A fan favorite is returning as Darkest Dungeon 2's final launch character, and he's looking worse than ever

Close up of Flagellant making blight attack
(Image credit: Red Hook)

As we approach Darkest Dungeon 2's 1.0 release on May 8, Red Hook Studios has revealed the final character coming to the grimdark roguelike at launch: the Flagellant. This nasty, nasty man is far worse for wear than he appeared to be in the original Darkest Dungeon, and he brings with him a Blight-focused, high-risk playstyle that's unconventional, adding to his appeal as a pain-loving weirdo.

The Flagellant showed up in the first Darkest Dungeon via the Crimson Court DLC, and would you just look at him circa 2017⁠—he's so happy! You enjoy that skin buddy, you won't have it for much longer.

Similar to his Darkest Dungeon 1 incarnation, the Flagellant does his best work when he's at "Death's Door," the near-death state characters reach at zero HP. He can spend health to fuel his own attacks, and also tank damage meant for other characters in order to reach Death's Door faster.

If you're trying to cut "toxic" people out of your life, well, you're playing the wrong game, but also the Flagellant's unique stress response in-game is literally called "Toxic." Like his "Rapturous" state in Darkest Dungeon 1, it's not necessarily a bad thing, and Red Hook says the Flagellant's "custom stress response impacts him less than a meltdown and reduces his health to a threshold where those abilities are immediately available, while refreshing his cooldowns to make sure they're up for use."

The poison thing extends to his kit⁠—the Flagellant was always a creep, but now he's practically a walking corpse from all that punishment he endured. "Through sheer force of will, the Flagellant survives on the furthest fringe of mortality.  He savours the sensations of perpetual, unending death," Red Hook explains. "As his body began to rot, his blood and organs became septic, and his power began to reflect a toxic, necrotic archetype."

In a shift from Darkest Dungeon 1, the Flagellant is all about Blight now, inflicting the damage over time effect with many of his abilities, which Red Hook broke down with brief descriptions for us:

  • Punish: A brutal flail strike to damage and blight an opponent.
  • Fester: Destroys a corpse on the battlefield, blighting those around it.
  • Deathless: The Flagellant sacrifices of his own body to restore another Hero's health.
  • Endure: Relieves a party member of stress at the cost of his own mind.
  • Lash's Gift: Strikes himself with his flail, raising his own health while buffing an ally's strength and defenses.
  • Acid Rain: Pummels his opponents with a virulent downpour, dealing damage and blight in equal measure.
  • More! MORE!: The Flagellant covets pain, using it to heal himself after drawing enemy attacks.
  • Suffer: Relieves a party member of their Blight, Bleed, and Burn by taking it upon himself.
  • Sepsis: Inflicts tremendous Blight while recovering from the brink of death.
  • Undying: Injures himself to provide regeneration for another.
  • Necrosis: Strikes down all Blight-infected foes while his own flesh knits back together.

New boss spoilers and image below.

The Flagellant also brings the promise of a new enemy: having cheated death one too many times, tsk tsk, he's now pursued by Death herself, armed with a scythe astride a pale horse. This miniboss encounter has a chance of triggering after every battle victory with the Flagellant in your party. "Her skills are particularly designed to bypass the Flagellant's considerable deathblow resistance," Red Hook told us. "The uncertainty of her appearance, and her lethal combat potential make Death a real threat to any expedition. Surviving her attack will reward players with a special item: the Death's Head flower."

The Flagellant will also feature a fleshed-out, playable backstory like the other characters, and will be coming to Darkest Dungeon 2 when the game leaves early access May 8. You can look forward to our full review of the game at that time, and until then, be sure to check out our Darkest Dungeon 2 hub for our prior early access coverage.

Party with Flagellant squaring off against Death

(Image credit: Red Hook)
Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.