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This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Exanima. While there is very little information available at this time, we urge you to check back often, as new information is being added all the time! Feel free to edit this guide with any tips, tricks, and suggestions.


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Basic gameplay[]

Combat[]

Combat is activated when pressing tab, and will switch your character to a combat stance. When in combat your character will look towards your cursor and move in relation to it. Your movement keys will move you in relation to your cursors position, and all attacks will be aimed towards your cursor. Hold mouse left to swing from the right, quickly turn your mouse to the left and hold left to perform a swing from the left. Double click and hold to perform an overhead. Hold alt and mouse left to perform a thrust, which is accurately directed towards your cursor. It is best to keep your cursor on your intended target when attacking.

Damage[]

Damage is calculated through physics, rather than just connecting hits and flat damage numbers. A faster swing will result in a harder hit that causes more damage, and where you hit an opponent will also dictate how much damage you do. Hits to the head almost always deal more damage. However, it is also important that you hit an enemy with the right part of your weapon. Hitting the enemy with the flat slide of your swords blade will do little to no damage, and most blows with glance off of armour, meaning you need to take into account where you hit an enemy and with what part of of your weapon.

Health[]

Your health is represented by a yellow bar at the bottom of your screen, which really represents your stamina. Nothing but taking hits will deplete this stamina, and when it reaches zero your character is knocked unconscious, dropping the weapons in their hands and collapsing. When receiving blows, your character can be injured. This is represented by a portion of your health bar becoming red, reducing your maximum stamina. Injury is incredibly important in Exanima, as it is difficult to treat. You should avoid being injured at all costs, as it ultimately the game harder on yourself. Armour plays a fundamental role in protecting you from injury. It nullifies the injury sharp weapons like swords can deal if they hit you in an armoured area, and lethal weapons that could kill you in one blow with a well placed hit and greatly mitigated by adequate armour. For example, a heavy hammer will greatly injure you will but will instead deal stamina damage if you're wearing armour, which is ultimately a better outcome than dying.

Exploring[]

Exploration is the primary gameplay loop of Exanima. By exploring, you find better equipment and improve your odds of winning future encounters. Most of your time in Exanima will be spent exploring the dungeon and learning its layout, which is made easier with the maps of each floor to dungeon found in a random container. Exploration is also the greatest contributor to XP in Exanima, which is what unlocks skills overtime as you play. Plenty of secrets and interesting items are hidden throughout the dungeon, which can all be interacted with by double clicking them with the left mouse button. More importantly, doors, levers and most objects can be interacted with by holding onto them with the left mouse button. Keys can also be found to unlock certain doors, either inside of a container or resting somewhere in the environment for the player to notice and drag into their inventory. Locked doors are unlocked by double clicking the right key in your inventory and then clicking on the appropriate door. It is important to note that the floors of every dungeon in Exanima are are dimly lit, with only few areas properly lit or even lit at all. Your torch is thus one of the most important items in your arsenal, and losing it could mean you cannot safely explore most of a floor without being attacked in the dark.

Controls[]

Movement[]

Movement has two forms in Exanima, neutral movement and combat movement, which are switched between with the tab key by default. This is because movement when fighting differs from movement when exploring. When not in combat your cursor will be yellow, and right clicking in a direction will move your character in the direction of your cursor. Your character will walk when when the cursor is near them, and moving it further away will make them run. Holding shift will moving will make you sprint, allowing you to travel as fast as possible currently. The WASD keys can be used to adjust your characters position relative to the direction they are looking, but it is strongly discouraged to use them as your primary input method as they limit your characters ability to turn with speed and accuracy, and does not allow you to sprint.

When your cursor is yellow, you are in a neutral state. However, if you press Tab you will enter combat mode. This causes your cursor to now turn your character, allowing you to properly aim your steps, attacks and parries. This is where you would use your movement keys. Press forward to advance forward, back to retreat, and left or right to circle your cursor's current position. Tapping, rather than pressing, your movement keys will result in you taking small steps in comparison to holding them. This can be used to more finely adjust your characters position during combat. It's best to try and keep your cursor on your intended target during a fight, as this is where your character will attack and move in relation to.

Attacking[]

You can swing in three basic directions: from the left, from the right, and from above. Simply click and hold mouse left to swing from the right, and quickly turn your cursor to the left and hold mouse left to swing from the left. Double click and hold to swing from above. You can also perform thrusts, by holding Alt and then mouse left. Thrust attacks aim automatically towards the cursor, meaning you can target specific areas on an opponent with a thrust. How long you hold mouse left during an attack is important, as letting go allows you to perform shorter swings or transition into defending hits or different attacks quicker.

One of the most important aspects of Exanima's combat is the physics behind all characters actions during a fight. Connecting an attack with an enemy isn't enough, damage is calculated based on how hard you hit, at what angle, where you hit an opponent and with what part of your weapon. A slow attack will do less damage than usual, and hitting the enemy with the wrong side of your weapon will do barely anything. Some of the best attacks to perform are thus ones that take advantage of the momentum of your weapon: by turning your cursor in the direction of your swing as you perform it, your character will turn their entire body in that direction and accelerate the swing, dealing much more damage than usual. A single well placed blow can win a fight, especially one to the head.

Defending[]

Blocking is automatic in Exanima, when not performing an attack your character will attempt to defend and parry. You can let go of an attack at any point to quickly defend yourself instead. Even if you do not perform a successful parry you will still be less vulnerable. Parries and blocks are, like attacks, affected by physics. Heavier armour could weight you down and result in a slow parry, or your position and angle to an enemy's strike may result in your character missing the parry entirely. Shields are excellent at fending off attacks, as they greatly increase your chances of intercepting an attack before it hits you. However, shields also come with their own weight and and encumbrance stat that could slow you and your blocks down.

Due the nature of blocks and parries, movement is also an important tool when defending yourself. Good footwork can allow you to dodge a blow or at least reduce the damage it deals, by moving with the swing or quickly stepping forward to be hit by the arm or handle of a weapon rather than the intended part. Proper footwork can mean life or death in certain situations, especially against enemies with weapons longer than yours or armour strong enough to survive many of your blows. By staying out of the reach of an enemy when you are not attacking you greatly increase your odds of winning in a combat scenario.

Inventories and Containers[]

The inventory is opened with the I key, and shows two windows: A display of your character and a box displaying all of your collected items. Dragging weapons and armour from your inventory onto the display of your character will equip them, likewise dragging items away from this display will remove them. To pick up items and place them in your inventory you merely need to hold mouse left on them and drag them towards your inventory window. Your inventory's display of your character also allows you to equip a primary and secondary set of items to your hands, which can switched between by pressing R at any time.

Your inventory has an unspecified limit, so you'll have to throw out some things to clear room when needed. All armour you wear will add up to a total encumbrance stat which is seen beneath your inventory's display of your character, however items within your inventory will never account for encumbrance. It is best to never be encumbered, as encumbrance restricts movement speed which is a vital part of Exanima's combat and will leave you disadvantaged in many situations. Its is also possible to circumvent the limit of your inventory through portable containers, which also have their own limits.

Tips and tricks[]

AVOID FIGHTING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE UNTIL YOU HAVE A DECENT WEAPON AND SOME SERIOUS ARMOUR! Red damage is very serious in this game, and you're going to take a lot of it without good armour. Healing salves are very sparse in the game and are currently the only way to deal with red damage early game. There's a mask that will heal you found on level 6, but it also requires green crystals which are finite and will only heal about half your health. If you're really good and use the healing items as efficiently as possible, over all 10 current levels you could probably afford to take about 4 health bars of red damage before running out of healing items. About 4/5 zombies in the first level of Exanima are passive and will only attack you if you provoke them. Some spawn aggressive, but you'll know right away if a zombie wants to see you dead or not.

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