A boy and his shadow...
There is a Tower that rises above all in an alternate world. No one knows who built this or why it was built. One thing is certain, the Tower both casts a large shadow and at the same time is filled with moving shadows...
There is a shadow of a boy that climbs this tower. He runs through the shadow of the Tower, solving mysteries and puzzles along the way, and fighting off enemies that try to impede his progress. The boy is not affected by gravity but his movement is restricted within the thin border between light and shadow....
There is a winged sylph known as a "Spangle" that supports him in his journey. The boy is not alone in his endeavors as this creature of light joins him on his quest.
The game is, essentially, a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer with 3D segments in the latter half of the game, all presented with an aesthetic very reminiscent of the Team ICO Series
. Brought to you by Hudson Soft
This game provides examples of:
- Advancing Boss of Doom: The Shadow Soul
- Attack Its Weak Point: During the actual fight with the Shadow Soul, it will occasionally open up a large set of glowing red eyes. Three guesses to what its weak point is.
- Backtracking: So much of it!
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: How you kill one particular shadow monster.
- Block Puzzle: Due to their three-dimensional nature, most Block Puzzles appear once you gain a body of light.
- Boss Corridor: The Well, before the final boss.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Your HP is measured in "grams".
- Character Level: Unusually, leveling up only increases attack, while health is gained by recovering memories.
- Check Point
- Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Happens in a handful of Shadow Corridors.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Well, not all of it, anyway...
- Dark World
- Death Course
- Door To Before: After reaching the top of the tower, you throw a switch to activate the elevator so you can quickly travel to various floors throughout the tower.
- Dual-World Gameplay: The game is primarily a 2D platformer using shadows for terrain, but once you pick up the Watchman's Sword, you can activate gates of light that allow you to (temporarily) move around in 3D in the real world, mostly for solving even more puzzles.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Shadow Soul.
- Epic Race: Happens a few times within the tower.
- Event Flag
- Experience Meter: The purple bar below your red HP meter.
- Exposition Break
- Fairy Companion: The Spangle
- Final Boss Preview / Recurring Boss: The Shadow Soul makes it quite obvious that you're going to fight it eventually after chasing you through several different hallways.
- Floating Platforms: While a number of platforms "float" only by virtue of being shadows cast on a surface, there are also a number of genuine Floating Platforms; when they move, their shadows move too.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The 90 Memories, as well as all the 40 Shadow Corridors. There's one reward each for collecting them all.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: It turns out that many shadows have tried — but failed — to climb the tower already, and are now just memories scattered throughout. Hopefully this shadow can make it to the top.
- Heart Container: Scattered "memories" increase your HP as you collect them, in increments of 0.1 or 0.2 grams apiece.
- Interface Spoiler: What are those empty spots on the inventory screen? You'll find out as soon as you reach the top of the tower.
- It's Up to You
- Justified Extra Lives: Not only is the game silently keeping track of how many times you've run out of HP, the Game Over screen actually says "Boy ##'s shadow expired at...," implying that you're not the first shadow attempting to climb the tower. All those Memories you collect? Remains of previous shadows that died while climbing the tower.
- Level Goal: "Shadow Walls" mark the end of each level; you have to collect three Shadow Monitors to dispel it before proceeding.
- Living Shadow: The boy's shadow, and the shadow of assorted monsters he battles along the way.
- Market-Based Title: It's called Lost In Shadow in the Americas, and A Shadow's Tale in Europe.
- Musical Spoiler: The Shadow Soul has a distinct theme which starts on a level before it appears, letting players get ready to run quickly.
- New Game+ / Endgame Plus: After beating the game, you can unlock two hidden swords which you can carry over to the same or different file.
- Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: If there isn't a shadow to land on below, falling in will cost you some HP and set you back at the nearest checkpoint.
- Point of No Return: There is no going back once you leave for the Shadow Tower ... or is there?
- Plot Coupon: You start collecting pieces of stained glass halfway through the game.
- Rule of Three: Most floors require you to touch and unlock three Monitor Eyes before you can continue on.
- Run or Die: Against the Shadow Soul. Just being near it causes damage, while coming into close contact with it is instant death.
- Pressure Plate: Many of which can only be used when you're navigating the physical world, not the shadow world. And yes, many of them do require placing a weight on them to hold down.
- Puzzle Pan: This happens often when you flip a switch or pull a lever by showing you what was unlocked and where.
- Run Don't Walk
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The whole reason the boy's shadow was cut from him to begin with.
- Steam Punk
- Story to Gameplay Ratio: On the "high gameplay, low story" end.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Those poor, poor shadow spiders on 1F of the tower once you begin to backtrack...
- Suspicious Videogame Generosity: While you can find fountains of infinite life in many shadow corridors, the only ones you find in the actual tower are right before encountering The Shadow Soul.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Watchman's Sword allows you to access those mysterious gates of light scattered throughout the tower's various floors (mostly for collecting extra Memories) once you find it.
- The Tetris Effect: After playing this for a while, you might pay more attention to shadows... and maybe start matching your shadow to them.
- Trap Door
- Weakened by the Light: The only way you'll be able to keep ahead of the Shadow Soul's pursuit, as well as the means by which it is finally vanquished for good.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The tower is 55F high, but your journey doesn't end there ... Where's the boy's body? What's with the altar and stained glass?