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Hexen: Beyond Heretic

MobyRank MobyScore
Macintosh
...
2.9
Nintendo 64
64
3.2
DOS
81
3.8
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Description

Hexen is the sequel to Heretic. While the Heretic was destroying D'Sparil, the other two Serpent Riders have come to your dimension and slaughtered everyone. Or so they thought. Three humans have managed to escape with their lives and now seek vengeance against the Serpent Rider Korax who remains in their world.

Like Heretic, Hexen is a fantasy game based on an enhanced DOOM engine. All of Heretic's innovations like vertical looking, flying, and the inventory system have been carried over. The new major changes this time around are three characters for the player to choose from and the level hub system. The characters are the Fighter, the Cleric, and the Mage. Each one has four unique weapons and different levels of speed and armor.

The hub system steps away from the traditional "single levels stringed along into episodes" system which had been carried over into the FPS genre from sidescrollers and made popular by Wolfenstein 3D. In Hexen's hub system each episode is still made up of interconnected levels, but most of the levels are connected to a single "hub" level through portals. There are also portals between some of the "spoke" levels. Many of the puzzles in Hexen require travel back and forth between different levels.

Other innovations in Hexen included weather effects, jumping, earth-quakes, and destructible objects such as trees and vases.

Screenshots

Hexen: Beyond Heretic DOS Alternate title screen
Hexen: Beyond Heretic Nintendo 64 The swamp thing.
Hexen: Beyond Heretic Windows Hello yourself.
Hexen: Beyond Heretic Nintendo 64 Message from Korax.

Alternate Titles

  • "Hexen 95" -- Windows re-release title
  • "Hexen" -- Console title
  • "Heretic 2" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

(Review from 1995) Hexen is more than just a "Doom Clone" and is worth trying. DOS Kadath Bird (712)
Hexen is an excellent shooter that's just not for everyone. DOS WJAndrews (32)
True to its name in many ways... frustrating, somewhat fun. DOS ShadowShrike (309)
Enormous switch hunt in scary castles. DOS Sir Gofermajster (481)
Pushing the limits of id Tech 1, one sector at a time. DOS Chris Charabaruk (143)
A descent Medieval shooter that just tries to be too many games at once DOS Medicine Man (367)
An RPG-Style First-Person Shooter DOS Aenn Seidhe Priest (10)

The Press Says

High Score DOS Apr, 1996 5 out of 5 100
PC Player (Denmark) DOS 1996 85 out of 100 85
PC Gamer DOS Feb, 1996 85 out of 100 85
Computer Games Magazine DOS 1996 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
The DOS Spirit DOS Dec 10, 2009 4.5 out of 6 75
Game Play 64 Nintendo 64 Oct, 1997 70 out of 100 70
Macworld Macintosh Nov, 1996 6.9 out of 10 69
GameSpot DOS May 01, 1996 6.5 out of 10 65
Electric Playground SEGA Saturn May 23, 1997 4.5 out of 10 45
IGN Nintendo 64 Jun 26, 1997 3.7 out of 10 37

Forums

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Trivia

Controversy

The Steam download version of the game is listed as Windows platform because the executables are modified to use a DOSBox variant (v 0.70); additionally the traditional setup.exe is missing.

It is confirmed that neither Valve or id Software contacted the DOSBox project staff and initially the game didn't includes the TXT files that must be present under the GPL license (so they failed to fulfill 2 points of the GPL license).

Two days after the launch, there was an update that includes COPYING, AUTHORS and THANKS.txt of the DOSBox 0.71.

References

  • In the Necropolis, you can find graves that have the names of some of the authors written on them.
  • In the first HUB, "The Seven Portals" there is a secret level hidden. Once you're in it, you can find D'Sparil's (from the original Heretic) heart in there.
  • The villain's name, Korax, is derived from the scientific name of the common raven: corvus corax. This is an intentional joke as the game was developed by Raven Software.
  • The first place in the game where the Porkalator artifact can be found is on Hub 2: "Caves of Circe". Circe was a character in Greek mythology, who transformed Odysseus' crew into pigs.

References to the game

The final boss of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Mordekai The Summoner, carries a staff very similar to the Bloodscourge, the last weapon of the Mage class in Hexen: Beyond Heretic. It should also be noted that the enemy as a whole looks very similar to D'Sparil, the final boss of Heretic.

Speech

One of the demonic sounds that the enemy Dark Bishop sometimes utters, when played backwards, actually sounds like his name.

Title

In German, "hexen" means "witches", or "casting a spell" when used as a verb. Moreover, the game has a Warlock skill level - a warlock (or "hexenmeister") is the male version of a witch.

Version differences

The PlayStation version can be called notoriously evil for being one of the few games on the system to require one ENTIRE Memory Card (yes, all 15 blocks worth) to save just ONE save game!

Information also contributed by Dark Dante, Emepol, Macintrash, Medicine Man, Maw and Satoshi Kunsai

Related Web Sites

  • Doomsday HQ (Home of jDoom, jHeretic, and jHexen. These are hardware accelerated ports of those games ( require original DOS versions to work). Useful to make the games prettier, extended multiplayer support, and to work perfectly on Windows Xp!)
  • Raven-Games (This site is dedicated to older Raven Software games. Here you can get maps and mods for Heretic, including JHexen and Koka's GLHexen, the two best hardware accelerated Hexen upgrades in existence!)
  • Wikipedia: Hexen: Beyond Heretic (Information about Hexen: Beyond Heretic at Wikipedia)
Contributed to by Kalirion (626), Xantheous (1294), Kabushi (120979) and Grant McLellan (545)