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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!


Best time: 1:55:19 by Maxime 'zoonel' de Lacheisserie on 2009-07-01, done in 20 segments.

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Author's comments:

Evil Is Good!
Dungeon Keeper (DK1) is a great game and well suited for a speedrun. The game was designed to run on win95 but it works very well on windows xp, the downside is that for recording the run I had to set it on low resolution (alt+r in-game) however some people might rather call it the opposite :).
The run has many mistakes, some very obvious and other you won't even notice, but I've tried to do "hard to beat" times. For my defence I can blame the game for not having smooth enough controls, you will also see some erratic mouse movements (like the cursor crossing the screen), it's not me acting crazy but it happens sometimes, I had to live with it. I think I've come up with great strategies for quasi all the levels and hope you'll enjoy the run.

N.B.: a lot of imps where brutalized during this run >:)

the times are:

* Level 1: 184 -> 3:04
* Level 2: 159 -> 2:39
* Level 3: 295 -> 4:55
* Level 4: 200 -> 3:20
* Level 5: 103 -> 1:43
* Level 6: 117 -> 1:57
* Level 7: 1004 -> 16:44
* Level 8: 136 -> 2:16
* Level 9: 188 -> 3:08
* Level 10: 95 -> 1:35
* Level 11: 901 -> 15:01
* Level 12: 183 -> 3:03
* Level 13: 163 -> 2:43
* Level 14: 188 -> 3:08
* Level 15: 238 -> 3:58
* Level 16: 77 -> 1:17
* Level 17: 1601 -> 26:41
* Level 18: 192 -> 3:12
* Level 19: 200 -> 3:20
* Level 20: 696 -> 11:36

I want to thank :
All Bullfrog team members for such a great game !
12114 for his run and competitiveness (and also for telling me how to record the game :p)
zyzzyva for his lvl 18 strategy
enigma_nova for being the first to propose some runs which made me reinstall the game
Mefistotelis ( for his ADiKtEd Library
SDA for such a great site
Mike and Nate for they patience
Radix for well huh ... I don't know, it must be some subliminal messages while I was reading the rules/faqs

- * Level 1: Eversmile [3:04] -

This is a scripted level that introduces the game. You must build a 9 tile treasure room, mine 9000 gold and build a 9 tile lair to unlock the hatchery (in fact it will force a beetle through your portal and then give you the hatchery). With a 9 tile hatchery you are given the power imp spell but most important you have "unlocked" the heroes. Once you reach 7 creatures, the first wave of heroes appear (2 tunnellers), after you kill them you must wait 25 sec (and still have 7 creatures) for the final wave (1 knight a.k.a. the lord of the land). You win when all heroes are killed.

The strategy here is to possess the portal as fast as possible (asap). Creatures comes from portals at a given rate, the rate here is 1 creature every 20 seconds, so I've to take the portal before 20 sec or wait another 20 seconds :s. I then build all required rooms and hope I'll get 5 beetles for the knight. Flies are the worst creatures, beetles are not good either but they punch much harder.
Incompressible time is 7x20 + 25 = 165 (2:45). Improvements can only be made during the fights; 3:03 is possible but very hard.

0:13 look at those lazy imps not going at work. Imps are very very very ... stupid, I hate them and you will see me slap them again and again :p
0:20 the first creature is coming and requires a lair. If I don't build the lair, no more minions will come serve me.
0:41 second creature is a beetle, try to do the same :p
1:50 I made a beetle effigy to attract them, no one as yet proven it works ;)
2:40 I give chickens to my beetles so they recover some health (they absolutely didn't need it this time, I agree)
2:54 perfect knight fight with 5 slapped beetles at the right spot

- * Level 2: Cosyton [2:39] -

Another heavy scripted level. I won't enumerate all possibilities and just say that you need to build all rooms (9+ tiles) and attract 8 creatures. You win by killing all the heroes (you must also have minimum 8 creatures).
It is important not to loose any creatures against the first heroes.
Incompressible time is 8x17.5 = 140 (2:20).

0:03 Fast portal claiming requires a T shape so 3 imps can claim together
0:07 cosmetic error (it's an error that doesn't cost time but look bad) : where the fu** is the 4th imp
0:17 an entrance as been claimed
0:17.5 the first creature (a fly) is coming
0:29 I do 9 x 1 tile lairs, it can hold 9 small creatures. To obtain the same result with a full connected lair I must have build a 9 tile square lair with surrounding reinforced walls (maybe with a door). You will see this 1 tile rooms quite often.
0:36 cosmetic error : hatchery precipitation
1:01 activation of an action point before the 2nd demonspawn arrives (otherwise the run is screwed by a long timer :s)
2:12 me messing with the angle view, can't get it right
2:18 slapping those demonspawn is needed to make them engage the fight

- * Level 3: Waterdream Warm [4:55] -

Another heavy scripted level. It's the same concept as level 1 & 2 but you need 10 creatures, and you are limited to 8 creatures till you don't have a library (9 tiles) or wait a big amount of time. After the first wave you must wait 100 sec for the final wave. You win by killing all the heroes (you must also have minimum 10 creatures).
Creatures required = fast portal. Instead of building a training room I'll claim the one with skeletons at the far left on the map. Skeletons will be used to kill the heroes, and are a free +2 to the creatures count. Problem is that the heroes spawn in an area surrounded by fortified walls, and I cannot claim the area because the entrance is "protected" by water.
Incompressible time is 8x20 + 100 = 260 (4:20).
I'm not happy with the time, I've matched it several times but I was aiming for less to the point I would be happy with 1 sec less. I don't like to run this level, only battles are relevant and they last 35 sec for a total of 4:55 ... not to mention sometimes a creature is skipped from the portal -_-'. 4:52 is possible but requires very good fights.

0:03 you can see there is place for 3 imps to claim the portal
0:33 building lairs so other creature will come
1:55 activation of the action point
1:57 dropping the imp to be sure the action point is activated.
2:02 slapping the warlock out of the library otherwise he will go create his lair
2:49 the archer must be your first target otherwise he will kill you
2:58 those dwarves are very aggressive and they hit hard ... did you say pleonasm ? ^^
3:14 training the fly so it doesn't interfere with the final battle
4:42 archer = first target

- * Level 4: Flowerhat [3:20] -

You win when you destroy the white dungeon heart.
I also take a transfer creature and transfer a lvl 8 spider.

0:08 treasure and training room to attract a demonspawn
0:15 I need money for speed and bridges
0:20 I didn't do the library too quick to avoid attracting a warlock
0:25 selling the training room because I only want one demonspawn and a lot of warlocks
0:53 lost 1 sec because the demonspawn didn't go toward the door
1:35 my imp got hit but I survived
2:18 some mistakes with the bridge and imp
2:34 forgot to slap them
3:07 this happens a lot :(
3:16 bridge was fast

- * Level 5: Lushmeadow-on-Down [1:43] -

You win when you destroy the blue dungeon heart.
I bring the lvl 8 spider (138 str) and lvl 2 bile demon (108 str) to destroy the heart.
Lvl 2 spiders (54 str) are not strong enough to compensate the time lost to bring them.

0:17 you must reach the portal before it is claimed
0:40 lost 0.5 sec being stuck there

- * Level 6: Snuggledell [1:57] -

You win when you destroy the blue dungeon heart.
This level is straightforward; free the mistresses then dig to the heart and bring your mistresses to kill it.
On (very) rare occasions one (or two) mistresses go directly to the enemy heart.

- * Level 7: Wishvale [16:44] -

You win when you kill the knight party, destroy the blue dungeon and no heroes are left.
This is a timed level, the knight come after 1000 sec and only if there are no more heroes.
On this level, while the blue dungeon is not destroyed heroes are coming at regular intervals. The idea is to let the heroes kill the blue dungeon and then get rid of them and wait for the knight.
Another objective is to transfer a lvl 8 mistress, that's why I did a small training room so I can take special care of one and level her till lvl 7 (lvl 8 with an increase level bonus).
Incompressible time is 1000 sec (16:40), so it takes only 4 sec to get rid of the knight party.

2:52 when you get 5 creatures an orc will join you and the barracks will be available. Orcs are normally attracted by a barrack (1 tile) and a training room (9+ tiles).
3:10 only a 24 tile hatchery to avoid bringing bile demons.
3:48 revoking a creature by dropping it in the portal.
5:17 mistresses are attracted by torture rooms
6:05 warlocks are not worth training because of the reflection aura from the knight
11:04 building a 1 tile library here for the bonus so I've a quick access to it (I do this on some levels)
13:08 disarming the lightning trap by triggering it and claiming the ground during the cooldown.

- * Level 8: Tickle [2:16] -

You win when you kill all heroes and the blue dungeon is destroyed.
It's my favourite level and the one I'm most proud of.

0:31 I'm waiting for the first spell to be researched. When your creatures have successfully researched a spell/room they are so happy they stop working for a short time. If I pick the mistress directly the bridge will be researched too late due to that fact.
0:34 I let the mistress fire a lightning before casting possession
0:56 I need the punk barbarian so I claim and save him
0:58 I put the barbarian in the library not to make use of his brain (he has 0 research skill) but to make him busy and prevent him to go in a suicidal fight too soon.
1:03 I'm not acting crazy, it's one of those erratic mouse movements I've talked about.
1:11 selling a part of the bridge to force my imp to work and claim the ground beneath the transfer bonus. Imps get afraid by enemy creatures and they run away, I want to avoid that.
1:31 dropping order and location is important if you want to win the fight
2:14 the transfer window vanish because the game informs me I've won

- * Level 9: Moonbrush Wood [3:08] -

To win the level you must kill the 4 wizards and then kill the knight.
To take the transfer bonus you must also explore a labyrinthic path and of course your imps are too dumb to do it alone.
The mistress is very good at killing the wizards but she has too little life.
There are some mistakes but I had also lot of luck with the wizards and the fights.

0:41 slapping the troll to make him level faster or he will be stuck to lvl 1 if you do the map fast enough
0:51 first wizard is close to the entrance, you can't see the freeze projectile but you can hear it.
0:55.5 it was a rapid fight :)
1:01 I must help the imp through the maze for the transfer bonus
1:09 here comes the first claiming path mistake
1:14 here the second
1:17 and the third ...
1:18 omg it looks so awful
1:27 yeah great, now I just picked the wrong imp, will this bad luck never ends ?
1:33 ok it ended here, I've luck the imps did claim this ground because of the archers firing at them.
1:42 second wizard is also close the door, and the fight went very well too.
1:44 here you can see the freezing projectile that I must avoid at all costs (or I'll be freezed for 10 seconds, or speedrun-wise retry the map)
1:52 you can hear the slowing projectile, I got lucky I didn't get slowed
2:05 the witch is very close, and I stopped moving so she don't uses her wind spell (it's not as bad as the freezing spell but it does cost too much time)
2:18 this is why I needed a lvl 8 mistress so I can get a lvl 5 horned reaper
2:33 the last wizard, I was very careful to avoid the freezing projectile because I was very luck with the other wizards and didn't want to screw that.
2:45 I want to slap the reaper for the final fight, also when he engage the thief the vampire teleport to the fight so I don't have to be afraid of his slow spell during the knight fight
2:51 reapers have a lot of life and I need it to tank the knight with all those archers surrounding me.

- * Level 10: Nevergrim [1:35] -

You must destroy the blue dungeon to win, which is very easy with a lvl 6 reaper. A second objective is to take the bonus transfer near the blue dungeon.
I claim the dragons to research the bridge so I can reach the blue keeper isle and claim a path to the transfer bonus.

0:08 I could have go out 1 second earlier
0:25 this time the imps did a good job by claiming a nice zone for the library
0:32 another erratic mouse movement but largely compensate by a very quick dragons drop & slap
1:05 you can notice on the radar view that the blue imp just claimed the last tile from a square zone. it's annoying because the blue keeper will build a lair preventing you to have a direct path to the bonus.
1:14 the bridge part was quick, it's not easy to lay down
1:25 almost perfect timing :D
1:28 I've to make a small detour due to the enemy lair, but it could've been worse with hatcheries totally blocking the way.

- * Level 11: Hearth [15:01] -

Your mission is to destroy all heroes. It is another of those timed levels where you must wait an amount of time before the lord of the land shows up (here 900 seconds). This time you have access to boulder traps and it is the fastest way to kill the heroes. I sell everything to build workshops and prevent warlocks and bile demons from coming.
Incompressible time is 900 sec (15:00)

1:13 yes this door is locked despite not having a spinning key.
2:12 in this level I won't dig gold but use only those left by the heroes
2:45 I don't know how it happened, I was as surprised as you. For those who don't see what's wrong, I selected the bottom of the map but ended at the top of it.
2:57 slapped the reaper by mistake while dropping gold
3:01 giving gold to the reaper so he doesn't get too mad (you know what a psycho reaper is capable of, do you?)
4:24 I should've killed the troll for stealing my gold
6:24 a lvl 9 horned reaper is better then a lvl 10 because his speed spell doesn't wear off before he can cast another one, making him non stop speeded.
11:09 I must wait for some heroes before laying down traps for the knight
13:01 lvl 4 troll have the speed spell and thus are very efficient at workshop. They are idling in the lair because "YOUR WORKSHOP IS NOT BIG ENOUGH" (this sentence made me quite nervous as you have seen)
14:18 traps are a little buggy and you can end up with workshops full of traps without being able to lay them.
15:00 some explanations are needed, first 2 witches are coming on the bottom and got crushed by some of the 16 boulders then the knight party is coming and got killed by the 8 boulder traps. No more heroes left, I won.

- * Level 12: Elf's Dance [3:03] -

You must destroy all dungeons and heroes. I also need the transfer creature bonus.
On this level I must kill hearts from keepers with creatures, I hate it because some swings will hit those creatures instead of the hearts and you can loose several seconds with bad luck !

1:48 I got lucky all heroes went to my dungeon instead of getting lost in the level. Another luck factor is those 2 demonspawns to help the vampires.
2:06 you can't claim already claimed grounds in possession mode.
3:01 same as level 8: the transfer window vanishes because the game informs me I've won

- * Level 13: Buffy Oak [2:43] -

I must kill the 2 allied dungeons. I also go for the transfer creature.
On this map you must know how the AI will react to your movements and dig in consequence. The blue AI also must dig quickly enough to the portal.

0:53 I drop the imps to slow the enemy imp progression.
2:01 I killed a creature instead of hitting the heart, I hate when it happens.
2:40 I let some unclaimed tiles so the imp doesn't take the bonus and I don't loose time chasing him.

- * Level 14: Sleepiborough [3:08] -

You must kill all the wizards then kill the knight.

0:16 I build the library in the corners to improve efficiency
1:29 running around so all the wizards fire their freezing spell
1:42 if found it more reliable and not slower to not possess the reaper
1:44 I take the reaper back to avoid the freezing spell and to reslap him (this is very important)
2:38 I didn't sell the bridge too soon because the knight will just cross the gap and end at the wrong place.
2:44 that's why I research for bridge, so I can trap the knight and kill him easily
2:48 I went too close and he could heal, my mistake
3:00 I didn't expect to be quicker then the imps, but you know my opinion on imps :p

- * Level 15: Woodly Rhyme [3:58] -

You must destroy all heroes and dungeons.
This time I don't take the transfer bonus because it take too long to reach (research bridge, build bridge, destroy magic door, disable a lightning trap).

0:15 this is the corner trick, there is a gap allowing creatures to enter or leave your dungeon, but this gap get closed when walls are fortified. You can thus go out and still protect your dungeon.
0:32 you can drop imps and only imps on unclaimed path
1:13 the samurais are heading to the blue keeper, and will destroy him
1:21 I must wait for the knight because he is too close to the center building. If I go too close or if I claim the ghosts it will trigger an action point and other heroes will come.
1:43 it was not a fast knight kill but not a slow one either
3:00 samurais are hard to hit and they have the annoying freeze spell. Killing them can take hours but this time it was fast for the two of them.

- * Level 16: Tulipscent [1:17] -

You must kill the blue heart.
I did a little mistake on this level, I forgot to activate must obey. The rest went pretty well.

- * Level 17: Mirthshire [26:41] -

You must kill the knight.
This level is boring, the knight comes after 26:40 and there is nothing you can do to speed that.
I add an additional challenge to myself, guess what it is ;)
Anyway you can skip this level, I just kill the knight with boulders.
Incompressible time is 1600 sec (26:40)

As you can see I'm very good at ignoring room flags -_-'
I do 14 tiles lair to avoid dragons

- * Level 18: Blaise End [3:12] -

In order to win one must kill the mighty knight and the holy white dungeon heart.
Being the most evil of the dungeon keepers, instead of triggering the knight arrival you'll first kill the dungeon heart then trigger the action point and win without facing the knight :). Thanks to zyzzyva for pointing this out.

0:49 I don't want to kill those wizards but I must keep them busy so they don't scare my imp
2:19 constant firebreathing is a privilege of possessed dragons and it's very efficient
3:11 dropping the imps to activate the action point in order to win the game

- * Level 19: Mistle [3:20] -

You must destroy the blue dungeon, I say this quite a lot but technically you must read : "the blue dungeon heart must be destroyed".

0:10 I'm collecting the lvl 10 imps first then the lvl 5 because lvl 5 imps can be constantly speeded. I don't let imps wander around to prevent them from triggering an action point later and prevent the blue keeper for gaining free rooms. On this map, each time you find/claim a room, this room will be available to all players.
0:38 erratic mouse movement
0:48 this digging scheme is to avoid action points.
0:56 closing the corner
1:17 My imp wasn't killed by a lightning bolt so I wasted some time for you to see what's going on at the enemy heart. I don't care but it's better for viewers, and i don't think it really make me loose time.
1:31 triggering an action point for the samurais
1:56 you must engage the blue imp otherwise he will flee preventing the battle to happen
2:06 this battle is important because barbarians are too slow to reach the blue dungeon and getting rid of the blue creatures will improve the thieves' survival.
2:54 all thieves are alive and hitting the dungeon heart

- * Level 20: Skybird Trill [11:36] -

You must kill the first avatar then kill all incoming heroes. In a normal play the avatar is part of the incoming heroes (he was resurrected :)).
Here you won't see the "second" avatar because I kill all the heroes before he comes, luring the game into thinking I've killed him :p.
This level requires a lot more luck than I thought, I'll list some :
early dragon, good tentacle placement, flies and beetles position, white horny mood, witch going left, lvl 10 blue imps, central dungeon claiming order, troll/dragons ratio, traps/doors research speed, and all the bad endings (I had everything possible I think : blue keeper killed, thief leaking through traps, tuneller digging before getting killed, dwarves/thieves masters at boulder dodging, not enough money to kill a stuck fairy,etc...)

2:46 hard to focus a dragon behind those bookshelves, I could've lost another 2 seconds without any impact for the final time
2:59 I wasn't sure if i did the right selection, but I did
7:12 the witch took the wrong way ... I was afraid it was the horny changing his mind and going back
8:03 selling the cemetery to avoid an imp hecatomb
8:33 if you don't take care of the lvl 10 imps, they will start to claim unclaimed path, fight your imps and the enemy keeper will bring his creatures.
8:41 those entrances need to be blocked for when I connect my dungeon to the blue one

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