Dungeon Keeper 2 is a strategy game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1999 for Microsoft Windows. It was released in Europe and North America in June 1999. It was the sequel to Peter Molyneux's Dungeon Keeper and predecessor to the canceled Dungeon Keeper 3. Molyneux did not have an active role in the creation of the Dungeon Keeper 2, though many of his ideas lived on from the previous game. Like its predecessor, players take the role of a dungeon keeper, building and defending an underground dungeon from the would-be heroes that invade it, as well as from other keepers. In the game's campaign mode, the player is charged with recovering the portal gems from each area in order to open a portal to the surface. This was charged as a setup for the sequel, where the gems would be used to invade the surface world and defeat the faction of goodly heroes.
The most immediate change from Dungeon Keeper is in its graphics; the world is now fully 3D. Where monsters were previously sprites, they are now 3D models. Several rooms, spells, and monsters were changed, added or removed, as were many game mechanics. For example, if a creature is dropped into the middle of a melee, it is stunned and vulnerable for a few seconds before getting up to fight. One major feature of the game is its "My Pet Dungeon" mode, which features sandbox-style play where players have a nearly unlimited amount of time to construct a dungeon uninterrupted, and wherein heroes only invade the dungeon if the player chooses to allow it.
Major changes from Dungeon Keeper
- The dungeon heart now stores a limited amount of gold; in Dungeon Keeper (particularly the Deeper Dungeons expansion), if the player ran out of gold before building a treasury, no additional gold could be mined and stored.
- Spells are now cast using mana, which is automatically replenished over turns, based on the amount of land or mana vaults a player owns. Previously, they were cast using gold.
- Dropping creatures onto the ground stuns them for a while, unlike in Dungeon Keeper where they could immediately begin to move again. Different creatures remain stunned for varying amounts of time, Bile Demons for example take several seconds to haul themselves off the floor whereas Goblins will push themselves back up almost immediately, and imps are not stunned by dropping at all. Creatures are not stunned if dropped in a Combat Pit.
- Imps no longer require training to gain levels; they gain experience from performing their duties in the dungeon.
- The training room only trains creatures for the first four levels; further levels can be attained in the combat pit (to level 8) or through combat.
- The scavenger room was removed, and two rooms were added:
- a casino that can be used to improve morale or funding
- a combat pit, for training creatures to a higher level than the training room can.
- The horned reaper is no longer a typical creature: it may instead be summoned for a very large amount of mana. "Horny" will then go on a rampage, destroying anything in his path for a short time.
- Many creatures were removed, and many were added. Notably absent are the dragons and demon spawn, replaced by a relatively weaker fire salamander. The creatures show a greater reliance on humanoids. In the first game, the only evil creatures to possibly be humans were undead, mistresses and warlocks (none of which were obviously human). But in DK2, not only have the warlocks and mistresses become obviously human, but rogues and black knights have been added. With the removal of creatures like the aforementioned dragons, the spiders and beetles etc., this results in the dungeons changing shape from the beast-inhabited dens of the first game, to more civilized-appearing settlements in the second.
- Many of the spells were redone, and can be upgraded after all basic spells have been researched.
The game plays quite similarly to its predecessor, however gameplay is more streamlined with less micromanaging and elimination of unnecessary information. Examples include the removal of the "kill enemies"/"beat them unconscious" switch (creatures are always knocked unconscious - the behaviour can't be changed) and the creature statistics panel, which provided all sorts of generally irrelevant information like blood type and luck. The creature combat experience was also moved to display as a circular "progress bar" in the creature's "health flower" over their heads, removing the need to find the information in the panels. The colors, music and sound in Dungeon Keeper 2 also tend to be brighter and more vibrant; the original Dungeon Keeper was generally darker and "grimier" with more serious overtones. Dungeon Keeper 2 tends to be much more tongue-in-cheek with various fourth wall-breaking jokes. An example of the change in mood is when a creature hits jackpot in the casino. This releases a flurry of stardust springing from the room, while the game blasts Disco Inferno and the creatures in the casino dance around. The fact that this casino (together with the fighting pit) replaced the eerie Scavenger's Room from Dungeon Keeper solidifies the altered mood.
Like the original, Dungeon Keeper 2 places the player in the role of a malignant overlord bent on world domination. The player must conquer all the underground lands in the kingdom to recover the portal gems, which can be used to open a portal to the surface world so that it can be invaded by evil. The kingdom itself takes the form of a large table containing a 3-dimensional map where the player clicks where to attack next from the highlighted regions - this is quite similar to Dungeon Keeper's world map with mainly graphical improvements. There are 20 main levels in the campaign. Some levels have multiple methods of attack allowing the player to choose which method and subregion they prefer.
At any stage, as in the first Dungeon Keeper, the player may choose to "Possess" one of his creatures. The player then sees through the creatures eyes and controls its actions, in a style similar to a First Person Shooter.
As in the original, the player takes on the enigmatic form of a large floating green hand which moves around the map picking things up, dropping them, casting spells and interacting with specific items. The game interface is blended between a large panel at the bottom of the screen and interactive items in the world. For example, the buttons to select which room, door or trap to build or spell to cast are in tabs on the panel and are then dropped into position in the world. Locking and unlocking doors or activating items is done by clicking on the item in the world. Disabling imprisonment of enemy creatures is done by clicking a metal bar next to the prison door, barricading it closed.
Gameplay is overseen by "The Mentor", an anonymous evil sounding male, voiced by Richard Ridings, just as in the original Dungeon Keeper, who tutors the player in the early levels and provides hints and advice throughout the game as well as general notices such as "It's payday" or "Your dungeon heart is under attack!". He also provides occasional humorous messages such as "One of your imps does a great impression of you. He can even do the ears!". The Mentor also provides a sometimes humorous monologue at both the objectives and debriefing screens for each level about the level goals and the characters involved. He also points out the movements of rival keepers and the king on the world map.
After completing a campaign level, the player receives a short movie before the debriefing screen which contains a joke based on the game.
Other than the campaign, the game also includes multiplayer and skirmish modes, as well as the sandbox mode, "My Pet Dungeon". My Pet Dungeon levels assign the player a goal such as "gain 10000 points" where points are gained by building, casting, claiming, slapping and just generally managing the dungeon. Once the player completes the objective they are then allowed to choose to keep playing on for as long as they like. The sandbox mode includes a "Hero toolbox" where the player can grab Hero characters and drop them in their dungeon for their minions to kill. The toolbox also includes a slot machine-like device for changing the skill level of the characters in the toolbox. The interface panel also gains a "force an invasion" button that causes a team of heroes to emerge from a Hero gate and attack the player's dungeon.
The skirmish mode enables the player to fight against computer bots. However, the difficulty of the bots is not particularly high, as the AI tends to have limited decision making and contingency planning abilities, but the bots are still generally challenging under favourable conditions, specifically, a sufficiently large quantity of land to build perfectly square rooms and a large quantity of nearby gold or gems.
No creatures will be attracted to your dungeon until a Lair and Hatchery have been constructed.
- Warlock - Attracted by a Library. Warlocks can cast fireball and healing spells and is the standard library researcher. At high levels they also get the Inferno attack spell.
- Salamander - Attracted by a Training Room.
- Dark Elf - Attracted by a Guard Room.
- Skeleton Warrior - A prisoner must die within your prison. Skeletons don't need food, don't make lairs to sleep in, and do not get paid, but disintegrate instead of faint when their health runs out and cannot heal without the use of magic.
- Dark Mistress - Attracted by a Torture Chamber.
- Troll - Attracted by a Workshop.
- Bile Demon - Same as the troll - except that the Hatchery must also take up at least 25 tiles. It is quite tough and reasonably powerful but is extremely slow and has very significant dietary requirements.
- Rogue - Attracted by a Casino. It can become invisible as a special power when possessed.
- Vampire - A number of corpses (5) must rot away in the graveyard. Vampires cannot cross water (it takes damage if it does), and will 'warp' back to the graveyard when its health runs out - losing one level of combat experience in the process. If it is level 1 it dies normally. If a Monk strikes the final blow on a vampire, the vampire will be killed regardless of skill level.
- Dark Angel - Attracted by a Temple of at least 25 tiles. Very powerful blitzer, with a sword, an energy ball spell and the ability to conjure 3 skeletons to distract the enemy.
- Black Knight - Attracted by a Combat Pit. Similar to the Hero Knight.
- Maiden of the Nest - Attracted by a Temple. Half spider-woman. This creature was cut from the original version of Dungeon Keeper 2, and was added in patch 1.7. Single-player levels were not updated to include maidens, so they only appear in multiplayer levels.
Additionally, on one of the Skirmish maps you can use Heroes as well. In the torture room it is possible to convert non-boss heroes and turn them into one of your minions. Most hero creatures are counterparts to the player's monsters. Imps/Dwarves, Warlocks/Wizards, Dark Elf/Elven Archer, and so on.
|<center>8.9 of 10||<center>Editor's Choice Award|
|<center>GameSpot||<center>7.9 of 10||<center>|
|<center>Edge||<center>8 of 10||<center>Issue E74|
|<center>PC Gamer||<center>89 of 100||<center>Issue #18|
|Compilations of multiple reviews|
|<center>Game Rankings||<center>82 of 100 (based on 32 reviews)|
Though not as highly rated as its landmark original, Dungeon Keeper 2 successfully transformed the series into true 3D. Reviews varied highly, with some criticism about the lack of new features compared to its predecessor, Dungeon Keeper. IGN was among the highest raters of the game, awarding a score of 8.9 and the editor's choice award. Many reviews cited the lack of a fully supported multiplayer mode. While the CD-ROM release of the game contained only four multiplayer maps, this problem was later rectified in an online patch increasing the number of maps to a dozen. One of the most praised aspects of the game was the variety of game types included, the My Pet Dungeon freeform sandbox mode, the linear campaign mode, and the somewhat limited skirmish mode along with the previously mentioned multiplayer mode. Though overall, the reception was very good, the low sales volume due largely to lack-luster marketing and the obscurity of the title contributed to the cancellation of a sequel[. ]
Major patch updates
After installing patch v1.61, it is possible to attract "elite" versions of creatures which are marginally more powerful than the standard creatures. In order to attract them to a dungeon, a player must build rooms in certain layouts specific to each type of elite creature. Patch v1.7 introduced a new creature and a new trap, the Maiden and the Jack-In-The-Box, respectively. The Maiden has the upper body of a woman, the lower body of a spider and shoots webbing. The Jack-In-The-Box trap serves as a ward against enemy Imps, who die upon triggering the trap. The patch also made the elite creatures significantly more powerful.
Running on Windows Vista & Windows 7
Running Dungeon Keeper 2 on Windows Vista and Windows 7 is possible, although a number of settings may need to be changed to avoid crashes
- Turning hardware acceleration off avoids 'black blocks' filling the screen. 
- Changing the screen resolution to 800x600 avoids a crash to desktop when reviewing mission objectives, although this may cause videos to only run half-screen. 
- Using a compatibility mode (XP SP2 or 2000) may help with other issues. Using the compatibility mode for Windows 98 appears to work well when tested with Windows 7 Ultimate.
Dungeon Keeper 3
Dungeon Keeper 2 included a short trailer for its sequel, Dungeon Keeper 3. The video showed Horny, leader of the player faction, reaching the surface world - the home of the goodly heroes that the player had been fighting in the previous two games.
Development of the sequel began in November 1999 and was cancelled in March 2000.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 GameFAQs Data Page  Retrieved October 3, 2006
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 IGN.com Review  Retrieved on October 3, 2006.
- ↑ GameSpot Review  Retrieved on October 3, 2006.
- ↑ Edge Rating  Retrieved on October 3, 2006.
- ↑ PC Gamer Review  Retrieved on October 3, 2006.
- ↑ Game Rankings review compilation  Retrieved on October 3, 2006.
- Dungeon Keeper 2 at GameFAQs
- Dungeon Keeper 2 at GameSpot
- Dungeon Keeper 2 at the Internet Movie Database