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The Apogee FAQ

[6.3.4] Rise of the Triad

If you start ROTT when your system clock indicates that it's one of five
different holidays, the "group picture" of the five main characters is
changed slightly.  In addition, on Christmas, the music for the first
level is changed to a familiar Christmas tune.  The holidays and effects
are as follows:

   Easter             <varies>    Lorelei Ni wears Easter Bunny ears.
   Cinco de Mayo       05/05      Ian wears a sombrero.
   Independence Day    07/04      Doug holds an American flag.
   Halloween           10/31      Thi wears a witch's hat.
   Christmas           12/24      Taradino wears a Santa Claus hat; new music
                       12/25      for the first level.

Also, there's a way to get all five "holiday hats" in Rise of the Triad to
show up on the screen at the same time.  If you finish the game the right way,
and destroy all the larvae in the last level, watch ALL the credits (takes
several minutes).  You'll get to a screen that says "The HUNT is victorious.
The End."  Do nothing.  Let it sit there for about a minute or two, and
you'll get another "The End" screen where all five "holiday hats" are shown
at once.

A second amusing way to start Rise of the Triad is to supply "DOPEFISH" as a
command line parameter ("ROTT DOPEFISH").  This causes Scott Miller's mystical
head to appear on the main screen.  Lee Jackson's musical composition "Fish
Polka" will play.  Joe Siegler will burp.  Tom Hall will say "O," "K," or
"Boy" as you move around the menu.  And the names of the levels will be a
little sillier than usual.

If you play the shareware version of Rise of the Triad through to completion,
don't interrupt the end credits.  A sequence of messages will appear, and if
you wait long enough, the messages will get sillier and sillier.

In the secret level "Eight Ways To Hell" (episode 3, area 8), designed by
Joe Siegler (a noted and revered Dopefish follower), there's a hidden area
about half way through the level.  It's a long, narrow hallway with
boulders running down the middle and elasto-modes on the sides.  There's
a touchplate at the beginning of the hallway which, when triggered, will
open up a secret room.  The gray walls in the middle of the secret room
spell a message written in the Commander Keen language (see the Keen
secrets section, below).  Look at all the gray walls from all angles, or
use the \MAP cheat (see the cheats section).  Then look at the map to see
the letters.  Translated, it says, "Dopefish Lives!"

Bosses play big roles in Rise of the Triad.  There are four, one at the end
of each episode, and arranged in order of weakest to strongest.  There are
ways to kill two of the bosses that the programmers at Apogee never thought
to try.  These "loopholes" are "fixed" in version 1.3 of ROTT, but version 1.2a
and previous versions still have the loopholes.  For Sebastian "Doyle"
Krist, you can lure him out of the room by hitting the touch plate diagonally
away and to the right of the gold door as you enter it.  The triggering the
touchplate will block the gold door and open a passageway.  Lure Krist
through here carefully, then through the brown door.  Then go up the
staircase!  Krist, in his wheelchair will follow you up.  However, due to
a bug in Krist's programming (he was never intended to ascend stairs), he
won't fall back down to the ground.  He'll fire missiles at you, but if you're
safely beneath him, they won't hit you.  Shoot him until he's dead.  You can
also lure the NME out of the room he starts in, but if he's led into the
nearby spinblades, the game will crash (this bug, by the way, was *not* fixed
in ROTT version 1.3, so be careful).

The second loophole involves the final boss, El Oscuro, in his final form
(the snake-like form).  Get a firebomb and an asbestos vest.  Then find
El Oscuro and lure him into a corner.  Keep the corner at your back.  Aim
the firebomb down and fire it -- this will thrust you up into the air.
Land on El Oscuro and wait for him to exhaust himself.  (The intended method
of killing him is to not fire at him at all, but dodge his own attacks until
he dies of exhaustion.  In all his forms, firing at him simply makes him
stronger!  Note, however, that El Oscuro can be hurt by the firepits, so
luring him over those is another technique for doing him in.

The boss monster for episode 2 of the registered version, Sebastian Doyle
Krist, is a reference to the British comedy series, "Red Dwarf."  In the
last episode of Season 5, entitled "Back To Reality," there is an alternate
reality where the Dave Lister character is called "Colonel Sebastian Doyle."
Red Dwarf fan Joe Siegler (who was also the one photographed for the Doyle
Krist character) tried to get project leader Tom Hall to call Krist "Colonel
Sebastian Doyle Krist," but Tom "wouldn't go for it."

It's hard to see, but there's a license plate on the back of the NME (the boss
monster for episode 3 of the registered version).  It looks like a Texas
license plate that says "Spray."  (Spray is the NME's nickname, given by the
ROTT developement team.)

Several people have run across the curious message "I'm Free" while playing
ROTT and don't know what it means.  If you get this, you're probably playing
either the "This Causes An Error" level in the registered version, or you're
playing a user-made level.  The cause of the note is whenever a moving wall
crosses the boundary of a level and just keeps on going.  The game detects the
problem, but, before crashing with a regular error message, manages to put up
the picture saying, "I'm Free" (drawn by Tom Hall).  The "This Causes An
Error" level, originally titled "WanderWall Bug Map," has a pushwall in it
that leaves the level, crashing the game with the "I'm Free" message.
In the rejected ROTT levels (ROTT_REJ.ZIP), there is a level called "This
Causes An Error Too."

What all this is, is a manifestation of in-house humor.  If you don't get it,
that's good, because you're not supposed to.  It's one of those "you had to
be there" things.  At any rate, the story goes...during the development of
ROTT, when a level was tested wherein a pushwall was inadvertantly directed
out of the level bounds, Joe Selinske, former member of Apogee, joked, saying,
"I'm free."  He probably wishes he hadn't, for all the confusion it's caused
customers who have run across it -- either that, or, if he were more like me,
he feels a deep sense of satisfaction in having successfully dumbfounded a
significant enough percentage of the gaming community to warrant mention in
FAQs such as this one.

Joe Selinske's response to the above paragraph is quoted below:

Yes, you are right.  I do get deep satisfaction and a lot of laughs thinking
back to when that whole "I'm Free" gag was running around Apogee.  I am the
bastard who started it, Tom [Hall] drew it, Joe [Siegler] scanned it in and
Mark [Dochtermann] put it in the game.  There were so many things going on
during ROTT development that it scares me to think about them.  Wow, that
was some fun.  But way too many inside jokes if you ask me.  ;)

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      [6.3.5] Terminal Velocity

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