Welcome to “Inside the Guide”, the column that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at writing walkthroughs for GameFAQs! I have written, uh…zero walkthroughs for GameFAQs this year. Maybe I did one, just so I could keep “currently a contributor” on my resume, but that’s it. Having a baby has cut into my walkthrough-writing time.
Recently, I played Love Chronicles: The Sword and the Rose. It’s kind of a neat old game, definitely made in the era when “casual adventure games” was just starting to become its own genre. I had to try harder to beat this game, because I couldn’t rely on the hint button to speed my way through challenges. I especially liked how they tried to give a purpose to hidden-objects challenges; instead of finding random objects, you find a series of specific objects, which are used to build a makeshift invention. Neat!
I liked the game so much, I wanted to play it again. So I decided to write a walkthrough for it! It helps that the game is short (two hours; nine-page walkthrough). I played the game for a little bit, then wrote down what I did, played the game a bit more, wrote down what I did, and I just kept going until I was done. It was a relaxing way to de-stress myself, and there were multiple times when I told myself, “OK, I should stop playing now, but I want to keep going! Maybe I’ll just finish this screen and stop here,” only to find myself playing the game for another ten minutes.
My only complaint would be that the game is incredibly linear when you replay it. I thought it was more open-ended the first time I played it. However, that’s not a complaint, because linear games make for easy walkthrough-writing. So I’ll change my only complaint to the ring-pulling puzzle that gets you the sword. It’s harder than it should be because the rings are small. Plus, I think that’s the only puzzle of the game without a skip button. Give it a skip button, and I’ll be happy!
The Sword and the Rose is divided into three sections, where you need a certain number of rose petals to move on to the next section. When you start a new section, you can’t go back to a previous section. That made the walkthrough easy to write. There are three sections of the walkthrough, and each one covers a separate section of the game. Usually, adventure game walkthroughs don’t split up into sections that easily.
I normally have a link to my video walkthroughs in my text walkthroughs for GameFAQs.com. In this case, the videos haven’t been made public yet, and they probably won’t be until 2018. So I made an unlisted playlist on YouTube, which the GameFAQs walkthrough links to. That way, the GameFAQs walkthrough links to something, even if it’s just a “sorry, these videos aren’t available for viewing!” message.
I probably should have waited on that. I could easily wait a few months and put in the link to the video walkthrough when I actually have a working link. But…that would require remembering to do so. This way, I can forget about my walkthrough and never have to touch it again. That’s way easier than “update in a few months, just to throw in a link to your YouTube page”.
I had more fun than I expected, with this brief jump back in the GameFAQs pool. Maybe I’ll write some more walkthroughs! I didn’t know which ones to do, so I re-downloaded all my games that start with “T” “U” and “W”, figuring I’d start with those. I think they all have hint buttons that I can abuse. So writing those walkthroughs will be “press the hint button, write down what it tells you to do, press the hint button, write down what it tells you to do” until the game is over.