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This is a bit like old 2d zelda games, but at the same time not that much like old 2d zelda games, there aren't really specific dungeon areas, or there are but they aren't like zelda dungeons, the world is maybe a bit like something like fez or the witness as it's a bit puzzley, but also not quite like them.


the game world is full of hidden paths and secrets, anywhere there's possibly a hidden path or chest, there probably is one, you spend a lot of time walking into walls and into areas you can't see properly to find this stuff but i like the exploring.


the combat is supposed to be pretty hard and i nearly got killed by one of the first bad guys so turned the accessibility options on pretty quick - infinite health and stamina - this sort of negates some of the items/pickups which are for combat/health but you don't really need them any more, for me it's definitely the right choice as i'm rubbish at the combat and would probably die a lot and give up, and the puzzling/exploring is still good fun and the main draw of the game for me. 


there is a problem with infinite health though, it's a very open world and you can pretty much go anywhere from the start - especially if the harder enemies can't stop you. so from the start i probably followed the proper path for the first hour, got the sword etc. then the next 2 to 3 hours were spent doing the wrong things in the wrong places, but you can still get powerups/collectables in these areas so it's not a complete waste of time, but i'll probably need to go back to these places later. but i still enjoyed this exploration. i think i had most of the other weapons in the game before i got the shield which i think youre supposed to get early on.


but after this i looked up some stuff so i could make some progress, as i wasn't sure what i was looking for i thought these doors were blocking me but turns out they were for later on but finding out how to open some of them as i go along will save having to find them again later.

anyway then made pretty quick progress through the first main section of the game


up to the bit you open the golden door

but then i didn't know what to do after that so looked up some more stuff just to point me in the right direction, turns out you need to collect things, i already had one of them.


the game barely explains anything to you, well it does but in a round about way - you get manual pickups - like pages of the in game manual, but they are only partially in english. the manual does explain a lot but you can miss the pages or get them out of order so it can be pretty confusing.


some things i wish i'd known earlier than the manual tells you - i found these by looking up stuff on the internet but think the manual tells you at some point:


you power up at the save station (what i assume are save stations anyway) by presenting items to it.


things like monoliths or gold plates you interact with by holding the A (roll) button


you can run by holding A (roll) too


 so yeah overall i'm enjoying it, the exploration and puzzles are fun. i think i'd prefer more hand holding personally as while i have worked a lot of stuff out on my own i've also looked up quite a lot too.


edit - it's on gamepass

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sort of finished this now it ends up getting more and more obscure near the end so i was looking up more and more stuff not helped by when i went the right way for once i seemed to have a bug or bad item equipped and couldnt damage enemies then the game crashed went back there and could damage stuff fine no idea whats going on in the plot apparently theres loads of stuff to do to unlock a proper ending so not sure if i will be attempting that so yeah its been good but not as much near the end but maybe more because of my inability to solve the puzzles and work out what to do next^ couldn't post that, removed all punctuation and

tags and it eventually worked.

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Went back and got the proper ending using a guide, still dont really understand the story, not sure there was much point, oh well. Overall enjoyed it, was really enjoying it at the start but as the puzzles ramp up in confusingness i was not enjoying it as much near the end. Its a cool game though, if you like solving mad puzzles like in fez youll probably like it.

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7 hours ago, spatular said:

solving mad puzzles like in fez youll probably like it.


Reading your posts Fez is what this sounded like to me. Another indie game where the puzzles start off neat and clever but overtime become so self indulgent and up it's own ass it's just obnoxious. I don't remember the specifics but there was a puzzle in Fez where the answer was the name of the previous company the developer worked at or something. Like fuck off, you cunt. 


Not really played Tunic yet outside the demo but your posts were making me sceptical about playing it, especially the more you made it sound like Fez. Combined with how ridiculously hard I thought the demo was...


ugh. I will probably still try it, but knowing it's a super hard game and now knowing it rides it's own dick is killing my interest in it 


Maybe lower expectations will help. 

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I played a couple hours of this today. Beat the first real boss and rung the second bell/tuning folk. 

I’m having a really good time with it, actually. This game is good fun so far. 

It’s no way near as hard as the demo but part of that is because it isn’t the same. In the demo items and enemies were in different places, I assume so they could show people what’s in the game but in a smaller section of the map, and it made for a real brutal experience. Like the first 5 minutes of the demo was just walking in to death left and right. 

What’s made it easier is the starting area enemies are toned down and the harder ones aren’t anywhere to be seen. I’ve also worked out how to upgrade my character in terms of stats which obviously makes things go easier too. 

In terms of the puzzles. I get the Fez feeling already. We’ll see how it plays out and if it does get obnoxious. So far not so bad. My #1 tip so far would be press the character up against every wall. I’ve found tonnes of secret chests and even secret rooms by randomly rubbing the character along darkened walls. In fact I found one secret room in the Old House with a bunch of pedestals in that I can’t use yet. Seems like a super important, hidden thing. 

The design of this game is odd. It’s working, but it’s odd. Firstly it’s got this Dark Souls style obscurity about it where you find a bunch of shit and it doesn’t tell you what it does. Both key items and consumables. It’s also another indie game (like Fez) where it’s got it’s own language. So if you wanted to sit there and decipher what the items do and what this sign post means, etc, you probably could. 

But also the game is leaving bits of what is essentially the game manual around the map. So you find different pages and it’ll have either a clue, a map, or straight up instructions on how to play the game. I’m not sure what I think of it yet. It’s kind of cool, and very helpful. At the same time kind of feels like a concession in the design or confidence of the developers. Like they want to go Dark Souls, but they don’t want to go too Dark Souls so if you’re patient it’ll say, oh, this does that, get this here, do these locations in this order. There was even one page that showed the boss and it says “Make sure you’re this strength” then shows the players attack, defence and health all at level 3 lol. It’s a very weird choice. But I don’t hate it. It’s just weird. 

The pathing in this game is odd, too. But again it works. I’m finding my way through a mixture of fumbling, experimenting and studying the manual pages. Which feels like what you’re meant to be doing. But I dunno. The world isn’t completely satisfying to navigate and explore so far. I can’t put my finger on why, though. I think I might just be tired of this super vague, don’t tell the player, Dark Souls game design. That type of game has it’s place and can be great fun. But sometimes it’s also just nice knowing where you are and what you’re meant to be doing. 

I like it but a bit mixed on the over world and dungeons. I don’t really love the way this game looks or sounds either. It’s ok, but the style isn’t doing too much for me.

Overall, though, at 2 hours really liking it. A fantastic Gamepass and a fantastic Sunday game actually. A nice, thoughtful, harder and slower paced kind of Zelda game. The real game is surprisingly chill compared to how hellish the demo was

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Played some more of this last night. Did a forest temple and beat a stupidly annoying boss. It's an enemy that essentially circle strafes you and it's so hard to catch. It also has two weak points. It's face and a energy tank thing hanging off it's ass. The face is dangerous and the tank is very hard to get near. Lucky I've played Elden Ring lately as practice. 


Spoilers but the game also did something super cool


So you can pray by holding down the A button for 3 seconds. I really like it when games do this. Where you have a mechanic or ability the whole time you just never knew about it. Like the wall jump in Super Metroid, etc


What was even better is I started using it in specific places and finding crazy secrets! Most secrets I can't do anything with yet. But finding them made me feel like a genius. Which is always a good feeling.


The more of these super obscure games I play like Dark Souls, Fez, Axiom Verge, etc the better I get at working shit out and putting pieces together. I felt very brainy last night. 


I also managed to get the hook shot, too, which should open up the world a lot. 


I still don't particularly enjoy the world itself in terms of art and atmosphere but the construction of it and the fact I've managed to find a lot of secrets in the game on my own is making me like the puzzle aspects of it a lot. 

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Played more of this today up to the half way point and actually this is getting amazing? 


I'll speak vaguely because I think it's one of those games where everything is a spoiler so 


I cleared the Quarry zone which is where the story/lore reveals itself more. It was already heading in a direction, and this just furthered that. But it was pretty cool to see more of it explained like oh. I thought this was fucked up, turns out it's really fucked up. There is probably more to reveal here still. Room for more of a twist. There are definitely still some questions I have about what's going on. Hopefully it explains that, too. 


But I got to the game's half way point (Presumably) and fought the boss which honestly I think anyone would see coming. That was really obvious. What is not obvious is what happens next 



So the goddess/spirit fox that I've been trying to save turns evil with a big fuck off sword and killed me. That bit I saw coming a mile away, I think anybody would. I'll give them props that through the animation alone it seems the fox is a slave to the sword. It's like she doesn't want to do it but can't help it. I pick that up through the animation/body language. If that is the case then very well done.


The boss fight is like those mandatory death boss fights at the beginning of a Souls' game. You could win, but you're not really meant to win. In the spirit world player stats are set back to 0, she takes next to no damage and kills in 2 hits, and dying leads in to the next part of the game so a definitely 'a meant to lose' boss fight. 


Upon death you go back to the start of the game but in the spirit form. So stats are reset to 0. The world has now turned in to a 'dark' version of itself. Poison and lighting every where. There are also now other spirit foxes standing around that can be spoken too, but it's the game's language so dunno what they're saying. 


The game leads to a graveyard/swamp area where I assume that is where you're supposed to go next. There is a cathedral with a lot of other foxes worshipping something, and holding a energy being hostage, draining it's power. This is where the story still needs some explaining. Because it seemed like this world was based on some kind of religion which turns out to be bullshit. All the shrines, things you pray at, even this big mystical door. It's all smoke and mirrors and really powered by technology. There's like a science faction which has captured energy beings and drained them of energy to power the technology. Not to say that there is no religion or higher power spirits. But maybe they were under attack from a science cult, or the science cult is trapping the gods away because the gods are evil. Not sure. But it's weird that these religious fox beings are doing the same thing as the science cult. 


Anyway, point being is I got to the bottom of the cathedral and hit a wave based coliseum challenge. 6-7 rounds of bad guys which were pretty easy except 2 of them. One was like 30 flying drones and the other was fighting 2 x a early boss. This took a few goes but once I did it I got an incredible new item! It's a head band thing which enables a dash ability like Hyper Light Drifter. Really good for fighting because it's a spammable dodge move that covers a huge distance. Also good for exploring because it gets me across gaps. This explains all these items I've been seeing all game that have been out of reach and I couldn't figure out how to get. 


Which leads in to the best thing. Early I worked out that praying at Hero Shrines warps me to a spirit world section with upgrade items just out of reach. Now when I dash to one I can get it, but it doesn't upgrade my stats, it lets me bring my stats in to the spirit world! What an amazing revelation and idea! This is how I'm going to beat that mid game boss and get past this spirit section.


Even though it's a gameplay and not a story thing. That was a awesome moment. It's not storytelling, but the set up of finding these hidden collectibles hours ago and now not only getting them, but it being such an amazing suprise in what they do - brilliant. I really enjoyed that and how it came about 


So yes today was an amazing session and it's making me like this game even more now as its all becoming clear. Also because of some tough fights I've started messing around with the card system and the perks what they do. It's actually really cool and can be used very strategically. I got stuck at one boss and found a card that turns my health potions in to mana potions. So I used a late game items that hurts the boss a lot but I could only use 3 times. Turning my health potions in to mana means I could then use it 8 times lol. Which meant I could take 75-80% health off the boss for free. Then finish with regular attacks. I had no health potions so couldn't afford to get hit that much, but it made me feel smart for using the systems in the game in a clever way.


I dunno. Maybe it's just me but this game is getting better and better. I hate it when people say "Oh the game gets good after x amount of hours". But this game is doing that. The game play set-ups and pay-offs are pretty fucking good and I've gone from a "Yeah, this game's Ok" to a "Actually this game is really good". 

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So I've played this a bit now.  It's a frustrating game.  There's lots of objectively cool shit going on but I'm constantly waiting for it to be cool in a way I like.


The combat sucks; and that annoys me in a specific way because it's clearly trying to build from classic Zelda ( LttP has better combat than it's given credit for) which has a combat system that has a nuance that is missed or unappreciated here.


I've seen this happen with a few games I played.  Deaths Door is like this too; it has Zelda-like elements but they're just worse. I was so disappointed by this game.


I know this game is being clever in cool ways but I'm done with it.  I figured out a lot of its nonsense and don't feel good about it.  


I have the Whip to get me around.  That's where I'm at.  But I'm done.

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I’m stuck trying to work out the secret ending. I think I know what the game wants I just can’t figure out how to do it



I think the Holy Cross is behind the big door behind the Old House. It’s one of the doors that only opens with d-pad inputs. I found a spirit fox in the forest which says “Holy Cross” and she points her arms in directions. I think I’m supposed to copy those directions and input them at the door. But it doesn’t work. I can’t find any other clue.


The game also keeps mentioning a Seeking Spell. I saw the symbol for it on the map. It’s at the very west of the gardens, and I can zoom over to a lonely, suspicious tree in the same place as the symbol on the map. But no idea what to do. In the book there’s also a pedestal of some kind that shows the Seeking Spell symbol. The pedestal is under a waterfall but again, no idea how to connect these things. I guess use the Seeking Spell on the pedestal. Dunno.


There’s a random enemy walking in a set path on a chessboard looking floor. I think I’m supposed to make the table in the  Ruined Atoll Tower do the same movements but can’t get there anymore because where the table would be is now filled with poison. 

Lastly I got 5/6 of my stats back but the last one is in the Quarry. I only know 2 ways in, both blocked by poison. According to the clues I can get in through the door on the mountaintop. But again no idea how to open it. The picture in the book shows my character sitting on the step to the door frustrated. Is it saying I just need to put the pad down and wait and it’ll let me in? Just don’t know.

I’m really at a dead end now. The only good thing I can say is I found one of the games 12 super secret things. Although I suspect it was the most obvious one. But that’s good, though. 

I’ll give it a bit more before resorting to Google. But my game time says I’m at 17 hours (How did that happen I thought it would be closer to 8 hours 😮) so I don’t want to spend much longer on it. Especially because I feel like I’ve bashed my head against every wall now. 

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Yeah, thanks. I ended up looking at achievement guides and getting everything in the end. There’s 2 missable achievements. 1 for getting a different weapon before the sword and one for holding 10 money bags at once. The former can be done in 5 minutes with No Fail Mode and the latter can be done in NG+ so I’ll get both of those later.


Yeah, the ending and all the puzzles turned me off the game a bit.


I’ll give it some credit, that some of the puzzles I could have got if I were a bit more observant.

There are some puzzles I would never have got, but the answers are in the game and if you’re smart enough, or that type of secret hunter then I guess the answers are there, technically (Although I’ve never met anybody like this, I don’t know how people figure this stuff out).

But then there are a few puzzles which is like fuck off you cunt



This not even the worst offender, just one of the shortest.


I dunno. Can you blame a game for making you feel stupid? Same way can you blame a game when it makes you feel bad and enforces a lot of negativity? This is what the end of the game and following these guides did. I was saying I was liking this game more and more because it was making me feel smart. I’m piecing things together, learning the game’s language (not including it’s actual language) things also coming together naturally. I liked it, that was fun.


Then in the last 2 hours hunting down all these things there’s just layers to this shit which I just don’t like. I can’t tell if I’m being anti-intellectual or something or this game is just a pretentious ass


I don’t know. I started at about a 6, I think this game got to an 8, and then all this end game/secret stuff put me off a lot. I just don’t like these kinds of puzzles or attitudes these indie games have sometimes. 

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  • 5 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

A developer did a breakdown of the work that went in to making the game’s audio language secrets.



I do respect it, but I also hate it. I’m all for devs putting original ideas in their games, even if those ideas aren’t for everybody. Like Souls games I don’t believe games should have to cater to wide audiences with difficulty options if not the developer’s vision/intention, same way I don’t think dev’s should have to cater to wide audiences even in something like puzzles. If your vision is some bullshit, then I support your bullshit.


But this takes a leap because unless you studied music/sound engineering how would you get it? Why would your mind even make the leap of ‘oh, this writing is cues for sound’


Yes they technically put the answers and an instruction manual in the game. Which was part of what made the game so great, when figuring out what some of it meant. But there’s this whole other layer to it which isn’t just hard, it’s if you don’t have the required knowledge base from outside the game then you just can’t get it. And I think that’s too much.


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  • 1 month later...

I’m a couple of hours into this now. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s certainly a very unoriginal game, clearly taking inspiration from Zelda, Dark Souls and to some extent Fez. It’s a solid amalgamation of those games, but whether it manages to be as good as them remains to be seen. Anyway, I’ve just arrived at a placed called the West Garden.

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My experience of the game is starting to go downhill fast with the first boss. First of all the boss requires a tedious run up which takes a minute or two and involves holding down the sprint button to pass numerous enemies (you could stop and fight them but there’s no point). It doesn’t help that the soft padding is long gone on my left analogue stick so my thumb is not thanking me for holding down the button for that long. And the run to the boss ends with you pressing A to climb a ladder which as we all know from years of climbing ladders in games - doesn’t always work.


The fight itself is just horrible, mostly because of the controls. Bear in mind I explored every nook and cranny in the game (up to this point) and have boosted my stats multiple times (god help someone who fights him at close to your starting strength). In this game you press A to roll and if you hold down A your character will then sprint (there is no sprint button). However if you let go of A at any point during the roll (which is very easy to do) your character won’t sprint, but you won’t realise that until you physically see him walking and not running on the screen, which may or may not be too late.


The boss’s attacks would be easy enough to avoid if the controls weren’t so finicky. Most of his attacks can be avoided by moving in a constant circle but half the time the fox will roll in a straight line instead, so his attack will still hit you. Most of the time you’re just battling the controls rolling in the wrong direction or walking when you want to be sprinting. It doesn’t help that potions heal a tiny portion of your health and the healing animation takes time.


I’ll keep going but damn, this is tedious.

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Made a lot of progress tonight.


One of the problems with games like this with hidden away shortcuts is that you can forget you ever discovered them. There is a rope shortcut right next to the first boss which I completely forget about. Once I rediscovered that it made the whole process a lot less painful and I took him down.


I’ve started to discover a lot of secrets in the game. I have about three new areas available to explore that I’ve found, I’ve opted for the Forest Fortress for now.

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About 12 hours in now, real playtime is probably a bit less but I’m getting into it and have discovered lots of stuff.


Off the top of my head:



I got the ability to warp from the Frog’s Domain, so that’s allowed me to access some treasures and new areas.


I have a couple of bosses that I can take on at any time, the Siege Engine and The Librarian.


I think I’ve understood what’s happening with the Hero’s Grave areas, each is for a particular stat and the stronger you get the longer the stair gets bringer you closer to the stat boosting item in the middle. My HP is currently 5 which may possibly be high enough.


Currently exploring The Quarry.


I have found other areas like The Old Burial Grounds but they remain sealed off for now.


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Made more progress today.



Beat the Siege Engine and Librarian and got the green and red gem. I almost killed the Scavenger Leader just now, I’ll get him on my next session.

That should do something. Aside from that, I boosted a bunch of stats from running around and re-exploring but there are still chests I can’t get to and secrets I haven’t figured out.


I haven’t learned how to read the language, which would probably help. I know what individual words mean just by deduction, from looking at the instruction booklet, but I haven’t made any kind of serious effort to understand everything. So far it hasn’t been necessary but I’m not sure for how much longer.

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