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Video Game / Mordhau

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Mordhau is a medieval melee multiplayer game developed by Triternion Studios. It's a Spiritual Successor to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It was released in April 29th 2019.


Examples of Tropes in this Video Game

  • All Swords Are the Same: Nope. Each of the dozen-or-so swords in the game have different stats and animations. Don't expect a longsword to handle exactly the same as a bastard sword.
  • Anachronism Stew: The developers intentionally let the game's setting and time period vague so that players have more freedom with their customizations. This leads into situations like vikings fighting side-by-side with a knight in Gothic armor, wielding rapiers and zweihanders, against landsknechte with throwing axes, among other things. Correspondingly, players' making use of Virtual Paper Doll are able to reproduce characters from all sorts of settings and time periods.
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  • An Arm and a Leg: Sharp killing strikes are bound to remove a limb if they hit one. And stepping on a Bear Trap will kill you if you don't have leg armor by way of removing everything below the knee.
  • Anti-Cavalry: While polearms in general have the reach to at least try and counter cavalry, the Billhook in particular is made with this in mind, by way of it violently yanking the rider off their horse when it makes contact. The thus floored and heavily disoriented rider is usually easy prey after that.
  • Armor Is Useless: Not in this game. Having good armor can mean the difference between dying from a single stab to taking dozens of hits without dying. Of course, wearing that much plate will slow your character down into a crawl.
  • Bear Trap: Players can lay bear traps. It will incapacitate and heavily injure the caught enemy, although they will outright kill any enemy with no leg armor, since it dismembers their feet instead.
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  • Bilingual Bonus: The Raider voice includes “Buaidh no bàs!” as a warcry - Scottish Gaelic for “Victory or death!”
  • Boom, Headshot!: Strikes to an unarmored head is almost always fatal. Heavier helmets will reduce the damage, but even then certain weapons can still kill in one hit.
  • Cherry Tapping: One special emote while wielding a longsword has your character unscrew the pommel and throw it for minimal damage. You can also pick up and fling turds, which is actually capable of killing someone at minimal health. One achievement requires you to kill another player using the tutorial's training sword - a blunted blade that has the lowest damage stat of any melee weapon in the game.
  • Counter Attack: Called chambering in this game. Mirroring an enemy attack (i.e. left horizontal slash vs. right horizontal slash, or a stab vs. a stab) with the correct timing will deflect the opponent's attack while letting your strike go right through.
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  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In the game Mordhau, you can, in fact, use a mordhau grip with longswords.
  • Elite Mooks: Later waves of Horde mode have them.
    • Enemies with black armor are much tougher than common enemies. Their armor is even more durable than the toughest armor that players can use, and their weapons hit harder.
    • Ogres are very big, and they have a huge amount of health. Their weapon is a huge club, and they smash you really hard with it.
  • Excuse Plot: There is some kind of war between two bands of mercenaries known as the Iron Company (Red) and the Free Guard (Blue).
  • Field of Blades: The Mountain map has several stuck swords on the snow. You can pull out and use them, but they are weaker than normal swords because they are broken and rusty.
  • Fragile Speedster: Wearing little to no armor makes you vulnerable, but it also makes you faster.
  • Friend or Foe: Your attacks will hurt your teammates too. This is especially common when players use big bladed weapons like Zweihanders...or siege weapons.
    • Probably because of this, a "Friendly" perk exists to make players with it deal less and take less damage from friendly fire.
  • Glass Cannon: Any low-armored player with a high-damage weapon is this. Notable examples include the maul and the Zweihander.
  • Gone Horribly Right: A downplayed meta example. The game was met with such success that the developers could not anticipate this many players joining their server, causing it to pretty much melt down for several days after launch.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: The titular mordhau grip, which involves your character holding a longsword by its blade and hitting enemies with the pommel or crossguard. Especially useful against heavily-armored enemies, as blunt strikes goes through armor better than cuts or thrusts. Subverted in that this is actually a case of Truth in Television: the mordhau is a real technique that was taught in the German school of fencing. Greatswords also allow for half-swording (grabbing the sword by the blade half-way like a shorter spear to facilitate stabbing), which the same school of fencing also suggests.
  • Heal Thyself: Bandages are a cheap way to regain half of your health, if you can't wait for the Regenerating Health to kick in. Medical bags is even more effective and can be thrown on the ground to be shared with other players.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Not wearing a helmet will let your character appear more distinctive on the battlefield, but a well-placed blow from any weapon will lob your head right off.
  • Joke Character: Picking the Peasant perk restricts your gear selection to farming tools and the like, on top of costing eight points, effectively cutting the available points in half.
    • Lethal Joke Character: However, if you are really good at defending yourself by parrying, Mercenaries with the peasant perk easily can become this. They can't wear heavy armors, but their weapons can deal a considerable amount of damage. Namely, the Scythe is such a good weapon that many players recommend getting this perk just for it.
      • More inversely lethal, but literally just doing nothing but tossing around medic bags near the back of your team as fast as possible can easily allow a player to top the scoreboard if they don't find themselves getting murdered the moment they see enemy contact.
  • Joke Weapon:
  • Large Ham: Pretty much everyone; every voiceset available for your builds gets some pretty bombastic voice commands. The default keybinding even reserves a button for warcries.
  • Life Drain: The Bloodlust perk fully heals a player after killing an enemy.
  • Literal Disarming: If you have the Flesh Wound perk, it's possible to have your arm cut off and keep fighting.
  • Limited Loadout: You can have up to three weapons or items at a time.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: You can reuse swords, arrows, and throwing axes that lodged into characters. Pulling out lodged weapons from living characters will never hurt them.
  • Low Fantasy: Ogres exist in the Horde mode, establishing that certain fantasy elements exist in the world. Then again, the 'ogres' take the form of oversized human models.
  • Money Sink: Unlocking some of weapon skins needs a ridiculous amount of money, like 50000 golds. For comparison, unlocking weapons themselves only needs 300 to 500 golds.
  • Kill It with Fire: The fire bombs can set the ground ablaze.
  • Off with His Head!: Unsurprisingly common, what with all the swords and axes being swung around in a typical match. Having this happen to yourself three times in a single match is an achievement.
  • One-Hit Kill: A strike from the maul can deliver instant death to any enemy if it hit in the head. The attack speed of it is quite slow, though. Being hit by a catapult or ballista is also as appropriately lethal as you'd expect.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Possible with big enough weapons, though a little hard without getting wrecked in the first place by the fact you're either outnumbered or about to hit an ally. Ballistae, for their part, do it all the time; they go right through people and don't stop until they hit terrain, no matter how many body parts they skewer on the way.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: The appropriately-named Flesh Wound perk enables your character to survive for five seconds after taking a fatal blow. As the game notes, limb integrity during this time is not guaranteed.
  • Parrying Bullets: A well-timed parry or strike can swat a projectile out of the air. Doing the latter even nets you an achievement.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Engineers build things from the ground up and fix them just by hitting them with their smithing hammers.
  • Point Build System: Creating a custom mercenary gives you a total of 16 points to be distributed between perks, weapons, and armor choices.
  • Ragdoll Physics: A minor, but attractive selling point is the heavy ragdolling of corpses. Strike someone with a maul full-on, and they'll fly a foot or two into the ground. Hit someone on horseback hard enough to kill however, and be prepared to see some ridiculous aerial stunts. And if siege weaponry is involved, things get sillier.
  • Reality Ensues: Anyone going without a helmet will find themselves dying from a single strike to the head an awful lot...
  • Scratch Damage: Even very weak weapons like carving knives or training swords can deal some damage to fully armored knights.
  • Shoot the Bullet: It's possible to deflect an incoming catapult projectile by shooting it with an arrow. Tests are still being done to see if it's possible to deflect arrows with arrows.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
    • The "Flesh Wound" perk is obvious one for the black knight of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    • Kicking the enemy to make them fall to death will earn you the achievement "This isn't Sparta".
    • Killing two enemies in one stroke from a melee weapon will earn you the achievement "Guts".
    • As promised during the trailer, you can unscrew your sword's pommel and throw it at your weakened opponent to end him rightly.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Blunt weapon kills in general, but especially the maul. The splatter of a maul reducing someone's head, helmet and all, to chunky red paste is notoriously loud.
  • Siege Engines: You can use catapults to throw stone projectiles afar. Thrown rocks cause AoE damage. There's also ballistae, in both the large map-based and small engineer-built varieties; both put a lot of hurt on anyone they hit.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: The game system lets you thrust with hammers and axes, or slash with spears and thrusting swords. Obviously this is far from the most effective use of the weapon.
  • Smoke Out: Smoke bombs can be used to hide yourself and allies from ranged attacks.
  • Spiritual Successor: Of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. In fact, a good chunk of the dev team is composed of competitive Chivalry players. A joke in the community is how former Chivalry players are the bane of everyone's existence.
  • Stance System: Pressing the R button lets you access an alternate grip mode for certain weapons. In most cases, the alternate grip shortens the weapon's reach in exchange for faster attacks. Exceptions include bastard swords, which switch from one-handed to two-handed grip, while longswords can access the aforementioned mordhau grip, and Greatswords can be carried half-sworded to increase stabbing effectiveness; the Heavy Handaxe can also be turned around to use its hammer side, the Billhook can be set to push or pull on a stab and do the opposite on a swing, and the more swing-appropriate polearms can be flipped around to access the other side's weapon. Averted with most one-handed weapons, which are thrown instead.
  • Take That!: One available voice line is “And they say Chivalry is dead!”, a not-so-subtle jab at Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’s dwindling playerbase.
  • Taunt Button: You can choose and perform various taunts from taunt menu. Also, there is a dedicated key for shouting battle cries.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: It deals a good amount of damage, at the very least, provided you can actually land it.
  • Truth in Television: The spear-and-shield combo is hated by many players for being hard to counter, but the combo is really that good in real life. The spear is not only better at penetrating armor, but it's also far easier to use and has a longer reach than most swords. Couple that with a shield and you have an extremely deadly warrior that can defend himself just as well.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: Weapons in this game will never break. This can become quite ridiculous on some occasions, especially when you are parrying Zweihänder strikes with your wooden quarterstaff.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. Players can pick up and equip weapons from dead enemies freely.
    • Played straight for boss enemies of Horde mode. They have exclusive weapons like "Great Maul" or "Ogre Club", but you can't pick up them.
  • Utility Weapon: Weapons like the mallet or blacksmith's hammer can be used to repair defenses.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can brutally dismember bodies of dead enemies to pieces with your weapon.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The character customization system lets you dress your character with period-appropriate clothing, alter their body shape, and even sculpt their facial features.
  • Weapons of Choice: There are many weapons in Mordhau, and they have diffrent traits.
    • An Axe to Grind: Varies from small throwing axes to massive pole axes (for when you can't pick between a spear, an axe, or a hammer). In general, axes deal massive amounts of damage on swings at the cost of pathetic thrusting attacks, and are particularly good at hacking structures apart.
    • BFS: Greatswords and Zweihanders are among the most damaging weapons in the game, offset by their low attack speed and impracticality in close-quarters.
    • Blade on a Stick: All manner of polearms are available to use. Save for the short spear, they are invariably two-handed weapons, and require significant points to buy in exchange for having excellent range and damage.
    • Carry a Big Stick: You can use maces in this game. Mercenaries with the "peasant" perk can use a heavy branch from a tree as their primitive bludgeon.
    • Drop the Hammer: Hammers and mauls are good weapons against armored foes and structures. Peasants also get a sledgehammer, to act as a poor man's maul.
    • Frying Pan of Doom: Mercenaries with the "peasant" perk can choose a frying pan as their weapon. It acts like a club.
    • Good Old Fisticuffs: When nothing else is available, you can always fall back on your fists. It actually deals noticeable damage, more so if you pick the appropriate perk, and you can hold your guard up infinitely like a shield.
    • Hooks and Crooks: While the billhook is mostly a normal polearm, that hook on one end is a useful bonus that will help pull infantry around during certain attacks and, more importantly, yank cavalry riders right of their horses if you catch them right.
    • Javelin Thrower: The javelins are stronger throwing weapon. They have only two charges and take a long time to throw, but hit hard.
    • Jousting Lance: Useless on-foot, but when mounted on a horse, a strike from a couched lance is often enough to kill in one hit.
    • Knife-Throwing Act: You can equip throwing knives as ranged weapon. They are especially good against unarmored opponents.
    • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Having a shield is a large boon for survivalbility, as you can hold your block instead of having a strict timing window as in parrying. Crafty opponents can simply strike around the shield, however, and you can only use one-handed weapon along with it. Ranged characters can also carry deployable pavises.
    • Machete Mayhem: Falchions, essentially a medieval machete with a crossguard, is available as a weapon.
    • Royal Rapier: Usable as a basic thrusting sword alongside the estoc, its two-handed cousin. Subverted in that any kind of character can use them (even if they're dressed as a dirt-poor peasant), and that the default class who wields the rapier is the rogueish Scoundrel.
    • Simple Staff: Quarterstaves are available as weaker polearm weapons.
    • Swiss Army Weapon: The Heavy Handaxe has both a sharp side, for chopping up the unarmored and hacking structures apart, and a hammer side, for the heavily plated enemies and the occasional quick repair.
    • Sinister Scythe: Farming scythes are available for mercenaries with the "peasant" perk. It's a surprisingly deadly weapon.
  • Weapon Twirling: For most weapons, using the Flourish emote will have your character giving the weapon a spin.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Each voice pack has a pool of insults that you can hurl through the voice command menu.
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