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Apparently when a demon dies, they pick him up, dust him off,
wire him with some combat gear, and send him back into battle.
No rest for the wicked, eh?
You wish your missiles did what his can do.

- Revenant description,
Final DOOM Instruction Manual


  • Revenants first appeared in the Id Software 1994 Personal Computer video game DOOM II: Hell On Earth. They were one of several new monsters added to this sequel to the original DOOM. Revenants also appear in Final DOOM, DOOM 3, and DOOM RPG.

  • Traditionally, a Revenant is a malicious spirit returned from the grave, in either a ghostly or corpse form. "Revenant" is thought to come from the French word "revenir", which means "to return". In folklore, Revenants are usually slain by exhuming the physical body of the fiend from its grave and then decapitating it, removing the heart, or burning the corpse to ashes. An online Planet Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) monster encyclopedia entry describes the creature this way:

    Revenants are vengeful spirits that have risen from the grave to destroy their killers. The revenant appears as a spectral, decayed version of its appearance at the time of its death. Its pallid skin is drawn tightly over its bones. The flesh is cold and clammy. The sunken eyes are dull and heavy-lidded but, when the revenant faces his intended victim, the eyes blaze with unnatural intensity. The revenant bears an aura of sadness, anger, and determination.

  • Despite the official description of Revenants (see quote at the top of this page) labeling them as reanimated demons, their bodies are very clearly the skeletons of humans (probably Former Sergeants/Shotgun Guys, Former Humans/Zombie Men, Former Commandos/Heavy Weapons Dudes/Chain Gunners, which are technically zombies, not demons, in the DOOM universe).

  • The artist Gregor Punchatz created a latex and metal armature stop-motion model for the Revenant, as well as several of the other DOOM monstrosities, for id Software. This model is still on display in the lobby of id Software's offices in Texas.

  • Skillful DOOM players can use a Revenant's homing rockets to attack other demons, potentially causing monster infighting. Also, engaging a Revenant in close quarters will cause it to fight with its' fists, rather than rockets, which is arguably a safer way to do battle with the fiend, provided you can stay out of the path of its' blows.

  • The Revenant received a make over for its return in DOOM 3. Aside from more intricate chest armor and glowing blue eyes, the arms and lower body are encased in a transparent "ghostly" body. Id's developers have commented that this ghostly shell was originally intended as nothing more than a visual aid during the computer modeling process but ended up looking so cool that they left it that way. They have also stated that the DOOM 3 incarnation of the Revenant is more true to the original concept of the creature.

While our nameless Space Marine hero was busy dealing with Hell's invasion of Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos, and then, later, taking the fight to the Underworld itself (as told in the storyline of the original DOOM video game), the denizens of Hades were themselves making preparations for another, much larger attack elsewhere. Returning home victorious (or so he thought), the weary Marine was horrified to see that Earth had been overrun by the very demons he thought he had eradicated, and, what little remained of the human population was desperately trying to escape to the stars--unfortunately, the demonic invaders had gotten wind of this plan and surrounded the spaceport with hellfire, preventing them from reaching their starships. Snarling, and pumping a fresh shell into his shotgun, the lone survivor of the Mars invasion prepared himself for another titanic struggle against the forces of Hell, this time with the fate of the entire human race at stake . . .

Revenants are one of several new monster species that were introduced in DOOM II: Hell on Earth. It seems that the head honchos in Hell like to get two uses out of every unfortunate human they add to their forces: Once as a zombie, and then a second time as a Revenant (recycling is alive and well in the Underworld, albeit in a twisted form). Whom, or what, actually performs the Revenant-creation process on a salvaged corpse is unknown. At first blush, one would think it'd be an Arch-Vile, but, as their power entails resurrection, not transformation, this seems unlikely upon further consideration (i.e., they can bring organisms back to life, but not as a new type of creature--in other words, if they used their power on a slain Former Sergeant, he'd still be a human zombie when he came back to life, or un-life as the case may be, not a Revenant or some other fiend). The Hell Mother, first introduced in DOOM 64, is a much more likely possibility as she can both create life and change the physical form of that which she brings forth (the sole survivor of the Marine's rampage, she repopulated Hell all on her own, and altered the physical form of many of the DOOM creatures in the process).


  • Rockets

  • Every Revenant is equipped with two, shoulder-mounted, rocket launchers. These can be fired independently, or simultaneously, at the creature's discretion. No external triggering method has, to date, been observed; it is believed that the activation of these weapons is achieved through mental command--they simply "will" the launchers to fire. These walking skeletons carry no visible ammunition for their weapons and yet have never been observed to run out of shells. It's possible that a relatively small quantity of explosive rounds are stored inside the Revenant's chest cavity (being undead, it has no need for lungs, a heart, or any of the other organs usually found in said space, which makes using it as a storage area feasible) which are then automatically loaded into the launchers via some internal mechanism. Proponents of this hypothesis argue that the upper chest is the only area on a Revenant that is armored, which they contend is solely for the purpose of protecting said hypothetical shells from being detonated by hostile weapon fire. However, a more likely and disturbing explanation is that the shells are spontaneously created and/or teleported directly inside the launcher (presumably from some hidden stockpile) via demonic magic. The projectiles these weapons fire are explosive in nature and have roughly one third the destructive power of the rockets used by the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC). Interestingly enough, these missiles exhibit no appreciable blast radius upon detonation, further evidence of their suspected magical nature (i.e., even if you were standing right next to someone, or something, hit by a Revenant's rockets, you would not be harmed in any way, this would very much not be the case if, on the other hand, a standard UAC rocket detonated near you, as there would be considerable collateral damage to the surrounding area). Regardless, the most dangerous aspect of the Revenant's projectiles is that some of them are of the homing variety and can actively track their intended target (these are easily recognized by their smoking trails). As no complete shells or fragments have ever been captured and analyzed, it is unknown if the missiles are guided to their targets by heat, on-the-fly computer directions, mental command from the Revenant itself, or some other phenomena.

  • Unlife

  • A Revenant is little more than a human skeleton reanimated by the blackest of magic. They do not eat, sleep, drink, or breathe--it is assumed that the power that animates them also provides whatever sustenance they require. Their ghastly bodies are almost entirely devoid of tendon and muscle, and yet the naked bones can still move as effortlessly and effectively as they did in life. A Revenant has approximately double the physical strength of a normal, healthy, adult human and can deliver tremendous blows with its' fists when engaged in close combat. They can still see, hear, smell, taste, and touch despite lacking most of the relevant organic structures one would think necessary to sense such stimuli (i.e., no eyes, ears, tongue, skin, etc). Revenants no longer speak the human language, or, if they do, the inarticulate screeches and howls they produce cannot be understood as words by human ears. While a Revenant can be "killed" again, this is only by virtue of the attacker mutilating the skeleton to the point of it losing structural integrity or destroying it outright (via an explosion for example).

  • Fear Inducement

  • The very sight of a Revenant has been known to paralyze otherwise brave individuals with terror, making them easy prey. The demoralizing, psychological impact that an undead skeleton can have on the living was doubtlessly a strong contributing influence in the Revenant's demonic design.


  • Rocket Speed/Tracking

  • Due to their homing nature, the special rockets that a Revenant occasionally uses travel at a relatively low velocity. It is possible for an athletic human to out-run/out-maneuver them, particularly if ample cover is present in the environment. The projectile's capacity to follow a target is also limited. While a rocket can negotiate several wide turns while following its' prey, it cannot manage repeated small, sharp turns through, say, a narrow corridor. Daring individuals have also been known to lure these rockets into other nearby demons, indirectly using the Revenant to injure or kill its comrades.

  • Material Availability

  • Much like a golem (from an AD&D perspective on monster classification, a DOOM Revenant would likely be considered a Bone Golem with technologically-advanced weaponry), creating a Revenant requires the proper ingredients, namely the corpse of a previously zombified human and the components used to build its metal vest and rocket launchers (no "naked" Revenant, without its gear, has ever been observed, which seems to imply that it is an essential item). If the proper goods are not readily available, these creatures cannot be produced. Realistically, raw material shortages are unlikely to be a problem for the demons during an invasion of our plane of existance, where humans and metal/mechanical parts are available in copious quantities. That said, one could imagine a situation where, handicapped with a limited amount of industrial materials to work with, the demons would elect to become more selective with their resources, producing a handful of larger and stronger cyborg creatures, like Spider Masterminds and Cyberdemons, instead of weaker Revenants.

Newsprint, tissue paper, wire twist ties, white glue, hot glue, gloss nail polish, and acrylic paint.

(*The dimensions for this model can vary, depending on how the joints are positioned. The numbers given are for the figure in a 'neutral' standing pose.)
7.7 cm/3.0 in. x 3.0 cm/1.2 in. (highest point x widest point)

Thirty-two points total: Jaw, neck (4), vertebrae (5), rocket launchers (4), shoulder pads (2), shoulders (2), elbows (4), wrists (2), hips (2), knees (4), and ankles (2).

Approximately five days: Construction ran from 12/31/07-1/6/08 with no work being performed on 1/2/08 and 1/4/08.

Revenant photo collage

Mid-Construction Photos

Mid-construction photos

group photo of recent figures

If you're wondering why Omega Rugal has a larger width than the other humanoid figures, despite appearing to be roughly the same size, it's because of the red wire sticking out of the side of his mechanical right hand. Also: (1) Couch Mouse's tail is excluded from its' measurements and (2) any and all accessories, like Rolento's red beret/baton/grenades, don't factor into their dimensions here (Billy Kane's three-sectioned staff does count towards his articulation total, but not his height/width).

For comparison purposes, below are several images of a Revenant, taken from the Final DOOM PC video game (please note that there are some additional lighting effects applied to the rockets, via running the game through Jaakko Keränen's Doomsday/JDoom engine and that the final picture depicts a fan-made polygon model, not the normal "flat" sprite seen in the other three images).

Revenant sprite

Revenant firing rockets    Revenant firing rockets II    3D Revenant punching

(In no particular order of importance.)

  •   Doom II: Hell On Earth and Final Doom video games and instruction manuals.

  •   Wikipedia Doom II and Revenant (Folklore) articles.

  •   GameFAQs Doom II: Hell On Earth game guides/information.

  •   Doom Things Guide web page.

  •   The Making of Doom 3 by Steven L. Kent with Id Software.
  •   Planet Advanced Dugeons & Dragons Monster Encyclopedia web pages. [Note: This website is currently unavailable, as of 1/7/08; hopefully it will be back up again sometime in the near future, as it's a treasure-trove of AD&D information. I saved the text from their "Revenant" page, back in August of 2005, which I why I still have (offline) access to the monster description/stats on my PC at home.].
  •   Doomsday/JDoom web pages.

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