YMMV / Risk of Rain

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: For just about anything in the planet, being that neither you nor the characters ever find out why everything is so hostile even if minutes ago, or in the Children's case just moments, they were peaceful with each other. Providence in particular, being the one that caused the crash in the first place, stands out. Is he truly the Bulwark of the Weak as his title says, merely defending the planet's life from what he perceives a hostile force that is carving a swath of destruction in its way? A warrior whose plan to find a proper challenge went terribly astray at the cost of life that finds itself hostile to humanity? A murderer that brings down a ship and kills almost all the crew, and then commands peaceful planetlife into attacking you against its will to clean up what's left? What goals does he have, if any? It's very difficult to know, even after picking up his Monster Log.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Coalescence", the theme of the final level. A combination of haunting and general badassery, fitting the tone of the level itself and instantly conveying a sense of finally returning to where it all began. The name of the track is very fitting—it sounds just like an emotional finality of everything you've been through, all that hell, coming together into a climactic coalescence.
      • The actual boss fight gets Precipitation, which is absolutely badass, with a touch of otherworldliness that fits Providence quite well. It also gives the sense that the next challenge will be a grueling fight, which it is.
    • "Monsoon", a song that plays in one of the first levels, has an excellent blend of sci-fi and mystery, making for a great first level piece.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Red enemies shoot red rockets that do massive damage to you. It's easy enough to dodge if you see it coming, but in later levels will large numbers of elite enemies, it becomes missile hell, and that's on top of having to fight off other mooks. They become extra stupid for close-combat classes because they can then hit you with them point-blank, leaving you to wonder why you just lost 50% of your health from what would've been a barrage of rockets. The red Clay Men in particular are utterly nasty, due to already being horribly fast, being accompanied by the tougher variations of themselves to soak up your shots, and slicing you up for even more damage.
    • The spider bots are fast, have a ranged attack, can jump small obstacles, and are pretty tanky, too. Definitely one of the more dangerous enemies.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • As far as characters go, the Huntress is up there as being one of the easiest to win the game with. All her abilities work while moving, her main attack automatically fires in the direction of enemies, she has a decent attack speed, and her walking speed is decent. She does have less health, but that's balanced by being able to easily kite enemies. Activate the Glass artifact and she becomes a killing machine, assuming you level up enough not to die in one hit.
    • If you manage to spawn in a variant of the third level that includes the Easter Egg area with endlessly respawning Toxic Beasts, you can essentially keep killing them with no risk even with melee characters if you position yourself correctly, allowing you to both collect a seemingly endless supply of items as well as use the smaller boars they summon to max out your base health at 9999 with the Infusion item, the combined effect of both of them being enough to withstand basically almost any kind of enemy swarm from even the highest combined base and Dynamic Difficulty possible. Then again, considering how much of an ass the RNG can be when it comes to getting essential items, you need all the help you can get, especially with the game's spotty multiplayer functionality and because the game expects you to beat it at least five times to unlock the last playable character, which is not an easy thing to do even on the easiest base difficulty.
    • Certain combinations of the artifacts are this. One of the most notable is a combination of Glass and Command. Glass causes you to deal 500% damage, but you only have 10% of your maximum health. However, Command allows you to actually pick which items you get from chests and shrines, meaning that, if you're lucky enough, you can get an Infusion as early as the first level, negating the health issue. And since you can pick what items you want, you can focus sole on the power/speed/regeneration boosting items, meaning that by the third or fourth level you'll likely be completely unstoppable. For further ridiculousness, tack on Honor. This locks the enemy spawns to elite versions (if applicable), which might be difficult at first, but it becomes an item fountain if you find a green-rarity chest and choose a 56-Leaf Clover, which gives every killed elite enemy a chance to drop even more chests (an effect which you can stack up to six more copies of the artifact if you feel inclined to maximize the bonus). You will be able to farm for as much equipment as you can dream about in the first stage with minimal luck as long as you don't activate the exit teleporter. What's there to fear about time-increasing difficulty when you can come out decked as a God from the very first stage?
    • The Heavenly Drill causes one in every four normal attacks to pierce through enemies at the cost of reducing damage to 100% (rather than the slight boost most basic attacks get). The practical effect is that, rather than your normal attack, it becomes a hitscan weapon that fires along a straight line and pierces all enemies, doing almost as much damage as the attack would have done normally (rebound attacks like the CHEF's cleavers only count the first hit). This effect stacks. Get four of these things, and you always fire piercing shots. In a game where crowds are the norm, this is deadly if you can manage it, especially for melee classes.
    • One Good Bad Bug for the Bandit using his speedboost ability, the giant amythest which resets cooldown, and using the ability again will apply one of the boosts permanently can give you absolutely insane speeds, enough to where even casual players can speedrun the game in under 20 minutes. It almost doesn't even matter what other items you get; the bosses can't kill you if they can't hit you.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • The Cremator. His only attack is reasonably easy to avoid, as it's telegraphed and you're Crosshair Aware of where it's gonna land, but he spawns all the way down in the magma pits in a stage where the teleporter is usually at the very top, can hit you from anywhere in the map, is fought in an arena made of small platforms with lava that hurts quite a bit, and he's got a turtle shell that blocks attacks that aren't from the front, which combined with the stage and its swimming makes it invulnerable half the time. Melee characters will have hell trying to bring it down in any reasonable amount of time. In any other game, this would be just annoying. Here, it could well mean that You Are Already Dead due to the increasing difficulty.
    • The Wandering Vagrants on the final level. They spawn in packs and have too much collective health. Sure they can't hurt you if you keep walking, but since they're blocking your shots and just generally being in the way for several minutes at a time that's not much consolation.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • If you think about it, there's a surprising amount for a game with a minimalist style story. You're trapped all alone on an unknown planet full of monsters and aliens that should be docile, but for some reason go into homicidal fury whenever they see you, giving you the feeling that the entire planet is out to get you. The "upgrades" that are essential to your survival are, with few exceptions, essentially mutations, ranging from the mundane (fungus on your head that heals you), to outright Body Horror (replacing your own eye with the eye of the Magma Worm, cutting yourself with a cultist knife, etc). If you read the monster logs from start to finish, it becomes clear that the survivor is slowly but surely breaking down as a result of the hell they go through, and the ending all but confirms this.
    • As the difficulty increases, the difficulty labels become increasingly creepy.
      I SEE YOU
  • Run or Die: Given enough time, a great deal of normal runs will become this. This especially becomes the case if your character lacks mob-clearing attacks. You might also find yourself doing this when waiting on a teleporter, when the real horde shows up.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves/Hoist by His Own Petard: In a game where coins and exp are given from every kill, along with the benefit of reducing the enemy count of the inevitable horde, it's shockingly easy to get looped into a cycle of killing one enemy who's rapidly replaced with 2 more to kill.
  • Squick: A syringe, named the "Soldier's Syringe" is filled with a lot of stuff, both understandable for its use, and some other questionables. Right from steroids to gasoline. Even the sender of the item says it got a few of his soldiers killed (and the rest sick from overdosing), but otherwise works.
    • The shipping information for the Red Whip has this in-universe; the sender added a message saying "I know exactly why you want these and I want you to never tell me", and the mailing address happens to be a nursing home.
  • That One Achievement:
    • Unlocking the Photon Jetpack requires you to finish a teleporter timer with no enemies left on the screen. Even in the first level with the teleporter in the furthest corner with no platforms, it's very easy for the computer to screw you on this by spawning an enemy at the last second. Fortunately, if you can get to the Easter Egg area in the third level, it's easy as pie. That area has no timer and only one respawning enemy, which has a decent gap between spawns, so triggering the teleporter is an automatic unlock.
    • The Commando's second unlock requires getting to the teleporter in the third level without being hurt once. This includes falling damage and health shrines. Even if you rush it, this is asking a lot, especially when elites start spawning.
    • The Huntress is unlocked by collecting 15 Monster Logs. This is tedious as hell and has to be done on at least medium difficulty. If you've unlocked Kin, which locks spawns to one enemy type, it's a little more tolerable, but then you have to keep restarting until it spawns the monsters you want.
    • Unlocking the tenth artifact requires beating the game with the other nine active. While there are several annoying artifacts, their effects are generally manageable. The real kicker is the Distortion artifact, the effect of which is to lock one of your skills for a full minute but reduce the cooldown of the other three by 25%. This means you will have to fight without your primary attack for a full minute numerous times, which is asking a lot. Better find a place to wait it out if that happens. Not only that, the Spirit and Glass artifacts mean that enemies can run up to your face and smash it in very easily.
  • That One Boss: The Magma Worm tends to stand out. It can spawn on the first two levels, is one of the few bosses capable of following you across the entire level, and it gets faster (if less accurate) the closer it is to dying. Naturally, it is the bane of many an early run, save for characters who have splashing abilities like Enforcer who can deal damage to each segment. When you revisit levels and have bosses spawning randomly, you can run from almost any other boss and the ones that attack globally generally are still easily to avoid, but Magma Worms stand out in their ability to chase you constantly with attacks that are more difficult to dodge than "avoid this crosshair". A pack of 2 or 3 of them can cause issues for even end game characters, especially when the game throws the electrified Overloading Magma Worm at you.
  • That One Level: Both varieties of the third level have a chance of spawning map variations where a part of them is inaccessible without a jump boosting upgrade, and if a boss or the teleporter spawns up there while you didn't manage to get such an upgrade, you're screwed. The frozen tundra more so than the other, because of it being huge and having really annoying enemies.