Doom II Easter Egg - What Boss Is Saying

Ever wonder what the boss at the end of Doom II is really saying. If you can run the WAV file backwards, you'll find that he is saying "To win the game, you must beat me, John Romero." This is a reference to John Romero, a programmer for Doom II, who put it in after someone from the office put his head in a room behind the final boss that acts as the entity for it.

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  7.1/10 with 384 votes
Contributed By: Craxin on 07-08-1999
Reviewed By: Webmaster
Special Requirements: None
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Sfdt 3000 writes:
WHY THIS IS THERE: FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN ROMERO Interviewer: At the end of DOOM II the sound played backwards that says, "to win this game you must kill me, John Romero" and also the hidden replica of your head on a stake have become legendary among gamers. Did you plan to include those from the start, or is there some story behind those secrets? John Romero: There's definitely a nutty story behind those two Secrets of DOOM II. First off, my head in the demon's brain was not part of the original plan. There used to be a yellow circle sprite there (no one was supposed to see it anyway). One night while I was programming the sound effect for the demon to scream in pain (when a rocket made it through the brain opening), I "noclipped" through all the walls so I could just shoot the thing with a pistol and see if the yellow sprite made noise when I shot it. Well, just before I reached the demon brain room, I stopped noclipping suddenly because I thought I had seen my reflection in the screen somehow and it didn't seem right. I continued noclipping into the room and was immediately super-shocked to see my head on a stake in there! We were near the end of the DOOM II project and I knew that Adrian or Kevin must have sneaked that sprite in there at the last minute thinking that after the game was released they would have a good laugh and tell me what they did. My mission immediately was to reverse their little trick and have the Last Laugh when the game was released. So, I had to come up with something to put in the game that basically said that I knew about their little trick. I figured that an evil-sounding backwards voice at the start of that level would be a great way to shock the player, but also provide a nice way to stick my little reversal in there. I went in to where Bobby Prince was working on the sounds and music and told him the whole story and we came up with the infamous phrase that you now hear (pitch-shifted and reversed) and I programmed it to play as soon as you make it through the teleporter. Well, waiting for the game to hit the shelves before springing the trick on the guys didn't work because first thing the very next day, American came in, ran the level, heard the voice and said, "Oh cool, backwards hidden stuff!" and he found the sample, reversed it back to normal, heard my secret message, then told the artists. The gig was up. Hope this clears things out.
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Kirk writes:
A minor correction: I believe the audio snippet says, "To win the game you must KILL me, John Romero." Notice "KILL" instead of "BEAT". My son and I deciphered this one ourselves about 4-5 years ago. This was before hardware had the ability to capture internally generated sounds to a file. I recognized it as backwards speech, so we used two computers, playing the sound on one, and recording it with a microphone on the other. We then proceeded to reverse the wav file and play with its other aspects until it was legible. I remember the exact words because we must have played it a hundred times while tweaking it to make it legible enough to completely understand. Good one! Brings back memories...
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Prodigy^ writes:
AWESOME! this is really cool......and yes, he says "kill", not "beat"
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Symp writes:
There you are a link to the sound of the final boss http://raider2.firenze.net/snd/see_boss.wav Just download the file, start the Windows Sound Recorder(for example) and from the tab Effects choose REVERSE. Then just play the file. Enjoy!!
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Killbutton74 writes:
If you walk through the devil's face, you'll find Jhon's head on a stick.
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Pyro writes:
While we're on the topic of "backwards messages": I found two such messages in Heretic.
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Lone Star writes:
Ahh yes this Egg is a classic! I remember that me and my friend tried to memorize and then repeat the words into a Wav recording device and then turn the speech backwards to try and figur out what the boss said. Of course it was hard as hell, but we did manage to get a pretty good idea of what he said. Ahh well...those were the days. =)
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Tris writes:
Wow! That's incredible. I d/l the game from the net and the sound is encoded, compressed (or whatever the verb is) into another file which I wouldn't have a clue about retrieving. Could someone please send me the .wav so I can hear it for myself? Thanx, tris@kmail.com.au
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...And no one though of just grabbing the editing software, then saving it from there? (http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/7761/screenlw2.png)(I know XWE didnt exist at the time, but you get the idea)
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