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Video Game / Crowntakers

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Crowntakers is a November 2014 Roguelike / Role-Playing Game, developed by Bulwark Studios and published by Kasedo Games. In it, your control the only remaining heir to the crown of King Jandric, who was deposed by Duke Tomas of Esire and thrown in a dungeon. All of his brothers fell in the battles with Duke's armies, but their sacrifice has weakened them to the point an illegitimate like you now has the chance to sneak into the castle with a small group and restore the rightful rule!

Well, at least, this is what King Jandric is hoping for. In practice, you have to make your way there from the backwater town you are in, across eight randomly generated maps, designed in the style of King's Bounty, Heroes of Might and Magic or Age of Wonders. And in order to get anywhere alive, it's necessary to find the mercenaries who can join you, the gold that will keep them on your side, and struggling to keep them all alive. Moreover, no enemy is content to wait idly for you, and so they all become stronger with every new day...


Crowntakers provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amplifier Artifact: The mercenaries' equipment can be upgraded with runes, which are separated into offensive and defensive ones.
  • An Ax To Grind: The barbarians wields some pretty large axes. The Barbarian Chief has a double-sided one.
  • And the Adventure Continues: If you fail to save the King in time but still manage to defeat the Duke, the ending shows that your character is now preparing a new campaign to unite the realm and restore order.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only hire one mercenary per main character level. Essentially, said level is considered equivalent to the authority they hold over others, and the corresponding ability to keep larger groups of money-hungry mercs in check.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Duke of Esire likes to change targets in combat. He does it even when walking from the character right next to him and towards another exposes him to free overwatch attacks from everyone else.
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  • Battle Boomerang: One of the mercenary classes wields these. Its main advantage is being able to hit several targets at once, as long as they are all standing next to each other (which is often the case in boss fights). One of its skills also inflicts bleeding.
  • Blade Across The Shoulder: The way Royal knights, Lieutenant Shear and The Dark Knight carry their greatswords.
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears can be wielded by both your mercenaries and the enemies. Attacks with those pierce their target to hit anyone directly behind them, and they cause Knockback as well.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: "Death Nova" spell is a unique example, as it deals twice the caster's missing HP in damage.
    • Life Drain is a straighter example, as it drains 2 HP from the caster, but transfers 3 to its target.
  • Cheap Gold Coins: Downplayed. Most things cost only a couple of gold coins; a night at the Inn is 4, and hiring a mercenary is 8. Still, those rates would have made sense if the coins were silver, not gold.
  • Cool Pet: Boomerang user class has an eagle as a pet. That eagle reveals more area on the battle map, and also increases critical chance against the enemies in the area near him.
  • Counter-Attack: Choosing to guard sacrifices the ability to attack on your turn for a boosted Dodge chance and a counter-attack on the enemy's turn.
  • Critical Hit: Each character has a stat determining their likelihood of inflicting these. Since the combat is very low-number, these often only add a few damage points. However, the enemies and bosses have several dozen hitpoints at most, while your characters have even less, so this still makes all the difference.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The same hero and his company that fought all the way through the kingdom and just defeated Duke of Esire and his bodyguards is unceremoniously locked up in a jail cell by the newly freed King Jandric, without putting up a fight.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: In a game where the health of your characters starts at 5-6 and caps at 12-13, The Dark Knight boss, encountered in the mid-game, has 50 HP. The only other boss with so much health is the Duke of Esire himself.
  • Dark Action Girl: Commander Barka. As her description states: "A middle-aged woman is standing before you with a serious expression. She might have been pretty...if the war hadn't left her face scarred and her eyes full of a strange and distant glow."
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The opening and ending cutscene are done in in black and white.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: In the ending, after throwing you and your party into the dungeons, the King mocks you for thinking he would have allowed a bastard to take his throne.
  • Dem Bones: Introduced with the Undead Undertakings DLC. Unlike many examples of the trope, they are some of the most fragile enemies you'll face, with the weakest ones literally having a single hitpoint. However, there are a lot of them to compensate for such failings.
  • Downer Ending: If you beat the Duke of Esire, King Jandric turns out to be a real bastard and throws you all into the same jail cell you just rescued him from, while telling none of his vassals of your involvement. Ironically, not storming the castle in time to stop his execution actually leads to a better ending.
  • Enemy Summoner: Alpha Wolves summon minor wolves. These will run away once an alpha is killed.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Done at the Blacksmith, after you bring to him the required component. Whereas stage 1 sword upgrade requires simple iron, for instance, stage 2 suddenly requires silver.
  • Everything Fades: The dead bodies immediately fade from the battlefield.
  • Flunky Boss: All besides besides The Dark Knight have at least some back-up.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: As befits fantasy tales, the bastard under your control at first reacts to Jandric's plan by blurting out "B-but I am a nobody! I can barely plant turnips here on the farm!", while laying on a "bed" of hay.
  • The Good King: King Jandric was apparently this, before he got overthrown by the Duke of Esire. In the end, it turns out Duke of Esire was the better person, as King Jandric immediately throws you all into the same jail you just freed him from.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: While some enemies you fight are Always Chaotic Evil, like the wolves and the barbarians, the Royal Guard loyal to Duke of Esire are described in sympathetic terms. The Commander Barka is outright tragic.
    • While a comedic example, the victory text for The Nemesis even states: "In another world, you could have been friends. But in this one, you have proven that you are the true heir."
    • The ending reveals that Duke of Esire was the real good guy, at least relative to King Jandric, who thanks you for liberating him by locking you up in the same jail cell.
  • The Grim Reaper: Every time someone is killed in battle, their body fades away while a spectral Grim Reaper appears briefly.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The default Hero fights with a sword.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: The protagonist is one. If you happen to reach the Duke of Esire, he simply remarks on this "The King has sired more bastards than expected, but so be it. You are neither the first nor the last to have been tricked by that traitor Jandric."
  • Horny Vikings: The barbarians carry such helmets.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The most basic healing items are Apples, which restore 2 HP.
  • In the Back: Getting behind enemies allows for backstabs, which are automatic critical hits.
  • In the Blood: The opening cutscene states that the telepathic abilities are something shared by all members of King Jandric's bloodline, thus allowing him to contact you in your sleep, while being held in a dungeon by Duke Tomas of Esire.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Stealth potions have this effect.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Duke of Esire's pre-battle phrase, "The King has sired more bastards than expected, but so be it. You are neither the first nor the last to have been tricked by that traitor Jandric." might be referring to however many characters of yours died before the one under your control finally got there. This is more likely to be the case on Easy mode, where the bosses defeated in your past runs stay defeated for your future characters.
  • Life Drain: Literally the name of one of the spells. The only problem is that it drains this life from the caster, in order to heal their ally.
  • Mirror Boss: The Nemesis battle has you fight the mirror versions of your entire party, sans their skills but with a ton of bonus HP.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Played straight if you possess Resurrection Scroll, which will revive your fallen mercenaries. Otherwise, they'll stay where they fell.
  • Rain of Arrows: The "Hail of Arrows" skill, which targets all enemies in a decently-sized area at once.
  • Rest-and-Resupply Stop: The inns act as these. You hire new mercenaries there, buy and sell items, and heal overnight.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: There are both barbarians and members of the Royal Guard who carry shields. These tend to have less health overall than the soldiers with two-handed weapons, but possess regenerating "magic armor" points instead.
  • Teleportation: The "Speed Potion" literally teleports the drinker to their desired destination. However, its power is limited, as it merely offers 2 additional tiles of range compared to where the character would have gotten on foot.
  • Trauma Inn: Sleeping in Inns restores health, whereas sleeping in the field over a campfire does not.
  • Old Soldier: Lieutenant Shear is literally white-haired, with heavy moustache and a beard.
  • Over Penetration: Spears hit both their target, and anyone directly behind them.
  • Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Magic Armor regenerates every turn.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Archers can erect rudimentary watchtowers anywhere in the field within a single turn. These provide them with extra range and the ability to shoot over other obstacles. However, they cannot move from those without dismantling them first.
  • Savage Wolves: A typical early-game enemy. Wolf packs are nevertheless entirely capable of finishing off novice parties then and there.
  • Timed Mission: You are supposed to reach the royal castle and free the deposed King Jandric before the Duke of Esire gets around to holding a trial, which will inevitably result in his execution. Ironically, letting this happen actually leads to a better ending, because your character then gets the power they came for, whereas King Jandric was always a jerk and would just imprison you and your party if you actually free him in time, rather than giving you the throne as promised.
  • Tin Tyrant: The Dark Knight boss is one.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: King Jandric simply locks you in the same cell Duke of Esire held him at, as soon as you free him.
  • Vendor Trash: Tools, which are surprisingly frequent in abandoned bear's caves and the like. Books are also useless to your character.
  • Worthy Opponent: If you manage to defeat Commander Barka, the victory screen will state "The general was a brave rival and an outstanding tactician. While you were enemies, you will never forget her heroic deeds."
  • You No Take Candle: Barbarians talk like this. In before the battle with Barbarian Chief: "Kruul destroy you. Then Kruul take shiny things on you. KRUUL HIT YOU!"
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Dark Knight simply states "No one will pass. Whoever you are, I shall not budge."


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