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Video Game / Dungeon of the Endless

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A few hundred condemned criminals were being shipped to the Auriga system on board the prison hulk "Success"...

Auriga once hosted a major settlement of the galaxy-travelling ancestors known as the Endless. In addition, the planet was still orbited by a functioning (and well cloaked) defensive system, which sprang eagerly to life upon the arrival of the Success. Within a few minutes, the ship was nothing but a few large chunks of metal falling toward the planet...

Every set of holding cells also functioned as an escape pod, so the ship let itself disintegrate and the surviving prisoners fell bruised but alive and safe to the planet below. Until they realized that they had crashed through some sort of facility of the Endless, down to a sub-basement so deep and ancient it might as well be called a dungeon...

Dungeon of the Endless is a Rogue Like Action RPG with Tower Defense and Teamwork Puzzle Game elements from Amplitude Studios, creators of Endless Space. It is the second Spin-Off in the 'Endless series', alongside Endless Legend - a fantasy 4X.

In Dungeon of the Endless, players coordinate a team of up to four characters as they attempt to escape the eponymous dungeon and reach the surface. Gameplay takes the form of mixed turn-based/real-time elements. Each time the player opens a door to a new room, a turn passes, resources are produced, researches are carried out, and monsters might be spawned, giving floor to the combat, which occurs in real-time with pause.

Similar to Endless Space and Endless Legend, the game also uses the same 'FIDS' (Food, Industry, Dust, Science) resource set, but the usage is bit different. Especially Dust, which is no longer a currency, but acts as energy to power rooms and doesn't carry over to the next floor.

Each opened door brings new discoveries - maybe you'll find nothing, perhaps you'll find another survivor, an item, or some other useful supplies. Or maybe you'll find a pack of ravenous natives that want to eat your face. Rooms can be powered using Dust, and if they have module slots, various major and minor modules can be built to increase resource production and defense. Any unpowered room acts as a potential spawn point for monsters in the next turn. There are always more rooms than there can be powered with Dust, so players will have to be cautious when placing heroes, modules, and even choosing which door to open and which room to power/unpower.

The game has a character page that needs a lot more work.

During the 2020 Videogame Awards, a sort of spiritual successor was announced titled Endless Dungeon, bring it closer to the mainline titles of the Endless Universe. The game released on October 19th 2023.

Tropes appearing in this work include:

  • Action Bomb: Both Chimera Kamikazes and the Necrophage Kamikazes will attempt to find the most populated room and explode, dealing heavy damage to all heroes and modules within, and slight damage to other monsters.
  • Action RPG: Explore the randomly generated dungeon, fighting horrible monsters, finding new items to equip your team of survivors with.
  • After-Combat Recovery: All heroes regain full health after all the monsters on a floor are killed. Unless it's the Infirmary Pod.
  • All for Nothing: Once you actually reach the end of the dungeon, the team, confronted with the dangerous environment of Auriga, realizes that their best chance of survival is to turn around and go right back in. Granted, they've cleared the Vault of dangerous denizens and made it much safer, but it's a bit of a kick in the goolies to have climbed all that way and fought so hard only to realize that they're trapped and can't leave anyway.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Chimera Keepers don't spawn at all if the Refreezerator Pod (where you can only use a single hero) or the Library Pod (all heroes have their damage nerfed and cannot equip weapons) is selected, due to the fact that it would probably kill you if you tried to fight it at its strongest.
    • Opening a door to a room with Merchants, NPCs, EMP surges, or Exits will not cause any mook waves to spawn.
    • If the player clicks on the exit button while being swarmed by mooks, the mooks won't cause any damage so as to ensure your victory.
  • Bandit Mook: Silic Crystals and Necrophage Crystallophiles will head directly for your Crystal and drain your precious dust if they attack it.
  • Character Class System: All characters fit into one of three categories: Crew (medium hire cost, high level costs, balanced levelling), Prisoner (high hire cost, medium level cost, offensive levelling) or Native (low hire and levelling cost, but much weaker until later levels). Crew and Prisoners receive buffs for working closely with their own kind, whereas Natives tend to receive weird skills or loner boosts.
  • Combat and Support: Characters tend to fall into two groups — either combat (high offense, average to low wit) or operator (lower offenses, high wit).
  • Continuity Nod: Contains several to Endless Legend. Opbot is the narrator for the Vaulters main storyline quest (and later shows up in Endless Space), and the crystal shows up as part of the line of quests needed to reach a Quest victory.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Added right before the game's full release.
  • Crossover: The Australium DLC adds Team Fortress 2 characters into the game.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The Tear Gas module divides the defence of enemies, making them much easier to kill.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Every time you open a door, monsters may spawn in any dark unpowered rooms that aren't occupied by your heroes.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The 12th floor. Major module slots are hard to come across, Dust is very scarce, and some rooms do not contain module slots at all.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • On later floors, Hurna Riders can smash down closed doors. Since opening a door (even one that links two already-explored rooms) runs resource generation and generally spawns enemies in unlit rooms, this can be extremely bad. It's even worse if they open a door to an unexplored room in an undefended area.
    • Players can sometimes find the exit extraordinarily early due to the map being randomly generated, after which they then have the choice of leaving early or continuing to explore for more loot.
  • Dungeon Crawling: It's right there in the title.
  • Early Game Hell: All pods have their drawbacks, ranging from less seats and worse spawns to modifiers that swing both ways. Provided you've got a few floors under your belt and a little luck, the later floors can become a ritual of stacking resources, finding the exit, and rushing the crystal out under several buffs.
  • Elite Mook: On later floors, most monsters will have an elite variant that is differently-coloured and tends to be a greater threat than the regular variants.
  • Endless Game: The Drill Pod, though the lack of victory is negligible — crew members can still be unlocked by the same methods (survive three floors with them in your party) and the next ship simply unlocks after 24 floors. The only real difference is that you don't see the victory screen.
  • Escort Mission: Carrying the Crystal to the exit. The hero carrying the crystal can't attack or use abilities and moves a lot slower, so he or she needs protection from the others or modules along the way. With a good setup, you can simply defend a bottleneck until the crystal is close to the exit.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Soylent Green skill gained by some heroes generates small amounts of food whenever they kill things, implying they're eating the dungeon's monsters.
  • Fake Difficulty: Though it's rare, certain hero combinations can result in the game deliberately making things more difficult. For example, having both Sara Numas and Gork "Butcher" Koroser in your party will mean they exchange threats due to their shared story. Escape enough floors and the arguments keep escalating, culminating with a clash where one kills the other. And no, the game doesn't give you any warning or replace the dead guy.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Heroes are all either: armored-but-slower types for holding choke-points or guarding modules, weaklings that support others and can buff and repair modules, or speedy, balanced roles best suited for exploring and carrying the crystal.
  • Genre-Busting: This game is part squad-based Roguelike, part Real-Time Strategy, part Turn-Based Strategy, and part Tower Defense. This video sums it up quite nicely.
  • The Goomba: Silic Crystals and Necrophage Larvae. The former don't even attack heroes, move slowly, and are easy to shatter. The latter are weak and die easily (but there tends to be a lot of them).
  • Harder Than Hard: The Sanitary Pod. Considering that "Easy mode" is anything but, being labelled the "Hard Mode" ship should be a warning, as all of the following are heaped on: no in-game pausing, removing any turn-based advantages; stronger monsters; negative events, such as slowing gas and module-disabling EMPs, are much more likely; module slots, heroes, and items spawn much less often; healing is more expensive; and, to top it all off, enemies can now spawn when you research, too.
  • Horror Video Games: The location? A spooky, abandoned dungeon full of hostile creatures, mysterious ancient experiments, and remnants of a massively powerful ancient civilization.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Despite their names, "Too Easy" is effectively normal mode, and "Easy" hard mode. From there, further difficulty stacks come from certain unlockable ships, with the "hard mode" Sanitary Pod being Harder Than Hard and the Drill Pod being Endless.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: Later on, the enemies have lots of health and can take a good amount of punishment before dying. This isn't a problem when the waves are small, but when they're large, you're supposed to use your turrets and modules to soften them up for your heroes to kill.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The game hangs a little one on the frequency of hostile encounters. The random elevator conversations often involve these as well.
    Hostile creatures found. Again.
    Why is everything busted except this elevator?
  • Lethal Joke Character: Choosing "Random Hero" on the character select screen has a chance to spawn secret character Ayairi Whairydd, the Merchant's dog, who cannot be unlocked permanently (though unlocking more characters doesn't alter her spawn chance). She comes with zero defense and can't equip any items, but all her damage stats start and cap higher than anyone else to compensate.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Being a Roguelike, the Random Number God can determine whether you find enough rooms with Dust (or get enough drops from Mooks), the upgrade combinations, the loot in the dungeons, have no waves spawn when opening a door, the composition of monsters on the floor, etc.
  • Kaizo Trap: Defied. If the player clicks the exit button, the crystal carrier will still need to walk over to the exit portal in order to escape the floor. However, if there are any monsters in the exit area, they will not deal any damage once it is clicked, ensuring your success at level completion.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: All the Elite Silics are red in colour (except the Silic Supporter, whose basic form is already red — their elite form is gold).
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The KIP Cannon is powered by stockpiled Science points — the more unspent Science you have, the more powerful it becomes. The basic version gains .8 attack power per unspent Science point up to a maximum of 100 (to contrast, the basic defensive 'Prisoner Prod' module has an attack power of around 10 to begin with), and the later versions only get stronger.
    • Later in the game, there are Chimera Keepers which can't move, but occupy dark rooms, getting stronger over time and granting floor-wide buffs to the monsters until dealt with.
  • Metal Slime: The largest form of Vultu stays for a limited time before it self-destructs, but if it is killed by the player, it drops a good amount of Dust.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game begins with two modes, "Too Easy" and "Easy". And you will struggle to beat the game even on "Too Easy".
  • Non-Indicative Name: The game practically runs on this trope. Found a t-shirt? The 't' stands for 'titanium.' A frag grenade? It's a counterweapon designed to 'frag incoming grenades'. Works on other projectiles too! Then there's the Tear Gas module, which reduces enemy Defense because it tears them apart, not makes them cry. In short; almost every item you find should be judged on its properties, not its name.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When your crystal is under attack, a warning alarm plays, and a text message saying "now is a good time to panic" appears. They mean it.
    • The shutdown noise whenever a door you open triggers an EMP surge. If the affected room is one you're relying on to hold off the hordes, now is a good time to panic.
  • One-Man Army: The Refreezerator Pod enforces this. You can only use one character with slightly better stats to go through the entire dungeon. They respawn if killed.
  • Permadeath: Like most Roguelikes, characters that are killed are Killed Off for Real with no way to bring them back. The two exceptions are the Refreezerator Pod, where you only have a single hero for the playthrough that respawns at the cost of food, and buying the Time of Sands item from the incredibly rare Death Dealer. Equipping it takes up an accessory slot until the hero dies, but will revive the hero it's equipped on the next time they die; however, they come back with only a fraction of their HP — the longer they held the Time of Sands before dying, the more HP they get back.
  • Practical Currency: Shops swap resources for materials, but it's chosen randomly between appearances; each merchant will exclusively trade in Industry, Food, Science, or Dust.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: Your team will probably end up as this. The first four available characters alone consist of a loud-mouthed doctor, a blade-wielding bounty hunter, a Hulk-speaking mercenary, and a cowardly thief. They only get weirder from there.
  • Real-Time Strategy: When in combat. As soon as combat is over, your heroes quickly heal up and are ready to continue. During combat, structures build more slowly.
  • Real-Time with Pause: One can use the pause function during and out of combat to give orders to heroes. However, there is both an unlockable pod and an achievement that require the player to not use this function at all in a winning game.
  • Recurring Traveller: Whilst exploring, you'll occasionally find mysterious Merchants. Whatever could they be doing in such an inhospitable place? (They're probably members of Endless Legend's Roving Clans. Still, a dungeon's an odd place to set up shop, even if it has a lot of Dust...)
  • Resources Management Gameplay: There are four different types of resources — Industry (for building), Science (for getting upgrades and restoring skill cooldowns), Food (for leveling up and healing), and Dust (for powering rooms). Careful management of these is needed in order to survive, as the first three are carried over to the next floor.
  • Rhino Rampage: Hurna Riders ride on a rhinoceros-like creature, which can easily break down doors if they get the chance to.
  • Rogue Like: Explore the randomly generated dunge— hang on a sec, this bit looks familiar. Oh, wait, no, the enemy types are all wrong!
  • Shoot the Mage First:
    • Each offensive module will prioritize different types of enemies. For example, Tesla modules attack anti-module units such as Silic Bulldozers and Silic Zoners, while Smoking Guns tend to attack Hurna Shamans (debuffs attack of heroes in a room) first.
    • Some monsters have their own attack priorities. Silic Bulldozers go after major modules and deal splash damage to anything else in the room, Necrophage Hunters beeline for the nearest hero or NPC, Necrophage Crystophiles ignore everything except for the crystal, etc.
  • Shout-Out: Several float around in the various character names and the items you can collect.
  • Spin-Off: Of Endless Space, sort of. It ties in much more closely with Endless Legend. For both of them, it unlocks a faction: Vaulters for Endless Space and Mezari for Endless Legend, though Mezari are really just re-skinned Vaulters (it's who they were before they crash-landed on Auriga and got the new name).
  • Status Effects: Pepper Spray causes the affected enemy to attack others, Neurostun modules slow down all enemies, and the Toxic Cloud room hazard slows down all players. Tear Gas weakens enemies' defence. Some hero abilities also have comparable effects.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: Players control up to four Heroes (starting with two) and each Hero has their own set of active and passive abilities, along with quirks and other defining features, such as their weapon type.
  • Three-Quarters View: Just take a look at any screenshot.
  • Tower Defense: Every unpowered room acts as a spawn point for waves of creatures that want to destroy your Crystal and kill your Heroes. Powered rooms can be used to set up major modules and minor modules; major modules generate resources or have passive effects (such as boosting the attack power of all heroes on the map), whilst minor modules act as direct defense, debuffers, or boost the effects of major modules.
  • Turn-Based Strategy: As mentioned, resource gathering and research progression hinge on opening doors; each door hides a room that could be empty, or contain any number of interesting and/or lethal things. Absolutely nothing happens otherwise, giving you plenty of time to plan your next move.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: After picking up the crystal, the game snaps into full combat time, with enemies constantly spawning until you make it to the Exit room.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Since your characters, items and resources carry over to the next floor, the game will only get harder if you get off on a bad start. Likewise, the more the enemies manage to attack your crystal, the less Dust you will have, which means less rooms can be lit up, causing more waves of mooks to spawn, and thus ensuring a higher chance of mooks getting to attack the crystal.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Once a hero picks up the crystal, mooks will continuously spawn from all dark rooms on the map.
    • The Necrophage Larvae monsters are very weak but they always appear in numbers.