- "I thought you'd appreciate the sentry I chose - The great Agaddon Hunters from the Telos Realm. Though long thought to be extinct - created to hunt only the Slayer and his Night Sentinels during the Unholy Crusades. Some improvements on the design have been made. Enjoy what is undoubtedly my finest work."
- ― Deag Ranak
The Doom Hunter is a new type of enemy introduced in Doom Eternal. It's a cybernetic demon from an ancient line known as the "Agaddon Hunters", creatures that were native to Earth in prehistoric times.
During the Hellish invasion of Earth, UAC cultists discovered the Agaddon Hunter remains and excavated them. The demons were revived and mechanically augmented by the cultists inside their polar facility dubbed Doom Hunter Base under the supervision of Deag Ranak, who considered them to be his finest creations. Three Doom Hunters were used as Ranak's personal guardians, being sent against the Doom Slayer when he breached the cultist base.
The Doom Hunter's cybernetic augmentations are extensive, with the only visible remnants of the original demon being its head, right arm, and half of its upper torso. The rest of its body is mechanical, including a large cannon, a twin-bladed chainsaw arm, and a set of thrusters that allow it to move through the air. It can also interface with a "sled," a hovertank-like apparatus equipped with dual heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, and a shield generator that protects the Doom Hunter's main body from harm.
Once a race of beast-like hunters, the Doom Hunter creature was known to Sentinel warriors in ages past as lethal stalkers of the Metal Age. Extracted from the frozen depths of the polar tundra, the Doom Hunter belongs to an ancient race uncovered during Cultist excavation in the remote arctic. Preserved below the frozen ice for millions of years, the unearthed remains of this creature were deemed suitable for reconstruction, becoming the subject of Cultist necro-regenerative bio-experimentation. Within the remote Cultist citadel, a high-tech ritual altar which towers over the Golgothan ruins, the Doom Hunter was ceremoniously and systemically resurrected and rebuilt. While the majority of its components are now cybernetic it retains a high degree of mental faculty - a sentient, brutal haunting instinct augmented with the armaments of a tank division.
Doom Hunters are Super Heavy demons with a wide variety of attacks that allow them to deal damage at all ranges. Their rocket boosters grant them limited flight, allowing them to move surprisingly quickly in multiple directions.
The Doom Hunter's attacks include:
- Slashing at the Slayer with its chainsaw arm, dealing heavy melee damage.
- Using its arm cannon to shoot fireballs at the Slayer.
- Using the two guns mounted on its sled to shoot a barrage of projectiles.
- Firing a missile barrage from the launchers on its sled. These missiles will home in on the Slayer, but their tracking can be shaken off by dashing or double-jumping. As with the guided missile attack of a Revenant, a red warning will appear in the HUD if a Doom Hunter's missiles are tracking the Slayer.
The Doom Hunter's upper body is protected by a plasma shield that blocks all damage, with the exception of the Heavy Cannon's "Micro Missiles" Mod. The shield can be destroyed temporarily by using cell weapons like the Plasma Gun, but will regenerate after some time. Alternately, its sled can be targeted directly without destroying its shield. The sled takes additional damage from Blood Punch attacks. Two Blood Punches in a row easily destroys the sled.
Once the Doom Hunter has taken enough damage, it will abandon its sled, flying with only its upper body. An audio cue of "CRITICAL DAMAGE" accompanies a Doom Hunter detaching from its sled. With its sled gone, it loses its shield and can no longer use the sled-mounted guns or fire missiles. However, it becomes more mobile and aggressive, with a tendency to "hop" sideways to dodge attacks at long range. This state can be skipped if the Doom Hunter is attacked with the Plasma Gun's Microwave Beam mod: if the creature is pinned by this for long enough, it can be destroyed without ever detaching from the sled.
Similarly to the Hell Guards from the previous game the player will have to fight 3 Doom Hunters, these versions of the Doom Hunter for the most part are near identical to their common spawning counterparts with a few differences:
The enhanced versions of the Doom Hunters are more resistant to Flame Belch and are completely immune to Ice Bombs, they also require Glory Kills to be put down permanently. They appear as minibosses.
Even though the Player is advised to primarily overload the Doom Hunter's forcefield; the best course of action is to simply ignore the forcefield and destroy the sled. Destroying the sled instantly eradicates the Doom Hunter's forcefield and prevents it from generating any more. The sled is particularly weak against the Combat Shotgun's "Fully Automatic" Mod and the Chain Gun's "Mobile Turret" Mod.
The Player must avoid coming close to the Doom Hunter at all times as it can do critical damage with a single two-hit combo from its rotating chainsaw. The Doom Hunter can use this attack at all times, before and after getting its sled destroyed. The Doom Hunter's rocket attacks are also notoriously hard to dodge and it is not advisable to even be of mid-range of the Doom Hunter, before or after it's sled is destroyed.
After destroying the Doom Hunter's sled, the Plasma Gun becomes a very useful gun regardless of what mode is being used. Its default Mode is ideal for shooting down the quick-moving Doom Hunter from a range, It's Shockwave Mod allows the Player to paralyze the Doom Hunter for a few seconds and it's Microwave Beam can completely paralyze and damage the Doom Hunter for as long as it is being used.
- The Doom Hunter bares a strong resemblance to the Necron Destroyer from Warhammer 40,000. Both are destructive monsters that rely on a sled that use floatation units for propulsion. They are also both skeletal in form and used as heavy support.
- The Doom Hunter bears some resemblance to Sabaoth from Doom 3 (a humanoid on treads equipped with ranged weaponry), a Super Tank from Quake II, and the Strogg Heavy Hover Tank from Quake IV.
- The Doom Hunter's plasma shielding is most likely inspired by the Elites/Sangheili from the Halo series, where they possess a rechargeable energy shielding in their armor, making them resistant against conventional bullets, but vulnerable to plasma weaponry.
- The Doom Hunter is one of the few demons to speak coherent English phrases during the game; the first one says "SLAYER IDENTIFIED" when activated by Deag Ranak, and all specimens say "CRITICAL DAMAGE" when ejecting from their sleds.
- The demon has other English phrases but were unused in the final product.
- The twin-bladed chainsaw arm the Doom Hunter has is similar to the chainsaw from Doom 64.
- During QuakeCon 2018, the Doom Hunter was designated by Hugo Martin as the Doom Slayer's ''Arch-Enemy''. and in QuakeCon 2019, it had its reveal teaser showing him and the Doom Slayer fighting in multiple levels. Some fans speculated that the Doom Hunter might be a unique demon that would hunt the Slayer anywhere and anytime randomly. This would not be the case in the final product, since the Doom Hunter would first be introduced as a boss fight then occur regularly as super heavy demon.
- In-game data states the original Agaddon Hunters existed roughly 80 million years ago, which would have made them co-existent with the dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous period. What they exactly evolved from is unclear, though the game states they are indigenous to Earth.
- A gigantic "crucified" four-armed Agaddon Hunter torso is found towards the end of the Cultist Base level. The significance of this specimen is not clear.
- The Doom Hunter is the only Super Heavy Demon to also be a Boss as it has multiple phases and a health bar like the other bosses (special encounters such as the Marauder lack this).