Tunic’s instruction manual and the Zelda art that inspired her

As many RPS Treehouse members can attest, I couldn’t stop playing Tunic this week. I was a little wary on entering, as I wasn’t particularly impressed with the E3 demo from last year, but in hindsight, that early glimpse was only the tip of the nose of a small fox peeking out of its burrow. In its full royal splendor, Tunic has become an early contender’s game for me, in large part due to the clever in-game instruction manual.

When Imogen (RPS in peace) interviewed Tunic dev Andrew Shouldice last September, they talked about how instruction manuals were an essential part of game design in the NES days, and at one point he pulled out his old instruction manual for Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link to show you some “puzzling hints” they might give curious players. As Brendan (also RPS in peace) noted in our Tunic review, the in-game guide is indeed an important part of what makes Tunic special, and the act of putting it together page by page really captures that feeling of discovering some great secrets that only you and the development team know. But here’s a secret between you and me: It’s no coincidence that Soldas pulled out an old Zelda II manual during our interview last year. His hero the fox may be cut from the same fabric as Nintendo’s green sword slingshot, but the art inside the Tunic instruction manual also pays homage to old Zelda manuals as well.

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