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Cadaver (1990) and its sequel, The Payoff (1991), are two Isometric Action Adventure games by the Bitmap Bros. The dwarf mercenary Karadoc is hired to sneak into an ancient castle via the sewers, make his way to the tallest tower, and defeat the evil necromancer Dianos. In the sequel, it turns out he doesn't actually get paid, so he goes off to kill his former employers. Each floor is a multi-room maze containing numerous puzzles and deathtraps, and a handful of monsters.


Contains the following tropes,

  • Artifact Title: The game has absolutely nothing to do with cadavers.
  • Bag of Spilling: Going to the next level erases most of your inventory, or in some cases all of it, with no explanation given.
  • Big Bad: Dianos.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Although the cutscene in question is just a text scroll, in the intro Karadoc has an easy time slaughtering a giant and a horde of eldritch demons; whereas in the actual game he has a lot of trouble killing a small mound of slime.
  • Dungeon Bypass: You can make stacks of items to bypass most barriers; this works particularly well with bottles, and the floating items from the kitchen in level 2.
  • Excuse Plot: It is never explained what is so evil about Dianos, or why you are being paid to kill him. Incidentally, for a necromancer, he sure doesn't mance a lot of necro.
  • Interface Screw: Drink an Alcohol potion to reverse your controls.
  • Save Game Limits: You must pay gold to save your game, and the amount gets bigger for each subsequent save.
  • Unwinnable by Design: It is oh so easy to use a potion or scroll in the wrong place, so that it's no longer available for the puzzle for which you need it.
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