Key & Compass presents:
by Ricardo Dague

Fifteen is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 1998 by Ricardo Dague. It was an entry to IF Comp 1998 where it took 25th place. It's dedicated to Sam Loyd (1841-1911), widely (but falsely) believed to be the inventor of the 15-puzzle.

In this simple sparse puzzle game, you play as a homeowner who needs to find four TREASURES near your house and put them on your kitchen table. You'll also need to solve a randomized slider puzzle, also known as a 15-puzzle.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.


Back Yard LivingRoom Bedroom Kitchen Bathroom Street(by fence) Street(Charlie) Street(by house) Street(by alley) Alley In the Site (26 locations)



> verbose. read note. s. w.

Street (Charlie)

> x Charlie. x puzzle. x keys.

> ask charlie about charlie. (You learn the "whoever, something" command syntax.)

> charlie, puzzle.

> charlie, keys.

> ask charlie for puzzle. (He gives it.)

> x puzzle. info puzzle. (You learn the "play [numbers]" and "play cheat" commands.)

Unfortunately, you now need to solve the puzzle, and since it's randomized, I can't give you explicit instructions on how to solve it. I tend to tackle it this way:

If you can't be bothered with this puzzle and you don't care you won't get a full score, type play cheat to have the game solve it for you. Honestly, it's fine if you do.

Puzzle all solved? Yay.

> give puzzle to charlie.

> ask charlie for keys. (He gives them.)

> e. e. s.


> x shed. open it. unlock shed with keys.

> x ladder. x can. x comic.

> take all from shed. read comic.

> n. w. n.


> put comic on table. (+1)

> take ladder. n. n.

Back Yard

You automatically lean the ladder against the tree.

> x tree. x kitten. x collar.

> climb ladder. take kitten. (She won't let you.)

> d. open can. take meat. u.

> give meat to kitten. (She bites you!)

> drop meat. (The kitten goes down after it.)

> d. take collar. s.

Living Room

Since there are so few items in this game, I thought you might want to look at the TV at least once.

> x tv. turn on tv. z. z. z. z. turn off tv.

> s.


> put collar on table. (+1)

> s. e. n.

Street (3)

> x fence. open gate. unlock gate with keys.

> open gate. e.

In the Site (southwest corner)

> take control. x it.

First of all, what you're trying to do in this maze is to get two treasures, one from each locked security box at the northeast and southeast corners of the maze. The boxes can be unlocked by pushing the button of the remote near them, but only when the remote is turned on. Unforunately, the remote never seems to be turned on when you're near a security box.

This maze is what I call a parity traversal puzzle. With every step you make while holding the remote, it will flip its on/off state from on to off or off to on. If you color the maze locations like a checkerboard, you'll realize that the remote will be in synch with the alternating colors unless you can move directly from one part of the maze to another part that are colored the same.

Note that the only place in the maze where the same colors are connected is the diagonal connection at the northwest corner of the maze. You need to go through that diagonal to get the remote to be turned on in locations where it was turned off before.

Head for the northwest corner, go through the diagonal connection, then head for the northeast corner:

> n. e. e. s. e. n. n. e. n. w. n. w. w. w.

> sw. e. e. n. e. e. s. e. n.

In the Site (northeast corner)

The green light on the remote should now be on.

> x box. push button. (The box clicks and the green light goes out.)

> open box. take diamond. x it.

Go back through the diagonal connection, then head for the southeast corner:

> s. w. n. w. w. w.

> sw. e. e. n. e. e. s. e. s. w. s. e. s.

In the Site (southeast corner)

The green light on the remote should now be on.

> x box. push button. (The box clicks and the green light goes out.)

> open box. take ruby. x it.

Head back home, you're almost done:

> n. w. s. w. n. w. w. s. w. (back on the street)

> s. w. n.


> put diamond on table. (+1)

> put ruby on table. (+1)

*** You have won ***





You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 5, in several turns.

Note that if you give any of the treasures to Charlie, he'll gladly accept them and keep them and you won't be able to win the game.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with