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Cart #book_of_truth-3 | 2020-07-18 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Quest for the Book of Truth

A Zelda-inspired adventure for PICO-8!

How to play

Once the game is started, your character can be moved around the screen using the arrow keys.

The Z key will use the item shown in the top-right of the screen. You will start with a sword, but you will need to find other items in order to complete the game.

Pressing the X key will open a menu which shows the name of your current item. Once you have obtained other items, you can switch which one is being used by pressing the up and down arrows. Press the Z or X key to close the menu and continue playing.


To complete the game, you will need to obtain the Book of Truth. In order to do this, you will need to explore the game's world and find useful tools.


You will need to find multiple items in order to reach the Book of Truth. Below are some of the items you will be able to find.

You may find other items during your adventure. It's down to you to figure out how to use them!


You start the game with this item. It's a good weapon for dealing with enemies. You can even swing it while moving!

Bow and Arrows

This item can be used to attack enemies from a distance. If you hold the button down, you can move around before you shoot the arrow. It can also be used to hit switches from further away. You won't ever run out of arrows, so you can use as many as you like.


This item can be used to break cracked rocks. It's also a powerful weapon! A bomb will explode a short while after it is placed. You won't ever run out of bombs, but you will need to wait a little bit after using one before you can place another. It's not possible to hurt yourself with a bomb, so there's no need worry about that.

Teleport Rod

This magical item will teleport you to its tip when you release the button. It is not possible to teleport into solid objects. An image will appear when you hold the button down to show you where you will warp to. It will be green when it is possible to warp.

Potion of Life

When you find one of these potions, your maximum life will increase. As a bonus, your current life will be refilled.


These keys are required to open the gates blocking your way to the Book of Truth. You will need one key for each gate.

Objects and Obstacles

The world is full of interesting objects and obstacles. Here are some of the things you may encounter:

Treasure Chests

You can open a treasure chest by approaching it from below. Who knows what's inside?

Blue Switch and Moving Blocks

When you hit a blue switch with one of your items, it will cause all of the moving blocks to change positions. When a block is raised, you won't be able to walk past it. Each blue switch will affect all blocks in the game, so try to plan ahead.

Orange Switch

When you hit an orange switch with one of your items, it cause something to happen nearby.


These gates will block your way to the Book of Truth. Each one requires a key to open it.

Fusion Altar

This mysterious altar is crucial to completing the game. It can be used to enhance the functionality of your items. After you have found it, you will need to visit it multiple times to be able to reach the Book of Truth. Its strange power can be used by approaching it from below.

Tips and Advice

  • Make good use of your items
    When you get a new item, try it out so that you know what it does. Think about places you have seen where you might be able to use that new item!

  • The world can be confusing
    One of the biggest challenges in this game can be figuring out where everything else is in relation to each other. If you're struggling to remember where everything is, consider drawing a map as you explore.

  • Take note of locked treasure chests
    Sometimes you'll see a treasure chest that you cannot obtain with your current equipment. There's likely something important in there, so make sure you remember to come back for it later!

  • Death is not the end
    If your life reaches 0, you will be returned to the game's starting point. You'll get to keep everything you've obtained though, so don't feel disheartened! If you're finding one place too difficult, try going somewhere else and coming back later.

Good luck on your quest!

P#60398 2018-12-27 22:43 ( Edited 2020-07-18 20:16)

This looks amazing! Is there a way to commit suicide? Because I managed to get stuck here: https://i.imgur.com/wvGHWnw.png and I think I wasn’t supposed to get there before I acquired another item…

P#60403 2018-12-27 23:39 ( Edited 2018-12-27 23:39)

Thanks for letting me know about that! I had a feeling there would be situations where you could get stuck, that I didn't find myself. I've just put up a new version which should prevent you getting stuck there now.

P#60405 2018-12-27 23:59

Adorable game and fun little puzzles. Completed! https://imgur.com/oim60y1

P#60407 2018-12-28 03:53

@Mush thanks! I managed to reach the end, this time. It’s impressive that the world size is only 4×4, the level design is really polished.

(spoilers ahead) There is one chest that I did not manage to open, though: assuming rooms are numbered 1…16, it’s the one in room 14, left to the island. It seems that I can only reach that chest using teleport arrows, but I don’t understand how I could go south of room 11 without the regular arrows.

P#60411 2018-12-28 13:02

What an AMAZING game. First of all, that inventory system! Smooth like butter. Secondly, them puzzles, WOW. I thought you needed a fusion to get the first key, but all I needed was to get gud. Then when I figured out how to get the second key, you showed me how to do it. I was like "What do I need this health postion for, I haven't lost any life?" But it wasn't the potion. WOW! Just WOW. Love this one. love it.

P#60416 2018-12-28 21:06

@Mush Great job! I really enjoyed the game. The puzzles were challenging but not frustrating. I feel inspired to make some Pico-8 games :)

P#60419 2018-12-29 01:06

Great game! Well done. Can't wait to look under the hood! =)

P#60423 2018-12-29 11:09

Fantastic game! I had a blast playing through it last night on the big tv! Solving one of the last puzzles was fascinating, as I thought of plausible ways to solve it using the fused items and eventually realized how I had to do it! So much fun, congrats. Making a game of this quality is what I aspire to on this platform.

P#60717 2019-01-09 13:59

I spent a very good time playing it. Your level design is very effective.

P#65708 2019-07-08 20:34

Great game, no complaints! I saw an immediate route for fastest way to beat the game, but was still fun to make small improvements on the runs I have done. This was the best time I've gotten so far.

P#72712 2020-02-04 03:31 ( Edited 2020-02-04 03:32)

your drop down code doesn't work. when i copy paste that into pico, all the sprite and music data is gone...

and how come when i load it by png and look at the map data, the map part is all jibberish??

P#78317 2020-06-20 03:42

Hi Picoternoob,

The drop-down code tab on the website only contains the contents of the code tab in the editor. In order to get the music, SFX, sprite data and map data, you need to download the entire cartridge, either as a PNG or by using the SPLORE command inside PICO-8.

In terms of this game's map data, in PICO-8 the lower half of the spritesheet and the lower half of the map share space in memory. This means that you can only realistically use the entire map or the entire spritesheet. For this game, I decided I wanted to use all the sprites, so the bottom half of the map is the garbage data you get from reading the lower half of the spritesheet as if it was map data.

The map I wanted for this game would be far too big to store in the remaining half of the map data. Instead, I stored the map data as long strings in the code. You can find these stored in the ROOMS array in the code tab. I can then load individual rooms into the map data when they are needed during gameplay.

This system meant that I wasn't using the top half of the map data to store anything. Instead of letting it go to waste, I used it to store the game's title screen. If you zoom out on the map data, you can see the shape of the title screen stored there, even though the colours are different.

Hope this answers your questions.

P#78321 2020-06-20 06:23

the game doesnt work
it says, "runtime error line 1524 tab 0
in s_t_a line 1524 (tab 0) at line 1528 (tab 0)"
please fix this

P#79574 2020-07-18 18:01

Hi jo560hs,
Thanks for letting me know about this - it seems that it was caused when PICO-8 updated to a new version.
I've fixed the issue and uploaded a new version of the cartridge.

P#79578 2020-07-18 20:18

thank you for fixing it
great game

P#79964 2020-07-26 21:36

i found a crash situation. if you use the teleport rod into a loading zone, the game will scroll the screen then crash

P#92225 2021-05-20 15:00

That last puzzle was so clever, this is fantastic. It has such a unique relationship between overworld and dungeon that truly makes me want more.

Great stuff!

P#93289 2021-06-10 07:31

we huntin for the bible!!

P#117383 2022-09-13 22:10

Hi Mush!

I see in a previous comment that you used the lower half of the sprite storage to store the map, and can load it as you want. What I'm wondering is how you made the map, then converted it into lines of code like you did? It's such a fascinating way to store the ENORMOUS map you made, and I'd love to know how it works!

P#127199 2023-03-15 22:55

There’s 3 keys but u need only 2 to beat the game, why is there a 3rd one

P#130414 2023-06-01 14:30

Great game! Very inspiring. Lots of great ideas in here, both with gameplay and coding techniques.

P#132867 2023-08-08 14:42

great game!

P#135707 2023-10-10 16:21

Great game. I'm still wondering about a few thing :

  • is there a use for the third key ?

  • is there a use for the teleport bomb ? I suspect I might have cheesed the room to the bottom right of the underworld with regular bomb. Maybe the teleport bomb was supposed to be used there somehow ?

  • is the bridge in the fusion altar screen just a convenience or is there a an alternate way to get a key using it ?
P#137229 2023-11-10 14:27

We want more! Please make sequel... or a few sequels? Puzzles are awesome, but the fun is over in 25-30 minutes. If u are a zelda fan then this is the p8 rpg u need. The soundtrack is a banger too. Sounds similar to zelda theme but not quite the same notes and that is hard to pull off. I had a little bit of an issue with my player collision and dungeon door corners, but it was an overall super fun experience. Please make more. Wonderful example for learning too.

P#137248 2023-11-10 22:25 ( Edited 2023-11-12 19:28)

It's really annoying how enemies respawn when you re-enter a zone.

P#138126 2023-12-02 01:30

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