I gotta be honest with you. I am very aware that I am not the type of gamer who enjoys experiences designed to crush you. This is why I’m probably not going to play Elden Ring or any Dark Souls games. I have a limited amount of time to play games and when I do, I want to enjoy it. I want to progress. I don’t want to spend hours repeating one battle and ultimately going nowhere with it. After my first boss battle in Tunic, I wasn’t sure I’d have the stomach for the game. I ended up finding out, though, that Tunic does have accessibility options in which you can change the difficulty. I could play the game without being trapped! Warning: some spoilers ahead!
I readily admit that I used this on every boss fight and I don’t feel guilty about it. Tunic is already obscure enough in its mystery and puzzles without the challenging combat. Now that I’ve beaten the game, I have some insights for you if you’re the type of button-mashing, cut-scene skipping, gamer that I am.
Tunic spells nothing out for you. You need to read your instruction book to know what the heck is going on. Spend some time looking for the pages! For instance, something I should’ve known eons ago is that those big silver pillars need to be prayed at. Kneel in front of them for a couple of seconds and you’ll create new paths for power and light your way forward. You can also pray at the Hero’s Graves (you’ll need to know this later). I felt like such a dummy.
Seriously. I missed so much because I was not interested in reading the fine print. Apparently there’s even a hidden puzzle embedded in multiple pages! There’s some doors I tried praying in front of that I couldn’t open. Turns out, the book literally has a D-pad combo listed in it for you to perform at those locations. This all makes me look especially bad because “reading” the book just involves looking at pictures. Seriously, don’t be like me. Use the book.
Here’s the other thing. You need to look at the book to know the actual story. I had been foolishly creating a story in my head that the ghost fox I was seeing was my trapped mom and I’m a little baby warrior fox trying to free her soul. Loooooool. Nah, that ghost is actually the final boss of the game called “The Heir”. Here’s another spoiler alert for you. There are multiple endings! Your ending is dependent on whether or not you collect all the pages of the book.
Despite the fact that I actually had no idea what the story was, I still really enjoyed the artwork and the immersiveness of the changing landscape. I was struggling through some of the later areas because things get more complicated as you progress. Silly me though – there’s literally tools/cards you find that you can equip to get you through different areas and I just wasn’t using them. I feel like every word I write is just exposing how half-assed I was in my attempts to understand what I was getting involved in. Instead, I was just admiring how pretty places were or feeling sad for the creepy foxes!
Contrary to how this post might portray me, I really did like the game! I’m just really bad about not listening to anything. I just want to play. I have the same problem in Elder Scrolls Online. I’m skipping dialogue and end up on red text options which produce irreversible outcomes and I have no idea what is happening. I think you can play a lot of Tunic relatively in the dark, but it does get to a point where you need to start figuring things out to get to the true ending. I did end up on Google many times trying to figure out where Hero’s Grave locations were and how to get to not my mom.
You will not be surprised to learn that I did not collect all pages of the book. Despite “beating the game”, the world did not return to normal. I could keep trying to navigate around the distorted landscape trying to uncover more secrets, or I could move on. While at first I did start trying to uncover secrets, I ultimately will not complete them. I’m just too impatient and frankly, Elder Scrolls’ anniversary event is back so I’m a little preoccupied.
I’m not sure I’m doing this game any favors by writing about it, but I do really think it’s fun and worth playing! Have you played Tunic? Are you doing this all legit or are you an accessibility fan like me? Let me know in the comments below!