The City Beneath

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The City Beneath
A sketch of The City Beneath cover by Erik Hermansen

Developer(s) Caravel Games
Publisher(s) Caravel Games
Designer(s) Erik Hermansen
Platform(s) PC - Windows,

Linux, Mac OS X

Release date(s) April 1, 2007
Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player, Editor
Distribution CD, Download

The City Beneath is the third computer puzzle game in Deadly Rooms of Death series published by Caravel Games. It was released on 1 April 2007, exactly two years after its predecessor, Journey to Rooted Hold. Linux and Mac OS X versions were immediately available along with the main Windows version.

Story[edit]

The story picks up roughly a year after Journey to Rooted Hold ended, with Beethro arriving at the mysterious Rooted Hold and exploring an underground city of the Empire in search of his lost nephew, Halph. Soon, Beethro discovers a sinister plot concerning all the people above, so finding Halph and convincing him to return home becomes a second priority. It is up to Beethro to foil the Empire's plans and discover its most guarded secrets.

Features[edit]

Here is a list of the new features added in The City Beneath:

CaravelNet[edit]

  • Holds can be rated from within the game.
  • An in-game chat room, active at all times while the game engine is running (in play or in the editor), and connected to the CaravelNet online service.

New Objects[edit]

  • Pressure Plates which act like Orbs, but need to be stepped on instead of hit with a sword. Monsters, as well as Beethro, can trigger Pressure Plates. There are three different varieties, based on how and when the effect is triggered.
  • Sister Gates, also called the Anti-Doors, close when their specific condition is met.
  • Bridges are sections of floor, placed in pits or water, which fall if they have no connection to other solid floor. Thus, if connected to stable floor by trapdoors, they will fall if all connecting trapdoors are removed.
  • Platforms are sections of floor placed over pits or water. If Beethro attempts to move off the edge of a Platform into the pit or water, the platform moves (while maintaining its shape) to continue supporting him, provided it is able to without any part of the platform leaving the pit or colliding with another object. Monsters on the platform do not move with it and will be killed if they fall into the pit.
  • Hot Tiles kill almost anything that is stationary on them for a turn, including Beethro, but not including tarstuff babies (Tar, Mud, and Gel. Speed potions, however can increase the time Beethro can survive on a hot tile for an extra turn
  • Water is impassable to Beethro but is the home to certain types of monster.
  • Oremites force Beethro, or other sword-bearing monsters such as Guards and the Slayer, to put away their swords while walking on them.
  • Speed Potions allow Beethro to take two turns for every one update of the environment.
  • Clone Potions allow Beethro to create a second Beethro on any empty square. Pressing the Tab key or selecting the clone with the mouse switches control between Beethro and his clone(s). Inactive clones do not move and cannot be killed by monsters but can be killed by swords, bombs, or other room hazards. Any clone can clear a room, and the room must be restarted if any clone dies.
  • Mirrors reflect the gazes of Evil Eyes and Aumtlich, and can be pushed around and/or broken by Beethro and his sword.
  • Disarm tiles can allow Beethro to toggle whether or not he is holding his sword.
  • Tarstuff tiles swap two types of tarstuff everywhere in the room - for example, Tar and Mud can be swapped with one another.

New Monsters[edit]

The City Beneath features all the monsters previously encountered in Deadly Rooms of Death and Journey to Rooted Hold. In addition, the following creatures are met:

  • Adders - Serpents that can eat other monsters and even tarstuff. They increase in size for every monster eaten . Their weak point is the head.
  • Briars - Plants that cannot be cut. If a briar root is present, directly connected briar will expand and kill anything on squares it expands into.
  • Gel - Tarstuff that can only be cut on inside corners. Unlike other tarstuff, Gel mothers only expand directly connected Gel. Gel Babies use Rock Golem movement, however they do not leave behind obstacles when slain.
  • Citizens - People of the Empire running from point to point on their repetitive chores.
  • Slayers - Skilled assassins working for the Empire, like the 39th Slayer met in Journey to Rooted Hold.
  • Water Skippers - Behave like Seep, but inhabit water rather than walls. They have "nests" which spawn one Water Skipper every 10 turns.
  • The Aumtlich - Creatures that fire beams which can only be blocked with a sword or a mirror. Beethro cannot move if a beam touches him, but this can be countered by blocking the beam with the sword.
  • Rock Giants - 2x2 square monsters which split into 4 Rock Golems when hit (one of which is already slain by the hit).
  • Fegundos - Fiery birds that attempt to fly in whichever direction Beethro is facing. Bumping into an object causes them to explode; however, over the course of 5 turns they regenerate and rise from their ashes, unless they exploded over water or a pit.

General[edit]

  • Variable lighting and weather effects.
  • Possibility to add new room styles into the game.
  • Importing files into DROD by dragging and dropping them on the application.
  • Better UI for hold selection menu.
  • Jump-to-letter in hold selection menu (with Ctrl).
  • More information displayed while importing files.
  • Importing multiple files at once.
  • Enhanced game engine.

Gameplay[edit]

  • Undoing while placing mimics will go back to the turn before stepping on the potion.
  • Locking room edges, so you can't exit a room accidentally.
  • A "battle" key as an alternate way to make repeated movements.
  • Beethro's sword can be taken away. Without his sword, he cannot fight or hit orbs, but does not trigger trapdoors.
  • Almost every character in the game can become playable. This means that you can control both different sworded characters as well as non-sworded characters.
  • Cutscenes.
  • The ability to view any room visited in the level from the mini-map.

Editor[edit]

  • Seeing bomb blast radius in editor (with chain reactions) and in-game (without chain reactions).
  • A better way to handle story events with important timing.
  • Copying NPC scripts from room to room without exporting and importing.
  • Improved sound effect handling in a hold.
  • Keyboard commands for undoing and redoing in editor.
  • Copying serpent-like monsters and obstacles in the room editor.
  • Custom artwork for characters.

Scripting[edit]

  • Scripting command: Relative coordinates.
  • Scripting command: "Pathfind to X,Y" and variations of it.
  • Scripting command: "Die".
  • Scripting command: Set Appearance (available in patch 3.2 and higher)
  • Scripted user music.
  • Text-script conversion.

Demos[edit]

  • Information about already uploaded demos will be included along with a player file when exporting it.
  • Watching 3.0 demos will skip mimic placing parts completely.
  • Toggleable move counter while watching demos.

License[edit]

The library which handles connections to the online database (CaravelNet) is closed-source, although the rest of the game remains open-source under the Mozilla Public License and a fully functional executable (minus the CaravelNet connectivity features) can be made with the released source.

Additionally, the artwork, music, and levels composing the new content of The City Beneath are sold commercially with rights reserved. Most of the game is still free. The source code, engine and level editor are still open source, a complete set of artwork is distributed with the demo version, and users can still download and build user holds without having to buy the full game.

External links[edit]