DOOM is one of my favourite games. It’s got that precise balance of fast-paced action and lightly puzzle-based level design that 90’s FPS games on the whole are celebrated for. With its hypermasculine rip-and-tear atmosphere and cheesy Pantera rip-offs, DOOM is also absolutely a power fantasy.
With that out of the way, however, there’s one curious design element in classic DOOM which has long fascinated me…
Let me back up a bit (pun not strictly intended). Because DOOM was made right on the cusp of 3D graphics becoming feasible for consumer-grade computing hardware, all of the entities in the gameworld–weapons, powerups, and of course, the demons–are rendered as sprites. Since the game levels consist of 3D roamable environments, these sprites needed to be drawn from a variety of angles in order to maintain the illusion. Drawing every animation of every demon from a convincing number of angles entails a lot of work, so to facilitate the process, the developers at id used latex models as references. These models were created by Adrian Carmack and Greg Punchatz, photographed from eight angles, and the resulting photographs were lightly cleaned up and downsampled in resolution and color depth to form the in-game sprites.
These models, some of which can be seen on John Romero’s photoblog alongside sprinkles of developer commentary, were crafted with painstaking detail–front and back. Though it’s less noticeable during regular gameplay, since you mostly view and confront the demons head-on, a surprising number of Hell’s denizens are rendered with loving attention to their posteriors.
In other words, the demons of DOOM literally have sculpted asses, and I think that’s grand.
These butts are strong, distinguished, and most importantly, diverse in size and shape. Though the art is certainly filtered and received through a lens of monstrosity–the demons are your enemies, and DOOM is a violent power fantasy, after all–the attention to detail nonetheless reflects the craftsmanship of a couple of guys who at the very least appreciated masculine butts of all manner and variety.
The following list highlights some examples of DOOM’s surprising butt positivity. The list is unranked because we create hierarchies of body types far too often in real life already and all of these butts are great.
You’ll meet the Imp early and often in DOOM, and he most definitely does not skip leg day. For all of that, however, the Imp carries himself with a humble, unhurried gait. Imp has nothing to prove, you see. He already knows he’s got it.
The Demon, colloquially known as the Pinky, is a dedicated melee fighter: fast, stocky, and absolutely jacked–and all of that goes double for his very toned butt, which is further emphasized by his stooped posture. Unlike the Imp, the Demon has it and flaunts it–and hell, why shouldn’t he? You get ‘em, Demon.
Baron of Hell
The Baron of Hell is cool and composed, and his backside–toned yet understated–is correspondingly regal. Baron of Hell is the guy on Tinder you break your no-super-likes rule for in the hopes of attracting his notice.
The Mancubus is the Power Bottom incarnate. As one of the game’s heavy-hitting tanks, his posterior fittingly communicates a rooted, unshakeable strength. He’s the guy you can call up at 2am who will listen to you and validate your feelings–and then incinerate whomever did you wrong.
That poise! That lift! That strut! Oh my god. Arch-Vile is on fire–quite literally. This is the guy who has it all, but he spends most of his time resurrecting his fallen brethren. A true support, and a tireless friend.
The Revenant isn’t chasing a chiseled backside; he has a bony ass, and absolutely owns it. Uniquely comfortable with short and long distances, Revenant is definitely a switch.
The Cyberdemon has laboured to become his best self. You’ll have to crane your neck to look up at his formidable backside. That stance conveys an absolute self-assuredness. Cyberdemon has had some work done, sure, but that just means the outside matches the inside now: dauntless, confident, free.
Have we missed one of your favourite Doom butts? Or are there other games out there with weirdly chiseled butts too? Let us know in the comments.