Equin: The Lantern

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Equin: The Lantern
Stable game
Developer DXF Games
Theme Fantasy
Influences Dragon Quest, Dungeon Dash,Diablo,Dark Souls
Released 2012, 2014 V1.2CT, 2016 V1.3ST ({{{relver}}})
Updated {{{updated}}} ({{{updver}}})
Licensing Commercial
P. Language Multimedia Fusion 2
Platforms Windows
Interface Graphical
Game Length Up to 3 hours
Official site of Equin: The Lantern


Contents

Story

From the DXF Games website: A young Xtoli adventurer learns of a mysterious dungeon near town ruled by an even more mysterious magic lantern. The lantern changes colors, but what does it actually DO? Take control of either Warrior, Thief, or Wizard and gain levels, stats, and mad treasure as you descend the dungeon's 50 floors to find out.

Features

  • Single-player game with 4 equipment slots (head, body, right & left hands),
  • Player's backpack can hold an additional 10 items,
  • Randomized dungeon of 50 floors,
  • Boss enemies to slay along the way,
  • Champ enemies that are much tougher than regular ones and drop treasure chests as rewards,
  • Hundreds of items and equipment to find or buy,
  • Strike enough enemies in a row without missing to gain the Hit Streak bonus for fast XP gains,
  • Has food, yet no hunger restriction,
  • Combat is turn-based and very similar to the Dragon Quest games,
  • Weapons have different movesets- example a dagger gives both a slash and stab option in battle,
  • Almost everything you do in the game consumes some stamina from general fighting to fishing and closing doors,
  • Fish in ponds, Mine mineral deposits from the walls, Fill empty bottles from cauldrons and more,
  • Each class gains a unique skill and sprite upon reaching levels 1 (default), 4, and 7,
  • Random events may happen during the journey like darkness floors, graveyard levels, monster infestations and more,
  • Purchase items at random shops, get game tips from the guild leader or drink a beer to regain your stamina,
  • "The Lantern" itself changes colors over 5 different phases and has mysterious effects on overall gameplay rules.

Version 1.3ST Features

  • Gamepad support,
  • Option to quit & save, then continue where you left off yet still keeps permadeath,
  • Brand new music in the old 8 bit style replaces all but the theme song,
  • New starting menu- including a way to see all your previously learned help tips from bribing the guild members,
  • Ability to unequip gear! Simply press UP on the subscreen to select your equipped gear to remove!
  • Players have a WAIT command now to skip a turn,
  • New floor Icebox floor event,
  • Improved the stealing odds for the Thief Class,
  • Improved the fleeing odds for every class,
  • Jail cells- Open at your own risk!
  • Two Handed weapons system completely overhauled (finally, woo hoo!),
  • Bless effect reworked so you can continuously equip and remove cursed items if you really wanted to,
  • Warrior's Glove is no longer mandatory and in fact was given a buff to DEF 1, STM +2,
  • Every character now begins with 3 starting gifts instead of 2,
  • New obstacle- Spider Webs. Both you and the enemy can get caught in them,
  • Fire Floors damage reduced from 2 to 1,
  • Flowers can appear and can be eaten,
  • Mushrooms can now grow on both darkness and rainy floors. You can eat them but they might poison you!
  • Player skills DODGE and HUNKER now have a visual icon that appears in the effects HUD,
  • If you've been shield bashed by the enemy there's now a visual icon that also appears in the effects HUD,
  • Gain the auto kill ability at higher levels to walk into weaker enemies and instantly kill them without entering combat,
  • New statues that can teleport you to another section of the floor,
  • Dungeon walls change color and there's new music for every 10 floors reached,
  • Extra décor about the place (blood-splattered walls, various grasses and floor stones, etc)
  • New Anti-Magic floor event that nullifies magic for you and the monsters
  • Improved randomization & variety for maps
  • New potted plants with 'spazz weed', a drug that has many unpredictable side effects
  • Increase in backpack space from 10 to 15 items!
  • Anti-Magic Beacons to deactivate Anti-Magic floor events
  • New Items Found Log to keep track of everything you've ever found in the game
  • New playable class: The Cleric

Character Classes

You begin the game and first must choose your character's class. Each has their own pros and cons, skills learned, and overall stat growth. Some equipment can only be used by certain classes.

  • Warriors are hardy and very strong, able to use the largest of the 2 handed weapons with ease. They have extremely high strength and health and excel in melee combat situations. Warriors never gain any natural magic resistance so it's important to be extremely cautious when dealing with enemies that are magically inclined.
  • Thieves are the weakest overall fighters but have some nifty tricks up their sleeves. They have very high rates of disarming traps successfully and further can equip special chest keys to help them avoid these traps. They are the only ones who can eventually steal from monsters and grab unique items along the way. Additionally, thieves gain more money from scrapping items and have a better chance to avoid enemy ambushes. As of version 1.2CT thieves can only wear light to medium armor and shields.
  • Wizards have the lowest health and stamina totals of everyone but can cast the most powerful offensive magic known. As offensive magic NEVER MISSES ITS TARGET, they can be extremely dangerous in combat. Wizards also gain the highest natural magic resistance of all and can be real pains for enemy magic-users. Wizards are the only class able to equip magical tomes in their left hand which can grant them an extra spell in addition to their learned magic. As of version 1.2CT wizards can no longer equip any shields whatsoever.
  • Clerics Are strong holy warriors with some magical abilities. They have the ability to wear light armor and shields and equip any blunt weapon (including two handlers). At level 4 they gain the TURN spell, which decimates all undead monsters but otherwise won't hurt living enemies. Their PRAY skill gives a Damage and hit % bonus that scales with the cleric's level. Clerics are extremely proud and will refuse to run from any fight, so make sure you can defeat your foe before engagement before initiating combat!

Items of Note

As you descend the depths of the dungeon, you'll find treasure chests, barrels, and other items of note. As a general rule the deeper floor you're on will yield greater rewards / dangers.

  • Chests come in 3 types- wood, golden, and shadow. These can hold gold pieces or even items and other equipment for you to use. Often chests are locked and trapped. If you manage to disarm the trap you'll gain a small experience reward. If you set it off you'll take damage and the chest will be safe to open upon another try. Locked chests have a greater chance of better loot as a general rule. Shadow chests are incredibly rare, always trapped, and can hold some of the best items in the entire game.
  • Barrels are very common and are never trapped. Unlike chests, many are empty when opened. Barrels can either have a small gold reward inside or food or potions.
  • Ponds are small pools of water commonly found throughout the game. If a fishing pole is equipped in the left-hand slot the option to fish will appear on the game screen. Fishing consumes 1 point of stamina per cast and of course like real fishing you're not guaranteed to always catch anything!
  • Wells can be drunk from to recover your stamina to max. Rarely, a well will have shiny magical water in it. Drinking from these waters instead permanently increases your magic resistance. Rumors persist of even rarer wells that refill your health and bolster your body with intense regeneration. Each well can only be used once.
  • Statues can be touched from any side to grant the player a random effect ranging from full health refills to invisibility. Rarely they will damage your maximum HP / STM levels or even change an item in your pack to something else completely.
  • Abandoned campsites can be used at any time to fully recover your health and stamina. A campsite can be used as many times as you wish, making them the best method of healing in the game and very valuable. As such, finding an abandoned one is exceedingly rare.
  • Cauldrons Are leftover potion brewing equipment from witch camps. If you have an empty bottle in your backpack you'll be able to fill it with a random type of potion from these. A cauldron can only be used once per bottle.
  • Mineral Deposits Sometimes further down in the dungeon you'll come across shiny golden mineral deposits in the walls. To mine these spots, you must first find and equip a pickaxe and have at least 3 points of stamina. You can mine gold pieces from these sites and sometimes other valuable stones.
  • Teleportation Statues look very different than regular Xtoli-shaped ones and can teleport you to another spot on the floor when touched. They resemble a giant flashing egg or orb and are on the rare side. The teleporting power is only good once.
  • Potted Plants Muggers and Thieves are starting to smuggle a new drug called 'Spazz Weed' into the dungeon. You can pick these plants and take them with you, but remember these were deemed illegal by the XGA for a reason: Unpredictable side effects that can be downright dangerous! (Steam version)
  • Anti-Magic Beacons can sometimes appear on an Anti-Magic floor event. Step on one and touch it to deactivate the field. Just remember that doing this will let monsters cast their spells again too! (Steam version)

Buildings

Buildings can sometimes appear and will show up as windowed doors inside walls surrounded by a colorful banner. Upon exiting a building its door is forever closed so make sure you do your business with them fully before leaving.

  • Shops will offer to sell 3 items to the player upon entering. A shop will only offer to sell the player items that are related to its character class (ex. they will never sell keys to a wizard because keys can only be equipped by a thief.) Make sure you have enough spare room in your inventory to purchase an item before entering a shop!
  • XGA Shop Sometimes the shop will be run by a knight of the XGA (Xtoli Guard Army). He can sell you items that aren't normally found in the regular shops but at much higher prices.
  • Guilds are convenient places to rest up and gather information. Drinking a beer will recover your stamina to max while renting a room will recover both your health & stamina to max levels. It is here where tips about the game can be bribed out of patrons.
  • The Guildmaster will occasionally visit his guilds and offer to bestow mass offensive and defensive magical buffs for your character. For a price, of course!
  • Cultist New as of 11/12/16, These uncommon people will offer items in exchange for your maximum HP instead of traditional gold pieces. You'll have to weigh the risks carefully.

Traps

  • Chest traps deal straight damage and are inflicted when a trap is sprung (disarm fails). The damage is greater the more special the chest is. The trap damage is not affected by depth of the dungeon. Golden chest traps may also be spiked with poison barbs, so beware!
  • Poisonous grass is found on the floors and will inflict exactly 1 point of damage when stepped on. Grass that's been stepped on is dead for good and safe to travel over from there on out. There is a small but real chance that stepping on any patch of poisonous grass will also cause the poison status ailment. The resist poison effect will protect you from being poisoned or taking any damage at all from the grass, however.
  • Floor spikes appear from the middle floors onward. They will retract into their holes after several player steps and then pop out again after several more player steps. Walking over a spike trap that's retracted will not cause any damage at all- only when they're out of their holes will they cause 1 point of damage. Spike traps are unique to the game as they can never be destroyed by any means.
  • Fires can sometimes appear at lower floors of the dungeon and will deal exactly 1 point of damage to the player's health when walked through. Unlike poisonous grass, the fire remains after being stepped on. Worse, any items the player has equipped that are made of wood will burn and be destroyed! Players under the resist fire effect will be protected from fire damage and item burning.
  • Webs are found in V1.3ST and can totally immobilize anything caught within. Players can attempt to break free by pressing the space bar (or the gamepad action button), provided they have enough stamina to do so. If an enemy attacks a player while he's stuck in a web it will always result in an ambush strike. Any enemy stuck in a web will automatically free itself in a short amount of turns, so use this time to escape if necessary.

Floor Events

Floor events are special happenings that have a small chance of occurring while playing the game. Though unlikely, it's possible to have more than 1 floor event at a time.

  • Darkness events shroud a floor in a veil of shadow, making it harder to see what's around the corner and therefore enemy ambush rates are increased. You'll also have a harder time hitting monsters while in the dark. Abandoned campsites and wall torches do not spawn during a darkness event. As of V1.3ST, mushrooms can grow in these dark places as well.
  • Monster Infestation events are floors with huge quantities of extra enemies and are very dangerous. You'll earn an XP bonus from each enemy defeated on this floor, however.
  • Graveyard floors are filled with tombstones, dead grass, vampire bats, and powered-up undead. A ghost boss enemy can also be found here. Graveyard floors have a slightly increased chance of spawning shadow chests.
  • Treasure floors are golden-walled places filled with extra treasure chests and treasure chest-like enemies like Chest Monsters and Death Boxes. Treasure Floors have a higher chance of mineral deposits appearing in the walls.
  • Evil Force / Boss events signal that one of the game's boss enemies lurk somewhere on the floor. Bosses will always spawn near the exit ladder.
  • Slithering An early possible event, this floor is full of nothing but poisonous snakes and asps.
  • Rainstorm Weird indoor rain falls throughout the floor. Rainstorm floors have a high chance of spawning Killer Plants if poisonous grass is also found within. Additionally, ponds are much more common here and fish are easier to catch. Beware that torches and campfire sets can't be lit while on a rainstorm floor! As of V1.3ST flowers have a much higher chance to appear during a rainstorm floor.
  • Time Bomb A devious trap set by The Lantern, the floor has been rigged to explode when you've walked a certain number of steps. The explosion will kill everything on the floor, including you. It may be possible to survive the explosion with the right gear, they say..
  • Quiet There's something not quite right about this quiet floor.. Surrounded in darkness, all enemies seem to have been already killed. What could have possibly done all this?
  • Inferno A red hot floor event blistering with intense fire traps. Extremely bad for your equipped wooden equipment!
  • Arena of Death New to version 1.2CT, the arena of death floor event is a rare occurrence that can happen late in the game. If you should happen upon an arena you will be faced with a floor composed entirely of champion class enemies!
  • Icebox Floor New to version 1.3ST, icebox floors are cold and snowy and recovering your stamina back through natural rest is impossible. Enemies will also have reduced amounts of stamina if encountered. Ice Giants will have an increased chance of showing up if an icebox floor is encountered deep in the dungeon.
  • Anti-Magic Field Floor New to version 1.3ST, the anti-magic field can appear and smother the entire area with a purplish fog. This fog causes any and all magic cast to immediately fizzle and fail. This goes for magic that the enemy casts as well. Wizards in particular must be very careful when dealing with an anti-magic field! (Steam Version)

Tactics

  • You have limited space in which to carry items around with you. Any extra inventory items you don't need can't be sold in a conventional manner- instead they can be scrapped (destroyed) from your backpack screen in exchange for some gold pieces at any time. Thieves will gain slightly more gold pieces than other classes this way.
  • It's very wise to try and conserve your HP and stamina for those spots where you'll need them most. It's possible to run into champ enemies as early as the 2nd floor and fighting them when you're not prepared is usually a bad idea. One thing to remember is that enemies can't open doors so if one's following you try to run into a room and close the door behind you to lock them out. Like most actions in the game, closing a door requires 1 stamina point.
  • It's a very good idea to always try to have a torch on you in case you run into a darkness level, as using it will light the place up again. Using a campfire set is another way to get rid of darkness areas. Remember that these items can't be lit while you're also being rained on!
  • As of version 1.2CT you can now find compasses. Use these to try and pinpoint the exit ladder in case you get lost. They have a decent chance of breaking, but luckily aren't too hard to find early on. A thief may also receive a free compass as a starting gift.
  • If you find a warpstone it's a great idea to try and save it until you get into a particularly nasty jam (surrounded by enemies while low on health, unable to get past a floor trap without dying, etc). It will warp you to another random spot on the floor and hopefully to safety.
  • Warriors can use any of the game's 2 handed weapons (greatswords, battle axes, bow & arrows, etc) however if you're wearing a shield you won't be able to equip a 2 hander so you might want to keep an extra 1 handed weapon on you for a backup plan.
  • It's extremely important to note that as of version 1.2CT any wood equipment you're wearing can now be burned away and destroyed by enemy fire spells in battle (in addition to stepping on fire floors from earlier versions). So unless you just love the texture of wood and the color brown, try to upgrade your gear before that happens. As of V1.3ST this danger is lessened some by the ability to unequip your items, so unequip anything wooden before stepping on a fire floor!
  • Save items with the invisibility effect for times when you need to get past a monster that's much stronger than you. Invisible characters can walk right THROUGH even the deadliest dragon this way unharmed. Luring a tough enemy into a small room, turning invisible, and closing the door to seal them inside is another good tactic as monsters won't give chase to an invisible character.
  • Remember your ultimate goal is to survive long enough to get to the bottom. You won't be a wuss if you flee from a tough enemy so be sure to try it when the going gets tough! (Boss enemies can never be run from). Nothing is worse than dying in battle with a pack full of great items you were never able to use!
  • If you are new to the game it's a great idea to bribe as many guild members as you can to learn different aspects about the game. As of V1.3ST you can access all learned bribes through the new start menu in case you need a reminder on any rules!

Screenshots

ETLSS5.PNG ETLSS10.PNG ETLSS8.PNG ETL_SS31.PNG ETL_SS13.PNG ETL_SS22.PNG

Release and Steam Greenlight

The game was released for all on August 27th, 2016 through DXF Games' itch.io page. It has also been submitted to Steam via the Greenlight service and can be voted on there as well. If it gets enough votes to be sold on Steam, then a set of achievements will also be added to the game. The price point for Equin: The Lantern V1.3ST will be $2.99 US regardless of the platform it appears on.

As before, a free 10 floor demo of the game is already available via the DXF Games itch.io page (see links below).

As of 10/27/16 the game was released on the Steam service. Two guides have been created by the dev to help others with the game (see links below).

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