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Video Game / Blackguards

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Blackguards is a 2014 Turn-Based Tactics RPG developed by Daedalic Entertainment, set in The Dark Eye universe. You play as a human accused of having killed the daughter of a powerful Count, escaping from jail alongside a Dwarf named Naurim and lustful mage Zurbaran Florios, a southern grandee. While the main character would like to clear their, they're unfortunately suffering from some Laser-Guided Amnesia and unable to remember the events of what happened the night of the Princess' death, resulting in a quest to solve the murder.

A sequel, Blackguards 2, was released in January 2015.

Examples of tropes in this game include:

  • Anti-Grinding: There are no random encounters - the only repeatable fight is doing battle in the arena but it rewards no Adventure Points and very little money.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: As is true more broadly in the Dark Eye rule system, wearing metal armor interferes with casting spells.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Warriors' Targeted Stab and Death Blow abilities ignore all armor.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Telemache's list of grievances with her husband is so long, she asks the party to retrieve a long-lost ritual book so that she can confer to him the blessings of all the gods, thus turning him into the perfect man who'll dote her at every turn. She succeeds... only to find herself hating him even more due to him being too perfect.
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  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When the group has to partake in arena battles:
    Niam: Do I have to fight, too?
    Tulefa: Nobody can force you to, sweetheart. But I recommend that you at least parry your enemies' blows.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After the final battle, your character walks to the crevace and utters the name of the nameless one. This would mean that your character dies in the process, but the ending is unclear about your ultimate fate. Your companions later move on with their life, the world continuing to be crapsack with the events largely remaining unsung and ignored. For better or worse, the setting returned to the status quo.
  • Barrier Warrior: The mage spell Gardianum Magic Shield conjures up a barrier against magical damage.
  • Blood Knight: Naurim is fierce and hot-tempered, as expected from a warrior dwarf.
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  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: After a long questline investigating the assassination attempt on Keidre, the leader of the Courtesans' Guild, it's finally revealed that the person who ordered the hit was Clarizia, a priestess of Rahja in the small town of El'Halem. She blamed Keidre for slowly turning her temple into a glorified bordello.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When approaching a group of bandits to determine the truth in an Evil Twin situation, the leader mentions a palace - Naurim becomes fixated on it, and it will even initiate combat if he keeps pressing the issue.
  • Curse: A merchant in the town of Benivilla is suffering from one that's causing him to slowly rot away, and he tasks the party to find a way to stop it. While they do eventually succeed, upon returning they find the merchant already dead, having changed his mind about wanting to live and either ending his life by his own hand or voluntarily letting himself succumb to the curse.
    Aurelia: He looks happy.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: The warrior ability Hammer Blow, usable only with heavy two-handed weapons, axes and maces, deals triple normal attack damage but is both inaccurate and forfeit's the character's parry that turn. Despite it's downsides its sheer damage potential makes it one of the most useful abilities in the game.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: A side quest in Chapter 3 involves finding the 9 scattered pieces of the legendary spear Bloodletter and putting it together for your own use.
  • Dispel Magic: The spell Magica Infracta clears enchantments from both allies and enemies.
  • Evil Former Friend: Lysander. It's made clear via flashbacks that he and the player were once very close, but Elanor's death has now driven him completely insane.
    • Aurelia turns out to be this, being a member of Count Urias' Nameless One cult. Depending on how you treated her throughout the game, it's possible for her to undergo a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Fantastic Slur: While presumably not meant to be offensive, Naurim the dwarf will call humans "bigguns". Also, Bailiff Lasca addresses Naurim as "imp" at one point.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Zurbaran acts like a cheerful, smart and careless noble. He is in fact, an escaped slave who killed a noble and took his identity, using it to deceive people and trick women into sleeping with him, even poisoning the husbands of the women. He likewise makes several sexual advances towards both Aurelia and Niam, and even tries to sell Takate in the third act.
  • Fireballs: Ignisphaero Fireball is your classic fireball spell, though it only deals full damage on the primary target while anyone hit by its splash take less.
  • Gladiator Games: A prominent feature of Mengbilla and the surrounding area. Chapter 2 is a Gladiator Subquest; afterwards, you can return to the arena for some further fights, which are optional.
  • Gold–Silver–Copper Standard: Ten copper to a silver, ten silver to a gold, as is standard for the Dark Eye system.
  • Gray and Grey Morality: Almost all of the possible decisions the player can make are painted as this, with no clear way to determine which is the "right" choice.
  • Great Escape: The game kicks off with you escaping prison along with Naurim, who planned it, and Zurubaran.
  • Healing Potion: Come in a variety of types and with varying degrees of effectiveness. Master healing potions which restore vitality to full are both rare and expensive.
  • Made a Slave: Chapter 2 kicks off with this.
  • Mage Marksman: Niam is a hunter who also has the ability to cast spells.
  • Mana Burn: Certain poisons can drain mana in addition to health, making (the mercifully few) enemies which make use of them higly dangerous to your spellcasters.
  • Mana Potion: Astral Potions are a crucial thing to stick in your spellcasters' belts before heading into battle. As with healing potions, the best versions are as rare as they are effective.
  • Mushroom Samba: When Niam is drugged on the third day of the Nine Hordes, she sometimes shoots randomly into space instead of at enemies. According to the battle log, she's shooting at hallucinated unicorns, which always dodge her attacks successfully.
  • Mystery Box: One questline involves tracking down a strange box for the head torturer of Mengbilla which he claims to be a gift for the head of the Courtesans' Guild. While it turns out the box really was just a gift, its exact contents are never revealed.
  • Plotline Death: Niam is killed by the Louse Queen in the final gladiator battle.
  • Portal Picture: One of the DLC quests involves the elvish painter Eodil who fell in love with a portrait of a woman he had painted, but upon losing the portrait, grew bitter of the real world and retreated inside one of his paintings to live in isolation.
  • Power Nullifier: The Mask of Shame, kept on the witch in the Mengbilla arena, completely prevents its wearer from casting spells. They also can't stray more than a hundred paces from the person who carries the key to the mask.
  • Projectile Spell: Despite its name, the spell Thunderbolt launches a damaging magical projectile and has nothing to do with electricity. Ignifaxius Burst of Flame is the fiery equivalent.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your party, including the player character, mostly consists of convicted criminals.
    • The famous band of thieves known as the Flying Foxes, whose members all seem varying degrees of cruel or unhinged, also qualifies.
  • Regenerating Mana: The Astral Regeneration passives provide this during combat, as do certain pieces of equipment. Both are quite valuable as mana potions are expensive and limited in number.
  • Set Bonus: Equipping a full set of a single type of armor gives you a bonus to armor and reduces its encumberance penalty.
  • Spell Levels: All spells have four ranks which are unlocked by investing enough AP on the spell in question.
  • Tentacle Rope: Lysander meets a gruesome end as he gets repeatedly bashed against a stone wall while wrapped in one of the kraken newt's tentacles.
  • Trauma Inn: You can restore health and magic points by resting at inns. This doesn't heal wounds, though.

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