John Romero Reveals Who the Doom Guy Was Based On

We finally know who was the inspiration for the legendary Doom Guy!

We’re betting that anyone who played 1993’s Doom during their youth can conjure a mental image of the game’s cover in their head. Before Doom was a franchise and before first-person shooters were a multi-billion dollar genre, Doom‘s iconic cover lured in many players with the promise of a uniquely brutal action experience. 

Now, game designer John Romero has finally revealed who the infamous “Doomguy” on the game’s cover is modeled after. 

In the latest post on his blog, Romero stated that the Doom guy’s design began when the team brought in a male model so that game illustrator Don Punchatz could use him as a point of reference. 

The body model took his shirt off and started posing with our plasma gun toy. Don asked us for suggestions so I started telling him that the Marine was going to be attacked by an infinite amount of demons,” said Romero.  “It would be cool if he was on a hill and firing down into them. The model was holding the gun in various positions and none of them were interesting to me.” 

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Romero goes on to say that the model and he just couldn’t get on the same page regarding the kind of image that Romero was looking for. Eventually, Romero decided to take a more hands-on approach to the issue.

“Frustrated, I threw my shirt off and told him to give me the gun and get on the floor – grab my arm as one of the demons!” writes Romero. “Defeated, he deferred. I aimed the gun in a slightly different direction and told Don, ‘This is what I’m talking about!’ Don took several pictures. I moved the gun some, the demon grabbed my leg, other arm, etc,” he wrote. “At the end of it we all decided the arm-grabbing pose was going to be the best.” 

So, as Romero proudly exclaims at the end of the blog, he was, in fact, the basis for the cover version of the Doomguy. Of course, the game’s artist ended up removing Romero’s glorious hair and adding a few muscles in key places. 

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