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    Tunic

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Mar 16, 2022

    Formerly known as Secret Legend, Tunic is an isometric action-adventure game about a tiny fox.

    Tunic Is A Special Game

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    gla55jAw

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    Edited By gla55jAw
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    Tunic Is So Much More Than a Zelda Clone

    Tunic is an Isometric Action-Adventure game that is clearly inspired by old-school Zelda games; the main character, a fox, is donning his best Link cosplay, you wake up and must find a weapon and shield, and solve a fair amount of environmental puzzles.

    As someone who recently beat their first Zelda game, ever; the Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (post coming soon), I had been keeping an eye out for a modern version of an old-school Isometric Action-Adventure game to play before I dive into The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. The opening moments of Tunic reassured me that I chose the correct game, but the longer I played, the more "wait, what?" moments I uncovered.

    Tunic Has Numerous WTF Moments

    The first clue that there is more to meets the eye in Tunic -- the statue save points. Upon resting, the fox's health was fully recharged, and all the enemies respawned. Later on, after I had acquired some potions and a magic staff, resting at a statue subsequently refilled their charges. Okay, so Zelda and Soulsborne cross-over; that's not so weird.

    There are plenty of games taking influence from the 'Souls' games these days; typically the whole everything respawns when you die, and you need to grab your soul from your point of death. Don't die along the way of your retrieval, unless you want to lose them forever.

    I don't need Soulsborne elements in every video game.

    While I love From Software games, such as Elden Ring, I'm not always in the mood for the pressures of the systems in these types of video games, due to the extreme punishment for dying. Luckily, Tunic is not nearly as harsh on the player, as you only lose a small number of coins you have discovered upon death, and successfully recovering your spirit leaves you with no loss of currency. One caveat to this system in Tunic (and Souls-like games), I have found myself simply running past enemies when I can (with caution as enemies in Tunic will follow you across the world), as some of the combat encounters in Tunic are pretty brutal.

    Alas, these elements have not been a deterrent from me playing more of Tunic. In all honesty, I'm thinking about playing Tunic whenever I'm not.

    Tunic Gets Weird, In A Special Way

    Things started to get weird in Tunic when I found an item that was essentially a page of an NES-style instruction manual, mostly written in some odd, rune language. As I continued to play and encounter more secrets, I was reminded of two games; Fez and Journey.

    You really need to study the instruction pages in Tunic, trust me.
    You really need to study the instruction pages in Tunic, trust me.

    FEZ

    Fez, unfortunately, is one of my biggest gaming regrets. I did not play Fez back when it was released in 2012 (I haven't played much until this week); I regret not being part of the zeitgeist around Fez, as there was a big gaming community effort to figure out all of Fez's secrets, as it is chock full of them.

    Initially, I thought there was just some in-game language that the community was deciphering, but I learned there is much, much more to solve in Fez; I’m not going to get into details because, in the coming weeks, I’m going to experience Fez for myself (without spoilers).

    Fez is full of secrets.
    Fez is full of secrets.

    Tunic has the same elements of mystery and wonders that Fez radiates. Now, I found a few posts where people have apparently, already deciphered the language of Tunic; so while I can’t speak to their accuracy, fully translated instructions and in-game dialogue seem to be out there.

    But looking at these spoilers would be a disservice to the game, as Tunic is meant to be discovered blindly.

    Discovery is built into the game. Yes, with the aforementioned instructions manual that you’re piecing together, the language that you can attempt to translate; but it’s not just these elements, there are so many secret paths and passageways, almost hidden in plain view, to discover!

    In the first hour of the game, this was almost enough for me to stop playing the game, as I found a secret passage that brought me to an area before I even found the sword. I was in an that I was not “supposed” to be just yet, and boy, was it brutal.

    Tunic Pro Tip - Get the Sword!
    Tunic Pro Tip - Get the Sword!

    Later, when I had more of a handle on the game, I would gasp out loud when walking in a certain direction while hugging a wall led to a dark, hidden passageway with a chest at the end. Lowering a bridge to open a shortcut back to the main path was extremely satisfying (more Dark Souls elements).

    I have been wholeheartedly enjoying engrossing myself in the world of Tunic with zero help.

    To simply call this game an isometric Zelda-clone with Dark Souls elements would be a huge insult to Tunic.

    Hopefully, I can complete Tunic without any help, as unfortunately, I couldn’t keep myself from walkthroughs with Link’s Awakening; the final Dungeon and final boss fights were just a little too much. The Dungeon moreso, as I started to get fed up after walking around for nearly 3 hours one night, not understanding what I missed to advance the puzzle.

    Journey

    Journey is an extremely special game for me; I'm so happy that I have this blurb saved on my "Best of 2012" list.

    “What an experience this game was. I played through it in one sitting, then immediately played through it 2 more times. I even came back a week later for that trophy and played it again. Amazing world, look, feel, music, everything. Just an amazing experience.”

    Credit gla55jAw - Best of 2012 List

    Tunicgives off the same vibes as Journey does, and it’s very much because of the lack of communication from the game. In both, I examine the environment and decide, “I need to go there and explore.” The music, vibes, and honestly, emotions I took from said combination in both games are, unreal.

    Journey is an amazing experience.
    Journey is an amazing experience.

    The whole instruction manual system plays towards this feeling of wonder. Yes, it is a way that Tunic is communicating with the player, but just barely.

    It’s not a tutorial, a concept that games have (in my opinion) gone too far with. How many times are games still introducing concepts 2 or 3 hours into your playtime? In Tunic, as pages are found in the environment, we staple them together and they’re extremely helpful at explaining the game's concepts and systems, even if they’re mostly not in English. What's wild to think about; you could have stumbled upon some of these techniques or secrets before unlocking the related page.

    For example, instead of just hoarding a consumable item I found inside a treasure chest (which is what I would typically do), in Tunic, I just say screw it. I see this one is labeled a bomb, let’s test it out on this group of enemies and see what happens. Now I know that this one consists of AoE damage, and this one is a status effect. Awesome.

    I didn't think I'd encounter a game in which I would experience that special sense of wonder and emotion again, as I felt with Journey. But alas, here I am with Tunic.

    Tunic has been a one-of-a-kind experience so far, and I truly, hope you check it out! I can’t wait to finish the game and see how it all plays out. Look out for a full review in the future.

    Let me know if you checked out Tunic or will be. I can't believe this is a free Game Pass game. I’m really excited to see what everyone thinks about this special game.

    If you have more isometric Zelda-like games I should check out, I’d love to hear them, as well (3D Dot Game Heroes is on my list)! I took a quick look at Death’s Door recently and I am looking to play that next after, Tunic. It seems more Zelda than Dark Souls, and that sounds good to me.

    See the original post & Video on my blog, Current Kick - please stop by!

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    AV_Gamer

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    #1  Edited By AV_Gamer

    Currently playing it on Gamepass, and it's a very good Zelda clone. It reminds me a lot of the Neutopia games that were made by Hudson Soft for the Turbografx-16. They seemed like well made Zelda clones at first, but then when you really got into to them, you started to see the game's own unique quality that helped it stand on its own, this was especially true with the second game. Tunic is the same way, but a lot better. In a lot of ways, it evolves the Zelda-like gameplay and puts Nintendo on notice. Another reason why Indie games are so special in these days and times. If all we had to go on were AAA games, the gaming industry might be in trouble. Highly recommended. BTW, I also like the accessibility options to freeze the damn stamina bar. I hate stamina bars in games.

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    gla55jAw

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    @av_gamer:Wow, I never heard of those Neutopia games. Looks like they're on the PS3 store.

    Tunic really is awesome. I still getting WTF moments every time I play, it's extremely refreshing. I haven't turned off stamina yet, but I agree that it's great that the option is there.

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    rorie

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    I need to get into this but it'll have to wait until after Horizon!

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    gla55jAw

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    @rorie: It will be worth the wait! It's actually pulled me from Elden Ring, which works out because I was looking for a game to give me a bit of a breather before jumping back in.

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    gla55jAw

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    I think it looks cool but have never been an old-school Zelda fan myself (still like the games just never played em much)...in fact the only zelda I got into was when they went 3d on wii and switch. So i get others have super nostalgia for it just like metroidmanias and Castlevania like games i also never got into but liked games that copied them like ori or whatever.

    My question is why people are so positive on some game being hard and needing to take a notepad out or decifer things in a book and figure it all out vs Mad and angry that Elden ring and the like dares to punish them. It seems people love tunic but bounce off and hate Elden ring. Anyway dont want to derail anymore.

    Im happy its on gamepass, i heard the only issues for the game are the difficulty and that's alleviated by just figuring out how to play. Really think the book thing is creative and right in our faces the whole gaming era and no one tried to do it again...loved reading those booklets front to back as a kid and was shocked that people just tossed them (most of my friends) and then got mad when the tutorial part didnt tell them everything (back then you were expected to have read some of the booklet).

    I wonder how the sequel will do since this sold so well, will people turn on it and say its just another one of those, get tired of the booklet, see some new clever idea as corny. Maybe put the booklet to a mirror and see a message kinda stuff.

    I remember an old Zelda on Nintendo ds did a cool one where you close the ds to stamp onto the lower screen. Wish more games messed with the tech their on. Guessing they dont cause big wig execs at the front wont "get it" and wonder why people would waste resources trying weird ideas lol.

    I think people just have this notion in their head that Elden Ring and Soulsborne games are just the hardest games ever, they're too brutal, and "OMG they don't even have quest logs? Trash game." I don't even think they're that bad. I'm not particularly a fan of difficult games, they just require patience, which I think people don't have much of.

    I have been loving Game Pass for this reason. I have found so many gems that I may have not bought. Infernax (blog post) is a great example of this. Hell, even Guardians of the Galaxy, which I was playing (and really enjoying) before Tunic came out - I would have never played that game, mostly because I thought it was that terrible Avengers game for some reason.

    I hope Tunic gets a sequel! I've been interested in those DS/3DS Zelda's as well.

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    Topcyclist

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    @gla55jaw: Yeah, for all the talk on how hard the games are i think its a mix of trying to prepare people so they dont quit before they get to the good stuff cause souls games are backloaded. But really just like any rpg you can over-level and force your way throught the game. Elden ring is easiest for this method since you can swoop in with a horse grab the best weapons from late game, farm for 30 minutes (beats fighting your way up vs mooks for 4 hours), and over level. You never have to worry about dying again once your lvl 30 in a 10 zone...use all boss souls for leveling and im out here 3 shotting most bosses with a halberd and 31 strength. Thats about 16 levels up from base pick...

    Yeah, I think its the hype in the head and thinking you can do it vs finding a new game like tunic and just going for it. The same happens for me with the Witness. I got past a few puzzles saw all the talk online about how hard it was...gave up.

    Tunic and GOTG and a bunch of other gamepass games are great, since yeah many online will have you believe (or you yourself from bad experiences) that a game isnt worth your time. But gamepass helps you just kinda rent like the old days of blockbuster and you can buy if you want more. The limited-time is useful, forces me to actually play the backlog.

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    Junkerman

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    I will give this game a try now solely based on the Journey name drop. The pressure is on!

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    gla55jAw

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    @topcyclist: I need to look at the Witness again. That was definitely one of those games where I stumbled around for a couple of hours attempting to figure out what to do next. If I NEED to use a walkthrough, it sort of defeats the purpose (and fun).

    Totally agree with the GamePass rental experience. I am playing so many more games than I normally would. When I find one I really love, I'm definitely going to buy them down the line.

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    gla55jAw

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    @junkerman: Let me know what you think after you play it a bit!

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