December 14th-17th 2012 :: Theme: You are the Villain

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Conquering Oneself

by VDZ - 48 Hour Compo Entry

(Updated on December 18th, 2012; for judging, please use the original version (first three links).)

Conquering Oneself is a puzzle/RPG game where you have to defeat your most dreadful enemy: yourself.

After every fight, your used attacks are stored, and in the next battle, you have to fight a stronger version of yourself who uses the exact same attacks you used last battle. As you fight more battles, you grow stronger and more difficult to defeat, but so do 'you'.

Up/Down - Browse through menus
Enter - Select item in menus
F - Toggle fullscreen mode
PgUp/PgDown - Scroll through analysis/high score list

The high score list can also be viewed inside a browser:

Conquering Oneself is a Windows-only game using .NET 4 and XNA Framework 4. If you don't have those or are not sure, pick the large download. Alternatively, you can download them here:

.NET Framework 4:
XNA Framework 4:

This game is public domain. Feel free to do whatever you want with it.

Downloads and Links




VDZ says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 2:07am

In case anyone's interested, here's a link to the battle theme:

quill18 says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:26pm

I love your interpretation of the theme!

SmallDeadGuy says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:26pm

Awesome game. Becoming what you have just defeated and then need to defeat? Wow................... I wish my idea went that deep, philosophically at least. All I got was a generic tank shooter, and before that a generic RTS, and before that a generic top-down shooter

solidplasma says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:29pm

Absolutely brilliant. Like Simon mixed with an RPG.

Tobias Wehrum says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:06pm

A really really interesting concept. It's a pity I spoiled myself by reading the description, the twist would be so awesome otherwise. Also: Best use of the theme so far!

I'm kinda missing an overview over the next attacks while playing. It feels a bit like a memory game this way. (Although reading the comments, yes, it really combines RPG with Simon - maybe this was intended?)

Ooooh, the "strange spells" that he casts is *very* clever. Just when I thought I had figures this completely out. Which attack does it target?

It comes a little bit too late for my taste too, because until then it's very easy, just use alternately:
2. Attack / Counterattack [repeat]
3. Counterattack / Defend [repeat]
1. Defend / Attack [repeat]
4. Start with #1

The only flaw is this strategy is that it's dreadfully boring, but still - it's a dominant strategy which is hardly a good thing.

I love the music, and I'm listening to the theme on tindeck while I write this review :D

Out of the LD25 games I played so far, this is the one I enjoyed the most! Good job!

PS: Half a bonus point for fullscreen. Only half because it doesn't keep the aspect ratio!

Tobias Wehrum says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:08pm

PPS: What did you make the music with?

Tobias Wehrum says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:10pm

I just realized the time loop you incorporated in the story. Clever.

(Triple-Post, aah. I really dislike the absence of an edit button.)

VDZ says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 7:01pm

@Tobias Wehrum
The "strange spell" makes you forget the attack you used the most that battle. This is specifically to disrupt such "dominant strategies", as removal of your most used attacks forces you to use other attacks.

Fullscreen does not change the aspect ratio - your computer's graphics settings are just set to stretch fullscreen applications (any game, not just this one). If you find the correct setting (varies per video card, I think) and change it, you'll get the normal 4:3 ratio with black bars on the sides. (It does that on my PC. If you're interested in the technical side, I hate it when games set a high resolution and then upscale all graphics, so my game just goes to 800x600 fullscreen without any scaling. This way, if you for example take a screenshot, the result is normal 800x600 instead of some ridiculous resolution.)

The music was made in FL Studio 9.1, using Miroslav Philharmonik Orchestra, soundfonts from DSK HQ Instruments and ezdrummer. If you're interested in the FLP files, you can download them here:

Tobias Wehrum says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 7:30pm

Regarding the "strange spell": Cool, that's what I thought. Good thinking on your part, just a bit late in my opinion.

I just searched for a setting like that, but find none. From what I found, I think I can only decide between "centered" and "fullscreen". Can you make a screenshot of these options in your settings? I'd like to google for it.

(Why do you hate upscaling? How is 800x600 fullscreen different from setting a high resolution and upscaling graphics? In the latter one you could include letterboxing yourself, then it would work out of the box on any computer.)

I'll check out the FLP files, thanks!

VDZ says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 11:56pm

@Tobias Wehrum
For some reason, a lot of my Nvidia Control Panel options disappeared (seems to be a common bug) including that one, but it's supposed to be there for Nvidia cards. (The setting is called 'image scaling' or something.)

The reason I hate upscaling + pillarboxing is cases like this:
That's a 1680x1050 image (the resolution I was using at the time) of an 800x600 screen. Not only is the filesize hugely inflated (it can get twice as big; my current resolution of 1920x1080 makes it even worse), there are two black bars in the image and the picture as a whole is less sharp due to the scaling. Often the lower quality due to scaling is even visible while playing the game.

Tobias Wehrum says ...
Dec 18, 2012 @ 1:57am

I agree that it doesn't work well for screenshots, but most time I'm just playing a game - and I'd like it to fill my screen, with the correct aspect ratio, and without having to try to dig down my graphics card control panel to find some scaling options.

Note that I'm not trying to convert you to liking something here, I'm just saying that I think that games are a lot more enjoyable in fullscreen and that I couldn't do that with your game because I'm really sensitive to stretched graphics.

VDZ says ...
Dec 18, 2012 @ 8:00pm

@Tobias Wehrum
I just uploaded an updated version (fourth link at the top), which has a feature to change your aspect ratio to 16:9 or 16:10 (1280x720 and 1280x800; pillarboxing is possible but not mandatory). If you run into any issues with it (like things being drawn in the wrong places), please let me know.

Blodyavenger says ...
Dec 18, 2012 @ 8:55pm

I like the idea of fighting yourself like you are your own villain. Maybe the fight was a bit confusing but great and special game nonetheless. Well done :)

awppy says ...
Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:58pm

BADDIEMAN reporting in from the current top of the leaderboards (level 12 currently)

Holy wow, I'm seriously impressed with this. Music is great, graphics are...actually a bit underwhelming, the concept is brilliant, and the gameplay builds upon itself in such a brilliant way. The ability to only see the first ~16 commands makes things interesting, because I just finished a 45-round battle so the second 2/3 are a mystery to me.

I've got a few strategy tips for how to play. I'd say DON'T READ THIS UNLESS YOU'RE COMPLETELY STUMPED.

For the first few battles, focus on a strictly attack/counter-attack pattern. You shouldn't have any trouble until the boss starts casting A Strange Spell.

Ensure you have these abilities at all times (with the exception of the round after you lose your primary ability)

Counter Attack
Ghost Punch

I've been using those four primarily for a back and forth battle, which has lasted well so far, but I feel it's going to become a problem as battles get longer.

Make your first attack distinct. Use something you never use, like Defend, as your very first command. This acts as a flag to tell you when the boss' attack pattern has finished execution and is starting from the top again (for those of us too lazy to keep track of every attack)

I also like to take a screencap of the analysis for reference during battle because I can't be bothered to memorize things!

You can tell from the size of the comments that I like this.

VDZ says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 12:37am

To everyone who's downloaded and played it so far: Please redownload the game. I fixed a minor bug that had some major implications on the game balance. (The Demon Lord's max MP was always at 100, regardless of your max MP.)

You can see all of the Demon Lord's attack pattern. Just press PageUp/PageDown when viewing his pattern in the main menu.

ddionisio says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 5:37am

I really like the concept, most unique I've seen. The first few battles, I ended up just going between defend/counter/attack. Took a while to mix things up. Great music and theme!

awppy says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 6:45am

VDZ: would this be the Download (normal) or the Post-LD (v2) link?

soupy says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 1:35pm

Yo I played this game until I went to sleep last night and then got up this morning and immediately started playing it again. In terms of its level of addictive fun, it's on par with any commercial game. I love the simple graphics and appreciate that you were willing to risk people complaining about that in order to give the gameplay incredible depth. I agree that the game is easy, but for me that doesn't make it that much less fun. There's something really engaging about analyzing the upcoming attack pattern and trying to figure out the optimal way to deal with it. My only big piece of constructive criticism is in the naming conventions. When you back in time to become the Demon Lord, shouldn't your actions in the battle be attributed to the Demon Lord and the AI's actions attributed to [player name]? I found this confusing the first time I looped back.

VDZ says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 2:36pm

Either of them. The LD version was updated to v1a, v2 was updated to v2a. Both fix the bug, v2a also has extra features the LD version doesn't have (but were already included in v2).

You're always playing from the perspective of the hero, out to slay the Demon Lord not knowing he is you from the future. If you were playing the Demon Lord after traveling back, you'd just be able to kill the hero and call it a day since the Orb of Time is safe, the only hero that rose to the task is dead, and there will be no other time-traveling Demon Lord to take your place. (The Demon Lord is also stronger than the player due to having had years more of experience.)

Xgor says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:07pm

Really cool idea, it starts really meh before you undestand how it works but after that it's great.

Dec 21, 2012 @ 5:27am

Too bad your game is Windows-only, it really looked like a great one but sadly, I'm on Linux and couldn't even make it run in Wine. Good luck though!

Alex Rose says ...
Dec 21, 2012 @ 6:44am

Hey, I'm just gonna go ahead and rate this now that I've beaten the high score and then see how far I get. xD

This wins LD25. This is THE BEST game I've played by a MILE.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for rpgs with awesome battle systems. Regardless, this is so AMAZINGLY AWESOME.

I could play this all day.

5 starring the shit out of this. You definitely have to make this into a full game and release it. Like.. seriously. I've played much worse RPGs on Steam.

Alex Rose says ...
Dec 21, 2012 @ 8:58am

Yeah, I eventually got to level 18 but I relied on getting Ghostpunch or Counter back in my roster. I probably could've carried on going if I'd made loads of "null" rounds like casting reality over and over when it wasn't necessary so I could still attack next time, but I ended up with only a 30 damage magic attack against normal attacks.

To be honest, the battles were dragging on a bit by the end. I don't know what his HP was but mine was over 4000.

Really amazing game, again. Thanks a lot for making it, I really enjoyed it.

Norgg says ...
Dec 21, 2012 @ 5:18pm

Nice! Kind of ends up being an interesting take on a memory game. The mix of skills worked really well, and I like how they end up balancing themselves out.

Madball says ...
Dec 29, 2012 @ 7:13pm

It's amazing it took you 48 hours! You made everything! It was a very clever plot, and variety of abilities is an unusual thing for a compo.

But from the plot side i think it would be better if a demon lord helped you once, so the next time you would lose to yourself. Wait, I meant you would defeat yourself... Nevermind.

Doublecaster says ...
Dec 29, 2012 @ 11:07pm

My plan was to rate more than three games today, but then I played this for +two hours. This is my favorite game here so far. My longest fight was the 6th one with 196 turns of only counterstriking. I planned to use spells against his counterstrikes and the two misclicked attacks. Then I noticed the mana stat :D. Anyway great job with this game!

impulse9 says ...
Dec 30, 2012 @ 4:41pm

Great concept. I quite enjoyed playing this game. My only complaint is the graphics *could* have been a bit better. This game really deserves decent graphics. Music was quite awesome as well. Great job!

Neonlare says ...
Jan 4, 2013 @ 8:25am

Seemed a lil unstable but that might just be me, loved the interpretation of the theme with this~

awppy says ...
Jan 9, 2013 @ 12:36am

Glad to see your results ended up quite good! Again, congratulations on this entry.

jfroco says ...
Jan 10, 2013 @ 12:16am

I didn't have the opportunity, or should I say honour, to rate this game befores results came up. But it's never tool late to say that you are GENIUS... Congratulations this is one of the best games I've seen in last LD's. EXCELLENT!!!

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