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Developed by German developer Deck13 and Polish developer CI Games, Lords of the Fallen is a third-person fantasy action game released in 2014.

Taking direct inspiration from FromSoftware's Souls Series (and Dark Souls in particular), Lords of the Fallen encourages players to learn enemy tells, time your attacks, and draw out opponents one at a time. It also shares similar mechanics to the Souls games, including rewarding the player for avoiding death and limiting healing.

The story follows a prisoner named Harken, conscripted as a soldier by the monk Kaslo. Kaslo leads Harken to Keystone, a monastery close to a series of mountain ranges that legend says is the hand of a god (specifically, the god Adyr). When they arrive, they find the monastery in ruins, invaded by demons. They begin their search for the leader of the monastery, Antanas.

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Along the way, Kaslo and Harken get separated. Harken has to battle his way through Keystone, defeating the Rhogar Lords - the leaders of the demons - find out what happened to Antanas, and what precipitated the invasion in the first place.

CI Games announced on December 18, 2014 that they were developing a sequel called Lords Of The Fallen 2. Deck13 is not involved in the sequel who were developing The Surge, a sci-fi game with similar gameplay elements.


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Contains examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The game starts with the cutscene seen in the trailer, with Harken battling a giant beast, and a meteor strike happens nearby.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Yetka. She went to Keystone to find the secret behind an old family heirloom. She doesn't help Harken directly, but she does somehow manage to find her way to key locations, even if the only way through would be past a boss.
  • All There in the Manual: Artanas' late game transformation into the monsterous final boss comes out of nowhere and is never really explained by anyone in-game. The collectible lore entries and the "Dark Experiments" sidequest explain that Artanas has been experimenting with ancient Rhogar-based mutagens in hopes of evolving humanity into a superior form, due to his belief that ordinary humans stand no chance against the Rhogar and will be destroyed. Why he takes the mutagen at the end of the game even though it looks like Harken has a decent chance of killing the Rhogar and Adyr is pretty inexplicable, though. It likely has something to do with his Messiah Complex due to being a descendant of the 3 heroes known as the Judges who banished Adyr ages ago, leading to him wanting to essentially replace Adyr as humanity's godhead.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Or bookcase, or barrel, or crate. They can hide equipment, or even entire secret rooms.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: There is an injured monk that has been bitten by a spider and the venom has already spread too far to suck out so the monk's only chance of survival is for Harken to (rather stylishly) slice the afflicted arm off. Even then, he won't make it unless you give him a Healing Potion.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. Crossbows can be deadly after one or two hits. Pity Harken never wields one.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The blind enemies (the Infested) can't see you, but they know you're there if you make enough noise. Stop moving or start sneaking, and they'll either attack your last known location - or use echolocation.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Some enemies can get stuck on the terrain and just refuse to move, allowing you to attack them with no fear of reprisal.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Most bosses are bigger than you are. One, named only The Beast, is bigger than them all - almost the same size as the main building of Keystone!
  • Big Fancy Castle: Keystone is supposed to be a monastery, but it's really built more like a castle, complete with dungeons. Adyr's realm mostly consists of his main fortress, carved into living rock.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Harken isn't exactly what anyone would call "good." The demons are definitely evil, and Harken fights them in lieu of any better choices. Antanas invokes this by calling out Adyr as a cruel god who would rather see his creations suffer than allow Antanas to "save" them. Adyr admits that he sent the demons to Keystone, making him at least grey, if not outright black. In the end, you need to choose between allowing Adyr to regain control of the human world, or letting humans move along without interference. Neither is presented as a very good choice.You can however decide to screw both Antanas and Adyr by killing Antanas and not use the rune Adyr gave you for the final boss so that it'll prevent Adyr from regaining control, bringing balance and peace back to the human world.
  • Blade Across The Shoulder: Harken carries large swords and maces like this.
  • Blown Across the Room: Several boss attacks can have this effect. If you're lucky, Harken will get up afterwards. If you're not, well ...
  • Bonus Boss: The Guardian is waiting for you once you return to Adyr's realm. But Yetka can lead you around him, and you don't need to fight him to progress.
  • Boss Battle: Fight the titular Lords, scattered throughout the realms.
  • Bottomless Pits: All over the place, but especially in Adyr's realm. Usually, an enemy will be lurking nearby. Be careful when dodging attacks, or you'll fall in - or make them do so.
  • Breath Weapon: Some of the demons in Adyr's realm will breathe fire if you come too close.
  • Bull Fight Boss: The Champion can be goaded into charging Harken across the arena. He doesn't take damage when he hits the wall, though.
  • But Thou Must!: Harken has to fight his way through Adyr's realm. Mostly justified, as he's a conscript, and if he doesn't want to go back to prison (or die), he needs to do as Kaslo and Antanas tell him. Actually invoked if Harken refuses to fight Adyr for Antanas, or Antanas for Adyr. Unless you kill Antanas and not use the rune Adyr gave you for the final boss, screwing both parties completely.
  • Camera Lock-On: You can lock onto an enemy, which is necessary to see their health bars. Mostly works, though it can be difficult at times to switch targets on the fly.
  • Character Class System: Harken can start out as a Rogue, Cleric, or Warrior. This is independent of the equipment class, which allows the player to set up complimentary or contradictory combinations.
  • The Chosen Zero: Harken, from the perspective of all the knights in Keystone. As they see it, Kaslo picked a random prisoner to act as a meatshield to get to Antanas. Once Kaslo and Anatanas are together, they see no reason why Harken should stick around.
  • Combatant Cooldown System: All magic is on a shared cooldown, to promote a healthy mix of melee and spells. This can be adjusted by equipping a hard-to-find ring.
  • The Combat Pragmatist: Harken, or, rather, the player. Standing toe-to-toe with bosses is a good way to get killed. Dodge, stab, roll, and move into ideal positions. Memorize boss patterns and attack only at key moments. Whittle them down, and don't attack without forethought.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Dying will return you to the last checkpoint. Any experience you've gained since your last checkpoint will be left in the form of a ghost, which you must return to and pick up before the timer runs out. And, of course, all the enemies (bar some special kinds, like the Tyrant) have respawned.
  • Counter Attack: Can only be done with buckler-type shields. As the enemy attacks, it can be deflected by the buckler, and then Harken can follow up with a critical attack. Noticeably only works on mooks, not bosses.
  • Crapsack World: According to Antanas, Adyr made it this way on purpose.
  • Creepy Cathedral: The boss fight against the First Guardian takes place in one of these. Note the burned-out pews that crumble at a touch. Ostensibly, Keystone itself, though it looks like it was built as a castle.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A boss can end Harken with two or three well-placed blows. Some attacks, even from mooks, come in such quick succession that, unless you know the pattern, they can catch you off-guard. Harken can be easily stunned, and then it's all over.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Several of the bosses have thousands of HP. Others take less damage to Faith weapons, making it seem like this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone. Harken and Yetka are the most verbose. Kaslo and Antanas also have their moments. Even Adyr gets in on the action.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: If you can hit it, you can kill it. More likely to apply to Harken, though, especially if it's a long way to the next checkpoint and he's out of health potions.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: The First Warden will shake off his armor once his health drops to three-fourths. He'll toss away another piece of armor at one-half. At one-fourth, he throws away his shield and two-hands his sword.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: There are a lot of destructible barrels, crates, tables, and chairs in the game.
  • Difficulty Spike: The first area of Keystone just has a few easily-dispatched enemies, punctuated by a couple harder ones. Then you get to the game proper, and realize that the demons are mostly made up of the harder type. And then it gets worse.
  • Door to Before: Some areas loop back on themselves, allowing access to the checkpoint you just left. Others... don't.
  • Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Even in death, Harken has a firm grip on his sword and shield. Averted after a boss is killed, and Harken absorbs their power.
  • Dual Boss: The Lost Brothers. One uses fire, the other lightning.
  • Dual Wielding: Many of the weapons you find come in twos, especially if they scale with Agility. Others, usually Strength weapons, can be wielded with both hands.
  • Early-Bird Boss: The first boss you fight, the First Warden, will show up periodically, but never again as the main boss of an area.
  • Energy Economy: You earn experience, which is used to level up. You can also bet experience when you open a rune, which provides a better chance that it's a high-quality rune.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The smith doesn't do anything to the weapons themselves. Most weapons have a certain number of slots, that can be filled with runes. You find runes by defeating enemies.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Several of the bosses have flaming weapons. Actually discussed by some of the lore scrolls you'll find, as scholars are puzzled as to how the flame works.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The first time Harken enters Adyr's realm, a tower menaces in the distance. The final battle against Antanas takes place at the very top of Keystone.
  • Experience Points: Harken gains these by defeating enemies or finding new areas, and can spend them by leveling up or betting on runes.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: The mage walking animation is hovering over the ground, which, when their AI fails, makes it appear like this as they walk over the edge of a cliff in an attempt to strafe you.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Harken. As a former prisoner, his unspecified crimes still haunt him. Adyr, who sent the demons to Keystone to stop Antanas.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The game starts off with Harken tasked by Kaslo to defeat the Lords and stop the invasion. Later, Antanas and Adyr both try to convince Harken to work for them and kill the other, which affects the fate of the world of man.
  • Healing Checkpoint: The checkpoints can heal you, but at the cost of the experience bonus (built up over time). You do have the option of just tapping the checkpoint to save your progress, but then it won't heal you.
  • Healing Potion: Harken starts off with two of these. He can find empty bottles tucked away in various locations, and fill them up at checkpoints. They are automatically replenished when he respawns.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: During cutscenes, Harken's helmet or hood disappears with no explanation. This can also be invoked by the player to cut down on equipment load, which helps with dodging attacks.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Swords are the most prevalent weapon Harken will find, followed soon after by any Strength weapon (like hammers). You can elect to use staffs or knives, though.
  • He Was Right There All Along: The Lost Brothers were up on the ceiling when Harken walks in. They only pounce when he's well into the room.
  • Homing Projectile: The mages fire these, which makes them difficult to fight in the open.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Any equipment that Harken finds, he can keep on him. This makes it easy to switch between armor sets and weapons.
  • Idle Animation: If you leave him standing in one place for more than a couple seconds, Harken will show off a little bit with his current weapon. He'll toss his daggers in the air, perform a quick kata with a staff, or swing his sword around a few times.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Everywhere. Inside Keystone could be justified, but less so in the ruins in Adyr's realm or the catacombs.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: Sometimes the only way to determine you need to talk for a little while to move the plot along.
  • In Working Order: This makes sense for Keystone, which up until yesterday was a functional monastery. It makes less sense for the Catacombs found deep underground, or the ruins in Adyr's realm.
  • Jerkass Gods: Adyr, according to Antanas. And possibly according to Harken, once he gets to talk to Adyr personally.
  • Kill the God: Inferred by calling the leaders of the demon invasion "Lords," though it's probably meant in more of a medieval sense. Definitely invoked by what Antanas wants you to do to Adyr.
  • Late to the Tragedy: How the game opens, with the invasion of Keystone.
  • Level-Locked Loot: Stats determine the effectiveness of weapons. Harken can wield any weapon, but if he doesn't have the minimum stats to properly use it, then it won't do as much damage.
  • Life Drain: The mages will cast a spell that does this to you, which is supposed to dispell once you hit them. It mostly works.
  • Lizard Folk: The Lost Brothers.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: All classes start off with a shield, which can be useful for blocking attacks (or parrying, with a buckler). For bosses, though, you're better off dodging.
  • Magic Knight: Harken. All classes have melee and magic, and both are meant to be used in concert. A warrior class with Knight armor fits this trope to a T.
  • Menu Time Lockout: Useful to switch out weapons or armor mid-battle.
  • Multiple Endings: After the last battle, you are treated to a series of clips summarizing your actions and how they affect either the world or how you're perceived.
  • New Game+: After defeating the final boss, you can re-start the game with all of your equipment and stat points intact. You also get to open up another magic tree, so it's possible to play through three times with the same character a little differently each time.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer for the game shows Harken fighting a giant beast on a snowy landscape. This never actually happens in the game, and the magic he's shown using isn't available to the player.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game can be rough. Players have to learn the positions of enemies as they progress through the levels, or be cut down. Bosses have patterns, but it can take many deaths before they can be learned and exploited.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: There is no map. There are no waypoints. Only a short, sometimes abstract, mission objective. This can cause some confusion, especially if you've just come back after a Rage Quit.
  • Only I Can Kill Him: An entire legion was taken by surprise by the demon invasion. You'll meet a few survivors, but only Harken has managed to tackle the demon menace and take the fight to their home dimension.
  • Optional Stealth: If Harken is positioned just right behind an enemy, he can do a special critical attack for massive damage. If you choose the Rogue magic tree, you can use the Shift ability to move into position easily.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The infected (the blind enemies) are created by being wounded by a demon, at which point they start to change. Soon, they're mad, feral, and blind, attacking anyone that comes near.
  • Permanently Missable Content: When you die, all of the experience you've earned since the last checkpoint is left behind as a ghost. Wait too long to get back to it, and that experience can never be recovered.
  • Plot Lock: There are giant floating runes blocking the way to some doors. You learn later that the Gauntlet - which you picked up near the beginning of the game - should be fired at these runes to open them. But it won't work until the game tells you - no Sequence Breaking for you!
  • Pocket Dimension: The realm of Adyr, where the demons are coming from. Also, there are gates sporadically placed throughout the game world, which unlock once you defeat a certain boss. They can contain extra challenges or hidden chests.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Averted. Any weapon you pick up can be equipped, but without the proper stats, Harken will visibly struggle to use them properly, and they'll do far less damage than anything you are ready to use.
  • Prepare to Die: Lots and lots of this. The game is built around the concept.
  • Redshirt Army: The human soldiers in the monastery, who seem absolutely incapable of pulling their own weight against the Rhogar and Lords. They then end up inexplicably being the most powerful and deadly enemies on your final visit to the monastery's interior.
  • Religion Is Magic: Invoked by the Cleric class specifically, though all classes must increase the Faith stat to improve the magic they use. And by Antanas, as he uses magic to remove the evil from his followers.
  • Respawning Enemies: Any time you die and respawn, the enemies all respawn, too. This can make it difficult to retrieve your ghost.
  • Reviving Enemy: Some of the infected will get up again after you defeat them. Always make sure you check whether or not you received experience for the kill before moving on, or they can sneak up on you.
  • Rolling Attack: If Harken has a low equipment weight, he can do this.
  • Running on All Fours: Some demons look humanoid, but will do this when closing in to attack.
  • Save Point: The giant red crystals act as checkpoints, and will save your progress through the game. You can fill your health potions here (though not necessarily all of them), or just save your progress and move on.
  • Scenery Porn: Pretty much all of the game. Keystone is rendered in loving detail ... and then you get to Adyr's realm, and realize that everything before was just the warm-up.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Some enemies use a tower shield, and are invulnerable from the front. Either parry and riposte their attacks, or find a way to make the shield a non-issue.
  • Shock and Awe: The Annihilator is especially tough, as his lightning beam attack can stun Harken in the path of the beam, resulting in a death before the player can react. One of the Lost Brothers also uses lightning, but mostly in an area-of-effect attack.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Most bosses use this attack if Harken tries to go toe-to-toe with them. The area of effect is always slightly larger than you may expect.
  • Spin Attack: A lot of animations for various weapons use this method. The First Warden uses this attack once he gets down to one-fourth of this health.
  • Soul-Cutting Blade: Adyr wants you to use a special rune with your weapon when you fight Antanas, which will push his soul to Adyr's realm.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Some of the armor Harken will find looks like this, especially that found late-game. Also a lot of the enemies look like they walked through a a spike factory.
  • Starter Equipment: Each of the game's classes starts with a particular set of equipment. You can find the equipment for the other classes in the first area of Keystone.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: There's a lot of information that is never outright stated, though bits and pieces can be picked up throughout the game. We may never know what Harken's crime was that got him put in prison in the first place.
  • Sword and Gun: The Gauntlet, which connects to Harken's left arm and can replace the shield. It has a long recharge time, and shoots magic projectiles. It's the only ranged weapon Harken receives.
  • The Theocracy: Implied to be the case with Antanas, who Kaslo refers to as "the leader of us all."
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Pretty much the only way to play the first time through. Learning enemy positions and boss patterns requires you to die over and over again until you get it right.
  • Unblockable Attack: A few mooks have attacks that are better off dodged. Most of the bosses are best avoided entirely. Most players forgo the shield entirely to either dual-wield or use the Gauntlet.
  • Underground Level: The catacombs, which lead to the prison cells. Some of the lore you can find has the monks reacting in surprise to find tunnels within meters of the dungeon.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Partially averted. Bosses will drop the weapons they used against you. Some of the lore text will indicate that the item has magically adjusted to fit your hand. Played straight with all other enemies.
  • Was Once a Man: The infected. Bitten by a demon, some of the monks have been transformed into blind, raging monsters that will attack anyone who comes near.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Even the mooks are a match for Harken unless he's properly prepared. A single unforeseen crossbow bolt can mean the difference between victory and defeat. And the boss patterns can take multiple deaths to learn.
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