GemCraft Chapter 2: Chasing Shadows is the fourth game in Game in a Bottle's GemCraft series, and is the long-awaited sequel to GemCraft Chapter 1. It was released on April 4, 2014 as the 4th game in the series, and later released on Steam in April 2015 for $9.99. Development for the game started on August 1, 2011. On December 16, 2011, Game in a Bottle posted the first screenshot of the game. In the developer's blog post, many spoilers were released for the game.
Changes from Previous GamesEdit
9x Speed ButtonEdit
The game features a new 9x speed button for players who spend hours on Endurance. Also, the menu bar can now be switched from the top to the bottom for the user's preference.
The game has the XP bar with now in different graphics.This XP bar in the battle was first introduced on Gemcraft iOS.
Endurance mode can now only be attempted after the player beats the allotted number of waves for the level they are playing, and is a button on the victory screen. Achievement progress is not recorded during this mode either. Endurance mode goes on until round 999, after which the player completes endurance mode for the map and receives a different coloring on the token.
Levels can now be played on 3 difficulties: Looming, Glaring, and Haunting. Looming is the default difficulty, with harder difficulties resulting in more and tougher monsters in a longer battle, but also reward more experience for completing the battle and increase the experience multipliers of battle traits. Higher difficulties are also the only way to acquire level 100 talisman fragments, as they increase the levels of dropped fragments.
- Main article: List of Skills
You start off your journey with only a few skills, but you can gain more by unlocking tome chambers on certain maps by killing a specific number of monsters in specific ways. A skill cap of 45 is created for skills that do not directly affect gem power. Each level of a skill costs more skill points to level up, and unspent skill points add mana to your starting pool, so it isn't always a good idea to spend all your skill points.
- Main article: Battle Traits
Similar to GCL's 'Battle Settings', battle traits modify the mechanics of the battle at varying magnitudes based on trait level(TL). Each trait can have a level from 1 to 7 (Hatred has a max level of 10), from a small change in the monsters to a drastic increase in them. Each level in each trait also adds one wave to the battle, making it flexibly longer. Battle traits cost Shadow Cores, requiring the trait level in cores to use that level eg. 1 core for trait level 1, 3 cores to up a trait from level 2 to 3, 7 from 6 to 7, etc. Higher difficulties also make traits cost more, with Glaring costing twice the shadow cores, and Haunting costing thrice the number of shadow cores. In version 1.1.0 of the flash version, the Beacon Storm trait was replaced by the Hatred trait.
Fortunately, if a player loses a battle with battle traits, all Shadow Cores spent on battle traits are returned.
In the Steam version, Battle Traits do not cost Shadow Cores.
|Adaptive Carapace||Reduces damage dealt to a monster by 0.5xTL%(.5-3.5%) every time it gets hit, up to 10xTL%(10-70%) total after 20 hits.|
|Mana Lock||Makes your Mana Pool give you earned mana in chunks every 10+15x[TL-1](10-100) seconds.|
|Corrupted Banishment||Restores 18xTL%(18-126%) of monsters health, gives it 10xTL(10-70) extra armor and one layer of shielding per level of the trait.|
|Haste||Wave Stones and sparks move 7xTL%(7-49%) faster.|
|Hatred||Monsters start with more hit points and get tougher faster. At level 1, it increases 50% hit points and 0.7 wave hit point increment. It caps at level 10, with 1.000.000% more hit points, and 7.0 wave hit point increment. This trait also offers a much higher XP multiplier per level compared to the other traits.|
|Giant Domination||Giants have 30xTL%(30-210%) more armor, and 5xTL%(5-35%) more health and speed. Waves added by this trait are giants.|
|Swarmling Domination||Swarmlings get -9xTL%(9-63%) duration on slow, freeze, and curse effects. Waves added by this trait are swarmlings.|
|Orblets||Adds 2+TL(3-9) orblets around your orb, giving you a +3% mana gain multiplier per orblet. Monsters that reach your orb steal the orblets, and try to escape the field with them. A permenant -10% mana gain multiplier is applied for every lost orblet.|
|Chasing Shadows||Summons a shadow to the battle per level of the trait.|
An item with sockets that you can fill up with rare monster and chest drops. Each fragment has a rarity that is increased with trait difficulty and level that can be increased with shadow cores, capping at 100. Each Fragment has one or more bonuses that increase as you upgrade the fragment. Fragments with a higher rarity allow for more powerful bonuses per upgrade, and more per fragment. Very powerful fragments even have the ability to increase all of your skill levels and grant the capability of going beyond the level 45 skill cap and making your skills extremely powerful.
The world map in GC2 is a bit different from the previous Gemcraft games. The markers for each field (called field tokens) now resemble a grade 1 gem, just like Gemcraft Chapter 0 (Gem of Eternity) and Gemcraft Chapter 1 (The Forgotten). Some levels resemble higher grade gems, such as grade 3.
Unlike other Gemcraft games, levels are now on hextiles. Each hextile has several fields, including any number of special fields such as wizard towers, tome chambers, or vision fields. When you beat a field with a wizard tower, more hextiles will unlock (For example, You completed F4, then you will unlock Hextiles I and H,that means you will also unlock I1.) When you open a tome chamber and complete its field, you gain a new skill. The vision fields are the most challenging, similar to the epic fields in previous games. At the start of the game, you will first unlock Hextile F, and unlock F1.
Wizard tower fields have a hostile wizard tower which will smash your orb of presence if you do not break all locks located on the field before the final wave starts. Locks break when certain conditions are met, for example when you shoot it with a tower a X times, use a freeze spell on it X times, shoot it with a bolt-enhanced gem X times, or shoot it with a beam-enhanced gem for X seconds. If all locks are broken before the last wave begins and you beat the final wave, you receive a reward of at least 1 hextile, 1 map token, and a battle trait or difficulty level. For example: beating wizard tower level F4 unlocks Hextiles E and I, earns tokens E1 and I1, and unlocks the haste battle trait. The sole exception to this is Field M5, which only drops a battle trait (Orblets) for Steam players.
World Map levels Edit
- Main article: List of Fields
- Main article: List of Vision Fields
These are fields that let you peek into past or future events. On these levels you will replay some fields from previous Gemcraft games with a fixed set of skills. These levels are considered the most challenging levels in the game. All talisman effects and skills are deactivated for these levels, but beating these fields will give the player a one-time reward of 13 skill points and, in some cases, unlock more fields to explore.
The maps are redone in GC2:CS, and are filled with more color. Paths can now be made from dirt, sand or whatever terrain you're currently in, as well as stones.
- Main article: Achievements
Shrines lose their buildable status and return to their "special" status from GC0. Walls shrink to down to 1×1 units while the other buildings are 2×2 units. This helps you put your towers where you want with more precision.
Amplifiers have a deployment time when set to balance out the bonus power of being able to boost gems. You will obtain the ability to build amplifiers after you beat the J4 tomb.
In levels whose tiles resemble grade 2(GC1 GC0)/Grade 3(GCL GCCS) gems, a new building known as the "wizard tower" is introduced which will destroy the orb if its locks are not destroyed before the final wave. You will be given things like a Hextile when you unlock it.
In levels whose tiles resemble grade 1 gems that is like a Tri-swirl design inside, a new building known as the 'Tome chamber' is introduced. Tome chambers open and give you some items when you complete the task said in the Chamber (for example, kill X reavers). These fields can be completed without opening the chamber, but some wizard towers require some skills and there will be an exclamation point on the field maker if the chamber hasn't been opened yet.
Stone circles called nodes appear in some levels, these store energy from monsters that are under the influence of an effect like curse or freeze. Ruined nodes will build up a charge to 10% then damage enemies in range. Some vision maps (and the spiritforge level) require you to charge 5 nodes to 100% to beat them.
Imprisoned Gem of Eternity Replicas and the Scythe Gate: Old Gems of Eternity (The Forgotten has been captured 6 times before) can be found caged in some levels, these randomly banish monsters. The Scythe Gate appears on H1 and will also randomly banish enemies.
Obelisks and Corrupted Mana Shards: Obelisks function like beacons randomly bestowing monsters with a random effect and are indestructible. Corrupted Mana Shards are yellow mana shards that, while inexhaustible, will weaken any gems that feed off of them, further lowering the amount of mana that can be acquired from each shot (unless you use Mana harvesting gems, though those gems will still experience a decrease in damage per shot).
Sleeping Hives: These are insidious new enemy buildings that spawn shadow swarmlings (like they came out of a Tomb) for every shot fired by a nearby gem in a tower and each gem bomb used on them. Each Swarmling from here is stronger than the last, so while it is a great method for free kills and hits, it is dangerous to hit the sleeping hive too many times; the swarmling may eventually gain the stats of giants!
|Amplifier||Amplifies the stats of the nearby towers.|
|Tower||The main buildings used to place gems; they will attack nearby monsters.|
|Trap||A place to fit a gem, this gem will only attack monsters passing over it. And it will have less damage, but increased specials and attack speed.|
|Wall||Monsters cannot go through this. So use it to let them walk the path you want.|
The gems get a total rearrangement in GC2. The lime gem color (previously chain hit power) and the shocking power (previously cyan gem color) are both gone, and the black and white gem colors (Bloodbound and Poolbound gem powers) make their first appearance in this game. Gems include the following (stats are for base L1 gems):
|Red Gem||Chain Hit||12-20||4.59||0.66||10.56|
|Orange Gem||Mana Leeching||8-16||4.53||0.54||6.48|
|Yellow Gem||Critical Hit||8-22||4.59||0.6||9|
|Purple Gem||Armor Tearing||6-22||4.29||0.66||9.24|
Poolbound is a new ability that increases all the components of white gems (minus black gems) whenever the mana bar reaches its maximum. The black gem's bloodbound power is similar, except it increases all the components for each hit (minus white gems).
The other new ability is Supressing Healing. Monsters now gradually regenerate health - cyan gems permanently reduce a monster's regeneration rate, to a minimum of zero. All the other gem powers are the same with a few slight changes.
Gem types are not unlockable once a field has started. However, you can learn different skills from skill tomes which will permanently unlock a specific gem type.
When you use a gem bomb to summon monsters, it increases the health, armor level, and XP gained from the monsters. Every fifth enrage on a single wave will cause a beacon to appear on the field. Summoning is renamed as Enraging in GC2.
There is a new method of rapid gem bombing. If you hold SHIFT and press the bombing button, gems from the inventory will automatically be selected for bombing, as in Labyrinth. If you click on the gem bomb button, then hold shift, the new method is used instead. When you click on the screen, a duplicate from the topmost gem in your inventory taken out of your mana is thrown.
While a gem in the previous games could only have 3 specials at a time, GC2 will let you have as many specials as the number of components in the gem. As more components are added, each special will decrease in power. If they become too weak then they drop off the list of gem abilities, i.e. if poison goes below 1 hp per sec it is removed. Below is a chart of how much power (%) each component has based on how many components are in the gem.
|Number of Components||Strength of Components|
ManaEditWhen the mana pool reaches its maximum, it will automatically increase the mana pool size along with the power of any white gems. A new info panel is given to the mana bar, giving more specific info on how much mana you're receiving. The mana bar also replaces the gem anvil from Labyrinth. Now you drop a gem on the bar to destroy it and refund 70% of its mana cost.
Shrines return to their special status from GC0, but they can be used over and over as in GCL. None of the previous shrines are returning, and they are replaced with nine new shrines, each based off one of the nine gems. Below is a table of all the shrines:
|Shrine||Gem Based On||Ability|
|Shrine of Infection||Cyan Gems||Temporarily Prevents Healing|
|Shrine of Blades||Yellow Gems||Deals a percentage of health points of targets as damage|
|Shrine of Wisdom||White Gems||Harvests XP from monsters|
|Shrine of Focus||Red Gems||Gives a charge boost to spells depending on how many monsters are hit|
|Shrine of Venom||Green Gems||Deals poison damage over 30 seconds|
|Shrine of Time||Blue Gems||Temporarily halves the speed of targeted monsters. Stacks with slowing gem effect|
|Gem Enhancement Shrine||Black Gems||Adds maximum damage bonus to the inserted gem (Inserted gem is instantly resocketed if taken out of a structure)|
|Shrine of Energy||Orange Gems||Harvests Mana from monsters|
|Shrine of Corrosion||Purple Gems||A powerful way to get rid of monster armor|
Each shrine has a different charging speed and range. New shrines can be made on the field by a very rare spark, called Shrine Scroll. Gems sacrificed that match the shrine have their effects stack with the shrine where applicable.
Mana Shards can now have a shell on them that must be completely destroyed before you can harvest the mana. If the shard has a shell, it will be purple, instead of light blue. Mana shards can be created by a spark called Unearthed Shard.
Beacons now have varied ranges, health, and armor level, giving the game more variety. They also have different charge times between the pulses. A list of beacons for GC2 is below.
Many beacons will display their range when you hover with the mouse.
|Healer Beacon||Heals all nearby monsters for 5% of their total health.|
|Shield Beacon||Gives all nearby monsters an extra layer of shielding, protecting them from one more hit.|
|Static Beacon||Prevents buildings from built in an 8x8 square around it. This is the only beacon with a set or square range.|
|Discharging Beacon||Forces nearby gems to be resocketed in traps, towers or amplifiers; may fire rapidly enough to prevent gems from being used.|
|Cleansing Beacon||Removes negative effects from monsters in range. (Freeze spell, poison, slow, etc.)|
|Haste Beacon||Gives a permanent, stackable, speed boost to monsters until they are banished.|
|Beacon Protector||Reduces damage dealt to adjacent beacons by 75%.|
Enemies are divided into 3 basic classes: Reavers, Swarmlings and Giants.
Runner monsters and armored monsters are removed from the game, instead, all enemy classes can now have up to 3 different bonuses (called Marks, or curses). These bonuses consist of increased speed, armor, health, etc. The bonuses become stronger the higher the round. Some enemies even have special abilities such as forced resocketing within a certain range, spawning a random beacon on the map, or healing their allies.
There are 10 kinds of marks for monsters
|Armor||+X extra armor|
|Banish||Burns X% of total mana
|Beacon||Summons a beacon when killed|
|Discharging||Forces gem resocketing in
3 tiles when killed
|Heal||Heals nearby monsters for
X hit points when killed
|Health||+X extra hit points|
|Regeneration||+X hp/min extra regeneration|
|Shield||X initial shield|
|Summon||Drops 3 spawnlings when killed|
There are also random appearances by so called "Flying Ones". These are flying creatures, which usually drop a lot of shadow cores. There are 4 different "flying" monsters.
Apparitions: These spirits of slain wizards fly right across the screen, they are harmless but drop a lot of shadow cores if you kill them. They are white in appearance.
Specters: These dark, twisted beings were once apparitions, but were corrupted by the Forgotten and other demons. They fly faster than apparitions and go directly for your most valuable gem. If you don't kill a specter before it reaches your gem, it will unsocket and grab the said gem. You can still kill the specters, but if they leave the screen, your gem goes with it! If you kill a Specter carrying a gem, the stolen gem instantly returns to the tower it was removed from. Specters are magenta in appearance. (Note: Specters don't steal gems in traps)
Shadows: Shadows are the strongest demons you will encounter; they have lots of health, spawn monsters, and shoot projectiles towards your orb to steal your mana, or even steal mana themselves. A Shadow stays on the screen until you kill it. They have a significant amount of armor, and this armor level constantly increases, even when paused. A shadow can shift randomly across the screen (becoming invulnerable while moving). If that was not enough, they also continue causing havoc even when the game is paused (albeit at a much slower rate)! You have been warned!
Spires: While not exactly "flying", these creatures walk in a straight line toward your orb; they cannot be banished so if they reach your orb the battle is over (similar to low-health Shadows from GCL). They're slow at least. Unfortunately, they also possess an uncanny ability to completely limit the damage you can inflict upon them, meaning you can never kill them in just one hit, and you may often find yourself needing to use enchantment spells to take them down. They also have the ability to destroy any of your placed walls (or ones on the battlefield from the start), which is quite annoying at times (especially when you're playing on endurance and have to gem bomb the waves to get them past your manatrap, increasing the number, and therefore density, of the monsters heading for your orb). The "Beam" enhancement spell is very effective, since its damage is small but continuous, and the "Wake of Eternity" strike spell is especially effective since it removes a percentage of health, rather than dealing any damage directly.
Heads Up DisplayEdit
Game in a Bottle added a feature where you can move the bar that displays mana and score to the bottom. This makes the wave tiles come from the top, instead of the bottom. However, this feature doesn't appear to be visible in the final version. In later levels, the Forgotten also curses you by blackening the HUD.
In later levels, as you approach the Spiritforge, the Forgotten will appear for a brief moment, with one of two effects - either the next 3 waves are enraged, or the entire HUD is shrouded in shadow for an entire wave, rendering the player unable to interact with the game. Monsters will still move and gems will continue to attack, although Spires will not move until the effect has passed and all wave calls are canceled. She stops interfering directly in any way after you beat Field X5, the level where you battle at the gates of Spiritforge.
Spells are different abilities which get unlocked by finding the matching skill. There are 3 strike spells and 3 gem enhancing spells. Gem enhancing spells will add a temporary bonus attack to gems in towers and a permanent bonus to gems in traps. Strike spells are used to give monsters special effects to weaken them.
Strike Spells Edit
Enemies within the range of this spell will be frozen for a period of time. While frozen they take 150% more armor tearing effect. When killed they explode and deal additional damage to a random nearby monster.
Enemies within the range of this spell will be cursed for a period of time. While cursed they are more vulnerable to damage, slowing, and poison effect. As of v1.1.0, beacon effects have a 75% chance of failure on cursed targets.
Enemies within the range of this spell are damaged by 20% of their current HP. Additionally, 40% of armor is shredded, 30% of healing is suppressed and all layers of shield are removed. Every fifth target is also banished.
Enhancement Spells Edit
- Towers - Gives towers an extra attack in the form of at least 12 bolts, depending on how high the bolt skill is. The bolts' base damage and range is an extra +50% range and +120% damage, and the damage they do ignores armor.
- Traps - Casting bolt on a trap allows the gem inside to ignore enemy armor. Unlike bolting a tower, this does not expire
- Towers - Gives towers an extra attack in the form of a beam that constantly damages enemies within range for a set amount of time. The beam has a 10 tile range limit. Beam lasts at least 12 seconds depending on the Beam skill level, although the duration is only measured from when the beam is fired. If the beam is not firing, the duration will not be reduced.
- Traps - Casting beam on a trap reduces the reload time (increases attack speed) of the trap by 30%
- Towers - Gives towers an extra attack in form of a set number of barrage shell shots with splash damage that have +20% damage and +30% range. Each shot releases at least 3 shells.
- Traps - Casting Barrage on a trap increases special powers by 30%.
Sparks are rare events set in between the waves that trigger bonuses in the game. When activated, they provide bonuses ranging from decreasing mana costs to summoning something. The effects can be increased to an extent by using gem bombs on them.
- Prism cascade: Charges spells and shrines
- Stone supply: Decreases all building mana costs. ( max -500% )
- Shrine: Summons a random precharged shrine with more damage potential.
- Touch of wisdom: Increases the XP multiplier. Always appears every 50 waves. ( max +50% )
- Lockdown: Disables and weakens all active beacons.
- Unearthed shard: Summons a mana shard having a shell.
Gem Wasps are insects that are inside of gems. When a gem is used as a gem bomb, the wasps come out and attack nearby monsters. They have a set amount (changing with gem grade) of time or "stings" on the field (whichever is exhausted first) and every 2nd sting stuns their target. They cannot be controlled in who they attack, but they make gem bombs have a use in the higher waves.
Orblets come from a battle trait. They sit around your Orb and can be claimed by monsters who carry them off field. While docked to the orb, they increase the rate at which you gain mana by 3% in the web-based version, or 1% in the Steam version. When a monster reaches your orb it picks up an Orblet and carries it to the edge of the field. If you kill that monster the orblet it was carrying returns slowly to the orb. It can be picked up again even before reaching the Orb. Until the orblet returns you receive no bonus or penalty. Upon leaving the field, a penalty of - 10% is applied to the rate at which you earn mana.
Talisman powers allow you to increase the heaviness of the orblets, reducing the speed of monsters which are attempting to carry them off-field, and to increase the speed at which they return to the tower if a monster carrying them is killed.
Story (Spoiler Alert)Edit
It focuses on the wizard from Gemcraft Chapter 1 with The Forgotten on their way to the Spiritforge. On the way, they pass through an old trap - the Scythe Gate - which separates the wizard and the Forgotten. Finding himself at his old wizard tower, the wizard now sets off to set a trap to capture and seal the Forgotten before she reaches the Spiritforge.
Along the way, as the player encounters new structures and enemies, a journal entry will be added discussing it.
As you continue onwards towards the Spiritforge your character ponders the summoning of the Forgotten, questioning if the summoning "was really an accident". You also ponder as to the Forgotten's plot and as to her motives.
The player eventually discovers that the Gembearer (the player from Gemcraft Labyrinth) was killed, with the Gem of Eternity that he had crafted lying by his corpse. The player collects the Gem and decides to take it to the Spiritforge in his stead, while tapping into its powers to lay waste to the hordes of monsters attacking the Spiritforge. It is then that things go wrong and the truth is revealed.
The Gem of Eternity, after absorbing the essence of the monsters begins to glow with a blinding light. At the same time, the sealed Gem of Eternity replicas also begin to glow, transferring energy to the Gem of Eternity. It then fires a powerful burst of magic at the Spiritforge shield, destroying it.
It is then revealed that all along, the gem that you had collected from the Gembearer's corpse was a corrupted replica. In all the previous instances where the Forgotten had been sealed, she would slowly corrupt the gem, twisting the gem's power to her own needs and binding all the fake gems to one another. So when you used the socketed fake, you used the corrupted power of all the gems and destroyed the shield. The Forgotten even let the player live to that end after their initial separation at the Scythe Gate.
In the end you, were the Forgotten's pawn, as she used you to break into the one place that she could not enter or corrupt. However, she probably never meant for you to live and that may have been a serious mistake. The game alludes to a sequel in which you enter the Spiritforge, after you found the real Gem of Eternity, which had been poorly hidden by the Forgotten (found at field Y6, which can only be unlocked after inadvertently breaking the Spiritforge shield).
An alphabetized list of all loading tips can be found here.
Shortly before Gemcraft 2 was released, the game was put on Steam Greenlight and got Greenlit in a week. The Steam version of Gemcraft was released on the 30th of April, 2015, followed by Kongregate and other websites and will cost $9.95. The Steam version has some features that are exclusive as well as some modified features, due to the fact that the Steam version has no option for in-game purchases. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/updates/234463734