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Video Game / Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

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I'm leaving tonight and I'm not coming back, kid.
My fate is tied to a monster from the depths of time...
I hear its horrible sound echoing from the sea... is coming for me again.
This is all happening sooner than I thought...
...and I'm forced to act.
What ever happens next, I am not going to lose you like I lost your mother.
This necklace is the last thing left of her.
Keep it close and guard it well.
I will give you my old notebook from my travels.
It will guide your way to an island of a friend.
He will help you to prepare for what is coming.
I know I'm asking too much of you...
...but this is the only way... stop Oceanhorn.
Letter from your father

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a Finnish Action-Adventure Video Game by Cornfox & Bros.

The game casts you as an unnamed young man whos father is off on a quest to defeat Oceanhorn, a mysterious Sea Monster that's been terrorizing the world and its inhabitants. He left you your mother's necklace, and his journal, which contains instructions to go to an island where a friend of his is.

At the behest of an old hermit, the man is charged with traversing the seas to collect Sacred Emblems, which once maintained power in the old world. Collecting them, he says, will help him unravel the mystery of Oceanhorn, and help him find his father. Thus, his quest begins.

The game was released on iOS on November 14th, 2013. The game also has a sequel, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Reach Lv. 16, collect all 64 bloodstones, increase your life bar to eightnote  hearts, and complete all in-game achievements.
  • 1-Up: In the shops in Tikarel or of the Gillfolk, you can buy an item that revives you with full health if you lose all your hearts.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Just before the final boss, you find A magical flute casually lying in the middle of the road. This is the only means of defeating the final boss and was not hinted at before whatsoever.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: The stamina meter serves for running, jumping, and blocking enemy attacks with a shield. If it's depleted, you cannot defend yourself against enemy attacks anymore.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: Typically for the genre, multiple locations in the game are locked off until you have the proper equipment to tackle it. Notably, the Riptide Reef is available very early in the game, but you need the late-game Trencher Boots to get any further than the harbor.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Starting at level 2, your ship is equipped with a cannon that shoots melon seeds.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Level 16 requires 10,000 adventurer points. Even if you play the game to 100% Completion, you will not have many more than 7,000-8,000. And there are no Easy EXP, so you'd have to spend hours upon hours of grinding to reach max level.
  • Absurdly Short Level: The Sand Bar island has only two Bloodstones on it and nothing else. You can complete this island in two minutes.
  • After Boss Recovery: After every major boss fight, you are completely healed.
  • Airborne Mook: Ravens, bats, and ghosts of all types all hover above you and launch down on you. Magic spells are your friend against these enemies.
  • Already Done for You: When you ask certain townsfolk in Tikarel, you learn that Oceanhorn is supposedly able to repair itself. Shortly before you reach the monster and start the battle, you meet your father, who tells you that he was able to destroy its healing abilities and you "only" have to defeat it normally.
  • Antagonist Title: Oceanhorn is a Sea Monster that serves as the driving force of the plot.
  • Anti-Grinding: The things that grant the most XP are gaining achievements, not fighting monsters (though a subset of achievements do involve killing monsters). In addition, the rewards for leveling up never involve increased health or damage, which is the main reason why one would grind for levels.
  • Apathetic Citizens: A good part of the Sky people just accepted their fate of living in the sky and did not object to it at all. It's surprisingly averted with the citizens of Tikarel though, who all go out of their way to help you on your quest.
  • Aquatic Mook: Water squids pop out of the sea every time you board your boat and shoot stones at you.
  • Area of Effect: The secret spell Triloth Spell, which creates a black hole targets a wide range and causes tremendous damage to every enemy caught in its radius.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Exaggerated. Most bosses, when they are susceptible to taking damage, display an inexplicably big, red, and flashing orb. Hitting this one with the sword does the most damage by far.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Triloth spell looks flashy, but only does significant damage to everyone, whereas the more mundane spells are useful against almost every stronger mook.
  • Autosave: The game seems to save every time you enter a new area, or watch certain cutscenes.
  • Back Stab: The easiest way to defeat the big knights on Sky Island, the strongest normal mook in the game. Freezing him and attacking his backside instanly knocks him out.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Graveyard Island and the Island of Whispers are rather creepy locations full of ghosts and skeletons.
  • Boring, but Practical: The ice spell is not as flashy as some other spells, but most non-boss mooks don't stand a chance against it and die with the next sword slash while they are still frozen.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every major story boss has one. Examples include: "Cursed Corpse - Dead King Angler" or "Spiritus Ex Machina - Shadow Mesmeroth".
  • Blatant Lies: One inscription on a tombstone in the Palace of Whispers, inside a house: "Here lies someone who always lied, and never hid anything below his bed."
  • Block Puzzle: Ubiquitous all over the game and present in almost every dungeon.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The Player Character wears a blue shirt and is on a quest to collect emblems to find his father.
  • Camera Lock-On: In most final boss fights, the camera is automatically always centered around the boss with you in the front of the camera.
  • Checkpoint: Arcadian computers serve this purpose. If you die, you respawn near one.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The beautiful necklace, the only memory of the Hero's mother? It's one of the three ancient amulets that you need to defeat Oceanhorn.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The first story boss Turmos has tentacles that have to be defeated before you can tackle the actual boss.
  • Collection Sidequest: There is a total of 64 bloodstones all over the map. You need to collect 40 of them to trade them for a powerful new spell.
  • Crate Expectations: Crates are everywhere in the game and come in two types: Moveable, indestructible metal crates and immovable, destructible wooden crates. There is even an achievement for destroying 100 of them.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: One sign in the Adventurer's Guild in Tikarel:
    You will never reach Master Rank. - Master Adventurer
  • Controllable Helplessness: When the Hero is frozen, you can move the control stick to make him wiggle helplessly. He will thaw out after a few seconds.
  • Cutscene: Gameplay is occasionally interrupted for a pre-rendered cutscene that even features voice acting.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Upon dying, you respawn with three hearts just a few meters back from where you started. Oh, and you lose one experience point.
  • Death Cry Echo: The flying ghost-like enemies let out one of these when they are killed.
  • Degraded Boss: The boss of the Abandoned Mines, Centipede, appears all over the place as a normal enemy afterward. Defeating it yields you one experience point despite it taking way more hits than most other standard mooks.
  • Dowsing Device: The Ancient Radar alerts you with an on-screen note whenever there is a bloodstone nearby.
  • Dungeon Shop: In the Frozen Palace, there is a Gillfish trapped in eternal ice, supposedly for hundreds of years. Once you free him with the Fire Spell, he opens a shop for you.
  • Eternal Engine: The Grand Core, a big machine-like dungeon that keeps Sky Island afloat.
  • Fishing Minigame: Around halfway through the game, you receive a fishing rod. You can now fish to gain some EXP and an optional key.
  • Fish People: The Gillfolk. They live in water and claim to not tolerate living on land well. They also become very old, with one NPC stating that he was "but a young fish of one hundred years".
  • Flash of Pain: Zig-zagged; While almost every enemy has it, the final boss shows red flashes of pain which don't actually do him a single bit of damage.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game never really tells you how to collect bloodstones. If you hit them with a sword, you can hear a pitch that looks like it doesn't work like this, and you have to hit them unnecessarily often for it to work. You would be excused to think you need to come back with a later item... but no, you just have to be patient.
    • During the final boss fight, you can apply a number of attacks to the boss - bombs, arrows, your sword beam - and they even cause a flash of pain to the boss. However, he is not harmed by it at all, and you instead need to think completely out of the box.
  • Heart Container: You will find these throughout the game. Collect four, and you extend your Life Meter. Gee, why does that sound so familiar? Interestingly enough, unlike in the big role model series, you do not get a free heart container after each boss. In fact, you don't get anything.
  • Hearts Are Health: Hearts symbolize the health of the player character, and he can refill it by collecting heart drops from slain mooks.
  • I Can't Reach It: Occasionally, the Hero will refuse to cross over the tiniest gaps, even with Trencher Boots equipped, simply because they go around a corner.
  • Ice Palace: The second main dungeon of the game is literally the "Palace of Ice".
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chest: Like any good Action-Adventure video game, this one has these.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: It is heavily hinted at during your adventure, and for good reason: The Coral Blade is twice as strong as your normal sword, and at Lv. 13, you can even shoot energy rays with it at full health.
  • Interface Spoiler: Right from the start of the game, you can see exactly how many islands there are in total in the Uncharted Seas.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Of a sort. There is a day/night cycle, but it's more determined by you reaching certain areas and does not pass continuously. The NPCs in the game don't act accordingly either.
  • Level in the Clouds: Sky Island, which floats several meters above the Uncharted Sea and is therefore not reachable with your ship.
  • Life Meter: Located in the top-right corner of the screen is a line of hearts representing your health.
  • The Lost Woods: The Great Forest is an island with the first major dungeon on it and is covered in thick trees and bushes. Supposedly, the forest once covered the entire country.
  • Mecha-Mooks: These attack hermit's island the day after you find your dad's sword and shield.
  • New World Tease: Immediately after you board your boat for the first time, you can see Sky Island right in front of you on the world map. However, you cannot reach it, because it is floating in the skies.
  • Noob Cave: The aptly named "Caves" on Hermit's Island introduce you to the game's dungeon crawling mechanics.
  • Ocean of Adventure: The Uncharted Seas is the ocean between the islands that you traverse with your ship. There is nothing interesting on the water though; you cannot roam freely and explore new islands like this.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: When you finally find the Coral Blade, a Gillfolk man tells you that the real challenge begins now, and whether you have what it takes to pull the blade from its socket.
  • Optional Boss: Creation No. 2 can only be found on a secret island, and even then it is difficult to reach it.
  • Overworld Not to Scale: A hybrid approach. You can freely go anywhere the ocean water permits you, and there are a few things to keep you occupied (like shooting rocks or monsters) in the process, but these maps exist primarily to facilitate travel, and most actual gameplay interaction is inside each given destination.
  • The Owl Knowing One: The Owrus are an owl-like species. It is said by the Hero's father that "a great deal of wisdom disappeared when they left".
  • Palmtree Panic: The general setting of the game, which is set on a tropical archipelago. Most of the islands feature palm trees, corals, and beautiful beaches.
  • Plot Coupon: The three amulets that the player must find in order to combat Oceanhorn.
  • Pressure Plate: This is used extensively throughout the game's dungeons. Some activate directly and stay activated, others need to be encumbered to keep the connected door open indefinitely.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: The stamina meter, which is also used for the shield, regenerates automatically. Health needs to be replenished by finding hearts.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The rats in the game are half the size of the Player Character in height alone.
  • Secret Level: The Island of Whispers, only present in the game since version 2.0, is a completely optional island detached from the main storyline and features an entirely separate storyline around ten cursed ghosts that you need to free, including one Optional Boss. The island yields plenty of experience and four heart pieces.
  • Shop Fodder: Occasionally, you find rare and (for you) useless items in treasure chests. The game doesn't even let you sell it yourself and instead just informs you how much it is worth before it promptly cashes out and gives you the appropriate amount of coins.
  • Strong Enemies, Low Rewards: The game has an experience points system, and beating a boss yields you... none. Yes, you don't get any experience points for defeating bosses, unless there was an achievement explicitly mandating it.
  • There Are No Bedsheets: In the opening sequence, the Hero is shown sleeping on top of his bed, not below the blanket.
  • Teaser Equipment: The shop in Tikarel has two very useful items on its shelf: The Ancient Radar and a full heart container. However, they cost a whopping 500 and 1,000 coins, sums that you will not be able to amass until much later in the game.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: There is a part in the Grand Core where you have to raise and lower the water level with a switch to swim across a gap within a time limit. If the time limit is over, the water is lowered automatically again. If you're still above the gap, you fall down and lose a heart. However, there is a small section in a corner where you can stand on a solid platform that is disconnected from everything else. If you swim there and the water is lowered, you are trapped. And if you didn't bring any bombs or mana to kill yourself with it (which lets you respawn on save ground), you are softlocked and have to restart the game.