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Video Game / Dark Sun

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Three video games set on Athas were released by SSI in the 1990s:
  • Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (1993) centers on the city-state of Draj. The player's party begin as gladiators in the city's arena, but soon escape to the surrounding desert. At the same time the sorcerer-king is preparing to crush the settlements of free people around the city. The player has to unite the disparate villages.
  • Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager (1994) takes place in and around Tyr, probably between Troy Denning's novels The Verdant Passage and The Crimson Legion. The same party becomes entangled in the activities of the Veiled Alliance, working against the Dragon who has put into motion plans to awaken and control the titular Ravager (actually a tarrasque).
  • Dark Sun: Crimson Sands (1996) was an early MMORPG, with Tyr and its surroundings as the stage again. Plagued with technical problems, it never quite took off and closed down after three years. It has no single-player mode; enthusiasts tried relaunching it several times, but none of the attempts lasted.
The former 2 games are being sold on
GOG Dot Com, the latter is Abandonware.

What else is there to say about those games? Together with Ravenloft duology they were the pinnacle of SSI's adaptations of AD&D to computers. Until Baldur's Gate in 1998 they remained the best AD&D videogames and probably the best Western RPGs too. Baldur's Gate and Planescape did a better job with new technology, but fans still argue if Dark Sun was better in some aspects.

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Games contain examples of:

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    Common to "Shattered Lands" and "Wake of the Ravager" 
  • 3/4 View: Very similar to contemporary Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse. But see Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty below.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: The wilderness locations, mainly in Shattered Lands plus the Jann camp in Wake of the Ravager.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: 4 members, like in many earlier SSI RPGs.
  • Bag of Holding: Weight is not an issue. Number of inventory slots is limited, but each can hold rather big objects. Aditionally, each slot may hold a bag or a chest, with 6 slots each. However, filling all bags/chests causes a game to crash. It also may crash if you try to put a chest inside a chest. Looks like the total number of objects in a given location is limited, and exceeding it makes some disappear.
  • Bag of Sharing: Each player character has a separate inventory, but items can be transferred instantly even during combat.
  • Beast Man: Tari (rats) and Ssurans (lizards).
  • Black and White Morality: The games are quite simple in that regard. Free villages want to live — that's good, Tectuktitlay wants to eradicate them — that's bad. Tyr wants to build its future without sorcerer-kings — that's good, Draxans and templars want to restore the old ways — that's bad. You are just simple people fighting for your survival. Good guys put their conflicts aside, when defilers and dragon kings are near.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Slings have unlimited ammo, chatkchas (thri-kreen thrown propellers) return after use. Averted for bows and arrows, but humanoid enemies provide enough resupply.
  • Canon Immigrant: Psurlons — a species of worm-headed psionics trapped in the astral plane — originate from Shattered Lands and also briefly appears in Wake of the Ravager. They have since been officially introduced to the tabletop setting in sourcebooks.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Armour can be changed in combat. It's even possible to transfer a sword so that each hero gets to drain an enemy with El's Drinker.
  • Cobweb Jungle/Extremely Dusty Home: Abandoned buildings. Sometimes abandoned rooms in still-used buildings — this usually indicates something nasty laying in ambush.
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: A number of battles can be avoided with smooth talking. A few battles can be avoided or simplified with stealth. But several battles, including the last ones, are non-optional, making combat specialization unavoidable.
  • Copy Protection: When you try to enter the 4th location, the Dragon himself challenges you through the mindlink to read a word from the manual. This allows to get the taste of the games' combat system, dialogues, multiple choices, but prohibits unauthorized users to advance further. Yet it poses an in-universe question: if Dragon can kill the heroes any second, why didn't he?
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The box art for Shattered Lands, used as the page illustration, is the cover of the novel The Crimson Legion by Troy Denning. It depicts Rikus, the gladiator-cum-general of free Tyr. The game is set far from Tyr and Rikus never appears. You may have a mule in your party and he may look a bit like Rikus, but the game version of Rikus'es favourite weapon is quite ineffective.
    • The box art for Wake of the Ravager is the cover of the game book Slave Tribes by Bill Slavicsek. It describes Athasian slavery in general, and the life in the desert far from city-states: tribes of escaped slaves, free villages unknown to sorcerer-kings... While you party are the heroes that saved three such villages, none of that appears in the game.
    • Come think of it, switching the covers might've been an improvement.
  • Desert Punk: One of the older videogame examples, halfway between Wasteland and Fallout.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: By default every character has psychokinetic powers including "Detonate". Early on it may work better than ranged weapons. Unfortunately, each hit destroys a piece of target's armour, reducing loot value. Conversely, enemies may cast Detonate on you. Aditionally, a few stronger enemies (babau, rampager) have a chance to break a piece of your armour or a weapon with each hit.
  • Dual Wielding: Any character can equip and use 2 1-handed weapons as long as 1 of them isn't marked "heavy". Usual class restrictions for weapons apply (no blades for single-class clerics, only daggers and staves for single-class preservers, etc.).
  • Elemental Powers: Without gods clerics, druids and rangers receive powers from the elemental planes: Fire, Air, Water, Earth. They also have several Cosmos spells. Wake of the Ravager has a Posthumous Character, who was a paladin of Cosmos. Templars receive powers from sorcerer-kings, but they manifest as the same clerical spells. In Wake Tyrian templars have lost their magic and seek a new master.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Druids. How they treat humans is a separate matter.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
  • Healing Hands: In addition to standard cleric touch spells "Cure Light/Medium/Critical Wounds", psionic "Biofeedback" seems to work like that.
  • Horse of a Different Color: You will encounter caravans driven by kanks (giant insects) and mekillots (giant lizards).
  • Hub City: Teaquetzl and Tyr respectively.
  • Informed Equipment: Nothing changes, no matter what a character wears and wields.
  • Interface Spoiler: In Shattered Lands when you enter a new location, you immediately see all map. Wake of the Ravager tried to avert or subvert it and screwed up the engine. The goal was to limit scrolling and hide the map until the plot allows to see everything. In practice, the map almost never works right.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Most of them. They do give experience points and often nice equipment.
  • Item Crafting: You can turn some odd finds into powerful weapons. All such events are scripted and unique.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero
  • Lighter and Softer: One of the criticised points. With their hard-earned happy endings and the game world quickly changing for the better the games didn't quite fit the grimmer source material.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: You will see some grandiose ruins, read arrogant accounts of their builders and sometimes deal with their ghosts, often just as arrogant in death.
  • Mana: PSP for psionics work that way. Preserver and Cleric/Druid spells are still Vancian.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: All party members are equal. You can set any of them — or all four — to be controlled by computer in battle.
  • Massive Race Selection: Actually smaller than even in tabletop 2nd Edition. Only humans, elves, half-elves, halflings, dwarves, half-giants, thri-kreen (mantis people) and muls (half-dwarves). Potentially friendly NPCs also include Tari (rat people), Ssurans (lizard people), an unnamed "undermountain folk", Magera (another kind of giants), Jann, Verini (Neutral Good salamanders) and a single Pyreen.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • Psionicist. This was the 2nd edition, where psionicists were the loved-or-hated oddballs. Everybody is at least a wild talent, and it can be quite useful.
    • In earlier SSI games (and other D&D-inspired RPGs) fighters were the class who could use any weapons. But in Dark Sun exotic gladiator-exclusive weapons appeared. Although they aren't much better than common swords and aren't magical, which makes them of little use against stronger enemies.
  • Monster Allies: You can summon elementals and some other monsters.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Dummied Out for Thri-kreen (mantis people). In the games they only get two weapon slots or two hand strikes. At least their paralysing bite is still present.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: There's no quest logs, but if you find the quest giver, he/she/it will repeat the task.
  • Numerical Hard: The difficulty slider only affects enemies' HP, about 10% per step. The sound effects that accompanied moving the slider deserve mentioning: "Make way for the queen's garbage!" for "easy", a human shriek for "balanced", "Die!" for "hard" and a rampager's roar for "hideous".
    • As another way to change difficulty numerically, the game allows to manually set characters' stats instead of rolling them. You can maximize or minimize them.
  • Obvious Beta: Besides the Game Breaking Bugs listed above, there are a few non-critical, but glaring problems. Wake of the Ravager was reputed to be buggier.
    • Synchronization of screen updates wasn't working quite right. If you moved too fast, pieces of sprites like doors and walking NPCs could stay hanging in the air.
    • Killed enemies would occasionally start talking to you. It may be possible to rerun an old dialog or explore other branches, yet nothing changes: no XP, no items change hands, no enemies appear.
    • Some quests are broken in ways that allow completing them, but cause weird consequences, if you return. One Shattered Lands Let's Play reports that if you save Jasmine, kill the God Guise defiler and let her captors escape, leave the area and come back later, the captors attack you for killing their sacrifice.
    • Map may not work in Wake of the Ravager. When it works, the dots representing characters are displaced a bit, occasionally putting them inside walls.
  • One Size Fits All: Anything can be worn by anyone, from halflings to half-giants. Except thri-kreen — they can't wear armour or clothes. Usual AD&D class restrictions apply too.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Players recommended:
    • A psionicist with Energy Containment luring enemies toward elemental spells.
    • A fighter with a vampiric sword. Shattered Lands allowed up to 4 of those for the final battle.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Actually, most of them are half-giants — magically-created hybrids of giants and humans — whose sprites aren't much bigger than humans'. The few full-sized giants use sprites of the same size. Half-giants have the most hitpoints, but highest (worst) armour class.
  • Palette Swap: Grey or pink-orange statues of desert monsters and demons are a common decoration. Zombies are grey humans (or demihumans).
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Also applies to books laying around. Usually there's a remark like "the only part that seems relevant" or "the only part you understand".
  • Party in My Pocket/All in a Row: The former is the default state after combat, the latter can be toggled manually (diamond formation, to be precise). Party in My Pocket gurantees that any sudden attack would be met by a compact formation, while with All in a Row characters may get stuck behind. Besides that neither gives any advantages. A leader walking through another party member causes them to swap — at least this part was done right.
  • Player Nudge: Don't know where to go next to advance the main plot? Ask the trader Notaku where are the ingredients he wants or the client waiting for the delivery.
  • Psychic Powers: Dark Sun was the first tabletop ADnD setting to widely use Psionics. In the games every living character has them. Unfortunately, much was left out:
    • Only 3 disciplines are available out of tabletop 6: psychokinesis, psychometabolism and telepathy. Psionicist class can advance in all 3, the rest are wild talents in 1 discipline plus Mind Blank.
    • The nuances of various sciences and devotions were dropped, making many of them effectively identical spells and thus redundant.
    • The non-combat use of psionics is limited to very few scripted scenes.
    • Still, clever combination of psionics with (cleric) magic is often a Game Breaker.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Metal weapons are rare, but not much better than stone or bone. Enchanted weapons are about as rare, and they do make a difference. There are several identical +1 axes, but anything above +1 is unique.
  • Preexisting Encounters: The overwhelming majority.
  • Random Encounters: Shattered Lands may generate more monsters on the desert locations you've cleared, Wake of the Ravager has some monsters randomly popping up in mines and Draxans randomly attacking you on the streets of Tyr, but most combat experience comes from hardcoded encounters.
  • Read the Freaking Manual/All There in the Manual: In an attempt to avert that, the games contain an extensive on-line help (unsurpassed until Baldur's Gate and Fallout 1) and enough story background in dialogues. Wake of the Ravager even boasted a "MANUAL-FREE ZONE, FULL ON-LINE DOCUMENTATION" sign on its box. Still, floppy versions needed the manuals for Copy Protection.
  • Recurring Traveller: Notaku, en elf trading in magic items and components appears in both games. His Fetch Quests happen to send you to plot-advancing locations. Stuck in Tyr with nowhere to go? Ask Notaku where were those giant skulls he wants again.
  • Resting Recovery/Trauma Inn: You recover from all wounds and status ailments after resting at a "fire pit".
  • RPGs Equal Combat: These games tried hard to avert that, offering alternative routes and rewarding non-combat solutions with XP. From fast talking, to application of thief skills, to psionics. Still, in many cases the combat is unavoidable, and you need no be prepared for it anyway.
  • Scaled Up: The Verdant Passage novel tells how king Kalak of Tyr built a pyramid to sacrifice people and become a dragon. In Shattered Lands king Tectuktitlay of Draj built a similar pyramid and started similar gladiator fights. Wake of the Ravager shows the player Tyr pyramid, witness accounts and the aftermath. Also, there's a suggestion that Lord Warrior was made undead to prevent him becoming a dragon.
    • One defiler in Shattered Lands aims to become a living statue of a snakeman. He succeeds, and if you don't kill him immediately (which isn't very hard), you'll fight him in the final battle.
  • Shabby Heroes, Well-Dressed Villains: The only well-dressed people are templars. Your party wears rags (judging from their pictures) and whatever armour they scavenge on the way. More so in the second game.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: As much detail, as 256-colour VGA resolution allowed. Most characters wear rags. Cobwebs, cracked walls, piles of dust, broken furniture... The signs of decay are everywhere.
  • Talk to Everyone: Do it until they start to repeat. Even if they don't give or advance quests or reveal treasures, it is still fun to read.
  • There Are No Tents: You can only rest at "fire pits" (circles of stones). There are such circles in your home and at places where you can stay as a guest. A circle appears at the inn when you pay. There may be fire pits in safe places in the wilderness or dungeons.
  • Turn-Based Combat
  • Turn Undead: Hits every undead within reach for 1000 HP. May fail on stronger undead, like skeleton warriors.
  • Unfinished Business: Very common. Too many to list. Possibly, the single biggest source of sidequests.
  • Wallet of Holding: Money take no place.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Unimportant NPCs do have a single statement they keep repeating. However, when your actions change the world in a way that affects them, they do acknowledge that, averting the trope.
    • The biggest problem with unpolished dialogues isn't the lack of new NPC lines, but multiple bugs that make them say wrong lines. Worse, killed enemies would occasionally start talking to you as if still alive.
  • World of Badass: Instead of usual 3d6 for stats when rolling characters, the games give 4d6+2 plus racial bonuses and penalties.

    Specific to "Shattered Lands" 
  • Acoustic License: After you complete the quest to stop wyvern riders, but the quest-giver still hesitates to keep up his end, the Druid of the Howling Winds cuts in persuades him to help you. From 3 locations away. Justified by the druid's control over wind.
  • Amusing Injuries: When Arant knocks out one of his guards for being lazy. If you persuade Arant to leave, the guard will wake up and run after them screaming not to leave him.
  • And I Must Scream: There are hints that Dagolar turned somebody into a living tapestry depicting an animated screaming face.
  • Antlion Monster: There are several places where mastyrials (giant scorpions) hunt that way.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Every defiler with possible exception of Dagolar.
  • Blank Book: Where Keldar finds justification for his murders. Yes, he's insane.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Gedron village.
  • Broken Bridge: You can't enter the ruins of Korbnor, because they are buried in sand. When you ally with 2 villages, the visionary suddenly proclaims that the wind has blown the sand away.
    • Alternatively, you can unlock this location by killing everybody in Cedrite and Gedron.
  • Cap: Maximum level is 9. Doing all sidequests gives level 9 to single-class characters but only level 8 to triple-class ones. Level Grinding is possible on randomly generated desert monsters.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The inhabitants of Gedron village. Quite funny, even after you learn they've been reduced to this state by a mind-controlling defiler.
  • Commonplace Rare: The bag of refined salt in one sidequest. It's impossimle to get that much on a short notice. Salt miner from a faraway land charges as much as he'd get at home, where it's rare. The beast tamer is going to travel to that land and agrees to sell his mastyrial (giant scorpion) for just a bag of salt. Everybody involved agrees the price is ridiculously high for Draj area, but still roll with it.
  • Condemned Contestant: The gladiators in Draj.
  • Cute Monster Girl: The portrait of the Tari chief's daughter is surely cute.
  • Desert Bandits: You'll meet several gangs. You may be able to persuade some of them to join your alliance.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Mow, the ratman, wants your help in killing his master, the wizard Dagolar. Subverted: he is Dagolar in disguise.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dagolar's brother Goburnix wanted him to change his evil ways. Dagolar ended up killing him, but kept him around as a thinking animated corpse. When Goburnix tried to hug his brother for the last time, Dagolar snapped and destroyed him. Then destroyed his assistant for being uncaring.
  • Evil Chancellor: Kwerin, second in command of Teaquetzl, gives this vibe. He seems to be plotting something, intercepting control from Chahl and doesn't approve of your mission. Ultimately averted — he doesn't do anything wrong.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The story of the ruined underground temple. The magic of a sorcerer-king killed everybody, but doesn't let them move on. They inhabit the ruins as shadows and most of them went insane. Only Tynan (who angered the king by loving his daughter) and A'Poss (the traitor) remain sane thanks to their training and probably heartstones and Tristram (king's daughter) is still mostly there thanks to the heartstone Tynan made.
  • God Guise: Several defilers do that:
    • Dagolar, creator of Tari (rat people). At least, he did create them.
    • Balkazar, taking over Magera temple and summoning demons.
    • Dakaren, also making Magera sacrifice people to him.
  • Healing Hands: In the slave pens Dinos touches Gilal's head, concentrates, and she feels better. Dinos seems to be a ranger with some clerical magic, or he may have used psionics.
  • Hive Mind: Mindhome. Formed by "Undermountain folk" — gnome-like underground humanoids. When you meet them, they're split into Rebel Mindhome (who want to attack evil spiders), First Mindhome (who act defensively) and a single Outcast (who wants to trade with spiders and has been expelled for greed). First and Rebel Mindhomes will merge again when you solve the spider problem.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Balkazar's summoning, every time. He tries to summon the Unnamed One, but keeps getting hostile fire elementals. Unfortunately, he is invulnerable, but you are not.
  • A Homeowner Is You: You get a house from Teaquetzl when you agree to help them.
  • Inevitable Tournament: The game starts with it. If you win, you go to the pens, rest and fight again. There are multiple ways to end it:
    • Win 4 times and your 5th group of opponents will offer to join forces and break out.
    • Insult the announcer and the king, and the announcer will open the gates and send soldiers against you. If you kill them all, run free.
    • Break open the arena gates and fight the same number of soldiers.
    • Steal the keys from guards, sneak and fight through a relatively unguarded route.
    • Help your inmates and several more opportunities open.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: All prices are the same.
  • Kill ’Em All: According to the official strategy guide, this is a possible solution to problems of other villages.
  • Literal Genie: Mortally wounded Cragg ordered the genie to "contain the evil within the city" Korbnor, meaning Psurlons. Genie instead buried the whole city in sand. Probably, the city inhabitants were too evil for his taste.
  • Mad Oracle: The crazy visionary in Teaquetzl. Possible subversion: he just tells the unpleasant truth, regardless of what people think, because it's the only way to prevent certain doom. Either that, or he recovered from the consequences of dehydration by the time you met. At least, he made people listen.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Many characters mistake the heroes for members of the Veiled Alliance. Yes, they are badass, but people keep assuming they've got some serious backing, connections and a plan. Instead they are clueless and fight alone.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: Wyrm, where Magera leave. The entrance is a skull of a giant reptile, which opens into a sinuous snake-like corridor. The rest is pretty boring rectangular rooms, though.
  • Mugging the Monster: First the rat-people in the sewers — those at least have enough self-preservation instinct when you refuse to pay. Then several gangs in the desert try to rob you.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: When you complete his Fetch Quest to assemble a statue, Wyrmias releases hostages, comes out of hiding and even gives you the first strike. When you kill him, his soul moves to the statue and gloats about world domination. Possible subversion: You can kill him immediately, or you will have to kill him in the final battle, thus ending his global plan in seconds or several days.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If you return to the slave pens, you'll see everybody, who didn't escape with you, tortured to death.
  • No Honor Among Thieves:
    • Every time you attack a powerful defiler, he mistakes your for agents of another defiler he's been dealing with. Too bad the game doesn't allow to exploit this further and provoke a war between them.
    • Wyvern Master wants you to kill Tara. When you meet, he is paying her with Human Sacrifices for a wyvern-controlling device. But if Tara kills you, it'll count as yet another sacrifice for her.
  • Opening the Sandbox: After you reach the desert. From this point you can go anywhere, although everything suggests continuing north to Teaquetzl. After you get the main quest in Teaquetzl, the sandbox is really open.
  • Our Genies Are Different: The genie in the bottle you find in Korbnor is pretty standard. He grants you 3 wishes, can duplicate your artefacts, sympathises with your cause, can send undead to fight on your side, yet refuses to kill anybody. But see also Literal Genie above.
  • Outlaw Town: Technically, the free villages are good version of that. You know, "When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws have it". Averting much of Outlaw Town package, like corruption, but retaining secrecy, living off illegal schemes and the local laws largely reflecting the leader's views.
  • Plot Coupon: Immaterial. The alliance agreements work that way. Once Cedrite and Gedron ally with Teaquetzl or there's nobody left there Draj army attacks Teaquetzl.
  • Point of No Return: After getting allied with two villages and reporting to Teaquetzl, you have the choice: rest and prepare for battle, explore the ruined Korbnor or fight the army of Draj, but it may still be possible to teleport with Llod's Rod. After you enter Korbnor, there's no way back — only to overcome this location (rest will be available at some point) and then fight the army.
  • Portal Network: Obelisks with gems work as beacons for Llod's Rod. You need to visit each and put the corresponding gem in its proper place. Usually the gems remain near.
  • Pride Before a Fall: The wizard Llod summoned Psurlons because he wanted a challenge. They killed him, making it look like an accident. The attempt to protect the world from them buried the city, killing everybody.
  • Psycho for Hire: Keldar, ex-templar and Dagolar's assistant.
  • Puzzle Boss: Balkazar. Every time you strike him, he shouts: "Fools! I am immortal!" Enchanted weapons don't help. But there are enough clues around the temple. Destroy the mirror with +2 or better weapon.
  • Red Shirt: The man from the fields, who was going to Teaquetzl with you. Gets killed in the next location. Combined with mock The World's Expert on Getting Killed — he says "I'm more than enough for any monster. I'd give you some advice about survival out here, but I'm afraid it's too technical for you barbarians." — and immediately gets eaten by a bullette.
  • Religion of Evil: Sorcerer-kings and their templars are a given. On smaller scale there are:
    • Ratmen cult whose main activity is robbing the unbelievers. The goal of their leader is killing both the defiler Dagolar and all rat-people, thus earning pardon from the sorcerer-king.
    • The shadow-worshipping Ssuran tribe. First, they ask you to kill the shadows, because they no longer help. Then they try to kill you to worship your shadows.
    • The defiler in charge of Magera tribe — sacrificing them to summon demons and claiming they "ascended".
    • Another defiler hiding in silt, pretending to be a giant monster, worshipped by a smaller band of Magera, demanding human sacrifices.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Plenty of those litter the desert. The game starts in the arena with palisades made of human-sized ribs. Later you'll see many more fences made of large bones.
  • Robbing the Dead: One merchant brags that some of his wares come from graves of great heroes.
  • Safecracking: Wyrmias has a safe in his room in Gedron. You can open it if your leader is a thief (Somehow... Without any tools...) or just break it apart, if you leader is strong enough.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness:
    • At first your goal is surviving the arena and escaping. There are about half a dozen ways to escape (many have a time limit), but they lead to only two exits.
    • The way through sewers and fields of Draj is mostly linear, albeit with sidequests. There are several exits from each location, which only differ by number of soldiers to fight.
    • Once you reach the desert, it's an open world, but it's really hard to miss Teaquetzl (though players managed). Granted, few puzzles have more than one or two solutions.
    • After you get the main quest to find allies against Draj, it's an open world until you get the other two villages to join. Or destroy them.
    • Once you report the second village joining (Cedrite or Gedron, others don't count), you are sent to the ruins of Korbnor and then to the battle against Draj army.
    • After the victory you are free to wander the open world.
  • Slipping a Mickey: At one point you may get drugged, lose all your possessions and be sold into slavery. Of course, you can still fight with fists, spells/psionics and Thri-Kreen poison.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The snakeman statue in Gedron. Especially after a defiler moved his soul in it and joined Tectuktitlay's army.
  • Some Dexterity Required: There are several places where you need to follow an NPC closely or quickly attack an enemy before he escapes. This isn't hard, but is unexpected for an otherwise turn-based game.
  • Starter Equipment: Varies from a single weapon (a club, a bone sword, a chatkcha, a sling...) to a decent, if cheapest, set of leather armour with a bone sword and a leather shield. Depends on the chosen class and race.
  • Sticky Fingers: If the current leader is a thief, you may get an extra dialogue option to steal something from the interlocutor. Like keys from the prison guard.
  • Take Your Time: When you reach the "fire pit", you can rest any number of times, it doesn't affect anything. Drajan army will not appear until you are ready, and sidequests can wait too. The only exception is the slave pens at the arena — once you rest, you are summoned to fight again, and each of your victories advances the plot, closing some unfinished tasks and opening new ones.
  • Taking You with Me: The shadow of A'Poss is stuck with shadows of people he killed and cursed.
  • Together in Death: The goal of Tynan-Tristram-A'Poss sidequest.
  • Vendor Trash: You can sell near everything. While Gedron is Brainwashed and Crazy, you can even sell broken pots there — for ridiculously high price.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The place of the final battle — the desert south of Teaquetzl.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: The arena announcer. Granted, back then he was unreachable and just kept sending waves of soldiers. But when you meet in the desert, his soldiers are no tougher than at the game start and he proves rather weak too.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Defiler Balkazar and some of comically stupid Magera. Slaver Arant and his lazy guards.
  • We Buy Anything: Justified by the scarcity of merchants in the desert.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: In the castle above Cedrite. Nagi cursed Tara and her followers to live forever as undead.
  • Wormsign: Several monsters look like sand bumps until they attack. Bulletes and fire eels, to name a few.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Most of the time it is not a problem in both games. NPCs of any importance stand out in a crowd a bit (or a lot), plus dialogues have portraits. The worst case is the dreaded copyright-checking dragon that shares the portrait with very useful Llod's Rod.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Your party is the people who were thrown in the arena together. There is no indication what their crimes were and if they knew each other before the imprisonment.
  • Zip Mode: Shattered Lands allows to restore Portal Network.

    Specific to "Wake of the Ravager" 
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: There are many merchants in Tyr, each sets his/her own prices (often claiming "higher quality") and all at your expense.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: When you return from one mission, the Veiled Alliance HQ is on fire and your next order is chasing a group of Draxans. You're lucky if you had the foresight to rest before entering. Despite losses, the Alliance chooses not to relocate.
  • As Long as There is Evil: A small-scale example in an already Crapsack World. As long as somebody keeps fighting with a very useful vampiric sword El's Drinker, the ghost of El gets stronger and will live again someday. You are given an option to reforge this sword.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Jann tents. The only explanation they give is "Magic."
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Victims of Mind Flayers.
  • Broken Bridge: You can't visit the Jann early in the game. If you approach the southern gate, you are told that the caravan isn't going anywhere. After you join Veiled Alliance, the caravan would take you to the Jann and back any time.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Both games have sidequests to retrieve a powerful vampiric sword "El's Drinker". If you try to import a game with El's Drinker in your inventory, it disappears and you need to find it again.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Fayina. "...only steals from the templars ... maybe she's got a conscience." You'll have to save her from the wrath of a smuggler whose business partner she killed.
  • An Economy Is You: Averted by several Tyr merchants, who sell useless household items and fancy clothes.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Veiled Alliance headquarters.
  • Heel–Face Turn: For an evil sword, of all things. You can reforge El's Drinker to cast a shielding spell instead.
  • Hub Level: Tyr and Veiled Alliance hideout.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Some portals lead through pocket world that makes travellers forget things. Causes a hilarious moment, when Draxan kidnappers mistake their victim for somebody important they were charged with guarding.
  • Mugging the Monster: The game starts with Draxans murdering Veiled Alliance agent and mistaking the player party for easily-disposable bystanders. Shortly after the party is attacked by street muggers a few levels below them.
  • No Hero Discount: Inverted. After you solve the problems in the mines, the friendly overseer will always claim the scale malfunctions and give twice more vouchers for your ore.
  • Old Save Bonus: You can import the saved game from Shattered Lands. Some artefacts will be removed from your inventroy, though. This includes "El's Drinker", see Canon Discontinuity.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Drakes. Non-sentient flying beasts that steal children of giants.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Jann are made of all four elements. They are expert craftsmen wandering the deserts of Athas.
  • Plot Coupon: Much of the game is about gathering the four artefacts to re-seal the tarrasque.
  • Portal Picture: Tapestries in the Veiled Alliance HQ and Jann camp.
  • Satisfied Street Rat:
    • Stitches, the innkeeper. Got his nickname for wearing clothes with more stitches than cloth back when he was a Street Urchin.
    • Romila, the second-in-command of the Alliance. Doesn't say much about her past, but cares a lot about her gang of Baker Street Regulars, because she used to be like them.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The tarrasque sealed inside the Urn of Utatci, guarded by the Veiled Alliance.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Much more Railroading than in the first game. You can't leave the city or access most of teleporter tapestries until you trigger Veiled Alliance giving you certain missions. That said, when there are multiple objectives, you can do them in any order, and there are numerous inconsequential sidequests. Take Your Time applies too.
  • Slipping a Mickey: The Kartang will try to trick you into drinking poison.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Yuan-ti — part-human snakes — and Kartang — a sentient magical mutant snake commanding a pack of its animal brothers. Both are evil and eat humans.
  • The Starscream: Lord Warrior obviously pursues his own goals in Tyr, and it comes as no surprise that his ultimate goal involves overthrowing his king. We never learn if said king had a contingency plan for this.
  • Starter Equipment: If you didn't import a party, you get decent non-magical weapons (e.g. metal swords) and armour plus the +4 Dragonsbane sword you won in the last battle of Shattered lands.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Bloodthirsty halflings and insidious Yuan-ti live there. Not to say of carnivorous plants.
  • Timed Mission: Saving Verini children during an earthquake.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Averted for losing plot-crucial items. If the heroes drop such an item in a place they can no longer visit, the miner Winchester can fetch it.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Temple of Cosmos.
  • Walking Wasteland: Invoked in one cutscene with Lord Warrior. When he casts a defiler spell, bushes around him shrink visibly and the grass under him is already brown. Victory cutscene shows the same place with green grass and lush bushes.
  • We Buy Anything: Unlike the previous game, averted. There are many shops in Tyr, and each has its own specialization.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Several Alliance members. It's debatable if supporters of Divulgence are ones.
  • Zip Mode: None. Supposedly the game requires less backtracking and every non-dungeon location is only 1-3 screens away from the Hub Level.


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