Culdcept is a series of games developed by OmiyaSoft. The gameplay is an odd mix of Monopoly and a CCG. The players roll dice and move around a game board, needing to pass through one or more forts before returning to the castle, which acts similar to Go! from Monopoly. However, instead of simply buying property you place monsters from your hand on the spaces and opposing players can choose to fight them to try and get out of tolls. The more you upgrade a property, the higher the toll and the better protected the monster on it. Also included are a huge number of spells and item cards that can affect gameplay in many ways.
The original game, Culdcept, was developed for the Sega Saturn and later released on the PlayStation. The original never left Japan Culdcept Second was released for the Sega Dreamcast and later the PS2, the PS2 version released in other countries as just Culdcept. The latest entry in the series was Culdcept Saga, strangely released only for the Xbox 360 in 2008. Finally, there is a Culdcept DS but...
Its followup, Culdcept Revolt was released for the 3DS on October 3rd, 2017.
The basic story is that Culdra, absolute Goddess, created Culdcept, the Book of Creation and Destruction. She then scatters pieces of the book, the cards, across the world and people who can control them become Cepters. If a Cepter passes certain trials, they become the god of a new world that they create. Each game also includes a story, usually involving beating someone evil to the godhood thing, and always peppered with oddball minions and elementally themed tribes.
This series has representation in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in the form of one trophy and one song, as well as in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the form of several Spirits. This is a remarkable surprise for a relatively obscure third-party title.
The Culdcept series provides examples of:
- All Just a Dream: Twice in Saga. Getting two different Bad Ends forces the hero to Take a Third Option.
- Artificial Stupidity: A lot of cards have huge strategic value that requires some planning to use effectively. The computer opponent decks are often stuffed with these cards, which they immediately discard because their AI doesn't know what to do with them. Generally improved on in Culdcept Saga.
- A.I.s also rarely take into account the abilities of your cards when deciding whether or not to use an item.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Some monsters have the ability to penetrate the land advantage a defending monster has; this is also the point of scroll attacks, which blow past defenses and can kill otherwise-indestructible enemies.
- Attack Reflector: The Counter Amulet is an item that does this. Decoy is a creature that has the same effect naturally.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the really big "direct damage all X" spells are ridiculously situational. Mildly "damage all X element monsters" are highly useful as long as your opponent is playing at least some of that element.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: The "Amazon" card is totally topless, and also totally nipple-less in its model in Saga.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: In the English PS2 version. Many cards have inaccurate or just plain indecipherable descriptions.
- Chainmail Bikini: While many cards are fanservicy, the series avoided this until Sword Princess in Saga, whose outfit is more platemail lingerie.
- Combining Mecha: The Air and Ground Gears combine if used together.
- Dhampyr: One of the cards is this; he even closely resembles Vampire Hunter D.
- Discard and Draw: Several cards do this, both offensively and defensively. There are also special spaces on some boards for this.
- Disc-One Nuke: Creature cards that force an enemy player to land on your square, such as Kelpie and Old Man Willow. You can usually get these cards midway through the game. Buff up these creatures and it'll force enemy players to pay a fee, if you can get multiple of these cards on the board - you'll quickly bankrupt your enemies. It's less useful in later levels of the later games as the A.I has more tactics and stronger cards to deal with this, but it's a highly viable tactic all the way to the end of the game.
- Elemental Embodiment: Each element gets a basic wall card which reflects its element's play style. Earth's Wall of Stone just has a ton of HP, making it tough to break through and resistant to direct-damage but susceptible to being worn down over time. Water's Wall of Ice has less HP than Wall of Stone, but gets temporary HP with every combat, meaning it's more vulnerable to being sniped by spells but very hard to inflict lasting combat damage on. Wind's wall, the Tornado, has relatively poor defensive stats, but reasonable Strength and the First Strike ability. Fire's wall has solid offensive capability. Finally, Non-Elemental's Wall of Wonder is expensive to deploy (requiring the sacrifice of an extra card from the hand) and has almost no health, but it's completely immune to attacks from any elemental creatures.
- As a bonus Paracelsus's elementals appear in their respective card elements. Though Undine is male for some reason.
- Elemental Powers: The classic four western elements. While there isn't a hierarchy, fire vs water and earth vs wind both get more cards that are the deal more damage to or are resistant to their opposing element. They also complement each other in later versions, with several cards having bonuses for Fire and Earth pairings or Wind and Water pairings, such as Items that inflict critical hits if wielded by one of the two aligned elements or Creatures that gain powerful Synergy boosts if there are other creatures of the "allied" element on the field.
- Earth gets mostly plants and wild animals, as well as a good helping of undead (with more moving this way from neutral in Saga). Earth is a mainly defensive element, getting mostly abilities that increase HP or give regeneration, but a lot of its monsters are just plain big, with enough power to be used offensively anyway. Tied to fire in Saga.
- Fire excels in high attack, low HP cards. Many have additional abilities that grant them critical hits. The theme is fire and war, and most things that aren't directly elemental are explicitly warriors. Oddly, contains some of the best defensive monsters in the game, though they're a massive minority within the overall group.
- Water gets... Are you ready for this? Sea creatures! It's the second defensive type, though its defenses come more from abilities and element immunities than Earth's sheer bigness. Not that it doesn't have big cards; Aspidochelone, for example, is a whale with an island on its back that gets stronger for every single round that passes.
- Wind is the Fragile Speedster archetype element. Most of the creatures with First Strike are wind element. The element is overall movement and strike based, with even fewer defensively oriented cards than fire. Wind is tied to water in Saga.
- Evolutionary Levels: Added in Saga. Most are straight upgrades, though a few cards can be evolved back and forth between each other.
- Explosive Breeder: Powder Eaters, the game's weakest card (1/1 in a game where stats are base 10). When they use the move command, they duplicate instead of leaving the original space. Useful when combined with kamikaze weapons.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Has creatures from everybody's mythology, including things from Chinese and Japanese, Russian, South American and even Hawaiian myths.
- Fight Like a Card Player: Somewhat averted in Saga, where it becomes obvious that the cards exist in-universe. Before that it's less clear.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: It is a mons game/CCG.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Culdcept Saga has Rilara the thief who is the first character you fight, she becomes the Hero of Another Story later on. She talks a lot about how attractive she finds the main character, but her deck is full of Fanservice cards with attractive female art... There are two other characters in the game who have sexually themed decks, Castora who has decks with attractive men and ogres to represent her harem and Gottleib who has another attractive female deck to represent his slaves. This makes Rilara look especially suspicious in comparison.
- Heroic Mime: Goligan generally does all the talking for you.
- Which is a pity, since Goligan couldn't talk his way out of a wet paper bag, leading to several fights that probably could have been avoided.
- Averted in Culdcept Revolt, where the protagonist is an actual character.
- Mook Maker: Gooba Queen, a slime monster that can make mini-slimes appear on vacant spaces. Hive Queen is a variant, since her territory ability adds another Hive Worker card to your hand (and Hive Workers gain in strength for every one already on the field).
- Multiplayer-Only Item: The Haunt spell, which causes a Cepter to be controlled by the (not very bright) computer for two turns. Quite damaging to players, but useless in Singleplayer (to you, anyway), since your opponents there are already controlled by the computer.
- Non-Elemental: Neutral cards, which don't gain land bonuses under normal circumstances. In universe, they're "not aligned with any god" and include robots, some undead, and very basic animals.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Gooba Queen and Hive Queen, a slime and an ant, respectively.
- Omnicidal Maniac: If Geminigh becomes a god, instead of creating his own universe, he'll start smashing everyone else's.
- Portmanteau: The series title, when read in Japanese (Karudoseputo), can be seen as a Portmanteau of 'card' and 'cept' (likely from 'concept').
- Surplus Damage Bonus: Card effects, like damage reflection or damage-based money theft, will keep counting past "lethal" damage.
- Taken for Granite: The monsters Medusa and Cockatrice turn monsters into Statue and Stone Wall respectively. There's also the spell Turn to the Wall, which makes a monster into its element's basic wall.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Cards whose strength is based on something you can control, like Leoknight and the elemental avatars, can get stats so high that they go right off the meter in battle.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Several creatures. Baldanders turns into a random monster at the start of battle, Shapeshifter can become something else on the field, and Mystery Egg changes based on the weapon given too it. There's also Mesozoic Song, which causes all creatures you control to become Tyrannosaurus Rex during battle. The Spectre doesn't shapeshift, but its formless body causes its stats to be completely randomly rolled with each battle.
Culdcept Revolt provides examples of:
- Aristocrats Are Evil: The Count is the Big Bad for the first arc of the game.
- Disc-One Final Boss: A four-way battle between yourself, The Count, a war god, and Synch.
- Evil All Along: Synch was using the Free Bats the entire time.
- Interface Spoiler: Looking in the rulesets, you can see that there are two rulesets that ban the game's expansion sets.
- Our Hippocamps Are Different: Hippocampus looks like a seahorse with horse legs, and its flavor text states that once it's fully grown, it'll climb onto shore and become a kelpie.
- Rogue Protagonist: Goligan is revealed to be the count's right-hand man... though he was brainwashed into doing so.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While his delusions of godhood are genuine, the real reason that he was having Cepters hunted and killed was that they were being summoned from other worlds, and implanted with Fake Memories specifically for the purpose of killing him.