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In the distant future, the Earth is ruled by a group of people who call themselves "The Order". Many disasters have plagued the planet, and after many wars, misery, and death, the Order controls people's lives and deprives them of their freedom. A rebel organization has been formed, seeking to overthrow the Order and whoever else might be behind their rise to power. Somewhere in the depths of a ruined Town Hall, a group of people who oppose the Order's regime welcome a lone wanderer to become the one who will free the Earth from terror.

Strife is a plot-driven first-person shooter that uses the Doom engine. Rather than taking the player through a linear series of levels, the game offers a continuous world with free-roaming elements and a central "hub" (the town), which the player can visit between missions and explore. Although there are no true role-playing elements in the game, it has several features rarely seen in contemporary FPSs: there are "friendly" areas where there are no enemies but people to talk to, stores where new equipment can be bought, and taverns where the latest gossip is told. The player can also purchase upgrades that permanently increase the player character's health bar.

The game has a branching storyline with a few paths that lead to three different endings. These paths are determined by a decision the player makes during the course of the plot.


Strife DOS Oh yes, a typical situation in early first-person shooters
Strife DOS You know you are nearing the game's final stages when everything becomes unpleasantly organic! Right?..
Strife DOS Beautiful doors. You'll see a lot of this design in the game. Check our my new powerful weapon, too
Strife DOS The map screen - Some of these levels are *huge*!

Promo Images

Strife Screenshot
Strife Logo Part of the logo art
Strife Screenshot This image is also featured on the back of the game's box.
Strife Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Strife: Trust No One" -- Tag-lined title
  • "Strife: Quest for the Sigil" -- In-game title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A sadly undervalued gem xroox (3957) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Doom with depth jTrippy (63) 3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars
A neglected masterpiece. connor steven (5) 4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars
Absolutely brilliant AABBA (4) unrated
A truely innovative game which never caught on due to a somewhat outdated engine Alan Chan (3618) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Too late for a great game Emepol (1558) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Gameplay and technology may be two separate things, but you need both. Zovni (10627) 2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars

Critic Reviews Jul 05, 2012 16 out of 20 80
PC Games Aug, 1996 B 75 Sep 16, 2000 7.5 out of 10 75
GameSpot Jun 27, 1996 7 out of 10 70
Computer Games Magazine 1996 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Secret Service / New S Service Nov, 1996 65 out of 100 65
Power Play Jul, 1996 65 out of 100 65
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Aug, 1996 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
PC Player (Germany) Jul, 1996 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
PC Action (Germany) Aug, 1996 52 out of 100 52


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The source code of the game has unfortunately been lost; attempts to reverse engineer the code were made by the fans. The game can currently be played more or less faithfully with various source ports, such as ZDoom or Chocolate Strife (a port which uses code directly disassembled from the game executable itself).

Development history

Strife was originally in development by Cygnus Studios, the creators of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, and id Software was supposed to publish the game. However, game designer Jim Molinets left Cygnus and joined Rogue Entertainment, thus carrying his game design over with him. Cygnus and id no longer had anything to do with Strife at that point. Rich Fleider and Tim Neveu from Cygnus also joined the Rogue team as well to work on Strife. Shortly afterwards, Cygnus Studios was renamed to Mountain King Studios, and Mountain King hired new staff to work on their next project, Demonstar.


The CD-ROM package includes the "town map" on one side and the "field guide" on the other side of a sheet. The field guide illustrates the different enemies, weapons, ammo, armor, medical supplies, cold hard cash, and miscellaneous items encountered during the game.

Game engine

Strife was the Doom engine's last gasps for air. Not counting Chex Quest (which was only distributed in cereal boxes), it would be the final commercial standalone game to use id's engine.


  • Ads in US PC gaming magazines displayed review scores for the game-- 82% from PC Gamer, and 3/5 from Computer Gaming World. These are respectable but less-than-fantastic scores, so seems a bit odd that Velocity would choose to display these so prominently.
  • Strife (at least in the UK) had a controversial advertising campaign. The ad took the form of a recipe:

    (for 8 people)
    1 brain (medium), 1 pair of balls (large)
    Blend until smooth.
    Sip during game play.

    The main part of the ad was a huge photo - The surface of a kitchen table with a few nice-looking herbs scattered around and, right in the middle, what looked like a big, wet, recently removed human brain and a large pair of...of...ah...hmm... Needless to say, there were lots of complaints and many magazines either refused to run the ad or plastered huge black boxes over the entire thing.


One of the things that people really complained about when Strife was released, was that it only had one save slot. Rogue fixed it in the version 1.3 patch, allowing you to have multiple save slots.


The publisher Velocity closed down shortly after Strife was released and it is unclear who has held the rights to the game ever since, which is one of the reasons for its rarity.

Information also contributed by hydra9, Matt Dabrowski, NeoMoose, Roger Wilco, Spartan_234, Timo Takalo

Related Web Sites

Derrick 'Knight' Steele (2415) added Strife (DOS) on Mar 05, 2000
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