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Will you tempt Fate?
FATE is a Diablo clone developed and published by WildTangent. From its humble beginnings as a single game, FATE has since expanded into a series encompassing two different storylines across four games, including the original.
- The first game of the series, simply titled FATE, was released in 2005, and follows an adventurer and his pet who had arrived at the town of Grove, a resting spot for travellers heading beyond, into the Dungeon Gate. The adventurer's arrival coincides with the rise of a monster residing deep within the dungeon who threatens to envelop the town with its evil influence. The adventurer is thus given a task to travel down the dungeon and slay this monster.
- FATE: Undiscovered Realms, released in 2007, continued the story of this adventurer who, after slaying the evil within the dungeon on the outskirts of the town of Grove, is hailed as a hero by the town's inhabitants. During the celebrations, an old man arrives, speaking of undiscovered realms and a temple located below the dungeon, containing the Book of Fate that he claims will save the town of Grove from a new evil. The adventurer escorts the old man to the temple, where it is revealed that the Book of Fate kept these realms safe from evil. The old man promptly reveals that he was this new evil and steals the book after knocking the adventurer unconscious. The old man's attack creates portals to two other realms, and both are now in danger of being overwhelmed by the influence of this new evil, Kaos. The adventurer is then tasked with recovering this book by defeating two of Kaos' minions before confronting Kaos itself and retrieving the Book of Fate.
- In FATE: The Traitor Soul, released in 2009, the adventurer, now called the Champion of Grove, retrieves the Book of Fate and returns it to where it originally belongs. Not too long after this, the Champion meets a Traveller who claims that within the Temple of Fate lies a Chamber of Trials to prove one's worth. The Champion decides to follow the Traveller back to the Temple of Fate and venture into the Chamber of Trials.
- The fourth game of the series, FATE: The Cursed King, was released on March 30, 2011, and takes place in a separate realm. As a citizen of the city of Ektaban, the Player Character grew up hearing great tales of good and evil, particularly the heroic deeds of the Champion of Grove, and resolves to eventually do great deeds worthy of the Champion's attention. One day, while adventuring just outside the city, the player enters a small cave and finds a chest. Unable to make out the writings on it, the player opens the chest, only to realise that it was the tomb of an evil necromancer, T'Kala, and that by opening the chest, T'Kala's evil spirit was unleashed upon Ektaban. The player is unable to warn the King of Ektaban fast enough, and the city is destroyed. Miraculously alive, Kurosh, the Beggar King of Ektaban, now bestows upon the player the task of ridding the city of T'Kala's influence.
Story aside, the basic mechanics of the game has remained the same throughout the series. The Player Character arrives in town to undertake a quest to defeat a dangerous monster down at the bottom of the nearby dungeon ... aaaaand that's it, retire and pass down a heirloom to a descendant or go dungeon-plunging. Point-and-click hack-and-slash gameplay, Socketed Equipment created by the Random Number God, so on and so forth. It wasn't really anything new, but it did refine the formula by adding some new features.
First off, your character gets a pet. Its main function is to multiply the size of your Grid Inventory, but it also serves as a convenient Meat Shield (it cannot die, though it will flee battle for a while if it bottoms out on Hit Points) and can be sent back to town with its load of Vendor Trash, which it will (somehow) sell to local merchants before reporting back with the spoils. This pet could also be fed various types of fish to transmogrify it into various types of enemy monsters for varying amounts of time. Fishes are obtained by fishing in water bodies positioned below clouds of fireflies, though the activity itself mostly consists of staring at the screen until an exclamation mark pops up, and then clicking a button with the mouse button on time. Yields include fish, new gear, or sometimes nothing at all. All equipment is randomly generated, except for a few, rarely-appearing "Artifact" weapons with pre-determined stats. These can become outclassed by the weapons given enhancements through the Random Number God, but they still sell for a ton. That's important in a game where vendors buy stuff for one-eighth of their selling price.
The game runs on a Point Build System, rather than expecting you to choose a Splat at the beginning of the game. By putting stat points into Strength, Dexterity, Magic and Vitality, you can customize and hybridize your character into anything you desire. The game also takes Tech Points to its obvious extreme by giving you an entire second layer of levels, Renown, to gain experience points, called "Fame", in. Having higher Renown levels not only unlocks the use of some gear (e.g. "Requires Renown of Distinguished"), but gives you extra points to put into various skills & aptitudes, such as Critical Strike, Dual-Wielding or the three flavors of magic (Attack, Defense, and Charm, with the latter encompassing Summon Magic). Fame points are primarily gained by defeating boss characters and by handling Side Quests for Non Player Characters, but there are also minstrels you can pay to praise your name, instantly raising you to the next Renown level. This takes a ton of money, but—as the game itself points out—you are essentially purchasing skill points.
Finally, the game has an interesting handle on the ending. While you're given a specific goal of getting down to a certain dungeon level and defeating a specific boss monster, you still have a choice after you accomplish this. You can retire your adventurer and then start a new quest using his or her descendent and picking one piece of equipment to pass on to them, or continue journeying down the dungeon. The games are capable of randomly generating up to 2,147,483,647 levels per dungeon.
With each new game in the series comes new features and equipment. Undiscovered Realms gave the player the ability to import their characters from the first game and introduced two new towns, each with their own dungeons, with the defeat of Kaos and retrieval of the Book of Fate only possible once these two dungeons are purged of their evil influences. The Traitor Soul introduced a Character Class System by giving the player the option to start off new games as an individual from another species, added an additional dungeon, brought back the town of Grove and its dungeon, removed the player's level cap and brought in Real Time Weapon Change. The Cursed King introduces an NPC party system and online features, allowing players to trade items and connect to each other through Facebook.
The FATE series provides examples of:
- A Boy and His X: Better summarised as "a [gender][species] and their [creature]", especially with later games allowing you to pick the species of your character and pet.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Once you rid Ektaban of T'Kala's influence, Kurosh the Beggar King regains his throne ... and crowns you as a way of thanks.
- Big Bad: A monster between dungeon level 41 to 50 in the original. Undiscovered Realms and The Traitor Soul gives us Kaos, and in The Cursed King, T'Kala is this.
- Breath Weapon: The Basilisk and its fire counterpart, the Salamander, release sound or fire waves from their mouths as one of their two attacks.
- Cap: In the first two games, your character and pet can only gain experience up to Level 99. From the third game onwards, the level cap has been removed.
- Cast From Hit Points: The enchanter will sometimes curse an equipment to either drain your health slowly over time or drain your health each time you hit an enemy.
- Character Class System: From The Traitor Soul onwards, the player can choose from a selection of species to play as upon character creation. Each species has its own list of advantages and, on rare occasions, trade-offs. Playing as a human character, for instance, will give an automatic 5% Magic bonus and five skill points each in Staff and Spell Casting skills, whereas playing as a Shadow Elf will grant a 5% Dexterity bonus, 5% movement speed bonus and five skill points each in Sword, Bow & Crossbow and Dual-Wielding skills. The choice of character also determines your character's starting weapon and spell. As examples, Shadow Elf characters are given a bow and Haste spell at the beginning, whereas Cogger characters begin the game with a sword and Spectral Armor spell.
- Chest Monster: The Mimic masquerades as a Large Chest until you walk right up to it, and Cursed Swords may occasionally emerge from any chest that the player opens. Players who can spot the difference in size between a Mimic and a real Large Chest can blow its disguise from afar by using a ranged attack. Befitting this trope, a Mimic can cause serious trouble on its own for the inexperienced player in earlier parts of the game because it is immune to all forms of elemental magic and attacks with a devastating bite. Cursed Swords can be found more often in treasure chests of any size and are also immune to magic attacks, but they are also much weaker than Mimics.
- Continuing Is Painful: When the player character dies, they have four options: give up some experience and fame to continue, lose some gold and get teleported, drop all gold and get teleported, or quit and try from the last save point.
- Continuity Nod: The backstory of The Cursed King makes mention of the Champion of Grove. This is, of course, referring to the Player Character in the first three games of the series.
- Emergency Weapon: If your character has no weapons, punching the enemy is the only other option. In addition, assuming that you went into the dungeons with no weapons or armor, your character will automatically pick up and use the first weapon and the first of each armor type one finds if the criteria for using them are met.
- Final Death: Hardcore mode/difficulty. This is harder than Legend difficulty and cheats are disabled. Your character's demise is permanent, and your progress gets sent to the online leaderboards.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Sorted by the least amount of Magic required to use the spell, the Fireball, Frost and Lightning Strike spells go in this order.
- Game Mod: The first game was "moddable" through a long convoluted process, while the sequel makes this a lot easier for players, with its appropriately-named MODS folder.
- Gameplay Ally Immortality: Your pet can never die, but it will stop fighting for you once its Hit Points is down to 1. In The Cursed King, NPCs you recruit will faint, not die, if their health drops to 0 and can be revived with the right potions or spell; otherwise, they will automatically revive themselves over time.
- Giant Spider: One of the most common monsters in the dungeons
- Grid Inventory: about 10x4 per backpack. Made Egregious by the amount of 2x3 equipment in the game, as well as the infrequency of 1x1 potions and 2x1 belts; it is not unusual for your "full" inventory to have an entire horizontal row empty.
- Hard Mode Perks: Unless you play on Legend difficulty, the easier difficulty levels restrict your chances of encountering graded items. On Page difficulty, equipment that Randomly Drops is never graded.
- Healing Factor: The most obvious example of this trope is any equipment socketed with either an Amethyst or Peridot. Amethysts increase the speed of you automatically recovering Hit Points over time, while the Peridot recovers a certain percentage point of your maximum health each time you hit an enemy. Fainted NPCs in The Cursed King will eventually revive themselves, recovering a small chunk of their health in the process, over a period of time.
- Your pet also has a very slow version of this, which can be sped up via the above methods.
- Hit Points
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Page", "Adventurer", "Hero", "Legend" and "Hardcore". In this order, they represent the games' difficulty levels from Easy to Hard, with "Hardcore" being "Harder Than Hard with no cheats allowed and Final Death enabled".
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: They definitely look very shiny, and the locked ones in The Cursed King look brand-new. Of course, there is also the occasional Mimic...
- Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: You do not want to know how fish, rings and even clothes can be fished out from lava pools in dungeons, or how an everyday fishing rod can be used to fish in lava pools in the first place.
- Level Up Fill Up: Your character and pet recover full health upon level up.
- Money Spider: Even the weakest mooks have about 10 gold with them almost every time. The amount increases based on the level of the monster.
- Must Make Amends: The only justification for the player's quest in Undiscovered Realms and The Cursed King.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The backstory of Undiscovered Realms and The Cursed King reveals that the player was the one who accidentally unleashed the Big Bad upon realms that once sealed them away. In the former, the player leads the Big Bad to a book that granted it tremendous power—enough to terrorise two realms—and in the latter, the player opens a treasure chest engraved with Starfish Language that was actually a tomb containing the Big Bad.
- Noun Verber The Butcher: Randomly-generated bosses often get names assigned to them in this fashion. Alternately they pull one from a list of Punctuation Shaker words.
- The player can also manually edit the  containing name-parts, leading to names such as "Arseface the Beautiful" and "Galvatron the Anachronistic", among other things.
- New Game+: That, plus a full level of experience, some Fame and an Ancestral Weapon with all its stats boosted by 25%.
- One Game for the Price of Two: Inverted with The Traitor Soul, since it contains almost everything from the first two games.
- Pet Monstrosity: See Shapeshifting.
- Point Build System: For every level gained, your character/ally gets five stat points and two skill points. For every Renown level gained, four skill points are granted. Collecting tarot cards and exchanging three of them in The Cursed King will reward your character with at least one stat point.
- Power Equals Rarity: Played with somewhat. Artifact equipment, indicated by a gold background fill in inventory screens, is fun to collect and much more powerful than entry-level equipment, but because any equipment can be upgraded by various enchanters, they can also be outclassed by more generic equipment, especially near the end of the overarching quest.
- Punctuation Shaker: T'Kala. The game's random name generator also drops an apostrophe into some names on occasion.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: They even share the same Death Cry Echo.
- Random Drop: The only way to legitimately restore the two statues in The Temple of Fate in Undiscovered Realms and The Traitor Soul is to pick up their missing equipment from random enemies in the game. To a lesser extent, every other item in the game falls into this as well.
- Rare Candy: The Shrine of Learning, which often only appears once every few levels. Attempting to read the book on the shrine will occasionally increase the proficiency level of one of your character's skills, but it may do the reverse instead and decrease a skill. At other times, it does nothing.
- Real Time Weapon Change: From The Traitor Soul onwards, the player is able to switch between two different weapon setups by pressing the Backspace key.
- Save Scumming: Averted as the game saves automatically every time you quit or enter a different dungeon level or town and by the lack of an option to save without quitting. Your only option then was Alt-F4.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: For a price, you can get a minstrel to increase your Renown by one level, which translates into 4 skill points.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: T'Kala, the Big Bad of The Cursed King, was once a necromancer who was executed by the King of Ektaban. His soul was sealed in a treasure chest buried in a small cave outside the city ... until the player opened it. Cursed Swords also qualify, since they lie inert in some treasure chests until the player opens them.
- Shapeshifting: Depending on what fish you feed your pet, it can transform into more powerful creatures for a certain length of time. Flawless fish turns your pet into another creature permanently until you feed it another fish.
- Socketed Equipment: Naturally, as this game was inspired by Diablo.
- Stalked by the Bell: In The Cursed King, The Ghost of T'Kala's Curse, a Level 100 monster, will appear and continuously deliver Scratch Damage to you if you spend too much time idling in a dungeon level. It is not an Invincible Minor Minion, though, so it can still be killed.
- Tech Points: Gaining Fame from defeating boss monsters, completing quests and paying a minstrel will increase your level of Renown, which allows you to use the more powerful Elite and Legendary items.
- Underground Monkey: Be prepared to meet some bats, Giant Spiders, goblins, rats and walking mushrooms in almost every dungeon level.
- Unwitting Pawn: The player is this in Undiscovered Realms, convinced by the Big Bad itself, under the disguise of an old man, to escort it to The Book of Fate, enabling it to regain its lost power.
- Watching Troy Burn: This is the fate of the City of Ektaban as a direct result of the player unsealing T'Kala. Would have been All Your Base Are Belong to Us if the player reached the city before T'Kala did.
- Zerg Rush: Some boss monsters have a group of underlings under their command and will usually throw all of them against you first. The games also frequently place groups of different monsters nearby in a small, open area so that, more often than not, all of them will rush you the moment you walk in.
- (Namely, prefix.dat, prefix2.dat, suffix.dat, suffix2.dat, and title.dat, in the NAMES directory)