The Catacombs

Hell's Maw



E2M5 heretic
Level Chronology

The Ice Grotto
The Glacier (Secret)


The Labyrinth

The Catacombs is the fifth level of Hell's Maw, the second episode of Heretic.

Most of it takes place indoors, within various tunnels and underground chambers, however there are two open areas, one of which in the vicinity of a large lava pit. The level also features a number of strong water currents.

Walkthrough and Secrets

Start by clearing out the monsters. There is one Weredragon up on a ledge near the yellow key, one behind the barred window and a Disciple past the waterfall at the top of the stairs. Now go get the yellow key. If you look carefully at the east branch of the stairs, you will see a switch. Drop down into the hole and get the Dragon Claw, then press the switch to raise the floor.

There is another switch beside the waterway. Press it to lower the water. It gets you into the cell with the barred window. Press the other switch to lower the water again to get out. Head for the yellow door, but do not go inside yet. Across from the door is a small cavern. Get the Torch. If you go through the teleporter, it will send you back to the waterway and is the only way back to the first part of the level from there. Go back to the yellow door.

You will see the blue key (and a weredragon) on a pillar in the middle of a field of volcanic rock. Watch out, there is another weredragon in the barred room to the north. Take them out and get the Tome of Power. The switch opens a door behind you allowing you to continue down the river.

When you go over the falls, wall sections on either side lower containing monsters. When you approach the alcove with the Silver Shield, the passage south opens up. Proceed forward carefully. Go down three tiers. The next step drops you into a fast-flowing channel that will deposit you in a room with an Iron Lich. You can fight the current but it is hard. There is also a switch that provides access to the first secret. It is notable that once you have dropped down to the room below, there is no way back up there for a while. Try to take out the Lich from the channel. When you press the switch, pillars with teleporters will lower in the big room. All the teleporters lead to the same place - a passage above and behind the pillars on the northern side of the room.

Secret 1: Enter the passage to the right. Get the Tome of Power in the small room to the southeast.

Head to the northeast and go through the door. Take out the disciple in the darkened cell to the north. Get the green key. Then head back to the room with the teleporters. There is a gentle current that will push you west. Get the goodies in there and then go up the stairs behind the large picture. Drop down into the next channel and take out the sabreclaws. If you turn around and face south, you can press the wall section to lower a passage back to the big room.

The gentle current will push you towards the green door. Half-way down is an opening to the right. If you go in there, you will recognize the cell with the disciple. If you got secret 1, you should have taken him out already. When you approach the grey pillar, it will lower providing access to the area. Behind the cell is a Mystic Urn and a switch behind it. Press the switch to make the blue key accessible later. If you go down the stairs, a door will open leading to the volcanic rock area under the blue key. Head back to the green door. Go up the stairs and take out the weredragon on the dais. Half-way up the stairs, there are wall sections with the sorcerer motif.

Secret 2: Press the center one on the south side to open an alcove. When you do it, the other five will open containing sabreclaws. Get the Map Scroll and the Morph Ovum.
Secret 3: To the left side of the room with the dais, there is a wall section with the sorcerer motif. Press the wall section to open an alcove. Go through the teleporter. Get the Phoenix Rod and the Enchanted Shield.
Secret 4: Press the wall section ahead to open a passage back to the cell and the waterway back at the start of the level. If you turn around and use the teleporter, you will be taken to the alcove on the other side of the dais. Press the wall section with the sorcerer motif to open it. Go back to the cell and use the switch to lower the waterway and get out. You may have heard some beasties roaring somewhere behind the wall. Drop down and you will see what opened. Take out the weredragon and head down the stairway to the west. At the bottom of the stairs, you will see a brightly-lit room. Get the Tome of Power, Chaos Device and the Greater Runes.

Go finally get the blue key. Proceed the stairs and all the way back to the dais beyond the green door. Go up the narrow passage to the southeast and through the door. Get the blue key but do not use the teleporter or it will take you all the way back to the beginning of the level. If you look to the southwest, you can see a Ring of Invulnerability floating seductively above the deadly floor.

Secret 5: Take a run at the alcove visible to the northwest. Get the Wings of Wrath and use them to safely cross the volcanic rock. Get the ring.
Secret 6: There is a large cave to the southeast full of goodies. Get the Hellstaff and exit through the portal in the passage to the northeast. It takes you back to the beginning of the level.

Go all the way back to the blue door. Use the cell accessible from the waterway as a shortcut back. Take out the last two monsters and exit the level.


Single-Player Stats


HereticStatIcon Difficulty Level
1-2 3 4-5
GargoyleIcon 20 32 39
FireGargoyleIcon 5 9 11
GolemIcon - - -
NitrogolemGhostIcon - - -
NitrogolemIcon - - -
GolemGhostIcon - - -
UWIcon - - -
UWGhostIcon - - -
DiscipleIcon 3 3 4
WeredragonIcon 7 13 18
SabreclawIcon 11 19 23
OphidianIcon - - -
LichIcon 1 1 1
MaulotaurIcon - - -
SerpentIcon - - -
DsparilIcon - - -
Total 47 77 96

Weapons and Ammo

HereticStatIcon Difficulty Level
1-2 3 4-5
GauntletsSprite 1 1 1
CrossbowSprite 1 1 1
DragonClawSprite 1 1 1
HellstaffSprite 1 1 1
PhoenixRodSprite 1 1 1
FiremaceSprite - - -

HereticStatIcon Difficulty Level
1-2 3 4-5
WandCrystalSprite 38 33 31
GeodeSprite 2 1 1
EtherealArrowSprite 7 6 8
EtherealQuiverSprite 1 1 -
ClawOrbSprite 28 25 23
EnergyOrbSprite 1 1 1
LesserRuneSprite 9 7 9
GreaterRuneSprite 3 3 1
FlameOrbSprite 2 4 4
InfernoOrbSprite 2 1 1
MaceSphereSprite 5 5 4
MaceSpherePileSprite 1 1 1


HereticStatIcon Difficulty Level
1-2 3 4-5
CrystalVialSprite 58 48 33
QuartzFlaskSprite 5 5 4
MysticUrnSprite 1 1 1
SilverSheildSprite 1 1 1
EnShieldSprite 1 1 1
TorchSprite 1 1 1
MapScrollSprite 1 1 1
BOHSprite 1 1 1
ShadowsphereSprite 1 1 1
TomePowerSprite 3 3 3
InvRingSprite 1 1 1
WingsSprite 1 1 1
ChaosDeviceSprite 1 1 1
EggSprite 1 1 1
TimeBombSprite - - -

Multiplayer Stats

To be Added


  • There is a missing texture at the western end of the great underground hall (the one with the horseman picture). The flaw causes the ceiling flat of the lower ceiling to leak over the wall. As the flat is dark and gray, it matches well to the neighboring walls. When the wall is also located fairly high, the anomaly is not so easy to notice.

External Links

Heretic - Episodes & Levels
Episode 1
City of the Damned
The DocksThe DungeonsThe GatehouseThe Guard TowerThe CitadelThe Cathedral
The CryptsHell's MawThe Graveyard
Episode 2
Hell's Maw
The CraterThe Lava PitsThe River of FireThe Ice GrottoThe CatacombsThe Labyrinth
The Great HallThe Portals of ChaosThe Glacier
Episode 3
The Dome of D'Sparil
The StorehouseThe CesspoolThe ConfluenceThe Azure FortressThe Ophidian Lair
The Halls of FearThe ChasmD'Sparil's KeepThe Aquifer
Episode 4
The Ossuary
CatafalqueBlockhouseAmbulatorySepulcherGreat StairHalls of the Apostate
Ramparts of PerditionShattered BridgeMausoleum
Episode 5
The Stagnant Demesne
Ochre CliffsRapidsQuayCourtyardHydratyrColonnadeFoetid Manse
Field of JudgementSkein of D'Sparil
Extra Episode
Fate's Path
Raven's LairThe Water ShrineAmerican's Legacy

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