Rise of the Triad: Dark War

aka: ROTT, Wolfenstein 3D: Part II, Wolfenstein: Rise of the Triad
Moby ID: 418
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

A madman with power to kill millions has been discovered, and HUNT (High-risk United Nations Taskforce) has been dispatched to discover his plans. Your team was infiltrating his island stronghold when everything went to hell. The infiltration boat exploded and fire came from all directions. The only way out is in, into the the fortress, but to stay out here would be certain death. So in you go, guns blazing...

Rise of the Triad, a first-person shooter, is the successor of Wolfenstein 3D, with a somewhat improved 3D engine. Everything is still composed from blocks, but multiple vertical levels have been added; there are stairs made of platforms floating in air, and jump pads which launch you (and the enemies) high up so that you can walk over tall barriers in your way.

The game offers a lot of weapons. You begin with a pistol, but later you can find an extra pistol for John Woo-style shooting, and a MP40 rifle. All these weapons have unlimited ammo. You can also find more potent weapons - from classic rocket launcher, to quite wacky contraptions such as a "drunk missile" launcher or the "Excalibat", a powerful baseball bat. However, you can carry only one such a strong weapon at a time, and they have limited ammo.

Enemies are mostly humans equipped with various weapons. Their attacks can be quite varied; some of them can steal your weapons (though you can retrieve them after killing them), other shoot nets at you that trap you (you have to wriggle out, unless you found a knife, which will allow you to cut your way out). Apart from enemies, you'll be endangered by fireball launchers, rolling boulders and crushing walls.

There's a lot of power-ups you can pick up. They all have various wacky effects: for example, "God Mode" makes you immortal and allows you to toss homing, insta-death missiles; "Dog Mode" turns you into a... dog, which can fit into small spaces (and is inexplicably invulnerable to weapons); "Shrooms Mode" makes everything shine with bright colours, as if you were on drugs; "Elasto Mode" makes you very prone to bouncing off walls when you run into them.

ROTT also offers a lot of multi-player game modes; there's the standard deathmatch and "Capture the Triad", but there are also more varied modes - e.g. in "Collector" the players have no weapons, instead trying to collect as many "triads" as possible; in "Deluder", the players earn points by destroying "eluders" which move around the level.

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Credits (DOS version)

74 People (65 developers, 9 thanks) · View all



Average score: 69% (based on 24 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 118 ratings with 11 reviews)

Awesome, awesome and awesome again.

The Good
One of my favorite first person shooters, Rise of the Triad went somewhat unnoticed in the gaming community, despite having a better engine than Doom (faster and looks better) and excellent gameplay.

The 3D engine is fast and fluid and looks very good, especially when compared with other so-called 2.5D games. The sound effects are well rounded and the gameplay is simply fun, fun, fun.

Not to mention the ingenius God- and Dog-modes, the awesome weaponry and seemingly infinite gameplay.

All and all, this is a great game.

The Bad
It may not be the best game on Earth, but it's damn near flawless.

The Bottom Line
A great first person shooter you shouldn't miss.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 1999

*BOOOOOM!!!!* Let's see...here's an arm...there's a finger...oh, is this your spleen? :)

The Good
There's one thing ROTT is famous for: GORE! Tons of it! Buckets of blood and gore! There's also highly destructive weaponry! In short: the sadists will LOVE this game!

Anyway, ROTT has one simple goal: as a member of a task force called the HUNT (get it?), it's your job to stop a mad cult led by El Oscuro (The Dark) from destroying the world with nuclear warfare and black magic. For that task, you get a ton of highly destructive toys to use on them. Drunk missiles, heat seekers, firebombs, the FLAMEWALL!! (my favorite!), and more weapons are at your disposal. And for even more fun, there's whole squadrons of enemies to blast, and it's just too cool to shoot a firebomb into a crowded room and see random body parts go flying everywhere immediately afterward! It's all about the raw white-knuckle blasting, I tell ya!

Great graphics (albeit a little dark and dingy, though), LOUD as hell explosions and other sound effects, and some excellent music round out the whole package. And let's not also forget the wacky sense of humor this game can have. I mean, where else do you see a roving wall intentionally escape a stage and yell "I'm FREE!!" just before the game crashes? ^^ Or grab a God Mode Power-Up and start making a bunch of goofy moaning noises for 30 seconds? Or even funnier...Dog Mode? Woof woof!

The Bad
Doesn't run in Windows 2000...damn!! >

The Bottom Line
DOOM may have been gory and violent in its own right, but the sheer gore and violence factors here will make DOOM look like My Little Pony...

[email protected] was a scary thought...eep!

DOS · by Satoshi Kunsai (2020) · 2001

Deserves to be one of the all-time CLASSIC first person shooters...

The Good
Rise of the Triad was originally being made by Apogee(now more well-known as 3d Realms) as a followup to the game that really began the FPS genre(though itself wasn't the first), Wolfenstein 3d. However, the development soon changed and Rise of the Triad was changed to become it's own game...and that was a great thing!...where as today, Wolfenstein 3d simply isn't really much fun anymore, being far too repetitive, Rise of the Triad is done with just the right amount of imagination, surreal atmosphere and lack of seriousness that it still is a fun game even today, if you don't mind the dated graphics.

One of ROTT's more "popular" features was an un-equaled amount of gore for it's time. However, the gore is done in a delightfully cheesy way, with such features as blowing an enemy up causing blood 'n an eyeball to fly at the screen followed by a comment at the top such as..."Ludicrous gibs!" However, if anyone is disturbed by this cartoonish by today's standards violence, they can easily turn it down.

Despite the fact that this game is too old for actual jumping to be a possibility, Rise of the Triad could almost be considered by me as a first-person shooter that doubles as something of a platform game. This is because of a variety of circular pads that jumped you up, floated or acted as either elevators or "trains", referred to as "gads". Fun features from this are splattering enemies(who can use the gads too) by falling on them, and the fairly unknown REAL origin of "rocket-jumping".

As said before, Rott's humorous and surreal atmosphere really adds to the game, and you can just see the fun the designers had, even using their voices and likenesses for some of the game's enemies, yelling strangely funny things such as "Eat lead!" But seriously, what other computer game can you not only fire a variety of guns, but also use a baseball bat, and not only have a power-up for GOD-mode, but also DOG-mode?...Any it is a very...different...god-mode, where you become 10 ft. tall and emit entity-like groans as you throw power-balls!

The Bad
Rise of the Triad actually uses the same, but much more advanced, technology as Wolfenstein 3d. This means that while there is now many areas where you are under the sky instead of the same old ceiling height all through, a larger "pallet" of colors, and some more interaction with the environment...there is NOOOO tilted or angled walls. This is the only really major thing that kept ROTT from the fame it deserved. Damn...

The Bottom Line
Even with limited technology, Rise of the Triad is still a very unique and fun game that should be highly suggested to fans of the classic older first person shooters...if they haven't played it already...

DOS · by Mr. Me (28) · 2003

[ View all 11 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Two different BBFC ratings CrankyStorming (2927) Dec 6, 2011
ROTT HQ That guy (1) Jun 17, 2011


Digitized actors

Rise of the Triad: Dark War's bad guys are the developers dressed up and digitized. For instance, Sebastian "Doyle" Krist's (the second boss in the game) chair is actually just an office chair, and the controls he uses are staplers. The actor who played Krist, Rise of the Triad: Dark War Level Designer Joe Siegler, admitted that he almost stapled his hands a couple times during filming.

Easter eggs

ROTT has a huge number of easter eggs. Some of which include:

Holiday hats If you play ROTT when your system clock indicates that it's one of five different holidays, the "group picture" of the five main characters is changed slightly. In addition, on Christmas, the music for the first level is changed to a familiar Christmas tune. The holidays and effects are as follows:

Easter (date varies) - Lorelei Ni wears Easter Bunny ears.

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) - Ian wears a sombrero.

Independence Day (July 4th) - Doug holds an American flag.

Halloween (October 31st) - Thi wears a witch's hat.

Christmas (December 24th) - Taradino wears a Santa Claus hat, on December 25th, new music plays in the first level the first level.

There's a way to get all five "holiday hats" in Rise Of The Triad to show up on the screen at the same time. If you finish the game the right way, and destroy all the larvae in the last level, watch ALL the credits (takes several minutes). You'll get to a screen that says "The HUNT is victorious. The End." Do nothing. Let it sit there for about a minute or two, and you'll get another "The End" screen where all five "holiday hats" are shown at once.

Dopefish mode: Start up ROTT using: "rott dopefish"

It will bring you into "Dopefish" mode, where instead of getting the level name at the loading screen you get a smart-ass comment, and a special Dopefish death cam for when you're hit by enemy missile fire. The bottom of the ROTT digital help file also contains a reference to the Dopefish.

Cheeky message: If you make the screen-size really small a message appears. It says: "Buy a 486 :)"

Quit messages: When you exit the game, the game asks you "Yes or No?" in a variety of ways. This in itself is not special, but with each question you get a different sound byte. Here are some examples:

Press Y to pull your plug (makes a that notorious long beep as if your heart stopped)

Press Y to open trap door (sound of someone falling and a rope twisting)

Press Y to release cyanide gas (sound of liquid spilling and gas rising)

Press Y to activate the electric chair (electric snap and sizzle)

Press Y to drive your car off the cliff (car skidding and crashing)

Press Y to activate guillotine (sound of blade falling and thump of head spilling into a pan)

Press Y to signal firing squad ("Ready, aim, fire!")

German index

On March 31, 1995, Rise of the Triad: Dark War was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Multiple character classes in all game modes

ROTT was the first game to have different characters to play as in both single player and multiplayer (Corridor 7: Alien Invasion predated ROTT with multiple character classes in MP, even if the classes were nearly identical in that game) and they all have different voices (only things like death, grunt sounds…they didn't talk like Duke Nukem) and abilities. Incidentally, some of the level traps were designed so you could only get by them with certain players.

RSAC rating

It was the first game to get an RSAC rating of 4 (the highest) with wanton and gratuitous violence. Once you blew up somebody, their head might hurtle towards you, their eyeballs might fall in front of your face, their blood might linger in the air or stick on the walls for a few minutes. If that's not enough, there is also an EKG mode (Engine Killing Gibs) that's accessible with a cheat code. Though cautious parents and people who aren't fans of the gore can disable using the games inbuilt parental lock feature, believed to be the first game with such a feature.

On another note, upon gibbing an enemy, depending on how quick your eyes are, you can sometimes spot a severed arm flipping you off as it flies off the screen. A member of the ROTT development team said that this was almost impossible to capture in a screenshot. See the screenshots for the infamous hand.

Source code release

Apogee released the source code for Rise of the Triad on December 20, 2002; almost 8 years to the day of the original release of the game. To find out where you can download it, visit Apogee's official site: http://www.apogee1.com


Ever wondered what´s the Triad? Historically, following the fall of the Qing Dynasty of China in 1911, followers of the original Taiping Rebellion suddenly found themselves lost without a purpose. Unable to revert to normal civilian lives after spending years living under grave danger and extreme violence, many ex-rebels reunited to form a cult which later came to be known as the "Triad". The "Triad" (commonly known as Chinese Mafia) is actually a collective term that refers to the many branches of the underground society based in Hong Kong. It is engaged in all forms of organized crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering etc. The triangular logo used in the game is actually a modified version of the actual "Triad" logo. (from www.wikipedia.org)

Wolfenstein 3D engine

The game engine that Rise of the Triad: Dark War uses is actually a heavily modified version of the original Wolfenstein 3-D engine. In some ways it outperforms the Doom engine, though in many other ways, the limits of the Wolf3D engine are clearly visible. Later, Tom Hall admitted that he made a huge mistake by deciding to stick with the original Wolf3D engine rather than switching to the Build engine that the "team next door" was using for Duke Nukem 3D. He said that if he had switched ROTT to the Build engine, he could've gotten a technologically advanced game up and running in no time, as opposed to the hard time that Apogee had modifying the Wolf3D engine. (His statements about this can be found in the readme file included with the ROTT public source code that was released on December 20, 2002.)

Working title

Rise of the Triad: Dark War was originally Wolfenstein 3D: Part II - id Software licensed the Wolf3D engine to Apogee so Tom Hall could create another sequel to Wolfenstein a year after Spear of Destiny was released. Eventually id Software decided not to let another company handle their IP and cancelled the contract for Wolfenstein 3D: Part II but allowed them to continue licensing the Wolf3D engine.

Information also contributed by Brolin Empey, CaptainCanuck, John Romero, j. jones, Roger Wilco, Spartan_234, wossname, Xantheous, and Xoleras


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Related Sites +

  • Joe Siegler's Rise of the Triad Shrine
    A little known but highly informative shrine site dedicated to ROTT. Lots of add-ons, screenshots, patches, etc.
    A collective site of all things Rise of the Triad containing source ports, user maps, shareware versions and other assorted goodies .(English)
  • ROTT Original Design Spec
    What was ROTT going to be originally?
  • Rise of the Triad v1.3
    official game page from 1997, preserved by the Wayback Machine
  • The HUNT: Rise of the triad
    A solid site, which includes all the resorces that can be found on the ROTT cd. This site is the home to the finest article written on this game, ROTT in Hell.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 418
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matt Dabrowski.

Windows added by Plok. Linux added by Alsy. iPhone, iPad added by Scaryfun.

Additional contributors: Accatone, Kate Jones, Xantheous, Erez Schatz, Kasey Chang, Alaka, Havoc Crow, Verm --, Plok, That guy, MrFlibble.

Game added November 13, 1999. Last modified June 8, 2024.