Tread into Shadowgate, the Living Castle - Let's Play the Shadowgate Remake!



  • A word about my comments at the end of this episode: The next episode (planned for Nov 1st) is going to purely reading through the books on the library shelf, plus picking up/examining the 3 or so books we left on the desks. Some of the books on the shelf give puzzle clues and plot-specific lore, although it isn't very much and I'll reference those clues as they seem relevant to future puzzles.

    The other books -- the vast majority -- contain odd-ball in-universe fiction, irrelevant lore (e.g., distant lands or events never connected to the game), plus a few jokes and references to other media.

    I am keen to include this episode in its entirety for those who will find it enjoyable, but you aren't missing much if you want to jump from episode 8 to episode 10.



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 9! Our dedicated book reading episode.

    Youtube Video



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 10! Expect appreciation of more delightful music tracks, Jair to disregard the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, finding a loop-around shortcut, and evidence of a spider who doesn't give a crap.

    Youtube Video



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 11! Expect musings on having every kind of long metal stick, getting real tired of our one useless key, and wondering "how could there be distinct-looking darkness that is distinguishable from any other darkness?"

    Youtube Video



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 12! Expect musings on acquiring a mess of keys and spells, assigning a pet name for the left tower, appreciating good descriptive writing, and holding a moment to identify the instruments in the soft music.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 12, The Initiation into the Circle of Twelve:
    Youtube Video



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 13! Expect musings on letters that are shaped like a 'W', hugging dragons, marveling at a beckoning vista, and getting a very patient description of your garden variety sitting implement.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 13, Lakmir's Study, Throne Room, and Greeting a Wyvern
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 14! Expect musings on every room being a wizard's study, really not liking one particular rock, struggling to name a light grayish/green color, questioning the usefulness of our one shortcut, and feeling pretty darn sure we should have cured the banshee's curse by now.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 14: The Hidden Room, Fire Elemental, and a New Riddle
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 15! Expect amateur experiments with blacksmithing, Jair can't quite commit to detaching a skull from a corpse, and getting stuck on a harder riddle.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 15, Curing the Banshee's Curse
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 16! Expect Jair to still be astonished by pumpkins, getting a 2nd hint for the djinn riddle, remarking that one useless item in particular has the sole purpose of being thrown away, and encountering a higher than average concentration of poem references.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 16, Dread Pumpkin Quest
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 17! Expect musings on how lots of stuff could be "in comparison of a ghost", brawling with goblins, discussing the possibility of identifying useless items, and testing all our loose ends.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 17, Air Elemental, New Djinn Riddle, and The Rickety Bridge
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 18! Expect appreciation for the flute puzzle, not being 100% sure what a whetstone looks like, deeply analyzing two puzzles despite not having the solutions, and concluding that if no item in a collection is special, then the least special one is special.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 18, Thinking Through the Rune Puzzle and the Final Riddle
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 19! Expect a solution that we've been overlooking for a long time, deducing the story behind the wyvern and the sparrx spell, and thinking that the night sky probably doesn't contain a Starfox planet.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 19, The Staff of Ages
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 20! Expect attempted conversations with multiple skulls, taking a better look at 3 angels, recipes to be less straightforward than they appear, while catacombs are surprisingly simple to navigate.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 20, Recipe Machine and Battlements
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 21! Expect recollections on how much of master difficulty was new so far, and observing that Jair isn't the only one smashing everything with a hammer.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 21, Exploring the Catacombs
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 22! Expect a second puzzle we don't want to brute force, and wondering "how can a skull show signs of a beard"?

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 22, The Skull Door and Returning to Remaining Puzzles
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 23! Expect a couple hidden deaths, reconsidering our available brackish ingredients, and over-analyzing the physics of what sits behind a mirror portal.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 23, Djinn Solution, Cellar and Dragon Revisit
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  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 24! Expect a discovery on how to trap ourselves at the Lonely Keep, and Jair is on a crazy hunt for bad tasting water.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 24, Recipe Revisit
    Youtube Video

    ~

    After today's episode, there is going to be one more episode of completing optional exploration and funny moments before we return to the final chamber to challenge Talimar. The next episode is a distillation of a much, much larger amount of experimentation footage. It probably won't feel too different from the regular episodes other than having more cuts between rooms, but I'd thought I'd let you know.



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 25! Expect cuts into otherwise fruitless experimentation: a useful item laying on the ground that we ignored, discovering the surprising use for our earthquake spell, Jair finally becomes a professional bladesmith, noticing a continuity error with stealing goblin equipment, and giving a mini-rant about achievements.

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 25, Last New Items, Spells & Random Experimentation
    Youtube Video

    Some Easter Eggs & Hidden Deaths:

    While there is a scheduled bonus episode where we peek at hints/guides to see cool stuff we missed, I don't cover most of it. Here's the notable ones we won't see:

    1. The freezing, cyan color vapor in this episode that we got using the ice cube has an easter egg. You can use it to freeze Yorick, and then smash him with the hammer to make him explode (killing both of you.) If you do this in the goblin cafeteria you get a piece of text indicating that they get killed as well. The hammer needs to be enchanted twice though: once with the spell, and a second time using the lava (which we haven't done).

    2. The purple vapor does cure the banshee curse, just like the purple potion. I also discovered (but cut from the episode) that if you return to the tomb and reopen any of the coffins -- i.e., close, then open again -- you get a banshee curse for the second time! o.O So you might actually need that second cure if you are unlucky and exploring past areas thoroughly.

    3. You can tame the Wyvern using the mirror and attempt to ride him. However you will eventually lose your grip and get a hidden death.

    4. The music room has an easter egg if you play all the instruments AND the platinum horn. The flute needs to have 4 holes carved into it. Done correctly, it causes a painful death where the music builds to a crescendo and an ominous, oppressive pressure batters your body.



  • Let's Play Shadowgate episode 26! The finale of our journey (save for one bonus episode where we'll allow ourselves to peek at a guide). The credit sequence includes my ending thoughts about the game followed by the game's special epilogue trailer (I recommend that you don't miss it!).

    I give a mini review during the credits, and contemplating more about why I enjoy Shadowgate so much as an adventure game, I believe it is not so much the logical complexity of the game's puzzles themselves, but rather the context of the adventure that feels so fun. Trying to organize my thoughts makes me interested what those of you who've played it think.

    Also: kudos to Rich Douglas for the great music in this remake. You can listen to the entire OST here, and read the notes about which original chiptune tracks were woven into each track in the remake. His other work is pretty good too, and his youtube channel has lots more music including video game remixes (many unlicensed).

    Let's Play Shadowgate episode 26, Confronting Talimar, Ending Thoughts, and Epilogue
    Youtube Video



  • Let's Play Shadowgate: final episode! Expect Yorick to not be terribly useful for hints, grabbing a new piece of goblin armor, familiarizing ourselves with proper crossbow handling, and finally opening one stubborn locked door.

    Let's Play Shadowgate bonus episode: a few of the puzzles we missed
    Youtube Video

    Like I alluded to, there are more "secrets" (achievements and ways to use items or puzzles to kill yourself) we could do with a guide in hand, but there are (almost) no more items/puzzles/hidden deaths that haven't been covered.

    Two exceptions:

    1. There is one way to use one of our items that isn't for just fun: the tempered dirk. Removing the loose gear (to uncover the intended hint, shown in the video) requires a proper implement. Normally, this implement could be the sword (or even the regular dirk on "easy"). On Master though, the sword and regular dirk won't work, only the tempered dirk and the metal bar. Grabbing the metal bar (from the flooded 'Epor' room) requires solving one of the gear combinations, so the intended gear solution (i.e., without trial and error) requires discovering and using the tempered dirk early in the game. Since you can't safely explore the furnace yet (no crystal orb to defeat the fire drake) the only source of hot fire you have at that point is the big brazier (with the hook legs at rickety bridge). Interestingly, on the easier difficulties you both don't need the tempered dirk and you can put out this fire using vials of water. On Master, the brazier is now a useful source of fire, and likewise the game doesn't provide the water elemental to extinguish the brazier until you find that gear combination.

    2. The clue to let the lights go out in the catacombs is relevant for an optional puzzle that gives a "Master Investigator" achievement and some easter eggs. You need a lit candle in your inventory (so you can relight your torch) and you need to extinguish your torch at two locations in the catacombs ("the Pit" first, then the "Mine" near the hollows). By doing this, special items "from a different time and place" appear that you have to examine: at the Pit you find a trilby/fedora hat and at the mine you find a "coat of arms" with the letters "PI" on it (it looks like a police officer's bronze badge). You have to examine them, but your hand passes through them when you try to take them.

    Everything else is a red herring or only has "just for fun" uses. For example:

    • The keys we didn't use don't have any purpose.
    • The gems and gold bar we found in the catacombs don't have any purpose.
    • Magj'ryk & the enchanted hammer is only for the two hidden deaths that use it.
    • Exquish is only for the "cast all spells" achievement.

    Some achievements require otherwise useless items and actions (and they don't seem to involve any leftovers clues to make them feel like puzzles.) For example:

    • There is an achievement for praying/speaking to every statue.
    • There is an achievement for using every weapon to kill something (including the black axe).
    • There is an achievement for killing every goblin (including the hidden death where you shatter frozen Yorick).
    • There is an achievement for finding all the special interactions with Yorick: you can feed him the otherwise useless gold coins, you can let him smoke the pipe, you can show him the female skull, and a bunch of other stuff...

    Phew!