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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.


Rise of the Triad: Dark War DOS A better screenshot of the infamous bird flip.
Rise of the Triad: Dark War Windows Loading screen for episode one, area one of The HUNT Begins.
Rise of the Triad: Dark War Windows If you choose Comm-Bat normal, these are your level choices.
Rise of the Triad: Dark War DOS Difficulty selection screen.

Promo Images

Rise of the Triad: Dark War Screenshot
Rise of the Triad: Dark War Screenshot
Rise of the Triad: Dark War Screenshot
Rise of the Triad: Dark War Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "Wolfenstein: Rise of the Triad" -- Working title
  • "Wolfenstein 3D: Part II" -- Working title
  • "ROTT" -- Abbreviated title
  • "Rise of the Triad: The HUNT Begins" -- Shareware title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A campy, underrated classic shooter DOS jTrippy (63)
A good DooM-era FPS with great multiplayer! DOS Ludicrous Gibs! (40)
Deserves to be one of the all-time CLASSIC first person shooters... DOS Mr. Me (34)
*BOOOOOM!!!!* Let's's an arm...there's a finger...oh, is this your spleen? :) DOS Satoshi Kunsai (2074)
ROTT is definitely deserving of its cult classic status. DOS Matt Dabrowski (222)
Bizarre, gory and entertaining FPS DOS Sir Gofermajster (493)
A revolutionary FPS game but very under appreciated! DOS adam payne (18)
A great game... although a bit rough around the edges. DOS Chris Martin (1204)
Awesome, awesome and awesome again. DOS Tomer Gabel (4640)
Gore, Gore, and Triads DOS Plix (204)

Critic Reviews

Coming Soon Magazine DOS Mar, 1995 90 out of 100 90
Pelit DOS May, 1995 81 out of 100 81
PC Joker DOS Jan, 1995 80 out of 100 80
Macworld iPhone Apr 08, 2010 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Shooterplanet DOS Feb 25, 2006 71 out of 100 71
The Retro Spirit DOS Oct 10, 2010 4 out of 6 67
Power Play DOS Feb, 1995 66 out of 100 66
Imperium Gier DOS Mar 07, 1999 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
No DPad iPhone Feb 18, 2010 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 50
Slide to Play iPhone Feb 24, 2010 1 out of 4 25


Topic # Posts Last Post
Two different BBFC ratings 2 Patrick Bregger (265340)
Dec 06, 2011
ROTT HQ 2 chirinea (46888)
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:


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

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 Web 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.)
  • Rise of the Triad v1.3 (official game page from 1997, preserved by the Wayback Machine)
  • ROTT HQ (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?)
  • 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.)
Contributed to by Picard (45204), Alsy (20745), Matt Dabrowski (222), lights out party (45435) and Scaryfun (17981)