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Darkeden is a free (unless you want to pay) Korean MMORPG in isometric projection that produced countless versions both official and unofficial of the same game.

The game revolves around a never ending war between vampires that can walk by daylight and humans called slayers in some part of Eastern Europe put in quarantine. A third race was later introduced into the mix called Ouster, a kind of Nature Spirits or Amazons or "ponies" due to their look after level 150, or whatever. A 4th race based on werewolves has been heard of, even glimpsed at but have not been implemented in the game for years.

The story states that three master vampires Elizabeth Bathory, Vlad Tepes and Gilles de Rais gathered in the fictional country of Eslania to receive the power from their mother, Lilith, sealed inside a sanctuary. Their attempt failed resulting in Lilith' souls to be split into 13 parts known as blood bibles scattered across the land. However, it also resulted in the creation of a large energy covering the whole region that blocked the ultra violet of the sun, allowing vampires to walk outside by day time. The search for power divided the vampire masters and their followers, especially Bathory and Tepes and a civil war ensued. Shortly after, a secret international anti-vampire unit called E.V.E was formed and sent to the field to fight all the vampires that were gathering in that area which became a new eden for them, a dark eden.

The gameplay is of the Hack and Slash type and used to be focused on aggressive PvP until the game jumped the shark by making the best places to xp in the game race specific thus making very hard to find someone from another race to fight that is not inside one of them. Being an MMORPG originating from Korea you can expect loads and loads of levels (250) that are not reachable unless one dedicates maybe 10 years of one's life into hardcore grinding.

The three races contain several classes within. Vampires are made of a warrior class and a mage class. The Ousters are made of a warrior class wearing Chakrams and elemental classes based on fire, earth and water. Finally, the slayers are divided between bladers, sworders, gunners, healers and enchanters.

The three races could be summed up as vampires being the easy mode, ouster the medium mode and slayers the hard mode.

A 3D version of the game set in medieval times has been in the works for years.

Tropes used in Darkeden include:

  • Alt-Itis: 3 races, several classes within said races, dozens of versions/game servers.
  • An Ice Person : Gilles de Rais. Morgoth and Gusion too.
  • Awesome but Impractical : Several of the slayer skills such as shine sword for sworders which requires an insane high to hit to work on a vampire player if no monster is around and then even if it works, no player would be stupid enough to keep standing on it.
  • Big Bad : Gilles de Rais, Mikklizz, Onibla, Gusion/Morgoth to a certain extent. Bathory and Tepes were that at first before they quickly looked ridiculous in comparison to the overpowered players.
  • Blessed with Suck : Slayers. Unlike other races they can't glide or teleport, they can't see in darkness unless an enchanter is here, needs to always have a sufficient amount of resistance not to be paralyzed for 30 seconds, have cool skills that are completely useless for a good 70% of them (some even when you just learn them) or impractical due to their high failure rate. And finally they need to be in group with all the classes to really be efficient.
  • Blind Idiot Translation : Tepez and All Registance to name a few.
  • Boss Banter : Gilles de Rais is very fond of this, with a lengthy monologue as you proceed in his lair. According to the updates Tepes and Bathory sometimes do it as well or not at all. Several mini bosses in Tiffauges Castle 2F do this as well.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory : As time passes by this is becoming more and more obvious. Don't want to spend 5h gaining 1% of xp? We have hourglasses to speed it up by two! What?! that's not quick enough yet, don't worry we also got Premium Cards to speed the hourglass xp by 2! Want to upgrade your set to the best grade? Good, we just happen to have 100% success upgrading yellow drops but have you also heard of our 100% success enchanting lilith drop 2? Mmmm I see your pet only has two options, would you want some injection to give him some uber option like HP steal +6? Because we sure have that for you! The only downside is that you would have to buy us many Mystery Injections until you get the one you want, but that's not a problem now is it?
  • Broken Base : With the myriad of private servers and official servers, players have different views on which is the best and most fun to play. They're also scattered across all these versions.
  • Cut and Paste Environments : You can clearly see the same elements pasted over and over all accross a same map or region.
  • Crapsack World : There is no human left in the Helea region except for those working in E.V.E and the slayers, the region is infested by undead monsters and Brazilian players. The people you are working for were actually trying to use you as a sacrifice and whatever you kill will respawn anyway.
  • Did Not Do the Research : Averted. They actually did do the research. From the Blood Bath of Bathory in her lair to the impaled people in Tepes' lair with a dining table set up nearby or the coat of arms of Gilles de Rais appearing prominently in the center of his lair.
    • Elizabeth Bathory never bathed in blood in Real Life; it's only folklore, but no one is going to fault anyone for following the legend.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Ok it's one thing to single handedly defeat a Master Vampire like Dracula or Bathory but kicking the ass of a Duke of Hell (Gusion) while barely receiving a scratch is another.
  • Elemental Powers : Ousters mainly have powers based on fire, earth, water and wind (their transportation). Slayers as well with bladers' skills revolving around fire while sworders' ones tend to be based on lightning.
  • Enemy Civil War : In story only. The followers of Bathory are in war with those of Tepes, too bad this doesn't translate in the actual gameplay.
  • Everything Fades : All the corpses and items not picked after a certain time will disappear out of thin air.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning : Bladers' tornadoes attacks. When facing strong mobs and the spinning of the skill renders them unable to attack it indeed proves that everything is better with spinning.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold : Gilles de Rais' lair is located in the icy region of Lake Timore, a region he was the one to freeze over mind you. His magic is also based on ice.
  • Evil Is Sexy : Bathory and female vampire after 150+ (and those with the previous look under 150).
  • Fake Balance : In case warrior class vampires were not powerful enough they have now been granted a skill to reduce the defense and protection of their enemy of about 200 points each. Reducing the cooldown time of darkness while increasing the length in which it stays on the map was also a bright idea.
    • And let's not forget the moment in which that same class can do a critical stunning skill nonstop (Set Afire) preventing their enemy to simply attack.
  • Fan Nickname : Especially common on a certain forum, terms like Job Change (JC) to refer to the Advanced Class/ Promotion of players above the level 150 mostly due to a bad translation on a Chinese server of the characters for "job" and the idea of "change" as in a promotion. Another term was to refer to the boss found in Adam N as Adam while others used Adam's Keeper whereas his official name is the Great Ruffian.
    • Rare skill books were also refered to as null or null strings because the name of the skill was missing and only <null string> would appear in game.
  • Fantastic Racism : Due to the aggressive PvP nature of the game, everything is done to incite you to hate the races other than yours in the game.
  • Fridge Logic : The game provides plenty examples, for instance one can wonder how come such an advanced military unit such as E.V.E can not provide some simple night vision helmets to their slayers so they could see in the damn darkness.
  • Fun with Acronyms : E.V.E (Experts in Vampire Extermination), all the more noteworthy when the mother of the vampire is Lilith who is sealed in Adam's sanctuary.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation : You can go kill all the famous vampire masters you want, fear not, they'll be back next hour or so.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff : Brazilians Love Darkeden. sHuhAuHAuaHUAhuaHaUAHUAa
  • Giggling Villain : Every time a vampire tries to bloodsuck someone.
  • Global Currency : Averted. Each race has its own currency.
  • God Mode : Players with an excessive amount of HP steal can fall into that in areas with plenty of monsters.
  • Go Mad From the Revelation : Averted. So the organization or vampire clan for which you busted your ass for so long turns out to be conspiring against you and wanted to offer you as a sacrifice? What do you do? How you react? Well as if nothing happened, you just hang around the same NPCs and stay in their HQs or towns.
  • Historical Domain Character: Elizabeth Bathory, Vlad Tepes, Gilles de Rais.
  • Hit and Run Tactics: Vampires' tactic of choice during PvP.
  • Hot Amazon: The Ousters.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle
  • Jumping the Shark: May vary according to people. Whether it is the increase of levels pushing the max level to 250 instead of 150 thus creating an unbalanced system they didn't foresee or the addition of the best xp places to be race specific thus killing the PvP aspect of the game except for very seldom times. Or that the game is turning into a giant Bribing Your Way to Victory.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Brazilian players are the biggest culprits of this. If you're planning for a tight strategy to beat a tough lair and you start hearing "br?" nearby, run, run far away or schedule the attack for another time.
  • The Legions of Hell: All Tiffauges mobs are Dukes (or Duchess) of Hell except for the Valkyrja. Why only one of them is 10 times their size remains a mystery unless the others are just mini versions of the real Dukes. The fact that there are mini Gusion in 2F, albeit called Krsnik to avoid probable confusion, may hint at that.
  • Level Grinding : 250 levels, have fun!
  • Limit Break : The A bar will, for most classes, make the players' attacks more powerful for around 30 seconds with nice yellow/orange/green flashes and sparkles everytime it connects.
  • Nature Spirit : The Ousters.
  • Money Spider : Averted in a way, you just sell Vendor Trash instead.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules : Averted. Monsters usually behaves like vampires being vampire themselves, for the most part anyway, they can drain players, get tougher by night and slowly regens their HP.
    • Straight with Gilles de Rais, see The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard entry.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore : Good luck trying to find PvP wars outside of the regular scheduled race wars.
  • Our Vampires Are Different : They can walk by day time, drink blood with their hand, use all kind of magic skills based around poison, acid, blood and curse, die being drained by other vampire or monsters or any kind of attack or magic.
  • Perpetually Static : Nothing really changes except with the change of look of Eslanian NW.
  • Randomly Drops : Be ready to slaughter thousands of monsters before maybe, just maybe find that one item you were looking for. Maybe dressing with luck gear or having a high fame will help you.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear : Pretty obvious on any character (especially slayers) under the level 150 with the ancient look. Averted now, that is until you take a look at your equipment window.
  • Religion Is Magic : Healers and Enchanters from the Cleric Guild. With Healers wearing a cross to fight vampires that is to be expected.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World : Lake Timore.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil : You start off fighting mindless dead bodies that just got re animated to ending fighting Dukes of Hell. Though this was somehow subverted in the original International version with new characters getting immediately torn apart by high level vampire players camping outside the beginning town.
  • Take a Level In Badass : Slayers, once they are in a Party made of all (or almost all) their classes.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard : Gilles de Rais is the main offender here. In the game, players can obtain items that reduce magical damage, if done well with some other buffs and if enough of these rare items are collected, magical damage of enemies can be eventually reduced to 100%. This works on all magical monsters and bosses but then, there's Gilles de Rais. That boss uses Ice skills that are neither physical (can't reduce its damage with more protection) nor magical (magical reduction buffs or items are useless)... Then what kind of attack is that if it's neither of the game's two kinds?! Not only that but he also has a seek and destroy behavior. No matter how far you would hide, even at the extreme opposite of the universe, he would manage to find you while all the rest of the game's monsters and bosses have a vision range.
    • Oh and have his uber fast hp regeneration (quicker than anything in the game) and super long range para been mentioned?
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks : The map of Eslanian NW. The original sprites/skins of players under level 150. Darkeden 3D...
  • Translation Convention : Even though set in Eastern Europe, the NPC all talk in Korean, Japanese, insert whatever language the version you're playing uses.
  • Twenty Bear Asses : Twenty injury leathers.... or X number of pendants, beads, blue drops... or 90 number of seeds... or even better 720 spines of Onibla, a boss that you'd be lucky to be able to beat a few times.
  • Uberwald : The Helea region of Eslania.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda : Lycans (so far), vision items helping seeing invisible vampires or in darkness, luck option and red luck option, fame, the list goes on.
  • Vendor Trash : Monsters' heads and skulls.
  • Villain Decay : Bathory and Tepes as the players level up. No matter their many incarnations they still remain jokes for the players past a certain point.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting : Vampires can turn to bats, wolves, werewolves.
  • Where The Hell Is Eslania
  • White Magic : From Healers and Enchanters.
  • Zombie Apocalypse : There is no human left except for those working in E.V.E and the slayers. The region is just full of undead. Even the puppies are suspicious spawning from the ground like undead creatures. You read it right, it might actually be worse than a zombie apocalypse, it's probably a puppies apocalypse!
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