The Story of Red Cloud is an ambitious project by TerrariaOnline.com forum member Tim Hjersted. It's more than just an adventure map, combining a custom soundtrack and two custom mods that work within the mod Tconfig.
Tim has made it quite easy to install everything and following his instructions you should be diving into this map without any problems - and dive in you will. The amount of content jam-packed into this map is amazing. This adventure map is almost like an open-ended world. You'll get hints on where to proceed the story, but exploring is key. Tim has set the bar really high for map makers out there, myself included!
The Story of Red Cloud doesn't restrict you too much like most adventure maps. You'll be crafting a ton of weapons and accessories with the "Dark Souls" you'll be collecting from dead foes. And just like the PS3 game of the same name, if you die, you drop all the souls you have in your inventory. The only way to get them back is to fight your way back to where you lost them without dying again, because if you die again before you get them back, they'll be lost forever. It's a great mechanic that makes you value your life, without loosing too much if you die.
You'll also be using bombs and breaking blocks with your pickaxe, and thanks to the custom mods used in Tconfig, it works really well. Special ores need the right pickaxe or drill to break through, while single thick dirt or mud walls can be blasted or picked through to find the secrets lying behind them. And you will find tons of secrets, too many to count. This will definitely make inventory management a priority, as you'll be filling up often. Tim's got a great workaround though that I won't spoil for you, and no it's not more inventory slots.
Through Tim's custom mod for this map, you'll be able to fight new bosses, fight new enemies, and create weapons and accessories that'll make you collect thousands of Dark Souls. Every enemy drops souls, and the farther you progress in the game, the more they drop. Don't try and stash them away in a chest for safe keeping though, they'll only keep safe in your inventory, but there is a way to keep them safe that I won't spoil for you.
I asked Tim some questions and he was kind enough to reply:
ahamling27(AH): Did you plan on using mods from the beginning, when creating this adventure map?
Tim Hjersted(TH): No, not from the beginning. My initial idea was to create a Zelda-like adventure map that would take players from their first moment with a copper shortsword all the way to the last boss fight with Skeletron Prime, as that wasn't something I had seen done yet. The idea to integrate mod content in the map came after Redigit's announcement to end development, as it seemed like a good way to bring new content to the game.
(AH): What goes into creating a custom mod for Tconfig?
(TH): Ah man, it depends on how crazy you want to get. I had no modding experience when I started to compile my favorite mod content from the community and my initial plan was to just change the recipes and a few easy stats in the .ini files, but pretty soon I wanted to do some more complicated things involving actual code in the .cs files, which is when I started diving into the Tconfig wiki. Asking other modders questions and trying to learn how to read the code by finding items that already did what I wanted to do was probably the biggest help.
(AH): When you were building the map, what part was the hardest to implement?
(TH): Haha, definitely the mod, and the work I did creating some new remixed bosses and mobs. W1k and Yoraizor probably saved my sanity a few times helping me figure out how to get some of the more complicated boss AI questions figured out. And dealing with weird bugs that were sometimes caused by Terraria itself (Wall of Flesh I'm looking at you!) The map by comparison was quite a joy to make. It was time-consuming but I really enjoyed making the map visually interesting and connecting all the areas into one seamless and logical world.
(AH): When you were creating the custom mod, was there anything you wanted to implement but you couldn't due to some limitation?
(TH): I was surprised how much was able to make it in. After Draykon and Yoraizor were able to code the Dark Souls mechanic idea for me in March, that really got me excited to see what else was possible. Though I had to scrap a few ideas because they were too complicated. Ideally, I would have liked to mod the game so that there would be no "game rules" necessary. For instance, if I could have figured out how to mod the bosses so they only drop souls once, to prevent boss farming.
(AH): Will we see a sequel or just another map from you in the future?
(TH): This will probably be it. After working on this for the last six months I'm looking forward to having this completed and taking a break! ;D I plan on updating the mod a few more times with new content, and may release a "1.1" update to the map later. There's enough space left on it to add maybe a couple new dungeons, and I have a few other boss ideas. I also want to encourage other map-makers to integrate this and other mods into their creations. There's a lot of potential.
Do not pass this adventure map up. I'm about 6 hours into it and the last picture in this article is the last boss that I fought. I still haven't gotten to the Wall of Flesh, so there's still all the hard-mode content I still have to progress through. It's a long map, but easily the best adventure map I have played to date.