[Note: if you intend to play this game in-browser, check the SAVEGAME WARNING below!]


By Bruno Oliveira (@btco_code)

This is a retro CRPG game where you control a party of adventurers through an epic quest that starts out with a small mistake where you essentially doom the entire world to a decade of disasters but worry not, because you are going to fix things now and defeat the great evil you unleashed upon the world.

The game is a cartridge that runs on the TIC-80 fantasy console with all the delightful restrictions that come with it: 240x136 screen resolution, 16 colors, basic sound/music, all in a whopping 64K of Lua code + 64K of VM data. 

Don't worry: your progress is saved to the cartridge's battery-backed memory so you can save the world in more than one sitting.

It's turn-based, so you have as long as you want to think things through and even in the heat of battle our monsters are well trained to wait, seemingly forever, until you have taken your turn.

You start at the shores of Riverside with barely no equipment, a laughable budget and a desire for fame, fortune and making the world a better place. Let's see how this works out for you.

SAVEGAME WARNING: Depending on your browser, the save game feature might not work (known issue on some Chrome versions)! To test that it's working, reload the page after the intro screen. If you see "Save OK" on the top left after the title finishes animating, then savegames are working. In any case, if you are playing this seriously, consider downloading the desktop version.


  • arrow keys: move
  • [Z]: menu / confirm
  • [X]: cancel / close
  • At any time while adventuring you can bring up the game menu by pressing [Z] to allow you to: rest, cast spell, manage inventory and see detailed party info.


  1.  To interact with things, just walk into them (huts, fountains, doors, etc, etc).
  2.  To rest, use food rations: press Z to open menu, select ITEMS, select the food ration, press Z and select USE.
  3.  Always carry plenty of food. Buy them in General Stores.
  4.  Always carry plenty of torches to light dark caves and dungeons. Also found in General Stores.
  5.  Upgrade equipment! You won't go very far with just a dagger and no armor.
  6.  Save at every opportunity. Fountains and inns allow you to save.
  7.  Beware of unidentified items. They may be cursed, explode, release poison gas, and all sorts of other bad effects. Plus, if you equip a cursed item, you won't be able to remove it.
  8.  When you get enough XP, go to a town to train to level up. You will know you have enough XP because the XP meter on the bottom right will be highlighted with an up arrow.
PlatformsWindows, macOS, HTML5
Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars
(17 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Made withTIC-80
Tagscrpg, Dungeon Crawler, fantasy-console, Pixel Art, Retro, TIC-80


ShadowOverTheTwelveLands-r2-Windows.exe 3 MB
ShadowOverTheTwelveLands-r2-MAC 5 MB

Install instructions

Mac version: download the executable then right click (or option click) the file and select Open With and select Terminal.

Windows version: just download it and run it. If you get a prompt saying "Unidentified developer", you can click on "More Info" and then "Run Anyway" (assuming you trust me as a developer, of course! :))

Development log


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Why aren't you offering a Linux export?


Ah! Because I don't have a Linux system set up to test it, unfortunately. I had Linux on my old machine but it doesn't boot any more. I'll try to set up a VM so I can at least get the export going.

Awesome! I was under the impression you could just export to any other platform no matter what platform you're running on. Maybe that's not the case?

I think that is the case, but I just hesitate to publicly post a build I haven’t tested :-) Or maybe I can post it and you test it and let me know if it works!

Sure, I'd be happy to test it out and provide feedback.


hello, I love this game. Would you like to join my game jam? https://itch.io/jam/tic80-jam

I’m really enjoying this game! MM3 was one of my faves as a kid and this captures a lot of that feel.

Does this run on TIC-80 on the PocketCHIP? I would really like to get this working on a portable device, but it keeps crashing on the CHIP. I’m running Tic-80 v.0.60.3, as any later versions are very slow. Keep getting crashes on launch. Do you know if there’s a way to get it to play? 

Thanks again for creating this game! 

Hey! This game allocates a lot of memory, this is why it probably crashes on PocketCHIP. Even some browsers don't deal well with it. I think the problem is the virtual machine that's part of my code, which loads all of the bytecode into RAM. I should have probably built it differently...

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That's quite an achievement and a very interesting game! It reminds me much of M&M III-V and still has a very distinct feel. I also like how much atmosphere it creates with just a handful of pixels. It just looks lovely. I also appreciate the map and manual. I always enjoyed digging into manuals and maps of old RPGs so the pdfs are a big plus for me. Great work!

Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed the game!

By the way, your article on medium.com about the development of the game is quite an interesting read! One can feel the dedication, work and love that went into the game. So I asked myself: Why don't you make the game here on itch free but with the option to give you some money for it? I'd like to give some of my hard earned buckazoids as a sign of appreciation. :)

Hey! Thank you very much for the kind remarks! Writing games is a hobby that I do purely for fun, so I don't want to put money into the mix, but thank you very much for offering! When people like one of my games, I very much prefer that they show their appreciation by sharing the game or sending me their feedback as you did, rather than give me money :) Cheers!

That's very kind of you. I'm playing the game for some days now and it's such a pleasure to explore the Twelve Lands! It's been a long time since I had so much fun with an RPG (the last that managed to motivate as much was Grimoire). What I find the most astonishing thing about SOtTL: It doesn't feel like a game simply inspired by the classics - it feels like it is an actual classic from the heydays of the genre. I'd gladly pay 15 dollars for such a fine game. But as you don't want my money I'll give you my impressions when I reach the end of the game (I hope that's not soon). :)

Still playing and very much enjoying this game. But now I'm in dire need of help: I'm exploring the ice continent, entered the ice maze and got three of my characters frozen. Now only Leon is still able to fight and I have no clue where to look for help. Leon alone isn't fit enough to battle more than two enemies. Help!

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Hi there. I'm not sure if it's just me but the game would have an error when I try to save the first Save Spot at the Monastery. Luckily, I just have to restart the game and it actually did Saved. 

Are you using the web version or the downloaded version?

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this game is great! thanks for making and sharing it. there's so much more depth than i expected. i've been playing for several days now. i appreciate the thorough manual, too.

i've noticed that the game (in browser) crashes to a black screen once in a while, sometimes apropos of nothing, sometimes immediately after a save (which is alarming, but i found that the save actually was successful), and sometimes when trying to enter or leave a town. also, one time it crashed to a command prompt that was full of error messages, which i didn't have the foresight to copy and paste for future reference. anyway, the crashing doesn't bother me, as i just save constantly. i don't know if this information might be helpful to you. 

also, could you please offer a hint as to where i may seek the Spectacles?

Hey! Sorry for the delayed response. Busy weeks at work :)

Yeah, there is some memory allocation issue in the engine that causes crashes in-browser. To my knowledge, the downloaded version does not suffer from the same problem. I'm still trying to figure out why.

Hint about spectacles: they can be found near Castle South... behind an Emerald Gate :)

Cool! I looks ilke 3D map?

btco show code


Hey! It's "fake 3D", like the games of the 90s. If you're interested in the source code, it's here:


Specifically, the 3D rendering part is in the rend.lua file.


(and like games in the 80s)

Excellent retro rpg! the might and magic style is amazing!

A couple of questions:
- Is it possible to allow buying multiple items when you visit the shops? As it now you can to reenter the shop in order to buy another item!
- Also it is possible to automatically unequip an item when you try to equip a similar item? Having to remove first the currently equipped item before you can equip a new item is very exhausting!
- And finally where the savegame is located for the offline Windows version?

Hello! Thank you for playing!

Yeah, I know, having to visit the same shop over and over again to buy more than one Item is pretty exhausting, I will definitely fix that in the future. And auto unequipping the item is a great idea, it would make it much easier. Thanks for the suggestions!

As for the savegame location, I believe it's somewhere in C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local but I'll double check on my computer at home tonight (I'm typing from my phone at the moment).

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Just out of curiosity when you recover something (I will try to avoid spoilers for my fellow gamers ;-)) from the first dungeon and you have a choice whether to give to someone important at the town does the choice you make affect the location that you found yourself after or the npc that join you? I choose to give what I have recovered in my case.

Ah! Well, sometimes choices are choices, sometimes choices are the illusion of choice, and often a diverging path might be different, but the result would be similar for practical purposes. :)

This is pretty fun, my only complaint is the ambiguously worded "reset game" option from the menu when you're playing. I interpreted it as "return to the title screen", but what it meant was DELETE YOUR SAVE u_u

Oh! Sorry, this was not supposed to happen. That menu is the system menu over which I have no control but even then RESET in theory should just return to main menu, not erase save. There is, however, an issue with certain browsers (Chrome) where savegames are not recorded. When you revisit the page, does it say "Save OK" on the top left in the main screen?

I downloaded the offline version... and after loading the game again, my save is still there!!! ^_^ sorry for the confusion - I feel like when I used the "reset game" option it took me to the title screen, but I didn't see the "press z to continue save game". It looks like closing and opening fixed it I guess?

Awesome! I'm glad it worked. So maybe the first time saving works but loading doesn't, and after reloading both saving/loading work... weird!

This was a very fun game! I really like the art style and game mechanics. The music was like the cherry on top and really created the atmosphere in the game :D

I don't know if you've heard of Game Development World Championship before (gdwc2019) but it's a competition for indie game developers where they can submit their games and it's free! It's great if you want some more visibility for the game and it only takes a couple of minutes to join :)