How do the skull keys work?

I've started to wonder this for awhile, I mean, how could they possibly work? The keycards are obvious, but how could a piece of ruby, sapphire, or topaz (At least that's what I think they're made of) unlock a door?

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I always thought it was like one of those keys where you put the key in a gap and it unlocks it, like those Egyptian or Aztec pyramid doors.

Technically it's a bunch of code that picking up the item unlocks the door, but we have imaginations, right?

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Maybe there's a RFID or something embedded in it.

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Doominer991 said:

how could a piece of ruby, sapphire, or topaz . . . unlock a door?

Bribery?

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Eris Falling said:

magic


It's just gotta be magic, maybe the doomguy is part demon?

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If a card can be used like a key (without magic) then why not
a plastic skull (or whatever material). Magic is heretic, should be a tech explanation in Doom.

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wesleyjohnson said:

If a card can be used like a key (without magic) then why not
a plastic skull (or whatever material). Magic is heretic, should be a tech explanation in Doom.


Should be? No, else we'll end up with the same style of stupid shit explanations that the Doom movie had. Like they're not really demons or monsters but a person's true form, or whatever fucking cack was pulled out of nowhere. I can't remember, I was bored shitless by that point.

In other words, there's nothing wrong with some magical/supernatural workings as far as Skullkeys go. Fuck it, as far as I'm concerned Doomguy pulls a He-Man and shouts "BY THE POWER OF <colour> SKULL!!" (unfortunately it's too long a sound for the engine to handle), there's a flash (that the Doom renderer wasn't capable of displaying), and BAM! The door unlocks.

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Interesting question that probably has no good answer. Heck, it's not even clear how keycards work, since none of the doors or switches have any obvious slots for them. (That's right, a way that Duke Nukem 3D improves on Doom! Believe it or not!)

What I've wondered about for a while are skull switches, and their friends the gargoyles, lions and satyrs. The framed skulls look like they get pushed in, but the rest just light up -- I imagine the marine baps one on the nose and it comes to life like a touch-sensitive lamp.

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Doominer991 said:

Aw, sorry folks. The answer we were looking for is this:[/b]

hex11 said:

Maybe there's a RFID or something embedded in it.

Makes sense to me, I've long considered that technology to be the work of the Devil.

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I don't really think they're gems, better off asking the developers what they are.

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I also found switches that require a key to use , why do should I have a key for a switch?
What about a card inserter?

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Urban Space Cowboy said:

What I've wondered about for a while are skull switches, and their friends the gargoyles, lions and satyrs. The framed skulls look like they get pushed in, but the rest just light up -- I imagine the marine baps one on the nose and it comes to life like a touch-sensitive lamp.

Or they present the doomguy with a riddle, but there wasn't enough time to program an answer interface, so he always gets it right. Yeah, I like Baron's explanation more than I should, heh.

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They could just be the result of hellish corruption upon normal keycards. As far as the door is concerned, it's still a regular keycard (you can open keyed doors with either type , so long as it's the right color). Maybe if the UAC experiments had instead opened a portal to the Land of Blue Bunnies and Pink Elephants, then various keycards would have taken the shape of chocolate eggs. But the foil wrappings may have interfered with the embedded RFID chips, and you'd never be able to complete your mission: to eradicate the easter bunny and his minions once and for all...

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I think they're crystal skulls. Or maybe they're shrunken lost souls. At the end of the level they tear out of doomguy's pocket.

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Jimi said:

I think they're crystal skulls.

Crystal shatters too easily. They're plastic, with a pair of Duracell batteries (those things practically last forever) and a colour-cycling LED inside them.

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hex11 said:

Maybe if the UAC experiments had instead opened a portal to the Land of Blue Bunnies and Pink Elephants, then various keycards would have taken the shape of chocolate eggs. But the foil wrappings may have interfered with the embedded RFID chips, and you'd never be able to complete your mission: to eradicate the easter bunny and his minions once and for all...

Someone should make a wad about it. Maybe without the foil interference part.

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Urban Space Cowboy said:

Interesting question that probably has no good answer. Heck, it's not even clear how keycards work, since none of the doors or switches have any obvious slots for them. (That's right, a way that Duke Nukem 3D improves on Doom! Believe it or not!)

What I've wondered about for a while are skull switches, and their friends the gargoyles, lions and satyrs. The framed skulls look like they get pushed in, but the rest just light up -- I imagine the marine baps one on the nose and it comes to life like a touch-sensitive lamp.


That makes sense atleast compared to my other theory, that there's a small switch and LED in it's mouth. Of course it doesn't make sense with the ones where their mouth is too small for your hand to get into.

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The skull is a mini wifi terminal that does a checkup for a unique TID on the map, with the right product key before relaying a signal. Incorrect keys, or those of keygen usually don't work.

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You've played Doom for 20 years and don't know how hell works?

The colored skulls contain demonic energy. When you approach a door with the key, the energy resonates and the door opens.

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It generates an authentication code so you get through the door without paying for it.

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Its the demonic equivlent of a keycard. They just have more technology in hell and choose to make their keys look like skulls.

Also, due to them being a slightly different technology, they just dont work in the same way as a garden variety keycard.

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Well if you really wanna mind bender, the cards and skulls all work on the same doors. If you have a blue skull, you can open blue "card" doors, and a blue card key will open doors marked with a blue skull just fine as well.

(Only BOOM and ports that are compatible with it allow this to be different, but that's off-topic).

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I think they're just ordinary keys. They're always drawn from the front because that's how Doom works, but it's likely that behind them is a coded pattern to open some door. They're probably very different from normal keys, but might still have some locking mechanism behind them, not magic (what is that?) or keycards in disguise (kitsch).

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printz said:

I think they're just ordinary keys. They're always drawn from the front because that's how Doom works, but it's likely that behind them is a coded pattern to open some door. They're probably very different from normal keys, but might still have some locking mechanism behind them, not magic (what is that?) or keycards in disguise (kitsch).


True, that would make a lot of sense.

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The obvious answer is : He touches "the linedef that needs a key\skull to open" with the damn key\skull and it opens , duh.

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printz said:

not magic (what is that?)

According to Clarke's Third Law - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

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This whole discussion is really about recognizing what ID meant as the theme story behind Doom. I do not remember them anywhere mentioning magic. Because of engine limitations there are many events that are incompletely represented. There were some other games that would tediously show the key put in the lock and turned, but that got stale.
So Doom leaving such tedious things out really does not make their keys magic, the key working is just taken for granted.

Even a door opening vertically because it was "pushed" could be called magic if you want to argue such. But not seriously.

I like the idea from hex11: They could just be the result of hellish corruption upon normal keycards.

Heck, they could just be keycards that the hellish crews customized like they did the doors. Like putting a designer cover on your cell phone.

There already are employee badges that work without contact. And some doors can recognize one. Do not recommend them as they are a security risk. The card wearer could just be walking nearby.

There were some elevator buttons that used to work by sensing electrical contact from the finger. People who had dry skin (or gloves on) could not activate them.

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