Lugaru: The Rabbit's Foot

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Lugaru: The Rabbit's Foot is the first commercial video game created by Wolfire Games. It is a cross-platform, 3D action adventure game for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. It features Turner, an anthropomorphic rabbit with curiously well-developed combat skills.

Lugaru was made almost solely by David Rosen, including the game engine, models, animations and story. It was one of the first independently-produced video games to employ ragdoll physics. It uses a new and fairly intuitive combat system, basing attacks and counters on timing and context rather than different key combinations.[1] It tended to be well-reviewed and was fairly well-received among the shareware community, especially among Mac users[2]. Tim Soret would later improve the games textures, and Wolfire currently sells this version as Lugaru HD.[3]

The name Lugaru is a phonetic spelling of "loup-garou", which is French for werewolf. The word "Lugaru" is commonly pronounced as loogaroo.[4]

David Rosen has announced that Overgrowth will be the sequel to Lugaru.


After his family and friends are murdered by rabbit raiders, Turner embarks on a quest of revenge, only to uncover a deeper plot that threatens the entire Lugaru island. The wolves from a nearby island killed all of the rabbits who lived there, and have come to Turner's to find more food. Not wanting to make the same mistakes as before, they plan to enslave the rabbit kingdom rather than randomly attacking any that they meet as they usually do. That way they can conserve their food supply. The rabbit king Hickory has agreed to this takeover, providing that the wolves do not harm him. To secure the deal, he sent Jack, one of his loyal servants, to trick Turner into killing the rabbit raiders as they would be the only real resistance that the wolves would have to their control.

After learning the terrible truth, Turner confronts the rabbit king and takes power in a bloodless coup. He then vows to the other rabbits that he will meet with the Alpha wolf, and if need be, kill him. Using a wide variety of combat techniques, Turner then battles wolves and hostile rabbits across grassland, snow, and desert landscapes. Hickory sets a trap to try and stop Turner before he reaches him, but Turner is able to defeat the three wolf assassins and is then able to kill the rabbit king himself. Bolstered by his recent victories, he finally reaches Ash, the alpha wolf. He warns that if Turner defeats him it would mean ruin for the rabbits as they would overpopulate and starve without the wolves enforcing the natural order. Turner refuses to listen, and manages to successfully overpower Ash and defeat him. After this he returns to the other rabbits, where he is offered the chance to be king. Turner feels he is not up to governing, and decides he will spend the rest of his life wandering and trying to find a purpose again.


Hand-to-hand combat comprises most of Lugaru's gameplay, although the game rewards stealthy approaches. The fighting system is based largely around close combat, and in many cases incorporates knives, swords, and bo staves. The player can also perform disarms, reversals, and counter-reversals.

With no HUD, the player must rely on visual cues to determine Turner's health; most notably the character's posture and the darkness and blurred vision.

The combat control is original as well, since there are only three context-sensitive action buttons, which puts emphasis on fast-paced action rather than complicated button combos: one attack button, a jump button, and a more general crouch-reverse button.

The game can be played in campaign mode, which includes mission specific objectives and storyline, as well as a "challenge" mode, which involves the player progressing through a series of fourteen maps with the goal of clearing them of all hostile creatures. There is also an interactive tutorial.


Weapons are essential to fighting in this game and each have particular advantages and disadvantages. The knife can be thrown and a character can carry two of them, but it is the weakest weapon of the three. The sword is very powerful and fast, but it is hard to find and incredibly easy to disarm. The staff is the strongest of the three, and can easily kill an enemy when it is down. However, the staff can break and can easily be reversed.


Lugaru also has a number of mods made by the many fans of the game. You can choose to download the "Lugaru Downloader" which gives you a list of all the Fan-made mods so far. Lugaru Downloader also extracts and backs up the files and installs the mod automatically, rather than forcing users to back up files themselves and risk errors and glitches. The Wolfire forums for a link and information, and the website with the download link and info.

Advanced modding, namely modifying skeletons to work custom animated characters into the game, 3D Model customization, animation editing and map editing have been made possible by reverse-engineering the file formats and writing Python plugins for Blender. An overview of all modification resources, done modifications and how-to documentation can be found in this thread on the Wolfire forums.

After the games success as part of the Humble Indie Bundle, on May 11, 2010 Wolfire released the source code of Ryan C. Gordon's code branch of Lugaru under the GNU General Public License.[5] This source code has allowed the game to be ported to additional platforms such as AmigaOS 4.[6]


  1. Review of Lugaru at Inside Mac Games
  2. Ars Technica on Lugaru in the Mac and Linux community
  3. Lugaru HD Wolfire Blog, May 21, 2009
  4. Post by David Rosen on on iDevGames forum
  5. Lugaru goes open source Wolfire Blog, May 11, 2010
  6. Lugaru ported to AmigaOS 4 on, dated June 10, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2011

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