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The Compendium of Forum In-Jokes
Are you wondering what "the Mothingness is", or perhaps where the whole basement thing began? Or perhaps maybe you want to know if Beethro really does have a raygun, and maybe you’re even wondering what we’ve
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
The DROD community has smitten roaches, cleared dungeons and posted about almost anything from the Eighth to the weather for over six years now, and unsurprisingly, that’s a pretty long time to be locked up DRODing in the Beneath. During this period, quite a few random but amusing in-jokes have popped up from time to time, and they probably make us look quite silly to anyone who hasn’t been anywhere near a cellar, while confusing newcomers to the Forum.
We have therefore compiled and explained a list of all known forum and DROD jokes or other quirks that appear to be specific to our community, and included some of their history and usage on the Forum. So, please, take your time to browse our selection, and don’t be afraid to join in yourself; we will always be happy to discover that you enjoy puppies with your ketchup too.
Beethro’s Really Big Sword™
It is generally well known that Beethro has a Really Big Sword™, and that he uses it to smite monsters on a regular basis. What is less well-known is that his sword is not just any old sword, but a special, trademarked, Really Big Sword™ that never fails to smite anything.
It is important not to confuse it with just about any other common really big sword, which may or may not smite things, depending on how it is used. Seriously; your life may depend on it!
The Cherry Dimension
This is an alternate name for the Eighth, first coined by Tim (zex20913) in June 2003 after it was revealed that the Eighth is shaped like the Eighth of a pie.
Reports indicate that most of the Eighth does not taste like cherry pie, however.
In January 2004, large numbers of feature requests had been submitted to the Feature Requests board, many of which appeared to be poorly thought out, and did not explain why they would be useful as game elements or add to the interest and challenge of puzzles. In response, Chris Marks (DiMono) sarcastically suggested that a “ray gun” be implemented, which would have changed the gameplay of DROD greatly (big guy with sword kills things). A whole host of ludicrous suggestions followed, and the word “RayGun”, or “Raygun”, soon came to mean any feature request that appeared totally inappropriate for DROD.
The joke did get slightly out of hand at one point, although its original meaning was still important, so Erik created the “Read This First” thread on the Feature Requests board to incorporate the main points that people were raising into a single post. Here, Erik gives some suggestions to keep in mind - essentially, all the monsters have to work together, meaning feature requests should fill a niche that DROD is missing and be flexible so they can form interesting puzzle combinations with other elements. Requests should also be things that have not been incorporated into many games already, such as pushable boxes or rays of light.
However, many of these ideas have come to pass in some shape or form for TCB, such as Ray Guns in the form of Aumtlich beams! Of course, if you get near the end of The Second Sky, there is a chance you'll find new developments on this matter!
What is the mothingness? There are no living Eighthers who know. It is believed that it lurks in the deepest pits, waiting, although what it waits for is a mystery. The term “mothingness” was accidentally coined at the start of a discussion on Level 13 of King Dugan’s Dungeon (the maze), where Matt (Mattcrampy) declared that one of the dead-end passages in the north of the level led to a flaming pit of mothingness. What Matt had meant to say, of course, was “nothingness”, but Erik noticed this new word’s potential and quickly adopted it as a name for the mysterious substance found on the Eighth.
The mothingness, in the meantime, has crept its way into the Forum and appeared in several discussions, while it is also rumored that it has infested the Rooted Empire, like putrid milk, spilt and left behind. Or something like that.
Make sure you always look behind you once in a while; you never know when and where it might strike.
DROD is a Verb
DROD originally began as an abbreviation, "D.R.O.D.", which stood (and still stands) for Deadly Rooms of Death. Over time, the abbreviation dots have disappeared from most normal usage, and "DROD" is now the currently accepted acronym for Deadly Rooms of Death. The word "DROD" is, however, no longer just an acronym, or even a noun. Indeed, it now has quite a few other uses too, the most notable being as a verb: “to DROD”, which means “to play DROD”.
Its other main use has been as a prefix, in nouns used to describe players, e.g. DRODer (probably the official term for players), DRODiac, DRODist; in adjectives, e.g. DRODistic; in adverbs, e.g. DRODistically; and in other verbs to do with DROD, e.g. “to DRODify” (i.e. to make something related to DROD).
So, ignore the spellcheckers when you next compose a post; their dictionaries are incredibly out of date.
The Law of Hints and Solutions
Studies have shown that posting for help on something, especially in the Hints and Solutions board, usually gets you a solution very quickly. Indeed, it has been shown that it is the act of posting that is a major cause of people obtaining solutions, often immediately.
This phenomenon is quite an enigma. One theory behind it is that you draw inspiration from pressing the "Post Reply" button, and so can think up a solution on the spot, while another is that formulating the question makes you consider the problem from another angle, so you are more likely to discover a solution you didn't consider.
There are also suspicions that magic is involved, however.
In September 2004, a shock discovery was made that the no.1 search term bringing people to the Forum was the word "kitten", far surpassing the number of hits for "DROD". Kittens, along with ketchup and puppies (see the "Ketchup and Puppies" joke), have since become an indispensable part of Forum life, especially as they allow us to avoid the wastage of mustard (the eating of puppies uses up a lot of ketchup). Kittens also play another important role on the forum, notably in the sport of killing the kitten, wherein a kitten is put in a fatal situation and then saved from it alternately. No kittens are actually harmed, though, since it would otherwise create a highly dangerous puppy imbalance (as well as a flood of living mustard).
Other lists of entertaining search terms that have brought people to us can be found here:
Ways People Get to DROD.net, January 2004
Ways People Get to DROD.net (on a slightly later post), April 2004
Why People Come to the Site - Part III, April-August 2005
The Bar (JtRH)
In late May 2004, Caravel unleashed a shiny new JtRH progress bar, supposedly indicating approximately how much of JtRH had been completed, and providing us with something to look forward to (Caravel were being very secretive about JtRH at the time). The bar’s progress was tracked in Ryan’s (RoboBob3000) Watch the Bar! thread from its humble starting point of 50% all the way to the completion of JtRH itself. Below are listed some of the more memorable things that happened in this thread while we watched the bar:
First, we got slightly bored and began cracking “bar jokes”. Henri (Doom) also started tracking the progress of the bar on a graph, which was useful for predicting the overall progress of JtRH (it can be found here attached to this later post). The bar itself also gave us some surprises, beginning with Chris Marks (DiMono) claiming to have seen the percentage fall (the horror!), and continuing with the stretching of the bar itself, and the fact that JtRH was completed, before the bar! Interestingly, the April Fool’s joke of 2005 was also predicted in this thread.
"We've what?", you might ask. The trouble is, it's hard to say, really. The technique of ending the sentence prematurely, was first used in November 2004 by Mike Rimer (mrimer), who obviously had something to hide at that time. It has been used on several occasions after that, where the poster wants to post something, but cannot reveal it to anyone who doesn't already know what comes after (although I guess psychics can find ways around this problem).
At Caravel, there is a policy of flawless consistency where everything that is done must conform to incredibly stringent criteria in order to be flawlessly consistant. The system was first implemented in October 2004, when Erik Hermansen (ErikH2000) claimed that "everything we create is flawlessly consistent". This was then demonstrated in the next few posts, consistantly, of course, and it has been adopted by the Forum as the flawless standard of consistency ever since.
It was mew
In early 2008, a rather unpleasant fate was to befall an unsuspecting thread and its author (burrs). It began innocuously enough, with one being asked to unscramble a pokémon name.
The poster had, however, made the unfortunate mistake of choosing a trivial example, "emw", and this was quickly turned into a reasonably amusing, although cruel joke. Unfortunately, the poster, with deadpan seriousness, did not understand the joke and informed us that "it was mew", following which, the thread was deleted.
Several attempts were then made at recreating an accurate transcript of the exchange and then, in a final twist of irony, when burrs made a similar character-guessing thread, the deleted topic was reproduced in an epic copy-paste process. Since then, "It was mew" has come to represent the pointless reply one might make to an equally pointless/trivial post.
On a more serious note, however, the important lesson here is to think before you post.
Our DRODistic World
Ketchup and Puppies
Ketchup and Puppies was one of the earliest holds ever built, first released in late July 2003 by Tim (zex20913). The hold, of course, is a true classic, embodying the relationship between ketchup and puppies in a way that is truly unique, although it hasn't really been stated which type of ketchup we are referring to. Since then, it has generally been accepted that puppies should only be eaten with ketchup, and kittens with mustard, although there has also been debate on which of the two is actually better. Also related is the fact that we have defined the "PETAmeal", which is a measure of how many tasty animals a person has eaten (like puppies and kittens), and is equal to 10^15 puppy equivalents.
Oh, and finally, it should not be announced that DROD causes kittens and puppies to be tortured. Why is this? It appears only Matt Schikore (Schik) has the answer.
Bad Evil Restaurant
On the 21st of February in the excellent year of 2004, a masterpiece was born. A hold so great that it's author is now considered the Mozart of Architecture, the Van Gogh of Puzzle-Making, and the Erik Hermansen of DROD! The only thing worth doing on this Earth before you leave it is playing Bad Evil Restaurant. Nothing even compares.
Well, that's what everyone says. It actually is one of the very worst holds you can find out there. With spelling mistakes, intentionally impossible rooms, a buggy 'Neather, and seemingly random monsters scattered everywhere, it's the perfect example of Architecture at it's worst.
In December 2003, Matt Schikore (Schik) announced that he kept the current webmaster at the time, Matt Cramp (Mattcrampy), chained up to a small damp, dark room in Erik’s basement, who would only get fed if he worked on the site. As Matt lives in Australia, and Erik in Seattle, it suggested Erik’s basement was massive and covered a good portion of the globe. Since then, our knowledge of the basement has expanded, and we now know that Matt used to sleep on a straw bed when he was down there (This is also the thread for the Erik’s Rank Points joke), almost everyone that Caravel employed, including the JtRH beta-testers lived in the basement at some point (some of us still do), and some people wish to send us things to decorate the place. Matt did, however, leave the basement in September 2005, so it hasn’t quite been the same since.
Nevertheless, there are entrances to the basement all over the world; so please drop by for a visit sometime!
The Rank Points of Erik
In October 2004, a tragic event happened – Erik Hermansen (ErikH2000), the creator of DROD, apparently lost all his Rank Points in a freak accident involving the forum’s server. Erik’s version of the story portrays the event as a mere accident, but Schik has a more sinister explanation.
Whatever the actual cause of the rank point loss, it was an intentional move by Erik to defuse the problem with people taking rank points too seriously at the time (i.e. people were equating the number of rank points you have with the amount of respect given to you on the forum), and led by example to show that they really aren’t very important. What is not clear, however, is what happened to the 1300 or so rank points that were lost. An interesting theory about the nature of the missing rank points was posted, and it is believed that many were never found and are still bouncing around somewhere on Earth. If you happen to spot any yourself, you can return them to Erik; I’m sure he’d be pleased to have them back.
Back in February and March of 2004, when we were all still conjecturing about what would be in JtRH, one forum member in particular, joker5, was highly active in spying on Caravel, scanning the SourceForge.net website for potential leaks or pieces of highly secret information to share with the rest of us. Caravel had, however, enlisted the services of some hired thugs to protect their secrets, and retaliated by sending them to joker5’s house (although with little effect). Since then, the Caravel team has found hiring thugs to be extremely useful for assorted purposes, and occasionally deploy them when certain problems arise, especially if you do not play enough DROD.
April Fool’s Day Jokes
DRODIS and DRODtris (April Fool’s Day Joke, 2003)
On April Fool’s day in 2003, it was announced that the new Caravel DROD 1.5 release was to be scrapped in favour of two new “projects”, DROD in Space (DRODIS), and DROD Tetris (DRODtris). [Editor’s note – Just for the record, I was the one who made the second DRODIS picture.]
The reaction to DRODIS was rather mixed when it was announced, but both of these “projects” have actually come to pass since then. The Beethro in Space mod for DROD: AE was first started here, and you can find the very cool result here. The DRODtris game was started by Brad Wall (Bradwall) in October 2003, and can be found here.
DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold Beta Testing (April Fool’s Day Joke, 2004)
As the title suggests, on April Fool’s Day, 2004, we were all made to drool incredibly as it was announced (very cruelly) that “DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold is stable enough to begin beta testing!”. The results were amusing, far-reaching (time-zones played an important part in this), and ended, inevitably, with lots of saliva needing to be removed from desks and computers.
DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold Not Released Today (April Fool’s Day Joke, 2005)
On this momentous day, it was announced that DROD:JtRH was not being released today, when it in fact was. The 2005 joke did not last for very long (compared to 2004), since it was soon revealed that JtRH was indeed available for purchase.
Give Me An Answer (April Fool’s Day Joke, 2006)
In 2006, the joke was a supposedly official contest, in which contestants needed to give answers to unspecified questions. It turned out that while some did consider it a joke, a large number of “entries” were made nonetheless, and William Frank (vylycyn) actually made the effort to compile most of them into a poll! In the end, though, a real contest was organised for April, called ”The Angry Man”.
Terrible Lies and Unexpected Truths (April Fool's Day '07)
Well, the April Fool's Day joke actually started the day before. Mike Rimer made a thread stating that DROD: The City Beneath would not be released as planned. He had much more important things to do, like level up his Druid in World of Warcraft to level 70. Some people were fooled, like yours truly, but others stated that they were just going to wait and see what would happen the next day.
And not surprisingly, it didn't stop there. Next up, still on the 31st, came the Ask Questions about TCB thread. In it, it was reiterated that TCB wouldn't be out for a while, and left the floor open for questions. And what a truckloads of questions came in!
Eventually though the day ended, and April 1st came. Many people came on to check the forum for an Illumination from Erik, but nothing was there. So we waited. Eventually, for those who religiously checked the forum every 2 minutes, MeckMeck GRE managed to sneakily download the TCB demo before it was officially released, and posted about it on the forums. Some people managed to get it before the admins understandably deleted the thread. Thankfully, the one or two who got it were nice and didn't tell anyone.
Then, finally, at 6:40 PM EST, the Illumination was posted. Entitled, Terrible Lies and Unexpected Truths it claimed to have both lies and truths in it, just to confuse you. But, to everyone's surprise, everything was true. TCB WAS released, Adam IS a real person, the next Caravel game WAS already being worked upon. Needless to say, everyone went to bed happy that night. Well, except the people who stayed up all night to play TCB that is. They stayed up happy.
Frogs and Mice (April Fool's Day '08)
Caravel began preparing for this joke in mid-March, creating a spoof Frogs and Mice development board for the then in-progress Frogs and Mice DROD game. It was released for public viewing on April Fool's Day, as a pretend leak of Caravel-sensitive information relating to the game.
Unlike some of the previous jokes, this particular one was not resolved very satisfactorily as the board has remained visible and unlocked (as of April 2009), the F&M project is currently suspended indefinitely after its contract was cancelled, and the project's fate is still unknown.
Nevertheless, the board's spoof bug reports and comments are definitely worth reading. Highlights include post degeneration from Matt Cramp (mattcrampy), questionable marketing techniques, F&M builds being sensitive, architect arguments and nearly impossible rooms.