Rise of the Triad

From Academic Kids

Rise of the Triad is a first person shooter computer game, first released on December 21 1994 by Apogee Software (later known as 3D Realms).

It featured vertical dimensions, enhanced weaponry, trampolines and more. The level design was characterized by very high, straight walls, outdoor scenes, and digitized sprite-based enemies.

Although Rise of the Triad was based on (a highly enhanced version of) the Wolfenstein 3D engine, it was supposed to compete with Doom. It did its best, but Doom went down in history for non-orthagonal, height-difference maps. It was actually originally intended to be a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D, but this idea was dropped early on. Some influences from this part of the development can still be seen, though.

The weapon system was ahead of its time in complexity, brutality, and realism. You could carry one or two pistols, a machine gun, and one of several different rocket launchers, considered a realistic limitation. If you picked up another rocket weapon, you dropped the first.

  • The Bazooka fires a single missile straight ahead.
  • The Heatseeker fires a single heat-seeking rocket.
  • The Drunk Missile fires five missiles simultaneously in five different directions; the missiles heat-seek individually.
  • The Flamewall is nearly impossible to escape from. When the missile fired from it hits the ground, it sends a wall of flame in one direction, and any player whom it catches not wearing an Asbestos Vest is instantly incinerated. If the missile hits the wall or a player, it just makes a weak explosion. This is how one of the numerous end-of-level bonuses in single-player is obtained.
  • The Firebomb's rocket explodes on impact, sending a twenty-foot-wide explosion outward in four directions.
  • The Split Missile sends out two rockets locked together, until the player releases the fire button, at which point they split up and heat-seek individually.

In addition, you could wield a magic baseball bat (the "Excalibat"), enter a literal God mode for a short time (complete with invulnerability and the Hand Of God instant-kill weapon), or in a dyslexic gag, enter Dog Mode, in which you were shorter (although the player also gained invulnerablity in this mode), and bit enemies. Dog Mode also allowed you to use the devastating Barkblast.

A few other features were noteworthy, such as bullet weapons that left marks on walls, digitally-captured Apogee employees serving as the enemies, and player-character height, health, speed and accuracy differences — there were five different player characters in the registered version, ranging from the slow and steady Doug Wendt to the lightweight and deadly Lorelei Ni. (The fifth player character, in quite possibly the oldest joke ever, and perhaps a Simpsons reference, was named "Ian Paul Freeley.")

Rise of the Triad is somewhat well known for its most unrealistic feature, Gibs. Gibs, short for giblets, rained down from the sky whenever an enemy exploded. These included chunks of charred flesh, and eyeballs. A "Ludicrous Gibs" mode could be activated via a cheat, propelling the carnage to new heights. This was a gamer favorite, and was later featured in 3D Realms' next first person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D. The Quake series cemented the use of gibs as the remains of exploded characters, as opposed to characters merely shot to death. (Doom introduced the idea, with separate "explosion death" corpses for the zombies and the imp; Rise of the Triad brought it to fruition.)

The source code to Rise of the Triad was released under the GPL on 20th of December 2002 and the first port to Linux was done on the 22nd of December, making it one of the quickest source ports ever.

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