RISE OF THE TRIAD
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on June 14, 2019
Ah good, you're back! That comes as a huge relief, ladies and gentlemen. You see, we (Dennis and yours truly) inadvertently came about this close to destroying the universe (yes, again!) in our battle against the security AI gone haywire. As you may recall, said AI left me mostly in peace, while reigning down fiery hell on poor Dennis' head whenever it had the chance. Now, I like pestering Dennis as much as the next guy, but what I will not stand for is when my colleague is brutally and constantly assaulted by a deadly barrage of candy canes, snow globes and other tacky gift shop weaponry!
So, I dug up my trusty machete and kissed my Minnie goodbye. Yes, yes, I know it's not normal for a grown man to be infatuated with a mouse! I already told Dennis that it's not the suit that gets me going, it's who is in the suit that counts. And I would you believe that the overgrown girl mouse turned out to be none other than the ever graceful and still totally foxy Jennifer Connelly herself! Am I lucky or what?! In any case, I took my machete and had a good and meaningful conversation about the dangers of edged weapons with the evil AI. Now, I will not go into too much detail here, but rest assured that it won't be bothering us again! What I didn't factor in is that the quantum computer at the very heart of the AI was, in the event of defeat, set to implode with such a force that it threatened to take the entire damn universe with it.
Luckily (and quite unexpectedly, I might add) Dennis came to the rescue when he stormed in with a quantum computer implosion containment unit, made up entirely out of Nokia 3310's and Chuck Norris' chest hairs. Now, I don't want to know how Dennis managed to procure that last item, but I'm sure glad he did. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here, talking to you guys. Actually, you guys wouldn't be here as well, seeing as how the entire universe would be in absolute shambles right now. But, since we're all still alive, let's take another trip on the most awesome machine on the planet: our very own Big Red Timemachine!
Today, my friends, we're shooting for the year 1995, and when I say shooting, I mean shooting! No, we're not pussy-footing around here; we've got lots and lots of people to save. How will we do that? Well, by killing a few hundred others! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls; It's time to seriously kick the collective behinds of an evil cult and stop them from destroying Los Angeles. It's time to get serious, load up on weapons and ammo and play some Rise of the Triad!
Created by Apogee Software, the full version of Rise of the Triad was released on February 17, 1995 for DOS, about two months after Apogee had released a shareware version of the game. Originally envisioned as a sequel to the popular Wolfenstein 3D, Rise of the Triad used many of the key features that Wolfenstein 3D did. The game ran on an enhanced version of the original engine, which made it possible for the game to utilize multiple "floors" within a level. This meant that the gameplay was no longer restricted to just walking, but you could now also jump over enemies or obstacles by using launch-pads or discover a secret hallway that was much higher up than the ground. Also, the developers incorporated levitating panels which would form a set of stairs or levitating paths for the player to use to his or her advantage.
Rise of the Triad also looked the part and made a pretty big leap in visuals, compared to Wolfenstein 3D. The enemy characters in the game were all played by Apogee staff and friends or family, after which the art department set out to digitize these performances and make them usable in the game. This made the movements of the enemies much more lifelike than te Nazi soldiers that attacked B.J. Blazkowicz three years earlier. Plus, instead of just running at you and shooting, these enemies would often scramble to dodge the player's own attacks or even ambush the player by lying on the ground and playing dead. Sneaky bastards, the lot of 'em!
So, what are we actually fighting for? Well, as part of a five man spec-ops team, you are brought to an island off the coast of Los Angeles, where an evil and power-mad cult has set up shop in an abandoned monastery. Naturally, we will not stand for that kind of shenanigans, so you are tasked with finding out exactly what this cult is up to. Shortly after arriving at the island, the team's boat is utterly destroyed, leaving the team with only one option: blast their way through tons of cultist and put a stop to their evil plans once and for all!
When starting the game, the player could choose from five characters: Taradino Cassatt, Thi Barrett, Lorelei Ni, Doug Wendt, and Ian Paul Freeley. Each of these characters had their own statistics when it came to hit points, speed and accuracy, giving the player the opportunity to choose the character that most closely matched their playing style. And although the characters had the exact same abilities (i.e.: run and shoot), these little differences could make quite the difference. It was, at the time, a fun and fairly new addition to the first person shooter genre and has been used and copied numerous times, albeit mostly not in FPS games.
I can truly say that I loved playing Rise of the Triad. Now, at the time, it was kind of bowled over by the international press for being a somewhat uninspired Doom clone, but I don't think that making this comparison does the game enough justice. Rise of the Triad is its own games with its own merits. I really liked the idea of "jumping" and the multi-level stages of the game. The art looked cool and the game played like a charm. Plus, in the end, you got to rid the world of a sizeable amount of evil-doers, which is always a good thing, right?
Speaking of getting rid of evil-doers, let's return to our Big Red HQ and see how Dennis is getting on with getting rid of the quantum mishap that was the renegade AI, shall we? Well, everything looks quite peaceful, so let's find Dennis and. Dennis?... MINNIE?! Jennifer, how could you?! What? What do you mean, that's not Jennifer? I just heard you call her that! .Jennifer Aniston? Take off the mouse head! Oh, hi Jen. But wait. Dennis, why does she look so young? She hasn't looked like that since. Ah wait, I see what you did there. You took our prototype Tiny Red Timepod and went back to the era in which Friends was still being recorded, didn't you? You sly fox, you! Well kids, in that case, have fun! Just try to keep the noise down, will you. I mean, there are kids around, you know.
Well, that's all the time we have for today, ladies and gentlemen. I hoped you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane and we'll see you in two weeks time, when Dennis is once again at the helm of our Big Red Timemachine. Now, I'm off to rustle up a little mermaid costume. That would make a nice change of pace from the bow-tie'd mouse, wouldn't you agree? Imagine that, ladies and gentlemen, both Dennis and I ending up with a Jennifer at the same time. Well, what do you know; It's a small world after all!
RISE OF THE TRIAD