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Video Game / Clonk

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"A small but robust humanoid being. Witty and nimble, if skillfully controlled."

The Clonk titles are a series of Side View German PC games, that put you in command of one or more of the eponymous clonks. As a general rule, you'll need to use them to build a functioning settlement, harvest all the gold/oil/whatever in a map, or kill off all of someone else's clonks. But it might be a race. Or a murder mystery in progress. Or a game of tag. Or maybe there'll be no goal at all. It varies hugely between levels, since the engine is fairly versatile and players can easily develop their own objects and scenarios.

The original games were Updated Rereleases, starting with the original Clonk DOS game from 1994, which consisted, more or less, of groups of Clonks throwing rocks at each other in sequential two-player battles. Clonk 2 Debakel was an experimental attempt to add Turn-Based Strategy elements: A multiplayer game of Clonk 2 took place in a hex map, and the melee skirmishes, which were almost identical to those of Clonk 1, appeared as encounters between hostile players on the map. Clonk A. P. E. (Advanced Players Edition) (1995) reverted Clonk to its original principle, removing the hex map and city management, and introduced single-player and co-op settlement challenges and separate, configurable scenarios instead of Clonk 1's fixed, sequential two-player fights. It's also noticeable for introducing the Wipf, Clonk's other Series Mascot (aside from the monster, which existed ever since Clonk 1).

Clonk 3 Radikal greatly extended the complexity of the game and the construction/management elements; many new structures, vehicles and materials were introduced. Clonk 4 mainly tweaked the physics and the functionality of existing elements, added some further objects and also introduced the option to create objects and scenarios yourself, which is a great part of what defines Clonk today. Clonk Planet and Clonk Endeavour further enhanced the complexity, modernized some elements, gave birth to many expansion packs, and added netplay, which was greatly simplified in Clonk Rage.

The latest official update is Clonk Rage, which was the last game finished before the head of the team had to quit. A 3D release was planned, but ended up being cancelled. Meanwhile, the game code has been released to allow continuation as an open-source game. Some fans, as well as the other members of the development team, are working on Open Clonk, an attempt to bring the series in a new direction by rebuilding the engine from the ground upwards instead of upgrading Clonk Rage. There are also lots and lots of Game Mods, although most of them, like the fanbase, are German.

The games used to be Shareware of the limited-content demo variety, but nowadays they're all available for free, including Clonk Rage.

The series provides examples of:

  • Abandonware: The games used to run on a shareware model, but now they are fully available for free.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Cannons and catapults can launch everything, from rocks, construction kits and barrels to animals. A heavy artillery cannon can even launch clonks.
  • Achievement System: A few fanmade scenarios have elaborate ones.
  • Air-Aided Acrobatics:
    • The Airblast spell can be used for this.
    • In Open Clonk, this is the jar of wind's purpose.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti
  • And Call Him "George": The lizard-like 'monsters' "just want to play". Unfortunately, their definition of playing consists of trampling down all kinds of other creatures, or - in case of fire monsters - spitting fire on them.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Baron Herx, oppressor of a small village, in the melee scenario "The Castle".
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI doesn't have very good long-term path-finding. If told to bring a tree to a lumberwill, it can and easily will have your clonk jump off a cliff, to an already felled tree floating in a lake, and will then leave you with no way of getting back.
  • Bee Afraid: What happens when you break a zap nest.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Comprehensible for the most part, but some names and descriptions are overly literal. The clonk's is an example - "smart" would fit a lot better than "witty" - and the lorry is more of a cart, as it's usually pushed by hand.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": "Flintstones" are smooth, bright red, and explode when thrown at something.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
  • Convection, Schmonvection
  • Critical Existence Failure: Animals and clonks keel over dead, buildings and vehicles burst into flames.
  • Cycle of Hurting: If someone throws a rock at you while standing in a pile of more rocks, they can spam you with the other rocks faster than you can recover from the flinching animation. And if you fall into a small pit with a monster inside, the monster will usually walk back and forth running into you again and again and juggling you in the air.
  • Death from Above: The meteor hail spell, mainly used in settlement melees to destroy enemy structures.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: One method of killing monsters is to repeatedly throw rocks at them.
  • Desert Skull: The standard desert scenarios contain, along with cacti, animal skulls as decoration.
  • Easter Egg: Here and there. One mission contains a corpse that shares the name of the game's creator. Also, smoke very rarely has the shape of a Wipf. Fan-made scenarios (and some ascended former fan scenarios, like "Dragon Rock") tend to absolutely crawl with in-jokes.
  • Explosion Propulsion: It used to only happen to clonks and vehicles. The fan scenario "Pressurewavefight" (the title is an incomprehensibly broken translation of the German "Druckwellenkampf". What is meant is something in the lines of "Blastwave Battle".) introduced it for other inanimate objects, and "Clonk Rage" officially inserted it as a general gameplay element.
  • Fake Platform: Unfixed bridge segments are background objects, but hard to distinguish from the fixed ones, so you might end up jumping on one of them falling into a bottomless pit.
  • Fast Tunnelling
  • Floating Platforms: The terrain system allows "sky islands", which are a popular and famous element of the game. Basements and basically anything you can stand on also stay in place if the ground below them is removed.
  • Floating Continent: Many levels take place in the sky. Their floating is never explained. In the case of "Sky Atoll" the description states that an ancient island kingdom just rose out of the ocean. Somehow.
  • Genre Roulette: The fan scenario "Clonk Party".
  • Guide Dang It!: If you're carrying certain items while casting certain spells, the spell will be enhanced while consuming the item. This is never mentioned in-game.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Throw a strong flint into a gold vein and stand too close, fire a cannon upwards, drop a zap nest next to yourself, drop a lump of dirt underwater and get stuck... there's may ways to have lethal accidents in Clonk.
  • Human Cannonball: Clonks can launch themselves with artillery cannon towers.
  • Humans Are White: Outside of Far Worlds, Western and fanmade expansion packs, all clonks look like identical stocky Middle-European guys. Open Clonk changes this.
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: Like in Real Life, you can't change your direction while jumping. Averted in Open Clonk.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Zaps in many scenarios. They can't be damaged normally; you can submerge or bury them for instant death, but they'll try to avoid this, and these options are often unavailable. The flame wall spell from the Fantasy pack and the Eke Reloaded flamethrower can kill them without much trouble, though...
  • Just Add Water: For crafting things, you just have to know the construction plan, select the product and put the materials into a workshop or anvil.
  • Lavais Boiling Kool Aid
  • Man on Fire: Setting your enemies on fire is one of the pillars of basic-warfare in this series note . Although the death isn't instant, and if you don't keep your distance it can become a more frightening trope.
  • Mirror Match: In most melee scenarios, both sides start with exactly the same prerequisites.
  • Nintendo Hard: Cheerful music and smiling Clonks aside, the more advanced scenarios will take you hours to complete, if you can beat them at all. The record for Seven Keys, for instance, is two hours. For a single player, eleven hours is entirely possible.
  • One-Gender Race: Before Open Clonk, all clonks are dudes, with the exception of a few NPCs in adventure scenarios.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: The normally dark veins of delayed flints shine brightly when they are ignited.
  • Pressure Plate: Found in puzzle scenarios.
  • Press X to Die: The "Release Clonk" rule.
  • Quality Vs Quantity: The theme of the scenario "The Castle". One player controls Baron Horx in castle at the top of a hill, while the other players play as a small village of poorer but more numerous peasants rebelling against him.
  • Rise to the Challenge: The fan scenario "Lava rises from the bottom".
  • Rocket Jump: Flint jumps. You drop a flint on the floor or the wall you're jumping into and it flings you away when it explodes upon hitting the surface. Alternatively just hold a burning delayed flint while you're jumping. This has become a staple tactic especially for infiltration in bas
  • Series Mascot: Wipfs.
  • Save the Princess: The plot of Dragon Rock.
  • Selective Gravity: Not just the floating continents, but buildings in general. Most buildings have solid basements, which will never move. Bridges can be made out of a balloon or blimp, and and won't move either.
  • Soft Water: Objects (and fan-made clonks who take fall damage) can impact on a water surface from high speed without consequences. Water instantly stops you as well, preventing you from hitting the ground below.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The "Classic" control scheme, the only one before Rage, is idiosyncratic: you keep moving into a given direction until you press the stop key. Players used to more conventional jump'n'run controls (which Clonk Rage also offers) will likely fall off quite a few cliffs.
  • Spiteful A.I.: Found in most scenarios with computer-controlled enemies.
  • Stock Femur Bone
  • Stylistic Suck: The community has spawned the phenomenon of "Niwoh" (a malapropism of the word "Niveau" meaning sophistication) scenarios, which are a combination of this, purposely inserted bugs, in-jokes, non-sequiturs, bad puns and general wackiness.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Oxygen Meter-type.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Possessed by aquaclonks.
  • Terraform: In Wide-Open Sandbox fan scenarios.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Clonks really enjoy fighting each other, it's a wonder there are any left. The backstory for "Greed" for instance, explains that a group of miners were trapped underground by an earthquake. With gold that's four times as valuable as normal. You win by killing off everyone else.
    • Wipfs and other animals aren't able to notice if the pit they are jumping into contains lava or acid. Or if the pit has anything in it at all.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Not only, but especially, treasure. Chunks of (solid) gold, like rocks, are the size of a clonk's head, and "crystals" (of an unspecified, magical variety) are a bit larger still.
  • Trick Arrow: Explosive arrows. Fan-made arrows include arrows splitting into bouncing rocks, arrows launching a small frostwave, arrows creating a bridge of earth, arrows turning the ground they hit into sinking quicksand, teleport arrows and so on.
  • Tunnel King: All clonks.
  • Updated Re-release
  • Vapor Ware: Clonk Extreme.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Those cute little wipfs? They can be set on fire.
  • Wall Crawl
  • Water Is Blue
  • When It Rains, It Pours
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: If you have enough time, there's nothing stopping you from sealing off the sky itself.
  • Wrap Around: Some novelty scenarios contain a "No Borders" rule with this effect.
    open/close all folders 

    Official packs 

The Knights pack is set in a Ye Goode Olde Days medieval setting. It usually features knights battling each other, either in small tournaments or large battles between rivaling castles. Castles consist of combinable modules that can be built by players, making huge Wide-Open Sandbox knight levels popular too.


The Fantasy pack mostly features mages competing in tournaments. The original fantasy scenarios radically differ from the fanmade ones which are extremely common in network; the original scenarios feature settling elements and are generally similar to normal clonk melees, while many fanmade ones play more like a sidescrolling magic shooter; mostly due to mana being cheap and quickly regenerating, the fanmade version of the Toad Jump spell which practically allows infinite Double Jumps, and some spells that can One-Hit Kill a target.


A pack in a classical Wild West setting, featuring cowboys, settlers, bandits, sheriffs, cavalry, trappers, Indians and so on.

    Semi-official packs 
Metal and Magic

The "Metal and Magic" pack combines contents and gameplay mechanics of the Knights and Fantasy packs and adds a great amount of new elements, like religion or assassins. Unlike most other Clonk packs, it has an elaborate Back Story. The magic system is rebalanced to allow fair fights between mages and knights.


The Hazard pack is a futuristic shooter pack. The gameplay differs radically from standard Clonk gameplay, featuring agile combat with long-range weapons, while digging, settling and traditional weapons are mostly absent.

    Fanmade packs 
Eke Reloaded

Eke Reloaded is an action shooter pack with a military setting. It has a tongue-in-cheek tone and parodies cliches of soldiers, military games and the Action genre in general. Unlike most other Clonk packs, it has an official backstory, featuring a global rebellion against the One World Order that ends with both factions teaming up to stop an Alien Invasion.

Codename Modern CombatA shooter pack based on Hazard systems, with intricate mechanics and a lot of decoration. Inspired primarily by the Battlefield series.

    Single scenarios 
Blastwave BattleAn unusual competitive scenario with two player teams. The unusual thing about it is that unlike in most Clonk scenarios you cannot directly reach your opponent to throw objects at them at close range, as the middle half of the map is a bottomless pit, and you instantly die anyway if you manage to get across. Instead, you're supposed to utilize blastwaves to propel flints and other items to the enemy side, in order to either deplete all respawns of the enemy team by killing their clonks repeatedly or destroy their generator. There's also some money management thrown in, thanks to an interest rate system.

Technically, its English title is "Pressurewavefight", but this is an incomprehensibly broken translation of the German "Druckwellenkampf", and "Blastwave Battle" is what's actually meant.


A tactical team scenario with RPG Elements. Inspired by the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre.Based on the Metal and Magic pack, but plays quite differently.

For convenience, the STR, AGI and INT professions will be from now on referred to as fighters, rangers and mages.

  • An Axe To Grind: A slower, but stronger weapon of the fighter.
  • Arrows on Fire
  • Attack Drone: The musketeer's steambot.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Iceblast spell looks cool and deals high damage, but with the preparation time, enemies will usually interrupt your channeling or jump out of range, unless if you combine it with stun, the Spider Web spell or the like..
  • Back Stab: The fighter's Shadow Dagger lets you invisibly sneak up on your enemies and do this for extra damage.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant poisonous flies are one kind of creeps.
  • Boring, but Practical: Fire globs are not especially interesting, but one of the strongest attack spells of the game if backed by high INT. Their fire effect is relatively powerful, fast and stackable.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The bomb subweapon looks like this.
  • Cooldown
  • Cool Sword: The Blade of the Anti-Mage.
  • Cycle of Hurting: The warhammer is well capable of stunlocking lone enemies.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Battlecry and Swarm percentally increase their subject's damage. Battlecry's power depends on its user's skill level, while Swarm consists of many little insects, and the effect strength depends on how many insects reached their target.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are one of two kinds of creeps.
  • Drop the Hammer: The warhammer is an even slower, but stronger and stunning upgrade of the axe.
  • Elite Tweak: High-tier upgrade items like shadow daggers, elemental boomerangs, hook mines or Skadi's Cape.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The agility class is more of a ranger type, though.
  • Finishing Move: The musketeer's Assassination skill. It's kind of an inversion of the Desperation Attack, dealing damage depending on the amount of health the victim already lacks.
  • Flaming Sword: An upgrade of the two-handed sword.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The fighter's charge ability.
  • Glass Cannon: Rangers can kill enemies extremely quickly, but they usually have low health and are helpless in close combat.
  • Hat of Power: The Hunting Hat is the ranger's agility item.
  • Healing Factor
  • Hostage Spirit-Link: If friendly fire isn't completely deactivated, you'll take half of the damage you accidentally deal to your allies in their place.
  • Inescapable Net: Can be used by the fighter.
  • Just Add Water: Several items require components; to create those items, just buy the components and then the item itself.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": There are several types as well: Normal mines, the stronger goblin mines, the poisoned Plague Mines and the capturing, ranger-only hook mines.
  • Life Drain: The vampire tooth adds a slight life drain effect to all magical attacks of its user, in exchange for a slight drop in power.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Not as bad as most examples, but fighters still tend to be stronger in the beginning (when most of their enemies have low health and can be killed in few or one hits) and mages tend to be stronger in the endgame (when they usually have sufficiently ludicrous intelligence and equipment to just fry anything in the way, shrug off damage with mana shields and can basically overheal five or six times their total health.). Some ways of building a fighter offer similar power as well, though.
  • Magikarp Power: Initially, the Mushroom Bed spell creates just a single short-lived explosive mushroom dealing okayish damage, but at higher levels and backed by decent intelligence, it summons many durable, powerful ones.
  • Mana Burn: The fighter's Blade of the Anti-Mage does this.
  • Mana Shield: Available for the Mage.
  • Multishot: A passive skill for the bow-wielding agility path.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Frostbolt spell, Magic Missiles and the Assassination-enchanted bullet.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Can hit an enemy twice.
  • Point Build System
  • Power Glows: Dragon Claws, elemental boomerangs and homing arrows.
  • Roboteching: Homing arrows do this. Also, boomerangs home back to their user, even if they were knocked back across half of the map.
  • Skill Gate Characters: Not characters, but skills/items. The Water Bomb spell deals great damage to an unwary enemy, but experienced players can just jump over the waves or knock down the caster. The shadow dagger allows invisibility and backstabbing, but can be evaded as well by leaving the fighter's range or repeatedly jumping into the air.
  • Spam Attack: Ice Rain, Rapid Fire and Magic Missiles.
  • Squishy Wizard: Unless you pile up mana shields and life trees.
  • Standard Status Effects: Burn, Freeze, Poison, Silence and Stun. The Elemental Overload spell tweaks these, turning Freeze (which normally just slows movement) into a periodic stop effect and Burn into lava chunks, which in turn can themselves deal fire damage over a short time.
  • Trick Arrow: Several of the archer's spells enchant arrows, for example to home on target, to chain them down or to leave a burning trail in the air.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Skilled players will keep getting kills and obtain better equipment and enhanced skills which make getting more kills more likely and taking one less likely. Like in other MOBAs, low-skill players tend to "feed", getting killed often and bestowing much experience and money for the other team without getting mentionably more powerful themselves.
  • Unwanted Assistance: With its strong knockback/pull and returning properties, the Bouncing Spear is a powerful ranged weapon for the strength class, but inconsiderate use of it can screw up allies' targeting by knocking enemies out of close combat or a spell's area of effect.


A tactical knight melee with an unusually high focus on ambience.

Tower Of Despair

A hard puzzle scenario with an unique module system. In development.

zOMG Revolution

A ...strange survival scenario. Many waves of sometimes unusual things fall from the sky, accompanied by wacky commentary and trippy graphical effects.