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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The King. Was he really a tyrant, just incompetent at his job, a Well-Intentioned Extremist who completely lost control of events or did the Malaise drive him crazy? This especially comes into question given The Reveal that the Beheaded is the King's mind and that he doesn't approve of what he's done. Furthermore, the Giant expresses sorrow over the King's brutal methods, implying that he might not have been that bad in the past. There's also mention of the Malaise "doing a number on [the Beheaded's] body.
  • Awesome Music: A lot of the music qualifies, but a few really stand out:
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    • The theme of the Ramparts. Its fast-paced string segments perfectly compliment the feeling of racing along the castle walls, slamming into enemies and rolling with your mistakes.
    • The Clock Tower theme. It's a hectic theme that sounds appropriately clocky and timey, right down to ticks and tocks in the background. Perfect for a frantic vertical tower level where you have to be in constant motion to survive.
    • The Castle theme, a climatic song that builds and flourishes in both the instruments and the backing choir, fitting for the final area which involves a dash through a multi-layered level that allows little room for error.
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • Conjunctivius. It's an epic, long, grueling battle against an Eldritch Abomination and it kicks a ton of ass.
    • The Time Keeper. She fights like an unholy fusion of Artorias and Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower, dashing about with incredible ferocity, swinging her BFS with impunity, throwing out grappling hooks should you try to get away, throwing out shurikens, and even summoning GIGANTIC SWORDS FROM THE SKY TO FALL ON YOU. Whoever The Time Keeper is, she is certainly a worthy penultimate boss and will give you a run for your money regardless of your build. Just a tip: the giant falling swords can be parried.
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    • If you're good enough to get to him, The Collector. Easily the longest boss fight in the game, yet it never feels like it drags on, as the fight goes through multiple phases. With a wide variety of attacks to throw at you, this boss is the ultimate test of your skill. It also gets very satisfying at the end when you steal the Panacea from him, drink it yourself, and proceed to utterly destroy him.
  • Crossover Ship: A small following exists for The Beheaded/Drifter.
  • Demonic Spiders: Each area has its own kinds of enemies that will give you a run for your money. Some of them overlap with Elite Mooks.
    • Hammers. Giant four-legged tin cans that spawn bats as soon as you get anywhere near them, as well as having high health and spamming grenades as soon as you're in melee range? Holy fuck.
    • Thornies damage you if you hit their backs and love exposing them for you to accidentally nail yourself on them. Trying to drop on them will have the same effect if you hit their behind. Even when blocking their Spin Attack, it's possible to take damage. It's really telling that they only appear in Ossuary and Prison Depths.
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    • Inquisitors/Casters and Grenadiers/Bombardiers can ignore walls and see you through them, and will snipe you from there. Their Elite variant are even worse, in that if you get anywhere NEAR a stationed Elite of those they will start raining hell on you.
    • The Rise of the Giant update adds the Arbiters, found only in the Cavern. These are Inquisitors on crack, able to fire bullets in a spread. Like the Inquisitors, they ignore walls and snipe at you through them. If you defeat one, it leaves behind a bomb that explodes into a six-way shot.
    • Slammers, giant birds that, as their name suggests, slam their beaks into the ground to create shockwaves that can't be parried. They attack very quickly and relentlessly, making it difficult to deal with them without getting hit, and they can also do a lot of damage, even if you're running a Survival build. While they're considered a late-game enemy, you may run into them unexpectedly early if you go into the Corrupted Prison.
    • The Bad Seed DLC added a few. The Arboretum has Yeeters (yes, that's actually their name!). They move slowly, but if you come anywhere near them, they'll toss Jerkshrooms at you, and like the Inquisitors and Grenadiers, they can see through walls and can toss their little buddies from quite a long distance. Even if there aren't any Jerkshrooms around, they'll throw rocks at you from a distance. Worse, if you get too close, they'll throw you. Did we mention that the Arboretum is loaded with spikes that the Yeeters will happily toss you into?
    • There's also Blowgunners, found only in the Morass of the Banished. Imagine an Inquisitor, but many times more aggressive and much faster on the draw, and you've got a Blowgunner. It doesn't help that they actively try to avoid getting into melee combat with you. Fortunately, they can't see you through walls like Inquisitors can, but they can be deadly if they surround you.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Mushroom boi! became immediately popular upon the release of the Bad Seed DLC.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Hollow Knight and Hyper Light Drifter.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Double Crossb-o-matic, a crossbow turret that repeatedly shoots two bolts at two different enemies at once, in either direction. Especially when carrying two of them with complementary effects. Just plop them on the ground and retreat, then watch as everything in the vicinity gets schplaughtered into Ludicrous Gibs in seconds. Most bosses can be cheesed this way as well.
    • Freezing is largely considered one of the strongest abilities for a weapon to have. Being able to stop any enemy in their tracks to either attack or heal, on top of enemies being slowed afterwards makes most encounters laughably easy. These strategies even work fairly well on bosses, whose Contractual Boss Immunity only kicks in if you really spam your freezing abilities.
    • Bear Traps are one of the few items that go through Contractual Boss Immunity, and boost damage done to trapped enemies to boost; for particularly evasive Elites or bosses such as Conjunctivitis they can eliminate that element of challenge. Plus, each use drops two traps, and with clever use of certain mutations they will become active again before the previous traps are done.
    • Two potential Amulet affixes are considered to snap the difficulty of the game in half, provided you're lucky enough to get an amulet with either of them:
      • "Cell Gold", aka "gain gold when getting a cell from ana enemy", will solve all your money problems, provided you don't buy too many things. Killing enemies grants you even more gold than usual, and the gold you get as a bonus scales (i.e.: twenty gold per cell in Prisoners' Quarters, thirty in Promenade/Toxic sewers, etc...), which can make your reach Money for Nothing easily.
      • "Invisibility", or "Makes you invisible after 5 seconds without attacking. Your next strike while still being invisible inflicts +150% damage.", not for the latter part, but the first makes it so you can avoid almost every single enemy in the game, can choose when to fight, will not be taken by surprise, and so on.
    • The Collector's Syringe, obtainable only after beating the game with five boss cells active. It requires a few cells to power up to its fullest, but it absolutely tears through everything in no time flat, and you can pump in cells to keep the attack going even longer. The only downsides of this weapon are that it's a lot more expensive to buy than just about anything else in the game, and you need to beat The Collector to unlock it.
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • Most areas have some kinds of, appropriately, bat enemies that will cause problems for you and are very hard to hit due to their tendency to hover above the range of your sword.
    • The Shield Bearers. The main reason to hate them is their dash attack. The audio cue for it is quiet and, unlike every other enemy in the game, they don't have a noticeable animation for when it's being prepared. Getting hit by it stuns you and opens you up to punishment from the two or three other mooks surrounding the Shield Bearer, and you also get stunned if you attempt attacking from the front.
    • Rise of the Giant adds Knife Throwers, found only after you start putting some boss cells in. They don't have much health, but they're camouflaged until they attack, at which point they jump back and quickly throw a volley of poisonous knives at you. These enemies aren't too bad if you're decent at parrying and can identify them while camouflaged, but they can be a pain in the ass if you're new to them.
    • Protectors and Maskers. The former makes all nearby enemies (with a few exceptions like bats) invincible, while the latter makes them invisible. They're especially annoying in the higher difficulty levels, where they can protect some of the aforementioned Demonic Spiders. Beware in the Graveyard, where both Protectors and Maskers can appear.
    • Jerkshrooms, introduced in the Bad Seed DLC, due to their ability to become completely invincible when they hide underneath their caps, and they'll stay that way until you turn away from them. Their charge attack doesn't look like much, but it's surprisingly powerful and has high knockback.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: So many sound effects qualify because they all sound so powerful, from the fanfare after a boss is killed all the way down to the chanting and drums that play every time the Prisoner respawns. However, some stand out in particular:
    • The metallic "-PING" when you land a Critical Hit. Especially if it was a parry causing it, and even more if you parried an attack that would've otherwise killed you.
    • The gooey "-SPLAT" when enemies are killed.
    • The metallic scraping of a Broadsword swinging, especially when it's accompanied by the heavy thud of the third hit.
    • The short vocal noise used when a Legendary item drops.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The game was at the center of a plagiarism scandal involving IGN writer Filip Miucin, who copied a review of this game from a lesser-known Youtube channel, BoomstickGaming. Being caught in the center of this plagiarism controversy drew more attention to the game, and may have helped its commercial success.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: During its introduction phase, the daily run contained all weapons, but if the player hadn't unlocked some of them, they would be unable to pick any of them up and use them. Many players complained about this, saying it put people at unfair disadvantages since the only weapon they'd likely be able to use is the Rusty Sword. Thankfully, the devs quickly removed this feature so you could use all gear even if it's locked.
  • That One Attack: Conjunctivius's tentacle attack; to be more specific, that one where it bursts out from one side of the room and sweeps across the floor. At first, it's not so bad, but once the tentacles Turn Red they become frustrating to deal with. They move really fast once they turn red, Conjunctivius likes to do it just after you've rolled and can't roll again, and if you're in the corner of the room, you're pretty much guaranteed to take one hit since the sweep attack doesn't have a telegraph like the other attack does.
    • The Collector has many attacks that can qualify, but far and away the worst of the lot is when he hovers above you and fires a downward laser at you. The only tell for this attack is an exclamation mark appearing over his head, and the timing to avoid the attack is very strict. He'll also do it three times in a row, just in case you thought you could get a breather after dodging the first one.
  • That One Level: The Forgotten Sepulcher is a vast Blackout Basement infested with all sorts of Demonic Spiders and Goddamned Bats. What makes this particularly hard is the fact that the darkness kills you if you linger too long in it, and you have to stand near lamps to be safe. Those lamps are spaced very far apart, meaning you have very little time to accomplish anything else than running between lamps. Most of them are also temporary and go out after a while, forever. There's an item at the entrance that lets you place your own temporary lamps, but it takes up one of your skill slots and has a recharge time of two minutes before you can place another lamp. It's also locked behind a door that costs 6900 gold to open (and that places a curse on you if you break it). Slow and steady does not win the race this time.
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