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Lugaru: The Rabbit's Foot is a shareware game developed by David Rosen when he was in high school, becoming the launching game for Wolfire Games. It is a game where you get to fight rabbits and wolves to avenge your family's death. Along the way, you find a conspiracy that goes all the way to the king.
A little bit like Usagi Yojimbo (with some nods to Watership Down and Redwall) in computer game form… Although there isn't much to the story, what really makes this game shine is the combat. Unlike other fighting games, it relies less on button mashing and more on timing your moves right. The position of your enemy and the direction you're moving also influences what you will do with it.
It was originally made on the Mac, and has since been ported to Windows, Linux, and Amiga.
After the unexpected success of Lugaru, David Rosen announced a sequel, then called Lugaru 2. However, his college work took up too much of his time, leaving the game's future uncertain. After finishing college, he, his brother John, and three friends began working on the game full-time and announced it as Overgrowth.
On May 11, 2010, Lugaru's source code was released under the GPL license, following the massive success of the “Humble Bundle” charity drive. This opens the door to advanced modding capabilities and ports to new operating systems and portable devices. That being said, the game content is still closed, so you will have to register the game in order to play anything more than the Demo and probably many mods.
- Audible Sharpness
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Turner when facing the rabbit that ordered the raid on his village.
Turner: You killed my family! And my friends!
- Back Stab: This is one of the game's One-Hit Kill moves.
- Badass: Turner.
- Breakable Weapons: The Bo staff, while the most powerful, also has a tendency to shatter.
- Carnivore Confusion: Played with. The wolves in the game intend to enslave the rabbits, claiming that before coming to the island the game is set in, they wiped out their rabbit population, leading them to seek more territory and food.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Turner has access to a couple of moves the computer doesn't, including the devastating Leg Cannon. For balance reasons, the computer is capable of countering the Leg Cannon with superhuman skill.
- Doomed Hometown: Sets in motion the plot of the game.
- Elite Mooks: In the story mode you'll occasionally find yourself facing a slightly more dangerous foe. Some of them are Lightly Armored Mooks, and at one point you'll face a rabbit named Jet who's significantly faster than his mates.
- Everything's Worse with Wolves
- Funny Animal: Though anthropomorphic, the characters are quite realistic-looking, with several variations on the trope (e.g. rabbits can both run on all fours and in a bipedal stance). Only rabbits seem to use clothing, primitive armour and Iron Age-level tools and weaponry. Wolves apparently count on their own physical prowess instead, but will use a weapon they somehow acquire through a reversal. See also the Speaking Simlish entry below.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: A lot. Can be used effectively, with the right choice of combos and a bit of luck.
- Guide Dang It: Stealth is an important aspect of the game, but the tutorial tells you nothing except that crouch-walking is stealthy and that you can perform instant-kill attacks from behind enemies. It doesn't tell you, for example, that certain enemies (read: wolves) can detect you by smell, requiring you to stay downwind from them as you approach (subtle environmental cues will show you which direction the wind is blowing). Nor does it tell you that these enemies can detect blood, or that you can clean blood off your weapons by stabbing the ground. Nor does it tell you that the forward roll is considered "stealthy," allowing you to sneak up on enemies extremely rapidly; one of the most common complaints about the game is that sneaking is too slow.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Early builds left everyone naked. Later ones gave the rabbits clothing, but left the wolves unclothed.
- Except the Alpha Wolf, who wears pants.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Turner's late-game dialogue suggests that he is becoming, or has become, this.
- In a Single Bound: As an anthropomorphic rabbit, you can jump pretty darn high.
- Killer Rabbits: That know Kung Fu.
- Life Meter: There's a complicated one, but in a strangely minimalist twist, it's invisible. When you've taken a lot of blunt force trauma, the camera becomes wobbly and dark, your character starts acting exhausted, and if you're seriously hurt you'll develop double-vision (provided blur effects are enabled). Fortunately, you regenerate this sort of damage over time. Damage you take from edged weapons, on the other hand, leaves visible wounds (if you've got blood enabled) and decreases your maximum health, which isn't restored until the next level.
- Low Fantasy/Heroic Fantasy: With slightly anthropomorphic animals, no less…
- The Mole: Jack, Turner's best friend and second-in-command of their tribe, is one of the members of the conspiracy.
- Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: Weapons are powerful and add range to your attacks, but they're easy to counter and reduce your combat options. Sometimes it's best to rely on Good Old Fisticuffs.
- Obvious Beta: While fun, Lugaru is clearly unfinished. Its levels consist of small oases of trees and cubical rocks in the middle of vast, otherwise featureless plains, and its campaign mode is short and has some obvious scars where Multiple Endings were removed. Its successor, Overgrowth, looks to be a much more complete game.
- Only a Flesh Wound: If there's any doubt that Lugaru takes place in a World of Badass, look no farther than the rabbit who, upon getting speared in the sternum with a thrown knife, yanks the knife out of his chest wound and stabs you with it.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Mainly the wolves, but even the rabbits have a fair share of this.
- The Quisling: The ruler of the rabbit kingdom, betraying his people to the wolves. His true goal is never fully explained, however, and he claims his motives are more complicated than they seem.
- Ragdoll Physics: Part of the fun is sending other rabbits into walls, off cliffs, or into other rabbits.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The main motivation of Turner. It is eventually revealed that Jack counted on him wiping out the raiders so the wolves would not have trouble enslaving the rabbits of the island.
- Running on All Fours
- Shout-Out: One of the minor characters you meet in Rocky Hall (the capital of the rabbit kingdom) is a young rabbit named Fiver.
- Another one of the guards there goes by the moniker Basil, what what.
- At the beginning of the game, Turner comments to his daughter that “these silly tricks (climbing the implausibly rectangular stone spire in the middle of their ‘village’) are for kids.”
- Also, the background of Lugaru's main menu screen might be a Shout-Out to the Animated Adaptation of Watership Down — where the first time we see a rabbit is after the opening credits, via a close-up on his eye. The background of the menu screen features nearly the exact same image. This might be just unintentional though, since such a image is cool on its own.
- Slashed Throat: Another one of the stealthy One-Hit Kill moves.
- Speaking Simlish/Animal Talk: Both rabbits and wolves “talk” in their natural range of sound expressions and gestures, which they can all understand but not in any language understandable to the player. Instead, their conversations are accompanied by Translation Convention subtitles.
- Stealth-Based Mission: Although the game doesn't make it obvious — see Guide Dang It above — stealth is a vital part of how you play through the game. Ironically, it's most useful if you're trying to Speed Run the challenge levels; taking out an opponent with a sneaky One-Hit Kill is often much quicker than straight-up combat.
- Teeth Flying: A possible result of a strong hit.
- Unwitting Pawn: Turner himself, who is manipulated into killing the raiders.
- Vaporware: Lugaru 2 was announced in 2004. Due to college, David Rosen wasn't able to do any serious work on it. Now that he's graduated, development on the game, now titled Overgrowth, has resumed. While it's still a ways away from completion, it's now quite playable.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: In certain scenarios, you can leap off of a ledge onto an opposing rabbit and knock him down. Then you can steal his staff, and knock him down again with a leg sweep. Then you can beat the crap out of your foe while they're down. Until they die. Or until your staff breaks. Or both.
- Not to mention that you can stab a person to death while they're knocked down by crouching and attacking while holding a knife/sword. And indeed, you're encouraged to do that. The timing is nearly impossible, however.
- You can throw a knife at someone, then knock them down, roll over them, and rip the knife out of them for extra damage (and to get your knife back). This is extremely useful against wolves, who otherwise mostly ignore your knife attacks.
- Walk It Off: At least with blunt-force trauma. Damage from cutting weapons remains until the next mission.
- Wreaking Havok: Lugaru contains some wacky physics fun — see Grievous Harm with a Body above — but Overgrowth looks to take it to the next level.