Ludum Dare 33 — August 21st-24th, 2015 — Theme: You are the Monster

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13th Labor

by 6DownStudios - Jam Entry

How many heads can you grow before nightfall?
Play the role of the Lernaean Hydra, last seen during the 2nd of Hercules' 12 Labors. Hercules defeated the Hydra with the help of his nephew Iolaus, who, as Herc sliced off the beast's many heads, cauterized each neck so they couldn't split and regrow. The Hydra's final head was immortal, so Hercules rolled a giant boulder onto the writhing serpent, trapping it for all eternity...

...until the remains of that chthonic creature wriggled out from 'neath that great rock 'twixt Lerna and Elaius.

Hercules, still in the service of King Eurystheus, is tasked once more with the monster's permanent removal. Even though Herc was never given credit for slaying the Hydra (since he failed to do so on his own), King Eurystheus has told the demigod that duty calls, dubbing his new quest "the 13th Labor", and telling Herc to go ahead and bring along his nephew again.
Unfortunately for Hercules, this last labor is an impossible one; Iolaus, despite his willingness to fight alongside his superhuman uncle, is useless in this battle, his bravery no match for the swift approaching Jam Deadline. Walking and wielding his brand are the only things this incomplete character can do.

As a result of this missing mechanic, the Hydras' wounds are in no danger of cauterization; the beast can easily rack up heads by playing offensively, with no thought towards tactics or timing.

If cauterizing *had* made it into the game, the player would need to balance offense and defense, presenting only one or two heads at a time to be chopped, then backing off and protecting the wounds from Iolaus' brand while replacement heads are spawning.

Other features for a post-jam (if one gets made) include knocking-out Herc once you have enough heads to contend with his stamina regen, and stealing the lollipop from the little Grecian spectator.

LEFT/RIGHT to move body.

Z/X/C to move heads (with Left/Up/Down to attack)
NOTE: a new key (A/S/D/Q/W/E/...etc) will be assigned to each head you gain (max 27)


Thanks for playing!

Downloads and Links




Hjalte500 says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 9:34am

Looks really cool but the dude gets his health back instantly making it impossible to kill him. Dont know whats up with that.

Manou says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 9:35am

Very good graphics and animations.

6DownStudios says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 10:36pm

@Manou: Thanks!

@Hjalte: Since Hercules is a demigod, you can't actually kill him. His stamina regenerates very quickly, you need far more than the 3 starting heads to hit him fast enough to empty the bar, which doesn't do anything since the Herc-knockout feature didn't make it in. Thus, the objective is just to rack up as many heads as you can before nightfall.

I've updated the game page with details so it's (hopefully) less confusing. Thanks for your comments!

Shaw says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 3:58am

Graphics are fantastic, some of the best I've seen pixel-wise in the jam thus far. The Concept is brilliant and the controls work far better than I initially thought. Sounds are spot on, music is nice and the parallax background is great. Shame that it didn't get finished because it could be alot of fun! Controls were a real standout for me, I've been playing alot of games and there are some where you control alot less limbs and it's far harder to control. Excellent graphics, excellent music and excellent controls. Well done.

dancingmad says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 7:17pm

I can't play the game, all I have is a blank screen :(

6DownStudios says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 10:48pm

@Shaw: Glad you liked it, and thanks very much for the detailed feedback! I'll probably do a post-jam after I've finished with a couple other projects I'm working on.

@dancingmad: The same thing has happened to me a few times, not sure what it is, but refreshing the page worked for me.
If refreshing doesn't work for you, I'd love to know what OS/browser you're using. If I can't find a fix I can send you the .swf file or host it elsewhere. Thanks for letting me know!

Lancelot Gao says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 1:32am

try safari and chrome´╝îno run. great graphics!

monetai says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 10:52am

Great pixel art and cool but difficult game!

Fantasieleben says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 12:08pm

Quite an interesting idea, would be cool to play it Iolaus working harder! On my european keyboard z and y are changed.

Arnage says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 12:48pm

This definitely needs a post compo version with the final elements described implemented. What's there is all nicely polished and the concept is quite good, but the gameplay sorely needed those missing features.

lemer says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 2:30pm

Awesome art. Good work there.

Skyfish says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 3:32pm

Very nice graphics, i love the concept, shame you didn't finish it. it is easy to control and that is nice.

fraanns says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 8:03pm

Great graphics, great animations, but it is really hard to kill him because he gets his health back almost instandly.

6DownStudios says ...
Aug 28, 2015 @ 1:54am

@Lancelot: Much appreciated!

@monetai: Thank you!

@Fantasieleben: Thanks! I'd forgotten all about other keyboard layouts, very valuable feedback!

@Arnage: Why thank you! I'm glad players were able to see where I was going with this even though it's more of a sketch than a game!

@lemer: Thanks!

@Skyfish: 'Preciate it!

@fraans: Thank you! See the 3rd comment regarding Herc's health.

FistBumpGames says ...
Aug 29, 2015 @ 1:24pm

Visually amazing and very appealing mood - shame you didn´t get to finish the game and gameplay.

6DownStudios says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 3:11am

@FistBumpGames: Thank you very much!

jrhee says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 12:20pm

Wonderful art! Love the palette, animation and character designs. Would love to see the features in the description make it into a later iteration of the game!

crucknuk says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 1:20pm

Art style is really good! Can't wait for a post jam version with the mechanism you describe

Yrr says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 3:03pm

Great idea, great graphics!

HThomson says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 7:37pm

Pixel art and animations are really fantastic, I also dig how the snake heads stay on the floor once they've been chopped off.

It's a shame that you couldn't include the final features like the cauterisation and the knock outs since without them there isn't really any challenge or goal. Which is a real shame since I feel like once these features are added the game will provide some interesting gameplay, dodging Hercules and timing your lunges to avoid Iolaus and his brand sound like the sort of things that'd be easy to pick up but tricky to master. Anyway, ambitious entry, hope you finish it!

Daukan says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 7:42am

It was a bit hard to understand the goal. Why can't you kill Iolaus for example? Nice graphics though.

6DownStudios says ...
Sep 6, 2015 @ 5:27am

@jrhee: Thank you!
@crucknuk: 'Preciate it!
@Yrr: Thanks!

@HThomson: Thanks very much! All this positive feedback has made up my mind to do the post-jam with those features!

@Daukan: Since Iolaus is a mortal, he's prepped for the battle by covering himself in armour too thick for the Hydra's venomous fangs to pierce, so the Hydra focuses on attacking Herc. In the post-jam, I might make it so you can shove Iolaus backwards, maybe even knock him down, but he'll likely remain unkillable. On the other hand, maybe I'll give him a weak spot (neck?) that lets you connect with a bite...something to think about, thanks for the comment!

frogcheese says ...
Sep 7, 2015 @ 6:09pm

Really great graphics and nice sound. I like the idea too - too bad that you didn't have time to finish Iolaus. It seems Herc and the Hydra are doomed to battle until the end of time. Actually, that sounds like it could make for a good myth now that I think about it?

I hope you do make a post-jam version of this, even if you decide not to add that many features. I just really like the idea of playing as the Hydra.

Sep 9, 2015 @ 9:33am

really liked it. Didn't read the description at first and laughed when the heads started re-growing. Couldn't kill the humans though, seemed like my bites weren't hurting them.

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