Tunic is an incredible isometric action-adventure game created by a single developer, Andrew Shouldice. The game centers on a lonely fox explorer as it traverses a mysterious land, fighting intimidating bosses and uncovering its secrets. Created with a clear love for Zelda and Dark Souls at heart, Tunic can be all at once incredibly rewarding and fantastically frustrating. Your enemies are many, and they won’t consider your inherent fluffy cuteness before they cut you down. To help you get through the early hours of Tunic to learn its mechanics and systems, I have compiled this Tunic Beginner’s Guide. The tips in this guide should set you well on your way to getting comfortable in the game and on the path to discovering the island’s secrets.
Check The Manual Frequently
Taking a page out of the Dark Souls “Book of Player Engagement”, Tunic rarely shoves a tutorial window in your face. The game prefers to let you explore and experiment naturally, learning how the world works and where to find things. However, there is a way to learn about important information, and that is through the periodically discovered Manual Pages. These will be added to your quickly accessible Manual, and will often contain important information and guidance.
If you find yourself to be lost or confused, but you haven’t checked your Manual in a while, the solution to your issue is probably there.
Always Be Exploring
The majority of your time in Tunic will be spent exploring the many areas of the island. As you go from place to place, keep an eye out for paths that seem to continue out of sight of the isometric camera. These sneaky paths will often hide chests full of equipment, currency, or upgrade materials. Most of these paths are easily missed as your eyes will be occupied with a different part of the screen, but as you tread and retread through areas, make sure you’re checking all of your corners. Occasionally there will be a chest that you can see, but is just out of reach and there is no hidden path to it. In this case, you will need to return after you have unlocked one of Tunic’s many skills and abilities.
Don’t Neglect Your Stats
In Tunic, your strength and skill are based upon several stats: Attack, Defense, Health, Stamina, and Magic. These stats can be upgraded using the aforementioned upgrade materials you will find in chests hidden throughout the world. You will exchange these items with a small amount of gold at any of the bonfires shrines you would typically respawn at. Once you offer up the item and the monetary donation, all of it will be sacrificed, and you will gain a point to the stat that you selected. This is the primary way of getting stronger in Tunic, but it is easy to skip over because it is sometimes difficult to find the upgrade materials. But, if you’re constantly exploring and looking for chests, you should be leveling up in no time!
Be Patient In Combat
Even after a few stat upgrades, combat in Tunic can be difficult. Enemies hit hard, and bosses have a ton of health and complex attack patterns. You’ll probably fall in combat quite a bit, but it is important that you do your best to remain patient and calm as you do battle. Just like Dark Souls or Elden Ring, fights may seem impossible, but they all have a clear path to victory. Study your enemies as they attack, and learn their patterns. These will always have windows for you to jump in and do some damage. As a bonus tip, there’s a point in the dodge roll where you are completely invincible! That’s right, Tunic has i-frames. When you roll, there will be a point in the animation where you see a small dust cloud. This is the point where you won’t take damage, and it is a small window. Timing your dodges around this tiny window can make you an unstoppable force.
Stock Up On Firecrackers
Throughout Tunic, there will be points where a group of enemies will swarm you. Short of clutching it out and taking them all down, it’ll seem like there isn’t any way to overcome this encounter, that it’s unfair. So fight unfair with unfair. Tunic has an item called the Firecracker, and it is basically the game’s equivalent of a smart bomb. Once thrown, it produces a large explosion, doing huge damage that will kill weaker enemies immediately, and take off a large chunk of stronger enemies’ health. You can buy these at shopkeepers, and I would recommend keeping a healthy supply of them at all times. Additionally, these can be used to destroy weak walls or parts of the environment, making them useful for exploring too.
Those are all the tips I have. I hope they help you along so that you can experience all of the awesome things Tunic has to show you. It’s been a long 7 years from when Tunic’s concept was formed to its final release, and Andrew Shouldice’s work is something of a masterpiece, having garnered rave reviews and maintaining an 85 Metacritic score. This game deserves to be played by as many people as possible, and I’m glad that you are experiencing this game with the other people in its growing fanbase.