Shotgun guy


(Redirected from Former human sergeant)
This article is about the monster in the classic Doom series. For other games, see:
A shotgun guy attacks in E1M1: Hangar

The shotgun guy, also called the former human sergeant in the game manuals, and sometimes shortened to sergeant, is an armored space marine which has been turned into a zombie during the invasion from Hell. The monster appears as a red-eyed bald man wearing bloodstained slate-gray body armor and clothing, and wields a shotgun. Angrier in appearance than the lowly zombieman, and around three times as powerful, a shotgun guy can challenge the most hardened of Doom veterans. His official description reads:

"Same as the Former Humans, but much meaner, and tougher. These walking shotguns provide you with a few extra holes if you're not careful!"
― Doom instruction manual [source]

Combat characteristics[edit]

Shotgun guys loitering in JOI-CM1.WAD

This type of zombie is armed with a shotgun, which is less powerful than the player's shotgun: one round produces only three pellets instead of seven, and each pellet inflicts slightly less damage on average. When the shotgun guy attacks, it aims its shotgun at the player for about 3/10 of a second and fires a single round. Each pellet has the same dispersal as a trooper's bullet (standard deviation around 9°, to a maximum of ±22°); this is calculated independently for each pellet, so multiple hits are occasionally scored even at very long range. After firing, the monster moves again.

When killed, the shotgun guy drops its weapon, which contains 4 shells (or 8 on I'm too young to die and Nightmare!). If it subsequently respawns or is resurrected, the shotgun remains. The shotgun guy's chest and its abdomen spill blood as it is felled, assuming it is not gibbed, which is not uncommon, considering its relatively low number of hit points.

Tactical analysis[edit]

Due to the dispersal of the pellets from its shotgun, the shotgun guy is only a marginally greater threat than the zombieman at long range. However, at closer ranges its shotgun blast can damage the player significantly, and many stock levels create ambushes by placing sergeants on ledges and around corners.

The player's shotgun generally kills individual shotgun guys at medium and long ranges, and can occasionally kill two or more with one shot at close range. All other weapons are effective against shotgun guys, although the pistol leaves it ample time to retaliate, and the fist and chainsaw are dangerous to use because the player risks being shot at point-blank range. This can be fatal if the player does not have any form of armor available.

The shotgun guy's contribution to monster-monster battles is average at best. It is more durable than a zombieman, and can damage more than one creature per shot. However, it fires much less frequently than a player would, and circles its target in an irregular pattern which prevents it from attacking at close range every time. Thus it can be defeated by a healthy imp more often than not, and most often by a demon.

Very large groups of shotgun guys may suffer significant losses from infighting (as with the red key area in the user made URMEAT.WAD) simply because of the sheer number of pellets being fired. If shotgun guys are encountered in groups, they are usually positioned in formation to minimize infighting from the pellet spread.

Shotgun guys may also be used in turret or alcove situations, usually placed a considerable distance from the player to minimize damage from a chaingun or super shotgun. It may be best to switch to the shotgun to take out these monsters, due to its narrow spread.

Certain stock maps (especially those of Knee-Deep in the Dead) include a large number of additional shotgun guys on Ultra-Violence as compared with the lower skill levels. While increasing difficulty overall, their dropped shotguns also greatly increase the number of shells available to the player.

In the Nightmare! skill level or under the influence of the -fast command line parameter, the shotgun guy's attack rate increases so significantly that they can make some stock maps in Knee-Deep in the Dead nearly impossible. Notable examples include the starting walkways in E1M3: Toxin Refinery, and the central hub of E1M9: Military Base.

Inspiration and development[edit]


  • Despite being called a "sergeant" in the manuals, the shotgun guy has the type name MT_SHOTGUY in the Doom source code, and the sprite prefix SPOS, while the analogous MT_SERGEANT and SARG are given to the demon. This is likely because the demon was initially named "demon sergeant" in the Doom Bible (section 7.2).
  • Depending on the skill level chosen, the shotgun guy may be the first monster seen to new Doom players. A considerable number of them populate E1M1: Hangar when it is played on Ultra-Violence or higher.
  • The official French name of the monster is type au fusil.


Damage done by a shotgun guy's weapon
Shots needed to kill1,2 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
12.29 2.16 4 19
Player (100%
health, security armor)
17.86 2.79 13 26
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
44.18 6.03 37 59
Barrel 2.93 0.83 2 6
Trooper 2.93 0.83 2 6
Sergeant 3.91 1.04 2 7
Wolfenstein SS 6.37 1.39 4 11
Imp 7.43 1.53 5 13
Chaingunner 8.80 1.74 5 15
Lost soul 12.29 2.16 9 19
Commander Keen 12.29 2.16 9 19
Demon 17.86 2.79 13 26
Spectre 17.86 2.79 13 26
Boss brain3 29.78 4.39 25 42
Revenant 35.44 5.22 30 50
Cacodemon 47.41 6.88 40 64
Pain elemental 47.41 6.88 40 64
Hell knight 58.95 8.61 50 82
Arachnotron 58.95 8.61 50 82
Mancubus 70.57 10.22 60 96
Arch-vile 82.52 12.01 70 114
Baron of Hell 117.61 17.02 100 159
Spiderdemon 351.57 51.06 303 473
Cyberdemon 468.91 68.19 405 631
  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal 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.
  2. The target must be close enough to compensate for the monster's inaccurate aim.
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics[edit]

In the IWADs the shotgun guy is first encountered on these maps per skill level:

The IWADs contain the following numbers of shotgun guys per skill level:

Of the maps covered on the Doom Wiki, the following have the highest numbers of shotgun guys in single-player on skills 4-5:

Map Count
IDDQD Arena 13024
World Orifice 2999
MAP05: Cosmogenesis (Cosmogenesis) 1764
MAP31: The Eclipse of Betelgeuse (Antaresian Reliquary)
MAP28: The Eclipse of Betelgeuse (SlaughterMAX)
MAP31: Crest of Simplicity Part 2 (Slaughterfest 2011) 1044

This data was last verified on March 13, 2024.

Other games[edit]

Doom 64[edit]

The shotgun guy makes an appearance in Doom 64, and is the most common type of zombie in the game. However, it uses the same sprite as the Zombieman, but with a different palette applied which changes the color of the vest. The change is subtle enough that the two monsters are almost impossible to differentiate in the game's darkness. They first appear in MAP01: Staging Area.

Doom 3[edit]

Main article: Z-Sec

In Doom 3 and its expansions, armed zombies called Z-Secs occur in a wide variety of forms, one of which is helmeted with black armor and empty eye sockets, and wields a powerful shotgun which can throw the player back and do a dangerous amount of damage. They are neither as common nor as intelligent as the more dangerous machine gun-wielding Z-Sec, however, almost never employing cover tactics due to the short-range nature of their attack.

See also[edit]