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The Pitch

Defender's Quest II is happening! Let's talk about it. First, here's a pretty picture:

Let's start by answering the obvious questions.

Is that a turtle-tank?
Yes! His name is Bitey. He's not technically a turtle, but he is technically a tank, among other things. The boy and girl are Javir and Terevan, respectively.

What's going on?
Defender's Quest II is set in a completely new world, with a brand new cast of characters and an entirely different story from last time.

I have a million questions!
Cool, we have slightly less than a million answers in our FAQ.

Scroll down for more details about our plans for Defender's Quest II!

Can't afford a copy but still want to help us out?
Help spread the word by tweeting or posting about us!



We're keeping all the best features from Defender's Quest I and improving the rest, based on tons of user feedback and our own experience.
  • Everyone's a Hero!
  • More Interesting Choices
  • Better Equipment
  • Better Battles
  • Cleaner Interface
More Details... Everyone's a Hero!
There's no more generic units - every character in your party is a named "hero" with a speaking role in the story, we've upped the roster from 6 heroes in DEFQ1 to about 12 in DEFQ2, and the diversity in abilities will greatly expand. Each character will have their own class, with a unique customizable skill tree. To make up for the lack of generics, DEFQ2's classes will have some built-in overlap in their abilities, and some classes will be specialize in summoning monsters!

More Interesting Choices

In addition to the smaller party size, skill trees will focus on bigger decisions and either/or upgrade paths rather than simply increasing this or that by +0.5.

Better Equipment

Equipment will have special abilities. Also, DEFQ2's equipment system focuses on customizable upgrades to existing items more than disposable stuff that just increases in power linearly. Also, you can equip your turtle-tank with specialized artillery -- this replaces Azra's spells from DEFQ1.

Better Battles

We're giving the battle system some big upgrades. Not only are the maps bigger, some levels will have destructable terrain which can be changed by both players and enemies. Also, each character's top-level boost skill will become a new "ultimate" skill with a long cooldown which the player can activate manually at an opportune time. The enemies are getting a boost too - among other new tricks, DEFQ2's enemies will be able to inflict status effects on defenders.

Cleaner Interface

Choices aren't interesting if you can't understand them. We're ditching the confusing "speed" stat, and taking many other steps to make it as easy as possible to compare abilities and understand exactly what your characters can do.


We've put together a great team for Defender's Quest II, and with your help we can make the art and music better than ever!

More Details... Art design by Karen Petrasko
Karen is an awesome traditional artist and digital painter. She's in charge of the whole visual design of Defender's Quest II, including characters, creatures, terrain, and more.

Music by Nobuo Uematsu (seriously!) and Kevin Penkin
We are very pleased to announce that world-famous composer of the Final Fantasy series, Nobuo Uematsu, will be composing the main theme for Defender's Quest II. We are extremely fortunate to work with a legend like Uematsu-san.

Collaborating with him will be Kevin Penkin, our musician from DEFQ1.

Read about them all on the team page.

Better Cutscenes
We heard you! DEFQ2's cutscenes will look much better than our homegrown solution from DEFQ1. Also, instead of using a separate "Fire Emblem" style cutscene engine like DEFQ1 did, we'll use the same sprites from the battle engine to animate story sequences -- more "Final Fantasy Tactics" style. Not only will this look better, it's more efficient, since more expressions can be used in both battles and cutscenes. We will also have detailed portraits for dialogue, but no full-body shots.

HD resolution support
DEFQ2 will be HD-friendly, supporting resolutions as high as 1080p, but also being serviceable as low as 800x600 (DEFQ1's resolution). Resolution support will be robust this time around -- hi-res master assets will be scaled to the appropriate resolution so everything looks nice and crips.


Defender's Quest II: Mists of Ruin takes place in a world whose surface is covered by a toxic, heavier-than-air gas known as "Mirk."

To explain further, we've asked Captain Javir to say a few words.


   If you're reading this, then you're one of the few lucky souls to be receiving Captain Javir's Guide to Survivorness-itivity, an inestimable fountain of mentorship here to lead you into the exciting and rewarding career that is being expendable monster-fodder--I mean--a Scavenger!

First, let's start with the basics. It's year three in the century of the Nine-Banded Slaughter Maggot and the world is crap. Well, not literally. If you want an actual chemical breakdown, the world is 97% Mirk, 2% arable land, and 1% barely-functioning domed cities.
More Details... This is where you come in! See, YOUR city needs a constant supply of ancient technology to keep running, pumping fresh air, and keep all of us from dying a long, horrible death as the Mirk boils our eyes inside of our skulls like lizard eggs.

"But Javir," you say, "Mommy and daddy told me that one day a hero will rise and collect the eight magical thingamajigs of maggot crap and then the Mirk will be banished and we can all live on the surface of the world in peace and harmony and grow fat and be surrounded by cute fluffy animals and rainbows!";

To which I say "Kindly open the airlock and throw yourself out because I don't want a moron like you passing on his stupid to the next generation. Also, what the hell is a cute fluffy animal? The last animal I saw was literally wearing a man's intestines as a hat (kind of stylish in a jaunty sort of way, but still)."

   Okay, now that we've weeded out the total dumb asses, let's get on with business. The first thing you need to do is find a giant monster, the bigger the better. Got one? Good! Now build yourself an airtight life capsule and strap it to his back. (Did I mention that the monster was supposed to be tame? Oh well, we can weed out a couple more morons there).

Now just load that capsule up with all the teleporters, messenger bats, food, weapons, and everything else you need for three months on the road.

Now you're all set to march out into the Mirk and start scavenging ancient technology! Don't worry, only two thirds of you will die horribly!* (Another fifth of you will die quick painless deaths. Yay!)

*This is actually a good thing. If it weren't for people like you and me dying horribly on a daily basis, overpopulation would destroy the city in a single generation!



At some point, your captain is going to teleport you outside of the ship into a personal sized oxygen bubble and tell you to kill whatever comes at you. Chances are, what's coming at you is going to be an assortment of fanged, tentacled, armored, poison-barbed, reticulated, oscillating, multi-limbed, mutated abominations that want nothing better than to remove your head from your shoulders and have their wicked wicked way with your empty eyesockets. My advice to you is don't let them.


Yes, yes, I know, they have a real name that's hard to pronounce and carries with it centuries of tradition, but I just call things how I see them. And let me tell you, these guys are jackasses of the highest caliber. The only reason our city hasn't been wiped off the map by these bloodthirsty, power-hungry, inhuman, butt-nuggets is the steady flow of "tribute" we send their way in the form of scavenge, engineers, tamed monsters, and all of our best wine! Did I mention that these guys all have an extra mouth on their stomachs that exists purely to bite the heads off of children?   

(I mean, I haven't seen it personally, but I can tell you it's there.)


Did you know that there are massive underground kingdoms below our feet filled with monstrous, albino giants? Well, now you do! Let's hope that unlike 99.9% of everything else that lives on the planet, they don't want to kill us (unlikely, but one can hope).


Yeah, there's totally mountains so tall they poke above the Mirk layer and there's a bunch of lazy, good-for-nothing bastards living up there without a care in the world. Just kidding! They're a bunch of miserable, murderous jerks just like us! Sorry, but your daydreams of a honeymoon in the sky with some Islander princess aren't going to be so awesome when cannibal sky pirates serve your jangly bits as the main dish at THEIR honeymoon.


Total scum-buckets, all of them. All they care about is THEIR city. And let me remind you, for those of you that have forgotten, THEIR city is not OUR city. THEIR city smells bad and is full of ugly people. OUR city is full of beautiful, intelligent people that love you and want you to be happy/die to curb overpopulation. But despite this, their Scavengers keep trying to come out into the world and steal salvage that's rightfully ours! Those jerks! And now let us all hold hands and chant the scavengers' anthem:

Our city is the best city! (The best!)
Much better than your city! (Poor city!)
Our city is the best city! (Repeat four times)
It'll kick your city right in the jangly bits!
Until it finds it very difficult to have children.

Reasons to pre-order

If you're wondering what to expect, the answer is simple: Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten, but better! Here's a lot of reason why Defender's Quest II will be awesome and you should pre-order it now:
  • Defender's Quest I was great
  • We have a great team
  • We have a solid track record
  • We're not over-ambitious
  • You get the original DEFQ to play right now
  • You can share with friends
More Details... Defender's Quest I was great
But hey - don't take our word for it:

    "It's Brilliant" -Rock, Paper, Shotgun
    "Incredibly Fun" 8.5/10 - Destructoid
    "Excellent" 4.5/5.0 - RPGamer

And if that doesn't convince you, try out the free web demo for the first game and see for yourself!

We have a great team
The core Defender's Quest I team is returning, along with some fresh new talent - read about it on the team page.

We have a solid track record
Defender's Quest I isn't our only claim to fame. Prior to forming Level Up Labs, Anthony, Lars, and Kevin produced the game CellCraft under a grant from the MacArthur foundation, and before that Lars created two versions of the popular web game Super Energy Apocalypse. And we haven't yet mentioned the awesome games our creative partners (Karen Petrasko, Dean Dodrill) have worked on, which includes such heavy-hitters as Waking Mars and Dust: An Elysian Tail.

You get the original DEFQ to play right now
If you pre-order at the basic tier, you get a free copy of Defender's Quest I, with a Steam Key and everything. For the low price of just $15 you can get DEFQ1 and DEFQ2 (a combined $35 value), for an effective 57% off the launch price!

We're not over-ambitious
Defender's Quest II will be about the same size and scope as Defender's Quest I. Players have put 20, 40, and even 60 hours into DEFQ1, which seems like plenty of content to shoot for.

We favor 2D over 3D because 2D art looks great, it keeps costs low, and most importantly - it's way easier for the player to understand what's going on.
We're not adding multi-player or co-op.
We're not adding a bunch of irrelevant mini-games.
We're not committing to voice acting.
We're not throwing our old engine away and starting from scratch.
Most importantly, we're not committing to any stretch goals.

You can share with friends
If you've already got Defender's Quest I, you can give it away to a friend - you'll receive a giftable Humble Store key in your pre-order. And if you're really in the giving mood, consider buying a 4-pack -- you'll get 4 individually giftable codes, at 25% off the regular pre-order price.

Help us make Defender's Quest II better!