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Video Game: Dungeon Defenders

Dungeon Defenders is a video game developed by Trendy Entertainment that combines the tactics and long-term gameplay of Tower Defence with the chaos of an Action RPG. You are one of four great heroes, who long ago sealed away a great evil in magic gemstones, and must now- wait, sorry. No, they're gone off to do something else. You're one of their pint-sized apprentices. Now the remnants of the evil army are marching on your fortress, and you must prevent them from releasing that great evil. How? Well, there's a few ways...

  • The Apprentice; Tower-based DPS. The Apprentice's defences focus on killing opponents with magical or elemental damage, sacrificing most of his crowd control to do so. The Apprentice himself uses staves to shoot enemies, or knock them away with a potent energy wave attack.
  • The Squire; Tanking and Melee. The Squire's job is to get in the way and wear opponents down, which he does through brutal physical traps and his own melee skill, as well as his considerable hit point total. He is the only character without a basic ranged skill.
  • The Huntress; Ranged DPS and Mines. Using limited-use mines and a variety of long-range weapons, the Huntress focuses on taking out difficult targets from afar. In addition, her ability to stealthily slip past enemies allows her to repair her traps and other defences without being detected.
  • The Monk; Mezzing and Crowd Control. The Monk sets up large areas which cause Standard Status Effects to enemies and provide useful buffs to teammates. His weapons are spears and an energy-blast from his hand, and he can generate further status effects in an area around himself.
  • The Barbarian (DLC); Melee DPS and tanking. The Barbarian has no towers or traps, but wields two weapons at the same time and has a variety of "Stances" with different effects. The Stances consumes mana while on, and the Barbarian can have 2 on at any given time.
  • Series EV (DLC); Jack of All Stats Robot Girl. Capable of equipping two weapons at once from the Huntress' or Apprentice's weapon pools and switching between them at will, her buildings are beams/lasers with a variety of effects, and variable lengths when placed (they cost the same amount of mana no matter what, but longer beams take up more defense units). Can place holographic (and explosive) decoys, or use mana to power a massive laser.
  • The Summoner (DLC); A friendly Mook Maker. Incapable of using weapons on their own, the Summoner can equip a pair of pets (for damage or enhancement purposes) as well as create a large number of crystal replicas of the game's enemies. These summons don't take up defense units, instead having their own limit called Minion Units. The Summoner can fade into non-existence and become one with the minimap, directing and healing its forces from there.
  • The Jester (DLC); Confusion Fu and Random Effect Spell. Capable of equipping two weapons from ANY class, her towers are Presents in three sizes- bigger ones cost more mana and defense units, but have better things inside them, and they can contain anything from towers from other classes, to loot, mana, or even enemies. Her special abilities allow her to move towers, or to spin a slot machine that casts a buff/debuff on the entire field.

Because of the variety and specialization of the classes, Dungeon Defenders is clearly designed for multiplayer, and all of the cutscenes feature all four characters working together. Gender-swapped versions of the base four classes were also released; they are completely new models with their own special abilities.

Characters collect Mana from their battles, which is used as a form of universal currency- Mana is spent to create towers during defence, to level up weapons, to purchase new weapons and to buy pets and other bonuses.

The game was released on the October 19, 2011, through Steam, and is available for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with support for cross-platform play. Two free-to-play versions (Dubbed First Wave and Second Wave) have been released for iOS and Android devices, which support microtransactions to quickly obtain extra mana. For those on the PC, Trendy Entertainment has released a source development kit for modders to play with, though mods can only be used on open servers. In addition, Trendy provides special events and items as well as regular updates and patches.

There is also a four part psuedo-expansion titled Quest for the Lost Eternia Shards. Taking place after the main plot, with the Eternia Crystals secure, our heroes venture out into the world to track down the missing shards of a shattered Crystal. This new campaign consists of four maps that each introduced a new type of enemy. Each one also has a boss at the end of the final wave. As with most bosses, it's generally advised to have good 'action' heroes, with gear with high defenses, health and good personal damage around to deal with them. The first part of the campaign was released on December 14, 2011. At this time, the Eternia Crystals have all been released for PC. A portal towards the final boss is unlocked upon winning all four eternia shards (for that difficulty and lower). The maximum player level has been increased bit by bit with several updates and is now, as of December 2012, level 100. Updates for consoles seem to be behind quite a bit for various reasons.


This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Kobolds, goblins with giant explosives strapped to their backs, show up about halfway through the second level use this tactic. When agitated (brought to about half HP) or when within a certain range of defenses they'll light their fuse and begin sprinting toward the target screaming at the top of their lungs. Can thankfully be disarmed if you kill them before their fuse is lit. If you can't, at least see if you can give 'em one upside the head to set 'em off early, before they do any real damage.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The tavern sells items based on the difficulty and dungeon you previously beat. Players may not realize this, beat a higher difficulty level, and then wonder why an item costs 500,000 mana, when you just barely have 12,000 mana. Also, when you sell stuff, you only get about half of what you paid for it. Averted once you figure this out, but many beginning players may be surprised as to why someone 5 levels lower than they are have a pet while they don't.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Upon obtaining achievements you receive various special cosmetic rewards that show when you host games, including little trophies to decorate your tavern walls and different Crystal designs. There are also character avatar costumes for the various holiday events.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The Team Fortress pets on Steam. You're not allowed to use them until level 25, and while they are nice, by the time you get that high, you may already have a pet that has more useful bonuses.
  • Bad Ass Crew: When playing in multiplayer mode with other players. Subverted if one or several players don't contribute much however, and they end up being The Load.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Monk.
  • Barack Obama: Appears as an unlockable skin for the Monk, together with his wife Michelle (Huntress skin), Republican candidate Mitt Romney (Squire skin) and Founding Father George Washington (Apprentice skin) as part of a DLC based on the US presidential elections.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The Huntress, the Countess (female Squire), Initate (female Monk), Adept (female Apprentice), and Ranger (male Huntress).
  • BFS: The Squire gets some very large, ridiculous weapons, most of them bigger than he is. Other Big weapon tropes also apply as, to an extent, the quality and modifiers on a weapon influence how big a weapon is.
  • Become a Real Boy: A throwaway line in Series EV's backstory.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Players can invoke this trope in multiplayer if they rush to help out a fellow player whose defenses are in danger of being overrun.
  • Chain Lightning: The Apprentice's "Lightning Tower" does this.
  • Child Soldiers: The Apprentice at least looks like he's not even a teenager. The Squire and the Monk are more ambiguous, the Huntress is not.
  • Competitive Balance: Each character fits a few roles.
    • Lightning Bruiser: Squire, monk can be this if spec'd in hero talents. The Barbarian is this but has no towers to compensate.
    • Glass Cannon: Apprentice, Huntress if not spec'd with some hero talents.
    • Fragile Speedster: Huntress, Monk if no/few stats in hero talents.
    • Jack of All Stats: Series EV, who has a very wide range of abilities and a few buffs and powers unique to her.
    • Unpredictable Results: The Jester; a game breaker but only if you're very lucky.
  • Cross Over: The Heavy, The Medic, The Pyro, and The Engineer are all available as pets when the game is bought off Steam, and the Portal Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device is a level 30 Huntress weapon. The trailer shows the characters from Dungeon Defenders using the portal gun to make a portal into a TF2 game and pulling characters through it.
    • Also several characters from Penny Arcade are available as DLC skins. Tycho is the squire, Annarchy is the huntress, Jim Darkmagic is the Apprentice and Gabe as Cardboard Tube Samurai is the monk.
  • Deus ex Machina: Done twice in the Lost Eternia Shards expansion at the beginnings of Parts 3 and 4 as a way to quickly get the heroes somewhere unreachable.
  • Disc One Nuke: While it's not a cheat per se, if you have a high level squire/apprentice, you can go to a higher level/difficulty dungeon, have them set up defense towers, then switch to a lower level character and use the towers to kill the otherwise lethal monsters. While most of the items will have level requirements to use, one could easily power level a low character and help them get better gear faster than if they tried to level through appropriate maps/difficulties.
  • Distaff/Spear Counterpart: 4 new heroes were released in a buyable DLC that are basically this for the standard heroes: The Adept (Female Apprentice), The Countess (Female Squire), The Ranger (Male Huntress) and The Initiate (Female Monk). Mission pack DLC later added The Amazon (Female Barbarian), Demoness (Female Summoner), Fool (Male Jester), and Bounty Hunter (sort of Male Series EV).
  • Downloadable Content: Some of it is free, but some you have to pay for. All Holiday DLC maps are free for the week before and after the holiday, and then after that will cost money.
  • Dressed to Plunder: This is an alternate outfit for the Squire in the Halloween 2011 Costume Pack DLC.
  • Elite Mooks: The Ogres are the most obvious, but in higher difficulties the regular mobs also gains some levels the same way players level their towers, so they're tougher to kill.
  • Enemy Mine: One of the challenges has the crystal replaced with a friendly ogre. Sounds good right? Except the ogre wanders around, so building static defenses is less effective.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Literally, The Tavern Keeper.
  • Experience Meter: Bottom-left corner.
  • Expressive Mask: The Squire's full-helm... has a mouth. And eyebrows.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The Slice n Dice traps. So much. Also the Squire's spin attack.
  • The Faceless: The Summoner's face is hidden in shadow. The Squire technically counts, since his face is hidden by his helmet.
  • Funny Animal: Combine that with Cute Little Fangs and you've got the upcoming skin for the initiate.
  • Generation Xerox: The Legendary Heroes had... something else to do, so they left their younger kin in charge of the castle.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The Squire doesn't wear any pants, for some reason. This may be a reference to Ghosts N Goblins.
  • Guide Dang It: Although the tutorial gives good starter tips, a lot of other things are left up to players to find on their own, unless you use a guide/faq. Such as being able to swap out different characters during the build phase, or that holding down the shift key allows you to see a minimap, and if an item upgrade was dropped by a mob you'll see a green dot if an item is an upgrade to your current stuff, black if it's not. Many new players are also unaware that loot left on the ground when a new combat phase starts auto-sells and splits the mana between all the characters. See the Adam Smith Hates Your Guts and Disc One Nuke examples for additional examples.
  • Heroic Mime: The Monk has taken a vow of silence.
  • Humiliation Conga: The Apprentice goes through a minor one in Lost Eternia Shards Part 3. Played for Laughs.
  • I Call It Vera: You can rename an item if you upgrade it to it's maximum level.
  • Improbable Age: All the characters are quite young to be taking on hordes of vicious monsters.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The Tavern Keeper has a few idle ones if you hang around the tavern long enough.
    • "A Freudian Slip is when ya say one thing, but meant your mother."
    • "I'd teach ya how to use a sword, but ya wouldn't get the point."
    • "Did I tell ya the joke about tha maize? Ah, nevermind...it's too corny."
    • "I heard they built a new cemetary. People are dying to get in there."
  • Informed Equipment: You only see your weapon.
  • In the Hood: The Summoner, to the point where you can't even see his face.
  • Item Get: Mobs often drop gear, and after defeating a boss, you get gear from them as well. Several of the harder maps and most challenges also get you items directly into your box as a reward.
  • Its Raining Goblins: One of the challenges where goblins fall down from all over the map. Makes defending the crystal tougher as they may spawn past your defenses. With the introduction of the Eternia shards, you also have spiders on part one and in any map on nightmare, which drop everywhere around the map and can sometimes just bypass your defences or destroy them from behind. The last part also gave us Goblin copters, which are helicopters flown by goblins which drop ogres onto the map on places ogres would normally not spawn. They also shoot rockets.
  • Kid Hero: You take the role of a young child who is the child of the older heroes.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: On survival waves or if there's a lot of mobs in multiplayer you'll probably feel this way picking up items the mobs drop before it disappears during the battle phases.
  • Last Stand: Technically the entire game can be like this, but this trope is definitely invoked should the mobs manage to breach your defensive line/turrets. Especially brutal if they breach multiple lines and you/your group are unable to stop them.
  • More Dakka: The characters with ranged attacks can literally do this with weapons that allow you to fire more projectiles. Essential at higher difficulties.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Seems to be inverted. The apprentice is pretty strong early on, but seems to lag behind the squire in terms of towers, and relies mostly on his towers for the bulk of his damage due to being a Glass Cannon and being unable to jump into the fray like the squire/monk can.
  • Meganekko: The Adept
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Huntress comes complete with a bared midriff, a rump-shaking dance, a hint of Jiggle Physics, and a dangerously low miniskirt.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Monk and Squire caused this during the intro while sparring, much to the apprentice's dismay.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Played with in one of the challenges. It involves the players assaulting the crystals, with towers and Mooks guarding them. Ever wanted to see what the mobs have to go through when you're defending the crystals?
  • No-Gear Level:
    • One challenge set requires you to complete a level without a single tower.
    • This concept is central to the Barbarian. He doesn't have any towers, but instead has several "stances" that provide various high power boosts to his combat skills.
  • 100% Completion: Your reward for doing everything? Aside from the dozens of small trophies, you get a very ornate giant one, recognizing your accomplishments, a new crystal skin which is the dev team's logo, and slightly remixed default tavern music.
  • One-Man Army: Played straight if you're soloing, but on higher difficulties and bigger maps it's often averted since the monsters are tougher and may break through the defenses you're not paying attention to at the moment. However, playing with a competent group of other players turns this into a Bad Ass Crew.
  • Only Sane Man: The Apprentice seems to be this, as in the intro he's the only one who recognizes that horsing around near the only thing keeping The Legions of Hell at bay may be a bad idea.
  • Real Is Brown: Said word for word by the tavernkeep, but not present in the game itself.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: The Apprentice's outfit. Invoked by the narrator.
  • Schizo Tech: In the same tavern you could have a Wizard's Apprentice that shoots bolts of magical death from a Simple Staff, A Squire that beats things to death with a good ol' fashioned BFS, a monk that shoots energy blasts from his palms while stabbing things with a Blade on a Stick...and then a huntress that carries proximity detonated satchel bombs and packs a hot pink Gatling Gun or a gun that shoots spinning sawblades in a V-shape pattern. Not to mention the modern day security camera and high definition TV.
  • Sexy Jester: The Jester, of course.
  • Shoot the Medic First: The Dark Elf Mage will constantly heal its allies, thus you have to go after it first. However, the enemy will always stand in the middle of other enemies to use them as meat shields just so you can't hit it.
  • Shout-Out: A plenty.
  • The Smurfette Principle: When the game was initially released, the Huntress was the only female character in the group. The DLC releases addressed this by adding new female classes.
  • Tower Defense: Main part of the gameplay. Slight variance from other ones in that you also get to control a character who can move independently and attack monsters on your own, as well as repair/upgrade your towers during gameplay. Pure Strategy mode is entirely focused on classic TD gameplay, limiting heroes to upgrading towers during waves.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Your goal in the game is to prevent hordes of mobs from taking out your crystals.
  • Zerg Rush: Pretty much the monster's strategy. Dark elf warriors and wyverns will be somewhat wiser and will attempt to bypass defenses.


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alternative title(s): Dungeon Defenders
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