Hub 1: Guardian of Fire
|Castle of Grief|
|Deathkings of the Dark Citadel|
|Map name: MAP04
Cheat code: visit04
Guardian of Fire is the fourth map in Hexen. It is considered somewhat easy and shorter than other maps.
In the molten depths of the world, death wears a mask of lava and fire. You must brave searing destruction in order to continue onward.
This map has many damaging lava floors and pitfalls. Beating it requires vigilance.
The wall opens in front of you, and 0-2 afrit attack. As you step forward, the floor around your outcropping breaks up and explodes, and lava rises up. You’ll have to run/jump across the damaging lava to the entrance on the right. Here, you’ll enter a large area with a lava pool just ahead, from which several Afrit rise up. On either side are two staircases leading down to a main area with ettins and a lava flow. On the right, an alcove contains a Falcon Shield, and a puzzle switch behind it. Pull it to solve one third of the puzzle on Seven Portals. If you are the mage in a higher difficulty, you will find Frost Shards on the platform at the bottom of the stairs. The main area with the lava flow has several ettins. As you approach, four pillars will open, and more ettins will teleport in. Once you’ve cleared the wave, you can heal with the Crystal Vials on the stairs. The two fire key doors on either side won’t open yet.
To the left/east, a door with a mask on it will open into a new area with a long, narrow bridge over a precipice. As you attempt to cross, the room will quake, the bridge will break up into stepping stones, and the stone door closes at the end. There are fléchettes on the bridge, ettins in higher difficulties, and many afrit in the lava far below. Before attempting to cross the chasm, you should go back to the main lava room and to the eastern sweeping staircase. On the side, you’ll find a new passage has opened. It will have a bullhead switch that opens the stone door at the far end of the precipice room. It also leads to a narrow ledge along the wall you can walk across (see Secrets for more info). At the end, you can simply make one jump back and forth to get the Flame Mask, a puzzle item you’ll need later on. If you choose to take the hard route and cross the stepping stones, the up/down look function will come in useful. You may also want to save before making the attempt.
Once you've attained the Flame Mask and pulled the puzzle switch, it's time to head back to the Seven Portals through the portal at the beginning.
You are at the foot of the stairs in the central room with flowing lava. From here, there are two locked doors opened by the fire key, to the left/east or right/west respectively. You can go through either one or both, it doesn't make too much difference; however, there are different pickups in each side-room alcove: crystal vials to the left/east, and blue mana to the right/west. Either way, you will fight a crowd of ettins and afrits. It is fairly easy to trigger infighting among them if you are so inclined. Once they are dealt with, you will pull a bullhead switch on the wall opposite the alcove. This will activate an elevator to a new area.
You may have noticed that the lava in the main room flowed past a set of bars into another room. You are now in that lower room, and there are even more ettins and afrits to deal with. Once all of the ettins (but not necessarily afrits) are defeated, the lava starts flowing - it forms a river across the room, and the corner platforms with quartz flasks start sinking. If you are fast, you can grab these quartz flasks before the lava destroys them, but be careful - exploding fireballs burst out of the lava which can inflict massive damage. Once things calm down, the bars will open, creating a lava staircase between the upper and lower main rooms. You can use it, but it's unnecessary and you will take lava damage.
On the southern wall, there is a basalt alcove with a flame mask icon. Enter to trigger elevators on either side. These take you up to a small labyrinth of tunnels with enemies and various items. To the east are quartz flasks, to the west, blue mana, and in the central corridor you will find crystal vials and a chaos device in the alcoves. Near the chaos device, there is a teleporter - it takes you to a sealed area where you are confronted with an afrit and ettins who teleport in. In front of you is the puzzle switch, once pulled, you are told that "stairs have risen on the seven portals". From here, you can shift the flame mask blocks to access the rest of the maze if you want to go back (you will notice that the torches are now lit). To proceed, locate the arrow switch on the southern wall behind you, and turn it to travel back to Seven Portals.
You appear in a new part of the level. Ahead of you, a steel barrier slides open and shut. This leads to a steel-themed area, consisting of a larger chasm with a central island and a ledge around it. There will be more afrits to fight. There is a gap to your right, so you should move around the ledge clockwise. This will bring you to a section of steel plates on the northern wall that appear different. Stepping in front of this triggers a pusher trap - it will move forward and try to push you into the pitfall. However, you need to trigger the trap, so just deftly run past (if you are using the wings of wrath, this may not trigger properly; you need to step on the ledge by the steel pusher). Several things will happen. The entrance seals shut, a bridge to the central island rises up, and the central pillar opens to reveal the puzzle switch that you need. Then lava will rise until it fills up most of the pitfall, when it does, more afrits awake and the exit door to the east opens. If you fall into the lava at this point, you can get back up by way of a lowered bridge section at the eastern end. Once you pull the puzzle switch, you are told that "one half of the puzzle has been solved on the seven portals". Your task complete, head out the eastern exit and you will be right back in the main room with flowing lava. From here, you can easily find your way back to the Seven Portals.
Instead of braving the long set of jumping across pillars to get the Flame Mask, there is a secret door in the lava fountain room that leads to an alcove that connects to a small ledge; run across the ledge (note, in some source ports this does not work).
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