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Video Game: One Way Heroics
In One Way Heroics, you take on the role of an intrepid adventurer who must travel across the land and face the Demon Lord before a mysterious darkness engulfs everything.

Darkness always approaches from the left, and with each movement, attack and action you take, the darkness creeps ever closer. Forced to run right, you'll encounter any number of monsters, allies, thieves and shops on your desperate journey to stop the end of everything.

Developed by Smoking Wolf using the Wolf RPG engine, One Way Heroics is an unusual Roguelike game with an interesting mechanic implemented to ensure progression and add a challenge: A wave of all-devouring darkness chases you as you adventure, forcing you to advance endlessly to avoid being destroyed as you seek to defeat the Demon Lord.

You can get the game on Steam here, and find the official website here. A fanmade wiki has appeared here.

Tropes associated with One Way Heroics:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Whether or not there is one isn't known, but if you play the game on the hardest possible difficulty level and aim for the maximum distance, it's basically impossible not to reach at least level 1000 unless you run from every single enemy. On the other hand, since every level only increases a single random stat and levels also double as an alternative form of currency as described below, you can beat the easier difficulty levels on level 10 or lower.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The game's main distinguishing feature.
  • All Women Are Lustful / All Men Are Perverts: If your companion has Naughty prefix, their dialogue can become...interesting.
  • An Adventurer Is You: You can play as one of several character classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses...
    • Fragile Speedster: The Adventurer. Low health and low offense, but he can dash and also can move two tiles in one turn (even jumping over enemies to let allies attack from behind). He also levels up in both swimming and mountain climbing (eventually crossing both terrains in one turn). The Hunter also has high speed, dashing and mountain climbing but lousy health/strength, designed for kiting enemies with a bow or spear.
    • Glass Cannon: Force Users, who have low defense and (unless they have weapons or accessories to negate the wait) take increasing amounts of meditation to cast their spells, which do massive damage and have the largest AoE in the game. The Hero class can also count, having amazing fighting abilities, but take far more damage from the side or back than usual. Taken Up to Eleven with Zenura Weave, which gives them more stats in exchange of being unable to wear armor. Or clothes, although accessories and weapons are still fair game.
    • Stone Wall: Knights, who start with a shield and usually have the weight limit to wear heavy armor. Also the Bard eventually, when he learns a very cheap (and spammable) skill which cuts both incoming and outgoing damage to 1/3 (while letting any allies attack unhindered), while the Knight's equivalent skill that can only be used once a day and which wears off if the Knight takes even one step. The Bard also starts with a skill that improves allies' defense.
      • This is also one of the best uses for the Duke Galtz and Soldier D allies, since they both have relatively high HP compared to their offense.
  • Anti-Villain: Turns out the Demon Lord is trying to get you to kill her to stop the Darkness, or rather the Dark Dragon.
  • Apocalypse How: If left unchecked the Darkness could consume the whole world. And all this is being done to delay later apocalypse which WILL wipe out all life, and is simply being delayed until space travel is hopefully invented.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Each party member you want to recruit consumes some of your charisma, and even if you have enough charisma you can't have more than three. However recruitable NPCs are so rare outside of daily scennarios you'll often run into nobody except the optional starting pet and the overpriced-but-guaranteed Guard D.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The major mechanic of this game. It also adds to the story and the tension of the game's mood.
  • Big Bad: The Demon Lord, who will appear to challenge you eventually (400km into an adventure on the A Walk in the Park difficulty).
    • Bigger Bad: It turns out that she isn't happy about this at all-the Darkness itself, or rather the Dark Dragon, is forcing her to serve as a cat's-paw.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The normal ending, especially if you've talked to the Demon Lord and know more of the plot details. Yes, the darkness is stopped and the rest of the world is safe, but a huge portion of the world has already been destroyed and it will happen again... once more, after which something even worse will happen. Plus the Demon Lord wasn't really a bad guy.
    • All of them. In some of them your companions die happily, in another one protagonist starts losing memories
  • Black Market: The Dark Brotherhood, which requires a Dark Brotherhood License or the Pirate class to unlock. You can also enter if your current bounty is high enough from killing friendly NPCs.
  • Bottomless Bladder, Nobody Poops, Plot-Powered Stamina: Talk to Iris enough and she will lampshade a number of things the hero is not doing during his days-long race against the darkness.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The End of the World ending. You've gone all the way around the planet and are now in the lifeless plane that used to be King Victor's palace. The Demon Lord shows up to give you a Holy Sword to reveal the Dark Dragon, and the last line is you rushing at it.
  • Breakable Weapons: All your equipment has limited durability, so you may want to save the big weapons for tough enemies. Spare (good) weapons are heavy and scrolls to repair things without making them extra-brittle afterwards are rare.
  • The Corruption: How those monsters are created. You actually can have a party member afflicted with it, namely Dosey the Healer, who is slowly turning into a powerful Killer Hound.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: Go over your character's weight limit, even by 1 weight, and they can't move at all.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: King Victor is a Necromancer and older brother of the Demon Lord, who are the last survivors an ancient culture responsible for performing Heroic Sacrifice after Heroic Sacrifice to force the Darkness back to sleep when it wakes.
  • Dead All Along: Queen Freida.
  • Death Seeker: The Demon Lord, since it's the only way she knows how to stop the Darkness...unless you're up to the task of killing the Dark Dragon, that is.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Deserts and Volcanoes. Both have fewer towns than normal and almost no vegetation, deserts drain stamina and speed and volcanoes have moderately tough enemies. However they also have gems lying around that are worth a lot of money as compensation.
    • Also, oddly enough, "Everything is Silver" special campaign worlds. Lots of extra shopkeepers and money ensure better odds than normal of getting semi-rare items and good gear and no guards makes killing everyone unusually safe, but chefs are removed entirely and many items are replaced with money, meaning even if you buy out every herb you see you'll have a hard time with food. Plus there's no old women to tell you where towns are and no fortune tellers (meaning no spells, not even the one to detect NPCs), so you'll miss a lot of towns unless you're the bard or very lucky, and there's no recruitable party members (not even the normally-guaranteed Soldier D).
  • Double Standard: Parodied with Hero's Zenura Weave: if you're playing as a male character, everyone will either think you're crazy or ask you to at least find some pants to wear, but if you're playing as a female character, most people will complement your body and other female party members will even be jealous of you.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Axes (and to a lesser extent any strong attack) can easily bust down walls, making shortcuts into and out of dungeons to grab their treasure. This is very important since failing to get out quickly will get you swallowed by the darkness.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Darkness that's chasing you is an invulnerable wall of destruction that annihilates everything it touches. And that's not a joke-the Dark Dragon that generates it is a mountain-high monster that takes 10,000 years of sleep to reach its full strength whereupon it can destroy all complex life. The whole Demon Lord system is an attempt to artificially lengthen the cycle, and even that's a temporary stopgap because there aren't any more candidates.
  • Elite Mooks: Denoted by a triangle or a star above them. However you can't tell just how much stronger they are without seeing their name or using a Hunter, which usually means hitting them.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The darkness consumes everything, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. If you stay nearby NPCs can be heard dying as soon as the screen scrolls past them.
  • Excuse Plot: Defeat the Demon Lord and stop the Darkness! Actually subverted—beneath the surface there's quite a complex plot linking all the worlds.
  • Fairy Companion: Iris the Fairy, whom you can talk to, and also gives postgame commentary and advice. She even gets grouchy if you neglect her for a while, which can unlock an achievement!
  • Final Boss Preview: The Demon Lord shows up to chase you around for a bit once every so often. The first few times he does so he gets extra layers added onto the "barrier" that you must destroy before you can damage him, so it's best just to run.
  • Fight In The Nude: As seen above, played with the Hero class: they can gain massive permanent stat boosts in exchange for being unable to wear any armor, which also strips their sprite naked for the rest of the playthrough.
  • Harder Than Hard: There's both the Maniac option that disables Dimensional Vault and Goddess Statues and makes enemies stronger, and an unlockable difficulty with even higher enemy stats.
  • Have a Nice Death: Whenever something kills you, a cutscene is created that lovingly describes how your weakened adventurer succumbs to the killing blow.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The Dark Knight, The Dark Lord, and The Healer Dosey after she transforms into a Killer Hound can join your party under the right conditions.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Any food you eat to restore your energy only takes one turn to take effect.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: Holy Weapons and Armor. They're all both powerful and lighter than the next best thing, and the weapons get guaranteed or near-guaranteed critical hits. Oh, and since critical hits completely bypass the Demon Lord's barriers, so do holy weapons.
    • However, most Holy Weapons tend to veer a bit too far towards Awesome, but Impractical due to their low durability as well as the fact that getting guaranteed critical hits later in the game isn't exactly difficult. The armor is another story though.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The items for the two "alternate" ways of beating the game (without killing the Demon Lord) are heavier than their holy counterparts but even more powerful and with better durability too, especially the bow which has damage and durability almost double its holy counterpart and longer range. However there's not much left to do by the time you earn them and you can only ever use them by opening the dimensional vault, and they don't cover every weapon type (or any body armor) like the holy items do.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: What the game turns into even for high weight limit characters, as it's basically impossible to carry everything you want to have.
  • Item Caddy: Despite her title, Dosey's pre-transformation role is ultimately closer to this, as she uses herbs to heal you and gives you various rare potions during her conversations with you.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Frequently with some conversation tunes, but very notable with the Demon Lord's themes, which you often hear only the intro before the Lord vanishes. #3 in particular is good enough if you sit around for a bit, and then it just keeps going.
  • Lost Forever: Better grab your items before they get swallowed by the advancing Darkness! The autoscroll also prevents you from backtracking to that Appraiser who just got swallowed by the Darkness.
  • Low-Level Advantage: A very odd case. Leveling up itself is helpful, but your character level itself does very little (it mostly unlocks one special skill per class unless you're a Force User). Instead your level is used as an additional currency. You can trade "levels" for bonus stats, a free save or (for the Force User) extra Force Spells, but you keep all the stat gains so you're actually stronger than before.
    • However, due to the usefulness of high-end Force User spells, you're better off saving your levels until you learn them before you start spending them on Goddess Statues.
  • Macrogame: Aside from unlocking perks and classes, you get a "dimensional vault" which you can store items in at the end of the game (whether you won or lost) and then withdraw at the start of a later run. Eventually you can store enough powerful items to win the game several times over, not that you could carry them all.
  • Made of Explodium: Some flammable items don't like it when you get hit by fire attacks while you carry them, and make this known violently. It can get painful if that vial of Liquid Dragon Flame ignited while in your inventory.
  • Magikarp Power: Dosey's healing items are useful, but keep those Buddy Tablets that she gives you during a conversation! When The Corruption overcomes her, you can use one on her Killer Hound form to calm her down, re-recruit her, and gain the most powerful Lightning Bruiser in the game.
  • Marathon Boss: The Demon Lord fight can be ended pretty quickly in a normal game, even on hard mode. But in Maniac mode he gets increased stats and a truly massive health bar, so that even well beyond when the game would normally end you'll be hard pressed to kill him in one go.
  • Marathon Level: One of the endings requires reaching 2000 km rather than fighting the Demon Lord. That's at least three times as far as most characters should be by the time they're ready to kill the Demon Lord. Oh, and once you've achieved that you can try for up to 10000 km. The game gets progressively sparser with towns and save points as you go and the chance of the few towns you're able to find being empty except for a single NPC, a pair of low-tier chests or even a horde of zombies. Initially this makes keeping your energy up an issue, but later the weaker enemies are replaced with bears and tigers who frequently drop food.
  • Money for Nothing: Money can be short early on, but as the game goes on your income will accelerate faster than anything you'd want to spend it on. Your maximum inventory weight is a FAR more oppresive limit on what you can buy than your wallet. And then later on, the frequency of shops starts decreasing. That is, unless you managed to find Dark Brotherhood shops (and have appropriate pass), which will sell extremely powerful scrolls and items that are normally extremely hard to find (and are appropriately priced, of course).
  • Mordor: Corrupted Lands. Almost no towns, not much plantlife and oh yeah, the toughest enemies in the game. Unlike other "difficult" terrains there's no special items to compensate so you generally want to race through it quickly.
  • Multiple Endings: Several of them, including difficulty-based endings and one for each party member.
  • Nintendo Hard: True to the nature of most Roguelikes, OWH is a challenging game, with punishing terrain, fierce monsters that randomly have buffs, and the scarcity of items/money, but it's still relatively merciful compared to some other examples thanks to the greatly variable difficulty level and rare but permanent opportunities to save your progress and reload it as you wish, although you can only get additional Hero Points the first time you die or beat the game per save.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted with some but played extremely straight with others. Some people will give you free items or information in hopes that you use it to stop the Darkness. But the shopkeepers themselves will still charge you full price, even though the shopkeeper is minutes away from being consumed by the Darkness (which is keeping pace with the hero). However, the higher your Charisma, the less the shopkeepers charge you.
  • Nominal Importance: Played with for Soldier D, one of the soldiers from the castle. Despite not having a name he will join your party if you have at least 4 charisma and can hold his own in combat. But he's still weaker than any of the other recruitable characters (especially for his price). If you ask Iris about him she'll complain that he doesn't have a name, an affection rating, dialog or any special traits.
  • Not the Intended Use: You are supposed to equip a bow to fire arrows at far away enemies. A strong enough character may just throw the things by hand to great effect (although with only a range of two squares).
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Depends on the build: physical classes are better off focusing on Strength while the likes of Force User naturally benefit more from pumping all their extra levels into either Intellect or Willpower.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Averted. The Demon Lord will come to you, frequently, with the stated intent of squashing you before you get strong enough to kill him.
  • Power-Up Food: You can find various non-aggressive animals that drop stat-boosting items when killed. However, doing that makes the Jade Forest Rangers hostile.
  • Procedural Generation: The worlds are procedurally generated with a random seed word, which you can share with others.
  • Random Drop: Most enemies logically drop weapons or throwing ammo associated with them, like Imps and their Big Stones, and some beasts can drop Animal Meat, but there are other things that can be dropped entirely at random, mostly if the enemy in question has a title like Pack-Rat or Rich.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Stack enough Pro-Wrestler perk and you can pull this off.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Demon Lord, and also King Victor.
  • Relationship Values: Party member affection rates increase via various means, mostly when you get far enough in the game, kill enough enemies and use enough healing items.
  • Rocket Tag Gameplay: The further you get on higher difficulty levels, the more the gameplay creeps towards this: while enemy HP and defense doesn't generally scale fast enough that not being able to kill them in 1-2 hits becomes an issue, their attacks are still strong enough that they can murder you in a few hits if you're not careful. This also makes fire-breathing enemies an even bigger threat, both because the otherwise massive defense that your allies get when they're leveled high enough doesn't seem to protect them from it and thus it can kill them in a single hit since their HP doesn't go past 999 unlike yours as well as setting you on fire if you're not wearing fireproof armor: while the herb- and gem-destroying effect is a minor annoyance at best when you're at a high level, the burn effect does more damage the higher your level is and a single fire breath can stack multiple different-leveled burn effects on you that you can't survive even with constant item use if you're exceptionally unlucky.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Dark Lord is revealed to be one.
  • Save Game Limits: For what's essentially a Roguelike, the game's extremely merciful when it comes to this: not only can you save your game every time you run into the often-appearing Save Attendant, but she also sells a random number of Save Crystals that you can use at any time to save your game. The Goddess Of Time, Chronos, also randomly offers you a chance to save your game in exchange for 5 levels, a very reasonable cost considering the levels work as a secondary form of currency as stated above: you can also load any save an unlimited number of times, which is a godsend when you attempt to beat the game by reaching the end of the world, considering there's no telling when you run into a dead end with no way out. The only real limitation is that your score is saved when you die or finish the game for the first time, meaning that you can't get any additional Hero Points for your marathon-lenght run if you die at any point.
  • Save Scumming: You are given ample opportunity to die, learn, and start over from your last save (like Dark Souls) until the ending is Future Perfect. HOWEVER: You get a small penalty to your overall score for every single time that you save the game.
  • Schmuck Bait: You are told up front that breaking open the Soul Jar in a Demon Shrine will do nothing except powering up the Demon Lord. Guess what - that's exactly what it does, and it does nothing else.
  • Shout-Out: Queen Frieda has heard about women who have a thing about sparkling undead and wonders if she should try it too since she's undead as well.
    • And Iris - about certain Princess Peach, who has a thing about being constantly kidnapped.
  • Socialization Bonus: There are leaderboards, and you can also meet the Ghosts of fallen Players who will give you some of their experience points and a random item when you talk to them. You can also warn each other of threats in a specific world, share random seeds, or even post your exploits on Twitter.
  • Splash Damage: Elzite Bombs and Bomb Arrows explode violently enough to spill over into adjacent tiles when they go off. Don't stand right next to something you're attacking with them!
  • Suicide by Cop: The Demon Lord.
  • Time Stands Still: The "Awakening" ability you start with acts like this, allowing you to defeat tough enemies (or make a quick escape). However, you only get 5 uses per playthrough.
  • True Final Boss: The Dark Dragon.
  • The Unpronounceable: Because of the seed nature for setting up each dimension's terrains—area names included—bizarre, often vowel-less configurations of letters are pretty much the norm. It might not have been as much of a nuisance in the original Japanese (i.e. syllable-based alphabet), where every possible syllable except "n" ends in a vowel, but for our alphabet...Lampshaded in one of the random prologues.
  • Unknown Item Identification: All equipable items have 3 levels of identification: the lowest only tells you their basic weapon type and weight, the middle one tells you their name and basic item description and complete identification adds any existing modifiers and current durability. You can fully or partly identify them automatically if your Intelligence is high enough, and failing that there are scrolls and occasional NPCs which can identify all the items in your inventory.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Averted; nothing is immune to status effects, including the Demon Lord. He can be confused, rooted in place, set on fire or even pacified, the last of which is especially unusual as a thing that works on the final boss. Sadly the True Final Boss does have the typical immunities, but then again it has no physical presense in the game, is described as being as large as a mountain and is literally the entire left side of the screen.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can hunt otherwise non-hostile wildlife and torment the neutral NPCs. You can also use NPCs as a distraction while running away from (or getting free hits on) the Demon Lord.
  • Videogame Cruelty Punishment: However, both of these can come back to bite you. Jade Forest rangers (and later Lieutenants, possibly the game's strongest enemy) hunt people who hurt otherwise nonhostile endangered animals. And of course most towns have guards and heavily-armed equipment dealers who will thrash you for attacking them; and even if you can easily slaughter them, good luck getting any new party members or learning new spells, being told where the next few towns are, or getting both meals out of a chef.
  • Vendor Trash: There are a number of gemstones that exist only to be sold. Herbs gathered in the snow plains biomes can also be sold for more money than normal healing herbs.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: If you drop to 0 Energy, your movement, Strenght and Agility are greatly lowered, your HP regeneration rate is halved and you stop generating stamina, so you better carry enough items that restore it. This is a more significant problem for Force Users, since their spells run off Energy instead of Stamina like the special abilities of most other character classes.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: As is the norm for roguelikes, a good number of deaths are self-inflicted by carelessness, like getting crushed by the autoscroll, getting surrounded and mobbed to death while trying to climb a mountain and outrun the deadly edge of the screen, running out of energy or stamina at the worst possible times, breaking a good weapon or shield because you overused it, using a bomb item in your inventory instead of throwing it at the enemy, and so on.
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