Status bar face


The status bar face in its "normal", full-health appearance. This is what the protagonist of Doom and Doom II looks like without his helmet.

In the Doom games the center of the status bar displays the face of the player character (sometimes called mugshot). This face reacts to the environment in the game as follows:

  • The face bleeds as the player's health diminishes. The health ranges corresponding to each face type are as follows:
Player health Default face appearance
80% - 200% Completely healthy
60% - 79% Bloody nose,
hair slightly mussed
40% - 59% Face swollen,
20% - 39% Eyes slightly bloodshot, face
dirty and bleeding
1% - 19% Similar to 20-39%, but
even bloodier
  • In the Game Boy Advance port, the status bar face does not bleed at all when the player's health status worsens, although the rest of the effects of damage (progressively messier hair, closed eyes when dead, and so on) are there. Conversely, in the Super NES port, the blood on the face is much more pronounced, and the cutoffs for the next-worse-looking face are higher; the state that would normally appear from 20% to 39% health appears at below 48%, for example.
  • In most versions, should the player die, the head becomes bowed, hair completely disheveled, eyes closed, and about as bloody as the 1% - 19% face. The face explodes when the player dies in the 3DO port, and when the player experiences a gibbing death in the PlayStation port. [1] [2] This was meant to occur in the Atari Jaguar version as well, but it does not work there due to a bug.
  • The player turns to look in the direction from which a damaging hit originates. This gives a helpful visual cue as to the direction attacks are coming from.
  • If the player picks up a new weapon, the face momentarily displays a malicious grin. This also happens when a player opens a previously saved game or uses IDKFA or IDFA for the first time at the first item he picks up (at this point it doesn't have to be a weapon).
  • If the player keeps firing a weapon repeatedly, or is taking damage, the face grits its teeth.
  • In the original PC port the face will grit its teeth when it first takes damage on a damaging floor and each time afterward. On the PlayStation and Saturn ports, should the player run onto a damaging floor, the face will grit its teeth continuously, regardless of whether or not the player took damage. A similar behavior existed in the press release beta version of Doom, but the "ouch" face frame was used instead.
  • In the PC version, the marine grits his teeth when any weapon is fired continuously. In ports based on Jaguar Doom, it only happens with the chaingun and plasma rifle.
  • In the ports based on the Jaguar Doom, the face never grits his teeth while looking straight forward when attacked. Instead it will look to either side regardless of the attack's origin. This is due to the fact that the forward-facing pain grimace frames were removed from the Jaguar version of the game to save ROM space. Even though the PlayStation port brings those face frames back, it does not fully restore the original behavior of the status bar.
  • If the player is hurt, yet has a net gain of more than 20% health during the damaging event, a rarely displayed "ouch face" expression of shock and pain is shown (originally intended to represent a net loss of 20% health or more; this has been fixed in many source ports and even through a binary hack). This face also appears in the Doom press release beta when the player enters a damaging floor, and sometimes in the PlayStation and Saturn ports when the player is hit from behind.
  • If the player is invulnerable (because "god mode" is active or the player has picked up an invulnerability powerup), the player has glowing golden eyes, similar to the demon's.
  • In the various ports of Doom, the eyes of the face will look left, right, and straight ahead randomly, changing direction every second or so. However, due to limitations with the SNES 16-bit cartridge, the face looks around in a specific manner (left, right, left, left, right, left, right, right) over and over in a more rhythmic fashion, looking ahead every half-second.


The names of the face graphics use the root STF (status face), plus some text specifying one of several conditions currently being experienced by the player, followed by a digit from 0 to 4 denoting the approximate current health, and possibly an extra digit from 0 to 2 for an alternating animation sequence that makes the face gaze in different directions (forward or to either side) when idle. In the graphic STFST01, for example, the root STF is followed by ST (standard face), then 0 (full health), and finally 1 (looking forward). Face graphics that do not vary with the character's health, such as the invulnerable and dead faces, always carry a single 0 after the specifying text.

The text that specifies what type of face is used includes:

Face type Condition Animation
ST Glancing around warily (default) 0-2
TL Looking to his right (attacked
from left side of screen)
TR Looking to his left (attacked
from right side of screen)
KILL Gritting teeth none
EVL Grinning wickedly none
OUCH Ouch face none

Additionally, STFGOD0 appears while an invulnerability powerup or the iddqd cheat code is in effect. Note that STFOUCH4 is but rarely displayed, and in only unusual circumstances, due to the ouch face bug.

The health values correspond to the player's health percentage:

Health range Player health
0 80% - 200%
1 60% - 79%
2 40% - 59%
3 20% - 39%
4 1% - 19%

The graphic STFDEAD0 takes over when the player is killed.


"GameHOG" magazine in Doom 3.

See also[edit]