Dungeon Defense (던전 디펜스) is a korean novel written by Yoo Heonhwa and illustrated by cocorip. It has 510 Web Novel Chapters (Complete) and 4 Light Novel Volumes (Ongoing)
Do you know how this world ends?
Become the hero and defeat the 72 Demon Lords. The game that was boasted as the absolute hardest strategy game, 『Dungeon Attack』.
I used to be the ‘hero’ that had accomplished everything in this game, but after answering a suspicious survey, I found myself in the game as the weakest Demon Lord, 「Dantalian」.
With only my eloquent tongue and my memories of conquest as a hero—.
In order to survive as Dantalian. I shall tear this world apart.
Series InformationAuthor: Yoo Heonhwa 유헌화
Type: Korean Novel
Genre: Action Comedy Drama Fantasy Harem Horror Mature Mystery Psychological Romance Seinen
Status: LN 4 Volumes (Ongoing) WN 510 Chapters (Complete)
Rating: (4.7 / 5.0, 1750 votes)
Translations by Shalvation, see the translations here
Short: "To triumph against all odds"
Overall, the story development is Great. If you truly put yourself in the shoes of the protagonist, you can feel the real tension of "Lunatic" difficulty in game setting. The protagonist handicap is big. This is not your average over-powered character, but he literally has "nothing" but his intelligence. The protagonist constantly bombarded with disadvantages, yet he successfully triumph many adversities with only his intelligence.
The only thing that seems off about this novel is only its title "Dungeon Defense" where the notion of "Defense" only pictured briefly at the start of the story (tutorial part). The rest of the arc has nothing to do with "defending a dungeon", so don't expect any development like tower-defense game
The Novel is almost entirely focused on conversations and outsmarting the opponent, so if you are looking for something action filled this novel won't be for you. On the other hand it is excellently written, something I rarely come across in the vast sea of mediocre to subpar novels I normally see on this site. And while this novel too has some obvious issues, like the main characters personality shifting at the beginning of the story and the ability he chose at the start not only being pointless considering his ability to manipulate people but also barely being used and even when used it is in the most obvious way possible.
A really superb korean novel, perfect for those who love politics, manipulation, war, power/authority, and damn good plot twists. Contrary to the title itself, this is not a dungeon management novel. This is a story about ambition and the means to achieve it in a feudalistic and autocratic world. This is more in tune for mature audiences tho, so don't bring your fluffy expectations here. The characters have their own certain twisted charms on them, broken and flawed as they are, but it is exactly such characterization that certainly endears them to you as you join them book by book. Kudos to Shalvation too for the great work on this project
First and foremost, about his ability to see people's affection. Somehow after the second volume, that ability has never been used again. Oh wow, Dantalian is a real pro in gaming. The choices that will appear when he's making an important decision. This, too, has never been mentioned after a certain point in the story despite he has been clearly making very important decisions throughout the entire chapters up to date. Well, these two things will probably be used again in the future so no big deal but it's absent for few volumes, that's inconsistency, which is a big flaw in novels.
Secondly, this is probably the biggest flaw in this novel.
At the start of the series, when Dantalian encountered some adventures, it has been established that our MC perceived conversations in Korean. However, when he met Laura for the first time, Laura tested him by speaking in several different languages and somehow Dantalian could perfectly differentiate those languages. Wasn't he supposed to hear it in Korean? It would have been better if he managed to differentiate languages by reading their lips instead. Our MC could appear even more "genius". Also, during Laura's speech before the war, I'm wondering as to what language she had used to make ALL OF THE COMMONERS AND PEOPLE BELOW THAT from all of the nations of the opposing side to understand her. Those people are highly unlikely to be bilingual, let alone multilingual. There was no clarification at all, the only thing that was described in the chapter was how the witches used sound amplification magic to make Laura's speech audible to everyone. This is a serious matter in my opinion, because this speech plays a major role to cause internal problems to the enemy.
Then the Imperial Princess also conveyed a speech, she at first asked a mage to stop invoking a spell to translate her speech into the demon's language by saying she could speak in demon's language so that she could intercept Laura's speech. Well, it was a complete waste though since she didn't intercept it and she also didn't speak in demon's language I assume since her people could understand her but not the soldiers of neighboring countries. This had no problem whatsoever but it shows that this novel lacks crucial descriptions.