In Deathstate, you take on one of multiple playable characters, each with their unique starting stats and abilities and collect a variety of weapons, followers, and organs (yes, you heard that right) to grow progressively stronger over the course of a given run Unless you pick the Starcreep. Then no organs for you, unless you pick up an item that turns you into another character that CAN use organs. Your objective is to reach the eponymous Deathstate and discover what happened to the Professor who was researching the object; he went into a portal and never returned.
This game contains examples of:
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The organs you ingest all come from otherworldly beings and can look very... odd.
- Body Horror: Not only do enemies tend to have this (especially in the Maze of Ix), but you can inflict this upon your character by ingesting the organs of otherworldly creatures and adding them to your biology. In fact, this is the primary method of getting statistical upgrades and you'll be hard-pressed to find a non-organ item that directly affects your stats.
- Bullet Hell: Jesus Christ on a bike with a flat tire, does it ever have this. The secondary variation of the first level will have you dodging through bullet fire that would impress some Touhou Project bosses. And that's not even getting into how crazy things can get when you desecrate an altar...
- Eldritch Abomination: Multiple. Including, but not limited to; Starchild Emissaries, Dagon, almost every single enemy in the Maze of Ix, and so on and so forth.
- Eldritch Location: The ENTIRE GAME takes place in several of these.
- Leaking Can of Evil: One of the dialogues that can pop up between layers indicates that moving between realms affects the others. Oh dear.
- Lovecraft Lite: While not as lite as many works within this, it is still a less hopeless story than most lovecraftian tales, as the characters can go back into the realms as many times as is necessary due to being retrieved after running out of health; really, it's not a matter of if, but rather when they'll reach the game's namesake.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: And yet you're finding out anyway.