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Awesome / Dwarf Fortress

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Dwarf Fortress has two kinds of awesome: the traditional kind of awesome, and the "lose your fortress so spectacularly that it may as well be considered an achievement instead of a failure" kind of awesome.

  • The conversation system, limited as it is, can still result in Badass Boasts. As tragic as it is that children can be attacked and killed, this also means even children can make these boasts:
    Dwarf: In the midst of conflict... I laugh in the face of death!
    Dwarf: I cannot just stand by. I will take revenge!
    Dwarven Child: Death... I am not afraid.
  • Dwarf Fortress is ripe for awesome, as is shown in the story of The Hamlet of Tyranny, originally taken from 4chan's board, /tg/. A certain fortress digs too far into the earth and discovers a pit of demons, lead by a legendary demon lord. The demons surge upwards from the depths of the earth, massacring dwarves as they go. The player forces the demons through labyrinthine traps and collapses the mountain on top of them, but their numbers are seemingly endless, and their king unkillable. In his grief, a legendary weaponsmith, one of the original expedition members, whose wife had been killed by the demons, forges a jewel-encrusted artifact sword. The demons surge up into the upper halls, and only a few dwarves remain, the rest having been slaughtered by the demons. Those few dwarves put up a valiant fight, killing the last of the demons, but the invincible demon lord still remains. Finally, only one dwarf still lives, the captain of the guard and the baddest ass among the dwarves of the fortress. He takes the artifact sword, and with it he impales the demon king, hurling the demon into a bottomless pit before succumbing to his wounds and tumbling over the edge himself. Surprisingly, one dwarf is still alive. An engraver had fallen into the chasm and landed on a ledge. His bones were broken and he would soon die. As a final act, he engraved an image on the cliff face next to him. The image was this: "This is a masterfully designed image of dwarves and a demon. The demon is in the fetal position. The dwarves are laughing."
    • Another moment of true awesome from Dwarf Fortress: a lone hunter named Nil Bastionhall was out hunting when a full goblin siege arrived, right in front of him. Immediately, Nil whipped out his crossbow and cut down three of the goblins before they closed in, and then proceeded to start smashing faces with his crossbow like it was a warhammer. Half a dozen dead goblins later, the rest of the siege panicked and fled, and Nil finally found the time to pass out from his wounds. For about a year he stayed comatose, tended in a safe bed in the fortress' hospital, until one day one of the wounded recruits woke up, went mad, and prepared to kill all the other wounded troops in a fit of berserk rage. Nil, still lying in his bed with one arm permanently disabled, woke up and immediately dropped the berserk dwarf with a shot in the eye from his crossbow. Then he got up and limped off to get a drink.
  • Apparently there is no end to the level of epic that dwarves can put in their artifacts.
    • Sadly that artifact was due to a Good Bad Bug which has now been fixed in 40.24.
  • The tale of Urist Fiercewinds the Omen: a male dwarf with a penchant for wielding giant weapons. When he first starts out, he gets a quest from the king to go slay the last titan in the world, so he goes off and does it. With a giant axe blade and some used platemail that he picked up from the remains of the last fortress. He just searches the cave where the titan resides, kills some annoying antmen along the way, finds the titan, and hacks off the titan's lower body with the giant axe. Then he gets another quest from the king: to go find the last megabeast left in the world—a dragon—and kill it. The problem is, dragons can breathe fire so they are very well capable of destroying axedwarves well before they get into range. So what does he do? What every other adventurer would do: he throws stuff. However, everything he throws misses and he rapidly runs out of good things to throw, until he is down to just his axe. So he throws the axe. The dragon gets shot and bleeds to death. Urist goes down in history as the dwarf responsible for the end of the Age of Heroes. Mind you, his tale doesn't end there. He travels the world, receiving requests from various towns to go kill a local giant or other feared creature, excavating the ruins of various abandoned sites, and just generally finding things to do. Finally, when he's had enough, he goes and locates a lowly kobold cave, Teachdark, and settles there. Teachdark, unfortunately, is situated next to a chasm where various creatures capable of decimating kobolds spawn from, so it's a wonder how the kobolds managed to survive in the area. One possibility: there were a lot more kobolds in the area before Urist came along, and right now Urist is the one responsible for single-handedly ensuring that the kobolds in Teachdark are safe.
    • When the next dwarven expedition comes along, he is seen wearing several pages worth of trinkets made from the corpses of his kills (including titan leather earrings and a dragon bone crown); most of these are carried in his hands. While still holding a giant axe blade in his left hand and a shield in his right. Also of note: exports from the kobolds still read "Petty annoyance."
  • We were a small human town, out in the middle of nowhere. Just had a small quarry in the mountains to make sure we had stone for our houses. Our population was at 20, and we were doing alright, I guess, and we had a small military of 4 Swordsmen. Then the bugs came. Huge, eight legged flying things with four scythed arms, a group of 20 showed up on the outskirts. I sent the swordsmen to take them out, and they were massacred. I hastily put together a force of 7 random civilians to try and slow them down while I made preperations. They gave their lives valiantly. I garrisoned the remaining civilians inside a house, and had a mason build a wall in front of the door, so none of the bugs could get in. I managed to get all the remaining civilians inside that house. All except one.

    She was a miner, one of the original seven. Her name escapes me, but at the time of the attacks, she had fallen asleep in the mines, and woke up the second the mason finished building the barricade. With the bugs bearing down on the town, I did the one thing I could think of, I stationed her in front of the garrisoned house, and told her to stand her ground. She had no military training, and only had a worn, copper pick. She saw the bugs come over the quarry hill, readied her pick, and charged.

    She killed all 20 of them, without a scratch.
  • From Something Awful's Let's Play of Headshoots, we have countless crowning moments of awesome, but one of the most awesome came from Holistic Detective's dwarf, who spotted a kobold thief prowling around on the opposite side of a pool of lava. Holistic's dwarf proceeded to run across the surface of the lava and obliterate the kobold, without getting so much as a burn on her. The artifact adamantine armor probably helped somewhat.
    • A more subdued yet still awesome moment was the triumph of the Crazy Survivalist Gex. When the players finally started the apocalypse, Gex grabbed some supplies and buggered off to the one area of the fortress even the players could not find. This impressed them so much, Gex was allowed to live.
      • There was also TRIBUTEWEAPON, a massive, horribly broken fountain in the shape of a giant arm pouring a mug of booze in front of the fortress. But with lava.
    • The ending's Final Battle between a skeletal Holistic Detective and Nemo2342: Nemo cut off both of Holistic's arms, and she countered by biting Nemo's head, biting his ribcage, latching on, then ripping Nemo to pieces by shaking him around.
  • Behold, a triumph of dwarven engineering! Kanddak here re-engineered an entire ocean to trap walruses.
  • The legends can create their fair share of awesome as well:
    • Tholtig Crpytbrain's valiant effort to save her people from annihilation.
    • Cacame Awemedinade, The Immortal Onslaught, Elven King of the Dwarves. Despite initial skepticism, he soon proved to be the most awesome elf ever, killing a dragon with nothing more than Competent hammerman skill.
      • And he killed said dragon in response to a disparaging comment made about his pet wyvern. His pet ZOMBIE wyvern. Fanart often portrays him riding atop his wyvern while brandishing a warhammer... and a fake beard.
      • He's the only elf to have been given official dwarf status by the members of the community.
      • The reason why he wanted to kill his fellow elves is because they murdered and ate his wife. Apparently, his hatred of elves was so great and undeniable, that no dwarf objected to his coronation.
  • Âsax the caveswallowman has now joined the ranks of the likes of Cacame the Elf King of Dwarves in Dwarven history. At the age of eleven, using only a fungiwood spear and a tunnel tube shield, he killed a Forgotten Beast and badly wounded two others, fighting for months and coming out none the worse for wear aside from a broken toe. Also, note that the only reason he didn't kill the other two Forgotten Beasts is because in that version certain Forgotten Beasts were bugged and impossible to kill in normal combat. If not for that he would definitely have succeeded in offing all three.
  • The very existence of this. Holy crap.
    • "Holy crap" doesn't even begin to describe the absurd awesomeness and dwarfity of Undergrotto. Something more along the lines "UNHOLY EVERBLEEDING CARP MOTHER OF ARMOK" is more fitting.
    • For the .31 players out there, Undergrotto was created in 40d, which does not have natural caverns. The giant cavern you see in that thread was hewn from solid rock and made to look natural.
  • This Adventure Mode player killed a Bronze Colossus... by throwing a fluffy wambler at it so hard its head broke off.
  • Syrupleaf, a fortress that as luck would have it, was built over what must be a magnet for trouble, was attacked almost every time a trade caravan came along. As a result, one of the leaders, a Dwarf by the name of Daeren sacrificed his soul to make a sort of lighthouse, that would bar demonic influence. When death showed up to take some of the ghouls that had been haunting the place, one of the ghouls asked "What about his soul?" pointing at Daeren. Then to quote what happened next:"Death of Dorfs looked up, and so did Globofglob (one of the ghouls). All Globofglob could see was the stone roof of the fortress, but Death was looking into the sky, beyond the mountain. There hovered far, far off, a massive winged shape. It soared and dove and screeched in a way that only the dead could hear. "SOMETIMES THE GODS MAKE EXCEPTIONS." Yes that's right, his sacrifice impressed the GODS so much, he gets to stay there, for eternity!
  • A fully functional in-game Turing-complete hydraulic computer. In a fantasy game. Check it out here.
  • A single post, with massive spoilers: "What's up? I just colonized hell." This, by the way, is not supposed to happen. Releasing hell is called "endgame" in the files, and defeating the results is supposed to be damn near impossible. But dwarves frequently go beyond rational limits so it was really only a matter of time.
    • Made even better by the fact the first responses were people telling him that it hardly counted as colonizing hell properly.
  • Reg Liruklor was a Legendary hammerdwarf in a squad with something like 150 total kills in all, not counting mounts and war beasts, but Reg only had one for no particular reason other than luck and timing. So the rest of his squad all had their ridiculously long titles, and then there was "Reg." In the next siege after that original forum post, Reg rushed solo into the first squad of goblin pikemen, went into a martial trance, got credit for eight kills (keep in mind that that number only counts the killing blows and not other damage he did before another dwarf finished the job) and scattered the whole pike squad after taking down half of them single-handedly before anyone else could catch up. His title is now Reg Violenttool, the Basic Luck of Irons. Which is also an awesome title for a hammerdwarf.
    • The original poster followed up the siege with a bit of prose describing what happened. Reg danced.
    • REG LIVES!
  • The fortress of Gloveflier is implementing The Game of Life using a mind-boggling system of gears, levers, and windmills.
  • This one swordsdwarf, Mafol Kubuktathur, who was put back together with adamantine wire after being essentially melted apart by a forgotten beast. Thanks to the effort of a legendary medical team, three months later Mafol got back up, Robocop-like, and proceeded to eradicate goblin siege after goblin siege.
  • The entire game gets one. You know you've arrived in digital gaming world when the grand champion of MMOs World of Warcraft not only gives you a shoutout with an NPC that floods the entire dwarven capitol (and leaving behind massive amounts of carp in the process), but when there's a quest that is titled "Dwarf Fortress" that involves getting the plans for a fortress built around a giant cannon. The plans are guarded by "Haggis Boatmurder" and have the flavor text as "A depiction of the fortress using primitive icons to represent essential structures." The kicker to the quest? It's a goblin handing it out.
    • Jim Raynor hanging out in Bay 12, with a Dwarf. If anything, someone in Blizzard seems to be a fan.
  • This thread chronicles the adventures of SpiralDimentia and forum members managing to trick him into removing the cotton candy sword from a curious structure and experiencing spoilers. To his credit he took it with a great sense of humor and it turned into an epic thread of awesomeness.
    SpiralDimentia: Oh god, you guys are dicks, I think I just unleashed a horde of demons into my base.
  • The recent reclamation of Battlefailed has been amassing a large number of these, the first one being turning the sludge-covered, toxic floors of the old Fortress into a defense against everything from kobold thieves to rampaging forgotten beasts. Choice picks include the successful cleanup of the decades of waste lying around in Battlefailed's exterior, the exploitation of Forgotten beasts' building destroyer trait to create a potent trap against them, and the epic fight between a goblin warlord and a dwarven champion who had just recently been turning the warlord's brethren into pincushions atop the ruin of Fail Cannon. Unfortunately, the restoration and near activation of Fail Cannon seems to be a lost opportunity for now, since the Goblin siege that had prompted the Cannon's activation was annihilated long before the Cannon finished powering up.
  • The Legend of Ungrashzon, a 3D ANIMATED Dwarf Fortress story.
  • Dwarven Checkers (contains spoilers!).
    Tiruin: Dwarves play checkers with the blood of the earth and the life of the land... And they win everytime.
  • In this fort, they had a 7-year old who was cornered by HFS after the entire rest of the fort had been slaughtered. The 7-year old then proceeded to dodge every single attack for almost half a year before finally succumbing to starvation. To quote a forumgoer "a child dodged demons until he starved. Not passed out, not even dehydrated. That isn't a ninja, that's a glitch in The Matrix turning one dwarf kid into Urist McNeo."
  • The story of Weatherwires - in the author's words, "A mix between Children of Men, City of Ember, and, uh, magma." It is epic storytelling combined with massive megaproject that is possibly unparalleled in the DF world.
  • Forum user Frogwarrior posts: Just genned a world with the nastiest demon ever. 54451 sentient kills. Holy. Fucking. Shit.
    • Gedor Puzzlesneak's body count has been updated to 87763.
  • Toady putting in minecarts for the next release is already pretty awesome, but the latest devlog post has produced this little gem: "I set a hauler to ride a minecart to its next stop. That happened to take the dwarf down eight ramps and then up a launch ramp into an open cavern. High up in the cavern there was a wide ledge and on the ledge there was a goblin, chilling out right where I had created it. I activated the dwarf's squad, and he had just enough hang-time at the top of the flight arc to get a punch in. The goblin struck back but the dwarf jumped on to the ledge, where they continued to fight as the cart fell down into the darkness."
    • As one forum user put it: Urist McClane cancels haul item: Enacting action movie sequence
  • Some non-canon stuff from Headshoots.
    • "I swear, no one better make fun of Holistic for fighting with a bag, because even if you're the strongest dwarf in the fortress he can use it to kill you and BEAN A COW WITH A FRESH CORSE BEFORE YOU HIT THE GROUND. Damn."
  • Sometimes your fort will run into these.
    • Having a weaponsmith/armorsmith complete a strange mood and get to absurdly high skill levels, even if the artifact is not impressive. Legendary smiths are extremely useful, and doubly so if the artifact is sufficiently awesome.
    • Having a single military dwarf slaughter and rout an entire siege by itself. You probably will come to love your most badass soldiers. Feel free to give them a sufficiently fitting nickname, if they don't get one first.
      • Bonus points for wearing no armor.
    • Conquering Hell. Fuck yes!
  • The guy who used a heavy coffin as a weapon. He proceeded to fill it with three dragons' corpses and countless others, making it even more lethally heavy.
    • From the Dwarf Fortress Wiki quote list:
    Wwolin: I (somehow) wield a marble coffin that I fill with the corpses of all I have slain (to make an already heavy object even heavier) in one hand, and the other holds a book made out of fucking platinum. The book can crush skulls, and the coffin grows ever stronger and now that it has a few dead dragons in it, it sends people flying a mile backwards to explode in a pile of gore. Gore which I then place into the coffin.
    • "This is metal as fuck."
  • Having built up a character in Adventurer Mode who can take on bogeymen and win, killing them one by one until they stop coming for the night.
  • Another from the Dwarf Fortress Wiki quote list:
    Ashameron: I just drafted a Llama into my army and it already killed a roc by itself.
  • This forum post (spoilers for HFS) is the story of a new player stumbling upon a vault in adventure mode. He stumbles his way (in leather armour!) through the vault, killing every angel along the way, and retrieves the slab inside, essentially bumbling his way through what some people consider winning the game.
    StagnantSoul: If I'm remembering right, angels are all masters, so a legendary+15 adventurer decked out in candy should be able to hold his own, especially with steel-armed backup.
    McNoodlehead: I still don't know what candy is. I've been using goose leather.
  • Archcrystal, an amazing experiment in the mechanics of insanely old fortresses. Four hundred years and counting, in a world only slightly older than the fortress itself, with most of the current descendants coming from a single militia commander of legend, and whose family has become the royal family of the civilization. Slightly crossed into a funny moment when they occasionally suffer from problems no-one else would ever have or even consider, such as wells falling apart because their centuries-old buckets disintegrated from sheer age.
    • This fortress has invaded Hell with an army of cave dragons and killed all of the demons inhabiting it, then walled off the site and colonized Hell itself, establishing farms on the surface. They then spend centuries building a tower of pure glass from the bottom of Hell to the very top of the surface, upon the completion of which there was actual sunlight in hell. With everything downward under their control, the civilization started expanding outward for the first time in four centuries. Turned out, having Legendary warriors in pure adamantium gear makes it trivial, as the fortress had slaughtered an invading force of 900 elves and 400 war beasts while losing only a single dwarf.
    • Let's reiterate: in a video game so difficult to learn let alone survive for long that its memetic phrase is "Losing is Fun" for a damned good reason, Archcrystal not only managed to overcome problems that have ended lesser fortresses but have actually existed long enough to thrive and expand with nothing able to stop it! Archcrystal could very well be the first fortress in history that have actually won Dwarf Fortress!
  • If you attack your local goblin civilization to the point where they are reduced to just a few depopulated sites, then eventually they will stop sending raids against your civilization altogether, because they cannot muster the forces to do so. You've showed the world that these goblins messed with the wrong dwarves...
    • It feels even better to destroy a goblin civilization that was spawned due to dwarves digging too deep. You've avenged your forefathers and saved the world from The Legions of Hell!


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