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Cart #bloodmoon-3 | 2024-01-15 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

The city of Z'Oular is crumbling. Lord Raltus has used the powers of the Blood Moon Talisman to enthrall the city. Very few people are left alive. Bram, a demon hunter under the banner of the Goddess Askelpios, receives a message from within the city and takes it upon himself to cleanse the evil that lies therein.

Play through a huge overworld packed to the brim with secrets! Uncover the hidden dungeons within and use the bevy of curios you find to bring Lord Raltus to his knees! A massive adventure tucked neatly into a single PICO-8 cartridge and built to evoke the games of yore.

Keep your notepad handy to write down the hints you receive and to draw a map to keep you from getting lost or spool through a printable manual to really game like it's the 80s.

Instruction Manual


Per the advice of the wonderful folks in the comments I have added the following to the game!

  • Text in the inventory screen explaining how to exit the game even when in splore
  • expanded the hitbox of the sword to give the player a small advantage
  • added a confirmation method for deleting a save game to avoid accidental restarts

I had to lower the token count (without dropping features!) to add some of these functions into the game which took a couple of days! Apologies on the delay!

P#139596 2024-01-03 22:54 ( Edited 2024-01-15 17:56)

Very well done! Cool manual beautiful title screen art. Maybe u could add a slash similar to zelda, that attacks a quarter circle when swinging the sword? No need to animate a slash (although your zelda game does have a slash that looks pretty cool) just making the sword hit a wider area would be a great improvement imo update -he did this!

Either way, this is an excellent game. It feels rewarding when I hit an enemy and they get pushed back and change color-very fluid! I look forward to playing more soon. Thanks for making it :)

P#139617 2024-01-04 11:17 ( Edited 2024-01-08 11:14)

Great game, I have a suggestion though. It's little too easy to "destroy" the saved progress. Maybe you could add a "Are you sure?"-question before an old save is restared by an accidental press of instead of 🅾️ on the load screen.

P#139626 2024-01-04 13:57

Expanding the attack hitbox could be a fun way to give the player some more firepower! I’ll test it out! And I really should add a “Are you sure” prompt before starting a new game. I’ll have an update tonight!

P#139630 2024-01-04 15:14

I don't think it's a good idea to override the pico-8 pause menu without giving access to the same options. If this game is run in splore, then the only way to quit is with keyboard hotkeys that the player might not know about.

P#139758 2024-01-07 20:45

I thought it was common knowledge that you can bring up the pause menu by holding the start or esc key but this is the second time I’ve heard this suggestion. I’ll add a notice to the inventory screen and info to the manual!

P#139760 2024-01-07 20:50

please your Bug Fixed!
I was just before the FINALE, then I was dead, unfortunately I accidentally pressed x and now I have to play the game again!
Why didn't you pay attention to this game like "Zelda"?
When resetting the game you have to warn again whether you want to delete the save game, no and yes!

P#139774 2024-01-08 02:20

hey marhon1987! I apologize for your lost progress and hope you were having fun with the game otherwise!

I have now updated the game and this issue should no longer occur except in cases of extreme obstinance!

P#139775 2024-01-08 03:04

First time playing this, I progressed to town but lost the save game cause I clicked the wrong key when loading.
Second time playing this, I progressed really far, clearing 1st and 2nd dungeon (graveyard). I haven't uncovered any secrets yet so the 2nd dungeon was really hell! I figured out later that I could upgrade my attack power and defense by uncovering certain secrets.
For some reason, I lost my save game and had to do the third run. This time, I grabbed all secrets I could find before attempting 2nd and 3rd dungeon (island). Boy, it was waay easier. Though it makes me think if 3rd dungeon was supposed to be the 2nd one.
Oh well, either way, I completed this cool zelda-like game.

My complaint is my second tool choice isn't saved so whenever I load a saved game, I start with lighter even though I was using other tool when saving the game.
My suggestion is to replace zombies near starting area with slimes to give nice and easy start for players.

P#139798 2024-01-08 10:40 ( Edited 2024-01-08 10:42)

thank u! Excellent update!

P#139801 2024-01-08 11:16

Hey, Bloodbane! Fitting name for the game! Did you complete the fourth dungeon?

P#139803 2024-01-08 11:21

Awsome zelda like. Thanks so much for the save safety update. It has saved my save half a dozen times so far. Had lost my progress 4 times before, but my fully annotated paper map helped a lot. White tunic makes a huge difference in dungeons.

Comment from my 6 years old : You have to fill the auto-map with crayons on real paper like in the middle age, that's so cool !!! (I feel old)

Minor bug report: the game crashes when walking on the spikes on the 1st screen of the final dungeon :

Was trying to jump but forgot once again that the thing that acts like link's feather gets unequipped when reloading.

P#139925 2024-01-10 00:07 ( Edited 2024-01-10 00:13)

I’m dying to see your map!

That’s a good find on the bug and I know exactly what went wrong!

Edit: @RealShadowCaster

I guess we can do mentions!

P#139926 2024-01-10 00:09 ( Edited 2024-01-10 02:05)

Awesome game! There are so many good games already this year, PICO-8 is the gift that keeps on giving!

P#139929 2024-01-10 01:39

Did you complete the fourth dungeon?

You mean the final dungeon?

whose entrance is hidden underneath lone grave after cornfield.

If that's the dungeon, then yes, I've completed the final dungeon of course.

P#139943 2024-01-10 13:47 ( Edited 2024-01-10 13:50)

Glad to hear it! Wanted to confirm someone had beaten it!

P#139953 2024-01-10 16:47

@thesebonesalone - This is a truly great cartridge. It is a bit madening at times, especially in the early stages. I did find the game very difficult to get into but I did persevere and I'm really glad I did. I found the controls in the inventory very confusing. I picked up the yellow head (the talisman of gravity) and walked around with it for ages wondering how to select it. Also I thought the dynamite was sweets for a long time. I am amazed at how much you have got into one cart and the you've really captured the old-school Zelda feel. Maybe the instructions could be expanded to explain these?

The sound cue for secrets is a good touch, but is there any visual clue as to where a secret is located? There are some rooms in dungeons that make the clue noise, but I just can't find the secret (maybe I already picked it up?)

Why can I only use the lighter once on a screen? When hunting for secrets I have to keep leaving the screen and coming back which is rather frustrating.

I have not finished it yet - I have done three dungeons and found the fourth but I think since I don't have Lord's blood I cant get through. But this is a really good cartridge that I will return to until I finished. Thanks for posting it!

P#140028 2024-01-12 08:34

Hey @phil, This cart is very inspired by the 1st zelda game on the NES.
In the NES game you have the blue candle that can be used once per screen and can light dark rooms, do damage sometimes depending on enemies, and burn some trees, and the upgraded version, the red candle, that can be used without the need to change screens between uses. The light, enemy damage and red candle seem to have been cut, but the blue candle stayed.
In the NES game, once you have the red candle, you start to use it on anything that looks flammable and feel powerful for it, but the use of the blue one is more interesting : you have to look for suspicious spots and pay the (minor) price for bad guesses, feels more meaningful. I personally didn't mind the candle, but found the low drop rate of bombs (sorry, dynamite) more annoying for secret search, and shamefully used save scumming to reuse them.
I've also wondered about the sound, but finally realized that it signals that there's something special to do in the room, even after it has already been done. So any room that contains a door or a switch will ring, even after said door disappeared. I can't believe that door makers that think any key should open any door and self destruct with the door stay in business... Maybe having a clientele composed mostly of zombies and having your products be quick fake cheap consumables instead of being durable is actually a strategy to a very lucrative scam... Clients can't even use the return policy when the goods have vanished after use...

P#140035 2024-01-12 12:51

@RealShadownCaster - Thanks for the detailed explanation. "save scumming" is a technique I have also been using with dynamite

P#140039 2024-01-12 14:03

@RealShadowCaster the locksmith industry in Z’Oular is based on planned obsolescence. Can’t make a bunch of money if you only need one key forever!

@phil thanks for playing my game! I’m glad you’re getting a kick out of it and that you persevered. The secret tone is something I’ve been thinking about altering. It actually changes when you have discovered the secret but I think that could be more obvious!

P#140040 2024-01-12 14:08

Thanks for sharing it with us, I really love it.

P#140149 2024-01-15 06:11

Finished it and immediately started a new game to play it all again. What a great cartridge - how you squeezed so much into it @thesebonesalone I really don't know. How long did it take you to create it?

P#140195 2024-01-16 08:41

@phil the game took me a couple of months to make and then 2 months in polishing and ancillary stuff like the manual. I made a bunch of tools that helped me build and iterate on the map quickly! That really cut down the dev hours

P#140289 2024-01-18 03:32

I'm pretty new to Pico 8, still exploring the many mechanics and different games, was searching for a zelda-like, this game got me so invested, trying to find every secret, felt like playing Zelda 1 for NES for the first time again. Marvelous work, please keep it coming, I need more games like that.

P#140303 2024-01-18 16:41

@thesebonesalone - to stop me from going mad, can you confirm that it is possible to get 20 hearts? I've finished the game twice with a key spare and only 19 hearts. I've searched the 4 dungeons and can't find a locked door anywhere.

(still loving this game)

P#140306 2024-01-18 17:01

It’s definitely possible!

Start by drawing a map and noting which screens you’ve cleared and which you haven’t!

P#140307 2024-01-18 17:02

@phil, strange, I finished the game with all the hearts and no keys left, so I’m guessing your missing one is in a dungeon behind a key door.
Re exploring the dungeons with the wand should have been à breeze… Maybe we could look at your save file and at the code to see which one you are missing…

P#140308 2024-01-18 17:34

Thanks @RealShadowCaster - I've checked and double-checked the 4 dungeons and just can't find it (it's going to be somewhere really obvious isn't it...)

If you want to look at the cart data it's here:


P#140337 2024-01-19 09:49

You're not going mad @phil, you've unlocked all the doors. The extra key is throwing you off. The heart is behind a secret door. I hate to say it, but there are two of them. If you go back to the beginning of the game and listen for secrets you should be able to find them.

One is

two screens left of the first church and down one screen.

The other is

in the buildings which are one screen left, up, and right from the cemetery.

P#140404 2024-01-21 20:38

Thanks @bæti - you have surely saved my sanity! (can't believe I missed those!!!) But I've now got 21 hearts and an extra key!!! This is ludicrous ! Surely there's not a further secret hidden in this cart... < goes back to playing it all the way through AGAIN! >

P#140405 2024-01-21 21:39

Wow @bæti I wrongly thought that my remaining key was just used on the way to the final boss but was not registered as used because the game was not saved upon game completion... So I do have the extra key, but am now in the same shoes as @phil : I only have 20 heart (that visually look like it's the whole set). Where is the missing one ??? Gotta catch them all...
Edit: bæti are you pinged when you are referenced with an @ ? Your pseudo doesn't transform into a link to your account, probaby because of the æ .

P#140406 2024-01-21 21:57 ( Edited 2024-01-21 21:59)

Imma be honest. I can’t believe there’s 21 life gems lol. I had no idea but I’m leaving it in

P#140413 2024-01-22 03:20

No problem @RealShadowCaster. You might have 21. Do you see a third row starting on the left? It's easier to see on the load screen.

You can stop the game and use this code to see where any remaining hearts are located:

for loc=0,255 do if not sv_dat[loc+1] and @(41473+loc*2)==17 then print((loc%16)..","..(loc\16)) end end

It's probably more useful to know where any remaining secret doors are located:

for loc=0,255 do if not sv_dat[loc+1] and @(41473+loc*2)>>4&-1==2 then print((loc%16)..","..(loc\16)) end end

I have notifications muted, so I don't know if pings work with my username.

P#140447 2024-01-22 18:20

Very cute game! I really appreciate the extra effort of making the manual :). Great job!

P#141430 2024-02-12 15:56

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