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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 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.
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Recommended ListsTales of the Traveling Swordsman appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Best fantasy games by MathBrush
These are my favorite games that include some sort of magical or fantastical element. Games with mostly horror or sci-fi elements are on other lists, as are surreal games, fairy tale/nursery games, and religious/mythological games. I've...
Surreal/trippy/metaphor/mind's journey, with two worlds by MathBrush
There is a big genre of games where you explore a metaphorical region of dreams or symbolism, and which has meaning in the 'real world'. I love this genre, and these are my favorite examples of the genre. I only include games where there...
Linear thriller games by MathBrush
These are games that are pretty straightforward, and which are designed to be easy enough that you can keep moving forward while hard enough to make you nervous. These games get your blood pumping.
PollsThe following polls include votes for Tales of the Traveling Swordsman:
Games with an abrupt and unexpected ending twist by dutchmule
I'm looking for games which, as in a lot of short stories, feature a sudden and unexpected revelation/twist at the very end of the game, that possibly changes your interpretation of what the game was really all about. (but please be...
Best Endings by Marshal Tenner Winter
I need help with my endings in my works so I'm asking for any suggestions for games that have great finales, denouements, and/or epilogues, so that I may study what others have done. Thanks!
Games suitable for children by Mike Sousa
My 10 year old twins recently "discovered" IF. They fell in love with Grunk and are asking for more games to play. I've searched BAF and have some ideas, but figured I would give this poll a shot since there are hundreds and hundreds of...
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