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Steven Miller

A member registered Jul 17, 2015 · View creator page →

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You are correct, you will want both the ball and chain on the top row before stepping onto either locking tile on the top row.  Try using the locking tile on the row below to reach the top; you may need to use this tile more than once to get the shape you want.

Thanks for playing!

Lbh qb unir gb zbir gur obk qbja gb gur obggbz, ohg lbh qba'g arrq nyy bs gur erq fjvgpurf cerffrq va beqre gb qb fb.  Lbh jvyy jnag nyy bs gur erq cerffrq vzzrqvngryl orsber fb gung lbh pna oernx serr sebz n onyy naq yrnir vg va gur ybjre unys bs gur yriry, ohg sebz gurer, lbh jba'g arrq gb qvr ba gur erq ntnva hagvy nsgre gur obk unf orra zbirq.  Jura lbh svefg bcra gur terra qbbef gb oevat gur obk qbja, lbh'yy jnag n obk ba gur hccre terra fjvgpu gung vf abg fghpx ntnvafg n jnyy naq n qrgnpurq onyy ba gur obggbz erq fjvgpu.  Sebz gurer, lbh pna fjnc gur gjb (lbh'yy jnag gb oevat gur onyy hc svefg fb gung lbh pna xrrc gur terra fjvgpurf cerffrq).

4 vf qrsvavgryl ba gur evtug genpx - lbh pna nibvq lbhe vffhr jvgu gur obk orvat fghpx ntnvafg gur jnyy vs lbh trg gung frpbaq onyy ba gur terra fjvgpu bhg bs gur jnl.  Lbh pna npghnyyl qb guvf evtug ng gur fgneg bs gur yriry ol qlvat ba gur terra, ybbcvat nebhaq, naq cvpxvat hc gur onyy ghpxrq vagb gur pbeare (vs lbh ybbx ng cvpgher 2 bs lbhe cerivbhf frg, lbh npghnyyl unq gur onyy bhg bs gur jnl naq guerr vgrzf va gur obggbz unys).  Sebz gurer, lbh pna qb rknpgyl jung lbh qvq sbe gur erfg bs gur tvs naq lbh jvyy or va n irel tbbq cbfvgvba.

6 vf nyfb n irel tbbq vqrn, V guvax vs lbh pbzovar gur gjb lbh unir cerggl zhpu rirelguvat lbh arrq.

V oryvrir lbhe svefg zbir vf jebat.  Juvyr vg qbrfa'g znxr gur chmmyr hafbyinoyr, lbh cebonoyl qba'g jnag gb bcra gur terra qbbef evtug njnl (bcravat naq pybfvat gurz gb qvr, ubjrire, vf n ivnoyr bcgvba).  V guvax gur xrl guvat gb pbafvqre vf jul lbh jnag gb zbir gur onyy bss bs gur oyhr fjvgpu va gur svefg cynpr.  Gur nafjre vf eryngrq gb lbhe frpbaq dhrfgvba.

Lbh jvyy or zbivat bowrpgf npebff gur gjb unyirf bs gur yriry.  

Vg vf cbffvoyr gb trg gur onyy onpx gb gur oyhr fjvgpu sebz jurer lbh unir vg, ohg qbvat fb jvyy abg uryc lbh, nf vg erdhverf hfvat n ybg bowrpgf gung lbh qb abg jnag va gur ybjre unys bs gur yriry ng gung cbvag.

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Vg vf cbffvoyr gb jva sebz obgu cvpgherf 1 naq 2, gubhtu (naq V guvax guvf vf jurer n ybg crbcyr obgu urer naq n guernq ryfrjurer ner trggvat fghpx) qbvat jung vf fubja va gur svefg cvpgher vf abg npghnyyl urycshy.

Lbh ner fyvtugyl pybfre gb gur fbyhgvba va cvpgher 2.  Gur zbir lbh ner qbvat gurer vf rkgerzryl pyrire ohg, nffhzvat V haqrefgnaq lbhe vagragvba, abg irel urycshy (gubhtu gur onfvp pbasvthengvba znl freir nabgure checbfr).  Lbh qb arrq gb zbir gur onyy bss gur oyhr fjvgpu, ohg znxr fher lbh nyfb haqrefgnaq jul qbvat fb vf hfrshy (V rkcynva va gur cnentencu orybj).

Gurer vf n jnl gb hfr gur yrsg cnffntr orgjrra gur gbc naq obggbz unyirf gb zbir na bowrpg hc, ohg lbh arrq gur onyy bss bs gur oyhr fjvgpu be ryfr gur vairegrq oyhr jnyyf jvyy oybpx lbh.  Vs lbh chg gur onyy onpx ba gur oyhr fjvgpu juvyr gurer ner fgvyy guerr bowrpgf ba gur ybjre unys bs gur yriry, lbh ner tbvat gb unir gb zbir vg bss ntnva ng fbzr cbvag, nf bayl gjb bowrpgf fubhyq or va gur ybjre unys ol gur raq.

Gur ernfba jul vg vf hafbyinoyr sebz cvpgher 3 vf orpnhfr lbh ab ybatre unir nal jnl bs zbivat gur onyy onpx bss bs gur oyhr fjvgpu naq lbh unir gbb znal bowrpgf va gur ybjre unys.

Lbh ner pbeerpg, gur oyhr vairegrq tngrf va gur zvqqyr ner gur bayl cynpr jurer lbh pna oernx lbhe punva.

Bapr lbh erzbir gur onyy ba gur obggbz terra fjvgpu, lbh jvyy arire or noyr gb trg na bowrpg bhgfvqr bs gur obggbz-yrsg ebbz bagb gur oyhr fjvgpu ba gur vafvqr ntnva.

Urer vf uvag ertneqvat gur zbir lbh jnag gb qb gung erdhverf univat ab punva: Vs lbh ernyyl pna'g trg evq bs lbhe punva, jung bgure guvat nobhg gur fvghngvba pbhyq lbh punatr gb znxr vg jbex?

V nyfb unir n dhrfgvba whfg gb znxr fher V haqrefgnaq jurer lbh ner ng: Jura lbh cerff nyy bs gur terra fjvgpurf, jurer vf gur svany onyy?

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Minor hint:

Xrrc Uvag 3 sebz nobir va zvaq.  Guvax yrff nobhg gelvat gb trg lbhe punva gb bireync jvgu n obk naq zber nobhg ubj gb xrrc vg bireynccrq jvgu n obk.  Guvf vf cebonoyl rnfvre gb abgvpr ryfrjurer, cnegvphyneyl va gur svefg srj fgrcf bs yriry 47.

Major hint:

Cnl pnershy nggragvba gb jung unccraf jura lbh oernx lbhe onyy juvyr lbh unir n obk fghpx ba lbhe punva.  Vf gurer n jnl lbh pbhyq rkcybvg gung?

Gur cynlre-oybpx-onyy sbezngvba jbhyq or avpr gb unir va n srj ybpngvbaf, ohg abar bs gurz frrz ernpunoyr hfvat gur evtvq/serrmvat gvyr.  Vf gurer nal bgure gvzr lbh jbhyq unir n obk bireync jvgu gur punva?

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I've encoded the hints below using rot13 so that you (or anyone else who is stuck here) can reveal as much or as little as they want (also, thank you for naming the post this way).

Hint 1:

Gur evtvq/serrmvat gvyr jvyy cynl n xrl ebyr va gur fbyhgvba.  Vs gur cbfvgvba lbh ner gelvat gb trg gb frrzf vzcbffvoyr, ybbx sbe bgure cynprf jurer pneelvat na bowrpg ba gur punva jbhyq or hfrshy.

Hint 2:

Rirelguvat vf vzcbegnag.  Gur gbgny ahzore bs bowrpgf, gur cbfvgvbaf bs gur jnyyf, naq gur snpg gung gurer ner guerr onyyf (vapyhqvat gur bar nggnpurq ng gur fgneg) nyy znggre.

Hint 3:

Gur yriry'f anzr znl or yrnqvat lbh nfgenl.  Vs lbh ner abg cerfreivat bowrpgf, jung ryfr vf gurer gb cerfreir?

Hint 4:

Gur fbyhgvba jvyy erdhver n zbir lbh unira'g hfrq orsber.

Here is a direct reply to your question (this is a bit more direct than most of the hints, so you may not want to read it first):

Trggvat na bowrpg ba gur oyhr fjvgpu jvyy erdhver qrfgeblvat ng yrnfg bar bowrpg; trggvat gb gung gvyr jvgu na bowrpg ba gur punva vf abg cbffvoyr.

Correction: Vg vf cbffvoyr, ohg abg va n jnl gung jbhyq or hfrshy.

Hopefully this helps, let me know if you want any further information.

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Thanks for posting this, in this case this is the intended solution.  The extra box is there for a few reasons, but it basically comes down to appearance and making the solution slightly less telegraphed.  With five boxes it is somewhat easy to see where each one needs to end up and then reverse-engineer the solution (a tactic I would not usually discourage, but I felt it undermined the satisfaction of finding the "trick" here); with six the idea was that it would feel like too many so the player wouldn't know how many they actually needed to use.  It ended up being more jarring than I intended, especially when the previous 43 levels used pretty much everything provided.

You have to kill all of the enemies and then follow the purple arrow.  If you press 2, you will change to a teleportation ability that allows you to get through the wall towards the end.  You have to make sure your mouse is close enough (it will show a faded version of the character when it is in range) and then right click to use the ability.  Then you left click while standing on the brown circle to go to the next level.  Honestly though, you aren't missing much, this game is a worthy competitor for my worst game on this site.

Also, since I don't think I can reply directly to reviews, I'd just like to thank you, reading through your reviews has been a lot of fun.

No worries, it's basically just another way to say attached.

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Thanks, that puzzle was a lot of fun to design.  A shackle is a piece of metal used to lock something.  In the case of a ball and chain, it would be the part fastened to the person.

Here's the solution:

Let me know if you want anything explained, I think seeing the solution without context might just make the level feel even more cryptic.

Thanks for reaching out!  There isn't really a good way to handle spoilers on itch, so below I have provided some hints that have been encoded using rot13 so that you can reveal them one by one (or all at once if you copy the whole thing).  At the bottom there is also a link to a gif showing the solution.

1. Gurer ner bayl n srj cynprf va gur ebbz jurer lbh pna qvr, naq nfvqr sebz hfvat gur erq jnyy va gur ebbz va gur gbc evtug pbeare, gurl nyy erdhver univat na vagnpg onyy naq punva gb hfr.  Cerfreir lbhe punva sbe nf ybat nf cbffvoyr, nf oernxvat vg jvyy frireryl yvzvg lbhe bcgvbaf.

2. Gur erq jnyy obeqrevat gur prageny ebbz vf gur rnfvrfg gb qvr ba, ohg gur onyy lbh hfr gb jrvtu qbja gur fjvgpu graqf gb ernggnpu vgfrys.  Ybbx sbe n jnl gb cerirag guvf.

3. Gel abg gb oernx nalguvat.  Npprffvat gur terra ohggba ba gur yrsg fvqr jvyy erdhver hfvat rirelguvat va gur prageny ebbz.

4. Gur bayl jnl gb qvr va gur obggbz yrsg vf ba gur evtugzbfg vairegrq oyhr jnyy.  Gel gb svaq n jnl jurer lbh pna zbir hcjneqf naq chfu gur obk gb gur evtug va n fvatyr fgrc.  Lbh jvyy nyfb arrq n oevqtr gb ernpu gur yrsg ebbz jvgubhg erivivat gbb rneyl, fb rkcrpg gur pbeare gb or pebjqrq.

5. Trggvat n onyy sebz gur evtug fvqr bs gur prageny ebbz gb gur yrsg znl cebir qvssvphyg, nf nabgure onyy jvyy bsgra gel gb ernggnpu vgfrys.  Gb nibvq guvf, pbafvqre zbivat obgu gb gur yrsg fvzhygnarbhfyl.

6. Gur ebbz va gur gbc evtug pbeare pna bayl or ragrerq vs lbh unir ab punva, ohg lbh jvyy arrq bar gb rkvg gur yriry.  Ybbx sbe n jnl gb erivir fhpu gung lbhe punva jvyy abg oybpx lbh sebz rkvgvat gur ebbz.

Thanks for playing Shackle!

Update 1 - April 4th

- Level 22 has been modified

Vampire Garden community » Changelog · Created a new topic Update 2

Update 2 - March 19th

- Level 73 has been modified (thanks again to

- The undo sound effect is now quieter when undoing multiple moves in a row

Vampire Garden community » Changelog · Created a new topic Update 1

Update 1 - March 14th

- Level 59 has been modified to remove an unintended solution (thanks to for pointing it out!)

Interesting, I was hoping the first three levels would establish the walls well enough, but I do suppose it would've been clearer if there was an early level that had more of them, presumably in a narrow corridor where the player could be forced to move around them.  If you have a rough description of which level the difficulty jump took place in it may be helpful.

Also, there is indeed a slight cooldown on movement unless all movement keys are released.  Said cooldown is slightly longer (still only around 1/3 of a second) following the first move after a key press.  This is to reduce the amount of missteps that occur.  The one that felt laggy is probably the one for the initial step, but without it, it is somewhat easy to accidentally move two tiles instead of one.

Interesting, that is similar to why I haven't bothered with GM Studio 2 (completely new and arguably clunkier interface).  It makes a lot more sense knowing that it is 8, I had forgotten that it used such a similar loading bar.

Cool game, the lighting effects are great.  I would like to see levels that are a bit less linear and that make use of being able to deactivate the switches, though I understand that you were working under strict time constraints.  I end up scrapping ideas and starting over quite often during jams, so I usually start with something like art or basic movement code that I can reuse pieces of in case I need to switch projects.

Also, just out of curiosity, is there a specific reason for using GameMaker 7 (I am assuming that it was used based on the loading bar) rather than one of the newer iterations?  There's nothing wrong with it (I am actually quite fond of 7, as it was the first engine I used), though it is definitely rare to see nowadays.

I finished all three levels.  I think the game would benefit from having the condensed light either be bigger (giving the player a better idea of what the map looks like) or slower (giving the player a better idea of what routes can be traveled down, which I personally think would be more interesting).  I thought that having to click the switch after finding it was a bit unintuitive, and I think it might be better to display a victory message of sorts after the switch is touched that can then be clicked to return to the menu.  The collision system was a bit annoying at times, especially in the third level, where the player often can't travel down a path because they are slightly misaligned.  I'd recommend making bigger pathways, snapping the player to a grid of sorts after movement (for example, you could round the player's x and y coordinates such that they are even integers), having smaller hitboxes, and/or making the player stop completely rather than bouncing back when touching a wall (this is probably the best option).

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That makes sense, it started in windowed mode for me so it might be worth checking on another computer if you have the chance, though it could also just be on my end (which may indeed be the case since none of the other comments mention it).

Nice game, my only suggestion would be to put in a way to skip dialogue that has already been heard in a previous playthrough.

Great game, I would love to see this mechanic with something like moving platforms (or some object that behaves differently depending on whether or not it is visible) to force the player to be more strategic with where they stop the enemies.

Cool game, I thought that the idea of guessing where the invisible walls were by how the walls around them looked was interesting.  I feel like having the enemies go completely invisible might have been more meaningful,  as I could still track them fairly easily from their eyes alone.  I think the game window is also a bit too small (I ended up using alt + enter and played it in fullscreen), and I feel that it may have been better to scale it up a bit.

Good game, I really like how the theme was used.  I enjoyed the ambient sounds, and the game has a great atmosphere overall.  One minor complaint is that the ending is a bit abrupt.

Fun game, I love the clean aesthetic.  Level generation works well, though it did occasionally produce levels easier than the ones that came before them (one time I had a dungeon 11 that only had one enemy).  The different weapon choices were cool, though I think having them just unlock rather than having to purchase them would make more sense since the points don't go down after a purchase.  As a side note, I also use GameMaker and I would recommend incrementing image_index immediately when you first start moving, as otherwise the character will not animate when you move small distances, which can look odd.

Both bugs should now be fixed, thank you for catching them!

The first issue should be fixed!  I will look into the second one now.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention!  It only happens in the web version, which is a bit odd.  I will look into it.

This is spectacular!  I wish I had seen it while ratings were still going, I hope you continue to work on this.

Thank you!  This jam was a ton of fun, I look forward to the next one!

I really liked the style of the game, and use of the theme was interesting.  The art was also quite nice, especially the effect when hitting a ghost.  My only recommendation would be speeding up the player's movement, as I think it could make the moment-to-moment gameplay feel more intense and engaging.  Great job!

I really liked this game, the mechanics are really cool and the different walking animations are a nice touch.  Details like having the player have a chance to get a hat or television were also great and made the game feel polished.  My only recommendation would be to make space throw newspapers, as the old man can't jump anyway.  Using the mouse feels a bit unnecessary, but this is a very minor gripe that is inconsequential.  Great job!

I really enjoyed this, the concept is simple and easy to follow.  I like that each level has its own style and I thought the difficulty curve worked well.  In terms of improvements, I think it would be nice to have a button to reset a level for when you make a mistake instead of having to run out of time or fuel.

I think I will have thoroughly enjoyed this as I play it.  I would love to have seen an expansion on this concept (the expanded version is great, by the way).