Ghost of a Tale Articles RSS Feed | Ghost of a Tale RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Ghost of Tsushima State of Play Recap: Beauty, Death, and Foxes Thu, 14 May 2020 16:54:20 -0400 Josh Broadwell

As advertised, Sony's latest State of Play was all about Sucker Punch's upcoming Ghost of Tsushima. There's a lot to dig into, including combat, customization, and modes so let's get started.

Things kicked off with Sucker Punch's Jason Connell showing off how we'll explore the gorgeous open world of Tsushima. We already know there aren't any waypoints, but you'll still have a map to guide you and you can call a guiding wind to point you in the right direction should you get lost.

Exploration revolves around the island itself guiding you through sparking curiosity and giving you places to explore, because as Connell said, "you can't have exploration without curiosity."

These could be big story moments, side quests, or any number of things, and you'll need to pay attention to a number of environmental cues like smoke and animals to uncover unique interactions. Birds, for example, point out areas of interest, foxes lead you to shrines where you can acquire special charms, and some animal symbols turn red when there's danger nearby.

It's a big world, and fortunately, Jin has a trusty horse to help take him through it, and you can even gather resources even while you ride.

You'll find resources in a variety of places, including abandoned buildings, so it's worth taking your time to explore the island. And once you find a location, you can go back to it through fast travel as well.

Exploration isn't everything in Ghost of Tsushima of course. A big part of Jin's journey is combat-centric, and according to Sucker Punch's Nate Fox, half of Tshushima's combat is the classic samurai faceoff that pits one warrior against another.

You'll be fighting a ton of warriors, and each action counts. What combat stances you take can change the course of battle, as can choosing the right moment to make your presence known and strike up close or stay back to hit from afar.

Jin isn't just a samurai, though. He's also the Ghost, using stealth, fear, and any number of underhanded tactics to take down his Mongol opponents. Stealth in Ghost of Tsushima is an involved process too. One scene, for example, showed Jin using a firecracker to both distract enemies and cover the sound of his own footsteps as he neared their camp from above.

Eventually, the Mongols will fear Jin the Ghost, which you can also use to your advantage and enhance with actions like eliminating victims as they try to flee. There's a "Slaughter" option you can choose instead of just the typical "Assassinate," and something tells us that might have something to do with increasing fear as well.

Jin's armor and outfits aren't just for looks; they also accent your chosen playstyle. You'll find a number of omamori charms that enhance your abilities, and the same goes for skills. How Jin develops is entirely up to you, as you create and hone your own unique playstyle. For instance, one technique build has Jin restoring health whenever he uses a smoke bomb, so there's a ton of ways to play.

And there's Photo Mode, of course, because this is Sucker Punch. Ghost of Tsushima's photo mode gives you a ton of options for making your ideal photo. There are overlays, changing wind direction or adding particles, and even changing the soundtrack if you're making a video. And that's just some of what's available.

Outside of that, you can customize how the game itself looks, with a special Samurai Cinema filter you can turn on right from the start that gives everything a grainy, black and white, windblown look. Also right from the start, you can choose a Japanese voice track if you want. Kurosawa on your PS4

Sucker Punch says this was just the start. There's a lot more they haven't even shown yet, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Ghost of Tsushima news as we near its July 19 launch date.

Ghost of a Tale - Thief Tunic Guide Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:57:49 -0400 Ty Arthur

Every good thief needs a proper set of equipment, and in Ghost of a Tale, that means finding new costume sets to increase your stats and make it harder for rat guards to spot you!

Guard costumes, pirate costumes, and more are ready and waiting to be discovered if you fully explore the game world. One of the best in terms of pure stats is easily the thief costume, which consists of five components scattered around the keep.

Stats screen in Ghost of a Tale Checking the stats on the Thief Mask (special thanks to Brascus for the screenshot)

Ghost of a Tale Thief Costume

The thief's tunic once belonged to the legendary burglar Tulong, and finding all the parts to this costume will be required to complete the Dwindling Height's Keep quest named A Thief's Renown.

Disguising yourself as the famous thief hero of folklore will modify your stamina, health, resistance, and powers of perception for as long as the costume is worn. Below we cover all five locations of the thief costume components.

Thief's Boots Location

To find the boots of this ultra-stealthy thief outfit, head to the courtyard area of Dwindling Heights Keep and look for the cell where you talk to the prisoner mouse Gusto and his sister Fatale. Head over to the cell next to theirs and look for a conspicuous barrel next to a wall.

Move the barrel over to discover a hidden passageway into a new area. Head inside the passage and take a left, then run all the way to the back to discover the boots inside a chest near the wall.

A chest is softly illuminated by a burning candle in Ghost of a Tale Finding the Thief Boots (thanks to FlukeRogi for the screenshot)

Thief's Tunic Location

The main chest segment of the thief costume is found on a high ledge in the harbour area, but before you can get here, you first need to clear the rocks at the top of the armory stairwell. If you haven't gotten that far in the story yet, then the tunic will have to wait.

You can find the tunic by jumping off the bridge onto a ledge where the chest is hidden (this is easy to spot if you come down the stairs from the far tower). If you go through the building with the bed and a trap door, turn right as you exit onto the bridge, and you should see the ledge path you can jump on.

A dimly lit chamber that houses the thief tunic Finding the Thief Tunic

Thief's Mask Location

The mask piece of this costume isn't far from the boots location. From Gusto and Fatale's cell, head across the courtyard to the steps leading up. Climb up the stairs to find a room with a chest where the mask is hiding.

 Finding The Thief Mask

Thief's Hat Location

The hat portion of this costume is located in the catacombs area. You are looking for a tight ledge with a blue, burning light and a skeleton. The hat is right there between them.

A mouse finding the thief hat in Ghost of a Tale Finding the Thief Hat

Thief's Belt Location

To find the final piece of the Ghost of a Tale thief costume, head back into the courtyard area of Dwindling Height's Keep and look for the war room with the fireplace and the large table. The thief belt is in the chest in the small recessed area in the back of the room. The keys for the room are found on top of the cupboard near the balcony steps.

a recessed area in Ghost of a Tale that houses the thief belt Finding The Thief Belt

You've now got the full thief costume and are ready to sneak quiet as a shadow across the keep without getting spotted by those nefarious rat guards! Need help with any other part of this stealth-action RPG? Check out our other Ghost of a Tale walkthroughs below:

Ghost of a Tale Footlocker Key Location Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:58:13 -0400 Ty Arthur

Stealthy (and adorable) mouse hijinks abound in Ghost of a Tale, taking the Thief or Hitman style of gameplay and adding in a Redwall-esque graphical style with mice and rats.

A clever mouse will get his hands on keys to reach new areas or open locked chests while doing all that skulking around in shadows, but some of those keys are more successfully hidden than others.

The key to Silas' footlocker is one such helpful object that seems to be consistently overlooked by new players, but once you know where to look, you absolutely can't miss it (and will wonder how you didn't see it in the first place).

Looking for the sewer key and can't figure out how to open the sewer gate instead? Check out our full guide on accessing the Ghost of a Tale prison sewer system right here.

Ghost of a Tale - Silas' Footlocker Key Location

This particular key is used to open the footlocker owned by Silas in his home at the top of Dwindling Heights Keep during the Secrets of a Signal Guard quest.

If you have been exploring, you can actually see the key before you need to use it when this particular quest line is active after being given by the thieves in the cell. If you grab the key without the quest being turned on first, it will activate the quest for you automatically when you go to open the footlocker.

Where players are getting tripped up is that, for some reason, the quest will include the note "you took the key to Silas' footlocker," and oddly enough, the objective labeled "take the key to Silas' footlocker" is marked as completed, even though it hasn't been yet and you don't even have the key in your inventory.

The key that leads to Silas' footlocker 

The key to Silas' Footlocker

Strangely enough, the key is actually in Silas' room on the second floor (I guess Silas must not be worried about thieves?). You can see it hanging on the wall by the bed, but it's just out of reach. Either use a chair or bucket to reach the key, or you can jump off the furniture to hit it as well.

If you don't see it on the wall, that means you are in the wrong room. Just explore the rest of the house and you'll see it when you arrive at the room with the bed (you have to climb up the ladder and go through the trap door).

A message saying a lock can't be picked in Ghost of a Tale Trying to open Silas' footlocker without the key

There you have it -- the key to Silas' footlocker is now in your cute paws, and you can find out what's hidden inside! Looking for other keys or unsure how to complete other Ghost of a Tale quests? Check out our full collection of Ghost of a Tale guides here.

Ghost Of A Tale -- How to Get into the Sewer Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:18:05 -0400 Ty Arthur

While we wait to see if that upcoming Redwall video game is going to be any good, for now we've got plenty of cute mouse adventures with Ghost of a Tale to keep us busy! 

This stealth-based action RPG will see your minstrel mouse having to outwit rats and other assorted enemies as you hide in baskets and sneak around areas like an adorable tiny rodent version of Thief.

Accessing one location in particular has been vexing new players now that the game is out of early access, as there doesn't seem to be any way to open the sewer gates.

That elusive sewer key is found in the jailer's office where you'd expect it to be, but it's sort of hidden and difficult to find even when you know exactly where to look.

Finding the Sewer Key 

Sadly, you've probably walked right past the key several times and not even realized it while searching every object.

From the room with the blacksmith hammering by the forge, go down the stairs and then hang a right, followed by another immediate right, to enter a bedroom (the jailer's room). You should see a desk with a book and a small dresser drawer sitting next to a bed and a chamber pot.

The Ghost of a Tale sewer key is actually in the dresser, but a lot of people miss it entirely because there are two drawers -- top and bottom -- and you only notice the bottom one if you align yourself just perfectly to see it pop up as an option to access.

When you just point forward towards the dresser, only the top drawer will appear as an option to open (which you've probably already raided in your search for the key).

You have to sort of wiggle back and forth repeatedly to rotate the camera to the correct angle and access the bottom drawer where the sewer key is located. You will know you are close when the chamber pot pops up as an option to open. From there, just turn slightly left to get the bottom drawer.

The drawer you open to get the sewer key in Ghost of a Tale Opening the jailer's drawer to find the sewer key (thanks to Goncalo Costa for the screenshot)

With the sewer key in paw, it's time to actually open the sewer gate, but the key isn't the only prerequisite. You also need a source of illumination in your inventory.

From the room where you find the key, turn right and run down the stairs. Hang a left at the wall lever, and then immediately turn right to enter a new room. Go past the bridge and through the big wall opening to travel down more stairs and access the jail area. Sneak past the rat guards through the jail to the room where Kerold is being held in the stocks.

Right by that room is the final staircase leading down to an area where the light goes out. Like with the pitch-black pirate cell earlier in the game, you first need to shine a source of light on the gate -- such as a candle or lantern -- before you can use the key to unlock the sewers.

Once the light turns on, you can finally use the key and leave the jail behind to enter the Ghost of a Tale sewer system!

Using light and a key to open the sewer gate Opening the sewer gate with a source of light and the sewer key

That's all you need to know to access the sewers and move on to the next part of the game. Stay tuned for more guides coming soon on the rest of the Ghost of a Tale quests, and be sure to leave a comment and let us know if you had trouble finding that lower drawer as well!

Redwall Is Finally Getting a Video Game, but You Probably Shouldn't Be Happy About It Thu, 11 Jan 2018 11:23:11 -0500 Ty Arthur

It's weird to think about, but my entire career has essentially been dependent on a talking mouse going on a quest for an ancient sword.

I've spent the last 10 years working as a freelance writer covering everything from underground black metal to Call Of Duty guides, and even released my own fantasy fiction ... and I can say without hesitation that I wouldn't have done any of that if it wasn't for discovering Redwall as a nine-year-old at the school library.

While other series would eclipse it in my list of personal favorites, Redwall is unquestionably what got me started in the fantasy realm and would spur me on to D&D, Final Fantasy, and beyond.

In retrospect, it's not a perfect series. There are plot problems, overly recurrent themes, and some thorny issues of racial bias you don't notice as a kid (why are all mice good and all ferrets evil?), but as a preteen just discovering the fantasy genre, I was hooked.

 Thanks, Brian. I owe you one.

The Long Wait for a Redwall Game

Later on as an adult, the criminally unknown Mouse Guard graphic novels would step in to rekindle that fire with a very similar style and subject matter. Mouse Guard would go on to inspire a stellar pen-and-paper RPG that really evokes the feel of the story (with mechanics way outside the typical d20 system) and lets the grown-ups who adored Redwall as kids roleplay in a very similar universe.

While Mouse Guard has us covered on the tabletop setting, fans have been left out in the cold on the video game front. If you do some digging across the web, you can find some unofficial, fan-made Redwall games in various stages of completion. As far as official, licensed games, there really hasn't been anything to date.

That's not to say the notion of talking mice living in quiet abbeys in the woods hasn't managed to invade games, however. Several developers have already given us high-quality games with anthropomorphic animals that are clearly meant to be in line with Redwall's aesthetic.

There's been the turned-based Game Of Thrones-meets-Redwall game Armello, the old-school RTS battle title Tooth And Tail, the Early Access (but already promising) stealth-action RPG Ghost Of A Tale, and the upcoming VR game Moss, which looks about as Redwall-ish as you can get without actually having the name.


Despite all those interesting offerings, there hasn't actually been anything legitimately released in Brian Jacques' famous fantasy world ... until now.

Just a few days back, a post for the very first Redwall video game randomly hit my feed thanks to the vagaries of the great unknowable Facebook algorithm. It's called Redwall: The Warrior Reborn and is launching in Early Access with a first episode titled The Scout.

To say I was merely excited would be the understatement of the century. Ecstatic? Over the motha-friggin' moon? Those are all a lot closer. Based on the Facebook comments, it seems a lot of other fans are feeling the same way and can't wait for the finished product.

Bumps Along the Road to Redwall

The episodic nature of the release, coupled with what is sure to be a long Early Access, put a bit of a damper on my initial excitement, bringing to mind the abandoned development of After Reset and many, many other episodic games that saw crowdfunding success but were never finished.

Despite those misgivings, I devoured the early screenshots and concept art, which looked pretty good (even if it didn't seem to exude the feel of Redwall as I'd conceived it as a kid), and started digging in deeper to see what had been done so far.

At the Steam page, it seemed the next logical step was to browse through other titles by the developer to know what sort of game to expect, and that's when the first red flag popped up. 

To my dismay, Soma Games has a grand total of one other game under its belt: a slingshot puzzle entry called G Prime that has all of three reviews on Steam. A development team with next to nothing else to its name being given a major IP is already bringing to mind all those terrible Warhammer 40,000 titles that Game Workshops hands out like gross candy.

So how exactly did we get here, rather than seeing Redwall be handed out to a bigger name?

This is where things get a little confusing. There was a Kickstarter for a game called Redwall: The Warrior Reborn by Soma Games back in 2013, but strangely it wasn't actually for the Early Access Steam game out now. Rather, it was for a Minecraft entry called Abbeycraft, which really wasn't clear just by reading through the Kickstarter page.

That crowdfunding success was used as a jumping-off point for the next step, which is the Early Access beta period being used to actually develop the full game.

 It's got potential, even if the team is untested.

Realizing they may not be the first name you'd think of to tackle Redwall, Soma put up the Project Mouseworks page describing the history of how they got hooked up with the franchise, and my heart sank reading each successive paragraph.

Easily the biggest issue is that the author of that page hadn't even read the books until after author Brian Jacques died. Since the team had been actively pursuing the IP before his death, the gravity of that problem should be readily apparent.

If the Telltale crew had never read any of the Game Of Thrones books before pitching George R.R. Martin and HBO, would you have wanted them to tackle the series?

Flaming Potholes to Hell on the Road to Redwall

That Project Mouseworks article only gets more alarming from there, and my concern grew when the author said he didn't think the ghost of Brian Jacques was involved in granting them the license, but "coincidence is the language of the Spirit."

Something very not in tune with the spirit of Redwall was clearly going on there, which was really confirmed with this next statement from the developer:

For long-time Soma Games fans another point seems worth mentioning. We thought a lot about whether or not Redwall was a fit with the core values and mission of Soma Games. Answering that required a lot of thought and prayer. We take our voice and mission very, very seriously. 

Wait, what mission, and why would you need to pray about whether Redwall fit with that mission? 

As it turns out, Soma Games is a Christian development team, although to their credit, they go out of their way to explain they are Christian developers, but they aren't necessarily making explicitly Christian games that are meant to proselytize at the players.

While I appreciate that distinction, the issue still raises another pretty big red flag. Redwall isn't a religious series in any way. It's not even fantasy tinged with religion like Narnia. So why did an explicitly religious company get the license for a game that isn't explicitly religious?

It's a decision that doesn't make any sense. Would you seek out the team responsible for the Left Behind games or Bible Adventures to turn the Wheel Of Time or Mistborn novels into a new game series?

In most cases the religious beliefs of the developers wouldn't matter. I'm sure Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Scientologists, Cthulhu cultists, and atheists have all worked on awesome games in the past. But then we get to this little statement from Soma: 

The fact that they think Diablo is somehow an inherently "evil" game, or that their core demographic wouldn't want to play the most lauded ARPG of all time ... well, that's concerning. That tells us we're going to get something that's toned down quite a bit from where it probably should be, and that concessions to religious concerns are going to be made where none are even needed in the first place.

It's Not All Doom and Gloom

If you look past the lack of developer pedigree, their unfamiliarity with the source material until after starting development, and the potential religious issues, there's still reason to be cautiously optimistic for Redwall's leap to the digital gaming age.

Most notably, Soma is actually active on the Facebook page with regular updates, and the developers take the the time to talk to potential players or respond to feedback. That's huge, as open communication is a must for an Early Access project.

It's also worth noting that the developers clearly get that Redwall was as much about the abbey and the lengthy food descriptions as it was the heroic mice and foul stoats. There's hope there that this team understands the material, even if they came late to the party.

 Half the series is this sort of thing rather than combat, and I'm glad they acknowledged that fact.

A Plea 

The first Redwall game deserves a development team that is absolutely in love with the source material and has the resources, time, staffing, and ability to make something worth playing that both does the series justice and gives the fans what they've been waiting for these past two decades.

Maybe that's Soma Games, and maybe it isn't. Indie, unknown developers have released unbelievably awesome material in the past, and Kickstarter successes are less unknown these days, so there's always a chance Soma will defy the odds and give us the definitive Redwall game.

Wisdom earned by harsh experience would indicate otherwise, however. Redwall isn't just a cheap paperback to grab at the airport. This series means something to the longtime fans, and we'd rather have nothing at all than get something sub-par.

Soma folks, if you're reading this, it's my sincerest hope that you knock it out of the park and succeed, but at the same time, I'm absolutely begging you -- if you can't give us something better than Armello or Ghost Of A Tale, please do the right thing and hand the franchise over to someone else.

What do you all think -- are you excited for a Redwall game to finally arrive, or would you prefer to see a bigger developer take the reins sometime down the line? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments! For now, you can check out some Early Access footage below, and you can follow the latest on the game's development over here.