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Cart #soulbound-8 | 2020-10-05 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

ludumdare page : https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/47/soulbound

--- STORY ---
The HilFord Brothers are famous archeologists : Clarence is a successfull businessman and he raises founds for his big brother's expeditions.
You're playing as Wellington Hilford and you must find the legendary soul gem, known for giving to his owner the potential to bend space.

--- CONTROL ---
(z/c) : jump
(x/v) : attack/talk/read/take
(left/right) : move around
(down) : drop object ( you can't attack or walljump while you hold an item )

--- GOALS ---

  • Open the entrance of the temple.
  • Find the treasure rooom.
  • Take the gem.
  • Leave the temple.
  • Give the gem to Clarence Hillford.

There's a way to save progression and restore hearts.
You can go back to your last checkpoint by selecting "retry" in the pause menu ( ENTER key )
/!\ Restart the game will erase your checkpoint ( not enough time to code save storage )

Some riddles are tricky.
Here's a video to help you out : https://youtu.be/DnNdUEiaFC8

P#82570 2020-10-04 22:28 ( Edited 2020-10-05 11:39)

I wasn't sure what to do at a certain part but I really like it!

found a new friend!

P#82571 2020-10-04 22:46

Very well done, but having only 3 hearts with no way to recover any or any checkpoints is quite unforgiving

P#82582 2020-10-05 09:52

@ChakAttack Infact there's a way to restore hearts and save your progression. But even this is a riddle too. I guess It was bad idea. Here's a video to check the game content if you give up : https://youtu.be/DnNdUEiaFC8

P#82584 2020-10-05 10:32

@benjamin_soule Oh, sorry, my bad. I guess I didn't explore the game deeply enough. Thank you for the game, I'll spend more hours in it for sure.

P#82585 2020-10-05 10:56
:: Zverik

This is amazing, a proper game of riddles! Got stuck on the screen with four snakes, maybe will get back to it later.

P#82586 2020-10-05 11:39

Another gem (ahah) after that pirate game? You are on fire!

P#82590 2020-10-05 13:04

@Zverik There's a tablet with a hint just before the pit that lead to the treasure toom. I'm not sure it's enough to guess what the snake riddle is about. Please tell me.

P#82592 2020-10-05 13:18

@benjamin_soule Are you talking about the tablet that says:

The answer and the questions lay on both sides of the door.

Because, if so, My small brain cant comprehend how that can solve the puzzle.
Edit: Oh, you probably mean the one that says:
When the four guardians share a vision, the board might be sealed.

P#82594 2020-10-05 13:54 ( Edited 2020-10-05 14:44)

I found out how to do the snake part!
Here it is:

You have to have the block on the left on. You need to make sure that the direction the snakes are facing are each facing a moon block, from the left door or the blocks on the bottom.

The simplest way to do this is the following:

  • Break the blocks on the bottom by going through the top and hitting them with your head.
  • Retrieve the whistle, and set it in the top middle.
  • Hit the switch to change the door that's open and the door that's closed.
  • Retrieve the whistle and immediately play it once.
  • Play the flute on the right tip of the bottom block 5 times, or until they all face the moons and the moons blink.

You can now retrieve the gem, rest is up to you!

The gem makes it so that you can go from one edge of the screen to another, and acts as a center point. If you get trapped in the pit, do this:

  • Set the gem on top of the block to the 1 tile right of the leftmost cross block, and 4 tiles up.
  • Pass the right of the screen and flip the lever, then go back and you can get out.
P#82599 2020-10-05 15:57 ( Edited 2020-10-05 16:52)
:: Zverik

Can you do anything besides pulling a lever there?

P#82600 2020-10-05 16:30

@Zverik Yeah, I updated the comment, It's not very precice because im lazy, but it should help a bit.

P#82601 2020-10-05 16:32

Very cool mechanic! Kudos!

Solved the snakes... jumped down... shot by dart, DEAD. Sniff....

P#82605 2020-10-05 18:23 ( Edited 2020-10-05 20:49)
:: zatyka

Wonderful work, as usual. The visuals were great, with lots of little touches to make the environment feel real. The level and mechanics were both well designed, and clever. I like that there were only subtle hints, and it was largely up to the player to figure things out. It made the "aha moments" all the more satisfying.

FYI, there were a couple spots where I was stuck and forced to retry:

P#82604 2020-10-05 18:56 ( Edited 2020-10-05 19:46)

I finally finished the game! I got stuck, so i just backtracked as much as I could, and I dunno if this is intended, but this is how I beat it: (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND PLAYING IT FOR YOURSELF FOR THE FULL EXPERIENCE FIRST! IT'S A GREAT GAME, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE IT FULLY!)

I got the crystal by doing the thing with the snakes, and I went to the first save point. I then pressed retry, and ran back up to where you come in. I used the arrows that shoot at you as a damage booster to get up, completely ignoring the rest of the map with the dirt and stuff, and the skeletons I want to murder brutally. I placed the crystal right in front of the concrete, and stabbed the guy in the back before going into the car with the crystal. I just hope I'm not a cheater, haha.

Even if it is unintended, I found it really funny you can just ignore half the puzzles in the game and win this way. I also think the ending itself is hilarious.
Just to be clear, I did all the puzzles after cheesing the game. Great job, I genuinely think this could be a game on its own!

P#82607 2020-10-05 19:26 ( Edited 2020-10-05 21:28)

Wait, is that the Wizardry font?

Or just Uncial?

P#82622 2020-10-06 01:31

@zatyka Ah ! I forgot player could dig under the gem... and I never tried to fall in the south-west room with the gem in hand... Warp-leveldesigning is hard ! I'll try to fix it in a post jam version, thank you !

@Meme_Meister Totally unintended :D I added the darts in
the last couple of hours and didnt think about this possibility. But if you could solve every puzzle it's ok : I had doubt about the one with the code.

@thattomhall I was in a hurry and took the first old fashioned font I found on my computer. Name was viking something... I had to redesign some of the letters

P#82634 2020-10-06 09:29 ( Edited 2020-10-06 09:30)

Ah k just wondering! :)

P#82641 2020-10-06 15:02

Sorry for breaking your game so much, but its just so fun

P#82738 2020-10-09 13:24

@Meme_Meister I knew it would happens when I painted this top foliages minutes before submiting :D Was Clarence able to take the gem ?

By the way I'm now trying to draw mockup for a posjam version :

P#82739 2020-10-09 13:45
:: bigjus

way too hard in my opinion , even getting to the gem is extremely hard !

P#82742 2020-10-09 15:59

@benjamin_soule He kinda just grabs it and sneaks through the foliage with it.

Colonel, I have the gem, reporting back to base.

Oh, I'm exited for the post-jam as well! It looks smooth. To fix the damage boosting skip, I recommend either lowering damage boost in air, removing the bottom two to three arrow turrets (or whatever they are), or just making the turrets higher up so that you cant reach them with the gem.

P#82744 2020-10-09 16:52 ( Edited 2020-10-09 16:59)
:: Mot

This is so well done.
And I really like the (mostly) single colour tile art style.

A minor thing I noticed: If you select "Retry" when the game hasn't started yet, the game starts but the title and "press x to start" message remain on screen.

P#82752 2020-10-09 23:30
:: milker

Man, what a genius move with the world warping GEM mechanic. And the way the game make you play for a little while before encountering it, and how it's introduced piece-wise (first it's locked in place, and you don't even know the world-warping is centered on the gem necessarely, only for you to solve the puzzle and go away with the gem and discover you have complete control over it) makes the surprise ever more earth-shatgering. And it has a whole cascade of realizations over the player. You discover you have a new super power, but it comes with a whole slew of new limitations. Great.


I find the enemies and the punishing difficulty an absulutely unecessary distraction to the actual core of the game. You have got something really special in there with the gem mechanic, and the enemies do nothing but water it down. The fun part of the game is exploring and trying to find new angles to navigate the environment and find unexpected shortcuts. I found the enemies just made me constantly backtrack to the save-spot to replenish health (and have the darts and skeletons not respawn - please for the love of god don't respawn) instead of going further and exploring more. Really man, seriously re-think the enemies. For a game with such original concepts, the enemies are the least interesting in design. The darts are actually a pretty overused obstacle in dozens of other temple-themed games and they are almost alway way more of an anoyance than an engaging thing to think about or navigate through. But the snakes and skeletons are not very special either. Maybe there could be enemies that play up to the world warping aspect, that are more thought/riddle based than reflex and action based. That would fit the theme much better.

As for the game breaking, I found the same skip as the guy above on my own (the one with the damage boost upwards) and found the final puzzle quite a creative surprise, and its solution very clever (that's the kind of riddle-based enemy that plays up to the core mechanic that I was talking about). Also, don't feel like it's super important to fix these sequence breaking opportunities. I think their possibility are a given in game with a mechanic as bold and emergent as yours, and players actualy enjoy the fact that they can expect to find ways to break the game. If anything, having more ways to break the game, and even having the game react to some of them is actually better than trying to fail-safe it. Breaking the rules is the whole point of the gem anyay, reward the player for doing so.

P#83287 2020-10-24 15:24 ( Edited 2020-10-24 15:31)
:: milker

Also, I too at one point tried leaving the Gem on top of one of those blocks that can be triggered on/off and pulled the lever to have them disapear underneath the Gem to see if the Gem would fall to the floor below. I think that kind of mechanic could be explored if you wish to expand the game further. The gem gives you amazing space-warping abilities, but you soon realize warping to new places has little use if you can't get the Gem there. Finding ways to actually move the gem from place to place while not in your hand may open up MANY new puzzles ideas, like implementing treadmills or elevators to move the gem between rooms while in warp mode.

Of course that also opens up a whole pandora box of new ways players can break you game, but as I said before, I don't think that is necessarely a problem. It's a feature!

P#83290 2020-10-24 15:48

what the hell do i do

P#83998 2020-11-08 18:37

Great game! The "special mechanic" and level design around it is genius. I personally find the overall difficulty very fair, though for those inexperienced with platforming and especially with puzzles, it may be punishing ;p

It's been a while where I've actually been challenged, thanks!

Two changes I would make would be:
1) to put the hint for the snakes in the same room as the snakes.
2) add a new hint to write down or screenshot the other hint for the door.

P#85626 2020-12-21 01:17 ( Edited 2020-12-21 01:18)

I found an absolutely MASSIVE skip

get the gem, save, die, and damage boost up the fall corridor. then leave the dungeon and continue as normal

P#88545 2021-03-04 19:31

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