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Dungeon Keeper is a real time Strategy (RTS) game released in 1997 by Electronic Arts and developed by Bullfrog Productions (Populous, Syndicate,...). Unlike many games, you play the evil role, leading monstrous creatures to revenge, stabbing, killing and torturing any so called heroes searching fame or gold in your dungeon. As you are a dungeon keeper, bringing with you plague, disease, and famine, crushing any opposition in your way to rule the world, a corrupted one of course!

DungeonKeeper   DungeonKeeper

Best Segmented Time: 1:50:34 by '12114' on 2022-04-27 done in 20 segments.

Author's comments:

Greetings. Dungeon keeper is a timeless classic and one of those games you want to re-beat every 5 years because it's so fun.
First things first, let's establish what I exactly used and how I recorded the game (and a disclaimer about KeeperFX which builds on the OG game but works natively on Win 10). I wanted to play the game exactly as the previous runner did to avoid any sort of discrepancy. That means no dosbox, no frame cycling or any of the sort (which may or may not give an advantage). I used windows xp and the original Dungeon Keeper 1 game with the official AI patch that came 3 months later in 1997 after the initial release. So basically the same as Dungeon Keeper Gold edition.
To record, I used fraps. No scripts were used during the run. No frame skip or computer assistance was used (those require a different category in my eyes). As far as KeeperFX goes, this run is not comparable/does not compete with it because in KFX you can kill stuff faster (0.48 for instance, even with the "original cfg package", as of this writing). Not to mention KeeperFX players get the advantage of higher res (I could barely see during my run), way less crashing and smoother/less buggy mouse controls (along with convenience features like instantly straightening out the diagonal view). So if you see "faster" Keeperfx times on certain levels (even if they mimic the OG maps) keep in mind that the original is a whole different animal/incomparable. Case in point, in KeeperFX 0.48 I can quite easily get sub 3 min on level 1 but in original sub 3 min is impossible, the knight fight especially takes too long.

Some general notes about the game for beginners:

Creatures spawn through a portal (once you claim it) every 20 seconds on a timer that starts during the short opening cutscene where an imp runs into the dungeon heart (the big pulsating glass orb thing). Most minion types have basic requirements before they can enter your dungeon. E.g. warlocks require a library to be built first. Each level has a pre-set pool of minions that can appear, including the numbers. The order is mostly randomized so long as the requirements for the minion type are met. Minions can also be discovered in the map itself (in which case they join whichever keeper has found them first) and obtained through a few more methods. There is an upper limit to how many you can have at once. Minions can be dismissed by dropping them back into the portal. Different minions have different AI that tells them what to do when. They have different basic preferences such as warlocks preferring to study in the library and skeletons training in the training room. Minions prefer to first make their own "beds" in the lair rooms before doing anything else which is why you often see them getting dropped there to expedite things. Lastly, minions can be transferred from level to level by finding a "transfer minion" special, claiming the ground underneath it, then using it. These are only present on some maps.

To obtain money, you have to mine gold or gems AND that gold has to end up in a treasure room that has space left, either carried by imps or by you yourself. Money is used primarily for building rooms and casting spells other than possession, which is free. If the level lasts long enough, there will also be occasional paydays during which the minions go claim their respective wages from a treasure room.

Floor tiles have to be "claimed" by your imps (they turn red) before minions other than imps can be dropped there and before any rooms can be built there. Enemy keepers will do the same. The tiles they've claimed can still be claimed by your imps but it's slower.

The ultimate objective in the main campaign missions is usually to either defeat the "Lord of the Land" (usually a knight), destroy enemy keepers' dungeon hearts, or both. The heroes (white team) also sometimes have a dungeon heart. Along the way, sub-objectives must be fulfilled to keep scripted events happening that may e.g. give you access to more tech and ultimately lead into the knight appearing.

The enemy keepers, when present, also can have minions, spells etc. (the exact varieties of which depend on the level script) as you do and are, in principle, able to use them the same way.

Possession is an ability you always have that lets you do most of the things your minions can do from a first-person view. This means you can join a melee fight that already has the maximum number (4) of minions fighting. Also a possessed minion can fight much more efficiently since the AI doesn't dodge attacks or use the different abilities in an optimal way. Dragons, especially, increase their damage potential massively when possessed because their fire breath attack can be made continuous. This will become abundantly clear by level 17 by the very latest. A possessed creature can be moved around freely through any territory, including onto claimed enemy territory or through lava, something the basic AI of most creatures doesn't allow for. This is very useful for reaching enemy dungeon hearts early.

Aside from whatever the level gives you automatically, the rest of the rooms, spells and traps have to be researched in a library to become available in the current level. Warlocks are the primary research-prone minion alongside dragons. As with all these specialized tasks, other minions can be used too, they're just less efficient.

Training creatures in a training room makes them gain levels which in turn gives them better stats and access to more of their abilities. The "increase level" special also gives every minion an extra level.

Traps and doors are manufactured in workshops. Trolls are the primary minion fit for doing that.

When you gain access to the temple room, you can start sacrificing minions there. The main benefits of doing this in a speedrun is making imps cheaper (seen in levels 11 and 17) or summoning other creatures.

Spells can be cast at different strengths, costing increasing amounts of money. This makes them either more powerful or last longer.

The speed spell makes minions do most things faster, including research, train and take swings in a fight. Charging it up makes it last longer. Slapping a minion is like a short-lasting speed spell except it also hurts them a bit (and can make some of them unhappy if you overdo it).


Now that that's out of the way let's get into the actual run level by level. Every second is kind of a big deal in this game because the vast majority of levels are on a timer and there isn't much you can do to speed things up (other than the fights like in level 3 for example). So considering I made an overall improvement over the old run of about 4 and a half minutes, well, let's just say I'm satisfied :). So, grab some popcorn (or extra strong 10% beer if you're like me) and enjoy the playthrough.

Shout outs:
-zoonel for competing with me back in 2009, and now again 13 years later :P. I know you're inactive but it was an honor to play with such a DK speed running legend as yourself, both back then and now. This run is mostly based on his run, he certainly did most of the grunt work such as looking up scripts and whatnot, with a few new tricks up my sleeve and some improvements in speed. What he did back then with barely anybody pushing him (I did some runs but my strats were ultimately wrong) is nothing short of impressive. Respect to this guy and I hope you're doing well whereever you are :)

-SDA staff for their dedication to the website, I know it's a lot of volunteer work which could at times be probably somewhat dull. Special thanks to nate for re-encoding my raw files, as well as the people who watched the run and/or answered questions (LotBlind, ktwo, IsraeliRD etc).
-YourMaster/Loobinex for trying to be helpful and for trying to keep the DK community alive with his keeperklan discord server.

-BNDR for being a young pup in the game. Never seen someone so enthusiastic about speed running DK :)

And anyone else I forgot.

The times and improvements over the old run (calculated based on when you take control, first half white frame after fully white frames):
level 1 : 182s -> 3:02 (-2s)
level 2 : 154s -> 2:34 (-4s)
level 3 : 287s -> 4:47 (-6s)
level 4 : 191s -> 3:11 (-7s)
level 5 : 98s -> 1:38 (-3s)
level 6 : 104s -> 1:44 (-12s)
level 7 : 1002s -> 16:42 (-1s)
level 8 : 128s -> 2:08 (-6s)
level 9 : 124s -> 2:04 (-62s)
level 10 : 76s-> 1:16 (-18s)
level 11 : 899s -> 14:59 (-1s)
level 12 : 166s -> 2:46 (-16s)
level 13 : 154s -> 2:34 (-7s)
level 14 : 155s -> 2:35 (-31s)
level 15 : 166s -> 2:46 (-71s)
level 16 : 72s -> 1:12 (-4s)
level 17 : 1599s -> 26:39 (-1s)
level 18 : 188s -> 3:08 (-3s)
level 19 : 197s -> 3:17 (-2s)
level 20 : 692s -> 11:32 (-3s)
Total: 6634s or 1:50:34 (-4m20s)

Level 1 Eversmile in 3:02 (-2s):
This is basically a tutorial level and the heroes won't attack you until you have 7 creatures, mine 9k gold, a 9 tile treasure room, a 9 tile lair and a 9 tile hatchery. I do not like speed running
this level because it has what I call 'toxic rng' (in this case it's beetles instead of flies coming through the portal). Toxic rng (for me anyway) is when you have to restart through no fault of your own and perform no action on top of that (as opposed to say fight rng where you at least get to click your mouse and watch things die). So in this level, if you get 3 flies you basically have to end your run after twiddling your thumbs for a few minutes (since the heroes effectively spawn on a timer after you get 7 creatures), not fun at all. The reason you want beetles over flies (for those who are new) is because of course beetles do more DPS, allowing you to get a better time.

0:05 - Slapping the imp so he's faster and possessing him to claim the portal before the first 20 seconds are up.
This is key if you want to shave off 20 seconds off your final time since you start your total creature count sooner (7 required for first fight).
0:24 - Helping the imp mine the gold faster and building all the stuff required, therefore unlocking the hero spawn timer.
0:50 - Digging to the hero spawn area so I can instantly drop my slapped creatures and be ready in possession for them (rather than waiting for them to tunnel over to me).
0:55 - You're probably wondering wtf I'm doing lol. I don't have a training room to keep them busy and/or any doors to lock my flies up for the knight fight (you don't want them for the knight fight because there's a limit of 4 AI creatures of ganging up on an enemy), so I just force them to travel a ridiculous distance to keep them from interfering. You want 5 beetles for the knight fight ideally for max DPS (you're the fifth possessed one).
1:00 - This is the thumb twiddling and/or restart part. Just waiting for heroes to spawn.
2:33 - Letting beetles recover some health just in case (knight hits hard). Don't want them dying off.
3:03 - Two good fights and it's over.

Level 2 Cosyton in 2:34 (-4s):
Similar concept to level 1, except you need to trigger an action point - it's a thing you touch with one of your units (by walking over it) that triggers an event. The vast majority of times it's basically just used for enemy mob spawns, whether immediately or by triggering a timer first and then doing it later on. Also 8+ creatures and at least 9 tiles of all the rooms are required.
This level crashes for me sometimes AFTER I kill the knight, which is super frustrating. That's how I lost another 155s in-game time run and had to re-do it...
0:06 - Making a T shaped path to the portal so 3 imps can claim it at once instead of one. Starting the creature count asap again.
0:15 - Digging east to kill the heroes faster (they'll spawn there in a minute). Grabbing a bit of gold on the way to build my rooms faster later on.
0:20 - Digging south to the action point so I can trigger it later with my imp.
0:45 - Building a treasure room over the gold so I can instantly have some gold (to save time).
1:04 - There goes the action point and the first wave spawn. For those who are new, you can drop imps and imps only on unclaimed path, how convenient.
1:10 - Training the fly so it doesn't do something stupid (like explore and get killed, which is it's nature). Gotta keep the creature count going so I need it only for that.
1:13 - The first fight. Luckily I found that it doesn't really matter how fast you kill them, the knight will come at the same time anyway. This is why I'm not rushing/dropping all my creatures on top of them.
1:35 - The thief often gets glitched in the original game on this level and doesn't attack you, lol. Not that I was in any danger.
2:15 - Knocking back my creatures with slaps into the hero fortress to force them to fight the heroes as soon as possible. You can't drop creatures on unclaimed path and of course any path claimed by the heroes, so this is a neat little trick.
2:22 - My beetle ran away like a coward. Annoying. Leave and never come back beetle, you're only welcome on level 1 as far as I'm concerned.
2:30 - Good fights, a 4 second improvement is a big deal in my eyes.

Level 3 Waterdream Warm in 4:47 (-6s):
Kinda similar concept to the first two, need a certain amount of creatures and rooms, as well as to trigger the action point for the heroes to spawn. This level seemed bugged for me. When I was trying to speed run it in my other attempts, the heroes sometimes just wouldn't spawn for no reason (even though I did everything seemingly right). The previous runner talked something about creatures being skipped through the portal, that might be it, or maybe there's something going on with the action point. In any case, 4:47 is a damn good time for the strats used, I was surprised when I saw 288 on the screen as the in-game time (which sadly doesn't get captured). The hero fortress is protected by fortified walls and you can't claim it because there's no bridge this early in the game, so I manually walk over with my skeleton and just kill them.
0:10 - Trying to get both to the portal (east side) and to the skeletons (west side) at once.
0:33 - Oops, imp stopped claiming towards the skeletons because I didn't queue rock digging far enough. Not a big deal.
1:12 - Building a lair for skellies near the training room in case I forget about them (so they don't have to walk far, they train by default just as demon spawns).
1:20 - Wondering where my imps are. Gotta be quick here, have enough gold and build all the rooms.
1:46 - Slapping a warlock and immediately picking him up and dropping him down again so he doesn't waste my time creating his lair.
2:09 - Making sure the action point is activated.
2:27 - Got the speed spell just in time, that was tight.
2:45 - I try to go for the archer first (as did the previous runner) so he doesn't tee off on me in the background while I fight the others.
2:53 - This was my mistake. I didn't realize there was another dwarf behind me to the right so he ambushed me and hit me and I got very close to dying. It didn't cost me any time, but it was
all or nothing at this point. I thought I'd die but fortunately I survived. It's very easy to die in this fight.
3:00 - Same as in the other level, training the flies to keep 'em busy. Also making sure the skeleton is level 5 (which is as far as you can get him) for the next fight.
4:37 - Instant archer kill, nice. Great fight.

Level 4 Flowerhat in 3:11 (-7s):
This level is brutal to speed run. Too much toxic RNG. You have to get lucky with the first demon spawn (I think it's a 50-50 chance between him and a beetle), then get lucky with baiting the heroes (making sure they never return to the heart and aggro your spiders which happened many times in other attempts), AND you have to make sure you only get warlocks from the portal instead of beetles. To get all 3 of those things right is of course rare.
0:08 - Building a training room to attract the demon spawn, and then later selling it because I want warlocks after.
0:59 - This is the super tricky part. Not only is it hard to bring all of them over to the east side since the archers can lose the aggro on you (because they're ranged and the barbarians are pushing you at the front), but as I alluded to before, they often times randomly return and kill your run.
2:00 - Giving the imp a ride back to the dungeon so he doesn't do something stupid and make the heroes return (potentially).
2:20 - I go for the increase level because L8 spider gets a new attack (hailstorm) and more strength of course for the next level.
3:05 - Not gonna lie I was nervous here because I finally got the 3 part RNG right. I go for the creature transfer because it's worth it in my opinion. You can kill the keeper in the next level with just the bile demon but level 4 and 5 are done as a combo so it's overall slower without the L8 spider on level 5.

Level 5 Lushmeadow-on-Down in 1:38 (-3s):
Very straight forward. Use the L8 spider from the previous level, claim the bile demon in the centre and kill the heart. I got a time of 100 seconds (in-game timer) probably about 7 times before (not counting the failed attempts to get those ofc), so I was finally relieved to break away from triple digits and see a 99 on my screen :)
0:45 - I decided to possess the bile demon because I found spamming hailstorm and melee attacks as a spider too inconsistent for my taste. It's tricky to time the two together perfectly so I just decided to let the AI do it.

Level 6 Snuggledell in 1:44 (-12s):
Very straight forward as well, claim the mistresses in the centre and take them to the enemy's dungeon heart. This level has a lot of RNG - in terms of where the mistresses decide to go. You want them at the enemy's heart (obviously) and not yours, or in the center or any other place they decide to wander off. So I was quite worried about it, but it worked out great.
0:46 - Super surprised to see all of them go to the right place (didn't even think it was possible), and it's gg. Very happy with the time.

Level 7 Wishvale in 16:42 (-1s):
This level is timed, Knight will come at 16:40 if there are no white heroes on the map. To win you have to kill both the enemy keeper and him. The previous runner transferred a level 8 dark mistress, I improved upon the strat and managed to transfer a level 9 instead (it was very tight). Money is also tight on this map.
2:50 - I'm going to start connecting the enemy keeper's base to the path where the heroes spawn. We don't have time to deal with the enemy keeper so we delegate this task to someone else.
I will later finish off the white heroes who killed him with lightning to prevent my creatures from interrupting their training.
4:35 - Throwing the second mistress into the torture room to increase the efficiency of all the creatures of the same type by I think about 25% (basically making the first mistress train faster).
15:37 - I waited for the mistress to level and used inc level box to make her level 9.
15:50 - Neat little trick, when you transfer the mistress the game thinks she 'died' (I suppose), and you can resurrect her so she can use her ranged lightning attack in the final fight.
16:25 - Call to arms + lightning + creatures killing the knight. Pretty fast I'd say.
16:35 - That lightning trap was annoying me. I thought the lower level dark missie would die (not that it'd matter anyway).

Level 8 Tickle in 2:08 (-6s):
The plan here is to research the bridge as fast as possible, claim the hounds/demon spawns on the far east (who will kill the barbarians while I kill the heart with the possessed mistress).
0:05 - Putting the library in a corner like that for better efficiency.
0:10 - Starting to dig both to the barbarians (northwest) (who must be dead if you want to win the level), and the hounds/demon spawns (far east).
0:32 - Letting the mistress take care of the fairies cause I got no time for that.
0:42 - Took a lightning hit from the fairy as an imp but since I wasn't standing still it didn't kill me.
1:03 - Selling the bridge because I want the imps to a) make sure they claim the hound and all the demon spawns in time (doesn't alway happen), and b) don't mess around
with my transfer creature box so I don't have to go around looking for it.
2:08 - The transfer window always closes there because of when I beat the level, it's not me being stupid this time :).

Level 9 Moonbrush Wood in 2:04 (-62s):
Here you have to kill the 4 wizards and then the knight to win. The sky is the limit, no timer here. This level is very tough to run because of the witches (wind spell + her zapping hurts a lot), the wizard freeze spell, the knight party (it's sometimes hard to instantly spot him among the other trash he's with), and the vampire slow missile. Not to mention this level crashed a lot. Some levels crash in this game, others don't. Unfortunately my other run didn't make it (where I also got the maze rng right for the transfer creature box) because going for the transfer box ended up being slightly slower :(.
0:20 - Claiming the troll and bile demon for the horny recipe later on. Don't need to go north because there's a level 1 mistress and we obviously already have one. I need a level 5 horny because that's when he gets speed monster. In order to get that, we need a combined level of the creatures sacrificed to be at least 12, which is why I'm going to train my bile demon to level 2. I train the bile demon to 2 because he's faster to train to level 2 than the troll (surprisingly).
0:38 - Gotta dodge the freeze from the wiz and make sure the witch doesn't blow you (no sex joke intended). I go for the lightning strat because I found it to be a bit more reliable. In the original game it's kinda hard to hit him with melee.
0:44 - The witch is zapping me so I decided to hide behind the pole for a bit more protection (not sure if it worked). You don't want to take too many zaps from her or things could go south very quickly.
1:20 - Another benefit of lightning is that it can lock onto its target, therefore preventing the giant from body blocking me.
1:29 - Getting the level 5 horny to finish the job.
1:53 - Making sure I dodge vampire's irritating slow monster spell. Not only does it prolong the fight, you also won't have enough hp to take the knight down.

Level 10 Nevergrim in 1:16 (-18s):
Straightforward level. Claim the dragon in the lava and kill the heart with it. The next level is on a 15 min timer (so we can get whoever we need) so I didn't bother transferring anything. Don't think it can be done faster with the same strats (don't see how, basically flawless run).

Level 11 Hearth in 14:59 (-1s):
My favorite level. My plan here is to finally get the horny for the next several levels and to use a trick the previous runner wasn't aware of. The 255 limit creature 'glitch'. It's where you keep spamming imps until the total creature count hits 255 (it's limit) and nothing else can spawn on the map. This prevents the knight from spawning in the first place, giving me the instant victory.
That's how I managed to shave off 1 second over the boulder trap strat (which is also very fast but slightly slower).
0:07 - I didn't realize this at the time (I realized it later on in the level) but the yellow little key on the northernmost door there is invisible for some reason. My intention was to open up all the doors but the game messed me up.
2:28 - I just use a dragon to massacre the heroes. Fire breath is damn powerful in the original game. He also has heal at level 2. I don't want my research or training disrupted so I'll just stick with the dragon.
6:00 - There's 3 increase level boxes on this level which is very useful, getting that last one up in the northwest corner.
8:35 - Initiating the 255 limit exploit. You need about 75k gold in total to pull it off and it will come eventually.
10:03 - Getting my horny with the sacrifice recipe. I opt for the level 7 horny over the level 9 used in the previous run because in the original game the horny is bugged as hell in terms of dps at higher levels. A level 9 horny does have more hp but we're not very concerned about that since none of the fights are too overwhelming. Also, the best defense is offense, am I right?
10:32 - That's when I realize the spinning key is always missing/invisible on that specific door on this level (in the original game anyway). Wtf moment.
14:33 - Finally reached the creature limit, now it's just a waiting game.
14:55 - Just spamming space at this point to win the level, the knight wants to spawn but can't. Game is won.

Level 12 Elf's dance in 2:46 (-16s):
You win when you destroy both hearts and all the white heroes. The strat here is to use the vampires and a demon spawn to kill the heroes while I manually kill the hearts with the horny.
0:22 - Breaking the door down so the heroes can (hopefully) come to my base (although it never happened for me, at least some of them always got lost in the level). It's actually very rare that all of them come straight to your dungeon instead of hanging around at the graveyard, beside the creature transfer box, or most commonly over at one of the enemy keeper's bases. I'm also digging to the vampires and training them to level 2.
1:45 - Getting the transfer box.
2:38 - Looking for remaining heroes to kill. This is not even half bad, at least they're all in the same place (and not at enemy keeper's base where I can't drop the horny) and there aren't too many that got lost this time.

Level 13 Buffy Oak in 2:34 (-7s):
Very similar level to level 12. Kill 2 enemy keepers and transfer the horny after building the bridge to the transfer box is the strat used. Luckily I didn't have to deal with white heroes taking wrong turns this time though, however, the green keeper rng is just as brutal. 95% of the time he just murders your imps and you can't get to the transfer creature box...
0:30 - I need the dragons for research.
0:49 - I drop the imps there so they can perform the gold digging job I issued for them later on. The rest is history, finish off green keeper and transfer the horny.

Level 14 Sleepiborough in 2:35 (-31s):
This is the carpal tunnel syndrome level. You win when the wizards and subsequently the knight is dead. In the original you don't have to kill any of the enemy keepers. Digging through all the gold to get to the wizards as well as the transfer creature box is rough on your wrists. The previous record claimed the portal, researched and built a bridge to 'trap the knight', I didn't bother with any of that.
1:20 - Running in a circle to avoid freeze, will have to do it one more time later again.
1:50 - Knight fight. Luckily he moves faster than the giants so the giants can't body block us. I kill him and take the transfer creature box up in the northwest corner and that's game.
2:21 - Picking up gold instead of possessing the imp by mistake... Annoying.

Level 15 Woodly Rhyme in 2:46 (-71s):
You have to kill the 2 samurais, the knight and the 2 keepers to win. The strat here is to kill the green keeper manually with horny whilst the heroes damage the other heart for me. I don't bother with transfer creature from now on because it would take far too long. Researching, dropping imps to clear fog of war + building a bridge, then breaking down the magic door in the south takes ages.
0:06 - You're probably wondering why I dug a little to the left. That's to get the imps away from the southern corner so that I can possess the reaper far more easily. Too many times I possessed an imp instead of the reaper and lost my run...
0:14 - I dig down just enough for the clipped rock edges to be exposed to the water. This way I can run out, then fortify the walls to fix the gap so the heroes won't attack me. I guess it's called the corner fortification trick, you can explore the outside world while still being fully fortified yourself shortly after.
0:19 - I destroy some rocks so I can drop my imp there later on after I'm done digging to blue keeper, rather than walk back manually.
0:39 - About this time the white heroes are aggroing on blue.
0:50 - I wall clip out of my dungeon. Wall clipping is when 2 adjacent earth blocks are touching each other with its corners and you can slip through them with a creature that's fast enough (hornies are very fast ofc).
1:45 - Killing the knight, the 2 samurais and finishing off the heart to win.
1:59 - Only one samurai aggroed on me, perfect. The other can still do some work to the heart.

Level 16 Tulipscent in 1:12 (-4s):
You have to just kill the keeper in order to win. Problem is, he's got 2 high level orcs. This level is very strange and buggy. Sometimes the orcs don't aggro on your horned reapers, allowing you to just freely attack the heart.
0:03 - Getting the boulder rolling in case the orcs aggro on me and I have to kill them.
0:06 - Selling the doors to clear the path for the boulder.
0:13 - Slapping the horny right to the door so he doesn't run off and get killed by the boulder (happened a bunch of times). Since I activated must obey he won't go berserk and start attacking my other horny.
0:16 - At this point I realize the orcs won't aggro on me for whatever reason so I have a field day with the heart killing.

Level 17 Mirthshire in 26:39 (-1s):
Similar concept to level 11. Knight comes at 26:40 and you can't speed it up. This is the 'easiest' level to speed run (far easier than level 11 or 7 where you actually have to do quite a bit), so I can't guarantee I was sober for this one. We'll use the same strat as for level 11, the 255 creature limit exploit.
1:02 - Grabbing some more 10% beer (this is very important if you want to be a successful speedrunner).
8:40 - I actually almost died here and thought about restarting. Haven't played this level in a long time and wasn't sure why I was only getting warlocks. Dug to an unsafe area with heroes foolishly. They killed all my warlocks.
8:45 - Finally not a trashcan creature. It's over.

Level 18 Blaise End in 3:08 (-3s):
This level takes forever if you play casually, luckily we aren't. The plan here is to dig to the L7 dragon as soon as possible, kill the heart, and activate an action point to win the level. zyzzyva on SDA found out the action point trick on this level way back then in like 2008 or whatever, so thanks to him.
0:06 - Starting to dig to the dragon up northwest.
0:19 - Also digging to claim a giant and 2 skeletons. The previous run also dug right to claim the spiders but I haven't found much use for them. The giant is up north and the skeletons are to the left.
0:50 - That's why I needed the giant and skeletons. Skeletons fend off the wizards so my imp doesn't get scared, and the giant I use to break down the door.
1:05 - The wall fortification here isn't owned by the heroes, it's neutral, so when I claim the ground beside it it turns to dust.
1:26 - I trigger the wizard horde to move closer to the heart and claim the dragon.
1:35 - Clearing up the fog of war just in case, so I can make sure I can drop my imp later on.
1:40 - My other imp was running around and triggered the other wizard horde to the left (wasn't intended but oh well), but wizards are too slow to reach my heart, at this point there could be 100 wizards at that spot, it wouldn't matter. I'll kill their heart before they kill mine.
2:00 - It's faster to mix in meteors to break the door down.
2:15 - I stand on the upper heart platform on the edge corner to avoid getting zapped by the lightning trap. It probably wouldn't have killed me if I used heal but if I had used heal that would've interrupted my flame breath and might've cost me a second.
3:08 - Dropping imps on the aforementioned action point and pushing space to win.

Level 19 Mistle in 3:17 (-2s):
You only have to kill the enemy keeper and not any of the heroes to win the level which is why it's a fast one. Similar tactics as level 15, we're going to do the water corner trick and connect the heroes' pathway to the enemy keeper. Not a very enjoyable level to speed run, you kind of feel powerless and can't do much.
0:12 - Sorting out my imps. I don't want level 10s because they have the speed bug. I also don't want them running around triggering action points for heroes and/or claiming rooms.
0:28 - Going around on the left side through the rocks, it's probably faster.
0:59 - Similar to leve 15, fortifying myself in so heroes don't come to my base whilst being able to run around on the outside with my imp.
1:20 - I don't bother clearing out the fog of war to the heart. Apologies for it not being 'fun to watch' but this level was annoying me and I didn't want to risk losing 1 second.
1:55 - Leading the barbs to a fight with enemy keeper's skeletons. That way thieves can live and start dinging the heart sooner. At this point the level is basically won, just a waiting game.

Level 20 Skybird Trill in 11:32 (-2s):
You win by killing the avatar (twice in regular gameplay) and all the heroes. Enemy keeper doesn't need to be killed and is therefore your buddy, helping you out with clearing out the tentacles and stuff. This level is a total ****show to speed run, too many things can go wrong and you have to play as perfect as possible for 11 minutes straight. Some of the many things that can go wrong: 1) Not getting a dragon for some reason soon enough (even if you build the treasure room and lair correctly), 2) tentacle positioning, sometimes they come back and disrupt your dragon from breaking the magic door down, 3) getting zapped by the witch and dying while trying to bait the horny to go northeast to break the door down, 4) blue keeper's behaviour, 5) getting enough trolls to manufacture fast enough, 6) boulder traps missing heroes, and there's probably more I'm forgetting. The previous record was really hard to beat and I'd argue it was
probably his best run.
1:00 - Gotta build a big enough treasure room/lair to attract a dragon fast. Also gotta start mining gold for cave-in spell later used on the avatar.
1:55 - Breaking through to increase level boxes as well as claiming path to where the boulder traps will later be positioned at.
3:12 - Baiting the tentacles away from the magic door so I can use my dragon to destroy it and access the heart.
6:20 - Baiting the horny to break down the magic door for me so I can use cave-in spell.
7:01 - Sacrificing insects for some free researches and traps.
7:50 - Dumbass imp ran off instead of claiming the graveyard...
8:14 - Locking that path up because I don't want a hatchery, it would slash my workshop productivity by a lot.
10:28 - I need to connect the prison to the enemy keeper's base so I can cave-in the white heroes in order for them to run into my boulder trap instead of trying to kill blue keeper.
10:38 - Dropping imps just in case they missed carrying any boulder traps.
11:32 - That was really close, almost messed it up by making 2 boulder traps collide. Would've been run ending had it happened.
11:33 - Normally the avatar would spawn for the second time, but we killed the white heroes so fast (doesn't really ever happen in normal playthrough) we tricked the game into thinking we've won. I guess you could call that an exploit since it wasn't intended by the map makers.

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