Second Wind


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Rating: 4.1/5 (73 votes)
| Comments (13) | Views (224)

DoraSecond WindMixing humour with classic dungeon-crawling adventure and a liberal sprinkling of roguelike RPG flair, Squidly's Second Wind is snarky, silly, strange, and actually kind of awesome. Choose a class and descend into a dungeon packed with weirdness, from angry newts that can only be appeased by a magical flute to lazy mimics and political orcs. The game randomly chooses events to present you with as you play, and they can be anything from enemies that will play out turn-based style and reward you with experience and gold, or deities who will bless you for some gold, opportunistic potion sellers, blacksmiths, challenges, and more. Though initially you only have five classes available, successfully completing certain events can unlock even more until you have twenty different classes to choose from. If you die, it's game over... but as you might guess from the title, you'll have one more shot at glory. Before you die. Again. Look, it's a roguelike. You knew what you were getting into. You can't save manually, but if you leave the game and come back to it later, it will give you the option of resuming your character from wherever you were when you last played.

Second WindIf you're not a fan of roguelikes, then permadeath, even with the second chance, will be a nail in the coffin. Similarly, being unable to see your inventory so you can keep track of potions and items is annoying. As is the fact that the amount of health randomly restored when drinking said potions can vary drastically. I get the feeling that this might be because some of the Infirmaries you can buy potions from are better than others, but it's hard to tell since the game treats all potions the same, and, again, you can't look at an inventory to see you just bought a "Potion of Stanky Lameness" or something. Which in my case apparently happened a lot. For that matter, so did going missing attacks and clicking through endless repeated encounters before I finally found the single one I needed to progress. It's the sort of thing you expect with any game that uses a random generator, but it still rankles, and makes you feel like the game often comes down to blind luck.

Fortunately, Second Wind has a very Kingdom of Loathing-esque vibe to its tongue-in-cheek style and writing, which is never a bad thing, though it does clash somewhat with the serious tone the end encounters take. This is where the game's breezy "aw, c'mon, just one more try" addictiveness really shines through, and since the different classes have a surprising amount of variety and strategy in their strengths and abilities, it takes some of the sting out of starting all over. There's just so much to see and encounter, and with four possible endings, some better than others, you'll have to experiment a lot, and probably die a lot, if you want to see all of it. Though heavily reliant on luck and patience, Second Wind is a witty and addictive retro dungeon crawler you can spend five minutes or an hour on without really realising it.

Play Second Wind

13 Comments

But how do you USE a potion?!?!

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ChairmanMUHC; you use potions during battle only by clicking on the "Pot" button.

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The loading/credit pages at the start of this game (and every time you die and want to restart) are a gorram nightmare.

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@ThenAgain: If you press that Send Score thing and click through, then you don't have to go through the opening credits.

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... I think I'm just REALLY bad at this game, even though I generally don't mind (in fact, kinda like) rougelikes.

I can't believe that I'm doing this, but any one got a favorite class/strategy? I realize that this is a game where luck and nothing but luck is the only real determining factor, but I can't even seem to get past level 7 on Easy mode. So... yeah.

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Espers, natch. I got all the way to the end with that one and no other (as well as unlocked a lot of characters along the way).

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bluegriffin18 Author Profile Page September 29, 2012 12:28 AM

I agree, while it may be fun a few times, but then I hit a wall where it seems like no matter how good I get I get a string of misses, cost of weapon upgrade is too high, really tough character, ect. It just not fun trying to get a good setup, but nothing can guide you. I also can't get past the first section. Good game, but Dora is right it really seems that you have to rely on luck too much.

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Kittymaverick Author Profile Page September 29, 2012 5:08 AM

My best run with the original available characters was using a rogue, whose 2nd ability allowed me to blaze through enemies quite easily through out the game. The 3rd ability was a great supplement to the 2nd.

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Unlock the bard and then pump up dexterity. Then, at the beginning of each battle, use storms, and nobody will be able to hit you.

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I used a Monk, and my strategy was to always use the 3rd power-up ability at the very beginning of my turn, and then hit the enemy with another ability. I upgraded my weapon and armor as often as possible, and mostly eschewed favors from the gods. I did die several times along the way (admittedly because I wasn't paying attention to my HP), but because it saves your progress after you enter a new world, I was able to start from my saved games and get all the way to the end.

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sarahbholden Author Profile Page October 2, 2012 9:28 PM

How can you legitimately defeat all five deities?

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Love the fact that you guys put in the effort to write an article about this!

As you might or might not know, I'm the game dev for this game :D

As for the luck - there's always gonna be luck in any roguelike, but if you play it enough it becomes more of a hurdle you can overcome.

It took me FOREVER to first beat this game, mostly cause' I didn't have an ending, but case and point - I can blaze through this game every time I play it, reach the end with any class.

Honestly, luck only factors in the first segment a bit, after that it's just planning ahead :D

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artmonkey87 Author Profile Page March 15, 2013 10:27 AM

Looking for a strategy guide? While I don't go into specifics, here are some tips I hope can help your quest:

  1. Levels are 1 to 5 are a bit of a gamble. Even following these guidelines, you could still bite the dust. Keep at it though - you'll succeed way more than you fail!

  2. At first, only spend your money on potions until you get at least 5. Always keep at least 5 potions on you and enough money to replenish them.

  3. Don't use drinks or fountains. Sure, you might get a free stat boost, but drinks especially have a high rate of negative impact. Only use churches and wells if you have a goal in mind. In the beginning of the game, the game will quiz you on the gods. Correct answers yield free stat increases. At the end, you encounter soul wells where you can deposit money and souls, giving you two opportunities to get stat boosts. While not free, you don't have anything else to spend those on.

  4. The monk makes an awesome first time character. The darkfolk decimates everything.

  5. Trying to get a -3 in one stat? Use the darkfolk mage. While he has low armor and slow armor growth, it doesn't matter. By level 6ish, you'll be one shotting everything. The trick is to have enough money that when you run into the church with a white wing (I think it's a wing), you can spend enough money to bring your armor down to -3. Don't worry, the darkfolk doesn't need armor nearly as much as he needs dex.

  6. The game has four endings; you can get all of them in one run through. The first time you hit world three, don't ever enter a location unless it's the white tower with gold on top. From there, fighting and winning, losing, or choosing to rule together each have an ending. You'll need to beat that god at least once without killing the other gods to see all the endings. After you get that one, you can pick a fight with the other gods, then defeat the gold god to see the last ending.

  7. Some stat guides: Dexterity is the most important stat IMO. Before entering the locked door in world 1, you'll want about 30. To take on the trials in world 2, you should get close to 50, and don't leave until you do hit 50. To take on the gods, get it close to 70.

  8. There are no merchants in world 3. If you don't max upgrade your items, you can only get them by beating gods. Always "wander" (unless you want to kill the god) when you get either the green tower or road. The green tower often spawns a flower you can pluck for free potions. The road spawns encounters that lead to stat boosts.

  9. Finally, only using your second wind and dying in world 1 leads to a permadeath. Although you have to sit through the long intro, you can pick up where you left off in worlds 2 and 3 should you die.

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