Seven Portals is the central level of Seven Portals, the first hub of Hexen. The main part of the map is a large courtyard where the seven portals themselves are found - three on each side, and one on the side opposite the level start.
Initially, players have access to the left trio of portals - the one closest to the start leads to the Guardian of Fire, the middle one - to the Guardian of Ice and the farthest one - to the Guardian of Steel. As the puzzle progresses, the portals on the right side shall open to give access to other sections of the Guardian levels.
Once the seventh portal is opened, players will face the last defenders of the exit portal.
- First visit
You begin in front of a display of Korax, who goes on to taunt you. After the wall opens, you will be able to ride the elevator down to the main area. Here you’ll battle several Ettins, and there are Afrits in closed-off areas near the start. If you are the Mage, there will also be Afrits in the open. There will be Crystal Vials and Flechettes available. You will see seven great doors around the perimeter, guarding the seven portals you must go through. On a pillar to the east/left, there will be a bullhead switch to pull. This opens the middle door directly ahead. Behind it, there will be more monsters, including Green Chaos Serpents. Flechettes can be useful for dealing with these. The triangular spire in the south behind you will descend as the door opens. In medium to low difficulties, it will have your second weapon, while in harder difficulties there will only be Quartz Flasks. With a ranged second weapon, the serpents won’t be too much trouble.
Behind the door, you’ll find a raised wooden area with frozen demon statues, Blue Mana along the sides, and a window overlooking an icy cavern. Step up to the Quartz Flask in the window, and the cavern will open up. You’ll be able to go down the stairs from either side. There will be Blue Mana, Crystal Vials, and Quartz Flasks on the elevator. There are no traps here. Ride the elevator up to the portal, where you’ll enter Guardian of Ice.
- Second visit
As you return from Guardian of Ice, the two other eastern doors will open. The northern door leads to Guardian of Fire, while the southern door takes you to Guardian of Steel. You’ll have to enter both, but you can go through in either order. In higher difficulties, the Mage will find his second weapon in Guardian of Fire, while the Cleric will find his second weapon in Guardian of Steel. Getting your second weapon sooner is the major determining factor in that case.
Behind both doors you’ll find Ettins (and Afrit for the Mage), two demon statues that glow red or look metallic (for fire and steel respectively), wooden corners, and a bullhead switch. When you pull the switch, the lighting changes, and the wooden corner opens to unleash a Green Chaos Serpent. The corner rooms contain two Flechettes and a Blue Mana container. You’ll find that another corner has opened up with a portal to the corresponding level, along with Quartz Flasks and Blue Mana. The Guardian of Fire portal room is made of basalt blocks, while the Guardian of Steel portal room has steel plates.
- Third visit
Go to either Guardian of Fire or Guardian of Steel, depending on which one you returned from. In order to progress here, you’ll need to pull 3 puzzle switches on those levels - 1 in Guardian of Fire, and 2 in Guardian of Steel.
- Fourth visit
With the puzzle solved, the central western gate will now open. Behind it is a crowd of Green Chaos Serpents and Ettins. Since this area leads to the second Guardian of Ice portal, you’ll see a similar entrance room, with a raised wooden platform and frozen demon statues. There are Flechettes, Blue Mana and Quartz Flasks strewn about. Like before, go up to the Quartz Flask that appears in the window (barred this time) to open the cavern. Two staircases open at the sides, leading down to an icy area where pillar traps raise and lower as a warning. There are many dangers this time. Wendigos throughout the cavern shoot ice. As you reach the icy ground, you’ll see several brighter patches. If you step on them, they will rise up as pillars and crush you against the ceiling. If you run over them quickly, you can trigger them and keep them safely raised, but be careful. Ahead, there will be a raised staircase - this leads up to more Wendigos and ice crushers. Try not to get trapped behind the two ice crushers on the left. An elevator with Crystal Vials will take you up to the portal room with Quartz Flasks. Before you proceed, there are two side-rooms to explore. Open either of the ice doors, and they both open. The room to the left/south is full of Wendigos, but the room to the right/north rewards you with Quartz Flasks and Blue Mana. When you’re ready, enter the portal to a new and more challenging part of Guardian of Ice.
- Fifth visit
You’ll return by the first gate to Guardian of Ice. Across from you, the other 2 western doors will open. Stairs will rapidly rise to the central structure. You can take the stairs for Dragonskin Bracers, but other than that, don’t worry about this area for now. Behind the 2 newly opened doors will be Afrits in the north, and Centaurs in the south - corresponding to the fire and steel levels respectively. Once they’re cleared, you’ll go through a similar routine of pulling the bullhead switch, defeating the Green Chaos Serpent, and entering the portal room. The chambers are symmetrical, so this is the same as earlier. You can enter whichever you choose, as long as you have the Fire and Steel keys. The southwestern Guardian of Steel portal is necessary, as it brings you to a new area. The northwestern Guardian of Fire portal isn’t necessary as it leads to the same general area. However, it is more convenient, as it brings you directly to the lava flow room.
- Sixth visit
Go to either Guardian map, Fire or Steel where you have not come for the second time yet. When going to the Guardian of Steel, you should take the second (i.e. this one, the newly opened) portal.
- Seventh visit
Now basically all the three big flights of stairs in the main area would have risen, forming a trident pointing to the seventh, still closed gate. Go up each of them finding there a bull-head switch. When all three of them are pulled, the final gate will open. Note also that the central stairs leads you to some Dragonskin Bracers and the other two have a chain switch just opposite to the bull-head one. Pulling those two switches opens the two barred ways in the room just after the dark one in the Guardian of Ice, opening ways that eventually lead to the secret level (more on that later). Anyway, now just go to the big room behind the seventh gate, kill all the monsters there and then pull the switch at the end. This opens the big green wall, letting you out into yet another area full of monsters. From this area (best after having killed all the monsters) you can access the Wings of Wrath (see Secrets, below). Anyway, after killing all the monsters, invisible stairs will appear, leading to the portal beyond the pitfall (you will see them as rotating small blue lights). If you are not interested in the secret level (or have already been through it), jump in right into the heart of Shadow Wood. If you want to get to the secret level, go back to the Guardian of Ice (the best is to take the first portal, i.e. the eastern one).
- Eighth visit
If everything went alright, you should be returning from the Guardian of Fire, where you solved half of the puzzle of the Bright Crucible. So just head back to the Guardian of Ice, where the other newly opened door awaits you.
- Ninth visit
Now, the Bright Crucible should be accessible. On the northern part of the central area of this level, right in front of the lift to the place you appeared in at the very beginning of this level is a square made of stone pillars (there are - or have been, if you killed them already - afrits there). These are the stones that grinded, as the message told you. That is, they moved so that now you can get past them. There, there is a small hole where the river flows to and a niche (with iron bars) where it flows from (in the northern end of this "stone circle"). In that niche, before the bars, is an invisible portal that leads to the Bright Crucible.
- Tenth visit
Now, this one is really the last time you wander through this level. If you already opened the seventh portal to the next hub, Shadow Wood, just go there and walk into it. If not, refer to the Seventh Visit above.
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Notes & Trivia
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|Hexen - Hubs & Levels|
| Hub 1 |
|Seven Portals • Guardian of Ice • Guardian of Fire • Guardian of Steel • Bright Crucible|
| Hub 2 |
|Shadow Wood • Darkmere • Caves of Circe • Wastelands • Hypostyle • Sacred Grove|
| Hub 3 |
| Heresiarch's Seminary • Orchard of Lamentations • Silent Refectory • Wolf Chapel • Dragon Chapel •|
Griffin Chapel • Deathwind Chapel
| Hub 4 |
Castle of Grief
|Castle of Grief • Forsaken Outpost • Gibbet • Effluvium • Dungeons • Desolate Garden|
| Hub 5 |
|Necropolis • Zedek's Tomb • Menelkir's Tomb • Traductus' Tomb • Vivarium|