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Tower of the Archmage


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Rating: 4.3/5 (44 votes)
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tower-of-archmage

Lori.h High on top of a tall tower is an Archmage, waiting endlessly for a worthy opposite to climb the tower and prove his worth. Hopefully, he has an internet connection because he is going to be waiting for a long, long time. Boy that climb is tough and all those stairs are a killer on the knees. Stairs aside, Tower of the Archmage is a pretty difficult, complicated, but very addicting action roguelike game. With twenty-five random generating levels, spells you customize and four different class types it's going to be hard to get bored with this one. Facing foes like, chinchillas, the powerful Steve, and the dreaded alpacas make it a challenge every step of the way. Death is a fact of life in the tower, but you are given the option to keep a rune (what you use to build your spells) and pass it on to your successors who will soon begin his own climb to face off with the Archmage.

Tower of the ArchmageIf you're anything like me then you know tutorials are for wusses. Or for the non-lazy. But while the tutorial for Tower of the Archmage is a bit on the long side, it is wholly needed to really play the game to the full potential. Movements are turn-based, so you can pause at any time to make changes to your control configuration, or even adjust your spells. While spells are your main form of attack for all classes, you can't be too trigger happy with them, as each time you cast a spell, you gain Flux Points, and if you gain too many, it gets chaotic. Sometimes the Flux can be beneficial to you, giving you more power, sometimes it can change your sense of direction, flipping the screen and controls upside down, and the higher your points, the higher your chances of instant death. So clearly, Tower of Archmage is not a game you can go running through, blasting all out of your way. It's going to require, patience, strategy, and careful balancing your character. There is a level of frustration with this game as death can come swiftly if you're not watching yourself. But If you're looking for a challenge or something to sink your free time into, start your ascent. The Archmage is waiting for you.

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16 Comments

A good game, albeit a little on the repetitive side. There are several ways one can just wait until everything is charged up, thus reducing a little the risk on what is a rogue-like game.

Then again, I died off in the upper middle of the tower. It was a straight-up Death by boredom. The specifics:

Once your flux bar is charged to twice your normal flux (i.e. full blue), you may get a series of effects that, amongst other things, prevent you from dealing damage or healing yourself, which sucks when you are getting kicked around by a Llama

The main reason why I say this is repetitive relates to my main strategy (for relevance, I played a Conjurer in my run):

Pile up on ray-type spells and Perception (for added vision plus available runes) and do either one of the following:
- Either get the most powerful offensive (pun intended) runes and stack them with a greed and/or a snipe artifact runes.
- Or get a series of runes that, whilst being offensive, they also reduce the flux cost. Stacking the same runes does not stack effects so the runes should be different. Coupled with the before mentioned runes, you get an dirt cheap spell that also packs a punch.

greed doubles the power of a spell by doubling its flux cost and snipe adds 1/5 of the spell's power per distance from enemy. With high Perception, the latter nearly doubles the spell's power by a fraction of its cost.

Coupled with the auto-targeting ray-type spells have, all you need to do is press -button here- until the room is cleared, then rest.

Nonetheless, it's a well worked and thought out game, so I will play it again, when I have just a little more time on my hands.

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greeork Author Profile Page June 30, 2014 2:10 AM

A lot of elements from ToME (a popular roguelike) in this game, but the spellcrafting makes a whole lot of difference in gameplay. I enjoyed it, but i probably won't bother going all the way to the end since I keep killing myself by accident, lol.

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Pretty good roguelike. I enjoy the fact that in a magic-based game, you can still play solely using passive buffs. Having buff spells occupy a portion of your mana gauge is a great mechanic, I recall liking it in Dragon Age.

I wish there was a definitive list of all craftable spells, though. I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to craft, until I realized

(I think) The primary spell effect is only determined by the first two runes, and additional runes only add cost, power, and secondary effects.

Also,

predecessors come before you, successors come after... heh

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Just finished, and if there's something I liked it's definitely the spell customization. It might be in need of some balancing though, as I was able to beat the final boss without taking more than one or two spells from him - he was too busy

changing forms and the scripted phases

while I kept unleashing a fully aimable spell with really high power, direct damage, burn and poison - didn't even overflux myself at all.
Still, it's a good mechanic and, as was mentioned previously, the "upkeep" cost of passive buffs was a pleasant surprise.

If anyone's wondering, the tower seems to have

25

floors.

Some tips for spell ideas, if you have the right runes available:

1) aimable nuke - use a fire-attribute offensive rune to let it do both direct damage and debuffs

2) emergency button - I may have gotten lucky on this one, but I used a rune with both dodge and swift, and slapped some regeneration ontop (if you want a direct heal to go with this, use a fire-attribute rune again)

3a) fortify your postition - throw a regenerative cloud under you, coupled with the regular regeneration - add swift for double the tick frequency
3b) fortify your position - put some concentrated clouds between you and your foes, and watch how some of them suddenly even refuse to enter them, while the rest don't last long inside - bonus points if you have the merge artifact rune, which lets you aim a spell anywhere (one tile) and adds the power of any cloud on that tile to the spell

4) if all else fails, hinder your foes and retreat to rest so you can tackle them under better conditions - a good combo might be your emergency button (see 2), combined with a regenerative cloud, and then as you run away drop a block on the cloud - it should keep the block alive for a few turns

Last but not least, always pay attention to the new runes you find, and keep your spells up to date - sometimes even a weaker spell may be an upgrade if it has an extra effect or is cheaper to cast.

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Leopardmask Author Profile Page June 30, 2014 11:52 PM

Am I missing some really obvious strategy or something? I feel really dumb because I literally can not get past the 2nd floor and everyone in the comments is saying it's pretty easy.

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Furipu Author Profile Page July 1, 2014 2:30 AM replied to Leopardmask

Let's see... what is it that kills you? Enemy attacks or your own flux going out of control? You can tell if it's the latter if the purple bar turns into other colors and you get a visible, firey aura - at that point, random effects may happen, including rather high damage to yourself (these effects tend to leave a message in the log). In both cases, it may be worthwhile to examine the spells you have, and try to improve them with new runes (press x, pick a spell, pick a slotted rune in the upper left corner, and lastly pick a new rune from the list that appears).

Another possibility is that you're having issues recovering between fights, and engage new enemies while already injured or with a high flux level. If that is the case, simply holding space bar will let you recover both bars outside combat - in combat, it simply skips a turn, which can also be useful for positioning if you use multi-tile spells, or waiting for certain effects to expire.

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Aand... I found an Adventure Time reference:

There is an Artifact rune called click-click, which is a reference to Blood Under the Skin, where the expression click-click is used to refer to the highly resistant full-body suits of armor that the knights in the episode used.

I'm not sure where I got it though, but I believe it was before Lena, maybe Rat-Prince. Regardless, here is the rune's description:

Rune type: Artifact.
Flux cost: 12 FP.

Unique ability:

Only the most click-click armours are worn by warriors. Improve your magic armour by making it more resistant.

Spell modifiers:
+6 FP cost with offensive runes.

-----

Unique effects:

Click-click: Increase the power of any shield casted with this rune by 1/3 of its normal power.

@Mantus, I've done some digging around regarding the spells and my findings are the following:

- The runes are semi-random. There are runes that share the same name but differ in effects. The icon seems to be unique though.
- There are about 0 to 3 runes in each level. Each "boss" (as in, unique enemy) has a guaranteed Artifact rune, which is set by the boss (the Farmer will "always" give the hoard rune).
- Things aren't so linear when you carry over Artifact runes, but I believe a random one is given in replacement of the one you get when defeating the boss.

- A spell's effect is given with a priority relation. The rune's position has nothing to do with the spell:
- Artifact rune effects, when stated, superimpose on all others.
- If there are any block or cloud runes, the spell will create them (Note that you can create blocks and clouds in the same spell).
- If there aren't any blocks, any property stated on the used runes will take effect.
- If no runes have special properties, the spell will deal direct damage.

But I haven't scratched the surface of the whole spell system (as I'm still playing as a Conjurer): there are countless runes and I feel as if each class gets a slightly different set, to favor their abilities.

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Heal spells?

I have managed to make one that damages myself, but so far nothing that heals.

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flux and spells

excessive flux can create a wall that if ran into not only damages you but also the enemy

spells
eni, orh, orh
flux 4
power 5
multi enemy

adda, orh, orh
multi enemy

eni, ello, orh
heal

in, kin, fluf
power 9
flux 12
perm 3 flux add when in use
improves hand to hand combat

in, kin, alleo
power 10
flux 12
perm 4 flux add when in use
improves hand to hand combat

second wind
in, alleo, alleo
power 10
flux 16
heal spell

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Furipu Author Profile Page July 2, 2014 7:11 AM replied to SHA

I have to agree with an earlier post - the runes are randomised, so posting their names doesn't really help in any guides or tips. I even got different runes of the same name in one playthrough.

As for healing spells, you generally want those to include a defensive (blue) rune with an earth property (most common for defensive runes). I *think* that any spell without effects other than raw power will turn into a heal if at least one of its runes is a defensive earth rune, even if the rest of the slots are offensive (red) runes, which should let you stack power nicely (I think this is based on the fact that direct damage doesn't come from any rune property, so giving the spell the earth property overrides the direct damage).

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maxabillion Author Profile Page July 11, 2014 12:15 PM

Haha this game's a fun, simple roguelike, and I think I just won. I got a rune that makes a spell that trades away its power's worth in hp to get rid of double that amount of flux. Then I got a rune to plug into it that makes a healing cloud spawn on me when I cast it. The healing cloud gets stronger with more power.

Basically, I can just hit a button to empty my flux for free in one turn. Liiiiiittle OP. Now I just need to pay enough attention to not die stupidly.

The devour run is also quite powerful, it lets you eat a block you've set up and heal for the value of its total hp. Maximum, not current.

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I had a problem with this game where the control that turns off your buffs doesn't work, and it seems it's not a button. SO, that makes certain strategies harder to use since my flux is permanently higher. I wish it could be fixed....

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twom.9374.0 Author Profile Page July 31, 2014 3:14 AM

Woof. I had quite a bit of trouble finding an escape button for myself, until I discovered this lovely little gem, er, spell, for long lasting, self-healing block prisons. So now whenever I'm in a jam, I'll just lock 'em up and shuffle along my journey to meet Ye Olde Archmage. Unfortunately, I tend to start my floors off with several enemies around me, and then me hiding in my personal self-healing prison. Tips for a mostly Ray-type user?

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Furipu Author Profile Page July 31, 2014 5:20 AM replied to twom.9374.0

If the only problem is walking into crowded rooms on a new floor, you may want to consider going back down when an enemy is on an adjacent tile - that enemy will come down the stairs with you, letting you isolate it from the rest of the room for an easy kill. For extra effectiveness, control the amount of enemies that reach the stairs with those blocks you mention.

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Dingding321 Author Profile Page August 13, 2014 8:01 PM

One improvement I'd like implemented is a way to organize my runes, maybe by type or area, to compare them more easily. It's pretty hard doing that now, when they're organized by arbitrary names. Other than that, I quite like this game!

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