Korax

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Korax shooting a group of fireballs at the player.
Korax taunts the player at the start of every hub, sometimes in cryptic messages.
Korax close-up.
Korax's dead body.

Korax is the second Serpent Rider and the final boss of Hexen. Not at all humanoid as D'Sparil is, he has six arms, red eyes, a demonic skeletal face, and a long tail. He has 5000 hit points. According to the manual:

"You have seen inhuman shapes before this, but surely even hell would never spawn such a being as Korax; his very presence fills you with horror, and you cannot begin to imagine what powers are contained within his twisted frame."
― Hexen instruction manual

Korax also appears at the beginning of each hub, with the exception of the Winnowing Hall—though he appears at the start of Seven Portals, the level after Winnowing Hall—where his visage will emerge from a wall of fire to taunt the player. His face will then fade from the wall, and the wall itself will vanish allowing the player to proceed into the hub itself.

Defeating Korax[edit]

Korax is no laughing matter: with a boastable amount of HP and an array of traps and attacks, one who faces this boss should use every single item at their disposal, as there is nothing to use it on afterward.

The first room[edit]

In the beginning, the player should get used to Korax's most significant attack: his six-shooter. Korax will fire one of the various projectile attacks used by enemies throughout the game from each of his six arms. Being hit by all six projectiles will more than likely kill, even with full health. Korax moves extremely slowly, keeping him relatively stationary.

Korax has the ability to manipulate the arena through the use of several traps. When he raises his arm and releases a bolt of lighting, any one of these things will occur:

  • Spikes in the center of the room will rise quickly, starting from the outside and moving to the center (or in the second chamber, from west to east). After about five seconds, they will lower.
  • A majority of the floor will turn to lava. The only place where you are safe is along the middle of the room, so it is wise to stay near there at all times.
  • Spikebomb traps will lower from the ceiling, randomly spewing fireballs all across the room.

Once Korax takes enough damage, he will teleport away and release two waves of other monsters from either side of the room, revealing no fewer than sixteen ettins in each chamber, for a total of thirty two. These small rooms each hold Crystal Vials and a Krater of Might. Kill the ettins, and the barriers behind the rooms that housed them will open as well, leaving you to deal with thirty two centaurs. Kill them and the door in the back of the room will open revealing the second hall where Korax awaits once again.

The second room[edit]

In addition to the above attacks, Korax can also now do the following:

  • Open the barrier-doors on either side of the room and release additional waves of monsters. The first barriers will reveal sixteen green chaos serpents in each of the rooms, and the second barriers will free sixteen dark bishops each.
  • Teleport around. He can teleport to five different places: to the back-left corner of the room, the back-right corner of the room, the back-left side of the first room, the back-right side of the first room, and his original position.
  • Summon ghost creatures. Korax will summon either a pair of ghost ettins, centaurs or green chaos serpents. They function identically to their non-ghost counterparts except that the green chaos serpent's will shoot brown chaos serpent fireballs. They will not have corpses when they die. This is the only time which these spectral versions of the monsters appear in the stock levels.

When he dies, several spirits will burst out of Korax's stomach and roam around, and the exit portal leading to the end of the game will be open at the end of the second hall.

The ghosts that burst out of Korax upon his death will cause damage to you if you get too close. They function just like ghosts from the Wraithverge, but they will not target you, so if you stay back you will be safe.

The player can leave the level without killing any other monsters in the second room other than Korax himself, so it is not necessary to defeat all of the remaining enemies unless they are directly in the way.

Suggestions[edit]

Korax will always teleport in the order detailed above, although he can sometimes teleport in rapid succession. It is advised to learn the path so that it becomes easier to target Korax. But be aware that he can telefrag you if you are on his landing spot.

It is recommended to try to kill Korax in the second hall before he opens the doors releasing the chaos serpents and/or dark bishops making your mission that much harder.

Once the player enters the second hall, the doors leading back to the bridge at the start of the map will close, preventing them from using the switches to get mana. Hence it may be advantageous to not move into the second hall at all during the battle.

  • The Fighter will have the most trouble, as Korax is very difficult to attack close-up. Use Quietus from a medium distance for best results. If the player wishes to attack from a melee distance, it is highly recommended to expend an Icon of the Defender before doing so.
  • The Cleric has it fairly easy with his Wraithverge, although the player may want to conserve mana before entering the second room. Firestorm will take a while but gets the job done.
  • The Mage can use his Arc of Death to lock down Korax for a majority of the time, making it difficult for him to attack or activate traps. Bloodscourge is a faster (albeit riskier) option.

Bugs[edit]

  • Korax's retreat from the first room is not entirely foolproof. He teleports once he enters a walking state and his health has been reduced below a certain level. If he is kept from entering a walking state, he will never retreat and hence can be killed in the first hall. However this will make the level unbeatable as the door to the second hall will remain closed.
    • This bug is very easy to cause with the Cleric's fléchette or Wraithverge, both of which can keep Korax forever in his pain state until death, though you will need Kraters of Might to have enough ammo to cause the bug with the latter.
  • There is also a potential issue with this map in co-op play. If the door to the first hall is closed by a player entering the second hall, resurrected players may not be able to get back to the battle.
    • This could even occur in single play, by accidentally using a Chaos Device.
  • There is also a small visual issue regarding the script where Korax turns the floor to lava. Under certain circumstances, the floor can raise to the height of the marble platform running down the middle of the hall instead of the height of the cross shaped sections Korax stands on when he teleports back to the first hall, as it is suppose to. This has no ill effects on game play, but can create the Hall of mirrors effect around the aforementioned cross shaped sections as the surrounding floor ends up higher than them and the back of the linedefs around the crosses have no lower texture.

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Corvus of Heretic, whose name derives from the same source as Korax.