Beware of spoilers, especially in the boss folders
- "They told me I was too young. They told me I needed more training. I told them to drop dead!"
The main character of the game, she has her heart stolen by the mysterious NecroDancer after infiltrating his crypt; and is now forced to venture deeper into the crypt to figure out what's going on.
- Action Girl: But of course.
- Daddy's Girl: Her reason for going on her quest is to find her Disappeared Dad.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Her gameplay contains no special gimmick and is the most rounded of characters.
- Knife Nut: Her default weapon is a dagger, but she can switch it with other weapons like spears, broadswords, longswords, rapiers, maces, whips, bows, and even guns.
- Organ Theft: She had her heart stolen by the NecroDancer at the beginning of the game, and despite this, she's still alive and can still be able to feel her heart's pulse. She regains her heart back when she defeats the NecroDancer, along with Dorian.
Cadence's mother. She died from illness years ago while Cadence was still young, and is brought back to life by the Golden Lute after Cadence and Dorian steal it from the NecroDancer. However, it turns out that there's a restriction to her second chance at life, and she then heads to the crypt to find answers. Melody is unlocked after you complete Cadence's story.
- Action Mom
- Back from the Dead: Melody died as a result of the plague. Dorian brings her back to life with the Golden Lute, but it turns out that there's a catch: in order to stay alive, she must keep playing the Lute. And the more she plays, the more it robs her of her humanity and thus bringing her closer to being just like the NecroDancer. Fortunately, she's determined to end the Lute's curse before that can happen; and by the end of Aria's story, she's freed from the curse and remains alive with her family.
- Electronic Music: Her default soundtrack is entirely composed of EDM/dubstep music by A_Rival.
- Fragile Speedster: Melody starts out with two hearts, instead of Cadence's three. so there's a greater risk of dying, especially before you get defensive and regenerative items. However, the Golden Lute damages all nearby enemies whenever Melody moves, so she doesn't need to pause to attack enemies, allowing her to clear entire rooms without having to stop. But its attack power is very low and can't be improved, and Melody can only damage enemies when she moves (barring bombs and spells), meaning Melody's screwed if she gets surrounded or otherwise immobilized.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: As a result of being brought back to life by the Golden Lute and being forced to play it to stay alive, if you switch the Lute with any other weapon using shrines, Melody will die instantly.
- Missing Mom: Cadence's flashbacks reveal that Melody had died from illness, prompting Dorian to find the Golden Lute and resulting in his two-year disappearance. She gets revived by the Golden Lute, but with a price.
- Musical Assassin: Melody's weapon is the Golden Lute, which can damage enemies around her when she moves adjacent to them.
Cadence's grandmother. Aria disappeared years ago and never came back, but it turns out that she was killed by the NecroDancer when she asked for his assistance to destroy the Golden Lute. Melody brings her back to life, and in her place, Aria sets out to finish what she had started and destroy the Lute. Aria is unlocked after you complete Melody's story. Her gimmick is that she only has half a heart of damage at all times, and missing a beat will count as damage, essentially making her challenge equivalent to a flawless run.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: Her default soundtrack is entirely composed of rock music by FamilyJules7X.
- Back from the Dead: Aria comes back to life by the end of Melody's story and decides to destroy the Golden Lute in her place. But because she's already frail, when she finishes the job, she's the only character to be Killed Off for Real.
- Gag Nose: Aria's distinguishing feature is her long nose that's reminiscent to Pinocchio's. It's barely noticeable in her sprite.
- Glass Cannon: Equipping the Ring of Might, Boots of Strength, Strength Charm, Karate Gi, and Glass Jaw will turn her into this. The Karate Gi and Glass Jaw would make any character this, but since Aria's a One-Hit Point Wonder anyways...
- Heroic Sacrifice: Granted, she was already wounded and frail to begin with, but she still manages to sacrifice herself and destroys the Golden Lute to save her family.
- Knife Nut: Her default weapon is a dagger. Unlike the other characters, though, she is limited to only using the dagger, and attempting to switch it with other weapons using shrines will result in death by cowardice.
- One-Hit Point Wonder: Aria only has half a heart, so any enemy can kill her with just one hit. Fortunately, she starts off with a potion that revives her when killed, so she has at least two chances to make it through the crypt. With the right equipment, note it's possible to get her up to an eight hit point wonder.
Cadence's father, who went on an adventure two years ago and disappeared. Cadence later finds him alive in the crypt, but he's been put under a spell by the NecroDancer and doesn't recognize her. Dorian is unlocked after you defeat the Dead Ringer in Cadence's story.
- Assist Character: Assists Cadence in her battle against the NecroDancer.
- Cursed with Awesome: His gameplay gimmick is that he has the cursed Boots of Leaping, which allows him to leap two spaces ahead on each beat. Unfortunately subverted, because if you toggle the boots off and start moving normally, Dorian will take half a heart of damage with each step.
- Disappeared Dad: Dorian had been gone for two years trying to find the Golden Lute, leaving Cadence to live with her uncle Eli. Cadence later finds out that he's alive, but has been Brainwashed and Crazy by the NecroDancer into the Dead Ringer.
- Lightning Bruiser: Can leap fast, deal double damage, and takes less damage from enemies because of his own armor called Dorian's Platemail.
- Off-Model: His sprite is noticeably more different than his artwork in the cutcenes and the bestiary. He's depicted with longer hair, and it's colored orange instead of brown.
Basically the easy mode of the game, he's the only character who doesn't have to move to the NecroDancer's beat. That's because he is the NecroDancer... before he found the Golden Lute and gained his powers. His real name is Octavian, and he was a Starving Artist who adventured largely out of desperation. Bard is available at the start of the game, and does not need to be unlocked.
- Electronic Music: His soundtrack is entirely composed of 1980s-style synthwave music by Girlfriend Records.
- Foreshadowing: On closer look, he resembles the NecroDancer shown in the opening.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just a simple bard who was struggling to be discovered for his talent, until he randomly stumbled onto the Golden Lute in his travels. Once he got his hands on it and started playing, the Lute began chipping away at his humanity and eventually turned him into the NecroDancer.
- No Name Given: Averted. Melody and Aria's stories reveal that his name was Octavian.
- Story And Gameplay Integration: He is the only character who doesn't have to move to the beat of the music. That is because he is the NecroDancer, and playing as him means the NecroDancer hasn't forced his magic over the dungeon yet.
- Walking Spoiler: As a playable character, no. But the backstory is another matter entirely.
- Weak, but Skilled: He starts with 2 Heart Containers compared to Cadence's 3 (at least on All Zones runs). But not being restricted to the beat means you have all the time you need to explore a floor or think your way out of a sticky situation.
Cadence's paternal uncle, who tried to dissuade both Dorian and Cadence from going on their adventures. He's the only member of the family to not get involved with the main plot of the game and is, instead, an extra playable character where his gameplay gimmick is having an infinite supply of bombs. Eli is unlocked after you clear Zone 1.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: Suffers from this because of his right shovel hand, which can swap to his left arm when he turns around.
- Chiptune: His default soundtrack is entirely composed of freestyle retro-game music by Jake "Virt" Kaufman.
- Handicapped Badass: Has a shovel for a hand, but can still blow enemies to smithereens.
- Mighty Glacier: Eli's bombs can deal four hearts of damage, but take three beats to detonate once deployed. A blast helm can help alleviate this by making the bombs explode instantly and also turn him into a walking Action Bomb.
- Nice Hat: He wears a fedora that's folded on one side.
- Only Sane Man: He tried to dissuade Dorian and later Cadence from going to the crypt, and is the only member of the family to not be affected by the NecroDancer and the Golden Lute, at least story-wise.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Eli possesses no weapons to attack directly (and trying to give him one results in death by cowardice), but instead has an infinite supply of bombs and the ability to kick them a few spaces ahead of him at his enemies. If Amplifed is installed, his weapon slot is filled by his hand shovel, which pushes an enemy back one space but still can't deal damage.
A mysterious woman who is all about love and peace. Her gameplay gimmick is a Pacifist Run where she must clear dungeons without harming enemies. Dove is unlocked after you clear Zone 2.
- Actual Pacifist: She cannot directly harm enemies. Period. Her weapon is a flower that just confuses enemies, and her bombs teleport them away.
- Animal Motifs: To doves, obviously, since they represent peace.
- Head Pet: Has an actual dove on her head.
- Improbable Weapon User: Her weapon is a flower which only confuses enemies. Justified since her gimmick is not killing enemies, and attempting to switch it with more lethal weapons using shrines will result in death by cowardice.
- Pacifist Run: Her entire gameplay is clearing the dungeons without killing enemies. Because of this, she is given the strongest shovel to dig through all types of wallsnote and doesn't need to fight minibosses and bosses.
- Stone Wall: Give her strong enough armor, and you can turn her into this.
- Squishy Wizard: Dove does not have any offensive capabilities, but she does have access to the freeze spell, the bomb spell, the scroll of fear, and the heal spell; the former three of which can help keep enemies at bay.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: She cannot kill enemies, and even her bombs just teleport them away to another location. If an enemy dies from a spike trap, she'll respond with a cry of pity.
A mysterious monk who goes by the Vow of Poverty and submits himself to deadly penance if he touches gold, which is his gameplay gimmick. Monk is unlocked after you clear Zone 3.
- Cast from Hit Points: Monk starts off with the Blood Shovel, which allows him to dig through stronger walls at the expense of half-a-heart of damage. However, unlike other characters (like Aria and Dove), it isn't a restriction, and you can freely switch it with other shovels without the death by cowardice penalty.
- Death by Materialism: He takes it far too literally due to his "Vow of Poverty", if he so much as touches gold, he dies.
- No Name Given: He is only ever referred to as "Monk".
- No Saving Throw: Dying to the Vow of Poverty is special in that it completely ignores any potion you might have, which would ordinarily save a character's life if they die.
- The Voiceless: Monk has no voice clips and is completely silent, though there is no explanation as to why he's like this. Whether it's because he does not want to speak, is actually mute, or there was no available voice actor at the time he was being developed is still up in the air.
A spear-wielding hunter figure whose gameplay gimmick is making the tempo beat twice as fast. Bolt is unlocked after you clear Zone 4 as Monk.
- Amazonian Beauty: Bolt's artwork portrays them as extremely muscular.
- Blade on a Stick: They start out with a spear, which grants them an advantage in attacking enemies two spaces away.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Learning to keep the beat all over again can be really hard, but in principle the game plays exactly the same way as with any other default character. However, King Conga is a special case of this: whereas most characters move 7 beats and drop the 8th, Bolt moves 13 beats, drops the 14th, plays the 15th, and drops the 16th.
- Difficulty by Acceleration: When playing as Bolt, the tempo is twice as fast with twice as many beats to input, so you need to have extremely fast reflexes in order to attain the standards of play of any other character. The enemies also move at double speed, and because of the increased chances of messing up, Bolt starts out with a spear instead of a dagger to give them an advantage.
- Fragile Speedster: Bolt can move fast with the increased tempo, but the catch is that the enemies also move at double speed and Bolt doesn't start out with any armor. However, if you give them the right equipment, then you can turn them from this into a Lightning Bruiser.
- Meaningful Name: Bolt's name is likely a Shout-Out to the Real Life Olympic athlete Usain Bolt, who is the current record holder of being the fastest runner on Earth.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Bolt has pinkish-purple hair.
The final character of the base game. Coda is a goblin-like creature whose sole purpose for being playable is to provide the player with the toughest challenge yet. Coda is unlocked after you complete All-Characters Mode.
- Harder Than Hard: Playing as Coda is essentially playing as Aria, Bolt, and Monk combined. She's a One-Hit Point Wonder who can only use a dagger to attack, dies upon missing the beat, dies upon touching gold, and the music tempo has twice the amount of beats to move around to.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Aside from the fact that she's the hardest character, Coda is also the only playable one that is not human like the rest of the characters. She is instead a purple goblin-like creature.
- At least, until Amplified.
- Meaningful Name: A coda is the final passage of any musical work. Coda is the last character to be unlocked.
- Samus Is a Girl: Not immediately obvious at first gameplay-wise, but according to Coda's page in The Other Wiki, Coda is female.
Amplified Playable Characters
- "They told me I was too young. They told me I needed more training. I told them... I was already dead."
The main character of the DLC prequel Crypt of the NecroDancer: Amplified.
- Animesque: Her artwork design has more notable anime influence than the rest of the characters. Namely her big eyes, face, and hair.
- Cool Sword: She starts off with a cutlass which can hit a target from two tiles away like the Spear, but is also capable of parrying enemy attacks.
- DLC: The new heroine of Crypt of the NecroDancer: Amplified.
- Downer Ending: After defeating the Conductor, Nocturna almost destroys the Golden Lute, but is enticed by the potential to become human again, and flies off with it. Considering Amplified is a prequel and she isn't mentioned anywhere in the base game, she likely failed in her attempts and led to the Lute falling into the hands of Octavian, and all the unhappiness that happened afterwards.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Turned against her will and deeply unhappy about being a vampire, but unable to do anything about it.
- Our Vampires Are Different: She has blue skin and red hair, and has bat wings even out of bat form; these are shown to be universal for all other members of her clan. Early cutscenes are ambiguous about whether she's really a vampire, but she explicitly uses the term at one point.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In cutscenes, vampires are shown to be berserk when their eyes turn red. Nocturna has this happen when she smashes the Conductor's equipment after defeating her.
- The Undead: Unlike most of the characters, however, she was already dead prior to entering the Necrodancer's dungeon.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: Nocturna is able to transform into a bat form which gives her flight over hazards, higher attack power, and the blood weapons' benefits of healing after ten kills. However, changing back to her normal form is always treated as blood magic, costing half a heartnote . The transformation even triggers automatically if Nocturna is down to her last heart.
- Was Once a Man: She was originally a normal woman until she was turned.
A character who can use key combinations to move diagonally. Diamond is unlocked after beating Area 5.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Because Diamond uses the ordinary key combinations for bombs and items to move diagonally, they have different key combinations to activate those.
- Punny Name: A Diamond is a shape made up of diagonal lines, usually at a half-right angle from a square ◇ thus the character Diamond can also move diagonally at half angles to the usual directions player characters have to go.
A character who needs to protect a lamb at all costs. If the lamb dies, she dies.
- Berserk Button: She has small chances of making stronger battle cries and victory cries, alongside that, outside of combat, in the lobby, can greet in a brash way. note
- Blade on a Stick: Mary starts out with a spear, which grants her an advantage to attack enemies from one tile away while protecting her lamb.
- Escort Mission: She needs to escort her lamb through the dungeon and protect it.
- Meaningful Name: In reference to the well-known children's lullaby "Mary Had a Little Lamb", she has a lamb following her and she must protect it from enemies.
- One-Hit Point Wonder: The lamb dies in one hit, meaning it's always better for Mary to take whatever attack than for the lamb to.
- Stealth Pun: A lamb introduced in the Amplified DLC? Why, it's an electric sheep!
Can kill enemies in one hit, but needs to kill at least one enemy every 16 beats or he dies instantly.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He might be the zombie the Conductor is operating on in one of Nocturna's cinematics.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Has the look of one, including stitched-together skin and metal bolts on his head.
- Life Drain: Both in a literal and figurative sense. Tempo starts out with a Blood Dagger, which heals half a heart every ten kills, but killing any enemy regardless of what weapon he's using will reset his timer back to 16 beats and prevent a time-out death.
- One-Hit Kill: He can kill all enemies instantly. He needs it.
- Timed Mission: Will die in 16 beats. Killing enemies resets the timer.
Nintendo Switch Edition Playable Character
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Plays like Cadence save for the gimmick. She can use any item available without restriction.
- Psychopomp: Literally the Grim Reaper.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: An inversion; has red eyes, and is a deadly and versatile threat to enemies.
- Version-Exclusive Content: Only available on the Nintendo Switch Edition currently.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Does this to slain enemies, adding to her army. Each has one health and deals one heart of damage. However, this only works for enemies that can drop gold.
Mooks and Bosses
- Giant Mook: Sometimes, you'll run into giant versions of regular enemies that have more health and attack power, but are otherwise still the same enemies with their usual patterns. When you kill them, they'll either drop a large sum of gold or a Scroll of Gigantism, which will make you grow giant for a short time.
- Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Compare the enemies' artwork in the bestiary to their sprites.
- Bat Out of Hell: The bats are distinct in that they do not have a predictable pattern. They instead move in random directions every two beats or one beat for the black and red variety, which makes approaching them very tricky because you don't know where they'll move next.
- King Mook: The Direbats are essentially this: just a regular bat in miniboss form.
- Dem Bones: The Skeletons are the most common type of enemy found in all zones, and come in many different variations. Ranging from carrying shields, riding on horseback, and even being spell casters.
- The Goomba: The Green Slimes are the first enemies you'll encounter in Zone 1 and are the easiest to kill. They only stay in one place jumping to the beat and will never really hurt you, even if you threw your weapon away and bumped them. In fact, the Green Slimes are so passive and harmless that there's actually an achievement for getting killed by one.
One of the main bosses, King Conga is a gorilla who sits on his throne and plays his bongos as he sends his Conga Line army to attack you. His song is unique in that it comes with a long pause every seven beats.
- Battle Theme Music: Konga Conga Kappa.
- Boss Warning Siren: When you're about to enter King Conga's room, a display of text will appear and spell "Warning! Conga line in progress!"
- Flunky Boss: Zone-specific enemies will be present at the start of the battle in addition to the Conga Line army.
- Interface Screw: His song comes with a long pause every seven beats. If you're not mindful of this change and fall into the no-beat trap, King Conga will get off his throne and rush you while you're still occupied with his Conga Line army. Attacking him in this state will only send him back to the throne with no damage.
- King Mook: Of the Monkey enemies respectively.
- Punny Name: His name is essentially conga and King Kong combined.
One of the main bosses, Death Metal is a Grim Reaper foe with a love for metal music. His song comes with the fastest tempo in the game, making the battle against him very hectic and fast-paced.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: It's his signature theme, though only Danny B's and FamilyJules7X's versions put emphasis on the "rock" part. The rest of the other versions are just EDM, synthwave, and chiptune remixes.
- Battle Theme Music: Metalmancy.
- Flunky Boss: In addition to the zone-specific enemies at the start of the battle, Death Metal will summon Skeletons to aid him once he loses his shield.
- Grim Reaper: Obviously.
- King Mook: Of the Skeleton enemies.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: In the first phase of his battle, Death Metal carries a shield that protects him from up-front attacks, so the only way to attack him is either from the side or from behind. If you attack the shield, bats will spawn into the arena. He will drop the shield once he loses his first three hearts.
- Playing with Fire: When Death Metal is down to his last two hearts, he'll start shooting horizontal fireballs in your direction.
- Punny Name: His name is a combination of Death itself and the style of hardcore metal music of the same name.
- Sinister Scythe: One that doubles as a microphone stand.
One of the main bosses, Deep Blues is an army of chess pieces composed of the King, Queen, Knights, Bishops, Rooks, and Pawns. The battle against them is essentially one big game of chess.
- Battle Theme Music: Knight to C-Sharp.
- Punny Name: The name is a reference to the rhythm & blues music genre, as well as the Deep Blue chess computer.
- Shielded Core Boss: Like in a real game of chess, the King is the only piece you have to kill in order to win the fight. All the other pieces are just obstacles that protect him and get in your way, and the King himself will not attack until all of the other pieces are killed. However, if you have a throwable weapon along with power-boosting equipment, or a Rifle in hand, then you can easily kill the King before the battle even starts and be done with it in a flash.
One of the main bosses, Coral Riff is an octopus enemy that will attempt to attack you from the watery depths with his tentacles.
- Battle Theme Music: Deep Sea Bass, which is a Boss Remix of the Lobby theme.
- Making a Splash: Coral Riff's tentacles will leave behind puddles of water that will hinder your movement, and when the head starts moving, he'll move while spraying water around him and leave a trail of water behind.
- Punny Name: Coral Riff is a combination of "coral reef" and "guitar riff", and coral is often associated with polyps, which octopi are related to. In addition, Coral Riff's alternative name is Octoboss, which is a portmanteau of octopus, boss, and octobass: a type of string instrument.
- Tentacled Terror: Coral Riff is an octopus with a bass guitar for a head, and all of his tentacles are playing four types of intruments: the drums, the synth keyboard, the horn, and the violin.
- Variable Mix: Taking out his tentacles will also take out the corresponding instruments playing in the BGM until all that's left is the bass guitar playing. All of the instruments will resume playing again once the head starts making his move. This is only noticeable in Danny B's BGM, however.
An additional boss added in the Amplified DLC, Fortissimole performs a concert to a horde of dancing skeletons.
- Battle Theme Music: Notorious D.I.G., a hip-hop piece rapped by the mole himself.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Being a mole, he can dig underground and attack from beneath the player character.
- Greed: His lyrics state he is ravenous for gold.
- King Mook: Of the mole enemies that share his same name.
- Large Ham: He has an ego just about as big as any other well-known rapper.
- Mole Men: Part of his namesake, as he is a giant version of the normal mole enemies found in Zone 2.
- Punny Name: His name is a portmanteau of "fortissimo" and "mole" and his theme name is a reference to the famous rapper The Notorious B.I.G., since he is a giant rapping mole. He is also wearing a fortress.
- Shielded Core Boss: Fortissimole is surrounded by a swarm of skeleton enemies that act as his groupies in front of his stage. He stays out of the way until some of the enemies are eliminated for him to make a beeline to the player, as his boss fight somewhat mimics the first phase of the NecroDancer battle.
- Variable Mix: Defeating Fortissimole will take out his vocals from his theme entirely, leaving behind only the instrumentals.
The penultimate boss of Cadence's story, Dead Ringer is an armored foe who guards the NecroDancer's lair. It turns out that he's actually Cadence's Disappeared Dad Dorian, who's been brainwashed by the NecroDancer.
- Battle Theme Music: For Whom the Knell Tolls.
- Boss Rush: In a sense. Each of the bells you or Dead Ringer rings will spawn a miniboss for you to face: a Green Dragon, a Minotaur, a Nightmare, and an Ogre. You can avert this, however, if you lure Dead Ringer into ramming the bells, which will destroy them completely without spawning a miniboss.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Dorian was actually put under a spell by the NecroDancer. As the Dead Ringer, he didn't recognize his own daughter until Cadence tricked him into charging into a gong and breaking his helmet, thus breaking the spell.
- Bullfight Boss: Without the Dagger of Phasing, you can only hurt him by tricking him into crashing into the gong.
- The Dragon: To the NecroDancer.
- Drop the Hammer: Dead Ringer wields a hammer which he uses to charge at you and ring the bells with.
- Evil Laugh: Breaks into one at the beginning of the fight.
- Flash Step: Once all the bells have been rung, Dead Ringer's charge attack will be upgraded into this and he will zoom across the room at great speeds. You only have a single beat to react in time and move out of the way to avoid the attack.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: It's the entire theme of his fight, both in a figurative sense (the music) and a literal sense (actual bells placed around the room which he rings to spawn minibosses).
- Luke, I Am Your Father: When Cadence defeats him, the bell helmet hiding Dead Ringer's face breaks and reveals that he's actually Dorian, Cadence's father.Cadence: "Dad?"Dorian: "Cadence, I'm sorry. I was under his spell."
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Dead Ringer is invincible to all kinds of weapons, including bombs and spells, and can only be harmed by tricking him into ramming the gong. Only the Dagger of Phasing (or dealing 10 or more damage at once) is capable of piercing through his armor and damaging him directly.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Although Dead Ringer looks invincible from any normal damage, it is also possible to damage him with high enough (10 or more) damage in a single hit.
The Big Bad, the game's namesake, and the Final Boss of Cadence's story and Melody's story. The NecroDancer is a mysterious figure who amasses an undead army and casts a musical curse on those who are unfortunate enough to enter his crypt and seek out his treasure; the Golden Lute.
- Action Bomb: One of his attacks has him generate a blast wave on where he's standing and then teleport to another point of the room. The blast covers more spaces than your standard bombs and it instantly kills any enemy caught in it, even minibosses.
- An Ice Person: He can generate ice blasts to immobilize you for a couple of beats and leave you vulnerable to his mooks.
- Back from the Dead: He's been dead at least twice over the course of the story. The first time he died was when he became so addicted to playing the Golden Lute that he simply perished from a severe lack of sleep. He is then revived by Aria a century later, who wanted to ask for his assistance in destroying the Lute, and he attacked Aria while her guard was down. He dies again when he's killed by the combined efforts of Cadence and Dorian, and later, Melody revives him in order to get answers. By the end of Melody's story, Aria, who's been brought back to life, grabs the NecroDancer and throws him down a pit, which seems to be his more permanent death this time around.
- Battle Theme Music: Momentum Mori and Last Dance.
- Big Bad: He is the main enemy of Cadence's entire family, because he has meddled in their business in one way or another. Be it stealing Cadence's heart, brainwashing Dorian to be his servant, backstabbing Aria when she asked for his assistance to destroy the Lute, or attacking Melody to take the Lute back for himself, he's an all-around bad guy.
- Final Boss: Of Cadence's story and Melody's story as well.
- Flunky Boss: He'll constantly summon enemies and minibosses throughout the battle.
- Karmic Death: The NecroDancer meets his final demise by the hands of Aria, the person he killed many years ago, when he attacked her to take the Golden Lute back.
- Magic Music: His curse affects the entire crypt and makes everyone in it, including his own mooks, move to the beat of the music. Only the Bard is unaffected by his curse, but that's because he is the NecroDancer before he found the Golden Lute.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: The NecroDancer is invincible to all attacks, even the Dagger of Phasing. He can only be harmed with the Golden Lute, which becomes available once you've brought him down from his stage. In Melody's story, when the NecroDancer is down to his last heart, he'll protect himself with a special shield that makes him invulnerable to even the Lute, and the only way to finish him off is to push him towards a lava pit.
- Punny Name: An obvious portmanteau of "necromancer" and "dancer".
- Puzzle Boss: The first phase of his fight has you maneuver Cadence and Dorian to press switches in order to bring the NecroDancer down from his stage. Two of the switches must be activated simultaneously by both characters.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: In Melody's story, the NecroDancer resorts to throwing bombs in her direction instead of using his own attacks. Possibly justified since he no longer has the Golden Lute, which is the primary source of his powers.
- Time-Limit Boss: Melody's version of the battle is timed, with the beat getting faster and the walls of the room closing in on each other over time. If you don't defeat the NecroDancer before the song ends, the walls will crush Melody and kill her instantly.
As Aria attempts to destroy the Golden Lute, it suddenly comes to life to defend itself!
- Attack Its Weak Point: The Golden Lute's weak point is its head, and attacking it does one heart of damage to it regardless if you've already picked up some power-boosting equipment earlier. And every time you attack its head, the Lute will become confused and it'll start moving more erratically. If you manage to attack its head again while it's confused using a special trick, then you'll do three hearts of damage to the Lute.
- Artifact of Doom: This instrument is behind the game's entire plot.
- Battle Theme Music: Absolutetion, which is a Boss Remix of Zone 1-1's theme.
- The Corruption: Those who play the Lute end up having their humanity drained away from them. The NecroDancer was an unfortunate victim of this.
- Flunky Boss: Two Mook Makers will spawn Skeletons during the battle. And when the Lute takes enough damage, it'll start summoning Dragons for you to fight.
- Greater-Scope Villain
- Interface Screw: When the Lute takes enough damage, it'll cast an area-wide confusion spell which will temporarily reverse your controls for twelve beats, much like a confusion trap and a Lich's spell.
- Interface Spoiler: When you beat Cadence's story, a small hint of the boss' existence comes in the Dancing Mook Credits where it is shown as a black silhouette with its name displayed as only question marks. It's only until you beat Aria's story that it'll show up as a fully-revealed boss.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Lute takes on the form of a golden-yellow dragon with a snake-like figure, attacking Aria when she was about to destroy it.
- Playing with Fire: If you're horizontal from the Lute's head, it'll shoot a fireball at you. In addition, there are statues placed on top of the walls that will periodically shoot fireballs one-by-one, starting from your side of the room. When the Lute takes enough damage, it'll make the statues go berserk with a barrage of fireballs each beat.
- Punny Name: Not with the Lute itself, but its Battle Theme Music's name is "Absolutetion".
- The Lute itself is a reference to "Gold and Loot" the typical rewards adventurer's seek in dungeons.
- The Reveal: You find out that the Golden Lute is not as good as the cast thought it was in Melody's story, but the reveal that the Lute is actually a living entity not only surprises Aria, but it also surprises the boss announcer, who goes on and says "The Golden Lute?" when the battle starts.
- True Final Boss: Of Aria's story and the game as a whole.
- Unholy Holy Sword: The Golden Lute contains special powers of curing diseases and reviving the dead, which sounds like a miracle on paper, but the truth is that those powers come with a price essentially equivalent to making a deal with the devil...as Melody and likely Aria found out the hard way. In exchange for the "miracles", the Lute wants its user to keep playing it until it saps every last piece of humanity out of them, which is exactly what happened with Octavian - aka the NecroDancer.
- Walking Spoiler
The next-to-final boss in Nocturna's story.
- An Arm and a Leg: Gradually loses both of its arms as it takes damage.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Frankensteinway has ten hearts, which is one more than even Death Metal and the Shopkeeper. However, what puts it into this territory is that it has four phases with ten hearts each, totalling out at a whopping 40 hearts to deal with.
- Dash Attack: In the final phase, Frankensteinway will dash across the room, destroying anything in its way. The move is telegraphed by the floor tiles turning yellow a few beats before the attack.
- Deflector Shields: Gains a shield after each phase, which must be deactivated.
- The Dragon: Needs to be defeated before you can fight The Conductor.
- Frankenstein's Monster: It's in its name.
- Punny Name: Frankenstein and Steinway, a piano manufacturer. Fittingly enough, it's a Frankenstein's Monster with a piano for a body.
- Shock and Awe: Frankensteinway electrifies the floor tiles in a coordinated pattern, and later sends shockwaves coming down from the north side of the room.
Nocturna's final boss. She is responsible for creating the Crypt, and attempts to replicate the Golden Lute.
- Curtains Match the Windows: Shining gold hair and shining gold eyes. They match The Golden Lute, as well as her electricity.
- Cyborg: Her hand is an electrical plug, and her lower body is a mass of wires. It's difficult to tell where the wires begin though, as she can clearly be seen to have two separate pant legs in her cutscenes, each with a bundle of wires coming out.
- Greater-Scope Villain: She is responsible for the creation of the Crypt, and by extension, the entire story involving the NecroDancer and Cadence's family.
- Mad Scientist: Nocturna refers to her as such. Demonstrated with her attempts to replicate the Golden Lute.
- Mook Maker: REANIMATE! She constantly summons enemies during her battle. You need to attack these enemies to drain the batteries in the second phase of her fight.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Downplayed in her battle music, which does include an organ, but not prominently. Played straight with her arena, which includes organ pipes in its decoration.
- Punny Name: "The Conductor" can refer to both somebody who leads an orchestra, and to a substance that conducts electricity, reflecting how she wishes to use music and electricity to reanimate the dead.
- Puzzle Boss: The first phase requires you to destroy four golden instruments by walking along their wires to disable their shields. The second phase requires you to destroy batteries by attacking enemies while standing on their wires, draining their power with each attack.
- Shock and Awe
- Supernatural Gold Eyes / Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Tactical Suicide Boss: She would be invincible if she didn't create enemies that could drain her electricity when attacked.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Her batteries are especially weak to water. If you kill a Water Ball enemy on top of an electric wire, the corresponding battery will be destroyed instantly.
A merchant who's brave enough to set up shop in the crypt and graces the player with his glorious singing. He usually sells three random items to Cadence and two for the other characters. He's an otherwise nice guy, but should you attack him first...
- Beware the Nice Ones: The shopkeeper is one of the friendliest shopkeepers in the roguelike genre. You can shoplift and destroy his store and he won't even be fazed. However, if you attack him directly (with a fireball spell or a bomb), he'll quickly turn from your best friend to the toughest enemy in the game, with nine hearts of health, diagonal movement, being able to move every beat, and having attack power that would make even bosses weep. Killing him grants you the powerful Crown of Greed (doubles gold dropped from all sources, at the price of losing gold every beat), but because there's only one shopkeeper in the dungeon, you lose access to all shops for the rest of the run.
- Big Fun: The Shopkeeper doesn't seem to mind if his shop becomes overrun by enemies just as long as he keeps singing with the music and enjoying it.
- Bonus Boss: In a sense. Attacking the Shopkeeper with a bomb or fire spell will cause him to start charging after you. He has nine hearts of health and absurdly high attack power, but managing to kill him will reward you with the Crown of Greed which doubles your gold drops and is needed for high score runs.
- Creator Cameo: In Amplified, there's an option to give the Shopkeeper a skin of YouTuber Nicolas Daoust, who provides his own real vocals over the Shopkeeper's synthetic vocals.
- Lightning Bruiser: Once provoked, he'll pursue you and move every single beat, even diagonally. He has high health and high attack, so if you're not careful, he'll put your lights out just like that. Attacking him directly isn't an option unless he's down to his last heart because he doesn't teleport like other bosses and will hit you if you do so.
- Punny Name: "Freddie Merchantry'', and his ghost's name is "Phantom of the Shopera."
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Blood, Glass, and Health Shopkeepers look identical to the original Shopkeeper, but aside from the fact that they can't sing, they're also distinguished by different colors so you can easily tell them apart. The Blood Shopkeeper is red, the Glass Shopkeeper is green, and the Health Shopkeeper is blue.
- Helpful Mook: The Shriner looks like an armadillo enemy but with a cart strapped onto it.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You also have the option to kill those shopkeepers and take their belongings much like the original Shopkeeper. With the exception of the Conjurer, all the other shopkeepers will put up some form of resistance when you attack them with a bomb or fire spell. The Blood Shopkeeper, Glass Shopkeeper, and the Transmogrifier will act in a similar way to the original shopkeeper and start charging after you, the Pawnbroker will fill the room with tar to hinder your movement as he attacks, and the Health Shopkeeper and the Shriner will leave behind traps for you to deal with when you kill them. The former will drop two bombs around you that will explode in one beat, and the latter will have you deal with three Dragons.