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Video Game / Tangledeep

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"Exploring is my calling. I've known it since I was a child. Tangledeep is always growing, always changing... But so am I. I'll never stop training. Magic is my ally, and it will flow with me. And I will leave no stone unturned looking for the truth! Everyone's counting on me, and I won't let them down! We'll grow together, and make new friends along the way. There's so much to discover... I don't know where it ends, but it starts here."
— Launch Trailer

Tangledeep is a roguelike, featuring a 16-bit visual style and soundtrack, developed by Impact Gameworks. It combines classical, good ol' Nintendo Hard roguelike gameplay with game mechanics from Eastern RPGs, such as Final Fantasy and Disgaea.

For generations, people have been living in gigantic, underground forests, without seeing a glimpse of the world above them. Everyone here is born with an energy called the Touch, a power invigorating those who can feel it with a sense of adventure and exploration: Some are overflowing with Touch, and inherit the appearances of animals, while others may not feel the Touch at all. Mirai is of the latter. People inbued with Touch are naturally drawn to Tangledeep, an enormous labyrinth that leads to the surface. While Mirai never felt the Touch, she still feels a strange attraction to Tangledeep. To learn more about herself, she decides to step into the labyrinth, all the while shadowed by a mysterious, blue robed sorceress who seeks to claim Tangledeep's secrets for herself...


Tangledeep features, among other things, twelve character classes; a monster capture-and-raise system; Macrogame elements, such as an item bank and trees that can be harvested or chopped between runs; Item Dreams, short optional dungeons allowing you to power-up your gear; support for various inputs, including HID controllers, just a keyboard, just a mouse, and so on; and music by Andrew Aversa of OverClocked ReMix, with some tracks by Hiroki Kikuta and Grant Kirkhope.

Put on Kickstarter in May 2017 to aid development, the game was funded for double the developer's goal.

The game was released on PC for Windows, Mac, and Linux on February 2, 2018; the Nintendo Switch version was released on January 31, 2019. The game can be purchased on Steam and GOG. An expansion, called Legend of Shara, has been released in April 4, 2019. It features a raised level cap, a new job (the Calligrapher), and more importantly, a new story mode featuring Shara.


Dawn of Dragons, the second expansion, was released in November 25th, 2019 and gives access to a quest leading to new levels named Dragon Dungeons, governed by the Ancient Dragons: Powerful Bonus Bosses giving access to brand-new "Dragon Shout" skills if they're defeated.

Tropes present in Tangledeep include:

  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Each class has three sets of standing/walking sprites apiece (facing north, facing sideways, facing south), which are flipped depending on whether the character was last walking eastward or westward.
  • An Axe to Grind: Axes can hit every foe adjacent to you, albeit at reduced damage. Some abilities allow you to do things like fling magical axes away, and have them return like a boomerang.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In Adventure mode, if you're knocked out during a boss fight, the boss and their cohorts will be on the same squares they were when you lost, and defeated Mooks will stay dead. However, their health will be fully restored and items like caltrops will be gone (as is the case with normal floors).
  • Badass Boast: Mirai is able to make a few over the course of her adventure.
    Mirai: You can't stop me; nothing in Tangledeep can!
  • BFS: Plenty of two-handed swords exist for the player to use.
  • Blown Across the Room: Some enemies can hit you hard enough to send you back several spaces - easily to the opposite wall in an enclosed area. One of the Budoka's skills, Palm Thrust, allow Mirai to pull one of these herself.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Brigand job. It doesn't have any particular gimmicks except being able to inflict Bleed easily (Which some jobs, like Budoka, can do almost as well) and it's fairly weak damage-wise if the build isn't entirely oriented around Bleed, but it compensates with a wide toolkit of skills which are very useful to get out of almost any tricky situation. The Brigand is a very useful job to synergize with, and one of its last passives, Sneak Attack, is almost mandatory for melee builds.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: It contains a Bonus Boss.
  • Character Portrait: Used for the character summary screen, as of b087.
  • Class and Level System: Your protagonist can change Jobs either via a scroll or via the NPC in town. They gain regular experience levels, and also earn Job Points (JP) which can be invested in job skills, eventually unlocking Innate Bonuses for said jobs, as well as in weapon skills, which unlocks passive and active abilities unique to your selected weapon of choice. After mastering all the skills of a given job, you can then start undertaking Job Trials to earn and power up a Job Emblem that will further boost your abilities in your job.
  • Continuing is Painful: No matter which game mode you pick, there's a big penalty for being defeated. Adventure Mode is the only one that lets your character live, but you still lose experience, money, and built-up skill points.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Lava can exist right next to grass without the grass catching fire, nevermind the player character and monsters. You can walk on lava, although it will inflict damage.
  • Death Dealer: The Gambler job, judging by the attack sprites. Its Wild Card ability turns this trope into a gameplay mechanic.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Not immediately, but you can capture defeated monsters and feed them to get them to (eventually) like you.
  • Difficulty Spike: At the Branching Vista, a character warns you that Tangledeep gets twice as tough from that point forward. They mean it.
  • Elite Mooks: Champion foes, which often have special traits and powers that normal monsters don't have. They are more than capable of killing the player if said player is underleveled or fights unwisely.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Surprisingly averted for a roguelike. Despite Mirai being renameable, she express quite a bit of personality in Flavor Texts and, by the end of the game, She even gives a "World of Cardboard" Speech to Shara.
  • Flavor Text: Mirai has a short comment for every item she finds in her journey, most of which being humorous.
  • Game Gourmet: There are quite a few food items available for scavenging or purchase, and you can cook at firesides to produce potent dishes.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can name your character however you want, and NPCs will call you that way. The main character has a canon name, however: Mirai, which can sometimes be given by the "Random name" option.
  • Hub Level: Riverstone Camp and Grove.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Mirai can eat an entire pumpkin in one turn, among other foods. However, food does make her feel full, and it can take tens of turns before she can eat again.
  • Idle Animation
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The broad goal of the journey through Tangledeep is to reach the surface world above.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Some jobs can learn skills that function this way.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Surprisingly present for a roguelike, and it makes for a valid strategy if you want to economize healing items / Flasks.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Carrying a shield allows you to block attacks (halving their damage). Paladins can take advantage of shields for further defensive, and even offensive, techniques.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Very few of the classes have a focus on "normal" combat, allowing for players to experiment with a variety of playstyles and mechanics. Among the most notable:
    • The Gambler's attacks are mostly focused on randomness. Its Wild Card ability is both a passive and an active skill: The passive skill makes the player draw one poker card at each kill or critical hit. Having certain combinations of cards (Pairs, 3 of a kind, Full Houses...) will change the effect of the active skill: This can range from a pitifully weak ranged attack to giving you 5 free turns, reducing the health of all monsters in the floor to 1, inflicting sleep to nearby enemies and increasing your critical chance all at once.
    • The Wild Child can only learn two active and passive skills with JP: The rest is learned from monsters, by letting them hit your character.
  • Metal Slime: You can find Goldfrogs in Item Dreams: They're extremely robust, but if you you manage to kill them, they'll drop a lot of gold. Their upgraded version, the sunglasses-wearing Coolfrogs, drop even more money.
  • The Minion Master: Floramancers are all about summoning forces of nature to fight alongside them: They can summon Floracondas, vines, Spitting Plants, beds of thorns and Creeping Deaths, small plants that grow every turn.
  • New Game+: You can start the game all over again once you've beaten it once. However, the minimum monster level goes up, all other monsters gain a few levels, there are more monsters, and they tend to be more agressive, but item drops get better globally. Finishing that unlocks Savage World, which is even harder but allows your to upgrade your gear further than regular runs.
  • Nintendo Hard: Like many roguelikes, reaching the end requires the player to avoid death for many, many floors, utilizing lots of careful planning and preparation. This can be lessened by playing Adventure Mode, which removes the permadeath mechanic.
  • Power Copying: The unlockable Wild Child job behaves vaguely like a Blue Mage of sorts, learning a variety of active and passive skills from certain monsters.
  • Procedural Generation: Overlaps with Randomly Generated Levels here.
  • Randomly Drops: Enemies and treasure chests can include an unexpected variety of loot.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The dungeon is generated whenever the player starts a new character. note 
  • Randomly Generated Loot: See Randomly Drops.
  • Retreaux: The game's visual style (and default music) was explicitly stated to be modeled after the Super NES era.
  • Roguelike: Natch.
  • Shifting Sand Land
  • Shout-Out:
    • Shovel Knight is referenced by the Knight's Shovel item, and its description.
    • The Nord's Helm, a familiar-looking horned helm, grants a Shout ability that pushes enemies away.
  • Sidequest: Available in the Hub Level as "Rumors". They're randomly generated and often consist of slaying a monster or reaching a certain place, but they're a great source of EXP and JP in the early-game.
  • Standard Status Effects: The game includes the standard "poisoned" and "paralyzed", among other effects, but it also has a few that are unique, such as "bleeding".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mirai loves cheese.
    Mirai: (about a cheese wheel) "This is an irresponsible amount of cheese. I'm out of control."
  • Triumphant Reprise: The second boss theme, ''Clash With a Mighty Foe'', incorporates portions of ''Earthen Labyrinth'', a dungeon theme. The pitch in the boss theme is higher, and the tempo faster; and it serves as an awesome piece to which you'll kick some ass.
  • Video Game Time: One in-game day passes for each floor traversed.
  • Walking Armory: You can hold and switch between up to four weapons on the fly, and that's not counting the ridiculous number of items that you can store in your bag.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like Mirai, Shara genuinely wants to free the people from being forced to live underground. Unlike Mirai, however, she is far more ruthless in her pursuit, being willing to murder thousands if it means saving millions, and her true motivation is actually more selfish than she claims, as what she truly wants is to take revenge on the Supervisor for abandoning her and Mirai and effectively enslaving the inhabitants of the world.


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