User:Oneirical/Onei's 6 Runes of Legend Bastet-Approved Feline Brainwashing and Re-Education Walkthrough - (FeSu^Kikubaaqudgha)

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Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Another contender! Will you prove worthy, or rot like the rest?

Through some unfathomable magical force, all DCSS characters are seemingly capable of learning any discipline in minutes while doing utterly unrelated things. In real life, it would be like mastering painting while going to do reps in the gym. Or getting an education while playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

And yet, they pour all of that experience into knowing how to swing a metal stick really, really fast, or how to correctly pronounce "pew pew" while conjuring forth assorted metal pellets and crystal shards. But in their tutelage, they learn next to nothing about the omnipresent entity that is Death itself, and when the words "You die..." finally stain the bottom left corner of their screen, they are left powerless.

In this guide, we will not make the same mistake. We will learn to know Death until it becomes that friend we go to the movies with on rainy Sundays.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png It's not "evil magic"! It's recycling. Those bodies would have gone to waste.

Apart from clearing the Dungeon, this build is a very different experience compared to the FeSuJiyva playstyle of rushing Storm Form and tabbing through the entire game. Do not be fooled by the fact that both start as the same background! I recommend this playstyle to players who have won at least one game, and would like to try out something a bit off the beaten path of the brute/blaster-caster duality. As a dastardly wielder of the magic that controls life and death, you will be using an abundantly available weapon against those who dare stand in your way - your aforementioned enemies, brainwashed to serve you instead. You will experiment with deranged synergies that other mages could only dream of, stand in the middle of over 50 enemies with 15 HP remaining, and tell yourself "this is fine."

While this is quite a complex way to play for a newcomer to Crawl (there's a lot of buttons to push and a lot of ways to tackle each encounter), players still looking to snatch that elusive first win can also benefit, upgrade their threat assessment capabilities and significantly improve their tactics in such a way that may lead to victory, perhaps even with a completely different species/background combo!

Into Darkness (D:1 to Kikubaaqudgha)

Contrary to one's expectations, the best way to play a Necromancy-focused character is not to start as a Necromancer. This background is severely lacking in firepower, has spells easily resisted by a tenth of the Dungeon's population, and requires you to get into melee range half the time to give little kitty smooches with Vampiric Draining. I am sorry to say that all non-trivial monsters will not be receptive to your advances.

Not to mention that Kiku (no, I will not be spelling out the full name every single time, cope with it) is an excellent teacher, and will provide you knowledge of absolutely everything you require to initiate, grow and end your fantastical necromantic journey.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Untainted souls are so much more fun to corrupt!

Sorry, Kiku, we're not going to be exactly "untainted" here. We'll be engaging once more in the not-so-savoury practice of interdimensional kidnapping. Begin, of course, as a Felid Summoner.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Why are you so fluffy? I need goth elves and black mascara. I can't have my subordinates looking like this!
But I don't waaaaaaant to play a caaaaaat...

Well, you depraved, vile heretic, you're in luck! You can probably pick Kobold instead and have almost all of the advice still apply to you. Kobolds synergize exceptionally well with necromantic magic, because their limited vision can easily be filled to the brim with allies, banning the game from ever throwing more than three enemies towards you at a time when the snowball is truly rolling. However, this is MY guide and NO accomodations will be made for filthy canine propagandists.

As for the background choice, unlike the puny little Edginess Beams that a Necromancer starts out with zapping everything they see until they die to the first White Imp, nothing in the Dungeon resists the gnashing of teeth and the blazing flames of exploding robots. It's not that Necromancers are bad, but they can't really compete with what I believe is the most versatile and defensive mage class in the game.

For strategies on clearing Dungeon until you receive your first spell gift from Kikubaaqudgha, refer to the very first installment of my series on feline supremacy. Every section up to "Murder and Electrical Engineering" is relevant - though there are some differences in skill targets. Air Magic should be trained to level 5, not 7, and Spellcasting should get a target to 24, not 10. I know that's a lot of Spellcasting, but necromantic magic is particularly infamous for requiring boatloads of spell slots! If you do not mind a slightly higher risk of an early splat, you can also skip Call Imp, getting to level 3 using only a quokka swarm - this will free up more spell slots to begin your necromantic journey - after all, sometimes, scrolls of amnesia simply refuse to show up. Feline Supremacy Incorporated cannot be held accountable for lethal encounters with D:2 adders that may ensue should one follow this advice. If you do, however, you will be able to memorize Summon Lightning Spire at level 5.5 (halfway to 6)!

For any skilling questions, refer to the addendum at the end of this guide.

You are strongly encouraged to also add these same rc/init file options for quality of life when playing a Felid (you even get an Evilness bonus from using the black cat tile, essential for playing any villainous character!):

default_manual_training = true
show_more = false
fail_severity_to_confirm = 0

# The one right above this comment is extremely important if you do not wish to be flooded with confirmation prompts every single time you want to cast the spell Do Very Minor And Not Dangerous Thing.

fail_severity_to_quiver = 5
tile_player_tile = tile:felid_3

# If felid_3 is visually challenging, tile:felid_6, tile:felid_2 and mons:natasha are also acceptable.

And, of course, worship Kikubaaqudgha as soon as you find their altar. Unlike many other gods, it doesn't actually matter when you find them - they won't help you in the slightest until you start devoting experience towards the beginning of your necromantic journey, which you should only ever do after your entire starter Summoner kit is reliable. There is almost no difference between finding Kiku on D:2 or D:10. Do not startscum faded altars or rage because the Temple doesn't have that old pile of skulls you're after.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png "An evil god, Kikubaaqudgha requires worshippers to cause the death and destruction of as many creatures as possible." Well, that's rich. It's not as if almost every single other god wants the exact same thing. Why am I being singled out?

I would have liked to recommend a different background for a change, but in terms of bringing cats out of the early game, nothing even comes close to the power of friendship (Ice Elementalist is decent, but it still cannot compete!) As a Summoner, you will get a very early, abusable synergy with Anguish, one of Kiku's first potential spell gifts, and will also get a headstart on the late game spell Haunt, unilaterally seen by players as one of the best in the game.

Guilt Tripping & Betrayal (*.....) - D:5-D:11

Your run deviates from the traditional FeSu experience when the message

Kikubaaqudgha grants you a gift!

appears for the first time in the message log.

Gather up your lucky trinkets and your maneki-nekos, it's time for some Kiku Gacha Lootbox opening. Here are the three possible outcomes:

  • Get Animate Dead & Anguish (50% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Hexes and Necromancy, and set a target to 10 for Hexes. Do not set a target for Necromancy.
  • Get Animate Dead only (25% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Necromancy. Do not set a target.
  • Get Anguish only (25% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Hexes and Necromancy, and set a target to 10 for Hexes. Do not set a target for Necromancy.

Some particularly "lucky" players can find an extremely early Kiku altar, and then receive these spells before they have even made their Lightning Spire reliable, or even gotten their Golem castable. In this case, wait until your entire starter Summoner kit is usable before beginning your necromantic journey.

You will want to memorize Anguish before Animate Dead if you have both of these incantations - which would naturally be preferable to only having one. The reason you can miss out on one of these two spells is because Kiku thought more appropriate to gift you Kitty Smooch The Ogre And Die (Vampiric Draining) or Press Button To Die (Sublimation of Blood).

Sublimation of Blood has its uses, but is mostly a suicide button this early into the game - it will be discussed later. Do not ever use Vampiric Draining or Necrotise. The former serves a purpose for other species (and Felids who foolishly decided to venture into the Dungeon without a single friend), but when your HP bar is a wet paper towel, it's generally ill-advised to close distance with sharp, bladed objects. As for Necrotise, it is a consolation spell supposed to get a Necromancer out of the very early game. You are no weak Necromancer. It's a mystery why Kiku even gifts this spell this late into the game.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png You ungrateful sack of fleas! Of all gods, I am the one to grant the most gifts to even my least precious followers, and you still have the nerve to be discontent?

You may have noticed that the many denizens of the Dungeon are very disrespectful of your Eminence, soon to be their overlord and army commander. Your first task will be to re-educate these ruffians into submission and obedience.

In a nutshell:

  • Anguish brainwashes all enemies on the screen that fail a Willpower save to take exactly as much damage as they inflict to you, or one of your allies. This damage is irresistible and goes through all resistances.
  • Animate Dead provides a buff lasting for about a dozen turns. Each enemy slain while this buff is active has a chance to betray their former allies and serve you as a... slightly more malodorous version of themselves. These will escort you until you leave the floor, or have them perish in battle.

The synergy here should be obvious:

  • Initiate each battle with a batch of highly loyal summons praising how good of a slaver friend you are.
  • Begin emanating such confidence with Animate Dead that the defeated will turn against their former companions in your name. Skip this step if Animate Dead is not usable (>50% failure rate) yet.
  • Then, Anguish everything on the screen.

Now, whenever a foe is slain, there is a high chance they will become an ally - and foes that strike their former ally will be wracked by Anguish, joining your army in turn, and so on, until all are at your beck and call. It's just like rolling a snowball!

The little militia that will now follow you around will act as a testament to your charisma, which you can exploit by using Anguish on the next foes you will encounter. As they strike your allies, they, too, will fall like the rest, horrified at how foolish they were to stand on the wrong side of the Felid-Zot war.

Recasting Animate Dead will, however, dismiss all of your current servants, with the hopes of replacing them with fresher, potentially more numerous ones. Therefore, it's great practice to cast Animate Dead when encountering a pack of enemies (yaks or bees, for example, are good fodder), and to only recast it once your lackeys are falling apart.

Yredelemnul altar.png This is way too complicated for the fluffball that serves as your brain. Join me instead, and gain permanent reaping of the deceased instead of trying to emulate my power with puny magic!
Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Pah! Don't listen to my competitor. Their worshippers are brutes and thugs, whose first word at birth was "Axe".

Who is the Orc Priest Now? (Anguish)

Anguish is THE answer to everything a Felid despises - smiters of all flavours, centaurs, steam and acid dragons, boulder beetles... The list goes on and on! Enemies in DCSS generally have lower maximum HP than the player - yes, even a Felid - and this is especially true for ranged threats of all kinds, which very much sport the "glass cannon" style.

Early on, Anguish is particularly impressive when used against:

  • Orc Priests && Meliai - Very likely to oneshot themselves the second they dare invoke the word of Beogh against a creature as lovable as you are!
  • Steam Dragons - They continue to self-destruct while you (or one of your companions) are standing in a steam cloud!
  • Acid Dragons - Go ahead. Shoot me. See what happens.
  • Centaurs & Centaur Warriors - These aimbot hackers will finally feel the pain of the many kitties they have slaughtered! Warriors may take a few casts of Anguish to get them properly, but the payoff is immense!
  • Boulder Beetles & Hydras - These can be a little bit more resilient to your propaganda, but as any tyrannical regime would tell you, repetition is the key to domination! Simply cast the spell again until they are successfully cursed. Boulder Beetle self-oneshot as they roll-attack some hapless Golem is a very real thing!

Guardian Golems become a DEVOURER OF GODS when put against Anguished enemies, who will be blasted both by the immense guilt of damaging your precious robo-friend, and by the more literal explosion of blazing fire that will ensue.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png The Wu Jian council always lectures its followers to "use the enemy's strength against themselves". I try to do the exact same thing, and somehow, now it's "evil" just because it's me doing it? What injustice!

It is worth noting that some enemies' willpower is nigh unbreakable - they probably really despise cats even through your most charismatic charms. Some early game culprits include:

  • Death Yaks
  • Catoblepas
  • The Minotaur (at the end of a Gauntlet)

When casting Anguish, you can move the cursor around to any of the targeted enemies (outlined in yellow). In the message log, the probability that they will become cursed will be shown! Should you need a little bit more oomph on your Anguish curse probability, try a Scroll of Vulnerability - extremely effective for neutralizing a high Willpower unique, or the Minotaur that awaits at the end of a Gauntlet! Do be mindful that the scroll will also cause a lapse in your own self-confidence, rendering you vulnerable to hexes like Paralyze or Confuse - make sure that there aren't any of those around when committing to a Vulnerability Scroll play.

Brainless or artificial enemies (from gently gurgling jellies to the dreaded Orbs of Fire) have no concept of love, hate or righteousness, and will remain completely unaffected by Anguish. They won't be unaffected, however, by your swarm consuming them.

I like to put Anguish on my "Q"uiver, and to cast it with "p" right after I have unrolled a batch of summons. 2-3 casts for a single enemy should be your maximum number of attempts - do not spend your entire mana bar trying to curse a particularly rebellious specimen!

You can start trying to use Anguish when it reaches 10% miscast rate.

Recruiting Interviews 101 (Animate Dead)

Animate Dead is the first of the four ally-creating spells you will be encouraged to use in this guide, and should stay with you until the very end of the game.

Zombie Pros

  • Unfalteringly loyal, will never leave you (as long as you do not use stairs!)
  • 4 MP is all you need to recruit as many foes as you want in the service of their new feline overlord!
  • Reasonably tanky, thus, pairs fantastically with Anguish!

Zombie Cons

  • Low damage output, with some exceptions. Anguish will fix that!
  • All zombies simultaneously disappear if Animate Dead is used again. Use Animate Dead on a big horde or one particularly fantastic harvest, and then do not use it again until either your squad has died, or you spotted a more lucrative group to collect.
  • Not guaranteed to always harvest every slain enemy.
  • Insubstantial enemies (like Will-o-Wisps from Swamp) and most undead creatures will never be recruited.
    • EXCEPTION: Vampire Mosquitoes and (much, much later on) Death Scarabs are undead, yet can still be turned! They both make for fantastic allies!
  • Occasionally ugly. This is good for highlighting how majestuous you are in comparison to them, but have you seen the dream sheep zombie tile? Ugh. What even is that...

Who to recruit:

  • High speed enemies, like bees, vampire mosquitoes, frogs or snakes. These will always catch up with you, and will swarm enemies before you even see them on your monitor! Boulder beetles are actually quite slow, and won't get to keep their signature rolling attack.
  • High health enemies, particularly slime creatures. These have a great synergy with Anguish!
  • Numerous enemies. If the screen is flooded with enemies and you aren't thinking of running away, use Animate Dead.
  • Hydras, and much later, Death Scarabs. These will play the game for you.

Zombies can be a bit on the "slowpoke" side of the movement speed spectrum. Unlike you. This can get annoying if you have a big squad, press Autoexplore and now everyone is trailing behind when you have a spiny frog in your face. You can press "Ctrl-T" to set your autoexplore only speed to your slowest ally (or to swap it back to full kitty speed). If Ctrl-T opens a new tab, try *(asterisk)-T instead. I really enjoy using this feature, as it technically has zero downsides, and strongly encourage you to use it once in your run, then forget about it. Sadly, it resets to default when you start your next game - but you're obviously going to win on the first attempt, so that doesn't matter. Remember, it only affects your speed when you press "o" - walking normally will force your undead slaves to do some exercising instead of having you stoop down to their level.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Undead... slaves? Pah! I am no slaver. They still have free will! They will turn against those who harm or mistreat them! Can Summoners say the same? I think not! And yet, I am the unholy one?! Disgraceful!

And while what Kiku just said is true, Zombies (and all other undead companions) have no comprehension of the concept of chains of command, and will think you completely innocent if you send forth a golem to blow up in their faces. They will also idiotically stand in the flame clouds and die, waiting for your next order. The Guardian Golem explodes extremely fast when using Anguish + Animate Dead strategies due to the damage being shared all over the place, and should only be used for initiating snowballs or taking down high priority targets once your necromantic journey has truly begun. Feel free to recast Guardian Golem if it is about to incinerate your army to get a fresher, less explosive specimen.

Kiku grants the ability "Unearth Wretches" very early for on-demand zombie creation. I suggest not using it in the Dungeon, as the results will be disappointing. Wow! A cockroach zombie with 3 damage!! Why thank you, you shouldn't have. It's the intention that counts, Kiku.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png I didn't even mean to send these over. I was just doing some housekeeping, brushing up my skulls, sacrifical altars and blood fountains, and accidentally threw a kobold into an interdimensional wormhole. Hate when that happens.

Entrapment, Brainwashing and 200 Damage Per Turn (***...) - Lair:1-Lair:5

Have a glance once in a while at your jewelry collection by pressing "P". Rings of wizardry and intelligence reign supreme, and so do amulets of magic regeneration. Amulets of regeneration, reflection or of the acrobat are quite stellar as well, and rings of Protection, Magical Power or Fire Resistance (for accidental Golem mishaps) will significantly contribute to your survivability. Rings of Dexterity or Evasion are passable, and everything else is pretty much mediocre. Amulets of Guardian Spirit and Faith are an outright negative, and should not be worn unless they are a particularly amazing artefact.

Should you encounter elemental threats (such as the mage Fannar, an Efreet, or a Lindwurm), swap on a ring granting a relevant resistance! It is extremely fast to do so. Just don't forget to put your normal ring back on afterwards, especially if you were using one of the vulnerability-granting rings of fire or ice. Do not casually run around with an elemental vulnerability (rF-/rC-) on a Felid. You WILL be oneshotted.

Soon, you will be once again reading the words:

Kikubaaqudgha grants you a gift!

Well, well, well. Looks like we've got another Kiku Gacha Lootbox on our paws!

Here are the possibilities:

  • Get Borgnjor's Vile Clutch, Death Channel & Simulacrum (50% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Earth Magic, and set a target to 8.
  • Get Death Channel & Simulacrum (16.6% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Ice Magic, and set a target to 8.
  • Get Borgnjor's Vile Clutch & Death Channel (16.6% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Earth Magic, and set a target to 8.
  • Get Borgnjor's Vile Clutch & Simulacrum (16.6% chance) If you obtain this, turn on Earth Magic, and set a target to 8.

Once again, if you don't get all 3 of these fantastic magical abilities, you can blame the wet raspberry farts Agony and Corpse Rot. Dispel Undead is actually decent, but you won't be using it until much, much later in the game, and it is quite easy to find in random books lying on the floor.

Agony and Corpse Rot are, in my opinion, the worst spells in the entire game across all spell schools. I wouldn't even take both of these if they were level 1, that's how ridiculously bad they are. Agony has extremely niche uses, particularly for the """Necromancers""" of this world who take a single ally creating spell, strap on some medium armour, poke things with sharp sticks, and occasionally smooch hydras with Vampiric Draining or torment them with Agony. Nobody is ever seduced by these ugly ogres and demonspawn (except maybe Snorg or Erolcha), and they rightfully eventually have their hideous head bashed in, accompanied by a morgue file that shows "Total uses of Unearth Wretches: 0". As for Corpse Rot, it is a suicide spell that is exactly as underwhelming and disgusting as the name suggests, most infamous for blocking your retreat by randomly spawning deadly miasma clouds around you that enemies won't even touch. Have fun standing still in the middle of your bad body odour while getting pelted by arrows, rocks and comments on your intelligence for memorizing this spell. Even the spell icon looks bad.

If you fail to get one of the three spells in the "Three Stars Trinity", I strongly recommend buying it from a shop as soon as it is made available to you. Sometimes, the oh-so-generous God of the Floor RNG can also provide.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Commerce? Capitalism?! My spells are 100% locally sourced, woven by the expert craftsmanship of unionized and esteemed skeleton artisans! You would resort to purchasing mass-produced, store-bought necromancy that's probably also full of microplastics? You and me have a lot of work to do before we can get along with each other.
Gozag altar.png PRE-ORDER ONE NECRONOMICON NOW AND GET ANOTHER COPY FOR FREE, AUTOGRAPHED AND DEDICATED TO [YOUR NAME HERE] BY THE LEGENDARY MAGE BORGNJOR HERSELF!!

In a nutshell:

  • Borgnjor's Vile Clutch is a long-range piercing beam that leaves all allies completely unharmed, and irresistibly afflicts all squeezable (that means no jellies and ghosts) enemies in its path with a Constriction status effect that prevents movement and deals heavy damage every turn.
  • Death Channel is like Animate Dead - a status effect that incites the betrayal of the slain against their former friends. However, this spell summons spectres instead - they are immensely more plentiful, stack with all other ally-creating necromantic spells, and will rapidly flood the screen - but are also very ephemeral, fading into thin mist a few dozen turns after the spell was cast.
  • Simulacrum is a single-foe, smite-targeted mark that lets a chosen enemy become a collection of high-ranking officials of your perfectly obedient army on their death. They wield ridiculous damage output (seriously, it's insane), but have paper-thin fragility.

The synergies thus just keep growing - not only can you now gain double the amount of undead from each target with Death Channel, you can now also use Borgnjor's Vile Clutch to constrict and imprison those who have still not sworn unbreakable loyalty and service to your charismatic, fluffy form. In addition to restricting movement, bypassing allies and dealing damage, this absolutely nukes enemy evasion, leaving them extremely vulnerable to taking a beating from your faithful soldiers - both those incited into betrayal and undeath, and those you kidnapped from other dimensional planes, such as your trusty Hound. Later on, you will be able to select choice targets with Simulacrum, who will instantly freeze all thoughts of rebellion, opposition or resistance against your military might with their immense cold damage.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Life would be so much simpler if everyone was an undead thrall, you know? Perfect order, absolute obedience, flawless coordination. I bet technology would be propelled centuries foward if people stopped clutching that worthless "identity" everyone keeps talking about.

When Life Gives You Monsters, Make Blood Lemonade (Borgnjor's Vile Clutch)

Borgnjor's Vile Clutch (BVC) is a beam. Point, click, and everything in its path that doesn't resist constriction, isn't located on a deep water/lava tile and hasn't sworn allegiance to your indisputable leadership will be irresistibly crushed into a fine paste. This includes:

  • Locking them in place. Nice try, hornets.
  • Dealing usually fantastic damage over time. It has very high variability, though - I've seen BVC take down major threats in one fell swoop, or tickle a yak and then fade a turn later.
  • Absolutely wrecking the EV score of the affected. Unimaginative pew-pew-people will use this to have their Iron Shots properly hit foes that like to jump all over the place, but for you, BVC is a beacon signal - "Hey! This guy is weak for a few turns and cannot dodge! Whoop em' up!"

The only downside is that the constriction-resistant are immune - jellies of all flavours are the prime example. You can know something if constriction resistant if the spell doesn't auto-target them when you try to cast it and forces you to manually drag the cursor over.

It may become clear why many highly experienced players consider this spell to be among the best, if not THE best in the game. Accordingly, the temptation to run around going squish-squish-squish on everything you see will be very high.

Do not do this.

Here's what will happen: you will demolish a yak pack. You will think to yourself "wow I'm so OP". You will annihilate a hydra. "haha I am unstoppable". You will come face to face with a black mamba. You have no zombie yaks or hydras protecting you because you thought it would be funnier to give a few animals a power massage. You get fully poisoned and die.

BVC is used for two things: starting the snowball and keeping it going. If you are using it with zero faithful allies around, you better be juiced up right now with ways to create them. Killing things without enlisting them afterwards is Very BadTM. Unless you only have Animate Dead, a batch of cool zombies you don't want to replace, and nothing else. In that case, that's excusable.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png I am a firm believer that everyone deserves a second shot in life. Or death, rather. Didn't visit that natural park you always wanted to go to? Couldn't tell your crush you loved them before getting crushed by a rock? Ran out of motivation to write your DCSS guide? Become a mindless thrall and forget about all your regrets! What, did you think I'd actually give you the chance to do these things you missed? Get real.

Current Battle Tactics: OVERWHELM (Death Channel)

Death Channel is the second of the four ally-creating spells you will be encouraged to use in this guide. Underrated by many players of the DCSS community, this spell makes up for its ephemerality by its sheer swarming potential. Just like Animate Dead, it is a status effect you can bestow upon yourself before a battle.

Spectre Pros

  • Sees Invisible, unlike all other flavours of undead servants! Perfect for wiping out Ghost Moths and their ilk.
Kikubaaqudgha altar.png If ghost moths are always invisible, but cannot see invisible, then how do they reproduce?!
  • Always flies, disregarding all liquids in their quest to overpower all that stands in their path!
  • Extremely plentiful - one spectre per slain enemy, without overriding any other ally-creating necromantic spell!
  • Similar health/damage statistics as Animate Dead zombies, with an added draining touch that subtly helps out a bunch.

Spectre Cons

  • Extremely short-lived. You'll be lucky if they last one entire skirmish.
    • This is the most dangerous part of this spell. Always monitor the composition of your army. If it is composed almost solely of spectres, then as soon as your Death Channel runs out, your entire protective wall will vaporize in a single turn, and reveal some very unamused individuals who will gladly charge and destroy your defenseless scruff.
  • Cannot be recasted to extend the duration - which means you can be stuck with a 3-turns-remaining Death Channel while enemies are approaching and you have little MP left. Not ideal.
  • Soulless enemies (constructs and the non-living, like Crystal Guardians) and all undead creatures will never be recruited.
  • Gives a false sense of security, and secretly inflicts rHubris-- whenever the snowball REALLY gets going.

Who to recruit:

  • Literally everything that breathes. If you're entering combat, you should turn on your Death Channel at some point. If you aren't pressing the Death Channel button every single time something vaguely resembling an enemy appears on your screen, you should be passing the keyboard to an actual cat, who will no doubt play much more competently than you.

Cold-Hearted Officers (Simulacrum)

Third of the four ally-creating spells, Simulacra have exactly four advantages over your other troops - they do more damage, they hit harder, they have bigger damage numbers and they also do massive damage. Exceedingly fragile with their weakness to fire and their measly dozen of hitpoints, these represent a pricey, but potentially devastating career path for your repentant enemies. When casting the spell, point-and-click any enemy on the screen to irresistibly present them with an offer to join you they will not be able to refuse. When they are dead, that is.

Simulacra Pros

  • MEGA damage. At the extreme, the Lernaean Hydra as a simulacrum deals over 1000 damage per turn, but even a basic hydra will probably melt anything it touches.
  • Relatively decent duration. It's no Animate Dead, but as long as you aren't waiting in place after each battle, they can absolutely follow you to the next fight.
  • It might be just me, but I think they look very nice with their bright blue and white hues. Cold, soulless, villainous, only willing to see all join your ranks. It's just how I like it.

Simulacra Cons

  • MEGA fragile. They get hit, they shatter into pieces. It's as simple as that. They live by the principle of "ONESHOT OR BE ONESHOTTED".
  • Very expensive. For a whopping 6 MP, you can only curse one foe, which will produce one or a couple of simulacra, depending on your spellpower. These don't come cheap - choose your targets well.

Who to recruit:

  • MULTIHIT ENEMIES. If they go schak-schak-schak-schak instead of THUMP, take them in. Bonus simulacrum damage is a flat bonus applied to each hit. Hydras first come to mind, obviously, but there's more to it than that - dragons of all flavours are outstanding due to their bonus trampling, and anything with constriction effects (especially tentacled monstrosities) will prove worthwhile as well. Demonspawn from the Abyss and Pandemonium are **insane**, but you probably won't see them for a while. Double-attackers like ettins, two-headed ogres or juggernauts are splendid as well.
  • Slimes. Don't ask how they move around when turned to ice. It's magic. I ain't gotta explain anything.
  • Humanoids casting spells are, generally, **to be avoided**. The main exceptions are uniques or "fighter-mages" like nagas, merfolk and giants, but knowing how to wave your hands in funny circles doesn't really translate well to being a nice icy animated statue.

The Proper Way To Roll Your Face On The Keyboard (Macros)

Getting tired of "zazbzczdEnterze....ozazbzczdEnterze....o" yet? You can press Ctrl-D to set macros and begin feeling like you are playing some tryhard MOBA instead of composing Beethoven's Tenth Symphony on your keyboard.

For example, press "Ctrl-D", then "1", then type "za" in the field to link the "a" spell (often the first one) that appears when you look at the spell list (accessible with "I" while in-game). On each press of "1", you will now cast the "a" spell.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Back in my day, you had to draw a pentagram and whisper demonic prayers each time you'd want a skeleton friend. Who thought it was a good idea to automate murder?! Can't you appreciate a good old blood sacrifice in the rules of the art?

This is my favourite loadout:

  • (Q)uiver Anguish (or, in Crypts/Tomb, Dispel Undead), and cast it with p.
  • / (the one to the left of 1 on the number row) for Statue Form, Necromutation, or some other Form. Early on, Simulacrum fits well here while you do not have a Transmutation.
  • 1 for Call Canine Familiar, and later Haunt.
  • 2 for Summon Guardian Golem, and later Simulacrum.
  • 3 for Summon Lightning Spire, and later Infestation.
  • 4 for Borgnjor's Vile Clutch.
  • w for Animate Dead. Normally, it's used for (w)ielding weapons, buuuut... yeah. No opposable thumbs and all.
  • e for Death Channel.
  • Spacebar for an emergency spell - I like a simple Blink, or, for bonus coolness points, the heart-racing Death's Door. Big button, big problems! I actually remember to use my emergency spells this way.
  • c for any extra you may appreciate. Unearth Wretches is a good candidate, with a macro like "aa". Sublimation of Blood, if you decided to commit suicide with use that spell, also works.

This way, every single time you want both your ally-creation buffs (such as when descending a new staircase), simply press "we". To dial up the early-game squad, press "123". In case of trouble, your salvation is right on the biggest button of your keyboard. For a mega-scarab death rave, press "ecc3"!

Emergency Manual For Distraught Would-Be Feline Commanders (or how to salvage a run that misses out on vital spells)

Only read this section if you missed out on one of the previously mentioned spell gifts in your Kiku Gacha Lootboxes.

Sometimes, RNGesus shows their not-so-nice side, and prevents one or two spells from ever appearing in your game. Here are my recommendations (when I say "medium-level Summoning spell", my favourites are Summon Forest, Summon Cactus Giant and Summon Mana Viper!):

  • Missing out on Borgnjor's Vile Clutch: Honestly not that bad. You'll simply have to rely on allies a lot more, and be even more generous with your usage of Unearth Wretches. Do not hesitate to use the spell slots you have saved up to get yourself a medium-level Summon spell - Summon Forest even has a constriction effect, potentially emulating Vile Clutch!
  • Missing out on Simulacrum: Unfortunate, but not disastrous. Your army will lose a lot of its potential damage output - until you scale up to Infestation, that is. Be prepared to use Anguish a lot more. Do not hesitate to grab a medium-level Summon spell to take up the spell slots!
  • Missing out on Death Channel: Really, really bad. Death Channel is a cornerstone of all FeSuKiku runs, as it's effectively an ally duplicator. You will want to be on the lookout for this spell at all costs - but having Simulacrum will still greatly help you at flooding the screen somewhat effectively. Later on, bearing both Borgnjor's Vile Clutch and Haunt grants an easy way to spawn the initial batch of simulacra.
  • Missing out on Anguish: Kind of sad, but not the end of the world. You'll have significantly more trouble in the early game, but once you can churn out some of the higher level undead reliably (who actually have high damage output on their own without Anguish's help), you won't miss it as much.
  • Missing out on Animate Dead: Will significantly increase the danger level of the early game, as you'll actually have to rely on your Hound/Golem/Spire starter trinity to clear mid Dungeon and upper Lair. Having both Simulacrum and Death Channel will eventually make up for the lack of this spell, but until then, abuse your Golem explosion with no restraint. Do not hesitate to memorize Animate Dead later on if you find it - even if it's a low level spell, it's universally useful.
  • Missing out on BOTH Animate Dead and Death Channel: This one is brutal, which is why I'm mentioning it specifically. It's almost a death sentence, as the only allies you'll have will be a few measly summons and fragile Simulacra. This negates the whole point of playing FeSuKiku, which is negating your terrible defenses with a necromantic meat (and ectoplasm) shield. I strongly recommend investing in a Form (preferably Statue) or a mid-level Summon to make up for your severe lack of allies, because Simulacrum alone cannot protect you due to their fragility. You run the risk of being exposed to a lot more enemy strikes, and must make up for it by filling up the missing spell slots with defensive options like Summon Cactus Giant, and using Borgnjor's Vile Clutch/Haunt a LOT.

And, of course, if you find the Inescapable Atlas or its contents in other random books while Kiku is mocking you with trash spells, consider throwing a big old kitty-grimace their way and return to the One True Gooey Path. It's not an optimal decision at all, but it's better than trying to clear the Snake Pit with two walking ice cubes, a dog and a glorified tower defense minigame.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Turncoat! Betrayer! You lawless toxoplasmosis-infested flea-ridden fuzz-thing! How dare you suggest abandoning the righteous forces of evil and torture for some first-grader slime making experiments?

Kiku's wrath really isn't that bad... relatively. Wrath is still wrath. As you might expect, it mostly revolves around tormenting you, using torment on you, and also cutting your HP bar in half with Torment. Did I mention you might also be occasionally tormented? There's some other minor effects, but if you can cast Storm Form and fight with it, you can survive Kiku's wrath. The only scary part is when you suddenly get tormented in the middle of a hard battle. Don't o-tab everything you see, be ready to use an escape tool if your HP bar explodes, and soon, the mad cackling of Kiku will grow silent.

A Short Guide on the Necromantic Hierarchy (interactions between ally-creating spells)

If I could summarize each ally-creating spell in one word, it would be this:

  • Animate Dead: Permanence.
  • Death Channel: Quantity.
  • Simulacrum: Power.
  • Infestation: Versatility.

Animate Dead, Simulacrum and Infestation are body spells. They will not stack. A single enemy can become a scarab, multiple simulacra, or a zombie, but not multiple of these undead types at the same time. The higher level spell always takes priority. You cannot Infest and then cast Simulacrum on a target, then expect to get simulacra. The order you cast the spells in does not matter.

Death Channel is a soul spell. It stacks with every other ally-creating spell, and will not impede the production of any scarab, simulacrum or zombie.

Addendum: From Lackey to Supervillain (Character Building)

For convenience, I will gather all skilling targets and the spell memorization order in this section. Feel free to return here as you need for quick reference!

Your Propaganda Arsenal (Spells)

Throughout this run, you will be encouraged to memorize, in this order, and approximately at these points of the game:

(Note: the "LV" numbers are how many spell slots you need for each spell, not your XP level. As for the locations on the right, you are expected to memorize the spells at these moments, not for them to be immediately usable!)

  • LV 1 - Summon Small Mammal (D:1)
  • LV 2 - Call Imp (optional - Necromancy is very tight on spell slots and Scrolls of Amnesia are precious, but this spell helps prevent early splats) (D:1)
  • LV 3 - Call Canine Familiar (D:2)
  • LV 3 - Summon Guardian Golem (D:2-D:3)
  • LV 4 - Summon Lightning Spire (D:3-D:6)
  • LV 4 - Anguish (D:5-Lair:2)
  • LV 4 - Animate Dead (D:5-Lair:2)
  • LV 5 - Borgnjor's Vile Clutch (Lair:1-Lair:5)
  • LV 6 - Death Channel (Lair:3-Orc:2)
  • LV 6 - Simulacrum (Orc:2-SBranch:2)
  • LV 7 - Haunt (SBranch:1-SBranch:4)
  • LV 8 - Infestation (Slime:4-Vaults:2)
  • LV 8 - Necromutation (Vaults:1-Vaults:4)
  • LV 4 - Dispel Undead (Vaults:4-Crypt:1)
  • LV 9 - Death's Door (Tomb:1)
  • LV 7 - Enfeeble (after Death's Door is at 8% fail rate or less)

Check your "M"emorization screen every so often. Whenever you have the spell slots required to memorize the next spell, do so immediately and, if it has an entry in the section below, adjust your skills appropriately.

Do note that Kikubaaqudgha will not necessarily grant you every single necromantic spell on this list every game. Their delivery service can be a little bit... lacking at times.

Kikubaaqudgha altar.png Running a forbidden knowledge book printing business isn't easy. I'd like to see you explain to your publisher why blood sacrifices are essential to have in "Fun Necromantic Activities for Children"!

Skip to the next entry on the list if you are incapable of finding a spell anywhere in your game. As soon as you find a missing spell, however, you should add it to your repertoire as soon as possible to catch up. I strongly encourage you to cast every single one of these fantastic incantations at least once in your game!

Situationally, these spells may be useful as well.

  • Blink (universally useful escape spell on any character)
  • Sublimation of Blood (niche, dangerous spell that takes very few spell slots)
  • Statue Form (will pave the way towards Necromutation, will be replaced after the latter is online)
  • Ozocubu's Armour (easy to cast alongside Simulacrum's Ice Magic training. Great defensive replacement if Statue Form is not found!)

Of course, the Wilderness Trinity will never not be overpowered. If you fail to obtain one of the crucial Kiku spells, these can certainly come along as a replacement:

  • Summon Forest (Translocations 8, Summonings 10)
  • Summon Cactus Giant (Summonings 14)
  • Summon Mana Viper (Hexes 10, Summonings 10)

Studying the Dark Arts (Skills & Training Targets)

As soon as you start your run, train these skills and set them to these targets, with the "=" button:

  • Spellcasting: 24
  • Summonings: 10
  • Turn off Stealth and Dodging.

Right when Summon Guardian Golem has been memorized, add the following skills:

  • Hexes: 5
  • Fighting: 15
  • Dodging: 19
  • Forget Summon Small Mammal as soon as you can.

After Summon Lightning Spire becomes part of your kit, complement it with this:

  • Air Magic: 5
  • Forget Call Imp as soon as you can.

(OPTIONAL) - Blink will never not be useful, and can come along at any point in your run:

  • Translocations: 8

Your necromantic journey can truly begin when Anguish (or failing that, Animate Dead) becomes memorized. You'll want to memorize Animate Dead right after Anguish.

  • Hexes: 10 (only if you have found Anguish)
  • Necromancy: 27

Sadly, some elemental magic will be required for Borgnjor's Vile Clutch. Train like so after memorizing it.

  • Earth Magic: 8

Simulacrum comes next, unfortunately requiring you to learn a thing or two about the structure of snowflakes:

  • Ice Magic: 8

(OPTIONAL) - Should you find it, Statue Form will greatly enhance survival odds, and should be castable with your Earth Magic training, as long as you add in, as soon as it is memorized:

  • Transmutations: 12

Haunt brings you back to your blessed origins of Summoner, and will be made reliable if, after you memorized it, you train:

  • Summonings: 14
  • Forget Call Canine Familiar, Summon Guardian Golem and Summon Lightning Spire (in that order) if you need spell slots.

Right after Infestation is memorized, begin training for your true final form: Necromutation.

  • Transmutations: 17

Ultimately, after Death's Door's failure rate has dropped below 8%, you can iron out your last weaknesses with Enfeeble.

  • Hexes: 16
  • Fighting: 21
  • Dodging: 21
  • Forget Anguish if you need spell slots.