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Video Game / Fatal Labyrinth

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A 1991 Roguelike released by Sega for the Sega Genesis. Originally available as a download-only title in Japan (via the failed Sega Meganet service), it was released in other countries on ordinary cartridges. The aim of the game is to reach the the 30th floor of the titular labyrinth in an attempt to recover a holy goblet from a dragon.

Considering the genre, it isn't quite that simple.

Fatal Labyrinth provides examples of:

  • Blob Monster: Jellies, Amoebae, Blue Jellies and Mercuries.
  • Character Level: Instead of numbers, each level has a different title.
  • Death by Gluttony: You never know how much food is on the ground, and if you reach 99+ fatigue, you die on the spot, your last words being "I'm stuffed."
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Even the food is trying to kill you.
  • Have a Nice Death: Depending on how much money you have when you bite it, more or less people will show up at your rock/modest headstone/shrine.
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  • Inventory Management Puzzle: You've got different menus for potions, staffs, weapons, scrolls, armor, helmets, shields, bows, and rings. There is only so much you can carry in each, but they're independent from each other. So you have to manage nine different inventories.
  • Medusa: Medusa and Gorgons, in all their blinding, confusing and power draining glory. No Taken for Granite though, luckily.
  • Money for Nothing: You can find gold in the labyrinth, but you can't spend it. So what function does gold serve in this game? Getting you a nicer grave and more people to attend your funeral in the event of a Game Over.
  • Necromancer: Who can't actually raise the dead. Those flames and confusion spells can hurt though.
  • Ninja: Ninjas, Shinobis and Sasukes.
  • Palette Swap: Every enemy. Even the final boss.
  • Nintendo Hard: Oh so much!
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  • Press X to Die: See Death by Gluttony above.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Sort of. There are 28 different level designs for as many levels (10, 30 and 31 are always the same), but they appear randomly - level 4 in one playthrough could be level 23 in another, albeit with different coloured tiles. Played straight with item and enemy placement though.
  • Schizo Tech: While storming this medieval castle with your primitive weaponry and magic gear, you will encounter robots armed with ray guns. It's never explained why. The first ones you encounter, Robots, are passive until disturbed, for a good reason. Chasers and Dunes are encountered later, and are aggressive from the get-go. They're all fast, tough, powerful, relentless and can kick your arse at any range.
  • Shout-Out: The Floor Shark's attack animation is a clear reference to the iconic poster for Jaws.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Granted, you'll likely be carrying around multiple weapons, but throwing a weapon you aren't intending to use is actually a valid strategy. Throwing any useless equipment is a good way to test for Ghosts and Mimics.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The player needs to eat to survive, and food is finite per floor.


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