The Let's Play Archive

Rise of the Triad

by Psychedelic Eyeball

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Original Thread: Rise of the Triad (PC) - Ludicrous gibs! (Video LP)



(Come to think of it, that should have been the title screen.)


Rise of the Triad was a first-person shooter game made by Apogee Software, or more notably, the Developers of Incredible Power! It had a shareware episode, which featured exclusive levels that do not appear in the full game, and was released on December 21, 1994. The full game proper, which was named Rise of The Triad: Dark War, came out in February 17, 1995. Also, there's a really awesome website for this game made by Fragmaster with an article that is worth reading at all costs.

While technologically speaking, it held no match against Doom (which is what you'd expect from a game using a modified Wolfenstein 3D engine), there were a lot of features that set ROTT apart and made it unique. It had jumppads, rooms over rooms (in some way, thanks to features like anti-gravitational disks which allowed for stairs, elevators or moving platforms) and the modified engine allowed for features like panoramic skies (which were in Doom but not Wolfenstein 3D), bullet holes, destructible objects, looking up and down, fog, breakable glass, dynamic lighting (rooms all had their own light settings and shooting lamps could render the room darker) and more. Basically, the only things ROTT couldn't do were flexible wall angles (all walls are in the 90 degree variety) and all rooms had the same floor/ceiling heights and position.

Gameplay was a different story. Instead of going for a creepy vibe like Doom, Rise of the Triad doesn't take itself seriously. It's really campy, your guns have unlimited ammo and you had a huge arsenal of missile weapons lying around, ranging from bazookas, heat-seeking missiles, firebombs and a weapon that shoots a curtain of fire burning everyone to pieces, to blow everyone's guts away. There were even little ankh symbols lying around, serving the same purpose than coins in Mario games; giving you extra lives. Also, each level was a deathtrap waiting to happen, with tons of devices like spinblades, flamethrowers, boulder traps and more devices to crush and maim you. The enemy cast was pretty colorful and diverse, each enemy having their own purpose and weapons to deal with you. Some guards could play dead and steal your weapons, trap you in nets, avoid your missiles by rolling on the floor or simply tear you down by throwing grenades at your face.

Also, it had a lot of options for multiplayer, even at this day there are some FPSs that don't have the fifth of the modes of play that ROTT had. If you happened to have a LAN network back in that time, Rise of the Triad was one hell of a fun game.

Speaking of blowing everyone's guts away, this was one of the big selling points of the game. Back then, ROTT was one of the bloodiest and goriest games ever made. Shooting down a guard with a bazooka would result in a shower of blood and bits flying around, like eyeballs, arms, hands, and so on. And if it wasn't enough, there's a cheat code that makes the game even gorier. Yikes. This game's not for the faint-hearted!

It's about time that this game gets the Let's Play treatment. There are 4 episodes in the game and inbetween episodes, I'll also play the shareware episode of ROTT or well, you can also do it. If you're remotely curious about the game, go download the shareware episode and try it out. If it doesn't tickle your fancy, don't bother with the full game, considering that the shareware episode is probably the best set of levels available for this game.

In a nutshell, I'll play the full Dark War retail game and the shareware episode. I will not bother with Extreme Rise of the Triad, as the level design is really half-assed and doesn't bring anything new and interesting to the table.

Table of Contents

Episode 1: Approach
Extreme Rise of the Triad ReviewBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A1 - In the Thick of itBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A2 - Winding WayBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A3 - Burned and AmazedBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A8 - Turn of the ScrewBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A4 - Too Much RoomBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A5 - Two-Key ReturnBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1A6 - Spring SurpriseBaldurdash Youtube Download
E1B7 - General DarianBaldurdash Youtube Download
Episode 2: Monastery
E2A1 - Into the CastleBaldurdash Youtube Download
E2A2 - Great Halls of FireBaldurdash Youtube Download
E2A3 - The RoomBaldurdash Youtube Download
E2A4 - Spiraling InBaldurdash Youtube Download
E2A5 - Rocky PlateauBaldurdash Youtube Download
E2A8 - Elevator TroubleBaldurdash Youtube (Part 1 | Part 2) Download
E2A6 - The Four-Way ChamberBaldurdash Youtube Download
E2B7 - Sebastian KristBaldurdash Youtube Download
Episode 3: Caves Below
E3A1 - RobotricksBaldurdash Youtube Download
E3A2 - Down and OverBaldurdash Youtube Download
E3A3 - Dead in Five SecondsBaldurdash Youtube Download
E3A4 - Clear and Present DangersBaldurdash Youtube Download
E3A5 - The Angry QuiltBaldurdash Youtube Download
E3A6 - Movin' WallsBaldurdash Youtube Download
E3A8 - Eight Ways to HellBaldurdash Youtube (Part 1 Part 2) Download
E3B7 - Know Thine NMEBaldurdash Youtube Download
Episode 4: The Slow and the Dead
E4A1 - Monky BusinessBaldurdash Youtube Download
E4A2 - Fire and BrimstoneBaldurdash Youtube Download
E4A3 - Crushing DefeatBaldurdash Youtube Download
E4A4 - Diamonds and RustBaldurdash Youtube Download
E4A8 - Switched AroundBaldurdash Youtube (Part 1 | Part 2) Download
E4A5 - BackfireBaldurdash Youtube Download
E4A6 - Circles of FireBaldurdash Youtube Download
E4A7 - Lair of El OscuroBaldurdash Youtube (Part 1 | Part 2) Download
E4A9 - Canyon Chase & E4B10 - In The Dark NestBaldurdash Youtube (Part 1 | Part 2) Download
Shareware Episode: The HUNT Begins
Level 1 - The HUNT BeginsBaldurdash Youtube Download
Level 2 - Foggy MountainBaldurdash Youtube Download
Level 3 - The Fourth DoorBaldurdash Youtube Download
Level 8 - Wall to WallBaldurdash Youtube Download
Level 4 - Dark TunnelsBaldurdash Youtube Download
Level 5 - Metal ThreatBaldurdash Youtube Download
Level 6 - Ride Em Cowboy!Baldurdash Youtube Download
Level 7 - Boom Boom BoomBaldurdash Youtube Download
Warp-Only Levels and The Hunt Begins Deluxe EditionBaldurdash Youtube Download
RANDROTT - Random Level GeneratorBaldurdash Youtube Download
Bad EndingBaldurdash Youtube Download
Dark War Warp-Only Levels and The Grand VomitoriumBaldurdash Youtube Download
This Causes an Error!Baldurdash Youtube Download


Wanna hear the music of this game rendered with a really nice GM soundset with no commentary to bury it? This section is for you!

Apogee Fanfare (Apogee Logo)
Rise (Menu)
Evin Rude (Intro cutscene)
Suck This (E1A1) - Mario Paint version for no reason
How'd I do? (Victory Music)
Excalibur (E1A2)
Here Boy (Dog Victory)
Run Like Smeg (E1A3)
I Choose The Stairs (E1A8)
Taskforce (E1A4)
Oww!!! (E1A5)
Going Up? (Elevator music)
Mist Ache (E1A6)
Havana Smooth (E1B7)
Hellero (Boss fight)
Boss Blow (Boss defeated)
Watz Next? (Interlude)
Goin' Down The Fast Way (Shareware Level 1)
Gazz! (gas trap)
Fish Polka
Smoke and Mirrors (E2A2)
Shards (E2A4)
CCCool (E2A5)
You Suck (Game over)
Spray (E3A1)
God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen (Christmas Music)
Work Day (E3A3)
Adagio in G Minor (E3A4)
Chant (E4A1)
Kiss Off (E4A2)
Funeral of Queen Mary (E4A3)
Where iz it? (E4A9)
Victory! (Ending)


Another interesting aspect of the game was that there were different characters you could play as. Instead of playing the part of a faceless, unknown fellow as an attempt to make you feel you're in the game, there were 5 characters you could choose to play as. They all have their own attributes, which include speed, accuracy and hit points. Depending on your character choice, some parts would be easier/harder. Anyway, here's the staff of your neighborhood High-risk United Nations Taskforce (HUNT, because HRUNT doesn't sound as cool).

TARADINO CASSATT: He's Mister Average. Average health, average speed and average accuracy. Nothing too special, really. The only reason you'd pick him is if you're playing the shareware episode or want to hear him shout "YES!" every time you blow someone's guts hard, which is decent enough I guess.

THI BARRETT: She's Miss Average, although she seems to have slightly less health than Cassatt. However, she's faster and that's nice, since it'll allow you to dodge attacks more easily. I'd pick her as a character if I wasn't playing at Crezzy Man difficulty, but since I want to survive a bazooka shot in the face, we'll skip her.

DOUG WENDT: Your resident African-american member of the HUNT. He's slow as fuck, but he compensates by being able to soak a lot of damage. Only needs a pistol to fight and consider missile weapons to be tools for wimps.

LORENI NI: The HUNT continues to show how multi-cultured and diverse it is by including Asians. She is the fastest character in the game and also has the best accuracy, so she's the only character in the game to not have average accuracy. However, she's incredibly weak compared to the other characters. Definitely not for beginners and since accuracy doesn't really play a huge role in the game, only pick her if you fancy a challenge.

IAN PAUL FREELY: I.P. Freely. Obviously enough, there had to be a juvenile joke somewhere. He is rumored to be insane, but then again who wouldn't with a name like this? Anyway, he acts as a middle man between Cassatt and Wendt, having more health than Cassatt and being faster than Wendt.


LOW GUARD: These guys are worthless. They can't deal or inflict damage worth a damn and they sound pretty wimpy when they get hurt. Some of them play dead in order to (try to) ambush you, only though you can shoot them dead while they're lying on the floor!

HIGH GUARD: Definitely a step up from the low guard, as they carry a mean machine gun around. They can inflict good damage really quickly. Kill them and there's a slight chance they'll drop their weapon for you to pick up (10%).

LIGHTNING GUARD: The most common enemy in the game. On Hard and Crezzy Man difficulties, they're a force to be reckoned with since some of them will carry bazookas, which are lethal. Otherwise, they simply carry pistols around. They can also steal your missile weapons to use them against you! Finally, they can pretend to drop dead while you're fighting them, only to rise again and attack as soon as you turn your back. Kill them before everything else.

OVERPATROL GUARD: The first new enemy introduced in Dark War. These guys attack with pistols and also by shooting a net to trap you. If you're caught, you're in trouble since you can't attack or turn (you can still move or strafe around though). You have to wiggle left and right to break free or simply hope you have a knife to cut your way out.

STRIKE TEAM: A slight step up from the low guard, although not by much. They have pistols and they roll on the floor to move out of the way of your attacks. However, it doesn't work that well when you use bullet weapons, but they can sometimes evade missiles. Again, I put emphasis on the word "sometimes".

TRIAD ENFORCER: These guys are to ROTT what the Baron of Hell was to Doom. They have a mean chaingun that'll tear you down if you're too close, otherwise they simply throw grenades to blow you away ("Here, catch!"). They have a lot of health and they just laugh at bullet weapons on higher difficulties, since they won't stun them too much. You better save some missile ammo ready in case you encounter those freaks.

PATROL ROBOT: These small robots move on pre-determined paths and shoot slow-moving missiles at nearby intruders. They're only slightly annoying because bullet weapons won't damage them, only missile weapons will work!

BALLISTIKRAFT: A new enemy in Dark War. It's a giant high-tech toaster that shoots missiles at you. They're invincible, too. So, uh. Don't get in the way.

DEATH MONK: A new enemy in Dark War. They're fat, they're bearded, they also waddle around like ducks… how couldn't you like these guys? Well, you could if they had a melee attack which steals your life force and also happen to soak a lot of damage for no reason. And they do!

DEATHFIRE MONK: The last new enemy introduced in Dark War. It looks like the Death Monks ate all the food in the monastery since those guys are really thin in comparison. That doesn't stop them from having a lot of health, though. Plus, they have a mean fireball attack that can be hard to dodge. I really hate the monks.

In addition to all of these enemies, there are also 4 bosses to fight. However, I won't spoil the enemy cast anymore and I will let you figure them out when the time will come!


With its campy and really silly mood, ROTT did have an unusual armory system. You could carry all 3 different bullet weapons which all had infinite ammo, but you could only carry one missile/magic weapon at a time. Some people found this system annoying, others didn't mind as much. The question is, which of these will you drag along?

PISTOL: Your starting and default weapon. Accurate, yet pretty slow-firing. You better not be facing huge hordes of cultists with this weapon alone if you know what's good for you.

DUAL PISTOLS: One pistol might be weak, two not so much? Holy shit, that was a terrible attempt at a saying. Not as accurate as the single pistol, but has much better stopping power.

MP40: Once you'll have this weapon, you'll never use the pistols again. Unlimited bullets, fast rate of fire… what else do you need?

KNIFE: Not really a weapon, considering you don't fight with it, but it's useful as it allows you to break free from an Overpatrol net effortlessly. Statues lying around the levels randomly carry those.

BAZOOKA: The most straightforward missile weapon of the game. Aim, shoot, and rinse. Its main advantages lie in the fact that it can carry more ammo than any other missile weapon and it deals a lot of damage. It carries 10 shells when picked from the ground; bazookas dropped by Lightning Guards will have 1-3 shells, depending on how many times they fired it.

HEAT-SEEKER: It doesn't inflict as much damage as the bazooka, but of the flip side, the projectile heat-seek nearby enemies! Be careful when using it in a room with torches or flaming walls, as these will attract the warheads and render your weapon useless. It carries 7 shells.

SPLIT MISSILE: A new weapon that is exclusive to Dark War. It's fairly tricky to use, but if you're handy with it, it becomes very useful. Upon shooting, it'll fire two missiles. They stick together until you release the fire button, then they split in two separate directions and heatseek on their own. Use it when enemies attack from multiple sides at once. It carries 7 shells.

DRUNK MISSILE: Crowd control made easy. It shoots a lot of small missiles in all directions before seeking nearby enemies. Each missile don't deal much damage, but they add up. It carries 7 rounds.

FIREBOMB: This is no baby toy. It fires a highly explosive warhead that spread explosions in a "X" formation, dealing heavy damage to enemies. However, shoot this at too much of a close range and you won't live long enough to regret it. It carries 5 rounds.

FLAMEWALL: My personal favorite. When used at the right place and the right time, no weapon will kill as much enemies in one hit as this one. It fires a weak missile heading for the ground, and it unleashes a curtain of fire heading forwards, killing every enemy instantly no matter how strong they are. However, the firewall is useless against robots, plus you can kill yourself by running forward in your own projectile, so uh. Don't do that. It carries 5 rounds.

EXCALIBAT: A new magical weapon that is exclusive to Dark War. It earns a distinction for being the only melee weapon in the whole game, but it's only useful in levels that have really low ceilings since it sends enemies flying in the air and they usually end up crushing you. The real meat of this weapon is the Excaliblast; hold the fire button to unleash a wall of exploding baseballs at your enemies, all of which deal as much damage as a bazooka shot. However, it's hard to not hurt yourself with this attack unless you're standing in the middle of a wide open room and it takes quite a while to charge up that attack. You can swing it as much as you want and it comes with 10 Excaliblasts.

DARK STAFF: The final new weapon in Dark War. It unleashes a rippling sphere at enemies, dealing enough damage to kill any enemy that's not a boss. It goes through enemies, too! Line up a whole gang of freaks in a line and let them have it. It takes a while to fire, but it's worth it, even if the weapon sounds like nails of a chalkboard when you fire it. It comes with 7 blasts.


MONK MEAL: Basic healing item. It heals 10 hit points.

PRIEST PORRIDGE: Healing item that has a twist. It heals 20 hit points, but you can heat it up by shooting an explosive projectile on one. If you eat it hot, it heals 50 hit points.

SMALL MONK CRYSTAL: Alternate healing item that heals 10 hit points.

LARGE MONK CRYSTAL: This one heals 50 hit points.

HEALING BASIN: These can be found at several points through the game. It heals between 25-100 hit points when you drink from it.

LIFE ITEMS: Those ankh symbols come in several varieties; they respectively award 1, 5, 10 and 25 life points. Getting a hundred of these will award you with an extra life.

1UP: Awards you with an extra life, unless you have less than 75% health; it'll fully heal you instead.

3UP: Awards you with 3 extra lives. If you have less than 75% health, it'll fully heal you and get you 2 extra lives. Those are pretty rare and hard as hell to find.

BULLETPROOF VEST: Protects you against all damage dealt by bullets for a few seconds.

ABSESTOS VEST: Protects you against fire and explosions for a few seconds. Bazooka blasts will feel like a cool breeze with this on.

GAS MASK: Some areas are rigged to be filled with poisonous gas upon your entrance. This item will come in handy if it happens. Provided you find it before you die to the gas…


GOD MODE: You are 8 feet tall. You make funny retarded noises. You shoot homing fireballs that kill everything in sight with a huge ass hand. You are invincible. Tremble in fear, enemies!

DOG MODE: You are… 2 feet tall and you're a dog. Definitely not as cool, but it's surely cute. Plus, you're an invincible dog that eats people alive. You can also bark at enemies, making them explode into an array of messy gibs. Moreso, you can crawl under these small holes you'd never fit through as a person! The possibilities are limitless. A Dark War exclusive item. (Also, "Dog" is "God" backwards. There goes your useless bit of trivia for the day!)

SHROOM MODE: Woah, what are these shiny colors all around me? How come I can't keep my head straight at all? Walking is hard, man… shooting enemies is pretty hard, too… duuuude, the colors!! It's awesome!!! (Basically, shrooms should be avoided.)

ELASTO MODE: You're made out of rubber and no one around you is glue. You'll helplessly bounce around the place with none of that friction nonsense to stop you. Traps around you will be too happy to maim and kill you because you have no control over your movement. Elasto mode is bad.

RANDOM POWERUP: God Mode, Dog Mode, Shroom Mode, Elasto Mode… what will it be? Big money big money! A Dark War exclusive item.

MERCURY MODE: It's a plane! It's a bird! No wait, it's a flying HUNT agent! You can fly up and down at will with this powerup on. Useful for reaching otherwise inaccessible ledges, avoiding ground traps or be a dick and fly over enemies then landing on their heads to crush them. That's mean.


Upon completing a level, you may get a particular bonus just because you've accomplished something noteworthy. Or maybe you just wasted your time in a particularly creative way. Either way, here are all the bonuses available in the game (shamelessly copied from the Rise of the Triad FAQ).

Supercharge Bonus: Got all powerups on level
Adrenaline Bonus: 100% Kills
Bleeder Bonus: Used all health items on level
Skin of Teeth: Ended level with 1 dot of health
Republican Bonus 1: Got all missile weapons on level
Republican Bonus 2: Destroyed all plants on level
Democrat Bonus 1: Never used a handgun on level
Democrat Bonus 2: All shrooms & healing basins used on level
Ground Zero Bonus: Hit with your own missile (hint: FW)
Bull in China Shop: Destroyed all life items on level
Curiosity Bonus: Every switch, pushwall, pillar, sound area pushed, messed with, or whatever
Bonus Bonus: Got all bonuses

NOTE: I'm not getting Bonus Bonus, forget about it. Hell, who knows if I'll get most of the bonuses here to begin with.

Additionnaly, there are some bonuses you can get once you've beaten the whole game. They're also really hard to get, too!

Genocide Bonus: Kill every one of the same type of actor in the game. This can be gotten multiple times depending on how many different types of actors you can wipe out.
DIP Bonus: Collect all three developer balls.
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