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SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a Turn-Based Combat RPG with card mechanics, released in April 2019 for Nintendo Switch and late May for Steam. Taking place in the Shared Universe of SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Heist, the game is set on a planet that is being invaded by an army known as the Void. Eager to stand against them and prove herself is Armilly, a Heroes Guild hopeful that's been waiting for her chance to truly prove herself despite repeatedly failing at tasks in the past.


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Tropes found in SteamWorld Quest include:

  • Aerith and Bob: Armilly, Copernica, Gilgamech, Tarah & Thayne... and the Archdruid Bob, G.M. (GuildMaster) Gainz, Captain Canary, and many more.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Specifically, alchemists are wizards: they wear pointy hats, carry grimoires, go to college in a wizard's tower, and cast huge flashy spells without the apparent need for flasks or vials or portable lab equipment.
  • And Man Grew Proud: And Robot Grew Proud. The Dark Lord of the Void Army declares that robots have forgotten what heroism truly is, and seeks to reshape the world using the Necronomicog.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Necronomicog, which spreads The Corruption for miles around the spot where it's buried. Rather than an evil Tome of Eldritch Lore, it's a buzzsaw-shaped gear which acts as the "heart" of the sleeping Behemoth which was buried deep underground after being vanquished by the hero Gilgamech in ancient times.
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  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only three characters can participate in battle at once.
  • An Axe to Grind: Tarah wields an enormous double-handed axe bigger than she and her brother combined.
  • Barrier Warrior: Copernica starts off with the ability to set up shields around allies, and can later add a spell-reflecting magic mirror and party-wide elemental wards. As a downside, she cannot heal others on her own (and can only heal herself if the enemy uses fire, ice, or lightning attacks), being the only character without a heal skill of her own (while one of said barriers does heal everyone, it is reliant on Galleo, the best healer, being on the the team).
  • Basement-Dweller: Galleo is mocked for living in his mother's basement, but he generally shrugs it off.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Galleo again. His melee attacks are all hefty punches.
  • Behind the Black: When you encounter an enemy and there are no others onscreen, unless it's an Fake Ultimate Mook, several will come from offscreen to join the bad guy party.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Orik isn't just a goofy sidekick in a mask. In the Cursed City, Archdruid Bob turns out to be a Serial Killer cultist and the Arc Villain for the act.
  • Brick Joke: Chapter 2 starts out with Armilly and Copernica talking about petting fluffy ducks, until Milly spots "...A WAGON!" Copernica is, understandably, confused: "...a fluffy wagon duck?" A sad fluffy wagon duck ends up being a tonberry-esque Bonus Boss in Act III.
    • Early on, we learn that one of Armilly's misadventures involved her accidentally terrorizing a golf course (she thought she was hunting gophers). At the very end, during the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Gilgamech converts the Behemoth's remains into a golf course.
  • Broken Pedestal: Much of the game is spent showing how the heroes Armilly wants to be one of up to and including Gilgamech aren't worth her literal hero worship, and that in the end she's more heroic than any of them. This is a bit of a running theme in the game: Copernica ends up having a similar moment with her old college mentor, and Orik's entire goal through the first three quarters of the game is trying to assemble a group of heroes to show the Big Bad that true heroism hasn't been forgotten and he doesn't have to go through with his Evil Plan.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Once the arena in the main quest has been conquered it remains open, offering increasingly challenging gauntlets. This culminates in the Midas Grand Prix, which challenges you to defeat almost every boss in the game, one after the other, all of them max levelled, in seven rounds or less each. It makes the Behemoth look like a complete chump.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the main characters and most of the enemies is colored to match their dominant element. Exceptions include Copernica, who as the party's resident Black Mage has access to Fire, Ice, Lightning in equal measure.
  • Critical Hit Class: Orik's melee builds tend to emphasizerapid-fire attacks, an increased critical hit chance, and the ability to play extra cards the following round.
  • Cool Mask: Orik has a number of masks he switches between to fuel his various abilities. He defaults to a fox mask, and his true face is never seen. Until the beginning of Act IV following The Reveal of Gilgamech as the Big Bad, and Orik's campfire exposition of his past.
  • Dark Lord: Played very straight — the Void Army is led by the Dark Lord, a hulking Tin Tyrant with both physical might and magical power on his side. Subverted in that he's actually the Fallen Hero Gilgamech, resentful of no longer being the center of attention after all these years.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Orik and Tarah & Thayne specialize in multi-hit attacks, culminating in Orik's ultimate attack, Cyclone Slash, which attacks twice plus two more times for every SP in the meter. Each hit can crit for even more damage, making this potentially one of the most damaging attacks in the game.
  • Dirty Coward: Lenny, the "acting" Heroes' Guild leader while all its members are out dealing with/being kidnapped by the Void Army, is a known promotion-seeker that chooses to relax at the guild and let Armilly's party willingly endanger themselves. This turns out to apply to the rest of the guild as well.
  • The Dividual: Mechanically, Tarah & Thayne are treated as a single character, with a shared deck, equipment loadout, and HP total. Character-wise, however, they're Polar Opposite Twins.
  • Engineered Heroics: In something of a reversal, it's the Big Bad pulling this off on a grand scale, trying to reawaken the sleeping Behemoth which he himself sealed away so that he can defeat it again and thus bask in the glory he feels an ungrateful world owes him.
  • Fallen Hero: The legendary hero Gilgamech has become the Dark Lord of the Void Army in a misguided attempt to reawaken the Behemoth — all so that he can fight it again and remind the world of his heroism. He somehow doesn't realize he's become the villain.
  • Five-Man Band: The full party eventually consists of five (technically six) characters. Played with in that Squishy Wizard Copernica, who would probably be a clear Lancer or Smart Guy in a less self-aware story, tends to make a lot of the decisions for the group; wannabe hero Armilly is the Boisterous Bruiser despite being half the size of ostensible Big Guy Galleo, a Mr. Fixit and reluctant adventurer who acts as the party's primary healer; Orik is a Jack-of-All-Trades samurai who tends to play the Obi-Wan and Lovable Rogue roles both at once; and Tarah & Thayne are not only two separate characters who function mechanically as one, they're Polar Opposite Twins who manage to be the Tagalong Kid(s), The Sixth Ranger (joining the party only when their heist goes awry), and a male Chick (the shy, gentle Thayne) all at once.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Played with, since the game mostly runs on a Fire, Ice, Lightning elemental system.
    • Armilly is bright red and gains the ability to complement her physical attacks with Fire.
    • The froglike green Galleo gains a number of water powers (which actually deal Frost-type damage), one of the game's more powerful lightning attacks, and lots and lots of healing.
    • Speedy golden yellow Orik can be specced to deal lots of high-powered wind and Storm attacks, mow down enemies with crits, or as an off-healer.
    • Alchemist Copernica, despite being primarily blue, has access to all elements, and the game generally encourages you not to become too attached to any one, tossing out various enemies that are immune to or healed by any of the given elements over the course of the game.
    • The twins, meanwhile, are the sole dealers of purple Arcane-type damage — which can mean Casting a Shadow or poisoning your enemies, depending on the attack.
  • Gladiator Subquest: After beating the chapter Bread and Circuses, the party can return to the Colosseum of the Cursed to participate in increasingly more difficult tournaments.
  • Glass Cannon: Technically the twins have lower HP, but this tends to hit Orik harder, since he lacks their various Life Drain cards. On the other hand, they don't have Cyclone Slash.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Captain Canary first shows up invading a small town, then retreats to the Void Army headquarters, then randomly tries to mug the party in a forest, and later when he's encountered he's brushed off as a figment of their imagination.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with the twins: Tarah swings a massive two-handed axe, while Thayne mostly stands back and casts spells, occasionally darting in to stab enemies with his dagger.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Galleo joins the party in the second chapter.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Archdruid Bob of the Cursed City gets eaten by the Man Eating tree he created by sacrificing everyone he could catch to feed its hunger so he could make his Moonjuice.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Armilly's weapon of choice is a two-handed broadsword. Orik prefers a katana. Gilgamech Dual Wields two huge curved blades.
  • HP to 1: The final boss has a massive exploding fireball attack which it starts using in its last phase. It deals huge amounts of damage, but can't reduce the heroes below 1 HP.
  • Human Resources: Robot Resources, to be specific, for Bob to feed the tree that makes his moonjuice. Galleo is revolted once he finds out the secret ingredient.
  • Idiot Hero: Armilly, whose past attempts to prove herself includes trying to remove all golfers from a golf course when her boss told her to deal with gofers.
  • Inevitable Tournament: Act III chapter Bread and Circuses throws the party into the Cursed City's Colosseum.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: There are a number of dragon bosses in the game, at least one per chapter. They're always hyped up as a TERRIFIC thing to fight.
  • Intrepid Merchant: The Mysterious Merchant is the game's only merchant. She and her wagon are somehow always one step ahead of the party. The fact that she manages to turn up in some downright impossible places (underground, at the top of the college towers, and at the end of a road ahead of the party when there were no other routes) is repeatedly lampshaded.
  • Item Crafting: In addition to finding new cards in treasure chests and after certain story events, the party can craft new cards and upgrade old ones by handing over large amounts of Vendor Trash to the Mysterious Merchant.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Most party members have a degree of flexibility in terms of party role depending on the cards you choose to fill out their decks, but Orik fits this best: he can be a Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster who focuses on single-target melee damage and multiple hits, a Black Mage handing out Storm damage and Status Effects, a high-Dodge mitigation tank who interrupts enemies and counterattacks when allies are attacked, or the next-best healer to Galleo, with lots of area heals and the ability to cure the nasty, higher-level conditions Berserk, Confusion, and Despair.
  • Jumped at the Call: Armilly, constantly. She's been looking for any chance she can get to escape her grocer upbringing and become a real hero.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Orik wields one and is an Iaijutsu Practitioner, drawing and sheathing his sword many times each fight. This is in keeping with his samurai theme, including a kimono and black "hair" bound up in a sort of Samurai Ponytail.
  • King Mook: Several bosses are just a bigger/more powerful random enemy. Most obvious one is the King Slime.
  • Lovable Coward: Galleo often mentions wanting to just go back home and relax, but willingly continues alongside Armilly because the Void threatens their life of peace.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Tarah and Thayne, respectively: Tarah is a brash, tough mercenary who wields an axe, while Thayne is speaks little, tends to keep to his sister's shadow (when you control them in the field, you control Tarah while Thayne clings to her side), and favors ranged magic.
  • Mechanical Abomination: No explanation is offered for what the Behemoth is or how it came to be, aside from the fact it's powered by the Necronomicog. It appears as an armed, robotic Sand Worm combined with some sort of hellish plant. It also grew considerably stronger during its imprisonment.
  • Mighty Glacier: Galleo's HP naturally tends to far outstrip the rest of the party's, several of his abilities let him ignore or absorb physical damage, and he has the party's best selection of healing magic. His attack options tend to be relatively weak, or else carry a high SP cost.
  • Mirror Boss: In the last dungeon, the party has to face off against doppelgangers called "Retro-specters" which are ghosts from the past given tangible form. After fighting shadow versions of each act's final boss, the party must fight shadowy versions of themselves.
  • Money Mauling: Tarah & Thayne's Fool's Gold hits the enemy with a shower of high-velocity gold coins. All fake, however, averting Cast from Money.
  • Mordor: The Cursed City is a wasteland of strange, twisted plants surrounding the ruined city itself, the Wretched Hive where the twins grew up.
  • Not Me This Time: Thus far, this is the only Steamworld game where Vectron doesn't have a role in the plot.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Gilgamech claims that the reason he wants to awaken the Behemoth is to remind the world what true heroism is, but at the very end, after some prodding from Orik, he admits that he mainly wanted to relive his glory days.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: Orik was the ancient hero's Sidekick and has been around for a very long time, but he starts out at the same level as the rest of the party and tends to lag behind in HP. He tends to make up for it by being highly versatile, able to complement almost any party.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Used by a few enemies, dealing Arcane damage and associated as it often is in JRPGs with gravity/stars/celestial bodies.
  • Poisonous Person: Tarah & Thayne have several cards which can inflict poison Damage Over Time to your foes, who in turn have a number of poison effects of their own.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Tarah & Thayne are capable of both physical and magical attacks, with each twin specializing in one over the other.
  • Recurring Boss: All bosses but the final two come back in some way or form. There are several dragons to slay, some are a King Mook, Captain Canary literally runs off every time he gets beaten, and some get ghost rematches.
  • Save Point: The statues of Gilgamech automatically save your progress and give you the opportunity to heal all your HP. Doing the latter, however, respawns all enemies in the area.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Void Army foot soldiers' heads resemble those of the Egyptian gods Anubis and Osiris. Headmistress Hypathia of the Alchemy College has the head of an ibis like Thoth, god of knowledge.
    • The first two Void Army soldiers you face are named Budge and Wicks, a reference to the Final Fantasy series' various NPCs named Wedge and Vicks (who in turn are named after Rebel supporting character Wedge and Luke's childhood best friend Biggs from Star Wars).
  • Sidekick: Orik used to be the squire of the legendary hero, Gilgamech.
  • Squishy Wizard: Copernica, who is convinced to continue following Armilly by the opportunity to apply her knowledge of alchemy to make the world a better place. Also, despite being called an alchemist, she's a Wizard Classic Black Mage who casts spells from a book.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Copernica's first basic attack available to her is to just smack the enemies with her book. This can later be upgraded to reduce enemies' magic power.
  • Tin Tyrant: Massive black armor? Horned face-concealing helmet? Shoulders of Doom? A pair of BFSes (Dual Wielded, no less)? The Dark Lord of the Void Army checks all the boxes.
  • The Un-Reveal: The Mysterious Merchant's true nature is never explained. Lampshaded: Armilly immediately asks if she's some kind of old wise woman, and the Merchant all but winks back when she says she's just an old shopkeeper.
  • Video Game Stealing: Thayne's Cutpurse ability is limited to two cards, each of which can only be used once per battle, and can only affect a given enemy once. It pays in gold, regardless of the enemy. It does clean up the party deck, however, and sets up the fairly cheap and high-damage Money Mauling Fool's Gold attack.
  • When Trees Attack: The third chapter's ultimate Boss is an ancient tree turned monstrous because of the Necronomicog.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The credits show what most of the cast are up to following the Behemoth's defeat.
    • Armilly opens up a new Guild where prospective heroes do not require highly regulated licenses to be heroes.
    • The Behemoth's remains are converted into a golf course overseen by a reformed Gilgamech.
  • World of Pun: There's many, and it's implied that Armilly's heroic guidebook (Copernica calls it "cringe-inducing") is filled with them even more.

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