How to play guide for Dusk

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The unofficial official guide for how to play DUSK. This guide is a constant work in progress, so if you feel there was information left out, feel free to add.

Default Controls

The control scheme provided here is also available in the Settings menu, under the Feel tab.

  • WASD - movement
  • SPACE - Jump
  • Left CTRL - Crouch
  • SHIFT - Walk
  • Mouse 1 - Attack/Throw
  • Mouse 2 - Weapon Zoom
  • E - Interact
  • F - Flashlight
  • R - Flip Weapon
  • H - Holster
  • T - Record Time
  • C - Center View
  • Q - Last Used Weapon
  • Mouse Wheel Up/Down - Next/Prev weapon
  • Num 1-0 - Quickly access weapons
  • F6 - Quick Save
  • F9 - Quick Load
  • +/- - Increase/decrease screen and HUD size
  • TAB - Show stats menu/player scoreboard
  • Arrow Keys - Look up/down left/right

Basic Gameplay

The main goal of each level in DUSK is simple and to the point: find the level's exit. This is achieved by going through the level and overcoming any level obstacles in the player's way. Each level has a counter for kills earned and secrets unlocked, which can be kept track of throughout the game by pressing TAB.

Awards

There are also four awards for completing a level:

  • Pacifist - Complete a level without killing any enemies (AI infighting does not count).
  • Untouchable - Complete a level without taking any damage.
  • Low Tech - Complete a level by only using melee weapons, throwable objects, and the crossbow. This usually is earned in conjunction with the Pacifist award.
  • Completionist - Complete a level with every kill and secret possible.

Earning an award changes the level's sickles on the level select screen, which goes in order of rust, bronze, silver, gold, evil.

Difficulty settings

There are five difficulty options: "Accessible", "Go Easy", "I Can Take It", "Cero Miedo", and "Duskmare". The player can change the difficulty setting anytime mid-game and mid-level.

The difficulty settings affect the following:

  • Projectile and enemy speeds
  • Damage dealt to the player by any enemy attacks:
    • Accessible: 10% of regular damage
    • Go Easy: Halved damage
    • I Can Take It: Regular damage
    • Cero Miedo: Double damage
    • Duskmare: Instant death (even from rat bites)
  • Morale's effectiveness as armor:
    • Accessible, Go Easy, I Can Take It: Having morale offers 50% protection, and morale also drains by 50% of base damage.
    • Cero Miedo, Duskmare: Having morale only offers 33.4% protection, while morale still drains by 50% of base damage.

All explosion damage, and damage dealt by damaging surfaces (lava, blades, puddles) are independent of the difficulty setting. (This means these damage sources don't kill the player instantly on Duskmare.) Enemy health, amount of healing and ammo are also unaffected.

Intruder mode

When playing in intruder mode, each new level start will reset the player's entire inventory (weapons and ammo), leaving only their health and morale stats, plus the sickles and the cigar for the player to work with.

Mechanics

HUD & Viewmodel

The Heads-Up Display, or HUD, displays various vital information, including:

  • Health - How much health the player has. Health stacks up to a maximum of 200.
  • Morale - How much armor the player has. Morale stacks up to a maximum of 200.
  • Current Weapon - What weapon the player is currently using.
  • Ammo - How much ammo the current weapon holds. Maximum values vary dependent on weapon.

The viewmodel displays what weapon the player is currently holding. Viewmodels can be spun or flipped by pressing R. Flipping any weapon will do a 10 damage melee attack, with the exception of the Cigar, Sword, Sickles, Crossbow, or the Super Shotgun. The viewmodel can be adjusted to reduce the weapon's size and viewing angle in the Settings menu, under the Look tab.

Keys

Keys are an essential part of the game. In order to proceed through some doors, the player will need to collect color-coded keys that match the locked doors. There are currently red, blue, and yellow keys available.

Doors and Switches

Several doors are openable throughout the game, however some are locked behind buttons or levers. When interacted with, a message reading "THIS DOOR OPENS ELSEWHERE" will appear. Buttons come in a variety of different forms, however levers stay consistent amongst levels. Both are able to be activated by using E or by shooting them.

Powerups

Powerups are items that when picked up, grant the player a temporary advantage over their enemies. Each one is uniquely designed and performs a different function. Current powerups in the game include:

Players can equip multiple different powerups at the same time, each with its own timer displayed on the screen in the form of a dwindling circle.

Props and Miscellaneous Objects

There are various props scattered throughout the levels for decoration purposes. However, these can be used as weapons of their own. To throw an object, pick it up using E and press Mouse 1 to throw.

In addition to thrown objects, usable items are also found throughout many of the levels in DUSK. Some of these are throwable props, while others are able to be consumed. These include:

  • Crystal of Madness - A green gem that when broken, creates a cloud of green smoke that causes enemies to fight each other.
  • Beer Bottle - A beer bottle that when consumed, restores one point of morale. Drinking more than four beer bottles applies the Intoxicated effect.
  • Hash - A can of corned beef that when consumed, restores two health.
  • Viscera - A chunk of raw bloody meat that must be cooked first before it can be consumed to restore 25 points of health. This is done by bringing the viscera to a currently lit campfire and placing it directly into the flames very briefly (About one second because it might burn). After removal place it on the ground and you will be given the option to eat it.
  • Beds and Mattresses - Players are able to sleep on beds, mattresses, and sleeping bags to restore 25 points of morale. This removes any morale bonuses acquired above 100.

Hazards

In addition to various enemies, hazards and traps exist on nearly every map. The damage from most of these hazards does not scale with difficulty settings. Hazards are most common in the form of:

  • Kill Triggers - Falling off of elevated levels such as E2M7: Neobabel will kill the player through use of a trigger hurt. When a threshold is passed, the player dies instantly.
  • Explosive Objects - Barrels with biohazard symbols, gas cans, cars, corpses of welders. All explosions hurt the player for 12 health, but hurt twice if the player is not airborne.
  • Damaging Surfaces - Acid puddles, lava floors, rotary saws etc. Touching these slightly damages the player over time (about once per second). Continuously jumping on these surfaces can save the player from taking damage. These surfaces don't damage enemies.
  • Damaging Entities - Blades, grinders, tornados. These continuously damage players inside their hitbox. Unlike damaging surfaces, these can damage and kill enemies.
  • Fireball Traps - Destructible traps that shoot fireballs at a fast speed. They are considered enemies by the game in some aspects, meaning that enemies can infight with them and that their damage scales with difficulty settings, however they don't count towards the kill counters of the levels they are in.

Secrets

Each level in DUSK contains its own secret areas and passages. When accessed, these will assist the player in collecting more weapons, powerups, and hard-to-find items such as the Soap. Secrets are usually locked behind hidden switches, misaligned wall textures, and otherwise unnoticeable details. Finding a secret will help add to the Completionist award.

Movement

Different mechanics for movement are available in order to help players go through the levels faster or to reach out-of-bounds secrets.

Walking/Running

Walking roughly halves the player's movement speed, making precise movements easier. By default, autorun is on. If turned off, the walk key's function is inverted and instead makes the player run.

Ladder Climbing

Touching a ladder causes the player to become attached to it. While attached, the player can move up or down using (rather trivial) combinations of movement keys and camera rotation.

Wall Climbing

While under the effect of the Climbing Thing powerup, the player can hold their walk button to be able to use any walls as ladders.

Crouching, Crouch Jumping, Sliding

When crouched, the player's movement speed and height are reduced, allowing more precise movement and the ability to fit into smaller places and dodge under enemy attacks.

Crouching in the air can help the player reliably land on higher ledges by elevating the bottom of the player hitbox. This is commonly known as crouch jumping or jump crouching.

Holding the crouch button while running will result in a slide, which doesn't cause a decrease in speed. Slide is useful to traverse small openings without losing speed or to avoid enemy fire, as it makes the player's hitbox smaller. The player maintains a degree of control during the slide. Movement speed gradually decreases during sliding, until it transitions into regular crouch-walking.

Diagonal Running

Speed from strafing and forward/backward movement are added together, resulting in a higher overall speed (about 1.4x as high) when moving diagonally relative to the player camera.

Jump Speed Bonus

Every time the player jumps while also strafing either left or right, their base speed increases, up to about twice their default speed. This speed bonus is lost only when the player stops jumping. Reaching max speed takes about 4 jumps in singleplayer and 6 in multiplayer. This mechanic can be combined with diagonal running in order to achieve very high speeds.

Blast Jumping

DUSK allows the usage of the Riveter to rocket jump across maps, similarly to Quake's rocket launcher. To do this, the player must jump and look behind or below them quickly while shooting the weapon. The force of the explosion will propel the player forward, with distance dependent on how fast they are moving. This can also be achieved with the Mortar, albeit on a much more difficult scale. To rocket jump with the Mortar's grenades, the player will need to time their jump to the remote detonation available on the weapon.

Crossbow Jumping

Additionally, the Crossbow provides a significant knockback after firing the weapon. This can be used to cross gaps or to reach higher areas, but on a smaller scale. To jump with the Crossbow, the player simply has to look in the direction they want to be propelled from, then fire. Powerups like the Fast Fire Totem will make using the crossbow for movement significantly easier.

Prop Hopping

An unorthodox method to movement, prop hopping is where a player is able to take flight using only a map prop and their hands. To prop hop, stand on top of an object and repeatedly press E and SPACE until the desired height is achieved. This can help with bypassing large sections of levels and finding secrets, however it can also lead to the player falling out of the map or being stuck.