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Hell-blazers: Doom Eternal Speedrunning Q&A, Interview Compendium!

This compendium contains the interviews for "Hell-blazers," my Doom Eternal Speedrunning Q&A Project, and any salient links.

Note: When new interviews go live, this compendium will also be updated.


Aimed largely at the Twitch crowd, but also speedrunners, Doom Eternal can be speedrun like any videogame. I've followed Doom Eternal closely to see how speedrunners feel about it. In time, can it rank alongside classics like Super Metroid (1994) or Goldeneye (1997)?

My name is Nicholas van der Waard, and I'm independent researcher/post-grad whose work is focused on Metroidvania, but also horror-theme FPS. For more information about my work, as well as the Q&A and what it covers, please refer to this extensive post.

The Compendium

The Players

These are the persons who have kindly agreed to be interviewed for this project. While all of them are gamers, each person represents a different aspect of gamer/speedrunning culture.

DraQu: A Twitch streamer and FPS speedrunner, and one of the first players to complete the game on Ultra-Nightmare. He also likes 90s pop music.

Click here to read DraQu's full interview.

Under the Mayo: A YouTuber. His channel normally covers games like Mortal Kombat 9, but has expanded to include Doom Eternal

Click here to read Under the Mayo's interview.

Byte Me: The current world record-holder for Doom 2016's UN 100% Classic and several other categories, Byte Me is moving his unique approach to speedrunning onward, to Doom Eternal.

The Spud Hunter: An arena combat specialist, the Spud Hunter enjoys Doom Eternal for Ultra-Nightmare, and the game's exclusive multiplayer battle mode. His Slayer helmet gives him power.

Click here to read Spud's full interview. 

King Dime: A classic-Doom speedrunner who regularly appears on AGDQ.

Click here to read King Dime's full interview. 

Your Mate Devo: An Aussie speedrunner and software engineer.

Click here to read Your Mate Devo interview.

Click here to read a second interview with Your Mate Devo, which covers the game's patches and how they affect speedrunning overall.

FrostyXen: The current WR Holder for UN 100%.

Click here to read my second interview with Frosty Xen, which covers the game's patches and how they affect speedrunning overall.

The Developers

I'd love for a chance to interview Hugo Martin and other members from the Id team, but am still in the process of reaching out (any help with this would be most appreciated). Stay tuned...

My FPS / Metroidvania Posts

"From Vintage to Retro: An FPS Q&A series": A series that explores a wide variety of vintage/retro FPS—from Wolfenstein 3D to Fallout to Prodeus, as well as sui generis entries like Ultrakill. Topics include: platforming and vertical level design, Doom ports, fan games (re: Tech-com 2029), speedrunning and more!

"'80s Popcorn Love: An Ion Fury Review": My review for Ion Fury (2019), the FPS developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms. The review focuses on the game's level design and gunplay.

'"Neutral" Politics: Feminism, the Gothic, and Zombie Police States in Ion Fury': My critical write-up Ion Fury. In it, I interpret the peripheral politics of the in-game Read Me file, and analyze Ion Fury through a Gothic-feminist-postcolonialist lens.

"Revisiting My Masters' Thesis on Metroidvania—Our Ludic Masters: The Dominating Game Space": My master's thesis explored Metroidvania and Gothic spaces and how they dominate the player in a Gothic sense (terror, tacit tutorials, Gothic scenarios). I've recently expanded on this idea to account for how these games dominate the player in a ludic sense. Separate from the audiovisual themes, how do Metroidvania, as games to be played, dominate players? How is this meta-narrative reinforced by the gameworld as something to experience?

"Why I Submit: A Subby Gothicist's Attitudes on Metroidvania, Mommy Doms, and Sexual Persecution": My current PhD research extends Metroidvania domination into a BDSM framework, especially the relationship between the "mommy dom" (a female authority figure) and fem boy (a feminine male subject) as illustrated by the player, but also and the Metroidvania's signature combination of sex, danger and standard Gothic themes (fear of assault, imposter syndrome, sexual abuse).

"War Vaginas: Phallic Women, Vaginal Spaces and Archaic Mothers in Metroid": Metroid, as a franchise, is rife with sexual imagery and Gothic displays of power. This piece examines those in detail: the phallic women (re: martial, Amazonian), Archaic Mothers (re: Mother Brain, the xenomorph queen) and vaginal, womb-like spaces (castles, nests) Samus encounters in the Metroid franchise. 

"Borrowed Robes: The Role of 'Chosen' Clothing — Part 1: Female Videogame Characters": Metroid, but also female characters in any videogame, are historically dressed by men. This piece explores the lack of autonomy women have regarding how they are dressed, including female players when controlling female avatars like Samus Aran.

"I, Satanist; Atheist: A Gothicist's Thoughts on Atheism, Religion, and Sex": My Satanic Atheism has shaped my views and interests on metal, videogames and sex (and vice versa). I think these topics are interlinked, and explore that through my own persona connection and history with the material.

"Hearing the Gothic Past": Doom's relationship with metal and horror is strong. This article explores the darksynth sub-genre's relationship between music and horror more generally in media at large.

My Doom-exclusive Posts

"Spectating FPS Speedruns: Potential Pitfalls Exemplified by Doom Eternal": An examination of FPS speedruns from a spectator's perspective, and why I think Doom Eternal isn't the best example of an entertaining speedrun to watch.

"Visual Clutter in Brutal Doom / Project Brutality": An article I wrote covering these two popular mods for Doom, and some of the issues I have with them.

"Doom Eternal: Made for Speed... but Speedrunning?": The article whose title question launched this Speedrunning Q&A Project.

"Doom Eternal (2020) Review": My personal review for Doom Eternal.

"Post-colonialism in Doom": An essay where I analyze the Doom franchise, including Doom Eternal, through a post-colonial lens.

Other Links

"7 real life items that inspired Doom Eternal": An interesting interview with Hugo Martin about Doom Eternal's palimpsests.

Summoning Salt: Perhaps my all-time favorite source for well-documented speedrunning history.

Karl Jobst: Another excellent source for YouTube videos about speedrunning history.

Pop-culture Weapons Analysed: A video by historical weapons expert, Shadiversity, analyzing the Crucible from Doom Eternal

"Starship Troopers, Part 1: Heinlein | Brows Held High": An excellent video essay by Kyle Kallgren that analyzes the problematic, fascist elements in 20th century sci-fi auteur Robert Heinlein. Postcolonialism is a huge theme in my studies, and I really enjoyed his video.


My name is Nick van der Waard and I'm a Gothic ludologist. I have my MA in English Studies: The Gothic from Manchester Metropolitan University. My blog is about horror, but also sex, metal and videogames.

Check out my interview series: Hell-blazers: Speedrunning Doom Eternal, "Giving My Two Cents: A Metal Compendium," and the Alien: Ore" Interview Project.

My favorite posts: Dragon Ball Super: Broly - Is It Gothic?Mandy (2018): ReviewGothic Themes in Perfect Blue. Also check out my guest work on Video Hook-Ups.

Follow me on Twitter! Watch my Gothic podcast! Purchase a commission through my art website! Or support me on Patreon or Ko-Fi!