Cyberdemon is perhaps the most formidable and powerful enemy in Doom. It is a tall, muscular, minotaur-like beast with two dark black/grey horns, a cybernetic right leg, a large rocket launcher mounted on its left arm, red wiring on its lower torso, as well as patches of metal and wires on its right arm.
Go ahead and pinch yourself. This is no ordinary nightmare. Your first view of the formidable Cyberdemon occurs in the Tower of Babel. Talk about lasting impressions. And it's not just the Cyberdemon's size that's frightening. (A Cyberdemon could crush you like a grape if he stepped on you.) A Cyberdemon is hybrid creation, an amalgamation of hardware and organics making up one totally tough robo-monster. The Cyberdemons's left arm has been enhanced with a high-power rocket launcher and he seems to have an inexhaustible supply of rockets. If you manage to escape an encounter with the Cyberdemon, pinch yourself again: You could be dreaming.
A missile-launching skyscraper with goat legs. 'Nuff said.
Half unfeeling machine, half raging horned devil. This walking nightmare has a rocket launcher for an arm and will definitely reach out and touch you. Make sure you're loaded for bear before you take on this guy.
This monster first appears as a boss in the level E2M8, and re-appears in the secret level E3M9, and also on E4M2, E4M6, and (on Ultra-Violence/Nightmare! only) E4M7. The Cyberdemon is also featured on the retail box cover of Doom II, and they are conveniently placed in maps where the player can take them down with little effort.
The Doom manual does not list this enemy, presumably to make its climactic appearance in E2M8 a surprise. It does get a listing in the official strategy guide however. It doesn't get a listing until the Doom II manual. The PlayStation, Doom 64, and SNES manual for Doom, however, does make mention of the Cyberdemon.
A Cyberdemon will let out a loud animalistic, bovine-like roar when it spots a player - loud enough to be heard no matter how far away it is from the player. It attacks by firing barrages of three rockets. It has 4000 hit points and does not receive splash damage from explosions, making it fairly difficult to kill. It is also the fastest moving monster in the original game (the Lost Soul's charge attack not withstanding), and second fastest in Doom II (after the Arch-vile). When destroyed, the Cyberdemon's mechanical body parts explode, vaporizing the organic parts into reddish clouds of flesh, blood and gore, leaving only his blood-soaked hooves behind; as he explodes, he lets out a short roar that is readily interrupted by the sound of his body exploding.
Cyberdemon rockets are the same as the player's rockets; however as all projectiles shot by monsters, they do not damage other monsters of the same type. Furthermore, the Cyberdemon and the Spiderdemon take only direct hit damage, and are immune to all blast damage (BFG's blast damage being the only exception). Therefore, a greater number of rockets is required to kill these bosses than might be expected, and they must be direct hits. The immunity to blast damage also precludes a player from attaining cheap kills or cheap damage against Cyberdemons by either of the following methods: (a) tricking the enemy into firing rockets while it is standing against a wall, pillar, or other obstacle, or (b) running point blank up against the Cyberdemon while invulnerable through the use of cheats or artifacts. The Cyberdemon is given a higher probability of performing his attack than other monsters, causing him to launch volleys of rockets at a high frequency. While the Cyberdemon does not have a melee attack in the PC games or Doom 64, one unintentional one exists in the SNES port; if the player is too close to one, its attack consists of the rocket firing animation but a "scratching" sound is heard with no rocket fired at all. Brutal Doom, however, does give the Cyberdemon a melee attack: a violent stomp with his right (mechanical) leg that results in instant death even at 200% health and armor. This attack is also present in Doom 3's Cyberdemon. In common with other monsters, although the Cyberdemon is shown with his rocket launcher in his left hand, the rockets emerge from his middle (this visual glitch was ultimately fixed in Brutal Doom, causing the rockets to be correctly launched from the monster's arm cannon).
Killing a Cyberdemon is almost impossible without a large amount of ammunition. The BFG9000 is the most effective weapon against a Cyberdemon, although the plasma gun can work fairly well. Three to four direct BFG hits will usually kill a Cyberdemon, and at point-blank range two well-placed shots are enough (example). If a BFG9000 is not available, the rocket launcher is also effective - but be prepared for a long fight, since around 45 well-placed hits with the rocket launcher is required to kill a Cyberdemon. Killing a Cyberdemon with other weapons is significantly more difficult: for example it takes around 400 bullets from a chaingun. It is extremely difficult to kill a Cyberdemon with melee attacks and it takes just about 371 chainsaw or non-berserk fist hits to do so, but given their extreme powers and low pain chances, it is strongly not recommended under most circumstances. The Xbox Live Arcade release of Doom II features an achievement that requires the player to kill a Cyberdemon with their bare hands, named "You Have Huge Guts", after the Doom comic. This can be achieved by giving the final blow on it with a fist, after softening it up with other weaponry. There is also a trophy that can be attained called "Knuckle Sammich" on the classic collection of Doom if you kill the Cyberdemon using the same method used to attain the "You Have Huge Guts" achievement on the Xbox 360.
Because a Cyberdemon has a low pain chance, it is difficult to prevent it from attacking. It is also important to be constantly aware of when it fires a rocket, as it will do so relentlessly. Circlestrafing can be used to avoid return fire while attacking. Because one rocket will often be enough to critically injure the player, it is imperative that all rockets are avoided. Because of splash damage, it is also important to stay away from the explosions. For example, it is advisable to avoid standing too close to a wall when fighting a Cyberdemon, as splash damage can be sustained from rockets hitting the wall.
A skilled (or extremely lucky) player can somewhat nullify the Cyberdemon's low pain chance by straferunning towards it to get within point blank range, and then hitting it with the super shotgun. The monster will flinch roughly eighty percent of the time when hit by the full twenty-pellet blast, giving the player time to retreat, reload, and repeat the process. This can take the Cyberdemon down in fewer than 25 shots, but is very risky, and only recommended in areas where the rocket launcher is impractical, or to conserve rocket and plasma/BFG ammunition.
The Cyberdemon's immense size can sometimes be used as an advantage when attacking it. In some maps, the Cyberdemon(s) is(are) in a large courtyard or structure and the entrance is too small for him(them) to pass through. This can help a novice player to escape if major injuries are sustained.
Due to its massive size, firepower and hitpoints which are by far the highest among demons, the Cyberdemon easily dominates in monster infighting battles. Because of this, luring it into fighting another monster is a great way to save ammunition. However, there is a chance of them losing if fighting either against the Spiderdemon (often happens in MAP20: Gotcha!) or a large group of very strong demons like the Baron of Hell (MAP08: Tricks and Traps).
In Doom 64, the Unmaker, when at its full power and at close range, can kill the Cyberdemon at a very fast rate, faster than two shots from the BFG9000. Be warned though, its low pain chance means that the Cyberdemon can still fire rockets, even at close range, so don't get too reckless. On harder levels, facing two Cyberdemons simultaneously is still going to be difficult, though not as hard when relying on the BFG9000.
|Thing type||16 (decimal), 10 (hex)|
|Speed||16 map units per frame|
(186.7 map units per second)
|Reaction time||8 tics|
|Pain chance||20 (5.47%)|
|Pain time||10 tics|
22: Affects Kill %
|Sprites & sounds|
|Chase sound||DSHOOF and|
|Shots needed to kill1,2||Mean||Standard
health, no armor)
health, security armor)
health, combat armor)
|Baron of Hell||5.09||0.50||4||6|
- This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal 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 the target takes a direct hit from each shot.
- Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
- Hardcoded exception to infighting prevents all damage. Normally, monsters of the same type will engage in infighting if damaged indirectly via the blast damage from exploding barrels, but in the case of the Cyberdemon, the monster's immunity to blast damage nullifies this possibility.
In classic Doom, the Cyberdemon is first encountered on these maps:
The IWADs contain the following numbers of Cyberdemons:
|Game||ITYTD and HNTR||HMP||UV and NM|
|The Ultimate Doom||4||4||5|
- May be encountered earlier if the super secret level is played.
- Doom II Survivor's Guide, pg 26
- Doom II manual, pg
- Doom SNES, Doom Playstation manuals, pg