The Doom Slayer might not care about context, but we know some of you do when it comes to the events of Doom Eternal. Here we'll rip and tear into some in-game documents to explain the story, backstory, lore, ending, plot and characters of Doom Eternal.
The following guide contains spoilers for the plot of Doom Eternal. Read at your own risk!
On this page:
- Doom Eternal Explained
- Who are the Maykrs and Father?
- Who is the Khan Maykr and What is Transfiguration?
- What is Argent D'Nur, the Night Sentinels and the Argenta?
- Who is the Unholy One and What is the Divinity Machine?
- Is the Doom Slayer a Night Sentinel?
- What Happens in the Original Doom, Doom 2 and Doom 64?
- So Does Doom 3 Matter?
- What Happened at Sentinel Prime?
- What Happened to Argent D'Nur?
- What Does Argent Energy Do?
- Why Does the Khan Maykr Want Argent Energy?
- What Happened to Taras Nabad and the Divinity Machine?
- Is Doom Guy the Same Person as the Doom Slayer?
- What is Argent Energy?
- Why is the Khan Maykr Controlling Demons?
- What Happened to the Night Sentinels?
- Who is the Betrayer?
- What is the Icon of Sin?
- How Did the Doom Slayer Get to Mars?
- What Happened in Doom (2016)?
- What Happened Between Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal?
- Doom Ending Explained
Doom Eternal Explained
To make this as easy and digestible as possible, we've laid out the events of Doom Eternal and everything leading up to it in roughly chronological order, allowing you to read through normally. However, we've chaptered each section with a question many people might have, so if you're looking for a specific answer, just click the right question above! We also recognise that people might have alternate theories or that new information might be discovered, so we'll be sure to update this info accordingly if need be.
Who are the Maykrs and Father?
To begin we have to go back… well, to the beginning, and a technologically-advanced alien city called Urdak. The further back events happen in Doom Eternal's story the vaguer they tend to be, but we know Urdak was built by some sort of powerful and logical alien entity known as Father, and he populated it with divine beings known as Maykrs. This all came at some sort of physical cost to Father, who either split to become the Maykrs themselves or merged with Urdak, it's all left very unclear.
Whichever it was, Father was mostly gone, with the exception of some element or essence of it that still remained in a construct called the Luminarium, a shrine that the Maykrs would visit to receive answers and guidance. While all this happened, Urdak remained in a dimension said to be "above" the regular universe, separated and distinct from reality.
Who is the Khan Maykr and What is Transfiguration?
Khan isn't a name in this context, it's a title. The Khan Maykr is basically the ruler of Urdak and the Maykrs, formed from their collective consciousness once every 10,000 years. The other Maykrs are unable to disobey her, and once her time is up, a new one is created to replace her.
Maykrs also undergo some kind of death-like process called Transfiguration after enough time has passed, in which they die and are resurrected, or possibly reincarnated. Again, details are vague, but we know both this process and the creation of the Khan Maykrs both need Father's essence to be present somehow, even if it's just the small amount remaining.
Of course, something went wrong. At some point in the past, Father's essence vanished from the Luminarium, said to be stolen by an unnamed Maykr known only as the Seraphim. Nobody knew why this happened, who the Seraphim was or where Father ended up, but this was a big problem. Without Father, picking a new Khan was impossible, and the Transfiguration process was corrupted. We never get clear details on what changed, but it seems likely that now the Maykrs would just die and not get any kind of resurrection or rebirth afterwards. These angel-like beings had become mortal.
What is Argent D'Nur, the Night Sentinels and the Argenta?
The Argenta are probably easiest to think of as "Space Vikings'' and Argent D'Nur is their home planet. A noble warrior people, the Argenta captured the attention of the Maykrs a long time ago through their glorious combat prowess, and a deal of some kind was formed wherein the Argenta would worship the Maykrs and their Khan in return for technology and knowledge, as well as getting to exist in Urdak in some way after death (this part is left unclear and may not even be true). Now empowered by Maykr technology, the Argenta moved from world to world, spreading the word of the Maykrs and trying to right all wrongs they encountered. In all these movements there were led by their most proud soldiers, the Night Sentinels, a clan of… er, night Knights who devoted their lives to protecting Argenta society. We can only presume at this point that the Maykrs and their Khan had more or less given up on finding Father and getting their immortality back, and were just trying to make a big splash in the finite time their society had left. Without the ability to create new Maykrs or escape the clutches of death, their civilisation was just running out the clock.
Who is the Unholy One and What is the Divinity Machine?
While everything was going fine for the Argenta, the Khan Maykr herself was uneasy. She said that her computers had predicted some kind of figure, referred to as the Unholy One or Destroyer, who would mark the end of the Maykrs and probably originate from Argent D'Nur. Wanting to keep the Maykrs happy, the Argenta king agreed to put all his warriors through a device the Maykrs built called a Divinity Machine, which would check for impurities in their soul and basically screen for the Unholy One to stop them getting into Urdak.
Is the Doom Slayer a Night Sentinel?
Well, yes and no. See, one day a portal opened and deposited an armored figure known only as "the Outlander" on Argent D'Nur, a figure filled with endless anger issues and speaking an alien language, not to mention practically dripping in weaponry and armor the Argenta had never seen before.
Yeah, you can probably guess who that is. The Outlander spoke of strange monsters in a fiery dimension that neither the Argenta or the Maykrs had ever heard of, but intrigued the Khan Maykr nonetheless.
What Happens in the Original Doom, Doom 2 and Doom 64?
Here we have to make a quick stop back even further than the beginning of time - to 1993, and the first Doom. There's a lot written about Doom and its sequels already that's not hard to find, so we'll be brief: Doom Guy was an unnamed security guard on a Mars-based scientific facility in the 2100s, in which the scientists accidentally opened portals to Hell. Filled with unending rage after the demons killed his pet rabbit Daisy (no, really), Doom Guy closed the portals in the first game, rebuffed a demonic invasion of Earth in Doom 2, and took the fight to Hell in Doom 64, a new level of which reveals that the Mother Demon's sister tried to get rid of Doom Guy by teleporting him away, likely putting him on Argent D'Nur. By this point the Doom Guy was pretty much totally insane, defined by limitless fury and a hatred for anything demonic.
So Does Doom 3 Matter?
No. Nobody cares about Doom 3. If id forgot about it, then so can we.
What Happened at Sentinel Prime?
Sentinel Prime is Argent D'Nur's headquarters for the Night Sentinels, basically a big arena coliseum where prisoners are sent. The Doom Guy got sent there too, and his violent skill and constant screaming of "Rip and Tear" made him a public sensation, not to mention catching the eye of the Argenta King Novik. On a whim, King Novik wanted to see Doom Guy try out for the Night Sentinels, and despite some wariness in the ranks, Doom Guy proved himself more than worthy to join and excelled in his training, eventually joining the brotherhood and becoming one of their finest members.
What Happened to Argent D'Nur?
Not long after Doom Guy's arrival, the demons suddenly appeared through portals, attacking Argent D'Nur because… well, that's just what demons like to do. It's never made clear how they got to Argent D'Nur or found it, but it's suspected that it wasn't entirely by accident, and that somebody led them there. Either way, "The Unholy Wars" began, a years-long fight where the Maykrs and Argenta teamed up against the demons.
And at first, it went terribly. Neither the Maykrs or the Argenta had ever seen the kind of evil magic that the demons were using, and didn't know how to fight it. Combine that with the fact that demons have no fear and seemingly infinite numbers, and the war starts off on a very bad footing.
What Does Argent Energy Do?
However, things took a turn when a group of Priests captured several demons and studied them, discovering a strange energy powering these creatures and their magic called "Essence." It's a near-limitless power source that can do practically anything if used properly - it can be used for technology, to heal, to resurrect, change matter and it probably tastes nice if you eat it. The Priests and the Khan Maykr were fascinated by this new power, and the Argenta as a whole started using it to bolster their own weapons, turning the demons' power against them. Along with the Doom Guy, Argenta made a push back against the demons, starting to fight their way into Hell. And though this new "Argent Energy" began to permeate every level of Argenta and Maykr society, the Night Sentinels were wary of it, keeping it at arm's length.
Why Does the Khan Maykr Want Argent Energy?
The Khan's Priests on Argenta were building factories in Hell even while the invasion was going on, all designed to transfer Argent Energy up to Urdak. The Khan Maykr discovered that Argent Energy could be used to prolong a Maykr's life and delay their feared Transfiguration. The effect wasn't permanent, but regular doses of Argent could keep the Maykrs alive indefinitely, though they needed more each time.
What Happened to Taras Nabad and the Divinity Machine?
The war then turned back to the demons' advantage when they open a portal to Taras Nabad, one of Argent D'Nur's greatest cities. Led by a colossal Titan demon, they laid waste to the city, killing most of the population but for some Night Sentinels and the Doom Guy, who were battling it out to the end. When things seemed to be about to go their worst, a Seraphim Maykr named Samur appeared to speak with Doom Guy in secret. Samur was the aide to the Khan Maykr herself, and though not ordered to, he led Doom Guy to the Divinity Machine, promising that the process would help him. Rather than purify him as it was supposed to, the Machine mysteriously bestowed Doom Guy with enormous power, strength and speed to match his ferocity, making him effectively superhuman and partly divine in nature.
Is Doom Guy the Same Person as the Doom Slayer?
Yes, he is! His ascension in the Divinity Machine is considered the very moment where he goes from one to the other, the Doom Guy turning into the Slayer after this strange process. Nobody could explain why this happened, and though the Khan Maykr didn't trust this new champion, he helped push the demons back into Hell with his newfound power, slaying the Titan along the way by plunging his Crucible Sword into its chest. Now the war was back on the side of the Argenta, though it's worth mentioning that Samur vanished without a word, and it's unknown whether he fled the Khan or if she exiled him for his disobedience. There's even a theory that Samur was the Seraphim that stole Father from the Luminarium, and that he placed Father inside the Doom Slayer when they went through the Divinity Machine, but that's unconfirmed.
What is Argent Energy?
Pushing back into Hell, the Sentinels began a new bloody campaign led by the power of the Doom Slayer, with further advantage when the Priests learned how to make portals to and from Hell. However, things went badly wrong when the Sentinels discovered one of the factories built by the Priests and discovered the secret of Argent Energy: it was spiritual Soylent Green.
Yes, Argent Energy is made from people, or rather, the souls of people. It seems that in the Doomiverse, anybody who dies goes to Hell, regardless of their goodness, and a soul that's tortured enough eventually breaks, releasing pure Argent and creating a demon in the process. The Priests and the Khan Maykr knew this from the beginning, but were keeping it secret from Argent D'Nur, not wanting the Argenta to know that their culture was powered on the eternal suffering of their friends and loved ones.
Depressingly, they needn't have worried. Argent D'Nur was so dependent on Argent Energy that the news of its origin didn't faze them, willing to overlook this if only to preserve a certain way of life. There were those who aren't happy about this, however: namely the Doom Slayer, the Night Sentinels, a few scattered Argenta and a group of Priests called the Order of Deag.
Why is the Khan Maykr Controlling Demons?
The final straw for this resistant group came when the war ended, owing to a deal struck between the Khan and the demons: the Argenta will leave the demons alone and the Maykrs would grant them access to any world they knew of, with the exception of Urdak, which was strictly off-limits. In return, the demons would keep building bigger factories and channel Argent Energy both to Argent D'Nur and Urdak itself, keeping both societies going indefinitely.
The Slayer, Sentinels and Priests wouldn't allow it. As the Unholy Wars ended, a new Civil War began as these rebels sought to overthrow the Maykrs and get rid of all Argent Energy, not to mention the demons themselves.
What Happened to the Night Sentinels?
The Civil War raged for years until the rebels hit upon a plan - fight their way into Hell and destroy the city of Nekroval, where all the Argent Energy was channelled to Urdak, thus cutting off the Khan's source of power for good. They battled their way into Hell, but were immediately hit by a massive ambush, separated and slaughtered in a final battle. Somebody had tipped the demons off that they were coming. Surprise, surprise, it was the Priests of Deag, now very much in the Khan's good books and becoming her lieutenants for this act of treachery. The three of them would become the Hell Priests.
Who is the Betrayer?
Despite the Priests' backstabbing, that was not the end of it. One of the Setinel's own, Commander Valen, had been tormented by demons owing to the fact that his son had died and was now trapped in Hell. Lured by the promise of his son's resurrection, Valen told the demons all the Sentinels' tactics and weaknesses, allowing them to guarantee victory.
What is the Icon of Sin?
Valen regretted his decision immediately, especially when it became clear that the demons had tricked him. They did resurrect his son… but not as a mortal, only as the legendary demon known as the Icon of Sin, his severed, beating heart functioning as a medium to control the Icon. Whoops. Valen, known afterwards simply as the Betrayer, voluntarily stayed in Hell forever as penance for what he did.
How Did the Doom Slayer Get to Mars?
This is a tricky bit - with the other Sentinels dead, the Doom Slayer managed to survive the ambush, but somehow got lured into a big sarcophagus and separated from his armor. There he stayed until the events of Doom (2016), presumably because no demon was brave enough to open it afterwards.
Back on Mars itself, a new facility run by the UAC corporation was experimenting with portals into Hell, and uncovered one of the Argent factories during a heavily-armed expedition. With no idea what this energy was or what it was doing there, they nonetheless started to harvest it to make up for Earth's dwindling resources, hoping to end a building crisis. They also found the sarcophagus with the Doom Slayer inside and brought that back too. Unfortunately a scientist named Olivia Pierce was tempted by the demons into cultish obsession, and opened enough portals to overrun the facility and kill everybody.
What Happened in Doom (2016)?
Realizing that things were about to get very bad, Samuel Hayden, the UAC chairman (who also happens to be a man's mind inside a robotic body, just run with it), awakened the Doom Slayer to deal with the demonic threat. The Doom Slayer did so and killed Pierce, but also destroyed the Argent collectors, much to Hayden's irritation, and stole a powerful A.I. named Vega to help him along the way. At the end of the game Hayden captured the Doom Slayer and took another Crucible sword from him, powered by a lot of Argent Energy, planning to restart their work and solve the crisis. He then teleported the Doom Slayer away, not wanting him to interfere.
What Happened Between Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal?
It's clear that some time has elapsed between the two games, but the actual basis of Eternal's plot is relatively simple. The Khan Maykr is running out of Argent Energy, needing more and more of it to stop her Transfiguration, and people aren't dying fast enough. Tracing the Doom Slayer's path back to Earth, she uses the Hell Priests to open huge portals from Earth to Hell, slaughtering billions and giving the factories the fuel they need. The Doom Slayer gets back to Earth from, I dunno, wherever Hayden sent him, inside a Sentinel ship called the Fortress of Doom, and plans to save Earth by killing the Priests and the Khan, both of whom betrayed him and the Sentinels. Everything that happens in the game is in service to those goals.
Doom Ending Explained
With all this information in mind, the conclusion of Doom Eternal doesn't leave much to be explained. The Icon of Sin - the Betrayer's demonized son - attacks Earth after the Doom Slayer destroys the beating heart holding it in place, determined to free a fellow Sentinel. As the Icon falls and the Doom Slayer looks about, a voice - King Novik - echoes the fact that the Doom Slayer is always going to be the guardian between humanity and demonkind, and possibly the Maykrs now as well, assuming any of them are still around.
And now you know everything you need to when hit by a sudden in-game document or confusing bit of dialogue. Shame that not everybody can express themselves so succinctly as "rip and tear."
Bloody Hell (ha), that was a lot of Doom content, but we've got even more! You can check out Mike's review of Doom Eternal here, or go to this link to see Hirun's story on the Doom Slayer's very flat face.