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Video Game / Dungeon Munchies

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Kill. Cook. Eat. Repeat.
Dungeon Munchies is a side-scrolling RPG developed and published by maJAja. It was released in Steam Early Access on June 5, 2019, with a full release on July 27, 2022.

You are a regular office worker in the big city—until you find yourself rising up from your coffin at your own funeral. Disoriented and confused, you leave and find yourself in a giant, mysterious, monster-filled underground complex, and encounter a ghost named Simmer, and her "workforce" of skeletons. She explains she brought you back from your grave for a very important mission:

Hunt down magical monsters, make delicious meals with their body parts, and help her spread word of and sell her series of cookbooks!

Thus, you descend, upgrading your equipment, devouring your creations and gaining new mutations, with the odd bit of forced surgery.


This work provides examples of:

  • After the End: The complex is desolate and abandoned, filled with inhuman monsters, Simmer is a ghost, you are a zombie, her other employees are all skeletons, and alongside selling and spreading her cooking, she talks about preserving your culture as the last (un)living survivors of it.
  • Apocalypse How: Stellar, Species Extinction. Humans are all dead, have fled to a new solar system and habitable planet, or are undead, like the player character. All that remains are animals and sentient plants, the remainders of scientific experiments gone loose.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Aside from dialog with Simmer, your fellow employees, and the Lord Protector, you learn more about the world and the state it's in through reading signs, logs on abandoned computers, and ancient notes that still managed to survive.
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  • The Assimilator: The primary shtick of C-04, the true Big Bad of the game. The research notes you do find that are unredacted note that it consumes and reproduces so quickly, any personnel that come into contact with it are to be killed and incinerated on-site by security, with the guards put into quarantine for 30 days afterward just to be sure.
  • Bag of Holding: You have a Nice Plastic Bag for carrying all your ingredients. It's an "interdimensional pouch" that can carry an infinite amount of items, and keep them fresh beside, but they're apparently not indestructible; the flavour text for Blade Grass says the PC is worried about it damaging the bag.
  • Big Bad: The Lord Protector is the one standing between you and Simmer's plans, from trying to propagate and sell her series of cookbooks to escaping the underground complex to a hopefully better life elsewhere.
  • Bilingual Bonus: An elective candidate in one of the advertisement boards found throughout the game has his name written on his clothes in Traditional Chinese is literally called Diabetes, which is a jab on how most politicians love to sugarcoat their words.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Putrid is sent back to its home dimension, but the dungeon still explodes and takes out the earth with it. However, Simmer, Grill, and the other survivors of the dungeon plus the plants have all survived on the emergency contingency starships that the S.U.C. had prepared for themselves before Putrid killed them all. The protagonist was lost for a whole year, drifting in space in the aftermath of the fight with Putrid, but Simmer and Grill ultimately find him, bring him back to life, and then head over to the colony where the survivors of humanity await them.
  • Black Comedy: Frequently. For example, Simmer's favourite comedic superhero manga is "Captain DUI", whereby the hero outwits villains with his incredibly unpredictable driving, achieved by getting shitfaced with resolve. In the game's native language, it directly tells you that it's a superhero comic while the English translation makes no mention of it.
  • Black Comedy Burst: By the time you reach The Surface, the plot and the tone of the game will be well into dark, serious, and grim horror. But if you read the log about the Sun and why it has disappeared and left the entire solar system to freeze over, you discover a casually written break-up letter.
  • Body Horror: Rife with it. From the Power-Upgrading Deformation below, to the entire nature of C-04, and its victims.
  • Cool Gate: The humans on Earth created the Stargate to reunite with the people who traveled in outer space to find a new home. The name Stargate not only references its function of interstellar travel, but also its shape as an octagonal star. This is key to Simmer's ultimate goal, by reactivating the Stargate and teleporting you all to wherever the humans that fled earth have hopefully created a new society.
  • Charged Attack:
    • Used in bows to simulate the action of pulling the strings. The closer to a full draw; the more distance covered and damage dealt by the arrow.
    • The weapon, Ricecutter, is a sickle with the properties of a sword, can be charged to perform a watered-down version of the Rice Warrior's wide-area attack.
  • Chef of Iron: You become one over the course of the game, and as Simmer shows in the climax, she hasn't let death and becoming a spirit dull her skills any.
  • Creator Provincialism: The developers are Taiwanese, and though there are English subtitles and text, the language on the signs is Traditional Chinese, and the architecture of the game is heavily based off of urban areas in East Asian regions.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Simmer's current form.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Simmer and the Lord Protector (AKA Grill) were most definitely not human, given the horns they have naturally growing out of their heads, but are otherwise mostly human in appearance.
  • Damage Over Time: All of the Status Effects in the game, like poisoning, bleeding, and burning do this. Similar status effects can be stacked as long as the names are different.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Thanks to the Automated Recycling Bins stationed around the dungeon, Simmers can resurrect you no matter how many times you kick the bucket.
  • Defector from Decadence: The son of the Supreme President of the S.U.C. was the one who sacrificed his soul and everyone's memories of him to give the player his body, in an attempt to save the world, try and undo all of the harm and suffering that his father's government and their allies have caused, and finally save his friends, Simmer and Grill.
  • Dem Bones: Every one of Simmer's employees—except for you—are animated, talking, and sentient skeletons. Simmer's numerous notes implies that they also used to be zombies, until they were attacked and had all the rotting flesh stripped from them by the local wildlife.
  • Destructive Teleportation: Simmer claims her fast travel shrines has teleportation magic at first, but Khumal explains that it actually works by tearing you into easily transportable pieces that they bring to your desired location.
  • Double Jump: Fried mosquitos gives the player a pair of insects to do this. Later on in the game, Simmers gives you the first forced surgery that grants you the permanent ability to double jump by giving you extra feet on your heels, rendering Fried Mosquitos obsolete. In Chapter 2, you gain the ability to triple jump.
  • Double Weapon: The Shiny Laser Sword is a yellow double-sided Laser Blade that the Apprentice uses to attack by Weapon Twirling. In addition, the weapon allows its user to pull off sword moves without using a sword as a primary weapon.
  • Endless Winter: The state of The Surface, thanks to the (sentient) Sun removing itself from orbit from the entire solar system and exploring the galaxy.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: How well you prepare yourself is based on what foods are in the stomach and weapons equipped.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: As it turns out, Simmer's named "employees" were her former classmates from college. Grill also used to be her best friend and roommate, until their relationship soured.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: If it's alive, and not undead like Simmer, you, or your fellow employees, it's probably trying to put you into the dirt for good at the behest of the Lord Protector, or eat your delicious, rotting flesh.
  • Evil Former Friend: Simmer and the Lord Protector used to be close friends and roommates, before the apocalypse happened.
  • Food Chain of Evil: As a zombie born of supernatural powers, you hunt down magical creatures, harvest their body parts, and cook delicious meals to make them safe to eat and use to satisfy your eternal hunger.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Heavily implied to be the reason for the Lord Protector's mental state, and why she is so far from the friend Simmer and the others used to know.
  • Hellfire: What Simmer uses to cook her meals, as well as what she imbues her undead "employees" with to give them life.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Much of the humor and interpersonal conflict of Chapter 2 arises from Grill being a hypocrite, claiming that one should follow or not follow rules and norms solely on the basis of what's most convenient to her at the moment. It's frequently lampshaded for comedy.
  • I'm Melting!: Near the end of Chapter 1, you come across a mortally wounded Grill, who has her body melting after a confrontation with C-04 that have escaped from the research facility. She begs you not to open the Stargate as her last words in fear of the destruction of the dungeon.
  • Industrialized Evil: The underground facility ultimately turns out to be powered by humans trapped in pods, being kept constantly awake and fed so their souls may be continuously broken and extracted for energy. More and more victims have to be added to keep up with power production, only adding to the suffering until Putrid, an interdimensional being, comes forth to deliver them death—the one thing they want after all this time.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Simmer compares the act of cooking to necromancy, as you're giving new life and purpose to dead things.
  • Irony: The plants are rebelling against the Lord Protector, their guardian deity, accusing her of raising and protecting them only to kill them and feed them to her animals. This is probably because she was never a goddess in the first place, they just mistook her for one and she took advantage of that for her own purposes.
  • Item Crafting: A large component of the game is using all the dismembered body parts and monster remains to craft better weapons and armour, to take on even more dangerous foes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As much as Simmer has trouble expressing herself honestly face-to-face, she really does want to find a better future for all of you, where you can taste your food, other people can enjoy your cooking, and you don't have to spend eternity in a monster infested hellhole. Before everything went to hell, she also enjoyed cooking for other people to see them enjoying her food.
  • Kill It with Fire: Standard procedure for disposing of C-04 and its victims.
  • Let's Meet the Meat:
    • A Banana standing on top of the shrine leading to Shrimp Pond wants you to eat it. It even tries to relieve your guilt by claiming that it's your morality playing tricks on you. After the player kills it and collects its remains, the food description for the banana says "It is filled with a sense of purpose and satisfaction".
    • A watermelon growing on a tree willingly sacrifices themself to the protagonist in hopes of bringing down the Lord Protector of The Forest after realizing their ruler doesn't give a damn about their lives.
  • Logical Weakness: C-04 is capable of absorbing anything organic and alive, but because the main characters are undead, it can't assimilate them.
  • Making a Splash
  • Meat Moss: Upon reaching the Cold Storage section of the Sorbett Biological Facility, you will discover that C-04 has been assimilating and spreading like wildfire, covering the walls, the ceiling, and the floors with fleshy, disgusting biomass, along with semi-intelligent, mobile, and very deadly growths.
  • Mundane Utility: Simmer and Grill both use their supernatural fire for cooking.
  • Necromancer: Simmer is an especially talented one, and had it for her college major. Her skeleton employee Emma is also one, but much less powerful and talented.
  • No Death Run: The game will reward you an achievement if you manage to beat a chapter without a single death.
  • Not Quite Dead: Grill turns out to be still alive (in a sense) during the start of Chapter 2. Much of the first few quests involve getting her to her house on time so she can perform a ritual to revive herself.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Simmer is heavily implied to have been a demon from hell when she was still alive. She has horns sprouting from her head, and also had easy access to hellfire, equally useful for necromancy as well as cooking magical creatures.
  • Phallic Weapon: One of your first weapons is a long, hard, sturdy tree branch obtained from a sentient tree who had it growing from a... suspect area of its trunk.
  • Planimal: Uncontrolled evolution, scientific experimentation, and the Lord Protector's tinkering have spawned animals that have plant traits, such as flowers and moss growing right on their hides.
  • Plant Mooks: The Lord Protector's followers are mutated vegetables and fruits that she sicks on you. Interestingly enough, a good portion of them are rebelling against her.
  • Playing with Fire: The Lord Protector has fire powers, which glow an ominous green. Ironic for a guardian deity of mutated plants, until you learn she was never divine in the first place, and was just a normal dragonborn college student before the apocalypse.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Eating a Big Mozzie raw will fill up that person's stomach with so much air to the point they burst, because of the wind magic found within the mosquito.
  • Power-Up Food: Cooking and eating the various meals from Simmer's cookbooks will have beneficial buffs or mutations to you, such as fins for swimming faster underwater, increased movement speed on ground, and double-jump capabilities. You're only able to have so many of them in your stomach at once, though.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: Consuming food causes you to grow all manner of bizarre mutations, such as insect wings, grossly massive muscles, and plants growing out of you. Simmer's "forced surgery" also gives you such pleasantries as an extra pair of feet (for double jumping), smaller arms on your waists (for wall climbing), and a new butt with a compressed air tank (for air dashing).
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: There is an ongoing revolution of the sentient plants against the Lord Protector, and they're most definitely on your side. It helps that the Lord Protector really doesn't have the plants' best interests in mind.
  • Sentient Stars: The Sun turns out to be one. Unfortunately for all life on earth and possibly the other planets, it decides to leave one day after having had enough of watching humans, plants, and animals grow and evolve, and is off to go explore the universe and see if there are any other sentient stars just like it.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Comedy at the start, then things quickly get serious and horrific after you beat the Lord Protector.
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: The reason wild monsters are trying to kill you is because reanimated human flesh is quite the healthy delicacy to them.
  • Technicolor Fire: The Lord Protector's flames are green.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Toxic spores released from mushrooms are purple, while most poisons are green. Poisoned enemies will always periodically spurt out green splashes from their bodies regardless of what attacks inflict poison.
  • Wall Jump: Your second forced surgery gives you a pair of hands on each side of the hips, allowing you to climb any vertical surface as long it doesn't have spikes on them.
  • When Trees Attack:
    • The Guava trees will run towards their assailants and whack them with their branches when provoked. Contrary to popular beliefs of having violent tendencies, they are docile creatures even when pushed around by player walking into them. Though most players will attack them out fear due to being instilled with an Everything Trying to Kill You mindset by the game, leading them to unintentionally commit Video Game Cruelty Potential on the innocent plants.
    • Redwood tree men wear bee hives as hats that send out swarms of killer bees to defend themselves.
  • Urban Fantasy: Simmer and her employees are explicitly stated to be magical in nature. Numerous notes and information in the world also point to science and magic coexisting just fine.
  • Visual Pun:
    • The grass sword is a blade of grass.
    • When Grill dies, her corpse is put on a barbecue grill and you revive her by grilling her with dragon fire.
  • Punny Name: "Lickspittle" is the Lord Protector's messenger, and is fond of showering everyone who's capable of hearing with praise and adulation for its deity.note 
    • His name means "spiky bamboo" literally in Chinese, but from the way it is pronounced, it sounds similar to the Mandarin equivalent of "dick".
  • Wham Episode: The latter half of Chapter 2 is full of dramatic reveals that make a lot of the game's darkly comic moments just plain dark and tragic with several reveals coming one after the other thanks to Simmer's memory shards.
    • Simmer's named employees are just copies of the originals based on Simmer's memories. They all died when C-04 attempted to assimilate them all and in a last-ditch effort, Simmer ripped their souls out to try to save hers and Grill's.
    • Grill and Simmer used to be high-ranking employees of the oppressive government until the constant atrocities got too much for them and breaking the rules and cooking good food was the only way they could feel alive again.
    • The player character used to be a friend or close coworker of Grill and Simmer before he used a spell to turn him into an Unperson and guarantee that some soul would take his body and become a zombie powerful enough to help his friends.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Simmer and the Lord Protector (AKA Grill) used to be roommates and best friends, especially since Simmer was so fond of cooking for her and her friends.