Spectres are the partially invisible counterparts of demons. Except for their fuzzy, blurred appearance, they are exactly the same in behavior and attributes, and thus may be thought of as demons who have a permanent partial invisibility power. They usually hide in darkened areas, waiting to startle players. Spectres do not have frames of their own, as the Doom engine uses the same information used for demons to account for them, which means the monsters share sprites.
Spectres appear as "shimmering" beings, like a lens which distorts and reflects the area seen through their translucent bodies, making them hard to spot in darker areas or against certain textures, such as grey speckled walls. However, in bright areas, they are noticeably visible and "spotty".
In the Doom II manual, their description is: Great. Just what you needed. An invisible (nearly) monster.
In many OpenGL source ports, as well as in Doom 64 and the Sony PlayStation version of Doom, spectres do not "shimmer", but are instead rendered using translucency. This is because the partial invisibility effect is very difficult to reproduce using such a renderer. EDGE, however, emulates the effect using a shader, and GZDoom allows users to select one of several "simulated" effect presets to suit their tastes.
In Doom 64 specifically, inactive spectres are initially rendered as opaque demons with a green tint, becoming translucent upon detecting the player. Upon death, they revert to an opaque state again. Spectres also appear in the Doom 64 Cast of Characters sequence at the end of the game, unlike the spectre in the Doom II cast sequence.
The PlayStation version, aside from featuring ordinary spectres at both 25% and 100% additive translucency levels, introduced a stronger version of the spectre called the nightmare spectre.
- There are some tricks that can help make spectres more visible: their shimmering outline is much easier to see with the inverted colors of an invulnerability sphere, for example, and they feature a fully visible blood-splatter effect when hit.
- The spectre does not appear in the Doom II cast sequence at the end of the game.
- If a spectre's corpse is crushed, the pool of gibs left behind continues to display the partial invisibility effect. In most hardware accelerated ports, the gibs will be translucent.
|Bites needed to kill1||Mean|| Standard
health, no armor)
health, security armor)
health, combat armor)
|Baron of Hell||46.72||1.79||42||51|
- This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, and blood splats 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.
- Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
In classic Doom, the spectre is first encountered on these maps:
The IWADs contain the following numbers of spectres:
|Game||ITYTD and HNTR||HMP||UV and NM|
|The Ultimate Doom||51||102||183|
- May be encountered earlier if the secret level is played.
|Monsters from Doom and Doom II|
| Doom: Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Imp | Lost soul | Shotgun guy | Spectre | Spiderdemon | Zombieman|
Doom 2: Arachnotron | Arch-vile | Commander Keen | Heavy weapon dude | Hell knight | Mancubus | Pain elemental | Revenant | Wolfenstein SS | Final boss
|Monsters from Doom 64|
|From Doom: Arachnotron | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Hell knight | Imp | Lost soul | Mancubus | Pain elemental | Shotgun guy | Spectre | Zombieman|
New: Marine | Mother demon | Nightmare imp