Key & Compass presents:
The Four Eccentrics
by Tim Wolfe and Caleb Wilson

The Four Eccentrics is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2019 by Tim Wolfe and Caleb Wilson (writing together as "Mild Cat Bean"). It was an entry in IF Comp 2019 where it tied for 31st place.

In this surreal game that may be just a dream, you fall out of the sky into a park, but instead of waking up, your left arm falls off. Nearby, you find the beautiful Architect, her face made of flowers, indisposed with a large weevil lodged in her brain. Later, you learn that the Expert, the Engineer, and the Farmer have not been seen in ages, their fates unknown. The absence of the Expert is particularly troubling, since with her vast knowledge, she could quickly fix the land's ills.

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

SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of an interactive fiction game. Please make an honest effort to play the game before reading this walkthrough.


TowerRoof TurretBedroom TowerLivingRoom TowerWork-room Deep inMangroveSwamp TowerFloor MangroveSwamp Workshop OutsideCorinthianTower NorthEnd CanalPath NorthCanal HatVestibule FeltFactory StarlitRoof WithinMarketCloak ShabbyNeighbor-hood CanalBridge Outsidethe HatVault StorageRoom Salon Balcony DustyAfternoon RhomboidSquare CentralCanal Crypt-cove Archway WildNight Park Wharf SouthCanal Gauzebo NovalisOpus d d d wear cloak removecloak u d push sun push moon out u d u d u u d u d u u d u d u in


Park (in the pit)

> x me. i. x left arm. wear it. x head.

> x pit.

> x tangle. (You remember riding a dog up a hill and falling off.)

> out.


Whenever you take a globe, you pick up a random Lost Dream.

> x globes. take globe. (heavy!)

> i. x lost dream. drop it.

> x pit. x stones. x trees. x cliffs. x tower.

> x pavilion. in.


> x woman. (The Dream Architect sleeps with a weevil in her brain.)

> x weevil. take weevil. (Too far inside for your fingers.)

> x mail. x bookshelves.

> take all. (You take all seven books.)

Awkwardly, examining a book in the gauzebo acts like attempting to read the book to the woman.

> x vermilion. x bronze. (This one is locked.)

> x mirrors. x posters. x blueprints. x ceiling. x rug.

> x table. x drawings.

> out.


> x vermilion. x chartreuse. x ecru.

> x zaffre. x gamboge. x oxblood. x bronze.

> take globe. e.


Note: You must first examine the canal or dock to "find" the bale before using the crane; otherwise, using the crane will just swing its arm around aimlessly.

> x dock. x crane. (Needs something heavy in the socket.)

> x bale. (several slim books lashed together.)

> put dream in socket. (It fuses.)

> use crane. x bale. (You find one dry volume.)

> i. x mauve book.

> look. x mass. x bay. x island.

> nw.

Rhomboid Square

> x people. x monument. x guard. x rotund man.

> ask guard about statue. ask guard about prism.

> ask guard about expert.

> x fountain. (You see a shopper with a basket of books.)

> ask shopper about basket. ask shopper about fountain.

> x fabric. take it. wear it.

Within the Folds of the Market Cloak

> x girl. x kit. (She wants 2 poems for it.)

> x woman. x ink. (She wants 1 poem for it.)

> x fellow. x sieve. (He wants 4 poems for it.)

Buy the medical kit and the ink.

> give vermilion to girl.

> give chartreuse to girl. (You obtain the kit.)

> give mauve to woman. (You obtain the ink.)

> remove cloak.

Rhomboid Square

> s. in.


> x kit. open it.

> x forceps. x bandage. x scalpel. x vial. (No details to any.)

> take weevil with forceps. (A cloud emerges.)

> x cloud. (It's the dream of a bridge.)

> use ink. (You take a quill and draw the bridge; a new dream emerges.)

> x dream. (This one is of a hat.)

> cut thread. (with the scalpel; you now have a hat.)

> x hat. wear hat. (It attaches to your head.)

> out. n. ne.

Shabby Neighborhood

The bridge that you drew in the gauzebo is now here.

> x beggar. x cup. x canal. x bridge.

> ask beggar about bridge.

> ask beggar about expert. ask beggar about tower.

> ask beggar about architect. ask beggar about eccentrics.

> ask beggar about engineer. ask beggar about farmer.

> ask beggar about island. ask beggar about vault.

In this walkthrough, we'll decline to play the beggar's game. Feel free to play it if you wish, but don't expect to gain anything if somehow you manage to win his game.

> ask beggar about coin. no.

> e. e. ne.

Hat Vestibule

While the beggar obviously would like to have this broom, don't give it to him right away.

> x broom. take it. x rack.

> e.

Felt Factory

> x machines. u.


> x man.

He's the Sartorial Engineer and thinks (because of your hat) that you're an errand-runner from the Expert. He wants you to fetch a propeller from a geometric lecturer in Night Town. To get around a time problem, he gives you a crystal key and says to use the Clock Smock.

> d. w. s.

Storage Room

> x safe. (It has a complicated lock.)

> unlock safe with key. open safe.

> x smock. x vest. x suit. x gown. (Only the smock is described.)

> take smock. wear smock.

> n. sw. w. w. sw. w.

Dusty Afternoon

> x sequin. take it.

> x smock. x sunface. push sun. (Night falls.)

Wild Night

> x ladder. u.


> x band. x major.

> ask major about propeller. (He needs you to play the flugelhorn. Yes?)

> yes. (Eventually a woman arrives to claim it.)

> i. x knowledge.

> ask major about propeller. (If you want it, he needs something else long to flip.)

> give broom to major. (You get the propeller in exchange.)

> x propeller.

> w.


The lecturer is juggling an octahedron, hexahedron, tetrahedron, and a sphere.

> x lecturer. x students. x octahedron. (Can you climb them?)

> x hexahedron. x tetrahedron. x sphere.

> ask lecturer about propeller.

> ask lecturer about octahedron. (She gives you a cerulean book to go buy more polyhedra for her.)

> x cerulean book.

> u. (You can't go high enough.)

> d.


> x bell. x archway.

> w. (The bell rings and the arms seize you until you step back.)

> x clapper. (Any way to muffle it?)

> use bandage.

> w.


> x ghoul. (It just wants to rest.)

> x coat of arms. (The motto means "unlock books".)

> x sword. x axe. take axe. (The ghoul stops you.)

> x skeleton key. (It could open almost any lock.)

> ask ghoul about sleep. ask ghoul about book.

> give bronze book to ghoul. (It sleeps.)

> take skeleton key. (using the scalpel to cut the key's cord)

> take axe.

> unlock bronze book with skeleton key.

> open bronze book.

> read it. g. g. g. g. g. (You'll read more later.)

> e.


Awkwardly, "chop skeletal arm" doesn't work.

> take skeletal arm. (using the axe)

> x it. take bandage.

> u. e. d.

Wild Night

You now see a vendor here.

> give cerulean to vendor. (No, he wants an arm or leg!)

> give skeletal arm to vendor. (He gives you a pair of baubles.)

> i. x icosahedron. x dodecahedron.

> u. w.


> give icosahedron to lecturer. give dodecahedron to lecturer.

> u.

Starlit Roof

> x stars. x pablum. x people. taste pablum.

> d. e. d. push moon.

Dusty Afternoon

> e. s. in.


> read bronze. (The Dream Architect wakes!)

> g. (You read the end of the story.)

> ask woman about herself.

> ask woman about expert. (She tells you how to navigate the northern alleys.)

> i. x secret. (Go west with a focused purpose.)

> out. e. n. n. w.

North End

You must have the secret from the Architect to successfully go west from here to the tower. Without the secret, you'll just get lost.

> w.

Outside the Corinthian Tower

> x tree. x sunbeams. (Like strings in a harp.)

> x tower. x door. read plaque. ("Play, friend, and enter.")

> play sunbeams. (The door opens.)

> n.

Tower Floor

> ask cat about expert.

> x rug. x cat. u.

Tower Workroom

> x tables. x arrays. (Gap for an ethereal sieve.)

> ask cat about sieve.

> x tools. u.

Tower Living Room

> x cushions. x paintings. x photographs.

> u.

Turret Bedroom

> x woman. i. x fate. u.

Tower Roof

> x staircase. ask cat about staircase.

> u. (You return to...)

Tower Floor

Down from here returns you to the roof. But let's return to the Architect:

> s. e. e. s. s. w. in.


> tell woman about fate.

She says we need a new Expert: you! She asks you to ask the Book Farmer about the seedling.

> ask woman about farmer. ask woman about engineer.

Before you can visit the Farmer, you must deliver the propeller to the Engineer.

> out. n. ne. e. e. ne. e. u.


> give propeller to man.

They build a boat coat for you. Also, you need to fetch the latest Handbook from the island.

> x coat. remove smock. wear coat.

> d. w. sw. w.

Canal Bridge

The coat becomes a boat around you as you enter the canal, and becomes a coat again when you leave the water.

> d. s. s.

Novalis Opus

> x greenhouse. x workers. x fields. x pots. x patch.

> x farmer. (He asks if you're looking for work.)

> yes.

You're given a fork and do weeding. The workers give you a chapbook.

> i. x fork. x malachite book.

> ask farmer about handbook. (He gives you one.)

> x handbook.

Note: The Farmer's response about the Seedling won't be that informative unless you previously told the Architect about the Ancient Expert's current condition.

> ask farmer about seedling. (He needs pure liquid starlight.)

> ask farmer about expert.

Return to the Engineer:

> n. n. u. e. ne. e. u.


> give handbook to man. (You get a book for your wages.)

> i. x titian book.

Now, go visit the north end of the canal:

> d. w. sw. w. d. n. n.

Mangrove Swamp

> x woman. x trees.

> ask woman about axe. (She'd pay her last poem for another axe.)

> give axe to woman. (She gives you a book, then uses the axe to free a man from a tree. They leave.)

> i. x taupe book.

> n.

Deep in the Mangrove Swamp

> x water. (You see roots and bones.)

This is a dead end. But now that you have four poetry books, go back to the market and buy a sieve.

> s. s. s. u. w. sw. wear cloak.

Within the Folds of the Market Cloak

> give taupe to fellow.

> give titian to fellow.

> give malachite to fellow.

> give cerulean to fellow. (You get the sieve.)

> remove cloak. w.

Dusty Afternoon

> remove coat. wear smock. push sun. u.


> give fork to major. (You get the broom back.)

> w. u.

Starlit Roof

> take vial. use sieve. (The response is missing.)

> x vial. (It's filled with starlight.)

> d. e. d. push moon. e. ne.

Shabby Neighborhood

> give broom to beggar. (He thanks you.)

> e.

Canal Bridge

> remove smock. wear coat. d. s. s.

Novalis Opus

> give vial to farmer. ("Welcome, Young Expert.")

> z. (Your head has been replaced with the Seedling. You must return to the Tower.)

> i. x ritual. x seedling.

Return to the tower.

> n. n. u. w. n. w. w. n.

Tower Floor

As you enter, you remember a tool is hidden under this rug.

> look under rug. take wand. x wand.

There is some unfinished business to do in Rhomboid Square, which you can now accomplish with this wand.

> s. e. e. s. sw.

Rhomboid Square

I found it difficult to guess the wand's syntax. I found no way to also fix the fountain with it.

> touch prism with wand. (You free the man. He and his daughter leave.)

> ne. n. w. w. n. d. d.

Turret Bedroom

> take woman.

> x ritual. (You're to put the body in the deepest swamp water.)

> u. u. s. e. e. s. e. d. n. n. n.

Deep in the Mangrove Swamp

> drop woman.

*** The End ***

> amusing



Challenges and Diversions


The Four Eccentrics:

Other people:

Other creatures:



From the banner text:

The cover is adapted from a photo by Tim Green - Autumnal Steps, CC BY 2.0,


There are three endings; they all end with The End.

You won't find these last two endings unless you start asking various characters, particularly the Engineer, about escape and waking.


Your inventory is sorted into four categories which I'll label as Knowledge, Wearables, Books, and Other stuff.


Note that if you read a book in the gauzebo, the game thinks you're trying to read it to the Architect, not to yourself. Go elsewhere, like the park, to read books to yourself.

The seven poetry books (vermilion, chartreuse, mauve, cerulean, malachite, titian, and taupe) are currency in the Market. Use one to trade for a bottle of ink, two to trade for a medical kit, and four to trade for an ethereal sieve.

Other stuff

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