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Underworld Ascendant: Peek Into The Stygian Abyss

I lava you

"A rogue's view of the dwarven magic controlling the flow of lava in the Stygian Abyss' Volcanic core."

That is how the folk at OtherSide Entertainment teased a video for a prototype of their RPG Underworld Ascendant [official site]. I'm a sucker for wanting to peer into Stygian Abysses (provided they don't start peering back into me) and thus here we are. They did not mention it was a very bad day to be a Shadow Beast:

Underworld Ascendant, you will remember, is a continuation of the Ultima Underworld series (although without the Ultima name - I believe that's still property of... EA?) and is being helmed by that game's original creators. It reached its Kickstarter funding target (and then some) earlier this year and, as OtherSide CEO Paul Neurath explains, this video is intended as an early snapshot of the progress made since the crowdfunding campaign.

The premise here is that a rogue steals a dwarven artifact which is being used to control volcanic lava flow. As a consequence she must defeat the artifact's guardian unarmed. Well, unarmed except for that artifact you can use to control molten rock.


1. I would have run away from that Shadow Beast a LOT earlier and am thus a better rogue.

2. Actually, that's what I would have done in real life. In a game I would probably have tried to hit it in the face and push it off the platform. That's my favourite way of handling enemies with impressive health bars, by the way - shoving them off cliffs and ledges.

3. I felt bad about the Shadow Beast's demise but I do now want to be in charge of the flow of lava. I can see this being a problem. I get attached to monsters in games if they seem sad or distressed and have to then factor that into playing.

4. This is only a prototype so I wonder how the lava will look and move in the final game. I went to find some videos of the different ways lava can look and its viscosity to talk about that a bit but then I found the Lava song from Inside Out so here is that instead because it's stuck in my head. Join me:

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Underworld Ascendant

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

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About the Author

Philippa Warr

Former Staff Writer

Pip wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2014-2017, covering everything from MOBAs, hero brawlers and indie curios. She also had a keen interest in the artistry of video game creation, and was very partial to keeping us informed of the latest developments in British TV show Casualty.