TUNIC discussion and secrets sharing

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Humanity

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#1  Edited By Humanity
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Tunic just released in both retail and Game Pass capacity to an unsuspecting Game Pass audience. This is great news because Tunic is absolutely excellent and worth every penny, but you can't argue with free if you're a Game Pass subscriber (as much as free is free when you subscribe to a service etc etc etc.)

Anyway - Tunic is a game that on the surface seems to be inspired by classic Zelda with it's isometric view, cutting of grass, throwing of bombs and so forth, but as you play on you realize it shares a lot more DNA with something like Fez instead. While you run around and complete dungeons and engage in cartoony violence against slimes and skeletons, there is an entire level of puzzles and secrets laced throughout the DNA of this game that makes it extremely exciting but also difficult to talk about. Quite literally most of the games core mechanics are in fact spoilers as I wouldn't want to rob anyone of the discovery. Tunic is very good at pulling off that trick where you learn a game mechanic that makes you think "oh wow.. so I was able to do that from the very start?!" It has a ton of secret passageways, shortcuts, and mechanics that make this an excellent speedrun candidate. What is surprising is that it's no pushover either. The combat can be challenging, especially if you encounter certain enemies earlier than planned. For instance I faced the first "boss" of the game with your beginning stick and through my experience with Elden Ring decided I just need to "get good" and beat this baddie. It didn't occur to me that the game intended for me to have found a stronger weapon at that point that would have made that encounter a lot of trivial. That sort of free-flowing exploration is both a boon and a curse on Tunic. Personally I think the boss should have been gated behind the tool that you are meant to have before facing it. Likewise while I love all the hidden pathways you find, it does mean that after a while you end up rubbing against all walls on every screen looking for that hidden off-camera path leading to another delightful chest.

All that said I am having an absolute blast with Tunic. Deaths Door was already a great little game with fun secrets but Tunic really takes that mentality to that "Fez" level you just don't see much in games anymore. So while I strongly encourage anyone who has Game Pass to take a break from Elden Ring and boot this game up and give it a shot, I would also implore everyone in this thread to heavily use spoiler tags when discussing anything more in depth.

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glots

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I'm liking a lot of things about Tunic (The music's kinda incredible at times), but the combat does make me often wish I'd be playing something like Death's Door instead. It works on a basic enough level, but using all of your abilities mid-boss fight often feels like a real hassle. Luckily the game does have a 'No Fail' mode, because I might just use it on certain encounters.

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Humanity

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@glots: Yah combat is definitely my least favorite part of the game, which is weird that there are some fairly challenging boss fights in here. The whole stamina management system seems really out of place. Otherwise I really love the mystery and the page collection. Love finding out secrets along the way and discovering new abilities.

I think it does suffer a bit from being a very hands off open world game. At certain points you do sort of start bouncing off walls until you find a new direction and that can be frustrating. I enjoy dungeons themselves as the art direction and sound design is outstanding but sometimes getting to those dungeons can be a bit tricky in a not so intuitive and fun way.

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brian_

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I'm generally enjoying the game. Very cute. I don't think the combat is spectacular, but I don't find it hindering my enjoyment either. My main complaint though is that some of the stuff the game keeps hidden from you doesn't always feel good to figure out. Finding out the game has some sort of function that's always been there, but the game just never tells you it unless you pick up a collectable, or a shortcut that's always been open to you, but it's obscured by the camera can make me feel a bit frustrated, as opposed to a sense of relief or accomplishment from figuring something out.

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glots

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The aimless wandering is also a hit and miss for me, though I haven’t been stuck too long because of it as of yet.

Screw that one enemy with a giant shield though. I haven’t yet looked if there’s an easier way to deal with them besides bombs, which I probably should do. There’s a spot where you have to get past one of them on a narrow path and I did it once with a bomb, then afterwards when I tried it again, the bombs just rolled off and fell down, at which point I closed the game for the day.

Actually it was the part after the guard that frustrated me, as I got to the w/e rat world and promptly died to something (maybe to a rat with a gun) and was sent back a long way to the last bonfire/statue I interacted with, after which the bomb part was just the last straw.

Kinda hilarious that Tunic has actually annoyed me more with some of it’s Souls-like elements instead of Elden Ring, a game actually made by From.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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#6  Edited By Fear_the_Booboo

Got the first ending today, I don't think I will go for more secrets. After a while I've found that navigating the world was a chore, and while I enjoyed figuring out the secrets and secrets mecanics, going back and finding where to use your new abilities, especially with enemies constantly respawning, was no fun.

Also this game didn't need to be a souls like and be hard as it is. There's two boss fights in particular that made me more frustrated than anything in Elden Ring. It's not as hard, but it does not feel great and one of those fight has the camera wildly turning to try to keep up.

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Giefcookie

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@fear_the_booboo: Got both (unless there are more than 2?) endings over the weekend and I was very done with the combat and traversal at that point. Even though you get some tools later on it still feels pretty tedious to study your notes, travel to the other end of the map only to realize the thing you wanted to try was actually on the opposite side of the world.


The visuals and atmosphere are amazing, finding new pages for the manual was always a cool moment but I agree with some of the critique about the combat, especially stamina management. Granted you could turn that off in the settings but I feel like if the stamina cost for your roll was just a bit more lenient, I would not have an issue with it. Especially with one of the later upgrades you get.

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MagnetPhonics

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#8  Edited By MagnetPhonics

I picked up Will You Snail and Tunic at the same time. Tunic's probably a (much) better game, but I can't help but feel disappointed by it a bit because I expected a 10/10 and got a 9/10. With Will You Snail I expected nothing and got a very good game, so I'm much more positive on it.

I have similar complaints about the combat to others, it imports some of the worst habits of Dark Souls in and out of combat (The ultimate solution to defeating the big shield and spear guy standing over the key enraged me so much I had to put the game down for multiple days.)

Also agree with what Brad Shoemaker brought up on Nextlander. In a game that puts magical invisible walls at the edge of every single wall/change of altitude, it should be impossible to fall to your death, but isn't.

Some of the mystery around the presentation and manual is finally starting to pay off. But for the longest time anytime anything unexplained, mysterious, or in the untranslated text showed up I felt like I was going to be railroaded onto a path where I couldn't possibly not solve whatever it was saying. While all the actual secrets were stuff like "This rock 'blocking' the path is actually 5m in the air and you can walk under it"

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SethMode

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Everything about this game from its look to its style to its music...and of course its obtuse nature had me thinking I would love it... but I actively dislike the combat so much I don't even want to bother anymore.

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WulfBane

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I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the Fez perspective puzzle & secret elements to it. Combat sure is something. I'll admit that I had two boss fights (Siege Engine and The Librarian) that worked me pretty well when I first encountered them but I had that thing where when I picked it back up the next morning, I was able to clear them first try. Tough fights but I was also more comfortable with using things like my bombs (especially after I discovered that every 10 you use, you get +1 "free" per bonfire reset and I had TONS of firecrackers).

That said, I did honestly hit my limit for two other sequences and I felt I had no qualms turning No Fail mode back on. They were the enemy rush at the bottom of the cathedral and The Heir, who I did manage to get to phase 2 on my own a couple times but it's just too much for me.

I will say that I peaked at the achievements before hand and from the top level descriptions I could tell would be missable. One was pretty easy (saving 10+ money banks) and even gave me time to realize what one of the manual notes meant. The other from just the description (get "something" before you get the sword but without specifying what) did get me to go through a lot of the game with reduced combat effectiveness but it actually got me good at running around stuff hoping I'd eventually stumble upon whatever mystery item would trigger the achievement. I did manage to get the orb on my own but then I was pretty stuck and eventually saw that what I needed was to go to the quarry and get the gun before getting the sword. And even then I was still just taking peeks at "what's the immediate next step and lets see if I can figure it from there" and did manage to push pretty far into the area but then I just needed the final bit. It was also the only other time I turned on No Fail just so I could actually open the chest even though I could get to the location w/o No Fail.

So yeah, I kinda cheated myself of that bit of discovery but I also discovered various upgrades and mechanics on my own.

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Humanity

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I figured out one of the puzzles without the manual and it was pretty cool. The name is really appropriate and gave me a chuckle. Still haven't figured out how to decode the alphabet but I've gotten one ending and am now working on ending B so to speak.

@wulfbane I had the same experience as you with the Heir. It took me a few tries to get them down, and when the second phase kicked in I couldn't believe it. Gave that a couple of tries to see how well I can get through phase 1 to phase 2 but ultimately just flipped on No Fail mode because the combat is not what I'm here for. Good thing too because that being the "bad" ending would definitely not have been a great reward for banging my head against that double boss fight.

Just out of pure curiosity what were your stats when facing that fight? I had 7 health, 5 def, 5 attack and then I think like 4 in SP / MP and I thought that my damage could probably have been higher. But I'm in ghost form and I've combed through the limited ghost world several times so I don't think I can level up anymore.

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#12  Edited By WulfBane

@humanity: I was at similar stats at the end. My Att/Def/Potion/HP/SP/MP array was 5/5/4/7/3/4 with 8 +1/3 flasks.

As far as the first ending, I guess even if I didn’t flip to no fail mode, I personally wouldn’t have been bitter about enduring a grueling fight only to be imprisoned. There are parts of the manual that they intentionally put for you to get later that makes you realize getting the keys were the WRONG thing to be doing and that there is a looping cycle to this land. The few bits of English on page 5 not only says “The Heir” but the “Heir-To-The-Heir” on the same line. And page 7 sets the scene as “Again the same battle, fought uncountable times!” So yeah, I managed to get enough manual entries during my pre-post-game exploration to understand where the story was going.

Heck, I feel like the message around the true ending by “Share Your Wisdom” is also a message to the players to share hints on how to solve some of the more complex puzzles.

I will say that at least for me, I was able to logic out all the clues to achieve The True Ending on my own. I also was able to get MOST of the Secret objects and fairies on my own. But there were a couple I needed to look up. Some where cases where I understood how to get the solution but either I didn’t want to find the rest of the golden pillar fragments again or my ears just weren’t able to hear the tones well enough to decipher the pattern.

But there were also some parts of the Secret Items that require you or someone else on the internet to actually translate the game’s language. Apparently it’s a phonetic alphabet and not a “simple” letter substitution that Fez had. And without getting into it here because I had to look up articles going over it, but what you get when you do collect all the Secret Items leads 1-to needing to translate more text, 2-entering another long but familiar golden cross sequence, 3-deciphering the text you get onscreen into a URL, 4-finding MORE things to decipher at said URL. I admire the extra content it provides and how it was built to be solved by crowdsourcing and I’m glad to read the fruits of those vanguards. But it’s for them to solve and I will just read those articles when they are written.

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ajamafalous

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#13  Edited By ajamafalous

I played a little under two hours last night and am enjoying it well enough so far, though I feel like the roll distance is too far and costs too much stamina to use it all that effectively. Trying to play it like a Dark Souls (roll through the enemy's attack and into them to hit them during the opening) usually just led to me rolling past them out of melee range entirely. I did have the Envoys on farm before ever even finding the shield just by timing the roll correctly though, so I don't think the controls are as bad as I've seen some people say ('I uninstalled it after 10-30m'). I can definitely see it getting way worse as I move on to harder enemies/bosses though, so not passing any judgement on how it holds up later on.

I have one main question for people who have finished/gotten near the end, though: Should I be taking 40 screenshots and attempting to translate the alphabet myself in a journal, like Fez, or does the game do it for you as you progress? I have a couple letters/words/phonetic sounds down as of right now, but I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time doing so.

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Humanity

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@ajamafalous: It does not do it for you but you also don't need it to finish the game.

@wulfbane I've finished the game and gotten both endings now. I earlier thought that I had the Mountain Door cracked but didn't realize a vital clue about the Holy Cross puzzles - mainly I don't know how you are to deduct that a line going through the path means you need to press the input twice. I had to look some of that stuff up and I might have figured it out on my own but I was ready to be done. Although I think it's a tremendous game I do think some of the puzzles wear the average player out a bit towards the end. Also I don't know where it is in the main game but that fake save file has an item which slows down time that I assume would be very helpful in actually defeating the Heir in regular mode.

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liquiddragon

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#15  Edited By liquiddragon

Am I supposed to have a sword and a shield early? I’ve put in 2 hours and I’ve still just rocking a stick.

Also, could I get a little hint on getting the lantern? I’m awful at this game.

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Humanity

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@liquiddragon: You should have found a sword before facing the first "boss" with a lifebar on the bottom. A large part of the game is bouncing around dead ends until you find the right way to go but with that boss fight specifically you can actually face the boss without the sword and then get spit out of that area without the tool necessary to go forward. As a hint you should look around the Eastern area. Also as you collect pages of the manual, you should be finding maps. The order of the maps appear in the manual is loosely the order in which you should tackle them.

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liquiddragon

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@humanity: ok, thx. I’m pretty sure I’ve fought 2 bosses then…I will go back and poke around some more.

I like the game but the movement feels like moving on sand. I feel like a fox should be a bit peppier, it would enhance the navigation, exploration, and combat if it was.

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goosemunch

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I was in constant amazement for the first half of the game, then my opinion gradually soured... and by the end I hated it. Some of the later battles were needlessly exhausting. Puzzle solving was my favourite part, but even after finally figuring out what to do, executing on the solution was nigh impossible (especially with mushy inaccurate xbox360 D-pad. You know exactly which puzzle I'm talking about), so I just gave up and looked up the true ending on Youtube. Fuck this game.

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glots

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Holy hell, the difficulty in this game. If the "No Fail" option didn't exist, I would've already deleted the game. I mean, I'm going to do it now anyway, because I finished it after turning NF on some ways into the Quarry (because screw that place and it's boss) and everything after that made me glad I decided to keep it on until the ending. Not that it was maybe worth experiencing, but I wanted to see it at this point.

The visuals and the music continued to be great throughout, but the combat was just way too much for me. The waves of enemies that you gotta fight towards the end, seriously? Even when I was invincible, I could feel how my frustration would build up, if I'd played it normally. Kinda the same with the lass boss, screw that thing.

If I'd paid for this, I would probably be fairly disappointed, but since Game Pass...well, I'm still disappointed on how the combat soured me on it, but whatever.

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#20  Edited By prolurker

I played this the past week, and have mixed thoughts. Hollow Knight is one of my all-time favorite games, so inevitably I ended up comparing the two.

I liked the first few hours of gameplay, acquiring new items that change how you play is where Tunic shines. The first boss was tough but fair, it took me around 8 deaths before I defeated him at full health somehow. I really like it when there’s a trick to something you can deduce given enough persistence/effort.

So I spent my first few hours pretty much in a linear fashion. I don’t know if I was lucky or what, but I made it past both bells without navigation issues.

Then I found the mountain pass to the mines area.

I spent the next hour attempting to get to what I thought was the next area. This part broke me. I don’t know why you can access this location so early on, because I genuinely thought this was the correct path. I made it to the fire/save point in that location after 20 attempts (and each attempt takes a full 90-ish seconds just to get back). I felt like I was playing a roguelike at this point. Death after death after death after death. I made it to the save point, and guess what, you can’t access this save because it’s surrounded by water. I was so disappointed at this point that I decided to turn on no death mode.

This wasn’t satisfying, but helped me realize I was not supposed to be in that area (I didn’t have the grapple hook yet).

This is where Tunic lost me, Hollow Knight pretty much blocks new locations unless you have the right equipment to succeed in that area. i.e. you can’t reach the end of a zone just to realize you’ve hit a dead end. There’s always more than one path, which feels rewarding. Tunic doesn’t do this.

The other issue is hidden paths. It’s not fun wandering around an entire location just to discover you didn’t check one very specific corner (reaching the frog zone comes to mind).

Otherwise, the combat and progression was ok. I looked up the final ending and was glad I didn’t try to attempt it, personally. Overall, a tantalizing experience for me.

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Ben_H

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I enjoyed the first half of it then ended up turning on the no fail mode because the combat was getting to the point of being frustrating enough that I felt like I was going to bounce off the game. It didn't help that my carpal tunnel was acting up which made bits of the combat physically painful so I just turned on no fail mode and stopped caring about the combat.

For the most part I really enjoyed this game. I did not like their reliance on visually hidden paths that you either find or don't and if you don't you have no idea what to do. I got stuck for about an hour at the same point several others in this thread have (getting killed repeatedly thinking I was supposed to go to the mines when I was instead supposed to go to the frog place) and with no indication of what I was supposed to do next, I got rather annoyed. I ended up looking up what the next step was and was irritated that it involved a hidden path in an area I had definitely explored but somehow missed looking in one specific corner.

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WulfBane

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Here are some more general tips:

  • Out of combat, you can use LT to shift the camera slightly. It can help you find obscured things.
  • Page 17 has two hints about items:
    • Do NOT horde bombs. If you use them enough you'll earn free bombs that refresh at bonfires.
    • Do horde money banks. If you use multiple in a row, they give more and more money.
  • There are bombable walls. A clue to their locations is if you see flowers. However flowers may also be a clue for other things.

And I will say that there were some cases where I find something hidden and then when I look back at the manual, I see that they actually DID make a hint about many of them.

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superjoe

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I fell to my death exploring the northeast area of the Quarry thinking it was a hidden path, which took me back to the very first save point in the Overworld. Oh well, at least I found the gas mask. The devs need to close this area off.

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jejuneinstitute

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#24  Edited By jejuneinstitute

After having beaten it, I really think the combat friction leaves me wanting. I thought it wasn't tuned in an enjoyable way personally and found much of the combat to be boring, mashy, or tedious and this game is extremely punishing of greedy plays. I don't think the menu-ing ends up working in it's favor either as I rarely ever was swapping mid-combat.

I also think the set up for the Heir and the following 'bad ending' if you stumble upon it really ruin the emotional pull the game had going for me.

I would often revisit the Heir in the far shore and 'pray' next to it and enjoyed the interaction and emoting and assumed it was Tunic's mother. Accidentally having to fight her over and over again only to realize I should probably get the rest of the Hero's Grave items and then fight her once more only to realize that was the 'bad' ending and that I was actually allowed to just continue getting the pages for the proper ending even though I found the entire 'Holy Cross/Song of the Golden Path' puzzle to be overwrought and largely a failure to communicate in any way through the manual that this was the intent all along (obviously the breadcrumbs are laid on the pages retrospectively) just kind of snowballed into souring my opinion of the game.

No real desire to return or go into NG+ and I find that's really a shame. Absolutely fantastic soundtrack and enviroment design; that manual would be the true gem of the game had the translated text not been so hokey and devoid of depth/substance (it's still pretty rad, though--I was just expecting it to be more revelatory or perhaps translating itself throughout in-game triggers/discoveries). Thought the world building and story conceits needed more fleshing out which kind of made the experience a little hollow for me by the end of it.

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AV_Gamer

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#25  Edited By AV_Gamer

I beaten it, but I probably got the bad ending as I ended up taking the place of evil Princess Zel-Fox. The game also revealed that I didn't collect all of the playthough guide and had 6 pages left. I had the stamina bar frozen for most of the game, but I did turn on the no-fail option when I got to the part where I had to blow out candles and fight a bunch of different enemies in an arena setting to get the teleport dash power up, the last one you get in the game, I think. Overall, I think it's a very good indie game with a lot of nice reveals as you play it. Nintendo would never make a Zelda game where Princess Zelda is actually evil and the enemies you fight were actually justified in keeping her locked up. It will likely be on my top 10 GOTY list. Where depends on the rest of the games that come out in 2022. Many people are beginning to compare this game to Hollow Knight. I think overall, Hollow Knight was better. Its a better Metroidvania than Tunic is a Zelda clone, even though its a very good one.

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#26  Edited By Dhutch

I was REALLY into this game at the beginning, when it evoked a very specific feeling: You are a young kid, you just imported this new Zelda game, but you don't know anything about it. The game's mostly in another language, and *something* has happened to the instruction manual! Guess we're going in blind?
I LOVED that part. And all the Fez-iness. Finding pages is the most exciting thing in this game, discovering secrets for yourself... All the moments of "oh I could've been doing that the WHOLE TIME?" were great (Did you know you can use two of the magic items at the same time for a special effect?)

But MAN by the end It'd lost some of it's magic, through the combat and through running out of secrets for me to find. I put on NF mode twice, once for a pink energy fox and once for the last boss. The rod was my MVP for "I just need a little more damage and I don't want to die!"
I enjoyed the ability cards, though near the end of the game when I chose to look everything up* I realized I knew what less than half of them even did.

*FEEL FREE TO LOOK UP ANSWERS INSTEAD OF GETTING FRUSTRATED. Give the puzzles a shot, they're amazing to figure out, but I'm not ashamed that I asked cleverer people than me online was was going on

Finally, I'm not seeing anyone talk about how horrifying the story gets!

Everything we see on the way to the blue key- what the monoliths are, how they're made, how MANY there are, why they SCREAM.... though I feel like I don't quite understand why there are so many. What is that goop? Where do the energy foxes come from? It does make me like the Librarian character more, studying it all.

Double secret super late game spoiler and what about the aliens? They're straight up the same aliens from Fez! I love it.

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hughj

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The bosses at times felt like they belonged to a twin-stick shooter, as I really wanted the ability to move and aim/block in independent directions. A lot of the time I was using the lock-on system just to try and keep myself blocking in an approximate direction while moving in another, but that also meant whenever the thing I was locked to slipped out of range, I'd immediately point in some random direction and end up getting hit. This sucks in a game where a single hit can spiral into a death, and deaths cost money+time if you're relying on purchased consumables.

That lack of coordination eventually made me give up trying to play safe and tactical and just blitz them and try to maximize the amount of time they're stun-locked. The fact that this worked way better is probably the biggest failing of the game -- despite the bosses being very visually distinct and themed, the most effective strategy is too simple to feel rewarding.

I wasn't very happy with the complexity and fiddly execution of the golden path ending. For something that integral to the proper completion of the game you shouldn't be putting players in a position where they're not sure if their solution is wrong, if they're executing it wrong, or the game merely isn't registering it correctly. It was a huge bummer to have that be the culmination of my play, as up until then I had been playing unspoiled and was willing to keep going to 100% otherwise.

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jejuneinstitute

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#28  Edited By jejuneinstitute

@hughj: This is exactly how I felt. Dual Garden Knights at the bottom of the Cathedral and basically any boss (Scavenger/Heir) can be stun-locked and if you angle them correctly, they can't dodge any moves and you can literally burst/spam down their phases and it's incredibly effective.

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hughj

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#29  Edited By hughj

@jejuneinstitute: Yeah. The first Garden Knight I think took me maybe 20 attempts to beat, and I was honestly considering quitting the game for good at one point (I'd sooner quit than cheat). After more exploring and leveling up is when I switched strategies and opted to blitz them (mostly relying on the hookshot to keep them close and for the animation disruption and stun) and every boss went down in 1-2 attempts. Even the cathedral boss rush sequence only took 2 attempts to complete and I didn't need to activate the potion spawn.

I suspect much of this can be attributed to the significant power inflation you get from stats and potions -- the dev(s) are stuck having to balance the damage and defenses of the bosses for pretty large range of player strengths. My earliest impression of the boss combat wasn't very positive, as I was expecting a more classic Zelda-style approach of strategic weapon selection, weak points, and patterns (as opposed to what it is, which is largely timing, reflexes, and execution). After having completed the game I feel this way even more so, but now for the reason that I think the added structure of limiting when, where, and how you can deal damage would reduce your ability to simply tank the occasional hits long enough to kill them.

Rather than be discouraged from swapping to the inventory screen (due to the lack of pausing), I wish they'd have encouraged you come up with creative combinations of weapons and items and made the bosses as much of a puzzle sequence rather than strictly a contest of dodge-rolling, stunning, and slashing. Granted this is coming from someone with very antiquated tastes as I haven't played any action or adventure console games since NES/SNES -- everything from analog stick movement to dodge-roll i-frames was new to me here.

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NotSoSneakyGuy

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I kind of have to agree with some of the other opinions here. The game makes a really good first impression, as you're trying to piece together how the game works as well as the world.

Then it feels like the game drops off late game.

Combat challenges start to demand a kind of tightness in design and controls, that I think the game just can't deliver on. I kept finding myself not enjoying the combat, and not looking forward to combat encounters. When I finally did beat an encounter, it didn't feel like an accomplishment.

Sure the puzzles are clever, but then comes the tedium of actually entering/testing your solutions with lack of feedback, and trying to figure out if you got the wrong answer or was it a input error. Some of the input sequences are so long I ended up looking up solutions just to see if I'm right or wrong, and still ended up re-trying a solution a half dozen times.

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MagnetPhonics

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#32  Edited By MagnetPhonics

Tunic's had a savvy publisher and had years of anticipation from good preview coverage. Plus enough hype for a console manufacturer to strike a deal to make it an exclusive to their platform.

Obviously It's no Elden ring in scope. But neither is it the product of a destitute artist who would be financially ruined by one bad steam review.

It's perfectly appropriated for it to receive the "I dunno, it looks and sounds great... but it's a bit shit to play" criticism it's getting.

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brian_

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I made it to the Quarry, and I think this might be where the combat becomes a little much for me. Wasn't having too much trouble with it previously, but it's starting to be a bit frustrating. I could turn on some difficulty options, but the mystic of this games and its puzzles haven't been clicking with me either, so I'm not sure I want to keep playing honestly. From what I've heard, it sounds like I'm right on the verge of seeing the real crazy stuff of this game. I don't know. Maybe I'll drag myself to see what that is. It's still a very cute game. But I do feel like I am dragging myself through it.

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dijidiji

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#34  Edited By dijidiji

The hourglass was a life saver for me. I had no problem with most of the bosses throughout the game except for the Librarian which I think I fluked... apparently you can parry their projectiles to melt their health bar which I wish I had figured out and I think there should be a hint in the booklet for this (or did I miss it?). But once I reached the Heir I was thoroughly stumped until I figured out that the combo of hourglass to slow time and the card that increases the parry window is incredibly potent. A handful of attempts learning the attack timings in the very generous slow mo and I had it done.

I do think the Souls-like elements feel a little out of place but the path I found through the game was gentle enough that I never really hit any walls like I did with Elden Ring. I think that shows the big downfall of games with non-linear progression, since I can tell some people are having a miserable time due to finding the "wrong" path through the game, as I did with Elden Ring. It can really sour your experience and view on the game as a whole.

Combat is definitely not the game's strong suit but I can't say I had as big an issue with it as many people seem to. It's possible that I unknowingly overlevelled myself to the point where it was a breeze because I didn't have any real challenge fighting enemies until your powers are taken away in ghost form.

I enjoyed the puzzles for the most part, though I think the big one would have been better if it were split into parts so you could figure out where you messed up. With one clue I had to look it up and even having done so I don't really see the logic behind it. At some point I did get a bit of fatigue considering that most of the puzzling is in finding the thing you need to do and the execution afterwards is mostly the same. I also tried my hand at translating the language with a few hints once I had finished the game but there was no way that I was going to translate the whole booklet so I just ended up reading through a translated booklet afterwards.

All in all, I really liked the game and it's a perfect game pass game since I don't think I would have picked up the game based on its "Zelda-like" look but the genre bending with the manual and puzzling was really cool. Honestly I would say even if I had just stopped at the first ending I'd recommend the game. The feeling of figuring things out from the manual and being like "I could do that this whole time?" is a unique enough experience on its own, the more hidden puzzles afterwards for the second ending and easter eggs feel kind of like they're there if you like puzzles and if you don't then you've experienced most of the game anyway. Makes me think that something like Inscryption would be a great fit for a subscription service since you sidestep the problem where people buy a game for one thing and get what's essentially a different game.

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maian1

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I started playing it a few days ago and have really been loving it so far. I felt like I had to post about the funniest case of "oh, that's what that is for" that I've had so far, which is that I got to the very end of the Quarry before realizing that I had the gas mask and so could have avoided all the life-sapping effects. Fighting through most of the level with basically 0 health made for a pretty tough time, but I couldn't help but laugh at the end when I figured out how much harder I had made that section of the game for myself.

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@maian1: I think those cards are probably the most esoteric thing in the game that could use a few more pointers. Some of them I couldn't decipher like for instance the shield card that apparently increases your parry window? The illustration of a shied with a jewel did nothing to make me think that is what it actually does.

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On the screen with the big tree and the dog enemies if you swing your sword 23 times and walk backwards three dog lengths to the east from the weird triangle rock you unlock a new dungeon.