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Tainted Olive: Chapter 1

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Rating: 4.5/5 (151 votes)
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Tainted Olive: Chapter 1

DoraBlack Olive Games' newest point-and-click adventure series begins with Tainted Olive: Chapter 1, where you take control of Silvian. Silvian's mood has been bleak lately and his luck only seems to go from bad to worse when he runs afoul of the local thieves guild, who, as it happens, don't take kindly to people trying to run out on their debts. A job posted by the local church to investigate the sudden silence at one of their heavily guarded orchards seems like a good idea, both in terms of cash and an excuse to get out of town for a while, but before he can leave, he has some unfinished business to attend to. To play, all you need to do is click to interact anywhere your cursor highlights with a white glow, and the map you gain early on will let you travel from place to place. Friend, this is one maudlin game, so hopefully you're in the mood for some bleakness and some sad doo-doo-doo music.

Tainted Olive: Chapter 1Though the story is extremely text-heavy, your actual choices are fairly limited and so are any actual puzzles. The game does some clever things with its puzzles, but they stutter somewhat from poor explanations or awkward interfaces. This first chapter of a planned six part series shoulders the burden of introducing us to a new world, one vastly different from The Grey Rainbow. A lot of it is interesting, like the Blood, the Five Hundred Year War, and the importance of olives, but not everyone will appreciate the jarring breaks to the story the narrative often takes to infodump it in your lap. If you can stand the bumps, however, Tainted Olive is a curiously engrossing game that feels like it has the potential to open up into an even more creative world. The risks it takes with its puzzle design might make it seem rough around the edges, but they stand out from the pack. Chapter 1 itself is on the short side, and don't expect to finish with more answers than questions, but the series shows a lot of promise, and later this year we'll see if it can continue the momentum.

Play Tainted Olive: Chapter 1

Walkthrough Guide

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Tainted Olive: Chapter 1 Walkthrough


  1. Pick up the STICK leaning against the side of the well.

  2. Read the note pinned to the stone wall to collect the Town Map.

    • Click the Town Map and select the circled area around the Basilica.


  1. Click the left arrow to enter the building.

  2. Speak with the priest and accept his job offer.

  3. Take another look at the Town Map and travel to the circled area around the Town Gates.

    • After the short scene, select the Town Map again and go back to the Basilica.

  4. Click the right arrow to turn towards the courtyard.

  5. Talk to the woman by the fountain. Ask her "what is it you need help with?" and then offer to "take the box and try to find a solution" to start a minigame.

    • In the first half of the puzzle you must arrange the tiles to repair the scrambled image.

    • First, drag the dark tiles left or right on top of another dark tile to swap their positions. Dark tiles can only be swapped with each other if they are in the same horizontal row.

      • When a tile switches from dark to light it will lock in place, indicating you've put it in the correct spot.

    • Once all the tiles have been correctly placed, you can click to rotate them.

      • When all the tiles of an entire row are rotated to the right positions, a line of text will appear in the grey rectangles at the right side of the puzzle.

    • After you finish the picture of the peacock, you'll need to assemble the lines of text into a complete song for the second half of the puzzle.

      • Click and drag a line of text to move it up or down on the page.

    • There are key words in each line that offer a clue as to where it belongs in the song.

      • The line about a trickster in a "fight" for instance would fit perfectly with a line that says "take up arms".

      • Similarly, a "light" that can "shine a path" would of course "serve as guide," so those lines must go together as well.

    • Solution

  6. Katya will give you a GEM after you complete the puzzle which will appear between the Town Map and the inventory bar.

    • Clicking the gem reveals all hotspot in the current scene.

  7. Now open the Town Map and click the lower right building to travel to the Smithy.


  1. Take the piece of IRON WIRE hanging from a nail on the wall.

    • Combine the IRON WIRE with the STICK to make a HOOK.

  2. Click the blacksmith to speak with him, then offer to find his stolen hammer.

  3. Open the Town Map again. This time, select the farthest left building to travel to the Inn.


  1. Speak with the innkeeper and agree to find a lobster for him.

  2. Use the Town Map to travel to the Dock.


  1. Click the fisherman sitting on the edge of the dock.

    • First select "speak really loudly" to learn about the Ratman who can get you maps.

    • Now choose to "eye the net next to the fisherman" to try to steal it. The fisherman will request that you find him five rats in exchange for the net.

  2. Open your Town Map and click the circle that appears on top of the cave to travel to the Ratman's Lair.

Ratman's Lair

  1. Pick up the RAT 1/5 on the floor in the space of the doorway.

  2. Collect RAT 2/5 above the vines on top of the right wall section.

  3. Click Ratman to speak with him.

    • First ask about the blacksmith's missing hammer. Ratman will give a clue to its location - "by the north-eastern wall, near the city gates. You might have to search some unexpected places to find him."

    • Next ask about the "map of the Woods of Unrest" etc. and then challenge Ratman to a game of Mora to begin another minigame.

      • The game of Mora is played in 3 rounds. Each player secretly chooses a number between 1 and 5, then tries to guess what the sum of the two numbers will be between 2 and 10.

      • Click the hand symbols on the left to select the number of fingers you'd like to pick, then select one of the numbers on the right to guess what you think the total number of fingers is.

        • Use logic to narrow down the possible solutions! For example, if you were to choose 5 fingers, you automatically know that the lowest possible solution would be a total of 6, since your enemy can only throw a 1 at the lowest (any total from 2-5 would thus be impossible!).

      • You're pretty much certain to lose the first round, so just complete it as quickly as possible. After round 1 is over, immediately challenge him again to play round 2.

      • In this round you'll notice something is different. Your GEM has appeared on the table! If you click it, the GEM will highlight the number of fingers your opponent has chosen and the total that your opponent will guess. Use this knowledge to beat him at his own game!

        • So, let's say the gem highlights 4 fingers and the number 9. This means Ratman has chosen 4 fingers and he will guess the sum is 9. Therefore you cannot pick 5 fingers or he will win! Instead, pick any other amount, like 2 fingers, and select the new correct sum which in this case would be 6.

      • Repeat this pattern until you win the round. As soon as it's over, challenge Ratman to a third and final round.

      • In the third round you'll still be able to use your GEM to cheat, but it'll be a little more difficult to guess correctly.

        • Now there will be two hands selected and you'll have to guess at which of the two is the one that the Ratman has actually picked.

        • Sometimes you may have to guess, but most turns you'll be able to use the process of elimination described in the step explained above.

          • To clarify with an example: if the both the 1 hand and the 5 hand were highlighted by the gem, but the highlighted sum is the number 3, then Ratman obviously can't have actually picked the 5 hand. You'd therefore know he's truly chosen the 1 hand and can defeat him in the same way you did at round 2!

      • Win three times to complete the third round and defeat the Ratman.

  4. Once you've beaten Ratman in the minigame, he will reward you with the DETAILED MAP.

  5. Open the Town Map and click the circle that appears above the wall near the city gates to return to the Well.


  1. Click the arrow above the well to look inside.

    • Collect RAT 3/5 on the upper left edge at the top of the well.

    • Use the HOOK from your inventory to pull up the HAMMER by the dead thief's body at the bottom of the well.

  2. Select your Town Map and travel back to the Smithy.


  1. Collect RAT 4/5 on the floor beside the bottom of the barrel of swords.

  2. Give the HAMMER to the blacksmith. In exchange you will receive a SWORD.

  3. Reopen the Town Map and use it to return to the Inn.


  1. Collect the RAT 5/5 on top of the table in the middle of the room.

  2. Use the Town Map to travel to the Dock.


  1. Give all five RATS to the fisherman in exchange for his FISHING NET.

    • Attach the FISHING NET to the HOOK to create a FISH-CATCHER.

  2. Click the arrow beside the fisherman to look into the water.

    • Use the FISH-CATCHER to collect the LOBSTER from the water.

  3. Open the Town Map and go back to the Inn once again.


  1. Give the LOBSTER to the innkeeper to receive your favorite DICE and LOCKPICK TOOLS.

  2. Take a look at the Town Map again. The circle at the Town Gate will reappear - click it to travel there.

Walkthrough by Trinn!


BlackOliveGames February 15, 2014 1:53 PM

Thank you for the great review, Dora! If you don't mind me asking, what puzzles specifically (when talking about poor design choices) were you referring to?

BlackOliveGames February 15, 2014 2:57 PM


Ah yes, I agree about Mora being somewhat confusing in the beginning. I was thinking of maybe putting in visual help at first, an example of playing Mora - but finally decided it would break immersion. So I counted on players figuring it out on their own. I think it was a good decision, but I also know it could have gone much smoother - suffice to say, if we ever encounter the game again (IF!), in the following chapters, it'll be more user friendly.
I also agree on the peacock puzzle, a bit. The problem was that visually it did not convey enough info. There should have been slight visual hints as to what was possible. But then again, put yourself in Silvian's shoes, receiving a strange puzzle box for the first time; of course it takes some time to master. Explanation after the fact, however, does not make me any less guilty.

I always listen to quality advice ;) So, by Chapter 2 we will have ironed out there little problems. And created new ones on the way :D

Anyway, if you pay careful attention to the menu screen, and to the dialogues, you may find many, many foreshadowings (several dozen) of events in future installments.


Should I be stuck in the mini-game?

I keep winning, but there doesn't seem to be an endgame to this round. It's round 2, with the gem.


Aha, partly my fault. But it did lock up on me a few times. Reloaded and it worked fine.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnrLT_DgOiK7Leoj0eRHY69GNEFT33XtTU February 16, 2014 8:56 AM

The ratman game makes no sense at all, I have no idea how it works or how to win even WITH the gem.



on the mini game i swapped the pieces correctly, then i rotated them so that the phrases come up, but when i try to click and drag it won't move. help.


BlackOliveGames February 16, 2014 1:37 PM

@Paul: They should! Once the verses appear (all FIVE of them), they will flash yellow once, and then they can be moved. You can drag them up and down.

If it doesn't work, then try reloading your game, or using a different browser. That might be the problem, although I haven't encountered it with anyone yet.

kevman3000 February 19, 2014 9:13 PM

I missed the stick at the well. Is there any way to proceed without it or is there a way to revisit the well?


@kevman, you can go back to any place on the map, so revisiting the well should be a simple matter of opening the map and going there.

As for the puzzles, I actually liked that you had to figure them out. I kept going back to the girl in the peacock puzzle and finding out I wasn't finished. It didn't take me out of the game at all.

As for the Mora puzzle, that was clever. Simple as it was to beat, I haven't seen anything like that before, and that is what made it worth playing for me. Please don't add more information, unless you do it as a conversation choice AFTER the player has at least tried the puzzle once without help. Otherwise, all the fun will be lost!

BlackOliveGames February 20, 2014 1:49 AM

@dsrtrosy: Don't worry! We won't be dumbing anything down. But Dora was right on some points, namely - Mora needed a final layer of polish. The "practice" button was unnecessary surplus and I don't think anyone ever used it to great extent. But we got scared just before the game was finished, and we added it in just-in-case the game was too difficult.

Peter August 11, 2015 6:49 AM replied to Paul

I had this problem before - I reloaded the game and then was able to move the text.

Peter August 11, 2015 6:56 AM replied to kevman3000

You need to speak to the Ratman and ask him about the Blacksmith's hammer. Then the well become a clickable location on the map.


Belatedly, since I arrived here based on chapter 2, but: I actually appreciated (and used) the "practice" button in the Mora game. (I figured the main game would never actually let me forfeit my soul if I lost, but why risk it?)

Realizing that, even when the gem's insights became cloudier, it was always possible to at least tie each round, was one of those nice "aha!" moments.

Very cool idea.


Favorite line of the game:

"On second thought, it might not have been a good idea to put the lobster in your pockets. How'd you manage to do it, anyway?" LOL


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