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YMMV / Heretic

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  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The closest to such in the first game are the ethereal undead warriors, who always throw red axes that deal quite a bit of damage (7-56 damage without armor). Because they're ethereal, physical weapons can't damage them.note 
    • Disciples of D'sparil also compete for this position thanks to their ability to fly, ability to flicker between ghost and corporeal mode, and fire a spread of three fire balls that cause 3-24 damage each. If a Disciple gets the drop on you by hovering next to you by surprise, you can lose up to 72 of your unarmored Hit Points. They can also move unexpectedly if damaged, and suddenly be right in your face about deliver a lot of ouch. On Black Plague, they're more annoying, as they're constantly flickering. To make matter worse, D'Sparil can summon as many of them as he wants, leading to Bullet Hell of triple fireballs flying at you constantly, especially on Black Plague.
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  • First Installment Wins: A strange case in that Heretic II plays very differently from the first game, and to some fans it helps distinguish it greatly from being the literal Doom clone that the original was. However, from a lack of marketing, to distribution rights making it impossible to play the game without either an original copy or piracy, to Half-Life coming out three weeks later and overshadowing II in every way, most people are far more familiar with the original Heretic, and many don't even know that II was a thing. The Sequel Number Snarl probably didn't help either (most people assumed that Hexen was supposed to be Heretic II).
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Ring of Invulnerability provides 30 seconds of immunity like Doom's version, but can be stored to later use. This can be used to devastating effect with a tome of power, against episode bosses.
      • The Maulotaur (there are 3 on expert difficulties at the end of Episode 2: Hell's Maw) is usually quite tough, at 3000 Hit Points (Players can have up to 400 HP with armor) but activate an invulnerability ring with a tome, and attack with your Phoenix Rod. Each full burst of the flamethrower eats through the Maulotaur's Hit Points with ease as long as you keep your aim steady. One of each item, save Wings of Wrath, transfer between levels, so you can pick up another Ring and Tome on e2m8 to continue roasting the 'taurs.
      • Iron Liches are turned to rubble in little time with only 700 HP each (Use the Crossbow if you're playing Episode 1). D'Sparil is not going to fall for this because of his Teleport Spam, but you can still functionally One-Hit Kill his Chaos Serpent to skip phase one, then keep the flamethrower trained on him to take off a nice chunk of his health.
      • While most weapons are very useful with the Tome of Power, special mention goes to the Gauntlets of the Necromancer. When powered up, the gauntlets will drain health from your enemies. Against just about anything weaker than an iron lich, you'll be able to gain life faster than your enemies can take it from you, and it's a great way to get an emergency health boost to boot if you run out of Quartz Flasks.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • E4M9: Mausoleum: The secret level of episode four is a grandiose underground tomb with a cryptic progression. There is a subtle hint at the southern ends of the mausoleum on how to progress that you can gloss over, but you'll likely wonder why none of the doors work for several minutes. Fortunately, once you've figured out opening the first room, you can open up your "automap" to see what new sector lines have been drawn upon the display after patrolling the corridors for a minute or two. ZDoom engines even redraw the map for you while in map mode, so you can look for new lines being drawn with the map open.
  • Goddamned Bats: The gargoyles. They're the most common enemy in the game and also the most annoying by far. They can fly over obstacles, are small enough to fit through openings to get at you, distract you from more dangerous threats, and their idle noises won't stop until you kill them, leaving you to frantically search for where they are just to get them to stop. There's also a fire gargoyle variety that hangs back and hurls fireballs at you. It looks exactly the same as the regular gargoyle, but you'll quickly know the difference because it has twice the health of the regular gargoyle. Even though they're the weakest enemies in the game, a large group of them can still be a big problem.
    • Heretic II introduces the harpies which are even worse, since they like to hang back very high in the sky, dodge just about everything you can throw at them. Unless you use the homing meteor swarm on them.
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    • The nitrogolems, which are just like normal golems but shoot Homing Projectiles that, while they do little damage make a really annoying howling noise and are really hard to dodge, meaning you pretty much have to kill them just to shut them up if nothing else.
    • Sabreclaws. While they only have melee attacks, they're much faster and more resilient than golems. Their attacks aren't quite as strong as golems', but they can attack much more quickly and can shred your health to nothing if you get surrounded. Interestingly, the gauntlets of the necromancer aren't all that useful against them since they have a high pain tolerance and will often get a few hits in on you regardless. And they're everywhere. They're the third most common enemy in the game behind gargoyles and fire gargoyles, which is really impressive considering they don't appear at all in Chapter 1.
  • Goddamned Boss: D'sparil's second phase, and not just because his lightning blasts deal a crapton of damage on direct hit, either. He can also summon additional disciples, but on top of that, he starts teleporting more often the lower his health gets. Fighting him on Black Plague can make him That One Boss due to the constant teleporting when he's nearly dead, in addition to the swarms of Disciples.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The iron liche's Evil Laugh. It's very distinctive and can be heard from quite a ways away.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Some of the old FAQs name the protagonist Heretic, since he didn't have a proper name at that time. Funnily enough, just adding "the" in front of it would have made it appropriate...
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • The original-flavor Staff has the disadvantage of being overshadowed arguably every other weapon. It's very rare to be in a situation where it's the best tool for the job, and it's also ineffective against ghosts, even with a Tome Of Power. Usually, the Crossbow boasts abundant ammo and a devastating short-range burst that's even more powerful with a Tome. While the Gauntlets of the Necromancer don't reliably Stun Lock monsters, you can backpeddal while zapping to evade melee swings, and power it up for greater range and a Life Drain. The Staff was corrected in Heretic II.
    • Subverted with the Elven Wand. Even without a Tome, it still runs on its own ammo pool (Unlike Doom's Pistol) and has a niche for its long range and as a tool for finishing off weakened foes. It can be powered up into respectable Spread Shot that works like an auto-shotgun that is very likely to Stun Lock a single foe. Its always effective on ghosts too!
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The gauntlet's electrical noise when you equip them.
  • That One Attack:
    • All the Iron Lich's attacks hit like a freight train, but are fairly easy to dodge...except for the tornado, which chases down the player, lifts them up and flings them around (and can easy hurl the player into a damaging floor if there are any around,) can easily last a very, very long time, and in certain scenarios can absolutely ravage the player's health. The only saving grace is that they get fairly easily hung up on the architecture.
    • If you like to play on Black Plague, you'll quickly learn the danger's of the Maulotaurs' "line of fire" attack. On the hardest skill setting, if you try and take the high ground or low ground to kite the walking bull, they will start smashing their hammer on the ground and sending a line of flames towards you. If you touch the fire without invulnerability, you usually die or lose a large % of your health and armor. Don't be fooled and think the ends of the "line fire" are safer, you'll usually die or lose a lot of health touching it like eating a Cyberdemon rocket in Doom.
  • That One Level:
    • The Ice Grotto (E2M4) starts of with an aggravating icy lake that make your movement controls much less responsive. On Black Plague difficulty, this can be deadly, with the numerous Weredragons roaming the lake and having little trouble walking on the ice. The first time playing, it will be a fight against slow controls as you try and locate the yellow key with monsters spamming fireballs all around you.
    • Catafalque (E4M1) follows in the tradition of the first level of Thy Flesh Consumed from Ultimate Doom by being a Drought Level of Doom that also tosses in a boss-level enemy (in this case a Maulotaur) into fray and forces you to fight in tight spaces. Except that Heretic's level is even more stingy with it's pickups, and also throws in four Iron Liches as an extra "Fuck you." Better learn how to kill things with the staff and gauntlets.
    • Ocher Cliffs (E5M1) is a real bruiser too, with a starting area swarming with monsters that can turn you dead in seconds and a maze section with some startling traps to keep you insecure. Top it off with a Maulotaur and three Iron Liches protecting the exit room and you have one inferno of a level.
    • Hydratyr (E5M5) can be annoying due to the abundance of ghost enemies, negating the effectiveness of some of your weapons. Nitrogolem ghosts are crowding the center tower as well as other ledges next to the citadel walls. Undead warrior ghosts show up fairly often. A painful level, even more so if you want to start with no gear for added challenge.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The first game looks amazing for 1994, especially when played on a source port with dynamic lighting, such as Doomsday. The second episode probably has the best looking levels, due to lots of red and blue and Red/Green Contrast.
  • The Woobie: Poor, poor, Corvus. In the first game he opposes the D'sparil after he comes to conquer Parthoris and is branded a heretic by his followers and monsters. He manages to singlehandedly kill all the monsters including D'Sparil himself, only to find D'sparil set a trap so the portal wouldn't take him home but would just send him to a random planet and leave him stranded there. By the second game, it's implied he's spent decades wandering from planet to planet via naturally occurring portals, with only his sentient Tome Of Power for company. He finally manages to get back to Parthoris only to find that it has been ravaged by a new threat in the form of a deadly plague that turns people into murderous psychos. He soon gets the plague himself, though his Tome can at least keep him from going insane. at the end he does finally manage to cure the plague, giving him some semblance of a happy ending

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