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Video Game / Iter Vehemens Ad Necem

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Iter Vehemens Ad Necem (Violent Way to Death in the Latin, often abbreviated into IVAN) is an open source Roguelike developed by an independent developer in the early 2000s. The story has you taking on the role of a slave working on a banana plantation who has been entrusted with an important letter by his master. For the early part of the game, that's just about as far as the story goes, but it begins to unravel itself if you can progress far enough. It keeps its graphics simple, like many other Roguelikes, but the game is notable for having a set of well-developed systems in the game engine, like body parts, prayer, and simple yet intuitive combat.


Unfortunately, the game has been out of development for quite a long time.

As of 2015, IVAN is now being developed by the community.

You can find more information about it here:

This game provides examples of:

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A friendly genie or a wishing scroll can give you weapons or armor that attracts far more trouble than it's worth.
  • Cool Sword: Several of them, in fact, and not just swords.
  • Darkness = Death: Not even having night-vision eyes and ESP will alert you to all the dangers. Having a source of light at all times is crucial.
  • Determinator: Even after losing all of your limbs, your character will still be able to move as just a wiggling torso and head.
  • Enslaved Elves: The residents of Terwaif, with the good old 'evil white slaver' element.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: From plants and puppies to ghouls and an entire pantheon of gods. And as if that weren't enough, to get the best ending you have to survive being attacked by an entire town.
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  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The game's title translates to "A Violent Road To Death"; play for about five minutes and you'll understand why.
  • Faceless Eye: More of a nuisance than a creep-out, though.
  • Flaming Sword: Well worth looking out for.
  • Fetch Quest: It can be legitimately argued that 3/4ths of your game time is basically spent trying to complete a very hazardous fetch quest.
  • Gorn: A few game days' worth of combat can leave a dungeon level strewn from one end to the other with blood, bodies and severed limbs/heads. And they don't just vanish when you leave the room, either. There have also been contests to see who can die with the most complicated and/or dreadful death message.
  • Groin Attack: Boy howdy.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Justifier. It has a permanent +16 enchantment, is extremely light, and gives permanent Haste, ESP, polymorph control, teleport control, and infravision. Petrus has it, and he will use it on you if you attack him.
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  • Killer Rabbit: One of the bosses has a big bad bunny for a pet.
  • Multiple Endings: Four of them.
    • Freedom: You bring Elpuri's head back to Petrus, who grants your freedom.
    • Knighthood: You bring back the Shirt of the Golden Eagle. Petrus knights you.
    • Avatar of Chaos: Kill Petrus and take his left nut out of town. Mortifier takes you in as his second-in-command.
    • High Priest: Kill Petrus, become the champion of Valpurus, and sit on the golden throne with the Shirt of the Golden Eagle on.
  • Noob Cave: Quite literally.
  • Oh, Crap!: The PC will be stricken with the "panic" status upon sighting a monster with ridiculously higher stats.
  • Schmuck Bait: Notably, wands and certain enchanted weapons.
    • The Attnamese temple is Schmuck Bait Central. Walk through the treasury and talk to the harem all you like - but you better not touch!
  • Shoplift and Die: If you're invisible you can steal from shopkeepers...but the locals will all somehow instantly know about it and come after you.
    • This also goes for the underground shops.
  • Suicide Attack: Kamikaze dwarves.
    • Even worse? Veteran kamikaze dwarves. They survived the first time. Their suicide bombs are so powerful they reduce a fair chunk of the nearby cave to rubble.
  • The Many Deaths of You: 'Nuff said.
  • There Are No Good Executives: An optional sidequest is to liberate your homeland from slavery by killing a dual-whip-wielding capitalist and his cronies. The Attnamese leadership is also shown to be benevolent tyrants at best.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Unfortunately, the player is usually on the receiving end of said overkill.
  • With This Herring: Played to the ultimate. Since you are a slave and your boss is a cheapskate to rival Ebenezer Scrooge, your entire inventory at the beginning consists of just the scroll you must deliver. The early stages of gameplay are mostly spent trying not to become monster chow before you can sufficiently arm, clothe, and feed yourself with whatever you can find lying around.
    • Pushed even farther when you deliver the scroll: the recipient sends you on a fetch quest that is a hundred times more dangerous, for which you are given nothing more than a location on your worldmap.
  • You Get What You Pay For: Armor and weapons are easy enough to obtain. Good armor and powerful weapons? Cost ya a king's ransom.


Example of: