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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 (Shareware), February 17, 1995 (Registered)

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.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

To do:
Early sprites from when it was a sequel to Wolf3d. Also, we need a prerelease page in general. http://legacy.3drealms.com/rott/originalspec.html

Rise of the Triad is a ludicrous, gory shooter released by Apogee and developed by Apogee's Developers of Incredible Power.


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

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.

Revisional Differences

The warning that appears when the game is loaded.

Version 1.0 (Shareware)

The menu with a small label header.
The static credits image that appears during the attract mode.

The initial, buggy v1.0 shareware release of Rise of the Triad was released Christmas 1994, and had content later dropped from the game.

  • Apogee mentions this is an early build of the game via a text screen when the game is first loaded.
    • Apogee wanted to have some form of the game out by Christmas 1994, but it had some rough bugs at first.
  • The Apogee Fanfare (FANFARE2.MID) doesn't work if the music card is set to Adlib, just plays a horrible droning tone. It plays normally otherwise.
  • The title screen music is different (uses CCCool instead of Rise,Probably because Mmmenu, the menu theme, is a shortened version of the track).
  • Credits is a static image as opposed to the scrolling credits seen from v1.2 onward.
  • Menus are headed with a small font label indicating which menu you are on (e.g., "Main Menu").
  • When the player walked around, you could hear footsteps.
  • Various sound effects doesn't exist or different. For example, pressing use key on non-interactive items would make Taradino say "Nope." instead of the v1.2's grunt, picking up a monk crystal will put up the sound of the player eating the porridge instead of its appropriate sound and many more.
  • For some odd reason, the Jukebox cheat doesn't work in this version.
  • God Mode (as in the powerup) is prone to crash the game if the last God Fire is being shot as the player's powerup is depleted.
  • Enemies' walk animation is much, much more choppier, thankfully fixed by v1.2.
  • Upon exit, none of the exit messages play appropriate sounds (like for the heart monitor exit message, no flatline is heard).
  • While a v1.1 is mentioned, it seems to never have been released, jumping to v1.2 on the next release.

Walking Sound 1

Walking Sound 2

Version 1.2 (Shareware and Registered)

  • No more ANSI text screen at game startup.
  • Apogee Fanfare works as expected.
  • No more footstep sounds when you're walking around.
  • The menu labels in small font were removed.
  • The credits are no longer a static image pasted on a black background, and seem to be generated by the game itself.

Version 1.3 (Shareware and Registered)

Apogee Fanfare
v1.0-1.2 v1.3

The FM patches used for the Apogee fanfare were replaced with less harsher patches by Version 1.3, most likely from using the Duke Nukem 3D version of the Apogee Sound System. Most MIDIs sound radically different when played through the FM synthesizers now.

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 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