Video Game: The Tomb of the TaskMaker
A sequel game to TaskMaker
, the 1990s Macintosh Western RPG
, from the same creators, Storm Impact.
Set many years after the predecessor, the game now has the player leading the world from Castle Hall following the death of the TaskMaker. As its protector, you are asked aid from people in neighboring villages. For the first tasks, you are asked to retrieve objects posessed by monsters that terrorize said villages; after retrieving each item, it is destroyed.
After a while, the player gets word that the TaskMaker has come back to life. The next task is to retrieve the key to his tomb. Upon arriving at the tomb, the player discovers that the word of the TaskMaker's rise was a ruse planted by the Captain Guard, whom you must then defeat to restore peace in the land.
The game boasts many features beyond that of its predecessor, including the ability to make your player male or female, and a fighter, mage, or thief. A completely new world is built around Castle Hall, with many new dungeons and villages to explore. The graphics have been dressed up, as well.
However, it was released in a tight time for the company, and many corners were cut in the development. (See here
for further info.) The game never made it past version 1.0 until July 2008, when developer David Cook posted a slightly updated version on his website.
- Abandonware: Having come out right before the collapse of Storm Impact, it reached this status quickly.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Zehner's Palace is loaded with objects starting with Z. There are more of them than you'd think.
- An Adventurer Is You: The player can choose to be male or female, and a fighter, magician or thief. Naturally, fighters, magicians and thieves all have different abilities, although gender doesn't matter besides some changes in graphics and sound effects.
- Anti-Frustration Features: If you're stuck, you can buy a scroll with a hint to each dungeon. Also, some of the secret options in the original game were moved into a "Player Options" menu.
- Awesome but Temporary: Once again, the wands can only be used for up to four shots before they disappear.
- Bag of Holding: Taken even further than in the previous game. Using a Silver Lining scroll, you can make your pouch hold up to 61 items.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: One NPC jokes about the game crashing when he is frightened.
- Call Back: Many to the previous game. For instance, Rich, an NPC at the Castle Hall bar in the first game, now has a tax office in the same general area in the sequel. You can also pass through a wall to find some abandoned remains, one of which is the original game's weaponry shop.
- Cap: Stats are capped at 1000.
- Cheat Code: Many of the cheat codes from the previous game carry over (including the one to summon a ship), but the game warns you that such spells should be used only if you're stuck.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Some controls were changed. "Blast" (capital B) became "Strike" (capital S); "Cure" (capital C) became "Heal" (capital H); and "Determine" (lowercase D) was merged with "Examine" (lowercase E). Making the Heal one worse is the fact that capital H was "Haste" in the original — a useful spell that doesn't exist in Tomb.
- Death Cry Echo: A different sound than the previous game.
- Death Is Not Permanent: As in the previous game, you can die and go to Hell an infinite number of times.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- A door adjacent to a wall with a shape on it can't be opened unless you have that shape's corresponding key. You can't even phase through it with an Ethereal Potion (although you can knock down the door with a Falling Wall scroll).
- Falling Wall scrolls do not not knock down black walls or walls with shapes on them. So you can't "break" the shape-door association by knocking down a wall with a shape on it, either.
- Dual Wielding: Also a carryover.
- Dummied Out: Tomb had four dungeon names which existed in the coding, but were never fleshed out into actual playable dungeons. Two of them were finally made by fans and added to 1.0.1. (Two more are also completely fleshed out in the coding, but weren't given access points, and can only be seen after you become a Master and set up entries for them.)
- Easter Egg: Every dungeon (including the tutorial) has a hidden angel. Give her Bucky's Beef Stew and she will tell her your name. You can then summon her name once to instantly heal you and teleport you back to the docks. This also works on Bucky herself, who can be found in Nottingham.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief
- First Town: As in the previous game, Castle Hall. Unlike the previous game, you start already inside Castle Hall instead of just a few steps away from it.
- Forced Tutorial: Once again subverted; there is an option to skip the tutorial. But once again, it's wise to play it anyway, because you get far more loot.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Using the "original place" cheat code in the TaskMaker's tomb after you've made the final boss spawn will cause him not to re-spawn when you open the coffin a second time, thus making the game unwinnable.
- Get on the Boat: Required to get to Butterscotch, one of the later tasks. Unlike in the previous games, there are boat docks in Castle Hall, from which you can sail out a ship for a small fee. Alternatively, you can find a Ship in a Bottle.
- You also have to sail out of Zehner's Palace to access some of the other tasks. This is done by successfully navigating a path on the south side.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Many dungeons and towns have treasure chests laying about, which can be opened to find an item.
- Intimidating Revenue Service: The dungeon of Eyearrass is loaded with evil Taxmen, who will slowly drain your money instead of attacking you normally.
- Joke Item: "Bar o' Lead", which has no value other than preventing teleportation by the final boss. Also, the "Stick o' Wood", "Empty can", and "Empty bottle" seem useless at first, but placing them into the fountain in Gofe will yield a magic wand or Healing Potion, respectively.
- There are also some creative Stealth Pun items, such as a useless axe called "Aks a stupid question...", and "hard rock bands" which are the highest armor rating but deafen the player.
- In Butterscotch, there is a scroll for an "Ebonics Lesson" that contains exactly what you think and nothing else. It has no value and can't be sold.
- Level Editor: As in the last game, one is accessible after the final task.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: There is one out of four possible "ironic hells". One of them has you giving presents to Devils, and they make fun of you for doing so. After enough times, the exit opens. Nothing prevents you from killing them at this point.
- Money Spider: Far more exaggerated than the previous game. Killing nearly any monster or NPC will often result in a huge treasure trove.
- Obvious Beta: The game has a lot of gaps and Dummied Out content. For instance, at one point you're told that the villages south of the mountains have given you a key; there's only one actual village south of the mountains.
- Playable Epilogue: One is accessible after the final task. It consists of a small pathway lined with NPCs that generate random lines of praise, and a teleport that reveals a secret message.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: The only differences are in character appearance and some sound effects. The character creation dialog box even mentions this.
- Sequence Breaking: Once again subverted. You can't access any other town unless you first sit at the throne, nor can you pick up a task object until it's been assigned to you.
- One of the rotating "final words" for an NPC's death is "Shucky darn and slop the chickens!", which comes from an old Garfield strip.
- Another "final words" line is "Rosebud."
- A character named Lucy appears in one dungeon. Next to some diamonds.
- Take That: If you examine a bush, it will say "Bush (at least he was honest)" — no doubt a slam to Bill Clinton.
- Significant Anagram: The most powerful cloak is named "Cloak and avoid". This is an anagram of "David Alan Cook", one of the game's creators.
- Skeleton Key: Also present as before. If you're a Thief, you can also purchase lock picks, which work on any locked door (except ones next to shaped walls) and can be used indefinitely.
- Sprint Shoes: "Boots o' Speed".
- Teleport Spam: The final boss can do this.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: As before, you can slaughter all the NPCs in a town, then use "original place"note to do it all over again. And unlike the last game, there's no point system.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Killing Mom or Bucky will render your player permanently deaf, blind, and drunk. Killing an angel sends you to Hell in 1.0.1.
- Violence Is the Only Option: Averted in a new way. If your player is a Magician, he or she can use a Bluebangle to dispel any monster under a certain health level (which increases as the player gets stronger), a Zamia cone to weaken them, or Freedom Leaves to teleport them away.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The boss is about 10 times stronger than any monster you'll come across, and has legions of mooks. The boss can also make items drop out of your pouch or make you thirsty, and he can summon more mooks.
- Wallet of Holding: As before, you can carry forms of currency, but you can't use them in a shop until you deposit them in an Auto Teller. Also, you will lose any un-deposited currency if you die.
- Welcome to Corneria: Most monsters only say "Arrrr!" regardless of mood.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: As before, there is a Food meter, which can be replenished by any food item or a healing scroll. Wearing a Food Ring or Candy Necklace will keep the Food meter full at all times. The game makes it much easier if the player goes hungry and can't find food; should you die and go to Hell, the Food bar will fill right back up.
- There is also a Thirst meter, which rarely comes into action unless the player has come back from Hell or is made thirsty by the final boss. Thirst is replenished either by finding a beverage of some sort (with some, such as Coffee, Latte, or Cappuccino also restoring other stats), or using a Heal spell a few times if you're a magician.