General roguelike skills
Experience playing other roguelikes will go a long way and the following skills will help you whether it's Golden Krone Hotel or any other roguelike.
Traditional roguelikes are turn based. The natural instinct when in a desperate situation is to start playing faster, but playing slowly is the proper response. Patience is the name of the game.
If you realize that you're a turn or two away from death, try taking your hands off the keyboard, getting out of your chair, and maybe grabbing a cup of coffee or tea. Come back with a cool head and spent at least 20 seconds contemplating your next move.
Pay attention to what's on screen
This goes back to the previous point. Many players ignore their low health, hunger, low mana, status effects, and on screen opponents until it's too late. It is taxing to pay perfect attention to these things all the time and you can ignore them when everything is going well. But as soon as you see more than one monster nearby or a monster you don't recognize or you have less than 50% health, you should really stop and take inventory.
Use all your tools
Roguelikes put you in bad situations, but they also give you a bunch of powerful tools to help get you out. In Golden Krone Hotel, you have: a revolver, potions, spells, vampire abilities, and environmental hazards. Only using your bump attack is like fighting with your hands tied behind your back.
Other genres have conditioned us to see games as a linear sequence of unavoidable obstacles: keep trying to beat the level until you succeed. And they've treated us as powerful heroes capable of overcoming any challenge. Neither of these are true in roguelikes. The dungeon is much more dangerous than you are. If you refuse to ever back down from a fight, you won't get very far.
In GKH and many other roguelikes, you are intended to encounter situations/monsters/branches that you are too weak to deal with. It's OK to run and come back when you're more powerful. It's OK to take a different route. It's OK to not kill everything.
Something that new players do all the time: walk onto a new floor, see 5 monsters they absolutely cannot handle, and without any sort of buffing immediately run deeper onto the floor (and away from their only escape).
Always Be Climbing Stairs
One particular weirdness about roguelikes is how they handle stairs. Monsters can only follow you up stairs if they're directly adjacent to you when you go up or down. What this means: if you can put even a single tile between you and a monster, you've made a 100% clean break and can escape to safety.
Some players use "stair dancing" to fight enemies one at a time, but at the very least you should exploit stairs to make escapes.
One other thing you should understand about stairs is that the main hotel levels each have 3 staircases going up and 3 staircases going down. If you don't like one entrance to a floor, try the other two!
Fight in favorable positions
Generally this means fighting multiple enemies in hallways instead of open spaces, so you only take damage from one at a time.
But there are many other considerations in GKH depending on your form: fighting in or out of darkness, near or away from sunlight, and out of water.
If you have the resources to do so, you maximize your chances of survival by resting between every single fight and starting the next fight with full HP. Simply press spacebar.
Human vs Vampire
The biggest thing to learn about about Golden Krone Hotel is the difference between being human and being vampire.
You will eventually turn into a vampire. This is not a punishment. The core of the game is about switching between two forms at the appropriate times. Vampires are actually super strong! With the right resources, changing forms is easy to do and occurs instantly. You will automatically turn vampire once your vamp bar fills (which is affected only by passing time), but you can use a Blood potion to change immediately. You can turn back with a Soul Elixir.
Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each form:
- +Regenerates health over time
- +Casts spells
- +Carries a revolver
- +Wields sword and shield
- +Reads books
- -Plagued by hunger
- -Relatively slow and weak
- -Poor low light vision
- -Hawker prices are doubled
- +Heals with blood
- +Perfect low light vision
- +Access to vampire abilities
- +50% strength bonus
- +2 speed bonus
- -50% intelligence penalty
- -Loses health over time and does not regen
- -Can't cast magic
- -Vulnerable to sunlight
- -Vulnerable to water
As a human, you want to maximize the damage you do to enemies before they get to you. That means using revolver, spells, and sunlight whenever needed. Stay in lit areas to prevent from getting ambushed.
As a vampire, you want to stick to the shadows and avoid getting hit by spells from a distance. Your survival as a vampire also depends on collecting almost all the blood that is spilled. Every blood pool that you let dry up is a mistake. It's usually better to go all in on fights (unless you have no hope of winning) rather than disengaging early, losing blood, and having to deal with more ranged attacks. Contrary to the tip about hallways earlier, you should always avoid lit hallways as a vampire. Hallways provide ample opportunity for spell casters to smack you around while you try to close the distance. Spells can only hit you if you're aligned with enemies, so you can sidestep long range magic in open areas.
All About Lighting
Another unique twist in GKH is the lighting system. You have a great deal of control over light:
- You can turn any torch on or off
- Glass can be broken with bullets or BLAST, letting sunlight and moonlight in
- Many actions (FIRESTORM, SHOCK, revolver) produce light for one turn
- GLOW gives a longer lasting light
- Moonlight and sunlight can be produced with FOCUS
Light and the time of day has many effects:
- Visibility (most monsters cannot see in the dark, Balaurs can only see in the dark)
- Sunlight hurts vampires
- Sunlight buffs and heals Green Men
- Moonlight will turn some humans into werewolves
- Toadstools can only spawn and move at night
- The Varcolac changes into a werewolf at night
The day/night cycle
The movement of sunlight beams may be bewildering at first, but it follows simple, predictable rules that are logically similar to sunlight on the northern hemisphere of Earth.
Day light lasts from 6am to 6pm. Each turn takes 4 minutes, so day and night each last 180 turns.
Sun rises in the east at 6am (casting its beams directly west), rotates clockwise around the hotel, and sets at 6pm in the west (casting its beams directly east).
- Morning (6am-9am): sunlight is coming from the east walls
- Midday (9am-3pm): sunlight is coming from the south walls
- Evening (3pm-6pm): sunlight is coming from the west walls
Sunlight never shines from the north.
With lighting in mind, you can follow these rules of thumb for moving across a level:
- As a human, it's safer to make a semicircle around the hotel during the day (moving from east to south to west walls). Be cautious at night.
- As a vampire, it's safer to take the opposite semicircle during the day (west to north to east walls). Glance at the minimap for pillars that will shield you from sunlight. The night is your time.
There are 4 phases of the moon: New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Full Moon, Last Quarter Moon. Only Full Moon will produce moonlight. So you can basically count on getting moonlight for 1 in 4 nights. Moonlight beams follow the same rules as sunlight beams, but offset by 12 hours.
Stealth in GKH is dirt simple: enemies who can't see you usually cannot follow or attack you. They will still attack you if directly adjacent and they will follow you if they hear you making a ruckus. There are no other kinds of stat bonuses to being hidden, only the tactical advantage of being able to move freely in the shadows.
It is important to look for either the 'Hidden' status on your character or a ? above enemies to ensure you are actually hidden. Being in partial shadow does not guarantee stealth.
Also keep in mind that some enemies can see in the dark and some even make their own light.