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I've tried to play Hexen a million times but could never get past Seven Portals before getting stuck and losing interest. But last week I was having problems playing 3d games and loaded up Hexen just to see if it worked. For some reason I could not pull myself away from the game for 3 hours, and a few days later I finished it. Other games I've bought in the past few years usually can barely keep my interest for one hour, and I almost never finish them.
Anyway I'm really excited because today I remembered that it has an expansion pack, so I'm starting that right now. I also downloaded Hexen 2, Hexen 2's mission pack, and Heretic 2, so I can't wait to start those as soon as possible as well.
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From what I hear, one of the puzzles in it sometimes breaks and gets you stuck, so maybe that was it.
I'm not sure if it was literally broken, as in the script could break, but it was definitely broken from a gameplay point of view.
If I'm thinking of the right puzzle, the one in question involved 9 buttons which had to be hit in the right order. In an earlier level, 3 tiles are shown with 3 different button sequences that might be correct. However, the game randomized between the 3 correct button sequences every time the puzzle was restarted. Memorizing all 3 of them did not help as it could be any of them at a given time and you were forced back to the start of the puzzle upon failure. There might have been some other trick to the puzzle that I have forgotten.
Somehow I managed to get through that puzzle 6 times. It was definitely the most tedious and frustrating part of Hexen 2. I think someone said that even taking apart the script behind the puzzle did not help you figure out how to solve it correctly.
Just try the first combination until it works. Or to be more safe, save before the "puzzle" and reload if you fail.
Another puzzle that annoyed the hell out of me was that with three mansized buttons. I had to press the left and the right one quickly, until the middle one seemed to move backward. It was unintuitive and weird.
I played through Hexen and Deathkings again after seeing this thread... I didn't play as I used to, clearing out levels completely while solving the puzzles. I just sprinted from one point to another leaving enemies alive more often than not. It was a fun romp, even if I had already been to all of the secret levels, it just took me back...
I found something that I didn't know about before. I played as the cleric and was goofing off in the dark citadel against the three bosses. I created a gas cloud and pushed it towards them with a repulsion disc. If it hits them, it kills them instantly. I don't know if this is zdoom's doing or if it happens in the original game too, but it's pretty funny.
I also noticed that you can open the exit by hitting the mage with a banishment device, making the game think that he was killed. ;)