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About the StoryYou are the traveling swordsman; the strong and silent stranger; the wandering vanquisher of villainy. Damsels swoon for you. Good men respect and envy you. Scoundrels learn to fear you. Even so, you are but a rumor throughout the land.
The original version of TTS was an entry in the 2006 IFComp, where it placed 4th.
Nominee, Best Game; Winner, Best Story; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 2006 XYZZY Awards
You see, Tales very much wants to tell you a story -- one particular story. It is very linear, and implemented just deeply enough to get you through that story. And it is a fantasy game, not my favorite genre of IF or literature. The fact that someone like me, who is generally interested by more simulation-oriented, open-ended IF set anywhere BUT a world of magic and fantasy, finds the game so appealing is a testimony I think to just how well it operates within its chosen restrictions.
-- Jimmy Maher
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You are the traveling swordsman; the strong and silent stranger; the wandering vanquisher of villainy. Damsels swoon for you. Good man respect and envy you. Scoundrels learn to fear you. Even so, you are a rumor throughout the land.
The player's description sums this game up: you, the strong and silent swordsman, must save the helpless inhabitants of a fishing village from a tyrant. The writing is excellent, if a little too poetic, and the plot is straightforward -- until the ending, of course. The puzzles are sensible, with solutions that make perfect sense (although not always as well clued as I would like). I don't recall ever having to guess the verb for anything: almost all possible synonyms were accounted for and implemented.
Despite the brilliant game mechanics, I did not enjoy the game as much as I did more badly coded games. Why, I do not know. Maybe the fact that the plot was to do with a curse got to me, or I disliked the logic of the puzzles. However, it is an excellent game and I recommend it, even though I personally did not enjoy it that much.
The atmosphere was rich, but not overwhelming or misleading. As a player, you aren't subjected to the mini-game of "Guess the verb," which is a refreshing change from the frustration that can drive one to ragequit. The puzzles are not too intricate, but you're not spoonfed the answers either. Many things I didn't expect were actually implemented (taste lock -- You can't eat the lock), so I suspect there is a good amount of amusing content to discover. The provided walkthrough is also well done in a more conversational hinting style than usual.
The perspective of the player character is great and the development almost so subtle that I hadn't realized how I felt about the character until the Epilogue. A rich and celebratory perspective on people living full lives with disabilities.
You play a mute swordsman who travels the land searching for a village under oppression, righting wrongs along the way. You use several items in rather creative ways, and puzzles have multiple solutions.
I found the ending unusual, and extremely satisfying. It made a few points in the game much more understandable, and tied everything together very well. I wanted to go through and play again with my new understanding.
If you enjoyed Tales of the Traveling Swordsman...
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This is version 14 of this page, edited by Merk on 7 November 2013 at 9:07am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item