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Video Game / Pixel Dungeon

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An adventurer protecting himself with indestructible sheep.

Pixel Dungeon is a Hacklike Coffeebreak Roguelike, developed by Watabou. With simple controls and several fan remakes (courtesy of its open-source code), it's one of the most popular Roguelikes for mobile platforms.

The story is familiar: You are a random adventurer, seeking out the Amulet of Yendor at the bottom of 25 randomly generated levels in a dungeon.

The game can be found here, and the Wiki here.

Pixel Dungeon provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: The Caves, third stage of the dungeon.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The Sad Ghost is of unknown gender but specifically says their lover is a "him."
  • An Adventurer Is You: The player can be a Warrior, Mage, Rogue, Huntress, or Duelist.
  • Artifact of Death: The Scroll of Psionic Blast wipes out all nearby enemies, but paralyzes and blinds you, and causes massive damage to your hit points (if it doesn't outright kill you).
  • Asteroids Monster: A Swarm of Flies splits into two swarms every time it's hit by a physical attack, each with half of the original swarm's HP. The player can also spawn clones by wearing an armor with a multiplicity glyph.
  • Auto-Revive: A full Dew Vial and Ankhs. The Ankhs have the disadvantage of making the player drop all non-equipped items upon revival. The Dew Vial has the disadvantage of taking a LOT of effort to get fillednote , and not being particularly useful unless it's completely full.
  • Back Stab: Getting a hit on a sleeping enemy gives you an advantage, and in-game it's explicitly encouraged.
  • Bandit Mook: Thieves steal items from the player's inventory and run away from the player after having stolen an item, which sends them directly into Goddamned Bats territory.
  • Battle Bikini: The epic armor for the huntress doesn't offer much protection to the abdomen.
  • Beast Men: The gnolls, a race of hyena-like humanoids who live in the dungeon.
  • Blessed with Suck: Most of armor glyphs - while providing some positive effect, they will often try to kill you. For example, on being hit, armor with Glyph of Entropy will freeze the enemy for about 1 turn, and set YOU on fire for 8 turns. Or the Glyph of Stench, which releases a toxic gas that equally damages enemies and you.
    • Even some beneficial glyphs can have downsides, such as how the obfuscation glyph makes the player harder to detect but that also makes it more difficult to kite enemies.
  • Boss Battle: The Goo on Level 5, the Tengu on Level 10, the DM-300 on Level 15, the Dwarf King on Level 20, and Yog-Dzewa on Level 25.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The in-game narration (accessible by clicking on the search button and then clicking on an item) veers into this at times.
    • Pillar of Skulls: "This pillar is made of real humanoid skulls. Awesome."
    • Giant Piranha: "They were bred specifically to protect flooded treasure vaults."
    • Statue: "Someone wanted to decorate this place but failed, obviously."
  • Down the Drain: The Sewer, first stage of the dungeon.
  • Dungeon Shop: The beginning of each stage after the first boss features one of these. Their inexplicability is justified by merchants wanting to make huge profits from desperate adventurers and magic protecting them from monsters.
  • Easter Egg: The Rat King was added from an April Fools joke, and 'Depth 27' is inaccessible but has a message from the developer should the player hack a way in.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Gnoll Brutes and Shamans are this to Gnoll Scouts.
    • Every stage of the dungeon features a 'rare' version of a common enemy that has an extra feature on top of its usual attacks.
  • Fan Remake: Frequently, developers take the source code and keep the same basic gameplay, modding to include a new rule or system.
    • Shattered Pixel Dungeon is a remake of the original Pixel Dungeon originally made to improve the original game's flaws, but has since evolved into an entirely separate game with its own unique features. Shattered is by far the most popular modified version of Pixel Dungeon. It has enhanced graphics, unique dungeon generation (ie. Each dungeon region uses its own level generator), replaces (not retexture. They function differently!) some rings with artifacts (powerful items that upgrade themselves as they are used), adds a few new kinds of seeds and potions, regular updates, and entirely new weapons and weapon systems (ie. A spear will reach farther than a dagger), a new system for throwable projectile weapons, and nerfs the dew vial and different forms of Healing Potion farming.
    • Your Pixel Dungeon has a map editor and a tutorial.
    • Skillful Pixel Dungeon adds a skill system and differing levels of difficulty.
    • Remixed Pixel Dungeon gives some items and dungeon elements new properties.
    • Another developer provides support for Portuguese and Spanish.
    • Pixel Dungeon Prayers allows the player to pray to the Greek pantheon for additional powers and items.
    • Easier Pixel Dungeon and Eaxy Pixel Dungeon make the game easier to play.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The first three classes available are the Warrior, Mage, and Rogue. Later on, you unlock the Huntress.
    • Gnoll enemies are divided into Brutes, Shamans, and Scouts.
  • Flunky Boss: The Dwarf King spends most of the fight walking back and forth spawning undead minions.
  • The Goomba: Marsupial Rats.
  • Greek Fire: The Potion of Liquid Flame. Throwing it will set whatever it hits on fire. Opening it will cause it to explode in your face and set you on fire. It can be extinguished with water, though.
  • Guide Dang It!: Alchemy recipes and making Frozen Carpaccio are not outlined in the game; the player is responsible for figuring out how they work.
    • Obtaining a Potion of Might or a Scroll of Infusion. They never drop in the game; you have to throw a Potion of Strength or a Scroll of Upgrade into a Well of Transmutation.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Prison, second stage of the dungeon.
  • Heroic Mime: All four characters are this.
  • Holiday Mode:
    • The floors are increased in difficulty when the player plays past midnight. The ending screen if the player exits the first floor is also modified to show a nighttime sky.
    • On April 1st, the Rat King has a small quest for the player character — trade some food for the Amulet of Yendor. But wait — this amulet's a cheap plastic imitation, just like in NetHack!
  • Informed Species: The Gnolls are described as hyena-like humanoids, but more closely resemble anthropomorphic foxes.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: If you save everything, your backpack is going to rapidly fill up, forcing you to make choices about what to keep and what to take along (to use or sell later). Fortunately, you can buy bags in the Pixel Mart that give you more space.
  • Item Farming: The Swarm of Flies enemy is based off of Black Puddings in NetHack — it gives the same amount of experience regardless of it's the first Swarm or the tenth, and each Swarm has a chance of dropping elusive Potions of Healing. This enemy is one of the primary reasons why the game smooths out after Early Game Hell.
  • The Joys of Torturing Mooks: Goes hand in hand with Combat Pragmatist. Burning enemies to death, disorienting them on a narrow bridge with no railings, stunning them with electricity while shooting them, killing them while they're put into a coma you induced — all are viable ways to kill an enemy, especially if your class is more on the squishy side. Granted, 99% of everyone you meet will be trying to do similarly nasty things to you, so it's hard to feel too sorry for them.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Wand of Flock spawns sheep on targeted tiles that don't do anything and vanish after a few turns. These sheep are remarkably useful for crowd control.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: Pixel Dungeon (and its mods) contain scrolls which allow you to cast a special non-wand spell once per scroll, allowing you to do everything from damaging your enemies to escaping from them.
  • Living Statue: The Animated Statue is an enemy that can be found in special rooms. It wields an enchanted weapon, and it will not attack the player character unless attacked first.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The final boss is Yog-Dzewa, an Old God whose very presence corrupted a whole city into madness. To win the game, you need to beat the snot out of him.
  • Luck-Based Mission: There are badges for identifying (separately) all scrolls, all wands, all rings, and all potions. Wands and rings are generally rare items. While the scrolls and potions are somewhat nice in that you only need to identify all but one, one potion is only obtainable by throwing a useful potion into an area of a specific room that isn't generated particularly often. And then there's the badge for identifying everything in a single run. You have a catalogue showing you the items you've identified, but it neglects to include wands and rings.
  • Magic Wand: The wands. There are 13 different types, and each has a different power. The mage starts with a Wand of Magic Missile.
  • Manly Facial Hair: The Warrior is the strongest playable character, and also has the thickest beard. The Mage, on the contrary, sports a meager goatee.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: Implausibly, you can find moss in the game's equivalent of hell.
  • Monster Allies: If you complete the quest for the Ambitious Imp in the Dwarven City, he opens a shop for the player right before you enter the Demon Halls.
  • Nintendo Hard: According to tradition.
  • The Old Gods: Yog-Dzewa, the final boss of the game, is described as a god from the realm of chaos that had to be imprisoned.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: An interesting example. The dwarves from the Dwarven City used to be a straighter version of this trope. They were a heavily industrialized society and built their city right below the mine they used. However, after sealing off Yog-Dzewa, they got slowly corrupted into a dark and highly magical civilization. Now, the only two types of Dwarf that remain (not counting the Dwarf King) are Dwarf Monks and Dwarf Warlocks.
  • Permadeath: As usual for most roguelikes. However, the player can encounter gravesites containing items from your previous lives.
  • Planet Heck: The Demon Halls, the fifth and last stage of the dungeon.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: The Huntress starts with one. It is an especially weird example, since it only comes back when you throw it at another creature.
  • Prestige Class: The Masteries. Each class has access to two, which are unlocked after defeating the Tengu and acquiring the Tome of Mastery, an item that he drops on death. The warrior can become a Gladiator or a Berserker, the mage can become a Battlemage or a Warlock, the rogue can become an Assassin or a Freerunner, and the huntress can become a Sniper or a Warden.
  • Rat Stomp: The first five levels has the player character exploring the sewers and slaughtering marsupial rats.
  • Respawning Enemies: Of the "time limit" variant, but the food clock keeps people from camping out and Level Grinding.
  • Ring of Power: There are 12 types of rings, and each gives the player character a different bonus, depending on its gem. Which is randomized every play.
  • Schmuck Bait: The player can try graverobbing or killing an Animated Statue for the shiny loot it holds. Unless he/she is well-prepared, however, it's more likely that the monsters guarding the loot kill the player. note 
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Finishing the game once unlocks a bevy of challenges the player can tick off, such as going through the dungeon without food and armor, having a limited field of vision at all times, or having monsters be permanently aggroed.
  • Sidequest: Each stage has one, except for the Demon Halls. They are completely optional, but they can give very useful rewards.
  • Smart Bomb: The Scroll of Wipe Out, obtained by defeating several enemies on a glowing pedestal. It doesn't work on bosses, though.
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted. The mage has as much health as the warrior or the rogue and starts with the same armor. The only difference is that his starting weapon is slightly weaker.
  • Skeleton Key: Each boss drops one, and it's the only key that allows you to progress to the next stage.
  • Stuck Items: If a weapon, armor, ring or artifact is cursed, it becomes this.
  • Tactical Door Use: Making an enemy follow the player character through a door allows the character to get a surprise attack, which is guaranteed to hit. This is especially handy for dispatching wraiths, who die in one hit but dodge almost every non-surprise attack.
  • Turns Red: Gnoll Brutes, as well as the Warrior subclass Berserker, deal greatly increased damage if their health is low.
  • Underground City: The Dwarven City, fourth stage of the dungeon.
  • Underground Level: The entire dungeon is this.
  • Unidentified Items: Most equipment starts off unidentified. There are several ways of identifying items, such as with a Scroll of Identify, Well of Awareness, knowledge of item spawns based on level layout, or even just using or keeping the item equipped. Most players just quaff every unidentified potion and zap every unidentified wand they come across, as negative consequences aren't that severe in the game.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: This game features an aggressive food clock — if you start to starve, points start falling off your health bar.