The Devil’s Cage


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A virtual underground game that has no protection. Lurking with players who seek power, fortune and survival. Qin ran chose to enter this VRMMORPG game without hesitation because he knows this is his only way out from death. Can he escape death in real life or dying via the game?

Associated Names
One entry per line
Demon’s Cage
Related Series
The Demon’s Menu (Shared Universe)
Night Ranger (6)
The Ultimate Evolution (5)
Infinity Armament (4)
Thriller Paradise (3)
Evolution Theory of the Hunter (3)
Reincarnation Paradise (2)
Recommendation Lists
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  2. Novels That I Have Read Over The Years
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09/07/17 Webnovel c106
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Alexander Valdimir
Alexander Valdimir rated it
August 12, 2017
Status: c50
Personally I find this novel closer to the 'infinity' Genre rather than a Virtual reality or MMORPG genre. 'In a infinity novel, they usually go on a mission in a life and death environment. Missions would have tasks needed to be completed in a set environment. Upon completing the mission would they be rewarded with Benefits, money, etc. The benefits acquired during the missions are used in a trading environment in a safe zone. Difficulty would progressively get hardier as the story goes on.'

While there is some Virtual aspect such... more>> as the game, leveling up system and trading. If you readied Terror infinity, you can see the similarly between the two novels. Compare to Terror infinity which uses movies as the mission setting, the author uses his own worldly setting for his missions. The combat, mission, overall feeling basically points that this novel is more Infinity genre than a Virtual reality novel.

The Positives:

1. The mission setting are quite interesting, wouldn't say its fantastic but doesn't have too much issues.

2. The Main Character has guts and a brain, really rare these days.

3. Actions that are logical.

4. Battles are quite interesting, During a battle with a group of soldiers, he at least knows the bare minimum of a squad set up.


  1. As a LE personnel, there's slight unrealistic moments, but its only my perspective and doesn't hinder the novel in any way.
  2. Doesn't have any major faults, not for now at least, probably will edit this if there is one.
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ththth12 rated it
August 19, 2017
Status: c55
This is great story. MC is smart and decisive. It does not feel like virtual world at all, it's more like another world. Death is real, and you can't quit the game. NPC characters have intelligence and personality, and so players call them natives.

I don't understand why this story has so low rating, it's definitely one of the best novels here. It might be because it's on Qidian, same goes for other stories like the castle of black iron.
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oxybro rated it
August 17, 2020
Status: c1854
TL;DR: This is a novel with a strong start and a good concept, but it is unfinished. The Author bit off more than he could chew, and the last 900 chapters are a fever dream that will leave you confused and mildly pissed off.

This is an interesting example in the VRMMO genre, I think someone else likened it more to the infinity genre and I agree, a quickly OP MC engaged in constant battles of wits and might with very little in the ways of character interaction. Going into Devil's... more>> Cage you need to know there are massive plot holes and many unresolved branches in the story; you will not be getting a satisfying ending that answers all your questions. Without going into detail, if you're going to pick this up you'll have an enjoyable pulpy read with an unsatisfying ending, it's generally well written and entertaining more so than most other web novels, but that means the issues that exist in the story are that much more pronounced. Possible Spoilers Below:


Devil's Cage sets up its plot fairly well if you ignore two main problems. Kieran enters a death game to earn money for some illness but gets s**ked into a confusing world of intrigue and cunning. But as the story progresses the Author loses sight of the basic premise as he sets up his world of mysteries. This is the first issue with the plot: Kieran's motivations to play are never expounded on, we never get to know about Kieran's world outside of the game, which is fine but for the fact that his illness and his living situation are NEVER mentioned again. We are told he has weeks? Maybe months? To earn money for his treatment but afterwards this novel spends nearly two thousand chapters without mention of what ever happened after he enters the game.

Outside of that issue the plot is actually very engaging, enigmatic characters like the Broker and the Witch are very interesting to ponder on. Unlike most VRMMOs where the MC is placed in the first wave of players, Kieran is entering this death game as a latecomer and he's forced to deal with forces and powers outside of his depth, with both him and the reader grasping for clues as to what's going on. But here's where the second issue comes into play, you never actually get to know what's going on, whether in individual dungeons arcs or with the world as whole. The Author has a nasty habit of killing anyone who's about to give a little bit of exposition; and I mean ANYONE. In the world of this novel the best way to get yourself killed is to stand in front of the MC and say "Wait! I have a secret!" or "Wait! Don't you want to know what's going on?!". It's a great device to build Kieran's character as this cold analytical no-nonsense killing machine who always knows what's up, but that information about the setting and context dies with his enemies to the detriment of the reader.

Outside of a general synopsis of the plot I could not tell you anything about the characters, their motivations, the world. That's the main problem with this novel, and add in an ending bereft of any context or conclusion as to what the f*ck the last 400 chapters of the novel were about and you're going to be scratching your head for literal hours.


Both problems I have with the plot aren't entirely exclusive to exposition and world building, I think that the novel would actually still be closer to 5 stars than 4 stars if not for those issues being exacerbated by the pacing of the novel. The first plot point revealed implies a time limit on the MC's performance, and all the following plot details highlight time as a factor. You'd be surprised to find out that time doesn't matter at all after the setup, things like a cool down between runs aren't expounded on, breaks between runs involve a short visit to the inn with very little said or done there. There is a sense that all of this takes place over months, yet the time of the 'overworld' seems very nebulous. The MC can spend years in dungeon yet appear back in the overworld having been gone for what feels like seconds at one moment or weeks at another. There is a throwaway line about time dilation nearing the end, but it does not really explain what is going on. What this leads to is a feeling like everything is happening all on top of itself; the MC is ripped from dungeon to dungeon. It feels like progress made prior matters very little since some new scheme is constantly revealing itself.


To comment on the characters and their growth, Kieran appears at first to be cut from the same cloth as all other generic webnovel MC's: cold, detached, lacking in personality. But as the novel goes on he develops quirks and learns from his mistakes in a real and satisfying way. The issue is that his growth as a character is outpaced by the needs of the plot; he starts out as a naive illness ridden orphan and within 200 chapters, he is like Sherlock meets Archer from Fate. The power scaling is broken, but that does not totally kill the appeal of a pretty active MC who gets what's going on even if you don't. Compound that with what little character description there is for side characters being of likeable ones and you have a cast of genial little guys who you want to know more about. It's a shame that outside of a few characters who get screen time and a mention in the last chapter you don't really get to see any grow or resolution in their arcs. Take for instance lawless who's supposed to have a split personality that could potentially leave him trapped as a man child; outside of the MC worrying nothing conclusive ever happens to him. It's like this for all the characters and the chapter at the end describing their relationships seems misplaced and leaves more questions than satisfying answers.

Character Relationships:

I thought about this some more and decided that my final gripe with this story has to be with the way it treats its character relationships. Characters seem to be arbitrarily connected to the MC, the way they're pushed onto him is very inorganic with the exception of Starbeck. Necessary Spoilers:

Starbeck an extravagantly rich male character, who surprise is a woman in the last chapter, cooks and supports our MC the entire time. Whether or not the MC knows Starbbeck's gender it's implied heavily that their relationship will at some point progress into something resembling romance, but nothing ever comes. Wu is supposed to be Starbeck's rival in love; an enigmatic fortune teller who has some greater bearing on the plot but that's never fleshed out, the MC literally hates and distrusts her no matter what. Lawless his supposed best friend and item vendor goes from a complex and powerful character with issues to background stooge who has no bearing on the story at all. Rachel the innkeeper and supposed OP badass gets outpaced halfway through the story and does nothing but beat Lawless.

Those are just the issues with the primary supporting cast, there's literally not a single relationship that is concluded to any degree. The characters he befriends in the dungeons and the stories that he plays a serious role in just get dropped out of nowhere, the novel is unfinished.

All of these characters are the MC's friends but he shares no adventures with them, their relationships never progress and they're simply there for the plot to take a small break. This would be fine if the novel didn't place them as a primary motivation for him to progress and protect. Why. He's cold and detached the entire story and we're supposed to believe he cares about these people who after 1854 chapters he still knows nothing about? Why does Wu like him? Why is Lawless his best friend? What's the deal with Starbeck?

What's this weird emotion release super move he pulls out of his ass at the end?

Why does this novel even bother with building these characters in the first place? The issues with these relationships go beyond how rushed the ending is, ultimately this author while a talented world builder, cannot write interpersonal moments with any degree of aptitude. I think that as the novel progressed he realized he created a whole host of blank and generic NPCs and that to complete his work he would need to essentially rewrite the entire cast, or retcon major story developments to reach an honest conclusion. <<less
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Tupperware rated it
March 12, 2020
Status: c1500
I've been reading this story for a while now on and off since I don't like leaving it mid dungeon and forget all the characters. Especially since every single chapter ends on a cliffhanger. Overall this story has been entertaining for me but it's been really disappointing for me the last few volumes, honestly since it's been so long I'm not quite sure if it was this bad in the beginning or my standards for novels rose, but I've been finding myself just skipping paragraphs pretty much every chapter.

If you... more>> are considering reading this story here are a few points constantly frustrated me throughout the story and are the reasons I'm dropping it:

  1. Food. The Kieran is obsessed with it. The author makes it "his thing" and gives info dump-like descriptions about it way too often and it gets old real quick. Later on Kieran even becomes somewhat of an as*hole about it. I get it, he likes to eat, who doesn't?
  2. The build. Kieran focuses on spirit which is fluffed up to be THE stat, though admittedly there are all sorts of curses, illusions or mental attacks in pretty much every dungeon. What annoys me is that he has like one skill related to spirit and like 3 items with a spirit related ability, which compared to his other skills/items related to other stats is nothing.
  3. Equipment. He has so much equipment it becomes tedious to remember what each one does. Many items only make an appearance once.
  4. BS cursed game. Apparently you can't leave until you clear a certain number of dungeons or you die.
  5. Typical cliched xianxia villains. At this point I just don't even bother to read what they say or remember their names, whether NPC's or players constantly make convoluted plans only to commit su*cide by MC. It happens so much it just doesn't make sense anymore. Later on Kieran becomes so strong and well known but there are still hordes of player rushing to fight him.
  6. Kieran is Probably the most mary sue character I've ever read about. Every dungeon has a complicated (or confusing) plot but Kieran seems to make incredible ass-pull guesses that are almost never wrong, even if something is off it always ends up well for him. Other players or NPC's (that aren't busy getting themselves killed by him) adore him unconditionally despite being cold and plainly unlikable (for me at least) most times.
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Buffelephant rated it
February 8, 2018
Status: c296
You guys need to read this novel.

Especially if you like terror infinity or the ultimate evolution.

It is a novel set in the future, maybe not even on earth, with a dying MC in need of a ton of money. More money than someone can earn in a normal lifespan. He spent a few years trying hard work to make that money. No where close to the amount he needs, he turns to an illegal vr game. The rumors said rich people play this vr for entertainment. He also heard they... more>> spend fortunes in this game buying In Game currency and items. The vr game sends you on missions, each mission a different world, time period, with magic/no magic, or supernatural/no supernatural forces. The only downside is that this vr is so realistic that it kills you if you die. It has a matrix feel to it, where you can't tell your in the vr. But it lacks a vr game novel feel. The constant reminder that the MC can die and the realism of the world, takes away that game feel and some readers may not like that.

I think this novel created a better world than ultimate evolution. It has a created a better setting in reality, different worlds, and side characters. The goal of the MC might be bland, to raise tons and tons of money to cure himself of a deadly disease; but, he has a goal and thats more than I can say for the MC of TUE.

I personally like the fact that npcs are called natives. They aren't AI programs but people. They have emotions and a purpose in the story. The greatest downside, that I see, is the difficulty of returning to a past world. Meaning, it's kinda emotional knowing the MC might never see a native on one world if a native fell for the MC, became the mc's best friend, or became the mc's master. Maybe this changes in the future, where the MC can freely change to multiple worlds, but for now it's really hard for the MC to see past worlds or natives. The writer and the translator did a good job though, even though the worlds are separated, it doesn't feel like multiple small stories loosely tied together. They all link up like puzzle pieces to make a great story.

The MC does power up a little too fast in comparison to others, but it's reasonable. First, the MC could have been more op. The parameters of the story does allow for the MC to power up further than he has, if he was smarter or stronger he could have earned better items or more IGC. So, you get the feeling that he isn't op because he could be stronger. Secondly, other players could be as strong as the MC if they were as reckless as him. He's dying. So, he takes risks that would kill him if he made a small mistake. The risks lead to rewards. Most other players are looking to survive or power up within reasonable limits. That doesn't mean the MC is the strongest, just an exceptionally good newbie who can fight. <<less
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acoleman2 rated it
October 22, 2017
Status: c10
It's just not good... or rather, it's not a virtual reality novel. I went into it expecting a virtual reality novel based on the tag and description, but it doesn't feel like virtual reality at all... the author doesn't do a good job of distinguishing reality from virtual reality, NPC from human, etc. Even with a realistic game that has no protections and can kill you (i.e. Sword Art Online lol), you should still be able to clearly distinguish reality from virtual reality. If you like other VRMMORPG novels, and... more>> are looking for something similar, this is not for you. If you like Terror Infinity type novels, this is more in line with that. <<less
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sal880612m rated it
June 20, 2016
Status: c14
While this is a VRMMORPG type novel, at this point, it has used a more modern setting. The details of what is going on haven't completely unfolded, and there is potential for some big changes as the MC is still in the tutorial stages. A lot of the world, both in game and out, has yet to be revealed so it's hard to make a judgement.

At this juncture the in game setting reminds me of IET's Swallowed Star, but remains more grounded in present day and reality. That is to... more>> say, people are't flying around, guns are still considered deadly, and have yet to encounter mutated beasts. Just people doing bad things, at least that is my understanding at this point. <<less
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Lagderanged rated it
March 28, 2019
Status: c948
One of the few novels beside COBI I keep coming back to.

Here goes nothing:


... more>> 1.:The author has achieved heavenly-void-emperor-level-cliffhanger-dao. Every chapter, without exception has a cliffhanger at the end that is resolved in the first sentence of the next chapter. The worst part? Its unnessecary. This story is great as it is, both writing and storywise. I would keep reading it even without the cliffs.

2.: The Mainplot (MC is deathly ill, needs tons of money, joins the VR-game) is severely underdeveloped. The literally only reason the real world is ever mentioned in this novel is in the contex of: "So he took off the VR-headset, ate something, then put on the headset again" or one or two times when other "players" had to take care of stuff there (Stuff: Stop other players from influencing their real-life (which is in itself insanely hard to do because the game takes massive precautions to ensure a "level" playing field, without outside interference. As to why that is? Read the spoiler. Once again: This isnt as bad as it sounds for several reasons, one of which is this story has one mainplot (real-life) but also a main-sub-plot (The GameHub between dungeons "The City") inside the subplot (Whichever "Dungeon" the MC enters)

Spoiler below, just because I am too lazy to differentiate. Some of it is insanely spoilery information only in the sense that I am talking about game-mechanics or concepts that are revealed later on/based on conclusions the MC makes after several hundred chapters but I am trying to keep it as vague as possible. No major plotpoints revealed, mostly mechanics (not even all of them).



Someone is curious, huh? Hope your curiosity doesnt do you like the proverbial cat...

Anyway! Lets dive into it.

Setting: Welcome to "The Game".

Where the stake is your life and no price is never high enough to not be paid.

Where the strongest not only survive, but also get to dominate and rule all below them, either by sheer power or enticement.

Where being a newbie is a death-sentence, being a veteran is laughable, being an elite means serving as cannonfodder and being a chosen one something to strive for. You want to be a god? Thats both entirely possible and not as OP as it sounds...

The Game is differentiated between "The City", an ever-expanding hub of sorts; and the dungeons. Between missions/dungeons, this City is where you will be. You have a saferoom all to yourself, there is public transportation and bars, markets as well as other means to enhance your gaming-experience are at your convenience. The city is growing all the time, new saferooms have to be built for all the new players, which is great, right?

Except all the other players are also able to walk the streets and if you die in this hub you also die in real-life.
Oh, and did I forget to mention every other player gets all your stuff and your room if he kills you? The npc-robots patrolling the streets are not omnicient, nor omnipotent...

Same as the dungeons btw. Except going solo is default in those. You can also group up with other players, but you better pick trustworthy people, otherwise its nothing else but su*cide.

Thats right. You only have one life. You die in the game, whereever this may be, you die in real-life. There are items to prevent your death, but those are incredibly rare and are often one-use-consumables. By chapter 948 the MC has only ever encountered one (iirc).

This is both an allure and the ultimate danger. Rich people pay massive amounts of money to be able to survive in this game. Both for items and protection. Couldnt they just leave the game though? Nope, you have to play one "dungeon" a week after you complete the tutorial, more if you want... but only crazy people would do that, right? If you dont complete the tutorial you die. If you dont complete the dungeon you die. Oh, and just half-assing it wont be enough as the rewards that allow you to become stronger are both tied to your performance and sorely needed just to survive.

The dungeons grow more dangerous each time you enter them. But the possible rewards grow in proportion -depending on your performance that is...

The MC:

Kieran, a terminally ill orphan without family, friends or really any reason to ever leave his appartment when he is not playing the game. One of the last things we hear before he enters the game for the first time is a doctor leaving a message on his phone about how he has limited time to live and that it would be best to start treatment now, but the chances are not good...

Kieran worked hard throughout his life to cough up the money for the treatment, only to come up short, not only because he got screwed all the time (and how is a poor orphan supposed to fight back anyway?), but also because the amount of money he requires is very high. In fact, its higher than a normal human being could ever earn in its lifetime through legal means.

Hence him entering the underground-game where you can not only die at any point, but also become insanely rich overnight.

Marked by a life of hardship Kieran is both insanely focused and analitically-minded, absolutely suspicious of literally everything (seemingly) coincidental, but also remarkably skilled in resolving any scheme or situation to his favour and maximising his results/gains.

Except romance. Kieran doesnt do romance. Like, at all. Except food. Kieran loves food, as long as its not the instant-ramen he is forced to eat in real-life to get by.

Taciturn, overly serious with a hard shell and always out to get more benefits for himself without screwing others over (may they be natives or players) Kieran values true friendship over everything, but you will have to prove yourself and your sincerity before he places even the tiniest amount of trust in you.

Try to screw him over and he will do anything to repay the favour. Not for appearances sake, not out of pride and sure as hell not out of principle. Simply because he is putting everything on the line with this last endeavour and nobody will ever stop him from completing his goal.

Not you.

Not the shadowy cabal of sourcerers behind you.

Not the army/goverment behind them.

Not the god above all that.

(This is just one example of one of his dungeon-runs)

Kierans "edge" and reasons to rise above the masses of "normal" players in the game are the things that drove him to it in the first place. He only has a limited amount of time left, so he needs to become stronger quickly. He will also certainly die if he doesnt come up with the money for the treatment, which makes him take enormous risks for (from others point of view) no reason. Combine this with his intelligence, general work-ethic and state-of-mind and you got yourself a MC you can both symphatize and cheer for without him ending up e.g. prideful or greedy. Well, maybe a little in his heart... but devils in the detail right?

The Dungeons:

Dungeon is inadequate to describe it. Its a world. Literally. Language, timeline, everything. Everytime you enter a dungeon, a new world is generated for you.

You want fantasy? We got it. Futuristic? We got you covered baby! Steampunk? f*ck yeah we got Steampunk! Modern? This timeline is still relevant goddamnit!

But you can only enter each „dungeon“ once, except if you fulfill certain criteria...

Why would you want to go back into the same dungeon you ask?

Several reasons:

1.: The items or skills in this particular dungeon suit where you want to take your character (yourself) in terms of development, but you can only advance further if you revisit a certain teacher/dive deeper into certain sources of knowledge, e.g. books/murals/ancient scrolls. Magic, knowledge, equipment. It all differs from dungeon to dungeon.

2.: You only experienced part of the story/explored only part of the world and think you might miss out (on the rewards) if you dont come back later...

3.: You built a support-network of NPCs and since the runs become progressively harder you hope to utilize it to your advantage.

Your dungeon-rating is calculated after you complete the main-mission (the main-reason you are being placed in this particular dungeon in the first place) and influences both rewards and penalties. More to that under "System".

There are several kinds of dungeon but to describe them would be too spoilery, even for me.

The System:

(Not cheat-system. The literal game-system)

Ding! You are dead! Git Gud scrub!

Just kidding, this system is without personality, humour or any kind of resemblance of character beyond what is required.

You can access details about your character (e.g. attributes like strength, agility, etc.), your mission and your items and skills through the normal menus.

Both items, skills and attributes can and must be upgraded if you wish to progress through the game in a consistent manner (or at all).

This can be done through a variety of ways, both normal, special and self-discovered.

Items are stuff like armor and weapons.

They are ranked through rarity. Common->Uncommon->Magic->Rare->Epic->Legendary->???
There are sub-levels and other stuff, but if you played WoW you get the gist of it.
They can be enhanced through enchantments, socketing gems, absorbing certain somethings from the dungeons (this can be anything, materials, souls, flesh, divinity...) sometimes even "resonance" (which is mostly reserved for higher-rank equipment), which is a piece of your equipment reacting to certain circumstances you find yourself in. Its hard to describe, read the damn novel if you want to know more.

Stats or Attributes are stuff like Strength, Agility, Intuition, Perception, Spirit etc.

They can be enhanced in a variety of ways, but most commonly through both related skills and attribute-points you gain through the dungeon.

Skills are Talents, Systems of Knowledge, active abilities... once again, if you have played any RPG you know what they are.

Skills are mostly aquired through skillbooks (which implant you with the knowledge required to, for example shoot certain weapons, or wield certain powers), upgraded through the ingame-currencies (more to that later) and are the most versatile way to enhance your character after attributes. Think buildings. You cant build a skyscraper without groundwork, you cannot learn certain skills without prerequisite attributes.

There is another way of learning skills though, which is to literally learn them, for example in a dungeon. If you find a teacher you may learn a skill at almost no cost, but you also cannot advance through skill-ups in the traditional way anymore. Its self-study or find that teacher again and hope he knows more of that good stuff...
Or find the related skillbook and convert your self-taught skill into a "normal" one to be able to upgrade it through ordinary means again.

There is a lot more nuance to it than I could explain, but this is the basics.

Oh, and while we are at system-related knowledge: There are not a lot of numbers in this game in regards to combat. If you think that legendary sword is gonna do 100-150 dmg (which means nothing because the author can always make up bigger numbers) you will be "disappointed".

Damage is classified in "relative" terms. A "weak" attack will do some damage, a "strong" attack will deal lots of it. "Extreme" and "Lethal" type of damage kinda speaks for itself, doesnt it?

Authentications (for example a fear-debuff) are checked against your attributes, which are ranked in letters, F, D, E, C... think schoolgrades, the higher the better. Again, sublevels and more nuance than I could explain.

The System also calculates your dungeon-rating at the end of the run and takes things such as general, combat and exploring-performance as well as other stuff into account...



Points->Skillpoints->SPOILER->GOLDEN SPOILER

Again, these are earned through running dungeons, but can also be exchanged between players. Mainly used to enhance your characters skills and equipment, although there are also other uses...


Summary: Read this novel. If it hasnt grown on you after the first 2-3 arcs it might not be for you, but imho you will miss out on one of the better ones around. Also: Dont listen to novelupdates this is nothing like night-ranger.

Just dont expect the usual transmigrating-divine-OP-MC of the heavens who roflstomps through everything and faceslaps everyone. The emotional payoff is not cheap like that.

Kieran is smart, but even he has limits... <<less
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Overclock rated it
November 22, 2017
Status: c174
A really good novel. To sum it up its the better Ultimate Evolution type novel in MC, characters, setting, logic, story telling, and action. I compare it to UE because they have many similarities and both suffer from the disease called Info Dumps, but at least in DC its only restricted to item descriptions.

Edit. Quality drops later on and missions become repetitive. MC doesn't go through the full 20+ missions, his illness is forgotten, we never get a scifi world, and ends abruptly.
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Sanctionite rated it
December 10, 2019
Status: v28c128
I enjoyed it throughout the beginning, but the latter half of the volumes seem to be quite uninspired.

My ending rant.

That dogsh*t end really pushed me into suggesting, don't even read the last two volumes, They are so slow in comparison to the rest of the novel that it feels quite jarring, not many interesting things happen, and those that do are just 'cool'. It feels like we missed a few chapters in between, so I was quite confused at the ending, didn't even get the power upgrade that usually happens at the end of every volume. So anti-climactic and all you think is "That's it? Did it end just like that? What the fu---"


MC and his luck/


Also notable: Qin Ran (Kieran) seems to be one of those MCs who have insane luck in the way that they get the most benefit from every BAD thing to happen to them, so every bad thing actually becomes, most of the time, a beneficial thing.


Character arcs


It seems that most of the character arcs or even basic background are unfulfilled, almost as if the author just dropped the novel before he could finish the character arcs or even give the readers the background of the most important side characters.


I read this over a few years, so most of the book is fuzzy, but the overall feeling I got was that it was entertaining and rather interesting. I recently read the latter half of the novel, and my takeaway was more negative than my memory of the former half of the volumes. My guess is that the author dropped the novel and decided to end it before he properly fulfilled the promises to the audience. If you care more about the story and characters, I would NOT recommend this novel. If you like power fantasies, this is for you, it has interesting worlds and decent plotlines in said worlds.
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Bull3thole rated it
September 23, 2019
Status: c609
Good word of mouth for this novel seems like it was for the early phase for this novel and the potential it had. It kept my interest for about 200-300 chapters and then it got boring. The game system was interesting and the dungeon was cool because they were different everytime he entered. I thought that the dungeons would be episodic but I'm glad he could go back to some dungeons where the people there can see his growth. In the end, it got boring.

Heres why I dropped this novel

  1. The synopsis about his illness is resolved in the first 100 chapters. He's now continuing so he can have a good life: making money to live in comfort. For me, it seems like he could do this by the 600 chapter mark, but he is still risking his life still actively playing this game. The author creates some BS that you get cursed and die if you don't finish this game.
  2. No development for the MC. Doesn't mention the real world except for a few sentences of the MC eating and doing errands in real life.
  3. Side characters are boring and not developed. One of the MC's close friends in the game is a hitman in real life. SMH. His personality doesn't seem realistic either.
  4. Dungeons got boring. MC is always in control of every situation. It's too boring when the MC never loses.
  5. Repeating the same boring plot: Goes to dungeons, completes it, level up his skills, kill real people in the game, and repeat. There's no sense of tension when their lives are supposed to be on the line. (My main reason for dropping this novel).
  6. There's really no game aspect and strategy for this game. Being a solo player (all-around character) seems way better than a specific player type. Guilds and guild wars are barely mentioned after it was introduced.
  7. MC gets too many skills that nothing is really unique anymore.
This is why I dropped this novel. The repeated boring plotline and not developing the game outside of dungeons is the downfall for me.
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Ignus rated it
July 1, 2017
Status: c33
C33 marks the end of the first arc. An entertaining read that it's style stands out from other game element novels

Its like reading a game of Metal Gear Solid. ... more>>

MC gets same skill set as Snake, and the first arc is like completing an extended mission.


Action is nice, and story is somewhat intelligent. It looks like MC will stay weaker than his challenge and require brains to complete the missions.

A few things bothered me. Stuff that broke immersion of feeling the game world, that the author choose to ignore or add to move the story along.


1. MC doesn't full explore gaining skills, which can boost his stats. Sure there is some, but there are some serious misses in this category. For me, I would try out everything to get as many skills as possible, and since this didn't happen, I couldn't help but cry out after every chapter, please use a blunt weapon, try throwing knives...

2. MC does really well on his noob starting area that has golden opportunities, so what happens, he gets penalized by changing it from 7 days to 3 days. He could unlock so many skills, either by performing actions, help out NPC, which could lead to learning and unlocking skills, or killing military experts to loot skill tomes. All these of course would raise his stats.

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earthdrake rated it
March 8, 2018
Status: c333
If you want another novel where the MC is always perfect and right and everything then come right in. After volume 8/9/10 things start to fall into predictable patterns that behave always the same.
Last 2 volumes I read had almost no surprises at all, you knew what was going to happen (in broad terms) and you could even guess the rating and how the MC char grows.

This is an excellent novel with a few flaws.

the pace is great, however from time to time there are infodump chapters where nothing important happens.

the characters are good, there is little physical descriptions most of the time, like a dude appeared, is dressed like so, that's it, however it's okay and most important characters are properly described.

the plot is good and the red herrings are noticeable to create a proper expectation, my only complain is that most are a bit too much noticeable.

However there are two hard faults. First is that there is little to no details of the reality, like the MC has to go back to eat something from time to time? Rest? There is a bit of that at the beginning of the novel, but after a few dungeons he appears to always be online.

the second fault is the vrmmo tag. It IS proper as everything happens online however it bears very little resemblance to a vrmmo game, is more like thriller paradise or the infinty genre where the MC enters endless dungeons using the author base (instead of using movies or things like that). Sadly this fault is not of the itself but of the tags and description. There should be a tag for this infinity system.

as half a complaint the description is quite bad, it's a bit misleading and does no justice to the novel (although after reading the novel is appropriate)
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Sinai rated it
February 8, 2018
Status: c269
Read through about Ch. 108 so far. Great internal consistency in this story, and shockingly, a MC who is actually pretty smart, has a reason and motivation for his actions, and doesn't completely shun help when he needs it.

Anyway, MC voluntarily joins a VRMMO death game in order to earn money for an operation (on himself), which gives him essentially a reason to risk his life. The VRMMO is set up into a series of self-contained missions, at the end of which he is sent back into a hub to... more>> prepare for the next mission. While theoretically he can log out, essentially he has no life worth speaking of in the real world and he needs to power up quickly to save his life, so for the purposes of the MC's story it's essentially very similar to VRMMOs where characters are trapped in the world.

The MC doesn't really have much character to him, but that's sort of forgivable given that he's generally competent and driven. There's some reasonably decent side characters, but the episodic nature of the story prevents them from long-term development or gaining interest in them in general with the exception of other PCs, and those haven't really been strongly used other than info dumps.

It's a little distressing he doesn't try to powergame and min/max his build given the free availability of a player trading system with very minimal account-bound items, he just kind of rolls with the skills he picked up in his newbie mission despite exponentially increasing costs to level them - as time passes new skills are exceedingly cheap compared to leveling old skills and even at lvl 1 they're the equivalent of a very highly skilled normal person - basic skill in dagger and sneak has him OHKO assassinating street thugs by the dozen, and basic skill in light arms gives him one-shot headshot mastery of all light firearms. Imagine you could learn to be a great computer hacker, or a Casanova, or able to speak every modern language for $10 in a store you pass by every day, and you know this, but you never so much as walk into the store.

Which might be more reasonable, except he's intentionally soloing missions instead of working in teams, so he has enormous skill gaps he doesn't really realize, and there's frankly quite a bit of plot armor that keeps him from being killed outright. For example, in his 3rd mission, he plays mercenary, and just as all the team is about to be poisoned eating a meal, he happens to detect it with a skill he coincidentally picked up in his 1st mission. Which is fine, but there's really no reason he hasn't died in any number of ways from soloing without being a jack-of-all-trades given the game's general unfairness. Or how he picked up a lockpicking skill recently, but up until he got the lockpicking skill, he's never encountered a locked door or chest or cabinet or anything, which is just a non-deadly form of plot armor.

There are fun quirks that keep the different worlds fresh; in his 2nd mission, he's basically Sherlock Holmes, and the MC alters his speech accordingly on the theory that playing his assigned character role will make the NPCs act more positively, which appears to be correct although it's not really proven either way. At any rate, the fact that he's essentially shifting to different settings allows the story to keep from getting dull, and the author is quite good at pulling off a variety of settings that feel significantly different.

All in all, a well-written, entertaining and refreshingly different take on a stat-based VRMMO with a Quantum Leap/Sliders-ish feel (apparently this is a sorta established genre in the Chinese webnovel world, but I haven't read others).

edit: up to chapter 269

Quality remains overall high, but it becomes obvious there's a great deal of railroading in the story - things happen because the author wants them to, not because they make sense. Also frustrating is we keep being told how smart and powerful the MC is getting, but he's unable to significantly outpace the power curve in the "game". Missions ostensibly of the same level of previous missions offer him as much trouble as when he was at far lower levels of power, and there appears to be no good reason for this.

Also, as MC continues to play the game fairly badly pretty much bumbling around at random, it's very unclear why he's better than other players other than pure luck. Example: He's wasted skill points on no less than SEVEN weapon paths: hand-to-hand, dagger, spears, bows, light firearms, swords, and attacking magic. You know how many defensive skills he's learned? One. Exactly one. Which he got automatically without trying, otherwise his dumbass probably wouldn't have thought about it. Bro, maybe invest some points in some more passives, armor/defense, or general skills and you won't almost die every mission. <<less
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bobbyb123 rated it
November 30, 2020
Status: Completed
To start off, I think the review by oxybro is an excellent breakdown of the novel and I completely agree with it. So, it would be worth reading that first.

Out of all the VR novels I've read, this one is definitely up there for a few reasons, but it also has some really bad cons that prevent me from rating it highly. This novel does have a fairly decent reviews and the pros are mostly well highlighted in others, so I wanted to highlight the cons that really bothered me:

... more>>
    • Lack of variety with the dungeon worlds. Near the beginning of the novel, Lawless mentions that he has awful luck and ended up in a myriad of dungeon worlds including ones with alien spaceships. I was really hoping we'd get to see more than the typical medieval or industrial age, where guns basically always apply. 90% of the worlds entail Kieran being a detective, which got a little repetitive for me at the end.
    • Terrible character growth. The MC starts off as a prudent and cautious individual with some amount of dimensionality to him, but eventually devolves into someone completely unreasonable and paranoid, to the point that he will shutdown anyone and everyone without further investigation, which ultimately hinders his options and slows the plot progression. He also becomes completely obsessed with food and wealth to the point that it was incredibly frustrating, as we'd see repetitive and endless paragraphs about food descriptions that detracted from the story
    • Lack of depth to every single character, including the MC. If you think about it, we know absolutely nothing about anyone. Take Lawless for example, the main side character and the MC's best friend. We know that he used to part of some assassin (?) organization with Rachel and others and used to go by the name Tiger King, and that his group joined the VR world to find someone, perhaps Broker. He has some sort of personality disorder and has a complicated relationship with Rachel. That is everything we know about him. All other characters are worse in this sense, as the author uses the idea of "privacy is respect" even amongst the closest of friends, so the MC will never get further involved with anyone. Similarly, we know nothing about the MC, besides that he is a poor orphan who can't afford medication.
    • Lack of exploration in the VR overworld. It is mentioned that the city is changing everyday, but it doesn't really mention the bounds of the city. The MC never goes anywhere besides Rachel's and a few players' houses. When the MC is weak, this is understandable, but I was hoping this would change as he grew stronger. We basically know nothing about what else is out there. Perhaps we'd see more in depth marketplaces, or black markets, or an arena, or some place where people would gather and interact on a more intimate level, besides the time he goes to the clocktower or to a food stall street with Starbeck. Aspects of the system itself are also similarly ignored, such as the built in capabilities of system itself and the in-game store. We know basically nothing about the technology. The MC joins during a guild war but what does that entail? Player houses are basically indestructible so how does the fight work? Who even are these guilds? How many players are in the city? What's the distribution? Why is there no sort of public ranking or information board about others? So many things I would've liked to see here.
    • Lack of plot progression in the real world. I think in the entire 2000+ chapters, there is probably only a single page dedicated to the real world (excluding the last chapter). I have a ton of questions pertaining to this such as:
        • What happens to the MC's illness, considering he only had months to live?
        • How was he making money in the first place to survive if spent 24/7 in the game? The MC always chose not to sell his in-game equipment when the topic was broached since he wanted to focus on virtual survival first.
        • How does he regulate bodily functions while gaming?
        • This game is also supposedly made by some organization, but this is also never once broached, nor do we understand much of the technological level of the current world besides a few mentions of robots at a similar level to the ones that Broker has.
        • How are people being "cursed" when they breach the terms of the game in real life?
        • What is the effect of the game on the MC's real body? If his body itself doesn't improve, do any of the mental changes or skills he's learned transition over to real life?
        • What about all the side characters in real life? I was hoping the MC would eventually recover enough to join and support Lawless and Rachel with whatever trouble they were in, but this never happens
    • Many loose ends. There were plenty of dungeon stories that were painstakingly built up, such as the Shaman dungeon with Nikorei and Mary's situation in the Queen's world, but we never see how they conclude despite seemingly crucial developments happening in each of them. What was Nikorei's plans for 2567? What was that strange black and white world at the end of the dungeon with Mary before we finally meet Wu who mentions he's got an aura of death? Then in the overworld itself, what about the other higher ups in the game? For example, who the hell is the elder that helped Lawless out on the last page of chapter 882? Another thing is Starbeck. The MC got freaked out by the idea of intimate contact with other guys but ends up endlessly stroking Starbeck's head near the end of the book. Wtf happened here or did the MC somehow realize that Starbeck was a girl with no visible foreshadowing?
    • Ignoring the effects of long dungeon times. We are told that regardless of how many months or years are spent in a dungeon, only one hour passes in the overworld. Putting aside the whole scientific logic of this, how is our MC able to literally nonchalantly pick up where he left off after exiting one of these dungeons with no time needed to adjust? The Blacksmith mentions that she finds it necessary to take days off in the real world at least, while some people take some time to digest in the overworld, but the MC seems to need none at all and can keep context switching without issue

There are some other issues as well but these are the main ones that come to mind. There is of course the bad pacing such as the final dungeon arc which came out of nowhere and felt like it had little to do with anything, the complete 180 of Broker, and the insanely rushed resolution with the Witch, but that is already well talked about in other reviews.


To summarize: the author bit off way more than he could chew. The premise is interesting and ambitious, and certain aspects, such as the mini dungeon worlds, are well thought out and have depth to them, but most other aspects of the novel are completely one dimensional and were either abandoned, ignored, or rushed. Even the good aspects eventually are lost, such as how well thought out scenarios with decent foreshadowing suddenly make no sense and are resolved with a deus ex machina type ending. After a certain point in the novel, you'll notice that the MC will never suffer a loss in any situation and has seemingly thought of everything, but you won't necessarily know what his methods are until then end, and even then it won't make sense.

I would give the first 2/3rds of the novel a 5, which eventually drops down to a 1 by the end. But I'd average this to a final rating of 3.5/5. <<less
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Fan2zz rated it
April 6, 2018
Status: c371
It's a really good novel. Especially like that the MC isn't a sociopath or tyrant like in most Chinese novels. It's definitely five stars, but my only real complaint is the ending of the mc's fourth main mission.

... more>>

The underground game and it's system is simple when it sets difficulty for the mission. For main missions the game sets the difficulty by an average/standard level based on the number of missions the player has been on. Like the tenth main mission will only be as difficult as the standard level of a player on their tenth main mission. Only the main mission and does not account the the actual players abilities. Of course the system keeps upping the difficulty, so just barely getting by isn't enough to stay alive for long, but it isn't too extreme.

Now to my complaint. During the mc's 4th main mission he fought the boss and... to sum it up the MC got stun locked to death by a cut scene of sorts. The MC lived through BS plot armor, but that's besides the point. The point is that this stun lock should never have happened according to our understanding of how difficulty progress works even when faced with the boss.

The MC at this point in the story is abnormally strong for his dungeon progression. He scored perfect or above in his newbie and three main missions. He also scored a perfect or above in two team missions and a special mission. Additionally the MC has been collecting items and selling them for high prices multiple times. The result of this is that the MC is far, far above what is expected of a 4th time player in all areas, yet the author wrote a cut scene that almost killed him just as he met the boss of his fourth mission.

Specifically it required the player to have a very high level of a stat that is reguard as the most difficult stat to raise in the game. The MC even had the stat higher than average when he entered the game and has been raising it regularly through great effort, yet this 4th mission boss practically killed him and he only survived the ordeal through God tier plot armor. The MC even in a team mission of similar difficulty when facing the boss that required a high spirit wasn't nearly as demanding. This was just a horrible BS ending.


Also the cost of heals is s*upid. Losing an arm or major organ would bankrupt any ace player of the game and ruin them. <<less
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Epythymy rated it
October 3, 2019
Status: c1318
I've got a mixed impression about this novel.

During the whole story its quality is going up and down. Several times I've praised the author, and sometimes I've cursed him and wanted to drop it. Some arcs were great, while some were a disappointment.

Despite having 'vrmmorpg' in the description and action/adventure genre tags it wouldn't be a mistake to say that novel's main focus lays in detective/investigation activity.

Whether you like the novel or not will heavily depend on your tastes and preferences. So I will list its particularly noteworthy traits down... more>> below.
  1. MC is portrayed as a smart and vigilant type who mainly uses his brain before and during the fights, so you can say that there will be no suspense during the battles. MC is acting only when he is at least 99% sure that his preparations are enough.
  2. MC is particularly ruthless towards his enemies. If he has a chance he will kill everyone who looks at him with bad intentions. But you can't call him psychotic though, it is just that if you don't kill first you will get into trouble sooner rather than later here.
  3. MC is a loner. He is vigilant and distrustful towards everyone, because of this he has very few friends but he cherishes them a lot.
  4. There is no romance here. At least during the first 1300 chapters. There are some potential heroines but it is unknown how it will turn out to be.
  5. The best quality of the novel is its world building. It has a very mysterious backstory and the exploration of several different 'worlds' is the main point of interest here.
  6. The level-up system is intriguing and I really anticipated to see how the protagonist will grow, but the battles are really dull and lackluster here most of the time.
In addition there are lots of minor plot holes and problems with logic. Some details and explanations are skipped and glossed over. For example I still do not know how the heck the inventory is working here. MC is going around carrying his bag, but he can swap or take out anything he needs out of it during the battle with the speed of light. Author didn't give any explanation about how it's supposed to work.

If you don't have any problems with the things I've mentioned then you should give this novel a try. <<less
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ninthlite rated it
October 21, 2017
Status: c153
It's a decent novel, nothing particularly unique or well written. It's nothing more than stat p*rn, as the MC shifts from one scenario to the next without any meaningful interactions, thoughts, or actions. All you get is the MC killing a random one dimensional character, getting stats, then going to the next zone. Which is not bad, but this novel is not thought out in any way. I've read Let's Plays of rpg games that have more depth than this.
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July 17, 2020
Status: Completed
i literally didn't realize that the novel was finished. I woke up everyday for four days looking for an updated before giving and coming to check on novel updates to see if there was something wrong, only to see that the novel was finished. Strong start, OK middle and a crappy ending
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July 7, 2020
Status: Completed
I read all the way until the end and overall its a very good book and until the last parts it was a interesting read but the problem with it is that the author made too many plot lines meaning that while he could reach an ending it left far to many questions open.

Overall what would have made the book better would of been if the number of plot lines were reduced and only kept the ones that were finished or had a ending that could of ended the book.

... more>>

The book had many plot lines that could of been used as an ending such as why in most worlds the hell and other supernatural related powers were fading which could even tie in with the shaman plot line. It would of been easy for the book to have an ending that only had a fraction of the remanding plotholes

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