Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / War for the Overworld

Go To
Created by Subterranean Games (Now known as Brightrock Games), War for the Overworld is a Spiritual Successor to the venerable Dungeon Keeper series.

It was originally funded through Kickstarter and has since had a full retail and Steam release in on PC in April 2015. An expansion pack, Heart of Gold, was released in May 2016.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • Crackpots throw potions in battle that explode.
    • Bafus will shoot out spines.
    • The tavern has a "meat cannon" that fires bacon and sausages onto dining tables.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Lucius, the Emperor of the Empire is the strongest enemy unit in the main game, not that it helps him much as he chooses to fight alone. The Empire's nobility also put up quite a good fight once confronted.
  • A God Am I: Emperor Lucius, after taking the power of the Aum
  • Alchemy Is Magic:
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: As with DK you can torture captured minions and "heroes" and convert them to your cause.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Skargs.
  • Cassandra Truth: Underlord Marcus might get on your nerves, but he's absolutely right about everything he says.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Nearly every voiced character will do this, notably Mendechaus, Lord O'Theland, and Emperor Lucius.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Several missions have timers where Mendechaus will constantly badger you about. When you're about to collect the Kenos, he will become very pushy about you defeating the enemy quickly (although there is no real reason). And in general, there are several lines that are triggered if you spend a long time playing a level, all of them sarcastic of course.
    • You're on a half-hour time limit in one mission. Expect either Mendechaus or your opponent to remind you of that roughly once a minute.
    • Spending more than a minute in your Home Realm, a place explicitly stated to be a place for you to relax and make a dungeon to your liking? Your oh-so-mindful voice in your head will badger you to get back to the campaign for about ten minutes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In true Dungeon Keeper fashion, Mendechaus will occasionally pipe in his own wry observations along with status updates and advice (most of which is also rather wry and sarcastic).
    • Kasita, the female Underlord in the Subjugation Mission, loves to snark at the other Underlords.
  • Difficulty Spike: Heart Attack. Up to this point, you could effectively take your time for the most part, at worst dealing with an occasional band of mid-level dwarves, nothing your army of minions couldn't handle. Then comes this one, where you have to defend not only yourself, but another Underlord as well, from no less than 150 Heroes! And they take every possible route, so if you don't have defenses literally everywhere, prepare to be overwhelmed by their sheer numbers. And you get no breaks either, they all come one after the other, so taking some minions out to, say, convert enemies to your side is effectively a suicide attempt.
  • Advertisement:
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Among the intelligent minions and heroes: the Augure, the Chunder, the Succubus, the Frostweaver, the Beastmaster, the Witch Doctor, and the Matriarch are barefoot.
  • Dungeon Maintenance: The primary gameplay, where you have to mine gold, build rooms, keep your minions satisfied, and wipe out any heroes from destroying your Dungeon core.
  • Endless Game: You have access to your Home Realm which is this; there is an achievement for playing 10 hours in there (without any enemies appearing) which is about 9 hours longer than it'll take for you to dig it all out. There is also a Sandbox mode which is a similar set-up.
  • Enemy Mine: Level 4 has you kill Marcus, an Underlord who allied with the Empire to fight Mendechaus. Level 12 has you fighting 3 Underlords at once - These Underlords bear hostilities and grudges against each other but team up temporarily to steal your artifact.
    • A big one in the final mission. Mendechaus sides with an Aum-crazed Emperor Lucius and allows him to kill you, only for Kira, the goddess you've spent the entire campaign fighting against, to step in and save you so you can get back at them.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Your intelligent units, Mendechaus, your fellow Underlords, as well as Emperor Lucius.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Rhaskos's realm and dungeon aesthetics resemble the innards of a beast, with a literal heart to his dungeons to top it off.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Emperor Lucius becomes evil upon absorbing the sacred Aum.
  • General Failure: Lord O'Theland's strategic blunders will leave you in stitches. During the mission where you have to defend against his armies, he will literally shout where exactly he will send his entrenched armies to attack your dungeon. If you don't rush his base, he'll send out 90% of his troops to their deaths.
  • God of Evil: Mendechaus.
  • Goddess Of Good: Kira.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: The Priestesses and Matriarchs of Kira wear gold and white. Emperor Lucius himself wears a gold-plated suit of armour.
  • Great Offscreen War: Some-time in the past humans defeated the Underlords and the "God" Mendechaus and you've been summoned back into the corporeal realm to Take Over the World.
  • Healing Factor: Skargs, the insectoid beasts, can rapidly heal themselves if they have not dealt or taken damage for 30 seconds.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Underlord Marcus betrays Mendechaus to join with the Empire. Inversely, Marcus's betrayal is a Face–Heel Turn for Oberon (the Underlord in the main campaign).
    • Oberon himself undergoes one in the expansion pack, though it is implied he may have been Good All Along and was only evil due to being brainwashed.
  • Horny Devils: The Succubus.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The Empire's Lords, Highguards and Juggernauts.
  • The Juggernaut: One of the heroes is called this; he's a hulking brute wielding a large hammer, who is so tough he can walk through lava without suffering any damage.
    • The Augre, and the Behemoth you can eventually unlock, are your versions of this.
  • Large Ham: Nearly every voice, delightfully so.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: There's an achievement for doing this yourself on the final mission. Instead of completing any of the optional objectives just rush over to the Emperor and kill him.
    • Getting many of the achievements requires you to do this. Especially on the third level, where both level-specific achievements require you to kick in the front door of a defensible position rather than wait for them to come to you.
  • Logic Bomb: While playing around in your home realm Mendechaus can ask you if you're a machine; saying "this statement is false" to test it. He's rather disappointed when it doesn't work.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Bafu has a piercing scream attack.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Mendechaus is based on "mendacious", meaning to be deceptive. Rather fitting, as both Marcus and Kira warn the player not to trust the God of Evil.
    • Oberon (the player's Underlord in the main campaign) is German for "noble and bear-like". A possible namesake is Shakespeare's Oberon, the mischievous King of the Elves.
    • Mira ironically means "peace" in Slavic/Czech languages. Mira becomes overwhelmed by the power of Kenos artifact, which drives her mad with ambition. Alternately, her name means "the world", which would suit her ambitious spirit.
    • Kasita is likely related to "conceited", to be vain and self-centered. This reflects Kasita's gold obsession in the first campaign and in her own campaign in Heart of Gold.
    • Draven is possibly named after a character from League of Legends.
    • Uther is named after King Arthur's father. The Uther in this game is Lucius's father.
    • Lucius means "light" in Latin.
    • Kira has three possible meanings. In Russian, it means "far sighted" or "young". In Irish English, it means "dark haired". In the game's introduction cutscene, Kira is depicted to be a young dark-haired goddess. Her Priestesses and Matriarchs also reflect her appearance in their own attire.
  • The Medic: The Cultist, and the Priestess. They also double as a Combat Medic with their active abilities when things get hectic.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Succubi fulfil this role to a tee, possessing Absolute Cleavage and are basically nude. The Matriarchs are also quite attractive, as they don't wear a lot of clothing.
  • Mythology Gag: The second major hero you must kill is named Lord O'Theland.
    • The whole mission he appears in, as well as his plan of attack and cowardly manner, are reminiscent of fighting Lord Ironhelm.
    • Level 12 in War for the Overworld is a direct nod to Level 12 (Sparklydell) in Dungeon Keeper 2.
      • In addition, your Underlord's coloration is changed from green to red, the same default color of the player in Dungeon Keeper.
  • Power Floats: The Matriarch, the Eternal, Ember Demon, the Frost Weaver, and the Archon all hover in the air rather than walk.
  • Power High: A fellow Underlord Mira and Emperor Lucius will achieve this state during the first campaign.
  • Our Monsters Are Different:
  • Resting Recovery: All units rapidly regenerate health upon sleeping in their lairs.
  • Running the Blockade: One level sees you setting up shop right next to a mountain pass Empire troops must pass through to reinforce other regions. Once they discover you're there they'll send waves and waves of units to try to get through. Amusingly you can make sure that nobody makes it netting yourself an achievement.
  • Sequel Hook: Mendechaus sides with an Aum-crazed Emperor Lucius and lets him destroy you. Upon death. the Underlord is met by the goddess Kira, who addresses you as "Overseer".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Space-Management Game
  • Spikes of Doom: The Blade Lotus trap.
  • Spin Attack: The Gnarling does this with his "Blade Spin" ability.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Dungeon Keeper, and it is not in the least subtle about it. It is practical a clone, though done developed with a lot of love for the original.
  • Stable Time Loop: It's strongly implied that the Underlord/Overseer is stuck in one if you watch the ending cinematic then the intro cinematic back to back.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Lord O'Theland. Mendechaus even describes him as a Spoiled Brat.
  • Willing Channeler: The Matriarachs serve as physical representations of Kira, and they are granted special divine abilities to use in combat.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You are allowed to transform imprisoned units into gold statues, convert them into Mystery Meat for your Tavern to serve, just flat out execute them on a torture device in your Torture Chamber. You can also do the same to your own units.
  • Villain Protagonist: You're an Underlord, a mighty demonic hand of your sarcastic God of Evil, Mendechaus. Not that the opposition is much better.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas:
    • "You require more gold", "You don't have enough gold to do that", "You haven't got two coins to rub together Underlord; MINE MORE GOLD!".
    • However, gold is rarely an issue, as most levels have at least one infinite block you can access; Mana is the real glass ceiling. Creating workers costs mana but for each one created (past the default five) it locks off a bit of your useable mana. Same with traps, which, once activated, lock off more mana. If you're not careful you can end up with barely any and unable to help your minions fight.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: