Rise of the Triad: Dark War

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

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.

Groups +




See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (DOS version)

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



Average score: 71% (based on 25 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 127 ratings with 11 reviews)

Gore, Gore, and Triads

The Good
The graphics (mainly the gore :) and net code were amazing -- the LAN play was some of the best I've ever seen, they held nothing back. The parental control thing was cool, too. Although I had no use for it, it made the game appeal to a broader audience.

The Bad
Its popularity. It surpassed DOOM in quality, but the DOOM name totaly destroyed any chance of sucess for ROTT.

The Bottom Line
A blood-fest. A nothing-held-back war. Kill everything or be killed.

DOS · by Plix (197) · 2000

A revolutionary FPS game but very under appreciated!

The Good
The game had revolutionary effects such as 11 player network support, masked walls (allows you to make bullet holes in walls), transparency, different playable characters and dynamic lighting.

Multiplayer is were this game truly stood out from the crowd. It had 11 player network support and 9 multi player game types. It had microphone support so you could shout insults at the people you were playing. Remote Ridicule was also supported in the game, press a function key and you could insult your opponent without a microphone.

Weapons, weapons and more weapons, that lead to gibs, gibs and more gibs! This game had truck load of weapons which included dual pistols, MP40 machine gun, firewall (not of the Zone Alarm type LOL), drunken missiles, heat seeker, dark staff, Excalibat and more.

The Bad
The game used a re-written Wolfenstein 3D engine and because of that there were limitations such as the 90 degree walls seen in Wolfenstein.

The graphics weren't the greatest and neither was the sound but other things make up for that.

The Bottom Line
A FPS with revolutionary effects, a solid multiplayer, great music and it's just plain fun!

Anyone who calls themselves a games fanatic should have this game in their collection!

DOS · by adam payne (9) · 2006

Bizarre, gory and entertaining FPS

The Good
It has a lot of bizarre things which you won't find in any other FPS - tell me, have you ever seen a dog-mode (you transform into an immortal dog), poisonous mushrooms or Excali-bat in any other game? Rise of the Triad (or simply ROTT) has many bonuses, i. e. Adrenaline Bonus for 100% kills and Supercharge Bonus for collecting all power-ups, and Bonus Bonus - for achieving every possible bonus.

Your weaponry mostly consists of various types of rocket launchers - heatseekers, drunk missiles and many more. You can also use pistols (holding one in each hand) and MP-40, both with infinite ammo, or mentioned earlier Excali-bat. Your enemies look like Nazi guards from Wolfenstein 3D, however now they can throw a web to fetter you or even pretend being dead!

Sounds are good, music is much better than soundtrack in Wolf 3D, and multiplayer is outstanding - it has more gameplay types than Doom. There's even Capture the Flag (it's called here "Capture the Triad")! Keep in mind that it was few years before releasing a CTF mod for Quake.

The Bad
The engine - it's the same engine used in Wolfenstein 3D. It's modified, however flaws from Wolf 3D still exist in ROTT:

  • maps are one-leveled (it's partially solved by anti-gravity pads);
  • some of them are enormous mazes;
  • they aren't so realistic as Doom levels;
  • forget about floors and ceilings which differ in different rooms. Floor, celling, level height and brightness change only when you progress to next level.

The Bottom Line
Well, ROTT has a lot of interesting features and lousy engine. However, it's still fun to play this game, just forget about engine issues and don't take this game seriously ;)

DOS · by Sir Gofermajster (485) · 2009

[ View all 11 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Two different BBFC ratings CrankyStorming (2913) Dec 6th, 2011
ROTT HQ That guy (1) Jun 17th, 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

Related Games

Rise of the Triad
Released 2013 on Windows
Wolfenstein 3D
Released 1994 on SNES, Jaguar, Macintosh
Wolfenstein 3D
Released 1992 on DOS, 2002 on Game Boy Advance, Windows...
Spear of Destiny
Released 1992 on DOS
Wolfenstein 3d
Released 1998 on DOS, 2015 on Windows
Blade of Agony
Released 2021 on Windows
Wolfenstein II: The Freedom Chronicles - The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe
Released 2017 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Wolfenstein II: The Freedom Chronicles - The Deeds of Captain Wilkins
Released 2018 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Wolfenstein II: The Freedom Chronicles - The Diaries of Agent Silent Death
Released 2018 on Windows, Xbox One, Windows Apps

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 +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matt Dabrowski.

Windows added by Picard. Linux added by Alsy. Macintosh added by lights out party. 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 13th, 1999. Last modified November 23rd, 2023.