UNDERNAUTS: LABYRINTH OF YOMI
Horror in the dungeons and more
Horror in Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is driven by the story, art design, and atmosphere. The action takes place in Yomi. In Japanese folklore, this is actually Hell, the land of the dead, and in the game it is a strange complex and labyrinth that suddenly appeared in the 70s of the last century in the vicinity of Tokyo. It’s scary, dark and there are not always living monsters around, but it’s also full of especially valuable resources. Therefore, corporations regularly send groups of specially trained stalkers (titular Undernauts) to their extraction, in fact, exploiting them mercilessly.
Who just does not go to this job.
The idea of the “ruthless grin of capitalism” is one of the main ones in the game, which, you see, is not often found in RPGs about dungeons. It is emphasized by regular corporate (sometimes very cynical) messages on the radio. They are cynical because it is necessary to work in the complex, despite the cases when the employees were devoured by monsters. The game begins with the fact that we see how a girl, surrounded by torn bodies, sings in a gentle voice, and then begins to eat them. She comes up to us and says – they say, but she will leave us for later.
Such a beginning immediately reminds of Japanese horror films.
Then, in one of the corporate camps (they serve as our base), where we eventually get out, we find a crippled girl in a wheelchair among a pile of dead bodies. As it turns out, this is a sacred priestess who is in constant agony, bleeding, but cannot die. And among other things, it feeds the reactors at the bases of corporations with its blood, as well as the gates through which you can return from the complex. This is also the topic of the “grin of capitalism.”
I feel sorry for the girl, although you always expect a dirty trick from her – the atmosphere here is such.
Subsequently, we still have to feed the bosses the brains of the prisoners we killed and decide how to get another monster out of the pit, which is sleeping soundly (what it ate, I think, it is not necessary to specify). To do this, you need to talk with other monsters and find out that he likes the blood of women, and then kill the enemies in order to get bloody clothes and throw them into the pit. The design of the monsters here is just as creepy and twisted – there is even a cross between a tank and some kind of animal.
This reptile loves the blood of women.
Completing the picture of a mixture of horror and dungeon crawler is that in addition to the usual catacombs, we also visit much more creepy locations, such as an extremely gloomy forest and a cemetery. Well, in general, everything is fine with the art design in Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi – it is he who pulls out not the most modern picture.
Do you also want to go to such a place?
In such an environment, the classic gameplay for the genre, formed back in the ancient Wizardry series, unfolds. Having recruited a squad of six fighters of different classes (professions) and origin, we move through the cells with a first-person view, periodically solve puzzles, open chests, deactivate traps and often fight in turn-based mode. We level up, upgrade and learn skills, improve tons of equipment and create consumables – potions, bombs, experience boosters, ability points and performance boosts.
Professions are then allowed to change – to make, for example, from a cute anime girl no longer a cleric, but a fighter. Plus, there is an option to upgrade your class by choosing one of two options for a prestigious specialization.
This cutie was invited here from Saviors of Sapphire Wings.
Like Stranger of Sword City Revisited, there are automatic movement features (especially useful when you need to return to the base on a mission or heal your fighters) and accelerated animations in battles. But still, here you need to often repeat the same actions, the plot seems drawn out (it will take 30 hours) and develops, especially at first, according to the principle “If you want to survive, kill that monster over there! Killed? Now kill everyone else.” Therefore, those who, due to such features of the genre, do not like it, Undernauts is unlikely to instill this love.
But amateurs will appreciate some finds that save the situation. Firstly, as I said, there are interesting (albeit creepy) situations when you need to communicate with monsters (and even give bribes to some). Secondly, here you can change the architecture of the levels, placing doors in the allotted places, lowering stairs and building bridges. To do this, you first need to find such points, and then use special resources there, “flowers” - they are created in the same generators from the energy obtained after processing items of equipment.
This feature really gives a fresh feeling, actually introducing elements of metroidvania into what is happening. At first, only “door flowers” are available to us, then, according to the plot, they give us the opportunity to lower stairs, and so on – this allows us to open new passages on familiar levels.