Korax Mod Manual

Introduction

Korax’ Heritage: Korax Mod 5, the second game built upon the Vavoom-based KoraxRPG (KRPG) engine, is a cross-breed between a first person shooter and a role playing game, set in the world of Hexen. In addition to the 3D movement, exploration and fighting of the original Hexen, you can talk to non player characters (NPCs) to learn new spells, acquire new weapons, buy useful items and more. You also get experience for killing monsters and finishing quests. After earning sufficient experience, you level up, gaining more power. Your deeds as well as any useful information you come upon in your travels are automatically recorded in your journal.

The Hexen Campaign

In its default state, Korax Mod 5 allows you to play through the original Hexen campaign with a number of changes:

  • New and improved monsters: Korax Mod 5 triples the types of monsters you encounter. Even the “classic” ones might surprise you by dodging your attacks, running away when low on health, closing large distances with a single leap, and generally finding ways to move around the map and reappear behind your back.
  • New weapons and spells: in addition to more than doubling the number of weapons/spells of each class, you also learn special abilities while leveling up, allowing you to summon or shrink monsters, raise your shield to reflect missiles, levitate your enemies and watch them go splat when the effect ends, or raise the spirits of your fallen enemies to slay even more foes.
  • Shortcuts: depending on the RPG Complexity setting, you only have to solve half or less of the puzzles to be able to exit a hub (on Old School complexity, solving additional puzzles provides you with extra experience). This removes the issue with playing classic Hexen, where missing a well-hidden switch could add hours of frustrated running around in an otherwise cleared hub.
  • NPCs: before and after each hub, you return to your camp, where you can talk not only to your fellow adventurers, but also a few selfless craftsmen who accompanied your group on this dangerous journey. They provide you with fresh armor and food whenever you return from a fight.
  • Sidekicks: unless you turn RPG Complexity Off, your teammates will join you in every hub and will fight the monsters alongside you. On Old School complexity, they will even heal you and recharge your mana reserves if desired.
  • Loot: monsters drop some valuable items you can only acquire this way, as well as cash that you can use to buy items from the merchant at camp.
  • “Pistol Starts”: when playing the Hexen Campaign, you can start at a later hub by creating your character with the game settings you want, then after starting the game, pulling down the console and typing “map mapXX” to teleport to the beginning of a hub (see the list below). You will start at level 1, but you will automatically receive an approppriate quality of armor and get access to all weapons and spells you would have acquired by that point if starting with the first hub (you receive them automatically when RPG Complexity is set to Off and you can talk to your sidekicks in the beginning of the hub on other complexities).
    • Seven Portals: type “map map02” in the console
    • Shadow Wood: type “map map13” in the console
    • Heresiarch’s Seminary: type “map map27” in the console
    • Castle of Grief: type “map map22” in the console
    • Necropolis: type “map map35” in the console
    • Dark Crucible: type “map map40” in the console

Custom Maps

Korax Mod 5 has been designed with third party maps in mind: as a player, you can just download such an additional map pack, copy its contents into the Korax Mod 5 folder, and run the shortcut (.bat or .sh) to play it. As a mapper, you can create new (or modify existing) standard Hexen maps with Korax Mod’s custom monsters, weapons and artifacts; as an aspiring developer, you can even create your own mini-RPG, adding not just maps but also new NPCs, items and quests. Refer to the Korax Mod Developer Reference Guide for more information.

Installation and startup

After downloading the ZIP file, extract its contents into a folder of your choice while preserving the subfolder structure. Then place a copy of hexen.wad into the main game folder or use the included setup utility to specify the IWAD location.

The game folder contains a text-based setup utility that allows you to set a specific screen resolution before starting up the game, specify a hexen.wad location outside of the Korax Mod 5 folder structure, as well as a few additional options depending on the operating system. To start this setup utility on Windows, double-click on the file “setup.bat” in the main game folder. To start this setup utility on GNU/Linux, change to the main game folder in a terminal window and type sh setup.sh

To start the game on Windows, double-click on the file “kmod5.bat” in the main game folder. To start the game on GNU/Linux, change to the main game folder in a terminal window and type sh kmod5.sh

If you have any issues with starting up or running the game, check the chapter “Troubleshooting” at the end of this manual for solutions.

Main Menu

You can invoke the main menu any time (except during conversations and while perusing the journal) by pressing the Esc key. You can navigate menu items with either the mouse cursor or using the arrow keys and select an item by either clicking on it or pressing Enter.

The main menu contains six items:

Game

Includes options to start a new game, load a saved game, save a game in progress or end a game in progress.

Options

Includes a number of submenus to reconfigure key bindings and tune some of the visual, audio, input or gameplay settings.

Help

Displays a number of help screens. You can leaf through them by using the arrow keys.

Credits

Displays the credits screen.

Console

Pulls down the console so you can type commands, the majority of which are identical to the Vavoom console commands.

Quit

Exits the game upon confirmation.

Start A New Game

To start a new game, invoke the main menu, select “single player”, then select “new game”. You will be led through a 4-step process to create your new character.

RPG Complexity

This is at the core of the unique KoraxRPG experience: you can tailor the game’s behaviour to your playstyle. The higher the complexity setting, the more you need to explore, the more minute details of your character you need to manage; the lower the setting, the more you can just concentrate on the business of killing monsters.

Player Class Selection

Here you can pick one of the player classes. They are identical to the ones in Hexen and handle similarly, but with a much stronger emphasis on their core strengths and weaknesses: the fighter becomes extremely strong in melee, the cleric can heal lots of damage fast, and the mage has a vast number of spells at his disposal.

Starting Ability Scores

This step allows you to define the starting score of your abilities and lets you reroll until you find a combination to your liking (or just take the default build).

  • Strength: Increases the power of melee (physical) attacks. Increases movement speed.
  • Dexterity: Increases the power of ranged (physical) attacks. Increases the speed of physical attacks (melee and ranged). Increases casting speed.
  • Constitution: Increases hit point gains when leveling up. Increases the weight you can carry without becoming Overburdened.
  • Intelligence: Increases the power of spells.
  • Wisdom: Reduces the amount of mana needed to cast a spell or fire a weapon.
  • Charisma: Increases the size and the regeneration rate of the Battle Rage/Faith/Magic pool.

Difficulty Selection

Of the five difficulty settings of the original Hexen, one has been removed (the second easiest) and one has been tweaked:

  • easy (same as easiest in Hexen)
  • medium (same as the original third difficulty)
  • hard (corresponds to the original fourth difficulty level)
  • nightmare (differs from the original highest difficulty level in two aspects: monsters do triple damage and cheats aren’t disabled)

Player movement in the 3D world

Player movement differs in one small way from that of other DOOM source port games (even vanilla Vavoom).

Crouching

You can crawl on all fours as usual by pressing and holding the crouch key (C or NumPad 1 by default), but there is also the option to fine-tune your character’s height at intermediate levels and move around in a slightly slouchy manner, without having to hold the crouch key. To achieve this, lightly tap the crouch key once or a few times, until you lock in the desired height (pressing the key too many times will make you squat, a stance from which you automatically stand up again when releasing the crouch key).

The Status Bar

The status bar shows the most relevant character information at a glance.

From left to right:

  • Current player level and the percentage of experience until the next level
  • Amount of money
  • Armor status indicator
  • Amount of Blue Mana
  • Amount of Green Mana
  • Amount of Red Mana
  • Currently active inventory item
  • Player hit points (health)
  • Carried weight indicator
  • Hunger status indicator
  • Fatigue status indicator
  • Amount of Battle Rage/Faith/Magic
  • Currently active class ability

In full screen mode, the status bar is replaced by a minimalistic HUD in the lower right corner of the screen.

In the leftmost column, there are two boxes:

  • the upper box displays the currently active class ability and the current amount of Battle Rage/Faith/Magic
  • the lower box displays the currently active inventory item and the number of such items in your possession

On the right side, from top to bottom:

  • Player Hit Points (health)
  • Amount of Blue Mana
  • Amount of Green Mana
  • Amount of Red Mana

In the middle column, to the left of the mana counters the mana color indicator lights up if your currently equipped weapon or spell is using that color of mana.

Armor

Armor comes in three major weight classes: light, medium and heavy. They differ by the percentage of incoming damage they absorb, their durability and their weight.

Each armor class is available in a plain version where it absorbs all incoming damage at the same rate, or with certain resistances embedded. Usually, armor has one or several of the following resistances: poison, frost, fire.

When an armor piece’s durability reaches zero, it becomes irretrievably damaged and can’t be repaired any more. Seek repair from a blacksmith before this happens. Alternatively, you can obtain an armorer’s hammer that you can carry around and attempt to repair your damaged armor yourself. The maximum percentage of durability that can be restored depends on the RPG complexity chosen.

Negative Conditions

Carried Weight

Your Constitution score determines how much weight you can easily carry. Once the total weight of items you carry with you exceeds this threshold, you become Overburdened, signalized by a bright red exclamation mark on top of the carried weight indicator. While Overburdened, your movement speed is reduced and your hunger and fatigue increase faster than usual.

On Old School RPG complexity, there are two additional states: Extremely Overburdened and Lightfooted. Extremely Overburdened is signalized by three bright red exclamation marks on top of the carried weight indicator and further exacerbates the negative effects of Overburdened. In contrast, Lightfooted occurs when the weight carried is less than half the threshold determined by your Constitution score and is signalized by a bright green checkmark on top of the carried weight indicator. In this state, the player moves faster and takes longer to tire out or get hungry than usual.

This feature is inactive when RPG complexity is set to “Off”.

Hunger

As time passes, your character’s belly starts to rumble. The hunger status indicator will slowly fill up and once it reaches 100%, a bright red exclamation mark appears to indicate that the character is in the hungry state.

While hungry, your character gains a reduced amount of experience (half the usual amount on Standard RPG complexity, a quarter of the usual amount on Old School RPG complexity). The fighter gets hungry the fastest, the mage the slowest. Hunger grows faster on Old School RPG complexity.

To completely still your character’s hunger, look for an establishment that serves food. Some merchants also sell food you can carry in your inventory, allowing you to eat while off in the wilds.

This feature is inactive when RPG complexity is set to “Off”.

Fatigue

Strenuous physical exercise (jumping, climbing, swimming and the like) will cause your character to tire (on Old School complexity, using class abilities also increases fatigue). The fatigue status indicator will slowly fill up and once it reaches 100%, a bright red exclamation mark appears to indicate that the character is in the tired state.

While tired, your character moves, fights and casts slower (3/4 the normal speed on Standard RPG complexity, half the normal speed on Old School RPG complexity). Additionally, the fighter can’t use his martial skills. The mage tires the fastest, the fighter the slowest.

To completely regain your vigor, visit an inn and rent a room to get a good night’s sleep (or when playing the Hexen Campaign, eat Anuk’s probably drug-laced stew).

This feature is inactive when RPG complexity is set to “Off”.

The Journal

You can access the journal during play by pressing the J key and navigate its content the same way as the game menus.

The Journal consists of several sections:

Abilities

This page allows you to increase your ability scores with the points you receive whenever you level up.

Quests

Unless you are playing with RPG Complexity turned Off, you will automatically receive a quest when entering certain locations. Once you find the exit of those locations, the quest will auto-complete, providing you with a significant amount of experience points.

Arsenal

This section lists all weapons you have, along with a short description of them.

Spellbook

This section lists all spells you know, along with a short description of them.

Class Abilities

This section lists all class abilities you know, along with a short description of them.

Depending on the class, this section has a different name in the journal.

  • Fighter: Martialis (a collection of martial skills)
  • Cleric: Psalter (a collection of prayers)
  • Mage: Grimoire (a collection of cantrips)

Bestiary

This section displays information and depictions of the monsters you will face on your journey.

Weapons and spells

Weapons

Each class starts with the melee weapon in the first slot, which doesn’t use mana. The mage also receives his ranged wand in the second slot at start, however he needs to acquire some blue mana before he can use it. To obtain any further weapons, you need to talk to NPCs.

Fighter

  • Slot 1: Spiked Gauntlets
  • Slot 2: Timon’s Axe
  • Slot 3: Axe of the Depths
  • Slot 4: Hammer of Retribution
  • Slot 5: Quietus
  • Slot 6: Inferno Hammer

Cleric

  • Slot 1: Mace of Contrition
  • Slot 2: Morning Star
  • Slot 3: Serpent Staff
  • Slot 4: Evening Star
  • Slot 5: Wraithverge

Mage

  • Slot 1: Thunderstaff
  • Slot 2: Sapphire Wand
  • Slot 3: Ruby Wand
  • Slot 4: Bloodscourge

Spells

You need to talk to NPCs to learn the spells available to your class.

Fighter

  • Slot 7: Chilling Touch
  • Slot 8: Molten Metal
  • Slot 9: Judgment

Cleric

  • Slot 6: Firestorm
  • Slot 7: Poison Cloud
  • Slot 8: Tornado
  • Slot 9: Tears of the Gods

Mage

  • Slot 5: Frost Shards
  • Slot 6: Arc of Death
  • Slot 7: Fireball
  • Slot 8: Armageddon
  • Slot 9: Wyvern’s Breath

Class specific abilities

Each class has a unique type of abilities: the mage sings cantrips, the cleric recites prayers and the fighter hones his martial skills.

To pick a class ability for the active slot, press one of the spellstrip navigator keys (by default [ for left and ] for right) and then move the selection bracket left or right until you highlight the ability you want to have active. You can invoke the ability any time by either clicking the right mouse button or pressing Numpad /.

Each class has a different number of abilities, using their class specific resource (battle rage/faith/magic). The first ability on the list for each class is automatically obtained at game start, the remaining ones are obtained upon reaching certain levels (the number in parentheses in the list below).

Fighter Martial Skills

  • Berserking
  • Phalanx (5)

Cleric Prayers

  • Healing
  • Banishment (4)
  • Spirits Within (8)
  • Levitator (12)

Mage Cantrips

  • Repulsion
  • Create Mana (3)
  • Speed (6)
  • Summoning (9)
  • Shrink (12)
  • Arcane Shield (15)

Inventory

The inventory is now two-dimensional. Use the Numpad arrow keys (8 for up, 2 for down, 4 for left and 6 for right) to navigate in all directions. To use the currently selected inventory item, click the middle mouse button or press Numpad 5.

NPC Interaction

To interact with a friendly NPC, walk up to them and press the use key (Enter or Space).

Conversations

Once you enter the conversation screen, you’ll see that it consists of three areas:

  • the NPC’s name
  • what was said last in a conversation (either by you or the NPC)
  • dialogue options

To pick a dialogue option, highlight it using the up and down arrow keys and then press Enter.

By default, the text color signifies who is currently talking: green for NPC lines and white for your lines. A setting in the gameplay options menu allows you to explicitly display the speaker’s name, like in the screenshot below. Another setting allows you to switch conversation sounds on or off.

Sometimes there is a narrator comment, this is signified by a faded salmon color.

Shopping

Buying items from vendors works similar to talking to people: you find a merchant and choose the conversation option that offers the wares you seek to purchase, provided you have enough money to complete the transaction. You can see the amount of crowns you possess in three locations: the first page of the journal, the moneybag icon in the status bar and by opening your inventory and looking for the stack of coins.

Some merchants might be willing to buy certain items from your excess inventory. Look for a conversation option mentioning it.

Tips and Tricks

  • Especially but not just when you turn RPG Complexity Off, you can leave a hub without fighting the vast majority of the monsters. However, doing this repeatedly might leave you with a level too low by the time you encounter the hardest foes. It might make sense to hang around in a hub after you cleared the way to the exit, just to get more experience and loot (the Wings of Wrath located in the exit area of original Hexen hubs makes exploring quicker and less dangerous).
  • While thanks to shortcuts, you can ignore a lot of the puzzles, on Old School RPG complexity they are still worth doing, as they provide you with additional experience worth several extra levels per hub.
  • The baseline for all attributes is at 10 points invested – below that, you are gimped. This is especially true for Strength vs movement and Wisdom vs mana usage.
  • If you are playing with RPG complexity set to Standard and are unsure about what stats are best, just assign one point to each ability every time you level up. You won’t see sudden improvements to your damage, speed or mana usage, but it also ensures you won’t have trouble with certain situations because you neglected an important stat.
  • If you aren’t quick on your feet, invest all your points into Constitution the first 3-5 levels. You will see a quick rampup of your health that will allow you to take a lot more hits.
  • If you are playing the Hexen Campaign, don’t forget to pick up a new armor from the blacksmith every time you are in camp: those pieces get progressively better as you progress through the hubs.
  • Don’t let your armor durability drop to zero, use an Armorer’s Hammer before that (completely depleted armor can’t be repaired). An armor piece with its durability at 1% absorbs just as much damage per hit as one with a durability of 100%, but a depleted armor piece absorbs nothing.
  • Keep an eye on the healing artifacts in your inventory. Quartz Flasks and Mystic Urns are used automatically on all difficulties, so until the last one is gone you won’t die. However, you might not realize how much of a beating you took in that last fight until you notice half your Quartz Flasks are gone.
  • The Mage’s Thunderstaff packs a lot more punch than you would think, killing an Ettin with two hits. It also generates blue mana upon damage dealt, which allows you to switch to your Sapphire Wand.
  • As the only class, the Mage receives his second weapon as well when starting out. The Sapphire Wand is a decent ranged weapon that uses blue mana, which you can generate in the early stages by dealing damage to enemies with your Thunderstaff.

Troubleshooting

Mouselook stops working after Alt+Tabbing out of the game and back in

Once the game window is in focus again, press the Alt key and mouselook should start working again.

OpenGL doesn’t work on my computer or it’s uselessly slow

The game defaults to the OpenGL renderer; if you’d like to try the deprecated Direct3D renderer, open ScatteredEvil.bat in a text editor and replace “-opengl” with “-d3d”.

Error message “Game mode indeterminate” on startup

If you get an error message on startup saying “Game mode indeterminate”, this means the game couldn’t find a valid Hexen.wad in the directory where Vavoom.exe resides. You can also use the included setup utility (setup.bat/setup.sh) to specify a location outside of the Korax Mod installation directory.

Error message “ChangeResolution: failed to set default resolution” on startup

The game is set to run at 1920×1080 by default. To set it to a different resolution before starting up the game, use the included setup utility (setup.bat/setup.sh) or edit the file “config.cfg” in the game subfolder “kmod” and modify the values for “screen_height” and “screen_width”.

Sound/music not playing any more

Ensure both music and sound volume are set to something else than zero, then exit and restart the game. If there is still no audio: quit the game again, start the registry editor (regedit.exe), navigate through to the path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\LowRegistry\Audio\PolicyConfig\PropertyStore and click on each key until you find one that contains the name of the Korax Mod game folder. Delete this key with all its values and start the game again.

Can’t jump on slopes

If you press the jump key while moving up- or downward on a slope, the game ignores your request to jump. What works however is stopping on the slope, then pressing the jump key and then the forward key.

A text message on the screen disappeared too fast to read

If you pull down the console (by pressing the ~ key or choosing the “console” option from the main menu), it’ll show the message(s) previously displayed in the center of the screen.

I am stuck in an NPC conversation loop

There is always a chance an inadequately tested conversation flow gets the player stuck in a loop. To exit such a  conversation, pull down the console by pressing the ~ key, then press ~ again to return to the game. Note that this can break the NPC’s conversation (including quest status), so only use it if irretrievably stuck.

Bugs

Any bugs you find, please report them to our Bug Tracker at www.koraxheritage.com/bug-tracker.

Credits

Let us know of any corrections or additions through comments at www.korax-heritage.com.

Concept / Gameplay Design

RambOrc

Engine Programming

Janis Legzdinsh, Firebrand

Gameplay Programming

Firebrand, Crimson Wizard, Janis Legzdinsh, RambOrc

2D Art

RambOrc, Mago, Firebrand, Crimson Wizard, Sylon, Neoworm, Rolls, Ichor, Borsuk, Sahadia

Mapping

RambOrc

Music

The 4th Class

Voice Acting

JarAxe, Balloonhead, Tekgnosis, EFlexTheSoundDesigner, TRXone

Original Game Assets

Korax Mod is based on Raven Software’s Hexen, using most of its original assets. It also uses some 2D art and a few sounds from Heretic, Heretic II and Hexen II.

The 2D animations and sounds for some of the weapons and spells are based upon the artwork of Capstone’s Witchaven.

Attributions

The majority of noncommercial assets are released under a Creative Commons or a GNU license. See the attribution list for more details.