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John Romero, an industry legend who was involved in classic games like DOOMWolfenstein 3DHexen, and many others, has revealed the model behind the DOOM Guy box art according to a post on his official website. The reveal of the box art’s model was done following a poll Mr. Romero conducted via his Twitter account asking which of four games he should reveal a bit of game trivia about.

Following a short introduction, the post implores you to click through to another page to read the full story. Illustrator Don Punchatz (known for his work on fantasy and science fiction book covers and other illustrations) had come to id’s headquarters with a camera and a model to grab some reference photographs. The iconic scene on the game’s cover was described to the model, but for some reason, things just weren’t clicking and Mr. Romero was growing increasingly frustrated at not being able to match the model’s pose with the image in his mind.

After 10 minutes of pose attempts that did not satisfy Mr. Romero’s vision, the man himself doffed his shirt, grabbed a toy plasma gun, and instructed the model to take various poses as one of the demons. After several photographs were taken over the course of the session, a particular one where the model was holding onto his arm became the basis for the cover art. So there you have it folks: the model for the cover art of the original DOOM is none other than a shirtless John Romero with a toy plasma gun.

What do you think of the man behind the proverbial mask of the original DOOM’s box art? Is DOOM Guy’s lack of midriff protection wildly impractical or is it a terrifying intimidation technique that will put the fear of death in even the hardiest hellspawn? Is John Romero Doom Guy overall in your opinion? What’s your favorite video game box art from the 1990s? Let us know in the comments below!


Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!