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Video Game / DNF Duel

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DNF Duel is a 2˝D Fighting Game developed by 8ing/Raizing with assistance from Arc System Works in collaboration with publisher Nexon and developer Neople, based on the long-running and highly popular Beat 'em Up MMORPG Dungeon & Fighter (known as Dungeon Fighter Online in the West). The game was originally revealed at Nexon's annual Dungeon & Fighter fan festival, "Dungeon & Fighter Winter Festival 2020", and released on June 28th, 2022. Open beta tests on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 were held from December 17th, 2021 through December 20th, as well as from April 1st, 2022 through April 4th. A Nintendo Switch port was released on April 20th, 2023.

The story of DNF Duel is set in Plane: The Gate, one of many Alternate Universes created in the aftermath of the destructive event known as the Great Metastasis. In this universe, formed where Great Metastasis originated, mysterious gates that connect to other places in time and space exist, allowing its inhabitants to cross to other dimensions at will. However, for reasons unknown, the gates suddenly began to malfunction and ultimately shut down altogether, in an event known as "The Day the Doors Closed", and as their powers faded into myth the gates became known as "Wonders".

Now, in the present day, the fates of several Adventurers begin to converge in the Principality of Bel Myre. Each armed with their own "Wills", the special power that they hold has begun to awaken the Wonders once again. What is the true power of "Will", and what does it mean for the future of Arad and The Gate?

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    Playable Characters 
Italicized text indicates DLC

  • Slayer (M)
    • Berserker
    • Ghostblade
  • Slayer (F)
    • Spectre
  • Fighter (M)
    • Grappler
  • Fighter (F)
    • Striker
  • Gunner (M)
    • Ranger
  • Gunner (F)
    • Launcher
  • Mage (M)
    • Swift Master
  • Mage (F)
    • Enchantress
  • Priest (M)
    • Crusader
  • Priest (F)
    • Inquisitor
  • Agent
    • Hitman
    • Troubleshooter
  • Knight
    • Dragon Knight
  • Demonic Lancer
    • Vanguard
  • Thief
    • Kunoichi
  • Lost Warriornote 


DNF Duel contains examples of:

  • 2˝D: Like most modern ArcSys games, the entire game is rendered in 3D, but takes place on a 2D plane and features ample Cel Shading and finely-tuned animation to give off the illusion of watching 2D sprites.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: Running out of mana puts the Mana Meter in an "Exhaustion" state, which completely halts MP regeneration for a few seconds. Players can't use any MP Skill moves or their Guard Cancel during this time.
  • Art Shift: Compared to the original game, which uses a relatively realistic and gritty art style, the characters in this game have been redesigned to fit into the anime aesthetic that ArcSys fighting games are known for.
  • Balance Buff: The "Grand Balance Patch" launched in December 2022 essentially bumped up all of the numbers, improved the function of defensive options/counterplay and improved every single character.
  • Bar Brawl: One of the stages is the Moonlight Tavern, a bar in Hendon Myre run by Siusha, the last surviving Elf. Luckily, since fights in Moonlight Tavern are civil, there's no throwing furniture or whatnot in combat.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Conversion allows the player to change whatever white health (i.e. recoverable health) they have into more MP.
  • Combo Breaker: Characters can perform a Guard Cancel by holding forward and pressing B+S while guarding against an attack. This generally takes the form of a Shoryuken-like attack that comes out near-instantly and knocks the opponent away at the cost of 100 MP.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Several, as mentioned elsewhere on this page:
    • The MP cap raises from 100 to 200, proportional to how much health is remaining.
    • At low health, fighters become "Awakened", gaining access to a unique passive and their Awakening Skill, which can be used at 200 MP.
    • Conversion grants more MP if the player's sitting on a lot of white health.
  • Critical Hit: Striking an opponent with an MP Skill while they have White Damage produces a Critical Hit, which removes all White Damage from their HP bar on hit. There is an even stronger version of Critical Hits called Brutal Hits as well.
  • Cutting the Knot: The whole plot of the game is Nemyr trying to expedite the plan to find Carloso by gathering Will to summon him herself. Unfortunately, this doesn't work, leading to her death.
  • Cycle of Hurting:
    • Crusader's Deflection Wall can produce some pretty degenerate loop combos. One notorious one is combining it with the Light of Divinity buff, which also bestows Thunder Hammer: Jupiter effects by giving his A and B attacks additional electric attacks with increased range. You can combine this with Deflection Wall by using it to trap the opponent between you and the wall and just start spamming 6B; the pillar of light that erupts on hit keeps the opponent stunlocked until the wall dissipates. This also works in the corner, Deflection Wall just happens to grant the Crusader the ability to do corner combos from midscreen.
    • Ranger has the ability to loop Scud Genocide or Suppressive Barrage into themselves if he has MP to burn on continuous recasts. If you get the opponent in a corner while you have meter, it's possible to just spam these skills with impunity until you run out of MP or the opponent dies, whichever comes first.
    • It is possible for Grappler to trap his opponent in an infinite loop of Air Steiners. Air Steiner requires no MP, and it's not possible for the opponent to tech out of the attack without Grappler dropping the loop, which means a Grappler with good timing (and patience) can potentially win the round almost immediately.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Apostles, the main antagonistic forces of the DFO universe, have a brief cameo in the opening cutscene, but otherwise have nothing to do with the game's plot whatsoever.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • You can either hold away from your opponent to block or use a dedicated block button to block. While using the latter allows you to automatically block crossups and enables the ability to roll and Guard Cancel, blocking with the block button depletes your Guard Meter significantly faster.
    • All Awakening Skills can be comboed into, but to offset this they suffer from horrible combo scaling and deal significantly less damage when used in a combo.
    • In addition, Awakening Skills deactivate a character's passive ability on use, whether or not they hit or even KO.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Every character has at least a few MP Skills in their move list that can be treated as a command normal or special move input, with the latter being rewarded with immediate MP regeneration when the move ends. For example, Berserker's Blood Sword can be done with just →+MP or ↓↘→+MP. This is a nod to a similar mechanic in DFO, where doing a skill's manual input instead of hotkeying it rewards the player with less MP consumption and a slight cooldown reduction bonus.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Much like in the original DFO, a base class can be represented by several subclasses, such as the Berserker and the Ghostblade being offshoots of the Male Slayer, with their own unique gameplay quirks.
  • Gaiden Game: To the main Dungeon Fighter Online, being a Genre Shift into a pure fighting game rather than a fighting game/beat-'em-up/RPG hybrid. The game's story has canonical ramifications due to the The Multiverse aspect of the franchise's plot but is distant enough from the "main" universe of the original games to not have a meaningful impact.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: Downplayed — The "GOOD" that appears after doing a manual input for an MP Skill is colored blue instead of green when the last direction in a motion input and the MP Skill button are pressed within two frames of each other. Both types of "GOOD" are functionally identical, assuming the MP Skill button is pressed on the same frame for both, so the "bonus" is effectively cosmetic.
  • Lag Cancel: In addition to instantly refilling a chunk of MP, Conversion also functions as a Roman Cancel, instantly resetting the character back to neutral out of almost any move. This can be strategically used to extend combos with your extra MP in exchange for losing Regenerating Health.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Zelva, a reconnaissance camp situated on the utterly massive, volcanic back of Apostle Anton, is featured as one of the playable stages.
  • Limit Break: Once a character drops below a certain percentage of their HP (marked by the big chunk at the end of the bar), a character Awakens, gaining access to a passive ability and an Awakening Skill. If the player has 200 MP, they can cast their Awakening by pressing the Awakening button, and if it connects, you'll be able to deal massive damage.
  • Locomotive Level: The Oceanic Express stage takes place atop the titular train, a rail system in Empyrean that crosses the sea above the sky.
  • Male Gaze: The Striker's match intro features generous close-ups of her butt and bust as she executes one of her special moves.
  • Mana Meter: In lieu of a super gauge, the game has an MP Gauge located under your HP bar. MP is used to cast MP Skills that use the MP Button; if you don't have enough MP, you can't use MP Skills. MP can be refilled by waiting, using attacks that don't use MP, or using Conversion to convert White Damage into MP. Your maximum amount of MP starts at 100 and increases inversely proportional to the amount of HP you have remaining, giving you more resource when your health is lower. Also, unlike most fighting games with a resource meter, MP refills rapidly when not in use and every character has a relatively large list of MP Skills to use with the expectation that you will use MP Skills extremely frequently to pressure and combo.
  • Market-Based Title: Seemingly averted, as the game is currently marketed with the title "DNF Duel" everywhere despite the original game having different names according to region (Dungeon & Fighter in Korea/China, Arad Senki in Japan, Dungeon Fighter Online elsewhere).
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Bearers of the Will are able to sense the presence of other people who carry Will. Also, when in close contact with each other, they are mysteriously compelled to fight one another so that the winner will obtain the loser's Will.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The UI (seen here) is adapted from the UI for DFO's Arena, with the MP bar being located below the health bar just like the MP gauge in Arena.
    • The startup of an Awakening Skill is punctuated with a floating blue wireframe cube behind the user - a nod to how skills in DFO are generally powered by Clear Cube Fragments, a material found from disassembling gear.
    • The game's title screen theme is an instrumental arrangement of "Wind of You", DFO' character and server selection theme.
    • The first time players are prompted for an online display name, it defaults to "Adventurer", a nod to how the Player Character in DFO is called "Adventurer" by almost every NPC.
    • The online lobby is Seria Kirmin's room, the main hub for the player in DFO.
    • The Ranger's round victory animation is based on his Badass Fingersnap casting animation for activating skills.
    • The Striker performs the stretch from the F. Fighter's base artwork on the character select and as her idle animation.
    • Palette Swaps 3, 4 and 5 are lifted straight from the DFO cosmetics bundle "The Awakened Ones", specifically emulating the type B, C and D colors for every class, respectively. A comparison chart for most of the cast between both games can be found here.
    • The online multiplayer ranks are named after PVP ranks in DFO — bronze, silver, gold, diamond, and terranite, with each category having four levels, I through IV. Deity, the highest attainable rank, has the same name in DFO and has a similar function, being the highest in a set of named ranks awarded to a small percentage of players on the PVP ranking leaderboards.
  • Production Throwback:
    • The concept of Conversion (convert White Damage to MP and cancel out of any current action) is very similar to the Baroque mechanic from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, another fighting game made by 8ing, but with the ability to gain meter instead of more damage. Conversion functions like a universal Lag Cancel much like Baroque did, giving players the opportunity to extend combos or make moves safe on block.
    • With Arc System Works as a co-developer of the game, their online lobby system from Guilty Gear Xrd onwards and the BlazBlue series makes a return, retaining the Super-Deformed avatars, chat room functions, and mini arcade cabinets.
  • Regenerating Health: Taking damage or incurring chip damage from blocking converts a portion of your HP into White Damage. Some characters additionally have buff abilities that convert some of their health to White Damage as a cost. White Damage reverts to normal health over time by not taking damage, but taking a Critical Hit/Brutal Hit or using Conversion removes White Damage from your HP bar.
  • Scenery Porn: The game shows off ArcSys's 3D adaptations of DFO's varied landscapes to gorgeous effect, be it the bustling Hendon Myre, the interiors of Sky Tower, or the volcanic back of Apostle Anton.
  • Ship Level: The Saint Horn stage, a flying ship belonging to La Résistance that roams the skies of Arad to fight The Empire.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the beta, the Grappler has color palettes based on Ryu and Ken. The "Ryu" color has reddish-brown hair as opposed to Ryu's modern black hair, referencing Ryu's hair color from the first Street Fighter.
    • Striker has a color palette based on Litchi Faye-Ling.
    • As if the comparisons between the male Gunner and Dante weren't prevalent enough, the Ranger possesses an altered version of his Scud Genocide Awakening where he simply performs the twisting aerial gunshots from the end of the move but aimed downward, making the move heavily resemble Dante's Rainstorm attack. He'll even yell "Raining bullets!" in English, regardless of the current voice language, as Dante prominently did in Devil May Cry 5. In addition, his generic revolvers have been recolored so that he wields a black revolver with a white grip and a white revolver with a black grip, a possible reference to Dante's signature guns Ebony and Ivory.
    • The Crusader's ability to temporarily relocate the stage's corner with Deflection Wall is reminiscent of a similar ability Aganos has in Killer Instinct (2013), although the Crusader can't weaponize his wall the way Aganos does.


Video Example(s):


The Inqusitor's Blazing Hell

The Inquisitor's Awakening Attack binds her opponent to a stake, which she then sets to flame.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / BurnTheWitch

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