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This level occupies the map slot E5M1. For other maps which occupy this slot, see Category:E5M1.

E5M1: Ochre Cliffs is the first level in The Stagnant Demesne episode of Heretic Shadow of the Serpent Riders.

E5M1 heretic

Map of E5M1


After E4M1: Catafalque, this is perhaps one of the most difficult levels in the whole game, particularly when playing on Smitemeister difficulty, with several Iron Liches and a Maulotaur. Conservation of ammunition and artifacts is essential. Take advantage of monster infighting whenever feasible; this works particularly well in the open starting area (and remember that different types of the same monster, such as gargoyles and fire gargoyles, do infight, unlike in Doom).

Whereas the area on the west side of the map with the yellow key should not present too great a problem, being quick on your feet and retreating out to the main area when the Undead Warriors appear is helpful.

The center labyrinth behind the yellow door is full of Golem Ghosts, and using the Gauntlets here is recommended to save ammunition.

At the lava pit and surrounding ledges on the east side of the map, do not hang around in that packed area or you will be killed instantly. Instead, go through the teleports. The Maulotaur and Iron Liches will likely follow, which leads to the entrance of the lava pit back to the outside foyer, which provides much needed space to maneuver. Do not bother killing the Maulotaur unless you have a Tome of Power ready, as it would be a gross waste of ammunition. Instead, lure it into another part of the map such as the labyrinth where it will (hopefully!!) not bother you.

If you DO have a Tome, then dispatch the Iron Liches as they appear. Once it's the Maulotaur, use the Tome and Gauntlets. This will keep you going by sapping life from your enemy, but be prepared for whatever comes through after the Maulotaur kicks it.

Timing is crucial, as the Tome lasts just long enough to do the job and the gauntlets alone won't cut it.


  1. After you get the green key, or after you enter the room where you found it, quickly jump down into the river to the south. At the east end, you will find that a lift has been lowered, allowing you to drop down into a cave with ammo, a phoenix rod, and health.


  1. The blue key area trap, which raises the floor of the entrances and exposes an alternate path out blocked by several Disciples of D'Sparil, is badly constructed. The linedef that raises the entrance floors is triggered first, and you can escape from the area before the floors are fully raised. If you escape without triggering the second linedef to open the alternate path, you cannot return and get the blue key.