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Video Game: Kingdom Rush
Kingdom Rush (2011) and its sequel Kingdom Rush Frontiers (2013) are a pair of Tower Defense games developed by Ironhide Studios and set in a fantasy world, where you play as the general trying to stop the evil lich Vez'nan from taking over the world. It involves placing towers in allocated positions along set paths. There are four towers-Barracks, Artillery, Archers, Mages, each with their own disadvantages and advantages. Each tower has 3 upgrade levels, improvements in the tech tree, and two branching 4th upgrade levels—you choose one or the other. Better explained:

  • Archers typically form the backbone of the player's damage dealing forces, with a high fire rate and good damage, as well as upgrades in the tech tree allowing them to pierce armor. They are also capable of attacking flying foes at any upgrade level. Generally, the tower with the highest numbers on the field (though not necessarily a majority) is the archer tower. Their Level 4 options are the Ranger Hideout (which focuses on Damage Over Time, controlling foes with vines, etc. and high fire rates but low damage with individual shots) and the Musketeer Garrison (which focuses on precision shots which is hard hitting but have lower rate of fire, as well as some AOE abilities).
    • The level 4 options in Frontiers are the Crossbow Fort, (painful rapid-fire ability as well as granting other towers a passive range extension/critical hit chance) and the Axethrowers (totems that provide a Damage-Increasing Debuff and an Anti-Magic totem)

  • The primary role of the Barracks is to slow foes down by engaging them so the other towers can unleash their punishment on them. As such, their upgrades tend to focus on increasing health and damage resistance, eventually doing damage to foes as they get damaged themselves. Barracks are especially good when combined with Reinforcements (see below) to stop the maximum amount of foes. They are incapable of attacking flying units without upgrades. Their Level 4 options are the Holy Order (which summons paladins with high armor and damage resistance that can heal and deal extra damage with holy strikes) and the Barbarian Mead Hall (which summons barbarians that can deal loads of damage to enemies, attack flyers and respawn quite quickly at the cost of some of their resilience).
    • The level 4 options in Frontiers are the Assassins' Guild (focuses on damage, evasion and gold-stealing) and The Knights Templar, who have high health and armor like paladins, but attack with bleeding strikes that deal damage over time. They're also big shout outs to a certain stealth/action franchise.

  • Mages generally have the strongest individual attacks, and their primary role is to take out armored enemies. Their rates of fire are generally very slow, and they are thus best used when combined with Barracks troops to slow foes down. At higher upgrade levels, they can kill many foes in one hit, though many enemies later on have special magic resistance to counterbalance this. Their Level 4 options are the Arcane Wizard (which can teleport foes backwards on the map and have a Death Ray that instantly kills any foe hit with it) and the Sorcerer Mage (which focuses on Standard Status Effects and summons elementals to help with the melee fighting, as well as being able to cast a Baleful Polymorph.)
    • The level 4 options in Frontiers are the Archmage tower (charges up homing magic bolts that can explode, as well as using a tornado that forces foes backwards) and the Necromancer (turns dead enemies into meat shield skeletons, also causes a poison AOE and summon a skeletal rider into battle)

  • Artillery is the main Area of Effect tower. It deals very large amounts of damage to very large amounts of enemies and Splash Damage at the cost of fire rate, which is the slowest in the game. They are most effective when combined with Barracks which cluster the foes and allow the maximum number of enemies to be hit as possible. Their Level 4 options are the Big Bertha (hulking towers with a very powerful but very slow-to-reload bomb and who's abilities include a cluster bomb to strike many opponents and a heat-seaking missile that never misses) and the Tesla X104 (which can strike flying units but is weaker than the Big Bertha, and who's abilities include an overcharge that strikes all nearby enemies and a chain lightning attack that can also strike multiple enemies).

In addition, there are two "special abilities" that can be called upon: the Rain of Fire (which rains meteors down from the sky) and Reinforcements (which summons two villagers as militia to fight off intruders).

The game's free to play and can be found here! The original and the sequel are also available on the iPad for $0.99 each.

A third game called Kingdom Rush Origins has been released

Kingdom Rush includes examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Demonic foes will explode on death, doing big damage to any Barrack units near it. Rotshrooms and Myconid will explode into poisonous spores that deal damage over time.
  • Airborne Mook: The Gargoyles, Demon Imps, Rocket Riders and Black Hags. All four will fly over your Barracks defences and cannot be targeted by artillery (although splash damage still hits), making them dangerous foes. Gulaemons are a partial example- they can fly over a small group of soldiers for a short while.
  • All Trolls Are Different: "Very tough warriors that can regenerate their wounds quickly."
  • Anti-Air: At the start of the game, only Mages and Archers can tackle flying enemies, as Artillery and Barracks are defenceless against them. However, the Barracks upgrade to Barbarians allows them to both attack and hinder flying foes, whilst the Artillery gains the Tesla X104, which can attack flying foes, and the Big Bertha, which has a heat seeking missile ability to target the flying foes.
  • Area of Effect: The Artillery make a living off this. Musketeers also have an upgrade that allows them to fire a cluster of shots at an enemy and all its surrounding buddies. The Player-controlled Rain of Fire spell also has this.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Mage towers' attacks will pierce the armor of Heavily Armored Mooks, which normally reduce damage from other sources.
  • Asteroids Monster: Myconid doesn't have much health, but he splits into 25 rotshrooms upon defeat. If you're relying on Mage towers to kill him, you'll be in for a rude awakening unless you have Splash Damage or Rain of Fire ready.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Barbarians' weapons. Also, the Troll Champions throw these, which act as Anti-Armor.
  • Bad Boss: Vez'nan is portrayed as one in the comics.
  • Baleful Polymorph: An ability of the Summoner Wizard tower upgrade. The Black Hag can turn your barracks troops into toads, essentially a One-Hit Kill.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Yetis are white and are Giant Mooks (and in the case of J.T., a boss). Sasquatch on the other hand is brown and acts as a purchasable ally.
  • Big Bad: Vez'nan.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Steam exclusive campaign, The Curse of Castle Blackburn
  • Big Red Devil: Vez'nan's One-Winged Angel form, as well as Moloch, the boss of Pandaemonium.
  • Boom, Headshot: When the Musketeer's Sniper Shot is successful, the Written Sound Effect is "Headshot!"
  • Boring but Practical: Reinforcements can really save your ass if used correctly.
  • Black Knight: Highly armored foes, ironically introduced exactly when the Paladins are.
  • Came Back Wrong: Every time one of your human soldiers dies in the Rotten Forest or Fungal Forest, a Husk forms from the green pool of slime. Every time an Earth Golem is killed, a Swamp Thing is formed from the pool.
  • Chain Lightning: The Tesla x104 has an upgrade that does this.
  • Clown Car Base: All of those soldiers were in that one barracks?
  • Clown-Car Grave: In levels with graveyards, a skeleton will spawn every time a humanoid enemy dies.
    • The Poison Pool in the Rotten Forest will spawn a husk every time one of your soldiers die, and a Swamp Thing every time one of your Earth Elementals is killed.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Shamans are this for the enemy.
    • On your side, Paladins from the Holy Order Barracks when upgraded to have a healing spell.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: Vez'nan taunts the player mercilessly from his tower as you fight to survive the final stage.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: All bosses are immune to upgrades such as Wrath of the Forest, Teleportation, Polymorph, Death Ray, and Sniper Shot. They could be immune to all non-damaging abilities.
  • Cool Gate: The summoning circles in Vez'nan's Dark Tower which allow enemies to bypass some of your defences.
  • Critical Hit: Archers have a universal upgrade that leads to a chance for this.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Sarelgaz. Aside from summoning her children and eating troops/heroes in one hit, she has no other special tricks, not even an area attack. She does however have lots, lots, lots of health.
  • Death Ray: The Arcane Wizards have this, complete with the enemy crumbling into ashes.
  • Dem Bones: One of the possible enemies. They are either summoned by necromancers, or pop out of the graveyard every time a humanoid foe dies. Elite Mooks will produce Skeleton Knights instead of regular ones.
  • Dual Wielding: An upgrade for the barbarians.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Some enemies have this ability, sometimes, there are also tunnels the enemies can use to bypass your defenses and allowing them to appear further in. High level mages also can be upgraded with the ability to do the reverse.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Necromancers, whilst supposedly raising the dead, are able to summon skeletons from any place, even where there should logically be no dead, so they are little more than this. The Juggernaut fires Golem Heads to distract your towers from him. Spider Matriarchs can lay eggs that spawn three Spiderlings, who are lightning fast and are a considerable threat.
  • Evil Overlord: Vez'nan, the Big Bad.
  • Excuse Plot: "The kingdom is under attack" is basically the extent of story we get for this, though the individual campaigns at least have believable backgrounds.
  • Fallen Hero: Lord Blackburn.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Pandaemonium. Of course, you see the recently-deceased Vez'nan there, locked up in a cage.
  • Flunky Boss: All of them.
  • Fragile Speedster: Spiderlings and Wulves.
    • Myconid is also one compared to other bosses, with only 4000 HP compared to at least 6000 HP, like other bosses. He also does less damage compared to others. (150-350, comparable to the GiantMooks.) However, he moves very, very fast for a boss and regularly spawns flunkies with a quite a good bit of health.
  • Giant Mook: Ogres, Marauders, Spider Matriachs, Troll Chieftains, Yetis, Dark Slayers, Demon Lords, Magma Elementals, Sons Of Sarelgaz, Forest Trolls, Tainted Treants, Swamp Things, Pillagers, Troll Breakers, Gulaemons, and Cerberus.
  • Giant Spider: There are normal ones, fast but weak spiderlings, and then there's the Matriach who have the ability to create spiderlings. And of course, we have the boss Sarelgaz who's even more massive. Also, we have her sons, which are Nigh Invulnerable. Don't forget about the Noxious Creepers, which are Spider Matriarchs with even more health, that spawn mutant hatchlings, which are tougher spiderlings.
  • Glass Cannon: The Barbarians, having less armour than the Knights that precede them. In exchange for this, they have upgrades for their damage by Dual Wielding and can even throw axes.
    • Bandits, as early game enemies. They have about as much health as a orc and wear no armor, but their attack does 4-5 times the damage of an orc. Needless to say, upgrade your barracks or these nasties will tear through them.
    • Vez'nan's first form. 6666 hp compared to at least 10000 for other bosses, but his attack does at least 666 damage and kills all soldiers except Earth Elementals in one hit.
  • The Goomba: Goblins.
  • Guide Dang It: Don't worry about that, because the game's website has videos on how to beat every level.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Dark Knights, Dark Slayers and later Raiders and Troll Breakers. You'll want mage towers to deal with these guys, trust us.
    • Lord Blackburn is the boss with the highest armor to date.
  • Hell Hound: Demon Hounds. They're like Winter Wolves, but they explode on death too. Then there's Cerberus who's much tougher and faster.
  • Hero Unit: You can use Heroes in battle, who have special skills to make a fight easier.
  • Hired Guns: The Sylvan elves.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Paladins' Smite ability upgrade gives them a chance to do holy damage on their attacks, in an area.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most enemies use swords, axes, spears, tridents, or clubs. Except for the Forest Trolls, Troll Breakers, Troll Pathfinders, and Troll Chieftains. They use a freaking TREE, a log, a sled, and a drumstick, respectively.
  • Instant Militia: One of the abilities you get, Reinforcements.
  • Instant Runes: The Arcane Wizards have these for their Teleportation and Death Ray spells.
  • Jet Pack: The Rocket Riders have one.
  • King Mook: Most of the bosses, particularly the ones that are found in bonus campaigns. Your own Heroes tend towards being based off the 6 upgrade paths (4 towers, reinforcements and rain of fire) as well.
    • Sir Gerald is the "Barracks" hero, and works well with your other troops in a defensive line, and despite his lower hp for a melee hero, is very tough thanks to his skills and high armor.
    • Alleria is the "Archer" hero, and is extremely effective at DPS, much like most archer towers and can take down enemy air units.
    • Bolin is the "Artillery" hero, with powerful area abilities that let him take care of large crowds and can slow (and thus crowd up) enemies for Artillery pounding.
    • Magnus is the "Mage" hero, with powerful abilities to delay and harm enemies as well as a fair ammount of raw damage from his own attacks.
    • Malik is the "Reinforcements" hero, like reinforcements, he's best used to add extra muscle to your forces and deal with large crowds.
    • Ignus is the "Rain of Fire" hero, like rain of fire, he's absolutely devastating on concentrated groups and can be sent in wherever you need extra firepower.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: One of the phrases uttered by the Arcane Wizards.
  • Kneel Before Zod: One of Vez'nan's many taunts is commanding you to kneel before him.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Anything that gets killed by artillery.
  • Lightning Gun: One of the possible final upgrades for the artillery.
  • Me's a Crowd: The Demon Legion's main ability. The clone shares the same health as the original, so pile up the damage before it starts cloning!
  • Money Spider: Aside from the start of each level, your main source of income is going to be killing the ZergRushing enemies.
  • Mook Maker: Spider Matriarchs, Necromancers, Noxious Creepers and Demon Legions.
  • Mook Medic: Shamans.
  • Mordor: Vez'nan's realm. The Pit of Fire and Pandaemonium count as well.
  • Mushroom Man: The Rotshroom enemies. These attack in Zerg Rushes and explode into toxic spores on death. Their boss Myconid moves quickly, is able to spawn more Rotshrooms via a spore cloud, and splits into many smaller Rotshrooms on death.
  • Name's the Same: No, the Flareon demons aren't flaming fox-like critters.
  • Nitro Boost: Rocket Riders will use one when hit, making them move super-fast for 2 seconds. This is very dangerous as they are flying units they cannot be blocked or ensnared by anything.
  • Number of the Beast: With each attack, Vez'nan deals a minimum of 666 damage.
    • Demon Legions have 666 health on Normal.
  • One-Hit Kill: J.T and Sarelgaz can devour your soldiers, Vez'nan can turn them to dust with a spell, Moloch can crush them with a headbutt, and Black Hags turn them into toads. On your side, the Arcane Wizards have a Death Ray that does this, the Musketeer tower's Sniper Shot skill has a chance of doing this, and Hacksaw's Tiiiimber! instakills a mook (and prevents revival against Fallen Knights).
  • One-Winged Angel: Vez'nan will revive as a demon after you kill him for the first time. Inverted: his demon form is actually weaker, since he can no longer kill soldiers instantly.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demon Spawn, Demon Lords, Demon Hounds, Demon Legions, Flareons, Gulaemons and Cerberus. All of them have "Infernal Combustion", which means they explode on death and do big damage to your barrack troops.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The "industrious" part is exaggerated to the point where they use modern (or at least post-industrial) tech in their artillery.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Mercenaries who fight with Bow and Sword, in Accord.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: "Small evil humanoids with no outstanding abilities".
  • Our Orcs Are Different: "Tough savages with light armor".
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Husks in the rotten forest. "Fallen warriors, their bodies claimed by the forest. They are now only husks of their former selves." Every time one of your soldiers dies, these are formed from the pool of green slime.
  • Rat Men: Wererats.
  • Regenerating Health: The Trolls' main ability.
  • Rocket Ride: Strangely subverted by Rocket Riders. Their rockets are more similar to Jet Packs, which they can use for a Nitro Boost.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The Giant Rats.
  • Savage Wolves: Wulves, which are fast but weak units that can evade melee attacks, Worgs, which are tougher, magic-resistant wulves, and Winter Wolves, which are even tougher. Then we have Demon Hounds, which are not only as tough as Winter Wolves, but they explode on death too! Taken Up to Eleven with the Cerberus, a giant three-headed hound, with a lot of health (compared to other Giant Mooks), high physical armour, and runs fast.
  • Shout-Out: Most of the game's non-informative writing.
  • Splash Damage: The Artillery attack allows for this, and so it's primary advantage over other towers is its ability to wipe out Zerg Rushes
  • Stone Wall: The role of the Barracks troops in general, but this especially applies to the Holy Order's paladins, who have the highest armor available for the player's side and have access to even more damage resilience upgrades as well as healing spells to stay alive.
  • Supervillain Lair: Vez'nan's awesome Dark Tower serves as the game's final level.
  • This Is a Drill: Hacksaw's Tiiiimber! attack. Like the DWAARP's Core Drill, it also kills foes in one hit.
  • Tin Tyrant: Lord Blackburn, a once-noble knight whose bloodlust corrupted him and his lands. His evil-looking armor isn't for show either- it makes him nearly impervious to physical attacks.
  • Turns Red: Rocket Riders will move faster if they get hit.
  • Use Your Head: Moloch's One-Hit Kill attack has him do a massive head smash on your troops. The Rotshroom enemies also use headbutts to attack your troops, since they have no arms.
  • Waddling Head: The Rotshrooms in the Fungal Forest. Subverted by Myconid, who has arms.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Arguably, the Sunray Tower.
  • We Have Reserves: You get an achievement for sending a certain amount of soldiers to their deaths.
    • At that note, you get one for having enough of them heal themselves up instead of dying.
  • When Trees Attack: Tainted Treants in the Rotten Forest, as well as the boss Greenmuck.
  • Wicked Witch: Black Hags, which can instakill regular troops by turning them into toads.
  • The Wiki Rule: You better believe it.
  • You Dirty Rat: The Giant Rats and Wererats. Also taken in the literal sense, as they spread disease/poison status on barracks troops.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Your purpose in the game. Also uttered word for word by arcane wizards earning their teleporting abilities.
  • Zerg Rush: Sort of the entire idea behind the game, and Tower Defense games in general, is stopping Zerg Rushes.

Kingdom Rush Frontiers includes examples of:

  • Action Bomb: The Abomination. It's a giant mook that doesn't deal too much damage when attacking, but when it dies and explodes...
    • Other examples include the Blazefangs, whose Plasma Cannon explodes upon death, and the [1]s Sha'Tra and Bonehart.
  • Airborne Mook: Giant Wasps, Wasp Queens, Poukai Riders, Razorwings and Quetzals.
  • Anchors Away: The Bootswain mercenaries smash enemies with their anchors.
  • Anti-Magic: The Axethrowers' Totem of Spirits prevents many foes from using spells, such as shamans' auras and especially the summoning abilities of Saurian Savants.
  • Asteroids Monster: Giant Wasp Queens will spawn four smaller wasps on death.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Lord Malagar is killed by Umbra after he is released.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Hired Genies can turn foes into dancing frogs.
  • Big Bad: Lord Malagar.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Shadowmoon Campaign
  • Booze Flamethrower: Buccaneer mercenaries attack enemies this way in close range, otherwise they will just throw the bottles.
  • Breath Weapon: The two dragons, Ashbite and Bonehart, breathe fire and plague, respectively.
  • Cannibal Tribe: You face these as enemies in Frontiers' jungle stages. They can eat your dead soldiers to regain health.
  • Chicken Walker: The Battle-Mecha has bird-like legs.
  • Clown Car Base: One alien pod can produce up to five Parasytes in one go.
  • Cthulhumanoid: Bluegales in the Rising Tides campaign.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The Axethrowers' Totem of Weakness makes all foes near it suffer 40% extra damage.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The necromancers are now on your side, and are an upgrade to the mage tower.
  • Dem Bones: The Necromancers (who are on your side now) can summon skeletons from dead bodies. An upgrade allows them to summon a Death Rider - a skeletal knight on a horse with an aura that buffs nearby skeletons.
    • Furthermore, these skeletons can get facehugged by Parasytes, but will not hatch into Reapers when they die from it (essentially, they make a meat (bone?) shield against Parasyte swarms).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You defeat Umbra (who is pretty much an Eldritch Abomination) in the final level.
    • In the bonus content Rising Tides, the boss is pretty much a Kraken/Cthulhu expy. Which you punch out, of course.
  • Dracolich: The hero Bonehart. His attacks deal area damage and cause disease on enemies.
  • Drop the Hammer: Xyzzy's Weapon of Choice is two energy hammers that can dish out lots of damage.
  • Dungeon Bypass: There are of course the same caves as found in the first game. One noticable other example is your first encounter with an Executioner in the level Buccaneer's Den. Instead of comming down one of the two already established paths, he cuts a lane through the swath of forest at the eastern path, adding another path for enemies.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Umbra.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Sand Wraith. This nasty guy can not only attack and summon mummy-spawning sarcophagi, it can also heal its own units!
    • Blood Tricksters can raise fallen Savages into Savage Zombies. One reason you should use artillery with them around so that there is nothing left for them to resurrect.
    • Savant Saurians can summon other Saurians into battle and also attack your troops.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: Giant Wasps serve as the weakest Airborne Mooks in Frontiers.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: After summoning Umbra, the force of the crystal explosion knocks Malagar to the edge of a cliff. He pleads for Umbra to save him... and Umbra just zaps Lord Malagar off.
  • Expy: Several of the Mooks in are equivalents to those in the first game.
    • Desert Thugs and Dune Raiders to Goblins and Orcs/Bandits and Brigands.
    • Sand Hound and War Hound - Wulf and Worg
    • Immortal - Marauder
    • Fallen - Skeleton
    • Desert Archer - Shadow Archer
    • Giant Wasp - Gargoyle
    • Sand Wraith - Necromancer (plus Shaman)
    • Executioner - Ogre
    • Witch Doctor - Shaman
    • Jungle Matriarch - Spider Matriarch
    • Gorillon - Yeti
  • Face Hugger/Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Parasytes in Frontiers, fast-moving critters that hatch from pods that resemble xenomorph eggs. These will latch onto the faces of barracks soldiers and slowly drain their health- when the soldier dies, they burst into deadly insectoid aliens called Reapers. Get them off your soldiers before they suffer such a fate.
  • Fake Difficulty: Nazeru the Red Efreet. He can summon three lesser efreets right in front of your exit, where you don't have anybody to guard as the rally point is too far. You'll need reinforcements and your hero to stop them, and a Rain of Fire to take care of this- if he does it again, you're screwed.
  • Fish People: A number of the Deep Devils are these.
  • Flesh Golem: The Abomination, made up of mutilated limbs and bodies of creatures. And they also blow up on death.
    • Frankie the Flesh Golem. However, this one is on your side.
  • Flunky Boss: All of them.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Nazeru the Red Efreet gets put back into a lamp when he is defeated.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Bloodshells in the Rising Tides expansion. These have EXTREME armor like the previous game's Dark Slayers, you'll need Magic to stand a chance against them.
    • There's also the Hero Karkinos, who's a Giant Ally Crab-man.
  • Giant Flyer: Poukai. These are giant birds ridden by savages who rain spears on your troops. When the savage is killed, the bird goes berserk and rushes quickly to the exit.
    • Razorwings and Quetzals, the latter of which can lay eggs that hatch into Razorwings.
  • Giant Mook: Giant Wasp Queens, Executioners, Jungle Matriaches, Gorillons, Saurian Brutes, Bloodshells, Abominations.
  • Giant Spider: The spiders and Matriarchs are back, and their Jungle counterparts are even stronger than the Forest versions.
  • The Goomba: Desert Thugs, although they are stronger than the first game's goblins.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Dune Raiders, Immortals, Giant Scorpions. The Earth Shamans provide heavy armor to all savages around them. The Rising Tides update gives us Bloodshells, which are souped-up Dark Slayers that are also immune to artillery.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Battle-Mecha upgrade for the Artillery. It can't be damaged, and rains bombs, missiles and oil (slows foes) on hapless targets.
  • Hungry Jungle: The jungle area. The plants eat you, the savages eat you, the giant spiders return, and there are facehuggers too.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Savages in Frontiers will eat your fallen soldiers to regain health.
  • Immune to Bullets: Ghosts and Phantom Warriors are immune to non-magical attacks by virtue of being ghosts.
  • Instant Death Radius: Vasile's second phase has a rapid life-draining aura that makes short work of units and heroes alike.
  • Invisible Monsters: At half their health, Saurian Nightscales will stealth cloak and become invisible to your towers. They can still be hit by Splash Damage, though, and Furnace Blast is a great way to burn a whole bunch of them.
  • Jungle Japes
  • Kung-Fu Proof Mook: Besides Airborne Mooks and Heavily Armored Mooks, there are Dune Terrors, who are invulnerable to damage while burrowed underground (use troops to lure them out).
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The boss of the extra content Rising Tides. It looks like a Kraken but is named Leviathan, and uses its tentacles to temporarily disable your towers.
  • Killer Gorilla: Gorillons in Frontiers. Acts like a Yeti. Then there's Quincon, the second boss, and his Mandrilos flunkies.
  • Laser Blade: The Hero Sha'tra uses a pair. The Saurian Brutes wield a pair of energy whips.
  • Life Drain: Myrmidon Saurians can bite your troops to regain health.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Unlike most bosses who tend to be unarmored and quite slow, Xyzzy is fast, has a Medium amount of armor, and sports a One-Hit Kill where he eats your soldiers and a painful AOE hammer attack that hits 8 times and even targets flying heroes.
  • Lizard Folk: The Saurians, whom you fight underground.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Saurian Deathcoils in the Darklight Depths fire very painful crossbow bolts with a range of nearly half the map. They suck at close-range fighting, though, so reinforcements can temporarily draw their attention for a while.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Snapvines along Snapvine Bridge. These will devour both ally and enemy alike, should they get too close. You can get an achievement for letting the plants eat 50 people (ally or enemy).
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Savages.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Buccaneers attack the enemies by throwing burning booze.
  • Mook Maker: Quetzals are pretty much flying versions of the Matriach, except they can't attack because they fly over everything.
  • Mook Medic: The Sand Wraith in Frontiers combines this with Enemy Summoner, making it a very dangerous foe.
    • Witch Doctors will cause savages around them to gain a health regeneration.
  • Necromancer: These guys are on your side now. They can raise dead bodies from fallen enemies, poison foes, and summon a skeletal knight on a horse that attacks opponents.
    • Bonehart the Dracolich also appears to be one, he has powers over plague and can animate bones.
    • For the enemies, there's the Sand Wraith that can summon mummy sarcophagi that spawn mummies, and the Blood Trickster, who resurrects savages that die around it into voodoo zombies.
  • One-Hit Kill: The DWAARP's Core Drill drills an opponent for a guaranteed instant-death.
    • Some level have genies you can hire. They can turn an opponent into a random object, which is an instant-kill.
    • There's a Giant Mook called the Executioner, who holds a giant axe. Guess what it does to your troops. However, he cannot kill Hero Units in one hit.
    • Saurian Blazefangs have hi-tech plasma guns that have a chance of vaporizing the victim.
    • Nazeru's attack involves him snapping his fingers and turning any nearby soldiers or heroes into dust.
    • Lucrezia's Spin Attack does this to Vampiresa enemies caught in the area of effect, which makes her vital in killing groups of them.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Nazeru the Efreet, the first boss. He can summon smaller genies, as well as trapping your towers in a temporary sandcastle, making those towers useless.
    • You also can hire Genies in stage 4. These can turn foes into random objects, instantly killing those foes.
  • Pirate the level Buccaneer's Den allows you to hire Corsairs and Buccaneers as additional foot soldiers, and features an actual pirate ship that can take out enemies for you in return for payment.
  • Regenerating Health: The Werewolves and Lycans (in wolf form) have this as their ability. If the moon is out, they regenerate faster.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The only reptiles that show up are Saurians, who serve as Lord Malagar's Elite Mooks.
  • Sand Worm: Dune Terrors in Frontiers. They are immune to damage when burrowed underground, and move very quickly. Use some barracks troops to lure them out.
    • There's also the giant sand worm in the Dunes of Despair that eats a good number of your troops (or even your hero) should you fail to heed the Worm Sign. You get an achievement for not letting the worm eat any of your units. In the Heroic and Iron Challenges, you can see its huge carcass.
  • Savage Wolves: Sand Hounds and War Hounds are pretty much Wulves and Worgs with a different name.
  • Scary Scorpions: Giant ones in Frontiers. These can poison your troops, and have heavy armor.
  • Schizo Tech: How could these saurians have possibly acquired plasma guns and energy whips?
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Umbra
  • Shifting Sand Land
  • Shout-Out: The Parasyte and Reaper are obvious ones to Alien, in terms of how they breed. The Parasyte looks very similar to a headcrab. The Reaper's description also makes a reference to Alien vs. Predator.
  • Status Buff Dispel: The Totem of Spirits used by the Axethrower tower. This dispels any buffing auras, which is very useful against Witch Doctors, Earth Shamans, and Spirit Shamans.
  • Stay Frosty: One of the Hero Unit Alric's quotes. Could be because he's introduced in the desert level.
  • Stock Scream: Saurians climbing the chasm vines make a Wilhelm scream if you kill them before they reach the surface.
    • Lampshaded with the achievement "Is that Wilhem?"
  • Teleport Spam: Darter Saurians will teleport when hurt.
    • On your side, we have Nivus, who teleports when you move him around. People tend to move him around quite a bit.
  • This Is a Drill: The DWAARP has one. It uses it to create earthquakes, and can drill an opponent with it for a One-Hit Kill.
  • To Serve Man: The Saurian Myrmidon's Life Drain ability involves them taking bites out of your troops.
    • Also, Ghouls in the Shadowmoon campaign eat troops after killing them, regenerating their health. Lampshades by the "OM NOM NOM" sound clip that plays when they do this.
    • Ashbite can also do this with his Feast skill, though it's often used on Giant Mooks, which, barring Executioners, aren't human. Usually.
    • Xyzzy does this when encountering your troops, using his chameleon-like tongue.
  • Turns Red: When a Poukai Rider's rider is killed, the bird flies faster and rushes towards the exit.
    • Saurian Broodguards become faster as they lose health, because "their wounds fuel their combat rage". Saurian Nightscales use an Invisibility Cloak when they drop to half their health.
  • Turtle Power: Blacksurges in the Rising Tides mini-campaign. These are nasty enemies that can temporarily disable your towers, as well as get into an invulnerable defensive stance where they regenerate health rapidly. Using barracks is a must.
  • The Unfought: Although he does cast spells on your troops, you never actually get to fight Lord Malagar as he gets zapped off a cliff by Umbra after summoning it.
  • The Virus: Lycans have a chance of turning the troops they kill into werewolves.
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