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mrthejoshmon

I need help with Hexen.

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I have had the Doom engine game Hexen for a while, but I cannot complete the damn thing! Call me crap if needs be, but I can't get past the portal place (its like the second level, it begins with "Greetings mortal, are you ready to die" or something like that). I have tried youtube, and all the people I can find is LP's, and even worse they don't even know what they are doing... kind of like me!
So may I ask for anybodies help on the game, and more specifically how to do most of it, the puzzles are damn nightmares and the maps are more confusing than a 90's wad.

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Crap. The puzzles are actually quite obvious if you pay close attention to the clue whenever you solve a puzzle (the chain switch). You're just running through one portal to the next, and the clue will tell you what element zone you need to be in.

I suggest sticking through a run-through on Youtube.

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Technician said:

to the clue whenever you solve a puzzle (the chain switch).

It says one third of the puzzle is solved, am I doing it right?

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Hexen requires you to pay attention to smaller details, more so than most games of that era.

Generally, any switches you find, hit them.

And yes, the whole 'one third of the puzzle has been solved' indicates you're doing it right. The ultimate goal of the hub you're talking about is to open all seven sets of those massive golden double doors in that level. The last pair of doors leads out of the hub.

Any small items you find, such as keys or puzzle items, note their appearance before you pick them up. Keep track of locked doors you come across, what keys the game tells you you need to open them, and remember those whenever you get a new key. Look for striking features in the environment---niches in the walls that look like they're molded to have objects inserted into them, dark panels in the walls that look like they should light up, distant alcoves or ledges that seem inaccessible, etc. Hexen is very difficult if you just randomly run around, the way you might in a Doom map. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, remember what details the game gives you via messages, and look for an overall pattern in each successive hub.

Anyway, good luck.

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Caffeine Freak said:

Hexen requires you to pay attention to smaller details, more so than most games of that era.

Generally, any switches you find, hit them.

And yes, the whole 'one third of the puzzle has been solved' indicates you're doing it right. The ultimate goal of the hub you're talking about is to open all seven sets of those massive golden double doors in that level. The last pair of doors leads out of the hub.

Any small items you find, such as keys or puzzle items, note their appearance before you pick them up. Keep track of locked doors you come across, what keys the game tells you you need to open them, and remember those whenever you get a new key. Look for striking features in the environment---niches in the walls that look like they're molded to have objects inserted into them, dark panels in the walls that look like they should light up, distant alcoves or ledges that seem inaccessible, etc. Hexen is very difficult if you just randomly run around, the way you might in a Doom map. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, remember what details the game gives you via messages, and look for an overall pattern in each successive hub.

Anyway, good luck.

this helps a lot, thank you!

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Hexen loves to do things like stick a brown switch in the corner of two brown walls, behind a brown tree.

So be prepared to spend a LOT of time looking for switches.

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Capellan said:

Hexen loves to do things like stick a brown switch in the corner of two brown walls, behind a brown tree.

So be prepared to spend a LOT of time looking for switches.

I don't remember where in the game it was but the first time I played I spent hours going back and forth across the levels in a hub looking for one switch which, IIRC, was hidden at the back of a small, insignificant-looking, dark, hard to see cave. :/

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Enjay said:

I don't remember where in the game it was but the first time I played I spent hours going back and forth across the levels in a hub looking for one switch which, IIRC, was hidden at the back of a small, insignificant-looking, dark, hard to see cave. :/

There's one in the heresiarch's seminary where it was a brown rock switch hidden along a brown wall behind some breakable trees and shrubs.

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For what it's worth, IIRC, there is an excellent walkthrough for Hexen on gamefaqs.

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This sort of nonsense is why I lost my patience with Hexen. I like puzzles to break up monotonous action (and Hexen's action is exactly that), but this 'spot the pixel' bullshit is awful.

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Hexen is a mega-fun game though once you figure out how everything works. The switch-hunting does sorta mar the game until that point, though, but it's worth bearing through so you can experience the game from a non-frustrated standpoint later.

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I seem to recall that that second hub was the most difficult in terms of finding your way through it. Though this may possibly be because as I got further into the game, I got my head much better around the way the game required you to play and think in order to progress, and so the later levels merely seemed easier and more straightforward.

But certainly the later levels are tougher in terms of difficulty, whether or not the progression is easier.

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Only time I really got stuck for ages and ages in the original Hexen was in the first hub--it took me quite a while to realize (and when I say "realize" I mean "blunder upon accidentally") that parts of the Guardian of Steel had alternate routes that could be blocked/unblocked by repeated use of switches earlier in the area...so used to major puzzle switches generally being one-use in DooM, I guess. I seem to recall being stuck for a bit in the Castle of Grief, (something about finding the Dungeon, maybe?) as well, but not for nearly so long a time.

Myself, I think Hexen's adventure-based approach is great, and it had one of the better commercial expansion packs for a game of its time. Never really been heavily into Heretic, by contrast....something about the "gun feel" (pardon the inappropriateness of the term) and monster HP settings in that game feel off, meaning that it's very easy for even fairly basic combats to end up feeling a little grind-y.

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Demon of the Well said:

it took me quite a while to realize (and when I say "realize" I mean "blunder upon accidentally") that parts of the Guardian of Steel had alternate routes that could be blocked/unblocked by repeated use of switches earlier in the area...

I was going to say the first hub is really easy, but I forgot about this non-obvious part. I used to always play Hexen in co-op with my brother so we had a bit of an advantage here since one player could be in the basement while the other flipped the switch, but yeah under normal circumstances the only real clue you have is audio and the automap.

Personally I've only ever found the second hub difficult since it's simply a giant switch hunt.

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I think it really boils down to a few things:

1) Getting started. In particular, the first hub you reach. It can be tricky and confusing at first, without knowing how the basic system works especially since the first level plays more like Doom. Once you're familiar with or acknowledge the quirks (which includes #3), things should go smoother.

2) The level themes/environment. Some are quite nice to look at and explore, while others tend to painfully drag on and this becomes a real problem when the area involves mazes. You'll notice this quite clearly in the second hub. Trying to progress becomes a pain in the ass. This is why I like the Heresiarch Seminary hub, because it isn't as monotonous (except a couple spots) and doesn't suffer from #3 as much as Castle of Grief.

3) The "How the hell was I supposed to figure this out?" element. Hexen has quite a few of these, but at least they're not thrown at you intensely.

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Xaser said:

Hexen is a mega-fun game though once you figure out how everything works. The switch-hunting does sorta mar the game until that point, though, but it's worth bearing through so you can experience the game from a non-frustrated standpoint later.


This, to a degree.

It's certainly more fun with an immediate second playthrough, but really... nah, once that was done I had no reason to play again. IMHO, Hexen is one of those games that could have been so much better if it wasn't so fucking needlessly cryptic. The dull combat would have been acceptable if the path of progression wasn't quite as covered-up as we have it now. A shame really, but there you go.

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BaronOfStuff said:

IMHO, Hexen is one of those games that could have been so much better if it wasn't so fucking needlessly cryptic. The dull combat would have been acceptable if the path of progression wasn't quite as covered-up as we have it now. A shame really, but there you go.


I don't really agree...The mazes were all right, not too difficult and neither too easy. There were some hidden hubs and secrets for more hardcore players, but I think the "main game" was really not that difficult to complete for the average player.

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This thread gave me an idea. I think I will record a Hexen walkthrough and then upload it to YouTube.

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The trouble with walkthroughs is that they play the game for you, making it pointless. The best walkthrough I found (different game) had a section of hints, followed by a section of better hints, and lastly outright answers. It was possible to play the game yourself.

I got stuck on Hexen too. Looking at the map only gave some information. Cannot see the switch connections like in doom (uses ACS scripts). Because it uses scripts, one switch can have any number of uses and effects.

They kept running the player back to previous areas. In several cases they abused the portals ability to revisit previous areas, just to run the player around. In other cases they did what they should have and it made sense.

There were clues in the key, but for some this only could be seen afterwards what it meant. Pay really close attention to anything that is one of kind. There was always a tie-in of some kind.

Not only brown key on brown wall, but I remember a brown indent in a brown wall, that could not be seen, even when you had to pass it on two other trips to that area. They invented a few new ways to have to nose grind the entire dungeon.

Some of the other odd effects they used looks more like doom1 thinking; expecting something new and wonderful leads the player astray. In some places there are doom1 style puzzles. I found nothing more within those doom1 style puzzles so there is no point beating yourself up searching for a new Hexen twist in them.

I abused the cheats exploring the levels, to find how things worked.
I suspect that there are some abandoned ideas present, as I could never get some hidden things to work in play.

Keep notes. When having to replay a level, your memory of having done something before will be confusing the third time around.

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