At the Tale End

Black Book

At the Tale End is a wandering RPG quest by Haneda made in WOLF RPG Editor, with no battles and a single ending.

A terribly-wounded traveler wakes up in a clinic run out of a cave.
With no memory of what happened, he begins to wander in search of information.
It is a peaceful world; the Dark Lord has been defeated. And yet...


(Content Severity: Generally Mild)
Click here for content warnings.

Some allusions to suicide.
Some death-related themes.
Minor instances of blood.



Download At the Tale End 1.07 | (Mirror)
(Chrome may falsely flag the download as malicious, but it's safe to ignore.)

Supported Platforms
The game's engine is made for Windows only, with no native support for other platforms. To play on Mac, you can try a general-purpose tool like WineBottler.




Troubleshooting

Make sure to extract the game to its own folder instead of running directly from the ZIP file. If you don't do so, any saves made will be lost the next time you run the game.

If the game freezes your computer on startup, it's likely caused by a problem with auto-installing fonts. Go into the Data folder, install all of the fonts, then delete the font files and try running the game again. It's supposed to install them automatically, but this seems to freeze some systems - deleting the fonts will stop it from trying.

If dialogue doesn't show up or uses the wrong font (which may cause cutoff text), manually install the fonts in the Data folder.




Screenshots

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Walkthrough

The walkthrough is split into three sections.

General Tips answers general questions about what to do.
Main Quest guides you through the main steps of the story.
Sub-Quests explains all the sub-quests in the game.
(You must do most of them to see the ending.)

Walkthrough

[ General Tips ]

Q. How do I gain HEART?
A. By completing sub-quests.
Playing hide and seek also gives you HEART, with a fixed amount you can gain from it overall.
Some things will make you lose HEART, but these only temporarily reduce it.
You can recover HEART up to your "current maximum" by resting at Neme's.

Q. How do I know my next objective?
A. Check STATUS in the menu.

Q. What do I use this item for?
A. TALKing may give hints about how to use the items you possess.

Q. Why can't I progress here?
A. In some parts, hints will appear if you keep attempting something.

Q. Why is making different choices putting me on the same route?
A. It's important that you "go with the same decision all three times."
If you make varying decisions, you end up on the same route as "doing nothing" three times.

Q. I don't know where I am?
A. Open the menu or SAVE to see the area name. TALKing can give you info on the area.

Q. Something weird happened and my items vanished?!
A. Go back and get them.

Q. How do I see the ending?
A. Get your HEART amply prepared.

Q. What are World Fragments?
A. After seeing the ending, start a new game.

Q. What are medals?
A. You get them for playing with children.
They add to the amount you recover when resting at Neme's.



[ Main Quest ]

Great Tree Forest

After waking up, talk to the woman.
Check the left dresser above the bed.
Talk to Neme again.

Go outside and talk to everyone at least once.
Once you're done, go north of the Great Tree and talk to the Black Rabbit.
(They'll have a "..." bubble above them indicating a quest.)
Get the Red Flower and show it to them from the ITEMS menu.
Instead of going south, go north.

(After leaving, new sub-quests will appear in Great Tree Forest.
The girl by the exit will inform you of available quests.)


Rimott Village

On the world map, head for the Castle Town.
Go up to the castle and talk to the guards who won't let you enter.
Back in the Castle Town, the Minstrel will talk to you and leave.

Head to the village in the top-right of the map.
The Minstrel will be there, and you'll be able to get in.
Proceed to Starfall Hill in the northeast and check the grave.

(After checking the grave, a new sub-quest will appear in Rimott Village.)


Three Allies

(Note: At this point, the story can branch based on your choices.
Certain routes will end up returning you to when you left Rimott Village.
However, on a redo, most of the process will be abridged.
Also, you must meet the allies in order.)

1. Magician

Try to enter the East Tower and be denied.
Go to the magic bookstore in the Castle Town (middle-left building). Accept the delivery.
(If in the midst of the Mandragora quest, you need to advance it before you can take the delivery.)
Enter the tower. Give the Book Bundle to the Librarian on 2F.
Then enter the bottom-right room on 5F.

Talk to Harty, and make a decision.

2. Priest

Try to enter the North Temple and be denied.
Go to the church in the Castle Town (top-right).
Keep talking to the Priest until you get the Ring of Prayer.

Enter the North Temple. Go right to the lab and talk to the person in the bottom-right.
Go up and talk to the person by the altar.
Go left and talk to the person in the lower room of the courthouse.
Go right to the lab again. Check the door, talk to the nearby researcher, and open the door.

Talk to Nurv, and make a decision.

3. Thief

Talk to the Minstrel in the Western Wastes.
Head to Castle Town, and talk to the lady to get a Meat Pie.
Go back to the Western Wastes and give the Meat Pie to the fox, then follow it to the right path.

Talk to Phoelin in the hideout and go to the castle with her.
Don't run outside the castle, or the guards will hear you. Go left to the secret stairs.
Go through the waterway, go upstairs, and go into the door on the right.

After finding what Phoelin was looking for and hearing her story, make a decision.
Then go to leave the castle (through the secret passage you came in from, behind a banner).

What happens next will vary depending on your current route.
If you go to the world map and don't get any guidance, check the STATUS screen.

Spoilers regarding the decisions:
You can convict the allies, do nothing, or use Forget-Me-Nows from the Mandragora sub-quest.
Convicting them all leads to an "ending" and reset.
Doing nothing for all of them or making inconsistent decisions leads to another "ending" and reset.
Using the Forget-Me-Nows on all of them leads to the true ending.


(If you're on a non-resetting route, new sub-quests will appear after this segment.)


Dark Lord's Castle

To reach the castle, you must dispel the barrier south of the Monster Village.
Enter the house in the bottom-left of the Monster Village.
Talk to the Red Demon. With the Letter, go to the Gold Manor in the northwest.
Go to the back and check the portrait.
Report back to the Red Demon.

(After the Red Demon dispels the barrier, they'll have new sub-quests.)

Proceed south to the Dark Lord's Castle.
Head upstairs and examine the throne.
Leave the castle, and head back through the woods.


Final Memory

Go talk to Neme. Afterward, you can open the chest next to her.
Once you take the Master Key, head straight for your destination.

Spoilers for reaching the ending:
You must have the Strange Item from the Great Tree and at least 90 HEART to avoid a reset.



[ Sub-Quests ]

Hide and Seek

You can play hide and seek with the children in the Monster Village, Castle Town, or Rimott Village.
Other than the hiding spots, it's fundamentally the same wherever you play it.
You gain 1 to 3 HEART from each game. (Finish in 20 seconds for 3, 45 seconds for 2, longer for 1.)
You can gain a total of 30 HEART overall before you can't play anymore.

After playing 5 rounds with a group, they give you the medal for that area.
The medals make you gain more HEART from resting at Neme's.


Before Leaving Forest

[ Black Rabbit ]
Get them the Red Flower beyond the statues.
You have to do this to progress, but it does give you HEART, so it is technically a sub-quest.


After Leaving Forest

[ White Rabbit ]
Talk to the White Rabbit in the monster village.
Keep going back and forth between the Black Rabbit and White Rabbit.
(You can find the Black Rabbit in the graveyard east of the Great Tree.)

[ Mandragora ]
Talk to the Mandragora in the monster village. They want some Water of Life.
Go to the Spring of Life slightly northwest of the forest to find that it's dried up.
Go to the magic bookstore in the Castle Town (middle-left building) for a Water Bookmark.
Use the Water Bookmark on the blue tiles at the Spring of Life to get Water of Life.
Give it to the Mandragora, then leave and return to get some Forget-Me-Nows.


After Checking Grave

[ Childhood Friend ]
Listen to the story of the Villager around the middle of Rimott Village.


After Harty (Non-Resetting Route)

[ Student on East Tower 1F ]
He wants soup. Get it from the student on the right in the basement.

[ Student on East Tower 3F ]
He wants a frying pan. Buy it from the weapons shop in the Castle Town.


After Phoelin (Non-Resetting Route)

[ Harty ]
Talk to Harty in the bottom-right room on 5F about looking for a book.
Go to the Librarian on 2F, then the bottom-left student in the basement.
Return the Artbook to the Librarian, then deliver it to Harty.

[ Judge ]
Talk to the Judge in the North Temple. Get the Gavel from Nurv in the basement.

[ Armorer ]
Talk to the Armorer (in the Castle Town) about him feeling anxious.
Talk to the Lady outside. Then talk to the Weapons Dealer or Item Seller.
Consult the girls by the Goddess statues to pursue the Armorer from place to place.

[ Kid By Well ]
[ Goblin Kid ]
[ Rimott Village Chief ]
[ Student in East Tower Basement ]
[ North Temple Priest ]
[ Western Wastes Thief ]
These sub-quests are linked. First, talk to the kid by the well in the Castle Town.
Then talk to Phoelin to get the first item in the sequence. Go through the chain of people, trading items.
Once you get the Moon's Tear from the thief, sell it at the Castle Town item shop.
You'll get the Mystery Box. Use it, and then give that item to the kid by the well.


After Dispelling Barrier

[ Red Demon ]
The Red Demon asks for two things: a fruit delivery and a book.
Get the Fruit Basket from the street merchant in Castle Town, and deliver it to the bat in Gold Manor.
Get the Novel from the magic bookstore, and give it to the Red Demon.
After giving them the novel, leave the house, re-enter, and talk to them.
Repeat this process until they reach the end of the story.
After they finish the book, go talk to the bookstore clerk.



(Post-Game Spoilers)

[ World Fragments ]

After seeing the ending, start a new game and you'll be able to find these.

[Hero] Near the childhood friend in Rimott Village after hearing her story.
[Magician] Outside the East Tower after "doing nothing" to Harty.
[Priest] At the entrance to the North Temple after "doing nothing" to Nurv.
[Thief] In the Waterway by the secret stairs after "doing nothing" to Phoelin.
[Princess] By the door to the princess's room after following the vision of her.
[Winged Goddess] Next to the chest with the Master Key once you're able to open it.
[Spirits] In the Dark Woods: Depths after the scene there.
[Machine God] In the princess's room right before the ending.
[Dark Lord] In the throne room after checking the throne.
[Humans] By the well in Castle Town after completing the trading sub-quest.
[Monsters] By the monster graveyard after convincing the Black Rabbit to leave.
[Curse] By the monument on the Cape after reading it.
[Vampire] In the Gold Manor reception room after seeing the portrait.
[Red Demon] In the Red Demon's house after they dispel the barrier.
[Minstrel] Next to the Minstrel on the way to the ending.
[       ] See the ending again.



Translation Note
(This contains spoilers for the game. Only read after you've seen the ending.)

The Japanese title is "Nare no Hate no Monogatari."
Monogatari is simply "story," but the term "nare no hate" is a bit tricky to put in English and somewhat punny here.
The parts of the phrase would literally translate as something like "at the end of events,"
and generally it means "a shadow of their/its former self."

Brane is given the title "nare no hate" on two occasions:
"Yuusha no [Hero's] Nare no Hate" after convicting an ally, and just "Nare no Hate" after the woods scene.
The Spirits also call the Black Book one, and Neme certainly falls into the same category.

I took various approaches to the use of "nare no hate."
Since the game is very much themed around "endings," At the Tale End seemed the most fitting title.
The game takes place at the "tail end" of a standard RPG adventure, and in essence,
the player catches these characters "at the tail end" of their intended roles.
You never properly see Brane as a hero, only what he's become - same for the princess and the Goddess.
Also, in the ending, they wonder what would remain "at the tale end."

I made Brane's title on the conviction route "Shadow of a Hero," fitting since it's a step toward the Dark Lord side.
Similarly, I called the mirror cutscene ("Nare no Hate no Sugata," the form/appearance of etc.) "Seeing Your Shadow."
The Black Book is called "that decrepit thing" since she's no longer the princess and hasn't done much in 10 years.
Lastly, Brane is titled a "Tail-Ender" after the revelation, because he is in many ways too late.
But after that, he goes on to be a "tale-ender" and end the story.



That's the world in its entirety.