A Precious Arrow by Benjamin

made by Benjamin for LD28 (COMPO)
You heard of a temple ruins where the mythical Simetra Bow is hidden...

- Arrow Key to move your character.
- Hold Space Key to aim with your bow.
- Release Space Key to shoot your only arrow.
- Hold Down Key to crouch.
- Press Space while crouching to drop your arrow.


Coolness 81% 2
Overall 4.16 5
Audio 3.85 19
Fun 3.76 40
Graphics 4.39 15
Humor 2.79 286
Innovation 3.26 264
Mood 3.86 34
Theme 3.99 29


16. Dec 2013 · 06:34 CET
Found you page finally!

Well, I managed to finish the game with the arrow in my possession and using it to kill the cyclops thing, but the ending seemed the same, so apparently I missed something. Either way, it was a nice game. Looks great and the music is good too.
16. Dec 2013 · 07:42 CET
The two endings are at different locations.
16. Dec 2013 · 08:45 CET
The cyclop is just monstrously difficult. Can't pass it even after trying many times. Your games are too hard Benjamin :)

Anyway solid entry apart from small bugs, really liked the tiles and the theme which remember me NES Battle of Olympus and Kid Icarus.
16. Dec 2013 · 10:20 CET
please provide the source code for your game, it's required for /compo/
other than that, great game :)
16. Dec 2013 · 10:44 CET
@Orni : done !! Sorry for being late I took the bad habit to put them online later when timelapse is ready too. Bad excuse :)
16. Dec 2013 · 11:35 CET
Nice! Too hard for me atm, though. I'll need to recover from this LD first :D
16. Dec 2013 · 13:54 CET
Okay, this is really amazing, like always. It is a tad hard and it's not always clear what to do/where to go. But that's your style and it reminds me so much of classic games on NES. When I play your games I feel like I'm exploring something and that feels GREAT. I'll be playing this some more later, definitely!
16. Dec 2013 · 15:45 CET
This game has everything. Really my second favorite so far.
16. Dec 2013 · 16:53 CET
Wonderful game!
16. Dec 2013 · 17:57 CET
This game is simply amazing. The build up for the music in the beginning reminds me of one of the Metroid games, maybe Return of Samus on GB? I can't even begin to fathom how you pulled off such a detailed and cool little platformer in such a short frame of time.
16. Dec 2013 · 19:31 CET
very Nice game, very Hard for my noobie skills
16. Dec 2013 · 22:46 CET
Awesome job! I love the art, the controls are pretty solid, but I found the game a little tough. I'll be trying to beat it later though.
16. Dec 2013 · 22:48 CET
It looks really great! Is pretty hard, but fun too.
17. Dec 2013 · 00:37 CET
Lovin it! Thanks for making.
17. Dec 2013 · 00:55 CET
I love it, but it's too hard. I got frustrated and quit. Awesome work!
17. Dec 2013 · 06:59 CET
Two locations? Hm...well, I was going to play and try and find the second one, but it seems I can no longer save by dropping and recollecting the arrow, which makes the game much too difficult :/

Oh well.
17. Dec 2013 · 08:14 CET
Hmm.. Got stuck here : http://imgup.motion-twin.com/twinoid/b/f/dcbdd973_8297.jpg =/
17. Dec 2013 · 11:37 CET
It was really hard! I think you did a good job on the theme, I liked the graphics too!
17. Dec 2013 · 13:55 CET
Definitively something from the 8-bit generation, I mean in the gameplay.
I really like the big triangle, it got something from Toriyama's characters, and it's AI is pretty nice.
Again, a great entry of yours.
17. Dec 2013 · 19:45 CET
Awesome game! But it's sooo hard! Atm I just managed to get my way to the cyclop, but he seems quite tricky to kill, I'll keep trying...
This beautiful pixel art really reminded me of Nes games, and the music is nice too. The gameplay is kinda interesting, great intro, and it's fun to find how to get rid of the different enemies.
Solid entry for sure, I'm having a lot of fun! :D
18. Dec 2013 · 03:19 CET
Looking good but hard as dinosaurus hell.
Too frustrating for me =(
18. Dec 2013 · 04:53 CET
This is a great game, I love the concept and the way it plays. Looks great and is really fun to play.
Those 30 Ninjas
18. Dec 2013 · 05:35 CET
Lovely game, great art.
18. Dec 2013 · 08:32 CET
I plan to make an easier post-compo version. But I need people to judge me on this one that's LD rule. I'll post it in 20 days here and on my website. If you have time for this plz tell me on which part you gave up OR on which part you spent too much time.
18. Dec 2013 · 12:11 CET
+ looks awesome
+ diverse world and mobs
+ nice music

- a bit too difficult for my taste though...
Overall, congrats for a solid game!
18. Dec 2013 · 12:17 CET
Wow, really too hard :S
But it's fun and amazing at the same time! The retro feel, graphics and music are so nostalgic! And those triangle mushroom things were talking to one another :0
I couldn't even reach the cyclops even after so many retries ._.
18. Dec 2013 · 12:25 CET
A very nice entry! I didn't get very far but what I play was well designed with a nice look and feel. Well done.
18. Dec 2013 · 13:10 CET
Excellent game ! Too frustrating for me to restart to the begining. So i did not see so much thing, but enough to understand the potential. I really appreciate the puzzle side of your platformer. Impressive game design. Bravo ;) Did you do the music too ?
18. Dec 2013 · 13:51 CET
ahhhh I can't figure out the scorpion! This is so much fun though. got to complete this.
18. Dec 2013 · 14:02 CET
@lotusgame I used MML for the music > here is the code:

#A=%1 @8 l8f4<c4r >f<cfd+d16d+16c4 r4^8>a+16<c16
d4>a+4 r a+ag16a16ra+<c4r2>
f4<c4r >f<cfg d+4r r4^8 f16g16g+gfd+fc>g+<c>f4 r2rrr1r1;

%1 @9,,,36 q1

%1 @1,,,30 o3 l8
$ frffrf l16 d+d+d+r l8 frffrd+16 l16 fgd+>a+r;


// ++
%1 @4q2,,40 %v2,4 v10
$l16ff((ff((ff((ff))ff))ff))ffff <ff((ff((ff((ff))ff))ff))ffff>

You may paste in this webtool : www.benjaminsoule.fr/tools/vmml
18. Dec 2013 · 14:24 CET
One of the best game of this Ludum Dare !
18. Dec 2013 · 14:27 CET
I really like the concept, the atmosphere, the visuals and the audio. It's okay, if you want to make your game difficult and retro (I have absolutely nothing against it), but why not just include a cheat mode for us testers which are so bad in platforming, but want to see all the art, level and enemy design you made? I'm really sad, because the first screens I saw, they already show creative enemy behaviors and a lot of work and talent...
18. Dec 2013 · 14:57 CET
Turns out I thought part of the scenery you have to jump on was just bg art... stupid. It took a while but I finally got both endings! Perfect game man, this deserves plenty of medals. so well thought out and so friggin' hard. Loved the graphics and sound, and it fit the theme perfectly. You rock!
18. Dec 2013 · 15:04 CET
Btw just to make things even harder, that screenshot of the scorpion up the top is incredibly misleading.

After all that I actually had to take two screenshots of the endings as a trophy/ proof that I actually did it.
18. Dec 2013 · 18:20 CET
We had such a great time playing it! Really fun! Every room is like an small puzzle and keeps you wondering about the next step!
18. Dec 2013 · 18:35 CET
very cool
18. Dec 2013 · 18:49 CET
Wow i loved the art for this. Extremely difficult for me but i loved it every step. Good work.
18. Dec 2013 · 19:39 CET
Wow. I've been struggling with this game for an hour already. Progressing ultra slowly. One my top 3 entries so far. I can't even find any constructive criticism, because I just love this game. Fantastic art, great retro sound and music, fun gameplay and even the structuring of the game... intro game, menu, main game... top!
18. Dec 2013 · 22:21 CET
Excellent game. Lot's of polish and content. Amazing how you made this in just 48 hours. Great job :)
18. Dec 2013 · 23:39 CET
Haaaaaard! Wow, I think I need more arrows to do that. Awesome graphics, awesome sound and great mood. Has kind of a NES feel to it :D
19. Dec 2013 · 11:35 CET
Really great game, best graphics and music! Well done!
19. Dec 2013 · 11:42 CET
Very difficult, but apart from this it is awesome, great work.
19. Dec 2013 · 18:24 CET
Beautiful and charming! (incidently, it's the 3rd only-one-arrow game I've played so far... but the others don't come close to this one)
19. Dec 2013 · 21:44 CET
Love your games...! as usual!
Dining Philosopher
19. Dec 2013 · 22:37 CET
Whoah, four scepters hard! I had to restart because I already spent my arrow when reaching the cyclops, but on the second run I found the second ending. Except for one clue and an earlier observation it would be very hard to find.
Great game from you as usual, beats me how you managed to make it in 48 hours. Magnifique!
20. Dec 2013 · 02:50 CET
Feels like a very solid platformer, and I love the retro graphics. With the one-arrow limit (and the fact I can't fire while jumping), it's a bit too difficult for me, though.
20. Dec 2013 · 19:46 CET
Awesome game!
Its really tough, though ;)
The graphics style is really cool. I would call that "retro at its best";)
Great work!
Mlle Eole
21. Dec 2013 · 02:04 CET
So hard ! The feeling is really good. :)
Dining Philosopher
21. Dec 2013 · 14:11 CET
Wait what? The first time I beat the game, I didn't beat the cyclops. I just beat it again, killing the cyclops, but got to the same ending!

Apparently I used a detour to avoid the cyclops the first time, pretty unintended I guess.

Oh well, on to find the second ending...
Dining Philosopher
21. Dec 2013 · 15:50 CET
I thought the second ending might be in the bottom left, but there's just an endless sea of poison there. Could you give us a hint on the second location? I think I checked every room after beating the cyclops...
21. Dec 2013 · 16:02 CET
The second ending imply you DONT kill the cyclop. The problem is you still have access to the first one if you do so.
21. Dec 2013 · 22:07 CET
One of my faves till now. Loving retro graphics and how you 'play' the title screen. Pixel art and animations are awesome!
21. Dec 2013 · 23:17 CET
Your idea is similar to my original one (one bullet), kinda glad I didn't go for that. Having only one arrow is frustrating!
Game's is pretty hard. Nice graphics. I did prefer your previous LD entry.
22. Dec 2013 · 13:16 CET
One of my favorite entries so far. Great music and really awesome pixel art. I appreciate that you went with a more difficult game.
22. Dec 2013 · 15:32 CET
So this game is basically about evaluating which monsters you should kill, instead of just bashing everything. I appreciate games with some strategic value like that, and enemy behaviours support the gameplay.

One drawback is that the levels don't feel equally designed around the idea. I could use some more information about where I'm going to get new items, and more options to backtrack. Like, I got into the strawberry boss fight before I was supposed to, and had to restart the game. It felt like a punishment for doing well.

With more appropriate level design, you could also safely have a checkpoint on each screen transition. I get that this is meant to be retro and all, but it's the year 2013, and by now you have the freedom to question NES games' fake difficulty/length that comes from replaying sections.

Nonetheless, this game had a definitive feeling of exploration. There's quite a lot to be seen for an LD game, so good job for that.
22. Dec 2013 · 15:41 CET
This is really great. And difficult. I managed to get to the boat but could not get to the cyclops with an arrow. I was going to try and get the cyclops rocks to pile up and jump up but lost interest. Maybe later.

The game is a mix of difficult pussles and annoying issues.

Art is awesome, i love how it looks like a broken NES game, good job on that for such a short time. The song is cool but the jump sound could have been less high pitched.

Good job and good luck =)
22. Dec 2013 · 18:26 CET
I can't get past the swamp monster. Or the mushrooms. :( Too hard for me.
Noah Ratcliff
23. Dec 2013 · 01:17 CET
I really enjoyed this game, the art and audio matched perfectly! Thanks for sending in a clip to the compilation as well.
23. Dec 2013 · 11:58 CET
Oh my god, this is so hard!
I played the four first panels at least 100 times and never got past them...
Well at least I can say I know part of the game by heart XD
23. Dec 2013 · 17:11 CET
Thanks for showing us mml!
Zephyr Raine
23. Dec 2013 · 17:38 CET
I loved your game!
23. Dec 2013 · 17:54 CET
I definitely want to beat this game, it is just gorgeous!
23. Dec 2013 · 18:45 CET
A solid entry, but too frustrating without frequent checkpoints. Great presentation though.
23. Dec 2013 · 19:07 CET
Nice game! Good job! :)
23. Dec 2013 · 19:26 CET
Great game. nice use of the theme
23. Dec 2013 · 19:45 CET
Amazing entry, man! I tried a few times but couldn't get to the end. Lots of fun and very nice art style!
23. Dec 2013 · 20:09 CET
Incredible work. I love that all the enemies are unique and react to player movements. This entry is awesome and I could lose hours trying to progress in it.
23. Dec 2013 · 20:30 CET
Great entry! I really wanted to save that arrow, it was temptin to use it tho
23. Dec 2013 · 20:34 CET
I particaularly enjoyed that horrible thing in the swap to the right - excellent animations and sound and music too, thanks!
23. Dec 2013 · 21:34 CET
Excellent game, apart from the difficulty.
23. Dec 2013 · 22:48 CET
Very hard, but in a good way. Amazing visuals. Music got a little on my nerves after a while, but that might just be me. Great game, one of the best ones I've played so far.
24. Dec 2013 · 00:41 CET
Great old school color scheme and art style. Nice music too.
24. Dec 2013 · 03:08 CET
Very nice!
Alex Higgins
24. Dec 2013 · 04:48 CET
Really good, but it's just too hard for me to complete it. Mad props for the double jumping frog puzzle, though, that was quite clever.
24. Dec 2013 · 11:35 CET
Really fun. The lack of checkpoints was pretty annoying sometimes. I think I spent an hour looking for the second ending :) https://db.tt/JQpzSWn0
24. Dec 2013 · 14:31 CET
Great gameplay!!
24. Dec 2013 · 14:38 CET
This is quite difficult but very fun. It has a nice old-school feel to it. Great job!
24. Dec 2013 · 22:47 CET
Very fun game, loved the graphics and feel for it. I included it in part 10 of my Ludum Dare Compilation video series, if you'd like to take a look :) http://youtu.be/iZspNc9Kmjk
25. Dec 2013 · 07:31 CET
Really difficult, didn't finish. The checkpoints could be more generously spaced. Other than that, it was an excellent game. Solid all the way through. You could have made some money selling this for the consoles 20 years ago.
25. Dec 2013 · 11:33 CET
Amazing graphic and music for me, and game-mechanic is really cool! Great! :D
Giovanni Cappellotto
25. Dec 2013 · 15:38 CET
Really nice game! I like the chiptune music.
25. Dec 2013 · 20:44 CET
Waay too difficult for me; but still very fun. Couldn't get to this cyclops people keep talking about :)
Denis Chakarov
26. Dec 2013 · 09:30 CET
Very good and polished game! Too difficult for me. Please consider a version with a lighter difficulty, like getting to endure 3 hits for example. Anyway - amazing job!
28. Dec 2013 · 19:19 CET
A very polished and fun game! I'm impressed you managed to pull this off in only 48H, it looks like (and plays like) a professional NES game! I didn't manage to complete it (yet), but I'll try again later... (but woaw, this game is hard!)
29. Dec 2013 · 00:16 CET
This is an amazing game! I liked how, different from the others "you only got one arrow" games I've played so far, this is the only one that you really must choose when to use that arrow. The enemy behavior and how you can control it just add up to the fun!
And the sfx... watching those two goomba-like enemy chatting while I tried to make them come closer was funny.

But man... just how do I get past that goddamn scorpion without using my arrow? @_@
I think I already know how to flee from the cyclops battle (if that's indeed what should be done, since I could only get there without the arrow), but I failed when trying...

Well, I'll just have to try again later! =D
Will Edwards
29. Dec 2013 · 00:35 CET
I really liked the retro graphics and total feel.

I found it super difficult though. I'd really like to romp through these levels with a whole load of arrows and swords and things. As it was, I had difficulty even avoiding a frog..
29. Dec 2013 · 08:13 CET
Awesome metro-style game!
It's really hard and I am still trying to go through lol.
Good job :D
29. Dec 2013 · 17:19 CET
awesome job! the graphics are awesome and the game play is really unique. i love the frogs and how you have to double jump to get under them. really nice thinking. i also think the intro where once you get the arrow you see the title is an awesome idea!
29. Dec 2013 · 22:45 CET
Incredibly hard. I can't get very far. I wish I could get further so I could see more.
29. Dec 2013 · 23:05 CET
One of the biggest things I've learned from Ludum Dare is that a lot of game developers SUUUUUUCK at actually playing games. I didn't find this game too difficult. In fact, the difficulty was at that perfect sweet spot for me where just as you start to get frustrated, you have a breakthrough and wonder why you even struggled with it to start with.

Perfect use of the theme. Great puzzle/platform/action mixture that really forces you to think about the "one" that you get.

Nice sprites (although I find myself wishing it stuck to classic NES color restrictions) and that BGM is sweeeet!

Wonderful entry all around!
Tom 7
30. Dec 2013 · 00:18 CET

A beautiful knot! You always make great games and this is one of my favorites. I got both endings, though I was way off track on the crown one, and had to peek at the source to figure out where. The sequencing is great, and I had several occasions where I gave up because I thought something was too hard, but then couldn't stop thinking about the game, and then figured out a thing to try and it worked. :) (And thank you for the hint in the screen shot.)

Some sequence breaks:
- You can get past the scorpion and keep your antidote, if you make it off the screen before it runs out. This means that you can go back to the right and survive the scorpion a second time (or arbitrary number of times). Moreover, you can escape the super strawberry like this: After entering the room, immediately move to the right and then to the left to position most of your body off-screen (go as far as you can). Supa Fraise will usually attack low, breaking through the wall, then quickly again high. During his second attack it's possible to jump over him and escape. I only did it once, and then stepped on a frog, but I think it's possible to beat the game without fighting the cyclop this way, or have an arrow when fighting him??
- I'm pretty sure it's possible to get the antidote without giving up your arrow, though I never succeeded (such a long hike!). But I did jump over the monkey from the right, which should require the same clearance. If you did this you could reach the cyclops the normal way with an arrow, or it'd make the previous sequence break much easier cuz you could just shoot supa fraise. You could also avoid picking up the bow and arrow at all, which I thought would be the 2nd ending for a long time.

Another bug: If you die while supa fraise is breaking a wall (earthquake), the window can stay horizontally offset until you reload.

Some flaws IMO: I think the starting part of the game could use an additional save point (maybe near the monkey), as I think many people will be turned off by how hard this part is. I also thought the second group of strawberries was very frustrating to get by, since as far as I know you just need to wait for them to randomly move somewhere in order to get over them. The cyclops fight was really hard but ultimately satisfying. The fact that 'R' restarts (and saves) without prompting was frustrating when I tried to press ctrl-r to fix some graphic bugs!

This game was really hard but totally worth the challenge. Thanks for making it! Top marks. :)
Tom 7
30. Dec 2013 · 05:03 CET

I recommended this to my friend who also enjoyed it. I realized that I did something unnecessarily hard when I played (and that may make my last message confusing): I got back the arrow *after* defeating the Cyclops. For what it's worth, I think it's better if you have to do it this way, as it is somewhat interesting to make your way into prison from the far right. In particular, your last obstacle is the first frog--and on level ground he is much more difficult than the others. The symmetry of having this first trivial opponent be your last challenge I thought was really elegant. Anyway, guess I suck at going the right way
30. Dec 2013 · 11:23 CET
A fantastic game, full of excellent design choices. I'm impressed! :D
04. Jan 2014 · 20:22 CET
I love the screen to screen transitions, reminds me of TBOI. Really well designed and gorgeous pixel art style.
05. Jan 2014 · 11:22 CET
Very hard and well made metroidvania-like game!
To be fair, I didn't like the mechanic, if was one arrow by screen I would like a lot more, but maybe is just my taste.
Impressive work for 48-hours! Great job!
05. Jan 2014 · 12:58 CET
Love the old-school art an music! It's beautifully animated too.

A bit too demanding for my short attention span, but a lot of people like hard games too. I'm a wimp and I didn't finish it though. I killed the blue thing on the far right, but nothing happened. Then I figured I was supposed to go in the hole and gave up after being killed by the second set of mushroom guys a couple of times.
It's too bad since judging by the screenshot, I didn't see much of the game at all.
05. Jan 2014 · 13:18 CET
It's amazing that you did all this in just 48 hours. I loved the design, graphics and sound but I must say it was too punishing, games can be hard without being punishing.
06. Jan 2014 · 06:31 CET
I absolutely LOVE the idea. It seems like a lot of other games tried the "hold onto one item through the whole game" idea, but I think you really perfected it. Every new enemy made me think "hm... do I *really* need to use my arrow here?" The art and music were very nice, too, reminded me a bit of Zelda II, and I like the limited palette. Although I also have to agree with a lot of the other comments, I ultimately couldn't beat the cyclops, and gave up after a bunch of tries. I'm not sure if the difficulty itself was the issue, I think the game just needed to be more clear about "this is a puzzle you need to solve" and "this is just a part where you need to be really good at platforming games". But the mystery did make it a bit more interesting, and definitely made it a harder choice about using the arrow. But it's annoying how the punishment for making a mistake is starting over from the beginning.
06. Jan 2014 · 08:22 CET
You've put in a lot of work here, but it's just too punishing. Too much of the gameplay is waiting for random events to happen in your favor. Waiting for the little triangle guys' dice rolls to pick "walk" instead of "talk" or "jump" so they move into a pattern that you can jump over. Waiting for the strawberry to pick "attack" at the right point in your jump cycle. Waiting for the cyclops's coin flips to pick "pound" more than "jump".

The strawberry and cyclops should really telegraph their next move a bit so the player can react. When surrounded by rubble, I started jumping in rhythm with the cyclops's actions just in case he also jumped, since waiting for his action to start would mean you were too late.

I see discussion of multiple endings or paths, but I couldn't detect them. The two options seem to be going to the top right or going underground. No sense going to the sea monster at top right, you can't get past it even if you kill it. When you go underground, you have to use your arrow on the scorpion because there's no other way past it. I never figured out how to get by the cyclops; I figure you're supposed to build a tower of rubble high enough to escape through the top? I gave up after a couple dozen tries.

Any kind of checkpoint system would be welcome. As would a weighted random number generator that would pick the more useful enemy behaviors more often.

The jump physics were maddening when trying to get between triangle guys or navigate rubble around the cyclops. I felt like the character should only be moving while jumping if the player was holding an arrow key. The character went happily bounding too far into enemies so many times.

The art, numerous screens, many enemy types, and animations were really nice. I think it could work with some rebalancing.

06. Jan 2014 · 11:26 CET
Thank you everyone for very detailed comment. I'm very happy to see that a lot of you tried very hard despite my difficulty balance mistake.

I sometime have the ffeling that some of you have no checkpoint at all. The game should let you restart at the point where you find your last object.
The problem is the first object you pick is far way in the game. I should have added one object sooner to add a checkpoint in the game...

@BluShine You really figured out what was the game problem. This lack of clearness between arcade and puzzle. For exemple those red little triangle guys can be passes without a fight or dodge move. But I think nobody actually find how, because most of the player was thinking it was just a difficult arcade part. From my point of view I was thinking they will struggle to find the easy way to go. That's why I was so light with checkpoints.

@tom7 Thanks for the bug report. It tooks me time to understand how you achieve to get the arrow back "after" the cyclop but know that I understand it makes me want to make it the normal way to get the second ending :D
06. Jan 2014 · 21:36 CET
Excellent entry! The difficulty is super high but the puzzles are very clever and interesting :) I only wish the save points were a little bit more frequent, with a possibility to "rewind" to the previous screen when needed.

Congrats for the music too :) I'm amazed by the level of polish you achieved in only 48h!
07. Jan 2014 · 02:03 CET
Great game and great fun. Congratulations.
Jarcas Studios
08. Jan 2014 · 20:59 CET
Very cool 8-bit design even though it's brutally hard. The lack of checkpoints, in particular, was very frustrating.

I actually spent a large chunk of time thinking I was stuck on two fronts. I couldn't get past the red guys going down, and the monster in the water was just a dead end. Just before giving up I decided to try to jump on the water monster's head (which was counter-intuitive since jumping on everything else killed you). Then, suddenly there was SO much more world to explore.

I did enjoy the "puzzle" aspects of the game and hate I wasn't skilled enough to see the rest of it.

Still, great job overall!
08. Jun 2017 · 09:53 CEST
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