The SNES Doom timeline (aka the Midway/Williams timeline) is the structured events of the original series of Doom games from the original 1993 release to the 1997 Doom 64, to 2020's Lost Levels based on the manual from the SNES Doom. For a more complete listing of the timeline from iD multiverse perspective see ID multiverse timeline (Doom 3 as sequel). An alternate version of the Doom timeline based on the Doom Novel's settings for the event might place Doom 1 as early as c. 2011-2012 about a decade earlier.
This timeline is noteable as it only appears in the Midway/Williams based games which include SNES Doom, PSX Doom (Saturn Doom), PSX Final Doom, and Doom 64. The latter three which were designed by the same developers, using enhanced Doom engine, and fully realized in Doom 64 with new textures, and story.
Noteably, original Doom (and the early sequels) does not have clear dates for when events take place. Only in SNES Doom (and the novels), is it implied to take place during early 21st century in a neo-1990s retrofuturistic setting, and there are only a few references to amount of time between games. Only the SNES manual gives any 'clear dates' for the events leading up to the events of the original Doom (while novels makes it less clear, and deviates from the games' plots). Otherwise there really isn't much of a timeline to actually list.
Tom Hall has indicated that the protagonist of Doom (the original Doom/Ultimate Doom which he worked on) is the descendent of the main characters from Wolfenstein and Commander Keen series. He is grandson of Commander Keen (which was part of the early concepts of the ID multiverse). Tom Hall's comments that he is the grandson of Commander Keen, this supports the theory that the timeline of the SNES manual is accurate. Since Keen grew up in the late 1980s-early 90s and likely would have had a son in the late 20th century to early 21st century (and grandson would have been born in 21st century). The Doom RPG series also took this route with the characters B.J. Blazkowicz and Stan Blazkowicz (though clearly from a later century). The novels which lie outside of the game canon (or canons) also places the general events in the early to mid 21st century, see Doom novels timeline.
Tom Hall has also noted that Doomguy might not necesarily be the grandson of Commander Keen, but some future decendent 'way later', many generations down the timeline (to avoid any specific dating of when Doom took place). This could support the 22nd century references too (Doom 3/Doom RPG series).
- Originally, I had (if I recall correctly):
- 1940s B.J. > 1960s Arthur (newscaster) > 1980s Billy > . > . > . way later .... > DOOM guy (although this was very patriarchal for these three.) I had it that being a hero skips every other generation.
- ...but for the old games: Wolf3D, Spear, Keen1-3, Keen Dreams, Keen 4-6...(many generations)... DOOM 1&2.
Certain aspects about classic Doom games and their manuals are confusing and don't always seem to line up. This has opened up theories that there are events not covered in the game's or even multiple Doom Marines involved. For example Doom's original ending and Ultimate Doom's ending are different than the prologue to Doom 2 with the heroes reaching Earth by different means. Doom 2 also talks about Mars Base being invaded as well from the Outside, and the invasion stopped by the marine who lands on earth via drop ship discovering that Earth has been invaded. Some fans think this might even be the events shown in Doom 3.
Several of the later manuals and websites claim it's the same hero in all the games confusing matters further.
Note: Technically no exact date is given for Doom II, but its assumed by the fans to take place directly after Doom/Ultimate Doom at least chronologically (it technically would depend on how long it takes to get from Mars to Earth in a drop pod).
The exact order of Final Doom is not clear either, but the scenarios are listed in the order of TNT:Evilution followed by The Plutonia Experiment.
Classic Doom (Original Doom Games)
- 2018 - The military, UAC's biggest supplier, has used the remote facilities on Phobos and Deimos to conduct various secret projects, including research on inter-dimensional space travel.
- 2019 - The Marine assaults a superior officer, and is transferred to Mars, home of the Union Aerospace Corporation.
- 2021 - July 1 - DOOMNL 01-D19305-1C is published.
- March 15 - Mars receives a message from Phobos base stating that the base is under attack and requesting backup.
- A few hours later, the marines land and try to stop the invasion. The Marine is ordered to stay behind and protect the perimeter. The marine forces are wiped out or turned into monsters. Planetary authorities send the final Marine the new DOOMNL 01-D19505-1D replacing earlier manual (now including briefing for the Marine, and images from the invasion captured by remote video cameras. The video data was computer analyzed by the UAC and the results are provided "here and only here"). The Marine leaves the escape pod vowing to take down as much of the invasion force as possible before death.
- Knee Deep In the Dead begins as the Marine arrives in the Hangar Atrium.
- Knee Deep in the Dead ends as the Doom marine is ambushed by the forces of hell upon arriving on Deimos, and presumably dies.
- Shores of Hell begins as the Doom Marine finds himself alive somehow, and pushes against the forces of Hell.
- Shores of Hell ends as the Doom Marine rappels down the surface of Deimos, discovering that it is now orbiting above Hell itself.
- Inferno begins as the Doom Marine arrives on the surface of Hell.
- Inferno ends with the Doom Marine killing the Spider Mastermind, the general of the Phobos and Deimos invasions, and 'rewarded' with a gateway to Earth discovering Earth has been invaded and his pet Rabbit is killed.
- Thy Flesh Consumed begins (an interquel of sorts inserted after Shores of Hell and before or during Doom II). The Doom Marine continues to fight in revenge for his dead pet Daisy stopping the Spider Mastermind's invasion force sent through to earth before he got there. But he is unable to prevent Hell on Earth.
- Meanwhile, another Marine stops a demonic invasion on the UAC Mars Base on Mars over the course of a few days. He is given leave to return to Earth. He was the only survivor on Mars. He returns to earth in a drop pod only to discover it has been invaded by the Demons from the Outside.
- Doom II/PSX begins
- No Rest for the Living begins
- The Doom Marine continues his battles on Earth after Hell's forces were seemingly vanquished, and is forced to travel to a pocket universe to stop another demonic threat.
- The Union Aerospace Corporation is entirely reformed, as the original stockholders, trustees and management were killed in the invasion of Earth, and begin managing two projects; one in an unknown jungle, and the other on one of the moons of Jupiter.
- Yearly supply ship reaches Jupiter's moon. Demons use it to invade the UAC base there.
- TNT Evilution/PSX begins with the Doom Marine, the last surviving marine on the Jupiter moon base, once again fighting against the forces of Hell.
- TNT Evilution ends with the Doom Marine destroying the Demon-spitter
- The Quantum Accelerators succeed in their maiden test, however fail in their second activation leaving one Gate left open for the forces of Hell to enter.
- The Plutonia Experiment/PSX begins as the Doom Marine fights against the forces of Hell again after arriving via pickup truck.
- The Plutonia Experiment ends with the Doom Marine destroying the Gatekeeper, swallowing up the final demons and the accelerator.
- The fatigued Doom Marine is decommissioned, and the military DOOM Episodes are classified. The UAC's bases are sealed, and quarantined by radioactive bombardment.
- Years Later
- Mother Demon survived in radiation of bombarded planetary space installation. Shielded in the radiation it resurrected the demons mutates them into stronger and more vicious forms.
- A long forgotten relay satellite barely executing, decayed by years of bombarding neutrons, activates and sends its final message to Earth. The satellites message was horrific, from the planetary void there came energy signatures unlike anything sampled before.
- The classified archives are opened. The military episodes code named "DOOM" were not actually completed.
- Doom 64 begins. The Doom Marine, the only experienced survivor of the DOOM episode is re-commissioned to stop, the latest invasion, he stops the Motherdemon's forces which had been building in the former battlegrounds he failed to clear.
- Doom 64 ends. The Doom Marine decides to stay in Hell to prevent the rise of another demon lord after destroying the Motherdemon.
- The Lost Levels begins. A new chapter in the Doomguy's saga, taking place shortly after [Doom 64's] original campaign concludes. The Mother Demon the marine defeated, had a sister, and Doomguy has been messing up Hell non-stop, she tried to get rid of him by sending him away back to a base on Earth. He makes it back to the sister in Hell and take's revenge.
- The Lost Levels ends. The Marine had not expected to be torn from Hell so soon after his fateful decision. Getting back there was his only concern. The plans of the sister Resurrector to exterminate him had failed. A grim vision took hold of his mind as the demon carcasses steam in his wake. Stretched before him is was a path of perpetual torment... A path through DOOM...
- 2149 (future and/or parallel universe?)
- Doom VR
- Doom (2016) Begins
- Doom Eternal
- According to the SNES and PSX (tall) manual; "When the Creatures first appeared in at the Gateways, their images were captured by remote video cameras. The video Data was computer analyzed by the UAC and the results are provided here, AND ONLY HERE, to help you determine what you're up against. Some call them Demons, some Call them Monsters. Whatever they are, the're not of this world and they're waiting for you."
- Further more each of the enemy recognition screen data listings includes "Time" when they were first appeared in the cameras.
- Former Soldiers were first appeared at 17:48. Former Sergeants first appeared at 03:21, Imps appeared at 11:34, first images of Demons was at 20:17, Lost Souls at 02:47, Cacodemons at 09:35, Barons of Hell at 22:59, Cyberdemon at 13:26, Spider Demon at 11:11. The times are there for flavor and show that they they all appeared on the same date, though the times are not particularly useful information beyond that.
- PSX Doom adds these times for the new enemies (as they can show up on Phobos, Deimos levels, etc as well): Knights of Hell at 04:16, Arachnotron at 16:08, Chain Gunner at 23:52, Revenant at 01:42, Mancubus at 08;55, Nightmare spectres at 21:04, and Pain Elementals at 06:22.
- SNES Doom is the "DOOMNL 01-D19505-1D" which replaced the "DOOMNL 01-D119305-1C".
- PSX manual is the "DOOMNL 02-D9560524-1D" apparently published later.
- Another minor change which might change certain contexts is that the SNES and PSX manual changes the description related to artifacts from 'the other dimension' to 'the other dimensions' plural for whatever reason, perhaps suggesting that Hell takes place in multiple dimensions or that UAC has accessed multiple dimensions (in Doom (2016) the possibilities of multiple dimensions is discussed see Worlds and Time).
- The details related to the Add-ons version of Evilution states that it takes palce directly after Doom II. This implies that Plutonia takes place after Evilution. This is also the order of the games in the manual of the original release of Final Doom, which also talks about events of Doom II, having taken place before Evilution.
- According to the Doom 64 manual it mentions "planetary" twice and both "space installation" (space installations) when discussing previous events. Some believe this may be a reference to the Mars Base invasion on Mars rather than Phobos/Deimos invasions which occurred on the moons (rather than planets). However, at least two sources state that the game starts out on Phobos.
- Technically no date for Doom II's events are ever given in any source (other than mid-21st century in the novels). The novel is a very loose adaptation practically a different/original story even, lacking most of locations and events from Doom II. Though characters do reach earth from Deimos using a shuttle, which might be loosely inspired by the drop pod account in Doom II manual.
- In Doom RPG Deimos may be missing (at least only its orbit can be seen), which appears to be a nod to Doom/Ultimate Doom (and a hint that at least in the ID multiverse it takes place after Doom, and is in the same timeline as hinted on the website). Though it takes place in the 22nd century.
- The official doom strategy guide mentions 2500 B.C. as the date of Sun Tzu.
- The official Doom II strategy guide ignores much of the first part of the intro to Doom II manual, instead retelling the events at the end of original Doom (but minus the events of Thy Flesh Consumed): "At the end of DOOM, Our Hero, having returned to Earth, is left staring at a flaming city, evidence that the demon aggressors have arrived ahead of him.
- Doom 64 apparently takes place after "Doom II" (and thus may make the events of Final Doom take place with different character, or characters "Marine Commander"). According to Doom 64 (2020): "Welcome, to DOOM 64! The cult classic returns, 22 years after its 64-bit debut. In this follow up to DOOM II, you'll fight through denomic hordes, hunt down the Mother of Demons, and stop Hell's invasion as you battle more than 30 action-packed levels!"
- Final Doom is listed as part of the series in Prima's Official Doom 64 strategy guide's "History of Doom".
- Synopses for Final Doom, would imply that it stars the same marine from Doom II (and possibly Doom I), though how it relates to Doom 64 is unclear (since both seem to claim to be set after Doom II, and the final story). "This is it. The end. The end of the undead marines, the acid-drenched hallways and the hell-spawned hordes. The final chapter in the legendary Doom series. This is Final Doom. It's two new 32-level episodes complete with new stories (The Plutonia Experiment & Evilution), new frightening realistic graphics and new pulse-pounding music. It's time to finish what you started. Final Doom. End of story. "
- The new Lost Levels of Doom 64 link up between events of Doom 64 and Doom 2016/Doom Eternal "If you can make your way back and take revenge, you’ll be rewarded with a bit of lore that fans of both series, new and classic, should enjoy."
- Sigil is John Romero's 'fifth episode' (mod) to the Original Doom. However, its not consider official to the original canon (as it does not appear to be endorsed, published or owned by Bethesda). It also takes some liberties with the storylines presented in previous 4th episode (Thy Flesh Consumed) and official Doom Strategy Guide. Noteably, whereas Episode 4 was supposed to have taken place in a city on earth during initial invasion, Sigil posits that it was actually some kind of limbo or purgatory before reaching earth. That after defeating the mastermind in Episode 4, the Marine attempted to catch a portal to earth, but is sent into a deeper section of Hell, one ruled by Satan, and had to fight his way out to find another way back to Earth. Bethedsa has since released it as an 'unofficial sequell' add-on (one of the so-called 'official add-ons') along with other fan developed level add-ons and called it 'revisionist history'. Note that "official" in this context refers to provision of the content by id Software. There has been no statement indicating that the modifications created by the community should be considered canonical story-wise.
- Doom RPG and Doom 3 BFG Edition may have retconned the original doom series into the 22nd century, the exact order is not clear (but presumed that background story for Doom II, is the same story as Doom 3). see Doom Retcon Timeline, and ID multiverse timeline (Doom 3 as prequel).
- Doom 2016/Doom Eternal are tied to classic universe, although its not clear if it is based on SNES timeline, or the Doom RPG's retconned timeline (see Doom Retcon Timeline & Doom RPG Timeline). In addition its not clear if its a 'parallel. universe' or 'same universe' It's most likely a seperate universe to Doom 3 as both take place roughly around the same time frame (Doom 3 has a more industrial/military setting run by mostly agnostic/athiest scientists, while Doom 2016 establishes UAC as a much of religious/cultists/satanist/fanaticals who know very well what they were accessing, and even worship the demons, hoping ot gain more power from them). But depending on which timeline it took inspiration from, events of Classic Doom might exist within the same universe as Doom 2016 but occured a century appart from each other. One indication of might come from the date 2049 (a century before Doom 2016) which discusses Mars colonization beginning (granted even this is at least 20 years later than the date given in SNES Doom).
- Doom PSX is split into two campaigns (Ultimate Doom), and (Doom II). Ultimate Doom is one campaign (not episodes). Ultimate Doom campaign includes these additional locations (while offering a remixed experience with elements of Doom II (enemies and weapons), and slightly modified storyline:
- MAP16: Hell Gate (from Jaguar Doom)
- MAP17: Hell Keep (from Jaguar Doom, entirely different map from the PC version)
- MAP29: Twilight Descends
- MAP30: Threshold of Pain (final level of Ultimate Doom)
- MAP54: Redemption Denied (final level of Doom II)
- MAP57: The Marshes (secret level, entrance from Twilight Descends)
- MAP58: The Mansion (secret level, entrance from Suburbs)
- MAP59: Club Doom (super secret level, entrance from The Mansion)
- Final Doom PSX includes three modified campaigns TNT:Evolution (11 levels), The Plutonia Experiment (6 levels), and Master Levels (13 levels).
- Doom Eternal implies that Doom II takes place in 1994 (the year of the game's release), IE, "Class of '94" title for the Doom Slayer.
- According to John Romero, he places events of the end of Doom: Inferno in May 29, 2020 (two years before the Midway/SNES timeline), see Sigil timeline.
- Step into the boots of DOOM Marine and experience his adventures for the first time, or all over again. Featuring enhanced versions of DOOM 3, DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil and the all new DOOM 3: The Lost Mission, plus the classics DOOM and DOOM II, DOOM 3 BFG Edition is the consummate DOOM experience.
- Doom Manual: For the last four years the military, UAC's biggest supplier, has used the remote facilities on Phobos and Deimos to conduct various secret projects, including research on inter-dimensional space travel.
- Midway Doom SNES manual, cover
- Doom SNES Manual, pg 23
- Doom 2 Manual: Back at last. After days of hard fighting in space, you've returned home on well-earned leave. You're one of Earth's crack soldiers, hard-bitten, tough, and heavily-armed. When the alien invasion struck Mars, you were the first on the scene. By killing, killing, and killing, you won. You stopped the invasion, saved Mars base, and became a war hero. What they don't talk about so much is that you were the only survivor.
- according to Nerve Software boss Brandon James the expansion set "continues on Earth after Hell's forces have [seemingly] been vanquished".
- Doom 64 manual
- SNES Manual, pg 23
- Doom II: The Official Strategy Guide, pg XI