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Dragon’s Dogma’s goblin fights have nothing on Dwarf Fortress

Dragon’s Dogma 2 may be about getting your literal heart ripped out by a giant dragon, but that’s kid stuff compared to the body horror involved in the next big update for Dwarf Fortress. While the visuals are still decidedly lo-fi, Dwarf Fortress’s forthcoming Adventure Mode update includes goblin fights that are packed with grisly details.

Adventure Mode is the next major update for Dwarf Fortress, and it adds a roguelike RPG game to Dwarf Fortress’ main colony management mode. In it, you take control of a single character and can explore the world, even visiting the ruins of fortresses you’ve built yourself, many years after their (inevitable) collapse.

The worlds generated in Dwarf Fortress are typically filled with all kinds of monsters, from were-wombats to forgotten beasts, and so exploring it naturally involves fighting – something dwarves can get pretty good at, it turns out.

Now, lots of players are currently making their way through the lands of Vermund and Battahl in Dragon’s Dogma 2, and journeying across that world also involves fighting some of the same creatures found in Dwarf Fortress. These include goblins, which Dragon’s Dogma 2 players have found can be hurled off cliffs or at larger monsters during fights. It’s great stuff.

However, whatever awful stuff you’ve done to goblins in Dragon’s Dogma 2, it’s nothing compared to what happens in your average Dwarf Fortress Adventure Mode brawl. Developer Tarn Adams recently showed this off in a batch of “bonus footage” posted to YouTube. In it, Tarn’s party – a dwarf leader along with two followers, a human and a wombatman – encounter some hostile, heavily armed goblins.

What Adams is showing off in the video is the automatic attack feature, which allows you to press an arrow key toward an adjacent enemy (or simply click on them) to initiate an attack. Dwarf Fortress will then select a type of attack for you, as well as an enemy body part to target, and then calculate the results.

As you can see in the above video, Adams’ dwarf’s first auto-attack is a left-handed punch to a tall goblin maceman’s left foot, which – incredibly – inflicts a bruised bone and torn ligaments on the goblin’s ankle and knocks the goblin to the ground. Meanwhile, a goblin spearman charges forward, but Adams’ dwarf leaps out of the way and responds by stabbing the spearman in the leg.

Coming under fire from a goblin crossbowman, Adams directs his dwarf to leap toward them to close the distance. With his next auto-attack, the dwarf bites the goblin’s leg, “tearing the fat and bruising the bone through the opossum leather trousers”.

From there, things rapidly get gruesome. The human fighter is stabbed through the foot, but Adams’ dwarf comes to the rescue, disemboweling the attacker and then grabbing a length of spilled guts and hurling them at another one of the surviving goblin fighters. The wombatman, very sensibly, spends the fight cowering behind a nearby tree.

Adams wraps up the fight by manually grabbing a goblin warlord by the head and gouging out its eyes one by one. It’s a good time to think about how in some cases, simple graphics are better.

Adventure Mode launches April 17. Check out our list of the best games like Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress, as well as our list of the best city-building games, for other ways to create your own worlds as you play.

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