Sabreclaw horde in Heretic E4M1: Catafalque

The Sabreclaw is a moderate-level enemy species in Heretic that first appears on episode 2. The Sabreclaw seems to be metallic, have no blood and explodes when killed, though it is unknown how they came to be. It has a bladed tail, and axe-handed claws, which it uses to slice into enemies with.

Description from the manual: These hideous abominations of the dark world move bloody fast and possess deadly sharp blades for appendages. They can't fly and they can't shoot, but in close combat they'll tear you to ribbons.

Tactical analysis[edit]

Sabreclaws are harmless if you can keep distance between you and them, or a barrier. They also have a very low mass meaning most weapon fire will knock them back, however they are quick to recover.

When killed, Sabreclaw sometimes drops Lesser Runes.


ID # 90 (decimal), 5A (hex)
Hit points 150
Speed 14 map units per frame
(163.3 map units per second)
Width 40
Height 64
Reaction time 8
Pain chance 32 (10.16%)
Mass 75
Bits 4718598
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

19: No Blood

22: Affects Kill %

5: Floor Clip

12: Pass Mobj

Sprites & sounds
Sprite name CLNK
Alert sound CLKSIT
Action sound CLKACT
Pain sound CLKPAI
Death sound CLKDTH
Melee attack
Damage 3-9
Sound CLKATK (swinging and repeated if landing a blow)
Slashes needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
? ? ? ?
Player (100%
health, Silver Shield)
? ? ? ?
Player (200%
health, Enchanted Shield)
? ? ? ?
Player Chicken ? ? ? ?
Bad Guy Chicken ? ? ? ?
Gargoyle ? ? ? ?
Fire Gargoyle ? ? ? ?
Golem (normal and ghost) ? ? ? ?
Nitrogolem (normal and ghost) ? ? ? ?
Undead Warrior (normal and ghost) ? ? ? ?
Disciple of D'Sparil ? ? ? ?
Weredragon ? ? ? ?
Ophidian ? ? ?
Iron Lich ? ? ? ?
Maulotaur ? ? ? ?
Green Chaos Serpent ? ? ? ?
D'Sparil ? ? ? ?

  1. These tables assume that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, impact animations, backfire checks, and smoke trails are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. Hardcoded exception to infighting negates damage (excepting indirect damage caused by exploding puff pods).

Appearance statistics[edit]

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

The IWADs contain the following numbers of sabreclaws per skill level: