Enter the doomed town of Pareildas. Watch as the flames turn bone and stone to ash. Like joined wicks, we'll all burn together.
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““THERE SWINGS A SKULL” has found its very own formal language to draw attention to the brutality of the climate catastrophe. Medium and long-term effects such as droughts and heat waves are represented here by a merciless sun that can literally pulverize people. This narrative sledgehammer is countered by the individual characters and their interaction with the world. In a short time, players witness how people stop dreaming, how they project their fears and how their facades crumble in the face of impending doom. All this happens in such a poetic way that it makes you ache.”
The Game Curator

“All of this surreal oddity and foreboding doom gives There Swings a Skull a very different feel from most horror games.... the town is the monster – a horrifying sun-baked purgatory that has no escape. Madness and death are the only things that flourish there and it looks like you’re headed towards one or the other. Highly recommended.”
Alpha Beta Gamer

“...the game is... memorably strange, molding together its eccentric ideas with pixel art in sallow colors.”

About This Game


The town of Pareildas stands in the center of a vast desert. Its citizens live their lives quietly. Or, at least, they once did.

In recent days the speaker-gallows sprang, weedlike, in the heart of the town - and since its inception the denizens of Pareildas have been sacrificed, one by one. The electric words that spew from the gallows claim this is to staunch the blistering hatred of the vengeful sun... but the heat has only grown more and more unbearable.


Anatoli works for the town train station. He dreams of leaving Pareildas, so that he might peacefully live out the rest of his life with his husband. His dreams share much in common with the blackened husks of the town's denizens that line the streets.

Pyotr is an independent artist. He hopes, deeply, that he might do something to stop the hellfire slowly consuming Pareildas. But the price of stopping the natural order is immensely steep - and, of course, there's no guarantee this is a natural occurrence at all...


There Swings a Skull: Grim Tidings is a narrative-horror game built in RPG Maker 2003 by Conor Walsh and Quinn K., with music by Leaf Let. Though the game initially released as a jam game it was so well-received - and sat so well with our team - that we decided to build it out into a full game.

Conor Walsh is a professional narrative designer who has written on such titles as The Outer Worlds, A Place, Forbidden, The DreadX Collection 2, and many others.

Quinn K. brought indie darling OFF to the English-speaking world and recently released the stylish and moody AN OUTCRY.

We hope you enjoy our work.


  • A deep central narrative
  • Gorgeous pixel and fullscreen graphics
  • A unique, haunting soundtrack
  • Two separate routes and a third that we dare not mention
  • Multiple endings
  • A hateful sun
  • The endless ocean
  • Death

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

Game includes: immolation, smoking, hanging, drowning, spiders, apocalyptic themes, and harsh language.

System Requirements

    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium®4 1.5GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 or better video resolution in High Color mode
    • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
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