For Chasing Carrots, the sadistic developers of Halls of Torment, just adding the toughest map the game has seen yet, the Frozen Depths, wasn’t enough punishment for one update. They also had to add a new feature that makes the game more difficult the better you do. This feature is known as Agony Mode, and it’s a literal game-changer, turning even the humble Haunted Caverns into a sweat-inducing nightmare if toggled on. Just what is Halls of Torment’s Agony Mode? How does it work? Should you try it out? All of these questions will be answered in the following guide.
What’s the deal with Agony Mode in Halls of Torment?
Before we get started on Agony Mode, we should cover how you can unlock it. Agony Mode is available for every map in the game, and in each case you need to defeat the Lord, or final boss, of that map in order to unlock Agony Mode for it. Once unlocked, you can choose whether or not to enable Agony Mode for your run by pressing X to toggle it on and off on the stage select screen.
Once you’ve unlocked and enabled Agony Mode for a stage, you can check it out in practice. Put simply, it scales up the game’s difficulty based on your performance. The more enemies you kill, and the faster you kill them, the more the Agony meter on the right side of the screen will fill up. As it does, you’ll move from Agony level zero, to one, to two, and so on. With each new Agony level, the number of enemies, their health, and the amount of XP they drop will all increase. In addition, there are also some new features you can only experience with Agony Mode enabled, these being Champion Enemies and Uncommon Items.
Champion Enemies are new elite enemies that spawn in throughout an Agony Mode run, differentiated from other elites by their yellow outlines. They have typical elite-level health, but they also come with special abilities not normally associated with enemies of their type, such as the ability to summon purple skeletons, or dash across the screen leaving fire in their wake. These enemies are tough to take down, but you get some great rewards for doing so. Champion Enemies can drop Ability Scrolls, empty bottles, large amounts of Gold, extra buckets for the Well, allowing for multiple retrievals, and Uncommon Items.
Uncommon Items are the other major addition to Agony Mode runs. These are green-hued versions of existing items in the game, dropped by bosses and Champion Enemies via chests. When it comes to stats, Uncommon Items are twice as effective as their normal counterparts. For example, the Quickhand Gloves ordinarily grant you +20% attack speed, but the Uncommon version of the Quickhand Gloves grants you +40% attack speed instead. These can be immensely powerful if they happen to line up with your build choice, but they’re balanced out by the fact that they can’t be retrieved: if you find an Uncommon Item, you can use it for this run and this run only.
All of the above elements make Agony Mode runs feel fresh and exciting when compared to their normal counterparts. Even on maps that have long since ceased to challenge you, you’ll find yourself struggling against the odds, holding out for a key Uncommon Item drop to swing things back in your favor. The extra enemies and Champion Enemies are also great for farming Gold, and for completing the ‘Deal 3,000,000 damage with X Ability’ quests. In addition, reaching Agony three on specific maps with specific characters is key to unlocking the Marks for each character: another new feature that lets you mix and match Traits to devastating effect. This alone is enough reason to give Agony Mode a try, once you’ve unlocked it and built your characters up with some key Blessings.
And that’s everything you need to know about Agony Mode in Halls of Torment. It’s a great new feature that adds a lot of mechanical depth and tension to your runs, and one that gives seasoned players a worthy arena in which to showcase their game-breaking builds.