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Video Game / DarkMaus

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DarkMaus is a 2D top-down Hack and Slash game, developed by Daniel Wright and released for PC through Steam on January 27th, 2016.

As its name suggests, it is much like Dark Souls, but set amongst the rodents. Not even anthropomorphic rodents, but pretty conventional four-legged ones, who have simply learnt how to wield medieval weaponry and cast magic. Unfortunately, practically everyone in their world of Hazath has now gone feral, and It's Up to You to fight your way through and discover why.

Compare to the other top-down games inspired by Dark Souls, Shrouded In Sanity and Fall of Light, as well as the Side View souls-like games like Shrouded In Sanity, Void Memory, Gloom, Unworthy, Death's Gambit and Dark Devotion.


Tropes present in this game:

  • An Axe to Grind: Wardric, Master of the Guard is a boss who fights with a huge double-sided axe.
  • Big Bad: Zarristar, the Ancient Necromancer, who is the reason for all the trouble that befell the land.
  • Blade on a Stick: Some of the enemies fight with spears and shields. There are also the giant red-eyed rodents with long pikes. You can also wield spears or halberds for the sake of their reach.
  • Call A Hitpoint A Smeerp: There are no experience points or souls; instead your mouse levels up through collecting bone marrow. As is usually the case, it is lost upon death, but can be recovered if you get to where you died in time.
  • Creepy Crows: Crows are an annoyingly mobile enemy type. They also get a miniboss early on, named Skye, Feral Broodmother.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Every character, yourself included, is represented as a pure black silhouette (besides Anna and a few other friendly NPCs, who are milky white instead), and there a lot of equally dark shadows around, while the floors are always white to provide contrast. Spot colors are also present, though, like the red of blood and bosses' eyes, the orange of flames, or the green of toxic swamps and the poisonous enemies' attacks.
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  • Drop the Hammer: You can wield a War Hammer, which is comparatively short-ranged, but is highly damaging, and also drains enemy stamina with each hit.
  • Dual Boss: The Royal Guardians, who are the pair of identical mice swordsmen.
  • Escort Mission: There are parts of the game where you asked to escort Anna. Luckily, the enemies will generally target you over her, and her dying doesn't fail the game either, although it does lead to some worse story outcomes.
  • Featureless Protagonist: While your player character is clearly another mouse, nothing else is really known about them.
  • Flunky Boss: Necromancer Zarristar begins the battle with several mice guards around the arena.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Onyx, Feral Guardian is a crab boss that awaits at the end of the swamp area. While he probably wouldn't appear giant to any human, he is more than large enough for the player's mouse!
  • Giant Mook: Some of the enemy mice are much larger than the player, and are correspondingly tougher as a result.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: While your mouse may or may not be male, it'll nevertheless be likely reliant on melee for most of the fights. On the other hand, Anna, the friendly female mouse, will only ever shoot with her bow.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: This is the starting equipment of the player.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Any attack that connects with the shield is fully blocked.
  • Playing with Fire: The player is eventually able to cast fireballs, though they are limited to five uses per campfire.
    • Corrupted Lord Victor ignites his claws once his health gets halfway down.
    • Zarristar, the Ancient Necromancer outright relies on fireballs to deal most of the damage.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Every elite enemy and boss is distinguished by their red eyes.
  • RPG Elements: You can upgrade stats like health, stamina, capacity, dexterity and resilience at campfires, as well as your weapon attributes.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Since any attack that strikes the shield is completely blocked, they are very popular amongst the enemies. In fact, the first bug-like creatures you face in the game actually lack a weapon and only carry shields, so it's possible to run past them and only fight the upgraded version that pairs a shield with a twig club.
  • Spikes of Doom: Sometimes there are damaging spikes embedded in the walls; often near the tight passages you have to navigate in order to advance.
  • Sprint Meter: Stamina management remains a crucial element in battles. Notably, practically every enemy and boss is also restricted by their stamina, so the combat is about outsmarting them and exploiting the moments when they get tired out.
  • Super Spit: Onyx, Feral Guardian can attack at range through spitting poison, which will even leave behind toxic pools on the ground for a few seconds.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Poison is represented as dark green.


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