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The Imps in DOOM 3 are humanoid in shape, have grey skin with bony scales on their arms, and 10 small eyes. Compared to their original counterparts, and like many of the game's other Demons, they have a more "Alien-like" appearance. Unlike the "serpentine hisses" produced by their classic counterparts, this new version emits Hawk-like screeches (although when standing guard somewhere nearby, they can still hiss to warn players of their presence). These monsters are tall and aggressive, standing a little less than a foot taller than a normal Human.

Imps are very common, appearing more frequently than many other Demons. This could suggest that Imps serve as the primary foot soldiers of Hell. They often teleport into an area after a player enters it, or has performed some action. Moreover, they like to hide in front of doors leading to secluded areas or hallways, from where an Imp can leap onto the player once he opens the door.

In Hell, Imps have a different appearance than those encountered on Mars. Their skin is flesh-colored, making them appear to have been flayed. This fact leads some to think they are naturally skinless and their bodies adapted when exposed to the Martian environment.

An Imp makes his introduction in a cutscene where the Marine walks past a door, when he hears a strange screech and turns back to find the source of this sound. The Imp suddenly comes out from a narrow space between a wall and a huge steel gas pipe, crawling through the ceiling, jumps across to hang against a wall, then hops feet-first to the ground to face the player.

Combat Characteristics[]

From long range, Imps throw explosive hell-fire balls from their hands that travel in an arc, and attack with their claws at close range. On occasions, they can also pounce forward in a scratching attack, or lie in ambush by hiding behind doors or corners, or climbing on the ceiling to pounce on the player. They will sometimes leap sideways when hit to dodge additional fire. Imps can also climb up on walls and ceilings, although this is generally limited to scripted events.

Tactical Analysis[]

The DOOM 3 Imps are tougher than their classic counterparts. they are a lot more agile and have gained the ability to pounce at the player from great distances. Their hell-fire balls also deal splash damage, and it can also obscure the player's vision from the smoke, and the hell-fire ball's trajectory allows it to be hurled more naturally in an arc (like a baseball being thrown), rather than straight as in the original version.


An Imp in Hell. The visual defects are due to the Berserker power-up.

Being the very first Demon class to appear in the game, the Imps will force the player to replace their Pistol with a Shotgun as the most basic weapon to take them out; a well-placed point-blank shot can kill them instantly, but players should be wary of their tendency to suddenly drop to all fours and pounce on the player. If this happens, grab your Shotgun and wait for them to pounce. Players should aim for the upper part of their bodies and move in as close as possible as the Imp's thin stature makes them difficult to hit it with the full spray of pellets even at the slightest distance.

15 to 20 rounds of Machine Gun fire can also bring down Imps, and has the advantage of being able to mow them down from long range outside the range of their pouncing and melee attacks. Against multiple Imps, more powerful weapons such as the chain gun and plasma gun are advised. Imps have been observed (sometimes) to be somewhat bounded in certain areas, meaning that Imps will cease chasing after the player has escape an Imp's guarded area. In this state, the Imps may only throw their hell-fire balls and return if the player is still within their sight.

Imp Demon

Evading their hell-fire balls is fairly easy once players get used to their traveling arc. Moving forward and ducking whenever the Imp tosses their projectile is the easiest way to avoid being hit. In more open areas, strafing sideways also works if there's enough space to do so. Their hell-fire balls have minimal splash damage, causing only a couple points of damage, so take that into consideration when dodging. If you have the Grabber (in Resurrection of Evil), you can catch the hell-fire ball in mid-air and shoot it back at them; a direct hit should kill them. It will be one of the first uses you will have for the weapon; the soldier who gives you the Grabber is shown doing just this and tells the player about it before turning over the weapon. The Imps' hell-fire balls are known to have a certain degree of "friendly fire."

Overall, the Imps serve as a lower middle-tier Demon; they are on par with Maggots and Wraiths in terms of combat threat, making them more threatening than Z-Secs, but trivial compared to Demons.

UAC Research Notes[]

These notes can be downloaded to the player's PDA during the course of the game:

Specimen 197 - Imp
This humanoid's long and muscular limbs make it extremely agile as a biped or quadruped. Its long and sharp claws allow for climbing steep surfaces. A configuration of 10 eyes provides this creature with a wide field of vision and the ability to see with clarity in low-light environments.

Specimen 27 - Imp (partial)
-Left forearm amputated for biological study.
Researchers are currently studying how this creature is able to manifest and throw an explosive plasma projectile from its hands.


  • There are actually 2 different types of Imps in the game code; the regular Imps that walks normally, and quicker versions of the Imps that always walk on all fours while throwing their hell-fire balls in a lower arc at a faster rate.
    • These second versions of the Imps are not actually used in the single player campaign, presumably being replaced by the Vulgars in the expansion pack, as they displays nearly identical behavior. However, this version of the Imps often appears in fan-made levels, as well as in the Lost Mission campaign included with DOOM 3: BFG Edition.
  • The DOOM 3 Imps shares some similarities with the Lickers from the Resident Evil series, both humanoid creatures who walk on all fours and emit high-pitch screeches and hisses and possessing high agility to pounce on their prey while crawling up on walls and ceilings.
  • In the Alpha version of DOOM 3, the Imps emitted animalistic snarls accompanied by the Hell Knight death audio from the classic games.
  • The Imps found in the 2005 movie closely resemble the DOOM 3 Imps.