- "Tough as a dump truck and nearly as big, these Goliaths are the worst things on two legs since Tyrannosaurus rex."
- ― Doom instruction manual.
Barons of Hell are one of the most powerful demonic creatures encountered in all classic Doom games.
A pair of barons, referred to internally by id Software as the "Bruiser Brothers", start as the bosses at the end of Knee-Deep in the Dead, the first episode of Doom. Barons also appear as regular enemies in the later episodes and in the sequels; coincidentally, they and their weaker counterparts, the Hell Knights, frequently appear in pairs.
The Doom II manual later described them as follows: "The Hell Knight was bad news but this is Big Daddy. These bruisers are a lot like Hell Knights, but look a little different and are twice as tough to kill". The original Baron of Hell description was given to the Hell Knight in Doom II's manual instead.
A texture displaying the face of the Barons/Knight of Hell can be found in E2M8: Tower of Babel on pillars throughout the level (a similar texture appears in Doom Eternal as well).
Doom RPG/Doom II RPG
- Ogre (green torso, red hands, brown legs)
- Hell Knight (brown torso, brown hands, pink legs)
- Baron (pink torso, orange hands, brown legs)
As in the original, the Hell Knight is not as powerful as the Baron, though both are more powerful than the new "ogre" variation. This class of monster is especially weak against attacks from shotguns.
A texture showing the classic Doom Baron of Hell can be found in some levels (this is based on a similar texture in Doom 1). Doom Eternal introduces the Fireborne Barons as a new breed of Barons of Hell.
Inspiration and development
Having many hit points, the Baron of Hell appears only sparingly in Doom, as a boss or a champion-type monster. In Doom II the game dynamics change with the inclusion of a greater variety of relatively tough monsters, and the addition of two items, the super shotgun, and the megasphere. The Hell Knight, essentially the same as the baron but with only half as much health, was added to serve as a standard medium-strength monster, falling more quickly to small arms fire such as from the shotgun or chaingun, or offering some resistance without slowing the action down, against more heavily equipped players.
- Barons have green blood, as is evident in their death animation, as well as the wall textures of the "crucified" Baron. However, due to the limitations of the Doom engine, red blood is still displayed while shooting them, as with all other enemies and in Brutal Doom, both Barons and Hell Knights emit red blood when attacked and killed.
- The Baron of Hell's face is displayed periodically throughout the games in the textures MARBFAC3 & MARBFAC4.
- The thing name assigned to them within the Doom source code is MT_BRUISER.
- The projectile thrown by the Hell Knight and by the Baron of Hell are the same thing, and if a Hell Knight accidentally hits a Baron with his fireball (or vice versa), it will have no effect (this is a special exception to the usual rules). However, this is not the case in either the PlayStation and Saturn ports, the PlayStation port of Final Doom or Doom 64; in these games their projectiles are each classed as different things altogether (something which is only visually noticeable in Doom64 due to Barons throwing red fireballs), and as such direct infighting between the two is very possible.
- In a ZDoom-based source port, if the player is killed by a Baron of Hell (monster is credited with delivering the blow that reduces player's health to 0%), one of two obituary messages will be displayed at the top of the screen depending on which attack the baron used to kill the player: "[player name] was ripped open by a Baron of Hell" or "[player name] was bruised by a Baron of Hell" for the claw and green fireball attacks respectively.
- In Brutal Doom, the Baron of Hell has gained three new projectile attacks: in the first one, it launches 3 (5 in v20 but back to 3 in v20b) projectiles in a wide spread instead of one. The animation for this multi-spread attack is shown by the Baron clapping his hands together instead of his usual sidearm throw - this animation is essentially a cut-and-paste job of his sidearm throw animation horizontally duplicated to look like the Baron swings both arms in order to clap his hands together and launch the attack; the second one is a result of monster infighting: after a monster (usually a Zombieman, shotgunner or Imp) has attacked the baron and he retaliates and kills him with his claws, he grabs his head, throws it away and launches the remainders of the corpse at the player, dealing considerable damage upon impact; the third new attack (starting from v20) has the Baron grab and throw any explosive barrels laying nearby (the player will know because the monster plays its alert sound upon picking up the barrel), the same way the player can do after acquiring a berserk pack or demonic strength rune.