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Video Game / Darkstone

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Darkstone is a role-playing game for the PC and PlayStation, created by Delphine Software International in 2001. It was one of the earlier Diablo clone action RPGs to use fully polygonal graphics - technology that would eventually be adopted by many developers including the creator(s) of the genre codifier themselves.

In the land of Uma, a corrupt monk named Draak turned against Kaliba, the goddess of light, and cast his shadow over the land. The goddess shed seven crystal tears, which were joined together to form a relic called the Time Orb. With this, the other monks of Kaliba were able to stop Draak from destroying the world. To protect it from Draak's followers, the Time Orb was then split up into the seven tears, known as the Crystals of Virtue, and these were hidden throughout the four lands of Uma. They can only be collected and reassembled by one of the Pure of Heart.

Now Draak is regaining strength, thanks to a foul creation called the Darkstone. This monstrosity is slowly draining the life energy from the people of Uma, and as they grow weaker, Draak grows stronger. As one of the Pure of Heart, it is your task to acquire the seven crystals of virtue in order to reforge the Time Orb and destroy him forever. To do this, you must visit seven dungeons throughout the four lands of Uma and solve the quests affiliated with those dungeons, then make your way to Draak's lair (the eighth dungeon) and defeat him in battle. There are more than twenty such quests of varying difficulty, randomly selected when a game is started.


Darkstone offers standard RPG classes, four male and four female. The males are Warriors, Wizards, Assassins and Monks; the corresponding females are Amazons, Sorceresses, Thieves and Priestesses. The PC version of the game has an optional online multiplayer mode and gives the player the option of controlling two characters at one time, with the ability to switch between them at will. The PlayStation version, however, limits control to one player character at a time. The multiple possible quests and player characters give the game a high replay value.


This video game provides examples of:

  • Ancient Artifact: The Astral Hand, a powerful crystal that Draak used to acquire his powers and allows him to transform into a dragon.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Done with a bit of a twist; play as long as you want, but don't leave the game open and go to sleep or something. You'll return to find your character aged about 20 years and dead of starvation.
  • Asteroids Monster: Giant bats and the Giant Worm.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Monk class has no hair.
  • Big Bad: Draak
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant wasps, spiders, and scorpions.
  • The Blacksmith: Gunther, in the town, who buys, sells, and repairs equipment for you.
  • Blessed with Suck: Lucky you! You found a Potion of Surprise! Guess what? It might reduce your age by as much as ten years, making you younger and stronger! Or it might completely screw up your stats and reduce your skills by as much as five points. And there's no way to know without drinking it.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Amazon is blonde; the Sorceress has black hair while the Thief has brown; the Priestess has red hair.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: In one quest about half way through the game Draak himself shows up. Instead of just killing you before you can get high enough level to beat him, teleports away and summons a much weaker Giant Spider boss to fight you.
  • Bonus Boss: Three of them - The Evil Garth (a Skeleton Captain), Buzbal the Furious (a Ratman Chief), and Nosferatu the Vampire. If you kill them for a sidequest, you can get a tidy sum of cash.
  • Broken Bridge: One of the more complicated quests involves fixing one.
  • But Thou Must!: Averted; although the residents of the starting village do present you with additional side quests, you are not required to fulfill any of them. However, as they all entail either recovering a lost artifact or destroying a monster who happens to hang out in one of the local dungeons, fulfilling the extra quests tends to be incidental to the plot anyway.
  • Cartography Sidequest: Somewhat averted; each time you enter one of the four lands of Uma for the first time, your map will only display the land as you visit it. Walking around and filling out the entire map doesn't yield any particular reward, but if you eliminate all of the enemies in that land, they stay dead and you don't have to fight them again. The same is true of each dungeon level.
    • This is true only of the PC version of the game. In the PlayStation version, the random above ground monsters will respawn. The event-driven ones that are part of quests do not. A small number of random monsters in the dungeons will respawn when you re-visit a level. Same as with above ground, the monsters in special rooms like the ones with four jail cells do not respawn.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: No matter which character you choose to play, a conversation with the guards at the town gate will include a mention of them not having seen you since shortly after your parents were killed.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Time Orb; the Darkstone is sort of the opposite.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: As long as you've been saving fairly regularly, that is. It's even less than a slap if you play with two characters and the survivor carries a Scroll of Life, knows the Resurrection spell, or is a Priestess.
  • Deflector Shields: The Reflections spell, but it only works on ranged attacks.
  • Deus ex Machina: Literally, in one quest; a monk has lost his eyesight and his faith. You must restore both, with the help of a minor deity.
  • Dem Bones: Animated skeletons are wandering all over the place.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Smashing crates, vases, and barrels in the dungeons can yield lots of gold, equipment, and magic books and scrolls. Unfortunately, some of them are booby-trapped and will explode.
  • Dismantled Macguffin: The Time Orb, which was split into the seven Crystals.
  • Doomed Hometown: Somewhat averted. The town in which you begin the game is the only completely safe place in all of Uma, and can be revisited at any time. However, when the Darkstone makes its appearance, the residents are affected.
  • Door to Before: When you complete any one of the four-level dungeons, you have to make your way back through the entire thing to the exit. This is, however, made easier by using the game's list of places visited in the dungeon; you just click on "Level Exit" and your avatar will promptly run the shortest route through the level to the stairs leading up.
    • This can be averted in a two-character game by having one character plant a Magic Door above ground outside the dungeon entrance; have the characters then then always use the other character's Magic Door to return to the village. The trick here is to always enter the door generated by the other character. For instance, if you're playing a Warrior and a Thief, drop the Thief's door outside the entrance, then always have the Warrior generate Doors underground but take control of the Thief to enter the door at either end. Entering a Door with the character that created it results in the destruction of the Door. Not good when you're relying on Magic Door scrolls before you've found or bought the spell book.
  • Easter Egg: Dropping a gold piece into the bowl in front of Audren, the black-garbed woman in the middle of town, will activate a bonus sequence in which she sings a song about the titular Darkstone.
  • Electric Jellyfish: Medusa enemies, which shoot magic missiles.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: This occurs later in the game, if you're a Wizard.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the opening video the narrator talks about how Draak is back after the disciples of Kaliba banished him. We then see said disciples praying peacefully until Draak breaths a a huge blast of fire and fries them all.
  • Exploding Barrels: If they're booby-trapped. Characters with a sufficiently high stealth skill can identify the booby-trapped items.
    • Some classes can learn Perception, which permanently highlights all traps in red, but only when you're controlling that character. There are also time-limited spells and skills which will identify traps. The Thief and the Assassin can even learn to defuse the traps, but it's easier to just identify them and then stand back and pop them with Telekinesis.
  • The Fair Folk: One of the quests is performed at the behest of a fairy, who travels with you in your pocket to rescue her friend the unicorn. Another fairy can be seen performing "the song of the snakes" so your character can learn it.
  • Fairest of Them All: In one of the quests, the desire of a very old Vain Sorceress to be this leads her to curse a nearby village. The player character must perform a reverse Glamour Failure to trick her into undoing it.
  • Fortune Teller: Madame Irma, in the town, is implied to be this (she has a crystal ball on her table), but you never take advantage of her prophetic skills. She helps you by curing you when you're poisoned and identifying unidentified trinkets you find in the dungeons.
    • For a hefty price, she also removes cursed objects from your character. Note, however, that she does not remove the curse from the object, only the object from the character - so don't be dumb and equip it again. Sell it to Gunther.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Fountain of Youth appears as part of a quest, but it dried out long ago.
    • Elixirs of Youth reverse your age by five years, which is the only way to remedy stat atrophy caused by aging.
    • As you progress through the game, Master Elmeric eventually has Elixirs of Youth to purchase. Without the Trade skill, the price is 100,000 gold. The higher the difficulty level, the sooner he has the Elixirs.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Normally items and equipment left in the overworld will remain where they're left until you pick them back up, however a glitch in the Playstation version can result in an overworld item disappearing permanently. Usually it's not a big deal and you probably won't even notice it, but it can affect a plot-important item you left lying around to save inventory space until needed, including the crystals, in which case unless you were an Assassin/Thief that managed to steal a duplicate through a Good Bad Bug with their Thief skill, the game is rendered unwinnable and requires a restart.
  • Giant Spider: One of the enemies in the game. It's noteworthy that some of them spit fireballs.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Happens in a couple of the quests.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Part of one of the longest and most convoluted quests involves finding a new worshiper for a fading deity.
  • Golem: Of fire and ice variety, the latter of which throws lightning.
    • Learn the Invocation spell or use Invocation scrolls and you can summon a Fire Golem. In some cases you can drop one into a room you haven't opened the door to. One caveat, due to monster professional courtesy these golems will not attack other monsters with fire attacks. You'll just have to open the door and wade into the room full of fire spitting spiders on your own.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The seven crystals.
  • Grid Inventory: And a small one at that, forcing you into an Inventory Management Puzzle. The best way to get around your limited carrying space is to leave items (particularly the seven Crystals) inside one of the uninhabited houses in town, where they won't be disturbed.
  • Healing Hands: The Priestess class has this ability and can even revive a secondary character who has been killed.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Time Orb
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Pure of Heart are incapable of being seduced by evil.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Pretty nearly every quest item you could possibly need will be kept in one of these down in the dungeons; most of the few exceptions are given to you by other characters.
  • Infinite Supplies: The Horn of Plenty, a Plot Coupon which must be recovered from a deceased NPC in one dungeon, has an inexhaustible supply of food. It has to be turned in to the leader of a community in exchange for one of the Crystals of Virtue; however, there's nothing stopping the player from carrying it around for the entire game while acquiring the other six crystals. It can be used to generate as many chicken drumsticks as desired.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: Each character has a distinct voice, in which they will inform you that they are getting hungry, identify what they are examining, or - when close to death - cry out, "Help! Please help!"
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Lots.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Somehow, one of the Pure of Heart became an Assassin, and another became a Thief. Make of it what you will.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The Thief. She can even steal eggs from the chickens in town as a way of practicing that skill.
  • Level Editor: Before Delphine International disbanded, their official forums had a link to where PC players could download a free one. They could then design their own levels and share them with other players on the same forums.
  • Lie to the Beholder: The Mirror of Lies
  • Lizard Folk: Draak's minions include these. One quest even has you destroy their unhatched offspring.
  • Loading Screen: Seen whenever you ascend or descend to the next level of a dungeon, or enter one of the various lands of Uma.
  • Meaningful Name: Draak means "dragon" in Dutch.
  • Medusa: Here named "Gorgons", a mid-to-late level enemy packing poisoned dual swords and bows. Not to be confused with the Medusae mentioned in Electric Jellyfish above
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Crystals of Virtue.
  • Mission From Goddess: The basic plot.
  • Mook Maker: Several.
    • One dungeon is home to a hive of giant wasps, which have nests that spawn young wasps that shoot magic missiles. There is also the Wasp Queen, which spawns fully-grown wasps that shoot fireballs.
    • Some enemies are able to summon mooks, like Giant Bats and Dragon-Draak.
  • No Stat Atrophy: Averted; your character can and will age, and once you hit a certain age your stats begin to decrease. If you're lucky enough to find a Potion of Youth, it will help.
  • One-Winged Angel: Draak's dragon transformation.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Draak
  • Our Dragon Is Different: Draak was a man who became a dragon; however, in one of the quests, he does put in an appearance in his human form. He also is apparently the only dragon in the world, or at least we never see or hear about any others.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Sorceress class comes with the handy ability to change into a werewolf once the proper spell is mastered. Full moon not required.
  • Plot Coupon: The Crystals of Virtue, again.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The item variant. The game has several quest-specific items, such as the magnifying glass, which are useless once that quest is completed.
  • Precision F-Strike: The Village of the Damned, which also qualifies for Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • Random Event: The game runs on this trope, given that you don't know at the beginning which quests or mini-quests will be presented to you.
  • Sand Worm: The Giant Worm, a sub-boss that appears in a certain dungeon.
  • Santa Claus: A special bonus in one of the highest-level dungeons has you rescue Santa, who presents you with a miniature copy of Darkstone 2 (which was never made). Yes, really.
    • Santa also appears as a monster in some dungeons. Instead of gifts, the Santas give you fireballs, at great speed, with deadly intent.
  • Save Your Deity: What Kaliba's monks had to do in the backstory.
  • Saving the World: Kind of the point.
  • Schmuck Bait: Go ahead, click on the well in the Village of the Damned. See how that works out for you. It summons literally hundreds of venomous spiders. Your character will be dead within seconds.
    • Or how about those exceptionally rare elixirs of youth in the dungeon with Kolos? Hope you like giant spiders.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: You can pick one or two of the eight potential characters to be your avatar(s) in the game. Where do the other six go? No one knows.
  • Shock and Awe: The Spark and Thunder spells. There are also Ice Golems that, somehow, throw lightning.
  • Shout-Out: The guards at the gate of the town where the game begins are named Bill and Murray.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Trade ability. When you're playing a character that can learn the Trade skill, Gunther the blacksmith will reduce his prices on repairs and increase what he pays you for items you don't need - even at level one of the skill. The deal gets better as you increase the skill level. Trade makes it pointless to learn Repair. Master Elmeric and Perry the Publican also drop their prices when you know Trade. It has no effect on Master Dalsin's skill class prices, however.
  • Squishy Wizard: Both played straight and averted. The Wizard class starts with the lowest strength and the weakest weapons; however, the acquisition of rings and elixirs which enhance attributes can result in a Wizard who is just as strong and weapons-proficient as the other classes.
    • Ditto for the Sorceress, who can learn the Lycanthropy skill, allowing her to turn into a powerful Werewolf. While in Werewolf form, the Sorceress gains strength based on her magic skill, effectively trading off magical power for raw physical power.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: One quest has you regain an artifact for a character who is quite obviously a vampire. An evil vampire. The sort of character you should not be helping. But you have no choice.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: One quest requires you to find the Celestial Sword, the only weapon capable of performing the necessary deed. It's not a very good weapon otherwise. There are plenty of other quests that also have special pieces of gear which are essential to finishing those quests, but are otherwise useless afterwards.
  • Taken for Granite: The Stone spell.
    • In one quest, there is a witch who was so obsessed with her looks that she swore to turn any woman to stone if they dared to be more beautiful than her. Given that she looks to now be about two hundred years old, this has been a problem for her neighbors.
    • This is what the Darkstone does to people after they've been drained of their core energy.
  • Teleport Spam: Enemy Wizards prefer to teleport instead of walk. If you open a door to a room with Wizards, they'll immediately teleport over and start throwing fireballs.
    • This is also the preferred tactic of the bonus boss Nosferatu.
  • Training Dummy: A section of the starting town is dedicated to allowing the player to develop proficiency with their chosen weapon.
  • Unknown Item Identification: Some of the weapons and items found in the dungeons are unidentified; you should never wield or wear anything without having it first identified (either by Madame Irma or by your character with the Identification skill), because it can poison you or lower your stats. The really good stuff makes your character say "Whoa!"
  • Vendor Trash: The only thing you can do with most of that armor, weaponry, and various other dungeon loot is to sell it to Gunther the blacksmith (armor and weapons) or Master Elmeric the wizard (rings, amulets, spell books).
  • Wallet of Holding: A living one in the form of Larsac the Usurer. Instead of wasting valuable space in the limited inventory, you can hand all your money over to Larsac, who will take care of your debts with the merchants in town.
    • In addition, any money your character stores in the bank can be accessed from other games if you start another playthrough with that character, making it work as a sort of off-shore bank account.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: Once the Darkstone shows up, the country is drenched by endless rain.
  • Who Forgot the Lights?: Some of the dungeons are very dark, meaning that unless you have a torch or a Light spell, you're only going to be able to see the character's immediate surroundings.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: One of the quests involves collecting a series of pipes to play "the song of the snakes" in order to lull a huge horde of them into a trance so you can collect the nearby Crystal. Once you have it, however, get ready to run.
    • There is one dungeon where you rescue someone's wife from a nest of spiders, of which he is terribly afraid.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Your character will inform you that "I'm getting hungry." More unsettling is the "Help! Please, help!" they shout when they're running out of HP.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Type One. Part of Draak's master plan. In order to become godlike, he needs to extract the core energy of the country's inhabitants by using the Darkstone.


Example of: