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When Does Doom Eternal Take Place? (Spoilers)

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At first I thought it was 2151, as suggested by the second trailer. But Dr. Richardson's logs found in the ARC Complex are recorded in 2163 across about a month (January 24th to March 3rd).


I wanted to investigate when 2151 is mentioned in the Codex, and here are some quotes that may be important:




"In 2150, following the loss of communication between Earth and Mars-based facilities, UAC director Dr. Samuel Hayden suddenly resurfaced on Earth before the AN Council. The demonic invasion of Earth had already begun, and Dr. Hayden had arrived just in time to provide aid. He supplied the resistance armies with Argent technology and advanced armaments, taking helm of the newly-formed ARC as Lead Director." - Samuel Hayden


"By 2151, the formation of the ARC has taken highest priority and is considered to be, in all practical terms, the last hope for humanity." - Formation of the ARC


"A global military crisis-relief initiative established by the Allied Nations in 2151." - The ARC, Part I


"By 2151 the ARC began running operations from the Mobile Command Carrier, a seaborne command center designed for long-range strike operations which would serve as ARC HQ." - The ARC, Part II




So the timeline seems to be 2149 (Doom 2016) -> 2150 (Hell on Earth; Hayden's return) -> 2151 (ARC formation). Hayden's log is a bit confusing at first because it implied that the ARC was formed around 2150, when it actually seemed to have been formed in 2151.


Interestingly, Dr. Richardon's log III mentions this:


"We watched as the horde overwhelmed the very best and most advanced machinery and weapons technology that we could muster against the opposition. It was useless, they moved too quickly, they cared not for themselves, only sought out the blood of humanity. They were willing to sacrifice their own to get to the heart of our world. We slaughtered thousands and millions more followed, but then he came - he cut through them like a sickle through a field - his fury surpassing their own."


The above quote implies that the Slayer had been fighting Hell on Earth for a while, since she brings up how their most advanced machinery and weapons technology stood no chance against the demons attacking their world, but the Slayer was able to fight against them. It's dated February 9th, 2163 while log I is dated January 24th, 2163. The ARC has observed the Slayer fight demons for at least two weeks so far at this point.


That's interesting because at the beginning of the game, the Slayer is on the Fortress, helmet off, gun away, and VEGA actively searching for a Hell Priest. It gives the impression he was just getting started, and killing the Hell Priest so quickly shows how fast he works. We see later in the game that the Doom Slayer works with single-minded focus. He could've spent a long time trying to get to the core of Mars, fighting and killing endless swarms of demons along the way. But he wastes no time and opts to just shoot open Mars using the BFG-10K.


Dr. Richardon's final log is dated March 4th, 2163. So it's been another month of observation by the ARC. She mentions that "The Priests command the armies to the North and South, but he controls the fight.", which is dated by the time the Slayer listens to the log, as Deag Nilox and Deag Ranak are both dead at that point. Only one Priest remained. So this means the logs and the Slayer's fight with Hell on Earth, had been recorded some time back in the past before the Slayer even hunted down Deag Nilox.




So the game is set sometime after March 4th, 2163. The Slayer seems to have been resting or waiting in the Fortress. However, he had previously been fighting on Earth after the events of Doom 2016 but before Eternal (for at least a month), as evident by Dr. Richardson's logs and observations. He was possibly unaware of the Hell Priests at that time or at least their whereabouts. Perhaps he did not acquire a Celestial Locator yet or even the Fortress itself, though the latter would raise the question as to how he reached Earth in the first place.


However, according to the ARC Broadcasts, the Slayer was only just recently seen and that he's (at first) seen as a "myth" among Earth's resistance and that he was "last reported to be seen on Mars". They remain skeptical of the Slayer, warning people to stay away as it's unclear whether he is a threat to civilians or if he's on the resistance's side. We know these broadcasts are recent as they come in when the Slayer completes each mission, commenting on his recent activities.


"The Doom Slayer, or 'Doomguy' as he is sometimes referred to, was thought to be a myth of the resistance - a sort of avenging angel. He was last reported to be seen on Mars and is allegedly responsible for the destruction of the Argent Tower there. He disappeared soon afterwards." - ARC Broadcast Log I


Keep in mind the Slayer had been around long enough (a month or so) for Dr. Richardson to become a "believer" in his greatness while the official resistance network only just recently picked up on his activities. Dr. Richardson is clearly talking about the Slayer fighting on Earth as she mentioned how they (ARC) slaughtered thousands of demons but millions more followed, until the Slayer came and cut right through the hellspawn - certainly not commenting on the Mars incidence since the UAC didn't muster any opposition nor is the red planet "our world" as she's describing.




The best I can come up with to reconcile the ARC broadcasts and Dr. Richardson's logs are that the Slayer may have been fighting on Earth but "out-of-sight" from most eyes. His activity, whatever he was doing for a month before hunting Hell Priests, wasn't drawing the attention from the resistance network and was likely smaller-scale in scope. Perhaps the Slayer really was just killing demons aimlessly. Alternatively, the Slayer may have previously only been on Earth briefly before going off-world to search for a Celestial Locator, but that brief period of time was enough to convert Dr. Richardson over (her log dates being a record of her time to convert rather than the Slayer's time on Earth). But then again, the ARC broadcast has him "last reported" to be on Mars, and if there were some converted believers in the Slayer among ARC personnel, they would likely report on it and his other recent activities.


TL;DR - Dr. Richardson's logs make the timeline confusing

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I'm hoping that it's a hint about future DLC and not the writing fuck-up that it looks like.

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I had the same doubt after reading Dr. Richardson's logs, to the point I thought that maybe it was some kind of redaction error. Obviously the voice actress didn't know this, I hope id clarifies this or at least give us some exact info when the DLCs launches.

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