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Video Game / Cadaver

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Nearly the only instance where you'll encounter actual cadavers.
Cadaver (1990) and its sequel, The Payoff (1991), are two Isometric Action-Adventure games by the Bitmap Brothers. The dwarf mercenary Karadoc is hired to sneak into an ancient castle via the sewers, make his way to the tallest tower, and defeat the evil necromancer Dianos. In the sequel, it turns out he doesn't actually get paid, so he goes off to kill his former employers. Each floor is a multi-room maze containing numerous puzzles and deathtraps, and a handful of monsters.

Contains the following tropes:

  • Artifact Title: The game has absolutely nothing to do with cadavers.
  • Bag of Spilling: Going to the next level erases most of your inventory, or in some cases all of it, with no explanation given.
  • Big Bad: Dianos.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Although the cutscene in question is just a text scroll, in the intro Karadoc has an easy time slaughtering a giant and a horde of eldritch demons; whereas in the actual game he has a lot of trouble killing a small mound of slime.
  • Dungeon Bypass: You can make stacks of items to bypass most barriers; this works particularly well with bottles, and the floating items from the kitchen in level 2.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: A one-level demo of the game was distributed on magazine cover disks; this level is not otherwise present in the game. This demo uses a different interface, an earlier version that's notably harder to control, and it has a crossbow as a weapon instead of thrown objects.
  • Advertisement:
  • Excuse Plot: It is never explained what is so evil about Dianos, or why you are being paid to kill him. Incidentally, for a necromancer, he sure doesn't mance a lot of necro.
  • Fan Sequel: The Last Supper is a fanmade additional level to the game, distributed on magazine cover disks.
  • Interface Screw: Drink an Alcohol potion to reverse your controls.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The Payoff adds four more levels, but is otherwise the same engine.
  • Save-Game Limits: You must pay gold to save your game, and the amount gets bigger for each subsequent save.
  • Unwinnable by Design: It is oh-so-easy to use a potion or scroll in the wrong place, making it no longer available for the puzzle for which you need it.

Alternative Title(s): The Payoff


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