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"Tough as a dump truck and nearly as big, these Goliaths are the worst things on two legs since Tyrannosaurus rex."
Doom II instruction manual.

The Hell Knight is a monster introduced in Doom II. These monsters first greet the player in MAP05: The Waste Tunnels.

Background[]

The Hell Knight is a weaker version of the Baron of Hell. It is identical in appearance as a bipedal goat-like demon with tan legs, black hooves, and fists covered by a slight greenish tinge. The main difference is that its upper skin is lighter tan in color than its legs, instead of dark pink.

The Doom II manual describes the Hell Knight as follows: "Tough as a dump truck and nearly as big, these Goliaths are the worst things on two legs since Tyrannosaurus rex". In the manual for the original Doom, this was the description used for the Baron of Hell. The Official DOOM FAQ uses "Slightly easier to kill than our friend the Baron, but appear in larger numbers. " instead. The manual for the early versions of the PlayStation port refers to them as "Knights of Hell".

Combat characteristics[]

A Hell Knight emits a loud high-pitched trumpeting cry, similar to an elephant. When in pain, they will make a low-pitch demonic moan that most other monsters make. But otherwise, will resort to making a soft low-pitched growling sound like most other monsters when they are present.

It overall behaves identically to the Baron of Hell, attacking opponents by scratching up close or throwing green comet-shaped fireballs from range. Unlike their health, the Hell Knight's fireball and melee damage is identical to that from a Baron of Hell, still making them dangerous opponents, nonetheless.

Unlike their Baron counterparts, Hell Knights generally appear in much larger numbers or accompanied by other lesser demons to assist on taking down the player.

When killed, they emit a gurgling scream (the origin of the sound is a jaguar's roar from a sound library with synthesized effects added). Since it uses the same sprites as Barons, only palette-swapped, a Hell Knight's death sequence is the same as the Baron's (having it's upper body split apart and collapsing with their intestines and green fluids spilling out).

Tactical analysis[]

The Hell Knight overall, is functionally equivalent to the Baron of Hell, except for having only half as much health. Therefore, the weaker Hell Knight serves better as a 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 heavier weapons. Despite this, they can make this up by appearing in larger groups, which can arguably make them much more threatening than a single Baron.

The Hell Knight attacks are easily dodged, as they make a single attack without special effects and, given sufficient space, their unswerving fireballs can be avoided through circlestrafing. However, their fireballs are faster than those of Imps or Cacodemons and can do very heavy damage on a successful hit. Because these monsters take relatively heavy beatings before going down, and because their pain chance is low, use of the rocket launcher, plasma gun, or super shotgun is convenient. However, provided that the player can get at sufficient range without being hit, the chaingun and shotgun will also work well. Melee attacks against them are hazardous, as they put the player at risk of being clawed, although five berserk powered punches will generally take them down. To avoid damage, the player needs to move in, deliver a punch and quickly move away before it counterattacks.

To kill them requires about 3 rockets, 23 energy cell shots, 50 bullets, 6 seconds with the chainsaw, 8 well-placed shotgun blasts, or 3 point-blank super shotgun blasts. The BFG9000 at close range can easily kill a Hell Knight in one shot, but the moderate threat an individual Hell Knight poses makes this weapon a wasteful overkill unless if they come in packs.

Despite being classified as two different types of enemies, Hell Knights and Barons of Hell will never attack each other as the projectiles they both use are identical. While they lack the amount of health as their Baron counterparts, Hell Knights are still better than average in monster infighting, being able to easily take on lesser enemies up to a Revenant, and only falling against higher-tier foes like the Mancubus. As they often come in bigger numbers than the Baron of Hell, a group of Hell Knights can likely turn the tide on their own favor if fighting against other groups of monsters.

Attributes
ID # 69 (decimal), 45 (hex)
Hit points 500
Speed 8 map units per frame
(93.3 map units per second)
Width 48
Height 64
Reaction time 8
Pain chance 50 (19.53%)
Pain time 4 tics
Mass 1000
Bits 4194310
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite name BOS2
Alert sound DSKNTSIT
Action sound DSDMACT
Pain sound DSDMPAIN
Death sound DSKNTDTH
Melee attack
Damage 10-80
Sound DSCLAW
Ranged attack
Type Projectile
Speed 15 map units per tic
(525 map units per second)
Damage 8-64
Width 6
Height 8
Sprite name BAL7
Sound DSFIRSHT (firing)
DSFIRXPL (impact)
SkelFHistogram

Damage done by a Hell Knight's clawing attack

Blows needed to kill1 Mean Standard
deviation
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
2.77 0.78 2 5
Player (100%
health, security armor)
3.87 1.02 2 7
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
9.41 1.48 6 13
Barrel 1.12 0.33 1 2
Zombieman 1.12 0.33 1 2
Shotgun Guy 1.25 0.46 1 3
Wolfenstein SS 1.61 0.70 1 4
Imp 1.81 0.76 1 4
Chaingunner 2.04 0.79 1 4
Lost Soul 2.77 0.78 2 5
Commander Keen 2.77 0.78 2 5
Demon 3.87 1.02 2 7
Spectre 3.87 1.02 2 7
Boss Brain2 6.12 1.19 4 10
Revenant 7.22 1.33 5 11
Cacodemon 9.41 1.48 6 13
Pain Elemental 9.41 1.48 6 13
Hell Knight 11.65 1.67 8 16
Arachnotron 11.65 1.67 8 16
Mancubus 13.84 1.72 10 18
Arch-vile 16.07 1.78 12 20
Baron of Hell 22.81 2.10 17 27
Spiderdemon 67.42 2.81 61 74
Cyberdemon 89.66 2.76 83 95
Bos2FHistogram

Damage done by a Hell Knight's fireball

Shots needed to kill Mean Standard
deviation
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
3.37 0.88 2 6
Player (100%
health, security armor)
4.78 1.04 3 8
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
11.68 1.70 8 16
Barrel 1.27 0.51 1 3
Zombieman 1.27 0.51 1 3
Shotgun Guy 1.44 0.60 1 4
Wolfenstein SS 2.04 0.77 1 5
Imp 2.25 0.76 1 5
Chaingunner 2.56 0.73 2 5
Lost Soul 3.37 0.88 2 6
Commander Keen 3.37 0.88 2 6
Demon 4.78 1.04 3 8
Spectre 4.78 1.04 3 8
Boss Brain2 7.66 1.32 5 11
Revenant 9.04 1.46 6 13
Cacodemon 11.68 1.70 8 16
Pain Elemental 11.68 1.70 8 16
Hell Knight3
Arachnotron 14.55 1.88 10 19
Mancubus 17.27 2.00 12 21
Arch-vile 20.10 2.11 14 25
Baron of Hell3
Spiderdemon 84.14 2.60 79 93
Cyberdemon 112.12 2.48 107 117
  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).

Appearance statistics[]

In classic Doom, the Hell Knight is first encountered on these maps:

Game ITYTD and HNTR HMP UV and NM
Doom II MAP06: The Crusher MAP06: The Crusher MAP05: The Waste Tunnels
TNT: Evilution MAP03: Power Control MAP04: Wormhole MAP02: Human BBQ
Plutonia MAP02: Well of Souls MAP02: Well of Souls MAP02: Well of Souls

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Hell Knights:

Game ITYTD and HNTR HMP UV and NM
Doom II 22 58 75
TNT: Evilution 63 93 110
Plutonia 104 138 151
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