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This page details one or more prototype versions of Heretic.

Beta blood and gore, our favorite kind!

A beta version of Heretic shareware dated December 20, 1994, three days before the official release.

To do:
Someone actually look through the files, please.

General Differences

  • This will only run if your system clock is set before December 23, 1994 - Heretic's release date. You'll get a "corrupted WAD file" error if you try to run it after this date.
  • "beta" is printed on the title screen. This is actual text, not a part of the TITLEPIC graphic.
  • "beta" also blinks in the upper-right corner continuously while playing.
  • Pressing Backspace does not automatically activate a Tome of Power when you have one.
  • The Shift + Enter key combination will only select the previous inventory item when the one currently selected cannot be used. If the selected item can be used, it will be, even with Shift held down.

Map Differences

Only E1M1-E1M3 are included. The beta will bomb out with an error when trying to load E1M4.

Beta Final
Heretic-E1M1BagWallsBeta.png Heretic-E1M1BagWallsFinal.png

The northwestern walls in E1M1's Bag of Holding area were slightly shrunken down.

Beta Final
Heretic-E1M2CrusherBeta.png Heretic-E1M2CrusherFinal.png

The crusher that protects the dragon claw in E1M2 is textured with TRISTON1 in this beta instead of REDWALL.

Beta Final
Heretic-E1M2TriggerBeta.png Heretic-E1M2TriggerFinal.png

The way this crusher trap opens up was also changed. In the beta, it's triggered by the same switch that opens the route back to the start from the area where you get the yellow key. Since the crusher and hidden door share a tag, this means the door also becomes a crusher once you step into the sector with the dragon claw. You'd usually miss this when playing normally since it requires backtracking, but it was caught in the final version and the crusher is instead opened with a walkover trigger placed on the door leading back to the start.

Graphical Differences

Beta Final
Help! No, seriously, help!

The beta's HELP1 screen is laid out completely differently: the automap functions are under the "help!" text, the weapon keys below them, the inventory keys are placed higher on the screen, and the function keys are placed in two columns below them.

Beta Final
Help! I'm trapped in a "Doom" clone with too many controls for its own good! Help! Someone thought this Shift + Enter combination was a good idea!

HELP2 doesn't list the functions of the Backspace key or Shift + Enter key combination. Everything was shifted up or down to make room for them.

Beta Final
This is actually one of the strafe keys that strayed from the help screen. (No, not really.) The comma was smashed by a Maulotar.

CREDIT was updated for the final to remove an extraneous comma after Jim Sumwalt's name.

Beta Final
I've got a bright orange belt! :D My belt faded in three days... :(

Undead Warriors have orange belts instead of gray. This applies to every frame where the belt is visible.

Doom Beta Final
Heretic-F SKY1betaDoomPal.png Well, this is ugly. Clouds, yay!

The F_SKY1 flat in the beta is the same as it is in Doom and looks terrible since it was never converted to this game's palette. It was updated to show this game's SKY1 for the first shareware version, but was strangely later replaced with a four-byte file instead.

Unused Sounds

An unused sound named GFRAG is present in the prototype's files. The name suggests that it would've been a deathmatch-exclusive sound.

This lump exists in the final WAD as well, but it's twice as big and seems to be broken.