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Can't play on Nightmare

Is Hexen (1995) a so complicated game?

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I finished the game when I was like 10 years old without any internet connection in 90s (so no walkthrough, no gameplace on Youtube). So I believe it's actually doable with patience.

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The puzzles aren't that hard although they don't handhold.  It's mostly matching symbols and putting objects in the slot that's shaped like them.  There are some places where a bug in the scripts can halt progress under certain conditions, though, so it's possible you got hit with one of those.  There are also a few spots that can pretty much be considered required secrets.

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I tried playing it some time ago, didn't make it past the first hub. From what I can understand it's one of those games where you press a switch and then you have to search through the entire hub and figure out what it activated and/or what changed in the layout. So, yeah, these kind of puzzles surely aren't for everybody, but if you like switch hunting very much, then it certainly will be for you.

(edit: oh wait, just noticed you've already played it, oh well...)

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16 minutes ago, Li'l devil said:

it's one of those games where you press a switch and then you have to search through the entire hub and figure out what it activated and/or what changed in the layout.

 

Nope. When you press the switches (the ones that cause changes in other maps), you get a message "X happened in Y map" (for example: A door opened in Guardian of Ice). Then you know where to go.

 

If upon pressing a switch such a message does not appear, then the event/change happened on the same map (no need to go to other map in this case).

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Oh well... I may have not paid attention to those messages, I forgot.. Guess I was wrong then. Still, you need to have the patience to constantly track back to previous maps and look for those changes, which not everyone has.. I don't, so I quit it rather fast, though I certainly should give it another try some day...

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If you played and completed Eternal Doom 3 wad, Hexen will seem as walk in the park.

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Not complicated, just dull imo. I can understand your lack of patience. It's a game that doesn't put much value on your time, traipsing back and forth constantly.  The weapons mostly feel crap and a lot of grindy combat too.

 

Although back in the 90s-- when effects were still a novelty-- the leaves, breakable glass, flames, fog etc. were all very cool.

 

I did enjoy a run-through with Korax mod mod quite fun, maybe give that a shot.

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Actually HeXen can be finished from the start to the end withing 4 hours if you know what to do :D

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Here's a hint that helped me a lot when I first played it: Look at the automap if you don't know here to go, or think you missed something. Switches always protrude a bit, so you can easily tell if you had one in front of you and didn't see it. As for keys, the doors are color-coded on the map, so they shouldn't be too hard to find (although it could take a bit of running around the hub if you found a key in another level).

 

But, above all, have patience. You need to explore every nook and cranny or you're bound to miss something important.

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Man, I've always wanted to finish Hexen. I've come back to it so many times in my life but I usually only make it halfway through before I can't tolerate the absurd amount of switch hunting. Its one of those games where the majority of the game is spent not making any progress and getting desperately lost for hours on end. I can only play it for so long before I get a really bad case of restless leg syndrome and have to leave my computer.

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Hexen is a hybrid between an FPS and a dungeon crawler. So contrarily to Doom, or even to Heretic, you're really supposed to explore.

 

You'll notice that Hexen does not have secret areas, or end-of-level tallies telling you how much of the level's secrets, items, and monsters you've found. That's because in Doom and Heretic, you get it as a reward for your extra work, basically. In Hexen it's not an extra, it's how you progress.

 

If you do not enjoy old-school dungeon crawlers, you won't like Hexen. It's really built around a different gameplay formula.

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I actually like playing the N64 version, which has split screen, with a friend. If you have another pair of eyes it really reduces the switch hunting. I beat it both with my college roommate and my wife.

But I haven't beat Hexen 2. The puzzles in that are a bit too much for me.

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Here goes my experience...

Hexen, for starters, is difficult not because of the gameplay (which is easy enough) but due of the puzzles and everyone who played it at least once should know.

In my case, it took a LOT of tries at first to reach the boss, dealing with monsters, solving puzzles with vague idea of what to do next, getting keys useable in other maps by backtracking a fair amount and all that shit. Now, it's damn easy for me thanks that I invested quite the time into the game that...I even finished with the mage by using only the starting weapon.

As some players said here, paying attention to every corner (especially in the fourth hub), looking at the automap and having patience are the key to clear the game and also to learn the pros and cons of every player class...

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1 minute ago, Immorpher said:

I actually like playing the N64 version, which has split screen, with a friend. If you have another pair of eyes it really reduces the switch hunting. I beat it both with my college roommate and my wife.

But I haven't beat Hexen 2. The puzzles in that are a bit too much for me.

You know what's worse? I started with Hexen in PSX console...

That means, loading times and slow scripting momentum...

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"SOME RANDOM DOOR IN ONE OF THE HALF DOZEN MAPS IN THIS HUB HAS OPENED!"

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Yeah with Hexen its not the monsters or even the bosses that are the main challenge, even though there are some good fights imo, its the damn puzzles. I wouold suggest watching a playthrough on YT because its kinda hard reading up on it, then applying that in game since the maps and puzzles are complicated. I mean they're not super complex but it takes awhile to figure it out on the first playthrough. Be careful with Brutal Hexen, I played the Warrior on first attempt, and on the 3rd hub it became almost unbeatable because of all the dark bishops and lack of ranged weapons and ammo, its not that way without mods though, warrior is a good class. Hexercise and Karnak are great mods if your interested in trying out Hexen mods:)

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57 minutes ago, boris said:

"SOME RANDOM DOOR IN ONE OF THE HALF DOZEN MAPS IN THIS HUB HAS OPENED!"

 

Yeah, basically.

 

I also tried finishing Hexen a while ago but pretty much gave up on it after the third hub. Activating switches does something, but no clues, nothing, so you end up walking from one side of the map to the other trying to figure out what they do. That's not fun, and to only add insult to the injury my sense of direction is pretty awful so I end up getting lost in complex or big levels in general...

 

One of those games where the complexity of the maps will take you down before the enemies do.

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25 minutes ago, Beezle said:

Hexercise and Karnak are great mods if your interested in trying out Hexen mods:)

Wrath of Cronos is the mod for excellence that's most recommended...and yeah, to avoid pain and suffering, best to watch a playthrough...

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Really loved Hexen back in the day and I still fire it up from time to time. The puzzles can be tricky but doable I think. I don't recall being annoyed at the game much. I'd personally rather complain at newer games though as I think some of them can be too straightforward sometimes. You don't see too much of these puzzles in today's games, I love a good secret hunt and some nice puzzles. It's a matter of taste though I guess as much as anything. :)

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I played through it maybe a year ago without having used a walkthrough. I didn't find the puzzles all that cryptic. Well, I did use a walkthrough, but that's only because one of the elevators jammed, and there's a room you can get permanently locked in because one of the scripts doesn't always trigger. 

 

Hexen is a good game, boasting some fantastic enemies, weapons, and environments, but Heretic is superior. Hexen's puzzles and endlessly respawning enemies become tedious after awhile. Heretic is also better paced. Hexen 2 is mediocre.

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3 hours ago, KVELLER said:

Switches always protrude a bit

 

Almost always. That one switch in the Dungeons gave me a bit of trouble...

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1 hour ago, Ajora said:

Hexen 2 is mediocre.

 

I love that game. Fight me.

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9 minutes ago, KVELLER said:

 

I love that game. Fight me.

 

Eh, I guess the puzzles were pretty neat, though I did find myself consulting a walkthrough more than I would have liked. The final boss battle was also really cool. I guess my issue with Hexen 2 was that the combat just felt very sloppy and random, somehow. I hate having to paraphrase gggmanlives's review, as we mutually dislike each other, but the combat just doesn't have a very good rhythm to it. I also found the sound design to be a bit lacking. The sound of hitting an enemy with a weapon shouldn't be the same as your attacks thudding against a wall. The expansion was a little better designed, though a bit too easy. 

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11 minutes ago, Ajora said:

and there's a room you can get permanently locked in because one of the scripts doesn't always trigger.

 

Yes there is a bug in hub 4's Gibbet map (boss area). I am not sure what the exact condition is but it has something to do with number of chaos serpents alive in boss arena. I think if player kills them too quickly, then level gets stuck or something.

 

There is a patch 1.1 that fixes this problem.

 

1 hour ago, leodoom85 said:

Wrath of Cronos is the mod for excellence that's most recommended...and yeah, to avoid pain and suffering, best to watch a playthrough...

 

^This. Wrath of Cronos is probably the best gameplay mod for hexen. It eats Korax mod for breakfast.

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@ReaperAA I've only ever played Hexen 1.1. I don't know about Wrath of Cronos, but Shadows of Cronos is pretty good.

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48 minutes ago, ReaperAA said:

Yes there is a bug in hub 4's Gibbet map (boss area). I am not sure what the exact condition is but it has something to do with number of chaos serpents alive in boss arena. I think if player kills them too quickly, then level gets stuck or something.

You need to let 3 serpents alive.

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You really have to be in a different mindset while playing Hexen. The first time I played I was in a Doom mindset, and couldn't get past the first hub. You need to actually pay good attention to your environment. Then when you press a switch and it tells you "A door has opened on x level", you can infer what it's talking about based on what you've seen in that level.

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@Ajora Yeah, some of the puzzles are kinda bullshit, especially on the egyptian hub. Well, I've never been particularly good with puzzles, but here I couldn't understand a single thing of what I was doing, so I resorted to a walkthrough for the majority of it. I did manage to play through all of the other hubs without external help though.

 

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