Blackwood Prologue


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Rating: 4.3/5 (159 votes)
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TrickyBlackwood PrologueCostis doesn't remember how he got here. He doesn't know why the world keeps changing around him. And he certainly doesn't know the man in black who seems to be following him. But every little boy knows when it is time to explore, and so he will. For better or worse... Blackwood Prologue is an interactive art adventure by Blake Mann, that takes you inside the mind of a kid who just might be seeing his future in his dreams. Move Costis with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys, and click the pieces of dialogue to advance the story. There are also 6 hidden orbs to be unlocked by performing certain actions.

It's kind of hard to judge Blackwood Prologue as is. Certainly it has a marvelous atmosphere, and moments that manage to be both evocative and unsettling. However, like its inspiration Coma, there's more symbolism and eeriness than plot which makes it lean heavily to the "art" side of the "interactive art" descriptor. Certainly we have seen works that use the premise of dream logic as a crutch for vague or half-developed ideas. However, as the title states, the game is a prologue, and presumably the foreshadowing will pay off in the full Blackwood title the author currently has in development. For now though, Blackwood Prologue is an immersive, sometimes scary walk through a beautiful dreamscape, and hey, maybe that's enough.

Play Blackwood Prologue

Walkthrough Guide


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

I, personally, found this game to be quite enjoyable and look forward to a finished product.

Blackwood Prologue Walkthrough

Start

You start out under a tree. From here, go right until you see your parents, as you are unable to go left at this point. Once you complete the exchange with your parents, go left and you will see a spider burrowing into the ground and leaving an orb behind. Grab it. Follow the screens to the right until you reach the old man sitting against the rock who then asks you to retrieve his cane in the panel you were just in. Once you get it and go back to the old man, his panel is replaced with that of a wooden fence.

Go left as the path is blocked until you reach what seems to be a dead end. Jump over the edge and to the ground. From here you can go right or left. Going left takes you to the other side of the wooden fence you were just at and going right takes you to the end of the current stage.

Bedroom

You are now in your room. Before you head to the kitchen to grab the glass of water, you should see a painting of yourself in your room. Stand under it, facing the same direction the painting is facing then jump. This will produce another strange orb. Once you've grabbed it, head right and get water from the kitchen.

Lighthouse

You are now on a stone path. From here, you can go either right or left. I advise you go left first which will take you through a few repeating panels before taking you to an ending path with another orb. Once you've grabbed it, make your way to the right to finish this section. You'll reach a panel that has you fall from one path to another. Before continuing, go left into the cave under the path you just fell from for another orb. Continue onward (right) and you will eventually reach a lighthouse. If you try to leave, a man in black will approach you and give you a couple options. I have only selected "No" to the first question and have obtained the second set of options. From here, it doesn't seem to matter where you go first.

Valley

Continue right from the docks until you reach a man hammering some poles into the ground. He'll ask if you can help dig some hols for some flowers. The only option here is to accept and go find a shovel.

Quarry

Now that you've gone to the quarry, things have taken a turn for the monochromatic. Continue right from the docks and you'll see a mirror. This mirror doesn't seem quite right... Continue onward until you reach what appears to be a man in prison garb and ask you borrow his shovel. Go back to the valley and select No when it asks you to dig holes for flowers then Yes for treasure hunting. This will yield another orb. Move out of that panel with the tree then back and dig the holes for the flowers. Once dug, go back to the construction worker and he'll hand you a bag of seeds, which can now be planted. Once planted, go back to the construction man then he'll allow you to have his other hammer.

Quarry (again)

With the hammer in hand, head back to the quarry. Ignore the mirror for now then give the shovel back to the implied inmate. He will give you another orb. Go back to the previous screen and smash the mirror. Go back to the docks (I tried multiple ways to get past the mirror, including button presses and mouse clicks and am not entirely sure which one(s) worked) and head back to the valley.

Valley

Now that you're back at the valley, you can see how your hard work's paid off! Continue onward and the man in black will come for you again.

Congratulations, you've beaten Blackwood Prologue!

15 Comments

tinyflames Author Profile Page July 25, 2012 12:16 PM

How do you progress without

destroying the mirror?

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inheritance.fan Author Profile Page July 25, 2012 12:44 PM

I found one orb in the

mini-cave of the third setting,

another

on the hill of the Valley where I could dig for lillies

a third

when I returned the shovel before planting flowers

.
But then I

smashed the mirror and the game ended.

Where are the other 3 orbs? Did I miss something?

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jdiwnab Author Profile Page July 25, 2012 1:00 PM

inheratance.fan,

I found 2 more, still missing one

In the beginning, after seeing your parents, go back a screen and you scare a spider and get an orb

At the start of the Winter level, rather than going right, go left several times (you'll flip the lamps on and off) and you'll find another

I suspect that there is something with one either:

getting the cane to the guy before the spider kills him

or

The flower seeds

but I haven't found the last one yet.

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Another orb...

... can be found in your bedroom.

After you "wake up" thirsty, head out to the kitchen. But, in the hallway turn around and return to your room.

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So how on earth do you

Get the cane to the guy before the spider kills him?

and has anyone figured out what to do other than

smashing the mirror?

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Akarroa Author Profile Page July 25, 2012 8:31 PM

Found 5 orbs,

Spider Scarer (go left after seeing parents), Persistence (keep heading left on lighthouse level), Cave Dweller (go left after falling off ledge in lighthouse level), Treasure Hunter (don't dig holes yet, then dig for treasure), and Borrow and Return (return the shovel).

Its hint isn't working for 6th one, no idea what it could be.

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the 6th orb:

Picture Perfect: stand under the picture in his bedroom, facing the same way as he is in the picture. Jump and then you'll get orb #6

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Akkaroa,

When I first did it, I had gone out in the hall and came back into the bedroom and there it was.

Trying again, it appears that you don't even have to leave the room.

After the spider attacks you and you wake up in bed head for the door. Just before you leave the room, turn around and jump. The orb should appear on top of the wardrobe cabinet and fall to the floor.

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I, personally, found this game to be quite enjoyable and look forward to a finished product.

Blackwood Prologue Walkthrough

Start

You start out under a tree. From here, go right until you see your parents, as you are unable to go left at this point. Once you complete the exchange with your parents, go left and you will see a spider burrowing into the ground and leaving an orb behind. Grab it. Follow the screens to the right until you reach the old man sitting against the rock who then asks you to retrieve his cane in the panel you were just in. Once you get it and go back to the old man, his panel is replaced with that of a wooden fence.

Go left as the path is blocked until you reach what seems to be a dead end. Jump over the edge and to the ground. From here you can go right or left. Going left takes you to the other side of the wooden fence you were just at and going right takes you to the end of the current stage.

Bedroom

You are now in your room. Before you head to the kitchen to grab the glass of water, you should see a painting of yourself in your room. Stand under it, facing the same direction the painting is facing then jump. This will produce another strange orb. Once you've grabbed it, head right and get water from the kitchen.

Lighthouse

You are now on a stone path. From here, you can go either right or left. I advise you go left first which will take you through a few repeating panels before taking you to an ending path with another orb. Once you've grabbed it, make your way to the right to finish this section. You'll reach a panel that has you fall from one path to another. Before continuing, go left into the cave under the path you just fell from for another orb. Continue onward (right) and you will eventually reach a lighthouse. If you try to leave, a man in black will approach you and give you a couple options. I have only selected "No" to the first question and have obtained the second set of options. From here, it doesn't seem to matter where you go first.

Valley

Continue right from the docks until you reach a man hammering some poles into the ground. He'll ask if you can help dig some hols for some flowers. The only option here is to accept and go find a shovel.

Quarry

Now that you've gone to the quarry, things have taken a turn for the monochromatic. Continue right from the docks and you'll see a mirror. This mirror doesn't seem quite right... Continue onward until you reach what appears to be a man in prison garb and ask you borrow his shovel. Go back to the valley and select No when it asks you to dig holes for flowers then Yes for treasure hunting. This will yield another orb. Move out of that panel with the tree then back and dig the holes for the flowers. Once dug, go back to the construction worker and he'll hand you a bag of seeds, which can now be planted. Once planted, go back to the construction man then he'll allow you to have his other hammer.

Quarry (again)

With the hammer in hand, head back to the quarry. Ignore the mirror for now then give the shovel back to the implied inmate. He will give you another orb. Go back to the previous screen and smash the mirror. Go back to the docks (I tried multiple ways to get past the mirror, including button presses and mouse clicks and am not entirely sure which one(s) worked) and head back to the valley.

Valley

Now that you're back at the valley, you can see how your hard work's paid off! Continue onward and the man in black will come for you again.

Congratulations, you've beaten Blackwood Prologue!

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Very interesting. I had to go back and play several times. I was disappointed that the extra 5 point things only happen the first time you find each orb. I guess you have to clear cache to get those points on replay.

Thank you Steven Stills for the walk through.

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I had to try. I used a different browser to play again. I got all six orbs AND medals.

I also did not find a way to end the game without breaking the mirror.

Then when you wake up, the mother says the same thing and it looks like the regular ending.

However, the reward for the medals is a two or three second extended ending. Not really worth the time to play the game just for that.

I enjoyed the game with out the extension. However, I hope it means a sequel?

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@4red3s: Well, it does have "Prologue" in the title, so yes, I think it's fair to assume that more installments are coming. :)

I really enjoyed this one. I liked "Coma" (and the Nevermore, which this game also evokes) in all its ambiguity, and I would have enjoyed this one on its own. That being said, I am glad that more is on the way, because I really want to see what happens next in this story!

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iamPurryCat Author Profile Page August 18, 2012 2:29 AM

This piece is beautiful and relaxing and a joy to experience. Thanks for sharing, I'm ready for more of your work!

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That was creepy but very lovely nonetheless. I hope they continue this - I'm intrigued!

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I should add though that the trophy-style achievement notification when you collect an orb seemed completely inappropriate for the eerie style of the game.

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