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The Secret of Tetrapylae


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Rating: 4.1/5 (46 votes)
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 The Secret of TetrapylaeA tetrapylon -- plural, tetrapyla -- is a type of ancient Roman monument, cubic in shape with gates on each of its four sides. Not much is known about tetrapyla; historians simply assume them to be landmarks at significant crossroads or as ornamental architecture. These mysterious structures are found not just in Greece and Rome but also in Libya, Syria, Turkey, Spain, and throughout the world. As such, perhaps there's more to these ancient configurations than meets the eye. Perhaps there's just some particular importance that us modern folk simply can't understand. In The Secret of Tetrapylae, budding indie game developer Ludivorus debuts a high-quality point-and-click adventure centered around this Greek architecture.

The first part in what is hopefully a lengthy and invested series, this game is set in a dark fantasy world akin to the Mediterranean, during the era of the Crusades. Times are dire, war is imminent. An ambitious mercenary is on his way to join a warring faction, when his journey is interrupted by a series of unexpected events that set him on a peculiar quest. On the whole, The Secret of Tertrapylae is a believable and immersive pilot, featuring a great story and solid prose to set the background. Ludivorus is a detailed illustrator and diligent artist, as a strong point of the game is its rare hand-drawn style. Meanwhile, history buffs may appreciate the game's nod to historical accuracy. Ludivorus goes as far as using technical language to describe certain objects.
Tools and scenery; narrative; and social interactions are rife with references to Greek and Medieval folklore and literature.

With regards to gameplay, navigation can become confusing due to an extensive map with odd angles and many navigating arrows. All this makes players feel like real characters in the world; however, just like in the real world, the game may become challenging to play due to so many possibilities.

Clearly, The Secret of Tetrapylae sets the precedent for a long series, as it is rich in context and minutiae. We are off to a great start in this bold adventure!

Play The Secret of Tetrapylae

4 Comments

"The gameplay is relatively direct…" I disagree here, having had to do more pixel hunting and blind guessing than most escape games of the same complexity.

Spoiler-free but salty rant:

While there's no pixel hunting in the strict sense of "hotspots not on visible objects", many of the hotspots just don't react when clicked because of their punishingly small size. Often it's not enough to just use A on B, because it only works when you click the top half of B.

So of course I got stuck and read the comments (rather than jumping straight to the video walkthrough, but I eventually had to anyway), and it's clear that many players missed items, or tried the correct interaction on the wrong spot and at the wrong time, or used the wrong tool among all the options available. (And everybody struggles with the navigation.)

All issues that could have been prevented with better feedback in the game, but instead we're stuck having to try several tiny variations on simple steps. Or to look up the walkthrough to get past them, which by my estimation a significant number of players would not have been able to complete otherwise.

Functionally, there are pixel hunts, and they have the same effect of reducing the patience that any remaining players might still have for the main puzzle.

(Anyway, I'll probably do a text walkthrough for this once I calm down about it.)

Reply
Pulsaris July 30, 2019 12:31 PM

Anyways, since I have already completed the game when it was released on Kongregate (before it was posted in here), I will write the text walkthrough. I think a text walkthrough is useful since the video walkthrough doesn't explain how the clues lead to the answers of the puzzles.

The Secret of Tetrapylae

Exploration

City Entrance:
Click the city gate to enter the city.

City Square:
There is a warrior statue with a medusa shield. The shield has a keyhole on it, but the medusa's gaze prevents you from reaching the keyhole.

On the far right is the entrance to the scriptorium. Beyond the scriptorium is the church. Beyond the church is a tower. Beyond the tower is the entrance to the fountain.

Scriptorium, Ground Floor:
There is a staircase going up. The kitchen is on the right.

Scriptorium, Kitchen:
Some amphora is available for you to pick up. These containers are filled with olive oil.

Scriptorium, First Floor:
Inspecting the hole in the middle of the table, you find a wax tabula. Inside the wax tabula, you find a stilus.

Church:
On the left is the exit to the fountain. On the right is the exit to the city square. At the bottom of the screen is a door, the key of which is still inside the keyhole on the other side. At the middle, there is a metal tube in the mouth of a stone face, but it is too high to reach. On the right of the stone face, there is the entrance to the side chapel. On the left of the stone face, there are lit candles which are too short to be useful.

Side Chapel:
There is a metal plaque on the altar. The metal plaque is fastened with rivets.

On the left is a basin of holy water. On the right is a basin with a large hole at the bottom.

Fountain:
There is a statue of Poseidon. If you focus on Poseidon's right hand, you can see a bronze fingernail.

The blight of a wise victor

Go to the first floor of the scriptorium where you found the stilus.

In the fireplace to the left, there is a stone brick which has fresh mortar around it. If you use the stilus to remove the mortar, you can remove the stone brick. There is a mirror hidden behind the brick.

You can defeat the medusa's gaze by using the mirror on it. Now you can use your key on the keyhole. Remember to retrieve your key.

Something has fallen from the shield. This is the Emblem of Taurus.

The song of a grim herald

Now use a very old trick on the locked door of the church.

First, put your piece of paper under the door. Then, use the stilus on the keyhole. Now, retrieve the paper and the keyring on it. Use the keyring on the keyhole to unlock the door.

Behind the door is a flight of stairs. Take the ladders behind the stairs. You will spot a dead man, and you must take the black key from his neck.

Now go back to the city square. Use the black key to unlock the door at the bottom of the tower. Take the ropes and the pair of tongs.

Now go back to where the dead body is. Go up to find the church's bell. Attach the rope to the bell. Inspect the inscriptions on the bell to find a keyhole. Use your key on the keyhole. You find that the emblem on it moves, but it doesn't pop out.

Now go back to the bottom of the stairs. There is an entrance to somewhere at the top left of the screen. The indicator arrow should point to the left.

Enter and find a drunk man. Take the candle. Then, pull the rope to ring the bell.

Go back to the bottom of the stairs. On the second step is the Emblem of Libra.

The tongue of an eyeless witness

Go back to the church. Use the ladder on the column where there is a stone face with a metal tube. Now you can reach the face and discover a keyhole. Use the key on the keyhole and another stone face will spit out the Emblem of Sagittarius.

You should also light your candle here by using your candle with the lit candles in front of the statue.

The pride of a landless ruler

Now go to the fountain and find the bronze fingernail of Poseidon. Remove the fingernail using the tongs. Then, remove the trident.

Next to Poseidon's feet, there is a keyhole, once covered by the trident. Use the key on it, then take the Emblem of Scorpio that appears.

By bright of the silver-eyed

Go back to the side chapel. Use the tongs to remove the rivets on the plaque. You really need to be pixel perfect about this. After the plaque is removed, a keyhole is revealed. Use your key on it.

A passage to the underground is revealed. You must have a lit candle here, but it is not enough. There is an oil lamp above the passage, but there is no oil in the lamp. The amphora has oil inside, but it is too heavy to be carried down the passage.

Take the shovel on the right. Also turn the winch.

Go back to the side chapel. On the right is the basin with a holed bottom. If you turn the winch in the underground passage, there will be a block of stone covering the hole. Now pour the oil in the amphora into this basin.

One amphora is not enough. You have to pour all three amphorae of oil, found in the kitchen, into the basin. Then, go to the underground and light the lamp with the candle. Now go forward.

With signs in stars aligned

Use the clue found in the scriptorium to solve this puzzle. Well, actually, if you are well versed in astrology, you will need no clues. If you know nothing about the zodiacs, no clue will help you.

Now, first, notice that XII(twelve) is at the bottom, III(three) is on the right, VI(six) is at the top, and IX(nine) is on the right.

Taurus (the bull), as the second astrological sign, should be in position II (four o'clock).

Libra (the scales), as the seventh astrological sign, should be in position VII (eleventh o'clock).

Scorpio (the scorpion), as the eighth astrological sign, should be in position VIII (tenth o'clock).

Sagittarius (the archer), as the ninth astrological sign, should be in position IX (ninth o'clock).

As the gate unlocks, the key has broken apart. Pick up the broken key.

Tetratheon

Pull out the sword. A keyhole is revealed, but your key is broken.

From the red urn, take the red orb.

Put the red orb on the pedestal where the reaper is. Use the sword to cut the orb open.

Use the tongs to take the half orbs. Place one half on the bowl where the crossbow wielder is. Place another half on the bowl where there is a mosaic of a hooded figure grabbing two bowls. The black urn should now be unlocked, so take the key with scales inside.

Use the key-with-scales on the keyhole where you pulled out the sword. Take the hammer. Use the hammer to break the wall in front of you.

Ride the horse.

Escape!

Reply
Patreon Contributor kktkkr July 30, 2019 4:30 PM replied to Pulsaris

Works for me. A few additional remarks based on the Kongregate comment section:

The game seems to have been updated so there's more to say about Signs:

The wax tablet now has a zodiac reference (three horned beasts in a year).

Together with the zodiac circle shown in the book (which includes hard-to-read names of the signs around the circle) you can, in theory, deduce what the number for each sign is without using any external references.

In response to player feedback, the game will also accept another solution, which you get by translating the zodiac signs to month numbers in a Julian/Gregorian calendar (Taurus begins at the start of/within April, so Taurus=April=4 and so on).

One of the murals in the final chamber tells you what the puzzle is:

The bowls match the mural opposite the entrance, whose symmetry is a hint to keep the bowls balanced.

Having only one orb, you're forced to split it with your "perfectly balanced" sharp sword.

The entire design of the last room (and its entrance lock) is connected to the theme of the story:

the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, of which you become the second.

Reply

i'm lost on the walkthrough. oh well :(

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