy from Commmander Keen.

"RET-CONNED: The Life and Times of Flynn Taggart" Doomguy's name in the Doom novels

"The Strogg: A Transdimensional Field Study" - A reference to the main antagonists of Quake 2 and 4

"Living with Rage: and Other Common Emotions in the Apocalyptic Wasteland." - A reference to the Rage game series

"The Spear of Destiny: A Post-War Deconstruction" - A reference to Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny

"U-NAT-CO Training Manual: Bomb Defusal" - A reference to the Deus Ex game series

"Mesa Science Monthly: Predicting Unforeseen Consequences" - A reference to the Half-Life game series

"Von Braun: Onboard AI System Technical Manual" - A reference to System Shock 2

"Liandri: A Brief History of Interplanetary Industry" - A reference to the Unreal game series

"Devilish Daggers & Other Assorted Pointy Objects" - A reference to Devil Daggers

"Why I'm So Great Pt. II by Dork Norkem" - A reference to the Duke Nukem game series

"My Buddy Superfly by Hiro Miyamoto" - A reference to Daikatana

See also[edit]


  1. IGN (10 December 2013). "We Play Doom With John Romero." YouTube. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  2. http://www.gamers.org/games/quake/quaketalk.txt
  3. Kushner, David. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. Random House Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-375-50524-5

External links[edit]