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Halfblind

Hexen: 20 Year Anniversary

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Here it is the first of October in the year 2015. On the 30th of October marks the 20th anniversary of Hexen: Beyond Heretic. In 1995 Raven Software releases Hexen upon the world revolutionizing gameplay and atmosphere. For it was to first to include a hub based system of level progression and environmental fog effects.

So this month being the 20th anniversary I would like to know what you are doing to celebrate this milestone event and how this game has affected your gaming experience thereafter. I would also like to know when you first started playing it and why you still enjoy playing it today.

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Looks like I'm gonna have to play some Hexen tonight! What an awesome game. Takes me way back.

Started playing shortly after I got Doom back in '97. I went on a rampage of looking for more Doom out there somehow and stumbled on the disc in a neighbors binder. Also had Heretic and Carmageddon. This was the end of my social life for quite some time hahahha

Anyone play the Doom 3 stand alone Hexen? Can't remember the name right off top, but I do remember it was pretty awesome. Might have to fire that one up as well ;)

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MrDeAD1313 said:

Anyone play the Doom 3 stand alone Hexen? Can't remember the name right off top, but I do remember it was pretty awesome. Might have to fire that one up as well ;)


HeXen: Edge of Chaos for Doom 3.

I heard of the Doom 3 mod and I thought it interresting. Unfortunately for me I do not have a computer capable of running Doom 3 so I am unable to play it. Maybe in the future I will be able to.

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here's to 20 years of cryptic-as-fuck puzzles i still haven't managed to solve. :p

nah, but Hexen's pretty cool. maybe i should try to finish the game this month so as to commemorate not just the release-date, but the holidays as well.

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I once tried to play through HeXen, and got as far as some platforming section in the second hub, where I had to jump all of these pillars that were flush against a wall. When I finally made it, I looked away for a bit, failing to notice that I was in a little river/moving sector. It pushed me off the cliff and back to the bottom, so I saved, quit, and lost the save file. I actually recorded a video after about five minutes.

I stopped PowerSlave and Duke 3D because of these jumping sections. I almost quit Dark Forces too, but I did finish that one at least. I hate platforming in shooters.

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Hexen is without a doubt my favorite game using the Doom engine (not counting Doom, of course). I'm currently playing it again from start to finish for some little updates I want to make to the wiki given its upcoming 20th anniversary.

I think the majority of puzzles are not that complex, but what made me rage quit the first few times I played it was the traps. Once you played it once they are quite manageable, but the first time they were very annoying.

The one game I still can't complete is Hexen 2. It took me forever to finish the first two hubs, and then my savegame didn't work, so I gave up. I think I should try again after finishing the first one.

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I'd say Hexen's also my favorite Doom engine game outside of Doom, but then again I did play it shortly before Doom.

The puzzles aren't that bad, they're just switches placed in somewhat hidden areas, admittedly not a great design practice but if the player gives a damn about their surroundings they can find them all without much trouble.

When I beat Redneck Rampage 3 years ago I managed to solve its puzzles and found 95% of the secrets without a walkthrough, because I was observatory. And doing so I made the realization that the same people bitching about this game being cryptic as fuck are the same people who thought Hexen's puzzles were hard.

The traps are definitely deadly as are the pits you can fall in, Hexen's environment was notably more dangerous than Doom's but as a result made it feel a lot more immersive and scary to traverse. The manual said this journey to vanquish the world of Korax wouldn't be an easy one, and it lived up to that. It felt very satisfying finally reaching the end and putting the bastard down for good.

Hexen II is a strange case with me, a sort of love/hate relationship. Design wise it's pretty cool actually, I definitely like the aesthetic its got. Gameplay though not so enjoyable. Puzzles are definitely a lot more in-depth, but the action is notably lacking and enemy variety is low and unique ones too restricted to hubs they're based in. Even enemies that don't make sense outside of their natural environment (Knight Archers in medieval setting) are all over the place. Also half the game is fucking Archers and Spiders which get ridiculously strong.

Difficulty is also a strange one, the game's anywhere from feeling like it's imbalanced to being 'too balanced'. You never feel stronger than the enemy and its pretty easy to die. Your ultimate weapon (the 4th) is just a stronger weapon than your previous three but not overwhelmingly so like in the first game. Combat as a whole simply feels like a chore (Redneck Rampage comes to mind) and enemies come off as tedious mana-sponges the further you go on.

Most hubs are well designed and fleshed out, minus Septimus and Return to Blackmarsh, the latter of which was a sign of things being rushed and wanting to get it over with. Shame, it could of almost been as good as Hexen 1.

The expansion's pretty decent however, less puzzle-y and more action-oriented, but the problems H2 has didn't go away so they still persist when playing through it, like really tough enemies and feeling under-powered in comparison.

Still like it for what it is, but then again I like a few games that are subjective to taste. Carmageddon: TDR 2000 comes to mind.

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Halfblind said:

HeXen: Edge of Chaos for Doom 3.

I heard of the Doom 3 mod and I thought it interresting. Unfortunately for me I do not have a computer capable of running Doom 3 so I am unable to play it. Maybe in the future I will be able to.

I've played it last week, it's a Nice mod, sadly development was mysteriously frozen .

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It's a great game, also constantly playing with Fighter taught me how to use melee more effeciently, props to Raven for making such a game, although the puzzles can get tedious and boring fast.
No, but seriously, play with Fighter for a few minutes and you'll get better at using melee weapons, you'll thank me later.
As for mods these are the recommended:Wrath of Cronos, Serpent:Ressurection, Hexercise and Necrosis.

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I forget how long I played Hexen before I realized you could jump.

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Halfblind said:

HeXen: Edge of Chaos for Doom 3.

I heard of the Doom 3 mod and I thought it interresting. Unfortunately for me I do not have a computer capable of running Doom 3 so I am unable to play it. Maybe in the future I will be able to.


bro tell me your specs. what do you have?

hexen is awesome. you just have to be open to a slower progression, more exploring.

not as linear as doom. hubbing around is pretty sweet. you just cant let it get to you when you feel like youre going in circles looking for a key that isnt there.

its there lol.

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boris said:

20 years of getting lost in hub 1.


I remember getting Hexen for playstation back in 97, and have one hell of a time trying to progress on past that.

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My Hexen Story:

I did not play Hexen in the 90's when it was new. Instead in the early to mid-2000's my next door neighbour gave my father a bunch of old PC games most of which I could not play. On one unknown CD, which I discovered years later to be the expansion pack to Hexen, I found all the shareware versions of Ultimate Doom, Heretic and Hexen. After attempting to play them all I became fascinated by Hexen's visual style. I realized that for such an old game it still looked great, with crisp detailed graphics and atmosphere, I was in awe of how it still looked back then. I fell in love with the fighters axe graphic most of all. After playing games like Halo: Combat Evolved and Quake 3: Arena and then discovering Hexen it opened my eyes to how I could enjoy old games as well as the new.

It wasn't until a few years afterwards that I was able to play the full version. While at a small trade school I discovered that a fellow student had Hexen: Beyond Heretic on CD. I copied the game files and soon was able to enjoy the game in its entirety while I was back at home. It took me 5 months to complete the game but it was worth it. Then out of the blue I went to my local Youth Ranch and found the game disk. Like a long lost treasure, I held the copy of Hexen that would soon be mine. After completing it again, with my own copy, I wanted to play the expansion pack. Then I discovered that I already owned it, all I had to do was find it at my parents’ house. Like another long lost treasure, I brought them both together in the same place.

To this day Hexen and its expansion were the only Doom engine game that I have played in vanilla with all the bells and whistles such as sound and music without the game crashing or the frame rate suffering. This was in part due to windows sharing the DMA-IRQ channels with other resources. While searching for Hexen player wads I discovered zdoom and have been using it ever since. Hexen is the reason why I prefer zdoom over any other port. It is the reason why I map exclusively in the Hexen format.

Notable Hexen Player Wads:

For a classic Hexen style gameplay;

Hub of Pain by, Colin Caird
Necros: Realm of the Dead by, J Diamond
Dreadnaught and Knockabout TOGETHER by, Scott McNutt
Riverwood Village by, CodenniumRed

For a more Zdoom experience;

Hexen: Scourge of Viscerus by, Matt Tropiano
Resurrection of Chaos by, Christopher Emirzian (Udderdude)

Interesting Notes About Hexen:

I have attempted to play most levels in the archive for Heretic and Hexen.

Colin Caird who made Hub of Pain also constructed 1 and a half levels for Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel. (I don't know what maps though)

I have never played a cave level, from the community, for Heretic and Hexen that even comes close to the quality of levels in the Caves of Circe and Catacomb.

Hexen has 1 extra map (MAP41)

Deathkings has 1 extra hub (MAP33, MAP34, MAP35, MAP36, MAP37 and MAP38)

Hexen has 9 missing levels enough for 2 extra hubs (MAP07, MAP14, MAP15, MAP16, MAP17, MAP18, MAP19, MAP20 and MAP29)

Hubs are played out of order with the map numbers. Their map number orders are 1. Seven Portals, 2. Shadow Wood, 3. Castle of Grief, 4. Heresiarch's Seminary, and 5. Necropolis. in the play order number 3 and 4 are swapped.

Games That Hexen Has Inspired Me to Play:

Hexen has opened my eyes to play games like;

Heretic 2
Rune
Draken: Order of the Flame
Severance: Blade of Darkness
Enclave
Trine

And makes me want to play;

Hellraid
Ziggurat

And that is why I an very fond of Hexen.

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boris said:

20 years of getting lost in hub 1.


You think Hub 1 is hard to solve, it only gets harder from there. Deathkings is the hardest of all. I got stuck a lot in the Shadow Wood and the Castle of Grief hubs myself. You might also steer clear of Heretic 2, Clive Bakers: Undying and Eternal Doom. You will ultimately get lost in their hubs as well.

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My choice of handle probably already gives away that I'm a Hexen fan, though admittedly it grew on me after a few replays and coming to grips with the subtleties of the weapons and items.

The puzzle I had the biggest problem with was the planet chart, because of the way it's programmed; I KNEW that the jewels went in it, but the first time I played I was placing all of the puzzle items by picking them from the inventory and hitting the "use item" key, which only works if you place the specific jewel in EXACTLY the slot it's supposed to go in, so I was getting a "you cannot use this here" message and going crazy as to WHERE it was supposed to go then. I've since learned that the regular "use environment" key auto-places puzzle pieces in walls if you have them.

Alas, my big Hexen WAD project is currently a bunch of stuff I rejected from circa 2012 and some new plans and layouts on paper in a binder. I should probably kick back and make something smaller.

Halfblind said:

Games That Hexen Has Inspired Me to Play:

You should add Severance - Blade of Darkness to that list.

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J.B.R said:

constantly playing with Fighter taught me how to use melee more effeciently, but seriously, play with Fighter for a few minutes and you'll get better at using melee weapons, you'll thank me later.



Me Too, I always though the fighters ax was kind of sexy with its glowing lightning effect.

rampancy said:

bro tell me your specs. what do you have?



No need, I mostly use my 6 year old Toshiba Satellite laptop at the moment. I have been trying to build a better gaming PC but all I have is just the case, just the case.

Da Werecat said:

I remember Heretic 2 being pretty linear until the final castle hub.



The Strange Mesoamerican style levels were hub based. These were the ones where you met the strange lizard witch doctor.

ETTiNGRiNDER said:

The puzzle I had the biggest problem with was the planet chart, because of the way it's programmed; I KNEW that the jewels went in it, but the first time I played I was placing all of the puzzle items by picking them from the inventory and hitting the "use item" key, which only works if you place the specific jewel in EXACTLY the slot it's supposed to go in, so I was getting a "you cannot use this here" message and going crazy as to WHERE it was supposed to go then. I've since learned that the regular "use environment" key auto-places puzzle pieces in walls if you have them.



Since I discovered the game about 10 years ago I did not have that issue. I got use to a standard use key, instead of a use item key while playing games like Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. At first finding the individual planets were quite difficult with a few hidden behind secret walls and such. I also had issues with trying to figure out what the flame mask did. I thought it was a player usable item like the flechettes or something and not a puzzle item.

ETTiNGRiNDER said:

You should add Severance - Blade of Darkness to that list.



Edited: I added it to my list.

How did you know that I have played that game? I know that you must like it a lot; you have content on your web site about it. As for me I own it and have played it. I have not gotten that far though. I only got as far as the fortress level with the fighter. The one where you get smacked down a lot by those soldiers with the poisonous swards and axes oh the terror.

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Halfblind said:

How did you know that I have played that game? I know that you must like it a lot; you have content on your web site about it. As for me I own it and have played it. I have not gotten that far though. I only got as far as the fortress level with the fighter. The one where you get smacked down a lot by those soldiers with the poisonous swards and axes oh the terror.

Heh, I meant it as a suggestion that that was a game you should look into too. I definitely think it's a very cool game, aside from the few annoying bugs that continue to trouble people--it's one of the games that has me tempted to look into getting a Voodoo card for souping up my older machine since it seems the 3dfx render was the most stable one.
And yeah, poison weapons can be a bitch in that game.
The general consensus among BoDers is that the amazon = easy mode, assuming you can pass all the traps and stuff that Marakamda throws at you (her attacks tend to outrange those of enemies and she has the best dodge too).

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ETTiNGRiNDER said:

Heh, I meant it as a suggestion that that was a game you should look into too.


I kind of mentioned my original comment as a joke or a kind compliment that is all.

---

I wish that places like GOG had Heretic and Hexen its name states Good Old Games, those games are both good and old. I also wish that they had games like Severance: Blade of Darkness, Draken: Order of the Flame, Heretic 2 and Freelancer so that I would have a working copy that works in Windows 7 without the games crashing all the time.

I also found out that Shadow of the Colossus is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary this month. I don't have the game yet but maybe this month I would start playing that game to celebrate it's anniversary as well.

I have also started playing Hexen again, but sparingly, with Zdoom playing as the fighter. Due to Zdooms ability to save when you enter a level I am attempting to see how far I can get, on difficulty 3, without dying and without saving the game myself. I have done well so far but I finally died while facing up against the Death Wyvern. I had to save it before entering that room and I am currently working on the Heresiarch's Seminary at the moment. I don't think I will die anytime soon until maybe hub 5 but we shall see.

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Would anyone in the eastern half of the US possibly be up for some Chocolate Hexen co-op sometime this month in celebration? I have beaten the game before so if you haven't gotten past hub 1 this might be your chance haha

I'm on #DMstuff on irc.quakeworld.org a lot, hit me up there if you're interested

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Halfblind said:

The Strange Mesoamerican style levels were hub based.

Technically yes, but they were very linear nevertheless.

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I never played Hexen past the first hub though I loved the polyobjs and the ACS. I hate Raven's games for some reason, I prefer Strife.

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Deathknights had far better hubs than the original game, but the final fight was just extremely dissapointing.

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The expansion to Hexen 1 I felt could of used new content, a new final boss, new monster, new inventory item, new anything. There was a variation of an existing texture that went unused in the base game but that was it. The re-use of puzzle items from the original was also lazy.

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Hell yea.

I remember sitting with my dad playing Hexen and we needed to consult the strategy guide a lot. Seriously, the combat of Hexen was mostly uninspired, but the exploration was always the key element. Christ. I was so infatuated with Hexen, the first maps I ever wanted to create were Hexen maps. I thought Doom was a little too simplistic for me to get started. Needless to say, I needed to learn the fundamentals of fun gameplay before I could engineer a satisfying puzzle/switch hunt.

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