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Strife box

Strife UK retail box.

Strife: Quest for the Sigil (often just called Strife) is a Doom engine game developed by Rogue Entertainment and published by Velocity. It was released on May 31, 1996. The game offered more RPG elements in comparison to other first-person shooters, with heavy story elements and voice acting. Among the features were hub-levels similar to Hexen: Beyond Heretic, the ability to increase the player's accuracy with most of the weapons, an item that could destroy forcefields, and the ability to raise your maximum health from 100 to as much as 200 permanently, similar to Doom. Strife is also the last commercial PC game to use the Doom engine. Its source code was lost, but Jānis Legzdiņš reversed engineered Strife using Doom's source code to make it able to work on modern source ports. On December 12, 2014, Night Dive Studios re-released Strife as The Original Strife: Veteran Edition on Steam.


A comet has hit the Earth, unleashing a virus and killing a large amount of the populace. A lot of the survivors started to hear the voice of a god in their heads (The Entity) and worshipped it. The Order took over the world and all women and children found were killed, forcing the survivors to go underground, while the men became peasants. The Order's rule is brutal and oppressive to the extent an underground resistance is formed. Calling themselves The Front (although in the shareware version it is referred to as 'The Movement'), they struggle to free themselves from The Order. However, The Order's technological advantage has damped The Front's efforts.

The following is as it is explained in the manual of the game: "You are a wandering mercenary, led to the small town of Tarnhill by rumors of conflict between The Order, a well-equipped religious dictatorship, and The Front, the rag tag resistance movement. While searching for The Front you decided to take a brief rest somewhere that you thought was safe. The Order acolytes have been rounding up all suspicious characters in the area. Yes, you happen to be one of them. What they didn't expect, though, is the knife you keep concealed for situations just like this one..."


Strife is more hub-like in its maps than Hexen, in that you can go back to nearly any of the maps you've been to before (with a few exceptions). It is the most non-linear of the Doom engine games, with the possibility of doing several events out of order coupled with multiple endings.

Unlike most games built from the Doom engine, Strife allows for conversations with other characters in the game (with voice acting for the more important ones), as well as a special "Query" key; this lets the player know how long they have been playing the game, as well as the current mission that has been given to the main character. There are also decisions that the player must make in order to progress through the game that change the ending of the game. There are three endings as a result: the "good" victory ending (the "best" ending), the "bad" victory ending, and the failure ending (the "worst" ending).

Strife is one of the few Doom engine games where what you do in a level can directly affect other levels; this is most drastically seen when the Programmer is killed, which replaces the Castle with the New Front Base and causes several other changes. See the latter article for details.

Another innovative feature is that trigger linedefs are sometimes marked; those which operate lifts or open doors by yellow and black stripes, and alarm triggers in doorframes by yellow lights (activated unless the player is wearing an officer's uniform) or green lights (activated regardless). There are also force fields, in green or orange (though there is no other known difference), which must be disabled in order to progress.

Many fans believe that, on modern machines, it is best to run Strife using a source port such as Vavoom or ZDoom; one thing to beware of is that "Falling Damage" is sometimes set to "Off" by default with certain source ports, even for Strife (and Hexen). In these two games, you should set Falling Damage setting to "Strife" or "Hexen", respectively, matching the way the original EXE worked, so that if you fall into a deep pit you don't have to restart the level manually. However, some prefer to play with the original EXE on an emulator, such as DOSBox, which they feel allows the game to played as intended without artifacts of source ports.

Strife charactersEdit

Strife enemies Edit

Strife weapons Edit

Other Strife info Edit

Levels Edit

Exclusive to The Original Strife: Veteran Edition (released on December 12, 2014):
Secret level

Deathmatch levels


  • "Tarn" means a lake, particularly a mountain lake created by glacier action.
  • Although most supplies are scarce (or at least well-hidden), the only rare item (apart from one-off items such as keys) is electric bolts, probably because they're practically useless; as soon as you have an assault rifle, you will be using that instead.
  • If you play strife with any other map/wad/Iwad loaded the letter "Y" will appear as "I"


  • As can be seen above, the registered-version WADfile (STRIFE1.WAD) includes the demo version, which can be played in ZDoom and compatible ports by using the command line zdoom -iwad strife1.wad -warp 33 (and any others you want to use); but this version of the demo plays wrongly (some of Blackbird's messages are wrong, and there are a few things with unrecognised thing types, shown in ZDoom by floating ! graphics in squares), meaning that you are unlikely to complete it unless you follow a walkthrough or you have already completed the demo and remember what to do. If played using the original strife1.exe, it only gets as far as Harris' second dialog screen before crashing, so this "demo" can't even be properly started. Interestingly, Blackbird's "Drop the Chalice!" message is somewhat calmer in this version.


3D Engine: Licensed from Id Software

Executive Producer: Susan G. McBride

Producer/ Designer: Jim Molinets

Producer: Sean Patten

Level Designer: Jim Molinets, Tim Willits

Writers: John Sanborn, Michael Kaplan

Programming: James Monroe, Peter Mack

Lead Artists: Rich Fleider, Steven Maines

Artists: Steven Tietze, Steve Ellis, Carolyn Hammersly, Tim Neveu, Ryan Dunlavey, Ken Robertson, Chris Sessions

Sound FX: James Grunke, Kim B. Christensen, Larry Oatfield, Sam Hinckley

Music: Morey Goldstien

Voices: Jarion Monroe, Marcia Pizzo, Peter Morgan

Head of Q/A: Patti M. Beadles

Lead Tester: Jim Pannell

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Source code genealogy
Based on
Doom II v1.666
Strife Base for
Chocolate Strife
Base for
Base for
Base for

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