Hunted: The Demon's Forge
is a Fantasy Hack and Slash
game released in 2011 for the PS3
, Xbox 360
and PC by Bethesda Softworks
and inXile Entertainment
. Primarily designed for co-op play, the players are cast into the roles of the elven archer E'lara and the human warrior Caddoc. The game chronicles the pair's mercenary adventures as they search for gold and whatever else they can make off with while working for a woman named Seraphine who promises them power as well as wealth if they will help her with a simple favor.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: E'lara, complete with Boyish Short Hair and a massive competitive streak, tattoos, love of violence and an obsession with blowing things up
- And I Must Scream: One side quest involves setting free an apprentice mage and his lover from a fireplace the mage's evil mentor bound their souls in.
- And the Adventure Continues: The best ending, obtained by neither character drinking the sleg, shows the heroes wandering off into the wilds in the direction of a town, snarking at each other of course.
- Anti-Hero: The leads, though after some Character Development E'lara seems to be becoming a straight up hero, outright calling Caddoc out when he seems reluctant to help rescue the people of Leer simly because the King can't pay them (never mind that the city was burning down around them).
- Archer Archetype: E'lara subverts this: she is almost never calm, cold or collected but is regularly looking for something to blow up.
- Arrows on Fire: E'lara can light her arrows on fire to solve various puzzles
- Bald of Awesome: Caddoc, with a side of Perma-Stubble.
- Batman Gambit: Seraphine, the Woman Behind Anuvin, recruits the leads in order to have them replace Anuvin once they slay him. If either hero drinks the sleg even once, that is exactly what happens.
- Body-Count Competition: Between E'lara and Caddoc.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Both characters have a melee and ranged option: Sword and Bow for E'lara, Sword and Crossbow for Caddoc, though their specializations are apparent as E'lara's unique magic focuses on her bow and Caddoc gets special melee options.
- Broken Bird: E'lara. As the game goes on she mentions several times that she has nightmares about how the Minotaur slaughtered her people, and said Minotaur are her Berserk Button. Under her snarky, thrill seeking persona E'lara is in a lot more pain than she lets on.
- Color-Coded Item Tiers: White for common, green for uncommon, and purple for rare. Usually the purples are rewarded for completing sidequests and puzzles.
- The Corruption: The Sleg, a silvery liquid currently being gathered by the Evil Overlord. E'lara and Caddoc can take advantage of it to make certain hard segments laughably easy, though using the sleg will result in the corrupted character killing the other and becoming the new incarnation of the Evil Overlord.
- Covers Always Lie: The cover depicts E'lara wielding a one handed Crossbow. Caddoc is the one who uses a Crossbow, E'lara gets a classic bow and arrow deal.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Both leads have one. Elara's is the slaughter of her people by the Minotaur, Caddoc's is his dead family.
- Dark Fantasy: The world is set in The Dung Ages, the Elves are nearly extinct, the two leads are a Broken Bird paired with a Knight in Sour Armor and The Horde is hacking away at whatever remains of civilization.
- Deadpan Snarker: E'lara and Caddoc can't seem to go five minutes without snarking at something or other.
- Degraded Boss: The Wargar Shaman appears frequently among other Mooks after its boss status in the first chapter, sometimes two at a time. The witch boss of the third chapter also appears a few times later on as Elite Mooks.
- Eldritch Abomination: The sleg is implied to be this.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Using the sleg certainly makes the game easier, but results in a bad ending, as one of the characters kills the other and then becomes the Big Bad of the next cycle.
- Exploding Barrels: And it makes E'lara really happy to have Stuff Blowing Up.
- Eye Scream: as it turns out, the Big Bad tore the eyes out of nearly every dragon in his lair with his bare hands!
- Flaming Arrows:
- E'lara can light her arrows at a torch to inflict fire damage and solve puzzles.
- Several ballistae also have flaming or exploding projectiles.
- An upgrade for E'lara gives her magical fiery arrows. Much to her delight, they create nice, big explosions, too.
- She also has access to Ice Arrows, the polar opposite of this trope.
- Flash Step: The Wargar Shamans and Witches both do this frequently,
- Fanservice: E'lara and Seraphine. E'lara even points out that Seraphine is wearing a 'slutty outfit'. Caddoc scoffs and E'lara replies, "My outfit isn't slutty... it's strategically placed."
- Genre Savvy: As Caddoc an E'lara near the final boss area, E'lara notes that there is chanting and Caddoc replies that chanting is never good.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Zig-Zagged. Though built to be stronger in this setup, nothing stops the player from sniping with Caddoc's crossbow or going Sword-and-Board with E'lara if they feel like it.
- The Horde: mainly Wargar, Minotaur and Skeletons, though a few Demons and Dragons join in later on.
- Jiggle Physics: E'lara again, though not to the extreme some media can take it.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- When you approach one of the many large doors that block your path Caddoc will wonder who built all these really heavy doors.
- E'lara will threaten to kill their creator on one occasion.
- E'lara thinks it's cheating when they walk right past two sleeping dragons because she can control them with the Death Stone.
- Madness Mantra: Cadoc and E'lara will run into many random people over the course of the game who have gone insane from the events and are simply standing around muttering.
- No "Arc" in "Archery": The arrows fired by E'lara's bow and Caddoc's crossbow are always straight and true.
- No-Sell: The best ending results in Seraphine trying to control the heroes, sure they partook of the sleg. E'lara and Caddoc just look at each other before promptly telling her they never drank the sleg.
- Obviously Evil: E'lara thinks this is the case about Seraphine, though Caddoc is enraptured enough to ignore the elf. It helps the Genre Blindness a bit that they both are being promised riches, and the are mercenaries, after all.
- Only in It for the Money: The primary motivation of the heroes, at least until some Character Development.
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: combined with a side of Our Giants Are Bigger resulting in massive Ogres the size of buildings. Sadly also a case of The Unfought.
- Our Orcs Are Different: They're called Wargar!
- Platonic Life-Partners: E'lara and Caddoc seem to have this relationship, likely due to E'lara being at least a hundred years older than Caddoc. Although that does not stop them from making playful passes then and again - "them" mainly being Caddoc, who constantly calls E'lara "girl" despite being younger (but obviously most definitely not looking it), alludes to her outfit several times...and not to forget the character swap animation that plays in the chapter selection menu, when, after growling "I'll take the lead" he dispenses a light smack with his weapon upon E'laras behind, prompting a soft exhalation of surprise.
- Power Glows: Elite Mooks will feature this, and players that spell link or drink the sleg will glow while it lasts.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted. Caddoc is the somber blue oni, E'lara is the thrill-seeking red oni.
- Shout-Out: One of the dead that the player can interact with using the Death Stone mentions a Witch-King
- E'lara's outfit. Somewhat tamer than many other examples, but still: her shoulders, abdomen, thighs and significant parts of the back are exposed. Bonus points for being made out of black leather.
- Seraphine's outfit certainly counts as well. Leads to a humorous Lampshade Hanging as seen under Fanservice.
- Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Whenever you see a vat of sleg, you're in for a fight, though partaking of the sleg may not yield desirable endgame results.
- Vicious Cycle: The Sleg has caused one for centuries; the Sleg corrupts a host, causing them to kill the person closest to them and become an Evil Overlord. The slain loved one also becomes a ghost who works to find a hero capable of killing the Sleg-infested Evil Overlord, but this is actually a trick by the Sleg to find a stronger host, as the hero uses the Sleg to defeat the Evil Overlord and ends up becoming the next Evil Overlord. The Witch-King who originally unsealed the Sleg was the first host, it then passed to the Great Black Dragon who killed the Witch-King, and then onto Annuvin, who killed the dragon. In the game's normal ending, the player character becomes the next host of the Sleg, and kills their partner. However, you can break the cycle by never drinking any Sleg.
- Was Once a Man: Conversations with the long dead using the Deathstone reveal that the Wargar were originally human soldiers who were mutated with magic to increase their fighting ability during the ancient war between the two kingdoms. In the centuries since the war the Wargar have devolved even further into tribes of orc-like raiders.
- Weapon of Choice: Caddoc has a sword and shield, while E'lara uses bows and arrows. Subverted in that their weapons don't reflect their personalities.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Caddoc is very bothered by Arachnids. You have to fight a giant one in the second level. The game even Lampshades this with a special achievement for beating it with E'lara that reads "As E'lara, squash the spider god while holding Caddoc's hand".