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Cart #cursed_sword-14 | 2021-08-28 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Cursed Sword


There is a place deep in the wilds where worlds collide. Above a buried dimensional rift, priests of chaos built a temple to harness its power for themselves, delving ever nearer to the rift. But a foolish high priest entered the rift itself and returned wielding a sword he could neither sheathe nor cast away. The sword demanded blood and he slew his entire priesthood to sate the blade, lest it destroy him too. With no one left to sacrifice, the sword slew him in turn. The sword has since passed from host to host, wreaking destruction and death. And through cruel fate, the cursed sword now rests in your hand. Can you cast it back from whence it came, or will its curse claim you too?


Cursed Sword is a simple roguelike based on Krystman's game Porklike, and his youtube tutorial Pico-8 Hero.

How to play

  • Goal: Find the stairs to get closer to the rift on Floor B12!
  • Killer Sword: Your sword demands blood! Kill enemies for more ⧗, or your sword will drain your ♥ with every step!
  • Combat: Enemies move when you move! Bump them to attack!
  • Treasure: Bump chests and vases to see what's inside!
  • Menu: Press (X) button to open a menu, (X) button to make a selection, and (O) button to go back!
  • Keyboard Controls: (X) button = X, (O) button = Z/C
  • Gems: The priests crafted magic gems that can be slotted into your sword. Open the inventory menu with (X) to equip them!
  • Luck: Increase your luck to dodge more attacks, get better treasure, and more!


Deepest thanks to Krystian Majewski of LazyDevs academy for the use of his game Porklike as an engine for this game. Much of the code of this game was designed by him, and I thank him especially for his ingenious level procedural generator, and the binary signature technique.

Thanks to Maddog22, who conceived many of the power gems and tested the game thoroughly. Thanks, MD!

The JSON parser program was designed by tylerneylon, adapted by feneric, which tylerneylon has released into the public domain. Feneric's adaptation of it is released under the GPL v3 license.

Some enemy artwork (tiles 192-203,208-213,224-31) licensed from Oryx Design Labs, www.oryxdesignlab.com. These designs are not released under this game's license, and Oryx Design Labs reserves all rights.

The rest, I suppose, was designed by me!

Dev Notes:

I wrote most of the code in this game while holding my newborn son, Leo. He is the co-producer of this game, as he made it impossible for me to move for long periods of time while I held him.

The code of this game is a Frankenstein mess, and it's because a lot of it is just hacking the engine developed by Krystman. I innovated a few things, but the problems with the code are mine, not his! In particular, if I could do it again, I would have followed Krystman's tutorial to the letter, and then gone back and start from scratch armed with what I learned. So, in short, my apologies for the code being substandard in places, that is my fault, not Krystman's. In particular, I regret the use of too many global variables to control logic flow, and too many big dumb if-then statements for state machines. My next game will be better!

One thing that is interestingly different from Porklike is the use of a JSON parser. I wanted this game to be data driven, and to have a really easy way of editing those data when a change was necessary. I think that worked out very well, and allowed for the gems to be procedurally generated in an object-oriented way.

P#93257 2021-06-09 15:43 ( Edited 2021-08-28 15:48)

Post-Release Comments

Now officially released! :)

P#96567 2021-08-28 15:30

Oh wait? It's gone gold now?

Fantastic, I love this take on Rogue! :D

P#96569 2021-08-28 15:52

Oh yeah, it's gone gold, my friend. ;)

P#96584 2021-08-28 22:58

I will admit though, I kinda wish it had a proper title screen, rather than just a Splash that vanishes in seconds.

P#96588 2021-08-28 23:12

Yeah, I can see that. My next roguelike, which I'm working on now, does have a cool title screen! With this game I wanted to do something that combined a title screen (that looked more like the label image) and a splash screen, but I ran out of sprite space. In the end I decided to opt for the splash screen.

P#96602 2021-08-29 01:58

Ah ha, so it was a memory constraint.

Fair enough, it's just that I wanted to make my own arcade cabinet with this game on it. Would've been cool with a title screen and possibly an attract screen. But there's limitations to what you can do on Pico8. Still, one of these days when I have the time that I can make for myself, the space, and the tools, I would totally build a Cursed Sword arcade machine! :D

P#96605 2021-08-29 03:47

That would be amazing! I'll see what I can do on the next update of the game for a title screen.

P#96655 2021-08-30 01:15

The limited steps feature was an interesting curveball, forces players to grab what they can and head to the next floor.

P#96800 2021-09-02 19:04

Thanks! The sword demanding blood was kind of my idea of how the game might distinguish itself from similar games. It's inspired by the Elric stories by Michael Moorcock.

P#96810 2021-09-02 22:53

@cjgib had a yt letsplayer on my game suggest something similar to the idea. Funny seeing it being done on another porklike-like. Small world ig haha

P#96838 2021-09-03 17:03 ( Edited 2021-09-03 17:03)

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