I would really appreciate it if you clicked "Support this game"!
If you do, you'll get an authentic 8-bit era instruction booklet for the game as a thank-you!

Controls: arrow keys, Z/C, X/V

Arrow keys - for moving around, Z/C - for stabbing things, X/V - for blocking things that try to stab you, hold Z/C - for a super-charged attack, double tap direction - for dashing to safety.

Gamepads also supported! If the controls stop responding, just click the game.


There is a Dark Lord terrorizing the northern coast since generations. What was once a thriving land full of bustling ports and cities has now gone to ruin, and the people of the Moonlit Empire are frankly fed up with all that.

You drew the shortest straw at the Order of Night's Vigil, so taking care of the situation is now your task. Punch through to the evil overlord's inner sanctum in Shearwater Keep and defeat him!

This game was lovingly crafted for the PICO-8, a fantasy 8-bit era console.


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Instruction booklet (bootleg scan) 4 MB
if you pay $2 USD or more
Instruction booklet (clean PDF) 160 kB
if you pay $2 USD or more

Development log


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Normal should be hard

It's okay.  Takes a bit to get the combat down.  Aside from that, nothing new to write home about.

Wow! I loved it. Is there/will there be a sequel?

Great game. This was one of my funnest videos to record. Keep it up.

Awesome work on this game!

Good game.

This game is amazing! Keep it up!
Co-op mode would be appreciated :))

This was a fun game.  Can only beat it on the easiest difficulty though. :p

The graphics are wonderful for a PICO-8 game! Super well done!!

Pretty awesome!  I'd love a downloadable version. though.  Playing in the browser is OK but I like being able to just run an executable.

After countless (literally!) tries I finally get S for all the difficulties!! Yeeaah :D

What did I win? :D


it is too hard.....

too hard...

Neat game, cool pixel art :)

good :)


Me encanta aun que este en ingles ;D

Loved the game!


This game is really great. Have you considered making this a full game?! I mean adding more levels, equipment such as armor and swords and making shops, adding coins! That would be awesome.

Thank you! I'd *love* to make a bigger game out of The Lair - my thinking was kind of a Darkest Dungeon meets beat'em ups, where you would recruit and level up characters of various classes and send them on beat'em up "missions" to different, well, lairs.

It's definitely on my "potential commercial projects" list, and I think it would be a unique take on the genre. The only problem is getting the means to be able to work full-time on a big project such as this.

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Really enjoyable game! The music and controls and especially the scenery was great, very nice palette. My critique would be that the sprites for the actors break the otherwise nice palette with maybe a touch too much gradient in the colors.

The player character has some pretty stilted animations, if they were more fluid and alive it would really add a lot to an otherwise good take on the beat em up genre!

Agreed on the animations. It's not my strong suit, and PICO-8 sprite count limitations (256 8x8 tiles) where quite hard to work with - to save space, I only animated the lower half of most characters. It was a way to make it all fit, but it does hurt the final result quite a bit.

make this have co op

This is a really great simplistic platformer. It looks wonderful, and there's a great amount of detail put into the movement in the camera and the terrain. The enemies feel orthogonal and distinct, which is really nice. It feels great to play.

To improve, I think it could have some variation in combat, because it feels too simplistic at times.

This game is great and is super promising! Well done!

Thanks! The feel of the enemies and making them really distinct was indeed something I focused on :).

The comments I hear most often are similar to yours: the game is good, but it should have more enemies/stages/moves/upgrades - more variety in general. Lots of people like the game, but most of them wish it somehow had more.

Well, I guess that bodes well if I ever want to make a larger version of Lair! And I do, at some point - but I'll have to figure out how to make it work financially first.

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This is really cool, feels somewhere between Castlevania and Demon's Souls. I would legit play a desktop version of this with couch co-op and multiple levels and powerups.

Nice work!