Arkham Horror: Final Hour
The Thing cannot be described—there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled.
If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful.
-H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”
One hour until midnight. Time to save the world.
After a sinister cult conducted an eldritch rite to clear the way for a transdimensional Ancient One and its minions to enter our reality, you arrived at the ritual site too late. An iridescent rift slashes across the sky, heralding the nightmarish creatures that pour into the hallowed buildings of Miskatonic University. As howls and screams cut through the night, there is only one path left for your fearless investigators—hold back the horde and find some way, any way to reverse the summoning.
Arkham Horror: Final Hour offers your investigators a fast-paced, fully cooperative Arkham Horror gaming experience that can be played in under 60 minutes. As an endless tide of monsters sweeps across the Miskatonic University campus, you must hold them back while searching desperately for the ritual components you need to put an end to the insanity. Your fate depends on the cooperation between you and your fellow investigators. The odds against you are astronomical, but if you fail, this will indeed be the final hour for Arkham… and the world.
A Fight for Survival
The cult behind the Ancient One’s summoning may have escaped your grasp, but they left behind many clues to the workings of their evil rites. If you can find and piece these clues together before time runs out, you may discover how to reverse the ritual and banish the Ancient One from the world.
But time is not your ally. You have only eight rounds in which to accomplish this task, each divided into two parts. First, your investigators use their actions to defeat monsters and uncover clues. Then, once all players have acted, the Ancient One strengthens its hold on the world, producing horrible effects and spawning more monsters through growing gates that litter the Miskatonic University campus. With each round, your task becomes more difficult as ever more monsters threaten to overpower your investigators and overrun the campus. Time is against you, and you must hurry to deduce the proper ritual components before your time runs out.
You Are Arkham’s Last Hope
Arkham Horror: Final Hour invites you to step into the shoes of Arkham’s finest investigators, each ready to defend the Earth no matter the cost. As Final Hour focuses more on combat than other Arkham Horror Files titles, you may choose between six of the scrappiest characters this universe has to offer. Whether it’s Jenny Barnes with her twin .45s, Michael McGlenn with his Chicago Typewriter, or Lily Chen with her unmatched mastery of martial arts, each investigator has their own set of skills and ways to help the group with their unique deck of action cards. These action cards let you move across campus, fight monsters, or search for the clues you need to reverse the ritual. You must prioritize and balance your actions across your team, working together to defeat your enemies and find the keys to undoing this madness. But communicating with your fellow investigators is not as easy as you may expect.
As you run across the Miskatonic University campus, fighting monsters and searching for ritual components, you do not have time to sit and consult your plan of action. You must make your decisions largely on your own, choosing how to best resolve your action card and communicating with your team only through the use of priority cards. Each action card features a top effect that produces only positive effects, such as allowing you to fight monsters or protect locations, and a bottom effect that may allow you to investigate but leaves monsters free to wreak havoc of the campus. Your team must resolve the top effect of two action cards and the bottom effect two cards, which you determine by playing priority cards, your team’s only means of communication. You have no choice which action card you draw, but may choose any of the four priority cards in your hand to express to your team the importance that your top action be resolved—the lower the number of your priority card, the more likely it is that your top action will be resolved.
For example, if Jenny Barnes draws her action A Color for All Seasons, she may wish to play the lowest priority card possible to ensure that the top effect is resolved, and she does not have to go searching for Izzie, unleashing monsters with each step. But even this comes with risks. By playing a particularly high or low priority card, you may end up strengthening the Ancient One and putting your team in even greater peril. Balance and communication will be the key to your victory, or at the very least, your survival.
The Rite Must Be Undone
But just fighting back the monsters will not be enough. You are here to reverse the rite and banish the Ancient One from Arkham once and for all. To do so, you must discover the necessary ritual components. At the start of each game, two clue tokens with matching ritual symbols are set aside, out of play, while the rest are scattered facedown about the campus for you to uncover. In order to end the madness, you must use the bottom effects of your action cards to investigate campus locations. As you deduce which ritual symbol you need, you will learn which matching priority cards to keep in your hand to help reverse the rite. Even if investigating with the bottom effect of your action card will illicit negative effects, it may well be worth it if it brings you closer to your goal—and with the fate of the world at stake, this is not the time to be overly cautious.
If you investigate at your location, you’ll flip a clue token at that location faceup to either reveal an item or a clue in the form of a ritual icon. Most clue tokens and some priority cards have one of five possible ritual icons. Each game of Arkham Horror: Final Hour will require a different icon in order to reverse the ritual. Your team’s goal is to have as many priority cards as possible with the right ritual icons when you attempt to reverse the ritual.
In order to deduce which icon you need, you must investigate clue tokens at various campus locations to eliminate possibilities. When the first copy of an icon is revealed, that icon’s chance of being needed for the ritual is reduced; if the other clue token showing that icon is revealed, it is eliminated as a possibility. Once you determine which ritual icon you need, you are ready to attempt your own eldritch rite to undo the cult’s dark machinations.
If you are all in agreement, your team may attempt to reverse the ritual at the end of any round. However, you cannot share information about which priority cards you have in your hand. All you can tell your fellow investigators is whether you are ready to reverse the ritual or not, and hope. When you attempt your own eldritch rite to counter the cult, each investigator commits three priority cards from their hand. If the number of cards with the correct ritual icons is at least twice the number of investigators, the ritual will be undone and Arkham will be safe once more! But if you fail, Arkham will fall to the power of the Mythos and chaos will reign over the Earth. The fate of the world is in your hands—you must defend it!
A Ticking Clock
Every second counts in you mission to save the world from the Ancient Ones. The odds are stacked against you, but with your team of loyal investigators at your side, you just may be able to reverse that madness and return Arkham to the peaceful New England town of your memory. Unite your allies, fight the chaos, and prepare for the battle of a lifetime!