Tarutaru's Room


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Rating: 3.5/5 (118 votes)
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Weekday Escape

GrinnypThis week's escape is... well, it's very different from the type of room escapes usually featured. Very different, quite unique, and cute enough to make you go awww. It's time for Tarutaru's Room (Tartar's Room), a short but beautiful game by Lilina's Escape.

Taurtaru's RoomThe game begins as many escape games do, with a little cut scene explaining what's going on. Our little Tartar (elf tartar?) wants to go outside, but the mysterious appearance of a glowing pink and blue force field that slams him (her? it?) across the room means that exiting ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Once the cut scene is over you can begin exploring the room. Hey, there's a trash can! There's almost always a trash can in room escapes, and they're usually useful. When you click on it, though, you'll get a surprise. Rather than seeing into the can, or perhaps just acquiring what was in it, you are treated to a little cut scene where the tartar dumps out the trash can to see what is inside. That's right, for every action, whether it be picking something up, placing an object, or combining inventory items, you get a little cut scene showing the character performing the action, making Tarutaru's Room almost a little animated short film.

Navigation through the room is easily accomplished with arrows at the sides and bottom of the screen. Just click on an object to pick it up or examine it in close up. Be warned, however, there is no changing cursor, so there will be some pixel hunting involved. Fortunately, with one exception, everything you need is right out in the open. It is merely up to you to figure out what items in the space will be useful. Once an item goes into your inventory you will notice a tiny magnifying glass in the corner which allows you to pull up an item into close up to examine it further.

The artwork is simply awesome, beautifully rendered in 3D and done up mostly in earth tones. There are touches of color here and there, and very important items will often glow in beautiful pastel colors. If only there had been a musical accompaniment of some sort, then you would almost feel as if you were wandering through a Pixar feature.

Taurtaru's RoomAnalysis: Why is it called Tarutaru's room? Well, prepare yourself for an ethnographic explanation. No wait, don't run away! Seriously, in Japanese words are comprised of syllables, so a word like Tartar — which refers to certain ethnic Mongolians (actually more properly called Tatars) — is spelled out in syllables, ta-ru-ta-ru. Why does the little Tartar (or Tatar, or Mongolian) have pointed ears? Um, you're on your own with that one.

The use of cut scenes showing every action taken makes Tarutaru's Room a very unique room escape experience. The game itself, stripped of all the showy elements, is pretty simple. There are some leaps of logic (or illogic) to be had, but most folks should make it through relatively easily.

This is a Japanese game, although you don't need to be able to read Japanese to make it through. In fact, with the exception of a book clue, there's no text at all in this game, and no number puzzles either. Tarutaru's room is entirely use of found objects. There is at least one color-based puzzle, which could make it difficult for some players.

Just because it's simple doesn't make Tarutaru's Room any less an enjoyable game to play. The cut scenes definitely slow down gameplay, but really add to the delightful experience. So brace yourself for an overload of cute and enjoy the fun of helping a little Tartar elf escape from Tarutaru's Room!

Play Tarutaru's Room

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

I thought so too...regarding the Tarutaru origin...

Wow, I managed to finish the game on my own! That's a first for me!

Guess I'll post a walkthrough then (This is my first one! Sorry in advance if it's hard to follow!):

1. Turn left from the door, click on shelf, click on the cabinet on the top, click on the slanted book to get it.

This book contains some clues as to things you need to do. pay attention to both the pictures as well as the color of the word under the date

2. Exit from the book shelf, click on the totem, now click on the top part of the totem to receive a pot.

3. Exit from the totem, turn left. Click under the bed first to get hammer.

4. Examine the row of dolls on the cabinet. You'll discover you can change their hair color.

Their color correspond to the colors of the words in book. Follow the colors going right to left in the book, and left to right on the dolls.

Going left to right on dolls: pink, yellow, blue, white, orange, green.

Something about the totem is activated...we'll examine later.

5. Turn left twice. Click on the right shelf first, and then the bottom cabinet. Get the brown bowl.

6. Exit the shelf. Examine the unidentified pot thingy between the cabinet and the shelf. OMG! A MONSTER?!

7. Quick! defend yourself! (Not really, it doesn't attack you...) Is there anything you can use?

What about that trusty hammer in your inventory?

8. Like all final fantasy fights, you receive your spoil! Golden key get!

9. Exit out of where the "monster" once was. Examine the shelf on the left. Check the bottom shelf. Click on the green pouch to get a bag of seeds.

10. Now go one right from the two cabinets, and use the bowl on the fountain.

11. Go two spaces right. Use the gold key on the blue box.

12. What? Nothing in there? Don't worry, because it's your job to put something in. Check in the waste basket next to the blue chest. You'll get a piece of paper with a clue on it.

It shows you how to get crystals. You want a blue crystal, so take the bowl of water and use it on the blue chest.

13. Now you've got your blue crystal, It's time to grow some stuff! This part is a little hard to find...select your pot, and facing directly at the dinner table, click on the thin white ledge that's on top of the cabinet on the right. It might take a few clicks to find the right region.

14. Now that the pots on the ledge, select your seeds and plant them.

15. Now take the crystal, and use it with the pot. You'll get a flower. Click on the flower, and you'll get the final key

16. Use the key on the door. FREEDOM!

Tarutaru Room Walkthrough

General Information

  • Have patience and wait to make sure that the cut scene has completely played out before you try your next move.

  • There's only one item that is "hidden", everything else is either in plain sight or in a drawer or cupboard.

  • When reading the book: this is a Japanese book, so remember to click on the left corner to turn the pages, and read from right to left.

  • Yes, the book is in Japanese. You don't need to be able to read Japanese, just pay attention to the colors.

  • Good luck.

Main Game

  • You begin facing the door and the mysterious force field. Turn right.

  • How cozy, a little eating nook. Look, in the corner is a trash can. Click on the trash can for a close up and click on it again.

  • Wait for the cut scene and you will have a piece of paper. Okay, adding fire to the blue thing gets you a red gem. Adding water gets you...?

  • Back up and turn right.

  • You are now facing a nice hutch, a dresser, and a mysterious black pedestal in-between. Click on the dresser for a close up.

  • Open the drawers. The only thing you can take is a green bag in the bottom drawer. Take it.

  • Wait for the cut scene and back up.

  • Now click on the black pedestal thing for a close up.

  • Click on it again and enjoy the cut scene. Back up.

  • Click on the hutch for a close up.

  • Open the bottom cabinets and take the bowl. Back up.

  • Turn right.

  • Look, water! Let's get some, shall we?

  • Use the bowl on the water.

  • Turn right. You are now facing a bed nook with a low dresser that has dolls on the top.

  • Click underneath the bed to retrieve the hammer.

  • Now click on the low dresser for a close up.

  • You can open the drawers, but there's nothing in them you can take.

  • Click on a doll.

  • After the cut scene plays click on a doll again (any doll) and you will notice you can change their hair with each click. Back up.

  • Turn right.

  • You are now facing a bookshelf and a totem pole.

  • What has that totem pole got on its head?

  • Click on the top of the totem pole for a close up and again to take the item.

  • Great, you now have a bucket of some sort. Back up.

  • Click on the bookshelf for a close up.

  • You can click on the top and bottom cupboards to open them, but the only one that matters is the top cupboard.

  • Open the top cupboard and you will see three books lying in there. Click on the book on the far right.

  • Okay, you now have a blue book. Click on the upper left corner to open it.

    • Don't worry about the text, all you need to worry about are the last characters, written underneath the numbers.

    • Notice that they are in color?

    • The first character (on the right) is pink.

    • The next character (on the left) is a dingy yellow.

    • Click on the upper left corner to turn the page.

    • The character on the right is blue, the character on the left is white.

    • Click on the upper left corner to turn the page.

    • The character on the right is red, the character on the left is green.

    • Click on the upper left corner to turn the page about four times. Okay, a page is torn out. Maybe the note you found?

    • Did you notice the pictures? Our character (amongst other things) grew a flower and used the hammer to smash something.

  • Close the book and back up.

  • Turn right.

  • Okay, we're back to the door. Turn right twice.

  • Let's smash something, shall we?

  • How about the mysterious pedestal thingy with the glowing green bottom?

  • Use the hammer on the black pedestal.

  • Yay, a key! Does it work on the door? No? Bummer.

  • Hmmm, remember the book?

  • There were six pages with colored symbols, and there are six dolls on a dresser that you can change the hair color.

  • Turn left until you are back at the bed nook.

  • Click on the dresser with the dolls for a close up.

  • Now, what were those colors?

    • On the dolls, from left to right, use the colors from the book.

    • Turn the first doll's hair pink, the next one yellow, then blue, white, red, and green.

    • For the color blind: Click the first doll on the left six times, the second doll three, the third doll five times, the fourth doll once, the fifth doll twice, and the sixth doll four times.

  • If you put in the colors correctly the dolls will glow, and you will get a cut scene.

  • Cool, the totem pole now has laser eyes.

  • Back up and turn right three times until you are facing the eating nook.

End Game

  • Let's grow a flower, shall we?

  • Notice on the dresser behind the table is a little plate, sort of like the ceramic plates you put underneath flower pots.

  • Maybe that little bucket thing we got from the totem pole is a flower pot?

  • Place the bucket on the ceramic plate. Note: you can only do this from the view of the table.

  • Cool, it's not a plate at all, but a plant stand.

  • Let's add the green bag to the pot.

  • Okay, we've added seeds.

  • Can we water them? No? Okay, how about magic water.

  • Use the key on the blue box on the left.

  • Okay, it's open.

  • Remember the note in the trash can?

  • Let's add water to the blue box and see what happens.

  • Neato, a blue gem! Magic water?

  • Add the blue gem to the pot and wait for several cut scenes to play out.

  • Cool, a glowing flower!

  • Click on the flower for a close up.

  • Wait for the cut scenes to end. Cool, the light from the flower and the light from the totem pole made a pink key!

  • Turn left and use the pink key on the door. You're out!

  • You've earned a tea break.

33 Comments

I think it's called Tarutaru because of this: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Tarutaru

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...Isn't Tarutaru a fictional race from Final Fantasy XI, which looks exactly like the character?...I would think that's the real reason why said game was called so...

Hm....Got about half way through...think I might have missed a few steps somewhere...Gonna try again...

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Billy Nitro Author Profile Page December 30, 2009 12:53 AM

It looks like a Tarutaru from FFXI, but I never played it. The diary does mention "leveling up" her (I assume it's a her) magic and killing monsters. Also: baking an apple pie and making a flower bloom. I think that i's coot.

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Billy Nitro Author Profile Page December 30, 2009 12:57 AM

Oh, I just noticed the ff11esc_1.html in the URL. It's def from Final Fantasy XI.

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Kittymaverick Author Profile Page December 30, 2009 1:16 AM

I thought so too...regarding the Tarutaru origin...

Wow, I managed to finish the game on my own! That's a first for me!

Guess I'll post a walkthrough then (This is my first one! Sorry in advance if it's hard to follow!):

1. Turn left from the door, click on shelf, click on the cabinet on the top, click on the slanted book to get it.

This book contains some clues as to things you need to do. pay attention to both the pictures as well as the color of the word under the date

2. Exit from the book shelf, click on the totem, now click on the top part of the totem to receive a pot.

3. Exit from the totem, turn left. Click under the bed first to get hammer.

4. Examine the row of dolls on the cabinet. You'll discover you can change their hair color.

Their color correspond to the colors of the words in book. Follow the colors going right to left in the book, and left to right on the dolls.

Going left to right on dolls: pink, yellow, blue, white, orange, green.

Something about the totem is activated...we'll examine later.

5. Turn left twice. Click on the right shelf first, and then the bottom cabinet. Get the brown bowl.

6. Exit the shelf. Examine the unidentified pot thingy between the cabinet and the shelf. OMG! A MONSTER?!

7. Quick! defend yourself! (Not really, it doesn't attack you...) Is there anything you can use?

What about that trusty hammer in your inventory?

8. Like all final fantasy fights, you receive your spoil! Golden key get!

9. Exit out of where the "monster" once was. Examine the shelf on the left. Check the bottom shelf. Click on the green pouch to get a bag of seeds.

10. Now go one right from the two cabinets, and use the bowl on the fountain.

11. Go two spaces right. Use the gold key on the blue box.

12. What? Nothing in there? Don't worry, because it's your job to put something in. Check in the waste basket next to the blue chest. You'll get a piece of paper with a clue on it.

It shows you how to get crystals. You want a blue crystal, so take the bowl of water and use it on the blue chest.

13. Now you've got your blue crystal, It's time to grow some stuff! This part is a little hard to find...select your pot, and facing directly at the dinner table, click on the thin white ledge that's on top of the cabinet on the right. It might take a few clicks to find the right region.

14. Now that the pots on the ledge, select your seeds and plant them.

15. Now take the crystal, and use it with the pot. You'll get a flower. Click on the flower, and you'll get the final key

16. Use the key on the door. FREEDOM!

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Yeah, that's a Tarutaru from FFXI.

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That was kinda disappointing. I look forward to these escape games every week and I know that they can't all be as good as others, but this one seem to be very elementary like something you would find on a DVD bonus feature of a kids movie. Oh well, maybe next week. And please don't think that because I didn't enjoy this weeks, that I don't appreciate the effort that goes into the searches each week. This was just feedback.

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This was a nice escape game. The animations were original, though they would probably be easier to make with a 3D graphics program anyway. I went through the game with no trouble, other than

putting the bucket on the pedestal

and

clicking through the book opposite the way I'm used to.

I also kept looking for

a way to make fire for the box. I thought a second crystal was necessary to unlock the door.

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Wow, It really is a FFXI taru taru.

How unexpected.

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Papachabre Author Profile Page December 30, 2009 5:35 AM

I found that almost none of the moves were intuitive. I got lucky with most of them and only had any real trouble with one part even though nothing really made sense to me. The graphics were pretty but I don't think I like the game.

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Visually wonderful, but the molasses-in-January pace and sprain-my-click-finger pixel hunts make this a "not so grate, akshully".

I'd like to see more from this author -- but after some mentoring from someone to make it a somewhat more enjoyable gaming experience.

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This is indeed from FF11 and it's full of reference to the game, but probably only noticeable when you actually know the game.
This room is a kind of house you can have as a player. And some actions make more sense when you know the game.

Like feeding the plant with a crystal is actually the way you garden in the game.

And the pot with the glowing green ball is a monster, so it's understandable that you kill it.

The clue in the book for the 6 dolls comes from the system in the game that each day is linked to an element

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Eh... the gameplay is slow enough that it's actually unplayable. Having to go through a cut scene each time I click on something useful is painful, haha, I stopped playing after 5 minutes. :-(

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What a beautiful game. Very unique style.

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I thought the game was pretty good. I have seen worse. I think if I had known the actual game it would have been easier and made more sense, but I still like it and got through it on my own. The cut scenes did not bother me either I liked the emotion it showed as the girl performed each step and they were not so long that you would become bored.

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its very cute, and well made, but VERY annoying to play. I didn't think it was challenging enough.

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...is there any reason why the walkthrough posted first is not featured?

The views around the dining area were rather annoying. Some consistency with effects (you do this, object does that, then you pull back and it's not doing it anymore) would have been better clues.

Otherwise really adorable. Loved the final graphics.

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An oversight, Shudog. Fixed.

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Wow. Color me impressed. The visuals were stunning and the cut scenes really helped tell a coherent story. The only thing I would change is the pixel hunting. Other than that, I consider the bar to now be raised! Kudos, Lilina.

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I really despise this game. Here's why:

1. The book goes right to left, yet the player is supposed to assume the dolls go left to right?

2. There is no keyhole on the 'box'. Nor are you able to examine it, nor does anything happen whatsoever when you click on it. The player is supposed to wildly assume you should use a key on this nothing-box.

3. No sound.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page December 30, 2009 6:51 PM

I think it was a cute little game, and obviously makes more sense to those who have encountered the character elsewhere.
The cultural diversity (book reading right to left) made for obscure puzzling and the lack of sound put me off, as did the cut scenes, but the graphics and the story made up for the game's shortcomings.

Happy New Year JiG and All :)
It's the last day of 2009 here. See you 'round here next year.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page December 30, 2009 6:52 PM

PS: Thanks GrinnyP for all your escape game searches. You've turned up some absolute stunners this year. Looking forward to next year's search results :)

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I'm sorry but you are wrong about the Tatars being Tarutaru in Japanese. The word Tatar in Japanese would be romanized: tataru. I imagine that the word tarutaru comes from the Japanese word taruningyo which is a small barrel that has been dressed up to be a doll. The word Taru by itself means barrel and repeating it twice in a row gives a kind of cute childish feeling to the word.

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Sara Anthony December 30, 2009 9:49 PM

There's another one! To get to it, change the 1 at the end of the url to a 2.

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I read the developer's notes and found that he based his game in the world of Final Fantasy XI. In Final Fantasy XI apparently there is a race called Tarutaru which according to the Final Fantasy online Encyclopedia the developers stated they based on the word Tartar, not meaning the mongolian people but the sauce. The origin of the word tartar sauce may or may not be linked to the Tartar people, but certainly not the Tatars, who you might better know as the Turks.

Sorry this post comes across as so condescending, really I just found it interesting and thought people might want to know more. Seriously I'm sorry for sounding like such a jerk.

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This is a cute game. I do think it made the game longer though, when the little character was up to mischief.

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why did we escape the room just to go back in and have tea and cookies?

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i find it hard to keep playing when there's no sound. at all. i love taru taru too, so it's a shame! this seems cute otherwise...

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I loved the art. I used to get my kicks in FFXI by wandering around as a lvl. 78 Tarutaru Summoner, leaving a trail what at some time were a bunch of panhandling no0bs. I loved that species for the sheer purpose of surprising those who thought I was too cute to be a threat. >:3

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It's very elementary. Except for MAYBE the dolls, there are really no puzzles to solve. It's just a matter of clicking around.

I have no reason to slam it. The cut scenes weren't that bad; I've seen worse. No sound is really a buzz kill, though. Eh, it's cute.

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This game did not work for a lot of reasons that others have noted already - objects and puzzles did not make sense, no sound to give feedback of how you are interacting, etc. But one thing that annoyed me was that when the game started I assumed I was in a room trying to escape (I never read the review until after I finish the game). Like most room escape games I assume I am the person trying to escape. The game started off like this giving me a viewpoint of the room. The first time I got a cut scene I realised that there was a character trying to escape - this was really jarring. If the character is part of the game then they should be involved from the beginning - maybe an over the shoulder viewpoint or something similar to incorporate the character into the story from the beginning.

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I think the link may be broken as I tried clicking it and it said 404...eh?

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