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A player using the Hellstaff

The Hellstaff is a weapon in Heretic. It appears to be made out of a demon's skull and spinal column. The Hellstaff is powered by runes and rapidly fires red energy projectiles, similar to Doom's plasma gun. In addition, unlike the plasma gun, the Hellstaff fires immediately rather than after a short warmup, and there is no equivalent of the BFG9000 to share ammunition with, making the Hellstaff somewhat more practical and useful.

When a Tome of Power is active, the Hellstaff's firing rate slows down, and it launches powerful projectiles which deal 10-80 damage and summon "clouds" of red rain above the area of impact, at the cost of five runes per shot. Every tick, the summoned cloud of rain has a ~90.2% chance to spawn a raindrop within a 64-unit radius, and each raindrop does 5-40 damage. Only 2 clouds can be active at once; summoning a third destroys the oldest one. Larger foes, such as an Iron Lich, are likely to get hit by more droplets than smaller foes, hence causing more damage. However, boss foes (the Maulotaur and D'Sparil) have a partial immunity to this attack, reducing the damage each drop does to them by 80%.

The powered-up shots will also home in on enemies provided they are centred in the player's aim when the weapon is fired. This weapon is always effective on ghosts. Maximum capacity is 200 shots, or 400 with the Bag of Holding.


Hellstaff data
Weapon number 5
Damage 3-24 (normal projectile)
10-80 (powered projectile)
5-40 (powered raindrop)
Included ammo 50 (75 on skills 1 & 5)
Max ammo 200 (400 with Bag of Holding)
Ammo type Runes
Shot type Projectile
Velocity 22 map units per tic
(770 map units per second)
Shots per minute 525.0 (regular)
100.0 (powered)
Sound HRNSHT (normal firing)
HRNHIT (normal impact)
HRNPOW (powered firing)
RAMPHIT (powered hit)
Appears in Heretic
Thing type 2004 (decimal), 7D4 (hex)
Radius 20
Sprite WSKL (before pickup)
HROD (wielded)
FX00 (projectiles)
FX22 (raindrops)
Class Weapon