Video Game: Darksiders II
What starts with War...Ends with Death
Death is without a doubt the most badass of the Horsemen. He doesn't even have a weapon or a method of killing, all he does is show up and the shit hits the fan big time.Darksiders II
starts at nearly the same time
as the onset of the first Darksiders
. After War is convicted and sent back to Earth by the Charred Council, they inform the three other Horsemen of his fate. The eldest, Death, knowing that his brother War is the most honorable and incorruptible of the four, and would never have started the Apocalypse early, flies into a rage. Believing his brother is victim of a conspiracy, Death defies the Council's orders and sets out on a personal mission to find proof of his brother's innocence. Death travels to The Abyss, a place between Earth, Heaven, and Hell, to call in favors from powerful beings that rule the realm.
Unlike the first game, Darksiders II
places heavy emphasis on RPG Elements
. Death can equip himself with various types of armor and weapon sets, alongside a branching skill tree system to suit each player's style. A loot system has also been added, in which Death can acquire items from fallen enemies to craft new consumables or equipment. The currency system has also been changed: instead of souls, Death will make use of actual in-game currency.Darksiders II
is even larger and more of a Wide Open Sandbox
than its predecessor. The game takes Death across multiple dungeons and city hubs, the latter featuring NPCs who can give out side quests or allow Death to increase his skills.
With the dissolution of THQ and Vigil Games, the franchise has a rather uncertain future. Most of the staff originally involved is now working for Crytek, which placed a bid for the Darksiders IP in the auction of THQ's back catalogue in April, 2013. However, the IP was ultimately obtained by Nordic Games. Nordic has stated that they want to stay in touch with the original developers and continue the series someday, though, so this may not be the end for Darksiders yet.
The game was made free for anyone on the 360 with an Xbox Live Gold Account during October 2014 as part of the "Games with Gold" program.
Now has a character sheet
This game provides examples of:
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Subverted. Although in full power or Reaper Form he becomes at least physically similar to the anthropomorphic personifiaction of Death, when not in full power he is just a regular Nephilim with the title Death.
- An Axe to Grind: One of the Pale Rider's available secondary weapons.
- Anti-Hero: Death is described as an arrogant, cold and calculating anti-hero who is resourceful and opportunistic — he doesn't wait for things to happen, rather, he causes them to happen. Death is the official leader of the Horsemen; as such he's very level headed and mature. Notably, Death's very harsh on the others, as he was not hesitant in cutting off War's left arm in order to teach him a lesson. Despite this, Death cares deeply for his brothers and sister, as any older sibling would. He took a blow for Fury, and the events of Darksiders II show that he was willing to stand up to The Charred Council to prove his brother's innocence alone, knowing War to be the most honorable of the Horsemen. As the Horseman of Death, he may also appear somewhat morbid and ominous toward those who speak to him. He also possesses a dark sense of humor.
- Armor Is Useless: Averted, equipping armor makes Death resilient.
- Back from the Dead: Absalom, leader of the Nephilim. Not only did he return, but he had been turned into the Avatar of Chaos, Corruption itself, born from the betrayal of the four.
- Beat the Curse Out of Him: Averted in most cases; generally, the only way to "cure" someone of Corruption is to kill them. Played straight by Jamaerah, the scribe of the Ivory Citadel, whom Death successfully beats to his senses; this isolated case is probably justified in that powerful holy light can destroy solid Corruption, and the final blow to Jamaerah - an angel - is dealt by his own holy laser.
- BFG: Earth is littered with those from the war between demons and angels. Death can find and carry the Salvation, an angelic energy machinegun/shotgun, or the Gorehammer, a sort of demonic railgun firing explosive, screaming projectiles. Both fit the bill. Less fantastically, The Hunter has a sniper rifle as his main weapon.
- Big Brother Instinct:
- Death is willing to defy the Charred Council to prove War innocent of starting the premature apocalypse. When given the choice to revive either the Nephilim or Mankind, he chooses the latter.
Death: My brother, War. I would protect him above all.
- He takes this trope to heart.
Death: (After a short explanation of The Well of Souls; VERY serious) To save War, I would storm the White City.
- Blade on a Stick: One of Death's secondary weapons is a very large, naginata-looking glaive.
- Body Horror: Death's horse, Despair, has rotting flesh and visible bones. It is explained that when Death tamed him during his early years, Despair's appearance changed to reflect his rider.
- Bragging Rights Reward: The weapon you get for completing all the waves of the Crucible in one sitting. It's not bad, per se, but odds are to clear the Crucible in the first place you've made a possessed weapon that is vastly superior to it.
- Brought Down to Normal: Well, normal for a nephilim. Death only has full access to his horseman powers when he is acting in his role of preserving the balance. Were he acting in this capacity, he'd be able to easily triumph over any foe (consider it like being in his Reaper form non-stop like War was in Darksiders opening), and could run roughshod over anyone that he needed something from, just taking what he needed, and forcing others to give him the information he needed. Unfortunately, as the Lord of the Dead puts it, since he's not acting in preservation of the balance, he only has his own innate abilities to rely on, putting him beneath many of the powerful beings he has to aid in order to proceed.
- Bullfight Boss: Karkinos, a huge thing resembling a gigantic dust mite with plants and small trees growing on its (impenetrably armored) back.
- Bullying The Dragon: Death is subject to this by nearly everyone he meets. Even without his powers as one of the horsemen, it's known he was part of an army that annihilated the populace of entire worlds. Not somebody you want to get on the bad side of.
- Bystander Syndrome: Death was not concerned with the Makers' troubles with the corruption spreading in their lands, but he only agreed to aid them if they helped him find a way to the Tree of Life. Indeed, one of his earliest lines goes, "Your Corruption does not concern me!" Cue a bunch of corrupted constructs appearing and attacking him and the Maker Elder chuckling, "It seems it does concern you!"
- Came Back Wrong: Death's Nephilim kin Absalom came back as the Avatar of Chaos.
- Collision Damage: Certain enemies are covered in a miasma of poison gas/mist that can be removed with ranged attacks. The catch is that they are removed for a short time so you need to get in your shots then move away quickly.
- Colossus Climb: One boss in the game is a gigantic golem-like creature that requires the player to perform a limited version of this in order to destroy its weak spots.
- Cool Airship: The Eternal Throne, the Lord of Bones's colossal sail-barge, which is drawn by two undead leviathans on an endless voyage across the skies of the Kingdom of the Dead.
- Convection Schmonvection: Lava and molten metal don't bother Death unless he dives straight into it, but as he is a powerful Nephilim, he probably gets a pass on this.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: After bringing the three Dead Lords (taking the time of three dungeons, including the punishment of the Psychameron) to the Lord of Bones to help him alleviate his trouble with sorting out the fates of the whole of humanity, the aforementioned Dead King destroys them all. Death has this to say:
Death: What is this? I don't like being toyed with.
- The Corruption: The threat that is continuously ravaging each world Death visits. It's literally called Corruption and the person who is the source of the corruption calls himself that as well.
- Crazy Survivalist: The Hunter in the Demon Lord Belial. He accredits his survival to his training as a boy scout and selling out other survivors to Belial.
- Creepy Crows: Death has a raven named "Dust", who serves as his companion and guide, and a spell that summons attack crows. The Crowfather has many of these that serve as his familiars.
- Cutscene Power to the Max:
- A seemingly minor one, but in the cutscene before the fight with Samael, Death is clearly seen blocking Samael's blows. In the manual, it's explained that Death refuses to block because he's so arrogant, he believes no one can hit him.note
- Death's Reaper Form is much faster at any point when he turns into it as part of a Execution or finishing off a boss.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Most bosses Death fights, compared to the Puzzle Boss heavy Darksiders, because of the increased focus on RPG Elements
- Dark and Troubled Past: The Horsemen took part in the Nephilim genocide in exchange for being spared. Death bears the greater burden of guilt over his actions, and wears his mask to remind him of what he had done.
- Deadpan Snarker: Death, full stop. Especially when speaking with the Chancellor in the Eternal Throne.
The Chancellor: I ensure that the King sees only those who are... worthy.
Death: Then you must rarely see him, Chancellor.
- Defector from Decadence: Death and the horsemen, growing tired of the Nephilim's slaughter of worlds and turned on them.
- Dem Bones: Several of Death's enemies are some form of rotting skeleton person or another.
- Disney Death: Death at the ending sacrifices himself to bring back humanity, but is soon called back due to the events in the first game's ending, which chronologically happens soon after.
- Disc One Nuke: More like disc two nuke but the level 15 weapon Achidna's Fangs are bugged in a way that causes its special effect* to apply to ALL weapons that Death has equipped alongside it.
- This turns Earth and Marathon Levels such as The Crucible and The Soul Arbiter's Maze a lot easier.
- Drop the Hammer: One of Death's many sub-weapons are large war-hammers. They tend to be slow but do the most damage per hit.
- Eldritch Abomination: Absalom, also known as the Avatar of Chaos. His mere existence spread Corruption through creation, turning nearly all lifeforms insane, even taking on solid forms, and will not cease until all existence is eradicated.
- Enemy Mine: Death and Uriel are forced to work together when the former's quest takes him to the ruined Earth.
- Escort Mission: Awesomely averted as although you have to get Karn to The Guardian while he's carrying a Heartstone as big as he is; he will nonetheless use said Heartstone to smash any enemies foolish enough to get near him.
- Evil Chancellor: The Chancellor is a scheming, underhanded jerk, who, upon meeting him, sends you on a quest that he believes will cause Death to be killed so he can prevent Death from meeting the Bone Lord. In response, Death relentlessly snarks him, especially after returning from the Impossible Task in the Gilded Arena and later, when Death returns with the requested item from the Soul Arbiter sidequest, Death basically shows it to him and essentially says "Screw you, I'm keeping it for myself, unless you want to try and take it from me."
- Evolving Weapon: Possessed weapons evolve by feeding them other weapons in your inventory, so they are a fun way to get rid of all the extra weapons clogging your inventory.
- Fat Bastard: Jamearah, the Scribe. His wings are also small compared to the rest of the angels, leaving him unable to fly without the use of his levitating throne. Subverted in that he's actually a Nice Guy, albeit Brainwashed and Crazy before Death opts to Beat the Curse Out of Him.
- Flight: Death's Reaper Form has this ability. When Death would fall from a lethal height or lava gorges, he will transform into his Reaper Form and fly back up.
- Foregone Conclusion: Anybody who played through the original game would know that Death's quest to clear War of his crime would fail because the Charred Council knew all along that the End War being triggered early wasn't War's doing, they set him up so they could send him lose on Earth knowing he'd kill the real culprits.
- Fragile Speedster: Death is more agile than War, and is capable of doing many acrobatic evasions. His fighting style is a lot faster. The downside is that he refuses to block unless your secondary weapon for him is a buckler shield (and even then, he can't quite do War's "Perfect Block" trick). Death's default weapons, his scythes, are also much faster than War's BFS.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's Reaper Form, especially in cutscenes, contrast with War's extremely slow Chaos Form.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the novel, Death is said to have a healing factor and is able to recover from even the most fatal of wounds (which explains how he was able to withstand being stabbed in the chest by War in the first game's promotional comic). In this game... well, not so much.
- Glass Cannon: Death himself can trash everything in his path, but most enemies can rend him with a few hits. This also applies to most of the bosses. They can destroy Death easily, but Death can do the same to them.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Angels are depicted with white angelic wings. Many demons have leathery, batlike wings, except, like Samael's, they are oriented upside down. Death's Reaper Form has skeletal wings with no flesh on them at all. Subverted with Corrupted Angels.
- The Grim Reaper: Appropriately enough, Death's Reaper Form looks exactly like the modern depictions of this trope.
- Grim Up North: The game starts off this way; Death rides to some icy, falling-apart tower in the middle of a gorgeous frozen wasteland to meet with the Crowfather. The place is practically more held together by ice than it is by stones or wood; one of the elevators you use breaks as it ascends, most of the wooden beams are broken (making for great jumping puzzles!) and so on. The Crowfather doesn't really need working elevators himself, though, since he can just turn into a flock of crows to get around.
- Hand Gun: Death makes use of Strife's second gun "Redemption". Individual bullets are weak, but it's great for hitting aerial enemies, keeping your combo counter going or refilling your wrath, as well as solving puzzles that require you to shoot sticky bombs.
- Harder Than Hard: Nightmare difficulty. Not only are enemies harder, but if you fall in battle, then you'll need to start the game all over again. Environmental deaths are fair game, though.
- Hearing Voices: The Crowfather is constantly hearing voices from the Nephilim souls trapped inside the amulet he carries, demanding that he release them. The upside is that having a host of Nephilim attached to him means he knows tons of secrets nobody else does.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Very nearly for Death at the ending. The Crowfather tells him that for humanity to be revived, he must make a sacrifice. So, removing his mask, he fell into the Well of Souls to sacrifice the souls of the Nephilim that the Crowfather himself had locked within his body... just when War broke the seventh seal, summoning the Horsemen.
- Homage: Given the nature of Death's parkour skills (wall runs, turning jumps, flipping around beams), the second game seems to have added Prince of Persia to the franchise's growing list of major influences.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- Death does this to the Crowfather, who had shapeshifted into War, after beating him back into his original form.
- Does this during a number of executions and boss finishers with his Reaper Form, including Archon.
- Interface Spoiler: Subverted. You have four gear slots in your inventory and radial menu, but ultimately get six upgrades due to losing one and upgrading another.
- In the Hood: Death in his Reaper Form. Also the Angel known as Archon Lucien.
- Irony: Death spends the game trying to save War, and saving Creation aside, the opposite happens.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold / Hidden Heart of Gold:
- After certain events unfold, there is an entirely optional questline where Death helps reassemble a fallen construct, then recovers an ancient book for the Makers that will help give them hope in these dark times. Death gains very little from this quest except for exp, gilt, an item, and gratitude, but the construct states that, after completing a quest that was unrelated to his own affairs and he was under no obligation to fill, Death is not nearly as rotten a person as he makes himself out to be. Death's reply is to request the construct not tell anyone.
- In addition, Death meets Karn just before he has to go through an entire dungeon to unlock the seal keeping the Fire of the Mountain away from the forges at Tristone. When he arrives to tell the questgiver how he's completed the task, he quietly adds that Karn helped out—even though the "pup" was still way out in the middle of nowhere, and didn't do much more than open the door to the Cauldron and give him some information. Not bad, considering how dismissive he is of everyone else, and the fact that he refused to use his name in person.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Forge Lands has many lava-filled dungeons.
- Lighter and Softer: While just as gory as the original, Death's wit provides a lot more humor, and the worlds he travels across not having leveled by demons, even with the threat of Corruption, gives the game a much more upbeat feel, even with the Doomed by Canon present.
- Mad Artist: Death sees killing as an art.
- Noble Demon: Death thinks that War is the most honor bound of all the Horsemen, and would never have committed the crime he was accused of. Death himself is pretty noble as well, and he decides to work towards absolving War by, ironically enough, reviving humankind.
- Noodle Incident: The Crowfather once aided Death in the past, which ultimately led to him to being imprisoned in his temple. When Death goes to him for his aid again, he mentions that helping him before led to his predicament.
- They did elaborate on said "incident" during the dialogue. In exchange for learning the secrets of the Nephilim souls contained within, the Crowfather "helped" Death by carrying the amulet for him. He was driven mad, by the souls, however.
- Nothing but Skulls: Fittingly, the Kingdom of the Dead has tons of skulls everywhere and also uses skull motifs in its architecture.
- Obvious Beta: The Demon Lord Beliel DLC. Vigil was obviously rushing it out before it got shut down by THQ's bankruptcy, so there's a number of glitches in it that were never polished out.
- Ominous Floating Castle: The Court of the Lords of the Undead is a floating fortress which is drawn by two gigantic serpents.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The Makers fit most of the criteria: they are stout, ancient warriors with Scottish accents and a fondness for axes and hammers and great craftsmanship ability. The twist? They're huge, towering over Death.
- Le Parkour: A method of traversal for Death. War was able to climb certain walls and slide horizontally along designated hand-holds, but Death can straight-up do Prince of Persia-style wall-running and leaping about.
- Point of No Return: The Well of Souls, which the game makes a point of telling. Due to this trope, despite the amount of build up that makes it seem like the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, all that it leads to is the Final Boss.
- P.O.V. Sequel: To the first game, taking place over roughly the same time period and ending at nearly exactly the same point.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Makers, most prominently. Death himself has some influence of his trope, judging from his exchange with one of them.
- Ranged Emergency Weapon: Averted, as Redemption is actually better than melee weapons at taking out scarabs, stingers, and sentinels.
- Reverse Grip: Death holds his twin scythes this way.
- Revenue Enhancing Devices: This is one of those games that goes absolutely crazy with extra bonuses acquired elsewhere.
- Pre-Order Bonus: First, every preorder will get the first Downloadable Content expansion for free. At least five retailers have their own exclusive in-game content (mostly weapons and armor sets) for preordering with them.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Also only available through pre-ordering.
- Old Save Bonus: Playing the original Darksiders will get you another armor piece, and beating it will get you a weapon.
- And weapon unlock codes in things like the strategy guide, the tie-in novel, the related iOS app...
- Real Is Brown: Averted in most cases, such as the vibrant green Forgelands and the snow-covered wilderness the Crowfather dwells in, or the golden forest and white towers of Lostlight. Played straight in the Land of the Dead, but justified in that everything there is, well, dead.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Judicator, unlike the other death lords, is not hiding from his responsibilities when you find him, he's actually out doing his job, even though he knows that he's going to be punished for it. Said job is tracking down lost souls so that they can be prepared for their transition to the city of the dead, by releasing all of the secrets that person held in life. Of all the characters that Death meets, this is the only one that is actually focused on performing his role in the grand scheme of things without any sort of agenda of his own. He gets killed by the Bone Lord when you bring all three before him.
- RPG Elements: Loot collecting, skill trees and stats are among a few of the new additions in Darksiders II. One change that stands out is being able to see damage numbers over everyone's heads so you can see which weapons do more damage. Another is that he needs to acquire and store potions to quickly refill his health and magic meters (War just had to hope there was Green Chest nearby).
- Sadistic Choice: Death has to choose between the Kingdom of Man and the Nephilim in what to revive, only able to pick one. He picks humanity.
- Shout-Out: One of Death's scythe attacks is called Twin Humanities.
- Sickly Green Glow:
- Death's horse Despair has this, contrasting to Ruin's hellfire type look.
- Corruption and everything it touches is a Sickly Yellow-Green Glow, almost like radioactive pus.
- Sinister Scythe: Death wields two short scythes that can be combined to form one large one. His Reaper Form wields an even bigger one.
- The Stinger: After the end credits, Lilith is confronted by the Dark Prince, reminding her that the Endwar is near. He then berates her for failing to give him the army of Nephilim she promised, and proceeds to punish her; promising that she will not receive pleasure from it this time.
- Summon Magic: Most of Death's magic is based around this, particularly ghouls and crows. It's also how he opens chests and doors. War just punched those open with his brute strength, but Death summons spectral hands that tear the chest open or shove the door open.
- Swiss Army Weapon: "Death's primary weapon is a multipurpose Swiss Army scythe" - the exact words of the lead designer.
- Take a Third Option: Rather than accepting the guilty verdict given to War, or trying to prove his brother's innocence, Death chooses to undo the crime that War is being blamed for by reviving humanity. Death's primary reason for this is he knows there's little to no chance that he could find the guilty parties for the destruction of mankind, especially while there is a war going on between Heaven and Hell.
- This Means War!: Absalom, leader of the Nephilim, declared war on the Council after he and his race were exiled from the Garden of Eden (which was then given to humanity), and attempted to take it back. It did not end well.
- Two-Keyed Lock: The usual videogame trope of pressure pads and requiring doors to be held open while another does through, only done with spirits and fractions of Death's soul. A more literal example is the final door of the game.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: In a game that constantly alternates between dynamic melee combat and platforming puzzles, the entire Earth section gives you hordes of enemies to feed to your choice of angelic energy minigun or demonic explosive railgun, with not a single wall to climb or jump over in sight. Nothing's stopping you from putting the weapon down and carving your way through most of the enemies using your standard weaponry, but the firearms are so powerful and so cathartically fun there's no real reason to either.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: There's a bug where one of several energy barriers in certain levels don't open even though they should, making the level and thus the entire game non-completable, which is caused by playing the game continuously several hours.
- Wake-Up Call Boss:
- The Deposed King, a boss in a side quest, is the first boss, story-line or otherwise, you'll encounter that will teach you that high defense isn't enough: resistance plays a major role in your ability to survive attacks. If you don't have high resistance, then even with high defense, he can kill you with his opening move in a single hit (incidentally, his other, normal attacks are much easier to survive, since they don't qualify as special and are much easier to dodge, but his opening move will annihilate a low resistance build with one hit if it connects). Earlier bosses used special attacks, but no boss you've encountered up to this point will have such a tremendous difference in damage between normal and special attacks, and you will continue to encounter bosses from this point on who have powerful specials that can wipe out an unprepared player. Make sure you always have at least one piece of gear that boosts resistance, or you'll regret it. Doesn't help by the fact that he's a level 20 in an area full of level 12 enemies.
- In a different way Thane, the maker who acts as your first trainer. Firstly, he's the first chance you get for a fight you aren't really adequately leveled and equipped for. He's also the first opponent who can re-aim in the middle of an attack if you're moving, requiring you to do more than twitch-evade to survive.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Death starts off bare-chested (the better to show off the fragments of the Nephilim Amulet that got embedded in his right pectoral) and though you can get torso armor for him, a whole lot of it still shows off a lot of skin. It's often not much more than a single strap across his torso or a cape that covers the top of his chest.
- Warm-Up Boss: The Crowfather, who takes the shape of War to battle Death.
- World Tree: The Tree of Life is stated many times to be a portal to other worlds, with roots in each of them. Indeed, this is Death's main means of traveling to the various realms in which the game takes place.
- You Can't Go Home Again: This game reveals that the Hellguard and the Legions of Hell are both stuck on Earth since the Charred Council cut off most ways of entering and exiting it. This might help explain why Lucifer is such a sore mood with Lilith not bringing him the nephilim. His army winning on Earth won't do him much good if can't leave it.