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Rise of the Triad (1994)

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Title Screen

Rise of the Triad

Developer: Apogee Software
Publisher: Apogee Software
Platform: DOS
Released internationally: December 21, 1994 (standalone Shareware episode), February 17, 1995 (registered version)

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

Starting life as a Wolfenstein 3D mission pack/sequel, Rise of the Triad is a first-person shooter released by Apogee and developed by Apogee's Developers of Incredible Power. Full of "wanton and gratuitous violence", it famously coined the trope "Ludicrous gibs!"

Its release two months after Doom II: Hell on Earth sadly doomed it to obscurity outside of a cult following, however.

To do:
* Early sprites from when it was a sequel to Wolf3d.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.
RiseoftheTriad-DOS-v13SDX LaserSoftLogo.png
Revisional Differences
Changes big and small, we'll document 'em all!

Cinematic Engine

In the game's source code release, many in-game cinematic code files exist, but mostly unused. Rather, everything "cinematic" is scripted in basic text files.

Jukebox/Sound Test

Riseofthetriad soundtest.png

During the game, enter either DIPSTICK or \ECC. Then, enter \LEE or MAESTRO to reach the game's jukebox.

Level Select

Type /GTL or GOTO during the game for the level select menu.

Warp-Only Levels

The game has several warp-only levels in both the shareware and registered versions of the game. Aside from cheat codes, there's no way to access these levels normally.

The infamous image


  • Too Tall - A joke level of sorts.
  • Play Room


  • Dead in Two Seconds - A very difficult level, as the name implies.
  • The Vomitorium - A level with very psychedelic wall textures and huge heights.
  • This Causes an Error! - Another joke level where an automatic pushwall exits the bounds of a level within the first few seconds. It displays a sketch of a block escaping the level before exiting the game with a text error message about the pushwall exiting the level.


Although RoTT has plenty of cheat codes, it does detect editing saved games. Modifying the save file (thus breaking the checksum in the last four bytes) displays a message, but unlike Wolf3D, doesn't have harmful consequences:

 Your Saved Game file is
 shall we say, "corrupted". 
 Would you like to
 continue anyway (Y/N)?

Choosing No to this prompt will simply treat it as a failed load, similar to loading a v1.0 save in v1.3.

(Source: RotT source code - RT_GAME.C)

The source code includes the same text as found in the Wolfenstein 3D anti-cheating mechanism, which was replaced by the confirmation prompt above.

 Your Save Game file is, 
 shall we say, "corrupted".
 But I'll let you go on and
 play anyway....
(Source: RotT source code - _RT_GAME.H)

Monochrome Monitor Debug

The game has code for debugging on a second monochrome monitor and typing in "rott ?" does show "MONO" is supposed to enable this debugging. However, it appears to have been disabled, as entering "rott mono" doesn't seem to display anything on the second monitor. This seems to have been removed in the ROTT Source Code release.

Easter Easter Egg

On the loading screens, on certain holidays, the playable characters don festive hats.

Rise of the Triad has many Easter eggs relating to holidays in the form of certain days triggering the loading screen to have, but one of them is an oddity. Each holiday (Christmas, July 4th, Cinco De Mayo, and Halloween) is on a fixed holiday, but Easter is based on lunar/solar cycles and is not fixed, and thus the only sure day the loading screen will show Lorelei Ni wearing the Easter Bunny ears will be the day Easter fell in 1995: April 16.

Unused Alternate Enemies

A planned feature was to have alternate versions of the various enemies, including female Overpatrol, Low Guards and Strike Teams, and alternate Lightning Guards, High Guards, and Hellfire Monks. These were cut because of memory concerns according to the official FAQ, it would require twice times the memory, and in 1994 standards it would be really high (about 8MB of memory).

Still, one frame of the enemies cut from the game remained and were mentioned towards the end of the credits/cast roll.

From Left to Right: Female Strike Team, Female Low Guard, Female Overpatrol, Alternate Lightning Guard, Alternate High Guard, and Alternate Hellfire Monk
ROTT Cut Ann.png ROTT Cut Mary.png ROTT Cut Pat.png ROTT Cut Will.png ROTT Cut Steve.png ROTT Cut Mark.png