Doom Wiki
"What a name. And what a guy. Killing him is almost as bad as letting him live."
Doom II instruction manual.

The Pain Elemental is a monster introduced in Doom II and appeared in Final Doom. It resembles a Cacodemon, but brown in color, with a larger red eye and a pair of arms. Its primary attack is launching Lost Souls, large fiery flying skulls with horns, from its mouth. An updated design was made and used for the monster in Doom 64, sporting two mouths that both fire Lost Souls, while its' counterpart Cacodemon would take over a design that resembled the classic Pain Elemental. This Pain Elemental is canonically made from dead Cacodemon tissue, which is why it resembles the classic Cacodemon instead of a Pain Elemental, and vice versa. The classic Doom II design would make a comeback with an updated more modern look in Doom Eternal, with larger horns, a brighter-glowing eye, and an animation that made it look like it was running on legs even though it was floating. The classic monster, upon dying, if in an open enough area, will explode, spawning a cluster of lost souls that attack the moment they are spawned. The Pain Elemental is absent in Doom 3. Plans were made for the Pain Elemental as well as the Spider Mastermind, renamed "Asmodeus," to appear, but due to time and budgetary constraints, these monsters were ultimately scrapped.

Doom RPG / Doom II RPG[]

Main article: Pain Elemental (Doom RPG)

The Pain Elemental appears in two Doom RPG games as a class of monster. There are three variations, identified by color:

They do not, however, spawn Lost Souls when they attack; only when they are killed. They are particularly weak against attacks from captured Hellhounds.


  • A level demonstrating how a Pain Elemental can be resurrected, despite normally never leaving a body behind when it dies, as a ghost monster (file info). Step on button 1 to activate the crusher and wait for the Pain Elemental to die, and then step on button 2 to stop the crusher when it is near the ceiling. After that, step on button 3 to release the Arch-vile and witness the resurrection.
  • The Pain Elemental, alongside the Mancubus and the Arch-vile, are the only monsters that have their own unique pain audio clips. They emit a sharp croaking sound, similar to them saying "Ow!".
  • The Pain Elemental is one of two monsters (the other being the Lost Soul) that does not generally leave behind a corpse, and hence will not respawn when the Nightmare! skill level is chosen or the -respawn parameter is used. The only exception occurs when a Pain Elemental is crushed while it is dying, in which case it will leave a small pool of gibs. The gibs can be resurrected by an Arch-vile, creating a ghost monster as a result. This event is one of the most rare occurrences in the game.
  • In Brutal Doom, a Pain Elemental will explode violently when destroyed (unless via fatality), subjecting anything nearby, including the player, to potentially fatal blast damage.

See also[]