The Enchanted Cave


Play The Enchanted Cave
Liked the music? Download The Enchanted Cave OST here

The Enchanted Cave is a fairly simple RPG/Puzzle, in which the player controls an unnamed hero that explores a single dungeon that consists of 100 floors. Every ten levels there is a shop, where the player can buy and sell items and equipment.

The unique feature of The Enchanted Cave is the Escape Wings system. When the Escape Wings are found and used, the player is warped out of the dungeon, and keeps all artifacts they’ve found, which are special equipment with a gold background. In addition, any stat gems are permanently kept, as well as the amount of gold the player has at the time of using the Escape Wings.

After using the Escape Wings, the player becomes stronger and better equipped when the re-enter the cave, allowing them to progress deeper with each run, until they’re able to reach the final floor, 100.

Inspiration
The artifacts and Escape Wings system is based on a dungeon called the Ancient Cave, in the SNES game, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. Lufia II itself is an RPG, and the Ancient Cave is a mini-game that only becomes available after nearly 10 hours into the main quest. However many players get sucked into the Ancient Cave, and spend as much time or more exploring it than they do the rest of the game.

I became a huge fan of the Ancient Cave, and thought that it could be a great idea to use as a complete flash game, and simple enough to use as my first flash game. It turned out to be a lot more difficult that I’d originally predicted, but I learned a ton during the development.

Another important game to mention is Tower of the Sorceror, a freeware, downloadable PC game that’s been around for years.  It’s a great puzzle game, and really makes the player strategize what monsters to fight, if they decide that the treasure the monster is guarding is valuable enough for the health lost during the fight. The simple touch-to-fight battle system and puzzle-like design of monsters and treasures in The Enchanted Cave were based on the gameplay of Tower of the Sorceror.

Development
Before work on The Enchanted Cave, I’d had some experience in pixel art, so I was decent at it. I also had experience in the 3D modelling and animation program Blender, but I only used that for a few things, like the effects animations (enemy explosion, wings, heal), and for a base for the hero’s attack animation. I animated a 3D sprite-proportioned rig in Blender, saved those frames and pixeled over top of them to get as fluid of an animation as I could with pixels. Shown below is the sprite rig and the pixeled hero.

This was very time consuming, so for the enemies in the game I never used a 3D animated model to base them off of, and just did my best drawing frame-by-frame.

Goal
My primary goal in creating The Enchanted Cave was to complete a flash game to basically “get my foot in the door” of the flash game market, and professional game development. Today I am definitely more than pleased with it’s success!

-Dustin

53 Responses to The Enchanted Cave

  1. Björn says:

    Very nice game. I really like that it got ported so I can play on android and I do hope you get funded for the sequel.

    However if you plan on making 40×40 floors you might want to check the coding parts there because the game that is right now gets really laggy after 50+ floors so basicly after less than a full run the game has to be restarted and emptied from memory

  2. C K says:

    Wonderful game, and the first game I’ve beaten since getting an Android based smart phone three weeks ago. I love the way you don’t really level up, your equipment and gems do. It turns the game from an XP grind to a loot fest.

    How about a similar-ish game next but scifi themed with space ships? Instead of gems and armor you could get ship upgrades and crew skill improvements.

  3. Adso says:

    Small thing but the ‘Delete’ button the main screen.. as a reflex I pressed it thinking it was the option to exit the Application.. of course I deleted 40 levels of play! tbh it could happen again too, its just a reflex the little Red X looks like an app exit button.. maybe move it, thanks.

  4. J Rich says:

    My brother and our friends have been playing this on and off for the last year and a half. After beating the game several times, then beating the game without using escape wings, we decided to attempt speed runs through the game.

    The record so far is 37 minutes (but that was in July 2013, and has been hard to get close to again).

    For anyone who’d like to try the speed run, some keys are:
    - Starting with a Steel Longsword, Leather Gloves and a Bark Shield. (if these aren’t in the shop, exit to title and start a new quest)
    - Health is key to survive, so know what monsters can and can’t hurt you. (until you find an extra defensive item, fight green slimes and sparkys, but don’t mess with goblins who will take a large chunk out of your health)
    - Know the inventory. (when you find new items, quickly know what synergizes best with your current items and equip those items without wasting time)
    - Only spend gold on health and weapons. (to fund more health and swords, sell everything you don’t need – this includes all weapons, armors, and amulets you aren’t equipped with)
    - Eye of Wealth is huge. (once you have the eye of wealth, you can quickly scan a room for health and weapons, as well as rings and amulets that will sell for more money)
    - Most important – don’t dilly-dally. (fight monsters that you can one-hit kill to get chests and gems, and ignore the rest unless you have to clear a path)

    GOOD LUCK!

    • dustinaux says:

      That sounds awesome! In the Android port (and hopefully near future iOS port) movement speed is faster, equipping and using items is faster, magic and potions have hotkeys, and a quick sell junk button sells all your unequipped old stuff with a single quick, so that should all cut down a lot on boring time spent! The damage formula is redone though, so that would also have an effect; whether faster or slower I’m now sure.

  5. Jack Lally says:

    Been playing this game for ages. I’m doing the “Bare Naked” run now….no armor or weapons, just the stats you get from picking up gems. I can now get to level 86 before a golem hits me and level 93 before my hps are 400 or less before max. That is when I use a Mega Heal. My goal is to be able to get to the final floor without being hit by any enemy bare naked. My current stats are ATT: 501, DEF: 474, INT: 442, AGI: 305, HP: 2611, MP: 1232.
    Great game Dustin and still waiting on Enchanted Cave 2…thanks for the great game!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can you put it in the ipod and blackberry app stores

    • dustinaux says:

      They’re not planned for now. I really want to focus on the sequel after the Android port, which has a better chance of ending up on more platforms.

  7. Mike Applegate says:

    Reccomend going mobile make an app for the enchanted cave and EC2

  8. jake says:

    Hey man iv been playing this game for since it came out! I find myself coming back to it all the time, you did a great job with this, really looking forward to a sequel

  9. Alex says:

    What’s the progress of TEC2??
    I have been waiting for sooooooo long and there seem to be no update on the game
    When can I play the game????

  10. gigi says:

    I am so glad to hear that you are working on a sequel to this game, I am literally addicted to it. I found this page searching for games like The Enchanted Cave in the first place! None of the suggestion I found online are satisfactory, nothing compares. All I ask is please don’t go 3D on the sequel. Thank you for many pleasant hours Dustin ;)

  11. Chris B. says:

    I’m glad to hear that you are working on a sequel to this game because this style of gameplay is very addicting. I’m confident that this is the kind of game that will never die or lose entertainment value. Great job and keep up the good work for the sequel!

  12. dee says:

    hey dustin, tec is pretty much the only flash game i’ve played again and again. i beat it last summer and recently just had another play session. really amazing work and can’t wait for tec2

    is there any chance you’d be willing to put the source code for tec up? i’ve been learning actionscript on my own for the last few months and reading through your parasites scripts was fascinating and very helpful

    anyway, good luck and again, great job

    • dustinaux says:

      Thanks, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it. I won’t be putting up the source code, one because it’s worth more to me than parasite strike and two because it’s pretty terrible-looking and inefficient, as it was my first game made from scratch and I didn’t know much about actionscript at that time.

  13. Maynard Stevens says:

    The Enchanted Cave is on of my favorite flash games ever. I know there is an iPad version, but has there been any though of a port for Android tablets? I think this game would do very well on Google Play, especially with all the new 7 inch Nexus 7s floating around now. My fingers are crossed.

    • dustinaux says:

      No there’s not an Android port. I’m using point and click movement for the sequel which will be much more control friendly for tablets, so I’m keeping that porting possibility open for it.

  14. bob says:

    Hi, been a fan for long time.. talked once with you before..Hows tec2 coming along? i can not wait… :)

  15. DoctorOctagonapus says:

    I first discovered TEC two summers ago, having finished my first year of uni and having nothing better to do. I got halfway through and gave up. Last summer I went back to it and made it to the end. I then went back and got all of the achievements. For some reason I loaded it up again today. I figured I’d play through it again for the hell of it, however I quickly noticed that it still had everything from last year, including the best items, all the eyes and every magic spell in the game. So I clicked start. I decided I would go through and see just how well I could beat the game. I would kill every monster and collect every item that I could reach. I wouldn’t buy anything from the merchant, rather I would just sell off anything I didn’t need. I was at level 51 before I encountered a monster that lived long enough to deal any damage to me, and even then it was single figures while I was dealing out between 350 and 600 damage per hit. I eventually reached the end, and the final boss died in five hits. I’m thinking of going back and having another go, this time trying to do it with as few potions as possible, ie only drink a potion when necessary. My only criticism is the money counter, simply because once you get over 100,000 gold pieces, it runs off the screen. Very minor. I am very much looking forward to the sequel but until now, thank you so so much for the last two years. I hope I haven’t beaten the game to the point that I’ll never have to go back again.

    • dustinaux says:

      That’s great. This type of thing is really important with this style of game. Something that always brings you back to play some more, doing something a little different. TEC 1 was pretty simple, but I hope to add some extra hidden secrets and such in TEC 2 to keep the player entertained and finding new things, even on their 5th and 6th runs.

  16. ian says:

    its a beast game the only flaw i saw was how do u use potions and wings there should have been and intertions or some thing lol but i love the game alot

  17. Alex says:

    This game is amazing. You did a great job pulling it all together. This is the one game on Kongregate that I can always come back to even after beating it over and over again. I just wish there was a longer downloadable version.

  18. noah says:

    what a wonderful game. ive probably spent 3-4 hours on it, cant get past about lvl 50 :( i will keep tryin! :)

  19. Tanner Garrett says:

    Amazing Game! True RPG at it’s best :D
    Much props!

  20. Yuri Matos says:

    This game is THE game.
    Graphics are as i always said, useless.
    You can make a graphic about 32-bits, or even 16, and still rock the fuck out of it.
    Your game will serve to me as an inspiration, thanks A LOT.
    And please, make a sequel if possible.

  21. Thomas says:

    Playing this game was a surprising amount of fun. I went into it a bit skeptical but you won me over. Keep developing games; there’s definitely a lot of work involved but the rewards are great.

  22. Ryan Herzog says:

    I enjoyed all the lufia games, there are several for varios gameboy systems and 1 of them has a 200 floor version of the cave. the 1st time you get to floor 100 it makes you need to leave to get an item to continue so it’s more like a 300 floor cave lol

  23. drunken says:

    how about the artifact book & achievement(collecting all artifact)

  24. Balmung says:

    This is my favorite flash game! i’d LOVE to see a sequel, i’ve played this game so many times :D
    i love the continuity it has with the atribute stones and artifact items!

  25. TrSaur says:

    Will you made iPhone/iPodTouch version of this great game?

  26. it was great says:

    it’s awesome+well made.

  27. Marek says:

    Really a great game, I could not leave the PC until it was finished. Better than many commercial titles, you truly have the knowledge how to make a game irresistible :-)

  28. Sam says:

    Loved Enchanted Cave – world needs more of this type of game! Action-RPG is overdone…turn-based FTW :)

  29. superdom4 says:

    Awesome game and what program did you use to make this game.

  30. Brian says:

    Yo, I love your game, its the only game on Kongregate that I still come back to and play over and over again!

  31. Some Guy says:

    Great game.

  32. Kama says:

    Thank you for developing the enchanted game. I really enjoyed playing it through.
    If you ever make a sequel or a similare game, please improve the interface, using items/magic in battle was very hard.
    Come to think of it, a sequel that is pretty much the same game & graphics, but with improved interface and maybe double the size of dungeons, add a few new enemies & items, maybe even skills and it would be pretty awesome.
    Oh well, maybe someday, thanks for developing!

    • tametick says:

      double the size of dungeons

      I was thinking just the opposite – make the game shorter! It’s too tedious to play to level 100.

      The tiny levels are ace, no reason to make them bigger.

  33. Hayden White says:

    TEC was a really good game with plenty of replayability. Don’t make a sequel.

    What I mean is, don’t get tied down to this one just because it was a success and players loved it. Keep innovating.

  34. floor says:

    Good gameplay, good design, music is oke, love the development options. One of the best online games in this genre if you ask me.

  35. Delve says:

    Played this a good bit back when I first saw it on Kongregate. I’ve really enjoyed it and thought I’d drop in instead of playing again. Interesting way you handled the attack animation. It was definitely worth the effort; the smoothness and polish of that animation is part of what keeps me playing. It’s the single most watched event in the game and the aesthetic appeal of the animation prevents it from becoming painful to watch that often. Excellent work, I’m looking forward to ZAPS

  36. gorge says:

    whens the next coming out =P. plus it would be nice to have a epic item list =P

  37. Lorrin says:

    usually a game gets old the moment one gets through it, but that definitely isn’t the case here. I’ve been through it numerous times, and keep finding myself coming back for more. Looking forward to your next big hit. Thanks!

  38. dustinaux says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

  39. Izzy Rebirth says:

    Thought I’d make the effort to post on here. Awesome game. Please make a sequel.

  40. Ande the Eccentric says:

    The Enchanted Cave reminds me of another game I play called Fate. I absolutely love it. A quick, simple RPG to eat away at boredom. I must beat this game!

  41. Aaron says:

    The Enchanted Cave is probably one of the most fun and addictive Flash games I have ever played, and has more replay value than most of the games I have shelled out hard cash for. :) I wasted plenty of hours of my life playing this, and Mardek, another Flash game that stands at the forefront. :)

    Great job.

    I like your pixel art. It really takes me back to my NES/SNES gaming roots. Long, chatty, epic storylines are all fine and good in fantasy rpg/adventure games, but a lot of games today have forgotten how to just be fun to play. It’s a pleasure to be reminded of the good ol’ days when big, expensive, fancy graphics weren’t the selling point.

    I would love to see a rehash/update of this game with more challenging fights and/or some puzzle solving, another great feature of Lufia which would fit perfectly into this creation. Perhaps more manual control or at least more practical use of spells and/or the ability to specialize into spellcasting (without laboriously collecting spell-based equipment first) would also be excellent. ^_^

    That said, I know you have other ambitions, but I’d be the first in line to play The Enchanted Cave 2: Even More Enchanted-er! Keep it up. :)

  42. Josh Shaw says:

    I’m proud of you man. A million plays on Kongregate! Are you serious! :)

    Anyways, I’m more than addicted to your game while at work and can’t wait for the next one. Keep it up.

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