"Hey baby, was your daddy a pilot? Because you are...really freakin' ugly!"
Sam Stone to a Witch-Harpy after seeing its real face.[src]

The Scythian Witch-Harpy is a flying enemy that appears in the Serious Sam series.


Witch-Harpy real face

A Witch-Harpy in Serious Sam 3: BFE revealing its true face.

The Scythian Witch-Harpy is a female clone of a long extinct Scythian race. A Witch-Harpy is trained in close combat and casting combat spells. The attractive appearance is a facade used to attract prey, which is then devoured using its much less attractive real mouth. Since Harpies belong to the Ornithodira subgroup, their breasts do not contain mammary glands. They are just additional misleading features to attract prey of specific primate species, such as humans.

Despite being able to use projectiles, the Harpy's AI makes her lean toward getting in close and using her melee attack.

In Serious Sam 1 and Serious Sam HD, the Scythian Witch-Harpy appears as a metal bikini-wearing humanoid with feathered wings, clawed hands, and taloned feet. If a Harpy is shot in the wings enough times, she will fall to the ground and continue attacking, then fly back up a few minutes later.

In Serious Sam 3: BFE, the Harpy has a much different design. At first glance, the Witch-Harpy appears to be a topless human woman with wings. However, this is a facade; the real, monstrous face is hidden behind the woman's face, and the breasts are actually fake because the Ornithodira subgroup they belong to lack mammary glands in their breasts. The qualities of the Harpy are to attract primate-like species as prey, especially humans, before they end up being devoured. These changes are not found on the Harpy that appears in the past, suggesting that either the Harpy was radically altered by Mental in the present or this is a different species entirely.


Witch-Harpy perched

A Witch-Harpy perched on top of a building.

Compared to Serious Sam 1, Harpies in Serious Sam 3: BFE are much less common, appearing only in Under the Iron Cloud and at the end of The Lost Temples of Nubia in medium-sized groups. They are very common in Jewel of the Nile.


Serious Sam 1Edit

  • Alone or in small groups, Harpies are easy to take down. Dual Schofield .45s can kill a Harpy with one magazine, while one scoped RAPTOR Sniper Rifle shot can kill one. Close-range Harpies can be killed with either the 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun or Double Barrel Coach Gun. The Military Knife and P-LAH Chainsaw can be more useful as the knife kills a harpy with a single hit and chainsaw stuns the group of harpies.
  • Large groups can easily be dispatched with the M1A2 Thompson. Its accuracy is perfect, and its rate of fire is high enough to cause significant damage without wasting too much ammo.
  • Very large swarms can be rounded up by circle strafing. Firing a single grenade or rocket in the middle of a dense swarm will kill quite a few Harpies and damage several others.
  • With other enemies, Harpies are a low threat. Their projectiles are very easy to dodge, and they usually spawn so far away that it'll take a while before they get close for a melee attack, even though they are fast. However, if they are close, they should be eliminated quickly because their melee attack is much more powerful than their projectiles are.
  • A grounded Harpy can be quite dangerous because of her quick speed and her small size, which makes it difficult to discern her from hoards of stronger enemies. If the player spots a Harpy falling to the ground, they should try to kill her before she can get close to them.

Serious Sam 3: BFEEdit

  • The Harpy's projectile and melee attack can be dodged by strafing at an angle. Strafing at an angle is better than simply strafing in one direction because it prevents a Harpy from charging at the player from a direction they can't look at.
  • The M29 Infantry Assault Rifle is an excellent weapon against Harpies. It has perfect accuracy when looking down the iron sights, letting the player hit the Harpy no matter where she is. It also has a good rate of fire, letting the player quickly tear through a Harpy. However, when using the assault rifle, note that the Harpy recoils downward and back when shot, so the player should make sure to slightly move the gun downward when they first hit the Harpy so that they don't waste a few bullets.
  • The XM214-A Minigun is an effective weapon for killing Harpies, due to its high rate of fire and damage.
  • Harpies charging at the player can be dispatched with the Double Barrel Coach Gun in one hit if most of the pellets connect. This is handy when the player is being attacked by Harpies at close range, no matter how many there are.
  • The Sledgehammer and Axe can kill a Harpy in one hit. To hit them reliably, it is recommended to move towards them. Trying to hit them while sidestepping is very difficult.
  • The AS-24 Devastator and XPML21 Rocket Launcher works well against groups of Harpies. One rocket will kill a Harpy and damage the others. A follow-up rocket can kill two or more because of the damage from the first rocket.
  • The Sirian Mutilator works well against groups of Harpies that are close.
  • C-4 is even more effective at throwing one in the middle of a dense swarm, as it can kill several of them.
  • When paired with other enemies, Harpies are a medium-threat at close range and low-priority threat at longer range. Their projectiles are easy to dodge while trying to dodge other attacks, and their melee attack isn't that damaging and can easily be avoided. Also, since they are airborne enemies, aiming upwards can distract from more dangerous ground-based enemies. They should be taken out whenever the player gets a chance or when they get too close.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The Scythian Witch-Harpy had a very different model in Test 1. It is lower-poly and has a completely different skin. It appears that the beta model's animations weren't properly synced to her speed.
  • In Test 2, the Harpy uses the final model but the Test 1 animations.
  • Later promo art shows the final Harpy, but with a different helmet and/or face.
  • The Harpy had a stronger counter-part, the Dragonman, in early versions of the game. It can be seen in early screenshots and its code is included with the SDK.

Related achievementsEdit

Serious Sam HD: The Second EncounterEdit

Bird hunter Bird Hunter
Kill 100 Harpies with the Sniper rifle.

Serious Sam Fusion 2017Edit

Bird Hunter Bird Hunter
Kill 20 Harpies with the Sniper rifle.


  • In Serious Sam 3, the Scythian Witch-Harpy's breasts have a very noticeable jiggle when moving, both in the sky and on the ground.
  • The Serious Sam 3 Harpy's projectile shares the same model as the one fired by the Serious Sam HD Witch-Harpy.
  • NETRICSA says that the Harpy in Serious Sam 3: BFE is related to reptiles, though in Serious Sam 1 they have mammalian origins.



Serious Sam 1Edit



Serious Sam: The Random EncounterEdit

Serious Sam 3: BFEEdit

Serious Sam 4: Planet BadassEdit

List of appearancesEdit

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