Strife sequence breaks
Strife: Quest for the Sigil is unique amongst Doom engine games by including an extensive plot carried out in real time that can be affected by the player's choices. As a result of the added complexity together with insufficient defensive programming and level design by the game's developers, various sequence breaks exist within the game.
- 1 What constitutes a sequence break?
- 2 Sequence breaks
- 2.1 Fast route in the sanctuary
- 2.2 Skip the prison
- 2.3 Skip sewers backtracking 1
- 2.4 Skip first visit to castle and second trip to sewers
- 2.5 Skip sewers backtracking 2
- 2.6 Kill the Oracle early
- 2.7 Kill Macil early
- 2.8 Catacomb jump
- 2.9 Conversion Chapel glide
- 2.10 Factory bridge jump
- 2.11 Escape the bad ending
- 3 See also
What constitutes a sequence break?
Sequence breaking is defined as an action or series of actions taken by the player within a game which defy the intended order of events within the game's design or programming, typically allowing the game to be completed faster for purposes of a speed run, and occasionally only useful for observing unintended side effects or glitches. For purposes of Strife, things which are not included in the definition of sequence breaking are anything enabled solely through the use of cheats, or via command line parameters such as -altdeath.
Also not included are obviously deliberate shortcuts and back doors, several of which are known to exist and enable faster or more stealth-oriented game play. Such shortcuts are only mentioned when they result in the game's characters behaving inconsistently or saying things which are non sequitur, which would indicate that the level designers or programmers did not properly anticipate that sequence of events.
Several sequence breaks in this game are directly related to bugs in the game engine. Where use of a given glitch is required to accomplish the sequence break, it will be directly linked.
Fast route in the sanctuary
The player is intended to go right at the beginning of the sanctuary and activate a series of switches in order to raise the walkway to the left, which leads to the area in which Beldin is being held prisoner. However, as a result of posts placed along the periphery of the lowered walkway, it is possible to simply jump across with a precise series of jumps from post to post and take the left path immediately.
Skip the prison
It is possible to skip the prison entirely. When speaking to Governor Mourel in order to obtain the prison pass, accept his "bloody" quest which requires a visit to the power station to kill Derwin. Instead of killing Derwin, go to the left at the junction which leads to the power station or the warehouse in order to find a red acolyte standing guard over the power station's entrance. This guard drops a "Power Key 1", which, if manipulated into falling onto the window sill, can be picked up and used to gain early entrance into the power station and the power crystal. For additional speed, this trick can be combined with an intentional backdoor into the power station's core which bypasses the need to collect Power Key 2.
It should be noted that manipulating the key to land on the window sill can be exceptionally difficult, due to the fact that items dropped in Strife by dying enemies are thrown in a pseudo-random direction. This leaves the trick almost impossible to accomplish within a strictly single-segment run (ie., no saving allowed), outside of the possibility of tool-assisted runs.
Skip sewers backtracking 1
It is possible to immediately head toward the acolyte who possesses the guard uniform that Weran wishes the player to collect for him at the beginning of the sewers. This causes Weran to skip forward in his dialogue to accepting the uniform from the player and opening up the passage to the Order's castle and the second part of the sewers.
Skip first visit to castle and second trip to sewers
By using the burning players can exit levels glitch at the side entrance to the castle that exists within the first part of the sewers, it is possible to skip immediately to the Front's attack on the castle. This will result in being reborn within the castle at the player 1 start point, which is near the main gate, but without any stat upgrades, weapons, ammo, or inventory. Most of this can be regained by visiting the audience chamber and the training facility.
Skip sewers backtracking 2
Within the second part of the sewers, it is possible to use a combination of an SR40 with Strife's jump feature to leap the gap between the starting area and the castle gate mechanism, eliminating the need to find the switch which raises the sewer water to the level of the nearby sectors and then backtrack to this point. According to speed runner Przemysław Woda (Belial), this trick saves enough time to make abuse of the "phoenix rebirth" shortcut discussed above not worth the hassles it creates for a run performed at Bloodbath skill level.
Kill the Oracle early
On the "bad ending" path, it is possible to kill the Oracle immediately after he opens the door to the Proving Grounds. Doing so will grant the player the fourth piece of the Sigil, making the Loremaster easier to defeat, as well as totally eliminating any need to backtrack through the Proving Grounds to the Oracle's temple.
Kill Macil early
On the "good ending" path, it is possible to kill Macil immediately after speaking with Richter in the Order Commons. When doing this, you will be told to return to the Oracle, even though the Oracle is already dead. It is important to note that killing Macil before speaking with Richter is also possible, but will lead to an unwinnable scenario in which Richter will no longer converse with the player or open the passage to the catacombs. Doing this correctly saves a significant backtracking event from being necessary after destruction of the converter in the Order's factory, and also grants the player early use of the fourth piece of the Sigil.
Skip the Conversion Chapel and get the bad ending
When killing Macil early on the "good ending" path, it is possible to entirely skip the Conversion Chapel. Approaching from the Mines, the door leading to Factory: Manufacturing will open early, allowing immediate access to that level and eventually, the Loremaster. However, doing this will cause the bad ending to occur, even though the Oracle was killed first.
On the pathway to the Ruined Temple in the catacombs there is a series of raised square platforms, the last of which is lowered and is intended to be raised by a switch in an alcove at floor level below the platforms, requiring a long trip back around after activation of the switch. The gap created by the missing platform can be easily cleared by simply running forward and jumping.
Conversion Chapel glide
A glide exists in the Conversion Chapel whereby one of the "red crystal" or the "blue crystal" keys may be skipped. After obtaining one or the other (the blue crystal being the faster of the two to grab), use it to lower one half of the pillars blocking the way to the converter. The player must stand nestled against the diagonal gap which is created in the center, and then fire grenades such that they bounce off of something nearby and land back at his or her feet. Holding back into the gap while running as the grenades explode will result in the player being forced through the gap, and access to the converter will be granted. A teleporter exists in the converter room which makes the trip back a non-issue.
It may be possible to accomplish the glide without the use of an explosion, but this so far remains unknown.
Factory bridge jump
In Factory: Receiving, the player is meant to go around the large circular area behind the gates which only open after Macil has been killed in order to raise a bridge over the water which leads to the next part of the factory. However, a skillfully executed strafe run and jump from the ledge behind the door can clear this gap immediately, making the bridge and the significant number of enemies guarding it a waste of time.
Escape the bad ending
It is possible to escape the bad ending path, which begins by making the choice to trust the Oracle and kill Macil. After the Oracle opens his passage to the Front's Proving Grounds, instead of entering the teleporter, walk around it and stand as close as possible to the edge of it against the wall that is behind it. Hidden on this wall is an exit switch which is only meant to be used during deathmatch play. Triggering this switch instead of entering the teleporter will lead to being spawned at the first player start point in the Proving Grounds, which bypasses a line trigger meant to seal off the nearby entrance to the factory.
By backtracking through the factory to the catacombs, it is possible to meet Richter, free the workers in the mines, and destroy the converter. Doing so will lead to a unique event at the end of the game. When approaching the Entity, he will still speak in Blackbird's voice, which ordinarily only occurs when obtaining the bad ending to the game. However, upon defeating the enemy, the good ending will be obtained, whereby the player meets Blackbird and the virus plaguing mankind is cured.