[[quoteright:272:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TaskMaker_8538.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:272:[[VoiceOfDramatic "TASKMAKER."]]]]

''[=TaskMaker=]'' is a WesternRPG, first designed as a TabletopGame and later adapted for the black-and-white {{Macintosh}} in 1989. While almost nothing is known about the board game, the computer version was fairly popular, especially after a 1993 rerelease as {{Shareware}} by Storm Impact added color graphics. (The company had previously done the same with ''VideoGame/MacSki''.)

The player is an agent of the title character, sent to fetch objects from various towns and dungeons while gaining experience. Along the way, he has to fight various monsters. The player can also go to shops to buy useful potions, weapons and scrolls to enhance his fighting ability, as well as not-so-useful items. Stats are measured in bars such as food, spirit, health, stamina, etc. — these stats can be depleted and restored at any time, but leveling up increases how much ''overall'' he has of each. He can also cast various preset spells to aid in killing monsters, replenishing stats, etc. For the final task, the player is asked to kill a prisoner, who actually turns out to be a good person. Regardless of whether or not the prisoner is killed, the player then discovers that the [=TaskMaker=] is evil, and has to kill him to win the game.

A sequel entitled ''VideoGame/TheTombOfTheTaskMaker'' was released in 1997. Due to management issues at the corporate level, the sequel was largely rushed and had many unused dungeons, as well as several glitches. Developer Storm Impact collapsed soon afterward, and the game was never heard of again until David Cook, one of the programmers, released a version 1.0.1 of ''Tomb'' on his personal website in July 2008.

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!!Tropes present include:

* {{Abandonware}}: After Storm Impact dissolved, the creators posted registration codes online so that all three of Storm Impact's popular games (the two ''[=TaskMaker=]s'' and a skiing simulation called ''VideoGame/MacSki'') could be registered for free. Since then, however, Cook has posted the software (and another late-1990s game called ''Asterbamm'', which was a critical failure) on his website, and asks $10 for a complete suite of Storm Impact registration codes.
* AllThereInTheManual: The shareware version came with a manual, without which some of the puzzles are pretty hard to solve.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: A spell in "Other spell to invoke" can turn off the stepping noise every time a player moves, the "ooph" sound when they run into a wall, and the appearance of random monsters. It can also make the game automatically save whenever you enter or exit a town/dungeon/etc.
* AwesomeButTemporary: Magic wands of various sorts can be found all over the place. While they boast power far beyond even the most powerful sword, and can even be wielded, they'll usually last for only one to four shots before turning into a useless stick.
* BagOfHolding: All items are placed in the player's pouch, which can hold up to 41 items, regardless of how big each individual item would be in RealLife. It's possible to carry 41 old empty chests in there.
* BigYes: The sound effect for leveling up.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: One character says "This game is too tough." when frightened.
* CheatCode: Many spells can be entered into "Other Spell to Invoke", including one which summons a(n expensive) food shop, another which summons a(n also expensive) key shop, one which blows away any force field in the player's path, one which returns the player to the docks at the start of the game, one that summons a ship when facing water, etc.
** One version of the game accidentally left in a spell meant only for game testers and debuggers, that allows the player to wish for any object as often as they wanted. Using the spell in subsequent versions force-quits the game.
* CriticalHit: Called "Double damage."
* DeathCryEcho: Heard when a player is sent to Hell.
* DeathIsNotPermanent: A player can die and go to Hell an indefinite amount of times.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** Although it's not that easy to set up such a circumstance in the first place, it's completely impossible to die in the Tutorial level.
** The Ethereal Potion does not allow passage through black walls or walls with shapes on them. Vidair's Tower is largely composed of black walls.
** Frightening an NPC will not work if the player is drunk.
** The hidden "summon a ship" spell doesn't work in Castle Hall, because it can be used to access a powerful weapon in the fountain.
* DiscOneNuke: The Tutorial level gives you an ethereal potion, which can either be sold for a high price to get powerful weapons early on, or used to phase through walls near the [=TaskMaker=]'s throne to access ''three'' powerful weapons and a switch that unveils a fourth.
* DualWielding: A player can hold a weapon in each hand (and probably should). However, there are some two-handed weapons, including shovels, picks, and bows.
* DungeonBypass: Invoked in Poet's Nightmare. After deciding that it was too tough a dungeon, the programmers added a staircase hidden behind a wall. Just one Passwall or Ethereal Potion will get there.
* EasterEgg: Several.
** Nearly every dungeon has a hidden message. Pentamerous has a very ''long'' one that explains the game's history in detail.
** Attempting to recycle a task object will result in a funny message such as "You can't recycle that! It would turn you into a tuna fish sandwich."
** There are several amusing easter-egg spells based on Other Spell to Invoke:
*** "Kiss" on a monster or guard drains the player's Spirit and displays the message "You should seek professional help."
*** "Fuck" or "Shit" sends the player to Hell with a message of "Watch your language!"
*** "Eggs" displays the message "Why did you say eggs?"
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Even un-angered monsters will become angry if the player attacks a Good or Neutral NPC in their presence.
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: Zig-zagged. "Worker Bees" have a Good alignment and very low health. There are, however, Giant Wasp, Giant Hornet, and Giant Killer Bee, who all have an Evil alignment.
* {{Excalibur}}: The name of the most powerful sword. It's found in [[spoiler:the Island Prison]].
* FetchQuest: The main premise.
* FirstTown: Castle Hall.
* ForcedTutorial: Subverted; there is an option to skip the Tutorial level. However, it may be wise to play it anyway due to DiscOneNuke.
* GameBreakingBug: If a player's food meter is drained, he will lose health ''very'' quickly and be sent to Hell. Unless he finds food right away, he will be stuck in an infinite death loop.
* GetOnTheBoat: Required to get to Vidair's Tower, by sailing out of Pentamerous.
* HealingPotion: In addition to the traditional one, the game offers "Extra Healing" (a stronger potion), and various items that will restore health and/or other stats to various degrees (including "Instant Weekend" and "Instant Vacation").
* HellHound: One appears in the graveyard in Castle Hall.
* InconvenientlyPlacedConveyorBelt: The tutorial shows an example of a conveyor belt being used to deny exit from a room (turned off via switch). However, this trick only shows up in one village, where all it blocks the player from is a small pile of {{Skeleton Key}}s amid lots of garbage. Even then, it can easily be thwarted by using the Haste spell or Boots o' Speed to run across the conveyor belt.
* InexplicableTreasureChests: One of the items availableat a shop is "Old Empty Chest," which is empty and has no value at all.
* IntoxicationEnsues: The game features various types of beer, which do nothing but render the player "happy and carefree". Movement will be impaired, fighting skills temporarily lessened, and if the player is drunk enough, he will be unable to properly transact with [=NPCs=] or shopkeepers (the game will just say "You've had a little too much to drink" instead).
* ItsUpToYou: The player has to do all the fighting, {{Item Get}}ting, and everything else. None of the [=NPC=]s can help beyond sometimes giving hints.
* JokeItem: Tons are available at the shops and throughout the game. These range from the obvious, such as garbage, skulls, and old bones, to less obvious ones, including several varieties of Macintosh, the aforementioned old empty chest, etc.
** The Mac models aren't ''completely'' useless, as they are often found in dungeons and as monster drops, and sell for a decent amount of cash (early in the game, at least). Also, since they have a high value, bestowing them will work on just about any character other than the [=TaskMaker=].
** The Wisdom Teeth seem useless at first, but they will prevent the player from being teleported by the final boss.
* KarmaMeter: In a manner of speaking; the game keeps track of how many "good", "neutral" and "evil" beings you kill. In the first game, kill too many good beings [[spoiler:(or the Prisoner)]] and the BigBad insta-kills the player.
* LampshadeHanging: One of the monsters in the game is called a Cameron, a species made up for the game. When happy, it asks, "What's a Cameron anyway?"
* LevelEditor: Sort of. After winning the game, it is possible to edit all of the dungeons.
* LevelGrinding: Pretty much a necessity. It's possible to pull off in the ''tutorial'' despite that level not having monsters; just use the entry-level spells (Heal/Cure, Illuminate) enough times and the player can probably get to level 7 (by which point he will know all the spells) before he'ss even done with the tutorial.
* LikeABadassOutOfHell: The tricky thing about monsters is there tend to be a limited amount, and randomized ones are rare unless the player stocks up on Make Monsters scrolls. This makes level-grinding tricky, especially for players who just want to kill monsterss. When the player dies, he has to make his way through a fiery maze in FireAndBrimstoneHell back to the living, while avoiding respawning devils (three of which are blocked off and can't hurt him). The player can get sent to Hell [[WhatTheHellPlayer by casting a spell with a swear word in it.]] (Or use an item like a Hell Scroll or Adam's Apple that RandomlyDrops). Also, the devils re-spawn if the player saves in Hell and reopen the file…
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Almost all dungeons are swarming with [=NPC=]s and/or monsters.
* MoneySpider: Killing nearly any NPC will find at least one item on their body.
* OnlyAFleshWound: One of the randomized lines spoken by an NPC when it dies.
* PlayableEpilogue: After winning the game, a doorway behind the [=TaskMaker's=] throne reveals an access to an epilogue level in which all of the game's creators are [=NPCs=].
* PlayerNudge: Attempting to talk to the [=TaskMaker=] before the player has found the current task object will make the [=TaskMaker=] demand again that he find it, and give a hint or two on finding it.
* PoisonMushroom: "Skeleton Scroll" temporarily drains player stats by about 10%, and "Depressions" knocks them down even further. "Devil's Scroll" goes so far as to lower the ''overall'' stats.
* SchizoTech: Despite being essentially TheThemeParkVersion of a medieval setting, the game has "Auto teller" machines, recycling bins, and early-model Macintoshes for sale at some shops.
* SchmuckBait: Inverted. "Poison Potion" will actually increase all stats.
* SdrawkcabName: Enitsirhc in the first game, a royal house led by a woman named Christine.
* SequenceBreaking: Subverted. The player may not access any other town at the start of the game before talking to the [=TaskMaker=], nor can he pick up a task item not yet assigned to him.
* ShapedLikeItself: One of the randomly-generated "last words" for an NPC upon dying is "These are my last words."
* ShoutOut:
** [[ComicStrip/{{Popeye}} Eating spinach]] restores all stats.
** [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Marvin the Paranoid Android]] appears as an NPC in Dripstone.
** HenryDavidThoreau's ''Civil Disobedience'' is quoted in Enitsirhc.
** The weapons include the [[Literature/{{Jabberwocky}} Vorpal Blade]] and [[Music/TheBeatles Maxwell's Hammer]].
** One of the monsters is a KillerRabbit.
** When angered, the Happy Bat threatens to [[Music/OzzyOsbourne bite the player's head off]].
** In Enitsirhc, [[Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland Humpty Dumpty]] appears as an NPC.
* SkeletonKey: Of the "open any doors" variety.
* SpeakingSimlish: The sound effect played when conversing with a player is actually the words "fine by me" sped up and multi-tracked. Similarly, the sound effect for reading a scroll is multi-tracked gibberish.
* SprintShoes: "Boots o' Speed".
* TakeThat: [[{{Ultima}} Richard Garriott]] is held in the Island Prison, in a prison covered with feces. (He can only be accessed by phasing through walls.) He says "I don't make games anymore."
* TeleportSpam: Inverted; the final boss can teleport-spam ''the player''.
* TreacherousQuestGiver: The title character.
* TheUnpronounceable: One of the tougher monsters is called the Xlozphroc.
* VendorTrash: See also JokeItem, above.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: If the player keeps a good alignment (e.g., by only killing monsters, not neutral or good [=NPCs=]), their health will replenish much more quickly in the Lost Gardens.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: It is possible to kill off almost every NPC, then use "restart place" to reset the current area and re-spawn every NPC, although this will lower the player's score. Lather, rinse, repeat.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: Killing an NPC with a Good alignment decreases Spirit. Also, don't kill "Mom" in Enitsirhc and "Rusty" in Poet's Nightmare. They will warn the player of this when frightened (done by any NPC when its health is low) by saying [[WhatTheHellPlayer "You're making a big mistake!"]]. And killing them will render the player permanently blind, deaf, and drunk, thus unable to progress.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption: One of the tasks in the first game is to kill a rebel and bring back his head. His alignment is given as "unknown" when he is met, and killing him [[spoiler:reveals him to be a "good" alignment]]. Averted from version 2.0.3 onward, as the level was changed so that instead of killing the rebel, the player can [[spoiler:bestow a gift to him, thus causing him to give you a slave's head, which the [=TaskMaker=] always assumes to be the rebel's head]]. Similarly averted in the Island Prison from 2.0 onward, where the player [[spoiler:can either bestow a gift to the prisoner in the Island Prison, or just do nothing to him at all]].
* VisualPun: In Enitsirhc, there is a Skeleton hiding in a closet.
* VoiceOfDramatic: A deep voice says the game's name in the opening screen.
* WakeUpCallBoss: The final boss is about 10 times more powerful than any monster in the game. He can also teleport, deafen, blind, or intoxicate the player, in addition to summoning monsters and healing himself. He used to be nearly ten times more powerful than ''that'' in 2.0, but was severely cut down.
* WalletOfHolding: Zig-zagged. The player can carry forms of currency, but can't use them in a shop until deposited in an Auto Teller. As with any other object, forms of currency take up room in the pouch until deposited. Also, the player will lose any un-deposited currency upon dying. However, money deposited in the Auto Teller or earned from selling shop items has no upper limit, so a good looter can become filthy rich in a hurry.
* WelcomeToCorneria: [=NPC=]s have only four lines: one each for happy, neutral, angry and frightened, plus a fifth randomly-generated line if killed.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: As stated above, this happens if the player triess to recycle a task object. Also, if the player attacks a good or neutral NPC, any other [=NPC=]s onscreen will become angered and start attacking too, usually with WTHP?-esque statements. Attacking good or neutral [=NPC=]s in any town with Guards will also anger the guards and cause them to advance, regardless of how far away from the player they are.
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly: One of the stat bars is Food. This is replenished by buying or finding any food, from Apples and generic Rations up to Home-Cooked Meals and Spinach, which replenish both Food and all other stats. Similarly, an "Instant Vacation" spell will also replenish all stats including Food, Hungergone potions will fill up the Food bar instantly, and a Food Ring will keep the Food bar full at all times. As mentioned above, the Food bar hitting 0 causes the other stats to drain ''very'' quickly until the player finds food or dies from his health hitting 0 (or by summoning an expensive food shop if in a pinch).
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