The Best Man
map and rough notes
The Best Man was written in Inform 6 for IF Comp 2000, and is © 2000 by Rob Menke.
This map and walkthrough is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
Map of the Train
|On top of|
the last car
|On top of|
Car 5 and 6
cars 5 and 6
|On top of|
Car 4 and 5
cars 4 and 5
|On top of|
Car 3 and 4
cars 3 and 4
|On top of
cars 2 and 3
Rough Walkthrough Notes
- There's a TECHNICAL command in case you prefer AFT/FORE/PORT/STARBOARD instead of NORTH/SOUTH/EAST/WEST.
The TRADITIONAL command restores the standard compass diretions.
- You can't do much in the prologue sequence. I could never get into either the cockpit nor the kitchenette.
Talking to your neighbor won't help much either.
- Give your ticket to the conductor. If you delay too long, you'll get kicked off the train and lose.
- Stand, north, open the lavatory door, west. En route, your jacket will be stained with coffee.
- In the lavatory, you can clean your jacket, but you'll need have both the sink turned on and the light on to do it.
The light won't come unless you close and lock the door -- but locking the door is a game trigger: that's when you
first hear a commotion outside. Unforunately, they're Russian terrorists who will kill you if they find you.
As quickly as you can: WASH JACKET then UNLOCK DOOR. The guard will see the "Unoccupied" light and think the lavatory
is empty -- at least at first. TURN OFF SINK. OPEN WINDOW. ENTER WINDOW. Wait until they've actually
looked inside the lavatory and the door is closed. EAST. OPEN DOOR. EAST. SAVE.
You are now no longer in immediate danger. All the passengers are now in Car 6; all the terrorists are now in Car 5.
- Once you have freedom to explore the train, there are four major threats that must be dealt with:
And you probably want to deal with them in that order.
- The terrorists in Car 5.
- A smaller bomb under Car 6.
- A large bomb in Car 2.
- The train itself is on a collision course with a nuclear reactor.
- Inventory management is going to be a problem. Although your jacket can hold a lot of things, it can't hold everything
you find, and frequently, you'll need your hands completely free. So first: DROP TICKET. DROP SCHEDULE.
OPEN BOX. WEAR RING. DROP BOX.
- Although you can now walk freely between Cars 3 and 4, you'll need to learn how to travel along the tops and undersides
of the cars as well:
- Between cars 3 and 4, examine the floor to notice a maintenance hatch. If you open the hatch, you can go down
and crawl under the cars. You can crawl all the way north to the underside of Car 6, and as far south to the underside
of Car 2. You cannot ever crawl into the engine.
- Also when between cars, STAND ON RAILING. This will reveal a hidden ladder up to the topside of the car.
You can crawl above the cars all the way north to the topside of Car 6, and as far south to the topside of Car 2.
Later, you'll be able to reach the Engine from the roof of Car 2, but not at first.
- CAUTION: You'll need your hands completely free for crawling either along the tops or undersides of the cars.
You can wear the diamond ring and jacket, but everything else will have to go in your jacket.
- There are nine locations inside Car 4: three hallways, five offices, and a dark room instead of a lavatory.
The offices are mostly empty except for a computer in each one. Only one computer is turned on; examine that one to
find the paper spider called Wolfie. TAKE WOLFIE.
- The dark room is far more interesting. There's a red bulb. SEARCH SHELF to discover the bottle of acid (HCl), the
empty bottle of (sodium) hydroxide, and the bottle of developing fluid. READ FLUID. LOOK UNDER BENCH. READ TUBE -- the
red crystals are litmus. You want all five items, but you because of inventory limits, just take the acid and developing
fluid for now.
- On top of car 5, note the vents and LISTEN to verify they're speaking Russian in there. Put the fluid bottle in the vent,
open it, then take the acid, open it, and pour some acid into the fluid. Close the acid bottle and put it back in your
jacket. Wait until you hear the terrorists die from the toxic fumes. Close the fluid bottle -- you don't want to kill
yourself with it -- and you might as well leave it here.
- The inside of Car 5 is disappointing. There's nothing but dead terrorists and an ice chest with some cans of soda
in it. The terrorists have nothing -- the game won't let you take their weapons -- and the ice chest can't be picked up.
(You can, however, push it from place to place.) Take the cans of soda, then drop them, drink them, or give them to the
passengers, since the soda cans aren't important.
- Inside Car 6 are the passengers and a toolbox. Open the toolbox and take the bottle of window cleaner (read it: it
contains ammonia) and the tube of lubricant (note that it has a sharp pointy end).
- You can talk to the passengers even though they have little to say.
At minimum, you must ASK PASSENGERS ABOUT CONDUCTOR to learn that the conductor crawled over the tops of the cars
to reach the engine and hasn't been seen since. This information will let you reach the engine too.
- Under car 6, SEARCH THE BRAKES to discover there's a white box with a red wire trailing south.
DO NOT pull the wire: the white box is a small bomb. Pulling or breaking the red wire is the trigger.
TAKE WHITE BOX. PUT WHITE BOX IN JACKET. SOUTH. Continue going south all the way to underneath Car 2 where
there's a a black box. Drop the white box here. (Or, take the black box and put them both somewhere else, even dropping
them off the top of the train, if you like, to detonate them safely.)
- You now need to tackle the big bad bomb in Car 2, the Mail Car (entered from the hatch on top).
Bring all the following items, make multiple trips if you need to, to get them all there:
- The tube of lubricant (from the toolbox in Car 6).
- The squirt bottle of ammonia (also from the toolbox in Car 6).
- The red light bulb (from the dark room in Car 4).
- The bottle of acid (from searching the shelf in the dark room).
- A bottle filled with water. Take the bottle of "hyrdroxide" (from searching the shelf in the dark room)
and fill it with water (from the lavatory sink in Car 3).
- The tube of red litmus crystals (from looking under the bench in the dark room).
- The diamond ring.
- Inside the Mail Car:
- OPEN CRATE to reveal the bomb.
- TURN OFF LIGHT SOCKET to get the white bulb cool enough to touch.
- TAKE WHITE BULB. DROP IT.
- TAKE RED BULB. PUT RED BULB IN SOCKET. TURN ON LIGHT.
- CLOSE HATCH. This cuts off the sunlight, and there should only be red light in the car.
- PUNCTURE SEALANT WITH LUBRICANT. This pokes the nozzle (the "sharp pointy end") of the lubricant tube
through the sealant. The nozzle is now inside the metal box of the bomb, which the rest of the tube remains
- LUBE WHITE POWDER. There's some white powder (phosphorus) on a glass dish that will burst into flame
when air touches it. (Assume there's a vacuum inside the metal box.) Covering the white powder with oily
lubricant will prevent it from catching fire -- at least for a short time.
- CUT PANE WITH RING. This removes the rose-coloured gas pane from the side of the metal box,
letting you finally access the bomb's contents.
- TAKE DISH. DROP DISH. The lube will evaporate in a few turns and the white powder will ignite, but once
it's out of the bomb, the brief flame won't do any damage.
- TAKE LUBE. PUT LUBE IN JACKET. You'll need it again later.
- EXAMINE LEFT BEAKER. EXAMINE RIGHT BEAKER.
- TAKE LITMUS. PUT LITMUS IN LEFT BEAKER. PUT LITMUS IN RIGHT BEAKER. (I hope it's clear that you have 100ml
of base in the left beaker, and 100ml of acid in the right beaker. Your goal is to neutralize both liquids
-- the litmus will make neutral liquids appear purple -- and balance the scales again.
- TAKE ACID. OPEN ACID. POUR ACID IN LEFT BEAKER. EXAMINE LEFT BEAKER. (You should see 200ml of purple
liquid. However, all the acid in the acid bottle is used up.)
- SQUIRT AMMONIA INTO RIGHT BEAKER. AGAIN. Repeat squirting in 5ml of ammonia into the right beaker until
its liquid turns purple. Resist the temptation to open the squirt bottle and pour all the ammonia in at once.
- OPEN SQUIRT BOTTLE. POUR AMMONIA INTO ACID BOTTLE. Now the squirt bottle is empty.
- TAKE HYDROXIDE. OPEN IT. POUR HYDROXIDE INTO SQUIRT BOTTLE. CLOSE SQUIRT BOTTLE. DROP HYDROXIDE.
This fills the squirt bottle with the water you got from the lavatory. The water is a neutral.
- SQUIRT AMMONIA INTO LEFT BEAKER. AGAIN. Repeat squirting 5ml of water into the left beaker until the scales
rebalance and you hear a click from the plexiglas box unlocking itself.
- DROP SQUIRT BOTTLE. OPEN PLEXIGLAS BOX. TAKE SPHERE. TAKE PHOTOGRAPH. EXAMINE PHOTOGRAPH.
- Once the sphere (it's plutonium) is out of the bomb, you can now OPEN HATCH safely.
The gas tube of swirling gas will break, but with the bomb finally disarmed, the breaking of the gas tube is
- PUT SPHERE IN JACKET. PUT PHOTOGRAPH IN JACKET.
- At this point you should be wearing the diamond ring and the jacket, and carrying the sphere, photograph,
and lubricant. You need to next get rid of the sphere safely and get the passengers to safety.
You can do both at once by decoupling the cars.
- CAUTION: DO NOT visit the engine while the sphere has not been disposed of. Someone will clunk you over the
head and steal it. It will explode one turn later.
- CAUTION: DO NOT drop the sphere from the top of the train. It will explode that way too.
- PUT SPHERE IN ICE CHEST. CLOSE ICE CHEST. You can push the chest to car 6, if you like, but it's probably
simplest to leave it in Car 5 and decouple the train between cars 4 and 5. If you decoupled car 6 already,
you can probably push the chest north off the train, but I haven't tried that.
- This is a good time to ASK PASSENGERS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPH.
- Underneath the train, between cars 4 and 5, TAKE LUBE. LUBE LEVER. PULL LEVER. YES. PUT LUBE IN JACKET
(or DROP LUBE). S. S. U.
- Once the sphere and passengers are safe, you can now head to the engine for the final puzzle.
- At the Engine:
- EXAMINE PHOTOGRAPH. EXAMINE CONDUCTOR. (These need to be consecutive actions for you
to realize that the conductor is the man in the photograph.)
- ASK CONDUCTOR ABOUT BOMB. (You'll be knocked out, but if the sphere is safely gone, you'll reawaken soon afterwards.)
- ASK CONDUCTOR ABOUT LILY. (Yuck. While his back is turned, you an opportunity to meddle with one of the controls.)
- PULL THROTTLE. (This speeds up the train, which is the only change he won't notice.)
- At this point feel free to take the eye, ask him about the eye, the photograph, Williams, spiders.
- TAKE WOLFIE. THROW WOLFIE AT CONDUCTOR. (You have a 2nd short opportunity to do something.)
- PULL CORD. (Ouch. But stopping the train at high speed is the only thing that works.)
- At Crash Site, you can't do anything but wait for rescue. And hit the conductor, if it makes you feel any better.
- At Cafeteria: REMOVE RING. When asked for it: GIVE RING TO JACK.