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Games of 2022: Tunic held the best puzzle solving moment

The fox, the sword and the manual.

Contains spoilers for Tunic - you have been warned.

I love how Tunic uses the process of gathering the game’s manual pages to build anticipation for later experiences in the adventure. You may find a page mapping out an area you haven’t visited yet and, upon it, lie little hints which only make sense once you’ve reached the location. It reminds me of how I used to read Pokémon walkthroughs from cover to cover as a child, jotting down little notes in the margins about which Pokémon I’d like to catch in each route. Tunic’s manual is also where I found the secret which came to dominate most of my time with the game - the Holy Cross.

Due to its placement on the manual’s inventory page, I was convinced the Holy Cross was a type of special item hidden somewhere in the world. Yet, by the time I’d reached The Quarry - an area whose dark colour palette and industrial aesthetic made me think the game’s end was drawing near - I had seen no sight of the Holy Cross. (Or so I thought…) Not wanting to miss anything, I decided to put the main quest aside and instead set myself a limit of three hours to carefully explore every inch of the world in search of the elusive Holy Cross.

As this self imposed time limit was drawing to a close, I happened to look down from the screen and, out of the corner of my eye, caught a glimpse of my thumb, painted in gold nail polish, resting against the D-Pad.

Inspiration stuck.

Tunic Review (Spoiler Free) - Tunic PC Gameplay

I quickly took my little fox adventurer to the nearest set of the golden doors that are scattered across the world of Tunic. Doors I’d been ignoring, because I believed the Holy Cross was required to open them. Once there, I copied the pattern carved upon the doors with the D-Pad and - lo - the doors opened. I was, to say the least, quite pleased with myself; I had uncovered the method to solving a recurring puzzle and found the Holy Cross - it has been in my very hands the entire time! Though I will admit to being rather annoyed with myself at the same time, because the Holy Cross had been in my hands the entire time.

Holy Cross in hand, I set about opening every golden door I’d encounter. Along the way, I also realised the Holy Cross pattern wasn’t just confined to the door - it was woven into rugs, hidden on the sails of the windmill and even present in the geography of the world itself. It was a long while until I remembered that there was something in The Quarry I should get back to.

Realising the Holy Cross was already in my grasp is one of my favourite moments from playing Tunic. A close runner-up would be when I figured out the solution to the Golden Path lay in combining a certain aspect of the manual with the Holy Cross. (I won’t go into too much detail, since I’ve spoiled enough already, but I will say it involved a pencil, notepad and a ruler.) These puzzles are the magic which will bring me back to Tunic, because they ensured I was constantly engaged with the world, even if it was to simply search for a set of hidden lines.

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About the Author
Lottie Lynn avatar

Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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