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"They float in the air, belch ball-lightning, and boast one Hell of a big mouth. You're toast if you get too close to these monstrosities."
Doom & Doom II manual description

Cacodemons are common demons encountered in all classic Doom games up to date: Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom. They are also the mascot of the first classic Doom game.

Physical Appearance

Cacodemons are red monsters with large spherical bodies crowned with horns, that float slowly through the air. They have a single green eye over a large mouth which is persistently twisted into an evil grin showing a series of nasty teeth and a bluish interior. If you see their sprite used when you look at it from behind, you can see it appears to have a female genetalia and an anus. However, these two holes in the back of the spite may not be gentials, but holes in the original clay models of the Cacodemon, where pegs may have been inserted for various "floating" camera angle shots.  The Pain Elemental partially re-uses some parts of the Cacodemon sprite, recoloured, and it has the same holes as well. This means either all Pain Elementals and Cacodemons are females, or they are simply just holes in the orginal clay models that were never filled in, either by accident or on purpose. So far, there is no offical explanation for these holes, and the same goes for the hole near the Imp's rear end when it dies.

Their frightening but comical appearance helps explain their popularity as a symbol and mascot for the Doom series. They're commonly nicknamed "tomatoes" or "pumpkins" in the same way Demons are called "pinkies" or "pigs", similar to how Pain Elementals are often nicknamed "Meatballs".

Combat Characteristics

Cacodemon encounter

A Cacodemon in E3M2: Slough of Despair.

They attack by spitting a ball of plasma or by biting with their gaping maw. The Cacodemon often seems to distance itself from the player when under attack, though the cause of this is that it is being pushed back by successful hits from its enemies.

Cacodemons emit a loud hissing sound when they first see the player or otherwise become active, and use the pain sound shared by most of the demonic monsters from Doom. When killed, they let out a whimpering moan and fall to the ground, splitting open like a burst pustule and spewing copious amounts of blue blood and intestines that flow forth to reveal their bared brains, while their sole eye pops out of its socket. Also, some of its horns break.

Tactical Analysis

Cacodemon attacks are relatively easy to dodge, and with sufficient space large numbers of Cacodemons can be fought while sustaining little or no injury. Because they are slow, and because their pain chance is high, they are fairly easy targets. The Chainsaw can incapacitate them, and repeating weapons such as the Chaingun or the Plasma Gun are very effective against them, as they are pushed away and are nearly unable to fight back. However, their tough red alligator-like hides can absorb a large amount of damage, and more powerful weapons such as the Super Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, or BFG 9000 may be more appropriate when dealing with the monsters when they come in packs. They are relatively easy to goad into attacking other monsters, but can occasionally be tricky in this respect if they are floating in a high position allowing most of their shots to go over other monsters in the player's area. Their slow floating speed can, however, increase a player's chances of luring them into another monster's firing line. When possible, the best monsters to lure a Cacodemon or multiple Cacodemons into the path of would be a Spiderdemon (Doom or Doom II), a Heavy Weapon Dude or an Arachnotron (Doom II). Each of those 3 monsters all have repeating weapons which can come in even more handy when multiple Cacodemons are present in a given area. A skilled player could use a Shotgun, run in for close shots, and dodge any incoming attacks while reloading and retreating. Multiple Cacodemons can also be mowed down in fairly short order with the BFG 9000, in 1 to 4 shots depending upon how many a player is combating & how closely together they are bunched.

Because of their flight ability and versatility, it is not uncommon to see these flying out of unexpected angles once alerted.

Although the Cacodemon has a melee attack, it does not actively try to use this attack; it simply "happens" if the player is at point-blank range at the time the Cacodemon attempts to launch a projectile. (The Cacodemon's melee attack also does not have a sound effect associated with it.) This is presumably to prevent the enemy from abusing this attack while located at a greatly different elevation from the player (where the player would not be able to retaliate).

Data Statistics

ID # Hit points Speed Width Height Reaction time Pain chance Pain time Mass Bits
3005 (decimal), BBD (hex) 400 8 map units per frame

(93.3333 map units per second)

62 56 8 128 (50%) 6 tics 400 4211206

1: 2: 9: 14: 22:
Obstacle Shootable No Gravity Floating Affects Kill %

Sprite name Alert sound Action sound Pain sound Death sound
HEAD DSCACSIT DSDMACT DSDMPAIN DSCACDTH

Melee

Damage Sound
10-60 none

Range

Type Speed Damage Width Height Sprite name Sound
Projectile 10 map units per tic

(350 map units per second)

5-40 12 8 BAL2 DSFIRSHT (firing)

DSFIRXPL (impact)

Bite damage

CacoMHistogram

Damage done by a Cacodemon's bite

Bites needed to kill1 Mean Standard deviation Min Max
Player (100%

health, no armor)

3.31 0.82 2 6
Player (100%

health, security armor)

4.74 0.97 3 8
Player (200%

health, combat armor)

11.86 1.30 9 15
Barrel 1.15 0.36 1 2
Zombieman 1.15 0.36 1 2
Shotgun Guy 1.34 0.51 1 3
Wolfenstein SS 1.87 0.74 1 4
Imp 2.16 0.74 1 5
Heavy Weapon Dude 2.50 0.65 2 5
Lost Soul 3.31 0.82 2 6
Commander Keen 3.31 0.82 2 6
Demon 4.74 0.97 3 8
Spectre 4.74 0.97 3 8
Romero's head2 7.65 1.14 5 11
Revenant 9.04 1.21 6 12
Cacodemon 11.86 1.30 9 15
Pain Elemental 11.86 1.30 9 15
Hell Knight 14.73 1.34 12 18
Arachnotron 14.73 1.34 12 18
Mancubus 17.68 1.44 15 22
Arch-Vile 20.56 1.58 17 25
Baron of Hell 29.15 1.81 25 34
Spiderdemon 86.67 1.96 81 92
Cyberdemon 115.34 1.37 112 119

Shot damage

PlasmaHistogram

Damage done by a Cacodemon's projectile

Shots needed to kill Mean Standard deviation Min Max
Player (100%

health, no armor)

5.02 1.09 3 8
Player (100%

health, security armor)

7.16 1.23 5 10
Player (200%

health, combat armor)

17.99 1.97 13 22
Barrel 1.44 0.60 1 4
Zombieman 1.44 0.60 1 4
Shotgun Guy 1.80 0.75 1 4
Wolfenstein SS 2.75 0.78 2 5
Imp 3.16 0.86 2 6
Heavy Weapon Dude 3.61 0.91 2 6
Lost Soul 5.02 1.09 3 8
Commander Keen 5.02 1.09 3 8
Demon 7.22 1.29 5 10
Spectre 7.22 1.29 5 10
Romero's head1 11.68 1.70 8 16
Revenant 13.90 1.83 9 18
Cacodemon2
Pain Elemental 18.27 2.04 13 22
Hell Knight 22.80 2.24 17 28
Arachnotron 22.80 2.24 17 28
Mancubus 27.28 2.45 21 33
Arch-Vile 31.76 2.58 25 37
Baron of Hell 45.16 3.09 36 52
Spiderdemon 134.41 2.61 128 140
Cyberdemon 179.12 2.55 173 184
  1. These tables assume that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, impact animations, and backfire checks 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.
  2. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
  3. Hardcoded exception to infighting negates damage (excepting indirect damage caused by exploding barrels).

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Cacodemons:

Game ITYTD and HNTR HMP UV and NM
The Ultimate Doom62144193
Doom II44121188
TNT: Evilution437699
Plutonia95108123

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