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Video Game / The End Times: Vermintide

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Together to the End

The End Times: Vermintide is a first person video game adaptation of Warhammer Fantasy, set during the apocalyptic Warhammer: The End Times setting. The game is developed by Fatshark, and was released for the PC on October 23, 2015, with PS4 and Xbox One releases in early 2016.

The game takes place in the Empire city of Ubersreik, which is under attack by an enormous horde of Skaven (though zones can also take place in the outskirts of the city). The players can choose four out of five available characters; all whom are attempting to save the city from the under menace.

The game currently consists of a twenty-one map adventure mode (with eight being DLC) and a Last Stand mode, both with five ranges of difficulties to choose from. All of these can be played either solo with AI Bots, or cooperatively with both friends and strangers. It makes absolutely zero apologies for being heavily inspired by Left 4 Dead, so anyone a fan of L4D will most likely enjoy Vermintide.


The sequel, Warhammer: Vermintide II, was released in 2018.

Fatshark followed with a similar game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Warhammer 40000 Darktide.

This game provides examples of the following:

  • A.I. Breaker: During the final stage of "The Horn of Magnus", the characters could stand on one of the wooden beams around the Horn and become untargettable by the Skaven due to a bug. It made the final stand a cakewalk, albeit a pretty boring one. The bug got fixed shortly after being discovered, however.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • The Skaven are capable of impressive tactics such as flanking, hunting and surrounding players, and serving as distraction for the special ones.
    • Skaven will also hide when they're the last one left, flattening themselves against walls hoping the players will walk past and not notice them.
    • The Gutter Runner assassin is a special case. Gutter Runners, being skilled assassins, will hide from the party and often wait until they can get a character alone. Then they pounce on a character and continue to rend the helpless character unless pushed back. An assassin which finds itself observed and doesn't have a good pounce will usually deploy a smoke bomb and take off, hiding and seeking another chance to ambush the characters. They especially love to time their strikes for a moment when the PC's are being swarmed by a mob of Clan Rats and Skaven Slaves who have the PC's attention. Even if they're repulsed, a Runner will launch hit and run strikes.
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  • Ammunition Backpack: Ratling gunners wear these.
  • April Fools' Day: The devs teased a video of "Death Wish Mode", a harder-than-Cataclysm difficulty where all the mobs are replaced with hordes of Stormvermin, Elite Skaven, and Rat Ogres. It turned out to be an April Fools' joke... until somebody made an actual mod for a difficulty like that.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Certain weapons and ammo can pierce heavy armor. Handy against the Stormvermin and Ratling Gunners.
  • Bad Moon Rising: The chaos moon Morrslieb (which has a skull like formation) looms over Ubersreik. Its presence seems to have a noticeable influence on the Winds of Magic, and may be empowering Sienna as much as it empowers the Skaven's sorcery.
  • Battle Trophy: Parodied. Kruber will occasionally suggest a friendly contest: he or she who collects the most rat tails wins. Sienna finds the concept to be ridiculous and disgusting. Considering a few hundred Skaven are slain in the course of any given mission, Sienna may have a point.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The heroes manage to kill Grey Seer Rasknitt and scatter the Clan Fester Skaven army. However, this was only but a taste of things to come in the future, and the city would eventually be destroyed by the Skaven, Chaos, and undead. Further, Ubersreik is canonical doomed to be destroyed alongside everything else during the imminent end of the Warhammer world.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Many weapons dish out significantly more damage with headshots as indicated by the Headshot trait for them, but all weapons do extra damage even without having the trait (we don't blame you for not knowing this). Also, headshots are the only way to harm armored enemies without using armor piercing attacks.
  • Cannon Fodder: On easier difficulties, the regular Skaven troops are pretty much one hit kills, and their purpose, other than swarming the players with their vast numbers, are to serve as distractions for the elite Skaven units. On the Harder Than Hard difficulties, the horde of common rats is far deadlier. On Cataclysm, a horde of clan rats can take the player from full health to dead in about five seconds. Skaven slaves, on the other hand, are almost always one-hit polykills, though even their damage output is fearsome on Nightmare and Cataclysm.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Bright Wizard is stated to have no magic limit, so she can cast as many spells as she wants. However, abusing her powers will cause her to harm herself (and eventually explode). A bit more complicated; she takes no damage from casting until she exceeds her heat tolerance, at which point she drops instantly. She also slowly disperses her heat at all times. Below about 1/3 of her maximum heat, she can choose to vent heat rapidly with no risk. Above this, she can still vent, but it'll deal a small amount of damage to her (but with no Regenerating Health, it adds up). Slowly losing heat still does no damage. This is a Pragmatic Adaptation of the treacherous Winds of Magic of the Warhammer world.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: All the heroes, all the time, up to the point of snarking at their allies when downed or reprimanding each other for stealing all the kills. The one exception is the odd complaining low health characters occasionally do and the concern the others show in return.
  • Cliffhanger: The "Waylaid" mission ends with a very alive Rasknitt sending the heroes falling into a portal.
  • Continuity Nod: In the Waylaid DLC, the heroes encounter Lohner alone after a Skaven attack on the inn itself, aside from how he's surrounded by dead skaven with a shield nearby his feet. The shield bears the heraldry of the Grudgebringers; a mercenary company who appeared in the games Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat and Warhammer: Dark Omen.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Drachenfels DLC has the party venture into the ancient castle of Constant Drachenfels, from the book of the same name. However, the castle itself was thoroughly demolished via the placement of black powder charges set by an alchemists' guild in the epilogue of the novel.
  • Deadly Gas: Poison Wind Globadiers use grenades that can release a deadly cloud of toxic gas.
  • Decapitated Army: After the heroes kill Grey Seer Rasknitt, the rest of the Skaven either flee or attempt to kill each other in a bid to take their late leader's place.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Many of the tomes and Grimoires are hidden away in secret side areas. Tomes are fairly easy to find, usually hidden at most in a chest off the beaten path, but Grimoires can require puzzles, platforming challenges, and a lot of serious searching to find.
  • Distress Ball: Despite having edged weapons, the main characters are somehow rendered completely helpless whenever a packmaster puts a rope around their neck. Furthermore, a gorget line of trinkets exist. One would imagine that armoring one's throat would help against the packmaster snaring them a lot more than simply reducing the damage taken from them.
  • Doomed by Canon: The game can quickly be summarized as "What would you get if you set Left 4 Dead in the Warhammer universe, with the skaven serving as the opposition?" The answer is doomed protagonists, as the Warhammer world was destroyed by Chaos, then reforged into the Mortal Realms of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. Partly averted due to Warhammer: Age of Sigmar saying that quite a few people managed to escape the doomed universe and settle into the new universe created by Sigmar.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • The Waywatcher and Gutter Runners dual wields daggers, dual swords, or dagger and sword.
    • Witch Hunter can Dual Wield pistols, and pairs any rapier with a pistol.
    • Any weapon-and-shield style (available to both the Dwarf and the Empire Soldier) winds up using their shield offensively as well as defensively.
  • Early Game Hell: The crappy starting equipment, lack of checkpoints, rarity of healing items, and lack of knowledge on how to handle special enemies can make this game quite difficult for new players, even on normal difficulty. Particularly if they can't find an experienced team to join.
  • Elite Mooks: The Stormvermin, leaders of skaven packs; compared to the clan rats, they're larger, have better armor and weapons, and thus require more effort to take down. Whilst they are not a huge threat individually, they frequently arrive in pairs or more rarely threes. Worse yet are the Patrols, though...
  • Expy: Quite a number of the special Skaven take their mechanics from the Infected from the Left 4 Dead series and their identities from units in the Skaven Army Book from Warhammer, resulting in a hybrid that puts a new spin on the specials, and makes for good gameplay without deviating from canon much:
    • The Stormvermin Patrol walks around a certain area and is tough to defeat and easier to avoid, just like the Wandering Witch.
    • Packmasters incapacitate and drag heroes around while slowly damaging them like the Jockey.
    • Poison Wind Globadiers use a lingering Herd-Hitting Attack that deals Damage Over Time and obscures vision, similar to a combination of the Spitter and Boomer. The Poison Wind does not pick sides, however.
    • Gutter Runners leap on heroes to incapacitate them, then repeatedly stab them in a manner to the Hunter. Runners will, unlike Hunters, engage in hit-and-run attacks.
    • Clan Rats and Skavenslaves attack in huge numbers, essentially simulating the horde attack of regular zombies. Clan Rats tend to have basic leather armour, sometimes a helmet, and crude-if-serviceable weapons. Skavenslaves have whatever they can scavenge and are almost hairless.
    • Rat Ogres are big, tough and attack with powerful melee like the Tank. Whilst they lack the Tank's ranged attacks, they can leap great distances.
    • Sack-Rats carry useful items but attempt to run from the players just like the Fallen Survivors.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Averted by the players, played straight and justified by the Ratling Gunners — their Warpstone bullets glow green.
  • Eye Scream: Saltzpyre lost one of his eyes to a Gutter Runner, as evidenced by his lines when pounced by one.
  • Five-Man Band: Though only four can be chosen in gameplay sessions. The band consists of:
    • Victor Saltzpyre, z male Witch Hunter, The Leader, who is a position of nominal authority over the other characters and tends to shout commands during gameplay.
    • Sienna Fuegonasus, a female Bright Wizard, The Smart Guy, who has been arrested by Victor for her manic pyromancy but has been deputized due to the ongoing siege.
    • Markus Kruber, a male Empire Soldier, The Lancer, who was hired by Victor and comes off more as a cynical veteran of the Empire's wars compared to Victor's fanatical support for the Empire.
    • Bardin Goreksson, a male Dwarfen Ranger, ironically The Big Guy, since despite being waist-high to the other characters, Dwarfs (yes, Dwarfs) in Warhammer are known for being tougher and hardier than any other race, and Bardin likes to tank the enemy, forming a "one-man shield wall".
    • Kerillian, a female Wood Elf Waywatcher, looks like The Chick but isn't, as she is acerbic and condescending to her team most of the time and usually dismissive of anything the Empire or Dwarfs have made or done. Borders on Sixth Ranger.
    • The Barkeeper serves as The Chick (as that trope notes, The Chick is not always female). He's a burly citizen of the Empire who greets you after each mission with a warm word of encouragement, tends to your hideout and supplies, and doesn't ever figure into combat. He's the brains of the operation, and schemes on what needs to be done first.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: One mission has the party assigned to destroy a powerful Skaven weapon known as a Screaming Bell before a Grey Seer can activate its terrible power.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The heroes attempts to save the city succeed. However Ubersreik eventually gets destroyed, the Empire is down to only one city (which is then taken over because a certain elf stole the essence of a God that helped prevent it from falling). And to add further insult to injury, the Warhammer World gets destroyed by Chaos. Even the ending states it.
    "Clan Fester's assault was but a taste, a foreshadowing of what was to come. The battle for Ubersreik had been won, but the war had barely begun. The fires of Ubersreik were a signal. As the city burned, the borders of the Empire came under siege; from Skaven, from the Chaos warriors of the North, and the living dead. These are the End Times."
  • Friendly Fireproof: From Hard and below, this is played straight - characters' ranged attacks and bombs will not hurt each other. On Nightmare and above, this is averted, just like in Left 4 Dead's Expert difficulty - the swings of melee weapons are still safe, but all ranged weapons and bombs will deal a small but not insignificant amount of damage to friendlies.
    • A certain trinket increases the explosion radius of the equipped character's bombs, but also makes them Friendly Fireproof even on Nightmare and up.
    • The Globadier's Poison Wind doesn't pick sides on any difficulty; it'll kill the clan rats and skavenslaves just as readily as the heroes. Smart players can potentially use this to their advantage.
  • Gatling Good: The weapon of choice for the enemy type, the Ratling Gunner. Unlike the regular Ratling Guns manned by a pair of Skaven, these are experimental ones that can be carried by a single, larger Skaven.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Ubersreik Calls for Aid, at any rate.
    • The first canonical mission involves the party trying to make it to the Horn of Magnus at the top of the Tower of Magnus during the opening hours of the Skaven's invasion of the city. If they can blow the horn, it will be heard at watch posts around the countryside and will signal the alarm to the wider Empire, alerting them of the possibility of similar attacks or summoning relief forces. Either result would take a while to arrive, but it gives the city hope it can hold out.
    • Likewise, the final mission of the Karak Azgaraz campaign sees the heroes heading to the top of a mountain to light a dwarven beacon, to warn other friendly settlements of the danger. As with Ubersreik, it's too late for most of Karak Azgaraz.
  • Gorn: Heads and limbs go flying left and right, and black Skaven blood gets everywhere.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Witch Hunter can dual wield two pistols and can choose fire rapidly on enemies (at the cost of a huge amount of ammo).
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Mostly played straight in the release trailer. While all the heroes have both melee and ranged abilities, the male Dwarf Ranger and Empire Soldier dispatch the Skaven with melee abilities, while the female Bright Wizard kills them with ranged magic. The male Witch Hunter inverts it, preferring to use guns, while the female Waywatcher subverts it by using both arrows and Elven blades to fight.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare and Cataclysm difficulty. Besides turning on Friendly Fire, it also ups the health and damage of all the enemies by a great amount - even a single regular Skaven can down you in three to four hits. Of course, both of them give out much better loot than the lower difficulties; a blue weapon is all but guaranteed on Nightmare.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Stormvermin and Ratling Gunners have armor that protects them from most attacks, and need to be either attacked in the head or with an Armor-Piercing Attack.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Players tend to learn to fear (or at least respect) the sound of a Stormvermin Patrol. So when you go into a mission which sees you sabotaging the tunnels the skaven are using to move their forces, and see thousands of tiny figures in the distance below, all making that same chant, all marching toward the surface? You might be wishing you brought your brown pants.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Skaven in this game are primarily from Clan Fester. The only other notable mention of them is the Uniforms & Heraldry pictorial book Games Workshop published to give tabletop players army theme and colouring ideas. Their only information there was their clan name, colours, and that they were a thrall clan under the much more powerful Clan Pestilens. Lore entries within this game give them a bit more fleshing out.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: When drinking a healing draught, the character drinking it might complain about the taste of it. Even Bardin, who may occasionally ask for another, can complain about it.
    Kerillian: This mulch burns my throat.
    Bardin: Gah! Tastes like krut!
    Saltzpyre: I don't drink this out of thirst.
    Kruber: I wish you were an ale!
  • Interesting Situation Duel: One of the DLC maps had you adjusting steam valves as you fight off hordes of Skaven. The more valves you release, the worse the visibility becomes.
  • Just Before the End: The game takes place during The End Times, which leads to the destruction of The Old World.
  • Lady of War: Kerillian
  • Last-Name Basis: Markus Kruber's first name is almost never spoken aloud in-game. The same would normally be true for Victor Saltzpyre, except Sienna sometimes calls him "Victor" as a gesture of playful disrespect.
  • Last Stand: The aptly-named Last Stand mode, where the player must defend themselves themselves from increasingly numerous and difficult hordes of Skaven until they fall.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Both the Empire Soldier and the Dwarven Ranger can use a shield+melee weapon combo as their melee weapon of choice. When defending, they can take a good amount of damage before their guard breaks, and they can also block the bullet storm of a Ratling Gunner without breaking.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Picking up a Grimoire ensures that you will get a cursed die for the Loot Game, which has a 100% chance of coming up with a face. The catch? Your entire team gets their maximum health reduced by a third per Grimoire picked up (or a sixth if wearing a certain trinket).
  • Metal Slime: The Sack-Rats, rare enemies that carry a sack containing loot and run away quickly if they spot the heroes.
  • The Musketeer: All of your characters have a dedicated melee weapon and a dedicated ranged weapon each.
  • Mythology Gag: This is not the first time the Red Moon Inn in Ubersreik has hosted a group of adventurers. That honor belongs to "A Day Late, A Shilling Short".
    • The paintings in the Wizard's Tower are classical pieces of Warhammer Fantasy art, such as John Blanche's Skeleton Horde.
    • The Castle Drachenfels DLC, which was based on very old material within the Warhammer Fantasy background that had for long been of dubious canonicity.
  • Never Split the Party: Because doing so is a good way to get the entire party killed. Whether by allowing individuals to be swarmed by Skavenslaves, dragged off by Packmasters, ambushed by Gutter Runners, or pinned down and perforated by Ratling Gunners, trying to go it alone will get a player killed and their party left without vital support.
    • Even WORSE if party members have Stars of the Sisterhood, which turns health into one giant symbiotic life bar. Did your friend get pinned down in an area you can't reach? You might not be able to save him, but at least you can enjoy dying together!
  • Odd Friendship: Kerillian and Sienna are noticeably cordial with each other compared to their bickering interactions with the others, perhaps reflecting their similar Trigger Happy outlook. While Sienna is seen as a likely criminal by Victor, Kerillian urges her to continue embracing her Hot-Blooded nature.
    Kerillian: (when healing Sienna) Shelter behind One-eye next time!
  • Oh My Gods!: Pretty much the entire party of heroes gets in on this;
    • Victor frequently peppers his speech with references to Sigmar, requesting his benedictions and dedicating deeds in his name.
      "Holy Sigmar! Bless this ravaged body!"
    • Kruber likewise invokes Sigmar, but also occasionally Taal (an older human god of nature) and Shallya (mostly when finding healing supplies).
      "Taal blessed your aim!"
    • Bardin invokes the name of Valaya, a dwarfen goddess of hearth and healing, most often when spotting a special or when a teammate gets a headshot.
      "Valaya's Radiant Helm, you've a good eye!"
    • Kerillian of course turns to Lileath in dire times, asking her to watch over the party.
    • Finally, Sienna will instead refer to the schools of magic, mostly Aqshy (fire) and Ulgu (shadow); the first when she's generated too much heat through magic use (see below) and the second when sensing the presence of Gutter Runners.
  • Overheating: The Bright Wizard's spells cause a heat meter to increase, while not using them or venting it out will decrease it. If it gets too high she'll literally start burning herself up, and if it reaches max she explodes.
  • Patrolling Mook: The Stormvermin Patrol. It's best to avoid drawing their attention, considering that they're made of at least four Heavily Armored Elite Mooks. Thankfully, they're easily identified from afar by their "Hee! Yah!" marching sound.
  • Perception Filter: The Red Moon Inn, where the party makes its headquarters, promises shelter in "any storm", including apparently a Skaven invasion. This is actually accomplished via grey magic, which keeps the Skaven from noticing the building. The proprietor has a deal going with a grey wizard in town to provide this spell, and unfortunately it is weakening under all the sudden strain...
  • Pinned to the Wall: The fate of many Skaven when arrows start flying. It happens quite often as long as the wall is somewhat behind the killed target, suggesting that Rule of Cool was the goal.
  • Pun: The Von Saponatheim family, who have a warehouse in the Waterfront level. It is pronounced like "Once upon a time".
  • Protection Mission: The final part of "Wizard's Tower", where you must protect four wards from being destroyed by the Skaven for a period of time. Fortunately, not all of them need to stand to finish the mission.
    • A mission added alongside Castle Drachenfels sees the heroes intentionally overloading warpstone generators to shut down skaven portals, adding an extra challenge; they need to keep the skaven from throwing water on the generators (for cooling purposes), but also don't want to be standing too close when the generators finally explode.
  • Rat Men: The Skaven are basically Always Chaotic Evil humanoid rats that are known for their use of warpstone-powered Magitek and for having a serious race-wide case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • The Reveal: The Waylaid DLC presents a few:
    • Rasknitt is shown to be alive and well after his presumed death.
    • Olesya Pimenova is an unsanctioned magic user, much to Victor's anger.
    • Franz Lohner has a grudgebringer shield, heavily implying that he's a former grudgebringer (who fought skaven during the events of "Shadow of the Horned Rat", which could explain his knowledge of the skaven).
  • Sdrawkcab Name: One area in the Wizard's Tower is the Chamber of Gnignol, which shows a different illusory landscape that corresponds to what the player's character longs for the most.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Downer Ending of the End Times, which canonically result in the world's utter destruction shortly after the events of the games, makes everything the player will accomplish ultimately pointless, even though the good guys score a (temporary) victory at the end of the game.
  • Shout-Out: The Grey Wizard who specializes in illusions, Christoph Engel, is clearly based on real-life magician Criss Angel.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Do you hear a funny high-pitched statement of "Mine!"? Well then, be careful, because that means a Sack Rat's nearby that you'll want to kill before spooking it away to get its supplies (or even loot dice). In general, careful listening can allow players to realize a special enemy is creeping around before it visually appears by listening out for distinctive sounds or voicelines that are associated with them.
  • Super-Persistent Missile:
    • Trueflight bows are designed to give a small intelligence and some rocket fuel to the projectiles fired from them so that they try to hit one of the user's enemies. Better yet, the hyper-agile arrows go for the head and can hit up to two enemies, which leads to some crazy stunts; arrows can occasionally do 90-degree turns in pursuit of fast-moving targets and can hit targets behind walls by curving through windows. It's extremely effective against almost all kinds of special foes, being able to track the fast-moving Gutter Runners and reliably hit the head of Stormvermin, Ratling Gunners, and Globadiers. The downsides are that your firing speed is decreased due to the amount of time it takes to charge an arrow with magic (about half a second), it uses up twice as much ammo as a normal bow (so you now have half the maximum amount of arrows), and the arrows might whiz around and shoot someone other than your target if you don't point them at a foe until it locks on.
    • The Bolt Staves act in an extremely similar fashion, except without the ammo restriction (which is traded off for the aforementioned Overheating) and with the arrow replaced with a fiery spear.
  • Sword and Gun: If equipped with a rapier, the Witch Hunter will also hold a pistol in his off-hand while wielding the rapier. It can be fired with the rapier out, and has an ammo count independent of his actual ranged weapon.
  • Taking You with Me: If the Bright Wizard is in a tight spot, then a possible tactic is to deliberately overheat herself to the point of exploding. The explosion radius is massive and does lots of damage, but it will obviously down her immediately. Make sure your teammates can get you back up quickly if you try this!
  • Team Killer: A common trait of the Skaven is that their society runs on Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and they care only for themselves with no regards to the well-being of their fellows. As such, the specialist Skaven such as the Ratling Gunner or the Poison Wind Globadier will not bat an eyelid if they continuously accidentally kill their Skaven brethren in their attempts to kill the players.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Ubersreik appears to be completely empty in all the levels that take place in it. You never see any town's people at any point in the game. There's a good bit of corpses lying around, but hardly enough to remotely populate the town.
  • Water Source Tampering: The Skaven poison the city's water supply in the "Garden of Morr" level, and attempt to poison several wells in "Well Watch".
  • Your Head A-Splode: The result of a sufficiently powerful and well-aimed blunt blow to the head results in the messy pulping of said head.
  • Zerg Rush: One of the Skavens specialty, especially the Skavenslaves which basically attack in huge groups akin to a horde attack in Left 4 Dead.

Alternative Title(s): Warhammer The End Times Vermintide, Vermintide


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