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For honor and glory!
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Kingdom Rush (2011), Kingdom Rush: Frontiers (2013), Kingdom Rush: Origins (2014) and Kingdom Rush: Vengeance (2018) are a series of Tower Defense games developed by Ironhide Game Studio. It is set in a fantasy world, where you play as a general trying to stop the evil from taking over the world in the first three, and trying to take over the Kingdom for Vez'nan in the fourth. It involves placing towers in allocated positions along set paths. There are four types of towers in general: Barracks, Artillery, Archers, and Mages. Each tower comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. In the first three games, each tower can be upgraded 3 times with two branching 4th upgrade levels.

  • Archers typically form the backbone of the player's damage dealing forces with a high rate of fire and good damage. They are capable of attacking ground and flying forces.

    • The 4th upgrade options in Kingdom Rush are the Rangers and the Musketeers.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Frontiers are the Crossbow Fort and the Axethrowers.
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    • The 4th upgrade options in Origins are the Arcane Archers and the Golden Longbows.

  • Barracks are used to slow foes down by engaging them with soldiers while other towers pick them off. A player may control where the soldiers spawn by changing the soldier's rally point. They are capable of attacking ground and (depending on what your 4th upgrade option is) flying forces. Barracks are especially good when combined with Reinforcements (see below) to stop the maximum amount of foes.

    • The 4th upgrade options in Kingdom Rush are the Holy Order and the Barbarian Hall.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Frontiers are the Assassins and the Templars.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Origins are the Bladesinger Hall and the Forest Keepers.

  • Mages generally have the strongest individual attacks and their primary role is to take out armored enemies. Mages have a slow rate of fire, thus they are best used in conjunction with Barracks troops. They are capable of attacking ground and flying forces.

    • The 4th upgrade options in Kingdom Rush are the Arcane and the Sorcerer.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Frontiers are the Archmage and the Necromancer.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Origins are the Wild Magus and the High Elven Mage.

  • Artillery is the main Area of Effect tower. It deals high amounts of damage to high amounts of enemies using Splash Damage. Artillery have a slow rate of fire, thus they are also best used in conjunction with Barracks troops. They are capable of attacking ground and (depending on what your 4th upgrade option is) flying forces.

    • The 4th upgrade options in Kingdom Rush are the Big Bertha and the Tesla x104.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Frontiers are the DWAARP and the Battle-Mecha.
    • The 4th upgrade options in Origins are the Arch-Druid Henge and the Weirdwood.

Kingdom Rush Vengeance does away entirely with branched fourth-level upgrades, instead having 16 tower types of which you can bring five of into a level. Each tower can be leveled up three times, unlocking special abilities on the final tier.

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  • Archer towers are Shadow Archers, Goblirangs and Bone Flingers.
  • Barracks towers are Orc Warrior Den, Dark Knights, Elite Harassers and Grim Cemetery.
  • Mage towers are Infernal Mage, Specters Mausoleum, Orc Shaman, Blazing Gem and Wicked Sisters.
  • Artillery towers are Rocket Riders, Melting Furnace, Rotten Forest and Goblin War Zeppelin.

Like most Tower Defense games, Kingdom Rush has a feature known as the Upgrades system. Depending on how well a player does, he/she may earn (up to a maximum of three) stars on each stage. These stars are translated into upgrade points, which you may use to upgrade your towers to make them stronger.

In addition, the player also has access to the Hero Room, where hero units may be selected. Each hero unit has different special abilities to reflect what they're good at whether it's tanking, healing, DPS, AOE, crowd control, etc.

  • In Kingdom Rush each hero has two special abilities which gain stronger each time the hero gains a level.
  • In Kingdom Rush: Frontiers, Kingdom Rush: Origins and Kingdom Rush: Vengeance each time a hero gains a level they gain upgrade points. A player must decide which of the 5 special abilities to allocate points to.

Lastly, in each of the Kingdom Rush games are the Spells. In the first two Kingdom Rush games the player has access to two special abilities:

Kingdom Rush: Origins gives the player three special abilities:

  • Thunderbolt Which replaces Rain of Fire.
  • Reinforcements Which remains the same.
  • Hero Power The new ability introduced. This ability depends on what hero you have selected.

Kingdom Rush: Vengeance gives the player three special abilities:

  • Soul Impact Which replaces Rain of Fire.
  • Demon Goonies Which is the Dark Army's counterpart to Reinforcements.
  • Hero Power Which is similar to that in Origins.

The first two Kingdom Rush games are free to play and can be found here and here. All four games are available to purchase for iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, Android, and Amazon Apps. In addition, all of them except Vengeance have also been ported to Steam. You can also visit the developer's website here.

The series includes examples of:

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    Whole Series 
  • Airborne Mook: All of them fly over Barracks units and cannot be targeted by Artillery (but are still harmed by Splash Damage), but upgrades can allow Barracks and Artillery to take them on:
    • Gargoyles, Rocket Riders, Demon Imps and Black Hags in the first game
    • Giant Wasps, Giant Wasp Queens, Poukai Riders (and their mounts), Saurian Razorwings and Saurian Quetzals in Frontiers
    • Perythons, Gloomies, Cloud Stalkers and Screecher Bats in Origins
    • Cyclopters, Blue Wyverns, Hunting Eagles and Gryphon Bombardiers in Vengeance.
    • Gulaemons from the first game and Leap Dragons from Vengeance are odd examples. They're grounded mooks but have the ability to fly for a short while before landing.
  • Anti-Air: Initially, only Mages and Archers can tackle flying enemies, as Artillery can't hit them (although they still take splash damage when artillery is firing on ground enemies) and they can simply fly over Barracks soldiers. This can be rectified with upgrades, namely the Barbarian's Throwing Axes and Big Bertha's Dragonbreath Launcher in the first game; the Battle-Mecha's Wasp Missiles in the second game; in the third game, the level 2 Warden Barracks can attack flying enemies with bows (but these bows will be lost if they're upgraded to Bladesingers); while in the fourth game, the Elite Harassers have bows to hit flying enemies.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Several enemies with an ability that lets them get an unhindered bypass (Saurian Nightscale invisibility, Saurian Darter teleportation, Blacksurge shell retraction, Razorboar Charge, Quarry Worker digging) are unable to use this ability near the exit.
  • Area of Effect: The main point of artillery towers is to deal splash damage to foes within a radius.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Various sources of True Damage, which ignore whatever armour and magic resistance the enemy might have.
  • Art Evolution: The series' art gets more detailed throughout the games, and there's an improvement in special effects too.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The undead-themed Curse of Castle Blackburn (in the first game) and Shadowmoon (in the second game) campaigns.
  • Boring, but Practical: Reinforcements can really save your ass if used correctly.
  • Clown Car Base: All of those soldiers were in that one barracks?
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: All bosses are immune to instant kills (including Polymorph), stuns and forced movement.
  • Endless Game: Endless Challenge mode, where enemies will spawn and attack until you run out of lives. The point is not to win, but to accumulate enough points for bragging rights rewards.
  • Flunky Boss: No boss in any of the games is not accompanied by minions.
  • Good Animals, Evil Animals: Linirea's forces as well as the forces of the villains use various animal types.
  • Giant Mook: All three games have giant enemies which are slow but can dish out damage and take it; they are usually among the most dangerous enemies.
  • The Goomba: Goblins in the first game; Desert Thugs in the second; Gnoll Reavers in the third; Human Woodcutters (tutorial only) and Dwarf Bruisers in the fourth. The first enemies encountered in each game, as well as the weakest, and pose little threat even in large numbers.
  • Hero Unit: You can use Heroes in battle, who have special skills to make a fight easier.
  • Instant Gravestone: Every time your hero dies and needs to respawn, their body gets replaced by a gravestone where they fell. Subverted in Vengeance, where their body or weapon will lie on the ground.
  • Instant Militia: You can instantly spawn reinforcements to the field with the spell appropriately called Call Reinforcements.
  • Private Military Contractors: Various kinds of mercenaries (Sylvan Elves in the first game; Legionnaires, Genies, Spear Maidens, Corsairs, Buccaneers and Boatswains in the second; Awoks in the third). You can recruit them for a fee and they are very effective in combat but do not respawn and will have to be repurchased if they die.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Mook Medics tend to be priority targets in all of the games, most notably Sand Wraiths who can also summon Fallen, Blood Tricksters and Valkyries who revive enemies from the dead as zombies, and Smokebeard Engineers who can revive machines including MechaDwarf MK.9s.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: Most of the games' have levels that start out in a rather peaceful landscape, followed by a less peaceful one, and followed by a dark, foreboding one. Inverted in Vengeance, where the tutorial level takes place right outside Vez'nan's Dark Tower, and the final level takes place in Linirea itself.
  • Stone Wall: The role of the Barracks troops in general, but this especially applies to the Paladins in the first game and Templars in the second, who start off with high armour and have access to various upgrades which further increase their durability.
  • Zerg Rush: Sort of the entire idea behind the game, and Tower Defense games in general, is stopping Zerg Rushes.

    Kingdom Rush 
  • Action Bomb: Demonic foes will explode on death, doing big damage to any Barrack units near it. Rotshrooms and Myconid will explode into poisonous spores that deal damage over time.
  • All Trolls Are Different: "Very tough warriors that can regenerate their wounds quickly."
  • Asteroids Monster: Myconid doesn't have much health, but he splits into 25 rotshrooms upon defeat (unless you're playing the Steam version, in which case he doesn't). If you're relying on Mage towers to kill him, you'll be in for a rude awakening unless you have Splash Damage or Rain of Fire ready.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Barbarians' weapons. Also, the Troll Champions throw these, which act as Anti-Armor.
  • Bad Boss: Vez'nan is portrayed as one in the comics.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Sorcerers can polymorph foes into sheep. The Black Hag can turn your barracks troops into toads, essentially a One-Hit Kill.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Yetis are white and are Giant Mooks (and in the case of J.T., a boss). Sasquatch on the other hand is brown and acts as a purchasable ally.
  • Big Bad: Vez'nan.
  • Big Red Devil: Vez'nan's One-Winged Angel form, as well as Moloch, the boss of Pandaemonium.
  • Boom, Headshot!: When the Musketeer's Sniper Shot is successful, the Written Sound Effect is "Headshot!"
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Cerberus is treated as a mook, yet it has the hitpoints and physical durability as a boss, is encountered only one at time, and deals a lot of damage towards your troops. The game even treats it as a Mini-boss, giving it Contractual Boss Immunity to being insta-killed or teleported.
  • Black Knight: Dark Knights are highly armored, black-clad foes, ironically introduced at the same stage as Paladins. They also have a stronger version called Dark Slayers.
  • Came Back Wrong: Every time a human or elf soldier dies in the Rotten Forest or Fungal Forest, a Husk forms from the green pool of slime. Every time an Earth Elemental is killed, a Swamp Thing is formed from the pool.
  • Chain Lightning: The Tesla x104 has an upgrade that does this.
  • Clown-Car Grave: In levels with graveyards, a skeleton will spawn every time a humanoid enemy dies. The Poison Pool in the Rotten Forest will spawn a husk every time one of your soldiers die, and a Swamp Thing every time one of your Earth Elementals is killed.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Shamans are this for the enemy.
    • On your side, Paladins from the Holy Order Barracks when upgraded to have a healing spell.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: Vez'nan taunts the player mercilessly from his tower as you fight to survive the final stage.
  • Cool Gate: The summoning circles in Vez'nan's Dark Tower which allow enemies to bypass some of your defences.
  • Critical Hit: Archers have a universal upgrade that leads to a chance for this.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Sarelgaz. Aside from summoning her children and eating troops/heroes in one hit, she has no other special tricks, not even an area attack. She does however have lots, lots, lots of health.
  • Death Ray: The Arcane Wizards have this, complete with the enemy crumbling into ashes.
  • Dem Bones: One of the possible enemies. They are either summoned by necromancers, or pop out of the graveyard every time a humanoid foe dies. Elite Mooks will produce Skeleton Knights instead of regular ones.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The effect of the Arcane Wizards' Death Ray pretty much turns the enemy into nothing but a small circle of ash on the ground.
  • Dual Wielding: Barbarians can be upgraded with More Axes, allowing them to wield two at once.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Some enemies have this ability, sometimes, there are also tunnels the enemies can use to bypass your defenses and allowing them to appear further in. High level mages also can be upgraded with the ability to do the reverse.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The hero system in this game vastly differs from the sequels. To list:
    • In the flash version, you need 15 stars to even enable heroes. This means you have to compromise upgrades for heroes. In the sequels, you get heroes automatically.
    • The hero select screen contains a short profile of the heroes. The sequels don't have this.
    • Hero stats are represented by gauges instead of numbers. The stats themselves are different from the sequels. Melee attack, ranged attack, and movement speed each has their own gauge instead of the sequels' simple stat list of HP, attack, armor, and attack rate/speed.
    • The heroes' naming convention goes by [name] followed by [title] (such as Alleria Swiftwind, Magnus Spellbane, etc.) with some exceptions (such as Ignus, King Denas, Hacksaw, Oni, and Thor) instead of the sequels' single name and the hero's class/job being shown under their level.
    • The leveling and ability system differs greatly. In this game, experience points don't carry over between stages, so every time you start a new stage, your hero will start at level 1, though they understandably can gain enough exp to get to level 10 in a stage. Heroes also only have two abilities that level up each at different levels. This is contrast to the sequels where exp carries over between stages, so you can grind to level up. There are also 5 hero abilities instead of 2, and you level them up by spending upgrade points that you gain by leveling up.
    • There is also no additional heroes that appear on specific stages.
  • Evil Overlord: Vez'nan, the Big Bad.
  • Excuse Plot: "The kingdom is under attack" is basically the extent of story we get for this, though the individual campaigns at least have believable backgrounds.
  • Fallen Hero: Lord Blackburn.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Pandaemonium. Of course, you see the recently-deceased Vez'nan there, locked up in a cage.
  • Fragile Speedster: Spiderlings and Wulves.
    • Myconid is also one compared to other bosses, with only 4000 HP compared to at least 6000 HP, like other bosses. However, he moves very, very fast for a boss.
  • Giant Spider: There are normal ones, fast but weak spiderlings, and then there's the Matriach who have the ability to create spiderlings. And of course, we have the boss Sarelgaz who's even more massive. Also, we have her sons, which are Nigh Invulnerable. Don't forget about the Noxious Creepers, which are Spider Matriarchs with even more health, that spawn mutant hatchlings, which are tougher spiderlings.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Barbarians, having less armor than the Knights that precede them. In exchange for this, they have upgrades to their damage by Dual Wielding and can even throw axes.
    • Bandits, as early-game enemies. They have about as much health as a orc and wear no armor, but their attack does 4-5 times the damage of an orc. Needless to say, upgrade your barracks or these nasties will tear through them.
    • Vez'nan's first form. 6666 hp compared to at least 10000 for other bosses, but his attack does at least 666 damage and kills all soldiers except Earth Elementals in one hit.
  • Guide Dang It!: Don't worry about that, because the game's website has videos on how to beat every level.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Dark Knights, Dark Slayers and later Raiders and Troll Breakers. You'll want mage towers to deal with these guys, trust us.
    • Lord Blackburn is the boss with the highest armor to date.
  • Hell Hound: Demon Hounds. They're like Winter Wolves, but they explode on death too. Then there's Cerberus who's much tougher and faster.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Paladins' Smite ability upgrade gives them a chance to do holy damage on their attacks, in an area.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most enemies use swords, axes, spears, tridents, or clubs. Except for the Forest Trolls, Troll Breakers, Troll Pathfinders, and Troll Chieftains. They use a freaking TREE, a log, a sled, and a drumstick, respectively.
  • Instant Runes: The Arcane Wizards have these for their Teleportation and Death Ray spells.
  • Jet Pack: The Rocket Riders have one.
  • King Mook: Most of the bosses, particularly the ones that are found in bonus campaigns. Your own Heroes tend towards being based off the 6 upgrade paths (4 towers, reinforcements and rain of fire) as well.
    • Sir Gerald is the "Barracks" hero, and works well with your other troops in a defensive line, and despite his lower hp for a melee hero, is very tough thanks to his skills and high armor.
    • Alleria is the "Archer" hero, and is extremely effective at DPS, much like most archer towers and can take down enemy air units.
    • Bolin is the "Artillery" hero, with powerful area abilities that let him take care of large crowds and can slow (and thus crowd up) enemies for Artillery pounding.
    • Magnus is the "Mage" hero, with powerful abilities to delay and harm enemies as well as a fair ammount of raw damage from his own attacks.
    • Malik is the "Reinforcements" hero, like reinforcements, he's best used to add extra muscle to your forces and deal with large crowds.
    • Ignus is the "Rain of Fire" hero, like rain of fire, he's absolutely devastating on concentrated groups and can be sent in wherever you need extra firepower.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: One of the phrases uttered by the Arcane Wizards.
  • Kneel Before Zod: One of Vez'nan's many taunts is commanding you to kneel before him.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Anything that gets killed by artillery.
  • Lightning Gun: One of the possible final upgrades for the artillery.
  • Money Spider: Aside from the start of each level, your main source of income is going to be killing the ZergRushing enemies.
  • Mook Medic: Shamans.
  • Mordor: Vez'nan's realm. The Pit of Fire and Pandaemonium count as well.
  • Mushroom Man: The Rotshroom enemies. These attack in Zerg Rushes and explode into toxic spores on death. Their boss Myconid moves quickly, is able to spawn more Rotshrooms via a spore cloud, and splits into many smaller Rotshrooms on death.
  • Nitro Boost: Rocket Riders will use one when hit, making them move super-fast for 2 seconds. This is very dangerous as they are flying units they cannot be blocked or ensnared by anything.
  • Number of the Beast: With each attack, Vez'nan deals a minimum of 666 damage.
    • Demon Legions have 666 health on Normal.
  • One-Hit Kill: J.T and Sarelgaz can devour your soldiers, Vez'nan can turn them to dust with a spell, Moloch can crush them with a headbutt, and Black Hags turn them into toads. On your side, the Arcane Wizards have a Death Ray that does this, the Musketeer tower's Sniper Shot skill has a chance of doing this, and Hacksaw's Tiiiimber! instakills a mook (and prevents revival against Fallen Knights).
  • One-Winged Angel: Vez'nan will revive as a demon after you kill him for the first time. Inverted: his demon form is actually weaker, since he can no longer kill soldiers instantly.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demon Spawn, Demon Lords, Demon Hounds, Demon Legions, Flareons, Gulaemons and Cerberus. All of them have "Infernal Combustion", which means they explode on death and do big damage to your barrack troops.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The "industrious" part is exaggerated to the point where they use modern (or at least post-industrial) tech in their artillery.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Mercenaries who fight with Bow and Sword, in Accord.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: "Small evil humanoids with no outstanding abilities".
  • Our Orcs Are Different: "Tough savages with light armor".
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Husks in the rotten forest. "Fallen warriors, their bodies claimed by the forest. They are now only husks of their former selves." Every time one of your soldiers dies, these are formed from the pool of green slime.
  • Rat Men: Wererats.
  • Regenerating Health: The Trolls' main ability.
  • Reviving Enemy: Fallen Knights will revive as Spectral Knights when killed. Hacksaw's Tiiiimber and Arcane Wizards' Death Ray prevent them from coming back if killed by those, however.
  • Rocket Ride: Strangely subverted by Rocket Riders. Their rockets are more similar to Jet Packs, which they can use for a Nitro Boost.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The Giant Rats.
  • Savage Wolves: Wulves, which are fast but weak units that can evade melee attacks, Worgs, which are tougher, magic-resistant wulves, and Winter Wolves, which are even tougher. Then we have Demon Hounds, which are not only as tough as Winter Wolves, but they explode on death too! Taken Up to Eleven with the Cerberus, a giant three-headed hound, with a lot of health (compared to other Giant Mooks), high physical armour, and runs fast.
  • Self-Duplication: The Demon Legion's main ability. The clone shares the same health as the original, so pile up the damage before it starts cloning!
  • Shout-Out: Here.
  • Splash Damage: The Artillery attack allows for this, and so it's primary advantage over other towers is its ability to wipe out Zerg Rushes
  • Supervillain Lair: Vez'nan's awesome Dark Tower serves as the game's final level.
  • This Is a Drill: Hacksaw's Tiiiimber! attack. Like the DWAARP's Core Drill, it also kills foes in one hit.
  • Tin Tyrant: Lord Blackburn, a once-noble knight whose bloodlust corrupted him and his lands. His evil-looking armor isn't for show either- it makes him nearly impervious to physical attacks.
  • To Serve Man: J.T. and Sarelgaz devour all barracks troops, Golems, and heroes they encounter in one attack.
  • Turns Red: Rocket Riders will move faster if they get hit.
  • Use Your Head: Moloch's One-Hit Kill attack has him do a massive head smash on your troops. The Rotshroom enemies also use headbutts to attack your troops, since they have no arms.
  • Waddling Head: The Rotshrooms in the Fungal Forest are essentially mushrooms with two legs and a face on their stem.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Arguably, the Sunray Tower.
  • We Have Reserves: You get an achievement for sending a certain amount of soldiers to their deaths. At that note, you get one for having enough of them heal themselves up instead of dying.
  • When Trees Attack: Tainted Treants in the Rotten Forest, as well as the boss Greenmuck.
  • Wicked Witch: Black Hags, which can instakill regular troops by turning them into toads.
  • You Dirty Rat!: The Giant Rats and Wererats. Also taken in the literal sense, as they spread disease/poison status on barracks troops.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Your purpose in the game. Also uttered word for word by arcane wizards earning their teleporting abilities.

    Kingdom Rush: Frontiers 

  • Action Bomb: The Abomination. It's a giant mook that doesn't deal too much damage when attacking, but when it dies and explodes...
    • Other examples include the Blazefangs, whose Plasma Cannon explodes upon death, and the HeroUnits Sha'Tra and Bonehart.
  • The Ahnold: Cronan the Beastmaster is an obvious Captain Ersatz of a certain Barbarian Hero and his actor.
  • Alien Blood: Saurians have blue blood (which is one of the many in-game hints about their alien origins), spiders and reapers bleed green hemolymph and the giant Sand Worm's corpse lies in a pool of purple blood.
  • Anchors Away: The Bootswain mercenaries smash enemies with their anchors.
  • Anti-Magic: The Axethrowers' Totem of Spirits prevents many foes from using spells, such as shamans' auras and especially the summoning abilities of Saurian Savants.
  • Asteroids Monster: Giant Wasp Queens will spawn four smaller wasps on death.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Lord Malagar is killed by Umbra after he is released.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Hired Genies can turn foes into dancing frogs.
  • Bee Afraid: Giant Wasps serve as the weakest Airborne Mooks in Frontiers.
  • Big Bad: Lord Malagar.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Shadowmoon Campaign
  • Booze Flamethrower: Buccaneer mercenaries attack enemies this way in close range, otherwise they will just throw the bottles.
  • Boring, but Practical: Alric eschews the fancy abilities of the other heroes (besides summoning sand warriors) in favor of getting up close to enemies and quickly slicing them to ribbons. Works perfectly fine.
  • Breath Weapon: The two dragons, Ashbite and Bonehart, breathe fire and plague, respectively.
  • Cannibal Tribe: You face these as enemies in Frontiers' jungle stages. They can eat your dead soldiers to regain health.
  • Chicken Walker: The Battle-Mecha has bird-like legs.
  • Clown Car Base: One alien pod can produce up to five Parasytes in one go.
    • In the pirate ship level, hundreds of enemies total come out of one pirate ship.
  • Cthulhumanoid: Bluegales in the Rising Tides campaign.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The Axethrowers' Totem of Weakness makes all foes near it suffer 40% extra damage.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The necromancers are now on your side, and are an upgrade to the mage tower.
  • Dem Bones: The Necromancers (who are on your side now) can summon skeletons from dead bodies. An upgrade allows them to summon a Death Rider - a skeletal knight on a horse with an aura that buffs nearby skeletons.
    • Furthermore, these skeletons can get facehugged by Parasytes, but will not hatch into Reapers when they die from it (essentially, they make a meat (bone?) shield against Parasyte swarms).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • You defeat Umbra (who is pretty much an Eldritch Abomination) in the final level.
    • In the bonus content Rising Tides, the boss is pretty much a Kraken/Cthulhu expy. Which you punch out, of course.
  • Dracolich: The hero Bonehart. His attacks deal area damage and cause disease on enemies.
  • Drop the Hammer: Xyzzy's Weapon of Choice is two energy hammers that can dish out lots of damage.
    • The dwarves also wield hammers, which you can upgrade in their barracks-like hall. Rurin, the Guest-Star Party Member that accompanies them, also wields a hammer.
  • Dug Too Deep: Level 14 has you join forces with a dwarven mining crew that dug too deep. They come with a few towers already built and a special hero that you can control in addition to your own.
  • Dungeon Bypass: There are of course the same caves as found in the first game. One noticeable other example is your first encounter with an Executioner in the level Buccaneer's Den. Instead of coming down one of the two already established paths, he cuts a lane through the swath of forest at the eastern path, adding another path for enemies.
    • It happens again in the jungle with a Witch Doctor on one side and an Executioner on the other. However, the Witch Doctor uncovers an additional strategic point in which to place a tower.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Umbra.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Sand Wraith. This nasty guy can not only attack and summon mummy-spawning sarcophagi, it can also heal its own units!
    • Blood Tricksters can raise fallen Savages into Savage Zombies. One reason you should use artillery with them around so that there is nothing left for them to resurrect.
    • Savant Saurians can summon other Saurians into battle and also attack your troops.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: After summoning Umbra, the force of the crystal explosion knocks Malagar to the edge of a cliff. He pleads for Umbra to save him... and Umbra just zaps Lord Malagar off.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Necromaners are on your side now. They haven't so much turned good, as they've decided Lord Malagar's scheme is going to doom them as much as everyone else. The descriptive text of the mission they first become available points out this is an Oh, Crap! moment as it's a bad sign that the necromancers are willing to join you to stop Lord Malagar.
  • Expy: Several of the Mooks in are equivalents to those in the first game.
    • Desert Thugs and Dune Raiders to Goblins and Orcs/Bandits and Brigands.
    • Sand Hound and War Hound - Wulf and Worg
    • Immortal - Marauder
    • Fallen - Skeleton
    • Desert Archer - Shadow Archer
    • Giant Wasp - Gargoyle
    • Sand Wraith - Necromancer (plus Shaman)
    • Executioner - Ogre
    • Witch Doctor - Shaman
    • Jungle Matriarch - Spider Matriarch
    • Gorillon - Yeti
  • Face Hugger/Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Parasytes in Frontiers, fast-moving critters that hatch from pods that resemble xenomorph eggs. These will latch onto the faces of barracks soldiers and slowly drain their health- when the soldier dies, they burst into deadly insectoid aliens called Reapers. Get them off your soldiers before they suffer such a fate.
  • Fake Difficulty: Nazeru the Red Efreet. He can summon three lesser efreets right in front of your exit, where you don't have anybody to guard as the rally point is too far. You'll need reinforcements and your hero to stop them, and a Rain of Fire to take care of this- if he does it again, you're screwed.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Frontiers standard heroes fit this. Alric is the Fighter, Mirage is the Thief, Bruxxa is the Mage, and Cronan is the Jack-of-All-Stats.
  • Fish People: A number of the Deep Devils are these.
  • Flesh Golem: The Abomination, made up of mutilated limbs and bodies of creatures. And they also blow up on death.
    • Frankie the Flesh Golem. However, this one is on your side.
  • Flunky Boss: All of them.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mirage the Assassin fits this role among the heroes- she has fast movement, throws knives from a range, and can Flash Step, but is frail and depends on OneHitKills in melee combat.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Nazeru the Red Efreet gets put back into a lamp when he is defeated.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Bloodshells in the Rising Tides expansion. These have EXTREME armor like the previous game's Dark Slayers, you'll need Magic to stand a chance against them.
    • There's also the Hero Karkinos, who's a Giant Ally Crab-man.
  • Giant Flyer: Poukai. These are giant birds ridden by savages who rain spears on your troops. When the savage is killed, the bird goes berserk and rushes quickly to the exit.
    • Razorwings and Quetzals, the latter of which can lay eggs that hatch into Razorwings.
  • Giant Spider: The spiders and Matriarchs are back, and their Jungle counterparts are even stronger than the Forest versions.
  • The Goomba: Desert Thugs, although they are stronger than the first game's goblins.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Dune Raiders, Immortals, Giant Scorpions. The Earth Shamans provide heavy armor to all savages around them. The Rising Tides update gives us Bloodshells, which are souped-up Dark Slayers that are also immune to artillery.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Alric the Champion is the closest hero to a typical fantasy protagonist and he wields a nice scimitar.
  • Hive Queen: The Reaper Queen in the Temple Of Evil, who commands the Parasytes and Reapers. She's also the new Dark God of the Ma'qwa tribe.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Battle-Mecha upgrade for the Artillery. It can't be damaged, and rains bombs, missiles and oil (slows foes) on hapless targets.
  • Hungry Jungle: The jungle area. The plants eat you, the savages eat you, the giant spiders return, and there are facehuggers too.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Savages in Frontiers will eat your fallen soldiers to regain health.
  • Immune to Bullets: Ghosts and Phantom Warriors are immune to non-magical attacks by virtue of being ghosts.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Vasile's second phase has a rapid life-draining aura that makes short work of units and heroes alike.
  • Instant Gravestone: Every time your hero dies and needs to respawn, their body gets replaced by a gravestone where they fell.
  • Invisible Monsters: At half their health, Saurian Nightscales will stealth cloak and become invisible to your towers. They can still be hit by Splash Damage, though, and Furnace Blast is a great way to burn a whole bunch of them.
  • Jungle Japes
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Besides Airborne Mooks and Heavily Armored Mooks, there are Dune Terrors, who are invulnerable to damage while burrowed underground (use troops to lure them out).
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The boss of the extra content Rising Tides. It looks like a Kraken but is named Leviathan, and uses its tentacles to temporarily disable your towers.
  • Killer Gorilla: Gorillons in Frontiers. Acts like a Yeti. Then there's Quincon, the second boss, and his Mandrilos flunkies.
  • Laser Blade: The Hero Sha'tra uses a pair. The Saurian Brutes wield a pair of energy whips.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: A single Predator is hidden in three of the levels; they're called 'Alien Hunters'.
  • Life Drain: Myrmidon Saurians can bite your troops to regain health.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Unlike most bosses who tend to be unarmored and quite slow, Xyzzy is fast, has a Medium amount of armor, and sports a One-Hit Kill where he eats your soldiers and a painful AOE hammer attack that hits 8 times and even targets flying heroes.
  • Lizard Folk: The Saurians, whom you fight underground.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Saurian Deathcoils in the Darklight Depths fire very painful crossbow bolts with a range of nearly half the map. They suck at close-range fighting, though, so reinforcements can temporarily draw their attention for a while.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Snapvines along Snapvine Bridge. These will devour both ally and enemy alike, should they get too close. You can get an achievement for letting the plants eat 50 people (ally or enemy).
  • Mighty Glacier: Alric the Champion fits this role for the heroes- he's the heaviest hitting at melee but has average movement speed, no ranged attacks (besides summoning more sand warriors), and can't hit flying enemies.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Savages.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Buccaneers attack the enemies by throwing burning booze.
  • Mook Maker: Quetzals are pretty much flying versions of the Matriach, except they can't attack because they fly over everything.
  • Mook Medic: The Sand Wraith in Frontiers combines this with Enemy Summoner, making it a very dangerous foe.
    • Witch Doctors will cause savages around them to gain a health regeneration.
  • Motivation on a Stick: The Gorillon rider uses a banana-on-a-stick to guide it.
  • Necromancer: These guys are on your side now. They can raise dead bodies from fallen enemies, poison foes, and summon a skeletal knight on a horse that attacks opponents.
    • Bonehart the Dracolich also appears to be one, he has powers over plague and can animate bones.
    • For the enemies, there's the Sand Wraith that can summon mummy sarcophagi that spawn mummies, and the Blood Trickster, who resurrects savages that die around it into voodoo zombies.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair/Not in the Face!: Rurin the dwarf hero cries out "Not the beard!" whenever he dies — given the amount of Saurian Brutes, you'll be hearing it often unless you can micro-manage.
  • One-Hit Kill: The DWAARP's Core Drill drills an opponent for a guaranteed instant-death.
    • Some level have genies you can hire. They can turn an opponent into a random object, which is an instant-kill.
    • There's a Giant Mook called the Executioner, who holds a giant axe. Guess what it does to your troops. However, he cannot kill Hero Units in one hit.
    • Saurian Blazefangs have hi-tech plasma guns that have a chance of vaporizing the victim.
    • Nazeru's attack involves him snapping his fingers and turning any nearby soldiers or heroes into dust.
    • Lucrezia's Spin Attack does this to Vampiresa enemies caught in the area of effect, which makes her vital in killing groups of them.
    • Mirage has an ability that gives her a chance to Flash Step to an enemy and Back Stab them, instantly killing them.
    • Assassins have the Sneak Attack ability, which works just like Mirage's — either an instant kill or heavy damage — but only to enemies they are currently fighting.
  • Our Genies Are Different:
    • The mercenary Genies in stage 4. These can turn foes into random objects, instantly killing those foes.
    • Nazeru the Efreet, the first boss. He can summon Lesser Efreeti, as well as trapping your towers in a temporary sandcastle, making those towers useless.
  • Pirate: the level Buccaneer's Den allows you to hire Corsairs and Buccaneers as additional foot soldiers, and features an actual pirate ship that can take out enemies for you in return for payment. To top it off, there are two playable heroes that are pirates: Captain Blackthorne, and a level-specific hero named The Black Corsair.
  • Regenerating Health: The Werewolves and Lycans (in wolf form) have this as their ability. If the moon is out, they regenerate faster.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The only reptiles that show up are Saurians, who serve as Lord Malagar's Elite Mooks.
  • Sand Worm:
    • Dune Terrors in Frontiers. They are immune to damage when burrowed underground, and move very quickly. Use some barracks troops to lure them out.
    • There's also the giant sand worm in the Dunes of Despair that eats a good number of your troops (or even your hero) should you fail to heed the Worm Sign. You get an achievement for not letting the worm eat any of your units. In the Heroic and Iron Challenges, you can see its huge carcass.
  • Savage Wolves: Sand Hounds and War Hounds are pretty much Wulves and Worgs with a different name.
  • Scary Scorpions: Giant ones in Frontiers. These can poison your troops, and have heavy armor.
  • Schizo Tech: How could these saurians have possibly acquired plasma guns and energy whips?
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Umbra
  • Shared Universe: It's revealed that it takes place in the same universe as Iron Marines, considering that Sha'tra returns in it, and also has an ability called "Linirea's Gem". It's said to be a red gem that gives him power and is strongly hinted to be the corrupted Tear of Elynie taken by the alien in the ending.
  • Shifting Sand Land
  • Shout-Out: here.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: The Totem of Spirits used by the Axethrower tower. This dispels any buffing auras, which is very useful against Witch Doctors, Earth Shamans, and Spirit Shamans.
  • Stay Frosty: One of the Hero Unit Alric's quotes. Could be because he's introduced in the desert level.
  • Stock Scream: Saurians climbing the chasm vines make a Wilhelm scream if you kill them before they reach the surface. Lampshaded with the achievement "Is that Wilhem?"
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Sand Wraiths are this, since the necromancers are in an Enemy Mine with the player, the Sand Wraiths fill in the role of enemy magic users summoning undead hordes.
  • Teleport Spam: Darter Saurians will teleport when hurt.
    • On your side, we have Nivus, who teleports when you move him around. People tend to move him around quite a bit.
    • Deirdre is also capable of this when her Wings of Light is upgraded, granting an armor buff around her departure and destination points to nearby troops.
  • This Is a Drill: The DWAARP has one. It uses it to create earthquakes, and can drill an opponent with it for a One-Hit Kill.
  • To Serve Man: The Saurian Myrmidon's Life Drain ability involves them taking bites out of your troops.
    • Also, Ghouls in the Shadowmoon campaign eat troops after killing them, regenerating their health. Lampshades by the "OM NOM NOM" sound clip that plays when they do this.
    • Ashbite can also do this with his Feast skill, though it's often used on Giant Mooks, which, barring Executioners, aren't human. Usually.
    • Xyzzy does this when encountering your troops, using his chameleon-like tongue.
    • Savages eat soldiers they kill, regaining health; they can't do this with Reinforcements, thankfully, since they disappear when they take fatal damage.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Cronan the Beastmaster periodically beats his chest and roars, summoning a herd of rhinos to trample a large part of a lane.
  • Turns Red:
    • When a Poukai Rider's rider is killed, the bird flies faster and rushes towards the exit.
    • Saurian Broodguards become faster as they lose health, because "their wounds fuel their combat rage". Saurian Nightscales use an Invisibility Cloak when they drop to half their health.
  • Turtle Power: Blacksurges in the Rising Tides mini-campaign. These are nasty enemies that can temporarily disable your towers, as well as get into an invulnerable defensive stance where they regenerate health rapidly. Using barracks is a must.
  • The Unfought: Although he does cast spells on your troops, you never actually get to fight Lord Malagar as he gets zapped off a cliff by Umbra after summoning it.
  • The Virus: Lycans have a chance of turning the troops they kill into werewolves.

    Kingdom Rush: Origins 
  • Action Bomb: The Boomshrooms, Munchshrooms and Fungus Breeders all explode on death. In the case of the latter two, they're also Asteroids Monsters.
    • The Twilight Avenger can "curse" other enemies to make them explode on death.
    • The Shadow Champions explode into Dark Blood on death, infecting any nearby troops with a temporary Damage Over Time that can turn them into Shadowspawn should they fall while infected.
  • All Webbed Up: Webspitter Spiders can do this to any barracks troops they are facing, temporarily making them useless.
  • Asteroids Monster: Munchshrooms explode into two Boomshrooms on death, while Fungus Breeders explode into two Munchshrooms on death.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: A number of The Fair Folk enemies do this when they cross the crystal paths. They're invulnerable when doing so.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Both Mactans and Malicia are killed, but the Tear of Elynie has been corrupted, and will eventually fall into Vez'nan's hands.
  • Came Back Wrong: Any barracks troops or reinforcements that die while infected by Dark Blood comes back as a corrupted Shadowspawn.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: The Twilight Golem cannot be instakilled... except by Reg'son's Vindicator and the Wrath of Elynie item.
  • The Corruption:
    • The Bloodsydian Crystals. They're able to turn Gnolls into Blood Gnolls, which gives them significant speed, attack and durability. It does come with a drawback of being vulnerable to magic, however.
    • There's also the Dark Blood used by Godieth and his servants. It's able to infect your troops for Damage Over Time, and any soldier or reinforcement that dies while infected turns into a Shadowspawn minion.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Baj'Nimen the Hateful rides a gigantic one.
  • Crossover: With The Banner Saga 2. In Tainted Pits, a character in that game named Bolverk appears as a Guest-Star Party Member. In return, Banner Saga 2 has an item called the Gem of Vez'nan.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff:
    • The Golden Longbow's Hunter's Mark ability marks an enemy for a period of time, making them take double damage.
    • Any enemy hit by Arcane Archers' arrows will have their magic defence gradually but permanently reduced, becoming more vulnerable to magic.
  • Dug Too Deep: The Forgotten Treasures bonus campaign has the Elves seek out the Dwarves who have become unusually silent. Turns out that they had uncovered a Balrog expy in their search for treasure, who killed them all/corrupted them into his slaves via his Dark Blood.
  • Dying Curse: Twilight Scourgers use this when killed, cursing a tower to prevent it from action for a few seconds. It gets annoying fast when they appear in large groups later on.
  • Enemy Summoner: Satyr Hoplites can bang on their shield to summon Satyr Cutthroats, while Arachnomancers can summon various kinds of spiders. Dark Spitters turn your troops into Shadowspawn via their corrupted Dark Spit.
  • Escort Mission: Subverted in the Royal Gardens level where the level description mentions protecting Princess Alleria. Not only can she fight off the enemies, Death Is a Slap on the Wrist for her just like any other hero and you don't fail the level if she falls.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: The Cloud Stalkers. Essentially a flying version of the Parasyte, they swoop down and latch onto a unit's face. If not remove quickly they will spawn another Cloud Stalker.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Beresad is an "ally" that you can spend money on to attack a large group of enemies. In Frontiers, he's been convinced to work for the Saurians. And of course, Vez'nan is an Hero Unit in this game, and the Big Bad in the original.
  • The Fair Folk: Most of the baddies in the forest area are these. The Twilight Elves are basically Drow by another name.
  • Fallen Hero: Vez'nan, the Big Bad of the first game was a hero when he was younger.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: The Satyr Cutthroats and Satyr Hoplites in the forest.
  • Full-Boar Action: Razorboars, large boars with a good amount of health, medium armor and a flaming charge attack.
  • Furry Confusion: The Gnolls are evil hyena-humanoids, but one of their unit types is an actual hyena.
  • Fusion Dance: At the end of the final level, Mactans and Malicia both leap at the Tear of Elynie, which corrupts the crystal and fuses the two together into the Final Boss, the Spider Goddess.
  • Giant Spider: As per the series. They come in four flavours here- Spiderbrood, which are very weak but Zerg Rush, Sword Spiders who are similar to normal spiders but with more health and attack, Webspitter Spiders which can temporarily web up any groups of troops/heroes attacking them, and Sons of Mactans, who have a venomous attack. Then there's Mactans, who's even bigger, but she's The Unfought.
  • Glass Cannon: The Redcaps. They don't have much health at all, but they move fast and there's a chance where they One-Hit Kill troops with their scythes.
  • Heinous Hyena: The Starter Villains are a tribe of Gnolls (hyena-people) and their hyenas.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • The Gnoll Burner's death animation has them burn themselves to ashes with their own torch.
    • Likewise, the Redcap's death animation has them lose hold of their Sinister Scythe, fall to the ground, and their scythe drops and impales their head.
  • Injured Vulnerability: The Twilight Golem gets slower and slower as it takes damage to its massive health.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Redwood Stand level features creatures called 'Awoks' that live in huts (some are placed in trees with wooden walkways). Additionally, the Grimmsburg level contains a candy house inhabited by a witch; killing her releases two children named 'Hans' and 'Ethel'. The achievement for this is called 'Candy Rush'.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Any enemy killed by Wild Magus' Eldritch Doom expands and explodes, usually leaving nothing but a bloodstain on the ground.
  • Made a Slave: A younger Malik Hammerfury can be seen in the Blood Quarry being forced to mine Bloodsydian for Gnolls. If you kill his guards, he joins you as an ally.
  • Megaton Punch: Bram the Beheader's regular attack is a One-Hit Kill where he smacks a unit and literally sends them flying away. It doesn't work on Hero Units, thankfully.
  • Mook Medic: Twilight Evokers can heal enemies around them.
  • Multiple Head Case: The Ettins in the first area. Every now and then their two heads will argue, causing one to hit the other with a club and stun the monster for a while.
    • There's also the Blood Ogres and the Ogre Magi in the Hulking Rage mini-campaign, but their heads get along with each other. Bram the Beheader is an aversion- he beheaded his other head and stuck it on a pike.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: They're all two-headed giants that have lots of health and attacking power.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Redcaps can use a killing blow on barracks troops with their scythes, while the Twilight Heretic can absorb their soul to gain a temporary buff.
    • Bram the Beheader can smack a unit away with his normal attack.
    • Tower-wise, the Golden Longbow Archer tower can be upgraded with the Crimson Sentence ability, giving each shot a chance to insta-kill a Mook. The Wild Magus can be upgraded with Eldritch Doom, which detonates an enemy and damages surrounding ones.
  • Prequel: Origins takes place before Kingdom Rush.
  • Prickly Porcupine: The Bandersnatch is basically a huge monster hedgehog.
  • Rain of Arrows: Eridan's Hero Power, Arrow Storm.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: This is pretty much what the Gnolls do, minus the raping of course. One of their units even throws torches to set troops alight.
  • Regenerating Health: The Ettins have this as an ability, making them hard to take down without good DPS.
  • Shout-Out: The Forgotten Treasures campaign is pretty much one to the awakening of the Durin's Bane from Tolkien's Legendarium, where the Dwarves Dug Too Deep and released a Balrog.
  • Self-Duplication: The Gloomies have this as an ability. This makes them very irritating as they're Airborne Mooks, meaning that the Earth Druids can't target the group.
  • Spider People: Driders, which attack with poison and also cocoon any troops they kill, which will hatch into another Drider. The Final Boss of the game, the Spider Goddess, is also one due to a Fusion Dance between Malicia and Mactans.
  • Synchronization:
    • The Arch-Druid Henge's Sylvan Curse inflicts a curse on an enemy, causing a portion of damage dealt to it to be taken by other enemies. At maximum level, other enemies take the same amount of damage dealt to the victim.
    • The Ogre Magi's lifelink aura causes a downplayed form of this, all damage dealt to nearby units is partially taken by the Ogre Magi instead.
  • The Unfought: You never get to directly fight against Mactans (but she does pose a nuisance in the final two levels), since she merges with Malicia to form the Spider Goddess at the end.
  • The Virus: Cloud Stalkers and Driders can turn barracks troops they kill into more of them. Any soldier killed when infected by a Dark Spitter's Dark Spit turns into a Shadowspawn.
  • When Trees Attack: The Weirdwood Artillery tower. They attack by throwing exploding nuts as well as using a Ground Pound for an Area of Effect attack.

    Kingdom Rush: Vengeance 
  • Action Bomb: A very early upgrade makes your Demon Goonies explode when killed, just like demons from the first game. One upgrade branch for them increases their explosion damage and radius.
  • Art Evolution: Especially notable with your now-playable units that used to be mooks in the first game. Compare the first game's Dark Slayers with those in this game, for instance.
  • Asteroids Monster: When killed, an Apex Stalker will split into an Apex Shard.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Your main objective of the game is to help Vez'nan make this occur. At the end of the game, Vez'nan successfully defeats King Denas... but it's also apparent that Denas wasn't exactly a good guy either, and that Vez'nan may have a point.
  • Badass Bystander: In Otil Farmlands, you'll see a farmer named Joe Jenkins and his sheep in the background who won't attack... until you kill all his sheep by clicking them. This will cause him to enter the fray, and he's comparable to Giant Mooks in terms of health and damage.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • The Wicked Sisters have the ability to turn an enemy into a frog for a few seconds.
    • On Linirea's side, the High Sorceror can turn your units into sheep just like how they could do it in the first game.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The barbarians from the frozen north are an enemy faction in this game.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bad news for Vez'Nan, at least. Nanoq Warbears are Giant Mook polar bears that are fast-moving, durable, armored and hard-hitting.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: One of the Heroes assisting Vez'Nan's army is a yeti.
  • Clown Car: The War Wagon is capable of spawning Footmen, three at a time, with possibly no limit.
  • Cool Airship: One of the tower types appears to be bomb-dropping goblins in a hot-air balloon that can be positioned around a tower similar to the Battle-Mecha. Upgrade it enough and it becomes a powerful bomb-dropping zeppelin.
  • Cool Chair: The Dwarf King Bolgur's throne is actually a transforming Humongous Mecha that serves as his boss battle.
  • Cute Machines: Chomp Bots are small machines with big heads, small bodies, and look rather adorable despite their huge jaws. They're not so adorable when they're biting down on your troops for decent damage.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The giant demon that Vez'nan summons in the final boss fight is a rare player-side variant. It has 9999 HP and can take a beating from the enemies, but the Paragons, Musketeers and Elven Rangers can pose a legitimate threat to it due to high damage and/or range.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Apex Stalkers are elemental beasts made of ice that explode into a still-living Apex Shard when killed.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The nature of Linirea and Denas' motivations get turned on its head in the The Stinger, where it shows that King Denas was keeping what looks to be an Eldritch Abomination in his castle basement, and that Vez'nan's intent to take over was to possibly destroy it. This gives us the reveal that Linirea themselves may not exactly have been good guys either.
  • Enemy Summoner: Ice Witches have the ability to attack with ice magic that freezes your troops while also summoning Apex Shards.
  • The Engineer: The Dwarf levels have Smokebeard Engineers who use an electrical device to revive the bodies of destroyed Mecha-Mooks.
  • Escort Mission: The final boss fight has you protect Vez'nan's demon as it heads towards King Denas' castle. While the Demon has a lot of health and can hold the line for a while, you'll still need to make sure it survives the encounter with the three Paragons and enters the castle.
  • Everything Fades: Dead enemies fade quickly like in the series, but Mecha-Mooks like the MechaDwarf MK.9 and the Chomp Bot shut down instead and take longer before they actually break down and give gold. The Smokebeard Engineer can repair them before they break down.
  • Evil Counterpart: Several of your towers are similar to those of Linirea's forces, except run by the forces of evil. Shadow Archers function like the standard archers, Infernal Mages use projectile magic similar to mage towers, Crypts store up to three charges like the Archmages, Rocket Riders fire explosives like Artillery, the Goblin Balloon functions like the Battle-Mecha, etc.
  • Fragile Speedster: Clockwork Spiders take the role of spiders/wulves in this game. They're fragile and lack magic resistance unlike wulves and spiders, but are even faster. Watchdogs are just as fast, but have low health at the point of the game you fight them at.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Otil Farmlands, the Idle Animation for the sheep has them periodically eat a mushroom that puts them into a temporary Mushroom Samba.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • On the player's side, we have Elite Harassers, who have high attack, good HP, and can attack flying units, but they lack armor which makes them easier to kill.
    • On the enemy's side, we have Musketeers. They shoot your dark forces with guns to deal huge damage but are lacking in HP themselves.
  • Giant Mook:
    • MechaDwarf MK.9s, Nanoq Warbears, Frost Giants, High Sorcerers (riding their Golems), Golem Houses and War Wagons. They all have a great amount of health, and also tend to have high armor on top of that.
    • Stonebeard Geomancers are an interesting case — they have much lower health than most giant enemies, but when they enter combat they turn into animated stone which multiplies their current and max HP by a factor of 3.3x (from 500 to 1650 max HP on Normal) until they exit combat.
  • Gimmick Level: Several of the levels often have a gimmick to them:
    • Kazan Mines has a minecart track in the background. Enemy dwarves can get a Dungeon Bypass if they manage to take the minecart and drop past most of your towers.
    • Clockwork Factory has a Chomp Bot construction plant that will periodically spawn Chomp Bots, and more importantly a mecha assembly plant that will spawn MechaDwarf MK.9s. There's also a metal bridge at the right side of the screen that will connect to the area after a few waves, allowing enemies to spawn from that side.
    • Frozen Rapids has a Viking Ship that will periodically enter the northwest part of the screen to drop some barbarians off. Later on, an ice floe will connect another path at the bottom which serves as a path for more enemies to enter in.
    • Northerners Village has the Northerner King command his troops to drop a hail of weapons on your barracks troops and heroes for huge damage.
    • Dragons' Boneyard has periodic snowstorms that will freeze your towers over, forcing you to tap them to free them.
    • Jokull's Nest has the Northerner King attack and freeze your troops with his dragon.
    • Otil Farmlands has the farms that periodically spawn groups of weak farmers.
    • Silveroak Outpost has Alleria Swiftwind periodically appear to attack your troops and spawn Elven Rangers. She can be attacked to make her go away.
    • City of Lozagon has Magnus Spellbane cast various spells to hinder you or help the enemies. He also brings the houses to life as golem mooks.
    • Lightseeker Camp has a forge and a stable as buildings. Footmen can enter the forge to be promoted to a Paladin, and Paladins can enter the stable to be promoted into Cavaliers.
  • Good Counterpart: A number of enemies are essentially heroic counterparts to Vez'nan's and Malagar's forces. Goblins are replaced by Dwarf Bruisers, Giant Spiders by Clockwork Spiders, Worgs by Glacial Wolves, Devoted Priests heal enemies just like Shamans did, Valkyries resurrect their allies as zombies like the Blood Trickster, etc.
  • The Goomba:
    • Human Woodcutters and Human Workers are the weakest enemies in the game and are only encountered in the first level. Justified as they're essentially the equivalent of Worker Units who weren't properly trained in combat.
    • Dwarf Bruisers are equally as weak at combat as Woodcutters and are first encountered in the second level.
  • Grim Up North: The second area of the game is the Frozen North, full of barbarians, ice and dragons. The Dragons' Boneyard in particular has a snowstorm that periodically blows through the level, freezing your towers over.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • The enemies guarding both the Dwarven Kingdom's gate are extremely weak Dwarf Bruisers and the less-pathetic-but-still-weak Warhammer Guards. This allowed Vez'nan and his army to enter the Kingdom. The Dwarves' city isn't well-defended either thanks to being caught unprepared, their forces being the above two as well as some Clockwork Spiders and a few Chomp Bots.
      Vez'nan: "They expected to stop our might with those puny gates? HA! Their own city is ours for the taking! Don't waste this chance to catch them unprepared! They only have a shamefully small troop defending it, it should be an easy victory even for you."
    • Subverted by the Northern Barbarian tribe. Their very first action upon seeing Vez'nan's army is to sound their war horn, alerting their forces. Vez'nan then berates the player for letting that happen.
  • Guns Are Worthless: The Tinbeard Gunmen blunderbusses are only moderately painful. Subverted by Musketeers, whose guns hurt a lot to the point where their damage rating is "killer".
  • Hero Antagonist: The enemies in this game are Linirea's forces of good from the first game. Of note is that the stages actually contain mooks based on the first game's tower upgrades.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Dwarf King Bolgur combats Vez'Nan's forces with a huge dwarven mecha capable of firing missiles at your troops.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • The Dwarves stationed all their powerful troops deep within instead of guarding the outer gates and areas. Because of this, Vez'nan and his dark forces were able to capture their outer areas including the Dwarves' important facilities (like the mine and the metal factory), strengthening his army as they headed inward, while putting sleeping powder in the Dwarves' food and ale supplies so the Dwarves can't fight well. This also justifies the reason why the Dwarves are the starter enemy faction in the game despite having some good technology on their side.
    • Gerald Lightseeker practically held onto it for the entire level. After declaring himself a One-Man Army, he then lets his men take care of you. Not only does this allow the dark army to strengthen itself and defeat his men, when he finally decides to join the fray he's outmatched by your leveled towers. If Gerald had simply attacked right from the beginning instead of letting his pride get in the way, he would've easily won without a sweat.
  • Killer Rabbit: One of Linirea's forces is a sheep with a Martial Arts Headband called Baa San, summoned by Joe Jenkins. It is capable of combat.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Rather than having the four main tower types which upgrade into two distinct paths, you have 16 tower types with no branching paths here and can choose to bring 5 into a level.
  • Magical Society: The City of Lozagon (which was first seen as an unexplored location in the first game's map) is revealed to be a mage city. It projects a magical barrier protecting Denas' castle, and several of the inhabitants there are magic users. Indeed, the Arcane Magus and High Sorcerer enemies make their debuts there, while the Hero Antagonist of the area is Magnus Spellbane who casts magic spells to help the enemies and hinder you.
  • Magic Versus Science:
    • The Dwarves' Mecha-Mooks are heavily armored but lack magical resistancce and are thus vulnerable to magical attack. Vez'nan even comments about it:
      Vez'nan: "Even if their steel might stop our swords, they won't stop our magic!"
    • It's also done in the second boss battle, where Vez'nan decides to employ good ol' cannon fire against the massive ice wyvern Jokull.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Dwarves use a number of these such as Clockwork Spiders, Chomp Bots and MechaDwarf MK.9s. All except the first have at least medium armor and take a while before their defeated bodies break down and disappear, during which they can be repaired and revived by Smokebeard Engineers. Furthermore, they don't give gold until their bodies actually break down.
  • Mini-Mecha: MechaDwarf MK.9s are siege powersuits operated by dwarves. They have a huge amount of health, deal a lot of damage, and even have a Shockwave Stomp area attack, but are also very slow.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Troop Captains can upgrade the basic Linirea Recruits into armored Footmen.
  • Mook Maker: War Wagons encountered in the final stage periodically spawn groups of Footmen. The wagons themselves cannot attack, but also cannot be blocked by units.
  • Mook Medic:
    • The Dwarven levels have Smokebeard Engineers, who use an electrical device to repair destroyed robotic enemies such as Chomp Bots and more distressingly, MechaDwarf MK.9s. They're quite a high priority target, but thankfully they only can work on one robot at a time and take some time to restore them.
    • The Linirea levels have Devoted Priests, who resemble Diedre from Frontiers and can heal troops and give them resistances just like she did.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Downplayed example, the trailer for the game shows Valkyries encountered in the Frozen Rapids level and Frost Giants in the Northerners Village level. In the actual game both of them make their debut in the following levels.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Paragons, bosses fought in Linirea's castle and King Denas' last lines of defence. You have to fight three of them in a sort-of Escort Mission scenario.
  • Promoted to Playable: Several of the mooks in the games are now playable. The goblins, orcs, demons, shadow archers, dark knights, gargoyles, skeletons, zombies, ghosts, tainted treants, black hags, yetis, vampiresa and Twilight Elves? They're your towers and heroes. Even the Juggernaut is a summonable unit. The Bandits, Spiders and Trolls are also available to play as in certain locations.
  • Puzzle Boss: Jokull. Your towers are unable to damage her, but the two cannons that appear at the bottom corners of the screen can. They need to be tapped once they're ready to damage her. Meanwhile, mooks will constantly enter the area as Jokull periodically freezes your towers and units.
  • Reality Ensues: The tutorial's Human Woodcutters and Human Workers despite having axes and shovels are no match for the dark army, thanks to being Worker Units unsuited for actual combat. The Linirea farmers that try to stop your forces fare little better, doing pitiful damage to your troops while having low health.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Jokull the Wyvern Mother is by far the biggest boss in the series so far. Her entire head alone is over five times the size of a tower!
  • Rollercoaster Mine: There's a minecart track in Kazan Mines that Dwarves can ride minecarts on in order to Dungeon Bypass most of the level. The minecarts can be destroyed if they're tapped on a few times. In a Shout-Out to Minecart Madness from Donkey Kong Country, a character similar to DK will appear on wave 3, being chased by a character similar to a Kremling, and you get an achievement for tapping the cart with the crocodile.
  • Rule of Three: There are three Paragons that will appear during the final boss fight, one appearing right after the previous is defeated.
  • Sapient House: Golem Houses are Giant Mooks brought to life by Magnus' magic. There's also a certain house at the top area of Lozagon that is living and eats your troops alive should they be in front of it.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The appropriately-named Shieldbearer carries a shield into battle and has extremely high armor if not busy in combat.
  • Shoot the Medic First: You get an achievement for beating 13 Smokebeard Engineers before they have a chance to revive any disabled Mecha-Mooks.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Shadow Archers are the most basic physical attacking tower and are extremely effective no matter which point of the game you are. They simply shoot an arrow straight at the target. Their attack damage at maximum level is high with a fast fire rate, they have extremely good range, and since their attack shoots straight unlike other archers in the series it's extremely accurate. This is all before you factor in their special abilities that make them even more deadly. Tellingly, it was one of the towers that got nerfed in an early update, increasing its third and fourth level costs.
  • Spider Tank: Clockwork Spiders are small but extremely fast machines used by the Dwarves, but thankfully they have low HP.
  • Spin Attack: Northern Berserkers will use this on your troops in classic barbarian style, hitting all nearby units at one go.
  • Starter Villain: The Dwarves are your first proper enemy faction in the game. While they're capable of constructing strong mecha, most of their stronger troops were stationed deeper within the kingdom. They failed to guard their gate with strong units allowing Vez'nan's army to march through, take over their mining, food and machine facilities and put sleeping powder in their food and drink, which justifies why they were easier to defeat than the other factions. Furthermore they value gold and money as power, whereas the next group of enemies in the Northerners are stronger because they value actual physical might as power.
  • Support Party Member: The Rotten Forest tower. It deals low damage even at maximum level, but it has a constant area effect that slows grounded enemies within.
  • Sweeping Ashes: The death animation for Sulfur Alchemists has their chemicals explode, turning them completely charred before they crumble to ash.
  • Taken for Granite: Non-lethal and lethal version with Stonebeard Geomancer dwarves. When they enter combat they turn themselves into animated stone, greatly multiplying their current and maximum HP. When they're killed, they turn to stone and crumble.
  • Tar and Feathers: In the second half of the final level, King Denas' mortar troops will launch barrels filled with tar and feathers on your towers. This disables your towers for a hefty amount of time and costs gold to remove them early. Even worse, it doesn't fade in the Heroic and Iron challenges and must be removed by paying.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Vez'nan's forces put sleeping powder in the Dwarves' food and drink at the Golden Brewery, removing a good amount of the threat from their forces.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Some of Linirea's forces are farmers who attack with whatever they're carrying. Turns out, most of them have low health and attack for 1-2 damage... except for Joe Jenkins who has over a thousand HP, deals respectable damage per hit, and can summon sheep to attack you.
  • Villain Protagonist: This time, you are controlling the forces of evil in a bid to conquer Linirea.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: The Infernal Mage and Oloch have Infernal Portal and Seal of Isolation respectively, both of which teleport enemies backwards on the path. The Arcane Magus enemies (based on the Arcane Wizards) can cast Teleport to teleport their allies forwards on the path.
  • Where It All Began:
    • The final battles of the game take place in the heart of Linirea itself — where the very first levels of the first game took place.
    • Inverted with the first level of the game which takes place at Vez'nan's tower, the final level of the first game.
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