Lunacid Owns. (& other dungeon crawlers?)

Anyone here smoking that kings field-like indie-vanie game “Lunacid”?

I'm about halfway through and the game has just been blowing me away constantly. Connecting with this one really well.

Once I'm done this one I can easily see myself replaying it as a different build, and I almost never do that!

Any other games in this sort of style that I should try out?

Check out Lunacid on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1745510/Lunacid/

I used to think I didn‘t like dungeon crawlers because they were so hardcore, punishing, and same-looking in their presentation. But then discovered that when they’re a bit more casual, have a variety of environments within one dungeon (or like different floor tiles) and are smoother experiences I actually like them. So this is probably the opposite of what you want but the one that made me realize this was Dragon Master Silk on the saturn, which is about 4 ladies traversing a dungeon, the hero being a woman who was mistaken for a man in the bath by the orb of ultimate power or whatever, so expect that kind of thing.

another, even more embarrassing recommendation is the Dragon Gaze series. This is a full on ecchi gal get dungeon crawler with pretty bad art in the avatars BUT it is the smoothest, friendliest dungeon crawler I've personally ever experienced, and if they just put that mechanic in a game with less puerile theming it'd be great.

That's what I got!

I‘ll definitely check out your two recommendations - I’m kind of delving (Crawling?) into this genre for the first time so I'm eager to check out some other ones.

Playing games like this and sort of knowing fromsoftware's history with them makes it easy to understand how they ended up at dark souls - and just makes their popularity explosion even weirder.

Dungeon Crawlers are kind of a "for freaks" genre I feel like so the fact that dungeon-crawling games like dark souls even got anywhere, let alone while being really hard, is nuts!

Oh, another one I totally neglected to mention is Touhou: Artificial Dreams in Arcadia. It's a NES-style dungeon crawler with touhou characters, of course, where you can recruit other touhou girls to your team by playing a little bullet hell mini game. It's neat! (and you don't have to draw your own map... thank god)

I like the Wizardry on the PS2 a lot (meaning the one that made it to the US). Shadow gate 64 is cool too, don’t know if anyone else likes it though. You might take a look at a that if you’re into the Lunacid atmosphere @XyraxAlaria.

Also - don’t know how well it meets the definition of dungeon crawler, but the two _Fear & Hunger_ games are terrific. The usual content warning I always make: must be 33 or older to play those games etc

I'm very curious about what Digital Eclipse is doing with the original Wizardry.

@“Xyrax”#p139238 Is it pronounced “Luna Cid” or “Loon Acid”

There was a DRPG/blobber thread recently

https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/2834-touhou-artifical-dreams-in-arcadia-and-other-modern-drpgs

Hard to know for me where the genre boundaries are with this one. When I hear "dungeon crawler" my brain thinks both of roguelikes like Nethack or Crawl and of DRPGs like SMT or Wizardry. King's Field definitely feels like it qualifies, as does Dungeon Encounters, but something like Zelda feels like something else entirely and I can't really put my finger on why.

@“GigaSlime”#p139318 I‘ve been calling it “Luna Cid”. No idea what the intended pronunciation is, but lunar/moon stuff is a big recurring theme in the game, so I’m leaning more towards luna-cid.

@“TracyDMcGrath”#p139345 You know, I was going to start typing something about why Zelda isn‘t a dungeon crawler, but it kind of is? I don’t see any reason why you couldn't call it that.

I guess roguelikes / nethack people tend to qualify those under something like the "berlin interpretation" so there are some very hard category requirements that those games fill in which dungeon crawlers in general may not necessarily, so they get separated by us freaks.

I suppose maybe calling these games metroid-vania makes a bit more sense, though that usually carries with it the implied two-dimensional-ness of it. But there is lots of exploration, backtracking, getting new items and unlocking other doors in dungeons you've already been to once before etc.

Also, had no idea I made another thread for dungeon crawlers - whoops! I should search the forum before starting new threads for no reason.

I think my thing with Zelda is like, is the dungeon a means to an end, or is it the end itself? In Zelda the dungeons almost feel like puzzles you have to solve to get back do doing exploration stuff. Although idk maybe this is a meaningless distinction

@“TracyDMcGrath”#p139352 Dungeon Crawlers tend to take place almost entirely in dungeons (or, multiple parts/rooms of the same dungeon), too, but Zelda typically has lots of overworld segments.

I'm imagining a venn diagram type chart in my head with mutliple overlapping circles and zelda is kind of got one leg into dungeon crawlers and one leg into a circle just called "zelda" and one of its hands in another one called "adventure games" and it's sort of like a game of twister and kings field is just standing squarely in the "dungeon crawler" circle

This draft has been sitting for 22 days on my account, time I take care of it lol

In terms of recommendations the first thing that feels like it needs to be addressed is which kind of dungeon crawlers we're talking about. Lunacid and the games in which it's based (FromSoft's output with King's Field, Shadow Tower, Eternal Ring etc.) are first-person real-time, where the majority of games labeled as "dungeon crawler" tend to be the typical grid and turn-based affair. Then there is also the matter of the perspective, and if you want to exclude everything that is not first person.

I admittedly can't think of too many games of the first-person real-time variety. Probably the closest thing that comes to mind is Saturn/PSX **Baroque**. Very maze-like and esoteric, and first person with real time combat as well. It's a very known and beloved game in these parts, which has [its own thread here](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/311-baroque-on-the-saturn).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyis-P9TbB8

There is also **Hellnight**, which is more of an adventure game (no direct combat), but gives very similar vibes. Exploration takes place in maze-like environments in real time and has those distinct weird PSX hellscape environments, with horror elements thrown into the mix.

https://youtu.be/HKFYzYxpe_o?si=76eFb5P-O9xbHI7a

If that works, then there is also FromSoft's **Echo Night** games (there's a few of them), which works within similar parameters. First person with no grid, also more adventure-like with no combat but some horror elements.

The next thing that comes to mind is **Arx Fatalis**, Arkane's spiritual successor to the Ultima Underworld games that are generally considered to be the "founders" of the immersive sim sub-genre. Underworld of course would qualify, although the controls, UI and UX may be a little bit dated.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1700/Arx_Fatalis/

Lunacid is more Japanese-flavored than Arx Fatalis (aka more gated progression, less system-based design and prone to emergent stuff) but in terms of general vibes and feeling I think it's a good rec. Arx is a great game anyway, fantastic vibes, good exploration and environments and a very unique magic system. If anyone feels like giving it a try I recommend using the [Arx Libertatis port](https://arx-libertatis.org/download), which leaves the content untouched but provides very welcome QOL improvements and conveniences for modern systems like widescreen support and all that jazz.

If we count Underworld and Arx then the original **System Shock** also could work too. I know I'm progressively moving further away from the premise but bear with me! The environments are very maze-like in a distinct dungeon crawlery way. Combat is real time and no grids also! If the old game looks intimidating the recent remake is very faithful to the original and is also a great choice. SS2 still has RPG elements but the level design veers away from the maze-like design.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/410710/System_Shock_Enhanced_Edition/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/482400/System_Shock/

I was wondering if I should mention them because they are extremely not dungeon crawlers, but the feeling of loneliness and immersion they give me is so similar that I'm gonna throw them as a honorific mention of sorts and let you guys decide: the first time I played King's Field I couldn't stop thinking about the **Metroid Prime** games. Yeah, as I said, very much not a dungeon crawler.

The **Legend of Grimrock** games are somewhat real time but grid based. Good games anyway, with a puzzle design I'm very much into.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/207170/Legend_of_Grimrock/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/251730/Legend_of_Grimrock_2/

The grid + turn based variety is easier to come across, here a couple of deep cuts (deeper than usual anyway) that you may like and are also available on modern platforms:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1570510/Undernauts_Labyrinth_of_Yomi/
(Zanki is from some of the Dangaronpa devs, if that catches anyone's curiosity)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/819020/Zanki_Zero_Last_Beginning/
(Refrain has a sequel, both games from Disgaea devs)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/566540/Labyrinth_of_Refrain_Coven_of_Dusk/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/2395150/Demon_Lord_Reincarnation/

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/E4UY5lF.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/E4UY5lF.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[Majin and the Sacrificial Girl](https://takehata.itch.io/majin-and-sacrificial-girl)

Finally, a couple of games that are not on first person but I think are cool anyway:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1562230/Entity_Researchers/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/722730/Cogmind/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/811320/Jupiter_Hell/

(Some of these are traditional roguelikes but there's huge overlap between these two genres anyway imo)

I picked up Lunacid and put a couple hours in this evening. I‘m having a goooooood time with this game so far. It’s not doing anything too crazy or unique, but I would say that's almost a strength!

@“JoJoestar”#p142339 holy shit this is a great post. Much to think about. I am going to look into all of these!

@“KingTubb”#p143651 Yeah for real! Games don‘t gotta re-invent a wheel or whatever. Lunacid just does what it’s doing real good.

Ask your doctor if Lunacid may be right for you.

A couple thoughts on Lunacid now that I've had some time to think:

I'm thinking "loon-acid" is correct, but "luna-cid" rolls off the tongue better. I didn't see anyone mention it, but so far, *Lunacid* is a very breezy, and dare I say it, comfy game. I hadn't had a combat related death in the two hours I've played, and leveling up comes pretty often.

Also, the weapon leveling system is great. You get weapon experience for smashing anything; from pots to candlesticks, zombies to flowers. AND! Upgrading your weapons is free.

I‘ve been craving a dungeon crawler. I like JRPGs but I’ve bounced off 7th Dragon III Code VFD too many times. Undernauts has smitten me with its style, but I‘m worried I won’t like it and it never goes on sale. Would love suggestions.

I take back what I said. Lunacid is not comfy. Lunacid had me the most terrified I’ve been playing a video game since I was 13 playing Eternal Darkness. I shrieked, I screamed, I flailed, and I died.

*Lunacid* owns, dude.

@“KingTubb”#p143839 LUNACID OWNS, DUDE!!