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Video Game / The Sunken City Collection

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"The Blood. It binds us, makes us whole. It completes us."

The Sunken City Collection is the unofficial name for a large collection of Darkest Dungeon Mods, tied together thematically, through in-game lore, and by their shared author Marvin Seo. While mostly a homebrew class mod, there is a number of trinket ones (for the Crimson Court and Color of Madness) as well as a massive fanmade Expansion Pack, The Sunken City (the collection's namesake), which is still in development.

The mods in the collection include:

  • The Falconer: The first, and most famous, which adds the custom Falconer class to the game; a former bandit turned adventurer who fights with her bow and her trusted falcon companion. She serves as a disruptor, applying debuffs and distracting enemies to give her allies an upper hand. However, the Falconer is not a direct fighter. Her damage output is lower than most characters and if she is caught in an unfavourable position, her life may very well be at risk. The Falconer is best used as support, leaving the heavy hitting to other classes. In 2018 she received a substantial rework, including redone art assets, a new stance mechanic, balancing fixes, and a new feature that adds hunting Bandits to the game.
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  • The Thrall: The second custom class to be added, which is the Thrall; a bloodthirsty gladiator who crushes anything that opposes the heir with his bare fists. The Thrall shines best in the thick of combat, where he can deliver devastating blows and punish any who try to defy him. Should the opponent be too far to engage in close combat, the Thrall can take a moment to hype himself up and charge back into the fray, trampling all who stand in his way. While the Thrall's body is unbreakable, his mind is fragile. Should the Thrall feel he is threatened, he'll quickly become Ferocious, entering a frenzy where friend and foe blur into one mass and the only priority is self preservation.
  • The Lamia: The third custom class, the Lamia; a bewitching siren of unearthly beauty one second, and a hideous sea abomination another; the Lamia has a transformation mechanic similar to the vanilla game's Abomination, being a support class in her human form, and a damage class transformed. Regardless of the form she takes, the Lamia is very fragile, relying on either her speed in beast form or her allies in human form to survive. Unfortunately the hideous appearance of the Lamia can inflict massive stress to her party and such is her nature that as she attacks, she may disrupt her own party's formation. Without the proper protection, the Lamia can easily be rendered useless or, in the worst case, dead.
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  • The Seraph: The fourth custom class, the Seraph; A holy knight, burnt and broken, who wields the power of the divine flame, but holds a darker, more sinister nature hidden underneath. Wielding sword, shield, and flame, the Seraph is powerful as both a tank, and damage dealer, though she has a handful of support utility, but her true power is her Martyr complex, similar to the Flagellant; she gets more powerful as she takes more damage. The Seraph's weakness lies in her broken body and fanatical faith. The Seraph is nothing without her blessed armor, and any foe that can bypass her sturdy defense will quickly end the Seraph's life.
  • The Sisters: The fifth, and by far the most experimental of the bunch, custom class, the Sisters: A skilled General from the far east haunted by the spirit of her dead sister, a powerful scholar, who fight for control over their body, the Sisters are the very definition of Difficult, but Awesome, as they have a very complex moveset based on a Stance System, but once mastered not much can stand against them. Each Sister specializes in different techniques for combat. The Scholar uses forbidden knowledge she stole from her Order's temple, manipulating the life essence of the world to aid herself and allies while hindering the enemy. The Warrior in contrast prefers the visceral feel of melee combat, passing from foe to foe in a bloody display of finesse and cruelty.
  • The Wraith: The sixth class in the collection. An assassin from a distant land, the Wraith fights using a peculiar weapon of blade and chain. Master of this exotic tool of bloodshed, this heartless killer swings his sickle like a whip, lacerating and decapitating his foes from a range or delivering a brutal execution in melee. The Wraith is not an agile combatant. His body and mind are cold from a decade of remorseless slaughter and he has adapted a patient and calculating method to his combat tactics. He relies on ensnaring his victims or temporarily incapacitating them with the blunt side of his weapon, after which he can deliver an efficient and fatal attack.
  • The Sunken City: An Expansion Pack in development, the Sunken City is centred on a massive new area, the titular Sunken City; which has fallen into ruin, being infested by uncountable gibbering abominations from the elder age. The area will be similar to the Darkest Dungeon and the Crimson Court from the base game, scripted areas that stretch the Nintendo Hard nature of the game to its limits albeit much larger, with a huge swathe of new bosses, new mini bosses, enemies, new curios, new trinkets and more.
  • Crimson Court Trinkets: Adds a host of new Crimson Court trinkets for the new heroes, along with support for the DLC.
  • Colour of Madness Trinkets: Adds a host of new shard trinkets for the new heroes, along with support for the DLC.

The collection as a whole is most well known for its high quality, especially its art, being virtually identical to the vanilla games style, and internal balance; it has even received nods from Red Hook itself.

This game provides examples of:

  • A House Divided: A gameplay mechanic for the Sisters. At 100 stress, they always end up with an unique "Discordant" affliction, where they end up fighting for control over their shared body. This translates into getting the worst traits of multiple afflictions, changing stances at random, and becoming less resistant against deathblows.
  • Affably Evil: For an inhuman abomination that maintains her youth through Blood Magic, the Lamia is very personable, always speaking gently and politely too her comrades, with warmth, and even genuine kindness occasionally. It doesn't change she's a loathsome being underneath it.
  • Ambiguously Human: It's not clear if the Lamia is a human cursed into becoming a monster (like the Abomination) and is trying to keep control over her monstrous side, or if she was always a monster and the human form is a guise she's desperately trying to keep. Regardless, she's obsessed with maintaining her beautiful human form at any cost.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The Sisters. Did the Scholar kill the Warrior, only for her curse to backfire and cause her to be haunted by the Warrior's ghost? Or did the Warrior kill the Scholar, who then came back as a ghost thanks to her magic? Each Sister claims that she is the one who survived, and the rightful "owner" of the body they're fighting over.
  • Anachronism Stew: When taken in conjunction with the vanilla Darkest Dungeon's setting, which is a late Renaissance and early modern European setting. The Lamia and Thrall both hail from what appears to be an ancient Greek or Roman culture, complete with togas and gladiator pits. The Sisters come from an unspecified feudal Chinese region whose exact era is unspecified. The Wraith appears to be from a feudal Japanese region.
  • Animal Motifs: The Falconer, obviously, uses falcons and other birds of prey as her motif, with her hood being shaped like a falcon's beak; the 2018 rework revealed this the motif of her Bandit Clan, who all have a very falcon-esque motif incorporated into their armor, fighting style, and fielding evil birds of their own. The Lamia uses aquatic snakes, eels, and lampreys as her motif.
  • Anti-Hero: While all of the new heroes are not particularly savory characters, they do each have some degree of goodness in them. Even the Lamia, when virtuous, shows a glimmer of actual heroism beneath her otherwise monstrous nature. In addition, all of the heroes will suffer stress and horror if they harm the Talon hostages, and will heal stress if they rescue them.
  • Attack Animal: The Falconer and the Talon brigands are accompanied by birds of prey, with Talon champions and Mother Talon summoning flocks of crows and ravens, and vultures being among the enemies that follow the Talons into battle.
  • The Atoner: The Falconer is attempting to make amends for her awful past as a bandit. One town event that lets you recruit Falconers mentions most of the Hamlet doesn't trust them but are willing to accept their help because they're just that desperate. In fact, she accepts her fate calmly when selected by the Heart of Darkness.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The Thrall takes this Up to Eleven. Not only is he a crazed berserker who gets stress relief from battering enemies to death with his bare hands, he has a special affliction; Ferocious, which gives him a heavy buff to damage at the cost of making it very likely he'll choose to attack a friend instead of a mob.
    • The Warrior part of the Sisters is terribly unhinged, announcing her presence after taking over with a loud promise of violence. She even has a perpetual Slasher Smile.
  • Anti-Hero: All of the classes, even moreso than the vanilla heroes really. Barring perhaps the Falconer whose still pretty ruthless, the rest are all NominalHeroes at best; The Lamia is the sole exception, being close to a Villain Protagonist.
  • Bandit Clan: The Talons are a clan of bandits whom the Falconer once worked for, and subsequently abandoned. They apparently specialized in kidnapping and slavery, and when the Falconer accidentally killed one of their prisoners, she fled the clan and now they are hunting her. They feature a bird of prey motif and will attack the Falconer and her party at camps in a manner akin to the Shieldbreaker.
  • Badass Gay: The Wraith was once a master swordsman who fell in love with one of his male students... and was subsequently betrayed by him.
  • The Big Guy: The Thrall is a mountain of muscle and barely contained rage.
  • Blood Magic: The Lamia's magic comes from this, which she learned from the fishfolk.
  • Body Horror:
    • The Seraph's body was burnt, and the results, as seen in her comic, are not pretty. In game, the only glimpse we get is when she uses Visage, a move that has her removing her mask and showing her Nightmare Face to the two front enemy ranks, stunning them. This is also extremely unsettling to her allies, to the point of inflicting Horror on them.
    • The Lamia's comic shows her body becoming wizened and emaciated before she sacrifices a maiden.
  • The Bully: The Thrall's entire issue is that he does this to the entire party. One of the Thrall's camping skills, Dominus, consists of him treating his teammates like shit, earning him a stress recovery but stressing out all of the others.
    • Bully Brutality: Another camping skill consists of him beating the living hell out of another party member.
  • Burn the Witch!: The Seraph was burnt at the stake as a witch, but was saved by timely Divine Intervention, although her body was horribly charred and disfigured.
  • Casualty in the Ring: The Thrall's comic shows him inflicting one of these to his opponent. According to the Lamia's journals, apparently the opponent he killed was so popular and beloved that his death caused a riot.
  • Chained by Fashion: The Thrall's collar still has a chain hanging from the back. The links look large enough that you could probably moor a boat with it.
  • Coup de Grâce: The Wraith's Guillotine skill is a guaranteed critical hit against enemies that are at 25% hp or lower, meaning it will most of the time be used as a finishing blow.
  • Covered with Scars: In the Thrall's defence, he's an escaped gladiator slave; it's hardly surprising that a lifetime of fighting with minimal armour would leave him looking like a heavily-used cutting board.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the base game, whose heroes are mostly repentant people trying to redeem themselves for a past sin, Marvin Seo's classes are generally Nominal Heroes in it for their own benefit. Some, like the Falconer, are attempting to atone for their pasts, while others, like the Lamia, are purely in it for themselves. The Talon brigands are an even nastier version of normal brigands, who are accompanied by vultures and will even bring hostages and use them against your party.
  • Death Seeker: When Discordant, the Sisters will start to shift toward this, with the Warrior damaging herself and making herself more vulnerable just so that she can end the feeling of lifelessness she experiences when the Scholar is in control of their body.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The Lamia is super flirty to everyone, regardless of the classes gender, as is expected considering her nature. If anything, she seems to like other women even more than men, choosing her next victim based on how pretty they look.
  • Desperation Attack: When she's at 33% (or less) health, the Seraph can use Vengeance, arguably her most powerful skill. It does a lot of damage (even more if the target is marked), has a high crit chance and to top it off, activates riposte when used.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The Lamia and the Seraph are this for the Abomination (both can transform into a monstrous form) and the Leper (both are righteous warriors wearing heavy armor and suffering from Body Horror), respectively.
  • Enemy Summoner: The vultures who accompany Talon brigands will feed on the corpses of enemies who are killed, and will fill any unoccupied slots on the enemy team with more vultures.
  • Epic Flail: The Wraith's trademark weapon is a kusarigama, effectively combining this trope with Sinister Scythe.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Lamia in Beast form.
  • Friend or Foe: When afflicted, the Thrall is as likely to hit an enemy as he is to pummel another member of your party.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Talon Mother used to be a slave, until she got loose from her bonds with the help of crows, at the cost of her left arm being chewed by them. A Roaring Rampageof Revenge ensues, ending with her gouging out the eyes of the slaver's leader then taking over as the new leader of the brigand group that harasses the Falconer at the present.
  • The Fundamentalist: The Seraph is this even when compared to the religious characters of the vanilla game (save perhaps the Flagellant). This is more evident in her camping skills, which are geared towards offering benefits towards religious characters and disadvantages to non religious ones.
  • Heal It with Fire: The Seraph's Cauterize skill, which removes bleeds from a party member and grants them a huge bleed resist buff, at the cost of decreasing their speed and increasing stress damage taken for a couple of rounds.
  • Heroic Build: The popular gladiator in the Thrall's comic is a straight example, up until his head is reduced to a red smear; the Thrall who kills him is an exaggeration, being a vaguely humanoid heap of muscle and scars that barely fits into one slot in the party lineup.
  • Hostage Situation: The revamped Falconer mod introduces hostages that guard Talon brigands. Shoot the Hostage is strongly discouraged because attacking a hostage will raise the attacker's stress level while killing her will inflict horror as well as massive stress damage to the entire party. Keeping the hostage alive while killing her kidnappers, however, will greatly reduce the entire party's stress.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Lamia. Her transformed state is so monstrous it inflicts Horror on the rest of the party.
  • Jerkass: The Thrall is horrible abusive to his teammates even when not afflicted, and when he is, he can turn against them in the blood frenzy just as readily as enemies. His camping skills are all based around making himself stronger at the expense of his fellows, except the one where they gang up on him and chain him up, and one specifically has him tie someone up to clobber for the night (particularly hilarious when combined with the Flagellant, who would probably demand he keep going).
  • I Die Free: The Thrall's barks when afflicted, Also if selected by the Heart of Darkness
    Thrall: Come then, creature of creation! If I am to die, I will die free of my shackles!
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Seraph has a greatshield that she can use to guard another member of the party, boosting her own protection status in the process.
    • This also extends to her stats, since the Seraph has high defense but poor health.
  • Magic Mirror: The Lamia wields one. It allows her to keep her human appearance.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Compared with the baseline Darkest Dungeon classes, each of them except the old version of the Falconer has a unique element.
    • The Thrall gains a small amount of stress every time he takes a hit. This makes stress management for him extremely important, as well as mitigating attacks against him. Additionally, he cannot use the standard camping skills, because he's too much of a Jerkass to ever encourage people, leaving him with only his unique ones: toughening himself up, bullying the rest of the party, beating the hell out of some poor bastard in the group, or being chained up so the rest of the party don't have to deal with his shit.
    • The Lamia cannot deal any damage in her human form, meaning she has to rely on her party to deal damage.
    • Though the Seraph uses vanilla mechanics, she is heavily dependent on Marks to deal significant damage. Since most classes who can Mark are not religious classes, focusing on her marking abilities means any party she joins won't benefit much from her religious abilities. This means she has to be built to either support a Mark-heavy party or support a religious party.
    • The Sisters feature a constantly-shifting Stance System. Like the Thrall, they depend on stress-healing because of the unique issues with their affliction if their stress gets too high. The Sisters can mitigate their stress by frequently changing stances, which both reduces stress and makes it so that the stress cost of their abilities doesn't increase. The drawback is that changing stances stresses out the rest of the party.
    • Through the Adapt skill, the new Falconer can change her other abilities into alternate versions - essentially giving her 13 skills instead of the usual 7. For example, Volley Fire can be changed into Flurry and back; both damage multiple enemies, but the former inflicts more damage, while the latter shuffles enemies around and reduces their accuracy).
    • The Wraith has an "execution" mechanic that gives him massive bonus damage to an enemy whose health is low. He also gains damage bonuses against enemies who are stunned or bleeding.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Thrall has underwhelming speed, but his arms are nearly as big as the Highwayman's entire body, and they are not just for show.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: In-Universe, the Lamia's Arietta skill, where she sings a soothing song to a party member, healing stress, with a chance of removing Horror status.
  • Mugging the Monster: In one of the journal collections for the Lamia, she mentions being mugged by bandits while going through the back alleys of her city. Naturally, it doesn't end well for her attackers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • You can see the guilt and shame on the Falconer's face when she watches her fellow bandits rape and murder the girl she helped them track. In her new comic, she has this reaction when she kills an hostage by accident.
    • Coupled with a party-wide horror debuff, this is what happens if one kills a Talon Hostage.
    • If afflicted, the Lamia will openly lament the lengths she's gone to in order to keep her beauty.
  • No-Harm Requirement: It's explicitly stated that the Lamia's disguise immediately fails if she directly harms someone. In gameplay, this means that she cannot cause damage unless she's in beast form.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: The Falconer's falcon.
  • Nominal Hero: The only reason the Thrall is at the Hamlet is because he was bought by the Heir from a slave auction; he just fights the horrors of the Darkest Dungeon because it's the only thing he knows to do, and takes pleasure in it.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: One of the Thrall's camping skills has the rest of the party chain him for the night. This stresses him considerably, but everyone else loses stress because of the catharsis.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Lamia's beauty relies on human sacrifice.
  • Princess in Rags: The revamped Falconer's second comic, posted on Marvin Seo's website, suggests she's this.
  • Stance System:
    • The Lamia can switch between human and beast, in a way similar to the Abomination.
    • The Sisters can switch which sister is currently possessing the body. Staying in a form increases the stress cost of that form's skills, while the cost for the other form's skills decreases. Switching forms heals some of the Sisters' stress, but stresses out the rest of the party.
    • The reworked Falconer can use her "Adapt" ability to change the secondary effects of her skills.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Scholar and the Warrior, despite hating each other's guts, fight together to ensure the survival of their common body. However, upon getting the Sisters' unique affliction (Discordant), any semblance of collaboration between both goes out of the window.
    • Also, the Thrall with anyone adventuring with him. Any partnership where three of the participants regularly keep the fourth chained to a handy tree in downtime rather than deal with his crap has problems.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Wraith was once a master swordsman who was betrayed by one of his students (and lover). The former kindly master is explicitly described as being dead, with only a hollow, unfeeling killer remaining.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The series as a whole is filled with morally dubious heroes, to the extent they make the vanilla Hamlet adventures look like saints in comparison, ranging from the ruthless Warrior to the utterly vicious and brutal Thrall. The Lamia herself is this to the rest of the group.
  • Token Good Teammate: The Falconer at least has some scruples, in sharp contrast to, for example, the Lamia or the Thrall.
  • Use Your Head: The Thrall skill Gore has him headbutting the enemy with the blade in his helmet. It deals a lot of damage and stuns the enemy, but it also has a chance to stun the Thrall himself.

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