Heretic is a fantasy first-person shooter video game created by Raven Software, published by id Software, and distributed by GT Interactive in 1994. It was made available on Steam on August 3, 2007.
Using a modified id Tech 1, Heretic was one of the first first-person games to feature inventory manipulation and the ability to look up and down. It also introduced multiple gib objects spawned when a character suffered a death by extreme force or heat. Previously, the character would simply crumple into a heap. The game used randomized ambient sounds and noises, such as evil laughter, chains rattling, distantly ringing bells and water dripping in addition to the background music to further enhance the atmosphere. All music in the game was composed by Kevin Schilder. A sequel, Heretic II, continuing the story, was created in 1998.
Three brothers, known as the Serpent Riders, have used their immense magical powers to turn the seven kings of Parthoris into mindless puppets. The kings, in turn, led their subjects in doing the Serpent Riders' bidding. However, the Sidhe elves are immune to the Serpent Riders' spells and had no allegiance to any of the seven kings; the Serpent Riders thus declared the Sidhe as heretics and launched a campaign of genocide against them. The Sidhe were in possession of seven candles, each tied to a natural power of the world as well as that of one king.
In desperation, the Sidhe's elders extinguished these candles, destroying both the kings' armies and weakening the elves' own powers in the process. Taking advantage of the elves' weakened state, the disciples of the Serpent Riders struck against the elves and killed the elders. Afterwards, the Sidhe went into hiding. One however, revealed in the sequel to be named Corvus, sets out in search of D'Sparil, the weakest of the three Serpent Riders and the only one remaining in Parthoris.
The player must first fight through the undead hordes infesting the "City of the Damned", the ruined capital of the Sidhe (its real name is revealed to be Silverspring in Heretic II), and the site where the elders performed their ritual. At its end is the gateway to Hell's Maw, guarded by the Iron Liches. After defeating them, the player must seal the portal and so prevent further infestation. However, the portal can only be sealed from the other side. From there, the player character's only choice is to fight onward, into the enemy's own territory.
Eventually he arrives at D'Sparil's fortress, whereupon after fighting through the Serpent Rider's guards, a final battle with D'Sparil himself commences. D'Sparil is initially mounted on a large serpentine beast, later called a Chaos Serpent in Hexen. Once the beast is killed, D'Sparil fights on foot, summoning disciples to his aid. Once D'Sparil is finally destroyed, all of the creatures under his command perish as well.
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