Loom by TCD




Loom was developed and released by Lucasfilm Games in 1990. It is one of the most intriguing game on the Amiga. It is a fantasy-style, point-and-click, action game but one in which musics and sounds play an essential role! It lets its hero, Bobbin Threadbare, learn and cast musical spells on his distaff... It can be played with explicit, written notes (using Latin letters of the English notation) or by ear for experts with a musical ear . It also features a complex, deep background story as well as palindromes and some poetry... It also features beautiful graphics and animations... A must play!



So what is the story that sets Loom apart? First, Loom came with a 30-minute long audio tape (!) that provided the background and a prologue to the game. You can nowadays find this audio drama on YouTube and even in MP3 but, at the time, it was quite something to have 30 minutes of storytelling before bashing your opponent's skull . Second, Loom is not about collecting magical items but collecting magical music notes! The more notes our hero, Bobbin Threadbare, knows, the more spells, powerful spells, he can cast. Some spells are necessary to realise certain tasks. Third, Loom is set in a fantasy, magical world with unique dream-like characteristics... Playing Loom is a bit like being in a dream... Fourth, Loom let players control Bobbin Threadbare's action only through magical, musical spells. There are not direct actions but magic is used to perform the actions!

Loom is about Bobbin Threadbare, a young member of the Guild of Weavers. Bobbin has always been a kind of outcast in his community, without knowing really why. His community itself is outcast because its members, Weavers, became so adept at weaving that they succeeded in weaving space and time themselves! They were then cast away by fearful people for practising witchcraft. Bobbin is now 17 and must present himself in front of the Elders, who will decide of his fate. Just as he arrives, he sees the Elders banning his stepmother, Dame Hetchel, from reality using the draft of Transcendence. Quite a cruel punishment! However, as Dame Hetchel disappears, a swan come to save Bobbin and Dame Hetchel, transforming Dame Hetchel into an egg, and transforming all Elders and guild members into swans.

Now, Bobbin is in possession of Elder Atropos' distaff and he uses it to transform Hetchel's cygnet. Under this appearance, Dame Hetchel explains to Bobbin that he is the son of the Great Loom and that we was found by Lady Cygna, who just saved Dame Hetchel and transformed all guild members into swans. He also learns that a Third Shadow, evil, is coming to the world and that he must stop it to destroying the Earth. Then, Dame Hetchel teaches Bobbin how to weave draft on his distaff and Bobbin embarks on a journey to retrieve the swan flock and save the world. During his journey, Bobbin will meet various people and Guilds, learn new drafts, and battle two evils: the Cleric Mandible, who wants to use Chaos to control the world, and Chaos itself!



Graphic Design

Loom is not your typical point-and-click, adventure game. Bobbin uses drafts to interact with his environment. The player learns new notes and drafts as the game progresses.


There are three levels of difficult, in which more or less information about the notes and the drafts are given to the player. At the highest level of difficulty, new drafts must be learn by ear! However, if you don't have a musical ear, do not fear! The notes are on one octave and plain...

However, Loom is very intuitive and it doesn't take long to master the user interface. Besides, the graphics are beautiful and precise and make it easy to see what there is to see .



Music and Sounds

Obviously, music and sounds play a big role in Loom. Part of the music is, obviously again?, taken from the The Swan Lake ballet music by Tchaikovsky. Actually, for those with a musical ear, MobyGames provide a list of the music pieces in the game that are taken from or inspired by The Swan Lake:

Loom Theme
The Elders' Council
Crystalgard (The City of Glass)
The Shepherds / The Dragon Cave
The Blacksmiths' Guild
The Cathedral
The Loom (Finale)
Act 1 No. 4: Pas de trois: I. Intrada: Allegro
Act 4 No. 27: Danses des petits cygnes: Moderato
Act 2 No. 13: Danses des cygnes: IV. Allegro Moderato
Act 1 No. 6: Pas d'action: Andantino Quasi Moderato
Act 1 No. 4: Pas de trois: IV. Moderato
Act 1 No. 4: Pas de trois: II. Andante sostenuto
Act 2 No. 14: Scene: Moderato



The gameplay is super easy. The top part of the screen shows the main scene and Bobbin. The bottom part mostly shows the distaff on which the notes that Bobbin knows are in colour. There is also an icon showing object that could manipulated by Bobbin when the mouse pass over them.

To examine an object or apply a draft on this object, the object must appear as an icon with its name underneath. Then, Bobbin can examine it (click or double-click) or apply a draft on it but simply clicking the notes available in hie distaff in the right order. To deselect an object or stop drafting a spell, just press ESC.

Another strength of the game is that you can experiment: nothing can kill Bobbin and there are no "wrong" drafts. It is impossible to break the distaff . Therefore, it is nice to explore the game and examine various objects as well as spell different drafts. Also, as far as I can tell, you cannot get stuck anywhere in the game and can always move around.




From the manual available on Abandonware, here are all the 29 spells in Loom:


Spells Name Comments
E C E D Opening This fundamental draft is traditionally the first one taught to novice spell-weavers. Once mastered, it may be spun into tarpaulins, theatre curtains, or any covering that must be whisked aside on command.
C D C D Dyeing This draft was perfected by the dye chemists of the Woonsocket Chapter, who slaved for hours over steaming pots to satisfy the Clerics' appetite for colourful vestures. Originally woven into all types of fabric, the applicability of the Dyeing draft has diminished over the course of centuries. Now it works only on wool.
? Summoning Chiefly spun by the Elders in those rare instances when a member's physical presence is required in the Sanctuary. The draft may be perceived by its recipient in many different ways. It most often takes the form of a small, luminous spheroid, referred to in children's stories as a "messenger nymph".
? Tongues The Pattern of Tongues was first spun into the dinner place-mats at the 423rd Conclave of the Guilds, held at Elstree in 7610. For the first time, the Guild delegates could understand each other's speeches. This innovation was widely praised until an Undertake was overheard insulting a Florist. Both Guilds were plunged into a bloody war lasting five hundred years.
B F F C Silence Silence was hailed as a welcome relief for first-time parents and dwellers in college dormitories. Unfortunately, our Guild-masters are too often hired to spin these threads in situations of doubtful appropriateness. The worst offender is the Guild of Conductors, whose members frequently impost a draft of Silence over their audience before a concert.
G F F E Emptying The contents of almost any filled container may be instantly unravelled with this handy draft. Before its development c. 4200, the streams of Woonsocket ran green with the discarded dyes of the chemists. Avoid the temptation to spin Emptying upon lakes or clouds; its range is deliberately limited to prevent catastrophes such as the Double Deluge of 4204 (for which the Guild admits no responsibility).
B C C B Unmaking Novices are often impatient to acquire the undeniably dramatic ability to Unmake physical objects. Luckily, these volatile threads lie well beyond the grasp of all but the most mature spell-weavers. Entire armies can and have been disembodied by the trans-awesome power of Unmaking. Let us hope we are never again called upon to demonstrate our craft in this manner.
? Extinguishing Open flames are easily smothered with the draft of Extinguishing. It untangles the threads of oxygen and fuel within a conflagration almost instantly, with few if any side effects any very little smoke. The Guild of Firefighters awarded us with their 6222 Plaque of Distinction for the development of this safe, fast-acting treatment.
A A A G Sharpening Scissors, pins and knitting needles are the usual benefactors of this simple draft. In ancient times, however, warriors often submitted their blades to our Guild members for treatment. A formal protest by the Blacksmiths resulted in the Wetstone Bridge Treaty of 7550, which specifically prohibits the use of the Sharpening draft on weapons of war.
? Blessing Also known as "Casino's Bane". Blessed items acquire a charmed state of probability which manifests itself as "good luck" to laymen. Use of this draft outside the Guild is restricted by the Emerick Agreement of 5858, which coincidentally supplies our treasury with an ample endowment from the Order of Statisticians.
C C C E Straw into Gold When times are lean, the Elders may invoke this draft to generate extra revenue. Its use is strictly regulated by the Treasurer of the Guild to prevent inflation. Other Guilds, ignorant in the ways of spell-weaving, have concocted a variety of outlandish fairy tales involving this rather elementary weave.
? Temblor Temblor was discovered by a reckless (and now very dead) spell-weaver who directed the threads of Rending upon a thought-to-be-dormant volcano. Eagerly sought after by the Guild of Seismologists, this extremely dangerous draft is included here only for reference; its spinning has been forbidden by the Guild since 7331.
? Rending The inventors of this innocent draft could not have imagined how badly it would be abused. The Guild of Embalmers originally licensed the draft for tearing rags into long strips. When the Embalmers were disbanded in 6529, a legal battle awarded the rights to the Guild of Career Politicians, who employed it to shred documents. The secret wandered from one unscrupulous Guild to another until it ended up among the Assassins, whose uses for Rending are too horrible to describe.
C C C C Night Vision The threads of this distinctive and beautiful draft are extrapolated from the song of nocturnal birds. At one time, Night Vision was prized by the Guild of Miners, whose legendary underground realm was chiefly illuminated by luminous tapestries bearing our Seal. Tragically, demand fell off after the Great Earthquake of 7331.
C A A C Healing In Volume 19 of her Brief History of the Guild of Weavers (Guild Press, 5620), Third Elder Lazykate documents the way bandages were treated with Healing as early as 1716. The four threads have evolved far beyond their original form. They can now be spun into virtually anything which needs rejuvenation, with the notable exception of the spell-weaver's own body.
? Shrinkage Many fabrics contract when exposed to moisture or heat. In studying this phenomenon, the ancient Weavers isolated the threads that cause this natural Shrinkage, and soon developed a draft to weave the effect into any material object. Be wary in its use! Open spun, the Shrinkage threads can never be unwoven.
? Desire The draft of Desire has its origins in the primitive days of our community, when it was used to lure unsuspecting passersby into Guild shops. When spun upon a creature or person, it warps the threads around the spell-weaver so that he or she resembles whatever thing the victim desires most. The illusion is quite fragile and impossible to maintain for more than a few moments.
? Waterproofing The 5992 expedition of Fifth Elder Spindleshank to the rain forests of Lesser Uxbridge yielded this very practical draft, which shields any fabric from the effects of moisture. The Poison Galoshes Panic of 6003 almost resulted in a permanent ban on Waterproofing, until it was revealed that magazine test reports had been rigged by the Guild of Umbrella Openers.
A D D A Reflection This draft was commissioned by the Guild of Dancers to expedite costume changes for their 500th anniversary performance of the classic ballet Olema. When properly invoked, the spell-weaver immediately assumes the appearance of the being the draft is spun upon, and vise versa. The four threads are based upon the mating grunt of the slit-throated chameleon.
D F F D Terror This draft reweaves the spell-weaver's appearance into a form drawn from the deepest anxieties of the being the threads are spun upon. In effect, it turns you into the thing the recipient fears most. Terror works only on sentient beings, but its potency more than makes up for this limitation. It is approved for limited therapeutic use by the Guild of Psychotherapists.
? Folding Archaeological evidence suggests that Folding was never supposed to be spun upon the fabric of space. Instead, its inventors seem to have been more concerned with the management of laundry! No faster or more convenient way has been found to move a spell-weaver from one place to another. Caution must be exercised when Folding a section of space already Folded by another spell-weaver. Careless spinning can create an uninhabitable "wrinkle" zone, such as the Gainsborough Blind Spot.
G C G C Invisibility When spun upon a person or group, Invisibility frays the focus of their vision, rendering the spell-weaver quite difficult to see. The provenance of this draft is uncertain. It seems to have been acquired (under questionable circumstances) from the Guild of Shepherds, whose genius in the art of stealth is probably unrivalled.
? Confusion The reason why this unusual draft developed is lost in time. Revisionists claim that it was spun into the cheaper fabrics sold at Guild shops in an attempt to undermine the confidence of bargain hunters. Whatever its origin, Confusion's potency has not diminished over time. One spin leaves a victim helplessly bewildered until the spell-weaver is safely out of sight.
B C B C Shaping Only a handful of Weavers possess the concentration necessary to Shape a material substance. The threads of the draft must be spun with unusual single-mindedness before the Pattern will yield. Even then, a successfully Shaped object may revert to its original form if the draft is not rewoven periodically.
C F C C Twisting The origins of this ancient draft are lost in history. The earliest references to it are woven into the foremost hem of the Long Tapestry, beside threads depicting the manipulation of flax and yarn by hand. Tradition has it that the four notes were derived from the rhythmic squeak of First Elder Swellfax's own spindle.
? Warmth What Weaver has never been wrapped in the cozy threads of a Warmth draft? Second only to Aphrodesia in popularity (they are often sold together), Warmth has been a staple of our Guild for much of our recorded history. Even a thin gauze coverlet feels as substantial as a Penumbrian quilt after a single application.
? Aphrodesia The Guild's quick rise to prosperity and influence was due in very large part to the success of this best-seller. Fabrics woven with threads of Aphrodesia are guaranteed to soften the heart of even the most indifferent love interest. Only the Elders are privileged to know the true origin of the draft. Rumours of a secret affair between Second Elder Twillfast and a member of the Guild of Organists are malicious and completely unfounded.
A F E D Sleep It would be difficult to find a pillow, baby bonnet or sleeping bag that has not been imbued with the soothing properties of this popular draft. The Guild of Nannies requires its use in all household fabrics, and the Anaesthesiologists have approved an industrial-strength version as an alternative to chloroform.
C' F G C Transcendence Few indeed are the Weavers who have successfully spun this, the most subtle and mysterious expression of our art. Transcendence dissolves the ties that bind our threads into the Pattern, elevating mind and body to an undefined state of existence. Transcended beings are said to assume the form of birds, constellations, or even sunspots. Because corporal punishment is forbidden in our Guild, Transcendence is occasionally used as a means of humane banishment, but only for the most unforgivable infractions of the the Rules.



Essentially, Bobbin saves the world by visiting different Guilds and learning new drafts. Along his journey, he learns more about the evils threatening the world and will have to face them. The Guilds are the Glassmakers, the Shepherds, the Blacksmiths, and the Clerics. Bobbin will also meet a dragon (of the nice kind).

GameFaqs has a nice walk-through of the game and below are the scenes...



Loom is definitely a unique game by the quality of its graphics, musics, and sounds, by its gameplay, and also by its background story and its narrative! Playing Loom feels like being the hero of a beautiful, non-violent, poetical, fantasy movie . Loom's emphasis on music and sound truly makes it different and I don't know of any other game with such musical power, except maybe Jumping Jack'Son . Loom's realisation makes it the game to put in your bucket list!



  • Music: excellent;
  • Sounds: excellent;
  • Graphics: excellent;
  • Playability: amazing;
  • Lastability: weeks.



  • Name: Loom;
  • Publisher: Lucasfilm Games;
  • Type: music-based, point-and-click, fantasy adventure;
  • Date: 1990;
  • Hardware: Amiga OCS/ECS, 512Kb;
  • License: commercial;
  • Final mark: 11/10 .


Further Reading


1. Banner by TCD

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Tygre - 2023-04-17 10:54:26 am  |  Tygre - 2021-05-08 07:51:30 am  |  Tygre - 2018-10-27 05:50:32 pm