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Doom 3 is a sci-fi horror first-person shooter computer game developed by id Software and published by Activision. Set in 2145 in the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research center on Mars, it is a reimagining of the original Doom, with a completely new game engine and graphics.

The game was developed for Microsoft Windows and ported to Linux in 2004; five months later, it was also released for Mac OS X (ported by Aspyr) and Xbox (co-developed by Vicarious Visions). The Xbox version is graphically similar to (although less detailed than) the original and features an additional two-player online co-operation mode.

An expansion, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, developed by Nerve Software and co-developed by id Software, was released on April 4, 2005.

A Doom movie, loosely based on the franchise, was released roughly six months later on October 21, 2005.


Similar to the story of the original Doom, the game focuses on the marine who is transferred to Mars and sent out on a routine mission. In contrast to its earlier disdain for storytelling, this time id Software employed a professional science-fiction writer Matthew Castello to write the script and assist in story-boarding the entire game. id Software focused on retelling the story and creating a tense horror atmosphere. The game's events and atmosphere show a great deal of influence from George Romero's Living Dead series and James Cameron's 1986 film Aliens, as well as Valve Software's Half-Life.

Unlike in previous id games, there are now cut scenes that give purpose and context for the player's actions and introduction to new enemies. Similar to other science fiction action/horror games such as System Shock, System Shock 2 and Aliens versus Predator 2, hundreds of text, voice, and video messages are scattered throughout the base. The messages are internal e-mails and audio reports sent between lab workers, administrators, maintenance staff, and security personnel at the Mars base. The messages explain the background story, show the feelings and concern of the people on the Mars base and reveal information related to plot and gameplay. Video booths and televisions give planetary news, corporate propaganda, visitor information and technical data about the base.

The story of Doom 3 surrounds the discovery of ancient ruins underneath Martian soil. Tablets found at these sites record how an ancient Martian race developed a form of teleporter technology. They realized an important fact all too late, however; the route the teleporter took passed through Hell. Quickly invaded by demons, this alien race created and sacrificed themselves to a weapon known as the Soul Cube. This cube, powered by the souls of almost every being of this alien race, was used by their strongest warrior to defeat and contain the demons in Hell.

Having done so, the remainder of the alien race constructed warnings to any who visited Mars, warning them not to recreate this technology; to avoid opening another gate to Hell. They then teleported to an unknown location, fleeing Mars; there are hints that at least some of them fled to Earth, and that humans descended from them. It's stated that the demons once inhabited Earth in an unknown context, but lost possession of it due to an unknown cause. Consequently, the demons want to reclaim Earth.

The UAC, discovering the Soul Cube and the warnings, used them to invent the same teleporter technology. Discovering that they opened a gate to Hell, scientists decided to explore further (encouraged by the head scientist, Malcolm Betruger), sending teams in and even capturing living specimens from the realm at great loss of life. The portal experiments also had strange and disturbing effects on the Mars City research facility where the experiments were conducted. Scientists and workers, unaware of the nature of the work being performed by Dr. Betruger and his team, frequently reported strange phenomena and unlikely industrial accidents. A general sense of paranoia and fear spread throughout the facility, leading many workers to request a greater marine presence and/or weaponry accessible by themselves.

In response to numerous industrial accidents, complaints, and requests for transfers off Mars, the UAC on Earth sends Counselor Elliot Swann to investigate these problems. Accompanying Swann are his personal bodyguard Jack Campbell (with attaché case) and a single marine (the player). Upon checking in, the marine is called to Marine HQ to meet Master Sergeant Thomas Kelly, the marine commander of the facility. He sends the marine to track down a missing member of the science team. On the way, he overhears a tense meeting between Swann and Betruger.

The marine finds the scientist in a decommissioned communications facility, preparing to send out a warning message about Betruger's extreme portal experiments. The message warns that Betruger's tests are threatening to overload the portal's containment fields, which would create a catastrophic scenario. The scientist was unable to finish and send his message before the next portal experiment.

As soon as the portal opens, Betruger takes the Soul Cube into Hell and apparently made an unknown kind of deal with the creatures there. Under his direction, the demons again invade Mars, confident that the only key to their defeat lay safe in their hands. The marine and scientist watch on the monitors and radio as chaos erupts throughout the base. The marine watches as a fellow marine in the Delta Labs is possessed by a demon, as another flies through the screen to possess the scientist. Under Sergeant Kelly's orders to all units, the marine returns to Marine HQ. Along the way, the marine overhears radio chatter as various teams attempt to coordinate their efforts or give their last screams for help.

Returning to Marine HQ, the marine is sent by Kelly to assist Bravo Team (one of the few surviving squads) in reaching the Communcations Tower in order to send a distress signal to the fleet. The path to the tower leads through the Alpha Labs and Energy Production plant, both of which are heavily infested with demons. The attack has left most of the Mars base population either dead or as zombified slaves. Most marines who had survived the first attack were wiped out by the demons and the undead Mars security forces in a matter of minutes.

After entering Administration, the marine overhears another conversation between Swann and Betruger. Insisting on taking over command of the situation, Swann is rebuffed by Betruger, announcing that he will handle things personally from the Delta Labs. Swann realizes he must take matters into his own hands, and Campbell opens his case to commence "Plan B."

As the marine nears the motor pool for the transfer to the communcations tower, he learns that Swann is also heading for the communcations tower, but Swann wishes to prevent the transmission to the fleet. Unable to find Bravo Team's communications card, he moves on. The marine is catching up, but was not able to get to the comm. tower's control room before Campbell destroys the computers with his BFG9000. Believing they have succeeded in stopping the transmission, they head off towards the Delta Labs, where the main portal (and source of the invasion) is located. However, the marine is able to find a way into the satellite control room and access the transmitter directly. The transmission calls for a full ground engagement with no orbital bombardment. Swann contacts the marine and tells him to abort the trasmission, arguing that until they understand what they are up against, the base must remain cut off from the outside world. Kelly presses the marine to send it. The marine must make a choice.

After leaving the communcations tower, the skyway to Delta Labs is crushed by an invisible power, forcing the marine to find an alternate route through the waste treatment plant. In the plant, he learns that Betruger plans to wipe out the reinforcements that are on their way, and then use their ships to take the demons to Earth in order to conquer it. If the marine aborted the transmission at the tower, Betruger announces that he will send the distress signal himself. Betruger then attempts to trap the marine in the plant, which is filling up with toxic gas.

Surviving the attack and fighting his way out of the plant and through the monorail station, the marine ultimately reaches the Delta Labs, where the main portal is located. The marine also learns of the Soul Cube and the portal to Hell where it is held.

The marine, pursuing the Soul Cube, is sent into Hell by Betruger via the main portal in the Delta Labs. After losing all his weapons during the teleportation, he rigorously picks up the scattered weapons while fighting his way through the demons. Finally reaching the Soul Cube who asks the marine, "Save us," he is confronted by the The Guardian of Hell — a gigantic, near-blind demon who uses smaller creatures, named seekers, to "see." With the Guardian of Hell defeated, the marine takes the Soul Cube back through the teleporter to Mars, where he learns that his actions have made Betruger unable to use the teleporter technology.

Resurfacing at the Delta Complex, the marine must again find his weapons, and battle the remaining demons in the base. Betruger, upset by his loss of the teleporter and the Soul Cube, vengefully tells the marine of a natural portal to Hell which could transport millions of his minions from Hell. On the way to the new portal, the marine encounters Counselor Swann, who is found wounded and unable to move. Swann, who is unwilling to allow the invasion of Earth, grants his PDA to the marine, and directs him to go through Central Processing and then to the caverns, where the portal is located. Swann warns that Sarge is no longer human and that Campbell has gone to find him.

In Central Processing, Campbell is found dying on the floor without a weapon. As he dies, a demonic voice begins to taunt the marine, who is approaching the mortifying monster. Once the arena is treaded on, the BFG-wielding Sabaoth reveals himself as a mutated hybrid of Sarge and a military tank. After the battle is over, the spoils — the BFG9000 — is seized by the marine as he advances to Site 3 and transfers to the caverns.

At the Primary Excavation site of the caverns, the portal to Hell has been opened at the site of the alien ruins. There, the marine uses the Soul Cube to defeat "Hell's mightiest warrior", the horrific Cyberdemon, and seal the portal. The ending scene shows the marine (revealed in Doom 3's expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil, to be the only survivor) being rescued by the fleet, and Betruger reincarnated as a dragon-like demon called the Maledict.


The most important element in the gameplay and action of Doom 3 is the atmosphere. Most of the levels are very dark, to create the feeling of helplessness and scare the player. It also relies heavily on lighting effects to set the mood.

The in-game story explanation for the pitch-darkness is as follows. The portals to Hell could only be sustained for a short period of time, which was nowhere near enough to conduct any serious experiments. To rectify this, the power grid was illegally tampered with, diverting a significant amount of power from the non-critical systems (Such as Lighting) of the rest of the facility to allow the machinery to sustain the portals for a much longer time. This did not go unnoticed however; the staff were becoming increasingly suspicious of the massive amount of power being drawn (The huge energy consumption caused frequent overloads on power-grid components).

Creatures may appear just as well unexpected as anticipated. Surprising ambushes, usually from dark places, tend to shock players and test their reflexes. On the other hand, exploring new areas against a background of theme music makes the player expect a monster to appear behind each corner.

Emergence of stronger enemies (bosses) is backed up by new lighting effects and/or cutscenes. To achieve best effect, this usually happens in a dark room or the room darkens suddenly.

Almost the whole game takes place indoors, which provides many opportunities for surprise. A frequent phenomenon throughout the original Doom game is the "Monster Closet", where a door disguised as a wall suddenly opens and an enemy issues forth in an attempt to startle the player. Some corpses will also "play dead" and then suddenly spring to life and attack when the player steps near them.

Frequent radio transmissions through the player's communications device also add to the atmosphere, by broadcasting certain sounds either to scare the player, or to relay instructions from other NPCs.

List of levels

There are 27 levels in Doom 3. Most of them are quite large and typically require under an hour each on a player's first run through the game.

  1. Introduction (Mars City 1): A short tutorial on the basic features of the game. The player also picks up the first assignment from Sergeant Kelly ("Sarge").
  2. Mars City Underground: A shorter tutorial covering a few more features in the game. In the communications building, the atmosphere becomes awry; the shooting begins here. The imp is introduced at a cutscene.
  3. Mars City (Mars City 2): The same level as the Introduction, but after the demon invasion.
  4. UAC Administration: The pinky (demon) is introduced at a cutscene. The chaingun is also makes its first appearance in a Martian Buddy cabinet. Monsters start to teleport in the base, beginning where the growth taking over the base is first seen.
  5. Alpha Labs – Sector 1: Built in 2095 and located on Site 2, Alpha is the UAC's center research lab. Sector 1 houses the EPD (Elemental Phase Deconstructor) and the Hydrocon. Maggots are introduced.
  6. Alpha Labs – Sector 2: Trites give their first appearance soon after the first web sighting. There is a glimpse of the Bravo Team through a window.
  7. Alpha Labs – Sector 3: Contains a secret plasma rifle on ceiling pipes as well as an optional hallway with the chaingun.
  8. Alpha Labs – Sector 4: The player must navigate either the EFR or the bridge. The BFG can be seen in use from a window. There is the infamous "they took my baby" sequence, the plasma gun is available from a hidden location, and the Vagary (first boss) appears at the end.
  9. Energy Processing (EnPro): Bravo Team cutscene. The lost soul is introduced in a cutscene, and wraiths begin to appear later on. Some rooms are less claustrophobic but more acrophobic. As the EnPro plant produces plasma cells as a byproduct, an abundance thereof is scattered throughout. Swann and Campbell give up their attempt to intercept the marines sent to transmit a distress call, and therefore travel by vehicle to the communications complex.
  10. Communications Transfer: There are several outdoor areas. The first cacodemon appears at the start, and the chainsaw zombie makes its first appearances here. The berserk powerup appears for the first out of two times in the game.
  11. Communications: The player is confronted with the decision to transit or cancel the distress call.
  12. Monorail Skybridge (Recycling – Sector 1): Where trash is processed in the UAC. The Revenant is introduced in a cutscene, and this is the only level with toxic waste pools.
  13. Recycling – Sector 2: A trap is sprung on the player by Betruger, slowly filling the building with toxic gases. The mancubus is introduced in a cutscene, and cherubs make their first appearances.
  14. Monorail: Commando zombies are introduced in the opening cutscene. The player must reach the Delta Labs by monorail.
  15. Delta Labs – Level 1: This level contains no demon altercations of any kind for quite some time upon entering it. The player must initiate power by turning on main reactor.
  16. Delta Labs – Level 2A: Player goes through the teleporter for the first time. The BFG9000 is first received.
  17. Delta Labs – Level 2B: Arch-Viles begin to appear, shortly after their haunting cackles are heard.
  18. Delta Labs – Level 3: The player is hot on the heels of Betruger and travels through several second-generation teleporter units.
  19. Delta Labs – Level 4: Hell Knights are introduced in the cutscene. Betruger sends the player to Hell through the main teleporter after the battle.
  20. Hell: The player has lost all weapons and ammo through the teleporter. The player must trek through Hell in order to defeat the Guardian (second boss) and retrieve the Soul Cube.
  21. Delta Complex (Revisited): The player has once again lost all weapons and ammo. From hereon, there will be no more zombies other than commandos. The ticks make their first and only appearance.
  22. Central Processing: The effects of the growth in the base are evident.
  23. Central Processing (Server Banks): The player fights the third boss, Sabaoth, the demon transformation of Sergeant Kelly. Sabaoth has integrated Campbell's BFG into his cybernetic tank-body, and uses it against the player. After defeating Sabaoth, the player acquires Campbell's BFG.
  24. Site 3: Where archaeological entities are brought to and where the research is done. This is the last level where the surface of Mars is visible.
  25. Caverns – Level 1: The player advances towards the primary excavation site, where the Hell portal is located. Level 1 contains the oldest, original Mars base.
  26. Caverns – Level 2: Features an ancient Martian temple. The Vagary makes another appearance at the end, and may come in a pair.
  27. Primary Excavation (Hellhole): The player must defeat the fourth and final boss, the Cyberdemon, in order to seal the Hell portal. An exploratory player may find the hidden "id Software" PDA, containing messages from several id Software employees.


  • There is a hidden id Software PDA before the final fight. If the player turns left at the very end before the bricks open up, there is a little branch-off hallway with the id logo on a brick at the end. By selecting it as one would a computer in the game, a wall opens up, and on a table in the room is a PDA with congratulations and personal messages from the id developers.
  • The Super Turbo Turkey Puncher 3 arcade game is in the kitchen on Mars City (the switch is on the back). Get a score of 25,000 points or more to receive an email in your PDA.
  • Steve Blum, a popular American voice actor who is best known for voicing Spike Spiegel in the dub of the anime series Cowboy Bebop, appears in Doom 3 playing various marines, technicians and zombies.
  • There is a reference to the British sit-com The Office in the game. One of the PDAs contains a message addressed to "Finchy" from "Brent" wherein they discuss tactics for an upcoming quiz night, with a recommendation that they brush up on their Shakespeare to avoid being beaten by a team from administration for a second time. This refers to a first season episode in which Brent and Finchy's team lost to Tim and Ricky on a Shakespeare-related tie-breaker.
  • There is a reference to "Weird Al" Yankovic in the email of Jack Smith. The email 'Buddy System?!' states "Tell me how a buddy system would have prevented Joe 'Torsoboy' Moss from having his arms and legs hacked off by the Albuquerck Capacitor?". Al mentions 'Torsoboy' in the song "Albuquerque" on the Running with Scissors album.
  • The first ever Doom 3 multiplayer competition was held at the Assembly demo party, only a few days after the game's release.
  • In Site 3 of the artifact research, the last of the four tablets has a picture of the mighty warrior using the Soul Cube. The picture is identical to the original cover of Doom, save that the warrior is holding the Soul Cube and a portion of the Tablet is broken, so his head is not visible.
  • In one of the Alpha Labs, on the desk where the player can view the security cameras, to the left of the computer is a magazine with a red stapler on it. It reads "Who took gary's stapler?" This is a reference to the popular movie Office Space.

External links