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Vampire Survivors is a survival shoot'em up roguelike, developed by poncle. It takes place in a rural area of Italy in 2021, where Bisconte Draculó used evil magic to ruin the region with famine. You play as the Belpaese family and allies, who now rise to defeat Draculó and return good food to the table.

The game is available on Steam. It released out of Early Access on October 20, 2022. A demo can be played on poncle's itch.io page. On December 15, 2022, the game received its first wave of Downloadable Content, titled Legacy of the Moonspell. The second DLC, Tides of the Foscari, was released on April 13, 2023. An upcoming animated series based on the game was announced on the 29th of April 2023. On the 6th of December 2023, a crossover DLC pack with Among Us was announced, titled "Emergency Meeting", slated for December 18th. On the same day, a major patch update included standalone "Adventures" with a bit more actual story and standalone progression seperate from the rest of the game. On April 10, 2024, a second crossover DLC pack with Contra was announced, titled "Operation Guns", slated for May 9th, alongside announcements for ports to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Not to be confused with Vampire Savior (a.k.a. Darkstalkers 3).


Vampire Survivors provides examples of:

  • Achievement System: Achievements are tracked in-game and completing them unlocks new items, upgrades, stages and characters, or gives you money.
  • Action Bomb: A banshee attacks you right at the start of the Inlaid Library. It will explode and take out half your health if it connects. Red rings will pulse from it, accompanied by a beeping sound right before it explodes. More appear as the level goes on.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: In early versions, purchasing one of the permanent powerups increased the cost of every powerup on the board, so starting with the most expensive purchases was recommended to make the most of your gold. This was later adjusted so that the cost increase is flat across all upgrades.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Giovanna Grana has the look of a traditional witch and starts with Gatti Amari, a cat weapon that fights for her, and unlocks for everyone after surviving for 15 mins as her.
  • Angelic Abomination: Angel enemies show up to hijack the Moongolow bonus stage, and most of them are monstrous creatures composed of rings, eyes, limbs, and wings. They're also the main enemies in the fifth stage, Capella Magna, and it's implied they took the form of the enemies you've been fighting all along.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The battle with Ender takes place in a background of swirling white and purple clouds. It can be quite disorienting, especially since Ender's attacks are telegraphed with a light red beam that blends in with the purple.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear why the Director fights the Survivors but befriends them afterward. It's also unclear why he'll revive the survivor if they die in his final phase, but it is possible to lose in his earlier stages.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The 0.3.2 update shows which item is needed to pair up with each weapon, provided you've already evolved that weapon in an earlier run. A later update adds the Grimoire that records the evolution combinations that you've discovered. This makes forward planning on future runs much easier.
    • Toastie's a One-Hit-Point Wonder, except that he does get a second HP after a level. Two HP won't save him from any enemies, but it does keep him from dying instantly to Gatti Amari's friendly fire in case a cat takes a swipe at him, since that only does one damage.
    • Since each character starts with a different weapon, the ones with more situational weapons have unique temporary starting bonuses (separate from their normal stat differences) to gain quick levels and minimize Early Game Hell.
      • Porta starts with Lightning Ring, which has one of the longest cooldowns in the game. She gets an immense cooldown bonus that lasts until she levels up once so that Lightning Ring can generate experience at the beginning.
      • Clerici starts with a high area bonus that diminishes as she levels up, since her starting weapon, Santa Water, isn't very precise.
      • Christine starts off with the Pentagram. The game immediately levels you up so you have a 2nd weapon to more reliably survive and obtain XP. Similarly, Gallo and Divano both start with nonlethal "weapons", so they too instantly start at level 2.
      • Sir Ambrojoe starts with La Robba, a weapon that starts off with very umimpressive stats. He starts with 10 more amount that slowly diminishs so La Robba can function as a proper starting weapon.
      • Menya has an Hour of Power Super Mode after killing enough enemies, but when not in super mode her stats are extremely unimpressive. To help build a run that can survive when she's not powered up, she starts with +8 banishes.
      • Babi-Onna can only attack while moving at a fixed rate and receives no benefit from cooldown reduction, because this totally changes the paradigm of how she plays as a character, she has +10 rerolls to help you find items that work with her unique quirk.
    • Failing to get the relic in Holy Forbidden will cause the stage to show up on the stage select menu until it is completed, instead of having to complete Moongolow again to access it.
    • Experience gems chase you around to just offscreen if you're constantly on the move, so you're not forced to pick up every single orb or risk losing out on any level ups. After so many of the gems have been offscreened like this, they'll conglomerate into a red gem just at the border of the screen to save on processing power and to make them easier to snag. This is why you might sometimes end up having ten or twenty level-ups at once at seemingly random.
    • The selection of items presented on leveling up is not fully random, being biased toward offering items you already have or that can be combined with items already in your possession for evolutions.
    • The 0.8.0 patch added [Always] bag of coins and [Always] floor chicken as options to pick from whenever you level up after you have already maxed out all available weapons and items. It just always grants you that one item for the rest of your playthrough. On runs with Limit Break turned on, these instead are replaced with a [Random once] and [Random Always] effect so you can just let the dice roll your upgrades without having to be interrupted.
    • Patch 0.8.8 added a small feature for the "Survive to 31 minutes" Arcanas where killing Red Death will automatically round the timer up to 31, so you're not forced into a Do Well, But Not Perfect scenario where you're desperately trying to avoid killing Red Death before the timer ticks over, or discouraging you from evolving the Clock Lancet to kill him.
    • Patch 1.2.0, released alongside the Legacy of the Moonspell DLC, changes the treasure chests containing Arcanas to be purple instead of the usual orange-yellow, and makes chests only containing coins be automatically picked up with no animation. The former makes it easier to pick up the Arcanas if the player's build isn't ready to start picking up other chests for evolutions, while the latter is a major benefit to AFK coin farming in Endless Mode, as treasure chests spawning on top of the player formerly required an autoclicker to process them. The patch also makes it so that once a PowerUp is maxed out, it can be toggled on and off at will, particularly useful with the Curse PowerUp.
    • When a character has a very large number of Golden Eggs, a large shadow will appear in Moongolow with the option to either remove a large number of Eggs from the character, or specifically remove all Eggs that have been applied to the MoveSpeed stat, allowing a character to recover if they've become too fast to control.
    • Patch 1.3.0 adds a third merchant to Moongolow, this one appearing only when the player has more than 1 million gold and offering the ability to spend all of the player's gold on Golden Eggs at once. Prior to this, large numbers of Eggs could only be bought at once by using an autoclicker, and high-Egg runs with characters like Big Trouser would require many minutes of leaving the autoclicker running to actually spend all the gold.
    • When you banish enough items in a single run, you can buy up to ten Seal powerups, allowing you to preemptivly banish items before a run, removing them from the drop table. This is useful for gold farming when you don't want Orologion to drops. note  Seal is also useful for removing weapons or passive items not suitable for a run. Patch 1.4.0 adds another batch of Seal powerups, and a later patch doubled the number of seals you get from the second batch, raising the number of seals you can get to 30.
    • Curse normally takes effect instantly whenever you gain additional amounts of it, the only exception being the final rank of Torrona's Box since it drops a whopping 100% Curse on you, it won't take effect until the next minute begins to give you time to prepare for the sudden jump in enemy speed/health/quantity.
  • Anti-Grinding: a strangely Inverted Trope. While there are limits during normal gameplay the golden egg system serves to let you make any character as powerful as you like at the cost of grinding loads of games to get the money and/or in level egg drops. Once somebody gets a steady stream of them they'll find there are few limits on just how absurdly broken the character can get save a few limits, mostly cooldown reduction being capped at 90% golden egg bonus but there are a few others, that seem to be more for keeping the game from falling apart at the seams rather than to restrict the player.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Whoever wrote the Bestiary entries is extremely dismissive of the idea that ghosts exist, despite the existence of magic, other fantasy creatures, and a wide variety of undead skeletons.
  • Arrange Mode: Special modifiers can be selected prior to starting a stage to alter how it plays, and they can be stacked:
    • Beating a main stage's boss at the 25-minute mark unlocks its Hyper version (unlocking it for Challenge and Bonus stages requires reaching specific totals of Hyper mode unlocks), where both the player and monsters move at a much faster speed, and some waves are slightly altered. To compensate, the player gets a starting luck bonus and a high gold bonus depending on the stage's difficulty.
    • Finding the Sorceress' Tears in Gallo Tower unlocks Hurry mode, where play speed remains the same but the clock counts up twice as quickly, meaning new waves come every 30 seconds and the Reaper arrives in half the time.
    • Finding the Randomazzo unlocks the option to turn on Arcanas, special card items that buff specific weapon types or playstyles. Only one Arcana is unlocked alongside the Randomazzo, with the rest needing to be unlocked through other tasks. The modifier also functions as a mini-Video Game Randomizer feature, since the starting Arcana can be randomly picked and ones received from chests during a run are selected from a draw of four.
    • Finding the Mindbender unlocks "character customization", which allows you to switch between a character's pre and post-Art Evolution sprites, but also lets you choose the character's maximum weapons. You can go into a run with as few as a singular weapon or any number between 1 and 6, which can make for some fascinating gimmick runs if you enter with Limit Breaks also enabled. It is also a very practical idea if you are attempting to get the achievement for beating the Boss Rash stage with only one weapon.
    • Finding Gracia's Mirror unlocks Inverse Mode, which flips the stage layout upside down, as well as greatly increasing enemy HP while also having them grow stronger by the minute. In return, you get a small Luck bonus and a massive Gold bonus. The Merchant also sells Rerolls/Skips/Banishes and an extra Arcana to help out.
    • Finding the Seventh Trumpet unlocks Endless Mode, where instead of spawning the Reaper at the 30/15-minute mark, it starts a new cycle with greatly increased enemy stats each time.
    • Finding the Trisection unlocks the option to have random events trigger each minute or two, ranging from enemy swarms to free heals or items.
    • Finding the Atlas Gate unlocks Adventures. Adventures are basically unique scenarios with remixed versions of stages, with gold, unlocks and power ups being separate from your main file and starting from the equivalent of an entirely new save file. They have a trackable-if-barebones story (as opposed to the base game's Excuse Plot) and serve as A Day in the Limelight for one character in specific, with the character choices being restricted to only ones that make sense with the scenario, as well as limited items in the base pool, though the others are unlockable for money. After completing all the goals, you can Ascend the adventure which resets it completely but gives you Adventure Points that you can use to add a stacking 25% luck, growth, greed or curse to it.
    • Finding the Brave Story unlocks Random Level Ups as an option. This option lets the Random Number God completely take the wheel from you by randomly picking your weapons and passive with no input from you on every level, very frequently making for challenge runs with only one or two evolutions, or being lucky enough to end up pulling together a run that can actually survive.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Bestiary bio for The Ender states that it is a combination of the negative forces of the other reaper figures: "Death, Madness, Obsession, Deceit, and Being Wet".
  • Art Evolution: When the game first launched, many assets and enemies were ripped full stop from Castlevania, namely the spritesheet used in CV fangames. As time has gone on however, many of the characters and item icons that were borderline copyright violations have been redesigned to move them away from this and make them more unique and giving the characters more of an identity. You can still go back to the older versions however once you unlock the Mindbender.
  • The Assimilator: When Je-Ne-Viv uses World Eater at the start of the boss battle against her, she gains some of Eleanor's physical features while Eleanor is left weaponless, lending credence to the idea that World Eater can be used to absorb the lifeforce and strengths of its victims, and that Je-Ne-Viv's malformations are presumably the result of Genevieve's abuse of the spell, causing her to turn into a malformed heap of flesh as a result of absorbing too many things. This is also supported by the fact that the playable Je-Ne-Viv gains Eleanor's signature weapons.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In theory, the Paranormal Scan can give a character infinitely-scaling stat-growth. In practice, unless the player is using Ghost Lino, a Mechanically Unusual Fighter par excellence, or gets very, very lucky, it's actually pretty hard to get both the Lifesign Scan weapon and the Mini-Ghost necessary to evolve it in a timely fashion, limiting its growth potential, and outside of using the Sarabande of Healing Arcana the Lifesign Scan can't actually deal damage, so if you try to rush it staying alive long enough for unlocks to open up in the first place is itself challenging. This is all especially true of the Emergency Meeting stage with a Lifesign Scan weapon just lying around, forcing the player to decide if they want a seventh weapon or early Paranormal Scan more.
  • Background Music Override:
    • The "coffin characters" have their own themes which overrides the stage music:
      • "Song of Mana" plays when you play as as Poppea.
      • "Red and Blue" plays when you pick Pugnala.
      • "Gatti Amari" plays when you choose Giovanna Grana. The track increases in speed as you level Gatti Amari. The theme also plays with O'Sole, but at a static tempo.
      • "Peji Eighteen" plays when you use Concetta Caciotta.
      • "Moms are tough" plays for Zi'Assunta Belpaese.
      • "It Stares Back" plays for Avatar Infernas.
    • "Sole Solution" plays when playing as Queen Sigma.
    • The Moonspell DLC characters also have their own themes:
    • Traveling down enough into Gallo Tower will eventually lead you into a boss encounter with Leda, whose droning atmospheric music overrides everything listed above. As soon as you defeat her, the music returns to whatever it was before.
    • When Sammy begins a Gold Rush, the music is replaced by a synth organ cover of the "Happy Birthday" song for a single loop before the normal music resumes, since a Gold Rush on him fully realizes his Magikarp Power.
  • Badass Family: The Belpaese family, a family of vampire hunters and an obvious stand-in for the Belmont family. There's also the Ladonna family of playable characters.
  • Badass Preacher: Sister Clerici and Father Dommario are no slouch in battle and are just as capable as everyone else in slaying hordes of evil with their divine powers.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The "Tides of the Foscari" DLC's marketing made it seem like it would be themed of D&D inspired games, complete with Fighter, Mage, Thief characters. It's really based on Celtic and British mythology, as well as a heaping of Final Fantasy, complete with the Big Bad being a mashup of Sephiroth and Jenova, down to her One-Winged Angel being a mangling of Jenova.
  • Ballistic Bone: The aptly-named Bone, signature weapon of your friendly neighborhood Skeleton, Mortaccio. It's thrown like a boomerang and bounces from enemy to enemy. Increasing Duration allows it to bounce between enemies even more.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Cross weapon travels a short distance towards the nearest enemy, then rebounds in the other direction, hitting every enemy in its path.
  • Beef Gate: Most stages about seven to ten minutes in will throw a wave of enemies at you that are much more durable than what you've been dealing with to see if your damage and build is strong enough to keep going. The wave full of werewolves in the Mad Forest are maybe the best example and manage to massively contribute to the Early Game Hell by being so durable that early runs will die to them without some very skillful kiting.
    • On Mt. Moonspell, the cave leading to the powerful Duplicator and Night Sword will spawn an endless horde of Big Oni as long as you're close enough... not to mention the massive skeleton mini-bosses that also guard the items if you can actually reach them.
  • Big Bad: It's... complicated. Theoretically Bisconte Draculo, the eponymous vampire, is the Big Bad, but he is never seen outside of the title screen. The Directer is ultimately the primary antagonistic force in the game, but it would be a stretch to call it evil.
    • Tides of the Foscari, on the other hand, does have a true Big Bad, Je-Ne-Viv, the monstrous powered-up form of Genevieve Gruyère.
  • Big Ball of Violence: If two of the cats spawned by Gatti Amari meet, they'll get into a cartoonish fight that damages a large area.
  • Big Good: Luminaire Foscari is set up as the Good Counterpart to Genevieve, is the one who sealed her evil into the Abyss Foscari long ago, and shows up to assist you during the climactic battle against Genevieve's One-Winged Angel form, Je-Ne-Viv.
    • After his fight with the Survivors, the Director starts helping them hunt the vampire.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The survivors never find the vampire. However, they do finally defeat the being hinted to be directing the Reapers and White Hand and gain its respect, allowing them to look for the vampire in other worlds - the Legacy of the Moonspell launch trailer implies that Mt. Moonspell is the first of these worlds.
    • In Tides of the Foscari the world is saved from Je-Ne-Viv, but Eleanor is killed by it.
  • Blessed with Suck: The "Curse" stat increases enemy speed, health and spawn density by the amount of the stat that you currently have. And yes, there is an "upgrade" you can buy in the shop that increases it. It's ill-advised to take Curse until one is sufficiently prepared, as it's mostly a challenge upgrade.
    • Cursed with Awesome: More enemies means more experience, though; if you *can* keep up with its effects, it can help you finish your build faster, and more easily get a full loadout of passives to get the most out of the stage items. (You can still collect them even with all six slots full, and they don't replace any of the ones you already had.)
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Yatta Cavallo's name is a double mistranslation — "Bear" is "Orso" in Italian, which sounds like "Horse" in English, which is "Cavallo" in Italian. It's likely a pun, as the game's patch notes have referred to Yatta as any animal but a bear.
  • Bonus Stage:
    • Il Molise is designed to be relaxing and stress-free. The only enemies are stationary and spawn quickly. You can still get hurt, but it's only through walking directly into enemies since they only spawn from offscreen when you're walking. It also lasts 15 minutes before death attacks and only drops one chest at around the 10-minute mark. Just a chill little round with minimal stress.
    • Moongolow is another 15-minute stage made up of easy waves and free copies of every regular passiv e item in the game lying close at hand, allowing even a weak character to become completely overpowered with ease. However, at the 14-minute mark, the Angel miniboss shows up; defeating it will end the run early and take the player to a dangerous and intimidating Corridor Run boss stage with a special unlock. Played straight once the boss stage is cleared however, as the Angel abduction event won't happen a second time.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Garlic is handy in almost all situations so long as its levels aren't neglected. At the start it deals enough damage to clear out the swarms of weaker enemies in a constant area around the character. Once its damage is no longer notable, it's still a constant, large debuff to all enemies around you that increases damage and knockback, which can give you the breathing room you need to not get killed by the endless hordes. It also completely negates projectiles that certain enemies shoot at you.
    • The Empty Tome has the benefit of reducing all weapon cooldowns by 40%. For every weapon in the game, even the mechanically unusual ones like Clock Lancet and Gorgeous Moon, the Empty Tome is a straight 40% boost to performance, making it more universally applicable than even the Spinach. The only weapons that don't reap the full benefit of the Empty Tome are those which can reach their pool limit when their cooldown is high enough.
    • The Attractorb increases the range at which experience gems and item pickups are drawn to the player, which increases the rate at which the player levels up much more than the directly experience-boosting Crown does while also improving your survivability. It also evolves the useful Santa Water, providing even more incentive to always take it. The only builds with an incentive to skip the Attractorb is one using the Gorgeous Moon or Mad Groove Arcana, the former of which has a built in Vacuum effect while the latter routinely pulls every item on the map, EXP Gems included, to around your immediate position. This was further compounded by Legacy of the Moonspell, which also added the Mirage Robe which, also using the Attractorb, evolves into J'Odore, which spawns illusory doubles that walk out, attract enemies to them, and explode, freezing any enemies hit.
    • Spinach increases your Might stat, which governs your damage, by a flat 50%. Enough said.
    • The Clock Lancet freezes enemies for a few seconds. It's not flashy and isn't quadruple-pistols that fire lasers or dual-wielded health-stealing whips, but even at lower levels, it's enough to open up passages through hordes - important to squishy characters or those who haven't leveled up fast enough. It's also essential to killing Red Death.
    • The first Arcana you unlock with the Randomazzo is the Sarabande Of Healing, which doubles your healing and emits a damaging wave whenever you heal equal to how much you healed for. It's not as flashy as other Arcana that alter how weapons work, but it's also a direct boost to damage and survivability that requires no building around to be useful. It becomes a Lethal Joke Item when paired with Cosmo Pavone, who gains +1 Recovery per level with no capnote  and thus quickly turns Sarabande of Healing into the Garlic on steroids.
    • Mad Groove makes it so that every 2 minutes every object on the map gets pulled into a circle around you, including items on the floor. This is a simple but extremely practical effect that can help get a build going very quickly. Being able to drag passives on the floor directly to you saves an immense amount of walking time while freeing up a slot for passives so you don't need to worry about getting the Attractorb if you don't build into anything that evolves with it, and you'll never have to worry about scraping around for the red gem or pickups from torches.
    • Miang Moonspell's gimmick isn't as over-the-top as either her brother or her grandmother's, but it's much easier for the average player to wrap their head around, and she doesn't suffer from nearly the same Early Game Hell as they do. Just kit her out with all the healing items you can and watch her gain so much max health she's basically immortal.
    • The Lifesign Scan introduced in the Emergency Meeting DLC heals you periodically depending on your Amount and Recovery stats. It doesn't even deal damage to enemies (unless you equip the Sarabande of Healing Arcana), but it can still save your run.
  • Boss-Only Level: On the third and final visit to the Eudaimonia Machine; the Directer, who previously gave you the Seventh Trumpet and Gracia's Mirror on the first two visits, decides to fight you directly as the game's Final Boss.
  • Boss Rush: Or rather, Boss Rash as the game calls it — is a bonus stage unlocked after you unlock Hyper Mode for all five stages. You're trapped in a small arena with very little experience gain, and the game will sic boss waves from across all five stages during this level, including the Reaper palette swaps from the fifth stage.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The least-glitchy means of killing Red Death is to use the Clock Lancet and Laurel's evolutions. By the time you can obtain them, you'll have cleared most of the stages in the game, and getting either item requires you to collect four secret items that are scattered across every stage; they can only be seen after getting the Yellow Sign. Even then, you then need to max out the Lancet, Laurel, and all four of the secret items; this is easier said than done, since two of the four items make the game actively harder. Only then will you unlock the Crimson Shroud and Infinity Corridor. The former caps all damage to a laughable minimum, making you nearly invincible even in the middle of a horde, and constantly releases highly-damaging explosions around you; the latter periodically halves the HP of every enemy on the screen. At that point, killing Red Death is just a formality. Your reward for doing so is the playable Mask of Red Death, who has increased health, speed, and damage on top of starting with the Death Spiral, and can make short work of any stages you take him into.
    • Queen Sigma, unlocked by 100% completion in the compendium, is a Purposefully Overpowered, difficulty-shattering reward for getting all the arcana, relics, weapons and evolutions. She starts with higher stats than almost any other character, including a staggering +100 to reroll, skip and banish to customize a run to your liking. She gets three arcana for her first three levels and an additional two later for a maximum of five, and gets to pick any of them she'd like instead of having a choice of 4 she'd need to reroll. Her weapon, the Victory Sword, can win the game by itself even without limit breaking and its evolution turns the user into an invincible black hole and gains permanent damage for every slain enemy. This combined with an exponential Growth stat (it can reach several thousand % with the Crown) makes for a character that can reach 1000+ levels and kill enemies even at the max amount of curse possible without any fear of being touched. The only thing she can't do is pick up golden eggs, but with all of the above she absolutely doesn't need them (her space for them on the Merchant's menu is instead replaced with the Candybox, letting her pick one of her weapons).
    • The death throes of the Final Boss involve your character getting showered in gold and experience gems. By the time you're done, you'll be returned to the title screen with well over 100,000 gold on hand, which is more than enough to max out the rest of your beneficial upgrades, assuming you have any left to invest in by that point.
  • Bullet Hell: The Bone Zone stage turns into one at various points with the screen completed flooded with skeletal turret enemies from all angles. A fully-levelled and kitted-out run will inevitably see the player become this as well, which is appropriate as the final minutes of a stage will absolutely bury you in a Zerg Rush made almost exclusively of Elite Mooks; if you're not Bullet Hell by that point, don't expect to survive.
  • Can't Catch Up: By design; some weapons and characters have a strong early game but fall off hard as the game progresses, due to poor scaling or advantages that are only relevant in the early game. Failing to account for these weaknesses will result in the run inevitably hitting a wall they can't surmount.
    • Garlic is one of the biggest examples. It's easily one of the best weapons out of the gate, as it surrounds the character with a persistent, damaging aura that can scythe through the beginner enemies like wet paper, making early farming fast and easy. However, it scales VERY poorly on damage, which is further hampered by not scaling with the ever-useful Amount stat, and even when fully upgraded most mid-to-lategame enemies will shrug it off. It DOES lower enemy resistance to knockback and freeze effects, and its evolved form, the Soul Eater, boasts a useful Life Steal effect — and gains extra damage for every point of healing you receive, though it only counts if you're actually healed, not if you have full health —, but the player NEEDS to invest in some heavier firepower to survive the transition into midgame.
    • The Magic Wand is another example. It's a zero-effort auto-aiming projectile that's strong enough to keep the early hordes at bay, and its upgraded and evolved forms provide excellent Bullet Hell, but has some of the lowest DPS of any weapon (only losing out to gimmick weapons and things like the Garlic), and even with Spinach and an Empty Tome maximizing its damage out, it will simply fall off against late hordes.
  • Cap Raiser: Beating Capella Magna for the first time unlocks the Great Gospel, which allows you to turn on the "Limit Break" option on the stage select. This replaces the level up option of gold or floor chicken once all your items are maxed out with further random upgrades to your weaponry's stats, allowing for exponential and absurd power gain past the point of your power normally being hard-capped.
  • Cats Are Mean: Gatti Amari is notable for being the only weapon that can actually hurt you, doing a single point of damage if you get caught up in the path of their claw swipes. They can also cause a giant, massively damaging Big Ball of Violence if two cats directly touch one another (thankfully not doing friendly fire). They are also fond of stealing your floor chicken, though they grow stronger when they do. Its evolution thankfully removes the self-damage, but still snatches your items. Oh, and the cats become giant flying cat eyes.
  • Celestial Body:
    • The Directer appears like a cloak-shaped yellow flame encompassing the stars.
    • With the Chaos Rosalia, Yatta Cavallo gains this when they transform at level 80.
  • Classic Cheat Code: You get a confirmation sound when they work.
    • Exdash Exiviiq is a Secret Character named for the luck mode code from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, X-X!V''Q. Typing x-x1viiq at the title screen unlocks it.
    • The Konami Code (with Escape and Enter replacing the usual buttons) will automatically unlock Mortaccio, a powerful character, and give you some money for unlocks.
    • Smith IV is unlocked by rapidly entering "spam" on the starting screen, the character select screen, and the stage select screen, followed by entering "humbug" once your actual run starts, in a Shout-Out to Ultima IV.
  • Climax Boss: In patch 0.8.0, once you reach the end of the 30 minute timer in Cappella Magna for the first time, instead of Red Death appearing to kill your character like normal, the entire stage blacks out and Red Death, Stalker, Drowner, Maddener, and Trickster all merge together to form a proper endboss, slowly advancing towards you while conjuring multiple lines of rapid projectiles that cross the screen. Defeating Ender rewards you with the Limit Break item which allows you to level weapons past their usual limit.
  • Clock of Power: The Clock Lancet and its evolved version, the Infinite Corridor; the Lancet doesn't do any damage by itself, but it stops enemies in time in a clockwise pattern. The Infinite Corridor does the same, but every twelfth shot, it sends out a pulse that halves the HP of all enemies on-screen.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: The One-Hit Kill Pentagram and the Rosary Smart Bomb don't work on Red Death or any of atlanteans. That would be too easy.
  • Critical Hit: The Heaven Sword, Bloody Tear, Fuwalafuwaloo, Victory Sword, Greatest Jubilee and Muramasa weapons may deal very high damage, influenced by your Luck stat. A character with high Luck such as Exdash will almost always do high damage with those weapons. The Arcana "Slash" enhances the odds and damage of these moves, and also adds the Knife, Thousand Edge, Whip, Vento Sacro, Axe, Death Spiral to the list of weapons that benefit, as well as removing any level requirements for critical hits from all but the Greatest Jubilee.
  • Crossover: The Emergency Meeting DLC adds characters and the Polus map from Among Us, as well as weapons inspired by mechanics and elements of said game.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Imelda Belpaese gets a scaling XP gain multiplier and starts with the Magic Wand, which has low damage but also noticeable knockback, allowing for a relatively breezy early game that can level up fast. However, Imelda's XP gain becomes irrelevant when everything is upgraded to max, she has no other useful passives, and her base stats are mediocre. She's probably the easiest character to survive to 30 minutes with initially, but as the harder stages and challenges unlock, her weaknesses become more and more prominent.
    • Poe starts with Garlic, which is great for tearing down the earliest hordes, and with his increased pickup range he can quickly rake in that XP to level up. However, Garlic is easily one of the worst weapons to take into midgame and beyond, and beyond his pickup boost Poe boasts some nasty drawbacks, such as his reduced movement speed and Max HP. He has a marginally easier start than most other characters, but unless he gets very lucky, hitting midgame will be a nightmare for him.
    • Gennaro Belpaese starts with the Knife, he has decent starting bulk, and his passive gives an additional projectile. This means he has a decent early game when many of his rivals struggle, and can help a new player actually complete a run. But eventually, Gennaro will be overshadowed by characters that not only have a better weapon, but an improved version of his passive as well, particularly once the player unlocks more and more means of passively improving all characters that raise all boats.
    • Among the hidden characters, Leda is somewhat one of these, although it's definitely downplayed. She starts with a massive amount of Armor, an enormous Might bonus, and a couple of smaller buffs, and has a Holy Wand without having to evolve it, with her only downsides being her sluggish movement speed and her nonexistent Greed that makes her an awful gold farming character. However, her stats don't scale, which means that the early game is where she is most powerful, and characters with infinitely scaling stats like Pugnala and Syuuto can outmatch her monstrous Might later on in a run. That said, the bonuses she does have are still plenty enough to trivialize most runs.
    • Gyorunton has a metric boatload of health, a small bonus to Might, and the ability to evolve items before other characters, which means it can start getting Game Breakers very quickly. Gyorunton also has an infinitely scaling stat... but it's Curse. This means that Gyorunton plateaus very quickly, while the enemies keep scaling, inevitably outpacing his firepower. A successful Gyorunton run requires a build that either gives him other ways to scale with level (like Boogaloo of Illusions and similar Arcana), weaponizes his Curse level (with 108 Bocce, Twilight Requiem, etc.) or simply locks his leveling with Game Killer once his build is done with.
    • In a strange twist, if the player starts focusing on farming Golden Eggs, Queen Sigma - normally a Purposely Overpowered Infinity Plus One Character - can fall by the wayside, because she cannot collect Golden Eggs at all. This means that, with enough patience, Sigma can turn from the strongest character in the game to the absolute weakest, since every other character, even the weakest starting characters or Joke Characters, can become steroids monsters with stats in the hundreds of thousands through Golden Egg abuse, but Sigma cannot.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Curse stat normally makes the game harder, since it renders all enemies faster and beefier, and makes the game spawn more of them. That last part, however, may be beneficial, since more enemies equals more experience (which is particularly important for characters whose stats scale with level). Several powerful evolved weapons require Curse-boosting items to acquire. Notably, Sole Solution and Ashes of Muspell (both of which require a maxed-out Torrona's Box, which boosts Curse by 100%) increase in power based on the number of enemies killed, meaning that the Curse is not just the price of their power, but actively helps feed said power.
  • Damage Reduction: Armor reduces incoming damage taken. It can be increased with the Armor passive item and by increasing Armor in the power-up menu.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Red Death, Leda and Gyorunton join the playable cast when you defeat them, although the latter won't join unless you beat them with only one weapon.
    • After defeating the Directer, it showers the player with gold and offers to take them to other worlds to continue the search for the vampire. Also, the animation that plays along with the credits shows the Survivors and monsters together peacefully.
    • Genevieve Gruyère becomes playable after unlocking the fight with Je-Ne-Viv, whom you can also unlock after getting 100k kills with Genevieve. Granted, the "friendship" part is messed with, as the bestiary suggests Je-Ne-Viv joins the party so she can eat a vampire.
  • Degraded Boss: Certain bosses will appear as hordes of mooks if you keep going far enough. For example, the Witch boss shows up in the Inlaid Library much earlier than the hordes of witches.
  • Dem Bones:
    • Mortaccio, a skeleton who starts off throwing bones at enemies. Skeletons are also among the rank-and-file enemies, including a large swarm of skeletons in the forest maps.
    • The Bone Zone is an aptly named stage full of skeleton-type enemies. No healing items will drop from the plethora of torches scattered around.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Enemy projectiles in this game are coded as single-health enemies and therefore die to anything. Any weapon that creates an aura around the character, like Garlic, thus grants complete immunity to enemy projectiles.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • The devs knew the players would attempt to kill Red Death at the end of the game. He does have an HP value and can be killed by cheesing him with geometry. Killing him will unlock him as a playable character.
    • The spells were added to allow players to unlock things that they might not want to try to unlock. You won't get achievements, and the spells aren't listed anywhere in game, but you can unlock essentially everything with them.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Exdash starts off with Ebony Wings as a starter weapon. This makes it extremely difficult to actually kill anything at the very start, but allows for exceptionally destructive potential once you power them up.
    • Mortaccio is arguably one of the strongest characters in the game... provided you can survive through his painful early game to get there, due to his pitiful basic attack.
    • The Gatti Amari is an unreliable pet-based "weapon" that relies on randomly moving cats that will only sometimes attack enemies, may hurt the player (being the only weapon that can do so), and can steal powerups off the floor. Ranking it up adds more cats, makes them faster and stick around longer, but doesn't mitigate these problems. However, the weapon relies heavily on luck, and uniquely, allowing one of the cats to steal a Floor Chicken increases the weapon's own internal Luck Stat. This means more than any other weapon Gatti Amari suffers from Magikarp Power to an extreme; early on it will nearly useless and almost totally unreliable, but stacking the appropriate upgrades and letting the cats steal a large number of spare Chickens will turn it into a self-sufficient instrument of death that can obliterate entire hordes, even in the final minutes, and all without the player needing to lift a finger. For bonus points, higher Luck (internal, and the standard Luck) can cause them to steal items... then use them on the player if it wouldn't have a useful effect on the cat.
    • The Shadow Pinion is the only weapon that doesn't auto-fire and is the closest the game gets to an action combat system, and it forces you to move and stop in order to fire. This makes it the only weapon you can control that doesn't require you to constantly run towards what you're trying to attack, making it useful for quickly and safely killing elite enemies.
    • The Flash Arrow is the most precision weapon in the game, being an aimed weapon with only a singular projectile, with amount only going towards causing more damage. At max rank and evolved to Millionaire, it can do the single most damage out of anything in the game with that singular projectile and the projectile is followed by a rain of arrows that deliver a Death of a Thousand Cuts, making it much stronger.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: At low levels, the Pentagram will clear the screen of enemies and their drops, and you have to level it up to get a better chance that it doesn't wipe out items.
  • Double Unlock: To unlock new characters, you first have to reveal them by earning certain achievements, then spend coins to be able to actually play as them. And the achievements for those characters are only shown when the character is revealed.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Undead Sassy Witch's bestiary entry talks about how Giovanna turned away from being "assigned Mage at birth" and the other Witches (the enemy variants) oppose her on the grounds of “protecting witches’ spaces” in a way that clearly is mocking TERFS and the antitrans movement as petty, close-minded weirdos constantly moving goalposts.
    "Maybe one day they’ll accept that anybody can be a Sassy Witch if they truly want to be."
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: After the first few moments of Holy Forbidden elapses and the Maddener's illusion and chase activates, the entire UI disappears, leaving only the health bar beneath your character. You can't even pause the game, either.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The Bone Zone, one of the challenge stages, features no candle drops other than money, leaving the player without any way to heal outside of appropriate items or meta-upgrades.
  • Dungeon Bypass: A couple of weapons and abilities (namely the Ezkizzibur/Legionnaire's combo finisher and Je-Ne-Viv's World Eater chomps) can actually remove obstacles from the scenery. This can make a few maps with complex layouts much easier to navigate, for example if you're trying to reach the Atlantean room in Abyss Foscari to farm Golden Eggs.
  • Early Game Hell: Starting out, Antonio is the initial playable character with the relatively unimpressive and limited-range whip as his first weapon and the disproportionately hard Mad Forest as the only level. With no bonus stats and most of the useful weapons and passives locked, it's likely you won't survive very long and barely scrape past the five or six minute mark, after which you get your first unlock and enough money to maybe upgrade one or two base stats. This becomes a theme for the first few hours of the game as you die, power up, do slightly better the next time, and then die again. Once you manage to survive long enough to unlock the much easier Inlaid Library you'll manage to get rank ups easier, start unlocking new weapons and passives at a much faster rate, and after some trial and error (or luck) gain your first evolution. At this point, you'll have gotten the game under control as you realize how powerful they are and start building runs to look for more.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Many of the characters in the game are named after food. The Belpaese family, the game's stand-in for the Belmonts, are named after a type of soft Italian cheese. The game's Big Bad is Count Bisconte, and all of the Coffin Survivors are named after cheeses.
  • Elemental Powers: Four Seasons, the starting weapon of Menya Moonspell, produces four devastating elemental explosions, with its evolution Godai Shuffle adding a fifth, Void, to the mix.
  • Elite Mook: Whenever your move near to one of the rings or Metaglio passive items, a large phantom called an Atlantean will spawn that constantly moves towards you at a steady pace and is extremely durable. However, if you do kill them, they drop a golden egg which will permanently raise a stat on whichever character picks the egg up.
    • Every stage item on Mt. Moonspell is guarded by a colossal skeleton that's very durable, summons waves of ghosts from the bottom of the screen, and always drops a chest when defeated that can evolve one of your weapons, even before the ten minute mark. The old phantoms still guard the rings and Metaglio halves, though.
  • Empty Levels: Once you have completed your build, further levels by default only give you health or gold, which can be a bit of an issue when the enemies do keep scaling with your level, no matter how high it gets. This can be averted, however, by the Limit Break option, unlocked after defeating the Ender (which allows you to slightly upgrade an already maxed out weapon each level), or by the many characters whose stats scale infinitely with level.
  • Equipment Upgrade:
    • You can increase your weapons' potency by collecting multiple copies of it.
    • When you max a weapon's level and have the corresponding items, you can evolve it, changing its appearance and granting a unique, substantial upgrade.
  • Evil Knockoff: Palette-swapped versions of the Survivors appear late in stage 5, Cappella Magna.
  • Excuse Plot: The game has no standard narrative to speak of. The alleged premise is that a vampire lord has taken over a rural area in Italy circa 2021, and a family of vampire hunters and allies step up to restore peace. The game has you pick a character and a location, then places you right into the middle of an endless Zerg Rush by enemies until you ultimately die after 30 minutes. While there is something resembling a narrative in the later stages, it has nothing to do with vampires and more closely resembles The King in Yellow.
  • Experience Booster: The Crown increases experience gained by a percentage, up to 40% when maxed. Smiliarly, Wicked Season boosts it by 0.5% every level up, and will double it periodically.
  • Expy: The game is intentionally inspired by Castlevania. A few of the characters share similarities to various characters of that franchise.
    • Antonio, with his leather tunic, headband, and whip, all very clearly reference Simon Belmont.
    • Pasqualina has blonde hair, wears a blue robe, and casts the Runetracer spell as her weapon. She bears some similarities to Sypha Belnades.
    • Arca has long white hair, dresses in black attire, and has a large-collared cape, bearing likeness to Alucard.
    • Leda's body is a writhing mass of flesh and meat. While not detailed as such to truly make out what her body is made of, she resembles the typical depictions of the Legion boss in various CV titles.
    • Gyoruntun is a pretty unsubtle Expy of King Ghidora, with the derpy expression on one of its heads further comparing it to the internet's memes treating the left head (San AKA Kevin) as being slow-witted, goofy and playful.
  • Farts on Fire: Picking up Nduja Fritta Tanto while using the Gemini Arcana causes a second stream of fire to come out of your character's back. Considering that Nduja is food, the implications are quite clear.
  • Fertile Feet: Celestial Dusting, the default weapon of O'Sole Meeo, sends out damaging flowers behind your character whenever you move.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three main characters of the Tides of the Foscari DLC fulfill the triangle. Maruto Cuts, with his tanky stats and his BFS, is the Fighter. Eleanor Uziron, who gains three powerful spells that unite into the devastating SpellStrom, is the Mage. Keitha Muort, the archer whose evolved weapon gets stronger when she picks up gold coins, is the Thief.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Consuming 'nduja causes your character to breathe powerful flames for several seconds.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When a weapon is about to be upgraded, the chest shows only the upgraded forms coming out before showing you what you got.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: Well, healing, but it still counts: The floor chicken heals 10 Hit Points.
  • Flechette Storm: The fully upgraded knives, both base form and evolved, ends with just so many knives flying at your various attackers. The evolved form more so since it removes cooldown.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: After version 0.6.1, killing a Red Death causes a bell to start ringing while the camera slowly zooms in on the player with each ring. After twelve rings, White Hand comes to end the run for good.
  • Fusion Dance:
    • Most weapons "Evolve" when paired with a certain passive. Some weapons come in pairs. Those weapons "Unify" instead, merging into one weapon and only taking up a single slot, technically allowing for a seventh weapon to be picked up instead of the usual limit of six.
      • With a max level Peachone and Ebony Wings, you can evolve them into Vandalier, which combines the abilities of the former two weapons and uniquely levels up to 8 again, becoming a storm of rotating missiles by the end.
      • Phiera Del Tuphello, Eight the Sparrow, and Tiragisu unify the two weapons into Phieraggi, which changes them from an X-shaped spread into massively damaging rotating lasers.
      • The Bloody Tear can unite with the Vento Sacro to create the Fuwalafuwaloo, which summons exploding roses on critical hits.
      • Tides of the Foscari introduces a union of three weapons. Maxing out Spellstring, Spellstream, and Spellstrike (the signature weapons of Eleanor) creates Spellstrom, which generates two gravity wells with Spellstrings attached while also casting Spellstream and Spellstrike. The gravity wells will also collide with each other, causing a singularity that damages surrounding enemies. Each time this happens, the singularity gets stronger.
    • In patch 0.8.0, reaching the end of the 30-minute timer in Cappella Magna for the first time commences a special boss fight against Ender, an amalgamation formed of Red Death, Stalker, Drowner, Maddener, and Trickster.
  • Gainax Ending: You defeat the Directer, and you suddenly find yourself in the vastness of space while it showers you with XP Gems and Gold. After that bit of celebration, it tells you the vampire is not in this world, and offers you to take its hand so you can perhaps find him in another world. Cue fireworks and credits.
  • Gathering Steam: Most characters have an innate ability that increases a stat as they level up. Some characters only gain 1% in a certain stat per level but have no cap in the increase, so getting to a high level with them can make them very powerful.
  • Glass Cannon: Christine starts with the Pentagram and a sizable boost to her movement speed, but half the maximum HP of most characters.
  • Glitch Entity: missingN▯, a glitchy-looking Red Death initially unlocked after beating him, but whose unlock condition was changed afterward once Mask of Red Death became unlockable. missingN▯'s stats are so random that they can dip below -100%, enabling appropriately glitchy things such as moving backward, disabling chest drops, disabling enemy spawns, or even dying immediately at the start of the level.
  • Gradual Regeneration:
    • The Pummarola gradually restores your HP over time. At max level, it restores one HP per second.
    • Clerici has an innate 0.5 HP/second regeneration.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Many character and item names are puns based on Italian phrases.
  • The Grim Reaper: Fitting with the Castlevania inspirations, Death is a frequent enemy and a hidden playable character. There are a few colored variations that do different things;
    • The Red Death shows up at the 30 minute mark of a run. It has a 365,000 HP multiplied by the player's level, kills you in one hit and has negative knockback factor which means doing damage pushes it towards you instead of away. This doesn't mean you can't kill it, but it takes a hilarious amount of very specific effort to do so, and also an extra Red Death spawns for every minute past 30 you manage to survive to ensure you will, eventually, die. And if you somehow survive that, the White Hand will inevitably kill you, no questions asked.
    • Mask of the Red Death is the playable version unlocked as a reward if you DO somehow manage to kill a Red Death. As far as playable stats go it's absurdly powerful, moving lightning fast, having a ton of HP, starting with Death Spiral and generally being a Bragging Rights Reward for pulling off killing Death.
    • Stalker (Green) shows up in the hyper Dairy Plant randomly (A 1% chance right at the beginning, 10% chance at minute 3, and a 30% chance at the 8 or 12 minute mark, reduced by luck) and Bone Zone (at 10:00.) It moves slowly at first but speeds up and deals massive but not instantly fatal damage, and damage stuns it and resets its movement speed so you can kite it. It only hangs around for around 2 minutes before leaving and it has nowhere near as much as health as Red Death and can be killed by Pentagram, the Rosary, or being ran over by a trolley cart.
    • Drowner (Blue) spawns in Gallo Tower at around 25 minutes, Cappella Magna at 5 minutes, and in the Bone Zone at 15:00. It fills the bottom of the screen with a constant damage plane that slowly accelerates upward, forcing you to stay above it. You can survive beneath the water for a while, but the drain on your health will eventually wear you down. Like Stalker, it's killable with Pentagram or the Rosary, but will respawn.
    • Maddener (Gold) is the mastermind behind the "angel" attack at the end of Moongolow and forces you into a boss fight while disguised as an angel itself. It will use various ranged attacks you've seen from enemies up to now such as bullets, meteors and explosive trackers alongside its constantly encroaching minions to try to kill you as you get to the end of its corridor where a Rosario is sitting, which kills all its minions and reveals it, after which it runs away. Maddener also appears as a miniboss near the start of Cappella Magna, disguising itself and the surrounding wave as angels until you defeat it.
    • Trickster (Purple) spawns to the far right of the Inlaid Library on inverse mode and constantly summons a circle of fake experience gems which will explode if you get too close. While he won't follow you, he does sit on top of the piano you need to interact with to unlock Avatar Infernas.
    • The Ender is a Fusion Dance of all five previous reapers, faced at the end of Capella Magna and at the 10-minute mark in Boss Rash mode. Unlike most other boss-type enemies in the game, Ender does not just have a large health pool or a simple gimmick, but is a proper boss fight with a varied moveset. Thankfully, you only need to beat him once in Capella Magna, after which every subsequent run will no longer feature him or the other reapers, besides Red Death as usual.
    • The Blinder, introduced in Tides of Foscari, darkens the edges of the screen drastically when he's around. Though he ends up being pretty harmless, because he shows up so late in The Abyss that you probably won't notice because you'll already be a screen-blurring murder hurricane of spell effects, as the bestiary playfully points out.
    • Lastly, on any run where you successfully kill Red Death, White Hand, THE Death, a faceless specter in a grey robe, shows up to end you. He crosses the screen in a fashion that ignores your position on the map, meaning that you can neither escape him nor move to meet him faster and does not exist as an in-game enemy, meaning that he is unaffected by all of your weapons, up to and including the Infinite Corridor. The final nail in your coffin is that as soon as he reaches the center of the screen your maximum HP will be set to 0, taking you out on the spot through any and all forms of invincibility. There's no Lord British Postulate here - White Hand will kill you and there is no way to stop it.
  • Healing Shiv: The Celestial Dusting weapon heals the plants found on the Il Molise stage. This is the key for unlocking Peppino.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Traveling into the depths of Gallo Tower eventually leads you to a boss encounter with Leda, whose droning music overrides everything else, including the weapons who have their own music. It's just a constant droning of dread.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: It is implied Eleanor does not survive her fight with Je-Ne-Viv. At the start of the fight, the abomination uses World Eater to seemingly absorb Eleanor's life force into itself. While the sorceress is able to persist long enough to take Je-Ne-Viv down thanks to a timely intervention from Luminaire, her sprite simply fades out of existence as the battle comes to a close.
  • Hold the Line: The objective is to survive for 30 minutes against increasingly stronger and numerous enemies, on top of discovering any secrets in the level if you go far enough. Once you hit 30 minutes, all existing waves of enemies die and The Grim Reaper immediately dashes in to finish you off.
  • Holiday Mode:
    • Patch 1.2.0, relesed in December 2022, gave Pepinno a christmas tree skin. Using it adds christmas lights to the edges of the screen.
    • Morttacio, Cavallo, Ramba and O'Sole can get halloween skins by using the spell "spoopyseason".
  • Hot Witch: Giovanna Grana plays up the sexy witch angle as much as her character sprite will allow. According to the Bestiary, she started the trend of the broom-riding, pointy hat-wearing Sassy Witches, and there's a major feud between them and the conservative regular witches.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Ramba attacks using minecarts that bounce back and forth horizontally across the level.
    • Sir Ambrojoe's "La Robba" amounts to dumping random furniture on enemies. Pots, lampposts, coffins, pianos, the works.
    • Mortaccio uses a flying bone that bounces from enemy to enemy.
    • Giovanna summons cats. Yes, cats. They damage anything in their path, including you, and have a chance to fight each other if two cats' hotboxes touch (which causes a Big Ball of Violence with even better damage and a big AOE). Its evolution, Vicious Hunger, turns them into flying cat eyes that turns items into coins.
  • Implacable Man: Boss enemies won't de-spawn if they go far enough off-screen like regular enemies will; they'll teleport to the opposite end in the direction you're heading in, until you kill them.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: While it doesn't feature wall meat, as its inspiration material, it does feature plenty of 'Floor Chicken'. The level descriptions lampshade how much floor chicken the characters discover on their travels.
  • Instant Runes: Outside of Gallo Tower are glowing runes that circle around the tower. If you travel deep enough into the depths to trigger Leda, the runes turn into "I AM ALIVE HERE".
  • Interface Screw:
    • If you travel south deep enough in Gallo Tower the area will darken until you can only see a limited range around your character.
    • If you hold out till the 14th minute in Moongolow, the edges of your game screen will slowly distort. Defeat the boss of that wave and the distortion envelops your character, sending them to a Bonus Level. The same visual changes will happen as you approach the end of that level, unlocking a new item and returning you to a distorted start screen.
    • Defeat the Red Death and White Hand, a grey, faceless Death chases down your character as the screen slowly zooms in while an ominous clock tower bell chimes.
    • If you have the Gatti Amari weapon, the Experience Gem confetti that falls when you level up is replaced by raining cats.
    • Trigger the boss fight with Je-Ne-Viv, and the camera will center on the boss itself. Your character remains fully controllable in your peripheries and you have to fight it this way.
    • When the Fomorians show up in Abyss Foscari, the edges of the screen will be covered in black particle effects, screwing with visibility in the alredy dark level.
  • Interface Spoiler: Averted; special hidden characters and items are either not marked in the normal progress list at all or show up there but have no corresponding Steam achievements, not even hidden ones. They were eventually added to a separate Secrets menu with vague hints on how to unlock them, but even then, the secret character that requires first defeating the final boss to unlock isn't added to the menu until after the boss is beaten.
  • The Jaywalking Dead: The Dairy Plant contains a number of carts that you can hit with your weapons to send them running over the legions of monsters. This went on to be an equippable weapon, the Carréllo, and the default weapon of Bianca Ramba.
  • Joke Character: Quite a few.
    • Random isn't a random character, it's literally an animate question mark. Its stats can wildly vary from run to run, and if you're unlucky, it might actively subtract from your skills. On top of this, you might spawn with a non-damaging weapon, and unlike characters who start with non-damaging weapons like Gallo, you won't have any way to kill anything. Good luck!
    • missingN▯. Sometimes he starts with game-breakingly good stats. Sometimes his stats are bad to the point of literally breaking the game. Sometimes you get both!
    • Peppino is a tree. A literal tree. Most of its stats are pretty mediocre, but its movement speed is -100% - without speed upgrades, it can't move at all. Even with them, it's a Mighty Glacier without the "Mighty".
  • Killed Off for Real: After clearing Capella Magna for the first time (post patch .80) Drowner, Stalker, Maddener and Trickster are gone from the level on subsequent runs, apparently having been permanently slain after you defeat Ender (This doesn't stop them from showing up in earlier levels, the Bone Zone, or Boss Rash, however). Ender itself cannot be re-fought again on that particular level, with its boss fight event being replaced with Red Death and an infinite swarm of Reaper Trainees accompanying it.
  • Lactating Male: Most of the milk in the Dairy Plant is produced by minotaurs. All of them are male. The narrator tells you to not ask.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Played for Laughs. The vampire prominently featured on the game's title screen is nowhere to be found. The characters do spend a lot of time looking for him, to no avail, and the game proudly markets itself as containing "zero vampires".
  • Last Stand: Every run will inevitably end in your death. Even when you hit the goal of surviving thirty minutes, the Red Death appears to take you out. Should you manage to kill him, too, the White Hand, who is truly invincible, shows up to finish the job.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: There are several varieties of Reapers in the game, but the Red Death is by far the most powerful and the only one that requires very specific Infinity Plus One Swords (or exploits) to kill. Except it isn't. The true most powerful Reaper is the White Hand, dressed in a pristine white cloak. There is no Lord British Postulate to save you with this one - it's not even coded as an enemy. Once you see this thing, your run is over.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: The Operation Guns DLC has Big Fuzz, who can be engaged in the last few minutes of the Neo Galuga map and is fought as a special boss event that recreates its battle right down to all of the same attacks, as well as giving you the ability to "climb" up around the walls and ceiling and dropping down with gravity.
  • Leitmotif: All of the Coffin Survivors have their own theme songs that override the normal stage music, unless the player chooses otherwise with the Magic Banger.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Exdash Exiviiq is a Secret Character unlocked by putting a certain code in the start menu. The game lets you know what you're in for with the simple statement of "at least they're lucky" instead of listing their benefits. They're unbelievably slow, extremely fragile, their stats are terrible, and they start with Ebony Wings, a horrendous starting weapon to be limited to. However, they also start with 130% luck, and it can continue to grow, getting plenty of rare drops from torches, 3 or 5 pulls from enemy chests, always crit with Heaven Sword and Bloody Tear (incentivizing getting the clover and getting even more luck) and near-always get 4 choices on level-up menus, making building a run and overcoming their flaws easier... if you can keep them alive long enough.
    • Yatta Cavallo is an anthropomorphic panda who throws cherry bombs. These start as extremely luck-based; not only do you need the bombs to roll to a stop near enemies, they initially have a small chance of blowing up. Proper positioning only does so much to mitigate these two factors. On top of that, Cavallo's only passive is gaining an additional projectile every 20 levels, which means it's completely useless early-game. If he survives long enough to get a build going, however, those cherry bombs go from "situational at best" to "everything is explosions." They also have so much knockback that Cavallo is one of the few characters who BENEFITS from being completely surrounded; with enough upgrades to projectile number and cooldown, it will be almost impossible for the enemies to actually reach you before being blown into dog food. Standing in the middle of the horde in your own circle of explosions thus becomes a totally viable strategy.
    • Peppino is a tree. Peppino can't move because it's a tree. That's the joke. However, if you have movement upgrades, the best you can do with Peppino is crawl along the ground. Offsetting its poor mobility is its initial Soul Eater weapon, which makes it pretty much invulnerable to the early waves until certain bosses start showing up, a Mad Groove Arcana which pulls all collectibles to its vicinity, and a massive Magnet bonus. And speaking of said massive Magnet bonus, between that, Soul Eater and even a La Borra build to maximize area damage you can take the Blood Astronomia arcana and just turn the entire screen into an impenetrable murder zone.
    • Sammy the Catapillar Cake(TM) is a very silly looking character that starts with reduced might and Vicious Hunger as its starting weapon, but continues to get experience from gold coins as though they were XP gems. The Lethal comes in if you pick Disco of Gold as your first Arcana; you make Sammy basically immortal right out the gate, and the second you find a coin bag to start a Gold Rush Sammy will immediately gain dozens of levels to immediately complete any build you want and start limit breaking, quickly turning him into a money farming monstrosity that has a non-zero chance of crashing the game and can leave a run with several million gold earned.
    • Ghost Lino, being a ghost, is immune to all damage and passes through walls, but has a -100% penalty to Might and starts the game with a "weapon" that only restores Lino's hitpoints. While this looks like Lino is a Stone Wall with a Mutual Disadvantage, don't be fooled. Through a mixture of weapons that do not rely on Might, like the Pentagram (which Lino's high luck helps mitigate the intrinsic disadvantages of) and Just Vent, Arcana that can further provide non-Might based damage, like the Sarabande of Healing or the Divine Bloodline, and the simple fact that Ghost Lino has by far the easiest time upgrading the Lifescan Sign into the infinite-stat-scaling Paranormal Scan of all playable characters, a Lino run is far from a waste of time.
  • Life Drain:
    • The Bloody Tear, the evolved version of the whip, restores 8 HP when it hits an enemy.
    • The Soul Eater, the evolved version of the Garlic, can randomly steal life from an enemy.
    • When maxed out, the Celestial Dusting produces hearts when it kills enemies.
  • Light Is Not Good: Both the Holy Forbidden and the fifth stage, Cappella Magna, exemplify this: both initially appear as churchlike spaces, populated by angelic beings, but they are no less dangerous than the rest of the game's levels.
  • Limited Loadout: You are limited to six weapons at once. While you can also only get six passive items through leveling up, you can still collect pre-set passive items in a level past your usual maximum.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Certain weapons are either very powerful early in the game before failing in the final few minutes of a run, or extremely weak early in the game and then vital to surviving the end of a run. The Peachone and Ebony Wings sit far on the quadratic end of the spectrum, as they need a total of twenty-four levels to exhibit their true power as the Vandalier, while the Fire Wand sits on the linear end, being an extremely powerful weapon in the early game but one of the weakest in the end even with its evolution due to simply not hitting enough enemies fast enough.
  • Lizard Folk: Found in droves in the Dairy Plant, who have taken over the place after killing all the Milk Mages, having grown envious due to their inability to produce milk.
  • Loot Boxes: A non-microtransaction-related example. Boss enemies drop treasure chests that contain coins as well as weapons and passive items. These treasure chests can drop one, three, or even five items, with an increasingly elaborate fanfare for each level. Treasure chests are also the only way for players to obtain Evolved or Union Weapons.
  • Lord British Postulate:
    • The Reaper is intended to be the end of a run. However, there's one, non-buggy way to actually kill it. After unlocking the Yellow Sign item, secret items can be located, which can evolve the Clock Lancet and Laurel. The Clock Lancet becomes the Infinite Corridor, which pulses a time-stop effect that halves the HP of anything it hits. The Laurel becomes the Crimson Shroud, which caps all incoming damage to just 10 points. The HP halving effect works on the Red Death, and the Shroud makes the Red Death do Scratch Damage. Combining these makes it easy to survive even multiple Red Deaths trying to kill you.
    • Averted with White Hand. He's intangible to all your attacks and effects, matches his movement speed to yours so there's no outrunning him, and his touch is a true instant death; it doesn't even do damage, you just immediately die on contact. As of now, he is a true and proper end to a run that manages to kill Red Death, and whether or not he can be surmounted eventually is unclear for now.
  • Lost in Translation: The Japanese translation of the game, while functional, drops all the oddities and puns from the names of equipment, such as the 'Candelabrador' or 'Santa Water' becoming simply a candelabra and holy water.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The later portions of the game gradually shift into a The King in Yellow-inspired surrealism, but the Directer is moreso testing the survivors than menacing them, and ultimately offers them its aid on their search for the Bisconte.
  • Low-Level Advantage: Porta, Clerici, and Ambrojoe start with a large bonus to Cooldown, Area, and Amount, respectively, that rapidly decays to 0 over a few levels, to help them get kills and XP when starting out. But for Porta's case, the bonus is so massive that it's more efficient to spend the first minute or two not collecting XP to milk the bonus for all its worth.
  • Luck-Based Mission: How far you get is rather heavily dependent on whether you get a good combination of power-ups when you level. Indeed, the "Lucky" power increases the likelihood of getting four choices instead of three, which makes it more likely you can find something usable.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic:
    • Rerolls let you change the selectable items on level up if the current ones are not to your liking. They can also be used on Arcana drops on the 11th and 21st minutes.
    • A skip lets you abstain from picking an item when leveling up and get some experience instead.
    • Banish lets you completely remove a chosen item from the level up and chest pool for the rest of a run.
    • Seal is an advanced version of Banish that pre-emptively removes an item (including light source powerups) from the items pool before you begin a level.
  • Macrogame:
    • Earning achievements unlocks new items and weapons you can encounter in future runs.
    • You can use the coins collected during runs to unlock new characters and power ups to upgrade your stats.
    • The 0.66 patch added Golden Eggs to the game, purchasable for ten thousand gold from the merchant, or if you kill certain enemies. They give the character that picks them up very small but permanent increases to a random stat. How many eggs a character has picked up is tracked on their character select screen afterwards.
  • Magic Map: The Milky Way Map, a relic hidden in the Dairy Plant, permanently unlocks a map on the pause screen (along with the ability to turn on guide arrows), pointing out the locations of pre-placed items, coffins, and other relics.
  • Magikarp Power: Given the game's upgrade system, quite a few items — and characters — fall squarely into this trope.
    • Characters:
      • All the characters who share the gimmick of gaining more projectiles with levels start off with no bonus at all. It takes them 20 levels to even match what Gennaro has from the very start of the game, but by level 60, they can triple his already strong bonus (and in the case of Gav'Et-Oni, quadruple it by level 80). They also tend to have weapons that start off extremely weak, but scale very well with most stats. Downplayed for Ambrojoe, who starts off with a massive Amount bonus that gradually fades away over the course of his first five levels. Mortaccio, the first of these characters you're likely to unlock, is a good example, with a weapon that starts out extremely weak and slow but can absolutely flood the screen with bouncing bones in the latter stages of a run. In addition, if the Chaos Malachite has been unlocked, he goes One-Winged Angel at level 80.
      • Christine, the character who starts with the Pentagram, has a terrible early game. The Pentagram leeches her experience and she's only compensated by getting an extra level to grab a different weapon, and she has the lowest starting might and max health of any non-joke character. Get past this rough start, and she can potentially be one of the strongest; with an Empty Tome, her Cooldown is almost nonexistent (to the point where Gorgeous Moon can activate consecutively), which obsoletes her damage issues, and her high speed lets her get out of bad situations.
      • Zi'Assunta starts with the Vento Sacro, which is a strictly frontal whip attack that deals only Scratch Damage but hits very quickly and can deal critical hits by default. It's very concentrated in its small area of attack but pales in comparison to a well-upgraded Whip which can hit behind you at least. It upgrades by uniting with the Bloody Tear, the upgraded form of the Whip. Once you get there, though, it not only has the Life Drain of the Bloody Tear and the fast scaling attack speed of the Vento Sacro, but it also creates explosions when it crits — something that happens pretty often with the number of hits you execute per few seconds.
      • Gains Boros has unimpressive starting stats and starts with Heavens Sword, one of the weaker evolutions in the game. What they have in their favor is an infinitely scaling 2%-per-level Growth increase that makes them level faster than any other character no question, letting them complete a build faster than anyone else by leaps and bounds, and working with the Limit Break system added alongside them makes for exponential growth of their weapons that can quickly turn them into a monster.
      • The first ghost character Exdash has terrible starting stats besides luck, and they start with the Ebony Wing listed above. They'll struggle to evade, survive, and even kill the earliest enemies, and will most often die within the first few minutes. If they survive, their monstrous Luck Stat will let them reliably get powerups from abundant torches, multiple 3x and 5x drops from chests, and they'll near-constantly get favorable outcomes from Luck-based weapons such as the Critical weapons, Gatti Amari's random behavior, and Pentagram preserving drops. They can become insanely powerful in the late game...if they can survive the first few minutes.
      • The second ghost, Toastie, is an Exaggerated example. They're a One-Hit-Point Wonder who has 1 health instead of the usual 100... Until level 100, where it suddenly jumps to having 9999 hit points. At level 200, its armor also reaches the 9000s, reducing even Red Death's damage down to Scratch Damage (and letting you buy the time you'd need to kill it).
      • Rounding out the "Luck Ghosts" is Smith IV, who has identical base stats to Exdash and Toastie, just with a little more health than the latter (5 instead of one, before upgrades), but passively gains luck, might, area, speed and duration for every level-up. Get a rhythm going with staying alive and getting him leveled and he can end a run having turned the entire screen into a field of instant death even on high curse runs. Though it's slightly downplayed in that Smith starts with Vandalier, who even at rank 1 is immensely stronger than the individual birds the other ghosts start with.
      • Syuuto Moonspell has great bonuses to health and might, native armor, and a built-in retaliation... but he is abysmally slow, has penalties to projectile speed and area, starts with 50% Curse, making enemies much harder to avoid at his plodding pace, and has the aforementioned Summon Night as his starting weapon. Thankfully, you can use the Beginning arcana to turn it from a completely pathetic weapon to an only slightly underwhelming one. Once you manage to evolve Summon Night, he goes One-Winged Angel, losing all his weaknesses while gaining another crapton of health and an infinitely scaling bonus to Might on top of the 50% he already has.
      • Keitha Muort's starting weapon has an obscene cooldown, a poor area, and much like the Knife, needs to be aimed by turning towards enemies (the opposite of what you normally want to be doing). What's worse is that, unlike other characters like Porta or Clerici, who have similar issues with their starting weapons, Keitha does not gain any Low-Level Advantage to compensate, despite her weapon being even worse than theirs. It's strongly recommended to pick up a weapon other than Flash Arrow as soon as one becomes available. At high levels, her infinitely scaling Luck allows her to eclipse even the Luck Ghosts above.
    • Weapons/items/Arcana:
      • The Peachone and Ebony Wings weapons will passively fire over a rotating area around the character, and fire Homing Lasers in a spread path. This makes both of them, even combined, very unreliable to aim unless the screen is full of enemies. However, as they level up, the intensity, amount and frequency of their attacks will raise, but even then it's a fairly weak weapon. When both birds are maxed out, they evolve by undergoing a Fusion Dance and emerge as Vandalier. This evolved weapon still needs to be leveled, but at max level the bird will unleash its lasers in two areas at once, and will be erasing entire hordes of enemies. It also frees up one of the weapon slots taken by the second bird, allowing you to obtain and potentially evolve a seventh weapon.
      • The Pentagram is a double edged sword with an extreme downside: it kills everything on-screen, but also destroys everything else too, from XP gems to pickups to treasure chests. Upgrading the Pentagram and your luck stat will give increasing chances of it not destroying objects, but never reach a 100% chance, which can leave you really hurting for levels. That is, until you get the Crown and evolve it into Gorgeous Moon, whereupon not only does it no longer destroy objects, it actually does the exact opposite by turning every enemy on-screen into a variable-cost experience gem, and then magnetizing them all to you as if you just got a Vacuum pickup. Get the evolution early enough and you'll make back all the lost experience and then some, while also having a screen nuke that can kill everything but the final stage bosses in one hit every 30 seconds or less.
      • Clock Lancet and Laurel are pretty much strictly utility and defensive items, freezing enemies but not doing much damage and giving your a regenerating shield that only blocks up to three attacks, which is underwhelming for items that could be better spent on things with actual killing power. However if you have discovered the Yellow Sign, you can see and collect the items that are used to evolve them, though they are situated very far from your starting position. The Gold and Silver Rings evolve the Clock Lancet, and the Metaglio Left and Right evolve the Laurel. Unlike other evolutions, you must fully upgrade both items in a pair to their max of level 9 on top of the original weapon to enable it to evolve, and the Gold Ring and Metaglio Right increase enemy health, numbers, and damage to make the rest of your run progressively harder. If you pick these items up too late in a run, you may lose out on the opportunity to evolve them in time. In other words, find the condition to evolve these humble items, then you get a fighting chance to kill Red Death legitimately. All of that being said, there are a few Arcana, such as Blood Astronomia and Out Of Bounds, that set out to actually make these weapons better in the early game.
      • The DLC weapons all follow the trend of being underwhelming and/or outright pitiful until evolving, whereupon they become absurdly powerful, but the one among them that stands out the most is Summon Night, which summons two (by default) spikes from the top of the screen that leave shadow trails that last for almost no time before going away and are very hard to reliably hit with because of how they come from above. With upgrades it adds more spikes and increases the duration, and when it evolves with a maxed duplicator, it becomes Echo Night which adds second set of spikes from the bottom of the screen, making the pattern akin to jaws biting the screen, the duration of the lingering shadows drastically increase, and it gains just enough knockback to hold most enemies in place instead of knocking them away, leaving them vulnerable to being picked off, making it an extremely potent killing machine.
      • Three of the Arcana are like this, V: Chaos in the Dark Night, XVII: Lost and Found Painting and XVIII: Boogaloo of Illusions all have the same effect with different stats, being swapping between have -50% and +50% (25% for Boogaloo) to Speed, Duration and Area, respectively. On its own, this means that they have periods of weakness, followed by periods of power, however picking them makes it so you gain 1% of that stat per every level from that point on. Picking these as your second or even your first Arcana will make you very weak in the early game, but survive long enough to level out of the subtraction entirely, and it's only up from there until your weapon moves at lightning speed, lasts forever, or covers the entire screen.
  • The Man Behind the Man: During the final battle: The Directer is able to summon an entire army of Deaths and even White Hand, hinting that it was the force directing the Reapers all along.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter:
    • Most characters added past the original lineup are built around different stat benefits and gimmicks than the earlier characters, usually signified by how they're unlocked.
      • The "monster" characters (Mortaccio, Cavallo, Ramba, O'Sole and Ambrojoe), who are all unlocked by defeating enough of a specific enemy type in each main stage. They have the same base stats and the benefit of an extra projectile for every 20 levels up to 60, but start with unique weapons which cannot evolve but have great scaling with other stats to compensate. Their weapons can still appear for other characters at an extremely low chance, or they can be purchased from the Merchant.
      • Of these, O'Sole is probably the most unusual - Celestial Dusting shoots out flowers behind the character as they walk, unlike almost every other weapon in the game which is either manually aimed or targets foes automatically. This requires O'Sole to move away from hordes at a fixed pace to be able to hit them - but with upgrades and passives it provides him with a defensive weapon that ensures he doesn't need to worry about the hordes rushing him from behind. They also have access to a large heal once per run by typing out "PET".
      • The unlockable "coffin" characters (Poppea, Pugnala, Giovanna, Concetta, Zi'Assunta, and Avatar), unlocked by opening a coffin hidden in each main stage, have the same starting stats but gain 1% in their specialized stat per level with no ceiling, giving them effectively infinite scaling (whereas other characters gain stats at specific, limited intervals or never change at all). Each has an associated weapon, but unlike the monster weapons, they can evolve and will appear commonly for other characters once unlocked.
    • The Shadow Pinion weapon and its evolved form the Valkyrie Turner requires the player to set up the attacks manually. They will slowly build up on the field directly behind the user, and fires off in the direction the player is pointing when they stop moving.
    • Legacy of the Moonspell introduces three:
      • The first one is Menya Moonspell. She has a built-in mechanic where, after scoring a certain number of kills, she temporarily enters a Super Mode, becoming invulnerable and dealing contact damage to nearby enemies. Killing 100,000 enemies in a single run with Menya will unlock Megalo Menya, basically her Super Mode as a separate character. She's hardcoded to disappear once the Stage's time limit is reached, as she is otherwise invincible.
      • The second is Syuuto Moonspell. Like Menya, he has a built in Super Mode mechanic. His permanent transformation is triggered by evolving his starting weapon, the Summon Night. Similarly to Menya, his Super Mode can be unlocked as a separate character (Megalo Syuuto) by killing 100,000 enemies in a single run. However, Megalo Syuuto is not invulnerable and thus does not have the same hardcoded restrictions as Megalo Menya.
      • The third and most blatant is Babi-Onna. Her gimmick ignores cooldown, and any weapons picked up are fired one at a time. Moving cycles through the weapons faster, and since the Wings passive increases her movement speed, it also indirectly increases her firing rate. If she moves fast enough, she can fire these weapons even faster than normal. And that's not even getting into using it with weapons like the Gorgeous Moon.
    • Ghost Lino can pass through walls and is immune to all damage, but they take such a huge Might penalty that they're basically incapable of dealing damage through conventional means. That's not to say they have to coast through to the time limit, though: an unlock condition for another character involves solving the puzzle of how to defeat enemies as Lino without using weapons that deal damage.
  • Mickey Mousing:
    • The entire Holy Forbidden stage is timed to the tune of Before Concession, with the Maddener arriving as the chorus kicks in and beginning its attacks as the music picks up, intensifying its patterns in tune with the theme. Failing to pick up the Rosary at the end of the corridor before the music comes to a close will cause the Maddener to charge, killing the character instantly.
    • In the Abyss Foscari, all the enemies move along the beat of the background music in a reference to Crypt of the NecroDancer.
    • The introductory segment of the Je-Ne-Viv boss battle is also closely synced with the beginning of her theme, "The World Eater".
    • Some of the enemies in the Astral Stair blink red and blue to the beat of the background music. It's not just visual, either - they can't be hit by weapons of the opposite color.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The hidden unlockable character Leda is giant, deals twice as much damage as other characters before bonuses, has five additional armor points, and gets a bonus to attack area and cooldown. However, she is also the third slowest character in the game, outweighed by Dommario and the literal rooted-to-the-ground tree Peppino.
    • Boon Marrabbio starts with Thousand Edge, and takes a whopping -110% projectile speed penalty; any projectiles he throws will be as slow as molasses in winter. While that sounds disadvantageous, certain projectiles won't expire even if an enemy runs into them. It's possible to create a wall of death with these sluggish projectiles. With a rank in Projectile Speed from the Bracer, his projectiles stand still, Making that wall fully stationary.
    • Gyoruntun starts with extremely high max HP, which can be brought up to the second highest besides the playable Red Death, and they'll need every drop since they gain 1% curse every level — it'll be likely the end of the run will have the enemies so fast and tanky you'll be taking plenty of hits.
  • Mind Screwdriver:
    • At the Disc-One Final Dungeon, the player is suddenly transported with no gear into a strange cathedral floating in the air. And then the sky turns red and a horde of angels of all things attack the player, led by an Angelic Abomination. At the end, the whole thing turns out to be just an illusion summoned by one of the Reapers.
    • To a lesser extent, at several points throughout the game, an animation plays of a pair of hands clapping right before the game glitches out in bizarre ways. It ultimately turns out the hands are an actual character in the game, a strange being who lives in the gap between space. However, what they are isn't revealed.
  • Minus World:
    • With enough MoveSpeed and game lag, it's possible to clip through solid geometry. Doing so on the boundry walls of Inlaid Library, Gallo Tower and Tiny Bridge reveals that those stages still Wrap Around in those directions, but have no enemy spawns in the outside duplicate layouts.
    • One secret unlock parodies this. With Hurry Mode enabled and enough Curse accumulated, heading to the extreme south-west on Green Acres takes the player to a parody of Glitch City with glitched bat enemies. Managing to defeat 128 of them unlocks missingN▯ as a character and returns the stage to normal again.
  • Miracle-Gro Monster: Version 0.10 adds the Sketamari to the Bone Zone, a Legion-like ball of skeletons that grows in size and strength as it touches and consumes nearby enemies.
  • Modular Difficulty: ** On the character select screen, you can limit yourself from 6 weapons all the way down to just 1, and you can chooses to enable or disable stat boosts from golden eggs.
    • The map selection lets you pick and choose from 6 modes with unique effects. Hyper makes everything, including you, move faster. Hurry Mode doubles the rate at which the in game timer ticks. Arcana enables the Arcana mechanic, giving you access to unique buffs. Limit Break makes it so instead of getting money and food when you've leveled up enough, you instead get buffs for your weapons. Inverse rotates the stage 180 degrees and makes enemies more difficult. Finally, Endless mode is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Money Multiplier: The greed stat increases money gained, and can be increased with Golden Eggs just like any other stat. It can be upgraded in the power-up shop by 50%, the Stone Mask iteam increases it up by 50% more when maxed, and Trouser's passsivly get's 1% greed with every level.
  • Money Sink: The Merchants added in the .66 patch serve as a place for your excess gold if the money's burning a hole in your pocket. They sell Golden Eggs, and the unique items dropped by the "monster" characters, which are otherwise extremely low chances of showing up normally in the level-up menus. There's also a one-time cost of ten thousand gold to make the merchants start showing up in stages besides Moongolow. Inverse and Endless Mode each add additional options to the merchant to provide further money sinks.
  • Monster Compendium: The Ars Gouda relic unlocks one. It gives you stats, any skills, location, and a total of number defeated.
  • More Dakka:
    • While the Knife and its evolution qualify as Flechette Storm, the Magic Wand and its evolution, the Holy Wand, qualify as this. While fairly weak, both wands fire automatically at the closest enemy, and the item required for evolution, the Empty Tome, decreases cooldown even further. Like the Thousand Edge, the Holy Wand has no cooldown and will spew magic missiles constantly.
    • Amount and Cooldown affect how many projectiles are shot at a time and how frequently these volleys happen respective. Characters and items that affect them include Mortaccio and Yatta Cavallo, who get up to three additional projectiles max by Level 60; Gennaro, who gets a single extra projectile by default; Arca Ladonna has a faster cooldown than usual, and the Duplicator which provides two extra projectiles when upgraded.
    • Leda starts off with a Holy Wand. Technically, the Magic Wand can still be gotten, but there can't be two Holy Wands at once, so it's better to branch off with another weapon.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Giovanna Giona. She's a Hot Witch with sexy legs, an Impossible Hourglass Figure, Navel-Deep Neckline, Sultry Bangs, and is straddling her witch boom. Her sprite doesn't leave much to the imagination.
    • Poppea Pecorina's name is a joke about her chest as well as slang for doing it from behind. It's not a surprise her old sprite's dress looks like it's about to fall open, if it isn't already.
    • Her in-game sprite is much more tame, but Imelda Belpaese's pin-up pose on the game's main menu leaves her figure prominently displayed to the viewer. It doesn't help that the pose is a Shout-Out to notoriously Fanservice-y heroine Bayonetta.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Several of the unlockable playable characters are monsters like the ones you'll be killing by the thousands. Mortaccio is a skeleton, there are multiple playable ghosts, Krochi is a demon, Giovanna is a witch, Minnah is a werewolf, Gyorunton is a hydra, and Boon Marrabbio (a living shadow), Leda (an eldritch mass of flesh with a person sticking out of it), Avatar Infernas (a white figure with flames engulfing its lower half), Gains Boros (a skeletal dragon shrimp) and Mask of the Red Death (described as "an imitation") join after beating them.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Menya Moonspell is a Cool Old Lady who floats around on a platform and casts powerful magic to destroy her foes, and her Megalo form also happens to be completely invincible.
  • Never Trust a Title: The game is called Vampire Survivors, and there's a crusty Dracula look-alike on the menu giving you the evil eye. By the time you clear a few stages, you'll have obliterated tens of thousands of ghouls, ghosts, gremlins, plant monsters, mummies, mudmen, bats, skeletons, demons, witches, eyeballs, and virtually every other variety of spook that isn't a vampire. In fact, there are no actual vampires in the game. Many of the bestiary descriptions lampshade the game's conspicuous dearth of vampires, as does the original version of stage 3's description and the game's release trailer, the last of which proudly advertises that the game has 0 vampires. Further, even the "Survivors" part is questionable considering that it is technically impossible to survive, as the stage ends when the player is killed by Death or White Hand. This leads to the common joke that the title refers not to the playable characters, but rather to the vampires themselves, who just keep surviving DLC after DLC due to our persistent inability to find them.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • At the start of your first venture into Cappella Magna, the Metaglio and Ring items are stripped off the map to prevent easily defeating the boss with the Infinite Corridor and Crimson Shroud. The player gets to keep their Golden Eggs, however... for four minutes, before a giant hand appears and snaps its fingers to take the Eggs away.
    • The final boss takes this even further: since you're fighting the Directer, who gave you the ability to gain Golden Eggs to begin with, any Eggs you have equipped become an equal penalty to your stats, forcing you to play a character who collected little to no Eggs or disable them to stand a chance. He even throws the Eggs at you as one of his attacks.
  • No Fourth Wall: It's... definitely weird. The Directer, the final boss of the game, is an eldritch being who is challenging the Survivors - not to further its goals or anything, but seemingly just for its own entertainment. The Directer is heavily implied to be the In-Universe responsible for the mechanics of the game (implied by the way he and his creation, the Ender, will gratuitously bombard the characters with random game objects). Once the game (and he) is beaten, the Directer enthusiastically applauds, and promises to transport the characters to new worlds... which just so happen to be the game's DLC. It's not a stretch to say that the Directer is just the game developer directly interacting with the game's characters. No wonder he's so alien - he's literally from a dimension they have no knowledge of.
  • No-Gear Level: The first time you make it to the end of Moongolow you get pulled into a small winding hallway and have all of your items, passives, and even meta-upgrades ripped from you, leaving you as weak as when you booted up the game for the first time. The objective isn't to kill the boss chasing you, but to, fittingly, survive until you reach the end of the hallway and get a hold of a Rosario to save yourself.
  • No Kill like Overkill:
    • Gallo Tower really wants the player to die at the 30 minute mark. In inclusion to Red Death showing up, a constant rain of the massively damaging falling start obstacles will start dropping directly on top of you and an invincible version of Drowner will spawn and rapidly raise the insta-kill floor up to be even with you. Despite this, it's an unlock condition for an Arcana to survive to minute 31 in the level.
    • Cappella Magna mobs you with endless waves of enemies at the 30 minute mark on top of Red Death coming in to kill you.
    • In the Directer's third phase, he will drag the White Hand itself onto you to instantly take away any leftover revives you might have. In the following phase, he surrounds you with a swarm of Red Deaths, and might also summon the White Hand even if you're out of revives. Though, since he brings you back anyway every time you die with no revives left in that phase, it seems to be purely for spectacle.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty:
    • The game's main stages are numbered by the order they're unlocked in, but that order does not reflect their difficulty, as Inlaid Library (Stage 2) and Gallo Tower (Stage 4) are considered easier than Mad Forest (Stage 1) and Dairy Plant (Stage 3). The former two stages are linear "hallways", have manageable gimmick waves, and have pre-placed items that don't take long to reach; the latter two are wide-open so that enemies can attack you from all sides, feature dangerous waves which box the player in or bum-rush them with bats/minotaurs, and spread their pre-placed items out much further.
    • Defeating a stage's 25-minute boss unlocks Hyper Mode for that stage, which increases the speed of your character and enemies, alongside increasing enemy spawn rates. It seems like Difficulty by Acceleration, but since the majority of weapons excel at mowing down large hordes, it actually lets you level up faster and get strong enough to stay alive. The speed boost also makes it easier to grab the extra passive items strewn about stages, including the ones needed for the Infinite Corridor and Crimson Shroud.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • The two pure-support weapons, Laurel and Clock Lancet, are mostly situational outside of supplementing an already good build; the former shields the player character from damage but otherwise can't repel enemies, the latter freezes enemies in place but doesn't damage them. However, their combined power is the most effective way of countering Red Deaths, as Laurel blocks their touch of death for at least a second at max charge and Clock Lancet can freeze them to give time for Laurel to recharge. Having both is essential for any task that involves surviving past the point where Red Deaths spawn. Their special evolved forms are the intended way to kill Red Death, though they have no effect against White Hand.
    • The Gemini arcana is often seen as underwhelming, since the duplicate weapon doesn't evolve alongside the main one, and most nonevolved weapons are rather unimpactful in the late game. However, it applies to Gatti Amari, an unevolved weapon with insane Magikarp Power that can easily outmatch most evolutions, so having two Gatti Amari is a big deal. It also applies to Sharp Tongue, which is relevant for Cosmo Pavone builds that rely on dishing out massive damage with this weapon.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • Prior to version 0.8.0, both the Infinite Corridor and Crimson Shroud were required to 'officially' kill Red Death and trigger the White Hand special ending; if the player only evolved the latter item, though, they could potentially survive forever. Patch 0.8.0 changed it so that Crimson Shroud alone was now capable of dealing immense damage to Death; enough to kill him after a few minutes and allowing for the White Hand ending to occur if done so.
    • In addition to the above, the Infinite Corridor and Crimson Shroud could potentially kill Red Death so fast that the White Hand ending would be triggered before the timer would reach 31 minutes. This was a problem for various unlocks that require the player to survive for 31 minutes; killing Death too fast prevented the unlock from happening. A later patch made it so that the time immediately jumps up to 31 minutes if Death is killed.
    • When Limit Breaks first came out, there wasn't really a hard cap on what or how much of something could be limit broken. After this resulted in players showing off getting things like Gorgeous Moon with cooldown so low it was charging as another was going off, it was quickly (as in, within a day) patched so that some stats on certain weapons that can't be increased by Limit Break.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The angel invasion only happens the first time a player reaches the end of Moongolow with a non-secret character. The respective secret level, Holy Forbidden, will stay unlocked afterwards, but upon getting the Yellow Sign, it re-locks itself.
  • One-Winged Angel: A select few characters have the ability to transform into more powerful forms if certain conditions are met.
    • If the player has acquired the Chaos Malachite relic from Bat Country, Mortaccio will transform into a titanic Gashadokuro upon reaching level 80. This grants him bonuses to health and armor, one more Amount bonus on top of the three he naturally gets, and the Anima of Mortaccio, an evolution of his basic Bone weapon.
    • Similarly, if the Chaos Rosalia is obtained from the Astral Stair, Yatta Cavallo will do the same, turning into a towering cosmic beast with similar bonuses to health, armor and Amount and a more powerful weapon that always explodes.
    • Syuuto Moonspell starts as a Mighty Glacier with an impressive amount of health and Might and a hidden weapon that retaliates against enemies that attack him, but abysmal movement speed and a bunch of other stat penalties. However, once his starting weapon, the Summon Night, is evolved (this requires the Duplicator), for the rest of the run, he turns into a powerful demon. In this form, he gains more health, his penalties are either negated or turn into bonuses, and he gains a scaling Might bonus every level with no cap, turning him into a monstrous Lightning Bruiser.
  • Optional Boss:
    • The secret characters Leda, Marrabbio, and Avatar are hidden in Gallo Tower, Mad Forest, and Inlaid Library, respectively, and must be defeated as bosses to unlock them as characters.
    • Unlocking the Randomazzo adds extra bosses at the 11 and 21 minute mark to drop new Arcanas, but it's usually just a glowing bat, the weakest boss.
    • Version 0.6.1 adds four new hidden bosses that guard the Rings and Metaglios once you have the ability to see them. On defeat they yield Golden Eggs that give a permanent slight increase to one random stat of the character you're playing as.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield:
    • The Holy Bible acts as this, but the spell only lasts for a few seconds. The upgraded Unholy Vespers is a permanent shield that shreds enemies to pieces.
    • The 108 Bocce is a more traditional version of this trope, being 8 (not 108) giant balls orbiting the character.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Mortaccio can be unlocked rather early on (if you know the cheat code) and has the power to gain an extra projectile every 20 levels up to level 60, but starts with the rather weak Bone. Yatta Cavallo is exactly the same, but starts with the Cherry Bomb, which is considerably stronger as a starting weapon than the Bone thanks to having area based damage where the Bone doesn't. With that being said, The Chaos Malachite granting Mortaccio a One-Winged Angel form helps to remedy this.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Boon Marrabbio starts off with the Thousand Edge weapon, but has a —100% projectile speed, resulting in all his projectiles being exceptionally slow. This extends to all other weapons he picks up. This gives the player an advantage of progressing forward while completely engulfed in his own knife storm, which makes any enemy he runs into die almost immediately and completely shreds boss to pieces in seconds due to their prolonged exposure to the attack. Evolving the gun weapons to Phieraggi results in the entire screen being covered by beam weapons that do not dissipate or even move.
  • Palette Swap: The various Reapers fit the bill on this one. Death and Stalker both hold a scythe, while most of the others have a unique staff.
  • Piano Drop: La Robba drops multiple items of furniture upon the enemies from above, including grand pianos.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Runetracer weapon is some sort of gemstone that leaves a light trail (almost overlapping with a Reflecting Laser in appearance) and damages everything in its path until its time expires, reflecting against the edges of the screen and other map features. Characters with bonus projectiles such as Mortaccio can make this a very powerful weapon, even more so if it receives its NO FUTURE evolution, and it benefits from passive upgrades such as the Bracers and Spellbinder nicely. In addition, the Arcanas Iron Blue Will and Waltz of Pearls add ricochet effects to several physical and magical weapons, respectively. La Robba's projectiles are even more pinball-like, as they are affected by gravity as they bounce around; since they come from the top, it turns the whole screen into furniture pachinko.
  • Planet Eater: The ultimate goal of Genevieve. Both she and her powered-up form are able to trigger an effect called "World Eater", which instantly kills all enemies on screen and converts them to hearts. The sole description the playable version of Je-Ne-Viv gets is "It will literally eat the world," and sure enough, its World Eater skill will also delete map tiles in a radius dependent on its Magnet stat.
  • Plant People: Played with, as Alraunes appear as a boss and a horde of enemies late into the Mad Forest, but in actuality, they're carnivous plants with petals shaped to resemble the female form.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire Wand, Valkyrie Turner, Phiera Der Tuphello, and Flames of Misspell all use fire-based projectiles. They can all be used with Arcana XIX - Heart of Fire, adding explosions to their attacks.
  • Power-Up Magnet:
    • The Vacuum pickup draws all Experience Gems currently on the field to you.
    • You can equip an 'Attractorb' to greatly increase your pickup radius, making it almost as big as the screen.
    • The Gorgeous Moon will pull in all Experience Gems on the screen after its attack sequence finishes.
  • Purposely Overpowered:
    • Queen Sigma is the reward for completing the entire base game's Collection, and boasts stats far above any other character as well as numerous unique perks and the most powerful weapon in the game.
    • Avatar Infernas is a secret character who is nearly impossible to unlock without resorting to a strategy guide, but the payoff is well worth it. He might not seem as insane as Queen Sigma at first, only gaining 0.5% Might per level (and compensating for it with a 0.5% Curse per level as well), but his real strength lies in getting a 0.25% Cooldown reduction per level, uncapped, something no other character can boast of. This allows for some truly degenerate strategies, like keeping everything on screen permanently frozen with Clock Lancet, or becoming literally invincible with Laurel once it starts regenerating charges faster than enemies can drain them. And no need to worry too much about dying before these strategies can come into play: Avatar starts with very respectable bonuses to health and Might right off the bat, an extra revival, and the Heart of Fire arcana for free (on top of whatever you choose at level 1), giving it a strong early game even before it snowballs into a literally unstoppable powerhouse.
    • Menya and Syuuto Moonspell, who have Super Mode gimmicks, have unlockable variations that are permanently in their enhanced forms. In Megalo Menya's case, this makes her completely invincible: she has a specially coded exception to disappear when the stage's time limit is hit because she cannot be hurt.
    • Looking at her stats alone, Luminaire Foscari does not seem incredibly powerful at first. Slight bonus to health recovery, slight bonus to speed, +5 banishes, +7 revives? Ok, that's pretty good... wait, you're saying every time she revives, she temporarily gains +200% might, -100% cooldown, and up to 300% movement speed? And the duration of this gets longer every revive? Ok, that's pretty darn good- I'm sorry, what do you mean she also triggers a Rosary blast that wipes out every enemy on screen every single time she levels up?
    • The playable version of the Big Bad, Je-Ne-Viv, has a ton of health, good armor, a decent boost to Might, and a built-in damaging aura around her that scales with Greed and Magnet. She vacuums all experience gems on the map every time she levels up, and triggers a Smart Bomb every six levels that kills all non-boss enemies on screen, turns them into healing hearts, and erases any obstacles in her damaging aura. Once per life, she will also save herself from death by doing this in response to fatal damage (sadly, she does not have built-in Revives like Luminaire does). Just for good measure, she also receives all the components for the powerful Spellstrom evolved weapon by level 30 (and, if she has the patience to not pick them up until all her weapon slots are full, can have it as a seventh weapon). Somehow, this is still nowhere near as broken as Luminaire. Presumably to at least attempt to remedy her relatively low power for a character that's supposed to be a world-ending threat, she now also gets a stacking bonus to Might (and a smaller one to Curse) every level.
    • Sammy is this for gold farming, since he gets experience when collecting gold, even if Game Killer is on, and starts with a souped up version of Vicious Hunger that almost always turns enemies into gold.
  • Rare Candy: Golden Eggs, which can be bought from the Merchant or obtained from defeating certain bosses, grant a small, permanent boost to a random stat.
  • Retraux: The game has a pixel art style reminiscent of old Castlevania games.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Breaking some stage decorations can reveal coins, Floor Chicken, or other power-up items.
  • Roboteching: The Peachone and Ebony Wings and all their related forms (their Union form of Vandalier and Cygnus and Zhar Ptytsia counterparts provided the Gemini arcana) are weapons that bombard areas circling the player character with magic lasers that bend around.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Concetta Caciotta is a succubus with an electric guitar, and her signature theme prominently features that instrument.
  • Running Gag:
    • The stage descriptions mentioning the stages being a good place to forage for Floor Chicken.
    • Referring to Yatta Cavallo as anything but a Panda. As of the time of writing the update notes have referred to him as a hippo and an elephant, and even his last name translates to "horse" from Spanish.
    • The Bestiary's constant denial of the existence of ghosts, which points out that even "tricks of the light can have hit points too". Additionally in the Poltergeist entry; it speculates that they are either a mage's trickery, or automata, or filled with a colony of ants. And then declares that the Moongolow Atlanteans are also not ghosts despite not being sure whether they're true living Atlanteans, magical constructs, or something more curious.
    • Every bat enemy in the Bestiary states that "they're bats, and nothing more" in their descriptions in order to confirm that they are not vampires.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • The Torrona's Box passive item grants incredible benefits, with the combined powers of the Spinach, Bracer, Spellbinder, and Candelabrador, for its first eight levels. At the ninth level, it gives +100% Curse.
    • The Mad Groove Arcana summons all powerups and lamps directly to your area. This saves you the trek of having to acquire the gold and silver rings and the Metaglio Left and Right. However, picking them up instantly summons their guardians as well, which can spell a swift end if you picked up this arcana too early in a run.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Queen Sigma has a unique defeat animation should she somehow be defeated or get attacked by the Reaper, where she warps away. This makes her the only character capable of surviving the White Hand's grasp, albeit through technicality.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Abyss Foscari was intended to seal Genevieve Gruyère and her evil hordes. When Keitha ends up breaking the seal, the characters have no choice but to venture down and put an end to Genevieve once and for all.
  • Seasonal Baggage:
    • Wicked Season arcana cycles through a set of four stats, doubling the value of one of them for a longer while and moving onto the next on a timer. These stats are Growth, Luck, Greed and Curse. Growth represents Spring as a season of growth, Luck is for Summer, Greed is Autumn as the season of harvest and Curse is for the harshness of Winter.
    • The Four Seasons weapon, which is four explosions of of season-appropriate particles.
  • Secret Character: While most characters are unlocked by filling out the achievement list, a few are truly secret, with their unlock conditions hinted at by the Secrets menu. Some of these come with their default weapon already in its evolved form:
    • Mask of the Red Death is unlocked by defeating the Red Death that appears at the end of a run. It boasts an overwhelming +100% movement speed, a substantial 20% Might bonus, and the already-evolved Death Spiral.
    • Leda is unlocked by traveling downward in Gallo Tower until the screen fully darkens, then defeating her as an Optional Boss. She boasts a whopping +100% Might and +5 Armor, as well as the already-evolved Holy Wand.
    • Exdash Exiviiq is unlocked by inputting the code x-x1viiq on the main menu, or extremely rarely by picking up a Clover item off the ground, itself an extremely rare item. It boasts terrible stats in every category, and the near-useless Ebony Wings, but +100% Luck.
    • Toastie is unlocked by defeating Stalker or Drowner in a way that causes it to drop a treasure chestnote , then pressing Down + Enter when the red ghost appears on the bottom-right of the screen. It boasts the same terrible base stats as Exdash, except for high movement speed and a massive HP penalty to the point of being a One-Hit-Point Wonder, and the equally useless Peachone. At level 100, it gains by far the highest HP of any character, then at level 200 it gains enough Armor to almost No-Sell hits from Red Death.
    • Smith IV is unlocked by unlocking Exdash and Toastie, then rapidly entering "spam" on the starting screen, the character select screen, and the stage select screen, followed by entering "humbug" once your actual run starts. It starts with the already-united Vandalier and has the same terrible base stats as the other ghosts, but gains bonuses to nearly every stat with each levelup.
    • Random is unlocked by opening a coffin that contained a "coffin character" a second time. As its name would suggest, Random starts with a random weapon, random name, and random stat growth.
    • Boon Marrabbio is unlocked by picking up the Skull o' Maniac and Pummarola in the Mad Forest, resulting in a trail of health-restoring pies to lead you to him and defeating him as a boss. He comes with -110% Projectile Speed, which means depending on your Speed upgrade, his projectiles move very slowly forwards or backwards or stand still, and the already-evolved Thousand Edge.
    • Minnah Mannarah is unlocked by finding a cheese wheel hidden in the Dairy Plant, and killing the werewolves that arrive once you pick it up. They have high health, but low Might, and their stats fluctuate gradually over time, alternating between small, high-speed projectiles and slower, larger ones. They start with the already-evolved Bloody Tear.
    • Peppino is unlocked by using the Celestial Dusting weapon to heal the plants in Il Molise, most easily by using O'Sole Mio who starts with the Celestial Dusting and takes no damage from the plants. It's a tree which starts with great defensive stats, but -100% movement speed, making it completely immobile without certain upgrades, and the already-evolved Soul Eater.
    • Cosmo Pavone is found by taking Peachone and Ebony Wings to the NFT pickup on Capella Magna on a character that has no Golden Eggs at all (if all of your characters have at least one egg, the same patch that added also introduced the cheat code menu to get around this, otherwise, you can come in on Queen Sigma who physically can't gain Golden Eggs). It has low health, but high regeneration and luck that increases with levels, as well as one revive and gains another every 100 levels. It also starts with a unique Ebony Wings and Peachone except neither take up a weapon slot, they can't evolve, and level automatically every 5 levels.
    • Gains Boros is unlocked by travelling far north of the Bone Zone starting point beyond the Silver Ring, where a grassy meadow can be found, and then staying in that area for 10 seconds. It starts out with a Heaven Sword and 2% Growth increase with each level, making it a perfect character for high level runs.
    • Gyorunton is unlocked by surviving Boss Rash with only one weapon. It starts with a whopping +200 Max Health, +30% Might, gains 1% Curse per level. Its starting weapon is the Bracelet and can find evolved weapons in any chest, allowing you to reach your peak power level faster than most.
    • Big Trouser is a playable version of the merchant, unlocked by maxing out all of the passives on Moongolow except for the Metaglio and Rings, and then quitting outnote . They have average stats but start with increased greed and gain 1% more greed every level, making them amazing for farming money. They also start with the unique "Candybox" item, which gives them their pick of any non-evolved weapon in the game upon starting their run.
    • missingN▯ is unlocked by enabling both Hyper and Hurry modes on Green Acres, having all five purchases of the Curse option in the PowerUp menu, and then running towards the very bottom-left corner of the map (in which the grid lines will stop appearing on the pause screen), and then defeating a number of very durable special enemies in a Minus World-esque areanote . It starts with completely randomized stats and a random choice of Axe or Death Spiral. Unlike Random, missingN▯ 's stats are truly random, even to the point of over and underflowing, which can result in some very bizarre things happening.
    • Avatar Infernas is unlocked by entering Inlaid Library in Inverse Mode after clearing Eudaimonia Machine, going right until a Trickster appears, killing it, and then interacting with a piano. You then have to press the keys in right order, which Peachone and Ebony Wings (but not Vandalier) will show.note  After that, the Library unfolds and nine coffins will spawn, and he will be inside one of those coffins, then you must defeat him. He starts with the XIX - Heart of Fire Arcana, bonus stats and gains additional stats and curse with each level, and a unique weapon, Flames of Misspell, which fires a cone of flames in front of you. It can be evolved with a max level Torrana's Box into Ashes of Muspell, which fires black flames in both directions and gains damage from kills.
    • Scorej-Oni appears on the far right edge of the Tiny Bridge level and must be defeated to unlock. He starts with a hidden Lightning Ring that also fires when he takes damage, and gains another of these Rings every eighth level, capping at six of them at level 40.
    • Gyoruntin is the Mecha-Ghidora to Gyoruntun's Ghidora. He's unlocked by holding left in Carlo Cart until a coffin guarded by several Gyoruntun show up. He has a special NO FUTURE that levels up as he does and all of his weapons ignore walls, but like Gyoruntun he gains +1% curse every level.
  • Skill Point Reset: You can refund coins spent on power ups at any time without penalty, giving you the ability to experiment with different upgrades as many times as you want.
  • Shock and Awe: The Lightning Ring and its evolution, the Thunder Loop, cause lightning to fall upon enemies. Porta Ladonna in particular starts with the Lightning Ring and because of a temporary speed bonus, will rain countless lightning upon any enemies on screen at the start of the game.
  • Slaying Mantis: Among the assorted enemies you can face, one of them are giant praying mantises several times larger than your character.
  • Smart Bomb:
    • The Rosary pickup kills most on-screen enemies when collected.
    • The Pentagram weapon clears enemies at set cooldowns, though unlike the Rosary, it also erases all items on the screen if the Pentagram flashes purple, including all of the Experience Gems the enemies would drop. Leveling it up increases the chance of a blue Pentagram, which acts just like the Rosary.
    • The evolution of the Pentagram, the Gorgeous Moon, acts like a Rosary and a Vacuum in one.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The Shadow Servant weapon summons dark snakes that slither towards enemies. It evolves into Ophion, which is Ouroboros-themed. It's the main weapon of the Big Bad of Tides of the Foscari DLC, Genevieve Gruyere and her One-Winged Angel form Je-Ne-Viv.
  • Sonic Stunner: The Mannajja, the evolved Song of Mana, can slow down enemies it hits within its area of effect.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Parodied with the Flames of Misspell weapon.
  • Stalked by the Bell: If you survive the full time limit of a stage (usually 30 minutes, reduced to 15 for bonus levels), Red Death arrives to destroy you. His HP is 65535 times your level, and he deals that much damage on impact. If you manage to avoid him, another one will show up each additional minute. There are several ways to kill Red Death, but even if you succeed, White Hand will show up shortly afterwards. White Hand is completely invincible and, rather than dealing damage, reduces your maximum HP to zero, an instant kill that ignores all Revives.
  • Stealth Pun: Santa Ladonna is unlocked by surviving for 20 minutes in the Laborratory stage. La Borra is the evolution of Santa Water.
  • Support Party Member: The Mini Crewmates added in Emergency Meeting serve as a version of this. They take up a passive slot instead of a weapon slot and infrequently cast weaker versions of base weapons note . They all merge with one of the DLC weapons that was added alongside them to evolve them, and uniquely vanish from the slots they were taking up while remaining active, allowing you to replace them with a proper passive while they continue to support you.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment:
    • In a game that's mostly a pastiche of the Castlevania games (which are more horror-themed than horror-focused), some genuine scares can show up if the player looks for them, such as Leda and her Drone of Dread in Gallo Tower and the arrival of angels in Moongolow.
    • Tides of the Foscari is generally pretty whimsical with its epic fantasy feel instead of the base game's spoof-gothic horror. Then you find your way down to Abyss Focari and the game's tone changes -drastically- towards horror, with genuinely intimidating monsters, creepy mashups of previous enemies, most of the reskins are colored a blood red, and there's a genuine Eldritch Abomination sealed away that presents a genuine existential threat to reality.
  • Take That!:
    • The fire-breathing item is called 'Nduja Fritta Tanto, or NFT for short. This is the only kind of NFT that will ever be added to the game.
    • The Video Game Awards trailer announcing the mobile version starts with "Do you folks have phones?", mocking an infamous quote from the announcement of Diablo Immortal.
    • The bestiary entry for the Mummy enemies takes a pointed dig at people who try to justify culturally insensitive costumes by having their (evil) creators parrot the much-maligned "they should take it as a compliment" excuse.
    • The bestiary entry for the Miragellos enemy in the Whiteout stage reads that they're the shades of ghastly humans who whisper "some of the worst things they have said when they walked the earth like, "You have to pay us 20 gold per install. Today, nobody remembers", a brutal dig at the Unity Game Engine, which tried to implement a fee every time a game made with the program was installed and effectively turned the entire gaming world against them and destroyed all good will they had, even after backing down.
  • Tarot Motifs: Upon finding the Randomazzo, you unlock new powerups where certain Arcana will give new bonuses when you reach a certain level depending on the card with the character associated with that weapon. For example, getting level 99 with Krochi, who gets more revivals, unlocks the Awake Arcana, which grants more revivals and gives a stat boost every time a revive is used. These power ups are represented with tarot cards at the start of each game.
  • Timed Mission: In Holy Forbidden, the player needs to reach the end of the corridor while surviving the Maddener's attacks and grab the Rosary before the music stops. Failing to do that will result in being instantly killed by the Maddener.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Boon Marrabbio lures the player into a boss fight using a trail of health-restoring pies.
  • The Unfought: Throughout the game's Early Access period, Dracula (excuse me, Draculó), does not actually appear within any level in the game. In the 1.0 release, he's still the Unfought. There were no vampires to survive in this game. The game ends with the survivors heading to look for him in an alternate universe.
  • The Unreveal: It's never explained where the vampire is, what they want, or if the exist at all. Even the Directer doesn't know.
  • The Unintelligible: The mysterious entity in Eudaimonia Machine often speaks in inverted, constantly-shifting gibberish, but it will always eventually say something that can be understood.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • During patch 0.10.0, if the player acquired Golden Eggs for every single playable character, they would no longer be able to unlock Cosmo Pavone, who requires bringing a character who's never had any Golden Eggs to a certain map, and even applying Golden Eggs to all of the good characters would make this a frustrating task. Patch 0.11.0 addresses this with the addition of Queen Sigma, who refuses to pick up Golden Eggs and is more than powerful enough without them to fulfill Cosmo's unlock conditions.
    • The Stalker, which appears in certain stages, is invincible to all but very few weapons, but normally, it only, well, stalks the player slowly, so it's not hard to play keepaway until it despawns. However, Curse accelerates the Stalker like all other enemies, potentially making it too fast for the player to escape, especially if Torrona's Box is maxed out. This can be especially bad if you're playing with the roulette on and it rolls summoning the Stalker for a minute in a stage or wave where he normally doesn't appear, which can result in a game over because you're not strong enough to survive running through the enemy waves trying to escape him.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: The Garlic item creates an area around your character that damage enemies. While obviously meant to counter vampires, it extends to the non-vampire enemies, such as skeletons, bush monsters, giant mantises, etc. Which is a good thing, as the game features precisely zero vampires.
  • Variable Mix: The song "Gatti Amari" starts out much slower than normal, and speeds up and increases in pitch as she levels the titular cats. Amusingly, if you play the song on O'Solo or another character via use of the Magic Banger where it's already at full speed, and then pick up Gatti Amari in the stage, it resets the song back down to the lowest speed and pitch.
  • Waxing Lyrical: The bestiary entry for the Cauld consists entirely of the lyrics of "Cold As Ice" by Foreigner, except in third person. Its palette swap Cold Cauld starts off as "I Want To Know What Love Is" by the same band, then abandons it and switches to a Rickroll instead.
  • Weakened by the Light: Capella Magna has stained-glass windows that can be destroyed, which will let the sun in from outside and damage or kill enemies in a column above and blow the window.
  • Wham Episode: Moongolow ends with angels apparently deciding to crash the party, eventually warping you to a long hallway stripped of gear where you have to survive the attacks of the lead angel to get to the end, whereupon the "angel" is revealed to just be a gold Death, Maddener, who flees when he's unmasked. It leaves you access to an item with no sprite, and when you obtain it, someone slowly claps as you are returned to a distorted title screen.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Items required to evolve Laurel and Clock Lancet come in pairs and in each pair one part provides a negative effect and the other positive: Metaglio Right and Gold Ring increase enemy-strengthening Curse, while Metaglio Left increases Max Health and Recovery and Silver Ring boosts Duration and Area. Of note is that it's the "inferior" (silver vs gold, left vs right) items that grant helpful effects.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Parodied several times. Each new character you rescue from a coffin states the vampire's in another castle, and when you finally beat the game proper, it turns out the vampire you're looking for is in another dimension.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • The majority of the enemies will come at you in huge swarms, but sometimes smaller, fast-moving clumps of weaker enemies will blitz your character, often pushing stronger enemies right into you.
    • Bat Country is full of bats, and they will come at you from all angles. They are easily dispatched, especially with an Area of Effect weapon, but they will yield less experience than normal.


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