- This article is about the original Doom games monster Spiderdemon. For the monster in Doom (2016), see Spiderdemon (Doom 2016).
The Doom II game booklet humorously presents the Spiderdemon as the mother of the Arachnotrons: You guess the Arachnotrons had to come from somewhere. Hi, mom. She doesn't have a plasma gun, so thank heaven for small favors. Instead, she has a super-chaingun. Crap. It has since been confirmed that this comment is comic relief, and the genderless Spider Mastermind is not actually the biological mother of the Arachnotrons (this is evident in later levels where both monsters can be tricked by infighting).
The Spiderdemon is not mentioned in the Doom game booklet, presumably to avoid a spoiler. Perhaps as a result of this, the game booklet for the Depths of Doom Trilogy erroneously states that it appears in Doom II only.
A Spiderdemon emits a demonic roar mixed with loud, whirring machinery which starts low-pitched but progressively "grows" in a crescendo to a high-pitched tone once activated. The huge chaingun on the Spiderdemon's chassis fires three bullets with every shot, much like the shotgun guy's shotgun, but at a rapid rate of 467 shots per minute. When a Spiderdemon begins firing, it will not stop until its target moves out of view or dies, or the monster itself is stunned (where it will walk a bit immediately after the pain state) or killed. Similar behavior can be observed in the Nazi Soldier, Heavy Weapon Dude and the Arachnotron.
When killed, the Spiderdemon's mechanical body shuts down (in a forcible way) and collapses. A soft, whirring-down sound (similar to a mechanical rotor cooling down and stopping spinning) is heard as the body falls sidewards to the ground, engulfed in flames. Its brain is splattered on impact (at this moment, similarly to the Cyberdemon), the monster then emits an animalistic grunt that is readily cut out by an explosion, and all that remains are its shattered robotic legs and dismembered facial features in a huge pool of blood.
When fighting a Spiderdemon, it is essential to keep one's distance as much as possible and to keep whatever cover exists between you and it; even at medium and long range, the monster's super chaingun attack is devastating, and since the attack is hitscan, it cannot be evaded like the projectile attacks of other demons. Using the more powerful weapons is recommended against it, although since the Spiderdemon has a low pain chance, rapid-fire weapons will not completely prevent it from attacking. Using melee attacks against it is almost always an exercise in suicide, as the bullets will push the player backwards, rendering them unable to make contact with the Spider Mastermind. The exception is the rare cases where the Spiderdemon is pinned by another attacker. In E3M8: Dis, it is possible to stand up on the ledge above ground level and stay at great distance from the monster. At this range, the Spiderdemon's attack will not aim toward the player, and therefore never hit its target. Also, the Spiderdemon is large and tall enough that, even while standing on the ledge, projectile attacks will reach it.
However, due to its large size, it will soak in most if not all BFG rays from a point blank shot, dying in only 1 or 2 hits. A skilled player can therefore kill it easily by running up to it and shooting it twice with the BFG before it can kill the player. Utilizing monster infighting can be effective when battling a Spiderdemon. If one does not have the BFG, the rocket launcher or the plasma gun are recommended.
Because the Spiderdemon suffers from slowdown to a greater extent than the player character's weapons in the Saturn version, it takes a split second longer to recover from pain, making it possible to completely prevent a Spiderdemon from attacking by shooting it with the chaingun.
- In the original Doom game, this monster is called just "Spiderdemon". However in Doom II cast sequence it has the less generic name "The Spider Mastermind".
- Despite being the final boss, several attributes of the Spiderdemon are inferior to the Cyberdemon, such as hit points, speed or pain chance. Since they have different types of weapons, there is no objective way to tell which one is more powerful, as both monsters can sometimes take down one another as seen in one level. However, in favor of the Spiderdemon, its very wide hitscan make their attacks harder to avoid, while the Cyberdemon's rockets can easily be avoided by circlestrafing.
- While the Spiderdemon is considered more threatening and story-critical in the original Doom game, in Doom II the Cyberdemon is given "higher billing" as the greater monster. The Spiderdemon is the last boss in Doom as well as in The Ultimate Doom's extra episode, Thy Flesh Consumed, and is credited with controlling the invasion of the Phobos and Deimos bases. However, in Doom II the Cyberdemon is the last monster fought in MAP29 before the actual final boss fight in MAP30, in addition to the Spider Mastermind appearing before the Cyberdemon in the endgame cast sequence.
- This is commonly interpreted to mean the Spiderdemon is the higher-ranking tactical commander, while the Cyberdemon is the more powerful warrior.
- Upon death the Spiderdemon collapses into a heap, with an accompanying series of explosions. The Spiderdemon, along with the Demon, Mancubus, and Cyberdemon are the only monsters whose dying sound clips includes noise other than the monsters' vocals. As it collapses, frame-by-frame analysis shows that a piece of metal from its cybernetic portion pierces its forehead from within. Its mouth, complete with pointed teeth still intact, is visible on its otherwise ruined corpse.
- The Spiderdemon, Arachnotron, and Cyberdemon are the only monsters that constantly make sound when they walk.
- Near the beginning of MAP20 in Doom II, the player is given the opportunity to lure the Spiderdemon and the Cyberdemon into battling each other via monster infighting. Unless a third party intervenes, the Cyberdemon usually wins.
- The easiest and safest way to get them to infight is by luring the Spiderdemon into attacking the Cyberdemon first. Since the Cyberdemon's rockets are far easier to dodge than the Spiderdemon's super chaingun bullets, this helps weaken the Cyberdemon quicker by using him as a living shield. Regardless of which one is left standing, the surviving monster will be left in very little shape to face the player again. Whoever wins will almost certainly perish from a well-placed BFG blast, or failing that can be quickly dispatched with rockets or the Plasma Rifle.
- The term 'Spiderdemon' is actually a misnomer; despite being called a "spider" the monster has only six visible limbs: two arms and four mechanical legs. The Doom novels inconsistently describe four mechanical legs at one point and six mechanical legs at another, though the novels themselves contain several continuity errors.
- The sprites are different from the original latex and metal model, as seen here. The model has a 3-barrelled chaingun implanted right below the mouth, while the game sprites have a 6-barrelled chaingun implanted into the base.
- MAP28: The Spirit World in Doom II is the only level designed by id Software that includes more than one Spiderdemon at the same time. Two appear near a group of Arachnotrons, on the "Hurt me Plenty", "Ultra-Violence", and "Nightmare!" skill levels.
- The Spiderdemon's "super-chaingun" uses the same sound clip as the shotgun, played repeatedly at a high speed. In addition, the attack uses the same spreading behavior as the Shotgun Guy's shotgun for each shot, making it in essence a rapid-fire shotgun attack.
- The PlayStation and Saturn ports' version of the Spiderdemon only contains one sound clip, used for both an alert sound and a dying sound.
- As with all hitscan attack monsters, it is possible for two Spiderdemons to infight each other. The only instances where this can happen in the official commercial levels is MAP28 of Doom II and in MAP54 of the PlayStation/Saturn ports.
- In a ZDoom-based source port, if the player is killed by a Spiderdemon (monster is credited with delivering the blow that reduces player's health to 0%), an obituary message is displayed at the top of the screen: "[player name] stood in awe of the Spider Mastermind".
- In Brutal Doom, the Spiderdemon begins attacking the instant it engages its target, and fires extremely powerful explosive rounds. Its mechanical chassis absorbs about 7/8th of the original damage value inflicted by any attacks, produces metal sparks (in case of a chainsaw attack), and deals shrapnel damage from gunfire attack. The monster's death sequence is enhanced to explode violently, dealing damage to anything caught in the blast - except for another Spiderdemon or a Cyberdemon.
- The Spider Mastermind is, in general, a rarely-encountered monster. The four commercial IWADs contain just fourteen between them on the highest difficulty level; by contrast, twenty-three Cyberdemons appear in Plutonia alone.
|Shots needed to kill1,2||Mean|| Standard|
health, no armor)
health, security armor)
health, combat armor)
|Baron of Hell||117.61||17.02||100||159|
- This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal 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.
- The target must be close enough to compensate for the weapon's recoil.
- Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
In classic Doom, the Spiderdemon is first encountered on these maps:
The IWADs contain the following numbers of Spiderdemons:
|Game||ITYTD and HNTR||HMP||UV and NM|
- May be encountered earlier if the super secret level is played.
- The Spiderdemon bears a conceptual resemblance to Krang from the 1987 edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Both pilot walking machines with the difference being that the Spiderdemon's machine is a much larger and a more generic-looking quadruped.
- In the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, there is the Kraang Spider Gunner, which seemingly completely parodies the Spider Mastermind.
|Monsters from Doom and Doom II|
|Monsters from the Sony PlayStation version of Doom|