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Hexen: Beyond Heretic is a dark fantasy first-person shooter video game developed by Raven Software, published by id Software, and distributed by GT Interactive on October 30, 1995. It is the sequel to 1994’s Heretic, and the second game in Raven Software’s “Serpent Riders” series. The title comes from the German noun “Hexen”, which means “witches” (in plural), or the verb “hexen”, which means “to cast a spell”. Following the tale of D’Sparil’s defeat in Heretic, Hexen takes place in another realm, Cronos, which is besieged by the second of the Serpent Riders, Korax. Three heroes set out to destroy Korax. The player assumes the role of one such hero. Throughout the course of his quest, he travels through elemental dungeons, a wilderness region, a mountainside seminary, a large castle, and finally a necropolis. Hexen uses a modified version of the Doom engine, which allows jumping, network play with up to eight players, and the choice of three character classes. It also popularized the “hub system” of level progression in the genre of first-person shooter games. Unlike previous games, which had relied purely on General MIDI for music, Hexen is also able to play tracks from a CD. The game’s own CD contained a soundtrack in an audio format that was exactly the same as the MIDI soundtrack, but played through a high quality sound module. However, the most significant improvement was the addition of wall translation, rotation, and level scripting. In 1999, the source code for Hexen was released by Raven Software under a license that granted rights to non-commercial use, and was re-released under the GNU General Public License on September 4, 2008. This allowed the game to be ported to different platforms such as Linux, AmigaOS, and OS/2.

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