Character Analysis, Doom, The Mind of a Character

Doomguy: The Only Thing They Fear (The Mind of a Character)

Doom: Eternal is a day away (plus a week if you’re reading on Patreon)! After four years of waiting, we’re finally getting a follow-up to the excellent reboot of Doom! Personally, I can’t wait! If 2016 Doom was the ultimate experience in catharsis, I can only imagine how good the sequel is going to be! It’s looking to be a super therapeutic game!

Although it clearly loses out to the other game coming out tomorrow. That looks intense!

The protagonist of Doom doesn’t have a set, defined character. It is ambiguous whether or not it’s even the same character throughout the games! Is the Doomguy from the original the same Doomguy from Doom 3? Is Doom 3 Doomguy also Doom 2016’s Doom Slayer? Personally, I like to think so, even if it doesn’t make any sense. But whether or not you believe the same is entirely up to you.

But we can all agree on one thing. As much as we love him, he’s not a very interesting character.

Out of the four building blocks of a character, Doomguy only has two: the Wound and the Want. The Wound is simple: Demons murdered his pet rabbit, Daisy. The Want is equally simple: he wants to murder all of them right back for it. And that’s it. You can literally summarize Doomguy in two sentences.

Those sentences being “Demons murdered his bunny, so he swore vengeance. And he’s gonna get it.”

This guy is a classic example of what video game characters often are: inserts. Rather than being his own, independent character, Doomguy is a mere shell. You as the player project yourself onto him rather than empathize with him. You put yourself in his shoes and experience the adventure through him.

Normally, I’d be angry about that. I always prefer an actual, interesting character to something like this. However, in this case, I think it actually works! Not just because it’s a classic game series, so it can get away with it. But because of what Doom is meant to make the player feel.

You don’t play Doom to experience a story. You play Doom for two reasons: to slaughter demons and feel like a badass! And in that respect, I can think of few characters better than Doomguy!

Plus, having him as a blank-slate makes him easy to work with for the fans! Just look up ‘Animal Crossing Doom comics’ and you’ll find a treasure trove of adorable Doomguy and hardcore Isabel hanging out together! By allowing the audience to project themselves onto him, the team behind Doom has made one of the most flexible and easily lovable characters in video game history!

No, he’s not an interesting character. But he’s something more important. He’s a fun character! The type of character that you can do anything with without it seeming out of place! You can either make him adorable and lovable or vicious and badass and it would work!

This is my unnecessarily long way of saying that I love those Doom-Animal Crossing memes. Please send me any of those that you find. They always make my day.

This was also my way of foreshadowing tomorrow’s review.

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