The Desolate Room is a game made by Scott Cawthon in Multimedia Fusion. It was created in 2007 for Windows and published on the developer's website.
The game is no longer available via the developer's website. However, it is available on GameJolt.
On a remote deserted island, a small coffee robot is slowly becoming aware of his surroundings. He doesn't know how long he's been there as his internal timer hasn't worked for long, but he knows every corner of the area by now. His days are spent obsessively collecting eggs for recipes, which he prepares for his friends Alphus, Derelict, Tool and Defect, rusted wrecks of large robots, deactivated for centuries. On some days, he senses a mysterious signal coming from under the ground. Coffee is a limited robot, but he wonders if they have been affected by a virus and if there is anything he can do to save them.
The Desolate Room, created by a single developer in Multimedia Fusion, starts as a real-time RPG. The player controls Coffee on the small island, hunting for eggs (egg finding skill is the only one he has) and certain items. There are no means of attack, no NPCs, conversations or enemies. During one of the quests Coffee salvages memory chips from the robot wrecks and attempts to retrieve memory fragments by inputting them in a console station. There the game changes into an 8-bit shooter where the player steers Coffee as a virtual avatar through different rooms. Each room consists of small bits of green code or large red ones. The virtual avatar has statistics based on health, speed and charge. The latter two statistics transcend to the real world. Coffee is able to log on or off at any time and hunt for more eggs to boost these skills. The avatar can sustain damage by red areas or by touching code. Taking out green code leaves behind bricks that fill the stats meters.
Red code is a different matter. These can either be taken out with a lot of patience, but more often they will touch the avatar, drawing it into a virtual battle against a viral element. At that point the game warps into a turn-based arena. The player no longer controls Coffee or the avatar, but the 4 robots stored in the memory chips. These are shown on the right, while the enemy appears on the left. Actions use the Active Time system, similar to most of the Final Fantasy games. Next to HP, each character has a white time meter that slowly fills up. When full, an action can be performed. These actions are based on the second meter: charge. The amount of charge determines the possible actions, so robots either choose a specific action or charge to open up more possibilities.
Each robot has 10 unique skills, all available right away at level 1, but they all require a different amount of charge to execute. There are basic attacks (static ball, quick shot, wallop), defensive measures (protowall, medbeacon, quickfix), actions that influence the opponent's statistics (hack, disable system, intimidation, distraction) and powerful attacks that usually require a full charge (doom claw, searing beam, rupture 101, wrecking ball). Most of these can be combined and some last multiple rounds, such as a turret that keeps firing or virus damage that affects an enemy for a long time. The effect of some of the attacks is further determined through 5-second 8-bit mini-games where the player has to shoot or avoid enemies to influence the strength of the attack. The game is entirely played with the same party, there is always only one enemy at a time and opponents fights using the same mechanics with all statistics shown. After each fight tokens are awarded based on skill, combo and difficulty. These can be used to upgrade any of the skills to the combination of actions that suits you best as a player.
The virtual world in the console consists of different stages with different colours, guarded by boss code. After each boss battle, the avatar can dive deeper and a memory fragment is unlocked, a cut-scene that shows what has happened to the robots. These sequences introduce a fifth robot not present on the island and Coffee has to discover how he's related to the virus and where the party of robots failed in their quest. (1)
There are several gameplay elements, those are:
- The Island: The player navigates Coffee around the small island of debris and rocks. There are small fetch quests to do in order to progress the story, as well as voluntarily collecting eggs in between console missions that provide boosts to upcoming battles in The Console.
- The Console: On the island, there is a console in which the player controls a blue avatar and navigates it through a virtual maze to the next boss. This is where random encounter battles occur alongside boss battles.
Each of the four characters will have two meters: a charge meter and a speed meter. When a character's speed meter is full, it is their turn in battle. The rate at which the speed meter fills can be changed during battle. However, the charge meter determines which attacks will be available to the player when it is a character's turn. The charge meter goes up to ten, one charge point for each attack.
Each character has ten unique attacks available; if a character has all ten charge points, all ten attacks will be available when it is that characters turn. Attacks farther down the list require more charge points to use. If the player uses the third attack in the list, it will use three charge points from the meter. The player may also use the charge button when it is a characters turn so it gives them an additional charge point for their next turn. Enemies also have a speed bar and charge bar. There are also debuff and buff attacks that the player can use to alter an enemies speed and charge or their own.
After each battle, the player is rewarded with tokens. Token bonuses are rewarded for the difficulty of the enemy, the variety of attacks used (skills) and for combos performed. A combo counts as any extra hits scored in one attack turn. The player can use all of these tokens to upgrade any attack they like. In this game, you cannot level up the characters but only their attacks. However, the more attacks leveled up for a specific character, the higher their HP will be. Every time a character has one of their attacks upgraded, they get a life upgrade as well. Every once in a while, the fighters or the enemy may score a critical strike. This counts as a combo, and deals triple the damage of a normal attack. There are attack options to increase the critical chance, as well as lowering an enemy's.
Upgrading some commands will increase their effectiveness, while upgrading others will increase their duration. If the command doubles damage, then upgrading it will increase the duration of the effect and not upgrade it to triple damage. If the effect is healing, then upgrading it will increase it's effectiveness. If you are upgrading an instant kill attack, it will increase it's probability. In the case of Doom Claw (a timed instant kill) upgrading will decrease the amount of seconds the timer begins with. Upgrading anything that is a timed effect usually simply increases it's duration. Upgrading an effect that last's for the entire battle (such as Static Touch, Scramble Hit, or Adv Targetting) will increase effectiveness.
- Scrap Spinner
- Scrap Snapper
- Alphus Beta
- Mr. Happy Box
- Horrible Jack
In order to advanced to the next area, you must first defeat an enemy that blocks the pathway. Once defeated, the path becomes clear; however, previously defeated bosses can be randomly encounted in later areas (along with standard enemies).
- Paradox 0.5
- Viral Code
- Model 0
- Arrow keys control movement: Every navigation element in the game, including the avatar when the player is in the console. These keys are also the only keys used for the different minigames played during battle.
- Enter: Use this to scroll text to the next page, or leave the menu screen.
- Mouse click: The mouse is used to do most functions during combat. The mouse button is also used to fire the player's weapon while in avatar form.
- The Desolate Room features many elements from The Desolate Hope such as Coffee, the protagonist and a party member named Alphus. They both share similar designs.
- The battle theme is the same used in The Desolate Hope, as well as many of the game's SFX.
- It is revealed that Coffee has an obsession with eggs which could explain why the enemies drop colorful eggs in The Desolate Hope
- Scott Cawthon has stated that most of his games contain a broken down robot. In this game, four of the main characters (Alphus, Defect, Derelict and Tool) are broken.
- The attacks Hack 1, Hack 2, Disable System, and Level Down, used by Defect, are mini games that are played during battles. In The Desolate Hope, mini games were given to all four protagonists.
- Tazerpod is an attack also used by characters in The Desolate Hope and Iffermoon.
- Although described as a prequel to The Desolate Hope, They share no similarities in story other than the characters. It is better described as a Spiritual Successor.
|The Desolate Room • The Desolate Hope • The Desolate Abandon|