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A player using the Hellstaff
Hellstaff in a hidden chamber in E2M2: The Lava Pits.

The Hellstaff is a weapon in Heretic. It appears to be made out of a demon's skull and spinal column. It is powered by runes, which it consumes at a rate of one rune per projectile in regular mode, or five per shot when the Tome of Power is being used. Maximum capacity is 200 runes, or 400 with the Bag of Holding. This weapon is always effective on ghosts.

In its regular mode, the hellstaff rapidly fires red energy projectiles, performing two shots in succession with every firing cycle, barring ammo depletion.

When a Tome of Power is active, the hellstaff's firing rate slows down, and it launches powerful projectiles which deal 10-80 damage and summon "clouds" of red rain above the area of impact, at the cost of five runes per shot. Every tick, the summoned cloud of rain has a ~90.2% chance to spawn a raindrop within a 64-unit radius, and each raindrop does 5-40 damage. Only 2 clouds can be active at once; summoning a third destroys the oldest one. Larger foes, such as an iron lich, are likely to get hit by more droplets than smaller foes, hence causing more damage. However, boss foes (the maulotaur and D'Sparil) have a partial immunity to this attack, reducing the damage each drop does to them by 80%. The powered-up shots will also home in on enemies provided they are centred in the player's aim when the weapon is fired.

This weapon makes its first appearance in a secret room in E2M1: The Crater. It can be discovered again in a hidden chamber on the next map. In E2M3: The River of Fire, the hellstaff finally sits in a non-secret area.


Hellstaff data
Weapon number 5
Damage 3-24 (normal projectile)
10-80 (powered projectile)
5-40 (powered raindrop)
Included ammo 50 (75 on skills 1 & 5)
Max ammo 200 (400 with Bag of Holding)
Ammo type Runes
Shot type Projectile
Velocity 22 map units per tic
(770 map units per second)
Shots per minute 525.0 (regular)
100.0 (powered)
Sound HRNSHT (normal firing)
HRNHIT (normal impact)
HRNPOW (powered firing)
RAMPHIT (powered hit)
Appears in Registered Heretic
Thing type 2004 (decimal), 7D4 (hex)
Radius 20
Height 16
Sprite WSKL (before pickup)
HROD (wielded)
FX00 (projectiles)
FX22 (raindrops)
Class Weapon

Appearance statistics[edit]

In the IWADs the Hellstaff is first encountered on these maps per skill level:

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Hellstaffs per skill level: