Change hurts so good in Tales of Maj’Eyal’s coming DLC

Tales of Maj'eyal

Change has certainly been a good thing for the long-running roguelike now known as Tales of Maj’Eyal (aka TOME). Once a mere Middle-earth tribute, it has warped and twisted itself until nearly unrecognisable. The next paid expansion for the game is taking that to new extremes. In the Forbidden Cults expansion – due on May 16th – you’ll get to mutate your body, grow tentacles from god-knows-where, harness entropy itself and read all manner of forbidden texts. Tzeench would be proud.

While some would look at the familiar blend of eldritch scribblings, weird tentacled people and the use of Insanity (with a capital I, and rather ham-fistedly named, admittedly) being used as a spellcasting resource and call this Lovecraftian, I feel Forbidden Cults’ inspirations lie closer to Warhammer, especially with regards to the worshippers of Tzeench, chaos god of forbidden knowledge and change. It definitely makes for a darker, weirder spin on the game than its usual tales of elven magic and halfling bravery.

I’ve played a bit of a preview build of Forbidden Cults, and while I’ve not delved nearly deep enough yet, it definitely opens on an exciting note: Your tentacle-armed cultist is on a mission to save your subterranean sanctuary by teleporting inside a giant worm and working your way through its body and destroying its brain, all while under constant attack from the monster’s own psionic nervous system, living defenses and stomach acid. Or you can just choose to bugger off and let the worm do its thing, if you so please.

The rest of the expansion promises a lot of fun new content for players wanting to get in touch with their inner tentacled horror. While not quite as story-focused as previous expansions, there’s a lot of weird new subterranean locations to explore and plenty more lore to uncover, plus two new classes focused on opposing facets of this chaotic new magic: The Writhing One starts out with a healthy tentacle whip-arm and mutates a little bit further with each level, while the Cultist of Entropy prefers to vent those horrible energies outwards, corroding and corrupting your enemies.

Two new playable races are coming to the already-extensive mix, too. The Drem are a corrupted sub-species of dwarves that can summon horrible fleshy horrors at will and go into a murder-frenzy if pressured. Meanwhile, the Krog are mutant super-Ogres strong enough to dual-wield just about anything. Not exactly subtle, but sometimes you just want to hit a lot of things until they die, and this expansion has a lot of weird things that you’ll want to hit.

You can play the basic Tales of Maj’Eyal game free if you grab it direct from the developer, and the expansions can be bought direct as well. If you’d rather pick it up on Steam, that version (which includes a few minor perks) can be picked up by itself, or in a bundle with the two previous expansions. Forbidden Cults is due out on May 16th, and will cost £5/7€/$7.


  1. Replikant says:

    Bloody collapsing tunnels of the bloody sandworm lair. Just sayin.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Okay, yeah, that area is hell incarnate. Even compared to the literal hell-dimensions you can visit.

      Fortunately, the mega-worm features nothing collapsing! Unfortunately, the way you find its brain is by following its spine, and the further down the spine you get, the more of a psychic battering you get.

      Trying to finally finish it off while blind and dazed and with half your brain dribbling out of your ears is not ideal.

  2. mac4 says:

    OK OK I finally installed this. Will have to see. Rogue-likes not my greatest thing, but…

    Nice soundtrack, in ze meantime.

    • Replikant says:

      There is quite a learning curve. Not all classes are created equal, status effects can leave you helpless and talent trees allow for astonishingly ineffective builds (speaking from experience here). Starting in adventure mode (more lifes) is probably a good idea. And/or reading in the wiki.

      • mac4 says:

        Thanks, will do.

        Currently still seeing how long till I give up on Eador, then I guess it may be this, or now a return to Wesnoth, or ahem The Last Remnant which I just laid my hands on (my what tearing in the opening scenes), Mini Ninjas (now free at Square Enix. Looks cute at a first glance), Aliens vs. Predator 2010 lol, We Are The Dwarves (nice idea but not impressed with the implementation so far, as I guess many say. Fiddly. Anyway it’s been so cheap of late there was hardly any way not to buy it), Divinity Original Sin which I don’t think I’m in the mood for yet, perhaps trying to finish the Final Fantasy XIII series after all, make my way through Metal Gear Ground Zeroes to get started on The Phantom Pain good and proper…

        … or any other of a backlog of some 300 titles or so. Never a dull moment, eh. ‘Tis a funny hobby is what it is.

  3. Gothnak says:

    The sad thing about ToME is that they removed the very early mode which started you as a level 1 character on the 60th level of the dungeon as a ghost (Damage resistance and could walk through walls). It was a super fast mode where you could die in 1 turn if you were unlucky, but if you were an alchemist you could start with a potion of explosions, enough to take down an medium dragon at hit level 5-10 pretty quick. Also anything you found was awesome, so it was a case of attacking smallish enemies and level up FAST or die.

    You also had to keep using stairs until you found another up stairs only a few (terrifying) squares away.

    I think i got up to floor 50 once.

    So much random stupid fun.

  4. SaintAn says:

    Woooo! ToME is getting some attention! I’m not good at that game, but I love that game.

    • hfm says:

      I’m with you. I got pretty far just once, but it’s such a fun game. I was just starting the game in an entirely random fashion every time and was having a blast.

  5. lesslucid says:

    Are they finally going to add some more achievements to this game? I know there are a few already, but it seems like it’s just a bit too quick and easy to get all of them at the moment.

  6. btonasse says:

    This is both the ugliest game ever and one of the best games ever. Love it so much!

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