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Dark Devotion is a 2D side-view Hack and Slash game, developed by the French studio Hibernian Workshop, where you take on the role of a female Templar initiate, who is sent to purge the ancient fortress of the order which is connected to many of their darkest secrets, and has long been overrun by the forces of darkness. It was funded on Kickstarter on October 16th, 2017, and released on PC on April 25th, 2019, through Steam and

See Salt and Sanctuary for the Dark Souls in 2D Trope Codifier, and Death's Gambit, Unworthy, Void Memory, and Blasphemous for the other late 2010s 2D Side View games with heavy Dark Souls inspirations.

Not to be confused with a 2019 Taiwanese horror game Devotion.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Action Girl: The game's protagonist is a female Templar initiate who was sent to purge an ancient fortress of the Order that was overrun by the forces of darkness, and contained many of the Order's dark secrets. Naturally, her training and background gives her combat skill that allows her to fight all sorts of horrors.
  • Alliterative Title: The game's title is Dark Devotion.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: All over the place. The Executioner is the most blatant example: he has a Blade Below the Shoulder growing out of one arm, but which arm depends on which direction he's currently facing. The player character wields one-handed weapons in whichever arm is closer to the camera, as do many enemies.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Hezek the Baptized starts the battle with one arm chained, and so he can only swing and jab his cudgel at you from one position, and you get the freedom to pick when and how to attack. Then, once he receives enough damage, his chained arm is torn off, and he is finally able to chase you around the room freely.
  • Battle Couple: Elinor and Aureus fight as a team and are implied to be close. When you defeat them, Elinor limps over to Aureus's side so they can die together.
  • Beehive Barrier: Elinor can defend herself by creating a yellow magic barrier with this design.
  • BFS:
    • The aptly named Asriel's Massive Sword. He is a large boss, so it fits him. When the protagonist can use it, though, it really looks like something out of Final Fantasy.
    • Elemiah's katana is much thinner, but is nevertheless taller than she is.
  • Blackout Basement: It's not called Dark Devotion for nothing. Anything that's not lit is extremely dark, while the light sources themselves frequently flicker. Even many of the boss battles often take place in low-visibility conditions.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder:
    • The Executioner has a large semi-circular blade under one of his forearms, which he uses for attacks that have shorter reach, but are much faster than those of his glaive.
    • The little green monsters in the Den of Corrupted Nature have bony scythes in place of hands. They have a low chance to drop these scythes on death, letting the player wield them as paired weapons.
  • Blood Magic: The Queen, Lonely Widow, can protect herself with a barrier made out of blood, suspend multiple blood arrows in the air that'll all dive straight down at you, and cast multiple pools of blood on the floor from which grasping hands will emerge. She'll even literally cut her wrist with a knife every time she casts.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Your armor acts as an extra life bar. Each pip in the armor bar blocks one attack, and enemies cannot damage your health until your armor is fully depleted. Damaged armor can be repaired with the Pieces of Armor consumable item.
  • Boss Subtitles: Some bosses already have subtitles as part of their names, but others will see this trope in play. For instance, The Executioner is subtitled as "Shatterer of Flesh", while The Fallen One is subtitled as "Fallen Bulwark".
  • Chained to a Rock: The Virgin is bound to a rock by strands of Meat Moss. Praying to the statues on either side of her will make the rock sprout fleshy arms and attack you. Praying enough times will destroy the rock and set the Virgin free, at which point you can decide her fate.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Faith is used for casting spells in place of mana. You can also expend faith at the statues in order to gain blessings, remove curses, or even open up some areas. There's also a flip side, as consistently failing to pray at the statues soon incurs powerful debuffs.
  • The Coats Are Off: The Executioner casts off his cloak at the halfway point of his boss fight. The cloak lands with enough force to shake the room, and he becomes much faster without it weighing him down.
  • Combat Breakdown: The Queen starts out as a formidable foe with an arsenal of unblockable attacks that cover much of the screen and are difficult to avoid. Then you knock her out of her throne, and she spends the rest of the fight sprawled on the floor in a pool of her own blood: while she isn't completely helpless, her attacks come much less frequently and cover a much smaller area from that point onward.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Anomaly in the Graceless Forest can create vines.
  • Concussion Frags: Godless Idols are like tiny spiritual grenades, though you set them down on the ground instead of throwing.
  • Creepy Crows: You might run into an ominous glowing crow as you explore the ruins. If you approach, it will transform into a Grim Reaper-like figure wielding a fiery scythe, and then you'll have a nasty fight on your hands.
  • Critical Failure: Every weapon has a chance to crit, and a chance to miss. A missed attack inflicts far less damage than a normal attack would and does not trigger any secondary effects that the weapon might have.
  • Critical Hit: Present on most weapon types. The Knowledge of Weaknesses perk even increases your chance of scoring one by 5% with each consecutive hit up until you finally get one.
  • Cursed Item: Present, with those items typically being pretty strong on their own, and the curse balancing that power through notable debuffs.
  • Deadly Gas: The Pestilential Idol is a grenade which produces a cloud of toxic green gas when thrown. You can also obtain a spell book that creates such a cloud in your immediate vicinity.
  • Deal with the Devil: Nekosh seems to have gained his magical powers through a pact with a demon. Defeating him apparently breaks the pact, causing the demon to manifest and attack you.
    Seeker of truths,
    Of complete lies.
    The pact was broken.
    Pay the price.
  • Death from Above: Elinor can jump high into the air and come crashing down on the player's head a few seconds later, spearpoint first.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • There is a blessing which grants you a green barrier whenever you enter a room. It breaks after protecting you from one attack. Jezebel the Erratic can conjure a stronger version of this barrier, and she drops a spell book which lets the player do the same.
    • Martyr the Shredded carries a magical lantern which protects him with an impenetrable red barrier. In the player's hands it becomes a floating, shapeshifting shield with a low stamina cost.
    • White Screen, the shield dropped by the Mysterious Entity, is a set of magical diamonds which float in front of you. When you block, the diamonds spread out and project a triangular force field.
  • Divinely Appearing Demons: The Mysterious Entity, with her white robes and bright light flooding the room, is this in her first phase; the second phase is far more conventionally demonic.
  • Dual Wielding: The second form of Nekosh, Keeper of Books dual-wields scythes. The Executioner carries a glaive in one hand and has an underarm blade on his other arm.
  • Dual Boss: The third-to-last battle is against Elinor and Aureus, who are subtitled as "Inseparable Wardens".
  • Elemental Weapon: The Burning Scythe is a fiery weapon which ignites small fires after every second attack. Asriel's Massive Sword is electrically charged and gives off sparks with every swing, inflicting extra damage.
  • Empathic Weapon: Martyr's Bloodlight, the shield you obtain from killing Martyr the Shredded, knows that you are not its rightful owner. There's a chance that it will damage you each time you use it to block an attack.
  • Enemy Summoner:
    • Adonias, The King's Envoy is considered a boss, but he doesn't bother moving at all for his entire battle. Instead, he simply sits on his throne, invulnerable, while summoning pairs of progressively tougher enemies at regular intervals. If you fail to fully deal with the previous pair in time, he'll tell you to hurry up as he summons the next one. Once you deal with all four waves, the battle is considered over.
    • The dark priests in the Obsidian Cathedral can summon those wraithlike enemies found elsewhere in the Alabaster Citadel, and have powerful attacks of their own.
    • The Ritualist can conjure a green crystal somewhere in its room. If you don't destroy the crystal, sickle-throwing cultists will spawn from it at regular intervals.
  • Energy Bow: Aureus wields one. He can fire a series of arrows straight up and directly at your location, or jump up and launch three at once.
  • Enhanced Punch: Sariandel drops some enchanted bandages that can be worn over your fists. Doing so lets you throw punches that are wreathed in spectral blue flame.
  • Evil Laugh: Jezebel the Erratic gets an evil cackle at the start and the end of her battle.
  • Evolving Attack: The attacks of The Mysterious Entity's second form become faster and longer as she loses more HP.
  • Fighting Spirit: Sariandel has a ghostly figure which floats behind him and imitates his attacks. Since the figure is much larger than he is, its attacks have a much greater reach and area-of-effect.
  • Flaming Sword: The First One ignites his sword in the second phase of his battle, after his shield is shattered. You get to use it after defeating him.
    • The second form of Nekosh, Keeper of Books is a minotaur that dual-wields scythes, and can set both on them on fire.
  • Flunky Boss: The Ritualist regularly summons robed cultists.
  • Fog of War: The Ritualist will breathe out fog to make it harder to spot its attacks and the fellow cultists.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Queen, Lonely Widow is the second-to-last boss. However, she's presented in a sympathetic light, as someone driven mad from grief. She's still using what's pretty clearly Blood Magic in her fight, though.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: You are perfectly capable of punching enemies to death if you choose not to equip any weapons.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with Elinor and Aureus. She wields a spear, while he wields a bow.
  • Healing Potion: Poultices restore one pip of your health bar with every use. Similarly, Pieces of Armor restore two pips of your armor bar.
  • Hub Level: The Filthblood Shelter is where you respawn after every death. It has doors leading to each of the game's regions, though they only open once you’ve reached those regions via exploration, and there is a magical gateway which takes you to the last teleportation altar you activated.
  • Human Architecture Horror: The Virgin is an entirely normal woman in white rags, who is attached to the stone statue through Meat Moss that partially envelops it. She is completely unresponsive at first, and you have to hit her dozens of times in order for the battle to start properly. Once it does, two clawed arms emerge from the statue and finally start fighting back, with two fleshy tentacle legs also appearing halfway through. Once the battle is over, the Meat Moss bursts entirely, and she drops down, kneeling, unresponsive, but apparently still alive. Striking her again kills her for good and nets a Rose Targe shield.
  • Human Sacrifice: The first boss, Child of the Limbo, is summoned from the blood of a human who got stabbed through the heart on the altar by a cultist, who fell dead himself immediately after.
  • Hybrid Monster: Chimera has the body of a lion and the head and tail of a dragon, and it howls and snarls like a wolf.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Elemiah the Crow Lady has an attack where she sheathes her katana before drawing it in a quick, lunging slash.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: The Executioner starts out as a slow but powerful enemy whose attacks have tremendous reach. Then you bring him down to half health, at which point he casts off his weighted cloak and becomes fast enough to Flash Step across the room.
  • An Ice Person: Aureus fires magical arrows which leave patches of ice on the floor.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Adonias' Glinting Gladius is an early weapon whose stats are so well-balanced that many players keep using it for the majority of the game.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Defeating the final boss nets you the White Blade, the game's ultimate one-handed weapon. It has reach comparable to a two-handed weapon but swings much faster and for a much lower stamina cost, and it has a chance to curse enemies with every hit.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Elemiah, The Crow Lady fights with the two-handed Katana of the Crow, and it is a very powerful weapon in her hands indeed. However, one-handed players are likely to stick with the Gladius regardless.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: The First One is a Templar like you, and he wields a sword and shield during the first phase of his boss fight. When he gets down to the last two-fifths of his health, the shield breaks and he sets the sword on fire.
  • Laser Blade: The Guardian can manifest a sword made of white light. It will manifest a second sword and Dual Wield them once its health gets low.
  • Life Drain: Jezebel The Erratic heals and gains energy to cast some of her spells through draining the corpses that hang from the ceiling.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Mysterious Entity is all about this, as she's fought in a large, high-ceilinged room of pure white marble, which is absolutely flooded with light as well, unlike the dark, barely-lit domains of all the other bosses. Her attacks also consist of white and yellow light, instead of the purple or red of the more villainous-looking bosses. This doesn't last, and once her health bar is depleted, her second phase has her crawl while garbed in a black-and-red gawn, and attack with red light and red-and-black shockwaves. And while she was visibly pregnant in her first phase, caressing her stomach whenever she didn't need to use her arms for spell-casting, that stomach is gone in her second phase, but she has fleshy tentacles bursting through her back instead. The room's lighting changes to red as well.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The defeat of the Final Boss, The Guardian, results in the entire fortress collapsing.
  • The Lost Woods: The Graceless Forest level. Its boss, The Anomaly, is a large tree with three faces, which moves with spider-like legs.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: You can wield a shield with one-handed weapons, and block with it.
  • Morph Weapon: The Paladins in the Carnelian Palace wield a ball of light that can transform into any weapon they want, such as a giant hammer or a trio of swords.
  • Multiple Endings: Downplayed: the game will always end with the entire fortress collapsing. However, killing all of the bosses and thus purging their corrupt souls seems to ensure that the protagonist survives, at least in a fashion, as opposed to the guaranteed death in the alternative.
  • Multishot: Aureus can fire three arrows at once from his Energy Bow.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. Arrows fired by the enemy archers will slowly arc as they approach their target. If you are directly behind from where they originally aimed at, the arrow will simply get stuck in the floor. Same goes for your own arrows.
    • The trope is played straight for Aureus, whose arrows either fly in complete diagonals, or straight up, and then straight down at your location. Then again, he's using an Energy Bow for a reason. Even then, you cannot do the same once you get his bow after his death.
  • One-Winged Angel: Two notable examples.
    • The Mysterious Entity starts as a very divine-looking and clearly pregnant giant woman who floats above the ground, but ends up kneeling on the ground with a far more demonic appearance, and can end up turning into a vortex of dark energy as well.
    • Nekosh, Keeper of Books is a black-robed corrupt priest in his normal appearance. After his defeat, his occult spellbook shakes, and when you pick it up, he's reborn as an ashen-looking minotaur.
  • Organic Technology: Some equipment falls into this. For instance, defeating Martyr the Shredded lets you loot its bloodlight. Apparently, "This lantern looks organic while remaining heavy and rigid. It can change its shape to become a shield."
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The second form of Nekosh, Keeper of Books is an ash-grey minotaur with two scythes.
  • Plant Person: You can encounter dryads in the Den of Corrupted Nature. They're quite tough for that point of the game, having a lot of hit points, considerable reach, and the ability to become temporarily invincible before they suddenly disappear and lunge at you from behind.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: Whenever your character dies, the world fates to black as you cry out and collapse, bleeding out from a chest wound. The phrase "Your Devotion Has Faded" then appears on the bottom half of the screen in stark white letters.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Nekosh, Keeper of Books sets the book he's reading on fire at the start of his battle, in order to create a ring of fireballs around himself. When he launches one at you, it's not hard to dodge, but will also send two flaming waves to the left and right after it hits the ground, which can only be avoided by rolling through them in time. However, this is only the warm-up exercise, as the main battle has him float and fight with a scythe, only occasionally making the flames emerge from the ground at your last position.
    • Then, his second phase has him turn into a minotaur, who has two scythes and can set both on fire, along with charging and leaving a trail of flames behind, or simply sticking both scythes into the ground and having a trail of flames emerge from the ground.
    • Chimera, The King's Steed, can straight-up breathe fire, albeit only over a short distance and downwards, almost like it's vomiting it. It has other fire-based powers as well, including the ability to straight-up summon a rain of meteorites.
  • Power Floats:
    • The Mysterious Entity floats above the ground, though her gauze tunic still reaches all the way to the floor. Her second phase loses this power, however, and is reduced to crawling on the floor.
    • Nekosh, Keeper of Books, also floats in his second phase, though he regularly swoops down to attack with his scythe.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: The stronger two-handed weapons like the Katana of the Crow have very high damage values but also have a high chance to miss.
  • Power-Up: You increase your base stats by finding and activating ancient tablets as you explore the Temple. You can also find hypodermic needles which temporarily boost one of your stats when used, the effect lasting until you leave the current room.
  • Pregnant Badass: The Mysterious Entity appears as a giant, heavily pregnant woman with an angelic appearance, and she even caresses her stomach with her hands whenever she's not spellcasting. Needless to say, it easily rivals The Virgin for the most disturbing battle in the game. Moreover, while her second phase implies the angelic appearance was a trick, it also suggests that defeating the first phase actually killed the unborn, as the stomach is gone and there are fleshy tentacles sticking out of her back instead, while she's reduced to crawling along the ground while blasting you with whatever magics she can still do.
  • Puzzle Boss: Conventional attacks do not harm the Virgin. She can only be defeated by praying at the statues on either side of her, with each completed prayer taking off one segment of her health bar.
  • Rapid Aging: The player character ages from a young woman to an emaciated crone in a matter of seconds after beating the final boss, and she barely has time to take in her withered state before dropping dead.
  • Religion is Magic: The player can pray at statues and shrines to heal their wounds, cure themselves of disease, open otherwise impassable doors and receive various blessings. They can also spend Faith to cast magic if they have a spellbook equipped.
  • Savage Spiked Weapons: Hezek the Baptized wields a spiked cudgel. You need both hands to carry it, but he has no problem swinging it around onehanded.
  • Sheath Strike: Elemiah the Crow Lady has an attack where she jumps over you and drives her katana's sheath straight down into your skull.
  • Shield Bash: You can obtain a spiked shield called the Rose Targe, which damages any enemy that attacks you while you block. There are also enemies in the Alabaster Citadel who can use their shields to attack you: one will shove you back after blocking an attack, while the other fires a laser from the face of its shield.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • Sariandel, Prisoner of the Void can cast a void disc above himself, from which lighting will occasionally strike.
    • Asriel, Paladin Supreme can call down lightning from above. He can also summon color-shifting bolts of lightning that travel back and forth along the ground.
  • Shockwave Stomp:
    • You can gain a blessing that lets you do this with ground strikes. Otherwise, however, you'll usually be on the receiving end of these.
    • Child of the Limbo slams his elbows into the floor hard enough for a minor shockwave. He can suddenly fall backwards and slam the back of his own head, to surprise players attacking him from behind.
    • The Executioner does a quick stomp, which complements his style, which has only one slow, heavy, easily-dodgeable move, and a lot of fast, sudden, and relatively weak moves.
    • The ghostly doppelganger of Sariandel, Prisoner of the Void, can do this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Ritualist drops a copy of the Book of Eibon when you kill him.
    • Elinor fights exactly like a Final Fantasy Dragoon, wielding a spear and performing superhuman leaps that take her off the screen before she crashes down on you.
  • Shovel Strike: One of the available weapons is actually a Magic Shovel.
  • Sinister Scythe:
    • Nekosh, Keeper of Books fights with a Burning Scythe after he runs out of fireballs to cast. Notably, its blade appears to be made of pure energy at first. You get to wield it after he dies, too.
    • The First One can create huge fire shockwaves from the flaming sword he gets in his second stage.
  • Spell Book: The player can obtain various books which allow them to cast spells. They carry these books in the offhand, allowing them to use them in tandem with a one-handed weapon.
  • Spin Attack:
    • An unusual variation for The Mysterious Entity, who has a halo of three black rhombi around her head, and while she usually sends them straight at the player, she can also make them rapidly spin in a circle around herself.
    • Elemiah the Crow Lady has an attack where she swings her katana while spinning like a top. Her assassin minions can use a similar attack with their scythes. Either attack will chew through your health like a buzz saw thanks to the game's lack of Mercy Invincibility.
  • Spread Shot: Jezebel The Erratic sends a spread of three purple energy wisps from the lanterns attached to her headgear. However, this power requires her to drain some energy from one of the corpses hanging from the ceiling first: she's vulnerable in that period, but much of the damage you inflict will get immediately healed back by that same move.
    • The third form of The Mysterious Entity, which is an outright red-and-black vortex can fire five bolts at once, in a spread that covers most angles in the room, with the energy burst from each bolt also lingering on the ground for a second.
    • Aureus can fire three energy arrows at once, while mid-jump.
  • Sprint Meter: Present, and consumed for both movement and attacking, like in most other games inspired by Dark Souls.
  • Squishy Wizard: Nekosh, Keeper of the Books can mess you up with his fire magic and his demonic scythe, but once he comes within your reach, he proves to have very little health for a boss. Of course, this is only his first form…
  • Stationary Boss: The Virgin and the Ritualist are traditional examples, not moving from their spots for the duration of their boss fights. Hezek the Baptised and Chimera, the King’s Steed are only temporarily stationary: both are chained up at the start of their fights, only to break free and become mobile after losing a certain amount of health.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: The Alabaster Citadel has multiple rooms where the floor is covered in magic circles. Stepping into one of these circles will dispel your most recent blessing, and if you stay there it will keep dispelling your blessings one by one. You might get some of your blessings back when you leave the room, but others will be gone for good.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Most of the storytelling is contained in the lore entries, and the few vague conversations.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Crusader's Heaven rooms contain a teleportation altar, a healing statue, a disease-purging statue, a chest containing three random consumables, and a shaft of light that fully restores your Faith. These rooms always come right before a major boss.
  • Sword Lines: As usual in gaming, these are a way for you to accurately judge the reach of the opponents' attacks, as well as your own.
  • A Taste of Power: You start the game with a strong sword, good armor and a good shield. Needless to say, that doesn't last.
  • Teleport Spam: The Executioner begins to teleport in his second phase. Jezebel The Erratic can do this from the start.
    • Elemiah, The Crow Lady simply points her katana to the far edge of the screen, and materialises there immediately.
    • The teleportations of Asriel, Paladin Supreme are accompanied by lighting whenever he re-emerges.
  • Time Stands Still: The Guardian can create circular patches on the floor. If the player steps in one, they will be frozen in time for a few seconds or until they get hit by one of the Guardian's attacks.
  • Turns Red: A range of examples.
    • The Executioner drops his cloak halfway through his health bar, and begins moving much faster, sometimes outright teleporting.
    • The First One loses his shield halfway through, but compensates for that by setting his sword on fire.
    • The Mysterious Entity undergoes this several times. Her pregnant, angelic form lasts until her health is fully depleted, at which point she turns into a crawling "demonic" form, which involves literally turning red (and black) from white in her clothing and attack. When she loses 50% and 75% of her HP, she also floats high up as a pure vortex of energy for a while, launching multiple energy bolts and being utterly invulnerable. Once that phase times out, her second form's regular attacks become faster and then faster again at the last 25%, which also involves aggressively chaining her attacks.
  • Unblockable Attack: Many bosses, and some regular enemies, have attacks which cannot be blocked. If a red glyph suddenly appears above your character's head, get ready to dodge.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: The main way to dodge attacks, as you become temporarily invincible midway through.
  • Use Your Head: If you roll past the Child of the Limbo while it is winding up for an attack, it may bend over backwards to try and smash you with its head.
  • Video Game Dashing: Archer enemies will often dash backwards to put distance between you and themselves. The First One gets really good at dashing in his second phase.
  • Villainous Incest: The quest giver claims that the twisted little imps in the Den of Corrupted Nature are products of incest. The lore hints that they are the offspring of the Anomaly and the Virgin, who are implied to be children of the Mysterious Entity.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Child of the Limbo is a lot easier than the rest of the game’s bosses. It moves slowly, its attacks are highly telegraphed and easy to dodge, and it has no ranged attacks or gap-closing abilities. Its defeat marks the end of the tutorial and the beginning of the game proper.
  • Warp Whistle: The Porous Gemstone opens a portal which takes you back to the Filthblood Shelter. The Filthblood Shelter, in turn, has a magical gateway which returns you to the last teleportation altar you activated.
  • When Trees Attack: The Anomaly is a mobile tree with magical powers and three skull-like faces. Like just about everything else in this hellhole, it is hostile to you.


Video Example(s):


Dark Devotion

Dark Devotion is a 2D side-view Hack and Slash game, developed by the French studio Hibernian Workshop, where you take on the role of a female Templar initiative, who is sent to purge the ancient fortress of the order which is connected to many of their darkest secrets, and has long been overrun by the forces of darkness. It was funded on Kickstarter on October 16th, 2017, and released on PC on April 25th, 2019, through Steam and

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