MAP09: Castle: Programmer's Keep (Strife)


Strife levels (07-12 & 31)
Castle and Temple

Castle and Temple
  • 07-12 & 31
Bishop's Fortress
Commons and Factory
Loremaster and Entity
Extra levels
This level occupies the map slot MAP09. For other maps which occupy this slot, see Category:MAP09.

MAP09: Castle: Programmer's Keep is a level in Strife. It uses the music track "Tribal", and the Programmer serves as the level's boss.

After this level is complete, it and MAP31: Training Facility will no longer be accessible as their entrances will be blocked with rubble. MAP03: Front Base and MAP07: Castle will also be inaccessible, as they are replaced with MAP30: Abandoned Front Base and MAP10: New Front Base respectively due to the Front using the castle as a new base of operations. Their command center is built over the entrance to the audience chamber, so that level will no longer be accessible either.


Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow.

After confronting the False Programmer in the audience chamber, you learn that the real Programmer is waiting in the castle keep and go there to kill him. After defeating the Programmer, who is capable of vaporising attackers using energy bolts, you take an item hanging round his neck and black out. By the time you regain consciousness, The Front has secured the castle and converted it into their new base.

Spoilers end here.


Map of Castle: Programmer's Keep
Letters in italics refer to marked spots on the map. Sector, thing, and linedef numbers in boldface are secrets.


Go through the door to see an image of the Programmer in a room ahead of you; this room is a trap, so turn left or right and go down either passage and open the doors at the end. (When you approach either door, the level entrance will be permanently sealed. If you want to complete the training facility, do so before going any further.) Kill the acolytes in the next room (plus a reaver on Elite or Bloodbath skill levels) and note the altar at the east end of the room decorated with candles. Go round the altar to find a hidden switch on its east side; pull this switch to lower a staircase behind you.

Go down the staircase and kill the acolytes at the bottom (the flamethrower or grenade launcher is effective as they are close together). when you reach the bottom a wall in front of you will open to reveal a large chamber with more acolytes, joined by a crusader on Veteran skill level or higher. Climb up either staircase in this room, and turn around when you reach the top as a wall will open to reveal a crusader - note that all crusaders in this level must be destroyed before you can confront the Programmer. Head through either of the doorways in the east wall and another small room will open east of the water pool, containing acolytes or crusaders along with some pickups.

Regardless of which doorway you have used, look through the transparent grate ahead to see another crusader in the next room on Elite or Bloodbath. Keep heading east and climb a staircase, then destroy the crusader at the top - if this was the last crusader in the level, the walls east of you will lower to reveal an outdoor area with a step pyramid. Enter and you will see a hovering pod at the top of the pyramid; this is the Programmer, who will awaken after a few moments and begin pursuing you. Keep moving as you fight the Programmer; each time he swings his arms, energy bolts will fall on your position which can easily kill you in a couple of hits. Use the assault rifle against the Programmer at a distance and the mini-missile launcher when you get close. If the Programmer is close to the ground, the flamethrower and grenade launcher can also be used.

Once the Programmer dies, you will automatically take the first piece of the Sigil from around his neck and black out, awakening in the Front's new base.

Other points of interest[edit]

As you start the level, you will see a room in front of you with an image of the Programmer. When you approach this image, bars will close behind you to seal you in (they will open again after 30 seconds). Interact with the keyboard in front of the screen and two alcoves will open behind you containing a number of sentinels. Once these enemies are destroyed, jump on the triangular ledges to get into the alcoves, which contain an ammo satchel and three medical kits. In multiplayer, the south alcove also holds a Sigil E weapon.



There are no official secrets on this map.


  • You need to lower a staircase in order to progress. After the stairs, turn to the north and enter the small cave area. In the southwest, there are rocky steps that lead to a small recess in the wall. Press the recess to reveal a surgery kit and a crate of missiles.
  • When you have found the Programmer, lure him away from the step pyramid. Jump up the staircase in front of the pyramid and make your way to the other side of the central building. By pressing the southern arrangement of stone blocks on the easternmost wall, you will reveal a small room that holds two medical kits, a box of bullets and a metal armor. On Veteran or higher, there is also a surgery kit.


Areas / screenshots[edit]


Player spawns[edit]

This level contains fourteen spawn points:

  1. facing south. (thing 218)
  2. facing east. (thing 219)
  3. facing west. (thing 220)
  4. facing north-west. (thing 221)
  5. facing west. (thing 222)
  6. facing south. (thing 223)
  7. facing south-east. (thing 224)
  8. facing east. (thing 236)
  9. facing north. (thing 237)
  10. facing south-east. (thing 238)
  11. facing west. (thing 239)
  12. facing north-east. (thing 252)
  13. facing east. (thing 272)
  14. facing north. (thing 273)


Map data[edit]

Things 302
Vertices 1879*
Linedefs 1886
Sidedefs 2542
Sectors 274
* The vertex count without the effect of node building is 1585.


This level contains the following numbers of things per skill level:

Technical information[edit]

This level makes use of tag 667 - the walls around the Programmer's arena will only lower when all the crusaders in the level are destroyed, and then only if at least one player is still alive. Walkover lines are placed inside the arena at all its entrances so that these walls can be opened from within, ensuring that players do not become trapped during deathmatch.

Inspiration and development[edit]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]