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Cart #39705 | 2017-04-15 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Z - Examine/Pick-up/Drop
X - (not used until later in the game)
Up - Jump
Down - Duck/Crawl
Left/Right - Move

You have been drawn to a mysterious place, what secrets does it hold, and what will they mean for you?

When not carrying an item, you can examine things. If you're stuck, try examining signs and other objects.
When you have explored far enough into the western temple, you can use the 'X' button.

I'm calling this "done" though there are a few things I might touch up in the future. Right now though, I've spent too long working on this already and need to get back to work on things that stand a chance of making some money :P

1.4: fixed map initialisation corrupting some sprites
1.3: fixed a bug & added some minor text
1.2: fixed special effects rendering wrong in newer pico-8 builds
1.1: fixed a couple of bugs
1.0: first version

P#12682 2015-08-15 11:11 ( Edited 2018-04-17 23:45)

wow... this is a masterful work. great job!

P#12683 2015-08-15 11:33 ( Edited 2015-08-15 15:33)

Awesome!! \o/

Starts out easy but some of the later puzzles are fiendish! I approve!

Turned out beautifully!

P#12684 2015-08-15 11:40 ( Edited 2015-08-15 15:40)

Well, this is intimidating...

P#12686 2015-08-15 12:58 ( Edited 2015-08-15 16:58)

Well, the art was nice
Didn't quite enjoyed the trip though :/
I found the controls to be very frustrating, mainly because of platforms that are only one square wide combined with imprecise movements.

A bug that I noticed : when you use X to activate what it is supposed to activate, and die shortly afterwards, without going to a checkpoint, you get burned when getting on the statue, but the statue is not actually shown burning

P#12687 2015-08-15 13:02 ( Edited 2015-08-15 17:02)

Perfect! Needs music!

P#12688 2015-08-15 13:54 ( Edited 2015-08-15 17:54)

Yay I made it home!

Amazing art and nice little puzzles. The spike rooms on the far east side of the map were brutal and a large spike (har) in difficulty, for me at least, but the game's almost over at that point.

P#12689 2015-08-15 14:33 ( Edited 2015-08-15 18:33)

Great great game Sophie! Really well designed, and shows off PICO-8's high end capabilities. =]

P#12692 2015-08-15 19:06 ( Edited 2015-08-15 23:06)

Well done!

P#12693 2015-08-15 19:09 ( Edited 2015-08-15 23:09)

totally feels right calling this an achievement. please keep making games.

P#12694 2015-08-15 19:22 ( Edited 2015-08-15 23:22)

Very beautiful! I especially love the water animation and the leaky bucket mechanic.

I thought the spike rooms on the eastern side were just right, but I didn't realise what I needed to do to open the final door until after I'd been everywhere else and quit the game! I wish pico-8 had save states already.

P#12698 2015-08-15 23:23 ( Edited 2015-08-16 03:23)

Amazing game. My favorite Pico-8 game to date. I felt like I figured out the final puzzle kind of by accident, but I did figure it out and was satisfied with its symmetry, so.

P#12699 2015-08-16 00:13 ( Edited 2015-08-16 04:13)

I figured out the last piece be accident too, but it was born from frustration and somehow felt really satisfying to discover.

P#12700 2015-08-16 01:02 ( Edited 2015-08-16 05:02)

Great game !

It took me some time to figure out how to open the last door but I felt stupid once I found...

P#12710 2015-08-16 10:45 ( Edited 2015-08-16 14:45)

Finally got home through those #"%#!"#¤ spikes! Very nice job! Just wanting it to be longer ;)

P#12713 2015-08-16 14:56 ( Edited 2015-08-16 18:56)

loved it!! all the fire and water effects are such great mood touches. fun puzzles too :D

P#12715 2015-08-16 18:46 ( Edited 2015-08-16 22:46)

Took a while for me to get the ending. That's probably one of those puzzles that some people will get right away sort of by chance and others will take a while. :P

The effects are wonderful, I will have to study this game later. :3

P#12717 2015-08-16 21:41 ( Edited 2015-08-17 01:41)

Simply amazing what you peeps are making with this.

P#12724 2015-08-17 00:07 ( Edited 2015-08-17 04:07)


P#12729 2015-08-17 02:28 ( Edited 2015-08-17 06:28)

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it (the good and the bad <3)

Sorry I'm not more active on the BBS, I'm pretty bad at keeping on top of forums and things like that. I do lurk bit though and I like all your stuff! :)

Anyway, I've just updated the game a little to fix the statue fire bug, and a bug where you could get trapped inside closing doors.

P#12757 2015-08-18 06:37 ( Edited 2015-08-18 10:37)

About the last puzzle:

In the very spikey area, I was still carrying around the very first green orb you get. I didn't use the bucket by the "this is tricky" sign. Didn't seem like this was intended, but maybe I actually did just accidentally solve the trick, heh.

P#12801 2015-08-19 11:38 ( Edited 2015-08-19 15:38)

Not sure if this is my lack of familiarity with platformers (I don't really like them most of the time; blasphemy I know!) but the controls feel a little floaty...the acceleration and deceleration led to a few deaths I didn't feel were quite my fault. That aside, it's super beautiful and the puzzles were clever. Really nice job.

P#12804 2015-08-19 13:49 ( Edited 2015-08-19 17:49)

Really great, i did have an extra green orb at the end, I think, maybe just my combinations.
Great art, awesome effects.
Bit too floaty and slippery platforming but i didn't mind too much.
Good stuff

P#12824 2015-08-20 15:11 ( Edited 2015-08-20 19:11)

This is a dang masterpiece.

P#12836 2015-08-20 19:43 ( Edited 2015-08-20 23:43)


Great, masterfully crafted puzzle platformer, and the best Pico 8 game I've seen yet! I love how you got a lot of mileage out of minimal items as well; the bucket is a timed key, and the orb is a key with no timer but a secondary ability. At first, I actually ended up stockpiling them in the main area after completing puzzles with them because I thought I'd need them all later, but carrying extras into the temples made their puzzles easier.

I interpreted the bucket as a key to bypass the fire by putting it out at first. I was pretty sure the Trees were going to interact with the fire form too. At first, I didn't get that you were supposed to light the statues either, and interpreted the East Temple puzzle as needing a bucket of water to drip into the statue's bowl, since the statues by the gate had water splashing in them. I was going to say, that last temple was a HUGE difficulty spike, since I barely managed to get water to the last statue in time after many many attempts, but accidentally investigated the statue and finally saw the hint.

I had a great time with this, and I'd love to see more of your works!

P#12869 2015-08-21 19:43 ( Edited 2015-08-21 23:44)

Beautiful, short, simple and sweet. Well done!

P#12961 2015-08-23 16:37 ( Edited 2015-08-23 20:37)

This is an instant classic. Cheers, Sophie Houlden! Superb work!

(in fact I decided to set up an account just to come here and congratulate you).

P#13248 2015-08-28 20:42 ( Edited 2015-08-29 01:03)

Ha ha, in the 'tricky' puzzle instead of using the one you're meant to, I went back to a previous waterfall by shifting some earlier buckets, but then it always ran out just before I could put it down. It took me a few goes before paying more attention and noticing the waterfall on the next screen above it. Not as tricky as I thought!
Good game, I enjoyed this.

P#13697 2015-09-04 23:41 ( Edited 2015-09-05 03:41)

[spoilers, kind of]

As others have mentioned, I didn't end up needing the orb at the bottom right due to hoarding... I think you need to force the player to lose the first orb sometime before that.

Also agree with what others said about the controls feeling too "floaty" and imprecise... Also running and jumping off the edge of a platform seems very inconsistent in whether it registers or makes you fall. These issues weren't game breaking or anything, but the eastern temple would have been more fun/satisfying and less tedious/frustrating with a little more calibration to the physics.

Those small issues aside, the game was super cool. My favorite part was the western temple that strongly suggested there was something to do with the statue on the way in, and then after you get the power and use it all the little firey stones on the way back are used as a visual cue that something significant far away had changed. Without that I would have been very confused, nicely done.

P#13744 2015-09-06 03:02 ( Edited 2015-09-06 07:02)

Reminds me of the old Commodore games...like it!

P#14754 2015-09-30 01:19 ( Edited 2015-09-30 05:19)

wow! Had the same experience I had when I first played Terry Cavanagh's "Don't Look Back"

Very fine little game indeed! ^_^

P#14885 2015-10-02 18:48 ( Edited 2015-10-02 22:48)

Very good game, I like the puzzle and graphics are amazing. Only the last puzzle made me wonder a lot and trying a lot of things while having to do the hard platforming again and again. But that was fun anyway, thank for this great game !

P#14994 2015-10-05 05:06 ( Edited 2015-10-05 09:06)

The game is awesome! Nice work SophieHoulden!
There are many lessons to be learnt from it, as for gameplay, concept, art and working with (not against) pico-8 constrains. It is beautiful!

I wonder what the heroin would look like in the game box...

P#16302 2015-11-06 08:16 ( Edited 2015-11-06 13:16)

Just registered to say finally completed the game! I enjoyed it, thank you!

P#16576 2015-11-12 03:44 ( Edited 2015-11-12 08:44)

So beautiful, thank you for sharing!

P#16679 2015-11-15 17:25 ( Edited 2015-11-15 22:25)

It's frustrating that I have a bucket full of water, but I can't use it to put out a fire, and letting the water drizzle out right next to the fire does nothing.

P#17466 2015-12-03 22:36 ( Edited 2015-12-04 03:36)

sorry, didn't mean to bump! - I just updated some effects that were broken in newer pico-8 builds (they were originally hacked around a bug that has been fixed).

P#18974 2016-02-26 17:13 ( Edited 2016-02-26 22:13)

This is a wonderful game with great atmosphere. The puzzles are really satisfying, and those spikes... so hard! I love it. Also, those water falls blew my mind.

P#19625 2016-04-06 13:37 ( Edited 2016-04-06 17:37)

That was the first pico8 game I have played and I think you set the bar pretty high! Good game design. Just frustrating enough to keep me challenged without throwing my hands up :P

P#20249 2016-05-06 15:59 ( Edited 2016-05-06 19:59)

Awesome game. The fire part was really, really irritatingly confusing as you'd think you could put it out with the water. I had played and given up a handful of times because of it, too.

There was one thing though,

It doesn't seem like you need to get all of the buckets or the orbs from the different locations. If you back-track through the temple of fire on the left, you can shimmy through it with the orb and the bucket of water to save both. With those, you can get through the rest of the areas especially considering you get a free bucket if you don't open the useless door that's easily bypassable anyway. Just repeat the same process and shimmy back with the keystone and the orb.

P#22557 2016-06-09 14:52 ( Edited 2016-06-09 18:52)

Great job!

On the last puzzle I actually put both of the orbs on the hands haha!

P#24610 2016-07-05 05:21 ( Edited 2016-07-05 09:22)

Incredible game!! I made an account, just to leave a comment cause it was so awesome!

P#24839 2016-07-07 15:10 ( Edited 2016-07-07 19:10)

Great adventure game! Challenging, but not frustrating.

P#26319 2016-08-02 09:05 ( Edited 2016-08-02 13:05)

i really enjoyed this , played it thru part way first then this time completed the spikey area. Really cool, fun and good level flow. the second statue wasnt lighting up properly but was alight once i completed the spike area. or maybe i misunderstood something. loved the statues!

P#26685 2016-08-09 06:01 ( Edited 2016-08-09 10:01)

What a great game! I really enjoyed it!
I solved

the last puzzle by doing backtracking and getting the orb from the previous section. I sort of wished I didn't because it seemed to be real tricky for everyone!

Great work!!

P#34454 2016-12-29 16:25 ( Edited 2016-12-29 21:25)

Great game, thanks

P#34727 2017-01-02 07:16 ( Edited 2017-01-02 12:16)

Awesome game! Dusk Child was my very first cart in PICO-8 that completes till end!

P#36842 2017-01-29 03:00 ( Edited 2017-01-29 08:00)

10 outta 10

P#37187 2017-02-05 16:05 ( Edited 2017-02-05 21:05)

May I use the title screen of Dusk Child as an example of what can be done with #Pico8 for my book "How to make games with Pico-8"?

P#38838 2017-03-29 04:37 ( Edited 2017-03-29 08:37)

I just completed this game yesterday. Really charming tiny metroidvania, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

P#39135 2017-04-06 13:42 ( Edited 2017-04-06 17:42)

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