Rain World: Downpour Notes

Mar. 24, 2023

[RW Art Month Gallery](https://www.artsteps.com/view/640668173c291031dcb0e848)


[x] Is the 5P pearl hymn the melody that plays in Depths? Idk but I don't think so
[x] From wiki: If you complete the food quest, Gourmand brings more food back to the colony. Could be worth mentioning that he's both scouting and providing provisions.
[x] Some pits don't have the gradient.
[x] Shelter failures
[x] New open-to-everyone areas (Pipeyard, Gutter)
[x] Relation of Downpour characters to five urges, as a counterpoint to them
[x] 5P overseer is playing ads in Metropolis for (absent) citizens
[x] Speculation re: Saint, why is Survivor playable after ascension but Arti not?
What is the actual "good" outcome? Does Survivor's drive make him unworthy? What happens to artificer's pups? {-- don't care L + ratio --}
[x] The jumping guys (yeeks?) {-- they aren't useful, so not really worth mentioning. --}
[x] Reliance on the map, secret pipes
[x] World bounds are acutely felt due to more maneuverable characters. Or lack of playtesting.
[x] Artificer bite/maul/whatever ability


- Your survival abilities as Survivor emerge organically, they aren't given in tutorials. None of the new slugcats except maybe Gourmand (partially) and Rivulet can replicate this.

- Artificer joke: Cormac McCarthy's Downpour. Maybe with the co-op explosion footage.

- Lack of restraint with storytelling and collectibles. Little diversity in species that show up in different areas, this has a flattening effect.

- The thematic point that living in "the cycles" can be good and the inclusion of FIVE new characters was not a coincidence? No obvious correspondence to five urges though beyond Gourmand and Artificer. Could maybe stretch Rivulet to "socialization" or whatever.

- Non-diegetic tutorials work with Saint, he is an explicit interface with the player/God. Not worth mentioning this, would result in a huge tangent.

- World design: everything is "filled out" now. Pipeyard especially is a huge connective area, and there are some more exciting new places as well, all extremely well-blended. Huge success, the game just keeps going.

- A lot of the new areas do feel like pointless dead ends though. We don't get a third iterator or character, and many of the areas just end. Pipeyard is probably the best one just because it integrates so well with the other zones.

- The game at its original size feels perfect, Downpour maybe a bit overlarge, again lack of restraint. Areas are good though, except world boundary problems.

- The new slugcats: do they cheapen the base game? The new campaigns are very well put together and interesting in their own right but they break the simple story of the survivor. It seems like there are slugcats everywhere in RW so why the hell didn't Survivor's family save him? + Gourmand feels like a joke. His gameplay is great. + After getting Gourmand's real ending I feel much more charitable toward him. The "turn" of understanding happens in a cutscene rather than gameplay though. The switch from game-mechanical overcoming to spiritual overcoming happens in gameplay with the survivor. Gourmand still worthwhile ultimately.

- Grenade fruit and difficulty. New flora is appreciated but food is essentially a non-issue in many areas because of these things.

- The need for non-diegetic tutorials speaks to Downpour's departure from the simple, intuitive mechanics of the base game. That said, it would be difficult to make new characters interesting without some new contrivance. I think letting the player discover the new stuff would be OK, potentially frustrating though since actions like Gourmand's crafting take a long time and are seemingly random combinations of buttons. Non-diegetic tutorials are a small price to pay for the new mechanics. The crafting is largely pointless but I hate crafting in everything. Sans crafting, Artificer's explosion-jump would be difficult to discover.

- The only useful crafting recipe I've found is for grenades, but I might have missed some. + There are some crazy ones

- Loading screen tips suck

- Completion tracking stuff is just bad; Rain World didn't need to cater to achievement hunters. It's much better and more fun without scores and collectible trackers. Also, detaching the pearls from the one-on-one experience with Moon is a huge experiential mistake. Lore people were already going to datamine the game and record the pearl text in a Google doc; the pearl progress screen just helps to turn the genuinely impactful experience of meeting with Moon into a checklist. Her character is instrumentalized. The pearl quest was never a "logical" one for "completion." Cycles of life and nature aren't about completion, and while everything in the old RW was geared toward reinforcing its existential themes it has now lowered itself to ugly, explicit "gameyness." I am aware there was a score tracker in V1.5.

- To put it as shortly as possible: Rain World is an action game that you come to realize is an adventure game, as cosmic in its scope as any RPG battle against god. Downpour gets in the way of that realization; the interminable score screen at the end of a playthrough serves only to deaden and quantify what was supposed to be a spiritual journey.

- Artificer progression is awesome.

- Overall (inter-character) structure?

- "The switch" from ecosystem game to spiritual journey has already happened, so what IS Rain World at this point?

- Idea: cover the same area from every character's perspective


Rivulet comes after Hunter (rwdrivulet012.mp4 06:10), so 5P has clearly experienced the rot more than once (pearls in earlier campaigns reference the rot).

Above may be wrong, the rot is always progressing, although Garbage Wastes still implies 5P was flushing a lot more rot some time in the past.

Moon does not have the trash dress in Gourmand and Hunter, does have it in Rivulet.

- Hunter - Gourmand/Survivor/Monk/Artificer/Spearmaster - Rivulet - Saint

We can probably assume that Artificer and Spearmaster postdate Gourmand/Survivor/Monk. Gourmand must also predate Survivor because Gourmand unlocks the Journey's End gate for playthroughs further in the future.

Artificer predates Rivulet; the rot has not progressed and Moon's complex has collapsed.

Moon has her original clothes in Spearmaster, so must predate Gourmand. Spearmaster also has the fucked up version of Shoreline, so likely happens near the time of Artificer.

Using clothes and compound state as evidence, there are three eras: - Original dress (Spearmaster, likely Artificer) - No clothes (Hunter, Gourmand, Survivor) - Trash dress (Rivulet, Saint)

Apparently the "trash dress" is actually her old cloak, which can be found in Survivor/Monk if you go through Moon's complex.


- Spearmaster - Artificer - Hunter - Gourmand - Survivor - Rivulet - Saint

This is the most likely timeline. Since there is no access to Moon in Artificer's campaign we can assume the compound is in worse shape (although the order of Artificer/Spearmaster doesn't really matter.)

There's some real commitment to consistency and realism in the way the world changes over time; areas collapse into each other and decay in believeable ways.


The ability to add other characters' karma to yours casts Artificer as a character attuned to the spirits of others (i.e. a mother)

Abilities: - Pulls spears from walls - Can hurt/stun creatures by holding grab on them (this is kind of dangerous) - Can stun creatures and deflect projectiles with down+shift+z - Craft explosives at the price of food - Explosive propulsion


The idea is awesome, they can pop out of pretty much any pipe so there's this creeping paranoia and tension every time you enter a new screen, but I wonder if Rain World's combat is up to the task. Scavengers are super aggressive and accurate, so every move you make has high stakes, and scavengers will continually call in their friends once you engage with them. Rushing them head-on has odds worse than a coin toss, and I died pretty much every time I did it. That's fair, but the alternatives to that strategy are sort of a problem.

The first one is to simply run away when scavengers show up. Usually you can get around them but with scavenger tolls evasion is not an option. That leaves us with the possibility of using cover or pipes to avoid getting brained. Fights over cover can be fairly tense and dynamic, you wait for a scavenger to climb the object then hit them from below and try to advance to another safe area. However the dominant strategy is to exploit the way pipes work. Pipes are very safe for you but they allow you to throw spears or grenades. They put you in a fixed position, which could be punished, but the scavenger AI will eventually just run in front of you, allowing for easy kills.

In moderation this is actually a real interesting feature, you could always abuse pipes in the base game, and discovering strategies like this goes a long way to making Rain World into an organic survival game, where you survive by learning skills rather than making a number go up. But scavengers are so dangerous and plentiful that a significant chunk of my gameplay was spent


- Mysterious origins, unclear motivations.


- Gross sound, joke opportunity - Messenger slugcat


From wiki: Rubicon's acronym in game files is HR--Hell Region. Early development name was Stygian Depths.

Abilities: - Grab onto things with tongue - Can only eat veggies - Later on, god powers

Notes: - Game takes control away for the worm kill. - Saint kills the worm, swims back up, does not "escape" the cycles like others? Is it just a hypothermia hallucination, re references to "wake up"? Cheap, I doubt they would handle it that way. Do others even escape cycles? Are there larger and smaller cycles? Are the other echoes physical presences like Saint? - Saint, Kojeve, the possibility of tragedy. - The Saint as the final journey, a send off to the player while the world continues to loop; it is the end of Rain World, the beginning of some other world. - Is peace a performance for the Saint? Is his "ascension" really an excuse for his violence--ascension and murder have the same game-mechanical outcome.

Steam Review by SOMEBODY

{== feels irresponsible to share their name ==}

God, I'am really mixed on this one, half and half because I knew that the main content included in this was meant to be a mod, but also because I guess I was expecting somewhat...more? Despite wanting less?

I found the new slugcats included to be a bit too goofy, even overpowered in some cases in a game that was all about being very grounded and depowering. Knowing them as mod inclusions, I can give it leniency, but as paid content, it seems a bit out of touch tonally with the game. I still find them fun though.

The new levels are really good visually, but suffer from being too big for their own good, on top of being stretched way too thin between old ones or remixes of previous levels. I also felt like a lot of the newer levels didn't really bring much in the way of difficult design that a lot of the original regions initially did without relying on just dumping literally a dozen spiders on a chokepoint gap, though spawns like that may be a 'Remix mod' thing. Its hard to explain it fully, but a lot of the OG level design is the definition of being trapped between a rock and a hard place, while the Downpour ones seem way too open and forgiving in most cases.

Music-wise, its alright. I don't think the new tracks holds up to par with the original OST minus a small handful of them. The original tracks had more energy to them and stronger varied melodies, while I find a lot of the new stuff by the new composers blends together a bit, and the more noteworthy songs play so rarely I can't even get the gist of them before I move unto the next area.

I also think something might have been screwed with the audio-mixing with this update / DLC, I can't tell if the general volume of it has been pushed down or the dynamic music has been adjusted, though it might just be me.

For new creatures and such...uh...there's like four or five total I saw, and most of them are redundant reskins that really are on the level of what I expected from a mod. I know there's already a lot of reskinned creatures, but the new ones don't bring much to the table, either mechanically or visually. Also, in late-game areas, I swear the concept of a consistent ecosystem was thrown out, with sometimes over 80% of multiple species' variants appearing in the same area for some baffling reason. I know we gotta make it harder for veteran players, but jeez.

Beyond that, I'd say these issues combine to make the main problem with the DLC. It burns itself out quickly, as there really isn't much unique content total for each of the new slugcats' campaigns, especially if you're familiar with the structure of Rain World's original progression. Each campaign typically has one or two new regions unique to them, normally stacked together, then the rest is playing the same or somewhat revamped versions of the old areas.

With having to play through the game FIVE times for each slugcat, on top of some 'quest' or such that may limit your capabilities for a chunk of the game, you can only go through the same area so many times before it just starts to feel like filler. Sure, each slugcat has some fancy mechanic on them, but unless you are motivated to play mostly old Rain World again with gimmick characters, I find it honestly damages the original experience of Rain World a bit, as traversing old areas becomes more so groan-inducing then something worth exploring purely out of curiosity.

I guess I just really wanted that special something again that Rain World ignited in me. Having to approach every room with severe caution, carefully spaced-out ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ platforming challenges, some new monster that has a 90% chance towards killing you, in some unexpected way designed by nature's weirdness, and the odd 'OH GOD WHAT IS THAT' that Rain World would periodically get from me. This DLC doesn't give me much of that.

I suppose if you just purely want more 'Rain World the Game', this will give you your fix. If you want more 'Rain World the Experience', this ain't gonna do it for you, in my personal opinion.

If there was an 'okay' button for reviews, I'd pick it, but with what's there, I'am leaning towards no, but at the same time, I don't want to discredit the developers involved for bringing out Downpour so many years after Rain World's release, especially for something that might sync up with someone else a lot better than me and my stupidly high standards for a Rain World DLC. You'll at least get some hours out of this, that's for sure.

EDIT: I have one last thing to say having done a final overlook of Downpour, even if a lot of people aren't going to read this. Guess I need to vent a little more.

If there's one thing that soured the DLC quite a bit for me, it was the lack of subtlety and restraint. I know the big thing now is to leave no stone unturned, but hell, does everything need to be shown? The gimmick really felt like it left little to the imagination for how the world was, and personally, some of the new concepts and writing came off as a bit fanfiction-like? .

It doesn't help you've got stupid stuff like implying things on a mystery that worked much better as that; a mystery.

I'am not sure how much of the new lore and such is considered legitimately official to the original developers, but it really does feel like bunch of modders just randomly inserting their into a vague narrative that didn't need such, just to pander to people who really need everything told to them.

I dunno, maybe cause of the DLC's modded origins, it was out of their hands to go too far out and make new threads of interest, rather than iterating on what was already there unnecessarily.

Reading other reviews around here and there for Downpour, I find myself a bit disillusioned, as it seems what I got out of old Rain World before this is completely different from what everyone else got out of it, and wanted. They enjoyed for the 'aha funny cat' and goofy physics shenanigans, and I loved it for making me feel lost in some weird alien ecosystem hell. I mean, I like the stupid things that happen in Rain World, I just need a little more than that, you know?

It kinda makes sense as to why most of the negative reviews on here are just about the honestly decent co-op mode. Those guys are complaining because they want to ♥♥♥♥ around with their online friends in a very unique lonely game experience, and I'am whining because , against my better judgement.

I'am going to wrap the review up before I hit the character limit. Maybe I'll come back to Downpour more positively in the future, maybe I'll adjust this review because I'am so scatterbrained in my thoughts towards this and Rain World, but eh. Anyway;

Good effort, not what I wanted, probably what you wanted if you just think all games are something to screw around in for a bit. Fat Cat is funny, Spearmaster is ♥♥♥♥, most of the new creatures aren't interesting, the length of half the new content is superficial or retreading old ground, that one leap jump in was the closest I got to the OG Rain World experience, ♥♥♥♥ lore nerds, ♥♥♥♥ co-op dweebs, ♥♥♥♥ me for having such high standards, and most of all ♥♥♥♥ the steam review editor for wiping my better previous edit because I clicked on a thing before I saved it.

Rain World is good game, Downpour is okay game.