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Video Game / HyperRogue

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HyperRogue, by Zeno Rogue, is a roguelike game, about an adventurer in a non Euclidean world. Originally released under the name Hyperbolic Rogue in 2011, it was updated to Hyperbolic Rogue II, for the 2012 Seven Day Roguelike competition. Hyperbolic Rogue III was based on that code, and eventually re-named to HyperRogue for the Steam release.

You explore an infinite world with 66 different lands, each with its own enemies, treasures, and power-ups. The goal of the game is to find and unlock one of the Orbs of Yendor, but you're free to ignore the main quest and go for a high score instead.

The game is set on a hyperbolic plane, which has a lot of strange geometric properties. A regular grid of hexagons and heptagons, triangles whose angles add up to less than 180 degrees, straight lines that seem to curve away from you, infinitely large circles. Returning to the same place twice is very unusual. The creator was inspired by M. C. Escher's hyperbolic tilings for some of the graphics.


All enemies can kill you in one hit, but most of them also die in one hit, so combat becomes a series of puzzles, not unlike Deadly Rooms of Death. You can only be killed if a monster backs you into a corner, or if several monsters surround you.

You can buy it on Steam here, or get the free version here. The free version is complete, but it's updated less frequently.

HyperRogue contains examples of:

  • Alien Geometries: All over the place, due to the hyperbolic geometry, and the main point of the game.
    • The Great Wall between two lands is always a straight line that doesn't cross any other Great Walls. Every land borders infinitely many other lands. Most obvious in the Crossroads, where six or seven of these may be visible at the same time.
    • The Vineyard has a regular arrangement of hyperparallel lines.
    • There are several different regular patterns that serve as a basis for lands. You can also go to Random Pattern Mode where lands and patterns can be combined in weird ways.
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    • The Round Table is a circle of radius 28. In Euclidean space, it would have an area of a few thousand tiles; here, it takes up over 30 million.
      • One of the random things Knights say when talked to is the exact capacity of their round table. However, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the number of Knights guarding the outer walls is significantly higher.
    • While retracing your steps exactly is possible, the slightest deviation will be amplified enormously, taking you to unexplored areas.
    • Less obviously, the Running Dogs follow you on a path always one step to your left or your right (since they can't walk on tiles you've walked on). If you run in a straight line, you'll slowly outpace them... somehow.
    • And of course, R'Lyeh, with its infinitely nested Temples of C'thulhu.
    • Hyperbolic space has completely unintuitive (for us) relations between linear size and area. For example: if you consider that an edge of the game's tiles is around 1 meter long, then a circle whose radius is merely 91.6 meters will have greater area than Earth. And yet, any two points will be less than 200 m apart. If it had a radius of 152 m, it would surpass the surface area of a sphere with the radius of Earth's orbit! A circle with radius 1 km would then have an absolutely insane area of 1.65 x 10^140 km2.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The reward for collecting the Holy Grail is becoming one of the Knights of the Round Table, getting you a spiffy new cape.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game will prevent you from walking into an enemy's attack radius, or otherwise doing anything that would instantly get you killed. You only lose the game when all your options would instantly get you killed.
  • Commonplace Rare: Your hoard of treasures includes precious gems, alchemical ingredients, powerful magic items... and wine bottles. Apparently "wine grown under a hyperbolic sun would be extremely prized in your home location".
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: If you manage to save two Princesses, they will murder each other until only one is left.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: If you manage to save two Princes, they will also murder each other until only one is left.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Clicking on an adjacent tile will move you there. Clicking on a distant tile will move you in that direction... unless you have an orb with a ranged power, in which case it will use that power instead.
  • Damsel in Distress: A Princess is held prisoner in the Palace and there is a sidequest to find and rescue her. (Female PCs will rescue a Prince instead.)
  • Developers' Foresight: There are lots of unexpected reactions from luring monsters into other Lands.
    • The Dead Cave appears to be an Evil Counterpart of the Living Cave. Bringing a Rock Troll from the Living Cave and killing it there will cause life to spread out from its body, turning the entire Dead Cave into a Living Cave (and quite possibly trapping you as the walls rearrange themselves).
    • The description of Demon Sharks says that they are demons from Hell that fell into the water. Sure enough, if a demon follows you into the water, they transform.
    • Most monsters trigger explosions in the Minefield when they step on a mine. Birds, however, don't, as they fly. But if you kill a bird and it happens to be on a mine, the fall of its dead body will set it off. On the other hand, Ghosts also won't trigger mines, but if you kill them, there's no corporeal body to fall, so the mine won't be set off.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: The more treasures you collect, the more monsters will spawn. Only in that land, though, so you can alleviate this by going somewhere else.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Land Of Power. Orbs that were rare finds until this point now litter the ground, and although the enemies are more numerous and powerful than anywhere else, you'll easily defeat them once you accumulate four or five powers at once. Unfortunately, you lose all your powers when you go somewhere else.
  • Endless Game: Getting an Orb of Yendor is considered "beating the game" and awards you 50 points and almost all the orb powers, but you can keep playing and try to find the Holy Grail, the Hyperstones, or just get on the high score table.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: The only way to get stronger is to collect various magical Orbs. And their effects are temporary, too, so it's more like No Progression.
  • Evil Chancellor: The Viziers in the Palace.
  • Gay Option: Standardly, the gender of the Prince/Princess you can rescue from the Palace is opposite of your character's gender. But there is a configuration option that lets you make it the same gender.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • Sandworms, Cthulu's Tentacles, and Rock Snakes can't be attacked, but they'll die if they're lured into a corner with nowhere to go.
    • Greater Demons can't be attacked, but when you Level Up, they become easily-slain Lesser Demons.
    • Running Dogs aren't inherently any more invulnerable than any other standard enemy. But in the Land of Eternal Motion, you can't stop running for long enough to swing a sword at them. You can still kill them with magic, by luring them out of their Land, or by tricking them into a corner with no escape.
    • The Shadow appears occasionally in the Graveyard, and simply can't be killed. However, it doesn't move directly towards you — instead it retraces your steps.
  • Jungle Japes: The Jungle. It's filled with Ivies that constantly extend, possibly attacking you, but destroying an Ivy's core will destroy all vines attached to it as well.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: No matter how many of the life-extending Elixirs of Life you collect, you'll still die in one hit. The description lampshades this.
  • Giver of Lame Names: The Knights of the Round Table have an infinite number of castles, and they're all called Camelot.
  • Golden Snitch: Originally the Orbs of Yendor gave 1000 points each. Every other treasure gives 1 point, and you'll usually have just over 100 by the time you unlock the Orbs. Eventually, the Orbs were changed to give 50 points, so that they weren't such a game-breaker on high score runs.
  • Hub Level: The Crossroads. Unusually, it doesn't teleport you to distant lands — hyperbolic geometry lets it get away with just having a lot of borders.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: If you look at the player's description, it says "This monster has come from another world, presumably to steal our treasures." This is fairly accurate, considering that monster are docile unless they see the player.
  • Infinite: The mutant ivy in the clearing. The mutant ivy is an infinitely large monster who's center is infinitely far away. You aren't supposed to actually defeat, just try and take some of its apples.
    • The world itself is infinite too, and has many infinitely large regions (duh!).
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Dead Orbs. Other orbs let you throw fire and lightning, teleport, summon golems, or make you completely invulnerable. The Dead Orb doesn't do anything, and the description comments that you might as well drop it.
    It's actually the only item you can drop, so you can use it to mark areas you plan to return to. This is easily the most practical way to complete the Yendor and Grail quests.
  • Level Grinding: Averted. Unusually for a roguelike, your character doesn't get any stronger as the game continues. Orbs give you new powers, but all of their effects are temporary.
    • The enemies in Hell allow this in a strange way. Greater Demons are invulnerable, but the description explains that killing 10 Lesser Demons will make you strong enough to fight them, at least until you encounter even stronger demons. In fact, this simply turns all Greater Demons on screen into Lesser Demons, and does nothing to affect future Greater Demon spawns.
  • Mirror Self: Your main asset in Mirror Land. Mirages make the same moves as you; Mirror Images are left-right reversed. Because of the non-Euclidean geometry, they tend to wander off after a few moves.
  • No Fair Cheating: Cheating blocks you from the highscore list, and the menu shows how many times you cheated in big red letters.
  • Notice This: There's an option to give enemies and items glowing white outlines. Pressing Alt will activate it temporarily.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: The player, and most of the monsters that aren't invincible.
  • Puzzle Boss: Every enemy in the game, since you have to figure out how to get to them, But in particular the Hedgehog Warriors, Pikemen, and Flail Guards, which cannot be attacked directly and are killed by moving across adjacent tiles.
  • Save-Game Limits: You can only save immediately after collecting an Orb of Safety. This doesn't come up very often; the game is a roguelike and you're expected to win or die in one sitting.
    The reason for the limit is that you'll explore a huge area in the course of the game, which would normally make the saved game unwieldy. The Orb of Safety teleports you to a completely different area, clearing the computer's memory of all the already-explored regions.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Hyperbugs will fight off anyone who intrudes into their hive. You can use this to lure one swarm into another's hive, whereupon they will ignore you to focus on each other. You can then mop up the survivors.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Icy Land and Cocytus.
  • Shout-Out: Many of the Lands are shout-outs to some other franchise.
  • Stalked by the Bell: If you wait for long enough in one place — usually because you're surrounded on all sides by walls, or enemies that can't move enough to actually kill you — the game will spawn armies of ghosts to force a Game Over.
  • Temporary Platform: The Land of Eternal Motion has nothing but this. The only creatures that live here are the ever-moving Running Dogs.
  • Tilesweeper: The Minefield, a land based on Minesweeper where the player is told how many mines are adjacent to any given tile and must reach treasures without stepping on mines.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Collecting ten of any treasure will allow magic orbs to spawn in that area. Some lands also require you to collect specific treasures before they'll unlock — to get to Hell, you need to collect ten treasures in each of nine different lands.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Euclidean Mode shows how the game would play on a regular hexagonal grid, with none of the hyperbolic weirdness. This changes several things, making various parts of the game easier or harder and some areas completely unplayable.
    • Running away becomes more difficult, especially from multiple enemies at a time. You have to use walls to bottleneck them, you can't rely on walking across heptagons any more. And some Lands don't have walls.
    • Obstacles become more substantial. In many lands, solid lines of impassable terrain will block off entire directions from you. This is still true in hyperbolic mode, but as the creator puts it, "there are many more directions".
    • Several Lands flat-out don't work because they require hyperparallel lines that simply don't exist in Euclidean geometry. This includes the Great Walls and the Crossroads, so travelling from Land to Land is usually impossible.
    • Mirages get much more useful, since they'll stay in the same position relative to you, allowing you to accumulate truly massive armies.
    • The Yendor Quest gets much easier.
    • Version 7.0 also adds Shoot-'em-up mode, where you have a ranged attack, your movement (and movement of monsters) no longer needs to follow the grid, and the game plays in real-time, with most mechanics kept unchanged.
  • Where It All Began: The Icy Land, where you start the game, shares a lot with the post-endgame land Cocytus. The main difference is that, in the Icy Land, your body heat will melt the walls and create passages for you. In Cocytus, your body heat melts the floor, revealing impassable water.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: No matter how well the game is going, you're still a One-Hit Point Wonder, and it's all too easy to get killed if you stop paying attention.


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