Labyrinth: Secrets of ShadowHaven
Yesterday, the sun went out, and while we don't want to resort to stereotyping, it seems like that dark and ominous castle, whose ever-changing walls conceal magical orbs of evil power untold, fueled by the suffering of those trapped in a forever midnight, might have something to do with it. But fortunately, a hero, armed with naught but determination, guile, and the general advantages of being a cute, scampering, demon-thingy, will enter the castle, defeat its inhabitants, destroy the orbs, and, most likely, pick up some sweet upgrades along the way! It's Labyrinth: Secrets of ShadowHaven, a roguelike platformer by Nick Pasto and Luis Castanon.
Use the [arrow] keys to move and climb about the randomly generated levels, using [A] to jump. Each level has a certain number of magic orbs that must be destroyed, either with your basic [S] attack or, if you've found one, the projectile weapons launched with [D]. Each level also contains enemies to kill and treasure chests/crates that contain various power-ups and upgrades. Destroying all the orbs will unlock the door to the level boss fight. It's styled as an endless game, where there's always another castle to fight and another land to rescue, with players competing for the higher score. For this conceit to work, there needs to be a large and attractive pool of locations, enemies, and power-ups to randomly draw from, and fortunately, the game has just that, making for a work just as enjoyable to play as it is to look at. Admittedly, the narrative is a little disappointing, with no real Amulet-Of-Yendor-style endgame to look forward to. Plus, the lack of saves is an annoying omission for the not-quite-so-hardcore gamers like myself. However, Labyrinth: Secrets of ShadowHaven's innate humor and likability sees it through, making for a tough-but-quite-rewarding crawl through its dungeons.
I wanted to give this a higher rating, because it's cute, and I like the premise, but my god the controls are awful. Jump is particularly bad, but the character is also sloooow. I don't have enough patience for that.
Oooh, that's pretty tough to have that acid be instant death. It should really zap you, but give you one quick chance to jump out before ending you.
So far this game has been frustrating to me because most of the time I can't find a single weapon in the level, so when it comes time to beat the boss, I have nothing. Am I missing something?
It is possible to beat the boss without a weapon. You need to attack the gem on the boss's head.
So I destroyed all the orbs on level one and am at the gate. How do I unlock it? Do I have to kill everything and open all the boxes and treasures on the level for it to unlock?
I have to say I appreciate the aesthetic, but the randomly generated portion did this one in. To me randomly generated level design speaks to the inability of a developer to make an interesting and engaging terrain. It leads to clumsy environments that have things like chests and boxes being in inaccessible places and ladders that lead to nowhere, making exploring the level neither easy nor fun.
To wit on the last point, I had the jump upgrade before starting the second level and was absolutely unable to leave the starting position because my jump was so high as to not let me leave through the two tile high exit. I tried to blow up the scenery with my rockets and killed myself. Big deal? No, but that is unforgivably bad design.
Due to my initial inability to master the jumping control, I wound up in places I could not jump high enough to get out of, and since I couldn't kill myself, I had to re-start the game -- several times.
@jcf When you destroy all the orbs, the tiles blocking off teh exit gate will disappear and you will be able to access the gate - up arrow to enter it.
@kim it is pure luck what you get on any level, for me I think the bosses are much easier and even become trivial with at least some power ups but are pretty impossible with none at all.
I also agree with the acid comments, it really is very frustrating!
Other than that pretty good - anyway I had to play, I spent many happy hours in Shadow Haven in my time:)
Hi, I think his name is Nick "P"asto not Nick "C"asto... How do I know? Am him!
Thanks for the review!
To respond to some comments:
- Certain things only appear in-accessible until you get certain upgrades!
- If it's running slowly, play in fullscreen mode (press F)
- Attack the gem in the boss' head. Yes, it is possible even without the full-life ranged attack
- If the gate isn't open, you missed an orb somewhere
- The jump upgrade is a mixed bag, but it is always possible to get through small places with it if you "Tap" jump instead of holding it, he will do a shorter height jump
- It's the kind of game you have to expect to start over a few times until you develop a strategy that works. Proceed carefully at first and look up and down by holding the up or down key to examine areas before jumping into them. Explore horizontally first, then drop down to new layers.
Played this quite a bit over on Newgrounds. Here's a sorta-walkthrough. Really, it's just explaining general mechanics.
Your Hero and You
Your character is a little red lizard dude. He's cute enough, and charming, but possesses incredible potential. It's up to you to help him lift the darkness from his homeland!
Your lizard dude's stats are located in the box in the top-left corner of the screen. The controls for the game can be seen at the bottom of the Title Screen.
Your lizard has 10 hit points. When you fall a great distance, or are hit by an enemy or explosion, you take damage. If you lose all 10 points, your lizard is toast.
Falling a long way will deal 2-3 damage. Armor will not reduce this, and you can still take this damage while flashing from previous damage.
Touching an enemy deals 4-5 damage. Boss projectiles also deal 4-5 damage.
Touching a boss deals 7-8 damage.
While you are at full health, your lizard's attacks also send out a short-range wave!
This stat comes into play when you find a helmet. The higher the number, the less damage you take. Your lizard will take 1 less point of damage for every 1 point of armor.
This determines how much damage your lizard's attacks do. Standard swipes and ranged attacks do the same damage based on this stat. This does not affect grenades or rockets (to my knowledge, at least).
This shows you how much ammunition you have for your secondary weapon, once you acquire one. This number applies to both grenades and rockets, so you can pick up a different weapon without worrying about losing your stash.
The cooldown bar determines how often your lizard can attack. The bar shrinks each time you attack (including with your secondary weapon). When the bar shrinks between the two lines in the center, he's out of energy and has to catch his breath.
Denizens of the Dark (Enemies)
What good dungeon-crawling metroidvania game would be complete without a few enemies to slap around? There are three types of baddies in the game, and each one is introduced one at a time as you progress through the game.
Enemies have 2 HP. Orbs have 3 HP.
I don't know the official names for these guys, or if they even have names. So here's what I call them.
The very first enemy you encounter is this thing. A spike-shelled snail that wanders back and forth on its current platform, it's actually pretty easy to deal with.
Introduced in Level 2, the Shadow Bat hangs from the underside of blocks until you approach it. As you get close, it takes notice of you and starts watching you. When you get closer, it starts flying toward you. It will follow you everywhere you go and it will not stop. Its pretty slow, however, so it's not hard to defeat or outrun. NOTE: The bats only notice you and start tracking you if you approach them on the same level or from below. Traveling above them won't wake them up.
The third enemy you encounter is a green octopus-looking thing with one big eye. They show up in Level 3. It jumps around at regular intervals, but in random directions. Its unpredictability makes it somewhat hard to attack. Try to hit it while it's still on the ground.
Okay, not exactly an enemy, but you do have to destroy them. These orbs are scattered throughout the level. Destroying all of them unlocks the exit, allowing you to proceed to the boss (although, there are rumors that you can fight the boss without destroying the orbs...). Their numbers tend to go up with each level. You can see how many are left in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Masters of Evil (Bosses)
At the end of each level is a boss fight. They are lizards, not unlike your character, but MUCH larger, and bipedal. What's more, they wield dark powers that make their bodies durable, and their attacks powerful.
All bosses have 20 health. They will sometimes run at or away from you, and can jump forward to clear gaps, reach platforms, or to crush you (at Level 5 and onward, this also causes rocks to fall from the ceiling). While a boss is preparing to attack or jump, or while it's attacking or jumping, it's invincible. Their weak spot is the gem in the center of their helmet. The bosses you face are randomly determined.
At Level 5, you start fighting two bosses at a time. At or around Level 9 and onward, you fight 3. From Level 13 onward, you will fight four bosses. As the game progresses, this number continues to increase, and will result in multiples of the same boss appearing (though this can happen as early as Level 5). To make matters worse, each boss has 20 health, but the game will only show you a single 20-point bar, making it harder to keep track of them. NOTE: After you get your Attack Strength up to 10 or so, it really doesn't matter much as each boss will go down after 4-5 hits.
Names provided are unofficial and of my own creation.
This boss wears a helmet very similar to one you can pick up in the game. His special attack is a laser that he fires from his visor. The laser bounces around for a while before vanishing, so watch out! He charges the attack by pushing a button on the side of the helmet.
This one's a very large lizard-wizard with a jagged wand. He can fire magical blasts from the wand by raising it into the air and then pointing it straight ahead.
By far the most dangerous of the bosses, he actually has two special abilities. The first is teleportation. By sitting and meditating, he can warp to a different part of the arena. His second technique is the ability to summon four Deep Leapers to random locations in the arena (though typically close to where you are). He'll sometimes do this two or three times in a row.
This boss doesn't have any ranged attacks, but he's still plenty dangerous. He holds an oversized rapier that he'll attack with in a downward slash. Don't attack him when he brings up his sword! Get far away from him, because the slash also takes him a few blocks forward, which increases the range of the strike.
Dangerous Expedition (Environmental Hazards)
There really isn't much to put in this section as there are really only three extra elements in the dungeons. The only other thing worth noting is the static boss arenas.
Yep. Ladders. You can climb up and down them, and even attack while on them. You can tell which direction your attack will go by the direction your lizard is leaning toward. You can also jump off of ladders, and you can grab onto them in midair, which can save you from taking damage in a high fall.
These appear in Level 4 and onward. Avoid at all costs! This is an instant-kill hazard! Falling in while you are not invincible will result in instant death! But don't fret; there's actually a way to get rid of these things. However, it requires either a secondary weapon or the Block Breaker power-up. Simply open up the pool from below or the sides and the acid will drain away harmlessly.
This can show up at any time. The trick with this type of dungeon is that the floors and ladders can be slippery. It's not really all that big a deal, though, so you don't really need to worry about it too much.
The Arena (Boss Rooms)
There are actually four different boss rooms, and they are chosen at random.
The Acid Pits
As the name implies, this room has several small acid pools in it. To make matters worse, using grenades or rockets to drain them away doesn't exactly help, as there are two more pits under the main floor, each one spanning nearly the length of the room. There is also a platform up above that will have a couple of crates or chests on it. You'll need certain power-ups to reach it.
The Boss Bowl
This arena is a sort of bowl-shaped area. There is a passage hidden beneath it that contains chests and crates, but you'll need grenades or rockets to get there.
The Floating Platforms
This arena has a relatively flat floor and two walls you can climb. There are arlso several platforms floating up above that hold crates and chests.
This arena is also fairly simple, but has two large columns on either side. They are hollow and contain crates and chests. You can also use the Block Breaker to carve out vantage points from which to attack the boss.
The Goods (Items and Power-Ups)
The part you've all been waiting for! Items and power-ups can be found in crates and chests, which take 2 hits to break open. Enemies can also sometimes drop chests or crates. All items can appear in crates, though most have a lower chance of doing so. Chests drop bigger and rarer items only.
Slice of Cake
It's no lie, there is cake in this game. This is the most common item you'll find, and it only appears in crates. It restores 2-3 HP.
A complete cake with candles and everything! Eating this will completely restore your lizard's HP.
Ammo is what's used to fuel your secondary weapons. The icon is three gold bullets. Picking one up grants you 2 Ammo. This only appears in crates (as far as I know). You can have up to 99 ammo.
This power-up is a blue arrow with a white A on it. It increases your lizard's Attack Strength by 1 point. You can increase this indefinitely.
A Cold One
A nice cool drink with a letter C on the glass, this will increase your cooldown speed. You can increase this indefinitely. Grabbing one will also fully restore your Cooldown Bar.
Maps can appear in dungeons and boss rooms, but are less useful in the latter. Dungeons are mapped out in a 5x3 grid. The red flashing square is your current location. The green square is the exit. Purple squares are the locations of Orbs (only appear when you have the Orb Compass).
When you leave a dungeon or boss room, your map will disappear.
There are four different helmets to collect in the game, but you can only wear one at a time. NOTE: Grabbing a helmet will fully restore your health.
A rusty brown helmet that increase your defensive strength by 1.
A gray helmet that gives you 1 Armor point.
This helmet increases your Armor stat by 3.
Daft Punk Helmet
This blue helmet is the best in the game and increases your Armor stat by 4.
You can pick up a secondary weapon to attack with in the game. There are two and both use Ammo. Both weapons can also break blocks. Secondary sparks also blast out of them and can damage enemies (and you!) and destroy blocks on contact. Picking up a weapon also grants you 3 Ammo.
Green grenades that your lizard can throw a short distance. Once you throw one, it is no longer your friend, so put some distance between the two of you!
Blue rockets that travel straight ahead, and slightly up or down (randomly, I think). Try not to use them when your target is close to you.
The REALLY good stuff!
Super Jump Boots
Normally your lizard can only jump a height of two blocks. With this, he can jump to nearly 6 blocks!
This power-up lets you perform a single jump in midair. NOTE: You don't get 2 jumps if you just walk off a ledge. It's one jump in the air and that's it.
After any jump, hold A. This lets your lizard dude glide down slowly. And yes, you can still attack while gliding.
This upgrade creates a red needle on the screen that points to the location of the nearest Orb. If there are no orbs, it points to the Exit. If you have the Map, it marks the orbs locations on it as well.
By pressing left or right against a wall, this upgrade lets you cling to that wall and climb it like a ladder. NOTE: Attacking while clinging to a wall will make the lizard let go of said wall.
Arguably the most useful power-up, this lets you break individual blocks in a dungeon. Handy for taking out Acid Pools or for getting to hard-to-reach chests and crates.
Quite possibly the rarest item in the game, the Flight Wings give your lizard dude the ability to move freely in all directions, and with the dumbest looking smile on his face. (It doesn't help if he's wearing a helmet either.) Be warned: While this is listed as a permanent upgrade, you CAN lose your wings if you take damage from an enemy. Be especially wary around Deep Leapers and bosses.