King's Ascent is a platformer in which a supposedly noble king discovers that his good deeds weren't as good as he originally thought as he is pursued by several giant monsters conjured by his traitorous mage and general. The gameplay is simplistic but is wrapped around a deep story rich with morals.
The game can be found here:
- Arrow Keys: Move left/right, jump
King's Ascent consists of four levels, each one split up into several sections. In each level, the king has to navigate a vertically oriented area by climbing upwards in order to escape a monster chasing him from below. Each level has a different monster with different abilities. When the king steps on certain platforms, they turn into lava and fall down after a few seconds, dealing damage to the monster if a platform hits it. To beat a level, the king has to hit the monster with enough platforms to defeat it. If the king falls down, gets caught by the monster, or reaches the top of the section and has no more platforms to attack with, you have to start the section over.
- The Dragon: The monster in Level 1. A simple beast who simply pursues the King and has no special abilities.
- The Fish: The monster in Level 2. Follows a set path rather than pursuing the King, making it harder to hit him with platforms. Also moves faster than the Dragon.
- The Regiment: The monster in Level 3. A massive conglomeration of many dead soldiers that is able to throw spears at the King as it chases him.
- The Tyrant: The monster in Level 4. Has two disembodied hands that try to grab the King as the Tyrant chases him.
- Solid Platform: A normal platform. First seen in Level 1.
- Falling Block: A platform that turns into lava and falls after the King touches it. First seen in Level 1.
- Dirt: A solid platform made of dirt that can be broken through by Falling Spikes. First seen in Level 1.
- Falling Spike: A modified Falling Block that can dig through dirt when it's falling. Comes in two sizes, big and small. First seen in Level 1.
- Chandelier: This platform has a button; after the King jumps on it and gets off, it will thrust itself downward and deal huge damage to the monster on contact. It comes in three sizes - small, big, and giant. First seen in Level 1.
- Springboard: Bounces the King up higher when he jumps on it. First seen in Level 1.
- Spike Bridge: A platform that sticks out from one side of the screen that gets longer when the King stands on it. When he gets off, it grows spikes on its underside which damage the monster on contact. First seen in Level 2.
- Focused Chandelier: An improved Chandelier that has two buttons that control whether the platform launches itself to the left or the right. Make sure to stand on the correct button before jumping off this platform to ensure it hits the monster. First seen in Level 2.
- Rocket Pillar: Flies upward once the King steps on it, and thrusts itself downward once the King gets off or it runs out of energy (indicated by three golden rings on the rocket that disappear one by one). First seen in Level 3.
THIS SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Not many years ago, a terrible Dragon started ravaging the Northern lands. She devoured livestock and would easily fight all who tried to stop her. In response, the King devised a cunning plan to stop the monster. He held a great banquet in her honor; he showered the dragon with praise and fed her until the beast was stuffed. Once the Dragon was sedated by her own gluttony, the King's knights leapt from their hiding spots and slew the creature. The King then built a great tower to watch over the people and remind them that they were safe.
Later, the King set up a meeting with Alabaster and Dravious, his mage and general, but neither of them showed up. Disgruntled, the King began to search for them, but was halted by a huge explosion. When the smoke cleared, the King saw that it was caused by the skeleton of the Dragon he had killed, which proceeded to chase him. The King tried to reason with the Dragon, but she was bent on revenge. As they talked it was revealed that the only reason the Dragon stole the kingdom's livestock was because the King stole the land that the Dragon was using to feed herself. That land, it turns out, was given to the Dragon as a reward for defending the kingdom back in the day, and she was now furious that the King took it from her, left her to starve so he could feed his own people, reduced her to a thief, and killed her just for trying to stay alive. The King asserted that he did what he did for the good of his kingdom, but the Dragon remarked that he always made others pay the price for his decisions.
Eventually, the King defeated the Dragon and found his general, Dravious. The King was not happy to see Dravious, though, and chewed him out for not coming to help him fight the Dragon. Dravious apologized and claimed he couldn't get to the King, but the King didn't buy it. He then asked where Alabaster the mage was, after which she appeared and greeted the King. Relieved to see her, the King asked Alabaster if she knew how the Dragon had come back to life. Alabaster said magic was involved, but she needed to do more research in order to understand exactly how it happened. She and Dravious then offered to move the King to another castle for his safety.
A few years ago, a drought struck one of the largest cities in the kingdom, and it struck right before the Great King's Festival! Everyone was worried that the festival would be ruined. The King didn't like seeing his people so despondent, so he searched far and wide until he found a small town that was willing to let the city borrow its water. The King volunteered his men, and they worked day and night to dig a channel that connected the town and the city together. Once the channel filled with water, the people rejoiced and had the greatest festival anyone had ever seen!
Now, in the present, the King had been moved to this same city where he would remain hidden in case the Dragon wasn't the only hostile creature brought back from the dead. After a good night's sleep, the King awoke to find that Alabaster had sent for him, so he confronted her and asked if she'd found anything yet. She asked the King if he remembered why he had this second castle built, to which he replied that he had it built after he saved the city from a drought. Alabaster then asked if the King remembered how he stopped the drought. The King recalled that he redirected water from another town. Next, Alabaster asked if the King remembered where he got the water from. The King only remembered that it came from another town, and he asked Alabaster what was with all the weird questions. Alabaster then revealed that the town was her home, and everyone - including her - had had to leave after the King took the town's water. Seeing how upset Alabaster was about this, the King apologized, but then told her that now wasn't the time to be angry about it. Alabaster disagreed, though, as she now had the power to do something about it; using her magic powers, Alabaster resurrected a gigantic fish that used to live in the river before the King redirected its water to the city. The King called Dravious for help, but to no avail.
The King desperately pleaded with Alabaster to call off the Fish, but she wouldn't give in. When begging didn't work, the King reminded Alabaster that he got permission to use her town's water, but she countered by pointing out that he got permission from the town's mayor appointed by the King himself. The King argued that he gave all the town's residents enough money to find new homes, but Alabaster was too angry about her home being ruined. She went on to argue that the city had enough water to survive, and the only reason the King took her town's water was because he wanted a festival. The King pointed out that the festival was important to the people, but Alabaster cut him off, saying the festival was only important to him.
The King defeated the Fish and smugly announced his victory. Then, he apologized again to Alabaster, this time admitting that he failed to take the time to consider the full effects of his decision to drain the town's water. Alabaster simply ran off. Then Dravious showed up, and the King scolded him again for his delayed arrival. Dravious again claimed he and his soldiers couldn't reach the King, as Alabaster's spell wrecked the castle and created so much debris that they couldn't get past it. The King was annoyed that Dravious was using the same excuse as before, but dismissed it. He started to tell Dravious about Alabaster's betrayal, but decided it'd be better to move to another castle first.
Years ago, the kingdom was invaded by a barbaric neighboring country. Their army was stronger, and the King's court feared defeat was imminent. The King refused to give up, though; he sent out a small regiment to confront the army. Though badly outnumbered, they faced the army and fought bravely. Then, the King's full army launched a surprise attack on the invaders from behind; the small regiment was just a diversion. The resulting confusion allowed the King to easily win the day. While his people celebrated, the King commissioned a monument to commemorate the diversionary force so that their sacrifice would never be forgotten.
Back in the present, the King and Dravious had moved to the next castle, where the King informed his general of Alabaster's treason, lamenting that the worst part of it was that he really trusted her. He started to think that maybe he could have done more to show how much he valued Alabaster, perhaps by building a monument for her town, but then noticed that Dravious seemed distracted. The King asked Dravious if he was listening, and Dravious replied saying he didn't think Alabaster wanted a monument. Then Alabaster showed up and the King frantically ordered Dravious to get her. Dravious didn't move, though, and Alabaster conjured up another creature. Horrified, the King asked what it was, and Dravious told him it was the King's diversionary regiment; Alabaster had taken the bodies of all the dead soldiers from the regiment and fused them together into one gigantic abomination.
As he ran from the Regiment, the King scolded Dravious for betraying him, saying he'd sworn an oath to protect the King, but Dravious says that he also swore an oath to protect the country, an oath the King invalidated by sending those soldiers out to die. He also reveals that his son was one of those soldiers. The King, having been unaware of this, tried to get Dravious to back down by telling him that his son and the other soldiers were heroes because of their sacrifice, but Dravious told the King that they only died because the King never tried to find a solution that didn't require any deaths. The King begged Dravious to get Alabaster to call off the Regiment, but he refused.
As with the previous monsters, the King was able to defeat the Regiment anyway, and he asked Dravious what Alabaster said to convince him to be part of her plan. This enraged Alabaster, and Dravious simply told the King that he had hoped for better from him. Alabaster then declared that there was one last castle for the King to see, so they went.
Long ago, the country was ruled by a selfish Tyrant. He had no concern for his people, as he constantly let them struggle while he pampered himself with the luxuries of the throne. One lord, who would later become the King, saw how everyone was suffering and decided that he could do better for them. So he set out to take the throne from the Tyrant. After gathering support from the court, he launched a surprise attack on the Tyrant. Even though the Tyrant was in his own castle, no one came to help him; everyone wanted to watch his demise. After that, the King ascended the throne and began a new era.
At the last castle, the King asked how many times Alabaster and Dravious were going to put him through this, to which they replied that this was the last time. The King asked if he really was that bad of a king, and the sinister duo admitted that he could have been worse...just as the Tyrant appeared, reborn by Alabaster's magic as a gigantic monster. The Tyrant remarked that he never got a chance to see his killer's face.
During their chase, the King retorted that he had no remorse for killing the Tyrant because he was pure evil and definitely deserved what he got. The Tyrant replied by asking why the King expected any more from him. The King dismissed this, saying that while he wasn't perfect, the Tyrant was just plain cruel, as he allowed everyone else to starve while he stuffed himself and didn't do anything when his kingdom was raided. The Tyrant stated that he had the right to do what he wanted with the kingdom since he was the ruler at the time. The Tyrant then explained that even though he was an outright monster during his reign, he was content with himself, unlike the King who constantly wasted time trying to make himself feel good about what he did and talked way too much about trying to make the right decisions after he'd already made the wrong ones. The King claimed that he at least did what he thought was right, but the Tyrant told him that what he says doesn't change what he did. He then asks the King that if everyone thought he was as brutal as the Tyrant was, how were they different?
Of course, the King emerged victorious yet again, defeating the Tyrant and this time escaping the castle. As he made his getaway, an extremely frustrated Alabaster asked if they were supposed to just let him go. Dravious said that he was no longer their concern since he wasn't a king anymore, so it was best to let him do as he pleased. Alabaster remarked that she didn't expect the Ex-King to survive the onslaught of monsters; Dravious said he did. The two then turned their attention to the empty throne, realizing that a new king had to lead the kingdom. Dravious suggested Alabaster step up and become queen, but she declined because she was still filled with vengeance over what the Ex-King had done to her. So, they set off to find someone else.
Meanwhile, the Ex-King fled into exile and became a farmer.