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Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders is the expanded version of the original Heretic retail release with the addition of two new episodes. This gives Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders a total of five episodes compared to the original Heretic's three episodes (and a single episode for the shareware release). Owners of the original Heretic are able to download a free patch which will update the game to the Shadow of the Serpent Riders' full five episodes.

Your world has been ravaged by the three Serpent Riders from the Abyss. Afterwards two of the Riders have left, while one, D'Sparil remains to oversee the oppression. It is your duty, as the Heretic, to destroy this demon.

Heretic is the first game in the Heretic/Hexen franchise. Here begins Raven's tradition of taking id's latest game engines, improving on them, and using them in a fantasy game.

For Heretic, the Doom engine was used. The Raven team enhanced the engine with the addition of an inventory system, the ability to look up and down, and the ability to fly, along with some lesser features such as powerful wind currents. Not counting the inventory, the core gameplay that made Doom such a hit remained the same.


Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders DOS Beautiful place, but can you imagine all  the mildew in those tiles?
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders DOS Title Screen
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders DOS Firing the Hellstaff with the Tome of Power activated!
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders DOS Firing the Phoenix Rod at an enemy

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A lot more than “Doom with a medieval theme” Gatekeeper (214) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

The Press Says

Joystick (French) Mar, 1995 91 out of 100 91
PC Player (Denmark) 1996 85 out of 100 85
PC Player (Brazil) Jul, 1996 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GameSpot Jun 13, 1996 7.6 out of 10 76
The DOS Spirit Dec 01, 2009 4.5 out of 6 75
Computer Games Magazine Jun 13, 1996 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
PC Zone Aug 13, 2001 5 out of 10 50


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Heretic is commonly noted as the first Doom-enhanced engine to perform looking up and down, but truthfully none of the Doom-enhanced engines can truly look up and down due to the nature of the engine. Technically, yes, it's "looking" up and down, but no tilting of the head is involved -- rather, the viewpoint of the player is raised and lowered, much like a periscope. This is also why, at extreme heights or lows, the perspective gets wildly distorted.

Related Web Sites

  • Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (official website)
  • Raven-Games (This site is dedicated to older Raven Software games. Here you can get maps and mods for Heretic, including JHeretic and Koka's GLHeretic, the two best hardware accelerated Heretic upgrades in existence!)
Kalirion (644) added Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (DOS) on Jul 13, 2000
Other platforms contributed by DarkDante (3711)