Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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Land of the Dead

by Mathieu Muller - Jam Entry

Post-jam version

- Adds a title screen and the asked retry menu when losing
- Fixes the fireball bug (see below).

Post-jam version 2

- Adds some sounds and ambience, thunder and lighnings effects. Just for fun :).
- Fixes the NPC floating in sky bug.


You are a ghost, returning from Hell to avenge yourself. Possess your enemies, consume their soul and return their powers against themselves! To win, locate the exit of the level. But do not spend too much time as a ghost, or you'll end up back in Hell again!



This game has been made with MonoGame 3.5 and Framework .Net 4.5. If you have XNA 4.0 or MonoGame 3.5 installed on your computer, the game should run out of the box.

You can find the XNA 4.0 redistributable here:


The game requires the following packages to be installed:

- libopenal-dev
- mono-runtime

For Ubuntu/Debian based Linux systems, you can run:

sudo apt-get install libopenal-dev mono-runtime


- Arrows to move, space or arrow up to jump.
- Left shift to consume a human (in ghost form) or to use the possessed human's power (fireball for the mage).
- Left control to possess an human.

How to play

As a ghost, you are invulnerable to enemy fireballs, but it's costly to stay in a ghost form. You'll need to possess an human to be able to move around without loosing your substance. To gain a temporary life boost, consume the soul of your enemy by staying over them and hit the consume key.

About the game development

I immediately thought about possessing enemies when I heard that the theme was "Shapeshift". I wanted to add a lot of classes: soldier with a shield, skeletons that arent consumable, exorcists. I even tought about destructible items that could only be destroyed by the mage's fireball.

But as always, I end up with almost no feature finished because I spend a lot of time testing gameplays. The first version of the game should have been a puzzle game, where using the right possessed human in the right place would allow the player to progress through the level. But the level design was too hard to create, so I ended up with an action platformer game.

Notes / Known bugs

The game is in a very unfinished state. I worked alone, and due to a complex family life, I couldn't get the time to add neither audio, nor a start screen. I'll try to add a post-jam version that will be more finished.

A bug also exists where sometime, a fireball comes out of nowhere and shoot at the player.

Other bug found: When a X52/X55 joystick is plugged in, the game crashes without warning. This is due to a bug in the OpenTK library. Solution: disconnect the joystick before testing the game.

Downloads and Links




UgiWithAKnife says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:03pm

It's a very fun concept, I like the fact that there are barriers for ghost form. Besides the bugs (damn spontaneous fireball!) and the lack of a restart option it's great. A post jam version would definitely be worth playing! Good job.

Jungle says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:08pm

I like the retro graphs, the idea is very cool, fits theme very well. Needs a key or a button to restart the game. Congrats!!

zetsumi says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 8:21am

Nice work with XNA !! I like from scratch

Apr 24, 2016 @ 2:22pm

I like the idea behind it, but found it challenging to not run out of time. Graphics really remind me of ghouls n ghosts (which is a good thing). Definitely need a restart key, although fortunately the executable is small enough that restarting the exe is fast. Nice job.

Tooichi says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 2:27pm

Graphics were nicely done.

Apr 24, 2016 @ 2:43pm


You have the maximize the possession time. When you have a new host available (switching from the old man to the mage, for example), unpossess it (ctrl key again), consume its soul, and possess the mage or the other old man.

Restart is available in the post-jam version.

Ghouls'n'ghosts and Shadow of the Beast were my primary inspiration for the graphics.

ProjectX593 says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:23pm

Found a bug where dead enemies will still shoot even after they've disappeared. Makes the game near impossible to beat, but otherwise very cool.

Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:31pm

Use the post-jam version, the bug has been fixed.

Strike says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 11:00am

Sadly this game crashes on start on my pc (Windows 7) and I have no USB device plugged.

jdmazz says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 11:14am

Felt like it could be a rogue-like at some point. Good start.

Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:32pm


- Have you used the jam or post jam version?
- Do you have XNA 4.0 Refresh or Monogame 3.5 installed?
- Do you have OpenAL installed?

Freank says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 6:50pm

Hi, nice game ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #35.
Can you add your game on ? (it's free)
So we can include also your game in the video ;)
p.s. write #LDJAM in the game's description

blob says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 8:30pm

That wizard still shooting fire after you consume him really breaks the game :S
Cool concept otherwise.

jcsirron says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 8:19pm

This is a refreshing concept. I wasn't quite sure what to do before I got the first game over screen, though. Having a restart option would have been nice, but some things get left on the cutting room floor in such a short time frame. Great work!

Apr 28, 2016 @ 8:28pm


ConorOD says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 9:14pm

Nice concept and lovely graphics. Quite tough though!

Rock Eaters says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 6:06am

nice oldschool graphsim

Big Cow says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 10:13pm

What a great idea. I love the dynamic of possessing and using the abilities of the thing you possess made me think back to old 3d game Messiah. Nice interpretation of the theme and nice little platformer. Well done -R.

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