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Video Game / Brogue

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Brogue is a Roguelike game by Brian Walker, initially released in 2009. Famously, it was written by Brian after a theft caused him to lose his copy of Rogue, which he had been hacking around with. As a result, Brogue is fairly close to being a genuinely new fork of the Roguelike genre, not a Hack or Moria derivative.

Unlike many Roguelikes, which tend to have distinct Guide Dang It! elements in their gameplay, Brogue tries to be as friendly as possible, giving you hints about items, and (for example) telling you roughly how many hits a given monster will take to kill you when you see it.

Brogue is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and has been ported to the iPad (available on the App Store).

Tropes include:

  • Back Stab: Attacking a sleeping or unaware enemy automatically hits, deals triple damage and doubles the chance of any runic effect on your weapon going off.
  • Deadly Gas: Purple caustic gas - "you can feel the purple gas eating at your flesh". It removes a proportion of your maximum health each turn, so it's equally dangerous to everything in the dungeon, from rats to dragons.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tentacle Horrors are basically this.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: Your Rogue only has two intrinsic stats, HP and strength, both of which can only be increased by drinking potions. All other character advancement is achieved by finding or enchanting equipment.
  • Healing Potion: Potions of Life, which increase your maximum HP as well as fully healing you and removing most status conditions.
  • Monster Allies: One of the "special features" of a level can include monsters chained or caged up; once freed, they will loyally support you (although in some situations, their support may be somewhat less than helpful).
  • No-Sell: Revenants are uniquely and completely immune to conventional melee from the player or any given monster, necessitating clever consumable use to take them down.
  • Percent Damage Attack:
    • Caustic gas deals damage equal to 1/15th of the victim's maximum health, making it equally effective against everything.
    • Explosions always deal at least half of a creature's maximum health.
  • Permadeath: As with most Roguelikes, once a character is dead, they're gone forever. If you noted down the seed of the dungeon you were playing, or know to use a special key combination when returned to the title screen, you can attempt it again, however.
  • Rat Stomp: Rats are the weakest kind of monster and are easily defeated by characters using their starting equipment. Subverted somewhat by one of the key traps - when you grab the key paralysis gas is released and the walls crumble to reveal a horde of rats.
  • Regenerating Health: As in most Roguelikes, your health regenerates over time. Wearing a Ring of Regeneration speeds this rate up. The more enchanted the ring, the faster you regenerate, to the point where you regain half of your maximum health each turn.
  • Status Effects: Has several of them, including:
    • Burning, which causes variable damage per turn.
    • Confusion works the same as in many other roguelikes, causing you to move at random and attack opponents you bump into.
    • Poison, which halts regeneration and saps 1 HP per turn.
    • Paralysis, which prevents all action until you are struck or it wears off.
  • Universal Poison: Lichen, spiders and magic staves all inflict the same kind of poison.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: If your nutrition reaches zero, you begin to starve to death. The dungeon provides a carefully metered supply of food, so players who keep descending are unlikely to starve. This prevents both Level Grinding and overuse of resting to regain health. There is one Challenge Game which requires you to win the game without ever eating, using healing to counteract starvation. It has been completed.