Where HeXen Ends, the True Nightmare Begins. Deathkings of the Dark Citadel is the only official expansion of the original HeXen game. This add-on pack features 20 new single player levels from the original HeXen team as well as a host of new multiplayer options.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (38 reviews) - 71% of the 38 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 1, 1996

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Buy HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel

Packages that include this game

Buy Heretic + Hexen Collection

Includes 4 items: Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders, HeXen II, HeXen: Beyond Heretic, HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel


About This Game

Where HeXen Ends, the True Nightmare Begins. Deathkings of the Dark Citadel is the only official expansion of the original HeXen game. This add-on pack features 20 new single player levels from the original HeXen team as well as a host of new multiplayer options.

Deathkings of the Dark Citadel was the first true game expansion that Raven Software ever produced. In addition to providing three new hubs for the original HeXen, the Deathkings expansion was the first multiplayer game that allowed eight players to connect to a LAN simultaneously.

System Requirements

    Minimum: A 100% Windows XP/Vista-compatible computer system

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Mostly Positive (38 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
This is a follow-up review for Hexen. If you haven't read it I'd recommend doing so to get the gist of what it's all about in order to get the most out of this one. Thank you!

Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel is the only official expansion pack for Hexen and developed once again by Raven Software, released a year after the base game. Unlike most expansions released for shooters around this time period Raven don't outsource theirs to third parties but prefer to create their own. As such the quality of the expansion is more or less on par with the original title, which will either be a good or a bad thing depending on how much you enjoyed or loathed Hexen overall.

Deathkings continues the story of Hexen, shortly after the defeat of Korax, the three heroes come upon the source of Korax's power: the Chaos Sphere, an ancient artifact that can create new worlds or destroy them, and appears to be kept inside its own pocket dimension. During the ending sequence of the original game the player is poised to take the Chaos Sphere for their own use, but is warned that there still exists other beings more powerful than them, foreshadowing Hexen II. However in Deathkings it's revealed that when the player takes the Chaos Sphere they are whisked away to the Realm of the Dead, which is occupied by Korax's broken armies, and the heroes must find their way back home. This is very similar to what happens to Corvus in Heretic when D'Sparil dies but not before uttering a curse to condemn Corvus to a similar fate in the game's fourth and fifth episodes. It's never mentioned whether this was a result of the Chaos Sphere's own power or a curse laid by Korax in Deathkings' scenario, but according to the game box description the Chaos Sphere is powerless in the Realm of the Dead and the heroes must overcome the Deathkings, the rulers of this forsaken place who reside in the Dark Citadel.

Whereas Hexen had five hubs to complete Deathkings has roughly half that at three (technically there's four but the latter's reserved for deathmatch only and cannot be visited in single player) at around twenty levels and contain pretty much every theme visited in the original game, like swamps and wilderness areas, castle and seminary themed locations, only re-envisioned and mixed up. Even all the puzzle items and keys used in the base game are back and recycled but handled in a different order. It's almost as if the Realm of the Dead mocks all your efforts to get to this point and makes you do them all over again, only in traditional expansion pack fashion: it's going to be a lot harder now. I'd argue that the first hub Blight is the most difficult to endure and definitely the most confusing to navigate, with the remaining hubs Constable's Gate and Nave being less of a headache and a bit more streamlined.

Combat was never a huge focus in Hexen like it was in Heretic (unless you were on the highest difficulties) due to the stronger emphasis on puzzle solving and exploration, but here you'll be doing a lot more fighting, as it appears that every foe you've slain in Hexen has come back to get even with you plus more and they're more heavily concentrated and in greater numbers. You will not be afforded a single breather this time around, and the occasional Ettin spawning into the level was replaced by practically an entire battalion of monsters spawning in after a while if you take too long to get things done. The Death Wyvern, a pitiful boss in Hexen was brought back and now there's four of them flying around in a level early on and each one must be killed in order to progress the hub. This is very difficult to pull off with the Fighter and Cleric until you find their third weapon and even then the Fighter is guaranteed to have the hardest time as none of his weapons have hitscan properties like the Cleric and Mage have access to. You'll also be dealing with a couple Heresiarchs later on again just the same as in Hexen but if you've developed a good strategy against them they won't be any harder.

As for the final encounter the 'Deathkings' are your former Masters again, as Korax's gift of Unlife has allowed them to continue their reign of power in the Realm of the Dead, and they must be slain once again in order to return to the world of the living. Heretic's extra episodes also recycled the Iron Lich and Maulotaur boss fights as it wouldn't make sense to see the Serpent Riders alive again. Still a lazy ending and makes me wish Raven would've considered adding actual new content beyond just another set of levels.

That's really the biggest flaw with this expansion is that it's nothing you haven't already seen before and exists solely to sate appetites for diehard fans of the original. There's no new textures, no new music, no new enemies, no new weapons, no new items, nothing new to really talk about in this review, just a collection of maps that as a whole I think is a weaker campaign than the original's, but ultimately they're not too awful. The levels are for the most part fairly well designed and there can be some pretty cool moments and if you really enjoyed Hexen and want more this is essentially the most you'll ever get again as there's very little user made content available for it. Another issue I can cite is the strange lack of music, while it re-uses Hexen's the soundtrack in version 1.0 of Deathkings is still associated with the levels of the original game, not those of the expansion. There's a small patch (dkpatch.zip) that was released and updates HexDD.wad re-enabling the music and upgrades it to version 1.1.

Once again if you're a diehard fan of Hexen I'll still recommend it but if not then there's nothing to see here.

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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 25, 2014
Completed: 8/25/14 in 13 hrs on Cardinal (Hard) Diffculty.

I decided to up the difficulty for the playthough of this expansion and let me tell you it was much more difficult then expected. The worst enemies are those damn Swamp Stalkers. They hide in the water and in doing so they are untargetable and likely to ambush you. One map also had 4 Death Wyverns in it and the first game had it was a boss. They really tried to up the difficulty this time around.

Deathkings as well as the original Hexen included an inventory system and character selection. They should have added some new mobs or a new playable character in the expansion as they did with Hexen II but I forgive you guys. :)

Deathkings is a fun game if you don't mind the retro PC graphics and gameplay. It tells you how far we have come in the genre, why some newer titles have failed. Because you don't need high resolution textures for a game it just needs to be fun and Deathkings does that. Incredibly difficult.

I fear the art of Hexen will never again be replicated. The 90s are over.
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
Posted: December 20, 2011
Good old Hexen and its Add Ons. Me and my friends played this for hours and hours killing each other, playing COOP ect. I think the atmosphere survived the ages, but for some reason the gameplay/graphics feel so poor I cannot bring myself to go back and play it again... yet Duke Nukem and DOOM I can easily play again.

This game was not made for those faint at heart. It was difficult, dark, and strange. You can get stuck on some level for hours that would normally only take 10 minutes because they would hide buttons, hidden triggers, or just the requirement of killing a monster hidden behind a glass window you can only shoot from a distance.

The three chars to choose from are very very different and add a interesting element to the game that old school games really didn't have. I would only get it for Nastagia, for those that never played it... you will not like this game.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
At first, it seemed like a sloppy mod rather than an expansion, but over time it grew on me as I noticed everything it had to offer. This is more of what the first game offered, but I have to say that the level design here is a lot more impressive, with tons of subtle details. The moving floors, the earthquakes, the objects that talk back, the way the ground has a more natural flow, such as the ice in the caves merging with the rock, all are good creative steps forward from the original and seem genuinely inspired.
My only complaint is that most of the time, it only uses assets from the original game. Same textures, same enemies, same classes, same items. It's still really fun, but I can't see why the only new things here are the levels. I would have loved to at least fight a new final boss, rather than an endurance run of monsters and all the classes. Oh well.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 18, 2015
HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel is an expansion pack for Hexen, released in 1996. It doesn't feature any new gameplay elements, instead it adds more hard levels for single player and adds more levels and improvements for Multiplayer and Deathmatch. But since everybody uses Zandronum for multiplayer in Doom engine games anyway, it's only just more levels.

Now, if you will try to play the game right as it was installed by Steam you will be met by disaster. It really got to be the worst out of all games that id software published here.
Most importantly, the game is unpatched. It's original release. A flawed original release, where develoeprs somehow forgot to link music of Hexen to new levels. So, unless you download and patch the game up, you will have to enjoy some silence. Amazing. Check community guides on how to do that.
Then, as usual, DosBox isn't configured good. It lags and so you have to go to game's directory, open the needed .conf file and edit "ddraw" output to "opengl" one.
And then if you want to choose your control and music device, then you will have to go to game's folder again and drag "setup" file over "dosbox" to launch it.

Expansion pack pulls quite an excuse plot twist to justify action: The evil or the sphere teleported you away into land of the dead where you have to defeat Deathkings before being able to return. Who are they anwyay. Ah, right, they just reuse end bosses from Hexen.

So, game adds three new hubs to conquer. Which totals in around 30 levels. They don't use any new textures. Though there are some interesting inviroments anyway. But it's more of Hexen but harder.

The thing is, Hexen was already too dragged. It didn't had enough of variety in combat and weapons for each class. It had tedious part. And bringing even more levels that are also harder and bring no new gameplay elements, well, it's not a good idea. At all.
Yes, it has a sin of using bosses of Hexen as tough enemy. You fight big mage demon at the first level of the second hub already.

It doesn't help that I had glitch two different glitches on the first hub. First, there weren't enough of fire masks, key items, in the first world. Yes, I checked with walkthrough on all spots. Somehow, there wasn't. Somehow. And then on another level magic bridge just didn't appear either. And wyverns, bosses of Hexen, got stuck in walls too. So, watch out on first hub.

And main problem and difference in difficulty is monster respawn.
Original Hexen would spawn Ettins, common melee weak enemies, after each 10 minutes. Or at least it feels so. It was there just so player will not get lonely while being lost.
Dark Citadel rushes you down and beats you up. It can spawn hordes of any kind of enemy more often. And shielding centaurs that are incredibly annoying or flying imps that shoot fireballs at you aren't good enemies to respawn.
What it means is that you will have to rush levels down, having to solve "puzzles", saving/loading and doing other things while being rushed down and under constant heavy pressure. Killing enemies in this game doesn't bring any benefit, there is no leveling or such. You only waste mana and time. A lot of them. So you will have to try not to pay attention to them as you have to rush rush rush your way. And if you get lost, like everybody does in Hexen, then it will not be pretty.
It gets really bad on the main level of the last hub, Citadel itself. It's pretty much a hall with teleporters and switches. With water pools for no reason. And enemies not only respawn all time there, they also teleport around when reaching water pools for some reason, with without any special effect. You will be telefragged at least once.

Actually, perhaps it's easier to play as Mage here. His basic weapon, that don't require mana, is a ranged one.

So, Deathkings isn't good expansion pack It feels like it just milks on Hexen more. It's hard not in a good way, it's buggy, it brings nothing new outside of levels and it just makes Hexen outstay it's welcome. You miss nothing.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
It's more Hexen, what else do you want?
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
This is an expansion pack for Hexen - it adds more levels for the singleplayer and the multiplayer.
This game still suffers from the same problems the original Hexen suffers from – The really annoying puzzles, so if you enjoyed Hexen then you'll enjoy this expansion.
The version that is on Steam as it is, is a disaster - the game version is the unpatched one (1.0) which means that music is not working. To fix that you will need to download and patch the game up (Check community guides for instruction), even though it's id software job to do this from the beginning before releasing the game in that state.
Also because the DosBox version is outdated and isn't configured to modern systems, then the game will lag – to fix that download the ZDOOM or configure it yourself (again check the community guides).
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
Hexen: Deathkings of the dark citadels *7/10

Developed by Raven Software, This Hexen expansion adds three more Hubs to play in. It's an immidiate sequel of the original first chapter. Actually there's not much to say, this expansion shares all the goods and the bads of the original title, besides the fact that all the levels results Tougher than the original game. You don't have any new monster and there's not really a Final boss as scary as the Second Serpent Rider Korax, yet ther's a nice final surprise.
Sharing the same aspects of the original title means we will be able again to choose our class before beginning our game. Warrior, Cleric And Mage are still the three classes we might choose, affecting our gameplay in the same way as the classic Hexen. You still have the inventory system with the pleasant improvement where you keep all your items quantity in your inventory instead of just loosing all backups but one per each item once you proceed to the next hub.
As usual this game is released with DosBox to launch with. Fortunately they didn't even try to clumsily implement any mouse configuration as done in the horrible DooM releases.
Since this is an expansion with no significative innovations I'll keep the same PROs And CONs.

  • STRUCTURE. Clearly the all new structure of the levels is an innovation that, paired with puzzles in the minor levels, gives the game a big playability by making the player moving back and forth from more maps. This way, even though you will end up re-visiting the same place many times you have the illusion of a bigger world. Honestly this always had the look of a maze to me, but I've never really tried that much. In this expansion even though there's less Hubs and levels it is structured to be more complicated and difficult, representing a bigger challenge for the Classic title fans.
  • FANTASY. Following the fantasy atmosphere from its predecessor Hexen does a bigger job by renewing the locations and making the game with a bit darker tones. in my opinions it's a bit scarier and ominous than Heretic.
  • GAMEPLAY. Besides the ability to look up and down already introduced in Heretic, Now you can jump as well. Nothing too useful but at least that's a step forward XD. And just like Heretic you still have the inventory system with some old items already seen in Heretic and other useful and interesting tools. Note that some of these tools have a different functions according to the class you choose.
  • MODS & COMMUNITY. You can find mods, and other stuff. But most importantly, there are custom ports with graphical and gameplay improvement or guides, both in steam and in other sites, with tricks and advices on replacing DosBox with better ports and implementing the Steam Overlay.
  • MUSIC. Unfortunately i didn't enjoy that much almost any of the tracks in the game, unlike its predecessor Heretic.
  • STEAM OVERLAY. As usual, like on every other old steam release running on DosBox, there's no Steam Overlay.
  • STRUCTURE. Even though this is a new kind of structure I personally didn't enjoy it too much because it forces me to visit and revisit the same leves again and again before proceeding to the next hub, resulting in a repetitive gameplay.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 7, 2015
This one is a LOT harder than the original HeXen. Even at the easiest setting, ennemy respawn is infinite! Still, it is a nice HeXen spin-off.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Posted: December 16, 2010
Who could forget the unforgettable tale of Deathkings of the Dark Citadel? No one because it's unforgettable.
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Recently Posted
Lunar Reactor
9.8 hrs
Posted: August 24
It's pretty much like the main game, but a lot harder. Every monster can respawn, which is a pain in the a** sometime, but you get used to it. You just have to patch the game to version 1.1 and use GZDoom or something else and you're ready to go! (just rename GZDoom to "dosbox" if you want to launch Deathkings of the Dark Citadel via steam)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 23
Very difficult. But much loved.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.5 hrs
Posted: July 8
If you played Turok on N64, this game will feel familiar. The level-design is amazing, actually complex. Unfortunately, the decision to make the game about finding hidden objects ruins the experience for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
8.9 hrs
Posted: March 8
Great expansion to a great game.

Not as enthralling as the first... not really too much new stuff.

Just more HeXen.

If you love HeXen it's worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.9 hrs
Posted: February 18
Hexen + Dark Souls Difficulty = This Expansion.
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10.0 hrs
Posted: January 19
very great game. fun time.
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0.3 hrs
Posted: December 27, 2015
Fantastic! I love playing this on Doomseeker with others.
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