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Video Game: Rune
Rune is a third-person Hack and Slash game developed by Human Head Studios and published by Gathering, released in 2000 for Windows and Macintosh. The game uses a modified version of the Unreal Engine, to utilize third-person melee combat instead of first-person gunfights.

It is based on Norse Mythology, and follows the story of Ragnar after his initiation into Odinsblade when an allied village gets attacked. When sailing out to the village, he is attacked by Conrack, with his boat being destroyed by the power of Loki. Ragnar was called by Odin, who tells him it was not his time to die yet, and swims into an undersea cavern. Ragnar must fight his way through legions of monsters that awaits him if he wishes to exact his vengeance against Conrack.

A standalone expansion pack, Rune: Halls of Valhalla, was released in 2001 that features new multi-player modes, new characters, and new maps. The game was later ported to the PlayStation 2, subtitled Viking Warlords, followed by a Linux port by Loki Software in the same year. Rune Gold, a compilation re-release of the original game and expansion pack, was also released at the time. Another re-release, Rune Classic, was released digitally via Steam in 2012 and on GOG.com in 2013 with the extra enemies from the PlayStation 2 version, more streamlined levels, and the game's soundtrack as a bonus.


This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • An Axe to Grind: One of three weapons classes.
  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Loki is fond of this while going through his rapid mood swings.
  • Auto-Save: The computer versions of Rune automatically saves your game at certain points of the game although manual saves are possible.
  • Back from the Dead: Even though you fallen into the underworld, you get revived by Odin.
  • Booby Trap: Some levels are rigged with traps, such Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom and blade traps that messily kills you instantly.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Goblin Axe's Ghost Throw power lets you hurl the axe endlessly for a short period of time.
  • Bottomless Pits: In the mountainous regions of Hlora's Pass.
  • The Berserker: Ragnar can go into Berserk mode after slaying many enemies at once before the Bloodlust meter depletes or picking up a Rune of Bloodlust. Once full, any damage he takes goes to his Bloodlust meter instead.
  • BFS: The Dwarven Battle Sword, a huge, curved, two-handed sword that makes mincemeat out of your enemies.
  • Chained to a Rock: Loki. In this variation, the poison drips onto his chest.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: If it's splattered in pieces, it's boned.
  • Combos: A string of attacks can be done with properly timed swings.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: The game features some competitive multiplayer modes such as deathmatch and team deathmatch where players battle against each other. The game's expansion pack adds new multi-player modes such as an Arena mode and a Headball mode, new character skins, and new multiplayer maps. It also adds the ability to deflect thrown weapons with a well-timed attack.
  • Compilation Re-release: Rune Gold, which comes with the original game and the Halls of Valhalla expansion pack.
    • Updated Re-release: Rune Classic adds the new enemies seen the PlayStation 2 version and steamlined the game's more larger levels.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The hellish temperatures of Hel won't stop Ragnar from exacting vengeance against Conrack.
  • Dem Bones: The skeleton enemies.
  • Difficulty Levels: Stock easy to hard settings. Hard difficulty is more noticeable in the first boss fight, where Ulf has much more health than he would have otherwise.
  • Drop the Hammer: The maces and hammers.
  • Emergency Transformation: Conrack escaped, and he leaves you to die in a pit as monsters keep attacking. The only way to proceed is to transform into one of the Elite Mooks. Loki laughs, saying that Odin would not accept you after you willingly transformed.
  • Eternal Engine: The land of the Dwarves.
  • Expansion Pack: The Halls of Valhalla standalone expansion pack, which adds more multi-players, character skins, and maps. It also adds the ability to deflect thrown weapons with a well-timed attack.
  • Exposed to the Elements: The goblins strips Ragnar of everything above the belt yet this doesn't stop him from hunting down Conrack through the icy mountains of Hlora's Pass.
  • First Village: The game's starting point, where you learn the basics of survival and fighting.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There's an issue with the game crushing in the Halls of the Dishonored level due a missing wall-breaking sound effect. The only way around this is to mute the game, break the walls in the hallway area, save the game, and restart with sounds enabled.
  • Garden of Evil: Those snake-like enemies seen in the first few levels are actually the local plant-life. And the mushrooms release their toxic spores when someone steps on them.
  • Heart Container: Runes of Health and Runes of Power respectively raises your health and rune power.
  • Hell Hound: Found in the Hel levels as huge, demonic dogs with red claws and glowing eyes.
  • Heroic Mime: Ragnar, who doesn't speak at all other than his reactions to pain.
  • Horny Vikings: You, your fellow Vikings, and Conrack's minions.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: You can recover health by consuming lizards, food, and mead.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: You can carry all 15 weapons (one per class being visible at a time) without them slowing you down and switch between them on the fly.
  • Improvised Weapon: Severed limbs and heads can be used as weapons or to trigger a trap.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the only ways to kill zombies.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Hel, with lava as far as the eye can see in some parts of it.
  • Life Meter: The (red) Health meter.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: You can use a shield with small or one-handed weapons to block enemy attack, but your shield will eventually break from abuse. The Viking Axe lets you create a large, impenetrable magic shield temporarily.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The player and enemies can be brutally killed if they take a severe amount of damage and be reduced to a pile of gibs and body parts. Dead bodies can also be reduced to gibs by attacking it.
  • Necessary Evil: After your Emergency Transformation you will have to traverse your home village, and fight your former comrades who cannot tell you from other Elite Mooks.
  • No-Gear Level: After clearing the Skerkir Ravines, Ragnar falls victim to the goblins' trap and get knocked out. In the following level, Ragnar finds himself half-naked and all of his equipment gone, ready to become dinner for a carnivorous beast.
  • Norse Mythology: The game is based on Norse myths, with Odin's struggle against Loki and eventually Ragnarok.
  • Off with His Head!: Doable with bladed weapons. This is also the other way to kill zombie.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: How you switch between your different weapons and weapon classes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: During Berserk mode, your eyes glows red. Hell Hounds' eyes also have glowing demonic eyes.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Performed with lava.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The Viking Broad Sword has the Ally power, and (almost) anything it strikes turns an enemy against each other. It is possible to have enemies to fight each other to without this power if you can get them attack one another.
  • Shows Damage: As you or the enemy lose health, you can see them bleed or have cuts on their bodies.
  • Spellblade: All of your weapons have a unique magical effect that can give you an edge in battle. These effects include:
    • Dishing Out Dirt: Dwarven Battle Sword's Avalanche power causes you to hurl huge boulders against your enemies. The Dwarven Work Hammer also has Earth Attack, where slamming the hammer causes three earth blasts to run across the ground.
    • Flaming Sword: The Roman Sword's Blaze power cloaks the blade in flames, and swinging the blade causes an explosion of flames to erupt. The Hand Axe also has this effect minus the fiery eruption.
    • Harmless Freezing: Sigurd's Axe's Freeze power freezes enemies. Hitting them while they're frozen shatters them to pieces, killing them instantly.
    • Ground Pound: The Rusty Mace's Blast power causes a shockwave that knocks surrounding enemies back.
    • Invisibility: The Trial Pit Mace's Spirit power gives you this effect.
    • Life Drain: The Viking Short Sword's Vampire Attack power, where each slash drains your victims' health and gives it a shiny red glow.
    • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Bone Club's Sonic Blast power adds sonic waves to your attacks.
    • One-Hit Kill: The Dwarven Battle Axe's Super Damage does to your enemies when it's activated.
    • Shock and Awe: The Dwarven Work Sword's Lightning power temporarily adds electricity to your attacks and lets you shoot balls of lightning with each swing.
    • Taken for Granite: The Dwarven Battle Hammer's Stone power petrifies enemies and turns them into stone. Hitting enemies while they're petrified will also shatter them.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: If you see one, smash it to proceed or find goodies.
  • Sword Lines: Every time you swing your weapon, including the hammers.
  • Tin Tyrant: Conrack, the Big Bad of the game.
  • To Hell and Back: Performed twice. First was fighting the way out of Hel and back to the surface. The second time, Ragnar needs to re-enter Hel, although the exit trip is much faster.
  • Underwater Ruins: The first main level of the game.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ragnar becomes one by the time he gets to Hlora's Pass, but he kills off an enemy Viking and steals his armor later on.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
  • You Killed My Father: Conrack killed Ragnar's father (and his fellow Vikings), and he won't rest until he claims Conrack's head.

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alternative title(s): Rune
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