Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-03-31 17:20 JST)
The length of the sword in the free Steam game The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king has already reached its maximum length just a day after its launch on March 28. Pulling this sword from its stone seal requires an absurd level of perseverance, but it looks like players around the world are enjoying the challenge.
In The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king, your task is to remove a sword from a stone. And that’s it. But it’s no easy task. You place your mouse cursor over the handle, grab the sword, and lift. If you manage to pull out the sword, you will be crowned the king.
The rules are simple but punishing. You must click on the sword to grab it while lifting and continue to do so for a long period of time. If you let go of your grip in the process, it’s back to square one. The game also supports multiplayer, and if another player pulls out the sword before you do, the sword becomes longer and heavier. Some players can even be seen on social media saying it took over 30 minutes just to pull it off.
The game quickly became popular on Steam having over 2,200 concurrent players right when it launched (SteamDB). After just one day of being available, the sword had already grown to its max difficulty level of 10,000. How did the developers feel about this? We reached out to Majorariatto and the studio’s founder Alva Majo was gracious enough to answer our questions.
We started by asking if they expected for the difficulty limit to be reached so quickly. “Not at all!” Majo replied, “I thought it was a ludicrously high number that would never be reached.” The game also has a mechanic where the sword gets shorter as time passes without anyone pulling it out. Majo thought players would wait for the sword to shrink back down and try again later, but instead they remained stubborn and refused to give up.
When asked if they have plans to increase the limit, Majo stated, “I’m considering it, but I have no plans to do so at the moment,” worrying that if it’s raised even higher, only cheaters would be able to play. Majo is also worried about players’ time saying, “they are wasting more than one hour pulling it out and that is more than enough!” As the game was meant to be small and experimental, Majo considers it complete and currently only plans on fixing bugs.
As we mentioned earlier, pulling out the sword can be grueling. When asked how they feel about seeing their players suffering, Majo said, “I also suffer a lot!” Majo really feels for players who have spent a ton of time pulling the sword only to drop it in the final moments and have their efforts be for nothing. It was apparently supposed to be a 15-minute game, but Majo may have stumbled onto a valuable lesson in just how stubborn people can be.
A previous Majorariatto release called Golfing Over It with Alva Majo is another game where players can lose their progress at any moment. A miss in that game could mean having to do large sections of the stage all over again. But Majo says that it was funnier in that case and added to the challenge. In The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king, a player’s perseverance is truly tested and having to start from scratch isn’t exactly as appealing. While pulling out the sword does give players the ultimate feeling of accomplishment, failure can make players feel awful, which Majo doesn’t want to happen, adding, “Don’t drop the sword!”
At any rate, it sounds like the number of players putting themselves through the trial of The one who pulls out the sword will be crowned king has surprised even Majorariatto. By the way, when I (the original author of this article) tried out the game on March 31 at 12:00 p.m. (JST) the online difficulty level was set to 0 and I was able to pull out the sword. It appears that some kind of incident has occurred with a recent player that completed the game being named “Bad Game Dev,” and reports of someone hacking the game on the Steam Community. Perhaps someone was holding on to some resentment after failing to pull out the sword. While the facts around the issue is unknown, there’s no doubt that this game is downright brutal.