Morph Ovum


A Morph Ovum found in E1M3: The Gatehouse.

Torpol's Morph Ovum in Heretic is different from the other artifacts. When it is used, several projectiles, which look like eggs, are fired in a spread, similar to that of the ethereal crossbow. Monsters hit by one of the projectiles will transform into a chicken. In this state, they become very easy for the player to kill.

If the player gets hit by a Morph Ovum projectile, they will transform into a chicken, and will have only 30% of their health. They cannot go over that limit and are more vulnerable to enemies. There is an advantage to this state in that the small size allows the player to go under low ceiling areas which would otherwise not be reachable. While in the chicken state, the player has a very weak "pecking" attack that deals 1-4 damage and is unable to use any equipped weapons. However, if you can kill another player while being a chicken, or get hit by another Morph Ovum while already transformed, you turn into a super chicken. Once you become a super chicken, your beak deals 4-32 damage. In addition, the small size and extremely fast movement of a player turned into a chicken can make for a difficult target during deathmatch.

The effect of the Morph Ovum wears off after 40 seconds, returning players and monsters back to normal after a while. Health for players returns to 100%.

The Morph Ovum is useless against iron liches, maulotaurs, and D'Sparil (and his chaos serpent).

This item is included in the items percentage displayed at the end of each level.

When killed, iron lich have a ~20% chance to drop a Morph Ovum.


Players who have been transformed into chickens by the Morph Ovum may return to their normal state immediately by using a Tome of Power if one is available.


Morph Ovum data
Thing type 30 (decimal), 1E (hex)
Enum MT_ARTIEGG (10)
Appears in Shareware Heretic
Heretic/SSR expansion
Radius 20
Height 16
Sprite EGGC
Frames 4 [ABCB]
Class Item
Flags 8388609 (decimal)
00800001 (hex)
Flags list 0: Can be picked up
23: Affects item %
Flags2 524288 (decimal)
00080000 (hex)
Flags2 list 19: Float bobbing movement

Appearance statistics[edit]

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

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Morph Ovums per skill level:

Other games[edit]

The same item reappears in Heretic II, but as a spell. Hexen has a similar item, the Porkalator, which turns enemies into pigs. Another similar item appears in Hexen II and is called the "Seal of the Ovinomancer". It turns enemies into sheep.


  • Morph Ovum sprites, modified to have a golden hue, are present in the Hexen IWAD but unused in the game as the item was replaced with the Porkalator which transforms its victims into piglets.
  • It is possible to turn yourself into a chicken with your own projectiles in vanilla Heretic single player. To do this, the player has to use the Morph Ovum artifact and outrun their projectiles (they normally pass through without affecting the player who fired them), then save the game. Upon reloading, the game forgets who fired the projectiles and the player will turn into a chicken. This glitch is confirmed to work with the original DOS version of the game. It may work with source ports such as Chocolate Heretic and Crispy Heretic, though it has not been tested yet to confirm this. The glitch does not work in vanilla Hexen (in that game there are other ways to turn into a pig), nor does it work in ZDoom based source ports. This glitch may only be useful for speedrunning, as it has no real use in a single player game, with the possible exception of certain PWADs that require the player to be turned into a chicken to access various low-ceiling areas that otherwise would not be available in human form.

See also[edit]