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Persepolis was the the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. The city was one of several locations on Earth where the Sirians hid their time portal. It serves as an important location in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.


Blue-tiled walls which are based on relief detail of the Ishtar Gate.

Persepolis was a massive and thriving ancient Persian city, perhaps the largest in Mesopotamia during its time. Its size was roughly similar to that of Thebes, although it could have been even larger. It was built around 518 B.C. by Darius the Great, the fourth Persian king of the Achaemenid Empire.


Persepoils was rich with Babylonian architecture, such as huge luxurious palaces, ziggurats, and terraced pyramids. The city was dotted with many spires and columns. The blue-tiled walls of the city were decorated with bulls, dragons, lions, flowers and Babylonian soldiers. The bulls and dragons represented the god Marduk. There were also statues of winged pegasus, winged lions, and elephants, which were usually found in large open yards. Many entrances to the important buildings were locked, with miniature golden versions of the statues serving as keys to unlock the doors. Other doors were unlocked with levers that were placed inside the terraced pyramids.

Notable locations[]

Courtyards of Gilgamesh[]

The courtyards and temples in this area were constructed in favour of the legendary King Gilgamesh, a hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology. There was also a large temple that was dedicated to him. Entering this temple would lead one straight to the Tower of Babel.

Palace of King Tilman[]

Like the Temple of Gilgamesh, this palace was built to commemorate King Tilmman, another ruler of ancient Babylon. Inside this grand building was a large ceremonial hall, the largest hall in the palace. All major ceremonies and activities took place in here.

Temple of Gilgamesh[]

A huge palace dedicated to King Gilgamesh. The temple was used for punishing infidels and was rumored to be full of gold and treasures, though this was most likely to encourage thieves, as there were lots of traps inside the temple. Further inside the temple was a deep abyss, where the Babylonians would perform a "leap of faith". Whoever survived the passage would earn the privilege to visit the Tower of Babel. Deep inside this abyss was actually a large moving platform that would lead someone to the exit of the temple.

The Chamber of Cosmos[]

Located outside the ceremonial hall, this chamber was designed using all the knowledge that Babylonians could gather about astronmomy - the universe and planets and their relationships with each other. Using complex mathematical and physical formulas and axioms, they managed to the translate the movements of cosmic objects into coordinates and built this room following the basic rules of the universe.

The Chamber of Deities[]

In this room, the Babylonians would have to pass through it before they could get to the ceremonial room. To do this, they would walk silently in complete darkness with their eyes focused on their floor so they wouldn't enrage the gods. Of course, the room had to be kept clean, so the Babylonians placed a switch on top of the door which allowed light to enter for a period of time.

The Elephant Atrium[]

This large courtyard was dominated with a statue of an elephant in the center. There were also many yards and temples decorated with smaller elephant statues. In the first courtyard there were two buildings; one of them didn't really serve much of a purpose, whilst the other building contained a ceremonial tub which the Babylonians used to cleanse themselves of their sins and for purifying the soul. Inside the bulding with the tub was a rocket-shaped object made from a strange metallic material; it's possible that the Sirians built this structure to serve as a prototype for the backup spaceship that they later placed inside the Grand Cathedral.

The Tower of Babel[]

The Tower of Babel.

The Tower of Babel was the tallest and most significant building in all of Persepolis. Entry was strictly forbidden for ordinary people, and few ever got to see it in person. It was also where the Sirians placed their time portal. According to legend, there was a monster that lived inside the tower; anyone who defeated it would be granted with a journey to the afterlife. This 'monster' was actually refering to the Exotech Larva that Mental placed within the tower to prevent Sam from entering the portal.


Serious Sam: The Second Encounter[]

Sam arrives in a ziggurat just outside of Persepolis upon entering the time portal in Teotihuacan, after he defeats Kukulkán. NETRICSA tells Sam that the Sirians placed a time portal inside the Tower of Babel, and that they must get there to continue their search for the Holy Grail. As Sam enters the Elephant Atrium, NETRISCA tells him that she still can't see the tower, and underestimated the size of the city. As usual, Mental sends wave after wave of his forces at Sam, but he is able to kill all of them.

Sam fights his way to the Temple of Gilgamesh, the last obstacle standing in his way between the Tower of Babel. He eventually makes it out of the temple and enters a large courtyard with the Tower of Babel dominating the landscape. NETRISCA tells Sam to have a look at the entrance to the tower, and he does so. After translating the engravings on the door, NETRICSA tells Sam that he needs to collect 3 tablets of wisdom in order to unlock the door. He gets the tablets and makes it inside the tower, where he encounters the Exotech Larva, the rumored monster of the tower. Sam defeats it and the time portal is activated, allowing Sam to enter which takes him further in time to the Middle Ages.


List of appearances[]