The Drop is a sequel to The Reconstruction, made by Space Lizard of Tilde-One Games, with character art by Daigerus.Five years after the events of The Reconstruction, society has begun to rebuild itself. But recently, something bizarre has happened: the Drop collapsed in upon itself, leaving a gaping, seemingly-bottomless hole in the ocean. Curious adventurers from around the world gather to see the depths for themselves. Early reports tell of a strong magical pervasion, granting even those unskilled in elemental arts the ability to wield magic, and of segments of land and even living creatures from other parts of the world suddenly appearing within.Structurally, the game is a Roguelike, with the Body/Mind/Soul system and Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors from The Reconstruction. There is a strong focus on environmental manipulation, as well — various environmental effects such as plants and water are spread throughout the floors, and can be manipulated for your benefit by using specific spells. Similarly, many enemies have special reactions towards spells with certain properties.There are nine playable characters (as well as six Secret Characters unlocked by beating the game with the others), each with their own subplot and reasons for delving the Drop. Four are returning characters from The Reconstruction, four are newcomers.
Tehgonan Clapian, now well into his adolescence, is tired of being dismissed as a child. He adventures into the Drop simply so he can claim to be the first to have braved the depths — "To prove them all wrong."
Moke has been recruited into the fold by the Greater Shra, and it is at their request that he ventures into the Drop, despite his own fears. The Greater Shra claim that the power to save the world rests beneath the caverns, and he seeks to find it.
Halia Falitza once had mind-reading powers, which is what allowed her to pull off her act so well. However, she now feels those powers fading. Hearing news of the Drop's magical properties, she descends in the hopes of re-discovering her powers.
Lani Derra, now an officer of Nal, quests for treasure — not for herself, but for the poor and starving in Nal.
Dehl, with Xopi Sikohlon in tow, journeys to the Drop in the hopes that the wish-granting dragon can restore Xopi's sight.
Fena Asarik, the new commanding officer of the Nalian forces, investigates the Drop for the sake of her city — hearing rumors of a fearsome beast at the very bottom, she wishes to make sure it does not bring harm to her people, as they are already teetering on the brink from the previous catastrophe.
Sypak is a wildborn shra. When the Drop formed, he was one of the people snatched from the outside world and sucked into its depths. He clawed his way out, only to find that he was miles away from his home in the Shra Lowlands. He descends again, hoping to find a way back.
Valitazzo is a Fortian fih'jik. A cold, bitter man whose life has been a string of misfortune, he has an eye only for power and destruction. He descends in the hopes of finding more power, and using it to find vengeance on those who have wronged him.
Arko, by contrast, is a deeply religious fih'jik who sees the appearance of the Drop as a sign of the end times. He chases after the rumors of a beast beneath the depths, hoping to cleanse its evil from the world.
Achilles' Heel: Flying enemies are completely immune to all ground-based spells, which can make them tricky to defeat...however, they take additional damage from spells and items with the "AIR" property — so much that it's entirely possible to hit the damage cap without trying very hard. (It's not the only way to defeat them, however, since they take normal damage from other attacks.)
Alas, Poor Villain: Havan is really quite pitiful. He became so tainted by the chaos energy that he couldn't even die properly, and has become even crazier than before as a vengeful spirit. He still believes himself a hero — and he thinks he can somehow redeem himself by killing Tezkhra. Tezkhra sees it as a mercy when he finally kills him for good.
To a lesser extent, there's also the fake Tezkhra. He may have been an unapologetic Evil Overlord, but the way in which he was killed was truly pathetic. Tezkhra takes pity on him, too.
Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. Si'shra are attempting to peacefully integrate into society — one possible background for a shra character is a reformed si'shra. The ones you encounter in the Drop are still pretty vicious, though, particularly the fake Tezkhra.
An Aesop: Most characters' endings result in them discovering that the Tatzylvurm can't give them what they actually want. Instead, it offers insightful philosophical advice that usually takes the form of this.
And I Must Scream: Even after being killed and swallowed by the Drop, Havan's spirit still clung to the material world due to the chaos energy that permeated it. He had to sit at the bottom of the Drop, alone. For five years. Little wonder that he's gone even nuttier than usual.
Anticlimax Boss: Inverted — you are the anticlimax encounter. In the ending for the fake Tezkhra, upon descending into the final chamber, he declares that he wants to fight the Tatzylvurm. Epic battle music starts playing...and then the Tatzylvurm kills him effortlessly.invoked
Aura Vision: Xopi is granted this by the Tatzylvurm in their ending.
Awesome, but Impractical: Fake Tezkhra's Signature Move, God's Gift. It has one of the highest damage multipliers of any spell in the game...but it also has a health cost to match. Using it is going to cripple you for a while afterwards, even if it manages to kill the target.
Awesome Yet Practical: Valitazzo's Signature Move, Horrible Night. It's one of the most powerful spells in the game, and it's an area-of-effect attack on top of that. It's costly, but only on par with other high-level spells, and Valitazzo has a special trait that makes spell costs less of an issue in the first place. You start with it, too.
Back Stab: Inflicts additional damage. Fih'jik characters can select a trait that makes it even more powerful. (Sirush also has a similar trait.)
Barrier Change Boss: The Final Boss blocks all elements except one. The element changes every time they use a special ability, but you can usually infer what it is from what ability they use.
Beneath the Mask: Now that Falitza has dropped her act, we get to see what her real personality is like. She is actually shrewd, perceptive, and a little bit snarky.
Beware the Nice Ones: Of a sort. The two Cowardly Bosses, Depth Blights and Indigo Walkers, are among the most powerful enemies. Depth Blights are immune to almost all status effects, preventing you from stunlocking them, and Indigo Walkers are capable of dealing triple-digit damage with their melee attack.
Big "NO!": Valitazzo's reaction to the Tatzylvurm sending them back to the surface.
Blatant Lies: If you talk to the white-robed shra as a human character, he'll say that there is "no ill will from the Greater Shra to your kind" about the whole enslavement thing. This is very obviously a lie — whether or not he himself has no ill will towards humans, the other Greater Shra make their displeasure about the subject very clear.
Bonus Boss: All of the rare monsters, in a sense. They appear rarely and it's entirely possible to just ignore them (and in some cases, that may be the best idea), but they give you very nice rewards if you can beat them.
In particular is Fake Tezkhra, which is particularly strong, but even rarer than normal. It even drops a trophy item that sounds like a Cosmetic Award that's just proof of defeating it (it's actually not).
Born Lucky: One of Asarik's special traits is "Favored by Fortune", which manifests in gameplay by causing enemies to drop items more often.
Subverted with the regular version of that trait, "Luck's End". Your character will start out lucky (manifested by additional starting favor), but become less fortunate thereafter (manifested by a lowered drop rate).
Boss Arena Idiocy: Prior to version 1.32, the Final Boss' arena was filled with pools of acid and putrid water, which could be thrown at them for free damage. This damage is also, conviently, Non-Elemental, making it possible to ignore their gimmick. Version 1.32 averts this by removing all environmental effects from the arena, making the fight more difficult.
The bonus for getting a complete bestiary. In order to complete the bestiary in the first place, you need to defeat the Final Boss, which requires completing the game with most of the characters anyway.
Beating the game by reaching the "final chamber" will award you with a large amount of favor. However, since you've already beaten the game, this is only useful if you want to utilize the Endless Game mechanic.
Cast from Hit Points: As is a staple for the series. This aspect is played up to add some more risk — magic is much more costly than it was in The Reconstruction, and you're on your own. If you're not careful, you can easily leave yourself a sitting duck by depleting your health pools.
Character Portrait: Every playable character has one in the character select screen. They are absent in the game itself, however.
Continuing Is Painful: Defeat will cause you to lose half your favor and all items except your weapon. You'll also be taken back to the safe camp, meaning that you'll have to pay a fee to return to the floor you were on.
Continuity Lockout: Though most characters' profiles give enough background information for their (fairly simple) plots to make sense, Tezkhra's is nearly impossible to understand without playing the other games first.
Alito has become remarkably snarky. Seeing dozens of gloryhounds come and go probably has that effect.
Falitza, at some points.
The purple-robed shra, if you annoy him.
"I see...runes...no, letters...words...words upon your mind. They state... 'I cannot remember what magic I have learned already.' Hmm."
Death by Irony: The fake Tezkhra prides himself on being so "defiled" as to be a reincarnation of his God of Evil. This defilement is so potent, in fact, that he's immune to Damage Over Time effects and his very breath is toxic. In the end, though, it's not enough to save him — he's killed by inhaling poison gas.
Dem Bones: A line of enemies. Some of them have actually broken down, and are now simply swirling clouds of bone parts.
Disc One Nuke: Bestiary information is preserved between characters, so if you fill it out as one character, all additional characters will be able to get the bonuses for reaching completion milestones before even entering the Drop.
Prior to version 1.1, there was also Judgment, sold by one of the spell vendors. Despite being a starting spell, it had the capacity to inflict stun, which can completely incapacitate enemies. The trigger chance wasn't high enough to be reliable, but it was still a useful standby until you got better stunlock spells. Version 1.1 changed it to inflicting wither instead, however.
However, the ending for the real Tezkhra is a more traditional downer ending. He gets his soul ripped out by the Drop, then returns to the surface only to find that he's tranced and the camp is long gone, stranding him on the island.
Dump Stat: Mind for shra, Soul for Fortians, Body for fih'jik. The "sniffing shra" at the base camp provides hints about this.
Easter Egg: Sort of. The sniffing shra at the base camp usually provides information on your race's stat layout. Talk to him as Moke, however, and you'll only make him cough and wheeze as he chokes on Moke's strong scent.
Also, completing the game as Rehm without consuming any "alcohol" items will change the ending slightly.
Endless Game: Potentially. Even after beating the game normally, you can keep exploring new floors ad infinitum.
Enemy Scan: Procure Status and Acute Observation. They provide different information, though — Procure Status reveals an enemy's special attack, while Acute Observation reveals their stats.
Escort Mission: Dehl's gameplay gimmick is this. Xopi is frail (his stats are half Dehl's), and if he falls, Dehl does too.
Fantastic Drug: Mush Caps and Madman's Lash. The former seems to be a hallucinogen, and the latter is explicitly stated to be a powerful sedative used to keep unruly Sanctifellians under control.
Certain items seem to be this for certain species (making them in-universe Alien Catnip). Anything with the "[species]DAZE" property will inflict confusion if consumed or used by the listed species. The descriptions of some items with such properties imply this as a possible reason.
Foil: Arko and Valitazzo are both this to Yfus. The former has the religious piety of his youth, as well as a similar desire to help those in need; the latter has a similar backstory of being cast out and abandoned by friends and family. In a way, they both represent who Yfus could have become had he been more or less fortunate, respectively.
I Just Want to Have Friends: Yfus' driving motivation. After losing his connections to the only group that would accept him when the guild disbanded, is now overcome by loneliness, and longs for the acceptance and friendship he once knew.
Interface Screw: Confusion will cause your character to move around randomly when you try to move. Blindness will also cause the screen to darken.
Interface Spoiler: Of a sort. From time to time, other playable characters will appear at the base camp to chat with you. However, this includes secret characters that you haven't unlocked yet, which can ruin some of the surprise.
Inventory Management Puzzle: A simple variant — you can only carry eight items in total (plus one equipped weapon). This is done to limit your options and force you to use items more often. You can also reduce your inventory space further through a Self-Imposed Challenge trait.
Kill It with Fire: Fire is highly dangerous — getting caught in it will quickly cause your health to drop, as well as disorient you. It goes away after a while...but turns into heavy smoke, which will stun you as long as you're in it. Ultimately, though, it's not actually that effective at killing things.
King Mook: The rare boss monsters usually take this form. The exceptions are the "mythical" creatures, which have a unique appearance.
The Medic: Arko has a trait that improves the effectiveness of healing spells.
Metal Slime: Matterfiends. They drop huge amounts of essence, and their rare drop is an elemental core. They can be pretty dangerous if you don't kill them quickly, though.
Mind Rape: There are a few spells that can mess with enemies' emotional states, usually through inducing panic. The spells Unstable Mind, Fearful Vision, and Impure Thoughts are particularly good examples of this.
Mood Whiplash: The endings for the last two secret characters are much darker and more serious than the endings for the other characters and the game's tone in general.
To a lesser extent, Yfus' ending is surprisingly depressing and downbeat, whereas most characters' are much more perky and humorous in tone.
Mushroom Samba: Eating Mush Caps seems to produce some form of this, though the player isn't privy to it. Eating them will produce the message, "You begin too feeeel straaaaaaaaaa..." and then your character will start floundering around randomly.
Never Trust a Trailer: In the trailer, Lani claims to be a Glory Seeker who just wants the Drop's treasure for herself. This is not the case in the game itself. It's possible that this was just a last-minute change, though.
No Antagonist: There really isn't a main villain in this game. Fake Tezkra, despite being an Evil Overlord, is an optional boss who doesn't even spawn in a playthrough all that often. The Tatzylvurm is more of a Living Macguffin then an antagonist and is The Unfought. Even Havan only appears if you play as the real Tezkhra, and the boss is treated more like a final challenge than a villain.
Non-Indicative Name: The "Sanguine Soarer" is a legendary bird with...white plumage, not red. This is lampshaded in its description.
No Sell: Some enemies have properties that they "block". This trait means that any spell or item used on them that contains that property is completely negated.
More generally, all flying enemies are immune to spells with the "GROUND" property.
Matterfiends are notable for being immune to all elements except the one they are vulnerable to. Non-Elemental damage from items still works, though.
The Depth Blight is immune to anything that inflicts stun, confusion, blindness, or panic, preventing you from abusing stunlock spells to kill it.
The Hellish Alpha and Snapping Death enemies both contain pretty nasty surprises: they are immune to the elements they'd normally be weak to.
Golden Dervish enemies are similar: they're flying creatures that block attacks with the "AIR" property — normally an Achilles' Heel for flying enemies.
Rare Candy: Cores. There's one for every life meter, which can be used to increase a stat by one point, and there's also one for every element, which can be used to greatly increase your progress toward learning a new spell.
There are also some rare "trophy" items dropped by legendary/mythical creatures with similar effects.
Redemption Demotion: Of a sort. In The Reconstruction, "God's Gift" was a terrifying attack capable of knocking your characters down to critical health at a whim, and was exclusively used by the si'shra warden. Now that you can actually play as a si'shra warden that can use God's Gift, it's Awesome, but Impractical.
Retraux: The text font and sound effects are both highly reminiscent of early games. This makes for an interesting contrast with the orchestral soundtrack and the fancy particle effects on spells.
The Runt at the End: The Greater Shra make an appearance as spell vendors. All of them maintain an air of knowledge and mysteriousness...and at the end is nervous, stuttering Moke, just as frail and pathetic as he was last game.
Sanity Slippage: Tezkhra experiences this as he descends deeper and deeper into the Drop, eventually culminating in the Blue One surfacing and speaking directly.
Secret Character: One is unlocked for every race you complete the game with — Sirush for humans, Rehm for shra, Alito for Fortians, and Yfus for fih'jik. There is also one unlocked by unlocking all the others — a false Tezkhra. Beating the game with that secret character will unlock yet another — the real Tezkhra.
Science Hero: Alito, whose motivation for exploring the Drop is to catalogue its mysteries.
Self-Imposed Challenge: When creating a custom character, there are a few "challenge traits" you can select that make the game more difficult in certain respects. You do get boosted growth rates out of the deal, however.
Sequel Hook: Everything. The story component of the game seems to exist primarily to taunt series fans by throwing out even more mysteries that will only be answered in the final game.
Ship Tease: Lani/Rehm can probably be considered to have gone past teasing and into actual confirmation. In Rehm's ending, Lani even proposes that they adopt children.
Shrouded in Myth: The "dragon" has succumbed to this despite the Drop only existing in its present state for the span of a few months! It's not a terrifying beast, it doesn't have a hoard, and it doesn't have the power to grant wishes. In truth, it is rather peaceful, and offers guidance and wisdom to those who find it.
Signature Move: Militia Strike for Asarik, Horrible Night for Valitazzo, Spirit Crush for Dehl, Perplexing Grin for Rehm, and God's Gift for Fake Tezkhra. Tezkhra has two signature moves, both of which are carryovers from The Reconstruction: Stardraw and Blinding Bloom.
Sophisticated as Hell: Many item and enemy descriptions take this form, with the first sentence being an objective encyclopedia-esque description, and the second being phrased in much more informal manner, usually containing a joke.
Squishy Wizard: Valitazzo. His defenses and melee damage are crippled, but he has huge stores of Mana and his spells have additional range.
Stat Grinding: Sort of. Stats themselves operate under normal Character Level rules (though your levels are split into three, one for each of the life meters), but learning new spells works this way. Casting spells or using items affiliated with a particular element will build up "elemental experience", eventually resulting in you learning a new spell.
Stealth Pun: The blue-robed shra's response to trying to purchase cold magic as a heat-elemental character is, "Inflammatory."
Stepford Snarker: Yfus. His cold and caustic exterior hides the fact that he feels increasingly lost, alone, and depressed.
The Stoic: Tezkhra, naturally. Falitza even blames her inability to mind-read them on their lack of emotions.
Technical Pacifist: Arko. His Body attack stat is crippled due to this, but he suffers no qualms about inflicting Mind and Soul damage.
Rehm is closer to an Actual Pacifist, but they still don't mind killing non-humanoids.
Dehl doesn't even pay lip service to this anymore; he can brutally murder anyone he pleases with no repercussions.
Terse Talker: The blue-robed shra speaks only in one-word sentences.
Theme Naming: As in The Reconstruction, fih'jik all have two-syllable, four-letter names. Valitazzo, being a Fortian convert, is an exception — his original name was "Valo".
Took a Level in Jerkass: Yfus, who is callous and dismissive towards the characters he doesn't know, and is frequently cold and bitter even to his friends.
Closer to a subversion, however — he is actually a Stepford Snarker covering for his crippling depression and loneliness after losing everything he cared about. Deep down, he still desperately wants to help people.
Trauma Conga Line: Yfus just cannot catch a break. He was cast out from Kir'Ssha, he had to kill his own brother, and then his father died while he was in the guild. Afterwards, the guild disbanded, leaving him friendless and alone. He bore this with a Stiff Upper Lip last game, but in the intervening years it's really worn him down. He travels to the Drop in hopes of finding his old friends, but of course the Tatzylvurm cannot help him, and its attempt to show him that he does not need to be so dependent on others just makes him even more depressed.
Vendor Trash: Streamlined. Most enemies' common drops are useless items that are only good for making money. You don't have to sell them yourself, though — they're automatically converted when you pick them up.
The Bandit's Scrip item is closer to the trope. It's virtually useless as a combat item, but can be converted into a large amount of favor.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: All over the place. Repay enemies that "trust" you by Back Stabbing them! Send your allies to their deaths while you hide in safety! Murder lost civilians who are just trying to get home, or frightened animals who can do you no real harm! Torture enemies by exploiting their worst fears, or just cut out the middleman and Mind Rape them directly!
It is possible to attack Xopi if you're playing as Dehl.
Videogame Set Piece: As with previous entries in the series, the Final Boss requires you to deplete all three of their life meters before being vanquished. Also makes more of an attempt to justify it, this time — the boss will give some unique flavor text with every life bar you deplete, taunting you about why they aren't dead yet.
The Final Boss also uses special techniques that fill the field with environmental effects and allow them to teleport. They can also change their damage type.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Rehm's Pacifist Run trait inflicts stat damage on them when they kill an enemy...but only if that enemy is a humanoid. You can still kill bugs, birds, beasts, and constructs with impunity.
You Bastard: Gameplay deterrence isn't enough for Rehm's Pacifist Run trait. If you kill anyone, Rehm will say something from a pool of possible lines, all of which are designed to make you feel horrible.