Free DaRic - Lost Explorer 2 (One of my GMS1 completed games)

Download link (

I had created a first version before this one - Horrible graphics, no sounds. But, I had recieved a good comment concerning its nice learning curve so I chose to do a second one which I still find good even up to today's game standards for those thart love retro type games. This was also my first attempt in using particles and playing arround with lighting back then.

Graphics are all original, drawn by me.

Story: There's not much of a story honestly. I tried to do something but for the sake of nostalgics: A lost explorer (hence the name of the game) does not remember his name and cannot go further in his exploration. He must go through a castle full of puzzles for his freedom.

What's the game? 50 levels of puzzle solving. You must dig your way through dirt and leaves, find all keys, unlock all the brown doors to finally exity through the red door. No time limits, no ennemies, just a plain old puzzle solver. There is no saves BUT every time you solve a level, a code is given to you which you can enter when you play again to start at your next challenge without redoing the entire game again.

Controls: You WILL be stuck at some point where you will have messed up and did an undoable mistake. Hit the "R" key to restart the level. Use the arrow keys to move.

Unlockables: There are 2 secret codes to unlock once you have completed the final level twice. These codes are cheats if you want to retry the game which makes it a lot easier to complete.

Other screenshots:

I chose to release VERRRY slowly the level codes of my game. They will be released here and her only. I will also consider this list as a count down until I begin to work on my next Lost Explorer game with GMS2. I have so many ideas that popped up recently, I'll sure have some fun and self-training.

Level number : Code - Level name

00.png 1 : {No_Code} - Castle entry
01.png 2 : RTJV - Ladder room
02.png 3 : RUIP - Dig in solid sand
03.png 4 : RKKJ - The lost key
04.png 5 : RTGS - Long shortcut
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For those wondering the differences in the first and second game of DaRic - Lost Explorer; I did a level that was identical in both games. So here is a side-by-side comparison of both games. And the initial game had less than 20 levels. I'm proud of V2 and am waiting to gather my time properly after my other projects to do a third one.

Keys_ 0-2020-08-15 03_20_22.png-2020-08-15 03_22_30.png

I had learned about tiling objects, using shades and textures, added a background instead of a plain color, using way more colors. Since the game had no real animations, I had added the torched to add a bit of life in the game. The torches are NOT animated GIFs, they are generated with GM's particle system.
50 levels is pretty good. Good on you for adding some depth to it
Thank you!
Nice puzzle game!

My feedback would be to either save level progress (and remove the codes), or have the unlocked codes somewhere.

I didn't read the controls before and got stuck on a level. Not knowing I had to press 'R' to reload, I pressed Escape thinking there might be a menu, but it took me back to the start. I hadn't remembered the last code so had to repeat som levels again.

But overall quite cool. Some nice challenging puzzles there :)
Nice puzzle game!

My feedback would be to either save level progress (and remove the codes), or have the unlocked codes somewhere.

I didn't read the controls before and got stuck on a level. Not knowing I had to press 'R' to reload, I pressed Escape thinking there might be a menu, but it took me back to the start. I hadn't remembered the last code so had to repeat som levels again.

But overall quite cool. Some nice challenging puzzles there :)
This game was with GMS1 and it was my first fully completed original game. So yep, I most certainly agree with you for an upcomming version to have automatic level save and clearer user control ingame mini-tutorial. Thank you for the feedback, greatly appreciated :)

LEVEL CODES note: As for level codes, this was based on an old Win95 and I think even Win 3.1, a game called "Chip's Challenge". Every level had a code which you had to remember or write down to get back to that level later, so I inspired my game on top of this one.

A bit of history: Chip's Challeng and another old puzzle platformer DOS game I don't remember the name of. You were actually using bombs to dig through sand, find your way to your goal, that's old in my memory, whew.... I loved the very basic idea and challenge of simple platformer puzzles. I also loved the easy square grid movement, block to block of both games. So I inspired from both genres where Chip's Challenge was all about puzzles. I removed the moving ennemies because I thought that the puzzle challenge was already enough, don't need to make people wait for ennemies when it's already long to find some solutions and it relieves, I think, a bit of stress. So there it is, a mix of 2 VERY old games.

What about the futur?
Well, back then I was actively developping in GMS so I was already playing with 3D a little bit and doing some tests. The next game, once I get everything sorted out and ready on my end is to make it 2.5D. I once saw an AWESOME Super Mario 2.5D engine back then and I absolutely loved the style. I won't reveal to much, but I don't want to have bigger rooms asside from making it widescreen, but there is a next-level challenge that's strolling in my head and it sure will be very nice. I also love so much the graphics of Eagle Island, a recent game, There's a lot of environement interactions that give depth to this pixel-art game. I'd like to have something of this kind to make the game feel more alive. And, of course, upgrade the graphics because 32x32 graphics are pretty much over nowdays so I'll try to cramp that up to 64x64 or 128x128. I'd also add a key and door counter. Instead of showing how many keys you found, show how many keys are left to be found and how many brown doors are left to be opened, I think this information can be crucial in some puzzles and more helpfull. I'd love to add different environements too and make the game way more diversified. So that's a basic overview of my thoughts on the next game.

Any possibility of adding video solutions?
I wanted, back in the time, to add YouTube videos of every level solution, once a week or every few days so that people can actually get through it and not stay stuck at very difficult places. I still think of doing it if I gather up enough players and/or recieve a request here and there. I also thought of posting private videos for those REALLY in need of the solution, but hey, some of these puzzles, I need to re-try them myself because I don't remember all solutions anymore :| .

Known bugs?
One level is the exact replicate of the title screen including the mouse moving light arround with the title screen's music. If you enter that level's code to jump right to that level, the music will NEVER change once you solve that puzzle.
SOLUTION: Once you finish that level, get the next level's code, press Escape to go back to title screen, press "C" and type your next level's code. If it still is the same music, Escape to title screen, press Enter for first level, if the same music persists, close the game and open the game again, then press "C" and enter your next level's code.

PROBLEM: Sometimes, when entering a code, numbers don't work.
SOLUTION: Don't use the keypad, use the numbers on top of the keyboard, not the same ascii codes. For some reason, I did not support that back then, weird me.

PROBLEM: Again at the code entering screen, sometimes, some letters won't type or even, nothing will type at all.
SOLUTION: Escape to go back to title screen, press Enter to start the first level, press Escape again to got to title screen and try again by pressing "C".
I changed my game presentation. Since I plan a futur game, I thought I'd revamp this game's download page so it looks a bit more polished and professional. I also added at the very end of the first post (after the screenshots) a spoiler with a list of level codes. I will release the level codes very slowly because I want players to discover the game themselves too. But I thought that in this new time where I am now starting to regain my life activities and thinking about getting myself back into GMS, I think Lost Explorer can be given a third chance but this time, bigger, better and up to today's computer game standards BUT still keeping the pixel-art/retro style. Don't be too eager because I did not even start the GMS2 project yet and the list of level codes will serve as a count down until I start working on Lost Explorer 3 which will have a 3D twist to it. So officially and comming slowly, all 50 level codes will be revealed here,

Enjoy your play time :)