The wave of nausea in your stomach disappears as the bright light around you fades.
Where are you?
Who are these people?
“What’s going on here? Some sort of trick?”
“I was on my way to a job interview…”
“My smartphone doesn’t work!”
Suddenly, a cheery, high-pitched voice calls out above the crowd murmurs.
“WELCOME TO THE DUNGEON!”
A rabbit?! A doll?
A man in a suit pushes you aside as he approaches the rabbit.
“Hey! I don’t care who or what you are, but I’m not interested in this game! I’m on my way to an important job interview!”
“I’m trying to tell you something important, so please don’t interrupt!”, says the rabbit. “Now the rules of the game are…”
The rabbit smiles but…there’s a grim look in its eyes.
“As I was saying, the rules of the game are quite simple. The first is…always be nice to the Guide.”
By the time you regain your senses, the suited man is lying on the ground in a pool of blood with his head rolling nearby.
“You see?! Ignore the rules and you die!”, the rabbit guffaws.
“He…he’s really dead!”
Your knees fail you as the crowd panics and tries to run.
“No, no, no, noooo!” the rabbit cheerfully calls out. “This place is daaangerous! As the Guide of Stage 1 of this Game, it’s my job to ensure that you all have your basic equipment!”
A dagger appears out of nowhere in front of you.
You look around and see everyone holding a weapon of some sort, like those from a medieval fantasy-style RPG.
“Is…is this some newfangled VR technology? It feels real!”
You pick up the dagger…the weight and touch of metal do feel real!
The rabbit floats into the air.
“Alright now! Each of you now has a special Skill to help you along in the Game. You can check your Status Screen to see what it is. You can also access an Inventory to store any items you acquire during the Game. If you have further questions, please feel free to ask me, for I will watch over your journey.”
Is this really happening?
The rabbit throws its arms into air.
“Here we go! Let the Dungeon Game BEGIN!”
Dungeon Reset (던전 리셋, Deonjeon Lises) is a web novel and web comic written by Daul (다울).
After finding himself fighting for his life against waves of monsters, the young Daun Jeong one day accidentally falls into a pitfall trap and his companions are forced to leave him behind. Barely surviving impalement on the trap’s spikes, he is healed after his group defeat Stage 1’s boss monster, an Earth Golem. When the group moves onto Stage 2, the land of Stage 1 undergoes a “Reset” in preparation for more participants. Daun is later found by the Rabbit, who is dismayed by the young man’s survival. As a result of being considered dead by the Game’s system and being outside the Stage 1 area (within the pit) during a Reset, Daun is no longer bound by the rules of the Dungeon Game. Upset with this unforeseen event, Rabbit simply advises Daun to die. Undaunted, the young man vows to survive by any means necessary.
Unable to escape the pit by climbing, Daun instead digs underground with his hands. As a result, he gradually gains new Skills to manipulate dirt and is later able to build an underground home for himself. Eventually, Daun returns to the surface and learns to fight monsters using hit-and-run tactics, growing stronger and gradually improving his Skills.
Unable to cross the gate to Stage 2, Daun travels to the nearby Death Mountains. There, he discovers the shrine of Erthea, the Dragon of Life. The spirit of the shrine, Alpha, appoints Daun as the shrine’s overseer and grants him new Skills. Meanwhile, Rabbit is dismissed from its duties as a Dungeon Guide due to Daun’s survival and the growing number of participants surviving Stage 1. With nowhere else to go, it follows Daun into the Death Mountains and pledges its loyalty to him.
After discovering a cliff near Erthea’s shrine, Daun digs underground for two months in order to reach the fog-shrouded lands below. After killing a griffin and running into a horde of skeletons, Daun is reunited with some of his former companions from Stage 1. Teary-eyed, they tell Daun that he is now in Stage 4 of the Game and escort him to Gap Village, an encampment where participants rest between dungeon quests.
What new challenges await this unexpected survivor?
Daun Jeong (정다운, Jeong Daun), overseer of the Shrine of Erthea, the Dragon of Life, former Dungeon Game participant and a former junior architect. Clever, friendly, patient, diligent and hard-working, Daun is a competent cook and strategist. While mindful of his need to survive, he is also bold enough to take certain risks when needed such as using hit-and-run tactics to fight wolf packs and coordinating with his Earth Golems to fight against large monsters.
When he was first summoned to the Dungeon Game, his only Skill was Purification, which allowed him to purify food, disinfect wounds and cure poison. As a result of persistently digging underground for some time, Daun earned several dirt manipulation Skills such as Lumping Dirt (compressing dirt into blocks), Dirt Shaping and Construction. Using his architectural knowledge, Daun can use these Skills to build houses, furniture and even Earth Golems. He can also build observation towers that enable him to conjure a magical mini-map that can detect nearby creatures. As a result of killing 100 horned boars with a pitfall trap, he gained the Skill “Vigor of the Horned Boar”, an ability that multiplies its user’s strength several times for 10 seconds. After his appointment as overseer of Erthea’s shrine, Daun gained the Skills Install Gate, Install Trap and Reset (remaking anything into its original, unaltered state).
Rabbit, a sentient rabbit, Daun’s dubious ally and the former Guide of Stage 1 of the Dungeon Game. Whiny, sadistic and somewhat cowardly, the former Guide now acts as an advisor and helper to its former enemy, having retained its knowledge about the Game and many of its participants. As a Dungeon Guide, Rabbit’s official job was to introduce the rules of the Dungeon Game to participants and provide advice to them, but its secret duty was to ensure that as few people survived as possible. As a result of Daun’s survival and actions, Rabbit was eventually dismissed as a Guide by its displeased master, the Dragon of Death.
Alpha, the caretaker spirit of the Shrine of Erthea, the Dragon of Life, in the Death Mountains. Patient and helpful, yet somewhat delusional, it is extremely loyal to Erthea, whose skeleton resides in the temple’s main hall, and hopes to acquire enough life energy to resurrect him someday. As caretaker of the shrine, Alpha converts offerings to the shrine (i.e. food, magical weapons) into life energy that can be used to empower the Dragon Apostles, people marked by Erthea’s blessing. Alpha was the one who revealed to Daun that all partipants of the Dungeon Game carry an invisible mark of sacrifice to Erthea’s archenemy, the Dragon of Death. Apostles of Erthea appointed by Alpha, such as Daun, are no longer marked as sacrifices.
Seung-Woo Ryu (류승우, Ryu Seung-Woo), a Dungeon Game participant and a former taekwondo instructor. Charismatic, confident and kind, he quickly established himself as a natural-born leader among the other Game participants. Seung-Woo is a composed, skilled fighter and good at establishing rapports with his companions thanks to his experience as a martial arts instructor. He was on friendly terms with Daun, who looked up to him in turn. Seung-Woo was one of the few participants to reach Stage 4 of the Dungeon Game, where he eventually reunited with Daun.
An inspiring example of how far the instinct to survive can take someone. Originally deemed as one of the least likely to survive by Rabbit and several of his own companions for the simple fact that he was a mediocre fighter, Daun Jeong instead relied on his wits, foresight and growing abilities to survive. By doing certain tasks such as digging, crafting and breaking stone countless times, his Skills grew in power and later expanded into higher-class Skills including the construction of Earth Golems. Daun also demonstrated innovative ways to use his abilities, such as rebuilding the pitfall trap he fell into as an animal trap for horned boars, saving himself the need to hunt for food. He also once used his Install Trap and Reset Skills on a boiling oil trap to create an infinite source of fresh sesame oil! Through persistence, learning quickly and understanding his limits, Daun prospered when no one expected him to!
The instinct to survive is something we all have and we would likely be surprised to discover what we could do when push comes to shove. Others may expect you to suffer based on their own beliefs, but these people cannot make the decision for you to survive and live life. That is your responsibility and your choice. We all have to go out into the world and learn how to survive in our own ways, whether it involves training, learning, fighting or earning money. We might even grow and prosper beyond our own expectations with some determination and luck! There are many people in the world who have no choice but to survive because the alternative would be death, more or less. Examples of such include office workers who work every day for a minimum wage or people who live in regions where survival is a daily challenge, such as Bekasi, Jakarta’s Trash Mountain. You’d be surprised with how resourceful we can become when our lives are at stake!
But one must remember that survival shouldn’t be a goal in itself. Sometimes, we must step back and remember why we live life. For the participants in the Dungeon Game, it’s about going home. For us, it could be about taking care of our families or achieving something big in life.
Living your own life is your choice and your responsibility. We all have the ability to survive.