- This article is about the item found in Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. For the items found in Heretic and Hexen, see Artifact.
- "Hell reaches out for what is ours!"
- ― The Maledict [src]
The Artifact, also known as the Heart of Hell and the Bloodstone, is a demonic device available to the player in the Doom 3 expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil. This artifact, as a powerful device of non-Human origin, is the equivalent of the Soul Cube from Doom 3. It's a demonic heart-shaped device that was initially designed to aid the forces of Hell, but is used by the Marine. It also acts as a gateway between Hell and our dimension. The Ancient Martians captured the Artifact during Hell's first invasion, but couldn't destroy it, so they locked it away in a secret chamber.
When the UAC returns to Mars at the beginning of Resurrection of Evil, a team of Marines - including the game's protagonist - enter the Artifact's chamber and accidentally awaken it. This enables the forces of Hell under the command of Malcolm Betruger, now the Maledict, to invade again. Betruger also sends the three Hell Hunters to kill the Marine and retrieve the Artifact for himself.
Much of the game's plot revolves around the Marine learning the truth about the Artifact and ultimately setting out to return it to Hell where it can be destroyed. At the end of the game, the Marine brings the Artifact to Hell and uses it to destroy the Maledict. The Artifact itself is destroyed in the process.
The Artifact only uses human souls, as opposed to the Soul Cube's usage of both human and demon ones. It is also more efficient, requiring one soul per use as opposed to five in the case of the Soul Cube. When used near human corpses, it charges up by absorbing souls (they'll be seen as a red glow on a corpse) and destroying the bodies. The Artifact will absorb souls automatically when needed so long as it is being held over the corpse; it will not absorb a soul if it is already fully charged with its maximum capacity of three souls. Because one soul leaves the Artifact every time it is used, it's recommended to use it mainly in tight spots. Fortunately, it appears that this hellish invasion was somewhat less prone to zombifying humans, as Zombies (aside from Z-Secs) are less common, and many of the killed UAC employees' souls are available.
The Artifact itself has no attack capability, but is more strategic than the Soul Cube. It has the ability to give the player a period in which he manipulates time, gains super strength, and becomes temporarily invulnerable -- very similar to a Berserker. These abilities become available each time the player defeats one of the three Hell Hunters, respectively.
A human heart-shaped object with a large curved handle, the player will gain this at the start of the game but it will be useless until they defeat the Helltime Hunter, at which point the Artifact will absorb its Helltime abilities. Defeating the Berserk Hunter and Invulnerability Hunter allows the Artifact to absorb their abilities as well.
- Helltime: Allows the player to move very fast, represented by time appearing to slow down to the point that enemies cannot react to your movements.
- Berserk: Strengthens all weapons, to the point that even a punch can kill any non-boss in one hit.
- Invulnerability: Makes the player immune to all damage, with the exception of the Maledict's attacks.
All powers possessed by the Artifact are activated simultaneously when invoked, meaning someone with a charged Artifact later in the game has the potential to become a lightning fast, invulnerable death machine that can effortlessly rip apart a Hell Knight with his bare hands.
When spawned, it appears as a black box. That is because id never made a world model for it.
In the game's coding, there are actually 4 artifacts: the dormant one the player gets in the beginning (weapon_bloodstone_passive), and the three Hell power ones (weapon_bloodstone_active#, where # is either 1, 2, or 3).
- Clip Size: 3 Souls
- Reloading: Instant, once the effects wear off
- Ammo: Human Souls (Note: If a human corpse does not have an orange glow to it, it's probably a Zombie.)
On the Nightmare difficulty, the Artifact will already be fully powered, but it will still be unusable until the player defeats the Helltime Hunter. Also, the artifact will no longer absorb the powers of the other Hell Hunters, instead after killing one, the Artifact will become fully charged.
As an aside, the Doom 3 Berserk powerup could be considered an allusion to the Artifact, as its powers are very similar to the ones given by a fully-powered Artifact (except for lacking time dilation). However, the Berserk artifact gives the player a bloodshot red view and screams can be heard in the background while it's active, whereas the Artifact doesn't have either of these effects on use.
- The Thule Medallion, an artifact from Wolfenstein, has two similar powers - Mire (slows down time) and Empower (similar to Berserker).
- The Artifact also has features in common with the One Ring in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, such as being a long-lost evil device with demonic power that can only be destroyed where it was created (Hell and Mordor, respectively), which gives the user certain magical powers, and possibly which slowly corrupts the user (implied in the Artifact's case, although not made a part of the game).
- Helltime's "slow time" capability is somehow very similar to the revolutionary camera effects from the Matrix film series.
- In Doom (2016) in Titan's Realm there is a still beating heart on an altar. This may be a reference to the Artifact.
- The Artifact's three powers were transferred to Doom (2016), becoming the game's four powerups found in battle scenes. Helltime became the Haste powerup, Berserk for fists became the Berserk powerup, Berserk for the other weapons became Quad Damage, and Invulnerability became the Invulnerability powerup.