Praevus is the main antagonist in Portal of Praevus, and the final boss of the game. He appears as a levitating large humanoid with an extra pair of arms and a frightful demonic face. He is by far the most difficult enemy in Hexen II and one of the, if not the most difficult enemy in the series.
Praevus is an evil sorcerer of great power who has taken over the lost continent of Tulku and has somehow managed to trap the souls of the Serpent Riders with the intent of using them for an unspecified foul purpose. He has caused a bitter winter to envelop the other four continents, bringing great hardship and suffering to their inhabitants. It appears that he is trying to establish complete dominance over the world of Thyrion.
Many of Eidolon's former minions have accepted Praevus as their new master and joined his armies. The Knight Archers, in particular, have undergone a change that adapted them to the harsh arctic climate of Tulku. Praevus is eventually defeated by mortal heroes and the souls of the Serpent Riders are released into the void.
Praevus has a large arsenal of powerful magic from bolts of lightning to causing the arena to collapse around the player.
Praevus has six glyphs that circle him and change shape depending on which attack he is carrying out. They appear to protect him from attack, acting as a shield. The glyphs will disappear as more and more damage is dealt to Praevus. They can be used to predict which attacks are incoming and also act as a marker at much more damage the player has done.
The room where Praevus ‘meditates’ is a room square with three thrones on three sides and a portal on the fourth. Once in a while Praevus will teleport between the thrones. He makes a distinct sound when reappearing and so it is not difficult to find him before he has a chance to attack you from behind.
As he starts to lose health, Praevus will encase himself in a red aura and cause quakes to shake the sanctum apart. This will cause the pillars in the four corners of the arena to collapse. While it is not difficult to avoid being crushed, they do make it more difficult to avoid attacks. The pillars will block off access behind them so the player can’t take cover or use that particular corner to avoid attacks such as the Fire Wall.
Praevus can summon small fires from under the player’s feet. While it is difficult to avoid being hit, it is easy to avoid a lot of damage by simply moving away from the fire. As the player is moving to avoid Praevus’ other attacks, this attack will be dodged without knowing it and so does not pose much of a threat.
Spinning Stars of Death
Praevus will launch around three spinning stars that home in on the player. These are one of his more capable attacks at killing the player as they are very difficult to dodge and do a lot of damage. So it is very easy to be focused on Praevus and all of a sudden be killed from behind by the stars. The pillars provide very little cover from the stars and so the best action to take is to continue moving and strafing.
Praevus will look up to the sky and cause a lightning storm to rain down on the arena. As spectacular as it looks, this attack is not too deadly. The storm will last a few moments but it does not seem to attack the outer area of the arena. So keep moving along the wall and the player should avoid any major damage from this attack.
This is the most powerful attack Praevus uses as it is most damaging and the most difficult to avoid. Praevus will launch a wall of fire (made up of about 10 separate flames) across the ground. It moves slowly but covers a large area of the ground and homes in towards the player. Being caught in the river will deal massive damage and is almost a one-hit-KO if the player does not have high health and armour. The river only lasts a few seconds but as it forces the player to a safe area, it opens him/her to Praevus’ other attacks.
The hub in which the player fights Praevus is split into two rooms. The first is a corridor leading to a portal. The corridor is full of weapons, health, mana and power-ups. This fight is different to other games in that this first room full of stuff can be returned to during the fight. So pick up what is needed and leave the rest. Enter the portal to reach the room where Praevus is waiting. Bare in mind that when returning to this corridor during the fight, Praevus can still attack with his fire magic. So this is not a haven to rest but more of a quick fuel stop.
If the player has saved up loads of Krater of Mights and Quartz Flasks/Urns, then it will make this fight much easier albeit it still won’t be easy. Activate the Tome of Power and start to unload hell with the fourth weapon.
The key to victory is of course to avoid incoming attacks. Keep moving to avoid the Spinning Stars and Fire Summon attacks. As said above, moving along the outer part of the arena seems to be good at completely avoiding the Lightning Storm. As said above, the Fire Wall is the biggest threat. It is fairly slow moving and can easily be dodged. However whilst focusing on the river of fire, be mindful of Praevus’ next attack. The quickest way to die here is to be caught out by Praevus’ next attack. Dodging each attack as they come can become tiring as this fight can last a while. Be careful too with saving. Due to the relentless assault, it is very easy to save right before the player is killed. When teleporting, Praevus does not attack and so this is the best time to save. Although be careful there are no stars still flying about.
As the fight draws on, Praevus will start to use his quake attack and cause the pillars to collapse. This makes the fight more difficult, especially when dodging the Stars and Fire Wall, as sometimes the pillars will fall so that the player cannot go behind them, either to take cover or dodge an attack. Running backwards into the debris can prove fatal very easily. Try to keep a mental note of where the fallen pillars are. Although keep in mind that Praevus’ teleporting will make this more difficult to pinpoint whether the broken pillars are to the right/left or front/back.
Once the fatal hit has been delivered, the death animation will begin. It is identical to the death animations of the Four Horsemen. However unlike the horsemen, any remaining attacks (such as the stars) don’t seem to disappear. So keep on guard for a few moments after Praevus starts to die as it is possible to still be killed as the light pours out of the evil sorcerer.