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Video Game / Tallowmere

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Tallowmere is a 2-D Side View Roguelike in which you try to get as far in a randomly-generated dungeon as you can. Why? Uh, because it's there, and Lady Tallowmere wants you to kill as many monsters as possible.

It was developed by Chris McFarland, and released on PC, Mac and Linux on 3rd March, 2015 via Steam and It was then ported to iOS on the 11th May, 2015, to Wii U on September 1st, 2016 and Nintendo Switch on November 9th, 2017.

Tallowmere contains the following tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew: The game's setting is the RPG medieval standard, and most of the things in the game fit... but the Ogres and Bloats, would not be out of place in a mad chemist's laboratory, and the weapons you can use include grenades and rocket launchers.
  • Big Good: Lady Tallowmere herself, sort of. The morality of everyone in this game is up for debate.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Hell yes it does. You will not get far in this game without liberally using your shield.
  • Challenge Run: You can toggle these via an NPC in the main hub. They range from shutting off various features to making enemies stronger. The more challenges you have toggled on, the more favorably your final score will be adjusted at game's end.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: "Feel the wrath of the immobilizing cutscene!"
  • Damsel in Distress: Lady Tallowmere herself in one type of special level.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: You, if you wield an Emerald Dagger. This weapon compensates for its extremely short reach by making you lunge forward a short distance whenever you attack with it. It also lets you cloak yourself by standing still and not doing anything for a few seconds. You'll then be invisible until you perform any action other than moving or jumping (though touching an enemy or getting hurt has a chance of removing your invisibility). You do move slower while invisible (and you won't lunge when attacking, making the short range a very pressing issue), but if you can successfully maneuver behind an enemy and hit it, you'll Back Stab it.
  • Elite Mooks: All Mooks in the game have "elite" variants which are roughly twice as large as normal, are covered with a ghastly black aura, and do a double damage and have 10 times as much HP. You'll run into these increasingly often as the game progresses. On the bright side, the presence of an Elite Mook in a level guarantees that there will be a treasure chest you can open when the Elite Mook is defeated.
  • Explosive Stupidity: You can die if you stand too close to one of your exploding grenades or rocket launcher shells.
  • Excuse Plot: You're a random hero delving into the depths of Lady Tallowmere's undefined underground vaguely-castle-like domain to cleanse it of monsters. Though you can't really "cleanse" a place that goes on forever, so you're really just pushing yourself to make it as far as you can.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted once you discover the rocket launcher. It's a fantastic weapon with a shockingly high rate of fire, the best range of any weapon in the game, and speedy projectiles that enemies will be hard-pressed to dodge. The main downsides include non-negligible recoil (repeatedly firing will push you backwards quite far, possibly into Spikes of Doom), the fact that the projectiles fly completely straight making aiming around corners very awkward, and the obvious issue of... well... let's just say using it at point-blank range is a terrible idea.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas are actually the only type of sword in the game, but they are indeed awesome and have a distinct niche over other melee weapons. Specifically, they allow you to Flash Step! You can even pull yourself through walls! Just attack when an enemy is nearby, and you'll appear behind it in the blink of an eye and strike. Attack again, and you warp around to the other side and attack again. You can keep doing this over and over until the enemy is dead. Just be careful, as it's pretty easy to crash into Spikes of Doom or pull yourself into a bigger horde than you can deal with. Their description refers to them as "suicide blades" for good reason.
  • Magic Wand: The Ice Wand, which is pretty much the only ranged weapon in this game that you can't hurt yourself with. Its projectiles are also semi-homing. The downsides include a short range and slower projectiles in comparison to the rocket launcher, and most damningly, being unusable unless you are standing still (and, as a corollary, you also have to be standing on the ground), which makes an Ice Wand less useful against Airborne Mooks than you'd think at first glance.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Both played dead straight and subverted. Rarer weapons, shields, and clothes generally have better bonuses. However, gear acquired later in the dungeon also generally have better bonuses. It's entirely possible for a high-rarity item acquired early in the game to wind up outclassed by a lower-rarity item you find later.
  • Randomly Generated Loot: Everything aside from the lowest-rarity weapons has randomly-generated bonuses.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: This is fully present and accounted for, which can be problematic late in the game when you're carrying around more weapons and armor than you know what to do with. (Even checking your stats takes place in real time!)
  • Regenerating Health: You can gain two different variations of this through bonuses — namely standard regeneration over time and health boosts upon killing an enemy. You can also get the first variation temporarily via a shrine. And it's just as much of a Game-Breaker as you would think, despite the fact that your health stops regenerating for a few seconds whenever you take damage (so you can't take a sustained beating without eventually dying). With Regenerating Health under your belt, you won't ever need to look for health pickups.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In the hub area, there's a woman guarding a bucket of kittens, who lets you sacrifice one or more of them for additional starting health. While doing this makes the early game significantly easier, it also locks you out of all but a handful of achievements, and each kitten sacrificed demotes you to a lower-tier leaderboard.