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Today, I played Hexen Deathkings of the Dark Citadel again and I was at the 3rd hub, going from portal to portal, not knowing where it would lead me. Then I beat the final boss and I didn't expect that I finished the game. I mean, the boss was the 3 anti-heroes and by the time I reached them, I had around 10 Kraters of Might, 6 Dark Servants, some Mystic Urns that I never used once and a whole lot of other things.
Things I liked in the expansion:
- The compressed Hexen gameplay. The 3 hubs contained in this expansion are exploration at its finest. Especially in the 1st hub, you get 4 keys from the starting map and you can go wherever you like.
- Playing as the Fighter. I never had any trouble with ammo and Timon's Axe is an awesome weapon. Also, the Death Wyverns were easily killed with the Hammer of Retribution. I threw around 5 hammers to each Wyvern and they died. I even killed a Wyvern in 20 seconds or less, by landing every shot on him.
- The 2nd hub. It somehow reminded me of the 2nd hub from Hexen and that was my favourite (it was a very immersive hub, that seemed to have a very realistic setting). Maybe it is because it had some outdoor areas in the first map. And the gameplay in that hub flowed really nicely. I found Yorick's skulls pretty easily and when I visited the Graveyard area, it was cool fighting Dark Bishops and Reivers with the Hammer. Plus, the Graveyard had some inside jokes probably, because when I pressed the tomb stones the game played some messages on the screen.
- The expansion seemed more interactive to me than the original game. I entered 3 tombs iiirc and I got messages played on the screen whenever I did something. It was great seeing in Eric's tomb the words "Come in peace!" and "You defiled Eric's tomb. Prepare to die!". Or when I placed cogs in the 3rd hub, the game said "A staircase has been raised in X map." I don't know how I feel about the game giving tips that ease out the exploration though. On the one hand, it is appreciated, but on the other, I feel like it detracts from the "A door has been opened somewhere" spirit of the original game.
- The spawning system is improved. Long gone are the days when you cleared a hub and you had to fight boring Ettins that spawned once in a while, somewhere inside the map. Now you can also fight your favourite Dark Bishops (at least they are my favourite enemies in the game), Afrits and the fan-favourite Slaughtaurs (Timon's Axe made killing those guys somewhat interesting for me, although they can still be annoying with the shield).
- The 3rd hub's starting map. I went inside the room and I started killing for a while (+10 for satisfaction). It felt nice using my various weapons on every enemy spawned in that room. There could have been placed less random monster teleporters in the water areas, but that didn't bother me much.
- The 3rd hub's item searching. You had to find 4 cogs and 3 keys, while going through the various portals, which was enjoyable in my opinion.
Things I disliked in the expansion:
- The Stalkers. Those are in my opinion the most annoying enemies in Hexen. I didn't see any Slaughtaurs swimming underwater (that would have been a nightmare). But I saw many Stalkers in this expansion. For the love of God, why did they put so many??? Couldn't they use more Wendigos or Green Chaos Serpents instead (there were more Brown Serpents)??? Every time I entered a liquid area, I held Mouse 1 with Timon's Axe and I spastically swang my mouse left and right, hoping to kill them, without them doing much damage to me. The amount of potions I saved up during each hub went mostly to healing after a Stalker attack (ok, I healed in other occasions too, but I used too many potions on Stalkers, especially in the Hub 1's Sump).
- Heressiarch. Couldn't they have used something else??? Did they have to use the Heressiarch 2 more times. I know, I said in a previous post of mine that I loved his design, but I don't want to meet him everywhere. I hope he won't be in Hexen 2 (don't spoil it for me, I will figure it out once I start that game and I will be angry if I see him again). The only thing they did right in my opinion with him, is the first encounter and they immediately screwed up by placing him in a small room (more on that later).
- Final boss. This was anticlimactic. When I entered the portal room leading to the arena, I guessed it would be a mini encounter or a secret map, not the final boss. I wanted to enter the room via a bigger door, so that I knew that this was the end. Or they could have created some overpowered reincarnation of Korax (mostly slightly updated attacks) for the final encounter. As I already said, the 3 anti-heroes are ok, but not if I have a trillion Dark Servants with me. The game gave me at least 4 Dark Servants that I used on Heressiarch (in the two battles), 3 for the anti-heroes and 3-4 that were left unused from before. That is a lot and it takes away the fun from the game!
- The 2nd secret map. It is the only secret map I discovered by myself (first one I looked a wiki and third I didn't bother). And what do I get? Randomised button press simulator and with each button pressed you get a free 20 or so enemies to drain your health and resources more. Yey! Seriously, this map is annoying! But in its defense, it was nice what they did will all the class weapons being visible there. I saw the Cleric's stuff in that map and I thought my game was broken at first, but I searched it and it turned out that it was the map's gimmick.
Things that didn't work right:
- When I entered Eric's tomb, I intentionally fired in there to see what the punishment for defiling the tomb would be. It said that I would die, so I quit the room and nothing happened. If I had stayed in the room, it would probably have killed me instantly (I saw it on a video on youtube). So, does anyone know how that trap works?
- I returned from a portal to Hub 2's starting map and when I enter the "arena", I hear a door opening. I turn around and my eye catches a figure running towards me from an upper level (where you had to place the Heart jewel to exit Hub 2). I think to myself: "Was this Heressiarch?". And then I see him teleporting next to me. There I panicked. I exited the room, in order to make a plan and I noticed that he can't exit that room, due to being too wide. So, I threw in two Dark Servants to distract him and I axed him once in a while. He died and that's it. I give it to the guys at Raven that they made the encounter unexpected.
- I go inside a room in Hub 3 and get up the stairs. Then, I hear a familiar noise. I look and what do I see? My good friend Heressiarch down the stairs. Here I was angry for seeing him again ("won't this bastard die and leave us alone?", I thought). So, I threw 2 Dark Servants again and this time I used the Quietus, Hammer of Retribution and flechettes combo (they are grenades with the warrior, which helped in quite a few occasions). Then, he died once again, like he deserved.
Deathkings was a very fun expansion to play and believe it or not, I can't decide whether I like this or Hexen the most. Both had their highlights. Next time I write here, it will probably be about Hexen 2.
And @42PercentHealth, I did as you told me with the Wyverns in Hub 1 (I saw your spoiler after I beat the first hub). With them dead, I saw the high areas of the map being unlocked and they had tons of ammo, which was very rewarding (thankfully, only one Wyvern died after 2 minutes, because I couldn't hit it easily from the ground with the Hammer). And I never used the Wings of Wrath (I must have had a few of those by the end).
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Glad to know that the buttons had a strategy behind them. After I had completed the 3 areas of the map, I had trouble going to the last, so I saved at that point and I started experimenting with the buttons.
Now for Hexen 2, I will be first checking for source ports, because the GLHexen controls seem really clunky to me. Is Hammer of Thyrion a good choice?
I will also start playing probably tomorrow.
I might give UQE a try, but I will still have HoT as my main source port.
I actually saw in the past Portal of Praevus, but since it was not included in the Steam bundle (that and Heretic 2) and I don't know if it is considered abandonware or not, I will stick with playing the base game first and then buying it boxed from Ebay or something.
And mouse look in an FPS of that time seems like a great achievement!
I always thought the prayer wheel puzzle in Portal of Praevus was the most annoying puzzle in that game, though by comparison to Hexen 2, it's not as bad as that Egyptian floor thing. There are 6 of those things (well 5, but you have to find the missing one) and you have to use them in the correct order. The order is on a wall somewhere, but it's a bit cryptic.
Yes, I know that Quake had that feature, but it was really awkward to me. And I would have to also hold down the sprint button, which would make it a really unpleasant combination. That's mostly the reason why I want to use a source port.
And I will be able to give an opinion on the puzzles once I play the games. I CAN'T WAIT!!! :D