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Heretic ironlich

Iron Liches encounter in Heretic E1M8.

Iron Liches are enemies in Heretic. Despite their names, Iron Liches are not the typical skeleton-like foes in robes to which others may be accustomed. They are, in fact, giant skulls (not unlike the Lost Soul) wearing spiked helmets, and as the name suggests, made completely of iron, and are sometimes called Iron Golems.

Iron Liches have the ability to cast three different kinds of elemental spells, all of which can inflict multiple hits and which include:

  • A wall of fire which spreads out vertically.
  • An ice ball which splits into multiple shards when it hits a target or a wall.
  • A tornado which relentlessly chases and throws players into the air if they get too close to it.

Iron Liches are first encountered at the end of the first episode of Heretic: City of the Damned. They will appear as normal or sub-boss enemies in later levels (beginning in a secret area of The Lava Pits), and a large group of Iron Liches guards the exit in the last level of The Ossuary, the fourth episode of Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders.

Tactical analysis

The Iron Lich cannot be transformed by the Morph Ovum, nor immediately killed with a Firemace under the influence of the Tome of Power.

When killed, they crumble into a pile of brittle pieces on the ground, sometimes dropping a Claw Orb or Morph Ovum.

With their extremely slow speed and relatively large size, the weapon of choice to kill them is the Phoenix Rod, which can dispatch a lone Iron Lich from a safe distance with five or fewer shots. In addition, the Rod's splash damage enables it to take out a group of Iron Liches with considerably less than five shots per Lich. Note that Iron Liches take half damage from the powered up Dragon Claw, though not from the rippers it shoots out.

Each Iron Lich possesses 700 hit points.


ID # 20 (decimal), 14 (hex)
Hit points700
Speed6 map units per frame
(52.5 map units per second)
Reaction time8
Pain chance32 (12.55%)
Bits list


Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameHEAD
Alert soundHEDSIT
Active soundHEDACT
Pain soundHEDPAI
Death soundHEDDTH
Melee attack
Ice Ball ranged attack
Speed13 map units per tic
(455 map units per second)
Damage1-8 (spawns 8 shards on impact)
Sprite nameFX05
Spawned Ice Shards
Speed8 map units per tic
(280 map units per second)
Sprite nameFX05
Firewall ranged attack
Speed10 map units per tic
(350 map units per second)
Damage5-40 (times 6)
Height12 (times 6)
Sprite nameFX06
Whirlwind ranged attack
Speed10 map units per tic
(350 map units per second)
Sprite nameFX07

See also

Heretic monsters
D'Sparil | disciple of D'Sparil | gargoyle/fire gargoyle | golem/nitrogolem | iron lich | maulotaur | ophidian | sabreclaw | undead warrior | weredragon

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