The Curse of AstaroK [V1.0 With Sound]

Curseastarok.hex (79.5 KB)

Graphics   @vampirics
Code        @filmote

Source       Source Code
Hex            Hex File
Emulator    Project ABE Emulator

Special thanks to @Mr.Blinky and (as always) @Pharap for some much-needed space saving tips!

The Curse of AstaroK

A push your luck Dungeon Crawl game where you need to release your town from the curse of AztaroK


The evil Astarok has cast a nasty curse on the folk of Griford and turned them into pumpkins! The town’s people have asked you to battle the AstaroK and his evil friends in their hideout - an old castle on the edge of town.

You need to fight your way in the dark castle of the evil AstaroK, by casting runes that will release different powers depending on the combinations cast. You start with a limited arsenal of skills but will be able to acquire more advanced skills with the SP (Skill Points) that you gain by winning battles in the dark castle. You may also win gold too if you are lucky! When you win a battle, you can continue further into the dungeon or head back to town to buy more supplies with your winnings.

Be careful, if you are defeated in a battle you will be warp back to town but with half of the SP that you gained during the game. You will also forfeit a helmet or potion as punishment.


The Town
Saving and Restoring
Item Shop
Rune Shop
Battling Enemies

The Town


Astarok_Town_01    Astarok_Town_02

As you wander around the town of Griford, you can talk to people to gain information or enter shops to buy supplies used when battling the monster in the castle.

Inventory and Statistics


The Inventory and Statistics panel shows vital information regarding your inventory and health and any attacking enemy details.

Astarok_Inv_01     Astarok_Inv_02
Fig 1: Inventory                                                               Fig 2: Health and Statistics

Astarok_Inv_03    Astarok_Inv_04
Fig 3: Purchased Rune Combinations                           Fig 4: Enemy Statistics

The Inventory and Statistics panel can be accessed from any screen simply by pressing the B button. Once exposed, you can navigate through the panels using the Left and Right buttons.

The ‘Inventory’ pane will allow you to scroll through purchased items and selecting them for use using the A button. The current helmet being worn is denoted with an ‘E’ symbol on the right of the dialogue. Using a potion will deplete the number adjacent to it until all of that type of potion has been consumed at which point the item itself will be removed from the dialogue.

Saving and Restoring a Game


Game progress can be saved and restored.

Astarok_Save_01    Astarok_Save_02
Fig 1: The Excalibur Sword                                            Fig 2: Save and Restore Menu

Astarok_Save_03    Astarok_Save_04
Fig 3: Prompt to Overwrite Existing Game                    Fig 4: Confirmation of Save

The Save and Restore menu is revealed by pressing the ‘A’ button when standing in front of Excalibur (Fig 1) which is to the left of the player’s starting position in the game. The Save and Restore dialogue allows you to save a game in progress, start a new game or restore a game previously saved (Fig 2). The last option to restore a game will only be visible if a game has been previously saved. When saving a game, you will be prompted to confirm the overwrite of any existing, saved game (Fig 3).

Item Shop


The item shop sells helmets and potions to be used in battle.

Astarok_ItemShop_01     Astarok_ItemShop_02
Fig 1: The Item Shop                                                       Fig 2: Helmets and Potions for Sale

Astarok_RuneShop_03     Astarok_RuneShop_04
Fig 3: Buying a helmet or item                                         Fig 4: Enough money?

Fig 5: Items in your Inventory

The Item Shop is entered by pressing the Up button while standing in front of the door (Fig 1). Once inside, you can scroll up and down to look at the goods for sale (Fig 2) and selecting items to purchase by pressing the A button (Fig 3). Pressing A a second time will confirm the purchase or pressing B will cancel the transaction. If you do not have enough gold to purchase the item a message will remind you of your bad luck (Fig 4). Purchased items can be viewed in the inventory panel (Fig 5).

The item details are listed below:

Item   Cost       Description
Crystal Helmet     65 GP ▪ 10 additional DEF points
▪ 10 additional attack points
High Helmet   40 GP ▪ 5 additional DEF points
▪ 5 additional attack points
Round Helmet   40 GP ▪ 5 additional DEF points
Fire Potion   20 GP When used, the Fire Potion inflicts an additional 10 points of damage on top of your next cast. If attacking a Gelatinous Cube, the Fire Potion has double the effect (ie 20 points of damage)
Health Potion   15 GP ▪ 20 HP points added immediately
Speed Potion   20 GP When used, the Speed Potion will allow you to cast the runes an additional time. Multiple speed potions can be consumed to increase the number of recasts from 3 to 4 or more!


  • You can buy one of each helmet type. To wear a hat, access you inventory items and select the helmet using the Up / Down buttons and the A button.

  • You can purchase up to 6 of each potion type. You can use these items at any time while in the town of Griford or as part of your turn in a fight.

Rune Shop


Purchasing a rune with Skill Points will unlock that combination and make it available within a fight. If you cast the combination, the special powers are released.

Astarok_RuneShop_01    Astarok_RuneShop_02
Fig 1: The Rune Shop                                                    Fig 2: Fire Blaze Rune Combination

Astarok_RuneShop_03    Astarok_RuneShop_04
Fig 3: Healing Wind Rune Combination                         Fig 4: Rising Star Rune Combination

Astarok_RuneShop_05    Astarok_RuneShop_06
Fig 5: Venom Mist Rune Combination                           Fig 6: Runes in your Inventory

The Rune Shop is entered by pressing the Up button while standing in front of the door (Fig 1). As with the Item Shop, runes can be reviewed and purchased using the Up / Down buttons and the A button. Each rune combination shows the combination’s name, the damage it inflicts and the purchase price (in SP on the right) (Fig 2 - 5). The rune combinations themselves are shown with special characters ≠ and ? indicating that the runes should not equal each other or the rune value can be any value, respectively. Purchased runes can be views in your inventory (Fig 6).

The rune combination and details are listed below:

Item Cost       Description
Fire Blaze 30 SP
  • 20 damage points applied immediately
  • 5 additional damage points applied to the next two casts for Skeletons, Werewolves and Astarok
  • 10 additional damage points applied to the next two casts for Gelatinous Cubes.
Healing Wind   25 SP
  • 20 HP points applied immediately
Rising Star 35 SP
  • 35 damage points applied immediately
Venom Mist 35 SP
  • 20 damage points applied immediately for Skeletons, Werewolves, Gelatinous Cubes and Astarok
  • 2 additional damage points applied to the next two casts for Gelatinous Cubes, Small Werewolves and Astarok.
  • 4 additional damage points that are applied to the next two casts for the Large Werewolf only.
  • The Venom Mist does not affect the Skeleton.


  • For rune combinations that apply damage on subsequent casts, the additional damage points are forfeited if you do not cast a scoring sequence in the next cast(s).

  • You can only purchase a rune combination once. Its power remains with you when used and even if you die.

  • Rune combinations do not need to be cast in the exact sequence listed however must contain the exact tiles. In the Venom Mist, all tiles must be different. In the Fire Blaze combination, you must throw the two pairs shown - the remaining rune can be another of the same runes (thus making a Full House) or a different rune altogether.



You will encounter different enemies in the dungeons. The various potions may in ineffective on some enemies and may have an extended effect on others. You will need to determine what works best to maximise the damage you can inflict.

Battling Enemies


Astarok_Fight_01    Astarok_Fight_02
Fig 1: Cast a rune combination                                      Fig 2: Inflict damage on enemy

Astarok_Fight_03    Astarok_Fight_04
Fig 3: Additional damage from previous cast                 Fig 4: The enemy inflics damage

You may enter the dungeon at any time, with or without supplies you may have bought from the store. Upon entering the castle, you will encounter an enemy with minimal DEF and HP but as you progress further down into the labyrinth of dungeons the enemies will become stronger.

An enemy may attack you as you enter a dungeon before you have a chance to attack first (Fig 4). When it is your turn to attack you cast the runes by pressing the ‘A’ button. Once they have rolled to a stop you can choose to keep some and recast the remainder by jumping and touching those you wish to recast. Once all of the runes to recast have been selected, press the ‘A’ button to recast the selected rune. You can typically recast up to 3 times however if you have consumed a ‘Speed Potion’ you can increase this for the current attack.

If you cast a rune combination that matches one of the runes sets purchased from the town or you cast a combination from the ‘standard’ set below, you may skip a recast by not selecting any runes to recast and simply pressing the ‘A’ button.

If a scoring rune combination is cast, the damage is inflicted on the enemy immediately (Fig 1 and 2). This may be followed by a secondary damage caused by a Fire Blaze or Venom Mist rune as these have a residual effect that lasts over two subsequent attacks (Fig 3).

Combination         Attack Points Inflicted
Two Pair 10
Three of a Kind 20
Full House 25
Four of a Kind 30
Five of a Kind 45

At any time when it is your turn to attack, you can access you inventory and put on a helmet or drink a potion.



After successfully defeating an enemy your will be rewarded immediately with some SP - the amount is random and will typically increase as you delve deeper into the dungeons below the castle. Occasionally, you will be rewarded with GP while still in the dungeon and, again, the amount is both random and will increase as you fight stronger and stronger enemies.

Astarok_HP_01    Astarok_HP_02
Fig 1: HP Hidden in Town                                              Fig 2: Random HP Amount Gained

You may also be rewarded randomly with some HP but these are placed in the village for you to discover. However, you must leave the dungeon to find the HP which will result in you having to re-enter the dungeons at level one and fight the same enemies again.


USB support has been removed from this game due to size constraints. This can make uploading a new game a little tricky. When uploading a new game, navigate to the title screen and press and hold the ‘Down’ button for a few seconds to force the Arduboy into the bootloader. If you time it correctly, the new game will overwrite the old properly. Alternatively, you can use flashlight mode.


The first teaser is the ‘town’ scene. You can purchase goodies from the two stores and practice your skills in the third before entering the castle to do real battle.


Still a lot of work to do in the practice arena and the castle itself but slowly making progress.


Awesome! Just the parallax side scrolling animation looks amazing, let alone the actual gameplay. Can’t wait!

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Thanks. It actually looks better on the device than in the video.

But as I said, its got a long way to go before it will be really playable. At the moment you can buy goods and put them in your inventory but that’s about it.

No rush. When I say “can’t wait” I really just mean “I’ll play it whenever it’s ready.” Now I have PiCross to beat anyway.

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300 puzzles … how many have you done so far?

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I only got through about 20 of the 5x5 puzzles. I had to replace it with Circuit Dude to design those contest levels, but it’s back on my Arduboy now. I’ll let you know when I get halfway there!

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The 5x5 puzzles are a walk in the park … for one thing, you do not have to scroll. Wait to you get to the 16x16 ones as they are hard anyway and the scrolling just makes it harder!


Awezome… Great job. It’s too bad to not having more than a hearth to vote on posts :wink:


Awesome looking stuff as usual,Thanks for keeping it fresh.

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Whoa! What kind of game is this??

Hmmm… Simple dungeon crawl themed, monster fighting game with a town to get upgrades?


Whow! This is allmost a game / week! Do you even sleep?

This is really great! Can’t wait to play it :slight_smile:

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I wish it was close to a complete game but we have so much to do! I have spent the last few days trying to say memory just so we can continue … it so depressing, you scrimp and save then add one little feature and its all gone!

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I can always simplify things. Remove the training room completely maybe? I can find things to remove or streamline I guess. :wink:

Not yet … there is still hope! :slight_smile:


If someone can do it, you are the one. You are the new team ARG! :slight_smile:


Thought I would share some progress … inventory / health / rune collection panel.



Wow, this looks outstanding :open_mouth:


Update … new banner, we are getting close! Just a lot of game testing to be done.