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.
The Spiderdemon appears as a huge brain with facial features of menacing eyes and teeth, mounted atop a cybernetic chassis with four mechanical legs and a Chaingun, making it similar to a spider at first glance.
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.
|ID #||Hit points||Speed||Width||Height||Reaction time||Pain chance||Pain time||Mass||Bits|
|3000||12 map units per frame|
(140.0 map units per second)
|256||100||8||40 (15.63%)||6 tics||1000||4194310|
|Obstacle||Shootable||Affects Kill %|
|Sprite name||Alert sound||Chase sound||Action sound||Pain sound||Death sound|
|Type||Damage||Shots per minute||Sprite||Sound|
|Hitscan||3-15 (per pellet)|
|466.7||PUFF (impact, miss)|
BLUD (impact, hit)
|Shots needed to kill1||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.