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"As one Sun sets, another rises. [You are] now but a spark, tiniest of flames. To survive, [you] must learn the great contradiction: to every virtue, there is an opposite which must be equally embraced."
Darktooth

Golden Treasure: The Great Green is a graphical Interactive Fiction game with RPG and Adventure Game elements created by indie developer Dreaming Door Studios. Set in a Science Fantasy version of Bronze Age Earth where dragons (called Draak-Kin) coexist with a young humankind, the player's role is to guide a newly hatched Draak from infancy to young adulthood — by surviving, exploring, learning, and living. The world hides many secrets, and time is limited. The Fang of the Spiritwood must overcome many challenges in order to determine the fate of Draak-Kin and Earth.

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The gameplay is primarily controlled through selecting text-based options at the bottom of the screen or selecting points of interest. The player can decide to hunt for food, explore the unknown, deal with threats, and converse with numerous wild beasts, spirits, other Draak-Kin, and more through selecting text menu options or spots on a map. Scenes are illustrated by paintings, brought alive by parallax techniques and glimmers of spirit lines that all Draak-Kin see. There are some RPG elements in that the player's Draak-Kin grows stronger through affinity with the four Elements of Nature, and may accumulate treasure and artifacts. The Macrogame of collecting animal masteries and achievements provides permanent stat boosts across playthroughs, making difficult parts more feasible over time.

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The game was released on June 17, 2019, and can be bought on Steam or on itch.io. A free demo is available that contains the full Prologue and Part 1.


This video-game provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Draak-Kin are referred to with "it" pronouns and have no obvious sexual dimorphism. Based on one news release, the Draak-Kin "have no concept of gender outside of mating season". So they are male or female, but Gender Is No Object to such a degree that both genders share the same pronouns. There are exactly two Draak with known gender in the story, and they are the player character's parents.
  • Animal Talk: The speech of Draak-Kin and goodbeasts is referred to as "singing", and most of them can communicate with each other with ease. Most humans do not sing in the same fashion, and it is very difficult for Draak-Kin and humans to communicate. There are sometimes difficulties between goodbeasts; Spiders sing in Braille, and insects can be difficult to communicate with because of their individually simple minds.
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  • Autocannibalism: At high elemental affinity, the player character can take a bite out of itself to restore some energy at the cost of health. This can end up being okay, because Draak-Kin can heal at supernatural speed.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • Draak-Kin are not bound by anything resembling human morals. They are not just allowed, but expected to do whatever they wish in search of power and treasure. There is a Code of Honor (referred to as Tradition) concerning how Draak-Kin interact with each other so that the species can keep strong and not start sneak-killing each other in paranoia. Compassion and unity are considered weaknesses, as the Draak-Kin are largely isolationist and rivals.
    • Also, this is a game of freedom, and the exercise of human morals is a type of freedom. There are many rewards for opportunists and the compassionate alike.
  • Breath Weapon: Of course the Draak-Kin can breathe fire! Would you have it otherwise?
  • But Thou Must!: Only one occasion of this appears when the player's Draak becomes an adult, and it has no choice but to embrace the wind!
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Animals (called goodbeasts) are almost never referred to by their ordinary English names, but by some kind of unique trait. Rabbits are Longears, Wolves are Clansingers, Rats are Baretails, and so on.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • The battle with Bloom is rather easier than it should be. The rooster on Bloom's head poetically describes each attack in advance, allowing the player to choose the correct counter-element.
    • Whisper also calls attacks in battle, and exploits the trope. It's trying to bait you into countering what it says, so it can counter your predicted counter. The best thing to use is the same Element that Whisper calls out, as this will make its trick backfire.
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: Many, many words are capitalized to indicate a deviation or expansion on the word's ordinary meaning.
  • Cats Are Superior: Cats consider themselves to be perfect already, so the only thing worth doing in life is seeking amusement.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Played with, because even living Draak-Kin parents normally provide only basic education to their offspring before expecting independence. The developers admit that it's a bit of a cliché, but the player character's mother is killed by No-Tails both for convenience, and to make clear that they are a deadly threat even to adult Draak. The PC's father is still around, however.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Reaching the health states of Battered, Injured, or Crippled will afflict you (or your opponent in battle) with progressively harsh stat debuffs.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: It is easy to see the dark and volcanic Many-Times-Burned as a misanthrope who supports violence as the first and only choice to all problems. But this would be a shallow interpretation. As he has scried the (in his opinion) Bad Future of Earth as we know it in 2019, he is willing to take the only path that will prevent it from happening.
    Many-Times-Burned: I am free from hatred and partiality. I fear nothing, and love nothing but life itself. Our people, the true children of above and below, shall be gone, and worse than gone. We shall become fantasies for the No-Tails to prove their power to themselves ... and the immortal spirit of the Green, which should rightfully outlast us, shall die. I alone stand before the oncoming storm.
  • Death Seeker: The player character can meet an old badger who wants to die valiantly in battle, and battle with a Draak would definitely suffice.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: A painting by Darktooth shows that ancient Draak-Kin took many saurian forms. Bronze Age Draak only have wyvern bodies.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Crystal Fang is found during the Prologue sequence, requiring a specific set of actions — have 11 points of Water mastery, get the Whiteblack to tell you a secret, and sneak forward. Using it grants 5 points to all Elements, which is around a 20% increase over what's typical for a first-time play.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "The Great Green" can refer to primeval forest, or to the player character, a special and unusually powerful Emerald Clan (green-colored) Draak.
  • Dragon Hoard: Draak-Kin are expected to accumulate large hoards of both Shiny Things and unique objects. Having a large number of Shiny Things for its age will boost the player character's elemental affinities, and many objects can be used to resolve certain events in a safe or positive way.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: At high elemental affinity, the player character can eat Shiny Things from their hoard to regain energy.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Fire beats Air, Air beats Water, and Water beats Fire. Earth is neutral, but it only has basic moves like Bite and Brace (defend). In battle, the combatant with the winning element does more damage, receives less, and is likely to trigger potent bonus effects on that turn. A large power discrepancy makes this less important. A squirrel that selects the right Element against a Draak is still just a squirrel.
  • Final Death: The game is in permanent ironman mode with no manual way to undo mistakes. The first and second deaths on a single playthrough will send the player back to the start of that day, but the third death is final.
  • Foreshadowing: A few bits of text here and there hint at the nature of the Onesong and Golden Ending:
    • Very early on, Darktooth will say of the Greatest Being of the Onesong, "The stars are her scales," and refuse to elaborate.
    • The cutscene for Final Death, which you will likely see sooner rather than later, could be considered relevant due to some ambiguous wording.
    You have not lost. All life moves towards death. You have lived. With each step, each breath, each choice, the world was changed by you, and remade anew. Your journey is complete. Rest now in the Silence, and return to begin again.
    • Allmother makes many references to the Onesong, but it can be difficult to tell what is exactly relevant and what isn't.
    • There's a certain bird in a certain place who gives some very large clues about the secret ending. The Blackburn seen while experiencing Ant life, if visited repeatedly, speaks explicitly and at length about the Dreaming Door.
  • Gender Is No Object: Aside from breeding (which is still done the normal way), Draak-Kin gender is so irrelevant that the entire species has Ambiguous Gender. Even the Draak character known as "Allmother" is not necessarily female, despite "mother" being inherently feminine. It would probably be trivial for a Draak to figure out another's gender. They just don't care.
  • Golden Ending: The secret 4th ending requires almost complete exploration of the game's many paths and options.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Discussed. A major theme of the game is safety vs. freedom:
    • The player character is shocked to see goodbeasts like sheep, cattle, and wolves allowing themselves to be enslaved by humans in exchange for safety from predators.
    • The Draak-Kin, as apex predators, can scarcely imagine being anything except completely free.
    • Cats, feeling themselves perfect as they are, deign to grace human settlements with their presence while refusing to be tamed, maintaining both safety and freedom.
  • Humanity Came From Space: The main reason why humans are such a problem for Draak-Kin is because they were always an Outside-Context Problem. To summarize: The Draak-Kin dominated Earth in ancient times. Extraterrestrials, called the Others, arrived and massacred the Draak-Kin in a Curb-Stomp Battle. The Others populated Earth with humans, dwarves and neanderthal-like "enforcers", and then left, never to be seen again. Over time, humans killed all the enforcers and the dwarves gladly remain underground. The Bronze Age setting is a flashpoint. The Draak-Kin's numbers have recovered just enough to contest domination of Earth again, and humans are on the cusp of numerical and technological invincibility.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: The Draak-Kin and wild beasts in general refer to humans as Tailless or No-Tails.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Humans are portrayed mostly in silhouette, doing things that are utterly bizarre by Draak-Kin standards. Time and again, the player character can barely comprehend things that are at least fairly recognizable to the player.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Being infected with blueblight will cause increasing quantities of blue motes to hover around the screen at all times.
    • The battle against Never-Ever inverts the combat actions, inverts colors on the screen, and causes increasing visual screwiness as the battle goes on.
    • Reaching Crippled health state in battle will cause the sound and music to become muffled as a reflection of the pain your Draak is feeling.
  • Killer Rabbit: It goes both ways. The player's Draak is somewhat cute as a hatchling, but has the potential to kill badgers, deer, and even humans. Squirrels and rabbits are not completely harmless in combat. They are no match for a Draak, but they can ankle-bite you to death if you let them.
    • Never Ever, the black, enkindled rat doesn't look too unusual, apart from the sigils hovering around his head. But you can fight him later on when your dragon is fully-grown and he's a serious challenge.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Not forced, but likely to happen. At no time is any music cut short against the player's will, but there is generally little need to stay on the map screens for long (despite their music running for minutes before looping), and battles are generally resolved long before the track loops at 2 minutes. On most other occasions, there is so much narrative that slower readers will easily hear the entire track.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: When you pass Darktooth's Great Lesson, Darktooth reveals that it is your character's father — or "Giver-Creator", the term used in-universe. This has less emotional impact on the character than most examples, thanks to the solitary nature of Draak, but it does help to explain why Darktooth is so helpful and relatively friendly towards your character. Even if Draak are loners by nature, Darktooth no doubt harbors some affection for its child.
  • Macrogame: Any ending, whether good or bad, does not erase the player's accomplishments. Animal mastery and tarot cards (achievements) provide permanent stat boosts and other bonuses across all future playthroughs. Many unique artifacts can be "inherited" on a new play starting at adolescence or adulthood. The player can start at the beginning of any Part already reached, so there's no obligation to start from scratch every single time.
  • The Marvelous Deer: Deer are especially revered goodbeasts. Nature has seen fit to grant them royal crowns (antlers), and their presence in a forest biome is irreplaceable. They are also delicious to Draak, but the player's Draak must prostrate itself and beg them to protect the Spiritwood from an upcoming wildfire, as the deer can do what even a mighty Draak cannot.
  • The Minion Master: Bloom is a Draak that has somehow managed to trick a small army of various animals into following and obeying its commands. When Bloom comes to challenge for the player Draak's territory, the player may have to fight some of the animals in addition to Bloom itself.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Wisdom: By aligning with Darktooth, the player character and like-minded Draak-Kin travel across space to another hospitable world that they call Newhome. Although humankind will dominate Earth and the remaining Draak-Kin are now exiles, they will live. Will the Draak-Kin remain wise, or will they change Newhome as the humans changed Earth? This is the canon ending, and the next installment of Golden Treasure will explore Draak-Kin life from this vantage.
    • Survival: By aligning with Many-Times-Burned, the Draak-Kin enact a Final Solution against the young human civilization through utter annihilation. It works. Although Humans Are Survivors and will be difficult to exterminate completely, their potential as Earth's dominant species is gone. Earth and goodbeasts thrive under the protection of the Draak-Kin. The Draak-Kin survive on Earth indefinitely, and all it took was a little xenocide.
    • Compassion: By aligning with Allmother, Many-Times-Burned is outraged, and orders the player character and any sympathizers immediately executed. The PC is slain, but its Draak-Kin soul endures, flung thousands of years into modern-day Earth and reborn in human form, hoping to save Earth by guiding humans to prosperity and harmony from within, not by destroying them.
  • Mushroom Samba: Eating a certain mysterious herb (poison ivy, which happens to be psychotropic to Draak-Kin) causes the player character to go on a psychedelic acid-trip. And gain some elemental affinity points. Eat the herb five times, and you die.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • The typical words are often replaced by others having magic capital letters. "Dead" becomes "Silent". "Kill" becomes "Destroy". "Battle to the Death" becomes "Dance of Destruction". Rather than being euphemisms, it carries a kind of spiritual connotation related to life among feral nature. For practical reasons, it probably wouldn't do for the player's Draak to be described as some kind of mass murderer for eating animals and defending the land against hostile humans.
    • It is harrowing to the player's Draak when it sees that humans are murdering strong and healthy trees instead of harvesting sickly ones, as this violates the natural order of the wild. The typical words like "dead", "die", and "kill" pop up sparingly throughout the story, usually for added emotional weight.
  • Noble Wolf: They appear many times throughout the game. Honest, honorable, and deeply connected to their packs, the Clansingers are a stark contrast to the solitary and greedy Draak. Still, the player character can befriend a local pack and even become their chief not through force of claws alone, but mutual respect. In Part 3, the player character is chagrined to see that a number of Clansingers are now dimwitted thralls of humans — the predecessors of modern-day dogs.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: As Draak-Kin life involves surviving alone in the wilderness, the two most common causes of death are the typical hazards, such as violence or starvation. You will also lose a Sigil of Life if you surrender lordship of the Spiritwood or play with antimatter, both of which warn you quite clearly that you are about to throw your life away for nothing.
  • One-Hit Kill: Throwing an Antimatter grenade in combat, or using the True Song of Destruction are both guaranteed one-shots against any foe.
  • The Obi-Wan: Darktooth is a mentor and teacher for the player character throughout infancy and adolescence, and is one of the main sources of information about Draak-Kin culture and the game's unique world.
  • Predation Is Natural:
    • Draak-Kin (and all carnivores) have a duty to hunt, Destroy, and consume other animals. Although the animals in this setting are intelligent and can speak, all implicitly accept that carnivores (especially Draak) will hunt anything that does not escape or defend itself effectively. The act of predators hunting with their own Body is considered a sacred and honorable activity, such that humans are considered all the more bizarre for using bows and spears.
    • By using the True Song of Destruction against Tempest, it causes a lot of collateral damage to the surrounding plant and animal life. Tempest submits to the overwhelming power, but not without expressing disgust at killing animals without an honorable hunt and Dance of Destruction.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Newly-hatched Draak cannot fly (but you get an achievement for trying).
    • A single infant dragon attempting to kill a whole band of humans doesn't work too well.
    • Breathing fire around explosive objects will... make them explode.
    • Human communities don't take kindly to attacks and will retaliate accordingly.
  • Riddle Me This: If you don't feel confident in taking on Kin (meaning, other Draak) in a physical contest, this is often an alternative. Other animals sometimes also challenge you to these sorts of challenges. Sometimes, you may need your abilities to be at a certain level to access this.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Three (passive) rivals border the player character's territory.
    • Three (aggressive) rivals attempt to conquer the player character's territory.
    • Three Draak-Kin Elders get the most face time.
    • Three main endings can be seen by following the recommendation of those Elders.
    • Three items are needed by the Artist.
    • The player character's third life per playthrough is the one that risks Final Death.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Antimatter is not a toy. Do not touch. But it's useful if you want to turn something into a smoking crater.
    • Vantage tries to take advantage of the player character's greed and curiosity by offering things that are too good to be true.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Darktooth warns for the player character to "not meddle in the affairs of the Others," which is most likely a reversal of the classic dragon joke, "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
    • Darktooth is named after Dunkelzahn, a prominent dragon from Shadowrun. "Dunkel zahn" in German translates to "dark tooth" in English.
  • Space Elves: The Brightlings are shiny and beautiful specimens (alien holograms) of whatever (sentient) species they would like to collect ... samples ... from. The typical targets are human males, so the Brightlings appear as attractive Elves. Should the player character pique their interest, you will get to see an Elf-Draak.
  • Tarot Motifs: The in-game achievements are named after many of the Major Arcana, though not all of them are used.
  • To Serve Man: Draak-Kin eating humans? The humans might object, but nobody else does.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Enkindling in a nutshell. Adult Draak are capable of bestowing this on other creatures, typically granting them exceptional power. As Darktooth notes though, it can result in some undesirable changes in personality in the subject if not used with discretion.
  • Unwanted Healing: If the player offers a powerful healing item to Many-Times-Burned, it is terrified of the thought. Though not fully clear why, it seems that Many-Times-Burned is the sum of its millennia of scars and painful life experiences to the degree of becoming a living volcano. Being healed would erase the reason for its self-identity.
    Darktooth: The young one cannot know what great Many-Times-Burned has sacrificed. To make the Broken One whole again... it would cease to be all that it is.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: The True Song of Destruction. It can slaughter whole groups, ripping out souls and mangling bodies beyond recognition in moments. Simpler organisms like plants and fish are killed instantly. Using it in battle is a One-Hit KO against anyone, and the combat text remarks that "little remains" of the target (although Gameplay and Story Segregation is in effect if the enemy wants to parley). Even Draak-Kin on the receiving end of such a True Song can only endure it for a few seconds before risking death.
  • Video Game Time: Each major action that the player embarks upon — exploration, hunting, resting, researching — takes one "Sun", which is taken to substitute for "Day" in common parlance. Part 2 mentions the passing of seasons, so each "Sun" for the player is counting for a week or two in terms of narrative. Time keeps passing during long dungeon delves, but is determined by movement, not dialogue or standing still.


May you be blessed.

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