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Dungeon Keeper 2
Dancing Skeletons

It's good to be bad...

What can I say? I love this game! As with most games, its time comes and then is gone... you can only play a game so much before you've done everything you can with it, or care to. However, I must say that it has been one of my favorites.

When I first learned of the soon-to-be-released Dungeon Keeper 1, I instantly reacted "now THAT's the game for me!". I've always enjoyed playing evil characters, and being the dungeon master in role-playing games. I had also played Populous, the first major Bullfrog release, and fell in love with the concept of "god-games". The strange thing is that despite my excitement about Dungeon Keeper, I never got around to buying a copy. It came and went, and next thing I knew, Dungeon Keeper 2 was being released, and I still didn't get around to buying it, until one day I found it for half price. :)

I was instantly addicted. The interface is elegant, the graphics are appealing, and the gameplay is fun, on top of having a wonderful concept.

Dancing Skeletons
(click for larger view)
But I also have to say I enjoy all the little details as well. For instance, any game that can have a horde of dancing skeletons wins a lot of points in my book. :) In fact, I've enjoyed playing the "my pet dungeon" mode and taking on the challenge of building an entirely undead force (that means -no portals- and capturing a "good guy" to use as slave-labor in the workshop to build my doors and traps).

My undead-only dungeons are rather amusing. It's actually not as hard to do as one might expect. In fact, I'm curious as to what the limitations are on how large your army can be, since in one simulation I managed to get over 270 skeletons before crashing the game. You can download the savegame -here- (unzip it into the savegame directory that DK2 uses, which is usually "c:\program files\bullfrog\dungeon keeper 2\data\save"). Be careful downloading and running this savegame though- it was made in version 1.6 of the game, so make sure you've patched to that version first... also, it tends to crash the game on my computer, due to the immense size of my army. Upon loading it, the first thing you'll see is the undead army obliterating wave after wave of heroes just as they enter the underworld. :)

Dancing Skeletons
(click for larger view)
Basically, to make an all-undead dungeon, you need to start with the "masterpiece" map in the "my pet dungeon" mode. This map starts you off with all the spells and room-types available right away, and you can easily avoid claiming the portals. The first order of business is to find the infinite gold-supply to the south, and build a prison. Then, using the hero toolbox, bring in some heroes one at a time and kill them yourself using your spells. The imps drag them off to the prison to become skeletons. Build a training room, library, graveyard, and lair so that you can train your minions, and also start getting some happy useful vampires as well. Soon you'll no longer have to kill the heroes yourself. (To the left is an image of a vampire lair, which only needs to be a moderate size since they're all that need a lair in this dungeon). Once you have your army going, it's a good idea to build a workshop with a small lair and hatchery attached to it, and then also a small torture chamber so that you can convert a giant or dwarf to your cause, and force them to make doors and traps in the workshop.

Below are some screenshots. Click on the images for larger views.

In this first shot, we see the scene as it appears soon after loading the savegame I mentioned above. Notice the population list at the bottom of the screen (zoomed-in view below).

This is a view of the same battle from a skeleton's point of view. You can barely see the pile of good-guy bodies in the hero gate from this perspective. They get hacked down rather quickly with this many vampires and level 10 skeletons standing a few feet away, and with an impressive array of traps firing upon them as well.
A good casino is important for keeping the troops happy. This shot is from the undead dungeon I made after the one featured above. I layed out the dungeon a little more nicely this time, and didn't conquer the enemy fortress, for fear of overloading the game again. :)

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