Powerhoof! “Demon Lord” Update is Live!...

The first of many Crawl content updates!

Well, we’ve finally found time from all the emails and accounting and actually made some game content again!


I’ve been madly animating new monsters and implementing items and tweaking balance for existing stuff- here is a basic overview of the bigger changes:

  • new monsters
  • a new monster chain
  • new gods
  • new items
  • new traps
  • standing targeting mechanic for bows
  • jump in/out of blobs
  • reworked potion system
  • blood amassed by leveling heroes after level 10
  • about 1,000,000 balance tweaks and little fixes 🙂

Thanks heaps for all the encouragement and fun discussions guys, now I can’t wait to get stuck into the next update!



    The awesomeness is through the roof again :-3 .

    • cheers dude! this is our first update, so still a bit of a learning process- trying to figure out the process and how much time to put into everything, finding a balance between things being very tested vs not keeping everyone waiting 🙂

      looks like it went off well, with only a few little issues for us to clean up!

  2. Phantaeon

    Cool. I have a few questions though. What does the Ghost Girl’s special do? And what do the living tomes do? Also are there any ideas for new bosses? Kourok is getting tiresome after learning to dodge bubbles.

    Possible boss idea : The 3 kings.

    Fight starts with 3 statues ontop of pillars that have pits around them.. The three statues are the statues of the Gluttonous King ( Leftmost statue ), The Cruel King ( The Rightmost statue ) and the Mad King ( Middle statue ). The kings are old and rotten golems ( But not huge ones ) and they have glowing markings that glow in the players colours. Once entered they cannot be left. The 3 kings wait for themselves to charge ( Up to 3 stages, The longer they wait the higher the charge is ) And then summon enemies from the Left side of the room ( Gluttonous king ), Right side of the room ( Cruel King and bottom of the room ( Mad King ). The monster they summon depends on thier charge and what king they are. The Cruel king summons with 1 Charge ( C1) a black spider, with 2 charge ( C2 ) a Scorpion and with C3 a Demon Lord. The gluttonous king spawns C1 Witch, C2 Masked Wizard C3 Necromancer and the mad king spawns the Beholder line with respective charges ( I think you found a pattern ). Anyways when there are no monsters in the room ( Except the kings themselves ) bridges to the kings will appear. The Kings themselves spawn the monsters with thier special. Thier regular attacks are: Gluttonous Rapidfire, Mad Laser, Cruel Flamethrower ( As thier respective traps ). The kings also cannot move. When one king dies 3 slimes of that player will spawn in the room and the platforms move slightly farther away from the main battlefield. When monsters are summoned and the player is still on the bridge/king platform a Chain or gust of wind or whatever will pull the player back to the battlefield.

    Its a Bit long but what do you think? For boss choosing possibly predecided or percent chance. I can see why this would not be added yet simply as focus on gameplay is more important right now and possible scripting limitations. But I hope you remember the idea.

    Still cool work with the update though guys. – Phantaeon

    • awesome idea dude 😀 i have a few plans to make bosses which are 3 distinct creatures each with complimentary moves where they need to support/buff/heal eachother for best result- the multi-stage summoning is a cool idea and i love the theme with these 3 decaying old kings 🙂 will definitely keep these ideas in mind when we’re working on this type of boss!

      PS- hopefully we can get a new boss in for the next update- i’m getting sick of kourok too and i want more variety 😀

      • A cool idea for this would be to have each boss monster only able to heal one of the other two so there is like a triangle of healing. This also prevents having constant healing easily accessible

      • Dominik

        I can’t wait for more bosses to become available. Would the bosses you fight be random or would we be able to pick which boss we fight before starting the round?

  3. head in clouds

    I have also thought that three king or knight thing. But is so hard to make enjoyable and not so op.
    I just played trough all unlockables and noticed that life steel ring thing is too weak. I realy like idea that you can die so easily, but that life steel isn’t large enough. So please make it usable

    • cheers dude, we will be keeping an eye on this (and a million other details hehe) and do some balance tweaks when we get a chance! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Crawl receives loaded first update on Steam Early Access | Nerdwood

  5. I love the update! The little girl is so fun! I put down the healing rune and just ran around the hero, stepping on it every so often and slowly healing. and when i built up momentum and health I would slingshot the fire. I need my own laptop because I can only currently play on my friend’s, but no big deal.

    Lots of fun! Love the art Barney, and thanks so much to you Dave for putting it all together! You guys rock! Keep up the good work!

    • thanks so much! we’re still waiting and watching and listening to make sure things haven’t become unbalanced by our changes, and it’s awesome to see people having fun with these new monsters- we tried to make sure they had some very new play experiences to offer, which is fun but also very risky!

  6. Just played a couple of rounds with my bro, love this update. Maybe add customizable characters? Anyway love the update, especially the new deity features.

    • absolutely i would love to add character customization! it is one of the big downfalls with animation-heavy 2d games, as any customization (other than color changes) need their own new animation set, and with well over 1000 frames for the hero and counting, this can be a crazy big task! still not an impossible task, but something i’m more likely to look at near the end of production, once i’ve stopped adding animations to the hero set so i know exactly the work-load required!

      • Yeah, sounds like a lot of work. Cant wait until that update comes out! (If it does)

  7. I’m really liking this new update. Just a question, what exactly does the Demon Lord’s face look like? I dunno this just got me kind of curious and I started drawing a sketch of him but I’m not sure how to draw the face? Eheheh, but anyways, great as usual. Love the designs

  8. Customization sounds funny. How about hats and other shit in chests

    • Yeah, that would work well. Also cuz chests would be a lot more valuable

      • we do have a few little tricks we might try to attempt some cosmetic items without needing to redraw the animations, but these are all waiting to be tested- maybe in a future update! 🙂

        i do want more “loot” and ways of finding it in the environment, but the dsigns for this system haven’t quite come together yet!

  9. I played this newest patch with the demon lord, green zombie creator, and the witch. I got the green zombie and ended up amassing at least forty zombies or so. It was already difficult because we were playing with four people, however the new balances made it easier. For example the extra lifebar that you get. But everyone was complaining on how over powered the zombie lord is. Just because of his speed, that the green stuff regenerates the zombies, and how big of a zombie army you can create.

    The longer he stays in the room the more powerful he can get, because there is no limit to the zombies. I managed to kill two of my friends in a row and reclaim my humanity. Are you going to change anything about him/Have you had complaints like this? Or are my friends just being babies. Thanks.

    • yeah, we are carefully watching the strategies with these new guys and will do a patch to tweak them and try to fix unnecessarily over-powered tactics once we have a good grasp on how they are being used by people and what the problems are that arise 🙂 for the time being, the hero just really has to chase him down quick hehe

      • I think the only problem with the necromancer is his health. It would be fine if he could be focused and killed in a short period of time. As it is he can take too much damage in addition to the other abilities he brings to a fight. This is just my opinion after a night of playing with my pals.

        We all loved the game. I haven’t had so much fun in a long time!

  10. OMG! The update is real!! So excited!!

  11. Really Nice Update!!!!
    Only a mad Suggestion:
    – why not to add a 4th option on “Evolve your Monster” thay allow the player to improve the blobs?


    []- summon +1 (when summoning, summon additional blob)
    []- Increased Damage (Summoned Blobs deal + Damage)
    []- Increased HP (Summoned Blobs have + % HP)

    this may add more flanking tactics 😀

    • I know that they did add an item that lets you hold an extra slime. I’m not sure if there are any other bonuses, though.

    • we have discussed this, and we do have lots of plans to expand the blob system- ways to spawn different blobs with different attacks, change their damage, speed, rate of fire, and ways to get less or more blobs, but sadly that has to wait for another update as we have soo much other stuff to work on first!

      i can’t wait til we get to it tho, the blobs are my favorite thing in the game i think 🙂 they’re so silly!

  12. sometimes while fighting the character or monster will randomly gain full health, i don’t know if it is a bug or not but please fix it. otherwise great job!

    • this is part of the new health-bar sysstem we put in to try and stop the bars from getting so long- they don’t actually gain health, they get their first bar used up, then it switches in their second bar, but we are learning that the system ends up being confusing in the heat of battle, so we will likely rework it in our next update to be easier to read!

      • Try using multiple shades of colors before the bar fully empties. For example, an orange for the second bar and yellow for the fabled third bar of health!

  13. This update is incredimazing!!
    …Also how you just KEEP googling after the first hit. XD

    • haha thanks, that’s my favourite part of the animation actually 🙂 dave just really wants to google those hats!

  14. Hey thanks guys really love crawl. Kinda becoming obsessed with it 🙁

    Anyhow noticed a few glitches and I’d like to help out as a beta gamer as much as possible.

    Dodge roll. After a while the roll (for first player only so far”red”)
    Stops moving forward and just rolls in place. Aswell hyper dash it won’t move the player. As if they are next to a wall when they use the special.

    Flame traps. It seems if they are spawned too close to the top border of the map. The flame hits the wall and the trap becomes useless.

    Slow movement. Kinda funny glitch. If you walk yourself behind a box or obstacle it slows you down right? Well if you “push” walk the obstacle to the next room it disappears but your movement speed will stay the same until you stop moving and start again.

    Berserker. Some how after warping to a shop while in Berserker. It can fade away but your movement speed stays super fast. When you use it again it wares off normally.

    Blob saves. Saving blobs as a ghost. After the player telephones to the shop often you glob Blob savers will disappear until you summon a monster and die. Then they will restore back to however many you saved.

    Sweet the game is awesome by the way. If there is a better place to report bugs let me know haha

    • Yeah, the flame trap one has been rather annoying to me too!!
      Only ever happened a few times, but still…

      • yep, this one will be super easy to fix! just keeps slipping though the cracks but i notice it too and every time i think “gotta fix that trap” then i forget!

    • Niblette

      Hey, adding a glitch here, the centaure (horse guy, dunno how to say it) with the axe, not the bow, his special won’t work, the animaton and sound plays, but he stay at the same spot. BTW i have windows 8.1 (i know…it sucks real bad).

      • this souns a lot like the rolling an hyper dash.

      • yep thanks dude, getting quite a few reports of this- seems to be the same thing happening to the hero dash animations- hopefully we can track it down and get it fixed up in the next patch- i hope it isn’t happening too often!

    • hey thanks for reporting dude, this is all very useful for us! hopefully we can get a lot of this straightened out in a little patch some time soon!

      • hey guys another kinda crazy kinda awesome glitch. don’t know how but the necromancer can sometimes get an “infinity zombie” wherein they cannot stop being healed. once i was able to kill one with a fast enough attack. but the other two times i couldnt kill them.

    • Ah yes, I remember I found that Beserker speed glitch too.

  15. Great Update!

    I had an idea for future bosses. They can be based off of the deities, and the one that you face depends the deity of the first player to go through the portal.

    • haha cool idea- we definitely have plans to bring the dieties into the world a lot more and have them be a much more important part of gameplay, but we haven’t finalized exact plans for how to get this working just yet!

  16. Niblette

    Hey, since we’re in beta, posting my thoughts. Flash already posted glitches, so i’ll be speaking of small tweaks.

    The necromancer seems too powerfull for 40 vitae, don’t get me wrong, he’s fun and fine but IMO, 50 vitae would be better.

    The demon lord, love the art, but his damages seems a bit weak,

    the scorpion, this one is perfect, finally a good evolution of the spider that makes sens. Just, is it normal that if you shoot your poison, and it hits the human, it will stop ?

    • Phantaeon

      With stop do you mean slow movement? Because that happens to me too and I think that’s suposed to happen because I thinks its supposed to be some kinda sticky grease or something.

      • Niblette

        No,by stop i mean stop, if the yellow ball hits the player, then it disappear, i understand that if the yellow ball hits the human, then it can’t go further, but maybe it should explode or something, doing a big yellow splash, spraying yellow goo all over as a reward for hitting the human.

        • i will be adding a big yellow exploding splash effect when it hits, just to make it feel better 🙂

    • cheers dude! yep, the necromancer will probably be nurfed a little when we patch 🙂

      as for the demon lord, his grab attack is the most damaging attack of any monster in the game 🙂 and his regular slam-down attack can do extremely high damage too (higher than anything except the troll rock) but you need to hit them right in the center of the shockwave- there is a damage zone right on his fist, and then 2 shockwaves- if you hit with all 3 it does very high damage, but if your aim is off and you hit with only 1 or 2 shockwaves it does progressively less- it’s just a matter of getting used to aiming that attack which can be tricky 🙂

      and for the scorpion- the projectile being destroyed on hitting the hero was intentional, as it was too overpowered if you cuold shoot a trail of goo through him, or hit him to drop it at his feet- i prefer if the hero only gets stuck in the goo from his own actions trying to chase the scorpion, then it feels more fair when he gets killed hehe 🙂

  17. That idea that there is deity as boss or different boss for different players,but because you can’

  18. el-zach

    Hey – I really like your game and am glad that you’re updating it.
    I play the game with friends and occasionally alone to get some more unlocks – what I noticed about the patch is that the deity that grants lifesteal on start is crazy overpowered.
    I mean just compare that to starting with a bow… that’s like 90gold vs 20gold (vs 8 gold for +1 Luck).

    Anyways – this is awesome keep up the great work.

  19. Phantaeon

    Ever thought of the idea of different chapters having different elements? I kind of explained this more in a post on the Steam forum discussion named “Adding variety to dungeons” so I’m not gonna repeat myself.

    – Phantaeon

  20. I play this game nonstop, and would like throw out an idea for a new environment. A Mayan or Aztec dungeon, with a jungle vibe.
    Poison dart traps, waterfalls, falling boulders, snakes, etc.

  21. Spencer

    This is a great game, really enjoyable in a group, however the necromancer monster is crazy strong, he is so much fun, but really really strong.

  22. This game is fantastic — keep up the great work!

  23. Kingkind

    I just bought this three days ago and I have not put it down since!!! This is truely a godsend amongst videogames, thank you Power Hoof for blessing us with artistic beauty! I’m really glad you guys take opinions from the fans, so I was wondering if you’re going to add more to the “humanity lost” situation when a character dies? Losing only the name makes me think you guys wanted to apply something yet but didn’t know what. I think each name should have a highscore and kills attached to it so when you die and lose it… you can feel your pride breaking as your friends laugh at you as lose your bragging rights.

    I think if you do die like that you are given one chance to fight for your salvation with a clever minigame. I also think you should add round options before you begin a game. Say like what lvl you have to be when you face Kourok, what traps are allowed, and a time limit if you want one.

    Keep up the uhh-mazing work and I can’t wait for every little piece you add to this masterpiece!

  24. I really want online play to be a thing!

    • Forget this! I just read the online multiplayer FAQ. Should’ve done that first!

  25. Just adding to the conversation of this amazing game. (Amazing it’s this amazing and still in Beta/Early Release :D) Anyways, I would like to see more long range weapons, Like for example a boomerang, Or perhaps ninja stars or even a old style gunpowder gun. Also some more close range weapons. I just want more weapons, lol. How about a Mace, or a door? Yes a door, You should totally be able to buy a door at the shop, All my dreams would come true. And more types of rooms or new surroundings in the rooms. Sorry for making this long, But thank you if you read all of it!

    • Oh yeah also, How about adding some of the monsters that were in the game before the Demon Lord update? I’ve heard some stuff about them, they look really cool :3

  26. Dominik

    I would like to report a bug that I’ve encountered. So far sometimes when I use the crossbow to shoot blobs while I’m behind a tribal shield the arrow goes right through them. I don’t if it is the same with the bow as well but it can get really annoying. I also have a suggestion for the ghost girl. I feel that having the ghost girl go from herself to witch is kind of bland in my opinion. I would like to see the ghost girl have kind of her own healer and/or grudge (very evil japanese ghost) branch that she can go down. Btw I love this game…even though no one at my house will play it with me.

  27. Damn you no uptade on this month ;(

  28. I’ve been playing this game a whole lot with my friends, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the scorpion is by far the most powerful creature. In the right hands it can kite the hero with absolutely no risk, and every time it gets summoned the scorpion ends up walking out of the room as the hero. We’ve even stopped upgrading it to its final firm, just because the kiting potential is so strong.

    A lot of the guys in my group don’t want to play anymore just because this creature is so frustrating. Any tips on how to beat this thing one-on-one without a bow? Or are there plans to nerf it next patch?

    Great game, guys. Can’t wait to see some new bosses and what you come up with!

    • yep, we’ve done a lot of rebalancing of the new batch based on feedback, so hopefully the next update has their power a bit better balanced 🙂

  29. Prepare for confusing english but you can hit scorpion when it comes near. Web/goo doesn’t stop your strikeing so with sacriface(ending up to web) you can hit it. If you can understand(probably so), then you have to practice

    • yep, we intentionally made the scorpion goo get cancelled when it hits the player- otherwise it would be too easy/simple- it requires a more interesting technique this way instead of just “shoot the player” i think 🙂

  30. Fojewro

    This is my game of the year. But I have comments:

    Sometimes, gold from a chest can be hit through walls into an adjacent room. I think I’ve seen this most with the Tears magic book.

    If you teleport into the shop, the ghosts’ slimes don’t follow them around anymore. The slimes hang out in a fixed position.

    High numbers such as 20+ level, and 200+ vitae have overfull hboxes (i.e. they spill out to the left or right).

    Most weapons aren’t unbalanced, but some are significantly worse than others. I’ve listed some of these less-useful weapons in order of first = least sucky:
    * warcleaver, if you use only the first two swings. If you use the last swing, it becomes significantly worse because of the windup. maybe remove the two starting strikes, and speedup the charging for the huge strike, and give it interrupt or something
    * sunstrike. It fixes you in place for a while and you’ll get hit, especially by Kourok
    * ranged weapons. The chargeup and cooldown makes them hard to use.

    Advanced dodge roll is useless compared to its cost, and especially compared to hyperdash. Perhaps its invincibility frames should last longer than those of hyperdash (and be clearly shown, perhaps by a flashing character). Or maybe it could cost 10 gold.

    It would be interesting if 0 vitality (from too many potions) did something special. Maybe something fun could happen? (such as a 3x modifier on range, agility, and damage, since you’re now a one-hit wonder). Going for 0 vitality would be a risky gamble.

    It would be nice to be able to see your current stats.

    2 player is not that fun; rooms feel empty. Maybe there could be a 2v2 mode? Then if there were two players, each could have a bot on his team. The ghost on your team could use monsters too. And levelups would occur for both players on a team simultaneously.

    Kourok doesn’t seem like a “lovecraftian horror” because he looks more comical than anything. He’s stuck in place and can’t move out of the water. His skin flaps around, and he makes derpy facial expressions, and his tentacles flop around. So when “Kourok is unleashed” it doesn’t seem like a big issue.

    • hey thanks 🙂 some of this is in line with what we’re already thinking, and some is good new info, so you might see some relevant changes in the next update 🙂

      As for Kourok not looking very Lovecraftian, I know and that always annoys me! I tried to make him less cartoony but it’s just the way I draw hehe 🙂

      Anyway, thanks for the feedback and support dude!

      • Fojewro

        I think the art style you use in the game is very flexible and expressive, so that Kourok looking a bit derpy is not a product of style but rather of specifics. The fundamental obstacle is that the monster should seem devastating, but the player ought to be able to defeat it, which is kind of a contradiction. But clever design can help make a monster more fearsome:
        * if the monster has attacks that are good against many people but not against a single person
        For specific examples, imagine a monster that can turn friends against you (by mind control, contagious infection, vampires, or whatever). Or perhaps one that can mass summon zombies over a huge area, but walls hold back the off-screen zombies from reaching you, and eventually break once too many zombies arrive. Both of these abilities are crazy powerful in the real world, but handleable in the context of the player-monster battle. Large-area, slow attacks try to accomplish the same effect, but have more of a “big creature” feel than “nightmare fuel” feel.

        * if the monster has situational disadvantages, such as magical shackles holding it in place to limit its power, or that stun it when it tries to use a move that’s too amazing for the human player to handle
        This is usually nice because it’s possible to show the monster throwing off these shackles and flexing its true power.

        These are just technical demonstrations of how one might approach the problem in the future, not suggestions, although you can use whatever you want. I’m sure you can craft better concepts than my five-minute ideas.