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Note: This comment contains spoilers for the ending. If you have not played the game yet, binge it in one go and come back.
OK. I just came back to this game after 9 months, and it is amazing as ever. It is really only missing two things:
Ability to make choices that progress the story.
A satisfying ending.
Obviously, the former would probably detract from the game's experience (along with making it massively harder to code), and the latter is subjective, but I have a suggestion that I'm angry I didn't think of sooner: Settling Down.
Basically, the idea would be that on every island, after completing the main quest, you would have the option to settle on that island, and end the game with an epilogue cutscene of Curly living there.
"But wait!", I hear you cry, "what about the letter!?"
After the cutscene ends, the camera pans over the letter. It reads,
I hope you have had a long life full of adventures while looking for this letter's owner, but that was not what you truly needed. You were bored on that island of yours, but now you got to live life to the fullest. You had lots of adventures, explored lots of places, and I couldn't be happier for you. Wherever you are, once you opened this letter, I hope you are as content with my life as I was.
Roll credits, player cries.
I was near the bottom of the map, one right and one down from the bottom teleportation circle in the secret room, and after I defeated the enemies the gates didn't open back up. I was playing on magic shield mode in case that matters.
Ok wow. I wasn't expecting much, but this game is so cool!
I love how it really feels like you are learning magic. The concept is also awesome.
A tip for noobs like me: When you see an enemy cast a spell you don't know, focus on dodging while you watch the spell being cast until you know it.
I have also found it very easy to accidentally pull the anchor lever when I meant to climb up the ladder, releasing me from the island I'm on, even if I didn't want to leave. I can see two possible solutions for this:
1. Make it that a window pops up (are you sure you want to leave this island?) and you have to click "yes" to continue. However, this would be clunky and likely annoying for people who do not have this issue.
2. Make it that if you pull the anchor lever again after you leave (probably with a time limit of like 5-10 seconds), the ship immediately anchors back down. I prefer this one because it doesn't inconvenience players who do not have this issue.
Bug report by the way:
When you first go on the shattered palace elevator, if you jump off before the animation of the swan's wing lifting plays, the controls stop working. I had to reload the game. I have been attempting to reproduce this bug to test whether cheats work to get out of it, but I have been unsuccessful in reproducing it. I must have walked off at just the wrong moment.
The other big thing about the arrow keys is that up directly above down, not above and slightly to the right. The mouse isn't really used for anything other than dragging items though (and for that I usually take my hands off the keyboard), so I'd say leave it at E. The other option (which is appearing better and better the more I think about it) would be to entirely replace E with left-click. This would:
1. Reduce the confusion of dragging objects to diamonds with left click, while interaction is done with E. Instead, all interaction would be done with left-click, creating more internal consistency within the controls
2. Allow the player to select diamonds they are in range of without having to move toward them just to avoid instead selecting another diamond that is closer.
I probably botched that phrasing so here is an example, in which "c" is Curly and "d" and "D" are diamonds:
d c D
In this example, even though both diamonds are in range, Curly must move towards d in order not to accidentally select D. However, if selection were based on clicking, The player could simply click on d without having to move. The player would still be able to select D by clicking it.
3. Allow righties to have their left hand on wasd and their right hand on their mouse (or trackpad), while lefties could have their left hand on their mouse (or trackpad) and their right hand on the arrow keys.
The one problem I can think of with this approach is that space would be relatively unreachable. A possible solution would be to also remove space and have jumping be done by up arrow. Another solution would be to have jumping also be rebound to left-click, but this would throw a lot of people off (myself included).
For me at least though (I just tried this hand layout), my right hand on the arrow keys, my left thumb on space, and my left middle finger on E was pretty comfortable. In short, I honestly think that just allowing arrow keys to be used to move and not rebinding anything else would be fine, easy and simple to use. Take the rest of this comment with a grain of salt.
Could you also add accessibility for the arrow keys? I'm a lefty and I'm not used to using wasd to control movement. Other than that though, this game has been great so far (I did most of the second island before saves, and look forward to doing it again!