There's been on-again, off-again interest in Tingalan since I released it a few years ago. A sizable contingent of players never really figured out how to navigate the forest...and therefore never figured out how to get home.
Because this game is no longer new I thought I'd drop some spoilers...specifically, the full "tingalan song" (which appears in game whenever you type "SING"). The idea was to have a song where the details got more and more haunting and horrible as it went on, and to give the reader a very real sense that the next verse might literally drive them insane. I've put stars next to particularly important passages for the purposes of navigation or the solution to other puzzles. Each verse is separately spoilered,so you can just read part...and so you can avoid going insane by reading all the way to the end.
I also underlined the part that was sorta the eureka moment for the first person to ever "crack" the map.
Tingalan is a magic wood
where the trees are greatly feared.
It's haunted by hares
and phasms, and bears
and a spirit with bats in its beard.
All things speak in Tingalan
but some things should not be heard,
like spirits that slurp
and catfish that chirp
and bats that sing like birds.
While some things hide in Tingalan,
many things wish to be found,
there are rubies and gold
and berries to hold
and demons that dance underground
and a spot in the sky where the moon goes to cry
when the trees make their terrible sounds.
For the moon hides not from you or I,
or an awful truth or a noble lie,
or the hobbling hag with one good eye
or the platypus that can never die,
but from that which waits in the deeper sky
And you'll find elves in Tingalan
*where the forests lilt and laugh,
but you won't want to meet them
and if you should greet them,
you should not trust them by half.
There are many paths through Tingalan:
Some gray, some green, some black,
but while rivers and fields
run into the weald
you'll find almost none that run back!
And your journey will take you to many a place
where the trees seem to shift and to shiver,
*but in truth there is only one road,
*in truth there is only one river.
*There is only one place where the trees twist and tangle,
*there is only one place where the trees arc and angle,
*there is only one hollow where evil things wait,
*there is only one shrine, there is only one gate.
There is only one dream, there is only one life.
You have only one heart, she has only one knife.
You have only one mistress, and she is not here,
*but you'll find her off in one corner I fear, in Tingalan.
For there is no death in Tingalan,
Merely dreams that seem like death.
Ghouls blinker and peek
where trees rattle and reek,
and cry out for bones and breath,
and there is no sleep in Tingalan,
merely death that feels like sleep,
and visions of stars,
that swim like gars,
and eyes that will not weep.
For there are no tears in Tingalan,
merely blood that falls like tears,
and skullfruit like bells,
and heavens like hells,
and minutes that pass like years,
and there are no dreams in Tingalan,
merely lives that pass like dreams,
and bellfruit like skulls
and treasure like coals
and laughter that sounds like screams.
For there is no joy in Tingalan,
and there are no happy sounds,
and the king is not dead,
though they've hacked off his head,
and buried his guts in a mound.
...and he waits there roaring loud and long
to the drum of his hands and the clash of his gong
with a nictating chorus that doesn't belong,
and the stars overhead shine down wicked and wrong,
and the singer goes mad at the end of this song, in Tingalan.
For there is no hope in Tingalan,
and the cock will never call,
and the forces of night
will devour the light,
and the trees won't help you at all.
For there are no trees in Tingalan,
merely owls that look like trees,
and spiders and snakes
like strawberry cakes
and lakes that look like seas,
*and the fiend that lies within you lies
*even more than these,
*and this witch within, it takes delight
*in that moment when the stars are right
and the fireflies dance on the edge of the night
and their lambent tails glow green and white
and the owltrees burn with their furious light
and you lose your eyes
but keep your sight