Heretic music


The Heretic soundtrack was created by Kevin Schilder of Raven Software. As should be expected from the fantasy setting of the game, in contrast to Doom's science fiction theme, the music is composed in a completely different style. Heretic's soundtrack is more ambient and has diverse instrumentation, with significant use of percussion, harps, and choral voices. Many tracks are highly rhythmic and evoke an exotic, fantasy action atmosphere similar to typical motion picture soundtracks in the same genre. The Heretic soundtrack was meant to sound "dark, angry, and dissonant," making use of the tritone, diminished chords, and whatever other musical methods "sounded right" to evoke this mood.

The tracks in Heretic are only labeled in the IWAD with the headers of the levels for which they were originally written. Track names, and a few comments, were provided by Schilder after being queried about it, the relevant documents are available here.

Track listing[edit]

Track name Levels Lump Length Notes
Dark E1M1, E3M1, E4M6 MUS_E1M1 02:03 A remixed version appears in Hexen II as CD track 6 / egyp1.mid. "Named for the overall tone. Dark and menacing. It’s in the low strings and timpani. This piece best summarizes the style and tone of all Heretic music and is probably my favorite."
Fred E1M2, E3M6, E4M2 MUS_E1M2 01:56
Ded E1M3, E3M5, E4M3 MUS_E1M3 01:32
Elf E1M4, E2M5, E4M4, E5M5 MUS_E1M4 01:58
Marek E1M5, E3M7, E4M5 MUS_E1M5 01:31 "Marek (the Cleric) was a D&D character created by one of my friends. We always joked about the rhyme of the name. Has nothing to do with the song, but that’s just how I named things sometimes. Whatever popped into my head."
Mist E1M6, E3M4, E4M1, E6M3 MUS_E1M6 01:52 A remixed version appears in Hexen II as CD track 16 / casb2.mid.
Mole E1M7, E4M7 MUS_E1M7 01:43
John E1M8, E4M8 MUS_E1M8 01:20
Atcoty E1M9, E3M8, E4M9 MUS_E1M9 01:12 "This name is an acronym for the song “At The Closing Of The Year” from the movie “Toys”. I love the song, but I think it was the rhythm in the beginning that inspired the timpani in ATCOTY."
Acacia E2M1, E5M1 MUS_E2M1 01:43
Atlas E2M2, E5M2 MUS_E2M2 01:28
Bluroc E2M3, E5M3 MUS_E2M3 01:59 "Named BLUROC because, to me, it had elements of blues and rock. The 12 bar blues pattern mixed with rock drumset."
Build E2M4, E5M4 MUS_E2M4 01:20 "Named for the whole note line that builds or ascends in a scale."
Onyx E2M6, E3M9, E5M6 MUS_E2M6 01:36
Wait E2M7, E5M7 MUS_E2M7 01:48
Arpo E2M8, E5M8 MUS_E2M8 01:38 "Named for the fast, repetitive arpeggio that is heard through most of the piece. I seem to recall doing a copy/paste of that simple triad and playing it back to see how it would sound. It turned into a rhythm that inspired the rest of the song."
Olkin E2M9, E5M9 MUS_E2M9 02:04 "“Olkin”" was taken from an old Genesis song called “The Musical Box”. I have been a big fan of older Genesis for years. I was probably listening to the song and just took the lyric "Old King Cole" and shortened it to "olkin" when I was searching for a quick name.
Drive E3M2, E6M1 MUS_E3M2 01:06 "Named for the relentless mallet part. It drives the pace of the piece and pushes it forward. If you had to actually play that part, it would take a lot of focus and energy to keep up the pace."
Watch E3M3, E6M2 MUS_E3M3 01:28 "Inspired by the song “Watcher of the Skies” by Genesis. Always loved that song. You can’t miss the use of that mixed timing rhythm in the beginning."
Opening MUS_TITL 00:12 "Simply named for the opening piece of the game."
MUS_INTR 00:59
Demo MUS_CPTD 01:06

Original MIDI files[edit]

On July 25, 2023, user The Almighty Egg shared the original MIDI files provided to them by Kevin Schilder in a thread on Doomworld forums.[1] These files have their original timestamps. Some tracks have multiple versions showing their changes during the composing process. Some filenames have an "F" suffix to indicate that this is the final version that is used in the game.

Track name File name Length Date Notes
Acacia ACACIAF.MID 01:42 1994/10/27 Final version
Acacia ACACIAL.MID - 1994/07/28 Abandoned draft[2]
Arpo ARPOF.MID 01:38 1994/10/28 Final version
Arpo ARPPOF.MID 01:38 1994/10/28 Same as ARPOF.MID, maybe it is a duplicate by mistake
Atcoty ATCOTYF.MID 01:12 1994/10/14 Final version
Atlas ATLASF.MID 01:28 1994/10/14 Final version
Bluroc BLUROC.MID 02:13 1994/07/28 Early version
Bluroc BLUROCF.MID 02:00 1994/10/28 Final version
Build BUILDF.MID 01:21 1994/10/18 Final version
Build BUILDING.MID - 1994/07/28 Abandoned draft[3]
Dark DARKF.MID 02:04 1994/10/14 Final version
Ded DEDF.MID 01:32 1994/10/14 Final version
Demo DEMO.MID 00:33 1994/10/19 Early version
Demo DEMOF.MID 01:06 1994/12/06 Final version
Drive DRIVEF.MID 01:07 1994/10/14 Final version
Elf ELF.MID 01:58 1994/09/27 Early version
Elf ELFF.MID 01:58 1994/10/28 Final version
Fred FREDF.MID 01:57 1994/10/28 Final version
Intermission INTER.MID 01:00 1994/12/14 This track was included in Hexen folder for some reason
John JOHNF.MID 01:20 1994/12/14 Final version
Marek MAREKF.MID 01:31 1996/05/30 Final version, its date is probably a mistake because it is after the release of both Heretic and its expansion
Mist MIST.MID 01:53 1994/09/27 Early version
Mist MISTF.MID 01:53 1994/10/28 Final version
Mole MOLE.MID 01:14 1994/07/21 Early version
Mole MOLEF.MID 01:43 1994/10/28 Final version
Olkin OLKINF.MID 02:04 1994/10/14 Final version
Olkin OLKONKOL.MID 02:14 1994/07/28 Early version
Onyx ONYXF.MID 01:37 1994/10/28 Final version
Opening OPENFA.MID 00:13 1994/12/14 Final version
Opening OPENING.MID 00:13 1994/10/19 Early version
Opening OPENINGF.MID 00:13 1994/12/02 Close to final version
Wait WAITF.MID 01:49 1994/10/28 Final version
Watch WATCHF.MID 01:28 1994/10/14 Final version

External links[edit]


  1. The Almighty Egg (25 July 2023). Doomworld forums thread. Doomworld forums. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  2. kschilder (26 July 2023). Doomworld forums post. Doomworld forums. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  3. kschilder (26 July 2023). Doomworld forums post. Doomworld forums. Retrieved 27 July 2023.