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Darkstone is a video game that you've probably never heard of. A role-playing game for the PC and PlayStation, it was created by the French software developer Delphine and bears passing resemblance to Diablo.

In the land of Uma, a corrupt monk named Draak turned against Kaliba, the goddess of light, and cast his shadow over the land. The goddess shed seven crystal tears, which were joined together to form a relic called the Time Orb. With this, the other monks of Kaliba were able to stop Draak from destroying the world. To protect it from Draak's followers, the Time Orb was then split up into the seven tears, known as the crystals of virtue, and these were hidden throughout the four lands of Uma. They can only be collected and reassembled by one of the Pure of Heart.

Now Draak is regaining strength, thanks to a foul creation called the Darkstone. This monstrosity is slowly draining the life energy from the people of Uma, and as they grow weaker, Draak grows stronger. As one of the Pure of Heart, it is your task to acquire the seven crystals of virtue in order to reforge the Time Orb and destroy him forever. To do this, you must visit seven dungeons throughout the four lands of Uma and solve the quests affiliated with those dungeons, then make your way to Draak's lair (the eighth dungeon) and defeat him in battle. There are more than twenty such quests of varying difficulty, randomly selected when a game is started.

Darkstone offers standard RPG classes, four male and four female. The males are Warriors, Wizards, Assassins and Monks; the corresponding females are Amazons, Sorceresses, Thieves and Priestesses. The PC version of the game has an optional online multi-player mode and gives the player the option of controlling two characters at one time, with the ability to switch between them at will. The Playstation version, however, limits control to one player character at a time. The multiple possible quests and player characters give the game a high replay value.

Tropes used in Darkstone include:

  • Ancient Artifact: The Astral Hand, a powerful crystal that Draak used to acquire his powers and allows him to transform into a dragon.
  • Anti-Poopsocking: Done with a bit of a twist; play as long as you want, but don't leave the game open and go to sleep or something. You'll return to find your character aged about 20 years and dead of starvation.
  • Asteroids Monster: Giant bats and the Giant Worm.
  • Bald of Awesome: The Monk class has no hair.
  • Big Bad: Draak
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant wasps, spiders, and scorpions.
  • The Blacksmith: Gunther, in the town, who buys, sells, and repairs equipment for you.
    • Gunther is a gullible mark. When you're playing a character that can learn the Trade skill, he'll reduce his prices on repairs and increase what he pays you for items you don't need - even at level one of the skill. The deal gets better as you increase the skill level. Trade makes it pointless to learn Repair. Master Elmeric and Perry the Publican also drop their prices when you know Trade. It has no effect on Master Dalsin's skill class prices.
  • Blessed with Suck: Lucky you! You found a Potion of Surprise! Guess what? It might reduce your age by as much as ten years, making you younger and stronger! Or it might completely screw up your stats and reduce your skills by as much as five points. And there's no way to know without drinking it.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Amazon is blonde; the Sorceress has black hair while the Thief has brown; the Priestess has red hair.
  • Bonus Boss: Three of them, including The Evil Garth (a Skeleton Captain), Buzbal the Furious (a Ratman Chief), and Nosferatu the Vampire. If you kill them for a sidequest, you can get a tidy sum of cash.
  • Broken Bridge: One of the more complicated quests involves a literal one.
  • But Thou Must!: Averted — although the residents of the starting village do present you with additional side quests, you are not required to fulfill any of them. However, as they all entail either recovering a lost artifact or destroying a monster who happens to hang out in one of the local dungeons, fulfilling the extra quests tends to be incidental to the plot anyway.
  • Cartography Sidequest: Somewhat averted; each time you enter one of the four lands of Uma for the first time, your map will only display the land as you visit it. Walking around and filling out the entire map doesn't yield any particular reward, but if you eliminate all of the enemies in that land, they stay dead and you don't have to fight them again. The same is true of each dungeon level.
    • The random above ground monsters will respawn. The event-driven ones that are part of quests do not. A small number of random monsters in the dungeons will respawn when you re-visit a level. Same as with above ground, the monsters in special rooms like the ones with four jail cells do not respawn.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: No matter which character you choose to play, a conversation with the guards at the town gate will include a mention of them not having seen you since before your parents were killed.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Time Orb; the Darkstone is sort of the opposite.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: As long as you've been saving fairly regularly, that is. It's even less than a slap if you play with two characters and the survivor carries a Scroll of Life (or is a Priestess).
    • Or your characters have learned the Resurrection spell.
  • Deflector Shields: The Reflections spell, but it only works on ranged attacks.
  • Dem Bones: Animated skeletons are wandering all over the place.
  • Deus Ex Machina: Literally, in one quest; a monk has lost his eyesight and his faith. You must restore both, with the help of a minor deity.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Smashing crates, vases, and barrels in the dungeons can yield lots of gold, equipment, and magic books and scrolls. Unfortunately, some of them are booby-trapped and will explode.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Time Orb, which was split into the Seven Crystals.
  • Doomed Hometown: Somewhat averted. The town in which you begin the game is the only completely safe place in all of Uma, and can be revisited at any time. However, when the Darkstone makes its appearance, the residents are affected.
  • Door to Before: When you complete any one of the four-level dungeons, you have to make your way back through the entire thing to the exit. This is, however, made easier by using the game's list of places visited in the dungeon; you just click on "Level Exit" and your avatar will promptly run the shortest route through the level to the stairs leading up.
    • Avert this by having one character plant a Magic Door above ground outside the dungeon entrance then always use the other character's Magic Door to return to the village. The trick here is to always enter the door generated by the other character. Ie, you're playing a Warrior and a Theif. Drop the Theives door outside the entrance then always have the Warrior generate Doors underground but take control of the Theif to enter the door at either end. Entering a Door with the character that created it results in the destruction of the Door. Not good when you're relying on Magic Door scrolls before you've found or bought the spellbook.
  • Easter Egg: Dropping a gold piece into the bowl in front of Audren, the black-garbed woman in the middle of town, will activate a bonus sequence in which she sings a song about the titular Darkstone.
  • Electric Jellyfish: Medusa enemies, which shoot magic missiles.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: This occurs later in the game, if you're a Wizard.
  • Everything's Better with Chickens: There are chickens in the starting village, from which (as noted below) the Thief can steal eggs.
    • The dungeon in the quest involving the Mirror of Lies has a room full of surprisingly hostile chickens. One has to wonder if this isn't a Shout-Out to The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Exploding Barrels: If they're booby-trapped. Characters with a sufficiently high stealth skill can identify the booby-trapped items.
    • Some classes can learn Perception, which permanently highlights all traps in red, but only when you're controlling that character. There are also time limited spells and skills which will identify traps. The Theif (and IIRC one or two others) can even learn to defuse the traps. It's easier to just identify them then stand back and pop them with Telekinesis.
  • Fairest of Them All: In one of the quests, a witch's desire to be this leads her to curse a nearby village. The player character must perform a reverse Glamour Failure to trick her into undoing it.
  • The Fair Folk: One of the quests is performed at the behest of a fairy, who travels with you in your pocket to rescue her friend the unicorn. Another fairy can be seen performing "the song of the snakes" so your character can learn it.
  • Fortune Teller: Madame Irma, in the town, is implied to be this (she has a crystal ball on her table), but you never take advantage of her prophetic skills. She helps you by curing you when you're poisoned and identifying unidentified trinkets you find in the dungeons.
    • For a hefty price she also removes Cursed Objects from your character. Note that she does not remove the curse from the object, so don't be dumb and equip it again. Sell it to Gunther.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Fountain of Youth appears as part of a quest, but it had dried out long ago.
    • Elixirs of Youth reverse your age by five years, which is the only way to remedy stat atrophy because of old age.
    • As you progress through the game, Master Elmeric eventually has Elixirs of Youth to purchase. Without Trade the price is 100,000 gold. The higher the difficulty level, the sooner he has the Elixirs.
  • Giant Spider: One of the enemies in the game. It's noteworthy that some of them spit fireballs.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Happens in a couple of the quests.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Part of one of the longest and most convoluted quests involves finding a new worshiper for a fading deity.
  • Golem: Of fire and ice variety, the latter of which throws lightning.
    • Learn the Invocation spell or use Invocation scrolls and you can summon a Fire Golem. In some cases you can drop one into a room you haven't opened the door to. One caveat, due to monster professional courtesy these Golems will not attack other monsters with fire attacks. You'll just have to open the door and wade into the room full of fire spitting spiders on your own.
  • Gotta Catch Em All: The seven crystals.
  • Grid Inventory: And a small one at that, forcing you into an Inventory Management Puzzle. The best way to get around your limited carrying space is to leave items (particularly the seven crystals) inside one of the uninhabited houses in town, where they won't be disturbed.
  • Healing Hands: The Priestess class has this ability and can even revive a secondary character who has been killed.
  • Healing Shiv: Some of the weapons and items found in the dungeons are unidentified; you should never wield or wear anything without having it first identified by Madame Irma, because it can poison you or lower your stats.
    • Learn the Identification skill, DIY and save money. The really good stuff makes your character say "Woah!".
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Time Orb.
  • Adventure Narrator Syndrome: Each character has a distinct voice, in which they will inform you that they are getting hungry, identify what they are examining, or — when close to death — cry out, "Help! Please help!"
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Pure of Heart are incapable of being seduced by evil.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Pretty nearly every quest item you could possibly need will be kept in one of these down in the dungeons; most of the few exceptions are given to you by other characters.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Lots.
  • Irrelevant Importance: You can never throw anything away, even if it's no longer needed; if you drop it on the ground, it will stay there forever.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Somehow, one of the Pure of Heart became an Assassin. Make of it what you will.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The Thief. She can even steal eggs from the chickens in town as a way of practicing that skill.
  • Level Editor: Although not included, players can download an official one which allows you to invent your own quests. The unofficial forums have many members with experience in the use of the editor.
  • Lizard Folk: Draak's minions include these. One quest even has you destroy their unhatched offspring.
  • Loading Screen: Seen whenever you ascend or descend to the next level of a dungeon.
  • Meaningful Name: Draak means dragon in Dutch.
  • Mission From Goddess: The basic plot.
  • Mook Maker: Several.
    • One dungeon is home to a hive of giant wasps, which have nests that spawn young wasps that shoot magic missiles. There is also the Wasp Queen, which spawns fully-grown wasps that shoot fireballs.
    • Some enemies are able to summon mooks, like Giant Bats and Dragon-Draak.
  • No Stat Atrophy: Inverted — your character can and will age, and once you hit a certain age your stats begin to decrease. If you're lucky enough to find a Potion of Youth, it will help, but these are rare.
  • One-Winged Angel: Draak's dragon transformation.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Draak
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Draak was a man who became a dragon; however, in one of the quests, he does put in an appearance in his human form.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Sorceress class comes with the handy ability to change into a werewolf once the proper spell is mastered. Full moon not required.
  • Plot Coupon: The Crystals of Virtue.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The game has several quest-specific items, such as the magnifying glass, which are useless once that quest is completed.
  • Random Event: The game runs on this trope, given that you don't know at the beginning which quests or miniquests will be presented to you.
  • Redheaded Hero: The Priestess has red hair.
  • Sand Worm: The Giant Worm, a sub-boss that appears in a certain dungeon.
  • Santa Claus: A special bonus in one of the highest-level dungeons has you rescue Santa, who presents you with a miniature copy of Darkstone II (which was never made). Yes, really.
    • Santa also appears as a monster in some dungeons. Instead of gifts the Santas give you fireballs, at great speed, with deadly intent.
  • Saving the World: Kind of the point.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: You can pick one or two of the six potential characters to be your avatar(s) in the game. Where do the other four go? No one knows.
  • Shock and Awe: The Spark and Thunder spells. There are also Ice Golems that, somehow, throw lightning.
  • Shout-Out: The guards at the gate of the town where the game begins are named Bill and Murray.
  • Squishy Wizard: Both played straight and averted. The Wizard class starts with the lowest strength and the weakest weapons; however, the acquisition of rings and elixirs which enhance attributes can result in a Wizard who is just as strong and weapons-proficient as the other classes.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: One quest has you regain an artifact for a character who is quite obviously a vampire. An evil vampire. The sort of character you should not be helping. But you have no choice.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: One quest requires you to find the Celestial Sword, the only weapon capable of performing the necessary deed. It's not a very good weapon otherwise.
    • There are plenty of quests that have special pieces of gear that are essential to finishing it, but are otherwise useless afterwards.
  • Taken for Granite: The Stone spell.
    • In one quest, there is a witch who was so obsessed with her looks that she swore to turn any woman to stone if they dared to be more beautiful than her.
    • This is what the Darkstone does to people after they've been drained of their core energy.
  • Teleport Spam: Enemy Wizards prefer to teleport instead of walk. If you open a door to a room with Wizards, they'll immediately teleport over and start throwing fireballs.
    • This is also the preferred tactic of the bonus boss Nosferatu.
  • Training Dummy: A section of the starting town is dedicated to allowing the player to develop proficiency with their chosen weapon.
  • Vendor Trash: The only thing you can do with most of that armor, weaponry, and various other dungeon loot is to sell it to the blacksmith (armor and weapons) or Master Elmeric the wizard (rings, amulets, spellbooks).
  • Wallet of Holding: A living one in the form of Larsac the Usurer. Instead of wasting valuable space in the limited inventory, you can hand all your money over to Larsac, who will take care of your debts with the blacksmith and other merchants in town.
    • In addition, any money your character stores in the bank can be accessed from other games if you play as that character, making it work as a sort of off-shore bank account.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: Once the Darkstone shows up, the country is covered by a never-ending rainstorm.
  • Who Forgot the Lights?: Some of the dungeons are very dark, meaning that unless you have a torch or a Light spell, you're only going to be able to see the character's immediate surroundings.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: One of the quests involves collecting a series of pipes to play "the song of the snakes" in order to lull a huge horde of them into a trance so you can collect the crystal. Once you have it, however, get ready to run.
    • There is one dungeon where you rescue someone's wife from a nest of spiders, which he is terribly afraid of.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Your character will inform you. "I'm getting hungry."
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Type One. Part of Draak's master plan. In order to become godlike, he needs to extract the core energy of the country's inhabitants by using the Darkstone.