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Video Game / For the King

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For the King is a video game developed by IronOak Games and released in 2018.

It has a main story mode, which is a Western RPG with Roguelike elements, and several bonus gameplay modes.

In the main story, the king of Fahrul has been murdered and the land is being overrun by strange creatures and cultists worshiping the chaos god Omus. The story followers a party of ordinary villagers who set out to discover the truth behind the king's death and ultimately brave the dark tower in which dwell the leaders of the chaos cult.


Other game modes are:

  • Frost Adventure — A new quest: explore the snowbound northern lands and claim the treasure that's reputed to lie at the summit of Frostbite Peak.
  • Into the Deep — A new quest: explore the oceans and foil an invasion by the Merlings.
  • Lost Civilization — (2021 DLC) A new quest: explore the tropical rainforest and save the world from a planetary conjunction.
  • Dungeon Crawl — More dungeons, less plot.
  • Hildebrant's Cellar — A single endless procedurally-generated dungeon crawl.
  • Gold Rush — A multiplayer competitive mode.

With the exception of Gold Rush, all modes can be played as a single-player game (with one player controlling each character in turn) or as a multiplayer game (with each character controlled by a single player).


This game contains examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Played with. Prices don't increase with progress, the same service costs about the same anywhere in the world. However, that universal price rises over time as the creeping crisis makes those items and services more valuable.
  • Anti-Debuff:
    • Certain creatures have immunity to specific harmful Status Effects, such as The Undead's immunity to Bleed. Player Characters can gain immunities by wearing protective equipment.
    • A few rare pieces of equipment allow characters to cast spells that remove harmful status effects from a target character or the whole party.
    • Inverted with the "Wet" status effect, which removes the target's immunities. Zig-zagged further with items that grant immunity to Wet.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The villains of the main campaign are chaos cultists whose attempts to summon the dark god Omus are corrupting the landscape and will ultimately bring about the end of the world.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: One type of non-combat random encounter involves finding the remains of an earlier adventurer, some of which are accompanied by journal entries hinting at what befell them.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: A wide variety of weapons have special attacks that ignore the target's Armor and Resistance points on a perfect success.
  • Bag of Sharing: Averted, each character has their own inventory and coinpurse. The party can't even use items on each other in battle, only pass them back and forth.
  • Basilisk and Cockatrice: Cockatrices are introduced in the Lost Civilization DLC as one of several creatures with the new Petrification attack. They're depicted as large monstrous cockerels; a fully grown cockatrice has additional dragon-y features including horns and a long spiky tail.
  • Battle Trophy: Each region on the world map includes a boss-level character called a Scourge. Each Scourge is a distinct character, and defeating a Scourge scores you their unique headwear, which will have some useful set of traits, such as conferring immunity to all status effects.
  • Bookends: The Lost Civilization quest begins with a fight against a flock of young weak cockatrices, and ends with a final boss fight against an ancient and very powerful cockatrice.
  • Breakable Weapons: Not all weapons in the game, but some. A variation; rather than breaking after a set number of uses, a weapon with the breakable property will come apart in your hands the first time you get a Critical Failure while attacking with it. Types of breakable weapon include:
    • Equipment seen wielded by common enemies, mostly goblin-made, which is depicted as being rather makeshift and has a small but ever-present possibility of breaking.
    • The crystalline weapons (obsidian staff, sapphire sword, etc.) which are usually only obtainable as quest rewards or in the night market; on any given attack, a crystalline weapon will either succeed perfectly and deliver massive damage or fail and shatter (and unlike with the first class of weapon, the player is explicitly prevented from spending focus points to avoid a fail).
    • In "Frost Adventure", the Ancient Weapons stored in the royal vault have extremely powerful attacks, but are a bit fragile (perhaps with age) and will break on a crit fail.
  • Chaos Is Evil: The villains of the main story are adherents of the chaos god Omus, and chaos is depicted as generally a bad thing.
  • Character Class System: Each character belongs to a particular class, which determines their starting stats, starting equipment, and special abilities. As part of the theme that these are ordinary people stepping up to save the kingdom, the character classes are named after the job the character had before the crisis hit: for instance, the basic melee fighter class is "Blacksmith", the basic ranged fighter class is "Hunter", and the basic mage class is "Scholar".
  • Character Customization: Each character class has a "male" and a "female" character model, which can be tweaked with skin color, hair color, costume color (which any clothing item the character equips will change to match), and starting outfit. Names are also fully customizable.
  • Cheap Gold Coins: The only unit of currency in the game is the Fahrul gold piece, which is stated to be solid gold. Even the cheapest item in the game is worth one gold piece.
  • Class and Level System: Each character starts out at Level 0 in a particular character class (defined as their occupation before they started adventuring). Gaining Experience Points leads to leveling up. In the quest-based game modes, including the main story game, the final confrontation features Level 10 enemies.
  • Curse of the Pharaoh: The Buried Temple, found in the desert region of the world map, has Egyptian-inspired architecture and all the level bosses are Mummy Lords with curse attacks.
  • Damage Reduction: A character's Armor stat is subtracted from the Hit Point damage of each incoming physical attack, to a minimum of zero, while their Resistance stat does the same for magic damage. Protective equipment, spells, consumables, and other sources can all raise Armor and Resistance.
  • Difficulty Levels: Most of the game modes (Hildebrant's Cellar and Gold Rush are the exceptions) offer three difficulty levels, described as "Apprentice", "Journeyman", and "Master", which affect things like starting stats and equipment, frequency of item drops, how fast the opponent difficulty escalates, etc.
  • Double Unlock: Unlockable Content is unlocked by spending Lore points in the Lore Store, but before you can spend points on an item you have to unlock the item's listing by fulfilling some condition that varies for each item. About half the items are related to milestones in the main story quest (some listings are unlocked when you attempt the quest for the first time, more the first time you beat the Disc-One Final Dungeon, and so on); others are related to milestones of other kinds, either numerical (tributing a statue or dedicating a sactum enough times will unlock a better kind of statue or sanctum) or qualitative (such as an item of sailor clothing that is unlocked after the first time you sink a boat); still others are related to specific encounters (such as the Monk character class, which is unlocked by finding and completing a specific random encounter in the Frostbite Adventure quest that involves rescuing a trapped monk).
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Averted. Accomplishing something that awards a chaos reduction while the chaos level is at zero will knock the next increase off the timeline instead, so you never waste a major award.
  • Dragon Hoard: In "Frost Adventure", the fabled treasure of Frostbite Peak turns out to be the hoard of a large and bad-tempered ice dragon.
  • Dungeon Crawling: Key milestones in the story game mostly involve exploring an ancient cavern/crypt/labyrinth, fighting enemies and disarming Death Traps, either to retrieve a Plot Coupon or defeating a chaos cult leader lurking at its heart.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: In general, more powerful weapons are fancier-looking than less powerful weapons of the same type. To some extent this is justified in-universe by the characters starting out as villagers with basic weapons and eventually being able to afford equipment that's magical and/or made for the nobility.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The game features a number of elemental powers — fire, water, ice, lightning — and each type does extra damage against creatures of one other type.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: Firesilk is the game's most powerful healing item, which restores a character to full health and focus. The number of doses of firesilk to be found in the game can be counted on one hand, and most of them are in the stash the characters find just before the final boss fight.
  • Emergency Weapon: If a Breakable Weapon breaks on you, or you somehow else lose your equipped weapon during a fight, the default weapon is Bare Fists, with a weak melee attack.
  • Escape Battle Technique: "Coward's Clover" allows a character to escape from a battle at the cost of losing their next turn.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Some equipment items, such as the various types of goblin weapons, can only be obtained as a Random Drop while looting the corpse of a defeated enemy that was using that equipment. Such weapons are often slightly better than the equivalent normal weapon, but are usually Breakable Weapons.
  • Experience Booster: Some items and sanctums give the affected character a boost to the Experience Points they earn.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Weapons include flintlock pistols and muskets. While they can oneshot most enemies, they have the Necessary Drawback of requiring you to spend an action reloading after you use them, and have a non-zero chance of misfiring and wasting the shot.
  • Final Boss:
    • In the main story quest, it's the head of the chaos cult, a powerful wizard.
    • In the "Frost Adventure" quest, it's the dragon who guards the treasure of Frostbite Peak.
    • In the "Into the Deep" quest, it's the ancient sea god awakened by the Fish People to raise the sea level and flood the land.
    • In the "Lost Civilization" quest, it's the dread guardian of the lost temple, which turns out to be the mature version of the first monster you fight at the beginning of the quest.
  • Fish People: The Merlings, who are the main enemy in the Into the Deep quest and also occasionally appear as random encounters in the main story quest.
  • Glass Weapon: Three tiers of them — swords, rods, bows, and lutes can all be found in glass, sapphire (apparently not a crystal), and obsidian. It isn't explained how, for example, one could draw a glass bow, but as a small nod to physics, these weapons shatter on a failed attack.
  • Global Airship: Toward the end of the main story game, the characters acquire an airship which can be used to zoom around the world map clearing up any unfinished business before heading off to the evil tower and the final confrontation.
  • God of Chaos: Omus the God of Chaos is the Greater-Scope Villain of the main campaign, the unseen master of the Final Boss and his Apocalypse Cult, and the ultimate source of the Chaos energy corrupting the world.
  • Healing Herb: Most of game's healing items are herbs. There's a herb that restores hit points, one that restores focus points, one that heals poison and elemental status effects, one that removes curses, and so on.
  • Healing Spring: Healing springs can appear as random encounters inside dungeons. Only one character gets to drink from each spring, and a stat check determines how much benefit they get from it (from "full health and focus" down through "none" to "lose some health"). It is also possible to find a Fountain of Life on the world map, which offers the possibility of a 1-Up (and a much larger possibility of getting in a fight with the fountain's guardians).
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: No matter how deep or inaccessible, there's a good chance a dungeon will have an elaborate chest of loot at the end.
  • Item Amplifier: There are four tiers of pipe, numerically increasing the benefit of all Healing Herbs consumed.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Characters move independently on the world map and will spend most of their time in different hexes. While they have to be nearby to join battle together, there's nothing stopping two party members giving a third all the cash to do a supply run back to town.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: Orbs allow any character, regardless of their usual magical ability, to cast a spell with guaranteed success; depending on the type of orb it may be an attack spell that targets the entire enemy group or a healing or buff spell that targets the entire friendly party. Each orb can only be used once. (The exception is the Orb of Infinite Gaze, which is functionally a funny-looking high-level Magic Wand.)
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Once the final boss has been defeated in the story game, his evil tower collapses.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Between the procedurally generated overworld, Randomly Drops, Random Events, Random Encounters, and almost every action's outcome being based on a stat-derived dice roll, there's a lot that can happen without the player having a say in it. The central strategy of the whole game is luck control - the game is always transparent with the player's odds of any given outcome, and odds-improving Focus is a precious resource. Learning what risks to take and what to never rely upon is the key to getting far.
  • Macrogame: Items purchased from the Lore store outside of individual adventures affect all future play, gradually adding more complexity and potential resources.
  • Magic Music: The main combat ability of the Minstral and the Busker.
  • Magic Wand: The other main magical weapon apart from the Spell Book. (They're described as "magic staff" and depicted as a two-handed staff, but by TV Tropes definitions they don't qualify as a Magic Staff because you can't hit people with them.) Each allows the wielder to perform a number of spells, usually connected by a theme (fire spells, healing spells, etc.)
  • Mana: In addition to their Hit Points, each character has points of "Focus", which can be spent to increase the probability of an action succeeding/getting a Critical Hit.
  • Man-Eating Plant: One type of monster that can appear in random combat encounters is a large carnivorous plant.
  • Mayincatec: The inhabitants of the Jungle Falls region, featured in the Lost Civilization quest, are an indiscriminate mix of several different Central and South American cultures.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The Lost Civilization quest begins with chicken smuggling and ends with a secret cult trying to destroy the kingdom (and the largest, most terrifying chicken Hildebrant has ever seen).
  • Mistaken for Dog: One of the new creatures in the 2021 DLC are cockatrices, which are introduced in-game in a mini-quest involving a farmer who bought a flock of cockatrice chicks thinking they were an exotic new kind of chicken.
  • Money Multiplier: Some items, such as the Pirate's Coat, give the character a percentage boost to money they acquire from random drops.
  • Money Spider: The Random Drops after a battle is pretty much guaranteed to include money unless the opponents are all incorporeal, even if the opponents are all mindless beasts like killer bees who have no reason to be carrying money.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: Various physical and magical weapons grant special attacks that inflict specific status effects on a perfect attack roll. Some of those attacks are pure debuffs, like the lose-a-turn effect of a Fire Wall or a Disarm.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Astronomer, a character class added in the Lost Civilization DLC, has an attack that causes a black hole to form and suck up one opponent, who is immediately killed. The black hole then drops an orb that can not be obtained any other way, but any other drops that would have occurred if the opponent had died normally are lost. The attack can not be deliberately invoked but happens at random: when a player instructs the Astronomer to attack a single opponent, there is a small percentage chance that the Astronomer will use the black hole attack instead of whatever attack the player chose.
  • Only One Plausible Suspect: Early in the story game, it's mentioned that the court wizard has been missing since the king's death. The characters are shocked when he is subsequently revealed to be the king's killer and the head of the chaos cult, but it's not really a surprise to the player because the game has made no attempt to suggest any other possibilities.
  • Plot Coupon: A late stage of the story game involves visiting two demon-haunted caverns and retrieving a MacGuffin from each so that the two MacGuffins can be used to complete an airship that can carry the characters over the evil tower's defenses.
  • Preexisting Encounters: Many of the monsters are visible on the world map while they're active, giving the players a chance to dodge them or at least plan ahead. Some kinds of non-combat encounter are also visible on the world map first.
  • Random Drop: Defeated enemies have a probability of dropping money and other useful items. The game avoids Impossible Item Drops; the items found after a battle are ones that the opponent(s) might plausibly have been carrying, such as the weapon one was using to attack the player characters or a power-up item that explains one of its abilities. Incorporeal enemies such as ghosts don't drop items at all.
  • Random Encounters: Sometimes an encounter will appear without warning in the hex a character has just moved into. Usually these are non-combat encounters such as skill tests, but occasionally a character will be ambushed by a type of monster that would normally be a Preexisting Encounter. Depending on the type of encounter, the player may or may not be offered an opportunity to disengage.
  • Rare Candy: Various candies that, on consumption, increase a single stat (physical attack damage, magical attack damage, physical armor, magical resistance, depending on the candy type) by one point.
  • Roguelike: The story game is not intended to be completed in a single attempt, but for the players to make multiple attempts that each end in death but result in new learnings and unlock new useful game elements. (In-universe, this represents one group of villagers failing their quest and a new group starting out.) On each attempt, a fresh world map is procedurally generated, containing all the key quest locations but mixing up where they are in relation to each other and also what hazards lie between them.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The heroes confront the Final Boss of the main campaign on top of his Evil Tower of Ominousness. For some reason, they fight their way up from the ground floor to reach him, despite arriving by airship.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Flavor Text helpfully clarifies that every gold coin is worth its weight in gold.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Single-Use Shield: The spell of Protection protects a character completely from the next physical or magical attack and then disappears. (If cast on the entire party, each character gets their own individual magical shield that lasts until the next attack on that character.)
  • Spell Book: The starter weapon of the "scholar" class is a spell book allowing the character to cast a couple of weak attack spells. As the game progresses, they have the opportunity to acquire other more powerful books, each on a particular theme (fire spells, ice spells, healing spells, etc.) A character can only cast spells out of the book they currently have equipped as their weapon.
  • Starter Equipment: Each character starts off with a couple of items determined by their occupation, one of which is a weapon (a blacksmith's hammer, a hunter's bow, a rudimentary Spell Book for the scholar) that is slightly worse than the most basic weapon of that type anywhere else in the game. Depending on the difficulty level, the characters may also start out with other useful items such as healing herbs and a tinder pack.
  • Status Infliction Attack: Various physical and magical weapons grant special attacks that inflict specific status effects on a perfect attack roll. Some of those attacks also deal Hit Point damage, like a mace's Stun Attack or a Magic Staff's fire blast; others are pure debuffs, like the lose-a-turn effect of a Fire Wall or a Disarm.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: In the evil tower, the room before the final boss fight contains a loot chest which, unlike the random loot in other chests through the game, always and only contains one dose of firesilk (the game's Emergency Energy Tank) for each character.
  • Take Your Time: Averted, every turn lets chaos slowly increase, making the game world much more hostile. On the other hand, rushing straight for the next plot objective will quickly get the party in over their head. Balancing taking the time to power up and gain new supplies against getting to the next objective before things get out of hand is part of the strategy.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Poison is depicted as a cloud of green gas.
  • There Are No Tents: Averted. The "Tinder Pack" item allows a character to set up a campsite with tent and campfire anywhere there's a patch of empty ground, which allows any member of the party to gain the advantages of an Inn or Meditation free of charge. Each tinder pack is single-use, but the campsite persists for several rounds; if you set up a campsite outside a dungeon, it will last long enough for the party to spend a couple of turns resting and meditating up to full health and focus, crawl the dungeon, and then rest and meditate again on the way out.
  • Tinfoil Hat: The headwear in the game includes an item called the Iron Foil Hat, which resembles a tinfoil hat and confers immunity to mind-related status effects such as stun, confuse, and frighten.
  • Trauma Inn: Each town contains an Inn where you can stay one turn to regain a significant chunk of hit points and a smaller chunk of focus points, and also a collection of more expensive specialists including the Healer (regain all hit points and remove status effects other than curses), Meditation (regain all combat points), and Blessing (remove curses).
  • Turn-Based Combat: In combat, combatants act one at a time while everyone else waits their turn. It's not a strict rotation of everyone getting one action per round; faster characters may get two or more actions between the actions of slower characters, and there are attacks (stuns and hastens) that affect how often a character gets to act.
  • The Unchosen One: Integrated into the gameplay at length. The player characters aren't adventurers called upon for a defined quest, but ordinary villagers who volunteer in defence of their home. Their classes are based on their profession, their Starter Equipment is their tools of the trade that are inferior to any purpose-built weapon, and they start at level 0. Yes, zero - they have no adventuring experience, after all. They'll have to stick together and pick a few smart, easy fights to get that first level of experience and start toughening up as professional adventurers. Also, groups of normies stepping up to fight a major threat are likely to die in droves, but each new group can learn from the stories of their predecessors.
  • Universal Poison: There is only one kind of poison in the world, found in all venomous creatures, poisonous gases, etc., which has the same status effect (gradually sapping Hit Points) and can be cured with the same herb. It's green.
  • Unlockable Content: The reward for completing certain challenges includes "lore" points, which can be exchanged to unlock extra game content, including new character classes, helpful random encounters like traveling salespeople and healers, the Alluring Pools Warp Whistle system, new weapons and other items that might appear in markets and random drops, and a wider range of cosmetic starting outfits.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • The dark tower in the main story quest, where the characters have to battle up through several levels full of chaos cultists before confronting the Final Boss at the top.
    • Frostbite Peak in the "Frost Adventure" quest, where the characters have to battle up through several levels full of assorted monsters before confronting the Final Boss at the top.
  • Video-Game Lives: At all difficulty levels except Master, the party has a shared pool of extra lives, which are represented in-universe as the character only being unconscious and able to be revived by another character during that character's turn. If a character dies when there are no lives left, or if the rest of the party also dies too quickly for any reviving to be done, they stay dead. A character who has dedicated to a sanctum gets an additional individual life; if they die, they will be immediately revived without using one of the party's lives, but the sanctum is destroyed and they lose the other benefits of being dedicated.
  • Visual Initiative Queue: The top of the combat screen shows all the combatants' character icons in order for the next few rounds' worth of combat, since some creatures get to act more or fewer times than the standard. Icons also indicate any Status Effects affecting their turn order and highlight the enemy the active character is currently targeting.
  • Warp Whistle: Each geographical region contains one Alluring Pool, a mystical location that can teleport you to any other Alluring Pool that you have already visited.
  • When the Planets Align: In the Lost Civilization quest, a planetary alignment is imminent. As it approaches, the days get hotter and adventurers take increasing amounts of "sunburn damage" if they are not indoors at the end of each daytime turn.


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