The Legend of Zelda-inspired adventure game Tunic emerged onto the gaming scene with a splash in 2020, captivating players with its enchanting world and intricate gameplay. Developed by Andrew Shouldice, Tunic offered a unique experience to players, with its own mysterious language and hidden secrets waiting to be uncovered. But what Shouldice did not anticipate was how quickly and enthusiastically fans would embrace the challenge of delving into the depths of Tunic’s secrets. In an interview with Play Magazine (issue 33), Shouldice revealed the unexpected journey players embarked upon, unearthing not only one secret language but two, and even discovering hidden developer rooms. The Tunic community’s dedication and ingenuity led them to break the game through speedruns in ways that the creators themselves had never imagined possible.
At the heart of Tunic’s secrets lies its unique language, which has been affectionately named “Tuneic” by players due to its connection to a musical cipher within the game. While the language is never explicitly acknowledged in Tunic, those who pay close attention to its clues can unlock hidden treasures and unravel the game’s mysteries. Shouldice admits that he and his team anticipated players eventually discovering Tuneic, but they were taken aback by how swiftly it happened. The Tunic community’s passion and determination allowed them to crack the code faster than anyone could have predicted.
The Tunic enthusiasts did not stop at deciphering Tuneic; they ventured further and delved deeper into the game’s secrets. In their explorations, players uncovered an additional secret language and stumbled upon hidden developer rooms. They even embraced the world of speedrunning, pushing the limits of the game and discovering ways to break it that the creators themselves had never conceived. Play Magazine reported on these remarkable achievements, highlighting how devoted players shattered expectations and pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible in Tunic.
Interestingly, the Tunic community’s hunger for secrets has not waned even after unearthing so much. As Shouldice poetically puts it, “If you’ve got a big bag of secrets, and you start taking them out, eventually you get to the point where you’re looking at crumbs at the bottom, [asking yourself] ‘Is this a secret? Does this mean something?'” The creator expressed his appreciation for the fans’ relentless pursuit of hidden gems within the game. While Tunic was designed to provide a personal experience from the developer’s perspective, the joy derived from discovering secrets seems to be a shared experience between players and creators alike.
Audio designer Kevin Regamey also chimed in, shedding light on the creators’ intentions behind hiding secrets within Tunic. He revealed that the development team had a saying: “content for no-one.” This phrase encapsulated the team’s approach, as they included little or large hidden elements solely because they enjoyed creating them and relished the knowledge of their existence. Whether anyone would ever find these secret treasures was a secondary concern. Regamey believed that the mere act of concealing them was sufficient, even if they remained undiscovered. It added an extra layer of depth and satisfaction for the creators themselves.
Sadly, it appears that the Tunic community may have uncovered all there is to find within the game. Shouldice candidly observed, “People have taken all things out of the bag, and now they’re asking questions about ‘who made the bag? What were they thinking when they made it?'” While players have exhausted the secrets concealed within Tunic’s depths, their insatiable curiosity has shifted focus towards the creators themselves. The quest for knowledge and understanding continues, now centered on the minds behind the game rather than its tangible secrets.
Tunic has captivated players with not only its enthralling gameplay but also its hidden languages and secrets. The Tunic community’s unwavering dedication has led them to uncharted territories, discovering secret languages, hidden developer rooms, and even defying the game’s constraints through inventive speedruns. While the secrets may have run dry, the spirit of discovery and the desire to unravel the minds of the game’s creators remain, making Tunic an unforgettable journey for players and developers alike.