Darkest Dungeon's new hero revealed as The Flagellant

A new adventurer is ready to descend into Darkest Dungeon, wielding a flail soaked with his own blood and leaving "a toxic mixture of fear, awe, and disgust" in his wake. The Flagellant, a member of an extremist branch of the Church, is a high-DPS frontline fighter and healer who draws fearsome power through personal martyrdom. 

The Flagellant is designed to push the envelope of Darkest Dungeon's Affliction System, the soul-grinding blend of stress, fear, paranoia, and other 'quirks' that can render stoic adventurers psychologically broken and even dangerous to their fellow dungeoneers. Because of his single-minded devotion, he cannot develop a virtue, and he's also restricted to a single affliction called "Rapturous," a form of berserking in which he does damage to both enemies and allies. 

These mechanical complexities place him "on par with the Abomination," developer Red Hook Studios said, and "a rather tough hero to play well" because of his dependence on "a charged-up risk/reward dynamic." That's because the Flagellant is most effective when he's most badly wounded: The lower his health sinks, the more powerful his abilities become. 

He receives huge buffs when at Death's Door, and has a greater resistance to it than other characters, so he can stay in that state longer—and if he dies, he unleashes a final act of retribution, healing allies while stunning and damaging enemies, a noble sacrifice that might sometimes be more useful than keeping him breathing. Not for the faint of heart, then. 

The studio said the Flagellant's visual design was inspired by Rorschach from Watchmen, and pro wrestlers like 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior. He face was actually fully covered in a blood-soaked hood in early designs, "but exposing the mouth and nose provided an important window into just how much he revels in his martyrdom," Red Hook explained. "While Darkest Dungeon steers clear of elemental magic and wizardry, we fully embrace the occult, and in this case, chose to illustrate his unsettling power with a constantly dripping red right hand."  

The Flagellant will join Darkest Dungeon as part of The Crimson Court DLC, set for release on June 19, which will also include a new wandering boss called the Fanatic, a new dungeon region called The Courtyard with four new, unique Bosses, a "full faction of new deadly foes," and quite a bit more. Details on that are available on Steam, and you can get a look at some more images of the Flagellant below. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.