The main heroine of the game is a young woman named Cadence, though other characters are unlocked and played as you progress through the game.
Different characters are connected to different Achievements.
There are currently 10 characters playable in the game.
Cadence is the daughter of Melody and Dorian. Eli is her paternal uncle, and Aria is her maternal grandmother.
Cadence goes to the Crypt of the NecroDancer against the wishes of her uncle Eli in order to search for her father. Dorian went to the Crypt two years prior to the events in the game to find the Golden Lute. When Cadence arrives at the Crypt, she begins digging for an entrance, when suddenly the ground beneath her splits open. She falls into the Crypt and strikes her head on a rock as she lands. Fatally wounded, Cadence lies motionless on the floor of the Crypt...until the NecroDancer appears and steals her heart, cursing it to forever beat to his music. The NecroDancer takes Cadence's heart and heads to his lair deeper into the crypt.
Cadence awakens shortly after and senses something is wrong. She ventures deeper into the crypt in order to save her father and lift her curse.
The value in the health field represents the number of starting maximum Heart Containers in "All Zones" mode. All characters start with a shovel, dagger, and one bomb (unless otherwise specified).
|Default||Default character|| The main protagonist. Default gameplay.
Choral has the same mechanics as Cadence and is played by player 2 in co-op or can be selected in gameplay options .
|Default||Unlocked By Default||Octavian (aka The Necrodancer) prior to his discovery of the Golden Lute. Moves freely with no beat, with enemies acting immediately after he does.|
|Complete Zone 3||Has undertaken a vow of poverty, resulting in instant death upon picking up any gold or the Crown of Greed.|
(+1 from Ring)
|Complete Zone 2|| Pacifist, prohibiting directly damaging or killing enemies.
Can only use the Flower for a weapon, which inflicts no damage and confuses enemies. Bombs teleport enemies instead of dealing damage. Stairs are always unlocked, and boss fights are skipped.
|Complete Zone 1||
Cadence's uncle. Has infinite Bombs and the ability to kick them by jumping toward the bomb.
||Complete Zone 4 as Monk||Bolt and all enemies move at double speed.|
|Defeat Dead Ringer as Cadence|| Cadence's father. Cannot replace his Boots of Leaping or Platemail.
Walking without Boots of Leaping active will cause Dorian to take 0.5 damage each step.
|Complete Zone 4 as Cadence||
Cadence's mother. Can only use the Golden Lute for a weapon.
|Complete Zone 4 as Melody|| Cadence's grandmother. Can only use a Dagger for a weapon.
Cannot gain any additional Heart Containers.
Dies to missed beats.
Progresses through zones in reverse, but the enemies from previous zones will still appear.
||Complete "All Characters" Mode||
Combines the restrictions of Bolt, Aria and Monk.