In Doom [II], does John Romer's head count towards the end-level kills statistic?

I finished a level and I'm one kill short, but I checked everywhere and there aren't any monsters left. I even tried setting the map to show entities and used noclip to fly around, trying to find an entity moving, even shooting as I moved to prompt any monsters to start moving, but still found nothing. I can only assume that John Romero's head counts as a monster, but it's not registering it as a kill. 🤔

Bizarrely, I can't find any information on this; I'd have thought that it had been asked before, but a web search comes up completely empty (the wiki page for "the final boss" says it doesn't count, but that's because it's not a thing; the page for John Romer's head doesn't mention it at all). 🤨

2 Answers 2


Well like they say, If you want something done right…

I went ahead and made a map with just John Romer's head, and again with the head and an imp. Then I looked at the number of monsters in the map screen and the number of kills in the end-of-level screen if just the head is killed or both the head and the imp are killed.

With just the head, it shows zero monsters and 100% kills. With the head and an imp, it shows one monster. If only the head is killed, it shows 0% kills. If both are killed, it shows 100% kills (i.e., the imp).

Therefore, John Romero's head is not counted as a monster nor a kill.

Thus, in map 24 (“Dying on Cue”) of the Sunlust megawad where I have 1508 out of 1509 kills, it means that the John Romero's head inside the machine is not counted as a kill, but it's also not counted as a monster either, therefore there must be a live monster left somewhere in the map.

Now I'm off to see if I can find it… 😕

Here's a screenshot of the results of the test:

Results of test


According to the Doom wiki, it does not

The final boss is not a monster in the technical sense, since it does not count towards the KILLS percentage at the end of a level, and is not affected by the command line parameters that affect standard monsters.

Under the Set-up section on this webpage:


  • You just repeated what I said. I'm not asking about the "final boss", I'm asking about John Romero's head, which is a part of the "final boss".
    – Synetech
    Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 1:18
  • I am certain I posted this before you posted your answer (or at least concurrently, I didn't realize you were aiming at answering your own question), so I didn't repeat anything you posted. I always considered the head to technically to be the final boss because I thought that is what is actually being hit when you hit the final boss (through the hole in the head). Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 22:17
  • I meant you repeated what I said in the question. I already said that I checked the wiki and it only mentions the "final boss" page, but says nothing about it in the separate page about Romeor's head. I also said that the "final boss" page only mentions it as not counting as a kill, but nothing about it counting as a monster. My answer clearly indicates that the head doesn't count as a kill, but it also doesn't count as a monster either, so it wouldn't account for the missing kill.
    – Synetech
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 23:13
  • Oops, you're right. I missed that part. My apologies. Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 0:31

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