It Can Take Nearly 12 Years To Spawn A Demon In Doom II Thanks To A Small Programming Quirk

It Can Take Nearly 12 Years To Spawn A Demon In Doom II Thanks To A Small Programming Quirk
Image: id Software / Kotaku

At the end of Doom II players face off against The Icon of Sin, which is really just a large and creepy texture that spits out demons. But this boss fight has some odd mechanics and quirks, including a small programming oversight that could lead to players having to wait over a decade for a demon to spawn.

Decino, a Doom expert and superfan on YouTube, released a video recently covering all the strange quirks and mechanics of Doom II’s iconic final boss. For example, did you know that due to a mistake in how the textures were aligned, there’s a small gap in the demon’s head? Once Decino pointed it out I can’t stop seeing it.

More interesting is how demon spawning works with this final boss. It all comes down to floating cubes, which are launched from an invisible spawner. These cubes spawn different demons based on a percentage chance. For example, Imps are the most common, while annoying Arch-viles rarely spawn. (Their spawn rate is less than 1%, thankfully.)

These floating cubes are controlled by simple systems and formulas in the game’s programming. And for the most part, these systems work just fine. But there are a few quirks. One quirk involves how the game calculates where and when these cubes spawn. If a cube spawner and its target location share a particular value, then the cube will just keep going for what seems like forever, never spawning its demon. However, it’s not actually forever. Instead, it’s just a long time. Decino did the maths and calculated that it would take 11.6 years before this cube finally spawned its demon payload.

That’s a long time to wait just to spawn and be instantly killed by the Doomguy and his super shotgun.

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