During August 2018 I was blessed to work with xXBloodyOrange, Thunraz and Aurvandil on Thyl's Tale. In about two weeks we created a Zelda/Hyper Light Drifter like game. I was really excited when I saw that our game is also featured in the 2nd Alakajam Tournament. In that tournament players fight for the top position in a leaderboard, which takes into account the highscores of 6 games from the Alakajam community.
This post will be a (non-exhaustive) list of tips and tricks to help you with doing a speedrun.
Thyl's Tale Tricks
This is separated into two parts, one that contains spoilers and one that is spoiler free.
The intro is skippable (but doesn't count towards playtime)
If you are tired of watching the intro cutscene for the n-th time, just hit ESC to skip it.
Manage the movement
If you want to get a good time, you need to do precise movement. The normal movement ist done by WASD or Arrow keys and the attack/dash can be used with C/X or J/K. Alternatively: If you enjoy playing with a gamepad, Thyl's Tale also supports gamepads (tested with xBox 360).
Dashing is your friend
You will use the dash to avoid enemies, to pass over cliffs and just to move faster. Therefore get a feeling for the dash and how it works.
Did you notice the timer right above Thyl? That is the dash cooldown. Once the text gets bigger in size and starts to fade, you can dash again. Try to pick the appropriate timing.
Know when to fight … and when to run
There are only some specific places where you really have to fight to proceed. In dev speak we call them "arenas". Those are the levels where you enter a certain region and wall emerge, blocking your movement. The first time this happens in the third level after leaving the city, when entering the ruins and at the boss fight.
In all other cases you can easily run through the levels and not bother with the enemies.
Also see: "Learn the levels" below.
Get some healing
The shrines can heal Thyl if he gets beaten up by the enemies. Just walk near a shrine to trigger that effect. There are some shrine on the way which you can use to refill your health.
Teleport back to the city
When you are low on health you can also teleport back to the city and use the shrine there.
Take a look at the stats
When pressing F you can see your stats. Try to get items which maximize your walking speed and dash range and also minimize the dash cooldown. Good items are the Katana, and the leather armor.
Know your enemies
There are three different enemy types (plus the boss) and all of them require a different way of fighting:
- Slimes: They perform a random walk until they see you. Then they move towards you and if they are in charging distance, they will charge towards you. This is the only time when touching them will hurt you. After the charge hey are exhausted and need to rest a bit. This is the best time to attack them as they don't move.
- Smasher: This big grumpy ork will do a random walk until he sees Thyl. Then he will walk towards you and start his smash attack. Try to deal as much damage as possible before the attack comes down. Shortly before that you should dash out of the white "danger zone".
- Shooter: This cultist attacks you with a magic bullet over a mid-range distance. As he does not deal that much damage it is advisable to just dash towards him and kill him. Luckily he just takes one hit even with the starting weapon.
Of course all enemies can also be killed with the bow and arrow from a safe distance.
Easing the bossfight
The boss (called Raon) has three stages:
- In the first stage Raon shoots 6 magic bullets in a counter-clockwise order.
- in the second stage Raon fires three rounds of 20 magic bullets at a time
- In the third stage Raon summons some minions and goes into invincible mode until you kill them off. Additionally he will shoot an occasional magib bullet towards the player's position.
- The three stages loop in that order.
If possible, try to avoid the third stage as this will take a lot of time. If you bought a good weapon, Thyl should be able to defeat Raon way before that.
Learn the levels (and the world)
Knowing the progession of levels is really helpful as you can plan ahead. This image (created during development time) shows all the maps. They don't show the final version of the maps but a basic, blocked version. It might help you find your way through this adventure.
Know the puzzles
There are two puzzles levels in the game, just before the bossfight.
- The first puzzle level is easy: just activate the first trigger (best: shoot it with an arrow so you don't have to walk there) then walk up the bridge towards the second lever and activate that one. Then go back towards the first platform (the one in the south west with the wall) which is now reachable through a second bridge. Activate that third lever and continue to the north of the level.
- The second puzzle follows right after that but requires some tinkering. The combination is as follows: Left Trigger, Right Trigger, move towards the (now reachable) platform, activate that trigger, go back to the south and activate the middle trigger. Then move towards the top platform and fight with the boss.