The Doom novels are a series of four officially licensed books, written by Dafydd ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver. They were released by Pocket Books between June 1995 and January 1996. They were reissued in 2005 with new cover paintings.
The four titles, Knee-Deep in the Dead, Hell on Earth, Infernal Sky, and Endgame, comprise a continuing narrative centering around Space Marine Flynn "Fly" Taggart and a ragtag band of human survivors. All are written from a first person perspective, usually with Flynn Taggart as the narrator. Ever since their publication, some Doom fans have insisted that "Flynn Taggart" is the Doomguy's real name, though id Software has never confirmed it, and in this case, it should be noted that the marine (or separate individuals) might have some other names than "Flynn Taggart", or just not have a name at all (which would mean the player would be the marine in this case.)
Knee-Deep In The Dead
The first book, based on the events of the first Doom game, flows with the continuity of the three episodes, mentioned below. It opens with a prologue in the Middle Eastern country of Kefiristan. Fox Company leader Lt. Weems orders his men to open fire on civilians. Flynn "Fly" Taggart, the "Doomguy", attacks him.
Before he can be sent for court martial, however, Fox Company is called to the UAC research facility on Phobos to deal with a disturbance. Fly is kept prisoner by two Privates while the rest are sent off. This may be Fly's saving grace, as Fox Company is wiped out by the invading forces. Escaping, Fly encounters several zombies, then a run-in with an Imp (Knee-Deep in the Dead, with the imp within what is recognizably E1M1).
Moving deeper into the complex, Fly finds more monsters, as well as "A.S." arrow marks on the walls - PFC Arlene Sanders, his best friend, has survived and is leaving him directions. Ultimately, Fly reaches the two Barons, defeats them, and is transported to Deimos Base, completely naked (The Shores of Hell). On Deimos, he finds Arlene, regains clothes and weapons, and the two eventually find the Cyberdemon and defeat it. Teleported again, the two find themselves inside a gigantic fleshy enclosure, and field-strip corpses for clothes and weapons once more (Inferno).
Here, they meet Bill Ritch, a UAC computer programmer whom the Spider Mastermind captured and tried to interrogate. The three make their way through this complex, ultimately defeating the Spider Mastermind, at the cost of Bill Ritch's life.
Returning to the surface, they find they are still on Deimos, which has been moved to Earth orbit. And the giant dome that holds in the oxygen has cracked. Worst of all, they can see explosions all over Earth's surface - the invasion has already reached Earth.
Hell on Earth
The second book opens right as the first ends, with Fly and Arlene stranded on Deimos, in Earth's orbit and the oxygen leaking out of the base. Fly gets the idea to build a shuttle craft to carry them to Earth - a risky, improbable plan, and while they have the parts from "mail tube" unmanned shuttle parts, their experience lies in the fact that Fly once built a car out of spare parts.
Over the next month, the two build their craft, but as the oxygen runs low and they start to hallucinate and run out of food, they fly their shuttle, managing to survive the trip, eventually landing several miles away from Salt Lake City. A several days' walk leads them to the city, and the truth - humanity is an endangered species. SLC is one of the few human resistance strongholds, as the Mormons had a survival plan and years worth of supplies for such an event.
Arlene expresses displeasure over their surroundings, as her brother had converted to Mormonism during his own downward spiral in life. Fly makes things worse when he contacts Marine HQ. As it turns out, world governments turned traitor to the aliens, as did their militaries. Within hours, armed forces from the Marines, FBI, Army, ATF, and IRS (a "revenue collection" armed branch) attack the city.
The President of the Twelve, displeased at Fly and Arlene's failure, offer them a chance to make amends - lead a team into Los Angeles, recover vital information, disable the aliens' shields, and fly the information to a Marine resistance center in Hawaii. With them will be Albert Gallatin, an ex-Marine sniper and converted Mormon, and Jill Lovelace, a fourteen-year-old former computer hacker who lost her parents in the invasion.
The book follows their trip west. On the trip, Arlene falls in love with Albert despite his religion. Jumping a train headed west, the team kills a Spider Mastermind and a Cyberdemon and recover their human hostage - Ken, a young man with numerous computer implants in his body. Reaching LA, they find that the chemical brew that turns corpses into zombies is made by stoners and other drug addicts, those allowed to remain alive by the aliens for turning traitor.
Having determined Ken to be the information they need, they reach the airport. Albert is burned severely by an Imp fireball, but is luckier than Bill Ritch and survives. Albert and Jill remain behind to fly the plane to Hawaii while Fly and Arlene head to the Disney Building to disable the massive force shield. They succeed, but a gathering of monsters has them trapped. But Arlene has an escape plan...
This is clearly completely different from DOOM 2.
The book starts with a disturbing prologue featuring a woman and her son, who is missing an arm and is considered a war veteran, who are hiding out in a basement after the invasion. The son asks "why are there demons?", which creates a flashback to the woman's family being devastated by the monsters. Her husband had been killed by a Spider Mastermind, and in her terror she called out to him, which provoked the Mastermind's attention. It goes after them and catches her daughter, killing her horribly. The woman then answers her son that the monsters now roaming the Earth are not demons as they can be killed. She then claims to have hope that heroes will come to save them, and the two of them stare out into the night sky...
Meanwhile, Fly and Arlene are resting comfortably in Hawaii, along with Albert and Jill at the final Marine base. Fly and Arlene both tell their own version of how they escaped Los Angeles. It is here that Fly is promoted to Sergeant and Arlene to Corporal, and without the need for a chain of command or red tape, the Marines wipe Fly's record clean of his assaulting a superior officer.
Albert and Jill also learn bad news - Salt Lake City has been nuked. And the war is about to take a turn, as the military has decoded a signal sent from an alien race warning of the attacks, and giving coordinates to find help. The mission entails a return to Phobos, and activating a gate to send a team to parts unknown.
Meanwhile, Ken, the "cyber mummy" from the previous book, has had surgery and is awake, but his implants are left functioning to tap into the enemy systems. But Ken also reads into Marine plans, and he does not like the plans he hears of the future.
Under a new CO that comes off as a stubborn "by the book" type, Captain Hidalgo, Fly, Albert, and Arlene prepare to head back to Phobos - which will require a return to Los Angeles to steal a shuttle. No easy task, and Jill is needed to infiltrate - but an escape plan is set for her on her own. And to further complicate matters, Albert proposes to Arlene.
Securing the shuttle, the flight leaves, a six week long long trip to Phobos. Jill, left behind, misses her escape, left in enemy territory. In perhaps the most haunting scene of the book, Jill is forced to kill two human traitors with poison gas.
Back on Phobos, the team eventually reaches the Gate, and are sent off to a strange facility where they meet many other aliens, their allies against the demons. The chief representatives, the Klave serve as their liaisons. Few details are gained, but it seems Earth is another stop along a six million year war against the two alien sides. And humans have angered the demons, as humans, it seems, are the only species that actually dies.
It is explained that, for most races, when the body dies, the soul remains behind until a birth gives them a new body. Otherwise, the dead are arranged in theaters and entertained in the meantime. Humans do not work this way, they die.
The plan is simple - fly to the alien invader homeworld called the "Freds" by Marine HQ, and take the war to their front door. But without faster than light travel, while they will experience the trip in weeks, the actual trip will be twenty years each way. And when an accident leaves Albert unable to go, Arlene marries him - knowing when she meets him again, he will be in his sixties.
To complicate matters, the trip is interfered when a large spaceborne creature attacks their ship. They fight it off, but extensive damage forces them to a nearby planet to another gate. Transporting, the gate malfunctions as Fly accidentally telefrags Hidalgo, forcing Fly to kill him and leaving him and Arlene alone with Sears and Roebuck, their two Klave escorts. And they are trapped on a Fred ship. This leads to Fly experiencing a berserker rage, leading them into battle; with no clothes or weapons due to the Gate transport, they have to fight bare handed, and end up killing the Fred and taking the ship.
But this ship is not as fast. It may be on a direct course for the Fred homeworld, but at their rate of speed, they will take an eight-week trip - or, in actual years outside of their travel, two hundred years.
The book ends with an epilogue written/spoken by Arlene, where she laments the turn of events and knowing that she will never see Albert again. She is saddened by her loss, but understands that without the berseker fury Fly had gone through, they would not have survived the battle at all. Still, she remains distant from him, the wound still fresh. All she and Fly can do is sit on the opposite ends of the ships main chamber and stare off into the compressed, colored disc of stars, wondering what will happen to the Earth when they return.
Aboard the Fred ship, Arlene sinks into a deep despair over knowing she will never see Albert alive again, which makes Fly very anxious. They have synthesized new clothes and weapons, but her ring is gone. To make matters worse, Sears and Roebuck have holed themselves into a sleeping chamber, dreading the coming fight on the Fred homeworld. As they continue flying through space, Fly breaks Arlene's gloom by stepping in front of her as she fired her rifle aimlessly, taking a small hit in the shoulder. At first, Arlene is worried for his safety, but then turns angry at his interference, even avoiding him for a good while until she eventually asks why he did it. When he explains that it was to "piss her off," she is again angered, but eventually breaks free of her depression.
Upon reaching the Fred home world, they find nothing shy of a single Fred corpse. Recovering it and healing it, they question the Fred - a new species which the Fred calls "Newbies" in broken translation they had encountered long ago, that evolves even faster than humans, attacked them. And this new species is headed for Earth.
Unsure if this new species is a threat or an ally, Fly explores and finds one member, dead. An alien gray type creature, they revive it. However, this species evolves at a rapid pace, and tries to disable the ship, fearing what it will find when it meets the rest of its kind as several hundred years had passed since it left its planet. It attempts to get Fly and Arlene to join forces with it, but Fly kills it, not believing a word of it. Following the coordinates from the alien of where the Newbies were headed, a hundred-year trip lands them on an unknown desert planet, which they've dubbed "Skinwalker". The trip takes a hundred years outside of the ship.
They find humans. Humanity, as it turned out, survived the Doom Wars. Albert lived and focused on cryogenic research, only to die before it became reality. Jill survived Los Angeles, to become an author and die of old age.
However, these humans are odd. They fear death and take no risks. And they have personality switches. Fly and Arlene, recognized as legendary heroes, are given a computer sphere to answer questions. But Fly needs one question answered to settle his suspicions, capturing the captain, they take him to the medical lab and confirm his fears - the Newbies have evolved into a microscopic entity which lives inside humans.
But humans now have no faith in anything. And Fly determines that faith is harmful to the Newbies, for unknown reasons, but his sermons on faith somehow start to cure people of Newbie infection. And he and his converted lead a battle to take the ship.
The Newbies win, however. Fly and Arlene are strapped down and with needles in their brains; their "souls" are extracted and placed into computer simulations of Phobos to examine the human soul. Realizing that the simulation feeds off memories, he changes the events, literally recruiting the first Imp to his side in a sermon, and, determined to find Arlene, recruits other monsters.
Arlene and Fly, however, wake up outside the ship. Their souls were not extracted, but merely their minds copied. The real Fly and Arlene, with their human converts and the bodies of Sears and Roebuck, escape the ship's launch rockets. Reaching their destroyed ship, medical machines revive S&R. And, as it turns out, the moon of that planet is a hollow space port.
Using a Fred escape pod to fly to the moon base, the band of survivors secure a ship, knowing that, at best, they will arrive a month after the Newbies. The Newbies, as it turns out, had not yet been to Earth, but had just encountered humans on this world. Another hundred years in real time, mere weeks to them, they reach Earth. Fly and Arlene have returned four hundred years after they last saw their home planet.
Humans survived the Doom Wars, but while signs of civilization remain, all that's left is covered in uncontrolled plant growth. No humans are found. To the rest of the survivors, it has been two hundred years to them. Flying over the United States, they reach Salt Lake City - rebuilt, and the Mormon Tabernacle bigger than ever. And even stranger, the Newbies are nowhere to be seen.
Arlene, realizing what this means, contacts the Tabernacle. Jill's mind had been copied and now operates within the building. Allowing the ship to land and them to enter, Fly and Arlene quickly meet a hologram of Jill, slightly older than when they last saw her, who explains everything.
It seems this war started six million years ago due to the Gate builder race. Twelve million years ago, this race had left behind eleven fragments of an ancient text. For the past six million years, the Klave and the Freds have been fighting a war over the interpretation of these texts, a sort of intergalactic chess game. But humans, in addition to death, also evolve faster than any other race. When the Freds encountered Earth in the 1400s, they set to motion a plan to impersonate Hell demons. But the time of the trip coupled with the time to prepare allowed centuries to pass. Humans had evolved, fought back, and ultimately won.
As to Earth, the survivors slept in cryogenic stasis, awaiting the return of the Doom heroes of legend. Jill, cloned and resting, is found. Fly and Arlene are further led to a box labeled "Albert" with a small light, presumably containing Albert's ashes.
The final chapters explain why the Newbies never arrived. The computer copies of Fly and Arlene continued through the recreations of Phobos and Deimos, building their army of "converted" demons and zombies. They find the "back door" to escape from the program.
But this door does not lead to escape. It leads to a Newbie, connected to the program. Dragging the large black slug body into the program, the fast run time of the simulation causes something unexpected - the Newbie evolves much more rapidly, until it literally vanishes. And Newbies are all linked telepathically. It appears the entire species evolved out of existence by this act.
Believing themselves to be genuine and with no way out, "Fly" and "Arlene" decide to live inside the simulation for as long as it is powered, attempting to make themselves comfortable by remembering alternate events.
Reprinting cover images
Flynn "Fly" Taggart: The Doomguy, and the main narrator of the novels. Raised in Hollywood, California and Orlando, Florida by his father, who would often embarrass Fly with his crass behavior and criminal activities. Fly joined the Marines to make something of himself and escape his father's behavior. A good marine, until - as with the storyline of the games- he assaulted a superior officer who has ordered unarmed civilians fired upon. He is a non-practicing Catholic who went to Catholic school, though his religious beliefs are rather broad and he still maintains a healthy belief in God. Somewhat mechanically gifted, though sometimes lets his emotions and sense of duty override rationality.
Arlene Sanders: A female Marine who joined to prove she could be part of the Marines. Generally well respected amongst her squad for her willingness to go along with hazing rituals. She and Fly are best friends though avoid a relationship, as doing so would compromise things. She had a relationship with Wilhelm Dodd which ended when he was turned into a zombie on Deimos. She is quite intelligent and is generally more rational than Fly, though tends to be more emotional. She also tends to show a promiscuous sexual attitude towards men she likes. She was raised Episcopalian in her youth, but became a militant atheist in later years. She has problems with the Mormon religion due to her brother converting at one point in his troubled life. (Eric Harris of Columbine infamy was reported to have named his sawed-off shotgun "Arlene" , which confused some more casual fans of the series because the Marines were never actually named in gameplay, nor was there even clear evidence of different genders of Marines.)
Albert Gallatin: A devout Mormon and ex-Marine who left after the killing ate away his conscience. He often looks to the Book of Mormon for guidance. He and Arlene develop a relationship though he resists her temptations. The two are married prior to their leaving for the Fred homeworld though are separated shortly after when Albert is severely wounded and can not make the trip with them. All that is known afterwards is that he recovered and returned to Earth to help humanity with the "Doom Wars" and helped the new Earth government. Albert (or a clone) was put in stasis awaiting the return of Arlene to Earth.
Jill Lovelace: A 14-year-old orphan whose parents were killed in the invasion. She appears to be loyal to the Mormon president and will say what he wants to hear, though she seems more willing to help get revenge for her parents' death than she believes in the religion and will say what people want to hear as a result. She is a skilled computer hacker. She also develops a one-sided crush on Fly. After Fly and Arlene leave Earth, Jill is forced to use poison gas to kill two human traitors, an act which does not sit well with her. What is known afterwards is that Jill survived to fight the "Doom Wars" and helped form the new Earth government and wrote history books concerning the war. When Salt Lake City was rebuilt, a copy of her mind was used as the basis for the city's computer. Jill eventually grew old and died, though her mind lived on in the computer and a clone of her was put into stasis awaiting the return of Fly and Arlene.
The President of the Twelve: The head of the Mormon religion in SLC. A cool-headed leader of the human resistance and a devout Mormon, though somewhat manipulative of those he does not trust.
The "Freds": The Earth military name for the invasion forces. An evil alien race of "deconstructionists", they plan to invade Earth by genetically altering themselves and slave races to look like creatures from Earth mythology - specifically, the Christian idea of Hell - though as a species unfamiliar with evolution, did not expect Earth to defend themselves in the several hundred years it took to organize the invasion. In their natural state, they are said to have stubby bodies with large heads resembling artichokes covered in leaf-like scales and multiple eyes. Their limbs are thin with fingers like sharp chopsticks. They are a technologically advanced race though seem to steal their technology rather than develop it. While they do naturally reproduce, they generally produce their invasion fleet through cloning vats. They are believed extinct as of the end of the series, those on Earth are all killed in the war and those on the homeworld all killed by the "Newbies" as well.
The Klave: the chief representatives of the alien forces opposing the "Freds". The Klave are a "binary" race, of which they remain in mentally linked pairs. They do not understand the concept of individuality and can not deal with individuals. The two main Klave choose the name "Sears" and "Roebuck" by mentally scanning humans to represent themselves though no specific name is ever assigned to either. Killing one half of a Klave pair will generally cause the other to stop functioning and die as well.
The "Newbies": The second race the Klave and "Freds" encounter that evolves. They were encountered by the "Freds" in the 200-year span of Fly and Arlene's trip to the Fred homeworld. In that time the Freds were wiped out by the Newbies. The Newbies eventually left that world and encountered humans, their evolution speeding up until they changed into microscopic beings that inhabit a host body. Generally mindless, and strict, they reduce their hosts to a state of fear. Strangely, whenever a host has faith in anything - a god or an idea - the Newbies cannot survive in the host anymore. Logically, chemicals produced by the body during certain emotional states may be fatal to the Newbies. All Newbies are mentally linked. It is believed their species was literally "evolved" into extinction when one linked to a sped-up computer simulation of Fly and Arlene was drawn into the program, the enhanced rate of time passage forcing it - and the rest of the species - to rapidly evolve until they vanished. Evidence of this may lie on the fact they never reached Earth as they had planned.
Comparison with the games
The UAC facilities are described as having been built to go into the moons, which means there are not many open skies as in the games, only ceilings, though sky is seen mostly on Deimos (described as a silvery mist) and the Phobos Anomaly (which disturbs Flynn, as the complex is several stories underground). Green slime pools and exploding barrels remain, as do keycard doors.
The game weapons are included or mentioned to one degree or another, with notable changes and additions:
Fist: Used sparingly. Flynn takes a "few swipes" at some smaller foes (such as imps) on occasion, but when tangling with them melee-style, he tends to use a bayonet.
Chainsaw: Used in "Knee-Deep in the Dead" by Arlene to mow down a horde of demons in the "Hell Keep" section of Deimos. She finds one again in the "Warrens" section, using it in the same exact fashion.
Pistol: First gun used in the book by Flynn. Not seen much; he uses it to fell his first few zombies and picks up a same-caliber "Sig-Cow" automatic rifle to replace it. Uses 10mm bullets.
Shotgun: Also called "scattergun" and "riot gun" and from what it looks like, one of Flynn's favorite pieces of weaponry. He uses two varieties on Phobos and Deimos, including a "fascist pump-action" version, which he tends to dislike. Uses the same shell ammunition.
Super Shotgun: Seen in "Hell on Earth". Sometimes called a "double-barreled duck gun". Flynn's main weapon of choice on the L.A. mission. Uses the same shell ammunition.
Chaingun: Not seen, and is replaced with a belt-fed, VERY loud machine gun that seems to pack the same firepower.
Rocket Launcher: Used primarily in "Knee-Deep in the Dead". Same design, albeit with a few added features not seen in the game (firing pin, infrared laser sight, etc.). Uses "battery-sized" rockets as ammunition that pack the same kind of explosive potential as its PC game counterpart. It can be loaded with two rockets simultaneously, though only one can be shot at a time. In the books, Flynn discovers that he can use the rockets to destroy doors. Such an occurrence is not possible in the games.
Plasma Gun: Mentioned in "Hell on Earth" and used in "Infernal Sky". Flynn expresses disdain at bringing "one of those gas-powered plasma guns I never really cared for" for the L.A. mission, but it does not appear to have been used. Arlene ends up using a plasma gun on the superpumpkin when she and the other Marines return to Phobos.
BFG9000 : Used extensively at the end of "Knee-Deep in the Dead" and in one part of "Infernal Sky" - Flynn find it in Warrens (nicknaming it the "big freaking gun") and uses it throughout the rest of the book, expended the last of the ammo in the finale. Flynn comes across a BFG on Phobos when he and the other Marines return. The book does not cover the ammunition used for the BFG.
Other weapons not in the game appear in the books: for the L.A. mission, Flynn arms himself with a hunting rifle as a secondary firearm; Arlene's weapon of choice is an "AB-10" machine pistol, and she uses a "scoped .40-40" (a sniper rifle variant) for the L.A. mission; Albert is usually armed with a strange "Uzi-clone" and Arlene's .40-40 for any sniping; Jill first learns to use guns with an "AR-41", an automatic rifle she becomes quite fond of and which never leaves her side. Marines on the Phobos and Deimos installations are typically armed with a 10mm "Sig-Cow" automatic rifle that Flynn usually arms himself with, whether picking it off a corpse or from a zombie, but considers it a last resort weapon (he doesn't appear too fond of it, preferring something with more substantial firepower, but understands that it holds better stopping power than a pistol of the same caliber). The Freds are armed with two different weapons: a strange gun that fires out small, spinning UFO-like discs, and the "Fred Ray", a smaller handgun that fires an invisible, disintegrating ray.
Some of the games' items also appear in the novels, though not all:
Berserk Pack: Seen once. Arlene comes across one in the Deimos refinery in "Knee-Deep in the Dead", claiming that the pack contains a powerful dose of adrenaline best used for people in the throes of cardiac arrest. Using it on a healthy person will up their adrenaline amount to the point of madness-inducing, but at the risk of tachycardia, leading to death. Flynn decides to use it during an imp ambush, resulting in a temporary psychotic rage with the same effect as in the game taking place (red vision, increased strength). However, instead of his fists, Flynn opts for his bayonet to cut the imps apart. He doesn't contract tachycardia, but suffers a serious bout of fatigue as an after effect.
Computer area map : Seen twice. Flynn stumbles across the first one in the first nukage pool in the Phobos Labs and at first couldn't make head or tail of it. He eventually figures it out and uses it to navigate the labs and discards it when he ends up in Central Processing and finds it no longer useful. Arlene also finds one in the Deimos Anomaly, finding it in the same location as in the game (in the book, the room is described as a sort of closet).
Radiation Suit: Mentioned, but not seen. When Flynn takes a swim in the Phobos Lab nukage pool, he laments not finding one in order to protect himself, but the effects of the soul sphere prevent him from dying.
Soul Sphere: Found in various locations, usually in the same places as the game's levels. It appears similar to its PC game counterpart, but it seems to possess enough sentience to be able to move about on its own; when Flynn first comes across one in the Power Plant section of Phobos, it actually rushes at him. The physical effect of the sphere when coming in contact with someone is that it bursts and covers its new host with an increasingly darkening ooze that becomes absorbed into the body through various openings and pores. At first, the effect causes discomfort, as for several seconds it becomes difficult to breathe, but when the ooze is fully absorbed, all physical wounds are healed and the host becomes rejuvenated beyond belief. Such an effect can also bring a person back from the brink of death; when Arlene is fatally wounded by a demon in the Deimos Labs, a soul sphere near the exit heals her completely, save for soreness in her shoulder, and one is used to bring Hidalgo back to life upon their return to Phobos, and back to reality after the portal transport, both in "Infernal Sky". A side effect of the soul sphere's healing capability is, apparently, fatigue and drowsiness. It is said in the books that Sears and Roebuck, as well as other allies of the Hyperrealists, are the ones responsible for creating the soul spheres.
Megasphere: Not mentioned or seen.
Armor bonus: Not mentioned or seen.
Health bonus: Not mentioned or seen.
Blur artifact: Not mentioned or seen.
Invulnerability sphere: Not mentioned or seen.
Stimpack: Mentioned and occasionally seen. Throughout Flynn's journey through Phobos, he usually comes across them as singular syringes of "all-purpose stimulant" and, sometimes, pockets a number of them to use on himself and other survivors he may come across. As he and Arlene journey through Deimos, they come across several broken syringes, with the stimulants removed; Flynn theorizes that imps somehow enjoy the taste and actually ingest the liquid inside.
Medikit: Seen and used. No two medikits are exactly the same; each one contains several different medical items, including bandages, anti-toxins, burn creams, antibiotics, and painkillers. Some other cases usually packaged in with medikits contain rations.
Backpack: On Phobos, Flynn once comes across a small pack similar to the backpack in approach, but smaller in appearance (possibly resembling a fanny pack). It contains several different items, such as ammo, chewing gum, a pencil-thin flashlight and a small bottle of water.
Light amplification goggles: Seen once on Deimos. The effects are different from its game counterpart, however; instead of completely lighting up a person's vision, it acts more like a pair of night-vision goggles, making its wearer able to see in complete darkness, but in a sort of red haze. Arlene uses a pair in the Central Hall on Deimos, but a dampening effect, possibly created by the invaders or the goggles' batteries dying, affects her vision, causing the goggles to die out on her halfway through a pitch-black maze of corridors. On Earth, actual night-vision goggles are used, but are different in approach than the light-amps.
As well, some of various in-game hazards are also seen/used in the books:
Barrels: Seen only in "Knee Deep in the Dead". They look and act almost exactly like their in-game counterparts: semi-tall, metal, fragile barrels full of volatile nuclear waste that explode with impunity when shot at. Flynn uses them on a number of occasions to his advantage when outnumbered, resulting in the same splattering effect. When the waste is burned in the explosion, they release a dull, blue-hued smoke that permeates the air around the explosion's vicinity.
Nukage: Seen only in "Knee Deep in the Dead". Looks and acts similarly to its in-game counterpart, though the physical effects of someone stepping in/on it and its actual appearance are different. Flynn describes nukage as iridescent neon-green lava, replete with a bubbling effect, that gives off a minor, light-giving glow and a very pungent smell. Anything that falls into nukage will slowly melt away, including weapons, ammo, and Flynn's own boots. Actually touching the toxin with one's bare flesh will result in almost instantaneously numbing pain, with a slower effect occurring if someone were to step in it while wearing any kind of footwear (Flynn recalls feeling a sort of slow, aching numbness travel up his calf when he walked through a pool of it in his combat boots). In the Phobos Lab, Flynn actually swam in a pool of nukage, which slowly sapped his strength and left him exhausted, but spared only by the grace of a soul sphere's benificence (he believed that if he didn't have it with him, he would have died in the pool). He makes a passing comment on doing so to Arlene, who doesn't believe it could happen. Much like the game, the alien invaders seem to be immune to its toxic effect.
Crushing ceilings: Seen only once. In the Deimos Labs, a yellow keycard was being "guarded" by a large constantly-moving piston that crushed any and all underneath it (except for the key, which, strangely, was not harmed). Its movements and life-threatening demeanor are similar to how they act in the game, but in a more realistic way; if a person ended up underneath it, it would result in instant death rather than damage.
Monster infighting: Occurs frequently. Flynn uses this to his advantage multiple times in his many battles against the invaders, noticing that certain monsters are more prone to fighting specific types (zombies vs. imps, imps vs. demons, cacodemons vs. barons). Strangely enough, monsters can fight, and successfully kill, their own kind; imps are quite susceptible to attacking one another, and zombies have a bad habit of shooting each other. At times, Flynn believes that they will fight and kill one another if no other humans on the Phobos and Deimos installations are found, and a theory is presented that they all have natural enmity towards one another (a good example of this is between barons and cacodemons) and that they are all in a forced, very tenuous truce with each other on account of the spiderdemon's mental hold of them. Flynn and Arlene believe that, should the "mastermind" by found and killed, they will all turn on one another. This theory is demonstrated to be true by the end of Book One wherein the monsters are slaughtered by The Mastermind as they pose a threat to him, and is again demonstrated as Fly and Arlene make their ascent to the surface, only to find most of the monsters have killed each other off.
Book one follows the first game closely in terms of the plot and general locations throughout. One of the best examples is when everytime Flynn ends up in a new location (from Phobos to Deimos, then through the Hyperspace Tunnel with Arlene in tow) he loses all his equipment and is forced to use a pistol, usually the first weapon he comes across. Book two features a setting on the monsters invading Earth, but a much different story. For example, the resistance against the monsters is not unified here, as many Earth governments have turned traitor.
Book three breaks with the original plot, as contact is made with an alien race that is on humanity's side. These creatures supplied the blue soul spheres found throughout the game and the books. The main race is the Klave, whose members are found in linked mental pairs. The Klave do not understand individuality and can only interact with people in pairs. The two who accompany Fly and Arlene take the names "Sears" and "Roebuck" for themselves after scanning human minds.
Book four diverges even further from the original story, by moving Fly and Arlene into the future and introducing more aliens.
Many game levels are included, some in heavily modified forms.
- E1M1: Hangar is described in detail as Fly's entryway into the base, including the armor room and the nukage room, as well as his first encounters with zombies and imps.
- The swastika room from E1M4: Command Control is mentioned, seen by the main characters as an attempt by the demons to use symbols to scare humans, as they had previously used other symbols (e.g. upside-down crosses).
- E1M8: Phobos Anomaly is detailed with Hell Princes, the star-shaped room, and the Gate that leads to Deimos.
- E2M1: Deimos Anomaly introduces Fly to teleporters. The large, red inverted cross gate is also used/seen. Arlene is also found here, in the alcove with the red key card. Cacodemons are also encountered.
- Arlene is severely injured by a demon near the exit in E2M4: Deimos Lab, while she and Fly were distracted by a scrolling wall of faces also visible in the game. While approaching the exit, Fly discovers the secret room containing a soul sphere behind him, and uses it to save Arlene.
- During the period of the novel set on Deimos, the characters teleport into an area where they are surrounded by a circle of Barons of Hell, before releasing a horde of Cacodemons in to fight with them. The description of the scenario plus the reference to bodies of 'opposing' creatures in each other's lairs (including crucified bodies of the Barons) links this to the secret level Fortress of Mystery.
- E3M1: Hell Keep is easily recognizable by a good Doom player, as it is described nearly the same as in the original levels.
- E3M2: Slough of Despair is identified when one of the characters notes that the area looks like a giant hand.
- E3M9: Warrens: After passing through the part of book, which is equal to E3M1: Hell Keep, they have to fight their way through nearly the same area, but like in the game the map changes instead of teleporting out and leads to a second Cyberdemon battle.
- E3M8: Dis is the location of the first Spider Mastermind battle, with the central building in the room housing a large machine which amplifies the Mastermind's telepathy to a wider range.
- The second novel describes a battle whereby a Spider Mastermind and Cyberdemon are tricked into fighting each other. Although the scenario takes place on a train, the confrontation parallels the map Gotcha! as this is the only time in the game that the two monsters are in proximity and forces the player to cause conflict.
The monsters in the novels are not demons, but aliens engineered to look like demons, and don't possess any of the purely supernatural properties exhibited by the monsters in the games. The invading species first encountered humans in the 15th century, and had not expected such an evolutionary leap (similar to the plot of Harry Turtledove's Worldwar alternate history novels). In their natural state, the aliens are described as tall creatures with heads like artichokes covered in numerous eyes and leaves. They have long, sharp fingers like posable chopsticks. (Many of the creatures may be of other races, however, subjugated and cloned for an army.) Some creatures seem to have a natural hatred of others, exemplified by the fact that Barons and Cacodemons willingly kill each other.
The monsters are often referred to by new names by the characters. The exceptions are the Imps, as well as one scientist character who uses the proper game names. His reasoning behind the names is that they are "creatures from the id".
- Former Humans: Dead humans reanimated through a chemical introduced to their bodies after death. The chemical was likely developed by the aliens though human traitors on Earth were allowed to produce it in exchange for basic freedoms. Unlike zombies in either films or other games, the undead here show no interest in consuming living flesh, but rather attacking living humans with whatever weapon they have. Soldiers killed in battle will carry their guns and fire until out of ammo, while civilians will use whatever they were holding when they died. They have limited reasoning functions though they seem obedient to the demons either by chemical programming or through telepathy. Certain soldier zombies Flynn comes across talk in a repetitive, "tape loop" way, usually babbling about "the Gate is the key". They have what is often described as a "sour lemon" smell with eyes that are dried from non-blinking. Flynn and the other humans at one point obtain rotten lemons and coat themselves with them to smell the same and infiltrate a demon stronghold. Called simply "zombies" in the series.
- Imp: Unchanged in appearance for the most part, though their eyes are described as "maddened red slits" versus the large, hateful eyes in the game. Some can talk, and their speech usually consists of simple sentences with long, drawn-out hisses for the letter S. Much like in the game, they usually hiss when alerted, but can also roar when attacking or injured. Their fireball-throwing ability is explained by having them spit a wad of mucus into one hand, which ignites on contact with the air and is then hurled. They are covered in an oily substance which protects them from their own flaming mucus. Called "spinies" in the series.
- Chaingunner: Very different from the game versions. They are not zombies, but living humans who all look identical (possibly a reference to the usage of a single sprite set in-game to represent numerous copies of an enemy). Instead of a traditional chaingun, they come armed with belt-fed machine guns. They are believed to either be clones or human traitors who have been genetically altered. In addition to their armor and gun, they wear night-vision goggles. Called "Clydes" in the series"
- Demon: Unchanged in appearance, but found in various sizes. They make a pig-like snuffling sound and are similar to their depiction in the games as rather brutish, stupid beasts who closely resemble guard dogs in intelligence and behavior. They are also said to have an extremely foul body odor. Called "pinkies" in the series"
- Spectre: Invisible "ghosts" appear primarily in the Phobos installation and are at first difficult to determine. They appear with a "shimmering", "watery" appearance and apparently do not bleed when shot at. They make the same pig-sounds as the "pinkies" when Flynn comes across them in his battle with the hell-princes, leading to the conclusion that they and the pinkies are "one in the same". Called "ghosts" in the series.
- Lost Soul: Though unchanged in appearance, they are instead mechanical flying skulls on fire. They still explode when killed, but as a result of a fiery combustion of jet fuel. Called "flying skulls" in the series.
- Cacodemon: Unchanged, with the exception that they are found in various sizes. They are referred to by the characters as 'Pumpkins,' and have an uncontrollable hatred of Barons of Hell. In the computer simulation of Phobos in "Endgame", Flynn somehow "remembers" that they can talk, and the one he befriends, "Olestradamus", possesses a voice that sounds like "Darth Vader on a tape running at half speed" and with a stutter.
- Mancubus: Unchanged in appearance and behavior, though they come in various sizes. It is explained that their body fat and loose skin causes their eyes and ears to be almost completely covered, leaving them nearly deaf and with poor eyesight. They are believed to be an early attempt at human cloning. They are nicknamed 'Fatties' by the characters. The guns mounted on their arms are described as having three smaller mouths that shoot out white phosphorous versus the single, large barreled guns in the game.
- Arachnotron: Does not appear, though Marines on Earth mention having encountered them in battles. and are referred to as "spider-babies"
- Revenant: Nearly the same as in the games, but appear to have a layer of skin on their bodies, much like the Revenant of Doom 3. They also wear red shorts and a white T-shirt (most likely due to the authors misinterpreting the Revenant's in-game sprite and mistaking the body armor and gore on its legs for clothing). They are believed to be an early attempt by the aliens to genetically grow human duplicates, albeit a failed one. The fact they wear clothes when none of the other monsters do may back up this belief. They possess the same broken marionette walking trait and up-close punch, but their missile launchers only have two missiles loaded. More often than not, the firing of the missiles destroys the revenant. They are nicknamed 'Bonies' by the characters.
- Pain Elemental: Appears once; looks and behaves as in the game. Called a "superpumpkin" in the series. As our heroes are battling the creature, the lighting in the corridor they're in begins to shift, from regular light, to blue, and then red, distracting and confusing the characters; this effect subsides after the Pain Elemental is destroyed. Flynn wonders if the "superpumpkin" was the cause of the bizarre light.
- Arch-Vile: These are simplified in the novels. They are not shown to resurrect the dead (though neither is it specifically stated that they do not have this ability), and instead of creating a wall of flame, they contract their bodies and explode, like a living bomb, setting anything around it on fire. They are also surrounded by intense heat, enough to melt bullets shot at them. An ordinary fire extinguisher can disable them for a few minutes, however. They are nicknamed 'Fire Eaters' by the characters.
- Baron of Hell: Unchanged in physical form, but fire their plasma from mechanical wrist launchers (as with the game's cover art). They are called "hell princes" by Flynn.
- Spider Mastermind: Almost identical to the game versions. Their brain cases are protected by clear domes, and they can also use telepathic attacks to induce fear in humans. They also appear to have the ability to speak perfect English, though the one on Deimos only did so to Bill Ritch during his interrogation and never to anyone else. While the Doom manual seems to identify the main Mastermind as female, all indications in the novel are that it is male - though no real identifier is ever given aside from human assumption. Others are later encountered on Earth. Strangely, the book seems inconsistent in its wording, as at one point it is mentioned they have six mechanical legs though other mentions seem to follow the game design. It was once theorized by Flynn and Arlene that the Mastermind had only a tenuous control over the invading forces on Phobos and Deimos, and that left to their own devices, they would kill each other, though they were not able to know for sure after killing it. It's referred to as the "spidermind" in the series.
- Cyberdemon: Described as being fifteen meters tall and has a rocket launcher powered by JP-9 rocket propellant. They are unchanged in physical appearance for the most part, with the exception of a visible missile rack on their backs. One character manages to disarm a Cyberdemon by sabotaging the inner mechanism of this missile rack. Called a "steam demon" by Flynn, a "cyberdude" by Bill Ritch, and a "Moloch" by Albert.
In addition to the game's monsters, a mysterious creature is also introduced at one point, a black cloud-like creature that stays near water, with three shark fin-like protrusions on its head. The only one seen is killed, evaporating as its core is destroyed by a bullet. It is never named, nor is its nature explained.
There is some debate as to what degree the nature of the novels' versions of the monsters breaks from the continutity present in the games, due to certain interpretations of cutscene and back-story text from the games themselves. For example, various cutscenes in Doom II refer to the monsters generically as "aliens", and Final Doom's plot has them traveling on spacecraft to reach Earth. Observing only these or similar references, it could be assumed that the monsters in Doom could in fact simply be aliens. However, other cutscenes, story, and gameplay elements present in the games themselves make explicit reference to the supernatural elements of Hell that aren't accounted for by the novels. Overall, the general consensus is that the monsters found in the novels do in fact break continuity from the monsters found in the games themselves.
The Doom novels have been heavily criticised by some members of the Doom community. Much of the criticism comes from the ways the story differs from the game.
While the story is set in the Doom universe, the authors take several artistic liberties. The novels also introduce several other characters not suggested by the video games, but this is not the problem...
Beginning with Infernal Sky, the storyline departs dramatically from anything related to the computer game, becoming more reminiscent of science-fiction space operas such as The Forever War.
The books are also notable for containing many continuity errors as well, with several scenarios having different descriptions and meanings from book to book: e.g.the differentiation of the Spider Mastermind's physical appearance (most noticeably having a crystal dome over its brain); in the first book the Mastermind is said to be out of ammo, but it resumes firing on the next page; it also gives the Mastermind's minigun's rate of fire as "300 rounds per minute" (half the rate of fire of an AK-47) but later has it fire 750 rounds in 15 seconds, which would be (more appropriately for a minigun) 3000 rounds per minute. Gunnery Sergeant Goforth has a "thick, Georgian drawl" ("Knee-Deep in the Dead") but seems to come from South Carolina ("Endgame"); Arlene being the one to dub the imps as "imps" while Flynn called them "spinies" in "Knee-Deep in the Dead", though in "Infernal Sky" Arlene claims that "I can see why Fly calls them 'imps'", an incorrect assumption that he called them as such first; Flynn's assumption that, in order to secure "Dude" Dardier's shotgun in "Knee-Deep in the Dead", he would have to "put a bullet into her pretty blond head" should she come back as a zombie, but when he comes across her corpse later in the book, she is, for whatever reason, a red-head; Jill is also said to be a red-head in "Hell on Earth", but her clone at the end of "Endgame", for whatever reason, has blond hair; when Flynn, Arlene and Sears and Roebuck end up on the Fred ship in "Infernal Sky", they are naked with no weapons whatsoever, and during the ensuing battle, the only weapon they use against the Freds are their own Fred Rays, but in "Endgame", the Marines are armed with regular military artillery for unexplained reasons; some confusion as to which monster killed Hidalgo's wife in "Infernal Sky". He originally states that it was a minotaur, leading some readers to believe it to be a baron (in the books, they are usually referred to as "minotaurs"), but other characters later in the book claim that it was, apparently, a cyberdemon.
But the main reasons they are disliked is the absence of Hell, and the demons are just engineered to look like creatures from Christian mythology. The reason why Hell was not in the Doom novels is unknown, but has upset many readers who were fans of the original game.
Flynn Taggart's serial number is 888-23-9912.
- Doom: Knee-Deep in the Dead - ISBN 0671525557
- Doom: Hell on Earth - ISBN 067152562X
- Doom: Infernal Sky - ISBN 0671525638
- Doom: Endgame - ISBN 0671525662
- The Page of Doom's image gallery (see first & second image row for scans of the novel covers)