Fan-made manual and misc fun stuff
I noticed the game download does not come with a manual. Frankly, it did not detract from the game and I’m not sure if there ever was one to begin with but after beating the game, a weird idea came to me.
So… introducing what I think a manual for the game would look like to me. Basically, decided to write it as an in-universe magazine the wizard might have bought after binding Raga as his familiar.
Familiar’s owner starter guide
Congratulations on binding an animal as your familiar! Owning a familiar is a big responsability but is ultimately lots of fun. Remember that your familiar is a long-term investment. Treat it with care and you’ll have a happy, helpful, and adorable companion for the remainder of its life.
As you are reading a familiar manual and not a pet manual, you are probably already familiar with the care and feeding of animals so this manual will contain information specific to familiars.
Binding a familiar do not merely allow you to call it and for it to sense you, it also bestow it with great intelligence. As such, if you are ever separated from your familiar, it will be able to use the art of the ancient runes W, A, S, and D to steer its body to wherever it may wish to go. W will move its body north, S south, A west, and D east.
A familiar is a living and feeling creature and as such, may sometimes want things from you, whenever it may be to pet it, feed it treats, or have your current task for it explained again. A familiar may do such things by moving next to you or anyone it wishes to speak to and using a magical rune known as the ‘space bar’. This magical rune may also be used to search the various nooks and crannies of your house so be sure to keep anything you want out of his or her tiny paws in locked chests. The familiar know when the chest is locked when it shakes and make a click instead of opening.
Be aware that familiars can sometimes be naughty and throw objects by using the arrow runes to throw them in the direction the arrow on the rune indicate. Be sure to keep dangerous objects like swords, daggers, axes, or even shovels out of reach of familiars known to abuse this or else they may injure someone by mistake.
-Picking up items-
Like normal animals, familiars have an innate curiosity and often a hoarding instinct. The boost in intelligence given by the binding will allow your familiar to pick up and use man-made items like any others. A familiar may only need to walk over an item it wishes to pick up and instinct mixed with the binding’s magic will do the rest. However, do note the intelligence will not overcome its instincts completely and as such, beware of feeding it treats when it is not hungry for it will chomp on them upon pick-up regardless of if it is hungry or not! Be smart in the way you ask your familiar to carry items ; if you ask to carry something of some type when it can’t, it will drop the item of the same type it is carrying to instead pick up the one you gave it, no matter if it is the one you want it to carry.
-Health and feeding-
Although a familiar remains a wild animal and thus may have innate fighting skills, if you really want something to fight monsters with, you’d have created a golem instead. Thus, be sure to keep your familiar away from monsters and hazardous materials. Should your familiar be injured by a monster, check it for its injuries. If it’s nothing serious, feeding a fruit, vegetable, piece of meat, or even bread will get it back on its feet. However, if your familiar is in serious pain, you might have to consider using an expensive life potion on it. Likewise, if your familiar sickens or is somehow poisoned from a monster bite, we recommend you use an antidote potion on it. It will work despite your familiar not being human. Remember! You may know that medical supplies are not food but your familiar may not know the difference. Do not put life potions and antidote potions in easy reach of your familiar if it does not need them.
One of a familiar’s most useful and popular uses is for wizards to use them to make groceries for them. Simply give to your familiar the necessary gold it needs, tell it what item it needs to obtain, and have it walk to the item inside of the store. The intelligence boost from the binding magic will allow it to complete the transaction and buy the item. Be aware however that the complex art of haggling and selling items is beyond the boost’s capabilities and by extent, your familiar’s. Be also aware that a familiar will not be able to control itself and will snatch and buy any item it walks over, even if you does not want it to so be aware of giving it too much gold.
Death of a familiar, like of any pet, is a tragic event that can’t be avoided. Although the binding magic extend a familiar’s lifetime, its effect is limited and ultimately, aging will catch up or, worse yet, it may actually fall prey to the many monsters that inhabit our world. Although the existence of the undead is very much a proven fact, as Death unfortunately likes to rub it in our faces every so often, the existence of ghosts, pure spirits that manage to remain bound to the world through sheer determination and an intense emotional desire to complete an unfinished duty, is still wrapped in mystery.
A wizard called Finagle apparently had a familiar who cared for him so much that after its natural passing, it rose up as a ghost to continue to serve him. Fearing the influence of Death and his cruel games, Finagle was initially worried but research shown that the ghost, being an ethereal entity created from love and loyalty, was not under Death’s control and retained free will even in such a form.
Although such cases are extremely rare, Finagle’s studies shown that such ghostly familiars will still benefit from the magical boosts and abilities they had in life. They may be able to pass through some walls and they won’t be affected by disease or poison but they will retain the likes and dislikes they had in life, including the liking of food and treats. However, contrary to what their ethereal appearance may indicate, they are still able to feel fear, pain, and be injured. Thankfully, Finagle discovered that medecine still works on such ghosts though it cannot restore them back to life.
Be aware however that as a ghost, your familiar will be exposed to the hidden mysteries of the spiritual world. Any foes you might have made or any creatures that may bear a grudge against you and remained in the world as ghostly apparitions may attack your familiar as hatred-driven specters in an attempt at revenge over you. Thus, should your familiar become a ghost, you should consider warding your house against specters to prevent any from harming it. It would be tragic for your dear familiar to show its love to you by returning to you from beyond the grave only for specters to kill it again to spite you because of your negligence.
Hello to all tourists and amateur adventurers! This month’s featured location is the town of Amberfall. A small town founded by foolhardy adventurers and mages at the edge of Death’s capital in order to study the relics and history of the old world better, Amberfall has prospered under the protection of Sir Wizard. A great museum lies to the north of the town housing the results of his decades-long research. For any history enthusiasts, it’s a must see!
Of course, any adventurer worth his or her salt would also be wise to visit the famous blacksmith of the town. An incredibly talented man who worked in conjunction with Sir Wizard to rediscover many of the old world’s forging techniques, he is the one who created all of the replicas in the museum. Be sure to bring whatever blueprints you may happen to have and watch him work his magic!
To the left lies the great crystal arches, one of the old world’s curiosities. The arches have all the appearance of great doors yet are are blocked off by what appear to be crystal formations. Its strange properties have baffled magicians the world over. And of course, near the arches lies one of the world’s best taverns where any exhausted magician or adventurer can come to rest after a hard day of research or adventuring.
Tourists should beware of wandering to the graveyard to the eastern side of the town. Although kept relatively safe by the town’s hearty supply of adventurers and its brave militia, the graveyard still has a sizeable monster population being the gateway between the lands of the living and Death’s domain. Still, experienced adventurers may enjoy the trip. Just be sure to turn back once you reach the end of the graveyard and reach the outskirts of the ruined city beyond.
From Amberfall the ancient capital of the old world can be seen even in the blackest of nights. Once the crown jewel of our civilization, Death has made it his own personal fortress. Where the great citadel once was, the cruel tyrant has instead built a great crypt as a symbol of his power over our world. Its streets are completely impassable, the sheer amount of zombies and undead wandering the city such that not even an army of thousands of adventurers would be able to force their way through.
Although there exist rumors saying that there exist a secret passage in the ruined city’s sewers leading directly to Death’s crypt, we discourage our readers from attempting to find it ; the sewer system under the city is a complicated maze filled with strange, exotic, and freakishly powerful monsters and demons. Few have returned from it, none having managed to find the secret passage.
As we value our readers and dead readers don’t buy magazines, please stay away from Death’s capital no matter how tough you may believe yourself to be.
-Rumors of the Resurrection Circles-
Everyone knows how our world suffer under the thrall of Death. He thinks that just because undeath and being turned into the playthings of demons is worse than death, he can mess up our world with impunity. There are rumors that wizards in ancient times, in an attempt to free our world from Death’s grip, worked on a complicated magical ritual that could resurrect ghosts to life. I don’t mean bringing them back as one of Death’s undead mockeries but bringing them back in the flesh with the original mind, unaltered, inside. I know, sounds crazy doesn’t it?
If the rumors are correct, such circles were placed in various places around the world, allowing ghosts to reincarnate. The ritual was difficult and lengthy and the delicate magical ink used to draw the circle would be destroyed by the intense flow of magic from the spell. Still, apparently, the spell really did work. However, Death, guessing that humanity would be able to wrestle this world from him if the knowledge became widespread, apparently hunted down this order of wizards and killed them to the last, leaving none with the knowledge of how to produce those circles anymore.
As such, if the rumors are true and there do exist any of those circles in the world, they should be treated as irreplacable relics not to be disturbed lightly. Likewise, if any ghosts are reading our dear magazine, be aware that the spell of those circles is an incredibly complicated one and as such, it will take a solid ten seconds or even more for the spell to go off should it be triggered which will leave plenty of time for Death and his minions to get to you so even if they do exist, they’re likely not to be of that much help.
-The Order of Thieves-
Everyone knows those jolly and brave merchants who travel the roads of our world, offering services to the adventurers who keep our cities safe, right? Well, I heard the juiciest of rumors about them. Apparently, a large part of why they are able to set up shop in even the most dangerous of areas is thanks to being hardened assassins from a long forgotten guild from one of our world’s long lost golden ages. This order was once made up of thieves, assassins, bandits, and other such lowlives but in this dark age and the advent of Death’s rule, they’ve turned to honest business, using their skills to secure relics from the ruins Death cursed and then selling them to fellow adventurers for a fair price.
If the rumors are true, they may even have an ancient hideout out there, in the sewers of the great ruined city that was once our world’s capital. I personally doubt this is true as seriously, who would settle down right in Death’s basement? Regardless of if the rumor has any substance, it would go a long way to explain how those merchants manage to set up shop in all those unlikely places. It may also explain why there are bombs all over the place ; the rumors claim that the thieves place them in barrels, pots, and under torches in order to keep Death’s minions at bay. Of course, if they’re true, the merchants are probably formidable enough fighters that they don’t need such tricks to stay safe so who can say?
-The mystery of the Spirit blocks-
Death is fond of placing curses upon people and generally using people as toys, that we all know. He has made people disappear, stole property, and of course, cursed countless people into blood-craving zombies. But one of his most mysterious curses is that of the Spirit Block. Those blocks seem to be impossible to pass through and often hide an item of interest behind them, as if to taunt the world. Of course, there has to be a way past them as Death placed the item behind the blocks but so far, no one has succeeded in crossing the blocks.
In other places, people have found such blocks, except transparent, that people can cross without any difficulty despite obvious being meant to block the way to items. Why did Death put those blocks? He is probably laughing at us for scratching our heads at the mystery and most probably put them simply because it amused him. He has, after all, shown repeatedly how petty he is in his cruelty.
Hope you will find my little fan-made manual thing to be amusing. Of course, the information inside is made from what I understood of the game, so it may not actually be 100% accurate. Still, hope it will amuse people.
Apart from that, had another idea. This one is maybe a bit crazy but… basically, XCOM Enemy Unknown-style difficulty modifiers, which change game parameters and traits to cause changes both minor and major. Basically, ideas for little ‘modes’ that would give some variety to the game, some making the game harder, others making it easier, others having just weird effects that can go either way.
This one isn’t really a serious suggestion but just something fun I thought of.
Not Every Lizard is Equal: Player get a random modifier to starting health, attack, armor, and speed at the start of the game.
No Reincarnation Allowed: Every run is started from scratch (no persistence).
Bag of Spilling: Player equipment and inventory (except for keys and other key items) is reset at the start of every area.
Glancing Hits: If turned on, will cause all damage to be slightly randomized.
Moonless Night: If turned on, revert the level of darkness while alive to the deeper one from earlier versions of the game.
Mundane Ghost: Strip player of ethereal vision as a ghost (lighting and appearance of the world same as when alive).
Ultra Fast Lizard: Player speed is five times the percentage indicated in the inventory screen.
No Mere Fleshwound: The player character will start limping, speed dropping by 20% when health meter turn yellow and by 40% when it turns red.
Roguelike Classic Traps: Make most of the game’s traps (exceptions include exploding barrels, sewer pipes, and balls & chains) to be invisible until triggered.
Persistent Foes: Enemies respawn when rooms are revisited but do not give more loot when defeated again. Bosses, mid-bosses, Mimics, and beserk merchants do not respawn.
Indicriminate Traps: Foes are harmed by traps like the player is. Foes will not trigger traps though (such as shallow graves, exploding barrels, and arrow traps). Merchants are not harmed by their torches’ fireballs.
Friendly Fire: Enemy projectiles will damage any creature it hits, not just the player. Enemy projectiles will also trigger explosive barrels and release Face Huggers from their coccoons. Merchants will be harmed by their own axes and torch fireballs. Exceptions: Death will not damage himself with his scythes.
Weak-Willed: Player lack the necessary willpower to continue journey as a ghost if killed ; player has only one life and will not respawn as a ghost upon death. Resurrection circles removed from the game.
Marathon: Player start with 400 extra health but food and medecine items give 0 health.
Stalked by the Bell: If a player remain in a given area for more than 25 minutes, the player instantly dies.
Boom Stick: All projectiles explode on impact with walls and characters. Raga’s starting weapon is changed to the Boom Spear.
Nobody Expect the Barrel: Every barrel, urn, torch, and pot explode when destroyed.
Every Day’s the Last of your Life: All damage has a chance of being a critical hit (tripled damage). Royal Dagger critical hit chance stack with this modifier’s.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: In-dungeon prices for all items increase every time a player buy an item on a given run. Blueprints not affected by this.
Greed is Good: Drop rate for items and gold is inversely proportional to your health ; the lower your health, the better the drop rate.
Ranked Match: Collecting gold, defeating enemies, buying items, opening chests, and clearing areas raise a ‘rank’ value that increase the rate at which enemies fire projectiles, the speed at which they fly, and if the rank become high enough, raise the amount of projectiles fired by foes. Affect bosses as well. The rank value will decrease if the player take damage or dies.
Wow, this is seriously awesome! I love the idea of the manual being written as a familiar owner’s guide. We hadn’t intended to ship the game with a manual, but it’s a really cool idea that might increase the retro appeal. The descriptions seem to be pretty accurate to me, I especially like the reasoning about familiars snatching any item the walk over.
The alternate game modes sounds really fun. Invisible traps sound nasty! What about a 1 shot kill mode? That might be too hard, heh.
Thanks for all your great suggestions in this thread (and the other as well!).
I’m really glad you find it to be that awesome!
And if you think about making a manual, I think it would be a nice touch. Misc fact that is technically pointless but that I feel like sharing anyway: since a lot of older games had serious filesize concerns, they used the manuals to basically include all of the story elements that couldn’t reasonably be fit into the game. Things like character profiles, the backstory of locations, and other such things would be put into the manual (since they couldn’t make a dozen cutscenes and extra side-quests to explore it). Likewise, instead of in-game tutorials, most games actually had the basic instructions, movement techniques, and what not in the manuals.
Due to prevalence of cutscenes and the inclusion of in-game tutorials in modern gaming, manuals have become a bit redundant but I always found them to be a nice touch anyway. Not every part of a video game setting is relevent to the narrative and gameplay of a given game but may still be interesting to read about.
Regarding the mode things, I’m pleasantly surprised you like it so much.
Yes, the invisible traps is a nasty element. It’s actually a common element in most roguelikes, traps being invisible until you step on them and are struck by them. This might be part of why A Wizard’s Lizard is considered easy by the genre’s standarts ; all of the traps are visible all the time. I actually like that they’re visible (as I feel that this convention of the genre make for plenty of unfair deaths) but I thought that for players who miss that element in A Wizard’s Lizard, it might be a worthy addition. It could also be fun to see how far a player can make it with classic roguelike invisible traps littering the game world.
As for a Sudden Death mode, now that I think about it… it might actually be a nice idea. The game does include a ‘don’t take damage during the entire game’ achievement and turning on one-hit kills for the player may make it less frustrating (as you don’t have to commit suicide or manually end the run if you get hit).
More probably useless infos… but feeling like elaborating on my ‘all damage’ point in the ideas I wrote down, namely the “Glancing Hits” and “Every Day’s the Last of your Life” modifiers. By ‘all damage’, it means ALL damage, not just player attack damage. Every trap’s damage roll as well as enemy attack rolls are affected. The point with them is to add a bit of randomness to the game. With Glancing Hits, the random element is less pronounced ; on single hits, it doesn’t matter much but getting a bunch of bad rolls when triggering traps or catching enemy attacks can cause your health to plummet much faster than normal. On the other side, a bunch of lucky hits can down dangerous enemies before they would otherwise harm you. Every Day’s the Last of your Life is a more pronounced version of this as every damage roll has a chance of being a critical hit (tripled damage). This also really make the usual strategy of waiting before using resurrection circles and medecine much riskier since there is a random chance that any hit you’ll take will potentially do 30+ damage in one hit. However, since every weapon can now perform critical hits, not just the Royal Daggers, it can go both ways.
Likewise, the ‘Ranked Match’ one is basically a dynamic difficulty mode. The end result is that if you do really well, the game will get proportionally harder, with enemies firing more and faster projectiles to compensate. However, if you keep getting hit and dying without actually getting a game over and generally have a lot of bad luck, the rank value may actually drop below the default value and result in slower enemy projectiles.
Mostly, the ‘modes’ I thought of would mostly serve to add, modify, or remove elements of the game as to vary things up, some of them being based off classic roguelike elements (invisible traps, time limit, respawning foes), others seeking to make the game harder (only one life, prices increasing), and others just having all kinds of wacky effects (everything blows up spectacularly, enemies strike one another and stumble into traps, player speed raised to nigh-incontrollable level). I made them mostly for fun, thinking on what may be interesting or funny. I’m not sure how doable they might be, especially the ‘Ranked Match’ one ; varying on how the game is coded, they could either be a manner of a single extra function or require extensive, clunky, difficult edits.
On an unrelated note, I checked the humble bundle thing and it’s not really possible to send extra money without buying the game again. Do Lost Decade Games have a donation feature of sorts? I like the game and given you pretty much confirmed the game is in active development and will be receiving both bug fixes and outright new features, I’m really thinking of giving extra support for it. Buying the game multiple times seems like an awkward method of doing it.
Mew, I think you are my favorite person ever.
But you forgot that if your familiar is severely injured, it’s best to give it a cupcake :) (I think!)
You are correct that the cupcake/treat is the best healing item outside of medecine. I didn’t include it because I believe that the in-universe justification why it heals the most out of all items is emotional rather than nutritional ; Raga is a familiar and a pet and well, isn’t really fit for combat. His love and loyalty toward the wizard is the entire motivation for his quest and the justification behind the ‘alive/ghost’ mechanic.
To make a long story short… the cupcake heal Raga the most because it’s his favorite snack/reminds him of the wizard, giving him a surge of willpower that allow him to brave death a bit further.
Besides, the fan-manual is meant to be, well, a fan-manual ; it’s meant to be an introduction to the game and although it give the basic mechanics, background, and hints for the secrets, it isn’t meant to spell out everything. I didn’t include every type of food that Raga can eat (such as steaks or how cooked steaks heal more than raw ones).