Legacy of the Uplifters is a retro-themed roguelike dungeon crawler by Dark Tower Productions, a video game company based in the Sarken Hegemony. The game is a science fiction roguelike where the player character descends over 50 levels of a dangerous, randomly-generated dungeon, killing monsters and collecting loot in order to discover the secrets of the mysterious Uplifters, who built the dungeon.
A starship captained by the the player character lands on a previously-uncharted planet beyond the edge of the Known Galaxy. On the planet is a mysterious abandoned base, consistent with the building techniques of the mysterious precursors called the Uplifters. The player character decides to lead an expedition into the base, but as soon as he or she enters, the door shuts behind him/her and he/she is locked in. The captain must descend into the depths of the base to not only discover its secrets, but find the key that will let them escape the base alive. But the captain is not alone, for the planet's wildlife has managed to enter the base, feral from lack of food or sunlight. Previous explorers wander the catacombs, driven mad from isolation. And deeper still, the Uplifters' horrific genetic experiments await any explorer foolish enough to stand against them...
Legacy of the Uplifters uses a turn-based strategy RPG system, similar to games like Nethack and Dungeon Crawl. Players choose a race (representing races from all over the Known Galaxy) and a starting skillset (soldier, infiltrator, machinist, or diplomat) and send their character into the dungeon. Skills are raised by performing the requisite action (for instance, weapon skills are raised by wielding weapons in combat). Other characters, while usually enemies to be killed, can sometimes be negotiated with (using Charisma) to avoid combat, or indimidated to flee from battle. Most items are either found laying on the ground or being held by enemies, but there are also merchants to haggle with for useful items.
Enemies are not the only danger to the player. Traps can bet set off by walking on tiles, pits can open up that drop a player to the next floor, and the player can starve to death by not eating food found in the dungeon.
As characters complete combat encounters and explore the map, they gain experience to put into various stats. However, if a character runs out of hit points in combat, if they do not have a way to resurrect themselves, they are slain permanently and the player must restart from the beginning, losing all progress they have made. Then their score (tallied up by dungeon depth, stats, kills, item worth, and race/class difficulty modifier) is tallied and placed on a high score table.
- Amalah: Strong, tail attack, can see sources of heat on the minimap, can use mounted weaponry, cannot wear regular armor
- Ashkathi: More agile, can swim and breathe underwater, can see in the dark, can eat rotting food, much weaker and less tough, weapon skills rise slowly
- Heiwan: Higher CHA, can fly, vegetarian, weapon skills rise slowly
- He-Tai: Fast, resistant to fire and cold damage, can use mounted weaponry, quadrupedal, cannot wear regular armor
- Human: Faster EXP gain and faster skill learning rate
- Jiptohr: Claw attack, fast, can use mounted weaponry, carnivore, cannot wear regular armor
- Kakkon: Claw attack, can fly, requires more food
- Knotarian: Headbutt attack, stronger, vegetarian, cannot wear small armor
- Kuhneebo: Lower store prices, can see sources of heat on the minimap, can wield a second weapon, cannot wear normal armor or read datapads
- Nisi: Higher stealth, claw attack, more agile, carnivore, more susceptible to berserk, lower constitution
- Norb: Faster skill learning rate, immune to mental effects, lower charisma, more susceptible to electrical damage
- Raijalresh: Extremely high defense, slow speed, cannot wear armor
- Rakashan: Fast, higher stealth, cannot wear large armor, requires more food
- Rhizon construct: Does not need to eat, tougher, regenerates health (more quickly in direct sunlight), more susceptible to mind control and fire damage, lower charisma
- Sarken: Science-based skills rise quicker, immune to poison, less constitution, cannot change armor
- Sirian: Stronger, has more affinity with the Uplifter tech, weapon skills rise faster, gets hungry faster, cannot wear small armor
- Snailian: Resistant to damage, starts with a dapper hat that raises charisma, can regenerate health, cannot wear armor
- Theran: Higher stealth, tail attack, can see sources of heat on the minimap, more susceptible to cold damage
- Volun: Very strong and tough, can eat metal objects in addition to food, cannot wear armor or headgear (except for masks and goggles), cannot swim at all
- Zehir: Extremely high defense, regenerates health slowly, does not need to eat, cannot swim at all, susceptible to fire damage
Legacy of the Uplifters was a critical and commercial failure in the Sarken Hegemony, mainly tearing apart the game due to its retro-inspired visuals and music. Another point of contention was the lack of other certain races in the game (such as the gleep, the Triple Alliance races, and the Bolaemian Bureaucracy races). Dark Tower Productions acknowledged this and plans to address it in a future patch.
Despite this, the game has sold extremely well in the foreign market, especially in the Sirian Union. One sirian reviewer noted the difficulty, describing it as "beguilingly fiendish, but never unfairly so". It praised the abstraction of each playable race's qualities, pointing out that they were finely tuned to ensure that (at least theoretically) any given build would be viable. Another noted positive was the 8 bit art style, which the review dubbed "distinctive, particularly in an age of hyper-realistic textures and powerful physics engines". The one critique that the review made was that several elements were inaccurate, although it conceded that it was necessary for gameplay purposes.
The Fight for Jotun Edit
Among the Savages, the game did not receive major popularity until a nisi named Dini Angelbite using the internet handle "Ex#()R#$$" (approximate translation) released a game overhaul mod titled "Legacy of the Uplifters: The Fight for Jotun". The mod, taking place during the sirian & Uplifter occupation of Jotun during the Uplifter vassalage, replaces the dungeon delve of the original with an overworld map of the planet Jotun, dotted with separate, smaller dungeons in the form of sirian outposts and bases. Having only male and female nisi playable at first, then later adding in gleep playable characters, the objective of the mod is to free the planet from the occupation. As the player starts with stone age equipment and no levels in any skills related to modern technology, and has to clear an entire planet's worth of sirians and Uplifter drones to win, the mod has since gained the reputation of being impossible to beat. (A fact that was proven wrong by a Norb player.) Despite this, the popularity of the mod, and by extension the base game in order to run the mod, skyrocketed among the Savages video game culture.
The mod's sudden popularity caught the attention of Dark Tower Productions, who, after receiving Angelbite's blessing, announced a spinoff title called "Legacy of Jotun" using The Fight for Jotun's gameplay style. The game is expected to launch in 3557.