Table of Contents
The arena awaits!
Korax Arena is a LAN and internet play capable (client/server based) multiplayer-only mod based on Hexen and Heretic. It includes new weapons, player classes, gameplay types and RPG elements. It also includes some artwork and concepts from a number of other games, most notably Unreal Tournament, DOOM and Witchaven.
Whether you like hunting down mages with a huge sword, shooting centaurs with a rocket launcher or defend your team’s base from invading enemies slinging crossbows, Korax Arena offers a fast and furious gameplay in a fantasy environment where RPG stats are handled automatically by the computer so that the player only needs to concentrate on the action itself.
The Korax team provides two types of distributions of Korax Arena: Tournament of the Serpent Riders.
- Complete Releases: These refer to initial distributions of major versions of Korax Arena (1.0, 2.0, etc.), these packages contain the complete Korax Arena installation for that version, which means bigger downloads (usually around 14/16 MBs).
- Patch Releases: These refer to continued distributions of major versions of Korax Arena (1.0.X, 2.0.X, etc.), these are smaller packages (usually a couple of MBs), that only contain files changed since the last complete distribution.
Make sure to determine which Complete Releases are needed for patch releases, usually the same major version 1, 2, etc. applies to patches, so patch 1.0.2 applies to major version 1.0 of Korax Arena.
Download the complete release and the latest patch release (if any) of Korax Arena, these will have an installer executable. You just need to specify which directory you want to install Korax Arena in, the installer will automatically copy the files there. Then you have to copy a registered Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Heretic, Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders or Hexen wadfile to the same directory (please note that shareware wadfiles won’t work).
Run the Korax Arena launcher (kalauncher.exe) included with the installation, it automatically handles the way of running the game and makes it much simpler for you to choose extra files or set up the configuration of the game.
As an alternative, you may use the quick-launcher executable (karena.exe), which will run the game using the last options set in the launcher application. If there are no options remembered by your system yet, it will run the launcher instead.
The Korax Arena launcher has a set of five tabs, each one managing different areas of the game’s configuration.
This tab has the basic options for running the game.
- Development Mode: This checkbox is only useful if you are creating a custom game based on Korax Arena, it will make the game load the files specified and the game data from a custom directory.
- Files: You can place any extra maps of files made as custom content for Korax Arena. Multiple files should be separated by commas (,). Example: KA_lvl01.wad, KA_lvl02.wad, etc.
- Create Debug File: If this box is checked, it will create a debug.txt file inside the basev folder of your Korax Arena installation. This file contains a log of the current game session being run. Be sure to check this box if you are getting any crashes while playing the game, especially if you want to submit these problems to the Korax Arena forums; this will make it easier to track down the source of the problem and fix it up for later versions of Korax Arena.
- Other options: In this textbox you can type any commands the game engine supports, we recommend that you visit the Vavoom engine Wiki documentation for a list of available commands and what they do ingame.
This tab contains the video options for Korax Arena.
- Renderer: Korax Arena supports three renderer types: Direct3D, OpenGL and Software Renderer. Which one to use? The one that looks and runs the best for you depending on your machine specs.
- Resolution: You can choose from all the resolutions listed in this box, again, please be sure to check your machine specs. when choosing this one, if the resolution you choose here isn’t supported by your hardware, you’ll get errors when starting the game, if that’s the case lower your selection and try again.
- Color Depth: This one chooses which color depth you wish to run the game on, options are 8-bits, 16-bits and 32-bits. This is also very tightly bonded to your video hardware, check your system specs. while choosing this one too. If you find the game runs too slow with any of them, lower your selection and try again.
- Particles:You can type the maximum number of particles displayed at the same time, even if this number is below 256, the game will still display particles, since they can’t be disabled at all.
- Surface Cache Memory: You can type the maximum memory to allocate for surface cache ingame, this option can cause the game to crash if set too high, only use it if you know what you are doing.
This tab contains the sound options for Korax Arena.
- Disable All Sound: If this checkbox is checked, it will disable both sounds and music from the game.
- No Sounds: If checked, this checkbox disables all sound FX in the game.
- No Music: This checkbox, if checked, disables all music types in the game.
- No CD Audio: If checked, disables music from Audio CDs in the game.
- Use OpenAL: If for any reason don’t want to use the DirectSound subsystem, you can check this box and use the OpenAL software system for sounds and music in the game.
This tab handles the basic options for input in Korax Arena.
- Disable Mouse: If you don’t wish to use mouse for input, check this box
- Disable Joystick: If you don’t wish to use joystick for input, check this box.
Useful for setting the basic options for network (LAN) games.
- Disable Network Driver: If checked, this will completely disable network support in the game.
- IP Address: The IP Address for this PC, only put it there if you need to change it for some reason, the game detects your IP address automatically if this is blank.
- Port: Again, if you type something here, the game will use that port for transmitting network games, if you leave it blank, it will use the default port used by Vavoom Engine.
Up to the number of empty slots in a multiplayer game, you can add bots to a map while it’s running. To do this, pull down the console and type following command:
Where C is the player class (f for Fighter, c for Cleric, m for Mage, h for Heretic, d for the Marine) and n is the player color (1-8).
To summon e.g. a green Marine, type:
If you simply type addbot, the game will spawn a random bot from the existing ones.
Additionally, to make things even easier, you can pull the ingame menu by pressing the Esc key in your keyboard, select the Add a Bot option and press Enter on it. If you find the game too crowded, or wish space for another human player, there’s a Remove a Bot option, which once activated removes a random bot from the game.
Currently, Korax Arena supports the following gameplay modes:
- Team Deathmatch
- Kill The Heresiarch
- Capture the Flag
- XMAS Havoc
A wide range of further gameplay modes are planned for Korax Arena in future versions.
In Deathmatch, your goal is to make the most frags.
In Team Deathmatch, your goal is that your team makes the most frags.
Kill The Heresiarch
In Kill the Heresiarch, the goal is to transform into Heresiarch and make the most score from all the players. In depth, the game starts as normal deathmatch, but when a player makes the first frag, he will become the Heresiarch. After that, every other player will have to attack the Heresiarch, the player that frags the Heresiarch will become the new Heresiarch, which will then be chased by all other players. Heresiarch frags count as points towards your score. The player with the highest score wins the match.
In Domination, the goal is that your team makes the highest score, regardless of the number of frags. To increase your team’s score, you should capture nodes (in Korax Arena they are called ‘Domination Sigils’) that are spawned in different spots around the map. Once you capture a spot, it will give you 1 point every two seconds, so the idea is to keep captured spots and capture more spots so as to increase the speed at which your team accumulates points. The opposing team will try and capture nodes you are already controlling, so you must defend the nodes you have captured.
Capture The Flag
In Capture the Flag, the goal is to capture the opposing team’s flag and return it to your own base while your flag is also there. The opposing team will try to capture your flag as well, so your team has to have a good team strategy to win. Some team allies will have to defend your own flag against the enemy team, and others will have to go on the offense and grab the enemy flag to return it to your base. The team with the most captures wins the match, regardless of frags.
In Football, the team with more goals wins, regardless of the number of frags. To kick the ball, walk up to it, face in the direction you want to kick the ball and then press your use key (space bar by default).
In XMAS Havoc, the goal is to burn the most Christmas trees. Other players will also be burning Christmas trees and fragging opponents. The player who burns the most trees wins the match, regardless of frags. Remember that trees can only be burned by weapons that inflict fire damage, so choose your weapons wisely and save the right kind of ammo for the trees.
Gameplay modes are described in greater detail in the chapter ”Gameplay Modes”.
There are 6 selectable player classes in Korax Arena, as well as two that are used in specific situations only.
He is a top melee combatant in game. Most of the time he should rely on his fast legs chasing his opponents and hacking, crushing and slicing them with his Axe, hammer and swift sword. While averagely strong in distance combat, he is absolutely deadly in close quarters.
The Cleric is a holy elementalist of this tournament; fire, ice, and poison in his arsenal play their killing role. And the spirits of killed enemies are easily raised by his terrible 8th class weapon Wraithverge to attack those who are alive yet.
The Mage has mastered the weapons of mass destruction, and some of his spells cover quite a large area at once. On the other hand, his weakness in close combat can be negated by effective use of defensive equipment like discs of repulsion.
The Heretic has a good amount of magical weapons, they are suited for different situations, but mostly provide him with ways of attacking at mid or long range, he’s not very good attacking on short range.
Witchaven’s Hero can be called “specialist”: he seem to have a most fitting weapon for each given situation (assuming they are used properly), both melee and ranged ones.
Aka Doom-Guy. The Marine’s advantage is a good choice of instant-shot weapons, that reach target faster than anything else and cannot be deflected by Repulsion Discs. And his last (but not least) weapon is infamous BFG-9000!
Any player can become Heresiarch during Kill The Heresiarch match. Heresiarch is a horrid beast, an unholy magician with lots of Health and most terrifying weapons. His disadvantages are his big body size, that makes him a good target (and denies walking in narrow passages), and inability to use Armor.
Any player can mutate to Pig temporarily when affected by the Porkalator spell. In the shape of a swine the player cannot use any weapon except his snout, cannot pickup items and has much less health than in his normal state.
Levels and Experience
You start out at Level 1 with 1000 Experience Points (EXP). Whenever you frag an opponent, you get a number of EXP (the amount depends on what level the foe was and varies between certain border values on a random principle). When reaching a certain amount of EXP, you get to the next level. If you get fragged, you keep your current level and the EXP needed to reach that level, but all EXP above that is lost. Since you need more and more EXP to reach the next level as you go higher, this system makes it difficult to reach very high levels.
At every new level, your stats are automatically increased by the computer, meaning you get more HP, you can run faster and use your melee weapons faster, your shots use less ammo and your weapons are dealing more damage.
The maximum level you can reach at any stage of the game is 10. Also note, that to make things more balanced, after 5 seconds of not fragging anyone your EXP will begin to decrease by one every second, if you reach an EXP value low enough you will roll back your level. So the strategy is to keep fragging as much as possible.
Many weapons require that you reach a certain level before you can pick up and use them. On Level 1, you can use weapons #1-#4. To be able to use weapons #5-#7, you need to reach Level 3. Once you reach Level 5, you can pick up weapon #8.
Items and Powerups
There are 5 different types of ammunition in the game: blue, green and red mana crystals feeding your weapons Class #2 – Class #8, yellow Discs of Repulsion feeding your weapon #9 and green Flechettes feeding your weapon #0.
You can pick up armor by simply walking over it. Every armor piece you pick up adds to your armor points (A.P. in the HUD). Armor will deflect a small percentage of the damage you take.
Unlike in Heretic and Hexen, there are no artifacts and no inventory in Korax Arena. Every item is an instant pickup once you walk over it, and the list includes:
- Health Vials (+10 HP)
- Quartz Flasks (+25 HP)
- Mystic Urns (+100 HP)
- Krater of Might (full charge for the 3 mana types)
- Icon of the Defender (invulnerability for a short time)
- Boots of Speed (giving you extra movement speed).
- Maulotaur Doll (spawns a maulotaur on the map that will aid you to kill enemies)
- PI Damage (all damage you inflict will be multiplied by 3.14)
- Dragonskin Bracers (will give you 200 A.P.)
In Korax Arena every player class has its own unique set of 8 primary weapons.
Weapons are divided in classes, each class is an upgrade to the last class, meaning that a weapon that is Class #2 is generally weaker than weapons from the 3rd Class.
When a player is spawned he or she already has Class #1 and Class #2 weapons. Every other primary weapon needs to be found and picked up. The secondary weapons (Discs and Flechetts) can be used as soon as the player picks up some ammo for them.
Weapon classes follow a certain pattern:
- Class #1 Weapons: a melee weapon for every class, does not use mana.
- Class #2 Weapons: use small amounts of blue mana.
- Class #3 Weapons: use small amounts of green mana.
- Class #4 Weapons: use small amounts of red mana.
- Class #5 Weapons: uses larger amounts of blue mana.
- Class #6 Weapons: uses larger amounts of green mana.
- Class #7 Weapons: uses larger amounts of red mana.
- Class #8 Weapons: uses huge amounts of blue, green and red mana.
- Class #9 Weapons: Propulsion spell/device, uses the yellow Discs of Repulsion as ammo
- Class #0 Weapons: Bomb/grenade, working differently for different classes, uses green Flechettes as ammo
Players should remember that until they reach higher levels they won’t be able to effectively use top-class weapons because of their fast mana drain.
Fighter’s bare hands combat ability is actually not so “bare” since spiked metal gauntlets are used.
This enchanted ax strikes by a short lightning at melee range and is powerful enough to take out low level opponents by successful 1-2 hits, thus allowing to literally hack through the enemy rows.
Hammer of Darkness
This heavy hammer not only slams enemy heads, but also spawns Darkness Spheres, a slow moving globes of magical force that damage and blind the ones touching them for a while, making them even more vulnerable for fighter attacks.
The Ripper is a good long range instant weapon available for the fighter, if it hits a wall it will spawn 4 ripper projectiles that will go through enemies, causing a good amount of damage, it’s disadvantage comes in it’s fire rate, which is slow and the mana cost it has.
The Hellstaff is a good rapid fire option for the fighter, if you have a good aiming, you can do good amount of damage to the enemy.
Hammer Of Retribution
Another battle hammer, now enchanted by fire spell, strikes even harder in close combat and summons fiery throwing clones of itself to deliver your retribution to those at the distance.
Half Quietus is a melee only version of the Quietus, this one has a longer range of action than that of the Spiked Gauntlets and it can slice almost anything too.
Quietus is the ultimate weapon for the fighter, it will shoot a series of projectiles in angles, that will make a huge amount of damage to any enemy.
The Mace might be short ranged, but it can smash a weak enemy head for sure.
The serpent staff shots two slithering missiles that do poison damage to enemies, it can also drain enemy life and give it to the cleric if used in melee combat, so it’s a good weapon to have.
The morning star is a fast melee weapon with the longest range of attack in the melee department, you can surprisingly reach enemies that are running away and kill them if they are weak enough.
This spell shoots fire projectiles on the floor, that spawn smaller circling flames that can toast an enemy if crossing there.
The ice wand can create some nice ice statues. It’s projectiles can go through enemies, so be sure to strike more than one enemy in line, if possible.
This spell can definitely be titled a curse of Korax Arena. It grants Cleric ability to cover large areas of combat map with poisonous clouds, that stay on place for a while damaging and poisoning those who get into them, including their instigator.
The Phoenix Rod shoots fire projectiles that explode and create radius damage, which can turn an enemy to ashes with great ease. Be careful when shooting it, since it will make you recoil back a bit.
The Wraithverge can summon the spirits of the damned to aid you, they will chase around any enemies that are near, creating a good mess in the process.
This piece of wood will not do you anything good, so you may use it only as an indicator that you forgot to replenish your mana supplies once again. Better leave staff for the time you are old and wise, otherwise you will not survive that long.
This simple weapon is not so puny as you may think; it’s fast, accurate, far ranged, deals average damage and even rips through enemy bodies, allowing you to strike several ones standing on one line at once.
Greatly enhanced version of the Grey Wand, Fire Wand makes three fast consecutive shots each time you push the trigger, and lits your target like candle.
A good amount of shards are shot by the Mage’s hands, you can ask yourself how the mage does it?
Arc of Death
The Arc of Death will spawn lightnings that can go over high floors and lower ceilings, useful to reach enemies that aren’t near to you.
It’s one of those nasty weapons your opponents will hate from very acquaintance. Three magical homing missiles will be shot from this staff at once and give any nearby enemy choice to hide in hurry or burn to ashes.
When Mage gets Wyvern Breath (and enough mana of course) he becomes a true master of destruction. This spell shoots out three fireballs that not only cause great damage to those whom they hit, but also spawn powerful delayed explosions in the place they ended their way.
The Horrible Pain Spell might not look as much in the beginning, but if you hit an enemy, an instant kill is assured, aim straight and shot!
Gauntlets of Necromancer
The Gauntlets can electrocute any enemy that is near to you.
The Gold Wand is a good instant shot weapon, it has high fire rate and is easy to aim, and can provide a good way of killing enemies if you are low on ammo and they are weak enough.
Swift and effective, the Ethereal Crossbow will shot 3 projectiles in angles, the middle projectile makes more damage than the other two, so be sure it hits your enemies.
The Dragon Claw can be used to reach enemies in long distances, it also makes a good amount of damage.
Advanced Gold Wand
The Advanced Gold Wand shots projectiles in a good rate and can kill enemies if they are at mid range distance.
The Skullrod can make evil rain fall on your enemies, it shots a big projectile than when exploding creates a rain that will damage anything it showers.
Anyone wanted a flame thrower? This baby is a good candidate.
The Fire Mace is slow, but if one of its giant balls hits an enemy, he will surely perish.
The Hero can use his own fists if necessary, after all this is a life or death experience.
The Hero uses a Short Sword with flames to burn his enemies.
The Morning Star is a tricky weapon, it can be used to hit enemies that are below if used correctly, it will spawn a big flame projectile that when hitting anything will spawn 3 smaller flaming projectiles that will fall down.
Magic Missiles Spell
It shots a number of homing projectiles at enemies depending the Hero level.
The Long Sword can hit enemies from an extended distance, you can also use a shield to take less damage, watch out, the shield will use mana too.
The Fireball Spell shots homing fire projectiles at enemies, in a smaller number than the Magic Missiles Spell, but WAY faster too, it also depends on the Hero’s level.
The Hero has a sharp eye when shooting arrows, you can use the bow as a sniper weapon.
Disintegration Spell is probably the most precise 8th class weapon, for it sends a good amount of killing energy that instantly reaches any targets before caster; moderate spread can be helpfull to hit more than one target.
While this may be not the most powerful melee weapon, it is the scariest one indeed. You will not forget its approaching sound.
We like to call it the “pea shooter”, it can make a good work of thrashing weaker enemies.
Pretty accurate, the shotgun is an agile weapon that every Marine should have, it can take numerous enemies from an average distance if you have good aiming.
The Chaingun can do big amounts of damage to anyone with not enough armor.
See your enemies go boom with its Rockets.
The Double-barreled Shotgun is more powerful but far less accurate than the common one, it still can be a pain for your enemies thought. At close range you may kill them with one shot (or would that be two?).
The Plasma Rifle is a fast shooting weapon, you can chase your enemies with it too.
This is the ultimate weapon for the Marine, you can look how your enemies melt when they receive the discharge of energy this gun shoots.
Heresiarch will kill with his own claws any enemy fool enough to fight him at close range.
The basic H. Spell, it will shot purple projectiles to enemies in a varying angle, good for mid range attacks.
A powerful short-range spell that spawns forth 3 sequent waves of energy in the form of an arc. Your enemies will blink with this amount of lightnings.
Infernal Hand shoots out a flying burning demon head with great homing capability and ability to strike several targets in a row, that seeks out your enemies and toasts them for good.
An ultimate Heresiarch weapon summons restless spirits of sinners along its line of fire. They appear only for a second, delivering heavy damage to anyone close enouph. This is the only weapon in Korax Arena that can literally shoot through solid walls, thus allowing Heresiarch smite players beyond any obstacles.
You will perhaps be surprised, but you can ACTUALLY kill with this (no, really…). You better not try though.
Korax Arena provides two types of Auxiliary Weapons, which can be used defensively, offensively or combined with weapons to create unexpected effects in battle. They are Discs of Repulsion and Flechettes.
Discs of Repulsion
These are magical artifacts which main purpose is to repel enemies and incoming projectiles. As a bonus, repelled homing missiles aim back at the shooter. They have 3 fire modes:
- Propulsion spell/device: Works like the original Disc of Repulsion in Hexen, instantly repelling all the nearby players, monsters and missiles from the player, who use it.
- Repulsion Bomb: This will set a Disc of Repulsion as if it’s a bomb, which stays on the spot for 5 seconds, propulsing any players, monsters and missiles which come near.
- Repulsion Missile: Sends a Disc of Repulsion flying as a projectile, that acts as Propulsion spell as soon as hits something, and then dissapears.
Repulsion Bomb and Missile repel the shooter as well, if he or she is in their radius of effect.
Flechettes are analogue of grenades in the fantasy world of Korax Arena. They have 3 fire modes:
- Grenade: You can launch it at enemies as if it was a grenade and blow their faces up.
- Time Bomb: Set it where you are; it’ll take some time before the flechette explodes, damaging everything around.
- Poison Bag: Being set as Time Bomb, it leaves green poison cloud on explosion, that last some time behind, poisoning anything that touches it.
Be careful using Flechettes for they will damage their instigator as well if he or she will stay too close when they trigger.
Football is a team game mode where players must push ball across the map and finally kick it into the enemy gates. Unlike real-life football, Korax Arena rules allow players to use any weapons at will.
Objectives and Scoring
Primary objective of the match is getting the ball into the enemy gates and prevent opponents to get the ball into yours by any means possible. By making a goal player earns 1 score point for his team and 5 points for his/her personal score. Kicking the ball into his/her own gates gives 1 score point to enemy and subtracts 5 points from personal score. In the end, team with highest score wins, regardless of team members’ personal scores.
The ball is a small round object, which can be pushed and kicked around. It cannot be destroyed.
When the game starts or after any team performs a goal, the ball and all the team members of all the teams are forcefully teleported to predefined positions and the next phase of the game commences.
Some Football maps may have determined field borders. When the ball is being pushed behind these, it is teleported to the center of the field in a few seconds. Players do not teleport to their starting positions though.
Goal happens when the ball is being pushed into any team’s gates. Few seconds after that, the Kickoff event takes place.
Handling The Ball
There are two ways to make the ball move. For convenience thay are called Pushing and Kicking.
To push the ball player should simply run into it. Pushed ball will always roll on ground. Ball velocity will depend on player’s speed in the moment of touch.
To kick the ball players should press and hold their ‘Use’ button, then either stand very close to the ball or run into it.
When a player is in the ball vicinity two meters will appear on screen. The upper blue gauge displays the force which is going to be applied to the ball; the longer user holds ‘Use’ button, the higher is the force (there is a limit though). The lower green/yellow gauge shows how much distance is left to the ball; the more green colour fills yellow gauge, the closer ball is.
A player kicks the ball when he either pushes it while holding down ‘Use’ button, or releases held ‘Use’ button or have the kick force filled up to the limit while standing very close to the ball.
The ball trajectory will depend on two factors – the force of the kick and speed of push. The faster the push, the more part of force will be applied for horizontal movement, the less a push the more part of the force will be applied for vertical movement.
Maximal kick force depends on the player’s strength.
Since when growing in level player earns strength and speed, he/she will also gain more ball handling ability.
- Korax Arena concept: RambOrc
- Programming: Camper, Firebrand, Crimson Wizard
- Engine programming (Vavoom): Janis Legzdinsh
- Map design: DarkRaven, MadPaul, Firebrand, Crimson Wizard, RambOrc, Moose
- 2D graphics: Mago, Firebrand, Borsuk, Doomjedi
- 3D models: ?
- Music: The 4th Class
- Sounds: The 4th Class, Todd the Mongoloid
- Heretic, Hexen, Heretic II and Hexen II artwork: Raven Software
- DOOM artwork: id Software
- Witchaven artwork: Capstone
- Unreal Tournament artwork: Epic
- Xmas Havoc song: Croteam
An older version of this manual is available as PDF here.